From Ms. to Mrs. – Expectations Versus Reality

Vol 4-Issue 3 Muslim WeddingsI’m getting married -Yay! There is so much to be done- designer dress, jewellery, footwear, bags, make-up artist, salon etc. How many days will the wedding celebrations continue? How many functions? Theme of the day? What about the dance preparations? Do we have enough time to rehearse the dances in-sync? Oh wait- I almost forgot, the photographer! ‘Capturing memories that will last for a life-time.’ I want my wedding album to be the most creative. I’ll update my face book profile pictures and cover photos every day. Why not share my happiness with the world?

Many of us start considering these things as soon as the wedding bells start ringing in our head. The fairy-tale we had been reading, watching and dreaming of since our childhood is finally becoming true. So what do I do to prepare myself for this life-altering event? Yes! I Know! I need the wedding glow. I can’t be a dull bride. Manicure, pedicure, whitening facial, skin treatments, weight-loss plans, gym programs (Obviously, I can’t be a fat bride. What will people say?)

But….What happens once we say ‘Qubool Hai’? The fairy-tale wedding, the excitement of the events, the food, the glittering dresses, and need not mention the never ending laughter. What happens when all of this comes to an end and a new chapter in our life begins? What happens when the first time we get into an argument with our husband? What happens when someone from the in-laws says something that hurts you deeply? What happens when misunderstandings arise? This is the time when it truly hits us that the fairy-tales always promised a happily-ever-after, but this is not what we had imagined. What does this ‘happily-ever-after’ mean anyway?

We are so focused upon the fairy tale wedding events and the preparations that we forget to make preparations for the real life drama that would follow-on later.

Expectation vs. Reality

  • Expectation: My husband will come home every day with a smile on his face.
  • Reality: Girls, sorry to burst your bubble, but this is not true for an everyday routine. Your husband is a human. He goes through different stressful routines and tasks in a day at his work. He gets tired, he has hunger pangs, he is uncomfortable with the work-place politics and there could be a number of other reasons which you are unaware of. At times, he would want solitude for a little while. Try to calm him down. Ask him about his problems, strike a light conversation to divert his attention, give him a light snack to eat, dress-up adequately for him and be empathetic. Don’t take it personally. His mood will eventually become better.

 There will be times when you face criticisms and you will feel that you aren’t appreciated for your efforts.

  • Expectation: I will live the way ‘I’ like.
  • Reality: Once you get married, for some initial months, you are new to the in-laws and your in-laws are new to you. Learn their living habits, likes/dislikes and make sincere efforts to adjust to the new lifestyle. Pray to Allah (swt) for an increased level of patience and Taqwa. In times of turmoil, recite the Quran and the burden will be lifted from your heart Insha’Allah. Seeking permission wouldn’t mean the end of your freedom. Your husband would like it when you seek his permission and value his opinion in every matter.
  • Expectation: I will be showered with compliments
  • Reality: There will be times when you face criticisms and you will feel that you aren’t appreciated for your efforts. This is the time when you require patience the most. Keep doing good anyway. Keep a clear heart and try to improve your short-comings. Allah (swt) is the All knowing and All seeing. Allah (swt) is the turner of hearts.
  • Expectation: I will never get into a disagreement with my spouse
  • Reality: You and your husband are two different people with two different minds. There are going to be many occasions when you would not agree with a certain behaviour of your husband, or when your husband doesn’t agree with your opinions or conducts. Satan becomes the happiest when there is disagreement between the husband and wife. So, whenever you see yourself lose control of your patience, remember to seek refuge in Allah (swt) from the Satan. Even the Holy Prophet (sa) once had misunderstandings with Hazrat Aisha (ra) due to the malicious rumours spread by certain slanderous people, while on an expedition against Banu-Al-Mustaliq (Ref: Book Enjoy your life- Deduced from a study of the Prophet’s (sa) life by Dr. Muhammad Al-‘Areefi) Have the utmost faith in the judgement of Allah (swt). Try to finish the disagreements as soon as possible. Don’t prolong them. Be courteous and respectful even in the state of anger.
  • Expectation: I will spend my husband’s money as I like
  • Reality: You are now the lady of the house. It is your responsibility to make sure that the house expenditures run efficiently. Well, who doesn’t like shopping? But, set priorities and be a helpful and considerate spouse, rather than a shopaholic spendthrift. Make efforts to strengthen your Iman and do not indulge too much in the worldly desires.  In Surah Al-Araf, we are told, “O Children of Adam! Take your adornment (by wearing your clean clothes), while praying and going round (the Tawaf of ) the Kabah, and eat and drink but waste not by extravagance, certainly He (Allah) likes not Al-Musrifun (those who waste by extravagance).” (Al-Araf 7:31)

