Past to Present

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Waseem: Into the future

“Can I sit here?”

I looked up as I heard the slightly familiar voice, realizing that the person it belonged to was no stranger.

I squinted slightly, nodding slowly as Raees sat down, wondering what on earth this guy wanted.

“I’ve heard a lot of things about you.. But I didn’t know you smoke,” he said, pulling out his own box of cigarettes from his pocket, and eyeing me out as he lighted his.

I quickly stubbed mine, annoyed about his comment and annoyed that he had to see it. I wasn’t a regular smoker. Recently, I just needed something to keep me from going completely crazy, and cigarettes were the best and safest solution. I didn’t want to go back to where I came from.

I didn’t reply to him, as I looked ahead in silence at the cars coming in and out of the service station. It was late in the afternoon, and it was slowly filling up as people were stopping for supplies or a quick fill of petrol.

“I wanted to talk to you,” he said now, and I waited for him to expand. I wondered what he was doing in my part of the world on a weekday.

“About Zaynah.”

I looked at him sharply as he said her name, annoyed that he had the audacity to say it. My Zaynah. My wife. Who did this guy think he was?

“How is my wife?” I asked bluntly, looking him in the eye. He shrugged and took a pull of his cigarette.

“Same,” he said vaguely. “She still doesn’t know you.”

I took in a a sharp breath as my heart plummeted back to where it had been two weeks ago when I had went to see her, with no response. She spoke to me as if I was a stranger, and looked at me as if she was just waiting for me to leave. I hadn’t been back since, and it wasn’t because I didn’t want to. I just didn’t think I had the heart to.

“So what did you come here for?” I asked him, waiting for him to cut to the chase and leave. He was taking long purposefully as he pulled deeply on the last part of his cigarette, and I narrowed my eyes at him as he got up, as if ready to leave.

The guy just irked me. He had this expression on his face that I wanted to rearrange every time I saw him, but I held myself back. For Zaynah.

“I was just thinking,” he said, almost to himself. “How we all like to hang onto things… even though we know that we really have no chance with them…”

He let the phrase hang in the air, and I narrowed my eyes as he shrugged at me, almost tauntingly.

Was this guy for real? 

“What’s your point, boss?” I snapped, standing up out of frustration. He was testing me and I knew that I would snap soon. It was just a matter of time.

“Cool off,” he said, now standing and flicking his cigarette away. “All I’m saying is the obvious. What Zaynah wants, and what she needs. Maybe you should consider.”

And with that, he walked away, leaving behind a single white piece of paper with my name on it. At first I was baffled, but as I picked up the envelope to realize who it was from, my hands immediately trembled from trepidation.

Zaynah. It was her writing.

I sucked in my breath and walked to my car, the contents of what lay within the letter sitting on my mind all the way through Salaah that day. I knew that it couldn’t be any good. I knew that Zaynah wouldn’t exactly be writing to me as a romantic notion. It was probably much more serious than that.

I greeted my mother normally that evening, and then visited my evasive father, to talk business talk, before heading upstairs to open the letter.

I tore the last piece of envelope from the top, hastily pulling out its contents. As I scanned the writing, it was like my life stood still before my eyes.


I know you have hope. I know you think that this will all work out. I think most people do… but while I am recovering, I have had a lot of time to think and figure out how to move forward from here.

Now that I’ve had all this time, I can’t help but feel guilty that I’m not fulfilling the role of a wife as I had definitely promised. It’s also not fair to you this way. I feel like the only way that it can fair to you is if we let go. It’s no longer a marriage…

I stopped reading as I stood there, with my legs trembling and my fingers shaking.

What was she saying? End it? Let her go, and never look back?

Divorce. The word itself made me cringe.

I had to sit. This was too much. Too much, all at once.

I closed my eyes and tried to picture her as if she was here. What would I say to her? This was so out of character for her. How can she even suggest that? How was I going to go on without even a hope of having her?

I steadied myself as I sat down, the thoughts whirling through my mind. I lay my head back, letting the tiredness from the past weeks take over as I closed by eyes and let the unfinished letter fall to the floor.

I wasn’t sure how long I slept… But before I knew it, my eyes shot open in the depth of that very night, as if something or someone had gently nudged me awake.

I looked around, my surroundings still strange as I processed where I was. My room. My father’s house.

Everything seemed like a blur. The past few months had been so erratic, that I wasn’t even sure if it was real.

Did I create my wife with my very own delusional mind? Did I possibly imagine her entire existence? Was she maybe only just a dream?

For a moment, I was so disorientated, that I barely remembered the past year.

And then, all at once, it all came flooding back, as if my life was flashing just before my eyes.

My father. Ziyaad’s baby. My past. My life. The divorce. And then… The tragedy I had to come to terms with… Letting go of Zaynah.

Just the thought of what lay ahead was torturous and horrifying, but it was what I could never escape. It was, by far, the worst thing that had ever happened to me. Yes, Zaynah hadn’t been here all this time, but I had always lived with the hope that she would return. I always held onto the notion that she would be back.

Now, I was in a rut. I didn’t want to get up. I didn’t want to wake up to what lay ahead today. I didn’t want to face the world without her there with me.

I breathed in, slowly letting my breath out, steadying my emotions. I glanced around, and half expected her to be sitting there on the Musallah, as was her usual spot when I would get up at this hour.

I could never beat her. Somehow, she was always the one who would wake up first, and I knew I could never even try to compete. I knew she would never let me win.

“How did you do it?” I said aloud.

I could picture myself shaking my head at her. No matter what time I set my alarm for, she would always be out of bed before me. It was a no-win situation.

“My Allah shook me up,” I could almost here her say. “How can I ignore it?”

I would usually be squinting at my phone, wondering how it had suddenly fast-forwarded to an hour after the alarm was originally set. I was usually angry.

“Pious people don’t need alarm clocks,” I would mutter, to both myself and her, berating myself for being so far behind, spiritually.

