When it feels like Home

Bismihi Ta’ála


Sometimes in life, when the focus has shifted and life’s giving you a bit of uphill, you’re given the grave choice between losing someone, and losing yourself…

And some people may call it selfish, but if you’re the kind of person that I am, you’ll understand what it feels like to wonder what will happen to your loved ones when you’re no longer around. To understand that if you lose yourself, nothing good can ever come out of it.

And if you are anything like me, and you lose yourself to someone, almost as if there’s no going back, your day and night becomes consumed with all sorts of thoughts and possibilities about what can and may happen.

It might sound crazy (and it is), but people like me, are one level above the realists. We are the worriers; the ones who think of every possible outcome for every possible scenario, even before it happens.

And I didn’t know it yet, that, that was exactly how it all started, but here I was, all soaked up and letting myself fall more and more into the sweet surrender of unconditional love, when I had slammed right into the most amazing lesson, that put it all in a nutshell for me.

And it was just as well that I’d heard it the day before, but in a beautiful narration reported by Abdullah ibn Abbas (RA), who was just a boy at the time, Nabi Muhammad (Sallalahu Alaihi was Sallam) advised his young companion to be mindful of Allah.

In the original Arabic of this, he uses the phrase “ihfadh-Allah, yahfadhak,” which literally translates as: “take care of Allah, and Allah will take care of you.”

And I’m pretty ashamed to admit it, but it had only become a recent habit of mine to recite the chapter of the cave with its innumerable benefits, also known as Surah Kahf, every Friday without fail.

And it was just as well, because within the extensive story of Musaa (AS) and Al-Khidr (AS), who was said to have somehow but unintentioanlly drunk from the Fountain of Life, it’s result being eternal life…. Allah teaches us something amazing about those we strive for, give ourselves for, and are consumed by the most…

Umar ibn AbdulAziz once said, “There is not a single righteous believer who dies except that Allah (swt) will protect his children and his children’s children.”

And to come back to that amazing moral… within the story of Musa and Al- Khidr (AS) , as these two men were journeying together, they came to a town where the people were, to say the least, extremely miserly and refused to give them even a morsel to consume.

It was at that place, as they were leaving the city, when Al-Khidr(AS) saw a wall that was crumbling, and promptly repaired it.

Now, imagine, like you and I, after the people’s refusal to assist them in their hour of need, Musaa (AS) was appalled by this seemingly virtuous deed, saying that he should have asked for some payment at least. Al Khidr (AS) then explained the wisdom:

And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and their father was a righteous man, and your Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. And I did it not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of those (things) over which you could not have patience” (18:82).

And truly, we can never understand the wisdom of Divine knowledge, the extraordinary insight that those pious saints are given and how they are able to execute their tasks with such perfection…

The sublime fact here was that Allah (SWT) sent Al-Khidr to protect the wealth of these orphans without anyone else’s knowledge or invitation for one sublime reason: their father was a righteous man. Their father took care of the commandments of Allah, and Allah Ta’ala, in turn, not only took care of this man, but Allah protected the wealth of the orphans as a favour to their Duniyaa, even after he left this world.

And it was mind-blowing, because if you ask any man today what his greatest worries were, that was the crux of it, wasn’t it?

And as I looked at my friend that day, before he left for his trip to the bank, taking in his full beard, Sunnah attire and reformed ways, I could very clearly see that fatherhood had not only come naturally to him, but also reformed him in so many ways.

And it was so true, because in this case, being so close to my friend, as I witnessed him becoming a father, I couldn’t help but feel the same way.

And maybe it was the fact that for the day, I had been given the immense responsibility of watching over him for a few hours, that got to me, but that too, was not without coincidence.

“Are you implying I can’t take care of a two month old baby?” I asked Liyaket, trying to sound incredulous as I looked at his doubtful expression.

I mean, how hard can it be? All they do is drink and sleep, right?

I wasn’t yet thinking about the poo part. That, I’d pass onto someone else.

”It’s not that,” Liyaket said, biting his lip hesitantly as he held onto his son before he left. “You know this is my kid. My blood. Severe attachment issues going on.”

”Hey,” I said, trying to sound all cool and collected, as if I was the most responsible adult in the room. “I got this.”

“Okay, bru,” he said, stepping back as I heard his wife issuing some last minute commands about before he left, as if he was leaving me stranded in the desert.

And I got it. Because, from my own parents perspective and now that I saw my friend morph into fatherhood…

If you ask any man who they are working so hard for, who is the first person who comes to mind? Their kids.

But there was really no need to worry, because the answer was right there, in that Surah we are supposed to be reciting every week.

We just need to refocus. We need to pry our eyes away from the goal of being “great parents,” and set our sights on becoming “great believers.” (Which will inevitably lead to being a great parent.)

Just be good. Be sincere. Be conscious of Allah, attain piety, and Allah will, undoubtedly, take care of it all.

I held little Zaid close to my chest as his parents left, wondering why I suddenly felt like I had this enormous responsibility on my shoulders, as I watched him drifting off to slumber, almost like we had done this plenty of times before. And then I got it: I supposed that’s how a parent feels. One day you’re just a single being and the next day, you have this tiny little life depending on you for every little thing.

It’s amazing to see, isn’t it? The change that happens sometimes when a child comes into the world, how the focus shifts. Somehow, all you want to do is keep them close, shelter them from the world and keep them away from any harm that could possibly ever come to them.

There were so many things that had happened… so many trials that the world was seeing… and so much   that we had to keep our guard up about, that this parenting thing that Liyaket was already taken so seriously was already rubbing off onto me.

It had barely been three months but it was as if, without any warning even, my heart already held this binding attachment to the little guy. It was like coming home.

I already loved the kid. There we were, sitting for almost an hour, and it felt almost as if we had been best friends for years. I had bared my heart and soul, and it was as if he just got me, no questions asked.

It didn’t matter that he couldn’t exactly converse back. All I needed sometimes was someone to hear me out, and share my thoughts with. I mean, why else did you need in a soulmate? 

“Hey, that suits you,” Rabia said as she came down the stairs, smiling widely as she saw him lying in my arms, fingers in his mouth and spitting up a lovely tsunami of saliva while he was at it.

She was dressed in a long, flowy kind of dress, looking like she was ready to go somewhere important, but wasn’t in much of a rush to get going either. Maybe he was the diversion, but as her eyes settled on him, I knew that she was already a goner.

As for Zaid, he was oblivious to his cuteness as he lay there, gurgling away at nothing in particular, while Rabia went all gaga over him, with no reservations.

”Isn’t he just the sweetest little thing!” She exclaimed, bending and beaming at him as he smiled back at her. “And he likes me! What a big smile… oh my.. and he’s got stories for me too… Yeeess… I’m talking about you, little pooky pops...”

Pooky pops? Oh-Kayy.. That was a first.

I sat back and watched Rabia losing the little dignity she had left over a two month old. Seriously, what babies do to women…

“Can I carry him?” She asked, her expression unreadable for a few moments as I watched her eyeing him out.

I shrugged and picked him up easily, passing him over as she watched me in awe.

“You’re an expert, aren’t you? Where’s Liyaket?” She asked with exaggerated disbelief, taking him carefully and cradling him affectionately. “Does he need to burp?”

She eyed the bottle that was on the table, that I had literally just finished feeding him.

Okay, my bad. I did forget about the burping part. That would explain the white stuff that was now trailing down his chin, and his slight discomfort.

I wiped it with a tissue that was lying around. No time to find allocated face towels.

“He does,” I said bluntly, not admitting my mistake, as I put the lid back in the bottle and handed it to her. “You can see if he wants more after. Layyanah needed to go to the bank for a bit to sort out some account. They’ll fetch him after.”

Rabia’s eyes widened. I didn’t tell anyone in my family that he’d be here because I knew that they’d make a big deal over it. Like I was completely incapable.

As it is, Liyaket was supposed to be my best friend, but when he’d phoned ten minutes back, I could hear the humour in his voice as he was obviously calling to check on me, and not on the baby. And yes, when he had told me he would be coming into town and needed a hand with the baby, all I thought to myself was that it couldn’t be that hard, right?

Feed, play, sleep, right? Whatever. I was a little hesitant but as always, I wasn’t one to turn away a challenge.

Plus, soon I’d be leaving for the trip of my lifetime and I wasn’t sure when I’d be able to spend some alone time with the little guy again.

“The thing was, I wanted to be as available as possible. Liyaket didn’t have many people who were there for him and i wanted to be one of the few who were.

“They actually left him here alone with you?” She said, blinking in shock. “Looking after a baby? And you are this calm? Where is my spoilt and selfish brother and what have you done with him?!”

I grinned, despite her insults.

“Seriously, though,” she said, rocking Zaid as his eyes fluttered open again. I threw her his dummy in case he started wailing. “Doesn’t this just make you want another baby in the family?”

I narrowed my eyes at her, not really knowing how to answer that. I for sure, was not planning on it anytime soon.

“Let’s get to the marriage part first,” I said with a raise of my eyebrows, not mentioning Imraan on purpose as she looked away, pulling her face at the marriage part.

My sister may be an outright pest who interfered the ith everyone, but I also knew that she had gone through a pretty rough marriage and didn’t exactly come out with the best of mindsets. To top it off, last weeks Samoosa run with a guy who I had met at work had been an absolute lost cause, and she had made it very clear that she was giving up all hope of ever finding a decent man to marry.

As for my brother, I knew that his wife was kind of desperate for another kid. He had told me to make Duaa this time, when I went out with Molvi, for that specific thing, and I would.

This time, going out was going to be a completely different experience.

A mixture of nerves and excitement overcame me as I thought about how my first trip with Molvi out of the country in would pan out. I just couldn’t seem to contain my excitement.

And despite my contentment, I didn’t think many people could digest how I had just filed for unpaid leave after just a month of work. Audits, taxation and accounting no longer psyched me up like it used to. It’s like I had been completely consumed by another purpose.. a great calling that my heart was fervently yearning for…

Those few weeks with Maulana Umar had altered me, and as much as my heart was being captured now, there was no going back now.

