The Dua’a That Led Me To My Husband

The date was April 26, 2014. The Observation of the Heart at PICC, Putrajaya, where Yasmin Mogahed was to give a couple of talks for her ‘ilm tour to the East, 2014.

I had been in Petronas for quite a while already at this time. And with every paycheck, it seemed that every weekend or so I was attending classes and conferences, as I saw it, to ‘catch up with Islam’ and deepen my knowledge.

I was 22 years old, and was also single. And as is so typical of the Malay community, having already graduated and started working, it seemed everyone was asking when I’d tie the knot in marriage. But I had been through two failed relationships, and at that stage, I was at the point where I thought, if I meet a guy – any guy – who wanted to know me purely and sincerely to be married to me (soon), as long as he practiced Islam well and was willing to meet my dad properly early on, then I’d accept him. Because I was tired of games.

I had already been praying to meet this ‘mystery person’, but my prayers were not answered yet. Little did I know it was to be answered soon, very soon, by tweaking the prayer slightly.

When Yasmin came on stage, I was in love. I loved her book. I loved her voice. As she spoke, I was mesmerised, like a fangirl finally meeting her superhero. And at one point, she touched on the topic of praying for a soulmate. That immediately caught my attention, of course. She said, sometimes we make a prayer to be married to a good Muslim, but time and time again we would reject proposals due to one thing or another that we didn’t like about the person. And then we lament that Allah SWT had not answered our dua’a, when in fact, Allah already did – many times. We were the ones who kept on rejecting it.

She said the problem was that dua’s should be specific. Very specific. Especially for a soulmate. She told us that if we were seriously looking for a soulmate, write down the traits we wanted in that person, and ask for it. Write it in detail. Because only then would we know what we want in the person. If we wanted him tall, fair-skinned, an engineer. Write it down. Then ask for it, sincerely, and pray for the best.

This made sense to me. After all, I was as guilty as what Yasmin had said. I had a few people wanting to matchmake me with someone, a few who hinted their interest, but I had rejected for one reason or another, when in fact, they had fulfilled my dua’a already. The problem was that my dua’a wasn’t specific enough. I wasn’t being truthful to myself about what I wanted.

So I went home, and I wrote down, specifically, what I wanted in my future husband. On the top of the list, was that I wanted someone who takes care of his religion. I did not mind if he did not come from an Islamic studies background. What was important was that he took care of his prayers, and is constantly learning and striving to become a better Muslim, and to guide and teach me to that path, too. Yes, I was that specific.

I also wrote down other things that were embarrassing to admit, but I seriously wanted these in my husband. I wanted him to be taller than me. He didn’t need to have a heartbreaker’s handsome face, but at least a nice face to look at. I wanted him to be a handyman like my dad, who can do simple repairs at home. I wanted him to be helpful around the house. All in all, I wrote down ten specific ‘criteria’ that I wanted, and the last point was, “Someone I will meet this year”.

These ten things were pretty much my dua’a, every night. And just over a month later, I got to know my now-husband, where we officially tied the knot of marriage exactly one year ago, on 18th December 2016. And yes. He does check all ten boxes of what I had prayed and asked for.

I remember, coming towards the date of my wedding, some of my friends asked me, how was I sure that he’s “The One”? And to be honest, the answer did not come to me immediately. Yes, I made istikharah very early on and received a very clear sign, but there was also something else that I realised only much later.

More than a year after knowing my husband, when we were already beginning to plan for the engagement and wedding, I came across the piece of paper where I had written my ten ‘criteria’. At the top of the list was the first criteria – someone who took care of his religion. And of course, while my husband did come from an Islamic Studies background, Allah had answered my prayer in a manner that to me, was the most beautiful.

It was his name. Hafizuddin. Hafiz ad-deen. Penjaga agama. The protector of religion.

Honestly, when that realisation came, it nearly put me into tears. And since then, my prayers had never been the same. 

The thing is that, this concept of a specific dua’a is for everything in our lives. The kind of job we want. The kind of house, or car. The friends that we want. It encompasses everything. This is why I strongly encourage the use of vision boards – if anything, it gives us a mental picture of what we truly want in life. So that when we pray, we ask for the things we want specifically, down to the smallest detail.

Whenever my dua’a is answered in a manner that I did not expect, I always reassure myself that it is for the best. After all, Allah gives us what we need, not necessarily what we want. And as time goes by, when we look back, we’ll always see the wisdom behind the hand that was dealt to us. That it was, indeed, all for the best.

Maibreakstheice is a blog where I like to tackle life questions through my personal experiences and, where applicable, through my knowledge as a graduate in family counselling. Keep your eye out for updates every Tuesday, or subscribe via email to receive updates straight to your mailbox!

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