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November 26, 2004
Marriage Considerations I: The Preliminaries

by Justoju


This piece is not an auto-biographical story about ME or my experiences. I am not Huda. Huda's personality and strengths are not mine. Huda is a fictitious character, much too perfect to be real, and if her account seems credible it is because that is how many 'religiously motivated' girls feel when they are in the situation described in the story. Whatever the reader's personal feelings towards Huda (regarding her expectations, reactions, etc) please note that they should not be extended to this novice writer who is, ultimately, simply experimenting with fiction.


“Honey beta, they are asking about you. You need to come out.”

Her mother’s warm but firm voice coming from the other side of the door brought her back to reality. She opened her eyes and got up from her prayer mat. This was the third time her mother had come to call her out. She had gone through this routine dozens upon dozens of times in the past few years, and yet, she still found herself overwhelmed with shyness and anxiety every time she had to make that initial entrance. If only they could just go home, then she wouldn’t need to come out.

“But they aren’t going to go home. You need to go out there. C’mon, you have done this many times before and they always like you. You already prayed asking Allah (Glorious and Exalted) for guidance so what can you possibly be worried about right now? You are taken care of. HasbunAllahu wa ni’mal wakeel.” With that she threw a quick glance at herself in the mirror, turned the knob, and walked out the door and towards the voices coming from the living room.

“Meet our daughter Huda.” Her brain was so focused on its mission to get her from point A to point B without tripping or stumbling that she barely heard her father’s introduction.

“AssalamuAlaikum” she said in an even and calm voice (whose origin thoroughly perplexed her) as room was made for her on the sofa.

She sat, her gaze focused on at her slightly worn formal black shoes, wishing desperately they would stop staring at her. Its like they were trying to do a full cell count and unravel her DNA with their eyes. She hated this part. She wished she could have just stayed in her room where the only eye that was upon her was Allah’s.

The men went back to discussing whatever it was that they had been discussing and the Auntie and young woman sitting next to her turned to her and started asking the usual questions.
Career goals, if any.

Auntie Surraya, with a fixed lipsticked smile on her face, leaned in to ask her with the sweetest of voices if she ALWAYS dressed like ‘this’. The ‘this’ that she was referring to was no doubt the combination of hijab, jilbab, and no makeup that she sported.

She slightly smiled and nodded her head yes, knowing that she was now the source of great confusion for this one particular Auntie. This ought to be fun.

“Even when you go to school beta!?” (Expertly designed eyebrows shooting up)

“Yes Auntie. Even at parties."

She considered whether or not she should have a little bit of fun by telling Auntie Surraya that she had been considering niqab. Seeing her mother looking at her with suspicious eyes, she realized that she should probably say no such thing. She remembered that one time when she had excitedly told one unappealing and obnoxiously nosy Auntie (mother of an unappealing and obnoxiously conceited young man) that she had just recently learned how to ‘cook’ tea. The look on that Auntie’s face was worth it. However, her mother, who had spent the last 8 years teaching her how to cook, had not been amused. She sighed; obedience to parents was no easy task.

She took a lightning quick survey of the sofa across from hers. One Uncle. Two sons. Add that to the one auntie and one daughter she had sitting on the sofa with her, and you had a family of five. Not bad, not bad, she could have the big family she wanted. She performed a mental checklist for the young man sitting across from her.
- Decent height…check.
- Proportionate weight…check.
- No visible signs of disease…check.
- Beard…check…but it was more GQ stylish than she preferred and might not be at all indicative of his desire for Sunnah…so only half a check for now.
- Deeni desires…yet to be determined.

Ok, so he passed her physical requirements—but then her living room had seen far better looking men who had later failed to pique her interest once the interview session began. The interview session was what it was all about. That was the heart of the ‘first visit’ and what determined whether or not any future invitations would be accepted or offered. She had always had enough suitors and simply didn’t have time to waste on silly men with flowery words who did not have adequate answers for her questions. She craved to be led, to find an Amir with clear vision and goals whose leadership she could trust and have faith in. She knew she would have to submit in marriage and she was willing to—but she didn’t want to make the task impossible for herself by wedding a man whose leadership, priorities, and judgment she didn’t trust. She knew herself.

The interview session was when she strained to find the leader in the man. That is when she turned into the attentive journalist, listening and writing the story of the suitor’s life and goals. That is when she became the Huda that she was in the classroom—inquisitive, analytical, and tactfully strategic.

That is when she played hardball.


To be continued...

of and relating to...
Faisal Akhtar said

Yet another marriage article.


on November 26, 2004 11:45 AM
asif said

Nice preliminaries I say...Lets play hard ball...I am all game!

on November 26, 2004 12:06 PM
gillette said

the writers need to impose on themselves a ban on marriage articles. we single ones are getting very frustrated.

on November 26, 2004 10:19 PM
Jannah said

Honey and beta in one sentence?

on November 27, 2004 12:57 AM
Justoju said

You are right. Hormones arent the reason why single men are frustrated...its really those damned satanic marriage articles that are to blame...

Hey, I am just doing this as a public service so that brothers can know what sisters want. I am trying to help you all out.

And Jannah, I hadnt even realized that I had put that in there or that it was wierd. My Ami calls me that (perhaps cuz honey sounds like...uh...dummy?) so I guess it didnt strike me as odd or out of place when it wound up as part of the dialogue for this character. Seemed like the 'natural' thing for a mother to call her daughter.

Funny how our abnormalities become the standard of normalcy in our dealings with others.

on November 27, 2004 1:33 AM
asif said

Justoju dont make your explanation overly convoluted, (just like John Kerry). Stick with your article/message and choice of words-honey & beta were just fine!

