THE SNAIL-LOVER {Episode Seven}

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Read Time:61 Minute, 19 Second

 

As-salaamu’alykum warahmatullah wabarakaatuhu beloved fans. It’s been a while you heard from me and I’m very sorry. I’ve been failing you these days, it hasn’t always been my fault, just that somehow one has to survive. I won’t promise that it won’t happen again but I can promise to always make it up to you. May Allah increase us in steadfastness. Please do not forget to drop your comments, I can’t wait to read them😍

Who is Going To Bell the Cat?

As they had perceived, engineer Philip had made a vow and he wasn’t ready to bend the rule. Three of his classes had passed and despite all plea and involvement of some lecturers, he was still adamant and refused to admit the girls into his classes. The older students of the school wouldn’t blink a total eye to such mayhem but would buckle their belts in preparation for the exam. However, for the freshmen, it was as if their world was coming to an end. Which would describe the state they met them in the school restaurant – devastated and sombre. Toohir was the first to sight them sitting behind a square-top table of four which left two seats unoccupied. They had both glanced at each other as if asking each other if they could join them. Sulaiman had shaken his head in negative response while Toohir had shrugged indicating that he didn’t care about his choice. So reluctantly, he had followed Toohir behind while he asked the girls if they could join them on the table. Cheerfully, Mutmainah granted them the permission while drawing away her chair from them and nearer to her friend so as to give enough space between them but Maymunah’s response was indifferent which raised Sulaiman’s concern. He wanted to talk and some words of solace in their mind but he found no courage to open his mouth thereby leaving Toohir to do the talking,
“Babes, my friend and I understand your plight and we won’t like you to continue treating it like a plague.” He saw them heaving a sigh and Maymunah raised the bottle of soft drink lying before her, sipped through the drinking straw. “Cheer up babes, you ain’t gonna fail!”
“Can you stop calling us babes, please? We’re Muslimahs, not a kind of toy in men’s eyes…” Maymunah warned but with mixed attitude; anger and politeness.
It amused Sulaiman who had been silently hiding his gaze, to hear directly from Maymunah. Ever since he had known them, except for the day she whispered him to lower his gaze, he had never heard her talking distinctly as this. Her voice sent coolness to his heart and he shivered briefly as he raised his gaze to meet hers. And this time, she was the one forced to withdraw her gaze before he did. Blinking her eyes, a tear rolled down her cheek.
“I’m sorry Hajia if calling you babes offends you, I won’t ever dare try it again. I’m just trying to let you know that we’re here for you. Engineer Philip’s course is said to be one of the most challenging courses with high units on this campus but for us, it isn’t… especially for this my friend…”
“I’ve told her to let us inform Alhaji. Perhaps, he would know some numbers to dial that would put the man to silence. Why do we have to suffer for adhering to our faith?” Mutmainah lamented.
“I’m not involving dad, Mutmainah. I am not. You and I know it’s like telling the whole world the whole thing. He won’t back off easily so is this man we are dealing with and if dad should pull the biggest string.” She shook her head, “I pity the man and his family.”
Toohir and Sulaiman glanced at each other questioningly, each trying to ask the other if he could comprehend what she was talking about…
“You sounded as if Alhaji is a tyrant… He wasn’t pleased with us accepting this admission before. Don’t you even think he would just withdraw us and send us outside the country instead?… Or even to one of those advanced secondary schools called private universities?” She looked at her inquiringly and admittedly, Maymunah looked away and sighed.
“Then starts my worst nightmare… that’s why I’m not willing to involve him…”
Toohir intruded, “then give us the chance to help you.”
“Don’t worry, we can handle this on our own. We’ve seen the ameerah (female president) of the Muslim Students Society of this campus and she has promised to discuss it with the ameer (male president) and get back to us before or after maghrib. At least, he should be considerate if the school’s Muslim body gets involved.”
“That’s a good step you’ve taken. I will talk to the Ameer too. He’s my friend. All will surely be well bi iznillah.” Sulaiman contributed at last.
Then Mutmainah’s phone rang and she smiled upon seeing the caller, “speaking of the angel.”
For about a minute, she was on the phone and no one needed anyone to tell him that she was speaking with the aforementioned ameerah and through their conversations, it could be discerned that they were to meet the Ameer the following day in the morning. They heard the adhan and the two friends had to leave the girls for solat without feeding their empty stomach which was their initial reason for stopping by the restaurant. Toohir rubbed his stomach and Sulaiman assured him he would cook for him when they got home and he could pass the night at his apartment as well. Toohir felt elated.
They were engaged in conversations about the girls on their way home. Trying to put together the mystery behind Maymunah’s background from their earlier discussion. Sulaiman assumed Maymunah might be out of his league but got assured by his friend that no lady could be out of a man’s league, especially if love and compassion were involved.
“Let’s the love man! I’m sure she won’t say no to you when the time comes…” He advised, “and if she doesn’t accept you,” he added, “you can opt for her friend. I even find Mutmainah more beautiful than Maymunah. Even from my judgement of character, I think she’s better than her. Or should I also hunt for her?” He winked.
“You mean Mutmainah?”
“Yes!”
He starred at him suspiciously, “Toohir, when did you start thinking about this?”
“Maybe just now. You aren’t the only person that like decent ladies. At least, they’re good as wife material.”
“Wife or servant material? You only want a subservient woman who could mould a good family for you while you live as you like… Anyway, I don’t want to overestimate a woman’s choice but with her level of faith, I don’t think she would want to choose the like of you… I only long for Maymunah, albeit Mutmainah is also a good girl.”
“What’s wrong with me, man? Why wouldn’t she choose me? I’m a playboy with a big and caring heart!”
“Do not get me wrong brother. A Muslim woman needs more than a big and caring heart because to her, marriage is more than this world’s fulfilment but the preparation and gateway to success in the hereafter, akhiroh! Can you give her that?”
“Of course I can! I’m going to make sure I surprise you if she ever agrees to date me at least!”
He sniggered, “do you think she’s the type that engages in a haram relationship? I don’t think so.”
“What’s a haram relationship? She would be a rrrrreserve dude! I would practice no haram with her. Something people call halal dating.”
“Oh! You’ve heard of halal dating too? I’m very sure you would have heard of halal alcohol!”
Perplexed, he paused his motion, “halal and alcohols are word and opposite, how can they ever go together? I’ve never heard of such.”
“Really? Then, how could dating and halal go together?”
“Are you simply saying dating is haram? Dating is simply to assess each other’s suitability as a partner. How can I marry someone without spending different moments with her before finally concluding on marrying her?”
