Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


The biggest mistake as Muslim parents living in a western world, is that we believe our role as parents is like any other parent. What other kids do, ours must follow suit. Furthermore, how other kids are raised, becomes the norm for us as well.

The painful truth is that western parenting methods have a really big glitch. The fact that kids can be vocal to an unruly and disrespectful extent, can often create disagreeable adults. Disciplining your kids in a western society with a simple smack, is a definite no-no. In short, any attempt to show whose boss and to mould your kids into straight and refined individuals who think before they talk, and ponder before they act, is taboo.

The thought came to me as I drove to my mothers house one weekday morning during the holidays, in an attempt to occupy the kids and also get the long awaited meeting with my mother over with. Zia had been recently re-exposed to one of the catchiest tunes of the century and was now ‘baby-sharking’ at peak volume, despite me going crazy on him from the drivers seat.

Now, I had been warned by Adam to filter their YouTube videos. I had been trying to get them to watch good stuff, instead of the usual crap, because killing their addiction completely was proving difficult. But yesterday, upon Shabeer’s request to meet with him at a restaurant so he could spend some time with the kids, a unhappy little boy at the next table sat and watched the “doo-doo-do-do” video about seventy-five times in one sitting, despite protests from other annoyed customers, just so that his parents could eat in peace.

I was appalled. And of course, if I didn’t know better now, I couldn’t help but think to myself- that could have been me! Actually, if nothing had changed in my life, it would have been me!

And of course, even as an exceptionally good-looking version of Shabeer stole glances at me, trying to figure out exactly I was thinking as he pretended to listen to the kids, I couldn’t have been more grateful for seeing the light. Now, while my kids talked, colored and even uncontrollably giggled, I was so much more at peace because I knew that they were in a much better place than ever. Technology-free was bliss. Without the constant need to take selfies wherever I went, to show the world that I was having a good time, when I really wasn’t, I honestly felt so much more… free.

The thing is, if anyone had to ever ask me why my children were suddenly so well-behaved, I knew I’d be able to say it without a hitch. It was only when I had found the peace within the shade of Allah, that I noticed the difference in them. When I started covering myself, stopped sinning and started praying, it was like a huge cloud had been shifted out of our vicinity, and all that descended on us was serenity. Peace, that I had never, in my entire life before, ever witnessed. The fact is that our lies, deceit, gossip and general disobedience to our Lord’s commands not only affect us, but cause a huge glitch in our network.

To be able to keep a firm hold over your child, despite the situation, was a gift indeed. As was the practice of the old, prince and princesses, dukes and duchesses, were taught differently. Likewise, Muslim children are special, and it has nothing to do with having a sense of false superiority. Our responsibility as the Ummah who was given the last and final messenger is a huge one indeed. Where other nations were sent multiple prophets, and multiple books, for us was reserved the one guide and one manual, which undoubtedly has such conviction and amazing insight to last us till the end of time. And we can never understand the gift on being brought up with Imaan (faith)… and the responsibility as a parent in fulfilling this trust.

Parenting is no walk in the park, but when we truly understand that we are to be shepherds over our flock, we will understand the true beauty of the responsibility that Allah has entrusted us with.

Abdullah ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian of his family and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and she is responsible for them. The servant of a man is a guardian of the property of his master and he is responsible for it. No doubt, every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6719, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1829

And as much as I sometimes looked back on my life and wondered if I really had done the right thing by bringing these kids into a marriage that I knew was not the strongest. I had to understand that what had happened was all in its place, and what mattered now was how I got through this. Getting married young was my idea. I wanted what I wanted. I wanted who I wanted. And I was the type that would do anything to get it…

Well, look where it got you now, Ruby, I told myself cynically. All that go-getting didn’t serve me very well in the end.

I tried to put the thoughts at bay as I breathed out and scooped a few more spoons of pasta into the three bowls I had taken out to feed the kids. Where Danyaal had always been easy about what he would eat, the other three were difficult to please. Most of the time it was either pasta or chicken pops. I honestly wondered if they didn’t get sick of the same diet, but it definitely made things a bit easier. I wasn’t the most ambitious cook, but nutrient wise, I wasn’t sure how good it was.

”Yummy yum,” Dayyaan said as he reached for the bowl in haste. I couldn’t resist to smack his hand away, with an irate glare.

Ask first!” I snapped at him, annoyed at Dayyaan’s general habit of helping himself to anything he had an inclination to. Where Danyaal would always ask, Dayyaan often took matters into his own hands. His independence and general attitude was starting to get on my nerves.

