A Little bit of Explaining

So, I Managed to get in a bonus post..

Enjoy, much love

A 🌸


Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem



His voice was deep and stern and I felt slightly uncomfortable as he stood and watched us. I could tell that he was probably a few years older than us. Maybe around eighteen. To me, he looked old.

Nusaybah’s mouth opened and then closed almost immediately. I wasn’t sure if she was shocked or if she just didn’t know what to say. Whatever the case, it was the first time in a few months that I had seen my friend at a loss for words. Just a few minutes ago she was talking non-stop about how this will be the perfect job opportunity for me.

Amidst it all, I could hear childish shrieks and laughter in the background.

I looked up again at the new stranger, but all I saw was biceps and styled hair. The boy who answered the door was still staring at us questionably, and my heart was beating that much faster because I wasnt sure how to act. It was the first time I had been confronted with a strange boy. My friend was at a loss for words and I wasn’t quite sure what we were here for either. Someone had to do a little bit of explaining.

“Um,” I said, knowing that someone had to talk. “I… err… we here about the babysitting… ”

I wasn’t sure exactly where I had got that from but the words just tumbled out of my mouth. Nusaybah whipped her head around and widened her eyes at me, obviously appalled at my statement.

I was sure that I heard her say that….  it was her intention for me here. We just didn’t expect what happened next.

The boy’s expression changed almost immediately, and now, instead of the stern and intimidating expression he had been wearing, he narrowed his eyes and looked at us with interest, his dark lashes making me feel just a little disorientated. I could see Nusaybah staring too.

I pinched her discreetly as we walked, hoping she would get the hint and quit it. Boys didn’t interest me, but Nusaybah seemed like she was on a different wavelength.

“Yoh… I’m so glad,” he suddenly said, now in a kinder voice. He was shaking his head and turning to go back into the house.

He gestured for us to follow.

“These brats are making me crazy,” he complained to no-one in particular, gesturing to a room where all the shrieking could be heard. “And they don’t stop with the food! I don’t know what the hell to do with them and I need to leave. My sister needs to wake up and see to her own kids… dammit, I have people waiting for me!”

He dug his hand in his pocket and took out a phone and some keys. Barely looking at us, he thrust the key into my hand, and started dialling something on his iPhone as he turned away from us, already halfway to the door. His shoes were in his hand and he paused to slip them on, glancing at us one more time before he left for good.

Gosh. He didn’t even ask our names. We could have been murderers.

“What on earth just happened?” Nusaybah almost shrieked, as soon as he left. “And who in the world was that?”

I looked at my friend, and for the first time I noticed a glazed look in her eyes. She was very obviously charmed by the boy we had just met … and she needed to snap out of it.

“He’s just a guy,” I said obviously, clicking my fingers in front of her face and trying to get her out of her silliness. “Let’s get on with it and do our job. Babysitting?  Remember?”

We had just come to see the lady and thisbhaponed. I wasn’t sure if we really had a job, but since we were here we couldn’t just leave these kids on their own. I ventured towards the room that the noise was coming from, taking in the glossy cupboards and natural décor in the passage area. I quite liked the feel of this house. It was slightly warmer and welcoming, compared to other modern houses I had seen. And of course, the best part was the gorgeous garden that I yearned to get my hands into. Maybe I had ulterior motives, but if Nusaybah was suggesting I work here, I would be over the moon.

“Go in,” Nusaybah said, nudging me as we reached the door of what looked like a playroom.

I took a small step forward and peeped in, catching sight of a pair of kids jumpibng from a table to a single seater couch and back. Another kid was scribbling fiercely on a corner of a kiddies wooden table, determined to cover up every patch of that table with crayon marks. There were crayon markings all over. On the floor. On the chairs. Even on every wall.

And just as I was about to turn around and get out of there, I spotted him. My heart melted in my chest as I spotted a little baby boy in the corner of the room, stuffing a crayon into his mouth. He had the fluffiest cheeks and podgiest nose. He must have been about eight months or so. Maybe a little bigger.

Maternal instinct took over and I lunged forward, grabbing the crayon out of his mouth, already expecting the complaint that came in the form of a huge howl thereafter.

Four boys. Gosh. No wonder they were going crazy  this house.

“Who are you?”

The little baby was still shrieking uncontrollably, and I thrust him into Nusaybah’s hands, even though she wasn’t looking very happy about it.

I knelt down next to the biggest boy who was looking at us questionably, placing my hand lightly on his shoulder.

“I’m Khawlah,” I said, looking at the little boy with a smile. He had light brown hair, dark lashes and the cutest little nose. “And what’s your name?”

“I’m Danyaal,” he said, with a serious look. “Do you know Mummy?”

Before I could answer, another kid came up to us, without even halting. He found a gap in between, and raced out, mumbling something about being hungry.

I could already see yoghurt containers, chocolate wrappers and chips packets all over. It looked like their uncle was stuffing their mouths with junk to pacify them.

My heart burned.

These poor kids were unbelievably cute and innocent, and they were being subjected to this probably daily. And okay, maybe they weren’t being abused, but it was obvious from the messy mouths and stained clothes that was an issue of neglect. From what Nusaybah had said, the lady’s helper had just left, and she was a little desperate. I could see why now.

There were so many people who couldn’t have kids, and we call that a test. But the truth is, having kids too was also a test.

Kids were gifts. Precious gifts that needed love, care and nurturing. You can’t just have them and expect them to grow up and survive on fresh air. They needed time. Attention. Maybe some TLC.

Kids also had their own rights over their parents. Islam gives children many rights and is concerned with their spiritual, physical, and emotional well being.

It was narrated that Ibn ‘Umar RA said: “Allaah has called them abraar (righteous) because they honoured (barru) their fathers and children. Just as your father has rights over you, so too your child has rights over you. “

Al-Adab al-Mufrad, 94. 

I almost wanted to take them home with me, because my heart felt so overwhelmed with all these emotions.

It wasn’t because they were orphans. They obviously weren’t. They looked a little neglected, with overgrown nails and in need of some attention… but what caught me was that look in their eyes. The hollowness. It made my throat dry and my eyes burn. It was the same look I had worn as a child, after Mama had died.  Myself and my siblings, alike… and now I saw it again.

