The Trade Off

Bismihi Ta’ala

Part 35

Someone once told me that you could have anything you want in life if you are willing to sacrifice for it. What they meant is nothing in this life comes without a price.

Before  going into battle, you have to know whats the trade off… and you have to know exactly how much you’re willing to lose if you stay in it.

Because too often, going after what ‘feels’ good means losing what you know is right… and letting someone in, means abandoning the barriers you’ve spent a lifetime building.
It means that sometimes, bit by bit, we end up losing ourselves completely, and that’s when the sacrifice can turn out to be more than we can bear. That’s when the darkness brings its demons, and the little light that may still exist in our lives gets completely distinguished.

And if we don’t stop it in time, to bring in the light of Adhkaar and Quran, then we will never cease being ‘lost’ because all we do is keep striving for a misguided purpose in other ways becomes our sole intent…

Snap. Snap.

No. Trash it. Not good enough.


And one more.


There we go. Perfect capture from the window overlooking the airport apron around the landing strip at sunset, and it barely even needed a filter.



Homebound. (What else for FriYay vibes, bruh?)

And of course, a plane emoji with a party one, along with the hashtags were a must, to show my dedication to the cause of hashtags…

And the pic was one of the most stunning captures of the South African skyline yet, and the reflex reaction was to post, caption and tag, before I even took in the beauty of the creation that was displayed before me.

It was, after all, all about me and my ego.

My Jo’burg, my city. My amazing corporate life. My, my, my. My.

A hard week out and about, means back home for the weekend, for my cool-off time.

I ignored the message that had flashed on the top of my screen from my mother as I disembarked, checking where I was and if I had prayed my Salaah.

It was the usual and I’d reply to it later, so Instead, as I headed towards the exit, my eyes settling on the newest message that had just come in.


Have you landed?

I tapped on it immediately and answered in the affirmative.

Meet me out front?

Of course, I had to prioritize. Ma’s message wasn’t urgent. I’d see to that later.

Because that was what I had made myself believe. I’d  only got here, to this point where I was so successful, because I’d re-prioritized my entire life.

And maybe the priorities weren’t exactly in the correct order, but that was by the way.

You see, the goal of this life is to realize the truth of Allah’s greatness and our own insignificance before Him. How small we are, and how big He really is. Our purpose is to take ourselves out of the center and put Him there instead…

But we live in a world that perpetuates the illusion of the exact opposite, because unfortunately, the drill goes like this instead:

What I ate for breakfast or bought at the shopping mall is news breaking enough to let the whole world in on. When we post a video or pic, be it the latest restaurant we are at, our skincare routine or my favourite Jimmy Choo, we wait. We wait for a pat on the back or some sort of recognition. And we are ever conscience of—and even compete in—the number of followers we have because the more we gain, the more entitled we are to imposing our opinions or others and slamming people just because we are virtually ‘popular’.

And the vicious cycles goes on. The more we do, the more we post… The more we turn to social media for comfort… the less happy we seem to be. No matter what, the game continues. You lose when you quit, and there was no way I was quitting.

I glanced at my phone, deciding to give it a breather as I made my way to the exit.

According to his itinerary and the airport board, which was mostly immaculately planned, Faadil had just arrived on another flight.

And since I wisely planned it so I had no baggage to collect, I made my way straight out to save time, tapping on iMessages as I glanced around me simultaneously, making sure I was still balancing my patented black heels perfectly with my new Saint Laurent laptop bag as I joined the corporate crowd, all heading speedily straight to the airport exit.

Buzz again.

Change of plans. Bumped into a colleague. Car is waiting out front. You take it and we’ll catch up later. x

Oiy. All that fixing my make-up for nothing.


I typed back, suppressing my urge to add how inconsiderate he was. No need to act desperate.

What time later was, I didn’t want to know. It was already 7PM and my brain was broken. Also, my back was killing me slowly too. I suppose a nice hot soak in the bath would be a good idea…

For now, back to the gram.

The announcements from the speaker above were drowned out as I scrolled through my feed whilst walking steadily through the sliding doors into arrivals. MUA, influencers and two school friends had posted, and I found myself double tapping almost unconsciously as I scrolled through all their posts.

Friday night vibes were trending but I was barely feeling it.

And like most Friday evenings, and as I glanced at men and women alike coming back from a day or week out of town, probably rushing home to be with friends or families, there was an inkling of twisted irony here, that I didn’t quite understand.

Although I had told myself that this was the way I had wanted it, at times it felt like I was living a life that wasn’t my own.

And everyone around me here, I was sure, had their own story. Their own hang-ups. Their own perks too. But right now, all that was on their mind was to get home, recharge for the two days that felt like two hours  before the rat race would start all over again.

I took a quick selfie as I wheeled my bag out the sliding doors, trying desperately not to spot Faadil, who was as stark as day, with his back to me, chatting easily to a female someone outside while I walked past.

