Afghan Girls and the Dilemma of Marriage

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Contributed by Haya

Afghan girls and Dilemma of Marriage

Except for the monks, priests and nuns who wish to remain celibate and dedicate their lives in worshiping God, sacrificing affection, love, partnership and children then this article will not interest you. The rest of us who are too selfish to do so may read on.

Now, I’m not going to talk about the wedding expenses or what marriage in itself looks like as I haven’t got the experience to do so and my version may mislead many of those who wish to be realistic about it – which is probably the best way to do it. Thanks to the many hours dedicated to Bollywood movies that have forever ingrained in me the hope that I will find Raj and I will be his Simran have probably set my expectations bar way too high that if I jump to pull it back down I wouldn’t reach.
However, what I can be useful for is to give a little walk into the mind of single Afghan girls who suffer the pressures of the community and society at large that have been put on her when finding her spouse. Of course this will not be a general account but I will do my best to incorporate what I can of every version of an Afghan girl from the highly conservative to the “ultramodern”.

Buckle up guys, you heard it here first from some random anonymous claiming to be a single Afghan girl but for all you know can be a balding Afghan father crying out to single Afghan men out there to give their daughters the benefit of the doubt.

For starters let’s begin with the fundamentals that apply to every version of an Afghan girl whether she fears God or fears getting caught by her dad.

Introducing the AGE BRACKET!
That’s right folks we have an expiry date. 17-26 if you aint married in this bracket you have one of the following;

  1. A past that everyone knows about
  2. In love with an Indian or a White boy
  3. Has no idea how to wrap up a quick Qabeli palao
  4. Has a tongue so sharp she strikes before you serve

If she’s lucky and ends up being a Doctor or a Lawyer then they might forgive her a couple of years otherwise she has no reason to be picky and it serves her right for still being single! That ought to show her!
Second.
Anything outside the border specially Pakistani or Iranian you’ve sold your soul to the devil and you deserve to be outcast from the community and your parents for the rest of their lives will have to give apologetic smiles upon entering functions and “mehmanis” where they’ll be asked about how their foreign son-in-law is doing. This is still an exaggeration! Oh, no silly not the last part, I mean how we can only select from Afghan guys, we have families that won’t look past their own ethnicities within Afghanistan, better yet they might even tell you you’re stuck to picking from your first cousins. Enjoy!

Of course this is totally flexible to the Afghan guy. Why would I even bother talking about that? I mean his one legitimate excuse is … “Well he’s guy!” DUH!

Anyway, again we are subject to random searches that take place when our parents suspect that Mariam may just be Michael. Whether Afghan parents like it or not there’s MSN, Facebook and a plethora of other means that technology today has made possible. Seat belting them into everything they do in life will teach them to be dependent and naive forever; they might as well tie us in a straight jacket.
Either way, they are going to go behind their parents’ backs, because their hot-blooded and no amount of security will have them monitored every step of the way. Even if she does and is caught, she has tarnished her father’s name and it’s her fault for not suppressing her wishes to spend her life with someone she has a mutual understating and interest with.

I don’t see how Afghan families do not allow their daughters to have chaperoned meetings with individuals so that they may have the chance to formally meet and exercise their birth right. The girls suffer the most because we live in a box that has a ticking time bomb on it. We have to race to find the groom before the alarm beeps and we realise we are a day over the bracket.

The pressure does not only stop there. Treading softly all our life until we are married is our duty upon us. Obviously, in many cases if this does not work out then we ship her off to Afghanistan and we hand her over to the next guy that gets a wife and a free ticket to the land of the white man. Buy one, get one free!

We don’t need to treat our daughters like possessions. Women have been suffering enough as history illustrates very clearly. There is not one type of Afghan girl willing to sacrifice her list that her future husband would tick most of the boxes. There are many dynamics to her and each one whether she is traditional, conservative or modern lives a different day-to-day life in which they have different ideals and expectations that they want in a man.

As a Muslimah, I understand that Islam has freed us of the shackles of nationalism and limiting ourselves to one race.

“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you people and tribes so that you may know one another” (Qur’an 49: 13)

There is nothing wrong with marrying within your own race and to limit the differences as much as possible, but only if it is an option and not a requirement.

