Unveiling the Unknown: Zaynah

 Bismilllahir Rahmaanir Raheem

We’ve all done things that we aren’t proud of. It happens to the most of us. Insaan.

The inception of perfection was over 1400 years ago, when the beloved Messenger (SAW) came with his illuminating light in this darkened world. He came as a pure mercy, and was definitely beyond any beauty and untainted character we could imagine. But for us… In this day and age… I mean, none of us are perfect, right?

Its just that sometimes, it’s hard when you know that it could have been better, or that you should have done better.

Sometimes, just being sorry isn’t enough.

As I looked up into those eyes that were somehow etched in my memory, I just knew. I knew that the pain reflected there wasn’t just my imagination.

But could an apology actually heal the wounds? Ease the pain? Undo the hurt that I caused?

I wasn’t sure what the right way was to go about it, but I knew that I had to make it up. I knew that there had to be a way to right the wrongs.

This whole thing was so strange. It was the most bizarre thing, but once in a while, I supposed these things happen. Strange things. They do happen.

And I was in quite a shock, as he guided me down the last few stairs together, and let go as I reached the base.

Was this a way of everything fitting together for me once again? Of course it was no coincidence. The man had been missing for a few months, and just as I had been thinking of him, his appearance was so unexpected, that I was completely baffled.

We stood, as our eyes met, just looking (or should I say gaping?) at each other for at least half a minute, unable to speak.

“At least I caught you this time.”

I almost choked. Did he really just say that?

This time. 

It was the first thing he finally said, and it made me wonder more about my past once again. Our past.

His mouth turned up slightly at the corners, and though I could see the glimpse of a smile, a certain sadness was very evident beneath. It made me a little less hopeful, but I wasn’t sure why.

He gave me one last look and then went hastily up the two more stairs to greet my uncle, leaving me standing awkwardly at the bottom, not knowing what to do or say.

And it was strange because this man, whom I supposedly shared so much with, was right here… yet I had no idea what to say to him. I instantly wondered what it was like when I first met him, or if there were any awkward moments before this. I still couldn’t remember any of it, but this time, I really wanted to.

“Where are you’ll staying?” I heard him ask Mamoo, instantly offering an apartment for us for the night, as Mamoo was obviously unprepared. We hadn’t thought that far ahead. The trip was on a whim, and of course, I was really glad that we had come.

Something within me now just felt like it fitted.

Travelling with Mamoo was always quite something, because although nothing was prepared, somehow, everything always fell into place. Allah Ta’ala took care of His favourites in that way. There was always an intervention to settle everything in place with Mamoo around.

Waseem took a few minutes inside as we waited in our car, and finally emerged to show us a place where we could stay. I didn’t say anything, and I was surprised that he didn’t question me or ask me any more, like he would before.

I wasn’t sure where he had been to all this time, but seeing him now made me realize that something had changed. Though he still looked the same, my heart sank because I could tell that his experiences had made him different. Rigid. Harder.

“I’ll see you’ll soon,” he said, his face expressionless as he left us that night. I could read nothing of his emotions as he turned away, almost eager to escape.

I wanted to still find out more, but what he had said kept me hopeful. I slept that night, dreaming strange dreams once again, and awoke feeling a little short of rejuvenated. The flashbacks were tiring me out, and they were getting really intense as the days went by.

The next day was a whiz as we went to greet Aasiya, who was back home already. I almost forgot about Waseem as I chatted with her, catching up on the past few months that we had both missed. Waseem was still nowhere to be seen as Mamoo called for me to get ready. The afternoon was closing in, and it was already time to go home. Jumuah was the next day and I knew that Mamoo loved to make an event of his Thursday nights, because he always said it was the most special of the week.

The drive home was unusually quiet for us. Mamoo was like Abbi in a lot of ways, but he always liked a good conversation. This time though, he said nothing of our trip. It was like he was just thinking to himself all the way, and I was also too caught up in my own thoughts to really start talking. I wondered why Waseem was so scarce, and I was kind of disappointed that he hadn’t contacted me since the night before.

We reached home finally, and seeing the cars in the driveway immediately settled my uneasy mind. When people were around, I knew it would help my frame of mind. Zakiyya was here, and I knew that seeing her would make me forget about all the things that were making me feel completely lost. Maybe she could settle my mind once again.

“Zaks!” I shouted, so excited that I didn’t worry about who else might have been here, it was almost a month since I had last seen her and I wanted to off-load all the pent-up emotions that had found their way inside. Nowadays, I found it hard to talk to anyone else besides my sister.

Zakiyya turned around as I reached her in the kitchen, and I couldn’t help but take a step back as I saw her, wondering if I was seeing right. Had it really been that long?

“Oh. My. Word,” I said, immediately covering my mouth with my hands, in complete shock over what was already very evident.

I just couldn’t believe it.

“Sorry,” Zakiyya said softly, as I ogled her protruding belly, completely mortified that my own sister could not tell me that she was expecting. Again.

Little Zainab crawled up to me as I stood there in shock, and I grabbed her in one movement,  so grateful that I could hold her. There were moments in my sickness that I thought I’d never get my strength back, and now I was just so glad that I did. I dreaded the next week when I knew I was expected to go back for tests, and they would tell me how I had done so far. If it was all gone. If I was still ‘sick’.

“How far?” I asked now, knowing that it was probably already quite a while. I mean, I know I wasn’t in the best state, but how could she hide such an important and obvious thing from me for so long? How did she even manage to?

