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August 2, 2005
Traditions (Part 1)

by Faisal Akhtar

Editor's note: This was loosely adapted/translated from a previously published work:


(This story is fictional and any character resemblance to any actual person is purely coincidental)

"You must drink some more."
"Like I said, we can’t drink anymore.”
“THIS IS AN INSULT TO OUR FAMILY” shouted Hafsa’s father. “If you people don’t drink more, I will kill you.”
“Are you insane?” my father started losing it, “We refuse to drink any more, do what ever the hell you will."

The situation started getting out of hand. They were adamant that we must drink more soda and we kept saying no and alas it happened again. We had to run out of the house to avoid a fist fight.

When we got home, my father started yelling at me “You IDIOT, you want marry into these maniacs?“


At first I though Hafsa was a tough catch. She was very modest, very active in ISRU, beautiful, and. as my sources had informed me, super rich as well.

Once I told Hassan “Man, I so want to marry her.”
“Many people do,” replied Hassan, “but most are too intimidated by her to even try to ask.”
“I am dead-serious man, I want to marry this girl.”
“Then ask her, and see what she says.”
“I wish I were as lucky to be able to marry a girl like her.”
“If you don’t ask you will never find out and if you do, she will know that at least you are not like the tens of others who tacitly imply a thousand things but are too afraid to ask her hand in marriage. Besides, what is wrong with you marrying her”“
“You really think I should”“
“Yeah go for it, and hey even if she says no, you are no better off now.”
Hassan’s pep talk worked and I decided to approach her the next day.


“Excuse me!”
“May I speak to you for a minute?“
“Okay.” She turned to her friends, “I will catch up with you guys later.”
“Actually, I would prefer it if your friends were here.”
She was puzzled “Alright, what’s on your mind?“
Right then, I felt my throat collapsing in on itself, “I just, I…“
Then I remembered Hassan”s words “Confidence Akhi, Confidence”
I cleared my throat and continued, “Well, I will be graduating soon and I have a job offer waiting after I am done with school. I think it is time for me to start a family and I was wondering if you would give me the honor of becoming your better half.”
Her friends’ jaws dropped in shock and she looked positively impressed. After a short silence I started again.
“I hope I didn’t offend you in any way I mean…“
“There is nothing to be offended about”
“Of course not.”
“So what’s your answer”“
“Come to my house this Sunday, my father's answer is my answer.”
And I felt like I was on cloud nine.


That Sunday, I spent two hours in the shower, put on my best outfit and made my way to Hafsa’s house. It wasn’t a house; it was a mansion. I rang the doorbell and a maid answered the door.
“Hi, my name is Faisal, and I am here to…“
I couldn’t think of what to say
“Oh! Okay, they are expecting you. Come on in.”
When I went inside, Hafsa’s father greeted me with warmth. They were very friendly people and I felt right at home. After about an hour or so of the traditional marriage interview, Hafsa brought in some tea and cookies. She didn’t look like her usual self since was wearing makeup today. She looked more beautiful than ever and I felt like I was dreaming. She poured me a cup and the tea was out of this world. Few people can appreciate a good cup of tea and even fewer can make it but it was obvious, my tea-drinking needs were going to be satisfied for life. After I was done with the first cup, her mother went ahead and poured me a second. I thought to myself, “How thoughtful,” and I went ahead and finished off the second cup. Her mother quietly poured me a third cup.
“No thanks Auntie”
“But must have some more beta”
“Okay, if you insist.”
I went ahead and drank the third cup.
“That’s it auntie, no more.”
“But you must have some more.”
“No auntie really, I am done.”
“Listen son,” Hafsa’s father spoke in a flat tone.
“If you don”t want more, then quit asking for it.”
“I didn’t ask for more.”
“Yes you did. Now drink up.”
From the father's tone, I sensed the situation was becoming tense so to calm things down, I slowly drank the fourth cup as well but sure enough, the fifth cup was sitting in front of me right after.
“Really, sir I can’t drink anymore.”
“Then don’t ask for it.”
“I didn’t ask for it.”
“YES YOU DID” shouted her father. “Now stop insulting my family and drink.”
I had had four cups and I was feeling nauseous. The tea had stopped tasting good after the third cup but I didn’t want to make things worse with Hafsa’s father. So I went ahead and drank the fifth cup. At this point, the breakfast and the five cups of tea were engaging in a wrestling match inside my stomach and I was seeing stars but there it was: the sixth cup of tea.
“I can’t drink anymore” I pleaded.
“I didn’t ask for it.”
“YES YOU DID, NOW DRINK!” Hafsa’s father was becoming more and more angry. I looked pleadingly to Hafsa but she just smiled and motioned me to go ahead and drink the sixth cup. I put the cup to my lips and after a few sips, my mouth turned into a volcano from which erupted my breakfast and the five previous cups of tea.
“But” But…“
“I didn’t ask for…“
“This is crazy.”
“I”LL SHOW YOU CRAZY” Hafsa’s father came toward me with a clenched fist and before he had a chance to hit me, I ran out of the house.

