Muslim board against marriage registration
3/27/2010 6:16:41 AM
All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) is against the compulsory
registration of marriage as it feels that the Qazi who supervises the
marriage already maintains a register for the record.The view was
expressed at a three-day meeting of the board that got under way at the
famed seminary Nadwatul Islam here on Friday.On the agenda are a
host of issues, including communal violence, rights of women, Babri
demolition trial, setting up of ‘Darul Qaza’ and election of the board
president and the executive. However, regarding the Women’s Reservation
Bill recently passed by the Rajya Sabha, Board spokesperson Abdur Rahim
Quraishi said any decision that affected Muslim women was important for
the board’s consideration but the reservation issue was not of prime
concern since Islam treated women as equal partners of men in life and
gave them special status in the family and society. “The issue would be
taken up after many other issues already listed on the board’s agenda,”
he said.He said the issue of communal violence was of paramount
importance as in every riot in the country the sufferers were Muslims,
and the board would discuss Communal Violence Prevention Bill and the
Liberhan Commission report.He said several recent court
decisions, which he said are against Islamic laws, would also be taken
up in the meeting and discussed on how to go ahead on it in order to
safeguard the interests of the community.
Is the Nahdlatul Ulama Chairmanship for Sale?
3/27/2010 6:18:13 AM
Makassar. As the country’s largest Muslim organization prepares to elect
a new chairman, it can’t seem to escape whispers of money politics.
four of seven potential candidates for the chairmanship of Nahdlatul
Ulama signed a letter on Thursday pledging to avoid money politics,
while one NU member alleged that money had already changed hands.
expert Kacung Maridjan, from Surabaya’s Airlangga University, expressed
serious concern on Thursday over the possibility of vote-buying in the
He also pointed out that candidates were
using banners and other advertisements signaling “sponsorship” similar
to that seen during regional elections.
“I’m afraid that using
the media to promote themselves and to get votes is not the only method
[candidates] have opted for. The problem is, [NU] chapters across
Indonesia required transportation and lodging fees to get here,” Kacung
said. “It goes something like, ‘I have funded you to get all the way
here to Makassar, how can you not vote for me?’ ”
speaking shortly after senior NU clerics Salahuddin Wahid, Said Aqil
Siradj, Masdar F Mas’udi and Ahmad Bagdja, all potential chairman
candidates, signed an agreement not to engage in money politics.
agreement, drafted by members of the Nahdlatul Ulama Savior Movement
(GPNU), was circulated among all the potential candidates to mixed
GPNU chairman M Khoirul Rijal said Golkar politician
Slamet Effendy Yusuf, Liberal Islam Network (JIL) founder Ulil Abshar
Abdalla and NU cleric Ali Maschan Moesa had not signed.
the organization’s national congress opened on Tuesday in the South
Sulawesi capital, Abdul Moqsith Ghazali, from the Wahid Institute, had
warned of the possibility of money politics.
Abdul pointed out
that Makassar was a long distance from the NU’s stronghold in East Java,
increasing the travel costs for congress participants. He said
candidates sponsoring the trips of participants could be one way to
secure their votes.
More than 4,500 people have descended on
Makassar for the congress, which will culminate in the election of a new
NU chairman on Friday or Saturday.
One congress participant
from Tuban, East Java, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed
that his trip had been paid for in full by a potential candidate.
course we are being sponsored. There is one person who made sure that
our transportation to Makassar was paid for. We will vote for him,” the
man said, refusing to identify the person who paid for the
transportation. He added, however, that “sponsorship” was common.
Wahid and Said Aqil had previously told the Jakarta Globe that they
would not resort to attempting to buy votes for the chairmanship.
don’t understand that kind of practice,” Salahuddin said.
had previously told the Globe that the banners in Makassar advertising
his qualities for the chairmanship were paid for by his son.
Indrawan, the chairman of the NU branch in Indragiri Hulu, Riau, said
he had heard stories about congress participants having their trips paid
for by candidates, “but I can assure you that nothing of this sort
happens with our branch. Check the Java [branches].”
said his branch was fully supported by the governor of Riau, Rusli
Zainal, a prominent member of the NU community.
head of the national congress committee, told the Globe he had ordered
the candidates to remove the banners advertising their candidacy around
the congress venue ahead of the election.
“In local elections,
they ask candidates to clear away posters and banners before election
day,” Hafidz said. “We have security officers to take down the banners.”
He said that the congress was running ahead of schedule, which
meant the election for chairman, originally scheduled for Saturday
morning, could be moved up to Friday evening.
political expert, said he already had serious reservations about the
election because of its political overtones, which he said did not sit
well with an organization that was supposed to be focused on religious
and social work.
“Several clerics are renegades and do not abide
by the khittah [NU’s founding principle that bars politics], but rather
are aiming for short-term political positions,” he said.
NU rules in favor of underage marriages
3/27/2010 6:19:29 AM
The minimum age of 16 years to marry under the prevailing 1974
marriage law is not a sharia-binding regulation for Muslims, according
to Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) jurists.
The panel of sharia experts
announced there was no age limitation for marriage under Islamic law.
did not cite gender; but the law states that women must be at least 16
to marry, while the minimum age for men to marry is 18.
experts said Muslim parents can marry off their underage children, but
strongly appealed for marriages to only be carried out after the child
has reached puberty.
The jurists underlined that couples in which
both are underage must abstain from sexual intercourse until they are
deemed physically and mentally capable of doing so.
The edict was
reached at a meeting of jurists at the national leadership conference of
NU, the country’s largest Muslim organization, in Makassar, South
“The majority of clerics are of the opinion that there
is no minimum age limit in marriage under sharia law,” NU jurist Cholil
Nafis told a press conference on the sidelines of the congress on
The edict to allow for underage marriages quickly sparked
protests from human rights activists Friday.
