Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
“Are you serious?!” Zaynah asked, sounding just slightly in shock.
I sighed, turning the steering wheel slightly to enter the driveway of Farah and Ziyaad’s house. Ziyaad and Farah’s. I wasn’t sure which was more correct.
“Why?!” She asked me, looking horrified.
It was two months of Mo and I going up and down with the same futile argument, and with him seeing me completely averse to whatever he had suggested, with this call, I understood he had now turned to Waseem as a last resort, thinking that he could get Zaynah to help.
“It’s the only way, Zaynah,” I said, slightly frustrated by her reaction.
She wouldn’t understand. No-one would.
“No, it’s not!” she said stubbornly. “Are you crazy?! You can’t just give up. What if he takes up your offer?”
I rolled my eyes, exhaling slowly. I was, till recently, hoping Mo would come around to my suggestion. Things had just been different the past two weeks. Good. There was improvement. Muhammed had moved back into the main room, and we were being better than civil to each other.
My thoughts ventured back to that afternoon just a few weeks ago, and I clearly remembered the look on Muhammed’s face when I told him about my ‘offer’.
He looked as if I had slapped him. I didn’t understand why at the time.
“‘Siya,” he said, shaking his head. “Why?! No.”
I immediately pulled my hand away from him, now already emotionally withdrawing. Him refusing could only mean one thing, and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to hear it.
“Let’s try harder,” he urged, fighting to meet my gaze once again. “We haven’t even really done all the major stuff. What about the tests and the UVI or whatever you call it?”
I was already exhausted emotionally.
Rounds of IVF and IUI were taxing emotionally and physically. Not having a child was proving to be the biggest barrier we had ever faced.
“Aasiya,” Muhammed said, trying to get me to focus on him once again. I could see him searching my eyes for some kind of hope hidden there. It was just slightly unnerving.
I shook my head away, getting up silently to continue with my work. He followed me promptly, determined to not let it go. His suggestions were good and worth a try, but I was just as stubborn as he was.
He persisted until the entire argument was almost exhausted, and then, of course, I finally couldn’t help but snap.
“Don’t you think it’s enough?!” I finally shouted, spinning around to face him. “This fighting and arguing?! The mind games we play, and the constant bickering? Why can’t you just let it go, Muhammed?!”
Muhammed blinked, but didn’t react.
And then, as if if the wind I’d knocked out of him had finally been regained, his voice was clear as day.
“It’s only over,” he said steadily, “when I say it is.”
And before I could even say what I needed to back, he had turned around, and headed downstairs.
I shook my head in disbelief, wondering what it was that made him so sure that this was going to get better. That there could actually be a happy ending here. At that point, I didn’t understand why he was fighting so hard. I didn’t know what was the driving force.
“Anyway,” Zaynah said now, sensing my hesitancy and wanting to change the topic. She wasn’t the type to pry. “You really haven’t seen Farah in over a month?”
I pulled up the handbrake button as I stopped, looking at her candidly.
“Yes, I haven’t,” I said, not interested in whether she was judging me or not. “Things have been crazy.”
“I understand,” she nodded, reaching for the door handle and adjusting her Niqaab.
I could see Ziyaad waiting by the door, and I couldn’t help but feel a teensy bit sorry for him, despite all my own problems that made me feel like a complete write off. He just had a look on his face that made anyone think that the guy was really in way over his head.
“When I saw her the last time she was a bit sensitive,” Zaynah said softly as we walked toward the door. “I hope she’s getting back on her feet now.”
I smiled to myself, thinking of how typical Zaynah was. She was like the perfect kind of woman and wife that probably never stepped out of line.
Apart from all of that, she still worried about everyone else and their feelings too. I wasn’t sure how she managed the staying with in-laws and everything else that came with it, but despite whatever she may be facing, she possessed an innate quality that many were still searching forever for. A wealth that evaded many that hunted it.
Abu Huraira (RA) reported: The Prophet, (SAW), said, “Wealth is not in having many possessions. Rather, true wealth is the richness of the soul.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)
Contentment. Whatever it was that she faced, she took it in her stride. And that attitude can only stem from richness of the heart, and I envied her for it.
I greeted Ziyaad briefly as we stepped in, and we made our way to the lounge where Farah was. The house was bright and airy, and since it was the first time I had been there and because of my attention to detail, I found myself looking around a bit too much. Zaynah, however, didn’t even notice a thing.