And then, like an invasion on my own body, before she could answer, the familiar feeling of panic rising up my chest got me even more frantic. I instantly gave Zainab to her mother, sitting down with my head in my hands, knowing that there was no way I would make it to my room. I rather just sit there and let the drama unfold.

Nabeela!” Zakiyya shouted, knowing exactly what was happening. Her voice was stricken with alarm.”We need some sugar!”

I knew that Nabeela was somewhere around, and I couldn’t have been happier to see her face when she appeared next to me with a new pack of jelly tots in hand. I grabbed whatever was in her outstretched hand, letting the sugar do its work once again. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what I would do have done without it.

“Okay now?” She asked, smirking at me.

I wanted to remind her  that my panic attacks were not funny, but I breathed in instead, wondering what had brought this on again.

I wasn’t sure why the fact that Zakiyya was having another baby made me panic, but I knew that it had nothing top do with her, and probably everything to do with me. She was moving ahead in her life and I wasn’t. And yes, of course I was happy for my sister, but I couldn’t help but feel like I too needed some of that in my life. I never did think of kids or where I would have been if the accident hadn’t happened. I just took it for granted that everything would be put on hold, but as I noticed everyone around me progressing, the hole in my gut seemed to widen.

I looked at Nabeela, noticing now that my cousin had really grown up. Soon she too would be moving on with life… and I would probably just be left behind.

I sighed inwardly, recovering from my drama and wondering what it was that made me feel so inadequate. I couldn’t help but feel that I had lost out, even though I knew that everyone seemed better off than us when we were ungrateful.

The sore fact was that seeing others in a light that makes them seem so much better off will ensure that we can never appreciate what our Lord has given us. When we compare our lives to everyone else, that’s when the discontentment begins to settle in… And then, we can never recognize any of Allah’s favours on us.

In a hadith narrated by al-Abbas Bin Abdul-Muttalib (the Prophet’s uncle) recorded by Imam Muslim, the Prophet (SAW) said, “Indeed he who is pleased (and content) with Allah as his Lord (Rubb), Islam as his Deen and Muhammad as his Messenger has tasted the sweetness of faith (iman).”

The Hadith was the most adequate reminder, and as I lay my head back, letting the sugar absorb on my tongue, I could almost hear it being read to me, like dejavu, remembering that true contentment was only felt within. It’s when everything that seemed to be a misfit just takes its place. Life is completely at ease because we don’t feel that we’ve missed out. Someone had reminded me of it ages ago, and though I couldn’t remember, it gave me a strange sense of comfort as I let it sink in. As the unknown now became apparent. As the memories of it resurfaced.

Contentment. Appreciation. Ease. It was what I had always thrived on. The recipe and the remedy to every negative emotion.

“Zaynah,” I heard someone say, immediately realizing that within my little panic attack, Zakiyya was trying to get my attention.

I breathed out slowly, letting the oxygen seep into my lungs. I still couldn’t believe that she hadn’t told me that she was pregnant again. She was trying to explain that it was so unexpected and she didn’t even know herself until it was quite late, but the hurt that my sister thought I wouldn’t have dealt with her good news in the best way possible was eating me up. Maybe my sickness had made me a little crazy. Crazier.

“I’m sorry,” she finally said, noting my pout, and knowing that I probably wasn’t going to buy her excuses. I knew I should cut her some slack, but my mood didn’t allow it until she pulled out the trump card.

“Well,” she finally said, quite fed up with my attitude. “Maybe if you’re so moody, I’ll tell Riyaad to send back the letter that came for you today. I think it’s best-”

Letter?!” I said, instantly alerted by what may be really important for me right now.

“Yup,” she said, sitting down as she dug in the nappy bag she was carrying, searching for what I was so eager to see. I stretched my neck, eager to get a glimpse of this elusive letter. I had so many questions. Maybe it held all of the answers.

She finally removed her hand, and a cream envelope appeared in it, as she revealed to me what I wanted. I could see a name on it, and though I had no idea who had sent it, I couldn’t wait to find out.

“He stopped to see Riyaad this morning,” she said, her eyes dancing excitedly.

“Riyaad mentioned that seemed like he was hiding something, but I’m sure that in this letter, you’ll find out everything you needed to know all this time. That’s exactly what he said.”

She handed it over to me, warching me carefully as I read the name at the front of the envelope.

To Zaynah, it said.

The writing was small and tidy.

I flipped it over, eager to open it. The back of it gave me an idea of what I needed to know. It was brief in it’s tone, and my heart thudded a little faster as I read it.

From Waseem

Please Don’t forget our Super Sunnahs! Lot of Durood on this Jumuah…

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


Back into Reality: Zaynah

Bismilllahir Rahmaanir Raheem

We often wonder why things happen the way they do.

Its like there’s some kind of order to all this chaos, or some kind of universal law, that takes over. We may say it’s coincidence. But it’s not just matter of the right thing happening at exactly the right time. It is not merely a mechanism that occurs, to connect the unconnected, and build up the bridges to exactly where we are meant to be.

Because as we move along the spiritual ladder, and when we bring true Imaan, we see that there is no such thing as ‘coincidence’. We argue that the future obeys no ‘law’. That Taqdeer is what determines fate. That coincidence, as they call it, is actually the work of the Greatest Power, at any given moment on our planet. It’s also a Divine means to place in the misplaced, and in that hurricane, in what may seem unrelated, we somehow find communion.

And that’s how everything that never seemed to fit together, somehow does, within the Greatest plan.

