The Passage of Time

Bismihi Ta’ala


Through the passage of time, the memories of days gone by are often distilled by a series of muted moments. It’s funny that as the moments happen… they seem to last forever… yet if we have to try and when you have to summarize our whole life for a month or a year or even a lifetime, its documentation can sometimes be reduced to a single page.

The backdrop to my life during that rollercoaster of emotions consisted of my setting up a business plan for Ahmed, seeing to my kids, writing and editing the letters that Adam had put in my care and working on my (blossoming) marriage, which nourished me spiritually and kept me at ease, despite the imminent tragedy that had seem to be happening at the time.

The truth was that sometimes in life, you’re dealt out a little more than you bargained for. It changes you and brings you back to your Purpose. Sometimes Allah shakes you to remind you that’s there’s a Greater Power out there… to remind us about how little we are… and how big He really is.

”Mum, is Uncle Aadam going to die?”

I looked at my eldest son as he asked the question, not knowing how to answer him. He was looking at me with so much of unfiltered confusion in his eyes. This was so hard for him to accept. I didn’t know what to focus on. I wasn’t sure how much more I could manage. I felt like I was torn into a million pieces.

Ahmed sensed my emotion, and I smiled gratefully as he placed a hand on Danyaal’s shoulder and guided him out to the balcony. I didn’t know that Dayyaan had already heard his brother.

”Mummy, why does Allah make people sick?” His voice was curious as he asked.

I sat at the kitchen table at Adam’s apartment and looked at my second son, not knowing how to answer him either. For the twentieth time in the past few weeks, I so badly wished that my brother and sister-in-law were right here…. they always knew what to say.

”I think it’s because he wants us to turn to him,” I said carefully. “To ask Him to help us… because isn’t He the only one who can cure us? Isn’t He only one who can help us?”

Siraj looked at me as I said it. I felt like I was reminding myself and him, just as much as I was telling Dayyaan the truth of what Allah wanted us to realize.

”But why do people have to die?” Dayyaan pressed on. “Why do they have to go away from us?”

I took a deep breath and looked at him, swallowing as I thought about it.

”I think it’s because we don’t belong here,” I said softly, instantly knowing that was the exact answer that Khawlah would have given them. “We’re not created to live here, honey, and when people die, it’s because Allah has called them home… and believe me, boy, it’s like a million times better than any house you’ve ever seen here!”

Siraj’s face held a tiny smirk as he watched Dayyaan nod and then move off contentedly to where Ahmed and Danyaal were. Thank goodness. I wasn’t sure if I could handle anymore of the kids’ questions. I wasn’t sure if it was just me or if kids these days were really just getting way too deep for my liking…

”So much simpler to comfort kids, huh?” He said blandly.

”Too right…” I murmured. Once we grow older and begin to understand reality… well, it’s just that much more challenging.

“On a more serious note,” my uncle was saying quietly. “We need to start thinking seriously about what implications this will have. His deterioration is accelerating. It’s not going to be easy if he continues like this. We will have to get a caregiver. Someone to help him. Take him to the bathroom. Help him eat. We can’t expect his wife to take it all on…”

My heart contracted in my chest as he said it, and I couldn’t help but remember the constant ache in my heart as I thought about how suddenly it had all changed. Whether it was actually a stroke or just the result of the enlargement of the tumor was still unclear. Adam would probably be hating that he had become like this. It was his worst fear. Just yesterday he was talking and laughing. Joking about what a terrible patient he was.

Today, my mind just couldn’t process the damage that had happened overnight, but as I thought about it, it seemed to make more sense. The boys would get angry when I’d refuse to bring them, but what they didn’t understand was that Adam was almost always sleeping anyway. But yesterday… well, yesterday was different. Yesterday we had shared secret hopes amongst ourselves. Yesterday we had hoped that maybe the cancer had disappeared. I expected him to magically recover but what I didn’t realize was that maybe Adam knew better than us all. From the way he sat, I could tell that while we all went through the stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining… Adam was already on the path of acceptance.  He had already moved on, because he knew that all he could do from now was to use the last reserves of his energy to give himself a memorable farewell…

A single tear rolled down my cheek as I thought of my brother. My favorite person. My best friend. My go-to guy.

Siraj swallowed hard, pulling off his glasses as he rubbed his eyes. I could see he was tired. He had been on night shift at a hospital and had rushed here first thing in the morning. With his new facial hair that had become his standard look, Siraj resembled Adam almost identically now. It was, understandably, a little freaky.

“Keep your glasses on,” I sniffed with a small smile. “You guys look too much alike for comfort…”

He pushed his glasses up his nose again, looking at me with a furrowed brow.

“I hear that there’s a baby on the way..”

I looked at my uncle a little hesitantly as he asked again, not sure confirm the news or not, I wasn’t sure if Khawlah wanted anyone to know.

“Adam told me,” he said softly. “Before he…”

I gave a shadow of a smile as I thought of how excited Adam was that night. He had called me just as he stepped out for Salaah to the Masjid next door. It seemed like he had called Siraj too.

“I have one more letter to write,” he said. “I could hear him gasping slightly for breath as he walked. “I’ll call you later. Before bed if I can get some time without her in earshot. We just found out that she’s expecting. I’m literally floating…”

I gasped in disbelief, shocked that at this time, when they were both understandably stressed and a little unprepared… that had actually happened. I knew my brother loved kids. I just didn’t expect it so soon.

“I’m so happy for you guys,” I said softly, my eyes dampening at the corners. “Masha Allah! What exciting news. Just please take it easy now. You have something to look forward to…”

”Stop stressing, Rubes,” he had said. “Whatever’s in the plan will happen. This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. You know how they say there’s goodness in every situation? I actually can’t believe that amidst this craziness we were given such a gift. I’ll catch you later, yeah? Maybe around 9. At the mosque.”

Though the masjid wasn’t far I always worried about him pushing himself too much. The truth was that my brother never missed his Salaah in Jamaat, unless he was feeling really terrible. That day wasn’t a good day, but after getting the news, he was  evidently on top of the world.

Ahmed and the two big boys had been getting ready to leave for mosque too and I waved to them as they headed off, watching my husband reverse out carefully from the narrow driveway. Everything had just fallen into place so beautifully, but it wasn’t always a walk in the park for me. There were moments when I wondered if he didn’t get annoyed with them for barging into the room or screaming from the top of the stairs. There were moments when things were crazy and a little testing. There were times when I couldn’t give him the attention I wanted and needed to because there were four young humans who needed my attention too. It was like I was waiting for an eruption of some sort all this time, but with Ahmed’s passive and accommodating personality, every day just seemed to be easier. He took it in his stride as we worked to find some kind of routine, sharing tasks and giving each other a break where needed. That was what it was about right?!

“I had warned him against it,” Siraj was saying, as my mind adjusted back to the present. “That he shouldn’t risk it. He was adamant. And then I found out that after a week that he was refusing to do the chemo anyway. Caught him by surprise one day at the hospital, chilling at the cafeteria…”

What?!” I asked, now in shock. He wasn’t doing any treatment? That was crazy.

Siraj shrugged.

”He has no faith in medical intervention,” Siraj said. “Said it’s a waste of time. I couldn’t change his mind. He said that he would take his chances and what was meant to happen would happen..”

”But he used to go three times a week!” I exclaimed, still a little confused. Shocked, too.

”He’d go to the children’s oncology ward,” Siraj said with a shake of his head. “Play with the kids there. Give them some hope. The doctor there was full of praises for him. Said he’s really something. He really is…was…”

I shook my head, unable to formulate any words for a few moments. To play with the kids? My word, my heart was overflowing with love for my little brother. Adam really was one in a million.

”I don’t know how he did it…”

And all this time my mother thought it was jadoo that was getting him down. At least the imposter had been low on the scenes after her appearance on the Nikah day, and Mum was calmer now, as she sat on the side of his bed, trying to soothe herself as she watched my brother sleeping.

”Maybe it was all that cell phone radiation,” she was saying earlier. “I told him that technology wasn’t the best thing for him. Mothers know these things. Computers, iPads … gadgets … every day, all day… of course it must have its effect…”

I looked at my mother silently. Maybe she was right. At one stage work was Adam’s entire life. It had sucked him in. He was so young but so successful. All that meant nothing right now… and at the end of the day, whatever Allah plans will unfold…

It was precisely at that moment when Khawlah exited the room, and I could see that she had been crying. She came up to us while I stepped aside, whispering to me that Adam wanted to see me. I could feel my heart beat escalate. When I had gone earlier, he had turned his face away… like he didn’t want to talk to me about anything as yet. He just wasn’t ready.

