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The problem with Muslim weddings today – and three crazy ideas for fixing it!

So crazy, it just might work!

So crazy, it just might work!

Author Unknown – Edited by Zawaj.com for clarity

Assalamu Alaykom wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,

So here goes…

There’s a disturbing pattern/tendency to be found in Muslim weddings these days. People waste too much money!

The Prophet, peace be upon him, said that the least blessed weddings/waleemas are the ones were the rich are invited and the poor are not. And these days we’re seeing people who are spending tens of thousands of pounds on a wedding and they’re only inviting SOME of their friends.

Just some.

So it’s not just that they’re only inviting their friends, it’s that they’re inviting SOME of them.

This is really quite sad.

And of course, because they’re only inviting some, they don’t want to offend the others, so they don’t even tell them until AFTER the big event.

Which is even more offensive !

That’s the irony of lacking approval though – you get that which you were trying to run away from.

Why do they do this ?

1. “It’s MY big day.”

Actually, in Islam, the waleema is supposed to be for ish-har (to make the knowledge of your union public)
… so actually, it’s the community’s day.

Secondly, who benefits more? You or the hotel that’s receiving your 10 grand? So it’s not your big day, it’s the hotel’s big day.

2. “I want this to be the best day of my life!”

Are you sure about that? There will inshaAllah be many more days after you get married. Are you sure that you want them to be not as good as the day of your wedding?! Sounds like a bad deal to me!

And it probably will be the best day of your life with that attitude:

  • you will lose friends
  • the husband and his family, and maybe even the bride’s family are now steeped in debt and the stress makes it hard to enjoy your actual marriage and each others company!

3. “We can’t afford to invite everyone.”

Well, sure, if you’re giving all your money to a 5-star hotel, then it’s going to be kinda hard to invite everyone. They charge you per seat, so now people even say ‘no children’. Cos why should they pay for a full adult meal when the 3 yr old isn’t going to eat a full meal – let alone even know what’s happening! So now parents have to decide which one of their children goes and which one stays. Or they just respect themselves and none of them go.

The above 3 points and all their sub-points are just SOME of the problems that come with modern day marriages.

Just some.

Now imagine it differently:

Imagine that you didn’t so badly lack approval for yourself that you needed to be Cinderella.

Imagine that you didn’t lack approval for yourself that you felt obliged to pay so much money just to prove that “you’re worth it” (just buy some Loreal shampoo!)

Now here are three “crazy” ideas for fixing the whole problem:

1. Have the wedding in the mosque

  1. You give that same $10,000 you were going to spend to a mosque, even though they would only ask for $1,000 or $2,000.
  2. Non-Muslim friends come and it’s dawah.
  3. The mosque benefits and is able to provide more services.
  4. You are rewarded for every person that prays during your wedding, that wouldn’t have in the hotel.
  5. It’s still much cheaper than a hotel.

2. Employ Muslims

You want the place to look amazing, so why not employ low-wage local Muslims to set the hall up for you? You’ll be making their lives MUCH easier with that additional money and whoever brings a smile to a Muslim family, Allah (swt) finds NOTHING to give him/her worthy of that smile that’s less than JANNAH!

… no actually, maybe you want to do it in that big hotel and only invite 50 of your closest friends/family and fight about who gets invited !!! (sarcasm).

The thing about Hollywood weddings is that most of them end in divorce. …Good luck with that !

3. Don’t pay per head !

Just go to a Muslim catering company and ask to feed 300 people. It’ll come to the same price as the 50 that the hotel were going to charge you for! And all those people will make dua for you, and the barakah will mean that 300 people’s worth of food will probably feed about 700 !! … rich and poor.

Or… get the local Muslim community to cook it for you !! Buy high quality food, organic chicken, nice lamb, organic vegetables, and get them to cook it for you !

Pay them per hour. That’s even cheaper, and you’re employing your brothers and sisters, and the community becomes cohesive.

SubhanAllah… marriage.

Marriage… that which is meant to bring two families together and glue society together has now become a reason not to invite people !!

That’s disgusting.

There’s something else:  Why should you invite people by name? Why should you pay stupid money to print cards and then deliver them ? Facebook, tweet, tell everyone to tell everyone else… and make it an open invite.

If anyone finds this offensive (that they didn’t receive a card)… well you could employ your local gangster to stand by you on your big day and to answer those people back for you.

And don’t just invite the poor Muslims. Take it even further! How many homeless NON-MUSLIMS exist within the district/area that the mosque resides in? There are homeless people two streets away from the white house ! I’m sure there are some near your mosque too! In Western countries, these homeless people will see the joy that comes from Muslims…

… THIS is dawah.

NOT annoying people on the street with a stall:   “What if you die tonight as you think about it? … say the shahadah now !!!”

lol. such low calibre dawah. Better than no dawah I guess.

Marriage. Everyone repeats with an accent as they bop their heads left to right: “marriage is half of your path.” Do it this way and the blessings from it will create your akhira (here-after) insha Allah. Bless your union, bless your life, bless your community, bless your here-after … with a blessed wedding. (the opposite is true also).

Learn to think this way by eliminating your whims and desires.

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Conversations with a Pregnant Wife, Part 3: What’s in a Name?

Choosing a baby name.

Choosing a baby name is not always easy.

By Yasser Aboudouma
Writer, Civil Engineer – Egypt

Part 1: “Honey, I have a craving!”
Part 2: Watch out, she’s moody!

Husbands, you have reached the final stage of the pregnancy marathon! The last three months of pregnancy can be called the months of mass destruction. The pregnant wife will be fond of knowing the baby’s gender; you too, of course. She will start shopping for the baby. She will have emotional “alterations” — in some cases, depression!

