A friend of mine asked me today "What are you looking for in a husband?" after mentioning that she might have someone in mind for me. My fear is that I gave her this generic answer, an answer that any Muslim girl would give. My other fear is that what I want is so far out of my reach as I do not have some Egyptian Islamic education and my knowledge of Islam today is what I have learned from the few Al-Maghrib classes that I have attended, the many lectures that I have listened to and the numerous books that I have glanced through. So do I really deserve the brother that I truly want to be with? I guess that is for Allah (SWT) to decide...
Here is my attempt to answer that question so that next time it is asked I can answer it properly. Its not that I don't know what I want, because I do, I've gone over this numerous times in my mind, I even made a long list and emailed it to a brother friend who offered to be a nice brother and find me a man, its just that I think I should refresh my thoughts. So here goes....criticism is welcome :) .
- He must be a practicing Muslim - by practicing I do not mean just the 5-pillar practicing Muslim, I mean a brother who makes Islam his life. Someone who spends as much free time as possible at the masjid engaging in resourceful dialogue with shuyookh, someone who instead of partying on Friday night is at the masjid in a halaqa. (you get the gist)
- He must eat Zabiha only - I know that there are many opinions on the issue, but Allah (SWT) says in the Quran (6:118-119) "Then eat of that on which the name of Allah has been pronounced, if you believe in His signs. And what happened to you that you should not eat out of that on which the name of Allah has been pronounced. He has explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you, but when you be compelled to it? And undoubtedly, many mislead by their own desires without knowing. Undoubtedly, your Lord knows well the transgressors."And I feel that if there is Zabiha meat, then why not. Is it so hard to give up that burger at In-N-Out? Make one at home, its not that hard.
- He must be family oriented - I find that now a days a lot of young practicing Muslim brothers abandon their families in a way. While its great that you're spending all of your time at the masjid with the brothers in this amazing halaqa, have some consideration for you mother who is at home. Come home at a decent hour, spend some time with her, ask her if she needs any help. Afterall, heaven does lie beneath her feet. If you're out enriching yourself with knowlege of the deen and your family is at home watching TV and what not, where is the benefit in that?
- He has to absolutely love children - I am in love with children and the thought of insha'Allah having my own one day. My future Mister must share this same passion. I see having children as an opportunity to do things for the Ummah that my parents were not able to do through me for whatever reason. Afterall children are the future of this Ummah and the most precious gift of this dunya.
- He has to be "with it" - That is, he has to be cool, to me. Underneath that abaya and hijaab is a girl straight from the hood - a girl who until she discovered hayah used to ball it up on the court with the guys. I love sports...soccer, basketball, pool (even though I don't know the rules), football -if its a sport and it's competative, I like it, that being said he's going to have to be willing to play with me. My dream is to play a game of basketball with my husband..one on one.
- While I want a strict man, he also has to be chill. My family dynamic doesn't really settle well with the big sheikh mentality. And while I would appreciate the lowering of gazes when he is around women he is not related to (including my cousins as many of them are very good looking) I would also appreciate it if he would become a PART of my family. He would have to be okay to converse with my entire family, joke around with them etc, within limits of course and with me present of course.
- He has to be flexible and open-minded. A closed mind will not work in my family. My family is not very religious, many of them are practicing and some try but are completely and utterly confused (of no fault of their own). My family is also very religiously diverse hense the need for open-mindedness. I see it as a dawah opportunity...win over the guys in my family and insha'Allah we got ourselves a revolution.
- No music, No TV. As I said earlier, I am against TV and Music and while from time to time I glance over at the TV I would love to not expose my children to such fitnah. I enjoy watching sports and perhaps that is all I would use a TV for if I ever had one in my house, but that too causes and issue with cheerleaders and fitnah in every commercial...so we'll see. I might just do what my cousin does with her children - that is not allow them to watch commercials. And of coures, there will be absolutley no music.
- He can't be all wrapped up in culture. Don't get me wrong, I love culture, as long as it doesn't interfere with religion. I have found that my family has these weird views on religion and weird ways of doing things. Alhamdulilah I am working slowly and surely to eliminate these practices, but it would be nice to have a little support.
- He must be okay with my line of work. I am a nurse, so my job requires me to work closely with men, even touch them if necessary (but they are my patients). I chose this line because to me it is the most self-less job I could think of. It also leaves the door of opportunity for me to fulfill my dream of providing medical help to those in less fortunate parts of the world (Africa, India, Pakistan, War-torn parts of the Middle East).
- He has to be willing to at least consider the option of studying Islam abroad and perhaps even Arabic. These are things that I have wanted to do for the longest but my parents would never allow me.
- It would be wonderful if he loved cats or at least tolerated them. I actually have a cat now that I would have a hard time parting with, we have three in my house (one that my parents are too attached too, one that I think is really retarded and then the one I want to take with me - my love).
- I want him to be my best friend - my go-to guy. I want him to be someone that I am comfortable talking to and just bumming around with. And if he's romantic that would be amazing!
- Anger management - I have had issues with this in the past...I have anger management and stress management issues. There are times that I do and/or say things that I do not mean to do or say out of anger or stress. Alhamdulilah, I have done a good job trying to ween myself off of this destructive kind of behavior, but in order for my self-rehab to work, I need a man who is calm. A man that knows how to walk away from an argument, a man who stays silent when he's angry. Basically, I need him to be calm so that I too can be calm.