Like a stabbing in my chest, it was the exact same look this little boy was staring at me with, and I couldn’t help but feel it too. First the garden. Now this. I simply could not control my heart.

I wanted to help. I wasn’t sure how this was all going to fall into place, but now I understood that truly, everything does happen for a reason. Allah’s plan always had a way out… and there was always an ultimate plan that may exceed our expectation. We just needed to have the patience to wait for it, and truly, our chests will swell out of sheer amazement at its perfection.

Without realizing it, a huge smile crept on my face and I suddenly felt elated. The outdoors was a simple beauty. I could imagine being there and loving every minute. Instead of being trapped in this playroom, I pictured soil stained fingers beautiful gardening retreats. I pictured digging into the dewy earth and planting all the hope that these kids could bring. I may have been getting ahead of myself but I was already blown away.

“Nusaybah,” I said excitedly, looking at my friend. I wanted to express my heartfelt gratitude. This was a haven for me.

But as I looked at my friend, I could see her brow furrowed and concern on her face. The baby’s nose was snotty and I paused as I took him, grabbing Abba’s Old handkerchief from my pocket and tried to pacify his whimpers. Nusaybah obviously thought that we were in over our heads. I didn’t.

“You were right!” I continued, ignoring her looks of disdain and bobbing the little boy around as I tried to shush him. “This is just what I needed… and if I could earn some money and help Abba too… why not?”

Nusaybah was looking at me sceptically. I didn’t think she pictured this when she first brought me here, and Nusaybah didn’t seem to have much patience with kids.

It didn’t matter though. I was already smitten.

Before she could even try to voice her fears, a voice from down the passage stopped us both in our tracks.

“Adam, are you’ll there?” It said. It sounded like the mother, and we looked at each other, slightly relieved. “Why is everything in the kitchen left open? Did my kids actually eat anything besides junk?”

We didn’t have a chance to answer, because the scrunching of her training shoes could be heard already a few feet from us in the bedroom passage.

She immediately rounded the corner, and I could see her let out a stifled gasp as she saw us. She wore gym clothes and her hair was bunched up at the top. She was attractive, young but slightly overweight. On top of it all, she was probably wondering what on earth was going on. I would have been wondering too.

I handed the sleeping baby to Nusaybah, gave her a huge smile, and started our story. I wasn’t sure how this would all turn out, but my hopes were high and my spirits were already at their peak. I really wanted this job.

First things first…. we just had a little bit of explaining to do.





A New Adventure


Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


“Who’s that?”

Ahmed’s voice was curious as he looked up from what he was doing, frowning slightly as he waited for my reply.

Indeed. Who was that?

I mean, I knew her name… and I knew she was a neighbour… but there was something exceptional about the girl who I had just met a few minutes before.

“Her name is Nusaybah,” I said, almost in a daze, as I slumped down again, closing my eyes in an effort to rest then even for just a minute. I was exhausted.

“What a funny name,” Yunus said, and I laughed.

He obviously didn’t hear that name before.

Ahmed’s eyes were rolling almost out of his head.

“It’s not weird,” Ahmed said. “You just never open any books so you won’t know any better. Khawlah spends every spare minute buried in some Islamic book, so she knows the history of every name you can get.”

I didn’t comment. It wasn’t untrue what Ahmed was saying.

I loved reading about the companions of Nabi SAW and I found it most comforting… it was a refuge. In times of distress, I sought comfort in the works of learned authors and found solace in their detailed stories. In times of prosperity, I would gain a deeper satisfactio out of digging deep into the literary works of the Ulama who had taken the time out to record the beautiful narrations that so thrilled me. There was no time when I was not enthusiastic to bury myself in words that reiterated their courage and fervor.

I couldn’t imagine my life without knowing about their existence.

SubhaanAllah… if anyone ever read about the Sahabah, no-one else in this world could even come close to impressing them thereafter.

With that in mind, I headed up the stairs to my new room, finding my favourite book under the pillow where it always was, and opened to the contents. It’s pages were slightly stained and a little crumpled.

The writing on the left hand side of the page glared at me, almost in fury.

From Khalid.

Khalid. I hadn’t seen him in over a year.

But the greatest loss to me wasn’t him. My heart bled at the loss of my confidant… his mother who had become a caring guardian to me during these few months. The worst part was that I didn’t have the guts to tell her that we were moving. I didn’t have it in me to let her know that she probably wouldn’t see me again.

I shoved the thought away, ignoring my conscience, and letting myself get lost in the adventures of the warriors who I often sought distraction in.

How brave were their tactics? How daring were their endeavors?

My mind was consumed for a good few hours as I enjoyed my literary company before bed, knowing that tomorrow would be a new day and a new start. Abba had already told me that I would be going to a new school, and although I was nervous, a fond sense of excitement filled my gut. There was something alluring about a new start and I found myself look forward to what it may bring for me the next day.

The morning came quickly and my mind was overwhelmed with mixed emotions. Will it be okay? Wil l I know anyone? Will I make new friends?

The questions and thoughts were endless even as I entered into the school gates, slightly nervous and wobbly about the day ahead. Going to the classroom I was instructed to go to, I hastily scrambled to a free seat, plopping myself down in great relief as I finally sat. It was just under a minute that had passed when I heard a voice above me.

”Excuse me,” the voice said.

I looked up in surprise, wondering who was talking to me. I smiled at a girl who looked just a little taller than me. She didn’t smile back.

Instead, she pursed her thin lips and stared at me.

“You’re sitting in my place,” she said flatly, pointing at me with a long finger.

Oh gosh. The first day and I already put my foot into it.

I widened my eyes slightly and got up, mumbling apologies as I did so and gathered my things.

I was about to go out the classroom and wait for the teacher when I felt a hand on my shoulder, and I looked up to see none other than Nusaybah next to me. She was frowning at the other girl.

“Veronica,” she said to her firmly. “You can see she’s new. Why don’t you give her a break?”

Veronica rolled her eyes, shrugged and looked slightly embarrassed. With everyone’s eyes on her now, she backtracked slightly, hastily took her bag, and sat on another seat closer to the window.

I sighed audibly, relieved that I didn’t have to move. I didn’t want to sit in another place and face a bigger terror.

“How are you?” Nusaybah asked me now, as I sat again, smiling kindly.

