The Other Side of the Coin

Faizan Seedat

They tell you that to just focus on yourself. The instructions are to become a good Muslim. You pray and you fast. You do not talk to girls or smoke or hit the clubs. You remain virgins while focusing on your careers and education. First you get the bachelors degree because no parent wants a salary of less than $80,000 a year.  Every parent you know insist that it is for the best that you save up money and get ahead in your career development.

You listen because you love your family.


Flash forward and suddenly you are twenty-four years old. You aren’t considered to be one of those “rockstar” boys. The girls in hijab do not like you because you aren’t some badass mipster. They do not like your beards and they say that you are not romantic. You lack swag, and most of all, you are not a doctor. You are considered “too religious” if you pray or attend a few basic lectures. You do not have interest in buying things like soft leather purses but you would really like to to find a spouse  — someone  you can talk to and share life with. 

But the girls say that you are a mullah.

You are patronized in various shaadis by random aunties. The inevitable question comes up,

“When is it your turn?”

-and it looms like a dark cloud over you.

Still, you manage to offer a weak smile and then laugh it off. Every auntie in various corners of the globe is trying to play cupid for you. But the truth is, most of them have no idea about your personality. She is just trying to be a cool CEO playing the game of merger and acquisitions. She uses the standard resume template like every other well-intentioned auntie.  In corporate world, these things are call it soft skills.  But maybe everyone needs generous aunties with soft skills, because every potential partner will be labeled as good looking, educated, and smart.

Everyone talks about how hard it is for Muslim women to find a spouse; this same issue is consistent with the Muslim brothers. After a while, you get frustrated. You want to change and liberate yourself, so you get out of your comfort zone and actually try to initiate a conversation with a women in hopes of marriage but find out that she is not over her ‘ex.’ She uses your company as a shoulder to lean on. You are quiet; you listen only because you want to see her happy. She continues to talk about him while your shadow quietly flickers in the nightlight. A silent, oh, I see, is written in the conversation. Sooner or later, the interest slowly fades and both of you drift away.

You are now thirty-years old. You are beyond marrying age and most of the women in your community are now acquired by others. Your parents have reached that tender age and are now your responsibility. The idea of marriage again fades and responsibilities compound to keep you focused for the next several years.

You are thirty-five years of age. Midlife crisis. Even if you are wealthy and have a car and a house. You have everything but a wife. It is too late now. You just spent thirty-five years without someone, why even bother? You are over the stage of longing; the river has passed and, frankly, you have moved on. You just want to have a peaceful life. Yes, you missed one of the blissful things, but that Allah’s will. You win some and you lose some.

So, you live your life and your existence will continue to prove that there is more than finding meaning in another person. Instead, you focus on finding meaning within yourself.  And then you realize that you are not alone.

—-

Faizan Seedat was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan and moved to to Chicago in 1999. Faizan decided to do pursue his lifelong goal of hifz from Muslim Society Incorporated.  After finishing his hifz, Faizan completed his undergraduate and graduate degree from DePaul University.   As an undergraduate, Faizan fell in love with writing and he was chosen as university writing tutor. He is an avid weight lifter and loves to play sports, write poetry, upload fitness videos and revise his Quran. Faizan plans to complete his second Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering and publish technical white papers along with his other personal literary work.


29 Comments on “The Other Side of the Coin”

  1. Laila says:

    Why is everything over at 35? I’m 35 and I’m a woman and I don’t think it’s over. Hazrat Khadija married the Prophet SAW at 40 and Allah blessed them with children. The Prophet S.A.W married Harzat Zainab when she was 35. Hazrat Ibrahim may Allah be pleased with him was granted offspring at an old age and so was Harzat Zacharia A.S. It is never too late if you believe in Allah, “”And never give up hope of Allah’s soothing mercy; truly no one despairs of Allah’s soothing mercy except those who have no faith.” Surah Yusuf 12:87
    In these times Allah has tested some of us Muslims with lonliness. But I believe that Allah will certainly not make us suffer for our faith. Suffer for not giving in to temptation and enjoying a little bit of fun with non-marital romance. He will grant us the best InshAllah, perhaps He is only waiting for us to learn sabr.
    You have my duas. Don’t be sad.

