Marriage at a Young Age: Love or Impulse?

28 June, 2017
Q Assalam-U-Alaikum. I met a boy who is a year older than I am. We were in the same class. He caught my eye because he was different. He never looked at other girls or showed off in front of them. I noticed whenever Azaan time came He got up and left to pray. Even during papers. Even though we never talked till then, he inspired me to pray. I started off with one prayer and Alhumdulillah now I read 5 daily prayers. Coming from a religious family, I used to hate it when my parents constantly forced me to pray or wear Hijab. I found it extremely annoying. It was a coincidence we had to talk. We had a project together. But I was amazed he never once looked at me. I love the way his Emaan showed. I once confessed to him that I found it annoying that he wouldn't look at me when I talk. That was the first time I saw him look in my eyes. He said I am a human being: I am a Muslim. I don't want to lose my control. I was shocked when he said that so openly. I asked him to tell me more about Islam. He came alive when he talked about it. He always tried to keep his distance from me though. Telling me it was wrong, but I forced him. I became a better person with him. I started learning and understanding the Quran with translation. I confessed to him I love him. I really do because he brought me back on the straight path Alhumdulillah! He told me the only way was Nikah. He started avoiding me after my confession. I am going crazy. I really want to marry him and he also wants to, but he said we cannot continue this way. Relationships are wrong and yes it is. We discussed our options. Our parents are not agreeing for us to get married early. It’s frustrating. He nor I can go on like this. We want to get married so we can stay away from Haram things. We don't want Allah to get angry at us. One thing can lead to another. If we get married without our parents knowing but with the Wali and All other Nikah conditions satisfied, will our Nikah be real? I even did Istikhara and have a good feeling about him. Please give me advice on how to handle this situation. Keeping in my mind I don’t want to lose him and want to get married as soon as we can. Plus my parents are not agreeing. I don’t care if I am young or he is not settled yet (We both just started University). Even Hazrat Ayesha got married at a very young age. Jazakillah

Answer

Salam Dear Sister,

Thank you so much for sending your question. We pray that you are no longer distressed.

We have two issues to deal with here. The first has to do with your parents and the acceptance of your wish to marry. The second has to do with your own readiness and proper conduct as an honorable Muslimah.

With regards to your parents, several scholars have discussed the issue of allowing young couples to get married if they are: mature enough, upon good deen, ready mentally/spiritually/physically and have necessary means to live a dignified life.

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This talk by Mufti Ismail Menk addresses that. You can share this with your parents  if you think it would help.

On the other hand, a few things you mentioned were a bit worrying.

You mentioned how the brother “caught your eyes”. One can’t help but mention that as a matter of principle, dignity, and consciousness of Allah (SWT), a Muslim woman ought to lower her gaze.

{And tell the believing women to reduce [some] of their vision} (Quran 24:31)

This command is to protect us from being carried away with emotions and desires thus leaving us in great distress and trouble.

You then mentioned that you started praying when you saw that person pray. The question here is, are we praying sincerely and lovingly to Allah (SWT) Himself, or just following someone else we’ve gotten attached to?

Remember this hadith:

Allah (glorified and exalted be He) said: I am so self-sufficient that I am in no need of having an associate. Thus he who does an action for someone else’s sake as well as Mine will have that action renounced by Me to him whom he associated with Me. (40 Hadith Qudsi)

Sincerity to Allah (SWT) is a main component of this religion. Our hearts ought to be fully directed towards Allah (SWT) Owner and Creator of all that exists. He is the Source, anything else we’re attached to is from and owned by Him. 

Sincere prayer that has khusho’ (humility and focus) – brings serenity and:

{Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing} (Quran 29:45)

We want nothing but the best for you, and may Allah satisfy your heart and bring you the utmost best of this world and the next. But we also need to be honest with ourselves. We also need to ask Allah (SWT) for forgiveness for any wrongdoing that we’ve committed.

Forcing a brother who’s trying to lower his gaze and control himself, getting him involved in inappropriate acts that he initially refused, persistently pressuring him until he engages in a haram relationship—all of that is not exactly the best way to start a relationship that is pleasing to Allah (SWT).

So this is something we need to remember and acknowledge so that Allah (SWT) would put barakah (blessing and prosperity) into your future marriage with the best person for you.

You said that the brother helped you come back to the straight path. Remember that this straight path is ultimately about reaching Allah (SWT). Marriage is a means to reach Allah (SWT), but it is not the only means to do so.

We advise you to seek knowledge about your deen; listen to lectures, be in good company of righteous sisters, and learn more about Allah and His Messenger.

All of this is necessary because your deen should never be entirely dependent on your relationship with one person. At the end, everything upon Earth will vanish, and there will remain the Face of Allah (SWT). So, be reminded of that in order to have your priorities in life straight, insha’Allah.

We should definitely seek righteous husbands. But we need to also make sure that we are righteous wives who are sincerely devoted to Allah because only He can set our life straight and bring us what is good in this life and the next.

Finally, we advise you to do the following:

1- With regards to marrying in secret against your parent’s will, we really advise you against this because it is against Islamic values.

2- We advise you to make dua (supplication) to Allah (SWT) to facilitate the right path for you and guide you to the best in this life and the next.

Remember that the hearts of all people, whether the one you love or your own parents, are all in the hands of Allah (SWT). The Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

Verily, the hearts of all the sons of Adam are between the two fingers out of the fingers of the Compassionate Lord as one heart. He turns that to any (direction) He likes.” (Sahih Muslim)

So Allah could change hearts of people. He could change hearts of your parents to accept this matter.

3- Read more about marriage in Islam– what is halal and what makes or breaks relationships.

4- Either you or the brother could approach the imam of the masjid in your community (or any authority figure your parents trust) in order to help you talk to your parents about the permissibility of early marriages.

5- Finally, no matter how this issue ends up, remember those words of the Messenger of Allah:

Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) said:

One day, I was riding behind the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he said, ‘O boy! I will instruct you in some matters. Be watchful of Allah (Commandments of Allah), He will preserve you.

Safeguard His Rights, He will be ever with you. If you beg, beg of Him Alone; and if you need assistance, supplicate to Allah Alone for help.

And remember that if all the people gather to benefit you, they will not be able to benefit you except that which Allah had foreordained (for you); and if all of them gather to do harm to you, they will not be able to afflict you with anything other than that which Allah had pre-destined against you.

The pens had been lifted and the ink had dried up.’ (At- Tirmidhi – emphasis added)

Finally, ask Allah (SWT) to make matters easy for you and to guide you to all that is halal and prevent you from any harm. Please take it easy on yourself, seek the help of Allah (SWT), and insha’Allah, Allah, The All Knowing will bring only the best your way.

I hope this helps address your concerns.

Salam and please keep in touch.

Please continue feeding your curiosity. Find more info in the following links:

Making Allah the Heart of Our Marriage

Early Marriage – 3 Muslim Women Narrate Their Stories

The Spiritual Marriage: Love for the Sake of Allah

About Dina Mohamed Basiony
Dina Mohamed Basiony is a writer based in Cairo, Egypt. She specializes in Islam and spirituality. Dina holds an MA and BA in Journalism and Mass Communication from the American University in Cairo.