How My Wedding Was Stolen From Me
“It’s my day.” I thought. The long awaited day. The day I have imagined for ages. In fact at a point I got worried this day might not come, and then suddenly it came. All my life I have planned how I would want this day to be; a day when I will gratefully and happily be married to my beloved.
I was woefully surprised when it dawned on me that I had little control over my marriage ceremony and how it should be handled. My presumed well-wishers had taken over control of the ceremony.
They hijacked it and decided what should be done at any given time during the day. “Well, they are only helping make my marriage ceremony successful.” I tried to convince myself.
Unfortunately, I discovered the ceremony was meant to suit their lifestyle and preference instead of mine, which truthfully, was quite different from theirs. Then they cautioned; “We have to stick to the norm. Otherwise, the ceremony will not be cool and people are going to pass negative comments about the ceremony.”
“This is just not fair.” I cried out.
I thought this was my day.
As a Muslima, I wanted to please myself while pleasing my Maker without transgressing. Yet, there I was; being compelled by some family and friends to transgress beyond what I thought was acceptable to my Maker, on no other day but such a rather special day. I thought this day was supposed to mark the start of another journey of worship yet I felt I was starting it on a wrong note.
I protested when I wasn’t allowed to go and pray when it was time for prayers. I was told, “You can’t perform ablution or else your makeup will be wiped and your face, blemished.” Others added; “Lots of people are coming to see you. We don’t have much time to ‘waste’ today.”
I protested when I was made to dress exposing part of my awra; when I was asked to put on the wig and then, the eyelashes and at some point, I had to drop my hijab. I felt myself obeying mankind while disobeying my Maker. I protested but no one paid heed to me. Feeling helpless, I only had to comply.
While everyone praised my beauty, deep within, I felt so sad as I gave sham smiles. In my heart, I kept praying Allah will forgive me.
Everyone was only interested in how the world would talk about my ‘unmatched’ beauty on that day and how my wedding was flawless.
Weeks after, I find myself pondering over what happened on my wedding day. Why were people only interested in how good I appeared but paid little attention to how I felt; whether I was happy or not.
It was my day and I could have at least been granted the right to take some decisions. That was a day supposed to be celebrated whole heartedly and not one to pretend to be happy about.
I keep wondering, why do weddings have to be so stressful these days? Why should this be the day a woman piles her prayers from morning to evening and sometimes the next day. Why should this be the day a hijabi goes ‘hijabless’? Why should this be the day she barely eats? Why can’t she be herself on her own wedding day? Why must she fit into some status quo? Why can’t she have her own style? Why should she be like everyone else? Isn’t it rather dull to do what everyone else is doing?
We marry in obedience to Allah so why should it be done in disobedience to Him. We often assume these transgressions carry no weight as some disdainfully claim; “it’s only for a day”. Forgetting Allah says “And whoever does an atom’s weight of evil will see it.” (Quran 99, vs. 8)
A day is not something to be looked down on.
It’s so sad the way we continuously overlook some of these details considering them to be minor. As a Muslima, you might say such a thing will never happen to you on your wedding day but it takes more than your mere willingness. You will need others to understand your stance and why no matter how excited people may be on that day, they should not encourage something that goes against the provisions of Islam.
It’s a special day and everything about it has to be special of course, but not in a way that will bring harm to anyone and cause us to disobey Allah.
Written By Hiqmatu Bilal
(This is work of ‘fiction’ partly narrated by a newly-wedded Muslima)