This was written by one of our Core Members which we thought we should share with you all J
"A Note of Love to All My Single Girlfriends"
by Zarina Ibnatu Zul Mukhshar
Last night my husband & I went for grocery shopping and we bought not-so-glamorous stuffs for the house like floor cleaner, cooking oil & rice; and then it struck me that we’re so married! Hehe... Alhamdulillah… It got me thinking of the things that I would do instead last night if I was still single; and it reminds me of my single friends who (I assume) like me once – waiting, hoping & looking for Mr. Right. Yes, I was all that, waiting, hoping & looking, and now when Allah sends my husband to me,for me, it happened so quickly, so fast, we were married within two-and-a-half months after the first day we laid eyes on each other! How did it happen? It’s Allah’s decree, no doubt. Alhamdulillah..
Before I deep-dive further into my marriage, I feel that I need to do my part to share with you bits and pieces of advice on the journey of finding ‘the one’. Please take this from my own experience and observation and it is not anyway to be treated like 'the checklist', but I think it will help insyaAllah.
#1 – Be Fair
A friend of mine told me that ‘we’ll get who we deserve’, and many years later I realized and come to my wisdom that it’s true; and to me, it’s even written in the Quran that: “…women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity is for women of purity” – Qur’an 24:26. So ladies, before we list down our criteria in a man that we’re looking for, like “Dia mestilah seorang yang bertanggung jawab, beriman & menghormati orang tua etc., do reflect again are we all that in the first place? Are we responsible? Are we pious? Are we respectful to the elders?
#2 – Hook Up with Allah & Allah will Hook You Up
We are Muslims. And we know that Allah is the Creator and He holds our future, our life. And only from Him we could be guided to find the one, the right one, the good one. So do check out this great article on the explanation of Hook Up with Allah & Allah will Hook you Up. I hold this concept true to my heart during my single days and hopefully you'll find it beneficial too insyaAllah.
#3 – Be Proactive
When I and a few other friends were single, we are inspired by the story of our Mother of the Believers, Khadijah Binti Khuwailid r.a. There is an article on it, which is “Just Because Khadijah Ask” and one of the excerpts in the article says:
“Khadijah asked. Khadijah, may Allah’s Mercy be upon her, asked about Prophet Muhammad for marriage. She initiated the communication. She sent someone on her behalf to find out if he was available for marriage. And it was because she asked, that she got that blessed answer. And with that answer, was the beginning of the of the greatest stories of love for all times, and also one of the greatest examples of a true muhsina and mumina. A woman older than him, previously married with children, was inquiring about a younger bachelor, from one of the best tribes in town. The honor of his acceptance wasn’t just hers alone. It was his too. He was going to marry one of the most beautiful hearts in all of Mecca. A woman who’s heart would sacrifice everything she had to support him, and Islam. Khadijah asked.”
Check out this website for the article:
I’m not saying just get out there and ask any male passers-by if they’re single and looking; but be truthful to begin with. The next time your aunts asking you when you’re getting married?; instead of replying “I just want to focus on my career for now”, please remove your ego and say “I have not found one, why not you introduce me to someone Aunty? I am ready to settle down.” They will usually quickly think of someone for you, or the at least they will think of you when the next time any of her friends start asking for any single girls to marry their bachelor sons, and if that doesn't happen too, the very least they will stop asking you when and that will lift unnecessary pressure.
Besides that, be active in community service, environmental projects, language classes, or any halal activities of your interest. You’d tend to meet more people outside your regular circle of friends, and raise the possibilities of meeting the one; and best of all he will share the same interest as you. Sharing the same interest is always a good thing to begin with.
#4 – He will be the Father of Your Children
I went for a talk by Yunus Kathrada, he told us a story of a man who went to see a Syeikh to seek advice on his newborn child. Which is good to always seek advice, but the Syeikh responded to the man “It’s too late”. Why? The Syeikh said that the process of raising an excellent child begins even before we get married - by selecting a good spouse to begin with. I have heard stories about girl meets boy at Hard Rock Café, at Zouk nightclub and what else have we. I cannot say that couples met at all these places would be heading to a crappy marriage, but think about it. Don’t we all want a good beginning for our union that would bear us pious and righteous kids in the future?
For a very good lecture on this, please YouTube search this: "mufti menk parent~child relationship"
Maybe what I'm trying to say is, all human are born with a fitrah, an innate feeling of returning to the Almighty Allah. No matter how naughty we are at a point of our lives, at the back of our heads I'm sure we'll be thinking "I will repent and return to Allah one day". But, if girl meets boy at nightclub, and then they get married, years later the girl feels like she wants to get closer to Allah while the boy still would like to party; then we'll see a problem when the girl and her kids starts going to religious classes and want to go for Umrah, while her husband refuse to even pray his solat. Tricky right? Let's think far, and choose wisely.
Besides that, observe his temperament & his reaction towards children – the last thing you would want when you’re married with 3 kids crying in your arms, you ask for his help with the kids and he says.. “You know right honey, me and kids just don’t gel”…
#5 – Eliminate, Banish Your Baggage
I believe there is wisdom for free-mixing and dating is haraam in Islam. We all know that GF-BF concept is superficial; we will never get to know the true color of someone until we live with them – day in, day out. And the uglier side of this “dating” relationship is, it does not always have the happy ending. I have heard stories of a bride crying on her wedding day when her ex-boyfriend called her up for a last good bye, some still can’t get over their exes even after having children; some still secretly get in touch with their exes “just to ask “How have you been”?” subhanAllah… May Allah protect us from this.
If you still have issues or still cannot get over an ex, deal with it now. It will fog-up your path to find the one, and you will always have the shadow of your ex over your decision on moving on with another man. You would only want to have a vision of you and your husband and your kids in the future, and not the thought of “How would it be if I marry him instead?” Wise up, girls!
#6 – Be Selective, Not Picky
I believe there is a fine line between being selective and picky. To me, if you decline a proposal from a guy that is pleasing to the eyes, well mannered and has a stable income; but he smokes & you realized that he seldom attends Friday prayers, then yes you're being selective. But if you decline a proposal from a guy that is pleasing to the eyes, well mannered, has stable income, doesn't smoke, and is Allah-fearing, but he is a mommy's boy (or he's balding, or he has an interesting hobby of collecting dried leaves) then you're being picky.
Key thing to remember here “Deal Breaker”. If he has or lacks of certain pivotal quality/characteristic that you cannot live with/without then it is big reason not to marry him. For example, if you know you're a career driven person and have major career ambitions but your potential husband wants you to eventually quit your job to look after the kids then that's the “Deal Breaker”. But please do not confuse deal breaker with differences. For example, if you like to eat Japanese and hates Italian food but he cannot bear the thought of eating raw fish but loves pasta, this is not deal breaker. Both of your can still work around differences and it is silly to have a big fight over which restaurant to go have dinner. But “Deal Breakers” are something that could most likely put a strain in a marriage in which failing to manage could lead to divorce. See the significance?
However, please try not to overanalyze and being hypercritical. Another key thing to remember is: Nobody Is Perfect, and no sayang, not even you.
#7 – Be Ready to Give (Up)
Marriage is not all about sex. It's not all about him showering you with endless love and affection. It's not all about cuddling & curling up together in the bed every night. Yes, it is all that, but it is not all and everything about that. It's not all about you! Marriage needs sustenance, and it does not come for free, you need to work for it. You need to give. Just like how we expect our men to know manly stuffs like how to change the car tyre when it punctures or know to repair a leaking pipe or how to assemble a DIY baby cot; I'm sure men would also expect the wives to know womanly stuffs like how to cook, how to do laundry properly and perhaps iron man's work clothes.
Of course most of us could say that it's the modern world now, women don't need to know how to cook and clean and that we can get a maid to do all that. But would you really want to get a maid to cook your husband's meals & iron your husband's work shirts? I know it's easier said than done, but who say that to maintain a happy marriage is effortless & easy?
Ready to give, includes being ready to give up. Do you have male friends who you often hang with, or who to you “we're just friends?” or “we've been friends for so long he's like a brother to me”? Guess what? After you're married, I would need to advice you to give them up like a bad habit. I know along the years we have made so many friends including guy friends, but once we're married we CANNOT hang out with them anymore. I am not saying we cannot be friends anymore, but it is with a lot of limitation. I trust that you would use your wisdom on how to draw the line. Even though you future husband is the “coolest” guy on earth (and Allah forbids) he allows you hang out with any of your guys friends, once you're being seen by other people hanging out with another guy other than your husband, you've lit a spark for fitnah and speculation which will spread like wildfire. Imagine a neighbour saw you walking with your male friend at a mall, and she tells your mother in-law. High voltage drama huh?
Trust. Could take years to build, but only a minute to destroy.
#8 - It's Him Not His Money
So, he drives a BMW and earns RM20k a month? OR. So, he drives his father's first car and don't really have a proper job? BUT I say So what?
Often times girls will look for a man that is wealthy and rich - that's completely common. Its a biological and psychological thing. We need look for men that can "hunt & gather" to provide security, shelter and food to take care of us and our young. It's a survival thing.
However, either he is rich or broke; he is actually rich or broke NOW. Who are we to say that their wealth will be there forever, or that they will earn very little money for lifetime? The key point to stress, is his deen (iman) & character. Does he have the right knowledge and iman to guide you and your young. Does he have maturity and good character to endure the challenges of the world and maried life? I am not saying, go into marriage blindly but please use your wisdom and not your desire. He may not have much today, but if you see that he has the willpower to work hard to earn a better living and you believe with all your heart that Allah is All Provider, insyaAllah you'll be fine.
For me, during the ta'aruff (introduction meeting) with my then-not-yet-husband, I asked him about his education. To me and maybe to a lot of parents education is key. Personally, I don't mind if he is a burger flipper at Ramly Burger (he's not by the way), but if he has a qualification, or a degree or something, insyaAllah he has something to fall back on. I didn't ask him about how much he's earning or anything like that, because it's not important to me. Have faith in Allah that He is The All Provider.
