Channel: Muslim Life Hackers
Series: Muslim Life Hackers - Season 3
Joining us on the show today is Sheikh Musleh Khan. Sheikh Musleh serves as one of North America’s youngest Imams at the Islamic Institute of Toronto and does a wide range of work including relationship and marriage counseling.
In this interview, we tackle the million dollar question – how to get married along with related topics such as readiness for marriage, what to look for, managing pressures associated with this search and more.
You're listening to the Muslim life hack his podcast.
I'm Mike I'm a Malik and welcome to season three of the Muslim life hackers podcast. The Muslim life hack is podcast brings together individuals from all walks of life to give you their insights on different areas to help you live better, achieve more and succeed in this life and the neck. If you're new to the show, make sure to check out our episode archives over at Muslim leprechauns.com where you'll find all the episodes and seasons one and two. Now let's get started.
I felt like everyone and welcome back to the show. Gosh, I have a great episode for you today. Now in this interview, I talked to chef and Stefan on how to get married. Yes, you heard that right. This is a super important topic that we get. No we honestly we get asked about it a lot on the show. Almost a life hack is so he decided to bring Chef Ramsay on the show again to give us a download on all things how to get married. So a bit about the chef chef was a serving as one of North America's youngest imants at the Islamic Institute of Toronto. After completing extensive Studies at the University of Medina. He hosts a show us Muslims and never ending video series devoted to answering
Islam's most frequently asked questions, as well as counsels extensively with teens couples, and families on relationships and marriage. Who, Mashallah, when he isn't working within his community, the chef travels extensively lecturing on the topics of marriage, credit analysis, and much much more. Definitely the one to talk to on this topic. Now this episode is one for those who are a bit curious about marriage, not sure. A little shore and those who are you know, seriously looking, but may be having some difficulties, or maybe need a little bit more advice to get them going. And with that being said, let's get right into the show.
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Okay, so I'll make him Jeff will say welcome back to the show. While ecommerce seller morons two loads, great to be back. Alright, so we It's been a while since we had you on with life hack is a while ago and it was about a show on dual hedger. And just as a recap for our new listeners and old listeners, could you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do? No problem. So I currently reside in Toronto, Canada, and 111. I spend literally most of my time doing one of two things. Either I'm in my office, and I spend time counseling different problems, whether it's groups with teenagers with families, marriages, a chunk of my time is devoted to that. And then all of the other community
work that I do within my city. And then if it's not there, the second half of my life is literally on a plane traveling somewhere to teach something either related to marriage or some other subjects. So that's usually what I spend my time doing at hamdulillah. Fantastic. Well, it certainly sounds like something worthwhile to spend your time doing. Especially the travel part I enjoying that. It is getting tougher, I must say I don't know if it's because of old age, or I'm just getting mentally exhausted. Okay, for the most part, it is an enjoyable thing. I mean, who wouldn't want to travel the world and meet different people and see different things? So it's great. Yeah, absolutely. So
um, the focus of today's interview is on how to get married. And like you said, you know, you speak extensively on the topic, and it's definitely something that's important for our community and Muslims at large themselves. And so I guess, how would I kind of start off the interview is first with what determines a person's readiness for marriage? How do they know that they are, quote unquote, ready for it? Okay, so this is an excellent question. And usually what should happen is, this is the first thing that everyone who wishes to pursue marriage should ask themselves, what exactly do I want to get out of a marriage? And usually, depending on the answers, this would be the
strongest indicators for you that you're ready or you need some more time. So a couple of things that you always want to look out for to determine that you are ready to take this step number one, marriage to you is more than just the wedding day, having a
