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I’m Antisocial & Travelling a Lot: Should I Remain Single?

Questioner

S

Reply Date

Aug 12, 2018

Question

Salam, I hope you are well. I have a question to ask about marriage and if it was forbidden in my case. Some background about myself:

1) Due to my parents being raised as orphans/poor, my sister and I had a bad childhood. Also, in part because of "religious" people around me, I have been misinformed about Islam being a harsh religion. While I have gotten past the emotional trauama, I am still anti-social and can not enjoy other outside pleasures such as hanging out with friends, socializing, etc. 2) I work with multiple other da’ees around the world and having seen the poor state of da’wah knowledge (not the islamic sciences) among even islamic scholars, I may have to travel to various countries for the purpose of improving this for future muslims. Thus, my future will involve constant travel, inshallah. 3) Having worked with refugees and homeless people, much of my time is spent on this. That’s another reason why I choose to live simply and often avoid socializing.

Given the fact that I have such anti-social and "harsh" views of the world, I am afraid I will be unjust to any future family I have. Thus, would I have to avoid marriage? (Keep in mind that getting therapy will be problematic and may not be possible). I should also point out that I do NOT suffer from any anger management issues. I just lack emotional stability.

Counselor

Answer


I’m Antisocial & Travelling a Lot: Should I Remain Single?

In this counseling answer:

• Take some quiet time for introspection. Keep a journal about what you feel.

• I recommend that you seek therapy.


As-Salamu ‘Alaikum brother,

Thank you for writing to us with your most important concerns. It sounds as if your work is one of great charity and benefit for those you serve. That is a blessing. However, with it comes great pain, I can imagine, seeing all of the hurt and injustice that go on in this world. Many activists and humanitarians who take on this work oftentimes do need to take a break to avoid overload or burn out. It is an emotionally draining work at times because our efforts are often not immediately seen. Sometimes, we plant seeds, and a tree does not grow until years later when we are elsewhere harvesting for justice and Islamic good.

I would kindly suggest, brother, that you evaluate your life in terms of balance. An example of balance can be found in the following hadith found in Bukhari:

“The Prophet () established a bond of brotherhood between Salman and Abu Darda’. Salman paid a visit to Abu ad-Darda and found Um Ad-Darda’ dressed in shabby clothes and asked her why she was in that state?” She replied, “Your brother, Abu Ad-Darda is not interested in the luxuries of this world.” In the meantime Abu Ad-Darda came and prepared a meal for him (Salman), and said to him, “(Please) eat for I am fasting.” Salman said, “I am not going to eat, unless you eat.” So Abu Ad-Darda’ ate. When it was night, Abu Ad-Darda’ got up (for the night prayer). Salman said (to him), “Sleep,” and he slept. Again Abu- Ad-Darda’ got up (for the prayer), and Salman said (to him), “Sleep.” When it was the last part of the night, Salman said to him, “Get up now (for the prayer).” So both of them offered their prayers and Salman said to Abu Ad-Darda’,”Your Lord has a right on you; and your soul has a right on you; and your family has a right on you; so you should give the rights of all those who have a right on you). Later on Abu Ad-Darda’ visited the Prophet () and mentioned that to him. The Prophet, said, “Salman has spoken the truth.”

While you are not currently married, the point of this hadith illustrates that a balance is needed in this life in all things.

The Prophet Mohammad (saw) was also an orphan and suffered hardships, yet he did not let this deter him from marrying and having a family. In fact, his great love, compassion, and balance are illustrated in the Qur’an. The balance was so important that the Prophet (saw) stated,

“A group of three men came to the houses of the wives of the Prophet () asking how the Prophet () worshipped (Allah), and when they were informed about that, they considered their worship insufficient and said, “Where are we from the Prophet () as his past and future sins have been forgiven.” Then one of them said, “I will offer the prayer throughout the night forever.” The other said, “I will fast throughout the year and will not break my fast.” The third said, “I will keep away from the women and will not marry forever.” Allah’s Messenger () came to them and said, “Are you the same people who said so-and-so? By Allah, I am more submissive to Allah and more afraid of Him than you; yet I fast and break my fast, I do sleep and I also marry women. So he who does not follow my tradition in religion, is not from me (not one of my followers).” (Bukhari)

Your reference to being antisocial and “having harsh views” of the world can stem from many things and result in many things. While some people are by nature more social than others, some individuals often suffer from feelings of fears, anxiety, inadequacies, depression, and other issues which prevent them from leading happy, balanced lives.   Some people turn to drugs or alcohol to mask the pain, others bury themselves in work, while others seclude themselves away from the world. While you may not have anger management issues as you stated, I implore you to think about why you would state that. Has someone stated you had anger management issues, and if so why?

Based on your question and what you wrote, I would kindly suggest, brother, that you take some quiet time for introspection. Keep a journal about what you feel. What is it about you that makes you emotionally unstable? Ask yourself if this is a condition you wish to remain in. If not, are you willing to change your condition? How would your life change benefit from becoming more emotionally stable?

Emotional stability is important, especially for the type of work you do. In a world of chaos, people count on you for stability. When traveling around the world to improve the lives of Muslims and help refugees, in sha’ Allah, you need a certain amount of emotional stability. In fact, you need a great amount as it is an important and trying work. If you are not emotionally stable, what effect would that have on those who you are teaching or helping?


Check out this counseling video:


In sha’ Allah, while you said therapy might not be possible, I urge you to reconsider. A servant of Allah (swt) who is doing and planning to do such important work would be more effective as a stable human being. When people want to help others with serious issues, they themselves must maintain a degree of stability as well as compassion. You stated you felt you might be “unjust” to your family should you marry. If this is the case, are you currently unjust to those you have worked with or helped? I don’t think so. People enter this work with a great love and compassion, yet often they can get immersed in their own unresolved issues which can result is further decomposing, if not addressed. Thus, dear brother, I do recommend that you seek therapy.

Regarding marriage, I am not an Islamic scholar; therefore, I cannot say if it is haram or not for you to get married. I do know marriage is half our deen, and that we are to live balanced lives as illustrated above. Further, there are many benefits in marriage and, as you know, it is recommended we marry as a safeguard.

Marriage is a safeguard not just for prevention of zina, but in so many other ways. When we marry we have someone (ideally) who protects us, takes care of us when we are sick, laughs at our jokes, up builds us when we are down, and shares our life. Being single right now may seem to be the answer to your “antisocial personality and harsh views of the world”; however, as you get older, you may find loneliness creeping in. You may get tired of doing everything by yourself; you may wish you had someone to talk with late at night, and you may wish you had someone to hold you when times get tough. Marriage could be a beautiful, lifelong experience. By addressing your issues now and resolving them, you may find a wife who shares your passion for traveling, da’wah, and helping refugees. Perhaps, it is something you may want to do together along with other things – to keep a balance.

So, ultimately, brother, the question you asked can only be answered by you. It will be determined by wanting you truly want and what you are willing to do to heal, to fully acclimate to the wonderful human being that Allah (swt) created. We all go through tests and trials, but it is incumbent upon us to get through these trials stronger and more intact than we were previously.

Brother, please do make du’aa’ to Allah (swt) to guide you through these feelings and obstacles. You asked about marriage for a reason, and forgive me if I am wrong, but somewhere deep down you do desire to be loved, married, and connected to another.    Please think upon this, pray, and, in sha’ Allah, begin to take the steps to create a whole, balanced life.

Allah (swt) is most merciful,

***

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

Read more:

I Feel Marriage Isn’t for Me

Depression Made Me Harsh and Unfriendly

Depression: A Social Illness?




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 poetry projects.

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