When Spirits Soar

Bismihi Ta’ala


There are certain instances in life that stick with you, no matter what passage your heart has been altered through. Whether it’s been turned by the whispers of man’s whims, or twisted by the whistles of the world…. Certain things have not only have made their impact on your mind, but the very essence of that message has filtered through, somewhere to within your soul. Maybe not now. Maybe it was was way back when. Maybe once upon a time, there existed a part of you that was once moved by something so elementary. But then life went on and you forgot just how significant that moment was for you… until something happens and it’s brings it back, as if you are right there, playing it live, all over again.

At the time of the marriage of Ali bin Abu Talib (RA) to Faatimah (RA), Hadhrat Ali (RA) had none other than one pillow, a rug and a jug.. The floor of his home was the bare earth. A simple piece of armour was given as Mahr, and the Nikah was a simple ceremony performed by the Messenger of Allah (Sallahu alaihi wa Sallam) himself. Such was the asceticism of the lives of the pious, that they didn’t even think to acquire something more luxurious, even on a grand affair like a marriage.

Upon her deliverance to her marital home, our beloved Nabi (Sallalahu alaihi was Sallam) entered the home, offered a supplication for them, and thereafter, simply said to Hadhrat Faatimah RA:

Remember I have performed your Nikah to the person who is most beloved to me from my family.

The words were few, but it’s meaning was of great magnitude. Moreso, because he then turned to his cousin, and said the same thing to Hadhrat Ali (RA), after which he left.

He continued to supplicate for them until he exited the door.

And it was a beautiful narration that had stuck with me from the few years of Madrassah I attended, where my Ustaadha would absorb us in a different piece of literature every month, even when we had tons of secular work… but it had instilled a deep love for the wisdom and way of Nabi (SAW), as I grew to an age of understanding.  And it was something that I would remember many a time, but especially then, as the Nikah sermon of my friend had just commenced. I sat next to her, silently supporting her because in all truthfulness, my throat was all kind of choked up and restricting my breath, which meant that all I could do was sit there and gape at how peaceful and content Layyanah looked as she sat there, digesting today’s events and trying to figure out if this was all real.

Okay, so I know that I don’t exactly come across at that type, but believe me, I’m all kinds of emotional at the most inappropriate times. And while Layyanah was busy smiling tearfully, looking serene in a rose gold and champagne dress that she had somehow gotten a hold of at the last minute, I was all snotty-nosed and ugly crying while the few females who were there from Liyaket’s family were hovering around.

They probably thought that I was a little over the top, but I didn’t care. All I could think of was how brave Layyanah was for doing this and how terrified I was for her at the same time. How she was leaving everything in this world behind, to embark on a journey to please Allah.

And yes, I’m not the dramatic type, but having being the first Nikah of someone that I knew so well… the emotions were kind of coming on with no warning.

This was huge. Liyaket and Layyanah would be staying here for a few days whilst they tried to figure out where their path would take them to next. They had no plan. No house. No real preparation for the journey that they were about to take but they were already moving in the right direction and I was almost certain that it was going to be okay.

Almost. And yes, I wasn’t sure if this was the right thing. Parents were important. Their blessing was important. But Layyanah had indifferently stated that after she contacted her parents to invite them to her Nikah, she had been accused of being pregnant and emphatically declared disowned. The quote was that they wouldn’t be seen dead attending her cheap wedding even if she begged them.

So that, I supposed, summed up the parent issue for now.

And of course, I had asked her about eleven times since I’d got there if she was absolutely certain, because well, I just had to make sure. Jameela had nudged me in the ribs by the seventh time, and I was a little grateful that I had been forced to bring her with, but that was another story altogether.

I was certain it wouldn’t have happened if my dearest mother hadn’t hit up a royal fuss about the invite.

My heart had been hammering in my chest as I walked back to the office after meeting Layyanah earlier that week. I was expecting someone to pop up and pin me to the ground, demanding some explanation about Layyanah. But thankfully, as I reached my office I breathed a sigh of relief, ecstatic that I had reached safely and in one piece.
Also, my phone was on my desk by the end of the working day, which had got me even more excited because I knew I would not have survived a second more without it.

And I was all sucked into work and very busy minding my own business that Wednesday afternoon when Lesley’s over-cheery voice got me averting my gaze as Hamzah sauntered through the front office. It was his usual, up to no good, kind of saunter. I didn’t catch on that he was probably playing it up. He raised his hand at Lesley, trying to appear polite. I ignored him and focused on my spreadsheet. The guy got enough attention from everyone else.

The thing is, I was so good at ignoring people that I didn’t even notice him coming over to my desk until he was right there, in my face.


As with other people, he was all smooth and easy as he spoke, running his hand through his growing beard briefly as he waited for my reply.

I looked around me in confusion, wondering if he had got the right person.

Sjoe. I had no idea that he could be polite.

And I was about to shoot him the usual glance of annoyance as I looked up, but just for a millisecond, there was a flicker of something that I barely recognized in his eye, and then, just as fast as it appeared, well, it was gone, and he was looking down at my desk.

What that was, I wasn’t sure. I looked at him, slightly perturbed. He said nothing more as he passed, but tapped three times at the corner of my desk before leaving with two ambiguous words.

“See you.”

All I knew was that “See you”, according to loose-ish office boys really meant that he probably would be seeing me, sooner that I thought.

He said it by the way, and I was a little in shock as I wondered what on Earth was going on with him.

And then when I glanced down and saw the white baronial envelope on the side of my desk where he had tapped, my throat kind of restricted. This definitely did not look like it was work related, and my heart thudded with trepidation.

All Nani’s words about office boys came pouring down on me, like a summer storm, and I was obviously wary of him already. These boys and their up to no good ways were way too sinister.

And then of course, I picked it up carefully, realizing that anxiety was getting the better of me prematurely as I studied the outside with my name written all fancy and suspiciously. I was still digesting that it was dropped off by none other than Hamzah, silently and expertly, even away from the prying eyes of Lesley, until I tore it open and realised that he wasn’t up to no good after all.

The invitation was simple. It was all in paper and old fashioned, almost like we were back in the twentieth century. And yes, of course it made me uncomfortable to see people still wasted paper, but you know, sometimes we have to step out of our comfort zones.

But it wasn’t over because I had to deal with Lesley’s skeptics as she tried to drill me about why Hamzah had been at my desk, but that was also regardless, because it didn’t compare to the drama would soon unfold as when I got home and revealed the contents to my mother. It only took her her about three and a half seconds to go completely bezerk, and as soon as she saw where it was she was all up in arms as I tried to reason with her about why I had to be there.

“But Ma, ” I squealed, putting on my best pleading face. “It’s not so far…”

My mother gave me one of those looks (I’m sure you know those by now), and then immediately turned to my father.

“See what you cause!” My mother bellowed to him, as I stood, slightly dumbfounded, in the middle of the hallway, watching them both. “Rather she live by herself, let her do as she wants all the time. Why must she ask, if what I say doesn’t matter?”

My father looked confused, and I passed him the invitation silently. And I know I shouldn’t have because I knew my parents. I knew my father would try and play it down but the idiotic part in me still did it. I still passed it to him with the hope that maybe he could win her over somehow.

”Its just 2 and a half hours away, Fathi, she will be back tomorrow…” my father reasoned, trying to be diplomatic.

Wrong response. Ma’s face was turning as red as a tomato.

“She can NOT travel with no Mahram !” Ma was yelling. “You said that last time was the LAST TIME!”

Last time was the last time?

I wanted to giggle but I dare not. I was only grateful that Nani was not here because that would have been an entirely different and horrific scenario. I knew that she could not even hear about this.

“What last time?!” my father said back, his voice slightly raised. “That was for work! She can’t say no for work!”

I wanted to hang my head in my hands.

There’s it. Bayaan time.

“Allah’s law is not only for leisure!” my mother shot back. “We don’t pick and choose when and how. Every time it’s the same bloody thing. Same story! You and your children gang up against me!”

When my mother said ‘bloody’, I knew she meant business.

Was I the only one who thought my parents had completely lost their minds everytime they argued?

They were going on about who the worse parent was and it was mortifying.

Crazy. It was just crazy.

Jameela had plundered down the stairs and was watching them too with raised eyebrows.