Amazing gathering, collecting lots of gifts and just living a good life. If marriage to you is all about responsibility, maturity, you want to start a family you want to settle down, if those are the things that come to mind, this is the first indication you're ready because you're thinking maturely, and our religion and the portal and as well as in the tradition of our Prophet sallallahu, alayhi wasallam, we find that it is, it is flourished with the sort of mentality to think, think about your future, think about building the oma think about having children's thinking about leaving a legacy behind. So that's the first thing, its maturity, the second thing that you want to look
for, and I'll just give you three very quick ones. So the second thing that you want to look for as well is that this person has a,
a foundation in the basics of their religion. So they're, they're at least praying and fasting and doing all of the basic fundamentals of their Deen. And usually, what some, some people like to look for is the student of knowledge, somebody who's well versed in the poor, and etc. These are all bonuses, quite a quite honestly, yeah, you want somebody to at least have the basics and move forward from that. And the third, and the final thing is you want to make sure that that individual, either yourself or the person you're looking for that you are best to your own family, your own siblings, you take care of your parents, you have a sense of responsibility already, that you're
doing something you have to, I don't know, maybe take your your sister to school and bring her you have to buy medication and take your parents to groceries like something very simple. But the point is, you have some kind of responsibility that you're in charge of. With these three things, I think these are the best
things that will determine that you're ready for marriage, aside from the standard things that we find in the poor ends. Okay, great. And and the first one that you mentioned was maturity. And this doesn't have to do with age, so to speak. It's it's more to do with, you know, your willingness to take on, you know, further commitments, where the responsibility, is that the kind of thing that you mean. Yeah, absolutely. And this is why I didn't put an age limit to this. For some people, they mature, much slower, others mature much quicker than, than others. So the point here is that you're thinking responsibly, you want to achieve something, you have a vision in your life, or a goal in
your life that you want to achieve. And someone else in your life is going to facilitate that. And in addition, you'll be able to help that individual achieve their visions and their dreams, that kind of mentality is somebody who's thinking about the future, as well as working towards that future inshallah. Fantastic. So that's the maturity foundation and in the basics of religion, and then sense of responsibility, whether it's, you know, in family in work, you know, they're able to cope with that load and think objectively about it, rather than just focusing on themselves. Right, absolutely. Fantastic. So with those three outlines for readiness, let's get a bit more practical.
Now. The great searches on how can we find someone to get married to like, how do we even start? Where do we start? What are you? What are the steps that you can recommend for us? You know, you've asked the billion dollar question, it is a billion dollar question. You, you're there, you're ready. So what's the first step? I mean, what I can say to you, throughout my experiences, I'm talking to different families literally around the world, I've kind of narrowed it down to at least two or three different steps that somebody can begin to initiate this process. Number one, the safest step towards finding a spouse is literally through family. It may sound old fashioned to some cultures,
but it is the safest way. And the reason why I say that is that at the end of the day, no one knows what you want, understands your habits and your desires more than your own family, whoever they may be. So it doesn't actually have to be somebody immediately related to you, but whoever is taking care of you and you're under their provision, you're under their guardianship. These are the people that you want to go to. So for most part, it's usually parents, it's usually siblings and close relatives. So you want to approach them. And of course, these are people that can make sound good, mature decisions for you. And you want to let them know that hey, look, I'm, I'm ready. I want to
get married. Can you help me find somebody? And usually what they would do is they talk to other families, they talk to people in the community, they would basically act as the middle person in finding that individual. Now get what happens a lot of times in this day and age is that first option just simply doesn't work or isn't available. So what do you do?
