When Will Good Come to Me?

07 December, 2016
Q Salaam, I wrote several times to Dr Bachmeier in the past and she was very helpful. I had failed at university and had become depressed. Years have past and I have a good job now, a good income, I'm genuinely happier with myself and have good friendships. But I've been single this whole time and I feel lonely to the core... I've tried being set up and online but nothing had come of this. Everyone tells me the right person will come but what if they don't? I feel presently the thought of having a partner and children in the future keeps me going but I worry this may not happen for me. I've always been very inquisitive and my overthinking is stressing me out so I distract myself. My thoughts are that I've had a difficult upbringing we were quite poor, I wasn't the favoured child and was neglected which probably lead to low self esteem and difficulties making friends. My dad was depressed and tried to kill himself in front of me but thankfully he got better. Because he was depressed he couldn't be around for me but when he was he was the best dad. He died a few years ago from cancer. My brother has bipolar disorder and living with him has been horrendous the last decade as he can be verbally and physically aggressive. I was also bullied by a group of girls in my local area and had acne for 15 years. Somehow I'm resilient and overcome a lot of the obstacles but part of me feels I've been through so much I thought I would find a life partner easily but this hasn't happened. I grew so desperate for answers i contacted a clairvoyant who was actually surprisingly accurate in information about me and she said I will meet someone soon. I'm not depressed but I see my peers all married and I know they haven't experienced the hardships I have and I just think what is the point of life when even though you try good rarely comes my way. I'm not a bad person I try to be kind to all and charitable but honestly if the next decade of my life is more hardships I'm tired. I think in the past when I failed university despite having been a good student when younger I probably had ptsd. I just want to enjoy my life with a good kind partner and have new happier memories. Currently I keep busy with work, spend time with family and friends and do things I enjoy but deep inside there's a void. I know a partner won't solve all my life but I see friends’ happy positive relationships and I want that too. I have prayed but to be honest I don't pray consistently. I also find myself bargaining with God almost praying and saying all these bad things happened in my life please bring some good. But then I'm painfully aware of the state of others around the world who also just want a good life and I think well at least I'm not in a life threatening situation etc but still I feel lonely and worry as I age I won't be attractive anymore. Just wondering how to deal with these niggling thoughts really. Thank you for reading and thanks for all your help.

Answer

Answer:

As-Salamu ’Alaikum dear sister,

I can feel what you have written deeply. I am sorry you have gone through so much and also that you are still in a deep void, desiring marriage. I am happy, however, that you have progressed in your life and can now say that you are “genuinely happier with myself and have good friendships”, as well as having a good job and income, alhumdulillah! You have come very far from being “depressed and failing at school.” With hard work, I am sure you have overcome your tests and trials with the truly horrific experiences of being bullied at school, a difficult childhood in which you were brought up and felt neglected as well as your very sad experiences with your brother’s bipolar illness and your dad’s depression, suicide attempt, and his death a few years ago. May Allah (swt) bless and forgive him and grant him Jannah.

Sister, you have truly overcome a lot with the mercy and blessings of Allah (swt). Allah (swt) does test us, and while some may not be able to cope with the tests and succeed, you did, which shows me you can overcome this loneliness and fear of not getting married as well. This issue, a common concern of many Muslimas, is one that penetrates us to our very core. For we think, what is life without a husband, without love, without someone to share this journey with. However, your concern over this compared to what you have been through, and what Allah (swt) has brought you through, is a more resolvable issue psychologically.

We can find many verses in the Qur’an confirming that Allah (swt) will test us.

“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘We believe,’ and will not be tested.  And We indeed tested those who were before them.” (29: 2-4)

“Who has created death and life that He may test which of you is best in deed. And He is the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving.” (67:2)

and

“You shall certainly be tried and tested in your wealth and properties and in your personal selves…” (3:186)  

As we can see, Allah (swt) does test us. However, there are blessings in it. For instance, you wrote that you were previously failing at school, depressed, and experienced bullying and tragedy in your family life. Yet, somehow you arose from these depressions and traumas to go on and get a good job, have a good salary. You were able to go out and make friends and enjoy a social life. Do you think that this test will be any different, my dear sister? This one appears to be mild in comparison to some of the other tests you have gone through, but it is deeply rooted in issues that are tied to our sense of being lovable, our sense of self-esteem and fear of living a life alone.

The one thing I did notice, dear sister, was that you said “I have prayed but, to be honest, I don’t pray consistently”. This may be part of the problem. As you know, when we uphold our prayers, which are mandated, we are fulfilling one of our most important obligations as a Muslim. Without consistent prayer, how can we expect Allah (swt) to help us? Prayer is our lifeline; it is a blessing Allah (swt) gave to us to come to Him. It is our protection and communication with the Almighty. Allah (swt) says,

Woe to the worshippers who are unmindful of their prayer.” (107: 4-5)  

By neglecting your prayers, sister, Allah (swt) may be waiting for you to redevelop your faith and your reliance upon Him (swt) before granting a suitable husband. As we all want a practicing, good Muslim husband, how can Allah (swt) give you one when, in fact, you are not keeping your required prayers? Please, think seriously about this.

Look at the times before wherein you overcame severe hardships in your life. Were these times when you were close to Allah (swt)? Were these times when you prayed consistently? I urge you, my dear sister, to keep your prayers, draw closer to Allah (swt) and, in sha’ Allah, you will see more positive changes in your life as well as the blessing of marriage, in sha’ Allah.

Additionally, sister, take care; it is forbidden to seek out the services of a clairvoyant, fortune teller or soothsayer.

Prophet (saw) said: “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘Whoever has intercourse with a menstruating woman, or with a woman in her rear, or who goes to a fortuneteller and believes what he says, he has disbelieved in that which was revealed to Muhammad.” (ibn Majah)

Sister, I urge you to continue on your path of work, social activities, having nice times with friends as well as healing from your past. However, I especially urge you to re-establish your relationship with Allah (swt) through prayer, Qur’an recitation, charity, making du’aa’ and remembering Allah (swt) as often as you can. These will, in sha’ Allah, bring you more peace of mind, increase your faith, and help prepare you for a husband that Allah (swt) has for you, in sha’ Allah. Sometimes Allah (swt) will withhold something from us if we are not in alignment with His will for our lives. Your consistent prayers and repenting for seeking out a clairvoyant are two big things that need to be addressed.

While we all sin and fall short, Allah (swt) is Most Merciful and loves to forgive. As Allah (swt) tests those He (swt) loves, He (swt) also likes to bless His faithful servants. This you can see from your past trials in this life and in your current successes.  As we are humans, often times when we come out of bad situations and begin to heal through the mercy of Allah (swt), we then can tend to slowly begin to neglect our Islamic duties.  This happens, sister; however, please do draw closer to Allah (swt), put your trust in Him (swt) regarding the issue of marriage just as you did with all other issues in your life, and, in sha’ Allah, you will meet whom Allah (swt) has for you for marriage.

On a final thought, while you say you are not depressed you also state “but honestly if the next decade of my life is more hardships, I’m tired”.  As you did not elaborate on what this means, I do encourage you to seek counseling if you begin to experience the symptoms of PTSD, depression, or unrelenting anxiety.  It is best to seek treatment early if this does occurs so that things do not spiral out of control. We wish you the best, dear sister; you are in our prayers.

 Salam,

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach.
Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.