Recently I’ve had quite a few friends talking to me about marriage and how they feel sadness that while so many people that they know, are getting married, their situation regarding marriage is never changing. They want that companion that Allah swt has placed in us, to want (and it’s not being desperate or the new ‘in’ word “thirsty” – personally I think that, thinking this is both childish and naive). These friends are by no doubt conscious, of the ever present requirements of culture to get married before they get too old. Now, I don’t look down on both of these things because I can empathise, they are both, particularly the latter, sad realities of the society that we live in.
The reason I write this is because I’ve found that this sadness is on the verge of depression and some of these people are now (dangerously) beginning to consider every person that shows some sort of an interest – even if they’re people who you can tell are not looking for something serious with a future i.e. the ‘player’ types. It seems that the concept of having someone is better than being alone – so future or not, they’re going along with it. We forget that marriage should be something that brings us closer to God hence the concept of marriage as ‘completing half of one’s Deen’ (I can’t find the reference – sorry).
It’s really affected me because these are the people who Alhumdullillah are doing great in other aspects of life and I feel for them because the ‘when will it happen for me’ feeling is like a stone in their shoe and they have no idea how to deal with it. We forget that this life, that marriage, is not the destination, rather it’s just another process that will help determine our fate in the Hereafter.
We’re told to be patient since “Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” (Al Qur'an, 2:153) but we are quickly losing hope. Recently I was reading the well known ayah “Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear” (Al Qur'an, 2:286) and began to ponder.
How many times have we read this? It is fitting to every situation in life and looking at it from a marriage perspective; I’ve started realising a few things. Perhaps marriage is not something that a person is ready for yet; perhaps it is more than we can bear at this moment in time. You may think that you are ready (the thought of it seems great and yes, naturally it would be lovely if it did happen) but Allah swt – Ar Rahman (The Exceedingly Compassionate, Beneficent, Gracious) and Ar Rahim (The Exceedingly Merciful), knows better. He loves us so much doesn’t want us to be overburdened.
He knows when it is the right time for us and that is when it will happen because we will be ready for it then InshaAllah. We’ll be slightly more prepared than if it had happened sooner. Maybe we still have a few tests and trials to go through and learn that little extra that we will need during our future married days (if it is meant to be). For example, learning that both the good and the bad are tests from Allah swt.
Will we do right by the Deen when we are happy within our marriage? (Do we do this in situations now?) Will we place too much importance on the spouse - so much so that our remembrance of Allah swt – *our purpose in this life*, is diverted??) Will we forget Him and love our spouse, more than Him? Do we do all that we can for our spouse while our Salaah lacks? (Do we do this now, in regards to the other people around us?)
And vice versa, when we are struggling in our marriage, do we get depressed or do we turn to Allah? (Do we do this when we struggle with things now?) Are we rash in our choices at this point in our lives? (Perhaps resulting in us choosing divorce as soon as things turn sour without trying to make it work first), will we nitpick because we had an idealised image and then complain when this is not the case? (Do we do this now?)
I’ve started to wonder if this is a great opportunity, the tests and trials that we face now could possibly prepare us for the definite tests that we'll face with a spouse (and by that time we’ll be stuck with them and not know how to deal with it). I wonder if, InshaAllah we can learn to perfect ourselves (or try to InshaAllah – I feel the need to say that no one is perfect – including myself) before that time comes. Can we learn to remember that marriage is NOT the end goal, because this life, this Dunyah is not the conclusion of our lives? Can we remember, as Yasmin Mojahed so perfectly says that “Gifts like marriage will be a means to bring you closer to God—so long as they remain a means, not an End”?
So if you are one of these people, I truly, truly, truly hope that this has helped you in some way, pick yourself up and “Grieve not [because] Surely Allah is with us” (Al Qur’an 9:40).
(Yes I also posted this on Facebook)