Zaid was looking slightly unsettled as I watched him with Rabia, noticing him sucking on his fingers relentlessly. Hungry or tired? It was the greatest mystery in the land of tiny beings.

“I’m in love,” She declared, cradling baby Zaid close to her as he snuggled in.

I needed to have a chat with him. He was such a comfort creature with the ladies that it was almost embarrassing.This behavior was simply not on. If he continued like this , the ladies were going to have a field day with him. Not that he minded. But still. A little dignity at least.

Zaid’s eyes were now finally closed, and we placed him carefully on his size in a little cushion type thing that was apparently designed just for babies.

“Can’t I just wait for him to grow up?” She said quietly, careful not to stir him. She didn’t know that he slept like a log. “If I have to go through another Samoosa run I’ll just die.”

”Me too,” I said with a grin just messing around with her, sitting back now and placing my legs on the coffee table as I was finally able to relax. “Fed up of samoosas.”

Sheesh. This parenting this was no walk in the park. Now I knew why Liyaket cherished nap time so much.

Rabia gave me an unimpressed look. She obviously didn’t appreciate the humour.

”You don’t even know what a Samoosa run is!” She said bitterly. “Besides, when we went to Mohsina’s house, they didn’t even serve samoosas. They served moons and pies. Really now. Did you guys actually plan it that way?”

She looked at me sceptically and I smiled, not being able to dissolve the memory that it brought back. It was still funny even now, as I thought of it months later.

And because Mohsina’s expertise was to stir up things, the Samoosa saga was her way to get back at her Nani. It was her  idea to go against tradition and I knew that she had done it just because she wanted to annoy her.

And as we had just arrived at the house, after a few minutes  minutes of sitting and listening to general business talk of the men, I kind of decided that I needed a breather.

It may have been the plan, or just pure coincidence that on my way,  I had caught sight of Mohsina, outside the kitchen door, seizing the opportunity to have a quick chat before anyone else saw us.

”Hey,” she said, taking a step back into the kitchen and frowning at me, her cheeks slightly flushed. Her sister, who was in the room, cautiously made her way out. “You’re not supposed to be here.”

And I smiled guiltily, because I knew she was right. If Nani had to get wind of this, I would probably be in for it.  But I was drawn to her, well, not just because of how pretty she looked that day, but to be honest, because from the kitchen was the smell of something yummy and I hadn’t had time for lunch..

”I know,” I said indignantly, but not making any attempt to leave either. All I wanted was a samoosa. “Just checking what’s on the menu…”

It was just an excuse and she had turned away with a shake of her head, and I kept my distance, because I did still respect the rules we had set.

And as I watched her silently,  I could see her strategically taking some things out into a Tupperware, and placing some more things on a platter, before turning around to face me, with a triumphant expression on her face.

“You want to see something funny,” she had said mischievously with a grin, as we peeked into the room from where we were standing. “Watch Nani’s expression.”

I already knew that Nani was a really traditional character, and that made me like her even more. I had a feeling that she was probably the only one who Mohsina truly, but secretly took seriously.

It was just that I wasn’t quite sure if she would like me, so bringing the flowers that day was my form of a trade off for her approval. The dynamic between her and Mohsina had also intrigued me significantly, and I could see that Mohsina was itching to put some masala in the works that day, and she was very much successful.

I stood behind as we peeked into the room where the food was, from where we were standing, while Mohsina went onto the other side, scanning it for Nani and notably noticing her face change while she looked from one platter to the other, literally searching for samoosas, while I could hear someone asking where Mohsina was.

I could see Nani getting a little worked up, as she was calling for who I presumed was Mohsina’s mother… and that’s when Mohsina quickly straightened her scarf, gave me a warning glare that spelt that I better get out of there without a word of what she had just done, and made her appearance in the room once again, as if she was not just behaving like a unruly child a few minutes before that.

I was chuckling randomly for a good ten minutes after. For some reason, Mohsina got a kick out of living on the edge, and causing a stir. It was just that, living in the edge sometimes led to catastrophic consequences.

I stifled my sigh, looking at Rabia as she got up to put the kettle on. Looked like she wasn’t heading out after all.

And yes, as for Mohsina, maybe I should have known from the very beginning that her nature was a little erratic, but I thought that she would be able to draw boundaries where it mattered.

And now, more than ever, the lessons from the mistakes I had made now stood out greater than ever.

‘Knowing’ someone before you got proposed didn’t change a thing. Knowing someone before , set up expectations that sometimes didn’t materialize. Knowing someone before, having those memories, was something that stuck with you and literally hounded you… even when you were trying your utmost to move past it.

I sought refuge from the wrong I had done, from every sin that I thought was little, from every word I had said that may have been a source of Allah’s wrath raining down on me.


And now, as I found a new path in life, I knew that I had  found something better. By changing my life, by maintaining my respect… by keeping my honour intact, Allah had granted me not only peace… but a contentment that felt like I was coming home, every time I surrendered to Him.

Now, I knew better. I would do better. I knew that I’d never set myself up for so much of pain and heartache, the way that I had before.. Next time, I would play it safe.

I looked at my sister, who was still waiting for an answer.

”I think we can just blame it all on the samoosas,” I said with a grim smile. “Or lack there of. Next time, please insist- samoosas are obligatory.”

Rabia let out a loud burst of laughter.

And yes, I felt sorry for her, and she had it tough, but although  I wasn’t the biggest fan of her ex-husband, I couldn’t blame anything on him solely. Marriage is two people who are equally choosing to either make it or break it. Or maybe it wasn’t all that simple. I didn’t have all the answers, but I did know that I had plenty of time.

“No more Samoosa for me anytime soon,” she said blandly. “The problem is that everyone else gets the extra rich, cheesey ones and I’m just stuck with the tinfish.”

Tinfish samoosas? I chuckled.

“When I meet that husband of mine,” she continued with a frown. “If he even exists… I’m going to give him one big smack, for taking so bloody long.. howcome everyone has such good luck? … It’s so unfair… I met a girl ones who didn’t even have to go through all of this. Along came one rich, handsome guy from the blue and pitched up to propose. How unfair is that? And then Shabana… remember our second cousin..? she’s so spoilt rotten, can’t cook and doesn’t even greet properly when we meet her, but she got such a nice guy. And people like me end up with the rotten leftover.”

Ah, here we go again, the old ‘howcome’ saga. Howcome they get it all and we don’t? Rabia was a big fan of it and I wasn’t.

I shrugged.

“It’s Allah’s justice system,” I said simply. “You can’t question it. Allah already knows both sides of the story. We are all sinners and have done bad things. Everyone has their tests… look at people who are worse off than you before you start comparing…”

It was the golden rule to combat jealousy. And even if someone is bad to you, indeed, isn’t Allah is in charge of the how, why and where of punishment? If not now, will Allah Taála not even the scales at some point?

In a verse of Holy Qurán Allah says:

“… Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” (Holy Quran 60:8)

If we want to take our matters into our own hands, when Allah is the ultimate judge, is this not an injustice?

Rabia shrugged and sighed, looking at the sleeping Zaid and planting a kiss on his forehead, downing her cup of tea before getting up to leave again.

And yes, I understood her point. There are times when I wonder how people who I know or once knew ever got away with things that they did. There were times when I wondered how the scales will be evened, when it seems like nothing in life is fair and will ever be okay again.

But all these feelings… this hostility… the aversion to people… the ill feelings… it all went away when I took a new step in my new journey of life.

I didn’t have to hold onto past grievances because I had full faith that Allah already knew exactly what my heart had been through and had a perfect plan that was just for me.

And yes, for now, I had found a place where my heart was at ease… and I had found home.

I knew that if Allah was in my side, whatever hurt, whatever pain… I knew that my Allah would never abandon me.

Home was where my heart was contented and where I really had no desire to be anywhere else but where I was right then.

And as I got up and left Zaid in his sleepy silence for a good few minutes, I found my mind switching back to the present once again.

It was just two days left, before I would be leaving again, and I could barely wait.

And I supposed it was his luck that as he shifted again and the front door opened, with both my sister-in-law and my mother entering, the huge wail that escaped from his mouth got them both rushing over and swooning over him like they’d never seen a baby before in their lives.

Life, huh? It was weird that way. One way you were a normal person with not much purpose, and the next moment you have this tiny human being who turns everything around and brings a light even in the darkest of times…

Sometimes home wasn’t a place. Sometimes home was a feeling. Sometimes home was two eyes and a beating heart, and sometimes that home was all that mattered.

It was just three weeks, I told myself, feeling amazingly discomforted by the fact that I would be away from Zaid for so long. It felt liek a lifetime and I was beginning to feel like a real parent now.

Feelings of guilt and missing out on important milestones of his life were starting to plague me. This whole parenting this was becoming a little too a serious for me, but I couldn’t stop it. I supposed once it hit you, there was no going back.

My world had already changed, and life was already so different to the one of that free-spirited and carefree guy that I glimpsed in the mirror just a few months ago.

What I didn’t know that coming back home after three weeks would feel like I was coming back to a completely different world…

Mission Sunnah Revival

In an effort to revive a Sunnah, let’s try and put our family first, instead of friends, followers and anyone else… be the best we can be to those who truly do love us the most ❤️

Sunnah of being best to our family.

Aisha (RA) reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The best of you are the best to their families, and I am the best to my family...”

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3895

Du’aa for Rajab 

اَللّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِى رَجَبَ وَ شَعْبَانَ وَ بَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَان

Allaahumma Baa’rik La’naa Fee Rajab(a), Wa Sha’baan(a), Wa Bal’ligh’naa Ramadhaan.

“O Allaah! Make the months of Rajab and Sha’baan blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadhaan.”









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The Breaking Point

Bismihi Ta’ala

Part 32

The truth is, at some point, everyone’s lives have become desperately in need of a cure. I don’t think there has ever been a time or era where we’ve forgotten more the importance of human touch. Of kind and beautiful words. Of shaping the memories that bind us as one body, and build us into the kind of human beings that we really want to be.

