Mohsina Part 59
Throughout history, it’s a well known fact that a fair percentage of women have always worked… whether as servants, housekeepers, ladies’ maids, governesses, teachers, and tutors. Their children were never looked at as neglected, well… not anymore than the well bred housewives of the nineteenth century who rarely attended their children, surrendering the brunt of the child-rearing to the governesses.
And whether or not we like to admit it, with the shift in roles and the expectations of the twenty-first century, feminism has created a rather tricky backdrop to the mix.
And I knew I had once challenged this very notion, but one thing I’ve realised was:
The plain truth of the matter is that women were indeed, and still are in fact, more respected and cherished by men and other women when they keep their work to the confines of domestic endeavors.
The truth is that, no matter how hard women push or strive for acceptance in every single avenue, we have to, at some point, submit to the fact that everything in life has a purpose, and every creature has its sustenance already decreed.
“And there is no creature on earth but that upon Allah is its provision, and He knows its place of dwelling and place of storage. All is in a clear register.” Surah Hud: Ayah 6
The thing with rizq is that it’s not only about the ‘big bucks’.
Rizq too, as Allah sends it, comes in many different shapes and forms. It was a beautiful analogy that never struck me until a time of my life where I was forced to realise that whatever was meant for me, whatever reaches me, and whatever is destined, was never going to come only through my paycheque…
Often, I’ve heard people ask for Barakah in their provisions, but sometimes we fail to realise that it’s not only about our earnings.
Barakah can be a dealing with righteous people, that Allah sends as a blessing. Barakah can be an amazing family, with children who are passively contented with even the smallest of things. It can be your faithful spouse, who even when odds are against you, still comes through when you need it the most…
“I’m just finishing off with these messages,” I said, almost absent-mindedly, as Hamzah exited the bathroom, scrolling through as fast as I could and trying to distinguish the most hostile ones first.
It had been an hour after and though Maahira had helped me do some damage control and post a general story and post, there was stil so much to be sorted.
And though Maahi with her newly revamped Halaal account, had helped, I wished I could just throw in the towel and delete Instagram. I couldn’t help but be hooked on every little development. It was as if I was being sucked into the Bermuda Triangle of false delusion once again.
Also, Maahira’s efforts were pretty short-lived because it had just so happened that when she was leaving, she had happened to glimpse Hamzah’s friend outside, and on top of all the messages on Instagram, was her dozens of iMessages to do with her piqued curiosity about an eligible bachelor that she seemed to spot.
I didn’t even have the energy to explain to her that the Mohsin in question had a bit of a complicated family history and he wasn’t exactly looking to get hitched as yet.
I glanced over at Zaid who was sleeping soundly in the co-sleeper cot we had bought and as he shifted the duvet around, I didn’t even spare my husband a glance.
I barely even realised that Hamzah had already read his Qur’ān that he usually read aloud every night, because unlike every other night when I would wait to hear him, tonight I had barely even heard to his recitation that would dispel the evil and negativity that usually conflicted with my peace at this time of the day.
On that day, I was so focused and absorbed in my parallel world that I barely even let the effect of Qur’ān penetrate my heart…
And I knew that there was a reason he did this. The pious elders advise that this recitation of Qur’ān was meant to be a beautiful antidote for evil, for negativity and a remedy for every problem that we encounter as the darkness engulfs us. It’s just that, for me, besides losing myself to darkness completely, sometimes we don’t even know where’s the switch.
By the time I finally looked up and actually paid attention, he had already pulled off his kurta and slipped on a new pants as he got ready for bed. I was way too busy tapping away, trying to respond to each message individually, and uphold my virtual reputation, before everything went completely out of whack for me.
I just couldn’t figure out who hated me so much that they would be so intent on destroying my life.
And as my anxiety levels were reaching danger level, there was a single comment that caught my eye. A particular posted one by some random user without any real identity had literally floored me, and my heart flipped frightfully as I read it.
Theres a reason she is after everyone’s money. For the inside on how she lost her job, dm me
My word. What a huge scandal this was turning out to be.. To say I lost my job so confidently … Could it possibly be Faadil or one of his right-hand guys who could have started this and blown it out of proportion for attention?
I mean, even for him… this was below the belt.
Apart from a few emails that I had deleted without even reading, there had been no contact with him otherwise.
