”I thought you were joking,” Rabia voice broke into my thoughts incredulously as she tapped on her twin brother’s shoulder, looking immensely disappointed. “There’s really no venue?!”
The atmosphere in the car was thick with excitement and preoccupation, along with a bundle of erratic nerves that was very much expected.
And on a day like this, there was something about the way the hearts were swayed on a special days like today, encompassing the feeling of celebration that Nikah brings.
I was, undoubtedly, in amazing spirits as we left my mother-in-laws place that day, with Imraan and Hamzah in the front seat of his car, and Rabia and I in the back. Uthman had decided to go with his grandparents because he was bound to be pampered rotten during the short trip to the location where Mohsina’s family home was.
I glimpsed at my sister-in-law, tearing my eyes away from the scenic mountainous view I was immersed in ahead of us, which reminded me of one of the famous sayings of Umar bin Khattab (RadiAllahu Anho) which went like:
What is destined will reach you, even if it be underneath two mountains. What is not destined, will not reach you, even if it be between your two lips.
And today was a undeniable reminder of whats meant to be, will be, but Rabia’s statement, well… It was just the kind of negativity to dampen my mood.
As Hamzah gave her an irritated scowl, as he glanced at her in the rear view mirror, taking a longer pull of his cigarette than usual, I could sense the irritation he was feeling. The way that he was lighting cigarette after cigarette, meant that he was probably a little stressed that night, and I kind of understood.
”What made you think I was joking?” he asked blandly, exhaling out the window as I watched her pout. “I told you that it was at the house.”
”Oh hell,” she muttered with an irritated face, as she scanned the yard, where the marquee was set up. “How annoying. My heels are going to sink in this damn mud. Plus, there’s nowhere decent to even take any snaps.”
Was that the only thing she worried about?
I shook my head and looked away, not trusting myself to say anything.
For some reason, my sister-in-law was getting more and more more on my nerves these days. The love for pride and pomp was something that I didn’t quite get. I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, probably even more irritated than my brother-in-law.
“You don’t have to show your followers every move you make,” Hamzah snapped unexpectedly, undeniably angry. “The best of Nikahs are the most simple ones, and hands down, I actually prefer this to any hall or venue function any day. More simple. Less stressful.”
It was actually quite nice that he was already standing up for his new in-laws. Imraan had mentioned that he felt strangely protective over them, with Mohsina only having a younger brother, and her father still getting out of debt, I knew that Hamzah was the type to take it much more personally than anyone else.
I wanted also to point out to Rabia that Mohsina didn’t have wealthy parents to pay for the function like she did, but I knew that it was top secret. Imraan had revealed to me in confidence that the family had gone through a rough patch and was still recovering, financially.
It had come to my knowledge that Mohsina had actually paid for the simple function herself, and it made me admire the kind of heart she had. The fact was that she wasn’t obligated to have a function, but for her parents sake and their respect, she was prepared to do whatever it took to make them happy.
”Thank God we’re having a proper Waleema,” Rabia muttered to herself. “Somewhere ten times better than this ugly dump.”
And of course, I knew that Rabia was famous for calling a spade a spade, but there was a difference between being straightforward and just plain down rude. Her words stung and her tone made me shudder, but more alarming was air of arrogance about her as she said it, and I immediately felt insulted. Unfortunately for Rabia, both her sisters-in-law were from farm-like places.
And it’s only when you witness the pride or arrogance of someone, do you realise what a detested and despised quality it is. After all, it was that quality which got Iblis thrown out of Jannah, and that quality of the Quraish, at the time of Badr, that caused their downfall…
And although I could tell that Hamzah had heard her, it was admirable that he had chosen to specifically ignore her and not start an argument, as he turned to Imraan. After all, remaining silent was always the best option when tempers were starting to flare, and I could tell by his thunderous face that he was really getting angry. Imraan shot Rabia a filthy look and she turned away, slightly deflated.
”I suggest you keep your comments to yourself,” he said sternly, and I got the feeling that it wasn’t the first time she had insulted someone’s home.
“Theres nothing wrong with having standards, right?”
Her question was ill-founded. And okay, I knew that my in-laws had spoilt her rotten as a kid, but this kind of behaviour was not something that they approved of. They never put anyone down or made them feel unworthy.
