Marriage

13 Things You Must Know Before Getting Married

Intro

Marriage is no doubt the most important decision of a persons life which is why we should always pray for a good life partner. A decision to marry a good man certainly makes your life heaven and a decision to marry a bad man surely makes it hell. Merely living can be a pain and torture if your’e stuck with the wrong kind. One can never get peace of mind in a terrible marriage.¬†

Priorities in Marriage

It is an institution which is based on equal rights and duties. The relationship must be based on fairness. Double standards can not exist in a relationship. Compromises have to be from both sides (not only the girls side)!
Only when couples respect each other, there is a possibility of love.
We hear that love is the most important thing in marriage but I think that love is very difficult without respect, fairness and responsibility. So I personally have my relationship priority list as follows:

My Marriage priority list

1. Respect
2. Fairness
3. Responsibility
4. Love
5. Trust

Counselling a couple before marriage

It’s depressing to know that even in this day and age, we hear of women getting married without knowing their basic human rights. There are no counselling¬†centres to teach them what to do and what not to do. We make sure our girls are taught manners and courtesy. ¬†

In some cases they’re even sent to finishing schools to teach them how to behave in front of others. They are trained to be potential wives and mothers. At home, their mothers and fathers tell them they must always be good to their husbands and in-laws.¬†

What not to compromise on in a marriage

When they pass their 20th birthday, most of the parents start looking out for Rishtas and are open to any decent appearing proposals. At such a young age, these girls are highly vulnerable and in most cases quite immature for the huge concept of marriage.

Our girls are always taught to behave well and told that whoever does good gets only good in return. Unfortunately, that is not always true. But why is it that we forget to teach our daughters something which is far more important?

It’s a¬†pity, ¬†we forget to teach our daughters one big lesson in life…. to say No. No when others cross certain boundaries and no to abuse.

It is true that a wife is responsible to keep her husband happy. She should be pleasant and be at her best behaviour in front of him. However, that does not mean that she should be naive and stupid. 

We must not forget that Islam does not allow a woman to listen to her husband blindly.  On the contrary, it is encouraged that she disobeys her husband in case he is asking her to do something which is against the way of Allah.

If we are living in a¬†corrupt¬†environment, we have to be street smart and know how to handle such people. We need to learn how to handle venomous people. If someone is being mean and nasty with us, we shouldn’t let them get away with it or encourage them to get carried away. The first time they behave badly with us, we should put a stop to it and make it clear to them that their behaviour is unacceptable. There are limits on what a girl should compromise on. ¬†A wife should not allow anyone to treat her as a¬†doormat.¬†¬†

I feel very strongly about this topic and finally I gathered enough guts to write about it as it is so important. There is something majorly wrong in this system of ours. The only time women realise and learn the following points is when God forbid they have a terrible experience of marriage first-hand. Thats the only time when they learn to be smart.
I feel very sad when I see such things happen around me. Wouldn’t it be so much better for us if we were taught these lessons before we were mishandled and treated badly?¬†Here’s my little contribution to the society by creating awareness on such issues.¬†

13 Things You Must Know Before Getting Married

Sorted according to priority.

1. Name change

Women are not bound to change their name after marriage.

In fact Islam encourages women to keep their fathers name even after they get married. The concept is deeper than you think. When a woman changes her name and her husband knows that she has his name in hers, he can start thinking of her as his possession. He knows then that she is his and he can do whatever he likes with her.

This way of thinking creates problems in her life where she struggles and loses her identity. It is common for immature girls to be in the feeling of love early in the relationship and willingly change their names to their husbands on Facebook and on legal papers in an effort to please him. They may realise later on that there is a reason women are advised to keep their fathers name with their names.

2. The marriage contract

Read the nikah nama properly. You may do so with english translation and always keep the right of divorce no matter what others may say. It is your basic human right and your own protection in case things don’t work out. There is no sense in cutting out this section as was the custom in old times.

3. Dowry РHaq Mehr

‚ÄúAnd give to the women (whom you marry) their mahr (obligatory bridal money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) with a good heart‚Ķ‚Ä̬†[al-Nisaa‚Äô 4:4]
In Islam, dowry is the mandatory payment in the form of money or possessions paid or promised to pay by the groom or grooms father to the bride at the time of marriage that legally becomes her property. It is specified in Marriage contract Nikkah. The dowry can never be taken back by the husband. She has all legal right on it. It is a myth that this amount is to be paid to wife in case a divorce takes place. On principle this is to be paid at time marriage takes place.
“… and besides these, it is lawful for you to marry other women if you pay them their dowry, maintain chastity and do not commit indecency. So those (women) whom you marry for an appointed time, you must give them their agreed upon dowries. There is no harm if you reach an understanding among yourselves about the dowry, Allah is All-Knowing and All-Wise.” (Surah 4, Verse 24)

4. Physical Abuse

No one has the right to hurt you physically at all. There is no justification for it and it is a marriage breaker. Read more on that on my post, ‘Dialogue With an Abused Wife’ on this link.

A Dialogue with an Abused Wife

In marriage, there are some physical barriers which the couple must refrain from. These are the boundaries set by Islam and one must never exceed them.

5. Sex Education

It is understood that only adults make the decision of getting married. Adults need to have prior knowledge about contraceptive methods (including pills), pregnancy, kids and the responsibilities attached to these. The couple needs to have an adult conversation with each other (before indulging in any sexual act) of when they want to start a family.
Whatever the decision, they should stick to it. There are so many instances where he gets carried away and later makes his wife bear consequences by ‘morning after pills’ or in worse cases abortion. These are extreme cases of irresponsibility where the wife is made to suffer¬†for¬†husbands¬†negligence. A couple must always act responsible and keep¬†each others¬†wellbeing a top priority. It is wrong to make your spouse suffer especially due to your own negligence.