And as I looked up at the amazing guy I had wanted to change so much for at that time, because of his love for Qur’ān and my own yearning for it… I barely noticed him pulling out his miswaak like he usually did to keep on his bedside, next to his water bottle like he did every night. He had already set the alarm and switched off the bathroom lights. Hamzah was the closest thing to OCD without actually being OCD. It was weird, but in a completely unconventional way.
With all the emotions surging through me at that point, I could barely even focus on what he was doing and seeing, and I wasn’t even sure what was going on in my mind.
“Mos,” he murmured, as he set his phone down on charge on the pedestal in its usual place, pulled the covers over and edged closer. “It’s getting late.”
I could hear the insinuation about the phone in his voice as his hand came to rest on my shoulder, while I shifted away almost involuntarily. I knew that I was being a bit edgy but I wasn’t in the mood for any affection.
That last comment had been the final straw… I was now anxious, highly strung and completely vexed about the social media events.
Of course, Hamzah’s frame of mind was also being tested and I didn’t want to be a catalyst.
“How long more?” He asked, noting my unresponsiveness as I tapped away, his tone colder now as I deleted the comments on my post and moved on to the next message. “Can’t you just give it a break for now?”
I shook my head vigorously.
“I just cant believe what these people think of me,” I said, feeling like I wanted to cry, not even taking my eyes off the screen. “It’s all fabricated…”
“But so what,” he said in a frustrated tone, propping his head up on his hand and staring at me while he narrowed his brown eyes. “Everyone is just pretending to be your friend on that thing anyway, so you think they like you. They don’t even like themselves, believe me.”
I had pulled off my hairband and hastily pushed the stray strands of hair back and looked back at him stonily.
“You are so cynical,” I retorted, sighing as Hamzah watched my reaction, and I swore I could see a smirk on his face. “So you’re just judging everyone on social media, saying they don’t like themselves, that’s why they’re there? What kind of dumb logic is that?”
I wasn’t even sure why I was having this conversation with him. It felt like we were back to all those months ago when he would purposely take the mickey out of me for having TikTok. The thing was, I wasn’t as crazy as I was about social media but hello… it was the way of the world and you really could not live under a rock in the twenty-first century. Like, can he be any more of a hater?
“All I’m saying is, do these people’s likes even matter?” he said with a confident and indifferent expression, his eyes having a hint of sarcasm. “People are fickle. They follow you today, tomorrow they’re gone. Their likes don’t pay bills, okay?”
Hamzah knew how to rub salt in the wound.
”Gosh Hamzah,” I snapped, glancing at him as he looked at me, my phone already shoved aside and forgotten for the moment. “Their likes and their follows actually do pay my bills. Stop being selfish. I don’t have a job. I don’t have any other income besides what social media ads or reviews that I do, and after Zaid came into the picture, I don’t even have much time to do them. I need to set things right before I lose all my followers, my profile and go completely broke with no one to even help me!”
Hamzah looked stunned for a second as I said it as he raised his eyebrows silently, and I watched him retract to his side of the bed, as if he had been physically assaulted.
My heart immediately contracted as I watched him swallow back what seemed like a huge fraction of frustration, and promptly tap the light switch off.
And then of course, as we were submerged in the darkness and silence ensued, the guilt started to creep in, and I couldn’t help but take another peek at the silhouette of his probable stony face and sigh in absolute resolve.
It wasn’t his fault that this had happened. There was also no need to bring Zaid into this. I felt indescribably guilty for pinning it on the child.
I was sorry. Sorry for snapping and being mean. Sorry for blaming our situation and making it seem as if it was all his fault…
“Hamzah…” I started, not exactly sure of how to say it. I was sorry for making Zaid an issue?
As much as I wanted to apologise, I couldn’t help but feel he was being a little emotional, especially after I’d been through so much that evening. Sensitive much?
I wanted to reach out and win some brownie points again but I wasn’t the type to swindle my way, so I waited a few seconds for him to respond, before I breathed in, and watched him turn around until he faced the ceiling.
I turned slightly as I watched him, a little fearful of what he was going to say. It wasn’t often that Hamzah got angry and it was obvious that my comment had provoked him.
His voice was icy as he spoke out in the dark.
”Do I look like the type of guy who would marry someone just because of circumstances?”
Okay. That was out of the blue.
“What do you mean?” I asked carefully, watching the rise and fall of his chest in the dark as he breathed.
His question was ambiguous.
I wasn’t quite sure what he was talking about. I put my phone on the pedestal anyway, knowing that there was only one way to salvage myslef.