“And those moments would include holding hands, hugging and the biggest Zina eventually!”
“Of course bro! I don’t buy no-testing products. But this case could be different, I’ll make sure I remove sex from the equation. There’s nothing wrong in holding hands, hugging, kissing and even romance. Told you she would be a reserve!”
“The problem I could perceive now is that you don’t even understand the meaning of haram. Which is why halal dating makes sense in your hearing. Let me start with the definition of dating. Every dictionary describes it as a form of romantic courtship or relationship. Whereby the two individuals assess each other for compatibility. During this process, people engage in many actions prohibited by Allah and His Messenger, such as staying alone with a woman, holding hands, touching each other, hugging, ki…”
He felt the heaviness of the word ‘kissing’ in his mouth and decided to cut it short. Toohir caught the reaction and roared in laughter, he blushed.
“Even finding it difficult to pronounce kissing! You’re too holy, my man!… Okay, I concede that all those actions are haram even if the world sees it as norms that should happen between prospective spouses. What if I keep those harams off the relationship? Isn’t that what’s called halal dating?”
“Are you ready for marriage?”
“Marriage!” He chuckled, “when would that be? Not so soon. I’m still setting my bearing in life, no direction yet. You’re too funny to think about me along with marriage now.”
“Then, how sure are you to start keeping a girl now till you’re ready without engaging in any haram activity with her?”
“Hmm…” He thought, “It isn’t totally impossible but I’m not an impotent, man! Blood runs through my veins. Else, I have no feeling for the girl and how can I keep a person I do not love as my bride-to-be? And this feelings called love increases with time… But still friend, what if I’m ready now… Just like you are. You can’t marry Maymunah immediately after she accepts your proposal. No one does that. You would still have to give some times to check each other out, verify your compatibility. People often lie about who they really are, some do pretend to be who they aren’t. Sometimes, appearance and apparent character can be fallacious. Don’t you think so?”
“I do! You also have to understand that marriage isn’t only of this world affair but also of the akhiroh. It’s an act of ibaadah so whatever step one takes towards it shouldn’t be against Allah and His Messenger’s commands. Allah doesn’t only prohibit Zina (illegal sex) for us but also warns us not to move close to it. Dating is haram, there is no way to make it halal. That fact must be accepted first. Now, how should the journey of marriage in Islam begin? Firstly, the one seeking to propose to a girl should be ready for marriage and not some kind of heart-playing game which is mostly the intention behind dating. Then he starts with prayer, seeking Allah’s guidance while making his own findings of the girl, considering the best among the four factors (wealth, status, beauty and religion) Rasuulullah, salallahu alaehi wasalaam, said a man do consider when choosing a spouse, which is religion. He said ‘try to get one who is religious, may you be blessed.’…”
“You see, man! How do one she’s the right choice without dating her? I can’t meet a girl today and know all about her today.”
“Likewise you can’t date a girl for years and be able to perceive all her characters.” He shrugged, “In the olden days, such could happen. That was when people are connected to each other but in this century, a neighbour can’t describe his neighbour correctly. Which is why istikhara is needed most nowadays, in the choice of a spouse… Do you want to know about a lady of your choice? You can meet people that know her or follow her around secretly, tail her till you find a go-ahead in your answers… Mind you, the prayer of guidance, istikhara should be going on as well so as to help in decisions. Too many answers shouldn’t be sought, they can be confusing because no human is perfect and rely solely on Allah, not your intelligence…”
“That’s a lot of trouble!” He complained.
“Not trouble at all when seeking for a lifetime partner, lifetime cure to the ‘bachelorea’ disease, not a mere medicine that comes with an expiry date…”
“Ooo! You must be referring to girlfriends. What a good comparative analysis! So, what next?”
“You’ve known the girl and want to propose. There are ways of doing that too, like the honourable direct approach, sending her friend or a close relative or going directly to her Wali (rightful guardian). Tell her father you want to marry his daughter.”
“That sounds scary.”
“It isn’t scary if you’re serious about it but it could be if your intention is to check his daughter out if she fits to be married or dump her if she isn’t.”
“That’s true. But the father won’t entrust his daughter to you at that moment even if she accepts. To them, you’re a complete stranger and they would want to know you more. Also, we’re in the 21st century, you’ve got to make some arrangements like introduction, engagement before nikkah date is finally picked and those plans alone could take a decade. So, won’t the groom see his bride anymore till the nikkah day?”
“Of course he can see her.”
“Mehn! That’s also courtship!” He snickered.
“It isn’t!”
“It is!”
“I say it isn’t!”
“It is bro!… Ok, what is it called?”
“In courtship, both are ready for marriage, I agree! However, they are still checking out their compatibility. No conclusion made yet! Even though mostly, their parents are aware of such a relationship. Holding hands, spending time together privately and so on are norms in courtship. These haram activities are prohibited in khitbah – the relationship between a man and woman after acceptance of proposal till the nikkah day. Here, the parents of the girl are aware and working towards marriage as soon as possible. He sees the girl only in the presence of her mahram or public places. No private consultations, touching each other… Because the man is still to her as a stranger until the day the knot is tied.”
“Do you think people really engage is this khitbah you’re talking about?”
“Sure! Although some khitbah end up in courtship SubhanAllah, especially when the nikkah is delayed. As you said, love strengthens with time and shaytan’s whispers derail. Love is like a sickness and the only cure is a marriage which is why Allah’s Messenger, salallahu alaehi wasalaam, said he didn’t see any solution for two people in love than to get married. Marriage is also among the three things the best of mankind told us not to delay because he knew what could end the two hearts which are drawn towards each other. Yet, we choose to bring our two unprepared hearts together and deliberately engage in the haram relationship. Dating is prohibited in Islam, khitbah is permissible – they are two different words with different meaning and process.”
“Anyway, theoretically, I’ve understood you but practically, I don’t think I can practice a successful khitbah. This body will long for it!… I’m sure you read all these in a book. Although I haven’t met many people in my life, I can say I haven’t seen anyone khitbating before.”
“Book is also a source of Islamic knowledge, so are lectures. What’s really important is to seek rightful knowledge because no one will be pardoned for being ignoramus… I’ve seen people in real khitbah. All touching and romance started only on the day of nikkah. It worked for them and it’s going to work for me too bi iznillah (by Allah’s will). They’re living happily because it’s a relationship built for the sake of Allah… I wish Yusuf was here to talk more about this.”
