I just got 500 likes on my wedding pictures on Facebook. That’s a record high for me given that I only have some 700-odd friends. But I have to hand it to the photographer- He did a brilliant job. Isn’t that what any wedding is about? Happy feelings, taking beautiful vows, lots and lots of smiling photographs with the bride and groom looking lovingly into each other’s eyes.
I had an arranged marriage, I met my husband just once – the day our wedding got fixed. Sounds rather uncanny in today’s world, doesn’t it? But that is how quickly it was fixed. The wedding was arranged in a jiffy. It was almost like Marriage At First Sight.
Except, there was a lot more to it than meets the eye. And that is the Bride’s Story.
Before the wedding, the bride packs all her stuff in suitcases and bags, prepared to move to her husband’s home. When I became that bride, I suddenly saw my life being turned upside down with the strangest kind of uncertainty that was IMPOSED on me. It tore my heart. I still remember breaking down into tears as I was packing my stuff –
Just to think I will never use my old bed again! I will not wake up to see my old bunny bug toy against the wall, where my father had put it up for me when I was a kid. I tried packing the pictures, books, stuff and paintings from my room, but I realized how empty and lifeless it would make the room look. I realized that it would shatter my parents to look into my empty room. I had to maintain the illusion that I was not… Gone.
Like most Indian girls, I grew up to be an extremely independent woman– right from helping my mother and sister with grocery to medicines, to weekend movies and festival shopping; I would be the official driver and companion. I still remember the last visit to a movie in Bangalore before my wedding– my mother and I broke down while coming back. Until then, I didn’t realize that I may never again cherish these mother daughter moments together.
The wedding shopping fervor was mind numbing, the endless arrangements and the invitations drained me physically. But even that wasn’t enough to put me to an exhausted slumber. I had to stare at my ceiling at night with the crashing realization that my old room will no longer just be mine anymore.
And it wasn’t just my bloody room! I had to “shift” into a whole new home, and have an entirely other set of family and friends. That wasn’t me! That didn’t sound like my life at all!
I would choke on the tension and fear, always skeptical. Most importantly, I realized that these final days with my parents and sister would never come back again. It would never be the same. This version of me had an expiration date.
On my wedding day, I remember the countless relatives from in law’s side telling me “Beta, this day onwards you belong only to our family.” I forced my cheeks to stretch, imitating a smile-like something. But I kept looking at my parents silently. They were so busy attending to the guests!
“But I am always a daughter first mama. I will always be your Titlee, papa” I kept saying in my head, hoping that they would hear it from across the hall.
I wonder how many grooms are told, “You belong to only our family now”? I am not sure.
Behind the cameras, the mehendi ceremonies, the makeup sessions and non-stop controversial chattering of all the aunties, there is a the girl who is thinking about the few hours which are going to change her life forever… The new home she is going to, the new relatives she has never met and the one million new things keeping all her past behind… Hoping she can stay in touch with all her friends, hoping that her life does not change irreversibly, and hoping she can still follow her dreams.
And most importantly hoping – This is my man… Let this boat brave the storms in the ocean. Please God.
And so, with all the anticipation, tension, expectations, hopes and dreams, I took my vows. I began my “new life” by promising to be my best as a wife, friend, confidante, daughter in law, sister, aunt and what not.
But amidst these promises, I made another one- a silent one that nobody else could hear. I made it to my parents as I looked into their eyes, tears blurring the outlines of their faces. I made the vow to never stop being the daughter they knew me to be.
Then it was time for the ceremony of ruining my make-up with tears. They call that the Bidaai. I stepped out of the protective periphery of my home, trying so to be the smiling bride who was going to her husband’s house in sometime. There is a picture of that too.
But NO! A wedding is NOT just the exchange of vows or colorful display of pictures on a Facebook page that you “Like” so gladly! It is the beginning of phase where a woman embraces a whole new world. She HAS to, you see. It is the “normal” thing to do.
It is not that you forgot your duties as a daughter or a friend, it is just that post marriage it is not just your parents or your friends – it is now “our families and our friends”.
After the wedding, the groom’s home is thronged by guests and filled with festivities. “Welcome, Bride! Light our lamp,” they’ll say. But the daughter in me kept fretting about her home with her parents in it. No one but her parents in her home. All by themselves.
Home sickness after the wedding has a much different flavour than homesickness from the hostel days. I could no longer laugh away the difficulties and wait for my next vacation to go home. Technically, I was already at “home”. It was just a “new home” and I just had to wait for time to work its magic and make me accept this reality.
But no matter how sweet and caring your mother in law is, the special tea your mother makes, the way she arranges your stuff and the way your father cuddles and cajoles you is so irreplaceable.
But no matter how far the daughter is from her parents, at the end of the day, she is first their little daughter, and then a wife and daughter in law. Like they say ‘a daughter is a daughter all her life’.
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My name is Halima and I'm from Gauteng, South Africa and my husband (Arshad) is from Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa; we are both South African Indians.
He liked my profile on muzmatch on the 8th of April 2018 and on the 9th we started chatting and Alhamdulillah, today we are husband and wife.