Month Seven (Boy/Girl)

Sure, the doctor can tell the baby’s gender. It is common in Egypt that most families dream that the first baby is a boy, which means your wife will dream of that too

Wife: That doctor is really weird. She is telling us “may be a boy, may be a girl.” What does she mean that the baby can be a girl? I want a baby boy, and all my friends and family are prepared for that. If we had gone to a male doctor from the beginning, he would have told us, easily, whether the baby is a girl or a boy.

Wife: Huh! I need to think about baby girl names. What you do think? Layla, Dalia, or Du`aa’? or let’s call her after my close friend. You know, I want her name to be unique — something that combines Arab, Egyptian, Western, Islamic, and Pharaonic cultures all in one name!

Husband: (teasing her) Don’t worry about the name. we’ll give her the name “Saffron.” I’ll complete all the official paperwork before you leave the operation room after delivery.

Wife: WHAT? Saf … what? No, please. Let me choose her name. I want to name her after my mom, your mom, or your sister — just don’t choose that name.

Of course, the name choice argument will give you some power to control her mood, but remember, don’t use it too much ; otherwise, you will find yourself flying out of the window!

Month Eight (Clothes)

Various researches describe this month in different ways, but they all agree that the pregnant woman wants to buy the entire world for her baby. She will feel jealous if she knows or hears about other mothers buying something for their babies, and she will do her best to buy the same or better. You as a husband have to accept that and get prepared to spend your savings on it. Husbands, never ever dream of saying “no” or complaining if she asks for baby shopping.

Wife: My colleague came to work with her baby today, and the baby wore a very sweet, pretty outfit that made her look like a princess. In the evening, I’ll go shopping.

Husband: OK! We can shop at the weekend.

Wife: Thank you, honey. I knew you would agree, so today I bought fancy brand-name clothes for her from that famous store. Our daughter must get the best!

Husband: I thought we were going to do the shopping together.

Wife: Don’t worry. There’s still a lot to buy. Hey, see this is a shampoo for the baby when she sleeps and that shampoo is for when she wakes up. These are diapers from the US, and this is a brush for her hair.

Husband: WHAT? Shampoo for what? How do you know that the baby wants to sleep or not to and how to decide ahead of time which shampoo to use? You might bathe her with shampoo used for waking up and then she will want to sleep… oh yes, then you’ll wake her up quickly and give her a shower with the right shampoo?

Who told you that the baby will be born with hair; as I understand it, a lot of babies are born without any hair, so that hairbrush is useless. In addition, why did you buy diapers made in the US? What’s wrong with the ones made in Egypt? It’s just a diaper, not a fancy thing!

Wife: Arrrgh! Don’t worry, babies know the right shampoo! She’ll sense which is the correct one and then act accordingly; that’s what’s written on the bottle. And I got the US-made diapers because I want my daughter to feel unique. Anyway, I bought three towels for the baby, one to use after shower, the second to dry her as the first one will be wet, and the third to cover her the second we are sure she is properly dried. Also, I got her hair clips, skin cream — one for night and the other for the morning, three pair of shoes, socks, underwear, and four dresses.

Husband: Are you sure you’re shopping for a baby, not a girl who is getting ready for marriage?! By the way, did you buy her a make-up box? There’s something especially for babies. You have to run to buy it now, and don’t forget the baby’s teeth brush, too!

Muslim family

Wife: Oh my God! You’re right, I really forgot that. I’ll arrange with my mom and sister to go out with me to complete my shopping.

Wife: By the way, you have to be more careful; my close friend told me that anger and nervousness are not good for pregnancy. Today at the meeting, all my colleagues were perfectly behaved; once any one just thought about arguing with me, I told them that I was in the eighth month and the baby would be delivered prematurely if I argue! There were no arguments, and the meeting ended in 10 minutes!

Husband: I think you’ll get fired soon.

Days pass slowly, and the pregnant wife returns home with many things she bought from different stores. The husband gets used to seeing his wife sitting on the floor and spreading all the baby’s stuff around her to check, kiss, hug them and find out what is missing!

Month Nine

Husbands, congratulations! You’re in the ninth month. You have waited eight months to reach that final month. You controlled your temper throughout, you worked and helped with the housework, And you are tired; you deserve some relaxation.

The pregnant wife knows that the time of her being spoiled will end; finally, she will be responsible for a baby, so she will start acting as poorly, trying to show you that she is weak and powerless. Do understand that she is worried about delivering her baby — it is her first time, and she knows virtually nothing about giving birth. So you will have to –be, even more, patient!

Wife: Honey, I feel sorry for you! The past eight months have been very hard for you. I rarely cooked and you stopped eating dinner, while your breakfast was just a cake; you lost 20 kg. I have to cook today. I’ll make a surprise for you. I’ll boil some eggs and prepare white cheese, but would you please prepare the salad for us?!

Husband: … .

Wife: Do you think I’ll deliver the baby naturally or will there be a C-section? You know, most of my pregnant friends had a cesarean. Maybe my doctor will deliver it naturally as she is a female doctor.

Husband: Ah yep, but the doctor’s gender doesn’t affect the type of delivery.

Wife: Anyway, I prepared two suite cases for the baby and me.

A natural phenomenon: All pregnant women become nice and kind to their husbands just a few days before giving birth. So be careful, because that kindness will turn to hell if you were at work while she starts labor.

Wife: OHHH, HELP! Mom, Father, Brother, Sister, Uncles, Aunts, United Nations, Egyptian people, the Universe, … any one! Help me, I’m in pain! The baby!

