Marrying an Ahmadi Muslim
When to start talking to your children about marrying an Ahmadi Muslim
Nasir Ahmad New Jersey
For those of us who grew up in Pakistan, talking to our children about marriage can be a daunting task, especially when they are very young. The reason for this most likely stems from a cultural hindrance rather than anything religious. There seems to exist a hesitation to broach this subject, when in fact, this should be a topic that parents and children can candidly discuss.
In general, all Ahmadi parents desire that their children marry an Ahmadi Muslim. Why is this important? This is because one of the main purposes of marriage is to have children, and to provide a stable and righteous environment for their upbringing. Marrying outside of the Jama’at poses a serious risk to the connection that one has to the Jama’at. Children born of such unions usually have little to no contact with the Jama’at. I believe that many of us have witnessed such examples within our family and friends.
As parents, we first need to cultivate a strong connection to Khilafat and the Jama’at ourselves. We must educate ourselves about Ahmadiyyat and the message of Promised Mesiah (may peace be on him). Children learn by example, and when they see that their parents have a deep love for the Jama’at, they will emulate the same connection. We must also be prepared to answer their countless questions, either drawing on personal knowledge or utilizing various Jama’at resources. They should never be made to feel as if they are not allowed to ask questions. Once they establish this connection to the Jama’at, through both examples and open discussions, they then themselves will want to maintain it for their own families. They will come to realize that in order to minimize the risk of having their children going astray, they must marry an Ahmadi Muslim.
My eldest child is 8 years old. My wife and I have already had discussions with him regarding marriage. We have discussed that nationality and ethnicity are irrelevant as long as the girl is an Ahmadi Muslim. He understands that this is the single most important condition that must be met. Are we going to stop talking to him about this topic? No. Rather, the discussion on this topic will become more frequent as he grows older and gets exposed to the risks of our society.
In order to inspire our children, as parents, we need to be a role model for our children. We must make sure that our own marriage is strong and healthy. We should offer congregational Salat at our homes, and nurture an environment of going to Jama’at meetings and Jalsahs together. Both the husband and wife working within the system of the Jama’at in some capacity can be an added bonus. Once our children observe us doing that, they will realize that the chance of success of a marriage is much higher when both spouses belong to the same faith and have same religious beliefs and goals. If we are able to instill this belief in them, then they will automatically be convinced when time comes for spousal selection. Last but not the least, we must pray for steadfastness of our children and their next generations.