Friday, 30 April 2010

Just had to share this :)

Exam times are almost here, still have so much work to do! The Aisha and Husna tail just got a little more interesting to say the least. I really didn't see this coming!

In the mean time, I just had to share this - I can't stop listening it. It's so beautiful! ^_^

يارفيق الدرب إني أذكر الفضل وأثني

My soul mate I remember your kindness and send you praise.

إنها لحظات شكرا وأمتنان لك مني

These are moments of gratitude for you..

كم حملت الهم عني عندما كلت يميني

For endless times you have held my back when I was down.

ولكم آزرتني في أمر دنياي وديني

And supported me in life matters as well in religion.

إنما يجنى الهدى من صحبت الخل الأميني من يسر في الروض يستنشق عبير الياسميني

Be hold the faithful mate to gain the guidance
for who walks in the garden smells the fragrance of jasmine

يوزن المرء بمن صاحب وأختار وليا وأنا أخترتك فازدت رقيا ورقيا

One is known by whom he chooses
I chose you and become a better person

أنت لي نبع من الإخلاص يبقى أبديا لم أزل أحمد ربي أن لي خلا وفيا

an eternal steam of faithfulness you are
and I still praise Allah for such a true mate

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Beacon of Hope

This particular post, unlike all my others, is a means for me to vent my frustrations.

Frustrations at one of my friends who, when we were together with all our other friends, used to tell us that he has no interest whatsoever in getting married. While the rest of us were contrary to that and thinking that we would sacrifice a lot of things to find the girl of our dreams. For identification's sake, I shall now refer to this brother by the name Ilyas. So what was the reason that Ilyas flouted his desire to never marry? The three marriages he has witnessed in his life have all gone pear-shaped at one stage (but later recovered).

This made him avoid marriage. And this frustrates me to the superlative degree.


Because avoiding marriage is like avoiding responsibility. Avoiding responsibility is like avoiding tests from Allah (swt). Avoiding tests from Allah (swt) is equivalent to a child who refuses his/her parents' love (even though the parents do everything in their power to make the child happy), for Allah (swt) tests those who He (swt) loves.

I started to analyse Ilyas and his actions. To try to understand where this mentality came from and why he has this huge reluctance to even start looking for a girl. In my life, I have met people who don't want to get married; but they were young people. Or were too financially unstable to settle down with a partner. Or were too shy to tell me that they had interests in members of the opposite sex.

But Ilyas was none of them. So what other reasons are there that would make someone not want to get married? None other than self confidence.

Ilyas wasn't exactly the best looking guy in the world. Nor the richest. Neither was he the most Islamic guy. He doesn't socialise very often; in fact, he was a very introverted character. Due to that characteristic, he would espouse his escapism via Xbox and movies. He didn't have much of a political mind, so other members of his family would make decisions for him. And even though that frustrated him at times, he would not complain because he couldn't handle the confrontation.

In fact, we used to make fun of him (out of our love for him) by saying that no girl from the UK will ever agree to marry him; and that he will have to go back to his homeland to pick a girl from the village. All because he is too obsessed with his Xbox. LOL.

Anyway, time went by and slowly, slowly, he started to admit (in secret to me) that he does actually want to get married. He joined a matrimonial website (standard. lol), but his advert was rubbish. So he didn't get any leads. Note: this was before I had dedicated time into understanding what makes a good matrimonial advert (to make mine the best obviously! lol) so I couldn't really help him on that issue. He got his big sis to help him get some leads as well.

Then, out of the blue, Ilyas calls me and asks me to go clothes shopping with him to get an outfit. This totally freaked me out. Cos Ilyas hates shopping. Especially clothes shopping. I would have been less freaked out if my ex-girlfriend came to my door and said "hi, this is your son". And I don't even HAVE an ex-girlfriend. haha. (Or a son - no matter what Soulseek says - haha undercover jokes!)

I invited Ilyas round to find out why and he told me that there was a potential that he had to impress! Alhamdulillah!! I jumped up with joy at the news and when I finally settled down, we discussed his predicament. He needed an outfit to meet this potential. But he could not spend more than £50 due to financial restraints. Fair enough, but that would even make Gok Wan struggle. And because his wardrobe was so drab and inappropriate for meetings with potential wifey, he needed a total makeover. That meant a new shirt, trousers and shoes; at a minimum.

