Habibati Sadeekun… (Beloved Friend)
Even after my best attempt at making Riaz turn away from me so that he wouldn’t have to suffer any embarrassment, he still managed touch my heart even further with his utmost respect, kindness and understanding. I kept reading his response to my condition over and over again. At times I thought that it was just my imagination running away with itself.
I feel, as long as she has someone to accept her for that, and respect/appreciate her regardless, that in itself could be the motivation the body may need to help her produce whatever may be required to help with reproduction, and I’m MORE than willing to be that kind of a person, no matter the eventual result, especially with it being the least I can do to help a fellow Muslimah who’s willing to accept ME with the condition I have.
How could I let this opportunity go? I just HAD to try and convince Mum one last time. I just knew that if I didn’t, I would live the rest of my life, wondering what could’ve been and I’d never be able to allow myself to be happy.
While I waited for Mum to get back from running a few errands, Tasneem kept me company. She was overjoyed at the fact that I wasn’t going to give up so easily.
Tas: OMG!… If you two get married… I can’t wait to start calling you by his surname.
Me: Lol woman first let’s get Mum on board.
Me: Wait…But now I’m curious…
Me: What’s his surname?
Tas: You really want to know?
Me: Yes Yes!
Tas: Are you sure?
Tas: Okay Okay! His surname is Phoolwala.
Me: Riaz Phoolwala?
Me: What’s that mean now? Riaz flower boy?
Tas: I think florist… I’m not certain.
Tas: Nusaybah Phoolwala. Has a nice ring to it init? 😂
Me: Well… I guess accepting his surname would be the least I can do in return for him accepting me as a whole.
Tas: I guess so.
Tas: Relax! I’m kidding!
Me: Oh Thank Allah!
Me: DON’T joke like that Nemo!
Me: I was trying to figure out how in the world I was going to get Mum to take me seriously when I tell her I really want to get to know a potential suitor who just happens to be a flower boy.
Me: Not to mention my brother! I would never hear the end of it! My life would’ve been a big joke to him. Can you imagine my wedding day?
Me: Trust Luqmaan to say something stupid to Riaz like, “Awe Phoolwala, Why you standing here bra? You supposed to be throwing the flowers.”
Tas: Lmao Nusi calm down!
Tas: His surname is Pandor.
Me: Phew! Ok… Pandor… Alright, sounds much better.
Tas: By the way… Let’s say Mum agrees, have you thought about what you’re going to do about having a person from your side in the group?
Me: As a matter of fact, I have.
Tas: Aha? And…?
Me: Yes, You will stand for me. Think about it, you’re like my sister and you just know me way too well. Plus I trust you with everything I own…
Tas: Which is… practically nothing.
Me: Lmao! Jee thanks!
Tas: Are you sure? Coz I’d totally understand if you want me to leave the group.
Me: Nooooo! I want you there! That’s final!
Me: You can stop me from embarrassing myself and smack me when I say something I’m not supposed to.
Tas: Yaaaay! NOW I can hardly wait!
Me: Lmao… I love the way you ‘Yay’ about any situation in which you have permission to smack me.
Tas: Hey! If I don’t, then who will?
Me: Lol… point noted!
Me: Nemo, Mum is back…
Me: Hold on to your Tasbeeh coz here I go…
After calmly approaching Mum and starting off with what Riaz’s response was to my condition, Mum snapped once again, “Enough now Nusaybah! All you ever talk about now is this fellow! You sure you’ve only just met him? Or is this your way of sneaking another one of your boyfriends home?!”
“How can you say that Mum? Of course I don’t know him! He isn’t even from South Africa! How could I ever have met him if I’m always either at work or at home?! I can’t believe you would think that of me!”, I felt a pool of water form on my eyes, it felt like it would let loose at any moment. Mum went quiet for a while as she put the groceries away, then she said, “Fine. Go talk to him, but THAT’S IT.” She warned me.
Tasneem didn’t waste any time, she created the group and then messaged me separately:
Tas: Oh dear Allah!
Me: What is it?
Tas: His battery literally just died now after he gave me his sister’s number to add her to the group. But guess what…
Me: Tell me?
Tas: It’s one digit too many. This is just great… we’re getting nowhere slowly. VERY slowly!
