27 November, 2010

Mr and Mrs Secret

There is a troublesome and growing tendency in the UAE for “secret marriages”. If you have never heard of them, well then that’s the whole purpose of the deal. Unless you know someone personally who is in such a union, you would never find out.
In the last couple of years we have met dozens of men and women who have chosen to go down that road, mostly for odd reasons.
Secret marriages are often described as Islamic marriages without any public registration at any legal entity, such as a court. Fact is, in Islam there is no such thing as a secret marriage. For a marriage to be legal in Islam, one of the many conditions that are required is for it to publicized.
Most couples we’ve met who entered such marriages are Muslim men who “marry” non-Muslim foreigners with no knowledge of the legality issues involved. The girls, mostly from underprivileged backgrounds, are flattered that a guy would propose to them, just days or weeks after meeting their match. They would sign a handwritten marriage contract, signed by two friends-witnesses of the husband, a dowry and probably the guy will rent a place for her, so that she’s “taken care of”.  The guy has the convenience of having a woman at his beck and call, having to spend much less than if it was a proper marriage, avoiding the involvement of his family. Well, it’s not that simple.
Firstly, there is a good reason for marriages being required to be registered. A Muslim man can marry up to four women if he is able to, but if those marriages are not registered, then how will one know, how many wives and children he really has? Likewise, for a woman to be able to marry in a legal way, she cannot be already married. How will a man know, if he marries in “secret”, that his chosen mate is not married in her home country or elsewhere?
Some of the women we’ve met, have only realized they were in a secret marriage, once they got pregnant and the guy just took off, never to be seen again. In fact, one of the girls was arrested for adultery, after she went to the hospital when she wanted to give birth. Of course she could not produce a marriage certificate, her dear “husband” was at large and she ended up in jail. The women had never doubted the validity of their marriage. They thought their man just chose not to tell anyone about the alliance, as his family would never approve the marriage anyway. Then there are others of course, who are well aware that they are in fact in a secret marriage, but who settle for the financial advantages for as long as they are together. To all women who are in such a situation, we really wonder whether  their childhood dream of a marriage looked anything like this: One day the love of my life will come, propose to me within days because he is so smitten by me, then we’ll not tell anyone that we got married and as soon as I get pregnant, he will walk away, never to be seen again. What a romantic image. Such women should spend a few hundred Dirhams on their therapist to find out, why they think so little of themselves. Mr. and Mrs. Secret never have a happy ending. They don’t even exist in fairy tales.

22 November, 2010

Sat,27th Nov @AUS- Invitation to UAE premiere screening of "Napoleon: Life of an outlaw" documentary film

Please note the change in Date, Time, Venue and Topic

You are invited to the UAE premiere-screening of the documentary film:
Napoleon: Life of an outlaw
"When rags to riches isn't enough..."

The documentary chronicles the life of Mutah Beale. From his turbulent beginnings, witnessing his parents' murder, to his rise to stardom in the music industry as a member of the most infamous rap groups in history, 2pac Shakur's Outlawz and beyond. Napoleon will be present at the screening and will answer questions at the end. People of all faiths are welcome.

Watch Trailer

Date: Saturday, 27th November, 2010
Time: 6:00 PM
Ticket cost: Free
Venue: Lecture hall A & B, Main building, American University of Sharjah
Direction to venue: Click here for location map
*Separate seating for men and women.

About the speaker
Mutah Beale formerly known as Napoleon, of the world-wide bestselling musician 2pac Shakur's music group Outlawz, was a Hip-Hop/ Rap musician and a film actor.

Mutah Beale spent his youth in pain and poverty. After finally acquiring the fame and fortune he had always dreamt of in the music industry, he left it all for faith and peace of mind. He embraced Islam in 2002, he now travels the world as a motivational speaker. Speaking to youth and people of all ages on topics ranging from the realities of stardom to the importance of following the Sunnah (traditions of The Prophet of Islam PBUH).

Napoleon & Loon (of P Diddy's Bad Boy Records) are a new generation of "bad-boy" Hip-Hop/ Rap artist following a trend of celebrity converts to Islam. An interesting feature is the drastic change in lifestyle towards spirituality and simplicity that they have managed to achieve.

16 November, 2010