“I really don’t see him these days. Even outside the campus. He might be preparing for the exam. Everyone has to be. Our courses for this semester are too much. I also have to look for a way to multitask my brain to escape carryovers…”
As they got near home, the CPU palace, the sounds of the loud music got into their ears and they asked each other what could be going on in the house. Entering the gate, they met almost every resident and some outsiders hanging around with each other inside the compound. Music was loud, merriment was bustling and chattering continued as if it will never end. At a side of a building was seen a group of young men, consisting of some who Sulaiman knew to be Muslims, popping champagne and cheering on the top of their voices. He shook his head while passing them without uttering a word of greetings – his mouth dried and he felt bitterness in his throat – he wished he could just stop and reprove them but in this state they were, his words would only mean nothing. Since he couldn’t change the evil with his hand, nor with his mouth, he had no choice but to allow his heart to feel the bitterness. Then the lad known as Kaka came out of his apartment, wiping his wet body with a big white towel while the cheers arose from everyone again. Now the situation had become clear to them, Kaka was celebrating his birthday and judging from the messy floor, the absurd tradition had been carried out – he had been showered with series of dirty water along with some beatings of his life. Mar’yam appeared behind him with a tray of cake and smiled as she caught a glimpse of Sulaiman and his friend. Sulaiman paused as he saw Toohir walking towards Kaka and offered him a handshake which he accepted vivaciously, leaving him surprised. They exchanged indistinct pleasantries while Mar’yam said to Sulaiman,
“Alfa,” she called aloud to be heard, “you’re also invited to our birthday party.” She grinned.
“Bring two seats for them bae, serve them malts. I’m sure Alfa won’t drink this urine.” Kaka ordered and smirked.
She was about to act on order when Sulaiman replied, “you’ll have to excuse me please, I’m not joining the party.”
He left them and strode across to his apartment, not minding if his friend had followed him or not. He was about to close the door behind him when he felt a push by the door.
“Are you locking me out?” Asked Toohir.
“I thought you want to sit with them.”
“I wanted to, but I have to leave when you left.”
Short of words, he raised his eyebrows, “really? You’re joking, right?”
“I’m not!” He shrugged.
He turned to him completely, “last time I checked Toohir, this Kaka hated our guts. He even threatened us. And today, I noticed you’ve been friends for a while that you even exchanged slangs. Can you please enlighten me about what is going on?”
He simpered, “Come on, man! I’ve told you I just talked into his sense. Maybe he saw me as a sensible man and wanna make friends. It’s good to make friends than enemies, isn’t it?” Seeing he isn’t buying into his response, he digressed, “come on, man! We can just sit at a corner and enjoy the event. I think Islam encourages us to honour people’s invitation.”
“I can’t sit in such a gathering. It isn’t a gathering meant for a Muslim to be. True, it’s the right of a Muslim on the Muslims to follow funeral processions, to accept the invitation and to reply the sneezer… Provided he says alhamdulillah. But also, Islam forbids us from sitting in a company where lewdness, vulgarity, alcohol and evil are shared. Birthday or what is he celebrating?…”
“Yes, birthday…”
“It even has no basis in Islam. Why would you celebrate the number of days you’ve spent on earth when you don’t even know your status before Allah? Whereas, you’re happy when Allah isn’t pleased with you. You aggravate your sin in the cause of the celebration and in a moment later, Allah takes your soul. Subhanallah! Even if there exists anything like birthday, it should be a day of reflection, not a day of merriment and jubilation. And I won’t partake in such misdeed.”
“Indeed! You’ve said the whole truth… But I’m famished friend. That girl has already served our food… Okay! I’ll only eat and return ASAP.”
“If you leave for that party, you aren’t returning here. Note that!”
“Oh don’t do that please,” he had reached for the door, “I’ll be back before you know it.”
He winked and exited. Sulaiman heaved a sigh, “can a leopard ever change its spot?”
Toohir promised to be back in a moment but hours had passed without seeing him. Even when he had gone out for solat, Toohir was nowhere to be seen amidst the dancing crowd. He was hoping for a knock on the door but none was heard, even after he started catching some z’s.
He had noticed the absence of his neighbours during the subhi solat when he had got no response to his several knocks. Since then, he had started wondering where the girls could have slept and why they’ve spent the night out. He had entered the school gate with his mind occupied when he heard a male’s voice called his name. He turned to look and saw the girls, the Ameer and the young man he had met once, Abdulwaris standing in front of the central masjid.
He moved closer to them and shook hands with the males while saying tasleem to all of them. They replied individually.
“Thanks very much for the other day akhy, jazaakallahu khairan. I’ve asked about the evidence you gave me and it was confirmed to be true. I felt so ashamed of myself for allowing such knowledge to escape me. I have to apologize to the brother once again.” said Abdulwaris.
“You don’t need to do that akhy (my brother). No one knows it all, we learn every day.”
“Na’am! I didn’t even know you’re the brother these my sisters are referring to. Ameer has been trying to describe you to me but I couldn’t get it until you were called…”
“Let’s go to this man on time Ikhwaan (brothers).” Ameer interrupted, “he will soon leave his office, he’s having a class during the second period.”
Briskly, they walked to engineer Philip’s office while the girls followed them behind.
A knock on engineer Philip’s office door brought a quick response and Ameer who was holding the doorknob gently opened the door. The man withdrew his glasses, placed it on the rim of his nose and glared at them as they entered one by one. Immediately his eyes laid on the girls, he screamed blue murder, asking them to get out. Out of fear, they quickly retreated and asked themselves a series of questions about what they had done wrong.
“I think his anger has transited into hatred towards these our…ou… these sisters. I think we should go to him without them. Or what do you think?” Abdulwaris suggested.
Tears had started running on Maymunah’s cheek and fear could be seen in Mutmainah’s countenance, both holding each other’s hands, seeking solace. Finally, as they had concluded, the girls left for their class and the brothers contemplated on what to say and how to say it before the man.
“Don’t you think he only sent us back because we were many?” Abdulwaris asked and they looked into each other’s gaze for an answer, “I think only one person among us should go… Ameer?”
“I don’t think I can go alone… I’m having a test in the next twenty minutes and this lecturer is almost as strict as this engineer Philip…”
Sulaiman interjected, “I will go. I will talk to him on behalf of this campus’ Muslim body.”
“But akhy, don’t you think he only acted that way because he was in a bad mood? If that’s the case, you going there alone won’t have solved anything. It might even it worse…”
“Let him try ameer, we will wait for him here. May Allah guard and

