Bismillahir Rahmaanir Rahmaan
Waseem: Another shot...
I felt sorry for Mo.
He staggered backward, at first shocked, and then looking angered, before he finally walked towards us and took a seat on the empty recliner.
“Why?” He asked, to no-one in particular.
I didn’t know what to say. I mean, I didn’t even know what he was asking, so there was no way I could answer his question. Why what?
“I only did what she wanted,” he was almost complaining. “This is what she asked for, until today. She never wanted to be contacted by her family, and I never asked. How was I to know this would happen?”
He looked at Molvi, but there was no response.
“Now she says I took her away from them,” he continued, looking exhausted.
He was shaking his head blindly, and I could see Maulana Umar starting to look uncomfortable from the corner of my eye.
It was time for us to leave, but I felt terrible to leave my brother here, looking like a lost puppy. Without his wife around, I wasn’t sure if Muhammed knew what to do with himself. He doted on her relentlessly.
“I’ll be back just now,” I started saying, watching Mo’s reaction. “I’m just gonna drop-”
“Was, please,” Mo cut me off, sounding withdrawn. “I don’t need a babysitter, boss. I’ll be fine.”
Well, I supposed he had a point. I nodded, understmding where he was coming from, and then we left through the garage where I had parked my car. At first Maulana Umar said nothing, and I didn’t ask because I knew it wasn’t my business.
“You know, Mus’ab,” he finally said, sounding serious. “This kind of makes us family.”
I glanced at him, seeing the shadow of a smile on his face. I nodded, smiling back.
“I suppose it does, Molvi,” I replied, hoping that I might see more of him now.
I still hadn’t gotten a chance to speak to him about what I needed to, and I was already plotting ways to do so.
“She may have chosen something different,” he said, out of the blue, referring my sister-in-law again. “But I’m glad she was happy.”
It was a bit of a strange thing to say.
Although I admired Maulana Umar, I wondered about this guy and his own past… I didn’t know that much. His family life was obviously his business, but it got me wondering. Did she choose a different path? Did he mean she went against whatever his family had wanted? Was it because she married Mo? Did she make the stupidest move by getting carried away with Muhammed’s lifestyle over what her family wanted for her?
All sorts of things were going through my head now, but he didn’t give anymore information. I honestly wondered how everyone had thought she was dead. I clearly remembered Maulana Umar once saying his sister had passed away, so it was so strange when this whole episode was revealed.
Muhammed and Aasiya. They’ve been together so long, I never even thought about how it all happened. From what I knew Maulana Umar was from a place quite far from here, so I obiously wondered how they had met. Mo was quite a bit older than me, which meant that I was still in my early teena when he had got hitched. He was no fool, and he knew what he was doing when he got himself involved… But why did the pieces just not fit together?
I sighed. Women, huh. I had always believed that a woman could make a man do anything. Not to me, of course, because I had never taken one seriously until now…
“Allah knows best,” Molvi said, kind of closing off the previous topic before I stopped at the Masjid. “So what’s happening with you, Mus’ab? Before this drama, you needed to talk to me?”
Ah. And I thought he probably wouldn’t remember. What a guy. He was never too consumed with anything in his own life to forget others. That spoke volumes of his own values. I saluted that.
At the end of the day, it all boiled down to one thing. It all boiled down to how you would like others to treat you. You can’t be so selfish, but expect people to give up everything for you.
You had to open your heart to others, and give them what you yourself would want to receive. It was a major part of brotherhood in Islam.
Our Nabi (SAW) said in a narration, known to perhaps every devout Muslim:
“None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
And of course, the Sabahah were the prime examples, and surely it was because pf their constant selfless act that it was revealed:
“…And they give others preference over themselves even though they were themselves in need….” (Quran 59:9)
I mean, they were even prepared to divorce their own wives so to see that the Muhaajireen were comforatble. It was unthinkable that anybody in today’s day and age could think that way, especially when they themslevs had their own needs. Our minds were always so one-track, we barely thought of others when we were in comfort, leave alone when we had deficiencies in our own lives.
I had a lot to still learn.
“You okay?” Molvi said, noting my silence and breaking into my thoughts.
I didn’t realise quite how long I was thinking for, and I quickly nodded, trying to think of the best way to say what I needed to.
I mentioned it briefly, explaining to him that I thought I was ready to take the next step. The next step.
I hadn’t known that he was already thinking ahead as I told him about my encounter with the girl’s father, because he didn’t say much, and I had assumed that he was just listening, and probably going to write it off. I didn’t realise that his lack of response was the evidence of his mind working.
Well, I quickly realised how wrong I was the next day when I had fetch him for the airport.
It was just as well that I had got a bit delayed whilst talking to Ziyaad, else I would have never known about the plan that he had that day.
Talking to Ziyaad was like a re-visit down the road I had come from, and although I sensed his hopelessness… Hell, I was just so damn proud of my brother. I had always assumed that Muhammed would be the more easily influenced one, with his wife already imposing half of my thoughts into his life, but Ziyaad’s revolutionary change had just come from nowhere.
It was true proof that no-one but Allah could change hearts. Maybe there was one awesome act that Allah had loved so much, that He gifted him with Hidaayat. And what Hidaayat, I was amazed.
“Sorry, bru,” I said apologetically to Ziyaad, after telling him about what happened with Aasiya. I was feeling bad that I had to leave him. “I’ll catch you later?”
“Sure,” he nodded, following me out. I started my car, watching him go in the opposite direction to where I was headed. I stopped outside the Muslim B&B, seeing Molvi already waiting outside. I immediately felt bad that I was delayed, but Molvi didn’t ask anything, just directed me quickly on a detour that he needed to take.
“There’s someone that I needed to meet,” he said mysteriously, giving me quick directions.
I already knew something was up. It sounded like a place I knew but he didn’t give me the address, so until I pulled up next to the house, then only did I know exactly what he was up to.
It was her house.
The girl that I’d seen, just that one time, but her image had planted sprouting hopes within my mind. The girl who, until now, had seemed so out of my each, because I knew that there was no way I could single-handedly win her or her family over.
“But Maulana,” I argued, watching him, all calm and collected, getting off the car. “Isn’t the flight soon?”
I followed him, feeling all nervous and paranoid about this whole sudden change in plans.
“Relax, boss,” he grinned, waiting for me to catch up with him.
I was still in shock, not knowing how I was going to deal. I had never felt so nervous about seeing a girl, and I just hoped I could keep my cool this time.
Molvi pressed the new buzzer that was on the outside wall, waiting for a response.
“Bismillah,” he said confidently, gesturing to the house as he glimpsed her father coming out to unlock the gate.
He glanced at me, noting my panicked expression.
An encouraging look was all I needed to feel a bit more confident. With Molvi next to me, I finally felt a little bit worthy.
“Let’s do this.”