We discussed how Ilyas should dress. Not so casual. Not so smart. Therefore, smart-casual for the first meeting. So jeans and jacket would be good with a classic pair of shoes - absolutely no trainers! And normal colours as well - don't want to use Roberto Cavalli colours - he would stand out too much and the elders wouldn't like that.

Unfortunately, I could not go shopping due to work commitments and his meeting was only a few days away. If only he had approached me earlier. Oh well. So I spoke to my fashionista sista. The only other person I would trust to dress someone up - purely cos she has worked with me in the fashion industry and subsequently has an eye for fashion. On top of that, she loved doing makeovers with me! But she also has an eye for good deals so she is able to stick to Ilyas' budget. So, she met Ilyas and took him shopping.

I called up my fashionista sista later and she revealed what she made Ilyas buy. She was thinking exactly the same as me. I totally approved! :D

The evening of Ilyas' meeting with his future family came and the brothers had congregated at my house, waiting for him to come back to town. Soon enough, Ilyas walked in. First words: "Bro, I think I pulled!!!"

HAHAHAHAHA! We couldn't stop laughing! We were so happy for him, and it was such a nice atmosphere! Alhamdulillah, the brother I thought would never marry, was now, well on his way to getting married! MashaAllah! And all in such a short space of time as well!

About a month later, Ilyas had an engagement party and I had the pleasure of kitting him out in a nice outfit for that occasion, alhamdulillah.

And just about two months after that, Ilyas got married where we had the pleasure of Soulseek's company that day, alhamdulillah.

So there you have it. If you think you're ugly. Or if you think you are skint. Or if you think that you have a crap personality. Or if you think that you have no self-confidence. Or if you think that no one listens to you. Or if you think that you have no interests to share with your future spouse. Or if you think you have no career; and no means to a new one. Or if you think that you are too short a man (or too tall a lady). Or if you think you are overweight. Or if you think you have no fashion sense. Or if you think you are not independent enough. Or if you think you have absolutely nothing desirable about you. Just think about Ilyas.

He made it. Why can't you?


P.S. Turns out my initial frustrations weren't really warranted.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Decisions, decisions...

I was engaging in one of my favourite past times (shopping!) the other day. I visited some of my favourite designers (Gucci, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana and the likes) and although their prices were waaaay out of my budget, I still like browsing and imagining myself in these outfits, or putting together an outfit from their collections.

It was a nice day out - even though I didn't actually buy anything (apart from lunch - the only thing I could afford. lol) However, I was certain that if I had this money, then the decision to purchase these beautiful clothes would be quite straightforward. That's easy - check account. Enough money? Yes. Choose size. Buy.

A more difficult decision would be to put together an outfit. Do I have jeans to match that jacket? Do I have shoes that match that belt? Will this shirt compliment my skin colour or will it not? Although I am a pro at dressing people up now, I still remember the times when I found it difficult. It's just how it is. The more you practise, the more you will become better at it.

But how do you practise looking for a wife? Or practise talking to a girl about marrying her? Or even getting to know her?

I've never come across some manual or the like to guide me through this, so I had to make it up as I went along. I'm guessing that this is how most of you feel like right now?

So I talked to the first potential, then the second, then the third, and eventually, I lost count how many girls had been brought forward to me. Now, I didn't see this as a loss, as some people would. Thomas Edison said it best: I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work. Now, I didn't get through 10,000 girls (just 9,999 lol) but with each potential, I was able to define, then redefine what I wanted in a wife - or just as importantly, adjust my personality to fit in with my dream gal.

I had been talking to this girl for several months now, and I could not believe how amazing she is. So much so, that I decided that I had to see and meet her myself. Now, she lives a few thousand miles away. But luckily, our mutual friend was getting married so I decided to attend her wedding and kill two birds with one stone, as they say.

Due to work commitments, I was only able to visit this far away land for 10 days. Ten measly days. And in those ten measly days, I felt that I had to make a decision on this girl. After all, I had invested about £1000 in total (flights, hotels, clothes, etc) to meet this girl - this was waaaay more than I had spent on any girl in my life!

But I prepared myself mentally for the worst; the worst being that either one of us didn't like each other and I would return to the UK as a single man... still looking for the girl of my dreams.

