I recently attended a wedding, and as the rukhsati began (symbolically, when the wife leaves her parents house, to join her husband in her new home) I found the whole process emotional. This young woman was leaving the safety of her parents to join her husband. She prays he will treat her well, respect her, inspire her, and facilitate her. Her parents pray he will give her the care, concern, and love they did, and provide her with the opportunities they did not, and could not. She is leaving to join another family, with hopes they will treat her well, like their own. I’ve heard many stories, and it begins with managing expectations. Our expectations of each other should be respect, good treatment, and kindness. They can’t revolve around expecting another woman to fit within a mold that has been created for her.
I prayed for her, and I hoped she would be happy in her new home inshaAllah.
I turned around to my husband, and we discussed when I left my parents, and how some men and families don’t fully appreciate *everything* women leave behind. The security, the love, and ability to make mistakes, without feeling judged, or someone looking over their shoulder, especially if they live with their in-laws. For many, the only time they will experience empathy is when their own daughter leaves them, to begin her new life. He will miss the times she made tea for him countless times in a day, or how she would lovingly cook for him. He will miss the laughter, and reminisce the memories they shared together, as father and daughter.
A woman leaves so much behind, and this is one of the reasons the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) emphasised the importance of fulfilling the rights of your wife. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Treat people the way you would love to be treated, and do not treat them the way you would hate to be treated.” Al-Mu’jam al-Kabīr, 15833 (Sahih). When you bring someone in your home, she has to be given the utmost respect, as we would want our own daughters to be treated.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) further emphasised how interference can cause harm, and this applies when other individuals interfere in marriages, whether they are family or friends, he said: “From the perfection of a person’s Islam is his leaving alone what does not concern him.” Sunan al-Tirmidhî and Sunan Ibn Mâjah.
Finally, the union of marriage is a beautiful bond, and the Messenger of Allah as a father advised ‘Ali, his future son-in-law how important his role was when he asked for Fatima (may Allah be pleased with them), he (peace be upon him) said, “She is yours if you treat her with the best company.” Al-Mu’jam al-Kabīr, 3490 (Sahih).
-Written by Alima Ashfaq