As narrated by Meez:
Someone shakes me gently. I open one eye, groaning inwardly, when I see dad sitting on my bedside.
Monday morning, oh how I hate you!
“Rameez, c’mon, you’re going to be late. It’s already twenty to seven!” dad says softly, stroking my hair.
“I don’t want to go,” I moan, moving closer to him.
“Why not?” he asks quietly.
Because Nabeelah is there.
“I hate school,” I say.
“That’s not why…” dad says, knowing better.
“You know why,” I mumble, sinking my face deeper into my pillow.
“A girl is stopping you?” he asks, almost mockingly.
And although I hate him for riling me up like that, I love the effect it has.
It’s going to take more than a stupid girl to stop me!
Flinging back the duvet, I sit up, determined to kick Monday’s butt.
I catch my father grinning, and I wonder if he too made such dumb mistakes as a teenager. He probably did, considering he’s been so understanding and supportive ever since that day. We’d grown considerably closer, and it felt so good, even though dad was much more stricter with me.
My uniform is on my bed when I get out of the shower. I dress, making sure I’m happy with the reflection in the mirror before doing a quick scroll through my messages. Then, I grab my breakfast, greet mum, and head out to the car, where dad is already waiting.
We pick up the rest of the gang; a sleepy Amz, as per every Monday morning, a smiling Dee, who might have had the worst nightmare last night, yet we’d never know, a bright and wide awake, grinning Zee, and of course, a talkative Sumayya!
It’s been a week since Dee’s father’s passing, and her almost accident. She has lost something -her father, but at the same time, she has gained something else -her brother, and perhaps that is what is helping her cope.
We walk together down the corridor towards math class, catching up on the weekend.
And then I see her and all the hate and anger and builds up inside.
She smirks, tilting her face to the side slightly.
Easy now, Meez.
“….and oh em geee, her expression! It was hilarious!” I catch Sumayya saying, trying to concentrate on anything but Nabeelah.
The girls and Zee share a laugh.
“What’s the joke?” I ask, stepping in line with them.
Amz gives me an ‘Are you kidding?’ look and Zee laughs harder.
Dee looks at me, eyebrows raised, an amused expression masking her face.
The bell rings just then, and everyone hurries to their respective seats.
A few minutes later, the head of mathematics walks in, with an unfamiliar man at her side.
Hmmm… a new teacher? How come?
“Good morning Grade 10s.”
“Good morning Ma’am.”
“Unfortunately, Mr Jason has fallen extremely ill during the weekend and is now in ICU. In replacement, for the time being, Mr Moosa, will be taking you’ll for mathematics.”
The man beside her nods, a friendly smile on his face.
“Hello, class,” he greets us.
“Hello, sir,” we greet in unison.
“I expect you all to respect Mr Moosa, and not give him a hard time,” she says sternly, knowing that this class is one of the most troublesome ones.
She shows Mr Moosa a few things, talking quietly, before leaving.
I glance at Zee, winking his way, and he winks back.
New teacher… maybe some new tricks.
Once the head of maths leaves, Mr Moosa closes the door and stands in front of his desk.
“Right boys and girls,” he starts. “My name is Salmaan Moosa and I will be your mathematics teacher until Mr Jason gets back. There are a few things I’d like to go through, but, first things first, I’d like you each to tell me your name, and the colour of your toothbrush.”
Is he for real?!
A few girls giggle.
“Starting in the third row… you with brown hair,” he says, pointing to one of the girls.
“My name’s Ayesha and my toothbrush is green.”
“My name’s George and my toothbrush is blue.”
It goes on like that, until it comes to Noushaad.
“My name’s Noushaad and I use a miswaak.”
A short round of laughter passes, but Mr Moosa doesn’t seem to find Noushaad’s statement funny.
I catch Zee winking at Sumayya, who glares at him, causing me to grin.
“Now, what is funny about that?” Mr Moosa asks seriously.
The class is quiet.
“What is a miswaak, anyway?” asks one of the non-muslim boys.
“A miswaak is a twig used to clean the teeth. It was the toothbrush of the muslims in the time of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W),” explains Mr Moosa.
