What Tomorrow will Bring

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


My Dearest Zuleikha,

It’s been ten years….

I’m sure you can’t believe it. By now I have probably become a distant memory or a passing thought… a fleeting moment of childhood that you can’t quite recall.

I already miss you all… as I sit in bed today and pen this letter with so much to say, but so little time. 

Today is not a good day. I can’t get out of bed. The body pains are a little more severe. My heart feels a little more burdened. I’m a little scared… scared that my time here is nearly up. I know I shouldn’t be afraid, but I’m more scared for you all …

Ten years? Had it already been ten years since Mama passed away? The tears flowed freely, as I reached out to brush them away. What hurt the most was picturing Mama in pain on those last few days, imagining her carefully penning this letter, with so much of thought…. and I had no idea.

At least now… now, there is no more pain.

Zuleikha, I wish I had the words to say what I needed to. You may be wondering why you are only getting this letter now. I was afraid that at your tender age, as you are at present… you may not know how to handle this. Now that you are grown up, hopefully married, and have children of your own, I think you will understand better.

I glanced at Muhammed fondly, as he slept. Of course he would never know my mother, but I know that he would have loved her to bits.

I turned my attention back to the page.

No matter what happens, or has happened, please remember that I love you all very much. Your father has been my rock… an unwavering support to me in this time of illness.. but when I glimpse his soul, I, from all people, can tell they he carries a great burden. He feels like his world is crumbling. He does not know how to deal with this. He is so scared about letting me go.

Zuleikha, my princess, I have full faith in your strength and choices. I can see your protective nature.. and I can see your inherent maternal instinct when it comes to your siblings. You are most like your father. You have an amazing ability to see goodness in people, but I’m also afraid that this may cause you to make hasty decisions.

Please be careful. Please don’t let your heart rule your mind. I know we all make difficult choices sometimes, and even though you are probably already grown up, I’m certain that you have found peace within yourself along the way. I am certain that you have found Allah. 

As for your siblings, for Ahmed… he reminds me so much of my own father. He is fierce and pensive at the same time. Don’t let his nature bother you, if he challenges you. Just remind him that I love him so much though, won’t you?

For Khawlah… My dear Khawlah.. who I always called the fire of our lives.. I’m certain that as she grows up, she will find something in life that will calm her force. Maybe she will go on to be the flame of the family that we always knew her to be. Maybe she will meet someone along the way that simmers her down.

Tell her that her Mama says she’s never too tough for her own good. She’s going to need the strength. Life out there is not as sunny as she knows it to be.

As for Yunus… right now he is lying next to me, writing his own letter (which is just a series of scribbles), and the three of you, with Khalid from down the road, can be heard while you’ll argue about who’s going to be the next to be the monkey in the middle. I wish I could be there right with you’ll. I wish I had the strength in me to drag myself out of this bed, and take Yunus with me.

He already seems so lost. Even though he is the youngest, it’s like he understands the most about what’s happening to me. Please tell him Allah needs to be his best friend, not me. Let him know that he’ll always be my baby, alryt?

Feeling a bit tired now. I might take a nap. I wanted to leave something behind for you. Something that can remind you of me… For all of you. We never know what tomorrow will bring, but I always heard that if you love someone, you need to let them know while they can still hear it. While you can still say it. Over the years, a lot may have change, but please know that I love you more than words can say. More than you’ll ever know.  

Remember that growing up means making mistakes. We break. We fall. We fail. But then, we rise and we heal… we overcome. And through it all, we grow…

Please remember to read for me every day. Even if it’s just one Surah Ikhlaas… one ayat… one word… One silent Du’aa.

Don’t forget that you’ll always be my Princess.

Love you to the moon and back,

Your Mama

I breathed in and folded the letter carefully, letting it hit home as I neatly fitted it’s contents back into the envelope it had come in, and finally lifting my gaze to look at my sister.

Her eyes were glazed over and her expression was completely unreadable. Almost stunned.

“When did Dada give it to you?” she asked softly, after a few moments.

“Yesterday,” I said, remembering the shock waves that pulsated through my body as I first read the letter. Mama’s writing… her flowy words… It was almost like I could go back there in my mind and enter that world once again. Almost.

“Strange that she gave it to Dada, ” she murmured.

I had thought the same thing. Why hadn’t she given it to Abba?

Maybe she knew that Abba might marry again. I was sure that if Aunty Nas had come across the letter, she would have probably burnt it.

“Do you think there’s more?” Khawlah asked, her eyes lighting up.

Oh, that would be wonderful.

Dada refused to tell me though. It was amazing how Allah had worked it, and brought him back into our lives too.

I shrugged, trying to remain neutral. I supposed that time would tell. The possibility was really quite exciting.

“Mama really knew us so well,” Khawlah whispered suddenly, and I could see that she was trying really hard not to cry. She inhaled deeply as she turned to look at Muhammed napping on her bed.

My son had grown so much, an I could barely believe that he was over a year. Where had the time gone? Where had these ten years flown to?

”That’s a mother,” I said, giving her a small smile. “A mother … She is so in tune to her kids… even when we barely knew it.”

A mother will sacrifice anything for her kids. It was no wonder that Paradise lay at her feet.

”What was she like…?” Khawlah ventured easily, looking emotionally stronger as she raised her gaze again. “Like before she got… sick?”

I blinked, processing Khawlah’s words as I remembered how tiny she was when Mama had passed. Was she really only six?

I had some really good memories of my mother that I clung onto… but for Khawlah… she probably didn’t remember a thing. To have nothing much to link you to the women that carried you before you came into this world… I couldn’t imagine.

“She was actually very much like you now,” I said, the realization of it actually startling me, as I looked at my beautiful sister.

Khawlah’s dainty nose and her darkly rimmed eyes were exactly like my mothers. Her high cheekbones were more defined now as she grew, and every day I saw her, it was like she was turning into my mother… in almost every way. A spine of steel, yet soft at the edges. Since Khawlah’s personality had simmered down, her sensibility, compassion and wit were exactly like Mama’s. It was no wonder that Khawlah was my father’s favourite, though they would never admit it.

”She was so adventurous,” I said, grinning. “She loved the outdoors. She loved to swing. It was her favourite thing. As of course, she was obsessed with gardening… just like you.”

Khawlah smiled, and looked away.

“She also gave the best hugs,” I said, remembering that clearly. “Like Foi Nani. And her hair always smelt like… so good… like peach and vanilla… It was gorgeous.. .

Khawlah eyes lit up.

“That, I remember,” she said with a teary grin. “And her hands were always so soft. Even though she was so thin… I just wish I’d known her more… a little longer…”

It was a simple statement but it shot straight to the heart. Mama was so young when she passed away. Maybe only ten years older than me. It was Allah’s will. That alone was my comfort. We just never know when our time will be up… when it’s too late to tell someone you love them..

Reading Mama’s letter now though, reminded me of what I needed to tell my sister. Coming here to see her for a while, since she had been so busy, was my way of a bonding session… and also getting to the bottom of Jameel’s narration from the previous day.

Jameel had actually found the whole incident really quite amusing, but I wasn’t sure if it was as funny as he thought. It was earlier that morning that he had come in after his run, looking strangely excited about something.

“You’ve got a smirk on your face,” I challenged him, as I got out the pan to make his breakfast. Something was up.

He was grinning as she shook his head at me and winked.

“Leikha, is your entire family like Jihaad-trained or something?”

Now it was my turn to raise my eyebrows. Well, he liked to pick on Ahmed… and of course, that needed no explanation. Ahmed made it no secret that he would probably kill Jameel if he didn’t sort his stuff out. At least something had scared Jameel enough to get his act together.

“Maybe,” I said mysteriously, not knowing where he was going with this.

“I met a guy that I knew in the past…” he said thoughtfully. “And I didn’t actually realise who he was until now.”

I frowned.

“Who?” I said as I cracked the egg on the side of the bowl, watching it’s contents pour out. The simmering of moisture on the hot oil gave me a weird sense of satisfaction.

“Khawlah’s brother-in-law,” he said, with a weird edge to his voice. “We go way back.”

I didn’t want to ask him more. Sometimes delving into Jameel’s past brought ugly skelteons from the closet. These days, I was workng on moving past those into the very optimistic future.

“And?” I asked, now getting curious as I tossed the egg around. That could only be Rubeena’s husband, right?
“He said he met your sister for the first time the other day,” he said blandly, before he raised his eyebrows. “Apparently she tried to kill him”

Of course, I couldn’t help but gasp as he said it.

Why would he say that? More importantly, was it true?

Jameel chuckled to himself as he shrugged it off, quite amused by the whole incident.

“Some guys find that stuff intriguing,” his tone a bit more serious now. “Sick. You need to tell her to watch out.”

Uh-Oh. This guy did sound like a piece of work.

I looked at my husband fondly. I couldn’t believe that he had changed so much and I never thought it was possible.

The three years of battling drug addictions and crazy fights seemed like a distant memory now. He kept a distance from his female cousins now, because he knew it was the better thing to do… and of course, caused less problems.

Somehow, after meeting lovely Zaynah, and taking her advice, everything was falling into place. She was the person that Allah had sent to be my means. She had been there in that critical time… 

Sometimes when we’re going through the storm, we forget that there’s an end to it. That after every difficulty there is an ease. That tomorrow will always bring a brighter day…

Of course, Mama’s words had rung so true. We fall..  we fail… we break. But, after it all, we rise. We overcome… And that’s exactly how we grow.

And it wasn’t anything less than a miracle. It was purely the intention that by changing my life, hopefully, by the blessing of that, Allah will change Jameel’s heart too.

And it was simply mind blowing how much Jameel had grown right in front of me. From an irresponsible guy to a father figure, who took life so much more seriously now.

After Khawlah had married Aadam, who he was surprisingly fond of, Jameel seeing his good habits had also had an amazing influence on him.

And no, he hadn’t become a saint overnight… but the fact was that I could see him making an effort. He didn’t make it to mosque every Salaah, but because he saw me praying, his focus had also changed. He really was different person and I was eternally grateful for that. How Allah can take someone whose on a completely different path and turn their heart was completely beyond my understanding.

Abdullah b. Amr b. al-‘As reported that he heard Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Verily, the hearts of all the sons of Adam are between the two fingers out of the fingers of the Compassionate Lord as one heart. He turns that to any (direction) He likes. Then Allahs Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: 0 Allah, the Turner of the hearts, turn our hearts to Thine obedience. (Sahih Muslim)

“Khawlah, is everything okay with your in laws?” I asked carefully, not wanting to pry either.

Everyone has issues at the beginning. I was just so glad that mine had simmered down after Muhammed had become a part of our lives. I think the fact that I let my mother-in-law see to Muhammed with no restrictions had made me a much more admirable person for her. Her whole attitude had changed when she saw me open up to her.  I mean, it was a win-win situation. It gave me relief and she was too occupied now to worry about making anyone else’s life a misery.

“Why?” Khawlah said, and I could immediately sense her defense up. “Did someone tell you something?”

I shrugged.

“Jameel knows Rubeena’s husband,” I said, shrugging. “Somehow. He said you need to be careful. Some people are scarily crazy.”

”I know,” Khawlah said with a sigh. “I didn’t mean to threaten him. I don’t know why I got so angry. He just reminded so me so much of Hannah. And I know it’s Allah’s plan, but now that Ruby’s had a miscarriage, everything’s gone upside down again…”

Inna Lillahi..” I said automatically, feeling terrible for Rubeena. I didn’t know she was pregnant but I could imagine how emotionally and physically taxing a miscarriage was.

“I actually just can’t wait for Aadam to come back,” she said, a little dreamily. “I didn’t expect to miss him so much, you know? My heart feels like it’s been invaded. It’s like there’s a piece missing.”

I smiled. Khawlah in love. Hopelessly.

Who would have ever thought that my feisty sister could surrender her heart to the most unassuming character in such a short time?

He was really so different to what I had imagined for her. Jameel had said that he was hilarious. Out of the ordinary. I was quite amazed, but so glad that my sister had found a unimaginable source of magic in him. A contentment that added so much of flavour to her life.

And as I saw her, I actually couldn’t believe that our Khawlah had changed so much. Since her Nikah, I was startled by the revolutionary transformation in my sister. She seemed so much lighter. More free. She was positively glowing from the inside, and honestly, I’d never seen her smile and laugh so much in her life.

That was the effect of a love so deep, that I could not even comprehend. Because once in a while, you do come across a perfect love. A love that not only lifted you and raised you, but also gave you the kind of deep contentment that made you constantly turn to Allah in sublime gratitude.

It gave me an elation that I never knew I could feel from seeing someone else’s joy.

”It’s just one more sleep,” I said to her with a smile, knowing that Aadam was due back tomorrow.

“I’m half dreading tomorrow,” she revealed, with a huge sigh. “My mother-in-law has this huge function planned, where she invited half the world… and I really don’t want to be there. I don’t think Aadam will be too thrilled about it either. Rubeena says it’s her way at getting back at us for not having the huge wedding function she wanted… she’s really something else.”

”I had actually heard my mother-in-law say something about it but she didn’t elaborate,” I said, recalling it vaguely.

I wondered if she was invited. I knew that they were some distant connection. It wasn’t a huge wonder.

“If she’s invited you have to come with,” she urged, sounding a bit relieved. “I need some moral support. Please just come.”

“I’ll try,” I said, sensing her desperation.

I wished that I could tell her to make Sabr… but I knew that it was easier said than done.

“Just focus on Aadam tomorrow,” I smiled, winking at her. “Give him a good welcome home.”

She rolled her eyes and blushed slightly.

“I can assure you that I will probably not even get one minute with him alone,”  she muttered bluntly.

I sighed. That was probably true.

“Ask Allah to change her heart… and tell Aadam to make Du’aa for her too. That’s the only thing that’s going to bring you’ll through…”

And of course, as I left my sister later that day, I could even feel my own spirits lifting.

Khawlah would be fine.

She was strong, right? She would get through whatever tomorrow had in store for her. This tomorrow, and all the ones that followed. She had that perfect faith and phenomenal strength that was not only dependant on the physical. Her’s was a strength that went to the very depths of her soul.

We were so different yet I loved her with every ounce of me. My sister was blossoming into an extraordinary butterfly and seeing that made me heart soar. Of course she would conquer whatever battles came her way… but for tomorrow, well…

I think we just didn’t know it yet.. but what tomorrow had to bring was going to be battle of it’s own..

A man came to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Your mother.” The man said. “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man further said, “Who is next?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Your mother.” The man asked for the fourth time, “Who is next?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Your father. “

Being good to our parents is also an Ibadat and part of Akhlaaq. As they get older, it definitely does get harder. Allah make it easy for us to fulfill their right as they had looked after us when we were young .

