Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Fix Up, Look Sharp

So what makes a Muslim stand out? His appearance, attitude, dress, behaviour and good deeds.

As a suitor and a da'wah carrier, you lead by example and show that you have a message.

The prophet (saw) was travelling to meet some brothers in Islam and he told his companions:

"You are going to visit your brothers, so repair your saddles and make sure you are dressed well, so that you will stand out among people like an adornment, for Allah (swt) does not love ugliness." [Ibn Al-Hanzaliyyah]

The appearance of a man cannot be separated from his inner nature. He has a responsibility. A responsibility to look after himself.

The prophet (saw) said to Abdullah ibn 'Amr:

"Have I not been informed that you fast all day and pray all night?' I said, 'Yes, Messenger of Allah.' He said, 'Do not do it. Fast and break the fast, and sleep and pray. Your body has a right over you, your eye has a right over you, your wife has a right over you, and your visitor has a right over you." [Bukhari & Muslim]

That's right . . your body, has a right over you.

Now you get those who go way over the top and you get those who outright neglect themselves. The key is moderation.

Lets break it down a little . .

Dress properly. No doubt, branded goods cost. A sense of style on the other hand doesn't. I suppose I could write an essay on the how to and how not to dress but I'm sure you've all got an individual sense of fashion. Besides, that's not my intention hehe :)

The Muslim man is very clean. He should wash regularly and follow the Sunnah of the prophet(saw). He shouldn't have any unpleasant smells coming from himself or his clothes.

You should look after your hair and beard. there's a narration where the prophet (saw) compared an unkept persons characteristics to the shaytaan. Thus, it's extremely important to fix up and look presentable.

That's right boys, if you want to go out and buy a hair straightener, go treat yourselves today!


So . . lets continue . .

Body and Health
Look after your body. For it has a right over you. I really can't emphasise this enough.

A few guidelines I stick by:

  • Eat Breakfast - Energy from the first hour and you tend to be less hungry throughout the day. It also sets the trend for the day. One tends to eat healthier.
  • Eat whole foods 90% of the time - Whole foods are unprocessed/unrefined (or a little). Examples: Fresh meat, fish, eggs, veggies, fruit, rice, oats, nuts etc . .
  • Eat small but often - You feel fuller and it stops you from having unnecessary cravings and overeating when you do go for that one huge meal. Yes, we're all guilty of it!
  • Protein and Fuits/Veg with each meal - You need protein to help build/maintain muscle and fruit/vegs are full of the good stuff and usually low in calories.
  • Drink water - Prevents dehydration and helps you control what you eat with each meal.
Exercise. Exercising gives you strength, energy and vitality to your body. You will look better, feel better and more importantly look after what Allah (swt) has provided you with. There are hundreds of reasons why one should train. Do take the time to Google the advantages.

I'm a big fan of Boxing/Weight, Resistance, Isometric, Plyometric Training. Do something that works for you. Schedule something you can stick to. Contrary to popular belief, you can spend 35 minutes in the gym and still build muscle mass. There's this false perception you must spend hours to see a return. Something is better than nothing.

Final Words
Look good and be good. You will be more active, attractive, confident, energetic, empowered and fly™.

Go out there and present the deen of Allah the way it should be done. Be prepared to be distinguished by your appearance, dress, behaviour and good deeds. Lead by example. Excel in all areas. You are the full package. Ready to find the wifey.

Peace out :)

Sunday, 8 November 2009

The one that got away

I remember when I first heard her speak. It was at a debate. She raised her hand and made a comment. I was surprised to learn it was a young lady. Wow. Mashallah! I was impressed. I have never heard a female talk so eloquently. In fact, it's abnormal for a young person to talk like that. Yes I learnt that because I too, was one of these abnormal people who talked too much sense for a kid. I had no idea who she was. This was over 3 years ago, maybe 4?

I attended an event about 2 years ago. Guess who was chairing the event? It was the mystery girl! Noor (light) glowing on her face, dressed ever so modestly. She was beautiful. More so, she was pious and intelligent. This time I left with a name.

I soon got caught up in my world. I moved on, life moved on.

A few weeks ago on facebook, I was posting on a friends wall. I noticed a note he was tagged in. It was by the same girl. I was like ooooooo . . eeeee.

I touched a few bases to find out more about her. Same age, same year of University. She even had the same hobbies and interests! Interesting . .

She had a mutual friend. A sincere, pious Sister I knew. I dropped her a message asking her if she could pursue this girl and find out if she was interested in marriage. Bless her. She was more than willing to be of assistance. May Allah reward her for her assistance.

Off she went to plant a few seeds and drop some references.

I got word back and she said she only seems to be interested if I was willing to relocate to the other end of the country. She wasn't even interested in finding out more about me. She'd just 'consider me' based on that premise. I scrutinised more and sister x asked her more questions.

I was left dumbstruck. So was sister x. Girls are complaining there are no decent men around and vice versa. I'm rejected solely based on conditional criteria? Wow! Not quite as rational and intelligent as I may have thought.

The graduate scheme I've been eyeing up is based around there. However based on her original premise I don't think it would have worked out well. I'm also greatful to have found out this early in the stage.

Bummed out . . . . but It's just another excuse for the inevitable plan that Allah (swt) has in-store.

Howzat for a bombshell?

And so it continues . . 

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Busy, busy and busy!

Subhaanallah, I can't believe how quick these weeks are flying by. Time is starting to become extremely scarce. University/Dawah is playing a huge role in my life and taking all my available time. I feel extremely exhausted/worn out and the year hasn't even started :)

Must persevere inshallah. 

Just a short reminder from me this week:

Be sure to check out more from the user. Great little reminders! 

'til next time . .

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The delusional image - I don't geddit?

I'm going to need some help on getting my head around this one folks.

I'm in the process of enquiring about someone who's been on the card for years. More to come on that after we make some progress!

This got me thinking - If this doesn't workout, where do I go from here?

How do girls pick guys?

Let me break it down a little. When you first see a girl you see how she's dressed. If she wears hijaab/jilbaab you get that insta-win feeling. If you find her mutually attractive. Another point. Based on these 2 preferences this is how most guys decide to go forward and enquire about them.

How else are we supposed to pick them? We go for the two factors most apparent to us when pursuing a wife.

Now how does this work for a girls picking a guy? Must he wear a jubba and have a beard the size of a fist? Well that's me off the cards.

I've noticed a common trend as of recent. I get a lot Asian girls making eye contact with me. Ya know . . the type to flirt/pick someone up. I feel embarrassed/shy, I can't maintain eye contact. No, I haven't got a chip on my shoulder and I don't think I'm 'it'. I'm just not what you perceive me to be. 

I'm not hanging up my gloves yet, I just feel that if this falls prematurely (looking likely). I'll lose motivation for a while.

It's a sad lonely battle. What are us guys supposed to do?

Friday, 9 October 2009


I encountered one of my childhood heroes. He showed me being a rude bwoi was for losers. He also showed me how Islam was the only way to live your life. I like to think his words inspired me for and kept me clean whilst growing up in the ghetto.

I met him yesterday at an event. We bumped into each other, and I got that warm, cuddly feeling you get of meeting awesomeness!

I drove him home and he gave me some food for thought about marriage.

I realised we all have a lot of expectations and misconceptions of marriage.

The brother gave me an analogy about how marriages are like natural resources. Coal is easy to get hold of. Diamonds on the other hand, are fairly scarce. This is evident in reality. You'll come across some couples who have amazing partners. Two people who know how to get on and work with things. You'll come across some who are just living through their marriage and taking it as it goes. Then there are those who hate each other. I'm sure we could do a tafsir on this and really break it down into 20 different categories, but lets just leave it at that haha . .

