Fareeha: Ah come on, Sawls. I just want 2 test the waters. C if she may be interested.
I narrowed my eyes at my phone, grabbing a handful of choc peanuts as I walked out of the kitchen, and sitting on the couch to munch on them. See if she may be interested?
Fareeha sounded like a predator on the prowl. As if the previous evening had not been enough for me. I was at my wits end as I witnessed Fareeha literally chatting my sister-in-law up, asking her all sorts of questions, probably trying to see if she was a suitable match for her husband. I’m not even sure how normal the situation was or how sane my sister actually was.
Me: Please Far. You are giving me more stress this way. Rabia has been testing my patience nowadays and if we are related in more than one way, it may just tip me over the edge.
Fareeha: Lol *can’t watch face* That bad?
I knew I sounded mean but it was true. I snuck a glance at my sister-in-law, seated in frying of me in a cuffed jeans with a white tie-up blouse with her hair tied back in a pony, jotting down something from her phone to her diary.
She was so immersed in her task, that she barely noticed my strained expressions. Her entire existence was channeled into this one function and it made me wonder what she was going to do after it was all over.
Me: yes. Bad. Also, there will be plenty of other people there tomorrow that may be more suitable.
I didn’t want to say that I would help her find someone because knowing Fareeha, she would twist my arm to do so or follow me around relentlessly while greeting guests and insist that I let her chat up every eligible female.
Fareeha: okay fine. Just tell me one thing.
I sighed, bracing myself for more questions about Rabia, who was literally sitting in front of me now and penning down the final list of finger foods that had to be at the entrance table.
I was supposed to be helping her but Fareeha was doing a pretty good job at distracting me.
Fareeha: Am I being a crazy woman?
I stopped myself from sending another mean reply. today was better than other days.
Me: Not today.
Which was there truth. She was being a little more reasonable than usual and not pushing her agenda in true Fareeha style.
Fareeha: good. Need a diversion. I’m just trying 2 take my mind off that appointment for Uzayr on Monday. I’m so nervous. What if they say my son is beyond repair?
I internally cringed. I had completely forgotten about it. Fareeha was taking her son to a speech therapist tomorrow for an assessment.
It was a private lady who worked with little kids, and though I wasn’t sure if it would be the solution. Either way, I was just glad she was doing something but I was equally worried for her.
I sighed, glancing up momentarily at my husband and in-laws who were in the open plan kitchen, as I made my way toward the nook again, phone still in hand. I was supposed to be checking it the events lady had started the lady’s set up today. The venue was only hired from tomorrow morning but Rabia, being Rabia, had insisted they give us time to set up today.
“I hope I didn’t forget anything,” Rabia said, looking from her phone to the notepad in front of her, and then frowned slightly. “Oh gosh. The burfee. I didn’t fetch the burfee.”
Imraan barely noticed. He too, was tapping on his phone incessantly while I quickly sent a few reassuring words for Fareeha before I placed my phone, screen down, on the center island.
everything will be okay. Trust Allah. Du’aas always xx
We never lose hope. No matter how bad or how hopeless. A believer must always have hope.
”Must I go and fetch it?” I asked sweetly, hoping the quiet time would give me a chance to think of the best way to deal with Fareeha tomorrow.
Rabia had given me a list of other things like drinks, cakes and biscuits to sort and set up for the function.
”No!” Rabia said, looking appalled that I could even suggest that. “I need your help with the drinks too. And the flowers, plus to go over the front set up. Maybe Daddy or Imraan could go?”
We had already gone over the front set-up a dozen times. It was to be absolutely immaculate, with a sparkling runner and one floral arrangement at the centre. There also needed to be a person stationed there, to make sure kids don’t mess it up.
I glanced at my father-in-law, who was sitting on the couch with Uthman, looking at a wildlife video.
“I don’t think Daddy is moving from the couch today,” I said, flashing a smile.
My father-in-law had a lot of running around that week, fetching and getting things that my mother-in-law was trying to sort out. Having a function was more tiring that we thought. Sometimes it just took these discomforts to remember the wisdom in simplicity.
If only we had gone for a function at the house or farm that was half the size but Rabia had insisted that it was necessary to invite everyone. The list just wasn’t coming to an end.
“Well, if Imraan could get off his damn phone and actually do something then it may actually help!” Rabia snapped, clearly getting agitated at how engrossed Imraan was, that he didn’t even notice her burfee dilemma.
He glanced up, phone still in hand, as he rubbed his forehead emphatically.
“Sorry,” he said meekly. “It’s just… Hamzah.”
