I’m not sure if there’s an emoji for betrayal. Like a knife going through someone’s back, or an arrow piercing through a heart or something painfully relevant.
Or was there an emoji for utmost devastation..? For feeling mentally, physically and emotionally broken? For terrifying fear… for the unprecedented event of shattering someone’s heart, breaking their trust, without knowing how to stop yourself from doing that one thing that they thought you would never do…
Is there anyway to condense emotions so intense, into something so futile?
And even if there was… even though I had always turned to social media, to tapping away on my device, to channeling all my energy into a dedication or pictured post for my relief, I wasn’t sure if it would have made any difference. The emojis, I mean. A little symbol that had become a way of expression could never divulge how real and raw emotion can cause so much of turbulence within. Can emojis ever cut it?
The thing was, and always had been for me: A social media analogy was far less of a drainer. When you post something wrong or controversial, it’s easy to retract. To dilute with emojis. To send out an apology. To delete the post. To deactivate an account.
In real life… You don’t just lose a follower. In real life you lose someone you valued. You lose a friend. A beloved. Someone who you once may have had a real connection with, and in real life… well, it was so much more real.
What if every like, every face expression, every heart, and reply we give to someone online is actually taking away from our offline relationships?
And it was all coming at me at once, my entire world feeling rocked and a little more complicated… as I tried to rummage through my emotions and how I was feeling…
The feelings were so overwhelming, and I was breaking under them.
And then there was darkness, as if the trigger had been pulled, thoughts scattered like debris.
In the avenues of my mind, I was trapped at every turn…
I sat on the bench outside the hospital, unable to control the shivering as I tried to make sense of everything that had just happened. My mind was tripping with the lucid thoughts and accounts of what had just occurred, and I knew tonight would be no exception.
I couldn’t reach out. I couldn’t break free. I was completely submerged in ghastly thoughts. My mind was a haze of broken events that had transpired, and my heart was, through it all, feeling like it was horribly shattered.
”Your father owes me money,” the man said as he stared me down, me feeling all cramped and edgy with the most unfortunate thoughts, in the back of a Ford bakkie with a canopy, racing over the highway like we had some kind of urgent destination.
The man’s voice was surprisingly mellow, although his demeanor was repulsive. He watched me as I sat, silently at first, the vehicle bumping along as I kept hitting my head behind me.
No one had cared, and to tell the truth, neither did I. The little bumps were like jolts of rude awakenings that reminded me that it was a tormented reality, and not just a dream that I was hoping it was.
”You going to talk or we going to have to make you?”
He asked, after a few minutes, a wry smile creeping on his face.
I didn’t like the way he was looking at me then but I was already in a compromising situation, so there was nothing much I could do to help it, except co-operate.
These people didn’t appreciate an attitude but I was in no mood to be polite.
”So what do you want from me?” I asked boldly, not even knowing where I got the pluck from. “How do you know I’m going to be your solution?”
”You have money,” the guy said steadily. He was probably in his forties, with a small beard and bald spot on the top of his head. “You’re the accountant, right? We have an idea that you’re where your father is drawing money from every month.”
I sucked in my breath, angered by the way they were painting my father. Like some kind of beggar.
As much as I wanted to play his bluff, a game with him to irritate them, I didn’t want to spend any longer than necessary with these horrible people. I was in the worst possible situation and my only intent was to get out of it.
The memories of them searching me, unfazed by my aversion to their touch, was making my stomach churn with revulsion. Humiliation was putting it mildly.
I was at that stage where I realised that nothing I did or said was going to stop them, except if I gave in to them.
“I am,” I said carefully, my voice sounding foreign even to myself. “I’ll give you what you want. Every penny. But I don’t know how much you talking about or how long it will take.”
How I managed such a lengthy response, I didn’t know.
Middle aged balding guy looked at me, probably unsure of whether to believe me, but also as if he was seeing someone else beside some corporate rich glamour girl who could sort out his bills.
“And if you don’t?”
I swallowed. The way his eyes were penetrating, almost through me, was enough to break me whilst they sent me down memory lane.
