A few moments ago I realized, next year I shall be 3 decades old. Passing through the 25-year-old mark had been quite alarming and now almost reaching 30, it is definitely worrying. Why? Because I am coming to 30 and yet still unmarried! There you have it. I have said it.
For some cultures, being a 30-year-old unmarried woman is nothing. But the reality is, I am getting older by the day and not looking any younger. It was not as if I have not pondered about how am I going to find my soulmate, but I have been blessed with non-pressuring parents-at least when it comes to marriage. So it had never really bothered me, not then anyways. Still, I noticed, there are quite an alarming number of unmarried women around my age and they too have passed the 25 age mark and nowhere near getting hitched.
“What’s wrong with us?”
About a few days ago, I had a conversation with some of my friends, wondering why some of the women in the workplace were not married. They are definitely talented, smart and moreover pleasing to the eye. Without a doubt, in my opinion they have surpassed the average criteria and yet they are unattached.
So I said, “Either there is something wrong with her or are we running out of decent local single men?” and I wondered if this does apply to all women with professions? It reminds me of a recent newspaper post, where a local woman ranted that we were competing for local men with the expatriates. But certainly, there are quite a number of eligible men, equally charismatic and yet unmarried. I supposed the right question to ask is, what is the matter with all of us?
On the top of my head, I tried to seek out some factors for why some people might remain single despite the idea that it may be time to settle down and start a family. Firstly, it could be the age factor. Apparently, some parts of society believe that women past the age of 30 are too old and unsuitable to be considered for marriage, whereas men have the liberty to not to be pressured with marriage until he is stable and able financially. Perhaps these men and women may have missed their opportunity in finding prospective wives and husbands respectively when they were busy achieving academically or busy building their careers. In my opinion we should examine the relationship between Siti Khadija RA and Prophet Muhammad SAW when it comes to marriage. For the couple, age is just a number. Siti Khadija RA was 40 years old when she married the Prophet who was 25 at that time and that did not hinder them from having a loving marriage.
Secondly, men & women might choose to remain single because they are unable to find matching criteria in a potential partner’s appearances and personality. When it comes to appearances, beauty is a subjective matter. Still, should we place fault in people who are choosy in looks when beauty itself lies within the eyes of the beholder?
However, issues of the inner beauties are more intricate. As men and women mature, they would study the prospective spouse’s character more than judging the outer looks. Some men and women alike would judge and analyze the other gender whether they would be compatible in terms of personality and behavior. For example, some women would rather be single than be with a man who runs away from responsibilities. On the other hand, some men refuse to approach women as some might be intimidated by the achievements earned by women and others may just feel that they are not worthy of the women, which is very unfortunate.
Another common practice among the singles is they may still be waiting for the right person to come. This lingering reasoning is the third factor that often bounds the singles in an infinity loop. In our culture, it is an unsaid understanding that men should approach the women first, when it comes to starting a relationship. However, these days, things have become more complicated.
Would it be ‘right’ for women to break the norm of society and propose to men? Or should the men ‘man-up’ and be encouraged to take up the responsibility? Therefore, in this odd situation, when the men might be hesitant to reach out to the women and the women could be uncertain of the men’s intention, there will be no progress in the relationship. Once things become stagnant, these people start to lose hope and fall away.
Nonetheless, we should not judge a book by its cover. All of these reasons I have listed down are just possible causes that may have led some men and women to remain single. There could be a whole different story from their past that had shaped and circumstanced him or her to the current situation. Yet, we should not lose hope as there are some possible solutions for the singles to try and have faith for the best.
What are the possible solutions?
” “Do not be sad. Allah is with us.” (Quran 9:40)”
Allah SWT created you and naturally He knows you, He understands your most inner thoughts and cares more than you could imagine. When Allah places us in despairing situations, we should get closer to Allah SWT to strengthen our relationship with Him and strive to be a better person instead of faltering away. Help from Allah could come in many forms, therefore feeling hopelessness would only cloud our hearts from truly seeing the answer that could be right in front of our eyes.
- Parents’ role in matchmaking
Only recently I was able to grasp, that one of the ways for singles to find prospective spouse is through matchmaking. Unfortunately, there is a stigma growing in our society that perceive a parent’s role in matchmaking as being traditional and unconventional. But little that we know, parents might perhaps choose the best partner for the son/daughter based on compatibility. Parents with unmarried daughters could be more proactive in scouting for potential son-in-law as it is part of their responsibility to ensure security and safety.
Other than through parents, singles could seek out for assistance from reliable close friends to find prospective partners. The close friends might comprehend your character more and perhaps understand your needs that could be well-suited with the other potential one. Taking the example of Siti Khadija RA and Prophet Muhammad SAW; their match was initially requested by Siti Khadija RA through her trusted friend Nafisah binti Muniyyah. Nafisah approached Rasulullah SAW and informed him of Siti Khadija RA’s intention. The Prophet then brought his uncles and proposed to Siti Khadija RA.
- Islamic Matchmaking agencies
Singles could try out some of the reliable Islamic matchmaking agencies established online and offline with caution. Similar to adding people on Facebook, we need to place certain precaution not to reveal so much that could place us in a disadvantage. When you are opting for Islamic matrimonial sites, some things you might want to know is, what are their successful matchmaking rate, how does it find compatibility between two forthcoming singles and more.
It is advisable for men to scout for a future wife based on a hadith. “A woman is married for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty and for her piety. Choose the pious and may you be blessed.” (Sahih Bukhari)
Even though you have tried and failed miserably, La Tahzan (Do not be sad!) for Allah has better plans for you. We must always refresh our intention, for who should we please more? Of course the Creator of happiness. Do not give up trying, hoping and praying to Allah asking for contentment in life and striving towards eternal happiness in Jannah.