And amidst the chaos and worldly pursuits… There comes a point in life where it all becomes too much. When we get too tired to fight anymore. When you have to tread the line between failure and quitting, and then decide which way to go.

Especially when someone you really love is involved, sometimes it’s hard to find hope where there really is none at all.

Every once in a while, when there is no more joy in the continuous pursuit of advice, when inspiration is on the low, there comes a point where you find yourself believing that there’s only so much of watering, pushing and coaxing you can do, before you call it a day and abort an already failing mission.

But as a gardener, I once learnt from the amazing ‘Rose Lady’, who I had recently learnt was named  Khawlah, that pruning away the dead, diseased and overlapping branches of plants is the best way to ignite some hope and to inspire more vibrant, productive growth. Sometimes you have to trim something, to cut something back… to bring it down almost completely… before it flourishes again.

It’s a common rule of gardening, that when I see leaves withering away, and the stems looking a bit drab, most of the time, cutting the plant right to the bottom is the most effective treatment.

And sometimes cutting back, in other senses too… pulling away is the only day to remedy an almost hopeless situation. Stagnant roots are revived, people become more engaged, and new ideas find fertile ground once again. Basically, attitudes that aren’t helping to improve our lives are being pruned away, to the betterment of all of us.

But you just needed to take that plunge, because sometimes, in spiting a plant of its branches, you can even risk its life.

And right then, as I stood in the hallway of my home, faced with a decision that may change our lives for the better or worse, depending on what I did… I felt like I was torn in two.

I’d always been a good judge of character, and I knew that there had to be a reason why this was just giving me a really bad feeling…

Go ahead and stand putting everyone at risk, by calling Mohsina out right here, with our house wide open for them to do anything they can… or stand my ground and tell them to back off.. If only I could gain the courage….

“Please,” I pleaded with the older of two, hoping it would appeal to his fatherly side. If he had one. I had to try and salvage the situation  where I could. “I’m not sure what this this is about and it’s not a good time right now. I can tell my sister come and meet you… She’s already got a lot on her plate and -”

“If you don’t call her, we can just go straight to your father and give the old guy a shake-up,” the older guy cut in, giving a small snicker as he said it. “The last time he got away with a heart attack, and your sister saved him. This time, I’m not too sure.”

My sister saved him? I didn’t understand. My heart was thudding even more in my chest, as I saw the lack of empathy in his eyes.

The younger guy, on the contrary, glanced at me, looking slightly uncomfortable as he watched my eyes fill with unexpected tears. Almost as if he was embarrassed.

“We’ll wait at the garage,” he said decisively, and it was almost an uncertain statement because as the older man looked at him menacingly, I figured who the boss here was.

“But how will we know that she will even show up?” the older man asked, looking agitated.

The younger guy shook his head.

“Like you’ll let this go anyway,” he said bluntly, turning away to go to the car, looking strangely unsettled by the whole situation.

What was even going on? 

All I knew was that one minute I was relaxing comfortably in my home, listening to Nani and Mohsina having it out as usual, and the next, these thug-life people come with sinister intentions and topple my entire mindframe, bringing in the most embarrassing waterworks.

And I know I wasn’t exactly in the most conducive situation, but I really couldn’t help it. The thing was, like any little girl, my father has always been my hero. To think that anyone remotely evil could ever be after him, was a completely foreign and uncomfortable notion. The brave, generous, loving kind of father that I always knew and loved was the one who I would go to any lengths to protect, no matter what the circumstance.

When it came to Papa, I recalled often how he would tell us about how his family never really had time or money for luxuries. Maybe getting through life when you had seven younger siblings’ mouths to feed wasn’t always easy.

And perhaps this was why, Papa’s nature, by default, was always to give. To bring every one of his siblings through school and an opportunity for tertiary education, was his responsibility because his father was very much absent throughout his life, hopping from one second wife to the next while his mother would fill samoosas for a tuppence.

And then my mother came into the picture, understanding where he was coming from, knowing the history, and she didn’t hold him back either.

”It’s his money,” she always said, with a careless wave of her hand. “He works hard. He must do what he wants to with it. He must help people.”

And so he did. To give and give and give, it didn’t even matter if he had nothing left to give. When it came to loving for others what he loved for himself, Papa took it in his stride. Even if he put himself into debt and problems in the process, Papa still continued to do what he loved to.

Amazingly, because of this quality, it turned out that Nani too, had a certain respect for Papa that was unmatched to anyone was else, because Papa was the one who had helped her son, her son-in-law and everyone else in the family who went through any financial difficulties… even when he himself was not in the most amazing of circumstances.

His very nature was oozing with generosity, and I had a very strong feeling that this was the reason that Allah had saved us from many downfalls over the years.

The Prophet Muhammad, Sallalahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, said ‘Give the sadaqah without delay, for it stands in the way of calamity.’ (Tirmidhi)

A Sadaqah, of course, is always a means of cure and a means for avoiding a calamity.

And being all stressed out and emotional beyond consolation, I couldn’t help but be all panicked over my father finding out and risking his health again as I made my way in a frenzy toward the lounge. Calling Mohsina out now would only cause a scene and make Nani more suspicious. It would also put Papa in a bad light, thinking he was involved with all these thuggish people when there was no way I could imagine him to be.

There had to some mistake.

I prayed so hard at that moment, yearning for this all to go away. It was that desperate, aching from the heart, purposeful prayer that you made whet you wanted something really, really badly.

And I wasn’t sure exactly how it all happened, but before I knew it, Ma had intervened between the two of them and somehow convinced Nani to come with her to the nursery down the road, where they left from the other entrance. And then, as I approached Mohsina, panic once again, set in, as I had to recall what these people had just told me.

Ya Allah, my heart was screaming, as I wondered how he knew all this. Please make this turn out okay.

Explaining to Mohsina, it like she immediately knew exactly who the people were. Her expression was ridden with worry, but as always, Mohsina had the amazing ability to remain calm even in the fiercest of storms.

She sighed audibly, her brow furrowed now as she thought.

“Looks like we have no choice,” she murmured as she grabbed her bag and keys. “I’m going to meet them to explain to them that the car isn’t mine. And then take it back…”

“She sighed again as she half-limped over to the Porsche, opening the door to battle he way into the driver’s seat. Her leg was still pretty bashed up but there was no way that I was driving in this state of mind. How she was keeping it together, I wasn’t sure.

I slipped into the passengers seat while she started up the engine, all kinds of scary and unwanted thoughts about murderous thugs going through my head.

My heart was beating rapidly and it felt like the knot in my stomach had become some sort of bouncing soccer ball. We had just pulled up at the garage, and before I even knew what was going on, she was already back in the car.

And it felt like hours, but it was probably only a few minutes that they spoke, but it was very obvious that from her very strangled words of annoyance that they weren’t relenting. She had said that calling the police would just cause more problems for us. She had already phoned and explained to her boss that she needed his help and there had been a misunderstanding.

I wanted to just leave them and save ourselves… but Mohsina was courageous beyond her years.

”Who are they?” I asked, not sure if I really want to know. I could have been mistaken, but it seemed like she knew the one guy.

“Don’t worry,” she said, brushing me off. “I just have to sort this car out. Can’t believe this thing’s caused so much of grief…”

Oh yes, the Porsche had taken the tea that weekend. I was certain that she was never going to set foot in it again. Couldn’t say I was sorry about it either.

“Mohsina, please…” I started, feeling  really uneasy. I looked at her now while I gained a little more courage. “You have to tell me. What do they want from Papa? From you?”

Mohsina swallowed and glanced at me. She opened her mouth and closed it again, almost as if she was hesitant. And then she took a deep breath before she spoke again.

”They’re loan sharks,” she muttered, swallowing hard. “Bloody money-hungry idiots who are looking anywhere and everywhere to pay off a family debt. Can we just drop the topic?”

A family debt? That didn’t make sense. How did this even become a problem, and why hadn’t Mohsina mentioned it before? She knew much more than she was letting on, and one day, I knew I was going to get it out from her.

I just didn’t know that the way that I would eventually learn about it would come in a completely unprecedented form.

And as I sat there, half trembling, all she did was take a deep breath, squeeze my hand assuringly and then push open the door as she psyched herself up for one helluva type of meeting.

And as he stepped out, waltzing out of the building now as if he had no care in the world, was a tall, good-looking but highly manicured looking Muslim guy who I could almost certainly say was her infamous boss.

There was no question about it. It was Faadil, for sure.

I looked away as he came up to us, listening to them from afar, but I couldn’t escape the fact that something about the way he was interacting with her was just giving me a prickly sensation at the back of my neck.

There was a whole lot of backwards and forwards that went on between them and the two thugs that I had come to call them, when finally, I saw their car drive away as Mohsina closed her eyes and let out a huge breath.

”I’m so sorry to drag you into this,” I could hear Mohsina telling Faadil apologetically as he came up to us for the last time, looking like the cat who had caught a mouse. It seemed that something was finally resolved, but Mohsina was shifting uncomfortably due to severe embarrassment.

I wished that I could escape to Mohsina’s car to save myself from it too. Apparently one of her friends had her keys and had brought it over, but it was still locked.

”Don’t worry,” he said casually. “It’s sorted.”

Alhumdulillah,” Mohsina breathed, and of course, I couldn’t help but say the same.

Maybe Faadil had been a means but Allah Ta’ala was the ultimate saviour.

These people had come, literally out of nowhere, turning our lives upside down and causing so much of mayhem on what was supposed to be a peaceful evening. Also, it was nearly Maghrib and we needed to head back to somewhere we could pray.

The fact that we would be on the road when it set in didn’t even bother Mohsina. What was happening to her? 

Mohsina was worried about other things… and it was making me a teeny bit angry. What happened to ‘But  first, Salaah’? It had been a common saying of hers up to a few months ago.

In fact, her boss’s presence here was unsettling. I needed to be alone with my sister, get down into the middle of it, find out what was going on.

Instead, her voice became fainter as she stepped away, and both of them went out of earshot for a few minutes. What was said, I had no idea, but when she came back, I could see her looking a little less stressed than before.

I, on the other hand, was feeling completely irate.

