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April 11, 2004
Mile 4: Duck...Duck...Goose.

by Saima Siddiqui

Shajeeah: Hey did I tell you I went to a wedding last week?

Kunza: (starts the car) No... how was it ?

Shajeeah: Well lemme tell you girlfriend, it was like the attack of the Auntie invaders...

Kunza: (laughs) Aaah.. you had "an interview"? ...

Shajeeah: An interview ?? an INTERVIEW ? Man, that lady was like Bill O'Reilly...

Kunza: (laughs)

Shajeeah: I was eating dinner... you know.. minding my own business... I didn't know anyone there so I was just sitting with my family munching on the chicken tikka and biryani... there was an empty seat next to me.. so I had put my purse there...

Kunza: Uh huh (laughs)

Shajeeah: So, this lady in a black jilbaab comes over and sits... on my purse.

Kunza: (laughs)

Shajeeah: And she just stares at me...

Kunza: (laughs)

Shajeeah: And like, I had to stop eating...

Kunza: (still laughing) Oh boy...

Shajeeah: I thought I was being watched by one of those Jurassic Park raptors or something... and like she was counting the number of zits on my face or something...

Kunza: (laughing)

Shajeeah: So then, I said salaam... and she's like "walaikum as-salaam".."How old are you? What year are you in? What's your major? How many siblings do I have? Where's your mother?" All in like one breath. Man, I felt like she was a hijaabi version of Larry King...

Kunza: (laughing)

Shajeeah: So, ofcourse, during all this.. my mom was away talking with her friends at another table. So, of course, she couldn't save me.. but then I pointed to the lady as to where my mom was.. and so she left me and went to her...

Kunza: (laughing) (in breaks) Sounds like you had loads of fun...

Shajeeah: I'm sure you find this quite amusing... (laughs)

Kunza: (laughs) Oh absolutely. (laughs)

(after a brief moment of silence, both girls start laughing again)

Shajeeah: So anyway, ever notice how geese walk?

Kunza: You HAVE been bored... haven't you.

Shajeeah: No fo' real, like, they kind of remind me of how some people walk around campus.

Kunza: Aah... the "i'm miss thang" walk...

Shajeeah: (laughs) Yeah.. like not modest walking...

Kunza: Yeah, well you know that there's a layer of fat on the bottom of the goose to keep it afloat... Like if you ever cook a goose, or a duck for that matter, you have to grill it with the fat layer on top so that the meat gets cooked from the inside... otherwise you get a burnt outer crust and a raw inside...

Shajeeah: Where did that come from ?

Kunza: Food for thought (laughs). Just like the goose walk.

Shajeeah: OKAY. well.. umm... so like.. what was I saying... (laughs)

Kunza: How many humans walk like animals...

Shajeeah: YEAH... so like, you can tell about a person a lot by the way they walk...

Kunza: Their walk, their talk, the easygoing nature...or not... of their attitude... so many things...

Shajeeah: It's like... Allah blesses us with His commandments... in order to "humanize" us... or differentiate us from animals... and so much more wisdom is behind it.. that we don't know of... Allahu alim.

Kunza: Yeah, and also.. you are what you eat... Like... science is just realizing the nature of certain animals... like swine... like their social behavior... as well as the parasitic nature of its meat...

Shajeeah: Yeah, I actually heard about that in one of Dr. Zakir Naik's lecture...

Kunza: Yeah, isn't it amazing... How a people can actually start having the same characteristics of the things that they consume...

Shajeeah: Just look at what kinds of foods are talked about in the Holy Qur'an as being in Jannah.

Kunza: Yeah, what's funny is that science doesn't realize that for every miracle there is a scientific explanation because it was done in the physical realm... we might not know HOW to explain it at certain points in history... like a scientist can't explain the concept of gas changing to liquid or gas changing to solid... unless he has tools to monitor it, and in turn, to use the perceptive nature of a human being in order to quantify something. That's why they say that science is always changing because we are constantly evolving our "tools" to enhance our perceptive nature since our senses are limited.

Shajeeah: Yeah, whereas Allah's wisdom and knowledge is absolute and absolutely certain. It is not limited by any means from any perceptions....

