It is important to recognize that finding a suitable spouse is a massive problem for Muslims today. It has to be addressed practically, not just through lectures and seminars about the fiqh (juristic) nature of marriage and the ideal scenario. Education of the whole community is required, including parents and even the ‘ulamâ who also need to work with social scientists such as marriage counselors and psychotherapists to find realistic solutions. Marriage events are just a humble product of this. Such initiatives are still developing in the community, and they need to be tested within the framework of our community. It will take time to fully understand them but they can only improve if people participate in them, take them seriously, facilitate their organisation, and provide constructive feedback.
Here are 7 tips to consider before and whilst at an event:
- One should first purify their intentions, i.e. to seek the pleasure of Allah by fulfilling one’s obligation to seek a marital partner in a halâl way. It should be treated as a form of worship, so that this will set a precedent for one’s willingness to adhere to Islamic etiquette throughout the event.
- The best starting point is to recognize that you are a humble servant of Allah who is attending the event because you, like all the other participants, are looking for a spouse, and therefore want to behave in the best of manners. Listen carefully and follow all the instructions set out by the organizers. Forgive the organizers and facilitators for their shortcomings. Try to be in a state of ablution (wudû’) if possible. Make du’â and ask Allah for guidance before, after and during the event. Perform istikhârah prayer as and when appropriate.
- Arrive by stated registration times at the latest. Do make an effort to fill in your profile. It is one of the first sources from which others will learn more about you. Whilst you are not expected to write an essay, simple one-line answers will reflect badly on you and will suggest that you can’t be bothered or are not serious. Put on your ID badge where people are able to see it clearly and wear it throughout the event.
- Try to have a positive outlook, relax and smile. Don’t be shy during the rotation sessions. This is an opportunity to introduce yourself and learn more about the other participants. Be patient at all times. If someone is being seen to, then please wait. You can exchange contact details if you are happy to do so. However, only you should take responsibility in terms of character checks, obtaining references and anything that transpires afterwards.
- Remain in the main hall unless you really need to go out. This makes it easier for the admin to locate you if someone has taken an interest in you. When you leave the event, kindly complete the feedback as this helps to plan better events.
- Be professional at all times. Please do not approach any of the volunteers or admin staff for marriage purposes. Spare yourself and ourselves the embarrassment. Mobile phones – If your call is an emergency, indicate to one of the organisers that you need to leave the room to answer a call.
- Marriage is clearly a sensitive matter and is not something that can be engineered mechanically. The success of such initiatives ultimately lies with Allah. What needs to be borne in mind is that this is an opportunity, and a lot will depend on what you make of it, that is your intention and your attitude – be positive, proactive and pragmatic!
May Allah (SWT) make it easy on all of us!
Mizan, Mustafa – Muslim Marriage Events Team