Monday, 28 June 2010

SoulSeek & Geetar Hiro are going on a break!

Assalamu Alaikum y'all,

I know how you've all been waiting for Part 2 of the Aisha story but in all honesty I just haven't been able to get round to writing it up. It's ironic how I was looking forward to the holidays and I haven't been able to do the things I've wanted to do!

A group of us are setting off on a wild camping road trip somewhere outside of the UK. I haven't seen my sweet brother in a while. I'll be setting off soon for a very long drive to his house and then from there we leave at fajr tonight :D

It's definitely going to be one for the books!

I feel frustrated. I want to ride out this whole being single thing. Young muslim women in the west are no longer serious. Okay, who am I kidding? Whilst it sounds cliché there is some truth in that. I really need some time off. It's the first time out of the country since I last went umrah, when I was a young kipper 6, almost 7 years ago. Wow. The phone will be on flight mode (oh, how I've dreamt of doing that for extended periods to block all forms of communication!) throughout the whole trip but whilst everyone is asleep I'll be able to start writing a few notes on my iPhone ;)

You will all be in our dua's insha'allah. When I return, I'll be working on part 2 and I'll try to post it for Sunday. I won't make the mistake of rushing it again.

'til then habibis.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

The one experience to change them all, Aisha - Part 1

I had major difficulties in writing this entry. On many occasions, I had just stopped, not knowing how to continue. You can imagine how long this took to put together. I initially decided to leave this out. However, I felt there are some extremely important lessons for me to reflect upon. Especially for me in becoming this man I'm destined to be. Structuring a frenzied 8 months into an entry. There's a lot of details I have to leave out in order to post a consumable entry and to protect her. Recalling difficult events. Good and bad times. On the one girl that managed to penetrate my armour. I'm telling you now. I can't write or do this experience justice. But I'll try.

I just had to walk into the most complicated situation. After all, those words are synonymous to my life.

A battle of optimism over scepticism. A war of emotions. A playground of confusion.

Two popular people at University. Different people. Different experiences. Different pasts. Different Interests. Big personalities. Big feelings. Sharing a lot of mutual acquaintances and friends. Difficulties in communication.

Time to put the kettle on again. I've been here a long time, yours shouldn't be as long. I have put the pieces together as promised.

Aisha. I just have to smile whenever I mention her. A situation that I can't quite label. Bizarre or fate. Frustrating or funny. Heartbreaking or every one of them, you decide.

It all began when I first met Aisha. Aisha got involved when a brother told me about Husna. In order to aid his efforts in helping me, he asked for Aisha's assistance to help me and Husna get in contact.

I was in the library when I was first introduced to her. When I first saw Aisha, there was a moment of silence in my head. "Why had I never seen this girl before?". She was dressed ever so modestly and she was ever so shy. That smile. Dammit. She asked me a few questions to get me in contact with Husna. You know that really guilty feeling of being human and liking someone? I think that just happened. I heard a lot about Husna but I just wanted to know more about Aisha. I spoke to the brother and I enquired about Aisha instead. He started laughing, he said she was one of the coolest sisters ever. He told me to make a decision between Aisha and Husna. How could I? I didn't know either of them. I had nothing to go off.

I had heard a lot about Husna. I heard she was this beautiful, elegant woman that possessed all those qualities guys would want in a wife. Aisha was different. Aisha was this really down to earth girl, who had recently come back to the deen with this personality, and this smile. A smile that made me smile. This one smile that complicated a situation. I later told her that her smile would eventually get her into a lot of trouble.

She would regularly ask if I had considered the situation with Husna more and if she could be of assistance. She did not know Husna very well as she was at a different University. She was 'just tryna help a brother out'. Bless her.

I decided to just ask around for basic information. Whilst in the quest of doing some research on them both I became acquainted with Aisha in the Islamic Society. I started to learn a lot about her. She was very different from a lot of girls. She had been through experiences that I could relate to. I felt like I understood her misfortune and pain.

I knew once I had made a decision that was it. After all, if things didn't work out, no one wanted to be second best. Right?

At the time I felt rather confused. Looks wise they were both beautiful in their own ways. Aisha stood out at first, she was someone I had seen in person. Different to what I usually like but that smile, ha. Husna, I could only go by her pictures. She was also beautiful but I think my preference lied with Aisha for some reason. I had to start making istikhara to make my intentions clear. Ah Allah. You always answer.

Aisha wrote an article about this young girls experience at University. The article was about a girl who went to uni and enjoyed all the little fun things girls do when they move away from home. Hanging out, shopping and just enjoying life. Something that became short lived until she lost someone very close to her. Due to that experience she felt like she had lost everything. Until she remembered something a friend told her. She had turned to Allah in desperation and that's where her journey had begun. This girl went to Umrah and made a new clean start.

