Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Love in a Headscarf

Source: Marie Claire
When Oxford-educated Muslimah Shelina Zahra Janmohamed decided to get married, she opted for arranged marriage. Raised in a closely-knit Muslim community in London, Shelina has close ties to her local masjid since she was a little. Understandably, going the arranged marriage route was a no brainer for her. With an army of concerned aunts, supportive parents and family members, loyal friends, and an experienced Imam backing her up, Shelina sets out to find the person who would complete half of her religion.

Arranged marriage may be seen by some as  merely a tradition or even a violation of one's personal right. Maybe because the word "arranged" conjures up the idea that a marriage or love can planned in advanced and to them this sounds absurd.

I also confess that I used think that way about arranged marriage. I also know may people who are hesitant about letting other people help them meet the right person. Various reasons have been cited for refusing outside help, most of them as I later learned, are mainly due to insecurities and fear of rejection.

It's a good thing Shelina is an optimist with a huge sense of humour. She will be going through a string of suitors, and a very long string it turns out to be. Love in a Headscarf is not a book that I thought it would be because it's at least 500% funnier than I expected.

How would you take it if someone rejects you for not being tall enough? Or because you like to read a lot? How about trying to marry you because he's a foreigner looking for a permanent resident status?

That's not even half of it. One suitor had the audacity to show up late for a meet up because he was waiting for the cricket match he was watching to finish. I'm a dude and even I'm scratching my head in disbelief. I mean, why not reschedule?

Another suitor replied her email late because he his house got struck by lightning just before he was about to send it. I know guys hate letting down girls and for them the easiest way out of it is to 'invent stories.' Some, like this one, is just stretching it a bit too much. A lot of guys get all befuddled when they make a girl cry. But girls want guys to treat them with respect. The truth may not be most pleasant explanation, but it's always the mature and correct to thing to say. And of course, a sincere apology in tow.

Fortunately the process hasn't depleted Shelina of sense of humour or believe in Allah's promise. She constants reflects on each unsuccessful tries and ties it with what Islam has to offer. Her optimism is truly admirable. She could've easily given up but her belief in Allah's plan helps her endure depressing remarks and her own doubts.

I'm excited to know that this book has been well received even by non-Muslims. Shelina beautifully links her experiences with the teachings of Islam, a feat I rarely come across in books written by Muslims from the West. She's an Oxford-graduated Muslimah who happily wears her hijab and practices her religion with pride.

Without spoiling it too much, I'm happy to report that Shelina is now happily married. She continues to write more about her journey at her blog, Spirit21.

Definitely highly recommended. If I have daughters who can read and old enough to begin thinking about relationships, I'd tell them to read this book.


Sharifah said...

Sounds likes a good read.Will try to get a copy.

r.o.l. said...

This is one of best books I've this year.

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Copyright 2009 introspector. Powered by Blogger Blogger Templates create by Deluxe Templates. WP by Masterplan