Many Personal Struggles: How Will I Find a Wife?

23 July, 2020
Q I have social anxiety and the way marriage is arranged in certain Muslim cultures terrifies me. Already meeting my potential partner would be nerve-wrecking to begin with, but meeting her for the first time, in the presence of both of our families is unimaginable for me.

I also have a traumatic brain injury, and I don’t go out much. That means that even if I wanted to get acquainted with a potential partner before getting our families involved, I wouldn’t know who would be available.

Besides, my handicap weighs heavily on me and I don’t know how any female can see me as a valid match. There’s also the fact that my family heavily depends on me, and I don’t know how I am supposed to get married without abandoning them.

My parents have reached old age and I have to help them take care of my sister (who is afflicted with cerebral palsy, making her immobile and not able to communicate; she isn’t that much aware of her surroundings or her circumstances).

My parents also don’t get along and I act as an intermediary between them.

So there are many reasons for me not to get married and yet I have this burning desire to find companionship. What can I do?

Is it possible for me to take any substance that will make me forget about that desire/need? I am so miserable.

I would appreciate any help. Thank you

Answer


In this counseling answer:

Brother put your faith in Allah and tie your camel.

Look at this as a wonderful new experience and opportunity to increase your happiness and fulfillment of your Deen.

Make Duaa to Allah to grant you ease as well as to guide you in your path to find an appropriate wife.

Brother a lot of people who get married have family responsibilities and personal issues.

A good point to keep in mind is that we are honest from the beginning and try to seek a balance within our marriage which is conducive to all.

You were asking for substances that may make you less human and that is definitely not only haram-but dangerous and unhealthy. I highly advise that you do not go this route, it is not worth it. You may lose everything-most importantly-your relationship with Allah.


As salamu alaykum,

Thank you for writing to us. I am sorry to hear about your situation at home with your parents who are aged and fighting, your sister who has cerebral paslsy and needs 24 hour care, as well as your personal struggles with TBI. 

I can imagine caring for everyone’s needs keeps you very busy as well as it may be stressful at times. May Allah to Grant you ease as well as guide you in your search to find an appropriate wife. 

Allah is most Merciful 

Brother, Allah is the most merciful and He knows our needs. Allah does not want to see us suffer, Allah created us, He is closest to us, and Allah knows us best.

As we seek to attain the things which bring us joy in this life-such as a marriage partner, we need to actively strive towards that goal, no matter the obstacles. It may be hard, but there are blessings in hardships.

A hadith states “I am near to the thought of My servant as he thinks about Me, and I am with him as he remembers Me. And if he remembers Me in his heart, I also remember him in My heart, and if he remembers Me in assembly I remember him in assembly, better than his (remembrance), and if he draws near Me by the span of a palm, I draw near him by the cubit, and if he draws near me by the cubit I draw near him by the space (covered by) two hands. And if he walks towards Me, I rush towards him.” [Sahih Muslim)”

As we can see, if we draw close to Allah and trust in Him, He also “opens His heart” to us and “rushes” towards us. How beautiful is that?

Many Personal Struggles: How Will I Find a Wife? - About Islam

Showing Others Mercy

As you move forward insha’Allah, with your plans for finding a wife insha’Allah, know that the mercy and blessings you show others is a mercy and blessing for you as well. Your love and mercy that you show your parents, sister, and others is a blessing for not only them, but you as well. You take care of them because you love them.

You worry about how a marriage can fit in with your caring for your family because you are merciful. These qualities are signs of a pure heart and are valuable brother.

Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘As:

“The Prophet (ﷺ) said: The Compassionate One has mercy on those who are merciful. If you show mercy to those who are on the earth, He Who is in the heaven will show mercy to you.”(Sahih Al-Albani)”.

In this hadith we can clearly see that if you are merciful to others, trust in Allah, your situation will be looked after and resolved insha’Allah.

Contemplating Marriage

Brother you indicated you would like to marry. You also indicated you had social anxiety which prevents you from being fully independent in seeing who is available for marriage. On the other hand, the way marriages are arranged in some Muslim cultures scares you.

