Posts Tagged ‘love’


Today in society, most people nearly always expect love to fail. They believe that if they get too close, do too much, or fall too hard, there will be heartbreak right around the corner. If love always fails, how can we explain those few couples that have been together for 20 years plus? Most of us declare that they simply got lucky and that it could never happen to us. Well I beg to differ…

The problem with being in love starts within the self. Of course we hear many people say this, but when you’re in a relationship, the problems within yourself will resurface no matter how much you try to hide it, if not dealt with. The magic question then arises…”does true love exist within yourself”? The next question being, “if not, why is it so hard to love yourself”?

With most of us growing up in the burst of social media age, we find ourselves comparing ourselves to others instead of looking at who we are and liking what we see. Instead of dealing with our flaws,  it’s easier to go on Instagram or Facebook, Vine or YouTube, and simply turn who we are looking at, into who we want to be. We can all be our own kind of great if we were to put just as much effort into ourselves and what we put into the lives of others. If you’re different, embrace your difference. Feed off of the gifts that we were uniquely bestowed with and then you can truly become who we were always meant to be. Love, laugh, and become liberated knowing that you were made this way on purpose.

Before you go judging that special person in your life thinking he or she is too good to be true, trust your instincts, your mind, and your heart. You deserve JOY, so don’t sabotage your chance at something real by thinking you’re not good enough to receive it. True love DOES exist, but you must first love yourself enough to even take that first step. Don’t compare him or her to your past lovers, don’t dwell on the future, but just enjoy the present and who you are as an individual. After all, we were never created to conform. You are beautiful or handsome just the way you are, but let the evolution of yourself be your guide.

 

zs

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I am at once very poetic and extremely analytical when I write about love. I dissect this highest of human feelings with superb perception. I consider pure, true LOVE as SACRED and before I give myself the pleasure of writing about it, I must purify my lips with what I call a ”Sacred Fire”. I have to feel the inner energy, the glow of my eyes….

When I came to know LOVE, the songs in my heart became a deep silence, and I needed to ask for advice from someone to tell my heart about my heart and myself about myself. LOVE, according to me, consumes our emotions and passions…. Its hand is rough and sweet, takes hold of us in our loneliness and pours into our heart a drink in which bitterness and sweetness mingle….
The real feelings of LOVE are made of tears and laughter, of sorrow and happiness. It is a strange force that brings to our soul both death and life, sorrow and happiness, generating a dream stronger than life and deeper than death.
When love touches our soul with the tips of its fingers, we gather enough energy and strength to cross valleys, climb mountains to meet the one we love and travel from afar to meet the beloved of our life!…
I divide life into two halves: one half is frozen and the other half burning, and love is that burning half. This divine flame comes from the throne of divinity and I prayed that I be consumed by it. Love, according to me is not created by us but is sent from above and directs everything in our life, as it sees fit. . We are merely a plaything in its hands, knowing not where to go or what to do. When we love we should not say that (Allah/God) is in our heart, but rather that we are in the heart of Allah.
Real and geniune love for me is a self-consuming and self-nourishing fire. The flame is as strong as death, which changes everything and gives nothing but itself and takes nothing but from itself….

zscurl


In the name of God, Compassionate, Merciful بسم الله الرحمن الرحيمِ | Peace be with you السلام عليكم

What Muslim Men Look For In A Wife

What do Muslim men really want from a woman? What do they look for? What are they attracted to? …Why don’t they listen?

Insha’Allah we shall try to understand what exactly Muslim men look for in potential wives, and why, very often, they don’t get it.

*Disclaimer: much of the following is from various Islamic studies and a result of research. This is not definitive nor applicable to all men, but it is a standard. All subheadings are to be taken as general guidelines. Some content is adult material. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Bismillahi’Rahmani’Raheem. In the name of God, entirely Compassionate, especially Merciful.

Beginning with Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ famous marriage criteria, he said:

“A woman is married for four reasons, i.e., her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her piety. So you should marry the pious woman otherwise you will be losers (your hands will be covered in dust).” Narrated by Abu Huraira, in Sahih Al-Bukhari (Book 62:27, Marriage)

{Read more of the Holy Marriage Criteria on MUSLIMNESS}

Let’s break this hadith down.
1) WEALTH » It is acceptable and encouraged in Islamic culture to marry somebody with the same socio-economic background. People marry rich daughters of businessmen all the time. Although it is common to hear that in South Asian/African countries men pressurise prospective wives and their families for high dowries etc, it is very unlikely a Muslim man will marry purely because his future wife is filthy rich. Wealth is a great turn-on; it’s power, opportunity, intimidating for some (for example if a wife earns more), but real wealth is not tangible. However much a woman or her family earns does not really alter what Muslim men are really looking for.

2) STATUS » During the Prophet’s ﷺ time status was categorised into two.
1) “Nasab“, which means heritage and lineage. Just as women hope to marry into ‘a good family’, Muslim men love the idea of marrying into a ‘religious family’ – being connected to a woman whose family have ethical commitments and she herself is morally upright.

2) The other type of lineage is “Hasab“, which is what the ancestors have done that distinguish the potential partner. “Status” for contemporary Muslims can mean respect, famousness or achievements. We may deny that social ranking means nothing to us but there is a difference between marrying the daughter of a farmer and the daughter of a professor, or a woman who is a farmer and another who is the professor. Most Muslim men do not use status as a measure of success for potential wives but they do tend to look into it for reasons of prestige and influence. Men will look at a woman’s current work in terms of how she may behave in their marriage or raise their future children. IQ and personality is involved. This is explained better further below (see: Personality).

3) BEAUTY » Now, for men, marrying someone for her beauty “jamali ha” is basically love at first/second/third sight, and it happens – a marriage based on looks, I mean. Or it can be a deeper attraction which transcends into her “inner beauty”, and this happens too, cliché though it may be. Basically what attracts a man most is a woman’s femininity. But the problem here is that Muslim men do not know how to articulate this very personal criteria appropriately.

