Heart of the Matter: Nabeela

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

We all know the reality of our lives. This world is temporary. Nothing is forever.

But the amazing feature about that is that the very same worldly attribute that causes us pain, is also what gives us relief:

Nothing here lasts.

So basically, that breathtakingly beautiful flower in my garden will wither tomorrow. Eventually, my youth and energy will leave. But, the despair we feel today will also change tomorrow. Agony will die. Yes, laughter won’t last forever but neither will tears. The heart will, eventually, heal itself to become something stronger. It will forget the pain and suffering of this world, and eventually move on to what awaits it.

Well. The heart is a funny thing.

That pumping piece of flesh within the chest… Well, all it knows is love. Just love.

The heart of every individual performs the function of loving someone or something boundlessly. And we all want to. We all wish to love someone… To give them our all, and get it back, but we completely disregard the value in giving our entirety to what really does last. The Eternal, Our Creator. Why don’t we love Allah swt wholeheartedly? Why don’t we give Him our heart?

Allah Ta’ala says in the Surah Baqara: Wallazina Aamanu Ashaddu Hubban Lillah

Those who are believers love Allah most intensely.”

And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals [to Him]. They love them as they [should] love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah….” (Surah Baqarah)

Believers. True believers. And of course, loving Allah means that they not only love Him, but crave and await death, beacuse it is a means to meet their Beloved.

And the beautiful story reminded me of that love, when Allah desired to take away the soul of Ibrahim (AS). He sent the Angel of death to him, and the angel of death greeted him and said:

“I have come for the purpose of capturing your soul and by your permission I invite you to meet your Lord and enter the heavenly world.”

And the famous words that Ibrahim (AS) said were:

Have you ever seen a friend putting to death a friend?”

And the angel went back to his appointed place in the Heavens and told Allah, “My Lord, you heard what your Khalil said?”

It was revealed upon him to go back to Ibrahim (AS) and ask something even more amazing.

Had he known of any friend hesitating to meet his friend?

A true friend is the one was looks forward to their meeting. Who awaits it. Who craves it. And of course, upon hearing this argument, his heart was moved, and Ibrahim (AS) relented.

And that’s all there was to it. The heart.

Who controls it, and who is the source of the love within it. It is the source of every deep-rooted feeling.

We can love people with all our hearts. Give them our all. Surrender ourselves.

But when that love reaches the heights of truth… Love for Allah. Well, that’s really something else.

My mind had drowned out the voice in my ear as I thought of that love and sacrifice that people were making, for the sake of Allah. When Zaynah had told me about where everyone suspected her husband had disappeared to, I was in awe. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of restlessness on her part though, not knowing what the outcome here would be.

Right now, I sat on the phone with a friend from back in Pretoria to check if it was all right. If there wasn’t maybe some mistake.


The voice was calling from down the passage, as I slid on my cloak over my track pants and t-shirt, moving the receiver to my other ear as I opened my cupboard with my other free hand.

“I have to go,” I said to Sarah, grabbing the closest scarf I could see, knowing that my mother would barge in any minute. I felt completely out of touch with city life until she began rambling on about all the news I had been missing out on. Instagram feeds and Snapchat was completely foreign to me, as she updated me. I felt like an alien whenever I hung out with girls my age, because I didn’t have a phone attached to my hand. Nonetheless, she updated me on things that I obviously half wanted to know about, and half dreaded hearing.

“He’ll probably get married again,” she was saying, onto the next topic, and ignoring my statement. “And I really wonder what kind of wife he’ll get then.”

I felt a familiar ache somewhere within my gut, and then it was gone.

It was my fault. I had let it go to far that day. Hassan was throwing tantrums in the bedroom, and insisting that Waseem had come to visit him. It took me a lot of dragging him away from the window for him to finally realize that his favourite cousin-in law wasn’t around. In the process, I had caught myself letting my gaze get out of control. I quickly berated myself, knowing that Shaytaan had probably caught hold of my nafs at the time.

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts…” [al-Noor 24:30]

The evil glance was definitely an arrow of the arrows of the devil, and I had to be more aware of myself. Letting the gaze stray even on things that they are not supposed to weakens the heart and Imaan. I didn’t realize how bad it really was, until I found myself getting caught up in a fantasy world once again. If Zaynah knew, I knew she would probably give me the longest Bayaan about it’s evil effects, and I really didn’t need to hear it.

I hastily ended the telephone conversation, not wanting to dwell too long, and knowing that my mother would leave me if I wasted any more time.


This time she was a little more impatient as she stood and watched me through the door, the car keys in her hand already. I followed her out, grabbing the biggest pack of sweets I could find, and headed to the car. Sadly, I owed Zaynah back big time for all the stash I had been taking, and she wouldn’t let me forget it. As it is, her stocks were low since Waseem wasn’t around for the past few weeks, and to make matters worse, her moods were taking the toll. It was frantic and erratic Zaynah all over again, and I didn’t really enjoy all the drama.

