Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
This article is in response to a request I received from a young friend to clear the confusion created by the widespread cultural doctrine of marriage made in Heaven.
If one concedes that marriage is made in Heaven, one must also concede that every aspect of one’s life is made in Heaven, after all Qadar (Predestination) covers all of one’s life.
We have been taught by the Messenger of Allah that Allah will make our path smooth towards our destination. We are taught that we do not give up striving towards what is best for us on account of Qadar.
In essence, Qadar does not encourage passive or forced existence where one’s life is a series of accidental encounters or impositions.
If we assume, momentarily, for the purpose of this article that marriage is made in Heaven, how does an individual become aware that a particular person is her/ his “made-in-Heaven” spouse?
There are a few options:
a) One receives Revelation from Allah.
Anyone who claims that she/ he has communications with Allah or through an Angel has disbelieved in Allah and Muhammad.
b) One is insane.
Such a person needs a room in a mental ward.
c) One arbitrarily imposes one’s choice of spouse on another in order to mislead the other through the path of misery, insisting that one’s choice is Allah’s Choice.
This is an even more dangerous form of madness, as the result is forced marriage, a common feature of certain Muslim communities.
Forced marriage remains – and will remain – common as long as Muslims prefer deception to decency, misery to mercy and coercion to choice.
Forced marriage is the outcome of a worse form of mental disorder, as no one loses sleep over imposing or misleading others into marriage.
One either voluntarily marries an unsuitable person to the excitement of the community or the community exercises its “made-in-Heaven” right to impose a horrible spouse on one, for the good of the society, of course – the society of imbeciles, yes.
Should a woman or girl be forced into a marriage, she reserves the right to annul that marriage. 
d) One prays to Allah for direction on whom to marry and one scrutinizes one’s interests to discover compatibility and mutual understanding. Until one is comfortable with an interest, one remains single and keeps one’s options open.
Frequently, one may love one’s interest. However, one’s senses are at alert to the exploitations, excesses, indifference and insensitivity of the interest towards one’s feelings.
In this case, it is best to pray to Allah fervently and sincerely to keep one’s heart and brain in conformity to what is best for one. Soon, Allah will unify one’s love and intellect and one finds the courage to end the unhealthy desire for an unhealthy spouse.
On the other hand, should one choose to ignore the warnings from the intellect that Allah has bestowed on one, and proceed into a marriage with an incompatible spouse, how is that miserable marriage made in Heaven, when Heaven is bliss?
Where does Allah’s Will, marriage made in Heaven, coincide with human will?
The response is simple – when the human capacity, right and freedom of choice is accurately actualized.
Allah, in the Qur’an, and His Messenger, though his Sunnah (Practices) explained to us and delineated whom we can and cannot marry as well as whom we should desire to marry. These are the clearest evidences that marriage is based on the right choice and not on some imaginary wedding in Heaven.
Allah and His Messenger endowed us with the right of choice over a range of Halal and eligible spouses. 
One is to marry a single person . One must not lust after other people’s wives. Unfortunately, the society of imbeciles has produced creatures who readily bed married women, and married women who seek pleasure in the arms of another man.
Why were we taught by Allah and His Messenger the principles of choosing a spouse if we have no say in whom we marry? If marriage was made in Heaven as alleged by some Muslims, why were we informed we must never marry our parents?
Why did the Messenger of Allah order the execution of any man who marries his father’s ex-wife? Why execute a man when his marriage to his father’s former wife was signed in Heaven?
Why did Umar, the second Khaliph, order his son AbdAllah Ibn Umar to divorce his wife  if Ibn Umar’s marriage to her was made in Heaven?
Why did the Messenger of Allah and his male and female Companions divorce their spouse if Allah had authorized their marriage? Did they instead desire a marriage made on earth? Or perhaps one made in Hell?
Why revolt against same-sex marriage if the marriage of a man to another man was made in Heaven? Why execute both husband and man-wife when their marriage was approved in Heaven?
Why? Why? Why hold humanity responsible for our marriage when the one we marry is destined in Heaven?
Or is our spouse really destined in Heaven?
The Messenger of Allah dreamt he would marry Aishah and reasoned that should the dream be from Allah, Aishah will become his wife. 
In other words, if this dream is a Revelation, it will come true. As Revelation has now ended, one might say, if the dream was a small part of Prophethood, Allah will make it come true. Many people have dreams which become a reality.
Before the individual can gladly look forward to the realisation of the dream, one must first be pleased with the content of the dream. If one is pleased with the idea of marrying the person presented in one’s dream, as is the case of the Prophet, one hopes for it to come true.
What if one is uncomfortable with the individual presented in one’s dream? Well, the dream is first called a nightmare. As with all nightmares, one seeks refuge with Allah, lightly spits thrice to one’s left and changes sleeping position, so that the nightmare does not become real.
What if one’s nightmare of a spouse becomes a reality? What if one marries into a nightmare of a marriage? Pray hard for Allah to make a way out of the nightmare. Be displeased with the nightmare of a marriage. Seek help from those who care.