I could not have been happier to see anybody at that moment. Like me, she had a blue hijab tied around her round face, and matching pants that complimented the school uniform. I felt relieved that I wasn’t the only girl wearing hijab in the class and although it never embarrassed me, I felt glad to share the identity with her.

The thing was, no-one would ever know about our Deen or identity were it not for our dress. If we were to ignore the dress code of our religion, what would there be to tell us apart from a non-Muslim? How would anyone ever identify what or who we are? How we dressed was part of it all. It’s how people told me apart from anyone else.

I looked at Nusaybah again in relief, and noticed that the ferocity that she had in her eyes just a minute ago quickly disappeared as she spoke to me about the school and how ecstatic she was that I was here. I smiled back at her, glad that I had actually made this move. Glad that it was all okay.

”Hey, we have another new girl!” She suddenly said, and I looked in the same direction as her gaze to see a familiar face at the entrance of the door.

I almost could not believe my eyes, but as she stood there and watched us all, the childhood memories that I remembered so clearly all played back in my vivid mind. It wasn’t pleasant to recall, but the person I now saw in our midst looked the complete opposite of the girl I had know back then.


Hannah was here, and although I had no idea then and I didn’t know why… there was definitely some reason and connection here.

I look at her, and the fierce and fiesty girl that I had once knew had somehow transformed into a composed and introverted girl that I barely recognized.

This was no coincidence. I knew that already. I couldn’t wait to get home and tell my siblings about it.

The day seemed to drag on from there, and although I greeted Hannah, e said no more to each other. I was dying to find out what exactly brought her to this school on the same day as I. I was dying to find out more but didn’t have the guts to ask her.

“So how was it?”

It was the first question that I was asked as I walked through the door of my home, and I paused momentarily before answering, knowing that the dramatic news of Hannah’s presence may create a little turbulence. Or a lot.

“Guess Who was there?”

Ahmed gave me a blank look. He was on study leave, but I didn’t see much studying going on. Yunus wasn’t home yet. I already missed my sister, who I knew would actually be interested in my day instead of just asking. I scowled.


Ahmed frowned, and then looked slightly interested.

“Really?” He said, looking pensive.

“Yes!” I said, flinging my hand up in the air, slightly disbelievingly. “And she just came today! Like me! How on earth did that happen?”

“Duh,” Ahmed said. “Her gold digger mother wouldn’t have it any other way, even though Abba can’t afford it.”

Ahmed raised his eyebrows and then shrugged.

“Abba really messed up when he married that woman. She’s literally wiping him out. She doesn’t give up .”

I raised my eyebrows. All this was news to me. And he was being a bit mean too.

Wait. What did Ahmed say?

My heart was suddenly beating a little faster and I couldn’t breathe as easily. Since when couldn’t Abba afford anything? All my life I had known Abba to have money. He always had enough. When did this whole scenario change?

I could have slapped my head in stupidity as I processed everything that happened.

The kidnapping. The change of house. Change of school.

It wasn’t only about security. Abba didn’t have enough money anymore. Something had happened, and everything was changing. Maybe the people who had taken him away had took everything he had. Now I knew why Abba had been so stressed out the past few weeks. Now I understood why everything had seemed so painful for him, even when we all thought it was okay. For us, we were okay. For him, everything had changed.

I sucked in my breath, feeling overwhelmed, but not showing any of it as Ahmed got up and went up to his room again.

He didn’t care that he had just dropped a massive bomb on me. Over the years I realized that’s how boys were. They were often indifferent and unaware of any consequence to what they said.

With Zuleikha not around, I had often sought comfort in Aunty Radiyyah, but to me now that seemed liked another world completely. I fought the urge to ask Foi Nani too… I didn’t want to put Abba in a bad light… and what if she didn’t even know?

Weeks passed and though I saw Abba often preoccupied and tired, I knew that there was not much I could do to help. I often tried to think of ways, but I kept coming back to square one. I would see Hannah at school, but our exchanges were often strained and vague.

And then, on a particularly upside down day, Nusaybah and I were sitting outside and I couldn’t help but let it all out. It was like a volcano waiting to erupt. She sat and listened carefully, not interrupting until the very end, when she was sure I had finished. Our story was quite a long one, even with leaving out the gory details. One thing that Nusaybah and I had in common was that we had both lost a mother when we were quite young. I had a feeling  that the factor made us relate better to each other in a million different ways.

Her eyes were slightly teary, but she had the tiniest smile on her face. I looked at her questioningly as I saw it, wondering what on earth was going on in my friend’s mind.

“You will never believe this,” she started saying, and then started rattling off about how everything happens for a reason and she has just the perfect solution for me.

Her eyes were dancing with excitement and I could literally feel her energy as she got up and pulled me up too, determined that her solution was going to be just the thing to put my worries at bay.

I followed her almost half-heartedly, not sure if Nusaybah was really understanding the dilemma I was in.

How could anywhere she was going to take me solve my problem?

I silently followed her, and though with not much hope, to keep her heart, I nodded and let her lead me to a few roads down the estate that I had never been to.

Now, I had heard of these houses before. These were the more elite homes, built on bigger properties and with marvelous gardens. They reminded me of the neighbourhood that we had come from, with their natural beauty and aesthetic charm. Ceres pink bougainvillea almost cascaded down the cream walls, and the green and pink contrast made my heart yearn for what I knew. It made my heart long for the garden I now missed very dearly, and as we entered a huge and fancy looking pathway, I tried to focus on what my friend was telling me. I tried to control my heart.

“And so,” Nusaybah was saying as we walked, now lowering her voice slightly as we approached the door.  “I told her I have no idea of anyone who may be wanting to look after her kids… but then you came along and now you told me your story and I know you will just be perfect!”

We both halted at the door now, and I watched Nusaybah as she climbed up the stairs and turned to me.

“Let me do the talking,” she said, winking. “You just smile.”

I nodded as she pressed the doorbell and we waited. With each passing second, my heart rate started to escalate, but I knew that Nusaybah may be on to something. Her smile was plastered on her face and she stood firm and tall, almost as if she was going to give a helluva speech.

And then the door opened and a whiff of perfume caught me completely off guard. It was a scent I quite liked, but the masculinity of it should have kept me on guard. My infatuation with the natural charm that surrounded me enhanced my ability to err… it was a blantant signal of danger that I purposefully ignored. I didn’t know it then, and neither did he….

