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Life imitates Hollywood as Shukri asks ‘please marry me’

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Malaikah Abdul-Jabbar thought she was going to watch the new Jennifer Lopez movie Marry Me with some girlfriends.

But when a trailer of the movie followed by a YouTube video of the Bruno Mars song Marry You came up on the screen, she suspected that something else was going on.

Proposal at Speciality Cinema. Shukri Muhammad and Malaikah Abdul-Jabbar (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

It was not until photographs of her and boyfriend Shukri Muhammad popped up, the lights came on and she saw that the movie theatre at the Speciality Cinema was filled with family and friends that she realised she was about get a proposal of marriage.

Ms Abdul-Jabbar, 19, an Illustration student at Bermuda College, said: “When the first picture of us came up on the screen, I screamed and I was frozen stiff. My friend had to push me into the aisle.

Shukri Muhammad and Malaikah Abdul-Jabbar (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

“I didn’t recognise anyone at first. My mind was in a shambles. Then I noticed my little sister waving at me and all the other people I know and my heart was pounding.

“When I saw Shukri walking down the aisle, I was such a mess, I realised what was going on — it was actually happening. I was in complete and utter shock.

“He asked me if I was ready. He said I make him so happy and it would make him the happiest man in the world if I would be his wife. I said yeah, instead of yes. I had to correct myself. But there was no hesitation.”

Malaikah Abdul-Jabbar and Shukri Muhammad just after they got engaged at Speciality Cinema in Hamilton (Photograph supplied)

Mr Muhammad, 21, a construction worker, said he had worked on the surprise proposal for at least a month with Maaida Coleman, the bride-to-be’s mother.

He said: “I wanted to make it special — something to remember and always look back on. I thought it had to be very special as she is very special to me.

“On the day, I felt very eager and excited. A little bit of me was nervous but I was mostly just very eager and thought, ‘I am going to do this’.”

Mr Muhammad added: “Everything went very smoothly. The minute the lights came on I went up to her and told her she made me one of the happiest men in the world.

“I asked if she could make me even happier by being my one and only. I got down on one knee and said will you marry me and she said ‘yes’. I was the happiest man in the world at that time.

“I love everything about her — her modesty, her character, I love her heart, her personality and her company. I just love being around her.”

Ms Abdul-Jabbar said she has told her fiance many times that from the moment they met she felt comfortable and at ease in his company.

She explained: “He was always very respectful, kind and open. I was shocked to find out how much we had in common — we both love animals, we are both good with children.

“A few people joke that he is the male version of me. He tells me that he respects me as a woman and as a person and he is always willing to lend an ear.”

Ms Coleman, who posted a video of the February 24 proposal on the Facebook group MAJ’s List yesterday, said: “Malaikah’s friends met her at my house. They stayed for an hour and I said I would take them to the theatre.

“On our way I messaged Lisa Lewis, who works at the cinema and who was amazing, and a friend to let them know we were on our way.

“Malaikah had to believe she was late for the movie so the lights could be off and everybody would already be in the theatre. Lisa started the trailer a bit early, Shukri was on point. Malaikah said it was the happiest day of her life.”

The couple are planning their wedding day for around June.

Mr Muhammad added: “I hope it shines some positive light. It is good for people to be committed to each other, especially in these days. It is important to build a strong family unit.”

Happy couple: Shukri Muhammad and Malaikah Abdul-Jabbar (Photograph supplied)

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Published March 17, 2022 at 6:49 pm (Updated March 17, 2022 at 6:49 pm)

Life imitates Hollywood as Shukri asks ‘please marry me’

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