Alisha Earns Her Veil
© “Michelle” 2005
Chapter 3 – The Veil of Decency
Rana locks up and drives Alisha to the Khan family’s house. Fortunately her friend Yolanda has been looking for a new place to live so she has agreed to take over the flat at the end of the month.
“What does Yolanda do ?”
“Same sort of thing as me. We met on my course. She works at that big travel agent on the high street.”
“So she gets to travel a lot then ?”
“Some hope. That’s for the boss. She just answers the phones and takes the bookings.”
“I see. Perhaps in a while then.”
“So how does it feel to be leaving the flat ?”
“Fantastic.” Alisha replies enthusiastically, “Until recently I’d hated almost ever minute I was there. It was a constant nightmare paying bills, cooking, shopping and working.”
“Isn’t that what you’ll be doing when you get married ?”
“Well yes. But hopefully Javed’s bank account won’t produce rubber cheques.”
“They bounce. Get rejected because there’s no funds in the account.”
“I see. So why didn’t you go back and live with your parents ? Your mother seems a delightful woman and I know she wanted you to come home.”
“I thought I wanted to be on my own.”
“And did you ?”
“Not really. But it took you to show me how much a mother means to a daughter.”
“Glad to be of service. I assume you didn’t hate last night though ?”
“Uh … no. That was certainly the highlight of my time there. Or anywhere in fact !”
“Oh I’m sure there’s lots more to come where you are going. But just remember the first one is on your wedding night and not before.”
“Why do you sometimes call me ma’am ?”
“It’s what we called the teachers at school. Don’t worry, it’s a sign of respect.”
“Oh thanks. But I thought they were nuns ?”
“No. We called the nuns ‘sister’.”
“Oh. That’s what you’ll be calling me soon.”
“I’d much prefer mother. Or mum even.”
“That’s a bit familiar. Won’t your real mother mind ?”
“I don’t think so. I’d better check though.”
“I’ll leave it up to you then.”
“So you don’t mind ?”
“Of course not. I’ve always wanted a daughter in the house and I couldn’t ask for a better one than you.”
“Oh … thanks.” Only the burqa prevents Rana seeing Alisha blush.
They arrive at Rana’s house where, despite the burqa, she checks Javed has finished moving before letting Alisha out of the car.
“I thought he had to take me to the mosque anyway.” she remarks.
“He does. But not dressed like that my girl.”
“What’s wrong with this ? Surely it meets all the rules of modesty.”
“Only if it’s clean my dear ! With you wearing that there’s a definite possibility you’ll both be all over each other within minutes.”
“You’re not going to let us forget that, are you ?”
“Eventually. But certainly not before you’ve even been to the mosque once to make up for it. You’ll have to wear a chador I think.”
Alisha still doesn’t like these shapeless shrouds, especially the ones that Rana orders in from somewhere as these have no armholes and really do cover all her head and face in an almost uncontrollable swathe of material. Compared with these the oft-criticised burqas appear sensibly designed as they at least generally stay where they are supposed to even if they tend to give you a headache if they are too tight.
And she especially doesn’t like it when Rana’s solution to giving her the worst of both options is to simply throw the chador over her burqa. With her gloved hands somewhat constrained under the burqa it becomes really difficult to keep the chador in anything like the correct place on her head as it constantly shifts position and blocks off her sight completely. She fumbles about with one arm outstretched trying to find her bearings in the unfamiliar house until Rana takes her arm and guides her down the stairs.
They head next door and Javed and Hussain drive both families to the mosque where they again meet up and head for the separate male and female prayer rooms. They wash and the others pull on their prayer robes, Alisha being more than adequately covered already of course. Before long all are in the prostrate position in which Alisha has found she really is at peace and harmony with the world.
Though unable to see anything, Alisha is less than convinced the world is in harmony with her as she fumbles once more to adjust the chador to be able to see out.
‘She did this deliberately, didn’t she ?’
‘Of course she did.’
‘I read there are some Muslimah who don’t think you can make Salat with your face still covered.’
‘But obviously Rana isn’t one of them !’
