First Glance

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Narrated by al-Mugheerah ibn Shu'bah: "I proposed marriage to a woman, and the Messenger of Allah(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, 'Have you seen her?' I said, 'No.' He said, 'Go and look at her, because it is more fitting that love and compatibility be established between you.'"

According to another report: "So he did that, and he married her and mentioned that they got along." (Reported by al-Daaraqutni, 3/252 (31, 32); Ibn Maajah,1/574)

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LONDON

The milky veil of layered fog blew gracefully across the faded blue sky. Ahmad gazed out into the London skyline from his hotel room window. The weather was much cooler there than in his native California, but that wasn't what had given him a chill down his spine. The notification on his phone that he had two hours left until his meeting with Ahlaam had cured him of any jet lag and left him only with tentative excitement.

From the moment that his plane had touched down in the airport, he'd been in disbelief. Nothing felt real. After years of it all being only in his dreams, only in the hopes he promised to himself and to her, he was finally there and they would finally meet. Now he just had to pray it all went off without a hitch.

His nerves were already getting to him, and when his phone began to ring his heart shot up to his throat. Every sort of unreasonable, panicked thought came to mind. He feared that perhaps the time on his phone had been wrong and he had missed the meeting, prompting an angry call from Ahlaam's father. Or perhaps it was a last minute cancellation. A rejection?

After digging his phone out from the pocket of his black sweatpants, Ahmad immediately answered without pause. "As-Salaamu 'Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh," he greeted his caller, trying his best to mask his nervousness with confidence.

"Wa 'Alaikum As-Salaam wa Rahmatullah," Faraz spoke on the other end, much to Ahmad's surprise and relief. Ahmad took a second to check the caller ID on his screen just to confirm, letting his heart rate return to normal and confusing Faraz. "Hello? Ahmad, you there?"

"Yeah, sorry," Ahmad replied more calmly. "I'm here."

"Oh, I thought you hung up for a second, man. So how'd it go? Are you still there or what?"

"I'm still at my hotel, just standing at the window."

"Whoa, dude, calm down. She's not worth it."

"Ha ha." Ahmad exhaled dryly. "I haven't even gone to her house yet. The meeting is after Asr, dude."

"And how am I supposed to know what time it is out there?"

"We're eight hours ahead of California; it's barely about to be 3pm now."

"Oh. Still early then. Good. Since you haven't gone to meet your precious beloved Ahl- I mean, since you haven't met your future-wife yet, I can still save you from a disaster."

"Wha-"

"I'm just going to go ahead and say it: you have a tendency to put on too much attar sometimes. You should probably go easy on all of that for this meeting, man."

"And this is coming from the guy who practically douses himself in cologne every single time we go to the Masjid?"

"Hey, that's just me putting it on for my own preference so I don't have a bad smell that might offend anyone."

"And this is me going to meet my potential future-wife!"

"Some girls have sensitive noses, Ahmad. Trust me, I know. She's not going to be impressed by whatever fancy attar you're wearing if it's suffocating her, so take it easy for both of your sake. Especially since this is your first meeting; you don't want to make any kind of bad impressions."

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