This piece is not an autobiographical story about ME or my experiences. I am not Huda. Huda's personality and strengths are not mine. Huda is a fictitious character, much too perfect to be real, and if her account seems credible it is because that is how many 'religiously motivated' girls feel when they are in the situation described in the story. Whatever the reader's personal feelings towards Huda (regarding her expectations, reactions, etc) please note that they should not be extended to this novice writer who is, ultimately, simply experimenting with fiction.
(Author's Note: Earlier installments can be found by clicking on the 'Qalam's Crossing' column link on the left side of the Hidaya homepage.
Later, seated in the family room, Huda sat with tea in hand and waited for the questions to come. She no longer cared to do the investigating. She didn’t need to. She would be able to gain whatever insight she needed purely by observing what was asked of her. You can tell a lot about a man by leaving him to speak. They eventually unravel their own stories.
“Huda, I don’t know much about you but I think I would like to pursue this rishta. It might seem odd to you, but I know what I need to know and want to move forward. But I would also like to provide you with whatever matters to you. I want you to be open with me about your goals and what you want in life. InshaAllah, if I am not mistaken, I think you and I want the same things...”
“Thank you for being so considerate brother…and what would those things be?” she said in a low, even tone. She was accustomed to hearing her suitors flaunt their assumptions about her desires.
He smiled. She was as allusive as he had imagined. He didn’t mind, he would not have been interested in her if she were the kind to be satisfied with just anyone. He wanted her to want more. He wanted her to want.
But her form of reverse questioning placed him in a difficult position. He now had to try to articulate what was in the depths of his soul. His heart felt her to be a kindred spirit, but still, he did not want to bare his heart to someone who might not even ‘want’ to marry him. Someone who might think him crazy, or worse, a renegade philosopher. Someone who might want something else. Was he really prepared to expose his most intimate feelings to someone who might not understand? But if he didn’t try, he could lose someone who ‘might’ understand. And he had waited so long for someone who could understand. This was going to be tough…but he had to try…
He proceeded slowly.
“If it were so easy to put the object of your search…of my search…into words, we would have found it already. Do you ever…do you ever get the feeling that…that you were made to search for something? To burn…like a candle…for something…something other than yourself? To spend your life just…burning…? And to find joy in that burning?
She remained silent.
“Do you ever feel a…a…a Presence…that is so overwhelming and so strong that you just want to bask in it…that you just want to let it melt you? Do you ever just want to stop running, stop being afraid, and just appreciate?…Do you ever just want to cry?”
“…and…and do you ‘want’ to cry? Do you…are you…upset…when you find your heart not ‘wanting’ that Presence and not ‘wanting’ obedience to it….when your heart becomes content with the things that content the average person…?
“Do you feel ashamed sometimes, to be such a tiny worthless thing whose wants go beyond all that which has been created…? Its such a helpless, needy, want…this want to surrender…to give up…the more we want it, the more we know our place…and the more we realize how unworthy we are…and the more we realize how much we need it…how much we need to surrender AND want to surrender…”
He paused, embarrassed.
“I know I am probably rambling right now and probably don’t make too much sense. I wish I knew how to put this in words, but I am still in the process of trying to understand it. Maybe I wont ever be able to understand it. But that’s ok; I don’t need to understand it. I just want to do what pleases Him. That’s all. I think that’s the quickest summary of what I want…. I know it wasn’t all that eloquent, but I tried to be honest…now, if you don’t mind, what do you want?”
It was a few moments before she found her voice. She heard a voice, a raspy whisper voice, a voice that was trying to keep a secret, her voice, reply.
“What you want…InshaAllah”.
To be continued...
Nice...when is the next one gonna be posted?on February 17, 2005 11:20 AM
InshaAllah on thursdayon February 17, 2005 1:11 PM
very eloquent sr Justoju. very well-written Masha'Allah :)
As Salaamu Alaikum
MashAllah,I think Huda has found her match.(im assuming)Congratulations to her and all other hidayanites who are proposed.May Allah bless you all in your marriages.Ameen
Was Salaamon February 18, 2005 12:56 PM
wow - maybe its just me but i think i'm catching on to a general theme in many of the posts on this website...
its amazing how many things can be written about the same subject...on February 18, 2005 1:19 PM
MashaAllah sister, that was an amazing way to end
The talent show the writers are putting on is actually scaring me away from posting something.
Just wondering though... would a guy actually be so "pour-my-guts-out" in such a circumstance? He and Huda are definitely on the same plane of thinking (Allah ta'ala or bust).
on February 19, 2005 11:48 PM
"that was an amazing way to end this piece."
