Eventually, Maymunah called Abdullah a few days later and told him that everything was fine. She had just been down with a little illness. When she heard the concern in his voice, she felt a flame glow in her heart. After the call she became further torn. Here was a brilliant young man devoted to him. She knew she was everything to him and would do anything permissible to be with her. She decided to consult an older person for guidance. A person who would be neutral and would guide her. It had to be her mom or her aunt. She decided to go to her aunt. Her mom would be too close to negate any form of bias.
That weekend she traveled to Lagos and visited her aunt who lived in Ojota. After carefully explaining her dilemma to her aunt, the middle aged woman untied her gèlè, headgear, and smiled.
“Hmmm. Ọ̀rọ̀ ńlá leleyi o. This is serious matter.”
“But, a kò rí irú eléyìí rí, ẹrú lafin dá b’ọlọ́rọ̀.” She downplayed her previous comment.
“Now listen to me carefully. You say these two men both love you and you like them too?”
“Yes. I do.”
“Abdullah is the one who proposed first, abi?”
“He’s young and in school with you. You said he’s twenty four years old? So he’s older than you just by a year. I think he’s good for you. You’re both young, you can build together and grow. What is he studying?”
“He’s studying sociology.”
The aunt was a secondary school teacher and well read. “Oh oh.” She commented and kept silent for a second.
Then she continued. “So, Abdul-Kareem is thirty-eight, married, and already established and wealthy?”
Maymunah replied, “Yes.”
“From the things you told me about how your friend said he takes care of his wife, and the plans he has in place for you as a wife, I think although Abdullah is good for you, Abdul-Kareem is better for you in many ways.”
Maymunah felt a lump develop in her throat. “But Aunty won’t it sound like he’s better because he is wealthy? And plus, he’s married, and Abdullah isn’t.”
“There’s nothing wrong in preferring a wealthy man. You know your condition. Your mother is already stretched. Just last week…” she bit her lip, weighing if she should divulge or not. “Just last week, she told me how her shop is almost empty and how she’s drowning in debt. I know you know your mother struggled to raise you and your siblings. You’re graduating soon. But what about your siblings? Don’t you think making a decision that would at least put you in a situation where your mother doesn’t have to worry about you is a good one? Plus, the fact that you said he’s a good man and that you love him?”
Maymunah sighed and said. “But he’s already married…”
“And so? Did somebody die? How many wives did our father, your grandfather had? As long as he’s able to take care of you all. And from what you told me he’s more than capable.”
“But Abdullah will be broken.”
“So, you would rather commit to him just to not break his heart? Isn’t that a pity marriage?”
Maymunah wondered what her aunt was doing teaching social studies in a secondary school. She should be a lawyer.
“No, it’s because I have promised to marry him. We are engaged.”
“My daughter, please remember this is your choice. And whoever you choose we’ll pray Allah bless it. But engaged is not married. If you were married to him already, we won’t even be having this discussion. So, pray about it. But I don’t want you to make the same mistake I made. I was once young and idealistic too in university then. Men sought me. But I chose to build with someone…. alhamdulillah for everything. I’m contented. But I didn’t imagine I would not get to pursue my dreams.…”
Maymunah put her hand on Aunty’s shoulder.
“Sorry my daughter, this is about you. Not me.” She regained composure.
“With the wisdom of hindsight, I’d advise you to give Abdul-Kareem a chance. We can already tell he’s a good husband from how he treats his first wife. He’s able to take care of you. Do I have to remind you’re studying English? He can give you a comfortable life which will alleviate your mom’s worries. Also, he is much older and would be able to lead you confidently.”
Weeks later, Abdullah fell seriously ill.
Kifayyah frowned and hissed a lot
And people talked of sisters and money
Maymunah cried for days.
But the tears dried up.
She slowly smiled, and then laughed, and then blushed the next morning, and the next morning, and every morning after that.
Aisha was angry for a moment, but came around
Umm Bilal was guarded at first, but she warmed up
Abdul-Kareem, well, remained the beautiful soul Aisha and Umm Bilal had always known him to be.
One day as she was about to fall asleep in Abdul-Kareem’s arms, it occurred to her that the whole situation might have been as a result of her istikhara, the prayer of guidance. She had asked God to guide her to the best decision before becoming engaged to Abdullah. The next morning, as Abdul-Kareem walked back to the room, his shirt rolled to midarm, surprising her with breakfast in bed, she knew she’d landed herself a Ma-shaa-Allah Brother.
The end lópin cinema. 😊 I hope you enjoyed the story as much I did.
What might you have done if in Maymunah’s shoes? Or if you were Kiffayah? Could it be said that Maymunah’s chose money over love? And why would it be wrong, either way?
Was Abdul-Kareem wrong? Why ? Poor Abdullah, what should he have done?