This post is for sisters who are not yet married and struggling to cope with all that that entails, sisters who have to handle a lot of pressure from family and friends, and sisters who are tired of making du’a to finally be with Mr. right.
Whilst getting married is a huge milestone in our lives, it does not need to be our only goal, as we are slaves of Allah first, above all other roles in life. There are a few things to always remember to help you be happier as a single Muslimah.
1. Seasons come and go
Remember that one time when you were so unwell and unable to do simple chores? That was a season. And when you felt better, but soon got overwhelmed with work and wished you could run away for a day? That was a season too.
You know what else is a season? Being unmarried is a season. Just like all those other seasons, this too shall pass. The unmarried phase is not just any season, but a blessed one. It can be, if you utilize this time wisely – by investing in yourself – your personal development before another person comes along in your life.
2. “My lane, my pace”
It was our last psychology class that day, and my teacher was sharing her final words with us. She told us to always remember the words: “my lane, my pace”
And I thought to myself – How empowering!
If you feel pressured, if you start to compare yourself to others, if you feel like something is wrong with you because you’re not married yet, simply say these words to yourself. My lane, my pace.
Because the truth is, adults progress through life at their own individual pace just the way children develop at their individual pace. Some kids don’t talk until they’re 3 or 4 years old, others talks as early as 1. We can’t say one child is better than the other, for what Allah has chosen for each is chosen based on His infinite wisdom.
Just because the norm in society is to be married after university, it does not mean that you too must be married after graduating. You are not the society. Just because the average 25 year old girl is married, it does not mean that there’s anything wrong with you because you’re 25+ and unmarried. You are not just another girl. You are you. And that’s your beauty. Alhamdulillah.
So come as you are. Show up as you. Be you. Others may not understand this but you need to accept it to understand it. The main thing is to always do ihsan (utmost good) in whatever lane you’re on – without being rude, without overreacting, and without blaming.
Use whatever you have today to be the best you can be – today. If marriage comes up on your lane, allow it and be the best wife. If it does not come up on your lane, allow it and be the best single muslimah (or daughter/sister – whichever role you’re playing in the society).
3. Gratitude brings abundance (barakah)
What you focus on, grows. Ask yourself if you’re focusing on the 10% of your life that seems missing (absence of someone to call your husband).
Allah says in the Qur’an: “And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]…” [Qur’an 14:7]
Understanding this ayah has made me appreciate it so much. One thing I love about the ayah is the word ‘increase’. ‘Increase’ does not only mean that if you are grateful for your good health, you will get better health. It’s not tit for tat. It means if you are grateful for your health, you will get more goodness. That could be health, wealth, children, a husband, a job… It could even be contentment in your heart. Your job and my job is to be grateful – humbly and sincerely.
4. Happy now, happy later; sad now, sad later
Don’t assume that a husband will come and suddenly, all of the sadness you feel will go away. You’re the one controlling your feelings now and you’re the one who will control your feelings after marriage. Not your husband.
Your attitude towards life today will most likely be your attitude towards life as a wife.
If being not-yet-married is taking over your happiness now, then whatever goes wrong in your married life will most likely take over your happiness too. Indeed marriage is half your deen. But you know what else is half of your deen? Purification! Purification of the soul.
So it might help if you focus on personal growth. Focus on another part of your life and make that your priority, like your good health, parents, or your Qur’an studies. It might help if you have the thirst of a lifelong learner so that you’re busy with your personal reading or studying. It might help if you find that one thing that you enjoy doing, and challenge yourself to become the best at it – that could be anything from public speaking to cooking. Focus on making yourself better everyday.
5. Sabr over sexual desires
The word sabr is to be patient enough to obey Allah and patient enough to NOT disobey Allah.
You may find that you fast and pray and all that, that’s one part of sabr. The other part is to not do those things which may be displeasing to Allah.
Although it’s absolutely normal to have sexual desires and needs, what makes it potentially ‘bad’ is how you handle these desires. Some people use pornography, masturbation, and other means to (temporarily) satisfy themselves.
The sad part about this is that it easily becomes a habit, so you may find that you repent, but fall right back into it. Then you repent again, and fall right back into it again. So much so that people find it hard to break up with that habit even after marriage. Even when they have halal means to have their sexual desires met – simply because it became an addiction.
