I was searching the internet yesterday and was researching the topic of marriage and the Muslim family and was brought to a forum where the question was asked “why do reverts get married at younger ages than born Muslims?”
The people in the discussion form had different theories, some of them on point and some of them off, one of those that I agreed with is that in the case of the sisters, especially if they are good looking, the brothers swarm on them like bees on honey as soon as they step foot in the Masjid.
What was not mentioned is something that is fairly obvious to me; most of us converts were sexually active from a young age and do not look forward to going any length of time without sex.
When a young American man takes shahadah, who like me had been sexually active since the age of 12, the biggest Fitnah we have is remaining celebrant because this is something we have not done since puberty, and most of the convert brothers I know never touched pork or alcohol but they got some on the down low after they were Muslim and before they were married, the Fitnah is that big for the brothers. I cannot speak for the sisters in this matter, but I do know this; it is unrealistic to expect women who have been promiscuous and flirtatious in the jahiliya to all of the sudden start acting like they are uncomfortable with sex and being around men ( unless they are just putting an act on) and I am sure that desire for a man, which has been met before, does not leave them after becoming Muslim.
What kind of an environment does this create at Masjids full of converts? Masjids where all the brothers are sitting around talking about how they got to get married or they are going to explode and asking everybody they know if they know of any sisters looking to get married, and sisters sitting around saying “girl, you better not marry him”. I know, because I have been there myself. With all of the rush to get married these Muslims often end-up in stranger marriages or just the first warm body to come along no matter how incompatible the other person may be out of a sense of desperation (been there too).
Now, while I encourage Muslims getting married young who were born Muslims, I have seen too many problems to encourage people getting married who are brand new Muslims. The new Muslim needs a time to Islamize their selves and their lifestyle before making that leap and the Muslim community should help them in this effort.
Most large Masjids have classes for new Muslims, or classes dealing with basic Islamic education that cater to converts, and it is not uncommon for me to hear brothers telling me they attend such classes looking for women, and they say this in a whispering tone. I do not see the need for a whisper.
Getting Muslims together for marriage should be one of the main purposes of such classes. Brothers and sisters should not be embarrassed if that is one of the reasons they have for attending such functions where they know they will meet fellow Muslims of a similar interest. Such a class can be the foundation, and the next step can be if the teachers see two that may be interested in one another, or two they feel are suited for one another, to transfer them to a separate class that should be created on Islamic marriage for couple interested in getting married.
If we are going to have such classes in the Masjid shouldn’t this be one of them? If marriage is half the deen doesn’t the believer need some instruction in this matter? These classes could be taught in a two-fold way, the first half being the fiqh and the Sunnah of marriage, and the second half being married Muslim couples who are happy in their marriages coming in and giving practical advice- and after 15 years of being a Muslim I am still in need of such a class!
Or do we just wait until the couple is getting ready to have a divorce to have a counseling session or when these brothers and sisters are going crazy because they can’t find a spouse to chastise them when we have done nothing to help them?