We must understand that not everyone will find a diamond. Those that do find diamonds won't have a flawless marriage either. What makes them diamonds are that they know how to communicate and deal with problems they encounter. They have an understanding.

We've gotten into this notion that "Hey I've read all the books on marriage . . . . . She's read all the books on marriage. Let's get married. We're ready! Thunderbirds are go go go go!!!!"

If only t'was that simple. In reality, it's different.Totally different!

A brother told me the following . . . .

Say . .  she does something inappropriate and you use wisdom and put your case across in the nicest possible way. She may not accept it and she'll give you some lip! I remember mine said to me, you think you're a sahabah now?  

 That really made me LOL!

We've all grown/been brought up in this society. We want to find a potential spouse who has similar understanding and values. By default you have to accept that we've all been corrupted in one way or another. We are humans after all. Now, you're obviously going to get lip if you tell her to do something which her own father didn't tell her to do. It's something you have to accept. Now how you deal with issues is where one needs to differentiate. One can choose to give lip back and have a never ending argument. Or . . one can choose to accept the circumstances and with things differently.

Now . . expectations. Ah . . expectations, doesn't it make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Thought not.

Most have us have been placed with 'expectations'. Through television, school friends, society, colleagues, ads . .  you name it - we've been bombarded with all these fairly tales and images of how 'things should be'.

Take guys for example. Growing up we've been bombarded with semi-naked women in our faces. Over time we've got this warped image of bollywood figures, models and so on. This has become the benchmark.  We see women flaunting it  . . non-muslim and muslim alike. We've been exposed the charms of a women. Women don't quite dress modest as they once did.

Take an average looking woman. Slap make up on her, using a GHD hair straightner . .  give her smoooooth silky hair. She will look pretty. In the eyes of some people; the less she wears the prettier she'll get.

Now take a woman in hijaab. You don't know what to expect. In my eyes a woman concealing her beauty is a lot more attractive. You don't quite know what to expect.

In a nutshell. Every woman is beautiful in her own unique way.

Imagine being brought in the society where you haven't been exposed to lewd images/descriptions. You've never seen a women exposed before. How special would it be when he meets his wife?

I don't think she'd always ask "Does my backside look big in this?" and be so self-concious. 

Moving on . . when a guy is married, many of us begin to think we'll be in a position to say "Yes! That part of the test is over". Little do they know it ignites their sexual instincts more, once they're sexually active. Yes boys . . don't assume it's over, you must continue to lower your gaze and guard yourself. 

Marriage is hard. Don't have these expectations that she will be the answer to your life. That she will be like Khadijah. It's good to aspire and aim for the best. But don't assume for one minute it's going to go like your mind has played it. You have to work. And you have to work very hard. It's not meant to be easy.

Don't think for one moment life will become easier. A new test will begin. It's an experience I look forward to. Why? Allah tests those whom he loves. It never ends and a new experience begins.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Fight or Flight

I started writing this during the time I was looking for a wife, but never posted it because I couldn't finish writing it before I got engaged. Anyway, here it is!


In psychology, the term fight or flight is used to explain the biological responses our body makes in reaction to a threat - to either prime the body for fighting or to prime the body for fleeing.

Am I weird to say I experience the fight or flight response whenever I approach a girl to seriously talk about marriage? How hard should I fight to get a girl? Should I have an attitude where fighting to get a girl equals hassle... hassle that I could, frankly, live without?

These are all questions that I had to ask myself when I was looking for a wife. In the start of my search, I didn't think much of it. I thought that a girl would suddenly fall in my lap (not literally! lol) and we would fall in love and get married and live happily ever after. Getting married shouldn't be hard - being married is the difficult bit... right?


Rewards are always sweeter when you have fought a long, hard battle to get what you were aiming for. The amount of appreciation that you will have for something that you worked hard to achieve would naturally be much greater than if it were given to you on a silver platter.

Let me explain, by rewinding a couple decades ago...

When I was a young boy, my parents never gave me any pocket money. Didn't buy me many things, didn't get any birthday presents... didn't really get many material possessions. I used to envy my school mates who would get £5 a week for doing nothing. They'd all have cool games consoles, when I had a tennis ball. They went to the corner shop after school and bought sweets. I had no money to buy anything, so I just went home. The only time I got money was when it was Eid, or when I worked for it. And here was the standard list of jobs available to get money:

Wash the car inside and out: 50p
Clean all the downstairs windows on the inside: 20p
Clean all the downstairs windows on the outside: 20p
Clean all the downstairs windows on the inside: 20p
Vacuum one room: 5p
Clean my room: no money, cos i'm expected to do it anyway!
There was a time when I used to get 5p for each prayer I completed
Sometimes, I would get 5p for practicing reading the muqaddam (a book to familiarise myself with the arabic text and to learn how to read the Qur'an)
Washing the dishes: 5p
And so on...

And I remember when my siblings and I had worked really hard and we had all saved up lots of money (approx £2 each or so), so we would all go down to the local shop and buy multi-packs of crisps and chocolates and share it amongst ourselves.

MashaAllah, my mum taught us the value of money, and taught us how to spend that money in a nice way - by sharing it with others.

So I grew up really cherishing everything I had - even though I didn't really own that many things. Whatever I had for lunch, I would eat everything, even though I didn't like it sometimes (and as I was a slow eater, I would usually be one of the last kids to leave the lunch hall). I would see others throw away the food they didn't want to finish, just because they didn't like it.

I always compared myself to my classmates and I could never understand their rationale behind their actions. For example, whenever I had a bottle of drink, I would save the bottle and reuse it the next day. But I would see my classmates do stupid stuff like bite the bottom of the bottle and drink through the little hole they made with their teeth! What a waste of a perfectly good bottle! Obviously, they had to throw away the bottle after that since there was no way you could use it again. But I remember thinking "how can they not appreciate these things that they have been given?"

Simple answer: spoilt children. They've been given everything they asked for without having to lift a finger. They never did any chores. They never learnt to appreciate what they had and what they worked for. So they had no care for their actions and no love for their belongings. Whereas I had to struggle to get the tiniest bit of monetary reward.

Let's move forward in time back to the recent past...

I was sitting with my brothers and sisters celebrating Eid when the discussion came up about me choosing a wife. Big sis asked me if I wanted to fight for the girl of my dreams. My natural answer: "no, it should be simple - I don't wanna fight. If it's meant to be, it'll happen". My brother shot up and said, "nah, you never want to fight for your things. You just expect things to happen around you. That ain't reality. You're living in a dreamworld". My sis then proclaimed, "yeah *Hiro*, you should show that you're at least fighting to get a girl, otherwise, it would seem like you don't even want her"

That short conversation had such a profound effect on me. Could it be that I've lost all the values I used to hold as a child? What happened to the concept that I should work hard to get what I wanted? Had this dark dreary world corrupted me to the point where I have forgotten my mother's teachings?

As you can imagine, I didn't say much for the rest of that conversation. I was in deep thought for the whole evening. Maybe I should fight to get the girl of my dreams. Instead of just wandering aimlessly, waiting for her to fall into my lap. I mean... who do I think I am? Shahrukh Khan in some Bollywood movie? Things don't just happen like that in real life.

I decided on two things that night. Firstly, to cut down on the movies. Secondly, to adopt a new way of thinking when seeking a suitable partner in marriage.

