When the Heart Matters

Bismihi Ta’ala


Part 64

Life isn’t perfect. It never will be.

Everyone has their own hang ups. Their unsaid fixations and obsessions. Their flaws, and their faults that make them imperfect. Their little scars that have made them bleed and caused others to bleed too.

But with matters of the heart, it doesn’t really matter. People can change you. You can make people change. And as we go through in life, we come to learn that everyone we meet, all we experience in life, has a purpose… and it is we who choose whether to realise that purpose or not.

The thing is, it takes us a while to realise it, but every single thing, every challenge, every experience in our life was only intended for one purpose: to bring us back to our origin. Everything has flaws. We love what we love and reason doesn’t always enter into it. But we need to realise that if somewhere along the way, we’ve given our heart to the world, we have to take back the keys, and we have to reclaim it once again.

And with that…. I was still battling.

I had many hindrances. My past. My career. My sins. Social media was threatening to absorb my time again, and with being home with no Hamzah and only Zaid for company, I found myself turning to my phone more often.

But the heart, when it turns… it changes all that. So this time, I caught myself in time. I knew that I had to do something to stop it.

Diversions. I had to keep myself busy. Occupy my mind. Do whatever it took to keep myself off it.

And though I tended to find myself with feelings  caused by neurobiological withdrawal from the sense of being constantly connected… I knew that the only solution was to plunge myself into more productive tasks, like making dozens of mini cheesecake casings and considering doing a full online cakery to keep myself busy.

It was an idea that I was toying with for a while and it was my perfect opportunity to actually carry it through. I just had to have a proper plan.

And with the series of ups and downs in the past few weeks, things between Hamzah and I were actually smooth-sailing, for the first time since I could remember.

”Did he tell her about his new air fryer that he bought himself for his birthday?” Hamzah whispered, as we sat in my mothers kitchen and he stirred his coffee. “And his journal that he keeps a record of everything he eats for the week? I hope she knows what she’s setting herself up for…”

I whacked him lightly on his arm as he said it, trying to stifle my own laughter.

Poor Jameela. It wasn’t in Jameela to complain. She wouldn’t even say anything bad about him, except that he wasn’t really into traditional food. That part was a shocker.

I think the worst part here was telling Nani that Doc was a complete fail (and that he rejected her bajias)… especially when she still carried on as if the sun shone out from his behind…

“Sooooo handsome,” Nani was saying with an excited look, as Hamzah watched her almost running her hands together in glee. “And he is head doctor there, you know? Our Jameela will be the perfect wife for him, I just know it! She knows how to cook, how to bake, she will see to everything. Not like our Mohsina who can’t even fry samoosas properly.”

I narrowed my eyes, but ignored Nani as I saw Hamzah strain himself not to laugh. I was glad at least someone found her funny, because I certainly didn’t.

And okay, I know that I burnt the samoosas slightly when I was helping Nani earlier on, but she was just being a hater.
Papa still really enjoyed them.

Ma was murmuring to herself and I could see my father standing silently in the corner of her room and watching my sister, almost as if he knew her better than anyone else.

And then… There was Jameela, meek as ever, looking out into the meadow as the sun set over the grassy meadows, almost as if she was lost in a world of her own.

She was a such a dreamer that I actually could not even imagine what went through her mind at times. Her head was always in the clouds and her thoughts about life were exceptionally… romantic.

What she wanted from a spouse was probably exactly what I didn’t want. I wasn’t quite sure who would catch her eye, but I also had a feeling that once she fell for anyone… she would probably go all in, with zero defenses.

I caught her eye as I watched her pick up Zaid, fiddling with his little topee as she took it off and placed it on his head again, smiling as if she barely heard what Nani was just saying.

“He looks so cute with this on,” she said, hugging Zaid as he gurgled into his fist. He was sucking as if it was his lifeline and I had a strong feeling that his teeth were going to start cutting at any time. That was going to be fun.

And as much as I didn’t like it, Zaid had just been growing so fast. It was like I had just blinked and suddenly he was this gurgling baby who was already starting to crawl. From the mere roll, he was now crawling along on his body and it was only a matter of days before he would be moving around and probably driving me batty too.

“The topee?” I said, grinning as I turned to my sister again. “Hamzah insisted he wears one out now, so he gets into the habit of it as he gets older. I feel that he’s still a baby, but it can’t do much harm now, can it?”

I smiled as I watched him, feeling sad for a minute as I thought of Liyaket and Layyanah, who would miss every milestone that he would conquer… My heart ached momentarily as I smiled at Hamzah and caught his eye, wondering if his mind was also thinking along the same lines…

“Of course not,” she said quietly with a distant look in her eyes, snapping me out of my own thoughts. “And I know no one is perfect but I love that Hamzah has that… awareness… you know?”

I narrowed my eyes slightly, leaning close to my sister as she hugged Zaid again.

“So it’s a no?” I whispered as I sidled up to her, pretending that I was helping to pack the biscuits away. I could see from her expression that my sister was far from interested. “Doc?”

She had barely even looked at him when they were leaving.

If his mother and sister weren’t so stuck up, I might have actually pushed Jameela to go for it, but I didn’t really want her to marry into a family who was so laa dee daa. All they spoke about was brands and overseas trips, and I could definitely tell that his sister was another version of Rabia, except that she was married with two kids.

Instagram was her absolute lifeline.

“It’s an ‘I don’t know’,” she said with a grim expression. “I want… I mean… I need someone who knows where he comes from. Who knows his Rabb and loves Him. I want someone who I want my kids to take after… someone who I can talk to and listen to me and who sees into my heart, you know? I need someone who knows me here.

She touched her heart and I smiled, suppressing the urge to tell my sister that those kind of love stories only exist in Utopia.

Nevertheless, I knew what she was saying. She didn’t just want someone who isn’t just good, but someone who doesn’t count all the good things he does. Someone who not only respects you, but someone who who would go the whole mile. Someone who inspires, who sees her for who she was, someone who made her smile…

It sounded idealistic, and that my sister was… but I knew that she had one thing that she found most important.

She was after someone who would stop at nothing to please Allah… who had Him in his heart… someone who showed her what real love was always meant to be like.

How can you ever fall in love with someone if they don’t love Allah first…

The heart matters. It matters a lot. That feeling… the inclination you feel towards someone who moves you in a way that only Allah’s love can inspire, is something completely unique.

The thing is, she was right. You had to have someone who was going to have that ‘awareness’. With Deen. With family. With kids.

If you compromise even on smaller aspects; who is to know the quality of Deen your kids will acquire. If you’re not giving them Deen, you’re giving them nothing at all… They were only the greatest gift if they could benefit your Aakhirah. What use if not for Allahs sake?

When a person passes away, his deeds come to an end, except for three:

1. Continuous charity 

2. Such knowledge, from which benefit is derived. 

3. A righteous child, who supplicates for him. 

(Muslim Shareef)

A righteous Muslim childs good deeds is the most vaulable gift to be a source of reward for the parents. Parents are encouraged to guide their children, towards righteousness, so that they can gain maximum benefit, when they are most in need of it… and that will be after their passing.

And just like her, I also wanted that. It’s what I had wanted from Hamzah too.. and I saw that in him.

And as I watched him, I could see Hamzah and Nani chatting like two metres away while Zaid had already been taken by mother, who was rocking him off to sleep in a corner of the room.

“Was it that bad?” I asked my sister, not wanting Nani to catch me prying. She won’t approve of me bad-mouthing the perfect catch.

“He was flexing his biceps at me, Mos,” she said with a shake of her head, genuinely in shocked as I watched her recall it.

I wanted to giggle at the image in my mind but supressed it.

”Ah, Jams,” I said, smiling slightly. “You’re so pretty and sweet… I could only imagine that he was trying really hard to impress you. Can you really blame him?”

She looked troubled as she smiled, shaking her head.

“Impress me?!” she asked, her voice still low, but as if she couldn’t believe he would want to impress her. “In the end, he told me he thinks it all went well and I should come see him at the hospital sometimes, and now I feel bad because what if he really proposes… I don’t know…”

With guys, you just never know. Sometimes they play along and act as it they’re so interested and just change their mind at the last minute. I’ve had friends who waited through an insane amount of Samoosa runs to finally find the one who actually proposed. It was a seriously complicated process that I just could not understand…

Jameela was so lovely, sweet and innocent that I could honestly see the anguish on her face as she remembered the guy who she had met, probably thinking about how it would ever work.

And now that I looked at her, Jameela, with her softness and her natural femininity, needed someone who was to bring out the best in her. Her heart was on her sleeve and her head was filled with flowers and fairy tales and I hated the thought of anyone who would burst that illusion she had of life. She was wholly consumed by moments in the open fields, of life on the edge of reason… having this ideology that everything that happens is with true purpose that living for each other was a rule of nature.

My sister was simple enough but she had fairy-tale illusions. I wasn’t exactly sure what she needed but I did know for sure that she didn’t need a self-absorbed guy who treated her like an accessory.

And she would never say it aloud, but I figured that this guy was not exactly the most fitting match for her. I didn’t want my sister to feel uncomfortable or forced and as Hamzah caught my eye, he leaned forward to tell me to be easy on her, seeing the complicated look in her eyes.

I watched my sister as she packed some biscuits back in the container, biting her lip nervously as she did it, almost as if her mind was on something very concerning.

“Jamz,” I said to her softly, moving away from Hamzah as he went over to show Muhammed Husayn something on his phone. “Nani will understand. There’s no such thing as you have to say yes.”

She flashed me a quick smile and nodded.

“I know,” she said quickly, and I could sense her tension ease.

I smiled at Hamzah as he squeezed my shoulder lightly, my heart feeling a surge of gratitude as I looked at him.

“I’m just going out for a smoke,” he said softly as he felt around in his pockets for his cigarettes. “I’ll see you after Asr?”

I nodded, smiling at him as his hand slid over mine lightly, before he headed out again. Nothing was perfect, but I could positively feel that the last week had been good for us. Really good, in fact.

It sounded almost fairy-tale like, even to myself, and I also felt that it probably had to do with the fact that for the first time since we were married.. we had a whole week to ourselves.

I had emailed Faadil with the proof of payment for all the money I had owed him, but what I got from him was a reply saying that he wasn’t sure why I had sent it because he never asked me for the money back. Not wanting to continue contact, I left it at that and didn’t think much of it, knowing that it was settled and feeling so much better now that I didn’t have to keep lying to Hamzah.

With everything on a better footing now, somehow it felt like I was giving more of me, instead of putting up the usual walls that I always built. With Hamzah, love was something that I had just begun to understand. Anyone can love a thing because. But to love a someone despite, is rare and perfect.

That’s what mattered….

And that’s what got me. Despite everything, The thing with Hamzah was that he knew my secrets and he knows my flaws but despite it… he wasn’t holding it against me. He had a good heart. He still made me feel safe. It was a foreign feeling to me, because I had always been the one to protect everyone else.

