Thursday, March 10, 2011

Marriage : love, culture, or obligation?

I must admit that a girl's greatest goal and dream of her life is all about marriage. All of her younger life has been spent on preparing her for one, like learning the house chores, learning how to cook, how to treat the husband and kids by observing their mothers, aunts and other married women's life.

Somehow this has become the life cycle of a women, it's not a written law that this cycle has to be followed, but most of people will expect us to continue this cycle, if not, you'll be charged as not normal or people might accuse that there must be something wrong with you. I know this cause I've been there.

I used to believe in true love, I used to believe in marriage, I used to believe in sharing life with the Beloved one and produce cute youngsters to protect and to love them. But as grow older, as I watched the married life of others around me, as I tried to imagine how my perfect married life would be, I started to realize that my reality is just too different from others or probably I'm hoping for something far more unrealistic than others.

Sometimes I asked myself, is it a must to get married?
Why people get married?
What is a marriage?
Is it as simple as finding a partner and vow to stay loyal to that person for the rest of your life, through thick and thin forever?

From Islamic point of view:

Nikah is an Arabic term used for marriage. It means "contract". ("Aqd in Arabic). The Quran specifically refers to marriage as "mithaqun Ghalithun,". Which means "a strong covenant".

As a meaningful institution, marriage has two main purposes:
 1. To ensure preservation of the human species and continuation of the human race
 2. To provide spiritual and legal foundation of the family

Through Marriage, the conjugal relationship between a man and a woman becomes lawful. It provides a legitimate outlet for recreation as well as procreation. Islam regards sex as natural and good, but restricts it to the partners of marriage so as to ensure the responsibility for its consequences.

Marriage provides spiritual, physical, emotional and psychological companionship. This companionship generates and sustains love, kindness, compassion, mutual confidence, solace and succor. It lays a spiritual and legal foundation for raising a family. The children born of the matrimonial union become legitimate and mutual rights of inheritance are established.

--> so summed up marriage is about having companionship, legitimating sex, producing legal breeds and expanding generations.

Still not a strong reason why I should get married ~though I wanted babies of my own and a partner for life. But I'm sure there's a bigger objective about marriage not only what is stated above.
Let's dig a little deeper, what marriage is about? What do we have to compromise in a marriage? Are we ready for a commitment? This is what you have to ask yourself before you tie up your wedding vows with another person.


I loved an article from Abdul Baha which explains on Marriage and Love. It's a bit too long but it's worth a read --> Marriage and Love by Abdul Baha;

According to Abdul Baha, in marriage, love needs to be manifested in a cooperative and sharing manner and it is directly related to the maturity level of the husband and wife.

The love in marriage is not straight forward, it's a feeling developed after undergoing few levels of maturity, explained below;

Level 1: Finding Mutual Point of Attraction
The first dimension of love between a man and a woman is attraction. The beauty of an individual attracts the attention of another, encourages an approach, and prepares the way for a response on the part of the attractive individual. If there is considerable mutual attraction a love relationship begins.
Physical attraction, however, is only the first dimension of love in any marriage. Once an individual falls in love, the beloved becomes a constant companion in the lover's mind and heart.
Gradually other attractive aspects of the person, such as thoughts, feelings, hopes, and aspirations assume greater significance. This process leads to a higher level of closeness and intimacy between the husband and wife and results, not infrequently, in each choosing the other as the point of attraction. Here, "point of attraction" refers to a state in which all of the interest, attention, and yearning, in short, all of a person's love, is directed towards one object, person, or idea.

Level 2: From Mutual Need Gratification to Mutual Purpose
Next to mutual attraction, the first common dimension of what couples usually call love is mutual need gratification. Every human being has diverse needs which can best be fulfilled in the context of an intimate relationship. Some of these needs may be due to a deprived or troubled life history of either or both persons involved in the relationship, while other needs are basic requirements for the overall growth and quality of life of any individual.
The second category of needs relating to the direction and quality of life are also of considerable importance with respect to individual growth. Human conditions and functions such as intimacy, sharing, giving and receiving, encouraging and being encouraged, desiring and being desirable, helping and being helped, as well as caring and being cared for, all require the existence of a meaningful, trusting relationship which is best achieved in the context of a healthy marriage.
Many couples marry as a direct response to one or both of these categories of needs. The combination of mutual attraction and mutual need gratification creates an overcharged emotional bond and fosters an illusion of eternal, romantic, and unconditional love.

According to Abdul Baha too, it is very important that couple understands and respects each own's personal plans. It is natural for human beings to pursue goals and make plans. In fact, when a person is without plans and goals, he becomes disheartened, depressed, and disinterested in life and all that it entails. Due to this fundamental need, there must be opportunities in the context of marriage for both husband and wife to pursue plans and goals both individually and as a couple.

Individual goals and projects shape our life processes, giving direction and meaning, as well as creating motivation for further achievement with a consequent sense of satisfaction and pride. Every human being needs such experiences on an ongoing basis. Through these experiences, the individual gains a sense of identity and worth and contributes to his own and society's progress and growth.

Returning to the theme of personal goals and plans, it is obvious that both husband and wife must create opportunities in their marriage for the achievement of their personal objectives and projects. In a healthy marriage, these objectives and projects need to be in harmony and coordination with the goals and plans of the marriage. Some of the most obvious prevalent goals in contemporary marriage are: the accumulation of wealth, social advancement, bearing and educating children, and finally providing for retirement. Many couples spend all their efforts and time in the pursuit of these goals.

Hence Marriage is a natural, extremely effective milieu for the development of love, provided that the husband and wife are aware of the dynamics of the development of love in human relationships and make conscious, enlightened efforts to facilitate the development and refinement of their love. Such a process requires willingness on the part of the husband and wife to assist each other in their attempts at growth, to choose meaningful mutual purpose and direction, to be willing to suffer the pain of love and growth, and to sacrifice, whenever necessary, their material pursuits for spiritual objectives.

~ From my opinion, Marriage is never a culture, never an obligation. It is what is nurtured from pure love and willingness to share your life, goals and dreams with someone and help them to grow. It strengthened the relationship, develop loyalness to one another and it creates a sense of belonging.

In the world of existence there is indeed no greater power than the power of love. It's the nature of human to love and wants to be loved.

The objective to get married --> strongly because of LOVE.
For those happily married couples, I envy you cause you are blessed with someone who will love you until the end of time. Love them back unconditionally and appreciate their presence as for some of us we are still searching and waiting.

I fight for what I believe in. And I believe in LOVE & MONEY. :)

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