Two months later
I once heard someone say that for the generation of people that we call the millennials, sitting is the new smoking. And with all the health aversions that come with that, more concerning is the thing that we often do while we’re sitting:
Mindlessly scrolling through our social media feeds when we have a few spare minutes (or for some like me, when I’m not working, sometimes for hours). And as we probably know intuitively, and as the research is confirming, it’s not the best habit for health or even for our collective psychology. In a world where we think through, we learn through, we escape into … it becomes something that is completely consuming and an actual hobby, we still find ourselves lonely and isolated, even with every application or device at our disposal.
And there were many things that I could tell you about during that frame of time where I was grappling to find myself, but the one that stood out for me was finding myself out of a virtual world that I was positively sinking into before that.
It’s not always easy to change your perspective. To see a new world, new choices, new possibilities. Often when submerged in darkness, it’s almost impossible to even find a sliver of light.
And I’d be lying if I said that that day spent out in the open, almost in another dimension, in the midst of the consuming greenery of Kwa-Zulu Natal and its splendour, did not make a difference to me. Of course it did, but as much as it had changed my heart, there was something else that had changed too.
Sometimes change is not once off. We are constantly changing. Morphing. Emerging. And sometimes it’s not always for the better.
And with all my Netflix and Instafam challenges that were going on, whether it was a make-up challenge or little reel that I was doing just for kicks, I knew that it was going to pull me back into it, as soon as I got back to my normal routine.
But even amidst all that, in retrospect, it was the beginning of a different era for me, a game changer, and Layyanah’s simple wedding was when it all started.
Two months later, as I sat on a bar stool near my newly bought Kitchen Aid mixer, I was now in a completely different dimension altogether.
Hey babes. U busy?
I glanced as my phone lit up, actually not keen on replying right then because my fingers were intricately piping the little rosettes on my mini cheesecakes. The phone would have to wait, for once. These salted-caramel babies were going off later for a special order and I wanted them to be perfect. And yes, you are probably wondering what on Earth happened to the Snapchat and Netflix addicted version of Mostly Mohsina, but the journey that had brought me up that point was definitely not to be undermined.
The next message came before I could even break away from the task at hand.
I’m coming over.
I set my piping bag down, wiping off the icing that had decorated my lower arm by mistake, and then popping the cakes into the bar fridge I had bought especially for my baking.
I glanced in the mirror, taking in this new lady, with her hair wrapped up neatly, and my new pro chef-style apron, who appeared so collected and unconcerned at the incessant buzzing of her phone. Sometimes, real life was really more exciting than what went on in that delusional alternative.
And seeing her car already in the driveway and my lack of replies, I knew that Layannah had probably checked with Jameela if I was home before she took the two-minute drive over. And in all fairness, Layyanah kind of had a right to come over and hound me. It had been nearly two months of beating around the bush and then flat out denying anything was serious.
And I was being cautious. All I was doing at that point was trying to figure out who I was. Trying to keep everyone happy. Trying to not get caught up. Trying to divert my attention. Trying to stay off social media. Trying to be a better version of me.
Sometimes you need someone who you take seriously to make you take the plunge. Sometimes it just takes something bigger to make a difference.
Everything was looking a little clearer. A little more purer. A little more transparent.
Since I dropped Netflix, my time management skills were soaring. And now that I was all into my pastry cheffing, which was very likely my next feasible career option, I pressed out the extra cream that was in the piping bag, wiped my hands and grabbed my phone to hastily type away before she entered the kitchen.
I could already hear her and Jameela chatting away in the hallway about baby-related items, but I needed a heads up just in case my inkling about her knowing the unknown were right.
Did u tell Liyaket?
It was a simple and to the point iMessage because we had made a resolution that any extensive messages were out of bounds. I just needed to know one thing.
Hamzah’s reply, as usual, was quick.
I thought u said no messaging.
I scowled. So he was being cocky about it. I did say no messages. We had also said no calls, but he had called the day before when he needed to know if my family had anything planned the following weekend. And this was urgent. I wanted to know what I was up for when Layyanah arrived and he was obviously refusing to be transparent for a reason that I knew too well.
