I often come across sisters in our community who are single and searching for a righteous spouse. Many times, the challenges of finding a good match can lead to sisters failing to use their time productively before getting married.
Whilst getting married is a huge milestone in our lives, it does not need to be our only focus, as we are slaves of Allah first, above all other roles in life. As a young Muslimah, I am often told that priorities inevitably change once your are married, so in this article, I will be sharing my advice on how to maximise your free time before marriage.
There are many positive ways sisters can prepare themselves for this important chapter in life and ensure they are using their free time in the best way, before ‘Mr. Right’ comes along, in sha Allah. It is important to note that although this article is intended for single sisters, the tips will also be useful to brothers and married sisters who are looking to boost their free time.
1. Invest in your personal and professional development
One of the common regrets of married sisters is that they were not able to start or continue to fully develop their spiritual knowledge or professional development once they were married. So, focus on investing in your Islamic learning, maximising career development and contributing to society, before the commitments of marriage take over. Laying a good foundation before marriage will help you to get back into work or education if you take a break due to marriage or become a mother, in sha Allah.
One of the ways I have invested in my career is to get a mentor. Having older experienced women close by for feedback and advice can help you relate better to the challenges to overcome and will give you a head-start on how to balance family and work life. Additionally, starting your Islamic learning in a consistent manner is one of the best endeavours you will make, as many sisters find it a challenge (though definitely not impossible) after they get married and have more domestic responsibilities. There are many institutions that offer weekly classes in numerous aspects of Islamic knowledge and there are so many online courses for you to explore.
2. Serve your parents to your best ability
Many mothers or sisters who have greater family responsibilities often tell me that they are not able to fully serve their parents after marriage. We know there are numerous ahadith about the virtues of serving your parents, as Prophet Muhammad said:
“Shall I inform you of the biggest of the great sins?” They said, “Yes, O Allah’s Apostle!” He said, “To join partners in worship with Allah, and to be undutiful to one’s parents.” [Al-Bukhari]
Let us find opportunities to give our parents time, especially if they are getting in their elderly years and require more care and attention. In my own personal life, I have been striving to prioritise my parents, and I am certain that Allah will reward me for doing this so long as I am capable of fulfilling my duties to them.
3. Develop a new skill
After marriage, many sisters feel they do not get the time or opportunity to develop new skills or invest in their own passions and talents. If you have time in the evenings, weekends or when out of work, grab this precious chance to start a new hobby. This could be learning to cook for example, setting up your own business, learning a new language or taking up a sport. There is no time like the present!
4. Get practical advice on marriage
It is an unfortunate reality that divorce and cases of marital difficulty are on the rise. As a single Muslimah, you can be proactive and prepare for the challenges that married life could bring. It is sad that we spend so much of our youth striving for academic or professional goals, yet when it comes to marriage, people just jump in the deep end with no help or preparation! There are many practical and useful ways to gain advice for this important journey in our lives, from reading books, taking online and live courses and seeking advice from married couples.
Speaking to trusted sisters about their experience of marriage (without being too personal) has helped me think about the kind of marriage I envision for myself, and has also helped me prepare for the trials of married life. Have a read of books that describe the characteristics of a good husband and wife, and consider enrolling in courses like Megan Wyatt’s ‘Find Your Mr Right’ course. These will explore marital issues in more detail and give you the confidence to go into married life better prepared, in sha Allah. Remember these actions are not just for single Muslimahs! Single men and married couples should always be looking to improve themselves for a harmonious and happy marriage.
5. Make sincere dua for others
As Muslims we are encouraged to not only pray for ourselves, but also for others, as our beloved Prophet Muhammad said:
“The supplication of a Muslim for his (Muslim) brother in his absence will certainly be answered. Every time he makes a supplication for good for his brother, the angel appointed for this particular task says: ‘Ameen! May it be for you, too.'” [Sahih Muslim]
When making dua, talk to Allah as He is your Truest and Closest Friend. Be specific in what you want from a spouse – nothing is impossible or too small when asking from Allah , as provision from Him is limitless! Use the Best of Names of Allah such as Al-Wadud, Al-Mujeeb, Al-Fattah, Ar-Rahman, Al-Latif, Al-Kareem and do not simply ask to be married. Rather, pray for a spiritually meaningful and productive marriage, supplicate for a spouse with good character and humor, and most importantly, make dua for a husband who fears Allah . Pray with full conviction and sincere hope that Allah will guide you to whoever is best for you in this life and the akhirah.
I hope these tips will help my single sisters make the most of their time and boost their productivity before marriage. Share your thoughts and ideas on other ways sisters can maximize this wonderful time as a Muslim woman by commenting below.