I happened to have an incredibly appalling conversation with a male friend the other day. It pretty much went like this:
“Hey did you end up finding a girl for yourself?”
“Yeah, I did, but I ended up rejecting the proposal. She was divorced and seemed quite sharp.”
But, to my surprise, his response didn’t really shock me. Even so, his comments still ring in my head. I was amazed at how an educated and sensible man like him could pass such a judgement. Unfortunately, we’ve been moulded to think divorced women are off limits. They just don’t stand a chance in the ‘marriage market’ we’re all so well acquainted with.
When I logged onto my Facebook account a few days ago, one of the first few things I spotted on my news-feed was a video of a divorced girl who was sharing her story. As I scrolled down, the very next post, which was shared by a friend, was also about divorce. I was moved by their stories; it’s not easy being a female divorcee, especially in Pakistan.
Over the past two decades, the divorce rate in Pakistan has significantly increased but our reaction to it hasn’t changed at all. It’s one of the most painful and devastating times for the couple, as well as the families involved. But, I personally feel that life becomes more of a living hell for women.
People’s reasons for refusing divorced women for marriage stem out of complete ignorance and stupidity. They find the most inane reasons to disregard divorced women as a prospect for marrying.
For instance: she drove her husband away within the first month.
Or better yet: she might have a loose character – that’s probably why she’s divorced.
It gets better.
Some go as far as to say that her degree or her job is the problem; that’s why she wasn’t and will never be capable of being a homemaker.
What’s worse is that women (the victims) themselves are perpetuators of this viciousness. They don’t stop to think it could happen to anyone, maybe their own daughters or sisters. Such allegations are completely immoral and being the devout Muslims we claim to be, we must be extremely careful before we speak – especially, when it comes to dishonouring a woman. Before raising a finger at a divorced woman, think about your daughter, sister, mother or aunt. Be mindful about “exposing” them to the world. Feel their vulnerability, empathise with the mental trauma that they have faced, or are continuing to face.
In our society, a woman is usually held responsible for a broken marriage. She is blamed, insulted, and ridiculed, while men go scot free. Men usually get a new life partner within months, years or in some cases, days. However, women can’t shrug off the label of ‘divorcee’ as easily; their label becomes more of a social stigma. For this reason they either choose to remain divorcees or take a really long time before ever opening up to the idea of remarrying.
Because let’s face it; why would society accept a woman who has been with another man and gone through divorce? That’s not how it works. We only want young and unmarried girls as prospective suitors.
And to be honest, most men don’t really want to marry a divorced woman either. Even if they do, either the family opposes or the ‘log kya kahay gei’ (what will people say) factor will kick in.
Expectations, interfering in-laws, incompatibility, forced marriages, greed, and intolerance are some answers. However, according to me, intolerance takes the first position in the list of reasons.
Divorce is a legal right and it is religiously allowed as well. But even then, it is discouraged by God. A happily ever after requires huge amounts of sacrifice, respect, and input at the beginning. In our society, the secret of a happy marriage is:
“Qabu karna or muthi mai rakhna,”
(Keep the woman in your control)
Unfortunately, there are no pills or magic spells that do that.
The secret to a successful marriage is to win hearts and winning someone’s heart requires a lot of effort. Along with this, tolerance is key.
Marriage is not about the mehndi, mayun, dancing, singing, dowry, clothes and food. It is an oath newlyweds take to face the ups and down of life together and to support each other in every walk of life. But nowadays, people spend millions on each event but don’t bother educating their children on such integral matters.
The nikkah ceremony has become a formality; no one pays attention to the clauses stated in the nikkah sermon. Families and guests are more interested in what’s on the menu and the giveaways and the bride and grooms families just don’t stop bragging about the customised items they have ordered for the wedding. People waste months shopping for the ‘perfect wedding,’ but no one takes out time to teach the bride or groom what to expect and how to react to different post wedding situations.
Is there no way to teach our children and future generations that marriage is a commitment; a unifying factor that needs to be nourished with patience, tolerance, love, humility and respect in order for it to bloom? Let’s not teach our children the wrong values, let’s learn to understand and not judge.
It is easier to condemn divorce than to understand what the reasons behind it were. It’s possible that the divorce was inevitable for reasons unknown to us. Our duty towards this issue is to not blame women or presume what led to their marriages falling apart; it is to teach ourselves and our children the aforementioned qualities.
Teach your sons not to slander and reject a woman because she is divorced. Teach your sons not to bad mouth a woman once he isn’t her husband anymore and vice versa. That is when we will be able to celebrate healthy relationships.
