Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What I learn from 'MISSION IMPOSSIBLE III: the Taaruf session'.

I hardly slept the night before the taaruf day. Though I felt that this particular way of getting to know someone, was over and above peculiar (it's the 21st century for Heaven's sake), but I believed that the decision I made was correct. 

(Have you read 1st and 2nd MISSION IMPOSSIBLE episode?) 

This meeting has an obvious objective. A crucial decision must be made afterwards. Could this man be my compatible partner FOR LIFE?

Looking at the question list for the hundredth of times, frankly, I was doubtful whether this set of questions could help me in reaching my objective. 

And the morning came, together with more butterflies in my tummy! 

Thus, I got ready and today, the Lothian Bus (no 30) was like waiting for me faithfully at the Nicholson Street bus stop. It never did for the past 4 years! Was it a sign? Am I over-analysing? Go away butterflies!!!

With the list in hand, I went to Kak Anis' place alongside the entire species of butterflies in my tummy. But when I thought about Kak Anis and Ustaz Azman, I got a bit calm. I knew both of them well, together with their 3 young children (which has grown to 8, now!). I've enjoyed several trips with them, I took care of their kids when they went for Hajj, I went to their place uncountable times - the bottom line was, I was comfortable with the couple and I was always being myself around them. I believed that choosing a good and intelligent intermediary was essential to make the situation a less-awkward, and not uncomfortable.

As I entered the house, I saw a huge pair of shoes (quick mental note, size 10, Timberland, mmm... nice choice. Haha!) Anyway, Kak Anis invited me inside and offered me some OJ in the kitchen. Then, Ustaz Azman called us in. And 'taraaa!!', I saw him. But the butterflies didn't leave, they multiplied!
Ustaz Azman, smiling in between sipping his hot tea, started the taaruf session by introducing both of us to one another. He then pointed to the other man in the room, living the ball on his court. 'So, akh, why are we here?'

The answer was simple yet very meaningful, 'Nothing builds a home better than faith and trust. Faith in Allah on one hand, and trust to one's partner on the other. And I'm seeking for the trust.'

And so, the ball bounced onto both courts, mine and his during the taaruf. The list was extremely helpful, even there were only seven questions, but they revealed a lot about a man (and a woman, too, I reckoned). A whole lot! The session took more than 2 hours and I must admit that it was very interesting, lively and informative.

Kak Anis then told us that we should share the information with our parents and discuss well with them. If possible, she advised us to seek more information (as discretely as possible) from close friends and relatives BUT no information given and taken from the room, should be discussed outside. This would ensure no violation of privacy to others who were not related.

She then told both of us to repeatedly make alot of du'as, request from Allah through the application of istikharah prayers. Seek His help in  making a HUGE decision of your life. Then she looked at me, "In two weeks, I'll call you and ask if you have made your decision.'

I learn a few things during this taaruf process.
  • WHEN: When both suitors are ready for another chapter in their lives; not being forced or provoked, it must be a willing decision from both parties
  • WHAT: Come to the meeting prepared, i.e. dress appropriately, questions ready.
  • WHO: It should be 'chaperon-ed' meeting. The chaperons must have good faith and that you're comfortable with. And don't forget to BE YOURSELF all the time.
  • WHERE: First impression lasts very long. If two suitors meet at a club, it will always tell on the relationship. So, the best place to get to know one another is at Muslim homes, where much detail conversation can be discussed. 
To be continued...(I've got two weeks!)


'Bliss of love after marriage'  (photo from here).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What I learn from 'MISSION IMPOSSIBLE II: How do I know that he's Mr Right(eous)?'.

I was away from my parents, geographically, ever since I left home to further my studies abroad. Nonetheless, Allah has been super kind to me by introducing good friends who acts like 'positive' magnets, pulling me from doing shameful and harmful things to my imaan. One of them is Kak Anis (beautiful wife of Ustaz Azman).

One chilly morning, as I briskly walked from Moray House with Greggs cheese and onion pasties in one hand to the mosque (a wee bit late for work!), I received a call from kak Anis. Very politely and with well constructed sentences (as she usually spoke) she asked about my well beings, then informed straight to the point that there was an akh (brother in Islam) who was interested to get to know me better.

The forgotten cheese and onion pasties from Greggs in my hand.
An akh? Seriously?

'He met Ustaz and told him his intentions and hoped that Ustaz and Kak Anis can be the 'middlemen''.
'He said that since your parents are far, he wanted a proper channel to get to know you,' enlightened kak Anis.

What channel? Am I going to star a Blind Date show @ BBC?
However, Kak Anis was quick to assure me (since I must admit I was silently shocked since my mouth was zipped shut, which was peculiarly rare!) to do major thinking, to ask myself and Allah whether I was prepared for a relationship leading to marriage. Request from Allah through the application of istikharah prayers. Ask my parents. Talk to them. Make lots of du'a.

And I did all of them.

Among all of the things above, Abah's words of wisdom were the statement which cleared my doubts. I still could recall his short, precise advise to me;

'Only clean courtship leads to fruitful and successful marriage. If one wants to keep the courtship morally clean and escape immoral pursuits, then he's clearly a gentleman who has self-control, because he places this holy affairs in the care of Allah.'

Abah then added, 'Marriage is a lifetime journey and needs a lot of planning. So, you need to ask him his plans in life, what can he offer...'

Among millions of conversations that I had with Abah, I must point out that this particular phone call acted as a 'mechanism' which drew us closer. I am grateful to Him that I am one of the few whom He chooses to have super good relationships with my Abah and Mak. I must admit that before those days, it was difficult to talk and discuss with Abah since I must say that he always over-analyse matters, which sometimes made me feel uncomfortable, but now I realised, you know what, I needed someone to think critically for me, when I couldn't do it on my own (just yet. Hello, I was being a typical carefree lassie living abroad, away from my family! And having the time of my life, too!). Alhamdulillah for Abah and Mak. 

All three of us created 'the list' of open-ended questions that needed frank and straightforward answers. Those answers were personal, but essential for us to know the 'akh'. 

So, a date and time were set for a 'taaruf' session between the two of us, with the wonderful couple, Kak Anis and Ustaz Azman at Glendalough Crescent, Edinburgh. 

Though I must admit, it was still a super weird thing for me to do, but I always remember Allah's promise that prosperity and barakah wait anyone who follows the commendments of Allah and the example of Rasulullah. I prayed that this, out of the norm, way of getting to know Mr. Right(eous) would mould me to be a better muslimah, whatever the outcome would be.

For now, I'd just pray.

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