Leaving is hard. Losing is harder.
I once heard someone say that the very same worldly attribute that causes us pain is also what gives us relief: Nothing here lasts.
And while I found myself at war with my heart, I knew that I couldn’t give in, just because it said so. Just like the feeling of being hopelessly in love didn’t last, so too, the feeling of pain and agony also won’t last.
The thing is, we all make mistakes. Yes, we all need to restart, sometimes over and over again, only to lose ourselves once again. Yes, there are days when we feel consumed by the world and it weighs heavy on our shoulders. There are times when we forget that this life is temporary and fleeting and insignificant in comparison to the next life. Yes, there are days when we feel so distant from Allah. Days when we don’t raise our hands to Him, days when we are ungrateful and thankless and days when we are an embarrassingly bad version of us, that even we can’t quite come to terms with…
But for all those times that we are heedless and complacent and broken by the world, by Allah, we are never forgotten, and Allah always has our back; in whatever means or form He provides.
For me…. there was Hamzah… who was my personal spiritual booster, who was trying his utmost to pull me out of the hole I had crept into and keep me floating.
And it was working. Somehow. It was working.
After Hamzah’s little stint, I couldn’t help but feel all my barriers collapse with no resolve. It was like his sincerity had crept right into the midst of my soul, but yet, when I agreed to his request, I couldn’t help but feel like I was being a little too hopeful that after all this, Hamzah would still want me back.
Though my stance was still neutral and distant, I had a feeling that brick by brick, the wall was coming down, and I didn’t even want to hold it up anymore.
The truth was, I loved this guy. I didn’t want to lose him, and when he dished out words that made me feel so much more, I couldn’t help but cave.
We drove in semi-silence after I had dissolved in his arms, and then quickly recovered, vowing to keep up the facade that I felt nothing for him anymore. The way Hamzah drove, as if he knew what exactly where he was going, made me a feel a little nervous. I didn’t want to get all flustered and overwhelmed by emotion again. I had calmed down, but Hamzah’s request to me still hung over my head like a cloud above my head.
His free hand rested in the middle of us, waiting for me to tangle my fingers with his in a silent truce. But I couldn’t do it.
I knew what he was silently saying. It was time to let this be. To love him unreservedly. To stop holding back just on the off-chance that everything was meant to be perfect.
And though I would never admit it, it felt like my heart had been shifted. I wasn’t even sure what had happened after being at Hamzah’s Madrassa but I knew that Qur’ān had amazing effects. I had once heard that Qur’ān is the cure to any problem and will do miracles to hearts. I honestly felt like my heart had undergone some kind of miracle. I felt like it had been deep cleansed and flushed out, and now all I saw was positivity and everything good that could be.
“Are you ready for our next stop?” Hamzah said quietly, his gaze not leaving the road as he spoke.
I avoided his eyes too as he pulled off the main road, onto a smaller road that took us another minute of driving, the blue skies even more glorious as we got closer to the coast.
The car served slightly to the right as the shoreline came into view, and catching sight of the deepest blue waters contrasting against the light blue of the sky, the beauty of it made me gasp in absolute wonder.
Now, I know that I hadn’t exactly been to Maldives yet, but I knew for sure that there weren’t many places in the world that had such amazingly blue waters. I watched in awe as Hamzah drive along the coastal route, amazed that there was such a stunning view from where we were. The sea seemed so vast and glorious as I watched it, waves crashing along with such ferocity that it made you wonder about the Creator of that kind of power. There was just something about having an ocean view that gave you a soothing within your soul.
The scene was a picture perfect kind. Mountains in the distance. Driving into the horizon, or breaking into the jaw-dropping sunsets. No visible limits to where the oceans ended.
I knew Hamzah had a special affinity to this place where the land met the seas, and this was where he found his base, got his focus and explored his true ambition.
My eyes were fixated on the beauty before me until we pullled off the road and Hamzah killed the engine, and I couldn’t help but feel myself flush under his intense gaze. While I watched the amazing view, Hamzah was gauging my reaction with a certain interest that made me shift under his scrutiny.
“Stop,” I said, shifting uncomfortably as I glanced at him again. “You’re making me nervous.”