That article was about Aisha. Call it intuition but I always felt like that story was about her. When she told me. I asked her about who had died? She said no one died. That only led to one answer. A past relationship. For me, that was my istikhara answered.

I had never been in a past relationship and in my mindset, I've always wanted someone of a similar calibre. Somewhat understandable . .  right?

This is where the chapter of Husna had begun. (More here).

After things didn't work out and I remember when I first saw Husna. She had this presence like no other woman. I didn't realise how beautiful she was in person. I think my feelings just took a beatdown like Mosley got from Mayweather (Ouch!!)

When things ended with Husna. You guessed it . . Aisha was on my mind. I had sat down and carefully contemplated what had happened. I thought to myself "What if, this whole time Husna was just another experience to help me realise what I want?". I was right. Husna had some beautiful qualities, without a shadow of doubt, a bit too textbook. But Aisha . . she was real. She had a lot of faults but she had some many qualities I admired.

I thought to myself how on earth could I approach Aisha now? Surely this felt wrong. Wrong by whose standard though? I contemplated. And I contemplated some more. It took over a month to work things out.

Aisha's situation was volatile. I remember her once telling me she was going to give in to her parents and just get married from back home 'cause her friend had convinced her. Alarm bells started ringing in my head. Yup, yup . . you know what pursued next! I felt like if I didn't do anything now, nothing would happen. What was I thinking?

I asked to have a few minutes with her in the library before an event. My heart was beating at an illegal speed. I remember and I remember well. That smile creeped up. That damn smile! I forgot almost everything I wanted to say. I started of by telling her how she had been open and transparent with me, it would only be fair if I did the same from a prospective of being honest. I then said to her . . . "Yo sister, is your dad a terrorist? Cause you da bomb!"

Sorry, I joke haha! (At my own jokes, I know - terrible!). I've always just wanted to say that.

I asked her if she'd consider the idea of marriage if I were to propose my intentions to her. I obviousl

Allow me to define the word shock:-
– noun
A sudden and violent blow or impact; collision.

A sudden violent blow . . That sounds about right. This girl just froze in front of me. She was like "Is that Saddam Hussein on the documentary?" on a TV behind me. I started laughing thinking "oh my god". The randomness just threw me completely off guard. It took her a few minutes to compose herself. She was like but you and Husna? She knew that things didn't work out a few weeks prior but she asked again. She seriously did not know what to say. I told her to think about it and away we went to the event.

It took her a few days for things to sink in. She still could not believe it. At all.

She responded a few days on by asking me to be patient with her.

The tale is about to begin y'all :)

And So It Begun
At face value I thought this girl was simple. Boy was I in for a treat.

Her situation was something I cannot share but I can tell you it was a very, very unfortunate and unique situation. You know you hear about some people and you think "Subhaanallah!" and then "rather you than me". Aye, that was her. She had oppressive parents, really unfortunate circumstances and no one who could be her mahram to help us. I set out to find out more about her reality before I could help her.

It took her a few days for things to sink in. "Seriously, what does a guy like you see in me?". And a flurry of similar questions. One day at University in the evening, it was very quiet. She said she wanted to ask me something, I thought it was just a query or quick question. She laid out everything on the table. She freestyled for a long time. I paid attention and listened carefully. She confided and told me things that most would not tell their best friends. A lot of questions arose. One after another.

"A lot of my friends really like you, you'd be better suited to someone more pious."
"You can do so much better."
"You're in a completely different league. A real intellectual."
"I've got a lot of problems."

And so on. That didn't stop me at all. She continued. After hearing what she had been through, she broke into tears and started to cover her face with her hijaab.

I think my heart just sunk. I was helpless. Useless. I always have something to say or do to make someone feel better but I could do nothing. I really didn't know what to do. That feeling, that feeling of just wanting to hug someone. I had to move my chair back. I really didn't expect this. She started apologising. I told her to take her time. I had to leave her until she composed herself. This was definitely one of those situations in making the best of a very dire situation.

She continued. "This is what I mean, I'm broken." She told me to walk away as I had no idea what I was walking into. I'll be honest. I could have walked into an easier situation. But I didn't. Why accept easy when it can be challenging?

The next day she apologised for displaying so many insecurities and shouldn't have told me of the things she did. I assured her it wasn't a problem. My respect for her had grown.

The First Strike - Lack Of Compatibility
Aisha. A young woman who had had no intention of getting married any time soon, who had put very little thought into something that seemed so distant. As great as it sounded, she feared the idea. Aisha became very, very confused.

Her friends didn't make matters easier. You know the type. Some find joy in clubbing whilst others religiously watch eastenders. This was not going to be an easy task. This became a frustration quickly. They were telling her some really ignorant things of how things 'should be'. Catch 21 situation. Whilst they are her friends and she should keep better company. That wasn't the issue. Practising muslim sisters were not better company. All the back-biting and rumours they were spreading about brothers and sisters in University, the hypocrisy was just as bad. I just had to accept that I had a lot of work ahead of me. 