“It’s a setback and
contravenes the 2002 Child Protection Law,” National Commission for
Child’s Protection (Komnas Anak) secretary general Arist Merdeka Sirait
Article 48 of the law requires parents to prevent their
children from underage marriages, he argued.
eliminate the rights of children, particularly to determine their
future, and encourages sexual exploitation,” Arist said.
children had to obey their parents but the latter cannot determine the
future of their sons or daughters.
“Although underage couples will
not live together until after they reach puberty, their rights to
pursue education and their future will be eliminated because they have
been tied under the marriage institution.”
Arist urged the NU
jurists to review the decision and comply to the marriage and child
In many cases in Indonesia, parents decide who
their daughter is to marry.
Often the groom is much older and
The latest such case to make headlines was that of Medan
businessman M. Indra Biari, 60, who took a 12-year-old girl as his sixth
Also late Thursday, the jurists from NU branches landed
theological support for law enforcers to use the phone bugging
mechanisms for criminal investigations.
“Spying in Islam is
basically haram but if it is considered the only way to uncover a case
public interest, it becomes halal,” senior cleric Syaifuddin
Amir said Friday, adding that wiretapp-ing is deemed haram since it
interferes with somebody’s private matters.
He said phone bugging
must also be supported with strong supporting evidence. The conference
also discussed several issues including on burying the dead.
NU, however, forbade Muslims from burying the bodies of family members
in the same grave as a non-Muslim.
Controversy heightens over Yemen child marriage ban
3/27/2010 6:20:28 AM
SANAA — Controversy over a law banning child marriage in impoverished
Yemen has recently intensified, with those for and against the law
organising demonstrations outside the parliament.
women rallied outside Yemen's parliament on Tuesday in support of the
law, which sets a minimum age for women at 17 and men at 18, two days
after a larger protest by conservative women, who are opposed.
rally was organised by the General Union of Yemeni Women and other
women's organisations, in response to a Sunday protest by thousands of
women against the bill that was called by Islamists and conservatives.
the protesters on Tuesday was Nojoud Mohammed Ali, who obtained a
divorce two years ago after her father forced her to marry a man 20
years her senior when she was only eight.
"I am here to ask
parliament not to touch the law that sets the marriage age at 17 years,"
she told reporters.
A delegation of protesters met with
parliament speaker Yehya al-Raei and presented a petition with 1 million
signatures in favour of the law.
"We will maintain the article
fixing the marriage age but cancel prison sentences and fines that were
provided for those who do not comply," Raei said.
al-Iriyani, the president of the Union of Yemeni Women, which has long
defended the legislation, lamented "the political storm" surrounding it
and called on MPs to maintain the law, during the meeting with the
"We are not talking about early marriage (as a whole) in
Yemen. It is that of children that we are addressing," said Nafissa
al-Jaifi, a female doctor who heads the Supreme Council of Women and
Children, a state organisation that has strongly supported the law.
said that in the course of her work she had noticed that child
marriages "increase the proportion of maternal mortality at birth," lead
to the interruption of the brides' studies and cause a high rate of
illiteracy among them.
The law was passed last year, but some MPs
have submitted requests for its review. That has effectively blocked its
Some Muslims believe the minimum age of marriage
need not be fixed since Islam did not do so, and that the Prophet
Mohammed married his wife Aisha when she was nine years old.
the age of marriage is an act that contradicts the precepts of Islam,"
said last week Sheikh Abdul Majid Zindani, head of the association of
Yemeni clerics, who is also identified as a "global terrorist" by the
United States for suspected links to Al-Qaeda.
The marriage of
young girls is widespread in Yemen, an impoverished country with a
strong tribal structure.
The death of a 12-year-old girl in
childbirth in September illustrated the case of the country's "brides of
death," many of whom are married off even before puberty.
Minimum age for marriage urged
3/27/2010 6:22:06 AM
JEDDAH: A sheikh has urged the government to implement a
minimum age for marriage.
Shiekh Abdul Muhsin Al-Obaikan wants to
avoid cases of very young girls getting married to men many years their
The sheikh has also pledged his support for the “No to
Minor Marriages” campaign run by Arab News’ sister publication, Sayidaty
Al-Obaikan said that forcing a young girl to marry
nullifies the marriage because it does not fulfill one of the major
rules of Islamic marriage — the agreement of the girl.
campaign has already received support from princesses, human rights
activists, Shoura Council members, lawyers and the Ministry of Social
The magazine’s desk manager in Jeddah, Muna Siraj, said
the campaign is different from others organized on the Internet.
strength of our campaign is due to Sayidaty being an establishment that
has built trust over the years and it is now able to move a step
further by putting pressure on the public to reduce these marriages,”
She added that it was time for the media to move
forward and also fight for change, not restrict their role to simply
looking for stories.
The campaign has already managed to prevent
the forced marriage of two young girls in the Kingdom after a number of
visits to their families.
The magazine has not reached closure in
other cases involving young girls and their families.
for the establishment of a research center to provide accurate data and
statistics about such cases in the Kingdom.
She also said a
question asking families whether they had been involved in any so-called
minor marriages should be included in the 2010 Census.
marriages, she said, is common in tribal communities and they also hear
of cases from human rights societies.
Siraj added that there must
be a clear distinction between puberty and adultery in order to reduce
such marriages, adding that a girl might reach puberty but may not be
ready to handle marriage responsibilities.
“We want to also handle
cases of women who were married at a young age and suffered
psychological problems as a result,” she said, adding that they have
arranged consultations for such cases with hospitals and lawyers.
to her it is time to act on the suggestions of different sheikhs four
years ago to moderate such marriages.
