While winding down university education, dad kept echoing to my subconscious that I should consider no “masquerade” for a wife. Subhaanallaah! How on earth would a human born of a woman find bliss in a masquerade? That’s the extent to which our sisters were extremely despised by dad. His unprintable description of them still rings on in my memory.

Mum was on the same page with him despite being a Muslim. She wasn’t as tough as dad, but didn’t want a jilbabi for a daughter-in-law. Mum would say: “I don’t mind you practising your religion as desired. What I will never take are: growing the beard and having a masquerade for a wife”. Masquerade yìí náà ni.

With mum, I could express my mind and admonish accordingly even though it always fell into deaf ears. But with dad, I dare not air an opinion. What could I even say before someone who seemed to be eclectic. Dad would analyze Islam as though the revelation was done to his knowledge. He would analyze how it’s unIslamic to disobey one’s parents without recourse to the accompanying proviso. Proving him wrong would mean arguing with him, and that might not augur well for the goal I was tenacious to achieve.

The imams and alfas around (except a sizeable few) didn’t help matters at all. They would preach against the use of a lengthy hijab and same would be replicated by their wives. Dad and mum alike would reference the charlatans claiming that after all, they were more knowledgeable than I was. So how would such persons be convinced by a boy like me?

Dad saw that I was resolute to carry out my desire. He got that from my body language. So he blew hotter and hurtful on a fateful day. “If you bring in a masquerade here, I will disgrace you both in public,” he said. Dad was a man of his word. I knew he could do it not minding whose ox was gored,
except Allah willed otherwise.

I was largely confused not knowing what way to go. The matter was tabled in a conference discussion with like-minds, and knowing dad to an extent as a firm person, majority advised that I diplomatically do his wish after which I make out of my wife what I originally wanted. How possible? How easy? I was asked to pray over it for divine guidance. Hmm!

My parents didn’t mind a lady with a skimpy hijab though. But they would never accept an all-covering woman whom I resolutely desired. They never knew I was beyond the level they preferred for me.

I was at crossroads…???


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