“You seem to think that you can’t treat me as your husband,” he said briskly, answering my unsaid question. “Or maybe it’s just that women in our generation are too used to relying on themselves. Maybe you have too much of pride and independence that you can’t seem to get used to the idea of asking someone to actually help you when you have a financial problem. Why get married when you can do it all by yourselves?”
Ouch. That was a low blow. Even for Hamzah.
I lay very still as he spoke, barely even breathing. With the last sentence, he sounded like he was utterly exasperated by my continuous efforts to downplay his role as a husband. And maybe he was right.
The truth was, I didn’t want him to think that it was something I needed from him.
Money was an issue. It was no secret that it was the main downfall that caused us to break apart, and the main hindrance even when we wanted to get back together.
Money was the root of so many problems, and I could see it literally expanding as a huge boulder for us.
It was no wonder that Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said that the thing he feared most for the ummah was not poverty, but wealth. Money was the source of every evil and the root of every abominable act. It was the reason for divorce, the motive for so much of disunity and discontent ….
”Mos,” he said, his tone a little gentler now, as he noticed my silence. I wasn’t silent often. But what else did I say when he asked something like that.
“I can’t,” I said simply, knowing that he would get angry but needing to let him know it.
The thing was, if it was for me… I could do it. Maybe I could learn to. But the thing was…. how do I just ask him for money for my parents or my siblings or some mafia people who were harassing us? How do I ask him for money to pay back Faadil, who I deeply suspected was causing a problem for me because of it. I mean, I had asked him to take the money off my last salary but he didn’t.
Now he was probably thinking of other ways to get back at me. I had to pay him back as soon as possible…
“I’m used to earning my own money,” I said defiantly. “It’s not pride. I just… I don’t like to ask for something that I haven’t worked for…”
“But Mos,” he said, his voice sounding kinder now as he spoke. “This is where youre wrong. Your income is not only determined what you earn. It’s not even determined by these crazy sheep who can’t even use their brain to distinguish right from wrong. Allah Ta’ala has already decreed it, from the moment you came into this world. Whichever means, whatever way… even if it means me being a proper husband and providing for you, because I’m meant to be the source of your rizq… it is what it is. Never more. Never less. Dont you get it?”
It was such an amazing analogy that I couldn’t even fathom the magnitude Allah’s planning here. That before we were even born, our sustenance was already decreed. SubhaanAllah!
I was still silent, digesting all of this that Hamzah was drilling into me in a most diplomatic fashion.
“Mohsina, you’re my wife,” he said quietly, his voice so sincere and genuine as he said it. “You have to promise me, whatever you want, you need to ask, okay? Let me look after you, as much as you may hate the idea.”
My heart contracted as he said it. How could I promise him that? Did he even know what I would want money for?
“Hamzah,” I started, wanting to argue with him. He worked hard too. Knowing that my hard-earned money had gone to those ridiculous loan-sharks for disgusting use was enough to rid me of sleep at night. How would that make him feel?
”What’s so wrong with taking my money?” He pressed, turning to me and watching me in the dark.
It just didn’t feel right to take it. That was the problem. I couldn’t do this anymore. I had to tell him the real reason.
“I need to pay Faadil,” I said suddenly, almost as if it was something I just could not keep in any longer.
I looked up into the darkness, bracing myself for an explosion.
Instead, it seemed that now it was his time to be silent.
“Bossman?” He said, after almost a full minute, and I could hear the hostility in his voice as he said it. “You took money from him?”
”Mmmhm,” I murmured, closing my eyes as I imagined how he saw the entire situation. I knew that it was only a matter of time before he probably went crazy on me.
But as the silence ensued and I assumed I was getting the silent treatment instead, his voice suddenly spoke out again.
”How much do you owe him?”
His voice was hostile, especially as he said the last word. My heart was still beating rapidly as I was about to say it, but before I could, he hastily interrupted me.
”You know what,” he said, sounding a little less vexed than a few seconds ago. “It doesn’t matter how much. Allah Ta’ala is the One who opens doors. Every door that we thought couldn’t even open. He is Al Fattah… the Opener. He is Ever Powerful…. All Knowing… and He will sort it out. I don’t want you to stress about it again. Do you understand? Ever.”
He was so natural and casual in his words, that I didn’t even doubt them for a second. It was like saying all those praises and reminders had completely and instantly put his mind at ease. Miraculously, even my own heart felt so much more serene…
“I just feel like it’s going to be okay,” he said softly, sounding like he was completely at peace right then. “You know?”
It was our thing.