”Adam,” I said softly, as I approached his bed. His breathing was audible and completely unnerving. “Can I get you anything at all?”

He looked at me cynically, and it was as if he couldn’t quite comprehend what I was saying. His hair had been combed and he was wearing a fresh t-shirt. He was looking as handsome as always, but I couldn’t help but notice that the left side of his face was very obviously limp. I could see the effect of the diagnosed stroke better as he spoke.

“You act… like… I’m… dying…”

His breaths were spaced apart and his voice was a little more hoarse than usual. His labored breathing had become even more heavy than the past few weeks, but today was scary. It seemed that infection had set in. His lungs had been taking a massive blow. Siraj said it happened with Immuno-compromised patients. It was something he’d either fight back or let get the better of him…

The corner of his mouth lifted as he glanced at me. As if this was the time for humor. I wanted to twist his ear.

Could any joke even minimize the horror of what was really happening to him?

Shurrup,” I said quietly, swallowing my emotion and  pulling the chair up closer to him. In his right hand there was a Tasbeeh and I could see the beads moving slowly as he looked ahead.

”I … read your… e-mail.”

I had written him an e-mail almost a month ago.

Being the crazy and emotional woman that I was on my Nikah day, I had gotten a bit emotional when  I tried to thank him in person and decided to mail it to him. I knew that it was a bit unconventional but a girl had to do what a girl had to do.

”Don’t you think you could have done it earlier?” I asked snappily, feigning annoyance and biting back emotion purposely. I didn’t want to show him how much this hurt. I didn’t want him to know how seeing him this way was breaking us.

I breathed in.

”I wasn’t… ready… to say… goodbye…”

I met his gaze as he said it, the afternoon light catching the evidence of a single shiny streak that ran down his one cheek. I wanted to reach out to him… to hug him… to tell him to hold on for us just a little longer, but it was like there was a huge lump at the base of my parched throat that was obstructing anything coherent. Instead, all I could do was grasp his hand with vehemence and look down as my own eyes filled with tears. My little brother. This was my baby brother. How did we even begin to justify this? How was this even fair?

”Stop crying,” he warned, his words merging together as he slurred slightly. “You’re going … to spoil your… make-up..”

“Who cares about the make up?” I babbled incoherently, remembering him telling me those exact words on my Nikah day. I couldn’t stop the tears that were running down my cheeks. As much as I wanted to stay strong for him, I couldn’t hold it back any longer,

I felt so indebted to him. For sorting everything out. For being so accepting. For being such an amazing human. For giving me a chance, despite me giving up on myself. For showing me, through the letters he had made me so carefully pen… that true and real love for Allah Ta’ala could really exist.

Now I knew why he had put me on the task. It wasn’t about him not managing to pen them. There was a deeper purpose behind it. It was about him showing me a perfect reality that could give me hope once again. It’s what made me take the plunge. It’s what made me take a chance. It was the only thing that completely turned it all around for me.

What he and Khawlah had was something that I thought could never exist. I didn’t know that such a beautiful and uplifting love for each could be nurtured in this ugly world. They had given me so much of hope. Inspiration. Endless ambition…

”Aren’t you scared?” I asked him, my voice breaking as he looked at me trying to unsuccessfully hide my  obvious sobbing.

He shook his head and half smiled.

”I’ve seen… so much…” he started, slightly incoherently as he breathed heavily in between. “I’ve seen.. how Allah… can provide… from sources… you can’t even… imagine…”

How could I forget? 

It was too much for him to say. It was too much for me to even process. His chest heaved as he halted, and despite wanting to tell him so much more, all I could do was weep bitterly, right there and then, for everything he had gone through.

Of course. From sources we cannot even imagine. It was what I had told relayed to in the e-mail. The verse that lifted my spirits every time I read it.

And whoever fears Allah, He will make for him a way out. And provide for him from where he does not expect (sources he can’t imagine).
And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a (decreed) extent.” (65:3)

It was a reminder of everything I’d witnessed. I’d seen so much of goodness when I turned to Allah. I’ve learnt so much about expecting the best from my Lord. Surely, when you have faith and trust in Allah… when you are conscious of Him, then He will never disappoint. He will provide from sources where our feeble minds can never even begin to comprehend. I saw it in every waking moment…

”I love… you, Rubes…” he whispered, almost inaudibly, his syllables unclear as he said it. My heart shattered as he said it, unable to hold the weight of what this all meant. Amazingly, I held it together as I closed my eyes, opening it to see my brother now already drifting into some other dreamlike world.

”I love you too, Adam,” I whispered softly, reaching out for his hand. I wasn’t sure if he had even heard me.

He closed his eyes as watched his breathing steady and settle into a rhythm. I didn’t know what to do next. Whether to wait for him or to go away. I sat there for a few more minutes, on the corner couch, staring at his sleeping form. It was the only time he seemed to get any relief. Not that Adam complained about the pain, but I could tell from the way he unexpectedly winced at times that his agony was far worse than he’d ever let on.

I sat there as the memories played in my mind… almost like a film in reverse… rolling through the years where it would feature my brother with the most memorable lines of all. In my mind, he was forever alive. Full of excitement. Always bubbly and jovial. His charm. His wit. His sincere compassion. His genuine inspiration.

The eagerness that he possessed to change everything… his entire life, just so that he could have a chance to do it right… I wondered for a moment if the memories would stay that way or if they would fade as the years went by.

Adam had insisted on reading all his Salaah that day. Khawlah had helped him to make a whudhu for Asr. Everyone was still hovering around, not sure of what to do. Even Zuleikha and her husband were unsettled. Eventually they had all left, and as per my brothers request, I had given Khawlah the letter and as she read it, I turned away, not wanting to feel the emotion that was probably overtaking her right then.

I found myself outside the room again, in limbo, because I couldn’t believe that this was actually happening.

I tried to steady myself as I walked out, using Ahmed as a support as he came towards me, a little overwhelmed by everything that had happened that day. Even he looked a little unsure of how to react. No-one knew what to say. What to hope for. How to deal with this…

When I looked at Aadam that day, I wasn’t sure what it was… but just before the Maghrib Aadhaan sounded that day, I could see only a look of intense serenity on his rested face..

I didn’t know that it would be the last time I saw my brother alive, although I was almost certain that Allah had selected him to be one of those privileged souls who were too special to stay in this tarnished world any longer…

They say that for those people whom Allah Ta’ala loves, He assigns an angel, specifically allocated to be at their service at the time of death. Just like how a doctor will give a sweet to distract a child from a painful prick of an injection… this guardian angel plays the same role by releasing a beautiful scent under his nose, making him oblivious to all but that sweet fragrance of what’s to come … and before he knows it, his Rooh is painlessly extracted from his physical body just like a hair is pulled out from a stack of hay. He feels nothing. Not even a twinge…

Amidst the cries of grief and loss that our hearts were submerged in, I could tell that as he was taken to the ghusl khana to be washed, his soul was almost pleading with us to hasten to his grave. Surely his Allah had fulfilled His promise. Surely his abode would be a pleasant one. Surely, as the prayer for Maghrib Aadhaan was called and his Janazah was prayed thereafter on that beautiful day of Jumuah, and we had that intensely peaceful feeling of reassurance… hope upon hope that his grave would be expanded vastly upon his arrival…

Yes, death was brutal. Like a punch in the stomach… Blurring your vision for a short time, and then bringing the reality of life that we had long ago lost the essence of into focus once again.

Death didn’t look at your wealth, status or your dependants. Death didn’t look at your youthful beauty, expectant wives, or wait for you to meet your unborn child.

Death, in it’s ferocity, didn’t even look at your age.

And yes, it breaks homes, and yes, it destroys souls. It is awful and painful, yet only a reality that we have to face. As if it was ripped apart, your heart will never be the same again. And my heart broke a little more, knowing that everything will change, yet also be the most real I had ever felt before.

Because the realisation then hit me:

This was only meant as a reminder… To remind us that indeed, each and every one of us belong to our Creator only.

The feelings were like a piercing through my very soul. With the passage of time, I’m sure I’ve forgotten more than I remember. Some memories I’ve willed myself to forget. Some I’ve clung onto for dear life.

But other memories of those final days…. well, they would surely remain with me forever…


Mission Sunnah Revival!

Just a reminder, especially in these times of craziness and uncertainty to make abundant istighfaar and try and bring more Sunnah into our lives. Let’s keep the miswaak available for frequent use, InshaAllah. Let’s also try and fast – Nabi (SAW) used to keep plenty of fasts in the month of Shabaan. Allah give us the tawfeeq.