“Did you finish your reading?” Mummy asked as I reached the door, looking at me skeptically.

I nodded almost robotically, knowing she was talking about my Surah Kahf. On Jumuah mornings life always slowed down for us as we prepared, and took our time to adorn ourselves for the midday prayer. It was something I had always missed in the city, when Friday was just another day of the week. On the farm, we always made Jumuah an ‘event’. Most days we were all home, but today we had decided to go to Mamoo’s house for the day.

“Where’s Raees?” I casually asked Mummy, hoping she would know where my annoying brother had disappeared to since this morning. He honestly had no consideration for our time. He just went about his missions as if we had all the time in the world to wait for him.

“Your brother will come later. He’s busy with some new business venture,” she said hastily as we sat in the car. Sounded a bit fishy, but I let it go.

Hassan had missed school today and promptly jumped into the car as Mummy started it. I couldn’t ask her anymore because my mini brother took over the entire show as usual, with his constant chatter. Anyone else would have definitely found him cute, but to me, he was just slightly deafening.

I looked out the window as we drove, trying to block out the chatter and think of other things besides my own life. There were just too many things going on at the moment.

We finally reached Mamoo’s house , and I got out as Zaynah stepped onto the patio, squinting at us slightly as we came into better view. I could see that she was almost back to her old self, and her energy levels were back to normal. I joined her as Mummy went inside, and Hassan, of course, sat with us while we admired the view. It was lovely.

“So how are things?” Zaynah suddenly said, and I looked at her and smiled, wondering what she would say if she knew everything that was going through my mind in the past few weeks.

Zaynah had known everything about me, but with her memory loss, I knew she barely remembered half of it. I was actually glad for that part. She would probably freak if she knew that I had been eyeing out her brother-in-law. I knew I shouldn’t have been spying on him, but his last visit had made me all the more pensive about marriage once again, especially since a boy had come home unexpectedly to see me last week. The whole samoosa run thing was just super unnerving,

I knew Zaynah would love to hear about that. It might even cheer her up.

“Someone came home last week,” I said, glancing at her to see her expression.

She raised her eyebrows slightly and gave a small smile.

“And?” She asked, prompting me on.

I shook my head and shrugged.

She shook her head back at me, still smiling.

“I thought you weren’t thinking about marriage yet, madam,” she said, raising her eyebrows.

“I’m not!” I argued. “Daddy literally pounced on me! These people are his old friends, and he likes the family. Too bad the guy is not as great as he hoped.”

Zaynah was still smiling as I went through the details of conversing with the guy. I hated the situation, because I hated to talk to guys. They just made me uncomfortable. I wasn’t sure how girls did it all the time, but for me the whole situation was so awkward and embarrassing. I didn’t feel like ever going through it again.

“At least you had found the right one,” I said to Zaynah, forgetting for a moment everything that had happened so far.

She changed her expression immediately, and I felt slight regret over opening my mouth. Yes, she had, but she didn’t even know how lucky she was.

I pursed my lips, getting ready to apologize for bringing up the past.

“I just don’t understand,” she said evenly, cutting me off and shaking her head at me. “How he even became part of my life.”

I smiled at her sympathetically, knowing that it was probably all very muddled up for her.

She looked at me quizzically, as she sat on the couch.

“And how did I ever accept?” She asked now, looking genuinely interested.

I shrugged at her, remembering the uncertainty she had faced when she decided to marry Waseem.  She was so worried that his past would affect them, and yet it never did. She had put her reservations aside and took the plunge, because she knew deep down it was right for her. I wondered if I would ever feel that way about anyone.

“You gave him a chance,” I said simply. “Even though we were all uncertain.”

Zaynah was still looking at me skeptically, and I frowned at her, wondering what she was thinking.

“Out with it, Zay,” I said, putting my hands on my hips. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

“I heard,” she said after a few moments, talking slowly. “That he was really different before. That he was involved with girls… and other stuff too…”

I pursed my lips, wondering how the tables had turned. Zaynah had always been the one to keep me in check, and now I felt like I was the one who had to constantly do it. I wasn’t sure where Zaynah was hearing all this but I knew I had to tell her what I knew. There was no more beating around the bush and hiding her past. We had to come out with it sooner or later. She was definitely ready to hear it.

“He saw you from over the fence of the estate,” I said simply, shrugging my shoulders. “And then, he changed his life.”

She looked up at me sharply as I grinned at her, realising how sweet it sounded. Even though I was barely a romantic person, right then it was really a most romantic notion, because I couldn’t think of a better reason to want to be with someone. To get closer to someone, only because they showed you true love for Allah, was one of the greatest ways to give your heart.

“No-one ever told me that before,” she said softly, looking away.

I wondered what she had been thinking all this time about her husband. It didn’t seem like she knew the truth about them because everyone had been too scared to tell her.

I didn’t want to tell her what Sarah had been telling me about the girls in Laudium. It seems that people already thought that their marriage was over. In her words, women were already getting their hopes on him when he wasn’t even here, so who knew what would happen when he came back and Zaynah wasn’t around? But then again, Sarah was a bit of that dramatic type. I wasn’t even sure of everything she said was completely accurate.


