When Roses are Black

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


Roses are black, violets are blue,” started Dayyaan, in a sing song voice, for the fiftieth time that day. “How does it feel, when no- one loves you?”

I cringed every time I heard the last line. I mean, why would anyone teach a kid something so… evil?

“Roses aren’t black,” argued Danyaal, yet again.

“Yeah, but that’s what Hannah says,” retorted Dayyaan stubbornly.

“Hannah’s stupid,” Danyaal said, without missing a beat.

I knew I should have reprimanded him, but I just didn’t have the energy.

“Too-Put,” Zaydaan mimicked, thrilled at learning a new word. “Toopad.”

I closed my eyes and rubbed my temples. They were going on about Hannah. Hannah. Hannah hadn’t been back in two weeks either. Then Danyaal would start about when Khawlah’s coming back.  This was just too much.

This day… this week… this month.

Bloody hell.

This entire year. It was just. Too. Much. Too much.

I had forgotten my reminders to myself. I had already forgotten.

Enough of the frustration.

Patience. Gratitude.

Tawakkul. For someone who had been completely lost most of her life, the true essence of Tawakkul came at a time that I least expected it.

Everything that could go wrong, seemed to be going wrong. My husband was absent. Probably unfaithful too. My helper had left. My roof was leaking. And of course, in all their instability and annoyance at my own incompetence, my kids were driving me crazy. I was literally in over my head when I got home that day, to find the door to my home broken down and my house in a royal shambles.

Tawakkul. A Muslim is told to leave home in the Tawakkul of Allah. To say those words, in the name of Allah, and in Him alone we trust. But it wasn’t just about leaving home. It was the whole idea of believing that no matter who or what comes your way, in the midst of whatever may be, there is always a Greater Power. There are times when we feel we have lost everything, or things look broken and nothing like how we wished they would be.  At times we even feel as though we’ve been abandoned and nothing is working out the way we planned.

But just like a newborn child who is screaming in the fear that his life and all nutritional sources have been depleted, things are often not what they seem. Tawakkul (trusting and relying on Allah) is realizing that our Protector has a plan for us.  Tawakkul is having complete trust that Allah’s plan is the best plan.

And then there’s the part when you have to tie your camel.

Trust in Allah, but tie your camel. (Tirmidhi)

And I love that saying of the Prophet (SAW). I love it’s practicality. I’ve always been a practical person. But, in all fairness, this was the part that confused me, because I lacked that knowledge that I needed.

The question was never about tying the camel, but for me, was figuring out which proverbial camel of mines needed to be tied? And where is the limit? When do I stop the metaphorical tying and double knotting the ropes and just let go?

I had seen the result of true Tawakkul. I mean, I had met people who had never taken a birth control pill, but yet, their children have been born with perfect spacing and exactly as they had ‘planned’. I had seen people who would refuse to update security systems, in the complete knowledge and conviction that Allah was the sole Protector.

And then I asked myself, was it their plan that had turned out so perfectly, with the will of Allah?  Or was it that Allah had made His plan seem perfect to them? Or maybe… it was just the extent of their Tawakkul, that had made the difference, when mines was so weak?

Yes, you tie your camel where you can, but you also understand that your camel may find a way to still wander. The post may not be strong enough. The camel may be too insistent. And when that happens, you still have the Tawakkul in Allah, that it was His plan.

And despite coming so far spiritually, somehow, when tragedy hits and you are all  taken aback, you can’t help but think to yourself…

I mean really, what more could ever go wrong?

And of course, that’s exactly where I was on that day, two weeks after my husband had announced he was leaving our marital home. Without even thinking, I dialed Shabeer, because there was no-one else that I thought that would be more appropriate.

I mean, he was my husband right? No matter what, he was the father of my kids. In this case, when the panic was overtaking my every limb, I could not even think of who else to call.

Of course, hearing my anxious voice, he arrived in a matter of minutes. I didn’t want to think of where he had been. I didn’t want to think about what he had been doing. Looking at him, even, was so unsettling, but I sucked it up and swallowed my pride, because I didn’t want to be alone.

”How did this happen?”

It was the first thing he asked when he saw the door, shaking his head in irritation.

No greeting. No question as to how I was doing. He barely even spoke to the kids.

“Did you lock up properly before you left?”

I looked at him in annoyance.

“Of course I locked up, Shabeer,” I said through gritted teeth.

The kids were surprisingly quiet as we spoke. Thankfully they were all with me as I went to fetch another helper that afternoon, so it was just ya matter of fifteen minutes that I was gone. I was certain I had locked the Trellidoor. Or did I?

I fought back tears as Shabeer narrowed his eyes at me.

He was so… rude. Obnoxious. So…Male. Ugh.

Why didn’t I see all of this before? And it was amazing, but as my Tawakkul had increased, as each day passed, I found myself missing him a little less. I found more peace. I had reached such a place where I was so comfortable, that I wasn’t sure how I’d ease back into his erratic routine. And now, looking at him again, after just two weeks, it was like I barely recognized this man who I had known most of my adult life.

What did I see in him again? I was taken aback at my own cynicism.

I blinked as I watched him assess the damage on the door, and then look at his watch, as if he needed to be somewhere. Where was he rushing off to? Was he going to meet her?

I couldn’t help but feel a pang if overwhelming jealousy… and then… it was gone.

He looked at me now properly, blinking as  if seeing me for he first time.

“Looking good, Ruby,” he said, raising his eyebrows and looking at me up and down. I pursed my lips, to stop myself from giving a response.

He wasn’t looking too bad himself, but I knew it wasn’t on account of me. Shabeer was the typical type that got most people’s attention. The one thing that Danyaal had  inherited, was his father’s hair. Shabeer’s tawny hair was now greying at the front, and I could see it clearer now in the hallway light. I had barely noticed it before. His face was clean, as if he had shaved this morning. His shirt was new and crisp… Almost as if it was just ironed. His wrist, of course, was wrapped in a new Rolex that I probably costed another fortune. Looked like Shabeer had been living high the life while he was absent from  home.

I scowled. The least he could have done was bring something for the damn kids.

“You coming from a funeral or something?” He continued, now with a frown on his face as he looked at my head.

I forgot about being annoyed and instinctively put my hand to my head as he said it, realizing what he was talking about immediately. Adorning a scarf was anything else besides just being respectful at a funeral house. It wasn’t that I had embraced it completely… I had been so two-minded. But now… the more I wore it , the more it grew on me… and I quite liked the feel. Besides that… I had been scarf shopping and I had found the most beautiful prints that I couldn’t help but buy.

“No,” I said to him, unnerved. “I’m trying something new.”

I honestly wondered what he was questioning me for when I was sure that he knew.

And of course, because of that one person that I was almost certain that had marked a presence in our lives, I was so sure that I’d actually see some sign in Shabeer as well. It was just that, what confused me was that when I looked at him… I saw nothing. He was as empty as a darkened pit.

The kids were starting to get restless, so I started to clean up what I could, and see how far the damage had gone. I sent them off to play, hoping they would be okay. I had a feeling that Shabeer had more to say, but I was at a point where I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to hear it.

The thing was with Shabeer, no-one really knew him. He was a deep and complicated mystery to everybody… but me. It was just unfortunate that he had somehow managed to lure a young and innocent girl into his warped world. One thing I knew was that when Shabeer set his sights on something, he didn’t back down. What I didn’t understand was what she saw in him. Even I was struggling to gather…

And though I Khawlah had tried to contact me the previous week, at the time, I just wasn’t ready to speak to her. I wasn’t ready to be selfless as yet. I didn’t want to hear her side of the story… or whatever it was.

All I could think of was my hurt, and rightfully so.  All I could think of was how I was fooled, because it was never something I expected.

As for my brother, I could only imagine his anguish when he discovered what he did. He never did tell me exactly what he saw on Shabeers MacBook. It wasn’t about not having what he wanted. Adam knew for months what the reality was, and he wasn’t fickle like that. All this while, he still had hope, but with this, it was the betrayal that was eating him from inside, and I could see him crumbling.

And of course, it was nothing short of a miracle that I had pulled through so easily. After a few days of dwelling in my own self- pity, and neglecting my kids, I realized that I couldn’t carry on like this. So I picked myself up.

I got off my trembling knees, and I forced myself to pray. In those moments that I would have defined as making history, I strongly believed that it was only that plunge, that brought me through. It didn’t mean that just because I felt really hurt and betrayed, I stop worshipping my Lord. What defined me here was my response to the test… how I sought help, through prayer, and that was precisely what elevated me again.

Shabeer had just finished on the phone with a guy called Shaun who did all his  handy work. It didn’t look like the thieves had gotten past the first bedroom. The security in the estate was tight but these things happened. Shabeer obviously, didn’t see it this way. He was bringing the roof down whilst he screamed at someone, assuring them that he wasnt going to back down. He cut the call in a huff, and looked at me with a frown.

Idiots,” he muttered. “Think they can talk themselves out of a lawsuit. They need to update their system. This is bloody ridiculous.”

“It’s okay,” I said instinctively. “It was meant to happen. Do you want something to drink?”

I wasn’t sure why I asked him that. Maybe I didn’t want him to leave. Maybe I wanted to buy more time… to get some closure.

”Listen Ruby,” he said, ignoring my question. He was looking at me pitifully, as if he was embarrassed. Did he think I was suggesting something else?

I closed my eyes, reeling in the momentary shock. He was my husband after all. I could offer him a cup of coffee, right? What the hell was his problem? 

How dare he feel sorry for me? How dare he look at me like I was a failed and desperate wife, when he was the one who had messed up? I really wanted to punch him in the face.

“I have a meeting,” he said, just a little nervously. “But I wanted to tell you.., before you find out from someone else.”

I kept silent as he continued.

“I know you’ve been busy, and it’s been hectic for me too,” he started, and I could just hear his charm switch on. He was going to sweet-talk through this and I really wasn’t interested.

“And I love the fact that you care about yourself and want to look good, sweets. You’re looking like a million bucks, and I’m like… blown away, babe.”

He smiled and I looked back at him blankly. After all these years, Shabeers throw ups were lost on me.

“It’s just that we need to sort out some stuff before we get back to where we were. I still love you… but so much has happened. While you were busy with your routine… I felt lonely. Sometimes you’d leave me alone till late at night, and I missed you. And of course… sometimes, things just happen. I met someone.

He shrugged nonchalantly and stuffed his hands in his pockets. My heart thudded methodically in my chest.

“Things just happen?!” I retorted, now just plain angry.

The audacity! He was blaming me. Me! And he was so brazen about it too.

So this was all my fault? Yes, I know I was busy. I was trying to get back in to shape. To look good. For him. I had left my husband longer than I intended to, but was it really an excuse? Was it?

Maybe I had been too naive. Maybe I had trusted too much. I never imagined that this would happen. Not to me.

I never realized the harms of intermingling before now. Leaving my husband with young girls in the house was probably on the top ten list of ‘Stupidest things you could ever do’. Sometimes, it just took a glance, and Shaytaan seized you. I didn’t realize that it was so easy to fall into the trap that lead us to ruin.

Shabeer shrugged again.

“I’m sorry Rubes, but I love her too,” he said, finally meeting my eye. “We’re making Nikah.”

And honestly, as he said the words, I felt like the wind was instantly knocked out of me. It was like I was gasping for some oxygen… and there was no way of getting it, because I was way in outer space.

I wasn’t sure which part hurt more. They fact that he said he loved her… or…

Nikah. He was making Nikah?

Of course. He had to make it right. Halaal. I wouldn’t have expected it to continue as anything else. I wasn’t that woman who would prefer my husband to have an affair, than to take on a second wife. Not now, in this game of mind. I had met so many like that… some of them my friends. They brushed infidelity under the carpet, because it meant they wouldn’t hav to share their inheritance with a mistress. It was disgusting. Maybe he had actually seen some sense.

But what inspired Khawlah to even incline to this man who I was beginning to see the truth in… I don’t know….

The emotions were overwhelming.

“But you don’t even know her!” I cried, fighting back the tears. “You know nothing! I can’t believe that she’d even agree! You! Khawlah… she’s a breath of fresh air, and you’re like… like… rotten eggs..!”

Oh Gosh. I said her name. Rotten eggs?! Really? Why couldn’t I even have a proper fight? Shabeer looked at me weirdly.

“She’s so easy… calm… obsessed with nature… kind to kids… like, what on earth does she see in you??!”

I couldn’t even believe that I was saying that, but I was. I couldn’t even believe I was talking about it. As much as I tried to hate Khawlah, I just couldn’t. I couldn’t even do that properly.

“Well, her mother is kind of putting pressure,” he started, sounding stressed. “And Ruby, I’m sorry to delve into this, but really- she hates nature. I mean the only flowers she likes are black roses.”

Her mother? Why would her mother put pressure?

It took me a few moments to process what he had just said. Her mother?

Despite the pain. Despite the betrayal. Despite feeling like I was buried under a ton of bricks… something in my brain triggered a switch.

Her mother?

Khawlah didn’t have a mother. She had a mother-figure… but I wasn’t sure that she was really in the right frame of mind to understand what was going on. I remembered Khawlah saying that she wasn’t well and was having a problem with making sense of things. And then, of course…

Oh. Crap.

Oh. My. Word. My stomach clenched in that detested way that it usually did, when I realized that I had made a really huge mistake.

Black roses.

Roses are black, violets are blue…”

The kids were just singing it this morning. What were the odds? Of course, this meant something. Of course, this was no coincidence. It was a huge revelation.