“It was in the past a
tradition, but unfortunately it is turning into a business now,” she
The campaign started two weeks ago and the ultimate aim is
to contribute to the introduction of a law that will ban marriages
involving minors and punish those responsible for them.
Saudi matrimonial news: 80-year-old man marries 11-year-old girl
1/23/2010 9:13:36 AM
News of a Saudi octogenarian marrying an eleven-year-old girl has
outraged human rights activists amid calls on the government to
regulate the marriage of underage girls, local media reported Saturday.
Saudi National Human Rights Commission formed a committee to
investigate the marriage, which activists consider a flagrant violation
of human and children rights, the Saudi newspaper al-Riyadh said.
marriage registrar, who was widely criticized since he agreed to seal
the marriage contract knowing the girl's age, absolved himself of any
"There is no law that prohibits the marriage of a girl
under 18," he told the paper. "Plus, I summoned the girl and she
declared her consent and signed the contract."
consummation of the marriage, the registrar said he does not have the
authority to dictate when it should take place, especially that the
bride's father did not mention it in the contract.
When asked if
he felt the marriage was wrong due to the age gap, the registrar said:
"I do not look at age differences and things of that sort as long as
the bride approves. Also, the contract is legal and it was registered
He added he did not receive any money in return for overlooking the age difference.
"I did not take one single riyal for this contract. My reward will be given to me by God."
"Fit for marriage"
father, who took 85,000 riyals (more than $22,000) in dowry, defended
his decision to marry off his 11-year-old daughter even though his wife
"I don't care about her age," he told the
paper. "Her health and her body build make her fit for marriage. I also
don't care what her mother thinks."
The father added that
marriage at such an early age has been a custom in the Saudi society
for a very long time and that he saw no reason why it should be a
"This is a very old custom and there is nothing wrong with it whether religiously or socially."
the other hand, the groom said that the father, who is also his cousin,
was the one who offered him his daughter and that the mother was
totally against the marriage.
"He told me 'I have a girl and she
will marry no one but you,'" the groom told the paper. "So, we got the
witnesses and summoned the registrar. I paid the dowry and we held the
ceremony and that was it. "
The groom expressed his surprise at how the media leveled harsh criticism against him and his family for marrying the girl.
is very simple. We didn’t do anything wrong. It is a valid contract
that meets all the conditions for marriage? What's the point of all
The groom has three other wives, all much younger, and they all have kids.
The mother, who vehemently objected to the marriage, was the reason behind the attention given to the girl's case.
reporting the marriage to the media, the National Human Rights
Commission decided to form a committee to look into the circumstances
under which the marriage took place.
Commission director, Dr.
Bandar al-Aiban, gave instructions that the committee be made up of
members who are specialized in Islamic law and who are going to meet
with all the parties involved in the marriage.
As for the bride, she just called for help as she burst into tears.
"Save me. I don't want him," she cried.
Do children need both mother and father?
1/23/2010 9:22:22 AM
Washington, Jan 22 (IANS) That children need both a mother and a
father is a belief universally ingrained in human beings. However, a
study challenges the idea that “fatherless” children are necessarily at
a disadvantage or that men provide a different, indispensable set of
parenting skills than women.
“Significant policy decisions have been swayed by the misconception
across party lines that children need both a mother and a father,” said
sociologist Timothy Biblarz of the University of Southern California
“Yet, there is almost no social science research to support this
claim. One problem is that proponents of this view routinely ignore
research on same-gender parents.”
Extending their prior work on gender and family, Biblarz and Judith
Stacey of New York University (NYU) analysed relevant studies about
parenting, including available research on single-mother and
single-father households, gay male parents and lesbian parents.
They found no evidence of gender-based parenting abilities, with the
“partial exception of lactation”, noting that very little about the
gender of the parent has significance for children’s psychological
adjustment and social success.
Indeed, there are far more similarities than differences among
children of lesbian and heterosexual parents, according to the study.
On average, two mothers tended to play with their children more,
were less likely to use physical discipline, and were less likely to
raise children with chauvinistic attitudes.
However, like two heterosexual parents, new parenthood among
lesbians increased stress and conflict, exacerbated by the general lack
of legal recognition of commitment.
Also, lesbian biological mothers typically assumed greater
caregiving responsibility than their partners, reflecting inequities
among heterosexual couples, says a USC release.
These findings are slated for publication in the February issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family.
Ruby Cranberry Orange Muffins
1/23/2010 9:35:11 AM
I just finished a half marathon today. To load up on carbs before the
race, I munched on these yummy muffins.They were perfect before the
race and gave me just enough energy to get me started. The weather was
frigid at first but once I warmed up, I found myself peeling off layers
and layers of clothing. This was a huge accomplishment for me and now I
m finding myself looking online for more marathons to tie my sneakers
to. I made an extra batch of these muffins as a good job gesture to my
coworkers for doing this marathon with me. I somehow convinced 9 of
them to sign up for a 13.1 mile marathon. During the last week leading
up to the marathon, I heard a lot of moaning and groaning in the office
and sour faces of co-workers who regretted signing up in the first
place. I figured bringing in post-marathon muffins would make those
achy joints and blisters a little bit easier to cope with. I awakened
these muffins with the subtle yet bright flavor of freshly grated
orange zest. Cranberries and oranges are a delight when put together in
holy matrimony. Then to bump it up a couple of notches, I accentuated
the orange flavor and made an orange glaze to top off these ruby
speckled muffins. . . . Ingredients 2 eggs 1 cup evaporated cane sugar
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour 1/2 cup canola oil 1 tablespoon freshly
grated orange zest 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon
aluminum-free baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh cranberries 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped in a food
processor, the other half cup left whole 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Orange-glaze 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest 2 tablespoons orange
juice 1/2 cup powdered sugar Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In
a mixer or using a hand mixer, beat eggs until creamy about 1 minute.
