Dear (Non) Future Mother-In-Law
I met your son while we were both studying abroad, in the most surprising way. He talked to me in the nicest manner possible, always being respectful and humble. The very first day we met, I remember him asking me, “Would that be okay for your parents if I am Pakistani?”
I replied, “As long as you are a Muslim, yes.” He smiled at my answer.
Now I know I should have asked him the same question.
We both made our intentions clear: to get to know each other’s characters and get married. We discussed about plans, projects, ambitions, and even baby names. We fell hard for one another. Ma’am, I love your son with all my heart and soul. I love him for his religion; I love him for his character. And I would like to think he loves me as much as I do.
But, dear (non) future Mother-In-Law, even if our religion taught us love and tolerance, you preferred to focus on my passport. “It has nothing to do with her, it is just that I can’t accept a Moroccan for my son.” When he told me you said that about me, I thought with my entire mind: I wish it had something to do with me.
Yes, you read it correctly. Hate me for my character; push me away for the way I am. But do not reject me for something I can’t control. Ma’am, with all due respect, I have loved your son more than my own self. I used to wake up for prayers and call him so he could pray; I used to put his happiness before mine, and his name before mine while supplicating. But instead of choosing religion, you picked society and culture. Instead of looking into my heart, you looked into my passport.
What can I say Ma’am? I am speechless and hurt, I am angry and disappointed, I am sad and shocked. But I also am a forgiving person, who tries to see the positive side of everything. That is something you could have known if you tried to get to know me. If faith hasn’t brought us together, there must be a good reason there, which I am not aware of yet. It is killing me to think that the man, who should have been the father of my children, will now become a complete stranger. Not because of who he is, not because of who I am; but because of backwards traditions that are, not only insulting the essence of our religion, but also to the pure essence of humanity and brotherhood.
I am thinking of my fellow revert sisters. They picked, without being forced by family nor environment, their religion, the best of all. And I have heard so many stories of revert who were rejected by Muslims because of that. I always thought to myself, “Thank God this could never happen to me.” Thanks for proving me wrong, ma’am, thanks for showing me that I am not good enough, that I am not worth the try.
The funny thing is, I always thought you and I could be friends. From all the amazing things your son told me about you, I figured we could go shopping, learn from one another, and share on everything. Instead, you chose to destroy a Muslim girl’s dreams, a girl who could have been yours. I hope none of your daughters will face what I am facing right now. This feeling of anger mixed with tears and pain is no gift.
But anyway … I will, of course, not go against your wish. I cannot marry a man unless his parents agree. However, I will keep on praying for you, and for him. The love I carry for your son is not going to be easy to get rid of, but I trust Allah enough to know that an even more amazing man will knock at my door, and this time around his family will be thrilled to welcome me as their own.