His face immediately fell, and of course, I couldn’t help but feel guilty. Was I being too hard? Too stern? Too mean?

Where was the balance between disciplining my kids and doing permanent damage? I was still struggling to get it right.

“Go and take a seat, and I will bring it for you,” I said now, my voice a little less harsh.

I seated them and placed their bowls in front of them, getting ready for the big talk with my mother that I had planned. I hadn’t told my mum about Shabeer and I also knew that Adam was immensely relying on me to smooth talk my mother into letting him make his own choice for marriage.

”Where’s Uncle Aadam?”

Danyaal was looking at me questioningly as he scooped up the last few grains of my mother’s Breyani. If I wasn’t mistaken, Danyaal had seemed a bit quieter than usual these days. He also looked a bit worried.

“I think he’ll come later,” I said, not really certain if what I was saying was true.

“Adam, not Aaaadam,” Dayyaan said, munching on his pasta as he frowned.

Despite Aadam having his own place, he still stayed with my parents most of the time. Recently, though, I wasn’t too sure.

“Khawlah says the Arabic name is Aadam,” Danyaal said, matter of fact.

Dayyaan was easily convinced.

“Isn’t Uncle Aadam getting married?”

Dayyaans question was directed at no-one in particular, but I immediately felt panicked  when he said that. I wasn’t sure when or where Dayyaan had heard it, but the information that kids had picked up involuntarily was scary. I could only assume  that my mother must have said something with the kids around. We really had to be so careful about what little ears may hear.

“No he’s not!” Danyaal said, clearly irritated. “Nona says he doesn’t like that girl. He’s too fussy.”

I really wished that I had zips that I could use to shut my kids mouths. Zaydaan, who had just started talking, never missed on opportunity to out-talk the others. It seemed like the only two words he had caught there were the most incriminating.

”Nona fussy,” he said, clear as day, just as my mother waltzed into the kitchen. I took one look at her and I could already see that she wasn’t too happy with me. I mean, what was new? I honestly wished that I had an invisibility cloak that I could throw on, at that moment.

Now, if you haven’t met my mother, let me just do a quick intro. To put it lightly, my mother was, and always had been, the most upright and sophisticated woman in the extended family. Maybe even in the entire town. My mother seldom wore flats, always had her hair done professionally and her face was always perfectly made-up… to the tee. Personality wise, in short, she was a force to be reckoned with. As you can imagine, I struggled throughout my childhood to meet her expectations, yet still fell short. To my mother, status was important. Excessive wealth was a necessity. And , of course, presentation was everything. How you looked, essentially,  could make you… or break you.

“Why are you turning my grandchildren against me?”

My mother’s glare was directed at me as she spoke.

“Ma, I -“

She cut me off with a simple wave of her hand and called for her helper to take the kids outside. I was glad that they wouldn’t have to hear the rest of the argument. My mother and I always had a strained relationship but I never minced my words when it came to the truth, even if she didn’t like it.

“Mum, they’re kids,” I explained, obviously annoyed. “I can’t control what they say-“

”Oh Rubeena, don’t give me that,” she said dismissively. “As it is my own son doesn’t respect me and my opinions, now your kids are heading the same way. Do you want to turn the whole world against me before I die?”

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Now she was blaming me for Adam and his lack of interest in her friend’s daughter.I had no idea how I got sucked into all of this… as if I didn’t have enough of my own troubles to worry about. I was sure if I told her about Shabeer leaving, she would probably blame me.

”Mum, you do know that Adam is not a baby anymore?” I started, knowing I needed to address the bigger obstacle here.

“Yes, but he’s never been this way till he met that girl!” She retorted, stating exactly what the problem in her eyes was. “And he would always listen! I do know better than you’ll and I know what’s best. If you had listened to me before you chose that husband of yours then you would have been in better place right now! What did I say? I told you to watch out. I told you that Waseem would come around. But no, you wouldn’t listen. As usual, you just went and did what you wanted!”

Of course she would bring up the tragic past and throw it back in my face. Waseem was the son of my father’s friend, and a childhood acquaintance. Yes, we would play weird pranks, watch DSTV together and have a ball while our parents socialized, but he was never a serious type of guy. He messed around a lot as a teenager and I knew he wouldn’t have committed to anyone at that stage. Of course, when I saw him, post-adolescence, a few years back, he changed his life in such a way that I actually couldn’t believe he was the same guy. I was sure that my mother would be shocked too.

