Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Arranged Marriages

It may surprise many to learn that arranged marriages are not an Islamic requirement. There is no teaching in the Quran or in the hadiths that calls for this practice. It is, rather, a cultural phenomenon that exists in many Muslim countries even as it exists in much of the non-Muslim world from Zimbabwe to China. In fact, it is really the institution of dating that is the new practice which much of the world is struggling to accept. Islam merely regulates the conduct of people who want to form a marriage, whether arranged or by themselves. The three main points to know about Islam and arranged marriages are as follows:
1. Islam does not require it.
2. A woman cannot be forced into a marriage she doesn't want to have.
3. The arranged pair can have an extended engagement and can break it off if either party wishes to do so.
Are women sometimes forced into marriages? Yes, but this abuse goes against the teachings of Islam and is not limited to Muslim populations. If people fail to follow their religion, it is not the fault of the religion. The Bible forbids people to get drunk, yet alcoholism is one of the most serious national challenges facing Christian countries everywhere. So before people blame Islam for something that appears oppressive, they must learn what the religion teaches about it and then condemn the hypocrites who fail to follow their professed beliefs (or the ignorant who follow cultural patterns not knowing they are contrary to their religion's teachings.)
The Companions of the Prophet demonstrated many different ways of finding a mate. Some married for love and sealed their commitment without intermediaries, others were matched by friends, and still others agreed to arranged marriages brokered by relatives.
Compiled From:
"The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Islam, 2nd Edition" - Yahiya Emerick, pp. 276, 277

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