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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Having More Than One Wife In Islam

Symbol of Islam, the name of Allah, simplified...

So I have just had a discussion with some of my friends.

And they raised an issue that is often the heated topic of choice in many ‘girl talk’ sessions.

Should a man be allowed to have more than one wife. Islamically.

If you were a woman, whose husband wanted a second wife, would you agree?

What would you say? What would you think?

Islamically, what is the ruling on this.

A hot topic, yes?

It is also one of the favourite topics Non-Muslims use to highlight the supposed ‘neathanderal’ attitudes of Islamic culture.

In any case, here are the some of the issues we talked about. (Using a fictional discussion amongst fictional characters of course 😉 )

Three girls sat around the kitchen table having coffee, and a much needed catch up session. The topic of Polygamy in Islam comes up.

Aisha: I WOULD NEVER ALLOW MYSELF TO BE  A SECOND WIFE. Never. Ever. Ever. I would die before I let that happen. I would leave him. I would not stand for it. Ever.

Hajra: Well, aren’t you Muslim though?

Aisha: Well Of course I am.

Hajra: In that case, in Surat Nisa it says:

“… marry women of your choice, two, three, or four, but if you fear that you shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one…(Surah al-Nisa, 3).

Hence it is allowed! How can you call yourself a Muslim, if you don’t agree with what is in the Quran? You cannot pick and choose what you like in Islam.

Aisha: Weeell. I still wouldn’t be able to handle it. Honestly and truly. I just couldn’t do it. Allow my husband to sleep with another wife? Allow her to live with us for example? Allow him to look after her children as well. I know myself. I would not be able to.

Rabiyah: Okay. Well, none of you have mentioned the criteria. The requirements. In the ayah it says that a man should be able to treat all of his wives equally. And only IF he can do this, is when he is allowed to marry more than one wife. Men are human. There is no way they can treat all the wives equally. Allah knows this. Which is why he put the requirement in place. To dissuade men from going around and marrying wives left right and centre.

Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said: “A man who has two wives and he does not deal justly with them will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment with half his body paralysed.” (Sunan Tirmizi, no. 1141)

If he buys butter in one household, then he must buy butter in the other household. Not margarine. If one wife has a car, then the other should have one as well. The number of nights should be shared equally with the wives. The wifely duties should be distributed equally.

If a man can truly do this, then and only then is he allowed to marry more than one wife. If he is not financially capable of maintaining all the wives in an an equal manner, or not emotionally able to be fair between them, then he should stay with just the one wife.

ALSO, there are reasons. There should, ideally, be specific reasons for a man to go out and marry a second wife.

If she is ill.

If she is unable to bear children.

If she cannot meet his sexual needs because of illness.

Genuine. Real. Reasons.

Not randomly, because he has seen a ‘hot  piece of ass’ and feels like he can go ahead and enjoy life by having more than one woman.

Aisha: Even with all the reasons you have listed. I would still not be able to handle it! Because after all, he has promised to be with me through thick and thin. Just because I am ill, he decides he wants another wife? And throws me to the curb? I just would not be able to tolerate it. At all!

Hajra: Well, even you, as a woman, you have similar rights. If your husband is impotent, or he has an illness and can not look after you, you are allowed Islamically to ask for a divorce and get another husband. But if you choose to have subra, and stay and work things out and look after your husband, your reward of course will be from Allah. And that may be better for you. The same goes for a man.  Yes he is allowed a second wife if his first wife is ill or cannot meet her wifely duties. However, if he chooses to have subra and stay with his one wife, Inshallah that may be better for him.

Rabeya: I think, I think, and I may be wrong. But, men are created differently compared to women. They may have a stronger sexual drive. And perhaps weakness when it comes to women. So Allah has created this caveat. This ‘clause’ so to speak. To allow for this ‘weakness’. Would you rather your man went out and cheated on you with a hundred women, as they do in the Western world? Or would you rather he made the young girl respectable? Married her and looked after her.

