‘Only bad things happen quickly.’

I read this in a book (‘Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart’, if you’re interested) and agreed wholeheartedly. Anything good seems to take time and effort to build up, but things can change in an instant for the worse. A car crash. A job termination. A careless word spoken in anger.

But this year, something wonderful happened quickly. I met someone wonderful. Within a fortnight, we spoke about getting married. And just a couple of months later, we were.

We sometimes joke that we need to invent a more exciting story about how we met. Truthfully, there was nothing dramatic about how we came to be.  We’d seen each other around. We’d spoken a few times in the tentative manner of Muslim-not-yet-couples. I’d formed an impression of him as being serious, but sweet, and when the idea of us was suggested, we both ran with it.

I always wondered what it meant when people said ‘you just know’. I still do, actually. For me, it was less about ‘knowing’ and more about doing. Plenty of people can feel things for each other –amazing, powerful, fuzzy feelings. But things come horribly undone when it comes to doing. They’re vague about your plans together. They’ll say ‘it’ll happen soon’, but it doesn’t. They disappear, then reappear. They’ll say now isn’t the right time for that conversation and that confrontation, all of it masking the fact that you aren’t the right people for each other.

So if you want to know how I knew with him, here’s what it was.

Everything he said he’d do, he did.

He was always kind, and he always listened.

He had unshakeable faith in Allah.

He made plans for our future, not just the lofty fantasies, but the nitty-gritty logistical details too.

He trusted me, and I trusted him in return.

Such simple things. Such rare things.

It wasn’t a ‘fairy tale romance’. He didn’t ‘complete’ me. We were two complex humans with complex backstories when we met, which inevitably meant there would be bumps along the way. We’d been disappointed before, but this only made us more careful not to disappoint each other. The stories we’d lived through individually became shared ones, moments to relive and dissect and analyse together.

I’m married now. But I won’t presume to offer condescending pieces of advice like ‘it’ll happen when you’re least expecting it’, because some people can spend their whole life not expecting and then not receiving.

I won’t say ‘work on yourself first and it’ll happen’, because that implies that married people are somehow superior to singles. (They’re not, and I’m not.)

I won’t even say ‘it’s all naseeb’, because my naseeb could just have easily been to remain alone.

I will say this: this year has been a dark one in so many ways. Desperation in the sea. Indifference, cruelty and blind privilege on the land. The widening gap between rich and poor and the continual denial of #blacklivesmatter. I don’t fool myself into thinking that this will change any time soon. But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate our personal triumphs, our little everyday joys, even as we raise our voice against injustice.

I pray that as this year ends, you find a companion, if this is what your heart longs for. I pray that you find peace and tranquility in company or in solitude. I pray that you keep fighting and keep holding onto your faith. I pray that you eat delicious things and see wonderful places while remembering those who can do neither. Most of all, I pray that you find the strength to keep giving and receiving love in all its wondrous, unexpected and beautiful forms.


12 responses to “2015

  1. Only know you through your posts but very happy for you. May Allah swt bless your marriage. Keep up the insightful posts for the single and hopefull 🙂

  2. This was beautifully written. May Allah bless you both with joy and contentment.

  3. This is beautiful! 🙂 Mashallah,, May Allah bless you both with many years of happiness and tawfeeq together 🙂 xx

  4. I love this! I too married my husband in a matter of weeks, and it’s been almost 6 years now Alhamdulillah. What really irks me though, are those people who think their form of “love” or “courtship” is superior to yours because you didn’t date in the western sense. This is coming from other fellow Muslims mostly. When you get comments like “oh you wouldn’t understand, you weren’t in love before you got married” or “but you only knew each other for a few weeks” etc, you begin to question the validity of your relationship. Makes you really wonder how they perceive you in the first place. I know you shouldn’t care, but you can’t help wonder if they’ve been speculating with others as to – why the rush? Especially considering the secrecy behind the courtship, however long it was.

    Congratulations on your marriage and I wish you all the best! I have no marriage advice (after 5 years I’m still learning how to do this thing called marriage), but I pray that whatever you do together, it brings you both closer to each other and most importantly to Allah swt..

    • Thank you so much for your well wishes and for sharing your story. I know what you mean, people seem to be suspicious of anyone who gets married in what they perceive to be a ‘rush’. But length of time in courtship isn’t a determinative factor in its success. I agree that marriage is a constant learning process-wishing you all the continued happiness in your marriage 🙂 x

    • We also had a relatively quick process (4 months from start to finish), and I’ge also experienced that kind of suspicion. Perhaps it’s just a sign of the twisted times we live in.

      But 8+ years later, I can tell you there’s still no doubt at all from either of us.

      If anything, those who do things the right way as far as possible, should feel MORE assured than those who did it wrong. Because there’s baraka from day 1, and I believe you’re less likely to experience major deen-related issues later on because you both started from a common, pure base. Those who weren’t so halaal, however, can change later, but it can get complicated and difficult because each spouse doesn’t necessarily experience spiritual growth at the same time and intensity – which can strain the relationship.

      That said, none of us are ever safe, so we should always make dua for continued steadfastness on the path, and guidance for both us and those we know who didn’t start in the right way.

      Zeynab: may Allah bless, guide and protect you and your husband, and prepare you well for the coming roller coaster of parenthood (when that eventually comes insha – Allah)

  5. Hi there, I would love to read an article in relation to couples giving money to their inlaws (whether it be a father in law, mother in law, married sister in law etc). I feel like its a sensitive issue especially when the in laws dont need it. Would love to read something about this topic and people views about it. Thanks!

  6. Ma Sha Allah, this is really beautiful… May Allah guide you to Janna…. Ma sha Allah, I loved reading this and now, I want to read more of you 🙂

  7. RevertHopingForGood

    Salaam alaykum,
    I am a revert to Islam. I feel a need to do something in some way to help others. Would you be interested in working with me to discuss the issues and challenges that reverts face, especially in the marriage arena.

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