When we say Goodbye

Bismihi Ta’ala


There is a sunrise and a sunset every day. A new day… a new chance. A new opportunity to start all over again. Sometimes when we lose ourselves in our own chaos, the only solution is to reacquaint ourselves with the colors of a sunset. With it, there is a certain sorrow, but also… we see a promise for tomorrow. With its course… Just like with each goodbye, there is usually a new hello. It’s a reminder to embrace the air that surrounds you. I reminder to dwell in the appreciation of life and all that it can bring. A reminder that indeed, after a loss, Allah always promises a relief.

Yes, sometimes it’s goodbye. But sometimes it’s hello.

And if anything, losing Aadam was a reminder for all of us about what this life was really about. The truth is that we get stuck in this rat-race… so immersed in Duniya… so captured in this world with the thought that tomorrow is always there and it will never end. The deception of the world was an illusion that fooled even the most intelligent of man…

A buzurg (pious man) once said: “I am astonished at the man who knows that he will die and that death can come to him at anytime yet still enjoys the things of this world. I am astonished at the man who believes that Jahannam is real and that nobody knows where his place in the Aakhirah(hereafter) is going to be but still finds time to laugh. I am astonished at a person who sees poor people become rich and rich people become poor in this world all the time but still feels happy when he gets some wealth. I am astonished at that person who believes in Taqdeer (that everything is already decided and that everyone must get his share) but still makes an effort to earn the world.” (Fazaail- e-Sadaqaat)

And the truth was that the thought of death was fairly distant back then… I was yet to learn all those lessons about life.. The reality of death was still far-fetched, as it is for most of us. No-one thinks that their time is nearly up. I didn’t really think that I’d have to say goodbye to Aadam so soon. Though his death was probability, the suddenness of it was still brutal.

And yes, his death was a much needed reminder, but his presence was a gift to us too. Aadam had been sent, like a gust of wind, uplifting and awakening a part of me that I never knew existed. With his carefree openness and his spirit… through horse and mountains, sunsets and serenity…. he showed us something so beautiful and true, that not only was it a great love, but also one of those amazing friendships that opened my heart and made me believe that beautiful things could really be.

And after all that time… it was no wonder that I had been thinking of him, because when Ma had spoken of Aadam, of course, my heart knew no boundaries. Though I missed him every day, I the thought of him being in a place where there was no pain or grief always soothed me. His memories were a stirring to what I thought was long buried. There were so many thoughts and feelings and moments that even if I could talk about them, I knew that words would be exhausted before I even finished. It was amazing and extraordinary and everything in between…

It was just that right now, with the new discovery, some things were a little difficult to understand, and I really wished that I could just ask him…

Oh my noodles, Khawlah!”

Nusaybah’s voice was enough to cause my stirring heart to literally jump into my throat as the room door flung open. Lo and behold, there she was… my slightly deranged friend, all in a hype over something that I was obviously clueless about.

And of course, I should have seen the signs. Her scarf was neatly pinned, her make-up was immaculately done and a huge smile was planted on her shining face. I, of course, could only scowl as I looked back at her, appalled at her for disturbing my peaceful and perfect dreamworld…

Much to my horror, Nusaybah was already at the window, busy yanking the curtains open. As happened every Saturday morning, Khadijah was gone with Ahmed since after Fajr, and this was my one morning to sleep in. How was this even fair?! It was only 9AM!

”Nusaybah, can’t it wait till later?” I asked, clearly irritable as I  pulled the feather pillow over my head. It was the only solution.

”Khawlah, are you crazy?” She said, spinning around and glaring at me, clearly mortified by my suggestion. “Can I ever wait for anything?! This is big news!”

It was true. Nusaybah was the most impatient of people that I had ever come across.

Realization dawned as I remembered last nights discussion with my uncle. My heart hammered as I wondered if Nusaybah had already made up her mind.

“Goodness,” I breathed, now wide awake as I  wondered how I would deal if Nusaybah was all head-over-heels. “Don’t tell me that you’re already going gaga over my unworthy cousin?”

And for the first time ever in the history of our crazy friendship, Nusaybah’s cheeks turned a deep shade of crimson, as she immediately burst into girly giggles. Honestly, if she hadn’t invaded the room and yanked open my curtains, I would have sworn that this was another person. Never in my life had I seen my friend act so coy.

And yes, I had learnt a few extraordinary things about my friend during the past few days. Although she often ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ over random guys… when there finally came a time that she was truly interested in someone… she was the epitome of bashfulness. For the past few days since they arrived from the UK, when cousin was in the vicinity, my bold and boisterous friend suddenly morphed into a timid mouse. It was truly quite hilarious.

Ny uncle and his family had been down from the UK for two weeks now. It was great having them around but the best part was that with them coming, as always, it brought so much more than we anticipated…

I smiled at her, despite the fact that I was clearly quite emotional. I kept recalling the time when we had unbelievably and ambitiously dreamt of having picnic together, thinking that our kids would grow up together. All of that seemed like a distant memory now… how we planned our lives with to the tee, and how Allah’s plan comes with its own surprising beauty.
Was it already three years?! I could barely believe how time had flown.

Strange how some of the weirdest thoughts turn true and some realities are so far from what you ever imagined…

“I think you guys will be amazing together,” I said, my eyes tearing up. “And I’m so happy for you…”

Her eyes were brimming too as she came forward to embrace me, then pulled back and looked me in the eye.

“This doesn’t mean you can boss me around, alright? I’m still two months older than you. I’m sure Mr Perfect would have agreed.. “

”You wish!” I said, sticking my tongue out at her. “Cousin-in-laws are allowed to be bossy. Too bad Mr Perfects not around to see it, huh? It’s strange how life turns out sometimes, isn’t it?”

She smiled, albeit a little dejectedly, knowing that Aadam would have been thrilled for her too. It had been barely two weeks ago that I had gotten the feeling that Nusaybah was interested in my cousin… and because my friend was such a candidly expressive person…  I knew that the best thing to do was to feel the waters and see if there was any real potential for something exciting to progress. What I didn’t expect was Faheem to be just as crazily into Nusaybah as she was…

I grinned as I saw the expression on my cousin’s face. At the time, I knew that it was definitely going to be fun to match-make and I couldn’t wait for it all to come together. It was just that now that it was all happening, I kind of wanted it to slow down..

“Okay,” I said, trying to get over the commotion. “Now that the cats out of the bag, can I go back to sleep and continue dreaming about my husband? He was about to tell me something important before you inconsiderately butted into our conversation..”

I knew  that I needed some time to let this all process… to come to terms with my friend actually leaving me…

No!” Nusaybah yelled, planting her hands on her hips and glaring me. “Tell Mr. Perfect dream version that you’ll catch him later. We got work to do, girl! My father spoke to your uncle and they want the Nikah next week! Next week, Khawlah! Do you know what that means?! It means I’m already two months behind with wedding preparations… oh my goodness, I’m freaking out!”

I think I was the one that was going to go crazy. This was moving too fast for my liking. Way too fast.

The two of them had literally just spoken a few days ago and Nusaybah was already to give her answer. I knew that it was good and better for them, but I just digest what this would mean. I was just glad that Nusaybah wouldn’t be leaving straight away. Or would she? Faheem was speaking about doing his medical internship in SA. I had no idea why, but that worked out perfectly for me…

“Listen,” Nusaybah said, and I could tell she was watching me carefully. My friend knew me a little too well for my liking. “You know that he wouldn’t have hurt you intentionally, right?”

It took me a minute to figure out what she was talking about. Yesterday’s discussions had many features to them. Aadam and Khalid was one of them.

I nodded slowly as I met Nusaybah’s eye.

”Aadam or Khalid?” I asked with a small smile.

The truth was that I had been so clouded with emotion that I couldn’t help but be a little too accusing. I supposed I was angry. Angry at Aadam. Angry at Khalid. Angry that they had both hid the truth. Angry that Khalid had let us believe he was dead for so long. Angry that he hadn’t stayed in contact with Yunus. Angry that he’d come back, thinking he can just pick up where he left. Angry that this had opened so many healing wounds…

Yes, I had been angry. Quite so. But now that my mind was clearer and my dream was a reminder of the kind of person he was, I did realize that maybe I had been a little too impulsive in my actions. Maybe we shouldn’t have gone to Aunty Radiyyah immediately…

”Lets just forget about it for a while, why don’t we?” She wisely concluded. “Warrior Hijaabi with a heart of rock… I know it’s hard… pardon the pun…  Besides, you can’t stay angry at insanely handsome people…”

I rolled my eyes at her, knowing that she was talking about Khalid.