In the above hadith Prophet Muhammad ﷺ is telling men that it’s o.k. to be captured by outward attractions but to not fall in love with the ephemeral nature of beauty. Initial attractions will be lost with ageing and if there is no or little appreciation of a woman’s other non-sexual assets, that marriage will breakdown pretty easily. This is why women are drawn to a mans’ character first (inner beauty) while most men require a visual beauty, that’s packed with stimulating contents.

4) PIETY » When men say they are looking for “religious” wives they each refer to very different attributes. They might mean simple women who don’t wear bright colours or follow fads; it may be directed at women not orientated towards the material world, “dunya“, but the events after death “akhirah“; it may mean a woman who has already completed her 5 basic pillars of faith or just one who wears the full H’N’J combo: Hijab-Niqab-Jilbab. Or it may mean all of the above.

Realistically, men don’t know how to clarify their pious wish-lists. Still, they hope for a woman who is connected to God in her daily life outside of prayers, as well as being aware of the nature of life’s challenges. Men tend to tick off a woman’s deen straightforwardly but it’s not as black and white as it seems, which comes back to outward beauty. The package may look religious, but without a conversation on worries and ambitions, you may later find she’s all about the wedding day and shoes.

Be blessed – Imam Suhaib Webb, The Lesser Of 2 Evils, 2013*
‘You see, we often misunderstand the hadith of the Prophet ﷺ where he said, “Marry a woman for four reasons…” This also means, “Marry a man for four reasons…” Unfortunately no one tells the sisters this, so they sometimes think men get to choose and they don’t.

The four reasons the Prophet ﷺ mentioned were beauty, wealth, family and deen (religion). The Prophet ﷺ then said, “Choose the one with religion, may you be blessed.”

Many people think that this hadith means that a person must only marry a person who is religious, and everything else doesn’t matter. This is not the correct understanding of this hadith. It means if you can find a woman/man who is religious that’s good. If you find a man who is religious and handsome, that’s better. If you find a woman who is religious and beautiful you have two out of four good qualities. And if you find someone with all four qualities, you’ve hit the jackpot! That’s why the Prophet ﷺ didn’t marry anyone when he was married to Khadijah (ra). She was beautiful, she came from a good family, she was wealthy, and she had deen. She was the epitome of the complete woman.’

A note from sh. Yasir Qadhi,

“Understanding the facts of life and things that men do may gross you out. Guys are very simple; they don’t worry like women, they don’t analyse or think too far ahead. He will take a relationship for granted. For men it’s more about ‘what can she do for me?’ Men want physical services from woman and there are key differences – he says it’s the ‘things she does for me’ whereas women will say it’s ‘how he makes me feel.’ To Muslim women: don’t be insulted or upset for it is by Allah’s creation that men are way more simple and want basic needs. Of course there is a a need for complex love, but it is not an overriding yearning.”

 

The 3Ds: Drive, Determination & Disposition
While it’s not high on their list, it is clear that men find a woman’s drive, determination and energy attractive qualities in a life partner.

1) DRIVE. A woman with a zest for life tends to have a more exciting presence than one who is reserved or afflicted with sloth. Men see women’s drive as a chart of their mood. It’s action, it’s motion, it reminds them of themselves. And not surprisingly, men prefer a woman in a generally positive frame of mind.

2) DETERMINATION. Determination is an admirable quality which shows this woman will not give up no matter what Allah throws at her. She will fall. But she will get up. With natural instincts to problem-solve themselves, men can tolerate complainers (mild “nagging”) but not a person who gives up at every obstacle.

3) DISPOSITION. A pleasing disposition overlaps with sound mental health and an easy-to-get-along-with personality. Is your wife-to-be a worrier or a warrior? Is she unhappy and moody? Does she get along with everyone? As the hadith above suggests, a pretty face and religious background are excellent, but they will not necessarily indicate whether she gets easily abusive or jealous.

And now, onto the check-lists.

• Looks
→ What Do We Mean By looks?
For men, looks are incredibly important and most will openly and shamelessly say they want someone they are physically attracted to. Saying that though, men are not as concerned about looks or as worried as women can be.

→ Dress Sense
Women don’t expect a service through a man’s appearance – his good looks are a bonus. Men on the other hand need visual solace, eye-candy (whatever you want to call it) from a Muslim wife. A ladylike and dignified presentation is reassuring. Similarly, a woman that can ‘work it’ in pj’s, an apron or less brings a needed stimulation. Men look forward to showing off their elegantly sophisticated wives, as well as keeping the simpler beauty to themselves. If men could, they would say: clothing should show your confidence. It’s a case of believing in what you wear.

→ Fertility, Stability & Purity
Visual attractions are a primary factor for men yet this appearance isn’t just about how voluptuous a woman’s shape is are or how large her eyes are. Appearances give a sense of fertility, stability and purity. Men do analyse a woman’s dress sense somewhat subconsciously and they do like stylish women, even when they deny it (keyword: ‘simple’). Make-up, that is, face paint, only covers up the natural beauty a man desires: the smiles and sweet perfumes which men like to ‘feel’. Of course it is a sunnah (prophetic tradition) to dress fantastic for your partner in crime, but in a woman’s daily single-life attire, men pick up important information at the outside to see whether there’s natural femininity on the inside.

• Experience & Age
→ Why Age Is A Factor
Now that women are receiving more college degrees than men according to the US Census, and outperforming in the UK’s employment sector, men are looking for women who are both intelligent and educated. Id est: interesting and accomplished.

Age is a direct correlative to sexuality and fertility. While estrogens (primary female sex hormones) impel women to choose men who are assertive and powerful, androgens in men ensure they look for youthful women and their apparent childbearing abilities.

It is true that Prophet Muhammad ﷺ wanted us to have many children. “Marry loving (passionate) and fertile women,” he encouraged his Companions, “because I want to compete with other nations (in size).” Thus sex for procreation has a reward and an impact on the community unity.

