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    story: Dreams do come true

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    Dreams do come true

    Dreams do come true, don’t they?

    Sabrina dreamt of a happy marriage and several kids almost all her adult life, but it didn’t seem forthcoming. Being from a traditional family, she didn’t date, so there wasn’t any other way for her dreams to come true except the traditional one. So she waited and waited and waited, patiently at times, and at times losing her patience.

    All I ever asked was for one husband and a few children, she said at times, although she didn’t ask for just any husband but one within a certain age range and looks and having a certain profession, etc. etc. At other times she wondered if there wasn’t a man for her on earth.

    She got many proposals, but they never seemed to go anywhere even with seemingly appropriate prospective husbands, and although she was very pretty and many people seemed interested in her, she never had the honor of getting engaged.

    So when she turned 36, she joined an online matrimonial site. Oh, she’d joined such sites several times, even paying money, but this time was different. This time she had a different intention. So when she spoke to a new prospective who seemed appropriate for her, she made the offer of a no-strings-attached marriage.

    “No strings attached marriage,” he asked. “What sort of marriage is that?”

    And she explained, “You can get out of the marriage if you aren’t happy with it but after I’ve had at least three children.”

    “So you’re only getting married to have children,” he said.

    “Not at all; please don’t take it that way,” she replied. “It’s just that it seems a lot of guys are afraid of making a commitment so I’m making it easy for you. You don’t have to worry about alimony or child support; I’ve plenty of money for that. But if you want to have connections with your children and provide support, I’m ok with that.”

    “The only thing I’m asking,” she added, “is that you don’t mention any of this to my parents.”

    “I see,” he said.

    And so, with that agreement, the two met in the company of her wali (guardian), and within a few months of getting to know each other and their families, the marriage made in heaven took place and the two were married.

    ***

    It was easy marrying Sabrina, thought Dr. Shoqat. If the marriage didn’t work out, it would be easy to end it, as long as they stayed married until they had three children. Although he didn’t have the intention of abandoning his children or not trying his hardest to make the marriage work, he didn’t think such a marriage would work. Whatever Sabrina told him, he was pretty sure she was only getting married to have children and had no interest in the actual marriage. But he decided to go ahead with it. So far he’d had it with all the disappointments and nearly three years of being a member of onestopmatrimonial.com; he didn’t even want to remember all the shallow people he’d met so far who were only after money. At least this one was different.
    So, with a no-strings-attached agreement, he and Sabrina were married.

    Their honey moon went better than he had imagined, but Dr. Shoqat was waiting for a bomb to blow off anytime. Someone who was only after having a few children couldn’t possibly make the marriage work. Still, several months after their wedding, everything seemed to be working quite well.

    ***

    Sabrina had the fear that Dr. Shoqat only married her because it was a no-strings-attached offer and that he would try to make an easy getaway anytime soon, especially since he was a year younger than her. She had the feeling he wouldn’t want to live his life with someone as old as her, although there was none to blame other than her. After all, it was her who made the initial no-strings-attached suggestion. But what was she to do. At 36, her life was passing her. She’d always wanted to live life to the fullest, but that hadn’t happened. So she had resorted to such methods. And now she was afraid that anytime Dr. Shoqat would declare that he wasn’t happy with the marriage and wanted a way out.

    The trouble was she was starting to fall in love with him. He had everything she had ever wanted in a guy and he was seemingly the most sincere and loving husband in the world. However, that couldn’t possibly really be true, since he’d only gone ahead with the marriage because of her no-strings- attached condition, hadn’t he? She asked herself.

    And so, day in and day out, Sabrina moved about as if she were walking on broken glass.

