The royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle has come and gone, except you live under a rock it was difficult to miss the event. The media has been agog with all the details; reviewing the different components of the entire program and all the people and elements involved. Everything we needed to know about the whole relationship was deeply analysed. People have been commenting and drawing valuable lessons from the grand ceremony. While this is Ramadan and Muslims are expected to be fasting and thoroughly tuned on all things deen, it is good to at least gain some morals from the whole experience.
1. MODESTY IS STILL CLASSY – The new Duchess of Sussex wore a Givenchy dress by the British Designer Clare Waight Keller for her wedding. It was understated but elegant and classy. A Muslim bride could easily wear that dress. So, brides, we don’t have to do those transparent, lace dresses, tube dresses, corset dresses to be modern and refined. Yes, those are more popular these days but we could do the covered up look instead. This wedding dress demonstrated clearly that you could wear a decent, covered dress that leaves your valuable assets well covered and still be a sophisticated and stylish bride.
2. SIMPLICITY – Her make-up was minimal, she never wore any neck piece, I hardly saw even a bracelet. There was no Chief Brides Maid overshadowing her. Sisters, you do not have to pile on so much makeup to be beautiful on your big day. If we cannot afford coral beads, faux diamond, gold and all those pieces of jewelry, please do not worry yourself. Less is always more. She showed that you can still look breathe taking with minimal accessories and makeup and you can also stand tall on your own. Let us all borrow a cue from this and save ourselves, our parents, friends and the poor husbands a lot of stress.
3. LOVE ACROSS BOUNDARIES AND AGE – The Prince and Princess married against all odds, the colour is the big one. To think a day like this will ever happen in my lifetime is something phenomenon. I have watched the British Royal Family keenly for a better part of twenty-five years, it was unthinkable that one of them will go outside the norm to marry someone with an atom of black blood, but here we are. We never really know which race, colour, ethnicity, tribe, creed or nationality our real love will be. The days of marrying the guy from the next village are clearly over. My immediate older brother is married to a Bengali from Bangladesh and the union has been fruitful. Alhamdulilahi. She unites the entire family in ways my own Nigerian sisters do not even bother. She is an immense blessing to all of us. Let’s leave ourselves open to possibilities. Also, Meghan Markle happens to be three years older than her husband; this is quite difficult for me personally. Once a guy is younger than me, I start seeing him a bit differently, like a little brother as opposed to a husband. There’s a need to re-orientate our minds and give love a chance sometimes.
4. SECOND MARRIAGE – This is so close to home for me. My first marriage was a disaster, the chaotic marriage ended after all of three years. Those were the longest, most miserable three years of my dear life. I nearly lost my mind and sanity. Sisters, we need to be discerning, if it is not working, try and try and make it work. And if after trying and praying you do not see any continuation signal, leave that marriage quickly. I left and it took some time but my real husband surfaced and it has been bliss. We do not have to die in our misery, I do not believe in managing a grown man or any dire situation. They say a wise person knows when to stay and fight and also when to run, be a wise person. We only thrive and grow when we are in warm, loving and supportive relationships. The Princess left a Hollywood Director husband for reasons best known to her and got her Prince charming. May God lead us to our Prince Charming. Ameen.
5. SECRECY – The media spent a considerable amount of time and resources trying to decode who made the Princess's wedding dress. She was on the radar because everyone needed the scoop on that dress before the d-day. Unfortunately, we only got to know after she got to the church. In this day of 24-hour paparazzi cameras, I still wondered how she managed to pull that off. She was so scrutinized that any visit to or from a fashion house was closely monitored. Curiously, no one got to hear who made it till the day. Let’s learn to keep some things to ourselves however mundane. A lot of her life is out there but at least she left people guessing on that particular one until the end. Our entire life should not be in the open. Let’s keep some simple things to our chest. I wear my heart on my sleeves and do not keep too much but she did keep that under wraps for as long as she could and I admire that. Kudos Meghan.
6. MAKING SACRIFICES – Meghan Markle ran a blog up until the time she met the Prince – The Fig. Apparently, the blog makes between $80,000 to $100,000 a year from collaborations, endorsements, and advertisements. Immediately the relationship became serious, she took the blog down, that’s a huge sacrifice to make. I am also sure she won’t go back to acting. Letting go of your previous life for a man is a big deal for me. I run three blogs presently – 1one4.com andthezzzlife.com, and the one on my fashion label - Ms. Independent. I’m not sure anyone can make me take down those blogs so easily. There is a lot of emotion invested in running these platforms. It’s where you go to rant and rave. When you are happy, you write; when you are sad, you write; when you are trying to find meaning and understanding to issues, you write on your blog. It is your own corner of the world wide web to own and put out your personality and what you like or dislike. Then after working on this for years and even making decent money, Prince Charming comes and you shut it down? Huh. It’s a great forfeiture. Love is indeed making sacrifices for each another. Bravo!
7. INDEPENDENT WOMAN – For all her sacrifices, everyone says she remains an independent woman. She knows who she is and what she wants and stands for. She clearly has a deep sense of self and would not be lost in the whole Royal life. That is significant and should help with their marriage. I believe one of the main reasons Princess Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles did not work was because she was young and probably only discovering herself after they met and married. Having a sense of self certainly comes with age, growth, and maturity and then a lot of introspection. I believe Meghan has it all together.
8. BREAKING FROM NORM – She was walked down the aisle by her father-in-law, there was a black gospel band in the church that sang, a black preacher spoke extensively. They broke all the century-old rules and tradition and still came out celebrated. My sisters, challenge the norm, do something creatively different, do not always conform, always think of other possibilities. You are free to outthink and outdo yourself. If you are doing something different and beautiful, the world will still celebrate your ingenuity.
Finally, wedding is a one-day affair and it is all over. Marriage is forever. They are expected to be yoked together; in each other’s lives and space all the time. That's something these days. Communication, oneness, commitment, respect and choosing each other every day is what sustains a marriage. This kind of marriage is even more difficult; every step, every move, everything they say and do in public will be scrutinized and analyzed deeply. As Muslims, the Qur’an and Hadith remain our ultimate guide and any intending bride should make loads of du’as, istikhara and seek’s Allah’s (SWT) face and direction every step of the way.
Salam Alaikum Waramatulahi Wabarakatu and Ramadan Kareem.