Mohsina Part 77
It was the Instagram post that first got me suspicious about Rabia.
And okay. Maybe I had been in a particularly suspicious kind of mood since the entire thing went down, and even the slightest thing made me feel said emotion, but I called it a hunch.
I mean, even Hamzah’s whole open love confession at the minute I was ready to throw in the towel made me a teeny bit out of sorts and thinking that something may be off with his brain alignment.
Like, what on earth was with his whole love declaration that felt like it set my entire heart on fire? I didn’t even understand how someone could even have words like that and not belong in some kind of romcom kind of screenplay that made you weak in the knees.
Hamzah knew that he had to go, if he wanted what was good for him. He had agreed with me that he couldn’t lose his job. But now, emotions were coming into play and he was confused, and that’s all. I just needed to keep steering him that direction. The one that would be best for him.
And then there was going back to work for the meeting with Hammonds, when I glimpsed the new woman who had taken my place as external auditor, and the suspicion started again. The good news was that seeing Faadil made me realise how truly over him I really was.
All I felt when I looked at it, was annoyance. The bad news was that the new girl was skinny and semi-attractive, and what got to me was the way that she looked at me as Faadil walked up to join me in the meeting room that day.
There was an outright scowl in my direction, she seemed highly invested in him who was seemingly oblivious, and I couldn’t help but be quite certain that she had also fallen under the Faadil spell. My suspicion was kind of confirmed everytime she battered her eyelashes at him, and it kind of made me want to puke.
And all that aside, I couldn’t help the prickly kind of feeling that overcame me as I lay awake in bed two days after I had caved and decided to let Hamzah stay a bit longer in our home and my life, as I scrolled through my instagram feed and snuck disbelieving looks at him. Maybe it was just a hunch.
The star husband was laying next to me, one arm slung over me as he slept as if there was no evil that existed in this world, and on the other side of me was Zaid, arms and legs splayed out in the summers heat, with blankets all kicked off.
I wanted to log this onto my memory, never to be erased, so I could keep coming back and revisiting the moment. I didn’t know how many of these mornings I would have. I didn’t want to think about it.
And as much as I tried to get Hamzah to keep his distance, all it took was his swoon-worthy words and I had already melted like ghee on a thawa, and I wanted to kick myself for it. And yes, we were in Nikah and even though Hamzah had made it clear that even if he did sign, no papers would change that… the fact was that, sooner or later, I knew that Hamzah had to go. If not, it would be scandalous.
There was no way I was going to let him risk everything he had worked so hard for once this case goes to court. Though he promised that he would stand by me with fierce loyalty, our marriage would make him a complete target for every kind of treacherous assumption. A divorce on paper and distance between us would be the only solution. For now, it was the only way.
I sighed as I gently edged away from him, lifting his arm so I could move off the bed. So much for distance. All aspirations were out the window.
And I knew that Instagram was not exactly the wisest thing to be scrolling through mindlessly at 7am but sometimes, my overwhelming nafs got the better off me, especially when it came to escapism. I knew that I should at least put the phone down, engage in some dhikr at least, and my entire day would take a turn because of it.
And I did. I wanted to make it a habit of remembering Allah when I first woke up, and not see someone’s pouty, fake-lashed filtered face instead. I had to try and at least rid myself of the dust that had collected over the past few weeks. I had been so absorbed in the allegations and everything it had brought, even my Hifdh had taken a back seat for a while.
But the amazing thing with Hamzah was that since things had erupted, he was the one who had made sure that the Qur’ān was the one constant, even during the days we were at loggerheads with each other. He kept solemnly to his promise of helping me memorise parts of the Qur’ān. It had been doing its thing… cleaning and polishing my soil from all the dirt that had overcome it. Maybe it was a hope he had that Qur’ān would bring us together, like it had before, and whatever he intended, such was the miracle of Qur’ān… that I could most certainly feel the affect on my heart.
The heart was being polished. The grime was being removed. The dust was definitely being wiped off.
And there was nothing more I needed, because the phone had taken over our lives to such an extent that we slept with it and woke up with it, and before even remembering the purpose of our creation, our limbs would stretch out for the gadget that ruled and ruined lives, without even thinking.
The thing was, I always loved social media. Always have. It was an amazing tool for marketing and networking, but a not so amazing too for making me feel great about myself.
Social media is designed to curate and promote highlights. We post the best snapshots of our days, the best meals we eat, and the best places we visit. When you have a stretch of a tough few days, it can be easy to feel like everyone else has it easy and
Dnly you are dealing with this type of difficulty.