There are many ways in which women can get to know a prospective husband the” safe way”, rather than having to wake up a day after your wedding and getting ready for work when your new husband asks you “Where do you think you’re going?”

Marriage is the biggest decision of our lives. There is a biological clock that we should pay attention to, but not to rush into it.
If parents teach their daughters that they are free to choose and select their life partner but to consult that matter as a family and to exercise that right in a manner pleasing and safe and stop shipping off their daughters and making them someone else’s problem when they “deviate”. The problem can be nipped in the bud.

Parents play a major role in every child’s life and being brought up with Afghan values and the culture is to be respected. However, we should keep in mind that times are changing and Afghan girls are no longer submissive and will not allow to be treated how they were back in the days. We have rights that are given to us and being able to select our life partner without feeling like running a marathon is an obvious one.

In conclusion, if you are still here reading then congratulations you are one step better at knowing what we deal with.

Bottom line is that the only way for an Afghan girl to get married is not with her cousin, who she calls her brother one day and is then walking down the aisle hand in hand with him the next day because her parents weren’t able to trust anyone else. She does not need to be shipped off and made somebody else’s business either (although this is not a bad idea sometimes but there may be backlash).

Taking your sweet time cruising through life and then realising the only way you will have kids is through IVF or adopting isn’t the way to go either and neither am I trying to say we need to be treated like princess’s. There needs to be a balance of what someone is comfortable with. As Afghans are pretty divided when it comes to being traditional, conservative or westernised, every family will have a different take on the issue. We just need to sit back a little and stop standing on our toes all the time. Otherwise it’s just a vicious cycle that never ends and creates more problems than it does solutions.

 


28 Comments

Jimmy · 6 December 2012 at 12:43 am

So, how does a Pakistani man go about asking an Afghani father for his daughters hand in North America? Without sacrificing or tarnishing the fathers reputation and placing strain on a relationship between a woman and her family, of course.

    Afghan Guy · 13 December 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Pakistani guy asking an Afghan Man for his daughter’s hand in marriage. What You need to understand is that 99.9% of Afghan people are old-fashioned, socially conservative and narrow-minded, I myself one of them. Especially when it comes to Non-Afghan men touching our sisters and daughters. If You suspect that we may be racist, well now You know that we Are racist. We have not yet developed skin thick enough to resist the knowledge of our sisters and daughters dating and or marrying Non-Afghan men. Especially if those men are Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Iranian, Black or even White. The only exception is if those Non-Afghans have earned a doctoral degree in either a European or North American University. Otherwise, we are narrow-minded people and will never change, unless You want to wait around for our westernised decendants.

      Mohamad Muddassir · 3 November 2015 at 10:45 pm

      And what you need to understand is that you are against the quran if you follow your tradition blindly… Either u are a muslim and u follow the sharia of the prophet or a non muslim and dont follow..Dont mix ur culture with deen.. As u said u are narrow minded and u know it, i think it is your people’s arrogance of their superiority in abosolutely nothing which does this..anyways enjoy ur jahiliya.. 🙂

        Hesina · 12 January 2017 at 10:20 am

        Lmao @ enjoy ur jahiliya

turachee · 6 December 2012 at 9:15 am

AHAHAHAHAHAHA

Eros · 24 February 2015 at 2:07 am

I am an American guy who fell in love with a beautiful, ambitious, Afghani Woman. I know what I’m up against and everything I’ve done and do is for her. I’m not sure if her family will ever accept me or the relationship. I know it puts her in a intense position but I’m not going to let it get in the way of our love. This is a beautiful article.

    Hameed · 25 February 2015 at 5:07 pm

    It depends on whether the family is fully westernised, culturally conservetive, religiously conservitive, liberal, non-ritual-spritually-religioius, etc…

leon · 28 February 2015 at 1:29 pm

Hi everybody,

I would like some help on this dilemma about my girlfriend.
She is indeed Afghan and I am well non-Afghan or Muslim (Red flags right?). I’ll try cut it short. My wonderful girlfriend and I have not been dating long but it seems to me that marriage is a reality. An arranged married to Afghan boy. It to be very honest hurts me deep. I really care for this girl and very optimistic when it comes to relationships. I’ve told her that marriage to me isn’t THAT big of a deal but when facing reality… one day I want the guy that she is marring to be me. The image of her being given away to an Afghan family… and not mines(not to sound possessive) really kills me inside. So please what can I do? I am depressingly looking for an answer that falls in my favor but all threads relation to a girl dating an Afghan guy.

