Thursday, 31 March 2011

All that glitters isn't always gold

A family friend asked if our number could be passed on to someone looking for a wife for their son.  After making the (initial) basic enquiries, namely age, job description, religiousness and the like, mum gave the go ahead for the guys mum to get in touch with her.

Upon speaking to the potential mother in law, our assumption was – that they appeared to be a really, really decent family.  In addition to this, the current daughter in law of the family is someone known to be treated really well by her in laws*  (*the family in communication with mine).   Naturally, we were all chuffed.  Things were looking good. Good family, good guy.  But all that glitters, isn’t always gold.   

When the family came over, they didn’t bring their son. This wasn’t really a big deal.  Usually, family comes over, if they like the girl’s appearance, character etc, go home, talk to their son, and then bring the son over next time, if they feel like taking things further.  And then it’s left in the hands of the guy and girl.  This process of not always bringing the guy the first time, makes the whole thing a little bit more prolonged, but it just saves me from being “exhibited” in front of a host of random guys.

Without sounding too much like a feminist, I find it really demeaning that girls have to be “paraded” in front of guys coming round for the first time, and then they “assess” her, usually solely on her looks.   I have cousins and friends, both younger and older going through the marriage process, and I remember 2 of them, both gorgeous girls having tanned complexions – were turned off based entirely on their complexion colour. 
Ya Allah, when did we Muslims become so shallow? This isn’t to contradict the hadith, where the Prophet SAW encouraged men to view their potentials, but I can’t help but feel guys are taking a little too much advantage and viewing potentials like they would a pix’n’mix sweet counter.

Anyway, back to the original post. Next time, family come over and this time the guy comes along.  Something didn’t seem right. Was it the way he was awkwardly walking in his religious attire?  Was it the slang that he was using?  Maybe he was just nervous.  Or maybe the guy was the black sheep of the family.  Nevertheless, after they left we were all a bit shell shocked to say the least.  Naturally, a few phone calls were made. And it turns out that the guy doesn’t have a very good reputation. 

We were upset.  Of course, the family cannot be liable for their son’s ways. But is it right that they are looking for a mentor, in the form of a wife, to help discipline their son, or try to bring him back to the “right path”? If you’re looking for a wife for this purpose, you risk ruining not just her life, but the lives of those around her (her family, any future kids etc). If he needs help, then seek help for him by using other avenues. 

A friend was telling me that there’s a lady looking for her son who is working away from home.   While she is searching for a bride for her son, her son has his sights on someone else.  And the sad thing is, his mother is well aware of the situation with her son.  Yet she’s still looking.

There have been a few such incidents like this, and I’m sure there are many more.  But all we can do is ask Allah to save us from such people. Ameen.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Having to leave earlier than usual, I made my way down the stairs, only to discover that it was jama’ah time, which meant that the musalees are coming in through the entrance I need to go out from.

Then suddenly, you know that strange feeling you get when someone is looking? When you’re looking elsewhere, and get that instinctive feeling to turn your head, and abruptly (and accidentally) your eyes meet another person’s?  
The protagonist was a young man, who didn’t seem to be very interested in the conversation he was supposed to be having.  

And then, to add some more drama, Kamal Udin’s “Illallah” begins playing –wait – can we change the soundtrack?   Ahmad Bukhatar’s Zawjati? Yeh? Cool. …And then everything else in the background fades away, and then, like the scenes from the movies….
(Okay this part didn’t really happen but doesn’t every girl wants to be the star of the show,  swept off her feet by her hero? )

“WOO-HOO!! Aaaayccchhh,” mouths my friend, waving frantically in her car from across the road.   (This part really did happen, and seriously, that brought me back to Earth.)
Now, without dwelling on this for too long, if the guy was really interested, he could have (and should – fingers crossed) approach someone at the centre and do some enquiries.
But he didn’t and hasn’t. Which either means:

a) He’s already married
b) Not interested
c) Has a roaming eye
d) All of the above.

