Muslim Women, Please Stop Marrying Crazy Men!
I start with the good.
I think it’s awesome we realize the value of marriage. I’m glad Muslim women are seriously searching for mates. That’s what we should be doing—it’s far better than the alternative—but we HAVE to be smart about it. These are our lives on the line. We are the ones with the wombs. We are the ones who take them into our bodies. There is a lot at stake. That’s why I make this plea: Muslim women, please stop marrying crazy men!
After hearing story after story about women who being deserted, women being abused (in various forms), women being cheated on (repeatedly), and women having their joy straight-up extinguished, I can’t stay silent any longer. No, I’m not blaming women for the deplorable actions of men—they’ll have to answer to Allah for their own deeds—but I am
asking begging women to realize that not every person who calls themselves a Muslim is worthy of your hand.
I think Muslimah desperation has a lot to do with it. You may be wondering what Muslimah desperation is, but I’m certain you already know. If you’ve been Muslim longer than a month, you know. Certainly you’ve seen it. Maybe you’ve experienced it. But just to be sure we’re all on the same page, let me get a formal definition popping off.
I get it: no one wants to be lonely and we should hasten toward marriage, but that’s only after we’ve vetted a worthy mate. Therein lies the problem.
Muslimah mate selection
Yall know how we do. We’ll meet a brother, have a couple of supervised visits, start feeling butterflies, then make that speedy trip to the masjid for a quick nikkah. Keeping it Islamic, right? Wrong. Look at the example of Fatimah (ra). She didn’t “hasten toward marriage” when the first suitor came for her hand. She refused many though most of them had money and status. It wasn’t until the right man came, with proper character and a pure heart, that she agreed to marriage.
I know what you’re thinking, “But that was the Prophet’s daughter. She had a large selection and could afford to turn men down by the dozens. I’m over here struggling, trying to front like I’m not attracted to my non-Muslim coworker who keeps inviting me to lunch.” I hear you, sis. It’s hard out here for a single Muslim woman, but we have to remember the point of marriage. It’s not JUST to be married, JUST to have a halal sex partner, JUST to have an excuse to get out of our parents’ houses. Marriage is about building—a family, a community, a legacy, a foundation for worship. You can’t do with any ol’ guy.
And so when it comes to choosing someone to marry, we have to be patient and coherent enough to observe. A lot of times, we get caught up in the surface (lush beard, kufi on head, sajdah mark, rolled up pants, etc.). Not knocking any of that, but please know the bearded brother with the dhkir beads could
cheat on you entertain potential co-wives on your honeymoon… It happens. I’m not saying any of this to vilify men who “look the part.” All I’m saying is this: do your due diligence, do not rush, don’t allow anyone to pressure you (including yourself and your parents), and watch for signs!
Signs that you may be about to marry a crazy man
Sometimes men present themselves to be one thing and then turn out to be another. Other times, though, they show us straight out who they are and we still marry them. Muslimah desperation strikes again. Here are some signs you might be about to make a bad choice.
- Marrying someone you never met:
Sisters get into this situation when they hear there is a good brother in X state who is looking for a wife. He’s very religious and doesn’t want to waste any time in getting married. He’s Muslim, you’re Muslim, so the only halal option is to get married over the phone and then get to know each other after. Though it is always possible that the brother could turn out to be the man or your dreams, chances are slim… like, really, really slim.
- Marrying someone who’s been divorced many times (often with very short-lived marriages):
Some brothers have no interest in building. They only want a few months of sex. Of course, they don’t tell the women that. The wives find out after they realize they’ve been lured into an empty marriage.
- Marrying someone who has no job and is not at all bothered by his lack of employment:
To be clear, I’m not talking about a hard-working brother who is between jobs. I mean the guy who is GOOD not working. He lives with his parents or someone else and is quick to utter vague statements like, “Allah will provide” when you question him about how he’ll provide for his family.