It creates a type of insecurity. A person starts to wonder why they cannot get things together when it appears to be so easy.
Although I knew how horrible it was and that it would only feed my silly insecurities, I still couldn’t seem to wean myself off it or delete it completely. Like a drug, it would draw me back to it, craving just one more hit of juiciness until I felt a little satiated.
In fact, everything I opened the app, Instagram just made me feel crappy.
That morning, after my dhikr counter had reached 500, I squinted my eyes slightly in the darkened room, trying to figure out how Rabias social life had suddenly gotten so … quirky.
There it was. The post that made me suspicious. That would raise all the questions in my mind. A picture of the favourite ice cream place that I had been obsessed with just months ago, and a picture of three cones, two sugar and one normal, in three different flavours, snapped together.
And okay, I knew that it was a very popular place at the sometimes trendy Melrose Arch but the guava and mint flavour ice cream that had been snapped in the picture made my heart kind of contract momentarily.
And I knew that I had no damn right to feel even the slightest bit nostalgic, having this gorgeous and amazing man next to me, and the cutest baby in the world snoring like an adorable little steam engine, but the emotion came without warning.
That was Faadil’s favourite flavour. His favourite flavour, always in a normal wafer cone (never sugared, he just had this weird-so weird- thing from childhood that made him hate sugar cones). A most odd flavour, I always thought one of the least popular, and although I didn’t want to go back to that space mentally, it was the place we frequented at least three times during those few months I was with him.
It was also the place where he always said that it dawned on him that he apparently didn’t want to just be friends.
And I had no idea he allegedly felt that way of course, but it was the day he had lent me the Porsche and before that had treated us all to ice creams, before some of the less demure girls jumped into the car with him.
It had flattered me of course. How much of it was real, I still didn’t know. The tune after was that the reason he had let those girls take a ride in his car was that he was waiting for me to be the one to get in, and when I didn’t, he had to find a way to get my attention somehow.
I never did the throwing myself at guys thing, no matter what car they drove. Personally, I feel the elusive, hard-to-get factor was probably what made the chase more exciting for him.
Whatever it was, for him that’s when everything kind of kicked off in his head, and despite me regretting every bit of it months after, I couldn’t help but feel the rising suspicion as I closed the app.
How could Rabia know who Faadil was? Could the instagram snapshots that incriminated me been her doing?
No ways. She couldn’t have been acquainted with him. How could she know who she is?
I shook my head as I put my phone down, sneaking a guilty look at Hamzah because I was suspecting his sister of such lowly things.
Just glimpsing him momentarily, while he slept so peacefully, made my heart burst with all sorts of overwhelming emotion as I shoved the thought out of my mind.
I shook my head. No.
Maybe I was being a little paranoid.
Just to be sure, I would try and suss her out later when I saw her. Ask her a thing or two about the gram. Or ice cream. After all, guilty people usually act a little nice than they’re supposed to. After the whole fall out with her, I had barely seen her, but with Saaliha around in Joburg for this weekend l, I knew that Rabia was bound to be around when they give everyone their amazing pregnancy news.
I had been so excited for them that I yelped crazily when Hamzah had told me the previous night, especially since I was well aware that Saaliha couldn’t fall pregnant for years. Allah was so merciful. Rabia was definitely bound to be there, even if it was only to suck the joy out of the occasion.
I sighed as I tried to think happy thoughts that morning, and although the morning had started off on a little bit of a questionable note, Hamzah shifting around as he woke up immediately lifted my spirits.
I had made him a special breakfast (well, as special as it gets with me, who allegedly can’t really cook) and I was trying to be as nice as I could be considering the awkward circumstances. We were at this very weird stage in our relationship where we were avoiding each other but trying to spend time together at the same time. Hamzah was doing his best to respect my wishes, but he was still holding onto hope that I would change my mind and I was so close to throwing in the towel on my plans, but I knew, for his own sake that I couldn’t just abort mission.
All I knew was that no matter how hard I had tried to push him away, he always found a way to rebound, and proved himself over and over again.
And since we usually ended up in my parents area on Saturdays because of dropping Zaid with Liyaket’s mother, I knew that there was no better time to pop in at my parents and Jameela, before the big day for her tomorrow. I had been so absorbed in my life, but seeing Hamzah was a bigger gossip than I was, and after Nani’s call the other day, he desperately wanted to find out what was going on from Zubair myself. I knew that my parents were preparing for Jameela but what I didn’t know was the Nani also had her own preparations going on.
