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Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu This is Marian lemo I am so excited for the first time with me is my husband. A salaam aleikum, wa barakato. This is a taco Moto, you have to say your name. You did mention mine. Okay, my name is Liam and Tacoma. Okay, yeah, we still fight a lot. But we'll go into that later. inshallah. I'm so excited though that for the first time. So it gets to talk about his side of the story, because I with my big mouth, have told the whole world, everything about him. In fact, some people know you better than you know you.
So, I would love though, if we could start because this is the first of many, many series. So I hope you will join us on this journey, this adventure. But let's go back to the very beginning, I know, the decision for you to get married was not as straightforward as it is for a lot of people. And I think maybe if we share this story, it'll help those who are planning to get married, hopefully, to do it. Right. So what was behind your decision? Well, the interesting thing is, I'm a product of polygamy, and the first of 26 children. And growing up, I think the minimum number of wise My father has had at one time is three, so and life, for us individuals been the sum of our experiences, that
experience of growing up in a polygamy a large polygamy for that matter. With a lot of children, I learned a lot of things, some very good, some not so good. But that experience essentially prepared me for the kind of husband I wanted to become for the kind of father, I wanted to become the kind of partner I wanted to become. So it essentially taught me the do's and don'ts of having good family life of relating with your wife of being a father, to your children, and so on and so forth. So I started deciding on what kind of husband I'm going to be very early in my life, I should say, by the time I was maybe
10, to 15 years of age, I'd been thinking about the kind of husband I'd like to be and the kind of relationship I'd like to have with my wife. And I think this is such a reality for so many. We grew up seeing what our parents do, how they relate with one another. And you are saying that what you saw the good, the bad and the ugly, you were able to filter and take away the ones that you felt were not pleasant, you wanted to make sure you do it right. And you don't make the mistake of what you saw. That was not pleasant. Absolutely. Not just in my immediate family had uncles and aunts, and I saw how relationships or marriages were not working as they should. And I was a very curious
child. So I asked my father a lot of questions when I saw traditional things being done in the family and asked him if that is religious, or that is traditional. And ultimately, it got to the point where I asked him, On what basis with Allah judge us? Is it going to be on tradition? Or is it going to be a religion? And my father just looked at me with a smile and said, Fine, it's going to be on religion. And I'll oftentimes ask him about certain norms that just seemed out of the ordinary, they didn't seem proper. And he was way ahead of his time. He was honest with me, he would say, you know, he called me I've been the eldest son, you say, yeah, that is not the way it's
supposed to be. So earlier on, my father gave me that opportunity to ask, there wasn't that distance between the Father and the Son, and he was liberal in the sense that I could ask him a ton of questions about what's right and what's wrong. And that really started me thinking, how am I going to relate with my wife and I decided very early, it's going to be strictly based on the teachings of the Quran, and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu. So, yeah, and I know when we first woke, hotting, I remember you were telling me that these were my rights. I was to head over heels in love to even care about those at the time. But you were telling me I do need to read up, I need to know
what are my rights. However, I also need to know what are my obligations and to me, I was like, I'll cross that bridge when I get there. Obviously, it was something that was very important for me to know before we got married. And I think for anybody who's planning to get married, this is such an important thing. Know your rights. However, know your spouse's rights as well, so that you don't
up across the line, so you don't ever offend the likes eight mentioned, the decision to get married was to make sure that he modeled the example set by Rasulullah sallallahu wasallam. And I know I am a witness that he really has done his best to live by that to do that. Alhamdulillah obviously, by the time we actually got married, things were not as we anticipated, the courtship was absolutely beautiful. It was very romantic. I remember you'd be sending me audio cassettes of beautiful songs that expressed exactly how you felt about the days of analog, we had no digital,
digital on the courtship, Marian was introduced to me by my younger sister.
