It was morning, and Fatima, a female aide of Imam Faraj, serving in a mosque in a large Austrian city under the Alps, was just packing her things. She won’t return here, into her small flat, soon: at first, she will take a trip to Geneva, Switzerland, to arrange an important matter there, and then, she will continue into Palm Beach, Florida, United States, as a company of Countess Theresa Von Laubringen, an Austrian-American female aristocrat, once an enemy of Islam, but later, they found some common values with Fatima, and sharing the same fate, in urgent need to leave the country temporarily, after that nasty tabloid media affair, concerning alleged Islamic revolution in the city, so they joined forces, respecting each other, and decided to travel abroad together.
Fatima liked to travel lightly, but this time, it was much harder. She carried a lot of stuff with her: the whole luxury fashion collection called “Superior Woman”, originating from Saudi Arabia, and supplied to her by Suzanne Hasselblattova, the owner of a fashion boutique called “Woman’s Destiny”, specialized at ethnic, particularly Arabic fashion, and making great success lately, allegedly backed by both Saudis and Chinese, perceiving her as an interesting asset to promote their interests in business, fashion and social spheres officially, but also helping them with their covert Intelligence and Military efforts: if you have access into interesting VIP places, stealing state secrets is much easier.
The special collection included richly gold-decorated hijabs, abayas, chadors, shoes, accessories, including expensive jewelry, manufactured by Cartier specially for this ultimate set, with immodest price tag of 100.000 EUR. But Fatima knew, that apparel makes a human: and she was heading into really high, VIP spheres now, using the Countess as her door opener.
Fatima was originating from Yemen and recruited as an Austrian Intelligence operative during her University studies at Vienna, then sent to work in the Imam Faraj’s mosque for surveillance and infiltration purposes of counter-terrorism and radicalism prevention, but through time, the whole operation of the Austrian Intelligence service BVT failed, as almost all their clandestine assets confessed to their Imams about their real mission and purposes, or asked to be relieved from duties, as this religious environment was extremely demanding, where no one could keep his or her original resolution for too long, praying with brothers and sisters five times a day, being in unity with them.
But Imam Faraj, who appreciated Fatima’s beneficial counselling in many important matters, including Female Islamic Affairs, he invited her to stay, as she was a good servant of Allah. Later, she was sent to rescue the mosque, threatened by Countess Von Laubringen’s malicious Public Relations efforts, when she misused a classified NATO document, revealing the only effective strategy to counter the immense power of Islam: using Chinese, as a cat’s pawn.
But in the end, everything ended differently, than all parties expected, when foreign tabloid media, too well informed, entered the scene with devastating effect for all sides. So, now was a good time to rather disappear, as sniffing journalists were searching for Fatima, suspected of persuading an Austrian-American male business tycoon, possessing extreme wealth, to convert to Islam, changing the balance of political power in the city once and forever.
Fatima was almost done with her packing work, preparing four big suitcases to the door, where they will be picked up by the brothers from Ummah, the Islamic community, who will secure transport to the airport and moving the package to check-in, as one woman could hardly take care of such task.
The telephone started ringing. Fatima checked the caller’s number: it was Yarah, who took Fatima’s work position during her absence in the mosque.
“Salam aleikum, sister. Listen, could you please come here, into the masjid (=mosque)? We have a visitor, and you should be here.”
“Aleikum salam, Yarah. Well, I would like to, but I am out, my work contract ended, you know that, and my flight leaves soon. It’s your duty now, to take care of the visitors. So do your best, with the help of Allah, rely on Him and yourself, and forget me, I have another things to do right now,” Fatima replied kindly, but firmly. “And what is happening there, anyway? Usually, I only introduced the guest, and then I was just sitting there, only listening. Did the Imam ask you for some participation, or what?”
“I know all that, sister. Still, you are needed there. Book another flight, and come here. I mean it,” Yarah replied with agitation.
“Does Imam Faraj know about this? Did he tell you to call me?” Fatima tried to understand the strange situation, and Yarah’s unusual insisting.
“No, he is with the woman right now,” Yarah explained. “But he seems distracted, I know him. This has to be handled by you personally, and not me. You will realize, why. Don’t ask me more, and come here at once, the visitor won’t be present here forever.”
“Please, let me keep my name private,” a very young woman just around 19 years of age told Imam Faraj. “But I would like to ask you, to be officially accepted into the Islamic community.”
The Imam watched the girl. From the first moment she came here, he felt something as warning, and unrest. He was watching her closely, trying to understand the reason of his unusual mood in her presence.
