(Are you or someone you know afraid of getting married? This fear, known as gamophobia, can have negative impacts on a person’s mental health, well-being, and relationships. It can cause anxiety, depression, loneliness, and isolation. In this article, we will explore help and support from the Qur’an and Sunnah for those who suffer from gamophobia and address the underlying causes and factors that contribute to this fear. Regardless of your background, culture, or religion, this article aims to offer guidance and understanding for those who struggle with gamophobia, particularly in the Muslim community.)

Gamophobia is the term used to describe the fear of marriage and social commitment. It is a condition that affects people of all backgrounds, cultures, and religions, including the Muslim community. 

Islamic Marriages Are Sources of Peace and Tranquillity – A Guarantee Offered By the Qur’an 

“And among His signs are, He created from you, your mates so that you may find solace in them. He made Mawwadah (love) and Rahma (mercy) between you. In this is a sign for the people who understand.” [Surah Rum: 21]

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“And He has made for you spouses and from your own kind and from spouses he has made for you children and Hafadha ( delightful grandchildren). And we provide good provision. Will you still believe in falsehood and reject the blessings of Allah.” [Surah Nahl:72]

If you read the above two verses together, it announces the benefits of having a spouse and rejection of gamophobia. 

  1. You get solace from the company of a spouse. 
  2. Mawaddah (affectionately love) and mutual mercy between the couple is made by Allah.
  3. Children and grandchildren are a source of delight.
  4. Provision is provided by Allah even for the spouses. One should not prioritize financial achievements as a condition for marriage, but maintain trust in Allah. 
  5. Gamophobia, childless families, delayed marriages and a life of a spinster is a false way of life that is deprived of joy and togetherness.
  6. Rejecting family life and marriage is a rejection of the blessings of Allah. 

Let us analyze some of the possible reasons for gamophobia among Muslims.

Lack of Religious Understanding

Being in touch with Religious teaching and scholars is a form of counseling. The Qur’an and the Seerah of the Prophet (ﷺ) is full of family guidelines that can help decide and sort out marital issues. Identifying yourself as a Muslim is not enough, but you also need to take your solutions from the Quran and the Sunnah and apply them. Knowing each other’s rights is more beneficial than just searching for our own rights and ignoring the rights of spouses and inlaws. Keep learning from your seniors. The difference between being in the company of a book and in the company of a scholar is that the scholar explains the book and ways of implementing it as per the Sunnah. You can interact with the scholar but not with the book. That is why Allah sent Prophets along with the Books.  

“Just as We have sent among you a messenger from yourselves reciting to you Our verses and purifying you and teaching you the Book and wisdom and teaching you that which you did not know.” [Surah Al Baqarah: 151]

Traumatic Experiences

Witnessing or experiencing abusive, unhappy, or failed marriages in families or social circles can make you fearful of repeating the same mistakes or suffering the same consequences. However, no two destinies are similar to others. Allah has created each person with such a difference that even the fingerprints do not match. Compare the struggles of Prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) when he was taken away from the well and had to live a difficult life without his parents. He also had to go to jail while his siblings lived in comfort. Later he became a ruler and his siblings depended upon him. There are multiple such narratives in the Qur’an of varying destinies, and they also have lessons. 

“Indeed in their stories are lessons for those who understand.” [Surah Yusuf:111]

Mistaken Priorities

If you prioritize your independence, freedom, and career more than your marriage, and you do not want to compromise or sacrifice your goals and aspirations for the sake of a relationship, then think of your future after a few decades when you will be old. People who start their marital life late will have to earn for their children when they are old. People who marry at the right age have children grow up and graduate even before they cross fifty. Such children begin to earn for themselves and get married and have their own children who become your grandchildren when you still have the health to play with them. 

Lack of Emotional Intelligence

It is the ability to understand feelings or a situation from a non-biased attitude. Emotional intelligence helps you to manage your emotions and understand the perspective of other people without getting agitated or restless. The Book of Allah promises a raised intelligence if it is studied and implemented properly. 

