Salam my friends.
I am starting this topic because there is a good chance I am going to propose to my Moroccan girlfriend during my stay in Morocco over the next few months. I read ummaryam99’s post about marriage customs in another thread and I am intrigued. I have been trying to soak up every aspect of Moroccan culture that I can, because it is just beautiful and amazing to me (my being in love with a Moroccan may have something to do with my strong desire to learn ;)).
I have learned that customs, traditions, and language can vary greatly between regions and even within a city, so I am just writing to find out if anyone has any insight into Ribati customs.
While I know she is familiar with my marriage customs (I am American), I want to be sure to honor Moroccan traditions and possibly mix them with my own. I have not converted to Islam YET (I am reading Qur’an now and trying to learn more), so please keep that in mind with your responses. Inshallah I will probably convert before our wedding if that is what is written for me (I just want to make sure I am doing it for the right reasons and my heart is pure).
My girlfriend is like most young people from Rabat, meaning that she has a wide mix of influences ranging from western music and culture, to traditional Muslim values.
As per the traditions I grew up with in the U.S., I would go and speak to her father, ask for permission, buy a ring, plan some elaborate and romantic situation in which to ask, get down on one knee, and ask her to marry me.
I just don’t know what I am supposed to do in Morocco. I have other Moroccan friends to ask, and surely I will, but I want to get a wide variety of opinions.
I understand it is traditional to ask the father, but her mother is divorced and she doesn’t speak to her Dad. So, should I ask her mother for permission? And at that, I still do not speak Darija or French fluently (she speaks English) so I would need to have one of my friends translate.
What do Moroccan girls expect as far as an engagement gift? Many girls in other cultures love their big diamond rings, but in my reading about Islam I have found that being flashy with jewelry or clothes is not good. Is that correct in Morocco as well? Based on that, I was thinking of getting a simple and tasteful ring but I don’t want her to be disappointed or think that she is not worth more to me.
If anyone knows of any resources that I can read to learn more on this topic, please let me know. I intend to ask all of my friends when I arrive in Morocco, but this is constantly on my mind so I can’t wait for answers — I am too excited!!
Aside from the marriage customs, I was wondering what is the average age women are usually engaged/married in Morocco?