بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين وصلى الله وسلم على رسول الله وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن اهتدى بهديه إلى يوم الدين
A few of my close friends know how it happened. Only few. It’s almost like a fairytale minus the fairy and the haram drama. I call it His Response to our tawakul. We, as small specks, think of Him according to our small limited humanly brains and He responds according to His Magnificience. These are not mere words. It is a hardcore fact of my life and I am still amazed, subhanAllah. After being blessed with a husband through some extraordinary means, I know for sure that if He SWT wills He grants rizq from means you can never ever imagine. First it was just ‘ilmal yaqeen. Now it is ‘aynal yaqeen.
You don’t have to have multiple conversations to ‘check’ compatibility. You just know it when despite the possible challenges that could arise, He SWT dissolves all the barriers and makes everything easy in the most beautiful of ways. You understand the real meaning of that it was ‘just meant to be’. Alhamdolilah. All Praise is due to Allah SWT for showing me and my husband His Greatness, His Oneness and a glimpse of all His Beautiful Attributes through our marriage.
We don’t know whether we would like to disclose how it went about because in all honesty, me and my husband prefer privacy even though it’s just the cyber world (although some of you may know him). We have our distinct presence and we want to preserve it as much as we can. But even if I don’t narrate the entire story, there’s one thing I wanted to convey to brothers and sisters who are looking for marriage: no matter how cliché this sounds – your partner will come when it’s the right time, please hold onto Taqwa. You’ll be shocked how appropriate they are for you. Allah SWT will select someone who has the right kind of strengths to overcome your weaknesses and vice versa.
We hit the one month mark two weeks ago alhamdolilah and truly not only our lives but we ourselves have changed. For the better alhamdolilah, inshaa’Allah. After being married, a peaceful maturity has come about coupled with renewed realization that this world, this very dunia which has been beautified for us through marriage and other family ties, is nothing but a delusion. Again before that notion was a mere abstract thought but the reality has sunk in perhaps deeper. Much deeper and earlier than I anticipated. It His Special Fadl and I am indebted with all my heart. Walhamdolilah.
You may be married to a Saalih but your end could be of Prophet Noah and/or Loot AS wives[Quraan,66:10]. Conversely, you could be married to a Jaahil or not married at all and your end could that be of Aasiya AS and Maryam AS, respectively. The end matters. So getting married to a righteous man/woman is not the end-all be-all. Work begins the day he says nikahtuha wa qabiltuha and marriage should be sought for the right purposes. For me it is in reality a true training institute which gives you the opportunity to practice real-time what you would’ve read and earlier easily quoted of Imam ibn al Qayyim (R) and other Salaf’s quotes. It’s one thing to blog about knowledge, totally another to gather its sweetness and mix it in your life…second by second, hour by hour. And when it is for His Sake, He SWT grants you a pot of muwaddah and rahmah in which He SWT grants you barakah through your level of sincerity to Him through this new bond of intertwining of two fragile souls.As soon as sincerity dries up, muwaddah and rahmah dry up to. For His Sign (i.e. muwaddah and rahmah) only remain when He SWT is remembered with sidq al qalb wal yaqeen. Easier said than done. Allahumma ja’lna min al khaashi’een was-shaakireen. Ameen.
Every partner comes into marriage with certain baggage and both sides require patience every single day to make it work. Sometimes you may be giving your 100% but it may only amount to 50% or even less than that. Don’t be disheartened because we have Allah SWT’s Mercy to look forward to. We cannot expect humans to be as thankful to us and respectful of our efforts as our Creator. Of course not. That would be sheer foolishness. However, on your part the number one thing that helps one in times when you’re tired is being thankful to Allah SWT for all the great qualities in your husband/wife. Both in privacy and public. Mention them and you’ll notice how Shaytan makes you forget the struggle. Mention them in front of your spouse and in their absence. Avoid gaining the envy (hasad) of others. And accept that if your partner falters, it is because of the baggage they came with. They are struggling too, just like you. Perhaps even more.
Marriage for me brought another big change: moving from NA to the UK. Although I love UK for its deen already and the amazing Muslims with their wonderful akhlaaq, I still miss the relaxed culture of NA. I do not feel ready to give up my identity and assimilate in the new culture but at the same time I do not want to function like an ‘alien’ anymore. It’s a conundrum. The thing about the part I reside in the UK is that the Deen is so common here that it takes away from the sweetness you get from it being ‘strange’ as was the case I lived in NA. But on the opposite scale, it makes practising the Deen much easier mashaa’Allah. So far I’ve touched London briefly, spent few hours in Birmingham (couldn’t go to Greenlane Masjid) and only an hour or so in Oxford. Birmingham’s definitely on the top for its Deen. I had to stopover at a Masjid in B’ham and I cannot explain my feelings. The Masjid was full of Niqabis, young and old, with a very informal halaqah going on. I also saw a sight I had never ever seen elsewhere: a lady in her late 40’s with closed eyes, hunched forward, reciting Surat’l Baqarah to another. SubhanAllah! I even saw women with books in Arabic on Hifdh and Arabic language. It was a huge eeman boost just to be there. To me B’ham is the only place where I’ve seen women do Hijaab properly so much so that I felt shy about my level of practice. Mashaa’Allah, an amazing place to be.
