How to React if Your Daughter Wants to Marry the Wrong Person

Fatima Barkatulla


Channel: Fatima Barkatulla

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When I was a teenager, I, I told you, I went to Egypt. I went there to study, but I actually ended up meeting somebody who I wanted to marry instead. And my parents

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for freaked out, you know, probably back at home here in the UK, but they didn't show me that they had freaked out. And the way they handled that entire situation was so amazing. At first, I used to hesitate to share it with people, because obviously, it's like a very personal thing that happened. And now I don't really feel worried about sharing it so much, because I can actually see the benefit. Because people assume that if you're brought up in a religious family, you're never going to have the desire to marry somebody, you know, practically, they are, you're never gonna meet somebody, and

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basically fall in love or want to be with that person, you know. But these are like really strong, instinctual, hormonal things, you know, that are inside us. It doesn't matter if you've been brought up in a religious family or not.

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When you have that,

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those strong feelings.

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The good thing is that if you're brought up in a religious family, you're probably inshallah not going to act on them in a in a haram way, right? You just gotta want to marry that person, which was the case for me, right? Like, and I think that's what people should appreciate is that religion, DEEN isn't there to eradicate those feelings, but channel it in the best outcome possible, right, so that you have the most noble out outcome from those feelings. So yeah, so like a mom, she she told me that her daughter was abroad. And

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by the way, I don't recommend sending your daughters abroad by themselves. You know, she said, her daughter was abroad. And he she'd met somebody, and she told her parents, she really wants to marry this person. And they're really worried because she's very young. You know, and same with me, I was 16, you know, the person who I wanted to marry was older than me. But the way my mom handled it, I share that with with, I shared it with that mother. And I told her, maybe you can learn from something from this, you know, you might benefit from this. And that is that she, she showed me a lot of love. That's what she did. She came to Egypt

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and hugged me. She said, Oh, my God, this place is terrible. You know, it's, you must have been so lonely here. She had to go my dad and said, How could you leave? How could you leave our daughter in this place, like this type of accommodation, and whatever, right? Dad is like, into dropping people into the deep end, so that they learn to swim. And she basically moved me out of the very lonely kind of situation that I was in

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and moved me in with some really excellent sisters from from the UK, and from America, as flatmates and that completely changed everything. You know, I think you can't really overstate the importance of who you're hanging out with, you know, think that's very important. And then my mom did a wonderful thing. She said,

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she was very intimate with me, you know, in the sense that she, she, she was very close to me and showed me a lot of love, and allowed me to open up to her about what I was experiencing and what I was feeling. She tried to find out, you know, like, how I had met this person and things like that. And she realized that I just wanted to marry this person. And so she said, Look, why don't you take me to his house?

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Like, why don't you take me to meet his family, and Allah knows what is good for you. And, you know, if this is the right person, then we'll help you get married, which was really cool. If I had to say, Yeah, I would never

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with my daughter, right. But that's what I wanted. And literally, I was like, Okay, then, you know, and I take my mom to his house. And,

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and I think just seeing her in the same room as him. Something just happened, you know, like, I just realized who I was, and what family I was from and why I was in Egypt. And all of those things, you know, and

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I didn't leave this these rose tinted glasses that had been

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over my eyes just fell away.

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Strange experience. So one moment, I'm a 16 year old who's thinking, This is it, you know, this is the person there's nothing you know, and that's what happens, isn't it? Like, when you age you think this is the one sort of thing right? And then the next minute I'm like, oh my god, he doesn't pray. I

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started realizing that the things I was judging him on as being the ideal person. Were not my usual standards are not the things that really matter, you know. And for some reason, having my mom in the same room, as him allowed that to happen, that realization.

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And so then without even saying anything, my mom said, yeah, so you know, we've started the process. Let's see. Let's see how it goes. You know, my mom took the fight away from the situation. Do you see there was no fight that in there anymore? There was no, yes. There's no forbidden fruit? At all? Yes. You didn't feel the need to rebel against parents authority. Because we've, whether we like it or not, we've grown up on Disney. Right? Like, we've grown up on Princess Jasmine, you know, wanting to marry this guy who her dad won't let her Mary and, you know, and he's showing her the world and, you know, taking her away from the law that's so oppressive, right? We've grown up with that.

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That's, that's in there somewhere. And sometimes we don't realize how it's affected us, you know, but I'm sure it has. And I think the way my mom handled it, men, like you said, there's no, there's no fight there, there's no, there's no need to rebel, because, oh, I could marry this person, you know, my parents are not against it. And so then I just slowly stopped wanting to marry that person. Just happened, it was strange. But my parents were clever enough to know

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that that was a sign that I should probably get married. And so I did very soon after that, you know, they helped me to find somebody and to get married, I think the recipe that you articulated, which is important. They're giving you the almost the choice, or a little bit of freedom and your own

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volition for decision making, right? But they didn't do that without giving you a foundation, the way my mom handled it, I encourage parents that, you know, first of all, disowning your children, right, or kind of throwing them out, that's not going to work in a society that is ready to embrace them, the society out there is ready to embrace them. There's a world out there that's ready to take them on if you're going to throw them out. That's never the wait, but I think some parents they do

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overreact, you know, in situations. So I think the fact that my parents almost gave me that respect, you know, they actually you have, you have the right to like somebody, you know, for marriage, you have the right to, to choose, and to have your own preferences. You know,

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I think that's hugely important for this. If it was important to me, it's important to every young person, especially growing up in the West, because the outside world does give you that respect that sense anyway, you have freedom, you have autonomy. If your parents don't allow you to feel that, then of course it's going to have you're going to start feeling like you're being oppressed right