Wife: (addressing her husband) Honey, I’m in pain, tell that doctor to give me any painkiller. I can’t handle it any more. I feel weak. Promise me if anything happens to me, never ever get married again! Don’t give our baby a stepmother. Please, promise me!

Husband: You’ll be fine, and everything will be OK. It happens to all women; you’re not the first one. Just a few minutes from now, and you’ll hold in your arms a sweet baby girl.

Wife: Did you bring a video camera with you? Don’t take any shots from my left-hand side; my right side is more photogenic! Choose good angles for the shots, I want to look pretty in the video. Take shots while I’m not screaming and before my face appears in the video screen, just tell me to smile.

Husband: We’re recording the birth of our baby, not making a movie! You’ll be in the operation room, and you won’t care about anything of that sort.

Wife: Labor hurts. I’m crazy and stupid; I don’t want to get pregnant again. This is the first and last time. If anyone had told me about that pain, I would’ve never thought about marriage.

A big scream from the pregnant woman calls for the baby to come out and get introduced into this world to join the mother’s community.

Wife: Honey, what is the gender of the baby?

Husband: What? The baby is a girl. We knew that a long time ago.

Wife: Yipeeee… I thought the doctor would change her mind. Is she pretty?

He: (Teasing her) Who, the doctor? Yes, very.

Wife: No, silly! I mean the baby.

Husband: Oh! yes, she’s very, very pretty.

Wife: OK, next time we’ll have a baby boy. Now tell them I want to hold her.

Husband: (in amazement) Next time? You just said … You were … What happened? Women! Women! Women!

Husbands, don’t worry. Pregnant women are all like that — in a state of confusion and amazement. And they will continue to be like that until the last second of their lives. Congratulations!

Part 1: Honey, I Have a Craving!
Part 2:  Watch Out, She’s Moody!
Part 3:  What’s in a Name?

***

Yasser Aboudouma is an Egyptian-Canadian who lives between Cairo and Ontario. He holds a B.Sc. in engineering and a diploma in project management. He is interested in issues of social and cultural differences.

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Conversations with a Pregnant Wife, Part 2: Watch Out, She’s Moody!

Silence is Golden

Part 1: Honey, I Have a Craving!
Part 2:  Watch Out, She’s Moody!
Part 3:  What’s in a Name?

By Yasser Aboudouma
Writer, Civil Engineer – Egypt

The first three months represented one-sided arguments, morning sickness, and food cravings. The following three months of pregnancy are like a walking through a minefield, with more one-sided arguments and weight gain. The husband has to expect a lot of warning messages that reflect the pregnant wife’s mood, not helped by the fact that she has a career.

Month Four

Wife: See? As I told you before, you have to stop defending them.

Husband: What happened?

Wife: The meeting today! The attendees have not given me my prestige even though they knew about my pregnancy.

Wife: Imagine, once I entered the meeting room, just five people stood up, and the others didn’t care.

Husband: WHAT! You had the chance to choose between five seats!

Wife: NO, all people have to stand up and let me choose where I want to sit.

Wife: I’ll ask the manager to limit the meeting for three to four people max.; a congested room is not good for my pregnancy.

Husband: Why do you bother? You know, why don’t you ask him to cancel all meetings!

Wife: Poor me, you’re always mean to me. Even one girl felt sorry for me and let me sit beside the window, and she opened the door too!

Husband: That’s not fair for them.

Wife: What! You’re worried about them and not me? Men!

At this stage of pregnancy, all husbands have to learn how to control their temper and be patient. A little piece of advice for husbands: Don’t try to get involved in any arguments with your lovely, pregnant wife! It’s useless, as the argument will end with accusations as if you’re the reason for all the destruction and wars in the world! You have to learn that if speech is silver, then silence is solid gold.

Month Five

The fifth month means a lot of activity, so don’t be surprised if your wife starts to become more active and looks for extra work to do. As the baby starts growing, the pregnant wife starts getting less sleep and, normally, she won’t accept that you sleep while she doesn’t! Husbands, don’t be scared when your wife wakes you up in the middle of the night with a certain look on her face. In fact, the look is telling you something.

Wife: HURRY! Wake up!

Husband: What is it? What’s wrong? Are you sick? Did you hear something? Did someone call? Is there a thief in the house? Is there a fire in the neighborhood?

Wife: No, nothing like that! I just wanted to tell you that I felt the baby move.

Husband: (horrified) WHAAAAAT! You woke me up at — what time is it? – 3 a.m. to tell me that! I have to go to work early tomorrow morning, and I can feel the baby in the morning.

Wife: (looking hurt) You don’t like me or our baby. I thought you’d like to share with me these moments.

Husband: OK, OK, let me feel the baby.

You can spend the rest of the night waiting to feel the baby move, which never happens! It’s normal. Simply, say you can feel it and make your life easier.

The pregnant wife normally feels that she needs care and attention, so be ready to expect any weird request, at any time!

Husband: Honey, I’ll take a nap until the food is ready.

Wife: WHAT! You want to go and rest while I stand in the kitchen preparing food instead of coming to give me a hand? OK, your highness! Where is the UN, human rights organizations, and gender equity rules?

Husband: OK, OK, I’m coming. I’ll give you a hand; sorry.

Of course, your help will start by washing the raw vegetables, and you’ll end up preparing everything while your pregnant wife takes her nap!

Wife: Honey, you can leave the dishes and I’ll put them in the dishwasher after I take a nap, but if you insist, it’s OK.

Husband: (vexed) OK, honey, I’ll put them.

Wife: Fine. Could you bring a glass of water with you. If you prepare tea for yourself, don’t forget my cup.

Husband: Ummm, but you said you’ll take a nap!

