During my break at the office, Fatai came and we got to talking. I asked him why he wanted to do mosina.
“Abu Ziyad, according to fiqh, I don’t have to have a reason.”
“Well, I didn’t ask you about fiqh. I asked you about your reasons.” I snapped back at him.
He went on quoting this and that, showing me he knew Arabic and fiqh books better. He actually studied in the Islamic University of Riyadh before returning home to start his own Arabic madrasa.
“Okay,” I said to all his quotes. “Have you been talking to your wife about this for a while?”
“Oh, no, Ẹ̀gbọ́n. One of our Shaykhs told us it is bad practice to be talking about it with ojr wives unless we’re absolutely ready. The best practice is to tell her only after everything is settled. Like a few days to the nikkah. That way you minimize the time spent on back and forth and you make the pain as less as possible by making it as quick as possible. “
I was aghast.” What? “
” Yes, think of how when we want to slaughter a lamb. We’re encouraged to make it as swift as possible so that lamb feel less pain. So, when it comes to mosina, do it as quick as possible once you tell her. “
I asked who she wanted to marry. She said the girl was a 19 years old student of his who’s learning tajweed at her madrasa. I told him I think it’s a bad idea. Moreover why did he think 19 years old is the best candidate for him when he’s 30. To that he answered that the sunnah recommends to marry previously unmarried women. He quoted Jabir hadith. I explained to him that that narration was a specific case and when Jabir explained his rationale the Prophet (peace be upon him) was satisfied because Jabir was a thinking man who did the right and necessary thing. He said my understanding was wrong and that there are many disadvantages to marrying divorcees or single mothers.
Just the other month, he had asked if I can help with his son’s school fees. I asked how he planned to support the new wife and he said she teaches at a private school and so they’ll be able to manage.
When is the Nikkah? I asked.
He said next two weeks’ Saturday.
“No, problem.” I conceded. “I really don’t know why you said you wanted my advice. “
But I knew exactly what I was going to do. If you see a wrong thing, change it with your hand, or tongue, or at least your mind. In this case, I’m going to change it with my mouth on the day of the Nikkah. I will tell the young woman’s family to protect their daughter and not give her out to my brother. He cannot disown me. I’m actually doing him a favor.
That weekend, I told Layla and Maymunah of my thoughts. By this time I felt I knew both of them well enough and thus I was able to think through what might work. I decided to build a three bedroom apartment adjacent to Maymunah’s in the same compound. Normally, the timeline would have been a year or so to complete it but, Alhamdulillah, Layla finally became pregnant and I wanted her to have the baby while in the new house. Layla offered to support financially. She was cashing in big time with her freelancing. But I told her to maintain her savings. I borrowed against my retirement and used some savings to complete the house on time.
This way we’re more of a one family. I’m present for the kids. I didn’t feel like a part-time husband and father. When I traveled as my new position at the company required, I knew they had each other. Sometimes a week would pass and they may not see each other because they’re both busy with their works. But the children are always playing together and are going to the same school. I know this looks utopian. It’s the utopia that we dreamed of and we worked towards it using what we have. We know other families have other ways valid and working for them.
Two years later.
We’re getting ready for a wedding party. I got into the car and honked several times for àwọn Alhaja to join me. Ten minutes later, they both come out from their houses. I let the door of the Toyota Sienna 2024 Model open for them. Layla wore black abayah and teal hijab. Maymunah wore navy blue abayah and white hijab.
“Ehn, ehn so no one will sit in the front? I’m your chauffeur, àbí?”
Tẹ́lẹ̀ ńkọ́? Maymunah replied.
“Sebi you’re the one that calls yourself a Servant Leader? Ehn, lead by driving na… “
You hold the pen when it comes to your story. You can create harmony. You can choose love. You can choose peace. You can choose headaches. You can choose bitterness. You can choose patience. You can choose hurt. You have that power. When things happen, you can control how you deal with it. I hope you’ll always choose courage, humility, service to others, faith, harmony, empathy and selflessness whatever the situation is. 😊
Jazakumullah khayran to everyone who read, commented, reacted, and shared.