100 QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU GET MARRIED
These 100 questions are from the website http://www.haqislam.org/pre-marital-questions/. Here are my answers. Before you get married do yourself a favor and work through these questions and offer them to your intended. If they are not prepared to do it then that is a red flag as to the level of their co-operation and sincerity. It also means that if you hit problems they are unlikely to be prepared to go for counselling. The questions are intended for Muslims or people who are going to marry Muslims - but many of the questions could apply equally to everyone.
1. What is your concept of marriage?
A: I believe in building a partnerhip. I expect 100 per cent physical faithfulness from my spouse.
2 and 3. Have you been married before? Are you married now?
A: email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for these answers.
4. What are your expectations of marriage?
A: My expectations are that it takes two to build a good marriage and I expect both to treat it like building a business. Ideally we should be working together in a business or I should not be working if the man can support me.
5. Why have you chosen me/other person as a potential spouse?
A: I will agree to marry a person who has the following characteristics: would like to build a partnership with me and will stay with me through thick and thin.
6. What are your goals in life? (long and short term)
A: I like to teach and would like to work at least part time. Ideally I would like to work in my husband’s business and feel a part of his business and his plans.
7. Identify three things that you want to accomplish in the near future.
The same as number 8.
8. Identify three things that you want to accomplish, long term.
A: This is a tough one. I think I want to maintain some things such as 1. My health. 2. a marriage. 3. Develop more knowledge and understanding of religion.
10. Are you a spiritual person?
A: I hope to be.
11. What is your understanding of an Islamic marriage?
A: An Islamic marriage is about living a similar life as the Prophet Muhammad.
12. What are you expecting of your spouse, religiously?
A: I expect my husband to believe in God and fear God so much that he wants to be with one woman only and believes she is so precious that he really cherishes her and is loyal to her.
13. What is your relationship between you and the Muslim community in your area?
A: I don’t have such a relationship but I respect them.
14. Are you volunteering in any Islamic activities?
15. What can you offer your spouse spiritually?
A: I can offer him my belief in God and wanting to deepen that. I can offer him my support and respect for him wanting to be a good Muslim.
16. What is the role of the husband?
A: A husband should be the main breadwinner and financial provider. I say this for a pragmatic reason – if the man does this and is appreciated for this – his sense of being a man increases and when his sense of being a man increases he is in a better position to love his wife.
17. What is the role of the wife?
A: The best wife flows with what her husband is – she identifies what makes him tick and adds her tick to his so that they are the strongest one.
18. Do you want to practice polygamy?
A: Ideally no. In practice – it depends on what compensation the man gives. I feel it is better to have this than to be divorced. I hope my husband would not do this because it means he has not been faithful to me and the entity we have called marriage. Having said this – if it furthers our business objectives then I would consider – but deep down I would not be totally happy about it.
19. What is your relationship with your family?
A: I love my mum. My father has passed away – I was able to respect his career success and he also did a lot of voluntary work.
20. What do you expect your relationship with the family of your spouse to be?
A: That is up to them – if they accept me I would love to be loved by them and to have a happy family life. The Muslim religion says we should respect the parents of our husband. I must respect whatever they say about me but work towards them having a reasonable opinion of me.
21. What do you expect your spouses relationship with your family to be?
A: I would love it if he loved my mother as much as me.
22. Is there anyone in your family living with you now?
A: My mother is in the UK.
23. Are you planning to have anyone in your family live with you in the future?
A: No I am not but I would hope my husband would always permit my mother to stay with us if she would wish.
24. If, for any reason, my relationship with your family turns sour, what should be done?
A: I would consult my husband and find ways to reduce the sourness. I would hope my husband can find a way to solve this in a way that is loving to all.
25. Who are your friends? (Identify at least three.)
A: I don’t have many friends in the real world. I am more a person who goes to work and comes home. I have some people I know on the net.
26. How did you get to know them?
A: The people I do know in the real world are work colleagues, students and one university friend.
27. Why are they your friends?
A: Because we have common interests.