”Whatever,” I mumbled. To me, Khalid was just well… Khalid. No matter what Nusaybah thought.
Nusaybah’s expression was still pensive, and I looked at her questioningly as she plopped herald on the bed next to me, looking up at the ceiling in a half-daze.

“Some things we don’t see coming,” she said softly, turning to look at me.

“Like Faheem,” I said knowingly. I swallowed as I said it, knowing that this was something she didn’t see coming either. Yet it was amazing…

“I don’t think you saw Aadam coming either,” she said blandly, looking at the ceiling again. “Like a whirlwind, he came out of the blue and turned this warrior hijaabi friend of mine into the loving girl who became the most amazing mother to his daughter. He brought so much of joy and sunshine to your life. He woke you up in a way that you’d never known before.”

I turned to watch her speak, glimpsing her teary smile as I looked ahead again, not wanting to give into emotion. It was so achingly true, yet I didn’t want to remember it..

“And as for Khalid,” she murmured suddenly, catching me a little off guard. “I know very well that he was a really beloved friend of yours… once upon a time. I also know that without him… at that crucial part of your childhood when it mattered how you saw the world… without that beautiful and rare love that moulded you… you wouldn’t have been that someone who could see the beauty in everything, instead of dwelling on the loss. He showed you that there’s a reason for life and a reason for death and that everything in between is for and through Allah alone. If it wasn’t for him, Khawlah, you might have been an entirely different kind of Khawlah that I know and truly love…”

”But still,” I insisted, fighting back emotion and not wanting to stray from the point. Sentiments aside, right?

Ugh,” she exclaimed, throwing her hands up in the air in exasperation. “There are no buts, woman! It’s pretty simple, don’t you see?!”

I didn’t. Nusaybah’s thoughts were always on a completely different wavelength to mine.

“Aadam was a beautiful chapter of your life,” she murmured, almost inaudibly.

“I know,” I whispered. And I didn’t want to spoil that chapter.

”But so was Khalid,” she said pointedly, with a small smile. “I think it’s amazing that the two of them met. Don’t you think it’s a beautiful ending to what could be a great story?”

I never did look at it that way. From that little girl who was somewhat lost, through Khalid and his constant reminders and inspiration… I had become the best version of myself that I could ever be.

I narrowed my eyes at Nusaybah, not really wanting to know what she was thinking. No. I wouldn’t entertain it.

Goodness, she was always putting things into such an amazing perspective for me and I was so going to miss this crazy friend of mine. I turned to her instantly, closing in for a fierce hug, catching her completely off-guard as we both forgot for a moment about the emotions and the pain that had once been etched in our hearts.

And of course, as she left the room, just as how she’d come, Nusaybah had left me with much to think about for that moment. It was no surprise that the next two weeks flew by with nothing else but her as the central focus. It was a crazy bout of organizing and excitement that rained on us for those few days, whilst we tried to keep afloat and make the most of the time we had. My Madrasah studies that I had finally started at the beginning of that year were put on hold for a few days, as I tried to give her the best farewell. The plan was for Nusaybah to go to the UK for three months, and Faheem to then come back here to stay in a remote area where he would be doing his internship. Nusaybah was thrilled because it meant that she could finally apply for her own admission to the nearby medical school… but I wasn’t… because that meant that she’d be nowhere near me.

And it was no wonder that in the midst of it all, I had even forgotten that Aunty Radiyyah would be leaving for a while too. Everything was so crazily busy that when I finally came up to breathe, there was barely any time to spend with her and say goodbye the way I wanted to before her big leave. I knew I’d be seeing her the next day at the function but knowing that I wouldn’t get to talk much was making me strangely nostalgic. I lived with the hope that I could find some time to chat to her once Nusaybah and Faheem had headed off.

And then of course, the wedding day dawned on us, and we wondered where all the time had been lost. Nusaybah, in her untold glory, made a delightfully beautiful bride.

And as we dressed that day, I couldn’t help but do a double take as she pulled on her dress, slowly twirling around in joy as she gazed at herself as a bride. Of course, I couldn’t stop staring at my friend either. There was no doubt that she was sensational in peach and ivory, and as the time neared for her Nikah to be performed, ready to hear those words that would unite her and Faheem for life, I could see the slight traces of nervousness behind her rigid frame. Nusaybah, being who she was, was full of energy and unvontained excitement. I could hear excited chatter around me, as the words were uttered, and everyone waited for the groom to arrive. The laughter and sensation was contagious, and as the evenings events commenced, and everything  I couldn’t fully grasp that my friend was actually married.

Her impromptu squeak of joy as the words were evidence of her elation. I knew then, at that moment was this was the moment that I had been waiting for. For everything she had done for me… for all her sacrifices and encouragement and words of wisdom.. this moment was a moment of ultimate gratification.

All I could think of was the way she always came through for me… the way she made me see sense and the way she put everything into perspective when I was completely missing the point.

It was no wonder that I had suddenly had this overwhelming desire in me that some day… One day… I really wished that I’d get a chance to repay Nusaybah for all the jacking up that I constantly needed. Yes, I hoped that one day I’d be the one that would help her through her own battles that she faced too… because I knew wat back when, that this friendship was one of those forever ones.

It was the moment that I had been waiting for. This friendship of mine, that I hoped and prayed would be one that I would carry through to Jannah… was finally seeing what it deserved. And my heart soared because l had actually finally fulfilled that dream and been a small part of making her happiness. I knew I could never do it justice, but as I hugged her with every bit of strength I could muster, the goodbyes that were imminent felt like the most difficult thing in the world.

“I wished that I didn’t have to say goodbye…” I said, feeling all teary as I realized that inevitably, I would have to.

Nusaybah looked at me, her dark eyes filled with unhindered emotion.

“Khawlah,” she said quietly as she met my gaze. “I wished that I could stay with you a little longer…”

I nodded, feeling all choked up but wishing the exact same, as she placed her hands on my shoulders reassuringly, and her beautiful face glowed with a mixture of sorrow and elation.

”Theres still so much I need to tell you,” she murmured, swallowing her emotion. “I wish that I could to convince you that you can live again. I wish that I could get you out of Mr Perfect’s perfect world. I wish that you’d see things the way everyone else does. I wish that things didn’t turn out the way they did for you. I wished so many things for you…”

Her voice broke at that point and I went toward her, reaching out to hold her, yet not knowing what she meant.

I looked at her, as her eyes filled with tears, and I held her hand tighter as I tried to assure her that I’d be okay. All my friend ever wanted was the best for me, but why was it so hard to give in..?

I could feel her grip tighten as she held onto me,  one last time, and then finally pull away, looking back at me with significant tears in her eyes but the most amazing Nusaybah-like smile on her beautiful face.

”Nus,” I asked, really quite bewildered by her sudden change of emotion right then. “Can you please tell me what’s going on?”

She was still smiling like a buffoon, as she reached for my hand and gripped it assuringly.

”It’s a surprise,” she said happily, with a single tear streak glimmering on her cheek. Happy tears, I realized as my heart soared. There was something up her sleeve. Those were definitely happy tears.

“I couldn’t say goodbye just yet and I wish that I could have told you sooner,” she babbled a little hysterically. “But it was too soon, and I really wanted to just make sure it was the right choice this time. I wanted to tell you… there’s something I really need to show you…”

Revive the Sunnah of Du’aa

Having good Expectations and certain faith that Allaah will respond
Al-Tirmidhi (3476) narrated that Fadaalah ibn ‘Ubayd (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: Whilst the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ was sitting, a man came in and prayed and said, “O Allaah, forgive me and have mercy on me.” The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said, “You have been too hasty, O worshipper. When you have prayed and are sitting, praise Allaah as He deserves to be praised, and send blessings upon me, then call upon Him.” (Authenticated by Albani)
According to another version (3477): “When one of you prays, let him start with praise of Allaah, then let him send blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ, then let him ask whatever he likes after that.” Then another man prayed after that, and he praised Allaah and sent blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ. The Prophet ﷺ said: “O worshipper, ask and you will be answered.”

Therefore, whenever a worshipper asks Allah with sincerity, hoping for Allah’s mercy, and fulfilling the etiquette and manners of dua, he should be certain that his Du’aa will be responded to.

Lots and lots of Duaas. Let’s focus on trying to bring Du’aa into our daily lives...

How easy to practice …











Twitter: @ajourneyjournal








Bismihi Ta’ala


As a child that was a little bit on the prickly side, I’d always been a little obsessed weapons. Like all boys, whether it was a stick or a hand-made shield, fighting and defense was always a game I’d love to play. My first toy gun was my life. I wouldn’t leave home without it in my pocket. Having that assurance of it right there somehow comforted me. As a kid… well, you just had to take your precautions right?!