A lot of women don’t mind the extra help. It means company. There are two of you. You work together to look after the household and your husband and your children. I know saying that is controversial. And a lot of people may label me ..I don’t know…ignorant or oppressed or brainwashed for having such ideas. But Polygamy is not a new concept. It has been practiced in many cultures across the world for centuries, and still is! It has been devilised by the Western world. Yet look at their society; Divorce, affairs, mistresses. Well, at least a higher rate of. Because even in Muslim societies those things exist.

And also, its not to say there will be no difficulties. There will be jealousy. Potential strife. Disagreements.

However, that doesn’t mean it can’t work. Or you should dismiss it because it does not fall in line with your ‘feminist’ views of the world.

Aisha: I am not being feminist as you say. I am just saying what would or would not work for me. I am an individual at the end of the day. And what works for one individual may not work for another. Some women may be happy with that kind of situation. I must say, I am not one of those. And I have clearly stated to my husband; If he marries another wife, I will leave him.

Rabeya: Subhanallah. But I do see your point about you being an individual. Fair enough.

Hajrah: Yes, I see your point. And besides its easier said than done. Saying : ‘A man can marry more than one wife’ in theory, is all well and good. But when it is YOUR husband, it is a different matter all together. And the subra, and strength, and Iman it takes, is not a small thing. And I truly believe for the women who manage to accept this, and live with their husbands and co-wives well, their reward is with Allah and He recognises and sees the sacrifice they have made.

Aisha: In any case. Allah knows best.

Hajra: Yes, all we can do is pray that we are doing the right thing. And leave the rest to Allah.

Aisha: Yeah. But I would kill him. If he did that. I really would.

*All Laugh*

Rabeya: Staghfirullah!

*More peals of laughter*

My views and that of my friends may be flawed. But it is from the little knowledge we have, from the little we have gleaned from our parents relationships, our friends marriages and what we have seen around us. Insha’allah, may Allah guide us all towards the righteous path. And keep us from Naar and protect us all. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, or add to the discussion. I welcome any new knowledge, Hadiths, Ayahs.

🙂

Smooches!

The Quilted Dream

‘Allahu Akbar Allah Akbar’
The call to prayer reverberates in the air.
Shimmering through the sunlight.
Gliding past lace curtains, through windows and open doors.
To rest lightly on the ears and hearts of the beloved faithful.

Asha leans her head back against the turquoise window sill
The fluttering lace curtain tickles her face.
A humid breeze languidly strokes her cheek.
The call to prayer is her favourite song.
With a stirring deep in her heart,she answers back the call softly:
‘La haula wa laa quwwata illa billah’

A heavy sigh escapes her lips.
And as her eyes flit over the landscape of rooftops from her vantage point, she feels her heart twang in symphony with the call.

Almost like it’s calling out to her personally.

‘Come out here Asha.’
‘Come pray.’
‘Come live.’
‘Come and be.’

Shaking her head to disperse the pointless musings of her restless heart, Asha goes to make ‘Wudh’u’: ablutions for her noon prayer.

 There is no time for silly thoughts.There are prayers to be made. Cooking to be done. And she has to get back to the office soon.

As she walks out she catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror. Full lips. Almond shaped twinkiling brown eyes. Curly wisps of hair have escaped from the confines of her professional hair bun and fall prettily accross her shoulders. ‘I have a beautiful face’ she muses. And as she turns to walk out of the room, ‘And a generous behind too! That is after all, my African heritage!’

Asha is half black. Half Arab.

She is a black Arab. Or an Arab African.

Caught between two worlds.

…..To Be Continued….

Love And Other Things

Author: Bagande

love

How about that?

I think I am afflicted.

I am an unrelenting, miserable romantic.

And for the life of me, I do not know how I got here.

In my head, I am a cynical, independent feminist. Who doesn’t need any man to complete her.

In reality,  I love a mushy romance novel, a cheesy chick flick, and I dream of falling hopelessly in love…exactly like how it happens in the movies.

I want the cheesy soundtrack and the prince charming. The steamy first kiss and most importantly, the happy ending.