Wife: Yeah, I will after I drink my tea. While you’re waiting for the water to boil for the tea, please put the clothes in the washing machine. Plus, there are clothes that need to be folded. Can you do it? I’m very tired.

To all husbands: Be careful of that word, “honey.” It’s usually followed by “do that” or “don’t do that”!

Month Six

With the sixth month comes the weight gain — around 15 kg in the beginning! The pregnant wife is forced to replace her normal clothes with larger sizes. She starts feeling the baby move, and gets disappointed with what she is beginning to look like.

Wife: Why are you smiling like that? Haven’t you seen a pregnant woman gaining weight before?

Husband: (trying to hold down his laughter) Of course not. You look the same, but why do you walk like that?

Wife: I’m pregnant; have you forgotten or what?

Husbands, don’t expect the lady you married to remain the same girl who likes to share in your thoughts and/or life difficulties. Their focus changes, and as pregnant women they always like to talk about the pregnancy, and they don’t intend or desire to talk about anything else.

Wife: I read online that in the West pregnant women deliver their babies without anesthetics, and sometimes it happens when they’re sitting or swimming in a pool. I’ll check with my doctor to see about the possibility of doing the same.

Husband: Honey, you’re still in your sixth month, and remember that you’re in Egypt, not in the West. Tell me first, do you spend all your working day searching for information about pregnancy on the Net? Sweetheart, I tell you what, let’s forget about that now, I need to eat.

Wife: I’ll prepare something special today. Just go and sit in front of the TV until I finish.

(A couple of hours pass.)

Husband: Honey, where’s the food?

Wife: It’s not ready yet, it’s only 10 p.m., why are you in a hurry?

Husband: Honey, you think 10 p.m. is still early? Let’s eat anything, even some cheese.

Wife: (now mad) You’re a typical Middle Eastern man; there’s no appreciation whatsoever for my effort! Just for your information, my close friend never cooked anything throughout her pregnancy and up until four months after she delivered the baby.

Husband: So what did they eat for the year?

Wife: (in a low voice) Her husband was out of the country for a year, and she stayed at her parents’ house.

A wise man once said that parents who failed to raise their son properly shouldn’t worry, the wife will certainly do the job!

Part 1: Honey, I Have a Craving!
Part 2:  Watch Out, She’s Moody!
Part 3:  What’s in a Name?

***

Yasser Aboudouma is an Egyptian-Canadian who lives between Cairo and Ontario. He holds a B.Sc. in engineering and a diploma in project management. He is interested in issues of social and cultural differences.

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Conversations with a pregnant wife, Part 1 – “Honey, I have a craving!”

Seedless watermelon

This was originally published as, “Honey, You’re Pregnant” on IslamOnline.net

Part 1: Honey, I Have a Craving!

Part 2:  Watch Out, She’s Moody!
Part 3:  What’s in a Name?

By Yasser Aboudouma
Writer, Civil Engineer – Egypt

There are common arguments, especially in Egypt, that are repeated daily between each husband and his lovely and adorable wife, who by the way is pregnant for the first time!

Usually, the story begins when the wife suspects that she is pregnant. She runs to the nearest lab for a pregnancy test, and once she is confirmed pregnant, all her life is changed and her husband’s life is pushed to the edge, or more pointedly, to the verge of collapse.

“I have to see a good doctor,” the wife says.

“But, your doctor is good and she has a good reputation,” replies the husband.

With the start of a period of pregnancy, there are a lot of requests, orders, and special considerations, and the poor husband has to listen and obey, because her majesty is going through her first pregnancy!

* * *

First Month

Wife: I want to see a male doctor like all my girlfriends. My doctor is old and boring.

Husband: Honey, you are veiled, and there is no necessity to visit a male doctor; and whether your doctor is old or young, what matters is her experience and qualifications. If you don’t feel comfortable with your doctor, we can look for another female doctor.

Wife: NO! I know that females are not that experienced in medicine.

Husband: (mumbling) In everything, not only medicine!

The arguments continue till the husband succeeds in convincing his wife that another female doctor would be good, especially that she is a little younger than the previous doctor. But, the wife is still unhappy as the new doctor does not have the latest high technology of ultrasonography.

Wife: See! This doctor also failed to show me the baby.

Husband: Honey, you are still in your first month, there is no baby to see.

Wife: My friend’s doctor showed her the baby in her first month, and the baby was moving, plus she could hear his heartbeat.

Husband: Oh yeah! And the baby was walking too, right! In the first month, the baby looks like a dot.

As usual, that argument ends with going to one of the private hospitals where there are the latest medical equipment. At the hospital, the doctor explains to the wife that there is no way any instrument can show a baby, its movement, or its heartbeat, as the baby is not big enough. Finally, they quietly return back home and the wife realizes that she has to wait.

* * *

Second Month

Pregnant woman cartoon image

The second month of pregnancy means nausea and cravings for certain foods. Hormones start to increase rapidly, which affects the pregnant woman’s behavior with her husband and her colleagues at work. Be careful if you have pregnant women at your company and/or office.

Wife: Honey, I have a craving for watermelon with no seeds.

Husband: I have never heard of that! Watermelon with no seeds!

Wife: That’s not my concern. I crave for it and I want it. Do you want our baby to be born with a birthmark?

Wife: I think my tummy is a little bigger than normal. I believe I have twins!

Husband: No, your tummy is still the same, and the doctor told us that you have a single baby, not twins.

Wife: So! Maybe the doctor could not see him.

Day after day, this kind of dialogue goes on and on, especially when the wife goes to work. Expect your pregnant wife to return from work in a bad mood, nervous, and quite, quite mad because …

Wife: (nervously) I have to quit work. I will give them my resignation tomorrow. I can’t handle work and all the people there. It’s OVER!