Ibn al-Jawzi said, “Sexual intercourse (of two pious Muslims) brings the likes of Imam Ahmad and Imam Shaf’i […] By Allah! Sexual intercourse that produces such is better than a 1000 years of worship.”

Eager to continue their lineage, Muslim men look for women who are ready to share those parenting roles. They see a woman’s biological make-up as something that benefits the Ummah, that can take the responsibility of nurturing a little Muslim, and provide the sex to create them.

→ Personal Baggage
In addition to age and youth, and this is something to note for women – men look for dependable character. Men want a life partner who will be reliable and faithful. A wife who will stand by their side and defy divorce rates. Experience explains whether a potential wife is capable of being a man’s rock and this comes down to assessing baggage.

Everyone has baggage. Everyone is affected by past experiences or problems with family or friends or relationships; it is the burden of the human soul. If someone claims to be totally unscathed, they are living in la-la land. The question is not whether a person has baggage, but how a person handles their baggage. If a woman is crippled by her experiences, it’s not good. If all she can talk about is her horrible childhood, poor relationship track record, traumatic divorce – she is trapped in the past. She isn’t carrying her baggage, she’s lying underneath it. Men look for a woman who is comfortable with her history.

Men want to know certain things that have shaped the woman she is today, however there’s a Muslim etiquette to sharing personal information prior to marriage. New Muslims in particular will face probing. Although there is a necessity to share medical history and traumatic events that could affect the marriage, there is no obligation to spill the bitter truth about everything. Everyone lies. Men lie, women lie, whether Muslim or not. As a man you cannot take an absolutionist position to a woman who admits a few mistakes. Honest women admit their imperfections.

Men do not want to babysit their wives. They want someone who’s lived a life and knows how to support him. Guys: she should be interested in your struggles and strivings. She should be your biggest fan and waving your flag.

• Personality
→ Intellectuality Verses Education
For men, intellect and playfulness are two highly desired qualities in women. Every man likes to have an intelligent wife who can advise and support him in day to day matters. Education and intellect aren’t the same thing. All deep thinkers don’t have degrees and lots of PhD graduates don’t think at all (!) A man is attracted to the woman who appreciates his thoughts, who is actually listening. Intelligence comes in different forms – a logical skill, emotional intelligence, a creative talent, or a scientific imagination – there are many areas of intelligence. Men look for a woman who can meet him on his intellectual level. A woman who is exciting, who can challenge and engage him but not overpower every conversation.

The best way for a man to test whether personality meshes is to make observations when interacting. Check how rigidly you define masculinity and femininity. Some men expect women to live tradition stereotypes of feminine roles. If she violates your code of womanhood or she’s offended by your vision, look for a different woman or recheck your ideals. Rigidity is a sign of insecurity.

→ The Funny Bone
Humour is far more important than most think it is. A man doesn’t look for a ‘funny woman’ or one with a ‘good’ sense of humour. He looks for a woman who laughs at the same things he does. Some people cannot stand sitcoms, others have a crude collection of jokes for the mosque after-party. It can be alienating when a group is gripped by hilarity but you don’t find that thing funny. Instead of feeling like a pariah, you want a sense of belonging. Humour is a very basic response, unique from person to person yet recognised the world over. A man will say “I love to laugh”, to which a woman will respond, “to what? do you find everything funny?” And vice versa.

• Wealth
→ Women, Perfume And Prayer
The wealth of a woman is not in what she has, it’s in what she protects. Islam motivates men towards marrying women with taqwah (piety) because that is what lasts. However, it’s difficult for Muslims to find the middle ground.

More often than not Muslim men fall into extremes. One says, “I don’t care how she looks, I only want a religious woman.’ The other extreme says, “I want my hijabi supermodel.” The unnatural media portrayal of women has a part to play in this. Television and print vomits out beauty whores who are paid to look super-skinny with surgery and Photoshop. Even Cindy Crawford said “I wish I looked liked Cindy Crawford!”

Brother, no matter how beautiful your wife is, you will desire something else. Trapped in a world where temptations do not cease and every eye wants the forbidden fruit, ‘Imaan (faith) in Allah and control is the only thing that will keep a Muslim grounded. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ recognised this unquenchable desire, saying to anyone attracted by another woman, “Go to your wife! She has what she has!” (A note for polygamy, perhaps)

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ also said:

“Beloved to me from your world are women and pleasant scents, and my greatest pleasure is in prayer.” (Ahmad)

In Islam, women are not sexual objects; granted they are sexual beings, but their sexuality is not for sale or public property. Men desire women more than women desire men (read that again). Created with “Rahm“, Compassion, and carrying “ar-rahm“, the womb, women are naturally more family orientated, closer to Allah and more loving. There is no shame in being the woman Allah pre-ordained – unpretentious, dignified, chaste.

When Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said he loved women, perfume and prayer, he was not separating one from the other. He included their qualities and their effect upon one another. A man who marries a woman with taqwah will be inspired to pray, and therein lies the “greatest pleasure” because it builds another bridge towards Allah – hence, “half your deen“. By marrying, men therefore gain a means to protect and express themselves lawfully,

“The Creator requires men to make more effort to reach (women’s) degree of fitra.” – Abdal-Hakim Murad

 

• The All Important Connection
When you’re motivated by Allah, things fit into place. The Prophet ﷺ said, “The best enjoyment is a righteous wife (or husband).” There are some things in this world which, when benefitting us, we love them. The best coolness for eyes though is salat (prayer). Following up from the point above, when two people marry with the correct intention and attitude, it becomes a rewarding act and brings a peace similar to prayer. Men being the simple creatures they are however, will forget what they’re doing.

