As salaam u alaikum. Please recite:
Qul huwa Allahu ahad
Allah hu samad
Lam yalid wa lam yulad
Wa lam yakullahu kufuwan ahad
(Say: He is Allah, the One and Only!
Allah, the Eternal, Absolute;
He begetteth not, nor is He begotten.
And there is none like unto Him.)
Nabi ﷺ :
“Surat Al-Ikhlas is equivalent to one-third of the Qur’an.” – (Bukhari)
I could already feel the joy in the air as a little crowd of children ran excitedly into my home.
The rich scent of cardamom wafted my way before Nabeelah who carried the tray of burfi toward the tea table.
Nabeelah got married a little over a year ago to Shaheed- a distant relative who had been studying abroad until then. She had just turned twenty five when he moved back from the U.S and his mother saw her at a wedding. Looking back at it, despite the nags from aunties who wanted her married off young, Nabeelah was glad at how things turned out.
Both she and Shaheed were extremely mature and got to excel in their careers before they met which is what had been chosen and written for them. Allah, for reasons known to Him alone had planned exactly when everything should happen and what would be good for each person. Perhaps they would have been a little immature earlier on to the detriment of their marriage had it happened sooner.
Nabeelah’s son, Isa and my baby boy, Muhammed slept blissfully in the lounge, being watched by a domestic, while the bigger kiddos played in the area I had set up for the children.
Oh yes, have I forgotten to mention? As of four months ago, Aliyah had a baby brother named Muhammed.
We named him after the beloved Nabi Muhammad ﷺ . It is after all, his teachings that guide us through so much in life and of course , he had been the means through which the entire ummah had been given the beautiful call to Islam.
It was the blessed day of Eid ul Fitr and the entire house was booming with a blessed atmosphere!
The laughter of little kids had filled up our home and hearts like an endless sea of enchantment.
I preferred to do everything without a nanny or domestic when it came to my kids.
However, I only kept them under her supervision for a really short while on busy days like these, when it would be extremely impossible for me to get any work done with a baby on my arm.
I also made sure to keep them in places where I could see them at any moment because I’ve heard so many cases about baby sitters hitting or abusing the children quietly and didn’t want to take a risk. You’d be surprised at who you can’t trust these days..
As parents, we cannot just dump our kids around and we have to pull our weight and shoulder our own responsibilities! We want them to always be and feel secure and to have a relationship with us and not with their domestic .
I also didn’t like to dump them too much on my parents and in laws because as much as they won’t say it, family members may just get irritated at having to deal with your crying baby for more than they’d like to.
I’ve also seen many mothers in shopping malls, with their children walking behind them and not holding their hands. Do I even need to remind mothers of the dangers present in the world today? All it takes is a second of looking away from your child for kidnappers and child trafficking agents to grab them and run! And these crimes are very real in today’s society as much as you choose to ignore it.
Please, if they won’t hold your hand, AT LEAST make sure they walk in front of you and not away from your sight.
I finished frying the puris for kheer when I realized that I hadn’t wished Aliyah Eid Mubarak as yet. We often are so busy greeting everybody else for eid that we forget our own children. While I wanted Aliyah to try and be the first to greet at all times as it is a sign of humbleness, I still needed to get her in the habit of it since she’s young.
I made my way to the play area where Aliyah and Aarya were building blocks with Hayal and her baby girl- Zahra.
The love between Imraan and Hayal has blossomed even more throughout the years to the strength it held today and that’s why they named their first child Zahra, meaning blossom/flower.
Little Zahra was only one year old. An adorable and chubby baby girl, whom Aliyah and Aarya LOVED playing mother hens to!
They would act like little aunties by trying to feed Zahra even when she didn’t want to eat anything. They’d try and carry her but she was way too fat for their tiny arms and they always tried to make her go to sleep as if they were her mothers, much to her frustration which she vented by smacking the both of them with her chubby hands.
I ran my fingers through Aliyah’s long brown hair as she played and she smiled up at me.
Me: Is there something you want to say to me?
Aliyah: Eid Mubarak, mommy!
She was still a little upset over the birthday thing but we’ve been trying to advise her nicely and she seemed to be getting over it. She couldn’t stay mad forever !
I pulled her into a hug and lay a big kiss on her cheek.
Me: Eid Mubarak, my doll ! May Allah always shower you with everything of the best in this world and the hereafter! I love you so much, my princess!
It’s extremely important that we appreciate and make a lot of dua for our children and NEVER curse them. A parents’ dua is amazing and instead of saying : “Don’t cry when this bad thing happens…” or “you’ll see when you’re a parent!” , rather say “May Allah grant you hidayat.” When you are angry with them.
Aliyah: Love you so much, mommy!
I hugged and greeted Hayal, Aarya and Zahra then turned to Aliyah.
Me: What are you building there?
Aliyah chuckled excitedly.
