Happy Anniversary Habibi….How I Met my husband

It was Spring of 2003, I was a 20-year-old college junior and women’s vice-president of my school’s Muslim Student Assoc. I guess it appeared as though I had it all together, but something was missing. I couldn’t quite shake a persistent feeling of…what was it? I couldn’t name it.

The day was a Tuesday. I was waiting in the University Center soon, our MSA meeting would begin, and I was killing time until it started. I sat alone at a table reading my History text book, trying to drown out the noise of the other student’s around me. I don’t remember the name of the text, but I was taking a course in the Abolotion of Slavery in North and S. America. Just then, a guy interrupts my solititude. It’s “James.” I know James from a few classes, and he always wants to talk to me about Islam. I have given him books and pamphlets, but he always has more questions. Today he says,

“In Islam, all human beings either go to Heaven or Hell, right?”

“Yes,” I reply. “If you’re a good person you are rewarded with heaven. If you’re not, you’re punished with hell.”

I answer tentatively. I’m always worried that I will say the wrong thing and tarnish his view of Islam. Other thoughts run through my mind. Why does my hijab have to make me stand out so much? Why are most of the brothers on this campus incognito? If they had long beards and kufis, if they were recognizably Muslim, maybe James would be asking them questions, instead of me.

“Hmm,” he seems thoughtful. “I just don’t get that.”

“Why is that?” I reply. I look at my watch. I don’t like to talking with this guy too much. Even with so many other students nearby. “Most religions have a similar view…”

“It’s just that, if God is our creator, why….how could he stand to see his creation punished for eternity? I mean, if you had a child, could you stand to see him or her burning for all eternity becuase they made a mistake?”

Thoughts are racing through my mind now. Oh jeez…that’s a tough question, I think to myself. What to say. I make silent du’ahs for Allah to give me the right words.

“Well, in Islam, um…Didn’t your mother ever punish you for misbehaviour?” I pull at my hijab uncomfortably. I honestly don’t have a good answer for James and it’s frustrating, embarassing and slightly angering me.

“Yea, but my mother’s punishments never lasted all eternity. Hehe…Take you and me for instance. If we were to go out together, would God punish you for that?”

I can feel my face starting to grow hot, now. So that’s what he wants…He’s not intersted in Islam, he wants to date!

“Well, James, I’m sorry, but I don’t have a good answer for you, but I have to go, I have a meeting to attend.” I gather up my books and leave before he can object. I exit the student center, but I don’t go to the MSA meeting. Instead, I head home. James’s question had shaken me. I felt angry with myself for not having the right answer. Was there a “right” answer for that type of question? I started to question myself. Why would Allah punish some of his creations for making mistakes. Was that really fair? I felt like a hypocrite. How could I represent the MSA properly, if I couldn’t even answer his question?

The question haunted me for the rest of the day and well into the night. That night I made extra prayers, asking Allah for strength and guidance. I also asked Allah to rid me of the feelings of the feelings I had been having lately. The feelings of loneliness.

…………………

While I was having this discussion with “James,” a brother stepped into the MSA meeting for the first time. Being a night student at the university, he didn’t really have time for exrtacurricular activities. The only reason he has come today was becuase of brother “Ahmed.” Brother Ahmed had worked with him a few months back and continually tried to persuade him to come to a meeting sometime.

Ahmed was not trying to convince him to join the MSA so that he could participate in our Bake Sales and Lectures, as awesome as the are, he was trying to find this brother a wife. For weeks Ahmed had been telling this brother about a sister who would make a perfect wife for him. “Please, just come to a meeting. This is a really good sister, Mashallah…hijab and everything.”

Being Arab, Ahmed is very pushy and wouldn’t take no for an answer. So, having finally been worn down, he came to the meeting. Unfortunately, the sister he was looking for was no show. After the meeting pushy Arab Ahmed tells him, “She didn’t come to this meeting Brother Jibril, but please come to the conference we will be having on Saturday. She will definitely be there, inshallah.”