As I landed, I knew I had to make every use of every minute in that country (famous hadith: "take 5 before 5"). So after talking to her, we made arrangements to meet every day. We made our intentions clear to each other and soon enough, we were well on our way to finding out about each other.

First meeting: airport. she picked me up with her sister. drive to hotel. jetlagged. slept most of the journey. then she took me out with her sister for dinner.
Second meeting: she took me to the mosque for salat ul jumu'ah. again with her sister. lunch. sightseeing.
Third meeting: met her uncle, grandmother, aunties, cousins, mother. I wasn't wasting time. I wanted to see what her family were like.
And so on... I just let her take me places.

I ended up meeting many members of her family. And I was very pleased with how humble they were. They were all very friendly; very nice people. And the most important thing, was that I could make them laugh! So I think they had a very good impression of me! hehe! I also met some of her friends.

After about the 7th day, I was back at my hotel room, and I was pleased to find an email from my big sis asking how things were with my gal. I wrote extensively. Probably the lengthiest email I had ever written in my whole life. I detailed the things that put me off her. And I wrote down all the worries I had - that this girl may not be the best thing for me. It was a very heart-wrenching email. I totally spilled all my deepest emotions and feelings to big sis.

Next day, I received an equally lengthy reply back from big sis. She had detailed all my incorrect thoughts and emotions and showed me how Islamic people think. And do you know what big sis said in response to all the reasons I made NOT to marry this girl? She explained how these reasons were not actually reasons not to marry this girl. In fact, they were the contrary. Or they were very small tiny issues which would never ever matter in real life.

To cut a long story short, big sis made me realise how amazing this girl was. Big sis made me realise how this was a great opportunity for me, and showed me how my future marriage (inshaAllah) to this girl would be very fruitful. I love big sis. She always makes me see sense.

Not that I didn't value the enlightenment from big sis, but I still felt that I had to discuss my feelings and emotions with more than one person. Just in case I was temporarily insane... and in case big sis was temporarily insane as well. lol.

So I had the same conversation with my friend's wife back in the UK. She's actually one of my best friends - always looking for a wife for me before I met this girl; and always giving me tips on how to be a better person and giving me insight into how girls look at boys and stuff. So she knew me inside out cos I always went to her for advice on girls.

Anyway, she said the exact same thing as big sis. Just to make sure that she's not temporarily insane as well, I logged onto facebook and had a chat with more close friends of mine. Every single person was saying the same thing. Came up with the same analysis. So either everyone was temporarily insane... or this was the real deal.

Istikhara. That's the only thing left.

Man, I can't believe that I used to think that dressing someone up so that everything matches really well was difficult. That was a piece of cake compared to making a decision about your future spouse. In fact, I tried to recall all the difficult decisions I have had to make in the past. All I could think of was decisions like what time to wake up for work, which brother I should drive up to see on my day off and what I should cook for my family one day. Man... have I been blessed with easy decisions all my life or something? Is this Allah's way of following up a period of ease with a period of hardship?

Why can't the difficulty level of choosing a wife be the same as when you are choosing the colour of your decor? Or choosing which car to buy. Or which neighbourhood to live in?

I started to become frustrated again, and secretly started to envy those people who didn't have to make this decision in their life - started to envy those people who had a forced marriage. At least they didn't have to endure the torture of making such a huge decision!! More stupid ideas like this started coming, so there was nothing I could do to get rid of these ideas, other than to sleep on it.

Woke up the next day. Feeling good about everything. Confident. These past few days had stressed me out to the point that I had gotten ill. All that decision making drained me mentally and even more physically. But that morning, I was feeling a lot better. It was like the world had been lifted off my shoulders. It was like I could see a clear path out of the woods. I felt like now, I could take on the whole world.

I had made the most difficult decision in my life.

Now I had to come up with a way to tell her...

Saturday, 17 April 2010

The Awkward Moment

The plan was initiated and carried out. I'm glad I had the patience I did whilst it was executed. Alhamdulillah. I did things to the best of my ability.

I have received responses from both Aisha and Husna. Things have taken a twist that I didn't expect. I am being tested. Its these tests where free-will is exercised and the decree from Allah is then set into motion.