And then she would shake her head at me, pursing her lips with that smile that said that she was wiser way beyond her years.

“Waking up for Tahajjud doesn’t make you pious,” her sweet voice would say defiantly, trying hard to sound cross, as if she was ready to start a fight.

I knew what she was saying. But I also knew the woman I had married.

She was determined and passionate, and she left nothing to be criticised.

When I looked at her, it was no wonder that she reminded me of the Sahabah and their perseverance. Their Imaan was unmatched.

That was the crux of it, even for me, right now. I knew that one of the main factors that would bring me through this was my stength of Imaan.

“Leave it to Allah,” Zaynah would say. It was her famous words, and unlike her, who it came naturally to, I had to dig deep and manifest every inch of it into the belief that everything will work out in the end. It was like I had to dig deep and search into the depths of my soul and knowledge, to try and assure myself that things were not as bad as it seemed. That after it all, there was still hope for something better.

And that’s precisely when I remembered  Zaynah so passionately conveying to me a story of  a woman having so much of faith that Allah would sort her problem out, that she thought nothing of turning her full trust to Him, when everyone else, including the beloved Nabi (SAW) couldn’t redeem her.

Khawla bint Tha’labah (RA) was a great woman who enjoyed very high standing among the companions of Nabi (SAW), who were her contemporaries and knew her virtues. It was about her that Qur’an was revealed, and Allah alleviated her burden.

Khawla (RA) exemplified patience while standing firm in her beliefs. She persevered until she got the truth. She wanted to stand up for her rights and rights of women, while maintaining her love for her husband.

The story of Khawla bint Tha’labah (RA) and her husband Aws ibn al-Samit is narrated by Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud and quoted by Ibn Kathir in his tafsir at the beginning of Surat al-Mujadilah.

Khawla (RA) is reported to have said:
“By Allah, concerning me and Aws ibn al-Samit, Allah revealed the beginning of Surat al-Mujadilah. I was married to him, and he was an old man who was bad-tempered. One day, he came in and I raised a particular issue with him again. He became angry and said, ‘You are to me as the back of my mother.’ Then he went out and sat for a while in the meeting-place of his people. Then he came back, and wanted to resume marital relations with me. I said, ‘No way! By the hand of the One in Whose hand is the soul of Khuwayla (i.e., Khawla), you will never get what you want from me after saying what you said, until Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) decide between us.’ He tried to force himself on me, but I was able to resist because I was a young woman and he was a weak old man. I pushed him away. Then I went to one of my (female) neighbors and borrowed a cloak from her and went to Nabi (SAW). I sat before him, told him what my husband had done to me, and began to complain to him about my sufferings because of my husband’s bad temper. Nabi (SAW) said, ‘O Khuwayla, your cousin is an old man, so fear Allah with regard to him.’ I did not leave him until Qur’an was revealed concerning me. He was overcome as he usually was when Qur’an was revealed to him, and when it was over, he said: ‘O Khuwayla, Allah has revealed Qur’an concerning you and your husband.’

And of course, many know about the verses that were revealed. Besides alleviating the women of the time from the outdated laws of Jahelia, Allah revealed to her that He had heard. He heard and recognized. He heard and responded… And what more could a Mu’min ask for?

[Allah has indeed heard (and accepted) the statement of the woman who pleads with you concerning her husband and carries her complaint (in prayer) to Allah: and Allah (always) hears the arguments between both sides among you: for Allah hears and sees (all things). If any men among you divorce their wives by zihar (calling them their ‘mothers’), they cannot be their mothers. None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth. And in fact they use words (both) iniquitous and false: but truly Allah is One that blots out (sins), and forgives (again and again). But those who divorce their wives by zihar, then wish to go back on the words they uttered – it is ordained that such a one should free a slave before they touch each other: this are you admonished to perform. And Allah is well-acquainted with (all) that you do. And if any has not the wherewithal, he should fast for two months consecutively before they touch each other. But if any is unable to do so, he should feed sixty indigent ones. This, that you may show your faith in Allah and His Messenger, those are limits (set by) Allah. For those who reject (Him), there is a grievous Penalty.] (Qur’an 58:1-4)


This woman was so perseverent, and had so much of faith that her Allah would sort her problem out, that she was not let down. It was solely her imaan that pulled her through, and got her this high standing. It was solely her hope in her Allah that He would come through for her, that sent down the Ayaat that comforted her.

Ibn Kathir mentions in his tafsir that a man said to ‘Umar (RA), when he saw him welcoming her warmly and listening to her;

You left a man of Quraish to come to this old woman?” ‘Umar (RA) said, “Woe to you! Do you not know who this is?” The man said, “No.” ‘Umar said, “This is a woman whose complaint Allah listened to from above the seven heavens: this is Khawla bint Tha’labah (RA). By Allah , if she did not leave me until night fell, I would not tell her to leave until she had got what she came for, unless the time for prayer came, in which case I would pray, and then come back to her until she had got what she came for.”

And what status she got for her determination. The test of Imaan was never an easy one. Yes, sometimes people let you down, but whatever had to happen, I had to remember that my Allah would always be there.

I had been completely side-tracked. This was not meant to be something that I should dwell on… Something that I could allow to consume me. Indeed, even our beloveds are tests for us… They were also temporary… Also a part of Duniyaa.

And this was only a test that would bring me closer to my Creator. After this, it would only serve me to keep on trying. If the one person who had become so much to me had to be lost completely, it didn’t mean that I would stop living… Through it all, I couldn’t forget what was always there.

The words came back to me, as they often did, reminding me of what I had been forgetting.

Never forget what He saved you from. That moment when you swore you couldn’t fix it, He did it for you. Never forget Who put you back together. When everyone pulled out, and you had to face it all alone, don’t forget Who pulled you through. Never forget who carried you, when the storm pushed you to your knees and there was no one else left. No matter who or what is beside you now, never forget the moments when it was only Him. Don’t forget Who remained.