The best is yet to come.
"would a guy actually be so "pour-my-guts-out" in such a circumstance?"
Under normal circumstances, no. But with time, dashed hopes, and enough experience at the 'game' to be disheartened, people become a little bit desperate and a little bit over-emotional. This guy deserves a series of his own.on February 20, 2005 1:12 AM
Also, given the following premises,
1. Guy knows what he wants in marriage/life,
2. He thinks he has found a girl who wants the same thing,
3. He knows the girl will say no to a guy who doesnt want the same thing,
4. He only has one night to impress her,
it would be logical for him to try to show or express to her in some way during the first meeting that they are on the same page and want the same thing.on February 20, 2005 1:47 AM
It's a good thing he thinks he's found the right kind of girl... one could imagine others laughing; not particularly at what he's after, but just at the mushiness of his words.
"The best is yet to come."
Just about everyone is looking forward to that, inshaAllah.
This is amazing work,mashallah. It makes me get a lump in my throat. it's reaching out to me oh so very much.on February 20, 2005 10:26 PM
"one could imagine others laughing; not particularly at what he's after, but just at the mushiness of his words."
Considering that I am the type of person who automatically takes 95% of 'male to female' speech to be a combination of 'lines', deception, and attempts to appeal to female vulnerability/sensitivity/empathy/insecurity, I totally understand. I usually have trouble controlling my chuckles when I hear men say certain things because it is somewhat hilarious that they would think that 'every' girl would be ditzy enough to fall for some of that stuff. If it werent so funny I would probably find it to be an insult to female intelligence...but unfortunately, I have seen enough self-doubting insecure girls fall for that material to understand why it can be a profitable strategy...
The reason Huda didnt laugh at this brother is because, despite her skepticism, he hit her own emotions right on the money. The reason he could do that is because he knew his own emotions well enough to be able to recognize a 'kindred spirit'. Once you recognize that 'kindred spirit' it isnt too difficult to figure out what to say. You just have to be honest, sincere, and cut every bit of bullcrap games/templates/preconceptions that you might be accustomed to out of your exchange. If you have been jaded, leave the baggage behind.
Be fearless. Your destiny cannot escape you.on February 21, 2005 12:55 AM
Ok, I want some cyber-nasihah...
What are the pros and cons of telling my fiance that I write for HidayaOnline?on February 21, 2005 1:03 AM
Hey... where did you get this line?
"Your destiny cannot escape you"...I have been quoting this for sometime now!on February 21, 2005 1:16 AM
Weeellllll, I use that line a lot because I have heard a number of shuyukh use it and it has kind of been imprinted on to my innocent impressionable young mind...
Also, I came across the following some time ago...dont ask me what the isnad is cuz I have no clue. I just think it sounds pretty :).
"'Umar [ibn al-Khattab] (may Allah be well pleased with him) used to quote these two verses [of Arabic poetry] as an instructive example:
Go easy on yourself, for the outcome of all affairs is determined by God's decree.
If something is meant to go elsewhere, it will never come your way, but if it is yours by destiny, from you it cannot flee."
Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatulah Wabarakatu,
First and foremost, before you do anything pray Istikharaa.
1. It is not good to keep secrets between your spouse (although you are not married yet).
2. Hidayaonline will be enriched with (insha Allah) a new writer/voice (even if just as guest star)
3. He can gain deep insights into your inner personality/philosophies and use it as a tool for being a better husband.
4. He may be attracted to fame.
5. He can help edit/read over your articles
1. You may not want him to know the inner workings of your personality/philosphies at this point in the marriage process.
2. You might find out that he's the spammer (Aooudhubillah)
"You might find out that he's the spammer"
(background music: dum dum DUMMMM)on February 21, 2005 4:18 PM
It'll either lead to a hurried crossing of the 'i's and dotting of the 't's or he'll run like a tsunami is chasing him (the latter is said in jest, and the former is du'a'd for).
Thus is the Hidaya Effect.on February 21, 2005 4:37 PM
I have been somehow "forced" by the International event committee to put something representated by the MSA. Anything, poem or schpeel and I have got not a clue. I am trying, key word "trying" to get A in this semester, :(
and I told them I cannot do anything, other MSA members wont be also to do anything, Another muslim sister is already doing something about her language and culture(separate from muslimo r islaam). So not a clue, plz, plz, help me,
I can do br.Hasan's poem "My eeman" how appropriate would that be?
Nobody is forced...its by choice, reluctantly or willingly.
since u have opted to present something on behalf of MSA...you can probably scour this joint for many a good articles...I recommend checking sister's articles first, they probably are a safer bet.
