Excerpts from my life

Marriage Market

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

The wedding trends these days are disturbing. I live in a city dominated by Muslim population. However, extravagant weddings are not a rare sight. Often, during the “wedding season”, we find decorated wedding lawns, burstling with crowd and loud music. More to dismay, we find bearded men and abaya cladded women walking in and out of the premises.

 “If someone should come to you whose religion and character you are pleased with, marry (your daughter) off to him. If you do not do so, there will be mischief in the land and widespread corruption” [At-Tirmidhee (1085)]

It is common that we are told by mothers and sisters to update them if we have a suitable match in sight. On a personal level, I do not mind and often I do exchange references of good muslims. In many cases, it is surprising, that people reject profiles merely by seeing the picture. The deen and character is not even enquired or considered. A fat, dark, poor and short person will stand no chance, no matter how good her/ his character is.

 

There is this one mother, who has demanded that she wants only a doctor or an engineer from IIT for her daughter. That is because her daughter deserves no less. She is the topper of her department, she is beautiful and from a good background. So, these are the factors which make her a top class girl (not her deen) and a deserving candidate for a top class boy (not deeni boy)

It is disheartening. Is it just a textual thing today? To look for a spouse based on deen? Religious people are not considered “worthy” at all. I wonder what Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) saw in Ali (radiallahu anhu) to marry off his daughter to him. Perhaps people of this age would prefer an Abu Lahab.

The story of practising people is no different. Practising brothers reject sisters profile because their mothers did not find them pretty enough. or because their mothers want them to marry in same caste (reverts are a banned commodity). When will we learn to take a stand for haqq?

 

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

If they (parents) say to him: Do not eat this food, do not eat meat, do not eat rice, do not eat a certain thing – and it is something that he wants to eat – then he is not obliged to obey them in that, because it does not serve any interest for them, and it is harmful for him because it causes him to miss out on something that he likes.

End quote from Liqa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh (49/6)

It still amazes me with what ease people leave pious people with the knowledge that they are rare. The criteria of being a good muslim today is one who prays five times a day. Anyone who does just that is considered super practising. His aqeedah, his ‘Ilm, Sunnah, ‘Adab and ‘Akhlaq are irrelevant. We watch Televisions, listen to music, lie with ease, clean shave ourselves, keep our women without hijab and then we pray. Therefore, we are very practising

 

On the other hand I have had religious and pious sisters reject pious brother because the brother earned less than “xyz”lakh per annum. They have a minimum slab which males have to cross. Allow me to clarify that I do not expect rich girls to marry someone bankrupt. But rejecting young educated men who have begun their careers a few years back and In Sha Allah seem worthy to make more money in future, I find it futile. Females are seeking in their grooms status which their fathers achieved at 50 years of age. Even in these cases, if the girls are fine with it, many a times parents are not.

Other than that, of course we see people rejecting each other because he is too fat, he is too short, beard is too long, she is too skinny, her nose is too big, she is too educated, she does not speak fluent English, she is not fit for our family etc.

He does not have a beard, he does not wear pants above ankles, she has not memorised enough surahs, he does not pray Sunnah, his income is haram, she does not proper hijab as Allah says, he does not lower his gaze.. these are never reasons I have heard for rejecting anyone. Rather such prospects are picked first from the market

What is wrong with the ummah? Why are we forgetting the story of Musab bin Umayr. How he withstood the pressure of his family for haqq..  It is never easy to choose Islam over everything else .There will be many occasions that will require us to compromise a bit on deen to please others. First society and then parents. Sadly, when it comes to marriage we consider their wrong preferences over the pleasure of Allah.

 

The result?

 

“…….If you do not do so, there will be mischief in the land and widespread corruption

As warned in the above hadith, Muslims today are frivolously looking at profiles after profiles as if searching for a car for their children. Just how people unaware of Islam and who do not recognise Allah search- based on looks, background and status. After this, if the prospect is religious then Ma Sha Allah, Alhamdulillah. How many religious muslims do we see today marrying the first religious alliance that comes across? Okay, let us give a concession. How many marry from amongst the first five?

Young muslims are unmarried until thirties and forties. Bad marriages have become so common. Women are reduced to maids and nannys whilst men are reduced to money minting machine. People no more exist as servants of Allah post marriage. No time for religion. No time to gain ‘ilm. No time to do any good for the ummah. A monotonous system that has been framed by the society and thus, being abided by.

Zina has become easy. Nikah has become so difficult.