Me: Lmao… Sabr Nemo. SABR!
Tas: On the one hand I’m just super excited to finally get this going. On the other hand, I’m running out of time.
Me: What do you mean?
Tas: Remember I told you about my eldest sister coming to town? Well, they will be here this evening. So I doubt I’ll be online much, if not at all.
Me: Oooh yes! I remember… I wish they were staying longer though so that I could’ve met your sis and baby Hamza.
Tas: Luthfia would’ve loved to meet you. As for Hamza, he is no baby anymore! That little rascal just turned two and I heard his naughtiness is at its peak.
Me: Lol… In that case… May Allah be with you.
Tas: Haha… Ameen Ameen Suma Ameen!
I decided that sitting around stressing and waiting for something to happen wasn’t helping, so I finished up the last of my marking. 2 hours later I heard my phone buzzing.
Tasneem created group “Introduction… ”
Tasneem added Aafiyah
Me: Wa alaikumus salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakaatu
The Peace train… I figured I might as well join in.
Riaz: Ohhhk, So, Sister Tasneem, This Concept And All Is Obviously Very New To All Of Us Here Lol, So, How Do You Advise We Proceed Now?
Tasneem: Sis Aafiyah… I am Tasneem.
Tasneem: Riaz this is Nusaybah… Nusaybah this is Riaz.
Tasneem: Ask questions away!
Tasneem: Maaf with family now… Will chat as soon as I can.
Riaz: Ok, Ladies First, Sister Nusaybah, Please Proceed :)
I thought for a minute…
Me: I have no idea where to start … *Can’t watch*
Riaz: Uhmm, Ok Then, Allow Me To Start, Where In South Africa Are You From/Do You Stay?
Stupid Nusaybah! Why didn’t you think of that?!
After I told him where I stay, I was curious to know where he was from. Tasneem hadn’t got down to telling me where he really lived. All I knew was that it WASN’T Somalia.
Me: So, How about you? Where do you stay?
Riaz: I’m from Mozambique, Born And Bred Here Alhamdulillah.
Riaz: Been To South Africa Many Times Though, As We have Families Who Have Now Settled There, In Randburg and Pretoria As well.
Me: Alhumdulilah that’s good … I’ve been in South Africa my whole life but I do have an uncle who visits Mozambique every few months on business.
Riaz: Masha-Allah. How far is your town from Randburg, Or just Jo’burg in general?
Me: About 4 and half hours away.
Riaz: Oh Cool Masha-Allah, Academic Education Completed There Only?
I told him about how Dad’s new job had us move, so my schooling career was split between where we used to stay, and where we stay now. I also told him that I am currently studying to become a teacher, then he told me about his schooling career and I was really quite impressed.
Riaz: Completed Y’alls Equivalent Of Matric (Known As GCSE’s Here, Under UK Curriculum) Here In Mozambique, Then Took A Gap Year To Complete My Hifz, Which Was Completed Alhumdulilah, And Then Went To Darul-Uloom Zakariyyah There in South Africa To Pursue My Dream ‘Aalim Course’ Studies…
Me: Masha-Allah! That’s wonderful!
Riaz: How about you? Extent Of Islamic Studies On Your Part?
I felt super lame at this point. He had so much going for him and I on the other hand, didn’t feel worthy at all. How on earth would I make a good match for him?
Me: Honestly, the madressah school I attended was as far as I had went. But Shukr I know more now than what I originally knew and I’m going to continue to do so In-Sha-Allah. I attend a Taleem class every Friday afternoon as well.
Riaz: Any specific goals or dreams in regards to academic (secular and Islamic) education?
Me: In-sha-Allah I want to finish my degree in education and islamically I want to catch up on everything that I don’t know… slowly but surely I want to fill in all the gaps. I also really want to memorise the Qur’an.
Riaz: Aah I See, so the degree is being done from home only through correspondence?
Me: Jee that’s why I’m able to work as well. I prefer it more than going to a university.
Riaz: Jee totally understand, Much more Halal to study through correspondence as well Alhamdulillah.
Me: Exactly it’s the perfect option.
Riaz: Islamic studies being conducted with the help, assistance, or guidance of any Aalim/Aalima there?
