Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
“Ma’am, may I ask your age?” The guy from behind the counter said, looking at me slightly suspiciously.
“Eighteen,” I said confidently, not batting an eyelid. I had to say it. I would get nowhere if I didn’t.
He frowned, and then asked me about the relationship to the alleged deceased. It was a bit difficult to explain that my cousin had been practically dead before she decided to come round again, so she could exactly be here in person. They would only take her request to look into the case seriously if they knew I was over the legal age.
“So you saying that this man hasn’t been in contact for months?” He asked.
I looked back at him, feeling bad about stretching the truth. I had to exaggerate a little, but not too much. The more urgent the situation seemed, the quicker we could get any feedback. Only the embassy could get real insight into the area and figure out where Waseem was. I wasn’t sure about all the political technicalities, but I knew I should be a bit more assertive, although it wasn’t in my character.
“His wife is worried,” I said, putting in my serious face again. “She’s bed ridden, and we thought the embassy could make some contact with their people there to figure out what happened to him.”
The man shook his head.
“If he’s gone there on his own accord, then there’s not much we can do,” he said, raising his eyebrows at me. “We’ve had many of these Muslim boys going during the past year or so and we can’t decide much if they are doing it out of choice. You know-”
“But what if he was forced?” I pressed, cutting him off, and knowing that Zaynah wouldn’t be happy if I tell her that. “Can’t you’ll do anything?”
The guy looked at me cynically now, and I put on my best pleading face, hoping he would buy my desperation.
Something was definitely on my side, as his expression changed and he suddenly told me to wait in the area that a few other people were seat at. Zaynah had always said that Allah makes a difficult path easy for whom He wills. Maybe it was all the Duaas and Istighfaar Zaynah insisted we make so the whole thing would be quick and easy for us. I always heard her say that when you increase in Istighfaar everything becomes easier.
Nabi (SAW) said: The one that regularly
performs Istighfaar, Allah clears a path from every difficulty, releases worry and grants one Rizq.
I sat silently for a few minutes, just observing the people around me. I wasn’t usually ever on my own, so being here was quite scary. I knew it might have not been the most correct thing to do, but under the circumstances, I wanted to try and help Zaynah a little at least. She had always been the one to do everything for me in the past without a single complaint.
Mamoo had dropped me off hesitantly, after I had assured him multiple times that I would be fine for the little while he would be away and Raees would come and join me in the queue. I knew he had some urgent work nearby that he had gone to do, and I could tell he believed me, but I just hoped he wouldn’t check with Raees. I wasn’t too sure that I wanted my brother to know that I was helping Zaynah to find her husband. Something told me that he probably would hate the idea.
I glanced to my right as I finally sat down, seeing a girl with a tasbeeh sitting in the same area as I was, and she reminded me so much of Zaynah. Her habit of carrying it with her had rubbed off onto many people around her. Her fingers were constantly moving as she read her Adhkaar, and she looked like she was totally absorbed in it. I admired her so much for not wasting time as she sat here waiting, wondering why I had never thought of the same thing. A simple tasbeeh that I carry with me could earn me so many brownie points if I just made the effort.
Time. We didn’t realize just how precious it was. The gift that we practically threw away with each moment we spent doing just futile things. It was actually awful how much of time we wasted.
“Ma’am,” a voice said, cutting through my thoughts. “We are following up, as there’s been another request about the same person. There might be a long wait before we get any answers.”
I sighed and nodded, telling them that I’d be back. Maybe if I didn’t get any furthe info Zaynah could try and come when she felt a little better. All I knew right then was that I was getting really hungry, and there was some sort of shopping complex outside that I knew I could get a snack from. I was definitely a bit scared if venturing out on my own, but I held my little bag close to me and stepped out in confidence as I walked up the pathway.
I had just reached the kiosk and taken a water and a packet of chips when a hand from behind grabbed me and pulled me backwards, almost knocking the wind out of my guts.
I was probably going to start screaming in absolute fear, when the person viciously started shouting at me, as if I was the one that was acting crazy. It was only then when I realized that the insane kidnapping attempt was actually nothing of the sort.
I gaped back at my elder brother as he looked at me angrily, uttering weird atrocities for no real reason at all. Something about scheming and undercover was part of it, but I didn’t catch exactly what it was that he was on about. As I looked back at him, slightly shocked by his presence, I couldn’t help but notice a scarved girl next to him, clad in jeans and a grey top, watching me back a bit awkwardly. She was probably wondering if this was the same guy she knew.
