This month, we have already seen a lot of articles on Islamic Reflections about marriage, getting married and how to solve the issues that arise in a marriage. But there is something else that I wished to address – you are of marriageable age, you want to get married, your parents and relatives are actively looking for a spouse for you but you are not married, yet.
The pressure can get unbearable, with not just the societal expectations, but also your personal vulnerability and desires. So, how to deal with it?
“O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allaah is that (believer) who has At-Taqwa [i.e. he is one of the Muttaqoon (the pious)]. Verily, Allaah is All-Knowing, All-Aware”
Now, Taqwa is a term that we, as Muslims, come across on a regular basis, and many of us have it as a part of our common vocabulary. It is often presented as, “piety” or “God-fearing.” The deeper meaning that comes along here is being aware of Allah in everything you do. It is a constant state of awareness, alertness, and consciousness that whatever action you take, you’ll be held accountable for it.
Taqwa is important in this context for mainly two reasons: number one, when you are aware of Allah, you’re not just aware of His punishment, but also of His abundant blessings, not just His tests but the innumerable rewards. So, having Taqwa, developing it and maintaining it helps you deal with all the pressure you are under. Not only that, it also gives you the burst of positivity that you need in order to strive and hustle when you’re down, or things seem ever so difficult.
Number two, Taqwa also implies your love for Allah. The constant remembrance, the continued endearment and the constant awareness is your love for Allah, isn’t it?
Isn’t this how love is described in romantic movies and novels? When you can think of nothing but the object of your affection when you want to do things and take efforts to please them?
But love for Allah has rewards – more rewards than loving any person can have. As explained by this hadith:
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said that Allah said: “I will declare war against him who shows hostility to a pious worshipper of mine. And the most beloved things with which My slave comes nearer to Me, is what I have enjoined upon him; and My worshipper keeps on coming close to Me through performing Nawafil (praying or doing extra deeds besides what is obligatory) till I love him, then I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hands with which he grips, and his legs with which he walks; and if he asks Me, I will give him, and if he asks My protection (refuge), I will protect him.” [Al-Bukhari].
Now, can you imagine this? Subhan Allah.
Allah is protecting you, and Allah will do only which is good for you. So, Taqwa helps you remember that even though the times are tough right now, it is Allah’s Will and He Will protect you and guide you.
Psychologically speaking, this helps you and comforts you because the constant anxiety of what might happen is removed knowing that Allah, the Greatest and All-Knowing, is out there protecting you. No harm can come to you then.
This means relying on Allah and entrusting one’s affairs completely to Allah. Make your best effort and then leave it to Allah. Trust Him to do what is best for you. Yes, it happens that sometimes you like someone, and they seem like the one but things don’t work out. It’s okay; you relied on Allah and if He believes you can do better, there will be better people for you. Again, this washes away the anxiety and stress that society is pushing on you – “Oh, you are too educated to get married now!” “Oh, but you’re so old – no one will like you.” “Oh, but you look like…” Don’t bother with these comments. Rely on Allah.
Now, there are many things you should evaluate when you have completed the previous two things:
“Are you ready for marriage – not just physically, but mentally and emotionally?”
“What are you looking for in a spouse? Are your standards Islamically aligned?”This does not mean that you compromise on things that matter a lot merely to get married, but evaluate how “important” the items are on your checklist for the perfect spouse. Define your perfect. And then, look at yourself: Are you that definition of perfect? Do you know anyone, truly know anyone, who is perfect? Sometimes, we may have a distorted vision or idea of marriage, and what a marriage is supposed to look like and maybe, the delay in our marriages is to help us remove the rose-tinted glasses.
A cliché notion, but nobody is perfect and you have to make compromises and adjustments just like you would expect the other person to make them for you. What I want you to evaluate is: are you ready to make the right sort of compromises?
Life Doesn’t End
I have heard many a time people say the phrase, “Oh no, don’t work (or study further, or take up a new course) because you might get married and will have to leave it in the middle.” Remember, we love Allah and rely on Him – so, we know our decisions are backed by Him. Pray your Istikhara and continue to do things that help you keep your mind focused, help the Ummah, and help you become a better Muslim. The more you are busy, the lesser time you have to look into the lives of others and compare yourself to them. At the same time, you can focus on things which you can actually control, instead of constantly worrying over things you can’t.
This is a continuation of the previous point. Try to constantly improve yourself. I know it is cliché, but it is very important and effective. The thing is, society expects that as soon as a girl becomes of a marriageable age, she should be married. But, things don’t work out like that. And the more the time passes between these two events, the greater the whispers and conjectures of people. Unfortunately, many girls begin to doubt themselves and their worth because of these comments. But when you are evolving, trying to better yourself, being a better Muslim, better human being – you gain confidence and your achievements help you stay strong through those dark times when it seems like you have nothing at all.
Company You Keep
Unfortunately, in modern times, being indecent and Zina is not only encouraged, but rewarded. This can become an additional test while dealing with societal pressures. Peers, who rub their relationships on your face, or who drive you away from the right path are not the right kind of people to be around. You deserve better than these toxic relationships. Surround yourself with people that encourage you to do better, understand your vulnerabilities, and walk with you on the right path. Ignore the others. Listen to people that matter.
So, in conclusion, it is very important to remember that just because you are not married while all your friends are getting engaged, married or having kids, does not mean that there’s something wrong with you. Maybe it’s a test of your patience. Or maybe it’s a disguised blessing saving you from something you’re not ready to handle, yet. Or maybe Allah has some better bigger things for you than you can even imagine. The best thing we can do is not lose hope or our zeal – live in the moment to better our Aakhirah and trust Allah to do the best for us.
May Allah grant us all spouses who will be better for us in Dunya and Aakhirah. Aameen.
Written by: Arshi Dokadia
Edited by: The Editorial Team