Me: Well… At Taleem we have an Aalima who helps us who is Tasneem’s Mum too, so whenever I need help, I have her there Alhumdulilah.
Riaz: Oh Cool Masha-Allah, Education Related Question From Your Side?
Me: Just one, did you finish your Aalim course? Or will you still finish in-sha-Allah?
Riaz: Well I had to take an indefinite medical break because of an aggravation of my chronic situation, after one and a half years there.
Riaz: The parting was on the best terms possible Alhamdulillah, with them assuring me that their doors will always remain open for me if/WHEN I return.
Me: I’m sorry to hear that … in-sha-Allah you’ll return soon to finish.
Riaz: Ameen, the dream and goal of furthering my Islamic Knowledge as MUCH as possible, in the most efficient ways will always be there In-sha-Allah
Me: Ameen in-sha-Allah I’ll get there as well.
Riaz: Have many secular academic targets as well as I did fairly well in my IGCSE’s Alhamdulillah, and there’s quite a few fields I’m interested in pursuing, but will only prioritise those after I at least begin an Aalim Course again In-sha-Allah
Me: Ameen. Which fields are you interested in?
We got chatting and I found out a lot about him. He is interested in Psychology because of how “amazingly” it could link up with being an Aalim, as well as journalism. Secondarily he has an interest in law and history. He says that since the last 3 months, he is slowly starting to build up his tolerance of being able to study for longer periods of time again by attending Arabic Tuitions with a local Aalim. I think it’s great that he hasn’t given up and that he is still pursuing his dreams. So many people would’ve given up already and blamed their condition for it, taking up the role of victim.
Riaz: I have always believed in furthering not only my islamic, but ANY beneficial knowledge, as much as possible, in as many ways as possible, with whatever means available in obviously the most Halaal and Ulama-Recommended ways within reach.
Me: Masha- Allah…The older I get and the more I learn, and the more I realise how much I really don’t know. As difficult as it seems sometimes to find time for my Islamic education, I try my best because it means a lot to me.
Riaz: The Tougher It Is, The More Rewarding And Efficient The Knowledge Will Eventually Be In-sha-Allah, That’s Just MY Opinion Though.
Riaz: May Allah Make It Easy For You There, Physically, Mentally, And Most Importantly, Spiritually.
Me: Ameen. And for you there as well. “Allah knows what’s best for us”, I always say and truly believe too.
Riaz: Same Here.
Nonetheless, are those questions related to education finished? For now at least?
Me: I believe so.
Riaz: Ok Cool, feel free to bring any questions related to it back if/whenever you want…
Me: Jee you as well.
Riaz: Would you be comfortable in discussing ethnicities now?
Oh my word! I just realised that he had no idea what the colour of my skin was, and neither did I know his, but the fact that it hadn’t made a difference was heart touching.
Me: Jee we may.
Riaz: So may I ask what’s your ethnic background?
Me: Purely Indian as far as I know. Mum and Dad where born in South Africa and so where my grandparents but I think my great grandparents where from India.
Me: Maaf my phone keeps autocorrecting everything I type.
Riaz: Lol it’s not the mistakes of people that define them, it’s whether or not they correct them :)
Awww… Isn’t he sweet?
Me: That’s a brilliant quote.
Riaz: You’re Welcome Lol
Riaz: On my side, Mum and Dad were born and bred in Mozambique only, but it starts getting a bit more… complex above that lol, especially on Dad’s side.
Me: Lol ok I’ll try to keep up.
Riaz: Nana and Nani from Pakistan, Dada born and bred in Mozambique, Dadi from Kenya, Dada’s Dad then from Pakistan, his Mum a ‘coloured’ (no offense meant with that word by the way) local Mozambican , whose father was Scottish, so yhea, really not sure above that Scottish ancestor link, but pretty sure the fruit salad must be even MORE complex up there lol
Me: Oh my … that’s … wow … I feel so boring lol
Riaz: Lol, We’re (Originally) Memon By The Way, From Like All The GrandFATHERS Sides At Least Lol, Your Side?
Me: Ummm from Mum’s side I’m Memon but Dad’s slide is a Gujrati, Memon mix.