Three things mistaken for compatibility
1) Sexual attraction – the trouble with sexual attraction is that couples need it to succeed, but it is not enough. As its the most powerful it can seem to be enough. At the beginning of a marriage you’re caught up in the dance of desire and you “click” physically. Five years later you’re sat silently staring at each other across the dinner table making du`a Allah gives you something better. Why? Because that relationship was based on sexual attraction alone. If you dive in just because you’re excited, you might ignore the red flags. Such as…

2) Falling in love – as the ultimate drug trip, falling in love is dangerous especially for men in that when you fall for someone, you don’t care if they love you back. You persist in this madness and feel they should love you back. If the love isn’t returned, it isn’t a tragedy. Lust is about ‘me’, it’s selfish; love is about ‘us’. But a Muslim marriage is ultimately about Allah – receiving love. Love for dunya and people seems to carry an approval from the universe: “this person is perfect for you, she’s right in every way possible. MARRY HER NOW.” But you need to think with a clearer head to avoid a broken heart as too often we fall in love with the wrong people. That feeling of ‘love’ makes us forget what we’re looking for = a partner in crime. For life.

3) Ideals – Another aspect men mistake for compatiblity is a dream relationship for himself and his future wife. He wants a type of relationship based on Prophet Muhammad ﷺ and Khadija’s marriage, but he doesn’t know what type of woman he wants. If we analyse the beautiful personality of Khadija we see she carries three top characteristics of many working Muslim women: Financial independence, a managerial position and a previous marriage. That is not the type of relationship most men look for – but it is the type of woman our beloved leader Khadija (ra) was. That’s the difference.

• What Muslim Men Really Need
It’s a large reality bite to swallow but at the crux of the marriage, a man is looking for what his wife can do for him, and 4 particular services she can provide. *Women ma women, put your feminism away, take it as empowerment.

(4) Maintaining a home – Men look for and need a woman who is adept at household chores. Washing, cooking and cleaning. These are basic mothering services. Being able to cook delicious food is what he really expects from his lady love. If he loves your food, he will love you more. As the saying goes, the way to a man’s heart is his stomach. Note that for women, the exact same applies with different effects: men washing dishes is like foreplay for women. He’s at home, maintaining the house together, pulling his weight, women love that effort. Men, get your apron on!

(3) Men look for admiration – They want to be number one, admired by their wife, respected. A man wants love from a nagging-free woman. He will hate being told what to do and what not to do. Respect has to be earned, nonetheless, Muslim men expect their wives to hold a high regard of them. (And not mention their shortcomings and mistakes – men’s egos are so large they have postal codes).

(2) Being left alone in solitude – Men need alone time to think by themselves, to reflect, to not expose everything. Just as the Prophet ﷺ spent time in a cave, Muslim men have a mental cave in which they retreat to figure out a problem or recharge. Women talk out their issues, while men want solace to find a solution.

“Men don’t think too deep. Feed them, love them, give him what he needs and he’ll be your slave.” – Sh. Yasir Qadhi.

And the number one thing Muslim men look for in a wife. The number one thing?

→ Halal sex ← 
Shocking, isn’t it.

(1) Halal sex – Intimacy is the only unique thing a woman can provide that men are powerfully dependent on. If you look to the dating culture, a man’s aim is to get her into bed. He will fulfil her material wants, show signs of adoration, all the things to get her to comply, but this is just foreplay that leads to the end goal. Sex. The maxim changes: the way to a man’s heart is slightly below his stomach. But our Muslim culture is not like “theirs”. We do not date, we do not give up our “services” with flowers and a wink.

• Sex, Sex, Sex… Yawn, Sex, Sex
In a wholly Muslim marriage, both men and women’s primary need is catered to. Men crave intimacy while women crave emotional care. Men’s first need is guaranteed in marriage as Allah stipulates it for a wife, and financial comfort, love and support is obliged on men. What one spouse needs, the other has to give. A woman with this knowledge is in a powerful position, since technically all she needs to “please” her husband is meet this one need. These huquq (rights) are from Islamic Shari`ah and unfortunately an area which Muslims haven’t educated themselves on.

The consequences of this mean that women freak out at the realisation of their husband’s sex drive, and men wonder why their wives aren’t on an equal level. By the age of 18 most Muslim men are aware of their sexuality, most Muslim women are not. And so the limits, permissible methods of expression and being aware of one’s body, is muddled up and too sensitive a topic to discuss.

More on gender differences later insha’Allah.

A note for our brothers – sex is good, but sex is not god. ‘Good sex’ is not enough, and a woman will enter a marriage with a different agenda altogether.

Sex is the number 1 cause of tension in most marriages. The reason being that the couple has a different take on what to expect and give. Thus, men are searching for a woman who is aware in this department, a woman who knows and will learn how to treat a man. Sisters: that’s you.

Love is action. You start ‘in love’ but you need to be ‘loving’ in your relationship. All too often men expect to receive bedroom thirlls without starting the fire as it were, (for want of a better expression). As soon as you as a husband feed the needs of your wife – even if it’s housework – you’ll see the increase her attention towards you. It’s an amazing circle of love which only existed because of Allah.

“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” (Qur’an, 30:21)

• Looking For Your Missing Turban
Clothing protects us from external elements, the sun and cold. “Like a garment”, spouses protect one another from haram elements in society. Pornography, illicit relationships and degrading behaviour. Allah mentions the act of intimacy literally as one spouse covering the other, a metaphor for a type of beautification, without which, you are naked. And while the magic of marriage and eternal sakoon (tranquility) feels far-fetched in our grey days, the bond is incomparable to any other pleasure.

‘Aisha (ra) said,

“I heard the Prophet ﷺ saying: ‘Souls are like conscripted soldiers; those whom they recognise, they get along with, and those whom they do not recognise, they will not get along with.’” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Finally, a powerful quote to end with a grin:
“Marriage is the price men pay for continual sex. Sex is the price women pay for marriage.”

Understand this to empower yourselves and your marriage.zscurl

Courtesy: zaufishan

 


In the name of God, Compassionate, Merciful بسم الله الرحمن الرحيمِ | Peace be with you السلام عليكم
We will stay forever
Learn what Muslim women are really looking for in a marriage, understand their biology and definitions of love.

*Disclaimer: much of the following is in note form from various Islamic studies and a result of research. My personal opinions will be highlighted and all subheadings are to be taken as general guidelines. Some content is adult material. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Through the ages various psycho-social theories have arisen in support of one basic scientific fact: men and women’s make-up is not the same. They have vastly different agendas for marriage and they think differently. They are in fact complete opposites.

