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by Alveena Salim

I was talking about this topic last night with my husband.

I’ve always been the kind of girl who puts so much pressure on myself to move with my age – and I’ve been lucky Alhumdullilah, for the most part.

i.e. I did my GCSE’s at 16, A levels at 18, graduation at 21, post graduation at 22 and in a trainee graduate employment at 23.

I wanted to be married by 23, and it became an issue for me that I was married at 24 (I was engaged at 23 and was married when I was 24 – our engagement was 11 months).

This ‘milestones’ are something that I’ve put on myself – I find myself getting stressed if I haven’t ticked the box.

What doesn’t help, is people who ask questions – i.e. why aren’t you married yet, which was a question that I started getting asked as soon as I was 17. I knew I wasn’t married. Being commented and criticised did not hurry the process up.

Or why don’t you have children yet? – Which is a question that was asked months into my marriage.

Things are not in our control. We can not control where we are in life. I have unmarried uncles who are nearing 40 and not yet married – Obviously, that’s not what they wanted for themselves, but that’s what Allah wanted for them.

In the same way, some people have been married for years and do not have children yet. Maybe, that’s not what they want. But that’s what Allah wants for them.

I know many graduates who are struggling to find employment. I’m sure that’s not what they wanted, but that’s what Allah wanted for them.

Interestingly enough, when we do end up doing what we’re supposed to be doing – no one questions anymore how long it took to get you there.

A few friends of mine recently got married – they’re in their late twenties. Now that they’re married. No one cares how long it took to get them there.

A few friends of mine recently had babies. Only the other day, I figured out their ages, as it came up in a conversation. I realised that they got married late, were married for years and now have had their first baby – with some being in their mid-late thirties.

Now that they have children – no one questions how long it took them to get there.

Society is quick to point fingers. The guy who may be seen as ‘delaying marriage’ – is not delaying marriage because he wants to, it’s because Allah does not want him to be married yet. The unemployed graduate is not jobless out of choice, but does not have a job because that’s not what Allah wants for him. In the same way, the couple who do not have children is not because they are still using contraceptives, and are childless out of choice, but because that’s what Allah wants from them.

Because, when Allah wills something, nothing can stop it from happening.

Life is not a race. And regardless of the efforts we may/may not put into making things happens.

Whatever does happen, will only happen if Allah gives His permission.

We should submit to Allah. We should not fight it, or ask why, or why not, but strive with patience and steadfastness, strength and hope. Knowing that the situation that you are in is the best situation for you. And know that, that’s where real, true and lasting contentment comes from. Where even in the depth of darkness, you KNOW that there is khair in it for you.

So, don’t get disheartened if you’re not yet graduated, employed, married, have children etc

You may not be where you want to be in life. But you’re exactly where Allah wants you to be.