Jameela Part 75
We’ve all had intense moments. Moments of extreme emotion. Moments that came with so much weakness, human frailty, and pain. Moments that may have become filled with exhilaration and exhaustion, and sometimes, maybe even extreme ecstasy.
Every moment is different. Fleeting. A quiet morning walk after the rain. A heartbreak in the midst of a storm. A damp wind that smells like home. A fleeting burst of emotion.
Even when the odds are against us, when our back is against the wall…
We remind ourselves to hold onto hope. Tawakkul.
This moment will never last. Every moment, will slip away.
And that moment too, had slipped, but my mind was still replaying it, the way I remembered my entire world being rocked with the revelation that Mohsina had broken to me just a day before.
It had taken me a day to finally approach Maahira and ask her all the questions I wanted to. I just couldn’t face Mohsina as yet. I didn’t have the words to say what I really wanted to.
Not until I knew exactly how I was going to help her.
How I could or what I would do… I had no idea. I just knew that I had to do something.
“I can’t believe that she was going to marry him.”
It was the first thing that I had said to Maahira when she picked up the call.
I was sitting cross-legged on my bed, overlooking the endless view of the farm greenery, taking a little comfort in the beauty of the horizon on that clear summers day, still feeling the same way I had felt the day before- like I had lost a limb.
The background noise faded as I imagined her walking away from the area where she was.
It was after five in London but I knew better than to assume that Maahira worked a nine to five. She hadn’t gotten where she was because she pulled the basics. Both Mos and Maahi had pushed and stretched themselves so thin that I sometimes wondered how they even had energy for their demanding social lives.
“How did you find out?”
Her tone was flat. Tired and weary.
”She did,” I said simply, not even bothered to sound apologetic about getting straight into the ugly business. “Yesterday when she told me everything else. About the fraud case. And about her plan to off her marriage, which is why I’m calling you. First, tell me: Did she really know that he was involved in fraud?”
It had been on my mind the entire night. I couldn’t stop thinking about everything Mohsina had told me. The divorce. Faadil. About how she knew he was up to something.
About how this would ruin her and kick up old dust. It looked like it already did.
“She just thought that he was cheating,” Maahira said softly, and I heard her exhausted sigh after. “I told her that she needed to keep an eye on him. She insisted it was business, and they had an ‘arrangement’. She didn’t seem to believe it when she’d heard the rumours that he was up to something else too. He’d done a lot for her. Supported her emotionally too. She had been desperate for cash at the time and had a lot on her mind, other than his womanising tricks.”
I raised my eyebrows, looking at myself in the dresser mirror, as I backed up against my wooden headboard. I had pulled my hair up into a bun but a few stray strands blew around as the breeze sashayed in through the hallway window. I couldn’t help but flinch at Maahira’s words.
He had been there for her when none of us were in the picture. We had bailed on her, and Mohsina felt alone.
It wasn’t our fault, I reminded myself. She had pushed us away.
“And she didn’t care?” I pressed, my eyes narrowing at myself as I leaned back. ”Like… cheating was okay for her?”
Cheating. Faadil was cheating on her and she didn’t even bat an eyelid.
I closed my eyes and shook my head, shocked at what Maahira had just revealed. What kind of sick relationship was she even setting herself up for?
And all for money. For the promise of a good life.
It comes in the Hadith that this world would dupe us so much that we would do anything for it. We would become fools, reduced to something so low, in its pursuit.
It fools us into believing that if we barter everything for this Duniyaa, we will get contentment. The truth is that only Allah… only the knowledge of Deen and the actions that bring us closer to Allah can bring that.
One of the most beautiful traditions of the Prophet (Sallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) captures this concept perfectly. He said: “Whoever makes the Hereafter his preoccupation, then Allah places freedom from want in his heart, gathers his affairs, and Dunya (worldly life) comes to him despite being reluctant to do so. And whoever makes Dunya his preoccupation, then Allah places his poverty in front of his eyes, make his affairs scattered, and nothing of the Dunya comes to him except that which has been decreed for him.” [At- Tirmidhi]
As expected, Maahira already had answers for me.
“Jamz,” she said seriously. “The corporate world is a brutal chase for pomp and pleasure, filled with trails of deceit and manipulation. The big guys do what they want, without consequence. They do what they need to just to get to the top. This is a classic case of the big guy using the little guy.. well, girl in this case. He had wealth and status, and he promised her the same. That’s all that mattered to her.”
”That’s disgusting,” I said, feeling hot with anger and annoyance.
How could she? How could she do that to herself? She betrayed us. She betrayed herself. How could she lower herself to that kind of level… just for money? Money.
