Practicing brothers and sisters are being turned away for marriage because parents hold onto their tribe and egos more than their deen (religion). They fear the backlash and criticism of people and family more than they fear Allah.
Then parents also have outrageous demands for dowry, only for the brother to walk away empty handed, while walking through the door with hopes of a blessed marriage. For parents it was greed, for the other it was love and a new journey but ended with a heartbreak.
If it is not your skin colour, then it is your lack of degree. If it isn’t your wealth, then it is your culture and tribe. How sad is it that we value what will soon be insignificant over what matters the most, which is character and religious commitment?
Marriage has turned into the highest bidder with dowry. The lightest skin complexion, tribe association and your degree with profession. If you don’t fit the 4, you aren’t approved as if you are applying for a credit card with bad credit history.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings be upon him) said: “A woman may be married for four things: her wealth, her lineage, her beauty, or her religious commitment. Choose the one who is religiously-committed, may your hands be rubbed with dust (i.e., may you prosper).” [Bukhari]
He also said: “If there comes to you to marry (your daughter) one who with whose religious commitment and character you are pleased, then marry (your daughter) to him, for if you do not do that, there will be fitnah (tribulation) in the land and widespread corruption.” [Tirmidhi]
Islam points you towards good character and religious commitment, while people point you towards money, degrees, skin colour and tribes. One leads you towards jannah (heaven), while the other leads you towards a temporary life and Allah says:
“Know that the life of this world is but amusement and diversion and adornment and boasting to one another and competition in increase of wealth and children” [57:20]
Marriage shouldn’t be hard and marrying someone who is religiously committed with good character should be accepted. The skin colour, degrees or wealth shouldn’t matter either because we all entered the world the same and will leave the same, rich or poor.
Leave the tribalism and ego behind and follow the Qur’an and Sunnah to the best of your ability, in order to reap the fruits of success.