I’ve been asked a few times how to make the most of being single in reference to preparing oneself for the journey to the altar and beyond. I thought it’d be helpful to list a few pointers on how to groom yourself. Disclaimer: These are my personal opinions and are not going to be helpful to everyone. I am not a scholar or marriage expert.
- Ask God to grant you your life partner. Don’t make it a generic statement, make it personal to you! What are 3-4 NON-NEGOTIABLE things that your future husband must have? For example, mine included being a practicing Muslim, someone mentally ready for the commitment of marriage, and someone who was caring and would make me a priority in their life. Don’t be superficial here ladies….needs are not the same as wants. Wants such as handsome, wealthy, tall, ect are not non-negotiables in my opinion. Ask yourself what things can you not live without??? Take some time. Think about it. As you navigate your way through life your list may change as you learn more about what your values are. Pray on it and ask Allah (swt) for guidance.
- Don’t go chasing fool’s gold. Just as Allah (swt) is moving in our lives each and every day so is Shaytan. What things will he use to entice you? To lure you into an unhealthy relationship? Get to know what your weaknesses are and stay armed so that you don’t get blinded by “distractors”. Don’t let things such as financial wealth, humor, physical appearance, career status, or a buttery smooth voice take the forefront, always remember to stick to your non-negotiables!
- Stop wasting time and entertaining nonsense. When a man is ready to commit he will show up and not play any games. YOU WILL KNOW! Sisters always ask ‘but how?,’ and the answer is very simply…because he will SHOW you with his actions! From my personal experience, a good guy will show you that he wants you and is willing to take his time and move at a pace that you are comfortable with. Don’t be pressured into accommodating their requests and moving at a pace that is too fast or too slow for your comfort. Don’t accept lie after lie. Don’t accept abuse in any form. Don’t let their actions and words be unaligned. Trust your gut and move accordingly. As women we often doubt our strong sense of perception….pay attention to those red flags!
- EVERY GOOD GUY IS NOT YOUR HUSBAND! I cannot stress this enough. There are, contrary to popular belief, a plethora of good Muslim men out there but each one was not meant for you. You are not looking for a good guy but for YOUR good guy. I have met guys who were super sweet, career oriented, and had great heads on their shoulders, but if my non-negotiables weren’t met I could not move forward. You cannot change a man. You cannot influence someone who doesn’t want to be influenced. Who they are now is who you marry. They do not go through a metamorphosis at the altar. Period.
- Know that you are taking a risk. Marriage is a risk, a leap of faith if you will. You don’t know what the outcome will be. Let’s face the facts, all that glitters doesn’t turn out to be gold. You can have love and not be compatible for marriage. Love does not equate to marriage. Open your mind to this. Marriage takes more than love to be triumphant. It takes work! It’s not something you can really explain, just be ready to be tested on levels you never knew. Be prepared for lots of personal growth. Being vulnerable is not easy. Letting egos go takes humility. You will ebb and flow. But unfortunately even if you do your best, sometimes it still doesn’t work out. Be mindful of that. However, your faith in yourself and in your potential husband and the love you two cultivate and hone should outweigh the risks. There are risks associated with most decisions you make, but we have to walk by faith! Do not lean on your fears, insecurities, anxieties, and doubts! Instead lean on Allah (swt) and His words, trust in Him! Make faith-based decisions and believe that things will work out in the best of ways! Be confident in God’s abilities! We serve an Omnipotent Creator, the “Originator of the heavens and the earth. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, “Be,” and it is,” Surah Al-Baqarah [The Cow] (2:117). Alhamdulilah, don’t underestimate Him!
- Learn contentment. Marriage is not the end all be all. You need to learn to be satisfied with what you have and where you are right now in your life. Not once this or that happens! This dunya is a test and whether you get married or not you will be held accountable for your actions on The Day of Reckoning. Life is truly a gift, but we can be so ungrateful and lackadaisical day in and day out. As cliché as it sounds, we need to learn how to sit back and smell the roses. Take a moment right now and think of 5 things that you are utterly and truly thankful for. I express gratitude for my home, that my family is in good health, that I am able to create content for you all, that I don’t have to worry where my next meal is coming from, and that each day I’m out and about God grants me the safety to get home safely without any incidents. It’s that simple and yet so rewarding! Each day express to Him your appreciation!
- Learn discernment. This is the ability to judge things and people accurately. Pray for this quality to become a characteristic of yours. When awaiting Mr. Right you don’t want to be blinded by love or see things through rose-colored glasses. We’ve all seen examples of sisters in love with someone everyone can tell isn’t right for them, but that sister seems oblivious to that persons shortcomings until much later. They say love is blind right? Pray against that, pray to see people for who they really are, pray to be able to see through the smoke and mirrors. To do this we have to get silent and learn to hear. Listen. What is your gut instinct? What red flags are you aware of? Don’t let your own thoughts or the thoughts of others crowd your mind. Let all that dissipate and learn to differentiate between the clutter and God’s direction. Thank me later ;-P
- Fashion yourself, as I mentioned earlier, to be the best version of YOU! Marriage will not fix all your broken pieces. Sorry if that burst your bubble. You need to invest in yourself. As women we always have these silly lists of the perfect man. 5 inches + taller than me, makes at least 6 figures, has a six pack, knows how to cook, is funny, is romantic, loves to travel, is sensitive but not overly so, can recite Quran, loves his mama but isn’t a mama’s boy, has non-offensive morning breath lol, is a handyman, etcetera. But funny enough, we expect that man to choose us. What do we contribute? What qualities on their list do WE meet? Being pretty isn’t enough. Don’t focus so much on how to perfect your winged eyeliner and highlight if you’re intention to learn is in hopes of attracting him. Instead direct your efforts to really becoming a “boss lady,” be that girl who has her own aspirations and achievements. A man should merely compliment you, NOT complete you. Overcome loneliness. Say yes more often. This is the time where you can agree to go on a shopping spree, take that girl’s trip, spend a weekend in bed, volunteer at the food kitchen, or have an awesome spa day with your mom. You can do these things once you are married too, but it’s not as easy especially if you end up moving away.
These helpful tidbits will surely help you to mentally grow as a single lady. I pray that, insha’Allah, these words of wisdom were helpful on some level. These are things I would definitely tell my younger self back in the day. Don’t mope around in despair, embrace your singleness and optimize this time! I realize that not everyone has people in their lives to have these types of conversations with. If you found one or all of these points to be enlightening definitely share this post with your friends and family and those who you think can gain something from it. We are not in this world alone! Let’s grow together and learn from one another. I’d love to hear from you! What helpful hints can you pass on? May Allah (swt) make it easy for you, may you find your King in the most beautiful manner, may he treat you like the Queen you are, may you unlock your true beauty, and may we all live a life of happiness despite our circumstances! Amin!