R'11 Day Twenty-Eight: The Professional Shortlist

Once upon a time, a new baby girl was born. Her parents were over the moon with excitement about all the amazing prospects that lay ahead in their daughter's future. They were excited about her being a star student, an obedient and respectful daughter, and...a future wife to a rich doctor. 


"Oh, MY beta is going to marry a tall, dark and handsome doctor, and they'll have financial security for the rest of their lives, and live happily ever after in a four bedroom, three-car garage house with a walk-out basement in a nice neighbourhood! I'll be so proud of my beta for marrying a doctor...he'll be swift with a scalpel while flashing a dashing smile!"


So the beta grows up with this misconstrued belief that girls should seek out a doctor to marry, because of course, financial wealth and 'prestige' are THE most important characteristics in a marriage. The beta even refuses other very compatible prospects because they are not doctors...or lawyers...or engineers. She's even at a point where she will ask her female friends who are in medical school to hook her up with a male medical student. Because God forbid that she marry someone who isn't saving lives and returning home tired from saving lives and suturing with suave and finesse. 

Oh, gag me already! It's a sad day in the realm of Muslim marriages when girls are taught this deluded belief that they MUST marry one of a triple patty professional burger: Doctor, Lawyer, or Engineer. Or the DLE burger as I like to call it. Not only does this phenomenon narrow a girl's priorities down to finances and prestige, but it also seriously narrows the field of prospects she's looking at. Which is self-defeating.

I understand that parents want their daughters marrying someone who can GUARANTEE financial stability. And of course, some have an element of pride that needs buffing, and the DLE provides that. I mean, these are the parents who want to proudly say "My beta married a cardiac surgeon" versus "My beta married a umm...graphic...thingy...person. I guess what he does is...graphic?! Ha...ha...ha"

Don't get me wrong, I do understand the difference between marrying a DLE because that is what fate intended, and STALKING out medical or law students or hanging out downtown with corporate types. Even if the DLE has a personality equivalent to that of a cardboard box.

I remember reading a hadith (I can't recall which one!) in which a man approaches Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) about wanting to get married. The Prophet (PBUH) then asks him what he has to offer a prospective bride. After a series of questions, it seems as though the man has nothing of material wealth to offer, but he tells the Prophet (PBUH) that he has memorized verses of the Quran and holds that knowledge. The Prophet (PBUH) then encourages the man to seek out a wife and to offer that knowledge to her as the dowry.

Need I say more? (But I will, ha!)

There's a concept that some parents don't understand, and that is the fact that someone's profession doesn't not equate to the quality of spouse they will make. There could very well be a lawyer who meets all the superficial criteria parents look for in a potential spouse for their daughter...yet if he is solely driven by his job, doesn't have other balancing character traits, and barely dabbles in his religion, is his career really worth it?

And what the HECK is with this twisted image of what the word 'professional' means?! In my mind, a professional includes anyone who holds down a job that results in productivity. That includes NON-DLEs! Why can't this definition include men who work in the arts field, trades industry, hospitality services, or entrepreneurs? Why do men have to be shortlisted based on their knowledge of the human body, the law, and pipes and gas?

Personally, I'm NOT seeking out a DLE! (note: but if it turns out that way, then I'll accept fate, but I'm NOT seeking it out!). IN FACT, I would prefer someone outside of that realm since I crave uniqueness in profession. And in all honesty, I don't CARE what the brother does for a living since too many DLEs are one-dimensional, solely career driven, brush aside religious duties, and live in the here and now and not the future. Life is about balance, SubhanAllah!

So at the end of the day, I don't care per se about WHAT the guy does for a living...I prefer to focus on HOW the guy lives. Because we don't have long in this world. And eventually, what we do as a Muslim in this world is going to be our ticket to the hereafter.

So to all of the "DLE-hunting" parents out there, you may want to make a note of this...and set your daughters free! :)

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