Remona Aly
Tuesday 08 January 2019 BBC Radio 2

Bridal veils and divine vows

Bridal veils and divine vows

Forty six years ago next month, my dad saw my mum for the first time. It was, in fact, their wedding day. Dad glimpsed the reflection of his newlywed in a mirror according to an old Indian tradition, and what he saw was a shy 21 year old, her dark hair covered in a red bridal veil embroidered with swirling golden threads.

I always find this story fascinating and scary at the same time. It’s something I could never do – and was never expected to do by my parents. But mum and dad totally entrusted their family with the choice of their soulmate. It was a leap of faith and to be fair, they got so much back – i.e my siblings and me – well, let’s face it – mainly me!

Ah but the trust thing can be tricky. Especially these skeptical days, when placing faith in people seems to be shrivelling like a dried-up prune. We live in a cynical world, as Tom Cruise says in the film ‘Jerry Maguire’ which I sat watching for the 26th time the other day. I was balling my eyes out as usual at the final scene, when he looks at his wife, and declares, ‘you complete me’, but all she needed was, ‘hello’.

I reckon it takes at least an ounce of courage and faith to put your heart and happiness in someone else’s hands. But I cling to the belief that when you take one step towards what you love, you get a hundred coming back to you.

It’s how I see my relationship with my Beloved, aka Allah or God. I’m assured of a promise that God makes to humanity, and I feel to me personally, in this Islamic saying:

“Whoever draws close to me by the length of a hand, I will draw close to them by the length of an arm. Whoever draws close to me by the length of an arm, I will draw close to them by the length of a fathom. Whoever comes to me walking, I will come to them running.”

I put my trust in the divine presence as I do in people, as I believe a little faith can go a long way. (P.s to my mum – this does not give you the green light to arrange a groom.)