I looked up at Zaynah, wondering why she was calling me so impatiently. I hadn’t realized that she had probably called me several times in the last few minutes whilst I was stuck in my deep thoughts.

“Jhee?” I said apologetically, giving her a small smirk.

“I need your help.”

I could see that familiar look in her eyes, and I recognized it from back in the day wh Zaynah would have plenty of tricks up her sleeve. It was such a long time ago that I had almost forgot that my cousin had this amazing tendency to concoct plans out of practically nowhere.

As I watched her, I was starting to get slightly worried, although I knew that I couldn’t show it.

“I think something weird is going on,” she finally said, looking at me mysteriously. “And I want to get to the bottom of it.”

I swallowed and nodded, wondering what she was talking about.

Of course, none of what had happened was ordinary. Her whole accident. The breaking of their union. Waseem’s disappearance. I just never suspected that there could be more to it.

The human heart was, of course, a most peculiar thing. Their love had been the kind that knew no bounds, because it was completely selfless. It was a means of betterment for each of them, and their hope to get closer to their Creator through it.

And now still, it seemed like the heart that forgotten the love she had back then, had found the route back to what she once knew.

Sometimes, what is shattered is not completely broken. Even within it’s healing, when it comes to matters of the heart… Well, that’s just something else.

Struggling through the darkness makes us appreciate the miracle of a sunrise, especially when it’s not expected.

“What do I need to do?” I said meekly, almost afraid of the answer so would get. It was great to see Zaynah all determined again, but I wasn’t sure what she was getting all psyched up about.

“We need to figure this all out,” she said boldly, standing up as I watched her slightly fearfully. I knew there was a plan ahead, and I was waiting to hear it.

“Nabeela,” she said, crossing her arms over and looking at me sternly. “It’s simple. We need to find Waseem.”

Don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!

Nabi ﷺ said, “He who has taken food and says at the end: ‘Al- hamdu lillahi-lladhi at’amani hadha, wa razaqanihi min ghairi haulin minni wa la quwwatin (All praise is due to Allah Who has given me food to eat and provided it without any endeavour on my part or any power),’ all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Tirmidhi)

SubhaanAllah. Let’s try and observe the Sunnah Duaas of eating InshaAllah.



#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood




Tweet: @ajourneyjournal



A Little Light

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

First impressions. They never fail. For me, it’s what makes or breaks, and what decides or forsakes. We can’t rely on what we hear, or even what we remember. But what we see first hand… is never a lie.

And of course, when I first met the guy who I didn’t know about at the time, I already had a tingly feeling at the back of my neck that something wasn’t completely right with him. I’m not sure if you’ve ever met people like him, but he just had this kind of vibe that made people want to keep a distance. Especially people like me. I really had no time for guys who were prickly around the edges.

“Muhammed,” the slightly conspicuous guy looked at me and said, extending his hand to shake mine.

Average looking. Sparse beard. No topee. His arm was firm and slightly toned, and I could tell that he was probably one of those bicep-training guys that who worked only on their upper body to appear macho. I knew I was judging the guy as I sized him up, but he had already annoyed me with his assumption. He could have introduced himself like a normal person, instead of guessing who I was.

I shook my head at him.

“That’s Mo,” I said, pointing to my brother who was getting off the car. I mean, did I really look that old?

“Oh,” the guy said, and I could immediately see him looking at me sympathetically, because he knew exactly who I was. The widower. The one who had a messed up past. The brother who was fairly irresponsible

It was a good thing that an older person that I recognized vaguely came forward and ushered me inside, before I could say or see any more. The only bummer was that I was slightly disappointed that I didn’t catch sight of any of the other household members. I remembered that my sister-in-law had some female members of the family that were quite pleasant to gawk at, but I realised that now just wouldn’t be an appropriate time. I shook my head at myself, because Waseem wasn’t around to do it. I had to kill my urges.

The uncle who brought us in reminded me of Zaynah’s father. I had barely known anything about them when I first met him, but now I could see why Waseem had always held them in such high regard. Why he said that they were the reason that there was still a little hope in our misguided town.

They weren’t exactly prepared for the visit, because everything that seemed to be happening lately was so spontaneous. Farah had died. Waseem had disappeared. Our family was a mess. No-one really had any direction here anymore, and we hoped that at least they could give us some positive news about our brother’s wife. Maybe if she could remember, it might change a lot. Maybe if she came back, there might be a chance that everything will fall back into place. They might even know where Waseem had disappeared to… or he might decide to come back if she could somehow let him know that there was still hope.

I sighed dramatically and sat down as my family came in, Mo and my hobbling father in one room, and Mum and Aasiya guided to another. I never really did understand the whole separate thing until I realised that it was a means to keep away from sin. No chics meant no staring. There was an obvious reason why Waseem was always so strict, and it made me really envy the turn he had taken in his life. It made me miss him all the more now.

