A HALAL LOVE STORY
“Would you like to ask anything else? ” he enquired politely.
“Umm…No, nothing else, I think…” she replied back thoughtfully, rummaging through her mind for anymore of her planned essential questions that she might have forgotten to ask him now, for the sit-down that they were having.
They had exchanged and answered all the essential questions as far as she could tell, and she had this positive feeling in her heart about it all, after having prayed her Salat-ul-Istikharah (the special prayer seeking Almighty’s Guidance) earlier on ofcourse. Now, all she had to do was wait and let Allah Guide her through and to see His Plan unfold.
“And you?” she enquired back, leaning slightly forward in her chair. But before he could answer her, her eyes fell upon the cup of tea placed in front of him, on the table.
“Your chaiii…..” she trailed off meaningfully, eyes pointedly looking at the cup that now held cold tea; untouched, perhaps because of them being so engrossed in their conversation, intertwined with the aura of nervousness that bathed them both.
“Shall I warm it up for you?”
“Oh, no, no. There’s no need for that,” he answered her in all courteousness.
But she knew that he was just being polite, and decided to do otherwise. I mean, who can drink cold tea, right?
“It’ll only take a minute, InShaaAllah,” she countered, while getting up and leaning forward to take the tea-cup.
“Just gimme a sec,” she added while about to head to the kitchen with the cup.
“A minute or a sec? ….. First, make up your mind,” he teased back gently and grinned at her, as she walked forth.
“Add ‘em up! A minute plus a sec,” she replied back wittily, looking at him from over her shoulder and headed to the kitchen.
Her dad gave a small cough in the corner. They both looked at him and the father smiled, “My daughter is all grown up MashaAllah” he thought.
She blushed and hurried out of the room. A minute or so later she returned and placed the cup back in front of him silently.
“Jazaki Allahu Khair!” he thanked her.
“Oh…I hate chai,” she replied instantly, stressing on the word hate.
“Really?!” he asked back with his eyebrows raised in surprise.
“Yeah,” she said with a careless shrug of her shoulder, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
“Ahann…What about coffee, then?” he asked while sipping on his tea.
“Hmm…sometimes. Occasionally, when I feel like it. But not always,” she shook her head slightly.
“Ohhh. Wow. I never met anyone who didn’t like chai, until now. Or atleast they’d love coffee. I mean, I love chai! And to be honest, I always pictured myself drinking chai along with my wife, after a long day at work, or sharing the famous “cutting-chai-in-the-glass” on the city-streets at the chai-stall, in the monsoons,” he told her with a genuine child-like grin. And, she could see the honesty and yet the light-heartedness in his banter.
“Like in the movies?” she asked smiling back at him, catching onto his trail of thought.
“Yeah! Like in the movies,” he chuckled back mimicking her words.
And she laughed along gently.
“Well, you know…” she added a moment later. “For me, it doesn’t matter whether my husband and I share a common love for every little thing, so long as we are on the same page as far as priorities, essentials, ideals, morals, Deen and well you knowww etc. etc. are concerned. So long as we are compatible, have found in each other what we were looking for and have been Chosen by Allah to be right for each other, the little tid-bits of common likes and dislikes of tea and favourite this and that don’t matter to me. It doesn’t matter whether he drinks chai and I drink coffee, or juice, or just plain water, along with him. He could be drinking chai & I nothing, along with him, for all that matters. It’s not the ‘chai’ that matters, but the ‘chai-time’ together. I mean it doesn’t matter to me whether we are sharing the chai or not, but all that matters is whether we are sharing the moment or not. The moment together after a long day at work, the moment together in the city-streets in the chai-stall in the monsoons, like the movies (she meaningfully added this time mimicking ‘his’ words, with a little smile of her own)? At the end of the day, it’s the moments spent together with each other and for the sake of each other that count, isn’t it?” she asked more like a gentle rhetorical question, with a philosophical and yet a tender and a far-away-look in her eyes.
There was a momentary pause as her words hung in the air, and as her words gradually settled down, he continued to stare back at her thoughtfully, while she would shyly look up at him and then down, in alterations.
A moment later, with a ghost of a smile playing on his lips, he whispered, “I’d like that, InShaaAllah.”
