While it is true that marriage is half our Deen, we often forget our real purpose: to worship our Creator. How many of us truly live by this principle? Education, employment, marriage, children and other personal pursuits seem to interfere. If we aren’t careful, they can become our reason for living. We need to remind ourselves how important it is to learn our Deen, implement it and teach it to others.
Before we think about marrying someone, we have to know ourselves. We have to develop our relationship with our Creator. We have to be our own best friend before we can let someone else into our lives.
We are all created uniquely with our own abilities. We are all skilled at something – your task is to find what that something is. You are important, and your contributions in this world matter.
Where’s the Link Between Marriage and Self-Identity?
Why are we talking about self-identity and how does it relate to marriage? Without truly knowing who you are, it will be harder for you to start a life with someone else. Until you understand your values and rights, are comfortable in your own skin while striving to be better, you will not be ready for marriage. Take care of yourself first, and always.
Here are five key points to keep in mind as you develop your self-identity.
1. Identify your values
What is important to you? What are some must-have or must-dos in your life? What are your interests and hobbies? What are your pet peeves? What is important to you spiritually, physically and mentally? Where do you see yourself in 1, 5 and 10 years?
It may be hard to answer them, but the gems these answers bring to your life are treasures. As life flows with its ups and downs, our short and long-term goals need to flow with it. And the best way to make sure we sail through life with peace and success is to live in tune with the way Allah has created us. Additionally, we need to identify our values so that we can make sure others know about them. We also use these values to keep firm with our beliefs and can maintain our boundaries.
2. Don’t compare yourself to others
Comparison is the thief of joy: the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. We tend to live our lives comparing ourselves to others, thinking that they have it better than us. This is especially true in the current times of social media. Many times we forget people only post about the good of their lives, hiding the negative. Seeing everyone else have it all leaves us feeling depressed about our own situations.
We have to remind ourselves that every one of us is tested in some way. Allah swt burdens us only with what we can bear. Therefore, everyone is given a test that is unique to their life. We believe firmly that our destiny is written for us. Whatever Allah provides for us is just what we are supposed to have. Anything that happens to us, good or bad, happens for a good reason. Trust in Allah gives us lessons from our tests.
3. Challenge yourself to take risks
Would you describe yourself as being bold? Being a risk-taker allows you to get out of your comfort zone and experience something new. Taking a new step into the unknown can be frightening, but empowering. We need to remember that there is no such thing as failures, only lessons learned. Pushing ourselves to new limits boosts our self-confidence and reminds us that we can do things that we never imagined possible. Explore what is out there – join clubs in the community, pursue new hobbies, try new things: the sky’s the limit!
4. Remember the importance of deen-related pursuits
What will matter most in the end? No matter how busy life gets, it is important that we make the deen the center of our lives. To Him we belong, and to Him we return. We are Muslims. We must do what we can to thank our Creator for everything He has blessed us with. We must ask Him for guidance. We must ask him to ease our affairs. We must take small steps and do what we can to practice our deen. Beyond the everyday practice, we can spend time to learn more Quran, study the biography of Prophet Muhammad, learn about his companions, donate time and money to worthy causes, or leading study circles. It is easy to take the first steps to be a better Muslim.
5. Look to the example of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his companions as role models
The best examples to follow are not celebrities, rather they are Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his companions. These are the best role models for us because they show us that we are not the first ones with hardships. We learn there will be tests, and there is a way to relieve ourselves from calamities. The great people that came before us teach us by their ways of dealing with tests. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and his companions stayed true to their faith and remained patient through their adversities, no matter how difficult their situations became. Reading about their stories provides us with hope and inspiration. No matter our challenges, we can take these lessons as gems to guide us.
You’re on your way!
Try your best to follow these five steps to master your personal identity. Make your intention to develop your personality for the sake of Allah, as it is important in our deen. Manners is the deen itself. May Allah bless you with the guidance and support you need to become the best Muslim that you can be.