According to “muslim brother”, Allah keeps all the eligible bachelorettes waiting in a queue up on the clouds.
So, when you mention to him that you’re seeking marriage, he reminds you to “make Dua’a and Allah will send you a good wife, insha Allah.” Then, at some point in the near future, after you make your Dua’a, Allah will in fact send your suitable match out of the celestial queue, floating down to earth on the shoulders of angels. See, Islam is EASY !
And so the convert to Islam will then spend years making Dua’a to Allah for this magical event to happen, until he eventually gives up, or until he learns that what “muslim brother” did was a smoke-screen diversionary tactic commonly used by “muslim brothers”. It’s a form of “muslim” doublespeak, like “insha Allah” which means “probably not. I have no real intention but don’t want to tell you that”, or “may Allah make it easy for you” which really means “I don’t consider your problem my problem and I’m not going to do anything to help you, so please go away”.
It’s amazing how magical Islam becomes when one presents his most important needs to “muslim brother”. With a little lip service, the whole situation can be resolved quite expediently. The convert can be quickly deluded into believing he doesn’t make enough dua’a, and the “muslim brother” can make a quick escape from responsibility.
Our Prophet described such a state of the Ummah, after al-Amana (trust, duty, responsibility) has been removed from the hearts. He said,
“The people would enter into transactions with one another, and hardly a person would be left who would return (things) entrusted to him, till it would be said: ‘In such and such tribe there is a trustworthy man.’ And they would also say about a person: ‘How prudent he is! How handsome he is, and how intelligent he is!’ whereas in his heart there would be no grain of Faith.”
When Muslims came to the US, they did not come to establish Allah’s Deen; Islam is something they had long lost already. Hence, they had no plan for American people whom Allah would guide to His Religion. Hence, they have no plan for the marriage of converts, especially for convert men. And this has been the condition in America for more than 40 years now.
The words Iman(faith, safety, fidelity) and Amana(trust, duty, responsibility) are inextricably linked; they contain the very same root in Arabic, and Iman is actually a derivative of Amana. Further, the Sunnah connects Iman, Amana, and ‘Amaal (actions, deeds).
The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Iman has over seventy branches – or over sixty branches – the uppermost of which is the declaration: ‘None has the right to be worshiped but Allah’; and the least of which is the removal of harmful object from the road, and modesty is a branch of Iman.”
The Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “Not one of you shall achieve Iman until he loves for his Brother what he loves for himself.”
So, if the least level of Iman/Amana requires us to remove a stone or sharp object from a pathway, where it has the mere potential to hurt a human being, then what should be said about the responsibility to ensure that converts are assisted in establishing a healthy marriage ? What should be said about the community of “muslims” that repeatedly fails to step up to this responsibility ?
The issues with marriage in the world of Muslim converts are multiple:
- We don’t have the social network that born-Muslims have. As a convert, I can’t call up my folks or my uncles or aunties and tell them I’m ready for marriage. When the Muslim community doesn’t help out, we’re screwed.
- Many converts are target for green-card marriages
- Converts are vulnerable and unsuspecting of “muslims” who really aren’t fit for marriage. Women and men end up in abusive marriages.
- The Western convert comes from a culture which handles marriage and getting-to-know someone very differently. This needs to be facilitated.
- The short list of candidates that any Imam has is insufficient. It’s unlikely that the convert will be interested in any of the 5 people on the Imam’s list.
- There are not enough qualified marriage counselors in the Muslim community.
Here’s a proposed solution:
- Find some Muslims willing to start owning-up to the problem and have the know-how to manage a system
- Build a regional database to be fed by candidates who apply at the masajid within the region
- Ensure all candidates and Wali’s have been checked-out by the masjid workers
- Bring qualified marriage counselors into the community and the masajid
- Provide mandatory education on Marriage for the converts. This must include Islamic guidelines, the common pitfalls, and the common adjustments made for convert realities or for Muslims living as minorities in the West (this IS a field of Fiqh)
- Open a bank account and fill it with funds. Converts may need assistance to travel to meet a suitor, or they may need some assistance opening a decent home.
- Obviously, if this system is going to work properly, it will need a full-time administrator, which means there’ll have to be a salary. This is NOT a small task, and can’t be done by volunteers.