Our society is marriage driven, most girls are brought up to be good housewives, wonderful mothers and the all round woman. We all want to find the right guy who can take adequate care of us, get married, have beautiful children and live happily ever after. Tying the knot is the easy part but living within that knot could be tasking.
Sometimes we wonder if we are marrying the right person or if the marriage will truly be forever. Circumstances, challenges and misunderstandings makes us question ourselves and our choices. We find ourselves asking - What if something goes wrong? What if all these happens to be a huge mistake? Marriage is ordained by Allah, it is even half of our deen according to hadith by Rosulilah. Finding a good man or woman is never really easy. We never really know who we are marrying until we are well in the marriage, but we can put our right foot forward and strive to be a righteous woman. This will in sha Allah help us have a peaceful home, give us the tranquility and balance all we want in life and grant us paradise. Here is a quick guide on habits we have to let go off to make us better and prepared Muslimah that is ready for that happily ever after;
1. Irregular Prayers- Allah says: “Successful indeed are the believers, those who humble themselves in their prayers”. (Qur'an 23:1-2). It could be that you do not observe salat constantly and on time, or you do not supplicate at all. A local adage says “marriage is a school; a place of learning”. The choice of learning could either be to excel or fail woefully. Which is your choice? If your choice is to excel, then you need prayers, lots of prayers. Prayer is a gift given to every believer to enable him experience a spiritual ascension five times a day. It gives every Muslim the chance to communicate with his Lord. The Prophet (pbuh) said: "The prayer is the Miraaj of the Believer." Prophet Muhammad also said: "Verily, between man and polytheism and disbelief is abandoning prayer". (Muslim) "What led you into the Hell-fire?" They will say: 'We were not of those who prayed.' (Quran: 74 verses 42-43). Allah says that will be the question from the believers to the disbelievers on the day of resurrection. Establish your salat and strive to be a spiritual reference point for your husband and children, it could be hard keeping up with this fast paced world we live in but once the habit is cultivated, it becomes part of you and are incomplete without your regular prayers.
2. Immodesty- At work and everywhere around, some girls crave attention. They like to be at the center of everything even with men around. Some even flirt. By flirting, I mean trying to be overly friendly with every male you come across. This could send the wrong signal to the potential husband. Sharing your contacts with everyone is giving everyone and everything free and unnecessary access to you. Have some dignity please! Be focused, keep your eyes on the prize - the hereafter with you and your one husband. Display decorum and maturity in your dealing with others. Promising more than a guy at once on of marriage only makes you look like a liar and a chest and a very irresponsible lady. You must keep your focus on one and have a lot of faith. Too Many Friends While I do not subscribe to letting go off all friends because one is now hitched, but ideally your husband and children should be your best friends. Other friends should be of like minds, women who are purposeful, progressive and speak the truth to you in the way a man or a child might not be able to. Everyone needs a friend, but for all I know, too many of them could cause one problems - jealousy, backbiting and so on. Keep a sizable number of close friends and make sure they are the best for you and are needful to you and vice versa.
3. Reduce The Partying- Some ladies are out every Saturday for a wedding, every Sunday for a birthday party, the office party is incomplete without them, some go clubbing. There are ladies would travel the length and breadth of this country to attend a traditional marriage or a burial. They are practically at every party invited and even gate crash others. This is an expensive, time consuming and risky lifestyle. What are you looking for my sister? You do not have to attend every party that you are invited to or hear wind of. Be selective and responsible. To the best of my knowledge, potential husbands don’t really like club girls or ladies that go from one party to the next. Men prefer women who are homely, reserved and nurturing. You don't do that by being on the road to one party after another. Even if you had to do it at all, it should be minimal. Also, clubs and all those hang outs are not the best places to meet serious men or where a Muslimah should be seen.
4. Reduce Attachment to Material Things- Ladies love the fella that can pick the bills; we all want to marry the hunky guy with the bulging wallet that can take care of things for us and our family. We also want to wear the best, the newest, the trendiest clothes. We want to live in the big house in a nice neighbourhood, drive the big car and have a big bank balance; all courtesy of Mr. Right. We revel in that instant gratification. Being high maintenance is a major turn off for most men. While marrying for money is allowed Islamically, it should not all be about money, substance is still key and in my opinion, they best amongst us are those who do attach all the importance to money. Life is much more than just that. There is need to be responsible with money, always spend wisely and continuously fight extravagance.
5. Reduce Time Spent On Social Media- Social media is a necessary tool for our generation, some would say necessary evil because of all the atrocities people have committed as a result of it. From the friend you thought had vanished from the face of the earth to new ones we make everyday, the social media phenomenon has brought us all together. If you want to know a guy's personality and thought processes, just read his tweets, social media is amazing, but a lot of us seem to be networking and not actually working. Some of us are closer to our imaginary friends online than with our physical friends and even family. We will rather chat with Qudus in Australia than with Quam that is the neighbour and is always offering salaams. Get off the computer and meet real please or better still connect more with the person you are planning a future with. Aside that, being addicted to the computer is injurious to health.
6. Detach From The Past- I have a friend who runs to Waheed, a guy from her past for advice on almost everything. Waheed happens to be happily married with two kids. My friend and Waheed are soul mates, but the story is that she was the one that left him when he didn't get a job on time. He got married, then got a good job and she wouldn't let him be. Stories like this abound. If you want to move ahead in life, you need to let go off ALL of your past. Your friendship and sharing should be with your husband-to-be, he is the one that you have chosen to walk through life with. Some people just carry the burden of their past life into the present, it doesn't help. Face your present and look forward to the future with the best of intentions. Believe and pray that life is better where you are and where you are going is even much brighter and prospective.
7. Grow Up and Keep Growing- You might be daddy and mummy's little girl, remember how they say princesses always have it all but you have to grow up. You need to be realistic and know that no one have it all in marriages. You might be coming from a mansion where you have different helpers for different purposes but in your matrimonial home, it could be just you and your husband; and you have to be his mum, his cook, cleaner, pick up after him, run errands, the work never ends.That is marriage. Also remember that the work increases as the children come along. Marriage could be tedious, so be prepared, it is not all fairytale, those are only in kindergarten books. With marriage you will work yourself physically,mentally and emotionally and the cycle continues. That is what it is all about - WORK! Also remember this; you and your husband are coming from different backgrounds and might differ in orientation, exposure and morals; you have to be able to work around your differences and come out better for it.
My dear sisters, to quit all of these wouldn’t be a day's job just as getting married isn't easy. You could start cultivating these habits right now even if you don’t have any relationship at present. Ask Allah to help you get over habits that are inimical to your progress as a person and in life and always fear Allah. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "The whole world is pleasure, and the best pleasure of the world is a righteous woman” (Muslim). May Allah (swt) make it easy for us all. Salaam alaikum waramatulahi wabarakatu.
Ganiyah kareem is a scientist and a make up artist