Her voice said it all. She could hardly speak and cannot even express her feelings very well. At first, I didn’t want to ask her what happened, so I just asked general questions about her family, herself and her husbands work. She answered to all questions with alhamdulliah for everything! Then I thought, she has always been like a sister to me, but after she got married we rarely saw each other and we rarely had a chance to go out together!
She started to cry. It was a long pause before I was able to ask her, what has happened habibti?! She didn’t want to say anything at the beginning, and then told me, ‘just forget about it, Isra! Everything will change soon, inshAllah!’
At that moment I really wanted to know so I can help in anyway. I insisted. With her crying voice, she started to slowly explain to me what she’s going through. Listening to her, I was shocked. I cried together with her when she cried. I tried to understand her agony and pain and I started to talk as if I was her marriage counsellor. I don’t like being put in such situations but she’s very dear to me and I had to talk as she was my younger sister- giving her advices.
I was at the hairdresser in the morning when the hairdresser asked me whether I am married or not! …I am very used to this question- and I reminded myself that I shouldn’t be concerned about other people’s eyes and words. I replied with a NO and I then left. She was ‘sorry’ to know that I’m still single and then she said many things that I didn’t like but that’s something every unmarried young woman has to hear and bear.
The hairdresser wanted to remind me of how beautiful being married really is, but then, and after I finished the call in the evening, I was thinking of how scary it might be when a marriage goes wrong?! The wife starts thinking first and foremost about her children. About her being divorced and then talked about. She starts to think of the years that she has sacrificed for her family and how she didn’t develop her own self in education and work!
Marriage and family life, which are so central to the stability of a community, are given such importance in the Islamic scheme of things that marriage is described as being ‘half the faith’. This is the fact that has to be recognised by all Muslims; men and women, and that has to be taken seriously.