I got married a little over 10 years ago, and everyone was “marrying their best friend.” It became such a clichè. Then another popular thing you would hear is “men are scum” and with all the #couplegoals, it used to leave me wondering, who was then married to the scums?
Here I am, after all these years later, still wondering the same thing. Everyone is still married to/marrying their best friends and men are still scum.
Is the problem our expectations?
Are we honest with ourselves?
Are we deluded?
Do we need to have/create a certain picture?
Are we suffering in silence?
Are we saying what has been fed to us because everyone is saying it?
Do we even know what it means?
I don’t know about marrying my best friend but a few days ago we had an issue…
You see, I don’t like what I do not like.
He has a habit I do not like and we have gone back and forth on it a lot. We have tried to tweak it so all our needs are met but this particular day, he did it and it hit me so bad, I said, “Haba, I have complained everyday for 10 years and you keep doing the same thing, help me understand, do you think I am faking it or do you just expect me to get over it?” His response shook me.
He said, “no now but you haven’t complained in the last two weeks because I made an effort.”
….that only led me to more unanswered questions…
“Is that why you did it, you just needed me to complain again?”
“Is it how you get me notice you?”
“Is 2 weeks your limit for my sanity?”
Again, extreme sport! I tell you!
So we have been meaning to do this for a while and here we are by the will of Allah.
We want to have a conversation with a small group of people, preferably couples or those about to get married. Go ahead and register to be on the waitlist. The goal is to talk about how these differences do not have to break us but allow us to truly make space and build a stronger team.
Again, join the waitlist and all details will be emailed out In sha’a Allah
I think it was in 2018. I was at an event held in An-Nur, and I remember the speaker started the session with a question. How many people here have children? And most hands went up. I felt a tinge of something. I had just gone through a loss of some sort, and I needed to get out of the house. The whole reason I was there. Or was it?
His ways are so different. SubhanAllah! But I digress..
And that was followed by another question from the speaker…
“If your children were to talk about their role models, would they mention you?” And if it was not all the hands that went down, it was most. Very most.
And now I ask myself one more…
“Do I want my children to be exactly like me?”
I marvel at nature vs. nurture. When one agent does something exactly like they see us do it. Or another asking for “hot tea” just like grandma. Or they talk my ear off just like daddy.
These children, they see us in a way no-one else sees us. They truly love us. It is all important to them, our mood, our reactions, our validation, our time. We might think there is time for us to do better, but the truth is, there isn’t. Or is there?
We would be starting with another group for the Nurtured mama Program. This is your invitation to join us.
In the name of Allah the entirely Merciful, the especially Merciful
So we embarked on a journey to the House of Allah following our invitation. This invitation, special as it is doesn’t come because we are perfect or worthy even. It is by His power and Decree and ultimately His mercy.
“Are you crazy?!”
“Why do you want to go with your children?!”
I didn’t even try to explain it. They would not understand. I have been there before.
You see, the first time I was going for Umrah, I was discouraged.
“Why waste the money for Umrah when you have not done Hajj yet?”
“Hajj is the one that is obligatory.”
“Maybe look for fertility solutions instead while you save for Hajj.”
There has been so many conversations with Allah ﷻ in all of that time.
“Ya Rabb! Ya Wahhab, gift ne a child so that I can bring them to your house and say thank you.”
“Ya Allah, Ya Warith, grant me offspring and keep their hearts attached to your house.”
So it was out of my hand. I did not even ask for anyone’s opinion because I knew what they would say. I just sought out people who have walked the path and got tips for packing and travelling and keeping my cool. It is easier to take children on vacations where we go to safaris or parks however we struggle with the decision to take them for a journey such as this. And we had this conversation over and over with Abu Bilal. We wanted to go to a safari in kenya and I said either we do both, otherwise, if we can do safari then we can do Umrah. We couldn’t do both.
We had a lot of conversations and talked about our hopes, intentions and fears. I mean, the pandemic changed things a lot and there is always finances. We also have very opposing personalities. We revisited these conversations as many times as we needed to. We negotiated our roles as well. It was a lot of conversation between us and Allah. Alhamdulillah. We hoped it will all strengthen our connection to Allah ﷻ as a family.
Random day, we were at the bank where my sister used to work trying to sort out PTA after we got our visas and she had her trip planned for a few weeks after we would have returned and had a few questions about the rituals, then Abu Bilal said, “let’s just go together.” And we spoke to the travel agent and he was able to make it work. They were unable to go with their children and so we were not going to saddle them with the responsibility of ours but I must say it was nice to have them and I remember one day as we were walking back to the hotel, I told my sister, I prayed for this. “To come here with you” and she said, “see, and your prayer pulled my husband.” And it was so funny to think about like that, but His ways are unlike anything we know and can understand. He is Al Aziz and Al Mujeeb. We ever know whose prayer it is but His ways are so beautiful.
We plan and Allah ﷻ plans and Allah ﷻ is indeed the best of planners. May we always be content with what He decrees for us and put our trust in Him.
I hope to share about the planning, the daily happenings, and the challenges we faced as well. If you have specific questions, please drop as a comment and I will answer you as it does take me a bit of time to push out a full blog post. Alhamdulillah!
P.s: On a lighter note, I remember saying, that if the only thing that we get out of this is that my son sees that men do not need a hijab to pray, then that suffices me. Well, believe it or not last week, he was going to the masjid with his dad and sister and I offered his sister my hijab (she loves wearing my clothes, another habit we picked up cos we matched as much as possible during the trip) and he said, “let me go and get my cap” and I’m like Allahu Akbar.
May Allah ﷻ invite us all again and again to His house and May He ultimately admit us all into his Jannah.
Did you say you can’t? It is so easy to think or say “I can’t….” Over and over again, we tell ourselves so many things without realizing it. I can’t wake up early for Fajr I can’t cook a meal I can’t help my child with their homework I can’t afford to pay for “the full cup” or whatever program on your list And sometimes you even have a reason added so it would sound like… I really want to join #FajrClub but I can’t because I am not a morning person. Most of the time, the truth isn’t that you can’t, it is that you won’t. I won’t wake up early for Fajr I won’t cook a meal right now I won’t help my child with their homework I won’t afford to pay for the full cup I really want to join Fajr Club but I won’t because I am not a morning person. The thing is when we say we “can’t” do something, we sound like we are a victim and it is comfortable but when we say we won’t then it shows our choice in the matter. And this is not to say that there are not things that we actually cannot do. I mean maybe you genuinely can’t afford something at the moment… But until you start to take note of this difference, you would not know. And your brain will believe whatever you tell it. So when you find yourself saying you can’t do something, change “can’t” to “won’t” and see if it still holds true. And don’t think it makes you lazy, it just makes you honest and most days, honesty is the cheapest thing you can afford.