And I did.
”I know,” I replied softly, letting his words calm my heart and uplift my spirit. These heart-to-hearts did something for my soul. Truly, he had a natural talent with curing my crazy heart, even in the most unfavourable situations…
And just as I was, he seemed deep in thought for a while before I also drifted off, his hand somehow finding mine under the covers, almost subconsciously, giving me an aching hope that everything would be sorted out the next day.
And as the sun made its way about the next morning and I woke up to the sound of Hamzah exiting the bathroom, watching Zaid and I in bed, I was almost wondering if I had imagined last nights little exchange. I waited for a question or some kind of reaction from him, but much to my surprise, he didn’t even seem shocked or disgruntled about our conversation the night before.
Instead, after he left for work, a sum of money had already reflected in my account and though it was more than I needed right then, I was overwhelmed by how he had settled my worries.
This guy was proving his worth over and over, and I didn’t even have any other words to describe his generosity and amazement with dealing with me. More than that, Allah’s mercy raining down on me right then was more than I could encompass. Indeed, Allah had most definitely decreed my rizq in a way that I would have never thought.
The emotions within me were overwhelming for minute, and that week came to a close and I tried to play my part too, while also continuing to fix as much as I could without going crazy, I couldn’t help but feel drained by the end of it. Once again, with me being on social media almost every second Hamzah wasn’t around, my nerves were wrecked, my chest was aching and Zaid literally refused to get off of me.
The breastfeeding had entered a painful transition and I found myself scrounging around for nipple shields and all sorts of things for some relief.
In short, it was a pretty bad time for me. And so, when Hamzah looked at my gloomy face on Friday morning, I supposed that I understood what he was saying when he voiced his thoughts.
“So I’m assuming you’re not up for any adventures this weekend?” He said, giving me a cheeky grin as he watched my expression.
I rolled my eyes. Adventures for Hamzah basically meant surrendering myself to the wild. I wasn’t sure if I had the energy for it.
“I’m not sure if I trust your version of adventures…” I said with a small but tired smile, not meeting his eye.
The waterfall had been something that I couldn’t simply forget, and after the initial moments of wanting to strangle my husband, with the isolation that part of the forest offered, Hamzah had convinced me to make the most of it. The beauty, the splendour and not only swayed my heart, but also created a foundation for us… a place where we had finally slipped into a comfort zone, and learnt that sometimes we needed each other to discover better parts of life too.
“I actually wanted to see my family for a bit,” I said quietly, knowing that I needed to talk to Jameela. Even though I had messaged her, I desperately needed to have a heart to heart with her… figure out what she was up to and if she really thought this guy was the best thing for her.
Secretly, I was really hoping that Nani found one Taaleem Aunty’s grandson and got her married as soon as possible. I was really quite missing Nani and my mother’s banter. It had been two weeks since I went home.
”I had an idea,” Hamzah said quietly, and I smiled as I looked at his excited face.
Weekends were his playtime, and his mind was already working ahead to plan.
“Do I want to know it?” I asked with raised eyebrows.
“You may be interested since I’m the bonus,” he said with a smirk, “We can you go to your parents later or on Sunday? I want to see my grandparents on the South coast. It may be bit of a drive so we need a night there… But trust me… it’s going to be worth it.”
Why did I get the feeling he was planning something crazy and wild?
“Plus, no offense, but you look like you really need a break.”
I stuck out my tongue at him. In short, he was saying I looked like crap.
Okay, I know that I didn’t look great and I’d been slacking with my daily care routine, but I had literally been so drained. The social media front had died down, but somehow, I still got the feeling that it wasn’t over yet.
What I didn’t know it provided was an opportunity for nameless people on social media to discuss me within themselves. I didn’t know that the information that had come up due to this was a dangerous web of lies, embroiled with tiny truths, that could still ruin me…
I hastily looked in the mirror as I saw Hamzah watching me, seeing a flustered, tired looking girl with an untidy bun staring back at me. I instinctively massaged the area under my eyes, feeling as if my circles were becoming more pronounced with each passing day.
He said like I looked like I needed a break. That was a hint, and I knew I had to step up my game. Especially since we were going to meet his grandparents for like the first time ever, I knew that I had to make a good impression.
I had carefully picked out my outfit that I had bought on one of my recent breastfeeding-friendly online sprees from Shein, a button down Abaya style modest dress, coupled with a matching Sheila to go. Making sure my ankles were fully covered and no hair was exposed, the nude shoes I had chosen perfectly complimented it. I felt something like an Instagram diva, minus all the selfies, and I was glad to keep it that way.
