In this counseling answer:
“You are still young so there is no hurry. Think about it. If after careful consideration and prayer to Allah (swt) you feel you are not ready for marriage, let your family know. If you feel you are but with conditions that you put off starting a family right away, be sure to discuss this with any potential suitor. In sha’ Allah, Allah (swt) will bless you with a husband who, like you, works and also puts in time doing charity work and dawah. If so, he may fully understand your calling concerning your goals and agree to put off having children until you both are ready.”
As-Salamu ‘Alaykum sister,
Thank you for writing to us. I am very impressed and happy to hear you are an active part of the ummah and of your plans for dawah. Your goals are very humble, sincere reflecting a deep love for Allah (swt) and Islam and is much needed today in our societies.
As women, yes, we are expected to have children and increase our ummah. However, that is not the only accomplishments we as women/wives attain. If you look at our beloved Prophet’s (saw) wives, some were business women, teachers, and caretakers of the poor and orphaned children. Some of his wives memorized Qur’an and spent much time in the Masjid. Others were involved in charity work. They were diverse, intelligent, and blessed women who were devoted to the Prophet Mohammad (saw) and maintaining Islam. Yet, the only one who bore the Prophet (saw) children was Khadeejah (ra).
So while having children is important, sister, it is understandable how your love for Allah (swt) and Islam has led you to want to develop programs for dawah as well as be active in the ummah. May Allah (swt) bless and reward you sister for your aspirations and grant you ease in all your future plans.
Check out this counseling answer:
Yes, it is true that most Muslims do marry young and have children young. However, it is a safe guard for us to marry, thus, the emphasis on marrying young. Many individuals, however, are putting off marriage and children for reasons such as a university, work, family obligations, travel or a desire to do dawah such as yourself. On the other hand, some couples do get married young, complete their education and other pursuits and then have children.
So, actually sister, it is about what you want and how you want to go about doing it. You could marry now with an agreement between you and your husband that you will not have children right away, but after you have completed a portion of your goals. For this to work, he must be in agreement. You would also need to set a time frame of how long you wish to pursue your goals as well as a tentative date of when you both would agree to start a family.
Perhaps, you will find a potential husband who has the same esteemed desires to do dawah and be involved in the ummah and you could do it together. That would make it much easier to negotiate between the both of you on when may be best to have children.
While having children is a great blessing and joy from Allah (swt), you are in thinking it would take up your time. Having children is a commitment that does require a lot of time, energy and sacrifice. However, the joys and rewards of having children is numerous. You may find that if you do choose to marry, you may start desiring children! Or, you may still feel like you would like to wait a few more years. The key dear sister is finding a balance in which you can give time to your marriage, your home, your work in the ummah and to your children if you decide to start a family right after marriage. You may need to cut back on some of your Islamic activities within the ummah, yes, as your children and husband will come first. That is not to say Islam does not come first. It does; however, getting married and having children is an Islamic act which has many blessings and benefits.
I would kindly ask you, sister, to look at your options. You are still young so there is no hurry. Think about it. While your family is looking for a suitable partner for you, you may want to decide if you are ready to marry or not. If after careful consideration and prayer to Allah (swt) you feel you are not, let your family know. If you feel you are but with conditions that you put off starting a family right away, be sure to discuss this with any potential suitor. In sha’ Allah, Allah (swt) will bless you with a husband who, like you, works and also puts in time doing charity work and dawah. If so, he may fully understand your calling concerning your goals and agree to put off having children until you both are ready.
In either case, sister, I suggest that you think carefully about your future and outline your plans and time table; be ready to present your Islamic goals to a potential husband (if you chose to marry now) and make du’aa’ to Allah (swt) to guide you towards what is best for you and your deen.
We wish you the best, sister.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.