Right now, as I looked around, I wished that he could have been here the first time that Dad had ever been to any of his in-laws places. It was quite a thing to see my father with his stern face, polished attire and unchanging  demeanor looking somewhat uncomfortable.

Yeah, Dad had changed a lot in his approach to business and life, but he just wasn’t used to this kind of simplicity. It was probably a wake up call for all of us to realise that people could be content with much less of luxury than we were used to.

“This is my nephew, Raees,” Zaynah’s uncle and the owner of the house cut through my thoughts, pointing to the strange guy who greeted me at the beginning.

Raees. Why did he sound familiar?

He had this odd look on his face as we all conversed, as if we were completely foreign to his world. He was actually kind of rude about our whole visit, but Mo knew how to handle him.  Mo turned his attention to his uncle asked him about his farm and general things. Looked like this uncle didn’t have kids, and Zaynah had stayed with him a lot as a child. I hoped, for our sake too,  that she hadn’t got too comfortable here. It would probably mean that she had given up on Waseem like we all suspected. The reason for his disappearance two weeks ago.

Dammit, I still couldn’t believe that the guy was gone. 

“The ladies wanted to see Zaynah,” explained Mo, trying to reason our visit. “And we wanted to try and make the best arrangements for when she comes back.”

When she comes back? I thought it was supposed to be ‘if she ever comes back’.

Smooth. One thing about Mo, was he knew what to say. He wanted to prepare them for what he knew would be the best outcome. In my own mind, I thought that Waseem’s marriage was more or less over when she didn’t want to return home, but Mo never did strike it off.

The older man looked a bit taken aback by the statement, but didn’t say anything. Well, nothing concrete.

“She’s recovering well here,” he said vaguely, after ushering us to the table for some eats that had been prepared.

Food. It was back on the list of favourite things to do for me, and I tucked in as they insisted on

It was all simple stuff, but really quite awesome. I tried to block out the conversation as I indulged, just wanting to enjoy my food for the first time in ages. There was just something about this place that made me want to kick back, chill out and drink it in. I even forgot about my worries and past as I sat there, looking out into the green of the farm yard that seemed to go on forever. I supposed it was just the country atmosphere. Just looking at the beauty of it was awesome, SubhaanAllah.

And of course, as the Adhaan sounded in the distance, an even more amazing feeling descended.

It reminded me of the first time when I had actually sat and paid to heed to the beauty of the call for prayer.

Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and the earth and the alternation of the night and the day are signs for those of understanding.
Who remember Allah while standing or sitting or [lying] on their sides and give thought to the creation of the heavens and the earth, [saying], “Our Lord, You did not create this aimlessly; exalted are You [above such a thing]; then protect us from the punishment of the Fire.”
[Al-Qur’an – Surat ‘Āli `Imrān: 190-191]

Here, instead of ignoring it’s calling, the entire household stopped for Salaah, as they all rushed off for whudhu and prepared for the prayer.

It was really quite amazing, and a long time since I had seen that kind of sprit for Salaah, and I knew that I too needed to work on my own. It reminded me of the house I had visited when Waseem first met Zaynah, and I felt nostalgic as I recalled the moments of glory I had felt as I found what I had been missing all that time. It was the beginning of the better part of my life. The moment I had found the gold. And of course, set eyes on the bombshell girls.

I was quite the idiot back then.

Thinking that contentment was something that only happened when you were close to kicking the bucket was such a dumb theory. I didn’t realize that it was right in front of my eyes, as I sneaked up on Zaynah and her cousin that day, with no idea of what I was getting myself into it.

I grinned to myself as I recalled it, helping my father back up the stairs after Salaah, not even noticing the someone behind nearby window, sussing out my every move. My focus was completely changed, and for once in my life, I had decided to stop being selfish and do something other than what fed my nafs.

We all settled back in once again, allowing the ladies a little more time to round off, knowing that we needed to leave soon because of Dad. He was looking tired and there was still a long trip back home.

And of course, just as the whole atmosphere seemed to be getting a little hopeless, and my previous hopes for Waseem were diminished, I noticed the guy who had greeted us first looking slightly uncomfortable by Mo’s pursuing the whole issue. His whole expression was like someone had kind of punched him, and I got the idea that he probably wasn’t very thrilled with us anyway. I couldn’t understand why he was so against our being here on Waseem’s behalf, but his obvious looks were hard to miss. The guy honestly looked like he wanted to shove us out of the front door.

“It’s no use,”  I said to Mo quietly on my way out, feeling despondent. We were up against the odds. Sometimes things take a turn in life, and when that happens, we know that there was no going back. There was no rewind.

Everything that had happened was for sure, a means to the end of what we had known all this time.

Sometimes the past is something you just can’t let go of, and sometimes the past is something we’ll do anything to forget. But then, now and again, sometimes we learn something ‘new’ about the past that changes everything we know about the present.

As I slid into the back seat of the car, despondency set in as my eyes now fixed on the house we were about to drive away from what I assumed would be forever. And then, of course, like Divine intervention, a gleaming face appeared in the window just as the car rode away, giving me a new hope for what may soon come.