Maybe it was the garden that caught my eye. For me, all I knew was that it was a new adventure….

And a new adventure had definitely begun.

A New Hope

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


Life is like a garden.

And what it gets to feed it, is how it will thrive. With constant watering, sunlight and positive nutrients, the most beautiful flowers can flourish. On the contrary, if the seeds have gone bad and your soil is starved, your garden will dwindle into a barren piece of earth that will pass as a sand-pit.

As I sat on the concrete pavers of the familiar garden, I thought about the correlative theories I had about life. I felt too young to think this deep, but such was my intuitive mind. I was a thinker, and my deep love for reading and meaning had inspired many a hypothesis.

And so, with this in mind, I had applied caution for a long time… not allowing bad crop to contaminate my soil. I had carefully plucked out the weeds that were obscuring my natural good disposition.

And then of course, with the hurdles removed, the sunlight made its way through to nurture the stagnant roots within, awakening my soul to the orchard blooming within. The rainbow of splendor trampled the isolation…. and then I felt … there was only one word for it. Free.

In my garden, I was the most colorful butterfly. Magnificent and liberated.

And there I was, all lost in my little gardening world, when a voice from the distance broke my pleasant thoughts.


I whipped my head around to see Yunus almost sprinting through the little gate at the garden entrance.

I watched him come up to me, panting and babbling about something I could make no sense of.

“What?” I asked, impatiently. “I have no idea what on earth you are saying!”

“Abba!” He almost screamed. “Abba is here.

My poor heart almost ceased right there and then. Abba. My Abba? Abba was back.

Oh my goodness.

I dropped the garden spade that i held in my right hand, barely even bothering to cover up the new good seeds that I had found. I couldn’t focus right now. I had to see if this was real. I bolted up, gardening gloves still on my hands, and raced behind Yunus back home.

Halting to remove my sandy boots as I entered the back door, I hastily kicked off what I had on, and bolted to the front of the house.

Lo and behold, Yunus wasn’t seeing things. Despite me thinking that maybe his active imagination  had gotten the better of him, Abba was really there. Though worn and slightly disheveled, there he stood, with a slight smirk on his face, and arms widely stretched in anticipation of the many hugs he knew that he was due for. Tears filled my eyes as I flung myself forward, almost not believing he was there.

I breathed him in, already besotted by his mere presence. I was still awestruck. I couldn’t believe that he had come back.

It was a good few minutes that we all stood there, in utter disbelief, sniffling and stumbling over the words that we didn’t know how to say.

Abba was home. Abba was home. He was finally home.

I was speechless. There was only one thing to say in situations like this.

Alhumdulillah. Alhumdulillah, he was okay. Alhumdulilalh, he was back with us.  Alhumdullilah for the good. Alhumdulillah for the bad. Alhumdullilah for the ease. Alhumdulillah for the difficulties. Alhumdulillah for the ease after the hardship.

Alhumdulillah. All praise to the Lord of the Worlds.

How lucky we were that Imaam had humbled us to a point that we knew that everything and everything was in the control of our Rabb. How blessed we were that Alhumdulillah was an automated response that we would utter… in the calm and in the turbulence.

My vision was slightly blurry as I watched my siblings all embrace my father. Foi Nani stood back, tearing relentlessly.

Zuleikha. I missed my sister today more than ever. I wonder if she knew? Had Jameel really been true to his word?

Maybe I was wrong. Maybe he wasn’t as obnoxious as I always assumed.

This was truly a remarkable thing… and such a selfless thing to do for us. I knew that he had promised Zuleikha that he would sort it out, but to see the reality in front of our eyes was another feeling completely. Everyone was in high spirits and Abba excused himself shortly, saying he needed to get back into his own skin and start feeling normal again.

I didn’t ask him what had happened to him. No one questioned him as to what he had been through. I didn’t want to know. He didn’t look hurt, but Abba didn’t have to show it on the outside. Sometimes the wounds beyond the surface had a greater impact. Sometimes those spoke words that were the loudest.

The days passed, and that week of glory was one we wouldn’t forget. Zuleikha had still set off for honeymoon, and although we missed her, the fact that Abba was back more than made up for it. Even though he didn’t speak much and his bubbliness wasn’t quite what it used to be… him just being there was amazing.

I watched my father carefully during those days. Although he had a certain cloud looming about his head, there was something enigmatic about my father that I never did notice before.

My father had become my hero once again. He was so brave, and I couldn’t comprehend it. The same ferocity that Ahmed had within him was now visible, whether it was ihis words or his gestures. His resolve had been strengthened, not only from this, but firstly. from the tender years when he was faced and with the difficulties of a lower class lifestyle that he didn’t let get him down. When Mama came along, he shone out to be the true hero that was inside of him. Now I knew why Mama had loved him so. Now I knew exactly what my Abba was made of… and, now of course, knowing all this, I loved him all the more for it.

The days of delight passed by fast. Days rapidly turned into weeks, and Zuleikha was back after her three week honeymoon . Ahmed enjoyed poking fun at her, even though she wasn’t looking very pleased about it.

“Assalamualaikum alaykum Mrs Mahomed,” He said mockingly, almost in robotic speech. “Have you come down from cloud nineteen as yet? It seems like you are still stuck up there.”

She stuck her tongue out at him, and rolled her eyes.

“Whatever,” she mumbled, slightly embarrassed.

Ahmed made a weird face at me and then retreated to his room, not even giving Jameel a proper reception. He was definitely not impressed with our new brother-in-law and he made no effort to hide it.

I felt like we needed to thank him, but I didn’t quite know how to. How did you tell someone who was basically a stranger how indebted you re to them? I also didn’t want to cross any boundaries.

Zuleikha seemed happy. Even though she was different, I could see that Jameel went out of the way for her. I mean, he even brought Abba back. He would only do that  if he truly did love her, right?

I sighed, taking everything in. Wasn’t this what I wanted? A complete family… and everything that went with it? Why did it still feel like something was still missing?

With Zuleikha’s non-stop chatter now, and Yunus butting in to try and get some business tips from Jameel, everything felt idealistic. Our home. Our family. It was like everything was exactly what we were waiting for.