May Allah grant all our parents the highest stages, and the best of both worlds. Let this also serve as a reminder for us to read for them if they have passed on.

3x Surha Ikhlaas for all Marhoom, Insha Allah.

Much Love,

A  🌸

How easy to practice!

Let’s revive this Sunnah Insha Allah.

IG: @thejourneyingmuslimah

#revivetheSunnahof Sleepingearly#revivetheSunnahofAkhlaaq




Twitter @ajourneyjournal



When Guilt Trips

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem



The big fat D-word.  It’s probably the ugliest seven-letter word that I’ve come across. Well, besides the ones I sometimes used in my mind, but, well… let’s not go there.

And the effects of divorce are loathsome. Divorce breaks up families. It stirs up ill-feelings. It creates dysfunctional kids. A divorce is never easy.

And although the very notion of it was still detestable to me, I could not help but think that this was exactly where it was leading. The surprising fact now was that it wasn’t for the reasons that I thought it would be. Shabeer taking on another wife was never the problem. Although it was never my idea of a perfect marriage, I had accepted it and hoped for the best.

And I know that polygamy, or polygyny, more specifically, for most women is a detestable thing. Infidelity, though brushed under the rug, has become ironically, more acceptable. When at one stage having multiple wives was a common tradition and a norm, as society became more ‘westernised’, religious traditions that had been observed by the Prophets of the past and even regular people right up till the twentieth century have now became ‘unacceptable’.

And the fact that it was part of my beautiful religion too, like many others, didn’t mean that it was easy. Sharing your husband. I mean, I’d been there. But if you have the kind of husband who is willing to make it work, the way it should be done… I think that half your battle is won. The other half is trying to weather those feelings of jealousy and inadequacy that sometimes surface.

And then of course, there is a chance that your husband will have no idea what he is getting himself into. He doesn’t understand the responsibility. He lives only for that moment of artificial attraction… lured by the idea of an enhanced marital life that will somehow fix everything.

It was a rough life when your husband doesn’t know how to be fair. When he doesn’t fulfil your rights the way he is supposed to. Always feeling compromised in a marriage…

And I supposed that it boiled down to being content. For both of us. I often wondered how things would have turned out, if instead of pushing to lose those extra kilos and be in with the fitness crowd, I had concentrated on my failing marriage. I mean, I had seen the signs. Because I wasn’t content… seeing other women accomplished and living the ‘perfect life’ on social media, I was chasing an unachievable dream. I was chasing an illusion… Until I saw the light for a fleeting  moment before I skunk back into my rut of being ridiculous all over again.

What baffled me most was how I could sit on social media, scrolling through a strangers ridiculous feed with links that lead to another link and another link… and then you just have to keep clicking on more and more and accumulating more junk information and insecurities that you never cared about getting in the first place. And then you feel guilty about wasting all that time from the onset, and start feeling all completely out of whack because that person you were reading about has such a great life and you’re still stuck watching them with a nagging child literally tugging off your clothes. I wasn’t sure why it kept happening to me, but if I gave my much needed devotions the same kind of attention, I knew that I wouldn’t be in the same sick state of soul that I was in right then.

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) advised his Ummah (nation) to have contentment when he said: “If you are content with what Allah has given you, you will be the richest person.”

Contentment, huh? Maybe I just felt that I needed something to keep me going all the time. The secret to happiness. Contentment was something I didn’t have… until I learnt that it was to do with the richness of the soul that I was constantly fighting to attain.

So back to the point of my chase for content, let me tell you something about Shabeer. He is not the perfect husband. Even before he had taken Hannah in Nikah, he never was. He didn’t even come close. He’s selfish. He’s obnoxious. Sometimes he’s just downright hurtful. But… despite all this, I could not control my heart.

I know that you’d probably laugh at me, but if anyone had to ask me why on earth I took him back… I can tell you right now: I really don’t know.

I mean, it’s not like I was doing anything wrong, but he had left me for weeks with four kids, and not even a phone call to keep me going. He had done it completely wrong. He had betrayed me on a level that was way beyond just marrying someone else.

But it was a weak moment. Maybe I felt sorry for him. Maybe.. just maybe… I thought that he would see it as an appealing  side of me, and fall all hopelessly in love with me all over again. Maybe I thought it could really work. Like, really.

I sound like Mary Poppins, I know.

But seriously, I was a romantic kind of girl and at that time when I met him, Shabeer did it for me. He made the cut. He did the the functions, the romance.. whatever it took. The only problem was, he wasn’t present. Not with me. He loved all the attention and glam that went with it all, but behind closed doors… I was always left feeling a little at a loss.

I would have loved to have the kind of doting husband who gave me and my kids all the time in the world. I would have been ecstatic if I was blessed with a saint-like husband that was devoted and helped me to the be the best too. But Allah knows why we choose something that sometimes doesn’t feel like the best choice in retrospect.

And of course, I was so glad that for Adam.. it was the complete opposite. Allah had picked the perfect partner for him.. a partner that would not only see the best in him, bring out the best in him… but also helped him to be the best person that he could be. I was in awe of how the two of them understood each other, compromised for each other, and saw each other’s soul in a way that I could only wish I had with Shabeer.

She had a selflessness about her that I just couldn’t digest, and I was so grateful that she had come in to literally save me that day.

And of course, as I heard my mothers voice in the upstairs passage while I lay in bed that Friday night, feeling all hollow inside, I was honestly panicking.

Now since you guys kind of know my mother inside out… Well, kind of… You probably have caught onto the fact that me and her.. Well… We just don’t along. And I’m not even exaggerating. Every single time I’ve ever tried to talk to my mother, it’s always ended up as some kind of uncontrolled world war three in the house.

We just do not see eye to eye. I actually could not even believe that she gave birth to me. Some days, I could swear that I was adopted from another mother. Actually, when I was younger, that’s what I kind of hoped.

At least that would mean that I was wanted.

”How are you feeling, Rubeena?”

That was my father. A sweet old man who asked the things a normal father asked. No big eyes. No harsh accusations. No drama.

I loved him to bits.

I nodded and smiled. I couldn’t exactly tell him that I felt like there was a ton of bricks raining on me, could I?

Besides, he looked like he was having a good day. Well, as good as a day that anyone could have, living with my mother. I didn’t want to spoil it.

“Mums here,” I said, stating the obvious. I didn’t even hear them come in.

He nodded and raised his eyebrows.

“How is she?” I asked carefully, trying to ascertain the mood today.

When I’m in my room, I could never hear what was going on downstairs. Sometimes I was grateful for that, because it meant I could unintentionally ignore the screams of my bantering children, with no guilt at all. It was bliss.

“You know your mother,” my father said, non-committally. “She’s not in the best of moods. This morning we had a big fight about the renovation she wanted to do on the kitchen….”

Gosh. Another renovation? My mother really took the trophy for most cosmetic renovations in the least amount of time.

”And now she’s taking it out on my poor daughter-in-law…”


My father got up slowly to go back down, hopefully to kill any tension, and I took a deep breath to steady myself. I didn’t even ask him more. I felt like there was a tangled up knot in my tummy now. I felt bad for Khawlah, and of course, Dayyaan chose the perfect moment to literally run in and take a giant leap-bounce on the bed, almost kicking my head off in the process.

Honestly, the boy was getting out of control. Completely.

“What the hell is wrong with you?!” I screamed, reaching out to smack him… clean across the face.

The smack was painfully audible, and I saw him flinch as it was administered. He just looked straight back at me stubbornly, with his narrowed eyes, almost like he was only broken inside. Not even a single tear escaped his eye as he jumped off the bed and calmly walked out my room, leaving me in just a slightly enhanced state of despair.

I closed my eyes, the guilt now overtaking. Oh, the guilt.

And I knew that these behavioural problems were because of me. Us. While Danyaal has remained pretty unaffected, due to some miracle and spending the least amount of time at home… Dayyaan and Zia had been literally tipping me over the edge. All of these challenges had only started when Shabeer had come back, and I knew that all the arguing and bickering with Shabeer being here would do no good for the kids. I just wasn’t sure if a separation was the ultimate solution.

My tummy was, all of a sudden, feeling weird as I stressed about how I was going to work this all out. I had a lot of decisions to make and it was scaring me. Was I damaging my children permanently? Was divorce really the best option?

I put my thoughts on hold as I realised that I was due for a bathroom trip, and of course, it was right then that my mother chose to walk in.

“Rubeena,” my mother’s voice said acidly. I could already tell she wasn’t thrilled, “What is going on? Is something wrong?”

“What is she doing here?” She asked, with a frown. “And her friend. Two girls alone downstairs, Rubeena. I don’t trust them.”

I rolled my eyes internally. It would have been too obvious to do it literally.

“Khawlah’s here to help me, mum,” I said, sounding tired. “I’m pregnant and I’ve asked Shabeer to leave. Anything else?”

If my mother’s mouth could have dropped open wider, I’m sure a tennis ball might have fit in there. I had a feeling she had more to say, but I had shocked her out of it. It was the first time in my life that I had been so straight with her… so brutally honest. And it was about a time she knew the truth too.

“You asked him leave?!” She yelled, when she finally recovered. “Are you mad?! He’s rich and good looking. Shabeer is every women’s dream! You’re literally throwing him away to the dogs!”

“Let them have him,” I retorted, unfazed.

Now he was every women’s dream? How even?

“Why didn’t you call me?” She asked now, finally saying what she needed to. “If you needed help, I’m your mother. Why can’t you tell me?! I’m family.”

”Khawlah is also family, mum,” I said instantly. “And no matter how much you don’t want to accept it, the more I will remind you of it.”

Because annoying the crap out of my mother gave me a weird sense of satisfaction.

But of course I didn’t say that. I wanted to live.

Hmph!” She said, turning her face away to show me a point. I honesty didn’t have the energy to argue with her right now. If she wanted to be upset, she was really welcome to be. She looked like she was about to walk out and I got up, hoping to pursue that much needed trip to the bathroom.

But of course, my mother was one in a million. Even when she was angry, she knew exactly how to rub it in. She could never be ignored. She stayed put and glared at me, while I put my bedroom slippers on, trying to remain oblivious to her death stare.

”Tell her to leave,” my mothers icy voice said.

I blinked in surprise. This time, my mother had really lost it.

Tell her!” My mother pressed, standing up and putting her hands on her hips bossily.

I shook my head and frowned.

“Ma, I’m not in a state to deal with-“

”I’m here now Rubeena!” She practically screamed. “This is not for everyone to see and talk about! They’ll just make fun and then the whole world will know that Shabeer left you! And then I… and you… you’ll be so embarrassed.”

I raised my eyebrows. I was sure that there was more to this. This had nothing to do with my embarrassment. It was all about her.

“Just tell her to leave or I will!” she snapped

Oh goodness. My mother was really something else. And all this time, my bladder was taking the toll.

”Okay, okay!” I said hastily, really annoyed. “Just let me use the bathroom and I’ll speak to her. Just… wait. Don’t move!”

I had to be clear with my mother, before she took things into her own hands. Why was it that only I get into predicaments like this? Was there a sticker on my forehead saying “guilt me… I’m easy”? Maybe I took things too personally.

And of course, as I contemplated the words I would use to tell Khawlah to leave, I didn’t expect what would be waiting for me as I took my much needed trip to bladder relief.

And to spare you the gory details, it wasn’t just a false alarm. This was big stuff. I supposed it kind of explained the mood swings and everything that usually came with it.

My heart was frantically beating in my chest, as I rebuked myself for all those times I complained about the pregnancy. All those times I wondered how I could be so stupid. I wanted to kick myself for every moment I had spent in despair, wondering how I was going to handle another baby. And now, as I digested the obvious, I couldn’t help but think about how much would change now… if there was no more baby on the way…

Had I brought this upon myself? Were all my decisions and presumptuous actions finally catching up with me?

Oh, the guilt. The guilt was eating me alive.

I hastily pulled the door open, knowing that my mother would probably have a lot more on her plate now that she bargained for. My body was feeling limp as I swallowed, trying to formulate the words to say what I needed to. I just hoped my mother didn’t send Khawlah away as yet.

Well, even if she did… She kind of asked for it, didn’t she? 

She wanted to be the one  in control, and now she was going to really have to step up.

“Mu-um!” I screamed, my voice sounding scarily shaky, even to myself. “MUM!”

“I need to…”

My mother came into view, from where she was sitting, looking at me like I was a crazy screeching woman. If only she knew. I breathed in again, trying to steady myself.

” I need to get to a hospital,” I said shakily, unable to control my panic. “And fast!”

So, I got in a bonus post. Next post will probably be after Saturday. I will try and keep to twice a week, Insha Allah! Much Love, A

Sunnah Reminder

I’ve often heard that the personality of Nabi SAW was such that he spoke when necessary and always gave an attentive ear.

Aisha raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) said: And this is how Allah’s Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used to utter (so distinctly) that if one intended to count (the words uttered) he would be able to do so. [Muslim]

We have been given two ears and only one mouth for a reason. Whenever somebody wants to share a story or just wants to talk to you, turn to them and listen to them attentively, as if only the two of you were in the room.  When somebody talks to you, really make them feel that you are interested in what they are saying.

How easy to practice- being a good listener is part of good akhlaaq!  

Let’s revive this Sunnah Insha Allah.

IG: @thejourneyingmuslimah

How easy to practise!

#revivetheSunnahof Sleepingearly






Twitter @ajourneyjournal


Desperate Measures

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


Most kids don’t believe in fairy tales very long. And maybe that’s the way it has to be. To survive in the big bad world, you have to give up the fantasies.. you have to stop believing in the play-pretend. The only trouble is that it’s not all just make-belief. Some parts of the fairy tales are all too real… despairingly true. There might not be a Red Riding Hood, but there is a Big Bad Wolf. No Snow White or Cinderella but maybe an evil step-mother…

But despite even the pitfalls of a fairytale, everyone still wants their own. Its like a human default. Everyone hopes that once in a while, right in the middle of a ordinary life, love will give you your very own happily ever after.

And the thing is, whenever I thought about a perfect marriage… well, I couldn’t help but think of my parents. As a kid, all I remembered was bliss. Sunshine. Rainbows. Getaways that seemed to never end… until we came home. Sheer bliss. Before Mama got sick, the base that my parents had created for us was one of such amazing warmth, stability and unlimited love… that over the years, I found it difficult to ever compare.

And of course, as I grew up and saw the harsh reality of couples around me… I forgot what marriage was about. Through the years I’d seen Zuleikha suffer… I’d seen Rubeena’s discontentment. I forgot that a perfect love could exist, until I glimpsed the beautiful world that Aadam had shown me.

