Bismillahir Rahmaair Raheem
Waseem: A little time in the path...
“Come on,” Dad was saying, putting on his ‘you’re being ridiculous’ look, and of course, completely undermining my beliefs.
It was days after the episode at the ‘house of everyone’s dreams’, and my father had called me back for a chat. If I knew he was going to bug me about this I probably wouldn’t have come. Wrong is wrong. No matter who and no matter what.
You see, the whole thing was going nowhere. Apparently, the chics I had seen were offended because I couldn’t greet. It was strange how people automatically thought that everything was okay because there was a past. Did they even know I was married or did my father conveniently forget to mention that very important fact?
I instantly thought of Zaynah. I went to see her that same evening, feeling like a traitor for just being there.
“I don’t know those girls,” I said calmly. “I’m a stranger. I can’t just start chatting them up. And if they thought otherwise, it needs to be known that I’m not available.”
“We’re moderate people,” my father started, and I knew where all this was going already. “We don’t do these extreme things that all these… Other people do. We wear clothes. Our women are not locked up in the house. We socialise. We have fun. Islam is not meant to be so rigid.”
I wanted to laugh. I had heard the lines so many times before, and this time, it was weird because I was on the other side of the fence. Hugging girls was ‘moderate’. Okay.
Except now the ‘moderate people’ line didn’t work for me anymore because I now realised that Islam itself, is moderation. It was merely the perception of the West and it’s influence that made us think otherwise. So anyone who had the audacity to say that a Deeni person was being extreme, just on account of obeying the commandments of Allah in their day-to-day lives, is clearly off-track.
The sad thing was, for the most part, we consider a Muslim to be “moderate”, when he acts “Christian.” With this definition, a significant number of Muslims appear moderate due to lack of Deen. And even those who have some knowledge, keep on justifying reasons not to obey the commands of Allah when it suits them.
Of course, the main features of Islam is that it is a balanced religion. People often say that whenever the Prophet (SAW) had to choose between two options especially for his followers, he always chose the easier, unless it was explicitly forbidden. But that’s what we forget. That if it is forbidden, how can it ever be right?
What I couldn’t understand about people was that we claimed to love Allah…
But when a heart loves Allah… Why does it still refuse to obey Him?
Islam is not a buffet where we pick
and choose what suits us. With us, we are constantly in obedience of our Nafs.
Fudayl Ibn Iyad Rahimullah was asked “What do you find the strangest of all things?”
He said: “The heart that knows Allāh, yet still disobeys Him.”
Dad’s expression changed to one of indifference as he flipped through some folders, pulling out a piece of paper.
“These are the title deeds,” he said, ignoring my comment and handing them to me.
I shook my head, not wanting any hand-outs. I didn’t want his property because I knew it would come with his conditions. I just didn’t want a share of the world that he was trying to offer me. Something had changed in me a while back… Something had made me renounce the world and all it’s treasures.
I didn’t need any of it, I convinced myself. I had better than gold or any priceless gem.
She was my refuge and my safety… She kept me grounded, and left me short of nothing. With her around, what else did I need?
Zaynah had given me hope that beyond this futile world there was a tomorrow where I really wanted to be… A place where I yearned to go with all my heart, and reside forever with the same love that we are promised will continue in Jannah.. Why would I sabotage it?
And since I had never yearned for any of what Dad was offering, I didn’t understand why he trying so hard anyway. What exactly did he want frome me?
I was surprised that he said nothing that day about my ‘ingratitude’, even when I went to see my Mum and Ziyaad.
I hadn’t seen my mother in a while, and I felt myself missing her a lot recently. Issues in the household were such that we had just stop bothering to try and change things. I could see that she was losing hope andit pained me to see it.
“When are you bringing home my daughter?” She asked softly, after I greeted her.
I wasn’t sure what to say. I needed to figure out this whole plan with Dad first, before I made any moves. As much as I mentioned my wife, he still didn’t seem to process the fact that I had one. That’s why I still hadn’t taken Zaynah to meet him.
What if I brought Zaynah home and the whole thing was just awkward?
Rather not, I thought to myself, as I moved on to more current issues.
“Don’t be a doos,” Ziyaad said, after Dad had left and I told them about the house. “Take the pozie and then sell it. And then give me all the money.”
He had the whole thing planned out in his mind, and I wanted to laugh at his ridiculous hopes. There was no way I was taking the house… No matter what my father thought.
“It’s like one of those Palaces in Jannah, bru,” Ziyaad continued with a faraway look in his eyes. “And yohh, boss… It even had it’s own hoors!”
His eyes were wide with delight and I honestly almost smacked him.
“It’s a damn house,” I said, annoyed at his outburst. He was getting too caught up.
“Boss, don’t judge,” he said, noting my expression and grinning. “How will we ever aspire for Jannah if we don’t get acquainted with the luxuries of this world? It’s like a sneak preview!”
I shook my head at him, almost chuckling. Ziyaad was right in a way, but he took it to another level. His sneak previews became like a series marathon. It was crazy.
“I don’t know why he bought it,” I said, still thinking about it as I picked him up to go to Mo’s place that day. “How would I even explain it all to Zaynah? And why is he pushing it on me?”
Ziyaad said nothing as we turned into the driveway, and though I thought that it was strange for my lil bro, I didn’t read much into it until I saw his withdrawn look as I parked off. His mood seemed to have suddenly altered.
Zaynah was already here from the afternoon, spending time with Aasiya, and I was really looking forward to seeing her, especially today. It was one of those days when I just needed a little encouragement and support from the person who meant the most to me. But, as much as I needed it, I couldn’t just ignore my younger brother’s obvious whims.
