For us Muslim ladies when it comes to marriage, it is pretty much a family affair…and even at times a communal one. Most of us rely on family and community connections to meet potential future husbands. While I’m sure some Muslims engage in what is commonly known as dating, for those who choose to go the traditional/religious route there will be no random dates with some equally random dude. No Sir, the prelude to marriage is a carefully planned, well orchestrated process that requires nerves of steel, and a knack for diplomacy. While every community adds its own cultural flavour to the proceedings, in essence the precepts that shape the process of marriage by and large emanate from the same Islamic values.

I’ll be honest, the whole thing eludes me completely. I think that I’ve probably missed some crucial course on human interactions somewhere along the way.  It is not that I don’t like marriage, I do. I love the idea of people coming together, creating families, finding companionship, and all that Jazz. What I don’t get is the underpinnings of most human pairings. The how and why most people choose to be together is always bizarre to me. Human intimate interactions are as mysterious to me as they would be to any visiting alien from another planet. I’ve had the pleasure of playing the role of the chaperone for my closest friends during their courtship, and I absolutely enjoyed being a confident, a counsellor, and a comic relief (when needed) for each one of them. I’m honoured that they trusted me as their friend and their sister in Islam. While I would gladly chaperone for anyone, when Geeky Muslimah is the object of said courtship things tend to….well….go awry.

While I’m a total science fiction geek, I also happen to be on the more orthodox end of the Muslim spectrum. THIS is often difficult for some brothers to reconcile. From my appearance, my opinions and practice of Islam, they often ascribe a certain personality to me. A personality that is unidimensional and bereft of depth. Most of the proposals I’ve received were made to me because apparently from afar I seemed like the “perfect Muslim wife”.  This was of course based on my appearance and nothing more.

I’m so far removed from what most men would consider an ideal wife, it is quasi comical actually. If I could have my own personal coat of arms the motto on it would read “I do not cook and I barely clean”. I’m not exactly a hermit (yeah I am, who am I kidding?), but I’m not exactly the socializing type either. I prefer quiet nights at home doing something useful like catching up on the latest episodes of Mr.Robot. Entertaining people (family included) is what I call cruel and unusual punishment; the small talk, the smiling, the constantly running around serving people and being a good host….please just put me out of my misery (Umm….maybe I have a problem after all guys, but that is a discussion for another post).  I’m obsessed with reading, in fact if I could pretty much do just that, I’d be living in my own personal utopia. I’m not particularly affectionate, displays of emotion make me rather uncomfortable actually. If we could all just take up Kolinahr like the Vulcans, I’d be totally fine with that (Science fiction geek here, you’ve been warned folks)

Another problem is that I just don’t perform well under pressure. A certain prototype of  Muslim woman is what is expected to make its appearance when the party making the proposal shows up at your place. I’ve been told more than once that this is when you put your best foot forward. What does that even mean??? Apparently I just do everything wrong. First of all I hate dressing up. There is a reason why my wardrobe is full of black abayas, I can’t be bothered with developing a fashion sense. But somehow now I’m expected to be Miss stylish Muslimah??? Not gonna happen folks, you’re lucky I’m not wearing my Doctor Who T-shirt on top of my black abaya (to accessorize 🙂 ), so just back off already.

Then there is the conversation with this person who could possibly become the one you will share the rest of your life with. Once you’ve depleted the obvious topics (family, profession, education) what else do you talk about? I love talking politics, science, literature, history, and religion (and yes I will totally judge you for having the wrong opinion), but apparently my eagerness to talk about these topics often comes off like an interrogation. I actually once rejected a proposal after a heated conversation about the role of the IMF and the World bank’s structural adjustment programs in the impoverishment of the Global South (I’m sorry but if we do not share the same basic Islamic values of social justice, and you see nothing wrong with the gutting of entire nations in the name of pure greed, you can just keep on trucking. I will not raise a guinea pig with you let alone actual little human beings). Of course it didn’t help that this brother actually worked for the World Bank, a detail that was mysteriously omitted from the description I was given of him (my family and closest friends know how I feel about certain institutions).

So when brothers find out that my ideal husband is a man I can grow with spiritually (I totally see us having our own Qur’an competitions at home….winner gets a chocolate mouse cake), who is willing to live a principled life according to the precepts of Islam, but who would also be willing to binge watch Star Trek with me, and go to Comic Con ( Cosplaying as Worf and Jadzia…#RelationshipGoals), they just don’t know what to make of it. And I don’t blame them, I am a hodgepodge of contradictions, and a patchwork of inconsistencies. So when the inevitable denouement of these situations arrives it always ends with the same phrase “Sorry it didn’t work out, but look I’m probably not the girl for you anyways. I’ll be making duas for you, please do the same for me“, usually followed by a nervous giggle.

Look at the end of the day what matters is that each and everyone of us finds happiness. I, Geeky Muslimah, found happiness and a sense of purpose in what I affectionately call the singlehood. I just wish we stopped looking at women as incomplete, depressed, or lonely if they are not married. Our personhood is not the byproduct of our marriage status.

single

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31 thoughts on “Sorry, But I’m Probably Not The Girl For You Anyways

  1. I’m no science geek, but I do love my National Geographic – discovered after I got married, and it’s not because of my Hubby, quite the opposite actually. 🙂

    I’m in my mid-twenties married, no kids. My parents were open to people asking if I considered them. I gave up at one point – I was only 23, and it seemed that finding and connecting with someone was never going to happen.

    I still continued to made dua, and Allah SWT times everything perfectly. Just when I gave up, as my husband had as well apparently, we met, two total strangers who hardly knew each other during the engagement stage, and we got married.

