**Guest Post by Ayaz Rajput, a Telecom Engineer from Islamabad who free lances as a writer**
Sakeena has already knit seventeen dresses for her marriage; the one she is knitting now would be her eighteenth. She knows how important it is for a girl to look special in the first few months of her marriage. She is excited; desperate to wear her deluxe lehanga worth 25,000 which she bought on installments, thanks to the Fareed Tailors who provide such a convenience for poor girls who are wanted from to look rich on their marriage. Her jewelry was due to be collected from the jeweler who exchanged her mother’s decades old jewelry with new styles with some profit in his hand.
Most of the preparations of the marriage are complete. Zahid, Sakeena’s brother had arranged all the tenting and lunch from the loan he acquired from his company where he works as a technician. He was relieved as he had got more loan than his father, Abdur Rashid sahib, who works part time on a grocery store because he is weak and cannot work more than that. He is a patient of Hepatitis. He is a retired clerk and is now spending his old age taking medicines and working.
Sakeena is being wed to Sajid. He was her neighbor when she used to live in Railway colony where her father had bought their own house from the pension money he got. That house was sold to pay for the medical expenses of Abdul Rashid sahib. They had shifted to this house in Dhok Farid years ago; soon after selling their house.
Rashid sahib has arranged a taxi car for Sajid on installments. Sajid has never worked since he dropped out of college at the age of fifteen. He is now twenty six. Rashid sahib is confident that if Sajid is unable to pay the installments himself by his earnings her daughter would do so by knitting clothes. Rashid sahib liked Sajid because he was the son of Qadir sahib, the old friend of Rashid Sahib. Qadir sahib died last year and days before his death he asked for the hand of Sakeena for his son. For Rashid sahib this would be a perfect marriage, as he knew the Qadir sahib’s home since decades and he was satisfied Sajid would turn out to be a good son-in-law.
Sakeena’s mother, Jannat bibi is proud of her daughter and son-in-law and already knows about the women in the muhalla who are jealous by them. So, she pays a visit every day to the darbar to meet Pir sahib. Today she wants to present nazrana to Pir sahib; some money and a hen so that he prays for her daughter’s good fate. She has also invited the Pir sahib to the marriage who in return has ordered her to feed thirty khadims of Pir sahib every day till the day of marriage. For Jannat bibi, this is a good omen.
Rashid sahib’s family is much thankful for their daughter getting married. They now look forward to marry four younger daughters the ‘Perfect’ way they are marrying Sakeena. Rashid sahib can now walk proudly in the society; not ashamed of questions on the fulfillment of his duties.
Editor`s Note: Oh woe to us for having complicated such a beautiful and simple thing!! It is no wonder that our youth finds it easier to go “parks”.
Marriage is no longer a union of two souls but a way to uphold one`s “status” among one`s peeps. And what did Islam and our Beloved Prophet (S) teach us?:
“The most blessed marriage is that which is carried out with simplicity and least hardships and complications”.
I pray for a day when we in Pakistan will treat Nikah as a union of two people looking for love, only, full stop.