Nikaah tomorrow! I’ve never even seen her… How did Papa even find someone so fast?
Taahir sat at his desk, trying in vain to do some work. He threw down a folder irritably, giving up on reclaiming his focus for the time being. The phone call he’d just received played back in his mind and he tore his fingers through his hair in frustration.
Taahir was an only child and his father was eager to see him married. Last week, the hinting and gentle coaxing to find someone, which had been commonplace since he was twenty-one, had suddenly turned into being sat down and asked if he was reluctant because he’d hidden a relationship!
Feeling hurt and betrayed by the questions, Taahir had let his frustrations get the best of him and had impulsively declared that he’d marry the first woman his father brought to him since it was of such importance to them.
Now, he’d come to regret his words. In less than a day, he would be meeting a woman he was honour-bound to marry.
You’re getting married tomorrow! Her mother’s words echoed in Faiza’s head. She smiled to herself quietly, hiding her face in a pillow. She would never have dreamed when she woke up this morning, that it would be to the news that her parents had received a proposal for her.
Faiza had long since told her parents that she trusted their judgement and they should feel welcome to accept a proposal on her behalf. Still, she was still quite young and had assumed any proposals would be at least a year off.
Allah knows best, she reminded herself. She had been reminding herself of this fact several times in the day – as her henna was applied, as she packed up her bedroom, as she and her mother hunted for a dress she could wear to meet her new husband.
Faiza had always wished for a quick nikaah, not wanting to drag things out – especially as she didn’t wish to have an extravagant celebration – but now that she’d gotten what she wanted, she realized that the short timeline was making her nerves increase.
She took a deep breath and reminded herself that, Alhmadulilah, she had spent the day productively and sorted out everything she needed to.
Her bags were packed and filled with everything her mother had been collecting for the day that she would leave – pretty clothes and toiletries, baking items, linens and towels and several other things she couldn’t even remember.
Faiza’s thoughts drifted to the man she was engaged to. She hadn’t been told much about him beyond that his name was Taahir and he was four years older than her. She wondered what he would be like – whether he was quiet or outgoing, whether he was charming or witty…
She’d been idly picturing her husband in her mind for years now, as is the way of young girls and she was eager to meet the reality. She knew that Taahir wouldn’t necessarily be the same as she’d imagined but she knew with the certainty that came from faith in Allah (SWT) that he would be good for her.
This final thought managed to calm her nerves enough to let her find sleep and she fell into sweet dreams of the future.
This is a mess. I never should have shot my mouth off like that. If only I’d kept my cool!
Taahir was so lost in his own regrets, he never heard the door open. He looked up to see his father standing in the doorway.
“Can I come in?” Mr. Mahomed asked.
Taahir nodded. “Do you really think I’ll say no, Papa?”
Mr. Mahomed sighed. “No. But I do know that you’re already upset with me and I don’t want to make it worse. Tomorrow is your wedding day, you shouldn’t go to sleep in a bad mood.” He sat down next to Taahir on the bed.
“I’m not-” Taahir tried to protest, but one look from his father and he gave up. “Okay, I am upset. I wasn’t expecting you to find someone so quickly, much less set the nikaah date for tomorrow. But I know you must have had a reason for it.”
“I do,” Mr. Mahomed said. “Faiza is perfect for you and I don’t want you to delay in beginning your life with her.”
“Did you already want her as a daughter-in-law when you started nagging me about finding someone for myself or is this a recent thing?” Taahir asked curiously.
“I nagged you because I want you to be happy, not because I met a girl I wanted in the family. But, yes, the drama last weekend was because I’d spoken to Faiza’s family and I wanted to introduce the two of you.”
“So, if I hadn’t snapped at you…” Taahir said slowly.
“I would have let you set the pace for everything. But I would have insisted on a nikaah in a few weeks time no matter what. It’s what Faiza’s parents and Faiza herself want as well.”
Taahir shook his head. “Marrying a stranger isn’t something I would have agreed to Papa and you know that. The only reason that it’s happening now is because I’ve already given you my word.”
“And Alhamdulilah for that!” Mr. Mahomed snapped. “You would wait for years if you had your own way!”
Taahir scowled. “There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be sure. But it’s too late for that now.”
“Taahir!” Mr. Mahomed shouted furiously. He opened his mouth, ready to lecture his son, before sighing and shaking his head. “Enough. Now isn’t the time to fight about this.” He stood up and left, closing the door behind him.
Taahir groaned, burying his head in his hands. He’d promised himself that he wouldn’t argue about the nikaah with his father anymore but he hadn’t been able to help himself. He was unhappy. Worse, he was scared. He didn’t like strangers and he felt uncomfortable with the thought of sharing a home with one.
He knew that he’d have to adjust but he had no idea how he was going to do it.