The realization had come at a time when I had been feeling so empty… with something of a hole somewhere within my gut. And as I lay down one evening, dwelling on the uncertainty that lay ahead for me, I knew that what filled my slumber-filled conscience was definitely a sign.

“I feel so lost.”

It was like I was an onlooker to my own conversation, almost as if I was talking within my own conscience.


The voice was soothing, and I looked up, seeing bright eyes above me, gazing at me almost as if in a trance.

“They say there’s a space,” it said, almost ironically. Had I been talking to him?

“A space?”

“Yes,” he replied. ” It’s a space like no other space that can’t be filled by the usual things we try to fill them with. That space… It’s only for the One who created it. Don’t try and fill it up any other way. Search for what you need.”

It was a lifetime search that evaded many. The search for contentment could only be satisfied through deep-rooted connection with one’s Rabb. No other treasure could fill that gap. Of course, with only Allah, hearts are truly at rest.

I sucked in my breath, remembering those words like they were just said yesterday. It wasn’t the first time I had heard them.


I looked up again, watching his gaze on me, knowing he wanted to remind me. Somehow, I knew.

“You know I’m always here.”

“Until we’re old?”

That voice sounded like me, but I wasn’t sure.

“Yes, until we’re old.”

His tone lowered, and I could feel the emotion in his voice.

“For always?”

“For always.”

It was just above a whisper now, and I shivered as the voice entered my slumber-filled conscience, almost as if it was right next to me. I jumped up, because it seemed so close that the person should have been standing in the same room. But as I looked around, it was a bit eerie that there was no one else here but me. No-one but me.

I rubbed my eyes incessantly, trying to place the image. Those eyes. Hope. Certainty within this chaos. But what exactly did it mean?

I blinked, as if awakened to something that I couldn’t yet get to grips with. I was still here. At my Uncle’s house. Everything felt the same, but there was something a little misplaced in my gut. Within my being, I felt as if I had been missing something all along. It was alost like that dream was to remind me that someone else was also a part of my life all along.

The shrill ring of the hallway phone broke my thoughts as I walked steadily forward. I was much stronger than I had been a few months ago, and everyone was happy that I had put on some weight and was starting to look human again.

“Zaynah, is that you?” The voice said after I had greeted, making me shake my head into the receiver.

“Of course it’s me, silly,” I replied, knowing that it was Nabeela. I grabbed a pack of chewy gums as I spoke, tucking in eagerly. It was the only thing that helped my mind to settle. Sugar had become like food to me. I doubted that it was the best thing for my health, but it always did the trick.

“I have good news,” she said, matter of fact. I raised my eyebrows because I wondered what news Nabeela had heard today. Strangely, if it was about my enstranged husband, I was actually interested.

“Waseem’s brother had a baby girl,” she said, sounding so excited, as if it was her own family that was blessed with the joy of a new life.

And of course, the mention of Waseem got me feeling a little uncomfortable, but for different reasons this time. I remembered the months he would come to see me in an attempt to revive the dead part of me, and I felt only pity for him because he seemed so determined that I would snap back. Back then, I had thought that there was no chance, but now, I knew that all hope was not lost.

“That’s lovely news,” I said, trying to sound neutral. I knew that there was another baby who they had lost in the family, and this was the first grandchild. I’m sure my in-laws would be thrilled, but I felt so distanced from them that I couldn’t relate to the excitement. It was a bit anti climatic.

“I think you should go and see them,” she said seriously. “Despite everything, they still kept contact… and-”

“I know,” I answered hastily, cutting her off.

She stopped abruptly, probably shocked that I had agreed with no arguments. During the past week, a series of weird thoughts and strange dreams had got me thinking that maybe I was seriously missing something big in my life. I had been so confused before now, but everything was slowly fitting together again.

And then of course, there was the chat the Mamoo had with me yesterday, telling me that I’m always welcome in the house, but if I no longer want to be bound by Nikah to Waseem, there were people interested in me.

I was in shock, because I never thought that Mamoo would give up on us, but I knew exactly who had given him the idea.

And of course I knew exactly who he meant.

I almost choked at the thought, wondering how he could even think of divorce. Now, with my mind a little more on-track than before, the thought irked even me.

I sighed, realizing that I really did need some more direction in my life. I couldn’t just sit around here my whole life, and waste away. My in-laws had always made an effort to come see me, even when I barely recognized them. If Abbi was alive, he would have made sure I went back. And maybe Waseem was no longer around, but the least that I could do was at least share in their joy at this time. Maybe I should tell them that I’m sorry for everything. That I didn’t mean to be so unfeeling, That everything will be okay.

I packed a small bag, telling Mamoo that I had something to discuss with my in-laws. He agreed to take me that very evening, knowing that it was probably a matter of urgency. As the hours passed, the uneasiness increased, because I felt compelled to get everything off my chest. To find out more. I wanted to know what had happened. How I fell. How everything just went so horribly wrong.

We reached the hospital late that night, and I stepped into the maternity ward, looking warily at the visiting times at the front. I wasn’t sure what I expected when I got there, but when I saw how glad my sister-in-law was to see me, I was so happy that I had actually come. I knew that she had had this baby after a really long time, and they looked so happy to finally have her that’s i couldn’t help but feel hopeful myself. Kids were the last thing that I had on my mind, but seeing all the joy around me made me feel broody myself.

“Maybe next will be your turn,” Aasiya said, almost as if she could tell where my thoughts were headed. I blushed and changed the topic.  We had chatted about various things, and I smiled as she mentioned Waseem, not giving away the real reason I had come. Being here, although it was still foreign, somehow felt right. In my heart of hearts, I just felt like something within me belonged.