I wasn’t sure how this was all going to end but I really wanted to be there for Layyanah. Besides, her message sounded so sincere, and amidst all the fakes in this world, I could do with some sincerity. I really could.

I really would like you to come. Layy.

I looked at the invite. The venue was out of town. Google maps said 2 hours and 47 minutes away.

But I understand if you can’t. It’s not around the corner. 

The next message came about 3 minutes after.

I typed, wondering how this would all turn out.

I will try my best xx

I really wanted to. If my mother calmed down and listened to me.

Please please. I need someone for moral support. You’re the best friend I have right now, Mos.

I was strangely moved by her message. I really wished that at the moment I could see her or just give her  hug. She was going to be going through a huge transition. She wasn’t only going to be getting married, but I could imagine that she was losing her entire family in the process too. Probably her friends that she had once known from way back. She had no support structure whatsoever.

And that was when I knew that I had to make it for her. It wasn’t always easy to sacrifice your pride, and put your tail between your legs. Sometimes it was just downright mortifying. I messaged Layyanah to ask her if it was okay to bring my siblings. Doing the right thing wasn’t always easy, but sometimes you just needed a parent who had heir head on the right way, to make sure you’re in line. And so, after Fajr salaah, the very next morning, all three of us siblings were headed off to the farm town where the Nikah was being held.

In case you were wondering, my younger brother was pretty much non-existent. He was one of those teenagers who had morphed into some kind of weird warrior, wearing army suits and sitting in his room playing with his pocket knife collection. How my father allowed that kind of violent behaviour, I wasn’t sure, but I suppose that being an only son after two girls had to have its perks.

And of course, the trade off came with a price. As for my brother, I had to promise him a new leather pocket knife holder. Jameela insisted that I’d look into her plans for the coffee shop as soon as we were back.

Muhammed Husayn was sitting in the back seat, silently looking out the window while I drove the 220 odd kilometres to our destination.

And in all fairness, they were doing me a favour, but I couldn’t help but recall what Ma was saying. She had a point. Allah’s law was not negotiable. And of course, there was a reason for what Allah had set for us. Every role and rule was in place for a reason.

In her eyes, what had to be done, had to be done, but not with breaking the law of Allah.

And so that’s how I had made it, all set to be my my friends side, psyched and scared for her all at the same time, as I witnessed her life starting to change.

And what Layyanah was about to go through, I couldn’t digest, I knew that I for one, would never have been able to adapt to this mew kind of life. Never in a million years would I have been to leave my extensive closet, my privileged life and family, to start afresh with someone I barely knew, knowing that life was going to completely change for me.

And as I sat back on the grassy plain just beyond a little hillock, many thoughts were coming at me, almost unexpectedly.

It had been a few minutes after the conclusion of the most emotionally charged Nikah ceremony, and after hugging my friend and then leaving her to meet with some of her new in-laws who were mulling around, I knew that there was nothing more I needed than a dose of fresh air, and the sliding door leading outside seemed like the perfect place to get it.

Jameela had gone off to take some scenic pictures as soon as we got here (she had my fathers habit of getting lost in the wilderness), and Muhammad Husayn (who was pretty anti-social) had been claimed by someone from Hamzah’s family who said they would take care of him (not that he needed taking care of, but you get my drift.)

The thing is, I couldn’t even worry too much about the technicalities about anything… This place was so beautiful and I immediately understood Jameela’s urgency to get out and take it all in. From what Layyanah had said, it was a vast plot that belonged to Hamzah’s family. On it were 3 houses, which made it perfect and private for the event this weekend.

For some reason, my iPhone was far from my side, lying on a pedestal in the room behind me as I collected my thoughts and emotions, experiencing the present after what seemed like ages. I sat cross-legged, pulling at some weed, noticing the crowd of people mulling about, but for that time, sitting in my beige and black abaya set with the breeze caressing my cheek, I was oblivious to their chatter. As I gazed, more hillocks ahead, boasting such greenery that made me dizzy, I felt alone and appeased all at the same time. I was almost glued to the escape I had found, as if I was sinking into a realm of abandonment, where nothing else in this world mattered at all. The sun was shining brightly beyond the meadow, and as I sat there, soaking it in, it was a moment of freedom, a moment I felt released, and a moment that I wouldn’t have traded for anything in the world.

The truth is that sometimes, as life goes on, we not only become new people, but we also lose a lot of what was important to us before. We forget what made us, what broke us, what moulded us into the human beings that sometimes look without seeing and hear without listening. We forget what it felt like to lay still in the breeze of spring, or how to sit, unmoved, at the buzz of a mobile phone.

We forget to keep our eyes on the glorious way the sun embraces the earth, to take back our own happiness, instead of relying on that the clicking of that button, thinking we were savouring a moment when we really weren’t. We are so immersed and absorbed in a world that is so far from real, that at times it’s as if our reality is only what is happening in a world beyond a 120-millimetre piece of glass …

Yes, this wasn’t my comfort zone and I was far from a nature person, but this… well, this was breathtaking. Jaw-dropping. Stop-in-your-tracks, savour every moment, kinda stunning. This was life beyond life, from every new sprig and sprout, to the vast evergreens that lay beyond where I could even see, it was so breathtakingly beautiful. It was like one of those pictures that Papa often sent me… actually even better… and as I sat there, I breathed in the fresh air of nature, took in its glorious scent and I was already miles away. Right then, I just felt like a slave who was just gaping in awe of her master. Thoughts were running away with me. Emotions had overwhelmed me. The empty life as I knew it, now held no value for me.

Because right then, it all made sense. What Layyanah was doing. Why she didn’t value what I had always put before everything else in this world. All I could think of is why some people could leave a world of so much of wealth and promise behind, knowing that there was so much of splendour and beauty that existed. Why they would abandon something that seemed like it was the most glorious thing, because they had seen something that was sent from the Most Glorious himself.

This was peace. This was contentment. This was life.

For that brief moment, like a gasp of fresh air after the longest underwater dive, I felt like I had been lifted out of a world that I had been trapped in, like a bird soaring high above that very same water, finally gaining the courage to catch a glimpse of something that only very few in this world could ever fully comprehend…

And then of course, as a voice from behind me not only broke right into my epiphany, but also just shattered my soaring spirit.

And perhaps it was in the air on that scenic day, because it was obvious that someone else’s spirits were also soaring a bit too high that day.

“Hey gorgeous.”

Mission Sunnah Revival: the beautiful Sunnah of eating and licking fingers.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

١٥ ربيع الأول ١٤٤٣
15th Rabee’ul Awwal 1443 – South Africa

22nd October 2021

رسول الله صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم said:
If the morsel of any one of you fall, then he should pick it up, thereafter remove any dirt etc on it, and eat it. And he should not leave it (morsel), for satan.
And he should not wipe his hand, with a cloth, until he lick his fingers, for verily he doesn’t know, in which portion of his food, is the blessing (Barakah)

(Muslim Shareef)

If a morsel fall down, then we must not regard it as, reprehensible.
There’s great reward in picking up a morsel and eating it, regarding it a Sunnah.
If it’s not possible to eat it, then place it in such a place, where some animal can eat it.


An amazing quality to inculcate into our lives…





FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah


When Something Changes

Bismihi Ta’ala


Although the whiff of country air had sent my spirits soaring, the nagging sensation that had haunted me the entire week was still occupying my subconscious. I simply could not just ignore it.

”Liy, just tell me one more time,” I said, glancing at Liyaket, knowing that he was probably going to be high-five my face real soon. I mean, I had only asked him the very same question about seven times in the last hour.

But I just had to. Just one more time. I had to know if he was ready for this change.

“Are you absolutely sure that you are ready for this?”

He glanced at me for a minute, and then looked away. I was almost certain that I had seen a flicker of hesitancy in his eye but when I looked again, it was gone and Liyaket appeared once again as the awesome and confident guy that I had known since grade three.

“Only regret the chances you didn’t take, right?”

Each time was a different response, and I had to admire Liyaket’s charisma. I looked at him warily, unsure if he was serious or just spinning a line.

The changes were obvious. His face was now sporting a small but significant beard and his eyes were literally twinkling with optimism. That was Liyaket. Always looking at the brighter side of things. The complete opposite of me, but I supposed that’s why we were friends, right?

