muzmatch caught up with Wajeeha Amin, an experienced relationship and lifestyle coach to discuss why planning is key to a healthy marriage and how we can maintain love through it. This is the second in the series of #WajeehaTalks – where we will be unpacking different parts of relationships in the Muslim community.
Many people spend more time planning their career path than planning for their life partner—and yet, choosing a partner is the most important decision you will ever make emotionally, financially, and health-wise.
Healthy relationships are the single most important factor in determining our happiness, it’s a decision that lasts a lifetime. So yes we need to prepare, and we need to prepare well to be married, well before we decide to say “I do”.
Whilst love is one of the cornerstones of marriage, as a mechanism marriage is a manifestation of that emotion in a very practical and tangible way. We can’t help falling in love with someone, marriage in its most real sense is about compromise, collective decision making, and teamwork. As much as it’s a collective effort, both individuals must understand that the process can have radical implications for both their or indeed their shared prospective future(s).
The perfect marriage does not come ready-made, in fact, that is what completes half your deen, your contribution to the marriage, the highs and the lows. The key here is knowing what you need in a partner, what you value in life and what you bring to the marriage.
Whilst we are busy debating that there are more singletons than ever before, on the flip side of the coin more people are divorcing or staying in toxic relationships.
We all have this ideal of how our married life will be, however, do we know what a healthy relationship is versus an unhealthy relationship? If we found ourselves in an unhealthy relationship would we know what to do about it? It’s important because planning beforehand, asking the right questions and developing an understanding of what that collective future looks like can help minimise the probability of unhealthy relationships. Having purposeful and conscious conversations will help you to understand each other, for example he is a half glass empty kind of guy, and you’re a half full glass kind of girl, what does that mean for both of you if you were married? It might be endearing in the courting stage but in marriage will it grind on you? This is where honesty kicks in, be honest with yourself, don’t let the fantasy of marriage lead you of course and overlook the negative character traits showing up when you are getting to know someone.
Now more than ever just like we take training in all other areas of life this area is something that we need to seriously invest some time and effort in. We owe it to ourselves and our future generation to equip ourselves to be in healthy, happy long-term relationships. It’s the ripple effect if we are in healthy, loving relationships those are the skills we will pass on to our children. That’s got to be worth preparing for?
A little preparation goes a long way and it can save us our heart and time. That’s why I started delivering the Finding Mr or Mrs Right Masterclass as a way to equip people with the tools to not just find the right partner but to connect and keep the right partner, and to have healthy long-term marriages. I found that people who were sceptical began to understand more so the importance of mastering the skills to select the right partner as well as to prepare, plane and truly understand the complexity of what marriage can entail. It’s important to find out from those that are married issues, challenges but importantly the highlights in making a marriage work.
Remember, in anything you do in life to be successful you need to be committed, consistent and proactive to get the end result you are looking for. Take some time out to understand what your relationship style is. If it’s healthy and if it will go on to serve you in a marriage.
There is no denying it relationships can be hard work at times. Look around you and observe the relationships around you, I am sure if you are honest you will see some great examples and some not so great examples. Stop spending so much time focusing on external qualifiers. Successful relationships require something much more profound than just shared interests, age, career, money or physical attractions.
When it comes to maintaining healthy and happy relationships it requires you to make a daily choice – Leave your ego behind and act in the best interest of the relationship rather than just yourself.
If one party feels like it he or she has more power than the other, you should reassess and see what is going on, what part are you playing in the relationship. While concentrated power to your benefit may seem like the upper hand in a relationship dynamic, this selfishness leads to either a breakdown in the given relationship or sadly, abuse and exploitation of the sacred union of marriage.
A healthy intimate, functional relationship is based on equality and respect, not power and control.
Mapping where you want to be with your dreams and aspirations for the union will help set and correct goals for you to meet. Find synergies and see how you can compromise or fit the contrasting goals in each of your visions for your marriage.
Always remember, respect is not given but it is earned. Be individuals that are mutually worthy of it and subsequently that bond itself will churn out productivity, ease, and love.
Wajeeha Amin is a Relationship Coach and is on a mission to equip people with the tools that strengthen love and care in all their relationships. She pioneered the Finding Mr or Mrs Right Masterclass and has been supporting countless singles to go on to marry and Marry well. She was a finalist for Asian Women of Achievement award for her work and is an Ambassador for Women on the future.
To find out more about Wajeeha and her work visit her website:
Get married, free, on muzmatch.
By Jennifer Dawson
Preparing for a date can end up being a stress inducing activity most of the time. Fixing up hair and makeup alone takes up nearly forty minutes of a woman's time on an average day. As new trends in fashion continue to pop up, it can seem overwhelming trying to maintain a consistent style and routine, while still being current with today’s fashion. Here are a few ways to enhance your beauty for contemporary styles, while remaining true to the fashion that makes Muslim culture one of the most beautiful.
