Part 87 Saaliha
I’m always amazed at the statement of Hassan Al Basri (rahmatullahi Alaihi) that says that the Hafidh of the Qur’ān is not just preserving the Qur’ān through his Hifdh. Rather, it is the Qur’ān that is preserving him/her.
The thing is, I’ve realised that the more we surround ourselves with Qur’ān, the more we absorb, the more we immerse ourselves in its recitation and memorisation, the more Allah protects and preserves us through the Qur’ān.
And it was always true. Whichever time of the year it is. Whichever season of our lives we are in.
It’s just that, it’s only during the beautiful month of Ramadhaan that the full effect is felt, where the reading is so intense that the heart is polished, where the one reciting abundant Qur’ān can actually feel the presence of the angels surrounding, protecting and walking alongside the one who is spending their days in the company of the Book. It is no surprise that- due to this very fact- they find their lives blossoming, their affairs being taken care of, their illnesses being removed, and their hearts contented…
And I had seen the effects. From the erratic and somewhat unsettled frame of mind that Imraan and Hamzah had been in, at the onset of Ramadhaan, the past week had been bliss.
Somehow, during Ramadhaan, everything gets put on hold. Somehow, the heart just has a natural affinity to goodness.
And I was trying to maintain the peace. To keep up with the feeling of ignorant bliss, and put reality on standby. I was at a tug of war, battling with myself, trying to figure out whether keeping the peace despite figuring whether the lurking feeling in my gut was worth the guilt that accompanied me when I went to sleep at night.
I had been existing in a world where I hoped that Rabia’s involvement in Hamzah’s marital life was just a figment of my imagination, but the more I left it, the more I couldn’t help but feel that what I was doing, by being silent thus far, was injustice.
The messages I had sent Mohsina weeks ago, just before she and Hamzah separated, were unanswered. It was the day after her sister’s wedding when I sent the first one, hoping that the timing was better for her to actually process what I was about to let her in on.
I had sent the message thinking that this was just a little bit of a strange coincidence that Rabia was talking to the boss who had the case going on regarding Mohsina.
Assalamualaikum. Hope you guys are having a good day away. ❤️
Didn’t want to trouble you the week of Jameela’s wedding… but now that it’s over, I really do need to speak to you when you have a chance.
I had been lying on the couch at my mother-in-laws house, basking in the glory of being post first trimester. The dull ache in my tummy hadn’t alarmed me in the slightest. Once I had reached the twelve week mark, I had breathed out a huge proverbial breath and started living normally.
Taqdeer, I supposed. Allah Ta’ala’s will. I was a broken soul, pleading for a change. Duaa could change taqdeer, and I so badly wanted it to change mine. This baby I had waited eight years for, oh how badly I just wanted it to remain on its safe place.
My life was at a standstill as the dull ache transformed into a fully blown pain that accompanied a mass of blood that caused Imraan to rush me to casualty.
Stay with me, I pleaded with myself, with the baby, l willing the blood to stop, as I wondered how on earth this could have happened.
I was broken, inside and out. All I could think of was how this could have happened when I thought I was so safe.
But I wasn’t. I thought that I was okay, but sometimes, things happen on life that make us realise just how little control we have. Sometimes situations wake us up to the reality of how little we are, and how big Allah Ta’ala really is. It was straight after the doctor came in to give us the news that I was okay to go home after the procedure had been done, when the news of the separation came from Imraan. The ache that came with the loss of a baby was suddenly accompanied by a much more painful type of grief, and I could barely believe that all of this was happening at once.
Indeed, a reminder that to Allah we belong and to Him is our return.
Understanding that was easier said than done, because I was shattered at the losses. It had thrown me off course for a while.
Everything felt so much more grim, thinking of the baby and trying to process how things had flown so far off course, so fast.
And then came Ramadhaan, with its beautiful aroma… a feeling so sweet and consuming… and a desire to attain as much as one possibly can through its beauty… and as I sunk myself in its glory, I wasn’t sure how I was going to ever say goodbye.
