He Doesn't Have a Degree

>> 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? :)

6 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Anonymous,  July 29, 2011 at 12:46 PM  

well i think u should talk to him about this , bcuz education is not everything you need to have senses for wedding and ask him why he didnt go to university the reason behind it , dont keep yourself in doubt that,i will ask this later or he will feel bad make it clear first so no misunderstandings will be there
:) may AllAH bless u , !

-Yazi

Anonymous,  July 31, 2011 at 2:05 AM  

Good advice:). Most people will care about degrees even though they can say 'degree is not important'. Especially if you are an woman,you are likely to hope that husband's education level is higher than yours. I suggest you to ask yourself a lot about what you really want, as little auntie said.
+ when it comes to getting proposal, one might think a lot and worry a lot, but once you got married many of your worries turn out to be just worries:)
I also had a lot of worries before getting married. he is kinda lazy, our cultural backgrounds are too different ect... but after marriage, what i worried effects our life only a little bit and I am more happy with his good points...like being kind to me, be patient with my whims, helping household etc.
I might have taken your problem too lightly.. anyways, I hope you to make best decision:D

Salma @ Chasing Rainbow July 31, 2011 at 11:43 PM  

Salam alaikum my dears...Ramadan Kareem.

Anonymous,  August 3, 2011 at 6:07 AM  

I think that the religion matters a lot. If he is a good muslim and knows his religion then he will treat you well. Education is important to, he have to support you and etc, but if he has the religion inshaAllah every think will be okey!

Anonymous,  August 5, 2011 at 3:08 PM  

Assalaamu alaykum dear little sister and dear little auntie (whose advice was beautiful mashaAllah),

Personally I value education very high and I see it as a big factor while getting married. Not only because it may rule your salary or because you 'need to have a degree' but because it also shapes the way we view the world.

I know for myself higher education is like air I need to breath to remain happy (well, I know I would stay alive without ;) ) and that there are much much more important things but it really lightens me up to have a good academic convo, discuss an article... to share a view.

But it also depends... if you are going to 'go to his world' or he is 'coming to your world' or you share a socio-economical space allready.
I may be boring and all that to say this... but well, I have lived enough to say.
Marriage is hard and to make it easier on any way is a great bonus, and starting from the same 'level' on most areas of life might be helpful.

When you still are NOT married it is good to be honest to yourself about the things that matter to you.
May Allah make it easy for you sister!

xxx, Mrs older&bigger Auntie UmmT

Little Auntie August 10, 2011 at 1:01 AM  

Auntie UmmT!!!!!!!!!!! You wrote a comment here? Awwww, I wuv you! Love this comment, too! Jazakillah <3

Marriage is hard and to make it easier on any way is a great bonus, and starting from the same 'level' on most areas of life might be helpful.
^True words, ma'sahAllah!

Please come here more often! I always value your wise words, ma'shaAllah <3

Jazakun Allah khair for all the sisters for your input! :D

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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