Whether it was my father, my siblings or my entire family… for the first time in my life, it wasn’t just about financial security. Hamzah made me feel protected, made me belive that that no-one could ever harm me if he was there.

And I knew it sounded stupid, but even that scared me. I was scared to let go. Scared to give it my all. Even during the moments I wasn’t scared, there was still something within me that held me back, made me question, stopped me from just letting go…

And even though we had stumbled a bit, with the rockiness over the past few weeks, for some reason, I felt like things were getting better. We were getting closer, talking more, sharing moments with Zaid and stealing any minute we could find for ourselves, just to be together and give a little bit of each other… to each other.

I knew that Hamzah had been taking his grandmothers advice to heart when she told him to keep Rabia and I apart. Rabia had been shipped off to the farm and boy, was I glad that everyone refused to bring her back, even though she was insisting that she could not cope and needed to see Zaid. And although I felt a little guilty, I also knew that it was for the best.

With Rabia’s interference, there was always a hindrance or moments when our privacy was invaded. Moving into the new place also helped tremendously, and it was all the more reason for her to demand Zaid’s time.

And as the week passed by, busy minding my own business, with Rabia’s messages to both Hamzah and I about when she could come over, she was still in my mind.

The thing was, I was a pretty forgiving person, at most times. I didn’t really hold a grudge against people, especially when they may not know exactly what it was that they had done.

And because I was feeling a teeny bit bad for her, as we sat over supper towards the end of the week, I couldn’t help but ask Hamzah about her… not really expecting my thoughts to drift to her past and her marriage, but curious nonetheless…

At first, he shrugged and looked at me, almost as if he didn’t want to talk about it.

“I wont say anything,” I assured him, holding his gaze as he looked at me. “I just want to understand her better.”

I really did. And as I watched him, I could see him mentally relenting, as he twisted his long fingers.

He looked troubled as he frowned and then sighed, almost as if he was battling with himself over the words to use.

“It was an ugly divorce,” he started slowly, scratching his chin as he said it. “At first, everything seemed good. He seemed normal enough. Rabia… She saw some messages on his phone about five months after they were married.”

“Messages?” I asked curiously, hoping he didn’t mean what I thought he did.

“He had someone else, and his parents knew it… right from the start,” he said with a sigh, and it was obvious that it had hurt him.

Ouch. I physically grimaced as he said it.

“I think she loved him way more than she should have,” he continued, shaking his head. “I’m just glad that there were no kids involved…”

I was silent, digesting what he had told me. He was right about the last part though.

Kids made everything a lot more complicated. Who knew that better than I. Zaid was the reason that everything in my life changed. But that was a good thing…

”So is he married now?” I asked, my eyes widening. “To that other woman?”

Hamzah nodded, and a slight pain flashed in his eyes as he said it.

”I think that’s what gets her more,” he said with a shrug.

I raised my eyebrows, wondering at what point I would have found out if he hadn’t told me. That was hurtful.

“How did she take it?” I asked carefully.

I felt bad for judging her and always getting annoyed with her, but I also understood that her reasons for being the way she was kind of made sense. That must be awful.

“For a long time, all we saw her doing was cry,” he said softly, his honey-brown eyes gazing straight ahead as his grip tightened on the glass that was in front of him. “You couldn’t even talk to her properly. She was completely…”

”Heartbroken?” I finished off, my eyes softening as he nodded, taking a sip of his water and looking at me. The heart was something so fragile and gentle, and sometimes you just can’t contain how much it feels until it’s too late.

“Yeah,” he replied, breathing in shakily, anger flashing in his eyes again. “He was also substance abusing. When you’re on stuff, then it’s just an ongoing spiral downward. So it was like one thing after the other, and Rabia.. well, before marriage… Rabia was actually a really good girl. She didn’t even have a phone. The complete opposite of me… you know.. I was starting my articles, after final year… messing around while she was the epitome of piety, if you can believe it.”

Rabia? I couldn’t. He glanced at me and continued.

“She even wanted to go into Niqab but then he came along… they met through a friend’s brother… and he didn’t want her to and so she just changed her entire role and dream to fit his expectations…”

Oh my word.  I never thought I would say it… but poor Rabia.

And how on earth did she even end up with an idiot like that?

And no matter what had happened. How she had provoked me. Even if she really did intend to cause problems between Hamzah and I, I really wanted to be a bit more understanding towards her.

Sometimes I wonder how that’s fair. That she was so good and pure and then her whole life and marriage gets turned upside down. I knew that Allah had His plan for her… but I was so glad that I didn’t take off with her like how I felt like doing.

Silence is golden. Even silence of the thumb, when I felt like lashing out and telling someone off on WhatsApp or social media, but sometimes you have to just hold yourself back. As tempting as it is to have your say… to say your piece…

You never know someone’s story. Maybe they had a bad day or a bad week. Or just a bad patch…

To control what you say was hard at times, but so worth the Sabr in the end.

And although I was feeling bad for Rabia, not having her around was good for us as a couple. We had gotten closer, spoke more, indulged each other a little more than we would have otherwise.

And as Hamzah and I spoke that night, drifting off to sleep a little too late for a week night, I barely even noticed him leave the room in the early parts of the morning. I was still thinking about Rabia and her past, feeling a little depressed about it in general, and as I fell off to sleep again, waking for Fajr, Hamzah was already in the shower.

And I didn’t really expect him to be ready to leave at that time. I still thought that he may leave for Fajr and jump back into bed for another snooze.

Instead, I had barely even heard him get up to take a phone call during the middle of the night. Whatever had happened during the night… I had no idea… but the cool and calm Hamzah that I thought I knew and had gotten to know so well was no longer there.

“Where are you off to so early?” I asked, watching him as he pulled on a jersey, not meeting my eye.

Was he hiding something? It was strange. This sudden change in mood.

I couldn’t tell what was going on. Did Rabia say something to him? Was it me? Was it what we spoke about the previous night?

Was it someone else that he had spoke to or upset him…

“I need to be somewhere,” he said briskly, his voice sounding strained. “It’s urgent.”

“Hamzah,” I said, sitting up and hating that my voice sounded a little too desperate. “Whats going on?”

He turned and looked at me for a second, his expression unreadable as he stuffed his hands in his jacket pocket, breathing in deeply as he met my eye.

“We’ll chat later,” he said quickly, planting a quick kiss on Zaids forehead as he touched my cheek, and hastily turned to leave.

Something was going on.

I had no idea what it was about but for some reason… I could barely still the hammering of my persistent heart.

All I knew, as fear gripped me, was a horrible feeling creeping over me that something was very wrong…

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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An Unexpected Visitor

Bismihi Ta’ala


Once upon a time, when I was far too caught up with a life that probably involved a lot of late nights, misguided aspirations and brain-crushing ideas, an unwavering friendship that pulled at the heartstrings was about to be severed…

Okay, so I’m sorry that this story is a little morbid, but I promise I’m not the kind of guy who would make you cry. Really, I wouldn’t.

Anyway, I’ll get on with it.

So there was once a boy and a girl who spent every minute of their techno-free (unbelievable, right?) childhood together, and were now well aware that their childhood (as they knew it)… well, was about to end. It was time to move on to the rest of their lives. It was the time that most people like me dread. It was time to grow up.

But this story about the boy and girl, and what happened after, is not the important one. What’s important here is the magic that had been born from this bond. This love, that these two kids can somehow formed, had stemmed from something that was so absolutely unique… that hearing about it kind of made me wonder who was the inspiration behind it all. I didn’t know that I’d have the privilege of meeting this very man years later… this boy’s father, who had been the pinnacle of every ambition, hope and aspiration that brought to life for these two kids, in every sense of theirs, the beauty of creation…

And it was through this, and everything they had come to see, that they truly lived and believed, that nothing was created in vain. That they saw amazement in every vision. Every moment, minute and passing interval, there was not a time when they didn’t remember that sunshine was a gift of Allah’s power, and the rain was a reminder of His mercy. A flower was never just a flower. It brought to life the advent of a great and momentous occasion that had just transpired. A rainbow was not just a rainbow. It was a symbol of Allah’s hope that spread across the sky, to remind them of how amazing and colorful life could really be.

It was a time when all things were tall, and all their friends were small. The world was new, and the skies were always blue… well, not really, because that’s impossible (except for real poets)… But you get my drift..

Basically, it was when the sun was at it’s brightest. Where everything was inherently magical, with no major effort. That was essentially, what childhood was about, and as this friendship bloomed in the most natural way, a love of Allah was cultivated and transferred from a heart that held so much of it, to a heart that was yearning to carry more. And from that blossoming heart… it’s love had brimmed and spilled over to be passed on to not just a few, but many, many others too… And at the end of this particular story.. I was one of those fortunate people that somehow got thrown, head-first, into the mix.

You see, there’s a great lesson here that’s evaded me all these months, since hearing this story.  All I saw was a cute little story of two kids that had no point. But then, as I looked deeper… I was simply blown away.

So let me just say this: Never, ever underestimate the smallest of actions. Especially with a little kid… you can never know the true effect of showing a young heart who their Creator really is. You never know what the value is of teaching a child the language of Glorious Qur’an. You will never regret teaching a child that their only reality is Allah, because this little effort really can go to insurmountable lengths. Because that purity… that connection that is formed at such a tender age… that type of love… is simply infectious.

Once you feel it, you will never want to let go. When the heart sings it, embraces it and lives it… the mist is completely cleared. The veil is permanently lifted. And no matter what that little kid will be told in a group or class of kids who know none the better, whether he is told that there is no sky, or the earth had materialized from one Big Bang or that humans evolved from some kind of apes… his (or her) sturdy heart will know better, because it will continue to sing…

Laa ilaha Illalah, laa Ilaha Illalah. 

There is no Reality but Allah. 

The Maker, the Breaker… Owner and Creator of the entire Universe.

And though I featured nowhere in that little tale that I just told you, there is something amazing about my life that tops the charts. Something that’s made me believe that wonderful things can happen to even undeserving people. Something that’s opened my heart to such a vast degree that I never thought I could ever witness.

Somewhere along the way, I found the gold. In some deviate alley, I stumbled upon a path that’s lead me to the most spectacular of treasures. An insurmountable pleasure. Somehow, through a magic beyond my understanding, I’ve managed to find it in me to love another person with all my heart and soul and to me… That will always be enough. Because even if I lived my entire life to achieve nothing else… I had already found what I need. I had already found the pathway to enteral bliss. I knew now that my living and my breathing and my dying was only for One Supreme Being.

We often hear about destiny. Fate. What’s meant to be. Yet, we still strive with our best for this world, push ourselves… try so hard to make it to the top. We buckle our belts, we wear a helmet, we stick to the paved paths, we try to be safe. We try so hard to protect ourselves, but sometimes it’s not enough. When the bad things happen, they catch you by surprise. The tests and trials come suddenly, with no warning… But we forget that sometimes that’s exactly how the best things come too.

And yeah, I was floating somewhere on cloud nine for the past few months, and it was tough getting down from there. It was amazing, because the light that had entered my life was one that had broadened my entire horizon. I suppose we don’t really notice when things are a little wonky when we’re propped up somewhere in the clouds.

