Alhamdulillah - that is all I can say. It is such a major relief. Eight long years of looking for a wife. Over. Finished. Now I have a new challenge, which I will talk about in future posts, inshaAllah.
However, looking back at my eight years worth of searching, I remember how I almost gave up looking for a wife. I thought that I would be destined to stay single forever. And it's not because I'm an ugly chap. Or a complete idiot. Or any other derogatory description you can come up with. No, I'm just different. And possibly picky! LOL.
So, let me share with you how I mentally prepared myself for a lifetime of being single.
About 5 years ago, I was working in a dead-end job. I had left university because mechanical engineering was just too dreary for me. And I couldn't even afford the fees anyway. Add on top of that, the travel and living costs, and you are bound to fall into a deathly spiral of debt. No way was I going to let that happen to me. So I left uni and started to work anywhere I could. I had admin jobs, customer service, warehouse work. But the one that I loved the most was retail work. Since that involved interaction with people. I love to chat to people. And I found out that when I chat to customers, they tend to buy things! So I became increasingly good at this.
Since I had left uni, and I was working in a town where there are not many Muslims, I found it difficult to meet sisters. In fact, I started to contemplate whether or not I should just try to marry a non-Muslim, then convert her. Fortunately, there were many girls in my work place who fancied the pants off me! lol! But I never acknowledged their existence because I knew deep down that Muslims and non-Muslims were incompatible. I thought long and hard about what would happen if I were to marry a non-Muslim and I (very quickly) came to the conclusion that we are waaaaaay too different to ever have a peaceful and successful marriage. Oh how the Shaytaan plays with your mind when you are weak! Looking back, I can't even believe that I had these thoughts!
So now, I had come to the conclusion that I'm never going to get a nice Muslim sister (since the girls that my mother brought forward for me were so not compatible with me). And there was no way that I would consider marrying a non-Muslim girl. So in my mind, I had hit a dead end. Maybe Allah hasn't put marriage in my rizq. How am I to know? I guess I can just try as hard as possible to get a wife.
So, I started to mentally prepare myself for a lifetime of being single. I had developed this mentality that I didn't want to be reliant on anyone - including my wife (if I were to ever get one). So, the first thing I did was to learn how to cook! I asked the ladies at work how they cook. The english ones had boring food. So I wasn't interested. lol. Luckily for me, there was one indian lady who was an excellent cook. She talked me through, step by step, what I had to do, the results that I would expect, and so on. Then I went out and bought the ingredient and had a go. I called her up as I was cooking to make sure that I was doing everything right and I ended up with a few slightly amazing dishes by the end of the evening. I was so impressed with myself that I brought it over to my parents' house for them to try.
Alhamdulillah, they were impressed with my cooking, so I offered to come round once a week to cook for the fam - and boy, do I have a large fam! Soulseek knows it!
Every week, I would get better and better, experimenting with new spices, ingredients and techniques that I picked up from my other friends. And soon enough, I knew I had nailed it when my little brother would tell my mum that he missed my cooking and asked our mum when she would cook the dish that I made! My mum tried to copy my recipe once, and my little bro was not impressed! Had I done the impossible - become a better cook than my mother??? lol! My mother and I still laugh about this incident!
So I had done it. I learnt how to cook. So in my future *single* life, I would be ok. I know how to shop for ingredients, that's easy enough - I've been doing that since I was very young. And I knew how to take care of my clothes. My mum taught me how to wash my clothes when I was still in high school. Reason being was that I was the one child in the family who had the most clothes! So I naturally became better and better. I remember spending about 20 minutes in Tesco's talking to one of their staff in the washing clothes aisle about techniques on how to get your whites whiter than ever! I was being completely anal about everything. To the point where my mum would ask me how my whites were whiter than anything she could make! And also, how my shirts were so crisp and smooth, yet the shirts she ironed for my little bro would not be so easy to get the wrinkles out.
All in all, I became so housetrained, then people who came round to visit would often think that I was married. hahaha! I even made sure that the toilet seat was always down and that the toilet roll goes over the top and not hang below - because THAT'S how it's supposed to be!
My friend's mum gave me some nice pictures of flowers to put up around the home to make it more cosy and I spent some serious money on making my lounge the ultimate bachelor's pad!!
Not that I'm bragging or anything, but I bought a projector and a 100" electronic controlled screen which comes down from the ceiling via radio control and soon enough, my house because the centre for all the boys to come down and chill out or to read Qur'an or have study circles and stuff. It was totally male-orientated though, even though I sprayed lavender febreeze once in a while to give it that whiff of feminism!
But as I sat there with all my gadgets and décor, part of me wanted to say "yeah, I don't need a wife", while the other part of me kept saying "you're still missing one half of your deen - how can you concentrate on the other part of your deen without first fulfilling this half (with a wife)?".
That's when I realised that these God-given instincts of procreation will lead to ultimate discomfort when they are suppressed and not fulfilled in the way that Islam taught us.
All these thoughts kept flooding back to me - what was I thinking before? That I could live without a wife forever? Was I crazy?? I think I was! Whenever I saw my friends who were married, it made me slightly jealous - they had companionship and it was something that I longed for before. And it's something that I have a new-found appreciation for now.
No way, I knew I couldn't give up on searching for a wife. I had to up the ante on my search. Start thinking outside of the box on how to get a wife. Start going places where I could meet people. Spread the word to everyone and get them to help me.
But the biggest thing I learned? Don't put all your eggs in one basket. Don't rely on just one person to find you someone. You've gotta pull all the stops. Ask for favours. Reconnect with your old friends and ask them to help you find a partner. I started to make friends with the wives of my friends. I started to let them see how much of a good character I was so that when they speak to their friends, they would remember me whenever a single girl's name would pop up in conversation.
And this is how I managed to get into contact with my fiancée. She is a friend of a friend of a friend.
Don't give up. Your soul mate is there, somewhere, inshaAllah. It may seem easy to give up, but why give up when the rewards of getting married are so sweet? And when the hikmah behind marriage is so great? And when the challenges after marriage develops you to such a great degree that it prepares you for death more than any other action?
In a way, I am glad that I learnt how to cook and clean. Not because I plan to be a house-husband in future, but my fiancée was seriously impressed with the fact that I can cook, clean, iron and am good with children! In my quest to become single and independent, I became adorable in the eyes of my fiancée. Yay! In fact, she kept telling everyone how I loved to cook!
So boys, I recommend that you do the same. You have nothing to lose, but everything to gain. Skills don't come easily. But if you start now, your skills will, inshaAllah, improve and your passion for these skills will be turn-ons for your future wife rather than turn-offs! What do you think, sisters? Do you agree?