Hold fats to our Sunnah, istighfaar and lots of Durood, especially on this day of Jumuah…

Let’s do so with the intention that Allah alleviates all the trials of the Ummah. Aameen 

Much Love, 

A xx

allahuma baarik lana fi Sha’bana wa balligh-na Ramadan

Oh Allah! Grant us Barakah (Blessing) during (the months of) Sha’ban, and allow us to reach Ramadan.

Imam Shafi’i RA has stated: “I have heard that duaas are accepted

by Almighty Allah on five nights:

The night of Jumu’ah

The nights of the two ‘Eids

The first night of Rajab

The middle (15th) night of Sha’ban

Allah accept our efforts and Duaas.

A forgotten Sunnah. Eaten fallen particles… Sometimes we forget the Barakah that can be in even a grain of food. To eat what has fallen on the cloth or even the floor… SubhaanAllah.

Anas ibn Maalik narrated that when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ate, he would lick his three fingers. Anas said: “And he said, ‘If any one of you drops a piece of food, let him remove any dirt from it and eat it, and not leave it for the Shaytaan.’ And he commanded us to clean the plate, and said, ‘For you do not know where in your food the blessing is.’” (Narrated by Muslim, 2034). 








Twitter: @ajourneyjournal






Eternal Love

Bismihi Ta’ala


“I don’t know how it happened,” I was whimpering, blinking almost belligerently at Aadam as I sniffed. I could just imagine my eyes being all puffy and my nose all blotchy and red. It was definitely not the most romantic moment…

“I’m usually so on time and I can’t believe that I didn’t even notice-“

“Hey hey hey,” Aadam said softly, pulling me into a comforting embrace while I sobbed into his chest.

He smelt all fresh and aftershave-ish and his familiarity just made me more emotional. I wasn’t even sure why I was crying. Hormones were definitely getting the better of me and the anxiety was so severe that I felt like I could barely breathe.

“I’m s-so sorryyyy…” I bawled into his t-shirt neckline as I thought of how much more complicated this would make things.

“For what?” Aadam said, releasing me and peering at me curiously. I could see that he was trying hard not to grin. “You act as if you’re in control here, love. I can see that you’re not ready for this and I feel like such scum for feeling excited…”

“No,” I said, shaking my head. “Please don’t. Its not that. I’m scared because of what could happen. I’m scared that everything won’t be okay…”

Aadam swallowed and looked a bit nervous as I said it. I’m sure he was worried about the same thing. Or maybe not. At that stage I couldn’t tell what he was thinking…

“Don’t worry about that,” he said softly. “Did you do a test?”

I shook my head.

“Don’t you think we’re jumping the gun?” He murmured as he looked at me seriously. “Personally, a baby… Khawlah… yours and my own little bundle of happiness. The boys would be so excited. My mum would be begging for a girl. And I’d be over the moon, yeah…”

“Really?” I asked, breathing in shakily as I tried to stop the tears. What was happening to me?

“But there’s only one way to really find out, right…?” He concluded. “And I honestly don’t think I can wait so I’m calling the pharmacy to deliver a test…”

I nodded numbly as he picked up the phone and arranged the delivery for later that evening. I could feel my heart rate slowing down as I tried to pacify myself. All I could think of was what if there was something wrong? What if the baby wasn’t normal? What if those chemicals and foreign bodies interfered with the baby’s development and everything wasn’t okay?

I lay in bed later that night with a knot (amongst other things) in my tummy and much on my mind. Aadam had waited anxiously outside the bathroom on a chair when I did the test, and as I expected, two solid lines appeared almost a minute after I stepped out. His face was glowing with happiness as he saw it, and I couldn’t help but feel like such a crappy person for being less than excited. 

“I’m ecstatic,” he said, his hand reaching out for mine under the blanket. “I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe that after everything… I’m still going to be a father…”

I breathed in deeply and swallowed. Somehow I just couldn’t feel his excitement.

”Aren’t you worried?” I asked, looking up into the dark as I said it. “Don’t you remember what Uncle Siraj was saying?”

”Khawlah,” Aadam said softly. “Doctors don’t  know everything. A rotten guy like me… after everything I’ve done and said… and Allah chose to still forgive me and give me this beautiful gift… it’s like a little piece of Jannah right here on earth…”

I breathed in as he said it, not really understanding how all this anxiety and uncertainty could ever be a good thing. The truth was that we do so much of wrong in this life that we don’t deserve the mercy. If we were taken to task for everything we did… for every sin our bodies committed… we would have probably been paralyzed.

So many bounties… if we have to look around at them, we could never count…

I breathed in deeply, trying to let everything, including my unruly tummy, settle. It was a good thing. A blessing. Besides the fact that Nusaybah would probably chew my ears off with her twenty-one questions and theories… a baby was an amazing gift…

”Can you see this meager width of my hand?” He said softly, cutting into my thoughts as I looked at his outstretched hand in the semi-dark as he flattened it out. His fingers seemed longer and leaner now that he had lost a little weight. 

Hmmmm,” I murmured, still feeling overwhelmed as he breathed audibly next to me. 

”Just this portion of land in Jannah,” he said quietly. “I remember Maulana saying that a minute piece of land of this size in eternal Jannah, sweets… well, I don’t know if you can ever imagine it, but this very portion in Paradise holds even more treasures than the entire universe and everything within it…”

I breathed in and closed my eyes as he said it, trying to picture it as I comprehended. It was impossible. Why does it happen that as we grow up, that we seem so much more occupied with this world, and so much further away from the hereafter, when in reality… we should be feeling closer to it all? Somehow, as a young girl, when Khalid would say it, it seemed so much easier. So much more real… beautiful… majestic… 

Picture Jannah,” he would say to me. “Whenever you feel sad, Khawlah, just picture it!”

His voice would get excited as he continued. his eyes would dance away as he jumped up on a nearby rock and stretch out his hands.

“In Jannah, even the person in the lowest stage, Khawlah … they’ll get a whole palace made of a see-through pearl… and each palace will have seventy thousand apartments with each apartment having seventy thousand doors… and at each door Khawlah… there will be seventy thousand angels just to make Salaam to them!”

And of course, despite the mind-boggling numbers, I would try and picture these thousands of mini abodes that would be housing me and whoever I desired and my mind would come alive as I’d comfort myself with the knowledge that my mother was right there, in one of those spectacular glass houses, waiting for me to come and join her one day.. 

“I feel like I’m flying,” Aadam said quietly, squeezing my hand and cutting into my thoughts. “And it just gives me so much of hope because when we truly understand what Allah can do, there’s nothing in the world that is impossible. If we truly understood His beauty and His vastness, we’d be swept of our feet. It’s unparalleled….”

He was right. We stress and we worry and we let the burdens of life overwhelm us when there truly is only one solution to it all. Turn to Allah. Turn to Allah. He’s constantly calling and beckoning to us. His signs are all over the universe. He has no limit to His treasure. Sometimes, even in the worst of times, all it takes is one sincere person to make Taubah and Allah alleviates the burdens of the entire Ummah…

“I know this wasn’t in the plan,” he continued softly. “But it’s happened and it’s amazing and I love this feeling. I’m on cloud nine. Everything is Him. In His control. By Him. Our Hearts. Our souls…. It just makes me want to surrender to Him. Leave it to Him. There’s no grief and no sadness for a believer. I love you so much Khawlah and I just have this feeling that Allah is going to take care of it all….”

Trust. Faith. Tawakkul. If only I could have that. I knew what he was saying… but I still wanted to question him. I wanted so badly to ask him, what if it wasn’t? I wanted to argue and ask him how he knew. I wanted to question everything that happened so far, but I could already hear his audible breathing pattern alter and as he drifted into slumber I let it go for then, not knowing that tomorrow would hold a challenge of its own where I’d probably never get to know his answer to everything I was aching to know…

And  of course, after that chat, as I felt myself drifting off, the dreams that I had that night were absolutely unimaginable. I felt like I was living in a peaceful place of serenity and whiteness… Gardens and beauty… and as my eyes shot open suddenly at the sound of the city birds lightly teetering, I squinted at the clock in confusion, not quite comprehending that Aadam had missed his Tahajjud for the first time in months. The fact that there was a strange sound coming from somewhere in the room made it more confusing, and as I got up with a frown, I couldn’t help but wonder what it was. 

As far as I knew, my mother-in-law wasn’t here. It couldn’t be her smoothie machine. Not at this insane hour. The more I moved out from the room the further the noise sounded. It was a rhythmic sound, like a malfunctioning vent or fan. As I walked down the hallway, amidst the darkness that was slowly finding its way out, the sound seemed to get softer. It was only then that I realized that the sound was coming from the bedroom. Right next to me. That horrible noise wasn’t any type of drill or machinery. It was the sound of Aadam’s breathing. 