I walked faster, hoping it would stop me from being so invasive. Ummi Jaan would be horrified at me. It wasn’t exactly a dignified thing to be scrutinising their home.
As I saw Farah, I was worried that we might see a grief stricken person still moping around, but it was actually such a relief to see her back to her normal self, and looking like the girl I had first met almost a year ago.
In short, Farah was back to her pre-pregnancy weight and looking gorgeous. She wore her hijaab beautifully and the smile on her face was evidence that some recovery was well on the way. I was actually really proud of how far she had come, and I knew that Zee probably was too. I just hoped he appreciated her change as much as I was in awe of it. Looking at her got me humbly realising that I still had such a long way to go.
“I’m so sorry I haven’t come earlier,” I said, sincerely meaning it.
She shrugged, saying she was ready to face the world soon again, and would have probably come to visit us when she was out and about.
We spoke generally about the pregnancy, her recovery and Hamza, even though it was still a sore topic. I had made Zaynah promise to keep this a short visit, as was etiquette, and luckily, the house bell sounded as our escape.
“I think we should go,” I said, getting up to fetch my keys.
Zaynah nodded and followed suit, and though Farah insisted we stay a while to meet her friends, I wasn’t sure if I was in the mood to socialise more.
And then, just as we were leaving, a trio of girls came through the hallway, giggling and laughing incessantly.
Now maybe I was just a killjoy, but I instantly put my guard up, because two of them looked vaguely familiar.
I wouldn’t have ever admitted it, but I had always been a judgemental kind of girl. I often looked at other women, trying to tell their story, and a lot of the time, I was right. On my journey to change, I was trying to be better, but with this dealt right in front of me, I couldn’t help but resort to my old ways.
It was like I could do nothing else but stare, because there they were just those kind of girls. Though one girl wore an abaya and scarf, the abaya was as skin-tight as a costume, and the scarf had the hugest bump I had ever seen underneath. The other two were dressed in skinny jeans and tops, and I spent an extra minute focussed on them and yet another wretched camel hump hijaab, just trying to figure out how I knew them.
I wondered if people in this part of the world even knew that the thing they wore under their scarves was actually accursed.
“Aasiya, right?” The one said unexpectedly, as I took a step back to let them pass.
She smiled almost cynically, and of course, I was actually caught a bit off guard, so I vaguely nodded, looking at Zaynah questioningly. How did she know me?
And of course, when I looked at Zaynah, I could just tell that she knew them too by her big eyes that were opening just a little wider. We both hurried out in a rush, anxious to get out of there.
Those girls made me feel weird. Even poor Ziyaad had probably felt the urge to leave the room when they came, when I knew that he usually had the potential to make the most of the situation and reap the attention he so loved. Unfortunately, Mo and Ziyaad were the same in that way.
“Those girls look so familiar,” I said quietly as we finally got into the car.
“Don’t you remember?!” Zaynah gasped, turning to me. “They were at the wedding! The girls who were talking at the table we were sitting at…”
She trailed off, and I could hear the hesitancy in her voice. Zaynah was not the type to go around repeating stories, especially if they could cause problems.
I could sense that this was going somewhere, but I was way past that part of my life where things like that really interested me.I had too much of drama in my own life to even worry about it.
In fact, I didn’t have to even ask her, because I remembered the conversation as clear as day.
He must have found out,” the one was saying. “You can’t be so stupid. I mean, if you’re trying to make a fresh start and do the right thing, the least you can do is be honest…”
‘The least you could be is honest.’
I couldn’t believe that these ‘friends’ had actually come over to see Farah after the scandal they could have caused. I just hoped they weren’t there to cause more problems.
Of course, they were talking about Farah, but for me, it was that conversation that caused the whole argument between Mo and I to erupt, and I couldn’t help but immediately dislike the girl for being the one to say it.
I dropped Zaynah off at my in laws, stopping for a while just to show that I wasn’t completely self-absorbed, and then headed back home, thinking that Mo was still out. I never really knew what he did on Saturday afternoons, but seeing his car already there was already a bit of a relief. I didn’t enjoy coming home to an empty house.
I walked in, pausing in front of the hallway mirror to take off my hijaab. It was a new avenue I had ventured down only after Ummi had made her appearance, and I really was trying to keep my dressing in conformance. I didn’t want to be like the skinny jeans clad girls who showed their entire body shape, and wore a scarf. It was kind of pointless, and I knew what people like myself would have to say about it.