“So you mean,” I said, suddenly alert and now thinking straight again. “Khawlah with the curly hair? She wears a thin bracelet on her wrist… her mother’s?”

I had only seen Khawlah without her Hijaab a few times. But I remembered her gorgeous locks.

Shabeer looked confused.

“No,” he said, all matter-of-fact. “And Khawlah’s got straight hair. The kids call her Hannah Montana. ‘Coz I suppose… she looks the part.. anyway, I-“

He looked awkward as he spoke. Spoke to me. His wife. About his other woman. Girl. Really? What was this world coming to? 

Indeed, what a warped world we lived in. So many trials. So much of corruption. Why was it that I never noticed it before? Was I too caught up in the mix to even see the truth?

I sought refuge for all the wrong I had done I the past. I had also hugged men. Kissed their cheeks. Spoke flirtatiously. How warped was I? 

What was the saying? It takes two hands to clap, right.

I just never thought it was wrong because it didn’t become more. But it was.

Shabeer was talking but I wasn’t listening. I wasn’t even in the now. All I could do was think about how I cut the call the other day, when Khawlah had phoned. All I could do was think of all the hurt this had caused. A little betrayal. A little lie.

Sometimes the ‘little’ things we do, are really not so little.

I thought  of Adam. I knew that he knew Khawlah’s brother. I just hoped that my brother hadn’t disclosed what he knew.

I told Shabeer to stay with the kids. He could leave his stupid meeting for once and be a real father. I had some work to do.

I could think of nothing more than inflicting pain.

Hannah was the main candidate. This little lie was going to cost something really big.


Dearest Readers,

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @thejourneyingmuslimah

As per request, I will finish off this part of the story before Ramadhaan though… Insha Allah. Shukran to all the readers ❤️

In preparation for Ramadhaan, this week, Insha Allah, let’s try and bring in a little about the Sunnah of eating, as touched on in the previous posts. I will try to keep it short, simple and effective.🌸

Rinsing the mouth after eating.

It is mustahabb to rinse the mouth after eating, because Basheer ibn Yassaar narrated that Suwayd ibn al-Nu’maan told him that they were with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in al-Sahba’ – which is some distance from Khaybar – and the time for prayer came. He called for food, but he did not find anything but some saweeq (barley mush). So he ate some and we all ate with him. Then he called for water and rinsed out his mouth, and then he prayed, and we prayed, and he did not do wudoo’.

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5390).

How easy to practise!





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Broken Again

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem 


There are many people who live life in oblivion. I’ve seen people walk through the midst of glorious beauty, and not notice a thing. They can be surrounded by nature’s overwhelming amazement, but they fail to take it in.

I supposed that you could say that they are ‘broken’.

And I’ve seen it time and time again. I’ve seen people who are so close, yet so far. They have so much of potential, yet they are still lost. They are searching, seeking and still not finding.

Because there are some people who, no matter how much they may see, they are heedless. They still don’t let the light into the crevices of their yearning heart. So, a place of darkness becomes even darker as they persevere in their pursuit of everything besides Allah. They increase in their ignorance, because they never felt that deep inclination to find their Lord. Truly, that is the greatest loss.

I often wondered if I never had Khalid or Aunty Radiyyah, what would have become of me. It wasn’t that I owed it to them. I knew that Allah is the one who guides, but I had seen many a time, that there had to be some kind of means. The simple gestures. The ever-present warmth. The unlimited love. There was nothing in the world that could ever replace those priceless actions that we sometimes took so for granted.

After we lost Mama, there were times when I would suddenly just hit a real low. Abba was mourning. So was everyone else. I wasn’t always myself. I wasn’t always good. There were times when I was just plain down selfish, and didn’t give two hoots about anyone else. Try as they might, there were times when I was as belligerent as they get.

And of course, the only way that I emerged partially sane, was through the light of my friend that I clung on to. Somehow, little Khalid always had a way with words that got right under my skin. He always brought out the best in me. It was Khalid who always knew what to say to make it okay again. And what I had got out of that at that tender age, was a beautiful truth of life that many people would never see.

Love. Love, was the tool to fix all the hurt. Love was light that shone in the dark. For a little girl who had been so lost, the love that I felt at that age was very much unconditional.

And it never ceased to amaze me. They would always have something beautiful to pass on. Khalid and his mother were a wonder for me. No matter how much I read and heard, I could not get enough.

The stories. The courage. The amazing love and sacrifice that he had brought to life for me when I was just a little girl. I could spend hours just listening or reading the books that had been gifted, and they would instill that same bewilderment in me once again. There were times when I would just stop and wonder to myself… Because I couldn’t help but think… did these brave and glorious warriors really exist?

She didn’t meet the final messenger SAW, but she met all his companions. Some say that she didn’t ever marry, but there was something unique about this women that is not at all surprising. She loved. She loved a lot. But it was a different kind of love. She loved her brother, Dirrar, quite fiercely. It wasn’t just because they were connected by blood. It was him who had taught her something quite remarkable. He had taught her the skills of swordsmanship. He trained her to fight like a true warrior. The kind of love that this bond had brought, was unmatched.

Khawlah’s tactics emerged at a time when the conquest of Islam was in the process of steamrolling the forces of pretty much every non-European civilization in the world. She served as a nurse and a healer, and then when that became boring she fought as a front-line warrior, and now is known among her people as the prime example of how fiercely a woman with a burning passion could stand her own ground.

The mysterious warrior pounced on the enemy like a mighty hawk on a tiny sparrow in an attack that wreaked havoc in the Byzantine lines,” wrote a historian.

Everyone thought that this magnificent warrior was Khalid, such was the skill which was displayed. But as Khalid (RA) emerged from the left hand side of the field, the believers were shocked. This fighter had created such an impact, that they were witnessing even the Romans retreating. The believers could not help but question… who was this inspirational soldier?!

It was Khalid (RA) who followed this fierce warrior, chasing after her in hot pursuit. It was the first time he had seen such a stage. Such strength. He was impressed. He circled around the mysterious warrior, asking for a name.

He questions her multiple times, but she is still silent. He wants to see her face. She does not speak. She is covered from head to toe, with only her eyes exposed.

Another companion, infuriated by the silence, says:

“Speak, the leader is addressing you.”

Others shouted in anticipation:

“By Allah, reveal yourself!”

And then, because she could no longer contain herself, she explained. 

It was not out of pride. It was not out of contempt. She was humbled. She was modest, and she said:

”Oh Ameer, I didn’t answer you because you are a great leader. I am not from the men, and I cover like those who are modest. It was only out of modesty that I did not want to reveal myself. I am a woman. I have come for the rescue of my brother.”

That was Khawlah Bint Al-Azwar. A female. But such valour. Such unapologetic modesty.

That was a time when the Muslims had respect. They had honour. This was a time when their blood was sacred.

The tears flowed from my eyes as I remembered, and each time I would read that beautiful story, I would see it in a different light. In a different perspective.

It wasn’t for fame. It wasn’t to make a name. It wasn’t to get that many followers, like we do today. It was love.  Modesty. Hayaa. Pure love and pure sacrifice. It was something that I wasn’t sure that we would ever acquire on today’s time, when we do things to get the pleasure of everyone else.

And yes. In my own childish way. I had loved Khalid. I had loved him a lot. But such was destined, of course, it wasn’t meant to last. Weeks and months whizzed by as I overcame my own battles, and I noticed Khalid getting taller by the day. His icy eyes seemed to be darkening and his once-chubby face looked different too. I could sense his defense up recently. He seemed protective, when Yunus would fight with me. He seemed aloof too, when I would sometimes try and engage him in conversation. If I wasn’t mistaken, unexpected tantrums and Aunty Nas sometimes yelling for me from the other side of the neighborhood, I had a feeling that Khalid felt quite sorry for me too.

Yunus was always willing to see the good in people, whilst my guard was always up. Besides that, there was something about Hannah that made me uneasy.

Khalid had tried to be helpful. He had tried to dispel the hurt. I had tried to think of Jannah, like he told me. I would hold onto the happy thoughts, for just a little longer. I wanted to hold onto those days with as much as I could, just because I lived in the hope that it would chase all my fears away…

And caught up in my world of warriors and whimsical dreams that inspired me to stand my ground, I never thought I’d see the day when things would change. Somehow, I just thought that they’d last forever.

“My Papa wants me to be an Aalim,” Khalid said suddenly one day, as we sat huddled close together on the sandy part of the driveway, sticks in our hands to dawdle with.

”Really?” I said, drawing a heart on the dusty ground, and not knowing what else to say.

“I love learning the Quran. Mummy says that the Hafidh’s parents will wear a crown of gold on the day of Qiyaamah.”

“And what about you?” I couldn’t help but ask.

I knew Khalid was becoming a Hafidh. He had started early morning lessons a year ago.

“Something better,” he said, smiling his usual Khalid smile.

“Whosoever learns the Qur’an and practices upon what’s in it, then on the Day of Judgement his parents will be made to wear a crown which will be more radiant than the sun if it were to be in your home.  So what do you think of the person who has practiced upon it?” (Musnad Ahmad)

“You’re so lucky,” I murmured, already imagining Khalid with his parents, a glorious crown also on his head. They looked amazing.

I could just picture him grinning in utter glee, as he would sit on that miraculous throne. It would definitely be a sight to see.

Khalid shrugged. He didn’t look at me as he spoke.

“Mama says that Papa makes Duaa every day… and I should too. But Mama also says that whatever’s in my Taqdeer will be true.”

Taqdeer. I nodded. I had heard about that before. It basically meant that whatever was meant to be, will come true.

I could still sense something bothering him, and it was beginning to bother me too. I wasn’t quite sure what it was that had ignited Khalid’s rebelliousness, but it was the first time that Khalid had ever uttered anything that was not in agreement with his father.

”I don’t know if Papa is right. I would mean I have to leave home and go to a Madrassa far away,” he said softly, almost to himself.

I frowned as he said it, brushing it off and convincing myself that it wouldn’t materialize. Well, at least, not anytime soon. For the first time, I also didn’t agree with Khalid’s Papa. For the first time, I felt angry at him for wanting to take my friend away from me.

But what if it all comes true, and he has to go?

I looked up sharply as I processed, almost in a panic. What would I do without him? What would do without Khalid?

I could sense his hesitancy too. And then, of course, he had to ask.

”Will you wait for me?”

I swallowed my emotion as I comprehended. I wasn’t sure what he was asking me at the time. All I did was nod as we continued with our menial task of sand art.

And of course, as Taqdeer would have it, a few weeks later Khalid entered that weird phase of his life that I couldn’t comprehend. He would barely talk to me, and when he would, he would just act so strange. It was at that stage that I realized that Khalid was probably going to leave. Although I knew it, it was only when I grew older, did I realize that Khalid was slowly withdrawing, to make it less painful. It was a transition that I more or less eased into, because to me, the chapter was coming to a close. The only thing was, now moving away, and far from Aunty Radiyyah, I had felt so lost, once again.

And then of course, as Allah promises, there is nothing that is taken away which is not replaced with something better. Not long after, I met Nusaybah.

Nusaybah, for me, represented everything that I had needed in a friend. She had, in fact, taken the broken pieces, and somehow made them fit together again. Through loss and through grief, her bubbly personality, and her beautiful words, she had basically been the inspiration for me to see what I had been missing in that little time.

Nusaybah represented what I had been yearning for once again. She was brave like Khalid. She was strong like Mama. Like the Sahaabi that she was named after, Nusaybah exuded a beautiful yet fierce nature that I loved. She was like Khalid in a lot of ways, but unlike him in many other too. And of course, she was a girl, so in terms of being relatable to me, she topped the charts.

So of course, one could only imagine what Nusaybah meant to me. I loved her. Her humor. Her wit. Her everlasting ability to see the best in a situation. To lose her, would be a great loss indeed. To ever betray her, would be the most abhorred thing in my friendship diaries. I could not even think of hurting her, and more than my own feelings, when Ruby had mentioned her brother’s interest in me, I could not even think of responding. Of requiting. I knew that Nusaybah was more important to me that that.

But there are certain things that cant be controlled. The heart, for one, is a vessel that can harbour even the most concealed and unseemly emotion. And of course, I wished I could chase them away. I wished that I would just forget. I wished that Adam had never seen me or asked about me, because I didn’t want to be stuck in a hope that was so far -fetched.

Rubeena had, in many words, explained that her brother wanted to meet me. She had said that he didn’t care about the odds. She had said that she loved me so much that she wanted what he wanted too… and that was to be part of their family. And although I knew that I wasn’t ready for that huge step that would unite man and woman, or boy and girl, as I correctly pictured it, I silently found myself wanting it too. Unknowingly, I had actually been appeased when she had told me that there was no rush, because it would mean that my plan for life would still be on track, but there was an inkling of desire that I didn’t address.

All I knew was that going there to her house with all these feelings that I couldn’t yet explain, would definitely be a danger to me and everything I had always stood for.

I had, of course, intended to steer clear until the surprise visit that we all didn’t expect.

Aunty Nas and Hannah.

As for Hannah, when I finally did go home many days, after a convincing from Khalid that it would be a better day, I remembered the looks she would give me, filled with pure contempt. I didn’t notice her following me when I went out to play.  I didn’t see her cynical eyes watch my every move. I tied up my unruly locks as I got stuck into my work, not noticing the little girl who watched me from down the passage, just waiting for me to step out of line.

