Zubair Part 80
The world at large, but more specifically our menial lives, revolve around an information overload where the accounts and stories of awe-inspiring bravery have ceased to feature.
Whilst we get off on dopamine hits induced by arrays of pointless pictures on our Instagram feeds, we are starved of the splendour that once filled the pages of history.
The desire and restlessness that once raged within the hearts of the Sahabah have become text book incidents to us. We are foreign to a concept that entails extinguishing personal desire for lighting a longing for everlasting pleasure.
Martyrdom has, and always will be, the masterpiece of all man’s greatness. Their agonising and heartbreaking stories are a light amidst the darkness of this world. Meeting Hamzah for me, brought this alive. His spirit brought out something in me that stemmed from a selfless courage… something that I had forgotten about over the past few months.
And whilst every martyr attains unmeasurable closeness to Allah Ta’ala, the honourable title of Sayyidus Shuhadaa (RA) was awarded by Nabi (Sallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) only to the highest and most honoured of all of them… Sayyidina Hamzah (RA). There was something about meeting my real life Hamzah, that kindled a flame within me once again… a flame that would serve to rage on, to face everything head on, fearlessly, like the men I’d read about and always admired.
Despite the monster I had once been, I knew and lived the rule that nothing is as more important but the pleasure of Allah… and now, I was done with being scared, slinking away and hiding from the past.
I pulled out the dagger I kept with the saying that filled me with vigour and determination, placing it on the bed next to me to remind me that like the blessed heart of Nabi (sallahu alaihi wa Sallam) was uneasy with a desire and craving for martyrdom, so too should mine. Nothing should scare me.
It was a risky step I was scared to take before this, because if my uncle had to get wind of it, it could be dangerous. Yes, I felt scared and vulnerable right then but I needed to overcome it.
How long was I going to continue being scared for? Taking this step with my future wife, going all out to embrace what would be half my Deen, should never make me feel more fearful. In fact, it gave me that much more strength to do the right thing.
“Joe,” I said roughly into the phone, pulling on my best jeans and watching myself in my sisters room mirror cynically as I got ready. I looked so unlike the man I felt like inside. I could practically feel my heart pounding as I thought of what today would hold. “I need your help and you can’t say no.”
I had been at my sisters apartment from the morning because she insisted, and I couldn’t say no when she asked. She wanted to spend my final moments before marriage with me, but she was so busy fussing over wedding things that she was barely present.
”Your uncle says you’re not with him anymore.”
It was a simple sentence from the guy at the end of the line, but just hearing it from him made me angry.
So angry, despite knowing that I would hear that and trying to kill that very anger that would come up every time I heard of of my uncle meddling in my life.
What right did my uncle have to interfere in my relationships? Yes, we used Joe often for his contacts and to sort out paperwork we would need to figure out who the rats in our networks were, but I was the one who introduced Joe to him to do that for us. Joe and I were school friends before we did business together. We go way back.
It wasn’t that I admired my past, but it was what it was and every person I had met along the way had helped shape me into the person I was.
”Does it matter?” I muttered, plopping on the bed as I put the phone on speaker and pulled on the new pair of spotty socks Nusaybah bought me to wear with my new Kurta.
”I’ll call you back,” he said after a few seconds, and I wanted to give him a mouthful about shoving me off, but I knew I shouldn’t.
“You’d better,” I threatened mildly, knowing that Joe didn’t say things that he didn’t usually mean.
And it was just as well that I was in good mood that day, because I might have taken the half hour drive to his place to shake him up instead.
But today… I had more important things to do… and I couldn’t believe that this day had come.
That I was actually marrying her. The girl that I had been trying so hard not to freak out by ogling her as she would be sitting at the garden bench reading, or tending to her new plants, or working diligently in the coffee shop kitchen as if he life actually depended on it. I had spent months pretending to be ignoring her, when all I wanted to do was go up to her and ask her if their was ever a possibility of this day ever coming.
And here it was. I had told her that I was striving to be better, but I was having to dig up pieces of my past to do so.
I breathed in, knowing that I had to be forceful in my tactics now, even when I hated it. I hated this side of me that was all hard and rigid and rooting for a fight, but I hated the other side more. I hated knowing that now, I would have more than just myself at risk. Knowing that I couldn’t always control things and other people close to me made me feel vulnerable like never before.
I splashed the water in my face and made my whudhu, hoping to calm my fiery spirits with it. It went without saying that I was a little edgy. I needed to resort to my Lord… to sit on that Musalla and pray to Him, the Most High, because come what may, He was the only One who held a solution. This was a big step but it was what I wanted.