“He’s so bloody gracious,” she said, blinking back tears, looking back at him as if he was some kind of king. “He won’t tell me what they asked… I’m so embarrassed about the entire situation…”

I instantly felt myself get a more annoyed at her. But also, what did I expect?

I said nothing.

Gracious, but at what cost? She had probably bared her soul about what I was asking her about just an hour ago… while she… well, Mohsina- my very own blood sister – had become like a stranger who told me nothing and you could no longer get through to, no matter how much I spoke.

And of course, I was almost fuming as we walked back to where the entrance of the building was, and Faadil went up the flight of stairs to go back in.

“I needed to go and fetch my spare car keys from the apartment,” she explained as we stood at her car, not meeting my eye. “He’s going to bring it.”

I took a deep breath in, picturing exactly how this was going to happen. I was at that breaking point… the point where I had to say what I needed to or I would forever beat myself up about it.

“Listen Mos,” I said quietly, with great forbearance as we headed to her car together.

I didn’t want to say it, but someone had to, and it rather be me.

“Don’t you think that this too close for comfort?” I asked, trying to maintain my cool. “Office and home doesn’t need to mesh so much. It doesn’t look you are maintaining healthy distances. Maybe Nani has a point…”

She narrowed her eyes at me as I said the last part, obviously trodding on a sore point.

I continued anyway, knowing that I might as well go all out, since I had already started.

”Listen,” I said, appealing to her as she crossed her arms over her chest with an almost arrogant look on her face. “I don’t think that it’s okay to borrow things from him, let him feel as if he has some responsibility over you … and then on top of it, just let him into your flat as if you guys are so close and whadda whadda. You need to-”.

I lacked the charisma to fully explain and I had barely even started but she was already gone into defensive mode and already onto me from the word ‘listen’.

“How the hell do you expect me to go up there with a leg like this?!” She almost shouted, cutting me off and widening her eyes at me. “Not like you guys even care. Even Faadil noticed I was hurt! You made me drive and injure it even more! Of course he would offer to do it for me. It means nothing!  It’s the human thing to do!”

Oh, the pity party. How sweet.

“I would have gone,” I said quietly, ignoring her outburst. “Why didn’t you ask me?”

”Please,” she scoffed. “You can’t go into my place alone.”

I frowned. Yikes.

I can’t? But he can? Woah.

She sighed. She knew exactly what I was thinking.

“They own the place, okay,” she said, rolling her eyes at me. “Let’s just drop it. It’s like, sorted. Stop doing my head in.”

I took a deep breath, trying to dispel my anger and try once last time to knock some sense into her.

“All I’m saying is this,” I said, leaning against the car, still staying calm as I tried to get my point across. What on earth was even going right for her these days?

“Maybe all this is happening for a reason. Maybe Allah is trying to show you something, and maybe you need to listen to whatever that message is.”

And just as I finished, she turned and looked at me, her eyes betraying her words as I literally saw her shutting me off, and placing herself strategically behind that stone wall that she had set up the past few months.

“Maybe you should just mind your own business,” she said steadily, and with that, she grabbed the key that the door man had brought down to her at that point, without even thanking him, opened the car door of her car and then slammed it shut, leaving me wondering why I ever made an effort at all.

I mean, it was like nothing was hitting home anymore. She was losing her family, bit by bit. She had, very clearly, completely lost Hamzah. And I’m not sure at what point, but soon her Hayaa was on the verge on being completely lost too…

She said nothing and turned her face away, and for me… that was the breaking point. The day when. I pulled myself out… The day I decided  that I was no longer going to try.

We drove home in silence, avoiding each other as skillfully as we could for the next few days while she was on leave.

The week passed by and we barely spoke. Mohsina was barely around anyway, because her new infatuation was the baby and every waking moment was spent at Layyanah’s or getting something for Layyanah. By the time she headed back to work, it had been almost two weeks that we hadn’t spoken and I was refusing to make the first move.

In my mind… Mohsina had gone too far this time. She was pushing everyone away, and she had absolutely no regard for anyone’s feelings besides herself. Somewhere along the way, not only had she lost us, but she had lost the kind of person that we had all loved and admired.

I didn’t even stop to wonder if maybe instead of cutting her off, I could have kept her closer, offering her the support she would need to change her life again. I didn’t think further than that, or stop to realise exactly what had happened when Mohsina started slipping out of our reach completely, and that this was probably going to push her into a deeper corner and into a bigger problem than before.

The days were passing by at lightning speed, as we busied ourselves with renovations in the shop, making plans for accommodation that Papa was intent on offering, and basically getting on with life… and before I even knew it, weeks had passed and life went on, almost as if it was normal to be like be like enstranged siblings who barely knew each other at all.

And yes, I missed her, but I couldn’t quite push my pride aside and offer her what she really needed.

I couldn’t even offer her a word of hope. I cut her off, and myself back, pulling away, hoping that maybe to see her come alive again, she needs to lose a little more. That to grow, she needed some kind of hope and watering.

And I suppose that when I looked at my parents or generations before mine, I figured that maybe they took comfort in each  other because they didn’t have the false sense of security that everyone else values their worth by. Maybe they didn’t have 12k followers liking their pictures at their disposal when their real relationships got a little bit hard. Meanwhile, the people who love you without a filter on your face become an option and the rest of the world who sees the illusion becomes the priority.

I had unfollowed Mohsina on Instagram, blocked her on WhatsApp and only messaged her on the odd occasion that my mother needed to check something or my father wanted some business advice. I just didn’t want to see everything she was getting on with, while we were just ‘by the ways’ in her life. Cutting my sister out of my life was not only the worst mistake I had made, but not knowing what her day to day activities were was not only a recipe for disaster, but probably a direct catalyst in the path that she was taking the past few weeks.

And it was on a week day, a few weeks after the Porsche drama, as I perched on one of the wooden bar stools in the empty coffee shop, lost in a the version of only English Qurán translation and Tafsir that I’d been reading on and off for the past few weeks when I wasn’t clean, that it happened. I had made myself a cup of our famous Red cappuccino, barista style, as I lost myself in the stories of the past Prophets,and lessons that served to remind of many of the things we may have forgotten along the way.

It was a healing and soothing, a reminder that was very much needed when we found ourselves sucked in with the distractions of real life…

And as always, reading was my down time, my cooling off activity… the time I took out when I wanted to wind down and forget about everything that usually unsettled me. Sometimes we needed that little something to bring us back down to earth, to help ground us, and to help us to find our base once again. And what better than the reading and healing of the Qurān to relieve the heart that was so immersed in the world at any other given time?

And because it was quiet that particular day, Papa had sauntered off to the back of the shop for a quick stock take. On weekends, it got particularly busy, and with Layyanah being out of action, we had also put an ad out in the front for a manager, since Ma generally didn’t like me being in the serving section.

I glanced out for a moment through the translucent glass doors, only seeing the silhouette of a car in the driveway, thinking it was probably some passer by stopping for a drink as he or she would be on his way again.

The last verse was still floating through my head.. The essence of it was that evil must be removed with kindness:

Good and evil are not equal. Repel (evil) with what is best, and you will see that the one you had mutual enmity with him will turn as if he were a close friend. (Holy Qurān, Surah Fussilāt) 

It was a tough lesson to learn that made me instantly ponder about my behaviour with my sister.  How do you continue to be kind to someone despite them pushing you away? Despite you finding their behaviour repulsive? How are you kind to someone who doesn’t appreciate the effort….

Maybe it wasn’t about that.

I glanced down at the lesson of how the closeness of Allah can inspire not only your goodness, but more good, letting it capture and enlighten me for a few more minutes. And I was all caught up in my own thoughts as I wondered if I should maybe message her or not, opening up the channels of communication … until I heard a voice in front of me, not yet looking up because I was well aware from the voice had come from a male customer.

“Salaam’u’alaykum,” he said, and I could almost swear that the voice was mildly familiar but I wasn’t quite sure.

I closed my book and hopped off the stool, letting my legs touch the ground, telling him to gie me a minute as I glanced up at him, and then literally froze in my tracks.

Gosh, he was even better looking than I remembered, when he had darkened our doorway, just a few weeks back. His eyes, their colour couldn’t quite capture yet, boring into me as I looked away.

And okay. I couldn’t exactly say that I hadn’t thought about this guy a few times before this, but it didn’t make it right.

It was wrong by any standard, but I mean, any insanely handsome guy that asked about my father the first time I had seen them would probably make a lasting impression. It was just that this particular guy was asking to see my father for all the wrong reasons.

Bad news, Jameela , I warned myself. Lower your gaze immediately. This guy is not just bad news. He is dangerously bad news.

I sucked in my breath, frozen again for what seemed like ages, as I swallowed, wondering if I should really call Papa or not.

What if this was some sort of trap?

Oh, how I wished that Mohsina had just told me what was going on the fisrt and last time I had seen him. I wished I knew more. Crazy thoughts were racing through my head as I thought, once again, of all the things that could happen. And then he spoke.

”Listen, I’m not here to scare you,” he said, his voice actually sounding… normal. “I wanted to talk. I see you have an ad in front…”

Oh goodness. Don’t they stop with the chasing? Because we are employing people they probably think we have so much of extra money lying around to pay off stupid debts.

“It’s not what you think,” he said, his voice dropping, almost to a whisper. “I think it’s important that you know… I’m not like my uncle. Nothing like him, in fact.”

He was emphatic about the last part.

So that was his uncle. The scary, beady-eyed looking man who had freaked me out just by his mere presence. How were they even related? 

Anger was rising within me as I thought of how they had come to our home, demanding things that we were impossible at the time and turning our world upside down.

I turned around slowly, swallowing hard as he looked down now, a little bit embarrassed.

Well, he better be. After all the havoc he’d caused, that’s the least he could be.

“I need to speak to your father,” he finally said, still looking at the floor. “There’s something I think he needs to know.”

A little bit of a twist, but a fun one maybe?! Love to hear your thoughts as always 🤍

Mission Sunnah Revival

In an effort to revive a Sunnah, let’s try and put our family first, instead of friends, followers and anyone else… be the best we can be to those who truly do love us the most ❤️

Sunnah of being best to our family.

Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The best of you are the best to their families, and I am the best to my family. When your companion dies, then do not abuse him.”

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 3895

Du’aa for Rajab 

اَللّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِى رَجَبَ وَ شَعْبَانَ وَ بَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَان

Allaahumma Baa’rik La’naa Fee Rajab(a), Wa Sha’baan(a), Wa Bal’ligh’naa Ramadhaan.

“O Allaah! Make the months of Rajab and Sha’baan blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadhaan.”









FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

Darkened Doorways

Bismihi Ta’ala

Part 31

There are some days that I wanted nothing more than to leave the world behind and just run far away. To feel the wind in my hair. The morning dew on my lips. The feeling of nature at its best. The sun blazing on my back.

There are days when the doorways to hope are darkened by with doom…  times when no one else but you can see the shadows that chase you, and no one, not even yourself, can save you from them.

Every now and then, the sorrows of life, whether they’re yours or someone else’s, will find their way to you.

And someone once told me that when the pains of this life wear you down, and our hearts become weakened with worries of worldly woes… when our shoulders are leaden and burdened with responsibilities that we barely bear… there is this one powerful and magical expression that can transform, inspire and renew the conviction to hand it over to the Rabb Who pulled you through every other time.

No matter what was going on. No matter who was the problem. No matter how my heart was slowly losing hope either in this world or someone I really loved…

لاحول ولا قوت الله بالله

There is no might or no power, except with Allah.

Truly, there is nothing greater. Nothing mightier. Nothing that is a Guardian, watching out more for us, as our Ultimate Protector.

But the thing is, how do you even begin to explain this to someone who you adore so dearly, but seems to be drifting further and further away from this grounding truth..? How do you even salvage a situation that seems to be so far gone, that no words even seem to fix..?

The situation was something like this:

“You’ll need to come with me to return the Porsche,” Mohsina demanded as we sat side by side in Papa’s old Corolla, as she commanded me, the official family chauffeur. “Everyone’s making it like I’m breaking some kind of unwritten law by driving my boss’s car. I mean, it’s just a damn car. It doesn’t mean anything. Can you even believe them?!”

It wasn’t a surprise that news spread like wild fire on our locality and everyone had already heard the Mohsina had come home in a fancy Porsche. I wasn’t condoning anything but to me it looked like Mohsina was still acting like everyone owed her the respect that she hadn’t yet earned.

I pursed my lips together, not wanting to edge her on further. The whole Porsche saga had caused enough trouble as it was, and I instantly knew that Mohsina was in her whole defensive kind of vibe, obviously riding on the self-righteous train, thinking that nothing she did was ever really wrong.

Sometimes I wondered is her proverbial lantern had been put out, and the light that she was supposed to be seeing in every situation was dwindling further and further away into the shadows.

And at a time where darkness seemed to be flooding the likes of every persons world, whether it was through the television, internet or social media… a torch that shines through the darkness is a most welcoming and crucial weapon.

”I’ll come, but will you manage to drive it?” I asked Mohsina, glancing at her as she stretched her leg out, and winced slightly in pain. I was not prepared to drive her boss’s car. “How’s the leg? Any bruising?”

Mohsina had come pretty close to a broken ankle last night when she slipped on the hospital stairs. I supposed it was a good thing that I was with her to help her up.

Well, good in some ways and a little traumatizing in other ways. I was only hoping that today would be a bit calmer for my heart.

“They lucky if I don’t sue them,” she muttered, pulling down the mirror and re-applying her lipstick. Her hair was wrapped up in a traditionally styled hijab today, and it felt like the old Mohsina again. Almost. Except something was amiss.

Hmmmm,” I said, concentrating on the road as she went on, and wondering how busy the coffee shop was right then.

It was the first Sunday I wasn’t helping Papa. Garden Getaway had hosted an amazing crowd on Sunday’s. I had bribed Muhammed Husayn to help out, knowing that if I promised him some incentive, he couldn’t refuse.

Mohsina obviously needed someone with her, and I was the only option.

“That place was so bloody dark,” she said, pushing up the mirror again. “Idiots. I can’t believe a private hospital doesn’t even have any proper lighting. That’s probably the reason why they have weird people hanging around unnoticed at all times of the night.”

”What d’you mean,” I asked, indicating to go into Layyanah and Liyaket’s road, a little confused. “Who did you see?”

”No-one,” she said off-handedly, looking away. “Just some vagrants hanging around.”

She cleared her throat but didn’t meet my eye as she looked in her bag to take out some hand lotion. It felt almost as if she was avoiding something, but as quick as the feeling came on, it was gone again.

”You should tell them at least,” I said pointedly, stifling a giggle as I thought of it. “A hospital can’t be having all these hazards. Imagine you come for some emergency, and end up with another!”

”If I don’t sue them, I’ll write them a nice, fat blog post to disrepute them,” she muttered, not even smiling as I watched her open her iPhone again. “That will serve them right.”

I knew what a nice, fat e-mail blog post meant. I’d seen influencers or food bloggers doing that with restaurants, coffee shops and other businesses to dishonour them.

The unsettling  fact was that a little drama really does do it’s rounds and can potentially affect their business and income. Especially if it’s a small family owned thing, I’d hate it if someone had to do that to our little coffee shop and cause a stir on social media before even letting us know what their concerns were.

”Listen,” I said carefully, as I manoeuvred the car into Layyanah and Liyaket’s driveway. “Why don’t you just take it up with them directly. It’s not always the best idea to put things on social media. You know how damaging it can-“

“Can you see how damaged my leg is?!” She cut in, lifting her dress to show me the blue bruise on the side of her calf.

Ouch. It really did look sore.

But still, shame, they obviously didn’t mean for that tile to be loose and for her to catch a royal fall like she did. I had to hand it to her though. She had actually taken off work for two days, using the opportunity to stay in town to help Layyanah for a few days.

But also… Islamically, and ethically, the correct procedure wasn’t to just shame people and make everything a big hoo-haa. The problem is was that with Generation Z, people get their momentum from their followers. It makes me cringe when someone tries to advise people on social media and the advise-ee retaliates by screen-shotting and humiliating the person for all their 10k followers to see.

But sometimes… Well, sometimes we just have to stop, think, and just be kind. It wasn’t a difficult concept but many still didn’t get it.

The thing was… Mohsina was on a roll now, and when she was after someone, I knew that she would go all out for their blood. It’s just that not much was going right for her at the moment. In fact, it seemed like everything was going completely wrong.

“Take a deep breath,” I started, hoping she would calm down, as I wondered if maybe her approach was all wrong. “Read Laa Hawlaa wa Laa Quwwata illah Billah…”

Indeed, no matter how small the matter was, it was the antidote to many problems or ailments, even when sky seemed to be falling down on us…

As always, I tried to get her to simmer down, but recent events were definitely not helping her sate of mind. She was on fire today, and no-one could stand in her way.

And to be fair, amidst all the drama and excitement, sometimes it’s hard to notice when something sinister starts creeping in. I had barely noticed Mohsina slip into a little hole that was almost unreachable these few months, and after spending that while at the hospital with her, it was like if we had lost a whole chunk of her life and now there was a girl who I grew up with that I barely knew anything about anymore.

And then of course, was the drama with Hamzah seeing the car she was driving that might have been a further exacerbation of her current state of mind… because she was kind of out of control.

To put it lightly, it had to happen that the two of them would clash in the parking lot, and Hamzah was very evidently the only person in the entire province that wasn’t impressed with the Mohsina’s driving the office Porsche.

All I knew was that along with some hostility, a few words might have been exchanged, and because Liyaket’s mother couldn’t manage the low seat of Mohsina’s car, she was completely apologetic about the chaos she had caused by making Hamzah come to where Mohsina was and take her home instead.

And of course, the situation had become a little more than just awkward as question marks raised about what Mohsina was really up to, driving her boss’s car.

And Mohsina, being Mohsina, had nonchalantly implied that it was no-one’s business, but that, in my mind, was exactly the thing that got people all revved up and on a scandalous pursuit of whipping up more and more rumours.


My sisters unusual silence that evening, even as I knocked on her door later, was completely uncharacteristic and a little troublesome. She had come home to crash, staying at our family home after months, but it was almost as if she wasn’t even there. I felt like she was purposely shutting us out of her life.

I pushed the thoughts about drama away, soaking up the sunshine as I stepped out the car and glimpsed the beautiful potted plants on Layyanah’s patio.

Where other people turned to social media or more frivolous entertainment, the variety of colours that are err displayed before me was enough to calm my soul.  I let my gaze fall on the array of exquisite flowers that were now in full bloom, almost as if they were summoning us, letting their happiness fill my insides with delight.

Mohsina though, as she trudged ahead of me with the basket of goodies for Layy, was completely oblivious to it all.

And as early as we were, at around 11.30 when Layyanah was discharged, a stream of visitors were already slowly filling the driveway, and I could hear Mohsina muttering about how they better not be crowding the baby, else she was going to let them have it.

And it was cute, her protectiveness. At least it gave her something to channel her energy into for now, instead of the big, fat blog post.

That was the thing with Mohsina. When she was there, she gave us her all, physically. Emotionally though, i wasn’t quite sure. Some moments, it felt like we had lost her permanently… and when she wasn’t here in body, it was like she lived in a different world.

And as we made our way into the room, my soul feeling a little more rested as I saw Mohsina simmer down and greet Layyanah from afar for now… our attention now turned to the  hefty lady with a maroon scarf who was leaning over the cot.

“Masha Allah, laa hawlaa wa laa quwwata illah billah!” she exclaimed, staring at the baby, her expression one of bewilderment.

And there it was again.

A phrase, a word, an expression of awe… of humility… of absolute dependence and surrendering to the might and power of our Lord. An understanding that this new bundle of life was nothing but a sign of the mercy that Allah had sent to show us His magnificent power.

And I came to know pretty soon after that the expression had come from Liyaket’s late fathers sister, who had shamelessly opened the net of the sleeping baby and literally jolting the baby out of slumber as she tossed him from side, scrutinizing him for the fifth time that hour.

