By Harun Johari
There is no meaning to marriage when we have no source of income and money. At 18, many still need to depend on other people for a living. We still need to enjoy the bachelor life, before getting married. These are the statements that have been exclaimed by most couples of today’s era.
I am an 18-year old Malaysian who have just recently got married to a beautiful same aged Japanese girl Oki Michiyo @ Ni’mahtul Jannah on 30 August 2015. The story started when we met in 2012 during our secondary years in Adni Islamic School. We spent several years in school with so much fun and sadness, at times, in awkward and complex situations.
After graduating from secondary school in 2013 at the age of 16, I pursued my studies in Arabic Language, Quran and Hadith in Sana’a, Yemen before the Houthi conflict announced an all out war in September 2014, while Ni’mah furthered her studies in Japan, sitting for the Certificate for Students Achieving the Proficiency Level of Upper Secondary School Graduates or known as ‘Form 6’. In November 2014, I applied for the Centre for Foundation Studies of IIUM and was approved to read law and Ni’mah applied and was accepted by the university to do economics in the Kuliyyah of Economics and Management (KENMS) in February 2015. Now we are both students at IIUM.
Ni’mah and I got engaged on 26 March 2015, and after long discussions with our parents and relatives it was agreed that the wedding be held at the end of August at Tokyo Camii (Tokyo Mosque) in Japan. We prepared the documents required both in Malaysia and Japan in the midst of exams and classes. After facing all the challenges, we noticed that Allah has made it easy for us.
Our parents and friends gave full support for our marriage. However, there were some people who opposed to the idea due to the fact that Ni’mah and I are still students and quite young. After several difficult debates, we managed to persuade and show them the confidence that we are capable of managing our own lives and problems.
Some people might be asking, “Why at the age of 18?” Is it not too rushing?
Allah (s.w.t) has stated in the Holy Quran;
وَلَا تَقۡرَبُواْ ٱلزِّنَىٰٓۖ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ فَـٰحِشَةً۬ وَسَآءَ سَبِيلاً۬
“And do not approach adultery. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.”
[Surah Al-Isra’ 17:32]
Allah (s.w.t) mentioned that we not go near adultery, coupling is a means to approaching adultery. Many people are against young age marriage but allowing coupling to the extent of touching the ‘non-mahram’ which we believe it to be as something wrong. Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) is reported to have encouraged youth marriage in a hadith:
“O Youth! Those of you who have the means to get married shall do it, as it is better to protect your eyes and your desire, as for those who are unable to do so, he shall fast as it is a protection for you.” [Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim]
Financially, Ni’mah and I are not depending on our parents, but we save money gained from the little jobs that we do. We believe that rizq is not determined by us but by Al-Wahhab (the bestower), Al-Razzaq (the provider and He will give to whoever is searching for it). Alhamdulillah, after only three weeks of marriage, we received many blessings in the form of gifts, sponsorship, calmness of heart, etc.
We also believe that marriage will not be a barrier or an obstacle to knowledge seeking, and blessings will pour down after marriage. Learning and studying will only be affected if the mind is set to believe it. There are many reasons why we got married at an early age, but the main reason was because of love and getting a halal relationship. We do not want to continue with a relationship that is sinful. It is true that marriage should not be taken lightly and it really took us quite some time to decide.***