I forgot that it wasn’t only about arguments and struggling. I didn’t know that marriage was not about feeling trapped. I had no idea that real love… was so much more… so much deeper.

The thing is, one thing I realized about a thriving marriage is that it’s not just about falling in love and making it work. Through forgiveness, through love… through compromise and through lots and lots of patience, it requires falling in love not just once, but many times… always with the same person.

And its never easy. Even ‘good’ marriages fail. Sometimes, you have to work real hard at overlooking someone’s annoying faults. Sometimes you have to ignore their inherent insecurities, that can make you crazy. But if you really want it, you have to strive for your fairytale. Sometimes you have to break down the barriers, knock down the walls.. and go beyond the boundaries of your own limitations, to make it all work.

And then, the reward of it takes you to another level . The height of beauty, in this world and the next. Truly beautiful couples.. well, they strive in winning Allah’s pleasure together in every way they can. They glorify Allah together in the quiet hours before dusk. They weep at night upon His remembrance. They are insatiable in the gratitude of His favours upon them. Qur’an forms the foundation of their every action, and the Sunnah is their very way of life.  They perform regular or random acts of kindness and charity… and all that exudes from their base is love. Love, love… and more love.

And the the most important thing to remember though, is that through all that striving.. Never lose hope.

Just as good marriages go bad, bad marriages can also go good. And its so important to remember this, if you are ever facing this predicament.

It was just that as I thought of Rubeena, as Nusaybah and I walked down the street at record speed, I just couldn’t help but wonder what direction she was going in.

And yes, I knew I was lucky to have Aadam. My heart was incessantly hammering in my chest as I thought of Rubeenas’ constant striving to keep her own marriage afloat. To weather the storm. To hold on so tight. Why was it sometimes so hard?

Nusaybah was still draping her hijab as we half-ran to the other side of the neighbourhood. She had such a beautiful modest streak, so she couldn’t stomach being less than decent when she left her home. Unlike many of the other girls in school, she wore flowy dresses and skirts which were the most beautiful hijaab modesty.  She pinned her scarf tightly around her head as we walked, picking up our pace as we entered Rubeena’s road.

The chatter of chirping birds above us were almost soothing as we trudged on speedily. It calmed my riddled nerves, but only momentarily, as the unexpected explosion penetrated my eardrums.

Get out! Just get out!”

The shouts could be heard from two houses down the road.

And I knew it wasn’t funny, but for two teenagers coming in from a place of calm to a situation of extreme dramatics… Well…

Nusaybah’s eyes were dancing frantically as she processed the words, and I could tell that she hardly believed that it was Rubeena’s voice.

“I don’t want to see you again! You and that witch of yours….”

Ooh, this was bad.

I shuddered slightly as I heard the word, which was actually a more offensive version. I looked at Nusaybah with wide eyes as I turned the handle of the door, witnessing Ruby in full-on crazy mode, as Shabeer just stood there and watched her. I instantly felt guilty about not coming here earlier in the week.

“Listen Rubeena, lets just talk.”

Rubeena was standing wit her hands clenched and Shabeer was looking as nonchalant as ever, as he said it. They both turned to look, and I felt a teeny bit self-conscious as I felt their eyes on me.

“Just go,” Rubeena said finally, looking defeated but probably gaining the courage she needed as she saw me.  “I don’t want to hear what you have to say.”

Shabeer stuffed his hands into his pockets and took a slow walk to exit the room.

I looked around and my heart dipped. Danyaal and Dayyaan were peeping around the corner as they watched their parents, obviously knowing that it wasn’t the right time to interrupt. Even as kids, when you see it often enough, you understood that when adults fight, you don’t get yourself in the middle.

“Will you take them outside for a bit?” I asked Nusaybah, who gladly nodded. I had a feeling she was still reeling from shock.

As for Rubeena, well, she had literally collapsed onto the couch… and was sitting there with her head in her hands. She was obviously in a fragile state… But I mean, what was new?

I breathed in as I berated myself for being so hard. I had to give her moral support. As much as I felt that Ruby kept doing this to herself… I knew I had to be sympathetic.

”Ruby,” I said softly, sitting down next to her. “What happened?”

Her sobs were getting heavier as I inched a bit closer, not really knowing how to offer her comfort. In all fairness, Ruby’s decisions were kind of unsettling to everyone’s lives.

”I dug my own grave, didn’t I?” She said, bitterness seeping through her voice.

“It’s going to be okay,” I said, not really sure what else to say. I rubbed her back comfortingly as I said it, a little worried about saying the wrong thing.

Her sobs halted uncharacteristically as she looked up at me with red-rimmed eyes. She had been crying her eyes out.

“She came… here,” she said, her breath slightly strained from all that emotion. “Acting all innocent and meaning well.”

I looked at her, a little confused.

“Hannah,” she said, clarifying.

Ah. Hannah had made an appearance .

“She knows about the pregnancy,” she sighed. “And Shabeer hasn’t been there so…”

She closed her eyes momentarily and inhaled.

”Khawlah, why am I so stupid?”

I blinked at the directness of the question, not really sure what to say.

“And don’t try to tell me I’m not,” she said with hostility. “Because I know I am.”

I took a deep breath. I felt a bit sorry for her right then.

“Ruby, I think there’s a difference between thinking with your heart and thinking with your mind,” I said, shrugging. “Sometimes we just don’t do what’s good for our soul. It doesn’t mean you’re stupid.”

Though Rubeena and Aadam were so different, the one thing they had in common was they always tried to see the best in people. Unfortunately, that too… sometimes came with its price.

“You know what she brought?” She said, raising her eyebrows.

I shook my head, wondering why Hannah would have brought something for Rubeena. It was uncharacteristic… and hugely suspicious.

“She brought a black romper!” Ruby almost screeched. “A black one! For the baby! Now if that’s not evil reincarnated, then what is?”

I almost wanted to laugh. Almost. Except it was weirdly freaky.

Goodness. Hannah was really something else.

“I think she wants payback,” Ruby said, sounding even more morose.

I just couldn’t help but wonder how Rubeena dealt with that.  The infidelity. The worry. The possibility that he might do it again.

Aadam had once told me that so many men do it all the time, and I found it so hard to stomach. Always looking over your shoulder, wondering who your husband was going to launch at next. It was like living in a prison… such a crazy ignorance.

I looked up as I heard a shuffling at the door, seeing little Zaydaan coming towards us. He was still quite little, and as he rubbed his eyes I could tell that nap time was well overdue.

”I can’t manage,” she finally said, her lower lip sticking out slightly. “I miss Adam. I can’t do this on my own.”

That part, I knew. Rubeena was not strong. She often used desperate measures. She was easy to influence and take advantage of. It didn’t help that my mother-in-law was not the easiest person either. When it came to Ruby and Shabeer, it was possible that he was just taking advantage of a fragile situation and her forgiving nature.

I wasn’t sure if she even still loved him… but he was there and he was prepared to do what it took …

“Listen, I’m here,” I said quickly, feeling guilty that I hadn’t been calling to check on her the past week.

Come to think of it, I had even been intentionally stalling on calling my mother-in-law. I knew it needed to be done sometime this weekend.

Being in school and having in-law responsibilities was a bit tough, but the last thing I wanted Ruby to do was take Shabeer back out of desperation now, when her heart was completely averse to it.

“He wants to sleep,” Ruby said as she held Zaydaan, almost half-heartedly. I knew what she meant.

“You rest,” I said softly, feeling sorry for her. “I’ll sort the kids for tonight.”

She looked at me gratefully. Thank goodness it was a Friday. I would have to phone to let Abba know I wasn’t going to be home early. I knew that Dada usually waited for me to dish out his supper for him every night, and when I’m late … he didn’t eat.

I inhaled deeply, hoping he’d understand my predicament.

I made my way to the kitchen with Zaydaan on my hip, looking at the time. I had enough time to make the kids sleep and pray Maghrib. Nusaybah also would need to go home before it was too late, so by some miracle… I had to get it sorted.

I hummed to myself and Zaydaan as I switched the kettle on, the tune of Mamas lullaby still stuck in my head since the night we had the kids at Aadams. The Dhikr soothed my soul, as I touched base with my Creator again. It was just what I needed.

I missed Aadam even more as I held Zaydaan close to me. He rested his head on my shoulder, and I wondered if I was lucky enough for him to fall asleep before we even got to the bed.

And of course, just as I could feel his breathing pattern alter and his body become almost motionless, a voice from behind literally made me jump.

“Is Ruby gone up?”

I turned my head as he spoke, instantly frowning as I  caught sight of him.

Oh hell. Of course he didn’t go.

I honestly thought that he had left. After Rubeena’s performance, all he had probably done was kill some time in another room for a bit and choose a moment that was most inappropriate for him to come out.

And of course, it was inappropriate. I was his brother-in-laws wife. He had no business coming into the kitchen when I was here alone. And Shabeer was blocking the doorway.

“Didn’t she ask you to leave?” I said openly, not really caring about being rude. Certain circumstances called for certain measures.

Wow,” he said, and I could tell he was taken aback by my tone. “The famous Khawlah has a fierce side that we never knew about.”

The famous Khawlah? I narrowed my eyes suspiciously.

Zaydaan was now wriggling around on my shoulder as I attempted to fill powder in his bottle. He didn’t seem too interested in his father. He didn’t even squeal to be carried by him as he spotted his entrance. Come to think of it, I had never really heard the boys talk much about their father. It was strange, but sad.

I put the lid on the bottle and shook it effectively to dissolve the powder. I stepped towards the exit he was blocking, willing him to move and leave. I knew he was throwing his weight around because Aadam wasn’t here, and it made me even angrier.

The thing is, ideally, not to put yourself into situations like this, would be awesome. But in all fairness, when I offered to help Ruby out, I didn’t expect this.

I placed Zaydaan in the pram next to me, hoping he doze off while he drank his milk, and looked in Shabeers direction.

I was seeing him properly for the first time, and all I could think was… He looked old. Much older than Rubeena. He wore a pants and shirt with a loosened tie, and possessed air of arrogance about him that gave me the creeps.

Shabeer, being one of those overconfident guys that obviously thought that the sun shined from somewhere behind him, expected me to humour his conversation. He might have been good-looking at some point in his life but right then, I could not see what Hannah or Rubeena had ever seen in him. Even if he looked like movie-star, I wasn’t ever falling into his trap.

And because he knew nothing about me, my next words to him came as a shock.

“You need to leave,” I said, dropping the volume of my voice, but speaking in a blunt tone. “Rubeena doesn’t need this inconsistency in her life and neither do these kids. Maybe she’ll phone you. Maybe she won’t. But right now, you need to go.”

And yes, though he looked taken aback by my words, being an expert in his field of weaselling his way through things, he recovered almost immediately.

“Will you at least tell her that I love her?”

I raised my eyebrows.


This guy was good. He was really good. After everything, turning on the pitiful, affectionate and doting husband who would do anything for his wife… It was a classic. The thing was, even as he stood there, looking so genuine, I knew exactly what he was all about.

I pushed the pram, almost jamming his leg in the process. Luckily he jumped aside in time, else I wouldn’t have thought twice about riding over his foot.

And even as I stood there in my half fury, desperate to get away from him,  all I could think about was the Hadith about the brother-in-law…

In a narration, Nabi (SAW) has said:

Beware of entering upon women.” (when they are alone)

One of the Sahaabah said to him, “O Messenger of Allaah, what about the brother-in-law?”

He said: “The brother-in-law is death!

[Bukhaaree, Fath al-Baari, 9/330]

And this brother-in-law, with his dodgy history… was probably worse than death.

And of course, as I let out a sigh of relief,  thinking I had got rid of him as he made his way out, I could still hear his muttering in the passage, almost to himself.

I continued to walk toward the stairs, hoping that Nusaybah would somehow make an appearance before I gave him a piece of my mind. She and the other three boys were still outside but since it was starting to get dark, I knew they would be in soon.

I silently willed her to hurry up.

“I can see how you’re judging me,” he was saying, obviously wanting to have the last word, as he put his shoes on. “Like you have the perfect life. Everyone makes mistakes, you know. Think about it. I mean, how well do you really know Adam?”

I paused in mid-step as he said it…. And then, I just saw red. I wasn’t sure what it was, but my fiercely protective inherent nature was somehow making its way to the surface, as this guy practically prodded at my sanity. Now I knew exactly why Hannah had set her sights on this guy. Their sadistic similarities were painfully striking.

How dare he bring Aadam into this?! How dare he speak to me like he knew me?

Did this guy have no fear of Allah… no conscience… at all?!

I spun around, delving into my pocket to retrieve the penknife that Ahmed had forced me to keep. I expertly swung it open in a single twist of my wrist, baring it’s sharpened blade.

Yes, it was completely unbecoming but desperate situations called for desperate measures. A little induced fear never killed anyone.

And of course, those emotions that were buried so long ago, made way again, as the old and forgotten Khawlah resurfaced. The Khawlah that everyone had always relied on. The Khawlah that would come back with a vengeance. The Khawlah that had, in so many figments of my ambitious mind, out of nowhere galloped into the field, sword flying, all ready to take whatever life had thrown at her, completely on.

I was angry but completely in control. That was the difference between Ahmed and I… but only I knew it.

“I’m sure you’ve met my brother,” I said, stepping forward just a little menacingly. “He’s an expert at archery and martial arts. He taught me well.”

I was sure I wasn’t imagining the fear on Shabeer’s face as he raised his eyebrows, almost disbelievingly.

And yeah, it was almost super-warrior like, but he was definitely alarmed. The mention of Ahmed was enough to get anyone scrambling.

”I’m going,” he said in a slightly higher pitched voice. He was contained but a little too quick in his exit to fool me.

He picked up a suitcase, before he turned away with a slight shrug of his shoulders, knowing this time, he had to drop his case.

And of course, as I stood there for a good few minutes, more than just a little stunned at my unexpected ferocity… wishing I could be like the sleeping Zaydaan that was completely oblivious to the ugly world… the cool evening draft from the back door made me touch down to reality once again.

At one end was Nusaybah, staring at me with a mixture of shock and admiration… and at the other end.. as the front door opened almost immediately after, well.. was someone who looked a little less enthusiastic to see me.

Oh,” she said. My mother-in-law caught sight of me, and immediately her expression changed.

“What are you doing here?”


Dearest Readers

Shukran to all the sisters for the love and input. It warms my ❤️

I’m so sorry about the comments that have unknowingly gone to spam. I will definitely check my spam queue more often..

I’m so sorry… I have a bit of a busy week but I will try and post by Saturday, Insha Allah. Shukran to all… will definitely try and keep to suggestions.

Much Love, 

A 🌸


I’ve often heard that the personality of Nabi SAW was such that he spoke when necessary and always gave an attentive ear.