Also, I knew that those Hamzah and Liyaket couldn’t keep a thing from each other, so I should have known. They were worse than women. Still, he had no right to open his big mouth without telling me, especially since Liyaket hid nothing from Layyanah either.
And speaking of her, it was at that moment that my friend emerged from the lounge, all bright eyed and ecstatic.
If pregnancy glow was a real thing, Layyanah definitely had it. She wore a grey hijab tied traditionally and a long blush dress with grey tights and patent grey pumps. Her cheeks were glowing and she was looking amazing and I couldn’t help but feel emotional about how far she had come, spiritually. She had changed so much, and not only in her appearance. I had seen that she had even begun reading her salaah, which I knew was a huge step for anyone, after so many years of not praying. I was so, so proud of her.
“Salaaaam lovieee,” Layyanah cooed as she entered, her eyes all glowing and excited.
Layyanah was here in record time. She had become a piece of furniture here now that she lived a few streets away from us, and my parents and Nani absolutely loved her to bits.
And of course, I was over the moon that Liyaket had found a cute little 3-bedroom house, fully equipped with a little yard and a flatlet outside in the area. Liyaket’s mother had been a tenant of someone somewhere for years, and now that Liyaket could finally stand in his own feet, he often said that the least he could do was help to look after his mother. It was the perfect set-up because now that Layyanah was expecting, it would definitely be good to have the little help she could offer, since her parents were not exactly involved in their life much. And yes, I had spoken to her about her mother and though she had said that she was trying to make amends with her parents, from what I heard, they weren’t really interested in being involved in her ‘lowly’ life.
But for Layyanah, it didn’t matter. Although Liyakets mother was not in the best of health and had tremendous back problems, she was absolutely ecstatic that a baby was on its way, and to tell the truth, so was I.
”Hey you,” I smiled, wiping my hands on my apron and kissing her cheek lightly. Jameela was right behind her. “How’s my angel girl doing?”
It was too early to find out the baby gender, but I was convinced she was having a girl. Liyaket had another theory though.
“Killing me slowly,” she groaned, making a puking face. “I cannot eat a thing. It’s nearly 12 weeks and if it doesn’t end soon I think I may just have to give it a good scolding.”
“Don’t terrorise my baby,” I warned her. “You know I’m going to be her favourite aunty, don’t you?”
“Then it better behave,” she retorted, but there was a huge smile on her face as she said it. “Because her favourite aunty is going to be getting married soon and I cannot be feeling like I’m dying on the Nikah day! Liyaket just told me that you guys are planning the wedding for January. I’m so freakin’ excited!”
I knew it. Where I preferred to be quiet and private, Hamzah was the complete opposite.
I hated drama.
“Ssshhhh!” I said, placing my finger to my lips. “My parents don’t know yet. I have to speak to my father first. They only want to come in two weeks so I’m kind of waiting till next week before..”
I could see Jameela looking at me with a smirk on her face. Of course she knew, and to be frank, she was obsessed with Hamzah and his family. I’m not even joking. She honestly thought that the guy could do no wrong and speak no wrong. I had no chance if there was ever an argument, because Jameela was always on his side.
Layyanah narrowed her eyes and then widened them, as her expression changed.
”But why so longgg?!” She moaned, looking annoyed.
I rolled my eyes. Long?!
”Make Nikah, and then carry on as you’ll are!” She said simply. “Easy peezy.”
I knew that she was talking from a place of concern for us and she was so right. Ideally, to make Nikah would be awesome so we could chat, guilt-free, and just get to know each other in the meantime.
But there were always buts. We were both at really crucial points in our career and we couldn’t not announce a Nikah. Hamzah was on the brink of signing with a big company for next year. We also didn’t want interfere with the office policy and work place rules.
”It’s not long!” I argued. “Next year is literally around the corner. If we do it now it will just be a big drama and you know how I love drama.”
It wasn’t long. It was a few weeks away. I felt like it was just just yesterday that Hamzah and I were going through that weird and awkward phase after Liyaket and Layyanah’s wedding where we had no idea how to face each other.