And it was precisely this that made me realize the truth of our earthly existence. Sometimes, in the midst of our lives, we do things that cause us to run away from Allah, and but through our repentance, we run in circles, finding ourselves right back at His doorstep once again. No matter how many times we break that connection, one hundred times over, we strive to rebuild it.

And some people have many turning points. Many moments of definition. Multiple points in their life where they will reach an amazing and significant change, and find themselves pacing back and forth, in the same directions. And then some people just had one amazing awakening, and they are absolutely and irrevocably altered.

And right then, well, right then… was a that irreversible  point for Liyaket. I didn’t realize it then, but in retrospect, the signs were as clear as day.

And it wasn’t only about the one event that entailed the Nikah. It wasn’t only about the marriage. It was so much deeper than that. It was a series of events that had led to this point, and that had reinforced for me that this was no coincidence and that a lot more was changing than just Liyakets relationship status.

Marriage, huh. It’s one of those turning points that I couldn’t quite figure out how you get to.

Like, at what point do you realize that you’re ready to spend forever (like really?) with one person and that’s that?

There was plenty of opportunity, so much to still discover. Well, that was what was screaming at us… calling for us… being drilled into us every day… at every avenue we take… whether it was the adverts we see, the crap we watch, or modernist articles we read.

We are constantly being taught that life is not just for the boring stuff. Why settle for what’s just normal?

And even when I found myself indulging a little more than I knew was okay, I knew that there was much that I was going to regret, but I just couldn’t seem to snap myself out of it. Sin is something like quick sand. Once you get stuck in it, it’s kind of hard to pull out. It’s sucks you in.. consuming you, holding onto you, almost like a parasite does to its host.

The thing was, around the time of Liyakets marriage, I wasn’t exactly the most amazing person. And who would have known it more than my best bud. Liyaket was eyeing my doubtful face as I sat next to him in my G-Star jeans and t-shirt in the passenger seat, before finally starting the car again.

We had made a quick stop at the service station and while Liyaket filled up, I restocked my cigarette stash. Since we were heading back to my home town, in the depths of Kwa-Zulu Natal, one of the greenest places I’ve ever been, I knew that the stall there didn’t stock the menthol brand I was after and I was going to have to do without them if I didn’t have enough.

“Bro, I think it’s time for me to give you some advice.”

I raised my eyebrows at Liyaket, taking the cigarette out from in between my lips and looked at him.

”I’m not sure if you qualify for that position as yet,” I replied with raised eyebrows, feeling around for my lighter in my pockets. I could never seem to hold on to one. I pulled the car lighter from Liyakets Yaris socket, lit it up silently as I pulled in deeply and exhaled, purposely leaving the window closed, just to annoy my best friend.

He shook his head at me.

“What’s that, number seventy -two?” He said, raising his eyebrows. “You want to kill yourself, don’t you?”

I shrugged.

I didn’t count. I’ve had way too much stress lately and he was the last one to judge. In fact, in all fairness, Liyaket was to blame for my undesirable state of mind. He should have been the last one to talk.

“Just keep your eyes on the damn road,” I muttered, suddenly annoyed at him as he chuckled at me.

I was just grateful that the suspension worked out for the best and lots of good had come out of it.

Liyaket had managed to secure an even better position at a better company and if that didn’t work out, Imraan was even prepared to take him on. How a plan was unfolding for him was simply amazing.

The corporate world was seeming less and less appealing to me as the truth of it was revealed to me that past week and the best part was that finally, Liyaket and Layyanah were tying the knot. The Nikah was one hour away and for someone who was getting married shortly, Liyaket was amazingly calm.

Hell, I wished that I could be as cool as him in my normal state.

I was enjoying the peace but I knew the silence wouldn’t last.

“So who was that chic?” Liyaket asked and I knew that he was talking about the girl I had seen at the shop. I could see him watching me through the glass windows.

The thing was, that girl wasn’t my type, but Liyaket wouldn’t believe me. He wouldn’t believe it if I told him that all I was doing was standing innocently in the line while someone was talking about the best flavour of Doritos to buy for Nachos, and next thing I heard was:

”So, you may know me,” a voice said, and I turned to look at a shortish and semi-pretty girl who was talking behind me. “In case you wondering how I know about all this stuff, I’m Foodie Fantasy.”

At first, I couldn’t figure out whether she was talking to me or not. The girl who was behind us nodded, and then I realised that it was my turn to acknowledge her.

Foodie fantasy? Why did it sound dodge? I looked around the place, but I was still confused.

Obviously, seeing the bewildered look on my face, she felt the need to elaborate.

“My handle,” she said, looking directly at me now, and I frowned. “Underscore and double E. I have like, 35k followers, and I’ve travelled to 18 different countries to review their cuisines. You must have heard of me.”

Ah. Lightbulb. Instagram. @foodie_fantasee. Right?

I nodded, not trusting myself to say anymore. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to know this stuff. Was I living in an age where insta-likes meant more than actual people liking you?

Is life nowadays only based only on virtual reality?

The other girl tried to look interested but I could see that she was just as confused as me. She probably hadn’t heard of her either. Do people who have big followings think they’re celebrities?

And then all I could think was; Hell. Life will never be the same again.

Every decade that passed was like I was entering a new world. The fact that someone felt it was okay to introduce themselves by their Instagram name, well, I was absolutely floored. It was a first but I knew it wasn’t going to be a last. Now that, my friends, is why I feel like I should not have been born in this crazy era.

I didn’t tell Liyaket yet. I knew I would save this tale for later when all the excitement was over. It would be a good one to tell, with extra expression. Also, it was all his fault because my cigarette consumption wouldn’t have been at this point if the guy hadn’t put me through so much of stress lately with regard to his alleged romancing.

”Just FYI,” I said casually. “I’m a friendly guy, but I know where to draw the line. Unlike some people in this car who get lovestruck and starry-eyed at first sight.”

Liyaket snorted with laughter, as if it was the funniest thing he heard the entire day.

“So you trying to tell me that I’m backward because I want to settle down now?”

“With the first girl that you gave time of daylight to,”I retorted, shaking my head. “Like, couldn’t you at least find done that was less maintenance? All this admin is killing me.”

It was true. Liyaket was a good guy. Too good. Hard worker. Five times a day at the mosque. Good to everyone he met. And then bam. This pretty but baggage-ridden girl comes along, out of the blue, and then there’s trouble.

And I knew I wanted him to make Nikah but Liyaket had a knack of making me eat my words.

Running away. Hiding out. It wasn’t exactly an ideal situation. This kind of Nikah was super stressful.

“When you know, you know,” was all he said, and it was his turn to look straight ahead now as he drove, and I knew it was time for me to stop talking.

Liyaket would never say anything to rattle me, but I couldn’t help but wonder: Had I possibly crossed the line by saying Layyanah was high maintenance?

I knew he was a CA but things don’t happen over night. He still had to establish himself, make a name, gain his experience.

To tell the truth, maybe I had said too much but the day had been stressful.

It was an hour left and I was so glad that this day was going to be  over soon.

We were just two minutes away from the entrance of our old holding. We would be passing it to get to the mosque down the road.

I had opened my window and the intense scent of damp moss and grassy plains was almost intoxicating. It took a moment before I realised that I had missed this immensely. Maybe even more than I thought.

It was here where Imraan was moving back to, and there was a stab of jealousy as I imagined him setting up office in this place. It was a home away from home that we all knew and missed, especially when we came back to taste it’s sweetness.

It was for this reason that we decided that this was the best solution to the problem that Liyaket was facing. He needed somewhere quiet and peaceful and away from home to have a Nikah and this was the perfect getaway. It was low profile and as far as possible from  Jo’burg.

Listen,” he said as we slowed down, taking it all in for now. I looked at him, seeing the seriousness that he was conveying as he spoke.

“I know maybe it’s not the right time,” he continued. “But you my best guy, and I know that at some stage, you gonna get tired of running after the world. Think of the possibilities. There’s so much more out there then pointless pursuing and chasing the world. At some point, the new gets old. The novelty gets boring. Even work and those girls who make the place so exciting… well, they’ll move on and find other conquests and if you don’t wake up soon, you’ll be stuck on a broken train.”

I frowned slightly, not liking how he was pointing out my flaws all at once.

“Im just saying bro,” he said softly, showing that he had my best interests at heart. “When you wake up and decide to get serious, let me tell Layyanah to find you a nice girl. And I promise you- I’ll make sure she’s not high maintenance.”