I really care for this girl.
I really do.

Please help me. Please

    lily · 22 May 2015 at 10:41 am

    Hey Afghan girl here… my cousin married an white guy. It depends on how open minded her family is. You have to really work at it. You pretty much have to prove yourself worthy of her family. Do you have a good paying job? If you are highly educated/worth alot of money they will consider it.(Yes Afghans are shallow). Don’t give up..they will come around eventually if they see their daughter is happy.

      leon · 26 June 2015 at 9:18 am

      Hi Lily,

      First off, thank you so much for taking your time out to reply to my comment. I know it may not be much but honestly I am really grateful. It seems that at the time I didn’t really put things in context. Not sure if you still care or not but here: I am 21years old (just turned 21 not long ago too! :D) and currently studying a business degree (3rd year). I’m unemployed and to simply put it, a broke as student who still lives with his parents. Her and I are still dating and I believe that we are growing stronger together. I have comes to terms with things and willingly know that next year will be a big turning point when both our families get involved. It is most likely that converting to Islam is the only choice but I’m okay with it. I’m actually doing the whole Ramadan this year to slowly come to terms with the religion.

      In short, I’m falling in love with this girl and it’s growing stronger day by day. Our journey will be a tough one and I know it’s cliche to say but I have her. It may seem like I’m love drunk but she is a strong, loving, caring independent woman. I wouldn’t say it is rare but this girl.. this girl that’s with me. She’s mines and wouldn’t want it any other way.

      Rahul Prasad · 30 July 2015 at 2:20 pm

      Hope u will come back

    ahmadsutaryabloggerami · 9 January 2018 at 9:50 pm

    If you tell her family how much you love her and that you are ready to convert to Islam in case you are not a Muslim, then I am sure the family will agree. best of luck. try to do anything in order to have her hand in yours.

Drew · 8 June 2015 at 3:33 pm

I believe Afghan women should be able to have a choice. I am willing to do everything I can for her even convert but we can’t get married because her family will lose their pride? We live in 2015 if Afghan women don’t start standing up they’ll never get the option.

    Leeza · 12 November 2015 at 10:11 am

    I am trying to stand up. It’s not easy. I’m in love with a white guy. His race his background non of it matters to me. He’s a sweet gentleman who has waited for a street to clear for 3hours just to jump my car. This guy is so nice. Yet his race makes him wrong for me. Makes no sense at all to me. I am going to make my family accept him. I know I will. I’ve told my siblings they are cool with it. My parents will have to eventually look past his race and at his qualities.

zahir · 7 August 2015 at 11:48 am

I am a kashmiri pakistani guy born and raised in London. I fell in love with an afghan pashtun girl and have been her friend for the past year. Her family are well educated, strict, respectable and have political links in afghanistan. Previously this girl had been with a pathan guy originally from peshawar in pakistan but born in the uk. She wanted to marry him but her father did not come around. Now her father has given he’s word to her cousin who is based in kabul but studies here to become a doctor. She is not happy about this but subject to emotional blackmail of her father’s illness she has agreed. The engagement is in 2 weeks. This girl has shown graphic images of her and her ex to her fiance and opened up to her past to him hoping he would walk away but the dude is very accepting and says its okay he also has a passed blah blah blah. There engagement is in two weeks…help, need advice….btw those guys who are willing to convert and not muslim or afghan… you may aswell give up, your dealing with some crazy shit here trust me!

Leeza · 12 November 2015 at 10:06 am

I’m an Afghani female who has a Southern country boyfriend. He is the sweetest guy I have ever met. He is educated and well mannered. No man has treated me the way this guy does. Yet my mother who knows about this guy, has dreams of me getting back with my Afghani ex-boyfriend who married another girl. She would rather me be a second wife of an Afghan than marry a “kafir” bacha. It’s pathetic how our people look at a woman marrying outside her race, unless you’re a man. Oh then it’s ok. He’s a man.