And I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t think of Hamzah as more than a friend that fateful day out in the open, when emotions had overcome me the spring air was knocking me completely off my base. But of course, I wasn’t that type to go all gaga over a guy, and the last person I ever expected to be even slightly impressed by was Hamzah.
And then the following weekend, when I met Layyanah for coffee at our usual spot, her eyes were all shiny and excited, like she was hiding a huge secret.
At that point it was too soon for a pregnancy announcement and so I looked at her, all confused, wondering what exactly she was all bright-eyed about.
And then she said:
“So what do you think about Hamzah?”
And I had frowned slightly, wondering why she was asking.
“He’s cool,” was all I said, not giving away too much.
And yes. It was typical me. Trying to deny feelings and all that. I was scared. Really scared that he would be the one to pull his usual tricks on me because by now, I knew them all too well.
“Cool as in?!” She pressed, raising her eyebrows. “Does he make the cut for Mostly Mohsina’s high standards or not? Because Liyaket think that Hamzah needs a girl to ground him and we think that that girl is you.”
“So you guys are trying to set him up with me?” I said, a little annoyed.
I felt like I was a dirty rag being used to wipe a spilled mess because I was convenient. I wasn’t just prepared to be used because I was there.
Why couldn’t Hamzah make his own decisions?
“Listen,” I said, raising my eyebrows. “I know Hamzah and I know how he rolls. There’s no way that I’m going to be one of those girls who go all gaga and then he drops like hot potato. Sorry, Layy. I’m not interested, neh.”
Pssshht. Like really. What did she think I was? Did she think I was going to fall for that?
Layyanah sighed. And then she knocked me for a six.
“Hamzah’s crazy about you,” she blurted, rolling her eyes and I just kind of went into cardiac arrest. Right there. “Do you even know how bloody unapproachable you are?”
And I was lying if I said that the feelings and butterflies that come with someone who you really want to know about can be stifled. I tried with everything I had within me to fight it, to ignore it, and to act like I didn’t care, because I knew that no good could come out of something that started with sin.
And no, none of it was right or then there was a hint of seriousness a week later, when there came the game changer and it was so strange because it was only afterward that I realised that some things happen with lessons that are two-fold. That sometimes Allah wants good for you, ans puts you in the deep end because he knows you deserve so much more than what you settled for.
The Holy Qur’aan mentions:
‘And approach not adultery, for it is a shameful deed and an evil, opening the road to other evils.’
In a world where every second person was involved in a relationship and set on completely disregarding the laws of Allah, going out and walking around Sandton or Rosebank with my guy, going out to the famous coffee shops we all loved as if it was the trending thing to do. But was it trending when it came to the laws of Allah?
Because the verse was so true when it’s said that Zinaa opens the doorway to other sins. We are so caught up, so brainwashed and convinced that Zinaa and extra marital relationships are ‘normal’, that haraam has become a norm and halaal no longer has any value. Limits have been pushed and boundaries have been broken. It’s progressed so much and to such an extent that no joy is even found in what’s become ‘normal’. Unfortunately, for some, no joy is even found in the simple haraam. And this is the cause for the degradation of humans, and why they fall into the trap of LGBTQ, thinking it’s all okay to be however you want to be… when really, it goes completely against the laws of nature to satisfy yourself with anything other than what’s Halaal.
And no, people don’t just change overnight. It happens over a frame of time, where people slowly get dragged into sin and as they get deeper and deeper, they kind of get sucked in.
It just so happened that things had kind of spiralled out of control for me before we got to grips with what we were getting into. At first it was more of a ‘let’s see where this thing is going’ kind of tune. We chatted. We joked. We even met on a whim, outside the office, for a quick walk to the Gautrein before a meeting.
Yes, sometimes we change, but the change is not always for the better.
Together with this sin, my virtual reality continued at a steady pace of filming reels and reviewing products and keeping followers hooked. As always, there has to be a game changer.
Now, by now I’m sure that you are well aware of how seriously I take my social media pages. And in case you didn’t know, Hamzah was born on a completely differently planet. He had no social media applications whatsoever and relentlessly picked on my occupation with mine. And so it went, a light-hearted reel that I had done about Muslim guys pick up lines (that had zilch to do with him) just for kicks went viral (which is every influencers dream) and spiked my followers to almost 12k. Of course, I was ecstatic. It was a dream come true, and I honestly was blown away by the response.