The article "My eman v2.0" is a more subjective rendering of the author's view...it is not, as I see it, an article that will appeal to the broader audience (including non-muslims) for your international event.
Stick to a more general theme...for instance, the lunar calender just started which was all over the media as the starting of the chinese new year...you can write/procure a brief article of our hijrah/lunar calender, when and how it started, what are the sacred months in the lunar year and why...something that will give everyone a flavor of how hijrah calender is significant to us muslims.on February 21, 2005 8:43 PM
"Go easy on yourself, for the outcome of all affairs is determined by God's decree.
If something is meant to go elsewhere, it will never come your way, but if it is yours by destiny, from you it cannot flee."
Ahh, Chicken soup for the Muslim soul. Jazakallah Khair for that.on February 26, 2005 8:27 AM
Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,
If you don't finish this series people will be lost for the rest of their lives not knowing what happened in the end. Then, uninterested in boring articles on the People of Badr and the like people will stop reading Hidaya and go on to their normal lives...and then what...then what...chaos will ensue. They will not spend their countless hours reading and posing comments, their homepages will move from Hidayaonline to MSN wherewhich they will become mindless zombies of pop-culture and corporate advertising.
The future of the Ummah rests on your article...Huda must finally get married...we must know how she turns out.
Wasalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatuon March 26, 2005 1:34 AM
I've been looking for a fatwa on mendhi parties and their permissibility, and I cannot seem to find one. If anyone could please direct me to one that would be very helpful.
JazakAllahuKhairunon April 8, 2005 7:49 PM
how about she gets married and it turns out her husband was smoking Angel dust the whole time. he had a psychedelic experience and became a wife beater, poor Huda, may God help her.
Payce!on April 8, 2005 9:47 PM
maybeon April 9, 2005 5:28 AM
Hey , we aren't supposed to delay the nikah in Islam when suitable partners have been found!on April 9, 2005 5:08 PM
:) ....I love you manon April 10, 2005 1:35 AM
Dealing with the Critical Husband
[From: Al Jumu'ah Vol. 13 Issue 10
Allah (Subhanhu a Ta'ala) says: "O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion; indeed some suspicions are sins…" (Qur'an 49: 12)
It is easy to forget how our actions and manners can have a tremendous impact on our spouses and loved ones, and also how many times our mind wandering suspiciousness can play a very negative role in our relationships.
Fatimah, a young woman of 31 years old, thrived on learning. She had attended college for three years after graduating from high school, but was unable to complete her last year due to financial constraints. However, she was finally able to finish her remaining
credits over the past three years by taking a couple of classes at a time through a university that offered online classes.
Although she had officially graduated, she had not yet told her husband and family. The university was out of state, and she would
not financially be able to attend the graduation ceremony in any case, so she thought the less known about the event the better. She did not want to place any further financial burdens on her family.
One afternoon, as Fatimah stood in the kitchen chopping vegetables preparing for dinner, her husband Mustafa entered the room, and then stopped and glared at her. Although he was standing behind her, she felt his eyes piercing into her. He had been working overtime hours at his job lately, and it seemed that he had developed a short fuse. Fatimah hesitated, and then continued chopping.
"Why are you so slow? Dinner should have been finished an hour ago." She stood Frozen as he continued, "What is that you're making anyway" Fatimah spoke without turning toward him, not wanting the conversation to develop into an argument, "It is one of your favorites, Maklooba," He frowned, "Again? You never seem to get that recipe right - not like my mother used to make it." Then Mustafa walked into the other room to read the newspaper.
Fatimah, who had been holding her breath, let out a sigh of relief. She then walked quietly to the bathroom - turning the lock as she leaned on the door for support. Slowly turning, she was face to face with herself in the mirror. A lone tear began to roll down her
cheek, "Oh Allah, I love him so much - why must he be so critical sometimes? His harsh words make me feel so terrible." She wept in silent solitude for a few moments.
Then, once she had regained her composure, she went back to the kitchen to continue preparing the dinner. In the other room she
faintly heard her husband speaking on the phone with someone, he sounded furious about something - but she could not make out any details. All she could understand from the one-sided conversation was that someone was going to have a talk with a supervisor and because of that, someone was going to lose his job. Concerned, she wondered if her husband might be in some trouble at work, but she did not think it wise to try to talk to him while he was so obviously upset.
Mustafa left the house immediately without a word to Fatimah. She sat on the couch bewildered about her husband's actions. What could be going on? What was he so upset about? Was he going to lose his job?
