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I’m Short & Ugly: I’ll Remain a Spinster!

20 May, 2017
Q As-Salamu `Alaykum. I'm a Bangladeshi postgraduate medical student. My parents have searched for a suitable, practicing, educated Muslim groom for me, but in vain. Although I'm a practicing Muslimah doctor, my short stature and ugliness have always prevented any proposal to succeed. I have decided to cut myself off totally from social affairs. This is because whenever I meet any relatives, they ask me why I'm not married although they know the reason very well - that short and ugly ladies remain spinsters.All my friends are married and tease me in the most sarcastic way although my parents and siblings have always been good about it. Al-hamdu lillah, I don't need anyone's advice, but when I go home, I usually find someone who, in the name of visiting my retired parents, makes sure to attack me! They even tell me to remove my hijab in order to get married, may Allah forgive them! Before I go into total seclusion, I thought it would be wiser to seek your advice.



As-Salamu `Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,

May Allah Most High bless you in your attempt to strengthen yourself in your faith and your desire to do what is pleasing to Him. There are several elements of your situation that I will try to address.

It is always important in your relationship with Allah to remind yourself of your purpose in life. All of humanity was created to serve only Allah. Therefore, the solutions we seek must be pleasing to Allah, and we must submit to this regardless of our own emotions. Allah Most High tests us in numerous ways. He says in the Qur’an, “Do you think you will say you believe and not be tested?” So, whenever these tests come and in whatever form, we need to remind ourselves to be patient because “Verily, Allah is with those who are patient.”

As for cutting off ties of kinship because of the unfortunate remarks of your family, we cannot cut off ties of relationship with our family because this is a major sin. But there is a difference in cutting off ties with them and not always surrounding yourself with those who hurt/mimic/offend you. For anyone to make fun of your looks is a terrible thing because Allah Most High is perfect, and what He creates is perfect. Since Allah Most High does not make mistakes, and there is no fault in His perfection, then the fault is in the eyes of those who claim that Allah’s creation is ugly. When they visit, in sha’ Allah, greet them and be respectful, and then you can try to find ways to legitimately excuse yourself so as not to engage them in prolonged conversation.

Have you spoken to your parents about your feelings? Parents can often be a great source of strength and comfort and can set boundaries for others. Try to talk to them and explain to them how you feel about peoples’ comments. Sometimes, people think that they are joking and they forget Allah’s reminder in Surat Al-Hashr about not being sarcastic and making fun of believers.

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More importantly to me is how you see yourself In fact, I think this the most important point. If you reflect on what I said in points one and two, you will realize that you are not ugly. Just because you may not look the way some people define beauty does not mean you are not beautiful. In the sight of Allah, the most beautiful persons are those who are the most pious. So, remind yourself of this, and when you hear negative words and think negative thoughts, seek refuge in Allah and replace them with positive thought or some dhikr (remembrance of Allah). This way, even if anyone says anything negative, you will be able to walk away from it being proud and confident because of your love for yourself and your strong relationship with Allah. married-mental-health-of-both-men-and-women

Regarding taking off your hijab, Allah Most High has commanded you to disobey anyone who advises you to disobey Him to gain something in this world. Just think, if someone is encouraging you to disobey Allah, will you listen? You have not done so, so why would you listen to them when they say negative things about you? Remind yourself that by being patient with Allah’s decree and seeking help from Him, you will be able to be successful in this life and the next. Never underestimate the power of your du`aa’ (supplication). If you desire marriage, then make du`aa’ and be patient. Seek the characteristics endearing to Allah, and Allah will open a way for you when the time is right.

As for the issue of seclusion, my dear sister, I enjoin you to reflect on your creation. Allah Most High has created us to serve Him. Allah has blessed you with the bounty of knowledge and faith. Your duty is to best see how you can use the talents that Allah has given to you in His path.

Do you remember that Rufaida (may Allah be pleased with her) was the first nurse recorded in history, and she was a Muslim woman? Allah Most High has given you all of this knowledge and ability, so what you should think about, instead of going into seclusion, is how you can use this to serve Him. One way to stay away from those who would hurt and harm you by their words and actions is to keep yourself busy by doing good actions and thinking good thoughts.

Finally, I encourage you to remember the hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), which I will paraphrase: a believer who lives with people and endures their hurt is better than the believer who secludes himself away from them. Your duty, sister, is to strengthen your heart and continue to serve Allah in the field you are now practicing and use this to increase your rewards with Him with the hope of gaining His mercy and entrance into Paradise.

May Allah bless you,


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About Jeewan Chanicka
Jeewan Chanicka is from Toronto, Canada, and has been involved in working with youth, education, and social services issues since 1993. He graduated with a bachelor's degree with honors in individualized studies at York University with a focus on conflict resolution and culturally appropriate forms of mediation. He has done much work with both youth and adults, especially around parenting, teenage and youth issues, and bridging the gap between generations.