Jannah; all it probably means is that Jostoju is kinda like a tomboy to her parents...perhaps I am wrong, but hey being a tomboy ain't bad!

on November 27, 2004 2:19 AM
Talal said


I love the quid pro quo goin' on here at Hidaya. The brothers provide some insight, and the sisters return the favor :D

Hidaya: Shattering standards in the realm of Public Service Announcements.

on November 27, 2004 2:34 AM
Justoju said

To Hidaya editors- I hope you appreciate our heroine's name.

To Asif- Interesting guess...

The reason I was called 'beta' actually has nothing to do with being a tomboy. The reason I was called 'beta' (and the reason why I felt it was normal to have Huda referred to as 'beta') is because all of the girls in my extended family are called beta. It seems to work for both genders and for us it is normal for it to refer to both genders.

Interesting guess though.

on November 27, 2004 2:58 AM
asif said

I dont know about the editors...i think Huda is a fine name for the heroine...very nice, actually....so when is the next installment of the article due, in a week, fortnight, month?

on November 27, 2004 3:21 AM
Justoju said

The next installment should be up next Friday inshaAllah.

on November 27, 2004 3:41 AM
Humayun said

My favorite lil cusins name is Huda.... beautful choice Justoju.

"Hey, I am just doing this as a public service so that brothers can know what sisters want. I am trying to help you all out"

Hahaha, your pretending all sisters think like this..... I wishhhhhhh there were more sisters who thought like this......

.........In addition to speaking urdu as good as me, fitting in with my family, and meeting the rigirious requiements of my family i.e. being extremely light skinned,cooks great food, comes from a family similar to ours; last name Khan, Pakistani, semi pathan, from Karachi (Golistan e Johar preferably before Block E but after Block A)

So if any sister meets the above requirments (and are not my cusin) please email me at wife@mission_impossible.com

on November 27, 2004 10:59 PM
Talal said

I assumed the "Honey" part of "Honey beta" was a nickname for our dear sister Huda.
"Beta" is often used in auntie/ammi circles to refer to girls, so that wasn't out of place.

Remember interested ladies... Humayun's real email address can be found by hovering your mouse pointer over his name :)

on November 27, 2004 11:34 PM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

Huda is the arabic root meaning 'guidance' of which the word hidaya is derived.

1. Wouldn't it be easier on the girl if she was present already as the guests arrived...taking much of the anxiety of the grand entrance.

2. The most important part of the story was the one least talked about...that is to say that she made Istikhaara before doing anything else. People can lie, and make themselves look and act the way they want...but in the end the best decision is the one which Allah subhanna wa taala guides you to...since he knows everything and we know squat...and he knows who is best for each other and who is not.

Waslaam Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

on November 27, 2004 11:56 PM
Justoju said

To Br. Humayun - I know a whoooollle bunch of karachi'ite girls. In fact, I have 6 unmarried urdufied light-skinned cousins that we need to get off our hands. But, since they are concentrated in defense, clifton, and gulshan iqbal and arent khans (you pushtoons really need more last names) or partly-pathan, your parents might not take to them. Its ok, I am sure inshaAllah there are a lot of eligible young ladies in blocks B-D of golistan-e-johar.

To Br. Rami - Thank you for 'getting' how Huda was related to Hidaya.
And to answer your question about the entrance: No way jose. Thats a bit too 'modern' and 'liberated' for the first meeting. Craziness. Besides, I dont know about the male perspective (and it would be nice to hear the male perspective if anyone would care to share) but many girls are nervous and shaky wide-eyed basketcases from the time when the suitor arrives up to the moment when the 'interview' begins (some even after). Some of us watched way too many indian movies when we were younger and therefore transform from western-educated pseudo-feminist 'liberated' young women into nervous and shy little mice that cant escape the impulse to twist their 'dupatta' with their hands and every so often giggle and hide their face with their hands. If there were trees in the house we would probably try to hide behind them.

There should be trees in houses.

on November 28, 2004 3:23 AM
asif said


I dont know about Humayun, but I will take your offer of getting acquainted with your cousins in Karachi. Not that I am planning to go there anytime soon but I can have my parents initiate the "preliminaries" on my behalf.

I am assuming you obviously need to know more about me before you can recommend me to your relatives/friends. So, if you do fancy the thought, you can contact me at bt2034@yahoo.com.

As I mentioned earlier, I like playing hardball. Hopefully, you are game with me on this. Insha'Allah.

on November 28, 2004 11:21 AM
Justoju said

AssalamuAlaikum Br. Asif,

I shall entertain your desire for hardball. Now I dont see why I 'need' to know anything about you in order for you to pursue a rishta overseas...so I will relieve you of the cumbersome burden of having to deal with a middleman. If you wish to pursue this, my favorite cousin's name is Mehreen. I will let my aunt know the circumstances under which you got her number. Your parents can ask her the rest of your questions regarding my cousin. I am officially out of the picture.

Enjoy the hardball.

on November 28, 2004 1:19 PM
asif said

Wa Alaikum Assalaam Justoju-San:

You were not kidding when you said you like playing hardball...Touche!

I will relate the info. to my parents...Jazak'Allah Khair!

on November 28, 2004 2:00 PM
Justoju said

When did I say I liked to play hardball?

I think a disclaimer needs to be made:
This piece is not an auto-biographical story about ME or my rishta experiences. I am not Huda. Huda's personality and strengths are not mine. Huda is a fictitious character, much too perfect to be real, and if her account seems credible it is because that is how many 'religiously motivated' girls feel when they are in the situation described in the story. Whatever the reader's personal feelings towards Huda (regarding her expectations, reactions, etc) please note that they should not be extended to this writer who is, ultimately, simply experimenting with fiction.

on November 28, 2004 4:20 PM
asif said

Why do you insist on clarifying your position again and again missy? You are under no obligations to re-explain yourself; Masha'Allah you are a gifted writer and your work in fiction stands on its own.

That being said, I would like to make an apology for any inconvenience I may have caused you in any which way. Last thing I need is to be in the-you know what list-of a prolific, versatile, and very engaging writer like youself. That means I am very appreciative and looking forward to your next article.