And then, without any warning, Abba cleared his throat and his voice boomed through the dining room.

“Kids, can I have a minute?”

He had been so silent and contemplative all this while, we couldn’t help but completely cease all chatter when he spoke. Ahmed has made his way downstairs again somehow. We looked at Abba expectantly, waiting for an announcement.


It was me who spoke, because I couldn’t bear the anticipation much longer.

“I have something to say,” he finally said, clearing his throat.

We all looked up at him.

“After everything that’s happened…” he started, swallowing hard and nervously. “I’ve made a decision that unfortunately will affect us all.”

We waited.

”We are not safe here anymore,” he said, and he looked at Jameel.

We all looked at Jameel. Jameel nodded, and I could see him shift uncomfortably in his seat. He kind of felt responsible for this now and we knew it.

“We need to move, and we need to move fast,” he finished off.

We all looked at him in bewilderment.

“Tomorrow you’ll need to start packing.”

And that was that. With that, he pushed back his chair, and got up, leaving the four of us gaping at each other in shock.

Moving? To another house?

My eyes filled with tears. But I didn’t want to! This was our home… how can we just erase all the memories? How can we kill all those dreams we had built? I couldn’t even think about how much I would miss this neighbourhood… I didn’t want to leave!

I bolted out of the room in seconds, trying with all my might not to surrender to the overwhelming emotion that was toiling within.

Suck it up, I said to myself. Just suck it up.

But it wouldn’t listen. No sooner had my foot reached the landing, hot tears rolled down my face, giving way to the cascades of emotion that I had been keeping inside all this time.

It had been a long time since I cried.

A long, long time.

I didn’t want to, but today, my heart felt bruised. I glimpsed the carved wooden furniture that Zuleikha had placed back in Mama’s cabinet, and my shoulder heaved again with the assault on my heart.

It just wasn’t fair!

And just when I felt like I could no longer contain them, I let it all out and relented.

I cried.  I cried for all the memories… all the memories, we would leave behind.

The days passed by in a blur as we packed away our memories, and got prepared to start  afresh. We didn’t have much of a choice. We had to move. Abba had already decided and there was no negotiation.

The new house was comfortable, but it wasn’t much of a consolation. It was in a secure estate on the edge of the town, away from the people and away from everything we had known our entire lives. I would miss my yard. I would miss my garden. Most of all… I would miss the company I had sought refuge in during the former years of my life.

The last day was a mixture of emotions, and our grieving hearts knew little pleasure in the mundane tasks of packing and unpacking that we had by then become accustomed to. Entering the new house just before sunset, we collapsed on the worn leather couch,  just enjoying the feeling of doing nothing for a while. I could hear Foi Nani rattling off instructions to the guys who were now heading off for the day after helping us move. It really had been such a tedious task….

Ahmed’s feet were up on the grey ottoman and Yunus was laying around on the couch. We were all too tired to even talk, but at least glad that it was over. The ringing of the new doorbell got us scrambling around in a frenzy, wondering who would be here at this time. It was, of course, I, who eventually went to the door, peeped through the keyhole and spied a girl of my age outside.

I opened the door gracefully, noticing her ecstatic smile as I opened, and her bubbly voice as she spoke.

“Hey, Assalaamualaikum,” she smiled, widening her eyes slightly as she saw me. “I’m so glad you guys have finally moved! My Dad’s been telling me all about you guys. My name’s Nusaybah. It’s so awesome to meet you!”

I smiled back at her, and eyed her perfectly tied hijab with not a strand of hair showing. Her glowing face was joyful, but behind that, a certain rigidity made her catch my attention in a completely different light.

She had become a legend. Her task had been to give water to the wounded, but Allâh Ta’alaa had planned for her a more rewarding role. She set out with her family with a waterskin, and arrived at the battlefield during the beginning of the day. At that time, the Muslims had the upper hand, and she went to see how the Messenger of Allâh sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was doing.

Then, came the turn of events that made her name. A mishap occurred. The Muslims, in weakness, committed a fatal error. Seeing the Quraysh on the retreat, they ran towards the booty, ignoring the Prophet sallahu alleyhi wa salam’s command to remain on the hill.

The chaos had begun. Khalid bin Walid, (who hadn’t embraced Islam yet), seeing the open flank, made a charge against the Muslims.  Suddenly, the tables turned and the tide had swung towards the Quraysh.

They panicked. They even fleeed.  Terror spread through the ranks of the Muslims. With fear, they retreated, leaving behind only the Prophet (SAW) and a handful of his Companions. It was terrifying, and with them in utter distress, a woman of great honour had been one of those to come through in defense.

Give your shield to the one who is fighting,” Nabi SAW commanded another companion. Such was the ferocity with which she was attacking.

Now with a little armour, she defended the Prophet sallahu alleyhi wa salam with it, using a bow and arrow and also a sword. The enemy was rigid but Nusaybah (RA) did not sway. She was attacked by a horsemen, but never wavered nor felt fear.

If they had been on foot as we were, we would have crushed them, Allah Willing.” 


I smiled as I saw this girl, who would become a dear friend.

A rose in the garden… a flourishing flower in my orchard of life.

Be it sun or rain, the soil of this friendship would remain uncompromised. Although I had felt like I had lost much… In this new garden, I knew there would be a new hope.

Once upon a Surprise

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


A new beginning is always a challenge. As exciting as it is, expectations can easily backfire when you’re too ambitious.

Amidst it all, there’s one thing I learnt along the way. Be true to you.

It was a lesson I learnt the hard way, and as I went along, more than once, I’ve had to take a step back, assess my priorities, and then refocus. Re-align. Reroute.

And now, as I did so, I was started to get the prickly feeling at the back of my neck againIt hadn’t gone away from yesterday. Like the day before, I was completely ignoring it.

The reminder was always there.

This wasn’t right. This wasn’t right.This wasn’t right.

Yesterday hadn’t ended well. Besides the stubborn and persistent nature of Aunty Romana, who insisted we wait till every guest had left to go, various male members of Jameel’s family had thought it was okay to come forward and not only greet me… but even attempted shaking my hand.

Jameel had seen the look of despair on my face and immediately and strategically distracted them. It could have been a nightmare, but to my great surprise, Jameel actually understood my fears. I had looked at him gratefully as he gently  guided me away.

