Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
“Is she awake?”
I looked up to see my brother hovering over me, his hands stuffed into his pockets, while he gazed right into the book I was reading. He had a obnoxious look on his face, and I couldn’t help but find him a bit intrusive.
I shut my novel, looking at him and pursing my lips.
“She’s asleep,” I said indignantly, though I wasn’t really sure. “And even if she wasn’t… I don’t think she would want to see you.”
Raees pretended to be hurt, but I knew he wasn’t dissuaded so easily. He had been in his best spirits since yesterday morning, when the message about Zaynah being awake had come. The fact that she wasn’t fully able to remember everything didn’t really faze him.
“There’s something on your face,” he said, smirking slightly, and tapping his own cheek.
“Where?!” I said, immediately slightly alarmed.
I rubbed my cheeks incessantly, while Raees walked away, grinning to himself. I shook my head, rolling my eyes at the back of his head. He seriously needed to get a proper job, or something that activated his brain better.
Ugh. Brothers. They were so annoying. And there was something even more annoying about Raees, because he didn’t even try and stop his immature behaviour. He thought it was funny, but it really wasn’t.
I shook my head to myself, wishing silently that I was an only child. Hassan didn’t really bother me much, but Raees made up for the both of them. He was definitely a pain that wouldn’t go away.
“Uncle Waseem,” I corrected Hassan, wondering where he had come from. My father had taken him somewhere because we were a bit concerned about him making a racquet in the hospital waiting area. He was at the age where virtual technology was his only entertainment, and my parents were just a tiny bit concerned.
“Where is he?” Hassan persisted, his little face looking more impatient. He badly needed some friends. My parents should think of sending him to school early.
I shrugged, signalling for him to come sit next to me.
I wasn’t sure where Waseem was. I had seen him pacing around earlier, but since Zaynah didn’t want him around, I couldn’t help but feel his loss. Of course he would make himself scarce, right? Maybe he was gone home.
“Uncle Waseem is busy now,” I said, trying to explain that the man probably had bigger things to worry about than entertaining Hassan.
“Where’s Zaynah?” He asked, his attention diverted to something more complicated. “Can I see her? I miss her.”
I smiled, hugging my brother close to me, thinking how easy it was to be that age. When you are so blissfully oblivious to reality, and can just tune out of it whenever you want. It was great to be a kid.
“There’s he!” Hassan’s voice shouted, cutting through my baseless thoughts.
“Hmmm?” I said absently, wondering who he was talking about.
I looked up to see Hassan pointing out the hospital window, just catching Waseem handing over a cup of what looked like a hot drink to one of the guards. He chatted casually to him, as if they were actually good friends.
I was actually quite surprised.
Sometimes you don’t realise who is who until Allah reveals it to you. I knew it was probably his way of giving Sadaqah while he was here, since there weren’t really any other ‘less fortunate’ people around. I remember my Madrassah teacher once telling us about giving out Sadaqah and treating ailments and calamities with it. An everlasting Sadaqah was a deed that continues to benefit a person even after death, and so esteemed was the act of giving charity, that Allah Ta’ala mentions it in the Qur’an several times.
Basically, it’s like this: An opportunity to spend the wealth your Rabb gave you to bring great benefit to yourself… By benefitting others as well. By making someone else’s day. By bringing a smile to their face. By providing a morsel for their hungry mouths. On too of if all, giving charity is something that is also truly heart-softening, and of course, it is about Sadaqah that Allah mentions:
“Who is he that will lend to Allah a goodly loan so that He may multiply it to him many times? And it is Allah that decreases or increases (your provisions), and unto Him you shall return.” [Surah al-Baqarah: 245]
Spending in the Allah’s way is called “a beautiful loan”, and when this verse was revealed, Abu Ad-Dahdah Al-Ansari (RA) said:
`O Allah’s Messenger (SAW)! Does Allah ask us for a loan?’
Nabi SAW said, (Yes, O Abu Ad-Dahdah.) He said: `Give me your hand, O Allah’s Messenger’ and Nabi SAW placed his hand in his hand.
Abu Ad-Dahdah then said, `Verily, I have given my garden as a loan to my Lord.’