“Bru, what’s going on?” I asked, pushing the button to switch off the car and looking at him. His hair wasn’t as styled up as it usually was, and his whole presentation was taking the knock. Even his perfume didn’t seem as strong as usual.
If Zee losing his passion to look awesome then something was definitely not right.
He had been acting a little strange for the past few days, and I knew that something was bugging him. I just didn’t know what it was.
“The thing is, Waseem… Dad needs to prove that he at least has one worthy son,” he said blandly, still not looking up. “Mo and him don’t talk, and I caused it… So you’re his only hope.”
I was confused. Ziyaad was always the man. He never messed up, and he had never caught the slack for anything. How can I be the only hope?
“What d’you mean?” I asked, taken aback.
“You don’t wanna know,” he said coolly, getting off the car. “Just know that you were right when you told me to be careful about that chic.”
I vaguely remembered telling him to watch it a few months back. I knew that he was moving and pretty serious with the a girl… And I knew how those things went down. Well, basically, when you got caught up in Haraam, there was no drawing lines. Shaytaan made sure of it.
“She told her father?” I asked, incredulously. “Did you mess her around? I hope you didn’t leave her on the lurch like an idiot.”
If that was the case, I knew what they would probably do to Ziyaad if they had to get hold of him. People around here were trigger happy… They had no conscience.
Maybe that was why he had been so scarce… Keeping himself on a low profile.
I was waiting for an explanation, but I expected anything but what he said next. His next words stunned me, giving me goosebumps for a moment, as I processed them.
“She got pregnant,” he said.
I gaped at him, freezing in my tracks. Whaaaaat?!
Honestly, that was like the most problematic thing. Not because it involved a baby… But because it just gave people a license to talk. And a license to act stupid.
“I wanted to make it right,” he said softly, not meeting my eye. “But she’s marrying that other Dude Dad knows and Dad won’t-”
“You have to make Nikah,” I insisted, not wanting to hear anything else.
I couldn’t stand this. It wasn’t because of what Ziyaad did. I could have been in the same situation.
I was appalled because Dad was refusing to let him do the right thing. He was completely undermining Shari’ah. He had to let him marry her, no matter what business deals it may mess up.
“Maybe we should talk to Mo about this,” I said, voicing my thoughts. “See what he can do. Does he know?”
Zee shook his head numbly, and I honestly just wanted to hug the guy. I felt really bad for him. I wanted to tell him it would all be okay. For now, I wasn’t sure… But in the end, it always is.
I followed him into the house, determined to get to the bottom of this and try and do something to ease his burden, but being so caught up with Ziyaad got me missing even the most obvious details that were there.
The extra car in the driveway didn’t even faze me until I got inside, and realised that there was a bit of a function going on.
Things had been difficult before when we were all forced to sit together. And now that my wife was around, I was even more wary.
I didn’t need to worry though… Because as I saw who this whole event was in honour of, I realised that we were safe.
To my surprise, and of course, utter joy, Molvi Umar stood up, and maybe it was wishful thinking, but I was almost certain that his eyes lit up as he spotted me, and I went forward to greet him. He embraced me fiercely, and I realised that I had actually really missed the guy that had kept me grounded from the beginning. Without his presence, though I had stayed on-track, I was getting a bit too comfortable with this world especially in my marriage.
Being preoccupied with the ‘honeymoon’ stage sometimes can be a diversion from reality. I didn’t see Zaynah all the time, and it made me want to spend every free moment with her. And though of course, it was necessary, I needed to break the routine and give more time for the Deen. I needed to try to shift my focus, especially since Ramadhaan was less than a month away. The anticipation and aspirations made me want to achieve the utmost in the month of Mercy.
“We were waiting for you,” he said, nodding at Mo. “I was just discussing some Jamaat plans…”
He lowered his voice, though still smiling, he continued.
“I think I might be scaring your bru.”
He grinned at Muhammed and I chuckled, knowing that Muhammed was completely averse to Jamaat.
Mo generally went with the flow, as long as it was easy-going. He did what he felt was ‘necessary’, but only for himself. I looked at him proudly though, thinking how much his new beard suited him. Sometimes, slowly does it.
“Where to, Molvi?” I asked, interested.
“We can talk about it,” he said vaguely. “But will your vrou mind? I think my wife is probably already telling her to keep you far away from me.”
So, Molvi had brought his wife to see his sister. It was awesome that they were all getting acquainted and I was really happy for them.
He was still grinning, and I smiled back. Molvi was a passionate guy. Whatever he did was with a force, and he always went all out.
As for my wife, I knew she wouldn’t mind if I had to leave her for the sake of Deen… And although I knew that I had many things to sort out at home, everything would continue without me. I took a look at Mo, knowing I could rely on him on whatever we needed. Life would go on, whether I was around or not.
It was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse. Now that Ramadhaan was coming up, I found myself feeling more inclined to touching base with things that kept me on track… To revitalise the parts of me that had become so dead and focussed on this temporary world… To rekindle that flame that I felt had died somewhere along the way, when I thought I had come too far to keep on trying…
And although we could never do enough, it was an occasion to give a little time as some kind of remuniration for everything that had gone right in my life so far.
Allah had been so merciful to me, so how could I continue to cook up excuses when there was an opportunity to spend a little time in His path?
Of course, all that was holding me back could never amount to what I knew awaited me, since I was told once that a little time spent in the path of Allah was better than the world and all it contained.
“I’ll speak to her,” I said to him, but I already knew that she could never refuse.
“You better go home and pack then, bru,” he said seriously. “I’m booking your flight… We’re leaving tomorrow.”