I loosened my pony tail and headed to the kitchen, still deep in thought about the girls we had seen.
Maybe I shouldn’t dwell on it too much, I thought to myself. Maybe I needed to lay off people, and concentrate more on myself. Maybe I needed to become more understanding. Maybe I just needed to-
“What are you thinking about?”
I jumped up at the sound of Mo’s voice, immediately holding my hand to my chest, just to be slightly dramatic.
“What is wrong with you?” I said in a huff. “You gave me such a shock!”
Mo grinned and looked at me, almost as if he was uncertain of what to say next.
“What are you doing there?” I asked suspiciously, eyeing him out as he sat on the two-seater couch.
I expected him to be either watching TV or sleeping downstairs.
“I was waiting for you,” he said vaguely, and I immediately narrowed my eyes at him suspiciously.
He trailed off and cleared his throat, speaking again.
“Actually,” he said again. “I needed to speak to you.”
Be nice, I urged myself, giving him a small smile and nodding.
I sat on a stool at the nook, looking at him expectantly. I had a feeling that he was going to try and convince me to try for a baby once again, and this time, I actually felt like maybe we might be starting to get back on the same page again.
Maybe I had been too hard and harsh, by not being open to his suggestions earlier. Maybe it just deserved one last shot. Maybe I needed to just give this our all.
And of course, I was preparing myself for another appeal that had become so common in the past two months, so anyone could imagine my shock when Mo hit me with something that I could have never imagined.
“I’m sorry,” he said softly, and I was immediately confused by his words.
Confusion was short-lived, because in just a short while, it would be the moment that my world came crashing down.
I should have seen the signs. I should have been more in touch. I should have just shown more interest.
Mo’s face looked tired as he spoke, and I now knew that all these months, it wasn’t just me that was eating him, but guilt as well.
Guilt because he couldn’t tell me before. Guilt because he felt responsible.
Guilt… Because there was already a ‘someone else’.
And then, of course, when he told me, it all made sense.
The late nights. The long absences. What I had heard… And finally, why he was fighting so hard.
The girl I had just seen. Her conversation at the wedding, and her words as she spoke.
“You can’t be so stupid. I mean, if you’re trying to make a fresh start and do the right thing, the least you can do is be honest…”
I remembered clearly how those words had stung, and how I detested them as if they were aimed right at me. And now that I knew who the girl was, I couldn’t help but hate them even more, because I knew that I was meant to hear that. It felt like the entire thing was a set-up, and planned for me to be exactly where I was when I came clean with Muhammed, and everything just went downhill.
And now, of course, I couldn’t help but look at him with an entirely different kind of hatred.
I didn’t want to ask him what happened. I didn’t want to know how far it went or if he had wanted to marry her. I didn’t even want to know if she had contacted him today, when she saw me, as if prompting Mo to come clean.
Someone else. That’s all I knew. There was someone else. However long ago it may have been, this whole façade was so much worse because he had hid it for so long. I wasn’t sure whether to feel relieved that I wasn’t all to blame, or completely betrayed.
I sucked in my breath, my world already spinning in front of me. It was amazing how one piece of information could trivialise every other thing that had seemed so relatively important all this while. Every other worry I had seemed to crash to the ground, when I realised what this could do, even though he tried to convince me that ‘it’ was over months ago.
I felt like I was in some kind of dramatic series, and the whole thing was out of a movie. I had always believed that this kind of thing could never happened to me, and my worst fears had been confirmed in the most vicious way. I felt like I would probably never live to accept how a man like Muhammed could ever go so far to break me like this.
I took a step back, and as my legs caved beneath me as I fell to the floor against the tiled kitchen wall, knowing that I needed something as a support. My entire frame felt like cardboard, as I crashed down, closing my eyes as I leant back and took in the biggest breath I could manage.
Tears wouldn’t come. I wouldn’t cry. I wouldn’t even give him that much at least.
This is what happens when we are caught up. This was what happens when we are living our own separate lives. This is what happens when I never took it seriously enough to try and live the right way, until now.
Zinaa. The disease of our society that we just sweep under the rug. There’s no cure for it, because it hasn’t even been properly diagnosed. The treatment was temporary and it’s effects were addictive. It was something I had always abhorred from before the day I had got married, and Mo was well aware.
