The Virtues of Marrying Older Sisters and Other Points of Benefit.
Due lack of Islamic resources/education, etc in the 80s/90s, a lot of us sisters grew up mainly with a secular model, only until we were at late stages of college/uni when we re-established our relationship with Islam. By this stage we have chosen our career/academic path...and were happily bobbing along, until we realised we had unwittingly become less and less sought after in the marital field....and slowly got labelled as 'ambitious', 'career-type', 'too independent', ' too fussy', 'too clever', 'can only read..but can't cook'.
So as the rejections pour in, what do we do...so not to let our grey matter shrivel...we hit the books some more...get a few more qualifications in the bag and make ourselves a new social order 'the unmarriagables'.
Joking aside, think of how many decent sisters you know, who are not married. I have watched this space steadily increase, as the years go by.
I don't think enough has been done/said to promote the virtues of this breed of sisters. So here is my little bit...to redress the balance.
-The maternal desire is no less in these sisters, in fact for many it is stronger, as they have waited longer than most.
-They have the wisdom of years, have achieved a lot for themselves, so are ready to sacrifice for their husband and kids, and due to more life opportunities and experiences have a lot to offer.
-Can be a companion for husband on an intellectual level, so he does not have to escape nappy talk to be with his educated friends, but rather appreciate his wife's company.
-Just because they have a career now, does not mean that they would not drop it (or modify it) to put their family first. Please ask, before you make assumptions based on their job title/qualifications. Most sisters in this situation that I know, are yearning to be a wife/mother, and realise this is where fulfillment is.
-Usually are less clingy, allowing their husband the breathing space he needs, and with some financial independence, put less pressure on him as the sole provider. He can feel confident that his children are in capable hands, should anything happen to him..n'authoo billah.
-Also ambitious women, become ambitious mothers for their kids, so rather than a negative trait, it is a driving force for the ummah. Educated women, promoting the next generation...is what we need for a respected, strong ummah.
-Motherhood in the 30s, can be less stressful, due to having more patience. And having the experience of others around us, so are more mentally prepared and willing for this new role!
These are generalisations, and do not ring true to all individuals, but is food for thought....with a credit crunch and ageing population looming, we may become popular once more.
Please dont get me wrong, I am not saying don't marry young...please do...
rather this is just a plea on behalf of our sisters who have been written off unnecessarily, they need to be considered as they have a lot to offer.
2. The Art Of Rejection.
Let's face it, most of us will face the prospect of being rejected/ or being the rejector at some point in our journey of finding a spouse.
This needs to be done with tact, and many do not know how. How many bros have been invited to a dinner to meet a prospective, and when he realised she wasn't his cuppa chai....he/his family failed to call to pass on this vital information. In the meanwhile, the sis is choosing baby names that will suit his surname.....heartbreaking stuff (us sisters can get carried away)!
So please, let people know in a reasonable amount of time in a reasonable way.
i.e. after about 1 week (so at least you seem like you have deliberated), and on the lines of ' it was lovely meeting your family, thankyou for the meal, I don't think they are a suitable match, however we will keep your daughter/son in mind if we come across anyone more suitable...jazakAllah khair.'
Wow..so easy, job done, relations in tact. This saves awkwardness/bitterness at next social gathering.
Just to illustrate the problem...consider this.
Sister A: age 30,
Profession - Medical Doctor
Height - tall
Brother A: age 30
Profession - Medical Doctor
born - UK
So the only variable is gender, yet due to society norms...look at the difference in possible potentials. Generally speaking...
Sister A could only consider someone older, taller, with a similar/higher education, someone also born/raised in UK, to understand her attitudes/role (we were raised in a different atmosphere which has moulded us, compared to our sisters in the sub-continent).
Brother B could consider someone up to 10 yrs younger perhaps, even someone older, someone significantly shorter or perhaps taller, someone less educated or perhaps same level, and someone from 'back home' as they make apparently more submissive/homely wives or they can choose from here.
As you can see, it's a boys market.
-Educating the parents, at a community level, pre-marital education, etiquettes in searching for a suitable spouse.
-Start looking earlier.
-Marital events for over 30s./ Professionals.
-Friends who are married should play an active role in thinking of their unmarried bros/sister, and play the matchmaker....it works....Nafeesa (ra)was a shining example, helping a twice-widowed older friend (our beloved mother Khadeejah-ra) marry our Nabi (saw).
-Maybe bros should consider a sister a few years older than him.
-If you are still not married in you late 20s/30s..then don't be shy/reserved, let people know, so they can look out for you...we are a caring ummah, no stigmas allowed!