Meeting a woman’s guardian (wali in Arabic) is one of the most crucial steps taken when an interest is shown in a Muslim woman. Her guardian is responsible for her upkeep and overall wellbeing. He could be her father, uncle or brother. He might not even be related to her through blood ties, but as long as he is the one in the position of responsibility towards her, he is considered her guardian (wali).
This meeting avails the man the opportunity to directly state his intentions towards the lady to her guardian. It also gives him the opportunity to have a proper conversation with her. They get to interact with each other and really find out if there is any attraction whatsoever. There are of course rules and guidelines to this in Islam, but that discussion will be reserved for another article insha Allah.
Approaching a woman’s guardian can be quite intimidating, especially if it is the first time you are doing this. Even if it isn’t, apprehension can still set in, and that is quite alright too. It could also be due to insecurities or inadequacies that you harbor on your part.
The truth of the matter is that no one is perfect, and chances are that your intended spouse isn’t as well, and her guardian knows it too. Regardless of what might cause anxiety to set in, one thing that you should always bear in mind is that it is never quite as bad as you might imagine.
These tips are however here because one can never be over prepared for the things that mean the most to us. Marriage is easily one of these things. The 5 important tips are:
Set an appointment
This sounds like an obvious one, but it is not to be overlooked. Setting an appointment could be as simple as requesting for a suitable date, place and time to meet her guardian.
You could speak to them over the phone yourself or ask the person who made the recommendation to enquire from the guardian about the specifics of the meeting time, date and place.
Being particular about the time would also make it easier for you as you would now have a day to plan towards. You can focus on clearing everything you have on your plate, and then focus on the day as it draws nearer. This would give you adequate time to put yourself together.
That said, every adult has a busy schedule to work around, so it would be shortsighted to expect that the guardian would always be available for a meeting. Even if they were always around, it would not only be rude to accost her guardian for a meeting without prior appraisal; it would also be inconsiderate considering that he and his family would not be prepared to properly receive you.
To save yourself and the woman’s family the trouble, it would be better if you gave them a heads up and got them to set a suitable appointment for the meeting.
A lot of people assume that gifts should only be given when there is certainty that the marriage will hold. This does not necessarily have to be so. Gifts are a beautiful way to show love and the Prophet (saw) highly recommends the act of exchanging gifts among loved ones. A gift is a token of love and appreciation. It also shows your goodwill and benevolence towards others.
Thoughtful gifts melt the hardest of hearts, so try and ask around in order to get a thoughtful gift to give to them. You could also ask older members of your family as they would be in a better position to know what gift would be appropriate to take along for a meeting or an official introduction. Note that it should not be extravagant, so that your hosts do not feel uncomfortable; but it should be adequate enough to pass the message across that you come in good faith towards the family. On a lighter note, you might find yourself being loved by the children of the home even before the adults do when they all receive the sweets you have brought along.
In terms of making it less of an awkward visit for you, you would find it easier to enjoy their good graces knowing that you also brought gifts for them. You are there to seek their most beautiful gift of all, their daughter. Your gift would not in any way be able to compare with that, but comparison is not the aim here, spreading love and goodness is. So get that gift, even if it is just a basket of fruits and sweets.
Most meetings with guardians are basically interviews. They can be formal or informal, depending on the style of the guardian. Therefore, just like you would adequately prepare yourself for an interview regardless of the company that you are applying to, you should prepare yourself for all possibilities as regards meeting with her guardian.
Imagine yourself being her father and consider the traits he would want in his daughter’s husband. Your major goal is to focus on why you would be good for his daughter. A lot of the questions and conversations would revolve around that. You already know that you are prepared to marry her, all you have to do is show her guardian that you are.
Note that this goes beyond the actual interview itself. You are being appraised from the moment eyes are set on you. So how have you chosen to present yourself? If your words do not match your outward appearance or mannerisms, then that makes it all futile. If you appear late for the meeting without just cause, you erase all assurances that you are reliable and dependable. Ensure that if the meeting was supposedly a non-verbal one, you would be deemed worthy of their daughter. This is because sometimes, even without speaking, most elders with good insight already have their response to your request.
So set out your best clothes, prepare yourself for possible questions, and present yourself in the best way possible.
Be courteous and respectful.
Being courteous and respectful cannot be over emphasized. As Muslims, we embody the best of characters. We are well mannered people, and this is one beautiful addition to your traits that would definitely make you stand out, even if she had a troupe of suitors lined up for her. It is also something that is not dependent on wealth or other factors that may not be in your favor. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was the most well behaved man even when he had no wealth to his name. This is one of the key reasons why Khadijah (RA) chose him as her husband when she had rejected many others.
Asides this, you are going to make a request. Even if you were demanding the least of objects, you would do it with utmost care. Contempt is a distasteful trait to embody, and it cannot be hidden, even if you tried. Regardless of how wealthy or learned you are, there is never any admissible reason to approach anyone with contempt or derision. This is especially true when you are the one seeking something from them. In your interactions with her guardian, and with the woman, it is important to be of absolutely admirable standing.
Carry yourself with dignity and you shall be treated with honor. Be respectful towards others and Allah will save you from the derision of others. If not for the sake of any of His creations, be dignified for Allah’s sake. Do it for His pleasure.
Allah loves it when we call on Him. Even the most seemingly simplest of tasks should be done in Allah’s name, and the most delicate of steps should be taken with His guidance. With Allah by your side, no adversary is too scary to accost. With Allah on your side, all of your affairs are sorted. Should you put Allah first, every endeavor becomes easy, by His grace and might.
Every single step of your journey into marriage must be with Allah’s guidance. Also ensure to constantly renew your intentions, such that every act you take in pursuing a marriage proposal is considered an act of worship, and every obstacle encountered on the journey is seen as a chance to exercise patience. And you will be rewarded for it all bi idhnilah (with God's permission).
There are so many ways to approach people, but the best of it all is approaching with the best and most sincere of intentions. As long as this is in place, everything else naturally falls into place. When we seek Allah’s grace and beg Him for His favors, we approach with humility, with a sincere heart, and an appreciative tongue. This is our way as Muslims, for we are not of those who transgress on earth.
May Allah forgive all shortcomings and accept all of our prayers. May He guide us in our endeavors. May He SWT help us find favor with His creations; and may He protect us from the evils of all that He has created, Ameen.
This article was written by Sr. Rahmat Omole for ilmnikah.com. ilmnikah.com is a blog and a matrimonial platform for single Muslims living in the United States, Canada, UK, Turkey, South Africa, Morocco, Egypt, Australia, New Zealand or Germany. Visit our homepage and sign up to receive email updates from us. Don't forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Clubhouse and Telegram.
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