When things get a little Intense

Bismihi Ta’ala


Part 75

We’ve all had intense moments. Moments of extreme emotion. Moments that came with so much weakness, human frailty, and pain. Moments that may have become filled with exhilaration and exhaustion, and sometimes, maybe even extreme ecstasy.

Every moment is different. Fleeting. A quiet morning walk after the rain. A heartbreak in the midst of a storm. A damp wind that smells like home. A fleeting burst of emotion.

Even when the odds are against us, when our back is against the wall…

We remind ourselves to hold onto hope. Tawakkul.

This moment will never last. Every moment, will slip away.

And that moment too, had slipped, but my mind was still replaying it, the way I remembered my entire world being rocked with the revelation that Mohsina had broken to me just a day before.

It had taken me a day to finally approach Maahira and ask her all the questions I wanted to. I just couldn’t face Mohsina as yet. I didn’t have the words to say what I really wanted to.

Not until I knew exactly how I was going to help her.
How I could or what I would do… I had no idea. I just knew that I had to do something.

“I can’t believe that she was going to marry him.”

It was the first thing that I had said to Maahira when she picked up the call.

I was sitting cross-legged on my bed, overlooking the endless view of the farm greenery, taking a little comfort in the beauty of the horizon on that clear summers day, still feeling the same way I had felt the day before- like I had lost a limb.

The background noise faded as I imagined her walking away from the area where she was.

It was after five in London but I knew better than to assume that Maahira worked a nine to five. She hadn’t gotten where she was because she pulled the basics. Both Mos and Maahi had pushed and stretched themselves so thin that I sometimes wondered how they even had energy for their demanding social lives.

“How did you find out?”

Her tone was flat. Tired and weary.

”She did,” I said simply, not even bothered to sound apologetic about getting straight into the ugly business. “Yesterday when she told me everything else. About the fraud case. And about her plan to off her marriage, which is why I’m calling you. First, tell me: Did she really know that he was involved in fraud?”

It had been on my mind the entire night. I couldn’t stop thinking about everything Mohsina had told me. The divorce. Faadil. About how she knew he was up to something.

About how this would ruin her and kick up old dust. It looked like it already did.

“She just thought that he was cheating,” Maahira said softly, and I heard her exhausted sigh after. “I told her that she needed to keep an eye on him. She insisted it was business, and they had an ‘arrangement’. She didn’t seem to believe it when she’d heard the rumours that he was up to something else too. He’d done a lot for her. Supported her emotionally too. She had been desperate for cash at the time and had a lot on her mind, other than his womanising tricks.”

I raised my eyebrows, looking at myself in the dresser mirror, as I backed up against my wooden headboard. I had pulled my hair up into a bun but a few stray strands blew around as the breeze sashayed in through the hallway window. I couldn’t help but flinch at Maahira’s words.

He had been there for her when none of us were in the picture. We had bailed on her, and Mohsina felt alone.

It wasn’t our fault, I reminded myself. She had pushed us away.

“And she didn’t care?” I pressed, my eyes narrowing at myself as I leaned back. ”Like… cheating was okay for her?”

Cheating. Faadil was cheating on her and she didn’t even bat an eyelid.

I closed my eyes and shook my head, shocked at what Maahira had just revealed. What kind of sick relationship was she even setting herself up for?

And all for money. For the promise of a good life.

It comes in the Hadith that this world would dupe us so much that we would do anything for it. We would become fools, reduced to something so low, in its pursuit.

It fools us into believing that if we barter everything for this Duniyaa, we will get contentment. The truth is that only Allah… only the knowledge of Deen and the actions that bring us closer to Allah can bring that.

One of the most beautiful traditions of the Prophet (Sallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) captures this concept perfectly. He said: “Whoever makes the Hereafter his preoccupation, then Allah places freedom from want in his heart, gathers his affairs, and Dunya (worldly life) comes to him despite being reluctant to do so. And whoever makes Dunya his preoccupation, then Allah places his poverty in front of his eyes, make his affairs scattered, and nothing of the Dunya comes to him except that which has been decreed for him.” [At- Tirmidhi]

As expected, Maahira already had answers for me.

“Jamz,” she said seriously. “The corporate world is a brutal chase for pomp and pleasure, filled with trails of deceit and manipulation. The big guys do what they want, without consequence. They do what they need to just to get to the top. This is a classic case of the big guy using the little guy.. well, girl in this case. He had wealth and status, and he promised her the same. That’s all that mattered to her.”

”That’s disgusting,” I said, feeling hot with anger and annoyance.

How could she? How could she do that to herself? She betrayed us. She betrayed herself. How could she lower herself to that kind of level… just for money? Money.

”Don’t judge her,” Maahira said, and I could hear her shifting her approach, like she wanted to prove a point to me.

”How can I not judge her?” I scoffed, shaking my head again. “Would you do that, Maahi? Would you?!”

She laughed, but it was a humourless one.

I couldn’t help but feel like I was so naive. Maybe there was way more out there about the world that I had to learn about.

“You don’t want to know that answer.”

I breathed in and glanced at my bookshelf, itching for a distraction.

The rapid beating in my chest increased significantly. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know. It sounded like Maahira had a story to tell and the silence already spoke volumes.

“I was so caught up, that no one could have saved me,” she said, her voice dropping even lower. “It was a pure miracle that Allah Ta’ala put guidance into my heart before I did one of the worst things anyone could do. Before I broke up someone’s marriage, and compromised my own respect.”