Black Armani shirt. Fitted denim jeans. Polished leather shoes. His hair was always immaculately styled and I felt my tummy do a little twisted knot as I turned my gaze away.

A colleague? I wasn’t quite sure.

He probably didn’t even notice, but in one glance, I took in way more than I meant to, and body language was always a dead giveaway.

Lost. I felt so lost as I walked past, wondering not for the first time if maybe the path I was treading wasn’t exactly the wisest one.

But then again, I couldn’t forget the plot. The motive. It wasn’t about feelings. This was business.

I walked outside, stashing my phone while I stood patiently, scanning the cars for the office chauffeur driven one.

And as I approached the C-class Mercedes and jumped in, I was determined not to overthink anything. I enjoyed the ride, opening my phone as a remedy to dispel all inadequacies. As if on cue, @londongirlfromjozie had already double tapped and commented, and Maahira’s message had come just in the nick of time.

And since she had called it quits on the toxic situations  in her life, aka Hashim, I kind of related to her journey, because it was around the same time that things had ended with Hamzah.

And though it took a while to build that trust again, we had taken comfort in each other whilst we healed through the trials we faced, and Maahira’s new approach to life actually made me feel soothed but lacking in spirituality…

It’s like she was way ahead of me on this journey of reflection and reformation and I could barely keep up.

Our last conversation had unsettled me, to say the least.

@londongirlfromjozie commented:

Back home? Is it time u let the cat out the bag? 

@mostlymohsina: Mhm.

Maahira’s inappropriate response:

Or should I say – tiger on the prowl?

Me, switching to direct message:

Don’t be a hater. He’s a busy man. It’s not his fault he has to mingle with so many people.

She had heard, through the pipeline, that Faadil wasn’t exactly the conservative type and it made her super wary.

@londongirlfromjozie via direct message:

He has to, or chooses to? It’s one thing if he’s single and mingling but…..

She left that in the air but it had the desired effect. That was a question that was worth investigating, but I wasn’t going to fall for her suspicions with no solid evidence.

Evidently, she wasn’t thrilled about the recent developments on my relationship front with Faadil, and she didn’t mince her words.

What she didn’t understand was that emotionally and financially, I was indebted to him. Throughout the roughest patched over the past few months, he was the only person who had proven to be of any consolation. He had, literally, come to the rescue and sorted everything out, when I felt like I was in way over my head.

To me, it all made sense. The proposal that he had put forth was a strategic move that wouldn’t only benefit the company, but would also serve to reinforce the foundation of it. The financial benefits, of course, were noteworthy, but not the sole aim.

Soon, I would break the news to Layyanah and then to my parents, and I did expect them to be happy for me. I just needed time to wrap my head around it, and to finally come to terms with the fact that it was time to settle down, but for real this time.

I opened my phone again, not able to shake the feeling that her questions were bringing on.

Do you think my parents will go psycho on me?

I typed in our private chat.

I wished I could go psycho on u.

Of all people, I didn’t expect Maahira to be this way.

Haai. But why?

I typed quickly, not sure why she felt so strongly about this.

The next thing I knew, Maahiras name was flashing on my phone and I slid to answer the call, putting the phone to my ear without saying anything.

“Because any work-based relationship is trouble,” she retorted bossily as I answered. “But your boss is the most trouble. And I know his type. Did you even tell Layyanah? What about isthikhaarah?”

I knew Layyanah would have asked me the same thing, and that was precisely why I was fretting about telling her.

Maahira and Layyanah had actually been in contact over the past few months, and I had no idea until I had started chatting to Maahira again.

Maahi had asked her for a sincere apology for being such a rat in the past and things kind of took off from there. It was cool that two of my best girls were friends.

”I didn’t tell Layyanah and you better not open your mouth,” I warned her.

“I won’t,” she promised, and I believed her this time. She knew that if she had to betray my trust, I would never forgive her again.

For me though… I just needed all the toxicity to leave… so I could feel at peace with everything.

I swallowed as I thought about Isthikhaarah. Lately, I’d been feeling so disconnected. I didn’t even think about that. About connecting with Allah. About seeking His help.

But if everything was pointing towards this as a solution, won’t it be the right thing for me?

“You do understand that if anything goes wrong,” she continued. “His first revenge tactic will be to sack you.”

“But Faadil will never do that to me,” I said confidently.

He knew how badly I needed this job and what an asset I was becoming to the company. Of course it wouldn’t get bitter. Besides, he wasn’t the only boss here.

“Just remember, no one is irreplaceable,” she shot back.

I bit my lip, trying not to explode on her.

Was she actually saying that I could be replaced by some other half-wit who probably can’t even do a portion of slavery that they get away with allocating to me?


