So I have a gripe. And, I'm going to share it.
I have a gripe against all those people who encourage Muslims brothers and sisters to marry 'young'. I also am not too chuffed with all those youngsters that then follow this advice.
I know it is encouraged in Islam to marry 'young'. But really, what is young? I'm going to try not to dwell the age thing too much because I can go on for a while...but really...there seems to be this new wave of thinking about people getting married young and I have an issue with it.
I follow the opinion that there are certain prerequisites that an individual must fulfil before they can get married. This is the same system as most other Islamic traditions, whether it be a life-altering act such as Hajj (you need to write a will, leave provisions for those dependent on you etc), or an everyday act such as Salah (cleanliness of mind and body)....there are certain pre-requisites that should be fulfilled. Marriage is no exception.
Let me give you an example that has become pretty common in Western Islamic communities....
Boy A is a good Muslim boy. He prays, he fasts, he looks after his parents, respectful towards his elders, etc etc.
Girl A is a nice Muslim girl. She's modest, active in her local community, caring towards her siblings etc etc.
(So basically they could be anyone you know)
Boy A is in higher education. He's in university, his parents are supporting him.
Girl A is also is higher education, being supported by her parents.
And then....Boy A meets Girl A. They like each other. They think they want to get married.
Modern solution: Get them married. Or have the Nikkah and save the big shindig for later, when they move in together etc.
My issue: HE CAN'T SUPPORT HER.
Is it just me that notices this massive disregard for the prerequisites to getting married? Is all my reading about marriage and Nikkah and responsibilities of the husband missing an important element?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating that he make her his girlfriend or anything equally ridiculous. Neither am I of the opinion that a brother has to be a millionnaire before he can get married. I know, in theory, his parents can support both of them until he gets a job etc...but is that really the way it should be? Shouldn't we be caring for our parents rather than giving them extra burdens to bear?
Now obviously, I haven't been in this situation, but it seems a little...off to get married just because you like someone. I don't understand how parents allow this kinda thing. What are they scared their kids will get up to if they don't allow them to have their Nikkah? Seriously guys and gals, keep it in your pants, and if you're having issues, go fast (it's a pillar of Islam for a reason).
Some scholars say that if a child wishes to get married, and the parents say no, thus leading the child to do some indecent act, the sin is as much the parent's as it is the child's. But what if that child cannot fulfil the prerequisites of marriage?
In order to counteract the sexually charged atmosphere that young people are surrounded by nowadays, marriage seems like an answer to prevent all the wrong things from happening...I just don't think we should underestimate the responsibility that marriage brings to the table before jumping into it.
(And I know I concentrated on the financial burden that falls on the husband, but this applies to wives-to-be too.)