Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
Everyone who knows me as ‘The Zee’ knows pretty well the kind of guy that I am. With me, what you see is what you get. That’s it. No hidden agenda.
Waseem, on the other hand, always had this mysterious and ‘deep’ side to him. Amongst other more obvious things, I supposed it was the whole evasive quality that he possessed that made him so appealing…
Yeah, I know… He was something of an enigma.
Purposefully thoughtful, even in public… Always creating the impression that he knew more than he was letting on.
I wouldn’t lie. I got it. It added an edge… I could tell that it just made him seem kind of… Exciting.
And because of that, sometimes, I honestly didn’t even get what my brother was saying. He was never just straight forward. I’ve heard of people beating around the bush, but my brother took it to another level. He ‘spoke around the bush’.
And so, when he had said, “See you after Asr?”, I had to rethink about ten times to remember if there was a mysterious or unassuming edge to his words he had said. Given our morning drama, I took it at face value and I just assumed that he meant he would ‘see’ me after Asr. Not that he would see me from about 200 metres away from the front of the Masjid where he was about to make NIKAH and get someone to drag me over to him. I was appalled, to say the least. And I’m sure you believe me when I say that I was not a dramatic kind of guy.
In all honesty, the whole reality was just damn unnecessary. Couldn’t he just have told me, in simple terms, that he was doing the whole hook-up that very evening?
I walked to the front as Waseem requested, trying to step up my appearance as I had no idea I’d be in the spotlight. The Zee was going to be ‘the brother’ in the whole scenario.
When Mo had got married I was too young to take advantage, but now I was determined to make the most of the opportunity. I tried to ease into a slightly more presentable version of Sunday Zee as I joined Mo at the front with two of my uncles, and watched as the Maulana Dude started the proceedings.
He was speaking on the great Sunnah of Nikah, and stressing on simplicity.
Molvi Umar was back in town, and Waseem had seized the opportunity to make his Nikah at the same time. Wise move, I had to admit.
I looked at my brother, the man of the hour. Waseem was looking super-cool in the whitest of Kurtahs, and he didn’t look nervous in the least. I putposefully tried to sway his stance by giving him a few unnerving glances that were meant to stir him, but his gaze remained fixed ahead. He was super contained… Like he knew exactly what he was doing. This whole marriage thing didn’t cause any discomposure whatsoever. And in all honestly, I was sure that nothing anyone could tell him would faze him.
I momentarily thought back to my father’s words earlier that day. Waseem had left and I had gone back inside to ease the situation. My father was still screaming his head off, talking to my mother about what a failure her sons were.
“Tell him I’m taking him off my will!” he was saying to her, raging. “Go and tell him! I’m seizing all his accounts! And tell him never to come here for anything ever again!”
I stared back at my father, shaking my head. Really? More ugliness? More worldly focus? He still didn’t get it.
Waseem didn’t care about any of it. He just wanted acceptance and my father wouldn’t relent. All he knew was that he had a different ambition for Waseem, and Waseem had let him down. Waseem chose a different path to world pursuit. He didn’t want to follow in Dad’s footsteps.
And I supposed that was what my father couldn’t understand. Why would anyone not want what he had. His life was awesome…. In his eyes. But, what he failed to see was that it was only temporarily awesome…
My thoughts were interrupted by a sudden break in the ceremonial proceedings. I was forced to focus.
“Do you accept?”
The voice sounded like it was directed at me, but being seated next to Waseem was misleading.
I watched my brother nodding and getting up to say the words that would finalise the contract. I had missed most of the beginning, but I assumed that Bombshell girls’ father had already acceded to the request and now it was time for my brother to give his word.
To make his mark. To show his zeal. To step up to the platform where he could take his Deen to another level.
And of course, nothing would stop him.
And… Like the commentary in my mind had come to a close… With that, the deal was sealed. Contract accepted.
The simple two words attested to the completion of half one’s Deen.
The simplicity of the whole ceremony just got me, at that point. There were no frills or fancies required. No-one had to spend thousands of rands to soup up this affair, because in essence, this was not a function of social benefits. It was a religious fuction that meant so much more than met the eye. What lay ahead, in terms of unity and improving religion was so much more than what any give credit for.
I was taken aback by it for a few seconds, knowing that my brother had actually taken this step. He had said the words, and I could see that he meant them in entirety. He had said the words and changed his life. He had chosen to not just settle, and follow his heart.
I drank it all in. I knew it wasn’t my imagination. The horizon was a little brighter already.
“BarakAllah, wa lakuma wa Barakah, wah Jama’a bayna kumaa fee Khair.”