He remained. He always remains.

A moment, yet again, when everything I had thought I didn’t understand seemed to come into perspective. When the confusion disintegrated and the darkness lifted. And as I sat there, on the Musallah that stayed in the corner near the window, I raised my hands to ask of the only One Who could fix what was broken inside.

The loud knock on my door was a diversion that got me slightly panicked, but I composed my thoughts, knowing that I shouldn’t get anxious. At this hour of the morning, I wasn’t sure who or what it would be, but I had to remain calm.

The future was not set in stone. This wasn’t the end. Whatever I would face, whenever it is, I knew that this could never break me completely. The past didn’t make me, and the present wasn’t a deal-breaker.

I opened the door slowly, seeing my mother rubbing her eyes, telling me that I need to go downstairs to open up. I hadn’t even heard the intercoms. I had a visitor at this part of the morning, and she wasn’t sure what it was all about.

I glanced at the cameras as I reached the landing, seeing a figure in white, and recognising the sturdy build with a certain hesitation, unsure of what this all would bring. I knew that this was an intervention I couldn’t ignore.

What lay ahead, ultimately, would determine everything that I would become. All I had to do was dust myself off, step out, and jump into it.

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.



#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood




Tweet: @ajourneyjournal


Out of Comfort

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


I turned my face to see my fairly estranged sister-in-law literally run out of the house as fast as she could, straight for the poor guy who was just climbing out of his car.

I hoped she wasn’t going to knock him over. In the short time I had spoken to him, the two of us actually might have hit it off, and my usually unemotional sister-in-law was strangely excited about her new visitor. Too excited.

My eldest brother followed behind shortly, looking slightly hesitant as he walked forward toward them, now chatting animatedly. He looked from me to them, and then frowned, raised his eyebrows and shook his head, in slight bemusement.

“So you met my bro in law before me, neh?”

Her brother. Ah. I could see the dials.

I looked at him with a sheepish smile, thinking it so coincidental that the guy had chosen me of all the people there to direct him. And not just direct him anywhere. To bring him straight to my own brother’s house, that I had been avoiding all this time. I felt the minutest bit of guilt, but my self-sympathy kind of overpowered it.

I turned to look as my sister-in-law ushered us both in insistently, and quickly turned away as I got a better view. I had never been awkward with Aasiya, but the whole pregnancy thing made me feel weird. Maybe because of what I had been through. Maybe pregnancy just reminded me of things that weren’t that awesome.

Life had gotten a little past what I had bargained for, and I didn’t expect it to affect me as much as I was feeling it. I trudged up the marble set of stairs that led to Mo’s entrance hall, following the voices to the lounge. I missed Waseem at times like this because recently I had always felt closer to him. He had been on a business trip and I hadn’t seen him for a while. I was well aware that he had been trying to contact me, but as usual, I chose to ignore his calls. I wasn’t sure exactly why, but I just needed some time alone.

So much for trying to be helpful. I was starting to feel slightly out of my comfort zone as I realised that I had set myself up for the exact opposite.

I sighed and trudged up the staircase, realizing that I might be overplaying the whole widower bit. Yeah, people felt sorry for me, but I knew that it was just a matter of time before they got fed up. I was kind of over-doing the whole role.

Aasiya was chattering away  as she opened the fridge door and took out some stuff and my heart literally lifted when I noticed several dishes being placed on the nook.

I could already tell that it going to be amazing.

Food. I wasn’t sure when last I had enjoyed it. Aasiya’s signature dishes were the one thing I knew that would never fail to uplift my morbid mood.

“Wow, sis. All this for me,” Yusuf said, winking at us.

He had this light-hearted edge to his voice and I realized that even though he looked like Maulana Dude, he was very different to him. He looked cooler. Not as rough. I appreciated the change. Molvi Dude sometimes scared me.

As they all spoke I learnt that this guy was actually not just a Jamaat guy, but also an engineer by profession. He actually had a real job. Yeah, I was a superficial guy. It was amazing how our opinions of people changed when we realized that they had some title to their name. Here I was, thinking that they were all from some backward farm place, when I was the one who was probably the most out of tune.

“Muhammad, tell Ziyaad not to act like a visitor,” Aasiya said as she set down a pile of plates for us.

Mo gestured for me to help myself, and I nodded slowly, still digesting the whole thing as I grabbed a plate got ready for another load of digesting. For the first time in ages, I was getting excited.

I put a few of the yummy looking crumbed chicken stuff on my plate and took a seat near Mo and half-listened to their chatter from the lounge. Mo pitched in here and there, but I could see something different about him as he interacted. It just proved how long I hadn’t spent time with him.

He looked like he had grown a few years in the past months, and it wasn’t just the beard or grey hair. My brother looked like his entire mindset had been altered. He was still semi-obsessed with his wife, but I could tell that his obsession stemmed from something deeper now. The whole atmosphere in the house was just different. Serene. Calm.

It was amazing what changing your life can do. More amazing was the fact that not only you benefited, but even people around could feel the change. I mean, I never saw this coming, as I was stuck in my own problems and pursuits. Allah had guided him in a most unexpected way, and I hoped he would remain as determined to fix his life. I wished that I too had that drive, because right now, it felt like I was on the edge.

Feelings of discontentment and inadequacy were plaguing me now that I began to think of my life. The more I dwelled on the past as I sat there, the more my mind got warped. I hastily tuned out of my own thoughts, knowing that I either needed to leave or stop being such a sorry case.

Aasiya was talking to Yusuf behind me, and I could hear her mention something about Umar. She was the only one I knew where addressed him by his first name, and it was slightly weird for me. I mean, I always knew him as the Molvi.

“When’s he going to be around?” She asked.

“I’m not sure,” his brother said vaguely.

My ears perked up as I heard them speaking in  lowered tones. It was sounding slightly shady, and I wondered what the big secrecy was all about.

“No!” Aasiya suddenly said, and Mo looked up from the property section of the paper in slight bemusement, wondering what the hubbub was about.