From Umar ibn Al-Khattab from the Prophet (sas) who said:
"If only you relied on Allah a true reliance, He would provide sustenance for you just as He does the birds: They fly out in the morning empty and return in the afternoon with full stomachs."
Ahmad, An-Nasaa’I, Ibn Majah, Al-Hakim and At-Tirmidhi who said: "Hassan sahih"
#9 – Know the Rights of Husband & Obligations of Wife, Vice Versa.
A lot of us dreams of getting married one day to wear nice dress on the wedding day. But after the wedding day is over a whole new world of responsibilities await you and him. Both husband and wife has a list of responsibilities within the Islamic guidelines. Read them up, study them. By abiding to this guidelines, almost certainly we can maintain a happy marriage by the will of Allah.
But often, during tense and trying times the husband and wife would usually accuse each other of not full filling his/her rights. For example the husband would say “You should beautify yourself for me and not look like a mess at home!”; and the wife would say something like “You're supposed to provide a home for us, but we been living with your housemate for months now!”
A key guideline to this is to prioritize your obligations as a wife and to respect the rights of the husband. And vice versa of course. Know your obligations, what you should do, your responsibilities BEFORE thinking about your rights, his obligations, what he should do and his responsibilities.
So now.. can you manage to fulfill all your obligations? Are you such a strong-headed person that would be able to listen to your husbands advice? Do you have the right attitude to be kind to your husband? Do you still think that after you're married you can do whatever you want and allow anybody into your house without your husband's permission? What would you do if you have a long tiring day at work but you need to fulfill your husband's physical desire? Do you have the right motivation to beautify yourself (at home) to be pleasing to his eyes with your appearance? Basically, do we have the right mindset to strive to be a good wife? Or do we still think it's all about me, me, me?
Please ponder on this hadith:
Qays ibn Sa'd Narrated: I went to al-Hirah and saw them (the people) prostrating themselves before a satrap (governor of a province in ancient Persia) of theirs, so I said: The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) has most right to have prostration made before him. When I came to the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him), I said: I went to al-Hirah and saw them prostrating themselves before a satrap of theirs, but you have most right, Apostle of Allah, to have (people) prostrating themselves before you. He said: Tell me , if you were to pass my grave, would you prostrate yourself before it? I said: No. He then said: Do not do so. If I were to command anyone to make prostration before another I would command women to prostrate themselves before their husbands, because of the special right over them given to husbands by Allah. [Hadith: Sunan Abu Dawud, 11:2135]
Heavy. I know... :(
But marriage is such a pure & beautiful thing that if we fulfill every obligations for the sake of Allah, we shall be rewarded for every effort insyaAllah.
Ibn Hibban narrated that the Prophet(Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said, “If a woman prayed five prayers, fasted in Ramadan, protected her honor and obeyed her husband; then she will be told (on the Day of Judgment): enter Paradise from any of its(eight) doors.”
#10 – It is the Marriage, Not the Wedding
I think we heard countless times that engaged couples are putting off marriage because they do not have enough money to hold the wedding. If you're imagining a wedding with rotating wedding cake, nasi minyak lobster menu, tents decorated with thousands of tulips from Amsterdam, and haute couture wedding dress - then no wonder why you need to put off your wedding.
But my dears, it's really not all about the wedding. Some of my friends asked me whether it was the happiest day of my life; I had a little trouble answering that because leading after the wedding is what matters more to me. The whole lifetime with this person that you should treat him as part of you; and build a family with children whom are the coolness of our eyes. InsyaAllah.. and that thought itself could make one very happy.
It's not about the wedding stuffs. I remember people who attended my wedding and the precious moments. How I was overwhelmed with emotions when my dad hug me tightly before the akad nikah & my mom whispered "you'll always be my baby" during the akad nikah ceremony. And the happiest thing I could remember on my wedding day was holding his hand for the very first time. That was surreal, I loved it so much. See? I don't remember much about the wedding stuffs; although they're really nice - the dress, the pelamin, the bunga telur, Alhamdulillah, but I don't remember that time and again. I always have this theory, the longer it takes to prepare a wedding the harder it gets to let the wedding itself go... After 1 year (or even more) of preparing, it will all be over in 2 days, and you'd go.. "That's it? That's The wedding?" So please, once you have met the right person to marry, go ahead with it – quickly.
So there you go. A little note of love from the quite newly married me to all my single sisters. I always make du'a for Allah to hasten the jodoh for all my single sisters with a pious and great men who will be the coolness of their eyes. Please make loads of du'a for yourselves too. Never lose hope in the mercy of Allah. “Hook up with Allah and Allah will hook you up”, remember? :)
A wife is like a gift to a man. And there is a hadith that goes like this:
"This world is just temporary conveniences, and the best comfort in this world is righteous women.” - Sahih Muslim 10/56.
So prepare yourself to be a gift (and not a test) to your future husband, so that one day he will hold you and look lovingly in your eyes and say “Alhamdulillah”.
Please make doa for me.
Zarina Ibnatu Zul Mukhshar
Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 8:40pm