I’ve traveled far and wide (throughout Southern California, that is) and spent much time with many different groups of Muslims. The one common denominator seems to be the sisters’ concern about getting married. These girls are masha’Allah very educated, intelligent, knowledgeable about Islam, moderate in their beliefs, strong in their character, active in their communities, and yet, they fear that either they will never get married or that if they do get married, they fear divorce.
I can understand their anxiety. I’m 27, and according to a make-shift graph on some Muslim brother’s blog, that means that my “desirability” is waning and my time is running out. That’s really interesting because I actually think I’m at my height right now. I’m done with school, I have an amazing job that has flexible hours and low stress levels. I’m financially secure. I’m not high maintenance. I’m active in the community. I take good care of myself physcially. I have a great family who is fun and ready and willing to embrace a great guy. And most importantly, I know myself. I know what I need, what I love, what I can’t stand, what my goals are, where I stand on important issues, and who I am in the core of my heart and soul. When I was 25, I couldn’t have said that. So that whole “desirability” chart just got blown out of the water. I’m a better person at 27, and you know what, most educated girls won’t be at their height until about that age, give or take a few years.
And the previous paragraph isn’t just a description of me. It’s a description of a LOT of the girls who are either done with their Masters or their JD, starting clinical rotations or wrapping up med school. It’s all the girls that I talk to all over the place. Same profile, same fears.
These girls that have decided to pursue the highest educational standards available in this country are scared that no brother is going to ask for them. What a shame. The most intelligent, most driven, ambitious, perseverent, dedicated women in this ummah who will be able to move and shake the policies, practices, and principles of this country to include more Islamic ethics, morals and virtues are fearing for their future.
My message to the brothers…bring security to these sisters, start realizing their worth in your lives and in the lives of your future children. The “desirability” of the women you marry should include their desire to better themselves, to educate themselves, to raise themselves up as leaders of the community. Take a chance with a sister who can debate with you on issues of the day, who can work side by side with you in the community, whose intelligence may even surpass your own. It’s not a bad thing. It’s something to respect and cherish.
The best, strongest, longest-lasting, and most loving marriage between two Muslims that I have ever seen is between a very brilliant man and his even-more brilliant wife. He respects her for her genius and never fails to tell everyone that his wife is smarter than him. He isn’t threatened by it. They make an amazing team, with amazing children and an overall amazing life.
My message to the sisters…the road you are choosing may be more difficult, but if your intentions are for the sake of Allah to grow in knowledge with the motivation of improving our ummah, then press on and believe deeply in the hikma of Allah (swt). He will bring you happiness and you should not fear or have anxiety. Put your trust in Him.
Allah is the best of planners. He has your life all laid out. There are benchmarks along our path that are written for us. Our risq, our time of death, our marriage partner, our children. Allah knows already. So why worry. When I lived in Mexico, anxiety was always alleviated when my tia would say, “Que sera, sera,” what will be, will be.
Sisters, keep striving, have no anxiety, and know that your pure intentions, your hard work, your striving will not go unrewarded. You might have to wait longer, much longer than your mother did and maybe some of your friends. But you will have Allah’s blessing and you will live in peace and happiness all the days of your life. Just continue on this path of education, righteousness, and activism and know that you are in Allah’s hands.
Brothers, look at these amazing sisters. You have never had a more amazing variety of beautiful women who are intent on reviving this ummah. Be bold. These women are the building blocks of the future of Islam. Believe me, they can cook some amazing food and keep a beautiful home, too! You lose nothing and gain everything by being willing to look at these amazing women and see their pricelessness.