And of course, as I grew up, it wasn’t like I suddenly lost that rigidness and learnt what the real weapons were. It took years, patience and many lessons… but if there was one thing I learnt through the years of being away, its that constant and sincere Du’aa can come to save you even when you least expect it. Yes, Du’aa. Prayer. 

The truth is in the profoundness of the concept. The weapon of the believer. The essence of worship. Through constant Du’aa, the fact is that even if it doesn’t get us exactly what we desire, most often it removes for us some obstacle in the road that we don’t covet. 

And from the most beautiful story of the Quran, with the most unparalleled lessons, there is a most extraordinary Du’aa. Some Ulema are even of the opinion that this Du’aa of Yusuf (AS), through its uniqueness, is the most beautiful of all prophets’ Duas. 

فَاطِرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ أَنتَ وَلِيِّي فِي الدُّنُيَا وَالآخِرَةِ تَوَفَّنِي مُسْلِمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ

The Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Wali (Protector, Helper, Supporter, Guardian)  in this world and in the Hereafter, cause me to die as a Muslim and join me with the righteous

In the story of Yusuf (AS), he asked for Allah to be with him in this world and in the Aakhirah. He asked Allah to be given the favour of being one of his special servants.
And from the very story, the lesson of Du’aa is undeniable.

The thing is… with all the years being away and not seeing my own parents… I never really thought I was missing out on much until I got shaken up. If I had to pinpoint the exact time when my life changed, I know that I could very easily tell you that it was a moment that I would remember for the rest of my life. Yes, I had every weapon at my disposal, but it didn’t help me one bit. It was not just the most terrifying moment of my life, but it was also the most defining. It was a moment the sky broke loose. When all was revealed. When a window to the other side of life was shown..

And everytime I raised my hands to make Du’aa, I couldn’t help but remember that hat a miracle it was that I was given a chance to be better…

Oh Allah, we are not worthy. This gift of the Quran, we have not even earned. Oh Allah, we have many crimes, Ya Allah. Oh Allah, we have transgressed greatly.
But oh Allah, You are the King of Kings. Oh Allah, make us dependent only on You. Oh Allah make us never ask of anyone but You. Make us Your special people. Make us turn only to You. Make us of the people of Du’aa. Make us of the people of Qur’an. Make us the companions of the Quran. Make our character the character of Quran. Make our hearts attached to the Quran. Oh Allah, make the Quran our day and our night. Oh Allah, make the Quran our entire life. Make us live with the Quran. Make us die with the Quran..
Oh Allah, choose us, Ya Allah. Make us Your special servants. Make us Your stars. Make us shine, Ya Allah. Out of Your kindness, accept us, Ya Allah. Accept this effort as we beg of You and ask out of humility…

Tears momentarily filled my eyes as I ended the Duaa, knowing that it may be a while till I returned to this place that felt so much more like home than any other. To have the privilege of making the Du’aa here and witness a Hafidh of Quran complete now, in time for my leaving was a gift in itself. It was the most apt farewell that came at the most perfect time.

I couldn’t even comprehend the many favors that came along with being here. To see all the people I had yearned to see while I was away was yet a great blessing. My heart had ached to see some of them for years. Old friends, Ustaadh and teachers. Even Maulana Umar had made and appearance today, and as I had watched him retreat I was still in awe of how much of the Sunnah that guy had in him. Through all my years, his walk… his talk., the way he would humour people… just like how Nabi (SAW) would give a person the tile of day, or an attentive ear when they spoke… the man had mastered much more than I had seen in anyone else through all my years.

“You really want to go back?”

I looked up as I turned my face, watching the crowds leaving. He knew just how to appeal to the emotional side of me. The truth was, over the years, the toughness I had as a kid had slowly deteriorated. Yes, some of the experiences had made me hard, but in the same way, a little more in touch with my emotions. I also knew what Yunus was doing. He was the one I had confided in. He was the one that knew the truth of what had happened to me back then… before I had adopted the amazing quality of Shukar and put the past behind me. The dark side of man that had haunted me for years while I was away from home was something I had disclosed to very few people. He was probably wondering why I’d want to go back if there was so much at risk, when I could just stay home… knowing that I’d be safe.

And he knew because Yunus was one of the main people who had helped me get back. After the trouble I had been in and the ridiculous allegations against me… somehow, Yunus had managed to make the arrangements for my return back home. And though I knew at the time I would have to get back to my new life, I just didn’t want to think about it. I just never imagined that it would I be so soon.

”We’re going to miss you here, Maulana.”

”You’ll be okay, bro,” I said placing my arm around his shoulder casually. I felt like I had to explain to him. He looked so lost. “I’ll try and come back soon. It’s just… my life is there now and I have people to see… classes to finish… if Allah wills I’ll meet you again…”

”Ah man,” he said softly, looking genuinely defeated.

Yunus was still the same. Soft, obliging type whose painful expressions punctured my heart. And of course, as we chatted in low tones at the front of the masjid, I felt myself a little more attached to him than I realized. During the past few weeks we had become so close that to leave him now felt like I was losing a bit of myself. I don’t know how he did it but he was the type that was very hard to say no to, and even over the years, nothing had changed.

And I couldn’t help but chuckle as we remembered the one person who could really straighten him out without feeling guilty. Childhood memories were so vivid, and I smiled as I remembered how his sister used to yell at him as kids. There were moments when I often had to stick up for him, because he wouldn’t tell her a thing. The poor guy would simply whimper and turn to get on with his work. It just wasn’t in his nature to put up a fight, and I think that’s what made the guy that much more lovable.

And of course, thinking back was always nostalgic. I couldn’t imagine how empty my childhood would have been had I not had the company of those kids who made it what it was.

“Khawlah says you going to go to your new Madrassa and find new friends and forget about us…”

”What?” I asked, frowning and putting my hand out to block the sun that was in my eyes.

I remembered Yunus clearly asking the question as I sat under the shade of the oak tree, watching a pigeon who had recently built it’s nest fending off another one coming over to try and stake ownership. Being young.. not understanding the harshness of nature at times….it confused me. The pigeon had worked so hard.. and yet another one comes in, thinking that the other one can just yank it’s young out to make room for it to take over. I didn’t understand that maybe the new young were at a greater risk  if their mother didn’t find a home soon…

You can just tell you Papa that you don’t want to go, you know,” Khawlah chipped in, her hands crossing over her chest bossily.

 I knew that she had set Yunus up to ask me the question. That was just her way, if anything bothered her, she’d get her brother wound up.., and poor Yunus, being the softie he was, wouldn’t be able to contain himself.

I shrugged. As if it was that easy. Papa was set on me being an Aalim for years. To break his heart would have been painful even for me to watch.

”I’ll never forget you guys,” I said softly.

”How do we know?” She pressed. She was inconsolable. “That’s what you say, but how do we know?”

Ah, Khalwah, don’t be so moody,” Yunus said. He had been watching me carefully. Somehow he just had that way with people… that feeling for someone else. “Everyone has to grow up and leave, You can see he means it. Of course he won’t.”

”Well I’m not going anywhere,” she said stubbornly, sitting on the bench. “I’m going to stay like this forever.”

Yunus chuckled and she broke into a smile as she suddenly got up, continuing with her work as we went on with the game we were playing. The ‘x and o’ on the sandy patch near the jungle gym was a favorite of ours, and I looked up at them both, wondering for that moment how I could ever forget those friends of mine.

In that space… at the time… losing a childhood friendship seemed like the biggest things in the world.

And I suppose it was ironic, and maybe it was wrong of me… but as life took its course, my life would go on without them. 

I missed my mother. My friends. School. Of course, I missed everything familiar. No guy was as great or friendly as Yunus. No girl was as cool or pretty as Khawlah. My heart ached for familiar sights. For the garden. For outdoors. For the moments I’d spend under the sun, with my hands stuck in the soil. I  didn’t understand that my heart was undergoing other changes. I didn’t know that with this reformation, my heart was slowly anchoring itself, and that no matter where I’d drift to or find myself lost after that…  somehow it was that Tarbiyyah and Quran that would bring me back onto my axis.

I didn’t realize that years down the line I might have actually done myself a disservice by not going out of the way to keep in touch. Even after getting caught up, going off track and finding my way again… I still had the notion that I would be able to pick up where I left off at some point. How wrong I was. Hearing about Khawlah’s marriage had been the biggest wake up call for me. It was the moment when I realized that I hadn’t been true to my word and the only person to blame was myself.

