What I Need From A Marriage

1. To be treated gently.

Because I come from a place where I have been treated so roughly, and insensitively by the vicious voices of my peers, friends and family. 

2. To be granted ample freedom and space within my relationship.

Because authority figures have invaded every area of my life allowing no room for freedom of choice all my life. So that my life has been a lifelong journey of rebellion. I don’t want my marriage to be.

3. To be affirmed.

Because I have a deep need for affirmation and attentiveness and a sense of belonging. Since I haven’t managed to get that from anywhere else.

4. To be accepted and understood

5. To be paid attention to.

6. To be forgiven for being imperfect. And loved for it.

7. To be listened to. 

Because the only one who has ever really listened to me, was me. It would be nice to have more than an audience of one for a change.

8. To be kissed, and hugged, and told Im beautiful. Every few hours of the day. Every day.

9. To be treated like a Queen, a new romantic interest, a girlfriend, and a wife, all in one. That means dates, and presents, and long make out sessions.

10. To be allowed to love you back, in all the ways from 1-9.

How To Sell Yourself

Bangladeshi wedding at Dhaka

Have you ever thought how much you are worth?

If you had to lay out your best attributes and features one by one.

How much do you think you would be worth?

Not monetary wise – but your worth.

Your value.

Would you be a catch?

If so, what makes you think you ARE a catch?

Are you:

Educated?

Beautiful?

Slim?

Polite?

Humble?

Giving?

Adventurous?

Religious?

Family oriented?

What positive attributes do you think garner more value?

Hmm.

I was thinking about the past.

And how a certain ex, could have been considered by many as a very appealing or, if you will, worthy package.

However, it meant naught to me.

It was like having a massive, juicy burger in your hands.

Yet, you are craving a pizza.

No matter how nice that burger is. You just don’t feel like it.

You want a pizza!

But one persons pizza….is another persons burger.

LOL!

I am beginning to talk in circles and metaphors – eek!

Hehe.

My point is… (yes, there was a point after all. Honest! ;-))…. we all have somebody out there for us.

Because our exact packaging, though not so weighty to some – may be incredibly valuable to others.

So ‘Excellent cook, listener, calm and quiet ‘ could be exactly what someone is looking for.

Whilst ‘ Noisy, adventurous, humorous and loves to travel’ could be somebody else’s dream husband.

Don’t sell yourself short.

You are worthy.

It’s all about a good sales pitch! 😉

Uncomfortable

I make people uncomfortable.

I don’t know why or how I do it.

I just do.

See.

I’m brown.

I’m a woman.

I’m educated.

And clever.

I’m Arab.

And Muslim.

I also have a big Afro.

Did I mention I was African too?

A female, brown skinned, Muslim, afro sporting, Arab-African.

I just put so many different kinds of people on edge …it would be funny if it wasn’t a little tragic.

Why do people feel so affronted by what or who I am?

I find myself constantly explaining myself:

I am Kenyan. Yes. But I am Kenyan Arab. Yes, I am Arab by ethnicity. Originally my family were from the middle east.

I am not poor.

Even though I am African.

I am not oppressed. Even though I am a Muslim woman wearing Hijab.

I am not married. And I do not have 10 kids. *Grits teeth* Even though I am a Muslim woman wearing Hijab.

I will not straighten my hair. It grows out of my head this way.

Yes, I know I speak good English.

Yes, we have Muslims in Kenya.

Yes, *groan* my parents paid lots of money for my university education. Sorry to disappoint you I’m not poor. Even though I am African.

I spend my day deflecting these kind of questions.

Sometimes, I feel, wouldn’t it be easy, to try out being white and blonde for one day?

Just so that I can be the current post card version of what the world seems to deem ‘ideal’.

And then I remember its kind of fun being me.

It just so happens that I am many labels all at once.

And people have a field day trying to choose which label to ascribe to me each day.

Am I Muslim?

Or am I Muslim and Black?