Two years back… The image of the masked man who had cornered my father in the parking lot of his supermarket building, the butt of his ugly gun smashing down on my face as I tried to stop them, still haunted me… I still carried that scar… a significant physical mark on the corner of my cheek. If it was the same people, I knew these people would stop at nothing… I knew they could not just hurt me, but take away my dignity while they were at it.
And there’s always a story… and as our one goes.. my dearest uncle was the biggest player in this mess. The selfish drug-addict often borrowed money from people – leaving many people, including my father with the debts, and directing everyone to him for payment. Papa had been struggling with keeping his shop open and the added debt wasn’t helping the situation. Now, of course, we had an entirely different scenario, with angry loan sharks and aggressive drug-lords. Who this guy was, I wasn’t sure, but I knew either way, he wasn’t good news.
What a terrible price to pay for a few hours of a drug-induced high and pleasurable sin…
”We need at least half,” he demanded rudely, his face hard and devoid of any compassion. “Like yesterday.”
These people had seen too much.. dealt with too much … killed too many to even give an atoms worth of consideration for my mental state. He was chewing something, and spat out the window before he looked at me once again. He wasn’t finished.
“Else you’re not getting to go home tonight,” he said almost as an afterthought, his eyes telling a story that I never wanted to find out about. “There’s other things we can do with girls who look like you.”
I shuddered as he glanced at mw suggestively, nausea overcoming me almost immediately. My eyes widened involuntary as he edged closer and I felt my body shudder with fear as his eyes did a complete once-over me.
He touched my cheek, unashamedly, scrutinising every bit of my body. The guy who had shoved me down the staircase had morphed into our designated driver, but I could tell them the guy in front of me was the disgusting master-mind behind it all… and I couldn’t even break free from his unyielding grasp.
And I wasn’t sure how I even did it. How I convinced him to let me go. How I managed to log onto my accounts then, showing them that I would hand it all over, if they just left me alone. I sat, cross-legged with a Dell laptop on my lap, hands trembling while they watched over me, my phone in their hands for OTP’s and controlling any incoming calls or stopping any like of mobile tracking, to do that payment they so desperately wanted. They were rushing for it to be over so they were out of risk, and then they hastily shoved me out of the van as we passed by the same route, leaving me to scramble off the road just in time to flee a passing car.
I was mortified. Unmistakably robbed and violated. I had basically handed over the bulk of my savings and it wasn’t even the full amount that was owed to them. The repulsive odour of the older man as he breathed over me, watching me do the transaction he was instructing me to was implanted in my memory, even as I tried with all my might to shove it out.
And he wasn’t thrilled but I promised them that the next week I’d have the rest. I assured them that I was offered a promotion with a huge increase. I would be getting a hefty incentive and a bigger salary every month… and of course it would all be settled.
And even though I was now safe, sitting on the bench for a moment longer as the breeze sashayed over me, my heart was heavy and burdened because the knowledge that they kept so much more than just my hard-earned money was what was breaking me beyond all boundaries.
They couldn’t just stop at that, it wasn’t enough.
And because they could see how I was clutching onto it, how valued it was to me, it had become their prerogative to take from me one of my most irreplaceable items I’d ever possessed.
It was the necklace and diamond pendant that Hamzah and family had gifted me just the week before, symbolising the finality of our commitment. The proposal. And the memory of that afternoon the had handed it over was as clear as day as I recalled how we had just finished talking alone, about future plans and how we wanted to live a different kind of life to the office life we had known for the past year… when he leaned toward me for a brief moment and said, with a smirk:
“I chose it myself,” he said, his eyebrows gesturing slightly towards where his mother was standing and watching us, with a longish jewellery box in her hand. “They insisted you would like the other one but I think I know you better than them.”
His stunning lashes were even more attractive close up and I looked away as his mother chased him down the hall, telling him that it was their time with me now, and he needed to behave himself.
Of course, I nodded and agreed with them as he pulled his face and then grinned at me before making his way off to the men’s side. And as his mother popped open the box, I couldn’t have been more in love with the the stunning piece of jewelry that already became my best friend. Call me superficial, but if I wasn’t certain about Hamzah before that, this was most definitely a winner. It was a simple and elegant diamond piece but I knew that it cost a fortune, and I instantly felt horrible and shallow because he felt like he had to spend so much of money on me… like, I wasn’t complaining.. but did I appear to be such high maintenance?
