“Hold on, hold on, hold on… let me get this straight,” said Zaynab as she slurped her disgusting kale smoothie. “You’re willing to marry someone you barely know, like an arranged marriage?”

She stared at Hawa with judgement, eyebrows raised with suspicion as she reached for another koeksister.

“Yes, I’m willing to do it the halaal route,” insisted Hawa.

“No offence, friend, but it seems so foreign. I mean, I could never marry a stranger. It would be so creepy,” said Zaynab with a shrill note in her voice.

Hawa stared into her empty cup of green tea.

“Look, you have been dating Ahmad for years, and he still hasn’t married you. That seems foreign,” replied Hawa.

Zaynab choked on her koeksister and raised her voice. “Ahmad is still finding himself, and I support that. I will wait for him until he is ready.”

Hawa sat up straight. “This is the correct Islamic way. No coercion from either side; just two people trying to do the correct and moral thing.”

“Whatever tickles your pickle, friend. I’m just saying. It could never be me,” said Zaynab as she reached for the sugar.

“Anyway, how is your writing going? Any ideas yet?” enquired Zaynab.

“Nope, nothing yet. Completely blank,” replied Hawa.


A month later, after announcing the news to the local mosque about searching for a potential suitor, Hawa was left with little to no options. Her despondent hand glided through the potential list of suitors, and disappointment rested on her unimpressed face.

“This can’t be all my options. These aren’t even options,” she complained.

“It’s not that bad,” said Mr Ismail. “At least it’s not crazy, Shahied from the masjid.”

“Crazy Shahied? The guy that wants to wed anyone that makes eye contact with him?”

“Yes, him. He even makes me look the other way,” joked Mr Ismail.

Father and daughter were laughing together when suddenly, there was a knock on the door…

Tell us: What do you think of the relationship between Zaynab and Hawa? Can people with different beliefs be friends?