He gave a wry smile and I cringed inwardly. So, he had taken offense. Just a bit. But sometimes, I had to say it as it was.

High maintenance was okay when it was just for kicks. But once it became high maintenance that you had to fit the bill for, well, then it wasn’t so fun. And despite everything that had happened in the past week, drama and all, my ultimate hope was that Liyaket was not going into this blindly. The truth was, even if he was, there was not much left to do now. Cars were already pulling into the Masjid and the time for his Nikah was scheduled to be just before the Jumuah Salaah. Even if he was having second thoughts, well, it was too late to turn back now.

“You sure you want to do this?” I asked him now, knowing I was bordering on crazy but still not understanding how we had got to this point.

I couldn’t imagine how he must be feeling. Knowing his life, his finances and relationship status would change in under an hour. Ah well, it was a helluva big thing but Liyaket was taking it on his stride.

We had reached the destination Mosque, and as I glanced at it wistfully as my mind filled with snippets of the past. It seemed so comforting back then. Hearing the Adhaan bellowing from the speakers in the midst of those sunny days.  Running down from the top of the grassy hill. Sliding on the sandy bank nearby with cardboard boxes, just for kicks…

There were so many good memories that I had back then, when life was so much simpler, and the concept of money and making a name for myself hardly mattered. I recalled running around freely in the yard as a kid, chatting jovially the older men who came there regularly. As I got older, the mosque morphed from my playground to my refuge and the one thing I could always come back to no matter what or who was going down on my life.. but recently, caught up in working in Jo’burg, and the materialistic side of things, I had lost my connection with it. I hadn’t been home in months, and maybe I was making excuses… but Jo’burg scenes for me didn’t quite have that same homeliness.

Being back here though, where I was brought up, away from the beckoning of city life and all its materialistic perks, was awakening something within me.

The air was crisp and every breath escaped my lips now felt lighter and lighter. It felt as if, one by one, all the worries of the past few months away were shedding itself, reviving a new me, and evoking a feeling of freedom that had once been so familiar to me. Something deep within was changing too.

And as I straightened  my hat and pulled on my Friday attire, though I knew that this day was going to be a huge event for Liyaket, what I didn’t realize was that this was the onset of what was probably going to transform my life significantly too.


Mission Sunnah Revival!

The beautiful Sunnah of using the right hand.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


Hazrat Hafsah
رضى الله تعالى عنها
رسول الله صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم would use his right hand for eating, drinking and wearing his clothes, and his left hand for some other tasks

(Aboo Daawood Shareef)

An amazing quality to inculcate into our lives…





FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah



Going with the Flow

Bismihi Ta’ala


In my house, going with the flow was my mother’s antidote and fool-proof solution to avoid many a conflict, especially when it came to my notorious Nani. 

To tell the truth, I assume that this is precisely where the ‘problem’ with Nani all began. Not that Nani is a problem, don’t get me wrong.

It’s just that over the last few months, things had become strange between the two of us. We had become almost estranged. The thing was, believe it or not… I wasn’t always as assertive and opinionated as I am now.

No, that particular quality had kind of developed over the last few months. Ever since the incident with my cousin about which we will not mention, lots of unmentionable words were mentioned and things just got kind of… unmentionable. And for Nani, as a younger girl, I was her ultimate fave.. and then as I eventually started having an opinion and sometimes disagreeing, well, let’s just say it didn’t go down very well…

The thing is, there’s a few things I learnt about going with the flow, when it comes to the bigger things. Sometimes going with the flow is not always the best solution, but at other times, it’s most ideal.

It’s like when a bird is in flight, if one has to really think about it… it will become obvious that as long as the bird is gliding along with the wind, without even flapping its wings even, it will move along easily, with very little effort. The thing is, I didn’t know that Nani might have been onto something when she would nag my brains about visiting the people I never wanted to.

Mohsina, Nadeema was asking about you, why don’t you go visit her so she can tell you about her madrassa classes?”

That one always made me annoyed, because I wasn’t quite sure if Nadeema was just acting pious or she really was. But it didn’t stop there, because then there was:

Mohsina, why don’t we go see your Appa’s daughter, she had a baby last week?”

I had rolled my eyes then. I was busy. I didn’t have time to see little human beings that puked on me whenever I carried them. And then of course, was the most famous one:

Mohsina, when are you coming for the Taaleem? All the Taaleem ladies are asking when they going to see that granddaughter of mine again. Some of them have nice grandsons also. You must come next week.

It went on and on; but I couldn’t quite see how Nani was actually trying to push me into the company of people that she wanted to mould me into. I didn’t quite get that when you are surrounded by goodness, the only after effect is that you will most probably end to going with flow, and becoming one of the ‘good people’ too. I knew Nani was hoping that would happen for me, but I couldn’t quite see it. 

A beautiful parable in the Hadith compares a good friend with a perfume seller and a bad friend with a blacksmith. It goes without saying that the least one will benefit from a perfume seller is that one will certainly get the beautiful scent of perfume, which will freshen the mind and heart. Merely being in his company will incline the heart towards good, likewise, the company of a bad friend is spiritually toxic and will influence one towards evil and sin.

And it might have not been the only mistake I was making but it was definitely one of them. Going with what was in, what was easy, and what was ‘trending’, for me…  it was the reason why at that time I felt like there was a ton of bricks raining down on me… and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

Nani’s words always had long-lasting effects on me. I was still thinking about how she had drilled the respect for Adhaan into me the previous day.

I had gotten up extra early the following morning, pulling on a modest navy blue blouse with a neutral colored pants, and slapped some make up on my face. I knew it wasn’t my best look, but I looked decent and the sooner I got out of the house meant the sooner I could relieve myself of the anxiety I was feeling and know exactly what was going on with Layyanah and Liyaket.

On reaching the office, there was no comfort. I came to learn very fast what exactly had happened with the outcome of yesterday’s meeting and my heart sunk to my knees.

Liyaket was suspended. The office was buzzing with gossip and I couldn’t not overhear it. Hamzah was late  this morning. Layyanah was missing in action since I couldn’t even remember when. Knowing that I had to unburden myself to someone, I had messaged and tried calling her the previous night but her phone was off and there was still no reply from her nearly twelve hours later.

Only Mickey and Lesley were in view and I couldn’t exactly ask them anything confidential without creating a huge hubbub.

And once again, I resorted to my desk, keeping to myself and trying to appear composed (when in reality guilt was gnawing me from inside) when a voice next to me snapped me out of my lucid thoughts.

“You wanna join us for coffee?” Lesley asked, plopping herself ON my desk and letting her long legs dangle off the edge.

Like, why couldn’t she just sit opposite me, on the chair, like a normal person?

I glanced at her, frowning slightly as she waited for my answer. Who was us? I knew that she was friendly with that Muslim girl from debtors, so if she was joining I wasn’t too sure if I would. The girl was just rude to me. 

And despite Lesley not being my favorite person ,the thought of coffee out of the office was great. I was done with my selfies. Alone. In my allocated two-meter cubed space. And I was seriously considering saying yes.

FYI, Lesley always ordered the most exotic vegetarian (she was vegan) things and I needed some new snaps for Instagram. Ideally, a hiking or adventure-inclined post as a weekend post might have gone down better but today the followers would have to settle with some foodie shots.

My social media presence had been dwindling for the last few days. I still went on often to check what was going on and to stalk other people, but I just hadn’t put up any good new posts. I was in dire need of one… while I was stuck in my uneventful rut, the last thing I needed were any UNfollowers. 

I looked up at Lesley, wanting to ask her where they were going when I saw her watching me with her grey-blue eyes.

“What time?” I asked, still typing away at my computer and trying to to appear too desperate.

Be cool, I reminded myself. 

“Maybe around one?” she said. “Will you tell Hamzah to join?”

“Why can’t you?” I asked, glancing up at her and frowning. 

“You guys seem cosy-like,” she said, eyeing me out. “If you ask him he’ll probably agree. You guys are not a thing, are you? Asking for a friend. “

Was she for real? She looked almost desperate as she waited for my answer, and I really felt like telling her to buzz off because right the I realized what her scrutiny was about.

I could see Marie at the front desk peering at us. She was discreet but not very friendly. She was probably also trying to figure out what exactly Lesley trying to get out from me. Only, she was decent enough not ask.