In any world, a 1-carat diamond pendant was no play. But despite that… that itself wasn’t the big deal. I knew what it was because it was highly trending and I had seen the chain being advertised on social media.
It was called the ‘Eternal Flame’ setting which was inspired by this legend of undying flames, which continues to burn despite all external elements. Apparently, according to some lengend which was probably a load of hogwash but got the sales coming in at a steady pace.. these eternal flames, which burn continuously, join two souls together in unconditional love. And it was extremely intense and romantic, and even though it did make my tummy do a slight flip-flop, I wasn’t going to show him that he had won the trophy. Well, not yet.
I stood silently as Hamzah’s sister-in-law, Saaliha, gently clipped the necklace on over my grey chiffon scarf. I had work a white dress with grey detail that day and the pendant accessorised it perfectly. To tell the truth, I was on cloud nine, and that chain was a memory and the only thing of real value… of surmount importance, and because of their blatant disregard for my dignity, had been yanked off me as collateral…
I pictured Hamzah’s face for a second, as I sat there, trying to tune my senses out of everything that had happened.
How will I ever explain to him why I couldn’t salvage it? Why didn’t I fight to keep that one part of my self-worth, the part that should have been one of the most important right then…
My heart was still beating rapidly, even though it had been ten minutes since I had been freed, shoved me on the pavement outside the hospital. How my wobbly legs had carried me over to the entrance, I wasn’t sure. It was late and my phone wasn’t returned, but I didn’t care. My worst fears were over for now and all I wanted to do was crawl into my bed and sleep this away as if it never happened. There was no use going to the police. This wasn’t a criminal issue. It was a self-inflicted problem that I couldn’t ever divulge to anyone…
I had already made up my mind that I could tell no-one about this. My fathers reputation… his pride… his Izzat, as Nani would say… all of this… I could never let them know that things had gotten so bad that I nearly had to give myself up. Nearly. I couldn’t even think what might have happened if I hadn’t prayed fervently to ask Allah’s help to shield me from any evil intentions.
I took a deep breath as I lifted myself off the bench, finding my bearings, and then entering the hospital once again. They had left my keys with me so I could get home, but anything else of value was taken and stashed for when I paid the rest. I took a deep breath as I made my way down to the elevator. It was now close to midnight and I assumed that everyone had gone home. I’m sure that my mother had tried contacting me, but I would have to deal with that tomorrow.
Of course everyone had left by then. I didn’t know that they had left to search for me. That they were fervently reciting their adhkaar and tasbeehs, crazy with worry and hoping for my safe return, I didn’t even realise how much of time had passed. When the security guard saw me, I could see him talking into his Walkie talkie hastily, but as I waved at him easily, he looked confused, and then just shook his head and nodded back at me.
How I cleaned myself up, re-did my make up in record time and even drove home that night was like a blur. Tears flowed freely as I sat there, my mind taking me when I finally reached my driveway, I stopped as the gate closed, and sobbed my heart out for a few minutes before I finally drove up to go to the house.
And I was a little shocked as I saw Ma, Nani and Jameela all crowding around me even before I entered, racing down to the garage as they realised I had arrived, looking as if the entire world had collapsed in my absence. In all of that, I didn’t even realise how long I had been gone.
“Shukar to Allah!” Nani was saying loudly as she saw me, looking as if she was utterly distraught.
I paused for a second as she said it, again and again, and it was as if my entire world was being revived, with those words.
Shukar to Allah. Shukar to Allah.
I mean, how had I not even thought this… to thank Him for bringing me out of what had been a most unexpected ordeal? How had I not seen Him with me, all this time. In my hour of need, whilst I sat in my little bubble of hope of escape, was it not Him that brought me through? In my darkest hour, when I didn’t know if I’d ever see the light of day again, was it not Him that brought me home?
Allah. Allah. Was it not Him only, that despite my sins, despite my disregard, despite everything that I had done that proved my complacency and heedlessness… that had come through for me?
Allah, of course; it was only You. When I was caught in a maze, a place of uncertainty, a web of greed and hopelessness… it was only You that brought me through. When I was lost in a forest, and every path looked the same… it was only You who brought me home.
