Stage Fright!

566216_theater_3.jpgAssalamu-Alaykum – Peace be Upon you

Opening night, and all is quiet…

It’s those magical few seconds before the curtain goes up. The crowd are holding their breath, the director’s having his 74th panic attack (!) and the lead is telling himself that it’s all going to be alright on the night, when it happens…..

…..quite suddenly something unexplained goes ‘click’ in the lead’s head and everything goes numb – his ability to speak, his memory of the lines and most importantly, his will to step out on to that stage – a classic case of stage fright (hope you kept your receipt!!)

Ok, now imagine the crowd to be, not at a play but at a wedding, and imagine the director to be not one, but 74 (the people who helped out!) and imagine the lead to be…..well yes, imagine him to be the leading man or lady!

And now imagine the stage fright!


Now this stage fright is not unexplained – no. It has a reason. The reason is called ‘forced marriage’.

‘Aaahhh’ I hear you say, ‘now we get it!’

‘Well,’ you ask, ‘if it was a forced marriage, then how on earth did it ever get this far?’ – A valid question, I agree.

The thing is, in the hornet’s nest that is the Asian marriage culture (notice how I say ‘Asian’ and not ‘Islamic’), due to the emotional pressure that is put on the girl (or the guy) by the parents, sometimes the bride or groom find it difficult to say no, and before they know it, the bed is no longer empty on the other side, and the towel’s wet and they haven’t even had their shower!

How does this happen?

Just consider this: father has a daughter whom he wants to get married. It just so happens, that his elder brother has a son around the same age, and guess what? He’s looking to get married as well!!

It couldn’t be more of an ideal match – or could it?

The boy and the girl are introduced to each other, but right from the outset, although acknowledging him to be her first cousin, the girl absolutely revolts the boy. Now we have a problem…..

…..On the one hand, the girl has her own happiness to think about (and possibly she has met someone else as well!) and on the other hand, she knows that her father and the rest of her family will be thrilled to know that she is going to marry her first cousin – what is a girl to do?

Does she forsake her own happiness and wishes and marry to make her family happy, or does she speak out and stand up for herself and run the risk of bringing ‘disgrace’ upon the family?

What would you do?

So, months down the line, while she is still unsure, all the preparations have been made, the invites have been sent, the hall hired, and all of a sudden she finds herself having a serious case of the jitters in that long walk up to the stage before the curtains go up. Forget cold feet, she’s wishing right now that she had no feet!

And there really is none of that so called ‘disgrace’. What’s disgraceful is the pressure put on the bride or groom by the families, and a lot of times, the parents.

So the next wedding you go to this summer, take a closer look at the leading couple – what do you think?

Or if it’s your turn to be cast this year in the lead role, make sure your doing it for all the right reasons, or you might just get stage fright!

And Allah knows best.

Ma’as-salaam – With Peace

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10 Responses to “Stage Fright!”

  1. interesting…

  2. I once heard someone say that at the time of Nabi SAW it was advised to look in the family first and then elsewhere.
    Is this true?

    If it is then surely that advise would take a different stance todat, as these days cousins grow up practically together and live as brothers and sisters. ( I know this is Islamically incorrect, but I guess it’s another culture issue…)

  3. I don’t know about that, but I always keep in mind the four criteria of wealth, beauty, lineage and piety set by our Prophet (PBUH).
    And the Prophet (PBUH) emphatically said that we should look at piety more than anything.

  4. I am aware of that hadith. Thanks for the reminder though.

  5. It’s interesting though, I mean, even in this day and age, you would be surprised at the number of young people who DON’T get married to the person of their choice because they don’t want to offend.
    It’s really a serious problem but with the right education, we can do something about it.

  6. What is the right education though?
    I mean, being a University student I see examples of forced marriages all the time within my peers.
    Maybe our Masjids and communities could make more of an effort to bring the problem out there to our elders and attack it head on?!

  7. Well part of the right education is to separate religion from culture as we often mix up the two without knowing.
    And due to my experience I know that it is a deep problem, which runs into our Elders.
    There’s things we can do to improve the understanding in the Elders and also things like seminars and conferences to educate the young people and their parents, pre-marriage.
    Insha-Allah, we should sson be able to give you further details of one such marriage seminar which is to take place in Dewsbury.

  8. That should be really good i.a.
    Your right culture and religion get so badly mixed up sometimes that people make culture their religion.

  9. If I was dat girl walkin up to the stage before the curtains go up, I wudnt be wishing that I had no feet, I wud probably be wishing ’sum1 plz kill me right NOW’!

  10. Plus Size Bridal Gowns…

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you….

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