Someone from the better part of the past had appeared right there as we headed off, and little did I know that this very person would be the means to a complete change that was soon to come. No matter how hopeless things had seemed, sometimes it just took one positive encounter to add some light to the imminent darkness.

Sometimes you just can’t give up. You have to be willing to keep looking for light in the darkest of places, without giving in. Even when it seems impossible… even when you think you will never succeed… no matter how dim, that flickering light was still burning, even in the blackest of moonless nights.

I didn’t know it when I had first seen it, but much to my surprise, that little light was soon going to be a part of my unlit world.

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 Town: Nabeela

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

“You have to be kidding me,” I said, widening my eyes at Zaynah as she told me, in her slightly random way, about a the neighbor who visited her yesterday. Apparently this lady had seen me a few weeks ago and thought I was hunting for a guy. There was nothing further than the truth. I mean, c’mon. I was still a teenager.

“Nope,” she said blandly in true Zaynah style, raising her eyebrows at me. “I’m absolutely serious.”

Zakiyya was smiling as she bounced baby Safeeyah up and down on her lap, attempting to keep her quieter amidst our chatter. She was the cutest little thing at this age, and I honestly wanted to bite her cheeks every time I saw her. Just right now, the conversation  was starting to get interesting.

“But marriage?! I don’t look that old,” I argued, glancing at myself in the mirror as I spoke, wondering if maybe I was wrong about my own appearance.

As my adolescence withered away, so did the baby-ness of my face, and I definitely noticed a difference in my previously child-like features. I just didn’t think I looked like the age that was ready to be married yet. With farm people, I supposed, it didn’t matter.

“She has two sons,” Zaynah said, trying to keep a straight face but not doing it very well. “You can take your pick. The one is becoming an Aalim…”

I knew Zaynah would love that to happen.

I raised my eyebrows at her, wondering if the medication was getting to her. Firstly, I wasn’t ready to be married… and secondly, the likes of an Aalim didn’t suit me. I wasn’t even remotely pious.

“Please,” I said, retying my scarf as I sat down and faced her. “Don’t marry me off as yet. I still want to enjoy my freedom.”

“She means her laziness,” a voice piped up, and I turned to see Raees and my mother coming in through the door.

Zaynah quickly pulled on her Niqab, kind of disoriented by his appearance.

I didn’t blame her. The guy had no etiquette. He shouldn’t just barge in where he wasn’t welcome.

I rolled my eyes at Raees while he set down some things on the table for my mother, apologizing to Zaynah for intruding. He didn’t look at me or Zakiyya. I swear my brother was probably obsessed with my cousin. Thank goodness he left quickly.

“I brought some of your things that were at the house,” Mummy said, looking at Zaynah sympathetically. “Let me know if you want us to help you go through them.”

Even though I couldn’t see Zaynah’s expression, I could practically feel her flinching, as if she had been physically hurt. Any mention of her past or dealing with it made her snap into a different and erratic form of herself that few of us were familiar with. Zakiyya was eyeing her out to watch for giveaways, as Zaynah purses her lips and said nothing.

“Where is he?” She asked, almost as if she was afraid of the answer.

I honestly wanted to roll my eyes at my cousin and tell her to stop being so difficult, but I knew that she would probably get offended. She had been so sensitive and grumpy, that I think even Zakiyya was afraid to tell her what she needed to hear.

“He’s not here, Zaynah,” Zakiyya said, a little sternly. “But if he was, what is the big deal? You are married to him. You guys were crazy about each other. Why can’t you just let it go and accept what happened?”

“I’m not who I used to be,” Zaynah argued, and I could see her bottom lip trembling.

She was right about that. Besides being highly sensitive, she was also the prone to her usual outbursts.

Now, I was about to reach for the stash under the bed that Waseem kept bringing for his wife, but I could tell that Zakiyya needed to finish what she wanted to say.

“I know you weren’t well, but it’s time to accept it!” She exclaimed, shaking her head. “It’s been a few months now, and I can’t deal with not having my sister the way she used to be. I know you aren’t yourself… but life happens, Zay. Mummy was sick. Abbi left us too. You got married. I had a baby. These things happen. It’s all part of life.”

I widened my eyes slightly, a little shocked at Zakiyya’s bluntness.

Okay, maybe I was just too used to Zakiyya being the more reserved one, and Zaynah having frantic outbursts, that I hadn’t realized that I actually missed the part where it all changed. She was right in a way. Zaynah needed to accept reality and start living life again. Memories of the fun times we shared at the Pretoria house replayed in my mind as I remembered Zaynah giggling at something funny I had done, or how worked up she would get when I used to spy on the rich neighbors. I really missed those days.

I was so engrossed in my nostalgic  thoughts that I barely noticed that Zaynah had actually gotten out of bed, and was rummaging in the bottom drawer next to her. It had been a long recovery for her but she was finally now mobile and getting back to her former shape and energy. Obviously, her beauty had never left her completely, but now that her cheeks were filling up a little, she was back to being my awesomely gorgeous cousin. I just wasn’t sure what she was up to right now.