Although I had an inkling of what she was about, I never did realize the true nature of that little girl. During those days, I couldn’t quite fathom what it was about her…

But today, as we locked eyes for a mere millisecond, the truth had now became apparent on Hannah’s face. I could see exactly what it was about her that made me tick.

Her sullen nature was so averse to my natural disposition. The girl never smiled. Her face was permanently in some kind of twist, over something that no-one could understand.. Even as she sat on my favorite couch  in my father’s house, she looked at me with such contempt that I honestly wished I could hurt her. What it was about Hannah that made me want to completely lose my mind, I wasn’t sure.

Foi Nani was still looking as confused as ever, at the turn of event, because she clearly did not remember who they were. Even as Zuleikha and Jameel entered, the tension in the room did not  ease.

“I know what you’ll are thinking,” Aunty Nas said as we all watched her. She wore a black jeans that was turned up above the ankle and a loose flowing purple top. Her scarf was draped a little loosely around her head, and if I didn’t know better about her, I would have assumed that she was nothing but a typical Muslim lady from the neighborhood. From past experience though, I knew better than to underestimate Aunty Nas.

“Nasreen,” Abba said, looking really uncomfortable in her presence. “Just tell us why you are here.”

Aunty Nas gave an exasperated sigh.

“Look,” Aunty Nas said, raising her eyebrows at us in annoyance. “I know what you’ll think of me. I didn’t come here for money or any favors. I’m sure you’ll think that I did, but Hannah and I are quite fine without any hand-outs.”

“So what are you here for?” Zuleikha snapped, getting just as irritated with her attitude as I was.

Aunty Nas sighed. So far, Hannah had not said one audible word.

“As you can see,” Aunty Nas continued. “Hannah’s got herself into a bit of trouble.”

She smirked as she said it, and all I could think of was: How crazy can a mother be?

Instead of condemning what Hannah did, Aunty Nas found it amusing.

I honestly could not even stomach it.

“You can imagine that it didn’t go down very well with the school…”

Abba nodded. Of course. My father looked like he was in shock.

“And of course, she’s too scared to go back to the part time job she had, in case her boss gets upset about it,” Aunty Nas said, oh-so-casually.

I narrowed my eyes. Was she talking about Rubeena?

”Anyway,” Aunty Nas said, suddenly getting up, almost as if she was about to leave. “Since Khawlah also worked there… I just thought that it may be good to let you’ll know  that they’ve been trying to contact Hannah, and basically forcing her to come back. I may even report them for harassment. Since they blame you-“

She looked straight at me as she said it, and I blinked in shock.

“We thought we’d just let you know.”

She sounded so considerate as she said it, that I was completely taken aback. Had Rubeena maybe changed her mind about me? Maybe there was more to it than I knew.

Blame me? Why in the world would they blame me?

“They told Hannah that they had only called her since you had left,” Aunty Nas said sweetly, sending my confusion and answering my question. “But don’t worry, darling… We know it’s not your fault. We don’t blame you at all! Those kids are such annoying rascals, that we completely understand. Rich and spoilt, that’s what they are. Hannah says she doesn’t care if they paid her a million bucks, she’ll never go back!”

I was stunned. Besides stunned, I was really angry too.

Rich and spoilt? Did Aunty Nas know who she was talking about? Yes, Rubeena had her flaws and she was sometimes demanding, but she never acted like she was entitled to anything more than Hannah did. In my opinion, Hannah was always the pits, and had obviously worsened with age.

I narrowed my eyes at them both, as Aunty Nas picked up a Samoosa that Foi Nani had over-graciously made.

“Poor Khawlah,” Aunty Nas said, noticing me watching her with something close to hatred. She stopped in mid-bite as she chomped her samoosa rudely.

“You actually like them, don’t you?”

I swallowed, not prepared for her bitter directness.

I didn’t answer.

I was planning to see Rubeena later that week. I was aching to see the boys. The garden. Nature was a soother to the soul… a calm for the sea of emotion that sometimes brewed within me. I ached to see the glorious garden again, but now, I had my reservations too.

I knew that I would have to also clear this up. I would have a bigger task on hand, if what they were saying was true.

“She doesn’t believe you.”

It was Hannah that spoke now, for the first time. Her eyes rolled in annoyance as she said it.

I scowled.  I felt like I was that eight-year-old once again, full of anger and resentment. I didn’t like the feeling.

I didn’t like it at all.

I could feel the familiar uneasiness rise up in my tummy.

“Why should we even trust you?” Zuleikha now said, knwoing exactly what was on my mind.

Aunty Nas blinked and turned her gaze to Zuleikha, almost in frustration.

Abba’s face was looking stony. I knew I’d have a lot to answer about, and I wasn’t looking forward to it.

“Looks like you’ll want some proof,” she said, with her eyebrows raised.

“Tell her, Hannah,” Aunty Nas muttered, turning her gaze away from us. “Tell her what he said.”

I wasn’t sure who she was talking about, but Hannah knew. My heart was already almost in my mouth.

“I heard them talking,” she said, her voice as hard and nasty as always, as she looked straight at me. “Her and her brother. They said they never want to see you again.”

And of course, they quickly gathered their bags, picked up two samoosas and waltzed out in utter contempt through the front door, just as they had come. And just as the door slammed behind them, like the first time she had come, I couldn’t help but feel the little tug of something within me, just before it snapped.

And there I was, feeling like a broken girl, once again.

Dearest Readers,

So I’m wondering if Khawlah should clear the air herself and face some possible accusations, or stay away and wait for it all to reveal itself? As per request, I will finish off this part of the story before Ramadhaan though… Insha Allah. Shukran to all the readers ❤️

In preparation for Ramadhaan, this week, Insha Allah, let’s try and bring in a little about the Sunnah of eating, as touched on in the previous posts. I will try to keep it short, simple and effective🌸

Especially as Ramadhaan is coming up, I love the fact that many families keep a Dastar on the floor to break fast. This meal, even if its for a short time, is regarded as Sunnah and is so blessed.

It was also narrated that Anas ibn Maalik said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never ate at a khiwaan, and he never had any soft bread.”  said to Qutaadah: “What did he used to eat from?” He said, “A cloth (spread on the floor).”

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5099).

How easy to practise!





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Brutal Lies

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


Different people have been blessed with different things, in different quantities. Different values. It doesn’t always make sense to the common man, because intelligence, status, affluence and even provision, is not something that we can choose or easily change. What’s in your heart though, will determine your actions. The heart doesn’t lie, and at times, it cant be controlled.

The thing is, being brought up in a liberal home with plenty of choices, I  spent most of my life chasing things that I couldn’t seem to get. Money, love, wealth, success… failure too, to a certain extent. And each time, even when I felt I’d achieved, there’s always been a feeling that I was missing something big. Something huge.

I never saw the truth. Many people can’t, and I was no exception. They say that there are some people whose hearts have been sealed. They can neither see, nor can they comprehend. And the thing is, the entire world already has you duped. You’ve already been convinced that this world will make you rich and happy. It will make you successful. It will be your source of everything that fills your heart. But what they don’t tell you, is there’s a catch.  There’s a huge catch, because once you fill your heart with the world, then there can never be any space left for what comes after. What’s everlasting.

“But you prefer the worldly life, while the Hereafter is better and more enduring”

The Qur’an, Surah al-A’la (The Most High) [87:16-17]

Yes, we’ve been placed here. The world is there, but what I never realized is that we have to use it for to earn the hereafter. So the way life is, it turns out sometimes you have to do the wrong thing, to figure out how to make things right. Mistakes are painful, but they’re the only way to find out who we really are. And its theonly way you realise what a brutal lie you’ve been caught up in all this time.

And it hurts. It really hurts. When you messed up and everything is crumbling around you, the only thing you can do to catch yourself from breaking down is to find home. Find your base. Find the ground where you were,  before you let yourself  go.

I held my head in my hands as I sat on my favourite grey suede couch at the entrance hall of my beautiful house, half deliberating on what my next move was, and half dying from the anxiety attack that was definitely coming on.

Breathe. Breaaathheeee.

I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. The breaths were shallow and half-hearted. It was like my body didn’t even want the oxygen I was forcing into it.

My mind kept replaying opening the text message this afternoon just before my trainer came home, and I couldn’t help but feel like my world was closing on me, as I replayed the image in my mind once again. I cancelled all sessions. I had to catch my breath again, because the emotions were already suffocating me.

I think we need some space from each other. I’ll stay at the apartment. Let’s take a break and chat next week.”

That was it. No “love you”. No heart emoticon. Not even a black one. No emotion. I couldn’t understand it. I just couldn’t fathom it. After everything… after four kids…. this is how he wanted it to end?

I had hastily dialled a friend from gym, hoping to get some comfort and at least hear a word of support.

A ringing tone and then it sounded like the call just cut. No callback. I was stunned.

So this was how it was, at the end of the day. I’d pushed myself so hard, tried so hard to fit in and all I got was voicemail when I needed a shoulder to cry on.

I read the message again, as I scrolled through my phone.

It was so… cold. Unfeeling. Completely different to the man I had known all along. Completely averse to his natural charm. There was no other way to see it than to assume what I knew was the probable truth. The breaking factor that would probably kill us.

There was definitely someone else.

The truth was, I didn’t listen. It wasn’t the first time. I didn’t listen when everyone told me that I’d spend my life watching my husband, because Shabeer was a sweet-talker. I knew I’d have to deal with competition. I just didn’t think that I’d ever be in this kind of situation where I’d feel like I had actually reached rock bottom.

I breathed in again, and then exhaled, hoping that the fresh air would give me a better perspective. And if there was, which I was sure of, how did I move past it? Was there even any hope?

“Mum, Where’s Dad?”

I closed my eyes and rubbed my temples, hoping to gain some inspiration on what to say. How to explain. Could he not just come home and at least pretend that it was all okay?

I glanced up, looking at myself in the mirror, and thinking about how a man could make you feel so unworthy, even when everyone else insisted that I wasn’t. What was I lacking? Nothing. Everyone said I was looking great. Gorgeous, my trainer insisted. Never better.

The fact was that even with all that, it was him that mattered. Shabeer mattered. After all these years, I still had my hopes pinned on him. I never gave up. And yet, with his obsession with work and whatever or whoever else rocked his boat at this moment in time, he couldn’t even come home to see his children.

“Isn’t the Shaytaans all come out now? It’s late.”

It was just after Maghrib and I knew I needed to pray. I had started… slowly… but today was hard. Today, it was so hard to get myself out of the pit I had dug. Why was it so hard to snap out of the self pity party? Why did it take so much of effort to actually focus on the One Who controlled it all.

“Duh,” Danyaal was saying. “That’s why he should be home.”

”But he always comes home late,” Dayyaan argued.

“What’s Shaytaan?” Zia was asking, frowning as he listened to the other two.

Danyaal slapped his palm to his forehead in exasperation.

He looked like one of those serious kids who were too mature for their age. The fact that he had recently gotten tested glasses made him all the more geeky.  His brown hair framed the rim of his lime green spectacles and I stuck my hand out to free it from his eyes as I smiled at them all.

These were my kids. Mine. Shabeers’. Ours. And goodness, I loved them so much. It was just that… sometimes…. I didn’t know how to cope. Maybe I had been too hasty, in having my kids too soon. Maybe I didn’t realize the work it would be. Right now, with no-one to really rely on, I wasn’t quite sure what to do.

The kids were still talking about that story. I had read the book Khawlah had left recently multiple times, upon Danyaals insistence. I needed to be better for them. I had promised myself I would try, after Khawlah had left. I didn’t want them to feel that emptiness that gnawed at me, almost every day since she had gone.

“Shaytaan is the one who promised to make people do wrong things, remember? “ I said, explaining to him in the best way I could. “In the story of Aadam, he was the one who tricked them.”

Yup, was all I could think to myself as they argued. And he tricked your father too.

”I know that,” Dayyaan said obviously. “But what is he? Like what does he look like? Is he ugly and burnt with a dark fire?”

I suppressed a smile.  I wasn’t sure how to answer that. Why did kids always have such difficult questions?

Gosh, I wasn’t sure what made their minds tick.

What made a man’s mind tick. I was so confused. 

“I know he’s made of fire,” I said, trying to be in the present and thinking carefjully. “And I don’t think he looks very nice either. He doesn’t like people. That’s why he does what he does.”

Shaytaan. Satan. Iblees. I wasn’t sure why kids found him so interesting. Whenever he would feature in our conversations, there was always a special interest in the main antagonist. I wasn’t sure how to make it more detestable. After all, wasn’t he the cause of every trouble that mankind knew?

“I’m sure Khawlah would know,” Danyaal said suddenly, and I was certain that there  was a hint of sadness in his voice as he turned around to walk away.

Almost as if it was on cue, a jingling of keys and turn of the lock immediately alerted Danyaal’s hopeful spirits again, and he spun around in excitement. My heart also raced with anticipation as the handle turned, and just as the door opened, my heart simultaneously dropped. Just slightly. Even though it wasn’t Shabeer, as I had hoped, the next best person was just what we needed to lift our spirits.

“Assaalaamu Alaykum!”


I returned a greeting softly as Dayyaan screamed in utter exhilaration as he hurled himself at his uncle. I couldn’t help but break into a wide smile as Adam lifted him high above his head as he often did to Danyaal when he was smaller, to morph him into some sort of aeroplane. The sound effects were the highlight as Adam ‘flew’ him over all of our heads, and finally landed him, in fits of giggles, on the passage rug.