“This is not about me and the choices I made,” I said through gritted teeth, knowing now that my mother definitely knew more than she was letting on. “Adam can make his own decisions and he doesn’t let anyone tell him what to do. Why would what I say even affect him? He’s a grown man who can think for himself.”

She scoffed.

“He’s my son and I know what’s best for him,” she said without a hitch. “He’s handsome. Wealthy. He’s got international investments… and of course, he’s reached a platform that no-on his age has ever reached, in his industry. He deserves the best and I would know that, better than anyone.”

Ugh,” I said, infuriated by her boastful attitude. A few months ago, her saying all this wouldn’t have worried me… but now, all I could think was; didn’t she know that there’s more to life than that?

She was living a painful deception.

I also knew that she was having a go at me because I never got so far with a career.

“He’s not perfect, you know! He has faults too!”

I wasn’t sure where I was going with this, but I know that she was getting to me. I had to recheck myself, review my intentions, and I took a deep breath as my mother raised her eyebrow at me. I had to get back to the point of the discussion.

“I’m just saying,” I said, a little softer now. “I know you love him. And he loves you. He does respect you, and he’s begging for you to just listen… He’s wondering why you can’t see things from his perspective…”

She shot an unhappy glance at me as I said that, obviously feeling that I was overstepping the boundary. That was the problem though. There had always been boundaries. Respect, I understood. Of course it had its place. Obedience, I understood. That went without saying. But as a child, I had to always watch my own feelings so carefully because I could never show if I was hurt, upset or even feeling broken inside. For my mother, emotion was a sign of weakness. No matter what happened in life, to be an unwavering pillar, despite the ups and downs that came with life, was the only way.

I wasn’t sure if I saw right but there was a flicker off something unfamiliar in my mother’s eyes before she finally spoke.

“Mum, he wants to get married,” I said finally. “He’s changed so much in the past few months, and I know you’ve notice it too. Don’t be so hard on him. That ease… that enlightenment… that complete peace that he’s found now, Mum, I know that it’s not normal. I know because I’ve found it too.”

She glanced up momentarily. If only she truly understood. That moment of pure freedom… that loneliness that comes with complete and utter submission… its more precious than life itself .

”I’ll talk to him,” she said, her expression now back to the usual stagnant and in-control one. My mother was a difficult person, but I knew that she would do anything for her son. Well, a least I hoped…

I left my mothers house feeling a little more hopeful that day, and not like a complete failure of a sister.

Knowing Khawlah was coming later that day got the boys all excited, and since she told me she wanted me to have a small break while she was there, I took advantage. I made a point of not telling Adam because I wanted to give it some time before he met her officially. I didn’t want to put fuel in the fire regarding my mother either. I just didn’t think that the excitement of my boys would get to my brothers ears, and of course, as I drove in after my 90-minute Thai massage , feeling all calm and relaxed, despite the pouring rain, I didn’t anticipate what met me as I parked my car and stepped out.

That’s of course, when I saw Adam coming down the stairs, and of course, my feelings of slight anxiety immediately dissipated because on his face was the biggest and most genuine smile ever. He looked like he was in a rush but he came forward and greeted me as per usual, looking me in the eye with a look of pure delight, as he ran his hands through his hair. He placed the prayer hat he had in his hands back on his head and it really suited him.

Khawlah’s effect was obviously going further than just changing his frame of mind. If he wanted to marry a girl like her, he clearly understood that he had to step up.

I looked back at him questioningly, obviously wanting to know how Khawlah had taken the unexpected proposal.

“Rubes, I asked…”

I held my breath as he looked at me, and then broke out into an even wider smile. Of course I was already excited, as I hugged my brother in congratulations.

”Well, I think she said yes,” he said, rather comically. I smiled. “She was almost in tears. That’s a good sign, yeah? Or am I counting my chickens a little too early…”

He looked doubtful for a moment and I grinned. I already knew what her answer would be.

“Her brother’s coming back. We have a few things to sort out before the Nikah. Mum… Her father… and yeah, of course, I needed to sort some other stuff out…”

I was barely even listening to him as I started planning the event in my mind. Subtle decor, of course. Nothing over the top. Maybe white roses with crystals… or even orchards, with a neutral runner…

“Rubes, are you even listening?!”

I jumped as I looked back at him, slightly perturbed at his annoyance.