Now you go to the second option or the second degree, which is your go to friends. So this is no one related, but literally your closest friends, and the people that you trust, that could also make good decisions for you, you go to those people now. And I do advise at least to begin with that these people should be Muslim, but it's not necessarily condition. Because even there are many non Muslims out there that would look out for your best interests as well. So talk to them, let them be the middle person, I just want to say on the side that you notice, I'm not saying for you to take on this, this, this responsibility on yourself and go and find somebody. Yeah, just this day and age,
just it's very difficult and the maturity level of how somebody will respond, if you come up to them and say, hey, look, I want to get married, are you available, it just doesn't work. So you don't want to go to that route. So that's the second thing. And the third. And the last, I guess, step towards facilitating this, is you want to go to the religious leaders that are in your community. So somebody who has that, that leadership and that figure that you go to, they advise you, they're well known in the community, they're known to at least be able to connect these dots once in a while, you want to go to those individuals. In terms of the matrimonial websites, they do work. But again, the
percentage or the turnaround is so low. I mean, it's literally up to you, if you want to just give that a shot. Go ahead. What I would say is, don't depend on it. Because the percentage is so low of that actually working out, you're better off just going to people that you don't show to so you recommend going to family and parents first. If that doesn't work out, for example,
you know, there's disagreements as to what you want, then maybe good friends. And then if that doesn't work out religious leaders? Yeah, you just literally go directly to the community and seek their assistance? And do you find that this generally has good turn? I don't know if they turn over but like, has good outcomes for people, religious leaders and friends? I mean, it's really difficult to say, it just depends on the culture, it depends on the society, it depends on the family. But in terms of a general overall percentage, and then dealing with people face to face is far more higher than dealing with with somebody who's online, that could be another side of the world, you have no
contact with that individual, just the process is much more complicated and takes a lot longer than if you were dealing with them in person. Yeah, it's a lot more mental kind of processes involved as well. But you know, not being able to see them have that great distance between them as well. And just on this point, of the difficulty,
is distance the only difficulty people are facing? Why is it that you know, how to get married is a billion dollar question. Why do we struggle with it so much? There are a number of things that make this difficult, and I think the primary of them is, it's really and truly just dishonesty, something can look beautiful on the outside, all of these promises are made to you. But once you actually take that step further, or you get married, the dishonesty factor is usually the most difficult thing to overcome. Because you don't see the person's True Colors until you actually live with them. And you wake up with them every day. Yeah. So this is why finding that individuals becomes such a risky
thing for a lot of people now. And by dishonesty. Bad fantasy, do you mean, financially? What kind of what does that look like? I mean, the dishonesty at all levels. So you know, somebody could be deliberately trying to manipulate you to thinking that, hey, I'm the best person for you. I can give you this, I can give you that. And the reason why they say that is basically the things that you're looking for. You've given them an insight to all of this. And they say, yeah, I've got a job. Yeah, I've got savings. Yeah, we can get our own place, we can go and move out on our own. So everything looks great. So after six months, a year, whatever it takes, you get married. And before you know
it, you're living with his parents or her parents, or your you have no place to live, you're on welfare, you're doing some, it's just the complete opposite. So what happens is that people find this so difficult and so risky that it's now fallen into two extremes. Either people are delaying marriage for no reason. Or they're simply just, I hate to use these words, but they're simply just taking whatever is there. Yeah, even if it doesn't fit, what they're looking for is just like, Okay, let me just get married anyway, and see what happens. Yeah. Mm hmm. So it's a crisis. It's a national crisis around the world.
Definitely that showcases but there is hope kind of, you know, it's not to say, all dishonesty out there is it?
Absolutely, there is always hope. Once the person is honest, once a person is sincere, and they're doing something for the sake of pleasing their Creator, you know, our Creator says no core. And if you fear me, if you're conscious of me, I will always give you a way out. So at the end of the day, once you're sincere and you want to do something for the pleasure of your Creator, then Allah will facilitate the right thing for you. It's just the bottom line is that it's so difficult to find those people but at the end of the day, they do exist, they are out there, you have to pray and make Torah and supplicate that Allah will facilitate this and make it easy for you. Yeah, go that might
go that distance, and inshallah Allah Subhana. Allah was provide that for you and having that honesty yourself, so that it's reflected in what is brought to you inshallah? Absolutely, absolutely. So I'm just moving on to some questions that we've got from our listeners and our audience, who are also curious about this topic is that
a lot of people that we know, and we get a lot of comments on, you know, when are you going to get married? You know, for example, as someone younger always get comments, like, you know, why aren't you married yet? You know, you're, you're getting old? How can we cope with the pressure associated with it? And how do we deal with that kind of situation?