Husband: What happened?

Wife: Imagine. At the weekly meeting, my manager suggested something that should be done. I told him that I don’t think it’s beneficial to work. He kept arguing with me, and he wasn’t convinced by what I said.

Husband: That’s normal. He is your boss, and he has a right to argue with you about work.

Wife: Men, men, men! You are one of them, and all men are the same – sure you’ll defend him. No, he has no right to do so and no right to argue with me; he meant to irritate me. All of the men in the meeting, and the world, have to take a one-way trip to Iraq, and I’m ready to pay for the tickets!

Wife: Also, that girl in the meeting, instead of supporting me and taking my side, she supported him and made more suggestions that I have to implement.

Husband: Honey, it’s normal; that girl is your close friend and she has always been kind to you.

Wife: NO! It’s not normal. They have to know that I’m pregnant and my increasing hormones affect my mood, so they shouldn’t argue with me at all!

Husband: Sweetheart, let’s forget all about work – what do we have for dinner today?

Wife: (In a very shy, soft, and passive voice) Honey, do you really want something to eat today? I was nervous today and needed to rest because I was worried about the baby. But there’s a tin of tuna in the kitchen.

Husband: What! You will not join me for dinner?

Wife: No. When I had finished the meeting, I returned to my office and ordered some food to help me relax.

Days will pass, and life will crawl along slowly until “this woman” reaches her third month of pregnancy.

* * *

Third Month

In this month, the pregnant wife is assured that she has a single baby. Hormones increase rapidly, which affect the routine of her life and make her feel lazy and sleepy most of the time. She will be curious to see the baby each and every day, and she will want to trace its growth accordingly.

Cartoon about an argumentative pregnant woman

Wife: Yesterday, the doctor didn’t show me the baby well. The baby’s hand didn’t show up clearly.

Husband: Don’t worry. The doctor and I saw the baby, and it looked really great.

Wife: I’m not asking for what you and the doctor did or didn’t see! I have to re-visit the doctor next week, and I’ll ask her to show me the baby.

Husband: She arranged the next appointment for next month, not next week.

Wife: No problem. She won’t remember, and my friend told me that her doctor had ultrasound and showed her the baby on a weekly basis.

Husband: Honey, your friend is in her sixth month, while you are in your third.

Wife: Arrrrrgh! Stop arguing with me. You are just like my colleagues at work; useless!

Or the dialogue may go back to the size of the wife’s “tummy”!

Wife: Honey, I think my tummy is starting to get bigger.

Husband: No dear, I think it is still the normal size.

Wife: You see, my pregnant friends told me so. They also told me that in the third month my tummy starts to get bigger. Plus, I’ll feel the baby’s movement and I’ll hear his heartbeats too.

Arguments, arguments, arguments; your life will be all about arguments with your sweet, pregnant wife! You have to be patient and quiet, and you must support her, even if she surprises you by trying to manipulate everything for her own benefit.

Wife: Honey, I want to eat something.

Husband: What’s that, sweetheart? We can have it delivered here.

Wife: I wish to eat at that restaurant we went to on the day we got married.

Husband: Yeah, but it’s far away from here and previously you complained that you get tired from being in the car, especially for long distances.

Wife: No, no. If we go to that restaurant, I won’t feel tired.

Husband: OK honey, we’ll go this weekend.

Wife: No, I want to go today, NOW – otherwise, the baby will be born with a birthmark! as I crave eating in that restaurant.

Husband: Sweetheart, I understand that pregnant women crave for certain kinds of food, not certain kinds of restaurant!

Wife: Have you ever been pregnant? How would you know about cravings? This is my desire.

Of course, these arguments end in one direction only, the pregnant wife’s direction; and the husband has to admit that he will lose his case to his wife, who represents the half of society, whom we call weak!

Part 2:  Watch Out, She’s Moody!
Part 3:  What’s in a Name?

***

Yasser Aboudouma is an Egyptian-Canadian who lives between Cairo and Ontario. He holds a B.Sc. in engineering and a diploma in project management. He is interested in issues of social and cultural differences.

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Zawaj.com Humor Files: Goha and the Walnut Tree

Zawaj.com’s Islamic Humor Files

Goha and the Walnut Tree

Editor’s Note: Some call him Goha or Joha, the Turks call him Hodja, while the Persians and Afghanis call him Mollah, Nasrullah or Mullah Nasruddin. Regardless of what you call him, this wise, mysterious and sarcastic figure has been a fixture of Middle Eastern stories for centuries.

Black walnut tree

Black walnut tree

One day Goha was relaxing in the shade under a tall, beautiful walnut tree. As he lay on the grass, half dozing, he looked up into the high leafy canopy of the tree, and the small walnuts growing there. Then he gazed into the distance at some large pumpkins growing on the ground nearby.

He had a thought. “God, your ways are so strange,” he mused. “The little walnut gets this majestic tree, while those huge pumpkins must grow on a tiny vine. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t the small walnut have a small vine, and the great pumpkin grow on this great tree?”

Suddenly a walnut fell from the tree and smacked him in the forehead. Goha jumped to his feet and raised his hands to the sky. “O God,” he said, “I will never question your wisdom again. Imagine if that had been a pumpkin!”

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Sexy secrets of the Syrian souk

Sexy bra sold in a Syrian souk

An example of Syrian lingerie design for the bedroom

By Martin Asser, reporting from Damascus
Reprinted from BBC News Online

Just off the crowded central market in Old Damascus, a sales assistant called Mahmoud is giving me my first introduction into an unusual Syrian speciality – musical knickers.

