Married Unhappily

By Sister Amatullah

Posted: 24 Rabi-ul-Awwal 1424, 26 May 2003


Q.) I married a girl after running out of options and many years of searching. I married to save face and save myself from being called a loser or a failure.

I did istikhara and then the situation changed compelling me to marry her. She is unattractive and undesirable. I prayed that if it is good for me then make it happen and if it is bad for me then prevent it. and now I'm married to her I can't see anything good in it because I'm drawn to other women more than ever - I'm so unhappy she displeases me a great deal because she isn't much to look at.

I am bitter and resentful and angry at my circumstance. Depressed because Allah has allowed this to happen to me, an unfulfilling marriage. Please advise me regarding my circumstance.

A.) Your unhappiness most certainly is of concern. However we commend you on making a positive decision to seek advice instead of doing wrong. However, to start off with your last statement "I am... depressed because Allah has allowed this to happen to me," (Nauzubillah) - If one's effects or intentions were not absolutely correct and absolute correct efforts were not made, one must blame oneself - Hence if your intentions as mentioned in the beginning was to save face, such probably - Allah Ta'ala accepted your intention and you saved your face and not called a loser or failure as was your fear.

However, a silver lining seems to be present with your attempt of Istikharah, praying if she is good for you then make it happen. So perhaps your Istikharah, if you felt good at that time, was what you probably intended.

After clarifying your mind on that issue, we address the problem - Now what do you do. I am sure that besides your wife's "looks" - there must be other beautiful characteristics about her? Perhaps her cooking, or kindness or beauty in character or her love for Allah Ta'ala . Look for all other possible positive beautiful characteristics in her.

I'm sure she may not be an ogre to look at with one foot long size 9 shoe and one foot size 1 shoe, with one eye, fangs for teeth, dragon like.. Most certainly Allah Ta'ala has created man and women in the "Most Beautiful form." If one appreciates the positive bounties of Allah Ta'ala then most certainly Allah Ta'ala will increase your bounties. Patience on difficulties will also bring you extensive rewards. However that must be done without causing pain to your wife, without being harsh or hurting her feelings, and without showing your unhappiness over her lack of beauty.

The Qur'an commands us to lower our gaze - hence not to raise it to other women whom it is unlawful for you to look at. Allah Ta'ala also promises us Divine Love (Muwadaah) in Nikah - Hence if you lower your gaze and raise it to your wife only, Insha-Allah you most certainly will derive pleasure and happiness.

Also remember that beauty alone does not bring happiness in marriage. Many men have beautiful wives, models, however find no happiness as their gazes stray or they falter in their obedience to Allah. Did you ever realize that those models of beauty have the most miserable and unsuccessful marriages?

Furthermore, consider what if you had a very beautiful wife who was bad and evil and betrayed you? What if she was good and met in an accident and her face burnt and scarred for life? What guarantee does one have today?

On this note, on a humble beginning forward - let life be a challenge to you, to fulfil your wife's rights. Look for beauty in her "as beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder", make effort and dua and submit to the will to Allah -try with sincerity, then what Allah wills will happen.

However don't hurt her. Does she not have feelings too? May Allah Ta'ala grant you happiness in your life.

(Note: Perhaps beauty advice can be extended to her as many a product on the market transforms features highlighting beauty features, etc.)

And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best