”Don’t judge her,” Maahira said, and I could hear her shifting her approach, like she wanted to prove a point to me.
”How can I not judge her?” I scoffed, shaking my head again. “Would you do that, Maahi? Would you?!”
She laughed, but it was a humourless one.
I couldn’t help but feel like I was so naive. Maybe there was way more out there about the world that I had to learn about.
“You don’t want to know that answer.”
I breathed in and glanced at my bookshelf, itching for a distraction.
The rapid beating in my chest increased significantly. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know. It sounded like Maahira had a story to tell and the silence already spoke volumes.
“I was so caught up, that no one could have saved me,” she said, her voice dropping even lower. “It was a pure miracle that Allah Ta’ala put guidance into my heart before I did one of the worst things anyone could do. Before I broke up someone’s marriage, and compromised my own respect.”
”Alhumdulillah,” I replied softly, remembering the fall out that Mos and Maahi had a few months back. It was coming back to me now.
How she had suddenly changed her life had made me realise that whilst Mos had been plunged headfirst into a situation, Maahira had really done an amazing job slowly morphing into someone who I looked at with something close to admiration. Even her social media vibe had changed, where she stopped taking selfies and flashy posts and now documented interesting places, food and goods she loved in London.
I sighed. It was all I could manage before she spoke again.
“There comes a time when you realise that everyone will leave you,” she continued. “And when everyone leaves you, and you’re all alone… it’s only Allah that can come through for you. I had to see the light before I was destroyed by the darkness.”
On point. She was so right. Sometimes we forget that Allah can forgive all our sins, even when we’re not willing to forgive others. Sometimes we forget how merciful Allah is, when we refuse to show mercy to others.
I understood but I still couldn’t say anything.
”Tell me what you thinking. Tell me you’re not thinking the worst,” she said, and I could hear the concern in her voice now.
I sighed. Again.
“I’m thinking that I can’t believe that she was prepared to accept anything just for that idiot. Who knows what else went on.”
“Jameela, listen,” she said quietly. “That’s life. We get involved with bad people. We make the wrong choices. We cherish someone who turned their back on us. Who hurt us. Who broke us. That’s life. It happens. We move past it, we make Tawbah and we get up again.”
“But Hamzah doesn’t deserve all this,” I argued, the anger igniting once again as I thought of all the opportunities she had to come clean. “I also think my parents should know what she’s planning to do and why.”
“You cant be making these decisions for her,” Maahira said firmly. “It’s her past and you cant tell anyone about this. They may know some stuff but not all of it. This is stepping directly into a problem you have nothing to do with.”
Maahira’s voice was serious, and tears burning the back of my eyes as she said it. It was a warning and I wasn’t sure why but I was so upset.
Sometimes we’re so quick to put our hurt and feelings above everyone else’s. Sometimes all logic flies out the window when emotions get involved.
Sometimes we forget the simple rule of leaving alone that which does not concern us. Maybe this was something that I had to just let her get though on her own.
”But why?” I said as I regained my composure. I couldn’t understand why I should.
I didn’t want to listen. I was angry with her. My sense was clouded. I was angry that she had been with Faadil. Angry that she had let this happen. Angry that she had abandoned us as her family for that period of her life, without even giving us a heads up. Angry that everything was coming back to break everything else apart.
“Mos was doing what was best for the family,” she said softly in a pleading voice. “She wanted to help your father and keep you guys out of the mess. She felt… responsible. You know your sister. She thinks that it’s her job to take care of everyone. Except herself.”
I breathed in and sat down, closing my eyes momentarily, a little overwhelmed by what Maahi had just told me. Once again.
Here i was thinking it was Mohsina that was bad, but in fact, I too was so messed up.
I breathed in, feeling the anger dissipating.
She wasn’t the bad person here. Yes, she had sinned but she had tried to fix it.
She did it all for my father. I mean, it wasn’t like I didn’t know but I didn’t think that she would want to marry someone to secure my fathers safety. I didn’t know that everything that happened was because of him.
“I just don’t like how this is all turning out,” I said, pulling at the hem on my top. “Im angry in some ways but I still wish that I could just help her somehow. Maahira, they can’t get divorced. It’s ridiculous and so horrible.”
”I know,” she said softly, sounding hopeless. “Those two have been through the worst and they’re so good together. They can’t just… die…”
“What can we do?”
There was silence for a bit before she spoke again.
”I think we just have to support them,” she said softly. “In what they choose, together. Apparently he’s got contacts who can work on this. I’m hoping that this will prevent them from… you know. She mentioned that there’s a Zubair guy that he’s been friendly with and who can help… you know him, right?”