And we’ve all had our share of pain, somewhere along the path. Pain. Sometimes it’s in the mind. Sometimes it pushes us to the edge. Sometimes it’s just part of who we are.

Pain. It comes in all forms. The small nudge, a minor twinge, the random ache and the normal pains that we live with everyday. Then there is the kind of pain you can’t ignore.

Some levels of pain are so extreme… that it blurs out everything else. Makes the rest of the world fade away…. How we manage our pain is up to us. We medicate, anesthetize, ride it out, embrace it or even ignore it. For some of us, though, the best way to manage pain is to just push through it.

I reached up to take the Mybulen from the top shelf, pouring out three, and hoping it would do the trick. I read a Surah Fathihah as I pushed it down, knowing it was the key to the cure. Above all else, rely on Allah alone, right?

And yeah, the meds were a temporary fix, but what wasn’t temporary in this world, right? Next week I would book an appointment with the chiropractor and it would all be sorted out. I bent to put my shoes on, sitting down to swallow the pills.

I breathed in as I swallowed the water, remembering the Sunnah of drinking as I sipped. Pause. Sip. Deep breath. That’s the only way the water goes to every cell of your body. It’s the only way that the passages are so amazingly opened up so that those nutrients can replenish those cells, that need the nourishment of pure water. That was the Sunnah that I had lived almost two decades of my life with knowing nothing about.

I checked my view in the mirror as I watched myself. I looked normal. It was just that I felt like crap. The ringing of my phone halted my thoughts, and I quickly pulled it out as I glanced at the ID. It was Rubeena.

“Assalaamualiakum,” I said as I answered,  psyched to hear from my sister, already forgetting my aches and pains. 

“Was-salaam,” she said, sounding tired. I understood. Her life was not exactly great right now.

“Howsit Adam? Am I disturbing?”

”Nope,” I said, feeling a little better as I put my takkies on. “Just getting ready to fetch Khawlah.”

”Ah okay,” she said, sounding disappointed. “You guys going out?”

”Well, we have a big day planned next week,” I said, my heart drumming away as I thought of it. I couldn’t wait. “We had a few things to sort out before…”

”Oh shucks, okay no stress,” Ruby said quickly, sounding even more down. I honestly was feeling so bad now. I had a feeling that she needed me and I couldn’t help her. Did I just put it out there or did I just ignore it and live my own little fairy tale?

I couldn’t hear my sister like this.

“Rubes, what can I do for you?” I said, trying not to think too hard about what I may be getting myself into. Khawlah would understand. Ruby was sounding like she had been rained on with a ton of bricks.

“I need to leave the kids with you,” she said, sounding apologetic. “Just the three. They’re easier to handle. I have some things I need to sort out. Mum hasn’t really been much help. It’s their holidays and it’s not like I can take them anywhere… and Shabeer is pretty useless.. Just for a few days.”

A few days?

Crap. This was going to eat into almost all Khawlahs free time. I knew she loved the boys but I really wanted some time with her. Alone.

“It’s okay if you can’t,” Ruby said quickly, sensing my hesitation.

I swallowed as I thought about it. On one hand I had my amazing wife who I barely got to spend time with, and on the other hand was my sister who was in a predicament and needed my help. Why couldn’t I just include the boys in whatever we were doing? Maybe the big ‘date’ would have to wait a few days… but what other choice did I have?

“Okay, no problem,” I said, not wanting to let her down. I had this overwhelming desire to just make everything easier for everyone. I just wasn’t sure if it was going to backfire. “We would love to have them.”

“Thanks a million, Adam,” she said, instantly sounding relieved. “You don’t know what this means to me. You deserve the best brother award. I’ll tell them that you’ll fetch them in a bit.. just let me know what time. They’re so excited.”

I sighed as she cut the call, wishing that Rubeena could have at least let me know in advance. I couldnt help but think she was taking advantage, because she knew we both couldn’t say no. We wouldn’t. Looked like I’d have to tell Khawlah to wait another half hour for me… so I could take the boys with me.

And I know I sounded like an old battered guy, but I was already feeling tired, thinking of all the effort this was going to involve. After a long week all I wanted to do was chill. I loved my nephews to bits but they needed attention. They craved it because since Rubeena’s problems with Shabeer, they sensed the tension at home. I hated to put them in front of a screen, and ideas to keep them busy sometimes evaded me. I had a good mind of asking Khawlah to stay over, and I dialed her number again, hoping to sweet-talk her around the new plan.

“Sweets,” I said, noticing my wife’s voice sounding slightly strained. “I’m going to be half an hour later than planned.”

“How are you feeling today?” she said instantly.  “Your back?”

It was like it was the only thing on her mind since the topic hand come up. I cringed as I remembered how I literally repelled her touch that day. I was trying to be strong by not taking a painkiller the previous week. For me, aches and pains were a regular thing. It came with my job. It was just that I didn’t like to medicate all the time. Meds always have side effects.

”It’s not that,” I said, running my hand through my beard. “Ruby’s sending the boys. They’ll be with me.. us… for a few days. I’m so sorry… I didn’t plan for this but it should be fun, yeah?”

”Oh,” she said, sounding a little distracted. I had a feeling she wasn’t really listening. “Okay I’ll see you after then.”

”I’m sorry, Khawlah,” I said, feeling disappointed too. She would have loved the trip I planned. Local but amazing. I just couldn’t help how things change plan. We plan, but indeed, Allah was always the best planner.

”It’s okay,” she said. “What’s meant to be will be right? We can make the most of it.”

Exactly. That was my wife. Reminding me of all the things I kept forgetting.

”You’re amazing,” I said, a little in awe of her understanding. “You make it all so easy. I love you, beautiful.”

”See you just now.”

I grinned as she cut the call, shaking my head at my wife’s fear of emotion. She had closed herself off from the beauty of expression. I could just pour my heart out to her relentlessly, until I was blue in the face, and all I would get back was a cynical smile. And of course, she just did it again…

And despite all this, it didn’t change the fact that that I was lucky to have her. I knew that she didn’t have me in my mind when she chose a partner. I knew that I was way off the mark. Completely off the charts…  But when I looked into her eyes… I could literally see through to her heart. It was brimming with love

I smiled to myself weirdly as I got some snacks ready for the kids, feeling a bit better already. I had bought a bit of time, and since I started doing some shopping for the apartment, I had been stocking up.

On the up side, knowing that I would be surrounded by my favorite people that night was the best feeling ever. Having Khawlah and the boys over would be a blast. Story time was always the highlight. Khawlah still topped the list with the way she read stories and Hadith… and I always felt contented when she was here with them. I could just picture them jumping around on the couches, (which I had to act like I minded, but I didn’t really) playing some annoyingly childish game, with her counting to ten to get them to pay attention again. Nights like these… well, this was what life was about.

It was how I pictured my life with Khawlah a few years down the line, hopefully with a few kids of our own. I could imagine her being a great mother… a great example… and picturing her as the woman who would hold my home together… well, there really was no other way I’d have it.

And of course, being a little bit of an obsessively organized guy, having gotten myself a little more sorted for the evening ahead, my mind was feeling a little at ease.

I grabbed my jacket and keys, glancing at the clock to ensure I’d be back for Salaah. There was plenty of time to head to that side of town and still be back on time.

And though I hated city life and preferred the natural scenes much more, the nice thing about having an apartment was the convenience of being able to just pull a door and leave. There never was a security problem in the building, and that’s what I liked about living there. Knowing that Khawlah might be here alone at times the following year if I had to go on any trips or be out of town was my main reason for choosing this place. For now, the location, simplicity and convenience suited me perfectly.

And that’s why, when the lift touched down at the ground floor, when I stepped out to see a glimpse a youngish looking Muslim girl standing impatiently in the foyer, looking at the mounted list of occupants in the building, I really didn’t even bat an eyelid. I figured she was someone else’s visitor, averted my gaze and walked ahead. I greeted the old couple who lived on the bottom floor as they left, and raised a hand to the security guard. It was only when I reached the door, that I heard a voice, and immediately knew that she was talking to me. I was the only person left there.

“Excuse me,” she said loudly, and I paused momentarily as I glanced at her. I didn’t speak to strange girls, but I knew how to handle myself.

She was almost Khawlah’s height and I assumed that she was around her age too.

”Yes,” I said, wondering what she wanted from me.

“I came to see a girl I know… I’m not sure at which number she stays but I’m told that she lives in this building. Do you maybe know her? Her name is Khawlah.”

“That’s my wife,” I said, narrowing my eyes at her involuntarily. “Who are you?”

I turned to face her, feeling a bit threatened now, knowing that this person was probably not supposed to be here. It was obvious that Khawlah knew nothing about her coming. She would have mentioned if she was getting a visitor. It was unlike her to invite someone without telling me. Especially a female that I’ve never seen before…

“My name’s Hannah,” she said, looking nervous as she said it. “And I really need to speak to her.”

N.B. next two posts may be a little delayed. Its that time of the year again.. request for Du’aas

Much Love, 



Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2378

May Allah Ta’ala enable us to keep the best company that can be to our benefit. Keeping good company is also a Sunan, and a means of reward.  

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Significant Secrets

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


There’ll be moments in your life when you’ll wonder if you’ve done the right thing. When you have second thoughts. There’ll be moments, when no matter how hard you try to convince yourself that it’s all going to be okay, you still feel like the universe is spinning out of control.

And of course, I wasn’t immune to worry. I was scared too. I was scared that maybe… just maybe… I had made the wrong choice. Maybe I was too young. Maybe I had been too impulsive.

And then, just for a split second, I couldn’t help but ask myself; what on earth were you thinking?

But, life’s funny sometimes. We find happiness in unexpected places. We find our way back to the things that matter the most. The universe is funny that way; it just has a way of making sure we wind up exactly where we belong.

The thing is, there is way more beyond the obvious. Allah knows why your heart turned, why you chose something you didn’t expect or why something didn’t come your way. He knows what you don’t see ahead. He can see it, and He knows a bigger picture… something bigger that He is protecting you from.

So, if the one you wanted to marry was taken away from you… Allah knows what He saved you from. Maybe he wasn’t the right person. Maybe it wasn’t the right time. Maybe through the one that ‘got away’, you would have distanced yourself further from your Creator, just to attain that out-of-a-movie kind of love. In your eyes, that person may have been the Mr Perfect for you, but Allah can see beyond your broken heart, when things take a turn for the worst…

That’s the beauty of doing things for the pleasure of Allah alone. You don’t think beyond it. As long as it is to attain His love  and His mercy… every other question is answered. Every requirement is met.

And of course, sometimes you just get caught unaware, when it comes to Allah’s amazing ability to show His wisdom, like I was on the day of my Nikah. The truth was, when I resorted to my Musallah (prayer mat), it wasn’t to show any act of piety. It was because at that moment, I was sinking into despair.