I prayed with an aching fervency because I wanted this to all be okay. I wanted to tame the wild beast in me, to calm my spirits to someone who could actually be worthy of this new role that I was going to take in life. I wanted the people who were going to become my family to always stay safe and protected form what haunted me.
I wanted to change my old ways, and turn a new page in my life. I wanted to be worthy of a husband. Of a father, hopefully, someday too. A resolution that was way more than I ever imagined, but the aching need in me was persistent.
I wanted to be a sterling example, like Nabi (Sallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) was and forever will be. I wanted to be such that even when I face my uncle who had done unmentionable things to me, I wanted to be so good to him that he would be moved by my character alone. This was the journey that I was willing to take for my own betterment.
This family had inspired me. Jameela had made me want to change. She made me want to be better. It was by her acceptance of me that made me want to strive for even more now.
Character. It was the only thing that would define me now, and that’s what had been the trump card in her eyes.
My phone rang at that point, snapping me out of my thoughts and bringing me back to the present.
I needed to leave for the Nikah- my Nikah- in ten minutes, but I knew that every minute was precious.
Hamzah was trying not to disturb me this week but I knew that if I didn’t confirm that final thread of information that had just occurred to me that morning, all that I’ve been helping him with would be futile.
None of it seemed worth it if by the end of this, Hamzah and his wife didn’t work things out. There was no way that I could rest if I knew that there was something I could do to save their marriage, and didn’t.
I breathed our with relief as Joe agreed to my favour, and I tried convincing him that what I was onto was going to change someone’s life. Judging from the first time I saw Faadil, all those months back outside his apartment building, I could tell that he was up to something. The way my uncle spoke to Faadil, made me realise that that Porsche that caused the incident to erupt out of control was going to lead to much more than that.
And despite knowing that Faadil and my uncle had been in contact over the few months, I never really knew what the relationship was. I knew that my uncle worked with him to uncover money. When I cut myself off of him, I didn’t want to find out. But now, from everything I had found out, I had an idea that Faadil had framed himself to get back at Mohsina, and I just needed the final thread to prove it.
“I’ve tried asking around,” I said in a level tone, thinking of the conversation I had with Nusaybah’s best friends brother. “Ahmed can’t help. He would if he could but he doesn’t do this anymore because of his family commitments. I know it’s risky but you’re my last hope, Joe. I need to know how the evidence came to the knowledge of the company. I want to know if Faadil framed himself.”
If was the only thing that made sense. Yes, Faadils reputation would be at stake if he framed himself but if he dragged Mohsina’s name in it with him, it may be a completely different motive. If may either mean that he would try to shove all blame on to her, or it could be that they’ll go down together, which would help him to earn her trust and then rebound again.
The latter seemed more plausible right then and I knew that I had to tell Hamzah but there was barely any time left and I was going to be late for my own Nikah if I didn’t hurry the hell up.
I told Joe that Hamzah would pay anything for clearance of his wife’s name, and money wasn’t an issue. It seemed to do the trick.
We settled on a price and that’s how I found myself walking out to my brother-in-law Faheem’s car, after Nusaybah clung to me for at least 2 entire minutes for dear life, my mind trying to focus on what exactly was going down that day. She finally let me go with tears swimming in her dark eyes, and my niece tugging restlessly on her cloak.
”Smelling good,” Faheem commented in his swanky British accent as I finally entered the car. “You ready?”
Faheems voice was light but clear, almost jolting me out of my train of thought as he watched me from the corner of his eye. Him and my sister being here was more than I could ever ask for. I knew that my father wouldn’t come but I still hoped. I really wanted him to make an appearance. I had stopped by his place in the week and left an invite in the postbox. I knew he got it because I waited behind the next house wall to how long after he would come and take the mail I left every day.
I nodded as I watched him drive on, not really wanting to talk yet. After the Nikah, things would feel more relaxed. It was a low key affair. I asked for it to be as private as possible, because of how many enemies I had made along the way. My uncle had been trying to get hold of me and I knew that he had more work for me with promising financial incentives, but I was refusing to relent.
I wanted to leave that life completely, and start afresh with a purer intent in mind.
More than anything, I wanted this to stay out of my uncles knowledge, so I wouldn’t have to worry about protecting Jameela before we got married.
After marriage, I was sure to do anything to keep her safe from my history.