Very, very simple. And at least for me, it is and what I tell my students the same thing, the right time will be the right time. ignore what people say no one has the right to determine when you're ready, no one has the right to put that kind of pressure on you, when you feel that you're ready to do this, it's going to feel right. And I really don't know how to explain what that means. Because I'm speaking even for myself, I never know when I wanted to get married, I never put an age limit to it. I just felt that this was the time for me. And most people that you ask, they'll say to you the same thing, it just feels right. And again, this goes back to what it is that they want to achieve
out of marriage, the responsibility and the maturity that's attached to this, they're ready to take that on. And some people they take longer than others to realize that I can do this now. I can actually take care of you know, my wife, or my husband or whatever, I can pay rent, I can do all of these things I can hold down a career now. So just really, when that mentality sits and it's mature, and things feel like you can handle life, whatever age that may be, that's when you're ready. I just want to say on the side, though, that it's really unfortunate that I think this is why this question gets asked a lot. It's really unfortunate that the cultures that we live in, or we come from, are
the ones that make this process complicated, difficult, and even sometimes very artful. Somebody coming to you and saying, Hey, you know, you're already 27 years old, when are you going to get married, you're going to just be stuck on a shelf. Now you can always use these real, hurtful terms and tell you that you're losing hope. But as Muslims, we know, at the end of the day, once we have faith in our Creator, Allah will determine when is the right time for anything to be done for us? Absolutely. That's a great word Sasha was there. So moving on a bit and shaking things up. Let's move on to the topic of parents in I know how you mentioned earlier, and the steps of how to get
married or where to look for it parents came up first. And oftentimes it's, there's, there's a conflict there. That might be why the whole parents strategy doesn't work is that parents want one thing, but you as a child might want something different. How can we resolve this conflict that you know, we're facing at home? And it could be preventing you from getting married? What? What are your thoughts on that?
So this is a good question. And this is why when I mentioned the first avenue of going to parents first, I put a small disclaimer in that saying these are the parents that make good decisions for you that they understand what your needs are, and they try to facilitate those needs. And this is of course, it's according to the [???]tier. And it's in compliant to what a las panatela expects of you. Now, the reality is that a lot of parents out there as well just simply don't care about that. They care about a good job, they care about a good career, they care about somebody that complements their own culture. You see, the problem with that is when somebody has a degree, it doesn't make
them a good person, necessarily. They might be skilled in performing a particular job, but it doesn't make them an overall good spouse. And that's really important for parents not to lose sight of that.
So somebody could be a doctor, but they could be the worst husband. So you want to make sure that and this is why I stressed on that maturity and responsibility options so much, because that's the thing that's going to determine if you're a good person, and you're ready for this. So people who have parents that really put these on Islamic, you know, I'm gonna just be as bold as I can about these on Islamic barriers in front of their kids, they have to really come to grips and realize what they're doing here, you know, that this could actually be a form of bullets could be a form of transgression on their own kids. Because at the end of the day, they need to get married. And this
thing is half of their Deen. And if you add other restrictions and barriers in front of them that Allah
and His messenger will love it, so didn't do then what are you really saying you're making this religion more difficult than what it is? However, last thing I'm going to say on this question is, I do give parents the benefit of the doubt. Because at the end of the day, I honestly believe that parents who do this sort of thing, they actually have good intentions, and they want the best for their kids. And then sometimes the kids, they need this sort of push, or they need some of these restrictions, because the guy might be living at home and he's 35 years old, but he can't do his laundry. He You know, he still can't get a job. So he's just sitting here playing video games all
day. So when he wakes up one day, he's like, Mom, I want to get married. I thought a good big sister. And she says, No, not yet. And then he starts complaining about his age, etc, etc. Listen, dude, you need to be responsible, you know, after my cot. Yeah. So those are the things I think it works both ways. Mm hmm. Definitely food for thought and something that we should consider is that what's on the other side of the coin? Perhaps, that parental advice is for the better? Yep, absolutely. Yeah, definitely. As a chef, I want a scenario for you. So someone comes up to you, and you know that they're feeling conflicted? They're not sure. They come up to you, and they're asking
you for advice?
