Over this past year I was away working. I met somebody who changed my life.
It was last year after Ramadhan when I first met her.
Hikmah is what I’ll call her.
We first met after brief introductions. In our first conversation we were both exactly in the same boat feeling the same way. We both were over a hundred miles away from home, moving away for the first time. We were in similar positions wanting to achieve similar goals.
Hikmah was the only muslim female that I personally encountered in the city. She was also the only muslim female that worked in the same place over thousands of associates.
Given the situation, we both felt alienated and a little homesick. We bonded well on this basis. As time progressed we learnt more about each other.
Hikmah was a westernised, non-practicing muslim woman. She had an active ‘western’ social life. She felt strong about Islamic values but not enough to be practicing. She, like many others in the west was waiting for the ‘right’ moment to start. She was cheerful, intelligent and funny.
She used to approach me for advice and I treated her like a sister. She often approached me personal issues. She must have felt comfortable around in order to share.
One day she approached me and asked me not to get angry because we had the whole brother/sister understanding - she wanted some advice on her relationship. I told her honestly what I thought of the situation. I highlighted the problems and how islamically it wasn’t viable. She embraced the facts that I had presented to her and took my advice on board.
When she informed me that she’d like to embrace Islam and settle down. I realised what her goal was but her method was the completely wrong way of going about it. When I realised her intentions - I advised her strongly about marriage. She said it was her intent to do so in the future. The guy was a classic example of a player. She reassessed her situation and said she will have a long and hard think about it.
As the months went along, she’d drop a few emails here and there and in person whilst passing by we’d just exchange the mutual salam whenever we saw each other - kept it brief. Some months later she went abroad and I didn’t see her for a few months. Business was normal.
I was on route for a coffee break with my group of colleagues. Whilst walking, I saw Hikmah. I couldn’t describe what had happened. My heart just sunk. Butterflies . . everywhere.
We greeted each other. My surroundings were talking. I entered a lonely abyss. Questioning what happened. “SoulSeek . . what do you think?”. I was just completely lost – “Yeah” I said.
“Yeah? . . . . Were you even listening” I thought.
I was lost. Confused. What had happened?
This is crazy! I told myself. I continued . . no, no and no! I can’t have feelings for her. It’s not right! It just didn’t 'go'!
I convinced myself it was just lust and nothing else. I put it down to the fact that she was the only muslim female I had interacted with since I moved away.
I shared it with a close brother who also knew her and he said he saw it a mile off. He said we got on/clicked extremely well and I was overly protective over her (sub consciously?).
I tried avoiding this fiasco and I attempted to part with my feelings for a few months. Over this period, I avoided meeting her.
It did nothing for me. My feelings grew stronger.
I just couldn’t put my finger on it. She was attractive but not my type. What did I like so much about her?
I was then dropped the line “You can’t help who you fall for”.
I then pondered some more.
Why did he say that? That just kept playing with me. Did I really fall for her?
How can I fall for someone who’s extremely ‘brit-social’/not Islamic/away from my ideals?
Time progressed. The feelings had now grown to a point where I began contemplating “can it be?”
Could it be?