Recently, the mother of an eighteen year old messaged me that she is worried for her son. He is about to join college this fall and she is worried what if he falls into any fitnah. At a time when there is open invitation for zina, it is a genuine concern. We discussed giving books and talking it out etc. When I mentioned this to my husband, his immediate response was, ask her to get him married before joining college.

I was amazed at the simplicity of the solution. Why not open doors to nikah and shut the door to zina for our youngsters forever. I told this to her, she agreed Islam is perfect in all ways. However, I am not sure how many of us would like to implement this for our children,

We have forgotten the main purpose of this Sunnah. We forget that we are choosing a companion whose character greatly affects our life in hereafter. We forget what being “coolness of eyes” means. That is where we make the major mistake for the next few decades of our lives and sometimes there is no turning back.

May Allah give us hearts to obey his commands. May He give us beneficial knowledge and keep us on siratal mustaqeem. May He help us obey Him and love Him the most. May He protect us from the fitnah of this world and make our spouse the coolness of our eyes.

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Excerpts from my life, IOU Assignments- informations., Islam

The Divorce- Part 2

…Continued from Part 1:

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The Period of Iddat:
Now that the divorce has been uttered, what should the next step be?

“Ofcourse, ask her to pack her bags and leave!!”, would be an answer that most ignorant people would give. Especially in Indo-Pak where the popular trend (to imitate the kuffar) is that the man and woman separate. Sometimes, the divorce is uttered in utmost anger and the woman is humiliatingly dragged out of the house.

Allah says, “… And have taqwa of your Lord. And turn them not out of their homes nor shall they leave, except in case they are guilt of illicit sexual intercourse. And those are the set limits of Allah…” (Surah AT-Talaq, 1)

Allah warns muslims here to have fear of Him with regards to the rights of divorced wives (As-Sa’di). It the right of a muslimah to live in her matrimonial home and be provided for until she is in her iddah. The husband cannot throw her out and she cannot abandon the house as well unless the divorce was caused due to her committing adultery. (Ibn Katheer)

Allah further says, “…and whosoever transgresses the set limits of Allah, then indeed he has wronged himself” (65:1). Therefore, whoever breaches these commands of Allah, reduces his profit and wasted their share of reward (As-Sa’di).

THE Wisdom of ‘Iddah at the Husband’s House
“..You know not, it may be that Allah will afterward bring some new thing to pass”, (65:1)

😀 What does this verse say? Allah commanded the divorced wife to remain in her husband’s house during ‘Iddah, so that the husband might regret his action and Allah may renew mercy and compassion in his heart who may want to resume his marriage with his wife. Or, perhaps the wife may realise her mistake which lead to the divorce, regret it and make amends.  An ideal iddah makes it easy for reunion of husband and wife. Perhaps the reason for which the divorce occurred ceases to exist after sometime. The Iddah serves as a period of reconsideration.

One of the many wisdoms behind Iddah is to determine whether she is pregnant with his child.

Kindness:
When the period of iddat ends, the husband may

  • either take her back to live honorably with her and in good companionship, not to cause harm or intending evil by holding them against their will, because this is prohibited. or,
  • part with them in a good manner through a divorce that is free from prohibited behavior, without cursing or disputing, and without forcing her to give up some of her money (in return for being released from the marriage). ___[As-Sa’di]

Kindness to the wife is paramount irrespective of whether the husband takes her back or parts. Allah commands believers to keep two trustworthy muslim men as witnesses to ensure a healthy divorce.

The rulings and set limits of Allah mentioned here will serve as an admonition for a Believer whereas those whose hearts are devoid of faith will care less of the evil they commit.

Divorce indeed brings hardship, depression and anxiety. Allah says, those who have Taqwa (fear of and obedience to Allah), He will make a way for him to get our and provide from sources that one cannot contemplate.

Wife cannot be taken back after third divorce:
The third divorce is irrevocable. Allah said :” And if he has divorced her the third time then she is not lawful for him thereafter until she has married another husband” (Surah Baqarah, verse 230).

Wait right there before you gawk. Allow me to explain.

Men are not allowed to repeatedly divorce her and take her back. If he divorces her the third time, she is free to marry again after her iddat period. She does not owe any duty, responsibility or liability towards the man. Nor is it permissible for him to take her as a wife again by way of Nikah. So what is the solution?

I wonder why any woman would ever want to marry a man who considers her to be so trivial that he could divorce not once, twice but thrice. Why would she want a life of perpetual anxiety of whether he may drop the divorce bomb anytime without knowing whether he will take her back or leave her. Is this love at all?