Should they complete their studies first or get married? What would you say to them? And this is a common question that you get faced with, huh? Yeah, it's a common question. It's a very good, very practical question to ask us well, and there is no correct answer to this marriage, or studies or both, or one or the other, it really doesn't matter. Because studying doesn't actually affect the marriage in any way. And marriage could probably make your life a whole lot easier whether you're studying so one could actually help the other. So what I say to students will ask this question is, literally, I reverse it? And I say to them, you tell me. So how many hours do you study a week? Are
you full time? Are you part time? How many years do you have left? Have you just started, if you just started, then maybe you want to just finish a few years of study and then look at the marriage option. If somebody literally has one or two semesters left and they're about to graduate, then I've encouraged the marriage. So it's just really up to that individual. I think both options, depending on where their life is at that moment is a good option for them.
Okay, great. So really looking at where you are, when it comes to studies, I get the beginning at the end and kind of evaluating whether marriage will kind of fit in between and whether it can actually facilitate, you know, better kind of studying as well. Absolutely. Yep. So because they're both good options. Fantastic. So should I just go back kind of in reverse, to the point that you made on dishonest people?
So for example, you're talking to a potential spouse, what are, in your opinion, what are the signs of dishonesty that, you know people should look out for? Whether it be males or females?
Okay, so there are a few ways that you can you can determine this dishonesty. The first thing is, if the person can talk the talk, you want to observe if they can walk the walk. So if somebody says to you, you know, I'm really devoted to the masjid, I go there all the time, I'm really devoted to my Deen. You want to observe whether that person actually goes to the message and is actually praying so you look for the little thing. So let's say you're having a family gathering and his or her family's there, your family's there time for Salah, and the guys just sitting there or he just continues eating, or he's not taking it seriously. He's not determined that he wants to get there
for solid he wants to pray you observe these small elements in his behavior. If he says to you that I go to the semester, they gives you the name and you're like, Oh, yeah, I know that. You happen to go to the masjid every week and you've never seen him once in your whole
Life, then you can start to raise some questions. So what I say is for people that if you want to determine the dishonesty, observe the behavior. If he says to you, though he she says to you, I'm really patient, I don't have anger issues. But once you're talking to that individual on the phone, you know, you, he or she puts you on hold, and before you know it, he's screaming at his mom, and he says, leave me alone, I'm on the phone, or he says something that's really disrespectful. So then again, that's gonna raise some question marks for you. He just told me he was a patient guy, he loves his parents, and that's how he's speaking to them. So it's really just your observation. And
the second thing is really your common sense. Use your common sense, because, as our prophets lie, Selim once told us, the whatever is in the heart, the reflection of that is going to be illustrated in your actions. So if your heart is good, your actions are good. If it's not, then the rest of your actions is going to illustrate that. No, definitely. Okay, so show you very some really great points in this interview, how to prepare how to know when you're ready. Now, we want to give people some resources that they that they can turn to what are your top three books that you recommend on this topic or just about anything in general? Okay, this is really sad. For me.
The first book is the poor end. And the quarter end is so fluent in marriage, what to do what not to do. I mean, we have a whole chapter just talking about the do's and don'ts of divorce, then Sue little buckler. So here's what I want to steer the audience to focus on from go to suta tillbaka. And in the second, or the latter portion of that sutra, there is an entire discussion about marriage and divorce. So suitable, Bukhara is key in understanding the do's and don'ts of marriage, then there are other topics that are scattered throughout the portal. And one of them is you also want to look at how prophets and messengers dealt with their wives and all the problems that they may have
had it, how they solve them. So one area that really stands out for me is first number 30. In so little room, this is the verse that everybody quotes the verse that I call the area of marriage. And we're Alesis from amongst his signs he has placed for you a spouse and place between that, that relationship, and love and mercy. So this one, and you literally, you can discuss, and explain this in maybe an hour or even longer. It tells you all the ingredients about how to prepare yourself for a marriage and what to do and what not to do. So really, the first look for me is the court itself. The second thing is, and again, like I've taught this, and I found this, the success and fruits
behind it, is actually the chapters of marriage in the authentic books of Hadith. So we're looking at the chapter of marriage in Bukhari, and Sahih Muslim, and the four other sunon books. So an essay at tirmidhi if the manager, and Abby deload. So these four books get all of them have chapters of marriage in it, but what's beautiful is that they all quote, maybe similar hobbies or tradition, slightly different wordings. And that's really beneficial, because it'll give you a slightly different method or way of dealing with that particular situation. And the third and the final.
