The man, whose name I will keep to myself, is a kind, gentle man. He was married to my friend. And because he was married to my friend, we used to talk. Well, before things…
Things were going fine until a specific day. My friend said that it was on a Monday. She’d just gotten home from school. She’s a Middle School teacher. Her husband, the man I used to think was a kind man, turned something else. After Maghrib prayer together, he asked my friend to meet him in the bedroom, leaving their two children in the living room.
He told her that he’s been unhappy for quite a while. And even though he’s committed to his children, he couldn’t stay in the marriage any longer. He said, “I will always do right by my children and you, but I’m divorcing you.”
It took my friend by shock. She had sensed for months now that he did not joke like before. He wasn’t spontaneous as before. And when they made love, he seemed absent minded. But since he’d never actively shown hostility to her or at the very least neglect his responsibilities towards her and the children, including spending time, he’d never thought much of it. Until the present. Tears blurred her vision as the enormity of that pronouncement dawned on her.
“What did I do?”
“How could you?”
“Our children, what do we tell them?”
My friend went through the five stages. You know, shock, denial, anger, sadness… Eventually she accepted Qadar, destiny.
A marriage of 12 years gone like that.
The day she told me I was beyond angry. Ha! I never curse. But I cursed her ex. A foolish, evil man. She said the divorce was very amicable. I said it doesn’t matter. I said he’s a spineless man.
My friend told me, between tears and sniffles, that barely 6 months after the unprovoked divorce. He left the United States and took a job at Cancer Research Hospital in Canada as an oncologist. He’s cashing in while the mother of children, the woman who stood by her while he was a resident doctor, is nursing a heart break and taking care of his children.
“He remarried after a year. Can you believe it? But here I’m, left to be picking up of piecrs of the life which he shattered.”
The tears of Hajarah could not make me sleep that night. I had gotten his phone number from Hajarah who said perhaps I could talk to him.
After Fajr I called him. The phone rang twice and he picked up.
“This is Dr. Tee, Daddy Fawaz, you remember, Hajarah’s friend…,” I juggled his memory.
“Oh salam alaykum my brother.” He replied cheerfully.
Who’s your brother? I thought to myself.
“I’m completely and utterly disappointed in you. You’re a shame to Muslim men. A shame. How could you just leave Hajarah like that? Don’t you fear Allah? Yes, Divorce is halal but do you have to do it? Do you? You just left her like that. Ehn, and you have sisters too.” I can’t even remember the things I said at him that morning, until he told me to calm down and then recited an Ayah of Suratu Saad to me.
“My brother remember those who came to Dawud?”
“Yes, what’s the relevance of that here?” I asked still angry.
I never wanted to leave Hajarah, my brother. He said, and my blood pressure went down. I loved and still love her but I feared for myself.
What are you saying? I asked. And that’s how he went into full details.
Brother, I’m an honest guy to a fault. There’s this sister back at MSSN days then in UI. I liked her a lot. But she got into the extreme salafi groups back then and rushed into marriage and all. Then after four years her marriage ended. She went through a lot of abuse. She’s a single mother. I liked her a lot and when she shared with me her story, I felt like marrying her would be the best thing for me, instead of me just being a friend only. I realized I still like her. I told my wife about it. And she lost it. It was strange because I’d had many many conversations with her about thaniyah in the past. It’s like she’s a completely different person now. I gave it time but with time she only became more hostile. She then started threatening me. She said since we’re in the US, if I tried it, she would make sure she report it. She would ask for a divorce, drag me to court for child support, and even make sure that I don’t see my children anymore.
My brother, that’s when I started becoming scared. I wasn’t even interested in marrying the woman in Nigeria anymore. I don’t like conflict. And since it’s going to be that hard on her, I decided to let it go. Then she put my business ou there for the Imam of our community and her friends. She made it seem like I was having an affair. She once told me that I was doing Zina of the mind by talking to the woman in the first place. My brother, I’m a calm man, but I was being vilified because I waa honest. So, I thought a woman who can do this at the slight touch of a challenge, hmnnn… Only God knows what she can do.
So, I withdrew. I planned carefully. I dropped the issue totally and began working on myself. God blessed me with some money that I was able to payoff the mortgage. When that was done, I knew I had to be out. So I divorced her amicably, leaving her the house and a reasonable monthly stipend for her and her children as encouraged by the Qur’an. And I made sure to have sharing custody of children legal in case she tries to pull a stunt. I still bear the hurt, my brother. But I believe I tried my best. I’m doing my best for my children. And Alhamdulillah mu children have good relationships with my wife and their sibling. It’s unfortunate, but we’re in the hands of Allah.
I didn’t know what to say. I told him please forgive me. He said no worries. Afwan. I would say the same thing if I were you.
I then asked him. “Is there a chance that you will take her back? Or at the least tell her these? She still doesn’t know that your divorcing her is due to those things?”
Hmmm, my brother. He said. ‘I still care about Hajarah, but… I mean, I mean…
Think of your children. I encouraged.
What more can Baba oni Story tell this kind of man ó. 👀🤷🏿♂️