Allah sets her free. Free to marry someone who would give her the love and respect that a wife deserves. She becomes impermissible to him. If she wants to live the life of a married woman, she may marry another man. Marry a momin. Run away from the man who gave you so much agony. There is no solution by which they can marry again

Is Halala a part of Islam?

“…until she marries again.” , meaning until she has legally married another man. The reason for the woman (who was divorced thrice) to marry another man must be that the man desires her and has the intention of having an extended married life with her. These are the legal goals and aims behind marriage. If the reason behind the second marriage was to make the woman eligible for her ex-husband again then this is Tahlil (Halala) that hadiths have cursed and criticised. Additionally, when the reason behind this marriage (if it was halala) is announced in the contract, it would make the contract invalid. (Ibn Katheer, commentary on 2:230)

  • It was narrated that Ibn ‘Abbas said:
    “The Messenger of Allah cursed the Muhallil and the Muhallal lahu.”
    [Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 3, Book 9, Hadith 1934, Grade: Sahih]
  • It was narrated that ‘Abdullah said:
    “The Messenger of Allah cursed the woman who tattoos and the one tattooed, the woman who fixed hair extensions and the one who had her hair get extended, the consumer of Riba and the one who pays it, and Al-Muhallil and Al-Muhallal Lahu.”
    [Sunan an-Nasa’i 3416, Grade: Sahih  &  Graded Hasan by Tirmidhi]

# The Muhallil is the one who marries a woman and divorces her so that she can return to her first husband, and the muhallal lahu is the first husband

# Halala/ Tahleel is marrying a woman for a specific length of time with the intention of divorcing her after that so as to make her permissible to her ex-husband who has divorced her thrice.

Tirmidhi reported, “This is what acted upon among the Companions, among whom are Umar, Uthmaan and Ibn Umar (radiallahu anhum). It was also saying of scholars of fiqh amongst the Tabi’in (second generation of Islam). Umar said, “If the participants to halala are brought to me, I will have them stoned”. Ibn Umar has been reported to equate it to adultery. [Ibn Kathir, ibid].

The system of halala has no existence in Islam or in Islamic history. The very purpose of why Allah made a woman impermissible after three divorces has been defeated and mocked.

Muta Marriages & Halala:

Allow me please to introduce a new term to you- “Muta Marriage”.

#Mut’ah or temporary marriage refers to when a man marries a woman for a specific length of time in return for a particular amount of money.

It was narrated from ‘Ali that he heard Ibn ‘Abbaas permitting mut’ah marriage, and he said, “Wait a minute, O Ibn ‘Abbaas, for the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade it on the day of Khaybar and (he also forbade) the meat of tame donkeys.” [Narrated by Muslim, 1407.] 

The basic principle of marriage is that it must be ongoing and permanent. Allah has made marriage one of His signs which calls us to think and ponder. He has created love and compassion between the spouses, and has made the wife a source of tranquility for the husband.

A man is entitled to take his wife back twice after two respective Talaqs but after that the separation is irrevocable. She is then free to be married to any other person of her choice. Therefore, if a thrice divorced wife marries another man, the intention of the man must be to keep her as his wife, give her due rights and live with love and compassion. If then in the normal course of life a dispute between them develops leading to first Talaq by the second husband, she is again free to be married to any person of her choice including the second husband (by whom she has got the first divorce) and also including the first husband as well.

The relevant point here is that a Halala cannot be planned in advance, as a Nikah between her and the second husband with an understanding of a divorce afterwards will not be valid. If she does so, it will be an illegitimate relationship with the second husband and with the first husband also with whom she comes to live after a pre-planned Halala. The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) has cursed both such men who perform Halala and for whom Halala is performed.

Conclusion:
How horrible have we reduced the status of our women to? What kind of patriarchy is this to introduce into Islam things that were never practised during the time of Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallan) or his companions? Things that enraged them, displayed disgust and earned curses from them.

We today fail to observe the sunnahs of kindness towards wives and giving them their rights. Rather we work very hard to reduce the shariah in abusing women. We divorce them without any contemplation, do not bear our wives with patience, forgiveness is a forgotten trait, we threaten our wives with divorcee, the divorces are unruly involving harassment one cannot fathom, wives are thrown out after divorce and taken back at whims only for further abuse, we do not pay their mehr , we pronounce three divorce at once and then force her into adultery by way of halala thereby earning Allah’s wrath.

What has the ummah reduced to? Do we know more about religion of Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wasallam) than his companions? Leave aside what I say or what anyone else says for a while if you are unsure of what is right and wrong- open the books of Hadiths, open the Qur’an brothers and read what Allah asks you to do. Read what Allah wants you to be.