Aisha raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) said: And this is how Allah’s Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used to utter (so distinctly) that if one intended to count (the words uttered) he would be able to do so. [Muslim]

We have been given two ears and only one mouth for a reason. Whenever somebody wants to share a story or just wants to talk to you, turn to them and listen to them attentively, as if only the two of you were in the room.  When somebody talks to you, really make them feel that you are interested in what they are saying.

How easy to practice- being a good listener is part of good akhlaaq!  

Let’s revive this Sunnah Insha Allah.

IG: @thejourneyingmuslimah

How easy to practise!

#revivetheSunnahof Sleepingearly






Twitter @ajourneyjournal



When the Plot Thickens

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


“Khawlah, wait.”


Now that I give him a piece of my mind, he has time for me? His voice did sound weird though. Unusual. Was he ill?

Either way, he very well had deserved it. He was being ridiculous. Sitting in the house like a recluse for weeks… not even stepping out to enjoy the beauty that the Spring had brought since its inception that year.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Spring if we didn’t take the annual stroll through the neighbourhood, to embrace the onset of our favourite season. Each year had a different splendour. Every tree had a different story to tell.

I could not possibly explain the thrill that it gave me to witness the revealing of nature’s magic as winter came to a close. The array of pretty purples, pinks, blood reds and determined yellows… It was almost like each tree was competing with the next… flaunting their amazement in doses of mesmerizing beauty…

It had been our tradition from August every year since I was six, to witness Mother Nature’s surprising bounties. To go out and start planting… investing… observing the wonders that the new season had for us every year.

This year, though… Zilch. Not even a batting of an eyelid from Khalid.

“Khawlah, I’m coming.”

I walked faster as I heard his footsteps behind me, not even pausing to take in the lilac, purple and white flowers that had so miraculously appeared on the bush at the entrance of his house. Yesterday, today, tomorrow’s… they change with each day and then eventually… welt and decay…

How ironic. Just like Khalid.

The almost silent patter of raindrops were breaking my stride as I edged forward, blinking angrily as I wiped the droplets out of my blurry eyesight.


I was actually quite furious right then.  I had only asked him to give me a walk to the corner and he had point blank refused. It was the third time this month he had given me a silly excuse and now… Now, I was done. Stuck with his stupid PlayStation, as usual.

I stepped with purpose out of the garden gate, marching on toward the task at hand. I didn’t need a silly boy to look after me, just to go down the road. I was already eleven years old! I mean, I was almost as tall as him. I could do anything a boy could do and more.

And of course, in my furious pursuit of showing him that I didn’t need his company, despite the fact that passing the notorious ‘Purple House’ alone to go to the tea room down the road for Foi Nani was giving me the creeps… I was completely oblivious to reality. Clouded by anger, I sttepped off the pavement as I had done so many times in the past, not even thinking twice until I heard his panicked voice.


All I heard was the unprecedented alarm as he shouted out, just before an offensive squealing of halting tires gripped me with fear. It was as if the wind was completely knocked out of me as I found myself flat on my back, gazing up at the filtered sun in my eyes, trying to ascertain what I had gotten myslef into. The rain was still pelting down relentlessly, amidst it all. And ouch, my leg… it was like it had a dead weight on it. What on earth had happened?

I felt a weight shift off me as Khalid moved over onto the pavement, now sprawled out next to me, his chest rising and falling rapidly, as his breathing slowed down.

“Khawlah, what the hell is wrong with you?!”

He muttered, twisting in pain, gripping his arm with force as he moved away from me even more. It was a mere millisecond of confusion before I digested what exactly had occurred. It was the first time I had seen Khalid so angry.

Silly me. Crossing the road without even looking. I wasn’t even sure how Khalid had got to me so fast.  If he had not knocked me out of the way with that incredible maneuver… even with the car swerving the way it did, I knew I would have probably been hurt really badly. Now, instead…

I blinked as I glimpsed the imminent  gushing from his arm, smudging almost characteristically as the rain pelted down to diminish its evidence. Blood. So much of blood…  soaking into the side of Khalid’s teal blue t-shirt, running from his upper arm all the way down to his wrist. My thick corduroy  pants had saved me from any serious wounds, but as Khalid had used his body to cushion my own fall… his arm had been practically skinned alive.

Oh shucks,” was all I said I saw it. swallowing hard as I saw his stony expression. He had saved my life. Literally. And no matter how dumbfounded I was by his super-hero move… Khalid’s expression was undoubtedly thunderous.

“Are you crazy?!” He yelled, his steely eyes looking even more fierce as they clouded over with anger . “You could have died!”

The droplets of rain had slowed down to a mere drizzle and I blinked at him in surprise. His gaze altered, as he stared at me, still gasping for air.

It was the magic of adrenaline. He knew what he needed to do, and somehow in that extreme pressure…

“I can’t believe you,” he rebuked now, shaking his head in frustration. “If something had to happen to you, Khawlah…. I don’t know… I would have never been able to… I…”

He trailed off as he took a deep breath, his steely eyes searching mine almost to the depths of my now tormented soul. Why did it feel like Khalid was bearing a huge burden on his broadened shoulders?

I looked at him, a little disorientated. I mean… Khalid had always been protective. Caring, at times too. Charming and appreciative … when he felt like it. 

In the past, a small delight at an extra toss of the dice in Monopoly would get him grinning from ear to ear.

“Ah Khawlah, you know how I love you.”

And of course, that didn’t mean anything. It was innocent. Conditional. In the moment.

Now… now was unexpected. This emotion was so… raw.

I looked at him as he broke his gaze away, getting up almost as if he was in a rush to get away from me. He had grown taller… become less awkward. He looked so much older… Almost grown up. His ruffled hair was thicker and his grey eyes seemed colder. I watched him as he stretched out his arm and squirmed in pain, flexing his developing muscle involuntarily.

When did Khalid grow up?

He was barely thirteen… yet he looked like a young man, all of a sudden.Those childish giggles… the boisterous fun… the endless games… was it really so long ago? Why was I feel like I was looking at another person completely?

And I got it. I got that we weren’t the same people we were back then. We had changed… we had grown. Goodness, we even looked different. But nonetheless… Not so long ago … we were just a pair of kids, playing hop-scotch beneath blossoming jacaranda trees and scurrying around in the pelting rain.

Not so long ago, we would compete to get to the highest branch of the infamous oak tree and let our imaginations run wild as we contemplated vivid dreams for the oh-so-distant future. Just the other day, I could speak my heart with no reservations. I could relate to him what I wanted from a life that seemed so far away. I could reveal my hopes and dreams for the future… and not only would he listen, but he would make me believe that it all would come true. And at that point… though we were just a pair of kids… And I knew how much we  meant to each other… I just didn’t know how much it could change.

And yes, it did change. After that day… it changed a lot. I never strolled in to call for him out after that. I never rapped on his room window in annoyance like I usually would. I stayed at a good distance if I happened to see him… because I knew the danger if I didn’t. Things were different. I didn’t want to accept it… but after that day… I had felt it too. Now I believed him… and now I knew that he needed to leave.

And yes, Ahmed was right. Of course, Aunty Radiyyah had a point. Maybe we were getting too old to just be friends. Boys and girls… well… they simply couldn’t be friends. Maybe we just did it all wrong. Back then, there was so much of Khalid in my heart… in every moment… every new blossom…every changing of season… even after a long while.. that I simply couldn’t just forget.

But that’s what the job of the heart is. It wasn’t like I hadn’t been warned. Something had stirred within it, and it needed to be filtered. The beholder of the most unseemly emotions sometimes buries them so far down… that it is almost as if there were never there. The heart hurts, and likewise, as it comes to feel more, break more, it also opens more… and so too, it heals.

And the remembering that incident after all those years, well… it brought on unexpected emotions. Not overwhelming ones… but ones that were quite thought-provoking, now that I saw it from a different perspective. I could not even imagine how subtly Allah saved me… that I didn’t even realize that I might have been in danger.

And of course, I couldn’t help but be grateful. As kids we think we know everything. Even as we grow up.

We think ‘Ah, shame… What’s the harm? They used to play together as kids. Let them be.’

But had we not been forced to know better… had Aunty Radiyyah not been any wiser… had Khalid’s father not sent him away.. who knew what kind of sin might have developed? Who knew what saving Allah had in mind for us when everything had unfolded just like it did. He foresight of parents who were wise and aware of the harms of ‘emotions’.. even at a younger age… was invaluable.

And of course, its so weird how when you are kids you think things will never change… and when you grow up how you can’t imagine them to be anything but different…


Nusaybah was visibly blown away as she looked at me, a little dumbstruck by my narration that I had just literally poured out to her, as we sat over our Life Science assignment… discussing everything but the difference between DNA and RNA.

”So Khalid just needed a push?!” She murmured, raising her eyebrows. “And he would have been a complete goner?”

I smiled and shrugged.

“Khalid was right,” I said blandly. “He was staying away for a reason. Probably his parent’s instructions. Either way, he knew why he was doing it. It was me that had been so childish and pushy… wanting him to stay the same when he obviously wasn’t. I can’t believe what a feisty thing I had been back then… so pushy.. gosh.”

Of course, I never doubted the wisdom of elders. Elders by default,  had seen more, experienced more.. and as a result, it’s precisely that which lead to their wisdom. When the youth don’t know any better, we have to trust the elder generations insight.

”So… what did Ahmed say about him?” Nusaybah asked, doodling away on the exam pad pointlessly, trying to seem like it was just a ‘by the way’ question.

“Ahmed thinks he’s involved in Egyptian politics,” I said, a little wearily. “He’s a bit scared for him… and rightfully so. Egypt is  in a delicate situation right now, after the Arab spring… but his mothers family is from there so I think he feels responsible..”

I could go on about politics for ages, but I doubted that Nusaybah was very interested.

”But what did Ahmed say about you and Khalid?” Nusaybah pressed, not wanting to know the finicky details that were giving me sleepless nights. I knew she wanted the gory details.

Khalid was always an ambitious guy. Scarily ambitious, and I was getting worried for him too.

Anyway, eventually, that night when Ahmed nearly gave me a heart attack, he did believe me when I told him we were just kids having innocent fun… I didn’t tell him every detail, but he seemed satisfied… Well, for now.

“I’m not sure what my silly brother thought,” I said, rolling my eyes. “He said Khalid seemed a bit unsettled when he mentioned to him that I was married… like he had no idea. And that’s what I don’t understand because I remember asking Aunty Radiyyah to request his presence at my Nikah. She had said that he wouldn’t make it. He was probably already in Egypt. I don’t know why she didn’t tell him at all…”

Ooh, and the plot thickens …” Nusaybah said in a mysterious voice, widening her eyes as she grabbed her purple pencil case to morph it into a microphone.

And here we are folks,” she bellowed, in a californian accent. She was disturbingly good at it. “… Khawlah, the sought-after warrior hijaabi turned to marshmallow royalty is caught up in a rollercoaster of emotions, as the past comes back to sweep her off her cerise-pink converse-clad feet.”

Hijaabi warrior turned marshmallow? No man.

I was already in stitches.

But wait! Hold up!” She yelled, gaining more momentum. “There’s a knight in shining Kurta already at her doorstep, on one glimmering knee.. begging her to give him her entire heart…

Her voice dropped.

“But her shattered heart is burdened… she is still struggling to find -“

Oiy!” I said, whacking her with the back of my paperback book. “My heart is already surrendered. Shurrup.

“So no regrets?” She said now, baring her dimpled smile as she raised her eyebrows at me. “Even with the mother-in-law from Hell? You know you would have got a better deal in that department with Khalid’s?”

I smiled, thinking of Aadam. He was lovely. Absolutely amazing. Kind to everyone he met. Not to mention, hilarious to the point of embarrassing giggles. How could I ever have any regrets?

“You have that look again,” she said, rolling her eyes. “Is Mr Perfect really so perfect? I find it easy to believe… but I’m not the one married to him…”

She said it easily, with no malice in her voice, but I couldn’t help but feel a little stab of that old guilt.

”What about morning breath?” She asked suddenly, her eyes widening in shock. It was like she just had an epiphany. “Is it really bad? And does he throw his dirty socks in a corner and expect you to pick it up?”

She gasped as her hand flung to her mouth.

“Oh my word, Khawlah,” she breathed. “Does he snore?!”

I grinned at my crazy friend.

“I actually don’t know,” I said nonchalantly. “I have the perfect marriage. I don’t have to deal with that… yet.”

What?!” She said, incredulous. “You mean you really never stayed with him?”

I shrugged again, as she eyed me out, feeling a teeny bit uncomfortable.

”That was the deal when we got married,” I explained to her. “That we would be apart and give Rubeena a chance to hold that amazing function she had her heart set on… when we eventually moved in after next year…”

“Yes, but no- one really sticks to that,” she said pointedly. “Like, I mean, my cousin had done the same thing but they were literally staying together every weekend.  You’ll are in Nikah… it’s unnatural to be so … strong.”

I looked away, not wanting to get into this.

“Oh my word, Khawlah,”  she said, and I was already regretting this conversation.

“Don’t  you think there’s something wrong with him?” She finally breathed, her eyes almost out of her sockets.

I rubbed my temples and shook my head. Nusaybah was making me worried too now. Was it really normal for a guy to be so… restrictive? What if he did have a deep and dark secret? I almost didn’t want to know what she had to say next.

Khawlah,” she finally said, her voice almost a whisper. I swallowed hard as I thought of all the possible theories. And then of course, Nusaybah’s one literally cracked me up.

“What if he’s a vampire?”

And of course, I was in fits of giggles when she said it, wondering if my friend was for real. Of all the things that he could be… A vampire? Really?

Nusaybah took the tea.

And yet, I loved her unreservedly.

“You know what my mum used to say?” She said suddenly, her eyes now devoid of the usual humour.

Nusaybah didn’t often talk about her mother. Come to think about it… neither did I.

“She used to say that Allah’s plans for us are always more beautiful than our own wishes.”

I looked at her, rendered speechless. Aunty Radiyyah had always said it too.., but in Arabic.  It was something she’d often tell me when I was struggling with Mama’s passing… helping me to stay afloat. And how true it was… even today. What I thought would happen and what Allah had planned… most certainly, there was an immense beauty in His plan.

The truth was, as human beings, we are created with an innate desire to love. To love and be loved. But another nature… Fitrah… that exists with us is the desire to recognize the One who created us… and the One who created Love.

And the thing about true love… is that it serves to bring these two beautiful aspirations together. It connects them in such a way, that on every level over, between and beyond those two great attachments… you are completed. Real love brings calm… not torment. Pure love, at the end of the day, is the love that never contradicts or challenges your love for Allah. It’s simply strengthens it.