Add sugar and beat for 2 minutes. Next add salt, orange zest, 1 1/2
cups chopped cranberries, 1/2 cup whole cranberries and vanilla
extract. Mix until well combined. In a separate bowl, sift flour,
baking soda and baking powder together. Fold in dry mixture with the
wet mixture. Lastly, fold in walnuts. Line muffin pan with liners or
lightly grease inside of each muffin tin cup. Fill batter 3/4 full and
bake for 20 minutes. Makes 14-16 muffins. For the orange-glaze, mix all
ingredients together: orange zest, orange juice and powdered sugar. Add
more powdered sugar if it is still runny. You ll want it slightly
thicker than molasses. Spread on top of cooled muffins. Enjoy!
2/9/2010 6:45:36 AM
As I fly around the country, the person sitting next to me on an
airplane will often ask me what I do. When I tell the person that I
direct the Marriage Enrichment Programs at Family Dynamics, he or she
often asks me questions about marriage.
Eventually, the conversation turns to the role of communication in
marriage. When it does, I’m often asked what I think are the vital
aspects of good communication, and by implication, what makes for bad
communication. When asked, I include five components of good
Good communication in marriage is respectful.
In our Dynamic Marriage course, we discuss what Dr. Willard Harley
calls “disrespectful judgments.” Sarcasm, ridicule, judgmental
statements and accusations, and put downs fit into this category. Good
communication avoids all such disrespect. This is another way of saying
that good communication is qualitative.
Just listen to couples talking to each other. Do you hear condescension
or sarcastic responses to honest statements and questions? Do you hear
one partner make fun of the other’s mispronunciations or poor grammar?
Do you hear a spouse berating or criticizing the other’s choices or
decisions? Do you hear one spouse trying to intimidate the other into
submission? Do you observe eye-rolling in responses to honest thoughts
from the other? Now, analyze the way you talk to your spouse? Is your
communication respectful, or does it show grave disrespect?
Good communication in marriage is quantitative.
Most couples engage in meaningful conversation less than 15 minutes
per week. Two-income families trying to enable the children to
participate in every available recreational activity only makes a
viable solution more difficult to discover. The problem is not
insurmountable, however, as long as we take advantage of multi-tasking.
Good conversation can occur while participating in other activities.
Talk while taking a walk, when working around the house together, while
enduring a television commercial, when conducting family meetings, and
while driving together to church, the grocery store, or a movie.
Couples intent on quantitative as well as qualitative communication
seize every possible moment to talk respectfully with one another.
Good communication in marriage is a two-way street.
While effective, respectful talking is essential in good
communication, respectful listening is also vital. Bad communication
begins with one spouse dominating the conversation, but the listener
can also ensure bad communication. A lack of eye contact, negative
facial gestures, or disengaged body language also stymies good
Watch a couple at the airport or in the food court at a shopping
mall talk to one another. Does one spouse dominate the conversation?
Does he interrupt his spouse when she tries to get in a few words of
self-defense or alternate viewpoint? Does the dominant voice refuse to
really listen? If so, this conversation is not a two-way street and is
doomed to be at best, poor communication.
Good communication in marriage probes for more insight.
No matter how well conceived and how well stated, most listeners
fail to grasp the full meaning of the speaker, especially the subtle
nuances. The only way to overcome the unnecessary miscues in
conversation is to ask questions. To maintain good communication,
however, the questions must be asked respectfully and courteously.
Responses like, “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard; don’t you
mean to say . . . ?” probe but are incredibly disrespectful. On the
other hand, an introductory statement to a question like “Please
forgive my inability to keep up with you, but I need to ask a question
about what you just said” is both probing and respectful.
Good communication in marriage is honest.
Any spouse who learns that his spouse lied about something wonders
from then on if the truth is on the table when any issue arises.
Tragically, lying brings long-term consequences that most spouses fail
to consider before twisting the truth. Honesty, however, is not merely
avoiding falsehood. Honesty also means that we refuse to avoid sharing
information that our spouse has the right to know and would want to
know. Why would we avoid sharing such information? Usually, we either
fear judgment from our spouse if we admit our failings, or we fear
hurting our spouse’s feelings.
Good communication in marriage does not hide, distort, or evade the
truth from the other. But honest communication doesn’t necessitate
cruelty just for the sake of honesty. Respectful honesty is the key
By Terry Northcutt, Director of Marriage Enrichment Programs at Family Dynamics Institute.
Tips to a Better Marriage
2/9/2010 6:50:16 AM
"And among His Signs is this, that
He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell
in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between
your (hearts). Verily in that are Signs for those who reflect."
I have listed some rules that may benefit those seeking an
Islamic marriage, as well as those who are already married. I
do not pretend to be an expert of any kind. I have learned what
I know through marrying at the early age of 18, just 9 months
after embracing Islam. I muddled my way through much of my 14
years of marriage, and consider myself a graduate from the 'school
of hard knocks'. The rules are:
1. Be conscious of your physical appearance.
No one was more conscious of this than the Prophet. His Sunnah
reflects keen attention to personal hygiene and good grooming.
He kept himself strong and muscular. Most likely the first aspect
of you that attracted your mate was your appearance, so don't
think that simply because you are married the task is over. You
can't hide a weight problem under Thawbs' (dress) and long Khimars'
(veils). Your mate knows. Be aware that you live in a society
that places a high premium on physical appearance. It flaunts
the shapely female and her muscular counterpart. Temptations
that beckon non-Muslims beckon Muslims as well. Don 't allow
your mate to get side-tracked by the likes of a 'Raquel Welch
or an Arnold Schwarzenegger'. Jog, join a gym, roller skate,
swim and stay in shape. Insha' Allah, you will be more vibrant,
more radiant, and more attractive to your mate.