The Satan gives a big reward to the subordinate who has created differences and distances between the husband and the wife in the form of arguments, disagreements and fights.

My dear sisters, the relation of a husband and wife is the first relation to come into existence i.e. that of Hazrat Adam (as) and bibi Hawa (as). The Satan gives a big reward to the subordinate who has created differences and distances between the husband and the wife in the form of arguments, disagreements and fights. We, at times, have such high expectations from our marital lives that even a slightest issue disrupts the harmony which we had imagined; and we tend to give up hope. Marriage is a relationship upon which you and your spouse have to work coherently. Learn to adjust, learn to give-in, to forgive, understand each other and above all respect one another. May Allah (swt) guide us to the best of knowledge and Iman.

Ibn Qayyim said: “The (path) always starts with trials and tests, then comes the period of patience and reliance (upon Allah (swt)), and the end is enlightenment, guidance and victory.” (Shifaa’ Al-Aleel)

Recipe for a Healthy Life


Fill with food 1/3 of your stomach’s capacity.

Instructions for meals:

  • Make sure that you daily eat foods of different colours.
  • Your daily diet must include some greens, such as spinach, mint or cucumber.
  • Include in your meals a variety of food groups: vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beef, mutton, birds, fish, herbs, spices, grains, etc.
  • Don’t overcook your food.
  • Eat fruits daily, but only on an empty stomach.
  • Consume carbohydrates, protein, vitamin, minerals and fiber in the required ratio.
  • Avoid processed and sugary food.

Air and Water

Fill 1/3 of your stomach with water and allow the last 1/3 left for air.

Instructions for water consumption:

  • Drink 1- ­ 2 glasses of water either half an hour before or two hours after your meal.
  • Drink water early in the morning – as soon as you wake up.
  • Don’t drink water, while having a meal.

Body Fitness and Hygiene

  • Include in your daily routine two walks: a brisk morning walk of 20 – 40 minutes and a slow evening walk (100 small steps) after dinner.
  • Avoid eating before and after exercise for at least half an hour.
  • Take a full body bath either in the morning or before retiring to bed.
  • Brush your teeth twice or thrice with Miswak.
  • Think positive and be proactive.
  • Smile often!
  • Go to bed maximum at eleven o’clock.
  • Take one spoon of honey in water before sleep.
  • Start your day early. Avoid sleeping after Fajr.
  • Take a nap after lunch. Do not exhaust yourself.

Spiritual Connection

  • Thank Allah (swt) for every blessing you have.
  • Pray five times a day. For men – do your prayers in Masjid.

Love Gets it Started, Mercy Keeps it Going

Beloved People

You were sitting there, on the couch,

Well dressed, smart, no slouch

With hair well-trimmed and glasses neat,

The beard just made it all the more sweet.


Your shy smile and your gaze at the floor –

I knew it then that there is more.

With our Mahrams right there with us,

We discussed our interests and what suits us.


The conversation lasted for just a few minutes,

Enough to help us get our tickets

To start this movie of life and adventure

With each other as companions, we write our own scripture.


With the will of Allah (swt) comes opportunity,

And the aid too comes from Allah (swt) only.

