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When I was young,

I used to see marriage as a nice game. It was a wonderful white dress, high heels, a golden bracelet, and a ring surrounding my finger. It was love that inhabits the heart, a small kingdom where the prince charming will come on his white horse to live with his beloved over the clouds.

When I comprehended matters, I knew that marriage is commitment and responsibility. It is mercy, compassion, rapport, understanding, and respect. It is disclosure, harmony, and disregarding slight mistakes. Earth is its vicinity; it is not the sky. It is not white horses or soft mattresses. All that we have memorized from the movies and the TV series is just illusions.

When I was young,

I used to see the mother-in-law as a cruel manipulating tyrant. She devours the heart of the bride who snatched her boy from her, who took his mind away, and who set his whole body in fire. Because of her, he went away from her to settle in another home and another heart. She strives in frequent trials to spoil the affection between the couple and to destroy the new house. Only then, what has been taken from her will be brought back to her lap.

When I matured, I comprehended that the mother-in-law is a woman who sacrificed and raised her boy. She embroidered his heart with everything that is beautiful. He grew up in her lap and got strong, and thus he embarked on life to pick its fruit. However, here he is going away from her after a long settling. She misses his pulse near her and she revolts. She is overrun by deep sadness mixed with the joy of his maturity. She may miss-express herself with the newcomer. However, if the bride understood those facts and unfolded the secrets of her way to the heart of her mother-in-law, her trade with Allah, Glorified and Exalted, will profit. After that, she will win her husband and his family. She must be enjoying wisdom; otherwise, the family will disintegrate.

When I was young,

I used to see the stepmother as a cruel woman. Her main concern is to torture her stepchildren who parted with their mother, to either death or divorce. The daughter suffers because of her; she neglects her school to work as a servant in the house. The sons are oppressed. They complain to their father, but he scolds and abuses them for an action or an attitude they have committed or that it was only in the imagination of the stepmother. The tale of Cinderella, which we were addicted to when we were young, may have contributed to consolidate this image in our minds, along with other true stories of people who have not known Allah, Glorified and Exalted, His rightful knowledge, so they become unjust.

When I comprehended matters, I learned that this image of the stepmother does her a great injustice. How many women there are who have accepted to experience raising the children of others. They were the best understanding mothers. They knew how to deal with the situation wisely, even in those cases when the children refused the woman who occupied the place of their mother at home; therefore, they invented tricks to draw her away. However, she tolerated and endured until the security and stability settled at home.

When I was young,

The concept of polygamy used to drive me crazy. The image of the polygamist was a distorted image of a man who seeks the lustrous sexual and physical part in the relationship. He does not have mercy on the wife who struggled with him in poverty when he was a youth, building with him his future. He seemed to me as someone who does not weigh matters their rightful weight, just to sabotage his relationship. He may divorce the first wife if she refuses the fellow wife. Anyway, he is not equitable in treating the two wives; he leaves the first hanging (i.e. neither divorced nor married), while he is carried away behind the renewal of his youth with the second.

When I comprehended matters, I knew that man is not a bad creature if he decides to marry another woman, along with his first wife, even if there is no substantial reason for the others to behold. Religion has made polygamy permissible for him, as the Protector, Glorified and Exalted, is more knowing of what He has created. He has made man able to love more than one woman, for a reason Allah is not to be asked about, Glorified and Exalted He is. If the man can afford polygamy, justly as for expenses and care, he can do that and there is no sin on him. I do not consider the polygamist any more as the devouring beast who forsakes the past for a more attractive future. Nevertheless, the need of the unmarried women for a fragment of a man is more important than the jealousy that eats the hearts of the women whom their husbands marry another one.

When I was young,

I used to chill from the widower who hastens to get married as soon as his first wife dies. A short time hardly passes and he marries another one, neglecting the faithful years that passed with that dead one.

When I grew up, I knew that loneliness is deadly. Furthermore, man needs someone who will support, accompany, console, and take care of him. His love and loyalty to his deceased wife are not an impediment to his marriage to a second wife to stabilize the matters of his house. In addition, here is our beloved Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, he has married after our mother Khadija, may Allah be pleased with her, has died. However, he has loved Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, more than he has loved any other human being. He was used to, however, repeating that he has been given the love of Khadija, may Allah be pleased with her, and he was true to her memory, despite the passage of years.

When I was young,

I used to see people considering a divorcee a scandal and a shame upon her supporting family. She was the reason that married women run away from her, fearing for their husbands. She was considered a burden on society, and she often bears the cause of divorce. She has to be patient upon any hardship or injustice she meets. You can see her, sitting at the corner of the house, isolated, crying, and lamenting the past and present. As for the future, there is no light or existence.

When I comprehended matters, I learned that the divorcee is flesh and blood. She needs some care and concern before she starts a new life. However, those around her are the main contributors in breaking and restricting her, or in spreading the spirit of life into her again. She may be a victim; wronged in the house of her husband, then in her community after him. I learned that the word, i.e. divorcee, is not an accusation or a stigma. It is evidence of the depletion of understanding in the marital home where she did not find comfort, therefore she chose her way away from it. On the other hand, her husband may have divorced her without her consent, so the title was imposed on her, along with a new lifestyle. I realized that if the divorcee knew how to regain herself again, the new life after the divorce may be much better than the life robbed her from her life.

When I was young,

I used to see the woman in her twenties as a young girl full of life, in her thirties as a mature and vivid woman, and in her forties as someone starting to decay. The woman after these was an old hag waiting for death.

When I surpassed my forties, I learned that this age is the prime of maturity, giving, and wisdom. It is the time when we long for the past youth. It is when we wish for a coming comfort, which we will not find until we receive our book of deeds with our right hand, when we are said to, {Enter therein (Paradise), in peace and security} [Al-Hijr 15:46]

{ادْخُلُوهَا بِسَلَامٍ آمِنِينَ} الحجر: 46

 


 

 

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