Dating can be intimidating, and our own insecurities can creep up, preventing us from putting ourselves out there to meet someone special. But those fears can be overcome. We should take pride in the modesty of our culture and commitment to Allah, especially with how we wear our hijabs. It’s fine to cut loose and outfit your hijab in a way that expresses both your beauty and inner devotion. Muslim fashion continues to develop side by side with contemporary fashion, letting diverse appearance flourish within modern fashion.
Styles such as the “casual chic”, which involve letting both sides of your hijab hang loose over both shoulders, are great for pulling off an effortless look that emphasizes your natural elegance and modesty. As long as you stay true to the core principles of modesty found in the Quran, then the elegance of your fashion sense will also shine through.
Make-up is the most powerful way for a Muslim woman to express her beauty while staying true to her faith. Whether with or without a hijab, cosmetics offer the chance for women to emphasis the facial qualities that make them beautiful. Women like Asha Hussein are excellent examples of how beauty conventions of both contemporary culture and Muslim tradition can fuse to create a captivating and popular look. Taking the time to learn eye makeup application and trends, such as having bold colors or strong brows, can be completely complimentary to your visual appearance and upstand the Muslim code of Modesty.
Modern culture is more than prepared for accommodating the belief that supports the styles that support and validate Muslim cultural practices. The fashion world is embracing the empowering virtue to be found in Muslim modesty. Whether through makeup or clothing, the diversity and energy put into your wardrobe should be expressed with pride and confidence. The principles found in our faith are wonderful and should be recognized as such. Claim your style as your own and embrace the beautiful principles that enchant your dress and appearance.
The world around us continues to diversify in ways that are supportive towards the beliefs and attire of our faith. There’s no need to place unnecessary restraint on your wardrobe, as long as you adhere to the principles of modesty which already come so naturally us Muslim women. Trust in your faith and your own uncompromising beauty.
Finding Love After Divorce
By Jennifer Dawson
‘Grey divorce’ has come to be a catchphrase of the millennium, largely because in contrast to general divorce rates (which are declining), the divorce rate among people over 50 is on the rise. Longer life expectancies mean that those who are in their 50s or even 60s can look forward to many decades ahead of a healthy and happy life and for many, this is a quest they would not like to undertake in their current situation.
As noted in a study by Z. Mohamed, Muslim divorce rates, particularly in Western countries, have been on the rise in recent years, with a dramatic increase in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and Australia.
Divorce can be liberating but also bring fear and anxiety. If you have been through a divorce and you are fearful about what the future holds, find inspiration in the Quran and consider online dating as a way to ensure those you date have the same life values as you. When you are ready, know that you can find love once again online and begin a new path in life.
Divorce is one of the highest entries on the Holmes-Rahe Stress Scale. In a way, it involves saying goodbye to many things – including (in some cases) one’s home, extended family and social circle. The Elisabeth Kubler-Ross model on the different stages of loss are also applicable to divorce. You may have to go through many stages – including sadness, anger, and regret, before you are ready to move on.
You will probably know you are ready when you feel that you need to be out and socialize. Positive ideas may pop in your head, such as the thought that you are young and have retired or have free time on your hands, you would love to try out a new hobby or sport, or you feel like dressing up in your finest garb and feeling appreciated as a man or woman once again. Check out what other singles are up to on muzmatch; what starts out as a friendship could develop into something very special.
Online dating has been a big boom for singles who may not have a huge social circle. Muslim men and women who do work and have a good professional network may not necessarily have a wide social one. This is especially true if most of your friends are couples that you only saw when you went out with your ex. As noted by the BBC, online dating is big, especially among Western Muslims.
In Islam, marriage is considered equal to half your religion. It holds great importance, so it is important to make the right decision. Online dating allows you to ‘test the waters’ beforehand, so to speak. For instance, if you are a Muslim woman with a firm believe in feminism, you can ensure the people you date think along the same lines. Because devout Muslims of a mature age may be reticent to go to bars and other establishments were others enjoy meeting,
online dating gives them the safety, choice, and discretion that is unique in the dating sphere.
You are indeed never too old to love or be loved. Muslim scripture espouses the importance of love and marriage in many passages.
“We not see for those who love one another anything like marriage,”
says Sunan Ibn Majah 1847, while Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 1322 notes: “When you love someone, you become infatuated like a child.” These and other words may inspire you to experience the beauty of love and marriage once again.
If you are a Muslim who is aged 50+ and who has just been divorced, you certainly are not alone. So-called ‘gray divorce’ is rising in numbers the world over, but that does not mean you need to be lonely.
Internet dating is booming for Muslims, especially those who don’t want to have to seek love in clubs and other establishments that can seem more about casual encounters than long-lasting ones. If you’ve never been online, sign up on muzmatch and go into it with a view to simply meet others. In time, friendships can unexpectedly bloom and you may find the love of your life.
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.