”Ooh,” she said excitedly. She clearly was in a good mood. Rabia thrived on good stress.
“I didn’t even check my Instagram to see if Mohsina loaded any pics. Ask him how’s that place? The reviews were really good. Plus, they’re fully halaal.”
“I’m sure it’s good. He says it looks like the pics. He just has another… issue.”
Imraan looked stumped as he said it, and Rabia immediately raised her eyebrows at him.
My heart, for some reason, beat a little faster. I knew instantly when my husband was stressed.
”Trouble in paradise already?” She asked, and I couldn’t help but notice the tiny smirk on her face as she said it. “It’s about time the past came back to haunt them.”
Now, why must she be like that?
”Rabia, stop making assumptions,” my mother-in-law warned. “It’s not nice what you are saying. Wishing well on others is part of having good akhlaaq..”
Imraan shook his head.
I was hoping not. We didn’t need Hamzah in depression again. Once in his lifetime was quite enough. I had nevere seen my brother-in-law so hung up over someone, as he was when things didn’t work out with Mohsina. After he lost Liyaket, I honestly thought that he was going to lose his mind, until Zaid came to save the day.
”I’m just asking. It’s not like past events won’t pop up. How can you all just forget so easily about how Mohsina literally went awol and left Hamzah on a whim?” Rabia continued, ignoring my mother-in-law and raising her eyebrows. “Did anyone ever ask him what went on? Did anyone even wonder what really went on all these months?”
”Its not really our business,” Imraan said, and I agreed, despite the niggling feeling that Rabia wasn’t rest assured. “And Hamzah was the one who called it off and he doesn’t talk about it. Why must you worry about it?”
”Because it’s weird,” she said, here eyes narrowing suspiciously. “You guys know she’s quite a sensation on the gram. All that time her followers were skyrocketing when she was posting over-the-top content on social media. High-flying life. Most riveting socials. If I’m not mistaken, I’m sure she was probably even involved with someone in the interim-“
”Stop,” Imraan said sternly, holding his hand up. “All this is not necessary to bring up.”
I was glad he said it. That he made her stop, and verbalised it. That he made her guard her tongue, although I feared that it may have been a little late. My mother-in-law looked visibly stirred by what Rabia had just said.
Also, well, Rabia and her mouth was something that had to be addressed sooner or later. And often times, just because of the tongue, marriages and relationships are completely trashed. People are hurt. Old dust is dug up. The one muscle in our mouth is sometimes many a reason for horrible consequences.
And I remembered the story that occurred, on the occasion of the farewell Hajj, when the camel of Safiyyah bing Huyayy (RadiAllahu Abha) went lame and refused to move and she was left with no conveyance to continue.
Zaynab (RA), another wife of Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) had an extra camel and the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) asked her if she would give it to Safiyya.
Zaynab, visibly displeased with the suggestion, retorted, “Should I give to that Jewess!”
It’s reported that just by the three words she uttered, Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) turned away from her in anger and would not have anything to do with her for two or three months not to show his disapproval of what she had said.
And sometimes we overlook what our mouths utter, with very little regard for how we may come across. Sometimes we have no consideration for the feelings of others, as long as our own egos are fed, not even thinking twice about the consequences of that action that may just be done in the moment…
“I was only saying what’s true,” Rabia said, flicking her hair back as she retied her pony. “When someone exposes their entire life on Instagram then it’s only natural that people will nitpick and dissect every bit of information… especially when it’s someone as popular as her.”
Hmmmm. Mohsina was on a roll with her social media the last few months, before her life completely changed. But that’s what mattered, wasn’t it?
“Let’s not forget that Mohsina had changed a lot of her life before Hamzah and her got proposed again,” I said quietly, not really wanting to butt in but knowing that it was important that she understood it.
And I wasn’t biased just because Hamzah was my brother-in-law, but Rabia had to also understand that Hamzah wasn’t a saint back when they got proposed for the first time either. Sometimes we are just too possessive over our own people to understand the truth of a situation…
“That’s precisely the point,” Imraan said, agreeing with me, as he placed his phone down. “And I hope you’re not planning on telling Hamzah any of that Instagram stuff. You know how he hates it.”
”Exactly,” Rabia retorted. “That’s why he should know about it!”
I wanted to drill some sense into her.
”Don’t cause issues,” Imraan said heatedly. “There’s a little baby involved. With Zaid, things are different and you know that. I think they value that more than anything. They’ve taken Maulana’s advice and it’s sure to be a source of Barakah for them because this situation is avoiding more conflict between families. They want to make this work. Obviously it will take effort and compromise and now that there’s been a call from Layyanah’s family about Zaid…“
I sucked in my breath, feeling immediately concerned. If the family had been in contact, did that mean they wanted him?
