What?! No kids yet?

When will you have kids? Questions that every girl is asked once she gets married. It’s as if she isn’t a complete human being until she has gotten married and had children. As if that’s her purpose in life to look after her husband and children. But I know differently because Allah tells us clearly in the Quran what our purpose in life is.

And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship me (alone).

Quran (51:56)

Allah has clearly told us that we were created for no other purpose except to worship Him. So then why is it a girl is made to feel incomplete, as if she needs to have children? And even worse she needs to have children as soon as she gets married!

Why do people feel it’s okay to keep asking and implying that the couple should be having kids? I still remember being told that the fact that I said I don’t want children now is me being ungrateful and Allah will punish me for that by never giving me children. At that time I had been married for four months. I am constantly asked why I haven’t had a child yet as I’ve been married for a year. This type of behaviour is totally unacceptable. It is only between the husband and wife to discuss when they would like to start a family and ultimately it is the qadr of Allah, if and when the couple will be given children. These remarks make the couple feel under pressure especially if they do not want to have children straight away. It does nothing except create distances in relationships.

To God belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth; He creates what He wills. He gives to whom He wills female (children), and He gives to whom He wills males. Or He makes them (both) males and females, and He renders whom He wills barren. Indeed He is knowing and competent.

Quran (42:49-50)

These ayah clearly state that it is Allah that gives children to whom He wills, He is the only one who can create life. He gives to whoever He wants daughters only (like prophet Lut) or He gives only sons (like prophet Zakariyah) or both (like the prophet (saw)) and others had no children (like prophet Isa). Even the best people to walk the earth could not decide when they would be given children, how many they had and whether they would have daughters or sons. So then how can we dictate to others when and how many children we should have? It is not at all in our control. We can plan but Allah is the best of planners.

There is so much wisdom in when Allah blesses us with children. Some have children straight after marriage and others don’t have children for many years. There is a reason and great wisdom behind each and every decree of Allah. We may think that now is the best time for us to have children but Allah knows that we shouldn’t have children until later in our marriage and vice versa.

There are many amazing women who were blessed with children and there are many amazing women who did not have children. Them having children or not did not stop them from fulfilling their purpose in life, to worship Allah.

The best of these women are the mothers of the believers. The only wife of the prophet (saw) to give him children was Khadijah (ra) none of the other wives had any children with the prophet (saw). He neither complained about this, nor made them feel as though there was something wrong with them and neither do we ever hear about anyone else saying to them that need to have children.

Some women due to medical reasons cannot ever have children of their own and this is such an emotional and stressful thing for them to come to terms with. If on top of this they have to deal with remarks from others saying that they should have had children already or why haven’t they had children yet it can be made even worse for them. We don’t know what situation each couple is going through and we should be considerate about what we say to others. Especially about sensitive matters like this. The couple may desperately want children but are unable to have them so it can be so hurtful to say to them that they have been married for so many years and not had children or that others that got married after them have already had children.

Now I’m not saying that children aren’t a blessing or that we shouldn’t be having children but only that we should be more considerate in how we speak to couples regarding them having children. At the end of the day it’s a private and personal matter between the husband and wife and if they don’t wish to share that information with anyone then that is entirely upto them.

Are we really ready for marriage?

So I often hear girls being told to prepare for marriage by making sure you know how to cook amazing food and can keep the house spotless. Now I’m not saying that we shouldn’t know how to cook and keep our homes clean, after all cleanliness is half of faith. But I feel that there is far too much emphasis on this.

So what if you don’t know how to make 3 different types of biryani or 4 different types of paratas? Is it really going to impact your marriage that much? Yes of course you should know how to cook enough to not starve and be able to keep your house tidy but there are some far more important things that girls should know before they get married. I personally didn’t know how to cook lavish meals like biryani and I still don’t but it’s not something that has had any impact on our marriage. I actually learnt to cook after marriage properly, I call my mum asking for her recipes and then cook different things. I’ve learnt how to cook because I needed to be able to do it. My husband has no issues with the fact that I can’t make some dishes yet and he’s fine that I’m still learning and even helps me when he can. But I really think we need to teach more than just the cooking and cleaning.

Take for example how to be financially mature. We should be teaching girls how to handle money, how to save for emergencies and not spend all we earn on things we just want. We should know how to budget for all the different things in our lives so that we don’t finish our money before the end of the month. This is actually quite difficult especially if you’re not used to it, it took me and my husband months of trial and error before we figured out our budgeting.

We should also teach girls how to be emotionally mature. When they get married they will have to make a lot of adjustments and compromise halfway with their spouse and they need to be able to handle doing that. The lifestyle we had and that of your husbands will not be the same, that much I can guarantee so when differences occur we need to know how to handle it in a mature and calm manner. Also you may not always agree with your in laws so how do you handle this? Do you shout back at them if they say something to you that you don’t like? Or do you remain calm and speak to your husband in private about how best to handle the situation? Can we control our temper and be polite to those who may say rude and inconsiderate things to us? When we’re criticised for how we are as a spouse are we going to jump straight into critising them? We need to teach them patience and how to control our tongues.

We should teach our girls to be independent and know how to handle things in the outside world not just inside the home. Give them a good education so that they can experience what the world is like and be in tune with what is going on in our country and the rest of the world. We need to be able to balance our many roles and responsibilities and it can be very overwhelming initially. So we should allow them to have responsibilities before they get married so they can see that these are the types of things that they will need to be able to do once they’re married.

We need to teach our girls the rights and responsibilities of being a wife islamically. They need to know in islam what it says about marriage. How the prophet (saw) taught us to have a successful marriage. We focus so much on having a fairytale wedding yet we rarely learn what do we do once this fairytale is over.

Lastly I just want to say that although I wrote this in the context of a girl (because I am a girl) it also applies for the boys. I also feel it’s important for brothers to know how to cook. If your wife is ill or if she goes home for a few days or she’s gone out how will you survive if you can’t make yourself something to eat? The answer by the way isn’t takeaway because that’s where budgeting comes into play. They also need to ensure they know their rights and responsibilities and understand that the single life won’t work now that they’re married.

The Biggest Loser

When a husband and wife are constantly bickering with each other, they can never agree on things and they argue all the time, they think its themselves that are losing and they “deserve” to win but ultimately the losers are their children. 

The mum and dad are so busy fighting each other demanding their rights that they don’t give their children the time, care and attention that they deserve. The children are often neglected even though the parents feel that they buy them everything so its enough for the children but it hardly ever is. 

Children need love and quality time with their parents. They need both their parents to spend time with them together. To be happy when the children see them but they often only see them arguing. Children often believe this is what marriage is. Its a person you have to live with but will spend your life arguing with them. We don’t show our children how beautiful marriage is. 

Show them that this person is your biggest supporter and is the one you turn to in times of distress. That its your spouse that is the coolness of our eyes, that we can have fun with them and show them that you appreciate your spouse. Help each other in the home, overlook mistakes and forgive each other.

Yes marriage is hard work and yes you will argue but it shouldn’t be so much that, that’s all our children see right? We need to show our children how beautiful marriage is otherwise they may grow up hating the idea of being “stuck” with someone. Lets learn to resolve our issues in a peaceful manner with our spouses so that our children will not have to suffer the consequences.

And yes, that means leaving your ego out of the problem because that’s one of the main reasons people can’t begin to solve their issues.