28. What do you like most about them?
A: We talk about work and things like that.
29. What will your relationship with them after marriage be?
A: Husband comes first.
30. Do you have friends of the opposite sex?
A: Not in the real world but on the net FB friends include men.
31. What is the level of your relationship with them now?
A: Just comment on their FB walls.
32. What will be the level of your relationship with them after marriage?
A: That depends on my husband. I hope we could get some agreement on how we both deal with net contacts. This is an area we have to discuss and come to some agreement on.
33. What type of relationship do you want your spouse to have with your friends?
A: All my friends and family are his (that means he can be friends with them too if he so wishes) – so a professional and seemly friendship/relationship. I would like him to feel comfortable with them.
34. What are the things that you do in your free time?
A: Writing, listening to music.
35. Do you love to have guests in your home for entertainment?
A: Not particularly.
36. What are you expecting from your spouse when your friends come to the house?
A: I will discuss with him and do what is to his liking. His wishes are important to me.
37. What is your opinion of speaking other languages in home that I do not understand? (with friends or family)
A: Yes this is going to be a tough one. I must try to learn those languages. I need a patient husband who will translate for me. It is going to be especially hard when people speak two or three different languages. Ideally people should all speak English but that may be unreasonable so I have two choices here. 1. Accept this. 2. Try to learn the language but that is difficult for me.
38. Do you travel?
A: Usually I don’t.
39. How do you spend your vacations?
A: At home.
40. How do you think your spouse should spend vacations?
A: Good question – it would be nice if he would like to stay at home too. Perhaps we can compromise – sometimes we stay at home, sometimes we go out, but the real truth is I prefer to stay at home.
41. Do you read?
A: Yes I read.
42. What do you read?
A: A wide selection – but mainly non-fiction.
43. After marriage, do you think that you are one to express romantic feelings verbally?
A: Yes and I would hope my spouse can too.
44. After marriage, do you think that you want to express affection in public?
A: Another good question – yes I would. If we are travelling it would be nice to hold hands. If my spouse does not want to do this then he must make it up to me in private, because to me marriage includes a lot of physical contact.
45. How do you express your admiration for someone that you know now?
A: I am not sure how to answer this question but I will try. I guess I would tell them.
46. How do you express your feelings to someone who has done a favour for you?
A: I will thank them
47. Do you like to write your feelings?
A: Yes I do like to write my feelings.
48. If you wronged someone, how do you apologize?
A: I will apologize verbally and where appropriate in writing. I will what I can to make amends.
49. If someone has wronged you, how do you want she/he to apologize to you?
A: It depends who it is – if it is a husband then they should say sorry and I would accept a sincere apology.
50. How much time passes before you can forgive someone?
A: I believe in forgiving quickly. Immediately to soon.
51. How do you make important and less important decisions in your life?
A: Thinking and thinking. Where appropriate – consulting.
52. Do you use foul language at home? In public? With family?
A: Goodness – no it is wrong.
53. Do your friends use foul language?
A: Not that I am aware of.
54. Does your family use foul language?
A: My mother taught us not to do this.
55. How do you express anger?
A: It depends – usually I cry.
56. How do you expect your spouse to express anger?
A: I think it depends on the situation – but I would prefer to know why he is angry and what I can do to reduce that anger. I would like to comfort him.
57. What do you do when you are angry?
A: I will try to figure out how to solve the situation. If nothing can be done I will listen to music.
58. When do you think it is appropriate to initiate mediation in marriage?
A: Good question – whenever there is a problem that the two parties can’t solve.
59. When there is a dispute in your marriage, religious or otherwise, how should the conflict get resolved?
A: We need to sit down and talk about the problem and see how to compromise.
60. Define mental, verbal, emotional and physical abuse.
A: Shouting at each other without justification. Saying hurtful things. Dredging up the past.
61. What would you do if you felt that you had been abused?
A: I will tell my husband and see what he is prepared to do.
