Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Test. Part 3

I saw a smile slowly form on his face, as he safely put the note away...

~4 Years Later~

"Yeah, mom, I forgot, whats the name of the canned fruit again?" I asked over the phone
"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'm sure you remember my plans of getting married in three or four years, Inshallah. I'll be waiting to see your your face at my door when that time comes. If you don't, I will come and hunt you down. We shall then continue this paused relationship,which will then be beautiful to
The Almighty,

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.

It was Wednesday and I was driving to Ahmed's place for dinner. I parked the car, rang the door bell and had Ahmed's mom open the door.We did our normal greetings as I entered the crowded house, with women spread out in the lounge.I quickly looked down, and heard Ahmed call my name, I looked up to see him signaling me from the kitchen to go in the last room where all the men were sitting. As I was getting to the last room, Ahmed caught up to me, and stopped me in the middle of the hallway.
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.


Me and the girls were sitting in Marya's pink bedroom, laughing and chatting about the randomest things. Marya's 7 year old sister banged in through the door, leaving the door open.
"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.


Summer came and Umar and Zahra got married. They moved in to their small new home, in a beautiful small city. Umar was the Imam of the local masjid in their community and both Zahra and Umar were the founders of a popular monthly Islamic magazine called A Travellers Read, where Zahra was the chief editor. Both were also very involved in the community and held special Arabic classes for Muslims and non-Muslims. They were also very beautiful parents to a beautiful daughter named Ameerah whom they welcomed into their lives one year after their marraige.
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...

The End

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.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Test. Part 2

My heart was pounding, my throat tightened, I felt cold all over my body. I felt like I could hear my heartbeat.
Ok here I go.

" You know, I was thinking" I said slowly " We try our best to be good Muslims, as in, we pray our five daily namaaz, we don't listen to music, we try not to backbite"
He sat there staring at me, waiting for me to continue "Uh-huh, go ahead" he said
I continued,"Basically, we refrain from many haraam things, yet here we are committing one of the major sins, Zina!"
He replied with silence.
I took a deep breath, "I think we should stop this" I said quickly , not meeting his eyes.
I looked over at him to find my words had drained every emotion out of him.
Say something! My heart screamed.
He finally let out a sigh, "Remember this one time when I said that you will one day be tired of all of this, tired of being with me?" he asked.
Without waiting for my reply he said,"This is that day"
I couldn't believe he just said that! My mouth at that moment was gaping, my eyes appalled.
"What?!" I snapped, " How can you even say that" I continued.
I put my hands over my head.
"I also remember how you said that you have your ways of getting out of things" he said, "And here you are using your religion to get out of it!" he said sternly.
I was furious at this point. He was accusing me of lying. Of all the people i thought he would understand!
I could feel my blood rushing and my face was probably bursting red, but i held my anger in the fist of my hand.
I cleared my throat,"No one has seen tomorrow, Allah forbid but one of us can die anytime, and then one of us is going to have to go through the deep pain and regret of being in a relationship with the other that's gone. The one left behind wont be able to stop thinking about the punishments the other person may be going through partly because of them"
His sat there like the every average guy sits, with his legs apart. Our eyes met, and locked for seconds that seemed like for ever. He looked down and slowly nodded, quickly stood up, and walked away. He left me all alone in the empty green field, with the clouds that cried along with me...

The next few days were the worst. He ignored me, acted as though i didn't exist, and it hurt. I thought maybe after thinking through everything he would apologize the next day or so for the harsh words, and say that we could just be friends.
But that's just what I thought.
I didn't want to be at school, I even skipped two days because the pain of him ignoring me was unbearable.Catching up on the two days of work was such a pain, which made me miss him even more, because on days that I used to be sick he would get all my homework and send it with Atiyah. Sometimes he would also make videos teaching me some of the things missed, and oh how entertaining they were!

Our school was very small, everyone knew everything about everyone. Many were shocked, but didn't question. My friends were upset, especially Nazia. She kept telling me that there was nothing wrong between the relationship, she would say "You guys didnt even ever hug or kiss or friggin' hold hands! You two knew you were going to marry each other, so its not like you were playing around!"
But she didn't understand what I had understood.And I was tired of explaining. Atiyah was upset as well, but she was understanding.
English class was the worst, Umar and I were in the same group. He sat across from me.It's hard not to look at the person sitting across from you in a boring class like English, but he seemed to have mastered an amazing skill which enabled him from taking even one glance at me.
I tried to make a conversation once, "So, how are you?" I casually asked, as he sat down in his seat.
"Good" he replied, uninterested.
Instead of asking me how I am, he started talking to the girl sitting beside him. Telling her how tired he was from the hockey game last night and blah blah blah. He had never spoken to the girl before till that day, and she didn't even seem to understand what he was saying, since she didn't know anything regarding the hockey world!
And that made me furious, no, i was not jealous. I just hated how he was ignoring me for so long, carrying grudges for no reason and just being plain stubborn. I was so mad at that moment that I was close to kicking his leg under the table.


One Week Later

"You're coming to my place right?" Naz asked me
"Yeah" I replied, while putting on my fall jacket
"Now you have all the time for your besties eh?" she laughed as she gave me a quick tight hug.
"Yup" I laughed, " Hey, I'll meet you and Atiyah downstairs, 'cause I also need to go to the washroom" I said quickly.
"Oh, don't worry, I'll come with you" she said.
"No no no" I said forcefully, pushing her to leave.
"Okay, okay, chillax gal" she laughed
Phew! she's gone, I thought to myself.
I didn't want to tell her that I just saw Umar pass by, and that this was my only chance, since he wasn't with his 'crew' and the halls were empty.
I quickly opened my locker and took his neatly folded Nike hoodie out from the bag and shut my locker. I ran across the hall and looked to my left to find him at his locker alone. Yes!
He saw me walking towards him, but kept on with emptying his bag. My heart was racing and i felt the nervousness rush through my body. I stopped a few steps from him and softly said "Assalamualaikum"
"Walaikumussalaam" he replied while forcing a smile.
"Uhh...I had to give your hoody back, didnt get a chance before" I said awkwardly handing it to him.
"Oh right!" he said, as though he had forgotten
I pursed my lips,"Well, alright then, take care.Khudahafiz."I said quickly, and rushed to free myself from the awkwardness.