And it soothed my heart and brought tears to my eyes, as I thought of the magic that had inspired so much of goodness, but as it happens, often, we need that reminder to get back on track. A reminder that Allah is always appreciative, loving, and on the lookout for us, even when we aren’t even giving that much.
With the onset of Ramdadhaan, along came the relived devastation of the first year that passed since Liyaket’s and Layyanah’s death, and the destruction of everything else that lingered as well. For me, Ramadhaan started off on a note where I couldn’t perform all my ibaadat, and it was dispiriting. I didn’t know how to approach the separation that ensued , because there were so many emotions and opinions.
But still. My conscience couldn’t let it be, and so, I messaged again, because I really didn’t want to be the one person who could have saved a situation when I didn’t.
Mohsina. I’m so sorry to hear about what happened. I don’t know what the right thing to say is, but please know that I’m here for you, whatever you need. I still do need to talk to you, and it’s really urgent. Please contact me whenever you can.
That message also remained unanswered and so did the two calls I placed to her after.
I sighed in defeat, and decided to let it go.
I got that she didn’t want to talk. I wasn’t offended. I understood that she was going through a lot, and probably trifling with a court case as well.
Time had gone so fast. The month was in the latter part already, and I could barely believe that Eid was less than ten days away.
Imraan had yet to finish his Qur’ān where he was reading taraweeh, but I had heard him say that Hamzah was done the day before and I hoped that it meant that I would see my little pumpkin pie before the month was over. He had already turned a year and I knew that besides talking in his very own overloaded cuteness of a language, everyone was waiting for him to take his first steps.
I wondered how Mohsina felt about it, knowing that she would probably miss out on that amazing milestone.
“Is Hamzah coming for the weekend?”
I had to ask.
Ever since Imraan stopped telling me what was going on two weeks ago, because he insisted that I should be resting, and not stressing, I had felt an innate desire to know more. I needed to.
“I’m not sure,” Imraan said, glancing at me for a minute as he was looked pensive.
”Anything else in the news?” I asked, feeling my heart sink to my toes as I remembered the first article that had literally rocked our household.
It had broken so much more than our hearts. Mohsina’s silence after was very much evidence of the fact that she wanted nothing to do with Hamzah’s family either. I hated to think that she felt that way about me, but the sore fact was that right now, there were sides.
Sides that people were choosing, and for me even suggest that I was on anyone’s side besides Hamzah’s, would be ludicrous.
The thing is, I wasn’t on anyone’s side.
I didn’t judge her. I knew that she had hurt Hamzah for him to react the way he did… but I knew Hamzah too. He had probably hurt her back, in a different way, and she was recovering from the pain, probably trying to shield herself from everything that had gone down and was still going down.
Most of all, I knew something that no one else knew. Things about Rabia and everything that she was supposedly capable of. That was the main thing that kept me from jumping to any conclusions.
Three more articles had been released during the course of the month that followed the first, and while Hamzah and Mohsina had further retreated into their own separate worlds, we had very obviously noticed the absence of her name in the third and fourth article.
There was no follow up on her story. No conclusion to what charges she faced. It was as if she hadn’t even been mentioned in the first place. The only information we got was through Mohsina’s sister who sometimes messaged to check on Zaid, and that too, was dwindling.
“You think she’s winning?” I asked Imraan, hopeful as I put my phone down. “They look like they dropped charges.”
Imraan shook his head, sighing, looking a little bit upset about the prospect.
“But this- the latest article- it’s good, isn’t it?”
I was talking about the lack of information regarding her. Keeping a low profile was better than her name being plastered all over the headlines.
“I‘m not sure,” Imraan said, rubbing his forehead vigorously, still reading his phone. “Todays… Whoever is giving information now… or the journalist following this story is purposely not including her name anymore which is also weird. It may mean that she’s probably meeting their demands, and I don’t think that Hamzah wants to know what those are.”
I sighed. Sometimes no news isn’t always good news.