How did I explain to her that a perfect love wasn’t about having a perfect spouse? How did I tell her that every person was beautiful… and it just took the right person to see it? That Mr Right was not only the one who caught your eye… but the one who opened your mind.

And that is why, if anyone ever has to has to ask… there is a extraordinary answer as to why love cannot exist before marriage. Pure love can only be love, when it is within the sanctity of what Allah created for it. Pure love can only be that which makes the Creator of Love happy with you too.

I wished Nusaybah to find the most amazing person, when the time was right…  I wished her all the happiness for her own fairy tale ending.

And of course, as the shrill ring of the phone brought us back to reality, I couldn’t help but think of how far I had come since those days. Through so many people Allah had placed in my path… and now through a love that had fulfilled me in many, many ways…

”Its Rubeena,” Nusaybah said suddenly, thrusting the phone at me with force. “She’s in tears…”

Dear Readers

Quick q: just needed some input.. As the story progresses. Any thoughts on a posting schedule? I feel weekends are busy so weekdays may be better? Or maybe a weekend evening?

If you would like to follow the blog via e-mail, please click the e-mail widget below. 

Much Love,

A 🌸

Sunnah Reminder:

Nawas ibn Sam’an reported that the Prophet of Allah, SAW, was asked about doing good and evil. He replied, “Doing good is having good manners. Doing evil is what troubles you inside and what you would not like others to know about.”

May Allah help us be of the best character and manners for our families, friends and all people around us.

Let’s revive this Sunnah Insha Allah.

IG: @thejourneyingmuslimah

How easy to practise!

#revivetheSunnahof Sleepingearly






Twitter @ajourneyjournal


In the Deep End

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


You never know where you’re headed. No-one does. All we know is that once in while, we feel this invincible and incredible thing… and then, well.. you’re already in the deep end.

Love. A matter of the heart. A force of nature. Neuroscience says that it activates the same part of the brain as a habit-forming addiction. It makes us feel like we can be anything, do anything… achieve anything.

And what’s most important is to tell that special someone that you love them, while you still can. The thing is, life is such… this Duniyaa is such… that you never think that the last time’s going to be the last time – you think there will be more. You want more. You think you have forever, but you don’t.

Yes, horrible things do happen. Happiness, in the face of all of that… that’s not the goal. And yes, although the ultimate goal is to love purely and solely for the pleasure of Allah… I think the most important thing, through it all…. is Gratitude. And we often hear the phrase of Allah’s promise in the Qur’an in no uncertain terms.

“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.” [Qur’an: Chapter 14, Verse 7]

And of course, the beauty in the message here is so vital. The thing is that as we grow up, we get tuned to be ungrateful and not to see the blessings in our life. We focus all our energy and attention towards finding out what we lack.

And every so often in life, it happens that we see things for what they truly are. We see ourselves for how truly undeserving we are. People are, by default, expectant. Ungrateful. We expect the best, even though we don’t give the best. We think we deserve the ultimate, when our striving is not always the best.

The truth is, if we don’t understand our great favors as gifts from Allah, we often fall prey to believing that bad things that befall others are because they deserve it. The truth is this: whatever good comes our way is never to our credit.

A good financial standing, is not because we earned it. A righteous child, is never our ‘doing’. A loving spouse, is far from our right. When we begin to truly see these gifts for what they are, then that truth will humble us to such a degree that we will never tire of  thanking Allah.

I’ll miss you, beautiful.”

The words were almost drowned amidst the chaos of the boisterous airport, and I swallowed hard as he said it , silently willing myself not to pour out all my slobbery emotions on his strikingly white Kurta.

I wanted to say it but I just couldn’t.

Oh, be still my beating heart. In such a short time, the feelings were over-whelming.

It’s just two weeks, I reminded myself desperately. Only two weeks. And then he’ll be back.

I breathed in his musky aftershave as I held onto him, almost afraid to let go. I could feel his grip loosen as he tried to pull away, but for some reason… it was like the force just got stronger. Maybe it was the fact that his mother’s eyes were boring into my back as I tried to bid him farewell in the most dignified manner, although I was terrified of what was in store for me thereafter.

Khawlah,” he said a little uneasily, as his one evasive eyebrow tilted downwards in worry. “You’re behaving like I’m boarding the Titanic. What’s wrong?”

The crowd in the distance looked like they were moving on to the boarding gates, and I stepped back as I furiously blinked back tears and shook my head.

He already knew. There was no time, but he already knew.

“You’ll be okay,” he said easily, placing his hands on my shoulders. “And I know it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; but we’re going to work at this everyday… even when I’m gone… and I want to do that because you’re my best friend and I love you and she’s going to love you too. You’re going to be okay.”

I breathed out as his thumb gently wiped away the single tear that rolled down my cheek, and without another word, brushed the back of my hand to his lips, and then spun around and practically bolted down towards the departing crowd.

I felt as if my heart had spilt in two, as I watched him till the very end of the queue… greeting a few of the millions of people he knew speedily along the way and then turn around one last time to wave just before he disappeared completely out of sight.

My heart. Why, oh why did it have to be like this… I felt like he was leaving me to circling vultures that were just waiting to have their feast.

My mother-in-law had barely greeted me as I saw her earlier, and facing her again was already making me anxious. Would she talk to me?  Would she be nice?

Why did her behaviour really affect me so much? I just couldn’t seem to win her over.


It was Rubeena who was approaching. Thank Goodness. Despite trying to be a warrior, as still in a bit of a fragile state. I wished I had took Nusaybah up on her offer to come and give me some moral support.

“Mum wants to go for coffee,” she said blandly. She had Zaydaan in her arms, who looked like he was about to nod off. I pulled him into mine as he stuck out his hands, enjoying his welcomed warmth and comfort. Children were so real and unfiltered. I loved that they never took sides.

“Will you join?”

Coffee now? I turned around to see my mother-in-law watching me from a distance, pretending she wasn’t, as she suddenly averted her gaze.

I couldn’t tell if she really wanted me to join. On the other hand, if I said no… she might use it as leverage against me when Aadam came back. She’ll argue that I never make an effort. I was in a bit of catch. This was going to be a difficult  one…

What if she said something to me? Worse, what if I said something rude to her back?

”Khawlah, you coming?”

It was Ahmed who now approached from near the gates with his phone in his hand, not really looking up as he got to me… and I almost wanted to hug him.  Almost. He came forward, looking a little less confident than usual as he spotted Rubeena.

I was beaming with gratitude. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to spend time with her… I was just afraid of making a wrong move while I was at it. I needed some time to settle my thoughts.

I looked at Rubeena indignantly, but she didn’t really notice. It took me a few minutes to realize that Rubeena was not exactly in sync with my thoughts as my brother stood there… and I looked from Ahmed to Rubeena for a few seconds, trying to figure out if I was just being presumptuous.

No ways, I thought to myself. Rubeena was way older. And she’s married.

I made a mental note to warn Ahmed later about lowering his gaze. I didn’t want Rubeena to get the wrong idea. For now though, I knew I had bigger fish to fry them worry about possible chemistry between the two.

I had to somehow weasel my way out of the coffee date and leave on a good note with my mother-in-law… who was so difficult to please…

I didn’t understand it. She was Aadam’s mother after all. No-one could take that place. Why did I pose such a threat to her?

To top it all… rumour had it that she wasn’t happy about Aadam’s car downgrade either… and I was sure that it was part of the reason I was getting the extra cold shoulder today.

I dug in my bag for the Kit-Kats I had bought for the boys earlier, hoping they would serve as a distraction whilst I greeted her and went on my way. I wished I had brought her something as well.  Assuming the most natural stance as I approached her and the other three kids, who were with their grandparents, of course… I didn’t need any introduction.

”Khawlah!” The two screamed as I got there, almost knocking me over in excitement. I loved these kids with no reservation.

And of course, like a cat arching their back in the vicinity of a threatening acquaintance, I could already see my mother-in-laws defense up as I stepped forward to embrace them. I knew that they would also miss their uncle these two weeks. I felt like the rival female as my mother-in-law peered at me judgmentally, whilst I pulled out the chocolates from my bag.

Danyaal and Dayyaan were already almost on top of me, as I attempted to hand them over.

“Chocolates now?”

Of course, she was now towering above me as she icily said it, her eyebrows raised.

“It’s already six-thirty,” she said, now with a condescending smile. “We don’t need these boys getting hyper on us tonight. All that sugar…”

I sighed.

It was the classic ‘make a big deal out of a small thing’ issue, because she didn’t have the guts to just confront me about what was really bothering her. She was using other ammunition to try and build a case and I wasn’t buying it. I just didn’t have the drive in me to fight it.

“Mum it’s not like it’s that late,” Ruby started, trying to stick up for me.

“They can even save it for-“

“It’s already dark!” My mother-in-law snapped rudely, cutting me off before I even finished my sentence.

Ooh, I wished I could have given her a piece of my mind. What was this woman doing to me?

“Besides, we’re taking them to that toy shop to get them something,” she said with a toss of her flawlessly tinted hair. How did she always look so perfect? 

And of course, mention the word toy shop to four kids of understanding, and they were already bought. The menial chocolates were already forgotten. Besides the fact that there wasn’t a real toy shop at the airport, she had already won. I stuffed the chocolates back into the packet they were in, knowing that I was going to be no match for this woman who definitely wanted to outdo anything I could offer. Well, not today.

I could tell what her thinking was, of course. As it stood… I had ‘taken away’ her precious son… she wasn’t about to let me get the better side of her grandsons as well.

I sighed again as Rubeena offered me a silent apology. She shook her head and grabbed the chocolates, saying that she knew it will probably keep them busy while she was attempting to have her cappuccino in peace.

And of course, although I was hurt by my mother-in-laws constant efforts in trying to break me, I knew I had to keep trying, for Aadam’s sake. Where was the limit though? When did I stop trying and just call it a day?

And then of course, like an epiphany… I couldn’t help but digest it.

Maybe I was just getting it completely wrong. Maybe my intention had been wrong. In my attempts to win her over, maybe I had forgotten the point of it all. I was always trying so hard… that I forgot what my ultimate aim should be.

I had forgotten that my focus should be to please Allah. When I felt like letting her have it… I needed to remember that. I needed to remind myself that there was a bigger picture out there than giving tit for tat.

Ahmed and I walked in silence to the car, thoughts of how much more I could do clouded my mind. I had to be strong. I had to try harder. I had to shift my focus. There was no use getting upset over these things. Tomorrow was another day…and I had to work on what was more important. I had to work on pleasing my Creator first. It was only through Him that I could gain anything… even if it was, by some miracle, her entire heart…

”So,” Ahmed cut through my thoughts as we jumped into the car and automatically buckled up. “Your brother-in-law didn’t make it?”

I frowned momentarily as he said brother-in-law, before it clicked. Ah.

“Shabeer?” I said, wondering why he was asking about him. I wasn’t sure if I was getting the wrong end of the stick… or was Ahmed really …?


I had to make it known. I couldn’t risk this spiraling out of control.

Rubeena has to be in hospital for two days after her collapsing incident… but Aadam had very briefly told me that Shabeer had somehow got himself out of the deep end with the cops and was back home with her. I was sworn to secrecy but the good news was that Rubeena was pregnant… and not fatally ill, as I had feared.

Surprise surprise. Although I was happy for Ruby… and glad that Hannah didn’t win.. something about the notorious Shabeer just made me feel uncomfortable. The cheating, the whole situation with Hannah… and then… the way he had stared at me so candidly when I had met him. It was like he was always looking for something more… was Rubeena going to ever be truly happy with him?

“Ahmed,” I said carefully. “Shabeer and Ruby are still married. He may not have been there but things are looking pretty good between the two of them for now.”


Ahmed literally halted the car in the middle of the road, as he spun his head around to stare at me with a look that said I was probably gone crazy.

Was I getting the whole thing wrong? Why else would Ahmed be asking about Shabeer?

Rubeena was in a fragile state and I didn’t want anyone getting their hopes up.

“I’m just saying,” I said, knowing I had to nip it in the bud… even if it was just a thought. “I don’t want you getting your hopes up on someone…”

”My hopes?” Ahmed said, with a smirk on his face as he edged the car forward again.

“Rubeena is in a really delicate state,” I said, biting my lip consciously as he looked at me again. “You need to just watch how you behave around her… she might-“

”She might think I’m leading her on by looking at her?! I know her husband is a unfaithful piece of crap, but is she really that desperate?”

That was uncalled for. I was just trying to warn him. I didn’t care if he thought that I  probably morphed into some kind of crazy old woman persona. I didn’t care if he thought I was being old-fashioned. The gaze was a powerful thing… an evil arrow of the arrows of Shaytaan that can sway even the most focused and unassuming people.

“Answer me, Khawlah,” he said, with a forceful edge to his voice.

I frowned as I looked back at him.

“Is that how you lead people on? Tell me! Because I really want to know!”

Okay, now he was getting a bit fanatic about the whole thing. Crazy, right?

“All I was saying was-“

“I don’t start things that I don’t finish. I’m not you.”

I sucked in my breath as he said it, a little confused. What did he mean?


Now it was my turn to look at him like he was crazy.

“Oh, don’t act so innocent,” he said, banging his hand on the steering wheel. “You know what I’m talking about. You act like you are so good.. and you never make mistakes. Tell me, Khawlah, you never did that before? Left things hanging?”

“I have no idea what you are talking about,” I said heatedly, hating all these accusations. This was sounding so achingly familiar. Was he talking to Hannah? Shabeer? Someone else..?

“Yes, you’re living this awesome life of luxury with a famous doting husband and the best of everything, so you don’t care,” he said, in a bitter voice. “But what about your past, Khawlah? What about things you did?”

I shook my head as I looked at him in bewilderment. Yes, maybe in my childish ignorance I might have done some crazy things… maybe some stupid things too… but I never intentionally hurt anyone. I would never…

Ahmed was going to hear none of it as he slammed the brakes, swerved to the side of the highway, and hastily turned off the ignition. He wanted to get answers out of me and I had none to give. This was so dangerous and crazy, and I hated it.

Dammit Khawlah, you’re so good at acting stupid,” he finally muttered. By now I was convinced that my brother had irrevocably lost his marbles at some point in his crazy life.

This was completely unbeknown to me. It wasn’t about making mistakes. It wasn’t even about history. Somewhere along the way, something had happened that had landed me right the deep end.

I could gauge his raspy breathing in the pitch-black darkness of the night. I was at the height of frightening curiosity, and with no other warning… his words painfully cut through the dead silence as he spilled it out.

“Do you have any idea where’s Khalid?”