Aliyah: um! It’s a pink and purple princess castle! But it’s not finished so it don’t look so nice…
I just loved her sweet voice and cute babyish grammar errors.
I planted a kiss on her forehead and inhaled the soft shampoo scent.
Me: I think it looks amazing! Well done, my darling. Zahra, did you help?
Zahra just looked at me, her cheeks dropping on either side of her mouth as she flashed her few teeth in a smile.
Aliyah: Mommy, she can’t talk.
Aarya: She can only say “dad”.
Hayal: It isn’t fair.
I chuckled and picked up the fat little human.
Me: Zahra, say “Farah Masi”?
Hayal: Okay Zahra, please, at least say “Mom”?
Aliyah: She loves uncle Imraan !
Hayal: I know the feeling…
Me: Calm down, Madame. He’s only a few feet away in the mens’ tent.
Hayal: So far away (she smirked).
I laughed as Hasina and Rumaanah came up behind me.
The two of them were on holiday in Durban and so was Raeesa so it added to the celebrations.
Rumaanah was pregnant and Hasina already had two little boys by the name of Azhar and Yunus.
Raeesa still hadn’t married but she was sure of who she now wanted to be in life and decided that when the right person comes along, it would be piety first that she’d look for and pray for so that she’d be guided forward in her deen and not dragged backwards and away from it (Insha Allah) Until then, she remained patient and refused to agree for the wrong person just for the sake of it.
But where was Alina?
I walked back into the house to call her as it was almost lunch time but she was nowhere to be found.
Nabeelah came in looking for her as well but she wasn’t in the kitchen or dining rooms.
Me: Maybe she’s still in her room?
We made our way upstairs and heard giggling emitting from Alina’s room.
I was about to go in but heard Riyaad’s voice coming from inside the room so I opted to let Nabeelah go in rather.
It wouldn’t be appropriate for me of course and it’s important that we try as best as possible not to speak unnecessarily to our brothers in law.
Nabi ﷺ said: “The brother in law is death!”
Once again, all these rules are a means of keeping our lives void of complication and steering us away from chaos.
Nabeelah knocked three times.
Alina: Come in!
Riyaad: OMG , STOP talking, Alina, this is the most crucial part!
She laughed again.
Riyaad: Seriously. Do not even … or you’ll break my concentration!
Nabeelah went in curiously and stayed for a while before bursting into laughter and rushing out.
Nabeelah closed the door behind her while shouting through it.
Nabeelah: This is why I don’t enter my brothers’ room because I may just walk in on you two doing nonsense like this!
Me: Er- you walked in on them doing what? …
I seriously hope I actually WANT to know the answer to that and that I wouldn’t be scarred for life.
Nabeelah: (laugh) Riyaad is doing Alina’s make up!
*Half an hour earlier*
After helping to prepare lunch, I stepped upstairs to take a shower and get ready.
My best clothes were laid out on the bed and I’d kept my jewelry and everything out before hand to ensure I would make it down in time to help before the guests come.
I was halfway through doing my make up when Riyaad entered the room.
He sat down on the bed after greeting me and started going through his phone as I applied eyeliner to my right eye.
Riyaad: Just look at all these political updates! I’m getting sick of this Zum-
Me: Ssh. Riyaad wait, I can’t concentrate.
His mouth dropped open.
Riyaad: So rude. What have I ever done in life to deserve this torture? I think I am a nice person but-
Me: OMG. STOP talking, Riyaad, this is the most crucial part.
I’m sorry. I love you. But gimme a second.
Seriously. I don’t know if most women can do this under normal circumstances but when I apply liquid liner or mascara, I need to focus really hard. Otherwise it just goes too thick or uneven or sometimes even smudges!
As cute as Riyaad was when he feigned dramatic tendencies, I needed my eyeliner to be cuter.
Riyaad: My wife is a tyrant!
I burst into minimal laughter which just ruined my whole eyeliner and then I had to cleanse it off and start again.
Riyaad opened his mouth to say something funny again and I stopped him…but he went on anyway.
Riyaad: You’re gonna smudge.
I ignored him.
Riyaad: Eyeliner not on fleek.
I stopped and raised my eyebrows at him.
Riyaad: You’re putting too much.
He smirked, enjoying how much he was irritating me.
I was about to draw the black line across my eyelid when he started up again.
Riyaad: Not enough…
Me: Seriously. Do not even … or you’ll break my concentration!
Riyaad: You’re being a drama queen. I’m sure I can do all of that in a more stressful environment without taking half the amount of time.
Oh. He did not just …
Me: Wanna bet?
I looked him straight in the eye and he grinned.
Riyaad: Nah I’m just kidding you carry on. Have fun.
Me: No seriously. Come show me how you’re gonna do that. I’m very curious now.
Riyaad: I’m scared. If I mess it I’ll be in trouble.