    • khatoon Khan says:

      What a wonderful comment! Thank you and Jazak Allah for being so positive and optimistic! MAy Allah watch over you and grant the best ever soulmate soon, Ameen!

    • Faizan says:

      Hi Laila,
      Thanks for your feedback. I guess coming from a conservative perspective, it is hard to live your life without a companion. Marriage extends beyond the act of intimacy. I guess its the fact that people tell you to have patience, but you really do not get noticed for being good whereas people with a past get married while fulfilling their desires. Nevertheless, I think it is bit bleak for us to keep hoping for marriage and live our life to the fullest.

      • Muslimahsister says:

        offcourse, either way you should live life to the fullest and be thankful but dont accept destiny as it is that this is it because you really do not know the qadhaa of Allaah SWT in your life. Imam Ahmed bin Hamble married at 40 and had seven children afterwards, ma shaa Allaah.
        My brother is in the same boat as you …almost and I, as, his sister have been trying to find him a spouse and will continue to do so. He was the one that told us about Imam Ahmed’s example.

        Sister Laila is also right although our times and the times of Rasool SAW the women had different biological clocks but the men are pretty much in the same boat vis e vis having children or not.

        I think the key is to widen your circle of networks….dont go to the same old parites, the same old weddings…look outside your desi community…visit various masaajids etc.

        My understanding other muslim cultures it is realitvely easier to get married in (arabic and bosnian I can say for sure, and African American and converts…) there are no cultural baggages associated with marriage as in the desi cultures…. might as well venture out if your own culture is making it so hard for you to get married….. while you might have come across girls that consider you too “mullah” for marriage, there are plenty other girls that are PRECISELY looking for the mullah and age does not matter for them as well….hence change your network or associations.

        the other thing is that there are plenty of sisters that are divorced or widowed with no children or with children that need that support and will not mind marrying someone older…..
        sometimes our own limitations can limit us, I am not saying that is the case here…indeed, I cannot ascertain by reading one article, in shaa Allaah.

        But at the end being thankful with Allaah SWT is the best no matter what state we are in and always believing in that but also keep striving for halaal goals is not trivial or unworthy and one halaal goal is to get married or have children etc.

  2. Laila says:

    “but you really do not get noticed for being good whereas people with a past get married while fulfilling their desires.”
    But you do get noticed, by the One who really matters!
    My advice at this point would be to stop comparing yourself to others, that will only lead to bitterness. I went through that why me stage too and then I realized 1) it all balances out in the end- some people get smooth sailing all the way and then have a child with serious disabilities, others are married and childless, some people become widowed at a young age, others are in very abusive relationships. We all have our own journeys and lessons to learn and Allah teaches each of us the lessons we need to learn individually.
    2) People more often need our empathy and our compassion than our judgement, they may look like they’re having an awesome time but they’re all caring around some pain that to them is overwhelming.
    Since Allah is perfect, his plan for each of us individually is perfect. I can’t tell you what lesson your life is teaching you. But for me the lesson has been to realize that I am never alone because Allah is always with me and He does not get irritated if I talk too much or annoyed if I say something too stupid, or forget to make it all about Him, He doesn’t play hard to get, or let me down, or play games with me. He is the best companion one could ever wish for.
    And to remember that sometimes things don’t work out because something better is coming. In the meantime keep trying and keep praying.
    Oh and ask people questions, practice focusing on everyone you meet, whether its someone you may have an interest in or not. Just ask questions and listen. You will meet someone InshAllah!