This new way of thinking included many things. For starters, I'm not going to run away from the smallest problem I had with the next potential wife. I remember rejecting girls just because they had studied medicine and some twisted logic in my mind had made up the idea that because she was studying medicine, she probably wanted to make a career out of it, therefore, didn't want to have children. So I rejected her without even talking to her! I had rejected girls because they were from a different culture to me. Even though, we were both born in the UK and had grown up here all our lives. I had rejected girls I had never even met before because they were older than me. Or they lived in another country. Or were too short. Or knew my sister. Or she never used to wear hijab. Once, I even rejected a girl because she had the same name as my sister (but that is quite freaky for obvious reasons!). The point is, I kept choosing the option of 'flight' every time I saw a small threat that might materialise in the future.

What a moron I was. And I wanted to change. I had realised my mistake in all of this and I had decided that now is not the time for 'flight' every time a small minor negative thing gets in the way.

It's. time. to. fight.

Nobody is perfect; so I can't expect my future wife to have no flaws whatsoever. Which means that I can't expect an easy ride to get the girl of my dreams... right? In fact, I now believe that if we don't struggle to find 'the one', then it might come back and haunt you later in the future. Maybe through not appreciating the one you are supposed to love. Maybe that might lead to your future spouse reciprocating that feeling. Maybe that might lead you to fall out of love. Maybe that might lead you to end up in divorce. Now that's a scary thought.

I now hold the opinion that you have to expect to fight for the girl of your dreams. Sitting down and waiting for her to come to you is not an option. After all a marriage-seeker should seek. Not be sought. Cos then, you would be a marriage-soughter. And that don't even make sense.

So let me go back to my original hypothesis: "getting married shouldn't be hard". Maybe I should change the 'getting married' part of that hypothesis to something more appropriate like 'choosing a colour to paint your wall... shouldn't be hard'. That would be more fitting. Getting married is the hard part. That's where you lay down the foundations of your union. It's where you learn to appreciate each other and each other's roles in each other's lives. It's where you have to make a decision whether you think you can spend the rest of your life with that person or not. You have to consider the relationship that your future spouse will have with your family, if your future spouse is planning on moving in with your family. You have to figure out whether or not you both have the same direction in life; after all, one of you may be an extrovert personality, while the other may be introvert. And if one of you have to relocate after marriage, then what are the logistics of that happening?

Most importantly, you have to mentally prepare yourself for marriage. And that doesn't mean looking in the mirror and saying "I want to get married". Noooo. It means that you have to be at a pretty mature stage of your life, where you are confident that you can resolve problems. That you can foresee problems and eradicate them before they exist. And have the knowledge that sometimes, your wife just wants to talk (sometimes scream). And you have to listen - even though you really wanna just watch tv. lol.

All this requires a lot of thought. And a constant battle with yourself ensues. 'Can I live with that part of his/her personality? Would he/she be upset with my direction in life? Would I get support from him/her whenever I want to do something?'

If any of you have felt the same as me, please share it with us. A problem shared, is a problem halved.

I’m Crushin’ on you!!

Throughout my life, I have had many crushes on girls. Usually, girls who i regularly see, or work with, or go to school/college/uni with. Crushes developed on girls like Charlize Theron, Beyonce and Jennifer Love-Hewitt don’t count. That’s just too superficial.

But when discussing these crushes with other brothers (cos that’s what we do over sheesha, apparently) we always come up with the same answer; that these girls are not marriage material. Oh this reminds me of a game we used to play when we were immature: “sex, marry or kill?”. Highly obvious rules to the game – name a girl, and the other has to declare whether they would have sex with, marry, or kill that girl. Lol. What a stupid game.

Anyway, that game has no relevance to my post. So let me get back to my point.

Where was I? Oh yes, these girls are not marriage material. As I explained in a previous post, I have always lived in remote areas, where there are no masaajid, no halal butchers, and most certainly barely any Muslims. So naturally, I was not seriously interested in any of these local girls.

When I started college, I was amazed to firstly see so many Muslim girls, but to also see that so many Muslim girls don’t cover up or abide by Islamic morals kinda struck me.

When I started uni, I was even more amazed that there were so many sisters in uni, and that they covered up well, but was shocked that a lot of them were kinda flirty. I guess at least they are studying hard and not wasting their life away.

In fact, I remember sitting in a brother’s apartment and explaining to him why, of all the girls that were in uni, I had not started chasing any of them (in all Islamic manners, obviously). It was then, that I made the realisation that all good Islamic girls hide.

I am even more confused, after many of my friends started to get married, and after meeting their respective wives, discovered that they were all very decent women. Even the ones who didn’t wear hijab. Where have all the good women gone??! They are either married or in hiding!!

Guys like me have no chance then!

I started to lose hope due to these ideas, until i met these two sisters. Their real identities shall be hidden, so we shall call them Abidah and Anisah (these names rhyme, just like their real ones!)

Anyway, I met these lovely young ladies at work. They happen to visit my store all the time and I still remember the first time they graced the store with their visit.

Abidah walked in and all I could do was to stop and stare. A few moments later, I realised what I was doing and turned away. But found myself approaching her to greet her with the Islamic greeting of ‘Assalamualaikum’. Instantly, she responded, then explained to me what she was looking for. I went to the stockroom to look for it and came back to tell her we didn’t stock it.

“Sorry, sister. We don’t have it”, I told her. She gave me a confused look, then said “ok, then” and walked away. I was quite struck by that response, so I decided to forget about it by checking up on my staff. A few moments passed, and Abidah approached me again telling me “thanks for looking for me; you told my twin sister though, so she got a bit confused!”

I was dumbfounded! “There’s two of you?” I exclaimed!

“Yes, there she is, we are wearing different coloured hijabs!” and she pointed.

I looked across and started waving like a bafoon. Way to make a first impression, Geetar Hiro! Nevertheless, she must’ve thought it was funny, cos they both laughed.

They both continued visiting my store once every while – and on one instance, I actually managed to get Abidah’s number! Success? Not quite. She gave me that number because she was waiting for a particular item to be in stock; ie, she gave me her number on professional terms. Now, if I were to abuse that professional customer relationship by calling her up on personal terms, surely that would violate some sort of company regulation? So I used to just call her purely on professional terms.

That is, until mid-Ramadhan! They both came in and by this time, I found myself crushing on Abidah. So every time they came in, I found myself talking mainly to Abidah, while Anisah just walked around browsing.

Anyway, Abidah and Anisah came to my store during Ramadhan, and it was obvious they were not shopping. Instead, when they came into the store, they walked around until they found me and naturally, we started chatting. Just generally, about Ramadhan and how easy it was this year.

Then Anisah dropped a bombshell on me. She told me that Abidah and her would be going back home to celebrate Eid... because “here, we have nobody”.

Did you hear that?? ‘Nobody’, which blatantly means that they are not married! They’re going back home to see the rest of their family, ie their siblings and parents! They are not here with their husbands! They’re not here with their boyfriends! They’re here on their own! I’m sorry to be excited about how sad and alone they were, but that kinda works in my favour! Lol!

So I spent the next couple days devising a way to subtly let Abidah know that I am interested in her. After hours and hours of thinking how to approach this issue (you guessed it, I’m not good with things like this), I finally settled on sending her a text to invite her and her sister to my parents’ open house Eid party. Many of my friends and their wives were coming, my sisters would be there, and many of my parents’ friends on top of that. In fact, most people come to my parents’ open house invitations because they want to meet other families. It was the perfect venue – purely neutral.

Now, I secretly knew that they may not even be able to make it because they told me they were going to go back home for Eid, but I forgot to ask them when they will be back (I guess subconsciously, I didn’t want to pry too much into their lives). However, my parents’ open house Eid party would be exactly one week after Eid.