Me: I’ll just wash it off. Pleeeease do my make up, Riyaad! I think it will be really fun. And plus maybe then you will understand the struggle.
Riyaad: (sarcastically)Alina. Don’t be a nagging wife.
I decided to quote him.
Me: So rude. What have I ever done in life to deserve this torture? I think I am a nice person but-
Me: My husband is a tyrant…
I was about to drop the topic so as not to nag him but he got up and proceeded toward me.
Riyaad: (sigh) What do you do with all this nonsense now?
I pointed it all out to him.
Riyaad: That is the most complicated thing I’ve ever heard. First of all , how does one fit blush, highlight and what’s the other thing..
Riyaad: …on one cheek!? I think rocket science would be easier to study for than what you’re asking of me!
Me: I’ll show you as we go along.
I instructed him as we went along pointing out how to contour and highlight.
I quoted him to show him how annoying he was being earlier and began shouting out:
“You’re gonna smudge! Eyeliner not on fleek! You’re putting so much!”
Me: Now look. You just make a really really thin and even mark across the lash line okay?
Riyaad: I don’t know why I’m doing this…
He dragged the eyeliner brush neatly across my eyelids when there was a knock at the door.
Me: Come in!
Riyaad decided to quote what I said while he talked when I was the one doing this.
Riyaad: OMG. STOP talking,Alina. This is the most crucial part.
I laughed and he quoted me again.
Riyaad: Seriously, do not even …or you’ll break my concentration.
Nabeelah came in and burst into laughter.
Nabeelah: What is happening here?
Riyaad: Can’t talk. Very intricate business. Life depends on it.
Nabeelah: Oookay. Alina?
Riyaad: Don’t make her talk. She’ll move. Eyeliner won’t be on fleek.
Nabeelah: On fleek? That’s not something I ever thought I’d hear you say, bha! Or any boy for that matter….
….came to call you two for lunch but I guess I’ll leave you to it.
She laughed again before exiting the room and shouting through the door about how she’s never walking in on us again.
Riyaad completed and finally allowed me to look in the mirror when I gasped.
Me: What on Earth?! How is it that this actually looks nice???
I laughed. It actually looked SHOCKINGLY amazing !
Nabeelah came in to see the end result and gasped.
Nabeelah: Riyaad. Why have you never done my make up before?
Riyaad: Shut up. Nabeelah, if anybody hears about this…
Nabeelah: Do you not want me to tarnish your image?
Nabeelah: And make you seem un-masculine?
Nabeelah: And make you seem feminine?
Riyaad: YES! It was only coz Al coached me through the whole thing or else-
Nabeelah: It’s a bit too late for that.
She started getting up and walking backwards out of the room as Riyaad’s eyes widened.
Nabeelah ran out of the room while I laughed and turned my phone to Riyaad.
Nabeelah had changed her whatsapp status to : “#MakeUpBy Riyaad ! Message for bookings”
I’ve never seen Riyaad more angry in my life as he sprinted out the room.
Riyaad was a very private person and didn’t like all these public expositions so Nabeelah was gonna be in for it!
As old as they get, these two will never stop fighting like little siblings!
Riyaad: NABEEEELAAAAAH!!!! Get back here now and delete that!!!!!!!!!!
Sometimes a delay in something happening is for the best
Allah chooses what path your life will take and when, be patient, work on yourself and your imaan and enjoy your life. Everything happens when it’s meant to and when it’s best to
Having a strong love for Nabi Muhammad ﷺ and living in accordance with his sunnah
Be very careful who you trust your children with. Make sure that if you ever have a dire need for a domestic to just hold on to them while you work, that they are still in sight and in public. Never leave them alone .
Please ensure that your kids NEVER walk behind you in malls,etc.
Remember to be enthusiastic about wishing your kids for eid, etc.They should look at these big days as something to look forward to and not be cynical about it.
Show an interest in what your kids do. Encourage them and motivate them about their work and hobbies.
Make sure to tell them you love them every day so that they make a habit of it and do not feel awkward in expressing their love for you.
Make a lot of dua for your children. A parents’ dua is a great thing! Never curse them and in fact, even when you are angry, rather pray for their hidayat than complain.
Look for piety first in a companion and don’t just settle down with the wrong person for the sake of it. It’s better to take long than marry wrong. Work on finding yourself till Allah makes someone find you!
Refrain from speaking unnecessarily to your brothers in law
rules are for our own good
Your children are your responsibility and nobody else’s. Parents and in laws may offer to take of them from time to time but they are under no obligation to do so. Giving them to domestics to take care of too much is a big mistake. Your kids are YOURS and taking care of them, feeding them, changing their diapers, waking up at night for them, etc are YOUR duties, obligations and responsibilities! Even if you’re finding it difficult, don’t make it anybody else’s problem, especially not your parents’ / in laws’. This too is a test , you will be rewarded for your patience Insha Allah .
Joking around with your spouse as you two are best friends or playmates.