The garments come in many different shapes and colours, and play little tunes – or other extraneous noises like telephone ringtones – all made by small electronic devices hidden in the lining.

Singing underwear isn’t the only item on sale at the “Fatin Shop for Ladies Indoor Clothing”, where Mahmoud is proudly showing off his product lines.

He’s got knickers with flashing fairy lights, others that glow in the dark, a bra-and-knickers set shaped like manicured women’s hands enveloping the wearer’s body.

In a slightly higher price range, he’s got remote-controlled bras and knickers, designed to spring open and fall to the floor with a clap of the hands or a press of a button.

Welcome to the no-frills world of Syrian lingerie – no frills, but plenty of tassels, and feathers, and zips, and bras which open like curtains, and…

There’s a whole street off the historic Hamadiyeh Souk selling this genre of clothing – all outfits manufactured in Syria, some that Madonna herself might blush to wear, all showing bawdy creativity and a wicked sense of humour.

Culture shock

Forthright displays of the some world’s raciest “leisure wear” have long been a feature of Syrian souks – though many tourists don’t notice the hot knickers and PVC French maid outfits among the more traditional inlaid backgammon sets and textiles.

Remote controlled sexy underwear in a Syrian souk

Mahmoud demonstrates various styles, including remote-controlled knickers

It stems from the Syrian tradition for brides-to-be to be given a trousseau of exotic underwear – sometimes dozens of items – usually by girlfriends, aunties and cousins, to add spice to their wedding nights, honeymoons and beyond.

With a glint in his eye, Mahmoud, who’s barely out of school himself, says “some ladies keep coming back until their 30s”.

Now two London-based Arab women, Rana Salam and Malu Halasa, are shining a spotlight on this little-known local speciality, with a new book called The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie.

“They used to tell me at art school: ‘Look within your culture’. So I looked and I was in for a big surprise,” graphic designer Ms Salam told me at the launch in London last month.

“The point of the book is to go beyond politics, to break stereotypes and celebrate Middle Eastern romanticism and pleasure. Call it kitsch, call it whatever you like, but I think this attire is superb, spontaneous, pure art.”

On display at the launch party are a few of the most elaborate (but silent) designs, framed on the wall as works of art, including the “hands” bikini.

“I mean, Jean Paul Gaultier eat your heart out,” she says pointing to another exhibit, a bright red wire spiral bra, with white roses at the center and covered in a host of plastic butterflies.

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Joke: Understanding Women, Understanding Men

Genie lamp

"I'll grant you one wish," the genie said.


Understanding Women:

A man was on a boat that capsized in the sea. Alhamdulillah the waves cast him up on a desert island. After months of loneliness, a beautiful colored bottle washed up on the beach. The man picked it up and caressed it, admiring its beauty, until a genie came out in a puff of smoke.

“Thank you for releasing me from my prison,” the genie said. “I grant you any wish you like. I can’t do magic, but I’m very strong and wise.”

“Wonderful,” the man said. “Build me a bridge back to my country so I can return home.”

“Oh, come on,” the genie said. “Do you have any idea what a massive engineering feat that would be? There’s not enough steel or stone in the world for that. I’m just a simple genie. Wish for something realistic.”

“Okay then,” the man said. “I wish to understand the mind of a woman.”

“Alright,” said the genie, sighing. “Did you want a suspension bridge, cable bridge, or arch bridge?”


Understanding Men:

“IT’S A GUY THING”
Translated: “There is no rational thought or logic connected with it.”

“CAN I HELP WITH DINNER?”
Translated: “Why isn’t it already on the table?”

“UH HUH,” “SURE, HONEY,” OR “YES, DEAR”
Translated: Absolutely nothing. It’s a conditioned response.

“IT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG TO EXPLAIN”
Translated: “I have no idea how it works.”

Cartoon about men and women's expectations“I WAS LISTENING TO YOU. IT’S JUST THAT I HAVE THINGS ON MY MIND.”
Translated: “That girl standing on the corner is a real babe.”

“TAKE A BREAK HONEY, YOU’RE WORKING TOO HARD.”
Translated: “I can’t hear the game over the vacuum cleaner.”

“THAT’S INTERESTING, DEAR.”
Translated: “Are you still talking?”

“YOU KNOW HOW BAD MY MEMORY IS.”
Translated: “I remember the names and stats of dozens of football players’, the telephone number of my first girlfriend, and the vehicle identification numbers of every car I’ve ever owned, but I forgot our anniversary.”

“OH, DON’T FUSS – I JUST CUT MYSELF, IT’S NO BIG DEAL.
“Translated: “I will bleed to death before I admit that I’m not a tough guy.”

“I CAN’T FIND IT.”
Translated: “It didn’t fall into my outstretched hands, so I’m completely clueless.”

“WHAT DID I DO THIS TIME?”
Translated: “What did you catch me at?”

“I HEARD YOU.”
Translated: “I haven’t the foggiest clue what you just said, and am hoping desperately that I can fake it well enough so that you don’t spend the next three days yelling at me.”

“YOU KNOW I COULD NEVER LOVE ANYONE ELSE.”
Translated: “I am used to the way you yell at me, and someone else might be worse.”

“YOU LOOK TERRIFIC.”
Translated: “Oh, please don’t try on one more outfit, I’m starving.”

“I’M NOT LOST. I KNOW EXACTLY WHERE WE ARE.”
Translated: “No one will ever see us alive again.”

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Zawaj.com Humor Files: 10 Good Reasons to Marry a Muslim

Muslim names are cool. Imagine shouting, "Zahratun Nisa (Women-Flower)! Get down from those monkey bars this instant!"