Zia was already running forward for his turn, and I was so glad that Adam had come at that moment, because I wasn’t quite sure how I would ever deal with these kids on my own tonight. I needed all the help I could get. My emotional state was way beyond immediate repair.

“That’s for calling me Mufassa,” Adam laughed as he incessantly tickled the half giggling and half-screaming Dayyaan, who was trying to escape. Danyaal pushed his glasses up his nose as he watched them with a huge grin on his face.

As I watched them, I couldn’t believe that my little brother was so great with them. I sighed in relief, thinking how lucky I was that I had this amazing family to distract me, as they squealed and screamed in pure delight. Even though Adam was so busy with work, I loved that he always found time for his nephews. The way my mother bragged about him, I could barely believe that this famous World class Web Developer was busy playing make belief with his five year old nephew.

I felt bad now, as I thought of how I had chased so many things I my life. Chased, at the expense of my family. Chased, at the expense of my kids. Chased, at the expense of my Creator… because my heart was never with Him.

The four of them were already starting to make up some random game, and I zoned out for a minute, and before I knew it, as I sat, half an hour had passed and the house was in almost silence once again. I wasn’t sure what magic Adam had done with them, but as my brother came in I couldn’t help but offer him a small smile, despite my sombre mood.

The thing with Adam was that he was always the light-hearted one in the family. Adam never ever moped around. Even when the odds were against him, Adam always rose above it. He was just that kind of personality that made the best out of situations. He was so carefree, and I was so jealous. I wished I could be that kind of spirit.

“Okay, out with it,” he said drily, sitting down on the ottoman opposite me and scrutinizing me relentlessly. He was making weird expressions with his face that made me want to laugh, as he cupped his chin in his hands and narrowed his eyes at me.

Adam was weird in a comical way, but it’s what made him who he was.

I stared back at him. It felt like we were playing the staring game that had become his hobby when he was eleven.

“You’re sitting there like you lost your husband,” he said jokingly, trying to make an expression like one of my father’s typical Indian aunties he liked to mimic.

I didn’t smile.

“Oh crap, I’ve put my foot in it, haven’t I?”

I nodded wryly, not ready to pour my heart out just yet.

”Lets talk about something else,” I said quickly. “How are you?”

Adam smiled his usual lazy smile, but I couldn’t help but notice a certain reservation behind it. I Just didn’t want to talk about Shabeer as yet. I wanted to focus on something else besides my doomed marriage.

“I’m awesome,” he said, so convincingly. “On top of the world, Rubes. I mean, what else could I ask for? I have the best sister and the coolest nephews. Life on this side of the world is amazing, dude. You should try being me sometimes.”

I grinned.

“Really?!” I said, raising my eyebrows at him. “I don’t mind swapping…”

He nodded emphatically as he pulled at his new beard and winked. It was quite strange to see my usually modern and sought-after brother with a typical Muslim-boy beard. My brother always had been, definitely, anything but typical. Like me, he had attended the top academic school in the province, and he had always looked the part. And of course, his choice of girls too, was a far cry. I wondered what they would all think of him now…

I felt a familiar ache in my gut as I unexpectedly thought of Khawlah. Why she had crossed my mind now, I didn’t know. I think I actually missed her more than I thought I would. I felt bad for being so bossy and demanding. She would have at least been here, if everything hadn’t changed.

I sighed. With Adam in and out and Hannah mentioning that Khawlah was getting married…. I didn’t want to impose when I knew she clearly needed to leave. I could sense her hesitancy. Things were getting uncomfortable. The day that she left was so heartbreaking to let go of her, when all I wanted to do was tell her how much we needed her here.

And then of course, there was Adam. My heart went out to my brother, because when I told him,  I could just see the look on his face. I could see my words physically diminished every hope that he had probably been holding onto for some type of happy ending.

I had broke his resolve. Crushed his heart. And I knew that he wasn’t exactly forthcoming about what he wanted, but my brother never was. Although he was always liked and known by everyone, he had a nature that was far from obvious. The fact that he was always easy-going and carefree lessened the blow for me, but I really  just wished it could have turned out differently for him.

“Let’s not talk about me,” he said, his smile momentarily disappearing as he swallowed hard. “Ramadhaan is coming up now. I need to focus- it’s going to be the first time I actually open my Quran, you know that?”

”Me too,” I murmured. Before this. The blessed month was just about keeping the fast, making yummy goodies and eating them.

“By the way, Rubes, I have a question.”

His expression suddenly got serious again as he watched me, and I hoped that he wasn’t going to ask me about a Shabeer.

“Please be honest with me,” he prompted in a low voice, and my throat was already dry. I really didn’t want to talk about my issues.

He went up to the mirror, turning his face from side to side intently, and then swung around to look at me again.

“Do I look like I’m getting old?”

H chuckled as he watched my serious expression change to exasperated. Gosh. He was too annoying. Adam was just the pits. Besides that, he was much too young to be thinking such things. There was a ten year age gap between us.

“I’m serious!” He said, still smiling. “Mr Molvi wants to hook me up… says he’ll find me someone suitable. You know how the chics love me, yeah?  Plenty of fish in the sea, right, Rubes? What do you think?”

I smiled at his feigned arrogance, but was also taken aback by the question. What did I think? What did I think?

I couldn’t help but say it. There was only one thing I could say here, that would be the truth.

The words just rolled off my tongue.

“I think Khawlah is perfect for you.”

And of course, the minute I said it, Adam’s face immediately fell, just as my own heart sunk. But I didn’t regret it. I didn’t regret it because even though I knew it had struck him in a place where it hurt the most, what I just couldn’t get over was this huge transformation that was standing in front of me.

This was something that you didn’t see often. It was a plunge that was literally taken in the darkness. This was the result of a young girl who had brought so much into our ill-lit lives. She had spread a light that no-one here had ever seen before. She had opened a passage to a beauty that we had never yet witnessed. How could she not be perfect for our family?

And it wasn’t because they had based this on something that people would think was ‘wrong’. I didn’t care about my parents. I didn’t care about the odds. From what my brother said, Khawlah would never even look at him. He had barely exchanged a full sentence with her. The kids, however, barely exchanged a word without her.  It was her sincere effect that had moved us to such a degree, that we couldn’t help but notice it.

From being a home that was deprived of the recital of Qur’an, somehow, my boys had memorized countless Surahs that even I didn’t know. From not even knowing what a Sunnah was, Danyaal had even convinced us to eat on the floor, just because he wanted to practice something that had inspired something within him. She had brought to life in their minds every single Prophet story, that their imaginations just could not have enough of the beautiful history that had gripped their hearts. The simplicity, purity and pure sincerity that all this was brought with… I could not even divulge.

The biggest miracle though, was yet to come. It had happened so slowly, that even I didn’t realize it. As Khawlah would pray before she left each day, I had watched her gestures and witnessed the peace within her. I wanted that. I wanted that connection. I had never in my life, prayed a full Salaah. The fact that it had brought a servant who was so far away from her Lord back into a lightened pathway that she was so eager to tread, was an iconic event on its own. From praying nothing, I went to performing three prayers in two weeks. In another three weeks, I was at the full compliment, and what was most amazing about this was that the beautiful person behind all this had no clue.

I sighed as I looked at my brother, realizing that there was no use talking about it when I didn’t truly act upon everything I now knew.

”I need to pray,” I mumbled as I got up, not wanting to admit how lazy and caught up on my doomed world I had been. Better late than never, right?

Adam blinked, and I could see he was thinking deeply about something while I was too. It was something we couldn’t forget, but it didn’t mean that all was not lost. Yes, Khawlah may have introduced us to this beautiful world of guidance and prayer and broadened horizons, but it was up to us to carry it through.

I prayed with a sincere devotion that evening, although I was delayed and in need of much reprimanding. For the first time, though, instead of dwelling in my own ugly issues, I focused on what was the greatest miracle here. Despite everything, we had still been blessed. Despite neglect, despite ignorance. Despite the utter disregard for the laws of the Almighty that we had intentionally  disobeyed, we had still been given an opportunity to see the other side. I could feel fresh tears escape as I thought of this great blessing. No matter what happened in my life, to have something real that I could hold onto was priceless. I just wished that I’d realized it sooner.


It was Adam at the door of my room, and on his face he wore an expression That I didn’t see on him often. He was worried.

I nodded at him so he would come in, looking at him curiously. He looked over at Zaydaan who was still sleeping in the cot next to my bed.

”What’s happening?” I couldn’t help but ask as my own heart thudded away in trepidation.

“I hacked Shabeer’s MacBook,” he said, his face grim.

I widened my eyes and smacked my hand to my mouth.  Oh gosh.

“I know it’s like… unethical and so…wrong,” he said hastily. “And probably like makrooh or something too…”

I couldn’t smile at the attempted humor. This was not funny. Shabeer will kill him if he knew.

“I just couldn’t see you like that,” he finally admitted, as he twisted his hands round and round. He seemed so nervous. So, so… troubled…

“Rubeena,” he said seriously, and I knew that it was serious. He only called me by my full name when he was speaking about major stuff.

“There’s a girl,” he said, and he paused there as my own heart plummeted, even though I already knew. What I didn’t know though, was what he was about to say next.

“Ruby,” He said steadily, and I could see the conflicting emotion on his face. He wanted to be strong, but the facts that he had come to know were too brutal.

“It’s Khawlah.”


Dearest Readers,

I know we are taking a while to get back to the Hannah and Aunty Nas drama, but I needed to clear a few things up before. Please make maaf for any shortcomings. I am always open to criticism. Please note that I will not be posting in Ramadhaan so please bear with these erratic posts as I conclude before then. 

May Allah Ta’ala grant us sublime contentment.

In preparation for Ramadhaan, this week, Insha Allah, let’s try and bring in a little about the Sunnah of eating, as touched on in the previous posts. I will try to keep it short, simple and effective🌸

Eat in Three Parts

Nabi SAW taught his Ummah something to protect them from diseases caused by eating and drinking. He said, “The son of Aadam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Aadam to eat a few mouthfuls, to keep him going. If he must do that (fill his stomach), then let him fill one third with food, one third with drink and one third with air.” [15]

How easy to practise!





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Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

A reminder from Islamic teachings: Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The believer does not insult others, he does not curse others, he is not vulgar, and he is not shameless.

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 1977


I honestly think that there should be some sort of test that parents take before they are allowed to have a child. Something that gives them a permit to introduce little humans into this world. I don’t know about you, but from my experience, there are are few people in this world who can honestly say that they were never damaged. The fact is, we all leave the nest with a few dents and scratches. Some parents smudge, some parents crack, and then you get the ones who mess you up so badly, that it’s like you’ve been shattered into millions of tiny jagged pieces, that are beyond any sort of repair.


I jumped as I heard the sharpness of my mother’s voice, and then her usual cuss at me, breaking though my placid thoughts. I blinked in shock, almost terrified for what she may do to me. How long had she been standing there for?

I was already expecting the blow to come from either side, but my mother always found a way to surprise me, even when she was inflicting pain. All I could feel was her hand yanking my head back at my hair roots with such a force that I fell back, tumbling off the chair that I was standing on. Ouch.

“What the hell are you doing there?” She snarled, ignoring my whimper of pain as I  tried to get back on my feet. She stepped over me and pressed her own face close to the window, just as I had been looking out, as she peered out too.

I had been standing on the little oak stool upstairs that was stationed under the window, looking out enviously at the other kids who were playing outside.

Ugh,” my mother said, shaking her head and scrunching up her perfectly made-up face. “What filthy children. And that boy. So rough and uncultured. I can’t deal with these rude little children anymore. Their father will hear about this.”

She was visibly disgusted. At what, I wasn’t too sure.

Why didn’t they ever ask me to come and play? Why couldn’t I have some outdoor fun once in a while? Maybe it was fun being rough and uncultured.

I stuck out my bottom lip she glared at me for even daring to envy them, and then she tossed her hair back and lifted me roughly off the ground.

“Real ladies,” she said sharply, wagging her finger at me as her eyes bored into mine. “Don’t play outside. We are refined. We buy nice things so we can look good and find men who will look after us. Real men don’t like girls who act like them.”

I frowned as my mother pointed outside for emphasis, straightened her dress, and then turned around to leave.

I was only eight. What did I really understand about real men? I mean, I had seen things on TV about men and women… and I did know more than other girls my age, but I wasn’t exactly sure what my mother expected of me. I was too young to even know what having a boyfriend really meant.

I went back to my room, finding a little comfort in counting my money and putting in back in my stowage. I supposed it was kind of an obsession. A form of security, that made feel that one day… maybe one day I would have enough money to leave my mother’s clutches and just get out of there. Money was what the made the world go round, of course. It would be my salvation.

Of course, if I had my own savings, then there’d be no more fights about Mum overspending. She always used me as an excuse. Thank Goodness, when I grew up, I would have my own money and all that wouldn’t matter any more. The only problem was that… since the last time, there definitely seemed to be less money that I had counted. I shook my head to myself, thinking that maybe I had counted wrong. Mum was the only one who knew where my money was. I knew that she sometimes ran short, even when uncle Nazir was giving her so much.

I shook my head, already annoyed at my mother. From depriving me of the simple things that a child looked forward to, my mother took the prize when it came to manipulating her own child.

And so the cycle went on. By nine years old, I already knew that everyone out there was jealous of me. Jealous because I was pretty. Jealous because we had money. Jealous because… well, people were just jealous. It was the explanation for anything that people said.