”Alhumdulillah,” I replied softly, remembering the fall out that Mos and Maahi had a few months back. It was coming back to me now.

How she had suddenly changed her life had made me realise that whilst Mos had been plunged headfirst into a situation, Maahira had really done an amazing job slowly morphing into someone who I looked at with something close to admiration. Even her social media vibe had changed, where she stopped taking selfies and flashy posts and now documented interesting places, food and goods she loved in London.

I sighed. It was all I could manage before she spoke again.

“There comes a time when you realise that everyone will leave you,” she continued. “And when everyone leaves you, and you’re all alone… it’s only Allah that can come through for you. I had to see the light before I was destroyed by the darkness.”

On point. She was so right. Sometimes we forget that Allah can forgive all our sins, even when we’re not willing to forgive  others. Sometimes we forget how merciful Allah is, when we refuse to show mercy to others.

I understood but I still couldn’t say anything.

”Tell me what you thinking. Tell me you’re not thinking the worst,” she said, and I could hear the concern in her voice now.

I sighed. Again.

“I’m thinking that I can’t believe that she was prepared to accept anything just for that idiot. Who knows what else went on.”

“Jameela, listen,” she said quietly. “That’s life. We get involved with bad people. We make the wrong choices. We cherish someone who turned their back on us. Who hurt us. Who broke us. That’s life. It happens. We move past it, we make Tawbah and we get up again.”

“But Hamzah doesn’t deserve all this,” I argued, the anger igniting once again as I thought of all the opportunities she had to come clean. “I also think my parents should know what she’s planning to do and why.”

“You cant be making these decisions for her,” Maahira said firmly. “It’s her past and you cant tell anyone about this. They may know some stuff but not all of it. This is stepping directly into a problem you have nothing to do with.”

Maahira’s voice was serious, and tears burning the back of my eyes as she said it. It was a warning and I wasn’t sure why but I was so upset.

Sometimes we’re so quick to put our hurt and feelings above everyone else’s. Sometimes all logic flies out the window when emotions get involved.

Sometimes we forget the simple rule of leaving alone that which does not concern us. Maybe this was something that I had to just let her get though on her own.

”But why?” I said as I regained my composure. I couldn’t understand why I should.

I didn’t want to listen. I was angry with her. My sense was clouded. I was angry that she had been with Faadil. Angry that she had let this happen. Angry that she had abandoned us as her family for that period of her life, without even giving us a heads up. Angry that everything was coming back to break everything else apart.

“Mos was doing what was best for the family,” she said softly in a pleading voice. “She wanted to help your father and keep you guys out of the mess. She felt… responsible. You know your sister. She thinks that it’s her job to take care of everyone. Except herself.”

I breathed in and sat down, closing my eyes momentarily, a little overwhelmed by what Maahi had just told me. Once again.

Here i was thinking it was Mohsina that was bad, but in fact, I too was so messed up.

I breathed in, feeling the anger dissipating.

She wasn’t the bad person here. Yes, she had sinned but she had tried to fix it.

She did it all for my father. I mean, it wasn’t like I didn’t know but I didn’t think that she would want to marry someone to secure my fathers safety. I didn’t know that everything that happened was because of him.

“I just don’t like how this is all turning out,” I said, pulling at the hem on my top. “Im angry in some ways but I still wish that I could just help her somehow. Maahira, they can’t get divorced. It’s ridiculous and so horrible.”

”I know,” she said softly, sounding hopeless. “Those two have been through the worst and they’re so good together. They can’t just… die…”

I nodded.

“What can we do?”

There was silence for a bit before she spoke again.

”I think we just have to support them,” she said softly. “In what they choose, together. Apparently he’s got contacts who can work on this. I’m hoping that this will prevent them from… you know. She mentioned that there’s a Zubair guy that he’s been friendly with and who can help… you know him, right?”

My heart did a little leap as she said his name. It wasn’t a question.

Of course I knew. And I know that she knew too. Mohsina had probably told her that she didn’t want me involved with him.

She had gotten her wish. There was no way that Zubair would ever look at me again. And no way I would look at him.

Ever. Again.

“I know.”

Of course he had contacts.

I knew that him and Hamzah spoke. So did he and my brother, and the stories that M Husayn had first told me were quite something. At first I had thought that it was all fantastic, until I found the weapon stash.

My brother was fascinated by his past, but with everything we knew now, it kind of confirmed that Zubair was, in fact, some kind of  undercover mafia member in the past.

And as much as I tried to off my feelings for him, I still couldn’t imagine him being that kind of violent person. He kept the weapons because it all belonged to him, but the operative part was that it was his past and no one could find out about it.

That’s said, at least we didn’t have to worry about him murdering us in our sleep.

”I know it’s a lot to digest,” Maahi said, her voice kind now, as I heard some noises in the background. She sounded like she was back in the office now. “I know you’re worried about Mos, but I truly believe that her and Hamzah have the real thing. He’s going to make it work, whatever it takes. If anyone can get through to her, he can. Just make Du’aa, Jamz. Truly, you don’t know what it can change.”

My resolve was already strengthened because I knew that she was right.

They did have the real thing. And above everyone here, she did value him.

Through it all, I found myself wishing that Layyanah was around. She would know just the right words to say. The right kind of comfort to give.

What do you do in situations where there seems to be no way out… where every path looks the same? What do you do when it feels like you’re in a never ending maze that has no end?