Maybe it was because of the Fatima’s absence, he thought. He should never let the woman go. Now, without her, handling the female energy without support of other capable woman seemed extremely difficult for him. And Yarah was no help: either the visitor woman was so special, or Yarah simply couldn’t make the expected connection to the other woman. Anyway, it was not a good situation, and the Imam was thinking about summoning yet someone else. But wouldn’t it scare the girl? Wouldn’t she feel like at some interrogation?
And why should he succumb to his feelings? He is protected and guided by Allah Almighty, anyway… maybe he is just not feeling good today, and he should go home, to have a rest. And what could she do to him, what could she take from him? Lately, they sent the whole Army of Public Relations specialists against the mosque: they failed, and the Imam hadn’t lost his certainty and faith for a second. But now?
This girl came, and she scared him, or something like that.
Imam Farah couldn’t understand, what he doesn’t like about her. She was quite handsome, kind, smiling decently, behaving modestly. And she simply asked for a legitimate request. But something was wrong here, the experienced man of faith knew that. And he also knew, that if his original aide Fatima would be here, she could help. Now, he was in the mess alone, and even thinking of Allah couldn’t help this time too much.
Eventually, the Imam decided to face the situation directly, and he made an inconspicuous gesture towards Yarah, to leave the room. And it never happened here: it was a firm rule, that if a woman originating from outside of the local Muslim community is present, another, reliable female from the Ummah must remain here at all times, from many good reasons.
Yarah obeyed the request, but she did, what she had to do: to call Fatima, who was fortunately still in the city, informing her about possible emergency.
“Last year, in February, I got pregnant unexpectedly,” the girl narrated, her voice full of deep emotions. “It was so bad mistake… like in some dumb, cheap girlish novel. I just cried and thought: ‘What did you do? You destroyed your life!’ And my mother told me the same, even threatening to kick me out of the house, because the circumstances were… complicated, as there was two men, two potential fathers, and no chance to find immediately and with certainty, who conceived the child.
But then, something happened. My mother completely changed. She was so sweet and supportive suddenly, that I suspected her from taking some drugs, as she was under heavy work stress lately. Today, I know, that it was not because of drugs, but she had a plan, how to use the situation for her welfare. She was always a mastermind, a sociopath, playing with people around… this feature really scared me about her, always.
The reason of her joy was, that she found the identity of the ‘second’ possible father. The first one was my boyfriend, same age as me, and she hated him. If only him would be in the ‘wheel of fortune’, she would really kick me from the house, or she would force me to go to a clinic, for a medical intervention, I know her.
But then, realizing, how big opportunities there could be, she decided to use my pregnancy as an offensive weapon, to get to serious money, to get to the places where she always wanted to be. To fulfill her old girlish dreams!
And this man should become her cat’s pawn. She thought it through really well, I have to appreciate that… but the most important thing was, that she calmed me down from my own doubts and stress, and in the end, I gave birth to a beautiful healthy girl, who really changed my life… and now, I perceive all the events as a real miracle of Allah, thanking daily, just when I see my small girl, a blonde princess.”
Fatima entered the room silently, like a ghost, watching the girl attentively, like a hawk. She heard the last sentence, about giving the birth to a child… and it really caught her attention. She was back at her usual corner, and Imam Faraj finally relaxed.
“But in those previous days, before all of these good events happened, before I told my mom about my situation, living in thousands of regrets of my mistakes, fearing what will happen with me, scared of an alien inside my body, who was not welcomed or desired… I really touched the limits of my strength,” the girl resumed her narration again, just checking Fatima with a short look of her eyes.
“I really didn’t know, what to do. I couldn’t tell anybody: it would leak to my mother, it would destroy me at school. I thought, that if I will keep this secret to myself, it will be better… but I remained alone, and it was destroying me.
So I decided to tell my mother, I had to do it. She had to know. But I knew exactly, what she will say! How mad she will be!
When she came home that day, I confessed to her, and her reaction really didn’t surprise me. She sent me literally into hell, cursing me like crazy, that I am destroying her, putting her into public shame. What will all her VIP female friends think about her? They will laugh at her: ‘Look, how this proud cow failed with her own family!’
So, after this avalanche of regrets, I went into my room, I was lying on my bed, in my beautifully and expensively furnished room of our family villa, watching the ceiling, eyes full of tears, and I thought: ‘Look, what you have done, you destroyed not only yourself, but your family, your mother, who gave you everything, who struggled with life, with work, raising you alone, when your father abandoned the family with another woman… she did everything for you, she made so much sacrifices for you, and this is your repayment?’
I really hated myself at the moment. My mistakes. And I hated my mother, that she will never accept me with my mistakes, my imperfection. That she will never be the life support I need, that anything happens, anything I would commit, she would just embrace me and say: ‘Everything will be fine, sweetie!’