I gained some references that confused me too. She did something questionable. Something that hurt me but I was unable to confirm this in order to protect the one person she spoke to. I was advised she was lovely girl but extremely confused. Due to this, my attitude towards her had changed. I became difficult. As time progressed we started to become frustrated with each other. We were on a completely different level. She started to become uncomfortable around me.

I made a big mistake. I started to compare her to Husna. I became really lost. I had feelings for her but I felt like she could offer me nothing. I felt like I was doing all the work. I knew what I wanted. She had no idea.

Over a short amount of time. Matter got progressively worse. She sent me an email saying she felt we were both incompatible and that she was in no position to consider marriage. She felt the experience had encouraged her to think more about her future.

It was over.

First Husna and now her. I felt like a truck just crushed me. If I could talk of the external issues paired up with how I got completely shafted at University. Ah, I had a lot to be sad about. It was a very difficult time. This one cheerful character was slowly letting his smile down.

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail" - Benjamin Franklin

Had it not been for Islam. I think I would have broke. By nature, words like defeat have no place in my life. However, sometimes we choose to accept it when the going gets tough. Establishing Salah 5 times a day and keep faith in Allah whilst things are going good or bad is when perseverance takes place. Regardless of how I felt, I've always had to fulfil my obligations. For:

“How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to his Lord and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him.” - [Muslim]

Islam is truly like no other when calamity befalls a person. Allah tests a believer with just about what he can handle. It's quite amazing really. He helps those in need. Yet he also tests them. I just about hanged in there. The gym paired up with very heavy weights seriously helps with that rage that builds up. Alhamdulillah, I wasn't prepared to fail any time soon.

Whilst I could justify all my actions. I felt like things could have ended better. There were still a lot of frustrations, feelings and loose ends in the air. I wanted some kind of closure. I arranged to speak with her.

When we got the opportunity to do so. All those frustrated feelings I had about her? Vanished. I don't know how but they did.

We talked and we come to the conclusion that because of how we were introduced and how things went, it made the situation extremely uncomfortable. How could we find out if we were compatible if we never got the opportunity to work things out?

We agreed to leave the whole marriage thing on the back burner and leave it til after University.

Yeah right . . like that was going to happen!

The Second Strike - No Chemistry
Overcoming the 'awkwardness' was very difficult. Things always felt awkward around her. We could never talk like we did. But we tried. Whenever I would see her, I would start to act a little weird and I would become this really reserved character. She would do the same. From this outspoken character to a quiet blushing boy. It was funny, the 2 brothers that knew would tease me with that ever so annoying "awwww".

I had a lot of personal problems and questions I needed to overcome. Like whether a past relationship was really a problem for me? Seeing past certain issues that I cannot go into. I was really stuck. By default I talked to a lot of people. Portraying scenarios so that I may learn a thing or two. I had a lot of conflicting answers. I was on the fence.

Whenever we used to talk it always revolved around her problems. I was always more than happy to help to anyone in need and I helped her a lot. Whilst in this process I started to nitpick and find a lot of things I disliked in her how she did things. The lack of patience with matters and so on. Did I forget she was human? Did I also forget she was trying?

I was looking for reasons of why this shouldn't work. With that very clever dude helping you called Shaitaan, boy . . it's an easy game to play. I felt like I had no reason to pursue this.

We were both at a stage where we denied feelings for each other. I was doubting if she liked me.

The whole 'lack of chemistry' became overused.

We initially said to leave the situation after University. But we somehow went down that path of talking about compatibility. We felt chemistry was something that came naturally. We both used it as an excuse.

I wanted some kind of closure. I felt overwhelmed and under pressure for a number of reasons. She was also under a lot of pressure too. We really knew how to shoot each other and ourselves in the foot. Oh, say hello to the tippin point!

We left things for a while. I did a lot of thinking and I felt that I really didn't want to her workload/problems - If anything, I wanted to remove the one pressure that I could. Me. Despite all the things that had happened. I had a lot of feelings for this girl. I would never do anything to jeopardise or compromise a situation for her. I had to resort to the one entity where I knew I could seek guidance. Allah. I did istikhara. Here is the decision that: I Made.

I took up the plan. Alhamdulillah. I told Aisha about the confused feelings I had. Also how Husna appeared in my dream, How awkward! I told her my thoughts on how both of our istikhara's could have meant that we were not meant to be. I also told her I did not feel the way I used to. We were both good people but just not for each other. I also found her difficult to understand and there was no incentive to persevere.

She said she could not honestly find a fault within me. And I deserved far better. She also felt she wasted a lot of my time. Experience is never a waste Aisha. Never.

A weight was off my shoulders. The Husna Revisited episode had begun.

As I had just cleared up the Husna issue.

Aisha told me she had feelings for me.

That changed everything. Ev-er-ry-thing.

Part 2