And after she had huffed and puffed about it like the big bad wolf, I really didn’t expect her to be there as yet.
And so, if course, you could understand my utmost shock when I glimpsed Nani standing at the counter in all dedication, mixing something vigorously, considering that she had so much to say about the upcoming events, the delicious smell coming from the stove made me completely suspicious.
I mean, what on earth was she up to, when she had clearly said that she was completely against that ‘aloo’ coming to see Jameela. I mean, I couldn’t believe that she was calling him a potato. Her entire reaction was enough for me to understand that there were no samoosas coming from her this time, and my parents weren’t in the least surprised. I was just glad that my parents weren’t adopting the same stance, and were actually giving Jameela scores about actually wanting to meet Zubair.
“Hey Naans,” Hamzah said sweetly, his one-dimpled smile genuine as he saw her. I had to look away when I saw the pure affection in his gaze because knowing that he would become off-limits to me soon made me feel completely out of sorts. “We’ve missed you.”
Nani immediately looked up as she saw him, and her star grandson-in-law planted a kiss on her cheek as she continued with her exaggerated gestures and gorgeous smelling treats. He was so good with swindling her that it made me jealous.
”Mos,” Hamzah said, turning to me and raising his eyebrows, holding a squiggly orange thing in his hand.
I met his eye hesitantly as he watched me. He knew what he was doing. Making this entire thing harder for me was apparently his sole objective.
“How could you not tell me that Nani makes Jalebi? This stuff is a winner.”
I rolled my eyes at him, concealing my true emotions, but I couldn’t help but smile, watching Hamzah devouring the jalebi as if it was the most delectable treat in the world.
His brown eyes twinkled as he munched, and I could see from his face that he wasn’t just throwing Nani up.
“To what do we owe the honour?”
My humoured question lost its effect as soon as Nani heard it.
“Nadeema asked me to make it,” Nani said proudly, as if my dear cousins requests were the only thing in the world that mattered.
Nadeema was still one of Nani’s favourites, despite what she did to me. Of course, I couldn’t expect Nani to understand. In her eyes, I was the married one so I wasn’t worthy of pity, and Nadeema wasn’t… so she deserved sympathy plus a kilo of jalebi for extra effect.
Jameela had entered the kitchen at that point and was standing at the door, waiting to catch my attention, but Nani had already caught it. Now, I needed to know more, and I wouldn’t let this rest.
If Nadeema wanted to Jalebi, why on earth was it here?
”So is this all going to her?” I asked with a raise eyebrow, gesturing to the pile of orangey sweet stuff that was on the counter next to the stove. The thought made me want to smash it all up so Nani could serve her jalebi syrup.
Crushed. Orange. Jalebi. Syrup.
It’s not that I hated Nadeema. It’s just that, after the incident where she literally broke off my proposal, I wasn’t exactly obliged to like her. The thought that Nani would make her stuff in our home, with our cooking oil, made me want to cry. Oil was expensive, okay. And Nadeema was not worth it.
I could see Jameela trying to gesture to me, and whilst Hamzah saw her and tried to signal me too, but I was far too vested in this conversation to pay attention.
Since Nani mentioned Nadeema, all I saw was red.
”Of course no, Mohsina,” Nani said nonchalantly, sounding oh-so-reasonable. “This is extra batter. Nadeema’s jalebi is at her house, ready for the boy who is coming to see her tomorrow.”
It took me a few seconds to process that one. Wait. Jameela’s proposal was also tomorrow. With Zubair. His sister and brother-in-law will also be there. She knew this. She had told me. Did that mean Nani won’t be here for it?
Jameela’s gestures were becoming a little more vigorous, and with it were tiny little hisses that accompanied it, solely intended to draw my attention that was refusing to be diverted from Nani.
And who could blame me?
“She’s also getting a proposal tomorrow?” I asked incredulously.
I mean, what were the odds. I wonder who was the (un)lucky guy.
My poor baby sister was now jumping up and down with pure purpose, but now that I was onto something, I averted my eyes and wouldn’t back down. Jameela knew that I was never the type to turn down a challenge. Nani was about to show her displeasure about the situation by being there for Nadeema, and acting as if Jameela’s proposal wasn’t happening.
What I didn’t know was that she had gone one step further.
“Muneer will see her tomorrow,” Nani said, her face turning slightly so I could see her beam. “After Jameela broke poor boys heart I knew that I had to try and fix it.”