2. Be aware of your role, but do not fall into role-playing.
Muslim spouses sometimes experience difficulties because they
are trying to do things 'by the book' without giving due consideration
to the conditions prevailing in their country. For example, most
female converts are taught that the role of the Muslim woman
is to be at home raising her children. Supposedly, it is the
man who works outside the home to maintain the family. She may
have read about birth control and assumed that it has no place
for the Muslimah; yet, it is worth noting that the Prophet himself
allowed coitus interruptus. If ideal Islamic conditions prevailed,
there would be no reason for a sister to worry about her financial
situation interfering with her right to bear children. However,
without an Islamic society, needy Muslim families may have to
resort to welfare and food stamps rather than Zakaah and Sadaqah.
This creates a feeling of dependence and humiliation that can
place extreme stress on a marriage. In this ease, it may be helpful
for the Muslim couple to delay having children, or for the wife
to work while the children are young and until the couple 's
financial situation improves. Islam gives you this flexibility.
Don't be afraid or ashamed to use it.
3. Be a companion to your mate.
Try to show enthusiasm for your spouse's interests and hobbies.
It is well-known that the Prophet would run races with 'Ayesha.
By all means try to involve your mate in your interests.
4. Be active in Islamic community life.
This will strengthen your commitment to Islam while providing
you wish a wholesome social outlet. Encourage your spouse to
engage in activities that promote Islam. Have dinners at your
home for Muslims as well as non-Muslims, and don't neglect your
relatives. These activities will indirectly enhance the quality
of your marriage through widening your circle of activity and
5. Admit your mistakes and have a forgiving, generous attitude
when your mate errs.
This country is a difficult place to live in. Most Muslims
fall short of the Islamic ideal. Contradictions abound. Be quick
to admit your shortcomings and work to amend them. Be understanding
when your mate does not live up to the Islamic ideal and gently
try to motivate him or her in the right direction.
6. Have a sense of humour.
Be able to chuckle at life's minor aggravations.
7. Be modest when around members of the opposite sex.
Do not try to test your spouse's affection by feigning interest
in another. This will only cause dissension and bad feelings.
8. Share household duties.
Brothers, take note. This is especially important these days
when women work outside the home. The Prophet always helped his
wives around the house and even mended his own clothes. Who knows?
You might find you actually like preparing the evening meal or
taking care of junior so your wife can have the afternoon off.
The Messenger of Allah said, "The
most perfect of the believers in faith is the best of them in
moral excellence, and the best of you are those who are kindest
to their wives." (at-Tirmidhi).
9. Surprise each other with gifts.
Treat her to an evening out alone, away from the children.
There are no words to describe the lift this can give to a marriage.
10. Communicate your feelings to one another, good and
Tell him how handsome he looks. Where there is disagreement,
have an open discussion. Don ' t collect red stamps. Nip it in
the bud .
11. Live within your means.
Stay away from credit cards if you can. Sisters, take note.
Don't envy the possessions of your friends, and don't belittle
your husband because he can't provide them for you. Muslim couples
will do well to stay away from ostentatious living. The Prophet
did not live luxuriously, and neither should you.
12. Respect your mate's need for privacy.
A quiet time to oneself each day, either at home or away from
home, can make a disagreeable person agreeable.
13. Don 't share personal problems with others.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, but if you must discuss
personal problems, make sure it is with a person in whom you
have the utmost confidence. If you have a learned Muslim brother
or sister in your community, seek him or her out first.
14. Be sensitive to your mate's moods.
If you want to share a personal achievement, don't do it when
your spouse is 'down in the dumps.' Wait for the proper time.
You may be saying to yourself, "All This is easier said
than done." Well, you're right. A successful marriage doesn't
just happen. It's not simply a matter of luck or finding the
right person. It takes hard work and determination. It means
being selfless and making mistakes. It means having vengeance
on your mind but forgiveness in your heart. But, then, its perfection
is "half of faith."
"And those who pray, 'Our Lord!
Grant unto us spouses and offspring who will be the comfort of
our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.'"
"The whole world is an asset
and the best asset is a good wife." (Muslim)
"And among His Signs is this,
that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you
may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and
mercy between your (hearts). Verily in that are Signs for those
The Best Time To Get Married
2/9/2010 6:52:50 AM
Before you do anything else planning your wedding you must set your
wedding date. It is a fun project, but be prepared to be challenged.
Determining the best possible wedding date sounds easier than it is.
Prior to you making your decision, there are many events and
significant dates to take into account. The day you get married will be
determined by factors such as venue availability, holidays, school
schedules, who can attend, and many more.
More or less, there is 12-18 months between the time of engagement
and the wedding day. Since there are so many parts to planning a
successful wedding, one year may not be enough time for many. Before
setting your date for the big day, you have to consider the schedules
of everyone important to you. If you want the most important people in
your life to attend your wedding, you must consider their schedule.
Business assignments, birthdays, graduations, vacations, and other
events may prevent people important to you attending your wedding day.
Getting married during the hottest wedding season has many
challenges. It is not only more difficult to find available vendors and
venues; the prices are normally higher too. Consequently, be prepared
to pay premium for reception sites, photography services, flowers,
limos, etc. In addition to hire costs, you have to consider challenges
based on availability. Your dream location may not be available on your
dream date, so don't fall in love with a venue until you have secured
it for your date.
May through September are among the busiest months for weddings. If
you can, consider getting married one of the off months. November
through April gives you more opportunities to choose reception venues.
In addition to having more options, you are going to be in much better
position to negotiate a better price. During the slower months, you are
bound to get better service because more vendors are competing for your
If you are going to get married on a Saturday, be prepared to
compete with many other brides for the same venues and services.
Saturday is the most convenient day for your invitees, but it means you
have to deal with scheduling challenges and hire costs. Fridays and
Sundays are considered the next best days and are still much more
convenient than other days.
