The Mystery Girl

Authors Note: 

Dear Readers, 

Apologies for the delay in posting. Life got a bit hectic this week with extra work and assignments, but InshaAllah I will have more time to post regularly for the next few weeks. 🌸 

A slight switch in perspective. May we benefit from the lessons InshaAllah.

Between 10 and 30 percent of all new mothers  suffer from postnatal depression. A woman is vulnerable when she has recently given birth coupled with the combination of too many stress factors. Just something I thought I’d bring to light since I had been hearing a lot of it recently and these women need to know that there’s nothing odd or shameful about it. 

Request Du’aas,

Much Love, 


Follow is on Twitter @ajourneyjournal or Instagram @ajourneyinstajournal


Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


Everyone is life is looking for their own fairy tale. There’s a certain lesson that been taught since the time we were little. Everything we know has always driven that same force. Every story, every song, every movie, every book that I’ve ever read all tells the same tale— until you find your path that leads to the happily ever after, you aren’t complete otherwise.

And that lesson that’s taught is that the story ends at the wedding, and then that’s when your Jannah begins. That’s when you’ll be saved and completed and everything that was once broken will be fixed.

But that’s not where it all ends. In fact, it’s jut where it begins. Your first love. Your first fight. Your first child. Every ‘first’ holds a deep and true message that holds life-changing lessons.

And along the way, your Imaan is always changing. Always fluctuating. Up and down, as it grows and moves with your experiences. The heart is the forte of faith, and the channels that lead to it are constantly changing too.

It’s possible that sometimes, by some divine intervention, something that you may happen to hear, see or even feel just in passing, may just hit home for you. It may be unexpected. Completely random. Like a passing comment you weren’t really meant to hear, or a random person who you haven’t met for years, yet… it just stirs something within. It just strikes a chord that gets you to think back, and realise exactly where everything went wrong. Exactly where it all spun out of control.

For me, I always had my own idea of what set it off. The minute Aunty Nas intruded on the proposal that was supposed to change my life for the better, was the moment all my hopes went out the window.

I would have never admitted it to anyone, but that day, if everything had gone okay, was supposed to be my game changer. In my opinion, I was going to break free, with a new torch lighting up a new path. When Aunty Nas and her ugly words echoed through the house,  I just knew, without that light that was meant to magically fix my life, I was doomed.

Getting married to Jameel, however, was just part of the plan that was already penned out for me. I was iscared. I didn’t realise that there was no-one else who could change my path besides myself. I didn’t think that that I was worthy of anything else. I had given up on myself, letting the demons in my mind overcome me, and kill any hope I had for something better.

The tears had overcome me now as I sat in my bed one Monday morning, baby sprawled on the bed in a fit of discontentment. I was still wondering where it had gotten to this point. Post-natal depression had overcome me on an entirely different level, and my hopes had reached the ultimate minimum. There was no parallel to this feeling. As I looked at the baby in front of me, I couldn’t help but feel… nothing.

His face was almost red from the continuous outburst that was now going on for close to ten minutes. I stared at him in dismay, wondering what to do with this child who I just couldn’t seem to please. If it wasn’t my milk that didn’t seem to be enough for his insatiable appetite, he was bawling his eyes out because i couldn’t keep him close to me for every second of the day. No-one had warned me that babies were this much of work, and at that point, I swore to myself that I probably would never have another child.

I took a deep breath in as the door opened, hoping to gain the strength I needed to overcome my anxiety. the depression had become close to unbearable, and because I tried to stay away from any medication, I could feel myslef caving. I was slowly losing it completely.

“What the hell, Zuleikha? Can’t you hear the baby crying?! Are you gone crazy?”

Jameel looked at me with a disbelieving expression, probably thinking the same thing as me. I had lost it. I had lost my marbles. I was neglecting my child. I was an unfit mother. I desperately needed help.

He wore a navy and white geometrically printed shirt that was buttoned to the top, and his pants were formal today. He looked, of course, close to perfect. That was my husband. Always flying high, in every sense of the word. His bandage had been removed for a few days now and he was back to his old self. He never failed to come through or impress. It was just what Jameel was good at. Today was probably one of his big meetings that he never discussed. I had learnt long ago not to ask about the details. I really didn’t want to know.

Although Jameel had promised me that he was clean for weeks, I still had my doubts. I wasn’t sure if I was going to have to deal with this for the rest of my life.

I breathed in again, trying to dispel the negativity that had become trapped within me. I needed to let it go. Let it go.