I really didn’t know what else to do. It was a terrible secret that I didn’t want to divulge. And then, as Aadam took a seat next to me, and poured his own heart on the Musallah (prayer mat), just as I was doing a few moments before… it was like all the scattered puzzle pieces suddenly found their matches once again.

He looked at me for a second with that intent gaze that Danyaal sometimes had, and then looked down again.

His hair was covered by a grey topee (prayer hat) and he ran his hands through his beard as I watched him from the corner of my eye, close his eyes pensively, and then raise his hands in front of him without another word.

Oh Allah,” he started shakily with great concentration. “Today you have given us the purest of gifts. Forgive us for our wrong-doings. Perfect our faith, as today… we have fulfilled a major part of it. Bless us with rainbows of happiness… with showers of blessings… floods of laughter… and insurmountable love… Oh Allah, grant us that which is Halaal and pure and good for us. May our days be long… may they be seasoned with faith… Oh Allah, strengthen this bond with Your love and make it a means of attaining You. You are everything, Allah. We are nothing. Without You, we are truly lost. Today is the beginning of the rest of our lives. I ask of You only Allah… through this bond, through Your guidance… we choose to spend today, and all of our tomorrows together… never to walk out… never to give up… till Jannah that we pray with utmost sincerity… you will bless us with…”

And as his voice halted and the Du’aa concluded, his very words summed it all up for me. At that moment, I couldn’t help but understand the great wisdom in what Allah had planned for me. And then of course, as Yunus rapped on the door with great urgency, I couldn’t help but think …

Of course, even at the most sublime moments, there had to be a hitch.

“It’s Hannah,” he said stealthily, his eyes wide. “She’s here.”

And of course, at first I couldn’t believe it. Hannah had arrived with a vengeance, was planted in front of Rubeena’s husband, and yelling her head the man, who I was later told looked like he wanted to make a run for it.

And of course, the entire house was outside gawking at the spectacle, and it was just as well that Yunus had called me, because I could see Ahmed’s newly composed nature slowly dwindling as he witnessed what was going on… and I mentally prepared myself for it too.

And getting ready to face Hannah, in her fit of rage, it was so difficult not to judge her. Yes, she had hurt me. Yes, she had done terrible things along the way. Yes, I truly believed that she deserved every single kick-back that life had given her… but in all honesty, it didn’t mean that I was right.

What was that saying?

Treat cruelty with kindness. Right?

And the treatment is not just a means to an end. When done effectively, the treatment can actually serve as a cure..

Of course… I still couldn’t believe that Hannah had turned up… and her coming was such an unwelcome surprise that I couldn’t help but get a little worked up about it…

Until I got downstairs with Aadam in quick pursuit, only to realize that all that internal venting was in vain because she had just left … with Rubeena’s husband in tow.

And amidst the brutal onslaught that must have taken place, to my right, as I caught sight of the two figures standing there, my heart contracted. Danyaal and Dayyaan stood there in bewilderment… and knowing that they were subjected to that was disturbing.

My heart sank to my toes.

How parents can mess a kid up, and the hurt that they cause to an innocent child within their own incompetence as adults, was unquestionable. The most unsettling ache was truly believing that it is your fault. Believing that everything that was happening was because as a child, you were just in the way.  Because you didn’t listen. Because you had a big mouth. Just because… you were being a kid.

I never wanted Danyaal and his brothers to ever feel that way.

And that’s when I knew I couldn’t just let this go. Rubeena was in tears. Nusaybah was in shock, and Ahmed… well… Ahmed, like his old self, looked like he wanted to kill someone.

After everything, she thought that she deserved to be heard.

Today was the day, whether I liked it or not, that I had to be tough… I had forgotten… after all this time.

The flickering flame still burned on within the heart of a broken warrior. Even the most vicious of set-backs can never extinguish a burning desire. As her horse caved beneath her, the Byzantines were already onto her, capturing her and bringing her back to their camp, where she was put in a prison tent with another group of Arab women who had been captured earlier in the campaign. The Byzantine leader had happened to see Khawlah, and gave orders for her to be brought up his tent later that night. There are claims that the leader of the army had planned to marry her and make her the first lady of Damascus after his defeat of the Muslim forces.

Proudly and furiously, she decided that she would rather die than to live as this man’s companion. This was no ordinary warrior. Without a doubt, no way was Khawlah going to surrender without a fight. Her tactics were recorded in history as she is reported to have gathered the women together to devise a most skillful plan in attaining victory.

Of course, with Allahs help, it was most successful. The women valiantly fought their way out using the poles of the tent, escaped across the battlefield to allied lines, and made it onto safer territory… with the blood of over 30 Byzantine men on their hands. 

And of course, all this would not have been if this heroine had not risen up after being conquered. If she had lay there defeated, after her fall, Khawlah would have been pray to the wolves. She rose up… she fought… she conquered…. and she made a legendary name for herself that women throughout history look up to, just because she was so extraordinary….

And no, I wasn’t scared.. Despite the odds, and despite her continuous strife in bringing me down… I knew that somehow, there had to be a way out. A way out that would make itself known to me when as time went on…

And just as suddenly as everything had been turned upside down, with Hannah coming to rattle our resolve… the evening was soon coming to a close.

Aadam was, in all fairness,  a little perplexed by the events.  He was furious at Ruby, but in all honesty, she didn’t foresee this.

And I understood. I knew what she wanted for her kids, and I knew that she needed him to be there for her too. I just hoped that there was a solution here. Shabeer looked like he still had a lot of baggage from Hannah to deal with, and I wasn’t sure how they were going to work through this.

And of course, despite the feelings that Hannah had brought when she had come… there was a tremendous hope that bloomed in the horizon. When things are done in the right way, no matter what setbacks may come to throw you off, inevitably, everything just falls into place. A little turbulence was always expected.  I was so glad when Aadam too simmered down and forgave his sister when he saw how much effort she had put into making the small supper beautifully simple and conservative, just the way he had requested.

Despite the little thorns that had made their way into our little rose bed since inception, I was simply in awe of what I had been given. I simply couldn’t have asked for a better husband.

He was so easy. Humorous. Patient, understanding, and best of all, there was a quality within him that triumphed all. The fact is that when you finally taste the perfection of Deen, after being starved for so long, you become insatiable. Having newly discovered a light that had been buried somehwhere in the dark, Aadam was so passionate about bringing it into his life in every aspect, that he simply amazed me.

The fact is, as what we think are ‘regular’ Muslims, we forget that  our daily life and our faith are not two separate entities. And I never expected it if this guy who had just recently seen the light, but as I saw more and more of Adams ethics and demeanor, despite the great recognition he had on an international level for what he did in his profession… what he displayed was a unfiltered and beautiful version of Islam that would sway even the hardest of hearts.

We forget that we are the symbols of the most beautiful faith. We forget that we have to represent our beliefs in whatever we do. Whether it be leisure or work… The character that we show in the business world, no matter what profession you are in, is that which can turn hearts and completely change one’s perception of Islam.  It could bring someone else onto the path of Deen.

As for our marriage and everything that came with it, he held fast to the the notion that there was no rush and everything would happen at its own pace.

Live in the moment. That’s what Aadam went by, well before he met me…

And of course, every ‘first’ with Aadam was a beautiful adventure, and for our first ‘date’, as Aadam called it, his game plan was an experience I could never forget. I couldn’t help but admire the beautiful greenery that surrounded the suburb and of course, humored me with little snippets from his life as we made our way, and then melted my heart when he opened the door for me like a real gentleman… honestly, just seeing the reality of this man was an episode on its own.

I almost forgot that I was supposed to be nervous. The lift moved upwards almost in slow motion, and as I awaited the sight of his apartment, which was making me really curious over the past week we had been married, instead, the elevator halted right at the rooftop, catching me slightly unawares. And as the doors slid open, I could barely digest it’s amazement. I stood almost like a statue, gaping ridiculously at the beauty of the setting ahead that swept me away to somewhere near cloud nine.

Amidst the escaping horizon, were beautiful wooden benches, topped with an array of the most gorgeous potted flowers. It’s colors… mesmerised me, as I stared at Allah’s beauty amidst the imminent sunset. From pink tulips to yellow daffodils… It wasn’t just a feast for the eyes, but the sight that was spread before me made my heart leap with joy. How did he even know how obsessed I was with flowers? 

Like a secret garden, fairy lights, in their twinkly beauty, hung from branches of tiny potted trees. The terraced walls were adorned with a thick layer of delighted creeper, and as my eyes made their way through all the overwhelming amazement, they finally settled on the most beautiful two-seat swing that stood at the corner, overlooking the most spectacular of scenery.

“Welcome to the garden,” Aadam’s low voice  cut through my thoughts, with a small smile. “It’s a bit of an apology, but this is the best I can do in an apartment…”

I smiled weakly, even though I could barely move.

“Did you do all this?” I breathed.

I was in awe.

“Well, as you know, my expertise is technology,” he said jokingly. “But, carpentry is my hobby…”

I walked up to the swing, admiring in its smooth finishes and amazing workmanship. Around each rope was a variety of roses, tied carefully to create the most eloquent touch.

Gosh, he could do this for a living.

Build swings. Jungle gyms. Even tree-houses. It would be my dream…

What an amazing secret he had.

It was gorgeously simple, but the gesture that it held was more than its actual wonder.

Aadam smiled at me and of course, I couldn’t help but smile back, properly this time.

”Is this yours?” I couldn’t help but ask. I stretched my hands out, extending them to the gorgeous roof garden and all the greenery that inspired it’s very beauty. I wasn’t sure if it belonged to the building or if….

“It’s ours,” he said, glancing at me almost sheepishly as he awaited my reaction.

I widened my eyes disbelievingly. Wow.

“Sorry I took so long to bring you here,” he said softly, his gaze fixed on me.

I gazed out at the beauty of the sunset that was ahead, revelling in its glory.

“I was trying to get it perfect.”

“And wow,” I murmured without hesitation, awestruck by the perfection of distinct colours that looked like a canvas right before our eyes. I didn’t have a chance to tell him that he didn’t have to get it perfect. Perfection in this world was just a state of mind. The blaze of color – oranges, pearly pinks, vibrant purples… the beauty of that sunset made me want to leap right into it…


Indeed, glory was to the One who created the most astonishing architecture. If only we could comprehend the greatness of Allah. I could sit here for hours, just taking it all in… and it would still not do it any justice

I carefully lowered myself  onto the swing, almost afraid that it’s beauty would perish if I used it, moving to and fro for a few moments as we awaited the call for Maghrib prayer. It seemed like Aadam had chosen the amazing place to stay. In such proximity to a Mosque and with such a stunning view…

I closed my eyes as I felt the wind sashaying through the layers of my hijab, taking in the sound of distant traffic and enjoying its murmur.

It was simply amazing. My heart swelled with joy as I thought of how blessed I was. Indeed, when you can be thankful, you truly feel like royalty.

Moments. This is what life is made of. The moments are what we carry with us, through our journey. An array of moments that bring you to a place that helps you to understand the world, why you are placed here, and everything that comes with it. A collection of memoirs that you will, someday look back on, and although you’ll never capture that exact feeling of elation that it brought, its inspiration will live on for life.