But life is rarely ever like that.

And if your life IS like that..well. Shooooo! Yes! I am shoo-ing you off my blog. You have no place here, o’ person with perfect life. I am here to vent and say that romance is dead, and love does not truly exist. SOOOO before you contradict me, and then I subsequently bite your head off with venomous jealousy…ermmm….kindly press the esc key and be gone 🙂 Hurry along. Yes, good. Now then.

Where was I?

Yes, Love is poo.

Really, it is,

Its this horrible thing, that makes you feel good for a while, gets you hooked, makes you severely confused, and then up and leaves.

Leaving you horribly bereft and worse off than before!

Okay, okay I know, most of you will be saying by now that I’m contradicting myself.

Yes, I said love doesn’t exist. And now, I’m moaning about it.

What I really meant was that REAL love. Romantic love. Movie love. Love love. Yes, that one! Its not real.

Tell me one person, who fell magically in love (ahem, ‘in lust’ more like) at first sight, and their marriage lasted 70 years?

Yea.

You can’t find one.

I on the other hand, met this lovely 92 year old lady. Whose marriage HAS lasted 70 years. And her story had nothing to do with romantic movie love. It was war – time and she did ‘what was expected of a young lady.’ Nonetheless…she is as happy as a peach. Although probably just as wrinkled as a peach too. She was lovely. And she held my hand and told me of a long, and fulfilled life. With many children, and many laughs.

Life isn’t really in technicolour.

Its a splodge of colour here. A splash of laughs there. A collection of moments and half-whispered promises. Hold on to those moments. Enjoy them. Revel in them. Wash your face with them. THIS is your life. Not that one in the little box you watch.

* Disclaimer: This was written when I was feeling throughly disillusioned with ‘love’  I am currently still a hopeless, hapless romantic 😀 *

The Other Woman

‘He walked out on me. He walked out on me!….. Or he might as well have.’

She stares blankly at the wall.

Her eyes, dulled with pain.

The air, so stiff and heavy with emotion, it catches in my throat.

I run the comb through my sister’s inky black hair.

Heavy tresses, glimmering in the dim light of the moon.

The scent of the sea carries through the open balcony doors.

I feel her pain. This woman, this blood of mine.

And as my hand rises and falls, entwined in her hair, my heart bleeds.

Blind rage, overwhelming sadness, grief.

So much grief.

I wish I could hold her heart in my hands, and gingerly nurse it back to health.

Kiss it, and hug it, and whisper sweet nothings to it.

How dare he break it?!

 

Silent tears fall onto her lap.

‘Habibty, you are better off without him.’

‘I know Lulu. But it doesn’t make it hurt any less.’

 

 

Love

She loved the guy. She did it for him. She would’ve done anything for him. Some women are like that. Some love are like that. Most love are like that from what I can see. Your heart starts to feel like an overcrowded lifeboat. You throw your pride out to keep it afloat. And your self-respect. And your independence. After a while you start throwing people out- your friends, everyone you used to know. And it’s still not enough. The lifeboat s still sinking and you know it is gong to take you down with it. I’ve seen that happen to a lot of girls here. I think that’s why I’m sick of love. – Shantaram

Happy Father’s Day

How many of us overlook the role played by our fathers? For those of us who have experienced a dad’s unconditional love,we don’t realize how lucky we are.

…….

For all the times you picked me up when I fell
For all the times you chastised me to make me a better person
For all the times you hugged me when I was hurt
I love you Dad

For everytime you called me to make sure I had enough cash
For everytime you smiled at me and told me I looked beautiful
For everytime you played the chauffeur and drove me …everywhere!
I love you Dad.

For the times you cooked for us
And changed a dirty diaper
For the times you put baubles in my hair
Even though you weren’t sure how
For the times you defended me
Even when I was in the wrong
I love you Dad.

Happy Fathers Day
You mean the world to me.

Blood, Sweat And Tears

Barbie Doll Museum at Bloomingdale's

We are born with a clean slate.