Read. Read my dear sisters if you do not wish to be reduced to a piece of meat.

“Iqra bismi rabbikallazi khalaq- Read in the name of your Lord who created” [Al-Alaq, verse 1]

May Allah reward you


Bibliography:

  1. Tafseer Ibn Katheer
  2. Tafseer As-Sa’di
  3. Sunnah.com for hadiths
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An Unworthy Compromise

An Unworthy Compromise- Part 3

#An Inspired Tale

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Coffee is therapeutic! A short pause prevailed as we sipped the glory. Makes me wonder how life in this dunya would have been without so many mercies that we enjoy. What if the dunya was only full of tests and struggles? Alhamdulillah, for the blessings in which we seek joy. I waited for Aleena to enjoy her beverage before she continued.

– ” so where were we?”

-” you both exchanged photographs.”, I briefed.

-” hmmm, yeah. So he hinted that he was fine with the photographs and that we could seriously involve our parents into this. The next time I messaged him, he told me he was busy with an international convention and was representing his college. It was already a week, and he said he hasn’t heard from his mother yet. I, on this side, had already spoken to my family and they felt we were pretty much on the same page. Alhamdulillah, they decided to proceed with the matter.”

– ” so your father spoke to him? “, I asked

– ” ahaan, the second time I dropped a message he informed me that he is busy with exams and this kept repeating. I knew either he or his family were viewing my profile often, since his name showed in my profile’s ‘recently viewed’ list. Finally after a couple of weeks, my wali messaged him to proceed with the matter if it interests him as the matter has been stretching a bit too much!”

– “and what did he say?”

-” This was his reply-

    ‘  Wa alaikum assalaamu wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

      Jazakallahu khayran for being patient with this. I happened to speak to my parents today and after great deliberation we thought its best to not proceed with this matter.
       I certainly think Aleena would make a great spouse and its really unfortunate that matters couldn’t proceed.

        I pray that Allah grants her the best match at the earliest.

     ~Aadil.‘ ”

With a crooked view, Aleena looked into my face. I say ‘into’, because she was trying to study the thoughts going behind it.

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I was in two minds after reading this message. At one place things seem to be going fine until he refused. The delay and postponement in replying did bring a hint of doubt but in the long run I thought it wasn’t a big deal. People say no for marriages right? For a while I thought all Aleena needs is counselling to accept this decision of his.

I put my hands on her’s and prepared myself to soothe her, “Aleena babe, it is always Allah’s decree. I agree things seemed to be going smoothly but you need to….”

– “Don’t you conclude Zobia.”, Aleena snapped ,” of course I was disappointed. You know in terms of dunya, audhubillah, he wasn’t a good looking person either. Of course, Allah has made all of us beautifully, and it is mankind who has limited beauty to tall, fair and slim. But only for the pleasure of Allah, I decided to carry on with the matter because I felt we could do great work in deen In Shaa Allah. However, this wouldn’t disturb me until a few weeks after his last message he sent me this message-

      ‘ As salamu alai kum Aleena, I hope this message finds you in great health and imaan. I understand that things didn’t work out and I only thought that I must explain my behaviour. My mother has worked very hard to bring me up and her opinion is very important to me in every aspect of my life. The girl I marry, I wish her to take good care of my mother and In Shaa Allah, my mother should like her. However, our thoughts in aspects of deen are very different. Alhamdulillah, we belong to a high profile society and she desires to have a daughter in law who is active with her in her social circles and fits well into it. From within, I don’t approve of this as I know it is a major clash between deen and dunya. However, I am her only son and I am indebted to her for all the love she has given me. May you find a pious spouse for yourself. Ameen. ‘ ”

I could see Aleena’s fist clench the phone as she read it out. I could see the big question on her face that why was he registered in matrimonyofdeen123 at all! Was he trying to find a combination of a woman who is into deen- dawah at day and then attends parties at night? Someone who wears niqab in the day and removes her hijab later? Alhamdulillah, we felt sad for Aadil. We felt sad that he claims to keep deen as priority but perhaps even he is not aware that unknowingly, life of dunya is what regulates his choice of a spouse.

People have made nikah so complicated and zina so easy! Audubillah. It is not rare where children of moderate Muslims are a lot more practising. Their beard, dressing choices, hijab and insistence of a halal lifestyle is not approved by their family. Audhubillah! It embarrasses them. It is surprising how people born into Muslim families find it embarrassing to follow the rules of Allah! Amongst innumerable hurdles that the youth faces in these scenario, choice of spouse is the most crucial one. I say so, because you are the one who has to live with your spouse and it is your deen that will get better or worse with your spouse. Subhanallah, it is disheartening to see parents compromising on the compatibility and happiness of their child for a few words of appreciation from the people of dunya. Why would anyone want their child to compromise akhirah for the dunya!