Muslim names are cool. Imagine shouting, "Zahratun Nisa (Women-Flower)! Get down from those monkey bars this instant!"

Zawaj.com’s Islamic Humor Files

I came across this rather silly article on elanthemag.com, a website that bills itself as “the guide to global Muslim youth culture.” I’m not sure who the target audience is for the article – maybe it’s directed at young Muslims who are susceptible to marrying non-Muslims? It’s not an article meant to be taken seriously, so I have classified it under Zawaj.com’s Humor Files.

Here you go:

10 Good Reasons to Marry a Muslim

by Fareeda Ahmed
elanthemag.com
11/5/09 – 2:24 PM

Single ladies and bachelors, listen up! The world is melting! Nationality is just not what it was before. In a world where we can have wars on intangible forces (“terror,” “obesity,”…”Hannah Montana”) it’s clear that borders just don’t mean what they used to. This post-modern nationless world, coupled with the rise of intermarriage – aka “people-flower cross-pollinization,” – has rendered the question “so where are you from?” as obsolete as “so, when was your last polio vaccination?” or “How ‘bout them Crusades?”

Always the trendsetters, Muslims as a people have helped propagate this blurring of borderlines since their emergence from the deserts of Saudi 1,600 years ago – Islam spread as its followers travelled, and its singles mingled with indigenous populations. As a result, Muslims are all over the globe today. And the trend is growing. Muslim genes are spreading faster than viral videos, and it’s not the broadband (though that might be part of it…internet dating, etc).

So are you looking for a long-term relationship? Don’t fight it, people. You read about us in the news every single day – we’re freakin’ famous! Come and melt with us! Give you one good reason? Sure thing! Here are 10 good reasons to marry a Muslim.

1. Cool Kids’ names – Muslim names are awesome! Don’t get me wrong. I think John, and Jackson, and Bob are all nice names…but when your kids’ names are Jahangir (conquerer of the world), Jalal-ud-Din (the majesty of religion), and Bahar Bano (blooming princess), you’ll be itching for them to fall off the swings so you can yell their names proudly across the playground. i.e. Zahratun Nisa (Women-Flower) ! Get down from those monkey bars this instant!

2. In with the In-Crowd- Get with it! Muslims are the second-largest religious community in the world. Join the club! Loser.

2a. Diversify Your Gene Portfolio – Tagging onto #2 – the world Muslim population is enormously diverse and varied. It’s sort of like a Whole Foods buffet for genes – you get a little Chinese, a little Italian, and some North African too.

3. Wedding of Your Dreams – Small courthouse ceremony? Or awesome wedding extravaganza with bejeweled camels and a weeklong music and dance festival. (And here’s one way to do it without breaking the bank!)

4. Instant Celebrity- What other group of people is in the news more? Your choices are basically: join a reality tv show (hello psuedo-celebrity Apprentice), become Barack Obama, get fake lost in a flying balloon and hide in your parents’ attic…or become Muslim! If you want to be talked about – Muslim is the way to go!

5. Pull the “M” Card- people have lots of misconceptions about Islam. While we all do our duty to educate them about fasting, prayer, and our traditions, another boon of marrying a Muslim is you get to psych them out too – like, “oh what’s that? That huge paper is due on Monday? Oh right, well that’s a religious holiday for me, a Muslim one. No can do. Sorry.” Or “I’m so bummed I can’t eat that delicious looking roasted intestine sausage link. I’m fasting. What’s that? Yeah, it started uhh right now, like 5 minutes ago. Whattashame.” Or “Oh…heyyyy…..how are…you……yeah, I totally meant to call you, but phones are against my religion.”

6. Family Drama and Not Just Yo’ Mamma- Think you’ve got family drama with your 2 evil cousins and weird uncle? Marry into a Muslim family and you’ve just entered stage-right of a saga of epic proportions, complete with evil eyes, cursing of generations, and ancestral feuds. Plenty of fodder if you’re a writer…or a therapist.

7,8,9 &10. You totally thought I was going to list something about ”multiple wives,” didn’t you? Didn’t you? Like saving on wedding expenses by doing 4 brides-in-1, or creating a dynasty of little you’s in one-quarter the time. You were just waiting for it, weren’t you?

Well, sorry, I couldn’t resist: Reasons 7,8,9, &10 = Wives 1,2,3 & 4.

Polygamy: expanding the Muslim empire since 600AD.

You’re welcome, World.

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Zawaj.com Humor Files: The Old Man, the Little Boy and the Donkey

Photograph of a native of Bethlehem, Palestine on his donkey. This color photochrome print was created between 1890 and 1900 in West Bank.

Photograph of a native of Bethlehem, Palestine on his donkey. This color photochrome print was created between 1890 and 1900 in West Bank.

The Old Man, the Little Boy and the Donkey

Goha and his small grandson were on the way to market. Goha had a bad hip, so he rode their donkey while the little boy walked beside him. Presently they passed some women on their way home from the market. One of the women said, “Look at that old man riding while his little grandson walks. He has no compassion for the young. Shameful!”

Goha heard this and felt embarrassed, so he said to his grandson, “You must be tired. Why don’t you ride for a while, and I will walk?”

Presently they passed some elderly men who were sitting around drinking coffee and playing backgammon. One of them said, “Look at that boy riding, while his old grandfather limps. Were is the respect for the elders? That boy has been badly raised.”

Again Goha felt embarrassed. He said, “Let’s ride together for a while.” So they both rode the donkey.

Soon they passed a man in religious robes who said to them, “Salam my friends. Don’t you know that even animals have rights in Islam? You are burdening that poor animal with your combined weight.”