There was still a half hour before Hamzah wanted to leave and while he strapped Zaid in the car seat and went to buy a quick something that his Dadi had asked for, so it was the perfect timing to grab my Sephora and Mac bits to ensure that I was going to look like a human today.
The black and sage dress was sitting beautifully since I had lost another kilogram (due to all the stress) that week and my nude-colour inspired make up (thanks to the latest MUA tutorial) was almost perfect. After the rough week I had, I really needed to treat myself to a good facial and makeover and I also knew that Hamzah might appreciate me looking unlike the haunted ghost figure I resembled for the past few days.
Also, we desperately did need the couple time. A diversion from the toxicity of social media. Out in the sun, water on my skin, with the waves crashing in the background. I was very much looking forward to getting sand in my nose and toes and who knew where else… for me, it was going to be salty feels all the way.
And as I grabbed my matching handbag and the famous mini salted caramel cheesecakes I had made to take with, meeting Hamzah at the door, I couldn’t help but notice him raise his eyebrows.
“Excuse me, but who are you again?!” he asked with an exaggerated stare, as Zaid gurgled and I grinned while I passed them.
And yes, though I had made an intention to dress up for my husband, I knew that I had to look good for his grandparents too. With all due respect to us both, they can’t be thinking their grandson married a jungalee.
I winked as he widened his eyes at me, pushing my fashion sunglasses up to the bridge of my nose and keeping up my poker face as I walked past him. I ignored him, putting on a full dramatization as I walked to the car, barely even looking up as I balanced the tray of cheesecakes expertly, my mood all in full swing for a most amazing weekend ahead.
This time, I wasn’t going to be a wet blanket. I could be pretty fun too, if given some time. I just needed to be in the right zone with the beach vibes, and with my new outfit, I was completely in it. I was all psyched up.
Hamzah had already locked up and I had just popped the tray into the boot and got into the car, checking on Zaid who was still happily gurgling as he was restrapped in his car seat for now. He probably wouldn’t last long there anyway. He also barely recognised the civilised looking woman who was here, but it probably didn’t matter to him anyway, as long as his food supply was still intact.
And as I took a seat, watching Hamzah leaning against the back of the car with his phone and cigarette, puffing away calmly, I was kind of wondering why he was taking so long. Maybe he was so shocked that I could actually look normal, that he had to recover.
Hehe, I grinned to myself. After all, it was good to impress your husband now and again.
And while I sat patiently for a few minutes, it was only a matter of time before I pushed open the door, turned my head back and looked at him questioningly.
I was anxious to start this road trip. I was also really nervous about meeting his grandparents. Would they like me? Think I’m too educated? Would they have this whole impression that their son needed someone more simple? I knew how people in Hamzah’s family looked at me sometimes. Maybe I should have worn plain black. Was I being too fancy?
It would only be the second time to see them… but the first time was at our Nikah and you could barely count that.
I sighed, twisting my fingers nervously.
“You ready?” I asked, still on edge, not being able to resist looking at his cigarette with disdain as he puffed away.
Eugh. He was going to be honking by the time he came in the car.
He nodded silently, releasing a cloud of smoke before throwing the butt down and squishing it under his grey casual takkie.
”I am,” he said, his gaze fixed on me as I waited for his answer. For some reason, he was just looking at me silently, but not even getting into the car.
“So now?” I couldn’t help but say, raising my eyebrows at him.
“You look nice when you’re annoyed,” he said with a stupid grin, and I wanted to smack him. What was going on?
“Hamzah,” I said frustratedly, now full-on irritated. “Are we going or not?”
”Oh, that,” he said casually, coming around and opening the car door in a most relaxed fashion, while he took a seat next to me instead of the driver’s seat. He was so calm at times, he actually made me anxious. “Didn’t I mention? We’ll leave in a few minutes. My parents and Rabia are nearly here. She’ll be joining us for the weekend.”
Mission Sunnah Revival
Sunnah of Time Management:
We come into this world with an allocated amount of time. We should, ideally, spend this time to please Allah and strive toward our Aakhirah.
Among the harms of social media are the harms of time wasting.
May Allah Ta’ala enable us to be particular even about our digital time, and save us wasting our time on these frivolous activities.
Oh son of Adam. You are nothing but a number of days. Whenever a day passes, another day has gone. (Fadhaail e Sadaqaat)
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..💕