Another homestead broke yesterday.
How many more will break?
Why has marriage been a vacation?
I have been asking myself so many questions especially those that revolve around Islam and culture. Is Islam culture or is culture Islam? The way we live as Muslims in this coastal region enjoying cooking delicacies that can sweep lovers off their feet, relishing more than 8 hours of sleep blaming Allah for our “unlucky” Qadar. Is this how we are supposed to live really?
I remember 2015.
2 of my friends were fantasizing about marriage, telling me that I should also get married. They were engaged by then. How beautiful I will look in a white gown and how my husband will love me so much and he will be too handsome and the whole world will go mad.
Flash forward, 2017.
I woke up feeling really depressed, because I remembered my 2 friends and they are now both at home, back to zero, reliant on their parents, studies chopped off, the future blurred as the air blown like sand cursing destiny and uncertainties. As if that would change a thing.
I do not want to say that everyone that gets married early would be divorced. Don’t get me wrong. But, how we put our studies at stake, how our parents do not even take the effort to do a background check of the so-called first cousins they have not ever seen since they were 10, how our parents get lured by the cash and dowry that the big wigs bring to their table and how our parents are ready to take loans not to secure our future, but to ensure that our weddings are the word on the streets. How and how our parents trade us like goods from the market. It is pathetic.
It is really unfortunate that our mothers are able to sell their jewelries so that they can invite 500 people in our weddings who will not come to praise the bride or pray that Allah (S.W.T) blesses the union but to speak about how petite she is and how the food tastes really bad, and who did the catering and how the DJ’s choice of music is boring.
On the wedding day, this bride who has grown up covering herself every single day comes in with this backless gown looking like a star, beautiful and elegant as a single line of perfect poetry, dancing to the blues and rhythm of Maria Carey with pending prayers because it is her wedding day and who cares about swalah on a wedding day? And what makes it more sour, is this groom that gets in the doorway with 5 best men who should not see this bride that naked, smiling and feeling like they own the world and the bride’s father who has been ironically so protective of his daughter feeling proud about this achievement as if the daughter just brought home a summa cum laude.
I am not judging the way things are done but I can confidently say that this is not Islam at all. Even if am still a work-in-progress trying to learn the basics of my religion, I feel that this is way too exaggerated. Because the last time I read the golden words of the prophet Muhammed (p.b.u.h), he was emphasizing on the point that simple weddings have the most blessings.
The next time we think about a pomp wedding, let us ask ourselves, what if we use that money to start a future? What if we use those hundreds of thousands to get ourselves a piece of land, probably even start saving money for the new little me’s and you’s. What if the parents concentrate more on teaching their daughters how to be mature, how to keep a house on check, how to have manners that are made from flowers and honey combs? And what if we spare some time to tell our sons that women are to be respected, that when their wives are sick they can as well cook and it does not reduce their masculinity even for a second, what if we teach them that love is about tolerance and a marriage is a battle that has to always be victorious at the end?
Marriage is not just get married because everybody else is, marriage is a sacred union that is meant to take these people on a path where they determine their weaknesses and strengths and help each other in growing out of their ill behaviors to be prepared for the Jannah that awaits the believers. Let us not alter this term ‘Nikah” to fit our own personal interests.
We cannot keep blaming these too many divorce cases on Allah and say that they were not just meant to be. We can see where we go wrong and do what is expected of us from the book. We can save ourselves from the extravagance that might be making Allah so angry with us and we can avoid trying to be other people. Let us learn to be ourselves. We cannot keep losing our identities to satisfy people who are not even appreciative of what we do. Let us stop this pretense that we feed to our souls every day only to show our true colors on the wedding days.Let us try to separate Culture from Islam and stop using our destructive and rotten cultures to portray Islam. It is not funny anymore, we are crying for the many little girls that have been forced back home for issues as small as nothing.
I want to end by a famous thoughtful quote by Ali Mazrui, “I went to the West I saw Islam but I did not see Muslims and I came back home, I saw Muslims but I did not see Islam.”
Photo sourced from the internet.