    Ali · 24 November 2015 at 3:38 am

    “Do not marry unbelieving women until they believe; a slave woman who believes is better than an unbelieving woman even though she allure you. Nor marry (your girls) to unbelievers until they believe: a man slave who believes is better than an unbeliever, even though he allure you. Unbelievers do (but) beckon you to the fire. But Allah beckons by His Grace to the Garden (of Bliss) and forgiveness, and makes His Signs clear to mankind: that they receive admonition.” [Translation of 2:221 from Quran]

    It is better to marry a slave that is a Muslim (in a modern sense, garbage cleaners, street cleaners), than to marry the richest of the richest kaffir man.

Zarmina · 11 May 2016 at 6:43 am

Face it as an Afghan teenage girl who has lived almost her entire life in Europe, but yet still has very traditional parents, I can guarantee that marrying an Afghan girl is just reckless. The prospect of not being afghan at all is already off putting to the girls parents and funnily enough it’s because afghans want to stay “Pure Afghan”. In Afghanistan it’s almost 100% likely for the kids and the wife to start to lean in to her husbands style of life, sadly women have not much equality and it’s rare for women to stand up to this. It’s like marrying a pashtun girl to a farsi boy, the kids will lean towards their farsi side of the family because essentially that’s what they would be.
I have had this talk with my dad for a very long time and as a very modernized afghan girl, I absolutely refuse to marry someone that’s fresh out of Afghanistan and does not respect the fact that it is not the way I have been brought up and I am not going to turn to your average afghan housewife because I simply didn’t wake up at 7 AM every morning for 12 years of my life to go to school to just end up whipping up some Qabli Pulau every weekend. And my dad accepted that, he accepts my education and my wishes, sure arrange marriage is just inevitable with afghans but I finally have the final decision. Just remember when you take your vows as husband and wife, you get asked 3 times if you agree to this marriage, if you believe that is just not the guy for you then don’t continue, don’t degrade yourself with a husband that is not up to your values for this is your life that YOU have to live with.
As for you non-afghans or non-muslims, sorry to cut it hun but unless you’re willing to give up your old ways and put up with the horrible treatment that you WILL recieve than and afghan girl is just not for you. It is possible my close friend is prove of that, he gave up everything for the girl he loved so dearly, he had even moved to afghanistan lived there for a couple of years and learned the culture, tradition and religion and he fell in love with Afghanistan too. He had asked the father for the girls hand in marriage and after much persuasion he had agreed, the first year of the marriage was like hell to him. But he reminded himself that what he went through just to be here with his beloved wife was enough for him to take all the negativity in. Now his in-laws are all in love with him. So what I am trying to say it is possible but it’s up to you if you think she’s worth the fight.

Sojai · 25 June 2016 at 1:11 am

I am a daughter of an Afghan kandhari mother and a white American father and I am a conservative practicing Muslim my father didn’t convert to Islam and my parents were married but they r long divorced since I was a toddler n my mom raised me without my dad and this was thrown n my moms face always by her family because my dad didn’t stay and n the Muslim community I have a hard time fitting in because Islam directly came to me by my mother n not my father and many people look down at me and I don’t fit anywhere and I look not typical pathan to ppl some think am a convert girl but others give me dirty looks in the masjed and give me a vibe like I don’t belong there always ppl stair at me to figure out my race I had a hard time to select a husband because I was reserved n cautious n need deep loyal trustworthy soul mate I have married a pakistani Pathan from the United Kingdom but I am born n California i have been married more then once because there r no good Muslim men in the USA they have high standards from watching porn movies unlike men back in the east who go crazy if they see a woman’s ankle the Muslim men in USA sleep with escorts go to strip clubs n watch porn drink etc yet judge me for my mom being an afghan lady n my dad being American white so there for I dispise anyone who is a hypocrite I am religious n passionate for Islam but I see they only use Muslim as an identity name n never practice Islam and marry American women for green cards then divorce them n treat them badly that is hypocrisy of every USA Muslim Arab afghan pakistani Iranian guy I know the true nature of all of them

Sadaf · 14 November 2016 at 11:59 am

I am an Afghan girl from Canada…..i am in love wirh a Pakistani guy and yes we are getting married next year…..For me religion is more important than nationality…..thats what Islam teaches us.

