After all, age really is but a number

My family and I recently relocated across the country. In the months leading up to the big move I spent hours and hours planning. But what I spent the most time doing for those 5 months was house hunting. I picked the neighborhood I wanted and then proceeded to try and find a house with ALL our specifications in that neighborhood. Two months passed and I still couldn’t find one that fit our criteria. But I was stubborn and determined to have everything I wanted in the location I wanted. Needless to say I failed. With less than a month left till moving day I finally relented and searched in other neighborhoods and Alhamdulilah, Allah (swt) blessed us with an amazing house in an amazing location.

So you’re probably wondering why I’m boring you with my moving diaries? Because as humans we create a precise picture of what we want (in a house, in a spouse, in our kids) and set out to full fill that picture. What we fail to realize is that real life and our imaginations don’t always line up. And just because we can’t find what we think we’re looking for doesn’t mean that what we really need isn’t out there.

One of the points that brothers and sisters looking to get married often get hung up on is the age of their potential spouse. Brothers usually want someone a few years younger than themselves and sisters want someone who is older than themselves. This idea of the perfect age gap in marriage is one of the first requirements that goes down on our spouse list and is often one that we have a hard time letting go of.

In reality though, having a “proper” age gap does not necessarily lead to a successful marriage or to a compatibility. In fact, if we were to look back at the most significant marriage of all times, that of the Prophet Muhammad (saws) to Khadija (ra), you will note that they had the most nontraditional of all age gaps. Yet, you will never find a more loving, compatible, supportive, and nourishing coupling than theirs despite the odd age paring.

Age is much like the neighborhood in my moving example. By holding onto that ideal and not looking or considering anyone outside of it you are limiting yourself from finding someone that fits you. Brothers, just because a sister is a bit older than your ideal match doesn’t mean she will be any less beautiful or righteous. And sisters, just because a brother is a bit younger than your ideal match doesn’t mean he will be any less mature, caring, and responsible. So let’s step out of our “neighborhoods” and see what Allah (swt) has for waiting for us!


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  1. Rishu

    This age issue has been one of the biggest hurdle to cross from my personal experience. Lost count how many times I was shot down by the ladies in HoD due to being younger from the get go. I understand that there may be a correlation between a man’s age, and his current state in life, (ie: Maturity level, finance… etc.). And who isn’t generally looking for a stable man to start a family, I get it. But perhaps I am hoping in vain not to be solely judged by the year I was born in. Ah well… – Rishu

  2. Azeem

    hmmm…guess u didn’t get the point of the story, so what in getting rejected..take a blow, get up and move on..maybe what goes around comes around? did you reject/blow any one off when you were younger? are your requirements so stringent? that you are still waiting around for the ‘right one’, don’t as the ‘right one’ doesn’t exisit, only the ‘one right for you’…

  3. o

    Jabir b. ‘Abdullah (Allah be pleased with them) reported: I married a woman, whereupon Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said to me: Have you married? I said: Yes. He said: Is it a virgin or a previously married one (widow or divorced)? I said: With a previously married one, whereupon he said: Where had you been (away) from the amusements of virgins? Shu’ba said: I made a mention of it to ‘Amr b. Dinar and he said: I too heard from Jabir making mention of that (that Allah’s Apostle) said: Why didn’t you marry a girl, so that you might sport with her and she might sport with you? – Sahih Muslim

  4. o

    Narrated Ursa: The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with ‘Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).- Sahih Bukhari

  5. afira

    aww that is so sweet, i always have this idea in mind that getting married to a guy younger to me could be even more beautiful but in our society boys and their families have issues and really are narrow minded in this case, they do not understand that the girl is so pure and waiting for the right one, from today i tell myself that i wont mind getting married to a young guy

  6. Azeem

    A very nice example, i have always shared this sentiment, but unfortunately, majority of us have this hang up of age. Off all the people i met only 1 person, shared the same sentiments, and that was only due to the understanding of their parents marriage that had a large age gap. I hope a lot of people read this and ponder over it, every day that goes by without you being complete is one less day you could’ve spent with them, Allah knows best.

    “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” – Mark Twain.

  7. not_your_bussiness

    great point made, well said. as a sister, i have been rejected at least twice so far because i was older than the brother, in once case i was 2 years on the other occasion four years older. to be honest, now i gave up on any younger brother since being rejected bluntly hurts really bad, great self-esteem killer.
    Allah knows the best.

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