Kunza: Yeah...it's awesome. SubhanAllah.

Shajeeah: SubhanAllah.

(after a brief pause)

Shajeeah: Hey, did you make a decision?

Kunza: Ohh.. that.. umm... (pulls up to the toll)

Toll Lady: Thanks and have a good night.

Kunza: You too.

Shajeeah: Ummm what ?

Kunza: OK, if you get me his parent's phone number, I'll give it to my dad so that he can call his parents up...

Shajeeah: Oh I have it right here honey, I come prepared.

Kunza: (laughs) You are something Shajeeah.

Shajeeah: Here you go. (gives her the paper)

Kunza: Thanks. So, you're sure that he's open to marriage in the near future?

Shajeeah: Yeah, I heard he got a job offer from somewhere... so I don't' think it'll be an issue...

Kunza: Okay. Cool. (pulls into the driveway)

Shajeeah: Thanks again Kunza, I owe you so many rides.

Kunza: Naah don't worry about it. Insha'Allah, I'll call you if there's any progress or anything...

Shajeeah: Yeah, you better (laughs) As-salaamu alaikum.

Kunza: Wa'alaikum as-salaam.


of and relating to...
Justoju said

MashaAllah, nice work. These are very proactive girls. Where I come from its usually the guy that initiates things....I am reminded of Khadija and Zulqurnain (may Allah be well pleased with them)...

on April 11, 2004 2:11 PM
Gillette aka Hassan Khaja said

Who talks like that?

on April 11, 2004 3:37 PM
Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain said

salaam alaikum,

another very interesting convo b/n the shajeeah and kunza...good job saima, masha'allah you do have a gift..insha'allah you'll use it to the greatest benefit...but ya like umm baba said it's kind of different reading that the girl initiates things...allahu 'alam

'work in this life as if you'll live forever, prepare for the Hereafter as if you'll die tomorrow'

on April 11, 2004 3:38 PM
Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain said

just to add a little something on the 'ms. thang walk'...alot of brothers have it too...read surah luqman, we have to walk on this earth with humility and keep our voices down...b/c as it says in the suran, the worst noise is the braying of the ass...modesty is a lost art amongst all of us yet it defines the mu'min...
maybe that'll be my next topic.....

'work in this life as if you'll live forever, prepare for the Hereafter as if you'll die tomorrow'

on April 11, 2004 3:42 PM
Justoju said

Oh and I thought the piece was unfair to jilbabi aunties. I request that sister Saima kindly create a good jilbabi auntie character so as to counterbalance the negative impression left by the rishta-raptor jilbaabi auntie.

Thanking you,
Umm Baba

on April 11, 2004 5:11 PM
Talal said

I gotta say, that jilbaabi auntie caught me off guard. If I wrote that, it would definitely have been a quarter-sleeve salwaar-kameez wearin auntie (too much lipstick and blush, and a side of sagging armflesh).
Interesting fiction-fodder for the mind.
I crawl back into my hole...

on April 11, 2004 6:00 PM
Saima said

Just wait and see :)

Can anyone detect any themes so far in this series ?

on April 11, 2004 7:47 PM
Talal said

THe one thing that I did "notice" each time I read a Mile was the short exchange between the Toll person and Kunza. What could it mean?????? :)

on April 11, 2004 11:01 PM
Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain said

they like laughing alot?

on April 11, 2004 11:41 PM
Justoju said

Sure, we'll come to your event brother Gillette.

on April 12, 2004 1:35 AM
Justoju said

"Can anyone detect any themes so far in this series?"

They still dont have EZ-Pass?

on April 12, 2004 1:53 AM
Faisal Akhtar said

"Can anyone detect any themes so far in this series"

1)The pressures of finding a suitable marriage partner is a strong theme in these writings. Pakistani culture frowns upon women looking for their own marriage partners. These two ladies are prime examples of how one can escape that stigma and, within Islamic limits of course, seek ones own marriage partner. I think you can broaden your horizons beyond the marriage issue. There are so many other issues Muslim students face such as being patronized for wering a hijab or having a beard, discrimination in the classroom etc. The marriage theme is good so you should keep it but I think these two can become far more complex characters than they are now by introducing other complexities in their lives such as cultural pressures other than just marriage.