By the way, I wanted to relate my views of the "preliminaries" from a male perspective. I am not sure if I have to be a member of this site in order to do that. How do I go about posting an article in here?

on November 28, 2004 5:33 PM
Justoju said

No inconvenience at all. We look forward to hearing the male perspective of the preliminaries.

From old posts-

If anyone would like to start writing articles send:

Column title
Column sample
Some idea of what you want to write about.
If you want to write weekly or bi-weekly or just for fun
Email address
Whether or not you're an RU student/alumni

to info@hidayaonline.com

on November 28, 2004 5:58 PM
Laila said

Masha Allah beta. :)

on November 28, 2004 9:08 PM
Fatima said


I enjoyed reading this, I can't wait to read the rest when it is continued. Good job.

on November 28, 2004 9:40 PM
staticguard said

mashAllah, very good article..and ALL success is due to Allah..
Without Him, what are we?????

; sounds like déjà vu to me..

This indeed is how MOST sisters feel ..

I recall being told to wear heels INSIDE of the house and put on makeup for this 'stranger', who's not my husband yet...

At one time, the 'Quran lady' who set up this 'rishta' shindig up, questioned me as to why I don't do my eyebrows; (no uni-brow or excessively hairy forehead, don't be alarmed, glamor boys and girls) she proceeded to explain to me, without the aid of Q &S
(Quran and Sunnah), why I should wear makeup.

Goes 'natural beauty' goes down the drain...

How beautiful and natural it is to please Allah, the MOST HIGH,

SubhanAllahi wa baehamdihi SubhanAllahi adzeem

wa salaam

on November 28, 2004 10:03 PM
staticguard said


on November 28, 2004 10:08 PM
Justoju said

Sr. StaticGuard, I think you might find the following to be quite amusing...


(Very poetically amazing name btw...or maybe you just like to carry cans of StaticGuard around and leave them in the MSA office for the sisters to use ;) )

on November 28, 2004 10:34 PM
gillette said

"...into nervous and shy little mice that cant escape the impulse to twist their 'dupatta' with their hands and every so often giggle and hide their face with their hands. If there were trees in the house we would probably try to hide behind them."

sounds like the more islamic of the two.

for future reference, please take the more detailed/specific discussions about marriage somewhere else outside of this website for two reasons 1) u don't want to tell a wali that you met his daughter on a website and 2) NASEEB.COM/SHAADI.COM/NIKAH.COM/NIKAAH.COM

on November 28, 2004 11:29 PM
Talal said


MashaAllah, that comment just about sums up the entire discourse on marriage this site has been through :D

on November 28, 2004 11:40 PM
asif said

Gillette Bro:

What kind of lame comment is that?
By the way have you tried Schick Quatro (it has four baldes, instead of three in Gillette), maybe thats the change you are looking for in your life!

on November 28, 2004 11:43 PM
Jannah said

Staticguard the MSA office and me miss you dearly! I was just telling some of the freshies the other day about how you used to leave us goodies in the office. Non-jilbabees they just don't know.

Justoju I look fwd to reading more about honeybetahuda. Your writing this as a public service, much like your antics, amuses me greatly :).

on November 29, 2004 12:13 AM
Justoju said

Brother Gillette:

"sounds like the more islamic of the two."

I agree. Sisters, put the power handshake away when meeting potential in laws.

"u don't want to tell a wali that you met his daughter on a website"

Well technically, that wouldnt apply to Br. Asif's case as he did not meet my cousin (who is in karachi and does not even know of hidayaonline) off the internet. He hasnt seen her or spoken to her, so if his parents call her wali and he goes through the proper channels (I am not a channel, I simply supplied a number and then cut myself out of the loop) to find out about her, their marriage will technically be pretty islamically halaalified.

Brother Asif:

Dont take Brother Gillette's comments personally. His intention is to be sincere and not insulting.

on November 29, 2004 12:33 AM
Rami said

Äsalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

This is quite uncalled for:

""By the way have you tried Schick Quatro (it has four baldes, instead of three in Gillette), maybe thats the change you are looking for in your life"

Narrated Abu Huraira:

Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet, and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should not hurt (or insult) his neighbor; and whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should entertain his guest generously."

Wasalaam Warahmatulaah Wabaraktu

on November 29, 2004 1:01 AM
asif said

Hey hang on Justoju, thats rather presumptuous of you that your cousin and I will appreciate each other as potential mate. But Khair Insha'Allah!

Secondly, my comments for Bro. Gillette was due to the following reasons (with no insult implied or intended):

1) This website is the first of its kind that I have come across which is open to all sort of halal topics and mutual discussions. I cant see any reason why marriage cannot be part of a legitimate topic for this site, (among other equally and pertinent topics in Islam). The fact remains that most of the folks who contribute and engage in discussions on this site are students and most importantly single muslims/muslimahs. Now tell me what muslim who is single and is eligible for marriage should not discuss this topic in a healthy forum like this?
2) Reagrding the matrimonial sites, I have to say that if you have ever ventured into their chat room, you will be appaled to hear and witness the kind of vulgarity and insane talk that goes on there on a regular basis. Its just amazing sometimes to see muslims/Muslimahs behave the way they conduct themselves sometimes on those matrimonial sites.

Ergo, I think this website should be used to discuss all Halal topics in a healthy forum with appreciation and mutual respect for all contributors and critics.

Thats my take...and once again Bro. Gillette, I respectfully beg to differ from your suggestion and I look forward to keep on exchanging healthy discussions with you and other bro/sis on this website.

on November 29, 2004 1:07 AM
Justoju said

Btw, there are deeper reasons why I wrote this article. If you read some of my other pieces you will notice that I usually comment and explain the 'point' that I am trying to get across, but I havent thus far for this piece because I feel that it would take away from the effect (and the ending) if I do. If you would like to know, send me an email and I will send you my (already composed) explanation of my intention behind this piece.