Lesley, on the other hand, was way too nosy. 

She had obviously gotten the wrong end of the stick, but then again, did I really owe her an explanation? 

“No, we’re not,” I said shortly. “I don’t have a boyfriend.”

“You don’t?” She asked, and I saw a flicker of relief and then she was just looking inquisitive again. “But why not? You’re so pretty.”

I shrugged off the compliment, but smiled anyway. I wasn’t sure if she was being sincere or not.

Why didn’t I have a boyfriend?

I wasn’t sure. Was it my career? I mean, so many girls were married and had careers. Was it because of my parents? Disappointing them by sneaking around? Or did I have some deeper reasoning that I hadn’t yet discovered.

Was I just getting it wrong by taking everyone else into account and completely ignoring what my Allah expects of me?

I took a sip of my coffee that was now gone cold, screwing up my face as I glanced at Lesley again.

The thing was, how did I even explain to her about the dating thing? So many Muslims dated. How did I explain to her that I was ‘saving myself for marriage’ without sounding dumb and outdated?

“I’m just one of those Muslim girls who don’t believe in dating,” I said calmly. “The statistics prove that arranged marriages are more successful. After all, you can go out with someone for years and still not know who they truly are, haven’t you heard of people like that?”

It was so true. I’ve heard so many of my school friends who were together from school days, and didn’t know so many (undesirable) things about their spouses. One was even divorced. And no, I wasn’t an angel, but I really wasn’t interested in getting involved with guys. Because Papa wasn’t exactly born into luxury and  had worked so hard to put us through a good school and university, I knew it was my responsibility to at least make sure that I didn’t mess it up. Besides that, the divorce rate for arranged marriages and were so much less then those for ‘love’ marriages. What other proof did anyone need to understand the wisdom behind this?

“So it’s a Muslim girl thing?” She said, and I could see her brain ticking. “What about Muslim guys? So is it true that Muslim guys can marry other religions too?”

Ooh, this girl was definitely fishing for something.

Well, there had to be a reason she asked me to join them for coffee. From Faadil to Hamzah… I wasn’t quite sure what she was up to but I was already thinking twice about agreeing to spending lunch with her. One hour of this mental battering would do my head in.

And it was just as well that Faadil stepped out of his office at that point and she went scampering back to her desk, and for the moment at least I was glad to be rid of her.

No, Lesley was definitely not the kind of current that I wanted to move in.  Sometimes going with the office flow is not always a good idea.

And it was just as well, because as I glanced at my phone the following hour, the reply came from a unknown number, exactly at 12pm.

Meet me at the usual spot. 12.30 sharp. Layy. 

It didn’t mention anything else and I knew that this was a sign that I needed. It was the least I could do, after opening my big mouth and causing such destruction. 

And yes, I wanted to ring Maahira’s little neck but I didn’t know exactly who or what she had said and I was hoping that talking to Layyanah might clear that part up, since Maahira was MIA.

I hastily tidied up my desk, knowing that I wouldn’t be able to focus until I saw my friend. 

Taking the short walk down the street to the Coffee Gallows, I was actually enjoying the sunshine that was beating down on my covered head. It was comforting and made me feel slightly more relaxed somehow, and I prepared myself for what I was going to tell Layyanah. Reaching the entrance of the little coffee shop that I so loved, I was surprised to see that Layyanah was already there when I reached.

I spotted her in a grey turtle neck with a matching turban style hijab. Her make up was done minimally and the girl looked like she had lost 2 kilos since I last saw her. I bent down to give her a quick hug, and then took a seat opposite her, putting my phone on the end of the desk and remaining hands free this time because I owed Layyanah that much at least.

“Sorry I’ve been awol,” she said quietly, giving me a small smile. “I meant to message you last week but it’s been so crazy and I have no idea where to even start.”

Now is my chance. I had to tell her the reason I wanted to see her.

 I took a sip of coffee calmly. Layyanah had already grabbed us both a takeaway cup each. It meant that she probably wasn’t staying very long. 

Hurry up and say it, I urged myself. I felt like there was a frog stuck in my throat.

“It’s been crazy,” she almost whispered. “I cant go anywhere alone. They monitor my phone. My computer. They don’t let me leave the house. Now I heard that Liy is suspended.”

Now my mind was in overdrive.

Did I cause all that? Would she be angry with me? If only she knew what part I had played.

Say it, I urged myself, as I put my coffee cup down. Just say it.

The greater good was finally triumphing the evil and the rising in my chest had to be relieved as I spoke out.

“Layyanah, I’m so sorry!” I blurted out, my voice sounding foreign even to me. I can’t even remember when was the last time I apologised to anyone. When last I felt so remorseful.

She looked up at me questioningly, looking slightly confused.

“I think I put my foot in it,” I hastily continued before I lost my pluck. “I happened to mention you and Liyaket to someone and I have a feeling that she might have told someone that you know…”

I couldn’t look up at her and meet her eye, but when I finally did, it was already unsettling to see the hurt in her eyes.

“You did what?”

I took a deep breath and finally met her eye.

Oh no. From hurt to anger to upset… Now, she just looked... Absolutely devastated

“It was a mistake,” I reasoned weakly. Was it? Yes. It was. “I didn’t mean to be so careless and the girl is all the way in London so I -“

“In London?” Layyanahs expression changed to slightly anxious, and then, as she registered what I was saying… she just looked up again, as if a puzzle piece was slowly fitting together.

“Who is this girl?”

It took her a minute or so to finally ask. Her voice was flat. Almost as if all the emotion was sucked out of it. 

“An old friend,” I sighed.

Whether I could still call her a friend, I wasn’t sure. What was in it for Maahira anyway?

“Her name is Maahira and she’s also a CA. I just didn’t think that she would actually have anyone to gossip to….”

Layyanah looked visibly stricken, as if I’d just pulled out a rug from beneath her feet. I could see her blinking a few times, and then, it was as if a penny dropped. 

“That explains it,” she said, holding her finger up almost in as if in awe. “Oh my word. That’s it.”

What?!” I asked, only a little concerned.

“Long story. Oh gosh, Mos, I’ll explain another time, I promise. This is it! It has to be. It’s this girl…”

She trailed off and her eyes widened as I looked at her suspiciously. Her entire demeanor had changed. It was like she was an entirely different person from the person I had first met here about ten minutes ago. 

Her eyes were darting back and forth and the colour had returned to her cheeks. In all fairness, I thought that I was giving her the worst news of her life, but turns out that her life couldn’t have gotten any better than at this point. 


A fresh wave of anger and resentment was rising up as I realized that Maahira may have just been trying to impress someone and this had caused so much of trouble. How could she be so selfish?

“Mos,” she whispered, her eyes bright and her cheeks were now flushed and pretty as I always remembered.

She wasn’t looking all pale and ghastly anymore. Now I could see the girl I once knew and loved. In all fairness, now I could see why Liyaket was so crazy about her that he had given everything up just to make sure that she would be safe. Everything that was important. Even his job.

I just wished that it had turned out differently.

“Mos, I need your help.”

I looked at her questioningly, as her eyes met mine again. 

“I have to tell you something. But it’s a long story,” she said, her voice soft as she spoke. “My parents are planning my wedding to be in 6 months. An affair of the century. All the events that lead up to it.. the proposal, fancy engagement, Arabian night, seafood night, bachelorette party, mehndi… will take about six months and probably cost millions in itself. There are no limits, because I’m the youngest and Mummy is insisting that this must be the event of the year. Daddy’s already booked the tickets to Dubai. She’s psyched about the jewellery shopping. His aunties and sisters must all have gold and nothing less, because everyone must know that we are classy people, you know? We still have to think of a theme and the finer details that go with it. They’re all insisting that Rose gold and Spring blooms is the new in, so they are probably heading that way. My cousins from LA are already booking their tickets. There’s so much of excitement and to look forward to…”

I looked back at her questioningly, not quite understanding.

“Layy, what are you saying?” I was utterly confused.

How on earth did they already start planning such a huge and significant event in just a few days? Are they trying to bribe Layyanah into marrying some random rich guy?

She looked down for a second and I glanced at her, my mind not yet registering what exactly she was saying and even more so, now the undeniable defiance in her eyes.