My heart did a little leap as she said his name. It wasn’t a question.
Of course I knew. And I know that she knew too. Mohsina had probably told her that she didn’t want me involved with him.
She had gotten her wish. There was no way that Zubair would ever look at me again. And no way I would look at him.
Of course he had contacts.
I knew that him and Hamzah spoke. So did he and my brother, and the stories that M Husayn had first told me were quite something. At first I had thought that it was all fantastic, until I found the weapon stash.
My brother was fascinated by his past, but with everything we knew now, it kind of confirmed that Zubair was, in fact, some kind of undercover mafia member in the past.
And as much as I tried to off my feelings for him, I still couldn’t imagine him being that kind of violent person. He kept the weapons because it all belonged to him, but the operative part was that it was his past and no one could find out about it.
That’s said, at least we didn’t have to worry about him murdering us in our sleep.
”I know it’s a lot to digest,” Maahi said, her voice kind now, as I heard some noises in the background. She sounded like she was back in the office now. “I know you’re worried about Mos, but I truly believe that her and Hamzah have the real thing. He’s going to make it work, whatever it takes. If anyone can get through to her, he can. Just make Du’aa, Jamz. Truly, you don’t know what it can change.”
My resolve was already strengthened because I knew that she was right.
They did have the real thing. And above everyone here, she did value him.
Through it all, I found myself wishing that Layyanah was around. She would know just the right words to say. The right kind of comfort to give.
What do you do in situations where there seems to be no way out… where every path looks the same? What do you do when it feels like you’re in a never ending maze that has no end?
My heart felt like it sunk to the ground, and while Maahi ended the call, I couldn’t help but still feel a little overwhelmed.
Seemed like Hamzah and Mohsina only had one hope, and wasn’t it just so ironic that it came down to Zubair? The whole thing was just so bizarre…
And despite my newly implemented disinterested stance, I knew that Zubair had been a little scarce and the low down that Maahi had given me explained why I hadn’t seen him around recently. It was weird that he was actually involved with helping my sister, and yet he was so averse to me.
I had been tracking him solely for the motive of avoidance. And of course, that would mean that he had probably consulted Papa about it too, and yet my father had barely mentioned it.
It wasn’t that I minded. It was just that I was hoping it would help Mohsina and set everything right again. I wished that it was all that easy. I wished that it could go away.
And with that hope, I found some peace. It wasn’t that I didn’t ask. I couldn’t not ask. I was worried and stressed and I really needed to know what was going on, but the dread of knowing the final verdict here was killing me.
It helped that the coffee shop had been a little busier and getting everything sorted out with Ma in the kitchen that week was keeping me busier than usual.
I tried to shove Zubair’s whereabouts and Mohsina’s problems out of my head for periods of time until the evenings came and it overwhelmed me all over again.
My parents were as unaware as ever. I mean, they knew that something was going on, and Mohsina had a ‘situation’, but they barely knew what drastic measures she was going to take.
She had sworn me to secrecy until she met with the lawyers and all I could do in the meantime was make a fervent Du’aa that everything was going to work out for her. It’s and that her marriage would be saved through it all.
My heart had taken enough of an emotional rollercoaster, and making sure the coast was clear on Friday as I stacked new boxes for take aways and filled up on coffee cups as my father cashed up, I couldn’t help but feel an emptiness that lurked within me. It felt like I was waiting for something to go off, or some kind of bomb to explode.
I wasn’t the paranoid type, but I still wasn’t sure which would happen first.
”I know it’s much less than it’s worth, but how’s about a coin for your thoughts?”
My father was smiling at me as he watched me, a wad of cash in one hand and a coin in his other. He had probably been watching me for quite a while, and I had barely even noticed.
I grinned back.
”It’s supposed to be a penny, Papa,” I said, winking at him.
He smiled and tossed me the coin.
The last time we had spoken properly was after I came back from London.
We had agreed that everything happens for a reason and Allah Ta’ala most definitely has a plan that is better. We had agreed that we wouldn’t bring the subject up again and that Zubair’s times and tasks would be allocated differently so I wouldn’t have to see him much.
I knew that Papa blamed himself, but I really didn’t. I just believed that this was the way it should be.
“Im just thinking of Mos, Pops,” I said with a small smile, letting him know that my thoughts were not on Zubair like he thought. “I miss her.”
There was a flash of a frown before he smiled, and for a minute, I thought Papa actually knew more than he was supposed to.
I loved my father. A lot. I was always the one to seek comfort in him, and turn to him if I was ever in a fix. He had been my support and my comfort, and I knew at any given time, he would come through for me.