Given that our fitra (natural instincts) and our DNA is from Allah, we must unravel how we are different to create solid Muslim marriages. A catchphrase I have with a twist is ‘women are from Madina, men are from Makkah’. We live and think in two separate worlds therefore we won’t “get” the other until we cross the border and study one another. And this is how we do that. Insha’Allah.

How Women Fall In Love
Modern biologists have scientifically narrowed down our process of ‘falling in love’. It is no more glorious than a chemical imbalance. Because Muslims believe in Allah’s perfect design, we always value our connections with people as part of Divine creation. Love is therefore rewarding.

In various cultures the “L” word (no, not that word), is a taboo emotion that is not really understood, is side-swept as something dirty or rarely expressed healthily. Love is different to lust. Lust is a desire that if acted upon pollutes your ‘imaan (faith) and well being. Islam tells us love is normal, it is from Allah, it is necessary for any bond to exist and it is part of our religion.

• The Science Bit
Both men and women have ‘sex hormones’ that are known as 1. testosterone and 2. estrogen .

Men have up to 20 times more testosterone than women, which primarily promotes the male reproductive organs. Testosterone in men – and this is something to note – also promotes the sexual characteristics in male behaviour and appearance. So, testosterone enhances a man’s build, it creates the shape of his jawline, his man-hands or the way he walks and speaks. It is what switches on his high sexuality. Basically testosterone makes a man, a man. Or as I would say, it makes a man, a sexy man. *Preferences and attractions differ.

Estrogen on the other hand is a women’s arena, and I add here for the medical humour, it is known as the “love hormone”. Yes, you guessed it, for women it’s all about the love.
While there is disputable evidence in support of oxytocin’s role in women’s sexuality, its primary functions lie in female reproduction and is significantly higher in women than men. Higher levels of estrogen generally lead to more emotional sensitivity, a positive emotional response and lower stress levels. Pregnant women also produce oxytocin. Recently a study at the University of Switzerland revealed that new mothers with lower levels of oxytocin are more prone to feeling post-natal “blues”. Therefore, more oxytocin = more emotional consideration, or a more loving nature.

• “Falling” In Love
When a man falls in love with a woman the normal levels of testosterone which otherwise make a man manly and tough, reduces significantly, and the level of estrogen increases which turn him into a softer, more bubbly fellow. He’s happier, he’s filled with energy, he’s being ‘romantic’, he’s emotionally charged and he’s probably praying harder. (*He may also be dellusional, daydreaming and excited, if you catch my meaning). When you can’t think straight and you’ve contemplated life-threatening events, congratulations, you’re in love (!)

Sexual appetite will no doubt increase but now there is a stronger attachment at stake: his wife’s welfare is his primary concern, not his own satisfaction. Women are attracted to this loving behaviour because it means men are paying them quality attention, they are being pursued, and I would surmise to say this phase does not last. I’m sorry.

This is where you need to ask yourself is this really love I’m feeling?

For women, an emotional and sexual attachment follows the same path as men but where the opposite hormones tip the scales. When in love, a woman’s level of testosterone increases. This means a woman’s sexual energy increases to almost match up with a man’s and both are giving and receiving what the other needs. They both show loving signs to one another. Although this biological data and understanding is observed from all human relationships, here we are talking about the intimacy within halal (lawful) marriage between a Muslim man and woman. Therefore love outside of marriage, while perfectly normal and involuntary, is not something to act upon.

‘It is here when the Muslims have to step up and realise that marriage was most definitely more than just “falling in love”, eroticism and the short-term. Rather it is for the sake of Allah, it is for the sake of the children, and it’s for the sake of the community at large who need to see people battle it out and suppress their desires for risk, excitement and throwing away stressful responsibility…’
– Imam Abu Eesa Niamatullah.

How Muslim Women Choose Potential Husbands
Generally, Muslim women look for stability and leadership qualities in men. They are attracted to men who have various and successful roles in inter-personal relationships. This is in addition to wanting a severely: (1) compassionate, (2) communicative and (3) active friendship. I say severely because often women demand too much from men. And these are traits that most men do not think about too deeply themselves.

Women fall prey to emotional dissatisfaction more quickly than men do (ISNA). W. Bradford Wilcox (director, National Marriage Project, University of Virginia) says:

“While men tend to be more content with the status quo, women now place more of a premium on being fulfilled in their marriages – having their dreams for intimacy, for sexual satisfaction, for challenge, all wrapped up into their marriage. That’s a hard order to fill, and these people are likely to end up on the rocks because they learn pretty quickly that no one person is capable of delivering all their deepest hopes for meaning and purpose and happiness”.
(Women’s Health, March 2010)

It’s not enough that he’s the masjid imam, a fireman, a skilled public speaker and an avid fundraiser; he has to submit to your entire family, be the most pious man you ever met, be from the most pious family in the country, own a separate house, be superhuman and be willing to share all of his problems with his “soul-mate”: You.

That’s a nice list to base a marriage on, but that’s not how it works in reality.

Allah has designed men and women as a pair that fit. Like jigsaw pieces, both are shaped differently and have different functions. There is not a single pair that will fit perfectly *in every possible meaning, and not every pair will last. This is important to understand and accept before we try to suss one another out.

And for women whose list of 3 top things to look for in a husband includes 1 material (car, money, house), 1 obscure (incredible physique) and 1 impossible (eternal happiness): you are not yet ready for marriage.

So let’s get in a woman’s mind and break this down. The usual suspects on a Muslim woman’s wish-list (in no particular order) includes:

• Looks
→ What Do We Mean By looks?
We say that “looks don’t matter”, that Allah does not measure our physical dress and appearance. But we do. In our relationships we are attracted to what our minds find beautiful. For women, “looks” could mean how physically handsome a man is, how he dresses or how he presents himself. Women overlook scars and dents, and most women do not even contemplate a man’s “package”.

