بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
I’m happy I met Halima today, AlHamduliLlah. We’re connected: my name’s Sadia, and Halima Sadia had been Muhammad ﷺ’s foster mother’s name. Muhammad ﷺ who had been nurtured by her, and then his mother had passed when he had still been rather young.
At age 25, Muhammad ﷺ married his first wife, Khadijah (RA), who is thought to have been 40 at the time. A woman of business, and the woman who had nourished him with her love.
Today was the day of Jade’s pre-wedding party: a party for only women, her Mendhi/sort of a bridal shower.
Today, I: had my makeup done by my friend Elma, AlHamduliLlah. Clinique foundation (a good, expensive brand!) from my best friend Tasnim. It fit my skin tone! AlHamduliLlah.
Elma and I had a breakfast of croissants [she is from France,] and (decaf) coffee and strawberries. And some dark chocolate. And she did my makeup.
This day didn’t go as I’d ‘expected’ it to go, but often the beauty is right there: in the ‘unexpected’. God’s Plan, remember [not the Drake song.]
My ‘plan’ had been: to purchase my dress for this party… yesterday. I’d assumed that Cambridge has a Monsoon (shop, sort of British-Asian-style clothing, I’d say,) but it turns out it doesn’t.
I’d only brought one set of anything like ‘occasionwear’ with me to Cambridge. So that is what I’d worn. I’d washed it today; I’d worn it today. As per my beloved friend Iqra’s advice: wash it, then ‘spin and dry’ in the washing machine. I did this more than once. And then iron it.
Walked to Cambridge Station, where I had to get a Rail Replacement bus. AlHamduliLlah, the journey was peaceful. ‘Subtly’ scenic, as England can often be.
Rail Replacement to a station called Royston. Purchased something from the in-station newsagent’s, and think I’d been quite ripped off. They’d literally charged more than the ‘RRP’ on the packaging. Now: to say something, or not? Anyway.
Royston to Farringdon. Farringdon to Ilford Station, and then I’d walked to my friend Jade’s new family home. AlHamduliLlah.
I have functioning limbs, to walk. And a brain, to think and type. AlHamduliLlah. Enough money for these things. AlHamduliLlah. This sense of independence. Gifts from Allah. What are some of yours?
Gilmore Girls vibes. When Rory takes a coach to go and see Jess or something. I think I used to try to live my life kind of ‘vicariously’, before. Series and social media. The dawn of Islam activated ‘real life’ for me, in my case.
A very cute, lovely gathering. Good for the heart and soul, being with certain people. Warm souls, good and bright hearts, coming together. And a relatively ‘intimate’ event, which I also love.
*Fink one of our discussions got a wee bit ‘political’. About the Royal Family, don’t know how some of us got there. I was defending Megan Markle; some people think the Royal Family are in the right. Tried to just avoid saying anything ‘controversial’: let’s focus on what we can agree on! #peace and harmony.
Oh, yes, that’s how we got to that topic of conversation: recipe books. Someone mentioned recipe books, and I said the two recipe books I’d want to maybe get are… Nadiya Jamir Hussain’s one (she’s from Great British Bake Off, and we love her! She’s very loveable, Maa Shaa Allah) and… the one that Megan Markle had the idea for, a community one made with the women at a London masjid after the Grenfell catastrophe.
*The masjid is a place of such importance. One of Jade’s friends, for example, works in the City, and also studies Business. She enjoys playing tennis. And what do she and Jade have in common? The masjid. And Islam, which is our life (more than our life), AlHamduliLlah.
I think this is the first Pakistani wedding event I’ve attended. I do feel comfortable with Pakistani women, AlHamduliLlah. My three female classmates at CMC are Pakistani; I’m Bengali. Our ‘cultures’ are at once very similar, and there are also some differences.
Who knows? Maybe I’ll pick up lots of Urdu from them, over time!
[Maybe I should learn my own languages: Bengali and Arabic, better first…]
What was very sweet about yesterday: was that we met some of Jade’s mother-in-law’s friends, neighbours, family members, Maa Shaa Allah.
Jade’s Ammi is so very kind and lovely, Maa Shaa Allah: she referred to me as her niece. And I felt so… at home.
“I can’t let my niece go home without eating!”
“This is my niece!”
It’s very nice when people treat you ‘special’. For no ‘superficial’ or ‘outward-facing’ reason. Only… pure love!
Theirs is a beautiful home, Maa Shaa Allah, with Islamic books lining their shelves. This is similar to at James and Nurjahan’s home: Islamic books. The Noble Qur’an.
Arabic dictionary. Book on Islamic Finance. Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad’s book, ‘Travelling Home: Essays on Islam in Europe’.
Jadey’s father-in-law is a dentist: a Pakistani dentist, like my friend Iqra.
Yet, for Muslims: Islam is always our foremost identity. I love Jade’s new home, and her family. May God bless them and keep them happy and safe.
Khala (Bengali and Urdu for ‘maternal aunt’. Also: خالة, Khaala, in Arabic!) is what I call Jade’s mother-in-law, her Ammi.
Since I had to leave earlier than everyone else, Khala served me specially: I felt so special, and kept saying thank you [I am that person: thank you, thank you, thank you. And sometimes: sorry, sorry! Sorry…] Some of Jade’s lovely friends and family kept me company at the table, while I ate.
One of Khala’s lovely friends, who is also Bengali (like me!) presented me with two whole trays of beautiful-looking desserts, to choose what I would like!
One of their friends had made all these desserts for them.
The ladies sat in a circle, played a duff drum that said ‘حب / Love’ on it. And they sang.
There were games too. Like one where you had to scoop cotton balls into a bowl, with a spoon… while blindfolded!
There was also ‘Who Knows the Bride Best’.
Jade is a real-life princess, Maa Shaa Allah.
The people in our lives are real, real blessings from Allah. AlHamduliLlah.
Why fear about your future? Remember Who is in charge <3.
*Before the Mendhi, yesterday: I stopped at a ‘Sam 99p’ store. Got: a gift bag, to put Jade’s gifts from Turkey in. And a drink for myself, which I had outside their house. Because I didn’t want to go in looking like a dehydrated sponge, you know. I’m glad nobody opened the windows or the door prematurely: I had my all-natural peach-ginger-chai sparkling drink in relative peace. Featuring a small spillage, but thankfully I had wipes. The human being: she is not ‘low-maintenance’.
Jade, Halima, and Jade’s Pakistani family inspire me with their Islam and their beauty. And I reunited with my friend Naseera [Naseera thought I’m extroverted. Me?! No. ‘Social introvert’: I’m ‘social’, and I’m often thinking a lot about it. In my head. And then I become spent as a result of it.]
It was a bit late to return to Cambridge that night by train. My dad offered to take me back the next morning. So I went from Ilford to Whitechapel, Whitechapel to Wapping (London home).
Found my cousin Isa at my house, playing on the PS5 with my brother. What’s new-ish with them? They’re into Prime drinks (KSI and Logan Paul’s brand of sports drinks).
Anyway, I hope my future, whenever it happens, by God’s Will, mother- and father-in-law are just like a real mother and father to me. May they love me as their own, Āmeen, and may I love them as mine.
Jade’s Ammi is my beloved aunt. Some bonds and ties are more from and of and concerning the heart: than blood. AlHamduliLlah ❤.
*Title of this article: quote. ‘See You Again’, from the Fast and Furious franchise.
“We’ve come a long way, //
From where we began.
And I’ll tell you all about it, //
When I see you again.”