An Arranged Marriage The Intimacy of an Islamic Courtship


When I tell my friends how I met my fiancée, they say I got the easy way out. Many of them tell me the tales of dating they have had to go through to win over their current life partners. Unlike the norm, I met my fiancé through a process more akin to one from a Jane Austin novel. I had met her while studying at UC Berkeley and was attracted by her character and her hijab. A few years later when my parents eventually asked me who I would like to marry, I told them of the angel I had met in college. My parents spoke to her parents, my parents visited her family, her family visited me; we all thought about and prayed on it, and before you knew it, we were engaged.

This Islamic courtship may seem to lack the type of intimacy that is commonplace in the dating scene. This is because Islam shuns premarital relations and extols intimacy in marital relations. The Qur’an describes the relationship between a husband and wife through the metaphor of a “garment”; they are a covering for you, and you a covering for them. The Prophet Muhammad is known to have said that the best among you is the one who is best among his wives, and he is also known to place his lips on the same outline where his wife may have drank from when sharing a glass. There are countless examples of intimacy in Islam, which blossoms during the spring of marriage.

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Osaama Saifi

Osaama Saifi Received his BA from UC Berkeley in economics and rhetoric in 2012, with honors. He has led various interfaith events and believes the pen should be means of bridging differences. Osaama will be attending law school in the fall.

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