Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
There are times in life when you feel a little hopeless. A little uncertain. A little uninspired.
It’s scary to find out you’ve been wrong about something or someone. We have to accept that things are different, that they might never be the same, for better or for worse. The more we’re willing to accept, negotiate and compromise… The more chance we have for a better tomorrow. For a better beginning.
It was a season of heartache and loss, and things were looking just a little lousy. There was no denying that my in-laws and our family were going through a pretty rough patch, but of course, Allah’s tests were only meant for our own benefit. Had we not experienced it, we might not have understood that there was something wrong in our lives. We might not have had the urge to change it.
I could barely even think straight when everything started happening all at once. With Muhammed gone, I felt a little at a loss because the person who usually kept me grounded was no longer around. I would have never admitted it, but I longed to see his face, although being around him had always made me mad in the past. I didn’t realise that I depended on him so much.
My excitement over the pregnancy was coupled with loss as the hour of the accident dawned, and we were all in shock for at least a week after, wondering how everything had happened so fast. And then came Zaynah leaving town, and though I knew that I could always go and see Zaynah, of course, right now, she just wasn’t the same. My heart went out to Waseem for his loss, and I hoped it was only temporary. In a matter of just a few weeks, I had lost both my sister-in-laws, and I could’t help but let the hormones take control as I locked myself in the lonely hotel room, and bawled my eyes out.
And of course, because I was feeling so sorry for myself, on a whim, I checked myself out of the hotel room, and decided that it was time I needed a change of scenery. It wasn’t only that I needed something different. I basically needed familiarity, I realised, as I drove back to the home I had stayed at for the past few years. Besides, I needed some of my clothes that were a bit looser. I had forgotten that I would be getting bigger and I was even starting to outgrow some of the new pieces I had bought on my recent retail therapy. I could just tell that I was probably going to get really big as the months passed by.
It was a late on a Friday afternoon, and I held my breath as I scanned my fingerprints, hoping that Muhammed hadn’t taken them off the system for some reason. I breathed a sigh of relief as it beeped in recognition, and waved to the gate keeper, as I drove through into the empty garage.
I knew that Mo wasn’t home yet. He was supposed to be out on Jamaat for at least a few more days, and I was glad that at least it bought me some time before I gave him the big baby revelation that I hadn’t had the guts to as yet. A bit more time before everything would either fall into place, or fall completely apart. I wasn’t sure how I wanted it all to end.
My home was just as I had left it. Deep nostalgia sunk in as I gazed around, realising that I really did miss this place that I had come to love so much for the wrong reasons.
The house I had lived in was a mansion, with the most beautiful interiors and gardens… But I couldn’t help but think now that all of it had served us no purpose. Every bit of it.
The western world would have described my lifestyle as perfect. Freedom. I was lacking nowhere with regard to privileges. The car I drove. The things I owned. The frame that sat on the wall in front of me as I entered was supposed to be embossed with real gold. There was nothing lacking, when it came to worldly benefits. Where werevthe faults that had caused the downfall of my marriage?
I looked at in now in sheer amazement at our ignorance, thinking what was the point of it all. It really didn’t benefit us for it’s worth. I hastily walked through, trying to ignore all the tell-tale signs of how caught up we were in this Duniyaa. How we had completely eradicated the Sunnah in our lives. How wealth and pomp did nothing butr cause intermingling and disregard for Deen, therefore destroying the hopes for a truly beautiful life and marriage.
With the tragedies in our lives, there was no other time that was more apt to reflect over how pointless our lives had been.
I remembered Farah, thinking about her as I walked through the empty house. At the end of it all, all we will leave with is a white Kafan that we will be shrouded in for our final journey, but we forget about that when we get carried away.
Maybe I had been a bit too in love with the luxuries I was afforded and in the process, and I had forgotten to work at my marriage.
I sighed, not knowing where I was going by being here.
I still wasn’t sure. I didn’t know if I would ever be able to forget everything that had happened between us, and I really didn’t know how much we needed to work at, but I knew I couldn’t carry on without even trying.
I opened the door to the passage quietly, almost as if I was sneaking in. It felt like ages since I had been there, and the slightly musty smell lingered in the passage as I walked through and greeted with salaam softly, remembering Ummi’s voice chiding me when she advised me on how to bring more Barakah in my home. I knew that they really wanted me to settle down again, but I really wanted to make the decision for myself, and I hoped I would be guided to what was best for me.