Or am I Muslim and Arab?

Or am I an Educated Muslim Woman?

Or maybe today I am a poor African?

Maybe I should use that to my advantage 😉

xx

Beautiful People

Beautiful.

Inside and out.

An Angel.

Allah made you so.

 

Would that I could

Be even a little like you.

You held my hand.

When no one else could.

You wiped away my tears.

When no one else would.

 

Would that I could.

Show you.

How much that meant to me.

 

I could never,

Ever,

Ever.

Thank you enough.

إدعيلي‎

Hijab Wedding Style

Thats me 🙂 For my cousins wedding.

Basically, a new Hijab Evening Style.

You take your dress to the fabric store. Pick out fabric that matches the dress (mine was pink)

And then go to the salon to get the lady to pin it up in an elaborate Up-do.

You can add brooches (Like my gold one, because my dress had gold accents), or flowers, or whatever else takes your fancy.

Use different kinds of fabrics, glittery, satiny, silk etc etc

Basially, LOTS OF FUN!!!

Muslim Man Seeking Wife

I never knew how difficult it was for muslim men to actually find a wife.

Until my cousin started looking 😉

Its not that simple.

When we are on the other side (the girl side) we sit there, hands folded, saying: ‘Where are all the good muslim men at??’

Unbeknownst to us, the men are doing the same thing!

They are complaining to their mothers and sisters and aunties, that it is difficult to find a good muslim girl to marry. Really.

Trust me.

This whole new modern age has thrown us for a loop.

Long gone is the age of aunties and grandmas recommending beautiful girls, and successful boys and making perfect matches.

Nowadays, people travel to study all across the globe. Girls are working in America, London, Australia. Equally perfectly eligible boys are trapped in an office in Dubai, Boston, Dallas.

We have lost the old fashioned ways of traditional arranged marriages.

So what replaces it?

That is the big question.

Do we date?

Do we meet guys on Facebook?

Do we join online Muslim dating sites and put up our ‘Bio Data?’ (said with the perfunctory Indian head nod. Lol)

Do we ask our sisters and aunties to look around for us and recommend someone appropriate?

And then what happens when you DO get a recommendation? What then??????

What are the rules of engagement?

Does he come and propose straight away?

Or can we chat for a bit on Skype and whatsapp?

Should I tell my mum immediately someone is interested in marrying me? What happens if it doesn’t work out?

Complicated I tell you.

Having been through the system myself….I can tell you. Its complicated.

I can only say:

Be open. Be honest. Pray to Allah.

Do not underestimate the power of prayer.

Allah wants us to pray to him.

Ask him, and he will answer.

My aunty told me a story of a guy who used to pray to Allah for a wife. He initially started by saying Allah, please let her be the one who is Kheir (good) for me. But also, he added a list of specifications. Green eyes, long hair, nice in character, religious..etc etc. He had an incredibly detailed list of specifics. However which each specification, he kept praying that above all, and most important may she be kheir for him.

When his family recommended a girl for him, and he met and married her, he was amazed. It was as though a girl was actually made to his exact specifications especially for him. She had all the features he had asked for and more. And Allah put between them a great love.

Do not underestimate the power of prayer.

Pray to Allah.

Also ask him to bring you closer to the person who is good for you. Kheir for you.

And secondly, be open minded.

He isn’t tall and muscular? Don’t dismiss him off the bat. Be open to considering him. Maybe he has other features you will love?

He doesn’t have the best job in the world (you wanted a Neurosurgeon like McDreamy in Greys)…well, just give him a chance. Maybe once you two are together, Allah will open doors you did not expect,and he will end up being richer and more respected than a Neurosurgeon.

Sometimes, I wish I could start a real system connecting people.

I know so many gorgeous, perfectly lovely men wanting to get married.

And so many gorgeous, perfectly lovely girls also wanting to settle down.

