Part 5: Aiming for Awakening

Bismihi Ta’ala


“Listen bro,” I said quietly to Liyaket after we jumped off the plane, careful to steer clear from any straying ears. “You either have to end this thing, or make Nikah. You guys can’t carry on like this. It’s killing my nerves.”

Liyaket blinked as I said it, grabbing his bag from the conveyor belt and wheeling it alongside us. At the risk of sounding like my overtly pious older brother, I had to say it as it was. It wasn’t that I was particularly worried about the elements that my brother might have worried about. No. My concern was that he and his girlfriend had just shared an intimate moment before the arrivals doors and I couldn’t help but wonder if the Muslim aunties staring at them might know them. Or if the young girl who was standing and ogling at them behind us was some connections daughter. Or the older uncle with the blue tie who was very suspiciously looking around might be Layyanah’s high profile father’s business acquaintance.

Whatever. Long story short, my friends budding romance was giving me sleepless nights. I dreaded the day when things were going to hit the fan in a most stinking way and I had to let him know it. As pretty as Layyanah was, the guy had to start using his brains to think. Following your heart for things like this never went down well. They just didn’t.

Liyaket said nothing as we both wheeled out bags towards the pick up points.

“I don’t know, man,” he said with a sigh, shaking his head as he paused again. I turned to see what he was looking at, almost glimpsing the mental battle between the confines of his skull.

The girls from our group were talking and laughing about something as they headed out, phones in their hands and selfie ready, as always. After a few seconds of TikTok obsession, Mohsina tucked her phone in her bag and walked toward a man big a huge white beard and a younger, abaya-clad  version of herself, who I assumed was her sister. Layyanah was already waving to her older brother who had come to fetch her , souped up in his Armani suit. He was familiar to me because he had done some business with my brother and come to home once or twice. Now that my brother was moving back to our hometown, I knew I wouldn’t see much of him, and secretly, I was glad. He didn’t look too impressed as he now walked ahead of Layyanah without even a raising of his hand in greeting or word to anyone whilst she said her final goodbyes to the other girls. But then again, he generally had that unimpressed look on his face, so I wasn’t too sure. 

And it was just as well that I was over watching the girls taking stupid reels to post because I could already see Layyanah’s brother focusing on us and giving Liyaket dirty looks as he typed profusely on his phone. Was it my imagination? No. Sometimes my friend needed a guy like me to watch his back, and it was in a the nick of time that I did a close to martial arts manoeuvre to safely steered my friend outside, into the waiting car of my older brother before he did anything incriminating that Layyanahs brother might have broken him for.

I shook my head as I closed the car door, greeting Imraan and my 6 year old nephew, wanting to smack Liyaket at the back of his head for being so stupid.

The fact was, Liyaket and I weren’t just colleagues. We were friends was way back before we even decided to study the same thing at university together. Being together for so long made us that much tighter, and now that it was at this point, I knew I had to look out for my friend.

“This bloody romancing in the workplace,”I muttered to myself, annoyed that I was getting involved in their stories. I had half a mind of letting Imraan give Liyaket a pep talk but I knew I couldn’t out my friend that way.

“I can’t help it,” Liyaket said under his breath. “I love her.”

I snorted with laughter.

Okay, now maybe you think I’m mean.

Laughing at the guy when I should have been all sentimental with him. But honestly, I didn’t believe in love. Not at this stage anyway. It was an illusion that completely sidetracked any sane person. I mean, looking at my friend, I could see exactly why I would never venture down that road. To tell the truth, all this new age kind of stuff wasn’t for me. If you really wanted to know, what I really felt was that I was meant to exist in some other era. Technology, illusions, ‘love’… and everything that came with this new age stuff… frankly, it wasn’t for me.

It wasn’t that I was anti-social media, like everyone may think. No. I wasn’t just a hater who picked on people who had Tiktok.

Well then, what was for me, you may wonder? The truth was, when I closed my eyes at night, all I want to do was just live in the moment and be who I was. Not a virtual person. Not a person escaping reality. Not just the corporate and accountant version. Studying and becoming a CA was the least descriptive part of me. What I really wanted to be was someone who would have a purpose. Fight for something worthy. Really dig deep to find my inner calling…

What that was though, well, I didn’t yet know. I just knew that bloggers, influencers and following people so I could see what went on in their personal and private life wasn’t my thing.