62. Who would you call for assistance if you were being abused?
A: I will speak to my husband. Perhaps speak to my mother afterwards.
63. Do you suffer from any chronic disease or condition?
A: I am healthy as far as I am aware.
64. Are you willing to take a physical exam by a physician before marriage?
A: Yes I am if my spouse is prepared to do so. What areas would this cover? I think back health is important in my spouse – so I would want to know about his back too.
65. What is your understanding of proper health and nutrition?
A: Good question – One needs to eat a balanced diet. I don’t believe in drinking alcohol or soft drinks and I want my husband to feel the same way.
67. What is you definition of wealth?
A: Wealth is the ability to earn money, own one’s home and have a surplus of money in the bank.
68. How do you spend money?
A: On food and clothes.
69. How do you save money?
A: In the bank – just a bank account.
70. How do you think that your use of money will change after marriage?
A: This is not an easy area. Idealy it is best if my husband has enough money and he does not need mine. I would have more respect if this is the position.
71. Do you have any debts now? If so, how are you making progress to eliminate them?
A: No debts.
72. Do you use credit cards?
A: Yes I do.
73. Do you support the idea of taking loans to buy a new home?
A: Ideally yes I do, but I prefer to have enough money to buy outright.
74. What are you expecting from your spouse financially?
A: I expect him to work. I expect him to have enough for us to buy food and some clothes.
75. What is your financial responsibility in the marriage?
A: See my earlier answers. I prefer the man to take the main responsibility on this.
76. Do you support the idea of a working wife?
A: If I can find work I will. If we need the money then yes. I also like to teach.
77. If so, how do you think a dual-income family should manage funds?
A: I have to listen to my husband’s views on this – but if I have a say we should have the second income for savings and for our retirement.
78. Do you currently use a budget to manage your finances?
A: Yes I do.
79. Who are the people to whom you are financially responsible?
A: Currently only to myself.
80. Do you support the idea of utilizing baby sitters and/or maids?
A: I prefer not to have a maid. We should do the housework.
81. Do you want to have children? If not, why? 82. To the best of your understanding, are you able to have children?
A: I am not able to have children.
83. Do you want to have children in the first two years of marriage? If not, when?
84. Do you believe in abortion?
85. Do you have children now?
86. What is your relationship with your children now?
87. What is your relationship with their other parent?
88. What relationship do you expect your spouse to have with your children and their parent?
89. What is the best method(s) of raising children?
N/A. Joint decisions by husband and wife.
90. What is the best method(s) of disciplining children?
A: Talking to them – reasoning with them.
91. How were you raised?
A: Sadly my parents believed in hitting us.
92. How were you disciplined?
93. Do you believe in spanking children? Under what circumstances?
A: I don’t – I don’t think it makes them better kids.
94. Do you believe in public school for your children?
A: Diligent kids can benefit from any form of school.
95. Do you believe in Islamic school for your children?
A: This is up to my husband.
96. Do you believe in home schooling for your children?
A: It depends on where we are living.
97. What type of relationship should your children have with non-Muslim classmates/friends?
98. Would you send your children to visit their extended family if they lived in another state or country?
99. What type of relationship do you want your children to have with all their grandparents?
A: A close loving relationship.
100. If there are members of my family that are not Muslim, that are of different race or culture, what type of relationship do you want to have with them?
A: There are non-Muslims in the world. I hope we can all respect each other.
PS - I have shared these answers to encourage you to spend some time writing your own answers.
An I CAN READ English specialist with over 20 years teaching experience, I have worked in the British Council and Linguaphone, well-known language institutions. I am a London-trained lawyer and have been the public affairs officer at the British High Commission, Singapore, as well as an editor in an international book publishing house and a national magazine. In 2006, I was appointed as an Ambassador of Peace (Universal Peace Federation and Interreligious and International Federation for World Peace). I am also co-author of two law books: English Legal System and Company Law, published by Blackstone, Oxford University Press. For enquiries about I CAN READ classes, email email@example.com. FOR DAILY BLESSINGS: www.abetoday.com