Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I hate the concept of marriage, and I feel bad for being blessed

against marriage

Salamu aleykum.

I'm a 28 year old Muslim woman who was born, raised and still lives in Scandinavia. I'm sure a lot of people will laugh at my "problems", but I hope everyone will try to understand that they take up a lot of my thoughts on a daily basis, and negatively impact my otherwise positive, optimistic, happy mood and personality. It would really help me to recieve your advice and opinions.

Before I get in to my issues, I want to give you an overlook of my life:

1) I come from a loving and stable Muslim household. My parents have been happily married for 30 years, and they're extremely good to each other, and to us kids, alhamdulellah. My parents have always set a good examples, and they have always boosted us kids' confidence; Making us all pretty demanding and ambitious people when it comes to the quality of friends we make and let in to our lives, the work we choose to do and, of course, who we would like to marry some day.

2) Both of my parents are academics, hardworking and succesful in their carreers, alhamdulellah. They're also very respected in our Muslim community, and known to be very helpful, diplomatic, welcoming, honest and morally sound.

3) My parents are religious Muslims, and they have always been really good at incorperating Islam in to us kids' lives - but for sure without being strict and oppressive with us. Especially my dear father hates concepts like "people will talk about us", "what will people think of us?", and he generally rejects adapting to silly backwarded traditions that has nothing to do with Islam. For that reason, my siblings and I have always had the freedom to do what we want, and make our own decisions, within the limits of Islam.

4) My parents have always openly talked, discussed and explained to us kids about "taboo" subjects such as marriage, sex, pre-marital relationships, STDs, homosexuality, religious extremism, religious intolerance, and so on - so I'm definitely not a gullible person at all.

Speaking of being non-gullible: All of my life, my dear mother has told me horror stories about men, and told me about things to look out for in men's behaviour and words in order to prevent struggling, being taken advantage of, harmed and hurt. I'm an observer by nature, so my mother's stories have more or less been backed up by what I have witnessed of different atrocities when it comes to relations (marital or pre-marital) between men and women. And I have witnessed how relationships (marital or pre-marital) profoundly change most people's personalities for the worse. And I have read so many stories on this website about horrible husbands and wives that make me absolutely cringe and feel sad. For these reasons (among others), I have come to really hate the concept of marriage. As a proud Muslim woman, I don't want to subject myself to a husband who will expect me to tolerate his abuse and misinterpretations of his "Islamic rights" (as some Muslim men, unfortunately, do), while oppressing and denying me my Islamic womanly rights. I don't want to subject myself to a husband who preaches Islam to me (maybe even his own fabricated version of Islam), but doesn't practice it at all, himself. I don't want to subject myself to a life of constant struggles and stress. Especially if I have children, also.

So my first question is:
How do I deal with my hatred for the traditional concept of marriage, and my fear of bad men/husbands, when I in fact do have a desire to NOT lead a lonely, family-less life? Loneliness is actually one thing that really scares me, considering I'm a sociable person.

The other thing is:
I have always felt like I'm different to most people I have met throughout my life in terms of pretty much everything; From my interests, passions and sense of humour to my morals, values, opinions and general way of being. I used to struggle a lot with the constant feeling of alienation from everything and everyone, but looking back now I know I felt alienated, because I didn't accept and embrace who I am - as many kids and teenagers, unfortunately but normally, don't. Now, I'm very happy and confident about being quite unique and different, and I always thank Allah for creating me as I am. I'm generally a very thankful person; I'm very thankful to Allah, and I always remember what He has immensely blessed me with. Alhamdulellah, I have a great and loving family, I have some wonderful and close friends in my life that I truly love, and who I'm lucky enough to regularly see and keep in touhc with. I've been able to get a good education from University, and I have a great job. So all in all, alhamdulellah for everything, I KNOW I'm very, very blessed. But when I look at other people's terrible struggles, I feel bad for my blessings and I get a feeling of not being thankful enough of what I have. And it makes me sad, because I don't know how to show Allah how truly thankful I am. I don't want Him to think I'm being a spoiled brat, and take all of His beautiful blessings away from me to teach me a lesson on appreciation. I honestly, honestly KNOW Allah has been kind to me!