Sunnah Reminder:

Nawas ibn Sam’an reported that the Prophet of Allah, SAW, was asked about doing good and evil. He replied, “Doing good is having good manners. Doing evil is what troubles you inside and what you would not like others to know about.”

May Allah help us be of the best character and manners for our families, friends and all people around us.

Let’s revive this Sunnah Insha Allah.

IG: @thejourneyingmuslimah

How easy to practise!

#revivetheSunnahof Sleepingearly






Twitter @ajourneyjournal




A Different Kind of War

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


Who doesn’t want to be a soccer star?

Being a soccer fan myself, I could imagine that it must be some sort of perfect dream world. Imagine fans going crazy just because you decide to make an appearance? The glitter.. the glam. The fame and fortune that comes with it all… It’s so easy to get sucked in.

But a picture doesn’t always paint a true story.

And in this world of illusion, what we are exposed to is often sifted and targeted, and is often very far from the truth. What’s next to best, after being a soccer star?

A soccer stars wife, of course.

And an article I read recently, put this into an entirely different perspective for me. And yes, from what I read, she lived a pretty amazing life, materialistically. But in all honesty, I think that sometimes we do forget that there is more to life than what meets the eye.

Because then she broke it to her audience… in a most natural and unbiased way… That there are some days when she is broken inside. She feels robbed of her rights. She is a prisoner to the world and its whims. She stands on the scale, literally, five times a day, just to check that that she hasn’t put on a single kilogram.

She is a slave to fashion… and a victim to expectation. Her appearance has to be perfect, just in case… her man’s eye has to stray onto a woman who is dying to be another notch on his bedpost. She is an object to his gratifications, his full-time secretary, the mother of his kids and on top of it all… has to live in a constant fear of another woman taking her place.

And if what I read there, was not complete ignorance of this age, I had no idea what was… and I had to backtrack…


It existed once, and we think its over… but this kind of prison obviously didn’t end there.

The people of Arabia had sunken into a pit of  revulsion and disgust. It was a different kind of war. 


“The worst religion; and the worst house.”

And we can never truly understand the animosity of Jahiliyyah. They were overflowing with ignorance.

Women had lost their dignity. They had no value… they had been robbed of respect. They would walk in the streets… literally, naked. For a man to divorce his wife multiple times… kick her out… be with another woman… and then take her back the next morning… was a usual thing. 

The people drank dirty water and ate filthy food. Desires had deflected them and self-conceit had swerved them. Extreme ignorance had made them foolish. They were confounded by the unsteadiness of matters and the evils of deception. Man disregarded kinship and practised robbery. They flogged their slaves. They worshipped idols, liaised with the demons of parallel universe and shed each others blood. 

A woman had no right. No court. No one to defend her whatsoever. And as she displayed herself in that beguiling manner… her worth decreased, and of course, seeing no value to the life of a woman.. knowing she would be subjected to the same barbaric treatment as every other women…

Upon their birth… Fathers actually buried their little girls alive. 

And this was the time when the light of Islam made its onset. It came to give women their rights. It came to save mankind. It came to relieve them from their burdens, and ease the turmoil that had broken out with such ferocity. As the sun dawned on a new faith.. a new beginning, and a new way of life for all… a new religion came to shake up this city of foolishness… to dispel the darkness.

When Makkah slept and woke, there was no other talk other than a man who had come with a truth of One True God. A bringer of glad tidings. A warner to call unto the worship of One Supreme Being. And for the Arabs at this time of overwhelming darkness… It’s light was a beacon that would illuminate the entire world in time  to come.

And among the dwellers of Makkah was a boy who was one of his most attentive listeners. He was the apple of his mother’s eye. A boy who, when he walked, the women would tail him in stupefaction. A youth who was brought up with utmost luxury. His name was Mu’sab.

And he was no ordinary young man. His beautiful garments were so long that they dragged behind him when he walked. He wore tailored shoes that came from Yemen. He wore scented oils that people could smell his fragrance before he even walked into a room. Mus’ab was extremely handsome, and one could only imagine the rancour the ensued when his mother got wind of his new faith… 

But among the chosen servants of Allah, there are some whose faith doesn’t shake. Some who are so steadfast, that no money, luxury or materialistic gain can sway them. He sacrificed everything for Allah and His Rasool (SAW)… 

“It’s Mus’ab!”

Mus’ab? It wasn’t the first time that I had heard about him…

“Hey, hey, hey….”

I turned my head to see who it was talking, and Ziyaad winked at me as I switched my view again to see what he was on about. Around me a group of men had gathered as they spoke, and an exotic, but neat looking car sidled up next to us as we watched.

“Someone’s got a downgrade.”

A downgrade? 

“I wouldn’t call it a downgrade,” Molvi’s younger brother, Yusuf said, eyeing the car that approached.

“Who cares? A car is just a car,” a voice I didn’t recognise said blandly.

”That’s my man!” That was the Molvi talking, of course.

At that moment, the door swung open and only then did it click with me what they were talking about. Aadam stepped calmly out of the new, completely less flashy than his previous car, and gave us a Aadam-styled grin. Did he actually sell his Ferrari?

“Exactly my point,” someone muttered, still hanging onto their previous conversation about whether this was a possible downgrade or not.

To me, cars had mattered. Money had mattered. But the whole ‘a car is just a car’ phrase intrigued me so much, that I wanted to know who said it. I couldn’t quite place the voice in the growing crowd.

Aadam went around the other side like a real gentleman, opening the door easily as my sister stepped out.

Yeah, I supposed the two of them were ‘sweet’. I dropped my cigarette bud and squished it under my shoe as I offered to help, and the other guys obviously stayed at a distance. It was only after I had come forward to the noble thing, that the back door opened, and I got caught kind of off-guard.

Now despite not being the sociable type, I couldn’t help but feel a little inclined to these kids that were pouring out from the back. And although the macho guy attitude didn’t exactly mesh with all these soppy feelings, I knew for certain that they had earned, for some reason, a very special place in my sister’s heart too.

At the end of the day, I got it. A child is a child. I mean, if people (especially parents) take that notion seriously and do their utmost to just ensure that a child has the most normal kind of special childhood, I would have no problems. But what broke me here was seeing these kids so torn over their parents issues. Although the smaller two were mostly oblivious, catching the eyes of the bigger ones kind of broke my heart. Basically, what I saw was that look of defeat that even I wore as we grew up… and it ate me alive.

I stepped back as their attractively dressed mother jumped off, being careful not to look at her and allowing them space to pass me while I took Aadam’s luggage.

I kind of blamed her for this inner battle that the kids were facing. I mean, almost always, it was both parents that deserved a solid telling off about how they were messing their kids up. But the main candidate whose perfect nose I so badly wanted to break had basically been off the radar for a few weeks, and I was waiting for him to make an appearance that day. Somehow, after the drama on the wedding day with Hannah, Aadam’s brother-in-law had just gotten onto the wrong side of me.

As the women and kids went inside, the group of us were huddled on the side of the car drive through at Johannesburg airport, as we waited for them to finish their dangling cigarettes. Aadam looked like a typical high-flyer guy gone pious, with his tailored Kurta and hand luggage Samsonite bag that moved with his stride. His smile was infectious, as usual, as he outstretched his hand to greet Molvi first and then the rest of the guys. Aadam just had this easy-going nature about him that made everyone feel at peace. And of course, I couldnt believe that he had actually sold his sports car. I was so sure that Khawlah had something to do with it.

Molvi and his brother had flown in from Durban airport and were also leaving for Hajj on the same flight as Aadam, lucky guy… which explained the huge crowd that was there. Two of the guys were smoking vapes… and mixture of fruity smoke and tobacco were keeping onlookers at a distance. The only guys who didn’t smoke were Molvi and Aadam, and I killed my urge to light up another one as I stood next to them.

“Another real life Mus’ab, nuh?”

Being a finicky guy, I personally hated when Jo’burg people used the nuh/neh thing. It just annoyed the crap out of me. But wait, there was that Mus’ab again right? Who was this Mus’ab?

Wow. Waseem! Bro, I haven’t seen you in ages!”

I switched my gaze curiously as a guy from the crowd moved forward and I eyed him out, taking in his calf length Kurta and modest posture. Besides being dressed to Sunnah perfection, there  was something special about this guy. Piercing blue eyes and a charming smile… Aadam embraced him and as Molvi stepped back to where I was, he could tell I was curious.

“The two modern-day Mus’abs,” Molvi said with an illuminating smile on his face.

I nodded as he elaborated, explaining to me about how he had first met Waseem, who he called the first Mus’ab. It was a few years ago just when Waseem had changed his life. For him, it wasn’t only about a girl who he thought was out of his reach… he was giving up his family, throwing away the chance to be an heir to his father’s multi-million business and losing a home. He had risked everything to change his life… and Molvi couldn’t be prouder. According to him, Aadam was on a similar path, and it made me see my brother-in-law differently. The crazy part here was that Molvi had just told me that Waseem, was actually the Zee’s brother.

Like, real brother. I was in awe. The trademarked phrase of ‘a car is just a car’ was his.

“Are you guys talking about me?” Zee asked, hearing his name.

Molvi smiled and winked at him playfully.

Ziyaad was eyeing me suspiciously as I looked from him to his two brothers and raised my eyebrows. Now although I loved Ziyaad and his quirky humour… and between him and his older brother, there were definitely dials… with Waseem, I saw no connection..

”That’s your brother?” I asked him incredulously. “Like really?”

Zee frowned.

“Is it because he’s like Prince Charming and I’m Shrek?”

I wanted to laugh, but I’m sure you gathered by now that I  was pretty good at maintaining a straight face. Molvi was cracking up next to me though.

Zee grinned, just to show he didn’t take any offense.

“It’s okay,” he said coolly. “Waseem’s the enigma in the family. I got the drill ages ago. I’m just the damn go-to boy.”

Molvi shook his head and slung his arm around Ziyaad’s shoulder, trying to cheer him up. That was the thing about Molvi. He was so terrifying yet easy- going at the same time. Although his sturdy build, seriously striking features and solid gaze sometimes gave me the creeps, his amazing smile and ability to just make everything easy was so amazing. Such a perfect example. And this was something I learnt from the time I had spent with him on the last trip he had convinced me to accompany them on to Egypt, a few weeks before, because truly, when you travel with someone, especially when they are the friends of Allah, then only did you realize their true worth.

And those few weeks ago, I really didn’t have many expectations about the trip. He had mentioned we would give aid to refugees if need be, and do some Da’wah work while we were at it. His brother and one of his friends were with us as we boarded a bus after landing at the basic airport, dragging our bags through dusty streets and hoping to find a suitable place to stay.

I looked around at the Egyptian capital… A place of extremes, filled with ancient landmarks, snarling traffic, ornate mosques, and glittering modern skyscrapers. Who would have ever thought that there had been so many riots caused by the infamous Arab spring, just a few months ago? I took it all in as we walked, enjoying the boisterous  city scenery and trying not to worry too much about the rumours about terrorist attacks that always seemed prevalent. I had to relax.

Molvi, Yusuf and Imraan all seemed at peace. I had to get the drill.

They were so easy. Simple. Everything about him was Sunnah. And the amazing part about Molvi Umar was that he wasn’t a poor guy. From what I heard, he was a guy who had a considerable amount of money. His family owned a good business and his brother, who was with us, was an engineer. But all this… never made him lose sight of what his purpose was. He could have booked the best hotel in the city… stayed in luxury… made sure that we were in perfect comfort… but this man was not about the ‘finer things in life’. From what I had heard from his friend Imraan, and the sacrifices that he had made during his former years, Molvi was no man of the world. He had given up so much for the sake of this selfless work and he wasn’t going to stop there. Because his entire life was about one mission, to waste money on what was not necessary was something he could not bear. For him, he needed to get right into the heart of the camps… and the project. He wanted to meet the guys going through the rough times… whether they were Muslim or not. He wanted to converse, to mesh… and to completely be in service.

And of course, travelling as brothers who were in the way of Islam, many people had their eye on us. I mean, imagine four guys with fully bearded faces, full Muslim garb and backpacks on their shoulders.

Enough to break anyone’s swag, right? Yeah, I can tell what you’re thinking already. But let me just kill the stereotypes here. Most religiously clad people go to these countries with the intention of serving the people who are there. They don’t go there to ‘fight’. They go their to provide food, hampers, assist in medical aid… and many other valid reasons that have nothing to do with the treacherous ISIS.

And I know where you’re coming from if you were thinking that way, but although we were only only going to Egypt and the typical Islamaphobia was not common… but the odd few security personnel and passengers would definitely give us a second look. There were times in my life when I had wondered about this.

To tell the truth, for me- it was awkward. Being the kind of person I was, every time that someone gave me an odd look or double-checked my passport… I wanted to break their face. For Molvi, Yusuf and Imraan… it didn’t even faze them.

And I supposed that was the trick, because then of course, came the moment when a security guard at the airport pulled Molvi aside and demanded he open his backpack. And of course, my heart kind of just seized right there and then because I honestly didn’t know what I would do if they arrested Maulana Umar. And of course he had nothing with him that would be a warrant, but you heard of those stories where people were accused or even framed.. and had to spend years in prison for no reason at all? My mind was going into overdrive.

Though I came close to his build, and did present quite a threat, Molvi’s presentation was much more formidable. It was no wonder that from the four of us, they picked him aside as their target and I couldn’t help but think how unfair this world was.

What a test… and of course, as my gaze caught Molvis, extreme relief overcame me as I saw the complete ease that was in his eyes.

This man was something else. Of course, his response was on another level completely.

“We have nothing to hide, my brother,” he said calmly, talking to no-one in particular. “We are open. We are transparent. We have nothing to hide.”

The man who searched him seemed contented and I looked ahead as Imraan came up beside me. Molvis stance was so cool. Calm. Unexpected. And of course, he just amazed me even more as we went on. To top it all, he was completely right.

“You look like you’re panicking,” Imraan said calmly. “This is nothing … relax. You lucky Umar’s calmed down over the years…”

What I didn’t know at that point was that he had gone through much worse…

My brain just kind of froze as I processed what it was to be a Muslim traveler. I was caught up in my own world for so long… that the reality was such a shock. And of course, there weren’t only Islamaphobic people out there… but you HAD to expect the odd few. One thing I’ve learnt was that if you are open, friendly and genuine, then other people will treat you the same way most times. When you don’t make your dress/hijab/attire an issue, they don’t make it an issue.

And as works out, when your faith is in the One Who Controls it all.. Of course it all has to all work out in the end. Molvi and the security guy had a jolly conversation before we moved on, my heart still beating rapidly in my chest. I climbed out of the taxi that day as we reached the Mosque, with a relief that was unimaginable.