(May Allah bless you two, surround you both with blessings, and bring you both together in whatever is good and prosperous.)
Maulana closed the Nikah off with those words, and left us with a beautiful Du’aa to ponder about. And I wasn’t generally the pondering type.
I mean, I had attended dozens of Nikahs but this one just brought a whole other dimension to the whole union. Not just because it was my brother’s. I was just seeing things so much more differently. It’s beautiful simplicity and basis made it that much more awesome.
It just made me wonder… Why did people complicate life? Why did they have to accessorise it with so much of extravagance when the very ritual was just so intimate and simple, just as it was. In fact, being ignorant, everything I had thought was ‘backwards’ before I had the knowledge of Deen now seemed completely rational and sensible. It was like a whole new doorway opened up for me, shedding light on the obscurities and helping me to see the deeper meaning behind everything in our religion. There was so much of wisdom in it’s teachings, that I couldn’t believe that it didn’t amaze me before.
The thing was, when everything is meant to be simple, why do we complicate matters and make it difficult for ourselves? Even when it came to basic things… Why not just look into Islam and do it the righg way?
Like… Why unnecessarily go to the painful trouble to shave your beard every day when it’s Sunnah to keep it? And why worry about gelling and doing your hair, by adding highlights or all those weird shenanigans, when you know you should cover it up or put on a hat? Why spend hours killing time in front of a mirror deciding on Guess or Armani, when the best brand is the Sunnah one?
And when I looked at my own life and how I wanted that one girl just for me… Why fight for the girl that you’re afraid you’re going to lose, when you know Islam will secure her for you by Nikah? Why make our weddings such a big hoo-haa when our Prophet (SAW) made it known that simplest is best?
It was just so simple… Fundamental. If Islam was taken seriously, there would be little corruption in the Muslim society. It was just sad that so few were favoured with the knowledge to realise it. I wish I had been enlightened sooner, but truly, it was only those whom Allah wished to favour who were given that ability to see this beauty. Because that’s what it was. Pure beauty.
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, “When Allah wishes good for someone, He bestows upon him the understanding of Deen.”
And so, I knew it wasn’t just anyone who was able to see this beauty. Allah had guided me in such a way that I was no longer blind to the purity that existed here. My eyes and mind had been awakened to the splendour that had always existed, and now had been given the priviledge to see, first hand.
“I see your bru’s tied the knot,” a voice said from behind. “Modern day Mus’ab’s getting a happy ending.”
I turned around and saw a familiar face approaching. Junaid. I remembered him well now and actually cracked a smile at him, nodding.
Mus’ab? I would have to find out more about that nickname.
And of course, Waseem had had come a long way from when he had first met him. He hadn’t wasted himself completely. That much I knew.
I engaged myself in light conversation with the guy, still pensive. All of it was happening too fast. Waseem, who had been like my right-hand-man for the past few weeks had gotten hitched. Emotions were getting me carried away… And I almost started to laugh at myself.
The Zee was actually starting to tear up!
And it was amazing, because as I watched my bright-eyed brother who looked even more awesome than usual, constantly smiling at everyone who came forward to greet him, a few months ago, I would have never imagined that he would end up up here. That he would come so far, and rise above his past. That he would cut the cord that linked him to his thoughtless sins, unveiling his bright future. I would’ve have never thought that he would make it so far, and prove that he was worthy of a straight life. And there was no doubt about the effect it had…
It gave me hope… Made me hope. For everyone I knew and for myself too. Maybe it wasn’t too late. Maybe everything wasn’t always as clear cut as it seemed. Maybe there was that little pot at the end of the rainbow, even for me. Maybe I too, would find the gold.
Dates were being served and I grabbed one as I lead the way out, waiting for my brothers near the car. I greeted Waseem as they approached, letting him know in the one gesture that everything was probably going to be okay. It had to be.
We jumped into the car, and I saw Mo hand him an envelope, which was probably something of a wedding gift, and the car started. My own heart was racing for my brother, realising the enormity of what he had done.
Happily ever after or not… No-one knew… But I realised that there is an end. In fact, there’s an end to every storm. Once all the trees have been uprooted… Once all the houses have been broken apart.
The wind will hold up. We’ll find some cover.
The clouds will seize. The rain will stop. The sky will eventually clear, and only then, do we learn how strong we were, because we survived it. We rose above the damages, and made it through.
And as the cars all started moving and the day started to close in, we had no choice but to keep on moving forward together. To Waseem’s wife and future.
Right now, there was no going back.