By Nadirah Angail
Let me start by saying be sure that youâ€™ve searched for a unicorn. Even if I donâ€™t explain what one is, know that youâ€™ve searched. Weâ€™ve all searched, ladies. It is the pursuit of a unicorn that sends us to Islamic conventions every year in throngs, outnumbering the men every time. Unicorns make us buy those expensive plane tickets when we know weâ€™re supposed to be saving money, justify it by thinking â€œThis year itâ€™ll be worth it.â€ It is the fear of not finding a unicorn that makes us lie to our girls, saying â€œGirl, Iâ€™m not looking this year,â€ knowing good and well we are. It is because of a unicorn that we walk the halls to the point where we know the building better than the architect that built it. We think of unicorns when we go to the fabric store looking for the baddest pattern to give to sister So and So from the masjid so she can make us a fierce ensemble. And it is the exciting thought of a unicorn that has us brainstorming outfits 3 months before the convention. And sadly, it is the unfortunate fact that we sometimes go back home unicornless that makes us have an attitude Monday morning when we go back to work/school.
If you havenâ€™t guessed it, a unicorn is that perfect brother that weâ€™ve all been convinced weâ€™d meet at a convention, or anywhere else for that matter. I donâ€™t know who told us there were going be unicorns at these conventions, but we think they are. I donâ€™t know what makes us think theyâ€™ll show up this year when they never have in the past, but we do. And I donâ€™t know what makes us hold out hope that heâ€™ll show up next year when we didnâ€™t get one glimpse this year, but we still hold that hope. I guess itâ€™s because many of us come from places where there arenâ€™t too many Muslims, so these conventions are our only chance. And I guess we also figure in a sea of Muslims, one of them has to be for us. And thatâ€™s true. Islamic conventions have been the stepping stone for many of our married couples today, but as we all learned as young children, unicorns donâ€™t exist.
So many of us, myself included, have wasted valuable time waiting for that perfect brother to come sweep us off our feet and fly us away on a magic prayer rug. But thatâ€™s not the reality. The reality is that no one is perfect. Weâ€™re all very flawed. We need to stop turning our noses up at our brothers, thinking weâ€™re not just as flawed as they are. Donâ€™t misunderstand. Iâ€™m not saying settle for someone you truly donâ€™t want. Iâ€™m saying we need to open up our narrow view of what a unicorn looks like and stop denying ourselves good brothers. The fact that the brown in a brotherâ€™s kufi doesnâ€™t match the brown in his shirt is not a good reason to turn him down. The fact that his beard isnâ€™t as long as your fatherâ€™s isnâ€™t a good reason either. A brother may not have a great house, car and a fat stash of money in the bank, but that doesnâ€™t mean he canâ€™t get those things with the support of a loving wife. A brother may not blow you away with his charm and wit the second you meet him, but that doesnâ€™t mean he canâ€™t treat you like a queen. True love takes time to develop anyway, so stop getting mad because itâ€™s not there at first sight. Iâ€™m not saying we should marry men we arenâ€™t attracted to, because attraction is important, but we shouldnâ€™t be so focused on it that itâ€™s all we consider.
We shouldnâ€™t be discouraged that we canâ€™t find unicorns. We need to be looking for stallions. A stallion is a wonderfully flawed brother that knows his weaknesses and uses them as strengths. A stallion accepts his own imperfections and so doesnâ€™t feel the need to constantly point yours out. A stallion views his own shortcomings as a sign of his humanity and uses them as motivation to bring him closer to the Creator. A stallion loves your differences and doesnâ€™t try to change them. A stallion is perfectly imperfect. My husband is no unicorn, but heâ€™s definitely a stallion.
Nadirah Angailâ€“â€œEmpowering women- through knowledge, recognition & guidanceâ€