For the brothers who are frustrated by this marriage piece, if you knew what 'points' I was trying to get across in this series, you would realize that there is absolutely no reason to be frustrated by it.

on November 29, 2004 1:08 AM
staticguard said


on November 29, 2004 1:11 AM
asif said

hahaha...StaticGuard...Jazak'Allah Khair!

Your exclamation mark is wonderfully open ended.
Thats the punch line!

By the way, my sincerest apologies to everyone, especially Brother Gillette and Sister Justoju for all my comments that were uncomfortable and uncalled for. Its wasn't my intention nor does it give me any satisfaction to upset any human being, especially my muslim bro&sis. Please do find it in your heart to forgo my lapse in judgement and choice of inappropriate words in my comments. Insha'Allah!

on November 29, 2004 1:20 AM
Talal said

A little quote I heard last week:

"If you believe in love at first sight,
then you'll never stop looking"

istikhara fo'eva.

on November 29, 2004 3:10 PM
Justoju said

Stellar quote. Who came up with it?

on November 29, 2004 10:18 PM
Talal said

That bit of insight was unfortunately found attached to a trailer for a not-quite-halaal film on relationships, love, and cheating.

on November 30, 2004 12:28 AM
Ibtisam said

(To write or to not to write: what should I do?)

LOL! Br.Talal, unfortunately most of the wisdom we get are from western media(or eastern, bollywood, hollywood) about these issues.

Comment about this thread and writers and what not. Perhaps for some people this is an example of what sisters have to go through from rishta after rishta. I think one element is missing here, based on examples I have seen of my friends being married and what not and what I have heard from the elders of our ummah is that sisters can mold the brothers into the man they want. If this girl Huda is looking for whatever she is looking, she would have to a)marry an older matured man, perhaps a widower
b) marry a good open-minded guy that she can change for the better.
But then again, I wanna stress not all girls are lucky enough to get even this. It really is taqdeer and nothing else whether you like it or not, sometimes you really dont have control over it, at least from the girl's viewpoint. I did a million istikharas for all I know.
Thank you for the public service announcement. Unfortunately, I doubt a guy is going to see this and be like, I need to change myself to become an amir, etc. Generally, there are sometimes guys that are more religious than girls, and sometimes, girls more religious than guys, you just gotta hope that the more religious person has an influence on the other.

One more thing: i am marvelled at how guys are, they dont care really who they marry but as girls have made it into a life and death situation, subhanallaah. Just shows how weak we really are.......

on November 30, 2004 2:47 AM
asif said


Masha'Allah those were really insightful comments.
Generally speaking men (regardless of their background or belief-value system) are not too concerned about how much they will change after marriage, Or that marrying to one particular person will make or break the deal for them. Yeah, the ladies would like to think so. We men like to take things in a more linear progression. We are not overly complicated when it comes to choosing a partner, our criterias are usually that potential mates are pleasant looking and that we feel compatible with them on some level because of similar value/moral/cultural/education system or background. However, a lot of men (not all) do change after marriage due to their spouse's influence, which is usually a good thing.
But I was rather surprised when you suggested that Huda would have to marry an older mature guy. That would make sense because her expectations of a husband are rather steep for most young men. As I said earlier, men (usually) are more on a linear track and we do get a handle of ourselves and our life, eventually. For some of us this process accelerates after marriage.

Jazak-Allah Khair sister for your comments.

And please everyone (bro/sis) dont get offended with my comments, these are just my observations.

on November 30, 2004 7:52 AM
Justoju said

I would care to disagree with sister Ibtisam. I do NOT believe most women are successful in molding the man, in fact, in most cases its the women that end up compromising and being molded. Blame it on the androgens or whatever, but men, by nature, have less of a flexible and passive character. Of course there are exceptions, but this is what seems to be apparent from the majority of relationships that I have witnessed. A guy's lack of deen can really make life a living hell for a woman that wishes to stay on top of her discipline, ESPECIALLY if she has given up tv, unhalaal music, movies, etc..

I dont think that Huda's requirements will force her to marry an older man. You are assuming that there are no young religious men in this world that have leadership skills and that have a clear sense of what they want. Thats not what I have seen. Without bringing my personal life into this too much, I can tell you that the proposals that I have been the most interested in were the ones that knew not only what type of muslims they wanted to be, but also what type of muslims they wanted me and our children to be as well. They were not islamic slackers in any sense and knew what type of wife they needed. There are many young men in this world that are looking for someone like Huda. MANY. The only complication is that most young men are not 'ready to marry' until their mid 20's, but that doesnt mean that Huda will have to marry a widower.

And the fact that people think that her requirements are a little steep reflect the sad state the ummah is in. Huda is not being picky about his career, looks, or the rest of the things that get taken seriously during marriage considerations. She is ONLY looking for deen.

One thing. I don't think that that is asking too much or is an unreasonable 'deal-breaker' for a woman to set for the father of her dynasty.

And this may have 'openly' and in jest been for the guys, but in reality I wrote it really for the women. If you don't already see why then the reasons will become further manifest as the story progresses.

on November 30, 2004 11:52 AM
asif said

I guess we are all rambling in the dark. The story of Huda (her preliminaries & hardball) is not complete yet. We just have to wait till then.

And Sister Justoju; you do have some valid points in your last rhetorical comments about men. It's not different from what I said earlier, men are linear in their modus operandus by nature. If you push them too hard they won't budge (hence passive) and when they are supposed to be gliding along they can easily be disoriented in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, in both cases the woman usually ends up suffering the brunt of the man's inadequacy. That is the dimmer part of any husband-wife relationship.