Listen, I have to go in a bit,” she said, quickly, as I heard someone in the background. “Some girls are here from the office. Will you just speak to your parents already? I thought you went to the farm last weekend.”

Faadil also called my home a farm. Most city people did, and now that Maahira lived in London, she was jumping on the bandwagon. I found it just a tad bit derogatory.

As if they were some kind of royalty just because they had a city address.

”I just went to see my favourite little guy,” I said, thinking of Zaid once again, instantly forgetting all the worries that were hounding me. “l’ll speak to them soon. And Layyanah too…”

I had spent an entire afternoon with him while Layyanah and Liyaket went off to do some shopping. I had been seeing him almost every weekend when work time allowed.

And I smiled as I remembered his adorable little double chin and the cutest single dimple that just got me every time.

Even through everything that had happened recently, I honestly felt like he was the one reason I had to keep myself sane. He was undeniably a reason to smile after a long and tiring week at work.

And since I was seeing her so often I knew that I should have already spoken to Layyanah about Faadil, but I just couldn’t seem to sum up the courage…

“I’m waiting to know the outcome here,” she concluded. “I need to know when to plan my trip back home. Let me know as soon as you tell them.”

I cut the call after greeting, feeling uneasy for some reason, now that she was talking about official stuff.

And now this was actually happening, of course.. I could only imagine that it would very possibly be a high profile type of weeding. Faadil only mingled with the rich and famous.

Although I was all in for the fancy favours and trending decor… a part of me secretly always wanted a small and intimate Nikah, and I knew that wasn’t exactly on the cards for him.

I sighed, not trusting myself to say anything more. I’d had no one to talk to about this, so I shoved it out of my mind for then, hoodwinking myslef into believing it was all cool for now.

Deception. It’s like I was caught in a maze that had no way out.

Another message from my mother came through on my phone as I we reached Sandton, and I figured it may be a good time to call, while I bided the time before I’d be home on my couch with a bag of popcorn.

I thought that it would be the usual mother-like nagging, but this time though, there was something else.

”Did you speak to Jameela?”

And of course, if I had the decency to reply, I would say no, I didn’t.

In fact, I hadn’t spoken to my sister in over two months. I mean, we acknowledged each other when we met, but there were no more FaceTimes or calls that would pass by between us intermittently in the week, like back in the pre-high-flying days.

And I wanted to on multiple occasions but I didn’t make the first move. The tension was subtle but it was very much present. I did have a feeling that she might have been upset about the way I live my life but I didn’t sweat it.

My mother had good avoidance tactics. Instead of answering she just said that Jameela will be in contact, and cut the call just after telling me that she was hoping they’d see me this weekend.

EIsh. If they were expecting me I knew that I had to let them know not to. I really just wanted to chill and take it easy. Maybe visit Layyanah and baby Zaid. See Faadil under our stipulated conditions. Other than that… I wasn’t sure and I was feeling pretty selfish.

And yes, at this point, It had been a helluva couple of months. Nightmarish memories still haunted me but I was finally feeling settled and accomplished and being away from home and the constant hounding of my family was helping too.

The guilt. Why couldn’t she just understand? I just needed the peace to deal with myself.

I breathed out as I reached home, opening my Instagram to see the reactions on the last post. 360 likes already, and it had barely been an hour.

And ‘peace’ was what I was fooled into believing I had, as I opened my empty apartment, kicking off my heels and dumped my bag at the front.

No matter how classy the hotels were… How delicious the breakfast had been… How luxurious the business class seats were…. Home was still home.

Later, I would read my Salaah. For now, all that mattered was my ego and feeding my desires. Whipping up a cup of my favourite coffee, and planting myself on my chill-out sofa was the perfect remedy after a long week.

Tomorrow, I would be more productive. Do a little bit of cleaning, and dusting. I didn’t realize that souls needed cleansing too.

For now, I just needed a diversion. Maybe I’d even message Lesley for a coffee date. Find out whats going on with her after Nikah. Perhaps even draw some much needed inspiration and hope she would give me the go-ahead with Faadil.

I shoved everything else out of my head as the red and black logo flashed on the screen. For now it was Netflix and chill, so there I was, procrastinating endlessly with my head in my darkened clouds, prying my eyes open as I lay on the couch.

And I was seemingly lost in a parallel world, on the brink of zombie mode,when the buzzing of the phone on my lap jolted me awake.

And still half expecting it to be Faadil who had said he would see me later, but as I studied the phone in my hand, I realized that it wasn’t him at all.

And for a minute, I wasn’t sure what to do, as I saw my sisters name on the ID, after weeks of no contact.

And while I deliberated on whether or not pick up right away, the call cut and she phoned again, almost immediately. There was no doubt that it had to be pretty important, so I shoved aside my toxic mentality for a minute, pressed the green button, not really thinking further than my pride as I greeted, trying to sound as natural as possible.