I looked at Zakiyya strangely, trying to figure out what was happening. Zakiyya shrugged, looking just as confused as I was.

“Zaynah,” she said carefully, maybe feeling a bit bad about her previous outburst and thinking it had caused some brain defaults. “What are you doing?”

Zaynah finally turned to look at us, obvious panic in her eyes.

“I’m looking for that letter!” She exclaimed, biting her lip nervously and turning back to the drawer.

“What letter?” I asked, really curious.

“The one I wrote to Waseem,” she said, as if we were supposed to know these things. She contined in a smaller voice. “Mamoo had come to talk to me about my marriage and it made me think. I wasn’t sure what else I wrote, but I do remember that I was convinced that we wouldn’t work out…”

She trailed off and continued searching, as Zakiyya looked at me and frowned, obviously upset about what Zaynah had said. I thought she would get over it and shrug it off as she placed sleeping baby Safeeyah on the bed, but as she looked up again, I could see her clenching her jaw  hazardly, almost as if it was locked.


It was one of the few signs that Zakiyya was angry, and since it didn’t happen often, I knew it when I saw it. Zakiyya was undeniably, frightening, when she became like this.

“How could you?!” she suddenly spat, not only startling me, but also the searching Zaynah as she literally turned over her drawers in the room.

Zaynah looked back at her sister, wide-eyed, as if unsure of what to say. Well, I would have been too.

“Don’t you know what a sacred union Nikah is?!” She asked, obviously appalled. “Don’t you know that your husband would do anything for you? That he sat there every single day while you were unconscious, just waiting for some sign that you will be okay? Don’t you think you’re just being selfish?!”

“I…” Zaynah started saying, but Zakiyya was already at it. Her voice was getting louder, and I worried that she would wake up the baby.

“Do you think that you really should be the one to initiate of the most disliked things to Allah Ta’ala?” She asked now, looking slightly calmer, but a little defeated. “How can you take it so lightly?”

She shook her head now and sat down, looking tired after her outburst. She was right, of course. The poor guy doted on his wife relentlessly, and she just wanted to throw him away. Besides the fact that I thought she was crazy for wanting to let him go, I knew that he would probably be completely broken if he knew. The question was, did he? And what on earth happened to the evasive ‘letter’?

Goodness. This was such a mess.

The guy may not have been what Zaynah had always pictured for herself, but he had really turned out to be one of the most amazing husbands I had heard of. The way that Zaynah would talk about him reminded me so much of the Sunnah, and I couldn’t believe that she was talking about the same person who had come from such a rich and spoilt background. He went out of his way to do whatever he could for her, and never forgot that extra touch in even the simplest of gestures.

The thing with us is that we consider Romeo to be romantic but not our beloved Nabi (SAW). Honestly, when Zaynah had told me, I really found that he was the most romantic person to walk this Earth. I mean, taking a sip from the exact same spot as his beloved wife… that is one of  the most loving acts that I had heard of.

And I knew Nikah was special. And the simple gestures from just opening a door or silly compliments between spouses was something that made me wait for it. And of course, what made me realize how beautiful Sunnah was, was the day when I almost barged in at the hospital when I glanced Waseem actually combing Zaynah’s hair while she lay in a coma, completely unaware of how much of care he took in looking after her.

Honestly, it was something that caught me completely off-guard as it so aptly reminded me of the Hadith in which the beloved wife of Nabi SAW would wash and comb his hair.  And I’m sure that Waseem did much more than what I saw for Zaynah, but I quickly turned back as I walked out again, not wanting to intrude.

“I just wanted to let it all out,” Zaynah finally cut through my thoughts, her voice small as she slumped on the chair and removed her head gear. “It wasn’t meant for him to see. Mamoo said Raees had told him some stuff about Waseem and his past, and I couldn’t-”

Raees?” Zakiyya said, looking angry again. “You believe him?! Riyaad says he is looking to make trouble. You do know that he probably thinks that with Waseem out of the picture, he’ll get his chance once again?”

It took me a bit while to process the words, until the meaning eventually hit me.

“What?!” I couldn’t help but interrupt the conversation at this huge revelation. I mean, Raees always had a hidden agenda, but this was something new.

What on earth was Zakiyya talking about?

My brother? Raees?!

“Oh gosh!” Zakiyya muttered, looking at me and covering her mouth as if she had let out the hugest secret ever.

I mean, it definitely was huge. I just didn’t know how huge till now. Raees and his secrecy. Always wanting to be here. Sending weird things for Zaynah. A lot of things now seemed to fall into place.

I felt a bit sick. I mean… I knew cousins could marry, but the way he was doing this was just so wrong. Zaynah was married. She and Waseem had to somehow be together again.

I shook my head, now slightly speechless. The silence in the room was slightly unnerving, and just as I had the courage to open my mouth, a knock on the room door got us all in a slight panic as we wondered who it was.