It took me a few moments to realise exactly what was going on, and Raees pulled me over to a bench on the side, demanding to know who sent me there and why I was even in that shopping complex.
Okay. I knew exactly what it looked like. How did I explain to him that I really didn’t come to spy on them?
The situation was as awkward as they get, and the girl in question was just kind of gaping at us, as she looked around her slightly fearfully. She didn’t look like a ‘bad’ girl. That was the thing with most girls. They just got caught up in the wrong things. I had kind of figured out that she was his new conquest, and it disgusted me that he had been using a ‘business venture’ as an excuse to keep being in town to see her.
The mere fact that Zinaa was right under my nose was a complete knock to everything I had known my entire life. I mean, I was no saint, but during my nearly seventeen years, it had been a completely foreign concept to see such blatant sin in my face. I supposed that in the city it was a normal, but growing up in a farm town definitely meant that I was a teeny bit sheltered.
“What the hell are you doing here?” He hissed again as he narrowed his eyes at me.
I just couldn’t seem to open my mouth to give him a proper answer.
“Zaynah,” I said blankly, looking from him to the girl, and shaking my head. I didn’t want to continue because I wasn’t sure how much I could say about what Zaynah was trying to find out. “Mamoo left me next door. He’s coming back.”
Raees narrowed his eyes, and shook his head at me.
“Is this about that idiot husband of hers?” He asked, looking completely annoyed at the mention of him. “Why the hell is she still worried about him?”
I stared back at him, wondering if he was for real. Raees acted like the biggest idiot. Of course she would be worried about him. What I wanted to know, is why he was worried about it all if he very obviously had someone else that seemed to be very prominent in his life. I wondered if he was even serious about this girl. I actually felt a bit sorry for them both, because these type of things never did end well.
“Let’s go,” he suddenly said abruptly, hastily tugging at my abaya sleeves and trying to get me to get with him. He was probably starting to panic because of what this could all bring for him. I wasn’t planning on spying, but what I saw and witnessed couldn’t be ignored.
I stayed rooted to the bench despite his pulling me, not really wanting to go with him. He didn’t get it, despite my protests.
He couldn’t drag me off against my will! I didn’t want to let Zaynah down. I still had to go back and tell her what the low-down is on the whole Waseem Saga. I couldn’t leave right then! What would I tell Mamoo? And Zaynah?!
At the same time, I couldn’t find words to explain to my brother what a maniac he was behaving like as he literally dragged me off the bench and started pulling me with him to where I supposed his car was.
This was just too much. He was overrreacting. The whole thing was just insane.
“Stop it!” I finally shouted, using my heels to try and halt myself as he continued to yank me. He really was out of control.
I had raised my voice slightly and the few passers by that were around had actually turned to look at me. I had a feeling that this might get out of control if I didn’t go with the flow, and I was starting to get just a little desperate before a voice from a few meters behind us called out, releasing me from my now very obvious anxiety.
“Hey,” it said, and I could hear the footsteps before I actually saw who it was. “Are you guys okay?”
I tried to turn back, but as soon as Raees heard the voice, he started going faster, and dragging me a little more aggressively. I honestly wanted to kick him, but he was overpowering me for that moment. Just then, to my awesome relief, a hand from behind came forward, grabbing him by his collar and literally stopping us all in our tracks.
“Dude,” the guy said, shaking his head at Raees in utter confusion.
Believe me, no-one could imagine my relief right then when I figured out who it was. A tasbeeh dangled from his fingers as he stretched out his hand to separate Raees from me, and then took a modest step backwards. My heart thumped in my chest, because although I was saved from my brother, I knew that this wasn’t good news for him. Raees’s face changed to a deep shade of red, before it looked like it was going to erupt. The guy had serious issues as it was, and this was just the limit.
My heart was literally in my throat as I waited for the outcome of this all. This definitely was not going to end well.
Maaf for keeping you’ll waiting. Insha Allah I will post earlier this week to make up for it!
Don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!
Nabi ﷺ said, “He who has taken food and says at the end: ‘Al- hamdu lillahi-lladhi at’amani hadha, wa razaqanihi min ghairi haulin minni wa la quwwatin (All praise is due to Allah Who has given me food to eat and provided it without any endeavour on my part or any power),’ all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Tirmidhi)
SubhaanAllah. Let’s try and observe the Sunnah Duaas of eating InshaAllah.