Alia: You wanted to see me?
Abi: Yes. Come, sit with me for a moment.
Alia: What’s up?
Abi: What Ali’s dad said, made me think. Allah, how time flies! I could’ve sworn that you’re still a 5-year-old girl. I can’t believe that you’re getting married soon.
Alia: Abi, whether I’m 5 or 20 years old, I will always be your little girl.
Abi: (Smiles) I guess so. But Insha Allah, next month you’ll be Ali’s wife. That means that he will be your No. 1 man, not me. Not anymore. Do you understand?
Alia: Abi, why do you talk like that? You’re making me sad.
Abi: Lia…do you understand?
Alia: Yes, Abi. I do. But know this…you will always be my first love.
Abi cries and embraces his daughter.
Abi: I love you so much.
A month has passed. Both families are in the Masjid for the ‘aqad ceremony.
Ali: Oi, take a look at my sampin. Is it crooked?
Ahmad: You look fine. How many times do you need to ask me that?
Ali: Bro, I’m nervous! Look at all these people. I didn’t realize we have such big families man!
Ahmad: You think too much. Stop being a baby and man up!
Ali: Whoa, that’s a low blow man. Low blow. Wait till you get married and we’ll see how you’ll react!
Ahmad just smiles.
Abi: Imam, I know it’s the norm that the wali gives his waliship authority to the Imam to marry off the woman. But for my daughter, I would like to do it myself. Could you be the witness?
Imam: That’s fine, not a problem. That is your right. Did the bride put forth any conditions for the groom?
Imam: And the groom agreed?
Ali: Yes, I have agreed to them all. All the details are in this marriage contract.
Imam: Could I have a look at the contract please? Sometimes people set conditions which are nonsensical, not to mention going against the Sharia.
Ali: No problem. It’s better that you check, just to make sure everything’s fine.
Imam reads the contract carefully.
Imam: Hmm…I don’t see any problems. Alhamdulillah, we can proceed to the ‘ijab and qabul.
Ali is ready.
Abi: I marry off my daughter, Alia binti Ibrahim, to you, Ali bin Abdullah, for the mahr of RM2,000.
Ali: I accept.
Abi: Alhamdulillah. Welcome to the family, son.
Abi embraces Ali.
Ali: Thank you…Abi.
Walimah commences. The atmosphere is cheerful with the beating of the duff and the singing of nasheeds. Friends and relatives, from near and afar, come to celebrate the union of two families. The rich, the poor, the orphans, the ‘alim, and people from various walks of life come together. The sun is out and the wind is whistling gently. Two huge tents are seen, one for the gentlemen and the other for the ladies.
At the gents’ side…
Ahmad: Bro! You’re married now!
Ali: Alhamdulillah, I can’t believe how lucky I am. I’m married and my best friend is my brother-in-law.
Ahmad: On that note, you better watch out. If Alia is unhappy…well, let’s just say that you don’t wanna know the end of that sentence.
Ali: Whoa, relax bro! Don’t get all big brother on me now.
Dad: Ali, where did Mom put all the bunga telur? This basket is empty and needs refilling.
Ali: In the house, beside the telephone. Dad, you wait here. Lemme go get them.
Dad: No, young man. You stay put and greet the guests. Plus, your friends would wanna see you. I’ll go get the bunga telur.
Bakar: Assalamualaikum! Ali my brother, barakallah!
Ali: Waalaikumussalam warahmatullah. Thanks bro! Make du’a for us.
Bakar: You know I will. Ahmad, assalamualaikum!
Ahmad: Waalaikumussalam warahmatullah!
Bakar: Ahmad, Samad is looking for you.
Ahmad: Yeah? Where is he?
Bakar: There, chillin’ with Amin, Hakim, and Bakri.
Ahmad: Oi Ali, let’s go say hi!
Ali: One step ahead of you. O wait, where’s my phone?
Ahmad: Here. You told me to hold it for you remember?
Ali: Ops, I forgot. Gimme that.
At the ladies’ side…
Alia: Anis? Is that you?
Alia: Waalaikumussalam warahmatullah! Hey, when did you get back? I thought you’re still in university.
Anis: I took a few days off. I couldn’t miss my friend’s walimah now could I? Guess what, I brought the gang along.
Alia: Ya Rabb! Nur, Laila, Aishah! You came! I was worried that you wouldn’t come. I texted you guys but you didn’t reply.
Aishah: Mabruk Lia! Of course we’re gonna come. You gotta fulfill an invitation, especially an invitation to ma gurl’s walimah!
Nur: Congrats! We didn’t reply to your messages ‘cause we want to make a surprise.
Alia: Well, good job. I’m surprised.
Laila: Say, where are the plates? I’m starvin’.
Alia: Oh my, sorry! You’re my special guests, get inside the house and help yourself. Ummi is in there. Go on!
Nur, Laila, and Aishah walk into the house.
Alia: Anis? What are you waiting for?
Anis: Umm Lia… where’s Ahmad?
Alia: Over there, with Ali.
Anis: Oh…okay. So, that’s your husband?
Alia’s phone rings. Ali sends a text…
Ali: Feel like a poet today.
Alia: How come?
Ali: I looked at you today and a poem was written in my head. Subhanallah, out of nowhere!
Alia smiles. She looks at her husband from the corner of her eyes. Ali catches her gaze and they lock eyes for a brief moment.
Alia: So, where’s the poem?
Ali: Seriously? You don’t expect me to text you the poem do you? How “romantic”!
Alia: Well, you’re busy with the guests. So am I. I think via SMS is okay, at least for now.
Ali: Okay, you ready?
Alia: Think you’re like Shakespeare huh? LOL!
Alia: I kid, I kid. The stage is yours!
Alia awaits the SMS from her husband…
My love for you is not of this earth, but of the Heavens,
Yet I know it’s not possible, because Heaven is greater,
And the greatest of all Heavens, is the one with you in it,
For Heaven will not feel heavenly without you, my love.
Suddenly Alia is struck by something. She sits down. Beads of tears slowly fall from her eyes, reaching the corner of her lips, carving a smile.
Anis: Alia? What’s wrong?
Alia: It feels…different.
Anis: What is it?
Alia: (Rubs chest) This love. A love that is blessed, it really feels different.
Anis glances at Ahmad, over at the other side…
Lovely SMS, by Aiman Azlan