License to Wed Muslim couples need to weigh legal issues entailed by married life. By Aneesah and Zarinah Nadir
ady of Justice may be blind, but when entering into marriage, our eyes should be wide open. In good times and bad, situations
arise in daily life that can strain even the strongest relationships. Are we prepared to deal with them? Life happens and we must exercise faith and reliance on God. But it
also behooves us to be proactive and arm ourselves with the appropriate education and resources to handle the unexpected. There are many critical issues couples should consider before marriage. Instead, they are oftentimes more consumed with the planning of a wedding, buying the perfect dress, or worrying about who to invite than discussing those issues that have a long-term effect on the marriage. Along with a lack of preparation among Muslims for common marital issues—such as communication, finances, parenting and intimacy—couples are rarely equipped to address the legalities that arise out of married life. In America, it is important to understand ways the law impacts you as an individual, as a married couple and as a parent.
Identify and Acquire the Skills Healthy marriages require spiritual development, communication and relationship building skills, parenting skills, financial management skills, family health and wellness education, as well as opportunities to discuss mutual and divergent expectations. Even seemingly trivial matters, like who will do the dishes, take out the trash and which in-laws will be visited for Eid, need to be sorted out. Views on halal meat, music and madhahab (schools of thought) need a fair discussion as couples determine their compatibility and how they will manage differing views on these subjects. As part of the Islamic Social Services Association’s Sakinah Healthy Marriage Initiative, in partnership with the Muslim
One subject that receives little to no attention, but can have serious consequences throughout the marriage, is a couple’s understanding of the American legal system.
Islamic Horizons January/February 2012