And of course, being Zee, I wondered too.

“He’s gone again?” She asked, and I wondered where she was talking about. “What did his wife say? I mean, he’s got four kids-”

“Nearly five.”

I turned around to look at them, and I could see Aasiya’s eyes widening.

What?!” She said incredulously, looking like she was completely shocked out of her mind.

Woman had a way of dramatizing simple things a little too much. Her brother nodded.

“Aasiya, it’s not that uncommon,” he said calmly. “People are going all the time…”

“It’s all this ISIS nonsense,” she retorted, sounding angry.

Despite that and their serious tones, I immediately started grinning to myself, knowing where this conversation was going.

Of course we weren’t terrorists. I didn’t think there were many people I had met who were that kind of material, except maybe for my used-to-be father-in-law. Okay. I’m.Just.Kidding.

The thing is, ISIS was one of Waseem’s favorite topics to argue about. He insisted that it was just a ploy to get the west to hate Muslims, and it wasn’t even something that Muslims backed. There are two sides of the fence you can take, and the right one is the mechanism that all Muslims from the beginning of time have deployed. More of a much needed defence, than a form of terrorism. They weren’t terrorists or extremists. The real Mujaahideen were men who Nabi SAW truly loved and had spoke about for their spirit and enthusiasm for their genuine upliftment of Deen. They were men who truly went out in the path of Allah, to fight oppression for His pleasure, and to die for His cause. I mean, I knew that people were dying all the time in the East and other parts of Africa, but I had no idea that people like that existed in our community.

“But that’s just crazy,” Aasiya was saying, as I looked away, pretending to ignore them. She was adamant. Mo’s face was expressionless, but he raised his eyebrows as the siblings conversed, knowing that this was probably going to lead to something he didn’t favour.

“I mean, we don’t have to go to these places and do all that stuff,” Aasiya insisted.'”We’re  not living in Syria. No-one is forcing us to go out and-”

“Aasiya, we can’t all live in a little bubble,” Mo piped up from where he sat , out of the blue.

He immediately looked sorry he said that, as Aasiya glared at him, expecting him to take her side. It was obvious that Mo wasn’t of the same opinion. Yusuf nodded in agreement.

“You can say that,” he said to Aasiya. “But we’ll all have to knock ourselves out of our comfort zone soon, and fight for our Deen. As it is… It’s quality is deteriorating. Nabi (SAW) predicted that there would come a time like this… When there are so many Muslims… but our hearts will be so weak. It’s exactly what Molvi speaks about all the time. We got no substance.”

He shrugged, and I remembered the Hadith, and the momentary fear I had felt when I first heard it. We think that we have yet to come to that time, but it wasn’t the case.

Thawban (RA) related that the Nabi of Allah (SAW) said: “The nations are about to call each other and set upon you, just as diners set upon food.” It was said: “Will it be because of our small number that day?”

He (SAW) said: “Rather, on that day you will be many, but you will be like foam, like the foam on the river. And Allah will remove the fear of you from the hearts of your enemies and will throw wahn (weakness) into your hearts.” Someone said: “O Messenger of Allah! What is wahn?” He said: “Love of the world and the hatred for death.”

It was so true of us, as we sat in luxury and made the most of every worldly benefit.

I nodded to myself silently, knowing that Yusuf was right. I mean, even our spirit was lacking.

During the times of the Sahabah, they would wait for the call for Jihaad to come. Even the younger boys used to puff out their chests to appear broader and older when Nabi (SAW) was in their midst to pick his Mujaahideen, ready to go out and fight for Islam. And it wasn’t just novelty or some kind of fantasy. They did it because they understood what really awaited them.  They truly believed that they would emit the fragrance of musk as their blood fell. They truly relished the thought of meeting their hoors in the gardens of Paradise. They anticipated the heights they would reach in Jannah, because they knew that this world was completely overrated.

What lay ahead was far more worthy for them, that they were prepared to sacrifice anything to get it. They were ready to do away with all of their comfort.

And we, on the other hand, sit back and say it’s not our place to do all that ‘stuff’, because it will make us some kid of radical extremists. To go out for Islam was completely unnecessary in our misguided minds.

I wanted to voice my concerns and check what was being said, because I knew that it wasn’t worth us living in this delusional world. But Yusuf was already a step ahead of me.

What he said, I never realized before. The truth of it sent shivers down my spine.

“The time will come… When we all will have to fight. Every single one us.”

I swallowed as he glanced at Mo and I as he spoke, and I realised that he wasn’t just talking. He was serious. We lived in our comfort zones, caught up in our own world and petty problems, when there were real and heart breaking thing happening out there. Yeah, before I was indifferent. I didn’t care what happened in remote corners of the world. I didn’t give a damn about how people were being tortured and arrested, for no real reason.

I shook my head now, realizing what it was that made people actually leave the comfort they had here and gone away to these places to aid the Muslims there. It was this desire to do something. Anything. A desire to reach the heights that we could never compare to, while we sat here in luxury. And no, I wasn’t sure if I was going to run away to Al Sham as yet, but the restlessness I felt couldn’t be ignored as I sat there doing nothing. Maybe I needed this to realize that my life wasn’t so terrible after all. It’s only when we compare our lives to those worse off do we get an idea of how blessed we are. How easy we have it.

“I’ll see you,” I said to Mo, getting up to go. I knew where I needed to go. Seeing Waseem always made me feel a little closer to where I needed to. He was probably back home by now, since it was weekend, and I really needed to speak to him.

“You going home?” He asked, looking concerned about me.

I nodded, telling him that I needed to see Waseem.

He frowned slightly, looking at me with slight confusion.

“He’s not around,” he said obviously.

I frowned back, wondering if why he still wasn’t back.

“Didn’t you know?” He asked, shaking his head at me. “Bru, where’re you living at?”

I shrugged, knowing that I had been slightly out of touch recently. I just wasn’t sure what he was going on about.