I can't say much about you Justoju (since I dont know you), but Huda, on the other hand, will be just fine, insha'Allah. I mean she knows what she wants, she is looking for Deen in a man and not his history, wealth, looks or certain age. Hidayah is Only from Allah, and He gives it to whom HE wishes.

on November 30, 2004 12:47 PM
Ibtisam said

Women can in most cases compromise but that does not mean the men dont change, they sure do change. In the end it is really taqdeer, darling, nothing more and nothing less. If you are not convinced then I can tell you personally, it is all taqdeer. You dont think I was looking for what Huda was looking for, how many sisters are looking for what Huda is looking for, do you think they find and get what Huda is looking for: No. My own friends are examples of that and I am half an example for that. No, it is not too much to ask but slightly unreasonable to presume, you will get whatever the hell you want, because it is not guarranteed. Women can pray all their life but if it is not qadarallaah then you will get mafee shay. You wont get what you want and then what will you do? that is the real test of a believing woman. The woman who's husband are not religious, you think Allaah does not know about them. Allaah rewards them with something better in jannah. If it is the aakhira we really crave then this should be our thinking. The end is that whatever house you are placed in, you are content with that. I have the perfect example of a friend of mine, who is a role model of sabr and shukr, perhaps we should all emulate what she has, myself foremost.

on November 30, 2004 4:51 PM
staticguard said


You guys need bigger fonts if yoru gonna talk in long paragraph(s).

Maybe size 12 font in Arial would do the trick

Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.
we gotta choose the best from both planets; we can't match them exactly; we think differnt and respond to situations differently.
Our experiences are differnet; our responses are different. So just plainly pick the one w/ the best response mechanism.

and leave the rest to Allah:)
that's my 2 cents in 2 minutes!

wa salaam

on December 1, 2004 12:12 AM
Justoju (my apologies to Static Guard) said


First of all, I am sorry Static Guard for the font and what I am about to put you through...if you decide to read this.

I think it would be good for us to read Br. Gillette's article titled "Blind Tawakkul" (http://www.hidayaonline.com/archives/000035.html) as he deals with the issue of marriage and taqdeer in it.

Sister Ibby, I am not advising those sisters who are ALREADY married to go out and demand khula. Once the nikkah has happened, you have to do whatever you can to keep the marriage intact and try to benefit each other's deen through example as much as possible. Divorce is the most detested of the halaal things and I am not saying that married sisters with not-so-religious husbands should just tell their men to take a hike.

I am writing about unmarried sisters who are in the consideration process. I am advocating a certain amount of religious scrutiny (to the extent that is possible at least) and a conscious ACTIVE part in the decision making process. People who passively marry someone should not be surprised when the person ends up being drastically different from how they expected--it was their responsibility and RIGHT to get things squared away and to get their questions answered before marriage.

The islamic tradition puts an immense emphasis on there being a MUTUAL understanding before marriage of what the other person's expectations and plans are. This is reflected in the islamic system of nikkah contracts. We are encouraged to do as much research and ask as many questions as we need in order to feel satisfied. THEN, if by the will of Allah, your spouse still ends up being unreligious, AT LEAST YOU cant be blamed for it. At least you can take solace in the fact that you tried your absolute hardest. Then, you play the cards you were dealt and reconcile yourself to a life of sabr, shukr, and teaching via example. And there is immense reward for those women who, like Aasiyah, are married to the Pharoans of this world and manage to hold on to their deen.

But you dont go and marry some smooth-talking clean-shaven doctor loser just because your parents are pressuring you and you think you can make him religious later. Everything in life is a risk and there are no guarantees of anything, but THAT is just closing your eyes and walking INTO a high risk scenario.

There is a saying in urdu that translates to "The one who craves sugar, gets his sugar". I personally believe that you get what you make dua for, have tawakkul regarding, AND work and strive for. Islam integrates the body with the soul and shows us how the key to success is combining the efforts of the body with the efforts of the qalb. Yes, it is all qadr, yes we make istikharah and pray, but we also make istishaara, we also must search and seek and question and STRIVE as well. We must actively STRIVE to find the spouse who meets our islamic requirements because this striving is with the intention of safeguarding our deen, and is therefore ibadah.

Lemme give you an example: 'Huda' does not partake in any unislamic entertainment. If she marries someone who, like many muslims, loves his music and his bedtime tv routine, what is she supposed to do? She cant yell at her husband EVERY night when he turns the tv on. She cant escape the sounds of music. How long is she going to struggle and squirm and fight in that situation before she gives up and slacks off. A woman who is herself weak and struggling cannot afford to be in a marriage like this because she will be the one who ends up changing and not the husband. She wont be able to take it too long. Only a very very strong woman and a highly strong muslimah can take on the kind of challenge that that marriage would pose to her iman and life.

Now I dont know about others, but I know that I personally have considerable trouble trying to get my act together and dealing with social temptations. I would very easily fall into past sins if I were constantly around someone who didnt view them as sins and who thought I was being an extremist prude. If I were to marry a guy (who I had to then respect as my amir and obey and all that yummy stuff) he would REALLY need to have his priorities straight or he could easily take my deen down the drain. This is about self-preservation here.

Also, I believe as all of you do that Allah, Glorious and Exalted, is Just and Merciful. I dont believe he would create an army of female aspiring muimins and leave them no male aspiring muimins to marry from. From what I see there is usually an equal proportion of each kind of muslim on each side of the gender line.
'Semi religious men': 'Semi religious women'.
'Religious men' : 'Religious women'.
'Very religious men' : 'Very religious women'.

You had said earlier regarding this, "just because you see some does not mean, everyone is going to see some. it is just you."

I beg to differ. I have an entire circle of hardcore practicing aspiring-muimin friends that are married to men who share their aspirations and level of practice. They are all in their 20's and early 30's and they all grew up in the West. They all take shariah EXTREMELY seriously and have given up whatever has been deemed unhalaal by the ulema.