I was slightly shaking while Nani wiped her tears away and grasped me by my shoulders gently. I cringed as I remembered how those repulsive men had handled me.. I couldn’t stand anyone touching me, not without thinking about the horrible feelings I had been subjected to… not without that memory leaving it’s horrid mark on me.
“We were so worried,” Ma whispered, shaking her head, and just looking plain down relieved.
Muhammed Husayn was making calls, saying I was fine and had come home, to whoever he was talking to.
Ma’s eyes were brimming with tears as I stepped back, feigning indifference as they asked me again and again if everything was really okay. Jameela and Muhammed Husayn were standing around, looking like lost puppies, and I kissed their cheeks, putting on a brave front, knowing that I’d have to think up a workable explanation in record time.
I took a deep breath and put a smile on my face, knowing that I couldn’t show any weakness.
And that’s why I made up my mind that I couldn’t say anything to them about Papa. It would only cause more worry and concern. I explained to them that my phone was stolen and there really was no need to panic. It was slightly stressful but I was okay, and everything was going to be okay. There was a reason Faadil had offered me that incentive, just a few days before. There was no time more than the present that I could do with it.
All I had to do was mail him, tell him I was ready to take that offer, sort the cash situation out, and put up with a year or two more at Hammond’s. That’s all.
There had to be a long term plan though. After that, I could pursue my dreams. I knew that I had to think about something for my family to be sustained, that was going to put less pressure on them. And missing work the next day, because I knew that I couldn’t face everyone, (especially Hamzah) yet, I spoke to Jameela about her plans for her coffee shop. She actually had worked things out quite meticulously. My sister had good business skills, and I found myself l among towards this as a small business to start up. Papa had to get out of what he was doing. The supermarket was becoming a risk.. there were too many factors attached.. too many horrible people involved now. Factors that haunted me and made it extremely dangerous.
And it so happened that Papa was discharged the next day, and seeing him almost made me tear up again. I wasn’t sure how to describe it, what kind of emotions were pulsating through me as I tried to explain the feeling of broken trust, of humiliation, of extreme and piercing sadness… and then of pity, as I wondered how we had gotten to where we were.
The way he looked at me when he first came in, for a split second, I felt as if he knew the ordeal I had endured and then when I looked at him again, I was sure I was mistaken. That rush of emotion… that overwhelming grief and terrifying fear as I relived it… no words, expressions or even emojis could do it justice.
And even though I was brimming over with frustrated emotion, I wasn’t going to bring it up. And maybe I could have at some point but not when he was in this state. I knew I should be a good girl and quietly deal with my own emotions. I had long ago accepted that I had to take care of of my family. I also understood that we had to somehow drag ourselves out of this… somehow, we would pull through.
For the first time in years, I didn’t care about my phone. About new posts. About downloading all my applications and keeping up with what was going on.
I read my Salaah a little more fervently those few days. Prayed a little harder. Asked a little more desperately. I deeply craved some guidance. Some hope. Some unfiltered sign that I was doing the right thing.
My heart was aching. Breaking. Undeniably shaking in conviction and faith, and I had to set it right.
Oh Allah, only You know my condition. Oh Allah, I am tormented with nightmares. I’m traumatised by those oppressors. Only You know my pain, Oh King of Kings. I want to be freed. Oh Allah, erase all these evil memories from my mind.
Oh Allah, you choose whats best and protect me from hurt, protect me from others, and protect others from me. Oh Allah, when no-one else was there, You saved me… You’ve shown me how big You are, and how small I really am. How Great you are, and how insignificant I am. I come to You in weakness, You help me with Your strength… Oh Allah, I entrust all my affairs to you, I surrender it to you…
My eyes were, for the first time in years, brimming with tears as I pleaded.
I didn’t know how else to handle my emotions. Who else to pour it all out to..
I didn’t know what to think about my future. About my marriage. It’s not that I didn’t care. I just had no energy to burden someone else with our family problems. I simply could not come clean, and in the back of my mind, although I knew that what I had to do may cause a stir…
I also knew that there was no other way and presumed that whatever small hiccup this would cause would soon pass.