”About Zaid?” I said, my heart beating faster. “Do they want him?”
Imraan glanced at me knowingly, and I could immediately sense his own concern.
“We’re sorting it out,” he said, almost absent-mindedly, as he typed on his phone again.
But Rabia didn’t even notice that. She was still stuck on the previous train.
”Not every marriage is the same,” Rabia said bluntly, looking visibly taken aback by what Imraan had mentioned. “What if only one partner is willing to make the compromise, and the other is only intent on messing around and sucks all the barakah out of the marriage? What if the guy lies, and they say stuff about what they are and they’re really not that way? What if he acts like someone he isn’t, because he just wants to fit all the priorities you set. I have been married before, you know, and men are just disgusting liars who take advantage of the women who love them.”
I glanced at Imraan, who was looking a little too terrified to say anything more here. Rabia was taking this a little personally.
My mother-in-law had already started talking calmly, trying to make amends.
”All Imraan was saying is that we all have to work on ourselves, our marriages, and to build that connection with Allah and to keep trying -“
”You think I didn’t work on my marriage?” Rabia almost yelled, cutting her mother off, obviously only hearing what suited her grievances and twisting the words. “Is that what you are suggesting? I worked hard. I I put up with his disappearances. With his bad habits. I did everything that I could to make him happy but he still went off with that thing from the office.”
I sucked in my breath, widening my eyes as my mother-in-law sighed, and then turned away. I knew what this was about.
What was that saying? You can take the horse to the water but you cannot, by any means, force it to drink.
There were some things we didn’t mention, and this had always been one of them. The reason for Rabia’s divorce wasn’t exactly a secret, but I did have an idea that it wasn’t only an infidelity issue on his part.
And okay, I did understand that Rabia had a tough marriage. Extremely difficult, in fact. It couldn’t have been easy, going through everything that she did. To top it off, when she had heard that Hamzah and Mohsina knew each other from the office, it was like an offence to her…
It was also evident that Rabia did harbour some resentment and found it unfair that things had worked out for Mohsina, and not for her.
”We know that,” my mother-in-law said in a soothing tone. “You did try. But also, this is not your marriage that we are talking about. We know this wasn’t easy for Hamzah either. Instead of saying bad things, rather make Duaa that this decision they made was a good one, and that their marriage is filled with love and barakah. Let’s make Du’aa that Zaid is also not taken away from them. There’s no need to wish bad upon anyone just because you had a tough time in yours.”
For once, Rabia seemed a little short of words.
”Fine,” she said, blinking back tears and rolling her eyes. “It’s not like anyone cares about me anyway. At least I still have Zaid, if Mohsina doesn’t hog him to herself. What was the reason to even take him with?! Next week I will force them to go by themselves and hold him hostage.”
She pulled her face, and I smiled because I could do see she was over the worst of her meltdown.
My mother-in-law smiled too, glad to have a lucky escape from any huge tantrum, and continued with her work, almost as if nothing had even happened. I assumed that she was a little over Rabia and her antics, and there was no-one in the room who wouldn’t say the same. She was in a better mood today than any other day, and we were grateful to be spared.
But the news about Zaid… well, that was still in the back of my mind. I did ask Imraan if we could keep him while they went away, but I understood that they wanted him with them too. I mean, it was the first time he would have them both to himself, and we had to respect their wishes.
And, now, his mother’s family were suddenly very interested in getting to know him and I wondered if it was only because Hamzah and Mohsina had decided to make him a part of their own little unit. Were they possible feeling threatened that they would never have a chance with Zaid now that he had his own family?
It was it some other excuse that had kept them from him all this time?
I didn’t want to think of the possibilities. Why was life so complicated..?
I breathed out, trying to dispel my anxiety.
Tawakkul, right? What was I just telling Fareeha. We never lose help in Allah. No matter what obstacle or challenge, Allah is always in full control.
“I’ll go for the burfee,” my father-in-law’s voice suddenly said from where he sat, eager to make an escape as he got Uthman on his feet quickly too, and headed off. The fact that my son had possibly overheard this conversation was a concern, but I was still feeling restless about other developments. The news about Zaid was unsettling me.
In fact; as the time for the waleemah approached the next day… a lot of things were unsettling me.
The conversation with Rabia that day, the things she had said, the news about her past marriage.. had unsettled me too.
