Editor’s Note: Written by Safiyyah Muhammad. The views expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
My favorite channel is BBC World News. When I put on the TV, I check in with it first before navigating through what other channels are airing.
Yesterday, as soon as I got returned home, I quickly went to BBC. I was in time with the headlines at the top of the hour. Suddenly, a breaking news interrupted the stream of flow: Prince Harry was engaged to American actress, Meghan Markle.
That caught my attention because I remember a few months back how he publicly criticized the media for embarrassing her. Then I heard she was a divorcee and 36-years-old. I had to quickly search Prince Harry’s age when I realized she was three years older than him.
Setting aside the sense of materialism that comes with royal wedding celebrations and the obvious worldliness considering both individuals are celebrities, this union could not help but remind me of parts of the Prophet’s life and those of his companions. In one of their interviews, I noticed that these two were not just in love with each other, but seemed so comfortable with themselves, and were friends. They kept looking at each other as if to seek an approval before answering the reporter’s questions. The two truly looked adorable, and their relationship seems to emulate one of trust and friendship, values that the Prophet (PBUH) harbored.
These are values that the Prophet mastered and that many work toward harboring in their relationships–being genuinely in love, comfortable and best friends with “the one.”
Just when I was thinking how lucky Meghan must be, it struck me that she was actually a divorcee. God knows what went down in her first marriage. And it donned on me how well the light at the end of her tunnel shone.
This reminded me of a female companion during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by the name of Umm Salama, who lost her husband. She was so devastated because he was an amazing man, that she couldn’t think of anyone who could replace him.
Yet, in Islam, we are taught that when God takes something away from you and you meet the adversity with patience and faith, that He compensates you with something better than what you lost. Umm Salama believed this, but she kept asking herself who could be better than her beloved late husband. Eventually, she married the Prophet. What man was or is better than our Prophet? None. She was indeed compensated.
I am unmarried, and over 30. I have had my own fair share of relationship workings and not workings. Each time I have to painfully leave someone because it isn’t working, or there’s just something I can’t cope with, the next guy to come will almost always be better than the previous – despite the fact that at the end of the relationship I always wonder if anyone could actually replace the one I’m leaving. I’m not looking to discover Mungo Park, but I sure am looking for the one who suits me just right.
Congratulations Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. It appears that you were both blessed to have found the one that suits you just right.