Istikhara, my family and my instincts

Helped me make a decision remarkable and distinct.


Little did I know you are the light to my dark,

The answer to my prayers, my own benchmark.

You held me, helped me took all my faults,

You converted them all and gave me exalts.


Alhamdulillah, you are the coolness of my eyes,

My guardian now and the reason for my smile.

You encourage me to work hard and pursue high goals

For this life and hereafter and to perfect my loopholes.


You are pious, caring, sometimes panic, mostly calm,

May your knowledge increase as a student of Islam.

You love to teach and correct what’s wrong,

You made me a better Muslim and human being along.


You care for your grandmother, aunt and mom,

You strengthen ties of kinship, maintain your Salah and Saum.

You are honest and brave and provide for me,

Your love is as big as a wide open sea.


You keep your promise and never fake one,

Whatever you say, I consider it already done.

You give me space with my friends and family,

You are the reason for my growing personality.


You share with me the highlights of the day

And discuss the details too with energy and play.

You invest time in our religion and relationship –

I pray I enter Jannah with you in my companionship.


You know how to balance work and family life,

You are active, sporty and want the same from your wife.

You are intelligent and cute, smart and funny, too,

You are my tall, dark and handsome, my price charming in blue.


You wipe away my tears, understand my pain,

You deal with my tantrums with no complain.

I shout, I cry in anger, I flare,

With you I am myself, none to you I compare.


We both make mistakes, fight for many reasons,

Like any married couple, we have our fall seasons.

But either apologizes and the other one follows,

Ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness, or else we are just hollows.


I never thought I could write again, to myself I swore

Or feel for a poem, like I used to before.

It is the thought of you that I sit after years, today

To compose a poem, hope it suits you I pray.


Love gets it started, mercy keeps it going.

Every day it blossoms, may Allah (swt) keep us growing.

In health and wealth, and success may we have Barakah,

Protect us from evil eye, sins and grant us Tawbah.


To my better half, my knight in shining armour

This poem is a mere symbol of my endeavour

For all the love and respect I have for you,

And the Jannah I yearn for you and me, too.

“Twins of Faith” – An Epic Experience

ToF-logo-2-293x300O you, who believe, be supporters of Allah (swt)…” (61:14)

“The Twins of Faith 2014” conference was a life-changing experience. Helping in the cause of Allah (swt) was something I had longed to do. This conference was my chance. This was the first time I had volunteered in such an event. The tension and excitement were both at their peak before the event.

I was first given the job to sell tickets. I had to go to my school, friends and family members and tell them about the event, convincing them to come. Believe me, it was no walk in the park. I only managed to sell five tickets to my family members. In school, none of my friends were interested. I was really disappointed. I told them about how beneficial and gratifying it would be, but still I got a response in the negative. I gave up all hope and started thinking what a Fitnah filled world it was, but I remembered that our job was to remind people – Allah (swt) is the One, Who can change the hearts. So I kept reminding them and they finally got interested, but it all ended in vain, when their parents did not allow them. Frankly, I was quite upset but I kept my calm.

Now about the responsibilities I had on the day of the event. I was an usher at the registration desk. We were summoned to “Marriott” at 7 o’clock in the morning, so we headed for the venue right after praying Fajr. It was still dark outside. It seemed like a small job to perform, just like a drop in the sea, as the older volunteers were assigned all the hard tasks; however, I found satisfaction in the fact that one should not belittle his good deeds. The Prophet (sa) said: “Do not belittle any good deed, even meeting your brother (Muslim) with a cheerful face.” (Muslim) Furthermore, we were told in the weekly meetings that deeds were based on intentions, and I did it solely for Allah (swt). The rewards of deeds are based on the intentions (Bukhari). Time and again we were reminded to keep a smiling and cheerful face, as it makes the people feel welcomed, and it also is a Sunnah. The event was a blast and a great learning experience. They told about the rights of parents, how they are the easiest route to Jannah, and the rights of children. Even though many problems arose, everybody had a great time. The volunteers and the team members handled every situation calmly, always showing a jovial demeanour.