I had never been more relieved in my life. The casual braai had turned out to be something that was completely foreign to me. Sitting lounges and dummy kitchens. I hadn’t spoken to my sister, but I knew I would definitely tell Khawlah about this. I was sure she would be mortified.

I shook my head.

Being shallow was not normal for me, but my spirits lifted slightly when when I remembered that I had an exciting honeymoon to look forward to. It would just be Jameel and I, and just for that day, Jameel had agreed upon his mother’s insistence, to have a meal at their house before we left.

Although I was hesitant, I reluctantly agreed, hoping that she would warm up to me during that time. She wasn’t an easy woman to impress and upon arrival, I sat quietly in the entrance hall for at least fifteen minutes before she finally came out. I braced myself for the big meeting, and my heart started beating a little faster as I thought about it. It would be the first time we were meeting without other people around… or any other distractions.  It was slightly daunting.

I looked around, marveling at the marble floor and staircase. This house was a little less exclusive than Aunty Romana’s, but it still gave me that eery and isolated feeling.

I shivered involuntarily, my eyes darting around, trying to spot anyone in the vicinity.

Jameel had gone to look for his sister. The silence was slightly creepy.

A good few minutes passed, and my mother-in-law finally strutted in, wearing a three-quarter fancy kaftan and fluffy slippers.

I was a little overdressed for the occasion.

I blushed as she scanned my clothing.

“Where are you’ll off to?” She asked, raising her eyebrows.

I blushed again.

“Um… I… err…” I mumbled, not knowing what to say.

It was just as well that Jameel entered at that time, all smiles and positive energy.

“Hey Mum, howsit?” He said, going to kiss her cheek.

She remained physically aloof as he bent down, and merely nodded back at him.

I cringed. This was difficult to watch.

How cold. It was like her entire body stiffened when he came closer.

His sister came in behind him, and I was glad that at least she gave me a dazzling smile as she saw me.

“How do you do it?” She asked me, eyeing out my outfit and focusing on my hijab.

“What?” I asked, slightly confused. I didn’t like the attention.

“Wear a scarf and look so damn awesome!” she exclaimed.

I couldn’t help but smile at her expression. I mean, who didn’t love complimented? I knew the point of wearing hijab wasn’t to look awesome, but it was obviously beyond her comprehension, right?

I didn’t want to admit I was wrong.

The thought of wanting to explain to her the true purpose of covering up crossed my mind.. but then I thought… why must I be so hectic?  I didn’t want to scare her either…

”I just try to be modest…” I murmured. “And not draw unnecessary attention too…”

Jameel’s mum turned to me suddenly, and pursed her lips.

“Well, in this day and age, madam,” she said to me in an acid voice. “Us women can’t go around being all modest when there are so many women out there who are out to steal our men. We have to wake up. You can’t expect to dress like an old bag and keep a man.”

Now it was Jameel and Mishka’s turn to go red. I too, flushed deeply as she looked at me pointedly.

“What’s for lunch?” Jameel asked quickly, making his mother’s wide eyes widen even more. She didn’t look impressed.

He knew that he rather change the topic than venture further.
It was obvious that something was fueling my mother in laws statements and now I reddened too, with anger.

I wanted to pursue this. Maybe I shouldn’t just be quiet. I wanted to ask her… because it just amazed me how many women especially, despise my choice of dress.

Yet, would they rather their husband’s secretary to be dressed like me or otherwise?

Is it me and my sisters who are turning their husband’s head or attracting their boyfriends?

Is it me and my sisters whose bodies and faces solicit their husband’s attention on every corner? Is it me and my sisters who have aroused that man to rape or harass their sisters?

I wanted to ask her to think again.

I wanted to ask her to think… this was my choice. In light of this, I wanted to ask her… which mode of dress is really oppressive?

I was scared. I couldn’t say it. Moreso, I had let it affect me. I had let it get to me, where I actually now felt strange dressing the way I did.

Jameel’s brow was furrowed and I could see that the tension was stressing him out. As much as I wanted to prove her wrong, I was too much of a coward. I was too weak. And I knew Jameel was too.

Couldn’t he at least defend me in front of his horrid mother?

I sucked up the feelings of hostility and followed Jameel to his room. The room was beautiful but I didn’t care. I just wanted to bury myself under the goose-down blanket and sleep all my worries away. I was exhausted. Mentally and emotionally.

I hated this house. Everything was so cold. I missed my family. My sister. My father. I just wanted to go home.

And then, Jameel came up to me, and unreservedly engulfed me in the most massive of hugs. His arms were all-encompassing and I sunk into him as he attempted to comfort me.

And of course, my heart felt all fuzzy and warm again because he just knew what to say. He just knew how to make it all okay.

“Don’t worry, babe,” he whispered, and for the first time, I actually didn’t resist the affection. “It’s going to be okay.”

Sometimes you just needed to hear it. Sometimes, just knowing that someone else believed it, was a comfort in itself.

And then, like a babbling cry baby, as he tried to comfort me, somehow, I just couldn’t stop the tears. I was choking and mumbling away, in a very unattractive way. And the weird thing was that I knew that I was being so silly and overreacting, but I just couldn’t stop it.

Tears flowed down my cheeks as I burrowed my face in his shoulder. The poor sod still didn’t let go, and for the unpteenth time that day, all sniffling and snotty, my embarrassment was overwhelming. As I finally gave him a breather and stepped back, I could clearly see the damp patch on the shoulder part of his shirt.

I apologized profusely as he assured me it was okay, but changed his shirt anyway. I looked away quickly, feeling shy again.

Although he was my husband, modesty was also part of Deen, and some qualities were natural. There were some things that you don’t have to be taught.

I supposed it was all the emotion, because my husband had been avoiding eye contact all this time, but now, Jameel looked more like his usual self as he addressed me.

“Later, Love, I  have a surprise for you.”

Jameel knew just how to get me. My spirits immediately lifted as I heard that. There was one thing that everyone loved, and I wasn’t immune to it. As old as I was, I couldn’t resist a good surprise.

Surprises were one of my favorite things. I’m sure Jameel had planned something I would love. He already knew me so well.

The flight was scheduled for just after  Maghrib, and upon my insistence, we read our Salaah at the airport Jamaat Khana  and got ready to board.