He had this disturbing smile on his face, as if he knew was more than he let on, and how his stance remained so positive and unnerving was beyond me. I wished that I could somehow distract him, but before I could think of something, he had pushed open the door and stepped out into the openness, pulling off his kurta as he did so, almost as if he was getting ready for a swim.
I honestly wondered if he was going to take a dip in the waters, and while I was contemplating on whether to reprimand him for his crazy behaviour or not, before I knew it, the passenger door was open and Hamzah was next to me, with an expectant smile on his face.
”You don’t expect to sit in the car with such a beautiful view ahead of you, do you?”
Before I could even begin to argue, he had already extended his arm to lift me out the car, and I could feel my resolve weakening each moment as he did so. And I was already bought by this place that Hamzah loved. The salty air. The view of limitless beauty. The feel of the wind through my scarf was simply gorgeous.
I trudged forward as he pulled me along, not giving me any choice but to enjoy his proximity and the feeling of my hand in his as he edged me along silently.
Hamzah just had a way to snap me out of my stupor, and I knew that I had no chance when it came to him. I never quite admitted if before, but now, I understood how Allah Ta’ala compliments people through their other halves. For me, he was the type of personality who balanced all my inadequacies. While I lay low, Hamzah coaxed my inner adventurer. While I usually preferred isolation, Hamzah pushed me to interact. He was the icing on my cupcake. He brought out the best of me, and when I recalled Layy once saying that he filled in all my blanks, I now understood exactly what she meant.
Hamzah was like a uncontained proton. With him around, life just felt so… charged.
We paused as he stopped to pull off his shoes and socks, me hoping that he wouldn’t pull any drastic moves or throw me in, quickly acceding to his request for me to pull out my own shoes as I stepped onto the sandy part of the beach, enjoying the peace and quiet that existed there. It was very much deserted, but still a sight to behold, as we stood there, hands together, just taking in this moment as the splendour of sky meeting the seas spread before us. It was like it was lit up in some kind of brightly kindled fire as the day was coming to a close, and the sight literally took my breath away.
”Are you reading more Qur’ān for me?” I breathed, my voice hopeful as it cut through the air, and Hamzah turned to look at me.
Him reciting to me was something that made me ache for more. It had brought a sense of tranquility and clarity… a state of mind that I hadn’t had in way too long, but ached to attain once again. Not only had he recited, but the deep knowledge of the Qur’ān he had, about the verses where Allah tells us we will be tested, and our ability to be patient is something that is inherent. Somehow, Allah puts that patience in our hearts and enables us through understanding.
It had given me an insight, and a small hope that was at the back of my mind, waiting to be rekindled.
”That’s for special occasions,” he murmured with a slight grin before pulling out a tasbeeh counter from his pocket and handing it to me.
“But when we say SubhanAllah, and that can sometimes feel like we are the kings of the world,” he continued with a one dimpled smile, while I took his counter.
It was one of those larger new ones, black with a pretty pattern, and I kept it in my forefinger as I took his advice and mouthed the words, praising Allah for everything He had so graciously blessed me with.
Just being there, knowing that Hamzah had faith in me… in us… gave me a most amazing sense of renewed hope… and reciting SubhaanAllah made me feel like I was touching base again.
Connecting with my surroundings. Acknowledging that all glory before me, from the bluest waters to the foamy seas, and everything that my eyes feasted on, was only due to the One who Created.
We had moved along to the edge of the seas now, stopping just before the colours of the sand got darker with moistureit, and I couldn’t help but halt to immediately plop myself down on the sand, digging my toes in, thinking about when the last time was that I had enjoyed sitting on the open beach like this.
“Don’t do that,” he said softly, his hand holding the top of my knee while he stopped my foot from wriggling. “You’re hiding your toes.”
I couldn’t help but feel my cheeks heat up, although I barely got frazzled, remembering the first time we had been at a beach together, and recalling how toe obsessed I was. For some reason, right then, the picture gamer, instagram obsessed version of me felt so far away.
It was all purely coincidental that we had ended up being each others company that morning, and even though we were wrong to be so freely mixing, it made me appreciate that we knew so much better now.