Note that unlike many other Muslims who say one should sit tight in a nightmare under the pretext that Allah tests those whom He loves, I advocate for the precise opposite for the simple reason that if one wishes to sit tight, Allah may make that possible and the nightmare continues.
Moreover, even if Allah presents a way out one is most likely to reject it, as one is already determined to sit tight and continue to experience the nightmare.
In addition, if one is not displeased with the nightmare, why call it a nightmare? Why seek refuge with Allah when the nightmare is a demonstration of Allah’s Love?
The truth is that:
a) Allah tests those He loves.
b) Allah does not wish difficulties for those He loves.
c) Allah answers the prayers of those He loves.
d) Allah makes a way out of distress for those He loves.
In essence, Allah tests those He loves and He grants them the best of this world and the next.
There are a few hallmarks of Allah’s Love that are often underestimated or deactivated.
In another discussion between Aishah and her spouse the Messenger of Allah, Aishah asked her loving husband whether he would rather graze his camels on the fresh leaves of a fresh tree or on the leaves of an old tree. The Messenger of Allah responded he would prefer the fresh tree. 
Fresh tree here refers to a virgin girl, of which Aishah was, and an old tree is a previously married woman. All the other wives of the Prophet were of the latter.
Again, two options were presented and the Prophet chose the one that delighted him.
The Prophet dreamt of Aishah becoming his wife. He attributed the dream to Allah if it comes true. Now, did Allah go to Abu Bakr to seek Aishah’s hand on behalf of the Messenger of Allah?
This is precisely what the average Muslim believes and expects – that Allah’s Will means Allah has to do the act Himself, while the individual sits arms folded.
If it is Allah’s Will that a problem be solved, Allah solves it. Humans should not. If it is Allah’s Will that one marries a particular spouse, one need not seek the means to make that dream a reality.
The reality is that the Messenger of Allah approached Abu Bakr to make that dream a reality.  If Abu Bakr had turned him down, we would have had a different history to narrate.
Instead, Abu Bakr married his young daughter Aishah to the Prophet, making the dream both the Prophet’s will and action and Allah’s Will, not to mention Abu Bakr’s will, as both the Prophet and Abu Bakr exercised their will and choice to offer and accept a marriage proposal.
The choice to accept or reject a marriage proposal applies to all Muslims. When Muslim exiles from Mekkah arrived in Medinah and in order to assist the new residents, Sa’d offered to divorce one of his wives so that Abdur-Rahman Ibn Auf could marry her. The latter turned down the offer, went into business and later married another woman. 
Here, one man made an offer; another turned it down, and instead went to get a woman of his taste. Marriage is based on the right choice of spouse and personal interest in that spouse.
Some of the Sahaba (Companions) of the Prophet were extremely poor to afford marriage and some, for instance, Abu Hurayrah sought permission to castrate themselves in order to avoid engaging in lewd sexual acts. The Prophet’s response was:
“Oh Abu Hurayrah! The Pen has dried after writing what you are going to confront. So it does not matter whether you get yourself castrated or not.” 
Abu Hurayrah’s actions are attributed to Qadar. Whatever he does is Predestined, meaning if he went ahead and castrated himself, his action is already known to Allah and if he chose not to castrate himself, his choice is also known to Allah.
To explain this within marriage perspective, if one deliberately chooses to marry the wrong person in the delusion that one can change that individual to a better person, one’s choice is known to Allah. If one chooses to marry someone who pleases one, Allah is aware of that, as well.
Another meaning is that regardless of whether Abu Hurayrah castrates himself or not, he may still later get married. He did later get married. AlHamduliLlah (Praise be to Allah) his reproductive package was still intact for the pleasure of him and his wife.
The last and most conclusive evidence presented in this article is Allah’s Words
Marry women of your choice. 
This Ayah is clear and explicitly bestows the choice of spouse on the individual.
Among one’s range of choice of spouses is a believer who presents her/ himself for marriage. 
We have made lawful for you … a believing woman if she offers herself to you provided the Prophet wishes to marry her. 
The above Ayah is directly addressed to the Messenger of Allah and applies to all Muslims. Marriage is based on mutual choice and mutual attraction.
There is no such thing as marriage destiny or marriage made in Heaven, unless one is Prophet Muhammad or Zainab, our mother and the wife of the Messenger of Allah. Theirs was the only marriage that is known to be made in Heaven.
Zainab Bint Jahsh, a high-class woman, was previously married to the Messenger of Allah’s freed slave Zaid Ibn Harithah. She was unhappy, however the Prophet urged both Zaid and Zainab to settle their differences and remain married.
To add to the complexity, the Messenger of Allah, before his commission as the last Prophet of Allah, had taken Zaid as his adopted son, in effect establishing a relationship similar to a father-son relationship with the implication that as in a father-son relationship neither the Prophet nor Zaid could marry the other’s ex-wife.
Allah nullified that relationship and restored Zaid’s lineage to his biological father. Thenceforth, adopted children were ascribed to their biological father and their adoptive parents were exempt from ties similar to that of blood relationship.
Marriage between the Messenger of Allah and Zainab Bint Jahsh was lawful and Allah Himself conducted the handing over:
And when Zaid has completed his obligations (of divorce), We marry her to you. 