There is no wedding date without its challenges, and there are sure
to be pros and cons to any possible date. Your challenge is to consider
the best possible wedding date based on your needs and desires.
The Making of Successful Marriage
1/30/2010 6:14:01 AM
institution of marriage has undergone great stresses in the Western society. High
divorce rate and the trend of living together has resulted in broken families
and troubled children. The human society developed and refined the institution
of marriage over a long period of time. Although scientific achievements have
provided the World with all kinds of amenities, the human beings have not changed
at a basic level. The human instincts such as joy, jealousy, love, hate, fear,
pride and prejudice have not changed over the millenniums. The people still need
stable family environments and friends to share life experiences. Being a first
generation immigrant, I am always amazed when I read about the divorce rate in
the USA. Looking within the South Asian community here, I find the divorce rate
negligible. This diametrically opposite situation has prompted me to analyze the
roots of a successful marriage. These statistics have led me to believe that unsuccessful
marriage is a unique American phenomenon. This problem has started to manifest
in the second generation of immigrants who are born and brought up in this country.
Since this causes a major disruption in the lives of children who are the future
custodians of this great nation, it is worthwhile to study the factors that contribute
to a stable family and marriage.
The successful marriages require support
systems, common values, and shared aspirations in addition to love and mutual
understanding. These aspects are discussed in detail in this article.
General observation shows that the couples in a successful
marriage belong to a similar cultural group. By cultural group in American context
refers to refers to Italian, Cuban, Mexican and Irish American groups. The other
groups include Chinese, West European and Hispanic American. The culture is a
broad term that includes language, music and literature among other things. These
divisions may not mean much to European immigrants but they are in fact considered
important in India and Pakistan. A cursory look at ethnic newspapers reveals that
people or parents are looking within the same group for marriage relationship.
The first generation immigrants generally marry within their cultural background
and most of them have stable marriages. It is not suggested here that people should
only marry within their own ethnic group. The successful marriages between people
of diverse backgrounds require broad vision, maturity and freedom from all kinds
of prejudices. As the marriages between diverse cultural groups have started to
occur in the second generation of immigrants, so have the divorce rates started
to approach American norms. In the USA, marriages are intermixed among people
from European origins. There are no considerations for family or cultural background.
The differences start to manifest soon after the honeymoon.
A better communication
between people of similar background could be the reason for fewer instances of
misunderstanding. The people of similar cultural background instinctively understand
the likes and dislikes of their partners. For example, some people love dogs or
other pets because they always had a dog or cat in their homes while growing up.
There are other people who consider dogs and cats as a nuisance that must be avoided
at all costs. Some people like to congregate in-groups while others are brought
up alone in a calm and quiet home. The differences are obvious if a person goes
from England or Sweden to any place close to the Mediterranean Sea.
It has been observed that religious people have successful marriages.
This refers to both partners. If one of partner is religious and other does not
share same ideas, it becomes a difficult relationship. The immigrants are more
religious than their counterparts in the native country. The people back home
in India, Pakistan and Mid East believe that if a person lives in America then
he or she must be modern and liberal in outlook. A lot of marriages fail because
of this particular misconception. The humanity in various parts of the World developed
marriage as an institution and religion sanctified the relationship. The religion
provides a code of ethics and standards of behavior that need to be followed.
For example, the religious edict saying, " Thou shall not commit adultery"
lays the foundation of relationship in marriage for both partners. This factor
alone can reduce strain in a relationship as it gives certain level of assurance
of commitment to the marriage.
It is never easy to accept and own the mistakes and saying sorry. The ego gets
hurt and people tend to think that after saying sorry the other partner will gain
an upper hand. Just by simply acknowledging the error or a mistake can resolve
fifty percent of the conflicts. Most of the people who have a stable and successful
marriage are very up-front in their relationship and never hesitate to say sorry.
On the contrary, small misunderstandings can resultin irreconcilable differences.
The common response is to find equal and similar fault in the partner and reminding
that he or she is even a bigger culprit. The preeminent reason in many of such
instances is that both partners are not giving up any ground and differences continue
to grow. This approach if avoided can result in a harmonious relationship. Forgiving
and accepting apology leads to better understanding.
Better economic conditions do not mean that only rich people can have a stable
marriage. The people should spend only what they can afford. This is one of the
major causes of strain in marriages at all income levels. Some people at a lower
income level have much better marriages as compared to the rich and wealthy people.
The key is to keep the expenses within limits for both partners. In the USA, the
temptations are unlimited. Everyday, people are targeted with advertisements for
new cars, better gadgets, and idyllic vacations. The message comes across as if
all these things do not cost anything. There are promises of no payment for a
number of months. The human beings are psyched up to buy the things that do not
need and vacation that they can not afford. After few weeks of bliss, the reality
dawns when the payments have to be made and there is hardly any money available
for essentials needs. At this point in time the blame game starts. In Europe and
Asia, people buy the merchandize whenever there is a need. In the USA, the need
is created. There are countless examples. A simple one that comes to mind is the
cellular phone. Some people need wireless communication for business or personal
reasons. However, the marketing of wireless equipment make us believe that nobody
can live in the next millennium without it. All of these small things add up.
A large segment of population can not afford all of these modern inventions. The
inevitable result is the strain on all relationships. The misunderstanding reaches
the peak when the primary bread -winner in the family loses the job. On the other
hand, the cost of food, clothing and housing is much cheaper in the USA as compared
to Western Europe, Middle East and Asia. The people can live comfortably by controlling
expenses and by staying married.
The availability of a support system is a great contributor to stable marriages.
The support system is a network of friends and relatives that can be relied upon
in case of any misunderstanding. Both partners can discuss the problem with their
respective friends. By discussing the problem alone can put it in a proper perspective.