And although I maybe expected a tantrum, an argument or a fight… what I didn’t expect was my decision to do what I needed to, to be blown completely out of proportion. By the end of the following week, after making my final decision and everything feeling like it was going way too fast, the phones were ringing off the hook…
Jameela was tearing up, trying to ask me what was going on. Ma was desperately trying to understand if what was said and what she had heard was really meant… and Nani… well, Nani was the giveaway. The one sign that stood to show that the situation was entirely hopeless… as she sat on the kitchen stool, her head hanging in her hands as she refused to speak to anyone as the entire thing went down in the most unexpected way.
Never in my life had I felt so disgusted with myself, so disappointed… so broken about everyone else being shattered too.
The day Hamzah exited our lives, when he called the house phone to ask for me… sounding completely civil as he spoke to my mother and then my brother, and then they passed the receiver over to me, I barely recognised this person whose voice was dripping with painful venom whilst he said what I never thought I’d ever hear him say…
I knew that there was no hope for anything else. No expression, reaction or emoji could ever do it justice.
Everything was falling apart.
Sunnah of Making Salaam
It’s common nowadays that even when seeing other Muslims out and about, people are hesitant to greet. Let’s try and bring back this beautiful Sunnah and reignite the love ❤️
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
٤ جمادى الأولى
Hazrat أنس رضى الله تعالى عنه narrates that he passed by some children, so he greeted them (made Salaam) and he said: رسول الله صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم used to do so (greet children).
(Bukhaaree Shareef/Muslim Shareef)
Greeting children inculcates humility, and at the same time, teach children the importance of offering Salaam.
It creates love and affection in hearts.
If there is fear of lust, by greeting a pretty girl or handsome lad, then one should refrain.
Dear readers, sorry I forgot to add this in the post but will do it at a later stage.
I will be taking a short break from posting. If I get a chance I will try and post sooner but for now, since everyone seems to be really busy too, I’m hoping to catch up with all in the New year.
Remember to keep it halaal and always remember.. In Ma’s words.. Muslim first 🤍
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My heart is thundering in my chest!! I just feel like crying for her I’m feeling so bad💔💔. Plz plz let her out of this mess. Tuhajjud is like an arrow that doesn’t miss😉
Enjoy your break🤩 Gonna miss you crazy!! This is literally my fix. Don’t know how I’ll cope without the story for the next few weeks.
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💔 it is a bit heartbreaking, isn’t it? I mean, after pulling out of sin and trying to do things the right way ..
But that’s what tests are about, aren’t they??
I will try and give one before the new year InshaAllah, if time allows ❤️
Going to definitely miss you guys too, InshaAllah we catch up soonest ✨💋
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Awww I’m really sad right now.. please let Hamza come back..please let this all pass
Will miss your super amazing posts but that’s ok as long as you consider Hamza back to hold mohsina’s hand the halal way.. .
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Lol, no promises, but let’s see…
maybe they are meant to be, but maybe not? Maybe there’s something better or a better place or time…
hmmm… let’s see ❤️
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Don’t judge a book by its cover …rigs for me regarding Mohsina currently.
But at the same time I can understand where Hamza is coming from based on her prior actions and ways which make her seem shallow, except now she really isn’t.
Can’t wait to see how this unfolds and really hope Mohina grows as she goes through her ordeals.
A break 😔😔😔😔enjoy 💕
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This is so true.. and very much the point to put across
Well let’s see if either has a change of heart or not..
next post out soon 🤍
Shukran dear sis 💕
Oh em jizzles
Let her marry hamzaa
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Sister I know you won’t let us down but maybe they aren’t compatible with each other.
I hope the truth comes out and Mohsina is given the chance she deserves.
Sister enjoy your break and we’ll meet you at the other side of your refreshing break ان شاءالله
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Maybe they aren’t.. sometimes it just takes a bigger reason to change…
Well, let’s see. Shukran dead sister, so good to hear from you after ages.. ❤️
Wonder what Layyaanah will have to say…
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Well, I think we are hoping she says something but will it make a difference… 💔
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Your writing is just amazing dear authoress.
It won’t make a difference coz mohsina won’t tell her why she made that decision. Maybe this is where jameela steps in…..or her dad….someone gotta fix this….
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Yes, I think they are all thinking along the same lines…
Shukran dear sis… 💕