Who’s Going To Bell the Cat?

As they had perceived, engineer Philip had made a vow and he wasn’t ready to bend the rule. Three of his classes had passed and despite all plea and involvement of some lecturers, he was still adamant and refused to admit the girls into his classes. The older students of the school wouldn’t blink a total eye to such mayhem but would buckle their belts in preparation for the exam. However, for the freshmen, it was as if their world was coming to an end. Which would describe the state they met them in the school restaurant – devastated and sombre. Toohir was the first to sight them sitting behind a square-top table of four which left two seats unoccupied. They had both glanced at each other as if asking each other if they could join them. Sulaiman had shaken his head in negative response while Toohir had shrugged indicating that he didn’t care about his choice. So reluctantly, he had followed Toohir behind while he asked the girls if they could join them on the table. Cheerfully, Mutmainah granted them the permission while drawing away her chair from them and nearer to her friend so as to give enough space between them but Maymunah’s response was indifferent which raised Sulaiman’s concern. He wanted to talk and some words of solace in their mind but he found no courage to open his mouth thereby leaving Toohir to do the talking,
“Babes, my friend and I understand your plight and we won’t like you to continue treating it like a plague.” He saw them heaving a sigh and Maymunah raised the bottle of soft drink lying before her, sipped through the drinking straw. “Cheer up babes, you ain’t gonna fail!”
“Can you stop calling us babes, please? We’re Muslimahs, not a kind of toy in men’s eyes…” Maymunah warned but with mixed attitude; anger and politeness.
It amused Sulaiman who had been silently hiding his gaze, to hear directly from Maymunah. Ever since he had known them, except for the day she whispered him to lower his gaze, he had never heard her talking distinctly as this. Her voice sent coolness to his heart and he shivered briefly as he raised his gaze to meet hers. And this time, she was the one forced to withdraw her gaze before he did. Blinking her eyes, a tear rolled down her cheek.
“I’m sorry Hajia if calling you babes offends you, I won’t ever dare try it again. I’m just trying to let you know that we’re here for you. Engineer Philip’s course is said to be one of the most challenging courses with high units on this campus but for us, it isn’t… especially for this my friend…”
“I’ve told her to let us inform Alhaji. Perhaps, he would know some numbers to dial that would put the man to silence. Why do we have to suffer for adhering to our faith?” Mutmainah lamented.
“I’m not involving dad, Mutmainah. I am not. You and I know it’s like telling the whole world the whole thing. He won’t back off easily so is this man we are dealing with and if dad should pull the biggest string.” She shook her head, “I pity the man and his family.”
Toohir and Sulaiman glanced at each other questioningly, each trying to ask the other if he could comprehend what she was talking about…
“You sounded as if Alhaji is a tyrant… He wasn’t pleased with us accepting this admission before. Don’t you even think he would just withdraw us and send us outside the country instead?… Or even to one of those advanced secondary schools called private universities?” She looked at her inquiringly and admittedly, Maymunah looked away and sighed.
“Then starts my worst nightmare… that’s why I’m not willing to involve him…”
Toohir intruded, “then give us the chance to help you.”
“Don’t worry, we can handle this on our own. We’ve seen the ameerah (female president) of the Muslim Students Society of this campus and she has promised to discuss it with the ameer (male president) and get back to us before or after maghrib. At least, he should be considerate if the school’s Muslim body gets involved.”
“That’s a good step you’ve taken. I will talk to the Ameer too. He’s my friend. All will surely be well bi iznillah.” Sulaiman contributed at last.
Then Mutmainah’s phone rang and she smiled upon seeing the caller, “speaking of the angel.”
For about a minute, she was on the phone and no one needed anyone to tell him that she was speaking with the aforementioned ameerah and through their conversations, it could be discerned that they were to meet the Ameer the following day in the morning. They heard the adhan and the two friends had to leave the girls for solat without feeding their empty stomach which was their initial reason for stopping by the restaurant. Toohir rubbed his stomach and Sulaiman assured him he would cook for him when they got home and he could pass the night at his apartment as well. Toohir felt elated.
They were engaged in conversations about the girls on their way home. Trying to put together the mystery behind Maymunah’s background from their earlier discussion. Sulaiman assumed Maymunah might be out of his league but got assured by his friend that no lady could be out of a man’s league, especially if love and compassion were involved.
“Let’s the love man! I’m sure she won’t say no to you when the time comes…” He advised, “and if she doesn’t accept you,” he added, “you can opt for her friend. I even find Mutmainah more beautiful than Maymunah. Even from my judgement of character, I think she’s better than her. Or should I also hunt for her?” He winked.
“You mean Mutmainah?”
“Yes!”
He starred at him suspiciously, “Toohir, when did you start thinking about this?”
“Maybe just now. You aren’t the only person that like decent ladies. At least, they’re good as wife material.”
“Wife or servant material? You only want a subservient woman who could mould a good family for you while you live as you like… Anyway, I don’t want to overestimate a woman’s choice but with her level of faith, I don’t think she would want to choose the like of you… I only long for Maymunah, albeit Mutmainah is also a good girl.”
“What’s wrong with me, man? Why wouldn’t she choose me? I’m a playboy with a big and caring heart!”
“Do not get me wrong brother. A Muslim woman needs more than a big and caring heart because to her, marriage is more than this world’s fulfilment but the preparation and gateway to success in the hereafter, akhiroh! Can you give her that?”
“Of course I can! I’m going to make sure I surprise you if she ever agrees to date me at least!”
He sniggered, “do you think she’s the type that engages in a haram relationship? I don’t think so.”
“What’s a haram relationship? She would be a rrrrreserve dude! I would practice no haram with her. Something people call halal dating.”
“Oh! You’ve heard of halal dating too? I’m very sure you would have heard of halal alcohol!”
Perplexed, he paused his motion, “halal and alcohols are word and opposite, how can they ever go together? I’ve never heard of such.”
“Really? Then, how could dating and halal go together?”
“Are you simply saying dating is haram? Dating is simply to assess each other’s suitability as a partner. How can I marry someone without spending different moments with her before finally concluding on marrying her?”
“And those moments would include holding hands, hugging and the biggest Zina eventually!”
“Of course bro! I don’t buy no-testing products. But this case could be different, I’ll make sure I remove sex from the equation. There’s nothing wrong in holding hands, hugging, kissing and even romance. Told you she would be a reserve!”
“The problem I could perceive now is that you don’t even understand the meaning of haram. Which is why halal dating makes sense in your hearing. Let me start with the definition of dating. Every dictionary describes it as a form of romantic courtship or relationship. Whereby the two individuals assess each other for compatibility. During this process, people engage in many actions prohibited by Allah and His Messenger, such as staying alone with a woman, holding hands, touching each other, hugging, ki…”
He felt the heaviness of the word ‘kissing’ in his mouth and decided to cut it short. Toohir caught the reaction and roared in laughter, he blushed.
“Even finding it difficult to pronounce kissing! You’re too holy, my man!… Okay, I concede that all those actions are haram even if the world sees it as norms that should happen between prospective spouses. What if I keep those harams off the relationship? Isn’t that what’s called halal dating?”
“Are you ready for marriage?”
“Marriage!” He chuckled, “when would that be? Not so soon. I’m still setting my bearing in life, no direction yet. You’re too funny to think about me along with marriage now.”
“Then, how sure are you to start keeping a girl now till you’re ready without engaging in any haram activity with her?”
“Hmm…” He thought, “It isn’t totally impossible but I’m not an impotent, man! Blood runs through my veins. Else, I have no feeling for the girl and how can I keep a person I do not love as my bride-to-be? And this feelings called love increases with time… But still friend, what if I’m ready now… Just like you are. You can’t marry Maymunah immediately after she accepts your proposal. No one does that. You would still have to give some times to check each other out, verify your compatibility. People often lie about who they really are, some do pretend to be who they aren’t. Sometimes, appearance and apparent character can be fallacious. Don’t you think so?”
“I do! You also have to understand that marriage isn’t only of this world affair but also of the akhiroh. It’s an act of ibaadah so whatever step one takes towards it shouldn’t be against Allah and His Messenger’s commands. Allah doesn’t only prohibit Zina (illegal sex) for us but also warns us not to move close to it. Dating is haram, there is no way to make it halal. That fact must be accepted first. Now, how should the journey of marriage in Islam begin? Firstly, the one seeking to propose to a girl should be ready for marriage and not some kind of heart-playing game which is mostly the intention behind dating. Then he starts with prayer, seeking Allah’s guidance while making his own findings of the girl, considering the best among the four factors (wealth, status, beauty and religion) Rasuulullah, salallahu alaehi wasalaam, said a man do consider when choosing a spouse, which is religion. He said ‘try to get one who is religious, may you be blessed.’…”
“You see, man! How do one she’s the right choice without dating her? I can’t meet a girl today and know all about her today.”
“Likewise you can’t date a girl for years and be able to perceive all her characters.” He shrugged, “In the olden days, such could happen. That was when people are connected to each other but in this century, a neighbour can’t describe his neighbour correctly. Which is why istikhara is needed most nowadays, in the choice of a spouse… Do you want to know about a lady of your choice? You can meet people that know her or follow her around secretly, tail her till you find a go-ahead in your answers… Mind you, the prayer of guidance, istikhara should be going on as well so as to help in decisions. Too many answers shouldn’t be sought, they can be confusing because no human is perfect and rely solely on Allah, not your intelligence…”
“That’s a lot of trouble!” He complained.