And even after all those years of going away, when I thought I’d found myself, sometimes it just takes one incident to change your entire perspective.

And of course, somehow, as I found my way back home for the first time against all odds, I didn’t think that the main feature would be to meet the guy who made that first trip what it was. Honestly, if I had not met him then it’s possible that my whole trip would have been futile, since I didn’t achieve any other aspirations I had. It was a bleak afternoon towards the end of spring. The air was getting palpably warmer and the days getting noticeably longer. I didn’t think that this was the place that I would end up, but there I was, standing in front of a guy that my father had insisted I come see, despite knowing that I had many other places to be right then.

I looked at him as I entered the room, wondering if was in the right place. Yes, he was a good-looking guy, but he looked like he was having a rough time. I didn’t know just how sick he was, but despite that all, I didn’t know that I’d actually live to see such appreciation.

“You’ve been the star of my life.”

I was confused. I wasn’t sure what he meant. Was the guy serious?

“My wife’s Khawlah,” he said, as if it explained everything.

Did he know what happened regarding Khalwah? Maybe he was just trying to make me feel better. 

His breathing was shallow and slightly labored. I looked at him questioningly. 

”Khawlah?” I repeated idiotically, knowing who he meant of course. I just didn’t want to delve further into the topic. My visit wasn’t for that intention. 

“Yeah,” he said with a grin. No, he wasn’t taking the mickey out of me. He was so… genuine. “You’ve featured in so many new discoveries. Whenever I would hear, ‘Khalid used to say’…I know I’m in for something good. I don’t know what brought you here today but I’m so glad you came…”

Ah. Now I got him. As if I was deserving of that role…

“Well, that’s a funny story,” I said softly, trying to lighten the mood. I was a little stunned. The thing was, I was indebted to him

After hearing how much he had done for my parents in the period I was away, I couldn’t help but want to meet him. He was the guy who had given my parents so much of hope and strength when they thought I was gone for good.

Only at the time they didn’t tell me who he was. Seeing him brought another dimension to the equation. I felt strangely settled. Uplifted. Completely at peace that Khawlah had got an amazing husband. It was weird and completely unexpected but before even seeing my mother, this was the place I had ended up at and I didn’t regret it. 

“Strange that you’re supposed to be the one dead and I’m the one lying here…”

He chuckled. It was a deep kind of rumble for somewhere with his tummy, and it made me smile, despite the fact that his sickness was barely even humorous.

Of course I didn’t know what to say. 

”Hey,” he said suddenly, licking his dry lips and raising an eyebrow at me. He had a different kind of accent. “You know it was my ultimate dream to meet you. Can I tell her that you’re… okay?”

I gave him a small smile. He didn’t say alive. He said okay

”Let me meet my mother first,” I said quietly. “And we’ll let it all unfold from there…”

I just thought I was being streetwise. I didn’t know that Khawlah would be angry that Aadam had met me, and never let her know. All he was doing by not telling her was going with my plan.

He nodded and smiled knowingly. He knew what women were like, of course, and he didn’t want to cause any unnecessary confusion.

And of course,  it was weird for this guy, who was her husband to speak like this. To talk about me, some guy in his wife’s past, being someone who had changed the course of someone’s life. Maybe it was his inherent nature, but he was different.
People are often running others down. Saying bad things. Picking on their faults. It’s seldom that you hear good words. And I supposed I had hoped in a way that Khawlahs husband  wasn’t that amazing… but this was a sure tell-tale sign that Aadam was a genuinely great guy, and of course, I would have never been able to live up to that.

”It feels like,” he said again, a hint of junior in his eye. “Like the story of Yusuf (AS).. coming back after so many years, after his fathers Du’aa… do you know how much of Du’aa they made for you..?”

I smiled. Of course. For Yaqub AS.. the lesson was that despite time, distance and the probability that he will never see his son again… it never stopped him from asking. He never stopped pleading. Even when the people would ask him why he still prayed… after so many years… it was because this prophet understood something that a mere person didn’t. Even if decades pass, and still your Du’aa remains seemingly unanswered… why not continue to ask? The magic of Du’aa is that even if it’s not answered the way you think, it serves as a shield to protect you from something else that may have caused much harm…

”I suppose it is,” I answered. My father who was the only person I’d seen since arrival, had told me that everyone had thought I was dead.

”I never thought I’d meet you,” he said, looking at me like he’d seen a ghost. I mean, I didn’t blame him.

I smiled and read a short Du’aa for him as I saw him closing his eyes tiredly.

I smiled as I saw the humour in his eyes and opened them again. I was about to leave, but he lifted his hand up slightly.

”Is there anything I can do for you?” I said, thinking it was the least I could do. I didn’t want to inconvenience him by staying too long.

He looked at me at that point, and in that one glance it was like millions of veils were lifted  from his eyes and I could see right down to his soul.

”Im the type of guy who had everything I ever wanted,” he said quietly, his eyes telling a tale of untold regret. “The best of cars, houses and clothes. I’ve owned Ferraris and Porsche’s… had them best of them all, yeah… The best of watches, gadgets and shoes. I have money in my account waiting for me to spend…furnished apartments that are all on my name. I thought that was the life, yeah. That I’d found the gold. That this was the be all and end all of life… sounds like it, right?”

I nodded, wondering what it must have been like to be like him. I was never a fan of material things but cars… well, you can’t flash a Ferrari in front of a guy and expect him not to twitch.

”And here I am, yeah,” he said subsequently, his voice dropping. “I probably wouldn’t have realized that those things can do nothing for me. I’m lying here in a queen sized hospital bed, in a private ward. I can take a private jet on any day of the week.. but none of that can do a thing for me. I can’t go back and re-live that time I wasted. I can’t undo the things I’ve done wrong in my past. I can’t even buy more time. I know you know all that but what you don’t know is that if I never met Khawlah… if I never knew any of those promises that she told me about… if I didn’t get to find out that I’m not made of my mistakes and I’m not made of my sins… I’m telling you for sure, my friend…. I would have been a complete goner.”

I had looked at him at that moment, his eyes filled with out gratitude and his expression now completely at peace. I closed my eyes and made a silent Du’aa, willing for Allah to grant him complete relief. I didn’t know him but I felt like I did. He was inspiring. Awesome. A guy whose story made me think about myself and how I took my own situation for granted. I knew I could never be grateful enough…

And yes, I wanted so badly to set everything right but as it happened, as I noticed a car following me back from the hospital that day, I knew that I wouldn’t get to meet my mother that day. Or that year. It was bad luck that I had been traced back home, and going to my house would have put my family at risk. The Egyptian conflict had amplified and I didn’t want to risk it. I headed straight back on a flight, knowing that somehow, if it was meant to be… I would find home someday. 

And here I was, finally. Years down the line, I had been given another chance. As we drove back home that day, Yunus exceptionally silent and me in a world of my own, I couldn’t help but think of how time runs away with us. From those little, daring and somewhat carefree kids, here we were, side by side, out in the big world with so much of hope and aspiration…

And yes, maybe I too had a past that haunted me. I had run away but now I had come home, and done what I need to. I had tied up all loose ends. This time, my mother would come back with me for a while, see her family, and settle some of the fears she had before she had come here years ago. I would fulfill her right.

Once upon a time I tried to escape my past. To forget the pain. Once upon a time, I had lost the innocent that came with youth, when I took a step in the wrong direction. But one lesson I learnt was that when the Quran is in your heart, it will always let you find your way back..

And of course, it was something that stuck with me through the years. It was the sincerity of one guys words that made me think.

Our actions are little. Valueless. Not even worth looking at. We know our condition. We know our deeds. But we ask. We ask our Lord… Oh King of Kings, we ask, Like Yaqoob (AS) asked, and continued to ask… because we hope that hope that one day, maybe Allah will look at us with his look of mercy and give us.. not like how we deserve, but because He knows that if we can’t ask of Him, we really have no where else we can turn to. 

Sometimes I wish that I could have bought more time back then. Set things right. Sometimes I wished that I had taken life a bit more seriously when it mattered. Maybe it was my friends. Maybe it had been my parents. Perhaps it was someone else whose mind I had crossed for some reason or occasion. I don’t know what measure of time or distance or place… I cant comprehend the hours or minutes or seconds… but I do know that it was at the most crucial moment when someone’s Du’aa came to save me from something that would have been a true tragedy. The essence of worship, the answer to every problem. The solution that truly worked. Du’aa was something that I saw the magic of years down the line.

