This world is full of love, we still have hope

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I have an announcement to make, originally uploaded by yaznotjaz.

I dreamt the other night that it was the morning of my wedding. In my dreams, I awoke at my beloved forever-home, Casa420, to find that everyone I had ever known and loved was there. My father was out puttering in the backyard, as always, and as everyone else rushed to get ready, I turned to Somayya in bewilderment, “Wasn’t it just yesterday that there were five weeks to go!?” The sunshine and warmth spilled everywhere, and I woke up smiling.

In reality, there are only 16 days until the wedding festivities begin, and 18 days to the actual wedding.

There are a few reasons why I’ve not written about this relationship here before: mainly, I value my privacy dearly, and I much preferred to cradle this relationship gently over the past two years and discuss it only with my core group of friends. Secondly, this is not only my story to tell — it is a shared story of me and him, and also the story of the little 8-year-old girl, his daughter, little “Lemon,” who will also become my daughter as we step forward into this new stage of our lives together.

We think we have a beautiful story. I wrote about it for the anthology, Love, InshAllah, which will be available in two weeks, and I’m honored to have been included in such a groundbreaking and inspiring collection about American Muslim women and their love stories. This morning, I was highlighted in a Q&A on the book’s website.

It amazes and amuses me that connections made through blogging led to me contributing my story to this book. At the “old Zaytuna” one evening several years ago, a woman came up to me to say she liked my pants. I thanked her, and launched into my usual muddled explanation about how I had hated these straight-legged pants from Target and one day decided to sew red fabric along the sides. She smiled and introduced herself. “I’m Yasmine,” I said in reply.

She peered at my nametag. “Do you have a blog?”

“Yes, I do!”

She smiled again, and extended her hand. “Baraka.”

And that is the story of how I first met Ayesha Mattu in person, so many years ago. Early last year, she encouraged me to contribute a piece for the anthology she and co-editor Nura Maznavi had been compiling. Ayesha and Nura have been fully transparent, compassionate, and trustworthy throughout this process, and I am honored to be included with 25 other American Muslim women in this anthology. The stories are diverse, as stories about love and faith tend to be; perhaps not all the stories will resonate with everyone, but each love story is a personal one, just as mine is, and each of us writers has taken a courageous leap of trust in sharing our personal journeys with the rest of the world.

With 18 days to my wedding, I have been overwhelmed with lengthy to-do lists, Excel spreadsheets, and the innumerable details that relate to wedding-planning: clothes, jewelry, food, centerpieces, guest-lists and seating charts, cake-tasting, mehndi, decorations, travel arrangements, photography…

Then I remember that this is not about to-do lists, but about love. This wedding is a culmination of the last two years’ discussions and decisions, and a celebration of a love story that, in all the ways that count, has gone so much more smoothly than either my fiance or I ever anticipated. To-do lists are good reminders, but the most important reminders come from my favorite 8-year-old, Lemon, who sends me textmessages from her father’s phone:

“My dad told me you are stressed out. I hope you are not stressed out. I miss you so much. I can help you with the wedding plans. I will be your assistant. You will be in charge of everything. Don’t worry, I am here. I will be right next to you.”

She is quick to remind me that WE are getting married; she calls it OUR wedding. We are three in this love story, and, as the days wind down towards the 27th and 29th of January, I can only smile as I leap into the new story we are creating together.

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The framed print shown in the photograph at the top of this post (“God was the first to attend to my story“) is by the talented Nadia Janjua. As soon as I saw it, I felt it described my relationship perfectly. Visit Nadia’s Etsy shop for this print and other beautiful art.

25 thoughts on “This world is full of love, we still have hope

  1. Lowwwwwwve to you three! “lemon” is an awesome nickname. The end.

    Jv, we should demand that yz allow us to Skype/attend the wedding! That or we will celebrate on this coast three hours before her wedding….

  2. Im crying while I read this, yet I’m smiling real big too. I can’t wait to see this beautiful union of three begin. May it be filled with blessings and those squeezy hugs that only you can force me into :)

  3. Baji,
    “Lemon” is the fiance’s nickname for the little one, so I’ve decided to appropriate it for the veblog, too =) Also, could you celebrate with some rootbeer floats from The Diner, please!? And tapas from Jaleo. And anything from Tryst. The end.