“Such a long nose he got,” the Aunty said, sounding almost unhappy about it. “And soooo fat and red his cheeks are.”

To me, all babies looked the same. Her face was, to my great surprise, slightly resentful as she looked at him, though. And as she spoke next, I got why. It was probably out of loyalty to her late brother.

“Doesn’t look like the Khans,” she murmured, shaking her head and glancing at Layyanah. “He looks just like you.”

I could see Layyanah giving a small smile as she watched, obviously used to the reaction by now.

Our little cutie let out a tiny whimper and closed his eyes again, almost to say that his precious sleep was far better than any relatives interruptions, no matter who they were. Layyanah was the calmest new mother, not even flinching as the aunty rolled her baby from side to side, trying to provoke some reaction.

Mohsina, on the other hand, was physically wincing.

And as I gazed as the sweet little pea, as Mohsina quickly concocted a story to maroon-scarved aunty about Layyanah’s feeding routine to get her out of the room, I couldn’t help but notice that from the fingers to the nose, little Zaid/Zakariyya/Hanzalah really did seem to  very much resemble his mother. Mohsina had said that she could see a little of Liyaket in there, but for now… Layyanah was winning the trophies.

”Sorry, but I had to chase her away,” Mohsina said as she picked the woken baby up and carefully soothed him to sleep. “She was treating my child like a rag doll.”

Layyanah shrugged, obviously feeling the same way.

Several of Liyaket’s family had apparently expected a little Liyaket. It was almost as if, even after doing all that hard work, the baby had no right to even resemble his mother.

Liyaket, on the other hand, could not have been more thrilled or indifferent to who the baby resembled. According to Layyanah, he could not stop swooning over and carrying the baby, which annoyed her endlessly because she really didn’t want him getting spoilt.

How you could spoil a baby so cute and small was beyond me…

And waiting for the seventh day, while the parents were deciding on a name, we were enjoying the little bundle and really quite in awe of every little move or murmur he made.

And of course; despite the aesthetics, Liyaket’s family, all the way from his crazy aunty to his deranged third cousin (the same one that I had gotten freaked out by at the wedding) had come to visit and it felt as if this was some sort of royal child.

The two last visitors had left the room after Mohsina insisted that it was time for the baby to have a nappy change; and to my surprise, and true to her word, she gently placed the baby on the feeding mat, and through my mother’s guidance on video call, successfully executed the mission that Layyanah had been dreading.

And I was blown away, to tell the truth. I actually had no idea that she even had it in her.

I sat back and watched as she swooned over him, obviously in love with him already, and wondering if it was real. The thing was, even when he was screaming his head off… There was just something about her nature and touch that had the right amount of gentleness and calm that soothed him almost immediately.

I, on the other hand, was a complete wimp with babies, feeling that he was just way too tiny for me to even attempt to carry him, I slunk back, watching from afar.

Layyanah smiled as she shifted, sitting herself up in bed. Despite everything with her family and their indifference to her new bundle… with Mohsina here, to the rescue, I was so glad that she could still look like a really blissful, new mummy.

”I can’t believe you changed a poo, Mos,” she laughed as she stifled a yawn, later on as everyone left. “Like, I would have waited for Liyaket to come back. The nurses were trying to show me but I was so damn tired. Can you imagine, they brought the baby to me last night and left him there till five. You would think that they would let you sleep after pushing out a 3.5 kilogram baby, but they had no pity ‘cause I said I’m breastfeeding. Pardon the pun, but that really sucks, neh?”

Mohsina chuckled, but again, it felt almost as if it was all just a hollow expression with no real feeling.

And perhaps it was to do with the fact that we could hear some voices in the vicinity that she wanted to escape, because I could see her gathering her bag and draping her scarf again, ready to leave.

From what I heard, Hamzah had been in and out intermittently. Obviously avoiding Mohsina purposely, so staying as far away as possible for now… but he couldn’t stay away forever, could he?!

Somehow, in record time, we greeted Layyanah and managed the escape back home without much more drama to fetch the Porsche, while she went up to fetch some stuff from her room to take back to the apartment.

And as I plopped myself in the couch  for a quick breather, overwhelmed by serving visitors at Layyanah’s place most of the afternoon, it was 5pm on a Sunday evening, and our kitchen was buzzing with frivolous activity . Mummy was busy frying up some sandwiches, Nani was sitting on the chair with her famous pansurah for all her morning and evening Duaas while I, in all my exhausted glory, was laying in the couch, watching them all with my legs up in the air.

Serving people was exhausting. Between the coffee shop in the morning and Layyanah’s house, I was absolutely knackered. I didn’t blame Mohsina for escaping to her room, after spotting Nani on the couch, because we all knew what was coming.

Nani, as always, was never one to miss out on the latest saga. Somehow, nothing escaped her knowledge and spotting the Porsche in the driveway when she came back to our house that day was a sure giveaway.

”Everyone is talking,” Nani muttered, her eyes glancing outwards again, almost as if there was some kind of thief in the yard. I had briefly explained that it wasn’t her car, and Nani already figured the rest. “How many times I told her not to ask for favors with all the office mens. Only one thing they want from girls. I’m telling you, Bhengori, I have a bad feeling about this.”

My mother looked at her but said nothing. I mean what could she say?

Mohsina was a law unto herself lately.

The whole Porsche thing was a bit of a sinister event and I just had some niggly feeling that there was some ominous intention behind it.

But then again, I was a bit of a sceptic at the worst of times and Nani may have just been letting off all her steam, but I was lapping it up.

“I think it’s time she meets that boy now,” she was saying to my mother. “Get all these office boys out of the picture. Remember that nice poiro I was telling you about?”

Mhm. A boy. Yes, maybe that will help her. If Nani had someone in mind, at least it may be someone who was pre-approved. Pre-approved boys were usually the safest options because there was always someone you could complain to about them when their husband tendencies got overwhelming.

I looked at Mohsina as she re-entered, a slightly anxious look on her face, scarf tied at the back of her head, white blouse and beige culottes that sat above her ankle.

I could almost hear the ‘chi’ on the tip of Nani’s tongue, but she considerately kept it to herself. Instead, she gave Mohsina the most eyeballing once over, and then said:

“You think everything is fashion show,” she murmured. “Looks like your clothes gone small.. what will aunty Khairoon say if she sees you like this? As it is she is complaining how all the girls nowadays are so modern. She wanted to meet you. How will I explain my own granddaughter is so nangi. This is why my hair is gone grey. See.”

She was pointing at her grey parts that she’d had for the past eighteen years, as far as I could remember.

Old people and their reputations were quite tiring to keep up with. And I thought we had problems.

“Now you want to go out at Maghrib time, and you wonder why afterwards you are sitting with problems!”

Eish. Nani and her guilting .

“Don’t worry Nani, I can’t get possessed twice,” Mohsina smirked, almost snidely, but that had already set Nani off on another tangent in Gujarati about how she can’t say things like that and doesn’t care what kind of impression she’s making and when she’s older she will see how she will be sitting all old and lonely and regret.

I sighed, slipping on my shoes. It was all the usual things but I was so over it all because it was getting late and we still needed to make it back to return the car. Plus, I was exhausted.

The two of them were still bickering as I tied my shoe laces and zipped up my abaya, when the sudden and piercing ringing of the buzzer startled me.

While they went on, almost oblivious, I hastily made my way to the door, looking first in the camera that we had installed since the shop opened. The front driveway was often open, but no one ever came up to the main house, and we definitely weren’t expecting visitors.

I peeped through a small gap in the door, not really processing the two figures who were out there, or what they might be there for. They were probably just lost and needed some directions.

I glanced in the mirror and adjusted my scarf to cover my hair, pulling open the door with my other hand and greeting them like a good host should.

And okay, I wasn’t over-friendly but I had to retract my hospitality before they got the wrong idea. What I didn’t expect was a handsome young stranger to be standing there, and I immediately looked away as he offered a small smile.

”The shop is in front,” I said, wondering how they had missed it, and hoping he would leave soon.

“We didn’t come for the shop,” the young man said, and I immediately looked up. “Is your father here?”


This was really fast work. Was this maybe Nani’s proposal? Leave alone efficient, on top of that, the candidate here wasn’t as bad as I thought. Actually, not bad at all!

”He’s still busy with work,” I said. “I think if you go, you can meet-“

”No, that’s very good,” the guy said, and I caught a wiff of some intense scent as the wind blew. “We see your sister has a new car. Just need to have a word with her. Me and my friend here. Can you call her?”

Another man, middle-aged, came up from behind, and I immediately put my guard up as I saw him. All rosy  thoughts about the handsome young stranger flying out the window.

I swallowed, not knowing what was going on, but already weary of this new man who looked a little more intimidating with every second that ticked by.

”And your name?” I said, almost in a squeak. Fear overcame me, as the man’s expression hardened in a way that made me shudder.

“Just call her!,” he demanded, and I immediately stepped away as I got that intense prickly sensation at the back of my neck. It sent a few shock waves through my body as I realised that the instinct to scream was overwhelming.

And though I so badly wanted to, I wasn’t sure what was going on but my body was frozen with fear.

My voice was clogging in my throat as I tried to call for my sister, thoughts of what could happen if I didn’t or couldn’t, clouding all judgement.

I didn’t ever think that the likes of these people would ever darken our doorway, but what I didn’t know that the same nightmares that haunted my sister every night were the very ones that were right in my midst…

Mission Sunnah Revival

Du’aa for Rajab 

اَللّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِى رَجَبَ وَ شَعْبَانَ وَ بَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَان

Allaahumma Baa’rik La’naa Fee Rajab(a), Wa Sha’baan(a), Wa Bal’ligh’naa Ramadhaan.

“O Allaah! Make the months of Rajab and Sha’baan blessed for us, and let us reach the month of Ramadhaan.”










FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

Silent Dilemmas

Bismihi Ta’ala

Part 29

“What on earth is that noise?!”

My mother-in-law eyes were riddled with worry as she winced with every deafening blast that echoed from outside.