‘Just as well I’m not either or this would be one big waste of time.’
‘Mind you I made her do it to me with the gold burqa.’
‘She obviously doesn’t want me seeing my fiancé if it can be avoided.’
‘And Javed will have noticed I can’t see anything, won’t he ?’
‘Oh dear. If he has it could be a bit embarrassing for him in the other room.’
‘But that’s his problem.’
A quiet giggle from Alisha raises a hissing response from Rana to be quiet and to get on with her prayers.
After just under an hour, Rana whispers to Alisha.
“Karima, Nasreen and I are leaving now with Hussain.”
If it wasn’t for her coverings, Alisha would look shocked at hearing this. Instead she just sounds shocked.
“So how do I get home ?”
“Javed will take you back ?”
“But he can’t come in here.”
“And I can’t go into his area, can I ?”
“So … ?”
“So the man outside will tell me which of you appeared first. And if you don’t appear last, as I’m sure you will do, he will go and fetch Javed.”
“So it’s a test ?”
“Something like that ?”
“Javed knows not to leave without me, doesn’t he ?”
“Of course. More than his life is worth.”
Meanwhile Karima tells Nasreen they are going.
“Who is that under the black blanket ?” she asks with the usual innocent directness and lack of tact only a young child can truly master.
“A girl called Alisha. She will be marrying your uncle one day.”
“Why can’t I see her face ? Is she ugly ?”
“No. I expect she’s very beautiful so she doesn’t want other men to see it.”
“Why not ?”
“Because they might try to steal her off of your uncle.”
“Do you not cover your face because you’re not beautiful enough for anybody to want to steal you ?”
“Uh … something like that.” Karima begins to wish this conversation had never started.
Alisha giggles as Rana and Karima bow and leave. It seems that although Rana now seems to control her every movement, Rana is handing her control of her future husband’s movements already. She settles down to further prayer but after about an hour and a half decides she had better relieve her fiancé from his mother’s bidding. Of course the thought that Javed is out there without his mother chaperoning them is also quite an attractive reason to finish now. She gets up, makes a final bow then heads for the door, at least knowing the layout of this building quite well by now but still desperately hoping there isn’t anybody prostrate on the ground between herself and the door.
Fortunately Alisha reaches the exit without incident and Javed, standing opposite, sees her and heads straight for her.
“Alisha. I’m here.” he rushes over and assures her.
“How do you know it’s me ?” she asks from beneath her shroud.
“We’re not in Saudi. You’re the only one dressed like that of course.”
“If you notice our friend here is making a call to my mother. If we’re not home in about twenty minutes my name is mud and your honour is damaged.”
“I can’t notice anything under here, can I ? And why not your honour ?”
“Oh that’s long gone.” Javed laughs, “At least in my mother’s eyes.”
“But it will take me ten minutes to walk to the car in this even with your help !”
“Good point. Please make sure you tell it to her when we’re late.”
“You could carry me of course.” she purrs.
“Somehow I think our friend here has been briefed to report anything like that back to the guardian of our morals.”
“Good point. Can’t we bribe him or something ?”
“You’re supposed to be chaste, not encouraging me to actually do what every sinew in my body is screaming at me to do with you.”
“Do you think it’s any different for me ?”
“Well aren’t girls supposed to be less sexually driven ?”
Alisha collapses into giggles. “I think you’ve been talking to my biology mistress.”
“What would she say if I did ?”
“Well she once told us in class that a woman can’t really enjoy sex.”
“Is that true ?”
“Of course not. At least not if they haven’t been circumcised.”
“Ah, you’ve read about that barbaric procedure. I trust you realise that is a cultural, not an Islamic thing.”
“Oh yes. I’d be on the first bus to the convent if I thought I had to have that done !”
“Don’t worry. Nobody is doing that to you … or our daughters.”
“What daughters might these be ?”
“The ones you’ll be helping create whilst enjoying sex with me.”
“Oh. I see.”
“You do want children, don’t you ?”
“Of course. I just feel a little young still.”
“You’re not too young.”
“Oh thanks !”
“Sorry. I didn’t mean it like that.”
