Pakistanis are the most religious people on earth. Don't believe me?
Let us look at two ahadith (prophetic sayings/traditions):
1. Utlub al 3ilm wa law bil Seen
Seek knowledge even if it means going to China.
Have you seen a nation that produces more doctors? A nation more zealous in their attempts to at any cost, become doctors. Even if it means going to Latvia, Poland or the Caribbean because getting into those Universities is easier. They are yet to go to China but I am sure they are working on it as well.
2. Al jannah ta7t aqdaam al ummahaat
Paradise lies below the mothers feet.
Now I know all women married to Pakistanis are nodding their head in agreement, those of you who don't follow, let me explain.
No matter if you are a praying or practicing Muslim in Pakistan, there is not a single soul that doesn't know of this hadith, and there is not a single mother who hasn't pulled this one out on her kids, let's say just before her son (we will call him Omar) brings home a girl he wishes to marry.
Son (Omar): Ammi (mom), I want to marry Nadia, she is from the same city as Grandma. Her father is a DaaaaakTarrrr (Doctor), and her mother... (who am I kidding, they never care what the mother does).
Mother: Beta (son), does she understand our ways? Will she take care of me when I'm old, hah? Beta, where is jannat (paradise)?
Son: Under your feet ammi.
Mother: Shabash beta, shabash (Well done, son, well done).
In other words, Drop it!
And so the Nadia story ends. Naturally nothing was really wrong with Nadia, and she would probably take care of his mom and massage her feet and make her lassi (a drink made of yoghurt), it is just so that his mom didn't choose her and therefore, well, need I say more?
So then in case number two, where the son actually has gotten married to a girl, we will call her Shazia, next scenario takes place. Shazia who is a fairly "modern" girl in terms of being educated and all that, and coming from a home where her mother had to live with her in-laws, Shazia knows of the drama that follows with such a family set up and is keen to have a place of her own with her new husband:
Shazia (on the honey moon): Omar jaan (dear Omar), when we come back from Singapore (everyone goes to Singapore), we will have a separate living, right?
Now the answer will be one of the following possible two:
1. No, paradise lies under mom's feet.
2. Yes, you will have a separate living.
The outcome of both answers however is quite startling.
Let's say Omar replies with a "No". Shazia will of course be disheartened and with heavy steps return back to Pakistan, enter her new home with her mother in law standing by the door greeting her son with open arms. They will have every single meal together, every single day spent together.
Now what if Omar had said "Yes". Shazia would have been thrilled, and relieved, wouldn't she? With lighter steps returning back home, sitting in the car with her husband, smiling, excited about the new house they are moving into. They drive and drive, and finally stop in a neighbourhood that looks very much like that of her in-laws. "They all look the same", she thinks to herself reassuringly.
They step out of the car, Shazia eyes her new house, it looks exactly like her in-laws house, number on the door is slightly different. As they are about to enter, from across the street, a huge crowd is now gathered in the house opposite theirs.
Picture it, mother in law in her shalwaar kameez (Pakistani dress) with a plate of methai (Pakistani sweets) in her hands, smiling exaltedly, father in law just standing there, poor thing has no say anyway, children and grandchildren all over the place, all waving, and welcoming the arrival of the new neighbours Shazia and Omar.
The beauty of this house is, besides the fact that it's across the street from his mother, both kitchen windows stare each other straight in the eye so one can simply stand in it and look into the other house and wave.
Shazia: Omar?? yeh kya hai? (what is this). You promised me separate living?!
Omar: Arre Shazia, yeh to separate hai? Hum aiki ghar mai nahi rehte hai? (Shazia, this is separate? We aren't living in the same house are we?)
Shazia: Kya bakwas hai! (what a load of crap)
Omar: Shazia jaan, jannat kahaan hai? (Shazia dear, where is paradise?)
Note: Oh and by the way, these stories took place outside of Pakistan...