“Not trouble at all when seeking for a lifetime partner, lifetime cure to the ‘bachelorea’ disease, not a mere medicine that comes with an expiry date…”
“Ooo! You must be referring to girlfriends. What a good comparative analysis! So, what next?”
“You’ve known the girl and want to propose. There are ways of doing that too, like the honourable direct approach, sending her friend or a close relative or going directly to her Wali (rightful guardian). Tell her father you want to marry his daughter.”
“That sounds scary.”
“It isn’t scary if you’re serious about it but it could be if your intention is to check his daughter out if she fits to be married or dump her if she isn’t.”
“That’s true. But the father won’t entrust his daughter to you at that moment even if she accepts. To them, you’re a complete stranger and they would want to know you more. Also, we’re in the 21st century, you’ve got to make some arrangements like introduction, engagement before nikkah date is finally picked and those plans alone could take a decade. So, won’t the groom see his bride anymore till the nikkah day?”
“Of course he can see her.”
“Mehn! That’s also courtship!” He snickered.
“It isn’t!”
“It is!”
“I say it isn’t!”
“It is bro!… Ok, what is it called?”
“In courtship, both are ready for marriage, I agree! However, they are still checking out their compatibility. No conclusion made yet! Even though mostly, their parents are aware of such a relationship. Holding hands, spending time together privately and so on are norms in courtship. These haram activities are prohibited in khitbah – the relationship between a man and woman after acceptance of proposal till the nikkah day. Here, the parents of the girl are aware and working towards marriage as soon as possible. He sees the girl only in the presence of her mahram or public places. No private consultations, touching each other… Because the man is still to her as a stranger until the day the knot is tied.”
“Do you think people really engage is this khitbah you’re talking about?”
“Sure! Although some khitbah end up in courtship SubhanAllah, especially when the nikkah is delayed. As you said, love strengthens with time and shaytan’s whispers derail. Love is like a sickness and the only cure is a marriage which is why Allah’s Messenger, salallahu alaehi wasalaam, said he didn’t see any solution for two people in love than to get married. Marriage is also among the three things the best of mankind told us not to delay because he knew what could end the two hearts which are drawn towards each other. Yet, we choose to bring our two unprepared hearts together and deliberately engage in the haram relationship. Dating is prohibited in Islam, khitbah is permissible – they are two different words with different meaning and process.”
“Anyway, theoretically, I’ve understood you but practically, I don’t think I can practice a successful khitbah. This body will long for it!… I’m sure you read all these in a book. Although I haven’t met many people in my life, I can say I haven’t seen anyone khitbating before.”
“Book is also a source of Islamic knowledge, so are lectures. What’s really important is to seek rightful knowledge because no one will be pardoned for being ignoramus… I’ve seen people in real khitbah. All touching and romance started only on the day of nikkah. It worked for them and it’s going to work for me too bi iznillah (by Allah’s will). They’re living happily because it’s a relationship built for the sake of Allah… I wish Yusuf was here to talk more about this.”
“I really don’t see him these days. Even outside the campus. He might be preparing for the exam. Everyone has to be. Our courses for this semester are too much. I also have to look for a way to multitask my brain to escape carryovers…”
As they got near home, the CPU palace, the sounds of the loud music got into their ears and they asked each other what could be going on in the house. Entering the gate, they met almost every resident and some outsiders hanging around with each other inside the compound. Music was loud, merriment was bustling and chattering continued as if it will never end. At a side of a building was seen a group of young men, consisting of some who Sulaiman knew to be Muslims, popping champagne and cheering on the top of their voices. He shook his head while passing them without uttering a word of greetings – his mouth dried and he felt bitterness in his throat – he wished he could just stop and reprove them but in this state they were, his words would only mean nothing. Since he couldn’t change the evil with his hand, nor with his mouth, he had no choice but to allow his heart to feel the bitterness. Then the lad known as Kaka came out of his apartment, wiping his wet body with a big white towel while the cheers arose from everyone again. Now the situation had become clear to them, Kaka was celebrating his birthday and judging from the messy floor, the absurd tradition had been carried out – he had been showered with series of dirty water along with some beatings of his life. Mar’yam appeared behind him with a tray of cake and smiled as she caught a glimpse of Sulaiman and his friend. Sulaiman paused as he saw Toohir walking towards Kaka and offered him a handshake which he accepted vivaciously, leaving him surprised. They exchanged indistinct pleasantries while Mar’yam said to Sulaiman,
“Alfa,” she called aloud to be heard, “you’re also invited to our birthday party.” She grinned.
“Bring two seats for them bae, serve them malts. I’m sure Alfa won’t drink this urine.” Kaka ordered and smirked.
She was about to act on order when Sulaiman replied, “you’ll have to excuse me please, I’m not joining the party.”
He left them and strode across to his apartment, not minding if his friend had followed him or not. He was about to close the door behind him when he felt a push by the door.
“Are you locking me out?” Asked Toohir.
“I thought you want to sit with them.”
“I wanted to, but I have to leave when you left.”
Short of words, he raised his eyebrows, “really? You’re joking, right?”
“I’m not!” He shrugged.
He turned to him completely, “last time I checked Toohir, this Kaka hated our guts. He even threatened us. And today, I noticed you’ve been friends for a while that you even exchanged slangs. Can you please enlighten me about what is going on?”
He simpered, “Come on, man! I’ve told you I just talked into his sense. Maybe he saw me as a sensible man and wanna make friends. It’s good to make friends than enemies, isn’t it?” Seeing he isn’t buying into his response, he digressed, “come on, man! We can just sit at a corner and enjoy the event. I think Islam encourages us to honour people’s invitation.”
“I can’t sit in such a gathering. It isn’t a gathering meant for a Muslim to be. True, it’s the right of a Muslim on the Muslims to follow funeral processions, to accept the invitation and to reply the sneezer… Provided he says alhamdulillah. But also, Islam forbids us from sitting in a company where lewdness, vulgarity, alcohol and evil are shared. Birthday or what is he celebrating?…”
“Yes, birthday…”
“It even has no basis in Islam. Why would you celebrate the number of days you’ve spent on earth when you don’t even know your status before Allah? Whereas, you’re happy when Allah isn’t pleased with you. You aggravate your sin in the cause of the celebration and in a moment later, Allah takes your soul. Subhanallah! Even if there exists anything like birthday, it should be a day of reflection, not a day of merriment and jubilation. And I won’t partake in such misdeed.”
“Indeed! You’ve said the whole truth… But I’m famished friend. That girl has already served our food… Okay! I’ll only eat and return ASAP.”
“If you leave for that party, you aren’t returning here. Note that!”
“Oh don’t do that please,” he had reached for the door, “I’ll be back before you know it.”
He winked and exited. Sulaiman heaved a sigh, “can a leopard ever change its spot?”
Toohir promised to be back in a moment but hours had passed without seeing him. Even when he had gone out for solat, Toohir was nowhere to be seen amidst the dancing crowd. He was hoping for a knock on the door but none was heard, even after he started catching some z’s.
He had noticed the absence of his neighbours during the subhi solat when he had got no response to his several knocks. Since then, he had started wondering where the girls could have slept and why they’ve spent the night out. He had entered the school gate with his mind occupied when he heard a male’s voice called his name. He turned to look and saw the girls, the Ameer and the young man he had met once, Abdulwaris standing in front of the central masjid.
He moved closer to them and shook hands with the males while saying tasleem to all of them. They replied individually.
“Thanks very much for the other day akhy, jazaakallahu khairan. I’ve asked about the evidence you gave me and it was confirmed to be true. I felt so ashamed of myself for allowing such knowledge to escape me. I have to apologize to the brother once again.” said Abdulwaris.
“You don’t need to do that akhy (my brother). No one knows it all, we learn every day.”
“Na’am! I didn’t even know you’re the brother these my sisters are referring to. Ameer has been trying to describe you to me but I couldn’t get it until you were called…”
“Let’s go to this man on time Ikhwaan (brothers).” Ameer interrupted, “he will soon leave his office, he’s having a class during the second period.”
Briskly, they walked to engineer Philip’s office while the girls followed them behind.
A knock on engineer Philip’s office door brought a quick response and Ameer who was holding the doorknob gently opened the door. The man withdrew his glasses, placed it on the rim of his nose and glared at them as they entered one by one. Immediately his eyes laid on the girls, he screamed blue murder, asking them to get out. Out of fear, they quickly retreated and asked themselves a series of questions about what they had done wrong.
“I think his anger has transited into hatred towards these our…ou… these sisters. I think we should go to him without them. Or what do you think?” Abdulwaris suggested.
Tears had started running on Maymunah’s cheek and fear could be seen in Mutmainah’s countenance, both holding each other’s hands, seeking solace. Finally, as they had concluded, the girls left for their class and the brothers contemplated on what to say and how to say it before the man.
“Don’t you think he only sent us back because we were many?” Abdulwaris asked and they looked into each other’s gaze for an answer, “I think only one person among us should go… Ameer?”
“I don’t think I can go alone… I’m having a test in the next twenty minutes and this lecturer is almost as strict as this engineer Philip…”
Sulaiman interjected, “I will go. I will talk to him on behalf of this campus’ Muslim body.”
“But akhy, don’t you think he only acted that way because he was in a bad mood? If that’s the case, you going there alone won’t have solved anything. It might even it worse…”
“Let him try ameer, we will wait for him here. May Allah guard and guide you.”
He lifted his backpack from the floor, threw it on his right shoulder and started making his way towards the engineer Philip’s office again. His heart picked a race and he started praising Allah – verily, in the remembrance of Allah do the heart find rest.