Riaz: Knew that correction was coming Masha-Allah Lol
Me: Lol great now you know I correct myself a lot … good job Nusaybah! Way to make a good impression lol
Riaz: Lol, I Personally Said That As A Compliment By The Way, Related To That Previous Message About Corrections Defining How Awesome A Person Is Rather Than Mistakes, Sorry If You Took It In Any Other Way.
Me: Lol not at all I understand how you meant it.
Me: I normally don’t make so many errors when typing but it seems like my phone has a mind of its own today.
Riaz: Lol Ok Then, in terms of languages spoken at home?
Me: We speak English but I can also speak Afrikaans… those are the only 2 languages that I can speak. How about you?
Are you ready to be blown away Sadeekun? Coz I was totally stunned by his reply.
Riaz: English Primarily, Memon Secondarily. Learned Urdu Throughout My Years Of Madressah As That’s What The Syllabus Was In, So Know Quite A Bit Of That Also Alhamdulillah, Those Are The 3 Main Ones I Can Understand AND Speak.
Can Understand The Local Language (Portuguese) Much More Than Speak It, Studied French For About 4 Years In Secondary School, But With Obviously No One To Interact With In That, It’s Not That Solid At All, And Currently Studying Arabic.
I Generally LOVE Learning Languages Though .
Shocked aren’t you?? I mean, which girl doesn’t love a guy who can speak foreign to her?! *Drooling*
Me: WOW! Masha-Allah! That’s amazing! I only know enough Arabic to read the Qur’an but other than that I can only speak English and Afrikaans. Mum and Dad speak Memon with my grandparents, so I understand a little bit of that. I also know a few words of Urdu, but that’s about it.
Riaz: I see, Ok Then, Further Questions? Please Feel Free, However Deep The Questions/Concerns May Be, I’m More Than Willing To Address Them In-sha-Allah :)
Me: Hmm nothing that I can think of at the moment.
Riaz: Aafiyah, Any Questions For Nusaybah, Sister Tasneem, Any Questions For Me?
Aafiyah: Lol, do you really want me to embarrass you?
Me: Lol please ask away.
Aafiyah: Pet peeves?
Me: I hate snakes … hate them! And spiders, basically any insects and reptiles … I love cats, dogs and birds.
Aafiyah: And you ,bhaa?
She calls him ‘bhaa’? How sweet! I’ve always wanted to call Luqmaan that but he always said it was embarrassing.
Riaz: Hold On Lol, Are We Talking About LITERAL ‘Pet’ Peeves.
Me: Lol my answer stays the same … no matter the definition
Riaz: Apparently The Actual Meaning Of Pet Peeves Is:
“something that a particular person finds especially annoying.”
Just Asking For More Clarification And Specification On The Question Lol
Riaz: Don’t Want To Sound Like A ‘Nerd’ Or Anything Lol, But I Just Had To Check It Up Lol: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pet_peeve
Aafiyah: Just know you to do that.
Me: Lol so I’m not the only one who does it.
Riaz: Lol great now you know I search for things a lot… good job Riaz way to make a good impression lol
Me: Lol hey!
Hmmm… A sense of humour. Love it!
This is Mr.Tux and Muezza… The loves of my life.
Riaz: Wow Masha-Allah, beautiful cats.
Riaz: We have 3 cats.
Me: I just LOOOOOVVVVE cats!
He has cats… JACKPOT!!! He also says that he doesn’t specifically ‘hate’ any animals, but animals that tend to be a nuisance like the ones I mentioned are on his list. I couldn’t believe how many things we have in common. Aafiyah added one more thing to our ‘things in common’ list…
Aafiyah: Anything that annoys you?
Me: Dust and untidiness… I hate a place that’s dusty and also it troubles my sinus.
Aafiyah: You get that from Mum.
Riaz: Uhmm, That Wasn’t My Answer Aafiyah Lol
Aafiyah: Im so sorry
Aafiyah: It said bhaa was typing and then the message came.
Aafiyah: And he also has the sinus problem.
Me: Lol really? Omg
Aafiyah: Gosh… I’m so sorry. I think I should just go.
Me: Lol noooooooooo! Talk to me.
Aafiyah: Namaz first, be right back In-sha-Allah
Me: Hehe, Same here… brb
We took a salaah break and when I was done, I decided to wait until one of them messaged first so that I’d know that they were done. In the meantime my thoughts flooded my brain. I was VERY happy to know that salaah played an important role in not just his life, but his family’s lives as well. If Riaz had to be away for some time and I was left with his family, at least I would still have an Imaan buddy.