I went around the corner of the hall, stopped and leaned my back against the wall. I slowly peered around the wall to find him staring at the hoody, and lean in to smell it. He was to only find the smell of detergent, not my perfume. Whenever I would give him a gift, I would always spray the perfume I wore. At first he didn't like that, he would say " I don't wanna go around smelling like a girl." But I eventually taught him to love it, and surprisingly he did.

I stood there anxious, waiting for him to find the note. I wanted to see his reaction. And by Allahs grace I did. I saw his eyebrows furrow at the sight of a folded white piece of paper in one of the pockets of the hoodie. He opened and read the note. I saw a smile slowly form on his face, as he safely put the note away...

to be continued...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Test. Part 1

"You two are definitely gonna get the best couple award!" exclaimed Nazia, "God, I can't wait for prom!"
Nazia was my best friend, she felt she knew the outcome of every couples relationship; she called herself "Nazia the sexy psych".

"Naz is right" said Atiyah "You two are one unique couple, there's this maturity in you guys, and the way you both treat each other and everyone around, its just so different." I smiled, yet deep down inside I didn't want to talk about any of this.
My best friend stared at my face, as if searching for something "You know Zar, you're very lucky to have him, every girl envy's you, and and I'm not talking about his good looks, or his witty sense of humor, I'm talking about his character.He has so much respect for everyone, especially women.".At that point I felt like jumping up from my seat and screaming at her.I didn't want to know how lucky I was, not today at least.Never in fact.
Nazia noticed the tenseness on my face and asked "Whats wrong?" I looked away "Nothing"
"You've been acting really weird for the past few days, whats wrong hun." she said softly,her hand on my arm.
I couldn't tell them, the words were refusing to leave my tongue to the attentive ears of my friends.

I quickly looked over at the hallway clock, "We have ten minutes till lunch ends, lets go pray"


"Nice scarf!!" a voice beamed behind me as I put my books away in my locker. I turned around to find Umar standing there staring at my hijab with a huge smile across his face. Oh that face! I thought. The sight of that face that gave me butterflies in my stomach, and that smile that made me weak in the knees.
"Thanks" I smiled.
"The person who gave you the scarf must be really nice" he said slyly
I rolled my eyes as I closed my locker "Yes, you're very nice! Happy?"
He flashed me a big smile, showing his perfect white teeth.
"So how was your trip?" I asked as I put on my backpack.
"It was sick! Those cars, the Lamborghini, the Porsche Panamera...ahhh" he sighed.
"Nice" I said softly.
"Aww you missed me eh, especially in English?" he laughed
"Pssht, not even" I said jokingly. We walked through the empty school hallways, and I reminded myself that I was not to joke, I had to be serious.
We stepped out through the back school door out into the empty green field. The cold wind slapped my face.
"Aaahhhh!!!! Its cold!!" I shrieked. "And oh my gosh!!! Naz has my sweater!"
He rolled his eyes,"God, its not that cold! Here, have my hoodie" he said, as he removed his black Nike hoodie.
"NO!! Its cold, and you get sick so quickly" I wailed
He ignored my protests and handed the hoodie to me.I put on his over sized hoodie which smelled just like him, that sort of an exotic smell I failed to describe.
We walked in silence in the field, I looked up at the sky which was covered with gray clouds ready to burst with rain.
I looked over at him, he was wearing a loose black long sleeve shirt with gray sweat pants, and of course his black topi. His deep brown eyes staring intently into thin air, deep in thought.His broad shoulders,chiseled jaw...he really was handsome I thought. Astaghfirullah I quickly said to myself in my head.
We walked a little bit more...in silence. But silence with him was never awkward.
" I have something for you" I said as we sat down on the bleachers
"Another tight shirt?" he laughed
I laughed with him.
On our fifth monthiversary I gave him a shirt that was so tight on him that he said it would be tight enough to make me look haraam( if I had to wear it).I don't know what I was thinking when I bought that shirt!
"No!" I replied and handed him a card in a yellow envelope.
He opened the envelope and took the card out. He was about to read out loud, but I told him not to, "Fine!" he said annoyed.

Dear, Umar.

Where do I start? I'll just get straight to the point...Thank you. You have given me so much in these 3 years, you have helped me find myself, made me laugh like there was no tomorrow, said the sweetest things that have actually made me cry, most of all u have helped me befriend Islam. I have truly found myself, where i belong. You made me a better person, you helped perfect my hijab, my salaah, my character, you helped me avoid listening to music, helped me avoid gossip, and the list goes on.
You did this by being an example of a follower of all of the above, and i was inspired.
And the most amazing part is that you did all this without pressuring me or being an overprotective guy.I don't know if I even make sense, but since you know me inside -out, I'm sure you understand what I'm saying. I have built this great love and passion for Islam, its inexplicable, and its all because of you.I'll never be able to repay this great gift.
Thank you.Jazakallah.


He looked up at me " Well. That was quite unexpected."he said softly "Youre too sweet. If it was halaal, I would hug you" he said, looking intently into my eyes.
I sat there motionlesss, not knowing what to say. Come on Zahra, do it! Just say it, remember its a test.
My heart was pounding, my throat tightened, I felt cold all over my body. I felt like I could hear my heartbeat.
Ok here I go.

to be continued...