My Sister's Being Forced to Marry....

>> Thursday, September 12, 2013

Asalamu aialkum! Well, first of all… CONGRATULATIONS to littleAunt's Wedding!! Mabrok mabrouk!! I am soo happy for her/you  little Auntie!! ;))))))  *jumpy*   I'll hug to this if I could! still… mabrouk!!  Wishing you, only the BEST. =DAlright alright… I have this sister of mine who like you is getting married too.. But I think the difference is… she doesn’t like the guy. No. I’m SURE, she doesn't like the guy. (it’s a long story, when I say Long I mean REAL long) it starts with my grandmother, she’s the one who prefer that man for my sister.. Because, as I heard, of his parents. ( a distant relative which she dotes upon)  there might not be a problem, except that; the guy smokes (my sister is asthmatic btw), drinks  alcohol, and party loudly (although he’s a muslim), doesn't really have a job right now.. in short, not the kind of man you would willing to get married with..  Uh, yeah. There’s evidence already.. We've seen them but not virtually though) Pictures.. We've see pictures.. (Is it wrong that we did some digging? No offence to him.)  We handed out those evidences that we gathered, to our grandmother and she was like.. ‘So? young people do stupid things” and was like “The wedding is STILL on! “ and we were like “!??????” yeah… we were SPEECHLESS. We thought our grandmother was processed or something. Kidding. I know, I’m sure she has a reason. But really!?  My father tried to talk his mother out of this but, she wouldn't budge. She still thinks this is what’s best for my sister, for all of us. (I don’t see her point, really. Maybe you could?)  My sister fought her battle with all her heart.. Tears after tears..  Swollen eyes after swollen eyes.. Eye bags after Eye bags (joke?)..  She became someone else after she’s slowly realizing that this is a losing battle, She’s cranky all the time!. Sigh~ I could only pity her.. I wish I can help but.. I’m just a kid. Just a kid with nothing yet a say in this family. Here comes the problem… She accepted that she has to do It. She will have to be a sacrificial lamb. That there would be a wedding. but she claimed that she would never ever take part in consummating the marriage. That she’ll save her dowry for divorce. That she will act like there’s no wedding happened. Now, what should I say to her? Doing that is like a SIN, right? Once He become her husband, it’s customary the she obliged HIM no matter what, right? I don’t want her to commit this sin, If ever. Told you it’s a long story! This is not even the half of it. =D but I really need help, I love her and this kid want to help ... =( Concern bystander

wa'alykum as salam wa rahmatullah wa barakatoo,
First of all,our  thanks a lot hunny bunny for your sweeet words =) Hug and LOVE received! Jazakillah khairyan <3 nbsp="">

Second of all, I was so so so sad to read what you wrote about your sister. Your grandmother really doesn't have the right to do that, at all. From what you've described, there is nothing whatsoever particularly  to like or look forward to about this guy...(and no, that was totally completely correct to do a little digging! One should take 'bi al asbab' or use the means available to them when embarking on a big decision like marriage)...Maybe your grandmother finds his mistakes 'simple', but she's not the one marrying the guy. 

So here's the thing....
I can't really discuss the fiqh issue of whether or not your sister could do that, but I can give some advice:

I really really want you to tell your sister that NOBODY CAN FORCE HER TO GET MARRIED WITHOUT HER CONSENT. Yes, she has an alternative plan, but the reality is that she doesn't even need that plan.
Islam has made the woman's consent a condition for a marriage.
At the time of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), a woman came to him and said, “My father has married me to my cousin to raise his social standing and I was forced into it.” The Prophet sent for the girl’s father and then in his presence gave the girl the option of remaining married or nullifying the marriage. She responded, “O Messenger of Allah, I have accepted what my father did, but I wanted to show other women (that they could not be forced into a marriage). 

Tell her: don't give your consent!  

a) She needs to tell your father or WALI she will not go through with the marriage. The marriage requires her father's consent and not her grandmother's.She can show her wali the pictures and explain that even if young people make mistakes, this person is in no way attractive to her: not his personality, behavior, looks or anything.
b) If she doesn't want to that, then she can simply have this man somehow informed that unfortunately, it ai'nt working out. She can say that due to some things she has discovered, she will not be able to carry on with the matter. She can send him an email/ she can have someone tell his parents/ anything. If he gave her a gift, she can return it with a small note..It will be pretty clear that it is over.
c) She can appeal to the Imam about her situation and have him talk to your parents and grandmother.
d) If all that fails for some reason, the day of the wedding, she can stand up and say "I'm sorry, but I cannot do this."

I know that she thinks she has a plan....but unfortunately, most of us come from places where cultural expectations would be against her. How much you wanna bet people will be saying: "Hey, that's the girl who got married for one month and then got divorced. Wonder what was wrong with her". The  reality is that if she follows through with her plan, she would be sabotaging any real chance of love (later on). Besides, and more importantly, there is no reason whatsoever to be torturing one's self....not even one day.

Please tell her this before it is too late! 


The Wedding Day

Since you just had a wedding party (mashallah), any tips on how to have a fun-filled yet appropriate wedding and how to avoid the pitfalls when planning the wedding? That would be great. Much love <3>

Asalamu aliakaum!

Before I start, I just want to say that ...of course, I had a segregated wedding ;)

Anyways, here are some ideas I did/had and y'all are free to share more!

a) I passed around a guest book during the party. My twist: I put up jokes, riddles, facts about me and my husband (like how we both hate cheese, how it was my boss at work who told me about him, etc.), islamic quotes, all throughout the guest book so that while people were writing in it, they were being entertained..

