My Accounts had been frozen, my practice was running on a cash only basis but I was barely making enough. My husband’s accounts had also been frozen and we still had no idea where he was or whether he was even alive.
The kids were questioned by the police and social workers a number of times. I was picked up one night for no reason and questioned about my husbands dealings and the people he associated with until the following morning. More than 6 months had passed and still nothing.
During a conversation Rahim had told me that maybe we should start considering that they may never return. If that was indeed the case , how would I get closure?
Every where went there were whispers, rumours and speculation about my soulmate, it was very painful for the kids, their dad had always been their hero.
I remember being asked whether I would consider moving on. I was outraged, my Abdullah was not dead! How dare anyone even suggest moving on!
I broke down a few times. There were days I didn’t want to carry on, days when the loss of Abdullah left an ocean of pain impossible to navigate. I began to question the Almighty and his plan. How could he allow this to happen to my love.
One day Nadia told me she had read about someone called Moazzam Beg online. She said that Abdullah was one of hundreds of men if not thousands held in this illegal manner in black sites all over the world and that there were no veils between Allah and the prayers of the oppressed so she hoped that wherever he was ,he was praying hard!
Moazzam had been taken away in front of his family, men with big guns came in and arrested him. She told me his story and I was shocked at the brutality and cruelty of a global system that allowed this to happen. Stories affect us differently when they tell us about our own lives.
I had no idea where Abdullah was but it could have been worse, I began reading about the family’s of detainees, books like Shadow Lives by Victoria Brittain which document the trauma that those left behind experience. There is a comfort in knowing you are not the only once facing these seemingly insurmountable odds.
What if like in the case of Dr Aafia Siddque, the kids were also detained and possibly tortured?
I prayed often. I prayed for forgiveness when my faith wavered or when I felt like we had been forsaken. I prayed for Allah to protect Abdullah and all the other innocent prisoners from the evil perpetrated by these torturers.
Somedays I cried until I couldn’t anymore, some days I railed against this unjust world, other days I barely found the strength to get out of bed. I tried the best I could to be strong for the kids but I often felt that they were being strong for me.
Everywhere we went people assumed the allegations were true, most didn’t want to be guilty by association so some of our best friends stayed far from us.
No one was really equipped to deal with this sort of issue. Lawyers in the UK and the US had dealt with these cases before but South Africa was not the usual terror suspect so there wasn’t much scope for this kind of case to arise. We hit dead end after dead end.
The South African government were not really willing to help, terrorists were the ‘worst of the worst’ after all.
I would trade anything to hold him for just a few moments, to hear him tell me that it was going to be ok.