~4 Years Later~
"Umar, umar, umar" my mom said annoyed, "Its called Delish Apple and Raspberry Pie Filling"
"Right right! its a long name, obviously I'm gonna forget" I said, "Alright Khudahafiz"
"Khudahafiz" my mom replied.
I looked over the hundreds of cans in front of me in the huge grocery store. Woah! I thought to myself.
" Delish, apple, raspberry, pie filling" I kept muttering to myself , "Oh here it is" I said aloud to myself, overjoyed.
I was picking out the canned fruit when I heard the cry of a baby over the aisle,"ooohhh, my little sweety pie, don't cry now, shhh shhh" said a woman gently
I looked over to find a Niqaabi cradling the crying child. The woman looked young.
I looked away, but spontaneously turned around to look at the woman again .I recognized those eyes, and the familiar voice. It was Zahra.
I quickly looked away and grabbed two canned fruits and quickly made my way to the cash register.
As I got in the car, I was still shocked by what I had seen. She has a child. She's a mother. She's married!!! Those thoughts kept running through my head.
As I slowly drove back home, I couldn't help but think of the past. How we were inseparable, our laughs, our stupidity which only the two of us could understand. I remembered the times when we would have a one on one basketball match, and she would get so frustrated when she would lose and throw a fit because she couldn't take being tagged as "the loser". So I would purposely lose sometimes to bring that smile over her face. I remember the day she freed us both from the trap of Shaytaan, and how immaturely I treated the situation.I did apologize later, but the sting of regret did not leave me.
"Well, I'm happy for her" I said out loud to myself in the car, while looking ahead at the road. And I truly was happy. Those deep feelings for her had died down as the years had passed, but my respect for her had increased. A month after our breakup, I began to see changes in her. She talked less with boys, she would only speak to them when needed. She never put up a picture of herself on msn. She began wearing an abaya, and observing modesty to the extent that whenever I happened to see her, she would have her gaze low. And now she was a Niqabi.
After high school, she moved to another city, and life just moved on for both of us.
I got inside the house, "Assalamualaikum" I said as I would normally when entering the house.
I went into the overly bright kitchen, "Here mom", I laid down the canned fruits on the table.
She smiled, wiping her floury hands on her apron " Jazakallah"
After chatting and helping my mom out a little bit in the kitchen, I headed to my room...to look for something given to me four years ago.
I opened my closet, and there it was, the black Nike hoodie which I never wore anymore since I had grown out of it. But I kept it. I put my hand in the right hand pocket and removed the folded note.
I didn't really have to look at the note, the message was engraved in my heart.
I crumbled the note with one hand, She's married, I thought. I tossed the note in the garbage can and plopped on my bed. My phone rang and I picked it up to find my very close friend Ahmed's husky voice beaming through the phone "Assalamualaikum, yo, where you at?"
"Walaikumussalaam" I replied with no energy, "I'm home, why?"
"Nothing really, we're going out to eat, you comin'?"
"Uhhh...yeh alright." I said.
"You seem tired, what you been up to today?" he asked.
"Oh nothin' man, just got back from the grocery store" I said
Should I tell him that I saw Zahra, I thought.
"Yo, how come you didn't tell me Zahra got married and had a baby, since you're related to her, you most probably knew?"
"What? what are you talking about? who Zahra?" he asked confused
Without waiting for me to answer he continued "Oh! that Zahra! She's not married! or has a baby!" he laughed, "Who told you that?"
"Shes not married?! But I saw her today with a baby!" I exclaimed.
"So, she could be carrying someone else s baby!" he said, "Oh wait, was the baby a girl with really fair skin and chubby? and looked about 6 or 7 months old?" he asked, ecstatic.
" Yeah, the baby was quite chubby and fair" I replied
" Yeah that's probably her sisters baby,she lives around here, her and her family are over." he said.
"Oh" I said dumbfounded.
" What? you wanna marry her?" he asked, laughing
"No! what are you talkin' man. You're so random!" I retorted
He just laughed.
