Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
Waseem: The finer things of life...
There are two beautiful things that remain with you after this life has taken it’s course.
To say it more effectively, till Jannah, we are given the privilege of carrying two things of this world, and treasuring it with us.
But the most amazing thing about these two concepts, is that they are intrinsically related. The one, most definitely, is dependant on the other. Without the one, the other could never be completely in tact.
And the way I see it, it’s either all or nothing. There was no middle line. If you were compromising on one, the other will definitely take the toll.
That’s why it is said that there is nothing better in this world than a pious spouse. For a man, a pious wife effortlessly brings these two ideals together, from this temporary world into our final abode. Imaan and Nikah are combined to give us that one way ticket straight into the garden of Paradise.
And that was why, when my elder brother’s marriage starting really crumbling, I couldn’t ever understand how anyone could ever underestimate the sanctity of Nikah. It was completely beyond me that anyone could ever disregard it’s importance. How my own brother, who I had once admired for landing someone way beyond his expectations, could ever kill the entire meaning of commitment, as I knew it.
I honestly did not get it.
For a few days or weeks of ‘temporary satisfaction’, he had just thrown away what was probably supposed to be the best thing in his life.
I just knew that I wasn’t ready to face him. I knew that I couldn’t trust myself to speak to him without it getting extremely heated.
And of course, I knew about temptation. I knew that a woman on the prowl could have easily got him doubting his own loyalty. I knew that he had his excuses, and that he had been going through a rough patch in his marriage. I also knew that Aasiya might have not been the easiest woman to live with.
But like Mo, I too had said the words that bound me till Jannah and eternity. I knew that ‘Qabiltun Nikahaha linafsi bi dhalik’ didn’t only just make you a married man with status and responsibility, but it also meant that you are wholly committing yourself to accepting the obligations as a husband. It meant that you are certain that you, and no-one else, can carry out whatever you need to do to keep your wife safe and happy and under your refuge.
I just couldn’t understand how everyone didn’t see it the same way.
“Waseem,” my mother’s voice shouted from outside the room door. “Muhammed Zaheer is here.”
I opened my one eye, seeing Zaynah waking up from her side of the bed. She was usually up and about way before me on a Sunday morning, so I got slightly worried at her lethargy this morning.
She sat on the side of the bed, looking slightly worn out.
“Are you okay, love?” I mumbled to her, as I slowly lifted my head to watch her.
She looked at me with tired eyes and a tiny smile. She still looked like my gorgeous wife, of course, but something about her wasn’t the same. She looked… Worn. Weary. Maybe she needed a break.
“Didn’t you hear your mother?” she whispered as she pulled on her gown. “Muhammed is here. You can’t be rude. You need to get up.”
My mother was the only one who called Mo by his full name. A double-barrelled name was always a schlep, and so when Mo was in his teens he had ditched his second name, just keeping the first, to make his life easier.
“Don’t mention him to me,” I scoffed. “I can’t even look at him… What must I go out for?”
Zaynah didn’t say anything. She just stepped into the bathroom without another word. I waited patiently for her to come out, wanting to talk to her.
“Zaynah. Don’t go,” I pleaded sulkily, sitting up to watch my wife getting ready to leave the room. “Chill. Take it easy. Are you feeling okay?”
“I’m just feeling a bit odd for the past few days,” she said, looking at me with a confused frown. “I don’t know what it is. But Mummy will need help… She invited Ziyaad and Farah for lunch today.”
She pulled on her Abaya, and glanced in the mirror to pin her scarf.
For once, I couldn’t help but think how difficult living here must be for her. I felt bad that she could barely step out of the room without being fully covered. There was never any privacy here with my brothers always around.
“Maybe you should go to the doctor,” I suggested, getting a bit worried. She even looked like she had lost weight, and it wasn’t like Zaynah needed to.
“I have stuff to do, Waseem,” she said, sounding tired.
I knew that. I just didn’t understand why Zaynah had to always go the ten extra miles for everyone else. She was always busy. She took on too much of responsibility, and I could see my brothers taking advantage.
