Friday, April 29, 2011

MAKING HIJRAH 29 "Transformed"



Asalamu Alaykom,



                    The meeting of two personalities is like
                    the contact of two chemical substances:
                    if there is any reaction, both are
                    transformed.



I've just finished watching the royal wedding for hours on end.  I needed to watch it.  I needed to feel that transformation.  The time of mourning the death of a princess is done.  The time of jubilation for a new life has begun.  I'm so very happy for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  May Allah protect them and guide them.

It made me think of my own wedding 16 months ago.

The funny thing is that we really didn't have a wedding.  I mean, we got married for sure.  I'll stop the suspense.  We got married, alhumdulillah.  What we didn't have were all the trappings of a ceremony.  We just had each other.

The previous times I've considered marriage and wedding ceremonies, I wanted something out of it to be special for me.  I wanted a ring, or a dress, or a cake or a special song at a party.  This time?  I just wanted to be married.

We had tried for weeks to do the right thing.  We had made numerous trips to offices, lawyers, judges, the U.S. consolate, the records offices---you name it!  I had even left my apartment and taken up residence at Ahmed's sister's former honeymoon cottage.  I was ready!  Then suddenly in the really stressful time of running around Cairo, something viral hit my system.  Sadly, I was unable to make a move.  I had to stop running and lie low. 

Even on New Year's Eve, I had to stay put.  Of course, this location right next to the Pyramids is a pretty cool place to usher in change.  It is a unique moment whne you view 4,500 years of unchanging architecture.  It makes you feel like you are but a blip in history.  We stood there on the family's roof and hoped that 2010 would be for the best.

And then we heard Mr. Boo getting sick downstairs.  Yep.  He woke up throwing up.  Now, his body was fighting something.  I helped him out and at some point I'm sure I cried.  I only had left him for five minutes to go up to the roof that night.  How could he get ill the minute he was alone?  It took him a few days to feel better.  Alhumdulillah.

Those days were added to the pile of days which had come and gone during the Winter vacation from school.  I had thought that having those two weeks off (due to the H1N1 outbreak) and the three weeks of vacation would be plenty to get all the work done.  I certainly couldn't do it while school was in session.

Now, we were going to try again.  Our patience had been severly tested.  Yet, all good things come to she who waits.  So, off we went to Cairo.  The brother and the brother's boss were once again going to meet us at the offices.  We had our new and improved paper from the U.S. Embassy (which had been refused by the Egyptian officials because one blank had not been filled in).  We were hopeful...but not overly optimistic.

Couple after couple would arrive with their famillies.  Often times, a man from the family would emerge and ask for a witness.  There have to be two male witnesses on the marriage contract.  For some reason, there are many forgotten or expired cards which mess up the marriage contract signings.  I couldn't believe how much planning would go into such a day to have it fouled up by something so amazingly avoidable. 

We went in.  We were asked questions.  Our paper was shown---and "yes" we both held our breath.  It was OK'd.  Time for the witnesses.  We called in our two and sure enough the brother's boss had an expired ID.  OH MY GOD!  We were now one of these unlucky couples at the office.  We had to be asking the crowd if there was anyone who could witness us.  It couldn't be anyone who was witnessing another ceremony.  We tried.  We failed.  We laughed. 

I won't tell you too much about my life with my husband but I will tell you that we both know how to laugh.  

Subhanallah!  We were one step from becoming husband and wife and ONCE AGAIN we were foiled.  We stood there wondering at our next move, when a man rushed in.  He needed some kind of paperwork and we jumped on him.  Seriously, he might still have the bruises.  He could be our witness!

So, back in we went and we were married.  I wasn't actually sure we were married.  I had to ask.  Where was the sheik?  Turns out the man behind the desk acts as both the relgious and the civil official.  

Now we had to register the marriage across the hall.  The man asked me a question I didn't understand and my man answered.  I quickly figured out it was my mahar.  I had placed a $5,000 mahar on my head years ago and gotten someone to agree to it----though I ultimately refused that potential groom.  I had thought $5,000 sounded good.  On my wedding day with Ahmed, I got something different.  I didn't care. 

We walked out of that office husband and wife.  We went out for falafel and ate like two people who were finally able to enjoy life again.  We were naseeb.  Alhumdulillah.  We had done the right thing.  Alhumdulillah.

Our return to the honeymoon cottage was triumphant.  No longer did he have to wait at the door.  While he didn't carry me over the threshold, he did open the door for me and shut it behind us.  We could be alone.  We could kiss for the first time as husband and wife.  Really, a halal kiss is better than a stolen one. 

We started our life together.  We had only known each other four months.  I took a huge risk and so did he.  We really could have done it differently and yet we did it this way.  It made sense for us.  I do think that we have both been transformed and continue to grow and change.  Alhumdulillah. 

We are still surprised that we actually are married!  Subhanallah, the plans of Allah are not always ours but they are always for the best.  Alhumdulillah.

May Allah be pleased with our marriage; with us as a couple and as caretakers for our boy.  May each one of us benefit from this union and help others through our time together.  Ameen

2 comments:

Marie said...

A lovely account for a beautiful day for you and your husband.
Sometimes things are not happening as planned or wished but the most important of all is that you did what you felt was right and you had both a nice time.

You are right the first halal kiss is a special one!

All the best to both and May God protect you and bless your family with love and joy.

Anonymous said...

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