How did they find each other? What happens is that when you consistently go to certain classes and programs and intensives you end up becoming part of a larger group of aspiring striving muslims that are trying to better themselves. You end up forming bonds with other sisters for the sake of Allah and making them your 'core' circle of friends. There is an understanding within that group of what the 'standard' is for marriage. Then when anyone knows of a single brother, they hook it up. These brothers are looking for the type of sister who can deal with their 'lifestyle' of islamic study and striving for reform. They WANT the type of sister who will not only go with them to a 2 month advanced arabic intensive, but will also be as excited about it as they are. They want the girl who will wake for tahajjud with them and actually LIKE it. So yes sister, they DO exist. But because we dont date or anything like that, it is important that we have an islamic social network that will take care of us when it is time for us to wed. Super-religious married friends will help you find a super-religious husband. But if you dont have the network and just rely on 'typical desi' parents, expect to get 'typical desi' proposals.

And again, I am not saying that a woman should expect to get EVERYTHING she and her parents want. That will never happen. But if she gets her priorities straight and doesnt care as much about certain materialistic superficial things, she wont have any problem at all finding that religious husband inshaAllah.

And yes, men CAN change and there are exceptions to everything in creation.

Finally, I would like to apologize if my bluntness has hurt anyone. And sis. Ibtisam, you asked earlier why I havent replied to your email yet, and the answer to that is: I havent been able to stay on top of my emails because I spend all my time composing insanely and mind-numbingly long responses on Hidaya :).

I have been having an highly hectic week. Please forgive me for the delay. InshaAllah I will reply within the next few days.


on December 1, 2004 4:03 AM
Justoju said

Br. Talal, why dont you go on ahead and publish my last post as tommorrow's article if no one else is planning to put something up. It seems long enough to cross over into 'article' domain.

on December 1, 2004 4:04 AM
Justoju said

oh my god, I just tried to read what I wrote and 'I' cant even do it without my eyes glazing over and my mind drifting. Anyone who wants to read that last long comment should try to take it like taraweeh and take a short break after every two paragraphs.

on December 1, 2004 4:09 AM
asif said

hopefully, this will be rather brief...

Sister Justoju; you are still young and naive. The main theme of your long post was that you are optimistic and thats understandable for someone who has been in a shelled environment. Sister Ibtisam (is probably around your age) but she is more of a realist based on her recent experiences. You havent had the opportunity yet, so it seems, to really understand what marriage actually is with another person. I was more "hardcore" in my views than you---I was a young fool. BUT Allah teaches you in doses with experiences that you never see coming, and how you react to it, really defines who you are as Allah's Servant and Ummati of Rasul Allah (sal-lal-la-hu-wa-sal-lam).

Whats the bottom line of this post; You must have three things in order to overcome any situation that Allah has destined for you in your brief life:
1 - Complete (and I mean absolutely, positively, complete) Tawakkul on ALLAH. Everything happens because Allah wanted you to marinate in that situation. So accept your fate and be Raadi and thanful to Allah.
2 - Repent, Repent, Repent and ask forgiveness from Allah every moment of your life. We do way more sins on a daily basis then we ever realize.
3 - Be forebearing with human beings around you, (personally, this is the toughest one for me). Whoever you meet and interact (jew, muslim, christian, or anyone else) in your life, be a "muslim" to them. So that they can see reflections of Islaam in you.

All what you said about the process of finding a good companion is fine and great. You are preaching to the choir, atleast in my case. I did all that, and married to a beautiful human being and an awesome Muslimah, but I still ended up in a divorce!

Life is not what you want or wish or seek...Life is what you get, from Allah. How you deal with it and carry yourself defines you and your credibility in front of Allah.

Jazak'Allah Khair for the post...Keep it coming.

on December 1, 2004 9:14 AM
Ibtisam said

Subhanallaah Br. Asif,
the best advice you can give anyone. All I can say is subhanallaah.I am glad that someone is telling me I am being a realist, because 90% of the cases this is true. Very few people have permission and opportunity to go to classes and intensives. If you understand islaam you know you will not go without a mahram. If my father cannot take me to these things, I will not go. So that leaves out going to islaamic conferences etc and this is even if my religious parents give me permission and what not and even if they did not, true understanding of islaam would be to listen to them and not go to these halaqahs, because it is not fardh to go. Dont you think sister, it is rather unfair that you have to form a network of religious friends in order to get a good spouse. This is not the way it was during the time of sahabah(I can understand the case if the elders are not religious, then I can understand that this is the only way a rigtheous youth will find a spouse). So you cannot project one case scenario. Offcourse, religious committment is the first thing to look at. But how would you know if someone listens to music or not. What if the person has an outward religious persona, you cannot guarrantee.
or what of the person who is truly religious and very strict to the point he will beat his wife if she does not listen to him. So these are also scenarios that can be so.

on December 1, 2004 12:34 PM
Ibtisam said

My mother says it is one of ths signs of the day of judgement that a single girl will look for her own spouse. Go figure.

on December 1, 2004 12:35 PM
asif said

Sister Ibtisam and Sister Justoju:

May Allah bless you both, today, tomorrow and for the rest of your existence in this life and in the hereafter...Ameen.

There is no harm in a woman traveling alone for halal reasons, Insha'Allah. There is a Hadith, which states similar to the fact that, there will be a time when a single lady will be able to travel from such and such place to another place with Safety.

This would mean to suggest that travelling by a lady (with mahram or without) is fine, so long its for the right reason. Just wanted to clarifying that point.

That aside, you both are real asset to this website and to your community (where ever you guys reside/interact), and I hope that we continue to benefit from you both with your views, thoughts, and ideas that are beneficial to all the muslims in general.

Sincerest regards to both of you...keep those articles coming, Insha'Allah.

on December 1, 2004 1:22 PM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

I believe, in my own philosophy, that the person who is righteous, tries as hard as he/she can to be the best of the ummah, and puts his/her tawakul on Allah...would therefore become the biggest of optimists.