    Does Allah SWT not say: I created you in “pairs” (Surat An-Naba’, 78:8). I always mention this ayet to friends who feel like no-one is coming their way. But in the end Allah SWT knows best.

    And, they say this a lot in the Turkish community: Getting married is easy, staying married is the hard part. Yes, it’s true. But everything is in the hands of Allah. Ups and downs will happen, sometimes you may even disagree with each others opinions but there’s a connection that Allah has placed, love and mercy. You can’t recognise it at first, it’s the connection you feel at the very start, that getting along and being on the same level with some things is important, especially Islamically.

    I’ve been married for two years now. And i’ve passed the ever so irritating questions of marriage, but now face the question of children. 😂 You cannot escape!

    May Allah SWT give you someone who is to your liking physically, mentally and Islamically. And may He place that mercy and love between you both.😊

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    1. Ameen sister, Jazak’Allah khair. My friends who are married tell me that right after marriage, the next question is “when will you have kids?” loool. May Allah ‘aza wajal bless you with children who will love and honour you and their father, and who will remain steadfast in their religion.

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  2. Thank you for sharing. I totally understand what you mean. I too am a science geek 😂 so It works the other way around for me. When those dolled-up air-heads look my way i will think: Sorry, But I’m Probably Not The Guy For You Anyways. Great ‘bad ass’ style of writting btw

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  3. Your fourth paragraph is, from start to finish, exactly me. This is the kind of blog post that I love to read. It’s got it’s fair share of heart and humor. Sticking to your guns will ensure that the only person worthy of you in all your geekiness will be the one who prefers you with it rather than without it. I’ve gone through the same revelation many times and although companionship would be nice, I realize it’ll come when and if it comes, and there’s no way in hell I’m settling for someone who expects any level of perfection out of me.

    I echo your thoughts, hear hear. Lovely writing, and can’t wait to read more!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to read my post. I particularly love your position on companionship. It would be nice to have it, but only if it is not at the detriment of one’s happiness. Thanks again for the support.

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  4. Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts on this important subject. Eventhough I am older and from a different generation, I can hear the same thing being said from other young girls so you are right to speak about it. Knowing ourselves is the first step to marriage. Many girls ( and boys) unfortunately go to marriage without knowing who they are and what they are looking for. A man ( or a girl) can’t make us happy, this is a myth. It starts with us and then we can build a relationship. My best wishes for you!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words sister Monia. I really appreciate the fact that you’ve reiterated how important it is for each and everyone of us to know ourselves before we embark on a journey as important as Marriage.

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  5. Someone FINALLY PUTS IT IN WORDS for all us Muslim girls! Gotta reblog this for sure! Looks like, I would also have to learn some of those absolutely riveting arguments to actually prove my stance the next time I get into debate with one of those aunties (contemporary rishta-karane-walis) So glad I found your blog!

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  6. I loved reading this so much, Geeky! Though I’m married now and it’s easy to forget how tough it was to get to this point, reading this post reminded me of much of the difficulty I had. I used to say that there were only two types of Muslim men, the ultra-conservative who probably would find my interests useless and perhaps even unIslamic, and then on the other end of the spectrum, the super liberal who thinks it’s okay to go to clubs, party, etc. I can’t say that I found a man who shares all my interests, but he does appreciate them and even encourage them, so that’s good enough for me. I wish that marriage wasn’t seen as an absolute to-do though. So many people are given countless grief on account of their single status. It’s one thing if the person wants to get married, but if you’re happy being single than all the power to you! I don’t think that marriage is for everyone. It takes a lot of compromise and sacrifice. Though those are good values to have and to hone, marriage is not the only way to do it. It might not even be the best way, especially if there’s a lot of resentment in the marriage, which unfortunately, is often the case.

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    1. I think you pretty much summed it up perfectly Rafia. If you can find that one person that shares the same outlook on life, and respect and mutually support is the basis of your relationship, than marriage is definitely the way to go. This obsession with getting married at all cost thought is the very reason people (especially women) are ending up in relationships that are problematic from the very beginning. Marriage is already hard, and like you said requires compromise and sacrifice, but when there are other underlining issues it makes the whole thing that more difficult. I am a big believer in the idea that you are responsible for your own happiness. You can’t expect someone else to make you happy if you are profoundly unhappy with yourself. It is unfair and quite frankly you are setting that poor person up for failure. You must be happy with yourself before you can make someone else happy.

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  7. Everything about this post is wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this from top to bottom! Honestly, I feel like most women married back in the day because they needed care takers. But now that women can be so independent and kick-ass, if the guy doesn’t share the same values/thinking/beliefs/etc. as you, why entertain them? Single and awesome > taken and frazzled #alldayerryday

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  8. “I just wish we stopped looking at women as incomplete, depressed, or lonely if they are not married. Our personhood is not the byproduct of our marriage status.” I love this! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!!

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  9. I will not raise a guinea pig with you let alone actual little human beings! ROFL. I love your sense of humor. Awesome post.
    Hey! Wasn’t Maryam (R.A) single? If Allah has no problem with it, then why care for the society?. Marriage is not fardh’.

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  10. I love this so much !! And I understand how you feel…I literally laughed out loud when I read the whole “doctor who t-shirt” to accessorize.

    I like the whole “I’m awesome” attitude… I’ve slowly come to the realization that spiritual and intellectual compatibility along with chemistry are key.

    My new mantras are “God is the centre” and ” Self knowledge is key” … I’ve decided that I won’t be giving up any of the two for a guy… We’re all going to die anyway, and I refuse to live a stifled miserable life…additionally if I never find the right person, then we’re all going to die anyway, and there’s still hope in Jannah 😂😂

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  11. I absolutely love this post. It’s so true. There’s so much pressure out there for Muslim girls to marry by the age of 25! I love your writing style, it’s very entertaining !

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