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.

Standard
Excerpts from my life

The Vain Muslim Wedding-3

​Comes the wedding day. Sleep deprived me is in full mood to dodge the wedding party and catch a nap. Sigh! but that was against the decree of Allah. No corner I found could remain away from the mystic touch of chattering crowd. My ears obviously would flap wide open whenever someone commented on matters regarding Islam. The groom was dressed, his hair oiled and perfumed. The amusing part is Muslims here believe in doing everything auspicious facing the Kiblah. Let me give away the happenings now..

1. Great Food: No denying this. Food is superb. It was however sad that I had a hard time eating all the gravy and masala and chat from under my niqab due to the presence of males all around. At the end of the festivities, a lot of it goes wasted. The surprising thing was when some poor relatives expressed interest to take some food back home, they were denied. A day later, it was in news that lots and lots of food was wasted and thrown.
Another amazing thing I witnessed for the first time was food stealing in the wedding party. Hoards of sheermal (delicious Indian bread) were sneaked in and locked by some relatives, creating a shortage whilst serving the guests.  No wonder so many people were astonished seeing one on my plate! 😀 Yeah I managed to get one of those last pieces served. 

2. Nikah Rules Crashed: women gathered into a room for the nikah to be conducted. Phew. Finally that one moment where I could remove my niqab and flash my make up a bit. 

No no no. What I forgot was that it was the best opportunity for the Romeos to catch a view of all beautiful ladies at one go! So we had Romeos peeping in one after another and Juliet’s blushing or acting to ‘not care’ .. Blah blah blah burrrrrrrrrrrr

Soon the bride accepted the groom as her husband. And there was a group crying session. They cried and cried and cried. 

This moment amuses me every time. In the excitement of getting married, I forgot to cry at my wedding. :-/  Till date when I witness the brides weeping, I try hard to grasp the emotion but I am only left gawking 

Then I was waiting for the khutba…but….. There was none that I could hear. Husband says, nikah khutba was merely a formality of few things uttered and nobody paying attention. Nobody bothered about putting up speakers for the audience and women to listen to the khutba. 

The bride is then taken to dress up. Yeah, they get married in one costume. Cry and ruin that make up and costume. Then they change for the final look. So the $1000 (Rs. 65,000 approx) wedding gown is just tossed off after 30minuted of use. And to shop for it, we waste approximately 746373hours. [Warning: serious exaggerations!]

3) Dwaar chikhai– so I was boggled when I was stopped at the door after we went back home. I was clueless. A random me asked what the matter was

-“there is a ritual left. Dwar chikai” , says the groom’s sister

-” what’s that? “, clueless super innocent me

-” you don’t even know what dwar chikai is?” , sharp taunt from irritating aunty. As if not knowing dwar chikai disqualifies me to set my foot on this piece of earth.

-“it’s not even an Islamic ritual :-O”, bang on reply.  

The stupidest thing she went to do after this is to complain to my mom in law. 

-“your daughter in law says dwar chikai is shirk ”

-“it’s not shirk. It’s biddah”, I prompt from behind

*smug* *smug*

-“haan haan she is right “, says my ever supporting mom in law

Haha. We giver her the “loser” look and annoying aunty shies away from yet another failed attempt. 

So the groom is basically stopped at the doorstep and denied entry or privacy with his wife unless he pays some money. 

So what was all the fuss about? Grrrrrrrr

4) Joota churai : Grooms shoes are stolen by bride’s sister and he must pay a price ten times its market price to get it back. Bride’s sister/ bridesmaids laugh and tease the groom. Groom’s brother/groomservants tease them back by refusing to pay. Finally groom obliges and increases the cost price of those shoes by thousands.

5) A beautiful bride: You see none like them. Hearts skip a beat to witness their beauty. Even of the male audience as they come to click pics and view the brides sitting on the stage. Decked up and gorgeous. The bride now adorns sindoor (auspicious religious red powder to signify marital status of women in Hinduism) and bindi (red dot on forehead denoting the same). 

Finally after being on stage for 2-3hrs, the bride has to be deported to her marital home. Therefore, she wears her seventh dress of the evening. She is covered in an abaya customarily, which is soon taken off when she sits in the car. They cry a lot again and I scratch my head wondering why. 😀 I am being mean I guess. 

The vain wedding is followed by a month of controversies and disputes. Many are still finding out flaws in the much extravagant wedding. Pointing out shortcomings in gradeur or royal treatment of guests. Arguing over how they felt humiliated when XYZ said so and so ..or when the bride’s mother did not do so and so for her. The villains are investigated by the Sherlock Holmes of the family who knew the realty of ABC since ever but found this an appropriate moment to unleash their reality. We also get intimations of who said what about us and how much the informer loves us for having informed us (though said nothing in our defence on the spot)..and the saga goes on and on and on…..

Phew..

Jazakallah khair for being my patient reader. May Allah reward you

Standard
Excerpts from my life

The Vain Muslim Wedding-2

The benefit of observing purdah was that nobody expected any help in the chores from me. The chores required roaming around the place and Therefore, amidst the chaos, I could stick to an isolated corner of the house and write this

My companions kept changing. Each came and left for some work soon after. But I stayed there without being tagged the useless vain bahu (daughter in law). 

