Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
She ran to the gate on her chubby little legs , trying to stretch up and open it. "Juwairiya! Please open, Ismail is here to play with us, where's my toy-box?" She said excitedly, she hoped he brought the new book he told them about last week.
Juwairiya sauntered to the front door with the keys "He's here to play or mess up the house?" She asked her little sisters sardonically. "Don't say that! We will clean up" Little Mariam stoutly said ,defending her childhood playmate.
But of course two hours later the toys were strewn everywhere and the kids were outside, in the huge yard, pushing each other off the swing made from a tyre.
The shadows of the trees grew long in the afternoon sun and they knew soon they would be called inside for Asar. As the sun dipped, a breeze rustled between the Mango trees.
"Hey , what's that there? Ismail asked in a spooky voice..."It's a jinn" "Don't be mad ,it's daytime, it can't be a jinn" His smaller brother said wide eyed.
Ismail loved to scare the others. "See the tree is moving!! Ahhh" He said in his 'jinn voice' and the others promptly started screaming and running. Mariam tripped over a piece of gravel and grazed her knee and burst into tears. Ismail stopped, for the first time he felt bad . "Sorry Mariam, must I call your Mummy?" He asked worriedly.
She just carried on howling. :) More so because she thought the garden jinn was about to grab her.
"Mariam tie your scarf properly before we leave the house."
"Jee Mummy. Are we going to stop over by Ismail's house before we leave?" Mariam asked with a heavy heart. They were moving from their town to the big city.She was sad to leave behind all her friends.
"Yes but now you're getting bigger, you can't be playing with Ismail so much my darling but we have to stop to see Tasnim Kala." Tasnim kala and Mariam's mother had been best friends since small and she also was sad to leave her behind. They had been together their whole lives.
Although Mariam and her smaller siblings were all under 10, her mother made sure they dressed up properly and wouldn't leave them to play unsupervised with the boys, some would call this melodramatic but can there ever be anything but good in what sharia advises?
Ismail stood awkwardly at the side of the car door... he wasn't sure how to feel. His oldest friends were leaving for good, who knew when he'd ever see them again? How was he even supposed to say goodbye , it was so awkward!
"Hey Mariam! " He drawled "There's a jinn about to grab you!"
She laughed "laaame!"
And that was their last meeting.
They met again as adults.
Under very different circumstances.
10 years later.
There was no meeting and courting under the guise of friendship or a childhood memento or photo which had been treasured as many Muslim authored blogs depict. There was no deceiving oneself that it's okay to be friends with just one guy or if the family is okay with it.
Ismail was sitting at the breakfast table one morning when he decided to bring up a topic playing on his mind... "Mummy, Abba? I think...errr ummm errrr"
His brother helped him out. "No he is not constipated,What he is trying to say, is he wants to get married now, scout for him."
Ismail glared at his brother.But was happy he helped him out.
"That's a good idea, you're ready to make nikah and you're young, rather be safe from haram and all the temptations... Tasnim... who shall we take him to see?" His father mused.
Ismail's mind filled with images of a toothless girl crying over her grazed knee and sunshiny weekends playing in a garden...all memories tied to her were happy but that didn't cinch the deal, what made him sure that she was the one, was his mothers updates on her.
She had spent all her youth, covered as a pearl, who lowered her gaze, who gave her heart to the Qur'aan and who was pleasant and stayed away from what every other young girl was chasing after. In a world where sin is dismissed, she even stayed away from novels and magazines! Yet she was clued up on what went on in the world and gave time to the community.
I wonder how she looks now. He humanly thought. But however she looks, I'm sure her akhlaaq will be more beautiful.
Their eyes shyly met and departed. As they sat in the lounge wondering what to say exactly. He asked a few essential questions but she couldn't bring herself to ask much, her face red as a tomato.
The phone rang 3 days later, Ismail's istikhara was postive and he wanted to propose! Mariam went to bed after her istikharah salaah with a thousand butterflies in her tummy, will tomorrow morning change her life as she knew it?
She awoke with a happy heart and knew that Allah guided her via asking His mashura. She just wanted to ask Ismail a few more questions before she gave her final answer.
Once again, they sat opposite each other but this time she was more confident. They spoke more easily under the friendly pretending not to be there gaze of her brother.
"Does your proposal still stand?" She asked him, with downcast eyes
"Of course!" He replied
She nodded and left the room. His stomach was in knots, he felt like that 10 year old again but this time he knew he never wanted to say goodbye. He made dua fervently in his heart. He could hear the hum of conversation swell and excitement and anxiety color it.
What was up?? Maybe they didn't like him? His heart sank like the Titanic.
Her family entered. 'Mariam wants to know if you'd like to make nikah now?'
What! His last shower was early this morning, he didn't have a cent for mahr plus only his immediate family were here, he couldn't not have his beloved granny here but then again it was sunnah to make nikah asap
and on cue they said... 'She is asking that if you perhaps would like to make nikah later then you can re-propose on the day you are ready as she wants it as close as possible to the sunnah of Nabi SAW and the Sahaba RA.'
He smiled happily, what more could he ask for than a wife who thought like this? And so he said yes. It was Asar time, the nikah would be after Esha.
Family members were informed and they happily rushed over,bringing whatever they could. Dozens of pizzas were ordered for there was no time to make anything or spend extravagantly and the tea was brewed.
She showered and slipped on her sisters's pretty dress, which was not very fancy but simple in it's elegance. There was no time for a hairdo or a hijab tutorial inspired headgear , however she radiated nur and beauty which came from obediance and love for Allah and Nabi SAW, it blossomed on both their faces and that was how they saw each other for the first time as husband and wife.
Not a single bud for decor, no fancy food or gown.
Totally simple, un-stressful and surrounded by hearts that loved her and wished her all the best.
And I have no doubt, that no matter what bumps they will face in life, Allah Ta'aala will always help them climb it easily, for reviving sunnah in a time when people will scorn you for doing so.
And so they walked off into a star lit night... AlhamdulilahChoose Deen over Dunya for your child, it will always pay in dividends inshaAllaTh
To the 'Mariam' that inspired this true life love story- my heart, Always.
Lastly, to all those that choose to remain pure and away from the 'norm' , we stand in awe of you.