“Waseem’s gone,” he said bluntly, shrugging back at me. “Not sure where. He phoned me the other day to say his vrou requested a divorce…”

I sucked in my breath. A divorce. It wasn’t just uncomfortable to speak about. That word made me sick to my stomach.

Yoh. That was bad. Bad.

“And I haven’t heard from him since.”

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.



#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood




Tweet: @ajourneyjournal


Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Three months later...

Life is really something else. ‘Strange’, some may say. One day we’re the happiest person in the world and the next… We’re the most lonely.

The thing is, humans are built to chase. To run after things. You would be surprised as to what is waiting to walk in to your life, once you learn to stop running. Because that’s what humans do; we run. We run from one thing to another. But once you stop, you begin to feel more. You begin to understand, what is meant to be and what is meant to run away.

Pain is part of life. Part of growing up.

Sometimes, you just have to let it take it’s course. Ride it out. And once it simmers down, you let life take over once again, and try and move forward. You try to pull through. Hope the wound that caused it heals. There are no solutions. No easy answers. You just breathe deep and wait for it to subside.

It wasn’t like my heart could be shattered much more. Though I didn’t harp on it, the initial rejection from Farah was a lot to bare, and when the accident happened, I supposed I just went into shock mode. My entire life was at a standstill for a few days, as I sat in a daze, wondering if all this was real or not.

It had been three months since that sordid day, and I kept my emotions in a place where they weren’t easily accessible. I tried to switch off most of the time, for fear of feeling too much… feeling too deep.

I remembered reading about Sabr at the time of grief. I also remembered Farah’s family and how distraught they had been when it happened. Things had calmed down a lot since then, but I knew that the test of Imaan was a at the first blow, not three days later or one week later. At the first news of the calamity… When it all goes down.  When it first happens.

Nabi sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said, “Verily patience (is only sabr when practiced) at the first hit (of news).”

It was easier said than done. I couldn’t understand any of it at that point, but looking back , the test was clear. The test of how I managed the whole tragedy. How I dealt with the reactions from people. How I rose above the feelings that were fighting to bring me down.

Patience is hard. Definitely easier said than done. It’s really hard. Sometimes you feel like you can take no more. You think that you’ve broken and that’s it. You feel like you can’t be put tested any more, and then… miraculously… Then Allah suddenly grants you strength to endure every trial that comes your way.


Tawakkul is like a superpower; once you completely rely upon Allah to bring you through anything, to help you, to make you a way out and to heal you – you feel the calmness in the storm, the sweetness in your tears and the bitterness just seems to fade away.

Because I still felt it sometimes. In the end, it wasn’t like we were madly in love, so I didn’t really understand why I was so caught up in the whole thing. Nevertheless, I kept remembering the good times. The times when everything was okay. Even through her pregnancy, there were moments where my hopes for us sky rocketed, and I just had this unexplainable feeling that we would pull through.

As I entered the driveway of our home for the first time after her death, my eyes immediately fell on the open doorway that led to the foyer. I knew someone would be here.

My eyes fell on the framed rose which Farah had got from me the day of our Nikah, and at that moment when she brought the frame home, I distinctly remembered her gorgeous smile as she looked up at me with her slightly swollen cheeks and said: “For old time’s sake.”

It was such a heart warming memory, that the Zee was actually starting to get all emotional again.

Her face kept on coming up in my dreams, and couldn’t help but think that maybe I had failed her. Maybe I had let her down. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough.

I shook my head at myself as I jumped in my car, hoping that the feeling would subside. It was all beyond my control, and I knew that those thoughts of despondency were from Shaytaan. Being back here made me feel like she would pop out of somewhere at any minute, telling us this was all a big joke.

How I wished that it was, but reality was inescapable. I heard that they were selling the house.


Her voice was steady and clear, and it reminded me of Farah when I heard it. It was her mother, who was now a strange woman to me, and anyone  could see that Farah inherited her everything from her mother.

“I’m leaving now,” she said, as I stepped forward to show I was listening. I kept looking down.

I could hear her instructing the helper to fetch a few things, and I stepped back as they left, allowing them to pass.

Farah’s mother stopped momentarily, looking at me questioningly, as if she expected more of a response from me. Except for a cousin of Farah’s that I had been speaking to, I had basically gotten a cold shoulder from most members of the family, so I didn’t expect any different from her. I braced myself, but as she passed… My heart swelled as she literally broke down into tears, and she held her head in her hands, apologising profusely and trying to head out as fast as she could.

To say the situation was awkward is an understatement, and there was no way of comforting this woman except by verbally assuring her that she would be okay. That Farah was better off. That everything would ease with time. I mean, what else do you say when you were in a situation like that?

“I wish everything had worked out for you’ll,” she finally blurted,  before rushing off behind the helper, leaving me in a slightly confused state. It was a weird statement to make, because I mean, all along, it was Farah’s family who seemed to be pushing for a divorce, and now the entire story seemed to be changing. I couldn’t help but feel slightly irritated. Now that she was gone, everything was completely different. It was strange that when death featured, everyone changed their minds about me. Maybe I hadn’t been so terrible for Farah after all?

I packed my stuff quickly, anxious to get out of there. I sighed again, pressing my accelerator a little harder as I reached the main road, thinking about something other than what I knew would bring me down.

Happy thoughts, I urged myself, feeling like one of those floating characters once again. The reality of it all was settling once again.

I glanced at myself in the rear view mirror as I adjusted it, seeing this guy staring at me in a kind of surreal daze.

The same face of the person who had committed all those sins now bore a Sunnah beard. The same eyes that had seen so much of Haraam were now just staring back, full of empty hopefulness.

The least that all this had brought was my need for some direction. To stop being a lazy sod.

The thing was, though I despised it at the the time, with all Farah’s going on about how lazy and useless I had been in the past, I had realised that maybe she did have a point, after all. Maybe there was a good intention after all. She wanted to see me do something. To make something more of myslef. To use the wasted potential I had.