All I knew was that at that point, just before the flaming blaze of the explosion that changed my life, as I bent down to pick up a piece of log that was in the middle of the road… a Sadaqah that showed me the immediate removal of a calamity… those few milliseconds that delayed my re-entry to the car were unbelievably crucial to my survival. Had I got there just 20 seconds earlier, I knew that I too, like my cousins, would have been burnt to smithereens. I too, would have been a complete goner. And I could almost see it… at that very moment, someones heartfelt Du’aa was headed directly at me, intervening just in time and completely shielding me from the disaster that had just unfolded.

And that’s when I learnt about Duaa.

A lesson that stuck for life. As we stopped the car just outside my house now back home, the shadow of my mother sitting on the porch suddenly caught my eye and my heart immediately jumped to my throat.

I knew her tell-tale signs by now. Ah yes, I knew my mother too well. My mothers famous habit was to plant herself outside as a warning to me… generally when she had a bone to pick with my father or when I was in some kind of unprecedented trouble. I didn’t know that she had a visitor. I just knew that when I saw her with her arms crossed and her charcoal eyes slightly narrowed, my only chance at survival was to make a silent Duaa. Today I had to pull out all the weapons I could because there was certainly something unseemly waiting to erupt…


Dearest readers, 

I can’t seem to manage more than one post a week for now, so please forgive the delays. A little bit of revelations in this much longer post… hope most of the questions are being answered…


Much Love,

A xx

Lots and lots of Duaas. Let’s focus on trying to bring Du’aa into our daily lives.. that will be the next Sunnah InshaAllah 

Sunnah of Honoring ones elders 

Reviving this Sunnah…
As youth we should remember that how we treat our elders is how we will be treated when we reach old age.
Sayyiduna Anas narrates that Nabi said: “No young person shows respect to an old man on account of his old age without Allah Ta’ala appointing someone to show respect to him when he becomes old.”

Revive the Sunnah of honoring elders.

How easy to practice …









Twitter: @ajourneyjournal







Great Beginnings

Bismihi Ta’ala


Great things can evolve out of nothing. The tiniest seed in the right environment can turn into a forest. And the the most promising seed in a bad situation can give you nothing. But what I think is the defining factor for anyone to realize, is that good things do come out of nothing. With the right environment and attitude, amazing things can come out practically nowhere.

Sometimes we have to stop and think. Ponder. We all have that opportunity. We have time. Nobody is stuck. No-one has to be where they are and stay there. The potential to do ‘big’ things is not defined by your upbringing. By your wealth. By your degree or situation. And for someone to think that they are at a disadvantage because they don’t have wealth or skill or talent, that they’re just a normal person who can never do anything big… well then, they live a different kind of life.

Because when you’re a true believer, you will believe that it doesn’t take big things to make a difference. Like the Qur’an so beautifully tells us, in the story of the cave, it didn’t take a hoard of people and tons of wealth to change the fate of their town. For them all it took is just a few youth, maybe six or seven, who made a difference to the world, so long ago. All it took was a few determined kids with immense trust in Allah to change their situation.

Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Surely they were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.” (18:13).

A story that was amazing, captured most beautifully in Surah Kahf. When the trials and sins were too much for those few youth who were mentioned, they didn’t resort to something beyond any of us today. What was obvious here was that it was a minority- a few  youth who had escaped to the cave, and thereafter were protected by Allah, were not sitting in worship for those 300 or so years. All they had done, just as they were, was evaded the wrong-doing in their society by going away. They made a difference because they wanted their situation to change.

The lesson here is not rocket science. If you truly believe and have faith.. living with the knowledge that you can achieve… that you can initiate a change… then that’s it right there.

When you finally take that step, make that move… make the change.. well, it’s quite mind blowing what we can live to see, even for years down the line…

“Where is my sweetheart?” Ma was asking as she stepped out of the house, looking as composed as ever. Not that I had heard any of it since I was way outside, but Rubeena’s graphic description of Ma’s rattling Siraj to me had given it all away.

Of course Khadijah had to just hear Ma’s voice and immediately raced up to us, knowing that Ma always had some lovely treat for her great granddaughter. Despite the awkward situation, I couldn’t help but smile at the two of them. It was what I had always wanted for my child. I had always wanted her to meet this amazing woman. I had always wanted her to know her.

And since I had once heard an Aalim say that when you pass away, people will remember you for the good you did to others, I was even more passionate about it. It was so true for Aadam. He was the type who would be kind and spend on others… taking time for them and putting his own needs last, was a divine gift that he had. He had showed me through his actions what was really important. And like we do so, if we take our children to visit our elder relatives and the sick, they will understand that this is not just their Deeni duty, but so rewarding.

For her to know her elders, and for her to build a relationship with them too was so important. To see Ma and our daughter bonding was something that warmed my heart immensely because it reminded me so much of how Ma and Aadam used to be.

Also, the fact that Ma was now here had instantly made her forget about wanting to visit Aunty Radiyyah today. I knew that I was being a bit unfair and selfish but the thought of going there was making me feel a teeny bit unsettled.

Leave alone that, right then, after knowing how Ma felt about Siraj approaching me about marriage… somehow, I felt like my whole world had been turned upside down. After being almost certain that the right step was in the direction I was headed, right then I could not have been more confused.

And the thing is, everything happens for a reason. The exchange between them had made me think. The minute I heard his voice, even though Rubeena had let me know that he was expected, had made chills run down my spine. Emotions were overwhelming at that point. What was I doing? Was I trying to recreate the past? He even sounded like Aadam. Looked like Aadam. Was I trying to replace Aadam?

I wished that I could forget that for a moment, but it was like that life was forever a part of me, imprinted on my heart and engraved on my soul. He stole me and fixed me and somewhere in the middle of it, showed me a place so different and beautiful that I could  barely get it out of my mind. How could I forget him? How could I ever live up to the memories that we had?

And I suppose that it was just as well that Ma had come in at that point because right then, all the strength I had ever exuded seemed to dwindle to nothingness. I was clearly clueless as to what the right thing to do was..

Ma had come in, with her beautiful smile and thunderous voice, catching us all by surprise as she basically took the potentially dangerous situation into her own hands…

”I hope you’re not angry with me,” she said as she took a seat next to me on the veranda. “For interfering.”

She had just come straight out and said it. That’s what I loved about her, and it’s what Aadam had admired as well. No beating around the bush. No hiding behind another agenda. She was so genuine and real. I loved it.

And of course, how could I ever be angry at Ma? No matter what my emotions were wrecking within me, I  looked at her and smiled, secretly glad that she had taken control. Maybe I wasn’t ready to make the decision. Maybe the timing wasn’t right. I couldn’t imagine what I would have done if I was forced to decide by myself when there was so much at risk. Yes, I was a little shocked that Ma had such a powerful standing with her son but from what Rubeena had said, she had basically gotten him to rethink a lot of the things that were on my mind too.

Not being able to have kids was not a marriage-breaker. He couldn’t just bail out on a marriage of fifteen years just because he felt like it. Of course, many had different opinions but for me the situation was pretty much black and white. What would that mean if we were to get married? Would he be that ready to give it up if it had to get to that too…

Her voice was clear and I turned to her with a smile, showing her that I bore no malice.

”It not about you,” she said touching my hand softly as she said it and we both gazed out into the splendid afternoon. We could glimpse the suns exiting over the horizon, it’s streaky rays cascading over the peaked rooftops of distant houses… awestruck by the perfection of distinct colours that looked like a canvas right before our eyes. It reminded me of the view that we would sometimes get at the flat. I hadn’t been there in ages. The blaze of color – oranges, pearly pinks, vibrant purples.., I shivered as I felt a cool breeze sashay through my hijab, knowing that soon the evening cold would start to settle in. My eyes immediately shifted to Khadijah as she zoomed past us on her scooter, her dark locks bouncing behind her as she sped away. I wished Aadam could have seen it.

”It’s okay, Ma,” I said with a shrug. “Even if it was about me, I understand.”

She was silent for a while, before she spoke up again. This time her voice was so soft amidst the racquet that the boys were making, but her words were unmistakable. Like some sixth sense, it was like she had somehow guessed what was on my mind.

”I miss Aadam.”

I glanced at her and swallowed, glimpsing a streak of a single tear rolling down her cheek as her gaze fixated ahead. Her face was drawn, and somehow Ma now suddenly looked so much older than before. Yes, she was still beautiful, but the pain was palpable beneath it all. I wondered, not for the first time.. how must it be to lose a grandson? A son? A child. I thought of Khadijah.