He had a garden that contained six hundred date trees; his wife and children were living in that garden too.
Abu Ad-Dahdah then went to his wife and called her:
She said: `Here I am.’
He said: `Leave the garden, because I have given it as a loan to my Lord, the Exalted and Most Honored.’
She said: `That is a successful trade, O Abu Ad-Dahdah!’ She then transferred her goods and children. The Messenger of Allah said: “How plentiful are the sweet date clusters that Abu Ad-Dahdah has in Paradise!” In another narration, the Prophet said: “How many a date tree that has lowered down its clusters, which are full of pearls and gems in Paradise for Abu Ad-Dahdah!” [Tafsir ibn kathir]
Hearing that hadith for the first time was like a shock to my senses. I mean, knowing me, if I had to be told that my home and source of provision was being given away in charity, I would probably throw a fit. But the spirit of the Sahaba (RA) was something else, and of course, it had taken a simple and noble deed from Zaynah’s husband to remind me of that.
The thing is, even though I had been previously semi-obsessed with him, who I hadn’t thought of in a few days now, I had always thought of the entire family as these stuck-up, elite people who looked down at everyone, and I just never expected anyone from the family to be considerate in that way. I guess it kind of made sense to me now why Zaynah was so obsessed with her husband. A change in perception was just what I needed at this point.
I sighed to myself, thinking about how I despised them, just because my obsession with him led nowhere. Of course, I spent pointless days and nights torturing myself over how he had chosen some modern girl over me, because I just would never be good enough, rich enough or fancy enough. I had spent sleepless nights wondering what it was about this girl that he even liked, that he had never even considered me.
But over the months, I had partially forced myself to forget, realising that he was probably well and progressing with life and marriage. I gradually shoved away the ridiculous thoughts of being whisked away into the sunset by the supposed ‘guy of my dreams’, because him already being married just didn’t mesh well with my idealist view of a future life.
And of course, when you get carried away with fantasising and Haraam feelings, you are bound to go a little crazy. I didn’t stop to think that maybe it was probably never on the cards for us. I didn’t think that maybe Allah might have a better plan for me, somewhere along the road. Zaynah was adamant that I needed to look into myself and my hostility, and she was right. I needed to just get over it, and get over him.
“Can I go?” Hassan was nagging, tugging at my Abaya. “Pleeeeaaassse!!”
I nodded numbly, not in the mood to explain to Hassan that the man was probably not really in the mood to entertain a five year old. Hassan scooted off at record speed, and I watched him tap Waseem from behind. Waseem immediately turned, and as he recognised him, greeted him affectionately, seating him at the bench next to them. The two of them were having a proper conversation, and I couldn’t help but wonder what they really spoke about. It wasn’t like Hassan was the best conversationist.
I wondered if he ever left the hospital, because both days I had been here, he seemed rooted to it’s foundation. He kept loitering outside the ward Zaynah was at, probably waiting for her to call him in. The problem was, she never did. She refused to even see him.fs
I sighed again, getting up to see my cousin as I saw my mother come out of the ward.
“You can go,” she said. “She’s awake. But don’t tell her anything that might upset her.”
I knew what that meant. Don’t mention her recent past, or married life. Don’t talk anout her doting husband, who was practically waiting with bated breath for her to remember him. Poor guy.
The doctors had suggested trying to jog her memory, but they also recommended not pushing her too much in case she started panicking about what she had forgot.
“How are you feeling?” Someone was asking her.
I walked in slowly, listening to her respond to my uncle who was already there to see her.
Zaynah said she was feeling a bit betted, but still groggy, and as she saw me, I saw her eyes light up slightly. It looked like she was glad that I was there. My spirits lifted.
She actually offered a slight smile today, nodding at me slightly. Seeing her the previous day was probably a bit of a shock to her, because besides the fact that she hadn’t seen me for a while before her accident, how she remembered me in her mind’s eye was completely different to what she saw.
“I can’t believe you look so different,” she said now, her eyes almost popping out of her head. “You look so grown up!”
She was probably still getting over the shock of the recent events that had to be retold to her.
