Thursday, November 14, 2013

Divorced Ramblings

Love Inshallah published my reflections on the unexpected aftermath of divorce.

I am twenty-two-years old. I am a rebellious daughter, a fierce writer, a determined feminist, a fiery niqaabi. I have been to six countries, living in three of them. I have a three-year-old daughter. And I am divorced.

Most people don’t know what to say, how to react. Some give me condolences, a sympathetic hand squeeze, a look of pity and sorrow. Others frown, shake their heads, mutter that I look too happy, too relieved, that my smile is too wide and my laughter too free.

They do not know that I grieved for my marriage before it even ended, that I celebrate my freedom every day, that my heart aches most not out of regret or anger, but out of quiet sorrow for those unusual moments that studded my marriage like shards of raw diamonds – unexpectedly beautiful, but with a sharpness that cuts deeper all the more for their brightness.

Divorce throws the world into sharp relief, reminds me of who I am, highlights the ridiculous standards and expectations of society, helps me laugh when I’d rather cry. Divorce tells me not to give up – and I don’t. I yet dream of love, plot for the future with all the ferocity of ambition, search and find beauty in all that has happened in my life.

What is even more unexpected is the rush of tenderness I feel now for my daughter’s father. He is no villain, but a man as lost as anyone else, as desperate for love as every other soul, as broken within as we all are. Though I have freed myself from having to fight his battles, I pray that he is able to find the strength and wisdom to fight them himself, and to be victorious against the forces that he struggles with inside himself.

One of the last things I told him was, “I don’t love you.” Now, I realize that I didn’t tell the entire truth. No, I did not love him as a husband, as a soul mate, as the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. But every Muslim has rights over another Muslim, and one of those rights is to be loved for the Sake of Allah. This man is the father of my daughter, who loved me in his own way, however misguided… yes, I can muster compassion for him. And what is compassion, if not a pale, transparent, opalescent type of love?

In my sujood, where whispered prayers slip past my lips like unbidden pearls, where my heart’s true desires make themselves known, when my darkest fears are revealed and banished at that moment when my soul speaks to my Lord – one supplication finds itself repeated, over and over. O Allah, let him find true love.

Zainab bint Younus aka AnonyMouse al-Majnoonah aka The Salafi Feminist is a nomadic young woman with big dreams, a small daughter, and a penchant for too many pseudonyms. She blogs at


Anonymous said...

As a 21-year-old with MUCH in common (writer/feminist/niqabi/salafi), and currently going through a divorce, this spoke so, so much to me. You put into words EXACTLY what I feel towards my about-to-be-ex-husband, at a moment when I needed so badly, but couldn't find the words, to express it. Thank you so much. May Allah guide us both through this period, and help us both find true love on the other side.

Anonymous said...

as someone contemplating divorce after 10 years and 2 children, this article really shook me. hoow do i make choices when i know divorce is the beginning of heartache.... esoecially for my kids :-(

Anonymous said...

Wow... I lay in bed, crying while I read this. I'm going through the same thing. .. been married a year, been disappointed from the beginning. Now pregnant. Allah is the best of planners... I desperately want out, I'm shaken to my core but the love is just not there on a romantic level. I'm suffocating every single day, praying for freedom. Much du'a needed...

Jazakaallahu Khair

Anonymous said...

Yes, much du'a for our sisters. May Allah guide us. Amin. It gets lonely and confusing... Wonder where it went wrong. Life is full of trials... May we be among the victorious Muslims. Amin.

Anonymous said...

I am going through the same thing i just dont have the courage to ask for divorce knowing that the society wont let me live after it .i just suffer silently hopeless and broken in a loveless marriage