“Are you taking him or not?” he snapped, moving hastily to the bed.

He reached for Muhammed, grasping him effortlessly with his hands and placed him on his shoulder. I looked at him, unaffected.

Why did I feel so empty? I felt like I had lost myself, and my connection with my Creator too. With my recovery after birth and the period in which I couldn’t truly do my Ibadat at it’s peak, I felt a huge void within me.

Jameel was gently tapping Muhammed’s back with the one hand that he held him, and his other was typing away on his phone. I sighed, getting up because I knew I couldn’t go on with this indifference.

“When’s your next appointment?” Jameel asked, a little bit gentler now, glancing at me as he spoke. He didn’t want to make eye contact too long, in case I asked him anything about his day ahead. I knew he was diverting my attention away from himself, but I didn’t care.

“Today,” I replied. The psychologist. After being diagnosed with post-natal depression, Jameel had been exceptionally kind and understanding in that regard. I hated to be ungrateful, but right now I just wanted him to leave.

He nodded. His dark brows furrowed as he narrowed his eyes at me.

“Is it helping?” he asked, and I knew why. I didn’t seem to be doing much better. In fact, I felt even worse than I had a week ago. I wasn’t sure if it was normal for depression to actually progress.

I nodded, swallowing hard as he watched me, with the baby settling onto his shoulder.

“I think he’s asleep,” he said softly, gently placing Muhammed down in the little cot that stood net to my bed. I watched in awe.

How did he do that? I heard that fussy babies smell their mothers milk when they are cradled by them, and thats what makes them more fussy. I just didnt witness it until now.

“Mum said she’ll keep him,” Jameel said, looking pointedly at Muhammed, and I immediately changed my expression.

I didn’t want my horrible mother-in-law to bond with my child, but she seemed to handle him better than me. Surprisingly, she actually took to him really well after we had come home, and would find any silly excuse to come into my territory of the house and see him. I hated that she constantly invaded, but since she had stopped picking on me so much, I kind of made a compromise. She seemed to genuinely love her grandson, and though the idea of her being anything but cold and ugly was foreign to me, to have a break from his torrential anger fits was a blessing.

I nodded and with that he leaned forward to lightly peck me on my cheek, telling me he’d see me later. His perfume was overwhelmingly intoxicating as he bent down, and I couldn’t help but spot a new small red mark adjacent to his collar bone, that could only be seen from close up.

I did a double take as he straightened up again and smoothed down his clothing, and though my expression changed, he didn’t notice. He grabbed his phone and retreated, leaving me feeling confused and strangely insecure.

What was that? Was it an injury? A burn? A love mark?

Goodness. I didn’t want to think of that. I knew my husband was far from perfect but would he really be having an affair right now?

I sucked in my breath and sought refuge from evil thoughts. He had never been blatantly unfaithful. Besides the incident with his cousin which he outright denied, there was no other single woman in question that I had suspected. I was torn between phoning him and questioning him, or just letting it go for now.

My worries consumed me as I got ready for the day, instructing the helper to bath Muhammed so I could rest my busy mind and just let it go. The appointment was in one hour, so I knew that I had to make an effort to look presentable, or I would never make it. Part of my therapy was making myslef feel good and worthy. dressing up for my husband, and even for myself, she had said, was always a reason. Sometimes it was just in the mind. It may have been a western theory, but it worked for me. When you made yourself look good, automatically, you felt good too.

I dressed smartly and draped one of my best hijabs, making an effort to look a little more normal than I felt. I had started making a small effort to dress like a better Muslim. It was part of my journey to bettering myself. I was definitely taking small steps, but the effort was there.

When I had just given birth, the psychologist would come home, but now that I was able to go out, they had suggested that I make the trip to the practise as part of my therapy. Meeting other people and socialising would also help me to recover, and hopefully, give me a sense of appreciation as well. After a long time, as I applied my berry-coloured lipstick, my thoughts ventured to Mama. It had been ages since I had thought of her, and her voice sounded so clear in my head that I couldn’t believe that it had been nearly ten years since her passing.

Abu Hurairah (May allah be pleased with him) reported:

Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Look at those who are inferior to you and do not look at those who are superior to you, for this will keep you from belittling Allah’s Favour to you.”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

It was something that I remembered Mama saying so often that I memorized it. Whenever I had felt like something wasn’t good enough or things weren’t as I imagined… she would always remind me. And what an apt reminder it was for me now as well with everything I was going through. Sometimes we think that our life is going really terribly, but it just takes a little reflection to see how many blessing we have, that others may never even know about.