And nevermind everything that goes with the whole social media upkeep, anything was worth it. I didn’t think much of it, because for me, that was who I was. I was virtual reality, and my life was pretty much absorbed in it, so I really didn’t see the issue.
I barely thought it would reach Hamzah (and I’m sure it was the work of his annoying sister who had become my rival after the episode at the wedding) but it did, and the entire thing just blew out of proportion.
And of course, I had the upper hand, because being me, all liberated and independent, I knew that it shouldn’t concern him. I mean, it was my life and my business and I told him precisely that.
Like, there was no way I was going to let some (random) guy come and trash and change everything that I had worked so hard to achieve. I had put a lot of effort into my social media pages. I earned money from them too. I didn’t deserve to be told what I couldn’t do. If you weren’t paying me, you don’t have a right to question me. I was feminism at its best… or should I say, at its worst. I just couldn’t see it yet.
”What’s the big deal?” I had typed ferociously (please tell me, how do you even argue with someone over iMessage?!). “It’s not like it even has anything to do with you.”
And he only said this:
Its unnecessary. I don’t like to see you on social media. It’s like you are selling yourself.
Now that, just made me mad. If it was a guy doing it, it would be a different story, wouldn’t it? But because I was a woman and I had filmed something humorous, I was selling myself?
How dare he tell me what I could or couldn’t do? I didn’t have a ring on my finger. As long as we both were where we were, we could both do as we please.
Wrong. We forget that we have a Creator and Provider to please too. That each gender has his specific strengths and weaknesses and Hayaa is a crucial part of Imaan.
Once your Hayaa is compromised, so is your Imaan, and it was a risky gamble to take, but I did.
And yes, with all my new ideologies and perception that I was only accountable to myself, I was wrong. But then again, so was he. We were wrong in our approach, wrong in what we were doing. Wrong in trying to combat Haraam with something Haraam, and he may have had a point but that’s precisely what got him.
As long as there is no commitment then there are no rules. And simply ‘going out’ with someone does not define commitment. I expected him to call it quits, at that point. And I didn’t care. I took the risk. Arrogance had consumed me. In my world, I didn’t need a man to prove my worth. And I put on a brave front when we didn’t speak for a day, I wasn’t going to go crawling back with my tail in my legs. And I knew that I was being full of myself, but Hamzah was, surprisingly, not as immature as I was and as I thought.
And woah, his response really blew me away.
Because he didn’t act the way I thought he would. Instead, he told his mother about me. And his sister. And then his brother. And then he phoned me to tell me that it’s time to be serious and that he’s coming home to meet my parents, but this time,I need to change something too, and that this was my cue to trash all my reel-making.
How the hell is that for a game changer?!
And of course I was completely stunned. Not to mention, reeling from panic. All I could think of was that this was happening way too fast. We had barely spoken for 2 minutes. Did he even know my crazy Nani and family and how they behaved?!
How on earth did he just decide that he was ready to take this to another level?
And then, common sense was finally settling in for me. If this was what he wanted, it meant that Hamzah, of all people was actually serious about me. Why, I had no idea. But this meant that we really had to change something. There was no way that we can carry on chatting and ‘dating’ because I knew very well that there was never any barakah in that. It was no use denying the facts.
And I didn’t expect it, but the thing was, staying away made things more exciting. It was like venturing into the unknown. Nikah was a few weeks away and all we had to be was a be patient and everything would fall into place.
Sometimes it takes two people to be strong. When it comes to things like this, one person just doesn’t make the cut. What was the excitement in doing something that was forbidden when there was a simple and easy way to make it all right?
And yes, though Nani, friends and family were keeping me busy in the weekend, work was still sucking me in during the week. I was still focused and determined to prove myself, and I could see that I was a huge competition for many people who were still running after the incentive that had been offered over 2 months back.
The last thing we needed was anyone finding out and ratting us out at work, because a bad referral wouldn’t be good for any new opportunities.
