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Advice to Single Women in Islam

There’s a lot of pressure to get married in the Muslim community, and it can be daunting! Sometimes it feels like you’re just counting down the days until you can be officially anointed as an adult Muslim. Don’t let the pressure get to you! True enough, getting married is completing half of your deen (religious life), but that doesn’t mean that life goes on hold until you get there!

Instead of twiddling your thumbs for Mr. Right, be Mrs. Right! We need more strong, single women in Islam!

Perfect your deen
I see a lot of women and men alike that want to live more wildly while they are single, believing they will have to live a life of boredom once they find a spouse. Instead, think of this as a time to perfect yourself and your relationship with Allah. What better exercise of self control than when no one else is around to remind you. Maybe you’re working and going to school, but trust me when I say that you still have more time now than you’ll have when you’re married to take online classes, go on weekend retreats, and other deen-boosting activities. When you’re married, there’s someone almost always there to share your time with. Right now, your time is yours to use as you wish.

Gain knowledge
This goes hand-in-hand with perfecting your deen because you can’t make something perfect (or attempt toward it) if you don’t know what perfect is. Especially if you’re a convert, you may be surrounded by well-meaning aunties (older, likely wiser, women) at the masjid correcting you in your every turn. Learn some of the differences between schools of thought in terms of prayer so you’re not caught off guard when someone “corrects” you. Know what’s culture and what’s true Islam. Many people don’t realize the difference, just like how many Christians know why the Christmas tree is a part of Christmas? It’s cultural! Always ask for daleel (textual proof), or look it up yourself.

Build yourself up
Again, don’t just wait around to get married. Start learning a skill, or build upon one you’ve started, and have a career, if you want. Get an education, learn to cook for yourself and how to manage a budget. Know how to do your taxes and setup a savings plan. Even if you live with family, you can be responsible and a contributing member to your current family, and your future family, in sha Allah.

Expect the middle road
Years of being single can have difference effects on different people. Some people become hard hearted, and hard to please since they expect perfection, and others become too loose with their expectations, settling for nearly anyone who comes their way. If you’re not the level of a Shaykah (female scholar), then how can you expect a Shayk (male scholar)? On the other hand, don’t ever, and I mean ever, think you can help a man be better in his deen after you get married. If he’s not doing what you desire within his deen now, you have no reason to think something will be different.

Really, never settle for someone that only has potential. There needs to be something substantial first.

Network with your sisters
I built some of my closest relationships while I was single. Why? I had more time to dedicate to them! Now we have a solid foundation where I can lean on them in times of need. Be there for both your married and single Muslim friends, and build those relationships now. They will help you stay strong in times of weakness, and remind you of your deen before you, in sha Allah, have someone in your home reminding you and lifting you up.

Any other advice you’d give to single women in Islam? How can she best use these days where her time is her own?

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