Disclaimer: This article is dedicated to all the single Muslim girls all around the world. Guys, keep out! This doesn’t concern you!
Okay, here we go.
There are three types of single girls known to humankind:
Single and happy
Single and miserable
Single and miserable but trying (or sometimes pretending) to be happy
Now I wish I had the chance to elaborate on each category, but my editors will kill me if I don’t stick to the word limit, so I’ll just do what I do best; tattletale on the group that confides in me the most!
Single and Miserable?
“You don’t need a man to be happy!”
“How can you possibly feel lonely? You have a loving family and lots of friends!”
“Stop obsessing about marriage! Focus on yourself and your career!”
There’s probably always a loved one or two who tend to say words along these lines, which proves the unspoken theory that most people, especially coupled up ones, even if they were our own best friends, can be completely clueless, and sometimes totally useless, when it comes to understanding certain ‘singleness’ emotions.
If you’re already miserable, their advice can make you feel worse, and those condescending words can awaken ugly feelings you didn’t know you had!
Understanding Affection and Mercy in Islam
There’s nothing wrong or unnatural about wishing to find the ‘one’ and yearning to start a family. I mean, come on, Prophet Adam ‘alayhi’l-salām (peace be upon him) was in Paradise! Like real-life actual HEAVEN where everything is perfectly perfect; there’s no sadness, poverty or pain, and you can eat everything you want and not gain weight! Except he still wasn’t happy! He needed a companion. But did Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) give Prophet Adam a brother? A son? A soccer-buddy?
The first relationship ever created on this earth was a romantic one, between a man and woman. Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) gave him a wife; and she was his serenity and his home. You all know the ayah, right?
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” [Qur’an: Chapter 30, Verse 21]
It turns out it is only by opposites that things are truly defined: hot/cold, black/white, heaven/hell, high/low, right/wrong. You need a student to feel like a teacher. You must know sadness to appreciate a happy moment. Only a baby can make you feel like a mom and only a male can make you feel like a female. (Feminists, hold your horses! I’m only stating psychological facts.)
We all need to have a companion to witness our lives, someone to love and make us feel loved and protected, someone to start a new family with. It’s how Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) created us, and it’s a beautiful basic need. Yearning to get married and have a child (or five!) does not make a woman lame, brainless or desperate, it makes her just that: a woman!
Single girls can have parents, friends, and the career, and still feel hollow inside. Loneliness is the hardest feeling to admit. It’s toxic and cruel, and with it comes fear, loss of identity and depression. So I guess it’s time for the ‘well-wishers’ who try to soothe single women by telling them to ‘live their lives’ to come up with a new game plan!
Is Getting Married the Ultimate Escape from Misery & Loneliness?
“Wow look at all these raised hands! Yes, you in the back! Stand up please so everyone can see you!”
“I’m a married woman and I’m still miserable and lonely! You make it sound like ‘marriage’ is a magic wand or something! What about those of us who would rather feel lonely than feel suffocated in a loveless marriage?”
It’s true, sometimes you can feel lonely even when you’re never alone. Sometimes there’s more happiness and hope in being single than in being in a mentally, emotionally or physically abusive relationship. There are countless women out there wishing they could switch places with single girls, to regain their freedom or sanity or at least have a chance to heal.
(Okay, girls, help me out here! I’m kinda already stuck on the very first question!)
Are you happy to just settle down, or will you never settle for anything less than happiness?
Who is better off; the miserable singles or the miserable married women?
We can argue about this all the way to Timbuktu and back, and still never reach a resolution. The only thing both groups seem to agree on is that the glass is half empty. But those who are happily single or happily married don’t live in La-La Land either. They have their lows and their problems, too. Some get the ‘lonely pangs’ and others sometimes watch their husbands yell curse words at the TV or snore louder than ten jackhammers, and quietly contemplate murdering them! It’s not all fluffy and bubbly! The difference here is they see the cup half full. They choose to focus on the positive, the bigger picture, on what keeps them together instead of what tears them apart. They choose to become survivors instead of victims. It sounds sappy but it’s true. It’s not really what you see, it’s how you see it.
There’s a special secret method of finding joy in any relationship status whether it’s single, married, divorced or ‘waiting for a miracle’. And since I’m a snitch today I will tell you all about it….
This way, please…
You see this beautiful joy-filled room with the amazing view, crystal vases, roses, satin sheets, scented candles and treasure boxes? Where you keep your beauty products, your precious jewelry, your cherished memories and all your favorite fun things? Imagine instead of accessing your own room whenever you please, you lock its door and give the key to someone else. And every time you want to have fun, feel pretty, enjoy the view or even sleep comfortably, you must first go to that person who holds the key. But sometimes this person will be busy, asleep, too tired, too cranky or too angry to go fetch it. What will happen to you then?