I stayed silent as I watched Imraan take out his Qur’ān, glad that I could also retreat into the same space now.
After the miscarriage, I had been feeling on both a spiritual and emotional low. Not being able to read Qur’ān was the hardest for me, especially when I felt that it was the only thing that could lift me up. Losing the baby was heartbreaking, but finding out that Hamzah and Mohsina had split was just as devastating.
Mohsina wasn’t replying to messages, Hamzah was gone awol and Rabia had conveniently stayed in Jo’burg without much reason for being absent.
I was feeling pretty useless, because there was nothing much that I could do from where I was. Hearing that everything had just spiralled out of control still made my heart ache. Knowing that there was a sure motivation behind everything that had gone down, made me feel even worse, because from where I stood, it was only I who had power to do something yet I couldn’t do it.
“He won’t come because he doesn’t want Zaid to fall out of his new routine,” Imraan said with a shrug, after a few seconds, looking at me, before he opened his Qur’ān.
“Correction,” I said blandly, getting up to start in the kitchen, my mind already on what iftaar would entail that night. Uthman was already listing his ten different preferences and since he started fasting, I felt really bad not to accede to his wishes. “He won’t come because he doesn’t want to feel himself unwinding and slipping out of his own defence.”
Imraan gave me a wry grin but said nothing else as he returned to his reading, and Uthman went off to get ready for the masjid. The way our lives revolved around Qur’ān and Masjid (and food) in Ramadhaan made me feel so contented.
Still, for a second, I couldn’t help but feel a hint of sadness at the current situation where Ramadhaan was definitely not as peaceful for others. Where Hamzah was quick to trust and give his heart away, he was just as quick in hardening up and shutting people off.
Problem was, he had done it with everyone and they allowed him to bask in his own solitude. My in laws (save Rabia) were a family who didn’t like confrontation, and they purposely avoided all forms of it.
Honestly, I wanted to strangle Rabia, but being in recovery after losing the baby had been good for me in that way. It kept me at bay for now.
I had spent a good few days trying to prove whether Rabia really was involved in what I thought she was and though my gut told me that she was, there was no way that I could really prove it without actually having her devices.
And then, a mere two days before Eid, when the hearts were very much rested and contented, and it felt as if I never wanted to return to the normal world, as I knew it, once again, came the message from Mohsina.
Wslm. Saaliha. I hope that you are well. Sorry… I just couldn’t find the words to respond to you when you messaged. I didn’t even know that you lost the baby. No-one told me at the time. Too much has been going on, and I feel so selfish for not checking in. I miss you guys. Zaid has finally settled with his new routine. Eid is going to be really hard this year. Please, just keep me in your Duaas.
Eid. I had barely been thinking about what it all meant. We would be heading back to Johannesburg for the first time in weeks and it was the first time I would be facing the reality head on.
It was also the first time that Hamzah and Mohsina‘s separation would be most palpable, and a sinking feeling in my tummy accompanied that realisation. I wondered if they’d planned meals and who would be taking him for which part of the day. The entire thing was unsettling me. All I wanted to do was fix it all up once I got there. Somehow, my heart was at a war with itself. I wasn’t sure what I needed to do … but I knew that I wanted everything to go back to the way it was. I knew that I had to give her something to hold onto.
I was quick to reply.
Always. I still need to speak to you. I hope that you will understand why I’ve waited so long to do this. It’s about Rabia. I didn’t want to bring it up but I think she may be up to something suspicions.
I didn’t want to make accusations but from what I had seen, I knew that there was some interference in Mohsina’s life. I wasn’t sure whether to call and tell her the full truth. I was afraid that she wouldn’t reply and shut me out.
Her response, to my delight, came a few minutes later.
I know Rabia has been conversing with my old boss, but it doesn’t matter. Hamzah won’t believe a thing I say anyway, especially where it concerns her. I appreciate your concern, but it’s never going to make a difference to him. He doesn’t trust me. We are too far gone right now.
