Salamu ‘Alaykum Sister,
Thank you for your question and your feedback. I have read your original question, Sister Aisha’s answer, and your feedback above.
Firstly, I would like to let you know that you seem to be a patient, hard-working, and God-fearing woman. You are an educated Muslimah who has taken care of her parents all these years while also abstaining from haram and working to earn a living for herself. Those qualities hold in sha’ Allah a lot of rewards. Allah (swt) has bestowed you with these blessings, and you seem to have made the most of it. Please feel good about your accomplishments and thank Allah (swt) for the ability to have them.
While I understand that you are not unthankful to Allah (swt) for not blessing you with a spouse, I first want you to know that you must seek to always believe in yourself and understand that you are a great person by the grace of Allah (swt). Just as Sister Aisha mentioned in her answer, seek to keep your self-esteem high and don’t put yourself down. You deserve good things and you also deserve a life for yourself. That is why I also will concur with Sister Aisha about that family meeting. You seem to be fearful or hopeless about having such a meeting because your family is “selfish” or “not religious.” You may also face the cultural issues which frown upon a woman bluntly asking her family and friends that she needs help finding a spouse and wants to get married.
The unfortunate reality is that yes, as Muslim women, we do face many barriers to getting married in the West – exactly as you mentioned above. I agree with every word you said regarding the issues that get in the way of marriage such as the caste system (or other similar types of thinking), cultural issues, dealing with less than satisfactory avenues for marriage such as the internet, pressured to lower standards, etc. This is, however, the world that we live in now. We, as a society need to work together to change for the better, but it will not change overnight.
A suggestion to be a part of that change is to write about your experiences and share them with various Muslim-operated magazines and journals or even try to raise awareness about it at your local masjid. The more we as a society hear about it and empathize with sisters like yourself, the more likely change will occur.
A part of being content and satisfied is accepting life the way it is even though it is not what we desire. But please do not misunderstand me; it does not mean that we do not try to actively change for the better.
In your case, you have eliminated most of the known avenues to get married (such as asking your family for help or searching on the internet.) It may be true that the options that you have now are not great, but it is certainly worth a try. What do you have to lose if you ask your parents and brothers for help? I can understand that you may feel that they will not heed your request or ridicule you, but you need to ask yourself what you are willing to do to get to what you desire. Your brothers or family members may actually be open to your request to get married even though they may show you otherwise. You just have to try! Again, what will you lose?
You mentioned that you have already tried the online matrimonial sites. I can certainly believe the frustration you have dealt with all the years. You are absolutely correct when you say that such sites need to be supervised by a mosque or other Muslim organizations. There is such a site actually! Here it is: Half Our Deen. This website may be a decent way to find what you are looking for in a more respectful and informed manner.
I read you live in Canada. Have you possibly looked into matrimonial programs in some mosques in your area? I know that there are a few mosques and organizations in the USA that do have such programs that help singles get married. It is likely that the masjid and organizations of Canada may have them also. It is certainly worth looking into.
The point that I am trying to make is that in order for you to seek marriage, it seems that you may have to do some things out of your comfort zone such as actively being assertive and open about your desires to your family, friends, mosque members, and other Muslim community members. It is not ideal, but at this point, it is the reality that you face. It is your choice whether you will pursue it or not.
In regards to dealing with the pain that you feel, I would also concur with Sister Aisha when she said to work on loving yourself and appreciating who you are as a person. Spend time with people who love you and care about you. I understand that you work. How do you feel about your job? Do you feel like you are doing something important and valuable? If not, then ask yourself how you can make your work more valuable to you. You seem like you have a lot of energy in you to give and receive love and care to another person. Have you considered volunteering in any kind of program that serves humanity (children, families, the sick, etc.)? The point is to find meaning in your life through relationships, work, and others.
You have been suffering for a long time. It is difficult to deal with the frustration and loneliness you feel. But you do not have to succumb to it anymore. You can choose to accept life as is and seek contentment from Allah. Certainly, it is easier said than done and overcoming a difficulty is never an easy task. Do not allow yourself to be bitter and full of broken dreams. Continue to ask Allah(swt)and be assertive. May Allah guide you and all of us to what pleases Him.
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