As much as people say that you marry the person and not their family, I believe that the type of family you marry into is just as important if you’re going to be spending large amounts of time around them. After all, you’re influenced by the people you spend the most time with, so I’d want to marry into a family with good Islamic behavior, and Masha-Allah, Riaz’s family is all that and more.
Riaz: Ohhk, So Yhea, Sinus Problem Lol
Riaz: Next ‘Embarrassing’ Question Aafiyah? Lol
Aafiyah: Describe yourselves in one sentence.
Aafiyah: Before you type a long one sentenced paragraph…
Aafiyah: In 25 words ONLY!
Riaz: You Know Hey Lol
Riaz: But Yhea, Ladies First Right?
Me: Hehe ok fine … give me a min to think.
Me: Bubbly animal and food (chocolate and cake) lover.
Me: I know it’s not 25 words. I have no idea how to describe myself lol
Riaz: Wow Ok Then Uhmm, Let’s See, 25 Words, Three And Two Letter Words Obviously Aren’t Classified As ‘Words’ Right? Lol
Aafiyah: Lol ok
Aafiyah: Just dont write an essay:P
Me: You can write an essay lol my explanation was terrible!
It really was. I don’t know what I was thinking when I typed that out. The pressure was too much I guess. I didn’t know, but Tasneem was busy reading all these messages when she finally got a break and then she messaged me separately to ask what on earth made me describe myself as a cake lover. Seeing Riaz’s description of himself made me want to slap myself.
Riaz: Strong, Adventurous Muslim With A Never-Give-Up (That’s One Word) Attitude On Anyone Or Anything Who Is Constantly Striving To Become A Sheppard And Not A Sheep, Physically, Mentally, And Spiritually, And Who Always Wants To Be A Role-Model Of A Muslim To Whoever He Interacts With.
Me: Wow … well I feel like I need to rethink my description of me.
Riaz: Count The ‘Words’ Themselves, Only 22 Without The Brackets, 25 With Them, Nailed It Lol
Aafiyah: Sheez ,no wonder you got an A* in english
Riaz: Really?? You Just Had To Didn’t You?
Tasneem: Phew… I finally caught up with this conversation.
Tasneem: Maaf still with family, But wow… This conversation seems to be going quite well Masha-Allah…
Tasneem: I have a few tough questions, but before I get to that, I would describe Nusaybah from my perspective as… A bubbly, adventurous, up for anything, full time hijaabi who is thirsty to learn with a Loving and caring nature.
Tasneem: I’d like to know what sis Aafiyah would describe you as from her perspective…
Now you understand why I picked Tasneem to be my ‘wingwoman’? She just knows all the right things to say. Who would think that from the both of us, I am the one with experience with Samoosa runs. I don’t know why, but Riaz has my thought process all blocked off.
Riaz: Ok Cool, after Aafiyah Answers that one we’ll move on to that though question that sister Tasneem wants to ask In-sha-Allah.
Aafiyah: Btw im describing my brother right
Riaz: Wow Lol
Aafiyah: Wait I’m not done.
Aafiyah: Who I can always count on whenever I need someone to listen to me and give me advice. Alhamdulillah a very perfect understanding brother who will always speak wisely (well to others) and a right out comedian to be honest.
Me: Aww that’s so sweet…
Tasneem: So sweet that you two are so close :) Good family guy hey Nusaybah?
She just knows how to put me in an awkward position.
Me: Oh my word … Tasneem!
Tasneem: What? You allowed me to be here… Don’t complain.
Tasneem: Anyways… Now drum roll for Riaz… The big question. As you know… Nusaybah has a 2 year contract with the school, so… If you’ll had to decide to marry… How would you’ll work around that?
Riaz: Ohhhk, The REALLY Tough Questions Now Lol
Tasneem decided to send me a private message…
Tas: Brace yourself. His answer is going to be a whole essay long.
Me: Oh shoosh! I happen to enjoy reading his Essays. I actually think it’s cute.