Get married, free, on muzmatch.
Hey everyone, it’s Ayesha from My Big Fat Halal Blog (MBFHB)! MBFHB is one of the UK’s biggest halal food platforms where I share halal restaurant reviews, recipes and travel guides! You can find out more about what I do on my website or Instagram.
Today, I’m collaborating with muzmatch to share some of my top Ramadan recipes. We hope you try them out and we would love to see any of your recreations.
Here’s a simple recipe for this delicious, filling smoothie bowl packed with nutritious dates… the only dates you should be having this Ramadan! ;)
1 banana, plus extra slices to garnish
5 pitted medjool dates, plus extra, chopped, to garnish
250ml semi-skimmed milk
2 tsp cocoa powder
1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground nuts, to decorate
Simply put all the ingredients in a blender, and whizz until smooth. Pour into a bowl, over ice, if you like, then arrange the nuts, extra banana and dates over the top to serve.
Let’s be honest, it wouldn’t be Ramadan without fried treats! Below is a recipe for my spicy, moreish potato cutlets. They’re always a hit with everyone!
750g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
11⁄2 tbsp garam masala
2 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp ground coriander
Handful of coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp plain flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tbsp vegetable oil
Chutney/spicy salsa, to serve
1.Put the potatoes in a large pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then cook for 18-20 mins, until tender. Drain and set aside for 15-20 mins, until cool enough to handle.
2. Add the garam masala, chilli powder, ground coriander and fresh coriander to the potatoes. Season, then mash until smooth.
3. Wet your hands, then shape the mixture into 10 round patties, about 1cm thick.
4. Put the flour, egg and breadcrumbs onto separate plates, then dip each patty first in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs to coat.
5. Heat the oil to medium-high, then fry the patties in batches for 2-3 mins on each side, until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper, then serve with a chutney/ spicy salsa for dipping.
A feast would not be complete without dessert! Try out this delicious Egyptian bread pudding known as Um Ali. It’s made with croissants, nuts and condensed milk and it’s absolutely delicious!
850ml semi-skimmed milk
1⁄2 x 397g can condensed milk
1⁄2 tsp ground cardamom
1⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve
1 tsp vanilla extract
100ml double cream
1 tsp unsalted butter
4 all butter croissants, roughly torn
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
2 tbsp flaked almonds
2 tbsp unsalted pistachios, chopped
2 tbsp seedless raisins
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/Gas 4.
2. Stir the milk, condensed milk, cardamom, cinnamon and vanilla extract together in a saucepan. Slowly bring to the boil and simmer gently for 2mins, stirring occasionally. Add the cream and carefully bring back to the boil, then remove from the heat.
3. Using the butter, grease a round baking dish, roughly 22cm in diameter and 5cm deep, and cover the base with half the croissant pieces.
4. Sprinkle over half each of the coconut, almonds, pistachios and raisins, then pour over the milk mixture.
5. Top with the remaining croissants, nuts and raisins, plus an extra pinch of cinnamon.
6. Bake in the oven for 20-25mins until golden and bubbling, then leave to stand for 10 mins before serving.
I hope you enjoy these recipes and will try them out! You can find more of my recipes at mybigfathalalblog.com.
My husband and I got married last week! I wanted to share our story with you. Jarred and I started talking earlier this year and had an instant connection.
Jarred is from Connecticut and I'm from Texas. He was in Arkansas for school and recently graduated and was interested in meeting someone so he downloaded muzmatch.
We started talking and realized how much we had in common and quickly became serious about each other. We complimented each another in so many ways: prioritizing our deen, family and wanting to make a positive difference in the world.
Jarred then drove to see me. After that, we were certain we wanted to get married and decided to have our nikkah before Ramadan. We've been married almost a month now and it's been a wonderful adventure!
We're so happy! Jazakallah khair for connecting us!
Alhamdulillah, thank you Allah and the muzmatch team!
I'm from Indonesia and my husband is from Germany, but he is Russian.
What a blessing it is to have a mixed raced marriage!
I knew my husband from muzmatch since May 2017 and then he visited Indonesia in November 2017. I didn't believe he was serious until he visited me and my family.
Months later, I flew to Germany and found work there because I wanted to be close to him.
I was in love.
Finally on 28 Dec 2018, we had our nikkah which fell on the last Jumu'ah of the month and in March 2019 we got officially married.
Thank you to the muzmatch team!