of and relating to...
gillette said

that's what he gets for not going to the wali/father first.

on August 3, 2005 8:27 AM
Ayan said


is Hafsa's family Jordanian by the way, the Jordanian folks get insulted if you dont keep drinking gahwa, lol!
nice story, very original, and reminded me of "meet the parents."

on August 3, 2005 8:42 AM
Faisal Akhtar said

Not mine, I translated it from this website with slight midification.


The story got the point accross so well that I had to translate it. I wish I were that talented.

on August 3, 2005 9:25 AM
asef said

Salaam Br. Faisal:

When u are at someone's home visiting to scope out a potential wife for yourself, these tips may be helpful:

tip-1: Dont talk much (better yet just be mute as much as possible) and let the elders do the talking. Answer only when a question is directly addressed to you, however, be brief in your response, and always punctuate your response with a smile.

tip-2: Deliberate and moderate in the consumption of refreshments, dont finish your drink till everyone is almost done with theirs. Your 1 cup of tea or glass of lassi/coke should last the entire duration of your visit.

tip-3: And REALIZE the more important folks are the young lady and her family who have honored you & your family to come and pay a visit. For most part, be a professional and a gentleman and avoid bringing attention towards yourself.

tip-4: AND, read the dynamics of the meeting unfolding infront of you. You will be surprised how different folks behave and react to each and everything that is said. Be a spectator and not an active participant, as you may have to step-in briefly to bring everyone's focus back to the agenda at hand.

tip-5: Lastly, if this is your 1st time seeing the lady, then under no circumstances should you convey your opinion about her (either verbally or by body language) to both your and her parents in that meeting. Just be cool, and relay your thoughts afterwards when driving back home.



on August 3, 2005 9:55 AM
Faisal Akhtar said

People the story is FICTIONAL. This didn't really happen!!!

I am happily engaged and alhamdulillah, I didn't have to go through the whole marriage interview process.

I think the point of the story will come across in the next piece.

on August 3, 2005 10:49 AM
Justoju said

Its all Hassan's fault. He was the one who advised Faisal to ask her and see what she says.

"and I was wondering if you would give me the honor of becoming your better half."

He wants to be her BETTER half? How humble :)...

"Come to my house this Sunday, my father's answer is my answer."

My parents would kill me if I just invited some guy to our house. They have lives too and I cant dictate their weekends for them. Usually the protocol is for the parent's to call the parents and then work out a date that works for everyone.

Hey, do guys prefer marrying wealthy girls? Would a brother overlook a chick's weaknesses just cuz of her wealth?

on August 3, 2005 10:55 AM
gillette said

"and I was wondering if you would give me the honor of becoming your better half."

I think this was very poetic.

"Hey, do guys prefer marrying wealthy girls? Would a brother overlook a chick's weaknesses just cuz of her wealth?"

it depends on how much wealth.

BTW, "chick?"

on August 3, 2005 12:32 PM
asef said


To me a woman's wealth (be it her own, or from her father), doesn't make an iota of difference when it comes to making a decision in selecting a spouse....she may be a princess or otherwise (as far as her financial status is concerned).

Br. Faisal, I know that this work is fiction, cause nothing in the script hints to a sense of reality nor is it plausible. Its just a figment of someone's imagination.

on August 3, 2005 3:24 PM
Tanweer said

As-salamu 'Alaikum,

This was extremely funny!!!