Mum had explained it to me it on different occasions, especially when I would face opposition from a kid who had values that were daringly opposed to mine. We had, of course, got everything of the best. Mum made sure that her new husband would give us over and above whatever he had promised.

She had basically drained most of his savings in under a year, with demands for a new house and her other luxury expenses. Catching my mother injecting herself or popping some random pill happened much too often to even think it was abnormal. There were times, at the end of the month, when she would exhaust Uncle Nazir’s savings, and then, in her desperation, she would basically take anything she could get hold of. The poor man would come to our new house less and less, and the look on his face would just give it all away. I only knew the half of it.

Secretly, I felt sorry for him. I liked him, in a completely unromantic way. It was surprising, because with Mum always either putting men down, or looking for the next one who she could get something out of, I didn’t expect it. But the truth was, he was a decent man. Different from the other two men who Mum had made me meet on previous occasions, who always had ulterior motives. He had a softer side to him that made me feel like I actually had a real father. And then my mother, as always, would turn the whole situation around to get me on her side once again. She couldn’t risk me finding comfort in anyone else but her.

“All men are the same,” she would mutter, her face purposely distorted to show her disapproval. “It’s just you and me, Hannah. You and me. I know that no matter what, you’ll look after me, just like I’m taking care of you.”

I looked at her blankly. I didn’t want to make any promises, at that impressionable age. I still had my dwindling savings. I had found another place for it, just to make sure no-one got hold of them.

“See what I’ve done for you?” She gestured around her. “Just look. All this is for you, baby. This house. This life. These clothes. All this, I did for you.”

She was waiting for praise. For a ‘thank you’, maybe. The luxuries she had attained for us were all attributed to her own doings. For a moment, all I could think was that it was the biggest load of hogwash that I had ever heard.

It was a brief moment of realization that suddenly dawned on me. I had heard Khawlah talking once to her friend. Khawlah. I didn’t understand her, and neither did I like her… but it didn’t stop me from spying on her. They had these intriguing ideas about life that Khalid’s father had told him. It seemed like they lived in a different realm to us, with so much of gratitude and emphasis on thanking Allah.

My mum, on the other hand, never prayed nor showed any gratitude. She was relentless in her pursuit for the finer things in life. All along, as I had been watching the little girl from afar, I had learnt a thing or two. I just wanted some close up views. I wanted a glimpse into her life. I wanted to see a bit of the other side.

And of course, as expected, I watched her and her friend chatter incessantly about something so profound that I wished I could hear. I wished I could be there. And of course, I wished I was her. It was as if she had no worry in the world. At that time, I wanted to be just like her.

But it was only a fleeting moment of checking into her reality, and then it was gone. Because one moment can’t erase the past. One drop of purity in a toxic solution can never remove the poison. It doesn’t take a moment to eradicate the venom of the past.

And as I fixated on what Khawlah had, I forgot about being grateful, and the jealousy made a show. Of course, it was bound to come. And even as Mum told me all the things that I knew were probably the hugest lies a mother could tell her child, somehow, I couldn’t say what I knew was the truth.  I wanted it to be us against the horrible world. I wanted to believe that she had really done all this for me, and not to satisfy her own extravagant desires.

I smiled at her as she squeezed my shoulder, almost to assure me that she was for real. That was the moment that it all changed. A moment that transformed the innocent little girl into a manipulating young girl. The moment where I chose wrong over right. Darkness over light. The moment when I ignored what was so evidently pure and true, and opted for the skewed version that would haunt me for the rest of my life.

I was her daughter, after all, right? Her own blood. She never would do anything to hurt me.

Even when she left me alone with a man who she knew, just so she could get out to have her fix, she had still convinced me of too. It would make me stronger, she argued. It would build my confidence. She said it would get me to realize how unreliable men really were, when all I achieved in those torturous moments were more damage. More damage and more destruction.

Afterwards, she cried. When she finally came down, she cried and cried. She apologized. She said she would never do it again, as she clung onto me for dear life, begging me to forgive her. But it was too late. I was already broken inside. I stared back at her with an empty hopelessness, because we both already knew that the damage was done.

The years kind of passed by in a blur, and arguments, whispers and strained conversations had become a part of my life. I barely saw my father. Mama had convinced me that he hated me too.  I pretended not to care. Again, when Uncle Nazir divorced my mother, the bitterness I felt was indescribable.

There we were, once again, rejected and literally out on the street, because some man had decided that we weren’t good enough for him. My mother had, once again, proven to me that there was no-one else I could trust but her. It was never her fault. In her own torrent of drugs and rage, she made it clear that we would never depend on a man again. Talk was cheap.

And that was the precise time when ‘boys’ became interesting to me. Looking for the comfort I never got, I sought it. For some reason, she didn’t care about the guys I would meet. She didn’t ask where I had met them either. They were merely experiments for me. Learning from my mother, I had learnt to push a man to the limits, to get what I wanted. I didn’t hold back of myself, but my emotions, on the other hand, were always in check. I would never love a man, I convinced myself. To say I had trust issues was an understatement. I would never put myself through that.

And then, of course, in the most unexpected way, I was taken by surprise.

Seeing Khawlah again after so many years brought back so many memories. Some of them were good and some were just… dark. Really dark. Life hadn’t improved much since then. Numerous boyfriends had promised me the world, but I would bail on all of them at some point, never convinced of their empty promises. As usual, Khawlah had the best of friends and always got long with everyone perfectly. I wouldn’t have been surprised if she had the perfect boyfriend too. Life was just unfair like that.

Being put in a school where most people were pretty normal, however, was good for me. I strove to fit in. I needed extra money too, and when I heard through a friend’s friend that someone wanted help looking after their kids, I thought it would be easy money. All I had to do was entertain kids for a few hours and I would get paid. It didn’t get much easier than that.

But there’s always a catch. I found out pretty soon that Khawlah had worked there too. That news broke my confidence as I witnessed her effect. That carefree happiness that she had… I could see it in those kids. They would not stop talking about her, and the amazing things she did with them. Here she was again, stealing what supposed to be my show. I was honestly sick of hearing about her, but I gritted my teeth and stuck it out, because I needed the money.

As for the lady I worked for, she was just freaking annoying. She acted like the entire world was about her stupid schedule. Obviously, I never showed her how stupid I thought she was. I was an expert at putting on a facade by then. I smiled and encouraged her to get herself on top of things, because I knew that more time would mean more pay.  I offered to look after her kids till late at night, if she had an extra class or a date night with her friends. I told her she needed to look good. I told her that everything would be all right when she got home, because I was there. I was good at convincing people. I was just as good at playing the good girl role, that I knew Rubeena wanted. It was just that matter how much I tried, she made it obvious that Khawlah was her favorite. And that was the moment that I finally cracked.

I didn’t anticipate it happening, until it actually did.


I blinked as I snapped out of my thoughts, a little annoyed that I had been disturbed. The kids were busy with their evening shows and I was catching up with social media feeds as I kept an eye on them. Well, kind of. The two bigger ones were jumping on the couch, but they didn’t listen to me when I told them not to anyway. I had just started working on the evenings two weeks ago, so the evening behaviour was a little strange to me.

I looked at the stranger who had walked in,  and I tossed my hair back and smiled. It was what I always did when there was a male in vicinity, and if I wasn’t mistaken, this particular one wore a Rolex. That definitely meant something to me.

At that stage, I wasn’t sure who he was exactly. Maybe the boy’s father. Maybe another relative. He smiled back at me, as he watched the kids jumping around.

“Looks like they tired,” he said, raising his eyebrows and stuffing his hands in his pockets.

I shrugged, indifferently.

“Their mother makes them sleep,” I said, not prepared to go down that road. It definitely wasn’t in my job description. There were limits to how far I would go to make money. Or were there?

He nodded, and for the first time, looked at me with something a little unrecognisable in his eye.

Was it interest?

Of course. I knew that look.

“I didn’t get your name, sorry,” he said, still looking at me intently. “Which one are you again?”

I blinked, somewhat taken aback by his question. Which one?

That probably meant that he hadn’t met Khawlah as yet. Khawlah, who the kids wouldn’t cease to bore me with details about their exquisite adventures. Khawlah, who had reached such an amazing height of recognition for them, that even after she had gone, they didn’t forget her. Khawlah, who I had lived for so many years trying to chase her shadow, and discover, by some miracle, the things that made her so unique.

There was no need to be subtle about it. After all, the damage was already done.

“I’m sure you’ve heard all about me,” I said, with the most innocent smile I could muster. “I’m Khawlah.”

Dearest Readers,

A bit of a darker side to achancetochange. I sincerely hope that I have not been explicit in any detail in striving to bring in a few lessons before we end of these chapters that are also a part of Khawlah’s story. Please make Maaf for any shortcomings. I am always open to criticism. I will be highlighting the harms of free intermingling, and we can very evidently see them above. As parents too, we have so many responsibilities to bring our kids up with a good balance of confidence and modesty as well.

May Allah save us all from the fitan that has gripped our community. May Allah grant us sublime contentment.

In preparation for Ramadhaan, this week, Insha Allah, let’s try and bring in a little about the Sunnah of eating, as touched on in the previous posts. I will try to keep it short, simple and effective🌸

Eat in Three Parts

Nabi SAW taught his Ummah something to protect them from diseases caused by eating and drinking. He said, “The son of Aadam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Aadam to eat a few mouthfuls, to keep him going. If he must do that (fill his stomach), then let him fill one third with food, one third with drink and one third with air.” [15]

How easy to practise!





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Out of Control

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


Faith, huh? It has a funny way of coming through for you when you least expected it. Faith, somehow, conquers all, even when you feel that maybe things have gotten a little out of control. At the end of the day, it’s a funny thing. It turns up when you don’t really expect it. Its like one day you realize that the fairy tale may be slightly different than you dreamed. See once in a while, once in a blue moon, people will surprise you , and once in a while…. people may even take your breath away…

Even if it’s by a punch in the stomach.

But, on the brighter side, to put it into perspective, this is where the state of a Mu’min comes in. The state of a believer is pretty unique. In essence, a believing servant is always in a state of hopefulness. And when faith reaches such an amazing height that there arises an inclination to change, then what other reason should there be to be hopeless?

And yes, we knew that history tells of various incidents of the awesome faith of the Sahaaba, but amidst their faith, they had a fear. A fear that maybe, despite their efforts, they just weren’t doing enough. A fear that maybe, despite their utter remorse and regret over their past sins, they would still not reach the height of Paradise.

And yes, we all should have a fear. But, the thing is, for us, as weak Insaan and shaky believers, to be hopeless can lead to ruin. Extreme fear, can kill our ambition. So instead of letting the odds weigh us down, we live between fear and hope, and let the longing for Paradise be our navigation. We let the hope shine through, and believe that by some small account of ours, we will attain Jannah. And so we try. So, we strive. We have faith. We believe. We transform. And within it all, we find the serenity that comes with finding our Creator.

And it must be known that we cannot ever reach Allah. But this feeling… the accomplishment of reaching that place where we can say we’ve connected… is not found in mundane things. I mean, you certainly don’t find the gold by digging in the sand. You have to make the effort. You have get right into it, deep down, and extract all that you can, because that toil must not go waste.

And the moment is unforgettable. A moment of change. Of free fall. Of pure serenity that you can only find when you reach Home.

I breathed in as I tied the piece of black cloth around my face again, as I dwelled in the feeling of contentment, tightening it at the back so it would sit better.

“A little higher,” Zaynah murmured, looking at me strangely as I adjusted the niqaab, almost as if she couldn’t quite believe what she was seeing. I knew exactly how she felt.

For the past few weeks I had dreamt about this. I had dreamt about wearing this. My heart was aching to make this all real. I could not even imagine a more beautiful moment, as I looked at myself, that the moment I would put this on and walk out, into the real world. I could not fathom the closeness I would feel to my Rabb at that very moment. It would simply be… sublime.

“You are stunning,” Zaynah murmured, and I instantly looked at myself in the mirror, wondering if I heard right.

Her solemn look quickly changed to a smile as she watched me, with a single tear at the corner of her eye. It was the most special moment. I wanted Zaynah to be there when I would finally do it for real, but I knew that I needed to talk to Jameel first.

“Just… remember…” she had said when I mentioned to her. “Your eyes.”

She didn’t say more but I knew what she meant. I also knew that how your eyes looked shouldn’t be too attractive. Having heavily made up eyes was not exactly the wisest thing when you were a niqaabi. The eyes were  a window to the soul. Basically, the showing of eyes will not lead to any fitnah.

I smiled as I remembered Ahmed once say that he could tell if a girl was ‘hot’ from just her eyes. Why he was looking at women in niqab, I didn’t know, but I hoped that I could do this properly, and with the correct intentions. Wearing the niqaab was not an easy task.

Thinking  about Ahmed, got me thinking about my family too. It wasn’t only Jameel I was worried about. Abba. Khawlah. Foi Nani. This whole step was going to be news for all of them. No one in our family wore niqaab after Mama had died.

I breathed out as I watched myself, trying to gather my thoughts. There were so many emotions that were running through my head. I wanted to just pause for a moment, and check in. I wanted to dwell in this excitement just a little longer because I knew it might be short-lived. The challenge of my entire transformation was yet to come.

”Why are you looking so worried?”

I breathed out, trying to gather my thoughts.

