Alhamdulillah… All praise and thanks are due to Allah, Who has created for us, from among ourselves spouses, so that we might find tranquility in each other, and Who has created between us (and our spouses) affection and kindness. I send peace and blessings upon the best person who has ever practised love and shown affection; Habibi Muhammad, his household, his companions and all those who follow his guided path, till the Day of Judgement.
Time really flies. It’s been 3650 days; yet, it seems like 365 days. It’s been a decade since my wife and I got married. The presence of our first child, who is now 8 years, and in primary 2, makes the 10 years more reasonable than a fairy tale. Otherwise, been a forgetful person, I would have found it difficult to believe that it’s been 10 years. Our second child is three and a half years now.
As I remember 8 April 2004, I also remember the place that witnessed and recorded the beginning of this lifetime journey. I remember Damascus, Syria.
My heart bleeds in silence, anytime I think of Syria. However, I have not penned an article regarding the Syrian conflict similar to what I’ve done regarding Egypt and Mohamed Morsi. How could I? The circumstances of the Syrian conflict are more complicated than we think. The size of the fitnah (or call it conspiracy if you wish) is incredibly unimaginable. So I chose to refrain from engaging in any form of conversation regarding the Syrian conflict. This, however, doesn’t stop me from putting the Syrian people in my daily du’as.
Anyone who has been to Syria has seen and felt friendliness, hospitality, warmth, tranquility, safety, knowledge, and spirituality in the Syrian people. These qualities made Syria (before the conflicts) one of the best places to be on earth. You would never want to leave the place.
The Syrian people, whom I have known, are friendly and peaceful. They strive to live up to the qualities of the privilege given to the mosque of Al-Aqsa as mentioned in the first verse of Surah Al-Isra, that the mosque and its surrounding are blessed. A blessed place and its people ought to be peaceful and welcoming at all time.
Despite the oppression they had to withstand from the regime of Hafiz Al-Asad and subsequently his son, Bashar Al-Asad, the Syrian people used to enjoy safety. A lady could walk alone at night, from a town to another without the fear of harassment or molestation. This was at a time when safety of this kind was not guaranteed neither in the Gulf, nor the West.
Syria is blessed with a significant number of spiritual figures, and authentic religious scholars and teachers. These men had an immense influence in the people. Every corner had a mosque or a prayer room. Many shopkeepers would close their shops and go for Zuhr and Asr prayers. The mosques are filled on Fridays. In Ramadhan, daily schedule changes totally to accommodate Ramadhan and its rituals.
A layman in Syria knows how to read and write. You seldom come across someone who is unable to read and write. Every Syrian layman effortlessly understands the classical Arabic (Fusha). This is in contrary to the phenomenon you see in many other Arab countries. In addition to that, Syrian mosques used to be filled with circles (Halaqahs) of knowledge and Allah remembrance (Dhikr). These used to be mostly conducted between Maghrib and Isha, after Fajr and sometimes after Asr.
The Syrian people whom I knew welcomed foreigners, especially seekers of knowledge among them, with open arms. They ensured they made them felt home. A seeker of knowledge could enter the country with an empty pocket, and people would take care of his needs, so long as he remained in Syria until he finished seeking the knowledge he had gone there for. I’m not an exception to this either. As much as charity organizations played a significant role to maintain this graciousness for Syria, some individuals also took the initiatives to supplement the efforts of the charity organizations.
I went to Syria after I have memorized the Qur’an in Tunisia, but I mastered (understanding) the Qur’an only in Syria. I learned to appreciate and value the Qur’an, more, only in Syria. I achieved my first degree in Syria. I met my wife, and we got married in Syria. Our first child was conceived in Syria.
I’m not off the topic. I’m relating part of a history that makes the 10 years of my marriage life meaningful. When Allah grants you a handsome kindness (all His kindness are handsome) in a particular place, you can’t forget that place. This is why I can’t stop talking about Syria (when I start). Apart from my mother, the woman, who has been supporting my Da’wah efforts so far, has been a handsome kindness from Allah that was given to me while in Syria.
Do you now realize why I’m speechless about Syria? Do you now know why I talk about Syria instead of talking about our 10th anniversary of marriage?
For the information of the bachelors among my readers, I would say every marriage has its happy times and bad times. The percentage of either times, however differs from a couple to another, depending on the objectives and intentions they have behind their marriage. Make sure you pick a partner who has (or can have) the same objectives and intentions for marriage as you have.
The bad times of any happy marriage are like the salt in any delicious and satisfying food. Salt can’t be taken alone, and food isn’t tasty without salt. So is a happy marriage. The bad times are the salt, which can’t be taken alone. A marriage life without bad times doesn’t exist, for no life in this Dunya with continuous happiness. But there are marriages without good times.
Years of marriage can pass unnoticed when we are able to set common objectives and goals, and plan to achieve them in the marriage. The ultimate common goal of a marriage should be to seek God’s Ultimate Pleasure. With that, all obstacles and challenges, no matter how challenging they come, will be under control.
The period between the day I knew my wife (for the first time) and our marriage lasted for only 4 months. Brother Daud Sulaiman (Abdul Sabur) and his wife arranged for the ‘get to know each other’s session. Brother Daud, if you are reading this, you know your story alone requires an article.
Our marriage was arranged in a simple and affordable scale. The Singaporean Shabab & Banat (brothers and sisters) who were in Syria at that time will remember this vividly.
Shaikh Uthmaan Napon (from Ghana) surely remembers when I told him immediately after the marriage contract (‘aqd) was signed, “I feel I’m now carrying a heavy responsibility. I have become a husband.”
It’s been ten years. The objectives and goals for which my wife, Ummul-Izz and I accepted each other do not age. In fact, they grow stronger and more matured.
O Allah… Grant us from Yourself good offspring. Indeed, You are the Hearer of supplication. O Allah… Make us and our offspring establishers of prayers. O Allah… Forgive us and our parents and the believers on the Day of Judgement. O Allah… Grant us good in this life and good in the Hereafter, and protect us from the punishment of the Fire. Ameen.