Noorj is a wife, mother and entrepreneur. Noorj has central core Myopathy but hasn’t let her disability get in the way of achieving her goals in life.
Here is her story.
I was born and raised in South West of England. I was born with a rare condition called central core Myopathy and dislocated hips and was eventually diagnosed at age of 5. It’s a type of Muscular Dystrophy where it affects my whole body, but mostly from hips below, therefore I can’t walk as much and lose balance which results in many falls.
This was difficult for me during childhood and set my confidence right back. All I wanted to do was make friends but in the South Asian community it was so tough and I was always put to one side. I was always reminded that I couldn’t do things that an able child could do.
Teens were the worst and many nights I cried myself to sleep as I was ignored or laughed at for being short, while the rest of the children my age had grown. I tried so hard to fit in, especially in college.
After I left college I applied for many jobs and eventually I got one. I worked full time for a month and then had a proposal for marriage.
I was only 20 at the time and was not ready at all and had so many doubts, wondering why anyone would want to marry me! Being disabled it’s normal to think like this, as I never got to be a focus and now getting a proposal was too much for me. I was not financially stable and was just learning about the world.
Eventually I agreed with my parents as I knew they wanted the best for me, so I trusted their decision and was married within 2 months. When the news went out to my family, friends and to the local community, they where all shocked, they had questions, “why would a fit and well guy marry her?” I had the same question too, “what if he is marrying me for his own benefit?” But then I thought I will face that time when it comes and left it in Allah’s hands.
On my wedding day when I was walking down the aisle, many faces where just shocked and I could hear the whispering among the people. Some even said that my marriage wouldn’t last!
Alhamdulillah I’ve now been married for 14 years and have the most amazing boy who is now ten years old. I have the most amazing husband who loves me for me and nothing else.
We both where aged 20 when we got married and lived with my parents for a few years until we bought our home.
The day I got married was the first time in my life that I felt noticed and respected by the community. But it shouldn’t be like this, which is awful. I should be respected for who I am not because I got married.
I never accepted myself and my disability but after the birth of my boy everything changed.
My boy had inherited my disability as it’s genetic and the day I found out I cried so much, the guilt was consuming me. I didn’t want my son to go through what I did. I don’t want him to be left out and be reminded that he can’t fit in.
Then I had decided that I will teach him to love himself and to turn his disability into his strength.
Alhamdulilah he is now part of a local football team and he has a yellow belt in Taekwondo. He is a wheelchair user and uses a walker frame to walk but that didn’t defy him.
After 30 years of my life, my son and my husband have taught me to embrace my disability and I’m forever grateful to them.
I have discovered myself! I started my own cake business and I finally embraced my wheelchair and don’t feel ashamed when I’m out in public.
Now the same people who used to look down at me, now look up to me. They thought I would be the last at everything, only because I was disabled, but I proved them wrong. I was the first to marry, I was first to buy a home, I was first to become a mother and I was first to start a cake business in my local community.
My advice to others who are struggling to find a spouse is to learn to love yourself first and embrace everything Allah has given you and trust Allah’s plan.
This generation has changed, so have people’s minds. Now many more are aware of disability and are becoming more accepting in the South Asian community. We now have this disability match making website which I didn’t have back in the early 2000’s, so please use Disabled Muslim Matrimony.
I pray Allah swt blesses everyone with a spouse who is loving and caring and completes half their deen, Ameen.
For more information regarding Noorj’s cake business check out her Instagram page @Sweet_Touch_Cakes.