2)Mashallah, they always refer their problems to Allah swt. Seeking the guidance is also a strong theme.

3)In their conversations among themselves, they make excellent criticisms of the status quo. Each article has one major theme (Haya, Knowledge, Worship etc) around which everything else revolves. However, I sometimes find it difficult relating with these two. They seem way too perfect. People sometimes make mistakes but these two seem beyond such things. Maybe you can humanize them some more by highlighting some of their shortcomings. Maybe in their process of finding a suitable marriage partner, one of them transgresses the bounds? Maybe one of them rejects a good marriage proposal for bad reasons? Not that I enjoy reading about mistakes others make but part of being human is falling into the traps of shaitan and getting back out and seeking forgiveness. The protagonists of your series can use some drama in their lives.

on April 12, 2004 4:08 PM
passerby said

So what's the answer??? Tell tell, I'm waiting impatiently ....

on April 12, 2004 4:20 PM
Saima said

Good answer Br. Faisal.

I can't give the answer until the end. But Masha'Allah, you are on the right track.

You'll see another theme evolve after the next Mile.

Sr. Saima :)

on April 12, 2004 6:14 PM
Mostafa Ibn Mohamed Khalifa said

Asalaamu `alaikum,

I disagree, Faisal. Life is drama. We're so programmed that we need to see faults and flaws (liek we do on TV and in movies). If we have flaws, we are almost programmed to need to see them in others just to feel good about ourselves. What would be nice is some other "good" (don't wanna say perfect) cahracters BESIDES the 2 -- only once in a while, so as not to lose the point/contrast that is a strength of the series (oh no, was that positive reinforcement).

And please, everyone, can we not have stuff that's too disgusting ... the trend is affecting my stomach ('nuff said). (*insert controversy here*)

Finally, for everyone talking about halaal vs. not-so-halaal ways of getting married, give your feedback here --

http://forums.almaghrib.org/showthread.php?t=1235


on April 12, 2004 6:56 PM
Saima said

Unfortunately, there won't be any additional characters added (sorry it's a rule of the series).

on April 12, 2004 7:37 PM
Nadia said

Another theme that seems to be evolving is the work of Divine Wisdom that transcends over human perceptions and cannot be comprehended because of our limited mental capacities. Also, all the conversations contain in them minutest details that are generally overlooked because people do not think, like how ducks walk and whether to greet the passerbys such as toll people. This column definitely invites our attention not only towards those meticulous details that are largely ignored but also towards contemplating and reflecting in general.

on April 12, 2004 10:21 PM
Saima said

:)

on April 12, 2004 10:31 PM
Faisal Akhtar said

Assalam-o-alaikom.
JazakAllahKhair Sister Saima.

As usual, I must humbly bow out and not try to fight the ISRU dictator. "You are right O mighty dictator".

I suggested "humanizing" the characters not because I want to see faults in the characters and I said that in my previous post. The reason I suggested it was that when sister Saima asked for genuine feedback about the themes in the series, the response was not that good. People just joked about it. I am not trying to criticize anyone here but I thought that perhaps maybe somehow somewhere the readers might not be associating with the characters?

But you are right as always o mighty dictator. No need to introduce faults into your characters sister Saima, the two of them seem like good people and let them remain that way. (This was a rather haphazard post please ignore the grammar)

Wasalam

on April 13, 2004 3:50 AM
Ibn Muzaffar Syed Hussain said

just to add some seriousness to the themse issue to go along w/faisal...i think one thing that no one has mentioned is how they truly are best friends with each other...they notice the little things in both of them like u know they can see if they're upset or how they care for each other...but i think one of the sisters mentioned a really great theme in the talks...that they mention the little bounties and blessings of Allah we come across every single day and how we're unthankful for them...

'work in this life as if you'll live forever, prepare for the Hereafter as if you'll die tomorrow'

on April 14, 2004 10:43 AM
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