She had never known her father, so for her… it was no great loss that Aadam was gone. For me, to lose a parent and then a spouse was hard enough but this… well, right then it seemed so much more devastating to lose a piece of your heart and soul who you’d watch transform from a naughty little boy to a moody teenager and then progress to an amazing adult and human being … to watch them evolve and mature and become such a part of your life… only to have to say goodbye in a most heart-wrenching way…

Yes I was strong, but I still couldn’t imagine that.

She met my eye and her one dimpled smile flashed at me, bringing back all those heartwarming memories of what seemed like so long ago.

“You might think that I’m being hard,” she said softly. “Many may. And maybe you’ll are right but theres some things that you only learn with age. Sometimes I can’t bear what’s happened but it is what it is and we have to try and deal with it in the best way. About Siraj…. My son is successful and intelligent but he really needs to sort his life out before he does anything that is going to impact on someone else’s life. I don’t want him to sit back and look at his past marriage when his older, wondering if he could have done something more. As you grow older, you look for different things. He doesn’t know it yet… but honestly, integrity… loyalty… those are gold. He can always want something new, but what’s required is that he also honors his wife. He fulfills her rights. I had a good chat with her and she wants to work on the marriage. There’s always time for new things. New experiences. New chances. But when it comes to what’s lost, there’s no way of going back and fixing them again. There’s no way to turn back the clock. For me… I learnt the hard way. My husband was a good man with a heart of gold, but we had lost out on a lot because we didn’t have that understanding of what Deen was. Our roots… our beginnings… well, they’re weren’t that promising. And yes, I might have found my way now, but Allah only showed me the light when it came to the latter years of my life. I’m sure Aadam must have told you. It took a very long time….”

I looked at her, remembering when Aadam told me about his grandfather. Of course, I knew the history of their family. I knew their thinking was completely different to how I was brought up. But their situation had taken a turn when something had changed within them. From unpromising beginnings, their lives had completely evolved. With Aadam’s death, so many had been moved and changed… including Siraj… that I could barely believe that had been so far from Deen before..

”I know you just want the best for your daughter,” she murmured. “And so would Aadam. I’m just not sure what that is anymore. He was one of a kind. Allah knows my heart… how much I loved that grandson of mine. I can’t even…”

It was so hard to listen to Ma now and not tear up. Recalling everything from the past, reliving that amazing yet unpredictable day that we went to see her, and the moments we spent together afterwards. How Aadam would talk, laugh and joke with her came more naturally to him than it came with anyone else. Most definitely, Ma and him had a unique bond that no one could ever compare to…

“If I look at his life now,” she tried again, clearing her throat.

I didn’t even dare to open my mouth. My throat was all clogged with emotion.

“I can’t even begin to imagine where his journey started. I mean, I know that he came to me with this great introspection and realization that his life had to change. He had seen something beautiful and promising and I know that you were one of the main people-“

”Ma,” I said cutting her off. “It wasn’t me, it’s only Allah that chooses.”

”Let me finish, sweetheart,” she said kindly. “I understand what you are saying. And I know that nothing happens without His will. Even if at the beginning I had no idea, but now, more than ever, I understand it. I understand it because of what Aadam had told me. During that tough time he went though… He had been through so much. He was so broken inside. I knew that it had to do with a girl, and I knew that it had hurt him immensely… And I wanted to ask him about it but, one day, during those last few weeks when I had gone to stay in hospital about it,  everything kind of unraveled by itself…”

I looked at Ma as she watched me. Aadam had done so much. Achieved so much. Taken such a great plunge… and then come out from underwater to feel the amazement of the fresh air fill his lungs..

”It was one of the weekdays when you had an exam,” she said softly. “We were sitting in the hospital whilst he was getting some tests done. I was doing my reading while Aadam was napping…”

I looked at her curiously, thinking of how Aadam must have been feeling that day. Was it one of those exhausting days when he couldn’t get out of bed? Was he feeling like a defeatist… all out of energy? Or did he have that usual lazy Aadam grin on his face whilst Ma sat there with her Duaa kitaab and crochet needles…?

”We were waiting for Siraj to give us the go ahead to leave for the day,” she continued, her gaze averted now, almost as if she had been transported back in time to a moment when Aadam was right there, in front of her, heart beating and full of life. “And suddenly I looked up and there was a young, very handsome man at the door.”

I narrowed my eyes slightly, wondering who it could have been. Young and handsome? I wasn’t too sure…

”Of course, I looked up at Aadam to see if he knew who it was. He was shifting in his bed and he sat up and told him to come in. They spoke briefly.. I could barely hear them… and then he read something, touched Aadam’s head lightly and left. It was so sudden and quick that I didn’t even realize … but now that I think back… it seems so clear to me.”

”Did Aadam say who it was?” I asked, my mind now going into overdrive.

Ma nodded slightly.

”He didn’t say it straight away,” she said quietly. “Just the day before we were talking about you. I was thinking telling about how much he had in his life and how amazing it was that he had this great realization that sometimes people take years to get to…”

I knew Ma was talking about herself, and my heart soared to think that at least Ma had lived to see the beauty of Deen, even if it was a little later in her life. There are some people who never get there.

“I’ll never forget how he said it, Khawlah,” she continued. “He just looked at me, and said: ‘Ma, you know you were saying how happy you were that I had changed my life?’ And of course I just looked at him and nodded, wondering why he was bringing it up right then. I remembered telling him about how I made Duaa for him and how it was like a miracle that Allah suddenly took into His lap..”

I smiled, unable to control the tears forming in the corners of my eyes as she said it. What a beautiful way to put it. I remembered that clearly. I remembered how Ma had made us all tear up when she expressed her joy at his finding Allah. I remembered how emotional it was when Aadam and I had gone to visit her and we revisited the past that seemed so amazing yet so painful at the same time…

”And then he just looked at me and said, “‘Once upon a time, Ma, I met a girl…’”

Typical Aadam! I rolled my eyes and giggled softly, thinking it so typical of Aadam to beat around the bush with his fancy tales. Was he really telling her our story in third person?

But Ma wasn’t done yet. She looked me in the  eye, gave a hint of a smile and then continued.

”’And once upon a time, Ma, this man was just a little boy who inspired the greatest of tales. This boy was the beginning of where our story began…’”

Once upon a time, when the sun was at its very brightest, there was a boy and a girl who spent every minute of their childhood together. It was a time when everything was inherently magical, with no major effort. That was essentially, what childhood was about, and as this friendship bloomed in the most natural way, a love of Allah was cultivated and transferred from a heart that held so much of it, to a heart that was yearning to carry more. It was a great beginning for a most amazing future… because this love, that these two kids had shared, was something profoundly unique. It was something that would set a tone for many years to come. It was something that they had deemed insignificant, as these kids failed to realize the magnanimous effect that it would have on their future…

And it was through this great beginning and everything they had come to see, that they truly lived and believed, that nothing was created in vain. They saw amazement in every vision. Splendor in every form. Magnificence in evert creation. Every moment, minute and passing interval, there was not a time when they didn’t remember that sunshine was a gift of Allah’s power, and the rain was a reminder of His mercy. A flower was never just a flower. It brought to life the advent of a great and momentous occasion that had just transpired. A rainbow was not just a rainbow. It was a symbol of Allah’s hope that spread across the sky, to remind them of how amazing and colorful life could really be.

It was a reminder that lived in them, rooted deep inside forever, and would graciously spread to everyone within their blessed horizon…

Sometimes we need to stop. Sometimes we need something to shake us up. Sometimes we are too caught up in the chase of finding love, making a living, and catching the worm. Sometimes we are too absorbed in the mundane aspects of life to realize what the greater things are. That sometimes all it takes is a little seed right at the beginning to give you the most beautiful of flowers…

I was stunned to silence, as my eyes filed with tears, not believing that it was true. Had they really met, once upon a time? My mind was consumed by this new information and my heart was drumming ever so fiercely with every new snippet… even though Ma was still talking… I was still trying to process it all… to figure if maybe in my journey with Aadam.. I had missed some really important sign along the way…

It was the most unbelievable thing. I could barely believe that it could be true. My mind was becoming clouded with something foreign now… as I tried to process what it could be…


I looked up to see Ma watching me intently, her dark eyes questioning and her brow slightly furrowed. She had asked a question and I didn’t hear a thing. I was angry. So angry that I didn’t have a clue before now…

“I’m sorry Ma, I didn’t hear…” I said, swallowing my emotion.

”I was just asking,” she said again. “Do you who this boy is? His name was Khalid.”

Sunnah of Honoring ones elders 

Reviving this Sunnah…
As youth we should remember that how we treat our elders is how we will be treated when we reach old age.
Sayyiduna Anas narrates that Nabi said: “No young person shows respect to an old man on account of his old age without Allah Ta’ala appointing someone to show respect to him when he becomes old.”