My question is: How can I show God more appreciation of my blessings? How can I show God that I'm not blinded to how good He has, and still is, to me?


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6 Responses »

  1. OP: All of my life, my dear mother has told me horror stories about men, and told me about things to look out for in men's behaviour and words in order to prevent struggling, being taken advantage of, harmed and hurt.

    Life is not a piece of cake. Your mother told you stories to scare you and keep you away from men taking advantage of you sexually.

    I am sure there are good men like your dad in this world. You can find a guy who grew up in Scandinavia who may think like you. You just want to be treated fairly and not controlled by your husband in the name of religion.

    All men don't beat their wives or try to control their lives.

  2. Salaam walaikum,
    You have to give life a chance, don't be afraid of would could happen. Find a good man who practices islam and inshallah you will be happy. marriage isnt easy it takes work, but islam has the answers to many problems. it is something that Allah swt has given you as a blessing. Others may have changed or have a lot of issues to deal with, but those are their challenges/life lessons/tests from Allah swt. be confident in yourself, no one can change who you are if you are strong and confident. Also, change happens as you grow older. You start liking different things such as different type of clothing or activities. You cannot avoid change and it isnt always bad. Not all men are bad. Alhumdulillah i also grew up with a loving father and I have a loving husband. I was also scared before getting married, i didnt know much about him. I made up all these scenarios and made up what i would do incase he turns out as a horrible husband. But after I got married all those thoughts seemed childish.

    Dont be scared of change and be strong. Inshallah you will lead a happy life. If it helps think of what you would say to your future kids if they were at the point of marriage and were scared?

    In order to show God that you are thankful, take your time when you prayer dont just hurry and make dua. Read the quran and be on the straight path. Its not hard to please God. All the best to you and your future! 🙂 Inshallah lead a happy and wonderful life.

  3. Assalam alaikum,

    I believe that what you fear is the loss of control. It seems that the perfect picture that you have painted in your mind is what you want to attain in this life at all costs or at least you fear it remaining incomplete or destroyed. I think it is important to put your life in perspective in comparison to others around you, but also to recognize and acknowledge the warnings that your mother has shared with you. Rather than letting the realities of a bad marriages strike fear in you, you should appreciate that you have more knowledge on the subject than the average person--do not let this become your weakness, instead appreciate that you are aware.

    You may recall that Allah swt says in the Quran [2:155-157]

    "And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient,
    Who, when disaster strikes them, say, "Indeed we belong to Allah , and indeed to Him we will return."
    Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided."

    I mention all this to you because indeed we will all be tested. Even being given every blessing we can imagine of with a life full of luxury is a test--it is only our perception that a test must be perceived as being difficult. Despite you having much and all the warnings about so many things, still you are puzzled--and yet someone who may have already endured hardships might wish that they were in your shoes--and here you are letting your fears grasp at you---do not let them. It is natural for humans to never feel content in this world, and why would we? It isn't meant to fulfill us in every way or quench our thirst for our aspirations every time--the hunger we are left with, the incompleteness of our lives, the normal fears we exhibit are all part of the human experience that we are meant to know and relate to. Perfection isn't meant to be attained here on earth, it is something that we should aspire to.

    Our struggles and fears, though natural, shouldn't define our every moment to the point that it makes us paralyzed thereby preventing progress. It is okay to move forward, to be hurt, to be healed, to rejoice, to cry, to do be human. You should appreciate Allah swt by simply saying Alhumdulillah every time you remember and enjoining in good--make the best impact you can in this world, even if you feel afraid or hatred towards "bad" marriages--you can't control your fate, but you can control how you react and move forward in the world. Make that count because it is what matters the most.

    May Allah swt make it easier for you, Ameen.

