The Certificate of EntitlementPosted: January 30, 2013
So thrilled that we now have in our hands an important marriage pre-requisite document: the mandatory marriage preparation course certificate!
We attended the course recently (19 & 20 Jan) and I had this post written just a few days after….but as usual the pitfalls of being a perfectionist prevents me from ever publishing a timely post. It’s a long shot, but I’ll try to get Faz to blog about it as well to provide a guy’s perspective of the course as well as document the thoughts that went through his mind during the course.
We didn’t do a comparison between the different course providers, but since we came across good reviews about one in particular, SuChi Success, we decided to just go with them.
What I think of the course
On the whole, I’m really glad the course is made mandatory for Muslim couples to attend before marriage because it is indeed useful. The general theory aspect of the course may be quite blah for those of us who already know it, but I suppose it’s better to err on the side of caution to cater to those who don’t know, and those who think they know.
Fortunately our trainers who were tasked with these potentially mundane sections, Mr Mohd Khair and his wife Mdm Suriati, did a commendable job in making them more enjoyable by injecting humour into their presentations. However I found myself listening the most intently to the religious sections covered by Ustaz Abdul Jalil, because it’s an area I’m lacking in. He was entertaining as well, which helped a great deal!
All three trainers, having an abundance of experience in their respective areas of profession (Ustaz Abdul Jalil is a divorce mediator at the Syar’iah Court), gave lots of case examples for participants to relate to.
However what I think couples enjoyed the most (myself included) and found useful were the note exchanges between them. In between topics, each of us was made to list our thoughts, expectations and aspirations pertaining to those topics. We were then made to exchange them with our partner, who would in return pen their comments.
It was a process of discovery. There were a good number of things I discovered about Faz!
For example, we were on the topic ‘The Language of Love’ and were asked to write down what we thought was our partner’s preferred mode of affection. Feeling quite confident, I penned my answer. It turned out that he values words of affirmation the most! Who would’ve known?
How many of us actually do ask our partners how they would like to be loved? Most of the time we just make assumptions about it based on the obvious but sometimes it’s really the unspoken that has more bearing. If we weren’t forced to come face-to-face with this grey area, I probably wouldn’t have known that about Faz at all. And this is after close to 10 years of knowing each other!
And trust me, there are so many other grey areas that need to be addressed in order to manage each other’s expectations in terms of finances, family, kids, jobs, duties, etc. This course really helped to do just that.
Aside from discoveries, there’ll also be a lot of “AWWW” moments as you retrieve your notebooks from your partners and read their comments.
It was endearing to see all the husbands-to-be taking the exercises seriously. Once in a while I’d steal a glance at Faz and see him penning away, engrossed in his thoughts.
There was this part that was quite cute as well. Ustaz Jalil was going through the motions of the nikah process, starting right from the groom’s house. When it got to the akad part, I stole a glance at the guys and my god, were their faces ever so cuak! It was hilarious!
At the end of the course you’ll also be penning a love note for each other. This is the part of the course that’s infamous for making people cry.
I didn’t really know what to expect from him because 1) he doesn’t like writing 2) anything sweet he tries to come up with faces a risk of sounding cheesy 3) there’s also a risk of him plagiarising content from songs 4) even then he always messes up the lyrics!
But all my worries were put to rest because his note was the sincerest piece of literature I’d ever received from him. I had already felt like crying when I was crafting my own note, so imagine how I felt when I read his!
My review of SuChi Success
I would recommend for anyone to attend their marriage preparation course. As I’ve said, the trainers are experienced and their delivery, engaging. Course content is relevant, although I think they could’ve just skimmed through briefly some of the points which we could’ve read on our own.
But there were several shortcomings as well. We attended the course at their training centre but I think it may be wise for anyone who hasn’t registered yet to attend the course at a participating mosque instead because their facilities are not that great. The chairs in our room were not ergonomic at all, considering the fact that participants were going to spend two full days there (9am – 6pm). They were rigid, and there were no desks attached, forcing us to hunch forward to write in our notebooks.
And the aircon wasn’t fully working those two days! It got really stuffy, which affected my concentration. Participants were seen fanning themselves.
Lastly, improvement also needs to be made to the administration process and customer service. Poor Faz — I don’t know why but in our wedding planning, he almost always gets tasked with liaising with people who end up making his blood boil.
We had already paid for the course via internet banking and sent the transaction reference number to them via email. No response although we had indicated a preference of an acknowledgement of receipt. After a while, I ask Faz to follow-up with them regarding this. They said they would check and get back to us. A week passes and still no response. Faz calls again. Same response. Faz waits a couple more days and calls again. SAME RESPONSE! Faz runs out of patience and expresses his disappointment in their inefficiency. They finally scramble to their feet and get back to him the same day.
A week or two afterwards, the SAME PERSON calls him again….to ask him to send over proof of payment if we’ve already made payment!
#BADMOVE #FACEPALM #TAKTAHUAPANAKCAKAPLAGI
One of our couple friends who attended the course the same day we did also faced the same thing, although others we checked with didn’t face any such problems.
So in conclusion, yes, I would recommend SuChi Success based on course content and delivery but they don’t fare so well in the facilities and admin areas. It’s indeed an overwhelming two-day course but if you go with an open mind and a sincerity to learn then you’ll get a lot out of it, for sure!
Some friends have suggested that it’s better to attend the course nearer to your wedding day so that you’ll remember the du’as and it apparently will be “lagi feel”. But from a practical point of view, you’ll be busy tying up the loose ends nearing the day. Plus, if you really wanted to memorise the du’as, you can always just whip out your notebook and refresh your memory a few days prior to your nikah. But to each his own, I suppose.
Anyway good luck to you couples who will be attending the course soon!