“Assalamualaikum,” Jameela’s voice said, really faintly as I struggled to hear. It was like a mixture of bad signal and utter chaos, wherever she was at the time, but my ears were ringing the the racket. “Mohsina, sorry, you have to…”

Her voice trailed off as I struggled to decipher her words as I heard sirens blaring on the other side of the line, wondering where on earth she was at this time of the night.

“Jameela?” I said, sitting up as I was practically jolted from my Netflix-induced slumber, her voice sounding almost foreign to me as she spoke again.

“Mos, you have to come now,” she cried, her voice clearly on the verge of tears again.

She sniffed loudly as my heart beat incessantly in my chest, assuming every worst case possible scenario in my head.

“What’s happened?!” I asked, guilt immediately overwhelming over me as I thought about how I’d put seeing off my parents for so long. “Just tell me, what’s going on? Is Papa okay?! Nani?!”

Lucid thoughts were hounding me. About Nani. About how my priorities had gone completely out the window during the last few months.

When was the last time I had even seen my family properly?

She was silent for a few seconds, but I could hear her fighting back emotion with intermittent noises that I could barely understand as she tried to formulate her next words. Panic was rising within me as she struggled to get it all out.

My heart was racing with terrifying trepidation as I awaited her next sentence.

”It’s not them,” she managed to blurt out, a few seconds later. “There was a huge accident here on the main road. “A truck… a car.. truck shot the robo…”

Oh shit.

I swallowed hard as the anxiety rose within my pulsating chest.
The thought of losing anyone I knew, even vaguely, was traumatic…

“Mos, I’m so sorry…” she said, her voice riddled with emotion as I heard her breathing intensify.

Somehow , in the back of my mind, I was well aware that the blow was going to be unparalleled, but the moment between assumption and execution is always the most prolonged.

And it was all in a matter of a few minutes, but that’s how it always happens, doesn’t it?

Every now and then, we have to look up. Awaken our senses. Begin to taste the reality that surrounds us every day, while we continue to be the losers, caught up in our poisoned worlds.

Because every now and then, when the races we compete in are of fame and success, and when day-to-day becomes a mere means to an end, when the darkness begins to overwhelms us… a great trial comes forth to rescue us. To take away from what’s been consuming our souls. To eliminate the darkness that engulfs us. To heal our hardened and heavy hearts.

Sometimes Almighty Allah, for the child who is not yet capable of signing the deal, makes the deal on our behalf, to reveal to us a greater truth. The truth that comes with enduring the trials we face, patiently and with full trust in the immense reward that awaits the righteous…  To vie with one another in good instead, to pay whatever the price it takes, and barter this world for an eternity of bliss… where we will forever dwell within.

…when we are competing for the lesser, it was the one certainty that will never cease to exist..

The last of it is musk, (The divine fragrance of Paradise, the seal thereof which will be Musk)

So for this let the competitors compete.
(Surah Al Mutaffifeen)

“Its Layyanah ,” Jameela whispered, breaking down the barriers of my hardened heart, as she uttered her next words…

“Mosee… She’s … gone…”

Sunnah of Giving and Receiving gifts. 

In an attempt to create love, especially if they may be rifts or some kind of problem… the Sunnah of giving gifts is always a perfect remedy ❤️

Rasullulah (Sallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “If anyone receives something from his Muslim brother, without asking for it, he should not reject it but he should accept it is his sustenance (rizq) which has been sent by Allah Taála.”

(Fadhaail e Sadaqah)

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

18 thoughts on “The Trade Off

  1. Nooooo💔💔💔 I wasn’t expecting this😱 I wasn’t expecting anything. I’m shook. I hope though this is the stepping stone to mos finding her way. I can’t believe things are gone so far with that idiot. Mos run while you can. He’s just playing with your vulnerability

    Liked by 5 people

  2. The end of your post dear authoress, reminds me of a talk ml Kajee gave about 2 weeks back , ut just stuck with me and seeing it in this post just rehighlighted it’s depth and the love that Allah SWT has for us.

    As for mos, nooo , how could she choose faadhil and allow herself to fall into his traps

    Please not Layy, her transformation and everything has been the most inspiring and to think she’s gone😭😭😭😭, sad but also that’s how reality of life is…

    Shukran for the amazing post as always

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This was quite a shocking post. I just can’t believe that Mohsina is ready to marry Faadil. And why in the world did he propose? What does he get out of it? Soooo sad about Liyaana 😢. MashAllah you have written so well. JazaakAllah khair for all the awesome posts!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Ohh . That should be an awakening call for mosee. So beautifully penned down mashallah. How a person gets so ghafil from akhira once attached to dunya . So true only detachment from dunya can make us attach to our Allah. Jazakallah khayr sister.

    Liked by 4 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s