And it was barely a day after Layyanah had promised to plan my entire wedding function, when I sat all absorbed in the latest account that Faadil had assigned to me, when the memo from his e-mail address came, summoning me to his office for a meeting within ten minutes. And I was all cool about it, thinking that maybe he was rushing off for a meeting and needed to check in with me before he went off until I made my way over to his door, when I realised that this wasn’t exactly about what I presumed.
As I pushed the door open, sitting on the chair on the other side of Faadil’s desk was none other than Hamzah, and I immediately did a double take as he caught my eye, and I recognised that look of concern as he communicated for a moment, that maybe, just maybe, we might be in for it.
For once in my life, I didn’t know what to say until Faadil gestured for me to sit down. Oh yes, if I thought that we had a game changer before, this was going to be an even bigger one.
“Take a seat,” he said in his office voice, and I knew that he meant business. “There’s something I need to discuss with you two.”
Shukran to everyone for reading❤️
Although the topic of Zinaa in the Quran and Sunnah is obviously clear and unambiguous, the reality of our times is that Zinaa in schools, universities and even the workplace is so common and even regarded now as a norm.
And although in the past I’ve steered clear of it, I think sometimes we have to take the bull by the horns and talk about it. Although this in no way validates it, the best is to stop the sin and make Nikah and atone for it. At times when it’s not always possible, to show a way of lessening Allah’s displeasure, Ulema advise to leave the sin completely.
May Allah forgive us for the wrongs we’ve done in our past, and especially for the ones we never hastened to make right. I hope that this can sincerely review someone’s perspective on extra marital relations and hope that for the pleasure of Allah we can stop sin, especially amongst our youth, and bring Barakah into our lives again.
Please let me know your thoughts – hoping we can explore the topic a bit more. Thoughts?
Duaas for the ummah 🤲🏼
Mission Sunnah Revival: Sunnah of Lowering/Guarding the Gaze
It is in this instance and era, surrounded by half-naked people, that we must have the courage to follow the command of Allah and His Prophet Muhammad (Sallalahu alaihi wa Sallam) and lower our gazes.
“Do not go near fornication and adultery, it is an abomination and an evil way.” (Quran 17:32).
This sin is so hateful in the sight of Our Lord, that He commanded us to not even go near it.
Despite what anyone may say, looking upon that which one is not supposed to is going near adultery, for an illicit affair begins with a lustful glance.
Allah wishes for us not to commit this ugly sin, and thus He commands us to lower our gazes:
- “Tell the believing men that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that will make for greater purity for them; And Allah is well acquainted with all that they do.
And tell the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty…” (Quran 24:30-31).
The Sunnah of lowering the gaze even on social media is also important and detrimental to our imaan if not done, a stepping stone to greater sins.
Aww subhanallah always very beneficial advices.. I love your writing MashaAllah..
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Aw,,Shukran sister…🤍 appreciate the constant feedback 🤲🏼❤️
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The biggest challenge ‘lowering your gaze in social media.. so important and such a constant reminder needed and truly detrimental and disastrous to our imaan. May Allah save us and guide us. Jazakallah khayr sister
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This is so true. It’s such a task at times because how often do videos images and reels just pop up literally from nowhere? It’s crazy. Theres no controlling anything you may see 🙈
Aameen, May Allah strengthen our resolve 🤍 Shukran sister ❣️
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Beautiful advices!!💚💚hope they remember to sincerly repent for all their interactions so the baraqah is not lessening and pure contentment can descend..itching to see how this goes
Just to clarify, did they come and propose as yet and set a date? Did both families meet
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will definitely clarify in next post. Rushed through it, sorry, but we will get there – no official proposal yet, 🙈
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Oh ok..No problem 💜
Not rushed at all..Just thought I missed something 🥰
Yoh mos is in for it from ma and naani
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Oh yes, she is.
Nope, you didn’t miss anything yet, but there’s a reason I speeded to it.. still to come 🙈👅
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More more more please
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Please clarify what happened on the wedding
It’s a little confusing/blur
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Will do so in next post 👍🏼🤍
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