About a month before I joined muzmatch I remember speaking to my mother in the kitchen as we cooked supper and she had full confidence that I'd be getting married soon.
I told her that I felt that maybe I'm just not meant to get married and be happy, taking into consideration that I personally felt like one could never find a decent man whose intention is to make Nikah in this day and age.
My Moulana had recommended that I join Nikah/Muslim match-making groups and muzmatch populated amongst my searches, so I downloaded the app and registered. After a while I had lost hope so I deleted the app from my phone but did not deactivate my profile.
It was a Monday morning, I had woken up to get ready for work,
I checked my phone and I had an email notification from muzmatch which read "Arshad likes you".
I was quite surprised; I looked at his profile and his biography was quite captivating but it seemed so surreal - this was too good to be true.
I used the link in his bio to view his Facebook profile, we had a mutual friend which was my cousin that also resides in Kwa-Zulu Natal, so I felt a bit more assured that this is definitely real considering that I had started to think that this could potentially be a catfish.
We started chatting that very morning and there was an instant click. It felt like we were long lost friends because of how well we understood each other and could complete each others sentences. We had the same interests and the same intention; we could speak for hours on end without running out of things to say.
We had realized that we are most definitely soulmates.
Within 2 weeks he called my parents to ask for my hand in marriage. In July 2018 (21st), I booked a flight to visit him and his mum for the day and after spending time together we knew that this was the right decision and that Allah SWT had created us for each other.
We then saw each other once again in August 2018 (25th - A surprise for my 21st birthday planned by him and my mum); and again in November 2018 when he flew up to attend my younger sister's wedding with his mum, younger sister and brother-in-law.
Slowly the long distance had become difficult, our younger sisters were both already married and settled and we started wondering when would we actually get married. In February this year he decided to relocate to Gauteng and found a temporary job.
His dad visited my parents and they decided to set a Nikah date, Alhamdulillah once the date was set everything fell into place by the will of Allah. He found a job as a PC Engineering lecturer and we were able to find our own place with our parents help and support.
Today I am happily married, living my dream with my husband and I have wonderful in-laws that love me as much as they love Arshad.
The most important quality I wanted in a husband was someone that could take my family as his own and Alhamdulillah I found that in Arshad.
We are now a huge happy family Alhamdulillah.
Jazak'Allah muzmatch! Arshad has found me due to the creation of this wonderful app (He always says that he found me, not the other way around).
I would advise everyone to put their trust and faith in Allah SWT, never give up hope that Allah SWT will send the one who is meant for you when the time is right - for Allah is the greatest of planners. May all the other individuals find their spouses through this app as well Insha'Allah.
Halima & Arshad
My name is Yasmeen and I found my husband, Taymoor, on muzmatch on the last day of last ramadan. We were both divorced.
The first time we talked on muzmatch was in June and we got married one month later in August 2018. I always wanted to send our story to inspire others who are searching for a good husband and wife.
We are both Egyptians, from Cairo, we even work & live very near to each others in New Cairo city. I am a digital marketing manager and Taymoor is an IT manager. I am 37 years old and he is 40.
I have a daughter who is 12 years old, and I was searching for a real Muslim man who would be a good husband and father. Finally I found Taymoor, who is a good man and a good Muslim, he is very kind.
I am telling my friends that I found someone who really looks like me from the inside. He was divorced and also has a kid, who is 5 years old. When we first chatted on muzmatch we spoke for over 6 hours, he was surprised much we got on, he even thought that this was a prank!
I couldn't believe that I finally found the man I was looking for. The first time we met, was after Eid al futr, in the House of Cocoa, as Taymoor knew that I loved chocolate. We talked about ourselves for over six hours, I did not want to leave and neither did he.
After we met I told my family and friends, and he did too. He and his family visited us and we got married in only two months, I never imagined that I would find my soulmate and marry him that fast.
I always wanted to find a man to trust and love, after being a single mom for years, I found out that my dream man was hard to find, but alhamdullah I found him on your app.
Alhamdullah, we are very happy together, my daughter lives with us and his son visits us on the weekends. You cannot imagine how much I am now recommending muzmatch to all my friends.
It didn't even take me long to find my husband. I used the app for almost one month or less.
I am so happy alhamdullah now that I married a real muslim I always wanted.
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My name is Sara and I just wanted to thank muzmatch and let you know that I finally got engaged on 24th December 2018 and found my Fiance - Ghazunfar on the App.
We are really happy Alhamdulilah and just wanted to thank you for creating a platform for Muslims to find a suitable match for marriage!
I believe it's a real blessing because initially we matched but we didn't talk as he hadn't read my messages and was not appearing online. After around 4 weeks, I unmatched however after some weeks I logged in and I came across his profile again. After some giving it some thought I decided to rematch and give it a try again.
The next day he replied to me and the is history. Its been a almost a year since we matched on Muzmatch and we have set the Nikkah date which will be 1st March 2019 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Our families are very happy and we are looking forward to entering into the blessed union of marriage Insha'Allah. We just wanted to say keep up the good work, may Allah bless you and request that you keep us in prayers.
One last thing to everyone using the muzmatch App - please do not give up, there is someone out there for us all!
Get married, free, on muzmatch.