  4. Asalaam alykum sister, for the once in my life I felt like someone out there just thinks like me like what u have posted in ur post , I always feel the same just like how u have fear from marriage not because I heard from my mom the stories because I have seen it the drama that goes through in a relationship. You know no one is perfect in this world they're people out there who are really happy with their married life and they're some people out there who are very not happy in their married but still some do stay in their relationship even after not being happy for various reasons they have and some don't so we can't just end our lives according to whats happening with others in their relationship, like the above sister/brother said that Allah test us to see weather we have patience to strive in this world and still love him in our bad days and good days we are here in this world for just few years or days maybe and we do whatever we canto get Janna hereafter and lie our souls peacefully in sha Allah And whatever u have mentioned in ur post is soo correct According to Me . But sister u know what it is to get married even having so much of hatness in ur heart is that when u get married to certain Man U complete his half of his deen and so is he . SubhanAllah isn't amazing to hear this. I m not telling u will get a perfect man but at least islam gives choice to marry of ur own choice .. See whenever u meet a guy try to speak about ur likes and dislikes and ask his likes and dislikes and try to explain him ur mentality because that is the most important thing u will face later and he will know how u are and you too try to know about him as we'll and do is istikara and if this is relationship is good for u it will take place by the help of Allah if it is not to be then it won't. Note :- islam only permissible you to talk to a guy only if ur intention is to marry him and I think that U can speak to that guy in front of ur maharam and see if maybe ur perspective might change about marriage. In sha Allah

  5. OP: "As a proud Muslim woman, I don't want to subject myself to a husband who will expect me to tolerate his abuse and misinterpretations of his "Islamic rights" (as some Muslim men, unfortunately, do), while oppressing and denying me my Islamic womanly rights. I don't want to subject myself to a husband who preaches Islam to me (maybe even his own fabricated version of Islam), but doesn't practice it at all, himself. I don't want to subject myself to a life of constant struggles and stress. Especially if I have children, also."

    Alhamdulellah, I am so glad to hear a positive story from you that you are from a loving family and now an educated young woman.

    Regarding marriage, I completely agree with what you posted above. I don't know why but in general that the muslim men somehow like to taking advantage or go around the loophole in Islam by claiming their right over women or as you said misinterpret the women's right within the Islamic context.

    When you are engaged, you must involve your father and mother in the process. They seem to be a very open minded person and educated. Let them examine a suitable guy for you. You also need to talk to the guy regarding his views on many subjects so as to see his view points. I understand that he can pretend or hide his viewpoint, but the more you ask him about opinion in different subjects, the more he will show what kind of person he is. That should not be a surprised. Do not ignore any negative signs. Topics like where his Islamic knowledge learning from; how does he see the roles of a career woman vs stay home; women's education and travel; husband's role; recent politics; views on human right; etc, etc, etc. You can have a glimpse of what his perspective of life. Of course, we cannot control any changes after marriage. You need to have a leap of faith in Allah. I suppose you heard of marriage is completing half of the deen. It is important to grow together and communicate frequently. (I heard of a couple that her husband is divorcing her because she refuse to wear a hijab even though she is a perfect mother and dress decently already. Stories after stories of how a man becomes "religious" and starts forcing his view towards the woman and daughter without their readiness.) Communication is important and be always open discuss with your husband and show how you see and understand the issue. Mutual respect is a key for a good marriage too.

    For thanking Allah: Go to the people in need, donate your time and/or money to the needy. Work with them, in a soup kitchen, a community project. If you are able, maybe take a short leave to serve in some muslim NGOs overseas or locally. Go to your masjid, if you are able, teach the young women, the teens, they need a good role model to look up to. The young women and teens are desperate to have someone to talk to or understand their problem.

    You are so blessed with a good loving family, Alhumduallh. Spread this positive story in your community and let people see that a muslim woman can also be actively involved in community affairs. I think you can see that muslim women are always underrepresented in so many aspect in our daily life. Be a outspoken woman to express the injustices in women's issue. Let the world know what is the meaning of Islam. (Unfortunately, most muslim women are not as free as you are, they are mostly house bounded either voluntary or involuntary, being subject to the control of the husband / father.) Go sister!

  6. Salam,

    I just read this wonderful piece and would like to share with you, it may answer your question as well:

    From the article:
    "His current encouragement and pushing may manifest into coercion later in the relationship and this can lead to resentment and tension. Rather than enter a marriage in which you are not on the same page, it is important that you talk about how you each envision practicing your faith and raising your children in the faith."

    "Finding a spouse who encourages personal growth at your own pace is golden. Finding a spouse who accepts your strengths and weaknesses and still loves you is priceless."

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