She could see the sincere genuine look in his eyes and didn’t miss the gleam in them too, when he looked at her and uttered those words.
In that moment – her heart skipped a beat, her cheeks blushed ever so slightly, and her eyes lowered their gaze in shyness, with a faint smile on her lips. She knew exactly what he meant.
Then gathering up her courage, she raised her eyes and looked back at him, a moment later. “And besides, what if I dip biscuits in his chai? I love biscuits dipped in chai. They are perfect together…” she mischievously grinned back, saving the best for the last.
Amused, he chuckled back.
EPILOGUE – 6 months later.
“How was your day?” she asked.
They were sitting on the floor of their room’s balcony, ‘after a long day at work’.
“Alhamdulillah,” he smiled back.
“BarakAllahu feek,” she said to him.
“Wa feeki sweetheart! How was yours?”
“Uhhh…Reeeaalll Hectic! Mannn…how I need a break!”
“But MashaaAllah! BarakAllahu lii,” she replied back gratefully and leaned on his shoulder with a sigh.
“Awww…don’t stress yourself too much. Anything I can help you with?” he earnestly asked.
“Your just being there by my side, is more than what I can ever ask for! Thank you sooo very much for being there. And I don’t need anything else. Jazak Allahu Khair. May Allah Bless us! As for the clients, I’ll have to deal with them by myself with Allah’s Help, InShaaAllah!”
“May Allah ease it for you. And I… will always be there for you, InShaaAllah,” he said sincerely and took her hand and intertwined it with his.
She looked down at their hands, intertwined together like that.
“Me too, InShaaAllah. Me too…” she smiled sincerely back.
“And oh, by the way, what’s your favourite colour?” she got up in a flash from where she was leaning on his shoulder, sat upright and asked while turning her head towards him, to look at him.
“Huh?” he looked at her clueless.
“From where did that question come up out of the ‘blue’?!” he asked mirroring his thoughts, and in a way, answering her question at the same time.
“I was actually looking at some shirts for you. I thought I’ll buy one of your favourite colour, and then it suddenly struck me that I didn’t know your favourite colour!” she confessed sheepishly.
“Oh, just tell me won’t you?”
“Well…My answer’s in the question!” he smirked back wittily.
“Huh?” Now it was her turn to turn clueless!
“Blue?” she asked a moment later, understanding dawning upon her! “Your favourite colour’s blue? Really?! That’s my favourite colour too!” she exclaimed animatedly!
“Subhan Allah! No Kiddin’! Finally we have a common favourite!” he exclaimed sarcastically in good humour.
“Hey!” she punched his shoulder, playfully and he laughed!
“Well, it doesn’t matter if we have a favourite this and that in common.”
“Hmmm…now, where have I heard that one before?” he teased her.
And she rolled her eyes and smiled.
“But, seriously. You love football, and I like cricket. You like strawberry and I love chocolate. How does it matter? And how does it matter that we didn’t know all this, about each other before marriage. Firstly, it’s not the most essential of things to know before marriage. And secondly, where’s the fun in that? You’ll perhaps end up squeezing out alllll the adventure and make everything so monotonous! I mean, I rather spend the rest of our lives together exploring you and knowing you more and more by each passing moment, and you me. I rather play a hundred thumb-wrestling games under the starry-night with you and get to ask each other our favourites, our deepest desires, and wishes, and dreams and fears and secrets that we’d tell no other. I’d rather get to fall in love with you over and over again; and you with me.
So, it doesn’t matter whether we know the tid-bits of what the other’s favourite cartoon movie is or what the other wanted to be as a kid or what the other’s favourite colour is, before marriage and spending hours on sit-downs to ‘get-to-know-each-other’ like that. Because at the end of the day ‘that’ doesn’t matter!
What matters is whether we are on the same wavelength. Whether I and you are made of the same ethics and principles and priorities. Our Deen Matters. And the fact that we are attracted to each other matters…”
“No doubt about that, beautiful,” he whispered in between, with a smile.
“None whatsoever too, handsome,” she blushed back with a smile of her own, in all honesty.
