Thursday, February 21, 2008

Love or Arranged Marriage?

'The happily ever after’ moments are very well tattooed in our minds from the time we are kids reading fairy tales to the very reality of growing up and realizing that 'happily ever after' may take another route before reaching its destination.

Marriage, a holy matrimony between two souls uniting in harmonious commitment for life, is a sacred occasion every girl dreams of. The preparation of finding your dream bridal dress, the perfect location for walking down the isle and the strenuous decision of choosing the right flowers matching the bridal theme, are scenarios every girl fantasizes. A dream so pure and beautiful in thoughts, yet sometimes, is harshly unattainable in existence. Human nature has evolved drastically with the rapid growing technology of today and marriage has been given a whole different meaning. People have become aware of their surroundings and demands by paying a more detailed observation when finding a mate.

The concept of love marriage is far more lenient than before within the Eastern society and generations of culturally diverse ethnicities living in the United States are integrating open-mindedness and tolerance with the changing of times and traditions. Girls are no longer marrying for the sake of marriage alone; they have a deeper understanding of commitment and are willing to take risks within their personal growth of intelligence and intellect. Love marriage is usually defined as a very liberal act of personal decision making, whereas arranged marriages in the West are confronted in a demeaning, force able way for not pursuing your own life partner.

The perception of a marriage without initially falling in love is strictly looked upon as an emotionless bond, an alliance per se within the consent of parents alone. This is however an untrue factor for the educated households believing in traditional matchmaking over a string of dating consequences. Values of such sort are created in the environment of a community that holds dear to moral ethics and contradicts the exposure of women in a materialistic society where looks are given precedence over intelligent capacities. The question remains to be taken under the loop and studied in various different angles;
Is love marriage to be perceived more seriously than arranged marriages, or would you rather say an arranged marriage is ought to be safer, since played on common grounds?

With the growing trend of youngsters trying to find their own life partners it is worrisome for many parents to give up on their power of knowledge and wistful life's experiences. Parents have taken a backseat. They may or may not enjoy the ride, but when happiness is at stake, conforming to their children's ideals is usually the best thing to do. However, parents who are liberal in thoughts steer their kids to the right people and let them decide what's best for them, preserving their enthusiastic mindset in the domain of challenging the right from wrong.

Along the line of pure and pious living for Muslim youngsters, a relationship that is sought for marriage purposes is a more permissible act within the eyes of God and the family. Our society has succeeded in designing a women's mind to easily mold into conventional male perceptions and feel pressurized for living up to the expectations of such meaningless pursuits, leading towards insecurities and paranoia among young women.

The wait for a marriage proposal within a long-term relationship is often a stressful period for the women to inhale, without the guarantee of an actual commitment for the investment that was put in from the very core of the female heart and soul. Such heartbreak and misuse of sincere feelings is a direct chain reaction of decreased faith in the unity of marriage around us. A protected wall of secure and sound decisions in the form of parents may be well served to such tragedies happening nowadays. The outcome of a marriage is not determined by love or an arranged fixture of destiny; it is determined by trust, respect, tolerance and communication.

By solely making your own decision or weighing in the decisions of your well-wishers, one can not lean towards the one or the other for reaching a successful romantic life. Fate that is based on arranged marriage may come in with baggage of maturity and in-detail background research paired with family commonalities, likewise, it may not uphold the kind of fate that was woven in the heat of passion and attraction towards each other. Similarly, fate itself can easily turn its back on both, walk away and never look back.

When I touched upon this subject with my mom, this is what Ammi had to say:
" Playing the role of a parent and trusted friend, we are well aware of the actions of our sons and daughters since they have proven to be loyal to our beliefs and values. In return, our unconditional trust is given to them with the knowledge that they will make decisions based on righteousness and good moral judgment.”

Awww, thanks Mom! :)
The hope to find true love remains a struggle for mankind and is repeatedly defined as a new product to lure young people into thinking of exposing themselves at an early age, packaging it as entertainment and fun, while gradually depriving the young & confused from a beautiful vision of marital commitment.

When the Holy Prophet of Islam, before the announcement of Prophet Hood, was given a marriage proposal by Hazrat Khadija, a courageous 40 year old widowed business woman, the Holy Prophet accepted the marriage proposal. A very unconventional marriage had taken place in the times of the Prophet, more than 1400 years ago. It was highly uncommon amongst Arabs to marry widows. Hazrat Khadija's boldness and confidence is praise worthy; she was known to be a poise and noble lady.

In today's world a woman's boldness is defined by her body language and the art of seduction, rather than the innate understanding of finding supportive structure in life. The marriage was arranged by the woman herself and resulted into the most lovable marriages of the Holy Prophet. An arranged marriage that was initiated by a woman, is somehow seen as a lack of substance in the 21st century where there is claim to be more modern, much more progressed, where secularity is pride, where marriage is a trial of boredom and is inevitable with the fast growing excitements of the day.

The individual concept of marriage should be revised and taken into positive consideration, whether the conduct of marriage is arranged or love, nevertheless statistics may speak their own language, cultures may enforce their ideology, at the end it's the two people involved who make it all happen...

through thick and thin, for better or for worse.


Daud Aron said...

i am just going to make some notes..
inspiring, elevating...
join my group on facebook:
love is my religion

David said...

Love and finding a soul mate is much a decision. When people are what we call 'Soul mate Ready, they have made the decision to fall in love.
Perhaps that can apply to arranged marriages too? Our research has found that the perceptions of a love, soul mate are sometimes a little fanciful. If you would like to see our blog and get a free copy of step one of The Soulmate System, then click here

D Iqbal said...

MashAllah it's amazing how you've captured the true essence of our 'values' despite having lived in the West all your life, and might I add, even better than a few groups of people living in Pakistan ;)

Naila said...

d iqbal,

Thank you very much for appreciating my in-depth views on life.

Your comments are most welcome. :)