“Hmmmm,” I said, my eyes closed but my senses completely and irrevocably tuned into every scent, sound and touch that surrounded me.

I opened my eyes, soaking it all in, looking at Aadam with an openness that spoke a million words. And just as I was about to tell him the profound thoughts that were racing around my mind like a super-speed train, Aadam’s words came to throw me off completely…

“There’s something I really need to tell you…”

Aisha raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her)  said about the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him):

“He used to sleep early at night, and get up in its last part to pray, and then return to his bed.”

When we have a million things to do, it is easy to fall into a horrible cycle of sleeping late and waking up late.

Break that cycle today! Wake up early and sleep early to be the strong, successful and all that you want to be, In sha Allah.

Let’s revive this Sunnah InshaAllah!

How easy to practise!

#revivetheSunnahof Sleepingearly






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Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


When life hands you lemons, sometimes you just have to accept them graciously and make the best out of them.

And yes, I’ve had my fair share of lemons. Lemons of every sort too. Bitter ones, pungent ones and some of them just downright sour. But what I didn’t realize was that these lemons of life would come to teach a lesson about life itself. To be surrounded with people who made the best out of the lemons that life had so graciously given them, was a hands-down winner. It was through them that I came to realize that even within the darkest of clouds, there is still a silver lining.

Across the conquering of territory that would soon come under Muslim rule,  the battles edged on. Battling on horseback with an array of sound weapons and sharpened spears, was a woman who fought like the bravest of men. Fierce, courageous, and unbelievably determined.

Alongside the ranks of Khalid bin Waleed RA, the esteemed Sahabah, who could dispute her status?

Though she did not see the beloved Prophet SAW, a woman of such stature and skill… such modesty and  affluence…. many dare not oppose her. Her presence in the battle field was invited, and her skills to the opponent were always a force to be reckoned with.

And so, to put it lightly… the capture of Khawlah Bint Al Azwar was a moment in history that was quite unexpected.

It was during the heat of the Battle of Ajnadayn that her yielding weapon broke with the force of what must have been some serious onslaught. The legs of her horse were cut beneath her and she was left defenseless as she came tumbling to the ground.

And there it is, my friends. Once in a while, it just so happens that the Almighty shows us the truth for what it is.

The reality is, no human is invincible. Even the greatest of warriors are sometimes put into the deep end. Even the most elevated ranks can sometimes be put to test. It is but the way of the world. It was the route that the Almighty chose to show His power… to show who’s in charge, and to get us to open that door once again that leads to us asking and appealing from only Him. He was, after all, the only One who could give victory.

Even the best of warriors would be nothing without Him. And of course, it’s only their unshakable faith that sees them through. And it’s only what they made out of their unfavorable conditions that determined the strength of what they would be known for.

“You’re a warrior Khawlah,” Nusaybah whispered to me as she squeezed my shoulder. “You’re going to be okay.”

I knew what she was getting at. I also knew that she wanted me to be strong. But did it mean that warriors never felt the pain even when they were pierced by the brutality of the enemies sword?

Tears rolled down my face as I gazed out of the window, the view ahead of me now blurry and inconsistent.

Nusaybah handed me a tissue as Rubeena picked up speed as she got onto the highway, her own sobs now subsiding as she .

I knew exactly how she felt. Our emotions were almost in tune ags we cried almost in unison, for the a loss that we both understood on our own terms.

Leaving the apartment building where Hannah stayed, we were all shocked to silence at the audacity that she showed despite us trying to appeal to her. The painful truth was, it was very evident that Hannah had no compassion to offer us because at that moment in time, her heart was completely bereft of any compassion.

“Please Hannah,” Rubeena had literally begged her. How she could still look at this girl in the eye was beyond me. Rubeena may had been many things but the quality of forgiveness she possessed was completely beyond me. After hearing what I did, I was reeling with anger.

Hannah thought that despite what she did, now that she had bagged a rich man by getting pregnant with his child, her life would be that much easier now. How wrong she was.

“I know Shabeer, and he’s not going to change,” Rubeena pleaded. “You can still make this right. You can still tell him the truth. You can go back to school… educate yourself… make something of your life…”

Rubeena had admitted not so proudly that she previously had it out with Hannah when she had first found out about what was going on. But since Ramadhaan, something in her had altered. She no longer wanted to hurt Hannah. She no longer wanted her husband back. Now she just wanted to see some justice.

”You’re just jealous!” Hannah spat before she could even finish, her eyes flashing angrily. I honestly wanted to shake some sense into her. “He chose me and now you are jealous! And I’m not making anything right! I did nothing wrong.”

She looked at me now and I narrowed my eyes at her.

What an audacity. Seeing her again now in this frame of mind reminded me of those dark days when coming home was the most detested thing to me. Arrogance was second nature for her. Remorse was completely foreign.

The resentment was a new feeling for me. Never before did I have such an aversion to anyone before this. It was like it had engulfed every vessel of mine…

And then of course, was the anger. Bitterness. Uncontrollable hurt.

How dare she? How dare she use my name and blemish me? How dare she portray me as someone so low?

I was trembling as I watched her, and her sheer callousness made my heart bleed as I realized that we were getting nowhere.

And then of course, as we turned away to go back, the truth of it all hit me like I could not believe.

The lies. The brutality. The betrayal.

How could they not even tell me?

All this time… and so much that they had hid. I couldn’t even look at my friend in the eye. I could not even meet Rubeena’s gaze.

Imagine what she must have been thinking of me all this time… the tarnishing of my dignity was as bad as it could get. The stigma attached to a rumor that can spiral out of control could break so much more than just a spirit…

I honestly felt as though my heart was breaking into a million pieces. The atrocity of the news that was revealed to me hit me like a ton of bricks. I could barely breathe.

“I’m so sorry, Khawlah,” Nusaybah whispered as she pulled me to her and embraced me fiercely. “So, so sorry.”

And of course, when a scandal lets loose there’s little you can do to reverse its effects. I let myself have a good cry as I thought of all the consequences that this had brought… and what it still might bring. I cried for myself, because I didn’t know what else to do. I cried because it had gone so far. I cried because I had no idea at all what the people who I considered most important had thought of me. I had no idea what they still thought that they knew…

I sucked in my breath and breathed out, all flustered because I couldn’t take the anxiety that this was bringing on.

Rubeena was losing her husband. I was losing my honour. And if I let things unfold the way they were going… Nusaybah was going to lose the one person she had set her sights on since over two years ago.

Oh. My. Goodness.


Thinking about him now brought a completely foreign notion to my mind. Seemingly stripped of my dignity now, I couldn’t help but mentally shrink away in utter embarrassment.

My heart plummeted to my toes.

I had completely forgot about him. That must have meant that he knew about it too, right? Right..?

I could barely breathe. No wonder he had been basically non-existent over the past few weeks. All this time I was busy thinking that he was giving me time to think when it was the complete opposite… with the revelation, it was probably him that needed the time to think.

But wait. I should have been relieved. I should have  been comforted to a certain extent because at least it meant that I wouldn’t have to reveal anything to Nusaybah that would break her.

But why was it that it was me who was feeling broken inside?

This was such a huge mess and I really had no idea how to get out of it. Resentment filled my chest as I processed that these rumours were probably making their way around for a while… but what scared me most was the hostility that I was feeling towards my friend. Never once did she reveal to me the truth. Not once did she even try to tell me what was going on.

”How could you not tell me?” I said now, getting straight to the point and addressing Nusayabah as she turned to look at me.

She looked at me with a mixture of guilt and fear in her eyes.

And that’s when I realized that I needed to leave. I didn’t want to be there right then. There was no way I could be around them, see the kids, act normal  and continue with this today.

Tomorrow, I would be better. Tomorrow, I would feel normal again. Despite my yearning, my heart was bleeding in a way that nothing could immediately repair. I had to find a way to move past this, and I could think of just the person I needed to see.

Rubeena was talking about Shabeer. She was going to talk to him, she insisted. She would make him see sense. After all, Hannah’s lie was to him. Couldn’t he at least see past the big facade that she was so good at putting on?

I couldn’t answer. After all, he had thought it was me. He had thought that she was me. He had thought that she was the Khawlah that the kids always talked about. He had thought that Hannah was everything that she wasn’t. Guilt overcame me as I realized that I may actually be partly responsible for everything that had gone wrong. I felt disgusted.

“Ruby,” I asked softly, knowing what I needed to do. “Can you do me a favor?”

She immediately went silent, as she waited for me to continue. I needed to escape. I needed to be shown some sense.

I gave her the address and she nodded. I closed my eyes as we continued to drive, not wanting to meet Nusaybah’s eye and barely even realizing that we’d reached our destination until we finally stopped.

I hastily climbed out the car, feeling able to breathe again.

Stepping out into the open air made my heart beat at a more normal rate. Amidst the pain and the turbulence within, there was a certain peace that came as I stepped off with the promise that I’d see the kids later that week.

I didn’t promise the same to Nusaybah, although I could see her expectant look. I was upset. Angry. Lost in my own thoughts, I needed a chance to think it through.

I walked up the familiar staircase and onto the front porch that I remembered so well. It was almost exactly as I pictured it to be in my mind all those hundreds of times… and the familiar smell of the jasmine that crept up the post filled my lungs as I breathed in and then out again, wondering if I should ring the bell or just turn and go back home.

But something had drawn me here. Something was beckoning for me to find comfort in everything this amazing place had to offer.

The reminders of better days spent in the heat of the blazing sun surrounded me. The memories of running through the pouring rain filled my mind once again. The one winter, when we had for the first and last time ever, got a very light fall of snow, was almost fresh in my mind as I recollected those days of sheer oblivion and bliss.

Childhood was sweet. So pure. I wished that it never had to end. At that moment, I didn’t want to think beyond that hope, love and innocence, because it was that which made me realize that beyond the storm there may still be a rainbow.

And of course, there was no better place than where I was to remind me. I remembered Khalids words clearly as I stepped into Aunty Radiyyah’s front step, deliberating on whether to ring the bell immediately or settle my thoughts first.

I gazed at the wooden door with its tarnished handles. The copper on it was not exactly what you would call fashionable or ‘in’, but I knew that Khalid’s Papa had worked hard and his family had lived a comfortable life, and of course, being Khalid, he never let it be known that there was anything lacking, even if there was.

“You know what Papa told me the other day, Khawlah?” Khalid’s childish voice still resounded so clearly in my mind, like it was just the other day.

I looked at him in amusement as he smiled his Khalid smile, and then ran off to collect more of the rose petals that had fallen to the ground, so we could make our own version of potpourri. Of course, we were forbidden from touching the flowers that were still growing so we literally stood there and willed them to wilt so we could continue with our tedious tasks that had seemed oh-so-important at the time.

I widened my eyebrows at him, copying his excited expression.


“Papa  says that we can also send presents for Allah!” He said incredulously, with a look of sheer amazement on his face.