“I feel numb,” she whispered, swallowing hard as her eyes glazed over and she looked at me again. “I have no emotion. No inclination to any of it. I don’t want that. I want a simple Nikah and a small supper. I don’t want all of these ridiculous functions that have no purpose and Islamic significance. What’s the point of planning all of this when the guy is as shallow as a pond? All he cares about is the money my father is spending to set him up a fancy office in the North. I can’t tell them that because they don’t want to hear it but Mos, I’d take any risk… anything… I’d even rather die than marry him.”

I looked at Layyanah, slightly shocked. This was serious. My phone buzzed but I wouldn’t even dare picking it up. I had to talk sense into her. I mean, if she had to oppose her parents, who knows what could happen?

“I don’t want to get you involved, so all I need you to do is give me two things. A little bit of time and your phone. Just for a few hours.”

Part with my phone? No. 

“Layyanah, I’m not sure if this is a good idea,” I started saying.

I couldn’t just agree to this. I was starting to hyperventilate. What if her brother had some mafia people that would come for me? What if they put a hit on me or something?

Aiy. I wasn’t going to risk that.

”Trust me,” Layyanah said, noticing my hesitancy as her eyes bored into mine. “I trusted you. I need your help. I promise, this is for the best. I can’t be that superficial girl that my parents want to be. I’m someone different. It’s like I’ve been sleeping all this time and meeting Liyaket woke me up, and I can’t go back to sleep, Mos. I don’t want to be that girl whose life is going to revolve around Sandton meet ups and Louis Vuitton bags…”

Yup, she trusted me and I broke her confidence. 

My heart was aching for her right then. Can it really be so bad to be spoilt and rich? I supposed everything came with it’s price, right? 

 “What if they blame me?” I said, keeping my voice low.

“Tell them we took the wrong phones from the table by mistake,” she said quickly. “By the time they figure it all out, I’ll get your phone back to you, don’t worry. I just need you to keep mine for a while. Please Mos. Just go with the flow.”

Go with the flow? Oh yes, sometimes it was easy, but this time I wasn’t too sure.

How exactly was I going to figure this one out? 

Mission Sunnah Revival: The beautiful Sunnah of using the right hand.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


Hazrat Hafsah 
رضى الله تعالى عنها
رسول الله صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم would use his right hand for eating, drinking and wearing his clothes, and his left hand for some other tasks

(Aboo Daawood Shareef)

An amazing quality to inculcate into our lives…





FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah


Guilty as Gossip

 Dear Readers

New post: Apologies about the post error on Saturday.. I’ve deleted that post and combined other content to progress in the story-line. Will try and post this week again. Sorry for the confusion! 

Happy Reading 🤍


Bismihi Ta’ala


“That’s an insightful suggestion. I’ll forward it to the board.”


I mean, in any normal circumstance, I would have been jumping for joy to hear words like that from our boss, who was two feet away from me with a sincerely impressed expression on his usually expressionless face.

I had nearly missed the mail in my inbox that was sent the previous Thursday, thinking it was some bulk mail that was sent to the entire floor. But when I realized that I was singled out and that feeling of elation had dissolved, I had immediately started working on what would impress the board and improve my chances as a sole candidate for the big incentive and promotion that was still weeks away.

And now, after all that effort and hard work over the weekend thinking up all kinds of solutions… I mean, Faadil actually said something good about my ideas and complimented them. I mean, this has to count for something, right? I should have been over the moon. But…

The words had little effect on me. Whatsoever. I was up in arms, confused and consumed about what exactly had gone on to cause the mayhem that I was feeling so guilty about.

And it was just that earlier afternoon when I was very busy minding my own business when I noticed Hamzah looking up in panic as the office doors remained closed. In fact, I kind of wished that he would calm down and stop his ridiculous behavior because even I was getting more and more edgy as he sat there, wondering what was going on before I just couldn’t stand it anymore and went up to ask him.

“What’s happened?” I said, trying not to look too concerned.

For the first time since I’ve known him, in all his prankish and inappropriate behavior, Hamzah’s eyes were riddled with worry. I don’t think I’d actually ever seen him looking so serious before. It was like a completely different person.

“It’s Liyaket,” he said, not even focusing on me as he spoke. He was looking extremely distracted. Edgy. “He’s got a hearing with the Big Boss.”

The big boss. A hearing. That was one even more senior than Faadil. And a hearing usually wasn’t good news.

“What’s it about?” I was trying to keep my voice low and moving a bit closer. I could see Lesley hanging around, trying to figure out what we were talking about.

She was extremely distracted, in fact, bordering on ADD. How she did her work, I didn’t understand. Anything and everyone’s business became hers.

“It’s to do with Layyanah,” he almost whispered, and I sucked my breath in as my heart beat a little faster.

Did they find out about the two of them in the office? Was there indecent exposure? Inappropriate behavior? Like what were the real rules even?

“I’m not sure if you knew this,” he said quietly, running his hands through his hair nervously and not even noticing my own anxiety levels heightening. “But Layyanah got the job here because of her father’s contacts. Looks like those contacts are pretty strong ones and they got some inside information. They the same ones who want Liyaket out.”

His voice was riddled with worry and I could feel my heart hammering in my chest.

No. It couldn’t be. It couldn’t have been my mistake. It couldn’t have been my stupid story that I told Maahira. She was all the way in London. What could she do? 

And then of course, my legs just kind of caved in as they turned to something that resembled jelly.

And then of course, the feelings that surfaced thereafter were likes waves and waves, almost knocking me over, just as I started grappling around trying to find my feet.

I think as a default there has to come a point in life when you look back at your past and regret the things you’ve done that might have made someone else’s life a misery. And then there’s that point in life, where I was right then, when you shamefully look at your present self and realize that what you are and have become, actually makes you sick to your stomach.

So maybe I shouldn’t have opened my mouth and spilled the beans about office gossip but the opportunity to make my life sound exciting was a sickness that I couldn’t cure. I loved having something juicy and interesting to share, especially with Maahira, who was all the way over in London and seemingly out of touch with everything that was happening back home. I mean, what were the odds of it spinning out of control? What harm can it really do?

The truth was that I had become extremely selfish and self-focused, not even considering how this may actually cause someone’s to experience a real loss.

Apart from that, when a person is filled with such vanity and conceit that his ego tricks him into thinking that the entire world is simply dying to share every moment of his mundane life with him, and thus he cannot see past his own face, how is he supposed to see the majesty and glory of Allah Ta‘ala? How is he or she even supposed to remember that Allah is always aware of what we do?

And I would like to say that at some point my Nafs had been trampled and common sense kicked in, but the problem was that through my obsession with social media and keeping everyone ‘up to date’, my own character and demeanor was just becoming not just inappropriate, but simply unacceptable. I was addicted to making myself feel important.

And yes, at that point, I was a little further gone than I thought. My mind was full of work, gossip and worldly pursuits. The only thing that was putting a spanner in the works were those five words that I had heard that previous week.

Not everything’s about the big bucks.”

And it should have been a bigger whistle-blower. But it wasn’t, because the way I had allowed myself to been wired in the past few months was the opposite. Everything was about the money. Our entire work day was based on finances. Every meeting we had discussed it. Our paycheques at the end of the month would prove it.

I would like to say that my day carried on as normal from that point onward, but to tell the truth, the sinking feeling in my tummy just got deeper and deeper.

And when it got to a point when I couldn’t deal, it was only after work on the drive home when my mind was feeling the full impact of the consequences that I couldn’t really fix. And when I finally got home and crashed in the lounge couch out of sheer exhaustion while Nani eyed out my work attire from where she sat, that was the first time I could focus. I knew that I had to message Maahira and ask her exactly why she was needling me for information last week.

I had to know for sure.

Aslm. Howsit?

Nani’s eyes were peeping over her glasses but she looked away when I looked back at her, and kicked off my shoes so I could get comfortable. The least I deserved were some rested feet.

Her reply took a few minutes, but at least I had her attention once she did.

Ws. Well n u, my crazy friend? How’s it going that side?

I took a minute before typing out a reply.

All well. Works been a killer. Just checking in. you busy?

She took a few minutes again.

Nah. Just knocked off work. Heading home.

Knocked off? She was already using British English. How cool. But that was beside the point. I had to cut to the chase.


I typed. Next message:

Did you happen to mention the office news to anyone?

