Why perceiving marriage as a ‘milestone’ can be a problem

Marriage, wedding
The malaysian wedding couple in traditional dress © | Dreamstime.com

Many people who are not presently married find themselves wondering they haven’t yet reached that ‘milestone’. We must remind ourselves and also help those around us remember that there are countless paths to pleasing our Lord – marriage is just one of these.

We should also keep in mind that we may die before we get married, so why should we waste our lives focusing completely on getting married when we could have been focused on our Ibadah, which is what we really should be doing? Also, something that light is not often shed on is the fact that married life is not perfect or stress-free, just like anything in this life. Allah did not decree for this life to be perfect – perfection is only in Jannah (paradise).

We should remind ourselves of the significance of marriage in Islam. We read in a hadith that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

“When a man marries he has fulfilled half of the deen; so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half.” (Tirmidhi)

Bearing in mind how special marriage is in Islam, we must also remember that there are many paths to pleasing Allah besides marriage. We can focus more on studying the deen, maintaining good friendships with those who remind us of Allah, helping those who are in need, keeping in touch with our relatives, and furthering our careers or businesses in a way that will allow us to help those who are in poverty. There are various things we can be doing to gain rewards, and getting married is just one of them.

When people who are not married feel upset when they are questioned about why they are not married yet, it is important to remember that we are rewarded for the struggles we go through, the hardships we face, and the disheartening comments we receive from others. We read in the hadith:

“How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to Allah and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him.” (Muslim)

Also, we may not ever get married. Perhaps we may die before even having the chance to think about marriage. We should therefore reflect and understand that we should never seek worldly things to the point that we forget Allah. Our main focus should be on our Lord only. The same goes for why we should not chase success in our careers to the point where we forget Allah – we know we may not even live to reach our aim. We read in the Holy Qur’an:

“And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death).” (Qur’an 15:99)

It is also worth keeping in mind that married life is not perfect. It is dangerous to assume that with marriage will come a relief of all stresses and a wonderful carefree life. Nothing in this life was written by Allah to be perfect. The more we understand that there will be hardship and ease in each part of our lives, the more prepared we will feel for each situation.