Overcoming the Awkwardness: Zaynah

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

When you taste death, as if it’s within your very being, and settles in as a sore part of your every day life, a certain part of you falls away. That selfish, carefree and oblivious bliss that we all seem to live in at some point, becomes a distant part of the past.

The sad part is, I realised this only when I lost my father. You see, when you experience death, and hold it in your hands, and take in the waft of it’s musty and bloody scent, you are startled with the true reality of life. You are awakened to the fact that nothing can ever be more important than what awaits you afterwards.

Nothing in this world, and I mean, nothing at all, is worth risking your status in the sight of your Rabb. No matter what the world may tell you, think of you, or what they may perceive, when it comes to the Controller of the Worlds, one cannot, in the least bit, try and compromise. When it comes to keeping face in the eyes of Allah, nothing is too much or too difficult.

The thing was, facing the Lord of the worlds will be far more unnerving, uncomfortable and dreadful than whatever we find so difficult to deal with today.

Because today, we need to stop running away from the reality, but rather face it. Face the fact that tomorrow, we will be all alone, with only our deeds to show for our existence here. Today, we need to do whatever it takes to make sure that we and our families are of those true Mu’mineen who submit, and who wholeheartedly give in to whatever Allah has commanded. Today, we put aside whatever minor grievances we may have had, and do, not because it’s the right thing to do, but only for the pleasure of Allah.

And that was really the only thing that kept me going, even when I found everything within me trying to fight it. I pushed myself, because I knew that though I might not see it today, tomorrow held something more beautiful than I could, in my wildest dreams, ever imagine.

“Now why must you do try and do everything by yourself?” I asked, shaking my head at my father-in-law as I sar on the grey stool next to the bed. “Something much worse could have happened. Why must you risk it?”

I didn’t even know that behind me, Waseem was grinning to himself from the doorway, watching my father-in-law’s confused expression. I wasn’t sure what he was expecting from me, but I know that he didn’t expect me to have such a stern demeanour.

Well, I had no choice but to be stern. At least the initial awkwardness was now over. My mother-in-law had stepped out for an errand and I was the only one here when my father-in-law had a fall again.

It was the second time this week, but at least his injury wasn’t as bad as the last time. We had to rush back from 8 hours away, practically sacrificing our dwindling nerves because Ziyaad had said the fall was really bad and he needed stitches. I went through about ten packets of jelly babies in that time, stressing about the outcome. Waseem seemed to have caught on to my anxiety tendencies, because he was eating my road stash like it was going out of fashion.

“You’re lucky it’s just a surface wound,” I continued now, berating my father-in-law. I leant forward to stick the tape over the bandage on the part of Dad’s hand that seemed to be injured. He just nodded absently, frowning slightly as I leant back again to inspect my dressing.

I could feel him watching me cynically, but I actually knew what was doing. Ummi had trained me well when she was bed ridden, and though I knew it was all good to know, thinking of those days brought back painful memories.

I finally looked at my father-in-law, noticing him watching me strangely. He didn’t talk much, but I could see something was on his mind. Him and Waseem had that same look of scepticism when they were thinking deeply, and I smiled to myself as I got up, telling him that I would be back to check on him.

“I’m okay,” he said, almost in an off-hand manner, as if to shooh me away. I knew him better than that, but I took comfort in the fact that his eyes were already droopy from tiredness. The medication really took it’s toll on him, and I was actually starting to feel sorry for him in this state.

No matter what he had materialistically, all this could never buy him his comfort back. The doctors weren’t sure if he ever had a hope of walking again, but we always tried to keep his spirits positive.

I quietly snuck away, going upstairs to my own quarters. I was lucky to have a spacious section to myself, and though it was a bit awkward at first, I was adjusting to this change in the best way I could.

It definitely wasn’t easy, and speaking to Nabeela earlier that day made me think about it even more. I wasn’t sure if it was a good thing.

“I don’t know how you do it, Zay,” she had said bluntly. “Living there must be so… Awkward.”

She paused dramatically, and I sucked in my breath to stop myself from retaliating.

She had gone from admiring my in-laws status to loathing them, in just a matter of weeks. I knew that this had a lot to do with Ziyaad and him getting married, but I didn’t want to bring up the topic again.

Keep calm, I urged myself, chewing on another jelly tot as I changed the receiver to my other ear.

“Anyway, are you coming on this side to see the baby?” Nabeela asked, noticing my silence.

Zakiya had the baby a few days ago, and was at my aunty’s house for two weeks before she would go back home. Waseem had taken me to the hospital on the first day, and I had got to meet my niece for the first time. She was the tiniest, sweetest thing I had ever seen… And of course, she had to be, because everyone said she looked like Zakiya’s family. I just wasn’t sure when next I would get the opportunity to see her again.

“I’m not sure,” I said, making a mental note to ask Waseem later.

“Raees said Waseem won’t bring you,” Nabeela said cynically, as if my husband was an ogre. “He seems to have a problem with him, for some reason.”

I sighed to myself, knowing exactly what Raees’s deal was.

I thought he would have gotten over the whole rejection thing ages ago. The fact that Abbi had said no to his proposal for me when he was literally just out of high school might have been a real blow, but Abbi had good reasons. Abbi had a different type of person in mind when he wanted me to marry, and I did too. Sometimes things are beyond what we understand. I wasn’t sure if Nabeela knew, so I kept silent, and ended the conversation.