“Is it okay if I come again?” I asked her, not knowing yet where we would stay, but hoping Mamoo could bring me again. It was already so late, but my uncle always went out of his way for me and I knew that he couldn’t refuse.

My sister-in-law nodded eagerly, looking glad that I actually wanted to come back. And of course they would be. I felt bad that I had avoided them for quite a while, since the accident. I had been trying to get my thoughts back in order, and even though everything wasn’t yet restored, now I knew that maybe there was still a hope. If only my husband would somehow appear and make everything fit together for me once again.

I walked out to where Mamoo was waiting, taking careful steps as I went down the few steps that led outside. I wasn’t sure why steps had become such a terrifying thing for me, because I didn’t even remember falling down them. I supposed something within my conscience registered that it was dangerous territory. I grabbed onto the railing, taking each step slowly, and hoping that I didn’t lose my balance. Mamoo was close by, but not close enough, and as mind conquered matter, I felt my one knee weaken and cave in. Panic filled my gut as I tried to gain my balance once again, but to no avail.

It was already too late. Just as I registered that all hope was lost, a strong arm gripped me just in time, immediately settling my worn out nerves.

I looked up, not yet registering what it all meant. I glimpsed his eyes as he pulled me up, and for a second I wondered, but at that time, I knew for certain that this was no dream. This was definitely beyond slumber.

We often wonder why things happen the way they do.

Its like there’s some kind of order to all this chaos, or some kind of universal law, that takes over. We may say it’s coincidence. But it’s not just matter of the right thing happening at exactly the right time. It is not merely a mechanism that occurs, to connect the unconnected, and build up the bridges to exactly where we are meant to be.

It was far from coincidence. It was how everything that never seemed to fit together, somehow does, within the Greatest plan.

The reality was exactly what I had thought.

He was back.

Please 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

Focus on Hope

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


Some people walk through the earth with a presence that can move mountains. At first glance, we may not know it right away, but their very being is like an unwrapped gift that slowly unfolds, emanating the most beautiful of flavours. You might never know who these people are, but just by being a part of the world that sometimes feels so hopeless, they are able to effect a change. They move rhythmically through the lull of life, and other people can’t help but be moved by them. They move through it, creating moments that we seldom can forget.

And of course, there are some moments in life that you never forget.

Moments that, just for their presence, made you the person you are. The moment you faced a longtime fear, and the exhiliration that comes with it. Or that moment you are in that strange place, and land that friend for life, just from a few words. The moment you hold that child that is is so innocent and pure, that you feel you just want to live your life all over again…. And of course, that moment when the whole world seems to stand still for a few seconds, and you realise that maybe… Just maybe… You’ve fallen in love.

Since the news of the baby, our home was filled with with hopeful anticipation and enthusiasm. My in laws were ecstatic that a baby was finally on its way, and of course, Muhammed was on cloud nine. Every so often he would come home with some random thing he found at a shop he was passing, or a gift for me. It was really quite sweet, but the nagging sensation that it was too soon never seemed to lift. I wanted to wait until the baby came to make any real changes.

And then of course, without much warning, it was suddenly time. I was in quite a frame of mind- almost in denial, until the evidence and pains that the baby was already well on its way were inescapable.

“Are you okay?” Muhammed had asked as he watched me in the rear view mirror. I was clenching my tummy and trying to shift my body to divert it from the pain. None of it was really helping.

I wanted to grit my teeth and tell him not to ask silly questions, but he had been so sweet throughout my pregnancy, that I didn’t want to upset him. Our bond had become one that was better than any other time in our marriage, and it was something that I didn’t want to risk. Even in this fragile state, I was trying to be a better person. I smiled smugly in between contractions, knowing that Ummi Jaan would be proud of me. Despite everything that Mo was and had done, there was something about him that she really liked. She always said that he was pure at heart, and it made me feel assured that she never gave up on us.

I breathed in as we reached the hospital, hoping that it would all go fast and smoothly. Recalling the advice that Ummi had given me about what to read, I recited Surah Yaaseen, and tried to remain calm as the pain intensified.

There was no denying that honestly, it was the worst pain I had ever felt in my life, and I wished it would go away as fast as possible.

Muhammed looked slightly panicked for his usually super-cool self, and he raced around trying to get me what I needed, just making sure that I was as comfortable. It seemed like forever before it ended, and the announcement sounded, but when it was finally over and the baby eventually was placed in my arms, I couldn’t help but tear up uncontrollably.

“A girl,” the doctor had said, and I gave a wide smile as they passed her over.

I was, of course, lifted into another dimension of ecstacy. Despite my immense tiredness, it was one of the most awesome and unbelievable feelings. Seeing Muhammed’s face light up as he moved away from my side, to check on the baby as it was cleaned up, was the most priceless moment ever.

“It’s a girl,” he came up and said again, smiling widely as he kissed my weak hand. His eyes were smiling too as he tenderly squeezed my shoulder, and rushed back to the baby.

I had a feeling that it was a girl throughout my pregnancy, but we never did confurm. A surprise was always good. The soft kicks and movements were an indication for me, and I braced myself as they brought her closer, thinking that she was probably the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.

Hearing the beautiful Adhaan being recited into her ears silenced her cries immediately, and I sighed contentedly as Muhammed took control of the formalities and I was finally wheeled back into the ward, to have some time to rest.

