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My Parents Don’t Want Me to Get Married

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Apr 26, 2017

Question

I'm a 43 years old woman, and I'm really lonely. I do text/email with friends but they are busy with their families. I may have one or two social events per month, but the rest of the time I work, do things by myself (like exercise, read, pray, do things around the house). My parents are old so I visit them a lot and care for them when required. They did not want me to get married but I did as I always wanted babies. Anyway, I'm lonely now and want someone to care about me. Is it ok if I seek out a non-Muslim man to do things with? If he cares about me, he will also help me in life like cut the grass, do repairs in my house, take me to the doctor if I'm sick, etc. I've gone behind my parents back and asked "elders" about marriage; gone online, contacted various Islamic organizations, but they all say my age is prohibitive. Occasional emails/text and a few hours here and there in a social setting are no longer enough for me. I'm trying hard not to sink into depression, but it's not working.

Counselor

Answer


My Parents Don’t Want Me to Get Married

Answer:

As-Salaamu ‘Alalikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,

My dear sister in Islam, your age in not prohibitive! Khadijah (ra) was 40 years old when she married the Prophet (saw) and their love was the best ever! The idea that age matters is a cultural thing, not Islam.

Although our bodies do matter sometimes. As women age, they lose their sexual attributes. This is why Allah (swt) allows us to take off our outer garments when we get menopausal—because we begin to lose our allure after menopause. But you are too young for that anyway and this does not sound like the problem you are having…

Parents-Children Conflict over Choosing a Spouse

Aging Singles: How Parents Cause Delay in Marriage

You say you have gone online but I think you should try that again. It would be a very good route for you to check out. It used to be dangerous to try to find a suitor online but now it can be very productive. There are a few halal Muslim websites just for marriage.

I think your problem is confidence. You are a very good woman to take care of your parents. Many men would be very happy to have a righteous wife like you! Please don’t let your non-Islamic cultural ideas corrupt your thinking. You could be having love in your life but your culture is making you think that you can’t.

That said, if you can’t find anyone, know that we are all going to be married to the person who is our pair in Jannah. So, hope for the Next Life in Jannah. Actually, there are many very well-known Muslim men in Islam who did not marry (such as Ibn Taymiyyah). Any tests we suffer in this life can give us great hopes for relief in the Next Life. So, do not forget that the equation of our life includes the Next Life – that is how all the suffering in this life makes sense.

Also, if you do not find a husband, you could get involved in some social work that makes you feel useful and meaningful. Sometimes this sort of thing gives a person something else to live for besides personal love, i.e., love for others.

Lastly, when Muslim women don’t marry and have children, they are then available to other Muslim women who do. I know it might be too late in life for you to become a doctor, but how about a nurse or midwife so that you could help Muslim women with having babies so that we don’t have to go to men for our health care. If you don’t want to go back to school, how about teaching driving to Muslim women or anything else that takes a one-on-one relationship like tutoring?

About depression, the best remedy for depression is this: respect your feelings and let them process. Then get up, brush the dust off, and get to work doing things that you enjoy. Even if those things are not “the” very thing that you wanted to do or have, you can find some happiness and satisfaction in them. They usually can go a long way towards making you feel bolstered internally with something that answers to your need to feel good. Of course, the first line of action is to ask Allah (swt) to help you see through your tests to His wisdom in your tests –and to give you confidence about the Next Life, in Sha’ Allah.

May Allah (swt) make it easy for you,

***

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About Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem

Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem, an American, has a BA in English from UC Berkeley and is about to receive an MS degree in counseling psychology (Marriage and Family Therapy - MFT) from the Western Institute for Social Research. For over ten years, Nasira worked as a psychotherapist with the general public and in addiction recovery. For the last few years, she has been a life coach specializing in interpersonal relations. Nasira also consults with her many family members who studied Islam overseas and returned to America to be Imams and teachers of Islam. Muslims often ask Nasira what psychology has to do with Islam. To this, she replies that Islam is the manifestation of a correct understanding of our psychology. Therapists and life coaches help clients figure out how to traverse the path of life as a Believer, i.e., "from darkness into light", based on Islam and given that that path is an obstacle course, according to Allah.

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