Lights, Camera and Action

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Back-track...

I clenched and unclenched my jaw hazardously, trying to control the outburst that I knew was on it’s way to escaping.

You know that feeling when you’ve just heard something that could potentially be the worst thing that you could ever hear at that moment, and you’re all up in arms, wondering how it could ever be?

Yeah. That was me.

All I could think to myself, as I sat on the groom chair at my Waleemah, was:

I cannot believe this shit. 

My mind was reeling with the information that had been thoughtlessly whispered into my ear just moments ago, as I was forced to pose for another professional snap. The cameras were really getting on the wrong side of me today. I thought I was done with all the selfie and posing BS last year. I wasn’t even sure if Farah wanted all of this.

Not to mention, the lighting in the hall was quite unnecessary, seeing that it was a day function. Eskom would have probably gone bezerk if they saw the amount of fairy lights the stage had. In broad daylight. It was unreal.

I couldn’t help but stare down the next stranger who came forward to greet me and pose for another shot. The smile that had been plastered on my face was swiped off the instant I had processed what I had just heard.

And then, the moment of rationality hit me, as I realised that maybe… Just maybe… It was all just a big hype of no-big-deal. Maybe I was getting all edgy and heated for no reason. Maybe I just needed to get to the bottom of this.

“Let’s go, sweetie,” I murmured under my breath, certain that she could hear me. I was just being extra sweet in case anyone else did.

I didn’t just have one objective in mind.

The whole ‘do’ was too hectic. Too fancy. Too mixed.

We made our way through quickly, and I tried to just concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other, and finding the way out.

Of course, when you’re surrounded by people, you can’t help but be aware of what was going on.

It was like going in the rain and expecting not to get wet. Impossible.

And I had to hear it.

“The bride still looks hot,” I heard a guy say behind me, as I exited the main area.

It wasn’t loud, but my ears were like sattelites, trained for this type of thing. And I honestly wanted to smash the person who said it.

Like, c’mon… Don’t these owes have a brain?

I spun around, trying to catch the guy who was guilty, realising that it could be anyone. I was surrounded by family, guys and girls, all standing around outside, some together, and some just checking each other out.

Could I even blame them? 

It wasn’t even their fault. A display was meant to be viewed.

I was acting all righteous and heavy, when I was actually just as guilty. The thing was, the old Zee was finding his way to the surface. Weaknesses and all. I even found myself actually checking out girls who had come to my own Waleemah, now feeling no shame whatsoever.

And yes, we all got caught up. Women and men both have a problem of lustful glances, but we don’t realise that it is exactly that which is the root to all other problems. We forget that our imagination, however, was not created to entertain junk and fantasties. When we finally realise that we are not meant to indulge our nafs in evil and disgusting thoughts about other men’s wives and strange women, then we see a little clearer.

It was only then that I realised exactly how low I had stooped.

“If one of you sees something wrong, let him change it with his hand; if he cannot, then with his tongue; if he cannot, then with his heart and this is the weakest faith.”

Some versions add: “there is no part of faith beyond that, not even so much as a mustard seed.” (Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Da`ud, Ibn Majah.)

I wanted to bang my head on the concrete ground.

I was a coward today. I knew it. Hating what was happening was a weakness, because I didn’t have the strength to stop it. Seeing my own brother leave the wedding was like a stab in my back, but I knew I couldn’t blame him.

It was their fault, I thought bitterly, looking to pass the blame on.

After ignoring my request to keep the function as simple and separate as possible, I was all the more infuriated. I had to keep face, right? I wouldn’t dare to walk out of my own Waleemah. My father would probably kill me. And it would be the biggest eye-ball ever.

But now, it was too late.

I got it, though. It was all in the game. It was all just to show who was in charge here. It was just to say that, no matter what, Farah’s father would always be the boss.

I mean, he had already bought us a house so his daughter wouldn’t have to stay in anything than the best. And yeah, I know they say that if you have a rich father-in-law, you’re sorted for life… But the thing was, we both understood. Already, everyone knew who would be calling the shots.

I was still muttering to myself like a maniac as I literally dragged her through the door, determined to get out of this crowd. Her friends were eyeing me out, thinking that their death stares would get me to slow down, but I was unfazed. I wasn’t stopping for anyone. I had to leave.

I jumped into the supercar that my father-in-law had arranged, waiting impatiently for her to enter.

I was all geared up to be straight forward the moment she closed the door, but Farah was all glowing and happy, I actually felt a bit bad that she was stuck with me in all my gloominess.

The thought that I was being too ‘hectic’ crossed my mind. Everyone else thought this was okay. Why was I being so heavy?

“Did you get the booking reference?” She asked, assuming that I had booked the hotel her father had a contact with.

I didn’t answer. There were some things I had to decide for myself. Where to stay on the first night I was married was one of them.

I stopped the car at the hotel entrance of my choice, and she looked at me, slightly confused. I stared back at her, knowing that I was about to blow my top if she had to say anything I didn’t like.

“You chose this place?” She asked, turning to face me, looking confused.

