In the name of Allah, the Most Affectionate, the Most Merciful


Half Our Deen

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: "When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion, so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half."

Baba Ali used just the words to launch his new matrimonial sight "Half Our Deen"

Well, I hope you don't think I'm going to sign up and post up my profile. Actually, I am hoping it will be the savior of my cousin who is being nagged by everyone to get married. You see, she has reached, ahem, the Jurassic age of 26 and therefore viewed as the most non-eligible bride according to her parents.

"She will never get married. She will remain a single girl all her life and die alone," her father spoke miserably the last time we were over.

"No, I am sure Allah has chosen someone special for her, but the time has not come yet," Abu comforted.

"Time? If no one will marry her now, who will ten years later?" he refuted in exasperation.

I looked at Ammi to see if she would say something, but she was only gazing at the plastic white flowers sitting in the glass vase. I focused my eyes on Mariyam, who bit her lip in embarrassment.

I couldn't take it anymore.

"How about a matrimonial site? There's a new Muslim site out and it's really cool. I'm sure--"

"Internet? Look for a person to marry on the Internet?" Mariyam's mother looked horrified at the suggestion. Ammi gave me a scolding look, but I raised my eyebrows at her instead.

"It's not a bad idea. These are different times and so there are different ways of doing things now," Abu agreed with me. Thank the Lord he was able to convince Mariyam's dad. Hurray!

We created the profile in front of her parents, just to tone down any suspicion they may have had.

"A modest Muslimah seeking a pious spouse to wed. Medical doctors and/or lawyers are preferred by the parents. Ethnicity should not be anything but Indian and family should be well-cultured. Family size of the groom should not exceed 5 persons, and if so, a separate housing must be arranged for the new couple. Residence in Chicago, IL is preferred, but if not, annual tickets to visit parents after marriage should be purchased."

That would be the profile Mariyam's parents would have liked. And if I may say so, didn't I conceive it so beautifully?

I must appreciate that my parents do not entirely have the mentality that Mariyam's parents possess...although I can assure I will have difficulty in the near future. Parents always envision the perfect son-in-law or daughter-in-law and so there will be some reminding to do: "Um, Mom and Dad, you guys aren't the ones getting married. I am!"

Well, now that I'm at it, why not take the opportunity to discuss my ideal Prince Charming? Here we go:

1. His eye color should not be the dark brown that I am constantly tired of seeing. Sapphire blue or sparkling green or even color-changing (cause I do know some people who's eye color changes ever so slightly) is preferred.

2. Fair. In the West, "tall, dark, and handsome" is the talk. I agree with the first and last, but no...fair would be the better substitute for dark.

3. British accent, even if I may have difficulty completely comprehending it, it would be such a plus!

4. I already mentioned tall and handsome, right?

5. Built. Isn't that what every girl wants? Am I being too selfish here? Maybe I need to start working out too.

6. Rich. Oh dear, how could I not have mentioned this earlier? And no, a medical doctor is not preferred because more time will be spent with patients instead of me. There are many other professions that garner a lot of money, right?

7. There are so many more things...but I...I feel like I'm losing base here.

Have I really just mentioned things that are physical? Does my list only compromise the physicality of a person and nothing more? (Well, no, number 6 and 7 aren't physical but I should be quiet now)

I have been sucked into the devil's trap and you have just witnessed it. What should one really look for in a spouse?

I am young and perhaps somewhat immature, but I think I do have a good understanding of my deen to answer this question (putting all fantasy and idealism aside). The most important should be piety. If a person is close to the deen and to Allah, then his way of thinking, his actions, and the way he carries himself is also reflected in that piety.

Mariyam has met with countless potential bachelors, but has not found a single one that is close to the deen like her.

"It's okay if he doesn't pray all the time, but even if he is willing to learn more about Islam and has a great personality. God, I just wish," Mariyam would tell me. I would try my best to comfort her, but honestly, the area of comforting people is not my realm.

When was the last time I was stressed? Finals week? No, that wasn't really really stressed. Wow, that must be a good thing. I know it won't last for long because the older you get, the more responsibility you have, and thus, the more problems and stress.

But I shall not think that far ahead! In the meantime, let me enjoy myself and you should also. Take a break. Have some ice cream on this sunny day (or hot chocolate if you're in, say, Antarctica) and delve in the moment.

Farewell for now!
American Muslim Girl

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