Finally Goha decided that they would both walk, in order to give the donkey some rest. They both trudged along beside the donkey, the old man limping and the boy complaining that his feet hurt. As they passed a group of young men who were loitering and watching passers-by, one of the men exclaimed, “Look at those fools walking while they have a perfectly good donkey! Are they afraid of heights?” And all the young men laughed.

The moral is clear: Altering your behavior to please other people is futile. No matter what you do, someone will always find fault. Do what you feel is right, and stick to it.

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Zawaj.com Humor Files: Goha is Asked to Pray for Rain

A young child holds an umbrella as Kashmiri Muslim pilgrims pray in the rain in Srinagar, Kashmir.

A young child holds an umbrella as Kashmiri Muslim pilgrims pray in the rain in Srinagar, Kashmir.

Editor’s Note: Some call him Goha or Joha, the Turks call him Hodja, while the Perisans call him Mollah or Nasrullah. Regardless of what you call him, this wise, mysterious and sarcastic figure has been a fixture of Middle Eastern stories for centuries.

Goha is Asked to Pray for Rain

There was a terrible drought. After a long deliberation, the villagers decided to approach Goha, who was known to work miracles on occasion, and ask for his intervention in bringing the rain.

The whole community went over to Goha’s hut and the elders stated their request.

“Sorry”, said Goha. “There will be no miracle because you have no faith.”

“But Goha, how can you say that?” said the villagers. “After all, is it not our faith that brought us to your door, begging for help?

“If you really had faith,” said Nasrudin, “You would have come with umbrellas.”

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Jokes: The Humor of Getting Old

The older you get, the longer your arms have to get to read

The older you get, the longer your arms have to get to read

Zawaj.com’s Islamic Humor Files:

The Humor of Getting Old

Of course as Muslims we have the greatest respect for our elders. But there’s humor in everything, so I’d like to share some of these light-hearted jokes about getting old.

Romance?
Karl and Milly were lying in bed one night. Carl was falling asleep but Milly was in a romantic mood and wanted to talk. She said, “You used to hold my hand when we were courting.”
Wearily Karl reached across, held her hand for a second, and rolled over to try to fall asleep.
A few moments later she said, “Then you used to kiss me.”
Mildly irritated, he leaned across, gave her a peck on the cheek and settled back down to sleep.
Thirty seconds later she said, “Then you used to bite my neck.”
Angrily, he threw back the bed clothes and got out of bed.
“Where are you going?” she asked.
“To the bathroom to get my teeth,” he replied.

***

Just before the funeral services, the undertaker came up to the very elderly widow and asked,

‘How old was your husband?’
’98,’ she replied, ‘Two years older than me’
‘So you’re 96,’ the undertaker commented.
She responded , ‘Hardly worth going home, is it?

***

Caution: senior crossing ahead

Caution: senior crossing ahead

Reporter interviewing a 104-year-old woman:
‘And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?’ the reporter asked.
She simply replied, ‘No peer pressure.’

***

Not exactly how to use an abs roller

Not exactly how to use an abs roller

Hard of Hearing
An old man decided his old wife was getting hard of hearing. So he called her doctor to make an appointment to have her hearing checked. The doctor said he could see her in two weeks, and meanwhile there’s a simple, informal test the husband could do to give the doctor some idea of the dimensions of the problem.
“Here’s what you do. Start about 40 feet away from her, and speak in a normal onversational tone and see if she hears you. If not, go to 30 feet, then 20 feet, and so on until you get a response.”
So that evening she’s in the kitchen cooking dinner, and he’s in the living room, and he says to himself, “I’m about 40 feet away, let’s see what happens.”
“Honey, what’s for supper?”
No response.
So he moves to the other end of the room, about 30 feet away. “Honey, what’s for supper?”
No response.
So he moves into the dining room, about 20 feet away. “Honey, what’s for supper?”
No response.
On to the kitchen door, only 10 feet away. “Honey, what’s for supper?”.
No response.
So he walks right up behind her. “Honey, what’s for supper?”
“For the fifth time, CHICKEN!”

***

Adjusting to retirement

Adjusting to retirement

I sure have gotten old! I’ve had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I’m half blind, can’t hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia… Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can’t remember if I’m 89 or 98. Have lost all my friends. But, thank goodness, I still have my driver’s license.

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Can't stand on their own two feet

Can't stand on their own two feet

Getting a Workout
I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor’s permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But By the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.

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My memory’s not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory’s not as sharp as it used to be.

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Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.

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It’s scary when you start making the same noises as your coffee maker.

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These days about half the stuff In my shopping cart says, ‘ For fast relief.’

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Three Elderly Sisters
Three sisters, ages 92, 94, and 96, live in a house together. One night the 96-year-old draws a bath. She puts one foot in a pauses. She yells down the stairs, “Was I getting in or out of the bath?”

The 94-year-old yells back, “I don’t know. I’ll come up and see.” She starts up the stairs and pauses. Then she yells out, “Was I going up the stairs or down?”
The 92-year-old is sitting at the kitchen table having tea and listening to her sisters. She shakes her head and says, “I sure hope I never get that forgetful.” She knocks on the wooden table for good luck. She then replies, “I’ll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who’s knocking at the door.”

***

What you measure as you get older

What you measure as you get older

The Senility Prayer
Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do like, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

"They never call", updated

"They never call", updated

Entertainment for seniors: movie and pharmacy combined

Entertainment for seniors: movie and pharmacy combined

Now, I think you’re supposed to share this with 5 or 6, maybe 10 others. Oh heck, give it to a bunch of your friends if you can remember who they are! Always remember this: You don’t stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop laughing!

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