I truly believe that everything that happens has a deep and phenomenal reason behind it.
Life can be really hard. Confusing. Difficult too. Things do head south, every now and then. At times Allah Ta’ala is appeasing us. At times, Allah Ta’ala is testing us.
At other times, what our loving and caring Rabb is doing is paving a path for us to find our way back to him, even if it means having to stumble hopelessly along the way.
You see… the harder we chase this world, the more it will escape you.
People will hurt you, more so the ones you love the most.
You will search for peace and contentment. You attach yourself to friends thinking your happiness is there… until you lose them.
You’ll get married hoping you’ll find it in companionship… till the point when you find out you’re wrong.
You’ll look for happiness in places where you’ll never find it. You’ll search for it in your children and still… nothing. So you’ll try harder. Search deeper. Seek it more fervently. You’ll try to bury yourself in material things with the hope of satiating yourself but still, it never comes.
And if it does, it’s only just for now… just temporary.
Have you noticed how any gratification you feel in this Dunya is so short lived?
The people we love will return to Allah, our children grow up and have their own lives, material happiness will never bring you and peace and the people that are dearest to you will hurt you, leaving you feeling deceived and broken… leaving you wondering when this hoax that’s called Duniyaa will end and reveal its true colours.
I scanned the article that I was skimming my slightly shaky fingers again. Things were heading south. One of the pages on the business news site I had been stalking for a month was looking at me like the most treacherous traitor.
This wasn’t good.
Not a single word about Mohsina, and Zubair was basically awol the entire month to drill about it. I knew that it wasn’t intentional and he was busy with Ramadhaan, but I really wanted to throw my phone against the wall until it smashed to millions of pieces.
“Hey grumpy!” My sister cooed, walking into the lounge as I glared at her without feeling. Sans feeling because I knew that if I felt anything at all, it wouldn’t be good news for anyone in my vicinity. As usual, her phone was attached to her hand as she froze, hand stretched out, and slanted her face to take a selfie.
The whole process just got me. I had seen it before Mohsina and I had gotten proposed. Watched her, my future fiancé at the time, countless times, put on those pouty lips, play with filters, and once, even try and drag me into that crap. Once, she had a fan girl who spotted her at our coffee shop where we used to meet, who was obsessed with having a selfie with her.
It was a sick obsession.
Selfitis. “The obsessive, compulsive urge to take photos of one’s self and upload them on social media.” For Rabia- ‘attention seekers’. This mental disorder was named ‘selfitis’ as the people who suffer from it are generally prone to having ‘inflamed egos.’
I had read somewhere that plastic surgeons reported an uptick in the number of people asking for facial reconstruction solely because they are not happy with the way they look in selfies. I wondered how Rabia felt about that.
I watched her snap herself a few times, smile to something on her phone, and then look up at me as if I should be proud of her.
Besides being annoyed with her self-obsession, something had shifted in the air between us a few weeks back and I wasn’t entirely sure of what it was. Maybe it was the fact that Mohsina had alluded to… that Rabia was involved with the downfall of my marriage. Maybe it was the mere thought that she had been pretty scarce, despite being previously crazy about Zaid, and now, she was extremely elusive. It was almost as if something (or someone) was keeping her so busy that she couldn’t even just be who she usually was.
“You talking to me?”
My voice was cutting as I said it, really now remotely interested in whether I was being rude or not. I reached for my Qur’ān, knowing that it was the only thing that was going to bring me any peace. When everyone else had left me, when the pains of the world seemed to tire me, and when life just seemed to grate on my nerves…. Qur’ān was the only thing that soothed me. Today, I was just finding it hard to get down to it.
Rabia rolled her eyes as I ignored her, unaffected.
“Duh,” she said, her face an expression of disinterest. “You can’t sit here on your butt the whole morning, just because Zaid isn’t here. Wake your case up. We’re also here you know, and we’re also family.”
I sighed, shaking my head as I realised that she may have been right. I was softening up. Blaming her because of what Mohsina had said.
It wasn’t fair that I was taking this all out on her. There was no way Rabia would have been involved in everything that went down in my marriage. I didn’t lose sight of the fact that Mohsina had lied and pretended and it didn’t mean that Rabia too, was guilty.
I sighed and sat up, propping my hands over my knees as I watched my sister walk away. She seemed carefree. A little too dressed up, for a quiet breakfast with just my parents, but it was Eid day after all.
I sighed as I sat back on the couch, putting my Qur’ān away without reading it, missing my brother than morning. He had gone to his sister-in-law for breakfast because they would be spending the rest of the day with us, and I was looking forward to his company later. I mean, I didn’t have much else to look forward to. Imraan was the closest thing I had to a best friend now, and he always made time for me, despite his work and Jamaat work.