“OK, inshallah, I’ll be able to make it.” Jibril agrees to come to the conference the following weekend knowing that this brother will not leave him alone until he meets this sister.

………………

On that Saturday, I wake up early, looking forward to the conference. I feel bad for missing the MSA meeting and I hope that one of the speakers will be able to answer my question. Plus I have agreed to watch kids in the daycare room for a few hours, and I honestly can’t wait to see the babes.

As I enter the ballroom, where the conference is being held, I notice a brother whom I have never seen before at an MSA function. It’s kind of hard to miss him, as he is sitting directly behind the table that holds the sign-in sheet.

“Assalam ‘Alaikum,” he greets me.

“Wa Alaikum Salam,” I reply. Do you ever have a feeling that you have met someone before. That is the way I felt the moment I saw him. The next thing I know, Ahmed is calling my name very loudly.

“Amani! I’m glad you’re here. Did you see the daycare room yet, Amani!” Something seems strange. Why does Ahmed seem so happy to see me. I brush off the feelings of weirdness and follow Ahmed to the daycare room.

A few days later, I meet the brother again, at an MSA meeting. We exchange names, and I learn that he shares the same name as my father. I can’t describe the feelings of Deja-Vu that I felt from the first time I laid eyes on Jibril.

A few hours after the MSA meeting, I get a phone call from another MSA member, “Leena.”

“Amani,” she finally gets around to asking, “are you looking for a husband?”

“I don’t know,” I reply, “Who’s asking?”

Anyway, after many meetings (chaperoned of course) and phone calls, the rest is history.

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25 Comments

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25 responses to “Happy Anniversary Habibi….How I Met my husband

  1. Assalamu Aleikum wa Rahamtulahi wa Barkatuhu,

    Masha’Allah, that’s a cute story.

    You guys do make a cute couple. I remember when you told me that he was your fiance.

    We were at an Islamic “conference” at Tulane and your husband was the moderator I believe. You were there and I told you, who’s that guy? He’s very educated and religious. Perfect for you. You looked at me like I was either being funny, or like I was just a dumb-ass. And you said, “that’s my fiance(or similar word) Jenny”.

    “Oh, cool! I said. Masha’Allah. I didn’t know.” Like I am supposed to know everything or something!

    Well, I wish it would work out like that for my sister. She’s not married yet.

    I remember that I had never met a more sincere person than my husband. I kept telling him, “you are so REAL”. He didn’t know what that meant. When he finally visited Miami with me he realized, “Ah, I know what you mean now.”

    (Disclaimer: Miami is my hometown, and although we are a very diverse cosmpolitan people, we are know for “Hollywood” type behaviors.)

  2. Salamaat,
    awww what a cute story! I thought James would be your husband? What happened to him?

    May Allah give you many more years of happiness, baraka, tranquility, Mercy, and love (and all the good stuff) πŸ™‚ amin:)

  3. Muslmana, Ahumdollilah, we both have good husbands. When I read some blogs about how sisters are being abused and neglected by ‘Mulsim” men, it makes me so sad. All I can say is Alhumdollilah for mine.

    Maliha, that’s a good question, I don’t know what happend to him. I’ll make Du’ah that he was rightly guided, inshallah.

  4. You lost me. First you mention James, but reading the comments I can see that he isn’t the one. Then you mention Jibril and lastly you mention “the brother you had never met before” for whom you don’t give a name. So who is your husband Jibril or Br. Non mentioned?

    I suppose it doesn’t really matter it is a cute story and it is totally none of my business, but what is your husband’s name? LOL

    Cute Cute baby by the way may Allah grant you all tawfiq.

  5. Musulmana I’m originally from Carol City my mom still lives there and I frequent the 189th street Mosque when I go home. Or the one down there on 7th avenue. Br. Qasim (7th ave masjid, I think he moved to Texas) who was there gave a Khuthba that sealed my exit from the Nation. It was very beautiful. I’ve been Sunni every since that khuthba.