Knowing that before every decision you have consulted Allah with Istikara how can your path ever be deviated?

Knowing that whatever bad befalls you is a test that with patience only serves to increse your Iman and love for Allah, how can you ever feel down.

A muslim is never suppose to be a pessimist.

If one does something simply for the sake of Allah do you think Allah subhanna wa taala would abandon him?

I blind tawakallud my way to Egypt without a plan or a clue as to what I was going to do....Allah helped me and found me a way for every obstacle alhamdllilah...brought me those who could help me when I could not do it for myself alhamdullilah...and answered me when I made to him Du'a....because my intentions were for him.

That is my ethos...and if I ever abandon it then surely I will be in a loss. If you ever believe for one second that Allah does not take care of those who strive solely for HIM...you have not grasped the reality of how super-powerful a mu'min can become.

If you believe that you will ot get that job because of that beard you have completely lost the point.

If you believe you will never get married because you are looking for a person with too good of Eman you have completely lost the point.

If you believe that you will wake up in the mornng and die a muslim without the will of Allah then you have completely lost the point.

Allah is your ONLY chance for a good job.
Allah is your ONLY change for a good husband
Allah's mercy is your ONLY chance for making it into Jannah.

Disclimer: Contrary to what my nafs tells me I am no the coolest muslim on earth...I a not guaranteed jannah...and I make no claims to being better than anyone else...or the claim of self-righteousness thereof. I am struggling like everyone else...but my ideals are the only thing that one can hold on to if he/she wishes to succeed. Becuase Allah subhanna wa taalaa dos whatever he likes...and to think that the ideal is impossible is to not have true tawakul on Allah.

btw, the arabic word for blind tawakul is Tawaakul...with an alif etween the waw and the kaf.

Waslaam Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

on December 1, 2004 1:30 PM
asif said

Bro Rami-San:

TRUE Indeed...Well said Masha'Allah.

JazakAllah Khair for your pearls of insight and wisdom.

on December 1, 2004 1:54 PM
gillette said

"There is no harm in a woman traveling alone for halal reasons, Insha'Allah. There is a Hadith, which states similar to the fact that, there will be a time when a single lady will be able to travel from such and such place to another place with Safety."

Please cite the source for the hadith as well as the major scholar who said that the hadith has shar'i implications.

on December 1, 2004 3:44 PM
Ibtisam said

you beat me to it
i was going to comment on tawaakul vs
In marriage there is not much you can do so it is just dua'(so the example of tawaakul or tawakkul is not appropriate in this case)
but in earning a living, tawaakul would be just wait around and sit and not work for food saying that Allaah will provide, whereas in tawakul you would actually work hard to get food and stuff. unfortunately, in school tawaakul does not seem to work as well. I study and study and all I do is pass, perhaps I should stop wasting my time arguing with Sr. Justojo.
I am very sad today(because I did not get an A in my class, ina lillaahi wa inna ilayhe raji'oon) but I read your post about optimism and I should work harder to get an A in my classes. Aaagh!
tawakkul, tawaakul: subhanallaah Muslims need to do tawakkul not tawaakul in all things in life(I am not sure about marriage).

Br. Asif, perhaps you should refer to www.islamqa.com
even though that is a hadeeth but the majority of scholars hold the opinion that women should not go without a mahram, unless it is a dire need or absolutely necessary(you can study qur'aan and islaam at home and the absolute faraaidh to live your life, so I dont think it is a "dire need"). One of the reasons I got married was because I was living away from family(compared to Justojo, I am very old fashioned islaamic values(not cultural at all) and think more like a man than a woman in terms of marriage:necessity and convenienc(islaamic action because need mahram), happiness of parents, etc)
And even if a guy is stopped from goign to islaamic conferences and halaqaat, then he should listen to his parents, that is fardh on him. And it did not feel right for me to go because I have always gone places with my father and not by myself(I think I would not feel happy and get much out of the islaamic conference or class unless my dad drove me there and even just to drop me off there). I have been brought up with this Islaamic value that are missing from American society either due to circumstances or newfound freedom

on December 1, 2004 3:50 PM
asif said


Please make yourself useful and do as you suggested for all of us. It will be Sadakah'Jariyah.

JazakAllah Khair in advance. We are counting on your abilities to deliver.

on December 1, 2004 3:52 PM
Ibtisam said

Just to clarify, women cannot even make hajj without a mahram according to some scholars, so why to study islaam. It is not the "best practice" so to speak. There are no examples of sahaabiyah traveling to study Islaam, perhaps at that time, they had local knowledgable imaams and scholars but still it was men who traveled not sahaabiyah. Wallaahu alim.

on December 1, 2004 3:55 PM
gillette said


the burden of proof is on you. you cited the hadith and opinion (which conflicts with the opinion of Imam An-Nawawi, as stated in his Sharh of Sahih Muslim). Now, you'll probably say "there are other scholars who say they can." Which ones who are of Imam An-Nawawi's caliber?

Here's a ruling from Shaykh Al-Munajjid, from Islam-QA.com, allowing travel by a woman alone in VERY, VERY extreme circumstances:

"Is it permissable for a Muslim woman, who does not have a mahram because she is an unmarried convert, to relocate to another country for the purposes of furthering her Islaamic knowledge, to live among Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaat, and seek a husband?

Answer :

Praise be to Allaah.

If the Muslim woman is living in a place where there are no Muslims of Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jamaa'ah with whom she could live and she is therefore unable to learn her religion, it is permissible for her to move to another place where she can live among Ahl al-Sunnah and learn her religion. Indeed, she should try to move, travelling with a mahram if possible. If she has no mahram, then she should travel in the company of others who can be trusted, in an airplane, for example, so that she can reach her destination safely. We ask Allaah to help us obey Him.

Translator's note: "mahram" refers to a blood-relative to whom marriage is permanently forbidden, such as a woman's father, brother, son, uncle, etc.