That was the day, precisely 12 hours before I sat at his side with a heavy heart, when Aadam suffered the stroke. His entire left side was paralyzed and as we attempted with every ounce of us to keep him afloat, he stayed semi-conscious and smiled, but our hearts would ache every minute he lay there, not being able to say what he really wanted to. I sat there with my head in my hands as we watched him that morning, waiting for some sign of progress, but as our heavy hearts felt it’s weight, we found none…

And yes, we wondered how. Why, despite everything he was doing and the chemo and radiation… how this tumour had still managed to break him. How it had got to the extent that now a stroke had been the result of its progression. I couldn’t make sense of it. I had thought he was on a slow route to better health. I had had hope. Aadam was looking better. Just the day before he was talking like a man who was on the way to recovery. Just a few hours ago, he had sounded so alive. Full of life. Ready to take on the world..

But the plan that we had was different to the one that was written. At that precise moment, as we all gathered together around him, Rubeena’s gentle hand grasped my shoulder from behind and pulled me back, watching me closely as she handed me the letter that would provide some insight to the little question marks that were floating around in my mind. 

”Adam asked me to give this to you before the end of today,” she whispered quietly. “I think it’s about time…”

The sound of Ahmed’s reading could be heard in the background. People were sniffing. Tearing. My mother-in-law was in shock. Abba was sitting outside the room in limbo. The boys too were silent, as they waited in the lounge. 

I looked up at Rubeena in confusion as she watched me, the tears streaming down her face as she dabbed her eyes. It was like he knew. He knew and he needed to have his day… this last piece of broken magic before everything spiraled somewhat out of our control…

My Love,

It’s late at night and I’m struggling to find the words to tell you exactly what’s on my mind. In truth, I don’t even know how to say what I need to. 

It’s just a few day’s since I completed the letters. All 365 of them. After you told me about your mothers letter, well, I kind of wanted to follow in her footsteps. I’m sure Rubeena’s hands are sore (sorry, sis, I owe you big time), but I just needed to compose this one more. I just wanted one final chance. I wanted to find the eternal words to remind you every day that there was once this crazy guy that you fell in love with and loved you to bits too…

And yeah, I know you might think that I’m being unusually sentimental. I could tell you that I love you and that I’ve never met anyone like you and that I wish we had our entire lives together, but it still wouldn’t summarize the essence of what you really mean to me. I mean, how do I say goodbye to the person who means more to me than words could ever describe? How do I even put together the words that I need to express how deeply I’m indebted to you? 

And so, with much on my mind and a slightly heavy heart… I pen this letter not just to say goodbye, my love…. but to say thank you.

Thank you for putting up with this grumpy old sod. Thank you for picking up my dirty socks. For fetching my coffee when I was being lazy. For cleaning up the puke when it was all over the white linen (I know it took forever, but it just made me love you more). Thank you for the unlimited supply of Dettol. And thank you for still saying I love you back when my breath was honking (I could smell it too.) It made my night.

Okay, I’m kidding. (not really…) but on a more serious note… Thank you for being there for me, okay? 

Thank you for your unwavering patience. For giving me courage. For lifting me up when I felt like I was on the verge of breaking down. Thank you for being my rock. My soldier. My warrior. For looking out for me. For reminding me that there would be better days. For giving me something to hold onto when I thought I was never going to make it through. For reminding me that there was a Greater Power out there Who knows every whisper within the crevices of my aching heart. For reminding that despite my sins I was still able to find a light in His love. For bringing me closer to the One who knows me inside and out…

Thank you so much for helping me to love Allah. And thank you, beautiful, for giving me the best worldly gift that a guy could have. A little piece of Jannah that I know you’ll raise to be Allah-fearing and pious and just like his or her gorgeous mother. I know you’re probably wondering how it all happened despite what Uncle Siraj had said, and that’s another story altogether that I’ll leave Siraj to explain to you guys in a bit, since it’s way past my bedtime…

Yours was a type of love that took me by surprise. A type that made me love you, not for what you could give me, but for what you are. Through that love, I turned to Him. I sought Him, not just for now, but for all eternity.

Thank you for giving me that type of Eternal Love. May the Almighty bless you with a happiness that’s greater than any moment I spent with you…

I love you more than you’ll ever know. Please just know that I am and will be forever indebted to you…

Dear readers, 

Just a reminder, especially in these times of craziness to make abundant istighfaar and try and bring more Sunnah into our lives. Let’s keep the miswaak available for frequent use, InshaAllah 

May Allah alleviate all the trials of the Ummah 

Much Love, 

A xx

allahuma baarik lana fi Rajaba wa Sha’bana wa balligh-na Ramadan

Oh Allah! Grant us Barakah (Blessing) during (the months of) Rajab and Sha’ban, and allow us to reach Ramadan.

Dua on the first night of Rajab is readily accepted by Allah.

Imam Shafi’i RA has stated: “I have heard that duaas are accepted

by Almighty Allah on five nights:

The night of Jumu’ah

The nights of the two ‘Eids

The first night of Rajab

The middle (15th) night of Sha’ban

Allah accept our efforts and Duaas.

A forgotten Sunnah. Eaten fallen particles… Sometimes we forget the Barakah that can be in even a grain of food. To eat what has fallen on the cloth or even the floor… SubhaanAllah.

Anas ibn Maalik narrated that when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ate, he would lick his three fingers. Anas said: “And he said, ‘If any one of you drops a piece of food, let him remove any dirt from it and eat it, and not leave it for the Shaytaan.’ And he commanded us to clean the plate, and said, ‘For you do not know where in your food the blessing is.’” (Narrated by Muslim, 2034). 








Twitter: @ajourneyjournal






Twitter: @ajourneyjournal

Changing Hearts

Bismihi Ta’ala


When people say things like ‘people don’t change’, it can drive me crazy because change is the only constant of life. It’s inevitable. Whether it’s growing, dying, morphing or merging… whether you’re a scientist or not, we know that life changes. People too. Some people lose it. Some people find it. Sometimes the changes are forced on us. Sometimes they happen by accident and we make the most of them. Our hearts are constantly undergoing alterations. We become closer to who we really are. We change, we adapt. We create new versions of ourselves… we try and find our way and hope and pray that the light spreads to those around us too. 

I remember a pious Aalim once saying that if you desire change for anyone… be it your family or someone you may have met in a park, you have to start with yourself. You have to change yourself. You have to strengthen your Imaan. Do your Dhikr. Be constant in good deeds. Once you take that step towards a better you, the feeling of guidance that will follow us beyond what words can describe. When Allah takes someone’s hand and others are able to see the effect that He brought into their life, it’s a priceless gift that change even the most rigid of hearts.

And as I looked at this girl that had somehow refeatured in my life, I somehow couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of appreciation for this change of heart. From being completely averse to any change… she was now sitting before me with her heart completely altered.

”Im sure this meeting wasn’t easy for you,” the girl was saying, as she looked up at me. She was still as I remembered her. Except for the most obvious change, she was still striking in a completely unexpected way. “I mean, no one wants to be reminded of her husband’s mistakes. I’m sure when you found out the truth about what I did it made you feel hurt and protective and also probably not wanting wanting to ever see me again… but there’s something that I really wanted to tell you. This change that happened for me, well, I needed to share it with someone who knew where I came from and could make sense of me. I’m still trying to find my footing but as my life changes, I have a feeling that one day, I’m going to get it right… ”

She pulled the front of her hijab a little forward as she smiled.

”I didn’t want to cause trouble or disrupt your lives,” she said sincerely, her blue eyes appearing almost violet as she spoke. “But I just wanted you to know how much you truly changed my perspective when I spoke to you that day. As scientists, well… we don’t really think about God. About God’s will. We believe that medicine does. That we do. When you said it was all in God’s hands… When you spoke about faith.. When you made me think about what I was really doing all that time. I didn’t want to just read and learn more. I wanted to action it…”

“It’s no trouble…” I stuttered stupidly, still a little taken aback. Actually, I was quite shocked that she was saying all of this.

”I just wanted to let you know that it was meeting you that changed it for me,” she continued firmly.  “Sometimes you just need a new perspective. I didn’t know who you were. I just saw this pretty and modest girl with much on her mind and I needed to offload. When I told you I had a ligation, it was after I knew who you were. I didn’t want you to know that I had made the same mistake twice. And then the next year I met another guy who wasn’t so worthy, but I wanted to make things right with. It didn’t make sense, and it didn’t work out … but now that I have a daughter from him and have now met an amazing guy who shows me so much more about this religion than I had ever known, I know that Allah had a plan for me and I’m so glad that I took the step in the first place ..”