Revive the Sunnah of honoring elders.

How easy to practice …









Twitter: @ajourneyjournal








A Little bit of Crazy

Bismihi Ta’ala


I once heard someone say: “Don’t cross oceans for people who won’t cross puddles for you.”

I thought it was good advice. I mean, it made sense at the time. But then… I thought about it for a while… chatted with my go-to guy about the then current predicaments in my life and as always, he got me wondering:

”But why not?”

“Do it,” he said, with that crooked eyebrow of his slightly furrowed. “Cross oceans for people. Give them what you can. Be good to them. Love them with all your heart, not wondering about whether they are worthy or not. Cross oceans. Climb mountains. Do what you can while you still can. Because one day you might find that you’re in a place where you don’t have the chance to anymore…”

And it was so true. Painfully so. That was Adam. Aadam. Crazy guy. Best brother. Computer Geek. Technology Whizz. Firm Believer. Generous soul. Amazing human.

Whatever anyone called him, no-one could mistake the kind of person he was. And though at that time he wasnt even remotely religious, it was unbelievable that his thoughts were somewhat already in tune to the Sunnah. To be forgiving. Accepting. Maintain good relations. Be Kind. Such amazing qualities that we took for granted…

The Prophet ﷺ inspired us with this practice when he said to his followers: “Allah Ta’ala had ordered me to maintain ties with those who sever ties with me, and to give to those who deprive me, and to forgive those who oppress me.”

It wasn’t always easy. Following my brothers advice. In his footsteps. Being an amazing human. He was one in a million, but it didn’t meant that his inspiration didn’t have to die. The only problem was that with my family, it was hard not to go completely crazy…

And some people may wonder how people become crazy. I wonder how they don’t. The truth is, most people have a little bit of crazy in their families. I mean, everyone has that nutty relative who they know has always been mad. And the truth is that if you spend enough time with those crazy people, they really can make you crazy. Really crazy. Like literally, over your head, off your rockers kind of crazy. And I’m not just saying that to justify my behavior. I’m saying that because I truly see that it can happen.

I mean; for one, look at my father. He’s always been a pretty easy-going, laidback, cool and content kind of man. I mean, that’s what I remembered him as most of my life. But let me tell you one thing… as I got older I noticed that when my mother started bugging his brains, it just takes a few minutes before he gets that look in his eyes… and I can literally see him tipping over the edge. It’s the effect of being around someone who’s a little on the kuku side that you never fully recover from.

And okay, maybe it’s kind of genetic and I can’t exactly blame Shabeer completely, but one thing I do know is that my ex-husband was one of the main triggers when it came to my instability. The problem is that the craziness didn’t really stop with the marriage. It kind of overflowed, and so… unfortunately my current poor husband, who was accustomed all his life to the rigid, warrior type of girl, was kind of thrown in the deep end when it came to handling me.

And at that moment, as I cried my eyes out in hysteria, I could see that this time, the cycle was about to continue like it had been initiated. Like my mother had done to my father and Shabeer had done to me… well, quite possibly, I might have been driving Ahmed insane.

”It’s not faaaairrr!” I was almost bawling, throwing my hands up in the air like a hysterical woman. “It’s like my brother just died and he wants to just… c- come in and… t- take over! How could he? How c-could heeee?!!”

Ahmeds eyebrows were raised and his eyes were slightly widened. He obviously had no idea how to deal with this over-emotional crazy side of me, and I didn’t blame him. It was somewhat intolerable.

”Rubeena,” he said firmly, and I immediately started bawling all the more.

I know. I was being psycho but I couldn’t help it. All I could think of is was that Adam was the only person who called me Rubeena when he was telling me something serious. When I was like this… crazy… everything made me weepy.

”Don’t call me thaaatttt!” I blabbered, grabbing a tissue to wipe the tears and running nose. “It’s too p- paaainfulll…”

He was looking completely bewildered. I didn’t blame him.

“But that’s your name,” he said obviously, narrowing his amber eyes and shaking his head. “Can you just relax?! Sheesh.”

He shook his head and walked calmly to the sink, filled a glass with water and walked up to me. I took it from him, despite the hiccups that were starting to disrupt my breathing.

”No-one is taking over anything,” he said quietly, grasping me gently by my shoulders and looking me in the eye. I was forced to meet his gaze as he looked questioningly at me.

Yes. I knew he was becoming suspicious of my behavior and I needed to stop.

”Ruby, is everything okay?”

It was a simple question, but the flicker of suspicion in his eye was undeniable.

And of course I couldn’t tell him.

I couldn’t tell him. I couldn’t. He’d go crazy. We had a pregnancy scare a few months ago and I could literally see him shivering in his shoes at the prospect. Yes, he might not be outwardly emotional about it, but I knew he’d probably be completely dumbfounded at the prospect.

Leave alone that, the thought of what my dear mother would say was giving me sleepless nights. And nightmares. If that was even simultaneously possible. It would probably be a reason for her to dig up all that resentment of the past. Tell me how crazy wives behave. How they lose their handsome husbands. Irresponsible. Over fertile. I mean, who in the world was over fertile these days?!

”I-I’m  okay,” I stuttered, swallowing hard and looking away. I could see him eyeing me out scrupulously.

”It’s not such a big deal,” he said calmly. “He’s just coming to talk to her.”

I nodded slowly, trying to focus. Siraj. Khawlah. Focus on what triggered this all. Focus on the problem here…

”But I thought that you didn’t want him to?” I said, trying to steady my voice. “That’s what it sounded like when Siraj called earlier and you were going crazy on me because I told him to come. I didn’t know. How was I to know that he was all ulterior motives..”

And there I went again, my eyes all teary and nose all sniffly.

”Babe, I wasn’t going crazy on you…” Ahmed said, raising his eyebrows, but looking a little bit more sympathetic than usual. “I’m sorry, but believe me, you haven’t seen me going crazy yet. Alhumdulillah… I’ve become pretty good at controlling my anger these days.”

I pouted at him, feeling a little stupid for acting kuku and over emotional earlier. But he didn’t answer my question. He didn’t settle my concerns. I wanted him to tell me that I was justified in my feelings. Was I the only one feeling like this was wrong on so many levels?

”So you’re okay with it?” I asked candidly, sniffing loudly but not really knowing how to feel anymore.

“It’s not that,” he said tiredly, running his hand through his beard and shrugging. “Its just… well, there comes a time in life where things change. I had to rethink. This is my sister. Your brother. We loved them but we can’t hold onto it because the truth is… they don’t exist anymore. All we have is memories and they were great… but if we don’t give her support then she will always be stuck in the past…”

I looked at Ahmed, my heart sinking as he said it. But I wanted to hold on. I wanted them to always exist. Why was it so unfair?

Ahmed had developed such a diplomatic approach to it, but I still couldn’t stomach Siraj and Khawlah. It was just weird. But then again, maybe people thought the same about Ahmed and I. Who knows? Anyway, it didnt matter. It was just my crazy side that was surfacing at the worst of times..

I walked over to the window and looked out at where my sister-in-law was. Being here, in a new home that was also their old home was quite an experience for us. There was still a lot to do cosmetically but it was warm and beautiful in a different way. Yes, it had taken a lot of convincing and it had it’s challenges  but when I finally agreed to move here, it was the best thing ever to see Ahmed so much more comfortable and settled than he had ever been at the estate. Plus, on the up side, it meant that Shabeer didn’t have access to the house anymore, on the rare occasion that he actually came to see the boys.

I watched Khawlah scooping soil from a bucket at the lower end of the garden, probably wanting to take it up to where her and the boys were making their new flower bed. Her hair was tied back loosely and her face was flushed with excitement and a tinge of exhaustion from being out i  the sun most of the day. How the years fly. From that girl who came to me with that courage that I so badly needed at the time, giving me that window to a world where I would find so much more than I had ever bargained for.
Like a breath of fresh air, I couldn’t help but remember the teenage girl that she was back then, beautiful and strong and full of promise. I still couldn’t believe that she was all grown up, and a mother to my niece. But despite all that, no-one could deny that she was still as stunning as she always was… if not more.

“But arent you upset?” I asked, needing to justify my own feelings.

Ahmed met my eye as I turned to him, and even after all these years… I wasn’t surprised to see the hurt in his eyes as they had been there from the very first day we lost Adam.

