If you haven’t read part one, read that first. This is the second part of the true story about Sunni Shia marriages, know as Sushi marriages.
The Family Fallout
The Holy Prophet said “Do not ever sever your relationship with a member of your family even if he severs his relationship with you.”
Importance of family ties is mentioned many times in the Quran. Family is the fabric of society and such a fragile tie. People are more sensitive about family matters, we get offended and upset more easily. Families break up over the most trivial of issues so I guess it was no surprise that when my cousin pursued her mission to try to stop my wedding there was a huge family break up.
There was no fight, we just became strangers. We just stopped meeting, we didn’t talk, we didn’t interact, even my mum stopped talking to her sister. And we just left it at that for quite a long time, and looking back now, too long a time. There was a lot of upset and heartache and I was left thinking is any man really worth all this? I had moved away from my family and that made it worse. I felt I had made a huge mess and left my family to clean it up. However, I came to realise it wasn’t so much about him but about her.
My cousin had a habit of interfering in peoples lives, giving opinions where they weren’t wanted and trying to force her opinion on others. She upset other family friends over the course of the next couple of years which was in some way a relief. It wasn’t just me. She was young and very impressionable. She went through a phase where she wanted to be ‘religious’. She found some ‘scholars,’ accepted what they told her, mainly that shias are kafirs(unbelievers), and then she proceeded to try to ‘right the wrong’.
She did try to contact me on a few occasions after the wedding to ask about trivial things which I answered and left it at that. She once, under the disguise of another cousin of mine, started having online chats with my husband to try and ‘convert him’. He soon realised who it was and ended the conversation. We then proceeded to drift apart.
None of my cousin’s family attended my brothers wedding and in turn none of us attended her wedding. The irony is she married a Hindu convert a couple of years later. I couldn’t help thinking how she would have felt if I questioned his conversion to Islam and the authenticity of his beliefs in the same way.
My mum made contact with her sister a few years later and they re connected. That made my mum happy again. I was always polite to to my auntie and so was my husband when we saw her. Once she even apologised to my husband ‘for everything’.
Clearly Allah swt wanted our family to be reconnected because a few years later her brother got engaged to one of my friends. It was a shock. Her brother is completely different to her and didn’t get involved in the situation so I guess I was happy for my friend. I thought I would use this opportunity to mend our family ties. Enough was enough. My cousin on the other hand announced that if any of my family attended her brother’s wedding she would not attend. My mum and auntie were very upset. I didn’t want the situation to be like this any more so I swallowed my pride and went to speak to her in her house.
Her bitterness was shocking, you’d think it was me who ruined her wedding. Among lots of claims of slander which I denied she eventually admitted ‘her opinion (of my marriage) was wrong at the time’. She was too arrogant to admit she was wrong so I guess that’s all I was going to get.
‘I apologise for my opinion at the time’. Those were her exact words. No apology for the the slander of my husbands beliefs, no apology for ruining our wedding, no apology for the subsequent rudeness to my family. But to be honest I didn’t need any of that. The fact that she admitted she was wrong vindicated my decision. She said that her opinions have changed a few times since the wedding. I noted that my husband still stands by what he said 10 years ago. My objective was to allow her to have her rant to bring peace for my mum and allow her to attend her sister’s son wedding without incident and that was achieved. Things will probably never be the same but my mum is happy again and so is my auntie.
I see my friend (who married my cousin brother) regularly, so I see my cousin brother too and my auntie. This has brought our families closer and for that I am grateful to Allah. It was initially awkward that my childhood friend was married to my cousin but now I like it. I feel that the family has reconnected and that has given me inner peace.
I don’t see my cousin. She doesn’t live in our home town either so she isn’t usually around for family get togethers. I would be happy to reconnect with my cousin. I am prepared to start afresh. I ask her for one thing. To sincerely apologise to my husband. She firstly interfered in a matter which is really nothing to do with her, and in a way that she was not qualified to do. She has moved on since then, but she still has to take responsibility for her actions, which have caused such heartache and pain. I gave her much more respect than she deserved. In doing this I disrespected my father and husband, which damaged both relationships.
I am still waiting…