Some of us may fear something that sets us apart from others may be the reason they would not consider us for marriage. This story shows us that what makes us truly unique is the characteristic which can draw someone to love us.
“After converting to Islam in my formative years of college I always had one frequent du`a’ (prayer) I would make; a du`a’ to be blessed with a righteous wife. Whether it was hearing marriage completes half your deen (way of life) or constantly being pressured by media and temptations to engage in a relationship; or possibly a combination of factors. Regardless, I knew one thing and that was that I had a deep desire to find a spouse who would be my companion in this life and, God willing, assist me in making it to heaven in the next life.
I constantly spent my nights making du`a’ to be blessed with a righteous wife. However, during the days I would continuously be told and hear about horror stories revolving around Muslim matrimony. There were two main themes to these horror stories:
- A family from one culture would not accept a potential suitor from a different culture.
- There are absurd and superficial expectations to be met. The man must be a doctor or engineer, his salary must be a certain amount of money, he must be older than the woman, he must provide a mahr (dowry) worth X amount of dollars etc.
Despite these horror stories I kept hoping and praying that I would be blessed with a righteous wife. Then one day, sorry to sound cliché, I saw my dream woman; this woman in my community, who, due to her condition, uses a wheelchair to get around, entered into a contest to win an accessible van. My heart inclined towards this woman. As I read about her on her contest page my admiration for her kept growing and growing the more I learned about her character and values. However, it seemed there were a few roadblocks on my newfound journey to love; most noticeably:
- She is Arab and I am white
- I was still in school with no high-paying job or desired degree
- She is five years older than me
Even with these roadblocks ahead of me I knew in my mind I had found the woman I want to be with for the rest of my life. As I obtained a job and grew closer to my graduation date I thought it was an appropriate time to ask for her hand in marriage. Therefore, I asked for her father’s contact information and to my relief she gave it to me without hesitation. I was thrilled to be granted an opportunity to ask for her hand in marriage but at the same time I felt a little uneasy about going through the allegedly daunting experience of meeting with an Arab father. I was in a glass case of emotions. However, when the day of the meeting arrived it could not have gone smoother alhamdullilah (praise be to God). Her father told me about how he has four sisters and when they got married they were just concerned about the deen. Then he began to talk with me and not once did he ask about my ethnic background, my job, my status, my educational background or young age. Masha’allah (what God wills) all this man wanted was a good Muslim husband for his daughter. Near the end of the talk I said I was appreciative that they did not judge me based on my skin color and the father’s wife looked me in the eyes and said: “This is not Islam.” Allahu Akbar (God is Great).
Alhamdullilah I have now been engaged to my dream woman for a decent amount of time and we plan to get married soon. Although we have vastly different backgrounds and personality traits we both believe it is the Qadr of Allah (the will of God) that we are soul-mates. We jokingly say we are the perfectly imperfect couple, alhamdullilah. I felt the need to share this to show any single person who may have concerns regarding the possibility of intercultural marriage that despite any differences, whether they may be cultural, ethnic, educational or age, with sincerity and good intentions if you hook up with Allah, Allah will hook you up as Maryam previously explained.”
*If you would like share sweet glimpses from your marriage with hopes of spreading awareness of positive relationships in the Muslim community, please email Maryam@SuhaibWebb.com with a short narrative. Your submission may be featured anonymously in this mini-series of Glimpses of Marital Bliss.