"Us? Getting married? You have got to be kidding me. Why so sudden, after all?"
"But, everyone here does that . And I do feel lonely, deprieved and I need you. The Islamic society here supports early marriages, as to prevent social problems among students, and they even funded it. I have been waiting for ages."
"Honey, chill up. People do not get married just like that. There are tons of problems awaiting, conflicts and stigmas to go through. It always seems that the chances of we getting married, now, is near to nil. Getting married , here, is harder than doing any sin. Think about it, honey.
We are studying after all , and, ugh, I cannot get it.
I am too busy after all, doing everything from course works, internship, tutor classes, clubs, things that reach infinity. I merely have time for myself, now. Why cannot it be later? After graduation, perhaps?"
"What? Wait, do not cry, my love. I really do not mean that. Deep in my heart, I want to marry you, I promised that since ages, but, why now? I do not see the neccessity for the issue to be brought up at this time.
Look. I am studying economics, and so, here I present to you a cost-benefit analysis of getting married. Firstly, the externalities that I found are rather terrifying, and this is a total nightmare. Let me explain the negative ones first, so be patient and understanding.
The main issue is about consent. Consent, to be married, is an horror today, it is an unavoidable bad luck. Your folks will bring up lame stories of failed marriages among teenagers, lack of responsibility among us, and our preparations. Prepare to understand that our parents still consider us as toddlers, if you want to know, because they love us too much. They will opt for us to continue studying, as marriage is considered a distraction, and our marriage can tarnish their names.
The second issue is about our age. Me myself sees marriage as a chance to increase productivity, through the increase of human capital, and of course, better specialisation in daily chores. You will make my life better organized by three hundred percent. That is a fact. But others-all people, ceteris paribus- consider marriage at this age as a disaster.
It will halt the process of education, although that is mainly an assumption, statistics prove the opposite. Young married people, they will say, cannot participate in societies and leadership activites compared to singles. Heck, we will do everything together, will not we? Furthermore, marriage at this age is controversial- people are born with stigmas. Rumours will spread that we married because I made you pregnant, ugh, that is the nature of people, although the rationality is none. That is just a single example.
As we can see, the issue of the age matters about maturity. Although we see ourselves as matured enough, others do not. We are raging children with overdosed adrenaline and spirits. They assume that if we do marry, it will end quickly, as this 'puppy love' is temporary and volatile. All these are people's assumptions that we cannot afford to ignore, as we are living in a community, we are not Tarzan and Jane in the jungle of Amazon.
The third issue is the monetary cost. Let me divide cost into two, premarriage cost and post-marriage cost. Premarriage costs include costs during engagement, planning and the wedding ceremony. All three events involves transportation cost of family members involved. Engagement requires an engagement ring, a ceremony, which involves cost for food at the day.
Planning is a process before the wedding, while the wedding itself, this and that, amounting to a total cost of RM 30000, and that is just basic. I have not considered if the marriage is made at a grand scale, or do you prefer a a budget wedding, just the wedding 'uniform', and some food?
The post-marriage costs involves all possible issues that rise while building a family. You do not even want to think about that, trust me. And as a student, I do not see any possible way to find that amount of money in such a single time, unless you consider robbing a bank, or an afternoon with the loansharks. Yes, it sucks to be a pessimist.
Yeah, there are extremely good benefits of this early marriage thing, but, if the side effects are far greater, how do we decide then? Let us be patient and considerate. Then, what about assimilation? We need to adapt ourselves, if we do marry, to the external surroundings, and to our own selves, and yet we are still students. What if the time is not enough for us to keep this marriage even look as a marriage?
Other issues may rise, such as family planning-birth control, stress management and various other perspectives.
We can go as far as saying that if we marry, we can produce more, and contribute more to the society, and to Islam as a whole, but how much of that rhetoric is true? The main reason, you think, is to protect ourselves from hedonism, social problems, etcetera, etcetera. But heck, please, that is not the main objective of a marriage. It is such a sick marriage, if it is motivated by that sole purpose alone. Cannot we get hold of ourselves? We are good Muslims, are not we?
A marriage should be based on family, happiness, and it must be planned thoroughly. Wait, what is that bright light over there? Please, who is that? Stop pointing light at people, you."
...An eternity later.
"Assalamualaikum! We are from the Islamic Department of Seremban. What are you two doing here, alone, in the dark?"
"Erk, uhm, em, this is my sister. No, erm, we are getting married anyway. We did nothing, um, really."
"Please follow us, the two of you. Get into the car."
-STOP ILLEGAL LOVE. GET MARRIED.-
-What is the sign of a serious man on your relationship? He will put efforts to marry you. Fast.-