Nov 18, 2012


By Alawiya Abdalla

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“You simply cannot dictate whom I'm going to marry! You simply can’t!” I protest fiercely at the situation that I'm currently in “Mum talk to him please” Looking at mum for moral support.

“So none of the girls were up to your standard Ahmed?” Mum asks Ahmed, totally ignoring me!

“I thought Manafisa was quite sweet actually, you should give Manafisa a chance InshaAllah” Adds Jawahir!

“HELLOOOOOO FORCED MARRIAGE MUCH!!” I exclaim, shout, scream, pull my hair and display all kinds of emotions that describes ANGER.

“Don’t be silly Asha, you are merely getting engaged darling. Who said anything about marriage?” Replies my mother so simply “Plus, you were quite fond of him, I saw it in the way you laughed”

“I NEVER!! I WASN'T FOND OF HIM!! I NEVER!! I WASN'T FOND OF HIM” Okay, so I ran out of adjectives and what?

“Yes Asha, that is the first time I've seen you so happy and relaxed. You would make such cute couple” Jawahir joins calmly, as she sips her Somali coffee with Halwa (A sweet not designed for the faint hearted)

“Jawahir, you have stepped over to the dark side ages ago!! I cannot believe you are so into this match making hoopla! do you not recall our meetings when we used complain about such people??”

I cannot believe the transformation in Jawahir. She is becoming Khadija!

“Now now Asha, let’s not talk crazy here. I just want you to be happy with Hamid, it is long over due” Jawahir adds with an annoying smile.

“Long over due??? Now, what’s that supposed to mean?” Long over due my foot, excuse my French.

“It means, everyone noticed what was happening between you two”, Ahmed offers an explanation.

“This is INSANE! You guys are all crazy, and I will not agree to this” I cannot believe that none of them realize how ridicules they sound!

“Calm down will you! All I said was he has to propose, to take the shame of you being seen with him away. Who said anything about marriage?” Ahmed asks as if proposing means someone who dad dances at a wedding, don’t you know now?

“I do not know what planet you are all on, but proposing means someone who intends to marry another human being for the purpose of creating a halal life together” I try as much as I can to reply in a civil way, but sarcasm keeps shooting out of my mouth regardless “I do not know what the definition in your minds are, but I was led to believe this for years now”

“Oh trying to be funny ARE WE?”, asks Ahmed sarcastically.

“I don’t know, trying to make up our own rules, ARE WE?” SubhanaAllah, adding ARE WE to any sentence does make a HUGE difference.

“CHILDREN! Stop adding ARE WE to your sentences before someone gets seriously hurt” My mother gets worried as insults fly between me and Ahmed. To everyone else, all around the world, ARE WE is just two words but to us__Oh no, IT IS ON MATE!

“I want to speak with Asha alone if you all don’t mind please”, says my mum.

Ahmed and Jawahir scurry away, but not before Jawahir offers me a wink as if she knows what my mum is about to say.Married women, and their unnecessary winks.Mum waits a few minutes before she starts talking to me. She goes to the hall to check that there is no one eavesdropping, and then she returns to the living room.

“Asha, come sit next to me dear” My mum points to a space next to her as she sits on the sofa. I don’t know whether I should go and sit or stay where I am.

“SIT!” Orders my mother.

Sitting it is then.

“Asha you failed to see what your brother did for you. He put Hamid on the spot because he wants to see if he will turn up or not” Explains my mother “If he does turn up, then he is someone you can depend on. If he doesn't and he starts making excuses, then you will see him for what he is”

“But I have no interest in whether he turns up or not” 
I DO have an interest, but one must feign carelessness to avoid one’s pride being dented by one’s love interest.

“Oh but Asha I am your mum. I have noticed, so you don’t need to pretend sweety. Your brother noticed too, and that’s why he put Hamid on the spot like that”, replies my mum.

“He wanted to see what he is made of darling. Is he going to bail? And anyway, it is just a proposal. Then there’s engagement, and THEN comes marriage InshaAllah. We have to ask about him first Asha, don’t you worry”, my mum explains the whole situation to me, and it just makes me even more anxious.

Now I'm left to think whether he will turn up or not.
Great__just great.
Thanks Ahmed__Not.


So I've decided that the decent thing to do in this situation is to turn up. With Suad and her husband of course. At first I thought “Where does this guy think we live?? Back home? When a woman is seen talking to a man back home, they order the man to propose to her to take the shame away from the woman.