My heart felt like it sunk to the ground, and while Maahi ended the call, I couldn’t help but still feel a little overwhelmed.

Seemed like Hamzah and Mohsina only had one hope, and wasn’t it just so ironic that it came down to Zubair? The whole thing was just so bizarre…

And despite my newly implemented disinterested stance, I knew that Zubair had been a little scarce and the low down that Maahi had given me explained why I hadn’t seen him around recently. It was weird that he was actually involved with helping my sister, and yet he was so averse to me.

I had been tracking him solely for the motive of avoidance. And of course, that would mean that he had probably consulted Papa about it too, and yet my father had barely mentioned it.

It wasn’t that I minded. It was just that I was hoping it would help Mohsina and set everything right again. I wished that it was all that easy. I wished that it could go away.

And with that hope, I found some peace. It wasn’t that I didn’t ask. I couldn’t not ask. I was worried and stressed and I really needed to know what was going on, but the dread of knowing the final verdict here was killing me.

It helped that the coffee shop had been a little busier and getting everything sorted out with Ma in the kitchen that week was keeping me busier than usual.

I tried to shove Zubair’s whereabouts and Mohsina’s problems out of my head for periods of time until the evenings came and it overwhelmed me all over again.

My parents were as unaware as ever. I mean, they knew that something was going on, and Mohsina had a ‘situation’, but they barely knew what drastic measures she was going to take.

She had sworn me to secrecy until she met with the lawyers and all I could do in the meantime was make a fervent Du’aa that everything was going to work out for her. It’s and that her marriage would be saved through it all.

My heart had taken enough of an emotional rollercoaster, and making sure the coast was clear on Friday as I stacked new boxes for take aways and filled up on coffee cups as my father cashed up, I couldn’t help but feel an emptiness that lurked within me. It felt like I was waiting for something to go off, or some kind of bomb to explode.

I wasn’t the paranoid type, but I still wasn’t sure which would happen first.

”I know it’s much less than it’s worth, but how’s about a coin for your thoughts?”

My father was smiling at me as he watched me, a wad of cash in one hand and a coin in his other. He had probably been watching me for quite a while, and I had barely even noticed.

I grinned back.

”It’s supposed to be a penny, Papa,” I said, winking at him.

He smiled and tossed me the coin.

The last time we had spoken properly was after I came back from London.

We had agreed that everything happens for a reason and Allah Ta’ala most definitely has a plan that is better. We had agreed that we wouldn’t bring the subject up again and that Zubair’s times and tasks would be allocated differently so I wouldn’t have to see him much.

I knew that Papa blamed himself, but I really didn’t. I just believed that this was the way it should be.

“Im just thinking of Mos, Pops,” I said with a small smile, letting him know that my thoughts were not on Zubair like he thought. “I miss her.”

There was a flash of a frown before he smiled, and for a minute, I thought Papa actually knew more than he was supposed to.

I loved my father. A lot. I was always the one to seek comfort in him, and turn to him if I was ever in a fix. He had been my support and my comfort, and I knew at any given time, he would come through for me.

But for Mohsina, I understood that it wasn’t ever like that. Papa and her had a different kind of bond. Mohsina relied on no one and confided in no one. They would have conversations, sure, but I knew that the forever fiercely independent Mohsina barely bore her heart to anyone.

To think that Papa knew something would be ludicrous. Right?

“You should talk to her,” he said again, a certain concern in his voice as he said it. “Does she know about, erm, the thing…”

My father cleared his throat and my cheeks reddened just at the way he raised his eyebrows and nudged his head toward the door.

This was so awkward. Having the conversation about a boy I had lost my sense over with your father was way more embarrassing than I thought. I wanted my money back.

“She knows,” I said, trying to hide my embarrassment. Never mind we’ve been skirting around it awkwardly too.

“And errr,” my father continued, digging in the back of the till and pulling out more money, probably concentrating on avoiding eye contact. “After, erm… You been okay?”

Oh my word, this was so mortifying. Also, the way Zubair had become ‘erm’ was quite original too.

“I’m fine,” I said, clearing my throat too and checking on the serviettes.

This conversation was becoming a little too intense for my liking, but the truth was, I was fine. I wasn’t as heartbroken as I had been… nor was I feeling as bulldozed as I had been a week ago.

Things might still be a little uncertain but I knew that all the duaa I had been making would come through for us. The Duaa of Musaa (AS) was definitely the reason why my faith had been unwavering. The reason why my heartbreak no longer felt so raw. Even if it wasn’t exactly looking up yet, I knew that soon there would be a little light.

“As long as you’re okay,” Papa said quietly. “Can’t upset the coffee cart again and change all of that.”

I frowned, a little perplexed by his words. I got his message, despite him stopping the apple for coffee. Clever trick.

But still.

My father was quite confusing. He had such a roundabout way of saying things, and at times it felt awkward to even ask him what he was talking about.

Now was precisely one of those times.

“I was talking to him, erm, last night,” he said hastily. “He came back quite late. With Hamzah.”

It didn’t take a brainiac by now to figure out who ‘erm’ was. And I had to pretend to be at least a little shocked that he was with Hamzah.

“Ah, I see,” I said, raising my eyebrows slightly. Papa’s brow was still furrowed as he turned to me.

“I wasn’t going to tell you,” he said, looking as guilty as the lion that ate the mouse. “He said he’s just helping with Mohsina’s case.”