I didn’t mention romance. I just said news, to be general. But she didn’t bite. I waited a few minutes, but there was no reply. I waited another ten minutes, and when she still didn’t reply, that was when I knew for sure.

Guilty as predicted.

And how amazing was it that she had replied so efficiently prior to that… but when asked a question she didn’t like, well… I was just left on a ‘Read’. And I knew the tactic because that was precisely what I did to Ma and Jameela when they annoyed me with their nosy questions on WhatsApp.

Ghuh. I hated new age technology. It was just so transparent and just made you feel more crap when people purposely ignored you. I missed the good old days when your SMS might have got stuck somewhere between Vodacom and Jupiter and you would just pick up the phone to call them.

No-one did that in the 21st century without feeling socially awkward. No-one had time to pick up the phone and call. What was more amazing was that when I went onro Instagram, she was showing online, which further reinforced how she was just avoiding me and facing up to what she had probably said or done. But I got it, right?  No-one had time to engage. To be real. Only time to sit and scroll through a useless feed where every second person was also a ‘MUA’ or had their own Novelty Cakery.

And then of course, the cherry on top, while I was busy cyber stalking Maahira and sending her more messages, was Nani, who was sitting a few feet away, watching me with her cat-like eyes.

And just so you know… let me tell you something, in case you hadn’t guessed yet. There is a very valid reason that I haven’t gotten married, and no, it’s not because I haven’t found my perfect match or anything. No. You know how they say that your spouse is the one person who knows you so well that he or she will pick out all your faults without even blinking.

Well, there we are. That’s Nani for me. I don’t need a husband because Nani had it covered from day one. Even when I may seem like the most Haari poiree to the world, to Nani I was the most rotten ‘Beh sharam‘ that earthlings have ever seen.

“Hand only stuck to that phone,” she was scolding in Gujarati as she watched me.

I rolled my eyes.

”Nani, it’s important,” I tried to reason with her.

This was bloody important, but I couldn’t explain to her why without incriminating myself, could I?

“Looking whole day at screen,” she continued. “Now again, more phone. Azaan will go, sitting on phone. Namaaz waqt, sitting on phone. Sleep time also, sitting on phone. So much Shaytaan on that thing, it’s no wonder you are not already turned into one yourself.”

The call to prayer for Maghrib had just started and I sighed and put the phone down. I had to give it that little bit of respect. I had to at least try. Sometimes it was so hard to kick that habit, but I’ve heard stories of evil people who were given Paradise just due to one sincere act and maybe… well, maybe this was mine?

So, for once in my life, I fought the urge. I wanted to cackle at the irony. It wasn’t like Nani didn’t have a phone, and when she got stuck on the phone it was really the most extraordinary sight. The entire world gets blindsided. She sees nothing and no one, besides that screen, and here she was, blaming me as if I was the only phone addict in the room. But then again, we are always so quick to point fingers at everyone. And yes, Nani and I had a lot of tension due to unmentionable reasons for things that had happened in the recent past but I just couldn’t admit to myself that maybe she was right.

That maybe it It had to start somewhere. Maybe this was the reason I had gotten into this situation in the first place. Maybe some deep introspection was due and I had to face up to it.

And to prove Nani a point, I switched my phone to silent, put it on the side board and sat and stared at her for a good ten minutes. I was just doing it to annoy her, but she didn’t seem to notice. I read my namaaz and then sat and stared at her for another few minutes whilst she read all her Surahs, morning an evening Duáas AND her Salaat and Salaam. How old people did it every night without fail was beyond me, but at least it kept her off my back  and she barely noticed when I picked my phone up again and snuck back to my room.

And of course, I couldn’t help but check to see if Maahira replied. I even checked Instagram to see if she maybe didn’t say anything there, but the girl was as good as swiped off the planet earth for now. If she lived here, I knew nothing would have stopped me from going over to her house and squeezing and answer out of her but taking a flight for that reason just seemed unreasonable. And then of course, when I realised exactly how many issues I had possibly caused, and how Liyaket may actually be out of a job because of me, something within me started to stir.

It was a rising within my chest that started from that little feeling in my gut, and as it went higher and higher, my conscience could not simply dissolve that feeling. I knew that I had to do something before I snapped.

I had to at least tell someone, and I knew exactly who I needed to tell first.


Mission Sunnah revival! A beautiful Sunnah:
We should remember the famous saying, “If you do not have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Imam Bukhari and Muslim reported that the Nabi (Sallalahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Whosoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him say good or remain silent.”

An amazing quality to inculcate into our lives…




FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah


No Filtering

Bismihi Ta’ala


In the same way that good deeds are a protection for us, and protect us from calamity… I’ve noted many times in the past that when you are submerged in sin it’s almost impossible not to openly welcome the wrath of Allah.

Often when you are drenched in darkness, the light seems very far away. Like that flicker in the distance, so evasive and unreachable, sometimes we lose hope completely of ever surfacing.

As a rule of thumb, Nani had once told me that reading my Tasbeeh every day is a foolproof hack to accomplishing even the most impossible of tasks. 33, 33, 34… and If I didn’t have enough time, even a shorter version…. Somehow, even the  unattainable gets achieved and the improbable gets accomplished, when you take out a little time for Allah in the morning and evenings.

And I knew I should have. I should have stopped with my worldly whims and fancies. I knew I should have done more of the actual cleansing. Dusting off the dirt. I would have and I usually did. But the thing was, I was busy. And I know I always use that excuse but that week, the office was buzzing with talks of the new incentive based promotion that Faadil had let out the bag on Monday when he called us to his office.

Hamzah was right. ‘Bossman’ was looking for me, but thankfully I wasn’t the only one who missed the memo. It was a whirlwind of excitement and enthusiasm after the little meeting and the office was a little more alive than usual. Everyone was giving off their best. Trying their utmost. No-one wanted to miss out on the opportunity that was opening up.

And of course, there were a few preferences, he had said, as he paced up and down, hair immaculate, clad in Hugo Boss jeans and an apple green shirt.

I wasn’t even bothering to look down and be a little decent while he spoke. It had become normal to ogle at strange men. The guilt was becoming non-existent. That was the thing with social media, Netflix addictions and spending more time on it. Once you get used to looking at whatever image your eyes fall upon, it becomes natural to forget that there was a filter on the gaze before. The dust had already settled, and it was becoming harder and harder to scrub it off.

And of course, Nthando, Mikael, Lesley and I were still sitting in a combination of frenzy and limbo after Faadil walked out after the (second) meeting he had called for, still trying to figure out what it was exactly that was going to set us apart from the others in this three month long competition for a huge incentive and permanent position at Hammond’s.

Oh yes, there were a few preferred graduates but no-one knew who they were. Some people had glanced at me, while others had muttered Hamzah, Robert and Lesley’s name… but no one really knew for sure.

Nthando was already scribbling notes in her diary, Mikael was busy with his laptop and Lesley just had this dreamy look on her face.

“The man just gets me every time,” she said, and my eyes always bulged slightly as she stretched out her long tanned legs. I wouldn’t say that they were particularly toned or anything but the girl had good genes, okay?

I’ve caught the guys literally stopping and watching her walk past, and to tell the truth, I assumed she enjoyed it. She was wearing a skirt, and though we had strict office rules about mini skirts, Lesley took it to the limit by wearing them just at the knee.

Every. Single. Day.

I couldn’t imagine what Nani would say about that if she had to ever come to my work place. And maybe I admired her confidence, but besides that, something within me told me that it wasn’t the kind of attention that I wanted to draw. It was just devalued. Objectifying. And so unnecessary.

“Did you see the way he dominates the office?” She continued, throwing up her hands dramatically. “It’s amazing.”

”Jah,” Mikael said absent-mindedly in his Cape Town accent. “When I grow up I want to be like Faadil the great.”

With Mikael I couldn’t tell if he was being serious or sarcastic but I half-laughed anyway and got up, not really wanting to sit around and listen to more Faadil-obsession, knowing I needed to get back to work after the eventful morning. Even the L-squared dramas were semi forgotten as we shifted into work zone, and I found myself getting lost in the work day and week. Never mind about them. For now Layy had sworn me to secrecy about their plans and I had agreed and forgot about it.

Other than that, I felt like I was stuck in this bubble of work, and it was all just going to burst before I even got to enjoy it. Maybe it was the mention of the incentive. Maybe it was just the worry of my future. But it had been more than once that week that I found myself wondering about things that I never did before.