Right to Marriage

In some cultures, marriages are arranged. A lot of these marriages work out wonderfully. Some do not. As long as a potential mate fits the Islamic criteria, you may marry that person. No one has the right to force you to marry one you do not want nor prevent you from marrying one you chose.

In some cultures, people are pressured or even forced to marry one that the parents have chosen. This is wrong, especially if the two are not compatible. Marriage was created be a mercy.

In the Qur’an it says “And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” (Quran 30:21).”

Trusting in Allah 

A hadith states, “The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Trust in Allah but tie your camel.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2517). This means we trust in Allah but we also take personal responsibility for our lives, the things we do, and in the attainment of the things we desire.

We trust in Allah for our mates however we are also advised to go see the one whom we are interested in marrying. In some situations, the two people who are getting married never even get to meet one another until the day of the marriage.

And in other situations when marriages are arranged, the couples only meet briefly a few times. In other situations, the two are allowed to get to know one another in a Halal way to see if they are compatible. 

Meeting a Potential Marriage Partner (Halal)

Insha’Allah you will be able to meet someone with the help of family, friends, or the imam at your Masjid. You do have the option as indicated above, of getting to know your potential mate. This is very important. You both need to know if you like each other. You may meet a potential mate in a public area with a friend or family member.

She may bring one or two family members or friends as well. This keeps it safe and halal. It also keeps the number of people who are there smaller, so is more intimate and not as threatening. The two of you should be able to converse in a meaningful way.

Insha’Allah, I kindly suggest that whoever you have an interest in, or who is referred to you for marriage, that you do spend quite a bit of time with this person in a halal way, getting to know them, ensuring that you’re compatible, and taking the opportunity to ask questions as well as answer her questions. 

Confirming Mutual Respect, Compatibility, and Desire to Move Forward

By getting to know one another in a halal way, you will be better able to determine if the relationship may have a potential for a marriage which is long-term. While in the short term you may hit it off and like one another, you or she may see things in the process of getting to know one another that indicates a marriage may not be suitable.

Once you’ve gotten to know one another and a halal way and have decided to go forward with a marriage you may then bring the family together. In this way you already know who it is that you hope to marry and the two of you can be a team / partnership when all the parents-families come together. This makes it much easier insha’Allah.


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Meeting of Families

The next step is informing the families. I understand you do have social anxiety and this is fearful for you. However, insha’Allah by feeling comfortable with your choice of a wife, knowing that she is “on your side” and may be nervous too-can help you over-come these fears.

Meeting of families can be done several ways. Some couples have both of the families get together. Some chose to have the man’s father contact the woman’s father( on your behalf) for her hand in marriage, or some men go directly to the woman’s father to ask for her hand in marriage. 

If being in the presence of both families for the first time is fearful, that is quite understandable, and you may wish to have your father go to talk to her father first. Ideally however, you will already be familiar with the one you would like to marry and that may make it easier. 

Concerned about Issues 

Brother, you discussed a lot of issues that are going on at home. Your parents have reached old age and they argue a lot which requires your intervention as well as your care for them. You also have a sister who has cerebral palsy who you take care of. You also have TBI which also affects some of your functioning, however you did not elaborate on how severe the TBI is or what it affects. 

Family Needs

As your family needs care 24/7, and you are the caregiver,  it sounds like you already have a lot of commitments. However, I am wondering if there is anyone else in the home (or nearby) such as other siblings, relatives, friends who are helping. If you have no help, then I am really quite amazed at your ability to do all of these things, especially as you have TBI. 

Specialized Care 

Family members who require 24-hour care, such as your sister, are usually taken care of by several people as the care is very intense. If you do not have anyone to help you and you were thinking about getting married, this is something you may want to discuss with your future wife.

It would not be fair to not tell her of all the responsibilities and issues within the household that she would be moving into. 

Be Honest with Potential Wife about Responsibilities

If you are expecting her to help, she needs to know this as well, and she knows she needs to know to what degree her help will be expected or ask for. She will also need to know that there will be a time for you and her as a couple.

She may even request a time frame for how long it will be until you both get your own place or when children can be planned for. While this may seem like a lot of concerns and thoughts, it is best to do the pre-thinking and planning before so you have some options and answers available. 