I scoffed. That was ridiculous. Allah didn’t need our presents!

Khalid rolled his eyes as he saw my expression.

“Not as in real presents, silly!” He said, slapping his palm to his forehead and shaking his head at me like I was a child. “Being grateful to Allah is one of the things he loves the most. Not having a lot of ‘things’ is not a punishment. When Allah gets angry, then the worst thing that can happen is Him taking away our peace and happiness.”

I looked at him pensively.

How true that was! Taking away our car, money or house wouldn’t ruin us… but if Allah had to really punish us…

I shuddered as I thought about it. Khalid was way too wise for his age. Somehow, I always felt indebted to him for everything that he told me.

And right now, I would pay anything for that peace and contentment that I had. Right now… I wondered what I had done wrong to deserve this. Was this a punishment?

Childhood was innocent. Sweet. Free from any blemish, yet so real. I wished that it never had to end, but of course… the reality of this Duniyaa is that nothing is meant to ever last.

 For now, all I knew was that being here made me feel safe. It made me feel free. It made me feel like that innocent girl once again, instead of the jolted young women that had just been enlightened about the ruthlessness of the real world.

And of course, when Aunty Radiyyah appeared at the door with her beaming smile and open arms, there was little I could do to stop myself from running into them. I said nothing and she didn’t ask. We embraced in momentary silence as I sniffled away, trying to control the torrent of emotions that surged within.

“I knew you would come,” she said softly as she sat me down on the back porch, the afternoon sun warming up the crisp winter air.

The view from her back porch was still spectacular and I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic again as I looked out.

“Eventually,” she said, but now with a sad smile.

I looked at her now for the first time properly, and to my surprise, I could see the sadness in her eyes that I had never noticed throughout my previous visits. I blinked as I apologized for my absence all those months. Everything had gotten a bit too consuming, with school, the kids and the drama that was unfolding too.

But Aunty Radiyyah, being who she was, didn’t take it to heart. But then of course, how could she when she had an inkling of what had been going on too. All this time I had thought that everything was so confined.. so controlled… but as I studied her expression, I realized that my fears were confirmed.

And oh, the stinging in my chest was almost unbearable. The treachery. The blatant hurt that a simple rumor can cause.

As we met each other’s gaze, I already knew. I knew that she knew, and she was fully aware of it too. Her expression was calm. Composed. Her stance was extremely unruffled.

And all I could think of was the betrayal that I felt now, multiplied about a million times more than ever before. More than Rubeena’s. More than even Nusaybah’s.

She too, had let it go without even asking. My very own Aunty Radiyyah had played the most unexpected role in what I saw as my downfall too.

What I didn’t anticipate was what she would tell me next…

And that, would change everything.

Revive the Sunnah of Not Over-eating 

Miqdam bin Madikarib said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) say:

‘A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one-third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.’” [Ibn Majah]

It is an underestimated fact that food has a dramatic effect on your body’s and brain’s performance.

This Hadith clearly highlights that overeating is a reprehensible quality we should avoid.

How easy to practise!




Twitter @ajourneyjournal

IG: @thejourneyingmuslimah

Running in the Rain

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


“Lets’s run in the rain,” Yunus said, nudging Khalid as we sought refuge in the covered area of his house, as we peered at the rain that we’d have to pass through to get home. Khalid looked back at it with a certain ferocity in his steely eyes, almost as if he was ready to take it on. 

“Nah,” he finally said, shaking his head and cocking it to one side as he usually did when he decided that he had thought deep enough about something. “Let’s just use the umbrellas.”

But it was already too late. Yunus had already spoken, and his little light-bulb idea wasn’t just an idea any more. 

To me, running in the rain, was not just about getting wet. It symbolised freedom. It was about going against the rules. It was about pushing the limits. It was that all-encompassing feeling of utter liberation, that poured onto you as the pelting drops of moisture would too.

And so I ran. Khawlah, the ever-so-brave, left the two clucking boys behind, and ran as fast as my then little legs would carry me, through the puddles and all. And yes, I got soaked. I held my school bag over my head, just in case. But I still got soaked. I laughed and laughed, as I ran, and of course, the punishment that came after was worth it all. Never even for a moment, did I regret that feeling, as the pouring rain was all that could be heard around me, and I realised that this was what childhood was about. This was pure affirmation that a little child needed, to assure her that after all, there was a brighter side to life, even within the pouring rain.

I smiled as I looked at the rain, remembering the past as I scribbled in my workbook. Sometimes as you catch up with the past, the past somehow, catches up with you. I think its true for many, that the former years on anyone’s life, are often considered in jest. To others though, it’s not that simple. What I mean by that is, I may remember myself sprinting through the garden, just as a little child often would, but to an adult, they may see me as running away from something in my life. It may be that I was just being ridiculously rebellious by refusing to follow the rules and play like the rest of the kids, but to another person, they may assume that I was a problem child. The truth was, people read too much into things. Kids are kids. They do as they please, say as they please and get away with almost murder because of their little regard for any consequence whatsoever. 

And even as I got older, there were times when I would still find myself contemplating about my childish years. The laughter. The fun.  The childish innocence that always got me seeing the brighter side of things. The excitement of upcoming holidays as a child was overwhelming as I  recalled the vivid memories of a little girl with unlimited energy. I always remembered myself as this grown-up-too-fast mischief-maker finding her way through the motions of a life, trying to fill the shoes that were way beyond my meagre years. 

Challenging, was a word I often heard Mama use to describe me. Constantly finding innovative ways to keep myself busy, proved me to the one of the four kids that had to be watched, practically all the time. And although I kept busy and always occupied with Yunus, babying him too, to some annoying degree, somehow I would still find a way to earn a scolding from Mama almost every day.

Too tough, she called me. Too tough for my own good.

In an attempt to discipline me, when I would sometimes catch a hiding, which was more often than I remembered, I would look back at my mother with a certain defiance that she just couldn’t comprehend. It made her all the more mad, and would usually result in me being sent to my room for the rest of the day. So young, and yet my mind was already so set in rebelliousness. Mama was scared for me. I knew she was, and I often heard her tell Abba that I was the one test that she didn’t know if she would pass.

And then Mama got sick. Really sick. To a certain extent, it changed me too.

I remembered those days of disarray, where none of us knew quite what to do with ourselves. Khalid was the greatest diversion, I would say. I remembered Aunty Radiyyah too, always welcoming us in with the broadest of smiles. I didn’t see the tears she sometimes hid behind that joy as she watched us, because she was losing a friend too.

She knew we needed some stability in our upside down lives. It was those little things that kept us a little sane, with Khalid’s easy ways and simple life. We got lost in his world of historic dinosaurs (which was his obsession around six), ghost stories (inspired by the Purple House from seven) and theories about adults that always made us laugh. We loved it. He had two normal parents and lived a pretty normal life. Somehow, we needed that glimpse of normality for us to be kids again.  Back home, with Mama entering the final stages of her life, everything was becoming overwhelming. That was when when Abba, with a bit too much on his plate, had realized that it was time for me to be more occupied.

The pre-school that I had been attending was closing down and the thought of another year in pre-primary was boring me. I was an intelligent child, I heard the teacher say to Abba, the day the school closed. I needed something more stimulating.

And so, with Abba faced with many decisions that needed fast actions, he immediately enrollment me in ‘big school’, at the tender age of five. It couldn’t be said that I outshone the other students, but I definitely wasn’t behind. Somehow, I had managed to catch on pretty fast, and life as we knew it, went on . I never looked back and neither did he.

However, as the grade twelve year approached for me, I could literally feel my nerves dwindling. I was always hard on myself. I never struggled, because languages came easily to me, but Mathematics, however… well, let’s not go there. For me, Maths was my Achilles heel. Where I excelled in everything else, Maths somehow knocked my spirits, as I attempted to figure out exponential equations and trigonometrical calculations. I rubbed my temples as I squinted in thought, trying to figure out why any sane person would ever create three letter words like sin, cos and tan. I.could.not.even.

“Are you going to sit here the whole day with Mr Absurd?”

Absurd. AbSurd. AbSURD. Sometimes, Nusaybah just got me. She was so ambiguous. In a hilarious way.

I looked up at Nusaybah who was hovering over me and literally scrutinizing my work. Surprisingly, surds were not my weakest point.

I scowled at my friend. It was easy for her to talk. For her, Maths was a breeze.

“I haven’t even had a chance to sit with my friend for like one entire week,” she said, scowling back. “These damn calculations have taken over your life and our friendship. I’m going to have to ditch you if you insist on pursuing your current relationship…. I cannot handle this type of competition. It’s too… intense.”

I giggled. Nusaybah’s face was serious, and it made me giggle even more.

I shut my book and finally stood up, grabbing a packet of chips from my lunch box that I had brought. Foi Nani had forgotten to make lunches again today, so I had quickly packed a fruit and chips for Yunus and I, hoping Yunus would buy something from the tuck shop if he was hungry. Although Foi Nani was starting to worry me, I shoved the thought away, convincing myself that she was getting old and these things were expected.

“Can we sit alone today?” Nusaybah half-whispered as we walked down the passage. “Hearing about Naj’s complicated   relationships is getting too much for my brain.”

Najma and Kimona were two girls that we sometimes sat with, and though I enjoyed their company, the drama that these girls always had to relate was draining. I nodded eagerly. I was in no mood to listen to other people’s complicated lives. Mines was much too messy at this time of my life, and I frowned as I remembered the feelings that had surfaced a few days ago, when I had left a piece of my heart behind in the house I had grown to cherish.

“Is everything okay?” Nusaybah asked as we sat, noting my frown.

I nodded, opening my packet of chips and trying to divert the attention. I didn’t want to talk about it. I didn’t want to remind myself by speaking about the pain. It was getting better as the days went by and I knew that it was just a matter of time until I healed completely.

“Ruby called me,” she said carefully, and I blinked in surprise as she said it, suddenly wary of what she may know. “She said you left. The boys miss you. Why didn’t you tell me?”

I finally met my friends eye as she gazed at me enquiringly, clearly hurt.

“What did you think, Khawlah?!” She suddenly spilled out, and I could see the anger in her eyes. “You thought I’d be upset? Did you think I would judge you?”

I swallowed hard as I gazed back at my friend, remembering the day I left. It was still so clear.

Khawlah, wait!”

It was Ruby’s voice, and as I halted at the door, and my heart thudded in my chest as I thought about explaining my sudden decision.

How did I tell her that I needed to play it safe? I mean, I was barely sixteen. I couldn’t even think about marriage. I wasn’t against marriage at a young age but I one of those girls who could, because I understood that although it was the right thing to do, there was no way that I could ever be mature enough to take on that responsibility. I just couldn’t do it.

“I’m sorry about that,” she said panting, and I could tell that she was struggling to catch up with me before I left. “I didn’t mean to put you in an awkward situation. After I spoke to you last week, I called my brother to try and set things right. Adam really wanted to see the kids… I didn’t expect him to come so early today.”

