May 5, 2013


By Alawiya Abdalla

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Hijab: Literally, the word hijab means “curtain”. In the Qur’an the term hijab is not used as a reference to women’s clothing; rather, it was the screen behind which the Muslims were told to address the Prophet’s wives. The Qur’an also talks about our clothing as something both to cover our nakedness and serve as an adornment, reflecting the beauty of God’s creation.


Marvelous, JUST marvelous
I really thought I could escape anything Barawa in the safe haven of the school halls, I really did
I was NOT, however, expecting to run into Jawahir And did she just blank me??
I have a gut feeling that my MUM made her apply to work here to keep an eye on me I also have a funny feeling that she approached Asha first, but Asha refused.

That is just something my mum would think of
No matter how many times I tell her that I am fine, she never seems to believe me. I guess the fact that I never actually TOLD her why my marriage ended after 2 months, plays a big part in her constant paranoia.
But I never EVER want my mum or anyone to know It is bad enough that Mohamed knows, but I could not bare it if my mum knew.
The constant pity looks that they all give me is driving me insane already, imagine what would they do if they knew the truth
I imagine a great deal of


And a
“I told you so, but you wouldn't listen. How about all that money wasted on the wedding?” From Ahmed, actually he already mentioned that but imagine if he knew that he wasted money on someone like her

And of course SOMETHING has to come out from Asha’s big gob!
“Ermm, I knew this whole Zumba business was a bad idea. Don’t you think? Like totally” All she talks about is Zumba this Zumba that these days, so I imagine she would bring it up SOMEHOW even though we would be discussing my failure as a husband

I have decided that no one should know that my wife was cheating on me___
No one.
Well, except Mohamed but I know my little brother. He would never say anything, unless I permit him to. So my secret heartache is safe

I do not even know why I am irritated by her presence in the school
She certainly made her feelings quite clear with her retort
Maybe I should not have said that to her, a gentleman never accuses a lady of things before he makes sure that indeed a gentleman’s mum has sent a spy to check on a gentleman’s welfare. Do you know what I mean

Does that mean I have to apologize to her
I do not know! I just hated the way she dismissed me like I was some kind of fly
She has CHANGED quite considerably indeed, not just the way she dismissed me but the way she looks as well!

I have never given much thought to how Jawahir looked before, her being Asha’s best friend and all that of course
But on a closer look, she has changed!! Or has she always been this way? Which way I hear you ask? I have no clue WHAT I am pondering about to be honest with you
All I know is my tranquillity has been disrupted, and it’s all down to a black eyed, formerly nice person roaming the school halls of Bell Lane primary school
And there is also the small part of owing her an apology for my awful behaviour this morning

Marvellous, JUST marvellous


I have managed to dodge running into Ibrahim ALL day today, and I feel so proud of myself actually
I mean, yes I did have a crush on the guy for the last few years and so____

WHO SAID THAT? You should really do something about that cough AUTHOR
ANWAYYY, as I was SAYING. I had a simple, TINY crush on Ibrahim___
SERIOUSLY, you should really do something with that cough Miss Author otherwise I AM gonna do something about it

You see it all started with a simple heroic deed Ibrahim did. I was only 10 and he was 12, and we were on our way from Calais to Dover.
Basically on the way towards England. There was this other boy called Hamadi on the ship with us, and he was mean to all the kids on the ship but he particularly liked to wind ME up
I was playing on my own with my doll, because Asha went to the toilet and I was minding my own business when he approached me.

“Ugly Jawahir, playing with her ugly doll” And he stuck his tongue out at me
I refused to give him the knowledge that I was hurt by his comments, so I turned my back at him
“Yep, turn your back cuz no one wants to see that ugly face ANWAY” He yelled those cruel words at me

Just as I was about to make a very sharp cutting remark, Ibrahim appears from behind Hamadi
“Apologize to her” He orders Hamadi in a low, very angry voice.
“I’m not gonna, what you gonna do about it” He clearly thought highly of his fighting abilities
“I’m warning you one more time, apologize to her” Now you could clearly hear the anger in Ibrahim’s voice.