Now all I need to do is dust of my matchmaking skills and get to work ;p

I am accepting applications. Lol.

Also, I am still waiting for my Prince Charming, with hazel eyes and a 6 pack …;) But OVERALL, may he be kheir for me 😉 hehe.

xx

The Modern Muslim Husband

Islam

So nowadays people seem to have such a modern take on relationships.

A good friend of mine just told me about how he definitely wants a wife to contribute to the running of the house and their lives.

Well that in and of itself is not a bad thing.

But the fact that he listed that as a requirement and was adamant that it was a necessity and a requirement of her. I had to protest.

Islamically, the roles in marriage are set out very clearly.

The man is the provider. It is his Wajib (compulsory) responsibility to provide for his wife and children.

The wive’s Wajib responsibility is to take care of the home, her husband and her children.

If the two decide, amongst each other, to help the other out, and blur the clear roles…that is due to the Iman and love that Allah has put between them.

Okay let me make myself more clear.

A husband is required to take care of his wife completely. Even if she works, whatever money she makes is hers and hers alone. She has no obligation to pay electricity bills or buy a fridge or even milk and bread.

IF she decides she wants to help her husband and her children and work as a team, that is entirely up to her. And she will do that out of Iman and love.

In the same vein, the husbands role is to provide. Not to look after the children and change diapers. IF however he decides to help feed the baby because his wife was up all night with the child, then that is from his Iman and love.

The clear roles are defined so that there is no miscommunication. No ill feelings. No resentment.

If one decides to go above and beyond those roles, it is looked on favourably by the other spouse and acknowledged as the him/her having made an extra effort.

For example, if I work and with my money, I pay the bills, and the mortgage. I want my husband to acknowledge that I am helping him. And that I am a good wife, doing this out of love.

In the same vein, if he does the laundry and the dishes and feeds the baby, I will be grateful, and acknowledge that he is a wonderful husband.

I will not thank him every single day he goes to work to provide for his family, in the same way he will not have to thank me each time I change a nappy and for having given birth to our child. It is our respective duties and what is expected.

I don’t know if I am being clear enough.

I want an Islamic Marriage. With all its trappings.

I want a husband like Rasulullah (S.A.W) who would help out around the house and darn his own clothes.

I want to be a wife like bibi Khadija (R.A) who was independent and worked, and initially supported her husband when it was necessary.

People may call that modern? I call it an Islamic Marriage.

I will not bend to todays popular version of what is acceptable or a la mode or fashionable in a marriage.

Today, it is feminist rights, and being exactly EQUAL to a man.

Tomorrow, women may be screaming its actually their right to be taken care of by the man when they are pregnant and not HAVE to work or contribute.

Popular opinion, and societies view of what is popular and acceptable in relationships will change. It changes all the time.

This whole feminist approach is tres new. A few decades ago, it wasn’t there. And a few decades later, it may be scrapped and people may start a hue and cry about something else.

Just because it is popular, doesn’t mean its The Definitive Truth and what I have to want/follow.

Islam is timeless.

Regardless of what is a la mode.

So for now, I choose an Islamic Marriage.

Please lets stop getting caught up with what we see in movies, and what we are brainwashed to believe relationships and marriages are about.

Unless you want multiple affairs, mistresses, divorces within days (a la Kim Kardashian)….then you can go ahead and follow your latest ROMCOM movie for relationship advice.

Otherwise,  I would recommend you choose for yourself which kind of relationship you want.

And go back to Islamic principles.

May Allah give me, and all others the right kind of partner, ambaye ana kheri na mimi (who is Kheir for me)

xx

GUEST POST: Pregnancy And Islam

Is not Allah sufficient for his servant? - II

Bearing a child and becoming a mother, is highly regarded in Islam. We sometimes do not realise how much so.

Pregnancy Hadiths:

When a woman is pregnant with a child, all the angels will make Istighfar (repentance) on her behalf. Allah SWT will, for each day of her pregnancy, write for her 1000 good deeds and erase from her 1000 bad deeds.

