How to Get Married – Without Dating First!

Exclusive Interview

On February 10 2018, Shaykh Daood Butt gave a presentation at the first Marriage Conference ever held in Kenya on how to make marriage a ‘lifelong honeymoon.’

While in Montreal, Shaykh Daood was involved in various Da’wah activities including lectures and khutbah in English, French, and Arabic.

In 2015 he was awarded Imam of the Year in Mississauga, Canada where he is director of religious affairs and a family and youth councelor. He is a family man with two young daughters.

Shaykh Daood spoke to AboutIslam on the contentious topic of ‘how’ to meet someone and get married – without dating first!

How to Get Married - Without Dating First! - About Islam

AI: If a young person came to you and said: ‘How do I get married?’ What would you say to them?

Shaykh Daood: By the age of 15 you should have started communicating to your parents what type of a person you want to marry in the future. Not THE person you want but the TYPE of person. Tall, short, ethnic background – just open those channels of communication. Once the parents become comfortable about chatting like this with it becomes much easier to then say: ‘What about this person/that person?’ When you ask the question ‘How do I know when I’m ready to get married?’ You’re ready. I like to encourage people to get to know other families of friends they have. From amongst them your group is widened and one may have a brother or sister interested into marrying into your family.

AI: What if a person doesn’t have those community connections?

Shaykh Daood: Then in that case there may be a person who interests you at work or at university. In that case get someone you trust to be like a chaperone to just be there when you meet. Then you get together several times and then you decide.

AI: Is it okay for a sister or a sisters family to instigate marriage talks with another family?  Some sisters may feel this makes them look desperate.

Shaykh Daood: We need to break down certain barriers which are from society. For example my wife’s family approached me for marriage, I didn’t approach them. They discussed it, she spoke about it with parents and then her father spoke to my father. I said ‘Yeah I’ll be interested.’ There’s nothing embarrassing in that. In fact its beautiful when that happens, because it shows that a person isn’t going to just sit back and wait for ‘that moment when Romeo arrives with roses.’ If you want something you have to go get it! Islamically there’s nothing wrong if a brother proposes to a sister’s family or a sisters family to a brother’s family. Think about our mother Khadija…

AI: A big question is always how do you get to know a person well enough to marry them?

Shaykh Daood: Well that’s what marriage is for. You’ll get to have the coffees with that person later on, you’ll get to have those dinners together. The great thing about not dating is that you have no one else to compare them with.

AI: Isn’t that a very low bar to set?How to Get Married - Without Dating First! - About Islam

Shaykh Daood: It is – if you look at that way! But it could actually be the highest bar! in the sense that you will give everything to maintain that marriage with that person you and try your best.

AI: Some brothers say they are worried about ‘how’ to propose, or what to say.

Shaykh Daood: Step up to the plate! All you need to do is nicely ask. The fear of embarrassment is usually worse than the embarrassment itself. Fear controls us. We need to trust Allah SWT that the steps we take trusting him will be fine. The day my mum told me about the proposal that came from my wife’s side I though to myself how am I going to do this? I went to my dad when he was washing his car and started help him wash. I said ‘I’d like to entertain this proposal. Proper communication is essential.

AI: Something we are asked a lot is this. Any tips on how to avoid the chance of parents refusing a match!

Shaykh Daood: Build a relationship of confidence with your parents. So that when you are ready to marry or you met someone: that they trust your decision making.

AI: What about the trend for asking vast mahar (dowry)from the groom?

Shaykh Daood: You (groom) shouldn’t expect to marry someone if you have no financial backing to look after her. You need to at least be on your two feet and you should have a job. Now, you may not have a lot of savings, but you are working hard at that. Sometimes when you look at the most beautiful marriages and you ask them how they got married , they say we had nothing in our pockets but we thought ‘this is the beginning and Allah provides’. And He does.