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What Will People Think?

August 8, 2022

How I escaped the ‘what will people think…’ notion:

The journey of finding my wife and my best friend

But what will people think… This was a notion my family always uttered.

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I was looking for a wife for some time. And I had come across quite a few potentials. Those my family had brought, my friends had recommended and those I stumbled across through different means as well… They all had different personalities, different interests, different levels of practice but one thing they all had in common is that they were the same ethnicity as me.

I was born and brought up in England as were my siblings and my parents, even my grandparents lived up north! BUT none of that meant anything. I had to find a wife from the same roots as my ancestors.

At first I thought this was bizarre. But then, coming from an Asian background, I thought, you know what – although this is bizarre – there must be loads of Asian girls out there. Surely one will meet my interests and personality and also the ethnicity side as well. Then it’s a win, win situation. I get what I want and always longed for in a wife and my parents will be happy too!

The profiles and meetings began and although they were all the same ethnicity, none of them clicked with me. Some were less practicing, some more, some the total opposite of my personality and interests and basically all in all not what I imagined my wife to be…

I started looking myself too. Looking for everything I wanted… just with the added criteria of them having to be of the same ethnicity. Why weren’t any meeting my other criteria?

And then I realised. I had my lightbulb moment.

I kept hitting a dead end. Why?

Because I thought good character, piety, similar personality, righteousness and all these positive traits were a given. Surely must embody them to some degree? As much as we wish everyone holds these traits, it’s far from the truth and reality. I made ethnicity my priority and deal breaker and everything else that actually matters in a marriage subsidiary…

But what made me realise this?

I realised this after my best friend had sent me a profile. He texted me just before Fajr and forwarded me the profile which he received from the brother of the sister in question. I still remember the text! He said to me, bro I know she’s not from the same ethnic background but just read her profile and see if your parents will come round. Just give it a go.

When I saw his first line I just knew this was another dead end. My parents would never accept someone from a different ethnic background. What’s the point in trying? I’ll just upset the sister by eventually saying no! I was dubious to read on as if I had already set an answer in my head…

Curiosity had the better of me though and I continued to read. Her profile clicked with me as soon as I read it. You just know sometimes. Her interests, hobbies, level of practice – it all resonated with me. I felt as though I had written parts of her profile, that’s how similar it was to my way of thinking! And then I knew why my friend had sent it to me. He knew me inside out and knew this sisters profile would be a perfect match. 5 years down the road, I’m so happy I did because she ended up being my wife and my closest ally.

I had mixed feelings. I was so excited to finally have a profile before me of a sister who seemingly met all my criteria but then I was fearful as she didn’t meet the most important one for my parents… ethnicity. I didn’t want to upset or hurt my parents. Ultimately they’re your parents, right? All my siblings married in the same ethnicity, would I be the one to ‘ruin’ this?

I thought and thought, sought advice and prayed istikhara and came to the realisation that you know what, trying will never kill anybody. And in fact it might change a mindset that’ll change a generation to come. I knew that although my parents held ethnicity in high regard, they wouldn’t be truly happy if I wasn’t. I bit the bullet and approached my parents. Never had I been so nervous before. I felt as though I was crushing all their hopes and desires for me. But inside I knew and had so much conviction that if this sister was good for me, Allah will make it work and Allah will fill my parents hearts with love for her.

What I saw thereafter brothers and sisters was my miracle. Fast forwarding, my parents saw the profile, met the sister, her parents and her family – and not long afterwards, we married. They fell in love with her character and personality to such an extent the notion of ethnicity hardly ever arose. All the points I had rehearsed to try and convince them weren’t even needed! Allah took care of it all.

And that’s it. That was my miracle. And now I am happily married Alhamdulillah and my parents have never been more pleased.

And it’s because we chose and picked the traits that matter the most and that’s righteousness.

Sometimes you need to see things that don’t work to really appreciate that which will.

But to those brothers and sisters out there who are struggling with their parents or family, whether it be with ethnicity or something else, do not lose hope. If what you are asking for is good, Allah will help you. But you need to tie your camel first. And then trust Allah. Stand up, take initiative and make people understand with wisdom and utmost respect always.

There’s wisdom in everything.

Things won’t magically appear on your plate. You need to make the first move.

May God guide us and grant us ease, ameen.

Written by an anonymous Muzz user

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