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guide you.”
He lifted his backpack from the floor, threw it on his right shoulder and started making his way towards the engineer Philip’s office again. His heart picked a race and he started praising Allah – verily, in the remembrance of Allah do the heart find rest.

Who’s Going To Bell the Cat?

As they had perceived, engineer Philip had made a vow and he wasn’t ready to bend the rule. Three of his classes had passed and despite all plea and involvement of some lecturers, he was still adamant and refused to admit the girls into his classes. The older students of the school wouldn’t blink a total eye to such mayhem but would buckle their belts in preparation for the exam. However, for the freshmen, it was as if their world was coming to an end. Which would describe the state they met them in the school restaurant – devastated and sombre. Toohir was the first to sight them sitting behind a square-top table of four which left two seats unoccupied. They had both glanced at each other as if asking each other if they could join them. Sulaiman had shaken his head in negative response while Toohir had shrugged indicating that he didn’t care about his choice. So reluctantly, he had followed Toohir behind while he asked the girls if they could join them on the table. Cheerfully, Mutmainah granted them the permission while drawing away her chair from them and nearer to her friend so as to give enough space between them but Maymunah’s response was indifferent which raised Sulaiman’s concern. He wanted to talk and some words of solace in their mind but he found no courage to open his mouth thereby leaving Toohir to do the talking,
“Babes, my friend and I understand your plight and we won’t like you to continue treating it like a plague.” He saw them heaving a sigh and Maymunah raised the bottle of soft drink lying before her, sipped through the drinking straw. “Cheer up babes, you ain’t gonna fail!”
“Can you stop calling us babes, please? We’re Muslimahs, not a kind of toy in men’s eyes…” Maymunah warned but with mixed attitude; anger and politeness.
It amused Sulaiman who had been silently hiding his gaze, to hear directly from Maymunah. Ever since he had known them, except for the day she whispered him to lower his gaze, he had never heard her talking distinctly as this. Her voice sent coolness to his heart and he shivered briefly as he raised his gaze to meet hers. And this time, she was the one forced to withdraw her gaze before he did. Blinking her eyes, a tear rolled down her cheek.
“I’m sorry Hajia if calling you babes offends you, I won’t ever dare try it again. I’m just trying to let you know that we’re here for you. Engineer Philip’s course is said to be one of the most challenging courses with high units on this campus but for us, it isn’t… especially for this my friend…”
“I’ve told her to let us inform Alhaji. Perhaps, he would know some numbers to dial that would put the man to silence. Why do we have to suffer for adhering to our faith?” Mutmainah lamented.
“I’m not involving dad, Mutmainah. I am not. You and I know it’s like telling the whole world the whole thing. He won’t back off easily so is this man we are dealing with and if dad should pull the biggest string.” She shook her head, “I pity the man and his family.”
Toohir and Sulaiman glanced at each other questioningly, each trying to ask the other if he could comprehend what she was talking about…
“You sounded as if Alhaji is a tyrant… He wasn’t pleased with us accepting this admission before. Don’t you even think he would just withdraw us and send us outside the country instead?… Or even to one of those advanced secondary schools called private universities?” She looked at her inquiringly and admittedly, Maymunah looked away and sighed.
“Then starts my worst nightmare… that’s why I’m not willing to involve him…”
Toohir intruded, “then give us the chance to help you.”
“Don’t worry, we can handle this on our own. We’ve seen the ameerah (female president) of the Muslim Students Society of this campus and she has promised to discuss it with the ameer (male president) and get back to us before or after maghrib. At least, he should be considerate if the school’s Muslim body gets involved.”
“That’s a good step you’ve taken. I will talk to the Ameer too. He’s my friend. All will surely be well bi iznillah.” Sulaiman contributed at last.
Then Mutmainah’s phone rang and she smiled upon seeing the caller, “speaking of the angel.”
For about a minute, she was on the phone and no one needed anyone to tell him that she was speaking with the aforementioned ameerah and through their conversations, it could be discerned that they were to meet the Ameer the following day in the morning. They heard the adhan and the two friends had to leave the girls for solat without feeding their empty stomach which was their initial reason for stopping by the restaurant. Toohir rubbed his stomach and Sulaiman assured him he would cook for him when they got home and he could pass the night at his apartment as well. Toohir felt elated.
They were engaged in conversations about the girls on their way home. Trying to put together the mystery behind Maymunah’s background from their earlier discussion. Sulaiman assumed Maymunah might be out of his league but got assured by his friend that no lady could be out of a man’s league, especially if love and compassion were involved.
“Let’s the love man! I’m sure she won’t say no to you when the time comes…” He advised, “and if she doesn’t accept you,” he added, “you can opt for her friend. I even find Mutmainah more beautiful than Maymunah. Even from my judgement of character, I think she’s better than her. Or should I also hunt for her?” He winked.
“You mean Mutmainah?”
“Yes!”
He starred at him suspiciously, “Toohir, when did you start thinking about this?”
“Maybe just now. You aren’t the only person that like decent ladies. At least, they’re good as wife material.”
“Wife or servant material? You only want a subservient woman who could mould a good family for you while you live as you like… Anyway, I don’t want to overestimate a woman’s choice but with her level of faith, I don’t think she would want to choose the like of you… I only long for Maymunah, albeit Mutmainah is also a good girl.”
“What’s wrong with me, man? Why wouldn’t she choose me? I’m a playboy with a big and caring heart!”
“Do not get me wrong brother. A Muslim woman needs more than a big and caring heart because to her, marriage is more than this world’s fulfilment but the preparation and gateway to success in the hereafter, akhiroh! Can you give her that?”
“Of course I can! I’m going to make sure I surprise you if she ever agrees to date me at least!”
He sniggered, “do you think she’s the type that engages in a haram relationship? I don’t think so.”
“What’s a haram relationship? She would be a rrrrreserve dude! I would practice no haram with her. Something people call halal dating.”
“Oh! You’ve heard of halal dating too? I’m very sure you would have heard of halal alcohol!”
Perplexed, he paused his motion, “halal and alcohols are word and opposite, how can they ever go together? I’ve never heard of such.”
“Really? Then, how could dating and halal go together?”
“Are you simply saying dating is haram? Dating is simply to assess each other’s suitability as a partner. How can I marry someone without spending different moments with her before finally concluding on marrying her?”
“And those moments would include holding hands, hugging and the biggest Zina eventually!”
“Of course bro! I don’t buy no-testing products. But this case could be different, I’ll make sure I remove sex from the equation. There’s nothing wrong in holding hands, hugging, kissing and even romance. Told you she would be a reserve!”
“The problem I could perceive now is that you don’t even understand the meaning of haram. Which is why halal dating makes sense in your hearing. Let me start with the definition of dating. Every dictionary describes it as a form of romantic courtship or relationship. Whereby the two individuals assess each other for compatibility. During this process, people engage in many actions prohibited by Allah and His Messenger, such as staying alone with a woman, holding hands, touching each other, hugging, ki…”