“Zaynah, I don’t know why I’m heading for here,” I confessed, trying to make her understand. “My in-laws… my life… I had gone so far away. I didn’t know how to find my way back… and now…”

Now, I was just at a loss for words. How did I even find my path again? How could I tell her that I had left the shelter of Allah completely? How could I explain to her that I had attended parties, I had indulged in sin, that my husband was involved in a cocaine addition? How did I ever tell her?

“Tell me your thoughts, Zuleikha,” she said, as she propped her head up on her hands and looked at me with so much of conviction that I couldn’t help but let it out.

”I’m scared,” I finally said, looking her in the eye, and letting my own emotions sink in. “I’m scared that I don’t deserve this second chance. I’m scared that my husband won’t accept it. I’m scared that he will never change…”

I trailed off because I knew that I had gotten carried away with my emotions. I didn’t mean to bring Jameel into this. It was supposed to be about me. But how could I exclude him, when he was a part of my every day? He held a piece of me. I did love him, despite what we had been through. Despite everything I knew.

“But doesn’t Allah say that we must never despair of His mercy?” She said softly, as she looked at me from where she sat.

She was looking at me in such a way that I immediately knew exactly what she was saying.

One thing I now knew from the few times I had met my friend was that Zaynah was no ordinary woman. She had achieved the seemingly unachievabl… she was someone who had taken on something that she never thought she could. She was like a breath of fresh air. She had that amazing ability to see the best in people, even when it wasn’t their most obvious trait. She had, in a brief recount, told me once about how her husband had changed his life.

And she didn’t have to say it, but I knew it. I knew it was through her, and I knew that their love, because it was based on something so amazing and pure, was unmatched.

And I knew what she had meant. Of course. Of course I knew. How could I forget? After all, I was lost and now I had found Him. I was messed up and now He had somehow, fixed it.

It was from Surah az-Zumar Ayah 53. It said:

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

Say: ‘O My worshipers, who have sinned excessively against themselves, DESPAIR NOT of the Mercy of Allah! Verily, Allah forgives all sins. He is the Forgiver, the Most Merciful.”

And at that moment, I felt as if this was the most beautiful ayah ever, because in my hopeless state of mind, I could not understand that I was even worthy of forgiveness. But the beautiful part here was that Allah didn’t hold my sins against me. He didn’t consider it a betrayal or breeches of true. All He considered it as was a wrong unto myself. All He called it was a transgression to me. It wasn’t beyond His utter mercy. Nothing was.

I have my friend a tight hug as I left, not forgetting to drop a tiny kiss on the cheek of her beautiful baby boy, because I wasn’t sure when I would see them again. The spaces between her visit were far and I missed this woman so dearly that I couldn’t actually understand how I done without her before. It was just that unexplainable kind of love that got me.

Jameel would understand, right? He loved me too. Things may be a bit different when we went out, but it didn’t have to change everything. Baby steps. We could still see his family. I just had to be a little more careful. I had to let Jameel know that even his cousins weren’t mahrams. Knowing how uncomfortably close Jameel was to his cousins got me on another train of thought altogether, but I controlled my rapidly beating heart as we approached the house.

And of course, as we drove home with Muhammed also drifting off into slumber, I could feel myself calming down and preparing myself for Jameel’s acquaintance.

Of course, he’d be tired. He’d be a little frazzled, after the long day at work. I just had to play it a bit safe.

I walked to the entrance of my house with Muhammed now asleep. He was growing so fast, and those days of colic and fussiness had disappeared just as the ante- natal depression had taken its leave.

I was quite exhausted too, and I was already planning a little nap, knowing that I had enough time before Jameel usually got home. Pulling off my shoes, I had literally just closed my eyes when I heard the front door slam. I sat up, a bit wide-eyed with worry, as Jameel came in a bit earlier than usual, looking like his usual souped-up self. Of course he looked like he usually did. Approachable, overly charming and always on top of things. I watched him tap on his phone for a few seconds before he caught my eye and smiled.

“Salaam,” He said softly, bending down to give Muhammed a kiss, and then lightly pecking me on my forehead.

“Hey Gorgeous,” he said in a low voice, sitting at the edge of the bed just as I started to get off. “Missed you.”

I raised my eyebrows at him, and cocked my head to the side whilst he smiled and looked at me.

That was out of character for him. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t that Jameel was unfeeling. He just wasn’t always in check with people around him. After my encounter with post-natal depression, I had to hand it to him though.

Sometimes, you just need to give someone a chance for them to come through. And even if you don’t expect it, being surprised was the most brilliant feeling ever.For starters, my husband had the hugest of hearts. I was assured that when it came to giving of himself or even his money, Jameel never held back. He hadn’t always been honest and neither was he a saint, but Jameel never said no to anyone in need. To anyone who had a reason to ask. It was a quality that I sincerely admired, and it took a while to come around and notice his strengths, when all I had searched for before were his most obvious faults.

And through my roughest patch, he was always the one to take over when I felt like it was all too much. He was my calm to the storm. The cool in my fire. Jameel never missed an opportunity to show me how sorry he was for messing up. It was just what we needed, and the perfect fix that would pave the way to a better beginning.

Yes, things were better. Things had improved drastically, but I still didn’t know whether I could trust him completely. To get over the things that had come so close to ruining us took some time.

“I’m serious,” he said coolly, running his hands through his hair roughly. “Its been crazy today. I just wanted to come home.”

I noted the frown on his face, even though his mood was quite tepid.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, knowing that something was definitely up.

“Hectic day,” he said, rubbing his forehead.

He paused, and then shook his head. I looked at him questioningly, waiting for him to spill the beans.

“There’s a guy who just doesn’t want to play the game. He’s  just not interested and it’s killing us. He’s the only thing standing in the way of the biggest deal ever. The most sought-after software developer and he’s like a ton of useless talent.”

Business deals. I looked at him with interest now, despite his annoyance. Software developer? Why did that sound familiar?

On the contrary, maybe this deal was a good thing. I had been existing in my own little space when all Jameel would talk about was the usual Mafia business that went on. All it meant was more women and drugs. I didn’t even want to hear about them anymore. Maybe this was a good thing. Maybe my husband wasn’t into those dodgy deals that he used to do before.  This seemed like it might actually be clean.

My hopes soared.

Faith, huh? It had a funny way of coming through for you when you least expected it. And no, I didn’t expect him to grow a beard or become pious overnight. I just needed a sign that we weren’t headed for doom. Maybe Jameel really was changing. Maybe there was hope for us. Was it the right time to tell him my hearts desires, though?

I could already feel the incessant thudding in my chest, urging me to give it a shot. I had to tell him. I needed to.

My heart was in my mouth as I opened it, ready to delve into the topic that I couldn’t stop thinking about. I could literally see the mercy that Zaynah had spoken about, pouring down at that very moment, and I wanted to seize it. I wanted to capture it and pour my heart out to my husband, hoping that this time, he would hear my plea.

And of course, it was that very moment when the shrill ringing of the phone next to me made me jump, and maybe impulsively, but also without a second thought, I hastily picked up the receiver, hoping to put it back just as fast. I wanted to talk to Jameel and I didn’t want to lose that moment. I wanted to get it back, just as fleetingly as it had presented itself to me.

But the voice on the phone immediately alerted my senses, and my heart did that thud-thudding thing that it often did when I could not even bear to breathe.

Khawlah’s voice was soft, but highly panicked. She needed my help. She was in a catastrophic panic.

Things weren’t exactly explained on the phone but by what it sounded like in the few minutes she had spoken, Foi Nani’s memory had ceased her at a most vital moment, and she had no idea of what she had done. I raced to the car in a frenzy, pulling on a cloak and forgetting everything else. I wasn’t even able to tell Jameel what exactly was going on. I couldn’t even speak. All I could think about was the outcome of all of this and how it could affect our lives.

I was frantic as we drove at record speed, and as we finally reached, I couldn’t help but jump off in utter despair. It was only a few minutes but it felt like much longer. I just kept praying and hoping that this wouldn’t bring anything more than a little turbulence and as I stepped over the broken glass in the hallway, I was already losing hope. I couldn’t help but think the worst of the entire situation that was completely out of my control.

My heart contracted as I thought of what could be. It ached fot the past. I wanted to push it all away, but there were some things that were beyond repair. Some people who leave a scar in your heart. Its a mark so deep, that as much as you try to erase it, its shadow still remains.

These were definitely no ordinary acquaintances, and this visit was certainly  not the usual. I stared into those deathly eyes just as they stared back at me. After all these years, I thought that something might have changed, but all I saw was that same empty soul that reflected right back at me.

And then there was my sister Khawlah, who, even in her darkest hour, looked like the most spelling vision. I could just see my mother in her today, as she stood at a distance and watched them, with a fiery expression. I could just tell from her body language that her powerful warrior mode was on. I would have hated to see what had to happen next as her nemesis looked at her with an equal ferocity, that I was certain that would prove to be our greatest hurdle.

Hannah was pregnant.

It was none other than Aunty Nas who was here, and her dear daughter. I wasn’t sure what she wanted but from what I could see, this was definitely going to cause a stir.

We had no idea at the time, but this stunt was going to cost us a lot more than we would ever know. Even as we saw it, we completely underestimated the damage that this would all bring… to us, to our lives and to our entire family.

After all, when Aunty Nas was around, there was never a peaceful moment in our house.

And al I could do was watch the pictures of this imminent screening roll, as it all spiralled out of control….

Dearest Readers,

A little but of a twist in the story, but never without a lesson.

Note: Fornication is Zinaa committed by an unmarried person, and adultery is Zinaa by married people. Both forbidden and punishable in Islam. This is due to it being such a betrayal of trust, the hurt and the lengthy problems that these deeds cause.

As addressed in ajourneyinajoural, pre-marital pregnancy may seem like a far-fetched occurence for some, but it is a very real issue and does exist in some Muslim communities. Sometimes it is just swept under the rug or ignored when the pregnancy is aborted. It is because of this that I decided to tackle this issue and emphasise the evils of Zinaa in the process.

Please forgive me for any shortcomings, and make Du’aa for the youth. 

In preparation for Ramadhaan, last week we were working on Reviving the Sunnah of Miswaak. This week, Insha Allah, let’s try and bring in a little about the Sunnah of eating, as touched on in the previous posts. I will try to keep it short, simple and effective🌸

Do not criticize food

Abu Huraira narrates that:

“The Prophet ﷺ did not criticise any food ever. If he desired the food, he would eat it and if he disliked it, he would leave it.”

Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim

How easy to practise!





Follow us on ig: @thejourneyingmuslimah

Twitter @ajourneyjournal

Falling to the Ground

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


As much time as it takes to string a beautiful necklace, when the line of pearls snap, it’s entire contents can fall to the ground in the matter of just a few seconds. And just like this, like a necklace unraveling, the trials and Fitan of this era also unleash, just as the pearls of that necklace make their descent. And no matter how valuable that necklace is, there will be many who watch from afar and say, what’s the use in even trying to catch a single pearl? How can we make a difference? The necklace was already doomed for destruction.

But there will, from amongst them, be a group among them who stop and reflect. They will come forward. They spread out their fingers and attempt to grasp what they can. They will argue that their job was not to save the necklace. Their job was just to save a few of those rare pearls, and give some hope… to preserve them so maybe… perchance, they may still go on to see a better day.

The thing was, amidst all the conflict and tribulations that we faced every day, sometimes that’s all we need. Sometimes we just need a little hope. Sometimes, we just need to realize that our job is not always to save the world. Sometimes we just need help one person. Sometimes we just need to fix one part. Sometimes, by some small intervention, an little can go a long way.

”How did you find me?”

My brother had his brows furrowed as he eyed me out with a mixture of interest and annoyance. This was exactly what I meant. My brother was not exactly how I recalled him to be.

Ahmed was not the Ahmed I knew. He was still rigid and as resilient as always, but there was a certain softness that came through as I watched him. He seemed like he was actually missing his family, and somehow, he had morphed into a matured version of the phoney muscle-man he had always tried to be. Even as I told him what a mission it was to locate his whereabouts, he was still looking at me suspiciously, as if I was the one who was being psycho.

I mean, he was, after all, the one with a whole bag of rifles on the table in front of him. As much as he had changed, my brother was crazy about guns, and so when Zuleikha had told me he was going to be at the shooting gallery this morning, I thought that I would see the same old Ahmed that I always knew. How wrong was I…

I looked at my brother, still a little shocked. He looked different. Except for his dark eyes, Ahmed’s features were almost exact to Abba, but a little sharper. He wore three quarter pants and a t-shirt, but the biggest giveaway was that instead of his usual stubble and rugged hair that he had always wore, my brother was beginning to show something that resembled more of a beard. He looked neat and normal. Not like some macho-gangster type that he had tried to be back in the day when all he was good at was getting into trouble.

“Listen, the guys are waiting for me, Khawlah,” he said seriously, putting his bag on his shoulder again. I could see a few of Ahmed’s friends waiting. One of them looked like he was coming this way and Ahmed hastily guided me aside, so we were out of view.

“You shouldn’t be here,” he said, shaking his head. Ahmed wasn’t usually so… conservative.

“I wanted to see you,” I responded stubbornly.

I knew what Ahmed meant. It was different when I was younger and we would training as siblings. It was also much quieter at that time of the year. Now, it was weird. I felt strange being here around so many men.

”Is everyone okay?” He asked, his eyes clouded with worry as he bit his lip.

I nodded and he instantly looked relaxed.

I wanted to ask him. I so badly wanted to ask him about Adam, but I just couldn’t. I just couldn’t yet.