I didn’t even realise that I had drifted off into a half-slumber, having had an early morning, and trying to catch up on some sleep before family would join us in all their glory. When the doorbell rang, I was immediately jolted awake, and without even realising what I was doing, I knew that I wanted to get to the door before anyone else did.
I wasn’t sure what it was. Maybe it was the tiredness. Or maybe it was the yearning, after over a month of not seeing her. The last day we had spent together was still etched in my mind, as I recalled the feelings that accompanied it, wondering how we had morphed into enemies in such a short span of time.
The fact was that even though I hated what she’d done to me, I was aching to see her. She was still my wife, and some feelings were hard to change.
I was well aware that Zaid was scheduled to be back anytime now. My mother had made sure of that, knowing that I would hit the roof if I didn’t have Zaid here for lunch and supper, because as far as custody went, he was supposed to be with me.
Mohsina was obligated to fulfil my request, or she knew that she had another court battle to face. I knew that she didn’t want that, and I knew that she would do anything to avoid clashing with me in.
My legs were already pulling me toward the door, before I heard my mother coming from down the passage, and I yanked it open, barely even thinking properly before I glimpsed her grim face.
It had been a long time. A long time since I’d seen my wife, who simultaneously looked so angelic, yet completely objectionable at the same time. Seeing her felt like my heart was filled again, and then immediately cracked open in a beat.
She stood there, our son on her hip, her one hand holding him, while the other cupped over her mouth while she glanced and me with wide eyes, literally dumped Zaid into my arms, dropped the bag at the door and pushed past me as she rushed down the passage to the first door on the left.
I was too stunned to speak.
Also, I felt like an obsessed freak as I savoured the brush of her shoulder against mine, wondering at what point I had gotten to this level where I craved her simple touch.
It took me a few seconds to recover. With Mohsina’s health-freak (only regarding Zaid) eating habits, his mouth was stuffed with a piece of dry mango, and I looked around outside, wondering how come she hadn’t brought the nanny/helper with her today. It had been a new development of hers, before I had moved out, because she had expected office visits to take up her time with Zaid, and she didn’t want it to upset her time with her court cases.
My mother was already at the front room, and I could already see her confused expression as she watched me standing there, at the door, probably wondering why on earth I had decided to answer it. I had been in Mujaahid mode from the beginning of Ramadhaan,
I couldn’t stop thinking about her rush to get to the bathroom, and as my ears attuned to the not-so-subtle retching behind closed doors, I couldn’t help but raise my eyebrows, wondering what on earth my wife was doing, driving around by herself when she was clearly unwell.
And then, came the anger.
What on earth was wrong with her? She could have phoned for someone to fetch him at least. Why the hell did she always have to prove something, over and over again, as if she was some superwoman?
My mothers voice was softer as she ventured closer, her eyes on the closed door next to us.
Zaid’s arms stretched out toward her as she approached, his monosyllabic expressions cuter than ever. As he grew, learned to speak and wobbble around, he was begiining to become irresistable to every woman who saw him. A simple trip to the grocery store wit him warranted way too many female interactions. I still, for the life of me, could not understand how my dear wife had just abandoned him without a fight.
I grunted in response to my mothers question, my expression showing very obviously how not okay everything was.
I wasn’t supposed to be doing this. I didn’t want to be here, worrying about Mohsina and what could possibly be wrong with her. I didn’t want to have this deep-rooted concern that made me feel as if I’d give up everything and anything to just have a normal conversation with her again.
The sound of the toilet flushing brought me back to reality as I looked at my mother walking toward the window, knowing that she wanted to give Mohsina and I time to talk.
The truth was, as much as I wanted to scratch the itch I had to see her, to engage in actual conversation with her was a little bit of a stretch. The thing with my mother was that she never took sides. She remained annoyingly neutral throughoutb the entire ordeal, and evn though I know that I didn’t tell her the full story, I still expected loyalty from her at least.
“So sorry,” Mohsina almost coughed, her breathing slightly labored as she pulled the door behind her, and I automatically took a step away, toward the lounge entrance. My mother turned from where she was at the window and smiled at her. “I think it was the something I ate. Can I fetch him tomorrow morning. It’s been a while since he’s been home and Jameela really wanted to spend time with him…”
She was addressing my mother, but her voice was loud enough for me to hear, and I knew it was her intention.
I wanted to respond, but I knew that speaking would only make Mohsina feel like she’d won one of the the silent battles we were fighting. I was being immature and petty but I couldn’t help it.
I was already in the lounge again as they spoke, deliberately drowning out the words that they were saying, before I finally heard the two of them greet and the front door close. I breathed out a huge sigh of relief as I realized that she had finally left, wanting to get Zaid, but realizing as soon as I stepped out that he had fallen asleep on my mother’s shoulder while the two of them were chatting.