    Abhishek Bishnoi Bishnois · 29 November 2017 at 11:40 pm

    i argee with you Friend……but Love come first for me before Religion….

Tanvir jani · 5 December 2017 at 10:36 am

sadaf is right

Shakokojan:) · 25 January 2018 at 3:06 pm

Afghan girl grew up in states, got educated here, I can say I am Americanized yet I still believe in some aspects of the afghan culture. Made a decision to marry straight from afg, hubby is educated yet still same afghan male dominated mentality. I can say I’ve been through hell and back and my life can definitely relate to this article. Regardless of what you want as an afghan female you will still be living in the edge of life because there is no such thing as happy medium for us. I don’t believe in letting go of everything you stand for. I didn’t see a point in marrying anyone outside my culture and religion due to the fact that if your relationship fails and you let go of everything for this one single person and they let go of you then you will be left with nothing.

Unicorn45 · 25 April 2018 at 10:03 am

I am an Afghan girl, from a conservative family. I’m a doctor (first one in my family). I want to marry my best friend, an Asian man, also a doctor. He has reverted. We have known each other for 7 years now. He knows the long road it will take to get married. My family now knows about him and my interest in marrying him. My parents have made it abundantly clear that they will not support me in anyway, however I DO have support from some of my siblings. I am completely financially independent and I live on my own. We DO have similar backgrounds, and no, I’m not talking about where our parents come from. We have had the same upbringing from hardworking immigrant parents. Our values and goals in life are the same. We have both gone through hell in medical school and residency. We are compatible in all ways. But at the end of the day, I am told by my parents, “God will find you someone else.” It’s rough because I’ve worked so hard in my life to get to where I am right now, and now I am coming upon one of the most important decisions of my life, and I am told that I don’t know what is best for me. They cannot guarantee my happiness. I can’t even guarantee my happiness; however, the chances of a happy life is more tangible if the decision maker is myself. Please feel free to reply.

    Aziz Popal · 3 June 2018 at 9:57 am

    Hey, I know its a really tough decision for you and your family. If he is a nice guy and from a nice family “WHY NOT”, why dont you tell him to sent his parents to your home the Afghan way and maybe your parents change their stand on him. But please don’t break your parents heart, thats all we have in this world, everything else doesn’t take the place. They come first above all. They are not forcing you in one way or the other. You can likewise try different matrimonail websites (afghanpartner.com , shaadi.com) to find a good afghan partner.

    Hameed · 7 July 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Our parents wants the best for us, but only we know what may be best for us. No one knows how things will end up. I have seen all scenarios that have end up really bad or really good. Whether people use online dating sites, marry outside cultural background, within the family, the future is not guaranteed, but if you go on your own terms, and hopefully with support from your family, you will maximise your chances.

    From the perspective of Islam, you will not be doing anything wrong now that he is a Muslim, but culturally it may not be acceptable. But if there are people who could convince your parents, it will be a good approach to take. Maybe an Imam, if they are religious.

    People will tell you that it is your life, you have to think about your future and make your decision. But they may not understand the family bonds that we value, if they are not Afghans. If they are Afghan, then mauybe they never had to make such decision., It is not going to be an easy decision either way.

    Of course it is your life and your decision, but in the same token, parents are one of the most important people in of our lives.

    Best of luck.

Aziz Popal · 3 June 2018 at 9:49 am

Finding a spouse is a difficult task specially for Afghan girls and the pressure they have on them. What do you think of afghan girls registering on matrimonial websites such as shaadi , afghanpartner.com and many others. Is it considered a bad thing? Whats your personal opinion? I personally think they should as they have more chances of finding a more suitable husband and same goes for the man.

    Hameed · 24 July 2018 at 11:55 pm

    There is nothing wrong with matrimonial websites in principal. It is more practical in this day and age. Certain groups frown upon it for a whole lot of wrong reasons.

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