“…What matters is that we are compatible. What matters is that we were chosen by Allah to be just ‘that’ to each other, irrespective of our different personalities, our different likes and dislikes. Imperfect and different, but together we fit. Like our hands and fingers…” she trailed off looking down at their intertwined hands. And he looked down at them too.
“They differ in their size and contour. They are different. Mine different from yours. Yet, my fingers fit smugly in the space between your fingers and yours in mine. Woven together, interlaced together into the Perfect fit. That’s how it’s meant to be,” she said still looking down at their intertwined hands and then raised just her eyes to look up at him.
And he did the same.
He then, slowly raised their hands, still interlaced together and gently kissed the back of her hand, while she eyed him lovingly.
They continued to stare into each other’s eyes. The depth in them spoke volumes.
Blushing, she then cleared her throat, breaking the silence, and her eyes fell on the untouched cup of tea that was placed beside him. “Your chaiii…” she trailed off. And he turned slightly to look at it.
Simultaneously, they looked at each other – caught the twinkle in each other’s eye – stilled – And burst out laughing!
Their inside joke. Reminiscent of their first meet. Reminiscent of how their story had started.
“Why do you alwayyys have to wait till it gets cold?”
“Hey! Not always!” he said in defense.
“Okkk…not always. But ever so oft, nonetheless!” she exclaimed.
“Old habits die-hard,” he said with a wink. And she knew what he was referring to.
She smiled. “Let me warm that up for you.” She was about to get up, but…
“No, you stay, I’ll do it, and you’re too tired as it is,” he said and got up while planting a light kiss on her forehead.
“Jazak Allahu Khair,” she said smiling up at him gratefully.
“A minute plus a sec?” he called out to her over his shoulder grinning, while heading out of the balcony.
She laughed back at him.
A minute later, he was back with the hot tea.
“Well, here’s the chai!” he said as he sat back down, beside her.
“…annddd your biscuits!” he exclaimed while handing over the biscuits and grinning at her.
She happily took them from him and dipped a biscuit in his chai and before she could pop it in her mouth, he leaned forward in lightening speed – close – far too close – inches away from her lips and took a big bite off her biscuit, leaving her stunned!
He threw his head back in laughter and laughed out loud!
“Heyyy!” she exclaimed. “That’s not fair!”
“Everything’s fair in love, sweetheart!” he winked at her, and she scowled at him.
“It’s the moments together that matter, isn’t it?” he then added meaningfully.
“…Even when we have different personalities, different favourites? To take that effort to spend time with the other. Like when we have ice-cream together, even when it’s different flavours. Like when you let me watch football and at times watch it with me, and I cricket with you. Not forcing each other, not suffocating each other, but being there for each other, for each other’s sake – a wordless bond. Like when you don’t like chai, but share the ‘chai-time’ with me. The tid-bits don’t matter, but what you ‘do’ about those tid-bits makes all the difference, isn’t it?
The moments together matter. Not the quantity time. But the quality. Because that’s how it’s supposed to be. To be able to do things separately and differently, to go out for work, to have your own personal space, to have your own circle of friends to hang-out with once in a while and yet to choose willingly to take out the time for each other. At the end of the day, to be able to and to choose to return back to each other. InShaaAllah. That’s what matters isn’t it?” he said intellectually and yet genuinely.
At that, she spontaneously leaned forward, wound her arms around his neck and just hugged him. And in response, he wrapped his arms around her, hugging her back.
That’s what she loved about him most. His genuinity.
He meant it when he had said “I’d like that, InShaaAllah”, months before on their first meet. She could see his genuine nature then too. MashaaAllah. Allahumma barrik lahu. And he was just that – Open and genuine. He meant what he said. And earlier on in their marriage, they had discussed this topic more in detail and they had made it a part of their foundation to genuinely spend quality time with each other, ‘Moments spent together matter’, had become one of their crucial mottos. And they strove to stick to it. Alhamdulillah.
Still in his arms, she slightly leaned backwards and softly kissed his cheek; then looked deep into his eyes and with all her heart whispered, “I Love you…I really really Love you.”
Tightening his grip around her even more – if that was even possible – meaning every bit of it himself, he whispered back, “I Love you too sweetheart…I Love you too.”