But within minutes, our families lay heaps and heaps of societal responsibility on our heads.

I am an angry Muslim girl.

Not because I am angry at God.

But because I am angry at society.

From the day a mum buys her daughter a Barbie doll.

Or the day a little girl’s brother laughs at her for trying to play football with his friends…

Messages are being downloaded direct into her hardware.

Like a little ticking virus bomb.

Waiting for the right time to explode.

Infecting the system. Drive by drive.

‘You are a girl. You must behave a certain way.’

We mostly don’t realize this.

How controlled we are.

How bloody brainwashed we are.

How caged we are.

………….Or maybe its just me……..

Society ingrains in us that we have to follow a specific mould.

Any deviation from that and we are relegated pariahs. Outcasts. Treated badly to set an example…so that none of the others follow your deviant, devilish ways.

It’s human nature. The ‘Pack mentality’.

Blending in keeps you alive. Sticking out, well it singles you out to predators, and you endanger the whole community.

Except we do not live in a jungle any more.

Doesn’t matter which society you think about..each has its own unwritten rules and regulations. A code of conduct written in blood, sweat and tears.

How many of us follow these rules without even thinking twice………..?

……………I know I am being a bit vague, forgive me.

I am trying to decide what path my life will take.

And I feel bound by the shackles of what society expects me to do.

What’s worse, is that these shackles are not even real.

I can break them any time I want.

I can go off to Rio, and become a dancer if I want. (For example)

But the little seeds of propaganda planted in my brain from day 1…keep holding me back.

Nobody is TELLING me I can’t do what I want.

But my own conscience is holding me back.

What will society think?

What will my family think?

What will they all saaaay?

Brave are the souls who decide to take the path less travelled.

They throw caution to the wind. And watch it burn.

These, these are the founders of tomorrow.

Rule breakers.

Trend setters.

Labelled crazy, loco!

But eventually, lauded as the inventors, trend setters, and physicists of tomorrow!

I do not aspire to be the next Einstein or Van Gogh.

Only to live my dreams to the fullest.

Without being encumbered by the collective gasp of societal disapproval.

I CHOOSE to travel.

I CHOOSE to not be married (right now)

I CHOOSE to work.

I CHOOSE to be educated.

I CHOOSE to be different.

I CHOOSE a partner you do not expect me to.

I CHOOSE to be an Independent Muslim Woman.

I CHOOSE to throw caution to the wind.

Because it is my prerogative.

 

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

The Road Less Travelled, by Robert Frost

My Dream Wedding

I’m always planning my wedding.

Always.

When I see a beautiful beach.

Or a beautiful dress in a magazine.

Or a lovely hairstyle.

I  love watching wedding shows!

I’m addicted. Any kind of wedding shows. Cheesy ones, American ones, horrible British ones.

I love looking at other people’s wedding pictures. (Facebook = a gold mine! Lol.)

‘Oh that colour combination is nice’

‘I would never wear that dress with those arms!’

‘Bad choice of shoes’

I don’t just enjoy it. I revel in it. Its my favorite pass time.

I read wedding blogs (whatjunebugloves is a good one)

I attend wedding shows.

I must admit the one thing I haven’t yet done is buy wedding magazines. I refuse to actually spend money on this insane obsession. (Yes, I am aware that it is insane. LOL)

I have this belief that when I start spending money on a wedding I don’t actually have, then I have officially gone over the edge.

Until then, I only read the wedding magazines at the salon. Or at the Doctor’s office. Lol.

What is it about weddings?

Sigh.

Is it the idea of romance? Of love?

Is it the idea of being the centre of attention?

Being the most beautiful person in the room?

Having the people you love the most surround you and wish you well?

Being able to commit yourself to the person you love forever and ever?

In a unique way that represents both of your personalities and cultures?

Is it the bringing together of many generations? Grandchildren and aunties. Sisters and cousins.

Or is it the excitement of planning and fun associated with it?

Or maybe…………..it’s ALL OF THAT?

WEDDINGS ARE AMAZING!!