Husna. Ah Husna. You don't fail to impress. Very intelligent. However, I disagree that "If Allah wanted this to work he would have made it easy". Tell me something. Do we have to work for our provisions? Of course we do. Things don't fall into place, it requires work and effort. I also disagree with a few other fundamental points. My response to Husna was that I would respond to her thoughts in a couple of weeks when my thoughts were more clearer as it's that time of the academic year.

The Awkward Moment

Standing at the front with them two watching you - eeeeeeeeeeeeek! 

I had to chair an event. There were a lot of sisters. Aisha was present. Whilst preparing my notes just before the event, one of my closest brothers gave me a heads up:

"Don't panic but Husna is here"
Good joke.
Don't do this to me!
"Bro, I'm Sorry but you're awesome, chill!"
Why are you sorry? Haha - Okay breatheee SoulSeek, breathe!!!

I really needed that for last minute preparations! I'm confident and I have the ability to speak publically. But boy, my heart started to race. It felt so bizarre and difficult to maintain a confident smile.

In the corner of my eye, I saw 'that' Abaya I last saw her in. I just couldn't look to confirm if it was her, I felt so shy and my face was flush. I had to maintain eye contact with key brothers, so I placed a few guys strategically within the audience. I'm such a badass!

Whilst I was talking. Within my peripheral vision; that one distinctive Abaya . . . got up and left.

I have to presume she didn't leave because of me. Her email really didn't reflect that, at all.

Plan B is now in operation after I hand in my dissertation. What is plan B? That will come in time, my precious.

Ya Allah glorify me with the patience and wisdom to make a good, and fair decision so that I may benefit in this World and the life-after. Ameen.

Friday, 2 April 2010

I thank Allah I'm not in your position!

That's what a brother said to me. We laughed and laughed. How did I get into the rut that I'm in?

It's a blessing

You'll find my next few entries fairly bizarre. It will be like memento. I'll be back tracing back to the original story.

Lets drop a few names. The current girl is 'Aisha' and the amazing prospect was 'Husna'.

I've been trying really hard with the current potentional, Aisha. She has some really exceptional circumstances that I can't even begin to explain.

I always find that whenever I'm in a difficult position. I submit to Allah and seek his help and wisdom. I recently did istikharaa regarding this girl as we needed to come to some kind of decision of where we stood.

When I did istikhara nothing happened. At Fajr I begged Allah to send me a sign. In my dream. I didn't see her. I saw an old friend. I was laughing and playing in the park. I also saw 'An Amazing Prospect She Was' (Husna). She had this smile. The shy kind.

I realise that these could just be feelings that I've had. With the information that I'm presented with; I must take action.

I would never give up on anyone. I will always give them the rights and respect that they're due regardless of their nature or past. However this situation has really ran its course and I know what I must do.

The Plan

1) Honesty is the best policy. I have to tell Aisha about everything. All the difficulties we've encountered are way beyond us. We've both tried so hard but we're not seeing a connection that we want. Its come to the realisation that we're both decent people but not for each other.

2) Once #1 has been accomplished. I must attempt to get in touch with Husna. Tell her about what has happened. Lay all my cards out on the table. Give it one last shot. Sometimes we've gotta do what we can for the things that we believe in.

Best case scenario: Husna is willing to try again. Worst case scenario: Nothing happens.

What does that do for me? It closes both chapters; just in time for the summer :-)

Thursday, 1 April 2010

The Tippin' Point

Discomfort and pain. Ah I know you guys. You're here to mess me up. Not doing a bad job at all me hearties!

These past 4 months have been very difficult. I have never had to deal with these kind of emotions. I've never dealt with another potential so soon.

The situation is more complex than the theory of quantum physics. It's extremely confusing and strange.

Words cannot describe how much I've tried. My patience is really being tested.

I have never been so exposed and out of my comfort zone.

This is good. I don't think I could have learnt what I have - For years to come; but it's a heft price to pay when it comes to emotions. Emotions that can either make you or break you.

I've never been one to quit. I've somehow managed to make it again?

Say hello to paper. Paper will now be my new friend!

Something so simple, has given me that dose of chill. I just attended tafsir class with the comfort knowing sooner or later something good will come out of all this heartache.

I'm still in pain. Chin up. Smile.

Thank you ya rabb.