It was really the evil amongst many other evils, and often, when you let yourself indulge in it, it’s easy to get caught up in every other wrong.
It explained the gambling, deceit and who-knew-what-else Mo had been up to.
“And those (the servants of the Most Merciful) who never invoke any deity with Allah, nor kill the soul that Allah sanctified – except by right, nor commit zina. And whoever should commit any of that will meet a full penalty. Multiplied for him is the punishment on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein humiliated.” (25: 68-69)
It’s seriousness is always trivialised, but just the multiplication of punishment is an indication of the seriousness of those three sins and the great damage they cause to the human societies.
The thing was, in this day it was a disease of society that was becoming more common and more ‘normal’ by the day.
It disgusted me that any woman or man could actually be so devoid of loyalty and Taqwa to commit such an atrocious act. I could hardly even believe that I could be dealing with this on my own hands.
I paced the lounge restlessly, completely unable to concentrate on a task for more than five minutes.
At least Mo had acceded to my request of leaving me alone, and I pondered in oblivion, just taking in my surroundings. I looked around me at everything that I had always cherished, realising that all of these things could never make me happy, if our lives were not in accordance to the law of Allah.
It was unfortunate that it had come to this, and I though knew that I was partly to blame for our problems, this had happened for another reason that I didn’t yet comprehend.
The thing was, some things in life make you, and some things are made to break you.
Sometimes you feel like you want to give up, and sometimes you feel like the person you gave your everything to will never understand what you’re about.
But it was all in the journey of life…. All in our path to change.
Sometimes we need to crash, before we can fully re-cooperate. Sometimes we need our little hearts to get a bit battered, before they can fully heal. Sometimes life deals us things that are not fair or make sense, but it’s all within the plan. It’s all within the path. It’s all part of our escape to Him.
And, of course, like for every other situation that has a solution, when you are caught in the turbulence of what this life has brought you, He (SWT) says:
فَفِرُّوا إِلَى اللَّهِ ۖ
“So flee to Allaah…”
When the pains of the world tire you, and when the worries of this life feel like they’ll never pass, the only refuge left, is to take the route to our Lord. Outside, it may be raining, but inside the refuge of Allah, it’s dry. Outside, it may be storming, but inside yourself, there is calm.
The only shelter was where the presence of my Lord was truly felt. To flee from everything else but Allah, to Allah.
And I knew just where I could find that.
It wasn’t time to run away. It wasn’t about proving my point. It wasn’t even about who won this fight.
It wasn’t time to show Muhammed just how much he would regret what he did. It wasn’t even about Mo.
It was time to find myself, and find what I had been missing. It was a chance for me to think, reflect, and choose a path that was going to lead me to Him. A chance for me to to truly change.
It was time to go back to my roots, and back to the place where I had left my life completely in shambles.
It was time to visit my Ummi Jaan, and time to see my father once again. It was time to catch up with Yusuf, and time to meet the little people that I had already heard so much about over these few months.
It was time to face my past once again. It was time to gain the very illusive ‘Freedom’ that I had been chasing all the years.
And there was only one place I could find it.
It was time to go Home.
Note: Maaf, for the delayed post. AN extra long post to make up for it.
With the escalating marital problems and extra-marital relations that have become a norm in our society, I thought it apt to do a post that explored it. Some advices I had come across that are quite awesome.
-Marriage flourishes when the couple works together as a team.
Good marriages don’t just happen. They are a product of hard work.
-Your children are watching you and forming lasting opinions on love, commitment, and marriage based on what they see in you. Make them look forward to marriage.
-Husbands: Instead of drooling over the green grass on the other side of the fence, work on yours and water it regularly.
-A successful marriage requires honesty, undying commitment, selfless love and Allah at the center of it all.
-Pray for your spouse every day; in the morning, in the afternoon and at evening. Don’t wait until there is a problem. Don’t wait until there is an affair. Don’t wait until something bad happens. Don’t wait until your spouse is tempted. Shield your spouse with prayer.
-The people you surround yourself with have a lot of influence on your marriage. Friends can build or break your marriage; choose them wisely.
-Don’t take your spouse for granted.Don’t mistake your spouse’s loyalty for desperation. Don’t misuse or abuse yours spouse’s trust.
*Dear wife, Don’t underestimate the power of the tongue on your marriage. The tongue has the power to crush your marriage or build it up.
Don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!