And being the youngest son, my in laws were insisted in having a bigger function at a popular venue, and Rabia was obviously one of the main event planners.
”Don’t make me walk out my own waleemah,” Hamzah had said firmly, as they tried to pull off the perfect waleemah function. “Any funny business… at all… I’ll take my family and leave.”
It was weird for him to say family, but it was true that Hamzah, Mohsina and little Zaid were now a little unit on their own.
Hamzah had made it clear that he didn’t want any photographers, music or extravagant details. People were thinking of the weirdest things just to make a statement and I could tell that my sister-in-law was testing limits. I just hoped that Hamzah was not going to get a huge surprise when he entered the hall two days later.
Besides, he had said enough.
And as I watched Rabia tapping on her phone and then extending her arm to take a selfie… I couldn’t help but feel a jolt of irritation.
Everything had to be captured. Sometimes I wonder if it would really hurt to put the phone down and just take it all in, unfiltered. The rivalry doesn’t end… when it came to social media. It was a competition that knew no end, and she was completely sucked in.
And from this it was obvious that , Rabia was part of the‘beautiful’ generation. The generation that’s obsessed with making everything look just like an Instagram post; as perfect as can be.
Basically if you love taking photos, arranging the objects of the photo to make the image look ideal, or using filters and editing photos to make them look even better… well, you are too.
Rabia was clearly enamoured by the worldly things that Instagram and social media seemed to put on a pedestal. I mean, it was a well-known fact that it causes us to obsess over portraying a fabricated version of ourselves, and our lives, to the world.
The truth was that we see images of others flourishing online, on overseas holidays, extravagant functions, flashing money, living it up on their stories, not knowing the harsh realities (or falsification) behind those posts.
She smiled to herself as she tapped away, and I suppressed the urge to tell her something. Instead, I tried to focus on the low murmurs that were coming from the front seat while they found a suitable parking, in an attempt to decipher whether Imraan was having the talk he had planned to have with his brother or not.
And although I was still highly insecure about my sisters attempts at trying to find her husband a second wife, and rubbing off onto mine, Imraan and I had reached an easier place where we made a deal never to keep secrets from each other. Ever.
And though it meant that I had to reveal to him what Fareeha was up to and how it upset me, it also meant that when Imraan had come in that afternoon, looking a little more than just concerned, he couldn’t simply brush me off.
His face was riddled with worry as he took a seat, pulling out his phone and tapping vigourously as I eyed him out. The Nikah had gone well, and Hamzah too, seemed happy, but I couldn’t quite help feeling like something was amiss, and I knew he intended to get what was bothering Hamzah out of him today.
It was true that Hamzah had been against making Nikah from the initial stages. Somehow, he didn’t want to address the issues that had affected him and Mohsina back way things had changed back the previous year. Maybe it wasn’t necessary to bring up the past, but I only hoped that if didn’t cause any troubles in the future.
No matter what Imraan had said, I was quite sure that my brother-in-law was just nervous and that everyting would turn out perfectly.
After all, it was the first time he would see his new bride and it was completely normal. Given, it was a little late, since the Nikah was earlier that afternoon, but this whole situation was completely unconventional, so a few things were not exactly going to take place as per normal.
And as we had arrived a little early as planned, parking off near the house on account of Hamzah wanting to see Mohsina and Zaid before the function, I smiled as I watched him twiddle his fingers mindlessly just before getting off.
And even as we all stepped out, Rabia and I lifting our dresses slightly, her with a slightly annoyed look on the face, we were already overwhelmed at the kind of reception we received.
Of course, I could tell that they had been awaiting our arrival specifically, even though the marquee was erected in the front yard, Mohsina’s sister came to usher us toward the entrance of the house, whilst her brother sidled up alongside Hamzah, already talking easily about some car show that had happened last week.
And as I stepped up, looking around me, scanning only for Zaid, I suppose it was inevitable that as we made our way inside, there he appeared, his fingers stuffed in his mouth as a pretty girl held him.
And maybe I was slightly dazed that day, on account of so much that had happened in such a short time, I almost missed her completely. And as I looked from Zaid to this gorgeous female figure that I could hardly recognise, it took me a few seconds to process who it was.