It sounded something like a torrent of gunshots raining on our roof. Or our wall. Or somewhere really close. And instead of feeling safe in this out-of-city environment, usually peaceful retreat out in the serenity of the country.. I felt like we were like in the middle of a deadly war zone.

Imraan!” I called, wondering where he was, just as he and Uthman loitered back inside, looking extremely chuffed with themselves.

”Jhee, my darling,” Uthman said, battering his long  dark eyelashes, inherited from his father, and grinning from ear to ear.

Imraan grinned identically and ruffled his head lightly.

Rabia, who was sitting on the couch, let out a spurt of laughter as she watched them together.

I rolled up my sleeves, meaning business. The summer intensity hadn’t yet eased off, despite it being in April. I longed for the calmer winter days once again… pining for cooler temperatures and the first fall of snow we may experience on the farm. Although it didn’t snow often in the region… it was possible that we may get a little if temperatures dropped significantly… and I could barely wait.

The vast lands looked simply stunning when we woke up to a world blanketed by snow. A white winter wonderland that was simply beautiful to gaze at.

”What is going on?!” I asked, putting in my stern voice shaking my head at the pair of them as I smoothed a layer of icing over the sponge cake that I had just baked. “What is that noise? Sounds just like gunshots.”

”It is gunshots, my love,” Imraan said with a grin, sidling up to me and swiping a finger of icing to taste. “But don’t worry, it’s just Hamzah shooting at some cans. He’s pretty good with targets. Looks like all that time with Molvi had some immense benefits.”

Imraan was chuckling about it, obviously thinking it was hilarious, while I narrowed my eyes at him. Never mind my son was learning all these violent tendencies before his time.

And okay, maybe I was a tad bit paranoid because it was my only child. When I believed I should protect him from everything, Imraan was the complete opposite. Him and Uthman got up to the most disturbing things at times. Sometimes they got thermselves into the strangest dilemmas.

And of course I could believe what he said. Maulana Umar was famous for his collection of handguns and rifles, from way back when we were all kids, in school. It was so strange, because his wife, Haseena, was the softest and most benevolent personality you could find.

Opposites really do attract, don’t they?

I pulled open the bottom drawer and grabbed some sprinkles, decorating the plain vanilla cake with an array of pastel shades as the four of them settled on the kitchen stools at the nook, obviously ready for some tea and cake.

At least the blasts from outside had stopped now that they were inside, and I found myself a little more at ease as Hamzah loitered in, looking like he had literally come from war, clad in his dusty kurta and outdoor shoes.

To be honest, it still made me awestruck, this change that had happened almost over night and came like a huge shock to us all. From that mischievous teenager and charmer, Hamzah was now suddenly this modest young man who looked down even when he came into the same vicinity as me. The days he had spent in Jamaat, away from home, had obviously affected his heart really deeply.

It was true what they said. The effect of pious company… of a good environment… of food with barakah and lots of Duáas… well, it definitely had its impact on anyone immersed in it. And of course. It was Imraan who had spoke to Maulana Umar to get him to convince Hamzah to go, so the rewards were all on him.

”Have you let off all your pent-up frustration?” Rabia asked, obviously poking her brother as he sauntered in.

I knew that Rabia had that kind of interfering personality, but I also knew that between brother and sister, there was always some little bickering that went on.

Also, Rabia, after her infamous divorce two years ago had been through a string of horrible samoosa runs so most people were a target for her. I understood that it was hard to find a decent guy who wasn’t on drugs, involved with way too many girls or just plain down incompatible… but it really wasn’t anyone else’s fault that her marriage didn’t work out for her.

Instead, she acted like everyone else had to pay for it. I think she was going through her own kind of dilemma that no one but her had an inkling about.

“What frustration?” Imraan asked innocently, frowning slightly at her.

”You know,” she said, getting up to switch the kettle on, and I could see a hint of shrewdness in her eye. “After seeing Mohsina at the hospital in his ex-boss’s car and losing his shit.”

Rabia!” My mother-in-law scolded, widening her eyes at her.

Oh no. That didn’t sound good. Actually, it sounded really bad. And I could see Hamzah’s face changing because of it. It was probably something that he didn’t wanted everyone to know about either. Unlike Imraan, who usually kept calm in most situations, Hamzah was a bit more vocal. This time though, he silently slunk back, as she said it.

But then again, Rabia also had a tendency to exaggerate things and work on her twin brother’s nerves.

My poor brother-in-law looked immensely uncomfortable as he muttered something under his breath that I couldn’t quite catch.

“Mind your own business, Rabia,” Imraan said quietly, shaking his head as my mother-in-law came around to grab a knife while I got the cups and saucers ready.

I just hoped she wasn’t planning on poking Rabia with it.

“It’s true,” Rabia said, and she wasn’t in the least bit remorseful. I could see Hamzah’s eyes narrowing at her as she spoke.. “I heard him on the phone with Liyaket. Does he really have one of those really expensive Porsche’s?! That means something must-“

Shut up!”Hamzah shot at her, slamming his empty mug on the counter before stalking off, looking like he was seeing red. I was surprised that the mug was still in tact.

But of course, I didn’t blame him.

My mother-in-law closed her eyes and held her head with her hand, obviously not knowing how to salvage the situation, and I felt myself really wishing that Rabia had a filter in her mouth.

Whether she was just oblivious, or a trouble-maker… lately she was honestly one of the most testing personalities I have come across.

Interfering and deliberately causing problems was not exactly an amazing trait to have, even if you’ve had a tough time. Why make other people miserable with you? 

”I was only telling you guys what’s true,” Rabia said as we all watched him disappear into the next room. “Who asked him to take it so personally?”

Ah, how guilty were we all of that? Saying something that’s true… using ‘Haqq’ as an excuse to say what we wanted to. Haqq spreads with goodness. Whatever happened to hurting people and their feelings? Whatever happened to guarding our tongues? What happened to the example of Sahaba-e-Kiraam… the Haqq of other people whether it was in person, or on social media? 

Hamzah had already walked out the room, escaping Rabia’s tormenting, while my mother-in-law turned to her angrily.

“He’s obviously upset about it!” my mother in-law said sharply. “It doesn’t matter what’s the truth. You’re still gossiping and causing problems. Why are you listening to his conversations anyway?”

Rabia shrugged and tossed her streaked ash-blonde hair.

Honestly, I took my hat off to my mother-in-law, who was staying for a few days with us while my father-in-law was in town.

Without exaggeration, she really was one of the most amazing humans beings I’ve ever come across, with the most stunning character. And I knew many people couldn’t say the same about their mothers-in-law but with such a wonderful person, who did so much for everyone and had an absolute heart of gold… I couldn’t help but count my amazing blessings.

There’s always a balance, isn’t there? With every difficulty, there’s an ease..  and supposed that with the tests that I went through before marriage, dealing with stigma and now with my new tests of fertility … Allah blessed me with the most amazing husband and in-laws.

My mother-in-law didn’t say anything further but I could see that she was hurt by the exchange. She really did like Mohsina and from what she said, she couldn’t make sense of why Hamzah didn’t try and work things out with her. To tell the truth, I wasn’t sure if anyone knew the truth. It was some silent secret that no one quite understood.

And everything else aside, although Rabia had her complaints, I had an idea that Rabia’s constant diversion was probably also due to her social media accounts that were steadily increasing continuously.

She had once explained how in today’s times, she needed a real account for people to see her, a fake one for her to see and suss out people and one secret one for spamming people to see how they responded. I honestly did not even get what she was on about, but I did know that before a guy would come to see her, she would do a full research and referencing, waiting for him to fail somewhere.

The thing is, being surrounded by digital company was just the same as actual company. The followers, the influencers and the entire content on any social media platform had its own source of ‘company’ and its own social vibe where people are accepted, cheered on, bullied or just plain down resented.

And as you get into it, the mind is bombarded with a digital system that we don’t even know has an immediate impact on our lives. The friends on there are the ones that you aim and aspire to be like, and who mould who you are too. These ‘friends’ are the ones that you not only follow there, but also looked at as a guidance to live your life.

Abu Huraira RA reported: The Prophet, Sallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, said, “A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.

Just like how Hamzah had made an effort to find good company, it was like Rabia purposely lost herself in digital worlds that obviously had nothing more to offer than gossip and worldly pursuits. And of course, when you are only exposed to that kind of environment, it’s only natural that you become affected, and your Imaan is not left without any mark on it.

And of course I didn’t want to judge her, but I did also think that a detox from all that phone rubbish might reform her entire personality.

Rabia sauntered away, probably to revert to whatever she was scrolling through a few minutes back, lost in her virtual company that was probably also making her a little more uncomfortable to be around at times.

It took a few minutes before Hamzah came back and warmed up enough to started talking again but I could see that he was purposely ignoring Rabia.

“You know… you hear about those stories where one incident changes your life?” He was talking to Imraan and his mother and I listened. Even his voice sounded different. More mature. Like he had grown up, overnight.

My mother-in-law nodded eagerly. Even Uthman was hooked.

“That was me,” he continued. “At first I was fighting it, like thinking… why must I waste all that time when I could be doing other stuff, you know? But that’s the thing I learnt. It’s never time wasted, right? And when Allah Ta’ala calls you for His work… how do you even fight that? When Molvi gave the talk on that 3rd day after we left, he spoke about a man who didn’t pray for seventeen years and then came back… I was already a goner. My heart was completely changed and I knew it. There was no going back from there…”

Wow. That was the kind of stuff I only heard about in all those inspiring Bayaans.

But it was no wonder, because conversation had centred around the latest developments on the Jamaat front, as Hamzah recounted his recent trips, he also expressed a really keen desire to join with Maulana Umar for some other trips. His entire perception of Deen and Jamaat work had changed, now that he he gotten a taste of it. The stories about people who were once lost, that Maulana Umar had told him about, anout returning and coming back to Allah with such amazing conviction was truly heartwarming.