In North America, there is a great emphasis on individual growth and independence.
This factor alone prohibits sharing of concerns and aspirations with friends.
In the Eastern society, the extended family and friends provide a network that
keeps marriages on track. The lack of this support system has started to manifest
in the second generation of immigrants. The Americans can at least go to a psychiatrist
to identify the problems. The immigrants lose the support system that was readily
available in home country. They also abhor to seek in any kind of psychological
help and thus face a double jeopardy. I have personally known a number of marriages
in stress in the USA, while similar relationship would have been very cordial
in their own country.
The solution is to develop a new network and also keep
the old network alive by communication. The revolution in communication has brought
the whole World very close. Now it has become possible to reach out to anyone
at anytime. In the USA, one can find all ethnic groups from all over the World.
The social and cultural links can now be very easily maintained. I have seen Korean,
Indian, Chinese and Pakistani communities all across America. It is now possible
to develop a network of friends within one own community who can understand the
background of problems.
In South Asian communities, parents, brothers and
sisters play a powerful role. If the parents listen to only one side of the story,
then the marriage is doomed. On the other hand if they understand and appreciate
the situation of other partner, then the marriage is strengthened. I have seen
parents listening only to version of their own kids. It is very difficult to accept
that their own kids could be wrong because it reflects their own failure. The
key for the parents is to listen to both sides before placing the blame.
The working environments in the USA are very dynamic as compared to any country
in the World. The non- stop restructuring, new technologies have a great impact
on the society. In order to keep up with the changes, people have to move in search
of jobs. The neighborhoods get transformed in a matter of years. Sometimes it
seems as if all America in on the move. When the people move, they get away from
friends, relatives and familiar environments. The American born people are perhaps
used to this kind of life. Most of the Americans quickly get settled in new environments,
make new friends and never look back. However, people from the East come from
very stable family systems.
The movement from one place to another uproots
people and kids never develop lasting friendships. These relationships are a stabilizing
factor in marriage. Whenever, there is a disagreement between the spouses, these
are the people who can patch up the differences. The big dilemma is now how to
reconcile the demands of career with the needs of a stable marriage. A simple
advice for people on the move is to develop new friendships and also maintain
old relationships. It has become very easy with the emerging technologies of Internet
Developing new friends can be easily done. In a new place,
telephone directory research to look for places of worship and familiar surnames
can be very helpful. Our experience shows that even random calling can result
in finding very helpful people from any Asian or Mid Eastern countries.
In spite of great social upheaval in social norms during the past century, I find
the institution of marriage still very strong. In the USA, people can live together
without marriage and have children. The people in USA do not question the private
life styles of other people. However, it is a surprise to see young Hollywood
stars getting married who are supposed to be in the forefront of new liberal style.
A large number of people get married again after bitter divorce. This indicates
that there is something in the human psyche that propels people towards making
a commitment to marriage. This fact was recognized long time ago and gradually
the institution of marriage evolved over centuries. The challenge for our times
is to keep the marriage intact. I believe it can be done and most of the marriages
can be successful. The institution of marriage is a foundation for a stable society.
We owe it to our future generation to provide them a carefree childhood with pleasant
Online Matrimony Sites
1/30/2010 6:15:23 AM
seems to be familiar to all who are of marriageable age. Matrimony
means choosing your life partner one can either go right or wrong in
their choice. A person makes choice while talking about matrimony from
the feathers of ostrich or choosing the right from various odds while
choosing the right partner. In most cases, matrimonial is a difficult
task to choose the right life partner that may suit for the life.
Today, numerous online matrimony sites are helping an individual to
make the right choice in choosing the right soul mate in the process of
matrimony. Few well known online matrimony sites are SimplyMarry, Jeevansathi etc.. having huge databank of the brides and grooms on net for making a choice.
ancient times, searching for a life partner for their wards was done by
parents or grandparents or the local matrimonial channel (relatives and
advisers). However same would not be the case today. Now days,
prospective bride or groom register themselves on various online matrimonial sites
or their parents register their ward profile on these sites for
searching a right partner for them. These matrimonial sites provide
choices in all aspects (religion, caste, community, location etc.)
which can be a right choice or just a matter of miss for anyone,
therefore it is always advisable to gain access to all that you have in
hand and evaluate all before taking any decision. The matrimonial sites
are the basic land to any choice made for the proposal of marriage.
Matrimonial sites provide a platform to search either the bride or the
groom however the ultimate responsibility lies on an individual.
Women Gaining Ground In Matrimonial Alliances
1/30/2010 6:18:36 AM
There was a time when parents with daughters were a pitied lot "" it was considered a Herculean task to "get girls married
off", or "find a good groom for the girl". This idea has, of course,
been whipped threadbare in countless Tamil films. But now, looks like
it"s time for a remake "" with a twist.
Check out matrimonial
sites and centres, and you will find that today it is brides
who are hard to get. Many matrimonial centres have a long list of
grooms waiting for brides, while it"s not the case with brides.
"It is good, isn"t it?" asks Murugavel Janakiraman, founder CEO,
BharatMatrimony.com. "It merely reflects the changing socio-economic
status of women. Twenty years ago parents called the shots in
marriage." But now, girls are exercising their rights, and do not
flinch from saying "no". And, why not?
Girls are educated, work, earn and have a broad outlook on life.
Parents too understand that they can"t force their decisions on their
Not that these girls want to leave their parents out of the picture.
Far from it. In fact, many girls want the couple to stay with the
bride"s parents after the wedding.
"Girls refuse to move to the cities where the boys live, not willing to
give up their families or careers. Many of these girls ask the boys to
give up or change jobs, and move to their home cities," says Rukmini
Sriraman of Divyadhampadigal, a 30-year-old horoscope-matching centre.
