Speak to any revert sister for some time and you will no doubt end up asking whether she is married and if so, where her husband comes from. If she is not married, you may find yourself suggesting: “I know a good brother who is looking for a wife”. For some reason it seems that revert sisters are easy prey for a quick marriage match. There are no cultural family details to see to, no need for a large mahr, no real need for a Wali because after all, the brother will be doing her a big favour; marriage is half her deen after all. Within a short space of time the sister can be happily married!
Imagine four years down the line and you happen to meet that same sister in the masjid with two young toddlers climbing all over her, looking worn down and tearful. She tells you that the practicing brother turned out to be controlling and verbally abusive, always putting her down and comparing her to women of his own culture. As for her in-laws, they never accepted her and her children and the ties of Muslim family kinship she had dreamt of were non-existent. Her own family were bitterly disappointed in her, and the relationship between them and their new son-in-law was always uncomfortable. As things went spiralling downhill, she had nowhere to turn. Having lost her identity, her self confidence and self esteem, she was now stuck in a marriage that she would never have chosen had she been given time to think carefully about Muslim marriage.
Sadly this is not an unusual situation and Solace, a charity supporting revert sisters in difficulty, finds that a large percentage of their work involves serious marital issues. It is also not unknown for Solace to receive calls from well meaning brothers, offering to support a revert sister by marrying her. They have no idea of the complexities of her situation, whether it be problems she has brought into Islam from a difficult background, or stresses she has experienced after reverting, but they see marriage as the perfect solution to all her difficulties.
“Solace in Marriage” is a new comprehensive marriage service set up by Solace. It will provide FOUR essential services to revert sisters, and also to those wishing to marry them, in order to protect, support and nurture their futures, inshaAllah.
- Pre-marriage courses for revert sisters
- Pre-marriage courses for men wishing to marry a revert sister
- Wali Panel consisting of a panel of mature Muslim men and women that act as a ‘surrogate Muslim father’ for revert sisters – vetting the potential husband
2) Seeking Marriage
- Upon successful completion of the pre-marriage course, men and reverts can search for a spouse via our carefully designed Solace Matrimonial database
- A nikah service with special provision for educating non-Muslim family members and ensuring they are comfortable with the Islamic marriage process
3) In Marriage
- First year of marriage support packages for revert sisters
- Marriage counselling
- Couple retreats
4) After Marriage
- Support for divorced revert sisters
- Provisions for single mothers and their children
- Remarriage guidance and support
The Solace marriage service will be a new way forward for sisters and brothers to enter, or re-enter, into a marriage which is shaped by guidance and support from the very start. It will embrace the whole family, ensuring that non-Muslim family members are helped to understand and be a part of their daughter’s future. It will aim to strengthen and develop the new family unit, build on the foundations of Islam. And for those sisters for whom re-marriage is not yet written by Allah, it will give them the confidence and strength to rebuild their lives and those of their children.
CASE STUDY 1: Sakina* was a new revert with a soft nature. When she was approached by a sister after the prayers one day, saying her brother needed a wife, Sakina thought it would be good to have a practising brother as her guide and support. However her parents didn’t even know she had reverted yet, as she didn’t yet feel confident to tell them. So when she explained she was going to marry a Muslim, they were shocked and upset, and refused to come to the wedding. Sakina hadn’t yet made any Muslim friends so on her wedding day she was taken to the ladies section of a mosque where some unfamiliar women were gathered. She had no idea what was happening and where her future husband was. After half an hour her sister-in-law announced that she was now married and that they were leaving. Sakina was left feeling confused and upset. Even though her marriage worked out, she still looks back to her wedding with sadness and regret that her family weren’t involved and that it hadn’t been a joyful occasion for her.
CASE STUDY 2: Laila* had been looking for a husband for some time but as a single mother of three sons it was proving difficult. She eventually met a brother online who sounded understanding of her situation. Her non Muslim family disapproved and sisters warned her of the dangers of online services. She did go to her local mosque to ask the Imam if he could be her Wali but he apologised and said he was too busy. By this time she was getting to know the brother better and felt it would be fine to go ahead. They met twice and he seemed keen to marry quickly and knew a friend who was an Imam. With two other friends as witnesses, the marriage went ahead. However only three weeks after they wed, he suddenly decided the marriage wasn’t working for him and left her that weekend with nothing but a text message…Talaq, Talaq, Talaq….
* The case studies in this article are typical of the type of situations sisters who come to Solace for support find themselves in. However, names and circumstances have been altered for confidentiality reasons.
To register your interest and to provide support for this exciting new marriage service, please visit: https://www.solaceuk.org/solace-in-marriage/