Now that Aasiya was gone, I knew that Mo came here for at least two meals every day, and that Ziyaad was always expecting the fridges to be full of his favourite dishes. I noticed that he seemed to particularly enjoy my wife’s food, and being Zee, he didn’t feel awkward to make requests. I knew I was being moody and petty, but it made me just a little bit frustrated.
I made a mental note to ask her if she wanted to go to her uncle’s place two hours away for a short break next week. I would miss her, but maybe she just needed some time away from everything that was going on here. Helping with Dad also wasn’t that easy, though she never complained.
“C’mon Wassi,” Zaynah said, now putting her hands on her hips and grinning, despite everything she was going through. “Stop being so sulky. You need a jelly baby?”
I looked back at her and I couldn’t help but smile back. She was a beam of sunshine amidst the darkness I was feeling.
She had already started her jelly baby operation at this hour, and it always humoured me.
“Okay,” I said, jumping off the bed and taking up her offer on the jelly babies. “But don’t force me to talk to that scum-”
“Waseem!” she said, looking just slightly angry. “Don’t. He might have messed up but you still can’t judge him.”
I sighed, pulling in my kurtah.
“He just makes me feel…”
I trailed off and shrugged, as Zaynah left the room.
Disgusted. Enraged. Disturbed.
I had been fighting with controlling the emotions every time he came home, just so I could appear civil for my mother’s sake. And so that there would be no physical exchanges due to our difference.
Mothers were mothers. She was, of course, angry when Mo told her about Aasiya leaving, but she still worried. I knew she probably phoned him to check if he had eaten, and she probably still felt sorry for the idiot, regardless of how messed up he was.
I took the spiral staircase to the dining room, immediately hearing my eldest brother’s morbid voice as he spoke to my mother.
“I’m trying, Ma,” he was saying as I walked into the room. “But you know Aasiya. She won’t talk. She’s still upset. What more can I do?”
I wanted to klap him. What more can he do?
Now, after he probably broke her to pieces, he wanted to patch everything up as if it never happened? Completely typical male chauvinist behaviour.
I shook my head, moving on to the kitchen before they saw me.
Zaynah was already downstairs, busy at the oven.
“Did you talk to him?” She asked softly, glancing at me as she placed a tray down.
“Him and Mum were talking,” I said morbidly. “Didn’t want to interrupt.”
Zaynah shook her head at me and half smiled. She knew that I was avoiding him, and though of course, she wasn’t in favour of what he had done, Zaynah always had hope. She had this insane idea that everyone in this world is still looking to find themselves. For her, no one is as bad as they seem.
Zaynah started to say something else, but stopped suddenly as Mo stepped in. She quickly put down her pardah and left the room, and I knew that it was one situation that I couldn’t avoid him.
It looked like he was waiting for an opportunity to talk to me, and I shifted uncomfortably on the stool, not really knowing what to say.
He too looked uncomfortable as he leaned against the cabinet, crossing his legs in front of him, and I studied him momentarily.
Guess jeans. Hugo Boss shirt. Versace sunglasses.
Mo’s life was on another level entirely, and, wife or no wife, he was still living it.
Given, he was looking a bit down, but I wasn’t sure when he would ever touch-down with the reality that all that crap was just an illusion. I thought that now, of all times, he would get some kind of wake up call. I just hoped that the girl that had messed things up hadn’t appeared in the picture again.
“Waseem,” he said, breaking the ice, and trying to start a conversation.
“Zaheer,” I said looking up at him, raising my eyebrows.
He frowned at me, looking annoyed.
“Why are you calling me that?”
“Boss,” I said, my voice getting slightly louder. “Why do you think? You don’t even deserve the name you have. You’re the only one in this family named after the Best of Mankind (SAW), and nothing about you even depicts the Sunnah. It’s sad, boet. Sad.”
Mo said nothing back. I mean, what could he say?
It was the first time we were actually having a one-on-one conversation like this, and I had to let him know exactly what I thought of him, even if I felt slightly bad about it. Anger was slowly dissipating, and I felt myself calm down again.
“How could you, bru?” I said now, shaking my head at him.
I wanted to ask him what kind of man does something like that, but I knew I would probably just add more guilt to his already disturbed conscience. I wanted to ask him what was so bad about his marriage that he let another chic come in the way, but I didn’t want to go down that avenue unless he volunteered the information.