“Do you remember the time we were at a beach in the days of Jahelia?” His voice broke out, almost reading my thoughts as he stuffed his hands into his jacket pocket, and sat down next to me.
I grinned and nodded regretfully at his reference to those days when work took preference over everything and Liyaket and Layyanah were still in their romancing phase.
“Do you know how I loathed you?” I said with narrowed eyes, remembering how he used to annoy me about my social media apps.
“Ditto,” he said quietly with a wink. “But after that, something changed. And I felt like irritating you even more. Every day. Till forever.”
I shook my head at him. He was such a kid. Like the old boy likes girl and makes fun at her story. He acted as if we were in primary school.
“I think I was in denial,” he said softly, and I looked at him with my eyebrows raised.
”But why,” I said, not understanding why he would even like the instagram obsessed @mostlymohsina who barely gave time of day to anyone else but her feed.
He grinned as I looked at him, his brown eyes avoiding mine as I wondered if he was going to backtrack on his words.
But no. Hamzah was going for the kill today.
“You were the only girl who had game,” he said with a shrug, as if it was obvious. “And you know why? Girls think that being open and approachable makes them a better catch. But you… Mos, you were hard on yourself in ways you didn’t know. Ways that made you stand out. You didn’t give a crap about what anyone thought about your hijab. You didn’t entertain the guys or any of the mundane chit chat. Even on the trips… You were always careful about what you ate and how you behaved. You know what I was like. Liyaket would call me out for my ways all the time.”
I snorted, remembering how he was once in a disciplinary hearing for something that had happened with some office girl in the archives room.
I could see the embarrassment on his face as I almost laughed at the recollection.
“Don’t look at me like that,” he said cheekily. “I know I was a rotter. And you were like one of those girls who were out of my league and unattainable… until I spoke to you and realised that maybe you were exactly what I needed to keep me grounded. And then, next I knew, there was Liyaket to tell me that he was certain that you were the right girl for me, and I knew I was a goner.”
I shook my head, thinking that hilarious because I had gone so haraami and off track afterwards with all my that he should probably take those words back. And it was so ironic because I felt that he was the one who had gone all Maulana-type and became out of reach for me.
Anyhoo, then the unmentioned stuff happened and we were both stuck in a space where none of us could understand what the other was even thinking…
If only we had known all the things that we hid so well from each other, because we felt too vulnerable to say, but I knew it didn’t matter now because Allah knew where our paths would take us, and I knew now for sure that there was a reason for this.
Even right now, everything that’s happened.. I knew that there was no way that I could deny that some goodness was going to come out of it. I just knew that I had to stick this out and hope that it would come through sooner rather than later.
But in the meantime, I couldn’t help but feel that hole in my gut as I looked at my husband, the mention of the past now bringing hope in his eyes, as I took a deep breath and turned my gaze away to the spectacular seas.
Today, they were steady and relaxed, and my heart immediately felt contented as I watched the ebb and flow of the tide, the sound of swishing waters soothing my soul beautifully.
But all this soothing was making me relax too much, when I shouldn’t be.
“What if you’re making a mistake,” I said to him suddenly, my mind on our conversation back at the madrassa, turning my face to watch his expression change, knowing that he was going to regret putting so much effort into this when it was already doomed to fail. “By having so much of faith in me. You’ve got way too much of hope. It’s not fair on you.”
“It’s not fair on either of us,” he said, his fingers twiddling with each other as I watched him, sitting with his knees up. “And it’s not silly or naive either. It’s because even in the darkness, I see that my Rabb is greater than everything else. Watching this… the sky and the earth holding hands on the horizon… well… doesn’t it fill you with hope?”
The sight ahead felt like stab of love, a blaze of color – oranges, pearly pinks, vibrant purples spread before us, almost like the blended colors of love. I was mesmerised for a second, not realising how quickly the sky had morphed into such glory, taking in every fiery red, bold orange and carnivorous yellow as we watched horizon spread out before us from the sea sand. As I did so, I couldn’t help but feel my soul lighten. My heart was opening in a way it hadn’t before. The sight of that, contrasting with the blissfully blue waters that calmed my soul, was what gifted me with something that I hadn’t realised was creeping up on me, and that’s when I understood what Hamzah had said.
