Sunday, July 2

Shak's Guide To Avoiding The Subject

Well it was just a matter of time really: this morning, my phoopa asked... nay, advised... no wait, told me to get married.

Now, unlike it is for others in my situation (ie not married) this isn't a frustrating discussion for me to have. I quite enjoy it since I've yet to face an argument that I don't have a fairly reasonable reply to. Heck, sometimes I even get the others to change their minds! That said, debating with my phoopa was a bit annoying due to the language gap; luckily I had my dad to translate/misrepresent me.

In my experience, these talks usually follow this pattern: we open with a commandment, move onto religious justification, then cultural justification, then vacuous justification, then make another commandment and then repeat the whole thing all over again. Commandment is easy enough to counter; others have as much right forcing you to do something as you do them, and a simple "no" will usually suffice at that point. If not, a promise to hold them liable if anything goes wrong usually scares them off for a while (and is an interesting indication of how much faith they have in any future marriage of yours).

Anyway, it's the bits in the middle that usually turn out to be fun and juicy. Here I list a few common approaches taken by those that care about my well being during such a discussion, followed by my usual responses:

Getting married is half your deen!
Ok, in that case I want to marry a non Muslim then. Perhaps even a Hindu. Explain that "getting married is half your deen" doesn't mean that just marrying anyone will automatically double your faith.

Ha ha. Getting married to another Muslim is sunnah!
But staying single isn't a sin, and there might even have been companions of The Prophet that didn't get married at all either. Furthermore, islamically, it's probably better to remain single than to be unhappy with the wrong person (throw in a couple of anecdotes about so and so having an affair). If you want to be specific then point out that there are many people who could have built mosques and schools, but didn't get to purely because they got married.

What about respect? You won't have any unless you get married. You'll be stigmatised by society forever!
Possibly, but only by those with a small enough mind to do so.

Your friends and family need deserve a wedding reception to go to!
Hey man, if you want a party I'll gladly throw one for you. I refuse to serve that sweet carrot desert stuff though. Like, ew.

What about bringing up children?
I could adopt.

What about all your household chores?
I could do them myself. Or hire a maid. Whatever.

You'll be better off if you get married! Life starts when you get married!
Or ends, depending on your viewpoint. I usually mention various stats, and if I'm feeling particularly facetious bring up a couple of broken marriages within my own extended family, just to rattle cages. There is a common genepool there, after all.

You're being pessimistic. Not all marriages fail...
It's also pessimistic to think that all single people become misanthropic waste-of-spaces.

You know, seven years down the line you're gonna be alone and regret not getting married.
Yeh but I could get married and regret that seven years down the line too. Unless you can guarantee my happiness, will you be around for me to blame?

So you don't want to get married? That's a bit stubborn.
No! I didn't say that and in no point in my life have I believed that either. In fact, I think I've wanted marriage the longest out of all my friends of a similar age and background. Sure, I've not complained for a while now about being single (and boy, did I use to) but that's because I came to understand that there's nothing really there to complain about. That doesn't mean I'm averse to the idea of getting hitched at all. In fact, I consider marriage an important goal of mine - but only if it's with the right person and not just anyone.

People NEED to get married! It's a MUST!
Well no, obviously not. A good marriage is a luxury, a nice to have, a bonus in life. A bit like owning a sports car actually. And like that Aston, it would be great if I ever got one; but if I don't, I'll survive.

You need to get married for, erm, you know, physical reasons.
Any sex drive I have broke long ago out of a lack of use.

If you remain single you'll become a slag.
After 27 years of practise, I'm sure refraining won't all of a sudden be a problem. But hey, thanks for having that much faith in me. No, really, I'm flattered.

Are you gay?
Oh please.

You've got to try to find someone. Make that effort. You obviously don't want to get married. You're too lazy.
The fact that I haven't found anyone yet doesn't mean I don't want anyone at all. And I think I'm being relatively active actually: I'm always open to meeting any new potential rishta - more so than a lot of people I know. Know any single women by the way?

You're too fussy.
No. I'm particular at best. And more girls have rejected me outright than I have them.

Marriage is the key to happiness. How can a single person ever be content?
I think that the only person that can make one content is themselves; unhappy marriages wouldn't exist otherwise. Not everyone needs another in order to be validated - confer various divorcees and widow(er)s, not to mention wholesome bachelor(ette)s.

You don't respect the concept of marriage.
Except I'm the one who values it so much that they're willing to wait as long as it takes to do it correctly, as opposed to someone advising me to shack up with the next kuri I see.

Sigh. Y'know, sometimes I hate having an answer for everything.


  1. you just think u have all the answers buddy...thats one reason u need a tell u and prove u otherwise :P

  2. Anonymous22:42

    Imam Nawawi (40 ahadith) never married :D

    Apparently, there's a book of biographies of all the un-married scholars in history, but no one will tell me where to get it from. Hmm.

    Oh, and if you're into 'saints', then Rabia al Adawiyyah (or there abouts)who never married either.

    Not that you don't want to get married of course.Sorry.


  3. Hehe, that was hilarious. But so so so so true.