And of course, it was just the beginning of the greatest journey of our lives. It was the most exciting time for us as visitors came in, wishing us well and giving us their Duaas.  When my brother made an appearance later that night, just to come see his new niece, my heart was completely filled as my brother swooned over her. A slight feeling of despondency set in as I realized that Umar wouldn’t get to see her right now, and I looked at Muhammed to see that despite his excitement, there was something that was eating him up too.

We sat together in the hospital ward that night, cooing over our new daughter, but also not completely at ease with our family not in our midst. His thoughts were with Waseem, and mine with Umar, even as we witnessed the miracle that was in front of us taking over our lives.

“‘Siya,” Mo said suddenly, smiling at me as he put out daughter down, and then turning serious again. “I’m not sure if this is fair. Like, do you think life can get much better than this? Better than right now?”

I gave him a small smile back, knowing exactly what he was saying. Of course it didn’t seem fair. We had so much… so many privileges… such luxury and comfort, although we didn’t deserve it. Sometimes we had to stop and check ourselves.

“I mean, there are so many people around us who are suffering… and so many all over the world,” he continued. “Allah is bestowing his kindness to such a great degree… I’m not even sure if we are worthy of it.”

I shook my head at him, sighing to myself.

“Of course we’re not,” I said, matter-of-fact. “We just have to keep on being grateful. Allah promises us that if we are… He will definitely increase us. But if not…”

I remembered the ayah I had learnt, reminding us of both Allah’s mercy and power at the same time.

“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.” (Surah Ibraheem: verse 7)

It was the most apt reminder, and I found myself wondering about how ungrateful we had been all this time. Over the past few years we had been given so much, yet we were so unmindful, and never granted contentment. Now, Allah had given us this one gift, and just in showing gratitude, He had given us peace of mind.

“It’s just amazing,” he continued now, his eyes shining. I looked at my husband as his hands ran through his beard. He wore a plain white Kurtah today and my heart filled with awe when I thought about how far he had come. I was so proud of this change he had made, and I couldn’t believe that my worldly-obsessed husband had become the man he was today.

“When I look at her, I just want to change my life all over again,” he said, sounding so passionate. “It’s when I truly want to be the best I could, so that everything is okay for her. I just want to change the whole world.”

He was right. We had been taken in by the world, and what was temporary, but our focus had changed when we finally saw what something eternal could be for us. When we chose to what was everlasting over the temporary. We faced our challenges with faith and persevered as a couple and a single body, and somehow made it through.

I smiled, slightly amused by his statement. It was just one small thing. A small intervention that had made all of this possible. A small light that shone through, eliminating the darkness within hour lives.

You see, some people in this world move through it, but can’t help but change everyone around them. We didn’t know that when Waseem saw his wife, we would all be affected by his heart. He took a chance. He saw what he wanted and took the plunge, hoping for the best. He changed his life entirely and completely, and when Zaynah became a part of his world, she became a part of ours too. The beauty of Deen that she showed him became very evident for us all.

Change. Life changed. Everything and everyone had changed.

I breathed in the scent of our daughter now, knowing that Mo and I would be on the same page when it came to our daughter and how she would grow up. I wished that she too could be the type of person who affected everyone around her in the world, just by being in it. Those people were rare and few. Very few.

My thoughts were cut short as a knock sounded on the door, and I could hear a familiar voice apologizing, almost as if afraid to come in.

My heart lifted in anticipation, hoping upon hope that it was the person that it sounded like.

After what seemed like eternity, the person finally appeared, fully covered and almost unrecognizable until I saw her eyes. Of course, those eyes I could never forget. I remembered how kind they had always been, even when my cynicism would get the better of me. Her openness and the beauty within was evident even in her very manner, as she stepped forward modestly, making me still wonder if it was medication or if she really was here.

She looked like she was back to her old self… the sister-in-law that I knew I could never live up to, no matter what I did. I smiled, because, of course, there was nothing I could say that would ever express my true elation.

No matter what had happened until now, or what had changed, I knew that for me, she would always be that soul that I would look at and wonder how people like her actually existed.

I smiled widely now as she greeted, hoping she would bring us good news. For a moment, an unexplainable feeling of joy took over, and I just knew that everything would be okay.

Zaynah was here.

Next post may be a little delayed. Apologies in advance.

Please 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 New Life

Bismilllahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Okay. So maybe I shouldn’t have interfered. I know. It was just pure Zee nature to, but sometimes it’s not always the best option to stick your nose in business that doesn’t concern you.

But there’s always an opposing view to every situation. Everyone likes to think that they are right.

The nagging factor here was: Did it really not concern me? I mean, it was right in front of me, and I could see that something clearly funky was going on. I mean, the minute I spot someone I vaguely recognise, of course my senses get slightly more heightened than before. And then, of course, when I realise something was clearly wrong with the scene, I knew I couldn’t just walk away.

We all got caught up. They say that the nature of this world is such, that anything for the sake of Deen becomes difficult, when we are consumed by it. This world is a series of luring and enchanting hints and charms, that can get us to think that whatever is right now, is forever. We see the way the western world portrays the glory of sin. The glory of luxury. The glory of a world where everything looks so peachy only from the outside.

And just like there’s something always off-base about the fantasy world, something just wasn’t right with this scene. I knew it as I held in my breath just after I said the words to halt it, hoping to dissolve the tension in the air.

“Bru,” I said now, offering a small smile now. “Relax with the lady… People are getting worried.”

It was true. And even though it might have been seriously delayed, bur when all I got was a furious stare back at me, then I kind of realised that I should back off.

