As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear sister,
Thank you for writing in with your very important question. As you have been getting marriage proposals, which you do not want as you want to finish school first, I was wondering if you have spoken to any of these brothers explaining your plans and finding out if they would accept it. There are many cases in which people marry while they are in school and their marriages are very successful and loving. Many brothers appreciate an educated and goal-orientated wife and are most happy when they find one that they can grow with.
Marriage is a very important part of life and our deen. It is so important that Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an,
“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.” (30:21)
The profound statement “He created for you from yourselves…” meaning from our very own selves, Allah (swt) in His infinite mercy has created mates just for us. How would we know if we have passed by the one Allah (swt) has created for us if we did not take the time to inquire about that person’s Islam, intentions, character, and compassion for others; that person’s willingness or desire to help us succeed in our life goals.
I would kindly suggest that you seriously think about talking with some of these brothers who are asking for your hand in marriage. You may be pleasantly surprised to find one or more who are supportive of your educational and business pursuits and, in fact, would be a welcomed support system as marriage is supposed to be. In this case, your dreams would not “die out” but would be enhanced and supported by your husband, in sha’ Allah.
If you decide to consider this option, please, arrange your thoughts for presenting to a possible future spouse your plans, steps, and goals. Often an outline is helpful.
Another suggestion is to get engaged and marry when you are finished with your studies although this is not the optimal or recommended course Islamically. But some couples opt for an engagement and marry when they are finished with school. Allah (swt) puts much emphasis on getting married and not delaying marriage. Allah (swt) states to marry even if one is poor and He (swt) will “enrich them from His bounty”. In the Qur’an, He (swt) says,
“And marry the unmarried among you and the righteous among your male slaves and female slaves. If they should be poor, Allah will enrich them from His bounty, and Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.” (24:32)
As you can see, sister, marriage in Islam is very sacred, important, and is a blessing for us, in sha’ Allah. You, of course, have the right not to marry until you feel you are ready. As you know, in Islam no one can force a woman to marry. In fact, many women are putting off marriage until a later age for many reasons. Some wait until they are finished with schooling; some choose to spend a few years helping their parents. Others may wish to travel around before settling down. Whatever the reason, there are women who do put off marriage until a later time.
While I do not know of your personal needs such as sexual desires, loneliness, etc., please ensure that if you do wait, you can wait without committing haram acts to satisfy these needs. Have a plan to avoid these temptation!
I kindly encourage you to do some deep soul searching and make a list of all the benefits that a marriage could provide, given a husband who is supportive of your goals. Then make a list of the negatives. Finally, make a list of any and all fears you may have regarding marriage. You did mention that you “fear lack of love and attention” for a marriage partner right now due to your schooling and business. Please, look into your feelings regarding this as perhaps there may be some unresolved issues behind this statement. When your lists are complete, in sha’ Allah, you will have a clearer view on the benefits of marrying versus waiting.
You may even want to consider attending pre-marriage seminars or classes at your local Masjid or Islamic Center to learn about marriage, what to look for in a husband, the benefits of marriage, your rights in marriage as well as the husband’s and other interesting topics. While we may think we know most of what there is to know about marriage, there is always many useful and insightful topics, tips, and Islamic guidance provided at these types of seminars/classes.
Lastly, your main question about waiting a long time to get married after you finished your Master’s is something only Allah (swt) knows. Please, in sha’ Allah, do not feel confused or worried. Take your time to make a decision; don’t feel pressured. Also, as you know, it is by Allah’s (swt) decree when (and if) we get married. While it is true that some have had a difficult time getting married after waiting (for whatever reason), others have not had an issue. However, you are still young.
I would kindly suggest considering the above advices as well as making istakharah prayer to Allah (swt) for guidance. Allah (swt) knows best.
You are in our prayers sister. We wish you the best.
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