    Aisha,
    I am constantly amazed and touched by how much this story seems to make people cry. Ameen to your duas, and so many more squeezy hugs for you! =)

    Afshan,
    I remember you from the old blogistan days! So exciting to see you here again just when I’m starting a new adventure in life =) Please continue to keep us in your duas, and thankyou for your comment!

  4. I can’t stop reading this post. It makes me smile so much.

    It’s truly wonderful being in a relationship with a writer who appreciates the small moments of life. I can’t wait and see how you’ll beautifully capture the other moments we will share together.

  5. Yasminay! So I was craving something refreshing this afternoon. Drinks not slurpies, although how satisfying would an orange slurpie be right now! I found myself clicking through the “Freshly Pressed” posts at wordpress feeling completely uninspired… nothing was hitting the spot. Then out of no where, my brain told me (yes, sometimes it tells me things!) to ‘sweepthesunshine’…and poof, craving satisfied. MashaAllah. … congrats to you, buddy. I’m thinking the last time we connected was when you came up to the T dot for RIS way back when… not sure if you remember me from the earlier blogistan days. I seem to remember flickr moments and chai conversations with H@shim…acha, enough of this babble… this is beautiful news. May the three of you sweep the sunshine daily… may there be lots of orange and yellow… may there be slurpies and flip flops and all things wonderful, by His Grace. Completely happy for you. May God always be the first to attend to your story. *Duas and hugs*

  6. Congrats. Have been sharing a piece of sunshine, since 2010 when my sis introduced the blog to me. We sometimes played matchmakers and my sis, often linked you with a certain. But now having read your post and excerpts to the book, I do remember a yasser pop in your comments sometimes. Anyways, loads of prayers. May almighty bless your relationship with love and trust and bring out the best in both. Amen.

  7. Amazing news, Mashallah! All the best to you three as you embark on a life full of love, joy, and peace!

    The best is yet to come! :)

    Love, from your photo-blogger friend in Lahore,

    Mars

  8. ***hugs** beautiful post hon. So happy for you, and thanks for your bravery in this beautiful loving story and sharing a piece of who you are and why so many love you!

  9. Yaz I have been a long time silent reader of your blog. Years of reading actually. When I got the copy of the book and read your story it brought me to tears. It felt like I had this wonderful backstage pass into your life, which was the whole point to the book. When I finished it all I could do was pray that things did work out for the three of you. And now to come to your blog and know that you’re getting married inshAllah in a week, it is huge and so very wonderful. I am sending you so many du’as and warm fuzzy positives. May Allah bless your union in this life and in the next. Ameen. –your co-contributor Molly

  10. I am so so happy for you ! you are such a good person and you deserve all the happiness. hope everything goes well inshallah with the wedding, please do not stress about the wedding. trust me everything always turn out well :) many many congratulations sending lots of love and good wishes your way

  11. So this is how I found out: I was on the NYT website books section and came across the Love, Inshallah article. Then I followed the link to the book’s website, was reading the profiles, and came across yours … “I know her!”

    Congratulations, Yasmine! May the three of you have a happy and blessed lifetime together =)

  12. reading your blogs for quite sometime, makes us feel so related to u, em soo superly duperly excited for u getting married, loads of lov and may u have a blessed life ahead.
    Em surely gonna buy love,inshaAllah, tried over amazon already and failed getting it been delivered to UAE though, but i ll get it one way or the other :)
    *hugs again*

  13. Salams Yaz! BIG CONGRATS! Mashallah such beautiful news! May Allah bless you and yours with tons of love, happiness, joy and prosperity. May your families be blessed with even more sunshine. Ameen.

    Such beautiful news and cannot wait to read about it as well. :)

  14. Ma sh’Allah, you got married!!! I am sending you belated prayers & heartful wishes for success, happiness, love and peace. More in your inbox!!! Fx

  15. But Why!! noo Whyy – I thought we had the rest of our lives planned together, Me & you – you & me How can this be ?!! We we’re ment to dance upon the skies and sing with the Stars! but whyyy
    You leave me in a torment of sorrow I am nothing without you, no Me but only You

    You are indeed a Radical blogistani, I pray that you be humble to Him and That he loves all that you are. May the Child be a blessing for both of you and may you have many more inshallah. All the best :D

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