“I I__I’m not GONNA” He urged himself to stay strong, even though you could clearly hear the stammer in his voice due to fear (I presume)

I was just bobbing my head back and forth watching this exchange in fascination at that point
The next thing I remember was seeing Hamadi’s head peering from under Ibrahim’s arms
It was obvious to the naked eye, that Ibrahim had Hamadi in a head lock And it was obvious to the naked eye that I was enjoying this scene just a tad

“Im shuuuphhh” Hamadi tried to apologize through pressed cheeks

“I’m sorry, you said something? Did you hear something Jawahir?” Asked Ibrahim, pretending to care about Hamadi’s welfare
“Gapusshhhhh” Seriously he should have really tried not to say anything, because a laughter was about to burst from my lips at any second at that point
Ibrahim let go of him, and Hamadi stumbled on the floor.
“Now. Where were we? Oh yes. APOLOGIZE TO HER” Ibrahim orders Hamadi one last time.

“I’M SORRY, I’M SORRYYYYY. HAPPY?” He offers the not so genuine apology
“That doesn’t sound so genuine to me. Does it sound genuine to you Jawahir?” He asked with his right hand on his chin.
“No it doesn’t” I reply enthusiastically
“I am so sorry Jawahir. So very sorry. I couldn’t be sorrier than I am right now” Replied Hamadi, through gritted teeth

“Now that’s more like it. SCOOT” He orders Hamadi to___Well__To scoot apparently
And now. Ladies and gentlemen. The moment I discovered I had a tad crush on Ibrahim___
“Don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re not pretty, Alright?” Ibrahim tells me with a wink

And ever since, I would



Feel embarrassed 

A great deal of staring again Whenever he used to appear, or be around. He did not have to talk, just his presence would disrupt my entire day.

He did not really talk to me that much, he would be the perfect gentlemen towards me. He would give his Salams when he saw me at their house, but that is about it really.
He would occasionally talk to me, but he would be talking to me like he would talk to Asha. He never flirted with me, and never disrespected me in any way.

That was ages ago, after he got married I could not care less what he did with his life to be honest
I did feel sorry for him when he divorced his wife though, I mean he became a shell of himself
He used to be the life and soul of the house, but now he is just a ghost of his former self.


Like I care when I have________
My thoughts were interrupted, as the door to Asha’s house opened and I was greeted by Aunty Halima

“Salaaamu Alykum Jawahir, Asha is in her room waiting for you” She takes me in a hug, and lets me in.

Aunty Halima always made it clear that I was welcome any time in her house
She always tells me that she is happy that I am friends with Asha, little does she know that I AM the one who is grateful to be welcomed into this house with such love and respect
This is the only house that do not compare me with my sisters, they love me for ME
I make my way to Asha’s room, where our daily meetings are held I knock on the door 3 times as usual, and the door opens

“You may enter Brain Child” Says Asha, in her usual mysterious voice and brain child is my “code name” to enter the room

“Thanks Blood letter” I answer her with her code name

“BLOOD SWORD JAWAHIR___BLOOD SWORRRD” Asha reminds me, revealing her face from under her ninja cover
“Sorryyy “Blood sword” I air quote the code name, because I think the whole “code name” thing is completely and utterly pointless
“Anyway, What kept you so long? I have so much to discuss with you today” She brings out some papers, supposedly today’s topic
Just as she was about to start on the topic, we hear a knock on the door
“WHO IS IT??” Yells Asha agitatedly at whoever is at the door
“It’s me. Khadija” Replies Khadija with her usual feminine voice
“Come in” Asha tones down her voice, when she realizes that it is Khadija and not one of her brothers.

Shame really, I would have looooved to see Ibrahim humiliated just a tad
“Salam girlies, how are you?” Comes a heavily pregnant Khadija to kiss us both on the cheeks
Khadija had twin girls and a boy within three years, and another boy is on the way Inshallah
“Ya Rabbiiii being 8 months pregnant is worse than being 9 months pregnant I tell you girls. Inshallah when you both___” Asha stops Khadija immediately.

“You see Khadija, this is the type of talks we try not to dwell on. Is being 8 month pregnant worse than being 9 month pregnant? Will my knight and shinning armour come riding on his white horse? Will I ever walk bare foot on a beach by sunset with my future husband admiring the world together in harmony? Will_____” Now I cut Asha’s speech by saying.