I made sure the delivery report on my phone was turned on when I sent the texts. Abidah’s text got through, but for some reason, Anisah’s delivery report came back with “sending failed”. No biggie. One out of two ain’t bad!

Hands started sweating, but after some thought, she can either reply or ignore. Here’s me hoping it’s the former rather than the latter!


Bad news... I write this update a week after the Eid party is over, and still no reply back from my text. Looks like Abidah chose the latter rather than the former.

Oh well.

The search continues...

But my earlier theory that good islamic girls hide (or at least are too shy to put themselves in the limelight) still holds true until someone proves me otherwise...

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Tying Your Camel – Part II

While my little sister was in college, she had this extremely good looking friend who was quite Islamic, apart from one thing. This girl didn’t wear a scarf properly – it would not cover her neck; just her hair. So I had mixed feelings on this one, back then. I can’t say that I wasn’t attracted to her, but the fact that she didn’t wear a hijab properly kinda put me off at the same time. I had only just started uni as well, so I was skint as anything. I knew I couldn’t afford to marry or to settle down with someone. So I didn’t think too much of marriage; nor her. Nevertheless, I still have a story to tell. From this point forward, we shall refer to this girl as Aisha.

Several years later, my mother suggested that I speak to Aisha regarding marriage (Aisha’s family were distant family friends of ours). I politely refused, since I remembered that she didn’t wear hijab properly. I didn’t want to lower my standards. And besides, I had not seen Aisha for several years either. The conversation ended.

A few days later, I was out walking with my friend, and I was telling him about Aisha back in college and how my mother was now so intent on getting me married to this girl, and about how funny this whole situation was. At that very moment in time, I noticed this stunning looking girl walking towards me. Dressed like an angel, covered from top to toe, gliding majestically towards me in full grace. My feet froze as she came closer and my eyes were fixated on her face, trying to figure out who this girl was. She looked familiar. She looked up. Avoiding eye contact with everyone and carried on walking.

That’s when I realised this girl was Aisha.

I waited for her to pass and get a distance away before I turned to my friend and asked him “did you see that girl? That was Aisha!!”. My friend looked back and said “wow, she’s pretty”. Hell, yeah!!

I immediately called my mother to tell her I had just walked past Aisha and declared that the only reason why I didn’t want to pursue her before (due to her not wearing hijab properly) was now void. And that she would make a perfect wife. Not that I have actually had a conversation with Aisha to know that. Lol.

My mother said that she would make some calls and see what happens.

Needless to say, I was sleepless that night. Ecstatic.

Turns out that my mother couldn’t contact the family straight away. It took a couple weeks to find out their phone number and by that time, they were away on holiday or something. So Aisha was pushed to the back of my mind so that I could concentrate on other important things going on in my life.

A couple months passed and my mother finally spoke to Aisha’s mother, who gave my mother Aisha’s email address. This was passed on to me, but the problem was I didn’t know what to write to her. She probably doesn’t even remember me. Or what I look like. And it certainly doesn’t help that we have never spoken to each other. The most interaction we had was when I was chairing an event in uni and she was one of the attendees. So every draft email sounded weird. After much procrastination, I decided to send the following message:


I hope you are well...

My mother gave me your email address a few weeks back.

Just wanted to make sure that I read it correctly”

I put my name at the bottom and pressed “send”. Immediately afterwards, I realised that if someone had sent me this email, I would ignore it. So I figured that I’ve probably lost my only chance with this girl and didn’t think much more of her or the situation.

Several months passed and (yep, you guessed it), I couldn’t stop thinking about Aisha. I kept picturing her face, how she walked, how she dressed, how she moved...

So I decided to tie my camel.

I know which mosque her father goes to on Fridays. Not my usual mosque, but also not very far from where I attend either. I am now on a mission. And I shall name this mission “operation target dad”; since I believe that the parents can make or break the relationship. Once I get him on my side, then I’m sure Aisha’s mother will be on my side as well. Then once the parents are ok with me, then surely, it would influence Aisha’s opinion of me for the better... right? Or would she think that I’m just a geek?? I don’t know. But the level of not knowing would be much greater if I didn’t act. At least, if I tried and she didn’t like me, then I would have some sort of closure. Then I can work to get over it and move on.

I found her father at the mosque. I gave my salam and sparked up a conversation with him. He started to ask me questions regarding my background – my work, where I live, etc. After my replies, his eyes sparkled. “Ohh, are you so-and-so’s son?”, he asked. Then my eyes sparkled. “Yes, yes I am!”, I replied. Luckily for me, my father has a good reputation in the community. Then we talked about how he had met my dad on several occasions, and even came to my parents’ house as well. Unluckily, I had not been there when ‘possible future father-in-law (Insha’Allah!)’ had brought his family over.

Subsequent weeks followed and conversations grew. That’s good. I could show my Islamic personality. Hopefully, when he thinks of marriage for his daughter, he will think of me as the most suitable man! Or maybe I need to grow a pair and just ask him the big question. Why the hell am I so shy when it comes to things like this?? I could easily talk to the girls I meet at work. Even real pretty ones. The pretty ones that make some guys stutter when they talk. So I’m definitely not shy. In fact, when I was thinking of a personal description for my online matrimonial advert, I was asking big sis for feedback – I told her I had described myself as ‘shy’. Big sis laughed down the phone. Then she made me change it.

So I’m definitely not a shy guy.

But I had cold feet every time I come near this topic of marriage. Oh! I just had a thought. Is my heart not in sync with my mind? Does my heart long for love, while my mind tells me I’m not ready?

Stop. I’m going off on a tangent again.

These thoughts will just drag me down. I want marriage. I need to do this. I need to bring up the conversation of marriage. Or maybe I can just bring my dad to the mosque and let him do all the work. Haha. I like the sound of that. Ok, now that the plan is set, I just need to execute the plan. Oh man. Cold feet again. Ok, baby steps. That’s how I developed my staff into the great people they are now. It’s how I taught myself how to do things like drive quickly, read Qur’an fluently, or read music with ease. Baby steps gradually increase your confidence until you come to the point where you can achieve anything.

So first baby step – to gain confidence – is to respond to the numerous messages (yay!) I got from the matrimonial website and see where that takes me. Apparently, the more often I log into the website, the more prominent my profile becomes.

In fact, I went all out. I felt like a playa! Haha! With several girls on the go. Shame they turned out to be non-serious people.

Except for one... :)

Hmmm... who would’ve thought that tying your camel actually works out?


Tuesday, 29 September 2009

And so it begins . .

Uni term is has started. It feels weird to be back.

The number of muslim this year round . . Allahu Akbar! The prayer rooms are packed, the number of covered sisters has increased and my network is growing. I must have met and had a chat with about 20/25 brothers at the freshers dinner! 

"Yo bro, wifey? . . . Me: ~shakes head~

This is first question/response upon returning to Uni. Yes, the single, muslim nation is getting bigger and urm . . bigger!

Where am I with marriage? I don't know. A lot of events have recently given me perspective. Some . . freaked me out!

I intend to get some of my thoughts written up but time is really pressing! My leisure time has been reduced and I spend it in the gym, attending Islamic classes, reading and spending time with those who are close to me.

A few updates . . 

My parents informed me of another offer and they're ecstatic about it. I caught a glimpse of her approx 8 months ago at a wedding. She had a received a number of proposals and my parents said at the time she'd extremely difficult to get hold of. I met her father a few months back and he's such an awesome guy, a caring family man.One teeeeny issue . . I found out she's 3, almost 4 years older than me. I'm not too sure where I stand on this issue.