When a pregnant woman starts to feel the pain from contractions, Allah (SWT) will write in her records as someone who is doing jihad (Spiritual or physical struggle) in His path.

When a woman becomes pregnant by her husband and he is pleased with her, she obtains the reward of a person engaging in fasting for Allah (SWT) and a person spending the night in Ibaadah (worship).

A woman from the time of pregnancy until childbirth and weaning the baby, is like the Mujahid (someone fighting in the path of Allah SWT) who is stationed on the frontiers of the Islamic land. If she dies during this period, she dies the death of a Shahid (martyr).

Two raka’at salaat performed by a pregnant woman is better than 80 raka’at salaat performed by a non-pregnant woman..

A woman who is pregnant gets the reward of fasting during the day and of doing ibaadah (worship) during the nights.

A woman who gives birth gets the reward of 70 years of salaat (prayer) and fasting. For each vein that feels pain, Allah SWT gives her the reward of one accepted hajj (Pilgrimage to Makkah).

If the woman dies within 40 days of giving birth, she will die as a shahid (matyr).

(Hadith)…….”A woman that dies in her virginity or during her pregnancy or at the time of birth or thereafter (in nifaas) will attain the rank of a martyr”

Nabi(SAW) is reported to have also said “When her labour pains commence, the inhabitants of the earth and the sky are unaware of the stores of comfort that are prepared for her. When she delivers and breast feeds her child, then she will be granted a reword for every gulp of milk, if she had to remain awake during the night for the sake of the child, she will receive the reword of emancipating seventy slaves in the path of Allah Ta’ala. O Salaamat! Do you know who these women are? They are pious, upright, with a delicate nature yet obedient to their husbands and not ungrateful to them” [Source: Madrasa In’aamiyyah]

By – Hilwa Khadija

Hijabi Work Wear: Dresses

So this is my ‘Bargain Of The Week’

Its a beautiful silk dress from Banana Republic. Originally 98 pounds. I got it for the bargain price of….*drum roll* 13 pounds.


Hijab (can’t remember where from), super dark black tights (Dorothy Perkins, 7 pounds), cardigan (Zara, 18 pounds), suede wedge shoes (ASOS 30 pounds)

PS: Please ignore the grainy pics. I was walking out the door to go to work.

Marriage Woes

Women keep complaining to me about unhappy marriages.

Khalaas.

I am tired.

Lol.

Really tho!

I am an unmarried young Muslim girl. Who still has rosy ideas about marriage and romance.

But every one of my friends, or aunties, or acquaintances feels the need to tell me the intimate, horrid details of their failed or failing marriages.

Le sigh.

I honestly, do not invite these disclosures.

Yes, I like to help. And I will offer a sympathetic ear.

And yes, I love my friends and will help them as much as I can, when they come to me with their problems.

But really though, its scaring me about marriage!!!

Also, what do I know? Im not married myself! What qualifies me to advise them?

Abusive relationships, cheating husbands, second wives, miserly husbands, intimacy issues….are just a FEW of the issues I have been trying to ‘help’ with.

Inshallah I will continue to do as best as I can to listen (because above all this is what  people need most) And Allah has given me this opportunity to do some good, and help in whichever way I can.

But …*sob*….its putting the fear of God in me regarding marriage.

My mum says everyone’s luck is different.

And honestly, in my head, I accept the truth of that statement.

In reality though, I am worried, worried, worried.

And I have even found myself thinking, well marriage is not COMPULSORY in Islam.

Its half of the Deen, yes.

And well, it can be kind of awesome to have a partner in your life.

But its not the end all and be all.

Lol.

Allah y’aalam.

Let me have Subra. And what will be will be.

May Allah help my friends and family, and all those undergoing marriage difficulties. Give them subra and improve the relationship between those husbands and wives.

*Okay I’m done ranting now* Lol.

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