He felt the heaviness of the word ‘kissing’ in his mouth and decided to cut it short. Toohir caught the reaction and roared in laughter, he blushed.
“Even finding it difficult to pronounce kissing! You’re too holy, my man!… Okay, I concede that all those actions are haram even if the world sees it as norms that should happen between prospective spouses. What if I keep those harams off the relationship? Isn’t that what’s called halal dating?”
“Are you ready for marriage?”
“Marriage!” He chuckled, “when would that be? Not so soon. I’m still setting my bearing in life, no direction yet. You’re too funny to think about me along with marriage now.”
“Then, how sure are you to start keeping a girl now till you’re ready without engaging in any haram activity with her?”
“Hmm…” He thought, “It isn’t totally impossible but I’m not an impotent, man! Blood runs through my veins. Else, I have no feeling for the girl and how can I keep a person I do not love as my bride-to-be? And this feelings called love increases with time… But still friend, what if I’m ready now… Just like you are. You can’t marry Maymunah immediately after she accepts your proposal. No one does that. You would still have to give some times to check each other out, verify your compatibility. People often lie about who they really are, some do pretend to be who they aren’t. Sometimes, appearance and apparent character can be fallacious. Don’t you think so?”
“I do! You also have to understand that marriage isn’t only of this world affair but also of the akhiroh. It’s an act of ibaadah so whatever step one takes towards it shouldn’t be against Allah and His Messenger’s commands. Allah doesn’t only prohibit Zina (illegal sex) for us but also warns us not to move close to it. Dating is haram, there is no way to make it halal. That fact must be accepted first. Now, how should the journey of marriage in Islam begin? Firstly, the one seeking to propose to a girl should be ready for marriage and not some kind of heart-playing game which is mostly the intention behind dating. Then he starts with prayer, seeking Allah’s guidance while making his own findings of the girl, considering the best among the four factors (wealth, status, beauty and religion) Rasuulullah, salallahu alaehi wasalaam, said a man do consider when choosing a spouse, which is religion. He said ‘try to get one who is religious, may you be blessed.’…”
“You see, man! How do one she’s the right choice without dating her? I can’t meet a girl today and know all about her today.”
“Likewise you can’t date a girl for years and be able to perceive all her characters.” He shrugged, “In the olden days, such could happen. That was when people are connected to each other but in this century, a neighbour can’t describe his neighbour correctly. Which is why istikhara is needed most nowadays, in the choice of a spouse… Do you want to know about a lady of your choice? You can meet people that know her or follow her around secretly, tail her till you find a go-ahead in your answers… Mind you, the prayer of guidance, istikhara should be going on as well so as to help in decisions. Too many answers shouldn’t be sought, they can be confusing because no human is perfect and rely solely on Allah, not your intelligence…”
“That’s a lot of trouble!” He complained.
“Not trouble at all when seeking for a lifetime partner, lifetime cure to the ‘bachelorea’ disease, not a mere medicine that comes with an expiry date…”
“Ooo! You must be referring to girlfriends. What a good comparative analysis! So, what next?”
“You’ve known the girl and want to propose. There are ways of doing that too, like the honourable direct approach, sending her friend or a close relative or going directly to her Wali (rightful guardian). Tell her father you want to marry his daughter.”
“That sounds scary.”
“It isn’t scary if you’re serious about it but it could be if your intention is to check his daughter out if she fits to be married or dump her if she isn’t.”
“That’s true. But the father won’t entrust his daughter to you at that moment even if she accepts. To them, you’re a complete stranger and they would want to know you more. Also, we’re in the 21st century, you’ve got to make some arrangements like introduction, engagement before nikkah date is finally picked and those plans alone could take a decade. So, won’t the groom see his bride anymore till the nikkah day?”
“Of course he can see her.”
“Mehn! That’s also courtship!” He snickered.
“It isn’t!”
“It is!”
“I say it isn’t!”
“It is bro!… Ok, what is it called?”
“In courtship, both are ready for marriage, I agree! However, they are still checking out their compatibility. No conclusion made yet! Even though mostly, their parents are aware of such a relationship. Holding hands, spending time together privately and so on are norms in courtship. These haram activities are prohibited in khitbah – the relationship between a man and woman after acceptance of proposal till the nikkah day. Here, the parents of the girl are aware and working towards marriage as soon as possible. He sees the girl only in the presence of her mahram or public places. No private consultations, touching each other… Because the man is still to her as a stranger until the day the knot is tied.”
“Do you think people really engage is this khitbah you’re talking about?”
“Sure! Although some khitbah end up in courtship SubhanAllah, especially when the nikkah is delayed. As you said, love strengthens with time and shaytan’s whispers derail. Love is like a sickness and the only cure is a marriage which is why Allah’s Messenger, salallahu alaehi wasalaam, said he didn’t see any solution for two people in love than to get married. Marriage is also among the three things the best of mankind told us not to delay because he knew what could end the two hearts which are drawn towards each other. Yet, we choose to bring our two unprepared hearts together and deliberately engage in the haram relationship. Dating is prohibited in Islam, khitbah is permissible – they are two different words with different meaning and process.”
“Anyway, theoretically, I’ve understood you but practically, I don’t think I can practice a successful khitbah. This body will long for it!… I’m sure you read all these in a book. Although I haven’t met many people in my life, I can say I haven’t seen anyone khitbating before.”
“Book is also a source of Islamic knowledge, so are lectures. What’s really important is to seek rightful knowledge because no one will be pardoned for being ignoramus… I’ve seen people in real khitbah. All touching and romance started only on the day of nikkah. It worked for them and it’s going to work for me too bi iznillah (by Allah’s will). They’re living happily because it’s a relationship built for the sake of Allah… I wish Yusuf was here to talk more about this.”
“I really don’t see him these days. Even outside the campus. He might be preparing for the exam. Everyone has to be. Our courses for this semester are too much. I also have to look for a way to multitask my brain to escape carryovers…”
As they got near home, the CPU palace, the sounds of the loud music got into their ears and they asked each other what could be going on in the house. Entering the gate, they met almost every resident and some outsiders hanging around with each other inside the compound. Music was loud, merriment was bustling and chattering continued as if it will never end. At a side of a building was seen a group of young men, consisting of some who Sulaiman knew to be Muslims, popping champagne and cheering on the top of their voices. He shook his head while passing them without uttering a word of greetings – his mouth dried and he felt bitterness in his throat – he wished he could just stop and reprove them but in this state they were, his words would only mean nothing. Since he couldn’t change the evil with his hand, nor with his mouth, he had no choice but to allow his heart to feel the bitterness. Then the lad known as Kaka came out of his apartment, wiping his wet body with a big white towel while the cheers arose from everyone again. Now the situation had become clear to them, Kaka was celebrating his birthday and judging from the messy floor, the absurd tradition had been carried out – he had been showered with series of dirty water along with some beatings of his life. Mar’yam appeared behind him with a tray of cake and smiled as she caught a glimpse of Sulaiman and his friend. Sulaiman paused as he saw Toohir walking towards Kaka and offered him a handshake which he accepted vivaciously, leaving him surprised. They exchanged indistinct pleasantries while Mar’yam said to Sulaiman,
