I am a 25 year old Muslimah who wants to get married, but my parents refuse to help me find someone I can marry and say I am too young to get married! In the past, I have had various non-Muslim men interested in me but I have turned down their requests to date/spend time together. I am increasingly growing frustrated because of the desire that I feel to get married and my desire to be with a man. This desire has led me to commit zina of the eyes by watching inappropriate television shows and movies (borderline pornography). I fear that if i remain unmarried I will continue down the path of zina and do even more disgusting things. Please help me find a solution to my problem.
Frustrated and Worried
Dear Frustrated and Worried,
It is perfectly natural for you to want to get married, and it makes sense you would be feeling increasingly frustrated with your parents’ position. There are some steps you can take on several different fronts that may be helpful in resolving your situation. First, with your parents, it may be helpful to sit with them and ask them what they need to see in you in order to make them feel you are ready for marriage. Are there particular milestones they expect you to reach? Are there certain behaviors or qualities they think are necessary for you to have prior to marriage? Or are there simply some fears they have that are creating obstacles for them to accept you growing up and moving to the next stage in your life?
While it is ideal if at all possible to have your parents’ support before you get married, you must also prioritize your relationship with Allah over your relationship with your parents. As a follow up to the conversation suggested above, it may be helpful for you to identify someone they know and trust to remind them about the importance of marriage in Islam as a protection from sin for those who are mature enough for marriage. You might consider a relative, close family friend, or an imam. It can be anyone that both you and your parents respect and trust.
In addition, you might consider speaking to your imam to help you navigate this difficult situation. Your imam will most likely encourage marriage and may have some suggestions for ways to address your parents’ concerns.
May Allah bring you ease in this difficult situation and bring you what is best for you.
Salma Abugideiri is a licensed professional counselor with almost 20 years of experience. She is also a founding board member for Peaceful Families Project, a national non-profit organization dedicated to ending domestic violence in Muslim families. More information is available at www.peacefulfamilies.org and www.wellnessthroughcounseling.
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