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You’ve Got Mail - Yahya and Amina

You’ve Got Mail - Yahya and Amina

Issue 73 October 2010

A month after a quick email exchange, Yahya and Amina had a small but close family wedding. Here they talk about how their trust in God has made their marriage a firm and loving one.

 

Yahya

 

Unfortunately, the fairytale of how I met the love of my life isn’t a very interesting story. At the ripe age of 21, my father bought me a beautiful, brand new VW Golf and we’ve been together for eight blissful years.

Now, moving on to how I met my wife... I honestly never imagined that my life would pan out the way it did when the time came for me to get married. At 22, I was engaged to my cousin from my father’s side. After a year, however, our engagement broke off and after that particular experience, I decided that marriage wasn’t for me. This feeling left me pretty isolated and for lack of a better word, heartbroken. I had developed the typical Romeo mindset of ‘If I don’t marry her, I’m not marrying anyone!’ But, after spending two years sulking and feeling sorry for myself, time proved to be a good healer and I started to consider the prospect of marriage again.

My wife is a distant family member and very rarely did our families meet. In February of 2007, the thought of asking for her hand in marriage somehow came to my mind (it was either a message from God, or a result of the subliminal messages in the Bollywood songs I so fondly listened to – but I’d like to think it was the former). I thought a lot about it, and eventually decided to email her. To this day, the email is still sitting in her inbox and every time I read it, I kick myself for being so unromantic. To be honest, it was a very blunt and somewhat short email which got right to the point. I told her of my intentions and that I would only ask for her hand in marriage if she was happy with the idea. I assumed she was somewhat confused, given that her response was a simple, “is this a joke?” After taking a few minutes to laugh, I assured her that I was serious and was reluctantly told that she would think about it. So, for three long days I waited for her reply, and luckily for me, she said yes. After about a month, we were married.

I’d like to think our marriage clearly shows that God knows best, even if we don’t understand and fully appreciate the decisions He makes for us sometimes. Had I married my cousin who I was previously engaged to, I might not have ended up with the wonderful woman I have the pleasure of calling my wife, and I’m incredibly grateful that I have been able to settle down with the right person. My wife has always been a good friend and companion.

As with all marriages, ours had a difficult patch when our first child, Abu Bakr, was stillborn. This was a very difficult time for us both, but the experience brought us a lot closer to one another, as no one could understand our pain the way we could. Just like the end of my first engagement when I reacted impulsively and claimed that I didn’t want to get married, after the stillbirth of our first son, I’d lost the hope of having another child. But my wife was always very encouraging, and eventually persuaded me to try for another child. 15 months later, we had a beautiful baby girl.

My wife often asks me what I love most about her and my answer is always the same, the fact that she is the mother of my beautiful children.

 

Amina 

 

I was studying in university at the start of 2007 when my husband proposed to me. He didn’t get down on one knee or plant a diamond ring in my samosa; rather, he sent me a very blunt email asking me if I’d given any thought to what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. For reasons I cannot possibly fathom, I actually gave his ‘proposal’ serious consideration and the more I thought about it, the more I developed a gut feeling that Yahya was the man I was going to marry. I’m honestly glad that I did accept his proposal, not because he is the best husband in the world, but simply because he has a diamond where other people have a heart.

I was 19 when Yahya proposed, so naturally I hadn’t given much thought to marriage. However, the fact that I happily agreed to marry him is a clear example of God having a plan for us all, and it is His plan alone that is always best and successful. After I told my parents that I was happy to go ahead with the marriage, I was confident about the prospect of starting a new life and everything that followed just kept falling into place by itself.

Our wedding day wasn’t a typical Pakistani wedding day at all. It took place in Yahya’s parents houses - two properties that are next door to each other. As the women were all in one house and the men in the other, passersby would never have thought that a wedding was taking place; it looked more like a birthday party. It wasn’t the dream wedding I had in mind, but it was certainly a memorable one.

Though Yahya and I are similar in some ways, we do tend to clash now and again. A good example of this is his mentality when it comes to cleaning the house, “what’s the point of cleaning the house every day when it’s just going to need cleaning again tomorrow?” Now, that’s probably not the best thing to say to a compulsive cleaner like me. Despite minor differences like that, however, Yahya and I are pretty compatible, which is why we are good friends as well as husband and wife.  

Marriage is definitely very different to what I expected it to be. It’s taught me a lesson of maturity and about the practical side of life. My experience so far, with the grace of God, has been a good and positive one. I know for many people the idea of lifelong commitment sounds somewhat scary, but I think once you’re there, you test yourself to see what you can and can’t achieve. The great thing about marriage is that though it is a time for you to learn about your significant other, it also gives you a chance to learn a lot about yourself. Of course, marriage has its ups and downs, but if and when you believe in your relationship, the ups will definitely outweigh the downs.




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