They called me the virgin Mujaahid… not because we were going to ‘war’ as many people would think, but because a Jihad is basically a struggling and striving with the inner self in order to please Allah. It was the first time that I had experienced this. This was a different kind of war. This was what Khawlah had always try to tell me about. It’s a process of putting aside all other whims and desires, trusting in Him alone and hoping to attain a reward that was reserved for those who attain a beautiful status of asceticism and disregard for anything else.

And man, as I travelled with these guys and got to know them, I just loved them and their work so much more. I even forgot about the macho and hard-core kind of vibe I was used to putting on. I was in awe of them, and as Molvi greeted he guys in the Masjid with affection, I could see the genuine warmth that they exuded when they saw us too. They were so welcoming… hospitable… so glad that we had braced them with nothing else to offer them but our meagre presence. They seemed to know Maulana Umar well, and had prepared a wholesome traditional meal for us that exceeded our expectations.

And just as we got ready for the next prayer, and I got my things together… A figure standing to my right caught my attention as I felt his eyes on me…

And of course, being the formidable me, and not being able to stand people staring at me, I switched my gaze steadily to this guy who was openly gaping at me with a look of absolute wonder.

And of course, as I caught sight of him, I couldn’t quite believe it myself.

Right before me stood a guy that I had not seen, literally, in years. I could still remember his ambitious laugh and superb character, as if I had just seen him yesterday. With the exception of a amazingly defined cheek bones and a sparse scattering of facial hair, as I would expect of anyone that age, he looked almost the same.

I wondered when he had got here. I wondered if he knew of everything that had gone down back home. At one stage he seemed so close to us… but now…

I had no idea when or how he had reached this place that seemed so far away… but I was soon about to find out.

Khalid?” I asked, a tiny smile creeping on my face as I watched him in awe.

“Is that you?”

Dear readers,

Sincerely hope all had a lovely Eid! Extra long post today with a different perspective.

Love to hear from the readers…

Much Love,

Nawas ibn Sam’an reported that the Prophet of Allah, SAW, was asked about doing good and evil. He replied, “Doing good is having good manners. Doing evil is what troubles you inside and what you would not like others to know about.”

May Allah help us be of the best character and manners for our families, friends and all people around us.

Let’s revive this Sunnah Insha Allah.

IG: @thejourneyingmuslimah

How easy to practise!

#revivetheSunnahof Sleepingearly






Twitter @ajourneyjournal

A Bit of a Challenge

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


“If you guys call me Mufasa one more time,” Aadam was yelling. “I’m going to name you both Rafiki!”

The boys stopped to look at him for a moment, probably wondering if he was for real. They probably thought he was gone nuts.

“Okay Uncle… Mufasa.”

Dayyaan had a cheeky grin on his face, and I had to restrain myself from giggling as Aadam’s ears turned even more red in anger. Fiery ears actually kind of suited him. I needed to remember to tease him later… when he wasn’t so angry.

Oiy!” Aadam said as a warning, widening his eyes in a way that signaled that he meant business.

Well, let me just tell you if it was me, I would have been terrified… but for four underage boys who were intoxicated by a lack of sleep… well, let’s just say… it didn’t exactly have the desired impact.

I covered my mouth to conceal my smile, before I got caught in the showdown. These kids were proving to be a bit of a challenge.

Dayyaan jumped back onto the couch with a comical roar, purposefully  bouncing even more energetically on it’s suede leather as he watched for Aadam’s reaction.

Sometimes kids just liked to test their limits. Especially with Aadam.

“I’m not cut out for this,” Aadam mumbled as he glanced at me with a defeated look, and turned away.

Cheeky little bugger.”

I followed him out to the kitchen with a straight face, leaving the boys to let off some pent-up energy after all the anxiety, as we decided what to do with them next.

We had brought them to Aadam’s spotless apartment, which obviously wasn’t so spotless anymore…

Hey,” he said suddenly, looking calmer already, as we took a seat at the kitchen nook. The noise from outside was escalating. “I just felt like we’re playing house-house, and then I remembered that my underage wife has to go to school tomorrow…”

Of course, his amazing smile had lost the desired effect immediately. He obviously had fun teasing me.

I almost forgot. Well, not really, but I wished that I did.

“I can skip if I need to,” I said, a little annoyed.

The thought was so tempting, and I could tell that Aadam was definitely worried about having all four at his place for the night. He didn’t look like he was coping very well…

I thought about it again, a little hesitantly now.  Missing school would mean more work to catch up. It was that time of the term where assessments were being given  in and teachers were literally on our backs.

“No, you can’t,” he said, frowning at me. “I’ll manage. Just help me to put them to bed, yeah? Can I call Ahmed to fetch you tonight? Can’t leave them alone…”

I nodded meekly, not really looking forward to the task ahead. Rubeena had to be taken to hospital and of course, Shabeer, who was somewhere in the house and had caused all the drama, well… that was another story altogether.

The whole episode was kind of hazy, but my heart was in my throat as I saw Rubeena falling… and the best thing I could to stop her from doing so, was to try grabbing her with every ounce I had within me, just to break her fall.

And then of course, as she lay there, half conscious, in some kind of weird daze, the voice that broke through was strangely familiar.

Lucky its grass.”

I looked up at the man who had been on her tail, digesting his features for a minute before I looked away.

I knew I hadn’t seen him before but he looked really familiar.

I had glimpsed traces of Danyaal’s hair, and Dayyaans stubborn jawline. Besides that, he just seemed to be the type that I’m sure Rubeena would like. He just looked so… superficial. Not to mention, completely unbothered about his wife who was literally losing her senses in my arms.

Of course. This had to be Shabeer. There was no doubt about it.

But, I mean, really?!

His wife had basically collapsed onto the ground and all he could say was:

Lucky it’s grass”?

“Can we get her some water?” I said, hoping he would wake his case up and do something constructive. He was looking confused.

“I’m guessing you’re the real Khawlah,” he said, looking like he had seen a ghost.

Yikes. He had just brought back awful memories. The real Khawlah?

And honestly, if I wasn’t holding fiercely onto Rubeena, just to offer her some cushioning, I would have probably thrown a punch in his face. I could feel myself getting angrier by the second.

“My goodness,” I muttered, taking a deep breath.

There was no other Khawlah. At that moment, I was seeing red. It was just as well that Aadam was making his way  towards us, else I knew that I might have lost my cool.

Rubeena was looking like she was in and out of conciousness and thankfully, Aadam was approaching with a bottle of water in his hand.

“What happened?” He said, looking panicked.

He had come from inside where people were leaving. Of course, it had become the center of neighborhood drama. In estates, your business becomes everyone else’s…

Aadam lent over to check Rubeena out, felt her pulse, and then let her sip on the water slowly. He quickly unwrapped a Super-C he kept in his pocket, and slipped it into her mouth.

“I think she’s probably just feeling a bit weak…” I said, letting myself calm down and avoiding glancing in Shabeer’s direction. I could feel his eyes on me and it was making me uncomfortable.

I tried to ignore him, as I wondered what had brought this on. I didn’t ask Aadam any questions yet, but I could tell he was worried too. Was it perhaps sugar? Blood pressure..?

He got up slowly as he contented himself that she was okay, and I could see him looking from me to Shabeer, and then narrowing his eyes as Shabeer looked uncomfortable too.

Finally, a little shame on his side, after everything he had done.

Aadam was always so calm. Composed. Easy.

All I could imagine was that Shabeer must have done something really bad for Aadam to lose his head the way he did that night. And then, just as I thought it was all over, two cops came from behind him and calmly took him away.

I was so glad that there was no big scene. The worst part would be explaining to the kids… but I supposed that it was a good thing that the cops didn’t look like cops, and Shabeer had not put up a fight about it.

Of course there were questions. The boys  were worried about their parents. I was too.

We calmly took the boys to the car, explained to them that their father had to talk to the police about what happend at the house, and drove them home. Rubeena was gone to casualty and her parents would be there with her.

And of course, my mind was abuzz. Aadam had briefly told me that ‘someone’ had tipped the cops off about Shabeer.

Basically, they had found illegal substances in the family house where Shabeer and two of his friends were playing cards while Rubeena was away for the evening. Of course I knew this was probably something he would be arrested for.

As much as I knew that Shabeer was probably deserving of punishment, I could not help that prickly feeling at the back of my neck. Something was telling me that Hannah had something to do with this. The whole tip-off thing, just when things seemed to be working out with Ruby again, seemed really sinister…

It also reminded me of Aunty Nas’s dirty methods she would use just to make sure that my father would give in to her. It was achingly familiar.

I sighed as I thought of it again, snuggling not-so-baby Zaydaan close to me as I sat with them in Aadam’s room that night, putting them off to sleep. I just wanted to protect these kids. I wanted to keep them safe from the harms of the big, bad world. I planted a tiny kiss on his forehead as I watched his eyes close, my heart surrendering to the feeling that I was probably going to love them forever.

Aadam had taken the bigger two to sleep in the spare room while I sat with the smaller two in his. The scent of the pillows smelt like their uncle. It was weirdly familiar as I lay there, singing the familiar lullaby that Mama had read to us at kids, hoping it would soothe them into a deeper sleep. It took a little longer than expected, but just as Aadam tapped on the door, I could hear their breathing change pace as they finally drifted into slumber.

As silently as I could, I covered them up and tiptoed out. I was sure that they were probably exhausted and I was so glad. I still had to do a little work when I got home…. grade 11 was getting really tough and the work load was starting to increase.

“Is Ahmed here?” I asked Aadam, trying not to sound to eager, although I could feel my eyes burning. It must have been quite late.

I pulled the door behind me as I stepped out.

It wasn’t that I wanted to leave them. It was paining me to see him so stressed… I really wanted to stay.

But Aadam was someone who seemed like he enjoyed structure. I also knew that he had a reason besides my educational schedule in mind… We had our whole lives ahead of us, and there was really no reason to throw everything off track just as yet.

I looked up at him as he answered the question in the negative, saying Ahmed was on his way, and I was surprised to see him looking more tired than usual.

Maybe he had fallen off to sleep with the boys for a bit there. It definitely looked like that. I had forgotten that he had just arrived from his business trip this morning. All that traveling had to be tiring.

Besides that, his brow was riddled with creases that signaled to me something was wrong. His usually chirpy face was looking a bit morose.

I frowned back, looking up at him.

“Out with it,” I said, wanting to know what was on his mind and raising my eyebrows at him as he rubbed his temples vigorously.

“A cup of coffee?” I asked, having already figured out that it was his ‘thing’ and hoping he would spill out what was bothering him while he drank.

He smiled weakly and shook his head as he walked over to the sliding door that led to a balcony. I followed him out.

The air was crisp as I breathed it in, my eyes taking in the amazing view from where we stood. It was like looking at a different version of unlit beauty… like twinkling stars that glowed within the darkness… the city lights boasted a completely different appeal at night. It was the same view from the roof top that I had seen in the day time, and just glimpsing it now soothed me… as I was forced to unwind.

It had been one helluva day. Emotions had been flying high, and now, I was grateful for this little down time with this guy who had stolen a piece of my heart.

He was silent for a moment as we huddled close together and admired the lights in the distance, shivering slightly despite the body warmth. The winters were getting harsher and I could feel the iciness seeping through my bones.

”I’m so scared,” he finally said, looking away from me for a minute as he said it.

I squeezed his hand comfortingly.


“I think this may be it,” he said, shrugging. “Shabeer’s an idiot. Ruby’s not well. The boys are alone. Mum’s not happy with me…”

He paused for a second as he cleared his throat. His jaw line was set firmly and he ran his hand through his hair a little anxiously.

”You know I’m here, right?” I said, trying to lift his spirits. I could help out. Well, with the kids and Ruby.

My mother-in-law… we-ellll…

“But I feel like this is the sign that I shouldn’t go,” he said sulkily, his dark eyes finally meeting mine. “That I don’t really deserve it. I feel like this is it.”

I swallowed as he said it, overwhelmed by his emotion, and completely taken aback by how this was breaking him.

Not only did his concern open up a whole new realization for me, but only now did I understand just how much he really wanted to go. Now only did I see that unexplainable connection that can exist, even when you’ve never been to the Holy Lands before. He seemed so desperate in his hopelessness…

And of course, who wouldn’t be? Those days… this blessed month… they are the only days that Allah Ta’ala takes a firm oath by. The day of ‘Arafah, when the pilgrims assemble in desperation on its planes, pleading for Allah’s mercy… holds such high esteem.

Whereas He only calls out to his sincere devotees in the darkness of the night, instead, on this day… Allah Ta’ala actually descends during the light of day, in keeping with His Glory, to the lowest heaven to respond to the calls of His beloved slaves…

And it’s no wonder that He starts boasting to His angels about these people who have gathered on the very mountains of aspiration.

Look at My slaves. They have come to me from deep and distant ravines of the earth. Their hair is disheveled…. Their bodies are covered with dust.

They are thirsty…. They are famished

But when Allah gives their verdict, all that toil, all that striving… every tear, every drop of perspiration… it’s never in vain.

The burden has been lifted. The clouds have parted. The sun has finally risen, after an eternally dark night.

No matter what.. no matter how many… no matter how much they have sinned, the most Gracious Lord of all still gives glad tidings…

I have forgiven all your sins…

And not only are they forgiven. Even for those on whose behalf they have asked for forgiveness… they too are forgiven!

I have forgiven them all. 

And congratulations are due to those, exalted pilgrims, whom Allah granted standing on blessed ‘Arafah, meeting the shoulders of those who flee to Allah… with yearning hearts and flowing tears. With dry mouths and sweat pouring down their faces, among them, are fearful slaves who have come to beg of Allah’s countless favors. Others are lovesick rememberers of their Beloved, raising their hands to the heavens with broken hearts and battered souls, basking in the heat of yearning. They are refugees resorting to the door of Allah, begging for some shelter, and pleading to be let in…

And they may not be deserving, but Allah’s favour upon them was that He rescued them, saved them, fixed them and relieved them from the every one of their burdens. Thereupon, the Most Merciful Lord gazed at them with such tenderness and boasted to his celestial beings with such pride…

What do these people want? We have, upon their arrival, protected them against deprivation, and the Merciful has granted them their ultimate requests.

What a chance. What a change. What a plunge to take… to turn your life around. What a journey it is…What a journey that will be…

“Let me tell you something,” I said softly, but just loud enough for him to hear. “Nothing is impossible for Allah. By Allah.. as long as you seek His Aid with every ounce of you, anything is possible. He is Al-Fattah. The opener. Even when you feel that every door has been shut, He is The One who opens doors… doors you didn’t even know existed. I can promise you… whatever hopes or goals or ambitions you have… Allah will answer your Du’aa. He will respond to your request. Allah answered a Mushrik who called out to Him in utter desperation… do you really think that He will not answer you, oh Muwahid, who believes in Him alone? Of course He will. He will! By Allah, He will.”