Everything was falling on me. The ceiling… the room… it started crushing me. I thought, that I will die, I couldn’t breathe, like if I would be drowning in the sea of darkness. I called for help, but no one could hear me.
Then suddenly, I touched my body, thinking: ‘This is the only thing I really have in this world. Otherwise, I am nobody, I have nothing, I achieved nothing. I am just another knocked-up, miserable girl from high school, who spoiled everything in her dumb life.’
And then, I don’t know how, I remembered Allah, maybe because the European refugee crisis just started in large and Syrian refugees, Muslims, were all over the media.
And I said to myself: ‘If I will survive this, if you, Allah, will give me the strength, I will give you everything I possess: just this body, and my mind. But I will give everything to you, if you will help me, right now!’
And imagine what happened: my mother came into my room, telling me, that we will handle everything, that I have her, and she will help me with everything. So I cried again, but this time, from happiness, thinking, how great and merciful is Allah, that he really helped me, when I called for his help in the most difficult moment of my life.
Well, and this is my tale. Now, there is a cute baby, walking on the Earth, and she is blessed and protected by Allah, so I don’t have to be scared. When I visited this city, because my mother had some business here, and I noticed this mosque, I knew, that it’s the right time to repay His favors and gifts, and to offer Allah my complete submission. So I am here, asking you to become my witness, Imam Faraj. This is what has to be done, without further delay. I can’t know, which hour will be my last, and this is what I want to do in my life for certain: to convert to Islam, fully accepting the consequences of this fateful step, which can’t be undone.”
“You are truly a good servant of Allah,” the Imam replied with respect. “Your heart seems to be pure, and your devotion to Allah seems to be real. You are a Muslim by heart already, without any doubt, but reciting the Shahada in front of witnesses is desirable, so this mosque will be glad to assist you with your conversion. Still, we would like to know your name, to know, how to address you.”
“It’s Anne,” the girl said without hesitation.
“Well then, Anne. There is no formal procedure, but if you agree, more women will come here, to hear your declaration of faith, and to welcome you into the Islamic community then. Don’t forget, that as a Muslim, you will have new duties, keeping Five Pillars of Islam, and Allah knows about everything you do,” Imam Faraj added.
“I welcome that,” Anne said with certainty. “I will testify in front of all of them. And I will keep the duties, to please Allah.”
“So strange,” the Imam said thoughtfully, when the girl was gone, leaving with countless thanks, remembered to execute ‘ghusl’, the ritual ablution after accepting the faith. “She has to be special somehow. If Allah will decide, she will come back, and we will get to know her more.”
Fatima was still sitting in the corner, putting all the pieces together. What happened here today? And why Imam Faraj perceived this meeting as important? The girl said quite a common girlish tale, so what was so interesting there?
Was she a daughter of some celebrity? She had an accent, she was definitely not from here. So why she chose this mosque, and not some other, located in her country? To keep it secret, in front of her mother and all social vicinity?
It has to be related to her mother, or father of the child, clever Fatima was almost certain. He has to be somebody extremely powerful, because the girl’s selfish mother even welcomed the pregnancy in the end, knowing, that she will always able to push the man against the wall, that she can control him now, like no one else, using the child and her daugher as beneficial, universal battering rams.
Of course: only, if he is the father. The girl didn’t mention the issue more… maybe it meant, that her mother didn’t want to risk, that if the real father would be revealed, she will lose the lever against the VIP man, if he will be excluded by DNA tests.
Nicely played, indeed, Fatima thought. But how is this cause related to the mosque, and Islamic community? It’s not their matter, it’s some family game… still, the Imam seemed really distracted, Yarah really didn’t lie about this.
It was out of question, to try to get the reasons from the Imam directly. Maybe he didn’t know the reason himself, it was just a feeling.
The best option would be to investigate the case more, Fatima thought. Not to wait, until the girl will return to the mosque, she can disappear forever, but with Fatima’s connections in the Austrian security forces, it will be easy to find her identity, and to gather all possible data about all persons involved: particularly the suspected father, but her mother as well.
If some relevant, interesting data will be revealed, Fatima can relay the information to her BVT superiors for potential use, as no Intelligence service ever sleeps. It will be up to them, to check the integrity of the girl’s tale.
Fatima stood up, to leave… if she will move quickly now, she can still make it to the airport in time, to catch the following flight, to be at Geneva around five o’clock, so she can make necessary arrangements in the Swiss capital. She will think about this new strange case later. Maybe it’s nothing.
“It was good to have you here today,” the Imam appreciated Fatima’s presence. “So you could become a witness.”
He said the last word with a strange tone. To Fatima, it sounded, like if he agrees, that the identity of the girl should be discovered.
Fatima just nodded, and without saying a word, she left. There was yet another important mission expecting her today… and it was related to the Imam’s daugher.