Options to Address Possible Concerns

For instance, if you have other relatives that can help out, or you can afford to have someone come in and help with your sister and your parents that would be very beneficial. It is very difficult taking care of someone 24/7. If you can arrange this type of help ahead of time or get some ideas to plan out for future help, you may wish to discuss it with a potential spouse.  

TBI

As far as the TBI, insha’Allah you need to be honest about it with whoever you are hoping to marry. There is nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. The point is, as Muslims we just need to be honest in all of our dealings no matter what the consequences are.

While you may feel that the TBI is a handicap, I would point out that you appear to be doing a wonderful job caring for two elderly parents (who argue) and a handicapped sister. That takes a lot of strength and fortitude. 

Discussing Topics of TBI

Insha’Allah, I kindly suggest that you discuss your TBI in terms of the positive attributes that you have and the things you’ve accomplished and the things that you are currently doing. I would also outline the deficits of TBI, and how it is affecting you, and how you are dealing with the affects (i.e. social anxiety).

A future wife will need to know both the positives and negatives (we all have them) and how you are striving to correct the things that you can. 

Life is not free from Responsibility 

Brother a lot of people who get married have family responsibilities and personal issues. A good point to keep in mind is that we are honest from the beginning and try to seek a balance within our marriage which is conducive to all. For instance, it’s not really fair to marry someone and not tell them of all your responsibilities.

What happens when you get married and bring your wife home and you can never spend time with her because you’re always caring for your parents and your sibling? Therefore, pre-planning for marriage in this case would require possibly reaching out to relatives, friends, the Masjid, and others to help in the situation so you will have quality time with your wife.

It could also be that Allah will bless you with a wife who is very selfless and would take joy in helping you care for your family, while building your marriage and planning for the future. It is about balance. All marriages need personal nurturing and attention away from responsibilities.

Trusting In Allah and Tying Your Camel

Insha’Allah you will get married and the process will not be as painful nor fearful as you are anticipating. If you put the word out to your family, friends, Masjid, & community that you are looking for a wife, insha’Allah you will meet several potential mates.

Insha’Allah get to know the person in a Halal way to ensure compatibility. Be honest about your situation yet also bring forth your strengths and good points to start the conversations. Be honest in what you are seeking and what you can offer.

Make duaa to Allah to grant you ease in finding a wife. Ask Allah swt to bring you the wife that He has for you. 

A Positive Approach

Allah in His Mercy provides for us all. Brother look upon this as a wonderful new adventure which will bring you a lifetime of happiness. Understandably there is some fear, most people do become somewhat nervous when pondering meeting a stranger -in a room full of strangers.  It doesn’t have to be done that way, however. 

Please do get to know any future wife in a halal way first. Insha’Allah, Allah will send a wife that is perfect for you and you for her. Try to take a positive approach to insha’Allah get more positive results!

Emotional Numbing Substances

Brother you asked about any substances which would help you forget about your wants and needs for marriage. Desiring a partner for marriage, someone to be close to, to be intimate with, to grow into love with-is part of being a human.

Therefore, you were asking for substances that may make you less human and that is definitely not only haram-but dangerous and unhealthy. Some of these substances as you know include alcohol and drugs.

These substances can numb one’s feelings or can make them stronger, depending on the person’s emotional and genetic makeup. I highly advise that you do not go this route, it is not worth it. You may lose everything-most importantly-your relationship with Allah.

Conclusion

Brother put your faith in Allah and tie your camel. Look at this as a wonderful new experience and opportunity to increase your happiness and fulfillment of your Deen. Make Duaa to Allah to grant you ease as well as to guide you in your path to find an appropriate wife.

Allah is the most merciful and He knows our needs. With a little bit of contemplation, well thought-out plans, and being open to getting to know a potential wife, insha’Allah you will meet somebody very nice who Allah has for you. We wish you the best.

Salam,

***

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 are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

https://aboutislam.net/family-life/laying-foundations/how-to-get-married-without-dating-first/

https://aboutislam.net/family-life/youth-4-the-future/should-we-marry-for-the-sake-of-allah/

https://aboutislam.net/family-life/husbands-wives/top-10-reasons-why-marriage-fails/

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.