سم الله الرحمن الرحيم

A few years ago, my dearest friend gave me three pieces of life advice. I have thought about her words and continue to return to them because I haven't implemented any of them due to the lack of truly understanding the first, the lack of insights for the second, and a host of reasons regarding the third.

The third, a deep can of worms, is what I'm considering opening up now. This attempt may be the sheer result of inhaling Vicks' fumes, and I'm already running out of steam.


She advised me to get married. While many kind people make du'as for me for this, her words have stuck with me because of our relationship and because she posed it as advice and not as a personal hope.

Marriage is a topic that has come up frequently, for obvious reasons, since my mid-20s. I'm grateful that my parents have a fair approach towards it. Some incline themselves to analyze me, as did one sister recently, after which she finished with: "Is that not so?" A laysa kathalik? I said,  "Nope it isn't" Kalla. I suppose she, like others, consider me either in denial or a lost case. I don't mind either way, even if that is truly the case.

I have had significant reasons and opportunities to reflect on my life in recent months, and the topic of marriage is not one that I misunderstand in myself but rather that I frame it in a way that I can handle and that takes my psychological and emotional peculiarities into account. At least as I see it.

As a baseline, some years ago I decided that I should at least consider any suggestions made, though I do wish that people's suggestions were more than "he's looking to get married." There are a lot of good people out there, but good for one is not necessarily good for another. My sister once advised me that if I have to try to convince myself that I'm inclined, then I'm not. It's only for me to wonder why I'm not and to disregard why he may not be inclined.

I suppose familial expectations dictate what some must look for i.e. ethnicity, education, social connections, etc., but my family's only requirements are that he is good i.e. morally upright and a practicing Muslim, that they are at ease about it, and that I'm happy. Is that a tall order? Seemingly no, but perhaps the most difficult is what I'm happy about. Which leads to people's other criticism about me, and that is that I'm "too picky."

I am particular, but I don't expect more than what I can offer in a marriage and there isn't much that I can offer. I do, however, reserve the right to be as "picky" as I wish before marriage as it is not an option after marriage.

Nonetheless, while people blanket their misunderstandings as picky, I do give it my best and follow some of the advice that was recently offered by Al Habib Hussein As-Saqqaf on making decisions. He said that one must reflect and not rush into things or he will have regrets. Reflection, he said, has three elements:

1) Consulting with three upright, righteous people who have your affairs at heart (استشارة)
2) Making istikhara between you and Allah (استخارة)
3) Engaging in a lot of zhikr (ذكر)

In the same lesson, he gave advice about marriage and said that many forget to look for intelligence. He said, "For a happy home, look at the intelligence of the woman of the household because it affects the atmosphere of the home. When the groom comes to her and she says 'let me think about it' then she is the one because she is a thinker." Similarly, he said to choose friends who take the time to think before they offer advice.

Some things are probably lost in translation there, but the overall message is clear. Likewise, I think the intelligence of a man is vital. But intelligence comes in various forms and I think it's probably most suitable that spouses can at least appreciate the varieties in each other so much so that they can truly say that they respect each other.

Habib Hussein also mentioned, "Allah will guide you accordingly. But when you've done the necessary steps and reach a decision that is clear and then you hesitate, then there is a problem. Have tawakkul 'ala Allah."

This advice is golden and absolutely precious. One need not regret when approaching decisions in this way, and I am grateful that in my heart of hearts I have no regrets. I've done what I can do with regards to possibly getting married, despite that it may seem pathetic and meager to others and that it is riddled with things that people don't or can't understand about me.

Marriage, as I've often written, is a form of rizq and while we are charged with making an effort to seek it, ultimately it is not in our hands. Thus, our efforts must not be considered the reason why we are or are not married. Like everything else under the sun and beyond the sun, we depend on Allah alone to guide us to that which is best for us and our iman and we know that His plan is the best even if we don't understand it.

Praise be to Allah in every and with every situation!

!الحمد لله على كل حال

.اللهم اجعلنا من عبادك الصالحين وارزقنا ازواجا صالحين، آمين

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"Do you think that you will enter the Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the Apostle and those of faith who were with him cried: 'When (will come) the help of God?' Ah! Verily the help of God is (always) near!" [2:214]



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"Be mindful of God, and God will protect you. Be mindful of God, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of God. If you seek help, seek help of God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that God had already prescribed for you. And if the whole world were to gather together to harm you, it would harm you only with something that God has already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the ink has dried."
--Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]