I took off my Abaya that had now become my daily attire, and removed the head cap under my scarf, hanging it neatly on the hooks behind my bedroom door. My thoughts were so deep that I almost missed the fresh scent of refreshing body wash that I had smelt every morning for the past few years. And just as my mind got awakened by it’s presence, I could already feel my body tensing up as I realised what it meant. I almost froze in my tracks as I stepped into my bedroom, hearing the shower bang, and someone talking as I stood there, my eyes almost popping out of my head out of shock of what was happening.
Oh my goodness!, I thought to myself, my heart literally palpitating in my chest.
I couldn’t help but think to myself that I couldn’t have chosen a worse moment to come home. Someone was definitely here, and I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to know who it was. I knew that there was no helper around, especially if Mo wasn’t home. Or was he really not home?
And of course, as the bathroom door opened, and someone came out, I almost wanted to shut my eyes for fear of what else I would see. Or rather, who might see me. I was ready to make a sudden run for it, when I caught a gaze of his dripping beard and phone attached to his ear.
Muhammed… It was Muhammed. Only Muhammed.
A wave of relief flooded through me, as I digested that there was no stranger in my house. As I digested that he was back.
I stayed rooted to the spot unconsciously, because even though I realized that Mo wasn’t supposed to be back as yet, I had forgotten that I probably wasn’t supposed to be there either, watching him a bit spookily as he dug in his drawer for clothing. And of course, when he stepped back and eventually caught sight of me, I could literally see his eyes widen, as he probably wondered if he was seeing a ghost or not. He then blinked a few times and cocked his head at me, as an alluring smile crept onto his face.
It was actually quite amusing, but I didn’t have it in me to laugh. I was watching him in a bit of a shock, wondering if he was really here. I didn’t expect to face him right now. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to.
“Assalamu Alaikum,” he said, still smiling, as he pulled on his track pants and a vest, almost as if he was in a big rush. Maybe he was just worried that I would revert to my old self and run away.
I wanted to reply to his greeting, but for the first time in my life, in front of my husband, I felt more aware of myself than ever before. I actually felt shy of myself in his presence as he stepped forward, still smiling, into the room, and directly ahead of me. It had been so long since we had an opportunity to really talk, and I didn’t know how to behave. I didn’t know if I wanted to.
“Wa alaikum salaam,” I finally said, as he came forward to greet me.
My body immediately tensed up as he approached me and I smelt his familiar scents once again. Mo stopped as he noted my hesitancy.
“It’s okay, I won’t touch you,” he said quickly, holding his hands up. He was still smiling but I could see his face had signs on strain, as if he wanted to say something more. As if he was trying to be patient with me.
That I was what our marriage had become, and it wasn’t only now. Except for the odd occasion, it had been so many months that we hadn’t even greeted affectionately, that it felt strange to even embrace my husband. And then of course, with his assurance that there would be no affection, as I relaxed and unfolded my arms that I had crossed so tightly above my tummy, his eyes immediately went down to where I was hoping they wouldn’t see.
In a cloak, my bump was barely visible, and I was so glad. I never wanted to be the type of person who would expose her growing tummy purposefully in public, because I had always felt that it wasn’t something for everything to gape at. Pregnancy was a private thing, and to wear the type of clothing that made it a show-case was far from modest and what Islam taught us.
I was just as guilty, because that was the thing with us Muslims these days. There was no longer any conscience of Hayaa or shame. It had been completely eliminated from our society, and I remembered an Aalim once saying that Nabi SAW appeared in a dream of a pious person, where this person asked him a question about the state of the Ummah at present. He wanted to know when the atrocities would end… When the suffering will cease. Nabi SAW replied to say something to the effect that only when the immodesty from the Ummah ceases, then only will we find any relief in the world. It was a sore reality, but only the truth of what was happening today.
And now, of course, in my under-abaya attire, with it clearly visible to the person it mattered the most to, I hastily put my hands down, trying to cover up what I had just accidentally revealed.
I looked up at him, hoping to ask him about his trip as a diversion, but the obvious look on his face told me that it was already too late.
“Aasiya,” he said, his voice just above a whisper.
His eyes were unusually wide. He took a step closer, looking from my face to my stomach in amazement, and then shaking his head. His face changed to slightly confused, before his face just changed until he looked like he was plain upset.
I bit my lip nervously, because I knew that I should have told him earlier. I really didn’t have an excuse.
“What’s happened?” He finally uttered, his hand flinging upwards questioningly. “Why didn’t you tell me?! How…?”
I expected more of a reaction from him, and I swallowed the saliva that had gathered in my mouth, unable to explain.
He trailed off as he walked past me now, out of the room door, almost as if he was in some kind of confused trance.