“She looked lovely,” my mother said, her expression wistful as she entered the lounge and placed Zaid on the couch there. “Lost even more weight too. I hope she is taking care of herslf.”
Why? I wanted to ask. Why must she hope for good things for Mohsina when she had made me feel like this?
My mother was one of those rare gems who thrived through every situation. Always looked for the best. Ignored the bad. Accepted the flaws. Never read into anything. She took everything at face value and she never bothered with any of the usual gossip that went around.
Honestly, my mother was one of the few people I knew who actually had the gift of amazing character, and Ramadhaan had done wonders to her, making her the sort of person who saw no wrong in anything, and wanted to hear nothing either.
Also, my bitterness was out of control that day, after a month. It was as if Shaytaan had been injected into my veins, and was running circuits all around my blood stream. My heart was already rusting, and it was only a day after Ramadhaan.
I took a deep breath in, trying to understand that all my mother wanted fro me was the best. She wanted us to patch things up. She wanted to believe that this would all blow over. She hoped and believed that there was a way out here.
“Ma, stop emotionally blackmailing him.”
I didn’t even notice Rabia entering the room, but I immediately turned to glare at her, as my mother frowned, picking up Zaid to take him to another room. Rabia was always loud. I didn’t exactly want him to wake up right then.
Honestly, it was as if no matter what anyone said, nothing was good enough. Even I could admit it to myslef, and my twin sister was one step ahead.
“Oh, get over yourself, Hamzah,” she snapped, her voice sounding exasperated as she plopped herself on the couch next to me. “It’s no use reading all that Qur’ān and acting all pious when you can’t even treat people with dignity. I think you need to stop moping and go somewhere to calm yourself down. What about the ijtima? I’ll look after Zaid. Teach him how to walk properly.”
I wanted to tell her that he had a mother, but I didn’t want to bring Mohsina up right then. Also, I hated when people say that. It’s no use acting pious when blah blah blah.
Also, you know… even though she may have had a point about attending the ijtima, I was bitter.
And she may have an idea. I needed to do something for myself. I felt like a mother hen who was always worrying about her child.
“You know,” she said, scrunching up her face and looking thoughtful. “I was watching this one documentary about a guy who was going through all these emotional issues and they couldn’t figure what on earth was wrong with him. Eventually, after doing scans, they realised that there was a worm in his brain that was eating all his happy hormones.”
”You need to stop watching junk,” I deadpanned, knowing that Rabia watched Netflix sometimes till late hours at night.
I had caught her a few times when I was trying to make Zaid sleep, because she would laugh so loud that I had to tell her to calm down. Ramadhaan was no exception for her.
I wasn’t judging. I just didn’t know what had happened to the pious, good-girl persona that she had always played the part of.
“Maybe you have a worm eating all your good stuff,” she said with a smirk. “And as for those dumb things I like to watch… your ex-wife had also been pretty obsessed with them at one point.”
She was playing dirty and I knew it. I decided to ignore her. For one, Mohsina and I were not actually divorced. We had signed a paper for business reasons, and that was it. For two, if we had to speak about our sins, I knew that I had way more than them both.
Keeping quiet here was the best solution. I knew the deal. If you desire that Allah conceals you on the day of Qiyaamah, then the tongue must be controlled.
The matter of concealing the faults of others is mentioned in numerous hadith of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. In particular, we find the following:
“O gathering who believe with their tongues but faith has yet to enter into their hearts, do not backbite the Muslims. And do not search into their private matters. Whoever searches for their private matters will have Allah follow up his private matters. And whose private matters Allah follows, He will expose him even [if his act were done] in his house.” (Recorded in Ahmad and Abu Dawood)
After Ramadhaan, it was just that much easier to fall into that trap of saying something bad. Of losing control of the tongue. It was like the filter on our mouths immediately get removed.
”Did she come to leave Zaid,” Rabia pressed, not getting the message, her eyes scanning my face as she tapped on her phone intermittently. “Did you see her? Or did mummy open? Did you talk?”
I found it strange that she knew that Mohsina was here yet she always avoided her. Once again. I wondered if there was any truth in Mohsina’s statement when we had our bust up.
My mother had returned to the room, but she looked extremely deep in thought, opening the curtains and fluffing up cushions for the visitors. I took a cushion as she passed and covered my head with it. Let her answer her.
She had poked me in the ribs as she said it, and I knew that I would probably snap if she didn’t go away. I needed some sleep so I could deal with the day ahead in the best possible frame of mind, and Rabia was testing my patience.
“Mum!” She almost shouted to my mother. “He’s ignoring me! Did you open for Mohsina? What was she wearing? I see she bought Zaid his cutie outfit! Are they wearing the same colour?! Is she coming back to take him?”
Way too many questions. And way too loud. And why on earth was she so invested in my wife?
