Loving yourself, then loving them

Marriage is a serious topic. It’s around us every day, so let us explore what marriage may mean to us as individuals.

Marriage is very serious. Marriage is decided between the two people within it and there is no specific time nor place that marriage ought to take place — as explored in my previous article. So, let us go more in-depth about our choices when it comes to choosing the right partner..

A lot of us come from different cultures and communities. I’m a Muslim American, so I have lived within an Islamic culture as well as an American one. I’m going to use an Islamic and personal approach to this article, and I hope despite being from different backgrounds, you will be able to relate. In my religion, women have a lot of rights, and I emphasize this. We especially have a lot of rights within marriage and divorce. 

“And one of His signs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves so that you may find comfort in them. And He has placed between you compassion and mercy. Surely in this are signs for people who reflect,” Surah Ar-Rum 30:21 from the Holy Quran. 

A personal reflection from this quote is that no matter how big and scary this world can be, Allah has created for us a life partner that we can navigate through this world together, hand in hand. 

A quote by our Prophet Muhammad — peace and blessings be upon him — that is very beautiful is: “O you young men! Whoever is able to marry should marry, for that will help him to lower his gaze and guard his modesty.” (Al-Bukhari) Being Muslim and living within this dunya, anywhere can be very tough, as we may find hardships when it comes to marriage. 

We may live in areas where there is not a big Muslim community, and may want to find someone who is aware of both American and our ethnic culture, someone who will get along with our families and who we can envision having and raising children with. 

“O believers! It is not permissible for you to inherit women against their will1 or mistreat them to make them return some of the dowry as a ransom for divorce—unless they are found guilty of adultery. Treat them fairly. If you happen to dislike them, you may hate something which Allah turns into a great blessing.” Surah An-Nisa 4:19. 

We have set ideals for ourselves, whether we are from a particular religion or not, we want to live in this world with set ideals for ourselves until our death. This set may include being a pious person, or a kind person, a person who consistently indulges themselves in learning, giving to charity, helping ones in need, loving, caring and being the best person for ourselves. We want to live by this, as we want to stay true to ourselves in a world where hate and cruelty also exists. 

We want to meet someone who loves us for our ideals, and possesses similar ones. We have a set agenda for ourselves when it comes to marriage too. For instance, we envision our future partners to be kind, giving and caring. We want them to meet these expectations. 

So, when the topic of marriage pops up in our lives and when we feel ready for it, we may have doubts and moments in which we are fearful of the future. As I wrote about in my last article on having little or too many expectations for a partner, this may be one of the biggest hardships we face. When we finally meet someone who seems perfect and right for us, thoughts may arise in our head such as “Are you sure you’re meant to be together?” or “What if they don’t really love you?” or “Are you good enough for them?”

Some of these can turn into hardships in the marriage. There may be a lack of trust, communication, affection or display of love. Our minds can wander to unexpected conclusions of their actions, with more questions arising, leading us to question their loyalty or love. 

These thoughts can be toxic and harmful to us as well as the relationship. This is why self-love is important and self-trust is a huge goal to accomplish. When we truly know and trust ourselves, we can trust our partner, thus having healthier thoughts within the relationship. 

“He is the One Who created you from a single soul, then from it made its spouse so he may find comfort in her,” Surah Al-A’raf 7:189 from the Holy Quran. 

This verse is very beautiful to me. Allah created us from a single soul and made a spouse for us. Since Allah knows everything about our lives, he has created the perfect person who will align with our values and personality. I also want to emphasise finding comfort within our partners, which is so essential in marriage. No matter how hard and dreadful our day went, we can find comfort within them, as they are our best friend and life partner. 

If we think about it, there are billions of people in this world. Throughout the billions of people, one will stand out and be the best one for us. There are so many people that exist and so many different scenarios regarding how we can meet them and how the relationship can play out. 

Everyone deserves to be happy, to spend their life with someone who loves, values, appreciates, respects, protects and cherishes them. For me, the best thing to do is leave it in the hands of Allah. To leave it to time because while we cannot control our future, we can make the best decisions that will make us happy in the present.