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It took me a few sessions to counsel the disheartened Aleena. The other side of the coin is that in such scenarios we need to have sabr and accept qadr. Indeed being rejected for materialism can be humiliating but doesn’t Allah say that Good men are for good women. Both of us were in consensus that being married in his house would have made practising deen difficult for her. Perhaps, Aadil feels too obliged to his mother that he did not take a stand to complete half his deen, how ever would he do justice between his wife and mother? Certain matters are best left to Allah. Alhamdulillah, indeed He is the best disposer of affairs! Indeed, Allah has better in store for her In Shaa Allah.

“But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.”

(Surah Al Baqarah, 2:216)

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The End.

Author’s note:

As salamu alai kum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh my family in Islam,
I hope you’ll enjoyed reading this and that this post benefits us, In Shaa Allah.
Honestly, I was very nervous about posting this one as the storyline was very ordinary and something which many experience very often. Alhamdulillah, I was glad with the response that it has got and I hope the ending stood up to your expectations.
I would like to thank a few people (all names changed). Firstly, Zobia, who with consent of Aleena shared the story as she thought it is important that the youth dealing with it knows about this issue. Next, I have to admit that I have the three best editors one could ever get. Each one of them thoroughly goes through every story of mine and their feedback is the reason why I get better and post better. (You can see obvious differences in what I wrote a year back to how I write today. Alhamdulillah, it is due to my these sisters). Jazakiallah khair for inspiring me and pushing me when I hit the writer’s block! Indeed all good is from Allah and all bad is from me.

And Jazakallah khair to you my dear reader. Every comment and every read means a lot to me.

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An Unworthy Compromise

An Unworthy Compromise- Part 2

#An Inspired Tale

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When Aleena told me his name, I realised I remotely knew him. I say remotely because of the mere existence of a common social circle. For the first time in my life was I hearing about a hundred per cent match. Why then, is Aleena so frustrated? I was sure the answer was coming.

– ” Zobia, we spoke for over a month almost. Of course my wali was constantly involved in the whole thing. We are both students of knowledge studying in the second year of Muslims’ University Online, both are studying Software engineering from Hyderabad University. Moreover, we shared a lot in common. Our interest in deen was same, Alhamdulillah he too was very practising and in fact to keep it halal we decided to not exchange photographs till we reached a degree of confidence about our compatibility for marriage. He was working on a dawah kit software project and he mentioned in his profile that he wishes his spouse to be a part of it. Surpringly, I am already working on it independently since the last six months.”

-“MashaAllah.”, everything seemed like a perfect tale. I was still wondering what part of it upsets her today. I let her continue uninterrupted.

-” You know what the most impressive thing in his profile was? He said,

“if I want a Khadijah (radiallahu anhu) for my wife, I must adapt the ways of the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam).”

Subhanallah! His thoughts were so profound. This, and so many other striking quotes to emphasize his love for deen and maturity.”

“And among His Signs is this that He created for you wives (spouses) from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for people who reflect.”

(Surah Ar-Rūm, 30:21)

She then showed me their conversation in the matrimonial website. Everything seemed simple, nice and halal. She asked him certain questions about his practices and beliefs, his answers Alhamdulillah were wise and perfect. He asked her a few things and she, is MashaAllah a righteous woman. I must admit, I was very impressed by such crisp and respectful conversation. More so because they were very serious about deen and their future ambitions with respect to dawah. I looked up staring blank at her face not know in where this was heading to. What next?

-” So my wali seemed very impressed with him and he too seemed pleased. Therefore, we decided to take it to the next level. With mutual consent, we agreed to permit each other to view our photographs.”

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It was a moment of suspense. The last thing I would hope for was they closing the conversation because of their looks. Aleena, for me was a dark beauty. Though slightly dusky in complexion, I have always found her features mesmerising. Her sophistication and wisdom quite added up to the charm. Aadil on the other hand, I remembered was fine as well. I wondered where the story was heading to.

-” after viewing the photographs, this is what he replied,

AsSalaamu alaikum, I will show your profile to my mother and let you know of updates. Meanwhile, if there are any updates from your end, please let me know.“. ”

SubhanAllah! That means he was pleased with the way she looked! It seemed to be the perfect story. Alhamdulillah, Aadil too was an average looking man but for people who strive for deen, appearances are but secondary. Aleena went on to tell me how before they shared their photographs, Aadil had mentioned that how deen was primary for him and then appearances. Subhanallah, and that’s what he had appreciated upon reading her profile.

