“Oh look at them! They look so sweet together…don’t they?” my friend smiles dreamily at me.
In a corner, I see a young muslim girl wearing hijab shyly speaking to a boy beside her. They seem lost in their own private world. The boy inches closer to the girl, reaches out for her hand and bends his head closer to hers, they laugh at something he says. I try my best not to snort with disapproval . My friend laughs at the expression on my face. As we near a shop selling various trinkets, another couple walks toward us. This time, a boy proudly parades his pretty girlfriend as they saunter down the shopping isle. The girl is clad modestly from head to toe, with a shawl wrapped carefully around her head. Yet she is practically glued to her partner’s side, unaware that her actions portray a distorted image of the modern muslimah. Every square foot of the mall is crawling with people from all walks of life. Most of them, couples having a good time. Laughing, holding hands, shopping. I hear my heart scream its displeasure. These couples aren’t married! They look too young, and they definitely do not act like any married couple I know! How easily they flaunt their disobedience of Allah’s law in front of the public, without a care in the world… I sigh inwardly.
At my age of 21 years, not having someone special in your life is considered strange. It is the hip and trendy thing to have a boyfriend and go out on dates to the mall. Texting each other every single time of the day is a must! Conversations over the phone can continue late into the night. This is a common scenario in western societies where the majority are not muslims. But shouldn’t citizens who are born muslim know better?
In the holy Quran, Allah SWT says,
It may be they recite the Quran, but do not know the meaning of the verses. It may be they have read the meaning but have failed to interpret it. It may be they understand the meaning, but fail to act on it. The human heart is a complicated thing. Many muslim youth feel it is normal to ‘couple’ with each other. Breaking up is a phase everyone must go through. After the painful heart-break, the no longer devoted couple who had once declared undying love for each other move on and find another to fill the empty place in their hearts.
This cycle repeats itself until they find the right person to marry. This looks more and more like a plot from a Hollywood movie. And it comes as no surprise since it is the Western way of living, and it has garnered a huge following; muslim youths not withstanding. My eye is suddenly drawn to a young Arab couple. The lady is clad all in black, a hijab wrapping her head. The gentleman is pushing a stroller where an adorable baby peeks out to survey his surroundings. I would give everything to see a sight like this every time I went to the mall. My heart will no longer scream its silent protest but beat a steady drum of approval. Isn’t it beautiful if your first love was your one and only true love? No heartbreaks before this to mar the new relationship and the ties that bind you together is that of marriage. What a perfect union. As perfect as Islam and its followers who strive to remain in Allah’s blessing.
This fleeting, wonderful dream still lingers in my mind’s eye as I turn to my friend,
‘Husband, let’s go get something to eat, shall we?’
He smiles and takes my hand in his. “Anything for my sweetheart…”