For a minute, I wanted to tell Imraan that maybe our purpose in life needed to change too. That maybe we also needed to see all this, to be completely changed as well. Hearing these stories and knowing the effort that went behind it… how much people truly do to spread deen… well, it’s no use if you don’t act on it, is it? The sacrifices are real and not easy. To trudge through the townships, to go into jungles for Allah’s message… If only we could truly understand how it must be to sacrifice everything for Allah’s Deen…

”So what was Liyaket’s reaction when he saw you after the trip?” Imraan said with a smile.

I zoned back as I watched Imraan talking. Hamzah’s change was so sudden that everyone around him could barely believe it.

I wanted to hear that too. Liyaket had changed so much too, from when I knew him back when they were kids to now. It was amazing how one persons change can inspire so many others.

“I think he was a bit shocked,” Hamzah admitted. “But then again, he’s got much more exciting things happening is his life, yeah? A new member in our crew.”

Hamzah sounded just as excited for his best friend, almost as if it was a family member. I had heard from Imraan that they had just had a baby and I could barely believe it. It seemed like just the other day, they were two young boy’s, still in school.

”So how is the baby, anyway?” My mother-in-law suddenly said, placing her cup of tea down as she smiled almost dreamily, probably thinking about the newborn.

She glanced quickly at Rabia, who was still lazing on the couch and didn’t seem to be listening. The talks of Jamaat and Hamzah’s adventures didn’t seem to interest her in the least.

She had cut another slice of cake as they continued talking. She wasn’t  overweight, but it was like her fourth  slice and she was beginning to remind me of Fareeha, who was still quite adamant that she didn’t need to change anything in her life to keep her husband to herself.

“Jhee,” my mother-in-law smiled. “He was looking so excited the last time I saw him. I’m so happy for them both. I need to get them something nice. Maybe one of those swing things- remember how Uthman used to love that?!”

She looked at me and I smiled back, reminiscing over those early days when motherhood was new and my son was still a little baby.

“He used to fall asleep in it,” I grinned. “He was so tiny.”

I looked at my son, now lanky and tall like his father, full of life and energy as always.

“Baby’s going home today,” Hamzah said, sounding excited about it. “I’ll go and see him later again, when I go back to Jo’burg. Liyaket and his wife aren’t doing pictures. Before anyone asks.”

With digital photography a norm these days, you don’t get many people who don’t take pictures anymore. Amazing, though.

“Okay, but does he look like Liyaket or his wife?” my mother-in-law asked with a smile. “His wife is very pretty, Masha Allah. So sweet also…”

It was true. I had met her a few weeks back when Hamzah was here, and they had popped in to visit.

”Liyakets also very pretty,” Hamzah said defensively, with a slight grin. “And the baby looks like himself. Like a baby. How do people even tell who babies look like anyway?”

I supposed that was true as well.

Babies, huh? A new one comes into this world and it’s a new topic of discussion. And I loved hearing about new babies and the joy they brought to this world. My mother-in-law was exactly the same.

The last newborn in the family was Fareeha’s son and she didn’t even do her confinement at my mothers. Her two girls were driving her crazy, so she stayed at home, while my mother went to her for two weeks.

I sighed as I started collecting the empty tea cups. How I wished deep within my heart that Allah would bless us with another bundle in the family really soon. Even if it wasn’t mine… I was absolutely in love with the idea of anyone’s baby in the vicinity, on a permanent basis. I was broody and over-obsessed and I knew that I had to stop thinking and move away before I made myself all emotional again.

They were still talking about how little babies look like when they are born and I got up slowly, clearing more dishes, trying not to draw too much of attention to myself as I quietly slipped away.

My thoughts were a whirlwind of emotion, and I couldn’t quiet understand why I felt this way, when it was supposed to be an occasion of joy. And I didn’t wish anyone ill. I really was so happy for Liyaket and his wife. Anyone who was blessed with that miracle… well, it was really such a precious gift that Allah Ta’ala bestowed on those who were granted it.

So much of love and joy and happiness arose from the occasion of a newborn baby, and it made me feel so elated… yet also, I couldn’t help that overwhelming feeling that questioned why I couldn’t be the one to be granted that beautiful gift as well?

And of course, my Allah was well aware of what was in my heart… I knew that so well but the ache in my heart just wouldn’t ease.

A bittersweet wave of emotion washed over me, as I hastily wiped a stray tear from my cheek… trying to busy myself with stacking the dishes in the sink, barely even hearing Imraan as he came behind me, silently placing his hand on my shoulder and giving it a reassuring squeeze.

He didn’t say a word at first. He didn’t even ask. How he knew, was beyond me. Imraan knew me so well, that at times I felt like he knew me even better than I knew myself.

”Everything in its time,” Imraan whispered quietly, as I leaned back into him, swallowing back more tears. “HasbunAllaha Wa Ni’mal Wakeel… right? Allah has a plan for us, right? Come back to the table, babe. Uthman’s started a quiz and you have to be on his team. You know how he hates to lose.”

HasbunAllaha Wa Ni’mal Wakeel

Allah is sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of Affairs.

It was already a soothing for my soul.

I nodded, smiling back at Imraan despite the wave of emotion that I felt. He was honestly the most caring person I could ask for, and as he made his way back to the table before me, I found myself forgetting about my worries as I got psyched for the game. It was one of my favorite Islamic general knowledge games  and it was the diversion I needed for then, and as we argued and laughed over stupid answers and about who was cheating, I almost completely forgot about the troubles that had been on my mind for the past few weeks.

Well, almost.

The ringing of the house phone was the disturbance that Imraan and Hamzah were waiting for to take their opportunity for a smoke break, and I hastily picked it up, thinking it was my mother who usually called most evenings. She was also one of the few people who had the landline number.

”Hello, Assalamualaikum!” I said cheerfully, not even looking at the called ID as I spoke.

“Wa alaykum salaam,” Fareeha’s jovial voice said, and I instantly stiffened slightly as I heard it. “Howsit?”

It wasn’t that I didn’t like hearing from my younger sister. It was just that our last conversation had got me a little worked up and I really did not want to even put my nerves through it again. Her whole second wife search thing was becoming so big that she had even become a discussion on someone’s social media account. I mean, In all fairness, you don’t blame people for getting a little sensitive about the topic.

Also, though, which woman in their right man actively looks for a second wife for their husband?

”Please don’t tell me that someone else is talking about you now,” I said, getting panicky again. I knew that once a blogger or influencer gets wind of some  gossip, news just flies around.

”Can you just chill?!” she said, laughing as she spoke. “There’s no bad news. Only good vibes. Okay?”

I let out a sigh of relief. Boy, was I glad. The whole thing was just stressing me out unnecessarily. I didn’t want my sister to ever approve of this. Her doing this would open a can of worms that I didn’t even want to think of as yet.

I sighed, coming to terms with my feelings and thoughts and what had been upsetting me the most the last few weeks.

In simple terms, I couldn’t accept what she was saying because of the impact it may have on my life too.

As much sense as it made… as much as my heart was telling me not to be selfish… the main issue that I was dealing with – with not having any more kids- was that I knew that taking a second wife would be the decent thing for any wife to ever offer her husband.

But such was my heart that I couldn’t control.

I just could not seem to do it.

And yes, it was selfish that I didn’t want to say it and give my husband a chance to experience fatherhood again, but I simply could not even find it within myself to make that offering.

I felt like the most horrible person alive. I knew that Imraan loved kids to bits. I also knew that he would stop at nothing to try again… but nothing, even the treatments we had done in Jo’burg, seemed to help.

“So is the infamous search over?” I asked, hoping it was. I moved away from my in-laws as I spoke, not wanting them to overhear me.

“The search is currently paused,” Fareeha said, sounding a little tired as she yawned. I knew her kids slept early and so did she. “I didn’t realise just how women can behave, Sawls…. Like really, can you imagine? I’m offering my husband and still have to deal with twenty-one questions!”

I cleared my throat, not really sure what to say.

“Maybe he’s rethinking the whole idea then?” I asked hopefully.

Hmmmm,” she said thoughtfully. “I don’t know. But also, I think I’ve just been looking in the wrong places. I didn’t even think before this. I always thought that getting someone I don’t know may be better… but in the past week, I’ve been thinking that maybe, I might as well get someone who I­ do know. Doesn’t that make more sense?!”

I wasn’t sure what made more sense. Not much that Fareeha said made much sense.

”I suppose so,” I murmured. Whatever made her happy, really.

“You agree, don’t you?” She pressed, a little distracted as I watched the siblings now bickering over something else as they came back in while Rabia was seated at the table. I just hoped that they weren’t going to start about any sensitive topics again.

“Yup,” I said absent-mindedly, packing away some biscuits that were lying out back into their Tupperware.

“So I have the most amazing idea,” she said, sounding all excited over again, and just the tone of her voice got my guard up again.

Her best friend Laila and I could almost always attest to this kind of ‘feeling’ we get when Fareeha gets a new idea. Whenever Fareeha had amazing ideas, that she insisted that she carry out… almost always… they were the most deluded disasters that ever occurred.

I braced myself, and my instinct wasn’t wrong.

“I think I know just the person I need to speak to!” she said, sounding like she had an epiphany. “I couldn’t believe that I didn’t think about it before this… and late last night, it was like some kind of revelation that came to me out of the blue. She suddenly just struck me as a really great option..!”

“Who?!” I asked, itching to hear who this mystery person was.

”Your sister-in-law, Rabia!”

I choked on the biscuit I was munching on, almost dying from a clogged windpipe as I tried to loosen it with a sudden dash of water. Imraan had heard me gasping for breath and was watching me with an eye of concern.

“Sawls?!” Fareeha said, as I put the phone on the counter. I was just a little concerned about how this idea was going to pan out, and knowing that this was putting me in a  huge dilemma.

This, for sure, was going to be one meeting I had to stop from happening.

Mission Sunnah Revival

Sunnah of Speaking good and good Akhlaaq

Sunnah of good manners/Akhlaaq 

Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi Wa Sallam said: ‘There is no gift that a father gives his child more virtuous than good manners.’ (Tirmidhi)

N.B. Some translators of Hadeeth have translated the Hadeeth as, ‘A father gives his child nothing better than a good Islamic education.’








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