Sunday, July 09, 2006

Where's the Washing Machine?!

By Talal Sarwani

There's a very interesting worldwide phenomena taking place among the Muslim youth of today. Everyone's favorite bit of Sunnah has become the advice of the Prophet (SA'AS) to get married aysap. Alhamdulillah, the wisdom of that advice is nothing short of Divine, but the abuse of that advice is causing much trouble in the Ummah today. That trouble has manifested itself into the most hated of what is Halaal: Talaq (Divorce). Kids are getting married right and left, lost in some romanticized version of what married life seems to be about, and the second they find themselves stuck in a mud of responsibility, it's time to flip out the cell phone and SMS your significant other:

I divorce you
I divorce you
I divorce you

Indeed, it is a time of cowards.

So I set out to investigate what was causing this desperate desire for the Great Hookup. What did I find? Were the beards really growin' and the brows left un-threaded? Were the kufis being worn and the hijabs being tightened? Was the thawb and the 'abaya truly being donned? Was the scent of 'oud aromafying the surroundings? Read on, brothers and sisters, read on for the truth....

The number one danger towards the one who is single, is to be around those who have newly become doubles. It's been referred to in the past as The Fever. The Fever is not just the feeling that one needs to get hitched, it's the malady that causes such feelings simply from having attended the hitching ceremonies of all-too-many people in an all-too-short amount of time. For proof of the existence of this syndrome, please go up to any brother (Though I claim to know their perspective as well, out of respect, I shall take the fifth as far as sisters are concerned) during the summer, especially during this Summer of a Thousand Weddings. You'll hear the usual talk of empty hearts needing companionship, of guys swooning over she who looked back and if you're around one after someone else's wedding, a feeling of slight dejection rather than complete happiness for his just betrothed brother and sister. The Fever is a powerful thing, taking over the life of he or she who is stung by it, causing him or her to find themselves raising their hands to Allah every night, asking for either the filling of their empty hearts or at the very least a respite from their feelings. So, brothas and sistas, if you find yourself in this most unwanted predicament, the prescription is as follows:

Step 1: Lower your gaze

Step 2: Pray for the feeling to go away

Step 3: Lower your gaze

Step 4: Don't talk to others about your predicament (you'll realize they're in the same hole, and then the both of you will wallow in each other's misery)

Step 5: Lower your gaze

Rinse. Spit. Repeat.

InshaAllah The Fever should soon subside and all will be back to normal. HOWEVER, say the ol' heart sparks at the just barely-sighted-glance of a certain someone, then be sure to follow the following steps. Now, keep in mind this is the ONLY acceptable follow-up to that "cue the chorus" moment. Consider this your final warning not to join certain committees of certain organizations, "accidentally" finding certain someones sitting there.


Step 6: ISTIKHARA TIME!!!!!!!!

Possible Step 7 for Brothers: Be a Man. Call her parents.

Possible Step 7 for Sisters: Just sit there all coy and shy (I keed, I keed).

This prescription is signed and endorsed by Shaykh (of the Polaroid Picture kind) Ishq ibn Al-Hubbatani, so you better believe it works.

There is however a lot more that contributes to the I Think I Love You, Marry Me syndrome plaguing the Ummah today. The majority of these causes rests in the realm of what a brother once said: "Blame it on the Deen".

The Romantic Islam

As a preface to what follows, let me say that this topic includes far more than I can write about in this space, so I'm not gonna cover anything... I mean everything. There's literally an incredible amount of things that fall into The Romantic Islam, but I'll just touch upon these two of varying extremes, to give you just a taste of what I mean.

I'm using the word romantic not in the sense of an ideal, but in the plain old Qais/Majnu/Romeo and their Lailas/Juliet sense. These are those bits (according to the very doubtable research done for this) of Islam that when people gain knowledge of them, at a certain time of their lives, in that certain state of mind, all havoc lets loose, the hearts open up in need, and the shaitaan is called in for playtime. With reference to the oft-repeated hadith of the Lone Hearted: Narrated by Anas, who reported that the Prophet(SA'AS) said: When a man marries, he has fulfilled half of his religion... We are the creations of a Creator who knows our innards better than we know our names, so when we experience this wisdom that has been passed down to us, our hearts yell: SUBHANALLAH!!! I NEED to get married. Let's just face it, this hadith makes everyone feel good about things, and is among the greatest proliferators of Wandering Heart technology. Do note the "...", because you rarely ever hear the rest of the hadith: so let him fear Allah regarding the remaining half. 'Nuff said, yo. Fo schizzle.

Sweet Nothings

Ahem, the following is a very interesting tidbit. It's something I gleaned from a brother in whom the desire to be wed was gnawing at him from the inside. We were in a room with just pillows on the floor to chill on. It of course happened to be a time of someone else's wedding, which is why I just sat relaxing after a long night of partying with the *cough*aunties*cough*. So, this brother comes up to me, with a copy of Sahih Bukhari of all things, and he prompts me to read: Volume 2, Book 21, Number 258:Narrated 'Aisha :

After offering the Sunna of the Fajr prayer, the Prophet used to talk to me, if I happened to be awake; otherwise he would lie down till the Iqama call was proclaimed (for the Fajr prayer).

"Alright", I thought, "so?". He plopped himself down onto the floor, and with a bleary-eyed look, said: "Wouldn't it be amazing to have someone to talk to when you walk up a little early for Fajr?". Let's just say he didn't take too kindly at me falling over from laughter nor my suggestion that he could always give me a call anytime he feels lonely at that hour. If you're in this state. brothers and sisters, please follow the prescription given to you above, and inshaAllah spare the rest of us from stomach-hurting hilarity.

The End of This

Alas, all great things come to an end, as must this column. I just barely touched upon what I really wanted to talk about, but my mind is not in a state of organization, so I leave you with this little conclusion. Realize that marriage isn't a joke or little fling you go through. It's a responsibility, where the third party in the trust between a husband and wife is Allah. All this talk of love and all that jazz is a distraction, so pay little attention to it. There is ONE person for whom you are meant, inshaAllah, so take care of your personal half of your deen, and Allah will provide you with the best of companionship. Take the halaal way, and you'll feel it yourself. The second the Nikah is done, the man and woman are infused with a feeling of rahmah towards each other granted to them by Allah. It's akin to that sudden mercy felt by one who has just become a parent. It's not something you can understand beforehand. There's lots of things in Islam that stir the hearts, but they are there to convince you of the correctness of the Straight Path. Don't let the shaitaan lead you astray when he discovers the state of your heart and mind. Seek refuge and establish trust in Allah, for that is the only way to keep yourself on the Sirat-Al-Mustaqeem. Someone once questioned the hurried rush to marriage seen in the Ummah, and couldn't understand how they took that step when they didn't even have a way of supporting a family. "When you're capable of getting her the washing machine, then you're ready to begin a life together". So, I humbly bow out, going back to saving a little every two weeks, so that I can inshaAllah buy whatever washing machine her heart desires <-- sarcasm alert for the troublemakers among you If I offended anyone, forgive me, inshaAllah. Oh, and to those souls who recently have been, or soon will be paired back to those they were with in Fitra, our Du'as are with you. May Allah grant you all the best in the Dunya and the Hereafter.. Ameen, Ameen, Ya Rabbil 'Alameen.

Peace out,

wa alaikum as salaam,
I'm the cool MC with a vicious sound.
I ain't from the Bronx, but I still boogie down.

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