In this counseling answer:
“(1) Talk to your parents more about why you want to get married. Pray they will step up and assist you locally. (2) Overcome your shyness and ask sisters, friends, or the local imam to put the word out for you locally. (3) Consider marrying someone back home that your parents have pursued you. (4) Be patient and wait for a proposal to come to you. Do all you can to protect yourself form zina during this time.”
As-Salamu ‘Alaikum wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatuh sister,
Now that you feel ready, you are doing the right thing in seeking marriage. Islamically, we are encouraged to marry from a young age for many excellent reasons. You also approach it in the best way by asking for your parents’ help. It is unfortunate, however, that you don’t seem to have the support of your parents at all here.
There are a few ways you could consider going about overcoming the difficulties you face in your situation. You could talk to your parents in more depth, overcome your shyness, and ask others to help you locally. You can also consider proposals back home. Either way will require some patience. During this time, it is important to do all you can to protect yourself from the zina that you fear of committing.
Talk to your parents
Certainly, we should respect our parents and listen to what they say, even if it is something we don’t like. Except if they tell you to do something against Islam such as dating boys as you say they suggested. It is a shame that they are not supporting your own choice right now, but perhaps they feel like they are doing their bit by trying to find you a spouse under their conditions, i.e. someone back home.
To some extent, they would be right that you do need to have a bit of patience, but at the same time you need to make it known that you are seeking marriage, otherwise, you would not receive any proposals. Since they don’t feel that the woman should be the one making proposals, perhaps you could ask them to simply make it known that you are accepting proposals, even if it just to the imam alone whom will have more idea of the status of those in the community. This way you don’t have to be forward in making proposals as they feel is shameful, but at least it will be known that you are ready and prepared to get married. This way both you and your parents get your way to some extent.
Continue to stress the importance of seeking marriage in the most acceptable way. Perhaps they are anxious about you getting married and consequently having less contact with them anymore. Maybe that is why they have been less active in assisting you. Reassure them that you are doing it for all the right reasons and help them to understand this by being clear about your intentions.
When approaching them, make sure to pick a good time when you can sit down and talk seriously in-depth without interruption. Perhaps you could even ask a friend to sit with you too and support you in talking to them so that you feel more comfortable. Maybe by this way they understand how very serious you are about your desire to marry.
If there is no chance that your parents will help you to find someone local and you will not consider any of the proposals that they have sought, then perhaps you could ask others to help you.
Being shy might make it difficult for you to step out of your comfort zone and ask others for assistance, but it is better if you did it. You will be more likely to find a spouse and avoid zina. By letting your shyness overcome you, you might end up committing zina.
You can turn to other options, aside from your parents, to find a spouse. You could ask friends if they know anyone or to put the word out that you are looking.
Another option is to ask any sisters in the mosque or to put it to the local imam who will have an even better idea of the status of others in the community and of any other men who may be looking.
Remember that there is no shame if a woman seeks marriage. The fact that your parents have told you it’s shameful could likely make you feel shy about even asking anyone else.
Ask yourself also if any of your friends or sisters in the masjid asked for your assistance in finding a spouse, would you look down upon them? Would you think their behavior is shameful? Most likely not, just as others will not likely view you that way. If it is that you fear the way they will judge you, remember that it is not their judgment that will ultimately matter. It is Allah’s judgment that matters the most, and He knows that your intentions are pure.
Consider proposals back home
If you are still unable to overcome your shyness, then perhaps you might consider the proposals from back home that your parents have mentioned. If it is that you are not open to moving back home, then at this point you can make it clear from the start that one of the requirements is that he moves to live with you there. At least being clear from the start can prevent any troubles from occurring further down the line where there may be a conflict due to different future goals.
Be patient and wait
If nothing above works, then you could follow your parents’ advice to be patient and wait to some extent. Islamically, we know that it is beneficial to be patient:
“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient. “(Qur’an, 2:153)
but at the same time marriage is an important aspect of life and we are encouraged to do so for a number of good reasons.
“…They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them…” (Qur’an, 2:187)
Perhaps you might, therefore, consider a compromise here. You could decide on a timescale of say 6 months to be patient and wait. See if anything comes along. If it doesn’t, then be prepared to take a more active approach and work harder on overcoming shyness or else consider proposals back home. Waiting for this time may also give you the space to develop a heightened motivation to ask for the assistance of others. It might also make you feel more open to accepting any proposals back home.
The Quran says:
“But let them who find not [the means for] marriage abstain [from sexual relations] until Allah enriches them from His bounty.” (24:33)
During this time, before you get married, do all you can to protect yourself from committing zina as you fear.
There are a number of ways you can do this:
– Always keep Allah (swt) in remembrance with all you do so that you continue to strive to please Him and keep Shaytan away.
– Avoid being in situations where zina could possibly occur such as mixed gatherings.
– Fast regularly.
– Be in the company of good people.
– Keep busy in meaningful activities.
In summary, there a number of things to think about and ways in which you can progress with seeking a spouse. (1) Talk to your parents more about why you want to get married. Pray they will step up and assist you locally. (2) Overcome your shyness and ask sisters, friends, or the local imam to put the word out for you locally. (3) Consider marrying someone back home that your parents have pursued you. (4) Be patient and wait for a proposal to come to you. Do all you can to protect yourself form zina during this time.
May Allah (swt) reward your good intentions and bless you with a righteous spouse who will be the coolness of your eyes.
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.