How could I take credit for it? It was only Allah who guides a person. It was only Him who chooses a person to change their life, sometimes in a most unconventional way.

I still couldn’t believe it what she was saying. That she had reverted. After everything. After not wanting to marry Aadam for that precise reason, and then actually having a real baby from someone else and going around in circles trying to find some reason and meaning… she had met someone a practicing Muslim doctor who she was going to make Nikah to. It was quite unbelievable.

”You know what the amazing part is?” She said, almost as an afterthought as I offered a warm embrace and we got ready to part. “When I was trying to explain to my mother… Through this whole journey, I learnt that even in the Christian world… for years before in the past… there was a modesty. There was actually a hijab. They would leave the home with their hair covered. In the past, even for Christians, there would be no extra-marital relations. Maybe I knew the principles, but my parents never enforced it. There were no barriers.  No laws. When modernization came into play it all changed, but now I see the wisdom in religion. The difference that made it for me was that whilst Christianity changed so much… the principles of Islam remain unaltered. And when I found out that I didn’t have to confess my sins to a priest and I could turn to Allah and seek His repentance, it was like coming up for air after a really long dive…”

I looked at her, a little stunned as she spoke in great detail about facts of my own Deen, which even I didn’t know about. Contrary to my expectations, this beautiful girl had actually brought so much more into perspective that I had anticipated. That was just the thing with Imaan though, right. It changes your perspective. It changes your life.

And be it through the best of times or the worst of times, somehow Aadam and I made it through all of the times with an ease that couldn’t have been but through the grace of our Lord. I had come to terms with his past, and most importantly, he had too. And of course, being Aadam, he took everything in his stride, never looking back at the time when I had been less than understanding or a little too judgemental. We had overlooked and moved past and were now at a place where there was nothing that was awkward or inappropriate to speak about. Well, almost nothing. It was just that Aadam sometimes had fun taking the mickey out of my brother when the opportunity arose.

“This is all your sisters fault,” he was saying, the week after to Ahmed as he sat on the recliner in his room, with his legs up almost in exhausted limbo as he peered at me accusingly. Today wasn’t a good day, but he was trying hard to hide it.

I shook my head at Aadam as he raised his one eyebrow at Ahmed.

“She kept me up the whole night…” Aadam was saying, his breath a little heavy has he spoke. He had developed a nasty cough in the last few day’s and it made him sound a hundred times worse, but didn’t stop him from his usual antics. “I honestly didn’t know what to do with her…”

Ahmed shifted awkwardly and avoided eye contact, and I wanted to grin as I read my brothers expression. Though Ahmed was always a tough guy, I could see that his ears were reddening and he was feeling a little out of place. I could tell that Aadam was poking at Ahmed, and my brother  was petrified that Aadam was venturing into territories that were usually avoided. I smiled at my husband as his one dimple flashed momentarily at Ahmed’s modesty. It was a trait of Ahmed that I had come to admire over the years. Any mention of affection would usually send him awol.

”She said I snore too loud,” Aadam said finally, releasing Ahmed from the torment as he looked up in immense relief.

”You do!” I retorted, crossing my arms over my chest as I narrowed my eyes at him playfully. I knew it was related to his chest, but it didn’t make the sound any more bearable. 

”See!” Aadam said pointedly, pouting slightly as he  looked at Ahmed again. “I can’t even be sick in peace! I’m done with the people in this house. One won’t let me sleep in peace and the other feeds me all the weirdest food you can think of. Can I just move in with you guys, please?”

Ahmed smiled, but there was a certain sadness in his eyes as he replied. No-one has said it aloud but when we thought about it sometimes we couldn’t help but wonder how many day’s Aadam had left to achieve everything that he wanted to…

“Anytime, bro,” he said softly, as Rubeena walked in from the kitchen. “Anytime.”

Rubeena had been cooking up a storm. She had  morphed into a fully blown home-maker since marriage and I could already see Ahmed putting on some weight. As for my mother-in-law, she had packed the fridge with her concoctions and basically threatened to disown him if it wasn’t emptied, but Aadam was barely fazed. He seemed to have no appetite at all.

Aadam stuck out his tongue at me, contented that he had found his threatened back-up plan.

”Is my brother complaining about his caregivers again?” Ruby said, raising her eyebrows and turning to Adam. ”Ahmed is a softie. You’re taking advantage of his nature. Stop conning him into thinking that you’re the perfect patient.”


It was both Ahmed and Aadam that moaned together, and I laughed as they looked Ruby accusingly.

”You’re giving up all the secrets,” Ahmed said sulkily. “Spoiling Adams and my reputation. We’ve worked hard to get it that way.”

Pssshhht,” Rubeena said, shaking her head at them and then looking at Ahmed. The din from the lounge was heightening. “I think we should go now before the boys turn this entire apartment upside down.”

I could hear the boys making weird hooting sounds now and I smiled. Usually Aadam and I would take them out for a while but I could see my husband wasn’t up to it. They thought of the most unconventional games and it made me giggle at times. I missed them and their craziness. I looked at my husband and though he didn’t look like he minded, anyone could see that he needed a rest.

I watched them head off, the family of 6 that were surprisingly easy on the eye. Rubeena didn’t look a day over twenty-five and with Ahmed’s mature frame, the two of them really did suit each other. Unexpectedly. It had been two weeks since they were married and they seemed to be already settled into their new life with an unprecedented ease.

It was just proof that when you do things the right way then Allah makes everything fall into place.

As for me, it had been a week since my final matric paper and I was absolutely ecstatic. I had been here since then and something in my gut was telling me that I needed to. Though I missed my crazy friend who was spending the last two day’s sleeping it all off, I loved having so much of free time.

”Rubeena and Ahmed huh,” Aadam said, looking intrigued for the first time that day. He looked better already, now that his brain had been working since they left. I worried about him not doing as much to keep himself busy, but I could see that he couldn’t really manage anymore.

“Sometimes it still doesn’t click…” I said, thinking about them too.

“I know, yeah,” he said simply. “But imagine…Like even after loving someone and so many years, Allah gives us the ability to love again…“

He was right. Allah has made our heart such that we can keep opening it. The ability to love many times and in many different ways. Sometimes we think it’s the end of the road and then Allah fills it with such amazing love that we didn’t realize it’s capacity…

”Don’t you agree?” He said, looking at me with questioning eyes.

“It’s amazing,” I said softly. “They do look content, but it’s still early days..,”

I was always a cynical personality, but I knew that Ahmed and Rubeena could make this work. Aadam’s eyes were still fixed on me, and I watched him back carefully.

”A second chance,” he said quietly. “Sometimes the love of your life is the first. Sometimes it’s the last.

I sincerely believe that everyone has that one great love story… the one that stands out and puts the others away…”

I smiled as he blew me a kiss from the recliner.

”And sweets, mine is you,” he said sincerely. “You blew me away.”

My heart did a little flip-flop as he said it. Aw man.

“You’re becoming sweeter by the day,” I smiled. “You’re sure you taking meds and not getting them to send you other stuff instead?!”

Aadam grinned.

”Its my natural disposition,” he said confidently. “I have a question for you though… and I mean it in the most secure and diplomatic way. Am I your great love story?”

His gaze was fixed on me as he said it, and for a minute there, I wasn’t sure if he was serious or not. Aadam was always joking around, and when he was serious, sometimes I still didn’t know if he was really serious. I narrowed my eyes and cocked my head at him curiously. I had to be realistic here. He wouldn’t be asking this for nothing…

“Why would you even suggest that you aren’t?”

He was grinning but I could see the seriousness in his eyes.

“I knew that I wouldn’t get a straight answer out of you,” he said easily, still smiling. I could feel my heart rate escalating as I wondered why he was asking. “Mrs Evasive.”

I shrugged. If he knew then why did he ask?

”Its no secret that I wasn’t your first choice,” he said simply, as if he had knowledge beyond his years. “It didn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that there was someone else that you probably had in mind and I wasn’t exactly your type…”

”Did Ahmed tell you something?” I asked in exasperation, not realizing I was giving something away in the process. I placed my hands across my chest angrily. “Why are we even talking about this? Who told you what?”

I narrowed my eyes at him, wondering why he was bringing this all up. I didn’t know was that there was something that only Aadam knew that had triggered this conversation…

”I think I knew all along,” he said with a smile. “But now I know for sure..”

”I was seven years old!” I retorted, guessing what he was talking about and shaking my head. Ahmed would tease me about it relentlessly. He must have said something. “It was a marriage proposal at the top of the oak tree. I don’t think anyone can even take it seriously! Who knows what it even means at that age?”