It had been a long time since I had been to any airport. I felt slightly nostalgic as we sat and waited, remembering the times Abba would take us for holiday, and reminiscing in the sweet memories that still played often in my mind.

I wiped the stray tears that had formed in the corner of my eyes, and glanced at my husband. He was busy with his phone, and I was glad that he didn’t see me getting emotional. It was just as well.

I watched through slightly blurry vision as people passed by, all on their way to their own destinations. Airports had always fascinated me. It was so amazing that so many people from so many different places could be together under one roof. It was a bit like when Abba had taken us for Umrah when Mama was alive, years ago. Different places. Different languages. Different hopes and aspirations. But all together, in this melody of life, united in one place and for one motive.

I breathed in slowly as I watched, noticing Jameel get up and pace as he spoke on the phone, probably about some important matter. His face looked serious as he spoke, and I could see him turning around, almost as if he was looking for someone. I looked in the direction of his gaze, and as my gaze shifted, the glimpse of a familiar face caught my attention.

I was mesmerized.

My eyes widened and I could barely even breathe as I stared. I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming or awake anymore. I didn’t know if I was imagining it or if my frazzled mind was just playing silly tricks on me. I couldn’t wait to find out.

I stood up and as wobbly as my jelly legs were, I lifted them just enough to take me the few meters I needed to be. I wasn’t sure if it was all real… but I reached out as I stood, almost in limbo, watching him watching me back, as if we were in some kind of surreal universe.

We stood for nearly minute, simply speechless. It was as if neither of us could quite believe that the other person was there.

I looked at him and he looked at me.

And then, I felt a firm and comforting hand on my shoulder, and Jameel’s voice whispered in my ear.

“Surprise,” he breathed, and without even seeing his face, I knew that he was smiling from ear to ear.

And of course, amidst the tears, I was smiling too.

I mean, who wouldn’t be?

It was just what the doctor ordered. A remedy for the wounded soul.

My Abba was back.

A Little Bit of Sin

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


Within ourselves, there’s a drive that was created for our nafs. What makes us run… after anything…. is attraction. The desire. Love. The need to give and receive love.

And this need is inherent. It has been put in us by the Creator. The creator of Love… for a purpose. The need to give and receive love was created as a driver. A driver that pushes us back to Him. You see, what we don’t realize is…  we begin with Allah, and Our Rabb wants us to come back to Him in this life – to return even before we come back to Him in the next. So He puts inside us, drivers intended to bring us back.

The problem is, sometimes we make a little bit of sin. We get a little shaky… and then, just get a little lost along the way.

And yes, at first I did feel lost, as I walked with my husband, trying to appear as composed as I could.

Today was a bit different. I was going to meet his family, without any of mine around. A casual braai at his uncles house. I was feeling scared too.

Everything had been beautiful the day before. The reception, a small function that I always wanted, had been perfect. All the people closest to me had been there, and my heart had felt content, knowing that everything was going according to plan. Jameel had spoken to a few people about Abba, and he assured me that there will be news by the end of the week.

My mind felt rested, and my worries were put at bay. Jameel was true to his word, and I wanted to prove to my family that he wasn’t what they always thought. I wasnt sure why, but there was an overwhemlng need to prove that Jameel was actually a good guy.

I pulled down my top slightly as I walked, finding  it just a little too short. Through Jameel’s guidance, I probably looked the most attractive that I had ever looked in my entire life. Instead of the summery dress I wanted to wear, he had insisted that I wear a tight-fitting jeans and lace top. For the first time ever, I slipped on a pair of stiletto jelly sandals that he had bought. Being naturally tall, I never felt the need for them… but he had insisted that they were the ‘in thing’.

I sucked in my breath as we passed an indoor water feature, awestruck by the interior of the house.

It was quite spectacular.

“Here comes the gorgeous couple!”

The voice was loud and striking.

“That’s Aunty Romana,” Jameel half whispered to me, reaching for my hand as we walked closer. I was glad that he did. Meeting new people would be completely daunting at this point. I felt so vulnerable.

Aunty Romana was wearing a bright yellow and purple dress that opened up like an umbrella as she walked, making her look all elegant and elite… although she did look like she could lose a few kilos.

She had sparkly diamanté’s on her neckline and her glittery made-up eyes flashed rapidly as she spoke, with a wide smile on her face. Her teeth were whiter than white.

“I love your shoes!” She said, literally looking at me up and down as she said it. I wasn’t sure if she was being serious or if she was just looking for something to say. Her eyes were darting all over. Then she turned to Jameel.

Daaaaarling!” She cooed, squeezing his defined shoulder and air kissing him as her cheek barely touched his. Jameel put his arm around her, half hugging her back.

I frowned. I thought this was his uncle’s wife. She was being so touch-feely… for me, and my conservative background, it was so strange.

But it was okay, right? She was like older than his mother, so she probably looked at him like a son. This was her house anyway.

I shrugged the nagging thought away, my mind diverted by more and more people coming into view, and coming up to us. I was feeling a little overwhelmed. They were all hugging Jameel and then stopping to scrutinize me, and I understood why Jameel wanted me to dress the way I did. These people were super-modern, and I could see that for them, an outfit defines a person. I supposed that you would really have to have an amazing personality to get away with looking drab at this party.

“Hey cuz.”

It was Jameel who said it, as a pretty girl I remembered vaguely from yesterday’s function came up to him. She gave him a wink and a brief hug and then looked at me. Again, I ignored the feeling that plagued me. All this touching and hugging was a bit much.

“My new sister in law,” she said, genuinely looking excited. She wore a sleeveless dress that sat just above her knee. She started talking nineteen-to-the-dozen about how excited she was that she could finally meet the girl who stole her cousin’s heart, and how we need to do a coffee date. I nodded, not wanting to come across as rude.

I supposed a coffee date wouldn’t be that bad either. Although I didn’t do very well talking about make up and heels.

Don’t be so judgmental, I reminded myself.

I had learnt that even seeing people who seemed unislamic shouldn’t change our thoughts of them. Hate the dress. Hate the action. Don’t hate the person.

I sighed. This was probably going to be a long afternoon. I felt strange, all surrounded by white, glass and semi-naked people.