And as a faint hooter sounded downstairs, I felt as if something that was missing had just fitted into its link once again. Aadam’s gaze rested on me for a few seconds as he blinked, sort of in amazement, and then shook his head in disbelief.

“Now, that there…” He said as he raised his one eyebrow, in typical Aadam-style, looking astonished.

That… is exactly why I married you.”

I looked away, feeling my cheeks flame up as he stared at me. He was looking at me like he was seeing me for the first time.

I felt colder as I stood up, brushing off his compliment and feeling a little sad now that it was time to leave. It was getting late and the air was getting even more chilly out there. So much had happened for the day, though… and all I wanted to do was put my head down on my feather pillow, make a silent Du’aa and forget about the theatrics of the past day.

The boys were still in deep slumber and I felt my heart do a tiny skip as I checked in on them, surprised at how attached I was to them. They were so much apart of my life. I would truly do anything for them, and taking on this responsibility that was burdening Aadam was somewhat comforting to me too.

I knew that I’d have a big task on had when Aadam left the next week and though I didn’t mind… being the responsible parent figure without him around was a little daunting.

Setbacks…. I expected them. A few obstacles… I knew I could handle.

But what was in store for me that week, and even in the time to come… well… Even for someone who had a reputation of seeing the best in every situation, and giving it a kick right back up it’s alley…

It was definitely going to be a bit of a challenge….

Dear Readers, 


An extra special request for Du’aas. I have not been well and am going through a small test… please rem me in your duaas and hopefully I will try and fit in another post soon.

If not, have lovely Eid… and I will post after InshaAllah ❤️ 

Much love,

Duaas for Aafiyah…

A 🌸

Aaisha (RA) said about the Beloved Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him):

“He used to sleep early at night, and get up in its last part to pray, and then return to his bed.”

When we have a million things to do, it is easy to fall into a horrible cycle of sleeping late and waking up late.

Break that cycle today! Wake up early and sleep early to be the strong, successful and all that you want to be, In sha Allah.

Let’s revive this Sunnah InshaAllah!

How easy to practise!

#revivetheSunnahof Sleepingearly






Twitter @ajourneyjournal

IG: @thejourneyingmuslimah


In the Moment

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


Roses are Red,

Violets are Blue,

I don’t do poetry,

But I do love you. 

The soft tune of the beautiful Nasheed played as I glanced at my phone, my brow instantly furrowing as the words lit up on my screen.

“What was that..”

I mean, my phone had buzzed and it was there just a second ago, and now… it was gone. It was just a fleeting moment of cuteness, and now…

And wait, did it actually say “I love you“?

“Hey, don’t act like that,” Aadam said loudly, glancing at me and pretending to be hurt. “That was my hard-written poetry. It took me like, a whole day to write.”

”Is it another one of your hidden talents now?” I asked, trying to be light-hearted, despite my hammering chest.

Well, trust Aadam’s to send it to me as a ‘flash message’ which was probably gone somewhere to Jupiter by now. Besides not being the best with gadgets, there was no way I would even know how to get if back… even if I tried.

“How did you do that?” I turned to look at him.

He narrowed his eyes at me, taking them off the road for a second to do so.

The Freemasons,” he whispered, looking all mysterious, as he quickly fixed his gaze on the road ahead again.

I wanted to giggle. Really? The Freemasons?

“By the way, you look like a million bucks today,” he said suddenly, raising his one eyebrow. Another talent he had. “I think that may be the reason they’re stalking you.”

Despite my mood, I couldn’t help but laugh.

“Is that a smile I see?”

I kept silent. My tummy was doing weird things again.

“The least a gal can do is say thank you…” he said, in a cowboy accent.

“Did you copy and paste?” I asked, trying to keep my face straight.

Aadam chuckled, as he drove, moving his free hand toward mine as he grasped it tightly. His warmth was comforting, although it wasn’t yet completely familiar to me.

The late night phone calls were by the way. We had barely spent any time together, well… in person… but it was amazing how we just synced with each other… even when we were still just a little more than strangers. He was an easy person. I felt like a huge chunk within my chest that had already been irrevocably surrendered to this guy, and there was really no going back from here.

“You’re a real toughie, aren’t you?”

I grinned at his statement. I didn’t sway easily. That was right.

The robot was red, and he turned to me for  a second, with that intimate look he usually had when he wanted to say something serious. I knew him that much to understand his words were probably going to be a little more important than usual…

”Listen, Angel,” he said, the corners of his mouth turning up slightly. He looked a bit hesitant about his next words, though.

“Don’t take it personally, yeah? Mum’s a bit… difficult.”

I breathed out, thinking about earlier that evening. Earlier, when his mother just ignored me as if I was not even there.

”I don’t think she likes me very much,” I said, a little quietly.

Okay, so I kind of guessed it when I didn’t get a huge welcoming smile from her. I knew that Rubeena’s mother would be a challenge though, but I was not going to let her break me. Maybe she just needed some time.

“That’s nuts!” He exclaimed, shaking his head. “Don’t you dare even think that! I still can’t believe that she did that… I mean you’re a guest, and I know what that means now… but Mum… she doesn’t know better.”


I supposed he was right in a way. That was a bit of the problem these days. I remembered Foi Nani always talking about guests. She used to say Mehmaan.

When Mehmaan come, treat them like royalty.’

It sounded so old-fashioned, but I didn’t understand it back then. How important it was to honor your guest.. and how much of reward there is in entertaining them. This is the beauty in knowing our faith… it’s perfection and hospitality knows no bounds.

“I mean, the treatment I receive as a guest when I go anywhere Khawlah… especially when I’m with the guys…. it’s beauty.”

I wanted to ask him more, but I felt like a lump was stuck in my throat.

“It’s okay,” I said, a little shakily. “I’m not really a guest..”

”A new daughter in law should be treated better than a guest,” he said stubbornly, and I kept silent as I saw his jaw clenching tightly, as if he had really taken it personally.

It was the first time I had seen such a adamant side of Aadam and it was a little scary.

My mind was occupied with worries about the time Aadam would be away. He didn’t even get to tell his mother the big news. My heart burned for him, because I could tell that he was so excited, especially about telling her. No matter what she did… Anyone could see his mother was really important to him. It was something that concerned me yet also contented me as well. He was really a good guy.

And talking about honouring guests, Aadam’s big news was precisely that. I couldn’t forget the words he uttered when  he told me as we sat on the handmade swings, swaying side by side.

Allah’s called me to meet him,” he had finally said. “I’ve just been called for Hajj.”

He looked like he couldn’t believe it himself. Apparently, he had applied the previous year with a few of the guys he had met.

 And of course, I sucked in my breath as he said it, because I was so overwhelmed.

“That’s amazing,” I said, a little dreamily.

He’d been called as a guest… to the best place. And of course, I couldn’t help the tugging feeling at my heart as I felt its throb.

Without me? He was going to the best land in the world… with the best journey of a lifetime… and he was doing it without me?

Oh, my heart.

I could still picture the beauty of the Ka’bah, all those years ago when we had gone with Mama, the year before she got really sick. It was our last trip… her last wish that Abba had fulfilled. My heart yearned to hear the hustle and bustle Makkah again… To breathe in the sweet air of Madinatun Nabi… To walk towards the Haramain.. With that feeling of closeness to the most Beloved of Allah swelling in my heart…

But Allah knew whose call was there… and He knew when our Labbaik will be answered.

And of course I would never stop him from going. His mother though… she still didn’t give him a hearing. She had point blank refused to leave the room that she stayed locked in, and we eventually all left with heavy hearts to follow Rubeena home. She wanted us to come in for tea but I really didn’t feel like it. I just wasn’t in the mood.

I really just wanted to go home. To crawl under my decade-old lilac duvet and live there till morning.

I loved that Aadam was so positive but the reality was that his mother wasn’t going to warm up to me any time soon.

And I was trying to be positive too. I mean, I was trying to understand their mothers point of view. I got that she felt threatened, insecure and all the rest of it… I also got that she really and dearly loved her darling son and I did not want to cause problems between any of them. I just needed us be civil to each other.

Aadam sped up as he took the off-ramp, and I clung onto my seat as he took a turn, glancing at my tightened knuckles in amusement.

“I see you don’t like my car?” he said, with a small smile.

“Well…” I started, not wanting to be rude either. We were brought up differently. Different values.. opinions… different things were important to each of us.

Besides, although Abba had been doing really well at one stage, Foi Nani always gave him a scolding when she saw him getting too flashy. That said, he had owned one really expensive car when Aunty Nas was married to him (it was her request, as you could imagine)…. and I suppose that could kind of explain why I hadn’t ever been a fan of fancy cars.

The thing is, when it came to materialistic things, I think we were just tuned differently. Childhoods, by default, are inherently magical. My parents strongly believe that we didn’t need things to make it that.  With us, Foi Nani and Abba always believed that extra toys, birthday parties and unnecessary outings were just wasn’t what it took to make things amazing. No matter what we had, as a child, everything was still magical.

The thing is that we will keep on filling ourselves with Duniyaa to satisfy our desires. This world and it’s love knows no bound… Whether it be shoes, handbags or holidays to tour the world.. all it is is more extravagance and the greed of more and more. Posting pictures, portraying this kind of lifestyle that we are living for this world … when we have this overwhelming desire to show others what we have… it becomes a disease, and creates a desire in others to have more and more.

And then, man’s greed will have no end, as long as he lives in this world.

He goes on entangling himself in one thing and another for increase in his income, for more luxury, for more pomp and fashion… having no rest to even remember the One who had blessed him with it all. This is why our beloved Prophet (SAW) made the Du’aa:

Allahuma Aj’al Rizqah Aalah Muhammadun Quwtah 

Oh Lord! Let the provisions of my family be a bare sufficiency” (i.e. just enough for their bare needs, lest they be entangled in the vicious circle of getting more and more.)

That was the Du’aa of the most beloved of Allah (SAW).  I mean, think about it… while he lived, Allah Ta’ala never let that wealth enter his household. He didn’t want the light of Nabi (SAW) to be contaminated with the filth of this world.

And I knew Aadam was young and he had worked hard for his money… but I knew this was also where my test was. This was where our differences lie. I hated being so rigid, but having these opinions were part of who I am. Besides, I wasn’t exactly the type that liked the attention. How did I explain it to him in the best way?

“Well, it’s not exactly my favourite choice,” I said carefully.

And although his face fell, he knew exactly what was on my mind.

“That’s it,” he said immediately, throwing his hands up in the air. “I’m selling it. Really. I just needed that push. Just imagine it’s already gone, okay? Anything else? You know I’ll do anything for you, yeah? Just to make you happy. Just to make sure you know that you did make the right choice…”

I grinned. He didn’t have to do anything for me. But yes, It was kind of amazing…

“Nah, thats it for now,” I said, with an hint of feigned fussiness. “Let me sleep over it and I’ll have more requests tomorrow.”

I knew what I really wanted. I just wished that he could change his mother’s heart.

And of course, I knew there was only one thing that could change her heart.

“Okay, whatever you want, I’m ready for it. And if I can’t do whatever it is… I’m going to have to be making a fervent Du’aa…”

I swallowed my emotion as he said it. I wanted to cry on his shoulder. Of course, he was going to the best of places to do it, and he had to plead with Allah to make it happen…

“Just give her a call when I’m gone, yeah?” He suddenly said, looking as if he was thinking really hard about this one.

I wasn’t sure what to say. I felt torn. I really didn’t want to. I supposed that’s what people mean when the say marriage isn’t easy. It’s not always all peachy… barely always rosy. Not always perfect, with that swept me off my feet, cloud-nine kind of feeling.

Yes, those moments are part of it, and they are beautiful and inspiring and oh-so-intoxicating, but there are moments when reality is harsher than we think.

Everyone has their tests. Some people deal with difficult husbands. Some people have difficult wives. Some people have other trials in their lives… in their marriages… infertility, abuse, depression… the list goes on…

I found myself thinking of Zuleikha. Of Rubeena. Life wasn’t easy. Marriage wasn’t smooth-sailing. I just hoped and prayed that I’d make the right choices if I ever got there.

I, on the other hand, just had one woman who seemed like she wanted my blood. She probably wouldn’t even talk to me. I didn’t say anything though because just as  he rounded into Rubeena’s street behind her, the pile-up of cars that seemed like they were stationed around Rubeena’s property caught our eye.

Of course, Aadam sped up as we reached the house, and with a worried look on his face, pushed his door open with such a force that I thought it was going to fall off. All I could see was him sprinting toward the house like an Olympic athlete, Kurta lifted, and panic sleeping through every bone.

There were about seven cars all parked awkwardly around the house, and amongst them was a car with flashing lights that had just arrived on the scene. Of course, my heart was thudding incessantly in my own chest as I fiddled with the finicky handle of the car, anxious to know what was going on too.

Of course, my first thoughts were the kids. The kids. I had to check on them. I didn’t want them to go in, if anything was wrong…

I sprinted over to Rubeena’s car, just as she arrived back there, looking like she was in turmoil . He face was a ghastly white and her eyes were wide with shock. I offered the kids some comforting words just before I rushed over to her, in kind of a panic. She looked like she had seen a ghost.

Rubeena!” I said, clicking my fingers in front of her face, as she stared into space. She looked like she was in a trance.

Now, I was getting really scared. Not to mention, absolutely distressed. Something was wrong.

Khawlah…” she almost whispered, and just as I was about to get to her, a figure from the inside emerged, their words colliding over each other as I tried to comprehend something from the jumble of sentences they were rattling off…

My heart was bursting with anxiety. The moments seemed to drag as I looked from them to her, and then back as I tried to figure out who this man really was… and then, just as I kind of made sense of it, and all the puzzles pieces started clicking into place… without any warning…

Rubeena’s body just collapsed to the ground.


A little bit of drama … please do remember this writer in all your special Du’aas

Much love, 

A 🌸

Especially in these Mubarak days, let’s remember to make extra Ibadat.

A tip that’s also a Sunnah:  

Aaisha (RA) said about the Beloved Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him):

“He used to sleep early at night, and get up in its last part to pray, and then return to his bed.”

When we have a million things to do, it is easy to fall into a horrible cycle of sleeping late and waking up late.

Break that cycle today! Wake up early and sleep early to be the strong, successful and all that you want to be, In sha Allah.

Let’s revive this Sunnah InshaAllah!

How easy to practise!

#revivetheSunnahof Sleepingearly






Twitter @ajourneyjournal

IG: @thejourneyingmuslimah