”But that’s where you’re wrong, sweets,” he said simply, with one raised eyebrow. “I could see your reaction when the big news came about Khalid. That’s when I knew that it wasn’t just a childish crush…”

I shrugged and looked away, not wanting to talk about the past. There was no point anyway. As much as he knew about him, Aadam didn’t know what Khalid was really like. He had grown to be what I always expected of him. He had done good. Real good. But one thing I never understood was that he just never made an effort to stay in contact. Not with Yunus. Ahmed. My family. I didn’t expect him to visit but a phone call to my younger brother now and then would have been nice. I supposed all that mattered now was that he had made Aunty Radiyyah a really proud mama and that much was enough for me. What I didn’t know was that there was a deeper reason behind his elusiveness all those years ago than I had understood…

”I want you to know that I never meant to come in the way,” he said now, meeting my gaze steadily. “And that if anything had to happen to me, like how there was another plan back then, you need to know that its not ever the end of the road-“

“Just stop right there, mister!” I scolded. “The past is the past and the future is the future, can we just focus on now? I’m happy where I am. I promise. As realistic as it is, I don’t want to spend this time with you worrying and thinking about what could happen. I want to just be present. Right now, right here. Can we just try that? Please?!”

Being with Aadam was an adventure that I’d never forget. I didn’t want to spoil what I had by thinking about things that made me worried. Of course everything happened for a reason. At times I felt overwhelmed and stressed, but I knew that it all happened in the knowledge that with the will of Allah, we were both here for better or for worse.

”I suppose you’re right,” he said, his voice a little more sturdy now. “But this conversation isn’t over. Now that you mentioned the past… it just reminds me that I have the greatest news. Like ever.”

I looked at him, glad we were moving on but not wanting to continue with the conversation at any time. For me, despite the nightly feeling I had, the topic was closed.

”As long as it’s not digging up any skeletons, please do tell me.”

Aadam grinned. My stomach was feeling strangely upset with all this stressful talk. My abdomen had  been taking the toll and as soon as my nervous system felt compromised, I already felt like puking. I tried to maintain a straight face as Aadam looked at me with an excited expression.

”Okay, get ready for it…”

I couldn’t help but smirk at him as his face lit up. Sometimes he was so childish. Like a little boy.

”I just finished all my Qadha namaaz!” he burst excitedly.

I widened my eyes at him, despite my stress-induced discomfort.

Really?!” My heart was bursting for him. I could just imagine his joy.

It really was big news. It had been something that had troubled him from the time we had gotten married… and before that too. Every Salaah was an event for Aadam where he tried to catch up with all the years he had missed. To catch up so many in just short of three years was quite a miracle.

I felt like doing a happy dance for him, but instead went to the calendar that had his Qadha timetable below it, bursting with pride as I looked at all the blocks with ticks that had been filled in. He had really been onto this thing. I didn’t think that he would be able to do it but he had really outdone himself. I was amazed.

”I think this calls for a-“

I halted as I noticed the calendar below it which I used and had marked at random intervals, only realizing with a certain shock that it was already past mid-November and I had been kind of ignoring my cycle for the last two months. There had been so much going on  and I just hadn’t been paying attention. With Aadam’s chemo and radiation going on… I was completely oblivious.

I stared at the dates as I placed my finger on the month before, counting carefully and trying to figure out if I had made a mistake or not. I was also quite convinced that it couldn’t happen. Uncle Siraj had said that the chances were low. Of course he was right… right?!

“Celebration, of course?!” Aadam finished with a grin, not really noticing me peering at the dates carefully in complete limbo. He was already behind me, peering over my shoulder at his timetable in glee as his arms snaked around my waist. “After a nap and our Thursday night reading… How’s about a cuppa coffee out on the balcony? Or the rooftop? For old time’s sake, yeah? I know we haven’t been there for a while, and I think it’s time we visit my masterpiece of a swing and enjoy the starry night out under the city skies…”

His voice was drowned out by the voices in my head. It couldn’t be. It couldn’t be. How could I not notice how late I was? I was so young. Aadam was sick. We had been taking precautions. I knew this wasn’t safe. I had heard him say that he was scared of the radium affecting a foetus.

Chemotherapy. The chemo. Goodness, Uncle Siraj had directly told him to be careful. He had spoken to him about it extensively. We had always said we had to wait. How did this even happen? This was so dangerous. If it was true, how was I going to raise a child now?!

”Aadam,” I said, slowly turning around and meeting his eye. His smiling face immediately altered as he caught a glimpse of my morbid expression.

”What’s wrong, gorgeous?” He asked, narrowing his eyes slightly as he stroked my cheek. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Life changes. All the time. To put it roughly,  change is truly the only constant. Sometimes the changes are forced on us. Sometimes they happen by mistake. Sometimes we make the most of them. Long story short, change is inevitable. We change, we adapt. We create new versions of ourselves… we try and find our way and all we have to go with at times is the hope that there’s a little light out there in the change that we’ve adapted that can completely alter our hearts…

”Aadam, I’m so, so sorry…”

Dearest Readers,

Apoligies for the delays. My weeks just get too hectic. Just a note on Salaah and Qadha, sincere it’s the month of Rajab and the Sabaq of Rajab is to be consistently punctual and never miss a Salaah… let’s try InshaAllah to make our Qadha and never make a single more.

Allah grant us all the ability.

Much Love 

A xx 

Sunnah Duaa for Month of Rajab 

Allahuma baarik lana fi Rajaba wa Sha’bana wa balligh-na Ramadan

Oh Allah! Grant us Barakah (Blessing) during (the months of) Rajab and Sha’ban, and allow us to reach Ramadan.

Dua on the first night of Rajab is readily accepted by Allah.

Imam Shafi’i RA has stated: “I have heard that duaas are accepted

by Almighty Allah on five nights:

The night of Jumu’ah

The nights of the two ‘Eids

The first night of Rajab

The middle (15th) night of Sha’ban

Allah accept our efforts and Duaas.

A forgotten Sunnah. Eaten fallen particles… Sometimes we forget the Barakah that can be in even a grain of food. To eat what has fallen on the cloth or even the floor… SubhaanAllah.

Anas ibn Maalik narrated that when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ate, he would lick his three fingers. Anas said: “And he said, ‘If any one of you drops a piece of food, let him remove any dirt from it and eat it, and not leave it for the Shaytaan.’ And he commanded us to clean the plate, and said, ‘For you do not know where in your food the blessing is.’” (Narrated by Muslim, 2034). 








Twitter: @ajourneyjournal





Twitter: @ajourneyjournal


Until Tomorrow

Bismihi Ta’ala


My Ahmed, 

My eldest son. Second born. The apple of my eye. 

It’s your Nikah day and I’m sure you are on cloud nine right now. As I sit here on the rocker overlooking the window, I’m picturing it in my mind and I wish I could see your joy. The twinkle in your serious eyes. Maybe you’d give us a smile as you walked out the door. Maybe you’d smirk knowingly as you left home to begin your new life. Maybe just for a moment of unguarded freedom… you’d actually put your iron shield down…

It’s your moment of glory now now, and soon you’ll be embarking on a journey of your own. A journey unlike all you’ve known. A journey of life and love. A journey that will make you stronger in so many ways, yet will simmer you down in so many too.

Ahmedoo. You’ve always been my soldier. Unwavering. Unchanging. I love that most about you. Throughout my sickness I think it’s you that I’ve drawn the most strength from. You never showed me once how much it hurt.

But today, when I saw you sitting in your room, slumped over your books in grief… I wanted to tell you that I never knew that the pain was buried so deep. I never realized that even strong people could break. That even they have a empty gaps to fill.  That sometimes, it’s okay to open up your heart too.

As I pen this, with much on my mind and hope in my heart… knowing that you will read this on a day that love and joy will be overflowing… it gives me a great sense of relief. I know that this is a step you would never take until you were completely sure. I know already that there is no doubt in your mind that this is the right thing to do. 

I really hope that you have found the one. The one who leads you to the Eternal One. I hope you’ve found someone who breaks your armour. Who opens your heart. Who makes you dig to the darkest depths to explore the avenues of your soul that lead you to the Ultimate Love. I hope that, through this union, you’ve found Allah. 

There are many distractions along the way, but do remember that if we keep our focus on what’s everlasting, we can never go wrong. Remember that Allah doesn’t look at money or cars or houses. Remember that Allah looks only at one thing, and that’s a contented heart. A heart that is with Him. A heart that is at peace. Qalbun-Saleem. 

Remember that we grow through what we go though. We make mistakes. We learn our lessons, and then we find ourselves. All we need is a little patience… and lots of trust in Allah.

