Marriage has always been one of the most crucial points in the lives of every man and woman, regardless of religion, caste, creed or especially age. I say especially age because age has become a huge factor in marriage.
Talking about the Muslim community in general, younger girls are being married off to older men because age in the case of men is thought to represent a balanced man, well settled and having an income which could comfortably support their partner and the future family.[irp]
In the case of women, however, age, somehow doesn’t mean a well-balanced, matured woman, but rather seems to denote a woman who has only lost. Lost her young beauty, lost her ability to be desired and also somehow become less fertile than her younger self.
If we take the best example given to us in this regard, it would definitely be from the Holy Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). Throughout his life, He has always led by example, and similarly, in the case of age and marriage.
The Prophet laid down a clear-cut example when he married to Hazrat Khadija bint Khuwaylid R.A when the Prophet was 25 years old and She was 40, having been married previously. If older women were so undesirable according to the modern standards, why did the Prophet (PBUH) marry an older woman?
However, it seems as if not all men think in accordance with the modern marriage conditions of “younger is better”. In accordance to a survey, 77.3 percent of the young men in the Kingdom are willing to marry women who are divorcees.
Additionally, 67.2 percent are ready to marry widows; whereas 74.6 percent of the young men have no problem in marrying an older spinster. This survey had been conducted at the Charitable Society for Marriage and Family Counseling based out of Jeddah.
Commenting on the results of the survey, a senior official of the society, Mohammed Matbouli, stated that there is a perspective held by those women who are either spinsters, widows or divorced. He laid great stress upon the fact that this modern view is completely contrary to the religion of Islam and is not in line with any of the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH).
He also emphasized that the women who are divorced enjoy all of the legal, social and humanitarian rights. He also pointed out to the fact that several of the young men have marital convictions which are objective. This he attributed to an increased awareness and an education impact.
He added that there are however still a few young men still have these installed negative tendencies which have arisen from certain of the communal environmental effects. The entire community has a responsibility upon them, to protect all women whenever they can and to give them a chance to start a new life.
Personally, I think that education is the best tool to get rid of such a mindset, which is prevalent in the Muslim world.
Source: Arab News