I am a young impressionable girl who has just turned 20, and in my early stages of life, I am noticing amongst myself, my friends and family a lot of discrimination occurring on the basis of physical looks amongst our wealthy prominent Muslim homes which is stemming from the elders. Parents would much rather have their children become involved with drug addicts and people with low morals rather than have their daughters settle down with someone who has all the good qualities but may not be so aesthetically pleasing. Muslim parents discourage and forbid their children to marry a decent boy but are overjoyed to throw their daughters away to a "high flyer" that looks good and dresses well.
As a young girl I always believed it was the Deen, piety and character of a suitor that matter more than his weight, physical appearance or complexion. I have seen many of my friends from prominent Muslim homes as well as family members who have succumbed to the pressure of their parents and who are unhappy and suffering today. They may have all the luxury yet they are suffering in silence having to deal with husbands coming home late, intoxicated after the ‘night out’. I do not want this life for myself.
No marriage is perfect and in every marriage there are unforeseeable problems and circumstances which arise. I am not naive to that fact, marriage is not a perpetual honeymoon. But if your parents are trying to `predict´ your future to discourage you to be with someone due to their physical appearance, what should one do? I as well as many of my friends am in the same predicament, yet our parents are overjoyed to let us marry someone who is wayward and indulging in haram. What do we do in this situation? I do not want to be one of those girls that sit every day at the house of their parents while the husband does his own thing or the wife sitting by her mother 24/7 unable to take care of her home and her marriage. Please advise me. (letter edited)
It is imperative for parents to carry out their responsibility correctly. Marriage is an important decision and cannot be allowed to be affected by insensitive behaviour. Whilst we would like to believe that every parent has the best interest of their child at heart, your observations are cause for concern. Young children look up to their parents for guidance and advice and if the parent is not advising his/her child correctly, then this is a serious problem. Such a situation creates uncertainty in the home environment and puts the child in a predicament.
Making decisions for marriage solely on the basis of appearance, wealth and status alone is being shortsighted and contrary to the teachings of the Noble Quran and Sunnah. The child in this situation must avoid being disrespectful to parents but at the same time impress upon them the Islamic viewpoint. The imbalances in society that are prevalent today are largely due to people making wrong decisions on the basis of false values. True Islamic values like honesty, chastity, piety, good character, etc. must receive due priority and importance by parents and respective marriage partners alike. It is only then that Muslims can hope to build long lasting, blissful and happy marriages. Parents should not stifle and impede the progress of their children, especially when the children are on the path of righteousness.
Darul Ihsan Social Department