After everything, my son, whatever you’ve gone though… I truly hope that your heart is at rest. That you’ve found your peace. 

Please remember to make Du’aa in every moment that brings you joy. In any moment you may feel pain.  Please make a little Du’aa with your better half for me. Tell her that I would have been so thrilled that you’ve finally found her… 

Love you from the depths of my soul…

Much, much love,


A certain tranquility had overcome me as I watched my wife hold tightly onto the letter as I drove ahead… trying to relive those moments when everything felt okay. When all the pain was miles away. I was trying to transport my mind back to then. Back to when we were all thrilled and at ease with each other as we sat and spoke… really spoke… for the first time. As I got to know this woman who had become my new wife.

Till then, everything was perfect. 

”Mummy, was that Khawlah’s mother?”

I turned slightly towards Rubeena, tightening my grip on the steering as Dayyaan said it. She had her Tasbeeh counter in her hand and I could see her recording her Friday Durood as she tried hard not to say anything. I knew why.

I will still angry. So angry.

”Not her mother,” Danyaal said, and I could see him rolling his eyes in the rear view mirror. “Her stepmother. Remember her mother passed away when she was six.”

It felt like a tiny stab in my chest as he said it. That was my mother too. I was ten years old… 

”Like me!” Dayyaan said, sounding a big too thrilled about it for my liking.

I knew that I was being grumpy.
I couldn’t blame the child but my mood had become dampened due to recent events.
Aunty Nas had made an appearance and I knew exactly why she had come today.

I felt a warm hand on mine as I roughly changed the gears, forgetting for a moment that I had four kids in the car with me.

”Sorry,” I mumbled, glancing at Rubeena briefly and looking ahead. I had slowed down as we entered our first destination road. 

“It’s okay,” she said softly, squeezing my hand comfortingly. “I’m sure you must be upset…”

Upset was an understatement. I was furious.
I held my piece for a minute as the kids jumped off as their grandparents house, waving at us as we said we’d see them later.

Although Rubeena had insisted they would be fine with their grandparents for the night, I didn’t want to send them away, and I wanted her to understand. I wanted to set the tone from now. The children weren’t a burden. There was no reason to send them off just because I was there. I knew what it felt like when stepparents were shoving their step kids off and I never wanted these kids to feel that.

”Will they be okay?” I asked my wife, gesturing to the kids who were climbing up the stairs to the front door. “Must I go and see them in?”

She smiled as the door opened and they all waved, and I shifted into reverse once again.

”They’ll be okay,” she said. “They’re growing up now. Becoming so independent. Are you okay?”

I fixed my gaze ahead and shrugged as I reversed out, glancing in the rear view mirror to check for any cars.

“I understand if you don’t want to talk about it,” she said softly. “So much has happened today… that letter though. It just made my day. Your mother must have been amazing… beautiful too I’m sure…” 

My heart contracted slightly as she said it and immediately remembered my mother.

”Khawlah looks exactly like her,” I said, thinking of how Zuleikha and I fell on Abba’s side, with the olive skin tone and identical eye colour… and somehow Khawlah had nothing of Abba at all. Yunus too had his own unique look, that resembled my mother, but was somehow different to Khawlah. It was weird how genetics worked sometimes. 

I glanced at my wife, noticing her eyes filled with tears for the umpteenth time that day and I couldn’t help but grin. She was really something. Different to girls in my family. I had never experienced this before, but I found it quite amusing. I couldn’t believe that she had actually bawled when I showed her the letter. I found it strangely touching, even for a tough guy like me.

And yes, I  had almost forgotten about the letter. Almost. Thinking about it again now calmed me down. How Dada, in his old age had remembered to hand it to me today was beyond me. My mother obviously had a reason that she entrusted him with them. And then of course, Aunty Nas had barged in on us to dampen everyone’s spirits. 

If she wasn’t strutting around looking for attention, she was screaming her head off at something that had disgruntled her. I actually couldn’t believe that Abba had put up with her as long as he did. I couldn’t believe that we all did. I couldn’t believe that I did. I shuddered slightly as I remembered her eery voice. Somehow, in retrospect it was even scarier than it was at the time…

Ahmed.” She had took me aside one day and looked me in the eye. Her tone was kinder than usual. I narrowed my eyes at her, skeptical of her intentions. “I can read your eyes…. You have a lot of anger….”

I looked at her as if she was crazy. She was crazy. There was no doubt about it. Evil too. Of course I was angry. But what did she know about my anger? What did she know about me?

“There’s something I learnt in class today that I know will help you,” she said convincingly. “It’s good. Really good.”

I shook my head and shrugged her off, her determined not to get involved in her crazy ambitions. I didn’t know that she had been attending those arb ‘emotional healing classes’ and I wasn’t sure where she was coming from. When I looked back, it was when I realized that this was the precise time when Aunty Nas was starting to change.

And I got why she targeted me. I was a rough kid. Troubled. I knew I gave Abba a hard time. Everyone had said that I needed therapy. I was a problem. Eventually, I gave in. I had little choice. I thought if she focused on me she’d leave my sisters alone. She wanted to teach me about her new techniques. She said I could be her assistant, and earn money. Money had always been a draw-card for me.

Yes, and I didn’t realize what I was getting into. She asked me things that no-one had ventured into. She had a way of making it seem like meager small talk, as she spoke. She delved into the past and said it will heal me. She had done various physical adjustments on my body, but right then, I knew nothing about boundaries. As a young kid who was on the brink of adolescence, what Abba didn’t realize was that Aunty Nas was a bit crazier than he had perceived.

And yes, I was all for giving people a chance and believing they could change, but to prove she hadn’t, she had barged into the house that evening, demanding to know why Khawlah had interfered in her daughters life, and promising to get her back for it. I knew why she had come here today. I knew that she wanted to stir things up… maybe even spoil my day. But was more confusing was her obsession with my new mother-in-law that no-one could figure out. The two seemed have some recent clashes, but never in a good way.

”Ahmed, are you listening?” 

I blinked and looked at Rubeena,  realizing that I had zoned out. I nodded guiltily. I was still lost in the past. I wanted to open up to her about everything. To tell her that I was messed up and abused and sometimes a little too intense, but after everything, it was so hard to speak about feelings.

”Really?!” She said, putting her hands on her hips as she stood outside the car. We had just reached her house and were venturing up the steps that lead to the door. “What did I say?”

”Err,” I attempted, wanting to laugh at her directness but feeling bad that I wasn’t listening. It wasn’t on purpose though. There were just so many things on my mind. Today was supposed to be one of the most important days of my life, but the unexpected visit had kind of rocked the boat. Plus my mind was troubled by Adam and his wavering health. I knew I needed to focus on my wife and being with her unreservedly, but I was mentally drained.

Ahmed, you can’t let this spoil your day,” she said, her expression softening. “I know there are things we are both worried about but let’s just be present, okay? I’ve been trying to explain this to you but I rather just hand it over now…”

She paused and watched me as I looked at her curiously, and then calmly handed me the keys to the house. I looked at them and then looked back at her a little hesitantly, not sure what she wanted me to do.

“I want you to be the one to open it,” she said simply. “It’s your house too. I don’t want you to feel awkward or out of place. You’re my husband. The man of the house. From today… well… this is our home.”

I took a step backwards as I fiddled with the keys, knowing that this was something we never spoke about. It was strange. My wife giving me a house. I didn’t even have the means to buy her a house. I felt like an invalid. I knew we would be living here but I didn’t realize how it would feel. I didn’t think that far ahead, but now I know that maybe I should have…

”Can we talk about this?” I asked, rubbing my temples and handing her back her keys. I couldn’t do it. I had to talk this out first. 

Money. I knew there’d come a time when we’d have to delve into this. I wasn’t rich like her previous husband. I didn’t have the means to give her whatever she desired. After Aunty Nas’s barging in today, the emotions were stronger than ever. The insecurities were overwhelming. 

After all… that’s what all the fights were about. That’s how it spiraled out of control. Money. In her skewed mindset, she said she was doing it for money. The first time Abba had found out about Aunty Nas’s business, there was a big fight. He had took most of it out on me because Aunty Nas wasn’t the type you could reason with. It was the catalyst to something that was long coming, so I left them alone. After her coaxing and convincing… I had been somewhat damaged. Something had been altered inside of me but I wanted to forget it.

To tell the truth, I was getting older and Abba was getting scared of me. I was becoming wild. That’s when our relationship died. He couldn’t talk to me. No one could. With Abba no longer able to get through to me, they started fighting about it. About us kids. About the house. About money. About her ‘business’. Aunty Nas left me alone. I would escape to catch up with the neighborhood guys. I got caught up. Everything was about money. It could kill the pain. At home. In the street. Guns, mafia and armour. Drug trades and small deals. I turned to vices to kill the demons. Money was always the draw card. I let it control my life because I thought that I had no other escape…

Then I met Ziyaad at the airport that day and my entire life changed. 