”She came,” my mother said, sounding faint through the pillow. “She and Zaid were matching. She said she wants to take him tomorrow if Hamzah agrees. She hasn’t been taking him previously. She didn’t seem… well.”
”What do you mean?” Rabia asked, and I knew that my mother had her full attention now.
I wasn’t sure what was Rabia’s obsession with Mohsina but I really didn’t appreciate it, seeing how everything went down.
“Sick,” my mother said briefly, probably realising that mentioning that was unnecessary. “She mentioned that it was something she ate. Anyway, I think that her family really enjoyed Zaid. It’s been over a month that they saw him…”
”What do you mean it was something she ate?” Rabia asked, suddenly fixated on her condition. “Did she have like… morning sickness?!”
Trust Rabia to spot the elephant in the room.
The moment she said it, my mother cleared her throat, and I was already too intrigued not to look at her expression.
Yes. Okay. For one (hopeful) moment, I had thought the same as I heard her retching in the bathroom, but I didn’t dare say it loud.
That would mean a baby. But that would also mean that Mohsina was in a space where she wanted to fall pregnant in the first place, which was never true. Those things weren’t in our hands but in our short history of bliss, she had been pretty well prepared and made sure she did everything to prevent it.
She had always been on the pill, even before we had gotten married. Not my choice. Probably something to do with Faadil that I didn’t want to think about. I mean, the thought of littel Faadil scared me too. She was insistent on changing the type and not stopping when she started breastfeeding, but she had made me understand why we didn’t want our own kids right then.
Actually, Mohsina had pretty much forced me to agree. She said that it made sense, with Zaid and all the emotional baggage.
My mother was glancing wearily from me to Rabia, but I shook my head, saying that it wasn’t possible and dismissing the idea.
If she was, she would have known by now, and she would have used her situation to at least evoke some compassion from me, because I gave her none, which she didn’t.
“Well, if she’s trying to play some game by making you think that, then that’s really low,” Rabia scoffed, her eyes narrowing suspiciously. “I mean, how desperate can she be?”
I blinked. Low?
Mohsina didn’t strike me as the desperate type. Seeing her crying for the first time had made me realise how self-sufficient she had always been. Also, she had no way of knowing that I was going to answer the door before she decided to puke her guys out.
”Rabia,” my mother said in a warning tone. “She herself said it was something she ate. Can you please go and do something more productive like take out the salad things for lunch. We have five trays to make. I need to talk to Hamzah.”
Surprisingly, Rabia sighed and rolled her eyes, stalking to the kitchen while my mother hovered over me.
“You sure there’s no possibility that there’s a baby on the way?”
Her voice was soft and hopeful, and I couldn’t help but feel a pang of disappointment as I heard her.
Mohsina would probably rather die than have my baby right now.
I shook my head.
No hope. At all. i didn’t want to give my mother a false sense of assurance because I was done with hope for that day.
As much as I tried to be hopeful for us all, I knew that my hope wasn’t going to pull me through. I was in a bad space, now, more than ever. I just needed to pull myself out of this situation. Be more positive. Believe that hope, really, never is a mistake.
And I wasn’t sure how it was going to happen. All I was doing was waiting for that day to be over.
And it was getting there slowly. Seeing my grandparents and aunties soothed my spirit to a certain extent. Being spoilt by them made me forget about the gaping hole in my life. When family surrounded you, it was easy to feeling a little more secure… a little less lonely… and a little more loved. Alhumdulillah.
Lunch had just been served and everyone was already tucking in, grateful for family, love and just being together on this blessed day. Zaid was with Saaliha, who was almost back to her normal self and was even more crazy about him than before, and the day was soon coming to a close.
No-one anticipated the knock on the door at that time. No-one anticipated the chain of events that would follow, because when the bell rang, no one anticipated that things would go all the way down the way they would.
There was a feeling in the air that day, and I wasn’t quite sure whether it meant that things would get better or whether they would go south. What I didn’t even think about was that things could still go south, before getting better.
Sometimes it was hard to see the light that was shining way in the distance.
When the buzzer rang, no one really knew the direction things were headed, but what unfolded was something that lit a path to a truth that was long overdue to be exposed …
Mission Sunnah revival: Sunnah of Duaa
Let’s try and keep to the Sunnah of duaa, even after Ramadhan. 🤍
Begin your dua first with praising Allah and then by sending peace and blessings upon His messenger ﷺ. Then, make dua for yourself, dunya and akhira, for close family and friends, and then the ummah at large. Finish your Duaa by again sending peace and blessings on the Prophet ﷺ and praising and thanking Allah.
The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Du’a (supplication) is worship.”
In all situations, let’s bring in the Sunnah of Duaa every single day this Ramadhaan and after.
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..💕