And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.” (Surah Al Furqān, 25:74)

Now all of this brings me to square one. Why is Aleena upset? I called for a warm cup of coffee. It sure was going to be long conversation. I shrug myself and patiently look forward to what was going to come.

To be continued...

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An Unworthy Compromise

An Unworthy Compromise – Part 1

I was looking forward to meet Aleena that day. I was quite taken aback when she called me up yesterday seeking an appointment. She is my friend, she does not need an appointment to speak to me! She sounded low.

Aleena, is one sister I admire a lot. An educated, bright young muslimah. She was everything you would like to see in a practising muslimah. Well read, striving to gather knowledge, humble, soft spoken, sophisticated and kind. There is a passion she holds for the deen which is hard to describe. It is like a fire within her to work actively for the betterment of Islam. It is hard to let someone like that down. I sure was waiting for her.

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Oh, I am Zobia. A behaviour therapist cum counsellor by the will of Allah (subhana wa ta’aala). They say not everything that glitters is gold. How often do we see in life this thing coming true. Indeed there lies perfection in Tawheed, and how imperfect and fragile this dunya is.

Everything is a lesson (if you take so), every passing cloud, every sign of nature, every dark night and every flowing stream. Life is a school in itself if one observes. Yet another lesson was learnt in the very small passing event, which is like something which many people go through on daily basis. However, it’s an eye opener only if one ponders! I experienced it once again like all the times by the Grace of Allah (subhana wa ta’aala).

And whomsoever Allah guides, there is none that can mislead him.” ( Surah Az Zumar , 39:37)

Aleena was on time, Alhamdulillah. It had been months that I had met her. My profession keeps me busy. There is hardly a day that I have enough time to socialise. Alhamdulillah, for small mercies like WhatsApp and Facebook that I am able to keep the little touch that I do with my friends. She seems to have lost some weight. I could trace a hint of frustration on her face. I remember that she had begun to look for suitable grooms for herself to complete half the deen. I assumed it was perhaps with respect to that, though I hoped for the best.

We greeted each other and settled down. After a brief conversation to comfort her, the conversation drifted to the issue. What was disturbing her?

– You are aware that I was looking for a spouse, right?

– ahan, yes. Is it related to the issue?

– hmmm, yes. The last couple of weeks have consumed me completely. All I feel is despair and distress. I do not know why I am so affected.

– what happened? Tell me

– I made an account in matrimonyfordeen123.com and I came across a guy- Aadil. You know Zobia, the matrimonial website is exclusively for Muslims and it claims to be the haven of only those who take the deen seriously. Alhamdulillah, we find many practising brothers and sisters having put up their profiles there seeking alliance. Needless to say, I too was looking for someone practising. When I enlisted the things I wanted in my potential spouse, I was advised by my wali that we shall never find someone having 100% qualities that we want. Therefore, if we find someone 60% of what we are looking for, In Shaa Allah, we must seek to go ahead with the matter. But Zobia, what happened with me was miraculous. This boy, Aadil, was 100% of what I wanted. When I read through his profile, I was so stunned. It was as if he made it keeping me in his mind. It was a perfect match from a third eye…

To be continued…

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________________________

#AN INSPIRED TALE #

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The flip side

The Flip Side- Story 5

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My daughter graduates today. It takes a while to accept the fact that my little Ahana is 21 now! Her father and I sit there watching with pride as she collects her degree on the stage. I won’t say years flew by and I did not realise how fast she grew, but I know I am blessed. Like every believer, I had my hardships and afterwards, I found ease.

I was widowed at 30. Ahana’s father, had a fatal accident, leaving me and my daughter of 6 behind. It was a time which makes my hair stand even today. I was hysterical, directionless and scared. Death, though the biggest truth, still remains the most ignored aspect of our lives.

Alhamdulillah, for the support from my parents in law. My iddat served as a phase to compose myself- to accumulate my shattered self. Things started falling in place. I found myself a decent job to make my ends meet, my daughter was doing well in academics and co-curriculums, friends and neighbours dropped a kind word here and there, and in all this I felt the mercy of Allah subhanah wa ta’ala Who soothed our hearts in despair. Even in the hardest times, I never lost hope completely. Even in the shallowest moments, I had jannat-ul-firdous to aim for.

