Alisha Takes the Veil: Chapter 13

Alisha Takes the Veil

by Michelle

Chapter 13 – Wedding Veils

“Well this may seem an odd request but I’ve really loved being veiled so heavily for you all this time so I would like to remain so until our wedding night, whenever it will be.”

“Is that possible?”

“Depends on how much you help me. I could restore my sight I suppose but getting this lot on and off is a real chore you only want to do once a day. Your mother has been helping me of course but I think I need a real man to help me move around, don’t you?” “Looks like I’ll be helping you a lot then.”

“And you mentioned something about a gag?”

“That was just a joke. Muslim men do not gag their wives.”

“Ah, but I’m not your wife yet, am I?”

“Oh boy. I assume you’re about to ask me to keep you gagged most of the time.”

“Uh-huh. And I’d like my hands and lower arms bound together in a prayer-glove.”

“Prayer gloves are just a silly myth.”

“You’d better tell our suppliers that then, there’s samples from two of them on my desk at work waiting for you to fit them to me.”

“But they must be for other religions. Unlike them, we separate our hands in prayer.”

“That’s right. They’re joined by an elastic cord at the wrists. With due effort you can attain all the positions needed for prayer but still not separate them or reach out. They’re very clever. And you can even get a lock which forces you to keep your hands cupped over your face like this until your husband unlocks it.”

“Hmm.”

“But I think I’ll still be able to work with them on.”

“You will?”

“Like this?” she demonstrates moving her fingers round a keyboard whilst joined at the wrists. “It will be a bit slower obviously. But a good Muslimah has infinite patience.”

“So you’ll be coming back to work sometime.”

“Of course. I’ve still got my job to do every day. How would you cope without me?”

“Hmm. It would appear you’re going to have to cope without parts of you as well.”

“I’ll manage.” she laughs.

“So you want me to help you move round without sight, speech or touch until we’re married?”

“Good point. I must find some earplugs as well.”

“Sorry, I’ll start again. So you want me to help you move round outside without sight, speech, hearing or touch until we’re married?”

“Well until our wedding ceremony actually. I gather we get the marriage registered and then blessed at the mosque but then we remain apart until the wedding celebration.”

“That’s the usual way though it isn’t compulsory.”

“Well I hope you don’t mind but both our mothers have agreed we should have the celebration at a hotel and make it a bit like a wedding here. It isn’t much different to your traditional wedding celebration and that way my relations and friends will feel more comfortable. All we have to do extra is make vows to each other. Then we’ll have eating until early evening when everybody can wish us well as we leave. My parents understand there’ll be no alcoholic drink to embarrass your family.”

“That’s most thoughtful. Of course we can do this, it seems eminently sensible. So no dancing then?”

“Well that’s not allowed is it.”

“Why not have a band come in after we leave. And if they wish your parents could serve alcohol to their guests then. My relations will be warned and can leave if they choose.”

“Is that alright?”

“I expect more than you imagine will stay. I’ve always believed that I am not allowed to dance or drink alcohol in such a situation but there is nothing wrong with being there seeing others do so. However I realise others will disagree with me on this matter.”

“Well if you think it okay. I’m hoping you don’t mind me wearing a British style of wedding dress. It’ll still be modest. And I’ll be veiled of course.”

“By modest I assume you mean not revealing?”

“Ah yes. It certainly won’t be modest in size, will it? Or in weight. It’s got this lot to outdo for one thing.”

“Remember there are rules on not spending more than you can afford. And on dressing too proudly.”

“My parents have had money put aside for years for my wedding. And my mother has always wanted to dress me in a really nice bridal gown so I really don’t want to disappoint her. Anyway they’re not bound by these rules. In fact until we’re married aren’t I supposed to do what they tell me anyway. So if she tells me to put on this huge dress and veil I have to do as she says.”

“That might make another interesting debate for the religious scholars. But don’t worry, I’m happy to do it as you propose.”

“But from the tone of your voice you think some of your relations won’t be. Okay what if I said the shahadah at the end of the ceremony? It doesn’t have to be at a mosque, does it?”

“I don’t think so.”

“So how about I come in with my father. Then we have the exchange of vows, then I make the shahadah and as I do you pull some extra layers of veiling over my head to hide myself and my dress so that by the end of it I’m both a Muslimah and as veiled as this.”

“Well it’s certainly original. What then?”

“After that it’s up to you. I will be your devoted and obedient wife for the rest of my life. And if you wish many of the people there may never see my face again.”

“Oh I don’t think I’ll be that strict. Hijab is fine for people we know. Okay, let’s do it. What else do we need to discuss.”

She slowly disappears then returns to the room.

“I think this is what I’m after but obviously it’s hard for me to be certain.”

She hands him a small pile of photos.

“I think these are the right ones.”

“It appears to be a wedding dress.”

“Yeah. My mother liked this dress when she saw it years ago and has been waiting to see me dressed like it ever since. You don’t mind this sort of dress, do you?”

“Not at all. But I thought it was unlucky for the groom to see the bride’s dress?”

“I suppose it is. Though with your mother involved as well it may be the bride who doesn’t see it of course.”

“Ah yes. There is that possibility. Is she involved then?”