“Zaynah,” called my mother as she peeped in, looking like she was uncertain about something. “Are you’ll busy?”

Zaynah looked up and shook her head, while I straightened out my abaya as I got up, realizing there might be someone here.

“You have some visitors,” she said, looking a little worried, but trying to seem positive. “Would you like to come to the lounge? Your in-laws are here.”

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

Reaching Heights

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Waseem: No limit...


Despite my frame of mind, I looked up at the familiar face and grinned as the mention of my undeserved nickname was heard. I nodded and held out my hands for a handshake, slightly taken aback as he moved in for a fierce embrace, as if overtaken by emotion.

“I heard,” he said as he stepped back, looking at me sympathetically. He shook his head, and ran his hands thoughtfully through his beard.

“It will be okay,” he continued, trying to give me hope. “Allah’s tests are for His soldiers.”

I nodded, and I wondered briefly about Molvi and his own life. He spoke as if he himself had been exposed to the worst of what could have happened, and Icouldm’t help but feel that maybe my life wasn’t so bad after all. Maybe everything wasn’t so gloomy. Maybe I had just been focusing on the wrong kind of happiness.

“Soeaking of soldiers,” he said suddenly, clearing his throats and breaking me out of my thoughts. “Call me crazy, but that kind of sums up why I’m here. Right now.”

I looked at him curiously, thinking about what he may mean. I mean, jokes aside, the guy kind of looked like a soldier anyway, so I wasn’t sure why

“The call has come, Mus’ab,” he said, his face serious in the dim lighting of the hallway. “And we have to make a choice. We have to decide if we are ready to go forward and fight. I’ve come from the Eastern parts of the targeted areas last night, and a few guys want to head back with me.”

I frowned at him, wondering if this guy was feeling okay. He was talking like he was coming out of some war-stricken zone, and it took me a few minutes more to realize that he was actually being serious. The whole thing sounded sinister and surreal, that I couldn’t help but think that maybe I was still dreaming. Maybe this was all part of my illusions.

I shook my head at Molvi, trying to convey that I was really confused about this whole thing. I mean, in this day and age, it was the first time I have heard of people going out and attempting to be part of the massacre that was going on. I never thought that I coils be apart  of it too. in my mind, there were always other people around to do it. Back in the day, all I would think was: it didn’t affect me. Why did I have to risk everything and go out there?

Little did I know… there would come a time in my life like right now… where I really had nothing to lose, because then of course, he said the words that brought me down to reality. We sit in our pretty comfortable homes, chasing Duniyaa, when we forget that our aim should be quite the opposite.

“We spend our whole lives trying to reach Allah,” he said now in true Molvi style, looking more serious than usual. “And then along comes an opportunity. We hear about it all the time. We know about the blood of our brothers. The cries of our sisters. The massacre of our children. We don’t understand what it is that really goes down there until we see it with our own eyes. We are blind to their suffering because we are too caught up in the temporary world.”

He shifted in his seat, his bright eyes shining in the darkness of the night as the we headed outside again. I swear this guy was probably nocturnal. He was so alive right then.

“But with them,” he continued, running his hand through his beard and shaking his head. “Their Jannah is being made as their blood is spilt. You can feel the strength of even our small armies as the guys swear they can feel the Malaaikah come in for assistance. You actually witness the smiles on the faces of the Shaheed, as they are probably meeting the hoors they are promised. You can literally smell the scent of musk as their blood is shed. And of course, they are still alive, as Allah promises. They are alive in their death… and it’s a most unimaginable thing. You want to see miracles, Mus’ab… You see them there.”

I looked at him almost unbelievably, wondering if what I was hearing was really true. I mean, he was speaking of such amazing experiences… but I couldn’t fathom them because I lived in a completely different world.

“The question is, Waseem,” Molvi said, addressing me by my name for probably the first time ever.

“Are you ready to reach for that?”

Amd of course, I never thought it would be possible, but those words were probably the ones that brought back the memories that made my decision for me. Visions of Zaynah in the latter part of last year, as she watched me with my laptop on one spring evening, came flooding back.

“How much longer?” She was asking, and I looked up at her for the fifth time that night, now getting slightly impatient with her questioning. A man had to make a living too, right?

“Sweets,” I replied, trying to hide my irritation at her. “I need to finish this memo. Big meeting tomorrow, and I have to sort it out. I promise I’m all yours after that.”

“But it’s been two hours!” She exclaimed, widening her eyes at me, and grabbing another  jelly baby from the packet next to her.

“Work is a work,” I said, slightly impatiently. “This has to be perfect. I can’t just go in there and talk.”

She didn’t know how these people were. I had to set up slide shows and make a proposal that would appeal to them. I can’t just rely on my charm. These were big time guys.

“Of course you can!” She said, looking at me obviously, with a slight pout on her stubborn face. “You’ve done what you need to… and if you have faith that Allah will take you through it from now, you’ll get all the business you need. And if you don’t get this one, there’s a better time and place. You just need to change your focus.”