And she sent me Miriam's photograph and said, here's a young lady that we think you might be interested in. And it took me a while to make the decision to commit to then say, I need to work on myself because I was 26 years old. At the time, Marian was during college. Yeah, beginning when were introduced, you were 14, I believe. So, and we caught it for three or four years. She was introduced him in 1987. Marie man, I didn't see till 1990 those for three or four years, a lot of correspondence like she said, a lot of cassettes, music, expressing my love, and so forth, long letters. But one of the first things I told Marian was, if you've heard the name,
and you hear it's prominent, the person that has the money is different from me. So I made it clear to Marian that I am a struggling student, I was in graduate school at the time, I didn't see myself as anybody's son who had money. And I actually told Maria, if her interest is in somebody that has money, I am given her the opportunity to end the relationship and go to that person. as young as she was at the time. She made it clear to me that she was not interested in that I wasn't, she was interested in me. So the first thing is, is honestly, you know, being truthful, being Frank, no pretentiousness, no fake lifestyle, nothing like that. And that was how the relationship began. And
then we started writing letters writing letters. Then one day she called me That was the first time I heard her voice, which was really exciting day for me. And then communication really got stronger. And then I came in 1990 met the family, which were the families were family, friends, they known each other for a while. But when marriage comes in, you know the situation change, you know that the dynamics change, and there was some elements of tension, and, but we were able to go through it. There was one story I want to share, and Marian wasn't there. During the courtship traditionally, you go around to see the relatives of the bride to be.
And I went to Lake Miriam's village, her father's village called the moon, in Niger state. And there was an aunt of Miriam's who said, I know you've seen a lot of people, and you've been courting each other for a long time. But I don't know if you really know Marian. And I was like, Oh, I don't know where this conversation is going. And she said, Okay, let me tell you who Marian really is. She's spoiled. She's a brat. She has a temper. You know, she can be difficult. And, and I just stand because I came to just greet relatives of the bride to be. And I've been told all these negative things. And the woman said, Do you know why I'm telling you this? I said, No. She said, I want you
to know the bad side if you've heard the good, because if you don't want her right now, we will not be offended if you pull out.
That was shocking. And then I said, No, I in spite of what you've said, I still want to go ahead. And she said, okay, the one thing I will never want to hear from you is for you one day to come and say you're divorcing how's life oh my goodness, before the marriage. So I was like committed that there'll be no divorce. So that was a very interesting experience. And I don't think these days of groans relative or a bride's relative will sit down and tell you the other side, the unpleasant side and say, Be prepared to confront this reality when you get married. Because when it's courting, it's lovey dovey, everybody's happy. You only see the best in on the brighter side. But this lady, I
think, did me a wonderful service because I went in with my eyes wide open. So I don't think I don't know if I ever shared the story with you. But this is what happened during question.
And I really, really appreciate that. Absolutely. And that courtship period is so critical. Some people ask like, should they be a long courtship or a short courtship? Blah, blah, blah? Really? It depends, but I think caught long enough. Some people have this three month courtship. Honestly, that is not sufficient for you to know somebody who you want to spend the rest of your life with. I don't think that is enough time for you to see them in various situations with their friends, how do they relate with people like help people who you would consider to be servants to them? How do they relate with them, because you may suddenly find out they speak to people in a condescending way.
They have anger management issues, they swear, maybe they don't pray, and several things that may be really, really important to you that you do not want to compromise. So I think it's really important that you take your time to truly get to know someone and of course, we do. We did. istikhara. Yeah, that brings up a very interesting point. During the courtship, shake, Ahmed Lehmann Williams, dad had about five people actually investigate me, check my background, the things Marian was talking about attitude, how you relate to parents, how I relate to people that I smoke, I drink that way jewelry, and so on and so forth. This was as the istikhara was going on. Then one day I got I was
invited by her elder brother, Marlon Udine demo to the house. And I got there around maybe
1110 in the 1011 in the morning, and we had it we started having conversations. I did not get home until about just before migraine. And I remember telling my dad, I went to see my in laws. And from the moment I got into that house, till I got home, nobody gave me even a glass of water to drink.
I didn't know.
I tested my patience or not. But I went home, I went back home really started.
Eventually, he finally after being stabbed, decided that yes, he was ready to spend the rest of his life with me, you are ready to spend the rest of
that courtship period was really, really important. However, when the marriage itself started, we had a lot of surprises in store and things we never expected featured, but inshallah during the next episode, we shall be talking about that. And a question so many people asked, how did you survive six years of toxicity and still be married together and hopefully in love, right? Absolutely. So see you next time.