It was no sweat. I wasn’t affected. Despite the racing heart, it’s as all cool.

I nodded meekly.

My father knew that Hammonds had kicked up old dirt. He knew about the money Mohsina had borrowed too. What my father didn’t know was the extent of Mohsina’s involvement with the main perpetrator.

Perpetrator. It felt good calling that good-for-nothing that.

”I’m glad he can help,” I said, trying my best to talk without emotion.

Never mind the turbulence brewing within.

”There’s one more thing he asked,” Papa said, now looking at me, as if trying to read me. “And I think Hamzah has something to do with it.”

”What’s that?” I asked, now slightly confused.

I mean, I knew that Hamzah and Zubair spoke before this too. I had seen them a conversing a few times outside, while Hamzah went out for a cigarette.

What I didn’t know was that while my sisters marriage was on the brink of collapse, my own marriage would be so tactfully arranged.

It was one of those intensely unexpected moments that would bring so much more than any of us expected. Maybe it was me. Maybe it was too surreal. Maybe I just felt everything so intensely.

I didn’t know that it may just be the solution to everything.

Well; almost everything.

“He changed his mind,” Papa said, almost as if he was holding his breath, waiting for the final verdict here. “Of course I will have to ask your mother, but I thought I’d let you know first. See if you okay with it after, you know, erm….”

Yes, I knew ‘erm’. And I was still highly embarrassed but now I was also almost holding my own breath, while I waited for Papa to finish this moment that was bringing on the most intense kind of anxiety.

And as expected, he didn’t fail to deliver.

“He asked if you would be okay with meeting him.”

Dearest Readers 

I’m so sorry for the delays. Been a busy holiday, but still trying to keep posts going. Please keep this weak author in your Duaas. As the new year comes upon us, let us spend the night in abundant istighfaar and Duaa. 
Though most of the work is on break, keep in mind that we are Muslim first.

Remember, keep safe, and keep it Halaal peeps. Peace y’all. Till next year.


Much Love, A x 

Mission Sunnah Revival

Sunnah of Thinking Good about others  

We’re so quick to assume bad things about people, even when we have no idea what’s the real story. Thinking the best about others is part of the Sunnah of Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) and is a great way to give us a positive outlook and always be good to others.

Someone asked Ali (RA): “How much was the Sahaba’s love for the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam)”

He replied: “By Allah! To us The Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) was dearer to us than our riches our children and our mothers, and was more cherishable than a drink of water at the time of severest thirst.”

SubhaanAllah… what perfect imaan they had… May Allah enable us to practise..💕
















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When Instinct takes Over

Bismihi Ta’ala

Part 63

According to a well-known proverb, it’s been often said that the darkest hour is just before dawn.

That just before the sun finds its way out, the gloom that may descend may feel all-encompassing. But very often, we find the darkest hours of our life, followed by the most defining ones. And while I was waiting for the sunshine to kick in at that particular time in my life, I was definitely feeling as if the gloom was unending…

And of course it was due to the fact that since the previous week, my entire world had been turned upside down, and almost like instinct, I was clamming up inside, and building walls around me, retreating further into my own world.

And I was probably being a tad bit dramatic, but what had happened had affected me a lot more than I had ever anticipated. It was the most defining turn on events, a cutting edge kind of development that was waiting to explode into something very dangerous.

And I know what you’re thinking. My mind was consumed with worry but… It wasn’t about a guy. It was just, well… if Papa lost Zubair, well… who else would he have?

I couldn’t bear to ever break to him the truth of what I saw until I figured out exactly what was going on.

And during that week I had seen Zubair a few times… caught his eye on more than one occasion purposely this time… and although the unruly and romantic part of me would have loved to believe it was because he actually and finally realised I exist, I knew very well why his sudden interest in me had piqued.

He knew. And he knew that I knew, and suspected that I was probably the one that had ‘broken into’ his room. What was blocking the doorway was some kind of code blockage and when it was penetrated, he immediately suspected someone had been in there. He had figured that it was me, and he didn’t know how to ever ask me.

And in anguish, so unfolded the next week of my life…

“Jameela!” Nani was literally screaming in my face the following week, watching me as I tried to force spoonfuls of Weet Bix into my mouth, scrunching up my face as the sound almost burst my eardrum. “See how you are acting! Still sitting here in dreamland! Imagine what that boy will think if he sees you like this.”

My mind was miles away and Nani was already counting out the savouries for the afternoon and there I was, still wearing my butterfly pyjama bottoms with some mismatched top, and I honestly could not even care less.

Hopefully, he’ll run away, I wanted to say, but I didn’t because I knew that it wouldn’t go down very well with Nani.

Not only would she bite my head off, but she would probably also serve it to doctorsaab when he came. With some chutney on the side.

“Nani, there’s still time,” I mumbled, not wanting her to start stressing me out so early, getting up so unenthusiastically that she had no choice but to furrow her brow and look at me angrily.

Nani was the type who could not relax if she knew a big event was going to happen in the next few hours, not only would she be hyperventilating way in advance, but she would literally force everyone else to hyperventilate with her. For her, everything, from the place settings to the dust on the passage balustrade (in case someone decides to check) had to be sorted in advance.

The truth was, I wasn’t really stressed. Yet. Besides, I had plans for the morning already, and it didn’t involve the proposal that afternoon. I wasn’t the type to sit and dwell over something that could happen or build scenarios in my head. I was more the type to stress a few minutes before they came were due to come and act like a complete idiot in front of potential in-laws.