“It’s alright. I know. It’s just your mother and mine have started treating me like I’m a little girl again which I’ve found I really like yet here we are discussing me getting pregnant.”
“Don’t worry. There’s no rush. You’re very young still. Whenever you’re ready is fine by me.”
“Uh … what if I’m never ready ?”
“Then you’ll have to put up with my mother nagging both of us trying to find out which of us isn’t up to the job of course.”
“Ah. Sounds like getting pregnant is the easy option then !”
“Tell me about it. I thought me getting married before would have been the option she would want yet she effectively vetoed it.”
“You don’t still mind that, do you ?”
“Of course not. If I’d married her I wouldn’t have met you.”
“Well you’d still have needed a secretary, wouldn’t you ?”
“Well yes. But we couldn’t have got married then, could we ?”
“I thought Islam allowed men up to four wives ?”
“Well it does provided you can treat all wives equally. But I can assure you British law most definitely doesn’t allow it !”
“What about in Pakistan ?”
“Ah. In theory it’s allowed but both the first wife and a marriage commission must approve it.”
“And do they ?”
“Not often. In fact most marriage contracts specifically forbid it.”
“I see. Just as well you didn’t get married to her then, isn’t it ?”
“It sure is.” Javed smiles, not that his future first and only wife can see this, “So how was it ?”
“How was what ?”
“I thought you would stay longer.”
“I would have but knew you were waiting for me here.”
“You knew ?”
“Well made an educated guess then. How long have you been here ?”
“Oh, about ten minutes.”
“Were those the last ten minutes or just ten arbitrary minutes spread randomly over the past hour ?”
“I can see you are going to be a tough wife.”
“Oh you’ll get used to me.” she giggles, “Now take my arm and guide me.”
“You mean you really can’t see anything ?”
“Not when I leave the chador like this, no. Rana hasn’t thought about this properly, has she ?”
“It would seem not !” Javed smiles as he gladly takes hold of the love of his life and guides her out of the building in what to most would seem an acceptable manner. They keep the fact that each other’s touch is sending massive waves of pleasurable feelings through the other well hidden.
Once in the car, Javed drives whilst Alisha sits silently. Unable to see anything, the effect of the movement is most odd. Suddenly she speaks again in a rather desperate voice.
“Can you stop the car somewhere please.”
“You’re not going to be sick, are you ?”
“No. It’s alright.”
He drives on and comes to a halt in a quiet layby.
“Can anybody see us ?” she asks.
“Unlikely. There’s little traffic on this road. What do you want to do ?”
“I need you to hold me.”
“Uh … we’re not supposed to do that now.”
“We weren’t supposed to do it before. Come on, you can drive me back to the mosque and leave me there until the wedding if you think I should pay for this but I really do need you to hold me tightly now.”
“That bad eh ?”
“Uh … okay.”
He reaches across and tentatively takes hold of her.
“Push this black thing out of the way.”
He does to reveal her favourite burqa. He grins at the sight before him and she is at last able to see him out through the mesh.
And he just about in at her.
“Do you like this one ?” she asks with a just visible gleam in her eye.
“It’s my favourite.”
“Though you do seem to have less on underneath than has become usual.”
“Doesn’t that make it better ?”
“Well both are great of course. But having more on hides you more of course.”
“Is that good ? Don’t you like the look of me.”
“Of course I like the look of you. But you hiding it from me as much as you can is one of the most erotic things possible.”
“Can you explain that ? I don’t think my previous men would have thought it.”
“Of course. All Muslimahs have to be covered so their form is at best a bit of a guess. But when you are literally buried in clothing it must be that the body therein is so beautiful it has to be hidden completely from the gaze of men lest it drive them insane with lust. And so of course thinking that I will be seeing that body soon is driving me insane with desire.”
“Or it could be I’m just fat.” Alisha laughs as she brings Javed’s passionate reply down to earth.
“Well there is that.” he giggles too, “But we know that isn’t the case, don’t we !”
“So would you like me to carry on dressing like I was once we’re married.”
“That’s your choice. You are only required to wear hijab after all.”
“I want to do what you want.”