Tas: Cute? That’s the best word you can find to describe it? I must say, your descriptions today Lol
Me: Heeey! Lol well… his essays make him come across as really smart. If he were in my class, he’d be teachers pet. ;)
Tas: LMAOOOO!!! You didn’t just go there… Hahahahahaha.
Me: Lmao. Whatevvveeeerrrrr…
Nemo really brings out the child in me. A group notification quickly snapped me out of my soft chuckles as I switched tabs to read his response.
Riaz: The way I look at it to be honest, if everything (all pre-marital concerns) goes as amicably and consensually as we all obviously wish and hope for, getting the Nikah itself done would be the first priority, preferably with either one of us actually coming to either one of our home towns, but if that’s not possible, even getting it finalised with something as short and sweet as a ‘Skype Nikah’, (Yhea apparently that’s a thing Lol) that also I wouldn’t mind… (I’m not finished lol)
Riaz: The main reason I’m saying that, is so that all personal communication after that can be Halal and there really wouldn’t be any reason to delay it further.
Riaz: Together with that, physical communication would obviously, naturally, be desired on either side, and the logistics behind that can personally be worked out between us, for example stuff like how many times a year would she be ‘available’, who would be coming where in the holidays, how many times a year would that be practical, etc
Riaz: My Answer Done..
Me: Skype nikah? Well that’s new lol
Riaz: I’m Pretty Sure There’s Some More Concerns Y’all Have From That Answer Right?
Especially Nusaybah, Please Feel Free To Express Them…
Me: A lot of thoughts yes… I need to sort them out in my head.
Me: Since it’s quite late, I’m going to be off to bed soon so please don’t get worried or anything if you don’t hear from me for a while. Sleep tight sweet dreams and in-sha-Allah we’ll talk soon. Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakaatu
Riaz: I’ll Leave You To It Then, Message Back Whenever You’re Ready With Your Concerns And Alternative Suggestions If Possible, No Pressure :)
Riaz: Wa-alaikumus-salaam-wa rahmatulahi-wa barakaatu, Jazakallah For Giving Us The Opportunity To Get To Know You Better, And Jazak-Allah To All Involved For All Of Y’alls Contributions And Suggestions, Much Appreciated :)
I tried to get some sleep but I couldn’t stop thinking about all the ups and downs of today. There was so much on my mind. The amazing answers he was giving, the fact that I don’t feel worthy of him, and even if he thinks I am, would Mum agree? Not to mention, the whole skype Nikkah idea… Is that even possible?
I could just picture Apa Feroza scolding me for using ‘Mufti Google’ to answer my question, but I just couldn’t help myself. I needed to know right away!
From what I saw, the scholars differed with regard to doing the marriage contract by using modern needs such as the telephone and the Internet. Some of them say that that is not permissible, because of the absence of witnesses. Some of the scholars are of the view that this should be disallowed, as a precaution to protect the marriage, because it is possible to imitate a person’s voice and thus deceive others. While other scholars regard it as permissible so long as there is no risk of tampering.
I feel the safest and best way is to just do it the way the Prophet (SAW) did it. I thought of replying to Riaz’s answer on the group, but when I saw the time, I decided to stop myself. Tomorrow is another day I guess… In-Sha-Allah.
Make Dua for me Sadeekun. My biggest fear is getting attached to him and Mum turning him away. Allah knows what is best…
Oh Allah, don’t let my weak heart get attached with what’s not mine. Oh Allah! Grant me the strength to oppose myself, the courage to face my weakness, the conviction to accept my faith, the satisfaction to relax my mind, and the understanding to reassure my heart.
>>> May Allah make it easy for all our brothers and sisters who are looking for their life partners In-Sha-Allah Ameen.
We were with the Prophet while we were young and had no wealth whatever. So Allah’s Apostle (sallallahu alayhi wassallam) said, “O young people! Whoever among you can marry, should marry, because it helps him lower his gaze and guard his modesty (i.e. his private parts from committing illegal sexual intercourse etc.), and whoever is not able to marry, should fast, as fasting diminishes his sexual power.” (Volume 7, Book 62, Number 4: Narrated ‘Abdullah)
“It is He who created you from a single person, and made his mate of like nature, in order that he might dwell with her (in love)” (Qur’an 7:189)
Stay TunEd FoR ThE SecOnd Half OF tHiS UnusuAl SamOosA rUn<<<