The best thing was that we were within close proximity with the shaykhs. We got the best seats in the house, right next to the stage. The dinner with the shaykhs was great, as they related their lifetime stories. It was a highly learning experience. The meetings were fun, and everybody had a great sense of humour – we were helping in the cause of Allah (swt), while being social and active in the community.


[Poem] Du’a


There’s unexplainable anguish,
And unbearable pain!
My heart feels heavy while,
I stare my surroundings in vain!

I am in a state of denial,
I am experiencing agony,
I want to escape the truth,
Oh Allah, I want to flee!

The hand that rocked my cradle,
Is not in the world, no more!
I can’t change what’s happened,
As it was your will, I know!

But the reality is killing me,
Agonizing, this pain is so much!
My heart seems to tear apart,
Nothing to console me, as such!

I feel I have lost my shelter,
I feel so insecure,
My mother was my refuge,
She was my Jannah’s door!

Her voice echoes in my ears,
I can still feel her touch,
Her beautiful smile and face,
I can’t forget, It’s really tough!

Although my ‘Ma’ has departed
To her abode that’s final,
I want to acknowledge,
The goodness of her survival ….

Her beautiful patience,
Her demeanor that was lively,
Her kind words and deeds,
Her dua’s that came timely!

Oh Ummi, I miss you badly,
While you submit to His summon!

I know you are in a better place,
You are in Allah’s perfect care,
You have finally met your Creator,
You are much happier there!

May Allah lighten up your grave,
And may He shower His mercy,
On you, O Ma, so you may,
Reach eternal bliss and be…

A resident of the Paradise,
His rewarded and blessed one,
May you be granted the highest rank,
In your journey, that has just begun!


[Hadeeth Commentary] Our Quest to Paradise


Mu’adh bin Jabal, said:

I said:”O Messenger of Allah (swt), tell me of a deed which will take me to Paradise and will keep me away from the Hell-fire.”

He said: “You have asked me about a great matter, yet it is indeed an easy matter for him to whom Allah (swt) Almighty makes it easy. (It is) that you worship Allah (swt) without associating anything with Him, that you perform the prayers, pay the zakat, fast during Ramadan, and that you make the pilgrimage to the House.”

Then he said: ”Shall I not guide you to the gates of goodness? Fasting is a shield; charity extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire; and a man’s prayer in the middle of the night.”

Then he recited: “Their sides forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of that We have bestowed on them. No soul knoweth what is kept hidden for them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do.” (As-Sajdah 32:16-17)

Then he said: “Shall I not also tell you about the peak of the matter, its pillar, and its topmost part?” I said: “Yes, O Messenger of Allah (swt).”

He said: “The head of the matter is Islam (submission to Allah (swt)), the pillar is prayer; and its topmost part is Jihad.”

Then he said: “And shall I not tell you of the controlling of all that?”

I said:” Yes, O Messenger of Allah (swt).”

So he took hold of his tongue and said: “Restrain this.”

I said: “O Prophet of Allah (swt), will we be held accountable for what we say?”

He said: “May your mother be bereft of you! Is there anything that topples people on their faces (or he said, on their noses) into the Hell-fire other than the jests of their tongues?” (Tirmidhi)


This Hadeeth is related by Maudh bin Jabal himself. Maudh asked Prophet Muhammad (sa) a question and we note that the main concern of the Sahabah was to go to Paradise. Maudh bin Jabal not only wanted information but he also wanted to put it into practice. When you acquire the knowledge, your main concern should be to go to Paradise and be away from Hellfire.

Sometimes people seek knowledge to feel good, but we should always seek knowledge in order to make ourselves closer to Allah (swt).We need to look within our hearts and ask, ‘Why am I learning?’ The signs that show you are not learning for the sake of Allah (swt) is when you are frustrated, impatient and hasty – this is when you are learning to boost your ego. But when you learn for the sake of Allah (swt); you know that Allah (swt) will appreciate your learning.