Hope. We find it even in the most unexpected places, and I hadn’t felt it more than I felt it right then, and I wanted to take that moment and pocket it so I could keep it close to my heart forever.
I wanted to remember the moment that things had shifted.
I didn’t need to ask him why anymore. I knew why he had brought me here. It was the beauty of Allahs creation- scenic and gorgeous and I wished that we could stay there, in our happy bubble forever, although I knew that reality was only a road trip away.
And when he said it, I knew exactly what he meant.
“Hope, my love,” he whispered softly, his face next to mine as he spoke close to my ear. “Is never a mistake.”
My tummy flipped as he said it, making me wonder how he still did that to me, even after all this time and the fact that this was supposed to be some kind of farewell journey.
And it made my heart ache. This has been so hard. And I was spent. I had sobbed and cried, I had prayed and tried to come to terms with how I felt, but it felt like I was still where I began…. Still hurting. Still nursing the heart aches. Still trying to pull myself out of the hole of misery I had sunk into.
I was tired of fighting. Tired of having nothing to hold onto… and I couldn’t help but wonder… what if?
So what if I said I’ll come back to him? So what if I put my own fears aside, and let myself believe that this man wanted me more than all my flaws? So what if I gave in and stopped steeling my heart, so that to I could actually feel something for once? So what.
All this had done was reinforce to me that everything he meant was for real and I knew that sooner or later, I’d have no more excuses.
I sighed as he took my hand in his, and wordlessly, he looked up at me, and then at the skies, almost as if he was still awaiting that answer, and the sight before us was just what he needed to get it.
I didn’t want to read what was in his eyes as we got up and started walking back to the car, but his eyes held the message that I couldn’t deny.
If the sun and the sky can meet on the horizon, then so can we.
Of course we could. No matter how long it took. No matter how much was lost in between. At some stage, I would return to him and I know that I would still have as much love as I had for him right then.
”I’ll come back to you,” I said softly, after a few steps, my voice barely audible as I said it, feeling as if my heart would burst from the emotion it brought.
I could already feel the shift in the air as he processed it, and without even a seconds warning, strong arms literally lifted me off the ground and twirled me around, and the only thing I could do was hold onto Hamzah and giggle as his head nuzzled against my neck and he put me down, his breathing emphatic from all that weight lifting he had done a few seconds before.
“I love you, Mos,” he said into my ear, his voice sounding like he couldn’t quite believe what I’d just told him, assuring me that whatever was in store, it will always be me. And just like that, every barrier was broken down as we walked, hand in hand to the car, feeling emotionally exhausted with everything that had happened that day.
Salaah was glorious, under the open skies, with the sound of crashing waves, and I revelled in the feeling before crawling back into the car and smiling sleepily at Hamzah as he started his car.
I knew that I had plenty of messages, from Sawleha and Maahira in particular, but I barely had a chance to catch up with them before my eyelids felt heavy, and with the soothing feel of the car and of everything between us finally settled, sleep overcame me sooner than I thought.
We knew that we would reach late but I was still hoping that we would make it back home to fetch Zaid for the night.
And I barely expected to be so tired, to fall into such a deep sleep, but the next thing I knew, Hamzah was stroking my arm lightly in an effort to wake me as we entered our apartment block. I felt drained. Almost as if I had been out hiking the entire day, when in actuality, we’d done no real physical activity. I yawned as I looked at my husband, concentrating as he reversed into his parking; remembering that we hadn’t fetched Zaid.
“Where’s my baby?” I asked softly, stifling another yawn.
”Imraan said he will bring him,” he said, switching off the car power. “I think he’s giving Saaliha a hard time to sleep and she wasn’t feeling too great either?”
I sat up, suddenly wide awake.
“What happened?” I asked, already concerned for her wellbeing. “Is she okay?”
Hamzah lifted a shoulder up noncommittally.
“Don’t know,” he said, but I didn’t miss the flicker of concern in his eyes. “He didn’t say. But he’s already left.”