I slowly trudged up the staircase, carefully turning the handle of the door to our room. I had no idea that Waseem was already home, so you can probably imagine just how unassumingly I jumped when his voice sounded out.

“You’re quite good with him, love,” it said from the far side of the room where the bed was, and I immediately spun around to face that direction.

“I didn’t even know you had come home,” I said, holding my heart dramatically and narrowing my eyes as I walked toward the bed. “How long have you been here?”

I moved his legs aside so I could sit, and he smiled mysteriously.

“Longer than you think,” he replied, all calm and collected. “I think you’re quite something for winning him over.”

I smiled back, nodding.

“I’m good, huh?” I said, winking at him.

He laughed, shaking his head at me.

“Sweets,” Waseem said, still grinning. “You’re supposed to have the qualities of the Akaabireen. Some humility maybe…”

I continued smiling, knowing very well that he was pulling my leg. Waseem had a habit of making me out to be more pious than I really was. If only he knew what a nutcase his wife really was, I knew he would lower his expectations drastically.

“I’m serious, Zay,” he said, sitting up now and looking at me in the eye. “You’re like a saint for doing what you do. After everything… And how Dad completely undermined you… You still have it in your heart to overlook.”

I shrugged, refusing to take credit for being human.

His father was paralysed. Like, come on.

I was sure that no-one could ignore what was right under their nose, especially when they lived in the same house. What kind of person would it make me if I didn’t even care?

He shook his head, sounding like he was completely bewildered.

“After everything,” he said again, now a little softer. “Now I know that you were worth the wait.”

He reached for my hand and placed it between his, and I immediately felt all warm and fuzzy inside.

Yeah, I know. It was a sweet thing to say. And dammit, my husband was a soppy guy.

But that’s not the point. You see, it’s easy to just get lost in the moment, and to believe that you really are as special as someone says you are. What’s even easier, is to act as if all credit is yours, because you believe that you can do it, only because of your own ability. The truth was that only Allah, the maker and Possessor of all Mercy, can allow even the minutest bit of mercy to be displayed by even the tiniest creature on earth.

The even more outstanding truth was that showing mercy to others was a great gift that we pay little credit to.

Maintaining good relations with anyone was actually extraordinary if it was just a little bit difficult. And Waseem himself had no idea that it wasn’t me, but despite everything, he had still came through for his parents.

“The one who maintains a relationship with his relatives only because they maintain a relationship with him is not truly upholding the ties of kinship. The one who truly upholds those ties is the one who does so even if they break off the relationship.” (Reported by al-Bukhari).

But before I even had the chance to tell Waseem any of it, his mother’s voice sounded with a small knock on the door. I wondered why she didn’t use the intercom as usual, but I supposed being in the same house had it’s pros and cons. I kept a straight face, careful not to give away my slightly frustrated emotions at that moment. I just wanted a few moments to spend alone with my husband, and I shoved away the feelings of annoyance that were at bay.

All these interruptions meant I couldn’t even ask him about seeing Zakiyya, but I tried to understand. I knew that there was always something the Waseem was needed for. With my father-in-law out of action, he was required more than often for his strength and assistance.

“I’ll be back,” he promised, squeezing my hand lightly, and jumping off the bed to put on his shoes.

Little did I know that his promise would be fulfilled a lot later than we both assumed. What awaited us was more than we anticipated.

We just didn’t know it as yet.

Please don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!

It was narrated from Anas raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him): “The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) prohibited that a man should drink while standing.” (Qatadah said) So it was said: “And eating?” He (Anas) said: “That is worse.” [Tirmidhi]

We will be doing more eating and drinking Sunnahs Insha Allah.



#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood




Tweet: @ajourneyjournal


Stealing Moments

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Waseem: Capturing it in my mind...

Do you ever have those moments that just sweep you away?

You never see them coming or anticipate it… But when it happens, you can’t help but think to yourself…


It is only through the grace of my Rabb.

And of course, nothing in this world takes place without His knowledge or allowance. Nothing moves, nothing stands still, without the might and command of the Almighty.

Every bounty and special privilege that we are blessed with, is owed to none but Him. And when I looked at my wife, Wallahi, I could only imagine that Allah had made made her mine as some kind of Sadaqah to me. And of course, there is no generosity like that of my Lord. I could see it in each waking moment that she was by my side, and just by seeing her, it made me grateful. Wasn’t that in itself such a special bounty?

But among the bounties of our Lord, are many that we choose not to notice at all. We go through each passing day as if it is our right, somewhat oblivious to how privileged we have been all along. And that is precisely why so beautifully, we are reminded to look. To open our eyes and to see. And not just to look once… To look again, and take in our surroundings. To soak it up. To drink it in.

And in the Surah that is said to intercede for one in the depths of the darkness of the graves, Allah says to mankind:

You can see no fault in the creation of Ar-Rahmaan [the Most Merciful].

Then look again: Can you see any rifts?

Then look – again and yet again, your sight will return to you in a state of humiliation and worn out. [Qur’an Al-MuIk (67): 3-4].

