Iqama Magazine Creative Writing Submission
This is a short story that is divided into several segments that will be shared in each edition of Iqama Magazine. Keep reading Iqama Magazine to see what Nairoun Abdul Aziz is up to next! or Click here to subscribe if you want our quarterly publication mailed to your door!
Assalamu Alaikum–Peace Be With You!
I’m Nairoun, but if you don’t know me yet, I can just give you a re-cap! “I’m Nairoun Abdul Aziz, a 14 year old girl born and raised in a small town called Millstone. I enjoy sightseeing, giving back to my community, all-things fashion, binge-watching on Netflix, and drinking unhealthy amounts of coffee.”
Some good news: My eldest sister Nura is married to our longtime neighbor, Yousef Ruiz, initially known as Jason Ruiz. Personally, I’ve known Jason for three things: he’s a competitive basketball player, he’s very open minded and accepting, and he’s always had an eye for my sister. Momma talks about how he’s always been a big part of our lives, ever since he was just a kid. The one thing that she, Baba, and his parents agree on is that you would always find him watching over Nura.
Whether it was while they were playing outside, or working hard on a project in school, Jason was always there for her. When the time to apply for colleges came around, he made sure to apply to every school that Nura did, and then “coincidentally” chose to attend the same one she chose. Eventually, their lives began to drift in different directions and they spent little to no time together (even though our families live next door to each other, but that’s tea for another day).
When they both graduated from university, they reconnected over coffee, and later that same day we learned that for the past year, Jason, who started going by Yousef, had been a practicing Muslim! How cool is that?! And we had no clue the entire time! (Ehem ehem, our houses are literally less than 10 feet away). Immediately after our family found out about this, Momma had to make sure that he knew he could come to us for any kind assistance or advice. Being the humble human that he is, his only request was to be able to speak and understand Arabic so that he could understand Islam better.
Once Nura heard about this, she was adamant about being the one to teach him, and he gracefully accepted the offer. After months of consistent lessons in our living room, Yousef was finally able to read and write in fus-ha Arabic! Not long after, Yousef found the courage to ask Nura for her hand in marriage in Arabic! (that’s some dedication). But, our beloved Nura wasn’t ready for the words she had heard. She was so focused on the fact that he was speaking in Arabic that she overlooked the meaning of his words and the message did not sink in. After a quiet pause and about four seconds of silence, she finally realized what had happened and gave out an awkward-nervous laugh. She said yes!
After THAT oh-so awkward moment, all I can remember is Momma and Baba coming out of their eavesdropping corner, yelling and jumping in excitement. I’ve only seen them this excited on one other occasion, and that was during a FIFA tournament – so don’t blame me when I say I don’t always understand them. Anyways, Yousef is blushing as Baba starts hugging him (and frankly strangling the poor guy), and Nura is giving off a contagious smiling, whilst attempting to get out of Momma’s grips on her cheeks.
All in all, it was a good night. I’ve yet to see Nura’s face light up more than it did on that day. Weeks later, the families met, the nikkah was officially over, and per the bride’s request, a simple outdoor wedding took place. Yousef knew the perfect place to host the wedding. He chose the nearest park, highlighting the place where Yousef first realized he loved Nura. (Cute stuff, right?)
Alhamdulillah, they have been happily married for a couple of months now, and they are so committed to each other that Yousef is teaching Nura Spanish! Funny how things happen.
Till next time!
Nairoun Abdul Aziz