Being back at home and in the farmtown lifestyle once again was a bit of a downer for me, but it also meant that I had to make a lot of decisions about my life, and what I wanted to do about it. Besides the usual hobbies I did with my family, I needed to start making some bigger decisions about my future and whether I was ready to get married. Sixteen was fairly young, but back home many girls started their married lives at that age and I supposed it wasn’t that bad. Maybe.
Besides, I supposed that I had grown up a little since a year ago. I knew this because I didn’t look at Zaynah’s in-laws with the same eye. Instead of rich, self-obsessed, irritating people, I realised that maybe they did truly care about my cousin. When I had to tell Zaynah’s mother-in-law yesterday that she probably might not recognise her, she actually looked genuinely devastated.
And now, as I saw Waseem hovering outside indefinitely, I realised that he probably did love Zaynah more than I had thought. He was moping around like his own life was at risk, and I couldn’t help but feel really sorry for him.
“We’ve missed you,” I said, smiling at her. I really did. Hearing Zaynah might not survive had killed my buzz for three whole weeks. I could barely even sleep, just thinking about what would happen if she had to die.
She nodded at me, smiling slightly.
“Everyone missed you,” I said, knowing that it was true. Especially her husband.
Zaynah looked away, still looking slightly displaced. Of course, she still looked like the amazing sister I always knew, but something about her was different. She looked unsettled. Uneasy.
“Is he still outside?”
I didn’t want to upset her, but she was the one asking about her husband, right?
“Zaynah,” I said, stepping forward and lowering my voice. No-one else was there, but I was being extra cautious.
“He hasn’t left,” I said, sitting on the high nurse stool next to her. “And I don’t think he will.”
Her expression changed, and I could see her shaking her head, whilst she blinked furiously. It honestly looked like she was about to have one of those breakdowns that I had become accustomed to in the past, and I really didn’t need that right now. She knew that I couldn’t deal with dramas, and I had no stash nearby.
“Don’t cry, Zay,” I pleaded with her, reaching out for her arm.
She shook her head, blinking back her tears and trying to stop her lip from trembling.
“I don’t know him!” She exclaimed, her hands flailing in the air. “I don’t even know who he is… Or why I married him! How can I just act like I do?”
It was heartbreaking to see her like this.
I understood her point. I did. But if only she remembered all the deliberating she had done, before she chose him. If only she could recall how he had just ‘got’ her, the first time they had met after Nikah. If only she could remember how viciously he loved her, in just less than a year of marriage.
I wished that his own memory and longing for her would fade too, because it was just too difficult to see this.
I swallowed, not knowing what to say back to her, and trying to stop myself from tearing up. Maybe she just needed some time, I comforted myself. Maybe she would remember.
The voice broke the formidable silence, and I spun around to see a slender girl standing at the entrance of the private ward Zaynah’s husband had arranged for her, shifting slightly uncomfortably on her high heeled shoes.
She wore a pinkish, long loose fitting top, and the ripped-look skinny jeans that were visible from the knee till just above her ankle. I had actually always thought that it looked kind of cool, but I had an idea that the Zaynah I knew would have never approved of the new Hijab fashion. Now I knew why. If kind of defeated the whole purpose if the ankles,wrists and neck were exposed.
I looked questioningly from ‘hijaabi’ chic to Zaynah, not knowing who would make the introduction first.
Obviously, Zaynah looked just as confused as I did, and just stared at her, as she wondered who this girl was.
“I’m so sorry,” she said again, taking a step forward, still looking slightly hesitant about coming in.
I looked at her expectantly.
“I just wanted to see Zaynah,” she said, looking slightly uncomfortable.
“Maaf, but how do you know her?” I couldn’t help but ask.
“I’m Farah,” she said, offering me a slight smile as she stepped forward. “I’m Ziyaad’s wife.”
Please don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
“Nothing is worse than a person who fills his stomach. It should be enough for the son of Adam to have a few bites to satisfy his hunger. If he wishes more, it should be: One-third for his food, one-third for his liquids, and one-third for his breath.”
– Tirmidhi & Ibn Majah
We will be doing more eating and drinking Sunnahs Insha Allah.