“We have revealed this Qur’an in Arabic so that you may gain Intelligence.” [Surah Yusuf:2]

The Arabic phrase in the above verse is “La’alakum Ta’qiloon,” means: So that you may gain intelligence. However, emotional intelligence should not be taken as permission for a free ride and freedom to do anything.  Shaykh Muhammad al-‘Uthaymeen said, “If emotions are not restrained by Islamic principles or rationality, it can fall to a tempest and cause considerable chaos and profound disorder, with its harm more than any benefit.” (Tafseer Surah al-Fātihah: Page 93)

Impractical Social and Cultural Expectations

Some people may find the process of marriage – such as finding a suitable partner, meeting the approval of their families and communities, fulfilling their religious and cultural duties, and raising children – overwhelming and difficult. Yes, marriage has become difficult, but then every good act has to face some hurdles. Yet Islamic marriages can be performed in a simple manner as well. It is the impractical expectations from the ‘spouses to be’ which make the marriage rituals difficult.

Good looks, money, influence and a big house have become standard parameters for qualification, although the majority of youth are average or below average in each of the categories mentioned above. This generates social and financial insecurity in the minds of youth and so gamophobia takes over.  Islam places the religious nature of a person as a prime qualification for the selection of a spouse. 

“Marry those of you that are single, (whether men or women), and those of your male and female slaves that are righteous. If they are poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty. Allah is Immensely Resourceful, All-Knowing.” [Surah An-Nur:32]

The above verse includes three important commands and an assurance, emphasizing how beneficial and essential marriage is for society:

  1. Singles (men or women) should get married.
  2. Even the slaves should get married. Allah gives a guarantee of provision.
  3. Priority is to be given to religiously sound and upright candidates. 
  4. Taqwa is preferred and good provision is guaranteed, “If they are poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty,” and looks are set aside.

Influence of Liberal Celebrities

Social media and glossy magazines have sparkling colorful stories of celebrities who remain unmarried and rich until their death. However, what they do not mention is how many of them die lonely with only maids or a couple of dogs as their company in the last moments of life. Do not get cheated by such illusions. Allah has gifted humans with spouses and marriage through a legal bond, and He teaches us to be tolerant towards the shortcomings of the spouses while enjoying the companionship of a family. 

“And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s path. They follow nothing but conjecture, and they do nothing but lie.” [Surah Al-An’am: 116]

Get Counseled by Those Who Are Sound in Religious Knowledge

Islamic counseling is done by those who have grown up in the company of seniors, wise people who have studied a lot of books and who are people of sound knowledge. They will provide you with good advice with references from the Qur’an and the Seerah. Many Companions used to go and take advice from the senior Companions, like Abu Bakr and ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with them). ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him) would send someone to ‘Aishah (Allah be pleased with them both) to obtain her advice on certain matters. 

The Qur’an also encourages mutual consultation.

“And those who obeyed the command of their Lord and established prayer and their affairs are decided by mutual consultation.” [Surah As-Shura: 38]

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, 

The religion is good advice.” (Sahih Muslim: 55) 

Therefore do not hesitate to seek advice from your seniors. 

Trust Allah

“And when you have decided, then rely upon Allāh. Indeed, Allāh loves those who rely upon Him.” [Surah Al e Imran:159]

The above verse encourages you to decide firmly about good things you want to do without any fear, and to rely solely upon Allah.

The fear of marriage and social commitment is a common issue that many people face. By taking the time to understand your fears and work through them with the help of advice given in this article, you can overcome gamophobia and find happiness in a committed relationship. Remember, it is never too late to start working on yourself and your relationships

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Nisaar Nadiadwala

Previously a visiting university faculty member in both Malaysia and Tanzania, Nisaar Nadiadwala is presently based in the UAE as a trainer in Public Speaking and Communication Skills. As a consultant and a coach in the field of Public Speaking, panel discussions, news debates, and in anchoring Radio-TV-Podcast shows, he has helped people to build their careers through polishing their skills in making presentations. Besides being an award-winning speech maker, he has received the honorable title of Top Writer on Quora in 2018 and continues to retain that position: https://www.quora.com/search?q=Nisaar+Nadiadwala In regard to his socio-religious contributions, Nisaar focuses on family issues from an Islamic perspective, trying to cover every segment of the family. His special attention remains the tarbiyah of teenagers, for which he is invited to many Islamic Schools as a consultant and as a speaker on the teenage period of life. He relates his work to the grooming of adolescents, motivating them to adopt the Islamic way of life through his TV series, articles and workshops in community schools. His latest release is an E-book Teen's Deen - a collection of short stories for teenagers - published by www.themuslimfamily.net He has hosted his Pre-Marriage Preparatory Workshop in many cities of India and abroad. His book, I want to marry, but …, is the talk of the community in the desi crowd. Mr. Nadiadwala trains both online and in person through his course packages. He can be contacted at: Nisaar Nadiadwala [mnisaar@gmail.com].

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