Here is an inspiring narrative of a woman who was married through an arranged marriage, who grew to love her husband with passion and compassion, and who was there for him—as he was there for her—through the thick and thin of life.
“AlhamduliLah (praise be to God), I’ve been married for many years, despite all our ups and downs we never left each other’s side.
Within three weeks of being married, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. We laugh about it now and say our honeymoon destination was the hospital! By the way, we never did end up going on a honeymoon. We were just starting off our marriage which was forcibly arranged but alhamduliLah we grew to like one another after our long distance nikah (marriage contract).
During that time, we wrote letters to one another and waited weeks for a response! Long gone are those days now. But they were beautiful hand-written letters full of love and passion for a stranger—in western terms— that we wrote to one another only on the basis of knowing that a powerful contract bound us—our nikah.
So when I was finally “given away,” we started our life. I was in my second year of university and my husband was a new immigrant to Canada from Pakistan. As you can imagine, money was tight—we had an apartment, I had a part-time job, he had no work or adequate education at the time, and our parents thought this was a good time for marriage although we did not think so!
Anyway Allah, subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He), is truly the best of planners. After a modest wedding party we were “officially” married. Three weeks later after experiencing shortness of breath, it was discovered my husband had cancer.
Our world came to a stop. The first week of his treatment was the longest week of my life! Time stood still, but I knew Allah (swt) would save him. I questioned my faith at that time. We plowed ahead through all the treatment—both chemo and radiation! And the treatment worked beautifully alhamduliLah.
All the while I worked in a part-time job trying to pay rent and cover the basic expenses. My parents allowed us to move in with them temporarily.
Luckily, living in Canada, we had access to top of the line cancer treatment at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. What a blessing indeed…if my husband was in Pakistan his family would have had to sell their modest home and sell much of what they owned for his treatment.
AlhamduliLah after the treatment, tears, pain and physical and emotional scars, my husband has been cancer-free for 14 years by Allah’s grace (swt).
We have two beautiful children. This was another blessing because after all his treatment, doctors were unsure if we could have children, and due to the cost of storing sperm we decided that was the last of our priorities. We left it up to Allah (swt). If we were meant to have children he would bless us with them! And indeed He did!
During my husband’s treatment he had a dream that he was making tawaf in Mecca around the Kabah. He wanted to go for Hajj but of course he was too weak.
A few months after my husband’s treatment was complete, my Aunt called and asked us if we could go on a fully sponsored Hajj trip from herself and my uncle! Subhan’Allah (glory be to God)! So our first anniversary was spent on the Hajj! Who could have asked for a more beautiful trip than that—all expenses paid? So we went and had the most wonderful experience! My first experience hearing the adhan (call to prayer) in Medina filled my eyes with tears and I trembled as I cried uncontrollably. Was this for real? Subhan’Allah!
Because my husband’s tumor was close to his heart, during radiation therapy we were told some damage could result on his heart making him more likely to develop a heart condition. Fast-forward and we are now in the process of finding out if his heart is completely healthy or not. Doctors have raised some concerns. Again we are together, side by side! Pray for him please!
During experiences like this, how can we not thank Allah (swt) for each other’s company? Although our marriage took place under not so ideal conditions, it was worth it because it brought us closer to Allah (swt).
There isn’t a day that I don’t thank Allah (swt) for bringing my husband into my life. He has always been my rock, and I see him as a wonderful gift from Allah (swt) to me. He has helped me grow in so many ways.
We still argue and disagree but honestly, compared to what we have been through so early in our marriage, many issues do not bother us.
AlhamduliLah I joke with my husband and say my dad made the best decision for me! My dad went for Hajj and prayed for a partner for me, and if I wanted to find such a wonderful man on my own I doubt I could have!
So that’s my story! Thank you for the opportunity to express my gratitude to Allah (swt) for bringing such a fine man in my life!”
*If you would like share sweet glimpses from your marriage with hopes of spreading awareness of positive relationships in the Muslim community, please email Maryam@SuhaibWebb.com with a short narrative. Your submission may be featured anonymously in this mini-series of Glimpses of Marital Bliss.