Maybe she saw beyond the lax attitude I had always portrayed, and realised that her constant wrecking my brains might have an effect. I actually smiled at the memory of her frustration with me, remembering her as she would tut and shake her head at me, when I refused to wake up before noon. It was an awesome life, but I knew that it was way too much. I had to wake my case up, and now, at least I had found some purpose to persevere.

It had been part of my goals for a new beginning, and a start to a better beginning. I often got calls and visits from old friends, convincing me to get out there and meet some women, but I knew I was passed all that rubbish. I knew that we had a greater purpose than messing around, and that’s why I put my energy into an effort to help people who were like me. Starting with a cousin of Farah’s who I knew she had grown up with and had been worried about, having a person who depended on me kept me busy and stopped me from getting diverted. It was my project for now to keep him from going off track, and I knew Farah would have appreciated it.

As for my brothers… I knew that they were always there. I just needed to take some time away those few months while I sorted myself out. Though I was really happy for Mo, being with made me remember what I was trying to forget. The joy. The happy parts. The hope.

With a baby on the way, it made me remember my past all the more, and I wished I could bury the memories somewhere deep below the surface of my mind.

Any slight mention of anything to do with Farah had sent me into either an emotional roller coaster or a state of fury.

I pulled into the garage to stop for my daily box of cigarettes, feeling a strange sense of contentment as I pulled the handbrake button up, realising that maybe I had finally found what I had been looking for, since I had gone on the chase. The chase for something that I had missing. The chase for what was more than just so temporary. The chase to find the gold.

I had been so focused on something that wasn’t really there. Sometimes I wondered if I would really be able to help someone else when I myself was so in need of assistance. When I had been just like him.

I looked around me as I sat, watching a few guys who were seated at the back, remembering them as part of a crew I had seen moving around when I had still been focused on the wrong stuff. I remembered even having a fight over some chic with the one guy. How pointless and futile were those days where we would just hang around like that, with no real reason to live. Just for the next night out. Just for a quick fix. Just for the girl who we hoped we’d score with.

A black car was pulling in behind us, and as I turned slightly, a guy in the crowd waved at me from afar, gesturing for me to come and join them.

I looked at him for a few seconds, considering the offer for a while. He probably just wanted to have some small talk while we smoked, and I didn’t think he really meant any harm. I had been avoiding that type of crowd for a bit too long. Maybe I needed to cool off for a bit. Stop taking everything so seriously.

I grabbed a cigarette from my pack and started to make my way through, not even noticing the guy from a black VW golf get off and approach me from behind.

“Assalaamu Alaykum.”

Crossroads. One more of the many I’ve had to face throughout my life. I was literally torn between enjoying my cigarette with the guy from my past life, or giving this holy-looking guy the time of day.

I turned and  looked up, already thinking that this guy was coming to give me some kind of Bayaan or gasht. I mean, I wasn’t even hanging out with those guys, and I was already feeling like someone was keeping tabs on me. I should have been grateful, but I was slightly annoyed that my chill-out time was getting disturbed. I looked up and greeted back, nonetheless, while he hastily asked if I could help him with some directions.

I could easily act like I too wasn’t from around here, and I looked at him blankly, knowing that I had to make a decision. Now.

Tomorrow was too far away. Later on, was even further.

Today. Today I had to make the choice  between what seemed to be the more appealing thing to do, and what was obviously the sounder and better thing to do.

Sometimes the lines are very fine. Sometimes you don’t know what you can get yourself into when you get too caught up in the pursuit. Sometimes you have to take the plunge, and be a little wiser as you grow up.

So I decided. I waved at guy from the past and turned my body now fully, giving guy from the black golf my full attention.

He was well-dressed in a simple white Kurtah. Handsome. Sunnah beard.

This guy didn’t look like he was from around here. He actually still looked slightly familiar… As if he had seen him before.

I frowned as I hastily put out my cigarette, whilst he followed me as I went to my car and asked him which area he was looking for. Although there were plenty Muslims around, I supposed that I was the only Muslim-looking guy and maybe he just felt comfortable to ask me. I supposed he thought I was a ‘reliable’ type. I suppose that some people are just meant to meet in random ways.

I offered him to show him the way after he gave me the address and he looked so grateful that I thought he would probably shake my hand off in gratitude. It didn’t click, when he gave me the road name. After meeting Zaynah’s family over a year ago, it just felt good to see people like them really existed. People whose characters are like shining lights in this dark world. Like gold in the mine. I wondered if I could ever become like that.

Maybe that should be my goal.

“By the way,” he said, just as I was about to get into my car again. He stretched out his hands, grasping mine firmly, Sunnah style.

“Good to meet you, bru… I’m Yusuf.”

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.



#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood




Tweet: @ajourneyjournal


Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


There are times in life when you feel a little hopeless. A little uncertain. A little uninspired.

It’s scary to find out you’ve been wrong about something or someone. We have to accept that things are different, that they might never be the same, for better or for worse. The more we’re willing to accept, negotiate and compromise… The more chance we have for a better tomorrow. For a better beginning.

It was a season of heartache and loss, and things were looking just a little lousy. There was no denying that my in-laws and our family were going through a pretty rough patch, but of course, Allah’s tests were only meant for our own benefit. Had we not experienced it, we might not have understood that there was something wrong in our lives. We might not have had the urge to change it.

I could barely even think straight when everything started happening all at once. With Muhammed  gone, I felt a little at a loss because the person who usually kept me grounded was no longer around. I would have never admitted it, but I longed to see his face, although being around him had always made me mad in the past. I didn’t realise that I depended on him so much.

My excitement over the pregnancy was coupled with loss as the hour of the accident dawned, and we were all in shock for at least a week after, wondering how everything had happened so fast. And then came Zaynah leaving town, and though I knew that I could always go and see Zaynah, of course, right now, she just wasn’t the same. My heart went out to Waseem for his loss, and I hoped it was only temporary. In a matter of just a few weeks, I had lost both my sister-in-laws, and I could’t help but let the hormones take control as I locked myself in the lonely hotel room, and bawled my eyes out.