However, the chief reason for this wait for brides is the declining sex
ratio, feels Saranatha Goplan, Divyadhampathigal. "Because of the
one-child norm and the continuing fixation for male children, the
number of girls has plummeted," he says.
Offshore alliances are also not so hot now, as instances of NRI grooms
being fraudulent keep surfacing. "Also, as most girls complete their
Masters, the not-well-educated boys find it difficult to get alliances,
despite taking home a decent pay," points out Sulochana Raj, Marriage
Today, a marriage alliance centre.
There is another factor that contributes to the lengthening queue on
the men"s side "" girls postponing marriage for career. "Earlier, the
average age of the girls registering for marriage was 18 to 23. Now it
is 23 to 26, may be more. Girls want to accomplish milestones in their
careers before settling down for marriage," Murugavel observes. And,
for every 200 boys registering for marriage every month, only about 50
women register, says Rukmini.
It gets you thinking "" Is this just about statistics or does it
signify more? A whole lot of interesting questions surface. Is the
Indian patriarchal set-up slowly giving way to a matriarchal set-up?
Are women slowly, but surely, gaining an upper hand? Are fewer numbers
of women putting themselves up on the marriage market? Are women no
longer seeing marriage as the logical conclusion of life? Are more
women finding their husbands outside the traditional marriage market,
while more men stay in it? Well, we"ll need a survey to find answers.
But, obviously, times are changing"
Creative Marriage Proposal Ideas
3/27/2010 6:10:27 AM
Getting ready to propose but can't come up with a way to make her say
wow. Here are some marriage proposal ideas that are little more creative
than your average dinner out. In a recent study the majority of married
women reported that they believe that their spouse spent a significant
amount of money on their wedding proposal but that the lack of
originality in the proposal had left the women feeling disappointed. So
remember that when it comes to marriage proposal ideas creativity is
better than luxury.
Marriage Proposal Idea - Outdoors
An outdoor enthusiast might appreciate a creative proposal during a
camping trip. It’s a good idea to plan a quiet trip for just you and
your girlfriend at a picturesque location. If you can convince her to go
fishing with you, hide the ring inside the tackle box. Then when you
start fishing ask her to hand you the "diamond lure". When she asks what
a "diamond lure" tell to look in the box and she will recognize it
instantly. Just make sure that when you attempt this Marriage Proposal
Idea that she enjoys the out doors and won't complain the whole time.
Marriage Proposal Idea – Tune In
Every time I go to visit my girlfriend she is always playing the radio,
and always tuned to the same station. Having the DJ of your girlfriend’s
favorite radio program ask her if she will marry you is another
creative marriage proposal idea. You will want to make sure that you are
aware of the exact time that the DJ will be sending your message so
that you are able to ensure that you and your girlfriend are listening
together when he makes the announcement. You could also arrange to have
the DJ play a song that has a special meaning for you as a couple so
that you can enjoy a dance together after she accepts your creative
Marriage Proposal Idea – Family Affair
Another creative way to propose is to include all of your family and
friends in the event by inviting them all to a surprise party for your
girlfriend. To make this proposal work, you would either convince your
girlfriend that you want to have a quiet dinner at home or at a
restaurant with just the two of you. Once you arrive at the destination
all of the guests will reveal themselves and while all eyes are on the
two of you, you could take the opportunity to profess your love and
I hope these marriage proposal ideas have been helpful and have started
your creative juices flowing. For more ideas visit http://www.engagement-rings.com.au/
Top 6 Most Romantic Ways To Propose Marriage
3/27/2010 6:11:27 AM
Certainly, one of the first essential tasks of any groom-to-be is to
determine a way to propose to his beloved. There are certainly any
number of exciting, memorable ways to perform a proposal. Here are some
of the most elegant, romantic methods to get your girl to say "yes":
Recreate your first date.
This will bring back a flood of fond
memories and will put her in the right mood for your proposal. Chances
are she’ll also appreciate your thoughtfulness in trying to recreate
that special experience.
Plan a surprise picnic.
Consider taking your beloved to the
woods or to a Southern
for a romantic picnic. At the picnic site, you
might consider spelling out the words "Marry me" with stones or
Bring out the bubbly.
During dinner, serve your girlfriend a
glass of champagne with the engagement ring in the bottom of the glass.
You’re then in a perfect position to toast your future together. It’s
hard for a girl to pass up a ring when it comes in such elegant
packaging. (One fun and elegant location to have the bubbly served is
at an upscale Las
. The lights of the strip at night coupled with the
glamour, fun and upscale service that can be found in Vegas, might just
make the perfect backdrop.)
Pop the question in a cookie.
Consider dining together at your
favorite Chinese restaurant. Have the waiter serve her a fortune cookie
with "Will you marry me?" hidden inside. It’s the type of dessert
she’ll never forget.
The Christmas tree proposal.
At Christmas, invite her over to
your place to view your Christmas tree. Make sure that the tree is
lighted, but has only a single decoration—an engagement ring. In all
likelihood, her heart will melt once she sees her ring adorning your
Spell out your proposal with style.
Get her a "just because"
gift. Purchase an elegant charm bracelet. Have the charms on it be
letters that spell out your special request "M-A-R-R-Y M-E". Place the
gift at her place setting during a special dinner.
Of course, there are numerous other ways you can propose—on board a
plane, on an island, on a mountaintop, at the top of the Empire State
Building, in the back of an SUV
limousine in Las Vegas
. How you ultimately propose will depend on a
number of factors: your history together, your personal style, and her
particular preferences. The most important thing is that the proposal
comes from the heart. If it is truly sincere, chances are your intended
will be totally captivated. In the end, it’s not the proposal itself,
but the groom, that really matters.
Article by Michelle O’Connor,
Limousine Service Los Angeles