”Wha-“ I was cut off as she turned back to her frying and at the point that the rage in me was threatening to boil over, Hamzah had literally steered me out of the room, whilst Jameela grabbed my arm to pull me away.
I was so angry, I could not believe it. Nani had completely lost her mind. She was doing the exact same thing to Jameela as happened to me.
“Just leave it,” Jameela warned through gritted teeth.
I didn’t want to. I wanted to scream at Nani for being so superficial, and claw at Nadeema’s face for being such a spoilt brat, but Hamzah had wisely blocked me off so I couldn’t go back to the kitchen. The look in his eyes told me that he knew me way too well, and what I was thinking was a really bad idea.
He had called to Nani that he would be back in fifteen minutes, sending me off with Jameela to safety and was already headed to the door for his ritual smoke break, grinning at us as he grabbed his lighter near the door.
”You didn’t tell her anything?” I hissed to my sister as I was shoved up the stairs.
”I figured that some things are not worth fighting over,” she said with an exaggerated sigh.”If Nani doesn’t want to be here, so be it. She doesn’t invalidate the Nikah and it’s not like I’m being a disrespectful grandchild by marrying someone below her expected income bracket. All that aside, it’s great seeing you and Hamzah together. Do you know how much of Duaa I am making for this to be okay. And it’s so amazing because I can see it being accepted right before me. You guys are so strong.”
If only she knew we were just stringing ourselves and everyone else along. She didn’t know that by us staying together we were risking so much. It had to be temporary.
”We’re trying to be amicable,” I said simply, not wanting to explain the whole arrangement we had. “When the court case goes public he will move out. I offered but Hamzah said he won’t let me leave. So…”
She looked at me suspiciously, and then raised her eyebrows.
”So you’re basically waiting for everything to head south before you kick him out?” She asked incredulously. “Mos, are we even related? How are you this horrible?!”
I frowned at her, wondering since when my sister gave me these intensely judgemental looks that made me feel worse than what’s under her shoe.
”Jams,” I said, trying to justify myself. “He will lose everything he worked so hard for if I don’t. Then, I’ll be really mean.”
Jameela’s eyes flared at me as I said it.
”Yes, yes, you said all that, but do you really think he cares?!” She scoffs as she glares at me.
“He has to care!” I said incredulously. “How can he not? This is his entire life. His degree, career, his repuation… Everything he worked so hard for! And he agreed to go.”
“Haven’t you realised that all that stuff is barely important to him?” She was pointing a finger at me accusingly as she said it.
I sighed. But she doesn’t get it.
“It is important,” I retorted obviously.
“Says who? Has the world taken over your heart Mohsina?” she said quietly. “Is that the only thing thats important right now? Status and position and how much money you’re worth. Because if it has, you have to let the Duniyaa go. You have to claim it back and give your heart to its rightful owner.”
My heart was slowly cracking at its seams anyway. It was a searing pain that penetrated right through because I realised that I was going back to that place that I had been at months ago.
”But how?” I said to her breathlessly. “How do I even get there? I’m so weak and hopeless… and now Hamzah’s going through so much because of me and he has to leave so what hope is there for me?”
I didn’t even know what I was saying anymore. I was just getting so emotional thinking of it all.
Somewhere along the way my bond that I had worked so hard at with Allah Ta’ala had been compromised. Maybe I hadn’t tried hard enough. Maybe I wasn’t sincere enough. Maybe I didn’t make enough istighfaar.
All I knew was that I wanted to make this right again, but I didn’t know how to.
“The only reason he’s going is because you threatening to leave him if he doesn’t go himself,” Jameela said to me resentfully. “He won’t be able to bear you being back to that point where you have to ask anyone for anything. Where you have to rely on someone. Even when you’re putting him through so much of pain, his only concern is for you. He only wants you to be happy, Mos. Even if he has to go and make himself miserable in the process.”
“What?” I said, narrowing my eyes at her as she looked back at me, now avoiding eye contact as if she said something she was never meant to disclose.
“How do you know all that?”
My voice was low and disbelieving. It sounded too close to the truth that I didn’t yet know. All this talk was making me suspicious. But then again, I was being a tad bit too intense on those very emotions that week.
“I don’t,” she said, her gaze immediately faltering and I knew that she was lying.
I narrowed my eyes at her, wondering what she would be hiding.
“Spit it out, Jams!” I barked at her, swallowing back my emotion. I could see her face turning a shade of whatever she turned when she was flustered.