My heart clenched painfully at her words.
She was so hopeless. Grieving at her loss. Devastated by the outcome.
But I was extremely hopeful.
I couldn’t let their marriage take the toll here, not if what I knew about Rabia really had something to do with this. I couldn’t let this deteriorate if there was a thread we could hang onto here. I wanted to fix this by any means possible, but I didn’t want this to erupt into a big issue either. Not when Ramadhaan had been so beautiful and peaceful.
I wasn’t sure how I would feel, having to deal with Rabia the next day. Seeing Zaid and Hamzah again would also be a new feeling for me. I felt disgusted at Rabia and upset at Hamzah for being so blind, and the worst part was that I couldn’t tell Imraan, because I knew that he would try and make an excuse for his sister too.
All I knew was that if I didn’t do anything, my own heart would explode with the conflicting emotions it held.
I just wanted everything to be okay, but it felt like my heart was being crushed by the way everything was falling apart.
It seemed like the peace that Ramadhaans came with passed us in a flash. Like a breeze of hope and forgiveness, a fortifying presence that was meant to shield and protect us from ourselves, it had just slipped out of our grasp.
I was grappling to hang onto those threads, but from being secluded the whole month; and suddenly, overwhelmed with so much of company, food and abundance on Eid day, the peace was somewhat lost.
Since lunch and supper with my in laws was a thing, seeing Fareeha at breakfast was meant to be a diversion.
Now with Fareeha, I knew that I didn’t stand a chance at peace. The least I hoped for was some subtle entertainment. What I didn’t I would get, was her relentless hounding.
The minute we were alone, Fareeha would immediately start probing me about Rabia, and knowing that I had tried so hard to avoid these kind of talks that Ramadhaan, I found myself avoiding the conversation completely.
“So how’s your sister-in-law?” She asked, wiggling her eyebrows as she packed away some breakfast kebabs.
It had been ages since we spent Eid breakfast together. From the time I’d been married, we usually spent supper together, but that year had been a small change up.
It was a peaceful and bubbly affair, with both Fareeha and Aadil talking nineteen-to-the-dozen throughout the meal. They really were one of a kind.
“She’s good,” I said blandly, not wanting to get into a talk that would get me saying bad things and cause me to gossip.
I was at a tug of war with myself, deciding between whether to say something or nothing at all.
It was amazing how we went the whole month without talking about the things we weren’t supposed to, and one conversation on Eid day could spoil all the effort we made throughout the month.
Fareeha had this annoying look on her face, and it was only then when her motives for asking clicked.
And honestly, I wished that Aadil would just hurry up and take his second wife, so Fareeha would stop coming back to this.
Maulana Aadil was one of those guys who were cool and pretty easy going with most things, and although he easily entertained Fareeha’s very creative imagination sometimes just to humour her, it didn’t always work out best for me, because Fareeha had a way of working on my very neurotic nerves.
After the miscarriage, the thoughts that haunted me were back, and I really just wanted to avoid her conversation.
If it wasn’t for her second wife theories, it was her constant blabbering on about what she needed to do to make sure her online presence was more felt this year, because she had started some sort of special page for women with a code name for herself, who were second wives and she really wanted to get a feel of the whole thing.
I sighed and looked at her, raising my eyebrows.
“Don’t count on my sister-in-law if you want an addition to your family,” I shot back firmly. “She’s not exactly an option at the moment.”
Fareeha giggled, but I just raised my eyebrows at her, because I knew that any encouragement whatsoever would get Fareeha bursting with excitement and ridiculous ideas.
Her face suddenly turned serious, as she watched me, but I remained rigid in my stance.
“Okay, shoot,” she said, cocking her head to one side. “Tell me what’s going on. I can’t bear this sombreness from you.”
And that was all it took to spill it all out, without even thinking about what the consequences thereof could be.
On Eid day, it was as if I could feel the Shayateen running through the veins, and even trying to be quiet was that much harder.
I wanted to kick myself.
