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I Am 36 Years Old, Unmarried and So Lonely. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

I am a 36 year old male who is still not married. I have been making du’a for the last eight years but I am still not able to settle down. Is marriage not in my decree? I’m so worried and lonely.

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Marriage

“How many an animal there is that does not carry its provision. Allah gives provision to it as well as to you, and He is the All-Hearing, the All-knowing.” [Qur’an, 29:60]

Dear questioner, I hear your pain. It is natural to want to get married, especially after eight years of making dua. Only Allah alone knows what your destiny is, and I pray that Allah blesses you with a righteous and loving wife.

For some, marriage is written early in their lives. For others, marriage is written later. There is wisdom in both scenarios. Please do not lose hope in the mercy of Allah.

I strongly encourage you to read this book – Before You Tie the Knot. It offers you many insights into the realities and challenges of marriage. Please listen to this lesson set: Getting Married, with Ustadha Shireen Ahmed and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Trials

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that: The Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “He whom Allah intends good, He makes him to suffer from some affliction.” [Bukhari]

This world is a place of tribulation. Through your personal pain, there is tremendous opportunity for you to draw closer to Allah. You were created to know Him, and that alone will give your heart rest. Even the sweetest of wives cannot fill that ache in your heart.

Dua

Please perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night. Read Surah Al-Waqiah to increase your provision. Give in charity with the intention of facilitating marriage for you.

Service

What are you doing to be of service? Do you have elderly parents whom you can be of service to? Do you have siblings and other close family members, such as uncles and aunties? Do you have nieces and nephews?

Before marriage busies you with your wife and children, I encourage you to be there for your family. You have the gift of health, youth, free time, and disposable income. These are all blessings, and means of you attaining Allah’s pleasure.

Company

Who do you have to keep you company? Do you have family and friends? Although their companionship is not the same as that of a wife, it is better for you to have good company than to be alone with doubts. Shaytan feeds on your despair.

Self-care

“The ones who believe and their hearts are peaceful with the remembrance of Allah. Listen, the hearts find peace only in the remembrance of Allah.” [Qur’an, 13:28]

What are you doing to look after yourself? How are your prayers? How regularly are your reading Qur’an? Are you attending regular circles of knowledge?

Calm yourself. Ground and comfort yourself through the remembrance of Allah. When you are calm and trust in Him, then you are far better able to choose a suitable wife for yourself. Hungry people are far more likely to choose poorly.

Blocks

Is there anything in your life that needs improvement? Do you have any debts that need to be cleared? Please be honest with yourself.

I pray that Allah keeps you patient until He moves you into the next phase of your life.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersHub Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.

How Can I Deal With the Pain of Failing to Marry?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalam alaykum

I suffer from autism and struggled greatly to form friendships over the years. I am now in my early 30’s and suffering from years of frustration due to lack of ability to marry and attract the opposite sex. I suffer from intense anger and bitterness and this feeling seems to have developed into eczema, hot flushes…

What do you advise?

Answer: Assalam alaykum.

Dear brother, Jazakum Allah khayr for writing to us. It’s obvious that you have been struggling and bearing difficulties on many fronts throughout your life. May Allah reward you for staying firm in your faith, and striving to overcome each hurdle, which takes a lot of faith and determination. Many would have given up by now.

There are three steps that I encourage you to take immediately:

1. Support and Treatment

A person cannot, and is not expected to, get through these sorts of issues on their own, especially if you feel that your personality is becoming aggressive and you have low self-esteem.

It is essential that you get professional support. This is the first step that must be taken. Please seek out a reliable counselor who can support you through all of this. Your local council or GP should be able to refer you to someone, preferably a Muslim therapist.

As you mentioned, the body is manifesting signs of your inner turmoil, so this is more reason to get things professionally treated. Alongside counseling, I would advise getting nutritional therapy or/and constitutional homeopathic treatment, which takes into account both the emotional and physical symptoms together, including various ASD levels. There is no harm in your case doing all of these therapies together, if it is possible, as you need both the emotional and nutritional support, and the medicine.

