By Maryam Amir
Before I got married, I was given unsolicited advice on how to change in order to make myself “more appealing” to men. Sisters would voluntarily tell me I should change my dress style, personality and passion for activism in order not to scare them away.
I was frustrated. Since when was our purpose in life marriage? Where in the Qur’an does Allah The Provider—The One Who has written our provision in every aspect of our lives—ask us to change our personalities and tone down our activism in hopes of sacking a spouse? Why would I want to change myself to please someone else and marry someone who doesn’t actually appreciate who I truly am in the first place?
Nevertheless, with marriage being such a huge concern for our community, many face the temptation to change who they are and their core values for the sake of finding a spouse.
Here’s an idea: Instead of working to please a potential suitor, perhaps we should first seek to please Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He), the One Who sows the seed of love in our hearts and can bless us with our dream husband or dream wife or give us better than it if that’s what is best for us.
Thus, for those of us seeking to get married, in addition to looking for marriage at every event, let’s look for marriage in our relationship with Al Wahhab, The Giver of All. Let’s be honest. We are talking about the Al Mujeeb, The Responder to Prayer. Those are amongst the Names of Allah! Allah gives and He answers!
If we are individuals who struggle to lower our gaze and protect our eyes, heart, tongue and body from falling into what is forbidden, don’t we know that Allah `azza wa jall (the Might and Majestic) will indeed massively reward us?
Every time we glance up and see someone we wish we could be with and then turn away, in that moment we can fervently ask Allah (swt) to bless us with a spouse who will be the sweetness of our eyes. Would not Allah `azza wa jall listen to and accept your supplication to Him? The Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) has encouraged us with regards to our dua (supplication), “Ask and you will be given, ask you will be given,” (at-Tirmithi).
In those moments in the last third of the night, in those two rakahs (units of prayer) which we make out of pure frustration of our situation, weeping, asking Allah (swt) to answer us—do we not think Allah rabul`alameen (Lord of the Worlds) will respond to us? How could Allah, The Responder, possibly not accept the supplication of His adamant worshipper who is painfully struggling to maintain his or her modesty and guard his or her chastity? Allahu Akbar (God is the Greatest), this is Allah! Without doubt Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala is going to answer us!
The Prophet ﷺ relates from Allah, the Lord of All the Worlds, in a hadith qudsi:
“Our Lord (glorified and exalted be He) descends each night to the earth’s sky when there remains the final third of the night, and He says: ‘Who is saying a prayer to Me that I may answer it? Who is asking something of Me that I may give it him? Who is asking forgiveness of Me that I may forgive him?’” (Bukhari)
What is hooking up with a brother or sister on Facebook worth if we’re not more adamant about hooking up with the One Who can hook us up?
As Shaykh Muhammad Faqih once said, “Hook up with Allah, Allah will hook you up!”
Let’s hook up with salah (prayer)! Hook up with the Qur’an! Hook up with community work for Allah’s Sake! And have certainty that when we struggle to please Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, Allah, Ash-Shakoor, is the Most Appreciative of our work and will undoubtedly reward us.
Will that reward be in the form of an amazing spouse and an amazing marriage? Allah knows best. Perhaps it may and perhaps it may not. However, the best part is that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala knows what is BEST for us and regardless of the outcome, we’ll have increased in the closeness of our relationship to Him through this test.
The Prophet ﷺ has told us, “Any Muslim who supplicates to Allah in a du`a’ which contains no sin breaking of kinship, Allah will give him one of three things: either his du`a’ will be immediately answered or, it will be saved for him in the hereafter, or it will turn away an equivalent amount of evil (from him)…” (Ahmad).
Thus, we must know that if we hook up with Allah, we can trust that He will hook us up with whatever is best, whether it be an answer to exactly what we are asking for or something better than that for us. Allah got our backs! Who better to trust our future with than the One Who already knows it?
Easier said than done? Maybe. But what have we got to lose? If at the end of the day, we are only increasing in closeness to Allah (swt), we are finding our Qur’anic recitation increasing, we are finally tasting the sweetness of our salah, we’re making more fervent duaa than ever before—then, God willing, we will have gained more than a spouse if one gets married, and we would have gained much more than facebook “cruising for a spouse” time while we’re attempting to find our better half.
Those of us looking to get married must take the means necessary—meeting new people, getting involved with new organizations and projects, considering online options or singles’ events… We must take the means necessary for the outcome. But let us not forget that the One Who will facilitate the outcome should be on our minds, in our hearts and worshipped through our actions in more passionate, fervent ways than the time and effort we justifiably spend searching for our better halves.
And if marriage does not become a reality for whatever reason is best, then by focusing on increasing in our relationship with Allah (swt), we would have gained much, much more in both this life and the Next, God willing; a higher rank in the highest Paradise, an amazingly close relationship with our Creator and unparalleled new relationship with du`a’ (supplication) to the One Who always hears and responds.
The Lord of the Worlds speaks to us and tells us, “And when My slaves ask you concerning Me, then I am indeed near. I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me. So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright,” (Quran, 2:186).
We are coming to Allah with raja (hope), with a powerful combination of seeking Allah’s pleasure, striving to leave anything which may gain His displeasure and making a consistent effort to ask Him to open the best of ways for us. And with all of that, we’re putting our trust in Him that He will give us whatever is best. Of course Allah is listening and He will undoubtedly answer us.
As was once stated, “A person has never held certainty in Allah only for Allah to disappoint him or her. Never will Allah disappoint those with yaqeen (certainty), tawakkul (reliance) and husn al-dhann (good opinion) of Him.”
Hook up with Allah and Allah, the All Wise, will undoubtedly hook us up in the best of ways.