“Assalamualaikum!” She said, flashing us both a smile as I register that it was none other than my new sister-in-law. “I’m so happy to see you guys…”
And I knew I sound crazy, but seeing her after over a month came like a shock, and felt like I was seeing a new person, and I could tell that Rabia was just as surprised to see how amazingly different she now looked. I had instinctively made my way with Rabia to where she stood and giving her an enormous hug, so thrilled that her and Hamzah’s big day had finally come.
”Wa alaykum Salaam!” I said softly, embracing her tightly. “Mohsina, I hardly recognised you. You look so beautiful.”
And I wasn’t just saying that. She really looked exceedingly stunning, with a gold-edged hijab that was tied absolutely perfectly.
She flashed a nervous smile as her gaze flickered to her husband, and could tell that she was pretty overwhelmed.
I didn’t expect her to be out and about the house, like regular family member.
I had expected her to be like the usual brides who only make an appearance down in the marquee, dressed in some kind of gaudy outfit, but Mohsina was the epitome of sublime simplicity, but here she was, in a gorgeous white and gold embroidered abaya with extended sleeves, which seemed to be made to fit her most elegantly. Her cheeks were flushed with a little more than just blush but even so, she appeared unnaturally calm for a new bride. It took me a few seconds to realise that the reason for the enormous change in appearance was that she had, evidently, lost a ton of weight and I could already tell that my brother-in-law was a little more taken aback by how gorgeous she looked that day.
It was strange and sweet to witness their first meeting, and as he awkwardly approached her and extended his hand to shake hers, Zaid had obviously not got the Nikah vibes memo, and bubbling with excitement, plunged directly at him .
And of course, I couldn’t help but laugh because instead of letting the new couple greet each other, the little pumpkin conveniently transferred all the attention to himself. All Hamzah could do was hold him tightly and grin, as Mohsina shook her head, already giving up on the situation being any kind of conventional.
And how could it be? They had come together in a most unconventional way, and though everyone was thrilled, if life hadn’t turned out the way it did, it probably would have never changed.
For now though…. Having a baby in the picture already was going to be a bit challenging, but I could tell that they were both prepared to take it in their stride.
And even though no-one complained, I knew that it was probably time to intervene and get my own dose of Zaidoo, so I stepped forward, hoping he would remember me.
”Let me take him!” I said jovially, as I moved on to take Zaid from Hamzah. It took them a few minutes of awkwardness before they made their way to a slightly more isolated area, just outside the main lounge, and I couldn’t help but notice what a lovely couple they did make.
With Mohsina’s softer features looking particularly striking that day, and Hamzah with his natural charm, looking more like Imraan as the days went by, I knew that many eyes would probably be on them that day. Tears filled my eyes momentarily as I wondered how time had flown so fast, that my once 11-year-old brother-in-law was already married.
And as I left them, hoping they would get enough time to talk before guests started filling the hall, Zaid was passed from arm to arm as we tried to keep him from Mohsina for that evening.
He was, very evidently, restless and pining for her, and as the function started, her sister had come to take him outside for a small walk, so the lecture and beautiful Qirāt recital could take place without him bawling his eyes off.
All the time, as I sat, I could see Mohsina’s eyes searching for him, almost as if she could think of nothing else. He had, very evidently, taken over her life as much as he did ours. And of course, I tried to ignore the unfounded feeling that I may not get as much as him now as I hoped, but I had to also put my own selfish desires aside and respect her and Hamzah’s wishes.
And despite my small concerns, the joy and feeling of celebrating that was in the air was very much palpable. Mohsinas family, I could not deny, was most welcoming and hospitable. Remembering that she came from a simple home, I was in awe of how every member of her family served and saw to the needs of the guest personally and most graciously.
The food was, very evidently, deliciously home-made, and the small function went so beautifully that even Rabia had nothing to complain about. And although it was simple and completely unflashy, what I knew for sure, from her boisterous and very evident love for him, was that Hamzah was most definitely going to be pampered endlessly by Mohsinas amazing Nani, who kept swooning over him, unashamedly boasting about her new grandson-in-law, and stopping at nothing to make sure that everything was absolutely perfect.
And it was. From the beginning to end, the marquee devoid of cameras or there was so much of Barakah and happiness, that nothing could deter the couple from beaming so brightly, that I’m sure that their faces must have been sore from all the smiling they both did that day.
