Muslim families in America are facing a lot of challenges and difficulties on marriage. As Muslims move to the non-Muslims countries, they have to adapt the secular values and culture of Western states. The vibrancy and future integrity of Muslim kinship are in an alarming situation now. Some of the evidence are rising rate of separations, changes in ladies’ expectations, women participating in professional work and their increasing independence. It is high time the Muslim community should consider how marriages are organized, mindset towards divorce and perennial marital conflicts.
Nikkah is a legal marriage contract for Muslims. It is a vow between Allah SWT and themselves. It connects two people together in a relation of pure love, respect and responsibility. This religious commitment is couple’s declaration of giving all legitimate rights to one another. It is an Islamic point of view of marriage that has been totally changed in American Muslims. It has become staging a fairytale and showing off where the emphasis is on the wedding ceremony instead of Islamic essence of marriage. Marriage being one of the beautiful Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad PBUH must be practiced the way He represented to the world starting from the wedding ceremony and onwards.
The Muslims of America come from multiple ethnicities, so most of the weddings are vowed to form inter-racial marriages. The backgrounds could be different however, the young American Muslims share same American lifestyle of a millennial. Collectively, the institution of marriage is suffering in the same way it has been in the other parts of the world. Either he/she belongs to the upper class, middle or the lower class of the society –an American Muslim has to face multiple social pressures in his lifetime –and this has also affected the American Muslim marriages.
Women expectation, assumptions, and anticipations play a significant role in marital conflicts. These days’ women are getting higher education and qualified studies to work and earn in professional areas. It is the most common source of disagreement that arises after marriage as not all husbands approve it. Muslim husbands expect their wives to be at home and take care of their household and kids. Most of the American Muslim women are not used to this lifestyle and do not accept the ‘homely wife’ role. The unresolved tensions and lot of expectations cause the rift in a marital bond that ends in domestic violence.
Another issue is the racial differences that cause conflicts. American Muslim families hold multiple ethnical backgrounds and each holds their specific “domestic” environment. Couples find it difficult to adjust with each other due to this. A girl who belongs to an Afghani ethnical background could find it difficult to settle in with a Bengali boy as their living choices differs on huge scale.
Staying Married or Getting Divorced
Marriage is a whole institution. In an open society like America where marriage is taken as nothing but a legal agreement, the Muslim youth finds it really difficult to compromise and leave things for each other –they find separation far easy than anything. It has to be understood that causing conflicts within a couple is a satanic trap and it’s the first and foremost way of Satan to destroy humanity.
Islam calls for peacemaking and reconciliation and disfavors ending a marriage. Conflicting spouses are advised to solve their issues and try hard to save their marriage. If the nature of conflict is abusive and violent, then this relates to immiscible lifestyles and diverse religious practices. Both individuals are encouraged to change their ways and manners to accommodate one another. The family must play their role in reconciliation especially the elders. Marriage counseling is another way of getting help from the third party and seeking assistance.
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