Jameel began to talk to his cousins, and I zoned out, wanting to rest my feet. They were sore from the heels and I needed to give them a break. There was a sleek white leather couch I was eyeing, and I quietly left my post next to Jameel and idled up to it, getting ready to collapse.


I got alarmed as I heard the voice, and I looked up to see Aunty Romana suddenly next to me. This woman was like a bullet.

I wasn’t sure where she had come from but she was such a erratic personality that I didn’t expect less from her.

“Darling,” she said sympathetically, reaching out to hold my hand and practically lifting me off the couch. She was gesturing me towards somewhere else. “Let me take you to the sitting lounge.”

I froze, completely embarrassed.

Goodness. She was feeling sorry for me.

I mean, I completely got the point. The couch there was not meant for sitting on. I just wasn’t sure what on earth it was for then.

Gosh. I must have looked so stupid.

I glanced back one last time at Jameel as Aunty Romana pulled me along. I wished that he was looking. He was so engrossed in conversation with at least half a dozen of his cousins that he didn’t even notice me leaving the room.

Of course, it didn’t help that Jameel was super attractive and a smooth talker too. He was relating some story about the hotel yesterday and I could tell that every listener was hooked. We had a bit of a drama in the waiting area as we checked in, with some unruly guests. In retrospect, it was quite funny, and he was narrating it expertly.

My heart flip-flopped. A certain warmth filled my gut when I was reminded that he was my husband. It was obvious that he was really popular. I knew that all along, and it was one of the things that drew me to him… Made him so attractive. He was super busy too… with business and in between countless friends and acquaintances. Getting his undiverted attention made me feel special.

She clip-clapped with her kitten heels and I silently followed Aunty Romana through a passage, as we entered another area of the house.

If I thought that the entrance of the house was extravagant, this was… well, just over the top. It was a super modern kitchen, fitted with the best stainless steel appliances, and finished off with white high gloss cupboards and doors. Touches of lime green added a slightly quirky vibe to the place, and my eyes widened as I saw the crystal chandelier.

Yes. A chandelier. In the kitchen.

“How lovely,” I murmured, knowing that I was expected to say something. I could feel the penetrating gaze and from the way Aunty Romana was looking at me and smiling, I knew I had to comment.

She clapped her hands excitedly, nodding.

“It is, huh?!” She agreed eagerly. “You won’t believe how much it cost, doll… this is just the dummy version. I suppose you don’t know much about these things. The real kitchen is at the back of the house. Where the visitors can’t see the chef’s mess!”

I don’t know much about these things?

I wasn’t sure if she was having a go at me or not.

She clapped her hands again and beamed at me innocently, hustling along again and gesturing for me to follow her. We entered another room just around the corner, leading out to a huge tiled entertainment area and an AstroTurf play zone. There were already quite a few people there, and kids as well.

I swallowed, wondering if I had heard right.

A dummy kitchen? I was speechless.

I tried to ignore the unfamiliar feeling of despair as I sat in the ‘sitting lounge’, which was also fancy, but less high maintenance. I gazed out at the pool and the people around it, kind of lost in this material world.

This was no doubt the fanciest house I had ever been to. Abba had been doing well in business, but he had never splashed out like this. This was extreme.

Wasn’t this just wrong? Sheer extravagance? I mean, people were  starving in Kenya. They had no homes. What on earth was wrong with us that we have such an indifferent attitude to the plight of others?

But maybe they had already given money to good causes. Maybe it was justified. My mind was trying to convince me that it was okay.  Maybe it was. I shouldn’t let it bother me now, anyway. It was supposed to be my day.

Why must the thought of starving children bother me now?

I sat back now, clearing my mind, determined to ignore any guilt. Though Jameel was probably still entertaining his cousins, I made my way outside, feasting my eyes on the glam decor and millions of starters that were at my disposal.

They actually had waiters, walking around and serving various things on trays. Fancy things. Drinks in stemmed glasses. It was like something out of a movie, and as everyone came to greet me, being the new bride, I couldn’t help but feel a little excited. Like a VIP.

So this was what it was going to be like, married to Jameel. I could live like this.

I spotted my mother-in-law and sister-in-law in the distance. They had come forward to speak to me for a while, and I tried to ignore the little comments I got about my hijab. They both wore no scarves, and I sat in the crowd, I kind of felt strange in mine.

I forgot about my own family for a little while, as I sat there. I forgot about the things that had made me feel uncomfortable when I first arrived. And then, I even forgot about feeling strange as I started to enjoy myself.

That was how it was with matters of this world. Sometimes it just takes one sin, and everything you had build so far is lost. For a single piece of paradise in his wretched world, you sometimes trade an eternity of bliss.

I sat there, oblivious to everything besides  the attention and happiness of what I was feeling. I was besotted by the superficialities that surround me. For a little aesthetic pleasure, I had ignored my own values.

Jameel sauntered in, followed by some of his friends now. It was full of younger girls and boys. The older adults had found there way to the other sitting lounge, and I stayed put.

As I sat and looked on, I could tell that Jameel was obviously the most influential person in the room, and I watched him silently, wondering if he would notice me with all the attention he was getting. The girls were now huddled together, talking amongst themselves, and the guys were talking loudly on the other side.

My new husband caught site of me and gave me a wide smile, and I felt like the most important girl in the world. No-one else mattered. It didn’t matter if he had ignored me for almost an hour. It didn’t matter what the environment was like. When he sat next to me for a few minutes, giving me his full attention, my heart soared.

I was so absorbed in the moment, that I had forgotten about everything else. Jameel reached out for my hand and I looked at him. I could see him looking around. Everything was mixed and although it felt awkward to me, I guess I couldn’t blame my husband. It wasn’t his fault.

Later I would tell him that I didn’t like it. Tomorrow, it would all be back to normal.

Don’t worry, the voice said.

It was only a little bit of sin…


A respected Aalim mentions that even a little bit of sin will open the door to discontentment. Once one engages in what may seem like a small wrong, it immediately opens a door to discontentment and the peace or Sukoon is lost. Hence, there is no such thing as a ‘small’ sin. 

The change in theme of the posts are hoping to bring in many important lessons. No matter how much of money one may give for good causes, extravagance to such a degree in Islam is unacceptable.

May Allah guide us all. 

Much love, 

A 🌸