“NOT the point I was trying to make Jawahir” Asha holds her head in her hands, despairing at my statement
“It really is beautiful girls, and you know what else is beautiful?” Asks Khadija sweetly and kindly
“Dare I ask?” Asha totally gives up this whole man bashing, we do not NEEEED to marry to be happy conference
“Finding that one person who will love you when you look like a princess, and when you look like you've been run over by a truck” She says it with stars in her eyes
“Awww I want that” I say it, thinking are there men like that out there

“I give up!” Asha rolls her eyes, and throws herself on her bed__Backwards
“Asha it’s gonna happen for you girls Inshallah” Khadija tries to reassure her.
“I don’t know if it will ever happen for us Khadija, and that’s what is scaring me” She sits up with a grave face when she says it
My hearts sinks in my stomach upon hearing those words coming from Asha’s lips. She is normally very nonchalant about the whole thing

YA ILLAHI! What if she is right?
What if we never find ANYONE to marry us
Khadija could totally see the panic in our faces, so she comes and sits in between us.

“Girls, if I found Mohamed through everything I've been through. And I've been through A LOT, then Inshallah you two will find someone too” She tries to reassures us “Plus. I have been praying for you girls every time I give birth, but I totally feel like this time it’s DEFINITELY gonna happen Inshallah” She tells us, while patting her stomach affectionately.

“I mean it’s not like I care really!” Asha tries to salvage her momentarily lapse of composure
“Yeah like totally man, it’s not like I care!__ Oh who are we kidding? I totally care” I fail miserably at this whole I am cool with not getting married business
“I really have a good feeling girls, but right now I really need the toilet!” Khadija gets up to run to the bathroom.
She leaves us to our scary thoughts, and we stay in a state of silence for like 5 minutes. Both of us wondering the same thing__


“Hun, I gotta go otherwise my mum will send a search party soon” I say it as I get up to leave.
“OK hun. See you tomorrow as usual? I promise I won’t say any more nonsense stuff Inshallah” Asha says it with a grin
I give her a hug, and I leave her room going towards the kitchen to give my Salams to Aunty Halima.
I was walking towards the kitchen when I heard someone call my name
I turn around and I see IBRAHIM standing there in the living room

“Stalker much?” I tell him arrogantly

“You’re in MY house, how am I stalking YOU?” He asks gob-smacked 
“Well, I know THAT. But still, your presence is annoying me and that’s enough evidence to support my claim” I offer an explanation, as the man HAS a point
This IS his mum’s house after all, if anyone should be accused of stalking. It should be me really, but still__
He does not need to know THAT

“ANYWAY, Look I want to apologize for this morning. I shouldn't have been so rude to you, So there” He apologizes to me through gritted teeth
“Apology accepted. Now do you mind I need to go home” I reply arrogantly, again
“I thought you were going to the kitchen” He asks with a raised brow
“Well, I changed my mind. Do you mind stepping away from my view, you’re blocking it you see” I ask him, hating that my stammer seems to be coming back___With a vengeance
And I think he can guess that, as a smirk seems to be forming on his face

Marvellous, JUST Marvellous
I make my way to the door with my head held high, bump into a couple of things which TOTALLY ruins the whole “Head held high” thing
But I make it through the door, and all the way back home and all the way to my laptop.

I open my Facebook account, and I immediately spot a message waiting to be opened

The message is from___

I can totally explain myself
Really I can I promise

Meanwhile back at The Abdalla family house__

The exchange of words between Ibrahim and Jawahir was witnessed by none other than
Halima and Khadija in the kitchen, and this is what they said.

“Did you see what I just saw”
“I saw what you saw”
“Are you thinking what I'm thinking?”
“ I'm thinking what you’re thinking”
“We should do something about it”
“Yeah we really should”

And they both leave the kitchen with a huge grin on their faces

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


Jazakillah. Great story as always, MashaAllah. Highlight of my Sundays

Good one again, sis alawiya, always lookin forward to sunday evening! :)
My extra suggestions: I would like to say you could add some ibadah into the mix, afterall, they are muslims e.g. Any of the brothers (minus Ahmed, we know he sounds like the religious type) saying "need to go for fajr, mustn't miss first row" or the girls trying not to do culture at the expense of islam e.g. Using make-up (without niqab) when going on functions.
I think you'll send a message to all the teenagers who read your story.
An interesting story is one of the ways to pass across a lesson.
That's my honest, sincere suggestion; you have a gift in writing, so use it well.

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