I breathed in as I looked ahead, drumming my fingers together as I tried to control my nerves. Faheem wasn’t much of a talker, which made sense, because my sister spoke enough for the both of them. I looked out the window, watching the cars pulling up for Asr salaah, feeling a pit in the bottom of my stomach, but not because of what lay ahead. I was worried. Scared that something may go wrong.
“Stop looking so aggro.”
Aggro. It was Nusaybah’s word that I never quite understood the meaning of.
I glanced at Faheem as he turned off the ignition, closing my eyes briefly as I tried to recollect my thoughts. There was so much going on in my mind. I needed to switch it off.
“I’m not,” I said, pushing the door open and meeting my brother-in-laws eye. “I’m just worried that things may not all go that smoothly. I have a reputation for inviting trouble. You know that.”
We were walking toward the mosque, and even with a handgun strapped to my ankle, I knew that I was always at risk.
And don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t that I was afraid of dying. Not in the way most people were.
I had faced it head on, seen it way too many times to be afraid that way. What I was scared of was what would come after. I was scared of how my Lord would deal with me, after everything I had done. I was scared that my repentance wasn’t good enough, or sincere enough. But in the same breath, I lived with the blossoming hope that in death, it was the only place that I would find complete freedom from the life I had lived in this deranged world.
“They’re just people, you know,” Faheem said quietly, his accent a little less pronounced as he lowered his voice. “People who have power in this world maybe, but don’t forget that Allah is in control of everything else and He sees you. He sees you, bro. He sees that you’ve changed and you’re trying to be better. You think he’s not going to take care of you when you’re taking one of the biggest steps to make it all right?”
I glanced at him as we entered the building, emotion welling up in my eyes as I shook my head, my heart now beating a little more steadily as I approached the place where I would read Salaah. I didn’t want to believe that I was worthy of anything good. I didn’t want to let myself believe that it would all be okay. For me, I rather expect the worst and then get surprised at the best…
And oh yes, I wished for the best. In every way, and my heart was filled with anticipation for what lay ahead as the Salaah commenced.
The Nikah was scheduled to be after Asr and as crowds came in for the prayer, and then left again, giving me a clear sight of Maulana Khalid as he spoke to someone ahead, I knew that the time for me to pull up my socks and get to the front was right then. Everything seemed to be going in slow motion. People were mulling out steadily, and as I gazed at my shaky hands, I felt as if time had stood still.
And though I knew Maulana from when I was younger, he was well aware of my past and where it had led me, and now, he accepted me wholeheartedly without any judgement.
I could see Muhammed Husayn around the outskirts, and Jameela’s father approaching the front with two other men. Eyes were on me as I slowly walked up to the small crowd, knowing that this was going to be one of the most defining moments of my life.
I breathed in as I offered a greeting to them all, staying silent as Maulana Khalid introduced himself and then looked at me as if to check if I was ready.
And it was one of those moments when I seriously felt like throwing in the towel and running out of there, not because of what lay ahead for me, but because it only then when reality came crashing down on me like never before.
There was no one who deserved this less than I. My father wasn’t there, although I had hoped he would be. It was just a reminder that I would never be good enough. The truth was glaring at me as I watched Maulana hug my brother-in-law, who was also his cousin-in-law, and then turn to my future father-in-law with praises for me.
I couldn’t quite believe that I was hearing all these complimentary things coming from his mouth, where he spoke as if I was someone great. Hamzah was grinning stupidly as he said it, but I believed none of it when he pulled me to him, telling me that I was such an amazing kind of human for changing my life around the way I had.
All I knew was that this was all just for now, and when they found out what I was really like, they would quickly learn the truth about me. I didn’t know that they would look at me, as the Nikah started, with all this joy and expectation, and the only thing that kept me rooted to the spot was the thought of having a wife like Jameela who would somehow make this all make sense once again.
I wasn’t even sure how I got through the proceedings. I mean, I remembered the shivery nerves and the Maulana asking all the relevant questions. I had agreed, and I had said the binding words with a certainty that would define my life, but it didn’t change the fact that throughout it all, I still felt like I was floating.
I could feel my phone buzzing in my pocket as the small crowd came forward to greet me. I forgot about everything else for that time, living in the moment as everyone hugged and congratulated me as if this great achievement was all due to my own doing. The gratitude in my heart at that moment was insurmountable.
All I knew was that Allah Ta’ala had come through for us in a way that I never imagined. I was filled to the brim with amazement and my heart was literally bursting with pride as I found myself being guided out by my new brother-in-law, who was having a field day with Faheem at my expense.
”He’s ours now, bru,” Hamzah said with a smile as he slung his hand over my shoulder. I couldnt help but wonder how he was still smiling, despite knowing what would be the result of his own marriage very soon. “We’ll take over from here.”