And then, without any actual warning, a sudden stinging on my right hand side was a wake up call to my senses.

So much for being the knight in shining armour. It was a serious anti climax.

I instinctively flexed my hand and dropped the tasbeeh Waseem had gifted me back into my pocket, but it wasn’t soon enough. I was still trying to figure out what I had done wrong, when I heard the impact of the blow to my face before I even felt it. I widened my eyes at the effect of what had just happened, only realizing a few seconds after that I had, most definitely, been targeted right in the face. Although I wasn’t being entirely superficial, I really hoped that I didn’t have anything to show for it as I immediately reached up my hand to feel the spot where the burning was.

I looked almost begrudgingly at the guy I recognized from our last visit to Waseem’s in-laws, wondering what on earth was wrong with him. In all fairness, I knew I could have hurt him back, but I really didn’t want to go there. Besides, who knew what would happen to the chic in question if I had to start a full-blown fight. The Zee was just starting to kill the reputation that I had earned for myself all these years, and despite his assault, I actually felt sorry for the guy as I literally saw the steam draining from his face, when he realised that he might have taken my little intervention a little too far. He was at least slowly calming down after his attack, and I took it as an opportunity to knock some sense in.

I sucked my breath in, killing the urge to hit him back, trying to see the bigger picture here.

There was a girl a few meters behind him, looking hesitantly at us both, and the other girl, who I knew was his sister, was just looking plain angry. I mean, I didn’t blame her. All this extra drama was revolving around her, and from the time I had first laid eyes on her, those two or so odd years ago, I realised that she wasn’t exactly the type who loved attention. Strange for a chic, but precisely what I had been taken aback by before when my spirits were too high and my gaze was never controlled.

Now, a little wiser and more in control, I kept my gaze lowered and actually held myself from looking up as I spoke.

“I can see there’s a problem here,” I said quietly, not wanting to draw more attention to us. “So I just wanted to help. But if you’ll can both assure me that it’s all okay…”

Of course, it clearly wasn’t.

“I don’t want to go with them,” was all I heard, and I immediately knew that something was wrong within the dealings here. The other girl was looking seriously awkward as she stood there, and I immediately put two and two together to get the idea that this whole thing was just really uncomfortable.

I always thought this guy was one of those hectic types, but as I watched his sisters disapproval, I realized that he had probably got caught up.

Yes. We all got caught up. We know that this world is a series of luring and enchanting hints and charms, that can get us to think that whatever is right now, is forever. We see the way the western world portrays the glory of sin. The glory of luxury. The glory of a world where everything looks so peachy only from the outside.

But what we don’t see is the behind the scene junk of how messed up it really is. The abuse, alcohol and drug addictions. The constant chase for something more, that obviously cannot fill that deep hole in the gut. The emptiness that lingers, as long as that life continues, just gets worse as time goes on. Eventually, what seemed like a fairytale to the world had become a sudden nightmare instead. That was how it all went down, when you are consumed with what the western world has made us believe. There’s no helping it because in the books and movies, it all looks so pretty. The ugly reality is that it is only part of this world. Temporary. Unsatisfactory.

And of course, this world is also just what Allah tells us it is. An extremely breath-taking, beautiful lie.

And I would have thought that these people, whom I had categorized into the wiser type that I had never known as I grew up, would be the ones who would know the truth, but I supposed you can’t judge people from how they grew up.

As I could hear a change of tone and quiet muffling, I knew that I probably wouldn’t get much joy out of the situation than already was. The aggression had eased, and I heard the two siblings talking slightly more calmly about plans and what the problem really was, I knew I could actually excuse myself and be on my way. No need to wait around, because as an elderly man walked up who looked like he was family, and I knew that it was my cue to walk away. This was no longer my concern.

And of course, with a slight feeling of emptiness lingering within, as I got into my car, I couldn’t help but feel slightly guilty.

Not because I had stared at the bombshell girl like the old Zee would, because it was only through the grace of my Rabb that I hadn’t taken advantage of the situation.

The guilt here, stemmed purely because of my thoughts and memories. Like it was for the people I had just met, there was a time when life was much more promising for me. When I was also caught up, and could have taken a different way out,

I wish that I could turn and re-live it. Memories. Thoughts. How life could have been different. How I could have changed everything that had happened with Farah. How I could have had a different life to what I had now.

But of course, what had happened was always what was meant to. There was no questioning or preventing what had already occurred. It was all within Divine Decree, and the plan for what lay ahead.

Right now, I knew that although I hadn’t completely failed Farah in marriage, when it came to the present, I could still make effort. Maybe, with Farah’s death, I had always undermined what I could still do. Maybe even in death, it all wasn’t the end all and be all.

With that in mind, I drove, for the first time to the graveyard that Farah was buried at, knowing that there were still things that I hadn’t yet faced.

I parked off, not allowing my thoughts and racing mind to get the better of me as I tried to locate the place I remembered where we had buried her. I reached the grave with slight hesitation, knowing that her family had probably been here many times before I had decided to come back.

Guilt plagued me, and my breath was shaky as I walked the distance to the grave, mentally kicking myself for being so terrible. So distant.

Farah did try. Although we were struggling at the end, it wasn’t her fault that we just weren’t meant to be. I wasn’t sure why I had taken so long to do it, but being here finally released me from all those shackles that seemed to be binding me. Being here, where I knew I should have come ages ago, made me remember the reality of what lay ahead for every one of us. It also made me remember that once upon a time, though it might have been wrong, I tried to right something that had got really messed up. Maybe that was all I needed to remind myself that there was still hope out there. That I could actually move forward without guilt. That maybe, somewhere far ahead, there was a brighter future ahead.

