Question and answer details
|As-Salam ‘Alaykum. I am 23 years old girl who offers prayer and fasts. I fear Allah and I love Prophet Mohammad (peace and blessings be upon him), but I am very much depressed. This is related to my education. Last year, I wasn't able to take admission in a post graduate program, because my grandfather got expired at that time and we had to move to another city. This year, I took admission, but later on the college turned out as a fraud (it doesn't have any affiliations which it claimed earlier). Several students have been cheated in their money. Apart from money, two years of mine have now gone wasted. My parents are tensed. Sometimes I cry uncontrollably and suicidal thoughts come up when I deeply realize my two years have gone just like that. I know suicide is haraam, but what should I do? I am so much depressed and good marriage proposals are coming. My mother insists on marrying me off, but I want to complete my education first. I know after getting married I won’t be able to do my studies. I don't know why this happened to me. I am not able to understand if this is a trial from Allah or result of any past sin. What to do as I have lost my two years in which I would have completed this program. Please help me. Jazak Allah khair.|
As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullah dear sister,
Thank you so much for your question and your honesty. It seems you really want to complete your education, but there have been obstacles in your way. Firstly, I would go to a doctor to speak about your depression. Sometimes, severe depression can be helped by some medication (Ayurveda or homeopathy also help) while you continue working on your thoughts and feelings.
Suicidal thoughts often accompany feelings of hopelessness. If you are feeling hopeless about your life and/or education, I think you may need some shifting in your thinking.
Do not forget that Allah plans all things and if education is written for you, then you will get it. Pursuing education is a meritorious act in our religion and Allah will reward you for it. Don’t become too obsessed with it, however.
Education serves many purposes for a person from obtaining the opportunity to become financially independent by establishing a career to gaining wisdom and maturity. Of course, there are always those of us who simply love academics and beings surrounded in the atmosphere of learning makes us happy.
At this time I will advise you to try not to hyper-focus on it. Do not forget that there are many other things in life that are enjoyable and worth pursuing.
Education isn’t something that you can do at this time only and if not, then you lose the chance forever. People go to school at all ages. Try to maintain hope that you will obtain your goals but perhaps not in the way you had initially planned.
The years that have gone were from Allah. Time passes and as long as we are putting in the effort, the result is not in our hands. You made fair attempts and things outside of your control interfered. You should see this as a blessing. There were reasons why Allah deterred you from following that path. We do not know the specific reasons, but the ultimate one is that the path wasn’t beneficial to you.
As for your mother and pressure to get married: I have learned that honoring your mother’s wishes goes a long way in upholding your own psychological peace. Your mother may be wrong in pressuring you, but there is a way to speak with her without shutting the conversation down. It seems that you do not have an issue with getting married as much as you do with losing the opportunity to get your education. I do not know why you feel you cannot go to school after you get married, but this sentiment is a misperception.
In your searching for a spouse, hold your right to education at the forefront and find someone who will help you and support you in gaining your goals. Discuss with your mother that you are willing to consider marriage, but you want someone who will understand (and support) this dream of yours. There are numerous men in India who are open-minded and want an educated woman. There are also numerous men who prefer women with lesser education. You have a right to choose your spouse, so choose wisely.
I pray you are able to find a happy medium.
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About the Counselor:
Attia Zaidi is a writer, educator, social worker and mother. She has worked with the GTA's Muslim community for over 15 years in various capacities. Currently, Attia runs a small private practice offering therapy for Muslim families. You can find it at:http://www.restoreyourelement.com/
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. You are strongly advised to seek face-to-face counseling and consult your physician or therapist when making a drastic change in your lifestyle in terms of behavior, medication or diet etc.