Tuesday, 30 March 2010

I Can't Believe I Almost Gave Up!

So the good news has finally been exposed. And yes, if you looked at my face, I'm still grinning! My colleagues at work were wondering why I'm such a happy guy nowadays, why I don't say anything when they're late coming off their lunch breaks, why we leave the workplace earlier (even though it's merely a few minutes earlier than normal, and why I'm generally smiling when I'm doing the worst bits of the job!

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?


  1. Salaam :) i must say that was such a good read. and Alhamdulillah, everything happens for a reason, its amazing how you can do the house-hold stuff, i would love it if i could find someone like that, it would be such reassurance and make my life alot easier and relaxed. Your wife will love you lol.
    Want to share your tips? how to get whiter than white whites? and crisp shirts?
    As for the cooking, youve motivated me lol i always intend to start learning but i feel it would take ages! Although this summer inshaAllah i will do it, mums cooking is hard to beat though.
    And im glad you mentioned how you and fiancee came together, i think i restrict my options just to look for someone in the universities islamic society lol i have no idea how else i would find someone before my mum mentions my cousin to me!

  2. I REAAAAAALLY miss living round yours and I miss the loooong late night fajr chats even more :(

    I can't wait for the summer it'll be your last as a single bachelor haha!

    I'm so glad you've finally made it. And I completely agree. Brothers and sisters these days are so bent out of shape. They can't cook/clean nor look after themselves properly and yet they get all excited about marriage.

    Change begins first foremost within yourself.

    Oi what's with this indian dish eh? You never cooked it for me? Remember how I cooked for all the boys in Ramadhan, cheeky sod! :O

    Remember how I said it will all work out? Allah works in mysterious ways, I don't know of anyone more deserving! :)

  3. hahaha! well, firstly, I work in fashion so clothes have always been a big thing for me. i'm forever trying to get soulseek to expand his styles and colours in the wardrobe!

    so, to take care of my clothes, i went out to buy a washing machine. cost me £800, but it's definitely worth it! lol. i have both the pink vanish and the white vanish powder, so i use the white vanish by making a solution first, then pouring some of it onto the problem areas and giving it a good scrub to get rid of any stains before i put it in the washing machine. a good scoop of vanish in the main wash compartment (in the drawer) also comes in handy! but basically, pre-wash is the key!

    as for crisp shirts, you need a good iron - i googled "best iron" and then splashed out £70 for my one. lol. and a good ironing board that has a motor in that creates a vacuum to suck all the steam through your clothes - these are industry standards so it's expensive. lol. if not, use a spray (like how you spray your plants) and spray your shirt with water as you iron.

    look at me, all clued up on the home economics! lol

    as for the cooking, it really is not that hard! i used to think it was difficult cos you never know if something will go wrong. but when you get used to the fragrance of the spices, you learn how much to put in and which ones go best together. i always start with onion, ginger garlic, then cardamom and cloves before i put in the powder spices like chilli power and paprika! i use that as a base for most of the dishes, and then the experimentation begins. just add stuff in. trial and error.

    funnily enough, learning to cook is just like learning how to speak to members of the opposite sex. you might get it wrong and make yourself look like an idiot, but just try not to make the same mistake, and you're well on your way to finding a great partner without feeling so clumsy or shy. a lot of us (inc. me) grew up not speaking to members of the opposite sex, but to get married, you need to speak to them!!! lol!

    I'll tell you straight, i rejected many girls because they were too shy and lacked confidence. Guys feel comfortable when the girls are comfortable too. when you speak to your potential boss in an interview, you look them straight in the eye to get their attention so that they listen to you. Same thing when talking to your potential spouse. just don't go overboard and start looking at them in a lustful kinda way! that would put you in sin!

    and yes, you hit the nail on the head there. you cannot restrict yourself to just the uni isocs (islamic society). join in on events that your isoc does and any events that the community holds and get yourself publicly known. once you get a reputation, the guys will come flocking! lol. (no guarantee tho but definately worth a try!)

    i remember when i was in uni, the boys would sometimes chat about the girls. and which ones did we chat about? the sister representative for the isoc. the other sisters who stayed behind the scenes didn't get a mention. why? COS WE DIDN'T KNOW WHO THEY WERE!

    here's an incentive to you... just think about marrying your cousin. ok. disgusted? lol! now go find yourself a man! lol! (word of warning, that line wouldn't work on everyone - including me, cos my cousins are very pretty! hehe)

  4. yes soulseek! i miss living with you too!! all those chats we had about girls and everything! hahaha!

    yes, my last ramadhan as a bachelor! next year, i will be thinking "how did i ever go thru ramadhan as a single guy?!"

    and bro, i didn't cook for you cos you came to my parents house for iftar! so you had different dishes that you can't get in restaurants! which is way better i'm sure you will agree!!

    you're definitely right - Allah does work in mysterious ways. our minds are just too restricted to understand how He (swt) works! so all we gotta do is worship Him (swt) and follow His (swt) commands and make dua that he gives us what is best for us.


  5. lol i didnt think i would be taking tips from a guy! seems quite wierd lol but its gd thnx :)
    Ye im always at the isoc stuff and next year will help out more inshaAllah because its just my 1st year so other sisters are incharge.
    I gota be patient though, Allah knows best so im trying to not get too into that stuff, have alot to concentrate on at the mo. Would be nice to get engaged soon though. Anywho jazakAllah khair. May Allah shower His blessings on your marriage :)

  6. salaams Br. Hero,

    a) I loved your honesty through out your post. may Allah subhwa tallah reward you for that.
    b) You said, 'your fiancee found you adorable-for being able to cook/clean/wash. I hope, I am not going to get personal by asking. Would you mind sharing..What would make a sister 'adorable' in a potential's eyes?