- Marrying someone in the “street pharmaceuticals” industry:
*Sigh* I wish I were making this up, but wallahi it is an issue. There are Muslim men who refuse to get a legitimate job because, and I quote, “I don’t want to work for the kuffar.” So instead of finding a Muslim company to work for or starting a halal business, they choose to sell drugs.
- Marrying someone who doesn’t seem all that happy to marry you:
Marriage doesn’t get easier after the wedding; it gets harder. So if he seems uninterested/distracted/not that into you from the start, it will only get worse. Don’t settle for a man just because he is willing to marry you. He should be overjoyed, happy you chose him!
- Marrying someone who has a markedly different interpretation of Islam:
This doesn’t necessarily mean he is crazy, but it may be the cause of a lot of frustration, assumptions and miscommunication that could leave YOU feeling crazy. It’s easy to assume all Muslims believe the same thing, but one person’s understanding may be very different from your own. If you don’t discuss these things before marriage, you won’t know.
- Becoming a co-wife without first meeting the existing wife:
Who knows better of a man’s character than his wife? If you are open to being a co-wife, would it not make sense that you talk to the woman you’ll be sharing a husband with? If he is not open to this, he’s suspect. It is not at all unreasonable for you to expect an introduction. You need to hear what she has to say and gauge whether or not she is open to your presence. If she isn’t, think long and hard about entering into a marriage that may be full of drama.
- Marrying a hijab nazi:
Before things get misconstrued, let me explain what a hijab nazi is not. A man who wants his wife to wear hijab isn’t a hijab nazi. A man who wants his wife to dress modestly isn’t a hijab nazi. That’s expected. A hijab nazi is a man who is harsh and overly critical of women’s clothing—even when they are already dressed properly. For example, a man who gets upset with his wife because she wore a (perfectly modest) red dress instead of one that is black or storm cloud gray is a hijab nazi. There is no prohibition against color.
Narrated Anas bin Malik that he had seen Um Kulthum, the daughter of Allah’s Apostle, wearing a red silk garment. (Buhkari ,7.733)
- Marrying a jerk:
Ladies, please know that a man who doesn’t appear to be kind, loving, thoughtful and compassionate toward others will not be kind, loving, thoughtful or compassionate toward you. Sometimes women will overlook a man’s sourpuss demeanor because he prays frequently and visits the masjid often. Of course these are wonderful qualities, but if the peace and contentment those things should bring aren’t evident in his behavior, you have to question his sincerity. Consider the following Bukhari hadith (2038): Anas, who was his [Prophet Muhammad’s] helper, said: “I served Allah’s Messenger for ten years and he never said to me, ‘Shame’ or ‘Why did you do such-and-such a thing?’ or ‘Why did you not do such-and-such a thing?’” If the beloved prophet was this kind to his helpers, imagine the way he treated his wives. That is the behavior you should seek in a husband. Until you find that, do not marry. Yes, that’s easier said that done, but it is much better for your heart and soul in the long run.
Keeping Muslimah desperation at bay
If we are to avoid marrying crazy men, we have to keep our yearnings and desires in check. That’s hard to do when your friends are all married, sex is everywhere, and sensible mates seem to be nowhere. I see the dilemma, but I also see the dilemma of pained women who are in tortured marriages with men who turned out to be nothing like they had assumed. And when many of them look back, they can admit that they didn’t think things through clearly. That’s all I want: clear minds and well-thought-out decisions.
I know what it’s like to want to be married and not have anyone (worthwhile) to marry, but you have to believe that Allah will bless you with a mate. Don’t ever allow yourself to despair and think, “There are no good men left.” The moment you concede to that pseudo-fact, you begin to attract the very energy you believe exists. If you exist and you are a good woman, it shouldn’t be hard to believe that a man exists who is also good. You MUST believe in the possibility of happiness. If not, what are you implying of your Lord who put within you the very desire you seek to fill? Did He not create this world, this sun, this continually expanding universe? Did he not put air in your lungs and life in your heart? Do you honestly think it’s too much for Him to put a good man in your life? Surely, you don’t believe that.