Can anyone (maybe Rami?) translate the message on


I miss the recitations...There were some surahs he recited in a particular way that can't be found anywhere else.

Jazakallah Khair

on August 3, 2005 3:33 PM
Justoju said

Sorry. I meant 'sisters'. I have to stop typing impulsively. I hope no sisters or chickens were offended by me.

on August 3, 2005 5:22 PM
Faisal Akhtar said

I want a religious girl. If she is beautiful or rich to boot, I won't complain.

Wealth does have something to do with marriage prospects. It would be wise for a woman to marry in a social stratus that is higher than her own since she will be moving to a more comfortable lifestyle therefore wont find the transition as difficult. If a woman marries below her stratus, then she might have to make lifestyle change that she might not be able to cope with. I am not saying that a strata mismatch will always result in a failed marriage (many experiences suggest otherwise) but it is a possibility. If I am not mistaken, that was the reason for the divorce between sayadina Zainab and sayadina Zaid (May Allah be please with them). Nobody doubts the piety of these people, yet the marriage failed. Just something to think about!

on August 3, 2005 5:47 PM
asef said


Yes True indeed...a religiously "cute" girl is the kind of prescription that most of us muslim men need.

I think I can safely say that if I have a daughter to wed to some young fella, I will make sure (inclusive of all other important characteristics) the he is not stingy and be able to maintain the living standards of my daughter, Insha'Allah.

You know, many folks may not appreciate the fact that among the top reasons for divorces is lack of financial security that a woman may feel in her marriage...This responsibility, obviously lies squarely on the husbands and young men who want to get married.

I have said this once before, if I became broke tomorrow, I will head to Alaska to fish in the Bering sea...By the way, has anyone of you mortals ever been to Alaska?


on August 3, 2005 6:43 PM
saleem said

that was funny on many levels.

hafsa hafsa u could be/ a great wife if your parents weren't psycho about tea.

on August 3, 2005 7:36 PM
Ayan said

chick is an affectionate term guys use for girls.
On a gender-mixed forum, it is probably a blast to use that term. How thoughtful. ;)

on August 3, 2005 7:41 PM
saleem said

asef -

although it is okay to look at the man's income and ability to support one's daughter .... this is way too often posed as an excuse for hypocritical girls/their parents to chose wealthy men with no iman but with benzos over a brother with iman.

our daily bread isn't guaranteed by our degrees - but by the decree that Allah has already written for us. There has to be a balance between looking at one's ability to earn and their character - and unfortunately I feel the latter criteria is often overlooked with the excuse of checking out men's "earning capacity."

iman should be the prerequisite, money should be a latter consideration. just my two cents.

on August 3, 2005 7:43 PM
Faisal Akhtar said

Here here Brother Asef

on August 3, 2005 7:59 PM
asef said


Akhi Saleem, I think we are talking the same stuff here...A character of a man defines who he is, while his financial status reflects what he is.

So, they are equally important...as both traits can be corrupt in a man or the same traits can be a reason for a person to become beloved to Allah.

They are not mutually exclusive...ergo, the young lad who has both traits will have my daughters hand in marriage vs the one who has either one of the traits only!

(as you can see i have nothing else to do except pray, work, and write on Hidaya :)

on August 3, 2005 8:07 PM
Rami (to Tanweer) said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

(After some help with some words):

We are sorry for web-site being down in the future. This is a result of a technical problem with the server. Soon the files will be posted to the new server. Very soon.

(They forgot to say insha Allah).

Also, I don't understand why the father kept saying that faisal was asking for more tea. Was it something he did? (i.e. not waiting till ohers finished their tea)

on August 3, 2005 10:46 PM
Faisal Akhtar said

Patience people, you shall see in the next episode.

on August 4, 2005 4:42 AM
Justoju said

(Tomorrow is my day off from studies so I can comment with leisure today :) )

You know, this discussion on men wanting their daughters to marry comfortably so that their standard of living doesnt drop is REALLY causing my appreciation for my parents to increase.