And of course, because I was feeling so sorry for myself, on  a whim, I checked myself out of the hotel room, and decided that it was time I needed a change of scenery. It wasn’t only that I needed something different. I basically needed familiarity, I realised, as I drove back to the home I had stayed at for the past few years. Besides, I needed some of my clothes that were a bit looser. I had forgotten that I would be getting bigger and I was even starting to outgrow some of the new pieces I had bought on my recent retail therapy. I could just tell that I was probably going to get really big as the months passed by.

It was a late on a Friday afternoon, and I held my breath as I scanned my fingerprints, hoping that Muhammed hadn’t taken them off the system for some reason. I breathed a sigh of relief as it beeped in recognition, and waved to the gate keeper, as I drove through into the empty garage.

I knew that Mo wasn’t home yet. He was supposed to be out on Jamaat for at least a few more days, and I was glad that at least it bought me some time before I gave him the big baby revelation that I hadn’t had the guts to as yet. A bit more time before everything would either fall into place, or fall completely apart. I wasn’t sure how I wanted it all to end.

My home was just as I had left it. Deep nostalgia sunk in as I gazed around, realising that I really did  miss this place that I had come to love so much for the wrong reasons.

The house I had lived in was a mansion, with the most beautiful interiors and gardens… But I couldn’t help but think now that all of it had served us no purpose. Every bit of it.

The western world would have described my lifestyle as perfect. Freedom. I was lacking nowhere with regard to privileges. The car I drove. The things I owned. The frame that sat on the wall in front of me as I entered was supposed to be embossed with real gold. There was nothing lacking, when it came to worldly benefits. Where werevthe faults that had caused the downfall of my marriage?

I looked at in now in sheer amazement at our ignorance, thinking what was the point of it all. It really didn’t benefit us for it’s worth. I hastily walked through, trying to ignore all the tell-tale signs of how caught up we were in this Duniyaa. How we had completely eradicated the Sunnah in our lives. How wealth and pomp did nothing butr cause intermingling and disregard for Deen, therefore destroying the hopes for a truly beautiful life and marriage.

With the tragedies in our lives, there was no other time that was more apt to reflect over how pointless our lives had been.

I remembered Farah, thinking about her as I walked through the empty house. At the end of it all, all we will leave with is a white Kafan that we will be shrouded in for our final journey, but we forget about that when we get carried away.

Maybe I had been a bit too in love with the luxuries I was afforded and in the process, and I had forgotten to work at my marriage.

I sighed, not knowing where I was going by being here.

I still wasn’t sure. I didn’t know if I would ever be able to forget everything that had happened between us, and I really didn’t know how much we needed to work at, but I knew I couldn’t carry on without even trying.

I opened the door to the passage quietly, almost as if I was sneaking in. It felt like ages since I had been there, and the slightly musty smell lingered in the passage as I walked through and greeted with salaam softly, remembering Ummi’s voice chiding me when she advised me on how to bring more Barakah in my home. I knew that they really wanted me to settle down again, but I really wanted to make the decision for myself, and I hoped I would be guided to what was best for me.

I took off my Abaya that had now become my daily attire, and removed the head cap under my scarf, hanging it neatly on the hooks behind my bedroom door. My thoughts were so deep that I almost missed the fresh scent of refreshing body wash that I had smelt every morning for the past few years. And just as my mind got awakened by it’s presence, I could already feel my body tensing up as I realised what it meant. I almost froze in my tracks as I stepped into my bedroom, hearing the shower bang, and someone talking as I stood there, my eyes almost popping out of my head out of shock of what was happening.

Oh my goodness!, I thought to myself, my heart literally palpitating in my chest.

I couldn’t help but think to myself that I couldn’t have chosen a worse moment to come home. Someone was definitely here, and I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to know who it was. I knew that there was no helper around, especially if Mo wasn’t home. Or was he really not home?

And of course, as the bathroom door opened, and someone came out, I almost wanted to shut my eyes for fear of what else I would see. Or rather, who might see me. I was ready to make a sudden run for it, when I caught a gaze of his dripping beard and phone attached to his ear.

Muhammed… It was Muhammed. Only Muhammed.

A wave of relief flooded through me, as I digested that there was no stranger in my house. As I digested that he was back.

I stayed rooted to the spot unconsciously, because even though I realized that Mo wasn’t supposed to be back as yet, I had forgotten that I probably wasn’t supposed to be there either, watching him a bit spookily as he dug in his drawer for clothing. And of course, when he stepped back and eventually caught sight of me, I could literally see his eyes widen, as he probably wondered if he was seeing a ghost or not. He then blinked a few times and cocked his head at me, as an alluring smile crept onto his face.

It was actually quite amusing, but I didn’t have it in me to laugh. I was watching him in a bit of a shock, wondering if he was really here. I didn’t expect to face him right now. I wasn’t sure if I was ready to.

“Assalamu Alaikum,” he said, still smiling, as he pulled on his track pants and a vest, almost as if he was in a big rush. Maybe he was just worried that I would revert to my old self and run away.

I wanted to reply to his greeting, but for the first time in my life, in front of my husband, I felt  more aware of myself than ever before. I actually felt shy of myself in his presence as he stepped forward, still smiling, into the room, and directly ahead of me. It had been so long since we had an opportunity to really talk, and I didn’t know how to behave. I didn’t know if I wanted to.

“Wa alaikum salaam,” I finally said, as he came forward to greet me.

My body immediately tensed up as he approached me and I smelt his familiar scents once again. Mo stopped as he noted my hesitancy.

“It’s okay, I won’t touch you,” he said quickly, holding his hands up. He was still smiling but I could see his face had signs on strain, as if he wanted to say something more. As if he was trying to be patient with me.