I tuned into to what Imraan and Liyaket were talking about.

“No ones going to pay you just to spot errors, my man”  Imraan was saying to Liyaket as we drove along the highway. They were talking business. “You have to have proper insight to their financial situation. You have to analyse and give them solutions.”

He was munching on some Doritos and I grabbed some from his packet as I explained the parts of the audit that I found challenging that week. It was just as well that we had an excellent team of students. Every single member, even the girll, had all pulled their weight to make sure that Bossman didn’t have any complaints whatsoever about us. And he didn’t.

”It’s not that simple,” Liyaket was saying. “Now with technology being so advanced, it even gives them revised solutions-“

”Exactly,” Imraan said. “That’s why you have to think out the box. We’ll talk about it later when we get to my place. First, Salaah.”

And I knew it wasn’t a question. We could hear the Adhaan (call to prayer) as we entered our suburb and though I would have preferred to go straight home and chill, I didn’t have a choice.

Hadhrat Abdullah bin ‘Umar (Radhiyallaho anho) once visited the market. He noticed that at the time of Salaat, everybody closed his shop and flocked to the musjid. He remarked:
“These are people about whom Allah has remarked:
“Men whom neither merchandise away nor sale beguileth from remembrance of Allah and constancy in Salaat and paying to the poor their due; who fear a day when hearts and eyeballs will be overturned. (XXIV:37)”
Hadhrat Ibn Abbas (Radhiyallaho anho) says:
“These people were completely absorbed in their trade, but when they heard Azaan they left everything and hastened towards the musjid.”
He once remarked: “By Allah, they were such traders whose trade did not hinder them from the remembrance of Allah.”

This was Imraan and I knew it was why he was successful in every aspect of life. Frankly, he didn’t give two hoots about anyone and what they thought. After leaving one of the biggest corporate workplaces the previous year, he now worked for himself and couldn’t be happier. It meant he could take off time to do as he wanted, and spend time as he pleased. It meant he could do what he always wanted to do, whether it meant taking a holiday in the middle of February or taking off for Ramadhaan, according to him, Imraan lived the life.

As he grew older, his focus in life changed and making money wasn’t that important to him. Spending time with his best friend was the best thing for him and yes, because they had grown up together, I knew that this was his focus in life.

Because of his best friend, Maulana Umar, he was no longer  chasing the corporate ladder, struggling to get to the top. He stopped competing with the big guys in the invisible race for fame. He had stopped worrying about the materialistic things because he had made it his entire life to dedicate to a different path. His company was one of the largest independent companies and it still never diverted him from his purpose in life. All I knew was that my brother had found out the important things in life and he was definitely onto something, but I couldn’t take the time out or wrap my head around it to comprehend it. Maybe I was still too young. Maybe I just lacked the insight. For him, he kept saying that he was so spoilt now that that he couldn’t ever go back to that corporate life. And for me, well, I honestly couldn’t think of anything better than the corporate life. For now, it’s what kept me going and what motivated me to keep achieving.

And whilst I was busy out there, aiming and achieving, I didn’t know it then, but on it’s way was some kind of awakening that would give me the deeper purpose I’d been searching for all along.

Mission Sunnah Revival! New Sunnah next week.

One of the first Sunnahs that we introduce is the Sunnah of miswaak, and though we know its benefit, its so beneficial and it’s useful to know that besides the Sunnah benefits, there are so many scientifically proven benefits as well. Miswaak:

  • Fights plaque.
  • Fights gum disease.
  • Prevent any existing teeth decay from getting worse.
  • Contains minerals such as chloride, sodium bicarbonate and potassium.
  • Strengthen the enamel in your teeth.
  • Leaves you with a healthy mouth.

Keep a Miswaak at our bedside:

Whenever the Exalted Prophet (SallAllahu Alayhi wa Sallam) would wake up from his sleep, he would use the Miswak. [Sunan Abu Dawud, Page 54, Hadith 57]


FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

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