  3. BrownT says:

    Not every one is perfect…in our mind we may be…. I did go through the same cycles as you did and I am short…which is a not good thing for a desi guy…but I was too conscious about my self I was in the gym , got my education and all that..treated girls with respect and I would end up in the friends zone… but then I realized that I am becoming a person who will be LOVED BY SOMEONE ONE day …that one day never comes untill you get up one fine morning .. and just be yourself , like you really dont care ..like this post I do not care about punctuations …you got to undo yourself…admit your faults., be happy and that happiness and jolliness will radiate..last thing a girl wants is an upset muslim rambo…charm you way….. once again …be who you are… being too conscious makes you look selfish , stubborn and stiff

    • Faizan says:

      I agree with you but honestly I do not care about women. I guess I’m bitter at the fact that men slept around with other women and vice versa were still married and being happy. I do NOT lift for women, its my personal aspiration. Nor do women in general care if you are a nerd geek about infared ray technology..my point is simple. For some Muslim men, being good gets you no where. This type of passiveness is detrimental. That’s the whole point that we emphasize being good, yet there is not payback to it.

      • Dawn says:

        Brother, the thing is, you’re right to some extent; some people do lead a particular lifestyle contrary to Islamic belief and customs. This advice is for me first, and to you and other potential readers.

        You mention good people: by who’s definition?

        Opposite of good does not mean someone who has had a past, opposite of good is insincerity: insincere advice, actions, dealings with others, and worship.

        What good is it to smile to someone if you harbour hate for them in your heart, what good is it to be charitable if to be only seen by men and be thought as generous.

        For me a good person is a sincere person.

        So these brothers or sisters who have had a past, maybe they have repented since, repented their best repentance to date, a sincere one that reached Allah and was accepted.

        Maybe you did not do a major sin they did, but you maybe have done another major sin, a minor sin done consistently turns to a major sin. Maybe you have not repented sincerely because you feel you’re a good man, I don’t know (wallah forgive me, if that sounds harsh.) Maybe those with a past felt they were bad people and so sincerely regretted it and asked Allah many times to forgive them of their ways.

        Say they didn’t repent, we advise them and we ask Allah to forgive them, good people do just that: sincere actions.

        Allah is the Judge, He is never unjust. Lets not judge people because they sin differently.

        Lets not question the way God provides and withholds from His servants.

        During your hifdh journey, you probably have read this ayah many times:

        لا يُسألُ عمّا يفعلُ وهم يُسألون He is not questioned about what He does, but they will be questioned. Quran: 21:23

        A good person doesn’t want to see a Muslims downfall, we’re happy things worked out for them. Plus maybe their past has nothing to do with the rights of others, it’s solely do with the rights of Allah. Which means its easier for them to ask for repentance because they don’t have to ask peoples forgiveness, just Allah’s.

        Whereas maybe your sins include not giving people their rights, for example parents and so on.

        I say maybe because I do not your situation, I just like to advise you to be busy with your sins, mistakes and flaws. One of the salaf said ‘whenever you want to mention your brothers flaws, mention yours first.

        Allah loves those who repents, repent with a sincere heart. Perhaps why some are not married is because sins cause duas to not be answered, i.e. earning unlawful money and eating unlawful food and drink.

        The salaf used to be worried when they received blessings in this world, because they thought it meant their reward in the hereafter would be decreased.

        You are so blessed to have memorized the quran, may Allah make it a means for you to reach a high station in paradise. Lets reflect on the meaning, contemplate, and act upon this ayah:

        “Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” (Qur’an, 2:286).

        Lets be eager for Allah’s reward, because the reward is truth from Allah. Yes you’re right, not everyone ends up getting married, I haven’t (yet), my younger brother did. He had a past that involved clubbing, girls, drugs and a few years ago alhumdulillah he changed his life around – he taught me the importance of sincerity, he married an amazing sister,and has one beautiful kid. Am I bitter, no? Am I lonely at times? Yes. It’s all good though, because I believe 100%, Allah is Al Muhsin, At Tayyib, Al Mannan.

        All the best to you. Any good I said is from Allah, any bad is from myself. Please forgive me if my delivery was not good, I’m working on it.

      • TN says:

        As a Muslim woman, I kind of share your bitterness. I’ve been a practising Muslimah my entire life. I never dated, I barely even had any male friends/acquaintances, I always tried to follow all the rules. Not that I regret this at all of course, but I was made to believe that being ‘good’ would protect me from harm and ultimately bring me great reward and happiness.

        And yet, here I am in my late 20s unable to find a husband and criticized for it constantly while many girls my age who did sleep around are now happily married and treated like queens by the community. I don’t understand it. I did what was expected of me, and yet I am the one at fault. Those who didn’t are now the recipients of everyone’s admiration.

        Muslim men have never known much interest in me to begin with. But many kind, intelligent non-Muslim men have but of course, I can’t pursue that any further either.

        It’s like being stuck between a rock and a hard place. I try to take comfort in knowing that true reward is with Allah, not with people. However, my bitterness and disappointment remain.

      • Riane says:

        Thank you for sharing your story. That takes a lot of courage. For what it’s worth, my husband sounds a lot like you. He is kind, chaste, and good to his family. We married when he was 30, and I was in my late twenties. He was always the quiet brother who helped behind the scenes, and now I’m so blessed to have him as my husband. He was worth the wait. I had to go through a divorce when I was younger to recognise what a good man really was (yup, I married the badass). Only after my journey of healing, could I see what a gem my husband is. A woman who can see the good in you will be worthy of marrying you, inshaAllah. There is payback for all the good we do, and a reckoning for all the bad that we aren’t sorry about. We just can’t see it immediately. Our yardstick is eternity. I pray that Allah removes bitterness from your heart and replaces it with the sweetness of contentment.

      • umabdullah says:

        I think you need to figure out how to deal with your outlook. Sounds like you are seriously depressed. Life does not nees to b blue without a spouse but it can be. Look to those who are in abusive marriages.

        There are tons of women out there looking for decent men.
        Perhaps you are looking in the wrong crowd. Or maybe you lookes in the right crows but it isn’t written for u yet.

        Recite baqarah often; increase charity and pray tahajjud and ask Allah for your needs. He is not unjust wa iyadubillah and focus on gratefulness. Realize Allah does not owe us if we pray or are good. This life isn’t meant to be jannah.

        I’m sure you know this too but for a man if he needs to get married and is able in all ways then it is not required of him to wait it out just cause of parents. Sometimes unfortunately parental advice isn’t always best.

  4. Sunny says:

    Thank you for posting this article as I found it a refreshing piece to read. I found it to be something that I can relate to. As a 30 yr old single woman, growing up in a desi/Muslim community I was told over and over again the importance of a degree and career. We are taught at a young age how to be competitive, to get the best scores and how to ultimately land that dream job. The community frowns upon those that date, yet the very same community expects you to find your soul mate and make quick marriage decisions out of thin air. Contrary to what we were told growing up, not every one finds “the one” no matter how well they behaved within the parameters of Islam. When bed hoppers and bar hoppers find their one true love, it is hard not to wonder where you went wrong? I guess the best any of us single Muslims can do is keep hope alive. Not necessarily the hope that “the one” will come along, but the faith that you will be okay even if that person never shows up in your life. Allah swt tests us all differently and if all the other pieces in my life have fallen into place, then Alhumduilliah if this is the struggle Allah has chose to test me with.

    • Muslimahsister says:

      Sunny, I cannot help asking but how do you know for sure that the bed hoppers and bar hoppers find their one true love? that is a mirage my friend….they find another bed hopper/bar hopper with a pretty face that you might not know their defects on the outside but if you really got the know the two of them then you would find out not so idealistic or romantic…and nothing is better in the whole world than a “clean, pure, righteous” spouse. I am not judging here but this is a hadeeth of the prophet SAW…so dont feel jealous of those people…they have nothing but a mirage.

      I also had these thoughts when I was not getting married. I was a muhajjab since 9 years of age and I really felt the brothers would marry sisters who did not cover their hair because they could see their beauty. It did not matter, how smart, confident, articulate, or religiously committed you were…and for the religious brothers(who I wanted to marry) over educatiion was a drawback but looking back I can easily say that was the devil’s deception to make me change my lifestyle…not cover up…go to nightclube…etc.

      Alhamdulillaah I did not do that only by the grace of Allaah SWT and nothing from my effort….but it was very tempting…and I thought the same that these other girls are gettting married to princes…not realizing that that was a huge fallacy.

  5. I agree: For some Muslim men or women, being good gets [us] nowhere! It’s depressing but true. Hey ho, I’m sure we’ll be rewarded somewhere along the way :-)

    • Faizan says:

      Yeah I agree miss. I think its worst that you find someone and it does not workout due to differences in modern vs conservatism. Suddenly, you find yourself in the same place. Square one. You are attached to the idea of finding someone, but solitude becomes your best friend.

      It is just hard.

      • nina says:

        I understand the frustrations, complications that inevitably come with the ‘finding the one process’. But I do not agree with the idea of giving up. You may, in the process, meet lots of people where there are differences in backgrounds, perspectives and opinions…however adaptability is the name of the game. You’d be surprised how many girls and guys are willing to make that commitment once they come across someone that is willing to do the same. Unfortunately this willingness is more than often mistaken for compromise, settling for less or desperation, when the reality is that any relationship between any two people is ever-evolving. Couples evolve too. My first month of being married to my husband was very different from the now 48th month that I’m spending with him. The relationship started of being more formal, and today we are much more comfortable and relaxed in each others’ company.
        So don’t give up brother. MashaAllah you are an accomplished guy, and still have a life to live. And you know this as well as I do – there are many eligible sisters out there that are also in the same boat as you. I wish I could play the match-maker…my aunty genes are surfacing here :)

  6. Texican says:

    The sense of entitlement and the level of judgment in many of these comments is disturbing. Being chaste doesn’t make you a good person or even deserving of a spouse. Many people I know are not celibate because they have strong will, are extremely pious, or are able to push aside carnal human desires because of their immense love for God. They are celibate because they lack the opportunity to be any other way. Being chaste doesn’t erase other sins and doesn’t make a person more deserving of a loving spouse than someone who has a “history.”

    I understand where you are coming from. I have laid in bed many nights asking God why he blessed so-and-so who slept around in college or is an atheist with a spouse and beautiful children while my prayers go unanswered and my sabr seems to be for nothing. But the bottom line is that I don’t have the full vision that God has. Maybe, despite their outward sins, they are better than me. Maybe they act more Godly than I do and just don’t advertise it. I can’t judge them.

    • As your second paragraph states, you question authority- which is fine? After certain point, I began to realize I won’t let destiny control my fate. I will take what is mine. It is a huge mind shift from being passive

      As for the entitlement comment, that is completely your self-closure. If you feel that being good does not mean anything, then in essence you should be happy with whatever you get, which in reality does not make ANY human happy..

      I do appreciate your comments though.

      • Texican says:

        I’m not sure what you mean by destiny…or about my “self-closure” or “questioning authority.” I am not advocating taking a passive role in life or letting destiny control my fate.

        My comment was more of a response to this:
        “I guess its the fact that people tell you to have patience, but you really do not get noticed for being good whereas people with a past get married while fulfilling their desires.”

        and this:
        “I guess I’m bitter at the fact that men slept around with other women and vice versa were still married and being happy.”

        and to this:
        “And yet, here I am in my late 20s unable to find a husband and criticized for it constantly while many girls my age who did sleep around are now happily married and treated like queens by the community. I don’t understand it. I did what was expected of me, and yet I am the one at fault. Those who didn’t are now the recipients of everyone’s admiration.”

        I just don’t think it is right to think that just because you are “good” in this life that you are entitled to happiness. You’re not. Life isn’t that simplistic. At a certain point, I have learned that good things happen to bad people, and bad things happen to good people. Our motivation for being “good” should be to please our Creator and that’s it. It should not be a bargaining chip that we can trade in for worldly success. Being motivated to be “good” shouldn’t be for show or recognition.

        And I don’t think it is right to view others who have a “past” as being undeserving of the blessings they have been given. It’s judgmental and we don’t have God’s vision.

        I think I understand the frustration you must be feeling. I’ve been there. But thinking that I deserved something (like being happily married, having children) over someone else was toxic. Once I shed that sentiment, I became a lot more content with the life that God has given me. I still pray for a husband and children, and I’m still making an active effort to get what I want. But I just don’t think I’m necessarily entitled to it or deserving of it.

    • Muslimahsister says:

      Texan: I didnt agree with your first statement but your second i agree somewhat. Chastity is not a sense of entitlement but it is not something to be belittled. yes indeed, the intention behind chastity is only known to Allaah SWT but the action itself is praiseworthy and because we are humans…we expect recognition and reward for even our little actions…it is not about judgement at all…but at the same time something that God has commanded and deemed praisworthy should not be brushed off and excused as being a means of just judging others that do not possess it.Rather it should be promoted as a gold standard of behavior and YES for the sake of pleasing the Creator for hopes of a reward in the hereafter. your second paragraph I understood and appreciated it much more…just because these “non chaste” people who will be judged by Almighty in the hereafter if they have not repented or have not been punished here are happy with children then Allaah says he gives to these people pleasures of this world but to get a share in the hereafter will not be easy and that is something that people who do the right thing in this life are guarranteed.

  7. Muslimah. says:

    I think this is a very simple binary to have i.e. being good vs. being bad while in truth only Allah knows what is in our hearts. There are those who had a past and repented and ended up with a good spouse and a good marriage, yet still carry the emotional baggage and guilt of their past. There are also those that are chaste and patient yet find themselves single and yearning for marriage – Is one inherently good and the other bad? Each has their own struggle and that is what you have to understand that there are different tests for different people. You should not be bitter that your struggle is different than others because you do not know what they are going through.

    But I do agree with your views that people place too much emphasis on marriage = fulfillment, while in truth we should be fulfilled and whole before we enter into a marriage.

  8. "Mullani" says:

    Br. Faizan,
    The message that you give is essential and eloquent. It’s interesting reading this from a brother’s prospective, as sisters feel the same way so many times. I’m in my early 20s, and have recently gotten very serious about getting married. Like in your story, despite the opportunities and advances, I chose to try to stay on the Straight Path and seek forgiveness for my misgivings.

    Being open with family on the subject either gets you rishtas from someone sitting in South Asia (where a green card is a big motivation), or you get told that you’re being too bold for a girl. Advice that I’ve gotten is to stop being such a ‘mullani’ and being so strict with my hijab, with my clothing, to talk to men more, etc. What they don’t realize is that our emotions and social conditioning do not operate by the flip of a switch. You cannot tell someone who has been told since she was young not to be too friendly with men, and now the same people tell me that I should try to establish a “halal” closeness with non-mahram men.

    I’m from Chicago as well and have noticed you within the community and your efforts. If this is your story, then I’m sorry that you are suffering from this as I would’ve thought that you would’ve been married or ‘taken’ long ago. But I do hope you keep on writing and sharing your thoughts :)

    • Thanks for reading the article.

      I guess I am content now. I am very aspired man, I want to be the best in everything from being a hafidh to being the best engineer. However, I feel that I am wronged for being good. Now one can argue that there should be no payback for being good, but we all know that is not the reality.

      And that is the point, when I did break from my comfort zone- I was shocked to see Muslimahs that have slept with men, not man. It irked me because that is not the perception I had. In essence, that is why I wrote this..its basically a retaliation of my own naiveness and values..

      Inshallah, I will be publishing more stuff.

      • "Mullani" says:

        Surah Nur states that good men are for good women, and bad men are for bad women.

        There’s wisdom in this whole [scary] process of getting married. Alhamdulilah for all the duds that may have come into our lives because it should teach us our own self-worth–our own drive and desire to not ‘settle’. From a female perspective, again, it’s incredibly scary hearing the things many Muslim men have gotten themselves involved in–ranging from clubbing and porn to pre-marital sex and drugs. It’s frightening thinking that this person in front of you who attends jum’a, grows out his beard, but has had this past that still colors his present perspective. To take it a step further, to see men (and I’m sure women) use their past experiences or exposure to our over-sexualized society to paint what they look for in a spouse, for their wives to have a very specific type of figure or their husbands to have a six-pack, etc.

        In sha Allah we can end up maintaining this innocence (it’s a naimah in its own right) and end up with someone who has been able to maintain theirs as well.

  9. Idealist at heart says:

    Very interesting and timely conversation starter. Thanks for sharing! The issues you raise do unfortunately get overshadowed by the non-negotiable expectation that Muslim sisters maintain their virtue and piety, but in practice it should be a shared responsibility. Yet, in reality it is the brothers that more or less get a carte blanche to mess around before getting serious and begin the search for a ‘good’ wife and all that entails. To make matters more complicated, the sisters are now further confusing matters by crossing lines in public and in private, which in one way or another negatively impacts the ‘good’ girls out there as well. ‘Good’ sisters get overlooked either by chance or circumstance and supposedly ‘good’ girls can and do mislead ‘good’ brothers, perhaps not always maliciously but it happens. This all just leads to mistrust, resentment and disappointment all around.

    For those seeking a pious, righteous spouse, as we are meant to seek, it’s become more difficult than ever–like looking for a needle in the haystack-in the dark! Of course there are exceptions but the reason these exceptions are still searching for their other half late into their 20s and even 30s is because settling is not an option-or at least not a desired option and even when there are viable ‘options’, throw chemistry, compatability , education, income, family approval in the mix and you are just setting yourself up for failure in an already complicated world-if you even come across candidates to consider in the first place! Finding half your deen/soul mate is already a convulted maze as it is. Seeing others who had a past and didn’t necessarily follow a similar ethical model that we thought was ‘non-negotiable’ now married and enjoying productive lives-without repercussion-is a standard reality. It is what it is and nothing else, a harsh reality indeed.

    Instead of wondering why or where did I go wrong, as we are wont to do, remember that each day you are trying to be the best person you can be for yourself and your Creator. If it goes unrecognized, remember that your efforts to be ‘good’ are for your own protection and you are able to sleep better at night for it–sure you might be worried about the future and wondering if you’re missing out but as life is a test, you never know if others are really happy or just ‘Facebook’ happy. For those out there searching for a pious and righteous spouse, you, especially the case for the sisters, may inevitably end up with someone who has had some type of history. Depending on the case and the character of the candidate, if the person has recognized the mistakes in their past and are willing to start a new more righteous path with you, it is your responsibility to share your strength. If everyone was good, we would be in paradise, not on earth. As Dawn wrote, a good person is a sincere person and a sincere person, Muslim or not, is hard to come by. ‘Good’ can come in a variety of shapes and forms and many brothers and sisters are caught up in arrogance and ignorance and finding other forms of ‘goodness’ becomes even more difficult than just seeking piety and virtue. Remember that saying, ‘good guys (and girls) finish last?’ There may be some truth in it but instead of thinking that you are giving up and settling, reframe and think you are giving in to your humanity and embracing the essential qualities of your deen by being compassionate, generous and understanding. Sharing your good attributes with someone and your family/friends/community with sincerity and being an exemplary Muslim brother or sister is a privilege and should be sustained and preserved as it is slowly becoming preciously rare, especially in your children’s generation. Good luck with all that in the future if it’s looking grim now! Ha! There is something else to preoccupy your thoughts for the moment…..it could always be worse right? Just my two cents or maybe three…

  10. hiba says:

    loved this piece! thought it was on point. i can totally relate as a single female. same old situation going on here. thanks faizan. its nice to know that I’m not the only one feeling this way.

  11. Afsheen Alam says:

    Faizan – please don’t be resentful for your goodness. That would mean you are not doing it with the heart and would rather be otherwise. Either embrace it happily or change happily. My Grandfather was a very honest Govt officer. My mother’s family never had as much as his fellow workers but they felt they were comfortable and happy with their choices. When you resent good actions, you are ungrateful. Ingratitude is the worst sin. Next time you read the book, notice how many time Shakir and it’s derivatives are mentioned. Once you are grateful, you will find the perfect one – yourself! You will love your decisions and not resent them. The people who are happily settled may not be the most devout outwardly but notice they have an amazing attitude of gratitude.

  12. sarah says:

    @Faizan. You did reveal a very realistic issue that is going on in the Muslim Community. Having read your article and your biography, it baffles me that Muslimah aren’t showing interest in you. Stay strong and as you mentioned, taking a “non-passive” approach and steering & guiding your own destiny is probably the best approach. I wonder how you’re doing it though….All the best.


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