Faheem grinned back, slapped my back and nodded his head.
”My wife says you’re welcome to him,” he said with a wink, looking at his phone. “No returns or exchanges.”
I knew they were joking but the tightness in my chest was still very evident. What if Jameela regretted this? What if the family realised that letting me into their little unit was the worst mistake of their lives?
The banter continued as we drove the short distance to the farm, me trying to keep my nerves at bay as we entered the farm driveway that had become home to me.
There were a few cars parked in the driveway, but knowing that this was going to be a small, private affair, I didn’t think too much of it. Winning Jameela’s Nani over was going to be a challenge, but I was going to do what it took. I could already see her from where we parked, and I couldn’t help but feel a wave of uncertainty overcome me as my father in law, Hamzah and Muhammad Husayn hopped off the car, and waited for me to join. I already felt like part of the family and I didn’t deserve it.
I shook my head as I tried to dispel all negative emotions, doing the usual meeting and greeting with a few other family men who had just come in from the mosque.
Guided by Hamzah, I could feel his hand on my back as we waded through the people, making our way to Jameela’s family for a quick greeting, before Mohsina appeared from the passage behind the kitchen. I could barely remember who I saw, because I could think of nothing else besides the woman who I had been waiting for months to be alone with.
I wasn’t the type to get all flustered and tongue-tied. I’d seen way too much in life to let myself be swayed by such elementary thoughts.
After so long, it felt like my resolve was finally going to be diminished, and I was quite sure that once I saw her, all noble intentions of easing her into this new relationship would be dissolved.
Mohsina had already gestured to us to meet them down the passage, and as Hamzah gave me the go-ahead to pass through, it felt as if my legs were transporting me all by themselves. Somehow, being here, closer to Jameela, was giving me a courage I never knew I had. Without even realising how, I found myself in front of a room door, hearing about three female voices behind it, and knowing that I would probably have to wait a few minutes before they were entirely ready.
I knew women and their obsession with everything being perfect. After all, I had Nusaybah as a sister and semi-mother. I smiled as I heard a few hushed words and then a sudden screech, before muffled voices came closer to the door.
They were still dilly-dallying around the entrance of the room, and as I remembered my phone in my pocket, and the call I had made just before I went to the masjid.
The last thing I wanted right now in this moment was to be worrying, but Hamzah had done so much for me, and I couldn’t let him down. I knew that I had to be less selfish. I’d have to speak to him properly, to let him know about the latest developments, but as I slid my phone out of my pocket, all thoughts about Hamzah were already sidelined.
The messages were just a few, and besides Nusaybah’s emotional words that took me a full thirty seconds to scroll through, and a few other uneventful updates from Joe, my eyes immediately fell on the message from the unknown number.
I didn’t even have to slide it open to see it, and I could already feel my heart rate escalating. It was short, but it had the desired effect.
I always hated when my uncle called me son. I wasn’t his son, and I would never be.
He never treated me like one, and this time, I needed to show him that I wasn’t that young boy that he used to lock up and control, to make himself feel strong.
It was at the point of my increasing fury that the door opened, and light immediately streamed into the passage my senses as I glanced up at the two females with Mohsina who were making their way out, stepping back and looking down again so they could pass.
I slid my phone back into my pocket, in anticipation for who I would be seeing next, but my consumed mind was still on the remainder of the unsettling message that I had glimpsed just moments before.
It was evident that it was a threat.
Heard that you are a married man now.
Enjoy it while it lasts.
Sunnah of the month of Rajab
Sayyiduna Anas Ibn Malik (radiyallahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would recite the following supplication when the Month of Rajab would commence:
اَللّٰهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَناَ فِيْ رَجَبٍ وَشَعْبانَ وَبَلّغْنَا رَمَضَانْ
Allahumma baarik lana fi Rajaba wa Sha’bana wa balligh-na Ramadan
Translation: Oh Allah! Grant us Barakah (Blessing) during (the months of) Rajab and Sha’ban, and allow us to reach Ramadan.
(Shu’abul-Iman, Hadith: 3534, Ibnu Sunni, Hadith: 660, Mukhtasar Zawaid Bazzar, Hadith: 662, also see Al-Adhkar, Hadith: 549)
He replied: “By Allah! To us The Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) was dearer to us than our riches our children and our mothers, and was more cherishable than a drink of water at the time of severest thirst.”
SubhaanAllah… what perfect imaan they had… May Allah enable us to practise..💕