You could also have a slideshow ^ with funny pictures of you and the guests...or even baby pictures.

b) I had a pinata (can be a simple big big colorful balloon) for the children....It doesn't have to be only for the children, though. Who doesn't like chocolate and goodies?

c) You can have someone be like the 'host/coordinator' of the party and play with the colors that people are wearing. Here are some examples:
Whoever is wearing red: has to sing a song in the microphone
whoever is wearing blue tell us about a funny time with the bride/ groom
whoever is wearing yellow: say a dua for the bride and groom
whoever is wearing pink: tell us their favorite hadith
whoever is wearing purple: tell us their recipe for ___________- something the groom likes)
whoever is wearing black: give us the 'most important advice' for the bride and groom
whoever is wearing golden: draw a picture for the bride and groom
whoever is wearing silver: tell us about something that scares them
embarassing moments/ their first time meeting the bride/groom/ what they wish someone had told them before getting married/ etc.

^You can do that with numbers too. Just put number underneath each chair and call out: whoever is sitting on number 8, do .....Or even with "balloons". Hand out a balloon to each person and whoever has....

d) Pass the parcel game! If you're not familiar with it, this article explains it very well: Remember though to be using Islamic nasheeds 

e) Ice cream sundaes anyone? Fun and yummy :P

f) Leave 'puzzles' or even riddles on tables for guests sitting together to work together on and have something to talk about....

g) You could have a theme too like "flowers" (and all guests have to wear something with a flower)

How to avoid the pitfalls?

1. Recognize that your marriage is an act of worship and therefore, one should start it (the wedding) in a way that reflects that. What I mean by that is that the wedding ultimately should be a means to seeking Allah's pleasure and not be at all a license for you to sin. 

2. Discuss with the husband/ fiance how you're going to make sure that your wedding is "halal". Discuss food, music, seating arrangements (segregated!), etc. Both of you HAVE TO AGREE aboutt it and be ready to face the "criticism" you might be getting together...

3. Inform your relatives right from the beginning (like even a month before the wedding or however long you are planning it) that you're trying to make your wedding a way to please Allah...You would love their help, suggestions and cooperation in this...and of course, you want them there. (Once you've told them that Allah's pleasure is your target, you are less likely to have them expecting "wrong cultural practices". IF they do start giving you suggestions, just say, me and my fiance have agreed though that we want.....)

4. Stick to a budget. Remember, there's no reason to start your marriage with a debt!

5. Your wedding is your day. Not your neighbor's or cousin or whoever. So don't compare it to anyone else.

6. Have what the guests will listen to prepared in advance and who will play it. I know that sounds so simple, but mistakes happen all the time in that area ....

Well, sisters, what else can you add? :) 


The Perfect Wedding Dress?

>> Thursday, September 5, 2013

I wrote this before my wedding by 8 days :)

The Perfect Wedding Dress
“Did you get your wedding dress, yet?” my friends asked.
You still haven’t gotten your dress, yet?” my well meaning relatives asked incredulously. 
Err....No....not yet....
Shock. Horror. “But what are you waiting for?”
“Well, the thing is...what I’ve come to realize is that, no matter what I get, there will always be something better...” My voice trails off.
My twin sister - aka Little Miss Aunty- looks at me knowingly and says, “Uh oh. Don’t start. Don’t tell them about your philosophy...”
But she’s too late.
I’ve already begun explaining my somewhat pessimistic philosophy....
“See, as a young girl, I have always dreamed of the white dress. I wanted something perfect. If I were to sum it up, basically the bestest, most MAGNIFICENT SPLENDID dress ever, that would magically transform me into a gorgeous diva, equal to, if not prettier than, any of the actresses from the ‘Woods (Hollywood/Bollywood). But now that I’ve grown-up, I understand that there’s a budget and limitations around me and I can’t exactly have the most beautiful dress ever. And even if I were to get that beautiful dress, something better would come along. And the thing is, once I do get my dress, it will be over for me. I’ll never have that chance again to look at all the choices and decide. And maybe that’s why I’m paralyzed right now. It just seems like I’m never going to actually ‘realize’ the dream....”
Mixed reactions of: “Ummm, are you okay?” “You’ve got a point.” 
And then I got: “ It’s getting late. You need to get the dress.” From Mr. Boss. Aka fiancĂ©/husband...
And so...I got the dress.
There are still 8 days until I wear it. Is it perfect? Hmmm.... Is it pretty? I think so. Will I look beautiful on that day? I hope so. Is it going to last forever? No.
But in the greater scheme of things, I’ve had a somewhat greater epiphany.
I’ve realized that the dream was never of the white dress.
The dream was of jannah.
The dream was of a time when I would be completely and utterly beautiful and radiant...without any need of Keratin, creams, foundation or cucumbers or all that silly stuff we do/use to look our best. 
The dream was of a time when all my loved ones would be joyful. The dream was of a time when there would be complete serenity and bliss. No grudges. 
I was looking for paradise in that dress and in my wedding. And I think that in a way, many of us might fall into that trap, of misplacing our hopes and thoughts in a dress, a perfect spouse, the best job, the biggest house, etc.... The reality is that paradise does not exist in these things. Yes, we may find comfort, happiness and peace in these things, but they cannot and will not provide us with everlasting happiness and bliss. That, instead, is paradise. 
And paradise is the reward of submission to Allah. So if we hope to find a glimpse of paradise, we have to be searching for it in the worship of Allah. And so....I’m pretty content. I won’t have the perfect dress or wedding here on earth...but as believers, there’s always paradise to look forward to. And I hear the dresses there...are out of this world.
Little Auntie


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