  6. Assalamu Aleikum,

    brother MOhammad, she said she “can’t describe the feelings of Deja Vu that I felt from the first time that I laid eyes on Jibril.”

    Ahmad is the brother who arranged the hook-up.

    And poor James, well, he’s probably stalking other gorgeous women on campus who weren’t blown away by a) Jibril or b) Katrina
    hee hee

  7. Salam…LOL, Musulmana…hehe

    Assalam ‘Alaikum, Sorry, If the story was confusing, Muhammad, but Jibril is my hubby. Maybe I should do a rewrite to clear up any confusion.

  8. Asalaam alaikum,
    masha~allah this is so beautiful. May allah(swt) continue to bless your union with understanding and MORE kids..lol.
    ma salaama

  9. Masha’Allah, what a cute story. And your wedding was very beautiful. Muslims need to hear more stories about happy Muslim couples instead of hearing about the disfunctional ones all the time.

  10. Assalamu Aleikum wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatuhu,

    Dear brother Mohammad.

    I became Muslima while living in my current home, in a suburb of New Orleans. That’s how I know Amani. When I visit Miami I will go to the Flagler Masjid or the Kendall one near where my family and friends live. I have visited the Miami Lakes Masjid (quite pretty reminds me of Abu Bakr Masjid where I live now). However, unfortunately, they weren’t too friendly in the Miami Lakes Masjid. They looked at my parents when we arrived for Jumah like we were parking a Space Shuttle instead of a Buick. But anywhos, gotta love us Muslims.

    I went to a lecture at FIU once and my husband prayed Jumah over in Downtown, I am guessing that’s the 7th street Masjid?

    I have a couple of Muslima friends in Miami that I met through my sister. One of them is a Cuban-American like me.

    If you lived in Miami, you are probably familiar with Cuban culture-yeah, that would have been my rearing.

    In all the years I lived in Miami, I think I passed by Carol City maybe once to visit a friend’s friend. Strange huh?

    I’m outta sorts today Amani, can you see my strange sense of humor? I think I have been on the computer to long today.

    Masalama

  11. MashaAllah, what a lovely story. Awwwwwwwwwwww πŸ™‚ May Allah bless your marriage and family and give you many more years to come.

  12. I really like that story thank you for sharing it.

  13. Thanks Edward, long time, no see…

  14. MashAllah sister. I loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee the wedding picture and the story behind it. May Allah bless your family habibty, and may you be of Ahl Al Jannah. Ameen

  15. Thanks so much for the du’ah my sis. I wish the same for you and your family πŸ˜‰

  16. Mia

    That was a wonderful story. I wish you all a life time of happiness.

  17. Tee

    This was really sweet and I enjoyed reading it πŸ™‚

    Happy Anniversary πŸ™‚

  18. aww mashaAllah. may you guys share many many more years of happy matrimony in this life, and ofcourse in the next πŸ˜‰ i hope Allah (swt) always protects the beautiful family you have.

    you’re inspiring me to write about the tale of how i met my husband. maybe i will. have to think about it. πŸ™‚

  19. Cutest story ever πŸ™‚ May Allah (swt) continue to bless you both! (And bless me with a righteous husband πŸ˜‰

  20. Masha Allah…Our brother looks SO happy in that picture! Ditto Asmaa…May Allah continue to bless you both. Ameen

  21. Maliha,

    Yes. Please share your story,too.

    Asmaa,
    Thanks.

    UmmBadier,
    Yes…That’s why I LOVE that pic. I looked at ur site. Do u make the jewelry urself?

  22. Alhamdulilah, what a beautiful story—and normal! Glad to have found your blog. Will check back in,inshallah. Beautiful baby too. May Allah keep her.

  23. Masya Allah..I love Your story πŸ™‚

  24. Sharifah

    The story didnt feel complete though. I wanted to know what happened next

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