Once upon a time, Abu Al-Yasar kissed a woman and felt really guilt about it so he said that…”I went to Abu Bakr and mentioned that to him, so he said: ‘Cover what you have done, repent, do not inform any one, and never do it again.’ So I went to ‘Umar and mentioned that to him. He said: ‘Cover what you have done, repent, do not inform any one, and never do it again.’… [Tirmidhi]
My advice regarding this – my most sincere advice – is: don’t take the first step. It’s tempting. It doesn’t feel like a big deal. But it is!
Today, in our instant gratification filled world, not taking the first step means not sitting in your room alone on your phone or laptop, mindlessly surfing the internet or social media. It means not exchanging Skype ID’s and home addresses with that guy. It means not listening to music… (this has nothing to do with the haram or halal debate). Music today is SO obscene that it slowly translates to desire, and slowly, desire translates to sin. May Allah protect us all.
Shaytan knows your weakness and his aim is to get you from one click to another click, from one conversation to another conversation, from one cute heart emoji to another cute kiss emoji…until you find that you have drowned. So be on the lookout for the first step and find a way to stop it by nipping evil in the bud.
And if you’ve taken several steps already, it’s still never too late to repent as long as you’re breathing. Your sin is between you and your Lord. Your repentance is between you and your Lord. Take a step back and see what drives the surge every time and try to stop that if you can. Keep yourself busy and stay in righteous company because an idle mind is a playground for the devil.
And fast. And fast some more. Because your physical desire to be intimate with someone doesn’t mean that you are emotionally or mentally ready to be in a relationship that exists outside of lust and passion too.
Narrated Abdullah: We were with the Prophet (ﷺ) while we were young and had no wealth whatever. So Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power.” [Bukhari 5066]
6. Make du’a with conviction and consistency
When I first learnt about the power of du’a, my teacher said with so much certiainty:
“I don’t see how it’s possible that you consistently make du’a to Allah [for whatever specific thing you want] and that He won’t answer your du’a.”
That was mind-blowing for me to hear and understand. This meant that whatever I wanted – husband, kids, job, finances – I just had to consistently ask Allah and I would get. And that’s exactly what I did. In some cases, what I asked for was exactly what I got. Alhamdulillah. In other cases however, I did not get what I asked for. Alhamdulillah. I understood that there was wisdom in that, because I came to realize that:
-I did not need those things, I only wanted them
-I was not ready for some of them
-I was ok and well and still living a good, happy life without them
I also understood that not getting those things did not mean that Allah did not respond to my du’a. He always responds to du’a. Even if we get a ‘no’ in this dunya, it’s a ‘yes in the aakhirah. So much so that it will make you wish none of your duas got answered in the world.
So before you make dua, remember that Allah created the heavens and earth and all that is between them. Whatever it is that you’re asking for is within the realm of the heavens and the earth. It may seem too much to you in your limited human perception – but it is never too much for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “…he who asks (Allah) to help him abstain from the unlawful and the forbidden, Allah will fulfill his wish; and he who seeks self-sufficiency will be made self-sufficient by Allah”. [Bukhari]
7. You need YOU
My dear sister, take an honest look at yourself. What hurts? What’s working? Are you happy? Are you where you want to be?
Sometimes being an adult is challenging because we hardly find shoulders to lean on or someone to wipe our tears. But that’s why we’re adults – we can now do those things for ourselves. Of course, it’ll be great to have someone be there for us. But it’s the best to have yourself at the end of each tunnel.
Be there for yourself. You need you. Pick yourself up. Love yourself enough. Take care of you. Find ways to make you feel better. If you don’t show up for yourself, who will show up for you?
A great place to start is self awareness. Learn about yourself and find out what you need, then take care of your needs.
May Allah help you find a righteous spouse, but before you find him, I pray that Allah helps you find yourself 💜 so you can fall in love with yourself before you can fall in love with someone else…And before all that, I hope that you find Allah. I pray that Allah’s love goes above all else for you.
Author’s Bio: Maryam is a lifelong learner and is interested in personal development. She blogs at www.sistersflourish.com. If you would like to join her email series for Single Sisters, please visit her website to sign up.