The memory of my report card in primary school was very joyful. The more marks I achieved, the more my parents were proud of me. This remained to be the case until I turned sixteen, then things somewhat changed.

As a Muslim woman from and Egyptian background, other avenues of success started appearing, like marriage and status. As I grew older, status shrunk and marriage was the only means of success, no matter how much you succeeded in other avenues. This was very traumatizing.

As I speak to other Muslim women, I find a similar story, and sadly a similar trauma. We raise girls to believe marriage is the fulcrum of their lives and that is wrong, especially nowadays and in the future when marriage will be difficult. If they are destined to grow older and not be married then they are pressured or looked upon with sympathetic looks.

Unfortunately, the young women feel helpless and, in some situations, settle for less than they need in order to be socially accepted. Why when we were younger, our effort, was what we were judged or marked on, and now we are judged on things that Allah destined?

There are so many women who are suffering emotionally from this and it needs to stop. I want them to concentrate back on their report cards. Yes, you have one! It has your deeds in it, what you spent your life doing.

Life doesn’t revolve around marriage, but it does revolve around pleasing Allah and worshipping him. Focus on what matters and don’t worry about culture. Culture paints women with one paint brush and that is not fair, but Allah is very fair.

Muslim women are painters, and poets, doctors, and artistic home makers, cooks, and everything you can possibly imagine and that is all loved by Allah and that is all that should matter. You are loved and cared for.

You are special and you certainly do not need to lower your moral standard so you can lure the guy or become a bait of any kind. You are more precious than that, Your Lord said that to the angels when He the Almighty decided to make the human being a representative on Earth. You are much more than culture makes you out to be, remember that.

And finally, to our beautiful women, as you search our history you will find many personalities of women. We had scholars, homemakers, nurses, warrior, all very strong women, so do not let the eastern culture conform you into being fragile and do not let the western culture conform you into losing your femininity.

We, are Muslim women, which means we are all in one. We raise generations, we educate, we are student, we are teachers, we are hard workers, we have each other’s back, and definitely our husband’s back.

If we are not married then we are definitely loved by everyone around us, and we love everyone whom Allah the Almighty loves. Remember my sister, only Allah’s opinion of you matters!