I am a bit uncertain about the title of this post-but I wanted to write about a conversation I was had with a friend of mine. I had a query with regards to a matter which lead to the both us talking about personal aspects of our lives. This is the norm really; when you begin a conversation it naturally veers off into multiple different directions. It had been a long time since we had spoken like this and we realised that the two of us were in very similar situations in terms of our deen, how this related to our marriage and the impact of our culture.
It is only very recently (two years or so) that I have come to realise that those long held traditional beliefs are still very much ingrained in our culture and Bengali heritage. The Bengali culture has many traditions that I believe are great and love to be a part of- but it is when there is an expectation (I say loosely) that I think it goes against being nice and becomes cumbersome. The reason why I wanted to make this point- is because there are a new second generation of Bengali-British-Muslim girls that are getting married and having difficulty balancing all these elements.
I feel as though it is not discussed very much. This may out of respect, out of knowledge or to preserve the union of marriage or simply from fear. However, as Muslims it is hugely important to be honest and admittedly when things are to much. Ourself has a right upon us and by restraining ourselves we are not making the situation any better, rather we are in danger of oppressing ourselves and inadvertently everything around us is also effected. I am not condoning or suggesting that everyone should be outspoken and dismiss courtesy but being the martyr can lead to issues such as mental or emotional. Many a times I speak to friends who were once confident and full of life but have now become bitter, which is sad as this is not what marriage is about. It is a celebration of unity that lasts until eternity (this is a different blog post altogether.)
Really I wanted to say that these women should be shown appreciation in doing all of these things amongst as in reality they go unnoticed although they are ones holding onto the thread that binds everyone together. Of course Allah is the one who is Al-Raqib-the watchful, observing us and deciding whether these tiny deeds will be accepted in the hereafter. At the same time giving ourselves a break or being shown recognition can make a difference that may just mean the world to someone.