We would have to make a guest list of course. I’m sure they both would want something small and intimate. It was so much better that way. I was already picturing Khawlah in a pretty dress, as my brother would see her for the first time, as husband and wife. I was thinking candles. Pretty pastel colored candles with rose petals. The ambience… the atmosphere… I simply loved weddings and the romantic, cosy feel that it brought.

”You got that look on your face,” he said, his eyes dancing as he shook his head at me. “Just letting you know that we’re doing this the most conservative and Islamic way.”

”What?!” I said, peeved that he disrupted my virtual decor. I would start penning it all done later.

He wanted simple? Of course it would be.

“I asked about Shabeer,” he continued, his smile now just a shadow. “I can’t seem to find him. His phone is off and he’s not at his apartment. I don’t want to do any hacking again but if push come to shove…”

The panic was rising in my gut as he spoke about Shabeer, because I knew that sooner or later, I would have to tell him. I wasn’t used to hiding things from Adam.

“I need to talk to him because he’s the only one who can sort Hannah,” he said seriously. “The sooner, the better. Khawlah’s obviously in a state over everything that’s happened, and you know I won’t let it rest…”

I cleared my throat as my brother reached for his phone, while I stood there, a little unsure of whether I should spill out the truth or not. My heart was hammering in my chest.

“You won’t get him there,” I murmured to Adam, knowing that sooner or later he would find out.

I was visibly nervous and I couldn’t hide it. Adams eyes narrowed as he watched me, and finally rubbed his temples in frustration as I looked back at him in silence, not having the guts to actually say it.

“Wedding drama, right?!” I said meekly, trying to soften the blow.

“Oh crap, Rubes,” he said, visibly disturbed about the havoc this would most definitely cause… I knew that I had a lot to explain.

”You took him back, didn’t you?”

I knew that this was definitely going to cause a glitch in Adam’s perfectly-synced system…

But a little wedding theatrics never killed anyone, right?!

Note: sorry about the extra long post. There’s so much stil to be revealed and I know everyone is waiting for the Nikah- but we are getting there!  

Much love,

A 🌸


The beautiful character of Nabi (SAW).

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

“He who believes in Allah and the Hereafter, if he witnesses any matter he should talk in good terms about it or keep quiet.” [Muslim]

We often find ourselves in situations where we sit and talk about things that do not concern us. We waste precious minutes, even hours, just by talking about matters that will not increase us in knowledge, character or anything for that matter.

When speaking ill of a person or situation, the conversation becomes elongated, sadly due to the desire to gossip. The beauty of this particular Sunnah is that it will help you save time and reduce the amount of energy used to contemplate over irrelevant matters being discussed.

Let’s revive this Sunnah InshaAllah, because it is through our Akhlaaq that people can see the light of Islam and beauty of Deen.

How easy to practise!






Twitter @ajourneyjournal

IG: @thejourneyingmuslimah

16 thoughts on “Glitch

  1. This post reminds me of me and my mum I’m going through a similar situation too request duas..
    One thing I’ve learned along the way to build a connection with Allah is the most important thing in the world sadly we only realise after we get a massive blow.. but allhamdullah better Kate then never..
    Jazakallah 4 this lovely post cant wait 4 the next one

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This post reminds me of me and my mum I’m going through a similar situation too request duas..
    One thing I’ve learned along the way to build a connection with Allah is the most important thing in the world sadly we only realise after we get a massive blow.. but allhamdullah better late then never..
    Jazakallah 4 this lovely post cant wait 4 the next one

    Liked by 2 people

    • May Allah ease the rifts between all who don’t always see eye to eye. It’s all part of family and everyone has their ups and downs but I also think that what you say is so true. When you find Allah then your shade is only with him, no matter what anyone else may say. 💖


  3. I’ve just caught up with the blog and all I can say is AMAZING. The lessons that are inculcated into the story line is so well written that u just want to start practising on everything you are learning.

    Kwalahs character has developed and grown so much that it’s hard to believe that she is a mere 16 year old. All the characters have something to teach us and I’m sure the readers can identify with atleast one of them.

    Was so happy to see zayna, waseem and ziyaad make an appearance…hope to see more of them as the story goes on IA

    Well done authoress💐

    Liked by 1 person

    • Shukran sister, I’m so glad to see it comment and I really hope it’s beneficial for all who read. 🌸
      I think we too grow, as we see our characters grow, and it’s so good to have that reflection and truly gain the lessons that they learn throughout. May Allah guide us always to try our hardest for his pleasure 🌹


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