Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
My father passed away recently. Lately, I feel so frustrated because I think I need someone to make me feel I am special, someone who will help me with my business, and someone who will marry me, to be my mahram. I feel this because I am tired of being abused in terms of money by my relatives. I cannot say no to them.
For example, my mother is always borrowing my money for my siblings and their families. I feel it’s so unfair. I’m always crying and think that if my father were here, that would not happen. So it makes me think that I need someone to marry me, for my relatives to think that I also need to save money because I have my own family. What should I do?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us. Please forgive me for the delay.
Dear sister, I am sorry that you are struggling so much with the death of your father, and the financial troubles with your family. You sound like a kind, generous and loving young woman, and I pray that Allah rewards your sacrifices in this world and the next.
When you feel lonely and overwhelmed, it is natural for you to long for the support and love of a husband. We were all created to long for that special kind of companionship. If Allah wills it, then marriage would be a wonderful protection for you. However, until that happens, I suggest that you work on improving your assertiveness skills.
Keep in mind that when you are feeling vulnerable, you risk rushing into marriage with an unsuitable husband. If you do not learn how to assert yourself, then you risk getting married to someone who can take advantage of your kindness and generosity. A stressful marriage can potentially make things worse for you.
Please educate yourself through the SeekersGuidance course Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages, the lesson set Getting Married with Ustadha Shireen Ahmed and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, and by reading books such as Before You Tie The Knot.
Instead of hoping that marriage will make things easier for you, trust that you already have the skills within you to improve your life. For example, you need to learn how to be more assertive with your family members, and how to budget your finances.
Who else can you lean on for support? Do you have close friends? Other relatives?
I urge you to wake up in the last third of the night, every night, or as frequently as you are able to, and perform the Prayer of Need.
Please look for a Muslimah life coach, culturally-sensitive counsellor, psychologist, or holistic healer, to help you learn how to say no. Start to value your own self, independent of any man in your life. You are already important because you exist. You already matter to Allah. Allah has blessed you with the gift of belief.
If you are struggling to find help, then I strongly suggest that you try some self-hypnosis downloads. You can listen to tracks such as these in the comfort of your own home:
10 Steps to Absolute Assertiveness
Please focus on growing stronger and more grounded. This will help you make better life choices.
It can be extremely difficult to say no to family members, especially your mother. The first time you say no will be the hardest. I pray that it gets easier with practice.
Could you consider hiring a financial planner to help you with your finances? Sit down with a professional to work out a proper budget. Decide how much you want to save, how much you can donate to your family, and how much you need for expenses.
When you have a budget in front of you, then you will feel less overwhelmed. You do not need to be married and have children to create a budget.
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) as saying: “A strong believer is better and is more beloved to Allah than a weak believer, and there is good in everyone, (but) cherish that which gives you benefit (in the Hereafter) and seek help from Allah and do not lose heart, and if anything (in the form of trouble) comes to you, don’t say: If I had not done that, it would not have happened so and so, but say: Allah did that what He had ordained to do and your ‘if’ opens the (gate) for Satan.” [Sahih Muslim]
I am sorry that you have lost the protection of love and of your father. As heartbreaking as it is, know that now you have the opportunity to learn how to stand up for yourself. You do not need to remain a victim. You can choose to empower yourself.
Narrated Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him): Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “If Allah wants to do good to somebody, He afflicts him with trials.” [Bukhari]
This dunya is a place of tests and tribulations. I encourage you to reflect on the most common and recurring tests in your life. Allah sends these trials to you to help you grow, out of love for you. The sooner you learn these lessons, then the sooner you can move on to your next area of growth. Know that growth is often painful, even though it is good for you.
I encourage you to read up on Growth Mindset to help you reframe your challenges.
I suggest that you download apps such as Calm and Headspace to help you learn how to notice and let go of your troubled thoughts. Mindfulness will not make your fears and worries go away, but it will help you cope better with them. Ensure that you are eating nutritious food, exercising, keeping good company, and giving in charity either in time, money, or both.
I pray that Allah grants you courage, wisdom, and nearness to Him.
Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersGuidance Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.