And Allah urges with us to look… To check if there is any disorder… To see that there is no fault.  And even though we look, and sometimes, we may look multiple times, if the Almighty has not enabled one to see, however much you may try to see it, you will never be awestruck. And then of course, there are the ones who, in every waking moment, and in every single thing, they only see Allah. They attribute the beauty to nothing else but Him… And that itself, is a spectacular mercy.

“What are you thinking, angel?” I murmured quietly, careful not to startle her. I was watching my wife as she gazed out along the coast overlooked Knysna.

I glimpsed the sunset in the distance, accelerating slightly, because I wanted to make it for Maghrib Salaah in time. I wasn’t sure if I would. Salaah at the roadside was looking like a safer option.

“I’m not even thinking, Waseem,” she said softly, glancing back at me for just a millisecond before her eyes fixated on the window once again. “I’m just taking this all in. It’s beautiful… SubhaanAllah.”

I smiled at her, but she didn’t see it because she couldn’t tear her eyes away. The sunset just above the towering mountain, and the reflective lake as the perfect backdrop created the most breathtaking view. It was a scene even I wanted to immerse myself in, but of course, I couldn’t risk the driving.

We had taken a two-day break and drive away on the scenic route, whilst Ziyaad, ignited with a sudden compassion after the big test he was facing, insisted that he would hold the show down at home.

I felt bad that he had so much on his plate, but I had a feeling that he was on a tiny guilt trip for not stepping up earlier. His wife was at her parents for some TLC, and he said that he would stay at the main house while she was there. It was some relief that my parents wouldn’t be completely alone.

Muhammed was slightly more present than usual, but I could see that there will still some issues him and his wife were working on. After ten years of marriage no-one would think that they were actually going through a rough patch, but from Mo’s moods, I knew exactly what was going down. There were some things that only a woman could do to a man.

“What are you thinking?”

Her voice cut through my thoughts, and I immediately glanced up, seeing her gazing at me questioningly.

“You looked so lost in thought,” she continued. “Are you finding it hard to ‘switch off’?”

I chuckled, reaching for Zaynah’s hand.

“I’m thinking about life,” I said vaguely, holding her relatively tiny hand in mine. “Everyone around us. Everyone has their own tests… Their own battles… I wonder sometimes…”

I trailed off, not wanting to continue.

“What?” She pressed, and I could hear the slight urgency in her voice.

I wanted to protect her from my morbid thoughts, but she was the only refuge I had.

“I wonder when is my turn,” I finally spilt out. “When will it be my turn? Everything’s been so easy since I met you…”

It was true. When it came to Zaynah, she just made things… Easy. Possible. There was always a solution. She was so warm and accommodating, that I couldn’t help but feel that she was giving more than she was supposed to.

“Don’t say that,” she scolded, with a slightly cross face. “Say Alhumdulillah. Everything’s been easy, yes, but you’ve come a long way, Waseem. You’ve changed so much… You’re memorising the Qur’an… Don’t think that you did nothing good.”

I shook my head, but remained silent. If only she knew how messed up I was before I found her. If only she knew how off-track my entire life had been, before I finally got some navigation.

“I feel like I’ve sinned so much in my past,” I continued quietly. “There has to be something huge and dark waiting for me… And I’d rather have it happen now than later.”

I knew I was getting too deep into this, because I could see Zaynah’s frown deepening, and I knew she was getting upset.

“I can’t believe you’re talking like that,” she said angrily. “Allah can choose to forgive anything! You need to stop worrying, and get over it. Whatever it is that you face, you know I’ll be here… And if not, Allah is always there. Don’t forget. He remains.”

I blinked, stunned by her words. The words that literally plagued me since I had heard them.

He remains. He always remains.

I knew that. Of course.

And she didn’t have to say it, but Allah knew that there was a reason why she said exactly what I need to hear. I just couldn’t help but feel unsettled about what she had said before that. If she’s not here….

If she’s not here… What would I do?

I would soon come to know, even though in my blissful oblivion, I was completely unaware.

“I need you here,” I said stubbornly, sounding like that annoying and obsessed type. “And if you leave me, I will stalk you till I die.”

I put on a serious face, to show I meant business.

“And if I die first?” Zaynah said, and I could hear a slight amusement in her voice.

I refused to give in. I was actually a bit upset that she was taking this so lightly.

“Then I won’t marry again,” I said seriously. “So I can stalk you in Jannah. If I make it.”

Zaynah burst out laughing, and it was only after a few seconds that I realised how stupid I sounded. I mean, who stalks in the place where our every desire and hope will be fulfilled?

It was insane.

A grin slowly crept begrudgingly on my face, and Zaynah still giggled to herself as we drove along.

“This reminds me,” she said quietly, stifling her giggles. “About the most amazing story.”

“Tell me,” I urged her, checking my watch and realising that we would have to stop soon. A few minutes were to spare, and I waited anxiously for Zaynah to tell me what was on her mind.

“The story of Umm Salamah,” she said mysteriously. I looked at her sideways, thinking that I knew the story.

But, of course, Zaynah always had something special up her sleeve. If I thought that my love was fierce, what she told me next brought on another dimension. The story of Abu and Umm Salamah Radiyallahu Anhum was nothing short of amazing.

And though it was a beautiful tale that many know, of how true love can come twice,  the real romance here was that it came twice, because of the immense love that this couple had for each other.

Her real name was Hind bint Abu Umayyah, who became famous by the name Umm Salamah. She was noble by birth, intelligent, learned, wise and skillful. She was first married to ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdul Asad Makhzumi, known as Abu Salamah. He was the son of the Prophet’s paternal aunt Barrah bint Abdul Muttalib. He too, belonged to the select band of people who were the first to accept Islam. He was known for his integrity, valour, generosity, tolerance and patience. He was the eleventh person to come into the fold of Islam. He was also the foster brother of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) through the ties of breast-feeding.

This family and couple faced many trials since their acceptance of Islam, but this only strengthened their love and attachment to each other. After a fierce battle, a wounded Abu Salamah lay on his deathbed.

Umm Salamah (RA) tearfully told her husband, “If the husband of a woman dies and he is of the people of Paradise, and his wife dies after him without having remarried, Allah will bring them back together in Jannah. Let us pledge that neither of us will remarry!”

SubhaanAllah. It was unfathomable to imagine… The man was on his deathbed, but the fact here was that the concern of this woman was not who was going to provide for her after her husbands death, or what will be the condition of her and her family. It was only their Aakhirah that they were immersed in.

And of course, the most awesome reply to her, when Abu Salamah (RA) asked her, “Will you obey me in whatever I request of you?”

Fervently, Umm Salamah (RA) replied, “Of course!”

Abu Salamah (RA) gazed at her, his heart overflowing with love for her, and told her, “If I die, swear to me that you will remarry!”

While Umm Salamah (RA) looked on in shock, he supplicated to Allah: “O Allah! Provide for Umm Salamah a man who is better than me!”

And because his love for her was so much, he wanted her to be taken care of.

Umm Salamah (RA) had spent her ‘iddah grieving for her deceased husband, her heart breaking every time she thought of his gentleness, his kindness, his courage, and his patience. As she cradled her newborn daughter, she wept at the thought that Abu Salamah would never see his daughter, and that there might be no man who would be willing to raise another man’s children as his own.

She thought back often on his words and wondered, in anguish, “Who could be better than Abu Salamah?”

And of course, the conclusion of the story, everyone knows…. When her ‘iddah ended at the birth of her daughter, Zaynab, RasulAllah (sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) asked for her hand in marriage.

Abu Salamah’s (RA)  Du’a had been answered, and once again, Umm Salamah (RA) experienced the wonder and beauty of true love.

SubhaanAllah. The Sahaba RA were just awesome. There was no other word for it. When I heard about them, it shook me to the core because I knew that we could never compare.

“Let’s read,” Zaynah said, reaching for the door handle as I finally stopped the car on a roadside picnic spot overlooking the gorge below. She followed me as I placed the Musalla down, taking position.

Now, if you’ve never prayed Salaah outdoors before, it definitely is something that needs to be on that bucket list. And no, it’s not about chasing a ‘feeling’, but sometimes, a feeling is just what we need for that flame within us to be ignited once again. I raised my hands to put the world behind me for the Takbeer, and I couldn’t help but shiver with emotion as I felt the moving breeze gust around us and the coolness beneath my feet. The feeling that Allah was always above and beyond everything, no matter how high we felt we were at that moment, was just brilliant. Praying outside, amidst the never-ending Cape Mountains and it’s spectacular view, together with my wife, was a moment I knew I would never forget. A moment that I didn’t know I would cling onto, in years to come.

I sucked in my breath as I ended with Salaam, glancing at my wife before I raised my hands for Du’aa.

I had to check, even though I knew what to expect. I just knew that I would see tears in her eyes. Only the selected few hearts were truly moved by the beauty of Allah’s creation. Only the true lovers can see the perfection in His creation.

Then look again. Can you see any rifts? (Surah Mulk: 4)

Of course, there was nothing out of synch in what He created. Everything was in perfection. The greatest artist, that we never pay any credit to. The one who creates a different picture in every moment. It was magnificent. It was just so… Serene.

“Ready to go, love?” I asked softly, after allowing her some time to make the most of this.

We could never give it the justice it deserved, but as darkness overcame the daylight, I knew we needed to leave. We got up, finally entering our car again, silenced by the peace that surrounded us all that time. We didn’t need to talk. We knew exactly what it was that was on each of our minds, as I started the car, still lost in thought.

And then , of course, just as the darkness overcame the beauty of the sunset we had just admired, the shrill ring of my phone conquered the quiet peace that prevailed, and brought us right back to the present.

Ziyaad’s number displayed on the screen, and we both already knew what it meant.

It was time to check in with reality once again.

Our Beloved NAbi (SAW) has mentioned: “Whoever revives my Sunnah then he has loved me. And whoever loved me, he shall be with me in Paradise.” [Tirmidhi]

Please don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!

It was narrated from Anas raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him): “The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) prohibited that a man should drink while standing.” (Qatadah said) So it was said: “And eating?” He (Anas) said: “That is worse.” [Tirmidhi]

We will be doing more eating and drinking Sunnahs Insha Allah. 



#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood




Tweet: @ajourneyjournal


A Way Out

 Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

The future is a mystery. A mystery of many twists and unprecedented occurrences, but a means to mould us and make us into exactly who we are meant to be.

Regardless of what we know, we still spend our lives worrying about the future, planning for the future and trying to predict the future. As if the ‘future’ is the only thing that keeps us going.

But we don’t realise that the true future is what should actually get us to stop. Just stop the chase, and stop the constant rivalry.

Our real future…

Should the home of of our deepest fears. It should be hopeless dread. Fearful anticipation. Remind us of the cutter-off of pleasures. The final destination.

It is said that the intelligent believer thinks of death twenty-five times a day.

Twenty five times. I don’t even scrape five.

But basically, he reminds himself of his dark doom, more than once every waking hour. He reinforces that every single thing that he is enjoying right now, will basically perish. He reaffirms that, of course, in this temporary world, we are most definitely never truly free.

The simple truth is this: It is only when one turns his heart completely to God, does he reach true freedom.  Just as the fire couldn’t burn Prophet Ibraahim (AS), the ‘fires’ of the creation cannot harm the one whose heart is immersed in his Lord. The financial, physical, emotional, social, and psychological fires cannot harm the one whose heart faces his Rabb.

“Strange is the case of a believer, there is good for him in everything—and this is only for the believer. If a blessing reaches him, he is grateful to God, which is good for him, and if an adversity reaches him, he is patient which is good for him.” [Muslim]

And of course, with every experience, there are only lessons to learn. As each somewhat hopeless and stressful situation makes it’s way into one’s life, one cannot help but to think of every possible outcome that may be, just as I was as I burst through the parking lot that evening, marching ahead, because I knew at that moment, nothing else mattered.

If only I had paid more attention, I was berating myself. Maybe I might have known. If only I had been more careful… More considerate.

It’s funny how after everything is done and the crap train is on full steam ahead, we find ourselves doing reflection.  The futile thoughts of ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’ were consuming my mind for the entire duration of the one-hour trip from the place I had been fishing at. I couldn’t help but think that I should have just been here, instead of anywhere else. I should have just dealt with my issues at home instead of going AWOL on Farah and everyone else too.

As I entered, I ignored that prickly feeling at the back of my neck, as if someone was not just watching me, but literally staring me down. I knew I would get harrassed mercilessly for not being here. I also knew that my in-laws would have a field day picking on how ‘early’ I had been there for my wife and child, when this was probably the time Farah needed me the most.

I swallowed, licking my lips roughly and getting ready to defend myself if needed. For once in my life, my eyes were completely averted, not wanting to meet anybody’s penetrating gaze. I almost wanted to kick myself because when it came to the times I needed to look down, any chic would completely throw me off. Not getting myself into any kind of argument was a sure reason to control myself this time.

I hastily entered the ward she was at, immediately relieved to see her sitting on the bed. Thankfully, she was alone and not with the masses that usually accompanied a pregnant woman who was probably in very early labour.

I tapped softly at the door, trying to straighten up the ‘going-fishing’ attire I wearing before she saw me.

I knew why I was doing it now. The truth of how little I had put into this marriage was haunting me. I wanted her to always see the best in me, but I usually never made an effort to show it. I wanted to always be her first preference, but I seldom put her before everything else.

Today, I was going to change that. Today, I was going to make my family my priority. Today I would start being better.

“Love,” I said softly, walking slowly toward the ward bed. I wasn’t sure when was the last time I had addressed her so affectionately. It was like we were at constant war with each other for the past two weeks, living in the same house.

She looked liked she was sleeping, but her eyes fluttered open as I went forward. I reached out my hand to touch her, and she turned her face slightly, almost as if she didn’t want me to.

“I’m sorry I’m late,” I said, immediately cutting to the chase.

She didn’t reply. Just looked at me, almost as if she wasn’t even seeing me. As if she was focussed somewhere beyond me.

“Farah,” I said softly, pulling the chair close to the bed and sitting next to her.

She turned her head to look at me, but she still had that blank look on her face. She was either seriously drugged up, or something was very wrong. I had to ask.

“Is everything… Okay?” I finally said, almost choking on my own words.

I ignored the nagging feeling, awaiting those three words.

It’s all okay. It needed to hear it. I needed to know what was happening.

But sometimes, when you want something really badly, the mere hint of positivity can bring on the most immense relief. A trace of a smile appeared on Farah’s face, but before I could even take the bait and smooth everything over, two nurses came in, looking from me to Farah, slightly hesitating before they spoke.

“It’s okay, I’m the-” I started.

“He’s the father,” Farah said, her expression still fairly unreadable. “My husband.”

The magnanimity of it just suddenly hit me.

Zee was going to have to grow up. All of a sudden. I wasn’t even sure how I had got here. I was barely even out of my teens, but from that drunk guy at the club, I had suddenly evolved into some kind of bearded hopeful, and now, I was expected to just ‘be’ a responsible father.

But life was such, that regardless of whether you are ready or not, if you have the audacity to do the crap that put you in a situation, you needed to man up enough to deal with it.

I instantly put on my iron-man mode, prepared for anything. Excitement was building up, and the anticipation was getting more intense. Maybe it was a moment, but I was all psyched up for the big showdown that involved my baby coming into this world, before my entire universe came crashing down with the next words.

From the serenity I had just felt moments before, their next words were the bomb that shook my world.

We’re just taking her for the final scan before she… I  mean, you guys, make a decision.”

I processed. Once. Twice.

Was I missing something?

A decision? What was going on?

“Can you just give us a few minutes?” I told them quickly, wanting to talk to my wife alone. She was avoiding eye contact, and I immediately knew.

It’s funny how sometimes, you see all the signs, but you still refuse to accept what’s right in front of your eyes. I could see that she was being strong, but I didn’t know why. I could see she was trying to look normal, but I still denied the obvious.

That look on her face was dreadfully familiar. Beyond the tiny smile that lingered, her eyes told an entirely different story. Something was definitely wrong.

“It’s not okay.”

That was all it took.

The next few moments were like a whirlwind in my boggled mind. Her words knocked me like a ton of bricks.

I blinked, as if I had been slapped.

I didn’t even think about Farah, as she explained to me what was going on. I had no consideration for anyone else, as I tried to regather my scattered thoughts.

I walked out blindly, hearing a doctor talking near me, and I immediately knew it was my baby they were discussing. It was like a punch in my stomach.

There was no way of knowing… It was something that they could only see at this point in the pregnancy.

It had no brain. The baby’s brain was just fluid. A birth defect that could make him or her completely brain-dead. Like a vegetable, basically. Just a limp vegetable.

A streak of possessiveness shot through me, determined to do everything to make this all okay.

I spun around, and almost as if I was in a trance, walked back to the waiting area. Images were flashing to my mind, as I let it all sink in. Was this all my fault? Was this calamity something I had brought on with my own doings?

Blaring music. ‘The Zee’ in the club. Women in my face. Booze. Drugs.

Partying like there was no tomorrow. Giving it all up like there was no care in the world.

Sin upon sin.

And now, even though I knew exactly how far I was going at the time, I felt like I was literally air-lifted, and dropped into this situation, not even with an inkling of know-how as to what I needed to do to get out. It was just beyond bogus.

I took a seat at the first chair I could see, hanging my head in my hands, as if I was ready for a complete meltdown.

I didn’t think. I didn’t think about consequences. I just did as I felt, solely for temporary satisfaction.

I felt like a complete fool. The torrent of emotion was on it’s way out, and from the pitied looks I was getting, I just knew that there was no happy ending here.

I just couldn’t help but feel like the whole thing was my fault.

Was this the punishment I had to suffer, because I had messed around? Was it the masses of drugs I was taking when I was with Farah? Where was the way out here?

“It’s gonna be okay.”

The voice accompanied a firm hand on my shoulder, but of course, I didn’t have to look up to see who it was. I looked down, still shaking my head in disbelief.

How was it that when he needed me, I couldn’t step up, but he always made sure that he did? Though I never thought twice about anyone but myself, he made sure that he was here for me.

Without a single moments hesitation, I turned, pulling onto my brother like a little kid.

I felt like the idiot brother who messed up once again, now being rescued for what I had got caught up in. His hands gripped me assuringly, and I couldn’t help but believe what he had just said. I couldn’t help but believe that it was going to be okay.

And then, because my brother was just so damn brilliant, he murmured what I knew I would never, for the life of me, ever forget. Words I would cling onto for the rest of my existance.

“﴿وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجاًوَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَحْتَسِبُ﴾”

And whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make a way for him to get out. And He will provide him from where he never could imagine. (Surah At-Talaq: 2/3)

 And the verse goes on to say:

“And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.”

It was just… Awesome. The answer I was just searching for. The way out I was determined to find.

Dammit, my brother was the bomb.

He was my guide to refuge, and my means to change my life. Only through Allah’s mercy, He had brought me to this point, and Waseem was the main instrument to make sure that I stayed there. Nagging the heck out of me was the worst thing for me at the time, but his constant patronising made me better. It kept me clean. And now, again it put me back on track.

“You’ve come so far,” he said, grinning like a stud. “You can’t melt down now, boss. You’re a soldier.”

I wasn’t sure about that, but I knew that I was stronger now than I had ever been. And it was true that Allah had now brought me to a point in my life where I was much more focussed than I ever was. With time, I had built up the courage and ability to not revert to where I had come from, with every small obstacle.

Allah had only brought me to this trying place at this point, because He knew that I would know exactly how to handle this, and place my trust in Him alone. He alone will provide the way out. He will take care of it all.

He will provide the way out.

I blinked back my emotions, nodding at Waseem, feeling like I was able to conquer the world again.

Bring it on, boss, I thought to myself, getting up, and feeling like the protagonist in the series of ‘My Life’, once again.

I had ‘Mafia Mode’ switched right back on.

“Be a man,” Waseem said patronisingly, bursting my super-hero bubble.

It was amazing how he knew exactly what I needed to hear. He knew what a coward I always was.

“Go and be with your wife.”

Dear readers, I am so sorry for going partly AWOL. An extra long post to make up. 

Please don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!

#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood




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Down to Earth

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Everyone’s been through stuff in their life.

I mean, no person is completely excluded from the obvious mishaps and inconsistencies that are part of this journey. We all have scars in all sorts of unexpected places. It’s like secret road maps of our personal histories or diagrams of our sometimes extensive injuries.

And most of the time we heal well, leaving nothing behind but a scar.

Some wounds, however, are left behind to tell a story. Some wounds, we carry with us everywhere, and though the cut is long gone, the pain still lingers.

Sometimes, we need to understand that, at the end of the day, beyond the scars and pain, the fact that we are still here, is a blessing.  That we have the chance to take the plunge and change, the wisdom to fix what’s broken, and opportunity to make everything all okay again… Is reason enough to be content.

When we realise that it is a futile task to be concerned about the torment and misery of the past, and instead, see that  every waking moment is another moment for us to put the problems of the past to bed, that’s only when we can seize the day. That, folks, is only when we truly find the gold.

“Boss, you fishing for gold or what?”

Fishing. It wasn’t a completely foreign concept for me. I mean, I had done some in my life, but most of the time it in involved a different kind of catch. This was the first time I had actually come out in murky waters with a borrowed fishing rod in hand.

It wasn’t the most entertaining sport, and with Junaid’s ban on all technology in the water, I kind of felt like pulling out my hair. Honestly, it was crazy how dependant we were on technology, we even forgot that we could just chill out and admire the scenery instead. I breathed in the slightly fishy air now, trying to capture the moment in my mind instead.

The afternoon was closing in, and as I looked up at the reflection of the sky on the water, and it’s beautiful silhouette, it awed me to the extent that I immediately remembered the purpose of our existence here.

Allah says: “All that is in the heavens and on Earth glorify Allah.” [Sūrah al-Hashr: 1]

Indeed, everything that I was observing, as well as the entire universe, makes tasbeeh of Him, so why couldn’t I do so too?

Verily, that was where the hearts find rest.

I glanced away, seeing Junaid grinning and shaking his head at his brother. The company I was with here was so simple and down to earth, I just felt even more at peace.

Junaid finally answered, still shaking his head.

“You can’t be impatient, Yaas,” he said calmly, taking a swig from his cold drink can. “Sabr. You gotta chill out and wait. And when the bob starts moving, and you’re in luck, then you go for it, and take a chance.”

Yaaseen grinned, raising his eyebrows at me.

“This owe thinks he’s got more experience than me,” he joked. “The way he talks… It feels like he’s the older brother sometimes.”

It was the first time I had met Yaaseen, but I already liked him.

I smirked at them both, immediately feeling nostalgic.

Yeah, the Zee was getting all emo again. Being around Junaid and his brother was making me miss my own brothers. We hadn’t spent time together in so long, it was actually unreal, and I knew it was partly my fault. With Dad not mobile and getting to grips with my new marriage, everything just seemed so unsettled. Excuses. I knew that’s what it was. Life was just really unpredictable. That’s why when I called Junaid and he mentioned a day fishing trip, I jumped at the opportunity.

“So… You’re not missing your wife?” He asked as we sat on the cement deck, wondering why I wanted to be here just two weeks after my wedding.

I shook my head absently, not even thinking about what kind of husband it made me.

“She’s got her own stuff to worry about,” I said vaguely. “I don’t think she needs me around.”

Junaid looked at me strangely.

“Yeah, but be careful,” he said, frowning. “When you have a vrou, there’s really no time for all this, Zee. Make your wife your best friend, and you’ll will be okay. Marriage is tough, boss.”

I snorted, wondering if that could ever be a possibility. As Farah’s pregnancy was progressing she was more irritable and frustrated. She went on these hectic campaigns to irritate the heck out of me and pick on everything that I was doing.

She was like a ticking and walking bomb. I had to step on egg-shells. She complained all the time. Her whole mood was just… Off.

“You know… You did a good thing,” Yaaseen said unexpectedly. I didn’t even know he was listening.

Junaid looked at him wryly and I sensed there was something more to what he was saying, but I didn’t dig any deeper.

Right now, I was only focussed on me. I felt like everything I had done in my life was crap, and it was all just a huge mistake.

I didn’t realise that his brother had gone through far worse than I had. I was so sheltered in my ‘rich-boy’ lifestyle, it was only later on when Junaid told me that I realised that my story had nothing on what he had gone through.

“Yaaseen was still in school,” Junaid said later, as we packed everything away. “And of course, among other shady things, he had a chic. You know how things can get out of hand when you involved in Haraam… And so she fell pregnant. People were after him. Everyone was going crazy, ‘cos she refused to do get rid of it. It was the talk of the town. I was still in school but I remember… Heavy stories, boss.”

He picked up his fishing box and I followed him as he walked back up to his bakkie, waiting to hear more. The whole story was like déjàvu.

“So he married her?” I asked, almost rhetorically.

To my surprise, Junaid shook his head.

“He refused,” he said bluntly. “Ran for his life coz her brother wanted to kill him. No jokes. Yaaseen said he can’t get hitched so young. When he eventually came around… it was too late. She was fuming, boss…. Said she’ll tell everyone about how he ruined her life. And she did.”

Junaid shrugged, loading the last of his fishing stuff into the bakkie and closing the boot.

“Life’s messed up,” he said finally. “People mess up. They engage their nafs, but they don’t wanna step up when they need to take responsibility.  It’s wrong, but you can’t change the world. Yaaseen regretted it, but his choices on how to deal with it had already messed up his life. He even suffered years after, when he changed his life. Good girls don’t wanna get involved when there’s a kid.”

I nodded, understanding, and already feeling a bit better for some reason.

He was right, I thought to myself. I had done a good thing.

I didn’t think of every consequence, but at least I had stepped up to what I had done and married Farah. The sore reality was that many guys don’t. They mess around and they don’t care what happens afterwards. The crappy part was that a lot of the time, it’s not him who suffers. The girl has to deal with everything.

And of course, I was feeling all tops because the guy had just boosted my spirits and put me way up there, when I knew I didn’t really deserve to be. It’s amazing how we sometimes have double standards when it comes to others, but yet when we recall ourselves in the past, everything becomes hazy. We forget how messed up we were before we got to step up. Before we were guided, through Allah’s mercy.

Floating somewhere way beyond my true level piety, when Junaid spoke next, I was quickly brought back down to Earth.

“Anyway, boet,” he said, leaning forward to greet me, all packed and ready to leave. “Lucky we met up today…. Next will probably be in a month.”

I looked at him, confused.

“We got lucky with a cancellation,” he said, shaking his head and looking slightly overwhelmed. “Yaas and I got accepted for Hajj. We’re leaving in three days.”

He had a distant look in his eyes, and it took me a few seconds to process the magnitude of what he had said.


Wow. I literally took a step back, completely taken aback. Just when I thought that I was on some pedestal, my Lord brought me right back to the level I belonged.

It was like a bit of a kick in the stomach, knowing what this meant. I too, had applied with Waseem, before he was married, but of course, my name wasn’t on the list. My call wasn’t there. Allah was not wanting my Labbaik yet. It was the ugly truth.

Instead, the guy who I was busy thinking I was better than, was the one who He had responded to. So easily, I had completely disregarded my “jaahiliyyah” days when I thought I would never have to account for my sins. I had forgotten that time in my life where I shunned Salaah, facial hair and even simple Sunnah, as if it was completely bogus. And then, I still pretend to be like a buzurg by looking down upon other people, like I never committed a sin in my life. Hearing one story about his brother’s life got me thinking that I knew exactly what this guy was all about, when of course, I was so clearly off-track.

There was no way I could ever see his reality with Allah, or ever judge, despite everything I knew.

It was only later on when Junaid told me that I realised how far they had come. .No matter what you have done in life, how you make up for it was what really counted. Repenting and turning to Allah was the only saviour, and that is exactly what he did. Of course, I could never ever be able to see what he was really worth in the eyes of our Lord.

The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “I have not been ordered (by Allah) to search the hearts of the people or cut open their bellies.” (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim)

In another incident when Usama ibn Zayd radi Allahu anhuma killed a man though he had confessed that there is no deity worthy of being worshiped but Allah, claiming that the man had said so out of fear of weapon, the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) observed: “Did you tear his heart in order to find out whether it had professed that or not?” (Reported by Muslim)

I shoved my ‘holier than thou’ attitude right where back where it came from, fiercely hugging my friend like I would never see him again. I knew I would miss him, and I let him know that I would definitely feel his absence. A friend who kept you in check was like a rare gem.

“Stay close to Waseem and you’re sorted,” he said, winking at me, just before he opened hid door. “That guy still amazes me. The Mus’ab of our time.”

I smiled and nodded, hoping that somehow, I too could also get the gold. From my wife, to my family and even my relationships with them… Meeting with Junaid made me want to get my life on track already. There was still so much I had to work on, and I was still absorbed in everything Junaid confessed to me, I thought of nothing else as I started my own car, ready for the drive home. It was only when I heard the vibration of my iPhone I had left in the centre console, did I realise that some heavy things were probably going down back at home, and I immediately was brought back down to Earth.

I quickly glanced at the screen, seeing the amount of people trying to contact me. I felt like I was a serious celebrity there for a second, as I sifted through dozens of messages and missed calls.

The messages were short, but clear. Farah was frantic and already at the hospital, and so was my entire family.

I put my foot on the pedal, knowing I needed to get wherever she was, fast.

I didn’t know it yet, but before everything would all fall into place, life was just going to get a whole lot more complicated.

السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

Sorry for the delayed post.

Just a reminder: Its time to invest good deeds!

The first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah are amongst the days which Allah has granted extra virtue and excellence over other days of the year, to the extent that many Ulama are of the opinion that these days are more virtuous than the last ten days of Ramadan, and even the last ten nights of Ramadan, with the exception of Laylatul Qadr.

Rasulullah ﷺ said, “There are no days in which actions are more beloved to Allah than these days, i.e., the ten days (of Dhu’l-Hijjah).”*
The Companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah, not even jihad in the path of Allah?”*
He ﷺ said, “Not even jihad in the path of Allah, except a person who goes out with his life and wealth, but does not return with anything.”
(Bukhari, Tirmidhi and others)

These are also the ten nights which Allah swore oath by in Surah al-Fajr:

“By the dawn, and ten nights” (Qur’an Kareem, 89:1-2)

These blessed days are for us to exert ourselves in the worship and remembrance of Allah, and all acts of obedience. Let us try to do extra deeds (Amal-e-Saaleh) that are going to be weighty on our scales, Insha Allah. let’s also make extra special effort to observe our Super Sunnahs

Awesome link: http://www.theorganizedmuslimah.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/10-Best-Days-Mini-Planner.pdf

Allah make it easy for us all. 

#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood




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