I looked back at her and swallowed, licking my dry lips thoughtfully as a smile slowly crept on my face. I wanted to hug her. And then, of course, she said words I knew that I would probably remember for a long time to come.

“You aim for Duniyaa, and you’re always limited,” she said, as she got up to sit next to me.”Duniyaa is just what you can see. Just cheap promises and limited resources.

I shrugged, knowing all that. But why didn’t I stop?

Zaynah wasn’t finished. Her eyes are were dancing in that way they sometimes did, and  I knew that she was still to knock the nail on the head.

“But when you reaching for beyond that, Was,” she said in her matter-of-fact voice. “That’s when you get the real gold. When you focus on Aakhirah… The options are infinite. Limitless. There are no bounds.”

I raised my eyebrows at her as she sat next to me, wondering when she had become so wise. The gold. I had forgotten about that.  Sometimes I didn’t know what a rare gem I had in a wife.

“You’re amazing,” I finally said, closing my laptop emphatically, knowing that she was, as always, never off track. Besides that… she always got me back on track too.

She shook her head, clearly not agreeing with my statement. And of course, she had to prove it to me too.

In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah Almighty says:
O son of Adam, do not fear those who have authority over you as long as My Authority is enduring, and My Authority never runs out.
O son of Adam, do not be afraid of a tight livelihood when My Treasuries are full and My Treasuries never run out.
O son of Adam, do not ask anybody else except Me and I am yours, and when you ask Me you find Me; but if you ignore Me, I will turn away from you, and you will miss the whole good.
O son of Adam, I have created you to worship Me, not to play, and I ensured your sustenance so that you do not torment yourself (by worrying about it — let the physical parts of your body work but your heart and mind be in peace by putting your trust in God).
I swear in My Power and Might, if you’re satisfied with what I apportioned for you, I will give your mind and body peace, but if you will not be satisfied with what I apportioned for you, I swear in My Power and Might, I will make you run after the world like the beasts run in the wild, then you will have nothing except what I had apportioned to you, and you have been disgraced.
O son of Adam, the creation of the seven heavens and the earth did not fatigue Me, will passing you a loaf of bread cause Me to tire.
O son of Adam, I did not forget whoever disobeys Me; how will I forget whoever obeys Me, and I am a Merciful Lord, and I have power over all things?
O son of Adam, do not ask Me the sustenance of tomorrow as I did not ask you the work of tomorrow.
O son of Adam, I love you so it is My Right that you love Me.

SubhaanAllah. How amazing were those promises that our Lord made?

And of course, I had been focusing my intentions on the wrong thing. Allah could turn even the heart of the most elite business man, if so He willed… because He only was the turner of hearts. And when our hearts were filled with love for Him, it was only that love that stemmed from deep within that would make us move out of what was peaceful and comfortable, to a place that we could do something solely for His pleasure.

Molvi Umar was still watching me steadily as we walked in the lit up yard, probably wondering what was going through my mind.

The thing was, my life now, as it stood, was really quite stagnant. I would go through each day with the hope that Zaynah would come back, wishing that things could just be the same again. I would work effortlessly, just as a means to an end, and thinking I was making my parents happy. I was, basically, losing the plot, until Molvi turned up at my door.

And now, all I could see this as, was Divine intervention. Maybe I didn’t have to face what that letter had to say just yet. And maybe there was more to his proposal than just the notion of running away. Maybe it was the opportunity to actually prove my self worth.

And I we may not see the signs, or recognize it’s value… But it is highly possible that everything that we live to hate, is actually better in the long run.  Not acquiring exactly what we want, when we think it is right, may actually be the best thing for us.

Of course, nothing happens without consent. It is a tough life at times, but we only move forward by the intention of hoping that the rewards thereafter will surpass the suffering before.

I had never known that I could be the kind that could actually give so much of myself, and expect nothing back, but Zaynah had taught me that. Beyond our selfish and absorbed lives, there was so much out there that we needed to take in.

Sometimes, we just need to stop with everything else. Stop the chase. Stop the pursuit. Stop our self-centered lives… and realize, that there are things out there that if we just have the catch a glimpse of…. We will literally want to kick ourselves for how deluded we had been all this time.

The huge awakening that I never saw before. And when that happens, like it did for me that day, you will reach a different kind of elevation, where you never imagined yourself to be. When you finally reach out for others, and not just yourself, that’s only when you will attain the kind of salvation that you truly need. That’s the height that defines our true worth.

You have to make a plan. You have to set a goal. You have to reach for what may even seem impossible.

Even if we don’t like it. Even if we’re afraid. Even if it seems too out there. Live for those moments, and drink them in… because once in a while, there are moments that change your life.

It’s your call. Love or hate. Be a hero or a coward. To fight or give in. To live or die.

Like that moment I stepped into the car with the hope of reaching the greatest of heights I ever could…. In a split second, those moments could change everything… And life would never be the same again.

So sorry about the delay in posting. Apologies to all those who were waiting.

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