Men, please feel free to share your thoughts as well.
The idea of a woman proposing marriage to a man is often frowned on by most women and many feel uncomfortable about making the first move – it’s the man who is supposed to propose and profess his love, sort of thing.’ This is especially true for those brought up in western societies which basically dictates that a woman should be pursued and chosen by a man rather than the contrary. So many women are still waiting and hoping that the brothers make the first move and propose marriage for fear of seeming too aggressive or desperate. Some women feel as though if the man proposes it’s a sign of their worth, and the more proposals, the more their worth. On the other hand, some men argue that they want to be chased and that if a woman were to propose it would somehow kill their ego and make them feel less of a man…
Muslim women are not excluded, even though in Islam it is honourable and permitted for a Muslim woman to propose to a Muslim man muslimahs still find it taboo. After all, some Muslim communities share the view that Muslim women should be shy and some go as far as to consider women subordinate to men, and, therefore, women are expected to be passive and reserved in the way they think and act. However, such views and expectations are cultural rather than Islamic and arguably sexist. We should remind ourselves that it was Khadijah (RTA), the first wife of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him), who first proposed marriage to the Prophet (PBUH) via a trusted friend. And mind you, she was very capable of providing for herself since she was a successful business woman. But despite this, Muslim communities make it out to be taboo and shameful for a woman or her family to approach the brother or his family to propose marriage.
I think it’s empowering and I personally have no problems with making the first move, but that’s just me. I think a woman should be able to say exactly what she wants and expects from a man and if marriage is what she expects and wants, why not ask for it? If there is a brother out there that has most or all the qualities you desire in a spouse, then what’s wrong with letting your feelings and intentions known? You don’t have to ask directly if you are uncomfortable asking – ask someone you trust to ask on your behalf or to express the interest of marriage on your behalf. Forget this notion of it’s the man who has to propose ladies! Make a move! Whilst you’re waiting for him to pop the question or to approach you, another woman might come along who is prepared to step to the brother and next thing you know she’s wearing the ring and you’re heart broken. It’s that simple. If the man feels less of a man for that, then forget him.
* Here is an interesting fact
Legend has it that in the year 1288, in Scotland, it was made legal for women to propose to men in a Leap Year only and if the man declined he must provide her with a silk dress or a pair of gloves.