They strolled together in their Islamic attire, exchanging a few words. Asma approached Zarah and whispered, “Zarah, that man is waiting at your doorstep, and I know who he’s waiting for.”

Zarah, also known as Tsaki, replied in a cold tone, “Aiko, I won’t enter the house now, God forbid, until he leaves.” She glanced at Asma, who was tall with a medium build, her complexion resembling chocolate. “You can’t just call me Chan like that, it’s too hard.”

Zarah had a round face with a long nose, but her small mouth gave her a heart-shaped appearance, adorned with two protruding dimples. Even in silence, her natural beauty shone, her face exuding freshness.

Zarah possessed an appealing figure, often referred to as the “Coca-Cola shape.” This attribute naturally attracted attention from men. Despite her modest attire and hijab, her physical allure remained undeniable.

Asma grabbed her hand and hurriedly led her into their proper home. Inside, Zarah lamented, “Why didn’t that man notice us? Why didn’t he follow us?”

Asma reassured her, “He probably didn’t recognize you, and he must have seen how disrespectful my son was. Don’t worry, Zarah, maintain your composure. Even Rabi’s grades are comparable to what she’s achieving. She hasn’t met modern girls like you, has she?”

Asma’s mother joined the conversation, stepping out of the kitchen. She comforted Zarah, wiping away her tears. “Zarah, be patient. God loves those who endure tests. Each person faces their unique challenges. Eat your food and trust that God will bring you ease in your affairs.”

Zarah wiped away her tears and replied, “Insha Allah, Mama.” Asma looked at her mother and said, “Thank you, Mama.” They then enjoyed the rice and soup Mama had prepared for them.

After their meal, they retrieved their Islamic books and immersed themselves in their studies, fully focused on their religious studies. Asma suggested, “Let’s call it a night and continue in the morning.” They bid farewell to Asma’s mother and left the house together.

As they reached the doorstep of Asma’s house, Zarah paused and said, “I’ll come by tomorrow.” She hesitated, “You won’t mind if we don’t enter together.”

Asma’s small house consisted of four rooms: one for Mama Rabi, one for Dad (half of it), and three rooms for Asma and her siblings. The fourth room belonged to her younger sister. They resumed their conversation as Masifa, who lived nearby, began to speak critically, “You’ve embraced Islam, yet you’re still walking around shamelessly. Someone’s father will end up marrying you when you move out. Are there any men in that house?” Mama Rabi scolded her in a familiar manner, expressing her concern.

After wiping away her tears and settling down, Mama Rabi went to the kitchen to prepare some soup. She struggled with wet firewood in the chilly winter, eventually managing to light the stove quickly. With her chores completed, she finally had a moment to rest in her room. Removing her clothes, she felt the warmth inside, contrasting with the cold outside. When she emerged, she sensed an impending danger in the city’s atmosphere, making her feel overheated. Meanwhile, Mama Rabi sat down to eat with her children, and she turned to Jan Tsaki, saying, “Once your tour is over, come home and take a bath.” She laid out her old rug and donned her Islamic hijab.

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