Learning How to Hold the Key to Happiness
Married or single, putting the key to your happiness in someone else’s pocket doesn’t seem like a very smart idea, does it? It’s too much of a burden to be responsible for someone’s happiness all day, every day! You can’t depend on your husband, or even on your own flesh and blood, (be it your parents or your kids) to make you happy because they can’t be physically and emotionally available all the time. They will fail and eventually give up. A man’s role is NOT to make you happy, it’s to make you happier!
To all the single Muslim girls waiting for their other half to finally make an appearance (hopefully on a white Arabian horse bearing a diamond ring) remember this: Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) says,
“If you are grateful, I will surely increase you in favor.” [Qur’an: Chapter 14, Verse 7]
Maybe that’s the core of the problem; you having the ‘if this happens I will be happy’ syndrome. The misery you’re feeling now will leave once it has done teaching you that loved ones, romance, family and everything you wish for, have the ability to make you happier, but no one can truly make you happy except yourself when you have that beautiful attitude of gratitude to your One and Only Creator, Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He).
Now for the Practical Tips
“Yes, you in the purple top, did you have a question?”
“Can you give us some practical tips since this is an article for Productive Muslim and all?”
“Of course! Okay wait, how are we doing on word limit? We good? Great! Let’s answer some universal questions. Go!”
“I’m tired of waiting for the right guy! I hardly get any marriage proposals and I’m scared I’ll end up alone. What do I do?”
There’s a toxic voice inside every single woman drowning her with doubts. Please don’t succumb to it, otherwise, you’ll find yourself crossing the ‘decency’ line, sinning, falling for the wrong guy or accepting the unacceptable out of fear of loneliness. Girls, getting married is a form of ‘rizq’ (sustenance) like money, health, etc. It’s made up of effort and blessings. Cause and effect. So ask Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) with specific dua the way Prophet Musa ‘alayhi’l-salām (peace be upon him) did.
“My Lord, indeed I am, for whatever good You would send down to me, in need.” [Qur’an: Chapter 28, Verse 24]
Dua is a form of worship that gets you closer to your Creator, which is the whole purpose of creation in the first place. So make this dua day and night, and don’t forget to ask for a righteous, pious and kind husband. Take the means by not approaching that haram in any way, and making dua to Allah to give you the halal.
“I’m just too drained, miserable and lonely to help myself or try to be happy, especially when there’s nothing to be happy about.”
Did you ever hear of a miserable person randomly attracting happiness or suddenly getting what he or she wants? Having nothing to do is poisonous, and it leads to overthinking. You need to keep yourself busy doing something productive and discovering your unique talents. That’s when you’ll be proud of yourself, feeling happy and alive.
A rough translation of a famous Arabic quote is this: “Whoever doesn’t have it can’t give it.” You can never love and care for someone else if you don’t love and care for yourself first. Meaning you’re not ready to be in a relationship to start with. The first step is to accept your life for what it is and thank Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) for everything else He subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) has given you. Because if you’re not grateful for what you have, why would Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) increase it? Honey, your happiness will not come to you, it can only come FROM you. So take ten minutes each morning to thank Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) for your health, your parents, your house, your safety, your eyesight…
Try to think happy thoughts, help others in need and smile, even when you don’t feel like it. Trust me, these three things trick the brain and affect your mood positively. Kind of like ‘fake it till you become it’ sort of thing.
“There’s a guy I like and he likes me, but he’s taking forever to propose and six years later I’m still single and waiting. What do I do?”
I have four words for you: Indecision is a decision.
(You’re counting the words, aren’t you? LOL)
Don’t give in and break your ‘halal’ rules for someone who isn’t ready. Beware of those sweet talkers, girls; they all read the same book ‘How To Break A Girl’s Heart and Leave Her Hanging’. You’ll waste your life waiting and end up hating him, yourself and the whole world for it.
Stay on the right path, where there is no secrecy or shame, and the right guy will appear on it.
To all the beautiful single Muslim girls all around the world…
There’s nothing wrong with wishing and waiting for the man of your dreams, just be patient… And, no cheating, girls! Real patience is not just about having the ability to wait, it’s in having the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.
Allah subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) is too Merciful and Kind to see you wishing for something good and not give it to you. He subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) just needs you to be ready. So be grateful and happy first and He subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He) will surely increase you in favor and make you happier.
That’s your Lord’s promise. Put your trust in Him subḥānahu wa ta’āla (glorified and exalted be He).
And, don’t forget to invite us all to your wedding.
Please share with us your tips on remaining steadfast, patient and productive during the test of singlehood, in the comments section below!
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