    ***

    Even after nearly three years of marriage, Dr. Shoqat was still waiting for the time when Sabrina would announce that she was no longer interested in their relationship. The fact that she hadn’t done so already surprised him. She was now 7 months pregnant with their second child and he assumed that the only reason for her to be still in the relationship was her waiting to have the kids. He wondered whether she would wait until she had three children before she ended their relationship or whether sometime before that she’d be fed up with it. Still, he couldn’t believe such a seemingly sincere woman could be so deceptive. After all, the only reason she was playing the amazingly loving wife part was because she wanted to keep the marriage going until she had a few children, wasn’t it?

    ***

    One day, and near the time for them to have their second child, his cousin made the comment that made Dr.Shoqat relook at their marriage.

    “You’re the luckiest guy in the world,” Shoqat. “I haven’t seen a marriage where a couple hasn’t had an argument in over two years. It’s almost as if you both are treating this marriage as something fragile that might break any time.”

    Well, it was true that he was acting as such, but was it true that Sabrina was too? Did she take their marriage as seriously as he did? Feeling the need to know whether their marriage was real or not, he decided to inquire about that.

    ***

    “You know how we decided to have a no-strings-attached marriage,” he started to say that night.
    She stared at him with the strangest look on her face. “Really, Shoqat, I’m 8 months pregnant. Can’t you wait until I have the child? This isn’t really a good time to discuss this,” Sabrina said.

    Looking at her, he decided that she was right. He didn’t want her to be burdened with the thought of a long-term commitment at this time if that wasn’t what she wanted. And from the look on her face, he assumed that was it. So he left, with the excuse that he needed to help his mother with rearrangement of their new house. But he wanted to think. What kind of a marriage was this? He was only wasting precious time. He needed answers but now wasn’t the time to get them from Sabrina.

    ***

    Sabrina was positive that Shoqat wanted to make the announcement that he was no longer interested in the marriage. She cried her eyes out after he left. The way he’d left the house that night only proved she was right; he didn’t seem happy with the marriage. The next few days went by with them barely speaking to each other. It seemed that the end of their marriage was near.

    Finally, in her final weeks of pregnancy, she decided that it would be a good idea for her to go to her parents’ house for a while. The way they were living together lately, barely talking to each other, had started to get to her and was making her get irritated. It was as if they couldn’t bear each other’s company. And although she was perfectly happy with having him around, she was sure he didn’t want her around. He seemed to be carrying a load on his head all the time. So, deciding that it would be the right thing to do before either lost their temper and did permanent damage to their relationship, she told Shoqat to take her and their son to her parents’ house.

    “It’s my final month and I need them to take care of me,” she said. “The housework is a burden on me. And taking care of Rahmat has become a chore.”

    “I can understand,” Dr. Shoqat said in a cool manner. “I’ll drive you there tomorrow.”

    So the next day, they drove quietly to her parents’ house. Sabrina worried that her husband was happy she would be out of the house. She wondered if after their second child’s birth, would he end the marriage? She wanted to cry. Who would have thought that a no-strings- attached marriage could become such a heart-break. She wished he hadn’t been such an angel in their three year marriage. And so, she couldn’t help herself. She started to cry.

    He stopped the car at once. “What is the matter? Are you alright?” he said.

    “This marriage has become a burden the way it is, Shoqat. We need to talk about this but I know now isn’t the time. It is just getting to me, I , I,” and she cried softly in her hands, not being able to finish the sentence. She didn’t even know what she wanted to say or how to say it.


    He patted her shoulder. “I have been thinking the same thing. We will talk about it afterward. God-willing, we will work something out,” he said, trying hard to make her feel better. He didn’t want her stressed in her final days of pregnancy.

    And then he continued to drive.

    ***

    After dropping her off at her parents’, Dr. Shoqat went for a drive to the edge of the nearby forest. There, he placed his head in his hands and wondered how things had gotten so complicated? How could a no-strings- attached marriage become so difficult? He was sure Sabrina wanted to end the marriage but he wished she would give it some more time. That she’d at least agree to wait until they had another child. After all, she’d said she wanted three kids, and they were only about to have their second. Maybe she’d reconsider once she had the baby. Maybe her strange behaviour had something to do with the pregnancy. He knew women became emotional at such times. Maybe she’d change her mind afterward. But he wondered if that was a good thing to do? Was it better to end the marriage now while he was still young? At 38, he still had a chance to find a good, young wife, but once his age went over 40, he imagined things might be more difficult. He imagined women might not be as interested in middle age men. And did people want to even marry divorcees? Especially ones with a few children tailing behind? He loved his kids and wanted them to be a part of his life. He felt that parting with them would be unbearable.