“Alfa,” she called aloud to be heard, “you’re also invited to our birthday party.” She grinned.
“Bring two seats for them bae, serve them malts. I’m sure Alfa won’t drink this urine.” Kaka ordered and smirked.
She was about to act on order when Sulaiman replied, “you’ll have to excuse me please, I’m not joining the party.”
He left them and strode across to his apartment, not minding if his friend had followed him or not. He was about to close the door behind him when he felt a push by the door.
“Are you locking me out?” Asked Toohir.
“I thought you want to sit with them.”
“I wanted to, but I have to leave when you left.”
Short of words, he raised his eyebrows, “really? You’re joking, right?”
“I’m not!” He shrugged.
He turned to him completely, “last time I checked Toohir, this Kaka hated our guts. He even threatened us. And today, I noticed you’ve been friends for a while that you even exchanged slangs. Can you please enlighten me about what is going on?”
He simpered, “Come on, man! I’ve told you I just talked into his sense. Maybe he saw me as a sensible man and wanna make friends. It’s good to make friends than enemies, isn’t it?” Seeing he isn’t buying into his response, he digressed, “come on, man! We can just sit at a corner and enjoy the event. I think Islam encourages us to honour people’s invitation.”
“I can’t sit in such a gathering. It isn’t a gathering meant for a Muslim to be. True, it’s the right of a Muslim on the Muslims to follow funeral processions, to accept the invitation and to reply the sneezer… Provided he says alhamdulillah. But also, Islam forbids us from sitting in a company where lewdness, vulgarity, alcohol and evil are shared. Birthday or what is he celebrating?…”
“Yes, birthday…”
“It even has no basis in Islam. Why would you celebrate the number of days you’ve spent on earth when you don’t even know your status before Allah? Whereas, you’re happy when Allah isn’t pleased with you. You aggravate your sin in the cause of the celebration and in a moment later, Allah takes your soul. Subhanallah! Even if there exists anything like birthday, it should be a day of reflection, not a day of merriment and jubilation. And I won’t partake in such misdeed.”
“Indeed! You’ve said the whole truth… But I’m famished friend. That girl has already served our food… Okay! I’ll only eat and return ASAP.”
“If you leave for that party, you aren’t returning here. Note that!”
“Oh don’t do that please,” he had reached for the door, “I’ll be back before you know it.”
He winked and exited. Sulaiman heaved a sigh, “can a leopard ever change its spot?”
Toohir promised to be back in a moment but hours had passed without seeing him. Even when he had gone out for solat, Toohir was nowhere to be seen amidst the dancing crowd. He was hoping for a knock on the door but none was heard, even after he started catching some z’s.
He had noticed the absence of his neighbours during the subhi solat when he had got no response to his several knocks. Since then, he had started wondering where the girls could have slept and why they’ve spent the night out. He had entered the school gate with his mind occupied when he heard a male’s voice called his name. He turned to look and saw the girls, the Ameer and the young man he had met once, Abdulwaris standing in front of the central masjid.
He moved closer to them and shook hands with the males while saying tasleem to all of them. They replied individually.
“Thanks very much for the other day akhy, jazaakallahu khairan. I’ve asked about the evidence you gave me and it was confirmed to be true. I felt so ashamed of myself for allowing such knowledge to escape me. I have to apologize to the brother once again.” said Abdulwaris.
“You don’t need to do that akhy (my brother). No one knows it all, we learn every day.”
“Na’am! I didn’t even know you’re the brother these my sisters are referring to. Ameer has been trying to describe you to me but I couldn’t get it until you were called…”
“Let’s go to this man on time Ikhwaan (brothers).” Ameer interrupted, “he will soon leave his office, he’s having a class during the second period.”
Briskly, they walked to engineer Philip’s office while the girls followed them behind.
A knock on engineer Philip’s office door brought a quick response and Ameer who was holding the doorknob gently opened the door. The man withdrew his glasses, placed it on the rim of his nose and glared at them as they entered one by one. Immediately his eyes laid on the girls, he screamed blue murder, asking them to get out. Out of fear, they quickly retreated and asked themselves a series of questions about what they had done wrong.
“I think his anger has transited into hatred towards these our…ou… these sisters. I think we should go to him without them. Or what do you think?” Abdulwaris suggested.
Tears had started running on Maymunah’s cheek and fear could be seen in Mutmainah’s countenance, both holding each other’s hands, seeking solace. Finally, as they had concluded, the girls left for their class and the brothers contemplated on what to say and how to say it before the man.
“Don’t you think he only sent us back because we were many?” Abdulwaris asked and they looked into each other’s gaze for an answer, “I think only one person among us should go… Ameer?”
“I don’t think I can go alone… I’m having a test in the next twenty minutes and this lecturer is almost as strict as this engineer Philip…”
Sulaiman interjected, “I will go. I will talk to him on behalf of this campus’ Muslim body.”
“But akhy, don’t you think he only acted that way because he was in a bad mood? If that’s the case, you going there alone won’t have solved anything. It might even it worse…”
“Let him try ameer, we will wait for him here. May Allah guard and guide you.”
He lifted his backpack from the floor, threw it on his right shoulder and started making his way towards the engineer Philip’s office again. His heart picked a race and he started praising Allah – verily, in the remembrance of Allah do the heart find rest.

About Post Author

Ummu Abdillah

Jayeoba Kafayat Modupeoluwa, mostly known as Ummu Abdillah is a Technologist in Electronics and Telecommunication engineering but presently only active as an Islamic writer - so do not bother to ask her about diodes and electromagnetic waves 🤗. Happily married and recently gifted a princess. She is a lover of teenagers and marriage and does make it her occupation to study them. Also, she's a knowledge seeker who loves to learn new things every second and teaches them as well to whoever cares to learn.
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10 thoughts on “THE SNAIL-LOVER {Episode Seven}

  1. Jazakallhu khayran ma, this has been a long time coming ma. May Allah ease your affairs and increase you in eeman. This chapter reiterated a lot of things for me. I just hope that the interval between this chapter and the next one won’t be long again.

  2. JazaakumuLlaahu Khayran sister.
    You’re really talented and a good writer too.

    Please, I can’t wait to read your next update bi-idhniLlãhi.

  3. For any update on the ongoing story please notify me.
    May Allaah guide you and forgive our shortcomings.
    آمين.

  4. Jazakumllahu khayran Ma, May Allah ease your affairs. This episode is a nice one & a remembrance on Islam ways in some ramification. More ink to your pen sister.

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