“Okay, fine,” she said softly, still avoiding my stare. “Zubair said so.”
I raised my eyebrows at her. Zubair said so?! Is that all she had? She’s dropped a bomb and then stopped. How on earth could I just leave it at that?
“You spoke to him?” I asked, completely gobsmacked that my usually shy and evasive sister would actually talk to a guy. And not just a guy. The guy. Handsome stranger who she’s been going gaga over for way longer than she cared to admit.
Was she talking to him now? Like talking talking?!
“You and Zubair?”I asked, widening my eyes. “Are you guys….”
“Papa was there,” she explained hastily, her bashfulness very evident. “He wanted to see Papa and Papa thought it would be good if I was there as well. We chatted. A little. We didn’t have long but. I know certain people look down on him because they think that he’s poor but it doesn’t matter to me. Why do people think that wealth makes you someone? Sometimes people get swayed by the charms of the world as if it’s everything that ever mattered and will matter. We think we can find constancy in all these things but what we hold onto is inconstant and perishing. Money and status and everything the world presents is just a mirage….”
“You make it sound so easy Jams,” I said softly, wondering how my sister had become so wise. She was so…. pious.
On the day of Qiyaamah, Allah Ta’ala will apologise to the poor in the same was as a person does to another person in this life, by saying, “I swear by My Honour and Greatness that I did not keep away the worldly wealth from you because you were disgraced in My eyes, I did so for the sake of bestowing on you the great honours of this day; you go and look into the rows of Jahannamis for those who fed you or clothed you for My sake, they are all yours.
When the poor approach such persons they will all be drowned in their own sweat and the poor people will pull them out and lead them to Jannah. (Rodh-ar-Rayahim)
We look at wealth as if it’s the be all and end all of life. As if someone without money is not worth anything. Little do we know that there are people in this world who not a soul knows, but in the heavens, there is not an angel who does not know that blessed slaves name.
”He really likes Hamzah,” she said softly, looking all dreamy-eyed. “Thinks he’s one of the few people he can actually trust. We don’t want to lose him…”
Oh my word, they were a ‘we’ now. What. Wait. Did I miss so much? They discussed Hamzah and I as if we were something that was so important to ‘them’.
I narrowed my eyes and she looked away again and I knew that she was done for.
My word. My little sister hopelessly besotted was doing things to my insides
”I want to know everything,” I pressed, my eyes narrowing even more at her. “About what he said. About what Hamzah told him. And about what on earth you guys were chatting about. Was he pushing for this? Are we having a Nikah at the same time.. just tell me what’s going on?!”
I was completely in shock. While caught up in my own world I had completely sidelined the spicy masala moments that may have been happening at home. I was now an obsessed women, hanging onto every thread of information. And Jameela was looking frightfully suspicious when I mentioned the word Nikah.
My heart felt like it was about to explode with emotion, despite the looming clouds above.
“Relax,” she said steadily, a smile creeping on her face. “Zubair is a good guy and he’s not forcing me into anything. It’s me who wants to do this fast. Like, really fast. Make it halaal. And yes, Papa did agree that we can have the Nikah this week. It’s taken so long to get to this point and we’ve both felt this way for a while so….”
If I knew how to do a double take, I probably would. What?!
They both felt what way for so long?!
Oh my word, I couldn’t breathe.
“Are you sure you know what you are doing?” I breathed, still partly in shock.
Jameela and her bloody romancing. It was just too utopian-like.
She honestly could not wait to get married and I knew it wasn’t about the glitzy parts of the whole event for her. Jameela was too obsessed with Zubair to see beyond that.
She nodded eagerly, and I felt like somehow, this was always supposed to happen. But there was still a niggling feeling of hesitation as she said it, and I knew that there was still early days.
Nani still wasn’t okay with this. Zubair still had an awkwardly unmentionable history. Hamzah and I were still buying time.
All this time, this kind of ending for her was merely an idea but now that things were wrapping up, I couldn’t help but feel that something was completely amiss…
Mission Sunnah Revival
Sunnah of Thinking Good about others
We’re so quick to assume bad things about people, even when we have no idea what’s the real story. Thinking the best about others is part of the Sunnah of Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) and is a great way to give us a positive outlook and always be good to others.
He replied: “By Allah! To us The Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) was dearer to us than our riches our children and our mothers, and was more cherishable than a drink of water at the time of severest thirst.”
SubhaanAllah… what perfect imaan they had… May Allah enable us to practise..💕