→ Beards, Beards, Beards
Many women are attracted to bearded men (preferential). Not a scraggly, unkempt birds’ nest but a maintained, neat beard. Most sisters say a beard shows a man’s “manliness”. A neat beard is linked to good hygiene and a point on the “religious” card, as mentioned below.

→ Do Appearances Matter?
Contrary to the interpretations of Muslim female hayaa (modesty), women are very visual and attracted to men with the same bias and objectification. There is little control over which man a woman is physically attracted to and looks are not usually a deciding factor for marriage. Women love men’s bodies as much as men love women’s, and this is Allah’s design. Education, upbringing and Allah ta`la has simply “encultured” Muslim women to maintain a higher modesty component, which is why they are not as concerned with men’s looks. Muslim women DO use physical attraction as an initial hook.

But there is a difference. While men can fall in love at first sight more easily, women tend to look deeper into appearances. They analyse dress sense, smartness and even style. Women are more astute than men. They can pick up complex information just by looking. They see a man’s professionalism, attitude, fitness, ancestry, openness, health, uptightness or easy-going-ness… whatever. The average man will think this strange. However, even in Islam, how you present yourself speaks volumes about your lifestyle. And it’s the lifestyle that women want and see in how you look. Ergo: smarten up.

→ Real Couples
You see couples come in all shapes and sizes and you can see that that relationship wasn’t built on looks (alone). We judge each other mercilessly but we get pudgier as we age, and we can forgive the sagging, we CAN be forgiving when older. We know that looks fade, so after the first 5 years it is what’s inside each person that holds a marriage together. As you get older you realise that youth is mistaken for beauty. Yes, they have this and that asset but a wise Muslim knows looks are temporal and if the attraction goes deeper to a mutual love for the whole person, then every freckle, greying hair and imperfection is still accepted as perfect.

• Experience & Age
→ Why Age Is A Factor
When a Muslim woman carries out a background check on her potential husband (I’m kidding), she looks at several factors. How old is he? Where has he travelled? What does he do? What was his life’s journey? Who was he with? What did he learn? Mark my words that women care about a man’s past lives. While a not-as-Islamic past is kindly overlooked (insha’Allah), it helps show who that man is today therefore this area should be discussed with discretion.

Most women prefer older men because they are thought to have a wiser grasp on both the Muslim world and all its affairs, and the secular world with all its affairs. Generally, culture dictates that a husband should exceed his wife in age by a few years (4 years) as a round-about guideline since men mature much slower. Saying that though, a wider age gap is not as controversial as it used to be. More Muslim women choose to marry men a decade older than them, or younger. And this is because of the maturity factor: For example, despite a woman being 35 years old and her husband 25, his maturity as a responsible, independent and considerate person shows that he can reason and behave to her level, or above. This understanding is what is attractive to a woman; a man who has a similar outlook to the world as she does.

• Character & Behaviour

Think about why the Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) said regarding men:

“Whoever comes to you and you’re pleased with their deen and character (khuluq) marry them!”

→ What is character?
Character is the principles you say you have. What is behaviour? Behaviour is the principles you show in action. A man’s character is important for women because it affects them more than how much “deen” or “muslimness” he claims to have. Not only is measuring “deen” a subjective variant, it’s not a guarantee of a character you can reasonably live with. It should be, but it isn’t. You can be a devout Muslim in prayer and charity but if you have a temper, it affects your wife and by extension, the health of your marriage.

Women are all about putting sentiments into action. If you say you want her, show it, if you say you like her family, show it. If you say she’s the most amazing person you have ever met, prove it daily and frequently. Women want to see men back up their words with action and this isn’t about buying her “stuff”, it’s about following through your plans with sincerity. This is why years later in a marriage during a heated argument she will yell, “You never keep your promises” (even if you mostly did). She will remember the one occasion you promised to fix some broken appliance and 5 years later, you hadn’t. Your lack of action here is very much a small negative on the larger scale of things but it can build up and hurt a woman deeply. She will see it as neglect, inconsideration and *buzzwords* a lack of love.

A man’s character backed up by considerate actions shows a woman love. And she wants this type of attentive love from a man.

• Family & Background
→ Do Muslim women take a man’s family into account for marriage?
Yes. Sometimes a lot of pressure is put on finding a man attached to a noble family. According to Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ hadith about women, a marriage can take place where the status of the family is a selling point, but the active deen is better. This is because no one person represents his entire flock and no matter how wealthy, “religious” or famous the man’s background is, it does not not indicate his real day-to-day character and behaviour.

For many Muslim women though, this is the case because immediate families wish the best for their daughters and ask them to find a “good man from a good family”. Adversely, marriages do take place where nobody hears from the man’s family and later questions pop on heritage and newly discovered medical conditions. I believe a balance is required from the outset. A couple needs to discuss the interaction they will have with one another’s family, what role and level of involvement the “grandparents” will have with their parenting, and who the black sheep is that not everybody talks to (we all have one). Basically, the in-laws are part of the equation for women, but not a deciding factor in getting married to the man they love.

Eventually, after family nasiha (advice) is sought and the decision is settled between a couple, families need to accept their adult choice, as Allah said,

“…Do not prevent them from [re]marrying their husbands when they agree between themselves in a lawful manner…” (Qur’an, 2:232)

• Wealth 
Let me tell you that real Muslim women do not give a tutankhamun about what a man owns. When women say they prefer men in financially stable situations it means he needs to have some form of regular halal income, since he is legally obliged to provide for the family in Shari`ah (Islamic law). Demanding a new apartment or house is not part of the marriage package but with all the tension newly weds face living with the in-laws, one would advise looking into separate living arrangements as soon as possible. Extra wealth – the man’s car, his pool house, his savings, whatever, are not in a woman’s list of marriageable criteria. Saying that, it is fair to maintain the standard of life the woman is accustomed to.
{Read about men’s Islamic marriage rights on MUSLIMNESS.COM}

• Education & Profession:
For men who feel inferior for being unemployed or not earning a substantial income, rest assured that most women do not ask for or need a luxurious life. A foundation of trust, continuous love and honesty builds a successful marriage, not an accumulation of ching-ching (money) and certificates. Muslim women want real wealth in the form of good treatment, open communication and love.

