I got on the phone with Abdullah immediately and told him about the wedding in a few months but I didn’t have the guts to tell him about the immediate nikah that we concluded because I knew that he would lecture me for marrying this girl I didn’t know a thing about.
He also asked me for an Imam to contact because he had some questions about being Muslim in London. I had voiced my concerns because the Imam participated in many efforts which sent humanitarian aid into Gaza and Syria and I even warned Abdullah that the local authorities had the Imam under surveillance. By this time most of the mosques in the UK were being watched, almost as if it was mandatory for suicide bombers to announce themselves at their local mosques. Abdullah laughed at my warning and reminded me that first world countries were suspicious because they knew how many enemies their wars for oil in Muslim lands were creating. Unfortunately it was the greater umma that has been labelled ‘terrorists’ for wars they have nothing to do with.
After our chat I agreed to put him in touch and asked the Imam if he would answer Abdullah’s questions to which he happily agreed.
When I finally got a few moments alone with my parents, I asked my mother if she was ok with the immediate nikah I wanted. She wasn’t the typical Indian aunty and understood that the marriage was far more important than the wedding but I told her I would happily reconsider my plans if it would make her happy.
My father said my name in his scary voice that was usually reserved for when I had done something wrong as a child and I instinctively began to pray the way I had when I was a kid.
‘Jee dad’, I answered and he told me that he would like the nikah now and that he was happy if I was happy because it was never written that a big, flashy wedding was essential for a marriage to begin. In any case for Muslims a waalima is the important event. I joked with dad about him being happy mostly about the arrangement mostly because he wouldn’t have to cough up two outfits for mum and we all laughed.
After talking they asked me to to get back to the Imam and ask him if his daughter would like a wedding here and a waalima back home or maybe or we could do both. Mum was telling us how every woman has her wedding day planned from the time she is a little girl. I thought about how at some point we all wonder about who has the almighty has chosen for us? How they would be? What would they look like? Whether we would be happy with them?. Finally it was my turn to complete half of my faith by entering into the sacred union of marriage. I was a love struck boy who had decided to take the big step to being a husband.
I took my family’s advice and chose to wait for the elders of both families to sit down and decide what arrangements would be best.
by mumtaz saley