“You need to go home,” he said, looking around warily and thrusting a phone at me. “These guys will start thinking weird things about me.”

“I’m going to Aunty Radiyyah,” I said, shaking my head as he put his phone back in his pocket.

“I’ll see you again,” he said warily, and turned around to walk away.

I wished I couldn’t have spoken to him more or asked him more, but somehow, just seeing my brother and knowing he was well was enough for now. The door was opened now, and that was a relief. Perhaps I could phone him or meet him again. All was not lost.

I thought deeply as I walked to my old neighborhood, which was literally a street away. It was the tougher side of town but what I loved about it was it’s natural appeal that just got me. I loved the walk down the road where we used to stay. I wasn’t scared to be on my own. Although it wasn’t as safe as it used to be, I took my chances because I knew that Du’aa was the best protection. I smiled as I realized how far Ahmed has come too, from walking around this neighborhood with his gangster friends and screaming blue murder at anyone they thought could be trespassers. I honestly beloved now that as Ahmed grew up, he realized that the best protection you could ever get was that of Allah. Instead of him waging a war, he had finally learnt about the Controller of it all. About life. About faith. About being a true warrior.

I breathed in deeply, as I took in the beauty around me. There was just something so soothing about nature. It was so true.

I thought about how the kids I had looked after had grown so accustomed to the outdoors, after being cooped up for so long. Yunus had mentioned that Ruby had phoned for me, but I didn’t want to Venture into that territory as yet. I was itching to see the kids but I needed a little more time, before I spoke to Ruby to make arrangements. All I had to do for now was be true  myself and focus. I hoped that Ruby meant it when she said she would be spending more time with them. They had truly come to thrive on outdoor life, and it had become their refuge. 

I breathed in as I climbed the steps, literally stepping into Aunty Radiyyah’s familiar arms and all-encompassing hug and her boisterous greeting. It was honestly like i was coming  home.

“Sugar or condensed milk?” Aunty Radiyyah asked, as she finally pulled away and guided me to the back porch. She was still smiling as I took a seat  on the back porch. Everything was already set up and I pointed to the condensed milk in anticipation, remembering the always appreciated taste of the sweetened coffee she would make for us on cold days like this when we were kids. I took a tiny sip and let it settle on my taste buds. It tasted exactly like it did back then.

Aunty Radiyyah crouched down to sit, and as she caught my gaze, in her eyes I could see a hint of something completely unrecognizable.

Gosh Khawlah,” she breathed, almost looking spooked. “You look exactly like your mother.”

I blinked and shifted as she stared at me, feeling a little uncomfortable under her scrutiny, especially in the outdoor light.

Coming here after a few months was supposed to be my getaway, but I didn’t think that Aunty Radiyyah anticipated the change in me either. For me, I needed some time to think and just to clear my mind in the crispy air of the towny suburb that I loved so much. Even as I gazed out at the beckoning plot of land that was spread in front of me, I needed a little time to just dwell in its glory, without yet tucking in. The moisture in the air was so tempting, but I knew that going out to sink my hands into the wet soil would be a messy task. I wasn’t ready to take it on as yet.

Aunty Radiyyah’s expression had now changed to a less daunting one, and I smiled at her now, as I took a sip of the delicious coffee she had made especially for me. It brought back so many memories. Being here was simply amazing.

“Your mama was a showstopper, by the way, darling,” Aunty Radiyyah said in jest, obviously not finished. “Even thought she never did show it. No need to get embarrassed. I couldn’t understand how she was so easy going when everyone was always in awe of her.”

In in awe of her?

Somehow, I never remembered my Mama that way. I remembered the voices at the funeral. I remembered them saying that it was so sad. I remembered people talking so brazenly about the poor kids and how we will cope, as if we weren’t even there. I was just never in awe of my own mother. On the contrary, I was always in awe of Aunty Radiyyah. Maybe I was too young to notice what Mama was, but in my memory, I just remembered her as too thin and lacking energy that she needed for four energetic children. The memories of her heartiness were few, and as I grew older, I could barely remember my mother not being in bed. Zuleikha, I was sure, probably had a lot more memories of Mama being the way Aunty Radiyyah had just said. She probably had more memories of the real person Mama behind the sickness really was.

“Of course, your father had a hard time keeping up with her,” Aunty Radiyyah said, sitting back and smiling, her voice whimsical as she spoke, almost as if she had forgotten I was really there. It was like she was just jogging her memory out loud, as she recounted the past. I listened with no response.

“He was, after all, her choice,” she murmured, gazing into the garden. “Not exactly what they expected, but he changed his life for her. A heart of gold, your Mama always said. And your uncle hugely disagreed…”


Ah yes, Foi Nani’s son who had gone overseas and we hadn’t seen since Mama’s funeral. I had no idea about all this family history that Aunty Radiyyah was suddenly bringing to light.

I cleared my throat and Aunty Radiyyah suddenly jolted, as she focussed on me once again.

“I’m sorry, darling,” she said, her eccentric smile returning once again. “What were you saying you needed to ask me about? Goodness. Khalid was right. Sometimes I do come across as a crazy old lady.”

I frowned, wondering how Khalid could be so rude to his mother. She was a wonderful woman. It was probably just his own brain that needed some adjusting. That silly hairstyle was  affecting more than I thought too. I wished I could tell him it too.

I didn’t want to delve into the details of my life, but in a nutshell, on the phone I had explained to her that my brother was offering information about me that I wasn’t in favor of. Aunty Radiyyah was like one of my best friends. I knew I could talk to her in confidence. I just needed some advice on how to handle it.

”And how sure are you that the information came from him?” She asked suddenly, narrowing her eyes at me in curiosity.

“Well, I can’t think of anyone else who would say such things,” I responded, already convinced that my brother was the culprit. In actual fact, the information he come from a third party, and although I didn’t want to admit it, relying on that source of information might not be the best thing to do.

Aunty Radiyyah shook her head.

“Ah sweetheart,” she said, closing her eyes and putting her head back in that familiar way that I remembered. Only this time, there was no bubbly bursts of laughter that followed. instead, she rubbed her temples and kept her eyes closed, almost as if she was deeply contemplating her next words to me.

“You have so much to learn,” she said, with almost  a sad smile  on her face. “Because you’re so mature, I almost forget that you and Khalid are the same age. People are fickle, my darling. And most of the time, your own people wouldn’t be the ones to cause problems, even if they don’t like what you are doing. Your own people care. It’s other people who don’t. Other people who have evil intentions. Other people who may be out there to get you, and you’ll be surprised at how many of those you find out there, my beautiful Khawlah.”

I looked at her with interest, hoping that she would offer more information. Was she talking from experience? Or was it just her wisdom that gave her so much of insight? I supposed that besides getting old and forgetful, old age had its other benefits too.

She sighed now, and her face lit up once again as she smiled.

“You’re not like the rest of the girls your age, Khawlah,” she said, her voice dropping as she spoke. “People don’t like it when you’re different. When you’re so special. Those kids miss you. They loved you, but you know why you had to leave. You know where to turn, my dear. Turn to Allah. Turn to Salaah. Salaah can fix anything. It can cure you heart, and make you feel brand new, once again.”

As she said the words, I immediately thought of Nusaybah. Aunty Radiyyah had so much of perspective.  Part of the reason I didn’t want to tell Nusaybah about my whole saga was because I knew my friend. She never said it, but of course, I could tell that my best friend was not just ogling the guy when she first met him. When she would often find a reason to mention him on other occasions, I could tell that she was partly infatuated. And it wasn’t that I condoned it. We knew that there was no way she could pursue her feelings, had there been an opportunity, but she didn’t have any solution either. It was what it was.

But I was wrong. She was wrong too. Because often, we dont think that we can turn to Allah if we get caught in something Haraam. I mean, Haraam is Haraam. Often, we don’t associate something good with it. Some people might tell you to turn to Allah, instead. They will tell you to find Allah. They will urge you to suddenly channel your energy into reaching out to tmfind your Creator. But what they don’t tell you is how. They don’t tell your answer lies in Salaah. They don’t tell you that by truly praying to Allah, it will fix your heart. Salaah is the cure. It will undurden your soul.

I left that day, feeling so much lighter, as I thought about Aunty Radiyyah’s words. She made sense. At the end of the day though, it didn’t really matter. If they thought I was proposed they would probably find out at some point that I wasn’t. To clear the air would be going into some unnecessary venture that would probably be more problematic.

Abba was waiting outside for me at the time he had promised, and we drove in companionable silence, I thought to myself about him in a different light. About my mother. For many of my childhood years, my father had been my hero. It was only when he chose to marry a woman who made our lives a misery, that I kind of lost some hope in him. And he knew it too. But what he didn’t know was that all was not completely lost.

It was just that, after Mama died, something of him had died too. I remembered how he had changed, almost as if he was trying to find something that was missing.  I didn’t realize it then, but as I watched the deepening lines on his forehead and the creases at the corners of my father’s eyes, I could see a different Abba. It was like he was kind of biding his time, just trying to work through the motions of life… almost as if he wasn’t quite sure what he needed out of this life anymore.

Now, I knew. Now, I finally understood. It was a little fairytale that they had lived. Now I understood the love that they had. He changed for her. He wanted to be better for her. It wasn’t just that… but from where Abba came from, he became the best person that he ever wanted to be when Mama was alive. He gave her everything of himself, but he didn’t realize that he was missing the last link. The link that made it real. The link that made it true.

And as much as I loved that notion and the fact that he loved my Mama so much, I so badly wanted him to become the best again, this time, with an entirely different perspective in mind. I wanted him to see that maybe there was a perfect reason that Mama was yanked out of our lives much too soon, and I wanted him to see it too.

And just as I was about to speak something of my mind, the sight of the foreign car in the driveway brought a frown to both of our faces. We didn’t often get visitors. Foi Nani usually had her family members fetch her for any function she wanted to go to, and this car was completely unknown. I looked at Abba warily as he pulled at the door handle, anxious to see who was here. I wasn’t sure if it meant danger, but since my senses were already alerted, I followed him in quick pursuit, eager to know exactly what was going on.

Abba fumbled with his keys to find the right one, hastily turning it with a click and pushing it open. Despite the thudding in my chest, I anxiously called for Foi Nani, hoping for some signal that everything was okay.

And almost on cue, at that precise moment, Foi Nani rounded the corner with a tray of tea cups and biscuits as she headed for the lounge. My mouth was already half- open as I watched her in her most amazing form, pleasantly greeting Abba, saying that she was waiting for us before they began. Abba looked back at her, confused.

“We have visitors,”she half-whispered, in old lady style, and I frowned as she looked at me reproachfully, signalling for me to help. I obediently took the tray from her and proceeded to the lounge with it, with my heart in my throat.

And of course, as I reached the lounge door and I glimpsed the ‘visitors’, my feet could just not move a single step further. I was literally rooted to the spot. I could not believe that Foi Nani had just let these people back into our lives. I could barely believe that this was actually happening.

I also didn’t know that this coming would answer so many of the questions I wanted to ask just earlier that day.

I just went cold. I felt like those precious beads were unraveling once again, falling to the ground, and as I tried to catch them, I just couldn’t find the strength or determination in me to even grasp one.

And as my feet kind of buckled, and the attempt to keep my hands firmly grasping the tray proved to be completely futile…

With a shattering of Foi Nani’s precious china, the entire tray went crashing down.


Dearest Readers,

In p reparation for Ramadhaan, last week we were working on Reviving the Sunnah of Miswaak. This week, Insha Allah, let’s try and bring in a little about the Sunnah of eating, as touched on in the previous posts. I will try to keep it short, simple and effective🌸

Do not criticize food

Abu Huraira narrates that:

“The Prophet ﷺ did not criticise any food ever. If he desired the food, he would eat it and if he disliked it, he would leave it.”

Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim

How easy to practise!





Follow us on ig: @thejourneyingmuslimah

Twitter @ajourneyjournal








Running in the Rain

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


“Lets’s run in the rain,” Yunus said, nudging Khalid as we sought refuge in the covered area of his house, as we peered at the rain that we’d have to pass through to get home. Khalid looked back at it with a certain ferocity in his steely eyes, almost as if he was ready to take it on. 

“Nah,” he finally said, shaking his head and cocking it to one side as he usually did when he decided that he had thought deep enough about something. “Let’s just use the umbrellas.”

But it was already too late. Yunus had already spoken, and his little light-bulb idea wasn’t just an idea any more. 

To me, running in the rain, was not just about getting wet. It symbolised freedom. It was about going against the rules. It was about pushing the limits. It was that all-encompassing feeling of utter liberation, that poured onto you as the pelting drops of moisture would too.

And so I ran. Khawlah, the ever-so-brave, left the two clucking boys behind, and ran as fast as my then little legs would carry me, through the puddles and all. And yes, I got soaked. I held my school bag over my head, just in case. But I still got soaked. I laughed and laughed, as I ran, and of course, the punishment that came after was worth it all. Never even for a moment, did I regret that feeling, as the pouring rain was all that could be heard around me, and I realised that this was what childhood was about. This was pure affirmation that a little child needed, to assure her that after all, there was a brighter side to life, even within the pouring rain.

I smiled as I looked at the rain, remembering the past as I scribbled in my workbook. Sometimes as you catch up with the past, the past somehow, catches up with you. I think its true for many, that the former years on anyone’s life, are often considered in jest. To others though, it’s not that simple. What I mean by that is, I may remember myself sprinting through the garden, just as a little child often would, but to an adult, they may see me as running away from something in my life. It may be that I was just being ridiculously rebellious by refusing to follow the rules and play like the rest of the kids, but to another person, they may assume that I was a problem child. The truth was, people read too much into things. Kids are kids. They do as they please, say as they please and get away with almost murder because of their little regard for any consequence whatsoever. 