A man’s education will reflect in his mannerisms and attitude, which is why most educated Muslim women today aspire for marrying someone with a similar if not equal pursuit of academia. They want to be able to have deeper conversations, to share household responsibilities, to talk about pertinent (or random) topics that both husband and wife are knowledgeable in. You’d be interested to know that where Muslim families encourage their children to marry into identical professions, for instance, doctors who marry other doctors, the divorce rate is higher. Why?

“Over time, sleep deprivation, working long hours without complaint, and coping with intense patient emotions on a daily basis may cause doctors to become emotionally distant. Marital discord is often the result of work-related stress and the inability to wind down after work – the training years in particular, are not a time for marital growth”. (Islamic Horizons Magazine)

When we get down to it, the best of men do not need degrees and secular or Islamic education does not prevent bad character (read above). Thus, it is usually families and not women who place professions on such high pedestals. If anything, I would advise Muslim women to search for man with a PhD in courtesy.

• The All Important Connection
→ What is compatibility and why is it important?
For our parents and grandparents’ generation, a marriage was based on family approval, or social honour or cultural balance (i.e., he/she needed to be from the same background). Immigrant Muslim families who inherited these customs meant that future generations were expected to follow the same marriage patterns. While this method of searching and approving a spouse has been successful to some extent, culture has nearly always dominated the Islamic aspects. And Islam says above all, you need to be compatible.

“If it so happens that there is love between a man and a woman, the most effective means of warding off fitnah (temptation) and immorality is for them to get married, because his heart will still remain attached to her if he does not marry her, and that may lead to fitnah…” – Shaykh Muhammad al-Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen

The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: “There is nothing for two who love one another like marriage.”

Compatibility does not limit itself to having the same background or language. Even if you feel you “click” with one another and you have the symptoms of hardcore love, can you both carry an adult conversation? Can you combine your lifestyles to create a new one?

Compatibility means having shared values. You both need to talk about the important areas of life so you’re both on the same page. He needs to understand you as a woman. He needs to “get” you and accept you as you are, not what he thinks you are. This is a connection that’s built only when you actually meet one another, which is why the Prophet ﷺ encouraged meeting one another publicly before marriage. It builds compatibility, it builds love. Very often cultural standards prohibit these meetings or families will stamp their approval and rejection without informing the “singletons”. Such family customs warrant respect but not to the detriment of Islam’s freedoms. As a Muslim woman you NEED to have a connection with your potential husband that will carry decades into your marriage and help overcome obstacles. And here you need to ask yourself: what principles and actions do I value the most which I hope my future husband will also respect?

Most of us believe that opposites attract, and they do to an extent, but familiarity attracts more. Women will secretly want the bad-boy and the danger of a rebel but this is not marriage material. Marrying somebody who is the complete opposite to you also means there needs to be something else that connects both of you; if you’re a tree-hugger and he’s a corporate worker, when and how will you negotiate activities to avoid getting bored?

Advice To Single Brothers Looking For Wives:
→ When you say want someone who is “pious, modest, smart and caring” you’re generalising about the Muslimah population. You need to be specific and you need to know what you would like to see in your wife – in addition to the standard. If you don’t know why you want to get married (besides sex, children and food) and you don’t know what you’re looking for, you need to check what it is you’re bringing to your marriage.

→ Avoid putting yourself down, even if it’s self-effacing humour. When you say, “I’m not a social guy” or “I’m not that good at talking”, this is what we call an EPIC fail. Women like sociable men, confident men, men who know what they’re doing and where they’re going, with goals and self-awareness. However, there’s a fine line between confidence and sounding cocky, a fine line between sharing ideas and taking charge. Women want husbands, a partner in crime, not a manager. In the talks developing before marriage you will be trying to show that you’re an all-round easy-going communicator with academic social skills and some degree of open interaction. Saying, “eh, I don’t have any interests in life” makes you sound like a bore. And yes, you are worth it, otherwise she wouldn’t be talking to you.

→ Make a list of at least 10 specific things you hope to receive from your marriage. Make a list of 10 specific things you hope to bring to your marriage. Trust me, the woman you want to marry has already made that list. And it’s longer than yours.

→ Watch out for the ‘red flags’ in women that show she may not be prepared for marriage – overriding attractions to materialism or the wedding day, childish impatience, a defeatist attitude, emotional instability. Be her support now, encourage her now to make du`a (supplication), and put her trust in Allah. Perhaps more importantly, watch out for the good signs that meet your personal criteria. Don’t hang about for the sister to make a move, take appropriate action. Be courageous, don’t give up your marriage intentions.

→ READ CAREFULLY: You do not need to be a superhuman. You do not need to buy her the world. You do not need to promise her the world. You do not need to make her life a paradise on earth. I say this because (A) you cannot and (b) you won’t be able to maintain it. Eternal happiness is reserved for Jannah, not Earth. Make realistic goals, be pragmatic. Real Muslim women don’t expect “happily ever afters” because they don’t exist; they want motivation, support and love. The magic three words you need to overuse in your vocabulary are “Allah Loves You”. (As well as “I Love You”, that’ll get you far too, if you know what I mean).

→ Don’t joke about polygamy or divorce – this is hurtful in scopes you couldn’t comprehend. Do not openly flirt, make references to sex or how effective you will be at procreating – this is embarrassing and crude. Sex is a part of marriage, we get it, but maintain your modesty.

→ You cannot ask for your “perfect Khadija” or “somebody like Khadijah bint Khuwaylid”. Khaijda (ra) was perfection for Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, an ideal woman. As a woman, Muslims aspire to her roles but “Khadija” is the maximum standard of womanhood, not the minimum. If you set the bar this high, you will be disappointed in a wife who turns out to be human. And your potential wife will expect you to be her “perfect Muhammad”. Everyone has flaws.