Oxford seems like a very classy English city with its enchanting grassy passageways and leafy branches hanging elegantly as if just out of a novel; an ideal place to get creative and so an ideal place for writers. However the best part about Oxford is that it is the place where the author of my most favourite book lives and gives halaqahs, i.e. Shaykh Akram Nadwi. A teacher with wealth of knowledge mashaa’Allah who will fascinate you by his brilliant interesting bits of information. Unfortunately just because he doesn’t make his presence sensational, not many people know about him outside the UK.
My blogging power has dried up somewhat even though my husband’s been pushing me to continue. I think I’m in a different phase of my life. That is because I have realized that time’s ticking fast and before I can do other fancy things which I desire to do one day inshaa’Allah, I must dedicate serious time to my soul and its nurturing by seeking His Guidance. I will be sharing a few things here from time to time but nothing spectacular. My other blog for women will have to wait as well. While online presence is important, my offline existence needs to be stronger for my family and people around me. I feel the need to quieten down a bit.
My final pieces of advice for sisters wishing to get married:
- plan your life. If you are smart enough to do it and not waste your time watching TV then plan it according to His Pleasure. You don’t want to end up with a PhD in this dunia but be a failure in Akhira. Be pragmatic, Akhira-wise.
- give up whatever it is you have to give up that goes against your fitrah/deen as a woman. This is a very difficult thing to do but trust me, it’s worth it. And no it doesn’t mean giving up having goals for this dunia to achieve a glorious Akhirah.
- please, please, please educate yourself about the fiqh of everything (with proofs) that you need to practice in your daily life. This is a must. You’ll regret it later if you don’t now. And yes you can educate yourself while you’re at university and juggling other activities.
- build a strong relationship with Allah SWT through the Quraan. You will need Quraan in your easy and sometimes very Nafs-wise challenging times.
- while volunteering is great, please aim for a balance and if you need to choose between one then give priority to seeking knowledge over volunteering.
- get out of the ideal world. You won’t find an Imam Bukhaari and even if you do according to his knowledge, most likely he’s a struggling Muslim too who will have shortcomings. Fix yourself first so that you have fewer things to deal with after marriage.
- don’t expect knowledge to seek you or to even find knowledge where you seek it. It only comes if and when you’re eligible so make sure you know how to be eligible for it.
- learn to discipline every aspect of your life. Learn to make Sunnah habits such as staying up after Fajr and so on. These will help you immensely in your marital life.
- learn not only how to cook but cook fast so that you have to spend lesser time doing this…that is if you have any Deen-related goals. A bit of sewing/fixing your own things is a skill that shouldn’t be overlooked as well. Afterall, a household needs to be run. And no it’s not a gender-competition. Be in the mindset of racing to Jannah.
- immerse yourself in situations where there are a lot of people so that you learn how to interact with people who are different from you. This will help you settle in well with the new family you get married into and may help in crushing your ego.
- inculcate good manners within yourself such as humility, i.e. acceptance of the Haqq even if it means accepting that you’re wrong and patience, i.e. overlooking your needs to cater for others’ by training your Nafs and reminding it about Allah SWT’s Pleasure.
- Learn to: zip your mouth as much as possible, be kind even if it hurts, and overlook minor faults no matter how annoying they are.
- Shaytan’s going to be super active so make sure you know how to defend yourself and save your husband as well.
- don’t forget Allah SWT even if a million blessings pour at your threshold. And don’t forget to call unto Him when you’re scared and have nobody to talk to about your problems! Allah SWT is indeed Al-Mujeeb and He SWT is Al-Lateef…what an excellent Rabb He SWT is!
I have a lot to learn/practice myself but there are a lot of things Muslim women should be aware about before they get married – the crux of which is: if you have the right intention, challenges may come so that Allah SWT makes it known whether you’re from the truthful ones or not; however you must sacrifice and persevere. You’re not doing it for anyone except for your ownself. Hold onto the ‘Urwatul Wuthqa [Quraan, 2:256] and measure everything on the yardstick of Akhirah inshaa’Allah. Everything else is unimportant if not completely useless. And Allah SWT knows best.
Please keep me and my husband in your du’aas. And please don’t forget that whatever happens to you in your life, Quraan and thus Islam has a solution. That which is from Allah SWT is pure, wholesome, correct, easier and everlasting. That which is not from Allah SWT is from Shaytaan and is therefore harmful in every way and form no matter how inviting and glamorous it is. And its harm can have long-lasting effects if not ever-lasting.
May Allah SWT help us walk the talk and help us achieve more than what we think we can achieve for Akhirah. Ameen!
Wasalamu ‘alaykum warahmatullah,