If finance is an issue, speak to a sensitive local GP who may be able to refer you to such therapists on the NHS, or family members who may help.

You may want to stop fasting, especially if you feel it is not helping and you’re losing weight, as fasting continuously for some people can be detrimental, and needs to supervised.

2. Company

Just as professional support and therapy is important, social company and the support of family and friends is vital. Don’t spend too much time alone or doing solitary activities.

Join hobby classes in your area which are of interest, or volunteer to do some community team work that interests you (such as working with children with difficulties or disabilities, the elderly, gardening clubs). Don’t feel shy or awkward doing these things, they can be very satisfying. These will not only keep you pre-occupied from your worries and physical needs, but they provide a sense of self-worth and belonging, and a productive channel for surplus energy.

If you’re into sports and exercise, which is important, then play team sports with friends, or join a sports club in the area. This would be better than exercising alone, can be fun, and a good way to make friends from different backgrounds.

3. Turn to Allah

May Allah reward you for attempting to stay on top of your religious duties and activities. While professional support and social company is essential, first and foremost, we must turn to Allah for all our needs, for nothing can change except through him.

“And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if any one puts his trust in Allah, sufficient is (Allah) for him. For Allah will surely accomplish his purpose: verily, for all things has Allah appointed a due proportion.” [65:3]

Ensure that your obligatory prayers are all fulfilled, and on time. Make a short du’a after each prayer for Allah to help you, cure you, and fulfill all your needs. Try to do a small amount of dhikr and a small amount of Qur‘an recital every day, even if just very little. This will suffice for now, until you feel the yearning to do more.

Marriage

I’m sure it must be very frustrating and disheartening to not have been able to find a suitable spouse for marriage. Despite the disappointments, be patient, Allah knows what is best for us at each and every moment.

Despite the natural physical needs that you’re experiencing, I would advise that you follow the treatments mentioned above (nutrition/homeopathy) before looking for a spouse. You want to get these issues resolved before bringing someone else into your life. It is hoped that the therapies will bring balance into your life, which should help with controlling the physical desires better, until marriage becomes an option.

If treatments become established and things go well, then it may be time to look again for a spouse. At that stage, insha Allah, you will be feeling much more positive, confident and happy with yourself, and be in a position to give and share with another, without any of this in the background.

Solace in Hardships

Finally, when one finds that they are in continuous struggle, that the difficulties of life are unrelenting, then you should know that Allah wishes you only the very best.

The Prophet, blessings and peace be upon him, has informed us that, “If Allah intends good for someone, then he afflicts him with trials.” (Bukhari), and he, blessings and peace be upon him, said, “The servant will continue to be tried until he is left walking upon the earth without any sin.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi).

Take solace in this, and remain firm in your faith in Him. Allah Most High knows all your struggles, difficulties, and loneliness. Turn to Him, day and night, and make Him your intimate Companion.

I wish you all the best dear brother. Please do follow the above steps. May Allah grant you strength and healing, and happiness in this life and the next. You’re not alone, so do feel free to write to us again and let us know how you’re getting along.

Warmest salams and sincere du’as,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.

I Am a Young, Unmarried Woman in a Chaotic Family Home. Is It Permissible for Me to Move Out?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I have brothers who have moved out and have children. Whenever they come and visit my parents and me they behave in an impolite and reckless way. I am financially supporting my parents, they are not. Is it permissible for me to buy my own home in order to avoid the resulting emotional anxiety and regular confrontations?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Dear sister, may Allah make a clear way out for you and grant you the tranquility which you seek.

Young adult versus mature adult

There is a difference between being a young adult, and a mature adult. Depending on the norms of your society or customs, it could be after 18 or after completing college.