I was all lost in thought as I watched Jameela take Zaid to the front table where Mohsina was sitting and laughing with a friend of hers, noticing the look of sheer relief on both their faces as Zaid saw her and immediately grasped her neck, as if he never wanted to let go…
“Can you believe your brother-in-law is getting married?”
I turned slightly to the right with my smile widening, as I heard the voice of Haseena, Maulana Umar’s wife, grinning at my new sister-in-law. My heart filled with joy, and I couldn’t help but reach out and hug her fiercely, taking in her familiar embrace as she hugged me back.
We had known each other for years, but seldom saw each other because of Maulana’s work that always entailed him going out for jamaat and taking her with him. Besides, life was so hectic at times, and with five kids, I couldn’t imagine what her days were like.
“I honestly am finding it hard to deal, Hasoo,” I said, remembering the nickname we always used for her before she was even married to Maulana Umar, or rather just Umar, at that time. “I can’t believe he’s grown up and I’m married for almost 12 years this year!”
Back then, Haseena was a completely ordinary, contemporary girl who loved to make a fashion statement and caught everyone’s attention. And though still positively stunning, when I saw her now, I could hardly believe that this girl in jilbaab was the same girl that had changed her life so drastically, and turned over a completely new leaf.
“It means we’re getting old, aren’t we?” She said, with a twinkle in her eye, and I laughed in agreement. It was bitter-sweet, this getting old thing.
And so was this event.
”It’s a bit emotional, isn’t it?” she said, almost saying aloud how I felt. “The baby… their friends… now, how Allah planned it… they’ve become a new couple. I know Maulana is optimistic that it will work out and the baby needs a proper home, but imagine if this was you or I, Sawls… it’s kind of a huge sacrifice isn’t it?”
I nodded solemnly, feeling an ache in my gut because I knew that Liyaket would have been really thrilled to see his best friend finally settling down. I had remembered hearing Imraan joking about how Liyaket often teased Hamzah about his tendency to jump from girl to girl in the office.
“He’s really changed,” I said softly to her. “I think he’s finally grown up. Soon we’ll be planning our kids weddings, have you thought about that?”
She laughed, and as we spoke easily about life, kids and everything else, the crowd was dispersing and the men slowly started filtering into the hall, she easily excused herself to go to the car where Maulana Umar was probably already waiting. Giving her an even more massive hug, as she left, I could barely believe that this day that we had all been waiting for so long was already nearly over.
Meeting Haseena was lovely and kind of the cherry on the top, as I remembered the earlier days when I just got married and how everything had settled into place. In a mere moment, seeing her again felt like no time had passed, and it was a beautiful feeling that made me look forward to the waleemah a little more.
Meeting with the people of the past reminds us of the way things once were, the happiness that we experienced growing up, and all the wonder. It was a natural feeling that just brought a smile to your face.
And as some familiar faces came up to greet us, the amazing atmosphere of unity and family was such a special feeling.
The feeling of everything falling into place so beautifully was incomparable. And as we got ready to leave too, toward the end of the function when Hamzah had come in to sit with Mohsina, and as they talked intimately, about something serious, I couldn’t help but feel a little at a loss for words, after Haseena’s words.
What these two had done was something that was quite amazing. Though it was a joining of families… a union of hearts and hopefully the initiation of something in breakable… but most importantly, it was the forming of a little orphaned boy’s home and family.
The fact that they had put all their differences aside and taken this plunge was something that I couldn’t quite believe my brother-in-law had so selflessly been able to commit to.
And yes, it may be a challenge. Imraan had voiced his concerns, unreservedly, to me earlier that week.
I did notice that Hamzah had been quiet recently, but to be fair, he had undergone a helluva lot in the past month, and no one could expect him to come out unchanged…
He had barely had a chance to really reflect over the Yemeni war situation before Liyakets passing brought him crashing down on him, and then was Ramadhaan and Al ‘Aqsa, that he had done in the spur of the moment, and in between it all, becoming something like a father to Zaid, well…
The whole transition may be extremely difficult and even heartbreaking, as they remembered their friends in every first word, first step and little achievement that he made through the years. Losing someone was not a once off.