But for Mohsina, I understood that it wasn’t ever like that. Papa and her had a different kind of bond. Mohsina relied on no one and confided in no one. They would have conversations, sure, but I knew that the forever fiercely independent Mohsina barely bore her heart to anyone.
To think that Papa knew something would be ludicrous. Right?
“You should talk to her,” he said again, a certain concern in his voice as he said it. “Does she know about, erm, the thing…”
My father cleared his throat and my cheeks reddened just at the way he raised his eyebrows and nudged his head toward the door.
This was so awkward. Having the conversation about a boy I had lost my sense over with your father was way more embarrassing than I thought. I wanted my money back.
“She knows,” I said, trying to hide my embarrassment. Never mind we’ve been skirting around it awkwardly too.
“And errr,” my father continued, digging in the back of the till and pulling out more money, probably concentrating on avoiding eye contact. “After, erm… You been okay?”
Oh my word, this was so mortifying. Also, the way Zubair had become ‘erm’ was quite original too.
“I’m fine,” I said, clearing my throat too and checking on the serviettes.
This conversation was becoming a little too intense for my liking, but the truth was, I was fine. I wasn’t as heartbroken as I had been… nor was I feeling as bulldozed as I had been a week ago.
Things might still be a little uncertain but I knew that all the duaa I had been making would come through for us. The Duaa of Musaa (AS) was definitely the reason why my faith had been unwavering. The reason why my heartbreak no longer felt so raw. Even if it wasn’t exactly looking up yet, I knew that soon there would be a little light.
“As long as you’re okay,” Papa said quietly. “Can’t upset the coffee cart again and change all of that.”
I frowned, a little perplexed by his words. I got his message, despite him stopping the apple for coffee. Clever trick.
My father was quite confusing. He had such a roundabout way of saying things, and at times it felt awkward to even ask him what he was talking about.
Now was precisely one of those times.
“I was talking to him, erm, last night,” he said hastily. “He came back quite late. With Hamzah.”
It didn’t take a brainiac by now to figure out who ‘erm’ was. And I had to pretend to be at least a little shocked that he was with Hamzah.
“Ah, I see,” I said, raising my eyebrows slightly. Papa’s brow was still furrowed as he turned to me.
“I wasn’t going to tell you,” he said, looking as guilty as the lion that ate the mouse. “He said he’s just helping with Mohsina’s case.”
It was no sweat. I wasn’t affected. Despite the racing heart, it’s as all cool.
I nodded meekly.
My father knew that Hammonds had kicked up old dirt. He knew about the money Mohsina had borrowed too. What my father didn’t know was the extent of Mohsina’s involvement with the main perpetrator.
Perpetrator. It felt good calling that good-for-nothing that.
”I’m glad he can help,” I said, trying my best to talk without emotion.
Never mind the turbulence brewing within.
”There’s one more thing he asked,” Papa said, now looking at me, as if trying to read me. “And I think Hamzah has something to do with it.”
”What’s that?” I asked, now slightly confused.
I mean, I knew that Hamzah and Zubair spoke before this too. I had seen them a conversing a few times outside, while Hamzah went out for a cigarette.
What I didn’t know was that while my sisters marriage was on the brink of collapse, my own marriage would be so tactfully arranged.
It was one of those intensely unexpected moments that would bring so much more than any of us expected. Maybe it was me. Maybe it was too surreal. Maybe I just felt everything so intensely.
I didn’t know that it may just be the solution to everything.
Well; almost everything.
“He changed his mind,” Papa said, almost as if he was holding his breath, waiting for the final verdict here. “Of course I will have to ask your mother, but I thought I’d let you know first. See if you okay with it after, you know, erm….”
Yes, I knew ‘erm’. And I was still highly embarrassed but now I was also almost holding my own breath, while I waited for Papa to finish this moment that was bringing on the most intense kind of anxiety.
And as expected, he didn’t fail to deliver.
“He asked if you would be okay with meeting him.”
I’m so sorry for the delays. Been a busy holiday, but still trying to keep posts going. Please keep this weak author in your Duaas. As the new year comes upon us, let us spend the night in abundant istighfaar and Duaa.
Though most of the work is on break, keep in mind that we are Muslim first.
Remember, keep safe, and keep it Halaal peeps. Peace y’all. Till next year.
Much Love, A x
Mission Sunnah Revival
Sunnah of Thinking Good about others
We’re so quick to assume bad things about people, even when we have no idea what’s the real story. Thinking the best about others is part of the Sunnah of Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) and is a great way to give us a positive outlook and always be good to others.
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..💕