Islam Q&A
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid (www.islam-qa.com)"

on December 1, 2004 7:35 PM
asif said

Salaam Gillette Bhai:

Thanks a bunch for doing the research, Masha'Allah.
You came through for all of us.
The hadith and its application is much clearer now.
JazakAllah Khair!

on December 1, 2004 7:40 PM
Justoju said


You are all awesome mashaAllah. :)

And btw, why was it assumed that I was gallavanting around the world without a mahram or that I was raised with "cultural" values? :) I do not go to any place that my parents dislike my going and I travel with a mahram whenever undergoing a considerable journey (exception: school). I am very lucky in that I was blessed with family that encourages islamic study and strives to support me in that area.

Sister Ibtisam, do not take any of this personally, no one is criticizing you or any other specific person. You, your iman, your tawakkul, and your efforts are between you and Allah and no one is judging them or has the right to judge them. We dont even KNOW you or your situation and dont claim to. We are simply talking in abstract terms about hypothetical people. The point of all this is just to give people the message that it is OK and GOOD to be optimistic, have tawakkul, and to hold high standards. The ONLY thing I am saying is that we need to strive, and try our best, and leave no rock unturned when we want something. Then, after that, we play the cards we are dealt with sabr and shukr. I am not disputing the fact that EVERYTHING is qadrAllah, what I am disputing is people's 'tawaakul' or blind hope, when it comes to marriage. What I am saying is that despite Allah's (Glorious and Exalted's) Knowledge, Power, and Will being in EVERYTHING, we are still held responsible for certain things. We STILL have to strive to hold up our end of the bargain. We will not be able to wiggle our way out of punishment by saying "but, Allah Willed it and made me do it" (astaghfirullah). So, when we KNOW that we have to strive, why is that principle conveniently ignored when it comes to marriage?

Br. Asif, you are a perfect case in point. You tried your hardest to marry the best muslimah you could find for the sake of Allah, Glorious and Exalted. MashaAllah, that is awesome and the best thing you could have done. Now, we need to keep in mind that Allah's Hand is in between every cause and every effect. Nothing necessarily CAUSES anything else, except Allah (Glorious and Exalted). So marrying a perfect muimin spouse does not necessarily guarantee that you will have the 'happily ever after'. Anyway, it didnt work out. But you see, at least now you cant be 'blamed' for not trying your absolute hardest to marry a pious spouse. YOU held up your end of the bargain. Life is a series of blessings in disguise as tests, so now you simply have to play the hand you were dealt (I love that phrase) and weed out the good that is intended for you inshaAllah. I am sure that when you look for a spouse you will, again, try your absolute hardest to marry someone who is on top of her deen mashaAllah. And thats perfect, that is exactly the way a believer should be. We dont give up hoping and wanting the absolute BEST just because we had a few bumps along the way.

And btw, meeting people through a social network is not the 'only' way to get a religious spouse. I didnt think anyone would assume that I thought it was the 'only' way so I didnt bother clarifying. Some people get more proposals than others (due to social contacts, etc.) and have a greater pool to choose from. But who says there is something wrong with your wali taking the initiative and proposing to a guy? You can get excellent proposals through your family if they know what you are looking for, and are willing to 'look' and not just sit around, waiting for some perfect insaan-e-kaamil to fall into their lap from the rishta heavans. I mean really, what with asking around the community, legitimate matrimonial sites, and asking imams for help, the possiblities are endless.

And I repeat, you are all awesome mashaAllah.


on December 2, 2004 12:50 AM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

Asif & Gilette

I believe I ran into that hadith that you were mentioning, but I do not believe it has any shari'a implications.

Volume 4, Book 56, Number 793:

on December 2, 2004 3:34 PM
ibtisam said

Salaamu alaikum
I am sorry sister that you took it personally what I wrote. My comments were meant genearlly and I did not imply you in any of them. You are right and I am wrong. I am sorry. You win.

on December 2, 2004 4:46 PM
Justoju said

Sweetheart, why do you see this in terms of winning or losing? This is an ever-evolving discussion, not a debate. As long as we present our views with proper adab and for the sake of Allah, we are ALL winners. We are both on the same team and it will not benefit either one of us to think of this as win-lose issue. I didnt take anything personally, the only reason I assumed you were referring to me was because you mentioned my name when you spoke about values. For the sake of my parents and their efforts to separate culture from Islam, I had to speak up. This is just a healthy discussion and regardless of what is said, I will always respect and love you as a muslim.

on December 3, 2004 12:32 AM
Bint Abdul Khaliq said

As Salaamu alaikum

Looking forward to part 2..

Was Salaam

on December 3, 2004 4:01 PM
ibtisam said

I meant "you win" as a joke, perhaps I dont know how to make a joke either, sorry.

on December 3, 2004 9:10 PM
Justoju said

stop apologizing for things you didnt do wrong woman! :)

on December 4, 2004 2:06 AM
nurfette said

Justoju, as always, you are a very insightful Muslimah ... there should definitely be trees in houses

on December 6, 2004 1:38 AM
Justoju said

They have them in malls. No one thinks 'thats' unnatural.

on December 6, 2004 1:45 AM
staticguard said

Assalamu alaikum,

mango trees

wa salaam

on December 7, 2004 11:43 PM
Amani said

Masha'Allah very well done! (yeah I finally got to reading it, I'm not as up to speed as Rami :P )

I liked the line of the Auntie asking her if she always dressed like "that". *sigh* good ol' Aunties and Tants. Gotta love their bluntness sometimes (not reallY ;).

Justoju: I'm guessing your intention is for unmarried men/women to be firm when potentials come along...not to settle for anything less than what they want. But, if I'm wrong, e-mail me your true intention Sister. :)

on December 20, 2004 12:38 PM
Amani said

and BTW: dang those are some LOOOONG comments! :o

on December 20, 2004 12:38 PM
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