It's not actually a book. But the third and final thing that would help you with this topic of marriage is to actually talk to people who have been married for a very long time. Listen to what people who have experience in marriage, this is also just as important as the first two. So at the end of the day, what's in the book is one thing, talk to people who are actually living it, and that would help out inshallah, great, great recommendations to check looked at Qur'an festival sort of Accra, the later push later portions are especially important, the authentic books of as the sinner and feasting on marriage portions, and also go to those who actually know, walking the talk, you
know, people who have experience in marriage and ask them for advice. Absolutely.
Awesome. Just the way I'm nearing the end of our interview, and something that we'd like to ask all of our guests is, what is one life hack that you would like to leave our audience with?
Man, I can't tell you how much I've thought about what would a life hack be for everyone? But this question is not named. Definitely. It's confusing, especially with a topic as large as the ocean like marriage. What do you get it?
Really the first thing that always comes to mind and I hope that this is beneficial
For all of our listeners, his marriage is a very beautiful thing. regardless what anybody says, regardless what people hear and what you experienced, or may have seen, the unit of having a husband and wife and living together, getting married is actually a beautiful thing, to the point where I will say that if it's done right, and you follow the guidelines that your religion has given you, it will literally feel like a, a precursor to paradise in this world. It is that beautiful, to have that kind of support and that kind of companionship at every possible level. This is the attitude that I would want our listeners, especially those who are not married, but even those who are to
really remember that this unit is a very beautiful thing. And this is something that is instilled and controlled by our Creator. He says in the end, what Jeremiah bainer call, I was the one that placed between you love and mercy, you didn't do that out of your own effort, I was the one that put it there. So this unit of falling in love and getting married, is actually an indication that our Creator is real, and he's personally looking after us. So that is just the most positive message that I want to leave the audience with. To remember, this is a beautiful thing. And may Allah subhanho wa Taala make it beautiful for all of you.
Thank you so much for leaving us with that amazing insight and into companionship and how you know, it proves the reality of Allah spawn spawn with Allah, you know, that love between husband and wife?
out? Were about to wrap up? And was there anything that you wanted to mention, but didn't get a chance to during the interview?
Yeah, no, not really, I just want the audience to really be positive about this topic. That is my goal, to remove all of the all of the taboos and all of the pessimistic notions that people have about marriage, the end of the day, it is a beautiful thing, do it right, you will never regret it. And may Allah subhanho wa Taala make it easy for all of us. I mean, and where can our listeners get in touch with you and your work and possibly ask your questions? Absolutely, they can check me out on my fanpage on Facebook, they just simply type my name, it'll show up and they can send all of your questions on that page. inshallah that's the easiest way. No worries, I will also include the
fan page in our show notes as well for listeners who want to get in touch with Chelsea. Gentlemen, thank you so much, again for talking about this very, very important topic and shedding some positivity on it amongst all this new chaos that's out there. And coming on the show again, giving us your time. We really, really appreciate it. You're always welcome. Thank you. Alright, so that end of the episode that chef was the one on how to get married. You know, I really love how he ended off by saying that marriage is a beautiful thing amongst you know all that chaos and possibly dishonesty that it is, you know, a pure thing if done right. And it can be kind of like a precursor
to you know, a taste of Paradise in this world. In this episode, help answer this curious questions that you might be having, who, what and where to even get started with marriage and more. Now be sure to check out chef masters Facebook page for more on this topic, and others and connect with him there if you have any further questions about marriage and anything else like that. And as usual, all the links and resources mentioned in the show will be in our show notes at Muslim law office.com. You can also find access to previous episodes from the show. Alright, so until next time.
Thank you for listening to the Muslim life hack his podcast. If you've enjoyed this episode, be sure to leave a review for us on iTunes by going to Muslim life hackers.com forward slash iTunes