That I was what our marriage had become, and it wasn’t only now. Except for the odd occasion, it had been so many months that we hadn’t even greeted affectionately, that it felt strange to even embrace my husband. And then of course, with his assurance that there would be no affection, as I relaxed and unfolded my arms that I had crossed so tightly above my tummy, his eyes immediately went down to where I was hoping they wouldn’t see.

In a cloak, my bump was barely visible, and I was so glad. I never wanted to be the type of person who would expose her growing tummy purposefully in public, because I had always felt that it wasn’t something for everything to gape at. Pregnancy was a private thing, and to wear the type of clothing that made it a show-case was far from modest and what Islam taught us.

I was just as guilty, because that was the thing with us Muslims these days. There was no longer any conscience of Hayaa or shame. It had been completely eliminated from our society, and I remembered an Aalim once saying that Nabi SAW appeared in a dream of a pious person, where this person asked him a question about the state of the Ummah at present. He wanted to know when the atrocities would end… When the suffering will cease. Nabi SAW replied to say something to the effect that only when the immodesty from the Ummah ceases, then only will we find any relief in the world. It was a sore reality, but only the truth of what was happening today.

And now, of course, in my under-abaya attire, with it clearly visible to the person it mattered the most to, I hastily put my hands down, trying to cover up what I had just accidentally revealed.

I looked up at him, hoping to ask him about his trip as a diversion, but the obvious look on his face told me that it was already too late.

“Aasiya,” he said, his voice just above a whisper.

His eyes were unusually wide. He took a step closer, looking from my face to my stomach in amazement, and then shaking his head. His face changed to slightly confused, before his face just changed until he looked like he was plain upset.

I bit my lip nervously, because I knew that I should have told him earlier. I really didn’t have an excuse.

“What’s happened?” He finally uttered, his hand flinging upwards questioningly. “Why didn’t you tell me?! How…?”

I expected more of a reaction from him, and I swallowed the saliva that had gathered in my mouth, unable to explain.

He trailed off as he walked past me now, out of the room door, almost as if he was in some kind of confused trance.

“I’m sorry,” I called out, slightly panicked as rushed behind him. I wasn’t sure what exactly he was going to do. I didn’t want him to leave.

He kept walking ahead, only finally stopping to unlock a small bag I had missed at the front of the house, as he dug inside. He almost immediately pulled out an item and handed it to me.

“Open it,” he commanded, and I obliged, my heart thudding in fear of what would be revealed. Was this his way of ending it completely?

I looked at the front before slowly opening the flap of the envelope. Instead of papers as I expected, I pulled out what looked like a little crocheted white hat with muffs, perfectly sized for a new born baby.

I gazed at it expectantly, wondering where it had come from. I knew that he wanted me to see this, but I just wasn’t sure why. But as I shook my head at him to show that I was confused, he started explaining how this ended up with him.

The long and short of it was a tale of a man he had met on Jamaat who had lost a baby after trying for many years. When Mo saw how much of Yaqeen and faith this man had, despite his wife being much older than I was, he changed his own approach completely. His whole perception changed, as his hope for us and our future started to increase. The man gave him the hat he kept with him because he wanted to pass on some of the spirit of Tawakkul. Some of the strength of Imaan.

“Duaas,” Muhammed finally said, looking at me with bright eyes as we sat opposite each other on the foyer couches. He shook his head unbelievably. “It’s only Duaa. Do you know that Allah can even change Taqdeer through it’s power? Do you know that there Allah says that there is still hope for me, even after all my sins? I learnt so much, Siya. I need to still do so much, but for now, it was the best thing I had ever done for myself…”

He trailed off, looking at me expectantly, as our eyes met. It was what I wanted for Muhammed all these months. It was what I always wished for him to see. Certainly, it was only through Du’aa. Even the very fact that he had seen this, was only due to someone’s heartfelt Du’aa.

Mixed emotions and hopeful inspiration filled my gut as I realised that it had been so long since we had really spoken. As the years had passed, I didn’t even notice how estranged from each other we had become. How we had stopped smiling at each other. How we had stopped showing any love to one another.

I wanted to undo it all. The betrayal. The ugliness. The indifference. The brutality.

I wanted to go back and be who I wanted to be, and show him the affection that I knew any man and husband would need. Yes, there was no excuse for what he did, but if I had given him what he needed, maybe my conscience wouldn’t be eating away at me the way that it was. Maybe I wouldn’t have been so caught up in what should or could have been. Maybe I wouldn’t have had all these trust issues.

Yes, it’s scary when life gets a little messed up. It’s scary to find out you’ve been wrong about something or someone. We have to accept that things are different, that they’ll never be the same, for better or for worse. The more we’re willing to accept, negotiate and compromise… The more chance we have for a better tomorrow. For a better beginning.

Sometimes, we need to stop placing blame, and accept it instead. When someone hurts us, we want to hurt them back. When someone wrongs us, we want to be right. Without forgiveness, old grudges just eat us up. The scores are never settled.

But forgiveness is powerful, not only for the other person, but also to heal yourself. If there’s one piece of advice I could give anyone who was fighting for their marriage… All I would say is; Don’t give up. Keep going. Keep fighting. If there’s something you really want, no matter how hopeless, don’t lose hope. Take the plunge, and head deep down to get what you need.

Yes, we all want that fairy tale that’s a little beyond our reach… And nothing should stop us from asking for it… From making a heartfelt wish to the only One who can grant it. I know sometimes our dreams are a little out there. We don’t wish for the easy stuff. We wish for big things. Things that are ambitious. Things that out of reach.

But then that’s why we wish. We wish because we can. Because He promises us that He will respond. We wish because we need His help. Because we’re scared. Because there’s no-one else we can really ask, when we know we may be asking for too much.

We still wish, though, because… Well, once in while, more often than not… those impossible wishes…. They do come true.

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.



#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood




Tweet: @ajourneyjournal