I love love love weddings!

I don’t know if I want a destination wedding. Or a traditional wedding. Or a home spun wedding?

Maybe I’ll have it on a beach. Or a beautiful Grecian hall. Or in the garden behind our house.

Sigh.

So many options! So many options!!

* Deep breath *

* Composes self *

The fact that I don’t have a groom as yet…

Well.

Details.

🙂

I don’t mind though.

I spend many, happy hours browsing and criticizing other people’s weddings.

Lol.

Some people have shopping or sports.

I have Weddings.

🙂

* Off to browse Junebug Weddings *


Are you a Virgin?

Okay. The aim of this blog is to channel my love of writing. To excite my creative neurones. To be an outlet for my frustrations and agressions. But also to raise awareness. To a small degree.

And so I apologise in advance for all whom I may offend by this post.

For eons man has been obsessed by virginity. A virgin girl is a prized posession in many cultures, across continents, and across centuries.

My experience with this phenomenon is limited. But as a Muslim Arab single girl, it had been a topic that has occupied the forefront of my mind since I was a little girl.

I don’t remember the first time I became aware of what virginity meant. But I remember not wanting to ride a bike at 9 or 10 years. I remember being afraid everytime i played sports. And being aware that horse riding was bad for me.

How did i know about blood and a broken hymen? I dunno. But it was one of my biggest fears.

In talking about this issue with some of my Muslimah friends, a lot of them mentioned this fear they had had ingrained in them.

One of them talked about how her dad was always telling her to be careful not to get raped. He would tell a 6 year old not to play outside or talk to her male friends at school in case she got raped. She grew up terrified that at any moment, she would be accosted!

A careful dad or over-kill?

I agree that we need to protect our daughters. Yes. Warn them about preserving their chastity, yes. But this fascination and obsession with treating our girls as eggs in case their hymen breaks on shaking them too hard…ah!

In our Yemeni culture, the blood stained sheet after the wedding night is displayed to the mother in law, in a ceremony of dance and song. If God forbid, the bride was too shy, or the man umm, couldn’t perform that night, the households go into a state of deep mourning. The mothers wail, the in laws point fingers, and the pressure mounts…which of course does nothing to help the nervous newly-weds.

Isn’t what happens in a marital bed private according to Sunnah? Couldn’t it be possible the woman did not even have a hymen? Or that she broke it at a young age playing sports? Medically, as a doctor, I can tell you the answer is yes.

Girls everywhere are subjected to shame, divorce and ridicule, all because of a little blood.

It makes me so angry.

The worst thing is the double standards afforded to the Muslim man. It is well known that a Muslim man can be male-whore if he wants to, with no social consequences. After a youth spent sowing his seed into every flowerpot and shamba, he demands a virgin for a bride. What?! Bloody double standards.

I would love to invent a method of allowing us to detect if a man has done the deed. A permanent dye or something. Applied at birth. And once the Haraam deed is committed, the penis turns purple. And falls off. Lol. Okay not the falling off part.

So shrouded in mystery is this issue of virginity is in my community, that even talking about it is like an admission of guilt. Why are you angry about it/discussing it. Does that mean your not a virgin? Is this your way of covering it up?

Arghhhhh! That ignorant response is exactly what i’m talking about!

So for those guys who insist on asking..(Yes, I get asked)…Why is it any of your business????? From curious non-muslims: ‘so you’re a 25 year old virgin?’ to would-be suitors….Bugger-off would you?

In fact, my aunt told me something that has stayed with me for a long time. ‘All you youngsters talk of virginity, but that kissing-kissing business you do, that’s zinaa (fornication) too!’

Too true.

Ladies, preseve your chastity in the true form of the principle-not just in name. Making out, heavy petting, and other forms of physical contact are Zinaa too. Preserve your chastity for yourselves. Not for a hymen and a fear of the wedding night. For Allah and for your own sake.

Men, educate yourselves. And stop with the double standards. If your member is purple, why should it deserve a pious Muslimah?

Salaams.
Xx

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