I crouched down, my hands delving into the soil that I remembered throwing into the grave all those months ago. I could smell it’s dampness, which was evident of the late summer rains we had during the past few days. I could almost even hear Farah’s voice, as if prompting me… And then, of course, I remembered to do what I knew I should have come here to do a long time ago.

I raised my hands in Du’aa, praying for not only her, but even myself, as we each embarked on our separate journeys. Hers was a new one, which she would face alone, but at each interval that I passed in my journey, I knew that I could remember her and at least send something that might make a difference to those who had passed on.  It was the only thing that we could ever pass on , and the dwellers of the graves await the prayers of those who came to pass on their gifts of Qur’an and Du’aa.

‘Aa’ishah (RA) was reported to have said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went out one night, and I sent Bareerah to follow him and see where he went. She said, ‘He went towards Baqee’ al-Gharqad [the graveyard in Madeenah], and he stood at the bottom of al-Baqee’ and raised his hands, then he went away.’ Bareerah came back to me and told me, and when morning came I asked him about it. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, where did you go out to last night? He said, ‘I was sent to the people of al-Baqee’, to pray for them.’”

I finally placed my hands down, knowing that it would be getting dark soon, but promising myself that I would come back in a few days. A little overcome by emotion, I trudged slowly to the car, forgetting for a moment about everything in this world except for the cutter-off of pleasures.

It’s where our mind should be focussed at most times, but we refused to acknowledge that the end was definitely coming, whether we were prepared for it or not. I shook my head to myself as I started the car, the realisation hitting me now  harder than ever before. That was why visiting the graveyards was such a huge requirement. It was the only thing that gave you the kind of awakening that only death could.

A small buzz from within the centre consol of my car jerked me out of my thoughts, as I tuned back to the events of this life. I hastily pusher the flap to open, seeing missed calls from my brother, and a few new messages showed on the screen. As soon as I saw them, a feeling of anxiety coupled with obvious excitement crept in, as the reality of what was happening set in.

It was time. Muhammed needed me. I knew that I was probably the only guy who was around for him, and my brother just needed me there. It was a little early, but the news that a new life was on its way here was something I needed to get my focus on again.

Amidst the pungent emotions and memories that surfaced when I thought of my own son, I didn’t dwell on it, because I knew that this little person- a new life- would probably bring a new beginning for us all.

Next post may be a little delayed, so I apologise in advance. 

Please 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

In-Town Sagas: Nabeela

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

“Ma’am, may I ask your age?” The guy from behind the counter said, looking at me slightly suspiciously.

“Eighteen,” I said confidently, not batting an eyelid. I had to say it. I would get nowhere if I didn’t.

He frowned, and then asked me about the relationship to the alleged deceased. It was a bit difficult to explain that my cousin had been practically dead before she decided to come round again, so she could exactly be here in person. They would only take her request to look into the case seriously if they knew I was over the legal age.

“So you saying that this man hasn’t been in contact for months?” He asked.

I looked back at him, feeling bad about stretching the truth. I had to exaggerate a little, but not too much. The more urgent the situation seemed, the quicker we could get any feedback. Only the embassy could get real insight into the area and figure out where Waseem was. I wasn’t sure about all the political technicalities, but I knew I should be a bit more assertive, although it wasn’t in my character.

“His wife is worried,” I said, putting in my serious face again. “She’s bed ridden, and we thought the embassy could make some contact with their people there to figure out what happened to him.”

The man shook his head.

“If he’s gone there on his own accord, then there’s not much we can do,” he said, raising his eyebrows at me. “We’ve had many of these Muslim boys going during the past year or so and we can’t decide much if they are doing it out of choice. You know-”

“But what if he was forced?” I pressed, cutting him off, and knowing that Zaynah wouldn’t be happy if I tell her that. “Can’t you’ll do anything?”

The guy looked at me cynically now,  and I put on my best pleading face, hoping he would buy my desperation.

Something was definitely on my side, as his expression changed and he suddenly told me to wait in the area that a few other people were seat at. Zaynah had always said that Allah makes a difficult path easy for whom He wills. Maybe it was all the Duaas and Istighfaar Zaynah insisted we make so the whole thing would be quick and easy for us. I always heard her say that when you increase in Istighfaar everything becomes easier.

Nabi (SAW) said: The one that regularly
performs Istighfaar, Allah clears a path from every difficulty, releases worry and grants one Rizq.

I sat silently for a few minutes, just observing the people around me. I wasn’t usually ever on my own, so being here was quite scary. I knew it might have not been the most correct thing to do, but under the circumstances, I wanted to try and help Zaynah a little at least. She had always  been the one to do everything for me in the past without a single complaint.

Mamoo had dropped me off hesitantly, after I had assured him multiple times that I would be fine for the little while he would be away and Raees would come and join me in the queue. I knew he had some urgent work nearby that he had gone to do, and I could tell he believed me, but I just hoped he wouldn’t check with Raees. I wasn’t too sure that I wanted my brother to know that I was helping Zaynah to find her husband. Something told me that he probably would hate the idea.

I glanced to my right as I finally sat down, seeing a girl with a tasbeeh sitting in the same area as I was, and she reminded me so much of Zaynah. Her habit of carrying it with her had rubbed off onto many people around her.  Her fingers were constantly moving as she read her Adhkaar, and she looked like she was totally absorbed in it. I admired her so much for not wasting time as she sat here waiting, wondering why I had never thought of the same thing. A simple tasbeeh that I carry with me could earn me so many brownie points if I just made the effort.

