In this counseling answer:
• I would suggest weighing the benefits of getting married now vs. waiting as well as looking at what obstacles you may face by waiting.
• You may meet someone who understands, respects and admires your ambitions and the good heart. It could be that Allah has somebody for you that also dreams of practicing medicine or is practicing medicine.
• If your parents are not supportive of this and you do want to get married, I would kindly suggest that you check out Professional Muslim forums, groups, and other Islamic forums wherein there are professional Muslims seeking marriage.
• The division between home/family and career, however, does not have to equal a loss for either the family or your future patients. With a future husband who is supportive as well as family insha’Allah, you can navigate through times that are stressful or burdensome.
Assalamu Alaikum sister,
Thank you for writing to us with your most important concerns. Your issues regarding wanting to pursue medicine and at the same time wanting marriage are two very valuable and important life decisions.
To Marry or to Wait
Marriage, as you know, provides us with a companion, life partner, best friend, and lover. Marriage is the only means for us Muslims for sexual expression and intimacy. With that said, I kindly ask that you take a personal look at how you are currently feeling in life. Do you feel pressed to get married right now? Do you constantly crave the affections of a husband? Do you feel that you can wait to be married or not? Do you feel that it would be a detriment if you put marriage off for a few years? The answers to these questions may help you navigate your way through the decision-making process as to whether or not to get married now.
While it is good to get married young, it is also becoming more common in some places to wait until one has their career in place. Sometimes it is harder to get married when one waits, but Allah knows best. I would suggest weighing the benefits of getting married now vs. waiting as well as looking at what obstacles you may face by waiting. Put your whole heart and efforts into thinking about marriage and make istakhara prayer (prayer of seeking guidance) to Allah regarding this very important decision.
Medical Careers and Marriage
Regarding the pursuit of medicine as a career, it appears sister that you have a very strong passion for this. It could be that Allah has paved this path for you as well. It is a blessing when there are intelligent, loving Muslims who pursue a career in the medical field and become doctors. As you have chosen the pediatric specialty which serves children, that is a choice which illustrates your value and love for children as well as concern for their well-being. Becoming a doctor is an intense field of study requiring much dedication, time and sacrifice as you already know.
However, the outcome of this rigorous profession is to be acknowledged. May Allah bless you in your pursuits. Sister it is quite possible to get married and to pursue your dream of becoming a pediatric surgeon. The key to all of this would be in getting to know your future husband and his family. You may meet someone who has the same interest in helping heal humanity as you do! You may meet someone who understands, respects and admires your ambitions and the good heart. It could be that Allah has somebody for you that also dreams of practicing medicine or is practicing medicine. The two of you could make a wonderful team of doctors and have much in common insha’Allah. This may help to create a solid marriage with a loving husband and wife and future parents.
Compatibility, Understanding & Finding a Spouse
In order to screen potential mates, you would need to speak with your parents if they are the ones who will be helping you find a husband. You will need to tell them the type of husband that you seek. I would kindly suggest that you develop a list of desirable qualities you seek in a husband, ones that are compatible with your overall life goals. You should also consider helping them understand how important your career dream is to you. With this knowledge, your parents may be better able to screen for potential husbands.
Check out this counseling video:
I would also like to add, that while getting to know a potential husband you would also want to get to know the family. This would entail spending time with them in conversation and doing things together such as going out for dinner, visiting each other’s homes and so forth. This can all be done in a halal manner. Getting to know a potential spouse and their family is a very important step in realizing if one is compatible for marriage.
If your parents are not supportive of this and you do want to get married, I would kindly suggest that you check out Professional Muslim forums, groups, and other Islamic forums wherein there are professional Muslims seeking marriage. While we hope that we will have our parents support, help, and blessings regarding marriage, this is not always the case. Often Muslims need to seek other ways which are halal to find an appropriate spouse. By the will of Allah, you will find a husband who is supportive of you and your dream to be a doctor.
Family Constructs, Supports, and Personal Goals
Regarding what your future in-laws feel or think about your profession is quite secondary. While yes, in-laws and parents are a very important part of family life, you are marrying one man. You are not marrying a whole family and you have a right to your dreams, goals, and visions for yourself as an individual and as a Muslim. If you and your “husband to be” are on the same page and agreeable to all situations that either of you may be pursuing, that is all that should matter. Again, by getting to know potential families, insha’Allah you will garner their support as well.
Marriage and children take a lot of time, work, and energy. Becoming a doctor or practicing medicine also takes a lot of time, energy, and dedication. However, there are many doctors who make the situation work and are very happy. Some are husband and wife teams of doctors, others are marriages with just one spouse who is a doctor (male or female). Whatever the situation is, most cases can make it work to the benefit of the family. It may be difficult and exhausting at times, but so are a lot of other professions as well as being a stay at home mom.
The division between home/family and career, however, does not have to equal a loss for either the family or your future patients. With a future husband who is supportive as well as family insha’Allah, you can navigate through times that are stressful or burdensome.
Sister, by the will of Allah you can do both. You can get married and have your career. Your options include putting off marriage for a few years or finding someone who is supportive of your dream and aspirations. It would be wise, as stated above, to make it very clear to your family and any prospective husband, your intent for your career as well as your intent to be a good wife and have a successful marriage. May Allah make this path easy for you.
Trust in Allah
You are a wonderful Muslim with a pure heart. I am confident that inshaAllah, you will be successful at anything you set your mind to. Make supplication to Allah regarding your goals and trust in Him. His will, if you pursue marriage currently, think things through and be upfront about your goals, hopes, and aspirations. Choose someone who is compatible, someone whom you can complement, and who can complement you for the sake of Allah, career, and marriage.
We wish you all the best.
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.