“Ohh, so it’s a religious thing?” asks the boy.
“Well, yes. But you could use it too. The benefits are many,” says Mr Moosa.
“I thought this was a maths lesson,” comments one of the girls.
I turn to see who it was.
I shake my head slightly. Taylor is a staunch, practicing Christian who despised us Muslim students. But as long as we didn’t interfere with her, she let us be.
She is right though, this is suppose to be a maths lesson!
Mr Moosa frowns slightly.
“And your name is?”
“Taylor. Taylor Justine,” she replies.
“Well, Taylor Justine, you are quite correct,” says Mr Moosa, emphasizing on her name. “Perhaps you’d like to show me at which lesson we need to begin.”
I grin. This teacher’s cool!
“Of course. But everyone hasn’t said there names yet,” she points out, almost proudly.
“But how will you know who is who in this zoo?” challenges Taylor.
“Well, correct me if I’m wrong, but continuing where we stopped, you are Angela, Farhanah, Deeyanah, Mike….”
And he continues through each row, naming each person correctly, leaving us in stunned silence.
Hooooolyyy craaaaap! How’d he do that?!
I look around at all the wide eyes, shocked expressions, and agape mouths, and I can’t help but laugh.
Trying to muffle his own amusement, Zee let’s out a snort at the same time.
And like every single time that happens, Sumayya sets of into a fit of uncontrollable laughter. Which of course creates a domino effect, and soon majority of the class is laughing.
Mr Moosa grins a little, before walking down the row to where Taylor sits.
“Sir,” Zee raises his hand.
“Zee!” Amz warns, shooting him ‘the’ look, knowing he’s probably going to say something silly.
“Yes?” acknowledges Mr Moosa, looking back and forth a few times between Amz and Zee before settling his gaze on Zee.
“Would sir be able to tell me the colour of my toothbrush as well?” he asks with a solemn expression.
“Sir, it’s a trick question,” I yell, before he can answer.
Dee shakes her head, covering her face with her hands.
“And why is it a trick question?” asks Mr Moosa, turning to look at me.
“Because he doesn’t brush his teeth! Which means he doesn’t own a toothbrush!” I say seriously. “It’s quite disgusting actually.”
“Bro, I thought we had something man,” Zee says, touching his chest. “I trusted you.”
Mr Moosa laughs along with the class.
We don’t end up doing work, and my Monday couldn’t have started off better!
“A Miswaak or Siwak is probably an alien thing to the western world. But, it is a twig which a majority of Muslims use daily to brush their teeth. Although it might sound outdated to use twigs from trees for cleaning your teeth, studies conducted on the Miswaak prove otherwise. Studies have inferred that Miswaak is better than toothpaste for preventing gum disease. It is being known as chewing stick in the western world and is being looked upon as a form of alternative medicine.”
Using the Miswaak is Sunnah and it comes in a Hadeeth, something to this effect:
Hadrat Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) said, “Whoever will hold fast to my Sunnah when corruption shall prevail among men will earn the reward of a hundred martyrs.” (Baihaqi)
And the reward of one martyr is that, before his blood even reaches the ground, all his sins are forgiven. SubhanAllah!
Some benefits of using the Miswaak:
- Strengthens the memory.
- Boosts the eloquence of one’s speech.
- Whitens and shines the teeth.
- Causes a good fragrance to emanate from the mouth.
- Strengthens the gums.
These are only 5 of many. Let us all make an intention to make an effort to start using the miswaak, InshAllah!
Hey. Hi. Hello. Salaam. Bonjour. Salut. Ciao. Ahoj. Bog. Marhaba. Ola.
So, I typed this post out on a Monday, thus the Monday moaning! Yeah, I had this post in my drafts for three whole days! *evil laugh*
No, really though, I have to space out my posts, because exams start soon and if I put up all now, you guys won’t have any when I’m writing.
Hope everyone enjoyed the first post of Season 3, and has made an intention to start using the miswaak, InshAllah!
Until the next one..
Troubled Illusioner. ❤