“I’m sorry,” I called out, slightly panicked as rushed behind him. I wasn’t sure what exactly he was going to do. I didn’t want him to leave.
He kept walking ahead, only finally stopping to unlock a small bag I had missed at the front of the house, as he dug inside. He almost immediately pulled out an item and handed it to me.
“Open it,” he commanded, and I obliged, my heart thudding in fear of what would be revealed. Was this his way of ending it completely?
I looked at the front before slowly opening the flap of the envelope. Instead of papers as I expected, I pulled out what looked like a little crocheted white hat with muffs, perfectly sized for a new born baby.
I gazed at it expectantly, wondering where it had come from. I knew that he wanted me to see this, but I just wasn’t sure why. But as I shook my head at him to show that I was confused, he started explaining how this ended up with him.
The long and short of it was a tale of a man he had met on Jamaat who had lost a baby after trying for many years. When Mo saw how much of Yaqeen and faith this man had, despite his wife being much older than I was, he changed his own approach completely. His whole perception changed, as his hope for us and our future started to increase. The man gave him the hat he kept with him because he wanted to pass on some of the spirit of Tawakkul. Some of the strength of Imaan.
“Duaas,” Muhammed finally said, looking at me with bright eyes as we sat opposite each other on the foyer couches. He shook his head unbelievably. “It’s only Duaa. Do you know that Allah can even change Taqdeer through it’s power? Do you know that there Allah says that there is still hope for me, even after all my sins? I learnt so much, Siya. I need to still do so much, but for now, it was the best thing I had ever done for myself…”
He trailed off, looking at me expectantly, as our eyes met. It was what I wanted for Muhammed all these months. It was what I always wished for him to see. Certainly, it was only through Du’aa. Even the very fact that he had seen this, was only due to someone’s heartfelt Du’aa.
Mixed emotions and hopeful inspiration filled my gut as I realised that it had been so long since we had really spoken. As the years had passed, I didn’t even notice how estranged from each other we had become. How we had stopped smiling at each other. How we had stopped showing any love to one another.
I wanted to undo it all. The betrayal. The ugliness. The indifference. The brutality.
I wanted to go back and be who I wanted to be, and show him the affection that I knew any man and husband would need. Yes, there was no excuse for what he did, but if I had given him what he needed, maybe my conscience wouldn’t be eating away at me the way that it was. Maybe I wouldn’t have been so caught up in what should or could have been. Maybe I wouldn’t have had all these trust issues.
Yes, it’s scary when life gets a little messed up. It’s scary to find out you’ve been wrong about something or someone. We have to accept that things are different, that they’ll never be the same, for better or for worse. The more we’re willing to accept, negotiate and compromise… The more chance we have for a better tomorrow. For a better beginning.
Sometimes, we need to stop placing blame, and accept it instead. When someone hurts us, we want to hurt them back. When someone wrongs us, we want to be right. Without forgiveness, old grudges just eat us up. The scores are never settled.
But forgiveness is powerful, not only for the other person, but also to heal yourself. If there’s one piece of advice I could give anyone who was fighting for their marriage… All I would say is; Don’t give up. Keep going. Keep fighting. If there’s something you really want, no matter how hopeless, don’t lose hope. Take the plunge, and head deep down to get what you need.
Yes, we all want that fairy tale that’s a little beyond our reach… And nothing should stop us from asking for it… From making a heartfelt wish to the only One who can grant it. I know sometimes our dreams are a little out there. We don’t wish for the easy stuff. We wish for big things. Things that are ambitious. Things that out of reach.
But then that’s why we wish. We wish because we can. Because He promises us that He will respond. We wish because we need His help. Because we’re scared. Because there’s no-one else we can really ask, when we know we may be asking for too much.
We still wish, though, because… Well, once in while, more often than not… those impossible wishes…. They do come true.
Don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!
Eating a piece of food that falls on the floor. If a piece of food falls on the floor, then the person eating should remove any dirt that gets onto it and eat it; because he does not know where the blessing is in his food. It may be in the piece that fell, and leaving it makes a person miss out on the blessing of the food.
Anas ibn Maalik narrated that when Nabi (SAW) ate, he would lick his three fingers. Anas said: “And he said, ‘If any one of you drops a piece of food, let him remove any dirt from it and eat it, and not leave it for the Shaytaan.’ And he commanded us to clean the plate, and said, ‘For you do not know where in your food the blessing is.’” (Narrated by Muslim, 2034).
There are many bodily benefits to all Sunnah as well. Let’s try and practise regularly!
We will be doing more eating and drinking Sunnahs Insha Allah.