Despite other options, they gave their only child to a brother from another ethnic group, without big bucks and without fancy post-grad degrees, who didnt come from a posh super-educated/rich family, only because they saw that he had deen, his family had deen, and because they had character and islamic values. It was enough for them that he seemed hardworking and willing to do whatever it took for the security of their daughter and future grandchildren. I always underestimated my parents. I dont know if I have the tawakkul to follow their example when its time for me to marry my daughters off.

Maybe their financial tawakkul has something to do with the fact that they were part of that wave of desi immigrants that came to the US in the 70's. All those ambitious uncles had more or less the same story...they came here with 50 dollars in their pockets...and had to find a job the first day they were here...and had to work two menial jobs while getting their under-grad and then post-grad educations...and now live a comfortable life. These uncles saw that it is very possible to go from 'rags to riches' and so maybe thats why they arent as scared marrying their children off to people from a lesser social/financial status?

Maybe they just have more hope in financial mobility?

on August 4, 2005 9:44 AM
asef said


"It was enough for them that he seemed hardworking and willing to do whatever it took for the security of their daughter and future grandchildren. "

This is the "key" point in sister Justoju's comment. The ability and willingness of a man to plan, coordinate, and execute on whatever halal opportunities that comes his ways to provide fnancial security for his family is the kind of husband that I plan to look for my daughters, insha'Allah.

hahahaha...I think I can remotely fit the description of Hafsa's father who is paranoid about the man marrying his daughter.

One thing is obvious, and I know myself that I will do this, that if a man who comes from a good family, has high morals and islamic character (yet has decent means for living) will recieve more consideration and approval than a man who is a superstar financially, but is morally bankcrupt in his character!

However, I only want the BEST for my daughters (like any other father would), and still maintain that I would have no problem only considering those young fellows as their husbands that are Blessed by ALLAH in both the Deen and Duuniyah.

Now the only thing pending for me is to hook up with the mother of my kids and get on with the program...


on August 4, 2005 11:22 AM
Tanweer said

As-salamu 'Alaikum,

Jazakallah Khair Rami. I shall wait

Money is important but parents and children should not get their 'sense of security' from money. Security is only with Allah(swt).


on August 4, 2005 11:58 AM
asef said

Salaam y'all &

~~~~~~~ J U M M A H - M U B A R I K ~~~~~~~

on August 5, 2005 10:48 AM
Bint Saeed said

Assalaamu Alaykum,

Call me slow but I dont think I get it:)

Wasalaam Walaykum
Jumu'ah Mabarak from my side as well

on August 5, 2005 12:03 PM
Faisal Akhtar said

This was just part 1 people. It will conclude with part 2.

on August 5, 2005 12:26 PM
indy said

"Also, I don't understand why the father kept saying that faisal was asking for more tea. Was it something he did? (i.e. not waiting till ohers finished their tea)"

I think it's an indian thing to force da guest to 'HAVE, NOOO MUST HAVE MORE' ;P

on August 5, 2005 7:12 PM
indy said

Oh now i get it(no no im not blonde, u don't get blonde indians) i dont know y he does that either. I think its just to make a point and 2 add humour 2 da story

on August 5, 2005 7:15 PM
asef said


Oh Faisal Bhai...lets wrap up the 2nd episode, people are eager to know how it turns out...and I may have bunch of comments to make after that.

By the way, whay are you still single? Are you not done with your schooling? My brotherly advice is to get married soon...I mean very soon, Insha'Allah.

and where is brother Talal...I havent seen him post anything lately..


on August 5, 2005 7:45 PM
Faisal Akhtar said

When the second episode gets posted is not up to me, its up to the editors.

I am still single because I don't have enough money. I cannot afford the wedding expenses or to reasonably maintain her. Since my financial strings are being pulled by my parents right now, they decide when I get married, not me.

Brother Talal is around, always watching over us.

on August 6, 2005 9:05 AM
Ayan said


Have any of you guys thought about watching, "The exorcism of Emily Rose"
some mad scary stuff,
I am gonna do psychiatry and stuff, so I dont know if that was possession or epileptic seizures with hallucinations. Dang!
Mad scary I tell you. I dont wanna see any of them patients now.

on August 6, 2005 10:28 AM
texas holdem said

texas holdem Nice :) Agree :)

on February 13, 2006 10:33 AM
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