A hijaabi sister asked me out to dinner. Okaaaaaaaaaay, this .  .  I wasn't expecting! I didn't know how to respond to this. Don't get me wrong, I was flattered and all that but I just quite didn't know how to respond! You know when you brain cogs just freeze? Yeah, I kinda had that moment. I responded with "As fun as it would be, sorry I can't!". I just hope she understood and didn't take it the wrong way!

Life is interesting. Every day is a lesson. I keep learning. It seems Allah is guiding me with the people I meet. I've met some interesting, some motivating and downright strange people as of recent!

I've been patient but it's extremely difficult. I've had a lot more offers than brothers I know and it's equally as daunting. I just wish this process would be easier.

Easier? Where's the fun in that?

And so it continues . .

Tuesday, 22 September 2009


1) Fate
2) Destiny

Derived from the Arabic word qisma.

This has constantly been running around in my head. I keep hearing this word.

Over the last week I've witnessed two failed marriages.

Couple #1
I've known this brother since we've been children. so I like to think I know him pretty well. We've even been abroad together! He got married a few years back. Unfortunately he was desperate and he rushed into this marriage. They had a few meets and on every occasion he went to their house his spouse used to cover and portray 'housewife' qualities.

I actual recall attending the wedding and father showing me her sister. They were all blessed with beauty and I have to say the one my father showed me was definitely up there with the looks. I was a few years younger then and even then I could see through the pretty looks.

Unfortunate for the brother, he thought he scored and her looks was all he caught up by. 

Any how, a few years on these two have had an extremely tough time.The girl is what we'd call a disrespectful woman. She walks around attracting males attention with a child. What must be going through her mind? The brother had revealed they haven't slept on the same bed for 2 years and it's a disaster. She's everything he disapproves of.

Last week they had a massive argument and he lashed out. The outcome? Divorce.

Couple #2
The typical 'Alpha male' owning his wife. He had beaten up his wife and I was called to intervene.

What did he hit her for? A comment. I kid you not! She asked him if he would like to do something to return a favour to a family and he lashed out on her making a suggestion!

She's not allowed to talk without his permission. 

I saw her in tears, trembling. It hurt me, it hurt me a lot.  

Allahu Akbar! What have people become? What have muslims become?

I'm currently in the process of helping this poor (pious) woman, resolve this stupidity with the aid of some community members.

If these two couple knew their lives would end in tears would they have married? They both said their marriage was a mistake. Indeed a dear mistake to make with kids.

This is ultimately; fate. We have established in Seeking Marriage (Part 1)  that Allah controls a number of provisions in our life. However, we are given the power to make decisions. To choose.

It is these decisions we make, that affect our life. The end result will always be from Allah but we should never neglect our duty to make a good decision.

Be sure we shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits (of your toil), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. [Qur'an 47: 31]

I will wait as long as it takes for a good wife. I know what my qualities are. By Allah, I know I will treat my wife with love and respect. The question is  . .  how will she turn out? 

I won't turn a blind eye to find out.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Eid Mubarak

Assalamu Alaikum All,

I wanted to wish everyone Eid Mubarak.

I have to say . .  reflecting over Ramadan, it's gone better than I could have expected it to go. It's helped me so much in personal development and Ibadah.

Just a small reminder . .
"Take one step towards me, I will take ten steps towards you. Walk towards me, I will run towards you." [Hadith Qudsi]

"When My servants ask thee concerning Me, I am indeed close. I listen to the prayer of every suppliant when he calleth on Me: Let them also, with a will, Listen to My call, and believe in Me, That they may walk in the right way." [Qur'an 2:186]

Wow. Allah has promised believers many times throughout the Qur'an that those who worship Allah, Allah rewards them immensely in return. I'm so grateful that Allah has given us this opportunity.

I made a secret promise with Allah. In return he will help me. It's something we should all take advantage of. We're truly blessed to be amongst believers.

I hope you all succeeded this Ramadan :)

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Seeking Marriage - Part 3

Point number 3: Be direct and, approach either her/her friends and attempt to get her fathers number. 

Why is this so difficult?


This is a problem. We don't free-mix with the opposite sex freely. This is frowned upon as the general rule of thumb in Islam is . . whatever leads to haram is haram in itself.

There are opinions out there that state it's permissible to look (within reason) and talk to girls with the sincere intention of marriage. Note the keyword sincerity.You know where to draw the line.


This is where it becomes an issue. Muslims are scared because we ultimately think . .  Who draws the line?

In regards to all aspects in life we have the same dilemma. How do we resolve it? Educate ourselves - Follow the Qur'an and Sunnah. Whoever follows these two sources will never go wrong.

Once you know your boundaries, stick with them and don't compromise.

This is where networking comes into play. It makes life somewhat easier.

Depending On Others

I dislike depending on others. Some are just lazy and see it as burden if you ask them, others won't do a very good job. Let downs is what we call 'em around here! Besides you accomplish and overcome boundaries by doing something for yourself. 

I personally find it better to interact with the girl, you can find out sooner if we're compatible. Then we get the families involved. 

Make It Easier

I think both guys and girls could ease the burden off one another. If you're approached make it easier for someone to obtain information. Don't become best friends and start flirting/giving your life story away. That's lame.

Girls like it when a guy's 'mysterious' and vice versa. 

If someone shows they're not interested. Don't feel rejected or down, let it be known that person is not for you and move on. It wasn't meant to be.

Be smooth, pray to Allah, do dua, educate yourself and it's all gravy!

Have I missed some obvious option? How do you guys/girls like to be approached? Come forward and give a shout out!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

We've Had A Makeover!

I put some effort into revamping the layout.

What do you think?

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Seeking Marriage - Part 2

Part 1

We've determined that Allah (swt) has a decreed a number of things in our life. We also know that we have to actively go out and seek our provisions.

So how do we go out and seek marriage?

This is the one we all have problems with. We think on how on earth do you approach a guy or woman?

Do we use the following chat up lines:

> Girl when I saw you I said mashallah . . then I said inshallah!

> Allah created everything in pairs, so what are you doing single?

    Or how about . . .

    > Wanna ride shotgun on my camel?

    > Is your dad a terrorist, ‘cuz you da bomb!

      I've never used any of these lines and I don't intend on having a go for now. However, if you do decide to use one . . . let me know how it goes!

      Lets take a look at some options.

      Where to look

      No doubt the best and easiest place to find single muslims are at Univeristy and Islamic Events in the West. In addition, there are family/friends/occasions/events to widen the search. Basically take every opportunity you can.

      Where I live there are a lot of single muslim girls looking for marriage. Most young muslims realise it's the only way to be in an acceptable relationship. What's the problem then? There's a lot of incompatibility issues.


      Networking is extremely important in this game. Make your self known and available on the market. Friends, family and relatives. Plaster it on Facebook if you have to ;)

      If your network is small don't distress. Alhamdulillah it's fairly easy to strike a conversation with any muslim. Just be yourself and make a diverse range of contacts. As with all human beings you'll encountered some amazing people and some completely opposite.

      Making the move

      You've been on the prowl, you got your connections and you 've come across the girl you want to know more about. She's got the hijaab on, dressed modestly with noor glowing on her beautiful face. What do you do?

      Here are some scenario's:
      1. Sending a female (be it your mum, sister or relative) on your behalf to spark up a conversation with her.
      2. If the above is is not possible this is where networking comes in to play. You get one of your friends to find a female to interact with her.
      3. Be direct and, approach either her/her friends and attempt to get her fathers number. This is pretty awkward but hey! It's not meant to be all easy right?
      4. Bring a guitar and play/sing You and me.
      Ok the last option wouldn't go down well, so I advise against that.