But we are in London! There is no need to exaggerate the situation here mate. Plus, I've done nothing wrong. All I did was run into Asha, for crying out loud! Then why did I feel the need to fulfil his orders?

I know why.

I grabbed the first chance of happiness and I took it, it is as simple as that. I have never even dreamed about this happening to me, and Allah has landed me this opportunity on a plate and I took it. Plus I have come to a conclusion that I really really like Asha. It is not just her, I like her whole family as well. As maddening as that sounds, but I really like them as a family! Well, with the exception of the big brother of course. I don’t hate him, I am just a little bit scared of him. I also respect him, and aspire to be like him one day, InshaAllah. The way he looks after his family is powerful and amazing MashaAllah. As much as I love my mother and father, I would have given anything in the world to have them act so confidently, the way Ahmed is acting right now.

So protective and fierce.

I would have given anything to see them walk with their heads held high, in the face of calamities. Maybe, none of the people in the village would have dared to make fun of us. Maybe my tormentors at school would have thought twice about messing with me. As much as I am scared of this guy, I cannot deny the fact that I want to be like him as a father InshaAllah. That’s why I decided that I will not reveal the whole truth about my family’s past. I will just have to make up some kind of Barawani persona that they’ll be happy with. I am not even thinking about anything right now, other than grabbing this chance with all my heart and soul.

So here I am sitting with Suad and her husband, trying to answer Ahmed’s questions about my family. I told him that my mother is Yemeni, and my father is Somali and that is why I cannot speak the language. While he sympathized with the fact that both my parents are deceased, he still wanted to know where we lived so he can ask about me. His mum suggested that we have a small engagement party at her house, while Ahmed investigates my background.

Of course Ahmed was not happy about this. He wanted to investigate first, but Asha’s mum reasoned with him. She convinced him that a little engagement party would not change the fact that they CAN still change their mind, if they find anything wrong with me. 

I have to be honest, my heart sank when I realized that Ahmed will investigate my background. All I wanted to do was to tell them the truth, but celebratory noises echoed all through the house that my tongue failed to utter a single word. All I managed to do was look at Asha’s face, and I saw nothing but happiness spread across her face. I convinced myself that maybe she doesn't need to know the truth about me after all. Never have I seen a family feel so happy at the prospect of me marrying their daughter, that all the logical and important reasons of why I shouldn't marry Asha left my brain.
I just wanted to marry Asha and live happily ever after InshaAllah.
I swear I will be the best husband to my wife, and the best father to my children InshaAllah. 

If a little lie is what it takes to achieve my dreams, then I guess I will not mention anything about my past. By the time Asha realizes how kind I am, she will accept me for who I am InshaAllah.

I just know it with all my heart.

__Two weeks later__


My engagement party is here everyone! I am beyond excited, I cannot contain my emotions. Everyone keeps telling me to stop smiling, but I can’t. How can I when I know that THIS day is MY day! MY engagement party. Not yours my dear cousin. Not yours my dear distant cousin that I don’t know, and not___What is SHE doing here??

What is Mona (Uncle Yusuf’s daughter) doing here?? I guess Jawahir invited her! Jawahir is Mona’s younger brother’s (Saeed) teaching assistant, and she gushes about Mona and Saeed all the time. I feel kind of betrayed to be honest, because Mona’s father who also happens to be my uncle and my mother have a long history of animosity and Jawahir just doesn't seem to get that somehow! I am not going to really bother about THAT issue today. You know why? because it’s MY engagement.

Somebody stop me from smiling please!

I know this is only temporary until Ahmed is satisfied with Hamid’s background, but I can’t help myself from being happy. Me and Hamid have gotten to know each other a little bit more over the past two weeks, and he is quite a character MashaAllah. He is very kind towards Khadija’s children, and he has blended in SO well with my brothers__Except Ahmed of course. He is still a little bit weary about him.

Ahmed even tried to postpone the engagement party, because he couldn't find anything about Hamid. He kept asking Hamid to repeat his family name, and he found it strange that no one knows about his father and mother. Ahmed and my mum got into a little argument because of it. My mum insisted that there was no need to postpone, but Ahmed thought otherwise. He also advised me to pray Istikhara, which I failed to do. I have PLENTY of time till I get married InshaAllah, people pray Istikhara before they get married not when they get engaged right?