She was still panting, and I nodded as she gave me a small smile, glad that things were looking up for her.

“The kids love their uncle,” I said, smiling back at her. “They need him.”

She nodded.

“They do,” she said.

I had to tell her. I was planning on phoning her and explaining my decision to her, but there was no use delaying the inevitable.

“I won’t be able to come in next week,” I said, taking a deep breath, and expecting her to enquire about why.

She merely looked at me and nodded. It was like she knew. She didn’t even ask me any more.

It was like she already knew that I was planning to leave. My heart sank momentarily, because she didn’t even try and convince me to stay.

“Will you come back?” She asked, without expectation, meeting my gaze as she waited for the answer.

I shook my head, not really able to form audible words.

“I want to see the kids if it’s okay,” I said softly, clearing my throat to try and remove the frog that had somehow found it way in there.

“Of course,” she whispered, and I looked to to see tears streaming down her face as she hastily wiped them away, and then reached out to wrap me in a fierce hug that spoke a million words.

“Thank you, Khawlah,” she whispered as she clung to my somewhat rigid frame, and I processed the turn of unexpected events. “Thank you so… so much. I hope I see you again… I have to… in whatever way…”

I was a bit dumbfounded as she pulled away. I didn’t expect it to be so easy. I didn’t expect her to just surrender me, and although my there was a very palpable pain in my gut, I knew that the alternative would have not been as achievable. Ruby knew what she needed. She knew that her kids were important. I just hoped that she would also take the time to get to know the beautiful souls that they are too.

And sometimes we think that something is good for us, but it is only Allah who make that notion a reality. It is only Taqdeer that can determine what is meant for us, and what is meant to fly completely over our heads. It is only Qadr that determines what’s in our destiny, or what’s meant to miss us.

When Aadam AS was created, the event of his sin and being sent to earth was already determined. It is reported that Musaa (AS) had one day struck up an argument with Aadam (AS).

“Adam and Musa held a disputation. Musa AS said: ‘You are Adam whom Allah created with His Hand, into whom He breathed by His Spirit, to whom He made the Angels prostrate, and whom He taught the names of everything, so why have you expelled us and yourself from Al-Jannah(the Paradise)?’

Adam AS replied, ‘And you are Musa whom Allah favored with His Message and His Words, have you not found that it had been written on me before I was created?’ He (Musa) said: ‘Yes, indeed”‘ Then he (Rasool Allah SAW) said: “So Adam got the better of Musa in the argument.” (2)

Adam did not prove his argument against Musa by means of Al-Qadar (the Measure), thinking that the sinner can use Al-Qadar (the Measure) as an argument. Neither a Muslim nor any sane man would say that. If it were an excuse, it would be an excuse for Iblees as well as for Nooh’s people, Hood’s people, and every Kaafir.

Neither did Musa blame Adam for the sin itself, for Adam did repent to his Lord and was then (forgiven and) gained favor and was guided by Him (SWT). But he blamed him for the calamity which afflicted them because of the sin; that is why he said to Adam, “Why did you have us and yourself expelled out of Al-Jannah (the Paradise)?” Adam thus replied, “This had been written on me before I was created.

And of course, everything that happened from Aadam AS was written before it happened. But that’s not the lesson here. Qadr and it’s divine splendor is not the lesson. The beauty of this is that although Aadam AS knew and understood that it was Taqdeer and it would happen, as Allah had commanded it to, Aadam AS did not let it stop him from asking for repentance.

He did not say, but it was meant to happen.. I was meant to sin and eat from the forbidden tree… so why must I make Tawbah? Aadam AS understood. He comprehended that Qadr was in its place,, but his actions could change his situation. And so, he did the ultimate and made Tawbah, and he repented… and Allah forgave him. Not only did he earn forgiveness, but Allah, through his infinite mercy, reunited him with his beloved, Hawaa AS.

Qadr. It was such a deeply profound concept. A measure that is somehow beyond our comprehension. How Allah sometimes put us into a situation that we are tested, to bring us to a situation that could give us so much of joy… the depth of it planning, although unexplained, is extraordinary.

It was all good for me. In some regard, there was Khair. I didn’t regret any of it. I didn’t regret meeting Rubeena, or the boys, or even crossing paths with her brother. It wasn’t something I had planned, but the plan had something from which I could learn.

With Qadr, always came a lesson, and something you could take home.

“I didn’t want to hurt you,” I finally said, meeting Nusaybah’s eye as she spoke.

Nusaybah was not someone who could possible be angry quiet, simultaneously. Her fury often came with babbling outbursts and fierce expressions. It actually made me feel a little better than a silent treatment.

She let out a huge breath, and it felt as if the whole world had been offloaded from her tiny shoulders.

“But didn’t you think not telling me would be more hurtful?” She snapped, obviously exhausted from all her offloading.

I swallowed, wondering what to tell my friend.

“I wouldn’t ever, in a million years, think of a guy like that,” I said, speaking softly.

“Why not?” Nusaybah asked, her expression suddenly changed to something of curiosity.  “You have to be crazy… or super pious… not to even have some inclination, Khawlah. Honestly, girl, it’s like you’re from another planet.”

I smiled, despite how I was feeling.

“Is it your brother?” She suddenly asked, her eyes almost popping out of her head, and it seemed like something had just been switched on in her brain. She smacked her palm to her forehead, shaking her head.

“Gosh, yes!” She murmured. “Ruby told me what he said to her brother. I completely forgot!”

Goodness. How long were those two talking for? How did Adam meet Ahmed? Now I was confused. So confused. Did I miss something?!

I frowned as Nusaybah let the cat out of the bag, and then covered her mouth, as she realized that I didn’t know.

“Tell me,” I urged her, just because I was dying to know. If it was about me, I had a right to.

“He told him to stay away from you,” Nusaybah said simply, folding her hands across her chest as she furrowed her brows.

I nodded, not surprised. From Ahmed, I could expect that. I was glad that it wasn’t anything bad. I might even thank him for that when I saw him. Maybe.

Nusaybah was still looking at me with that intense look, and weird frown on her face. I looked back at her, wondering what on earth her problem was now. I felt like running away, as I gazed at the pouring rain now, almost inviting me to come and soak up its splendour. Nusaybah would probably think I was crazy.

“It wasn’t just that,” she said, and now she looked like she was just plain resentful. Angry and resentful.

”Gosh, Nusaybah,” I said, irritated, and annoyed that she was still upset. “What?!”

”I cant believe you didn’t tell me,” she said through gritted teeth. I was even more confused, as she gave me the deadliest look I had ever seen on my friend’s face.

She exhaled, letting her bulging eyes bore into mine as her anger partially disseminated.

“He said,” she spat, her eyes still narrowed and her tone as icy as a snowstorm. “That you’re already proposed.”

Dearest Readers,

In preparation for Ramadhaan, last week we were working on Reviving the Sunnah of Miswaak. This week, Insha Allah, let’s try and bring in a little about the Sunnah of eating, as touched on in the previous post. I will try to keep it short, simple and effective🌸

The Prophet (saw) said: “Whosoever says Alhamudlillah …. (Another complete Du’a, different from the one above) after eating, Allah will forgive all his past sins”Ibn Majah 3285, Tirmizi 3458, Al Albaani silsalah 3348

How easy to practise!





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Twitter @ajourneyjournal

Not Without a Fight

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


“No ways!” Nusaybah squealed with wide eyes, as I filled her in on the past week’s events. “She kept that patch of garden for you?! All those years? How did she even know you were coming back?”

Did she know? Maybe she didn’t. Maybe she just hoped… and it was fulfilled.

I smiled as we walked along, taking in the scenic views of the houses that we passed. It wasn’t the most elite part of the neighborhood but there were some gorgeous gardens. My passion for gardening had once again returned, and everywhere my eyes settled, seemed to be a new opportunity. It was like I had a newly found gardening addiction.

“She’s a really nice lady,” I said, as I gazed around. “And she was really close to my Mama.”

“You think that’s the only reason why?” Nusaybah asked, raising her eyebrows cynically as she kicked a stone with her school shoe. It hastily rolled away into a nearby bush.

I frowned, wondering what she meant.

“Don’t act stupid, missy,” she said, ogling me. “Obviously, she likes you … probably loves you. She also thinks that you are probably going to marry her son. Duh.”

The last part was added on as an afterthought, but I couldn’t help but frown as she said it.

Oh goodness.

I was only fifteen. Marriage was eons away, and I really was not even thinking about anything like that. Trust Nusaybah to think out of the box.

I had to burst out laughing.

“Nusaybah, please,” I said, shaking my head.

She held her hands up in defense.

”I’m just voicing my thoughts. I don’t want you getting your hopes up on some Justin Bieber, and then he lets you down because he’s not all you imagined. Just… lower your expectations, okay? Guys are bad news.”

My mouth was hanging open. Justin Bieber? I wasn’t even sure I knew what the guy looked like, but Nusaybah was pretty clued up on that scene. Knowing about that type of stuff for me was so futile and just … rudiculous.

Nusaybah was going on about getting hopes up about people changing and how she didn’t want me to be disappointed because everything is not always how we think it’s going to turn out.

She was telling that to the wrong person. I had already seen that too many times in my life. Unfortunately, I was someone who always had high expectations… and things hadn’t always turned out to be as peachy as I had hoped.

“You mean like how you have hopes on someone else?” I asked, feigning innocence.

Nusaybah frowned.

“I don’t have hopes on anyone,” she said stubbornly. “I just like to you to keep your  options open. You’re so lucky, you know, growing up with no mum, and some crazy stepmother stuff too… and magically, still being so… stable. Did anyone ever tell you how strong you are?!”

I wanted to laugh.

“All the time,” I said blandly.

That was probably part of my problem. The strength that I was always told I had… the determination that I had always portrayed, from a tender age. It created a great expectation for my future.

“But do you know how great that is, Khawlah?” She said, her eyes now widening, as if she was onto something big. I didn’t know what she was talking about.

”I’m nothing great, Nusaybah,” I argued, feeling awkward that  she was throwing me up. “I’m just me.”

“‘I’m just me’. Hah,” she said, with a feigned chuckled. “Nonsense. You are like a knight in shining armor that stands out in the dark. Like a heroine from one of those story books I used to read. Ruby doesn’t know what she let go of. You were so good for the kids because you gave them that. You’re so solid.”

I wasn’t sure what she was on about. Rubeena was too demanding anyway. Nusaybah looked at me with her wide eyes and realized I needed more convincing. I could literally see her mind at it again… concocting the words to get me to believe it.

“You’re amazing, girl,” she continued, and I could see she was revved up. “You want to know why? Do you know that you’re the only girl in the school who wears long sleeves under your uniform jus’ because you know it’s part of your awrah? You’re probably also the only girl who hasn’t spoken to a boy on the phone… or in person. Whatever. Because you know it’s a sin. You’re like a one in a million, Khawlah. Goodness. You even use your break for Salaah. In this day and age, it’s so hard to get it right. We all want to strike a ‘balance’. We want to have it all. We don’t want to submit and just be what Allah wants us to be.”