“Things were tough,” he said simply, not meeting my eye. “She made the move, and it was a weak moment. You won’t understand.”
I narrowed my eyes at him, immediately seeing red. I understood. I understood very well.
“So tough that you’ll couldn’t get help and sort it out?!” I bellowed. “So tough that you had to resort to Haraam?!
I must have been shouting a bit too loudly, because I could see Mo looking beyond me, as if someone came in. I immediately shifted my focus away from Mo, and looked back.
Zaynah stood there, looking just slightly uncomfortable. She wasn’t used to my slightly erratic and bed-tempered behaviour. I had never really shown her that side of me, until now.
“Waseem,” Zaynah said softly, and I could see that she was waiting for my response. She was probably just waiting for me to calm down.
I nodded at her, waiting for her to continue. I was still raging inside.
“Ziyaad is here, love,” she said, even more softly, that I had to strain my ears to hear her.
I looked back at her, still a bit confused.
“It’s time for reading,” she finished off, and I could see a book in her hand.
Calmness descended almost immediately. In my state of mind, it was quite something.
A pious wife. SubhaanAllah.
I was probably going to blow my top with Mo, but she knew exactly when to step in and what to do. Any other woman coming into a family like mine, where darkness was literally consuming us, would probably feel awkward to bring in weekly Taaleem as a routine.
Not Zaynah. Besides her own daily kitaab reading, at every lunch or family supper, she would never hesitate to fill our table with the words of Allah and his Nabi (SAW). And what better light can be as a guidance for us, other than the noor of His (SAW) words.
It really was the most peaceful and calming time in our house, when all the gloom and doom of our sins seemed to lift, and tranquillity just seemed to shower over us. And yes, it may sound fairytale-like, but even Mo and I put our differences aside for that time, because it just had that kind of effect.
The thing was, before the Sahabah had become who they were, Radhiallahu Anhum wah Radhu anh (Allah is pleased with them and they with Him) it was these gatherings of Dhikr that made them the greatest people of Imaan. It was through effort, constant dhikr and through the love and barakah of the words of our Nabi (SAW).
And of course, I couldn’t fully digest this. I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed. As I sat there, looking at my family, I was amazed that I could actually see this today. A day where we would be gathered for something that wasn’t going to benefit us materialistically. The day where we would actually put everything aside, for a few minutes, for the sake of Allah.
And I could sense that maybe Mo didn’t want to be here, and maybe Ziyaad’s wife found it a bit strange, but the fact was that, against the odds, they were here, and it was an opportunity that I we couldn’t let go off.
Only Dad was missing, but I knew that Zaynah went in now and then to share something with him, and surprisingly, since he was completely besotted with Zaynah, he just listened with no arguments.
I opened to the marker of the Kitaab that Zaynah had placed, looking at the Hadith briefly before saying it aloud.
You could trust Zaynah to choose something that we needed to hear, because she, of all people, knew exactly what it was.
The narration was an amazing one about Musaa (AS). It was one that inspired hope and love, and made me look beyond everything I had seen all this time. I knew that was exactly what Zaynah had intended.
On one particular account, the paternal cousin of Musaa (AS), Qaaroon, had called him to preach to the people, of course, with an ulterior motive in mind. As Musaa (AS) started preaching, among other verses, he then came to a verse about adultery, and the people then accused him there of. A woman who was paid to slander his name came forward.
They asked her what she had to say about Musaa (AS). Musaa (AS) then asked her to speak on oath.
She replied, “Since you have asked me to speak on oath, the truth of the matter is that they promised to give me such and such amount as a reward and induced me to accuse you in public. You are quite innocent of the crime.”
He immediately fell prostrate to Allah (SWT), Who had cleared his name. Upon Sujood, Revelation came from Allah (SWT).
“O Musaa, do not weep. We give you power over the earth in order that you may punish these people as you like. Command and it shall obey you!”
And though he was a Nabi, one who was placed among the cream of the crop of creation, he was hurt and wanted these people, who had continuously humiliated him, to be destroyed.