    ***

    Sabrina went to her room in her parents’ house to think things through. Since the no-strings-attached agreement had been a secret, she couldn’t discuss the matter with her mother. She wished she could tell her and get her opinion, but she knew her mother’s temper would blow off if she told her about it. Her parents would never have agreed to let her get married with such an agreement.

    And being an only child, she didn’t have any siblings either to turn to at times like these. So she was in this alone. Looking out the window she stared into the horizon. Considering the quiet and cool manner of Dr. Shoqat lately, she realized he wanted out. Husbands don’t behave that way unless they are fed up with the marriage. She wondered if he might settle for a brief separation. After all, according to the agreement, they were supposed to be together until they had their third child. After that, if either wanted, they could end the marriage. So she decided to tell him that when he came back. It might help relieve some of the tension he was seemingly under.

    ***

    “Shoqat, I think a brief separation will be a good idea. A few weeks, or a month. It’ll help us clear our heads and think,” she blurted out when he came back.

    He stared at her a while, obviously thinking. Then said, “I guess that will do. Anyway, I can’t stay in your parents’ home for long. This might be an appropriate time for this.” He let out an exasperated sigh.
    Sabrina nodded her agreement, trying not to let his reaction shake her. Was he in such a hurry to end the marriage that he didn’t want to give it any more thought, she wondered. Keeping her thoughts to herself, she said, “I think we should separate until after the birth of the child. Maybe until a month or so after the delivery.”

    “Alright,” he said. “I’ll stay here over the weekend. Afterward we will separate. I’ll go back home after the weekend. That’ll keep your parents from becoming suspicious.”

    She accepted, and after two days, her husband was gone.

    ***

    Shoqat was mad as hell. He tried not to let Sabrina’s behaviour get to him but he felt used. Had she really only married him to have some children? If so, why hadn’t she told him from the start? He remembered her telling him she wasn’t just getting married for children, but the way she kicked him out of her parents’ house showed him just that.

    He kept telling himself it was nothing. That it was only pregnancy stress, the burden of housework, and taking care of their two-year-old son, etc but he had a hard time believing it. He wished he could do something to change things but he knew that was impossible. He wondered if their separation would extend for months or if she would return home. Whether she would stay with him until she had another child or would she end the marriage right then? Whether they would live together anymore or would they live separately. It seemed Sabrina was no longer happy to have him around.

    He tried to keep his calm and not show any anger toward her but that wasn’t an easy task since most of the time he was fuming. His feelings toward her had become hostile and he didn’t want to talk to her.

    ***

    Sabrina was shocked at her husband’s behaviour. It was true that they had separated but it seemed they were drifting apart more and more. Occasionally he called her to ask how she was and sometimes she called him to let him know but that was it. They didn’t talk like husband and wife and he didn’t seem to miss her at all. It proved that she was right and this was the end of her marriage.

    Her mother inquired why he didn’t visit but she told her he was busy with specialization study and it was better this way as she had become tired with the marital life anyway.

    To her relief, her mother didn’t ask any more questions.

    Three weeks later, she went into labor. She called her husband to let him know and he came to see her at the hospital. A few hours later, their daughter, Barakah, was born.

    Two days later, she was back at her parents’ house. Her husband would stay with her for a few days and then go back. And although Shoqat was happy about the birth of their daughter, his behaviour was intensely cool toward Sabrina and he didn’t seem to have missed her at all. That night, her mother commented, “Sabrina, I think there is something you aren’t telling me. Is everything alright with your husband?”