 Saheeh Bukhari. Volume 7, Book 62 The Book Of Marriage, Number 69.
Khansa bint Khidam Al-Ansariya narrated that her father gave her in marriage when she was a previously married woman. She disliked that marriage, so she went to the Messenger of Allah and he declared that marriage invalid. [The same rule applies to virgin girls married against their will.]
 Surah An-Nisaa’: 24 (Chapter 4: 24)
All others are lawful for you.
[The preceding Aayaat 22 and 23 plus the initial part of Ayah 24 educate Muslim men on which women are forbidden to them for marriage. Substitute male equivalents for each of the female categories and the result is the list of those women must not marry.]
 Surah An-Nuur: 32 (Chapter 24: 32)
And marry the single ones among you.
[A single woman can marry an already married man.]
 No parent possesses the automatic right to repeat this.
 Saheeh Bukhari. Volume 7, Book 62, Number 15.
Aishah narrated: The Messenger of Allah said (to me), “You have been shown to me twice in (my) dreams. A man was carrying you in a silk cloth and said to me, ‘This is your wife’. I uncovered it, and behold it was you. I said to myself, ‘If this dream is from Allah, He will cause it to come true.’”
 Saheeh Bukhari. Volume 7, Book 62, Number 14.
Aishah narrated: I said, “Oh Messenger of Allah! Suppose you landed in a valley where there is a tree of which something has been eaten and then you found trees of which nothing has been eaten, on which tree would you let your camel graze?” He said, “(I will let my camel graze) on the one of which nothing has been eaten before.” (The sub-narrator added: Aishah meant that the Messenger of Allah had not married a virgin besides herself .)
 Saheeh Bukhari. Volume 7, Book 62, Number 18.
Ursa narrated: The Prophet asked Abu Bakr for Aishah’s hand in marriage. Abu Bakr said, “But I am your brother.” The Prophet said, “You are my brother in Allah’s Religion and His Book, but she (Aishah) is lawful for me to marry.”
 Saheeh Bukhari. Volume 7, Book 62, Number 10.
Anas Ibn Malik narrated: Abdur-Rahman Ibn Auf came (from Mekkah to Medinah) and the Prophet made a bond of brotherhood between Abdur-Rahman and Sad Ibn Ar-Rabi’ Al-Ansari. Al-Ansari had two wives, so he suggested that Abdur-Rahman take half of his wives and property.
Abdur-Rahman replied, “May Allah bless you with your wives and property. Kindly show me the market.” So Abdur-Rahman went to the market and made a profit of some dried yoghurt and some butter.
After a few days, the Prophet saw Abdur-Rahman with some yellow stains on his clothes and asked him, “What is that, Oh Abdur-Rahman?” He replied, “I have married an Ansari woman.”
 Saheeh Bukhari. Volume 7, Book 62, Number 13.
Abu Hurayrah narrated: I said, “Oh Messenger of Allah! I am a young man and I am afraid that I may commit illegal sexual intercourse and I cannot afford to marry.”
The Messenger of Allah kept silent, and I repeated my question once again, but he kept silent. I said the same (for the third time) and he remained silent. Then repeated my question (for the fourth time), and only then did the Prophet said, “Oh Abu Hurayrah! The Pen has dried after writing what you are going to confront. So (it does not matter whether you) get yourself castrated or not.”
 Surah An-Nisaa’:3 (Chapter 4:3)
 Saheeh Bukhari. Volume 7, Book 62, Number 48.
Hisham’s father narrated: Khaula Bint Hakim was one of those ladies who presented themselves to the Prophet for marriage. Aishah said, “Doesn’t a lady feel ashamed for presenting herself to a man?” But, when the Ayah: “(Oh Muhammad) You may postpone the turn of any of your wives that you please,” (33:51) was revealed, Aishah said, “Oh Messenger of Allah! I do not see, but that your Lord hurries in pleasing you.”
Volume 7, Book 62, Number 53.
Thabit Al-Banani narrated: I was with Anas while his daughter was present with him. Anas said, “A woman came to the Messenger of Allah and presented herself to him, saying, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, have you any need for me (i.e. would you like to marry me)?’”
Thereupon Anas’s daughter said, “What a shameless lady she was! Shame! Shame!” Anas said, “She was better than you. She had a liking for the Prophet, so she presented herself for marriage to him.”
Volume 7, Book 62, Number 24.
Sahl Ibn Sad As-Sa’idi narrated: A woman came to the Messenger of Allah and said, “Oh Messenger of Allah! I have come to give you myself in marriage.”
The Messenger of Allah looked at her. He looked at her carefully and fixed his glance on her and then lowered his head. When the lady saw that he did not say anything, she sat down.
A man from his Companions got up and said, “Oh Messenger of Allah! If you are not in need of her, then marry her to me.” The Prophet said, “Go, I marry her to you for that part of the Qur’an which you have memorised and understood.”
[Note that the Messenger of Allah did not marry any of these women. It was his choice to decide whom to marry, as is ours.]
 Surah Al-Ahzab: 50 (Chapter 33:50)
 Surah Al-Ahzab: 37 (Chapter 33:37)