 6. Tradition of Jahez

Some customs from the ignorant times are still prevalent in our society. The concept of Jahez is completely wrong and against the teachings of Islam. This custom must stop immediately. When a girl gets married, she is in no way responsible to provide furniture for husbands home. The husband is responsible to provide shelter, clothing and food according to his means. She is not responsible for any financial help whatsoever.

7. Working Woman

Best case scenario is when a husband allows his wife to continue her career after marriage. In my opinion, a woman should continue her work as it is beneficial for the couple. The wife has less time to have negative thoughts and the couple is more sympathetic towards each other when both are busy in their work lives. A professional wife has a bigger purpose in life than just washing dishes and clothes at home. This makes her a complete and satisfied woman.
This should be discussed with potential husband before entering into marriage to know how much she is willing to sacrifice for him. I personally feel that if the wife has to sacrifice too much for her husband, it creates problems in marriage as she keeps thinking that she has given up so much for him. However wife is not responsible for household expenses. In case she wants to chip in, she can but she is not bound to spend her income on the house.

8. Money Matters

Always keep your personal bank account details to your self. No need to disclose them to anyone. Know that no one has the right to it other than yourself. A husband is responsible for providing his wife and kids with food, clothing and shelter. Wife can use her own account for her own interests, for buying something for herself or paying zakat for her jewellery.

A wife can spend her income/savings without taking permission from the husband or even telling him. Never let anyone (including your spouse) be in charge of your income. No one except yourself has the right to make money decisions on your behalf. It is your own hard earned money, never let any one else take that position away from you. If a wife wants, she can spend her money on her home, kids or husband, but she can not be forced to do so. It is entirely her own decision.

There are endless cases of financial abuse in marriages. A wife is not allowed to open her own bank account, or she’s made to transfer all her earning/saving into husbands bank account by convincing her through one reason or the other. In other cases a wife is made to ask her parents to send them money.She is often threatened to be kicked out of the house if she doesn’t obey him. All this is wrong!

The irony is that countless examples of this are taking place all around us. Its happening at all socio-economic levels. Even education has nothing to do with this. Money really shows the worst face of human beings and it can surely ruin relationships in an instant.

9. Jewellery

It is very important to prove to your husband and in-laws that you are a responsible person and know very well how to manage your possessions. Always be fully in charge of all your jewelry. Always have a locker in your own name and always keep it in your own control.
Make proper locking up arrangement for expensive items or cash before you get married and don’t let anyone keep them in their control for you even for a short period of time. If husbands family insists on keeping them for you, do not trust them. Be pleasant but assertively tell them that you have it all sorted and you will take care of your own things and that they should not worry.

10. Legal Documents

Always keep all your property papers, Identity cards and passports in your own control. ¬†Don’t let anyone keep them for you even if they promise to return them soon. They are your personal things and no one has the right to have any control over them.

11. Verbal Abuse

Always speak to your spouse and in-laws with respect. However, if they swear at you, call you or your family names, make an issue out of it, the first time it happens. It is not right for any one to behave this way. In many cases, a wife is threatened to be divorced if she doesn’t obey husband. This sort of behaviour is unacceptable for a marriage to work. If a man thinks he can get away by behaving this way, he is certainly not worth living with.

12. Communication

A wife has every every right to be in touch with her family members after marriage. A husband has no right to stop his wife from visiting her parents house or close family for no good reason. In fact husband and wife should encourage each other to have a good relationship with their own families and friends by keeping in touch with them and meeting them frequently.

13. Hobbies

You have a right to your hobbies. Don’t let anybody stop you from doing what you feel like during your spare time. When husband is out, its best time to do what you love doing. If sport is your hobby, nothing like it. You will be looking after your health while you’re at it. Art, music, stiching, are some of the hobbies worth considering.

A successful marriage is based on the wellbeing of both individuals. If a man thinks that by oppressing his wife, he can attain happiness, he is wrong. If she isn’t happy in the relationship, he can never be so either. Its a two way street. Only by keeping¬†each other happy and content, can a couple find ultimate bliss.¬†

The best husbands are those who live and let live. Those who forbid their wives from doing a lot of things and who love to decide what their wife will wear, where she will go and whom she will meet often end up depressed and unloved. Respecting each other and being easygoing and relaxed is the key to a loving relationship.

“Bad women are for bad men and bad men are for bad women. Good women are for good men and good men are for good women.” Quran (24:26)

Conclusion

I hope you learned something from this article. I would love you to comment your marriage priority list below. What do you rate most important in a marriage? Please comment.
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Nadiya Najib

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7 Comments

  1. Thankyou so much for sharing this. it is very important for us young girls to learn about their basic rights..stay blessed!

  2. Most welcome. I felt it a social responsibility to educate young girls on this topic. Im so happy with the feedback. Thankyou ūüôā

  3. Anonymous says:

    very properly written and defined:) but some sick people have the mentality with which they have grown up. they simply dont pay attention to these sensitive matters and are after money and same things.

  4. Anonymous says:

    JazakAllah

  5. True. Money matters are always tricky in relationships and need to be handled well and tactfully. We must know our rights so we cannot be exploited.

  6. First of all an amazing article. But one thing I must say that nothing on Earth can assure you what your potential partner is promising you before marriage he or she is going to stick to it. The only thing I would like to add here which you also mentioned in the start is pray as much as you can that Allah keeps you away from bad people specifically the greedy ones. That is my prayer for every good person of this world. ūüôā keep up the amazing work (y)

    1. Nadiya Najib says:

      Hi Nabaha. Thank you so much for your comment. True. Unless you live with the person, you can’t really know what he/she is like. Praying is definitely important. Thanks for stopping by!

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