      The first and second option is by far the easiest and simplest. The third option takes real courage and it's a very direct approach. Please don't creep out the brother/sister by just walking up to them and saying "Give your dad's number . . NOW!". Something along the lines of "Assalamu Alaikum, are you interested in marriage? If you are . . would you mind giving me your fathers number?" would go down well. Maybe?

      #3 is incredibly is awkward and innapropriate. It's not really practical. Especially if her friends are around her. It could end up being embarrassing and a highlight of the day for the girls.

      On that bombshell, this will now extend to a part 3!

      Part 3 will consist of some finer points for  option 3 and a males/females role in this adventure.

      Thursday, 3 September 2009

      Seeking Marriage - Part 1

      So here we are . . confused, frustrated, losing hope. Hoping that the marriage candidate will somehow be sent through divine intervention.

      Allah (swt) teaches us how we should seek our provisions from rizq to marriage.

      We know that everything is ultimately from the creator. Whatever is fixed is fixed.

      You may be thinking "If Allah predestined our marriage, then why are we burdening ourselves and getting overly stressed in finding the 'right wife'?"

      Good question.

      Allah has predestined a number of things for insaan (mankind). Be it wealth, marriage even life itself. These things are unknown to us.

      Ibn Mas’ud narrated that Allah’s Messenger (saw) said to his wife Umm Habiba: “Verily you have asked Allah about the duration of life already set, and the steps you would take, and the sustenance the share of which is fixed. Nothing will take place before its due time, and nothing will be deferred beyond when it is due.” [Muslim]

      This concept is from the Islamic aqeedah (belief). We believe in this idea because it's in the glorious Qur'an and explained in the Sunnah.

      Therefore it's quite simple to understand that Allah has given us a domain of control. You choose your own thoughts and actions. There's also a domain which we don't control, that of which is beyond the remit of man - Weather, Earthquakes etc . . all of which Allah is the master of.

      Geetar Hiro's posted a wonderful post . . The Prophet (saw) advised a man, “Tie the camel and trust in Allah”.

      Simply put . . We have to actively go out and seek marriage. Through all halal means Allah has provided us with.

      Pray and place your trust in Allah. At the same time work hard . . to ensure to find a partner who is suitable for you.

      Allah created believing men and women for each other.

      "Women impure are for men impure, and men impure for women impure, and women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity" [Qur’an 24:26]

      Part 2 to follow with some practical tips on seeking marriage.

      Part 2

      Tuesday, 1 September 2009

      Another offer stumbles my way

      My parents surprisingly took the initiative to help towards the cause.

      The parents went for the initial meet and they said she was extremely impressive. Good marriage material.

      They told me about the girl and the family and it all looked promising.

      So, we arranged a date and we went to see the family. Initial impressions, the parents were extremely quiet and as the conversation progressed it seems they've lived an extremely sheltered life and imposed that lifestyle on their daughters.

      The conversation progressed and a revelation was then made, the girl wasn't even aware of the marriage. Okay . . They continued and told me she would obey everything I say or do. I sit, she sits - Great . . a doormat!

      I couldn't talk to her because her father thinks that daughters who speak to their potential husbands in front of their mahram are the bad girls. This comment threw me off.

      Another day passed. Another experience gained.

      And so it continues . .

      Saturday, 22 August 2009

      The First Experience – Lessons Learnt

      So, was it worth telling her? Was it worth thinking so far ahead?

      Like you wouldn’t believe it.

      This experience changed so many things for me.

      It strengthened my Imaan. I couldn’t quite explain this but whilst feeling anxious and confused during this whole experience I left my trust with Allah and I felt so calm/relaxed. The end result is always from Allah. We can never change that. This outlook lets you know what you’re not alone in this struggle.

      As a result of strengthening my Imaan, it’s improved my character, work for the deen and the way I think.

      Maturity. I started thinking of issues I thought I wouldn’t encounter for years to come. I become responsible for my actions. I thought of consequences. I thought of outcomes.

      Enlightened thinking. My thought process has changed for the better. Things don’t appear as linear as they used to. A box no longer appears as just a box. It’s a multi-dimensional box with a surface area and volume, which is made for an intended purpose.

      The logic behind Islam. We accept that Islam is a way of life but sometimes we can’t help but compromise Islam in situations such as these. Islam has a unique system to regulate the interaction of male/female. It gives us examples of how to choose the best potential partners. It also teaches us how to get married.

      These are just some of the things.

      These experiences occur for a reason. To take lessons and get some practice in for the right one.

      I feel . . . content. Allah has something bigger in-store for me.

      Ramadan Mubarak

      Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu,

      May Allah (swt) give us strength to fast with all faith and make easy for us every aspect of ibadah.

      In this holy month of mercy and forgiveness, we ask Allah (swt) to forgive all our sins - past and present. May we all benefit from the opportunities that are showered upon us during this blessed month.

      8 ways to boost your Ramadan spirit:

      Thursday, 20 August 2009

      Tying your camel

      One day Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it and he asked the Bedouin, "Why don't you tie down your camel?" The Bedouin answered, "I put my trust in Allah." The Prophet then said, "Tie your camel first, then put your trust in Allah" (At-Tirmidhi). 
      this hadith teaches us to prepare as much as we can before we leave to the will of Allah (swt). only then, can we really be excused from any blame if anything goes wrong. i love this hadith – it has such a profound meaning to it. and the impact it has made on my life is immense. or so i thought. let me explain what i mean...
      once upon a friday, a brother asked me if i would be attending the local mosque for friday prayer. “of course”, i replied. i asked him to meet me at my workplace at 12:50pm latest so that we could set off by 1pm. we both live about 15 miles from the nearest mosque and my routine at work was to take a 2 hour lunch break to be able to fulfil this obligation. that’s enough time to drive at a comfortable, safe speed for half an hour to the mosque, catch the sermon and prayer, mingle with the brothers at the mosque, then another half hour drive back to my workplace after having lunch.
      at 12:50pm, i went up to my office and noticed that i had a missed call from the brother. i immediately called him back, expecting him to say that he was waiting for me outside. but instead, he told me that he wasn’t able to make it, as he had only just gotten ready and was not able to do the 20 minute walk down to my workplace in time to set off by 1pm. i told him to stop being a joke and start running. now.
      i fled my workplace like a bat out of hell and made the half mile run to my car. then, i sped off towards his house in my risky attempt at being the hero of the day.
      anger started to fill my mind – as i hate rushing while driving. and the fact that i was rushing because i might miss friday prayer made it worse. in fact, several things were going through my mind – why am i risking missing my obligatory friday prayer for this person, when he can’t be bothered to make sure that he is ready by a particular time? any other person i know would have said “forget it” and left him. 
      but i have superpowers. soulseek can confirm the fact that with my driving abilities, i am able to cut a normal journey time by 33%.
      so i used my abilities to the max and raced to the brother’s house and then onwards to the mosque.
      as soon as he entered the car, my anger evaporated and instead, it turned into concern. why would anyone have such a laissez-faire attitude to such an important obligation? surely, if you know that in order to fulfil the obligation of friday prayer, you need to catch a lift with someone (and let’s say, for example, that this was the only way to get to the mosque), then surely, you should make sure that you are ready for that lift, right? and to make sure you are ready for the lift, then surely, you must be ready on time. and to be ready on time, you need to make sure that you have everything to need to be ready. surely that’s the train of thought that one should possess, should one wish to fulfil one’s obligations? right? or am i talking gibberish?
      and if you are running late, then cut down on the non-obligatory things. And. Do. Things. Faster.
      i didn’t want to be the one to let this brother think that he can get away with not going to the mosque. that’s being irresponsible to the brother and his welfare. after all, i’ve heard that if a muslim man misses friday prayer 3 times in a row, then you have to re-take your shahadah. so as you can see, the severity of missing friday prayers is not to be taken lightly.
      we then continued to have a conversation regarding the hadith i quoted in the beginning and i was explaining to him how if we don’t understand this hadith, then we would never take things so seriously. and as a result, we would be held accountable, since we did not do everything that was in our control to prevent the worst from happening.
      that’s why i always leave slightly earlier to go to the mosque. and why i usually go to the mosque which has the earliest congregation – so that if i am late, i can attend a different mosque. that’s why i learned how to drive fast and cleverly avoid traffic jams. that’s why i learned which actions are obligations and which actions are recommended – so that if it were imperative that i be somewhere at a certain time, i would only complete the obligations and leave the recommended. that’s why i make sure my car is in tip top condition, ready for friday. that’s why i make sure i’m wearing my contacts on friday (i don’t wear them every day). that’s why i make wudhu at work before i’m about to set off. in fact, it’s why i do a lot of things.
      after speaking so passionately on the subject for the entire 20 minute journey to the mosque (33% driving time reduced), i came to the conclusion that i had not at all implemented this hadith while looking for a wife.
      so what had i expected? that she just appears and happens to be the one? that i bump into a sister at the supermarket and suddenly start talking to her then end up marrying her? that some sister will just approach me and ask me to marry her? i think i’ve been watching way too much bollywood.
      fact is, when i used to tell people that i was looking for a wife, i would just TELL people. but would never ask for leads, never go out there to try and impress people, never talked to the elders; who were usually the key or barrier to marriage depending on how you look at it! never took any action to get what i wanted. just made du’a. and thought that would be enough.
      bottom line is, i expected marriage to come to me when i was ready. i don’t know why. but looking at it now, i realise that if i want to get married, surely i have to take certain steps and do certain things to TRY to get married. i mean, i am ready for marriage, but it hasn’t come to me yet. We all know that success is from Allah (swt) and that He (swt) shall give it to you when He (swt) so wishes. it’s like an exam... you can’t expect to pass if you haven’t even studied the subject, no matter how many du’a (supplications) were made for you to pass. no; when we want something, we ask Allah (swt) for it, then we work our hardest to try and get it. and Allah (swt) will decide when and if He (swt) gives it to us.
      which means i have to work hard to get married.
      that’s not a scary statement.
      actually, i take it back. It’s... slightly scary.
      it’s time to tie my camel up.
      that sounds better.
      and now things are clear. I need to tie my camel before i leave it. I’ve got to do everything in my power to make sure i get married.
      Now how do i do that???

      Friday, 14 August 2009


      i remember applying for jobs during my teen years. i needed to save up money for college and eventually university. so i went around town handing in my cv to any half-decent place i could find. i must've handed out about 20 cv's. and received only one call back. the lady asked me to come in for an interview and i was most certainly excited! my first real job! when i went in for the interview, the lady just sat me down in her office and discussed the wage, hours and benefits. then asked me when i could start. SCORE! that didn't take much effort. i was frankly, quite pleased with myself.

      a couple months later, a different company called my house. my sister delivered the message to me: "if you still want a job, call me back". i was ecstatic. i called back and was asked to come in for an interview. so i went in and the boss asked me when i could start. i quickly handed in my notice to my current employer and started my work in my new job.

      i left this company after a while because i wanted to concentrate on my studies. but a year or so later, i found myself in financial difficulty yet again. so i posted my cv around again. this time, i gave it to many more companies. a couple of days later, i received a call from one of the companies. the lady asked me if i was still looking and i replied "YES!". she asked me to start the next day. no interview.

      since then, i have been promoted a couple times, without interview, alhamdulillah.

      now, i will put this story on pause and start another story. but keep this first story in the back of your mind.

      recently, i had signed up to a muslim matrimonial website. it was the first time i had done anything like this, so as you can imagine, i was extremely nervous. nevertheless, in my eagarly competitive stride, i set about writing my profile. i hadn't done anything like this before. and had no idea where to start. i could feel my heart beating fast. palms were sweaty. over what?? a little description about myself? surely it's like writing a cv, right? wrong. a LOT more people would be reading it. and they will be extremely critical and shrewd. since they would potentially be spending the rest of their life with me.

      after spending an hour writing, then re-writing, i deleted what i had got and decided to start again. i didn't like what i had written about myself. it made me sound like a geek. haha.

      then a brilliant idea came to me. the idea was that i was looking at this in totally the wrong angle. surely, this is a competition. now, i understand business and competition. i've got to look at who i am trying to target and make sure that i have what they want (translation: see what girls are after and make sure i have it). then i have to look at my competition and make sure that i am better than them so that i have a better chance of success (translation: check out the boys' profiles and make sure i am better in whatever way is possible - while telling the truth, obviously)

      i felt like i was cheating the system. but in the world of business, i've learnt that you have to be tough against the competition!

      so after looking at what girls were after (and making sure i put that in my profile if i could offer it) and looking at what the boys have to offer (and making sure i put that in my profile if i could offer it), i managed to compile a profile of myself which i was happy with.

      i posted it. then i sat, watching the computer screen for several minutes. nothing happened. obviously. maybe there wasn't anyone online on that particular website. maybe my profile was rubbish. self doubt. anxiety. uneasiness overwhelmed me. i decided to check my profile out, just to make sure it was on the website. it was. after a couple minutes, i realised i couldn't expect people to just start messaging me straight away. that's a dream world. you see that kind of stuff in movies. surely that doesn't happen in real life. what an idiot i am!

      then i realised, that since i am a man, i should kinda make the first move (that's how it goes, right?). so i scrolled through the profiles and picked one that i liked. this girl seemed like the girl of my dreams. i started to picture what she looked like, what she did in her spare time, where she lived and what she has done with herself... then i sent an automated message to say that i was interested.

      i switched off my laptop and started to get ready for work. when i was ready, my phone beeped to tell me i had an email. i checked it out - and it was from that matrimonial website!! someone was trying to contact me. i quickly ran to my laptop in all excitement, and followed the link from my email to this website. i logged in. and it was a rejection message.

      my heart sank. i'm not good enough, i thought to myself. i switched my laptop in anger and went to work. hopefully, work will take my mind off this whole ordeal.

      now to link the two stories together.

      for every job that i had gotten in my life, i had never been interviewed. each employer just rang me (through recommendation or otherwise) and just offered me a position. in some people's eyes, it would seem like i have an easy life. but what happens to a sportsman who never fails throughout his early career, then suffers a blow in later life? people start to say that this sportsman has lost his edge. that his career is ending. that he should give up while he has some reputation left. or even that he should have given up before his last competition.

      that's how i felt. this feeling of defeat was instilled in my heart for what seemed like an eternity when i read the message that was sent back to me saying that she does "not wish to correspond further". i went to work straight away and i couldn't get my mind off that message. i replayed it over and over again in my mind and felt those crude emotions come back to me over and over again.

      i had failed to get what i wanted. and it's not the kind of emotion that i would feel when i failed to convince my mother at the supermarket that i needed that chocolate bar when i was younger.

      i started to analyse this whole situation and tried to figure out where i went wrong. was it my profile? was the girl not serious? maybe i'm not what she was looking for? maybe Allah (swt) is protecting me from a harm in the future which i cannot see? is it because i hadn't uploaded a picture on my profile?