”Ahmed,” Rubeena said softly, as she looked at me expectantly. She was waiting for me to continue. I gazed at her, not really believing that this amazing woman had somehow become mine. I had been dreaming of this and now it was happening. She was right here.

I met her gaze steadily as she came towards me, catching me slightly off guard as she came closer, feeling myself automatically stiffen at her proximity. That was just me. Like a reflex, I closed up when I felt emotion. I felt my heart beat escalate in terrified anticipation, but all she did at that point was lean in to embrace me comfortingly, allowing the pain of the day to completely dissipate as found my arms around her and numbly held her back. Her slim body fitted perfectly. I was still scared to feel anything. I was still afraid to let go. Despite the letter and what my mother had said… loving someone unreservedly might be harder than I thought..

But I had to remember, I thought to myself, as I tightened my arms around her. We grow through what we go through. We learn from our mistakes. We let go of the past. Now it was different. Now I knew better. Now I understood that I couldn’t let my past control the future.

I pulled back to look at the beautiful and kind-hearted woman who stood before me, waiting for me to open up to her. This was my wife. With her there were no more barriers.

”Ruby,” I started, because I knew we had little time before the function and I needed at least some of what was on my mind…

She looked at me, her brow slightly furrowed.

I had things that I wanted to assure her of. Insecurities that I needed to address.

”Im happy where we are,” I said quietly. “But I don’t think that this situation is ideal. We can’t be living here indefinitely. It’s not my home. I don’t want us to have fights about money or the kids or what you do. I don’t want you to have to earn for yourself. Your family is my family. I want us to make our own memories. I want to live a different kind of life. Maybe even go abroad. Even though I can’t afford it right now, I have a plan to move to our own home and to support you and our family fully. I want those boys to grow up as mine and I want you to know that you can trust me, whenever you need to… and I’ll never let you-“

”Ahmed,” Rubeena said, cutting me off. “You don’t need to say all this. I know you’ll be a great husband and father but all this money stuff, it’s not about that…”

”You’re wrong Rubeena,” I said heatedly. We were still standing outside, and the keys had landed up somewhere on the bench.  “You may say it’s not about that but I worry. I worry that I won’t be able to provide for you. I worry that I might let you down. I worry that we’ll fight over money and become enemies. I know you haven’t had to worry about money your whole life… but I’m not a millionaire or a business whizz. I’m a simple guy who’s trying to earn his living… and to put it simply… what if I’m just not enough?”

”I don’t care about money!” She said, stepping back. Her brown eyes appeared darker as she glared at me. “Don’t you get it, Ahmed?! That’s exactly what your mother was saying. It’s about the heart. My heart is so happy… contented… She knew you so well… and I can’t believe she hit it on the head!”

“You said no once Rubeena,” I said quietly, shaking my head at her. It still hurt. “My mother was right but I felt like I lost the game with you. If I don’t step up… what if I lose you again… I don’t know -“

“That’s not what I married you for, silly,” she retorted angrily. “It’s never been about security! I was worried about other things. About my kids. About your age. About what everyone will say. Stupid things that don’t make sense but I worried about it because that’s how crazy I am. I’m sorry that you married a bit of a lunatic but you’ve met my mother and unfortunately it’s hereditary so there’s not much I can do about it!”

I looked at my wife through new lenses, fighting the urge to smile as she got up and paced in front of me, pausing suddenly and looking me in the eye. Her abaya was flowing behind her as she walked speedily, looking like a woman with a mission…

“It’s easy to talk,” she said, her tone lowering as she spoke. Her breathing was slightly heavy because she was worked up. “It’s easy to be all noble and say we do this for this reason and that for that reason. But we have a greater purpose here. Why we did this. We could have easily carried on with the Haraam. It would have been so much easier but we both knew it was wrong so we stopped. We could have been talking and developing deeper feelings for each other… getting into something that neither of us would have benefited from… but we made a choice for a deeper reason. Yes. We love Him, but we have to ponder and wonder and remind ourselves of what’s in our hearts. How are we going to maintain this relationship with Allah? Are our hearts filled with the reality of Allah? Is it completely trusting in Him? Yes, I’m scared. I have fears too. I worry too. I’m scared that I’ll mess up. I’m scared about my brother. I’m scared about my kids growing up and changing. But I don’t care where we live. I don’t care what we have. We can sell the house. We can live in a one-bedroom apartment. We can do whatever you’re happy with because I don’t care about any of it now. If there’s one thing I realized now after everything… after the hell with Shabeer and now  Adam’s sickness… We hold onto this life and money and cars so tightly even when there’s really no point to it….”

I was a little speechless as I digested her rant. Of course, because it was Rubeena, she obviously wasn’t done yet.

“Yes, we have to plan,” she continued, her voice a little softer. “But we have to plan for what’s eternal. We have to build our hopes and dreams but not for now. We have to focus on what’s coming after. Now can we just go inside and start our life together because I really can’t wait to see what this chapter has in store for us… ”

I stared at my new wife, a little taken aback by her impeccable faith. I’d never met anyone like her before.

I’d never heard anyone talk so trustingly, with conviction… and really mean it. I wanted to leave everything behind me right then and start again. I wanted to live a life of amazing  Tawakkul that she had, because she had somehow mastered it. I wanted to give her more than she had given me. She had opened her heart and her home to me, but for her, it was clear than it was no great sacrifice. It wasn’t about the tangible things. It wasn’t about the temporary perks. She only cared about what was to come. How we would grow. How we would learn to love each other. How we would worship Allah through every moment that we would hopefully earn our Jannah.

She was all pretty and flushed and wide-eyed as she went on, and I couldn’t help but grab the keys and open the door speedily, knowing that there was no other way she would stop talking. 

I had dreamt of traveling the world with her, of seeing Deen through a different eye. I wanted to spread love together. Like the Sahaba had left their comfort, I had hopes of continuing my passions. Of going out for greater causes. Of embarking on trips that would be filled with adventure and hope and guidance for others. Of offering her a different life to what she had known. I had so many ambitions that I wished I could make her a part of but I knew it would all happen in due time.

Maybe the kids would get a bit bigger first. Maybe our family would grow a little more. Maybe eventually, we’d settle down and then think about it properly, before we made any hasty decision. Maybe we didn’t need to have it all penned out… maybe it was better to just take it as it comes. 

Yes, we had worries and trials. We had many things that were in the pipeline that could throw us off track, but that’s the thing with patience.

There was no rush. Maybe it won’t be happily ever after. Maybe it will just be happily right now, but that was enough. Until tomorrow… even if it was just for now…. everything was going to be okay.

Dearest Readers

Just on the topic… (I’m sorry if I offend anyone who does this so please don’t hound me 🙈…)

With regard to emotional therapy, there was a recent talk by Ml Ridwana Kajee on how certain therapies like body talk and ‘journey’ have links with books that are completely against Islamic teaching. Many parents take their kids for these kind of healing if they experience any difficulty in school or otherwise.

 The fact that it can allow one to see into another’s life and past is clear that their is association with Jinn and Shaytaan. Let us just be wary of ever consulting with any emotional therapies if this sort. Allah Ta’ala promises us the best of cures in the Hadith and Quran. Just focusing on these can cure depression and many other emotional ailments InshaAllah 

Allah save us, 


Much Love 

A xx



Sunnah Duaa for Month of Rajab 

Allahuma baarik lana fi Rajaba wa Sha’bana wa balligh-na Ramadan

Oh Allah! Grant us Barakah (Blessing) during (the months of) Rajab and Sha’ban, and allow us to reach Ramadan.
 Dua on the first night of Rajab is readily accepted by Allah.

Imam Shafi’i RA has stated: “I have heard that duaas are accepted
by Almighty Allah on five nights:
The night of Jumu’ah
The nights of the two ‘Eids
The first night of Rajab
The middle (15th) night of Sha’ban

Allah accept our efforts and Duaas. 

A forgotten Sunnah. Eaten fallen particles… Sometimes we forget the Barakah that can be in even a grain of food. To eat what has fallen on the cloth or even the floor… SubhaanAllah.

Anas ibn Maalik narrated that when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ate, he would lick his three fingers. Anas said: “And he said, ‘If any one of you drops a piece of food, let him remove any dirt from it and eat it, and not leave it for the Shaytaan.’ And he commanded us to clean the plate, and said, ‘For you do not know where in your food the blessing is.’” (Narrated by Muslim, 2034). 








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