Thoughts on Getting Married Young

Thoughts on Getting Married Young


Salam alaykum, what are your thoughts of getting married young? Guys in the West are not looking to settle down til much later on which alternatively asks girls to seek husbands ”back-home” which usually does not work out because of cultural incompatibilities. What are your opinions on this matter? It seems as though if a girl wanted to marry she must seek someone much much older! Should she herself wait as well until later on before pursuing marriage? Jazakallah, ur advice is much appreciated

Wa alykum as-salaam,

I have answered this question, I believe, when I was asked about my thoughts on dating, which you can read here, insha Allah.

I’d just like to note, that I am not particularly convinced by the idea that one must marry young, and I believe this is a cultural practice that has somehow been changed into some sort of “Muslim one.”

In the post on dating, I write about something that we keep forgetting:

The Prophet did not get married until he was 25.

Also, I do not think that marrying young is something inherent within all cultures, or something that is “uniquely Western.” I’ll speak for my Egyptian experience: Men in Egyptian society cannot even think of getting married until they are finished with their studies, and even then, they must be able to provide a home and be able to support a wife. Thus, it is not uncommon for men to be considerably older (by Western standards) to their wives. This is one of the central frustrations for young men in Egypt, their inability to find work (82% of college educated people are unemployed) and therefore, they are unable to get married.

I’d like to underline that I am speaking in generalities, and I realize there are many Arabs who marry young, but, I just wanted to calm people down, because I feel that age is simply a number, and frankly, I do not see many 19 or 20 year olds who are ready for marriage, today.

Marriage is work, and it’s not about cute notes on bathroom mirrors or that you get to play house together. I wish more Muslims would realize this, so that when they get into married life, they are not so bitterly disappointed. I feel that once you realize how marriage actually functions, you will naturally value very different things and look for different aspects in your potential future spouse.

You need to look for someone who will be your partner in life, your “safe zone,” the person who you can work out problems with, who you can stand next to and face the world. Remember, this person will be the father or mother of your children, can you see this person raising a child, your child?

Again, please read the article I referenced earlier, as I feel that it articulates my feelings in a far better way. Again, you can read that here.

I do not understand the rush to get married, partly because of my fear of divorce, partly because I need to be in a place where I feel that I can provide for a family independent of any outside assistance (alhamdulilah, which I can now), and also, because The Prophet only got married when he was ready, not when he was being impatient. I am not married, and I am in no particular rush to be married, although I am considering it increasingly as I am now 25, and feel that I am approaching that time.

I share this, because you need to have a barometer of what you want before you get married. I have many other considerations, but those are simply my particular issues. Again, you need to be very clear about what you want, what you want from life, and what you want from your spouse.

Your question underlines something, that you do not want to marry someone from “back home,” and that is a value that you consider important. And that’s fine. I don’t mind, and I would have no problem marrying someone from “back home,” but that’s just me, and that’s okay. Or, you mention that marrying someone older is something you are uncomfortable with, again, that’s up to you, and as a side-note: I’d suggest marrying a guy older than you, they tend to be stupid for quite a while. Again, I share this, simply to underline that we will have different criteria, and that has nothing to do with Islam, it’s simply a personal preference.

Before you even consider marriage, you should be aware of what you want, and what you need to feel settled, and those expectations should be yours, and you should stop worrying about getting married young, you should be worried about getting married when you’re ready. I see no virtue in someone getting married young, so that they can be divorced young.

Insha Allah, I hope this answers your question, and that if you, or anyone else, has any questions on this, or any other topic, please do not hesitate to ask me.

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