>> Friday, July 29, 2011
I recently received a proposal from a brother that is said to be religiously practicing. His family is also known to us. My parents seem happy with the proposal and I am a little happy too, but there's something bothering me. He didn't go to university. I have a B.A. degree and I just feel a little weirded out by that. He does have a job though and is financially ready for marriage. Do you think I'm making a big deal over nothing?
Sister in Need of Advice,
Dear Sister in Need of Advice,
Boy oh boy...can it be seriously confusing when you get a proposal. It's like your whole world changes in one day! All of a sudden, you're thinking about being somebody's wife...
I understand your parents are happy with the proposal, but it’s YOU who is going to live with the guy. You are going to be his wife, so definitely if you have anything worrying you, it's best to address it....
So..let's take a look at this education thing...I do personally think that education is a factor in determining compatibility between couples but it's not the only thing. In other words: having the same degree level doesn't necessarily make 'two people' compatible; there are a lot of other things to keep in mind, including even the values 'behind' the education.
Huh? Think about it. When we talk about 'education level', we usually think of it as showing a person's ambition, their drive, their commitment..
What you need to think about is:
a. Does he VALUE education or not? Does he see a point in it? Do you agree? What if he says he doesn’t care about your kids getting college degrees? What if he won’t pay for that? Is it important for you that your kids have degrees? How important is education to you? How important are grades? What if he wants his children to be 'unschooled'?
The idea here is: Do you have the same outlook on life? Do you see the same things as being important? Do you agree on the definition and role of education?
b. What is the reason that he did not continue his education? Was it simply because he didn’t want to or was it circumstances? Has he shown any interest in pursuing a higher degree? If not, are you attracted to him MENTALLY? Can you accept him as he is, RIGHT NOW?
c. What did he study in school? What kinda of life has he led? Even if he didn’t’ pursue a B.A., you know he might be a LOT more educated than you in certain things….education isn’t only about books, right. You said he ‘works’. What does he work as? Do you respect what he works as?
In an ideal world, we would all recognize that a degree on the wall does not guarantee a person’s education…and a lack of degree does not reflect a person’s (lack) of integrity or a person’s character. This is the basic fact. I have met people without a degree who seemed far more advanced than others who got a degree….
But in our real world, we have to realize that people will ‘talk’. You will find people asking you ‘what did your husband major in’…’what does he do’….etc. Are you prepared for that? Will you be ashamed of him or will you be proud of him?
I believe that a marriage has to be founded on respect……do you respect him? Will you stand up for him?
Have you thought about what will happen 15 years from now? What if he’s still doing the same job? Is that okay? Or has he mentioned any plans/ shown that he has ambition to become something different…..? Again, do you respect him right now and do you think you will respect him 15 years from now?
IF you do respect him and you know that you have the same outlook on life….well why not? Our Prophet Mohammed salah alahoo alyhaee wa salam was an illiterate man…but he was the BEST husband out there!!
Remember, there are a LOT more things that are also important to consider :)
- Would he make a good father?
- Would he teach his children Islam?
- Do you share the same goals/ or vision in life? You said he's practicing. What is his definition of practicing? What is yours?
- Have you talked about whether he would allow you to work and all that yada yada? What does he expect from a wife? Who will be in charge of the financial stuff (you know Islamically it’s the man, right, hehe)…..
Yeah, you really need to talk to HIM…err, with a wali present and get some answers
Why? Well, let’s just say that BEFORE you talk to a suitor it can be very hard for you to decide..but once you talk to him (and not just ‘talk’ but discuss ‘marriage’ and ‘how marriage life is going to be’…who is going to do what and all…) things get a little more clearer.
What else? Well, have you tried istikharah? That is the most important thing to do. Ask Allah to let it happen if he is good for you and to keep him away from you if he is bad for you. Allah will never fail you :)
I can’t think of what else to write but I did try to search a bit for you..try reading this…
I also found these two interesting quotes:
Compatibility does not hinge on some personal inventory of traits. Compatibility isn't something you have. It's something you make. It's a process, one that you negotiate as you go along. Again and again. It's a disposition, an attitude, a willingness to work. http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200411/the-truth-about-compatibility?page=2
There is no such thing as a compatible couple. All couples disagree about the same things: money, sex, kids, time. So, it's really about how you manage your differences. If there is chemistry, then the whole courtship is about convincing yourself and others that you are compatible. But, really, you create compatibility. And then, eventually, maybe in 25 years, you will become soul mates. —Diane Sollee, founder and director, Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education
I hope these things help you out a bit. Remember, you're not saying that he's a bad guy because he doesn't have a B.A. or that you're better than him. You're just wondering if he is 'best suited' to you or not..
May Allah give you what is best!! Keep us updated girlie :)
And sisters..what do you think? Any advice for her? :)