→ Avoid high expectations of a niqab-wearing saint who has a hermit lifestyle. This isn’t to say you don’t deserve the best in a wife, or that Muslim women are not worthy but by putting these prerequisites forward you stipulate some form of “religiosity” on a woman. If that were fair, Muslim women would ask men to wear thobes and never marry again in the prenuptial, but they don’t out of the understanding that everyone’s imaan (faith) is different. When you ask your potential wife to pray regularly, fast and wear a jilbaab – in essence, to CHANGE – is it because you want your wife to come spiritually closer to Allah in ibadat (worship) or because you want to keep her all to yourself? If it’s either, you need to highlight this before marriage.

→ Lastly: be patient with your potential wife and her family. Women over-analyse your every move and word and think 10 steps ahead (she’s just waiting for you to catch up). Don’t try to change this nature of women. Try to go at her pace and understand that she has to sacrifice more to become your spouse. Be the most respectful and considerate man possible to all her family members, irrelevant of what they ask of you. At the initial stages of getting to know one another’s family, you need to make the best impression possible. Finally, be a man of action. Women love men who show, who take steps to progress, so the lazy bachelor thing you had is going to have to come to an end.

*In the early years of finding a potential partner in crime a woman’s criteria is heavier and longer. A typical list of 50 traits a woman looks for in a man thankfully gets sieved as she matures into things she ‘can live without’ to things she ‘can’t live without’. As Abu Hurarya (ra) reported, the Prophet ﷺ said love in a relationship needs to be in moderation, and a Muslim’s ultimate dependence should not be with people, but with Allah.

 

zs

I’LL BE YOUR QUEEN!

Posted: July 10, 2014 in My Poetry!
Tags: , , ,

crown

You dance like an angel in the night,
When I close my eyes you’re dancing around me.
Steady keeping my hands from shaking,
I’m not scared anymore my love is yours for the taking.

But tell me, will you make me your queen,
Can I be the queen of everything?
The beauty that turned your world upside down,
And can I be your angel, the one who saved you,
I’ll be your queen, so don’t give up on me.

You ask who I am,
But all I am is all I could not mention to your pretty face.
I’m aching for the comfort; I said I don’t want to be alone,
So tell me lover, Can I be the queen who wears the throne?
You say you spend the night dreaming of my angel face,
While I’m wide awake counting the stars.
I don’t want to believe this is really it,
I want to be someone no one will forget.

So tell me, will you make me your queen,
Can I be the queen of everything?
The beauty that turned your world upside down,
And can I be your angel, the one who saved you,
I’ll be your queen, so don’t give up on me.

When my lips turn pale and cold,
When the sun just won’t give in,
Will you still love me when it’s all over?
Will our love go on forever, like the endless shore,
Your love is all I live for. .
Your love is all I live for. .
I’ll be your queen, so don’t give up on me.

zs


DEAREST MOM,

Mom, why should I say thank you, thank my mother? It seems so little to me, it seems a distant and worn out word, to the point that it sounds lacking and almost offensive. I am flesh of your flesh, the fruit of your love, the expression of your fullness, the creature of whom you are the creator, to say thank you, politely, and with gratitude, my voice just cannot. It is not, but to me it would seem an act of haughtiness. I would rather comfort you mom. When I see and hear you, hopelessly cheerful, hopelessly busy, while you are pushing old age away from you and with your superhuman rustic energy keep at bay and dare the passage of time, I would comfort you. I too, can see the autumn path you are walking through, because you made me when you were a girl and we both have had the joy to be close for 18 years and more coming: you, my mother with your euphoric fighting attitude, perpetually sowing, a mother who does not even allow herself to stumble, and I the daughter whose hair is getting, everyday, whiter and whiter. Eighteen years at the age of eighteen are an enormous difference. Today these 18 years of mine are a sweet distance and after all a small distance that allows us to sit at the same table and together discuss mine (that you gave me) and of your life, both made– by the passing of life– a bit wiser and sometimes a bit sadder. Comfort you, I was saying, is what I would do. I would tell you: think, mom, what an adventure we have gone through, what a special fairy-tale we have had to perform, from flats in a small city and half world tour till today here! I would tell you: do not be so proud of your daughter and of the way she writes, that is not what counts. Be proud of yourself, instead, of your virtues and of your wonderful defects that have formed me, of your determination and of your courage, without which, I fear, I could have done nothing. Tenacity and courage in giving birth to me, in growing me, strong, and unsatisfied, never submissive.Courageous, in teaching me how to be courageous myself: you have shown courage since you chose to adopt me, still a baby, in your endearing and comfortable arms, and I got home-schooled and then high schooling now so that, somehow, learning to read, write, and do arithmetic I could then deal with life in the best way. Perseverance, courage, and support, always at all costs, to make the others know me. You that during my first speeches at my school, were the one who scorched her hands clapping louder, you who promoted my first drawings, art and my articulation of languages and my flair for writing, who would raise my voice to the local people, you, who could accompany your daughter Zainab to the end of the world, just to make her happy…You who are, basically, trying to do the same today, and there are some who smile at that, while I feel consumed by emotion and gratitude. Mum I would like to comfort you, I would like to see that mountain you have climbed through your life turn into a gentle stroll on a slight slope, a happy, serene and long old age, warmed by the smile of those who own life to you, surrounded by that love that, when you give (as you did your way, without ever sparing yourself, rolling up your sleeves, and opening your heart every time the sun rose) fatally returns. I LOVE YOU, MOM! :’)

Yours affectionately,

Zainab Sajid.


You wish to slay me,

while I am at bay.

You wish to leave me,

on this eve.

So I shall leave now,

jus so you get pleased now,

and to make you relieved now.

 

I will grieve now,

just to relieve you.

I will achieve now,

just to make you believe now.

I do disbelieve you,

but you perceive me to deceive you.

So let me just reprieve now,

for my retribution,

which is my solution

to embrace a revolution..