Note: This is the 5th part in a series about how I met my wife (and daughter). Just joining us? Check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4. Update: Many of you wanted to read from the perspective of EyeDot aka MrsHM and now you can. Her version of our story can be found in Love InshaAllah: The Secret Love Lives Of American Muslim Women.
Part 5 is going to skip around a bit, covering the time between our engagement to just after our civil ceremony in the U.S.
After our engagement party, EyeDot flew back to Singapore. The original plan was that she and WarriorPrincess (3 years old at the time) would move to the U.S., so I could finish nursing school. But you know what they say… we plan and God laughs. Hard.
EyeDot ended up landing a great job in Penang, Malaysia and asked me if I would consider quitting nursing school to become a househusband there.
Scenario: You are a 27 years old male that sells t-shirts and does some photography on the side. You are currently about to finish your first semester of nursing school, and while it’s ‘something to do,’ your heart isn’t in it. Your fiance lands an awesome job on a tropical [overdeveloped] island in Southeast Asia, and suggests you quit nursing school and become a househusband in Malaysia for a while. You would have *LOTS* of time on your hands and no other stress except maybe culture shock while you get used to being a husband and a father. The downside? You’d have to quit nursing school. What do you do?
If you’ve read my blog for long, you’ll know that I often like to fly by the seat of my pants. Read more
Note: Re-posted because of a recent article on SuhaibWebb.Com, mentioned below.
While reading through Rawiya’s last post, I was reminded of a conversation I had with my own mother about a decade ago. I was sitting at a computer in my parents’ family room. She was in her usual spot, ironing, and watching television.
“Mom, what do you think about Muslim dating?”
“Beta, you mean having female friends? That’s fine”
My mom is precious ain’t she? That was obviously not the answer I was looking for, so I pried further.
“Yeah, that’s fine and everything mom, but what about, you know, physical affection and stuff?”
“Beta, you mean kissing and petting ?”
photo courtesy of yasmine
I’m really disheartened that the focus of some Imams, after the gruesome murder of Aasiya Hassan, is on marriage mediation and conflict resolution. While I don’t have a problem with either of those, once there has been violence within a marriage, these are just not an adequate selection of options. Prophet Muhammad permitted and even presided over the divorce of Zainab from Zayd, then married her himself to remove her stigma, making her one of the most revered women among Muslims everywhere. Zainab’s reason for wanting a divorce? She didn’t like Zayd; she wasn’t in love with him. She didn’t find him attractive.
Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Purvis
A few years after converting to Islam, I wondered to myself how I was ever going to find a Muslim husband. I mean, people who are not Muslim complain about how hard it is to find someone, but here I was restricting myself to a minority segment of the population! But an even bigger problem was that I didn’t have any ACCESS to this (Muslim male) population, due to the strict gender segregation enforced in my local Muslim community.
However, there are mechanisms built in to the community to deal with this problem, mechanisms that remind me of the movie “Fiddler on the Roof.” Yes, “The Aunties” knew about lots of single brothers in the community. “So and So’s son,” or brother, or whatever. And since I was a convert, and The Aunties wanted to help improve my religion, they felt that the obvious choice of husband for me would be the strictest, most traditional Muslim man they could possibly find.
Given that I was (and am) a non hijab-wearing, independent-minded, successful career woman with little to no interest in traditional gender roles, that approach wasn’t going to work for me. Since restricting myself to the local community was clearly not a viable option, I realized that I would need to expand my search nationwide—by going online.
If you haven’t already guessed, I find American Muslims fascinating, particularly in the way men and women find partners.
At the age of sixteen or so, I came across my first Muslim matrimonial site. As many women will tell you, these sites are full of intelligent beautiful women and not-so-appealing men.
During that time, sitting at home in the suburbs without any Muslim friends and waiting for college to begin, I spent some time on sites like shaadi.com, islamicmatches.com and muslimwedding.org. I tried them all despite being sixteen and not looking for someone to marry, obviously. (Is that laughter, I hear?).
We all have ideals and values and expectations in terms of who we want to end up with. But life isn't that simple.
“Why is it that we always speak in terms of rules instead of what would be beautiful? Do we worship a God of rules or a God of beauty? I understand the beauty of marriage or the truth of marriage, but the rules of marriage I cannot absorb. And, is a husband who is a Pakistani and a doctor part of the rules or part of the beauty or part of the truth?” – Khaled Abou El Fadl***
This is another part of an ongoing discussion on marriage within the American Muslim community. See Part 1 and some commentary here.