Musaa (AS) raised up his head and commanded the earth to swallow them up. When they were sunk into the earth up to their ankles, they began to implore Musaa (AS) in humility to grant them pardon, but he commanded the earth to swallow them further, and they were swallowed up to their necks. They cried louder and importuned him to forgive their sins, but Musaa (AS) again ordered the earth to swallow them and so each one of the slandered was swallowed up by the earth.
But that wasn’t the entire point of the narration. The crux of it was what our Allah had said, in response to this.
The revelation then came from Allah Ta’ala to Musaa (AS).
“The people were beseeching you for pardon and crying unto you in humility.
By My Honour, had they cried unto Me and begged My pardon, I would have accepted their prayer”.
SubhaanAllah. My heart literally ached in my chest, and I looked up at Zaynah, already seeing tears in her eyes. I knew her heart must have been crying too. And why shouldn’t it?
It even stirred something deep within the depths of my soul.
That is our Allah. That is Him. That is our Merciful Creator. And that was true love.
After every sin and every wrong that we do, He never turns us away. Even after the worst of Baatil, His mercy never wavers. It never depletes.
I closed the book, remembering the countless Ahadith I had read, when it was the darkest days of my doom, and I had been immersed in despair. I would look for anything to hold onto, or anything just to give me that slightest hope that maybe, just maybe, I could actually be forgiven.
I had forgotten how deep I was buried, when my life was so misguided. I had forgotten where I had come from before I found Zaynah. I had forgotten that no matter what we do, as Insaan, Allah’s ability to forgive is never nullified.
In a Hadith-e-Qudsi, Allah the Exalted says:
“O son of Adam, if you call upon me and place your hope in me, I will forgive you without any reservation. O son of Adam, if you have sins piling up to the clouds and then ask for my forgiveness, I will forgive you without any reservation. O son of Adam, if you come to me with enough sins to fill the earth and you meet me without associating a partner with me, I will come to you with enough forgiveness to fill the earth.” (Sunan At-Tirmidhi)
A pious wife. She knew just what to make out of the situation, and she knew how to set things back in order. Just like the darkness had been lifted out of our lives with her presence, the house I grew up in was being illuminated with the light of the efforts she was making.
I looked up, noticing my family exceptionally quiet, moving my eyes to Mo, who I was actually hesitant to look at all this time. The guy’s eyes were downcast, and though I couldn’t read his expression, I knew that some reflection might be under way. I knew that deep down, some stirrings were well on their way.
Maybe I had been too harsh, but I wasn’t sure if he felt remorse. If he truly did regret. But even me, as I judged him, remembered that sometimes, out of overwhelming fear of the consequence of our sins, we forget Allah’s mercy.
Mo wasn’t a bad guy. He wasn’t even as bad as I had been. He had just made a mistake. He had just messed up. And maybe he just needed to be shown an escape from what he had done. Maybe he just needed to know that there was a way out of the darkness.
You see, the thing is, we all make mistakes. Prophet Adam (AS) made a mistake. And so did Iblees. Both were Aabids… They both worshipped Allah. But the distinct difference between the two, was simple, yet revolutionary.
Tawbah. It was the remedy for the the disease. The antidote for the poison. The cure for the cancer.
Every moment is a priceless opportunity to press that refresh button, and come back to Allah. To start over. To not only polish the heart to it’s original condition, but actually purify it in a way that makes you focus your life and heart on Him. To have the potential to be even richer than if you’d never fallen at all.
That was Tawbah. And this process of Tawbah, of turning back to Allah and seeking His forgiveness, is not only one of the most liberating Ibadah, but is also something that Allah loves excessively. He loves to forgive.
In fact, it is this act alone, which distinguished Prophet Adam (AS) from Shaytaan. It is by this act, that a man who committed 99 murders was completely forgiven. And it is by this act alone, that some’s hearts will actually be cleansed to such an extent, that they might actually become worthy of that place that every heart yearns for…
Please don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!
It was narrated from Anas raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him): “The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) prohibited that a man should drink while standing.” (Qatadah said) So it was said: “And eating?” He (Anas) said: “That is worse.” [Tirmidhi]
We will be doing more eating and drinking Sunnahs Insha Allah.