Saturday, December 6, 2008

Crush (shhh!)

I’ve known my girl Hanan for over ten years now – our friendship is as old as her eleven year old daughter - Ayesha.

Hanan is a practicing Muslim living in the west. One day she met Mr. Right. A bit later they were married.

They’re both practicing Muslims – they pray, fast, and think of Allah all the time. In school, they’ve taught Ayesha to pray duhr and Asr. She asks her teacher to give her a separate room until she’s done praying. Ayesha goes to Sunday school to learn Qur’an and Arabic.

The other day I get a call from Hanan.

“My Ayesha is changing. Guess what? I think she has a crush on her teacher. Dude is young, about 30”.

“No way! Is he Muslim and is he single baby girl?”


“just kidding just kidding. okay okay. Tell me more”.

“Well I was volunteering at her school the other day. I haven’t been doing this for over a year. Now that I'm back I can see things from a fresh point of view.

I saw it all. We’ve all been girls. You know how it’s like – first she giggles a lot around him, she blushes when he jokes around her, and her little girlfriends keep teasing “Ayesha is going to marry Mr. Ammar and then they giggle like this .... hhheeeeheeeheee”.

“wow. crush-signals for sure”.

“I keep thinking how my baby girl’s growing up and experiencing new feelings. I don’t know what to say to her when I sit her down for a talk … should I sit her down for a talk? What do I tell her?”

Me and Hanan continue talking. I could see that yes, this is a parenting issue, but it’s also a girl thing too … a sister thing for us too.

We’ve all been girls. Many of us have been to Muslim schools. And yes, many of us probably had a crush on someone.

~ Fast forward in time ~

Ayesha is now 27 – single, a practicing Muslimah, and is now ready and thinking about marriage. She’s at a Muslim conference, or has joined a Muslim student Association, or is active with the local Muslim youth center.

She meets a brother that she thinks would make a good husband for her. What does she do? What does she say?

Let’s pretend her parents took her out of a mixed school as a kid back in the day, so she doesn’t “see” the other gender, and presumably not have any crushes.

Okay. Good. But now she’s an adult. And we’re back at point zero. She’s interested in this brother for marriage and NOT as a crush. She wants to keep within the Islamic boundaries that she was raised to abide by. What does she do? What does she say? How to approach it all?

… do you start by telling your mother? Have we grown up beyond little eleven year old Ayesha who didn’t tell her mummy about Mr. Ammar? …. Or are we still in ‘little Ayesha” mode hiding our crush, taking our girlfriend’s teasing and never talking about it… until it goes away ….

FYI: In Sacramento, a new matrimonial service has been launched.


salim said...

As-Salamu Alaikum,

This reminds me of the "crush" our Mother Khadijah (may the mercy of Allah be upon her) on Rasullulah (peace be upon him). She kept within her boundaries yet expressed her keen interest. Her example should be followed by our sisters.

Considering that a sister discusses her marriage interest with her guardian, I believe that it speaks exceptionally well about her to break out of her shell and approach a man - this is an indication that she has most likely found a quality in him that she seeks in marriage.

We shouldn't sit and watch the tides pass by. It may never approach again.

Organica said...

I am old fashioned. If he doesn't notice me, then too bad! I am not hinting to anyone!

salim said...

Waiting to get noticed puts mileage on your biological clock! It may seem that the more time you spend waiting and preparing for marriage the more you realize there's a lot you are not ready for; just like knowledge - the more you know the sooner you come to the realization that there is a lot you don't know. It's not just about being ready. It's more about finding that compatible one who will help mold you into the ideal Muslim or Muslimah. An this can happen even if one feels they are not ready for marriage yet. It's like going to college; after high school many unprepared students still take the next step and eventually find their way. I believe a practical approach to marriage is to work on the imaan(faith) while looking for a spouse. The imaan is really what prepares you. To attain complete faith cannot happen unless we locate our other half. So why not work our deen while we search for a spouse? Sooner or later it all comes together.

Tammy said...

I am old fashion too like Miss Organica. I believe that a guy should approach the girl. My friends always tell me that if you see a good guy try to catch him. I once tried to show interest on a guy (who was a family friend), it destroyed me because I got rejected by him, and he didn't even try to get to know me. I don't want to put myself out there because people don't know what I really want, and they suggest me to the wrong guys. I don't want to take chances like this because my heart gets destroyed easily and I get weak. I don't want to be rejected anymore because it's too much for me to bear. I am solely going to rely on Allah to give a life partner some way.

Anonymous said...

This is so common in our society today that no one really pays close attention to it anymore.I think the important thing is to sit down and explain to little kids the right and wrongs of having a crush.It's normal and liking someone is not unique to yourself-but how to go about it should be discussed.

Ia gree with Salim's comment that Khadija [RA] kept within the boundaries but still showed her interest in the Prophet [SAW] and look what happened! A marriage unique in history and love,subhanallah.

I love your comic strip at the beginning-so true!

Anonymous said...

What happened during the 15 years in between? I think there's a middle ground that we need to cover, when our girls are not little anymore but not quite adults.

As for approaching a brother, I don't think there's any harm in it. You have to be prepared for rejection, and women are more sensitive but in the end, know that your naseeb is what it is. My friend saw a guy she liked at ISNA, so her stepmother approached him... a few years later, they are happily married with their second child on the way. MashaAllah.

era said...

I am from south asia & my parents are worrying about getting me married, as i am 24 already. But they can't take active roll, as in approch a guy.

I have pointed out potential guys to my mom, I have no clue if he would like me or not. But my parents response was "we are desi, guys family has to come with the proposal. Its not done the other way if u want to be part of society"

I don't think "asking a guy in islamic term" works very well.

Anonymous said...
its a different approach to marriage...

Anonymous said...

As-Salamu Alaikum,

very interesting but difficult topic, I have a religious friend who seen a decent guy at university who should would like to get to know for the sake of marriage, but is holding back on approaching him because she feels its a little inappropriate and worries about his reaction.

Im a little confused on how to adivse her best.

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Don't stop posting such themes. I like to read stories like that. BTW add some pics :)