In the light of Prophet Muhammad’s (sa) response

1.Worship Him Alone

People usually make their desires their god. Allah’s (swt) Majesty demands that He be worshiped alone, without any rivals. Allah (swt) is the Most Rich, He doesn’t accept it if we associate anyone with Him. We cause our own destruction when we are a slave of someone else or something else besides Allah (swt). Allah (swt) does not need our worship; He will leave us with our Shirk.

  • Shirk is the greatest thing Allah (swt) forbade us from.
  • Tawheed is the greatest thing Allah (swt) commanded us to do.

So don’t make the knowledge a desire; acquire knowledge to draw yourself closer to Allah (swt).

2. Establish Prayer

This advice is being given to one of the Sahabah, not to someone new to Islam. Our struggle and aim should be to perfect our Salat. We need Allah’s (swt) help to fulfill  this task. We should always feel that our last prayer was not so perfect and  hence try to  improve the next one.

3. Pay Zakat

This is the only way to purify our money/wealth. It is one of the rights of people over us. Understand that paying Zakat is an obligation- just like Salat and fasting.

4. Fasting is a Shield

The Prophet (sa) fasted every Monday and Thursday and in the months of Muharram and Shaban.  He used to fast on the white days or the white nights (i.e. the 13th, 14th, and 15th of every lunar month), and the first nine days of Dhul-Hijjah. We have been ordained  to  fast in the month of Ramadan. This is important as fasting teaches us obedience to Allah (swt) and puts us in a state of calmness and piety.

5. Pilgrimage to Makkah

To acquire Paradise, we must do what Allah (swt) wants us to do. All the obligations discussed above are the minimum what we can do to enter  Paradise. Quantity is not important – it is there to satisfy ourselves. But Allah (swt) wants the quality. If we get these five pillars right; we will enter Paradise.

picture2The Gates of Paradise

There are a variety of doors – you can do one, two or all three. When Allah (swt) opens the doors of good deeds grab them, stick to them. Everybody is unique and the path you choose to Paradise is also unique. You must not rely on one particular deed to take you to Paradise. Whatever Allah (swt) makes easy for you; you should do, and ask Allah (swt) to accept it.

Charity can be a smile, caring for somebody, carrying something for somebody, the best Sadaqah is giving money for the sake of Allah (swt).

Praying in the depths of night means the beginning of the last third of the night. According to Ibn Rajab in 40 Hadeeth of An-Nawawi, three types of people whose prayer gets readily accepted, are:

  1. Those who wake up during the night for Dhikr, Dua, or perform Tahajud.
  2. Those who wait for the Isha prayer and do not go to sleep until they perform Isha.
  3. Those who wake up for the Fajr prayer.

Blessings of Jihad

Jihad is a blessing that allows us to become closer to Allah (swt). Scholars say that Jihad is the greatest act of worship and the most important deed after the obligatory acts. Through Jihad, Islam was protected and preserved and became dominant, where other nations lived under its rule peacefully with their rights maintained. (40 Hadeeth of An-Nawawi)

Mind Your Tongue

Restraining and controlling our speech is the most important act to achieve good. The one who controls his tongue controls all his affairs. If we cannot control what we say, the result will be chaos and Fitnah like in the time of Caliph Usman (ra).

Hence this Hadeeth provides evidence that good deeds can surely become our ticket to Paradise.

A Smile is all I Have!

smile6Our preconceived notions about individuals often hinder us from gaining insight into the real meaning of life and learning novelty from unexpected people. Upon seeing a rowdy teenager, we immediately dismiss that he/she can teach us sense of responsibility. Similarly, aged people are instantly dismissed as agents of conformity.