My life became a humdrum affair. However, six years down the line, things changed. I disclosed my wish to get married. Within a snap, my well wishers and sympathizers became my greatest critics. The kind words turned into scornful remarks and awful stares. What wrong did I want? Was it not a sunnah? What were they disapproving? My wish or the Prophet’s path (salallahu alayhi wasallam)?

Narrated `Abdullah bin `Umar:

When Hafsa became a widow,” `Umar said, “I met Abu Bakr and said to him, ‘If you wish I will marry Hafsa bint `Umar to you.’ I waited for a few days then Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) asked for her hand. Later Abu Bakr met me and said, ‘Nothing stopped me from returning to you concerning your offer except that I knew that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) had mentioned (his wish to marry) her, and I could never let out the secret of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) . If he had left her, I would have accepted her.’ “  [Sahih al Bukhari 5145]

What did they know about living alone? I was tired. I was tired of being both the man and woman of the house. I was tired of coming back home and staring at the emptiness. I was tired of missing Abdul’s companionship. I was devoid of the warmth I once shared with my beloved.

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What did they want? That I grieve all life and one day when my daughter moves on to have a life of her own, I sit alone and die in an empty house all alone? Is this what widows are entitled to? My Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) did not leave behind this line of thinking. Which culture are they the following whilst adhering to muslim names?

Narrated Zainab bint Um Salama:

When Um Habiba bint Abi Sufyan was informed of her father’s death, she asked for perfume and rubbed it over her arms and said, “I am not in need of perfume, but I have heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, “It is not lawful for a lady who believes in Allah and the Last Day to mourn for more than three days except for her husband for whom the (mourning) period is four months and ten days.”    [Sahih al Bukhari 5345]

Amidst all this, when I was getting all sorts of bitter calls and messages from the closest relatives of how I am shaming them, I had my kind parents in law. The one time they called, they expressed their happiness at my decision. They offered help and assured complete support from their end. My daughter understood me. At 12, all she asked was whether it would make her mother stop crying and I said In-shaa-Allah.

Prophet (Sal Allaahu Alaiyhi wa Sallam): ‘Trials will continue to befall the believing man and woman, with regard to themselves, their children and their wealth, until they meet Allah with no sin on them.’ (Tirmidhi– saheeh by al-Albaani)

I put up my profile in matrimony and sought help from close friends. Pious, kind, responsible, wise and good character- were the things I needed. All I wanted was good companionship from my future spouse. Time and again I would read how Umm Salama (radiallahu anha) thought she could never get a better husband after her widowhood but Allah is the best disposer of affairs. Alhamdulillah, she got a proposal from the best man who walked on the face of earth- Our Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam). SubhanAllah.

Abdul was everything I had wanted in my spouse. The kindest and the most loving man to me. Yes, I did fear whether my future spouse would be able to take his place but then, I realised that I was not looking for a replacement. I would be married to a different person in shaa Allah and like any marriage, it would be a new start for us and new struggles to make it work by the will of Allah.

It was only after I got a few proposals that I realised, our society is going towards the worse. It was going to be a long drawn affair! Sigh. Perhaps there is no ‘right man’ who would accept a widow just like that. There were demands for dowry, offers for temporary marriage in exchange for lifetime maintenance, suggestions to send my daughter to her grandparents, conditions to carry on my job and give money to the man, offers of house-husbands and alcoholics, requests to give up the hijab etc. I despaired. Was a widow meant to compromise? Was there no pious man out there who would marry for Allah’s pleasure?

I know there were many making genuine duaas for me. I was blessed to be in this trial for I extracted the gems from amongst my people- a handful whom I hold close to my heart. SubhanAllah, indeed he hears all duaas. Months later, I got a mail from Basheer. A mail which contained exactly the words I wanted to read. He was 41 and seeking alliances. From a humble background, worked hard to establish himself and before he could realise he was 41! A sinner but a repenter at the same time. Establishes all 5 pillars of Islam, keeps away from all haram and was looking for someone who would help him increase his imaan. Was ready to care for my daughter and was seeking my approval.

I responded and we arranged a meeting in presence of my father in law. Within the first meet, I realised that he indeed was very well learnt about deen. My father in law was happy with him too. We did our istikharas, sought guidance from Allah subhanah wa ta’ala and as a result he has been the coolness of my eyes for 9 years now.

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Yes, we are married. He is the best I could ask from Allah. Compassionate and loving. An amazing father to my daughter and most importantly, a humble servant to Allah. He has taught me a lot about deen and with him, I have only become a better person and a better muslim.