      i started to think about how i had gotten my jobs with so much ease, but failed to get a wife so easily. then i had an emotion which i had no felt before - i started to become slightly jealous of my friends who had applied for jobs and been rejected. i saw them bounce back up after receiving rejection letter after rejection letter after rejection letter. and i thought "how do they do that?"

      since they had been rejected sometime in their career, it wasn't anything new if they were rejected for a position later on in their career. why? because they would often look at the possibilities that opened up for them through a rejection. my friends used to call up the employed/interviewer and ask them for feedback - ask them where they could improve themselves. and their tips worked. so rejection wasn't so much of a shock to them - they just dealt with it and moved on to bigger and better things.

      in my position, however, it's not like i can email back the girl who rejected me and ask her how i can become a better man for her. that would be weird.

      i decided that i should follow in the footsteps of my friends - time for positive thinking now. yes, i have been rejected. but so what. i need to learn how to handle a rejection. i've learnt that not everything falls in my lap. marriage is something that i have to work hard to get. the rewards are sweet - so the incentive is definately there. and there will definately be a hiccup or two on the way to the finish line.

      so the next time i get rejected, i will take that as a positive. it would give me an opportunity to reflect. to improve. and i will be one step closer to marriage.

      i got home that evening and immediately went back to my profile and made a few tweaks. i was determined not to fail. not in the first hurdle. and this is what i realised. first... hurdle. there are many hurdles that we have to jump over to get what we want. and we have to fail in the process. otherwise, the appreciation of whoever you have next to you is somwhat muted.

      Monday, 10 August 2009

      The First Experience - Part 2

      Part 1

      Could it be . . was what I was left with.

      After looking at the possibilities, it was feasible.

      I went to the drawing board and questioned my criteria’s. For example; would it would be acceptable to marry a non-practising potential?

      I seemed to have an answer for every question.

      It was now approaching the last couple of weeks of my time there. I debated continuously whether or not I should let her know.
      I’ve always been the one to think with my brain. Heart is the weakness of man. We become irrational and make the wrong judgement.

      My brain disagreed but my heart was curious. How curious?

      To a point where it was the only thing on my mind.

      Do I just ignore my feelings and go back home regretting it or do I just ask and know where I stand? I had to cure this curiosity.

      I needed affirmation from various Muslim characters to make sure I wasn’t cracking up and I was looking for advice on where I stood on the issue. After various conversations, I was brought to a larger picture.

      Deep down I had a feeling it would be extremely difficult if things did work out. I felt her outlook would haunt me. On the other hand it could turn out well – a partner for life. I felt a ‘no’ would put me at ease, cure my curiosity and allow me to move on. A yes would complicate things and create a whole new horde of problems.

      This would be a decision I would have to live with for the rest of my life.

      What was exactly my plan?

      My plan was to let her know how I felt. Upon her response, if she felt the same way I would have to take that on board and then contact her family and get to know her properly over a course of time. Then make an informed, rational decision based upon on that.

      If she said no then I would just move on. My curiosity would be cured. Win – Win.

      Then there was the Don’t Know/Need time to think responses. I had thought about each outcome. I was prepared.

      The choice was made to take action.

      I had emailed her and she agreed to meet me at specified day/time.

      The day had come. I was nervous yet so cool and chilled out. My trust was always with Allah for the best outcome.

      When I saw her, I got that same feeling from the first feeling. We talked about various things such as the future and what our experience had taught us and how we would apply it when we returned to University. Naturally, I led the conversation and we talked about a lot of things.

      I couldn’t believe how much time had pressed us during the conversation. We were 50 minutes into our meeting and I still hadn’t told her. I had to leave within 10/15 minutes in order to leave for Jummah. I didn’t quite know how to break it or at this point if I was going to break it at all.

      She said “To finish on a final note, do you remember that guy . . ?”

      I don’t know what happened but I just butted straight in and said “I don’t know quite how to say this, it’s extremely difficult as I’ve never said to anyone this but I really need to tell you something. Recently I’ve had feelings for you, feelings that I can’t yet quite describe. I just wanted to know, do you feel the same?”

      Boom! A warhead was just dropped!

      She just looked at me, absolutely mesmerised. There was a prolonged moment of silence.

      Soft-sounded words were spoken ”Okay”. Silence had broke out again, she continued “But . . . it doesn’t change anything. We can still be friends. I’m still . . urm with him“.

      I responded “I completely respect that and I don’t wish to interfere. The curiosity was killing me and I just had to know”.

      There was another silence. I was then bombarded with questions, such as:

      Oh my god – How long have you felt like this?
      Why didn’t you tell me sooner?
      I never saw you like that?

      After my responses she then said she didn’t know. She couldn’t clarify what that meant.

      She said the way I put everything was just so perfect, beautiful and sweet. She continued “You’re so good - Islamic, intelligent, attractive . . with everything going for you in life. I’m ‘bad’, why me?”

      You can’t help who you fall for I said.

      I asked her “What would your response have been if you weren’t in this situation?”

      I retracted the question straight away. I asked her not to respond. I realised it was an extremely dangerous question to ask.

      After clearing the air, we agreed to leave it that.

      Upon returning to work after the weekend, it was my final week at the company. I received an email from her asking me if it was a joke. She sent another email saying things were difficult and I wouldn’t see more of her.

      This was absolutely fine as it affected me in no way. What was done was done.

      I had a presentation summarising my work and departure for my department/others. I had a surprise guest appearance – Hikmah! I was confused. She attended and spent the whole time look at a blank wall. She didn’t utter a word or make eye contact. I was confused. I didn’t question it.

      Day before my leaving day, she turned up to my department again. There were a large number of colleagues in my department wishing me all the best for the future and I saw her. She was talking to people in my department she’s never talked to. She was stood a few feet away from me just staring blank at the floor. She was in a world of her own. I greeted her with salaam and left it at that.

      I got a number of mixed messages from her. My thoughts were that she wanted me to pursue her. My heart wanted to. . My brain disagreed. Yes, I woke up.

      My world is full of reality. My world is Islam. My work here was done. It was time to move on.

      Minutes before my departure, I felt obliged to have the final say. I typed quite possibly the quickest email I’ve typed.

      In Summary, I said:

      “We’ll close this page of the book and inshallah it will benefit us both.

      I learnt you were in a relationship as I told you I was under the assumption you was single due to . . I try to do stuff islamically – it’s my character and it’s who I am. I would never do anything to come in between people.

      You said it wouldn’t change anything but it clearly has. Your body language spoke a million words.

      Either way I’ve thought very long and hard about it – I was willing to sacrifice so much and it’s ultimately a price I was willing to pay.

      Having gone past that stage –If you’re happy, stick with what you have and I hope Allah brings you and your family a lifetime of happiness.

      You know I only see and wish the best in people. Please don’t take this anything other than positive.

      We should leave it here and move on. You’ve taught me a lot – this experience has. It’s life – we all move on.”

      At long last I felt at peace. I felt happy and ready to move on.

      However, since moving back, the first few weeks were extremely difficult.

      I felt really sad. Perhaps rejected? I had a number of dreams with mixed directions. Stupid little things started to get to me. Should I have kept in contact with her? Why didn’t I let her know sooner? Wasn’t I good enough for her? And it just went on.

      Time is a healer. It’s now been 6 weeks since I told her. Since then I’ve had a lot to think about.

      I cannot describe how blessed I am to be in this position. Allah truly works in mysterious ways.

      Lessons learnt to be followed.