In the meantime, I would be expertly diverting my mind on more productive things, bonding with Cocoabean, reading the new book Nusaybah had lent me last on the breezy hammock under my favourite tree and just waltzing around the farmyard like I had no care in the world.

And even though I seemed all put together and relaxed, my mind was actually tirelessly alive with questions after seeing my uncle and him suggesting that London trip again. I had managed to keep Zubair out of my mind for the last day or so but after my uncles chat, there he was. Plaguing me again.

The truth was, my Mamajee was leaving in two weeks and Nusaybah was also going to be back in the UK by that time.

After this proposal and everything else that had happened recently, I just thought that this trip would be the best thing to divert my mind and attention.

And a diversion was precisely what the doctor ordered.

After all the drama last week and making Mohsina leave the South Coast early, I had to eventually message and tell her halfway that I wasn’t exactly ready to see the guy that day and the meeting had been postponed to the following week.

And I knew it was for the best, because I just couldn’t do it, and I was extremely apologetic but to my surprise… when Hamzah and Mos had actually come to visit us that week, she was in an extremely jolly mood.

And I thought she was going to press that issue about Zubair, but all she did was ask me if everything was okay, and if Zubair had been around recently and with Hamzah being in close proximity and literally not being able to take his eyes off my sister, I supposed she was distracted enough.

It was weird how they were never really romantic when they first got married, but now, the two of them looked like they had just come back from some kind of honeymoon getaway destination. It was a warm reminder that love can most definitely grow on you and although I was happy for them and the fact that Hamzah was actually seeming more in love with my sister than I had ever seen him before… I really couldn’t focus on anything besides what I had seen in the store room that day before.

I don’t know how I kept silent for so long. Or maybe, I had an overwhelming instinct to see this doctor guy and then run away to London, before I thought too much about the whole thing… and then deal with it all when I got back.

The fact was, it had invaded me. My dreams. My entire being. I was hopeless and could think of nothing else besides the fact that the two ideologies of Zubair that I had now in my mind were so contradictory.

All I could picture were all those weapons. Guns. Pistols. Revolvers. Dozens of them. A case full of daggers. Actual, silver daggers, as if we were in some prehistoric movie. And then a sealed suitcase of what looked like some kind of treasure chest, and I honestly did not want to know what was in there.

I shook my head, realising that I couldn’t still be obsessed with him after this.

I mean, who on earth even finds this stuff even appealing? I wasn’t some kind of forlorn damsel in distress. It was sick. Right? Whatever it was. Whatever his intention was here.

During my time wondering what on earth was going on, and convincing myself that the guy was way worse than I could ever imagine, before I knew I would have tell my father about my findings, I had come to three conclusions that may have been true:

1. The weapons belonged to him- a crazy gunman who went out every night and murdered people in their sleep. Why he hadn’t murdered us as yet was a mystery though, especially with Nani’s erratic outbursts. 2. The weapons were stolen. He was keeping some mafia peoples stash in our room, and protecting their crimes. It wasn’t impossible that he still had mafia connections.
3. He was an arms dealer who did this as his business on the side. And a killer. And probably a drug lord too.

But he was poor, and aren’t arms dealers rich?

It just wasn’t making sense and I wasn’t sure which option was the most disturbing.

I didn’t even know that I had it in me to laugh about it but there were times that I did, because it was just so bizarre.

I breathed in, realising my mind had been completely transformed that week from my springtime buzz to something a little more intense and completely bewildered.

Also, I didn’t exactly mention it to anyone but the book Nusaybah had lent me wasn’t quite helping either.

And I knew that Nusaybah obviously did not mean for me to sit and obsess over the story like I was some fool, but as I sunk into the book, devouring the thrilling tales, it felt like I was stuck in some prehistoric performance, where in my mind, there were the heroes and villains and battles were playing out before me.

What I didn’t quite know was who was who. Was Zubair a prince or a hero? Or was he, as Mohsina always predicted, a dangerously alluring villain?

And okay, it was gifted to her by someone, but what got me most was the stories of the most amazing Mujaahideen of Islam, and I supposed that it was just a coincidence that the Sahabah named Zubair bin Awwaam (RA) was mentioned in the book, and immediately caught my interest.

It was both thrilling and intoxicating, and it made me realise that as one continues to search through the books of our past, one would come to realize that the most influential people to have lived, were none other than the beloved companions of Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

Motivated by none other than Rasulullah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam himself, their lives tell a tale of honesty, trustworthiness and the ultimate in self-sacrifice. It was unparalleled.

Thus, their noble qualities and outstanding character earned them the title of being the greatest and most successful group of people to have ever walked upon the face of the earth, after the ambiya’ ‘alayhimus salam.

What I had also learnt was that Zubair bin Awwaam (RA) was one of those people who was of the ten whom Rasul salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa Sallam testified would be in paradise and one of the members of the consultative committee. He embraced Islam as a young man, at the tender age of sixteen, and he was tortured because of It.

It was narrated that Zubair’s (RA) paternal uncle used to roll him up in a mat and hang it up, and then he would light a fire underneath so that the smoke would reach him…. Such torment to hold onto the gift of Islam.

And then came the part that struck my heart like a dagger in itself.

The first person to unsheathe his sword for the sake of Allah was Zubair ibn al ‘Awwam (RA).