Those who disliked my decision, still don’t like it much. They are ignorant, we forgave them long back. To a few Basheer gifted a book on The Prophet’s wives.

I am still amazed the way my life has spun. I am thankful, yet eager to experience more. I look up and make dua to be ordained with the best that Allah has destined for me. Indeed, He is the All Knowing, All Seeing and All Hearing.

 Allah says:

‘…and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.’ (Qur’an 2: 216)

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#a fictional tale

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In my words...

. . .and then I called you. (Part 8)

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Saaiq:

I sat aghast. Time froze for me. For a split scond I thought she was joking. Every second that ticked made me hope that she would suddenly start laughing and declare it to be a joke. However, that wasn’t how it went. Her expressions remained as it was, as if someone had torn her soul.

Wallahi, I couldn’t blink a lid as she remembered her past and narrated everything she went through. To imagine a Mairah in love with another, did hurt. Was I a replacement? Did she love me as much? I could see the bruises that were made raw this morning. Did she often remember her past before this day?

I don’t know why I behaved the way I did. As she completed, I felt betrayed. There was an overwhelm of emotions in me. Shaytaan overtook me. There was hurt, anger, sadness and confusion. Though I saw her right there, her face hung in shame, her hand in mine and a hope for mercy from me. Though deep within I wanted to stay and console her with good words. Yet, I got up and walked out of the house. I did not have words to speak to her, I did not have the heart to be there and like just another man, I left her alone… again. Simply sat in my yard waiting to absorb her words into me.

.. By the soul and (by) Him who made it perfect, and then inspired it to understand what is wrong and what is right for it. Truly is successful the one who purifies (his soul).  (Qur’an, 91: 7-9)

As an hour passed, reality struck. Her words flashed in my mind. A vivid imagery played. The imagery of her facing all of it alone. The time when she compiled herself and despite all blockades learnt to laugh. Those years must have been so difficult for her to bear. It was perhaps those years of hardships that polished her to be the gem that she is today. A person so close to our Maker, the woman who keeps my family close to our Rabb. My heart ached for her. I felt a tinge of anger for that man who could bring her to this. Alhamdulillah, she walked alone with pure faith on Allah.

And whoever is mindful of Allah, He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from an unexpected source. And when someone puts all his trust in Allah, He will be enough for him.” [Qur’an, 65:2-3]

I remembered my five years with her. From the first day when my aunt told me about this revert girl in her madressah- religious and pious, the first time I saw her and from the first day that we have been married, till this day when she is the mother of our son. All the moments we shared, all the smiles and all the tears. Did I still have an ounce of hesitation about our marriage being anything but the will of Allah? She had been a loyal companion, fulfilling every duty of a wife and helping me complete my obligations. She is my pair sent by Allah, the coolness of my eyes.

Among His proofs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, in order to have tranquility and contentment with each other, and He placed in your hearts love and care towards your spouses. In this, there are sufficient proofs for people who think. (Qur’an 30:21)

What did I just do? I left her alone at home. Didn’t I assure her that I would be there and that she could share her worry? She placed her trust on me. Why did I not control my nafs before leaving her hand and walking out? Wallahi, who was I to be angry with her?

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As I reached home, I saw her seated right where I left her. Her eyes twinkled with hope, the tears that glistened gave way to a faint smile. My heart gave away whatever burden that it was carrying. That smile sealed my heart with assurance. I smiled back and gave her the warmest hug.

Allah says  “…And live with them (your wives) in kindness…” (Quran 4:19)

Thoughts didn’t leave me.. Should I let her go? What if it pains her to be before them again? What if I loose a part of my lady? It was she that I worried for. Could I let her go through the agony again? Did I have it in me to soothe her and heal her heart with love? I didn’t have much time. We had to decide.

 Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) said to `Umar (radiallahu anhu), “Shall I tell you the best a man can treasure? It is a good wife. If he looks at her, she gives him pleasure; if he orders her, she obeys; and if he is away from her, she remains faithful to him”. (Abu Dawood)

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I held her hand (this time not to let go) and asked, – “do you want to go Mairah?”

She nodded, “hmmm.. she is our sister in ummah”

I heaved a sigh. Alhamdulillah, made a silent duaa. Was Allah not the turner of hearts and the one who heals? He is As Salām, the Source of Peace and Al Muīd, the Restorer. He is the controller of Mairah’s and my heart and only He can give us ease.

-“then we shall go Mairah. In shaa Allah. Prepare for our visit to India”

The Prophet(salallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “The best among you are those who are best to their family and I am the best to my family.”
(Tirmizi, ibn Majah)

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To be continued. . .

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