I nodded and opened the car door, stepping out tentatively as I grabbed my bag and the stuff Hamzah had packed to keep us nourished. I was actually starving, and I wondered if I had enough cheese in the fridge to whip up a cheese and tomato sandwich. I usually didn’t enjoy tomatoes in cheese but for some reason, I was completely bought today.
Hamzah had already got into the lift, and I stood next to him as he smiled at me, enjoying the calmness of that moment, where we both understood what it was that we needed to do from here. Even though things may not be perfect, the understanding that we had was something that I knew was only possible because of Hamzah’s insistence to spend this day together.
I couldn’t help but think of how lucky I was to have him, rooting for us the way he did. We had already reached our floor, and as he gestured for me to walk, I fell into step with him as we went toward our home together, talking softly as we passed the neighbours flat, enjoying the ease that we could deal with each other right then.
And I wished I hadn’t done what I did. I wished I hadn’t stopped so that he could walk with me. I wished that I’d gone first, so that when I reached the end of the passage where our door was, I would have been the one to see the box that sat on our step, so I could take it and keep it away, as far as I ever could. I wished that I had been the one to open it and scrutinise its contents before it came to rock our world.
But of course, it didn’t happen that way.
“Hey,” Hamzah smiled, a comical expression on his face as he spotted it. “Someone left us a gift. Bit late for housewarming though.”
My eyes zoned onto the parcel, realising that it was a gift of some sort, but not quite processing the name of the shop that was on the bag. Some jewellery shop in Sandton. People get fancy sometimes.
“Oh,” I said half-heartedly, watching him put down the cooler bag he had with him and picking up the packet. “That’s nice of them.”
It took a few seconds before he opened the packet and took out a box, and I couldn’t help but feel an icky sensation creep over me as I realised that it looked nothing like how a housewarming gift should look. I was a small, long box, with a ribbon around it, and as he pulled it out, and opened it, a little note stuck out of it, that he promptly caught just before his eyes widened at the contents of the actual box.
It took him a few seconds before there was any reaction. It felt like time was frozen for a few seconds as I watched him switch gazes from the now opened note, to the contents of the box, and as I realised exactly what was in the box, my heart did this thing where it felt like it was going to shatter into millions of tiny pieces, just glimpsing the haunted expression on his face.
It was the necklace. The eternal flame necklace, with its one carat diamond, in all its loathsome glory, staring up at me in traitorous glee as I gathered the wits to look up at him once again.
His enraged expression was all it took for me to notice the note still in his hand, and immediately, as I took it from him and read it, I knew that there was something disturbingly coincidental about the way this had all panned out, right then.
I also knew that this was something that I would need an immense amount of intervention to fix, if I ever could.
Hot tears welled up in my eyes as I read it, once again, knowing that there was no way I could ever explain my way out of this one.
I meant to return this to you when I saw you the day of your wedding. It will always belong with you.
Mission Sunnah Revival: Thinking well of others
Especially as these blessed months dawn upon us, we make extra effort to think good of others and make excuses for them. It’s easier said than done but we make Duaa that in this way, people will also think well of us.
Nabi Muhammad (Sallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said, “Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the worst of false tales; and do not look for the others’ faults and do not spy, and do not be jealous of one another, and do not desert (cut your relation with) one another, and do not hate one another; and O Allah’s worshipers! Be brothers (as Allah has ordered you!”) (Bukhari)
To put it briefly, having good opinion of people implies:
- Thinking positive of others
- Avoiding suspicion and wrong assumptions of others
- Giving others the benefit of the doubt
Sunnah of the month of Rajab
Sayyiduna Anas Ibn Malik (radiyallahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would recite the following supplication when the Month of Rajab would commence:
اَللّٰهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَناَ فِيْ رَجَبٍ وَشَعْبانَ وَبَلّغْنَا رَمَضَانْ
Allahumma baarik lana fi Rajaba wa Sha’bana wa balligh-na Ramadan
Translation: Oh Allah! Grant us Barakah (Blessing) during (the months of) Rajab and Sha’ban, and allow us to reach Ramadan.
(Shu’abul-Iman, Hadith: 3534, Ibnu Sunni, Hadith: 660, Mukhtasar Zawaid Bazzar, Hadith: 662, also see Al-Adhkar, Hadith: 549)
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..💕