    “Of course,” she lied.

    “I think not. It seems you two are not speaking. You act strange around each other.”
    Sabrina thought of what to tell her. Lying wouldn’t help. So she said, “There is something we need to settle, and I can’t talk about it until after we have done so. It may be nothing. It may simply have been stress due to the pregnancy, but I need to see what it is. God-willing, when I return home, things might become normal by itself and it might turn out there was nothing at all.”

    Luckily, her mother didn’t press her for details.

    ***

    A month after the birth of their daughter, her husband took her back home. He insisted she come back and she agreed that it was a good idea. It would keep her family from becoming suspicious and they could work things out back home. Not to mention that she missed him and was glad to be living with him again. She hoped that he had reconsidered his feelings and didn’t plan to break the marriage. So, although he was still acting cool toward her, the fact that he wanted her back home made her happy and she saw it as a good sign.

    ***

    Shoqat had thought everything through in the past two months and had reached the conclusion that this no-strings-attached marriage wasn’t for him. He decided to try and convince her. Make her see that a commitment was the right thing for them. They were perfect together. Why did they have to end their beautiful life together?

    So when they got back home, he decided to get right to the matter.

    “Look Sabrina, about our no-strings-attached marriage,” he started, not knowing how to proceed. He wanted to make his intentions clear to her but he didn’t want to overburden her nor break their agreement. “I am not happy with this arrangement anymore and we need to discuss what to do about it,” he finally said.

    She stared at him. “We had an agreement, Shoqat” she yelled all of a sudden. “And I just had a baby. I’m not out of the post-partum yet and you want to discuss these life-altering things.” Then she started to cry. “This is too much for me. Is this why you brought me back?” She wailed.

    He stood there stunned by her reaction. “Look, I really don’t want to upset you, Sabrina, but we need to rethink this issue. I think we are making a huge mistake.”

    Her sobs started getting louder. “Look, just leave me alone for a while, Shoqat. I need to think. Please.”

    He knew he wasn’t going to get anywhere like this and he hated to have made her upset. It was a sensitive time for her. So he left her alone, and went out to the backyard to think. What could he possibly do? Should they see a counsellor? He didn’t think that would help because they had an agreement. He doubted that a counsellor could make her change her mind. Still he didn’t understand why she was so opposed to a lifelong marriage. He wondered if anytime she would reveal her desire for a permanent separation.

    ***

    Sabrina cried softly, staring at her two children, her daughter lying asleep in her cradle and her son now standing by her knees, watching her quietly. Rahmat was now two years old and Barakah just a month old. Her heart ached for them even more than for herself. What had she been thinking when she agreed to such a ridiculous arrangement? How could she possibly raise her children alone? She had thought that with her stable job as a librarian and the inheritance from her family, she would be able to provide all that the children needed but she had never considered that there was more than just money that a father provided. A father’s love and companionship was even more important for the children to grow up healthy. And now, she didn’t want her children to be fatherless, and even if he came to visit them from time to time, they would still be without a father much of the time. “O my God,” she said, hugging her son close. She couldn’t believe that she was going to become the cause of her children’s misery; that because of her shallow wishes and short-term goals, they would be like orphans. Not to mention that she would lose her husband whom she had come to love so much. And holding her son close, stroking his hair, she continued to cry.

    Just then Shoqat entered the room. “Why in hell are you crying?” he said, his voice filled with both anger and intolerance.

    She looked up at him. Not giving her a chance to answer, he continued his speech. “Look, we had an agreement and while I’m not happy with it anymore, I’m not going against it. We promised to stay together at least until we had three children, and really, Sabrina, if you’re overburdened by this marriage then it is really your own fault. I don’t know why you can’t stick it at least until then? Why are you so opposed to marriage anyway? We don’t seem to have any problems.”

    “What are you talking about?” She asked. The world seemed to twirl about her and she wondered who had lost their mind. Shoqat didn’t seem to be making any sense. “I thought you wanted to end the marriage right now,” she finally inquired.