Things like:

Was this what I really pictured myself doing for the rest of my life? Was this really my calling? Maybe I wasn’t cut out for an office job. Did I need an outlet? 

I couldn’t think about it too much without getting anxiety.

I sighed.

A distraction was just what the doctor ordered. A coffee and selfie time was the solution to everything. Layyanah had gone awol since from Wednesday. I wasn’t sure who or what had gone down but I figured that for now, the less I knew, the better it may be.

The thing was, there wasn’t even much time to ponder about it or even message because before I knew it, the week was over and I wasn’t even sure if I accomplished everything I needed to. Everything felt so rushed and in the moment.

And though I was feeling unaccomplished, I knew that some comments and likes would cheer me up, so I scrolled through my gallery and found an old post of a some nature reserve that Papa had gone to on the West Coast and posted it. Nature wasn’t my thing but it looked good on my feed and it was completely appropriate for weekend vibes. To tell the truth, the picture didn’t even need a filter. It was that beautiful, but that was just by the way.

Caption: Weekend vibes!

Another amazing week- productive and exhausting and definitely calling for some unwinding time…

I put in the emoji of the dancing girl, the heart eyes, and some nature and weekend hashtags before stashing my phone in my bag.

It was time to retire for the week so I packed up my stuff, shut down my computer and went for the elevator just a mere half hour after work time.

And as the elevator pinged open, I was a little annoyed to see Hamzah in the lift, coming from the top floor, work backpack in hand and looking just as annoyed to see me. Yeah okay, I could see he was rushing. Plus he was a mess. His tie was loose, his teal shirt was hanging untidily and the entire lift was stinking of cigarette. Ten floors down with him is going to make me super claustrophobic because besides having to deal with the stench of cigarette for that long, to tell the truth, I wasn’t exactly into the polite thing this evening.

“Press it closed,” I said automatically, not caring about being rude and audibly sighing in exasperation. “I’ll wait for the next one.”

Ugh. Fifteen minutes at least. He shrugged and pressed a button, looking relieved, but then suddenly jerked it open again.

“Get in,” he said, stepping out himself and gesturing to me. “You’ll wait ten minutes by the time it comes back. You have further to drive than me.”

He wasn’t happy about it and I didn’t need hand outs, but the traffic situation was stressing me out and my Choti Kala was coming home tonight and I really missed our conversations. She was the only one in the family who got my urgency to gain my corporate fame and I really needed to have a heart-to-heart with her. About life. Relationships. Family. It was away over due.

So when I heard footsteps and spun around to see Faadil pacing the office hallway, probably checking to see if he can lock up, and I figured why usually annoying Hamzah was being so polite, I jumped at the opportunity of the headstart. Of course, I thought, feeling relieved.. It wasn’t a hand out. With Hamzah there had to be some ulterior motive.

Right? That could be the only explanation.

“Trying to impress the boss, huh?” I muttered as I walked past him, raising my eyebrows judgementally. I was only half joking. I just had to have the last say. It would save me from saying thank you. “What a gentleman.”

I was being sarcastic. I mean, until I glanced at him and saw that he was looking exceptionally confused and I realised that maybe, just maybe, he had probably not even seen Faadil pass in the first place. And then of course, it got me wondering if maybe I was wrong and he was just being nice, but like, Hamzah was never just nice. Not for no reason.

“Why would I want to impress him?” He asked blandly, pulling a face as if he was disgusted at the mere thought.

“Erm, duh,” I said, as if was self explanatory. “Getting a head start for the big incentive slash promotion that everyone is dying over.”

He still had that confused look on his face, and then realization dawned, and he purposely stomped into the lift, punched the close button and turned to me.

“You think I’m that desperate?” He said, a disturbed look on his face. “Not everything’s about money, Mos. The thought of signing with Faadil for another two years is not exactly my dream job. Just FYI. Not everything’s about the big bucks.”

It was the first time I had heard him call Faadil by the name and from that I knew that he was slightly pissed off.

And with that, the lift pinged open again sooner than expected and he sashayed out onto the next floor, cigarette stench and all, before two more people came tumbling in, leaving me feeling just a little crappy as I waited to reach ground and step out, wondering if maybe I shouldn’t have been so judgmental in the first place.

But also, in my defense, wasn’t everyone here for the big bucks? He couldn’t tell me that he was so in love with auditing and taxation that he dreamt about it lustfully every freakin’ night. Everyone who worked here was in it for the money. There was no other reason to work like slaves.

But then again, it was only Hamzah so there was no need to break my head over it because it didn’t really matter anyway. I wasn’t sure why he smoked if it didn’t help his chill levels. The guy needed to go for some aggro therapy or something. Yeesh.

I walked up to my car, only greeting the guard as I stepped into the parking lot, pulling down the mirror to check my appearance again. Today was a low profile kind of day. I had worn a modest bottle green blouse with a loose grey pants, since it was a Friday, wore a longer coat over. I still looked good and my make-up wasn’t completely trashed yet, in case I stopped at the garage for a coffee and there were any decent prospects around. My feet were breaking from the heels I had worn to make me appear thinner and taller, but beauty was pain and I got that.

I checked my phone before I started my car, pausing to see my last post reaching a 100 likes and then psyching myself for the trip home. The roads were surprisingly uneventful that Friday. Usually Johannesburg boasted at least 3 a highway accidents and umpteen traffic jams, but this Friday was a little easier to get to my semi-farm based home and it was a welcome record.

I had just taken the off ramp when my phone buzzed in my lap and I momentarily glanced down. I tried not to type while I drove, usually pausing to message only when I stopped at a robot but traffic was slow and it was more or less safe in this area.

What’s the plans for the rest of the eve? 

It was a message notification from Maahira on Instagram. Seemed like she even forgot that there were other ways of communication.

She had sent me a picture earlier of her standing with a friend outside the London train station. It was pretty cool to think that my friend was so independent in a distant city all on her own.

I thought for a minute about what to say.

There was no need to say that I was going back home. The truth was, even though I was looking quite forward to spending time with my aunty, I couldn’t let her know it. That wasn’t the life we always dreamt of having. For Maahira and I it was always about the corporate life. The glitz. The glamour. The functions and events and the chilling with friends after work to catch up on social time so we could have the best of both worlds.

It had always been a dream of hers to work in London and I always wanted to work at Jo’burg CBD. It was just our preferences and though we often tried to convince the other to swap aspirations, we still supported each other’s choices.

I couldn’t help though but wonder how London must be like on your own. With no family to go back home to. No home cooked meals. No soji and mutton briyani on a Friday evening even. That was the part that got me, as I finally rode down our driveway. But for Maahira, she made it look so amazing.

Her Instagram following was close to 10k because London life was a huge draw card. And she really lived the life, I could see from her page.

Plus, she shopped at all these amazing places and people were always drooling over her modest fashion-wear posts. I suppose you had to make the trade off. Family life was nothing compared to all of that, materialistic stuff. When she comes down she promised she was bringing me a whole new wardrobe and I was super psyched.

I opened her message and replied.

Just had some fun times with some work friends. The night is still young.

I put in a winking emoticon and left it at that. I didn’t expect her to reply so fast though.

What happened at work this week?

Hmmm. I wondered if I should tell her about the promotion and offer from the company that everyone was going for. It was exciting but she might tell me not to try too hard for it. She always told me that I was better than some common corporate position and should only settle for the best.

Ah yes, I knew exactly what I could tell her about.

Just the usual craziness with a dose of dramatic office romance. It’s been quite a week!

Again, her reply was quick. Like, didn’t she have anything else to do on a Friday night. Like be out with some cool work friends.

Office romance! Ooh. Do tell!

And so I did. Only, I had forgotten that it was supposed to be a secret. Maahira seemed so far away, and letting her in on what was going on here was barely going to make a difference to her awesome life.

And for all my aversion to drama, What I didn’t realise was that my lack of filtering was probably going to cause a bigger drama than ever…

A little longer post than normal. Any thoughts on Mohsina and her way of dealing with things?

Love hearing your thoughts !

Much Love

A x

On that note, Sunnah of the week:

We should remember the famous saying, “If you do not have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Imam Bukhari and Muslim reported that the Nabi (Sallalahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Whosoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him say good or remain silent.”

An amazing quality to inculcate into our lives…




FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah