Moving Forward

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Waseem: One step at a time...

Ever heard the saying; ‘when it rains, it pours’?

People always say it when the going in life gets a notch or two tougher. It seems like when one thing happens, everything compounds until it becomes almost unbearable. It feels like there really isn’t much hope and all the odds are against you… And how do you beat the odds when it’s one against a billion?

So you weigh your options. Sometimes you stand strong, keep pushing yourself past all rational limits and never let yourself give up. Sometimes, though, the the truth of the matter is, despite how hard you try and fight to stay in control, when it’s all said and done, sometimes you’re just outnumbered.

I gazed almost subconsciously ahead of me as I watched the two business associates of my father’s approach the table I was at, stretching my hand out to greet the male CEO of the firm that my father had dealt with for umpteen years, and reclining my hand as the female associate tried to greet me too.

Among other things, like trying to lead even my business life by the Sunnah, this was something I had begin to implement recently, and more so when I changed my life. Noticing the weird look I got, I politely explained that my religion didn’t permit me to touch strange females. I momentarily thought to myself about telling Zaynah about it later, when I remembered… That probably wasn’t going to happen.

She was gone. It seemed like it was ages ago, but it was just that morning when I had left the hospital for the last time, with a huge hole in my gut.

When every odd was against me, my brother-in-law was the only one on my side who tried to stand up for me. Being the a nice guy that he was, I knew he meant well, but when Zaynah’s family decided that she should rather go to familiar surroundings, I knew there wasn’t much I could do. Maybe they had just expected me to give up by now, but I had just wanted to see her leave, as I waited at the hospital that morning.

Zaynah had been busy with her cousins who were getting her ready for the big move ‘home’ and my heart literally sunk to my feet when I thought of her not returning to our marital home and going somewhere completely foreign. Despite knowing her preferences, all I knew was that she needed to come back. She needed to give me a chance. She needed to get to know me again.

My thoughts went back to earlier that day, as I remembered the first time she actually spoke to me properly since she had woken up. When my parents had come in a few weeks ago with me, she had literally frozen, unable to deal with the stress of not knowing us at all. She was probably wondering how she had ended up marrying into this dysfunctional family in the first place. We were so different from what she had probably always imagined for herself. Even though I had tried to assure her that it was all okay, I could see how rigid she had become, because of her reservations.

“Zaynah,” I said, moving toward the bed and hoping to say something that would ignite her lost memory. Anything to get her to remember me. Remember us.

She just looked up at me nervously and slightly awkwardly as I edged forward, almost as if I would bite her. I felt like I was some kind of predator. I felt as if I was a complete stranger.

“I know that you have no idea about these few months that we spent together,” I said, a lump forming in my throat. I wasn’t sure why I was getting emotional, but all this time I hadn’t really expressed to her how hard it was for me. It was all about her, and her getting well again. The strain on me had been almost indescribable.

Her cousin looked at me sympathetically as I tried to continue, the words stuck in my throat. She had insisted that someone be there while I spoke to her, and though it hurt, I knew that I couldn’t blame Zaynah. She was, after all, different to the girl I had gotten to know since we had wed.

I wanted to reach out to my wife as I watched her fiddling with the bed sheet, almost as if she didn’t want to even look at me. Maybe to her it was awkward but to me, there was nothing more that I wanted. It was one of the greatest tests to restrain myself from touching her.

I wanted to tell her how much she had meant to me… How she had changed me… How much I loved her… But the last thing I wanted to do was overwhelm my beloved wife.

I would have sacrificed anything for her happiness, and I knew that being considerate of her condition was the best thing I could do for her.

She looked so delicate. Fragile. Vulnerable.

“Zaynah, I think that you should-”

My words were cut off as I started my suggestion of her coming home to me, and as the noise sounded, Zaynah looked behind me to the open door with a slightly relieved look on her face.

Physical pain actually shot through me as I registered who it was. Zaynah actually knew him better than she knew me at this point, and it made my heart sink to my gut.

I was coming close to hating the guy, and it scared me. I wasn’t sure if I could control myself very much longer around him.

“Mamoo is here,” he said, and I narrowed my eyes at Raees, wondering since when he thought it was okay to just enter the ward without permission.

He was addressing his statement at his sister, but I could see him looking at my wife. The guy had always made me feel uncomfortable and now with the recent changes to Zaynah’s condition, I could see him take advantage of the situation. I really wanted to tell him to back off, but I knew that it would lead to a fight, which I didn’t mind, but I didn’t want to upset Zaynah.

“How long will you’ll be?” He asked, looking from me to Zaynah, and then raising his eyebrows. “Are you okay?”

His last question was addressed to Zaynah, and I really wanted to punch his face for saying it.

The fact that he was so concerned about her around me really annoyed me. He seemed to forget that we  were still married, despite him telling me outright that maybe I should give up on the thought of a future with my own wife. Despite him telling me that maybe I should leave her to start another life without me. My blood had literally boiled when he suggested it.

I clenched my jaw and fists simultaneously, reminding myself that I needed to contain myself for Zaynah’s sake.

I merely shook my head, staring him down until he finally left and then looked at Zaynah one last time, wondering if I would get any joy out of these last few moments before she left.

“I won’t push you,” I told her, not wanting her to get anxious around me. She looked visibly relieved as she finally met my eye and I and I tried to hold her gaze as I walked a little closer.

I swallowed nervously, giving her a small smile as we watched each other, almost like we both knew it would be the last time for a long while.

“But,” I said, and she widened her eyes slightly, as if waiting for me to offer the final blow. “If you ever need me, or want to come home…”

I trailed off, not completing my sentence, because even now, Zaynah knew exactly what I meant. My spirits rose momentarily when she nodded, and I gave her a last smile before I took a step back and left the room, feeling a tiny spark of hope amidst the sorrow deep down.

I rubbed my burning eyes as I went to sit on the edge of the outside bench, thinking that I would watch her go and then check on my younger brother after. It had been three days since the funeral and I could see him slowly regaining his former spirit,  although it was taking a long while for him to digest that everything in his life had again completely changed. His married life was completely over.

Riyaad sat next to me as I waited there for those few minutes, just letting us dwell in companionable silence for that little while, understanding that I really didn’t want to talk.

All I could think of then was how unfair it all was. How I had been robbed of my marriage. There had been a point when all I wanted was for Zaynah to just be alive… to just be okay. Now that she had woken up and was actually well enough to leave the dreaded hospital, my heart yearned for more. I wanted her back, not just the way she was, but the way I knew her. I wanted more out of her… I wanted more out of the entire deal.

Of course, I knew that I was being ungrateful.

I didn’t think of all the simple bounties we had been granted, through it all. I didn’t think that at least my wife had been given a second chance at life, or show any gratitude that she had at least come out of the unconscious state she was in. All I wanted was more… because I felt robbed of my time with her. I felt that I deserved more out of the marriage. I felt that I wanted more than her to just be okay. I wanted us to be okay. I wanted more from what we had.

Yes, it was a test… and yes, it was hard… even harder than I thought to watch her go home happily with her family, without any clue of the outcome of our marriage.

And almost as if coming to save me from myself, as I got off the bench when the car exited, it was almost as if someone whispered, beautifully, straight into my soul:

“Indeed, with every difficulty, there is relief.” (Surah Inshirah)

And it was so apt as the words caught me, because I had forgotten. It set my soul alight because throughout the ordeal in hospital, and almost losing Zaynah, it was what kept me going. It was what comforted my deranged spirit when I felt like I had lost everything. At that stage, all I wanted was for her to just be okay. All I wanted was for her to just survive.

Because even though we are tested with hardship, Allah Ta’ah reminds us not once, but twice, that within that hardship, there are so many eases that we are given. Whether the ease comes now or later, the promise that we are given is a true one. So instead of dwelling over the loss of a wife, I knew that, unlike Zee, my wife was still here. I could still try, though it might look like I had no chance. I could still try and earn the greater rewards that will be in store for me, through my patience.

All I needed to for now was let go, and have faith that even though it may not be right now, a some point in the future, everything will be okay again.

Once in a while, along the bitter sweet journey of life, people enter your life for reasons that are far beyond any explanation. They find their way in and they inspire such change, that you can no longer imagine your life before they came along. That’s how much they mean to you, and you  can’t help but feel that there’s nowhere else that they belong except right where you need them to be.

Zaynah had come into my life in such a way that she had changed the direction of our lives completely and for eternity. She had shown me that Deen wasn’t only about sitting at the Masjid or growing a beard. It was not isolated. It was a way of life, and what she showed me was greater than any material or worldly perk. It was more important than any gift that anyone could give me. The privilege of finding Deen withing the darkness of Duniyaa was something than was far beyond any worldly value.

It wasn’t about the happy ending here. It was about the entire journey… and about the eternal future she had made me see. It was so much more than the temporary life I had lived,  and I couldn’t help but see how far I had come from that place where I really had no idea of where I was headed.

And now, of course, that was something that I knew for sure. Where I was headed wasn’t just to the coffee shop across the road from my office, for my caffeine fix, just so I could get through my day. Where I was headed was not only about the meeting I had next on my schedule with bank managers, to see that my father’s finances were all in order. It wasn’t only about my busy schedule, that make ends meet for this temporary world.

Yes, life had to go on, but that wasn’t where it all ended. There was so much more than I had known all this time. It was so much more than just chasing the world.

The message that I had taken was deep and clear.

Chase what’s greater. Chase freedom. Chase emancipation.

And when you reach it, don’t let it dwindle away like that illusive hope you’ve always watched from afar.

Enter. Emerge. Encompass.

But, remember the heart, by definition, is that which turns. It will turn in whatever direction it is steered, should one wish.  All we have to do is keep bringing the heart back to focus… back to it’s centre… back to Him. Back to that calm, perfect, fireless world, where only He remains.

Take the plunge. Make the change. Shift the focus. Once you are at peace with whatever is dealt to you —a calm, serene world—can exist inside. Your sanctuary that you have built throughout your journey is within yourself, and how you face every test.

Once you have it, and you’ve earned that, you can go ahead. You can move forward.

No matter who or what leaves your life… Know that your eternity… Your priceless Jannah… Can never be taken away.


Don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!

Beautiful Sunnah!!

Eating a piece of food that falls on the floor. If a piece of food falls on the floor, then the person eating should remove any dirt that gets onto it and eat it; because he does not know where the blessing is in his food. It may be in the piece that fell, and leaving it makes a person miss out on the blessing of the food.

Anas ibn Maalik narrated that when Nabi (SAW) ate, he would lick his three fingers. Anas said: “And he said, ‘If any one of you drops a piece of food, let him remove any dirt from it and eat it, and not leave it for the Shaytaan.’ And he commanded us to clean the plate, and said, ‘For you do not know where in your food the blessing is.’” (Narrated by Muslim, 2034). 

There are many bodily benefits to all Sunnah as well. Let’s try and practise regularly!

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

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#RevivetheSunnahofDrinking

#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofSmiling

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofDu’aas

Tweet: @ajourneyjournal

Advertisements

Back-Up Plan

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Waseem: What we plan...

When it comes down to it all, officially, there are some things you just can’t help but talk about. There are some things we just don’t want to hear… And some things we say because we can’t be silent any more. Some things, however, are more than what words you can  say. Some things you say because there is no other choice. Some things you keep to yourself, but every now and again, there are some things that just happen… And those things simply speak for themselves.

Death.

It’s inevitability is always present,but when you see it with your very eyes, and witness it’s finality… You understand what it means when they say that there is no going back. That moment when your heart is literally cracked apart because of the unbearable pain, and you feel like it will never heal… Well, for me, that’s what makes death so hard on the living.

But while we focus on our own pain, we fail to understand that it’s not about us. Today it was another person’s name on the list, but somewhere down there, your name is featuring too. And at the end of it, you’ve either won or lost, and the winning and losing is not to do with death itself- It’s the entire journey that actually gets you there.

Abu Huraira reported: Nabi (SAW) said, “Remember often the destroyer of pleasures,” by which he meant death.

And of course, no-one likes to think about it, or even talk about it, but it was an inevitable part of life. There is no escaping that fact that we are going to leave this world, whether we like it or not. There’s no getting away from the fact that we are all going to have to succumb to that final journey to our Creator.

But how we do it, is what matters. How we prepare ourselves, and live our lives, is what makes a difference. And that’s what we should always focus on… That should be our only priority. It’s when everything else takes second place when those final moments are on the verge of happening, and our entire lives are at a stand-still when the dreaded company of death is near.

And of course, even for me, everything in my life seemed subordinate the moment that Ziyaad phoned me to say he needed my help. Zaynah’s going home to her uncle that same day, despite my arguments with the family, was completely trivialised when I picked up the phone. Raees’s bantering and underlying threats were the last thing on my mind the moment I laid eyes on the bloody accident scene before my eyes. I walked forward to where I could see Ziyaad, encountering some of the police officers warnings as I pushed myself forward, regardless of their resistance.

“One, two, three,” a paramedic was calling out, virtually on top of the body that lay on the cold tar below us. It took me a few seconds to realise who it was, and my heart sunk even lower as they repeated the count, and the tried to pump the chest once again. I turned my face away, not wanting to see any more.

The disappointment hung in the air, and my heart contracted as reality sunk in.

“There’s Waseem… Go home,” a voice said after a few unbearable moments, and I turned around to see a dishevelled Ziyaad with his friend Juniad behind us.

The crowd was already disappearing. People were so fickle. Action was over. Everything was getting cleared out. There really was no need for any spectators. I walked away too, guiding my brother firmly as he took this all in.

“Zee,” I said sympathetically, shaking my head, and not knowing what else to say.

I mean, what else do you say, except the reality of it all?

“Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilaihi Raji’oon.”

Indeed, we are not placed in this world to stay here. We get so involved in the pursuit of this Duniyaa and all it’s perks that we forget that it’s not our real home.

I wanted to offer him some comfort, but my own heart was gripped with grief as I saw him immediately break down when I reached out. He gripped me with all the force of the anxiety that he was trying to contain. He clung on like that little boy I had seen grow up in the past few months, riddled by everything that had happened. I could tell the questions on his mind, and I really didn’t have many answers for him.

The whole thing was like an out of body experience. We were there, at that moment, but the moment just felt unreal.

And if course, because she played on my mind more than anything, at that moment, I vaguely remembered how Zaynah had once told me something that I found quite amusing at the time.

She had just moved into my parent’s home, and I knew she sometimes got a bit shocked at the luxuries that I had grown up with. I think she sometimes found it unbelievable that I had never made a bed in my life. She looked up at me one day as she folded my clothes I was packing for a business trip, with a strange look on her face.

“Sometimes I get this feeling that we are just like dolls in a playhouse,” she had said, and I looked at her with a smirk, trying not to laugh.

“What do you mean?” I asked her, looking slightly confused.

“Like,” she said, eyeing me out cynically as I lounged on the daybed with my phone. “Can you imagine the Malaaikah just watching us in amusement, as we get carried away with everything in this temporary world? And they’re probably laughing at us too, thinking at how silly we are as we lose focus! Thinking that we have no idea that all this is nothing… Compared to what is coming.”

I grinned at her, and I knew she was teasing me about my relaxed state of mind. I had been a little lazy at the time, happy about my married life and everything that was happening, but I was working on getting myself back on track. She smiled her amazing smile to show she was only teasing, but I got the message. Before it was too late…. I knew that there was no better time than right then to start working on myself.

Too late.

I sighed. That was what we forgot. That one day, it will be too late, and now, of course, for Zee’s wife, it was already too late. It was so sudden, but our entire lives had changed so drastically now, with the turns of events. It was all in the test, and as I glanced at Ziyaad, I could see it eating him up. I just didn’t want him to fail, as he let it all out.

That was the thing with emotions. They eat you up in a way that people can’t really understand. They get under your skin and you can’t shake it. And even you do start to feel better, you still don’t have it in you to feel it, because just the memory still ties you down.

“I’ll sort all the formalities out,” I said, trying to divert his attention and thinking about everything that needed to be arranged from here. I knew that Ziyaad’s wife’s family will probably be on top of it, but I knew Ziyaad’s mind will be eased if I tell him that I had spoken to a guy who would make sure that nothing unislamic was done. That there will be no post-mortem. That everything should be done quickly. There was no way that Ziyaad could worry about the formalities when his life had just been shaken up.

Besides that, I knew that I needed to get him home before the Janazah, and be there for him if he needed any support. I watched him trudge up the entrance steps ahead of me as we reached home, meeting my mother halfway through the door. She reached for him and clung on, and I could hear her slightly muffled words through the sobs in between.

She was speaking about Farah and their marriage, and crying in between, and I wondered if she was trying to make him feel better or worse. Ziyaad just looked numb, as he nodded, and moved forward as if he was some kind of robot.

“Your father wants to see you.”

He nodded, and I knew exactly how he felt. Like he was floating. Like it was all part of  a bad dream… And we were just spectators looking onto the tragedy that had just occurred.

I waited outside while trudged out the room in a kind of trance, knowing that it was time for the arrangements to be made. We hopped into the car in silence,  and I could hear Ziyaad sigh audibly as we neared the house, seeing cars already streaming in, and hoards of people in religious attire making their way through the secure complex of houses. We both kept our head down as we stepped off the car, not wanting to meet anyone’s eye. With the strain on Ziyaad’s marriage, I wasn’t sure about the reception we would get.

Everything happened so fast that day, that looking back, I could barely even recall the emotions that coupled it all. I got lost in my thoughts as we entered the graveyard, remembering the last time that I had been here, and reliving that pain for a few moments one again. The feelings of loss and despair was still very real for Ziyaad, but I could hear him steadying his breath as people made way for him to approach the prepared grave, and he looked down into it’s depths.

It still shocked me that people could talk about worldly things while we stood there, and I heard  a few guys actually chuckling about something that had happened earlier that day. If the graveyard didn’t immediately divert your attention to the reality if life, then I wasn’t sure what would.

Whenever Hazrat Uthman (Radiyallahu Anhu) used to stand at the grave side he used to cry so excessively that his blessed beard would become wet with his eye drop. Someone asked: “Why do
you not cry so much when mention is made of Jannah and Jahannam as you would cry when mention is made of the grave?”He replied, I heard Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) saying: “The grave 1s the first stage from the stages of the Aakhiraah, Whoever has passed it easily all the other oncoming stages will be easy for him and whoever is afflicted with punishment in it for him, the oncoming-stages will be even tougher. ”

I prayed for my own safety as I turned back to give them a silencing look, hoping they would get the message.

Some things, unfortunately, have to be learnt through tragedy. Through loss. Through the reality that lays right before our eyes.

It was the final home that someone was called backed to today. And though it was her today, who knew whose turn it would be tomorrow, a week, or even a month from here? As we go about our day to day lives, who knew when we would  be called back for that final meeting with the Creator of Heavens and Earth, and stand before him as our lives are dissected and questioned through every meagre action we might have done.

The strange thing is, for everything in life, most people have a back-up plan. A plan B. A second option.

You run out of cash, you swipe your card. You lose your keys, you take out the spare. Your main man lets you down… Call the next best.

Whatever you do, know that eventually, it will all get sorted out. It doesn’t even take much effort at times, but it just means that you can rely on something else. It just means that you don’t have to panic.

But although we tie our loose ends for most things in life, the scariest part is that we haven’t really thought about the end of it. That moment when it all comes to a halt. When there is no turning back. When the doors of repentance are closed. When the hope for any future is completely crushed.

Death.

When that final moment of truth comes, and we are face to face with the infamous Malakal Mauth, what plan can we pull out then? Do we have enough on our records to pull us through for that? Which contact are we going to dial then? What’s our back-up plan for then?

What’s your back-up plan?

“And perhaps you wear your watch, and the one who inherits will take it off from you. And perhaps you close the door of your car, and the ambulance man will open it for you. And perhaps you do up the buttons of your shirt, and the one who washes the body will undo them for you. And perhaps you close both your eyes whilst looking at the ceiling of your room and you will not open them except in front of the Compeller of the heavens and the Earth.

See what takes up our time and what we will fill it and what will be our end.

O Allah, awaken us from this heedlessness!”

Shayk ibn Uthaymeen


JazakAllah to all for the patience! Don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!

Beautiful Sunnah: 5 Sunnah in one action. SubhaanAllah!

The Sunnah way of drinking water:

  1. Drink with the right hand. 
  2. Drink whilst sitting
  3. Say Bismillah before and Alhumdulillah after
  4. Look into the glass when sipping
  5. After 3 sips of drinking water, say Alhumdulillah Wasshukru Lillah.

There are many bodily benefits to these Sunnah as well. Let’s try and practise regularly!

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

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#RevivetheSunnahofDrinking

#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofSmiling

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofDu’aas

Tweet: @ajourneyjournal

Changing Direction

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

There are moments… Moments that in a split second, your life changes forever, and before you know it, the path just looks like a completely different one to the one you’ve been treading all along.

You don’t have to always be tough. Sometimes the only way to get rid of a shadow is to turn off the lights, to stop running from the darkness and face what you fear, head on.

In my partly frazzled frame of mind, I kept on going back to that place where I tried to figure out where exactly everything went wrong. Sometimes you have to go back to the beginning to try and understand the end. I wanted to diagnose my current condition. Was it the inception of marriage? Was it the night at the club? Was it maybe because we weren’t strong enough to fight through?

I couldn’t figure it out. But what I did know was that I needed to find a way to move forward. A way to ensure that I wouldn’t get caught up again. It was a test of how strong my resistance was, and how I could fight back when my nafs wanted to overpower. The temptation was always there, and of course, just when the thought of relenting and going back to my old lifestyle began to seem all the more appealing, Allah sent an ally to see me through.

“Junaid!”

That was me, literally shouting across the Mosque as I spotted him in the depleting crowd, hoping that he wouldn’t leave straight away. I hadn’t seen the guy since after Hajj and though I felt bad for not getting in touch, I knew he wouldn’t take it to heart. Life had been just a little bit overwhelming.

“Boet! You’re alive!”

He leaned forward to shake my hand with a small embrace, looking genuinely glad to see me. I knew that I had gone AWOL again but I planned on bringing myself back from the dead once and for all. It didn’t matter what was in store for me, I would fight back with a vengeance.

I grinned back at my friend sheepishly, actually really glad to see him. He might be the person who would put everything into perspective and get the Zee to focus once again.

“I heard about your son, man,” he said softly as we walked out the back of the Masjid. “That must have been tough. Allah knows best.”

I nodded, my eyes burning slightly at the memory of Hamza. He seemed like a distant dream but his little face stayed etched in my mind. Of course, I couldn’t help but think of Farah when he came to mind.

I sighed as I remembered, recalling how insistently she was pushing for the end. It was really a no-win situation. She wanted to do something with her life, and basically, I was a lazy guy. In her own words, she needed someone who would push her to make something of herself… Someone who would motivate her to be ‘more’.

It all just seemed like a load of bull and excuses to me, but sadly, it also made me realise that maybe she was right about me. Maybe  I needed to change. Maybe I needed more direction in my life.

My brothers always told me that I was lazy, but now that it had been used against me, I knew there had to be some repair work in progress. Maybe I should get some guidance. Maybe I needed to change my direction of going nowhere slowly.

“There’s a talk here later,” Junaid was saying. “You going?”

I shrugged, not wanting to admit that I was a little over the sitting and listening to Bayaans. I felt ashamed that even the Jumuah Bayaans seemed like a blur, because I barely made it on time.

And of course, the argument about why I bothered at all entered my mind. Why did I go? Why did I pray?

But the thing was, even my off-track mind understood that all acts of devotion have been prescribed by our Creator Allah Ta’ala for our benefit. Sometimes the benefits are obvious, and at times, they are not.

Likewise, medication prescribed by a doctor has its benefits even though we don’t know its ingredients. We don’t need to know all the contents, side effects and benefits before consuming. Like taking that medication, what is important is that we carry out our duties and obligations to our Creator and understand that in His infinite Wisdom, these acts of devotion are for our benefit in this temporary life as well as for our eternal journey towards the place that really mattered.

I knew that my resolve was getting weaker as each day went by, and though it wasn’t fair to pin it in him, I felt bitter that Waseem was too busy moping about his wife to bother. I mean, I knew that he was cut up that she didn’t want to see him but he had to move on. No matter how much he loved his wife, if it wasn’t meant to be, it wasn’t meant to be. I think even I had accepted that, but I supposed that I was a different kind of guy. I couldn’t really compare myself to Waseem. 

We walked out of the Mosque as Junaid persuaded me to go for a drive in his new car, and though I wasn’t as worldly obsessed as I had been, I appreciated the diversion and the sound system that featured some foreign Molvi speaking about someone I hadn’t heard of before. Junaid had this streak of roughness, and I didn’t expect him to be listening to anything other than these dynamic kind of talks that made you want to hop on a plane and morph into a warrior Mujaahid.

I mean, it wasn’t like the Zee had expansive knowledge of Deen, but I knew a little bit of the stories of Sahaba from what Waseem had always forced me to listen to. It was always stuff that he had got from Molvi Umar, and the passion of the Jihad that they possessed always got me. This was no different, and I lost myself in the audio as I tuned in, almost on edge as he spoke about the great warriors of Islam.

Of course, being a guy, stories of the Mujaahideen always added a different edge for me. Modern-minded people would probably be horrified and label it as terrorism in the making, but listening to it just made me so passionate about Deen. Listening to it made me truly realise what it was to fight for Islam. To go out in the blessed path of Allah.

A particular incident about how this particular Sahaba came to Deen was played, and my ears were glued. I mean, picture this.

Broad shouldered. Fierce fighter. The strength and trump card of the army…Who was also an expert strategist. It was shortly after the Hudaybiyyah Treaty, when he embraced Islam. When this fierce warrior advanced to attack the Muslims at this incident, he was halted as he was immediately taken aback to see them praying Salaah in congregation. The very sight of it altered his mind and heart, and you could say that the flame of Islam was lit within.

His story is a rather perplexing one. He was the deadly enemy of Muslims in the Battle of Uhud and the deadly enemy of the enemies of Islam in the other battles, but he moment his heart was affected by Allah and his spirit was blessed by the Most Merciful, it overflowed with devotion to His religion, His Prophet SAW and to a memorable martyrdom in the way of the truth. This martyrdom enabled him to erase the burdens of his association with falsehood in the past.

One day, he sat alone in deep thought concerning that new religion that was gaining momentum and gaining ground every day. He wished that Allah Ta’ala would guide him to the right path. His blessed heart was revived by the glad tidings of certainty. Therefore, he said to himself, ‘By Allah, it is crystal clear now. This man is indeed a Prophet, so how long shall I procrastinate. By Allah, I will go and submit myself to Islam.’

And of course, many know the story of the three martyrs of the Battle of Mu’tah. They were Zaid Ibn Harithah (RA), Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib (RA) and Abd Allah Ibn Rawahah (RA). They were the heroes of the Battle of Mu’tah in Syria, in which the Romans mobilised 200,000 warriors. Nevertheless, the Muslims achieved unprecedented victory… But the rest of the story is what made him the Sword that Nabi (SAW) named him.

And who can imagine those heart wrenching words with which the Prophet SAW announced the sad news of the death of the three commanders of the battle? I mean, after all, it was his dear adopted son who rose to his martyrdom first.

‘Zaid Ibn Harithah took the standard and fought holding it until he died as a martyr; then Ja’far took it and fought clinging to it until he won martyrdom; and finally, Abd Allah Ibn Rawaahah gripped it and held it fast until he won martyrdom.’

This is only part of Nabi’s SAW speech, and this is the rest of the story: ‘Then it was gripped by a sword of the swords of Allah and he fought until he achieved victory.’

It was said that this great Sahabi, after accepting, used the same skills that he had used against Islam, now for Islam. He took every inch of passion he had used to fight Islam, and devoted now to Islam’s cause. He completely changed the Jahiliyya in his heart to something so much more worthy and pure.

And after all this… You may ask, who was the sword of the swords of Allah? Who was this great warrior, a true leader with scheming tactics, and the hopes and desires of a true Shaheed?

It was none other than Khalid Ibn Al-Walid (RA), who threw himself into the battlefield as if he were an ordinary soldier, when the others rose to Martyrdom.

As I listened to this awesome story, I wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but my spirits were immediately lifted, and that little dead flame that was almost completely extinguished was slowly rekindling itself. I was probably going to be obsessed with the Sahaba stories now; after hearing how this man had completely changed the direction of his life, and dedicated it to his Deen.

Maybe I hadn’t been the best that I could be, and maybe I hadn’t progressed as much with Deen as I needed to, but the least I could say was that I had at least found the path that wasn’t going nowhere. At least I had made it this far.

And although I wasn’t any kind of warrior, and even a slight version of an ISIS member, but I had also come from a place where I had changed direction, and more than ever, now I wanted to use myself for the sake of Deen. I probably wouldn’t do anything major, but meeting Junaid again gave me an idea that I thought was brilliant.

Why couldn’t I, also, use myself to change guys like me? I mean, if there was anything that I was ever good at, it was partying the night away, and I knew the tricks and traits like the back of my hand. Putting that knowledge to good use would be the best thing I could probably ever so, even if it meant I could save one person from going completely off-track, I would consider this whole venture worth it. Like Junaid and Waseem did for me  even if one person could change the direction of their life, through my effort, I knew I would be grateful. I mean, if no-one made an effort on me, where would I have been today?

What a brainwave, I thought to myself, completely chuffed with my lightbulb idea. I was really good at concocting these plans, and I just hoped that I could carry it through.

I had to tell Junaid, but as I turned to him, I could see a frown on his face as he slowed the car down, and of course, I too was forced to check out the scene ahead.

Blue and white flashing lights and a passing siren already gave us a heads up of what was going on. It was an accident up ahead, I was certain that Junaid wouldn’t make it for that Bayaan he wanted to. Instead of being relieved, I was slightly disappointed, because I was suddenly inspired by what I had just heard.

The car moved forward slowly and there was the accident scene slowly came into view. I could see several police cars parked off on the side, and I strained my eyes to see the car involved. Maybe we should have changed our route and direction to avoid all this havoc. It was too late now.

“Hey bru,” Junaid said suddenly, turning down the volume on his sound system. “Isn’t that your connections cab?”

He turned back to look at a car behind us frantically hooting and trying to weave through the traffic, and then turned to look at me, as he pointed at the Nissan Skyline GTR that usually grabbed a lot of attention. My father-in-law would only drive flashy cars, and though I knew I wasn’t much better, at this moment, I knew that his car and everything materialistic barely mattered to him, as he rushed toward what would probably be a disturbing discovery. When realisation dawned that it might even be someone that I know, I couldn’t help but feel that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.

“Follow him!” I commanded Junaid, not able to contain the curiosity and obvious panic that was arising any longer.

He looked at me and nodded, trying to inch his way through the cars just as my father-in-law was doing. My heart was literally in my mouth as we finally caught sight of the scene of the accident, and I immediately saw the car involved. To say I was devastated was an understatement.

The worst possible scenario that had played in my mind had just become a reality. I could literally see the direction of our lives changing.

It was Farah’s new Range Rover that was completely destroyed, smashed up against the barricades with another car sandwiching her in. Just to see the extent of the damage put trillions of knots in my stomach, and as I grabbed the door handle and stepped out on wobbly legs, it was like my limbs were just automatically lifting me to where I needed to be.

I remembered reading once about adrenalin, and how it produced a rush in the body, altering the heartbeat in preparation for what may be life-changing activity. In this case, as I felt hands pushing me backwards whilst I argued with the officer, I knew that I just had to find out what was going on. There was no way I could not get through, and I finally uttered the words that I hoped would secure it for me.

“It’s my wife, man!” I shouted breathlessly, fighting just to keep myself as steady as possible. As sane as I could.

A flickering in the macho police guy’s eye caught my attention, and he shook his head one last time, before he turned to expressionless once again.

She had just got a new car. Her life was supposed to be gaining some direction. She was planning to make something of herself… And to actually do something that she considered ‘worthwhile’.

But in just a moment, things can take on an entirely different perspective. Your whole focus in life changes forever, and before you know, the path just looks like a completely different one to the one you’ve been treading all along. The only thing that matters now is what lays ahead for you.

“Sorry, my man,” he said roughly, not looking me in the eye, stepping aside to finally give me way. “You can go… They’re taking her away. I’m sorry for your loss.”


Sorry for the very delayed post. Lots of Durood today, and don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!

Beautiful Sunnah: 5 Sunnah in one action. SubhaanAllah!

The Sunnah way of drinking water:

Drink with the right hand.

Drink whilst sitting

Say Bismillah before and Alhumdulillah after

Look into the glass when sipping

After 3 sips of drinking water, say Alhudulillah Wasshukru Lillah.

There are many bodily benefits to these Sunnah as well. Let’s try and practise regularly!

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

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#RevivetheSunnahofDrinking

#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofSmiling

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofDu’aas

Tweet: @ajourneyjournal

Apologies

Assalaamu alaykum dear readers,

I know I’ve been terrible with posting this holiday and I am aware that people are wanting to know what is going on, but with a critical family member and lots of craziness, it’s a miracle that I was able to post at all.
Please bear with me a little longer till life gets a little more on track. You can expect the next post within a day or two and I will try and be more punctual when I am finally available. I do understand that the story line is dragging on, but as soon as I start writing again, it will come to a conclusion. Insha Allah.

JazakAllah for your understanding and for not all going crazy on me for being such a terrible blogger.

Was Salaam

Focus on Faith

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Aasiya

Growing up, I believe that everyone has that fantasy of what their life would be like. You wonder and you dream, as you lay in bed at night. You close your eyes and you surrender complete and utter faith.

And then of course, life takes over, and it’s like one day you realize the fairy tale may be slightly different than you dreamed of. The castle… Well, it may not be a castle. The white horses may be slightly trashier versions of mobility. And it’s not so important that it’s happy ever after, just that it’s happy right then.

And of course I was happy, but having doubts and reservations came with the territory of being me. Although I seldom showed it, I worried about a lot. I worried if Mo could ever step up to be the father and husband I needed him to be.  I worried about how we would all pull through this trying time, when there seemed to be so much going on. I worried about how far we would be tested in this Duniyaa, in order for us to earn something for the life thereafter. And yes, though I was immensely grateful, my mind kept revisiting the place where I truly wondered if it was all going to be okay. If everything would all work out, or if all of this really was for the best. In our ignorant mindsets, we sometimes can’t help but let the thoughts of negativity and Shaytaan creep in. I mean, for me, with my weak faith, it was only normal.

Bad things happen… But good things happen too, both as a test of our faith. Sick or healthy… Rich or poor… Distressed or at peace… Both extremes are under the examination of Allah. When good is bestowed, Allah wants to see whether he thanks Allah and uses his bounty for good. An unfortunate one is also under the trial of Allah, where He wants to check him and see if he will be patient or not, and whether he is satisfied with the decision of Allah or not. Both will be rewarded with their disposition of circumstances… Under that test.

Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as trial; and to Us you will be returned. Surat Al-‘Anbya’ [21:35]

And of course, before we reach our final destination, it was all the test of life that we struggled and grew with. We come to realise that only hope can triumph. That only unyielding belief can come through. It’s only then when you realise the true nature of your trust in Allah, and only then when you truly learn to surrender every single bit of your affairs to Him.

And somehow, when you do that, and trust in Him alone, your Lord will come through for you in ways you have never imagined. He will guide you to way beyond where you are at complete peace with His will, whatever that may be. You just have to take the plunge, and leave it all to Him, to learn what true faith is.

As the days passed by after my big revelation at the doctor’s office, I found myself compelled to make some major decisions and do some serious prioritising. I knew that the best chances were only going to be found if I faced it all head on, with no reservations. After all, I had a huge responsibility awaiting me. I just wished that there was someone I could really speak to, just to get it off my chest.

I missed Zaynah.

“Don’t you miss her?”

I looked up to see my mother in law studying my face expectantly. She had been talking all this while, and I was too zoned out in my world of unlimited worries to process what she was saying.

“The house feels so… Empty.”

I nodded as a tiny spark of something unfamiliar fluttered within my heart. I didn’t realise that someone could mean so much in such a short time. I was slightly envious of the fact that my relationship with my in laws had never come close.

I nodded, completely understanding what my mother-in law was saying. I had come to see Mo’s mother purely out of boredom. I just never expected myself to actually enjoy her company.

She didn’t pry into my life or marriage, which was something I really appreciated. Any friend that I met in a mall would always press buttons that got me all emotional, and I just didn’t feel like dealing with my emotions right now.

“Muhammed Zaheer… And now Ziyaad…”

She trailed off, but I knew exactly what she meant. We were all a tiny bit messed up.

Ziyaad was moping around the house in a bit of a disoriented state, almost as if he had no idea what he wanted to do with himself. I had an idea that he wanted to work things out, but Farah wasn’t so keen. I supposed that life was looking different to her now that there was no baby or husband to hold her back. As for Ziyaad, his seriousness about life surprised me. The festive season was now closing in, and I could see the difference from his last year’s activities to this year’s. My baby brother in law really had grown up.

As for Waseem, he was an entirely different person altogether. From the obvious womaniser that I would complain about to Mo, I could barely believe that one person had affected his life in such a way that he changed it entirely. And though he went to hospital every day, in the hope that his wife would remember him, I could tell that he was slowly accepting that he might have to start all over again, if Zaynah would just give him a chance. I hadn’t been to see her as yet, because of the obvious fact that I would probably get no response from her. I knew it was cowardly but the thought just scared me.

The time for her to leave the hospital and go home was now coming, and I had a feeling that Waseem was probably going to feel that the worst. I just hoped that she would somehow remember and things could to back to normal.

I sighed, getting off the stool I was sitting at, while my mother-in-law busied herself with placing serviettes on the table. It was time for me to go back to my lonely hotel room, and I honestly wondered how much longer I could do this for. Just aimlessly wait for the next thing to happen, whilst doubts about everything plagued my mind. Maybe I should just go back home.

“Aasiya?”

The deep voice cut through my thoughts, and I spun around in a half-panic to see Muhammed standing in front of me.

My heart skipped a few beats as I saw him, partly because of the shock, and partly for reasons I couldn’t explain.

I held my hand to my chest, gaping at him slightly. Where on earth did he come from?

“Muhammed Zaheer,” my mother-in-law said, at first surprised, and then shifting uncomfortably as she looked from him to me. I wondered what she expected.

“‘Salaam Ma,” he said, going over to her and leaning down slightly to peck her on the forehead, with a small grin plastered on his face. He had probably come in quietly while we were talking. Mo had a habit of doing things in a sneaky way. It was typical of him.

I folded my arms cynically and looked at him as he turned to me, still with a tiny smile still on his face.

The fact that I didn’t immediately leave perhaps made her hopeful, and my mother-in-law mumbled something softly and left the room. The next few moments were just a bit awkward as we stood there, just awkwardly watching each other.

“I didn’t know you would be here,” he finally said, running his hands through his new beard.

He looked different. His beard seemed to have grown into a full one over-night, and though I wouldn’t admit it, I was actually quite impressed by the visible change. He was even wearing a kurtah, and that was something that Mo usually only wore on Eid mornings.

“Me neither,” I said, replying blandly to his comment.

I was hesitatnt about saying more, because I didn’t want to make it too easy for him. After all, I was still partly upset about the whole infidelity issue. I also knew that it couldn’t carry on like this, with us both tiptoeing around each other and our feelings.

Mo visibly sighed as he sat down on a stool, watching me carefully. I kept my head high, wondering when would be a good time to tell him. I knew that he had a right to know about his child, but his reaction to it is what made me think twice. It might get emotions  swaying all over again.

“Aasiya,” he started, looking like he was preparing for a long speech. I looked at him, waiting for him to continue. I’d let him talk first.

“I know talk is cheap,” he said, looking at me straight in the eye. “But these past few weeks have been the worst of my life. I wanted to just drown all my sorrows in the stupid things I always used to do, but every time I would set foot in the casino, or be invited to a guy’s night out, I would remember your words.”

I looked at him, frowning slightly.

“I wanted you to be happier with me,” he said, biting his lip slightly nervously. It was the first time I had seen him like this. “And at first I was doing the whole Mosque and holy beard thing for you… Hoping you would hear about me and how I had changed.”

I pursed my lips, and raised my eyebrows slightly.

I did hear. I had heard lots of people speaking about Mo’s change, but I never took it to heart, because I knew him better than most people. He had a way of fooling people, even when he wasn’t serious. That was how he had earned his reputation, and I knew all too well about it.

“But then,” he continued, shaking his head unbelievably. “Something happened. I attended some talks that they had at the mosque , and I couldn’t believe how it affected me. I just wanted to change everything. My life, my house, my hobbies… I couldn’t stand how far off-track I was… And it wasn’t even for you any more.”

I wasn’t sure from where, but unexpected emotions seemed to surface as I looked at him, and I couldn’t stop the tears that were forming at the corners of my eyes. I had no idea when the ice queen in me had morphed into an over-emotional pregnant woman, but my eyes were now brimming with tears, as he continued telling me about how everything had changed for him. How his whole life was turning around. How his whole perspective had been altered.

“I took  the plunge, ‘Siya,” he finally said, his voice just above a whisper. His eyes pleaded with mine. “And now I know I’m asking for too much, but now that I’ve found something bigger… And what I had been looking for… I want to know if we can maybe just…”

He trailed off, but I knew exactly what he was saying. The question hung in the air.

I nodded, swallowing hard, hastily brushing the tears away from my eyes.

It had come to a point where I wasn’t really sure how much longer I wanted to hold back. I wanted to give in, and I wanted to believe him so badly, that I knew that it was no use continuing without just coming clean.

He took a step toward me, and I didn’t step away. I had to tell him. I needed to. It was time for us to just start the whole thing off on another foot. Maybe it was time for a fresh start.

I looked at his hopeful face once again, preparing myself for what I wanted to say. But Mo wasn’t yet done.

“Whatever happens,” he said softly, with a certain hope in his voice. “Before  I go, I just wanted you to know.”

I looked at him, confused. I was caught in between amazement that my usually sceptical husband was actually so far affected by his whole change, and confusion, because I wasn’t sure if what I heard next was a fantastic dream that I had conjured in my mind.

Growing up, everyone has that fantasy of what their life would be like. You wonder and you dream as you lay in bed at night… You close your eyes and you surrender complete and utter faith.

And then of course, life takes over, and it’s like one day you realize the fairy tale may be slightly different than you dreamed of.

But see… Once in a while… Once in a blue moon… People might surprise you. And once in a while, they may even take your breath away.

And of course, that’s when hope is restored. That’s when, you realise once again, that only true faith in the Greatest plan can save the day.

“This is my chance, Aasiya,” he said,  a small grin on his face once again. “A chance of a lifetime. Today, at the mosque, I finally put my name down on that list to go out for Jamaat.”

I gaped at him, wondering if I had heard right. Was he serious?

“I’m leaving tonight.”


Sorry for the very delayed post. Hoping to be a bit more frequent from this week. 

Don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!

Beautiful Sunnah: 5 Sunnah in one action. SubhaanAllah!

The Sunnah way of drinking water:

  1. Drink with the right hand. 
  2. Drink whilst sitting
  3. Say Bismillah before and Alhumdulillah after
  4. Look into the glass when sipping
  5. After 3 sips of drinking water, say Alhudulillah Wasshukru Lillah.

There are many bodily benefits to these Sunnah as well. Let’s try and practise regularly!

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

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#RevivetheSunnahofDrinking

#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofSmiling

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofDu’aas

Tweet: @ajourneyjournal