“We wil never forget Adam,” he said softly. “And I was upset. I might have even still been angry if I hadn’t spoken to Molvi. The thing is, she’s got a right to decide.  Maybe we shouldn’t be so hard.  Even if it’s Siraj. It may be awkward but he made me see the entire thing in a completely different light. Think about ththe Sahaba, Ruby. The Ansaar and Muhaajiureen. How they were. Yes, we can’t compare to them but we need to wonder. We need to change our outlook. To prefer others to ourselves… to want to see them happy…”

I swallowed and looked at my husband, not being able to fully accept what he was saying. He wanted me to change my outlook but it wasn’t so easy. To me, Adam and Khawlah were it. They were love. Pure love. For the sole pleasure of Allah kind of love… building each other and growing through their marriage… I had never even knew that kind of beauty existed until I saw what they had and now… now he wanted me to erase and forget it as if it didn’t exist…

But then, the kind of love that Nabi SAW had tried to bring between his companions was also for the pleasure of Allah too. There were no boundaries. Nothing was too much.

And so the narration goes, when the Muhaajireen had come to Madina, the Prophet (S.A.W.), in his unique manner, began pairing off the Muhajirin (immigrants of Makkah) and the Ansaar (Muslim residents of Madinah). This established a firm bond of brotherhood and was meant to strengthen social cohesion and ease the destitution of the Muhajirin.

Abdur-Rahman (R.A.) was linked by the Prophet (S.A.W.) with Saad ibn Ar-Rabiah (R.A.). Saad (R.A.) in the spirit of generosity and magnanimity with which the Ansaar greeted the Muhajirin, said to Abdur-Rahman (R.A.):

“My brother! Among the people of Madinah I have the most wealth. I have two orchards and I have two wives. See which of the two orchards you like and I shall vacate it for you and which of my two wives is pleasing to you and I will divorce her for you.”

Abdur-Rahman (R.A.) must have been embarrassed and said in reply:

“May Allah bless you in your family and your wealth. But just show me where the suq (market) is.”

And many know that the result hereafter was the wealth of Abdur Rahmans bin Auf (RA) which was earned within days and then used for the benefit of the Muslims for years to come. But the point of it was not the wealth, but the generosity and pure goodwill that that they possessed…

And what was more amazing was that likewise, when Allah favoured the Muhaajireen with certain things, the Ansaar did not feel any objection to this, nor did they harbour any ill feelings or envy towards their brothers in faith for being distinguished with these favours. Instead, they favoured them over their own selves with whatever they had, even if they themselves were in need of what they offered…

”Ruby,” he said softly, as he stuffed his hands in his pockets. He was giving me that look… the one that said that he already knew what I was thinking and I needed to change. He knew me too well.

”Think about it,” he said softly, coming forward to peck me on the forehead and the turning around to leave the room.

And I did. Siraj was in his way here, so it didn’t leave me much time but I knew that Ahmed had a point. A good point too. I collapsed into the chair in the kitchen, trying to gather my thoughts when little Khadijah waltzed fancily into the kitchen, already convincing me that she had been a really good girl and deserved a slab of chocolate.

And honestly, after four boys, I really felt the character and sparkly nature of this girl so refreshing. Sometimes just thinking of her put a smile on my face.. that gorgeous niece of mine always cheered me up. And of course, looking at her was like an immediate soothing to my soul. Except for the fact that she looked fiercely like my brother, and the fact Adam couldn’t see his beautiful daughter, her presence was like a tingling windchime in the garden of my heart. She was so amazingly special to me.

And as she looked at me and climbed up onto the stool with a chocolate in hand and started chatting away about nothing in particular, I couldn’t help but be lost in her incredible cuteness and crave more. This beautiful niece of mine just got me every time and what better way to indulge myself with her talk as I  thought of getting her opinion on what was bugging my brains since Siraj had called. I mean, I knew he loved my niece to bits but shouldn’t she have a say as well?

Maybe I was being my annoying self. Maybe it was the crazy part of me that was tempting me to ask. Maybe I was looking for a problem when there was none. Maybe I just needed to justify my own feelings.

”What do you think of getting a daddy?” I asked her candidly as I grabbed a piece of  her favourite slab of Dairy Milk.

“What’s a daddy?” She asked candidly, her pretty eyes narrowing at me, just like her uncles did when he was a little confused at my odd behavior. Which was a lot of the time.

And I couldn’t help but think to myself that that if I had a daughter,with eyes like Ahmed’s, she would probably look a lot like Khadijah. I just wished that I would stop being so chicken ahout telling my husband the truth so I could be more excited about the prospect.

”What?!” She said impatiently, tugging at my sleeve.

A daddy. Oh yes, she didn’t know the word.

”Your own Abba,” I tried to explain, snapping out of my ridiculous dream world. “Like a man. Who will live with you.”

Was that really a good way to explain? I felt like slapping my hand to my forehead.

”My Abba’s dead,” she said obviously, flicking her little finger on mine, and looking me straight in the eye.

Goodness, this child was something else.

“I mean like another one,” I said, trying to recover from the ‘dead’ part. She was so… brutal.

“Your brother?” She said now, looking at me like I was crazy. “That’s my Abba. He’s Dead. By Allah’s house. And he’s happy there.  Duh.”

I widened my eyes in shock. That mouth! My word, she was a something else. Duh-ing me. How dare she?

If her mother was here I knew that would have at least warranted a twisted ear, but because I was her besotted Aunt, she knew that she could get away with it. Of course.

”I know!” I said, still recovering from her raised eyebrows. Girls were really something else. Never in my years of raising boys did I encounter this kind of obvious judgement from a three-year-old.

Aadam would have probably been chuckling if he could hear her. I could just imagine my brother smirking as if it was the funniest thing in the world. My heart ached slightly but I knew that I couldn’t let the emotion get me all flustered and back out with my interrogation now.

”Listen missy,” I said, giving in to her request for another chocolate and kissing her little nose as I tried to build up the courage again. “I know you love your mummy but you do know that sometimes Mummies also need -“

My conversation was conveniently cut off at that point as Khadijah suddenly let out a squeal of unhindered delight, hastily jumped off the kitchen chair as my heart jumped to my throat, and literally sprinted to the door.

Tito!” She shouted as she literllay jumped at to my uncle who was already greeting and beaming at the enthusiastic welcome. My word. She was shameless in her affection for him, and it annoyed me relentlessly.

Tito was Siraj’s nickname and I actually had no idea how it even evolved to that. He sounded like some weird Italian uncle. From ‘Ucle Tiraj’ when she was two, it then became ‘Tita’, and then eventually evolved to Tito… and the name just stuck. He was one of Khadijah’s favorites and it was quite obvious that the feeling was mutual. Maybe that should have been enough to settle my fears but somehow it wasn’t.

He lifted her effortlessly and the two of them started rattling off some nursery rhyme that made her giggle and made me inwardly roll my eyes. Why, oh why was it so hard to be a nice human sometimes? 

That should have been Adam with his daughter. Not my uncle who I wasn’t quite sure how to behave with now that I knew about his sinister intentions.

Ah, such was life.

And of course I wanted to be cool about it. I wanted to be the nice sister-in-law and niece. I wanted to talk to my uncle normally. To ask him about work and his estranged wife who was soon to become ex-wife and wanted him to move on, and everything else that we usually spoke or joked about but there was a very awkward atmosphere in the room and I knew it wasn’t my imagination. Could I really help it if my crazy side was stopping me from being all the nice things that I wanted to be?

And as I battled with my inner self and watched the two of them head off to the patio, the doorbell ringing was a welcomed diversion from my over active mind. Knowing that Ahmed was outside with Siraj, I got up and walked to the passage to open the door, barely expecting to see Ma standing there, with my father directly behind. It had been a week or two since I had seen her but it was the first time she had come to my new home. And of course I was happy to see her, but because of the concerning unreadable look in her eyes… something within my gut was telling me that this was probably not just a regular visit…

”Ma asked me to bring her,” my father said, sounding like he usually did when my mother forced him to do something that he didn’t want to. It was a common occurrence and he had the look on his face too.

I really felt for him. My poor father was always getting caught in the middle of the craziness of the female members of my family… mine included.

What I didn’t know yet was that Ma’s reason for being here was about to reveal a little more craziness than we all knew…

Dearest Readers, 

Please make maaf for my delay in posting. Aiming to be a bit earlier this week… InshaAllah 

I’m sure many people feel like Ruby does, right? 

Much Love  

A xx

Sunnah of Fasting in Shawwaal

Sayyadina Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (Radiyallahu ‘Anhu) reported that our noble Prophet, the Imam of Tawheed (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadhan and follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.” (Muslim, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nisa’i and Ibn Majah)









Twitter: @ajourneyjournal