And even as we continued with the next hours preparation, I couldn’t help but think that maybe I might have been a little too harsh on Rabia. That I may have been a little too quick to judge. She did have a tough time. Maybe I wasn’t giving her a chance. Maybe, by writing her off, and thinking her unworthy… I was being a horrible person that didn’t want good for anyone else either.
The thing was, after Ramahdaan, I had made a resolution to try and be better. To overlook. To make the most of the polishing that my heart had endured during the beautiful month, and keep my heart on a nobler and more purposeful path.
And how? Well, when you get married, you don’t expect your spouse to fulfill your every need. When you have friends, don’t expect friends to fill your emptiness. Seek the help of people, but realise that they cannot save you.
And if there’s one recipe for unhappiness, its that; expectations. As humans, we never ,lose hope. The problem, thoigh, is where we place our hope. My hope and expectations were in people, things and relationships… when my hope and faith should only be in Allah.
Only Allah can save you.
And perhaps that’s where Rabia, the past Mohsina, and everyone of us at some point, get it wrong.
And I hadn’t mastered it, but people around you sometimes help you to learn the lessons you need to.
And as the next day approached us, faster than we thought, and excitement in the air was mounting immensely. There was great preparation put into the entire day. My sister-in-law was very precise in her timing and had allocated a time for everyone to leave the house. The plan was for the new couple to change at the home, and my mother-in-law was desperate to see how the outfit they had bought for Mohsina would fit her, before we would leave, and Hamzah and Mohsina would follow about half hour after.
And of course, meeting the newly weds (I was just glad they weren’t late) was the cherry on the top, after seeing how rested and calm Zaid looked after his night away with his most favourite people, I was already in better spirits. I had faith. Hope that this really was the best thing. I was completely convinced that Hamzah and Mohsina would pull through, with Zaid always with them, and that everything would be perfectly all right.
And the thing was… If there was one thing I could salute my sister-in-law on, it was the fact that she had done everything to utter perfection, but still managed to keep it simple. And yes, maybe she had gone a little overboard with the entrance tables and the multiple floral arrangements on each table, but even as my brother-in-law looked cynically at it all, he couldn’t fault her.
And of course, I was glad that it was all going smoothly. Everyone was looking amazing.
Zaid was even wearing a cute mini-suit, and I couldn’t help but steal him away from Mohsina, even though he was instantly attached to her the minute he saw foreign people. He had settled down after a few minutes, and whilst Hamzah and Mohsina stayed in the car for a few minutes extra, probably chatting about the latest developments with Zaid, I couldn’t help but silently hope that everything was okay.
I knew that Hamzah had requested a security guard at the venue and Imraan had arranged it through Maulana Umar, and were being extra cautious with who was taking him. Glad that they trusted me with him, with special instructions of course, I kept his close to me, but even letting anyone else carry him.
With the new snippets of information about Layyanahs family being in contact, my heart was half in my throat as I witnessed Mohsina scanning the hall, as if for some invasion that we weren’t expecting.
The fact that something was threatening to go wrong had obviously got them on edge too, but I was optimistic that nothing could spoil this day.
And so far, as we scurried around, taking care of guests and awaiting the Du’aa and Qiraat recital, I was quite convinced that everything would be perfect.
I had just turned to see Laila and Haseena walking in together, and as I offered them a wave, maybe my thinking about everything going wonderfully was too optimistic because it just happened but none other than my lovely sister scurried in after them, chatting to Laila excitedly and then clapping her eyes on me, before she instantly came over.
And of course, I was already prepared for some dramatics as I had just excused myself from Mohsina’s family table, when I turned to my sister, wondering what she was going to start with about right then and hoping that her old ambitions of finding a co-wife were not still at the forefront of her mind.
“I’m so excited,” she said, her voice only slightly high-pitched as she pulled me aside. “You cannot believe what just happened.”
To tell the truth, I was afraid to ask.
But I would forever be in suspense if I didn’t.
”What?” I asked, shrugging my shoulders as I held Zaid a little tighter. How was I supposed to know?
“Aadil just got an SMS,” she said, her voice sounding thick with excitement. “Remember we put our name down for Hajj all those years ago?”
Hajj. My heart contracted just at the thought of the beautiful journey. Imraan and I had first gone, two years after we were married, when I couldn’t fall pregnant.
I remembered the feeling of rejuvenation I already felt, even as I stepped off the plane, being on the blessed lands for the first time in my life. I recalled the feeling of atonement, as I glimpsed the Ka’abah.. knowing it would be live at first sight. The emotion that had engulfed me, when I stepped out for the journey of a lifetime, that was both exhausting yet exhilarating and such a spectacular experience that nothing else in my life could ever have anything on it.