That was all it took. I wasn’t even sure how she meant the question, but I immediately fed my anger with built up negative emotions. The effect of the mixed function, all the Haraam I was recently indulging in, and my attitude that needed to be adjusted, was taking a toll.

“If you don’t like it, be my guest,” I said bluntly. “Leave.”

Her expression immediately changed, and she looked up at me, clearly hurt.

I sighed audibly, making sure she heard. She needed to know that I was so done with this.

Her emotions were too much to handle. I really didn’t have time for the ‘pregnancy’ emotions and drama.

“You know,” I continued, as I got off the car, not even assisting her as the doorman opened the door for her. I shrugged him off as he tried to help me with her bag. I was on a roll.

“If you were going to fuss about the hotel, maybe we should just just leave it out.”

I went straight to the lift, taking out the key-card from my pocket.

She shook her head at me as we entered, and the lift doors closed.

“I didn’t mean it-”

“No, Farah,” I snapped, not even giving her a chance. “If all this is below your standards, I’m not prepared to change. Take it or leave it.”

“Ziyaad!” She said, turning to face me, her cheeks flushed with anger. “Will you stop making this about you and your ego?!”

We were already entering the room, and I flung her suitcase down, now even more infuriated.

I banged the door closed and turned to face her, feeling my face burning up. I was beginning to feek like the old me. Bi-polar.

Only this time, it didn’t feel as good as it usually did. Probably because I wasn’t high.

“Sorry, I forgot,” I said, being obnoxious. “Everything is supposed to be about you, right? Give me a damn break, Farah.”

She shook her head, and I could see she that she was holding back tears. Her stomach was only slightly protruding in the dress she wore, but as she took a seat, I could see the strain it was taking on her body.

Farah had put on weight. She clearly wasn’t the best she had ever looked, and being a superficial guy, I knew I was being a little more horrible because of it.

Sorry guys. Welcome to the real version of Zee, male chauvinist.

“This is about us,” she said quietly, and I tried to feel some empathy. “You wanted this, remember? You came to me, remember?”

She was right. She didn’t force me to make this decision. It was all me. But was it right?

Yes. I felt compelled to do it. But at the time, I didn’t know that this was going to be based on a potential lie.

Right now, at this moment, the first night we were married, wasn’t exactly awesome timing to be thinking about all of this and bringing it up. Besides the timing, I knew I was going to bear the brunt of my actions.

Although, in my anger, I was barely thinking of physical services, I could literally see that getting crossed off the list. Gone.

But the thing with involving yourself in Haraam, is that it doesn’t just have short-term effects.

It started with the Waleemah, all in the name of ‘Deen’. To fulfill a blessed Sunnah.

But these type of functions… The gatherings of heedlessness, are clear poison. Cameras, mixing, music…. Any place that has haraam in it is like poison. It enters you, and takes over your being. It consumes your thoughts. It infiltrates your mindset and controls your actions.

And even if you claim to not commit anything hectic there, why should you want to be seen at such a place anyway, where Allah’s gaze of wrath and anger pours down? It was just strange how people like me brought these things upon themselves, and then wondered what exactly went wrong.

And yeah, I was thinking exactly that. What exactly was going on here? 

What was I up to? My demonic thoughts were all over the place, but now, we both needed to get back on track with each other.

I had to ask her. I had to clarify if what I had heard was true.

I sat down, daring not to look up at her until I knew the truth. I had to know the facts. I had to get it off my chest.

“Is the baby even mine?” I finally asked.

I knew why I had to ask her, but I also knew that I had to draw the line somewhere. Maybe in an attempt to ease my own mind, I had taken it too far.

The look on her face said it all. She was crumbling to pieces.

I wanted to cry too.

Rumours. A simple theory can spiral completely out of hand, if one is not careful. Some rumors grind to a halt, while others circle the world. Some ideas spread and others die. The human tongue is a vicious weapon that many simply cannot guard.

I immediately knew that I had to apologise, but deep down inside, I knew that this would take a lot more than a bunch of roses to fix.

I sighed deeply, my head falling into my heads,  both emotionally and physically exhausted. How did I get here? How do I get out?

The shrill ring of my extra loud  iPhone, set to be heard above the noise of the Waleemah hall, caught us both completely unawares.

Muhammed’s name displayed on the screen, and I braced myself for hearing all about what a coward I was. I knew I shouldn’t answer, but my conscience was torn.

I picked up the phone, signalling to Farah that I would be with her in a minute. I felt terrible, but in my mind I knew that I needed to deal with Mo and get it over with, and then with Farah. It was a win-win. She just didn’t know it yet.

“Yes,” I said, not bothering to greet as I swiped  to answer the call. I wanted to get this conversation over with so I could move on to the next. Mo needed to be quick.

“Boss,” he said, and I expected a good blasting from him, for being such a chicken. What he said, instead, was way worse.

“Meet us the hospital. It’s Dad.”


For all those who wanted a little bit more clarity, I tried to post a little earlier… Next post may be a little late.

#RevivetheSunnahofSmiling

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofDu’aas

Tweet: @ajourneyjournal

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