Hz. Zubair (RA) was brought up by his mother (the aunty of Nabi (ﷺ)) since his father died when he was very young.  Hz. Safiy­ya (RA) acted very carefully to educate her son. She sometimes beat him to prepare him for life. When some people saw her beating him, they said, “You break the heart of your son. You will destroy him.” She answered them as follows:

“I beat Zubair not because I dislike him but because I want him to become wiser, to be a man and to become a hero that will defeat armies and return with booty in the future.”

And as I read the story, I could honestly say that I was shocked at the parables that existed between this Sahabah and this young man who actually worked for us. Maybe my mind was running away with me but it was something that met me with complete surprise.

And even after everything, I knew that I had to shove it out of my head and approach the proposal with a little more optimism that day, hoping that this guy would come and sweep me off my feet completely.

I wanted to be healed from the hopelessness. To be cured from this silly infatuation.

Perhaps a doctor was exactly what I needed.

And of course, Nani had no doubt about it too. The house was buzzing since early morning, as I made my way up to my room to get ready after being yelled at countless times by Nani.

By the time Mohsina and Hamzah arrived with Zaid, dressed in a little suit-style romper that made me want to literally bite his cheeks off, I was actually feeling pretty hopeful.

“How are you feeling?” Mohsina asked with a smile, while she did my make up carefully, giving me a slightly smoky eyed look and some subtle warm tones on my skin.

I looked quite good, even if I said so myself. I had slipped on the pretty cream dress she had brought for me, turning to look at myself in the mirror as I spun around. I did hope that he found me passable.

I was actually getting a little more nervous as time egged on.

”I’m okay,” I said with a nod, trying to calm myself. “Actually, more than okay. I mean, the odds that he will be the one are pretty much minimal.”

It’s what I had convinced myself. Mohsina didn’t know much about my state of mind and though she had suspected the little crush I had previously, me seeing this guy today had put all her suspicions at bay.

I was trying to put on the role of the demure little girl and I was succeeding quite well.

“Just be you,” she said with her bright smile, as we watched the two cars pull into our driveway and gave me a wink. “And I’ll remind Nani not to be herself…”

I grinned as she shook her head, watching Nani floundering around even though everything was already as perfect as it could be.

Nani was abuzz with full kitchen duty as she got the eats ready. The all time favourite bajias and legendary samoosas were in preparation and Hamzah and Muhammad Husayn were very invested in the sampling until that point.

It took them a few minutes to get on their serious faces and go to the front to invite the visitors in, and by the time I entered the room, I could feel all eyes on me and honestly just wanted to run away.

Meeting one, the one with the family, wasn’t exactly what was expected. All I was doing was minding my own business while I munched on a Samoosa, trying to be as polite and obliging as possible, when Nani suddenly hissed to me from the door.

Now you see, this was the first time I was actually doing this thing. When Mohsina had her Samoosa runs, I was a lot younger than what I was then. Plus, I wasn’t exactly the type to notice stuff. And though I was trying to ignore Nani and her persistence, it was when she didn’t relent when I politely excused myself to see what she wanted, and she wasn’t on the least shy to say it.

”Why you sitting there like queen?” She hissed at me as I entered the kitchen. “You must serve tea to them. They will think you are lazy.”

She shoved the tea tray in my direction as I picked it up, trying to be as least sloppy as possible and hope that I didn’t make a fool of myself.

And I know what you thinking. That I can’t carry a simple tea tray. But honestly; it wasn’t even about that. Carrying a tray of hot drinks to a room to serve to people who could possibly be impacting your future in a significant way was extremely nerve wrecking.

I could literally feel them sizing me up as I did so, probably trying to ascertain if I was good enough for their darling doctorsaab.

When they’re all eyeing you out as if you were some kind of circus performer… well, that was something else completely.

Samoosa run nerves were no joke, and while the granny, mother and sisters all spoke animatedly as I successfully served the tea, I was honestly already feeling like my nerves were completely frazzled.

Well, until Hamzah knocked on the door to say the doctorsaab was waiting in the small lounge for me, and there I was again, a bundle of erratic nerves, trying to steady my legs as I walked past them and tried to ignore Mohsina’s penetrating gaze on me.

And as I entered, I wasn’t sure what I had expected, but I did expect him to be handsome. I just didn’t think that he would look quite like how he did. Good features. Tall. Slightly broad shouldered. Almost as if he was too handsome.

And as I walked into the room and Mohsina pulled the door slightly closed, he lifted  his gaze and stood up, I was certain I saw a look of surprise on his face.

What surprised him, I wasn’t quite sure yet…

”Salaams,” he said with a wide smile, and he reminded me a bit of Ken. Like, Barbie Ken. “I’m Muneer. Great to finally meet you Jameela. I heard a lot about you.”

I wonder what his Dadi had been telling him.

He seemed rehearsed. Or maybe he was just very experienced with meeting girls. But it didn’t matter.

This was just weird. I felt like I was on a blind date. Not a Samoosa run.

He was looking at me openly, as I looked down and took a seat, before he probably realised what he appeared like and then quickly looked away. I mumbled a reply, trying to be as audible as possible.

“How are you?”

The question was natural and I couldn’t help but feel the need to be honest. Not a bad start so far. There was hope.

“Nervous,” I said with a tiny laugh. “Sorry, it’s my first time and I haven’t really met anyone before this…”

Oh gosh, tmi.. I sounded stupid.

