It was a frosty winter’s morning when Hawa, Mamma Hafsa and Mr Ismail entered the busy airport. The airport parking was filled to the brim. Inside, the building was packed with crowds of pilgrims accompanied by their tearful family members waving goodbye. Pilgrimage to Mecca is one of the five pillars of Islam. This was the time to show devotion to Allāh by visiting the holy land. Mamma Hafsa hurried off to greet her group of friends, followed by Mr Ismail. Hawa was left behind and got lost in the swarm of pilgrims.
Forced into the whirlpool of people, dizziness overtook Hawa as she fell to the ground. She felt herself falling… falling into strong arms. “Uhm, are you okay?” asked a gentle male voice. Hawa saw the masculine outline of a handsome, mysterious stranger. Her vision began to blur quickly as she lost consciousness.
“Hawa! My daughter!” yelled Mr Ismail as he spotted her in the stranger’s arms.
“What are you trying? Pervert! Give me my daughter,” yelled Mr Ismail, as he grabbed a hold of Hawa and shoved the stranger aside. The stranger was left confused as he scratched his head. His eyes fell on the rose brooch glimmering on the ground.
“Wait…you forgot your…” he yelled as he lost sight of Mr Ismail.
“Hawa,” he whispered to himself. “After all these years, could it be?” he took ownership of the brooch and placed it in his pocket.
“Salaam, Gaya travel safely. May Allāh grant you an Umrah Mabroor (Successful Umrah),” said Mamma Hafsa as she bid her friend farewell. The view swarmed with a flowy sea of traditional Islamic black and white garments. Mamma Hafsa was swept up in the crowd and accidentally knocked against a tall, elderly lady.
“Maaf tietie. I didn’t mean to bump into you,” she apologized. The lady smiled and answered.
“No need to apologize. It’s chock-a-block in here.” Mamma Hafsa shifted her eyes and looked closely at the lady; She looked familiar.
“Ashiqah, is that you?” she called out.
“It is you!”
“Mamma Hafsa?! How long has it been?” asked Ashiqah.
“Baie jare, my darling. I last saw you many moons ago when your Mamma Zahra was still residing in Bo-Kaap. Hoe faa? When did you return from Saudi?” enquired Mamma Hafsa.
“Ja, Ja that was a tough time for us all,” replied Ashiqah as her eyes welled up with many forgotten memories. She continued,” Two years ago. My son got a job here, so I moved back with him.”
Mr Ismail eventually spotted his bubbly mother amongst the sea of pilgrims.
“Mummy, come, we need to go. Now. Hawa fainted. I want to take my daughter home,” said Mr Ismail as he sped towards the entrance.
“Wat het dan nou gebeur? Ai, die kind. We must meet up again In Shaa Allāh,” said Mamma Hafsa as she raised her arm to wave goodbye and hurry towards the packed exit.
“See you soon, In Shaa Allāh,” replied Ashiqah.
“That was now a nice surprise,” whispered Ashiqah to herself.
A tall male figure approached Ashiqah and handed her a cup of warm frothy coffee and a tasty koeksister.
“Tramakasih, my kind. You won’t believe who I just bumped into. Do you remember Ouma Zahra’s old friend, Mamma Hafsa and her granddaughter Hawa?” Ashiqah asked her son as they made their way through the huge crowd of devotees.