By Sayyed | February 20, 2016
The question is a loaded one. To ask whether there is a right time to get married implies that there may also be a wrong time to do so.
Marriage is a blessing in any culture and religion. Assuming that you have reached the minimum age to marry and you have found a compatible person, then there is never a a wrong time to get married….be you 20 or 80 years of age.
I am conscious that many of you may be later in years and still on the search. I do not want any in this position to read this article and feel that the implication of right vs wrong means that you have somehow missed the boat.
The boat of marriage accepts passengers from all those that seek out its many treasures, regardless of age. Allah SWT is merciful to both the young and the old. If your search has not yet led you to your goal, never ever give up. Your continued action and hope in Allah SWT blessings are the very ingredients needed to attain matrimonial success.
I think the question that we must really be asking therefore is whether there is an optimum time to get married? A time that allows an individual to excel at a greater pace.
The key criterion for marriage is maturity of mind.
There is an argument to suggest that historically people used to mature and took on adult responsibilities at a younger age. It is well known that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) married his wife, Aisha when she was still young. Reports range from between 9-15 years of age.
The daughter of the Prophet of Islam, Fatima, was also married to Imam Ali when she was still very young also. We know this because she was only 18 years of age when she passed away, yet by this time had given birth to Imam Hassan, Imam Hussain and Bibi Zainab.
No one would suggest that marrying at such an early age is an appropriate practice in any modern society, yet in days of old such customs were considered normal. Both in the East and the West it was common place for early marriages to take place.
Marrying too young is something that is not advocated. People are simple not mentally in a position to take on the responsibility of marriage. It is illegal in most countries to get married before you reach the age of 18, and this prohibition is consistent with the developmental stages of youth in the modern world. Anyone that assists in the illegal marriage of a minor will be committing a crime which means that if you are eager to get married you must wait until both parties are at least 18.
With this being said, advocating a sooner rather then later approach to marriage has some clear advantages. Most marriages take place between the age of 18 -30. Within this age bracket, the more optimal age for marriage is within the first 7 years i.e. between 18-25. The caveat again however depends on the mental maturity of both parties.
Assuming that you meet this condition AND you are fortunate enough to have found a compatible partner, then the potential benefits are great. These include:
Being a youthful single Muslim in the west is a challenge. In fact, being a youthful single Muslim anywhere is a challenge. There is a temptation to act on the natural inclination towards both emotional and physical attachment. This temptation is great and can not be underestimated.
For many, the need to have these attachments supersede the patience to wait until one is married. I pass no judgement on those who have either been in this situation or are currently in a relationship outside of marriage. We have all been young and understand the strength of this urge. That being said, having the wisdom to wait until one gets married has huge benefits.
Getting married earlier has the benefit of protecting one from the ill consequences of these temptations. It does so, not by ignoring our temptations, but by legitimising them.
It is the single biggest thing you can do and acts as a protective force against sin. The sooner we can avail ourselves of its benefits, the less likely we will behave in a manner which is non- conducive to our faith. In fact the rewards for marrying at an earlier age is untold. There is a beautiful saying from our Holy Prophet (PBUH) CHECK which says:
There is not a single young person that gets married during his youth, except that Satan cries out that “woe onto him, woe onto him, he has protected two thirds of his faith from me”, therefore mankind must have taqwa (God-consciousness) in Allah to protect the remaining one third of his faith.
Marriage is the unity of two souls, two individuals, two families. It is embryo that brings about the creation of society. Marriage is a social event in that it brings about social responsibilities and consequences. Moving from “Me to We”, is an area of growth that has huge benefits, especially for those that do so at an early stage.
If women are from Venus and men are from Mars, understanding rests in being able to visit each respective planet on a regular basis. Youthful couples (who marry compatible partners) tend to be more adaptable in making the necessary changes to facilitate the creation of a more powerful and productive “WE”.
A successful and loving marriage helps to bring about elements of compassion and altruism within the soul of each partner. This is especially true after children are born. The development and growth of the caring side of ones nature has a profound impact on individuals. Children create a paradigm shift in how we see the world as parents have a vested interest in creating a caring and peaceful environment for the sake of their children.
Marriage, at any age develops a more caring you which intern has individual and societal benefits. Moving from me to we at an early stage however helps to imbed this nature earlier on which can only have a positive impact.