He raised his eyebrows.

“You can’t be serious,” he said, his smile faltering as if he didn’t believe me. “You haven’t spoken to a guy before?”

Did he think I was putting it on? 

“I mean,” I started, looking down and feeling like my cheeks were burning. “I haven’t… don’t really go out much and…”

Oh damn, why was I sounding like a nutcase. This guys intimidating gaze was disturbing.

“I meant, I don’t quite know how this whole thing works …”

His smile was open and a little staged. Maybe he was just a good actor.

“Me neither,” he said, his gaze softening slightly. For a minute, he seemed nice-ish. “But I mean, it’s hard to believe that you don’t have guys all over you. I didn’t believe my grandmother, when she told me that you were pretty. She says that about a lot of girls and she’s always wrong.”

I widened my eyes as I glanced at him, and he spoke again.

“You’re beautiful,” he said smoothly with a wink, and I couldn’t help but raise my eyebrows at his open compliment.

Oh. Emm. Geeee.

Was he throwing me up?

Smooth. Too smooth. These were the guys I needed to look out for.

Did he know my father was outside?!

Here I was, stuck on an unassuming farm in the middle of nowhere and this guy was from a different, unhinged, kind of world.

”How old are you Jameela?” he asked, and I wondered why he hadn’t asked his grandmother that question.

“Nineteen,” I said softly, still not able to fully formulate words.

I was still extremely nervous. Even more so, realising this guy wasn’t. My heart was beating erratically and my mouth was dry and parched, as if I didn’t drink water the whole day. I wasn’t even sure what to think of him.

“And what about you?” I managed to say.

“Twenty six. I’m ancient for you,” he said with a grin. Shame. He seemed okay. And then he continued. “But I don’t mind the age gap if you don’t…”

Okay. Why was this guy sounding so suggestive? Or was it my imagination?

I didn’t realise that I was literally backing away until he looked at me and cocked his head.

”I promise I won’t bite,” he said with another alluring smile.

Mohsina didn’t warn me about this. This was a bit much, even if I say so myself. I wasn’t like her, all used to attending board meetings and conversing with men so easily. I didn’t quite like the attention either. I just wasn’t used to it.

Also, I needed to ask him questions else it would seem that I was just waiting for him to compliment me.

”It’s okay,” I said automatically, and I moved back a little on the couch to put more space between us.

Okay, it wasn’t so bad. I couldn’t figure this guy out yet.

My hands were all clammy and twitchy as I looked down at the carpet, feeling him staring at me.

He was just being nice. Right.

“So you must be busy in the week?” I said quickly, changing the subject. “What do you do for fun?”

He smiled easily. He seemed so calm. Like he met new girls every day. Maybe he did.

”Plenty of things,” he said easily. “I like to keep myself fit. When I need to unwind, it’s gym and swimming, sometimes cycling. Now and then there’s a night we go out with friends, but that’s only when I don’t have to work the next day. If I have a wife, that will all change of course. I want to give her all my free time.“

Perfect answer. Almost too perfect.

He was great. Really nice. Attractive. Fair, like white fair. Which I personally didn’t think was great because I was about 4 shades darker than him (maybe about 7 with the sunburn).

Okay, superficialities aside… I was just uncomfortable with this situation in general because it was something new…

“And what about you?” He asked, looking at me intently for a minute. “What do you do for fun?”

”Well,” I started, trying to make it sound a bit more interesting. “I read. A lot, and anything I can find. Help Papa with the coffee shop, and sometimes I spend time with our uncles horse-“

”Ooh, a horse?” He cut in with an impressed nod, and then broke into a low, rumble-like chuckle. “Funny story. One of the docs at the hospital have a horse. He’s a junior, right, not like the position I have… where I’m head of the department, but he’s a great guy. So the other day he invited me to come riding with him, you know… as a hobby. I think that I’ll take him up next time. We can have something in common.”

I paused, forgetting what I was saying before that. Errr. Okay.

”Ah yes, you’re a doctor?” I said, and it was about the only thing I could think of saying.

Like I could forget.

I mean, although I was really trying to keep myself with the best character here but I was no Sahabi calibre. Patience was wearing thin. But I had to try or Nani would be done my throat.

I was supposed to be the one talking, but somehow I couldn’t even get back to that.

I wanted to ask him more, like about Mosque and his Salaah but he didn’t even notice the questioning look on my face.

Just nodded proudly, straightening up as he edged a bit closer to me. The whiff of his perfume was a little bit intoxicating, even as I tried to move away.

Talk about Zinaa of the nose. I looked down as he spoke, feeling a little more self conscious.

“I’ll be specialising next year,” he said seriously, almost as if it was the natural thing to do. “So it’s going to be a tough few years. Medicine is no walk in the park. I’m going to be straight up and say that I need someone who will be okay with being on their own for long hours.”

”Oh,” I said with a nod, taking in his rough stubble around his chin.

No beard. Not even the beginning of one. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that. I was waiting for him to ask a question but he didn’t seem interested. Instead, he carried on speaking.

He seemed like he was very much into himself. Possibly even more than Nani was.

“I applied for gynaecology and obstetrics. That’s where the money is, everyone says,” he said with an obvious, doctor-like look.

“I’ve already helped to deliver a few babies and I kind of like the whole idea of being a part of something so life-changing. It’s just that it’s a good few years and a lot of intense studying , but you’re pretty young so that’s definitely a bonus if we hit it off. We can wait a few years and see what happens from there.”

