Read the Previous Episode HERE
I am relaying to you about my Granpa and digressing from my Ammi story because he is integral to everything. He changed everything about the story with his perfect understanding of life and his bundle of confusing words. He made me rediscover myself and my purpose as he tried so hard to make a lot of people to rediscover themselves. He would sit me down and talk to me for hours until he asks me to be going that he has said too much for a day. I will listen with rapt attention as though am watching my favorite harry potter series without a blink. The truth is I barely interrupt him with questions as he seem to know my level of comprehension and so we were on the same page mostly. Except for the part where he deliberately used his old man’s words to confuse me and will not elaborate. When I begged severally for him to elaborate he once said “Knowledge has its people, if you give it to other than its people, you have acted unjustly” and I will be more confused than before.
Since he heard of my relationship with Ammi, he intervened and tried to make us both see clearly what we were signing into. We spoke with Ammi and she mentioned that Bappah has been very close to her lately and has been very funny with his many ambiguous talk. I told her it is the same thing with me too. Bappah Had told me loads of stuffs about the union called marriage. That we the current generation, have the biggest advantage in choosing the right and appropriate spouse. Those of old never did. When I countered that and told him those of old were better prepared for marriage and were more close to reality than us, he laughed and told me how it started with my Granma.
He barely knew her, and she barely liked him at first. They fell in love in their marriage and they had to make everything else work. Their parents and families’ names were at stake, so they have to protect it and make things work. Their type of marriage was the type you learn on the job. But our generation today choose for themselves, and they get to even know their spouses for months and sometimes for years before they marry. The only difference he said was that his generation was better acquainted with Islamic Knowledge and practiced it better too. And that was how he started the lifelong lecture on finding a knowledgeable Woman as a wife.
One afternoon, I had had enough awareness about marriage and that marriage was not going to come easy. I have made up my mind that if there were ever a place where I would feel horrible and experience and harbor bitterness and count the number of times I had been wronged, it would be within marriage. Where else would I share such intimate moments with one person? Space, money, parenting responsibilities, highs, lows, personal time, a bed . . . Becoming "one" is about more than sex. It requires a level of weakness that opens the door for deep hurt, and letting go of those wounds that never heal. Bappah told me about all the type of Change one will have to undergo in a marriage, in order for it to work. This change is what he broke down to me, but I don’t know whether I would like to submit to this type of change in a marriage just yet. It was so scary but anytime I think of Ammi, with a rush of excitement, I told myself I would be fine.
Grandpa reminded me of the saying “a handsome guy and a pretty girl will make a beautiful wedding. But a faithful man and a pious and knowledgeable woman will make a beautiful marriage. He quoted one Hadith in which the Prophet SAW said “The world is but a quick past time and enjoyment and the best enjoyment of the world is a pious and virtuous woman…” he then threw the question to me, have you found that woman? (The name of Ammi reverberated in my head) A resounding “Yes” was what I said. He said congratulations and that I should prepare for the next lesson.
The next lesson was on pious, virtuous and knowledgeable woman for marriage. Who is she? What’s her source of knowledge? What’s her understanding of virtuousness? What is her goal in life? Bit by bit he broke it down into comprehensible pieces and asked me if I can see any around me who is pious and virtuous and knowledgeable… I thought deeply. As I continued to think of this perfect woman somewhere, he kept saying according to the Prophet’s (SAW) saying, your happiness in this world lies in these attributes in a woman, can you think of any? I kept thinking…and that was how he walked out on me, leaving me frustrated and all messed up in thoughts about this woman… who might not exist in the first place.
Another encounter he said the other parts of her being pious and virtuous is that she must have the following qualities. She must be a good girl and he elaborated on what he meant by good. She must be family oriented and image/name conscious and knows the importance attached to protecting a name and Mutunci especially her chastity. She must not believe in divorce as a solution to a meagre issue in marriage or even imagine getting a divorce. She should be able to change herself for you especially if it does not negate religion. She must look up to you and respect you. She must be the type that will answer anytime you call her and that will give you her best and not keep secrets from you, that, that is a knowledgeable woman. Do you think you can find that sort of person in this world? I didn’t want to think again before he walks out on me this time, I jst shook my head with a resounding “NO” and he said I am totally wrong. And that such knowledgeable and virtuous women are scattered everywhere. And he quoted this verse “in kullu nafsin lamma alaiha hafiz” up until this very day I was never able to connect what this verse means and how it relates to how virtuous women are scattered all around.
Wallahil Azeem, your grandma “Aisha Rijiyan Ruwa” was all of that (he calls her that jokingly).I looked up sharply cos Bappah never speaks of his late wife, my grandmother, thinking he will get all emotional but he didn’t. At this point, It was not just only me that was listening, as our grandma’s name was mentioned, they all came and gathered around as he went on and on and on about how powerful a woman she was. About how there is not a single good attribute in this world a woman can possess that his Aisha didn’t possess or at least display…
To be continue insha Allah on Monday 25th July
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