Recently my dad has turned up the pressure in my household about getting me married, around the same time “Mr Faith” decided to walk into my life.
“Mr Faith” is not my usual type, his mystery intrigued me but most of all he was a man of faith.
Everything about him encompassed what a “good Muslim husband” would look like. He went on his own Islamic journey separate from his family, therefore, it wasn’t intertwined with culture.
I swoon naturally when a guy tells me he prays, but this guy lived and breathed islam.
It was Islam in its pure holistic form, from his spirituality, behaviour, etiquette and career choice.
It wasn’t a thing on the side, it was a way of life. I wanted to learn from him and grow in my spiritual journey.
I guess I had a romantic idea of being his Khadijah.
I’m ambitious and live life a fast-paced, he was more of the reserved quiet type but we shared a few hobbies and enjoyed each others company. This seemed like the ultimate story of opposites attract.
I went with the flow naturally at the start but by date three, my situation at home meant that I couldn’t just carry on as we were. So out came the serious marital questions, we talked, we negotiated and I really thought this could be it. As I was being shown suitors every other weekend at home I needed to tell my family about this. This was a huge deal for me, unlike Mr Faith who would get families involved asap, as he wanted to keep it halal, this was the first time I was telling my parents about someone.
I thought by the point of families meeting he was sure of me as I was of him but oh how blind I was.
So our families met, I thought things were okay until I asked him, he wasn’t a very good communicator. He told me he wasn’t 100% sure about me and that in the long run, our personalities were not compatible. He found himself adjusting to me too much. We had a few days to think over and both came to the conclusion to go our separate ways. I’ve however been reflecting back on what happened and I’ve been questioning why I let it go on for as long as I did.
As much as I hate to admit it, I think I was settling. He ticked the boxes of a practiscing man and while commendable, we just were not compatible.
It’s a weird one as you’re told to choose a man for his faith and that is what I thought I was doing. As I was agonising over the decision of if I wanted to fight for this or not, I also struggled with the idea that I was about to choose “Duniya over deen” if I didn’t choose him. This idea that by turning down a practicing man made me a “bad Muslim”. Next year is also shaping up for me to be momentous career-wise, I was left wondering if this man would support me in my dreams and therefore if I let go, was I about to chase the world instead of someone who could help me become a better Muslim?
I always saw him as the gift that Allah SWT brought into my life. Not someone I wanted but someone I needed to help me fix up, but that’s exactly it. There is no shortcut to “fixing up” and that’s where I was going wrong. If I want to improve as a Muslim, yes a pious spouse would help. However, the hard truth is that we were both in different parts of our Islamic journey. I kept telling myself to keep the faith and ultimately I over compromised on a lot of things.
I was choosing a life of potential hardship because I had blind faith that if I marry for deen it will ALL be okay but that’s the thing we have to balance this world with our akhirah. It can’t just be one thing or the other.
You want someone that you are actually compatible with, not just someone that adjusts to you and you adjust to them. We both wanted it to work out, especially due to the ticking pressure at home (my Dad has already booked time off in the summer for my so-called wedding). This chapter has just taught me that don’t settle, work on yourself and don’t see someone else as the short-cut to you becoming a better Muslim. Only you can work on YOU.
It’s horrible that this isn’t going forward. Those few months invested in someone, opening yourself up, being vulnerable, imagining the future you could have and it’s just *poof* gone. I’ve decided I’m not going to look myself anymore, so no more Muslim dating apps or single events. I’m going to just stay open-minded to the suitors my parents present me and I’ll be sure to share my journey.
The best and WORST rishta stories for your entertainment by a single Muslim woman, Barfi brings us her experiences and thoughts, honestly!