“Wait a few years?” I said, blinking. “For kids, you mean?”

It was a little awkward but an important question and I could feel my cheeks burning after I said it. This guy didn’t get embarrassed for a thing though.

“I suppose if you want kids,” he said easily, putting his hands out, long fingers splayed, not finding the question awkward at all.

“Actually I think I would like a few rugrats.”


I loved kids.

“Maybe 3 or 4,” he continued, as if he was counting consumable expenses. “Your sister has one right?“

”She does,” I nodded, getting ready to say how much I loved Zaid even though he wasn’t my biological nephew but Mr. Full-of-Himself was already onto the next part.“He’s cute I suppose,” he said with a neutral look. What? Zaid was more than cute. “And I know you didn’t study or anything so you’ll be looking after them and I won’t have to stress about the details, so it will all be cool. Have as many as you want. I’ll be earning the big bucks.”

This guy was something. Also, was he patronizing me because I wasn’t educated beyond matric?

“I think parenting is a joint effort,” I said with a small smile, trying to hide my annoyance. “Both parties have a role to play.“

I didn’t want to raise kids without a father around, even if he was a doctor. Anyway, I wasn’t even thinking that far.

”Women are in charge of the nitty gritty,” he said confidently, holding his hands up as if dusting them clean. “Dad’s a doctor too. My mother did everything on her own. You know how it is when you’re the man of the house. Can’t exactly tell them I can’t make it because my wife is throwing a tantrum. A woman must know her place.”

Okayyyyy. So now he wanted me to be like his mother? 

I got what he was saying.
But why was he sounding so arrogant when he said it? What about some respect? I had a feeling that his father had probably drilled this into him.

He was so matter of fact when talking, then I honestly felt like stalking off.

But of course I couldn’t. Smile and bear it.

He was still droning on about his valuable experience in the field and how he had gotten this amazing post overseas and turned it down because family was important, and for a minute I kind of blanked out there, wondering why I was finding this all so shallow and boring.

And then suddenly, he was showing me his new weird orange sports watch and the topic was changed and he went on about something completely unrelated.

Was this guy on something? He just seemed… a bit, erratic.

“…and you know how it is with mind and body nutrition, you have to be on top of it…”

Wait. Why was he coming closer? I could see his watch from where I was.

“…. and so i told the guy, you know, I have to have like thirty full minutes of cardio and thirty minutes with weights ‘cos these babies, they don’t come for free…”

He was now in my face and pointing at his biceps and I couldn’t help but swallow nervously as he literally yanked up his shurt sleeve and flexed them in my face, forcing me to stare at his veiny, ripped arms with disturbing interest.

Steroids. He was definitely on those. No question about that.

Awkward was not the word.

I have never been so mortified in my entire adult life.

“… so I told him my famous line that I pull out for all the members. Nothing comes easy, you know, hard work and determination is the key…”

And as I sat there with my cheeks flaming up heatedly and him going on and on, before it took me a few seconds to notice that though I had been on one end of the couch and he had been on the other… he was suddenly now a lot closer than he had been before, showing off all his muscular protrusions as if there was nothing else in the world that mattered to him.

Or me. Or whatever.

The guy was obsessed. With himself.

Before I knew it, he was still edging closer and closer and if he didn’t stop, I would be all squashed up in the corner of the couch.

He was still going on about how demanding specializing is (at least he put his muscles away) and finding the time to keep himself the way he was, (as if he was the most alluring man to ever walk the earth). He was animatedly describing the processes of training and weight lifting and the only thing I could think of doing before he came any closer was grabbing the plate of bajias from the table and shoving it in his face, hoping it would distract him.

It was a last resort. Almost as if on instinct, my hand was now somewhere in midair, armed with the almost full plate of Nani’s famous bajias.

To say he was slightly taken aback was an understatement.

Honestly, I never thought I would see the day that Nani’s bajias saved the day.

His nose crinkled, almost in disgust, as I looked up at him and swallowed, hoping he would at least take one to shove it in his mouth so he could find another use for it besides talking.

Instead, he just raised his eyebrows and looked at the bajias in distaste. I always knew that one day I would be eternally grateful for Nani’s love and support through this whole process.

“I don’t eat those things,” he said with a frown, shifting about a meter back as he raised his perfect eyebrows at me, looking absolutely appalled.

“Weren’t you listening to a thing I said?”

Just for laughs…. We’ll catch up on how this ended, but for kicks… how would the readers like it to end?!
Always love hearing from you guys
Much Love
A xx

Mission Revive a Sunnah: Avoiding Suspicion

Many times, messages, post and videos go viral on social media. It creates a frenzy of discussion and debates and often leads us to jump to untrue conclusions.

Giving people the benefit of the doubt is part of the Sunnah. We should also avoid reposting anything that we don’t know the source of or which we cannot verify.

Abu Hurairah (Radiallaho Anho) reported that Nabi (Sallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said something to the effect: “Be aware of suspicion for suspicion is the worst of lies.”

May Allah Ta’ala save us from being suspicious and harbouring ill thoughts of others.

Someone asked Ali (RA): “How much was the Sahaba’s love for the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam)”

He replied: “By Allah! To us The Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) was dearer to us than our riches our children and our mothers, and was more cherishable than a drink of water at the time of severest thirst.”

SubhaanAllah… what perfect imaan they had… May Allah enable us to practise..💕
















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