"Oh yo, Wednesday,you're eating at my place, my mom has given a dawaat" he continued coolly. Without waiting for me to reply to his invitation, he quickly said "Alright, I'll see you in an hour then, Inshallah. Khudahafiz"
I put my phone away in my pocket, and just laid on my bed staring at the ceiling. Even if I were to marry her, the reasons would be different now then they were four years ago. I would want to marry her because she is the woman who changed my life after our breakup. For the better. I have a dream to marry a pious woman, and at this moment, I see myself with her. I feel she will bring me closer to my lord. All these thoughts ran through my head, and I realized how much I had changed. In high school when I dreamt of the one I was to marry, I would think about good looks, humorous, good family, loving and of course hijabi, and Zahra came to mind. I never thought beyond. I never thought about what I wanted from the marriage. That's when Islam and its beautiful teachings took over my typical mentality and stretched open my views on life. And that's when I deeply started looking at marriage and a potential wife through the perspective of my religion. And again, Zahra came to mind, 4 years later.
I cant marry her anyways, it'll just be stupid. That note was during the immature days, I thought
With that, I got up to head to the masjid for maghrib salaah.
He looked very excited,"Alright, Zahra's dad is in the last room, and I talked to him about a good husband for his daughter, and I recommended you so-"
"What in the world are you talking about?!" I cut back, trying my best to be as low as possible
"Listen, I cant explain everything right now, we just happened to come to the topic of marriage about his children and all, and I told him about you, and that you were coming, and he could see you" he said softly," and act like you don't know that I told you anything" he continued.
" What in the world is wrong with you!" I snapped
I could not believe what I just heard. My heart was racing. He pushed me to go in the room, I was hesitant, "And be a good boy" he laughed as we entered the room.
"Close the door Aisha!" Marya screamed.
Just when Marya stood up to close the door( since her little sister ignored her request), a tall, handsome bearded man in a long black jubba walked slowly to the last room followed by Ahmed. I very quickly put my niqaab on at the sight of him and turned my back towards the door.
I froze, my eyes wide open, " Oh my god" I slowly muttered to myself. That was Umar.
Zahra and Umar lived a very prosperous marriage filled with love and devotion to each other. Their love for Allah was more than anything or anyone in the world. They tried their best to sacrifice anything to pass the little tests in life, for the pleasure of the one and only, Allah.
"Mommy, mommy!" Ameerah the tree year old screamed laughingly.
"What is it Ameerah?" Zahra asked from the living room
There was laughter and screaming going on in the room, Zahra stood up from her comfy couch and went to see what the commotion was all about. She went into the room to find both father and daughter play fighting. Umar was tickling Ameerah, " Mommy help!" she laughed.
"Mommys here to the rescue baby!" Zahra said confidently, and jumped on the bed to join thier playfight. Zahra and Ameerah were a team against Umar, but both failed and were tangled in the muscular arms of Umar. After much laughter and screaming, all three, mother,father, and daughter fell asleep in each others arms...
Many of our brothers and sisters today have been trapped in this deadly sin of "dating". Every human being will be tested one way or another in this life full of tests. It is up to the individual whether they want to pass or fail, and these little decisions will bring the outcome of their state in the everlasting world, and maybe even this world. Zahra from this story knew that what Umar and her were doing was wrong, even Umar knew that, but they both took it lightly just like many of our brothers and sisters today. But Zahra really began thinking of this world, and whats planned for tomorrow, and of the displeasure this realtionship was causing to Allah(swt). She had to make a decison. So she decided to please Allah(swt). Allah(swt) has promised eternal blessings for those whom will strive and abandon their ill desires for the sake of only him, and to attain paradise. There is no losing when one gives up something for the sake of Allah(swt), theres only reward, much great reward than one could think of. I pray that Allah(swt) help free all those that have been captured in this trap of Shaytaan. And I pray that Allah(swt) show the light and guidance to each and every sould on this earth, Ameen.