Here come more facts and features of the Vain Muslim Wedding:

1) The Deen Discussions- Everyone gets the opportunity to explore the  ulama in them. So we get to hear innumerable fatwas and rulings Like keeping  hing (asafetida) in a paper with the bride and family to keep them safe in journey, reciting all five kalimas before nikah, piercing nose is fardh for married women, drinking water the sunnah way gives you reward of 100 martyrs, congregational duas being sunnah and of course various situation where it is “Okay” to remove niqab . 

2) Cramped spaces: This is all about crowded places and messy floors. The house becomes a mess due to the two person per square feet population density. There is water, paper, wrappers, shoes, dropped food and many stamped crushed somethings on the floor. I have spent hours searching for a clean 5*2 sq feet space inaccessible by males for ten minutes so that I could comfortably offer my Salah. 

3) Sleep deprivation: There is no fun when you’re sleep deprived. Period. The functions went on until 1:30-2:00am. You crawl in the morning to make it for fajr (only to find the entire household sleeping due to hangover after partying hard). Just as you get a little sleep, the commotion starts. People start roaming around the house for morning walks, thereby entering each room and checking out if anyone is available for the day’s talking session start. Sometimes there will also be an old auntys group coming in and hanging out in the room for a chit chat in trembling loud voices to comfortably hear each other. There is no sleeping after that. People people people people people people people people people people people people people people people people people people people people people people

4) The day before wedding– it starts with Qur’an Khawni. People are hired to read Quran in your home within 15minutes and get done with it. You gotta fit Allah somewhere dude. So just squeeze time out for it.Family and guests are here and there “acting busy”

Then we have more important stuff like haldi cum sangeet (Music ceremony). We get a DJ and shake that leg of yours babe! There is mehendi (applying turmeric on the bride) and we have cameramen to record it too. 

Gifts for the bride and groom is exotically spread on display and everyone is informed to come and view. There are heaps of gold & diamond jewelery, shoes, accessories, clothes etc. I dont even remember what that ritual was called. 

Rest of the day was all about being bothered about food and dodging the eyes of men.

5)Food- That is everything women in the household do. I don’t know why managing food takes a caterer as well as 50 men in the marriage venue and 50 women at home. The day would begin with people scrambling for a cup of tea and biscuits. Next, chaos would start for where the breakfast was. People would spend hours to figure out whether to have it in the wedding venue or whether to import it at home. Some would leave while others would choose to be at home because going to venue would mean getting dressed up. 

Thus, for them breakfast would finally arrive at 1pm. Lunch would arrive post 4pm. The food is always royal but until dinner evryome would have lost appetite. 

Third day into the ceremony and everyone had given up. 90% did not have supper. Many piled it on plates out of greed and couldn’t swallow beyond few morsels. 

Result? Overused washrooms and some unpleasant odour in the air. 😀 *chuckles*
I cannot believe the post has gone to be so long and I am still not done with my critical analysis. We will follow up with a third part.
By the way, I feel so cheesy to have written “The Wedding Saga” series. I read that a few days back and couldn’t stop gawking at how mushy I was to write that. I wanted to delete it out of embarrassement or redo the framing. Ones who read it deserve an apology. 

Come back for part 3! 

Standard
Excerpts from my life

The Wedding Saga – Part 2

I don’t know how I was destined to be a part of a wedding so beautiful. Everything was just perfect. When the date was finalized, I freaked out. “Only ten days later!”. That was my first reaction. 

I shoved aside all my dreams of having any celebration. Perhaps that was another sacrifice and test for my after having accepted this deen.

It was so, till I told them. Oh yes! This story is about them. The stories have always been about us. Not the king, not the queen…but the pristinity in the relations for the sake of Allah. My sisters in deen. 


I told them I really needed them. I wanted them to come. It was not an invitation as a guest but a desperate request. I told them I need them by my side as my family. It was a short notice, and tickets would be hard to get. But for them to be there was all I wanted. I didn’t want a lonely wedding.


They are a handful but Alhamdulillah, it amazes me to this day how our hearts bonded. Most of us met virtually and with time Allah azza wajal helped us meet on one occasion or other. Despite the distance, despite the sudden notice, despite all odds each one said yes!


I don’t know how and when they managed to arrange all that they did. How Sana apa managed to plan tiny ceremonies all by herself.. How Afaaf stood by me in a jittery moment..how Ayesha, Zara, Farheen, Pushra, Mehar and Asiyah managed to arranged the tiniest bit of jewelery. I do not know how they did it in just ten days

Two days before my wedding were spent with Sana apa’s home. Those were few of the warmest days I have experienced in my life. Words shall do no justice. It was beginning to feel like a wedding. 
My mehr jewellery had arrived.. It was beautiful. Alhamdulillah. There were clothes lined up, trials on, make up being done, women chatting and laughing.. I was being treated as the bride. 🙂 Then came the most unexpected moment of the day…. 

close your eyes….


I did.


**some ruffling and rumbling **


-open them now



I did



It was this- 




I don’t know whether I deserved it. I wished for it…I dreamt of it.. I had lost hope of anything even close to it.. And here it was spread before me. A moment captured within me for eternity.. And I know, in sha Allah, I’ll see this moment repeat itself when I pass it on to another revert marrying for the sake of Allah. This time I’ll see her well, reminiscing this moment again….

To be continued…

Standard
An Unworthy Compromise

An Unworthy Compromise- Part 3

#An Inspired Tale

image

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.

image

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!

image

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)

_______________________________
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.

Standard