An hour later Mustafa arrived home and walked into the kitchen where Fatimah was checking on the night's dinner - her back was turned to him. "As-salamu Alaykum" he said as he entered. She replied, resisting to turn around so her eyes would give away her concerned and questioning _expression. Again, she could feel his eyes piercing into her; and then he spoke. "Fatimah, this has got to stop." She looked up from the kitchen counter, gazing out the window briefly "What" she said with annoyance, "What in the world are you talking about?". Then twirled around, ready to fight off any further criticism.
Mustafa stood in the kitchen holding an armful of yellow daisies; yellow was her favorite color and daisies were her favorite flowers.
She looked at him with confusion, "What is this? What is going on? Mustafa walked toward her speaking softly, "I know I've been harsh with you lately." Fatimah's eyes softened, "Mustafa, why have you been so upset?"
Mustafa grabbed her hand and walked over and they sat down at the kitchen table together. He held her hand and continued, "I know that you've never given up on me, even when I was hard to live with and I admire you for your patience, even through the toughest times. I have had a lot on my mind lately and some things have not worked out as I had hoped for them to. Forget about dinner tonight; let me take you out for dinner. I know of a new place that one of the brothers just opened up. Let's try it out, okay?" Fatimah nodded in agreement, wiping away her tears.
Fatimah was surprised and excited. Because their finances had been so tight, it had been a while since the last time they had been able to afford a dinner at a restaurant. She put things away in the kitchen, placed her beautiful flowers into a vase, and then went to get dressed.
During the entire trip to the restaurant Fatimah noticed how carefree and happy Mustafa suddenly seemed to be; it was a far cry
from the attitude she had seen earlier in the day. Although his actions were confusing, she was sure about one thing, she was happy to see him smiling again.
Once they arrived, he reached inside the restaurant ahead of her and then stuck his head out of the door, waving for her to hurry up. Fatimah laughed the silliness of his antics as she opened the door and was amazed at what she saw. She saw all of her family, except her mother and father gathered on both sides of the restaurant.
On the back wall a huge banner hung that said, "Happy Graduation Fatimah - We Love You." Fatimah began to cry; all this time she had thought badly of her husband and all the while he was planning somethings so thoughtful for her. She was a little dazed and very embarrassed at her own misgivings. She turned to her husband and said, "May Allah reward you for your great kindness."
As she turned to go and sit with her aunts and closest friends, Mustafa turned her around, "One more surprise, I received a
promotion at work!" Fatimah smiled at him, "Masha Allah, Mustafa - you got a promotion! That is so wonderful."
Mustafa smiled back, and then frowned a little. "I want you to know the reason I have been edgy lately. It is because I just haven't had enough sleep. Over the past few weeks I took another part-time job after work so I could save up a little extra money in order to throw this party for you and so I could fly your parents in for this special day." Fatimah looked around the room for her mother and
father. Mustafa then lowered his head in disappointment and replied, "Unfortunately, somehow the reservations got messed up. The conversation you heard was with the reservation guy who messed up the flight."
Fatimah stumbled over her own words, "Oh Mustafa! Masha Allah, you have worked so hard. But, how did you know about my graduation? I didn't tell anyone." Mustafa smiled, "I saw the letter the school sent you and I wanted to surprise you, but after the past few weeks I know that good news should never wait." Fatimah shook her head in agreement, laughing through her tears of happiness. "Never again," she said, "Never again."
The point is this, we should never be hasty to make assumption about our loved ones or our fellow Muslims for that matter - even in the worst of times. Allah warns us not to be suspicious of one another, and that is because in suspicion there is always more harm than good. Our marriage is the most important relationship we have in our adult life, it is the relationship in which our families are created and our children learn form us.
Because of the importance of our marriage, we should always first give our spouse the benefit of the doubt, look beyond the obvious for reasons of their unexplained or undesirable behaviour and try to find a remedy for it, rather than jump into suspicions and harshness toward one another.
Allah tells us in the following verse that He has placed mercy between spouses. To clarify the meaning of that, we need only check the Merriam -Webster's dictionary and we find that the definition for mercy is this: "compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender." This means that Allah knows we will offend one another, but it also means that we have to be brave enough to show our spouses compassion - even when they offend us…not just when things are going great. "And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect." (Qur'an 30: 21)
From: Al Jumu'ah Vol. 13 Issue 10on April 11, 2005 10:06 AM
yeah, for eg, dont jump to conclusions if you husband is not being cool with you, it could be he is not having a good acid trip, be sure to ask him about how his LSD trippin is going.
Payceon April 12, 2005 5:51 PM
I'll make sure to do that.
I love wholesome nasihah.on April 12, 2005 11:34 PM