My eyes immediately  settled on the sleeping baby in the corner of my room. He was truly a miracle in my messed up life. I may not feel the extent of his blessing and how special he was, purely because of my own issues, but I knew that I was lucky to have him. Even though I didn’t feel it all the time, he was a treasure that I knew I couldn’t ever trade.

He was squirming, and though he had got the longest sleep in what’s seemed like days after Jameel had put him down, I wished he would give me a few minutes to pack the things I needed for Muhammed whilst I wasn’t there. I ignored his tiny whimpers and quickly got his bottle sorted out while I grabbed my own bag to take with.

My mother in law was actually waiting outside for my son, and I waved at her a little too enthusiastically as I got into the car that Jameel had sent to fetch me. Sometimes distance was better. We seemed to be getting along better nowadays. She put her hand up in response while the helper took the baby up to her and they disappeared into the house.

I was lost in thought as the car moved along.

How amazing was it that these little people come into our lives, and just change everything? I knew things were not ideal, but the rift between my mother-in-law and I had slightly lifted, and an entirely different side of her had come out when she held my son. I never thought she would be the affectionate type, but kids can sometimes change a toxic environment into something a little more bearable.

The car suddenly halted, and I didn’t even realize that we had reached the practice. I slowly opened the door, thanked the driver who had brought me, and made my way up the stairs that led up to the rooms.

It was quiet and somewhat soothing. The soft colours that met my eye immediately put my mind at ease as I gave my name to the receptionist, who already knew me by now. There were a few empty seats, and I raised my gaze to look around for a good spot when I spotted a girl sitting in the far corner of the room. She was looking at ease in her surroundings as she jotted something down, and I wondered if she had been here before.

I wasn’t sure why, and it was so out of character for me at that stage of my life, but something about her was just drawing me there. It wasn’t about beauty, although behind her veil, I’m sure she had quite a presence. It wasn’t about her dress, because although I didn’t often see fully covered women, when I did, it didn’t feel anything like this. It wasn’t even about the baby that was sitting on her lap, who had the most gorgeously piercing blue eyes that I had ever seen.

This was just… unexplainable. Like a magnet, I found myself drawn to her, and I coyly took a seat beside this mystery person who I couldn’t fathom. She had been jotting in a notebook, struggling to keep it out of the baby’s grasp as she wrote, but as I sat beside her, she immediately looked up at me and through her veil, I could see her wide smile. Her eyes were dark, not like her son’s, but her openness was like a breath of fresh air for me. I felt like I could probably tell her anything, and yet, I didnt know her from a bar of soap.

”Assalaamu-Alaykum,” was all she said, as her eyes crinkled a little more at the corners, signaling to me an even wider smile that I didn’t even think was possible.

I smiled back and returned her greeting, somewhat hesitantly. I didn’t know what to expect, and even though she had already made such an impact on me, I really didn’t understand the enormity of the influence she would have on my future.  I didn’t understand how this one meeting could just make it… I didn’t understand how this could just happen.

But there are some things that I did understand.

Because once in a while, life surprises you…. Once in a while, you do get exactly what you ask for.

And once in a while, people enter your life that you love—not for what they give you—but for what they are. The beauty you see in them is a reflection of the Creator, so you can’t help but fall in love with that very beauty. And suddenly, your world is rocked and everything changes. It isn’t about what you’re getting anymore, but rather what you can give. This is unselfish love. It’s a love that sometimes doesn’t make sense to you, or may not be profitable in the eyes of a simpleton, but what’s behind the obvious is often the most valuable. And it was exactly what I needed.

I wondered what she was doing here… why she was here with this sweet little child. I wondered about her life and what she had maybe gone through in her life that brought her here. I was quite in awe of this mysterious girl who had taken me somewhat by surprise, and I took a chance as I introduced myself, because she was just that kind of person that made you feel completely at ease.

She held out her gloved hand and touched mine, before speaking again, with an openness that spoke a million words. Some people just have that inherent quality to make you feel at home.

“I’m Zaynah,” she said easily, her eyes twinkling. “And it’s lovely to meet you.”


26 thoughts on “The Mystery Girl

  1. I don’t comment all the time but I enjoy every single post… And zaynah😍!!!! Didn’t realize how I missed reading about her. Looking forward to reading more💕

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hehe, I actually missed her too. Been back tracking and checking out past posts to suss out her character again and I’m quite amazed that her character was described so soundly. She’s like a one in a million … 🍀

      Liked by 1 person

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