“I want you to be happy.”
“So do I. And I’ll be most happy doing everything you want me to.”
“You might regret suggesting that you know.”
“What if I said I wanted you wrapped up in burqas for the rest of your life ?”
“I’d say when do we go shopping to get them !”
“Ho-ho. Okay what if I said I wanted you to wear a revealing top and skirt that showed your underwear ?”
“I can’t do that !” she exclaims.
“You have before.”
“Well yes. But that was different. I’d never do that again.”
“I’m glad to hear it. Provided you wear modest clothing then I’m happy.”
“So you don’t want me hidden under lots of veils ? Or blindfolded ? Or gagged ? Or bound up ?”
“Uh … is this a trick question ?”
“So you do like me like that !”
“What man wouldn’t ? But one can get too much of a good thing.”
“Are you sure ? I’ll have to test that sometime. Would you prefer before or after we’re married ?”
“Oh boy.” he grins, “What did I do so right to deserve you.”
“Now can you hold me in a special place ?”
“Which special place ?”
“Your breasts !?”
“That’s right. Through the burqa will do. I’m not allowed to caress them myself and they are driving me mad with their tingling with frustration.”
“Uh … I hate to say this but I’m not allowed to caress them even more !”
“I know. But if you do it once it should last whereas all me doing it does is cause me to want you to do it more.”
“So we both sin a bit rather than you a lot ?”
“Something like that. Please. For me.”
“I see. Like this ?”
Her whole body arches as he presses down on each breast.
“Squeeze … please.”
He gently massages her breasts, she slowly sinking back into the seat as he does. Before long he hears her gasping for breath.
“Please don’t faint on me again.” he whispers.
“Don’t worry. Just carry on.”
He gently does so and before long her fingers and toes twitch uncontrollably from the stimulation taking place. Then she gives a huge sigh.
“Thanks. That was wonderful.”
“Uh … okay. Glad you enjoyed it.”
He picks up the chador.
“You realise she’s put a marker in her to see if you have removed it.”
“Oh bloody hell.”
“Whoops. Sorry. I really didn’t mean to do that. Please don’t be cross with me. Please. Please. Please.”
“It’s alright. I think you have some cause. My mother is becoming a bit of a nuisance.”
“So what shall we do ?”
“I’ll tell her you were feeling sick because you couldn’t see out while the car was moving so I stopped and insisted you remove it.”
“Will she believe it ?”
“Hang on then.”
Alisha gets out of the door and stands by the side of the road. A few groans later she returns and gets in the car.
“There. She’ll believe me now.”
“She will ?”
“Yes. My breath smells of sick.”
“I put my fingers down my throat until I wretched enough.”
“Oh … right. We’d better get back. But at least now we have a bit more time to explain away.”
“Is it always like this for young Muslims ?”
“Quite often yes. There’s all sorts of tricks, stories and suggestions in some of our youth magazines.”
“Oh. You realise you’re going to have to cane me again now, don’t you ? I’ve not only sworn badly but I’ve forced you to touch me intimately before we’re married again.”
“I don’t think this one counts, do you ?”
“Why not ?”
“Because this whole thing never happened !”
“Ah. If you’re happy with that.”
“If the alternative is thrashing you again, yes I’m more than happy with it.”
“Alright. Just this once then. But you must promise if I do it again.”
“But I’m not supposed to hit my wife.”
“I’ve been thinking about this. If it says you have to in our marriage contract then you don’t have a choice.”
“You can’t put that in our marriage contract.”
“From what I understand a wife can put almost anything in it.”
“Well yes, you can. But I can refuse to agree to them.”
“You wouldn’t do that, would you ?”
“Why not ?”
“Because it might delay matters whilst a compromise was reached.”
“What if I wanted something added in return then ?”
“You mean that you’re allowed to skip the marriage bed when there’s a test match on television.”
“Ah. I see you’ve been talking to mother.”
“Oh yes. We’ve already got something arranged for then.”
“You have ?”
“Yes. Don’t worry, you’ll like it.”
“What is it ?”
“Just sign the contract when it’s ready and you’ll find out !”