Time. We didn’t realize just how precious it was. The gift that we practically threw away with each moment we spent doing just futile things. It was actually awful how much of time we wasted.

“Ma’am,” a voice said, cutting through my thoughts. “We are following up, as there’s been  another request about the same person. There might be a long wait before we get any answers.”

I sighed and nodded, telling them that I’d be back. Maybe if I didn’t get any furthe info Zaynah could try and come when she felt a little better. All I knew right then was that I was getting really hungry, and there was some sort of shopping complex outside that I knew I could get a snack from. I was definitely a bit scared if venturing out on my own, but I held my little bag close to me and stepped out in confidence as I walked up the pathway.

I had just reached the kiosk and taken a water and a packet of chips when a hand from behind grabbed me and pulled me backwards, almost knocking the wind out of my guts.

I was probably going to start screaming in absolute fear, when the person viciously started shouting at me, as if I was the one that was acting crazy. It was only then when I realized that the insane kidnapping attempt was actually nothing of the sort.

I gaped back at my elder brother as he looked at me angrily, uttering weird atrocities for no real reason at all. Something about scheming and undercover was part of it, but I didn’t catch exactly what it was that he was on about. As I looked back at him, slightly shocked by his presence, I couldn’t help but notice a scarved girl next to him, clad in jeans and a grey top, watching me back a bit awkwardly. She was probably wondering if this was the same guy she knew.

It took me a few moments to realise exactly what was going on, and Raees pulled me over to a bench on the side, demanding to know who sent me there and why I was even in that shopping complex.

Okay. I knew exactly what it looked like. How did I explain to him that I really didn’t come to spy on them?

The situation was as awkward as they get, and the girl in question was just kind of gaping at us, as she looked around her slightly fearfully. She didn’t look like a ‘bad’ girl.  That was the thing with most girls. They just got caught up in the wrong things. I had kind of figured out that she was his new conquest, and it disgusted me that he had been using a ‘business venture’ as an excuse to keep being in town to see her.

The mere fact that Zinaa was right under my nose was a complete knock to everything I had known my entire life. I mean, I was no saint, but during my nearly seventeen years, it had been a completely foreign concept to see such blatant sin in my face. I supposed that in the city it was a normal, but growing up in a farm town definitely meant that I was a teeny bit sheltered.

“What the hell are you doing here?” He hissed again as he narrowed his eyes at me.

I just couldn’t seem to open my mouth to give him a proper answer.

“Zaynah,” I said blankly, looking from him to the girl, and shaking my head. I didn’t want to continue because I wasn’t sure how much I could say about what Zaynah was trying to find out. “Mamoo left me next door. He’s coming back.”

Raees narrowed his eyes, and shook his head at me.

“Is this about that idiot husband of hers?” He asked, looking completely annoyed at the mention of him. “Why the hell is she still worried about him?”

I stared back at him, wondering if he was for real. Raees acted like the biggest idiot. Of course she would be worried about him. What I wanted to know, is why he was worried about it all if he very obviously had someone else that seemed to be very prominent in his life. I wondered if he was even serious about this girl. I actually felt a bit sorry for them both, because these type of things never did end well.

“Let’s go,” he suddenly said abruptly, hastily tugging at my abaya sleeves and trying to get me to get with him. He was probably starting to panic because of what this could all bring for him. I wasn’t planning on spying, but what I saw and witnessed couldn’t be ignored.

I stayed rooted to the bench despite his pulling me, not really wanting to go with him. He didn’t get it, despite my protests.

He couldn’t drag me off against my will! I didn’t want to let Zaynah down. I still had to go back and tell her what the low-down is on the whole Waseem Saga. I couldn’t leave right then! What would I tell Mamoo? And Zaynah?!

At the same time, I couldn’t find words to explain to my brother what a maniac he was behaving like as he literally dragged me off the bench and started pulling me with him to where I supposed his car was.

This was just too much. He was overrreacting. The whole thing was just insane.

Stop it!” I finally shouted, using my heels to try and halt myself as he continued to yank me. He really was out of control.

I had raised my voice slightly and the few passers by that were around had actually turned to look at me. I had a feeling that this might get out of control if I didn’t go with the flow, and I was starting to get just a little desperate before a voice from a few meters behind us called out, releasing me from my now very obvious anxiety.

“Hey,” it said, and I could hear the footsteps before I actually saw who it was. “Are you guys okay?”

I tried to turn back, but as soon as Raees heard the voice, he started going faster, and dragging me a little more aggressively. I honestly wanted to kick him, but he was overpowering me for that moment. Just then, to my awesome relief, a hand from behind came forward, grabbing him by his collar and literally stopping us all in our tracks.

“Dude,” the guy said, shaking his head at Raees in utter confusion.

Believe me, no-one could imagine my relief right then when I figured out who it was. A tasbeeh dangled from his fingers as he stretched out his hand to separate Raees from me, and then took a modest step backwards. My heart thumped in my chest, because although I was saved from my brother, I knew that this wasn’t good news for him. Raees’s face changed to a deep shade of red, before it looked like it was going to erupt. The guy had serious issues as it was, and this was just the limit.


My heart was literally in my throat as I waited for the outcome of this all. This definitely was not going to end well.

Maaf for keeping you’ll waiting. Insha Allah I will post earlier this week to make up for it!

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