Lessons learned
1. When Allah SWT commanded the believing men and women to lower their gaze,  notice how before addressing the women, he started with the men first:

Say to the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty: that will make for greater purity for them: and Allah is well acquainted with all that they do. And say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what (must ordinarily) appear thereof…"(Surah Nur)

And when addressing the women, Allah SWT told them (or us), that as well as lowering your gaze, do not display your beauty.

But seriously, a note to all men, if you happen to unknowingly, or unintentionally glance at a single sister, then be warned…and be afraid, very afraid….

(Cue theatrical music) could get a LOT more than you bargained for.

Thursday, 17 March 2011


Several weeks ago, a friend’s husband – Zayd - approached my father, introducing his own father, to Abu (my father).  Zayd knows my father, so there was nothing suspicious about Zayd introducing his father to Abu.

A few days later, Zayd’s father approaches Abu, asking if Abu knows of any suitable rishtas, for his younger son, Zayd’s brother.  My father, may Allah bless him and prolong his shade over me and my family, is a wonderful, simple, very straight forward man. So when Abu came home, asking mum if he knew of any suitable applicants, my mum said, “He is indirectly asking you for your daughter!!”

Abu really likes Zayd. Based on Abu’s judgement on Zayd, mum likes Zayd too. But Abu isn’t keen on Zayd’s brother.  For that reason, neither is mum. And for that reason, neither was I.

Therefore, nothing surfaced.

For me, one of the advantages of writing things down, is it helps make things clearer that would otherwise be mumbo jumbo in my mind.  Sometimes I’ve had so many things to do, been confused and stressed, and written them down, only to find myself much more organised and more in control.

Allah SWT doesn’t just haphazardly throw things at us. He wants us to learn from our experiences. Why? Well, how else could we better ourselves?.  Isn’t that what the point of muhasabah (self evaluation) is?

Anyway, preaching asides, what did myself & my thoughts learn from what had happened?

  1. Firstly, just for the record, if I wanted to meet the guy, my parents would have had gladly advocated a meeting and let me make my own decision whether or not I wanted to take things further. But my father’s opinion is really, really important to me.  Not because I want to please him, but because I trust him. And I trust his judgement, at times, even more so than mine.  
  2. I have admiration for Zayd, who, when he saw that there was an avenue, approached it, by introducing his father to my father.  So what if nothing surfaced. When one door closes, Allah opens another. (Zayd’s brother is now married alhamdulillah).

Elaboration on my second point
Therefore, if a guy sees/knows of a sister then let him have the courage to seek her out, whether he does this directly or indirectly. If it doesn’t work out, it wasn’t meant to be.  Can the same thing be said about a girl approaching a guy? After all, that is what Khadijah did with Muhammad SAW. In the type of society/culture that I am associated with it, it doesn’t happen that way (girl approaching guy).  If it does, the poor girl would have to live with the stigma of it for the rest of her life.


Wednesday, 16 March 2011

A sense of humour

I have a (narcotic) sense of humour. Seriously, I love to laugh, and I love to smile.  I remember aunts and uncles, always cooing and aahing at how I was such a smiley wee thing throughout my primary years.  In high school, one of my teachers turned to me and said, "And I know that when I look at Haych I'll get a wee smile..."

"It is the ablility to take a joke, not make one, that proves you have a sense of humour." (Max Eastman)

What does this have to do with marriage? A sense of humour is needed in a marriage. Too many religious/ righteous brothers and sisters feel that laughing (in moderation of course) somehow stains their righteousness.  I'm not saying that they don't ever laugh, but to me it seems like they don't do public.   Too much doom and gloom. 

When previous rishtas have come, I've often laughed and joked with the potential sister in law and mother in law, because it's a reflection of who I am. Of course I'd be lying if I said that I shared a joke or two with potential husband - simply because I was too shy - but neither did he. Was he too shy also? Allah knows best.

The Sahaabah (Companions of the Prophet SAW) had a sense of humour. Prophet Muhammad SAW had a sense of humour. 

The Companions once asked the Prophet SAW, "You are joking with us." He SAW said, "But I never say anything but the truth" (Bukhari)

A man came to the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) to ask him to give him an animal to ride. The Prophet jokingly told him, "I will give you the offspring of a she-camel to ride." He said, "O Messenger of Allah, what will I do with the offspring of a she-camel?" The Prophet said: "Are riding-camels born except from she-camels?"

