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)
“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.
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