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A Letter to My Friend

My Dearest,

It is with much honour that I write to you as I have been privileged by my Lord to showcase our special bond. I pen my words with great joy and the expressions of my sincere love for you. I’m hoping that by the power of Allah you are fine and striving as always. It is my intention that you understand just how precious you are to me, after reading this letter.

My pearl, I heard you’re in love. Honestly, I wish I could have been there to witness it all; that moment in time when you almost fainted out of shock after he popped the question, the unsteady heartbeat whenever he glances your way, the way your mind replays the sound of his voice saying your name, the birth of uncontrollable blushes and smiles just imagining your wedding day. Oh my! I really do wish I was there. To listen, to rejoice and of course to tease you like hell (winks). Yet, with much concern my love, I also wish I was there to ask if you have done your homework.

Remember that in a hadith recorded by Tirmidhi the Rasul (salAllaahu alayhi wa sallam) said:

“When someone whose religion and character you are pleased with proposes to (someone under the care of) one of you, then marry her to him. If you do not do so, then there will be a lot of immorality and corruption in the world.”

Honey, I’m sorry to put this on you, I really am. But we live in a world where our esteemed parents are hardly equipped with the knowledge of their responsibility to enquire about the religion and character of their daughter’s suitor. You know I’m left with no choice. So, I ask you dear sister, have you done your homework?

Yes, I know. He adheres to the Sunnah. His ankle-length trousers, full beard, powerful admonitions behind the pulpit, tajweed intonation wowed you and you caught the love bug, right? But darling, those are the obvious signs. Are you aware that there’s a clear distinction between religious commitment and character? What do you know of his character? Have you made investigations?

My sweetest heart, it has been taught that the scholars stipulated as regards the ‘righteous man’, that:

‘Righteousness is not only knowledge and is not only memorization of the Qur’an, righteousness is action in accordance with knowledge and the Qur’an and acquiring the characteristics promoted by them.’

Is he REALLY a righteous man?

Darling, I implore you to come to terms with the fact that no matter how intelligent you are, you cannot know a man as much as his intimate friends would. So, ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find. Enlist the help of your trusted teachers and brothers to double check his Creed and character. Wouldn’t it be nice to be like Fatima bint Qais (May Allah be pleased with her)? The female companion who mentioned her proposals to the Rasul (salAllaahu alayhi wa salam) seeking his advice. Please love, DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

Don’t get me wrong, my dear. I am not writing to tell you that loving a brother for the knowledge he has is wrong, I am only trying to remind you not to get too carried away and then neglect the other criteria. Believe me, it would do you much good to be satisfied with both (i.e religion and character) before entering a marriage contract. The words of the Rasul (salAllaahu alayhi wa salam) are indeed true.

My jewel, you should also note that being satisfied with both doesn’t mean you should seek perfection as Allah, The Greatest, is the Only Perfect One. It only means you should accept the imperfections you’re sure you can cope with for a lifetime.

My beloved, I appeal to you to play your part and to put your trust in Allah’s decision after seeking His counsel (istikhaara). May Allah bless you with a chivalrous knight that would be best for you in this life and the next. I pray He guides you all the way through life’s journey. Ameen.

Truly, you mean so much to me. Stay strong. Remain modest. Be Muslim.

With love,

Fareedah Raj. (Umm Habeebah)

Editor: Umm Naml

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