For me, the realization that each individual has something different to teach came about six years ago. Sitting on the beach side, I remember being oblivious to everything but my failure. I had yet again failed to live my life up to the standards I had set. Even the captivating movement of the waves did nothing to alleviate my sense of despondency until I saw him – a young boy of around twelve.

I remember wondering: what was it in his face that jolted me from my ponderings? How come this boy in tattered clothing compelled me to look at him? Then, I realized – it was his smile, a carefree, full of life smile. And yet again I wondered: what did this unfortunate boy have to smile about? His tattered clothing was evidence of the fact that he belonged to the underprivileged class. Also, he went around selling flowers, which was a further testament of the fact that he lacked even the basic rights of education, while indulging in child labour. Then how come his eyes twinkled, as if he had no worries at all?

So why should I sulk, when smiling is better. Allah (swt) does not give you everything. You have to do with what you have, and what I have is my smile.

My mind was occupied with these thoughts, when a voice called out, “Beautiful flowers for a beautiful lady!”

I looked up and saw it was the same boy. Before I could stop myself, I blurted out, “How can you smile so unconditionally, when life has nothing to offer to you?”

“Well,  I only have this smile, no money, and you ask me why do I smile? Does my smile make you feel insecure?” he inquired hurtfully.

I was taken aback by this; I said, “Dear, what I meant was how do you smile so beautifully, under such circumstances?”

He again flashed one of his smiles and said, “Well madam, you know what?

When I smile, people see only my face and they forget about my clothes. My smile is magic. It brings money. I smile, people pay. So why should I sulk, when smiling is better. Allah (swt) does not give you everything. You have to do with what you have, and what I have is my smile. You look sad, why don’t you smile too, and maybe everything will be alright.”

With that, I gave him fifty rupees. And with a smile, he moved on to his next customer, leaving me with my thoughts and his message.

This conversation changed my perspective. I realized that tough times come in everyone’s life, but those, who rise beyond them, know the real meaning of life. The boy was right – nobody has everything; but only those are happy, who believe what they have is enough to strive for a better life.

No One Can, None Other Except..


Her frail legs carrying my growing load,
Facing hardships, yet such care she showed,
Despite being delicate and petite,
Always active and up on her feet.
Who can love me as my precious mother?
No one would, none other.

Indulgent hands work for hours on end,
On her gallant soul I can always depend.
Her eyes well up seeing me in pain,
My loss is her loss, my gain her gain.
Who can love me as my precious mother?
No one would, none other.

Her valued advice, devout and sincere,
She’s always listening, she’s ready to hear.
Warm are her gestures, reassuring too,
Blend of love n care, she’s a soothing hue.
Who can love me as my precious mother?
No one would, none other.

That encouraging pat she gives to my back,
Giving me whatever I seem to lack.
Her supportive words echo in my head,
‘I know you can do it,’ she has always said.
Who can love me as my precious mother?
No one would, none other.

She lends me her shoulder to cry on,
I know she prays for me at early dawn.
Hiding her worries while smiling at me,
Disguising her fears being brave as can be.
Who can love me as my precious mother?
No one would, none other.

Solemn tears she sheds while praying for me,
Beseeching her Rabb, they are part of her plea.
Her Duas do wonders like nothing else would,
They turn evil away and then it’s all good.
Who can love me as my precious mother?
No one would, none other.

Oh how much I long for that cheering hug,
Those Duas she makes on her prayer rug.
Her presence makes my day worthwhile,
I could give the world for her single smile.
Who can love me as my precious mother?
No one would, none other.

There’s nothing more pleasing than her charming face,
She’s the essence of comfort, compassion and grace.
Her thoughts are honest, her feelings so pure,
She can never mean harm, I’m always so sure.
Who can love me as my precious mother?
No one would, none other.

How blessed I am for His favours to me,
Her being in my life is written in my decree.
Feeling a glimpse of Allah’s love in her ways,
Inexplicable it is, in a single phrase.
I now know who loves me more than my mother,
Allah it is, He is like none other.

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