You lose them over and over, sometimes many times a day. When the loss, momentarily forgotten, creeps up, and attacks you from behind, it’s like fresh waves of grief rip into your heart once again.
And although they will be living and carrying on without them, what a beautiful reminder it was, that they had most certainly left one of their most amazing gifts behind.
And as they left behind what may have started on rough and unsteady footing, and went toward what may be a better and more promising future that held something so much better, I couldn’t help but feel immensely excited about it.
And as I helped them clean away some dishes as Rabia sat and looked bored as she typed on her phone, Imraan speaking to Mohsinas father in the distance, my heart was palpably undergoing a host of emotions that I still couldn’t full figure, but as I took a seat, various thoughts were still whirling through my mind.
Seeing family and friends and so many people that we hadn’t met over the years was amazing. This was a union of two families, a breaking of barriers, and a spectacular reason for renewed hope… and the conclusion of the saying by Umar bin Khattab (Radiallaho Anho) as it continued, was a perfect reminder.
Go easy on yourself, for the outcome of all affairs is determined by Allah’s decree. If something is meant to go elsewhere, it will never come your way, but if it is yours by destiny, from you it cannot flee.
The thing is, life can be fulfilling at different times of our lives. Sometimes you just have to trust the timing. Theres always opportunity to be wanting to sit and wonder about how things could have turned out differently.. But you can also trust that you have never missed out on what was meant for you.
And though its hard to trust when so much is unknown, try not to take it in all at once.
Pause. Breathe in. Take it in, shade by shade, tree by tree, scent by scent, friendship by friendship… Take in the magic of the moment you are in, without really worrying about what’s to come next or beyond the amazemnet of that moment. Let it be enough. Breathe it in, and let it be enough.
The story thats unfolding right then may be world’s apart from what we expected but it doesn’t mean that it wont be beautiful and life-changing.
And as I breathed in the moment, savoring it’s uniqueness, the vibration on the table broke into my thoughts, as I wondered who would be trying to call me right then.
And just as I picked it up, seeing a missed call from my younger sister and knowing that this was probably not just a general courtesy call, it was at that moment that the message from her came through, and it gave me a slightly unsettled feeling in the pit of my stomach as I wondered if Fareeha was really telling the truth.
Imraan told Aadil to join u guys for tea. We’re in the area. See you in 5. xx
Just a tad bit of wedding humour …
Don’t forgot our Mission Sunnah Revival
The Sunnah of Giving up arguing and having good manners…
Whilst we grapple to keep that connection alive out of Ramadhaan, and approach the month of Dhul Hajjiah, let try and increase our Ibaadat.
Abu Umamah Al-Bahili Ra reported Nabi (ﷺ) said,
“I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right;
and I guarantee a home in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even for the sake of fun;
and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners/Akhlaaq.
In line with love for Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi Wa Salaam), a narration goes like this:
Someone asked Ali (RA):
“How much was the Sahaba’s love for the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam)”
He replied: “By Allah! To us The Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) was dearer to us than our riches our children and our mothers, and was more cherishable than a drink of water at the time of severest thirst.”
SubhaanAllah… what perfect imaan they had… May Allah enable us to practise..💕
All I mean all in the post absolutely spot on..
The need to show the world.
The beautiful breath taking friendship
The loss of a loved one and all the emotions…
The truth about what would come your way if it was meant for you…
I get a funny feeling in my tummy when I read about fareeha..🙄😱😱😱
Like a tornado waiting to happen….
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lol , I think it’s a good reminder for all those functions and Eid coming up… ❤️
Ooh fareeha definitely has something up her sleeve…
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Beautiful… There’s something about nikaahs that just me so emotional! Especially one like this without all the pomp and extravagance.
I’m so happy that Hamza’s family is so welcoming to Mohsina and not holding anything against her…
Uh oh I smell trouble with faeeha!!
So wonderfully expressed as always❤️❤️
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Ahh, yes. And me too ❤️❤️
Ah yes, but Hamzah never did tell them what she did… but let’s hope no further obstacles 🌺
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What she did about faadil?
Does he know..?? I’m hoping no not trouble in their families
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Hmmm… InshaAllah will post again by the end of the weekend… and you will find out 🌷
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Can’t wait!! I’m also getting hives about fareeha. Wonder what she’s up to🙊
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