    “Who said I wanted to end the marriage?” he asked, staring at her as if she had gone mad.

    “You keep saying you aren’t happy with this arrangement.”

    “I’m not. I want a permanent marriage, a commitment.” He said. “I am not happy with a short-term no-strings-attached marriage that will end with the birth of some children. We are so good together, Sabrina. Why can’t you accept a commitment?”

    She stared at him, unable to believe what she was hearing. “Where did you get the idea that I wanted to end the marriage when we had the children. I said I wanted at least until that long, not that I was going to end the marriage when we had three children.” She finally said. “Shoqat, really, I love you more than anything in this world. I want us to live together, but you seemed unhappy so I thought you wanted out. I thought you only married me because you had the chance of leaving and now that was what you wanted.”

    He couldn’t help laughing. “This is all a huge misunderstanding, Sabrina. I love you and the kids and want to be with you forever. I was afraid you didn’t want a commitment and had become tired of the married life.”

    She started to laugh as well. Her face was still tear-stained and she knew she must look silly, but she couldn’t help it. Getting up, she ran into her husband’s arms. They hugged, happy the misunderstanding was finished and they could be together forever, one happy family. Then they gathered their beautiful children into their arms and hugged them, glad that the gloom was finally over.

    *** THE END ***

    Moral: don’t base you decisions on what you think someone is thinking or wants but on what they say they want. Talk through all your thoughts and feelings and work them together in order to keep from getting unnecessary heart ache. Say what you want clearly and not using statements that can be misunderstood or have double meanings. Finally, this story is a work of fiction and in no way endorses temporary or no-strings-attached marriages, which may not work out as it did in the story.

    Completed Oct. 11, 2011

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  3. #2
    Innocent Soul's Avatar
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    Re: story: Dreams do come true

    Nice story!

    Mashallah you have great talent!
    story: Dreams do come true


  4. #3
    Marina-Aisha's Avatar
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    Re: story: Dreams do come true

    oh my! thats soo amazing story

  5. #4
    Haya emaan's Avatar
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    Re: story: Dreams do come true

    the moral of the story was outstanding.. i read some where that distance between the relations increases when you start answering the questions arising in your mind about the other your self..
    story: Dreams do come true

    HIJAB IS MY PRIDE

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    Re: story: Dreams do come true

    I gave a like to the story for the clever way it's written. But was too tired to critique it last night. So here goes.. There are a few things in the story that concerned me because even when writing fiction we must be careful not to include anything which goes against Islamic teachings.

    As follows:

    1. Sabrina joining the matrimonial site and discussing marriage with ghair mahrams. This could be taken as permissible and lead to fitnah. The story should include the correct etiquette of seeking a spouse so that to educate people.

    2. There's no concept of a no-strings-attached marriage in Islam and could come across as a temporary marriage (Mut'ah) which is haram. Also one doesn't marry with these kinds of preconceived ideas of of how many offspring they will have. That suggests that they have knowledge of the future. Therefore in reality this condition would be in conflict with the decree of Allah as only He decides the creation of offspring.

    3. Lastly, the right to divorce belongs to the man. In some cases divorce becomes a must. For instance if a woman (despite being given naseeha to) remains religiously/morally corrupt, the man is obliged to divorce her. Therefore such conditions are unreasonable as they are preventing one fulfilling his religious obligations.


    You write good masha Allah. So my sincere advice is to rewrite those parts in accordance with Islamic beliefs. : )
    | Likes Innocent Soul liked this post

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    ~ Sabr ~'s Avatar
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    Re: story: Dreams do come true

    Nice story mashaAllaah.
    story: Dreams do come true

    “Indeed the patient will be given their reward without account.” :love:
    { Qur’aan, Chapter 39, Verse 10 }

  9. #7
    Muhaba's Avatar
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    Re: story: Dreams do come true

    Thank you!


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