And even as I got older, there were times when I would still find myself contemplating about my childish years. The laughter. The fun.  The childish innocence that always got me seeing the brighter side of things. The excitement of upcoming holidays as a child was overwhelming as I  recalled the vivid memories of a little girl with unlimited energy. I always remembered myself as this grown-up-too-fast mischief-maker finding her way through the motions of a life, trying to fill the shoes that were way beyond my meagre years. 

Challenging, was a word I often heard Mama use to describe me. Constantly finding innovative ways to keep myself busy, proved me to the one of the four kids that had to be watched, practically all the time. And although I kept busy and always occupied with Yunus, babying him too, to some annoying degree, somehow I would still find a way to earn a scolding from Mama almost every day.

Too tough, she called me. Too tough for my own good.

In an attempt to discipline me, when I would sometimes catch a hiding, which was more often than I remembered, I would look back at my mother with a certain defiance that she just couldn’t comprehend. It made her all the more mad, and would usually result in me being sent to my room for the rest of the day. So young, and yet my mind was already so set in rebelliousness. Mama was scared for me. I knew she was, and I often heard her tell Abba that I was the one test that she didn’t know if she would pass.

And then Mama got sick. Really sick. To a certain extent, it changed me too.

I remembered those days of disarray, where none of us knew quite what to do with ourselves. Khalid was the greatest diversion, I would say. I remembered Aunty Radiyyah too, always welcoming us in with the broadest of smiles. I didn’t see the tears she sometimes hid behind that joy as she watched us, because she was losing a friend too.

She knew we needed some stability in our upside down lives. It was those little things that kept us a little sane, with Khalid’s easy ways and simple life. We got lost in his world of historic dinosaurs (which was his obsession around six), ghost stories (inspired by the Purple House from seven) and theories about adults that always made us laugh. We loved it. He had two normal parents and lived a pretty normal life. Somehow, we needed that glimpse of normality for us to be kids again.  Back home, with Mama entering the final stages of her life, everything was becoming overwhelming. That was when when Abba, with a bit too much on his plate, had realized that it was time for me to be more occupied.

The pre-school that I had been attending was closing down and the thought of another year in pre-primary was boring me. I was an intelligent child, I heard the teacher say to Abba, the day the school closed. I needed something more stimulating.

And so, with Abba faced with many decisions that needed fast actions, he immediately enrollment me in ‘big school’, at the tender age of five. It couldn’t be said that I outshone the other students, but I definitely wasn’t behind. Somehow, I had managed to catch on pretty fast, and life as we knew it, went on . I never looked back and neither did he.

However, as the grade twelve year approached for me, I could literally feel my nerves dwindling. I was always hard on myself. I never struggled, because languages came easily to me, but Mathematics, however… well, let’s not go there. For me, Maths was my Achilles heel. Where I excelled in everything else, Maths somehow knocked my spirits, as I attempted to figure out exponential equations and trigonometrical calculations. I rubbed my temples as I squinted in thought, trying to figure out why any sane person would ever create three letter words like sin, cos and tan. I.could.not.even.

“Are you going to sit here the whole day with Mr Absurd?”

Absurd. AbSurd. AbSURD. Sometimes, Nusaybah just got me. She was so ambiguous. In a hilarious way.

I looked up at Nusaybah who was hovering over me and literally scrutinizing my work. Surprisingly, surds were not my weakest point.

I scowled at my friend. It was easy for her to talk. For her, Maths was a breeze.

“I haven’t even had a chance to sit with my friend for like one entire week,” she said, scowling back. “These damn calculations have taken over your life and our friendship. I’m going to have to ditch you if you insist on pursuing your current relationship…. I cannot handle this type of competition. It’s too… intense.”

I giggled. Nusaybah’s face was serious, and it made me giggle even more.

I shut my book and finally stood up, grabbing a packet of chips from my lunch box that I had brought. Foi Nani had forgotten to make lunches again today, so I had quickly packed a fruit and chips for Yunus and I, hoping Yunus would buy something from the tuck shop if he was hungry. Although Foi Nani was starting to worry me, I shoved the thought away, convincing myself that she was getting old and these things were expected.

“Can we sit alone today?” Nusaybah half-whispered as we walked down the passage. “Hearing about Naj’s complicated   relationships is getting too much for my brain.”

Najma and Kimona were two girls that we sometimes sat with, and though I enjoyed their company, the drama that these girls always had to relate was draining. I nodded eagerly. I was in no mood to listen to other people’s complicated lives. Mines was much too messy at this time of my life, and I frowned as I remembered the feelings that had surfaced a few days ago, when I had left a piece of my heart behind in the house I had grown to cherish.

“Is everything okay?” Nusaybah asked as we sat, noting my frown.

I nodded, opening my packet of chips and trying to divert the attention. I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to remind myself by speaking about the pain. It was getting better as the days went by and I knew that it was just a matter of time until I healed completely.

“Ruby called me,” she said carefully, and I blinked in surprise as she said it, suddenly wary of what she may know. “She said you left. The boys miss you. Why didn’t you tell me?”

I finally met my friends eye as she gazed at me enquiringly, clearly hurt.

“What did you think, Khawlah?!” She suddenly spilled out, and I could see the anger in her eyes. “You thought I’d be upset? Did you think I would judge you?”

I swallowed hard as I gazed back at my friend, remembering the day I left. It was still so clear.

Khawlah, wait!”

It was Ruby’s voice, and as I halted at the door, and my heart thudded in my chest as I thought about explaining my sudden decision.

How did I tell her that I needed to play it safe? I mean, I was barely sixteen. I couldn’t even think about marriage. I wasn’t against marriage at a young age but I one of those girls who could, because I understood that although it was the right thing to do, there was no way that I could ever be mature enough to take on that responsibility. I just couldn’t do it.

“I’m sorry about that,” she said panting, and I could tell that she was struggling to catch up with me before I left. “I didn’t mean to put you in an awkward situation. After I spoke to you last week, I called my brother to try and set things right. Adam really wanted to see the kids… I didn’t expect him to come so early today.”

She was still panting, and I nodded as she gave me a small smile, glad that things were looking up for her.

“The kids love their uncle,” I said, smiling back at her. “They need him.”

She nodded.

“They do,” she said.

I had to tell her. I was planning on phoning her and explaining my decision to her, but there was no use delaying the inevitable.

“I won’t be able to come in next week,” I said, taking a deep breath, and expecting her to enquire about why.

She merely looked at me and nodded. It was like she knew. She didn’t even ask me any more.

It was like she already knew that I was planning to leave. My heart sank momentarily, because she didn’t even try and convince me to stay.

“Will you come back?” She asked, without expectation, meeting my gaze as she waited for the answer.

I shook my head, not really able to form audible words.

“I want to see the kids if it’s okay,” I said softly, clearing my throat to try and remove the frog that had somehow found it way in there.

“Of course,” she whispered, and I looked to to see tears streaming down her face as she hastily wiped them away, and then reached out to wrap me in a fierce hug that spoke a million words.

“Thank you, Khawlah,” she whispered as she clung to my somewhat rigid frame, and I processed the turn of unexpected events. “Thank you so… so much. I hope I see you again… I have to… in whatever way…”

I was a bit dumbfounded as she pulled away. I didn’t expect it to be so easy. I didn’t expect her to just surrender me, and although my there was a very palpable pain in my gut, I knew that the alternative would have not been as achievable. Ruby knew what she needed. She knew that her kids were important. I just hoped that she would also take the time to get to know the beautiful souls that they are too.

And sometimes we think that something is good for us, but it is only Allah who make that notion a reality. It is only Taqdeer that can determine what is meant for us, and what is meant to fly completely over our heads. It is only Qadr that determines what’s in our destiny, or what’s meant to miss us.

When Aadam AS was created, the event of his sin and being sent to earth was already determined. It is reported that Musaa (AS) had one day struck up an argument with Aadam (AS).

“Adam and Musa held a disputation. Musa AS said: ‘You are Adam whom Allah created with His Hand, into whom He breathed by His Spirit, to whom He made the Angels prostrate, and whom He taught the names of everything, so why have you expelled us and yourself from Al-Jannah(the Paradise)?’

Adam AS replied, ‘And you are Musa whom Allah favored with His Message and His Words, have you not found that it had been written on me before I was created?’ He (Musa) said: ‘Yes, indeed”‘ Then he (Rasool Allah SAW) said: “So Adam got the better of Musa in the argument.” (2)

Adam did not prove his argument against Musa by means of Al-Qadar (the Measure), thinking that the sinner can use Al-Qadar (the Measure) as an argument. Neither a Muslim nor any sane man would say that. If it were an excuse, it would be an excuse for Iblees as well as for Nooh’s people, Hood’s people, and every Kaafir.

Neither did Musa blame Adam for the sin itself, for Adam did repent to his Lord and was then (forgiven and) gained favor and was guided by Him (SWT). But he blamed him for the calamity which afflicted them because of the sin; that is why he said to Adam, “Why did you have us and yourself expelled out of Al-Jannah (the Paradise)?” Adam thus replied, “This had been written on me before I was created.

And of course, everything that happened from Aadam AS was written before it happened. But that’s not the lesson here. Qadr and it’s divine splendor is not the lesson. The beauty of this is that although Aadam AS knew and understood that it was Taqdeer and it would happen, as Allah had commanded it to, Aadam AS did not let it stop him from asking for repentance.

He did not say, but it was meant to happen.. I was meant to sin and eat from the forbidden tree… so why must I make Tawbah? Aadam AS understood. He comprehended that Qadr was in its place,, but his actions could change his situation. And so, he did the ultimate and made Tawbah, and he repented… and Allah forgave him. Not only did he earn forgiveness, but Allah, through his infinite mercy, reunited him with his beloved, Hawaa AS.

Qadr. It was such a deeply profound concept. A measure that is somehow beyond our comprehension. How Allah sometimes put us into a situation that we are tested, to bring us to a situation that could give us so much of joy… the depth of it planning, although unexplained, is extraordinary.

It was all good for me. In some regard, there was Khair. I didn’t regret any of it. I didn’t regret meeting Rubeena, or the boys, or even crossing paths with her brother. It wasn’t something I had planned, but the plan had something from which I could learn.

With Qadr, always came a lesson, and something you could take home.

“I didn’t want to hurt you,” I finally said, meeting Nusaybah’s eye as she spoke.

Nusaybah was not someone who could possible be angry quiet, simultaneously. Her fury often came with babbling outbursts and fierce expressions. It actually made me feel a little better than a silent treatment.

She let out a huge breath, and it felt as if the whole world had been offloaded from her tiny shoulders.

“But didn’t you think not telling me would be more hurtful?” She snapped, obviously exhausted from all her offloading.

I swallowed, wondering what to tell my friend.

“I wouldn’t ever, in a million years, think of a guy like that,” I said, speaking softly.

“Why not?” Nusaybah asked, her expression suddenly changed to something of curiosity.  “You have to be crazy… or super pious… not to even have some inclination, Khawlah. Honestly, girl, it’s like you’re from another planet.”

I smiled, despite how I was feeling.

“Is it your brother?” She suddenly asked, her eyes almost popping out of her head, and it seemed like something had just been switched on in her brain. She smacked her palm to her forehead, shaking her head.

“Gosh, yes!” She murmured. “Ruby told me what he said to her brother. I completely forgot!”

Goodness. How long were those two talking for? How did Adam meet Ahmed? Now I was confused. So confused. Did I miss something?!

I frowned as Nusaybah let the cat out of the bag, and then covered her mouth, as she realized that I didn’t know.

“Tell me,” I urged her, just because I was dying to know. If it was about me, I had a right to.

“He told him to stay away from you,” Nusaybah said simply, folding her hands across her chest as she furrowed her brows.

I nodded, not surprised. From Ahmed, I could expect that. I was glad that it wasn’t anything bad. I might even thank him for that when I saw him. Maybe.

Nusaybah was still looking at me with that intense look, and weird frown on her face. I looked back at her, wondering what on earth her problem was now. I felt like running away, as I gazed at the pouring rain now, almost inviting me to come and soak up its splendour. Nusaybah would probably think I was crazy.

“It wasn’t just that,” she said, and now she looked like she was just plain resentful. Angry and resentful.

”Gosh, Nusaybah,” I said, irritated, and annoyed that she was still upset. “What?!”

”I cant believe you didn’t tell me,” she said through gritted teeth. I was even more confused, as she gave me the deadliest look I had ever seen on my friend’s face.

She exhaled, letting her bulging eyes bore into mine as her anger partially disseminated.

“He said,” she spat, her eyes still narrowed and her tone as icy as a snowstorm. “That you’re already proposed.”

Dearest Readers,

In preparation for Ramadhaan, last week we were working on Reviving the Sunnah of Miswaak. This week, Insha Allah, let’s try and bring in a little about the Sunnah of eating, as touched on in the previous post. I will try to keep it short, simple and effective🌸

The Prophet (saw) said: “Whosoever says Alhamudlillah …. (Another complete Du’a, different from the one above) after eating, Allah will forgive all his past sins”Ibn Majah 3285, Tirmizi 3458, Al Albaani silsalah 3348

How easy to practise!





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