”Oh. Emm. Gee,” Fareeha said when I was done, her eyes widened as I related the story of how I saw the messages, then did some of my own snooping to figure out who they were from- and I did. “And you haven’t told anyone about this the entire month?”
I shook my head, feeling slightly ashamed- about a few things.
”You cannot tell anyone,” I said firmly, my voice dropping as voices approached the kitchen. “This is an absolute secret. Please Far.”
She narrowed her eyes at me, and then shook her head.
“I can’t believe you,” she said, her eyes getting wide again, as she digested what I had told her. “Do you know what this can do? Do you know how much you could have avoided if you had told someone?! You telling me that you didn’t even tell Imraan?!?”
Her voice was getting louder with every question and I wanted to take one of the milk rolls that were lying on the table and gag her with it.
After telling her to zip her mouth, she was being absolutely crazy and ridiculous!
“Fareeha!” I said through gritted teeth, appalled at her. “Will you shut up?!”
“No!” She said, throwing her hands up on the air. “Sawls, you think you did a good thing by keeping this all hush hush but what if I told you that you didn’t?! What if you ruined someone’s marriage?!”
She was exaggerating. As always.
Fareeha, the Drama Queen of our household, making this bigger than it is.
“Fareeha, it’s not like that,” I insisted, rolling my eyes at her. “I didn’t even know that they separated.”
“But the information you have could have prevented it!” She said, her hands doing all sorts of insane gestures as she breathed heavily, and then started rubbing her temples in utter despair.
“Oh my goodness, Sawls… we have to do something. I can’t live like this… I just can’t!”
She was devastated. I kid you not. She was huffing and puffing, and pacing the kitchen like a mad woman.
You see, while Fareeha was a woman of action and reaction, my solutions were always a little more passive. I prayed for a solution, some relief for Imraan, who seemed to be feeling just as torn as Hamzah himself.
I could see it in his gestures, in his day-to-day dealings. He was worn and feeling hurt for his brother too. The two of them had a bond that made me feel inadequate at times.
And I wasn’t sure what it was, but I knew something had to be done.
I knew Duaa could do miracles. Sometimes it just took time. Fareeha didn’t quite believe that waiting that long would be the best thing.
”What exactly should I have done?”
“Nothing. I’m going to do what you should have done long time ago,” she said, a certain vindictive tone to her voice.
“No, Far,” I said breathlessly, shaking my head at her as she took out her phone. I was already reaching for if while she stretched out, away from me, typing something erratically. “Please no.”
I was sneaking around, trying to see what she was up to, but she was way too fast for me.
“Just tell me what you’re up to,” I pleaded, finally facing her, watching a sly grin form on her face. “Please don’t cause a scene on Eid day, Far, my in laws will kill me!”
She smirked as she tapped more buttons, an unsettling grin on her face. I couldn’t believe she was actually doing this.
“Relax,” she said after a few seconds of concealing her phone screen. “They won’t know it’s you. I’m very tactful in my art of exposing my investigative findings. This is much more strategic than you could ever think of.”
She was looking a little too happy with herself for my liking, and I was just about the ask her exactly what to expect, because she was kind of scaring me right then.
“What did you do?” I said, my voice a little squeakier than normal right then. “What exactly is this going to prove?!”
I felt like I was at a tug of war with my sister, battling over the outcome… without even knowing how much of rope she had.
”Nothing,” she said with raised eyebrows. “Just watch and learn. This is going to unravel all by itself, and you won’t even have to do a thing!”
My apologies for the slightly delayed post. I just wanted to hang onto the Ramadhan feeling a little longer. InshaAllah I will try and post more soon. Just wanted to bring to light the idea of trying to hold onto the control of our tongues a little longer… it really is the path to all peace.
I hope that everyone had a beautiful Ramadhan. I definitely enjoyed it immensely. May Allah make it easy for us to stay out of the sin we managed to avoid all these weeks. May He bless us with strength and resolve beyond our comprehension.
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..💕