Its that question that everyone seems to ask me as if I was born with some kind of calendar that told me when my big day would be. If you were born into my family, this question first gets asked to you (especially if you're a girl) somewhere around your 18th birthday. For me, it came much earlier. My grandmother died when I was a freshmen in high school, so that would make me 14 years old - that is when the questions started. You see, my grandmother had this wish that I marry my cousin who was about three years older to me, its this old fashioned back-home kind of thinking. Don't get me wrong, my cousin is a great guy, he's funny, good-looking and smart, but he's like an older brother to me. I quickly told my grandfather that it wouldn't happen when he brought up the subject and it was rather easy to convince him, only then he would just ask me about other people instead.
I'd like to get married - now if I could - only, I haven't found the right brother. I once thought I found the right brother, he was perfect to me in every way, only his niceness was truly just being nice and nothing more. To make a long story short, he is now married to a wonderful sister (I wish them the very best, insha'Allah). My family and friends think that I am very picky, and I agree, however I feel this is a matter in which one should be picky. I understand that nit-picking on little things such as the kind of car one drives or how one looks is ridiculously shallow, however when it comes to Islam one should be as picky as possible.
I am very liberal in some ways and very conservative in others. I am liberal in a sense that I think that a women should have the right to work and that her husband should help her around the house. I know that I don't want to run my household in the way that my mother has where the boys in the family to "man work" and the girls do "woman work." I believe that each gender should help out equally - even when it comes to cleaning the bathrooms. I suppose my conservative side comes from Islam. I believe that a man's wife should dress conservatively and should not converse with non-mehram men without the presence of her husband unless it is a conversation that is strictly business related, needless to say that this goes for the husband as well. I disapprove of television and music and would only marry a man who feels the same way. I want the masjid to be a huge part of our lives, so naturally the masjid has to play a huge role in his life. Also, I would like to study Islam abroad after I get married (since my parents won't let me go now), so of course he would have to have the same goal, insha'Allah. And so when I explain all of this to my parents, my family and my close friends and they all think I'm nuts. Perhaps I am, but I am determined to get what I want, especially if I have to spend the rest of my life with my decision.
Now a days its extremely difficult to find a good Muslim brother or even a good Muslim sister for that matter. Unfortunately, these days, the youth has become corrupted with the culture of hip hop, drugs, music, alcohol. Muslim brothers and sisters alike engage in the use of foul language, its a shame. What is even more shameful is that parents, knowing the difficulty their children face in finding a spouse, make the situation even more difficult. The parent's of daughters are far more at fault than those of sons (in my experience). As if it wasn't hard enough to find a good Muslim brother, you now have to make sure he's of the same background as you, he speaks the same language as you, he's from the same economical standing as you, he has a PhD, he has white skin, and the list goes on and on. For goodness sake, what happened to the days when people were getting married as early as possible in order to protect themselves from sin, when a man's religion was all that really mattered? What happened to the days when one of the reasons for marriage was to strengthen alliances between families? Subhan'Allah its a shame to see the state of the Ummah.
Now back to that question...
So when am I getting married? I suppose the answer is still "when I find the right brother, or when he finds me, insha'Allah." I truely desire to get married in the very near future, I just don't think that ACTIVELY searching for a potential spouse is the route that I would like to take. Insha'Allah when the opportunity presents itself, I will inquire. While I wait for my knight in shining thowbe to sweep me off my feet, I feel that what I need to do is focus on my family, my community, my deen, my studies and my career. I believe that marriage is half of one's deen and I realize its importance in the structure of the Islamic community, but I believe that life doesn't just stand still until Mr. or Mrs. Right come along to save the day because life goes on.
So until he comes, I'll be here insha'Allah working to benefit my community.