“Oh yes. She and my mother have got on really well. They’ve already started working on the design for my dress together and they’ll both be making it.”

“I see. So there wasn’t much chance of us not getting married then?”

“Well …”

alisha32

“I see. So why is she kneeling?”

“Oh I thought it looked kinda cool likes she’s about to lower her head while she makes her vows. That’s what I wanted to do anyway. And if I make the shahadah there we could both make our first prayers as man and wife together straight away. I’m sure we can find a hotel hall facing Mecca.”

“This is getting more complicated by the minute. But I don’t think it is doing anything my family would object to. I thought some of yours might though.”

“They’ll understand.”

“So what are these other pictures?”

“Well look for a miniature painting of a girl with a floral headdress with a thick back veil and a gauze over the face.”

“Got it.”

“I thought that should be the sort of veil I wear. It’s more discrete than the usual ones and doesn’t expose my hair or neck. But the face veil would be white of course.”

“It’s very nice.”

“Are you sure you like it?”

“You’ll look fabulous.”

“Thanks.”

alisha33

“And I’d like some bridesmaids to help me but I’d like them to be fully veiled as well so was wondering if they could wear the same type of veil but with the colour of the gauze to match their gowns, which I thought could be something like those decorated indoor abayas or jalabiyas that we sell.”

“Won’t that create problems? It seems like you are putting your friends into niqab as well. Girls in your country don’t normally veil, at least not unless they’re getting married themselves and this one does appear to be rather more restrictive than most wedding veils.”

“How about they just cover their faces for our vows and my pledge then?”

“They’re your friends. I think you’d better ask them, don’t you?”

“I will do.” she replies, then thinks ‘I’ll get Sara and Yolanda into long dresses, veils and gloves if it kills me.’

“I look forward to meeting them.”

“I hope so. Though I trust you’ve got some willing young female relatives if all my friends decide I’ve become a bridezilla.”

“Young female relatives is one thing most Muslim families have lots of. But invite one and you’ll have problems putting the rest of them off with something as beautiful as you are proposing they wear. How many do you want?”

“How many do you have?”

“Well at least a dozen. Is that enough?”

“I don’t think there’s actually a legal limit.” she laughs, “You mentioned you had a young niece as well, didn’t you?”

“Nasreen, yes. But she’s only nine.”

“Flower girl then.”

“Is that with or without this veil?”

“Is she allowed one?”

“No rules either way until she reaches puberty.”

“What do you think she would prefer?”

“Offered the chance to wear her first full veil at a wedding, what do you think?”

“Is she allowed a dress to match mine? We often do that here.”

“Yes. Of course. Young girls can wear almost anything.”

“I hope she won’t mind.”

“She’ll love it of course. All girls at that age have the same pink-tinged view on life.”

“I suppose so. So what do you think though?”

“Well you’ve certainly got it all planned.”

“I’ve been dreaming about it for months.”

“I see. But I think you’ve missed out on one small detail.”

“I have? What’s that?”

“How am I going to pull these veils over your head?”

“I would kneel of course. Like in the picture.”

“But I would be standing?”

“Why yes. Of course master.”

“I really do wish you’d stop calling me that.”

“How does my future husband sound then?”

“A lot better. Anyway you’re kneeling on the floor and I’m reaching over your head. Don’t you think that’s a bit too … well immodest appears to be this month’s favoured word. I might … uh …”

“Ah. Yes. Good point. Okay our mothers will stand each side of me and pass the front of each veil to you. You just lower it over me with a smile.”

“How many veils are we talking about here?”

“Lots of course. I want my vision to slowly change from a reasonable view of everything to an outline of your face and then to a white nothingness.”

“Sounds like I’d better order in the silk for all these dresses wholesale then. We’re going to need a lot of it.”

“Remember to get some for both mothers as well.”

“You mean my mother will have to wear a proper veil then?”

“Of course. Is that a problem?”

“Not for me. I’m not wearing it!” he laughs, “But I don’t think she will like it.”

“Does she want a devout daughter in law or not?”

“An excellent point. You can make it to her.”

“Coward!”

“Yeah.”

“I know, you can pull extra veils over them as well.”

“Don’t tempt me.”

“It’ll keep her under control for a little while.”

“How will she move around if she can’t see.”

“Same as me, somebody will guide her.”

“Who?”

“Sounds like I should be able to spare the odd bridesmaid or six.”

“Right. You suggest that as well, I’ll just do it.”

“Make that a yellow backed coward.”

“So how about your mother? Who’ll guide her?”

“Oh I think my father will want to do that, don’t you?”

“Oh I’m sure he’ll like his own Muslimah for the day.”

“And hopefully for the night as well. Perhaps I’ll even get a baby brother or sister at last.”

“You never know. But won’t she mind spending the rest of the day not able to see her daughter’s big day?”

“Oh she’s been asking when I’m getting married for so long now she’d happily dress up in a chicken suit if it meant her daughter was finally getting hitched.”

Javed can’t resist another giggle at the thought of both mothers in chicken suits. He makes a mental note to offer this as the alternative to the total veil to his mother.

Back to Chapter 12…

On to Chapter 14…

 

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