He did. He really really did. What she had said about her belief on the day of their sit-down had nailed it for him. He saw how she meant it then, and how she genuinely made efforts. She was different. A good different. MashaaAllah. Allahumma barrik laha. And she was right, they fit.
“Your chaiii….” she interrupted his thoughts. He’d left the chai half-drunk, ‘again’ because of their intense conversation.
And they both laughed ‘again’.
“Not again?!” she whined, between fits of laughter.
“I thought you ‘loooved’ chai!” she sarcastically commented.
And he chuckled back. Oh, the sound of his chuckle – it was among her most favourite sounds in the world. What the sound of his genuine, innocent chuckle did to her heart, only she knew, and Allah Knew Best. She had heard it about a thousand and one times, right from when they had met for the first time, and she had liked it then instantly. But everytime that she heard it, she didn’t know that it was possible for her to fall in love with it even more.
“Oh, trust me I do. But I Love You more…” he whispered back.
And precisely then, they heard the roar of thunder. They looked up at the sudden sound and then at each other, and laughed in tune with each other. Monsoons were coming in and soon. And it only meant one thing. Their special moments at the street chai stalls were awaiting them. They’d finally be able to do it too, on the spur-of-the moment, returning together back from work, perhaps, on some rainy day, soon…well who knows? (except He Who Knows aforetime.)
But they knew one thing, that everytime to re-kindle their bond and love, they’ll fall back on their foundation, on their motto – moments together matter. They’ll take out the time and make the effort, to make it happen. Both of them. And among such special moments, they’ll always have a favourite one that they’ll turn to often from time to time, for that’s how it all started, for that’s how their love story had begun –
with The Chai and biscuits.
P.S. Perhaps today when each one of you return home to your other-half, you’d slide your hands in theirs, notice how they fit smugly into one another, notice how your fingers interlace together warmly. Perhaps you’d re-discover today, how rightly you fit. Perhaps you’d share this with each other, perhaps you’d read this together again. And perhaps today there’ll be a re-kindling of sorts, of memories, of humour, of tease and charm, of special moments together, of taking the effort to make the daily ordinary moments special because that’s what makes it rolling and takes away from the mundane and of love…of halal love.
Of this, I hope.
And for those of us who are Blessed the other way – for those who are widowed, He hears and soon you’ll be re-united to hold your hands for an eternity in Jannat-ul-Firdous; for those who are divorced – perhaps there’s someone else in whose your hands would be a perfect fit; for those who are single – perhaps there’s someone waiting for us right around the corner to hold our hands; and so hopefully we still get to take reminders from this story for our future, but then again – Hakuna Matata – if By His Will if not here, then there’s still Jannat-ul-Firdous.
This is in Association with The Nikah Street .com (www.facebook.com/
InShaaAllah, Please do accept this as a special gift to you all from us all – and May Allah accept it and make it a source of Sadaqah-e-Jariyah for Myself, The Nikah Street.com team, The Ink of Faith team, my parents, our parents and families and our loved ones of His believers, and Make it a source for us all to be Granted with from Among The Highest & Loftiest Ranks in Jannat-ul-Firdous, Immediately without account!
Salat-ul-Istikhara – Special two-units of Prayer inclusive of a special supplication, Seeking His Guidance, when taking a decision.
InShaaAllah – Allah Willing (by the Will of Allah)
Jazaki Allahu Khair – May Allāh reward you [with] goodness. (used instead of a Thank you). (Jazaki – for female, Jazak – for male)
Wa iyyak – And you (meaning – same to you; used in response of Jazak Allahu Khair) (Wa iyyak – for male, wa iyyaki – for female)
Alhamdulillah – Praise be to Allah.
BarakAllahu feek – May Allah Bless you. (The concept is that whenever one says anything good about oneself or another, to make a supplication and ask for The Almighty’s Blessings, in order to prevent the evil eye, InShaaAllah)
Wa feeki – And you. (meaning – same to you; used in response of BarakAllahu feek) (wa feeki – for female, wa feek – for male)
BarakAllahu lii – May Allah Bless me
Allahumma barrik laha/lahu Deen – May Allah Bless her/him.
Deen- Religion (Islam)