One of my favourite hadith which shows the great personage(s) of Habibati, Rasulullah SAW and his Companions:
Abu Bakr RA went to do business in Busra, and with him were Nu'ayman RA and Suwaybit RA ibn Harmalah both of whom had been present at Badr. Suwaybit RA was in charge of food on the journey, and Nu'ayman said to him, "Feed me!" Suwaybit said, "Not until Abu Bakr RA comes."  Nu'ayman was a fun-loving man with a sense of humour, so he went to some people who had brought livestock with them, and said, "Will you buy a sturdy Arab slave from me?" They said, "Yes." He said, "He may tell you that he is a free man. If that means that you do not want to take him, then forget the matter, and do not cause trouble for me with him." They said, "No problem, we will buy him." So they bought him for ten young she-camels. Nu'ayman brought the animals back, and told the people: "There he is!"

Suwaybit said: "I am a free man!" They said, "He has already told us all about you," and put a rope around his neck and led him away. Then Abu Bakr came, and was told what had happened. He and his companions went and returned the animals and took Suwaybit back. They told the Prophet SAW what had happened, and he and his Companions would laugh about the story for a year afterwards.


Imam Bukhari mentions a narration which sums up the personality of the Sahaabah (taken from Adabul Mufrid)
"The Companions of the Prophet used to throw melon-rinds at one another, but when the matter was serious, they were the only true men" 

There are many, many, many more ahadith (narrations) which cite the great personality that Rasulullah SAW and the Sahaabah had.  These were the same men who would make the Empero(s) of Rome fear the loss of their kingdom, and make the King(s) of Persia loose their sleep. 

The Sahaabah represented the middle way in everything.  Sadly though, nowadays, you have people who take everything as a joke, and people who refuse or simply can't see the funny side of anything.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Married Life

A man came home from work and found his three children outside, still in their pyjamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn all around the front yard. The door of his wife's car was open, as was the front door to the house and there was no sign of the dog. Proceeding into the entry, he found an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, and the throw rug was wadded against one wall. In the front room the TV was loudly blaring on the cartoon channel, and the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door.

He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls.

As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pyjamas, reading a novel. She looked up at him, smiled, and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, "What happened here today?" She again smiled and answered, "You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world did I do today?" "Yes," was his incredulous reply. She answered, "Well, today I didn't do it."

Source: unknown (something I received in an email once)

Sunday, 13 March 2011

I've reached that age, where people I haven't spoken to in a long time can't help but ask, So Haych, when you getting married? Actually, people I speak to regularly ask me the same question as well.  My response, usually an awarkd erm, followed by "when Allah wills". However, I do have firm faith, that Allah shall arrange the marriage when He wills. Yes, i used the word "arranged", as i am a strong believer that all marriages are and should be arranged... Allah of course!

Most of my contemparories are married.  Some are evening expecting kids now.  But I can't help but feel a little bit of sadness at thier insensitivity to those (me) who aren't married. Is it my fault that I amn't married?  Their adoration of their husbands, and kids (if applicable) in front of someone who isn't married (and you know is looking and going through issues in finding a decent guy) is a little insensitive.  My mother mentioned to me once that when a widow is present, never, ever, glorify your husband to her or in front of her as naturally, it will deeply hurt her.  I think the same is applicable in cases such as my own. 

Therefore dear sisters that are married, before you start singing the praises of your husband (usually it's just the newly weds still going through the honeymoon period) please be considerate to those of us who are not married. And most especially considerate to those who have passed the honeymoon stage and are wondering if they ever went through it themselves.

Love and duaas,

Saturday, 12 March 2011

More on my blog title

I've previously started a blog which was not really specific to any content.  I remember trying to think of a blog title, had no clue, so looked around my computer desk for inspiration! In all honesty, I can't even remember what the blog title was, nor what the inspiration was, and I never did exceed past the one post mark.  

This time however, I had no trouble coming up with the blog title.  Yup, it looks like this is a "musings of a muslimah's marriage quest" kind of blog.