Back in quiet Naperville, I returned once again to the Al Hilal Mosque for Jummah prayer.
Before I begin the khutbah, I will rant. Why do people think it's necessary to drive 40 mph in a parking lot full of people walking from their cars to the mosque? Do they think they will achieve goodness in the eyes of God for hurrying to the mosque at the risk of another's life? I say this because I almost got hit walking from my car to the pavement, a mere 50 foot distance. Some young punk thought it appropriate to needle his way through groups of people, unfortunately for myself, walking alone didn't make me as visible to the driver as did a group of five or six. I should have followed that kid to where he parked and let him know. But, knowing people these days, criticism is a very hard pill to swallow, even if it's justified.
Today's khutbah was about the topic of marriage, they are doing a series at the mosque about this topic and today was the first one, regarding "choosing a spouse."
I would like to preface this khutbah with a question. Why do people insist on doing things exactly as they perceive was done 1400 years ago? Perceive being the key word.
The khateeb began informing us about the importance of family. This is always good and nice to hear, since family is incredibly important. He did a nice job with summing this up. He then began addressing the main issue by stating that many weddings take place in the summer. Cool. Go on.
He said: "Islam encourages marriage. There are many misconceptions about marriage that are not inline with the Sunnah or Shariah."
He also said that we should help people to get married, those who want to at least. Whoever is physically and financially able to get married, should.
Now, I am going to rant again. I should make a segment called the "Rant Room," sounds clever enough.
Haha... I laugh because so many "brothers" want to get married as early as possible. 90% want to simply because they cannot control their urges and don't want to risk losing their chastity. First of all, that sounds really pathetic. It is not at all the correct reason for marriage, well not a good one at least. It is encouraged for men to get married earlier on in life simply for this reason, this comes from Islamic tradition. However, I find it distasteful if that becomes the primary reason. Why? Because it shows the low quality of a person. They are willing to subject another human being to their needs, quite selfish.
That aside... In college I came to know many MSA "brothers" that spoke incessantly about marriage, all the while hugging one another in inappropriately long and strange embraces and getting way too touchy feely. I wasn't sure if they were afraid of having sex with a girl before marriage or of turning gay. Ironically, I think the latter was more feasible for these "brothers" than the former. None of them had social skills to speak to women, much less women they found attractive, that is, if they ever looked.
(I know you looked).
Okay, forget all the above, tell me, dear sir, how are you going to support your wife living in your parents' home? You cannot even support yourself but you want to marry someone, someone whom you have the obligation to support, according to Shariah. Yet, you are unable. Why are you getting married? Why don't you start fasting more regularly and take regular cold showers. I promise you that will curb any desires or urges.
Be serious and mature about this. I know Islam permits for divorce and gives both men and women equal rights, but do you really want to waste your time and your spouse's time like that?
Back to the khutbah, the khateeb said that if you cannot get married that you should fast. I am happy he made this point, very good point indeed. He continued by saying that marriage helps you to control your desires and exercise them in a lawful way. If we go to our spouses to fulfill our desire in a lawful way, Allah will be with us and support us. I think the khateeb could have worded this better, but I get what he's saying.
He noted that the Prophet (S) found comfort and support with his wife.
He also noted the well known hadith saying that marriage is half of faith. (This is the typical argument for "brothers" who are not ready but want to get married, they think they will become twice the men they are immediately after marrying.)
The khateeb said that the best of this dunya (world) is a righteous woman. Yes, I can agree with that. Keyword being dunya.
He mentioned how a benefit of marriage is to preserve one's chastity. Then he quoted the following Sahih Bukhari Hadith:
I have searched for this hadith and have been unsuccessful in finding it, it sounded a bit strange to me, I feel either it was misquoted or some context was left out of it. Because the Ummah (community of Muslims) is not just men, it's men and women, so women cannot be the hardest test for themselves, unless they are lesbian, which then makes sense.There must be a broader clarification for this hadith.
I will do some more research on this.
The khateeb then said that the enjoining of love and mercy is another benefit of marriage. I feel like he got that from somewhere and tried to pass it off as original, he didn't explain what he meant. For someone who is not married it may be difficult to understand that, I imagine for someone who is married, they understand immediately.
He then said that the bond between husband and wife is a unique bond. Those who fulfill the rights of their spouse will be filled with peace. I wish he give a brief summary or description of the rights of the spouse at this point in the khutbah, a quick one minute description.
Your potential spouse should have or be the following:
- Righteousness. A devout Muslim. There's that hadith about the reasons to marry.
- Trustworthy (you will not dishonor one another).
- Good character (goes for the families as well, since you marry into the family).
- Beauty, it's important to be attracted to your spouse.
- Compatible to you.
"When courting a potential spouse, it's permissible to look at each other, we look for the purpose of marriage not to fulfill our desires." Also, you cannot look at someone whom you think is a potential spouse if there is not a realistic chance that you two can be enjoined in holy matrimony. "You cannot look at super models online saying, 'It could happen.'" "Shaytan (satan) tricks you."
He said that the face and hands are all you can see. Hmm... Sure... No fellas, you cannot look at her hair, or wrists. To be very honest, I disagree with this, only because there are righteous women who do not wear the hijab, who wear modern clothing, while maintaining their modesty.
This next part is truly something to reflect on and then laugh about later.
The khateeb said that "There is a common phenomena which is very dangerous. Emailing pictures to potential spouses. Do not email pictures to each other. Because she could say 'No' and then leave the picture on the computer and then marry someone else. The person might be righteous, but there is a shaytan inside each of us."
Holy crap! Are you serious?! I think he is expecting men and women to be blind when engaging in normal societal activities. What the heck is he talking about? I daresay he hasn't looked at other women. Maybe not with a lustful eye, but like the khateeb said, "there is a shaytan inside each of us."
He then said something that makes sense, he said to pray Salatul Istikhara if you need help deciding. He said that It's not a condition to see a dream. God will make it easy if it's meant to be. He said that it's incorrect that if everything is good with a proposal, after praying Istikhara, but you break it off because you didn't see a dream. I totally agree with this point, what do people think God has a hotline you can reach Him at any time and He will respond the way in which you expect? No, that's ridiculous.
Finally, the khateeb said that once a girl is engaged, no one else can propose to her, also the man cannot talk to her or be alone with her. He also said that long engagements are not recommended, which makes sense. He then said that until the nikkah is signed, you cannot talk to each other. Then we all rose to pray.
I agree with several of the points the khateeb made, but some of them I just don't think are applicable in today's society. But, I am sure there are those that benefited greatly from this and agree wholeheartedly, I wish you all the best in your marital ambitions, may you all find beautiful and righteous spouses. Ameen.