  7. I have to say I'm jealous. As I read your post, I felt so many parallels with my life. As a lady, I really have women's intuition, and I felt it at 23. I felt I will be single forever. So I prepared myself for a life of being single. I got a great education el7amdulilah, and thought I could have a comfortable job and "take care of myself". When the job part fell apart, I started to feel the emptiness of not being married. As my younger siblings and cousins one by one get married, now we are down to cousins who are 14 years younger than me getting married, I feel more and more lonely. Insha'allah my women's intuition is wrong and Allah sends me someone soon. I'm starting to lose my sanity. Maybe I should get another degree. PhD this time.

  8. effervescent, thanks for your dua!! I make the same for you inshaAllah!

    ws hijabi! Barakallahu feek!

    That's the beauty of a blog where the authors' identities are hidden. Soulseek and I agreed from day one that not even one of our friends would know about this blog. And that allowed us to be as open as we wanted. So please, feel free to ask us the most deepest, intimate questions you can think of and we'll reply as honestly as we can inshaAllah!

    So, to answer your question... there were several things that I found adorable in my fiancée.

    Firstly, her smile. Soulseek has seen pics of her, and he agrees she has a very nice smile! In fact, I would always see her smiling and this sent a wave of calmness in my direction.

    Secondly, her sense of humour is exactly like mine. I played a prank on one member of the public, and when I told her about it, she couldn't stop laughing, so we started to plan similar pranks on more people - only this time, we would record it! (don't worry, they were harmless pranks!)

    Thirdly, I embarrassed her in front of her family by asking her mum if there were any bad things I should know about her before I marry her! The look on her face was priceless when I asked that question! As her mum spoke, my fiancee was telling her "mom, that's enough!! shhh!! what are you trying to do?! MOM!!!". Her little sister, cousin, auntie and uncle could not stop laughing in the background! Awwww, I love close-knit families!

  9. Assalamualaikum anon, jazakillahu khair for sharing.

    You are exactly right - that suppressing your procreational instinct that Allah has built into man's nature will lead to much agitation... eventually.

    I know it's easy to lose hope. I did, at one stage (as you can see from my post). Whenever I felt down, I would force myself to refer to our Islamic concepts. And that calmed me down more and more. So have sabr - persevere with your search for a suitable husband, and make dua - we know that there are only 3 things that can happen if we make dua:

    1) Allah does not give it to you to protect you from something that will happen if you were to get what you made dua for
    2) Allah has something better for you in plan and will give it to you at a later time
    3) Allah grants it to you in Jannah

    We all know that success is in the hands of Allah. And there is no doubt that you have been trying all these years.

    But losing your sanity?? No way sister! That's not an option! If anything, you should realise that Allah is testing your patience. And we all know that ALLAH TESTS THOSE WHO HE LOVES <3

    Maybe going back to uni will lead to you meeting someone new that you can get along with. Maybe it will be a stepping stone to something better for you.

    But the point is, consider yourself lucky that Allah is making things difficult for you in this life - cos if things are difficult in this life, then inshaAllah, things will be easy in the next life. And that is greatest of rewards!

    Times or hardship leads on to times of ease. So remember that; and take pride in the fact that as Muslims, we recognise that our suffering does not go in vain:

    "Whatever befalls a Muslim of physical weakness or complaint or worry or distress or harm or even a thorn in his finger is used by Allah to forgive him some of his past sins" (Al Bukhari, Muslim and others)

  10. Your situation reminds me of myself a few years back. I was also living single; became 'domesticated' (i.e. cooking, washing, cleaning, etc) - and then got married.

    And yes, my wife probably was impressed with the cooking part - probably because we're both Indian; and traditionally, Indian males do not do much at home...especially cooking.

    Anyway, so now we're almost 2.5 years into marriage and guess what? I hardly cook, and don't do washing, and mostly just clean from time to time.

    You see: despite the fact that i was 'trained' and ready, and WANTED to contribute significantly to the household tasks - what happened was we naturally evolved into 'traditional' (or is it 'natural'?) roles: wife does domestic stuff, and I do finances, admin, and other male-type stuff.

    Anyway - congratulations on finally getting to that point. 8 years is a looonngg time, and i probably know a lot of what you feel cos my wait was almost as long (nearly 6 years).

    I advise you to prepare yourself properly - having (and sticking to) firm commitments to how you want to live your lives in terms of deen. But remember that it might not necessarily pan out the way you planned - the reality can be very different; so be flexible, while maintaining the core goodness that you want to live.

    Enjoy each other, and this magical journey called 'Nikah'.

    And when the babies come....well, that's a whole new life. So, before that day, enjoy your time and make good use of it. Because once there's a third member of the family, you're probably not going to focus on each other a lot anymore. So build strong foundations from day 1.

    All the best, bro :)

  11. To "Anonymous"

    Here's something I wrote when I was probably at the peak of my singleness. It encapsulated so much of what I felt, dreamed of, the frustration, etc - and I hope it'll help you, because the message is positive:

    May Allah make it easy for all the single's a huuugggee struggle; but ultimately one that's worth the wait :)

  12. Dreamlife - That's beautiful - Thank you for sharing!

  13. MashaAllah, so happy for you. It's really amazing that you decided to be self sufficient which ended up becoming pleasing to your fiancee.

    It's really easy to lose hope when you have been looking for a long time without any success. And also easy to fall in the trap of shaitaan who is trying to misguide you. Alhumdulillah, you were able to overcome those negative thoughts and work towards a positive goal. I'm currently trying to do the same. Do make dua for us single folk to be successful as well.

    May Allah (swt) grant us all righteous spouses that will be pleasing to us and we will be pleasing to them. And may Allah grant you a long and happy married life. Ameen.