The cherry on the top, of course, as I had made constant Du’aa for Allah to cleanse my body of the infertility and grant me a child… when I had gotten home, I was already expecting Uthman and donned the niqaab and I already knew that Hajj was the reason that my life had to change for the better…
After all, Allah had done so much for me. He had blessed me with so much, just by virtue of that small sacrifice that I had made, which could never compare to the sacrifice of Ibrahim (Alaihi Salaam) that we were emulating,
“You’re going for Hajj?” I asked meekly, my expression unashamedly riddled with conflicting emotion. While I was so happy for my sister, my own heart felt extremely grieved that I wasn’t the one who would be going once again.
Selfish, I know. Who better than my sister to enjoy this perfect gift…
She nodded, already looking as if she was beyond happiness.
Nevertheless, I planted a smile on my face, because I did know for sure that this experience was one that would completely change her life for the better.
It was the perfect twist. I had glimpsed Rabia in the crowd, taking some snaps of the decor only, because Hamzah would have probably had her head for it if anything else… but honestly, she looked happier than she had in a while.
She was visibly excited, even as some older aunty I didn’t know came and spoke to her, and I secretly hoped that there was a son that she had for my sister-in-law who would be suitable…
In addition, Fareeha’s attention was now completely off Rabia and diverted onto the most amazing journey of her life, and I couldn’t help but feel that somehow, this would perhaps soothe her erratic nerves.
Even with her reservations and challenges, there’s nothing that Du’aa could not solve. Nothing that the polishing of the heart could not assist, and I needed to remind her of this before she embarked on her beautiful journey.
And I was so overwhelmed with emotion, that I barely even noticed someone playing with Zaid over my shoulder, as I smiled widely at Fareeha.
“I’m so happy for you,” I said, tears welling up in my eyes as I pulled her towards me. “I have a whole list of Du’aas for you. This is going to be a journey you will never forget.”
Assalamualaikum dearest Readers
Please forgive me for my delay. A bit of a longer post to make up for it ❤️
Trust that everyone has a wonderful Eid ul Adha.
Just to give a little spirit of Hajj… I thought it would be good to bring in a little reflection. May Allah grant us understanding of this great sacrifice.
I hope that during these days, where the most beloved actions to Allah is Ibaadat, we made the most of it. Every action, every charity, every right we fulfill… everything is ibaadat for a Mu’min. Just to stay away from Haraam, itself, is ibaadat. Let’s make extra effort to stay away from Gheebat, social media and all other forms of haraam.
May Allah forgive us and accept all our ibaadat.
PS. Don’t forget your Takbeer after every Fardh Salaah, and remember to make lots of heartfelt Duaa…. especially for this sinful author.✨
The day of Eid is a day of celebration within the boundaries of Sharee’ah.
Those that slaughter, must read,
Bismillaahi Allawhu Akbar
بسم الله، الله اكبر
Males must not intermingle with those strange females, we are not permitted to, in Islaam.
When we uphold the Sharee’ah, الله تعالى will bring about favorable conditions.
_Takbeer e Tashreeq after every FARDH salaah._
اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَاَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْدُ
Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar laa ilaaha illallaahu wal’laahu Akbar. Allaahu Akbar wa lillaahil hamd.
“Allaah is the Greatest, Allaah is the Greatest. There is no deity besides Allaah and Allaah is the Greatest. Allaah is the Greatest and all praises belong to Him Alone.”
Mission Sunnah Revival
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..💕
Oh Allah.. not someone playing with Zaid that he’ll be taken away from his latest little family.. I’m sure it would be devastating for the newly wed..
Welcome back Sis.. amazing writing as always.. jazakillah kheir for the lovely reminders.. Allah bless all your effort..
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Definitely it would… shukran dear sister… well, let’s see if it’s as threatening as we fear… 🙈
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Ok. The someone playing with Zaid from behind is setting me on edge. I can’t wait now 😭😭😭
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lol, yes, it’s pretty scary isn’t it… 🙈
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Also hajj. May Allah make us from among those who have said labbaik in our lifetimes
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Cliffhanger time!! Who is playing with baby Zaid🙈🙈
Hajj… Brings back so many memories and emotions… Allah take us again and again to His Holy Lands.
Lovely writing and lessons 💕💕
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Aameen, it really does bring back sooo many memories..
Shukran dear sister..