Marriage is an obligation in Islam and is said to complete half of one’s deen. After all happily ever after can’t exist if your “other half” isn’t right for you. So how do we know who’s right for us? How do we know what to look for in a partner who we’re supposed to spend the rest of our lives with?
We asked Nuha El-Quensy, or @devotedlyyours as her fans and followers know her, Haute Arabia guest star blogger – answering all the questions every young girl has asked herself at some point in her life. Nuha is not only a successful fashion blogger, she is also a mother, a devoted wife and a role model for many young girls who follow her journey. Her blog and her Instagram paints quite the picture perfect life of her and her family but the starting point to this life was a decision, probably one of the hardest decision in a woman’s life. Deciding – what makes a man marriage material?
I believe a man becomes marriage material when he is Mr. Right, not Mr. Right Now. All too often, we as women, part of a more traditional culture, feel the pressure to get married at a young age to a man that fits “the check list:” Muslim, from the same country, has a college education and a successful career. As we get older and we hear time and time again that our “clock is ticking,” we marry the first guy that fits the criteria, only living up to what our parents want and forgetting about what we want, too. There’s nothing wrong with marrying young or marrying a man that our family has chosen for us; however, it should be when we are ready, with the man we think is right, too. After all, this is your happily ever after, isn’t it?
“And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Undoubtedly in these are signs for those who reflect.” [Noble Quran 30:21]
How do ethnicity, culture and faith play a role?
To start, I will say, I always worried about what my family would think of of the man I chose, but I worried about what I thought, first. I knew I wanted someone from my country, and not because my family wanted that, but because I did. I wanted my children to visit Egypt one day, speak the language, and not lose the culture. Growing up Egyptian in America was everything to me; I strived not to lose a sense of identity, although I struggled with it, and I wanted to pass that on to my children. Surprisingly, my parents weren’t too hung up on the cultural aspect, they cared more so about his faith and if he would be a good role model for our children. I cared about both the faith and culture, and I knew I wanted someone that was deep into his faith and strongly attached to his culture. But you can always find guy that is Muslim and from your country, that’s the easy part. Its all the other stuff that is hard to find, all the non “check list” aspects. These are the qualities I think are very important in finding a husband, but I don’t necessarily think that every woman should share these views. This is just my take on things.
Should he ooze confidence?
I’m a confident, ambitious girl, with dreams and goals, and it was important for my husband to have those qualities too. I wanted a man that would wake up in the morning motivated to start his day, and would push me to want to start mine. Laziness was not an option, maybe only on Sundays. And he needed to do so with confidence; that was major to me. I was never into shy guys, a man that wasn’t too sure about himself, or at the least, didn’t portray himself to be that way. I wanted a man that could walk in to a room and be noticed, a man that could strike up a conversation with just about anyone and leave a lasting impression. I wanted an extrovert because I’m an extrovert too, but I also wanted a man that knew when to step back a bit – a balance between him and I. I mean two extroverts yapping away at the same time, all the time, would be too much to handle, wouldn’t you say?
Trust, honesty and a sense of humor
Now humor, humor is major to me. Love, respect, trust, honesty, mutual understanding – those are all pretty standard, something I think everyone is looking for. But humor isn’t as important to everyone as it is to me and I would rank it with those. You’re living with this man for the rest of your life, shouldn’t you do so with a little bit of laughter? Theres nothing like being able to sit around and laugh, just enjoying each other’s company without having to really do anything or go anywhere. After being together for years, you’ll find sometimes its hard to find excitement in doing the same things over and over again – if you don’t do so with a little bit of humor. As you grow old and have children, climb up the professional ladder, and go through all of life’s trials and tribulations, you want to do so with someone by your side that can make you laugh, someone that can make it all that much brighter.
Who should “wear the pants” in the relationship?
By your side – that’s another key factor. I always wanted someone that didn’t think he “wore the pants,” but rather shared them. I wanted someone that knew when to pick his battles and when to let me win them. Even though I jokingly say I want it my way all the time, I secretly don’t. And that’s key – realizing what’s important to you and what’s important to him.I wanted someone that was rational and could sit back and analyze the situation, not jumping to a conclusion because he is the man and I am the woman.
Impulsive vs. rational?
Impulse to me is immature, in almost any sense, because it doesn’t allow you a chance to think things out. And when people don’t think things out, they tend to take the wrong turn. And when it comes to “wearing the pants,” usually that wrong turns ends up either with the man winning because that’s the more “traditional” way of doing things or the woman winning because that’s the more “modern” way of doing things – or maybe because happy wife, happy life. Okay maybe we’ll just go with that.
Describe the perfect husband in 3 words
All in all, in searching for what I knew I wanted, I knew I wanted someone I was compatible with. Just because he met the check list, didn’t mean he could have my heart. And those are the three words that would describe the perfect husband – compatible with me. Of course he has to be compatible with my family and friends, but more importantly, he has to be compatible with me. So find a balance.
If I can leave you with a few last words – find a man with strong faith because ultimately, that’s what matters in the end, and then find a man that’s compatible with your family and with you because ultimately, thats what matters in this life. He won’t make you happy simply because he’s a doctor; he’ll make you happy because he is the holder of the key to your heart.
On that beautiful and romantic note we wrap up our relationship session with Nuha.
Conducted by: Hina Khan