So here I am wearing a vintage one shoulder crystallized green long evening dress, and I feel like a princess! As soon as Hamid comes arrives, I will put on my Hijab and Vintage Abaya InshaAllah. I get to show off my dress for the time being though, but talking about Hamid___

Where IS he? He was supposed to be here an hour ago!!
Maybe he forgot the time. Men tend to forget the time easily, I have three brothers I should know.
I look at my family, and they look worried too. They keep checking their watches a lot, and Suad keeps looking out the window to check if she can spot him.

What has happened to him???
Where is he?

There are so many people here, and I'm starting to get nervous!


I am sitting on my bedroom floor in a crouching position, and I cannot breathe. The enormity of what I'm about to do has finally hit me, and it has come at the WRONG time! Why couldn't I realize that marrying Asha, without telling her about the real me was a BAD idea?! I was putting on my tie, when I suddenly felt it tighten around my neck. Images of the children I will have with Asha kept popping in my head. At first I was smiling at the thought, and then reality hit me.

Will my children be labelled____Like me??? Will they suffer the way I did??
How have I not thought about this before?!
Why now?
A massive panic landed on my chest, and I am trying to move. I really am, but my legs aren't budging from their spot.What have I done??

I cannot go through this. I cannot put my children through what I went through.
Tears start falling, and my world start tumbling around me.

What have I done?!

I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)


Aww poor Hamid :-( .What did his parents do that is making him feel this way . Such a cliffhanger
Cant wait for the next chapter In sha Allah

aww.. I thought you'll reveal his secret in this chapter!! Neverthless.. can't wait till next sunday!!

wow such nice story, can't wait to know the secret, how bad could it be? is he an illegitimate child or what?

i KNOWWWW i was like omgggg im gonna find out the reasonnn todayyy!!!! hehehehe i think its a good test of our patience :) inshaallah next weeeek !!!!!!!! i do love cliffhangers tho it really keeps the energy going :)

Oh Please tell us what will happen!!!!!!!

I can't wait for two more weeks.....


It is seriously getting interesting!

ughhhhhh cliffhangerrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT COULD HIS SECRET BE?omg the suspense is killing me!!!!

MashaAllah, yet another amazing chapter,Now am here imagining all sorts of things that could lead to the secret, lol .Thank you huny x ;)

Oh man.. the suspense!! :O jazakAllah sis :)

Hmmm, nice chapter mashaAllah.. But such a cliffhanger!! Can't wait for d next one n hopefully u will reveal d secret :) anyways well written sis..take care

oh the suspense is killing. Hope it is revealed soon.
Just a point wanted to rectify,...if u cud write In sha Allah seperately instead of inshaAllah as linguistically it changes meaning, even tho we know what it implies.
insha = (he) created ...Allah (na udhubillah)
in = if
sha-a = wills

InshaAllah the reveal will be next week :) Keep reading my dear sis <3

I thought I could sweety, but I was running out of time to submit the chapter, so decided to keep it for next week's chapter InshaAllah :)

My dear Anira, my lips are totally and utterly sealed__BUT you won't have to wait any longer my love__Next week is the big reveal InshaAllah :)

I was running out of time to submit the chapter sweety, that's why I had to include it in the next chapter InshaAllah :) Keep reading my love, it'll be worth it InshaAllah :)

I will try my ABSOLUTE best to finish it this week sweetheart InshaAllah <3

Ashuni my sweetie pie, you won't have to wait anymore__It is IN the next chapter InshaAllah <3 I promise you, no more teasing ;) lol

oh can't wait till nxt week,awesome chapter sis :)

You don't have to imagine anymore hun ;) InshaAllah next week is the big reveal :)

I promise you next week will be the next reveal InshaAllah :)

I will InshaAllah. Next week is the big reveal <3

Oh Jazakallah sis, I will take that on board for next week's chapter In Sha Allah :) <3

Jazakillahu Alfa Khayr!!
You really made me smile, cry and tensed all the way through!!! BarakAllahu feeki

oooooooooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmgggggggggg he better not embarrass her like that :s omg how embarrassing :s all those people!!! AHHHHHHHH the horror!!! more more more pleaaaaaaaaaaaaaase!!!

loooooool Oh Zahra, you're so funny when you exaggerate!!

Aw, I'm glad you liked it :)Means alot this amazing feedback <3


omg when will the next chapter comeee! cannot waittttt!!!!

Darn! I was getting too excited lol but insha allah next week

I'm so glad you liked it sweety <3

InshaAllah manasha__Is he gonna jilt her??? Oh no :O :)

What's his secret!!!! The suspense is killing me. Such an amazing chapter mashallah

great! love the way you described Asha's excitement :-))

JazakaAllah Khair sis :)

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