Moving out

It is permitted for a mature adult woman to move out of home, but please do so with consideration and tact. When you are already frustrated with your family, it is tempting to pack up and leave without clearing the air. The short-term solution of moving out can cause problems in the long-run.

Please perform the Prayer of Need for Allah to lift this tribulation from you, and please perform the Prayer of Guidance up to seven times about whether to move out or not. If Allah makes it easy for you to leave, then that is an answer for you. If He makes it difficult, then that is an answer for you.

Is there a compassionate local scholar whom you can speak to and ask for advice?

Parents

If you do decide to move out, please do your best to allay your parent’s concerns. Your parents worry for you and want what is good for you, even if they struggle to express it. You may not always agree with what they do or say, but you must always treat them with respect and compassion.

Finances

If you move out, are you still able to support your parents, while taking care of the expenses in your own home? Please plan this carefully to save yourself heartache and stress.

If you are only able to support yourself, then it sounds like you will need to ask your brothers to take up the responsibility of financially providing for your parents. I pray that your brothers will learn to support your parents in a way which pleases Allah.

Patience

The people closest to us are often the biggest tests of our character. Even if your situation feels unjust, trust that nothing is lost with Allah. If your intentions are in the right place, inshaAllah you will be tremendously rewarded for supporting your parents, while keeping patient with your brothers.

That being said, your emotional well-being is important. If repeated interactions with your parents and brothers is bringing you down, is there a family or community elder who can help advocate for you?

Also, please consider seeing a psychologist or counsellor to help you cope with your emotional distress.

Please refer to the following links:

VIDEO: http://seekershub.org/toronto/2015/04/11/video-how-to-develop-meaningful-relationships-with-parents/

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Sean O’Flaherty aka Seano1

Is it Permissible To Choose To Stay Single?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas
Question: Why Rabia Basri pursued the life of a celibate despite the fact that it is sunnah to get married?
Answer: assalamu `alaykum
From a legal perspective, marriage may take a ruling ranging from obligation to impermissibility. It would be obligatory to get married if one fears falling into fornication and has the ability to pay the dowry and support his future spouse. If, however, one does not fear committing fornication but possesses the financial means to get married, it would be a confirmed sunna. Further, if one is likely to oppress their spouse or fears that he may do so, it would be impermissible to marry or prohibitively disliked. Finally, it would be merely permissible in the scenario where one has the means to get married but has some slight concerns about fulfilling the rights due upon him. [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Ibn Nujaym, Bahr al-Ra’iq]
Living a Life of Celibacy
These are the basic considerations that the classical jurists of the Hanafi school recognized when it came to the ruling of marriage. However, the coming together of two individuals in a spiritual, physical, and emotional partnership is a serious matter that entail many other considerations, which differ from individual to individual and context to context.
It is certainly the case that a number of leading scholars lived a celibate life: Imam Tabari, Imam Nawawi, Shaykh Ibn Taymiyya, and others. However, these scholars did not do so out of a disregard for marriage itself, or a belief in its impermissibility of lack of merit. In fact, they were well aware of the religious discourse surrounding marriage but in not marrying they exercised a personal choice based on their own personal circumstances and understanding of what was ideal for them. As Imam Ghazali mentions, the decision to marry or live a life of celibacy requires balancing the good and bad that each of them potentially bring for a given individual.
Whereas marriage allows one to fulfill his or her sexual desires, to have a progeny, and to share life positively and happily with another individual, it can also result in being distracted from God, being unable to serve the needs of the community around one, and being placed in a situation where a person is tempted to do the impermissible, such as earning a livelihood through unlawful means. [Ghazali, Ihya `Ulum al-Din]
Conclusion
In conclusion, marriage is certainly a sunna but this does not necessarily mean that it is so in all cases. Celibacy remains the exception, but it would be permissible for specific types of individuals in specific contexts as the lives of scholars who chose this path clearly demonstrates.
Salman
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.