Woah. It was a helluva load of food for thought, but there was some truth to what she said. I wasn’t as great as she thought I was, but I did I know that she was right. Having Deen was no coincidence. It was a gift that was give to only those whom Allah chose. It was a great bounty that Allah blessed with those whom He favored.

Mu’awiyah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah said, “When Allah wishes good for someone, He bestows upon him the understanding of Deen.”

[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].



We had reached Nusaybah’s house now, and she paused as she gave me a quick hug.

We quickly greeted and then we parted ways leaving me with so much to think of. I never realized that she saw me that way.  I never realized that maybe other people saw me as some kind of inspiration. It seemed so peculiar, but although we may not think of something we do as great, someone somewhere may see it as something completely mind-blowing. A small change can make a big difference.  It may be a means for someone’s  change… or an opportunity for them to see the greener pastures on the other side of life.

What if I was their window, and now it was shut off?

Foi Nani!” I shouted as I entered the house, wondering howcome she didn’t come to the door like she usually did to greet when she heard me make a big salaam that she insisted we all make when we enter. She said it chases the Shayaateen away.

It was the first time she didn’t acknowledge my arrival. Unless she wasn’t home

I searched the house in case she didn’t hear me, finally finding her in the lounge, sitting in a chair and looking at the ceiling.

“Foi Nani, are you okay?” I asked her, a little concerned about her behavior.

She nodded, and then looked at me. She blinked a few times, and then widened her eyes.

“Khawlah?” She said, almost like she was confused.

I frowned.

“Is that you? You’re looking so tall, bachi.”

My frown deepened. Foi Nani hadn’t called me ‘bachi’ in years. It was like she was transported back in time.

“Are you okay, Foi Nani?” I repeated, getting worried.

She nodded.

“I’m just wondering,” she said, pointing to the ceiling. “When you’ll changed the color of the ceiling. It looks different.”

The ceiling? Really?

“Foi Nani, we always had that colour on the ceilings,” I said obviously. “Since we moved, its been that grey.”

“Since we moved?” She repeated. Now it was her turn to frown. “When did we move?”

I shook my head, smiling at her. She didn’t seem to be joking, but I wasn’t sure if she was dead serious.

Foi Nani had an weird sense of humor. I knew she was getting old, but she couldn’t be losing her memory? Right?

She settled back in her seat and seemed to be busy again as she picked up a book next to her that she was writing in. I left her to it, and went up to my room to start my school work. I ignored the feeling that maybe Foi Nani’s behavior was not just a slip of the mind.

As much as I tried to focus, Nusaybah’s conversation with me was still on my mind and I couldn’t help the nagging feeling, telling me that I had to see the kids again. I thought asking Nusaybah to join me might be a good idea, but I didn’t want to drag her into my little shenanigans again. I could go see them, right? Just to visit and see the kids. To check if they were okay.

It took me a few days to make up my mind, and through Foi Nani’s weird behavior and the imminent absence of Ahmed, I figured I needed a good diversion.

Finally growing the guts, I took a small detour after school on the last day of term, knowing that I would have extra time. It would still be early and I knew Rubeena would probably be home. I wondered how she’d act when she saw me. I wasn’t looking forward to meeting her after the way she had spoken to me the last time, but my heart had an inclination that I couldn’t control. I had to see the kids again. I didn’t want them to think I what just left them.

After Danyaal’s last words…. after I just left with no explanation… I hoped that he  didn’t feel like there was no more hope for grown ups at all.

I took a deep breath as I reached the house, preparing myself for the worst. With summer coming to a close, I could see the leaves starting to show traces of upcoming autumn. It was beautiful in its goldish glimmer and so soothing to me as I walked along, even though I wasn’t sure what to expect of the visit. I wasn’t even sure if they would be home. I just tried to steady my breathing as I took the stairs to the front door, literally holding my breath as I reached for the doorbell.

Please be home, I silently commanded them, hoping I didn’t come all this way for nothing.

My neck was feeling damp from the perspiration of the effort that it had take. to get there. A stray lock had crept out of my hijab and I hastily pushed it back in as I waited, hoping I looked normal. I blinked in anticipation, hearing shuffling at the door and small voices somewhere beyond it.

The door finally swung open, and there stood Rubeena in slight discomposure, looking slightly out of breath. I wondered if her training schedule had been taking a knock since I had gone. I pasted a gleaming smile on my face, ready to kill any hostility with forced pleasantry. She gasped at me for a few seconds, with her mouth open.

Khawlah?!” She breathed, almost as if she couldn’t believe it was me. “Is that really you?”

She seemed to be stunned at my presence, but I eagerly nodded as I replied in the affirmative, rushing through the explanation I had planned in my head.

I wasn’t sure if she even heard a word

“Do you know how many times I tried calling you?!” She exclaimed, shaking her head. “Your granny said she’d tell you… but I never got a call back… I thought you had disappeared!”

Wow. Was Rubeena actually admitting that she had made a mistake? She didn’t mention anything about her last exchange with me though. Conveniently. The news about Foi Nani answering her calls was also extremely strange… because I didn’t receive any messages from her. Unless…

Unless Foi Nani had forgot.

Rubeena was still talking about how the kids really missed me, and I was dying for her to get over with the rambling because I just wanted to finally see them… but there was a surprise lurking in the the far corners of the charming house that I didn’t expect.

As Rubeena explained that she was on her way out, and finally turned to call the kids, it was only then that I realized that there was probably someone else in the house with them… who had been watching me all this time.

I didn’t judge her, but I knew well enough by now that a person like Rubeena wouldn’t survive without extra help. I was positive she would probably crumble under the pressure.

As the kids  ran forward and I outstretched my hands, I sought refuge in their broken but adorable little sentences and familiar voices.

They remembered me! I was so glad that I hugged them tightly, telling them that I missed all the fun we used to have. Even the baby seemed excited to see me, as he stood on twos now and tried to reach for my head.

Only Danyaal slunk back, and I looked at him apologetically. My heart sank. I knew I owed him a proper explanation. I had hope that I could explain to him properly how everything in life sometimes goes. I couldn’t help it… it was out of my control. I wanted to tell him all of that and more.. but as I opened my mouth to try and coax him nearer, the words died on my lips just as fast, as I gaped at the person in front of me.

I didn’t know if I was seeing right, but I found myself pointedly staring at the profile before me, almost in disbelief.


The infamous imposter. My sworn adversary. The memorable nemisis. 

What a way for us to clash again. This was going to make things very challenging indeed.

She had been my replacement. By some twist of fate, she had to be the one.

She stood before me with that oh-so-familiar look on her face, and I just knew this was going to be a tough one. It was the same look she wore, the day I grabbed the naartjie from her hand. It was the same hostility she had, that didn’t change.

After all these years, it was still as clear as day.

Without a fight…. there was no way she was going to back down.


Authors Note:

Dear readers,

Next post may be a little delayed. Apologies in advance. If you enjoyed ajourneyinajournal and you have Instagram, please follow us on Instagram @ajourneyinstajournal. 

InshaAllah, hope to make it as inspirations through little pieces from my first blog and other sources. 

Much love,

A 🌸


Bismilllahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Waseem: Beginning to End

Life changes in a heartbeat. Things change, people leave… and life doesn’t stop for anyone.  But along the road, there are some things that deserve a second chance.

You have to go back to the beginning to understand the end. Sometimes it happens in an instant. We step up, we see a path forward. We see a path and we take it. Even when we have no idea where we’re going.

Sometimes, when you’re caught in that kind of rut, you have to just put the question out there.  When you’ve lost hope, you have to put the question out there. Ask yourself; 10 years from now, are you going to wish you gave it just one more shot? And yes, it may take a lot of guts, but the best things in life, they don’t come without any strife. Sometimes you have to take a step. Sometimes you just have to make it happen.

And of course, I should have known on that Friday morning, when Ziyaad came to me looking like he had huge termites in his pants, I knew that he was facing a choice of some sort. He had done an almost ridiculous thing, by making a move so spontaneous, and he couldn’t stand the wait. He took a chance, and now it was making him itch.

“What if they just need a shove in the right direction?” He asked, sounding like he was probably up the whole night thinking about this. He was scratching his beard thoughtfully and wearing too much of Itr. Definitely sleep deprived. I knew Zee too well by now.

I nodded numbly, not wanting to steer him on too much.  But he didn’t need it. Once Ziyaad was on to something, let’s just say that there were very few people who could talk him out of it. All it took was an ‘err, okay’, and before I knew it we were in the car, on the way to the farmer’s side of the province. I recited my Yaaseen as my daily routine in the car, determined that the outcome of this will be good. Allah’s promise. All our needs will be met, like He says at the end of the Surah… everything is easy for Him, and only He could fulfill our wishes for that day. Of course, I had my own agenda too, as I thought about it.

My heart was already beating a bit faster and doing weird things, as I remembered the roads I had driven through so many times when I used to visit Zaynah. The memories are bitter sweet… some more bitter than sweet.

I remembered the feeling of hope mixed with anxiety, and then I remembered the disappointment that came when I would drive back home, a little less convinced that everything would be okay. That it would all just go back to normal.

And then of course, on sweet memory would draw me back again, and I would find myself in the same cycle yet again.

“Why do you keep on coming back?” She had asked one day, when I had been trying to jog her memory. It was obvious that she had no idea what I was talking about.

I looked up sharply, but I could see it in her eyes. She meant no harm.

“I mean,” she said, blinking and smiling apologetically. “Why do you try so hard to make me remember? Was it really that important?”

I blinked back, slightly taken back by her question. Was it? It was. Of course it was. Every moment was.

“Because,” I said, without much thought. “You were like coming up for a breath of fresh air. It was like I was drowning… drowning in sin… and then I was saved. Saved by you.”

She looked at me with a look that spoke a million words, but she didn’t say one. And of course, I left that day with a little more hope than before.

Then the letter came shortly after that, and changed everything. Some things are just meant to stick with you, but as we drove again, I felt myself relying on a miracle to make something change our course once again.

If anyone would ask me, the simple answer was that of course I loved my wife. But sometimes loving someone from a distance was the safer choice.

Sometimes it was just easier to let it go, even though sometimes I wished that I could just tell her all the things that I’d been wanting to all this time. I wished I could let her know. Everything. How it all changed. Everything I had seen. How far we had come. How my mother loved her. How far my father had come spiritually, when he had been so dead before. I wished I could tell her how I revamped my entire business approach, based on her advice. I wished I could tell her how my brothers did a complete changeover since I met her, and she showed us the brigher side of what would have been a bleak future. I wished I could tell her what it meant to us. How it changed everything.

But some things were left unsaid, and I couldn’t get caught up in my own emotions when I had come to support Ziyaad. He was a bit of a nervous wreck as he stepped out that day, and I didn’t blame him. It was a tough thing for a guy to do, and Ziyaad was no exception. He stepped out steadily onto the dusty gravel ground, and we walked ahead. As usual, and no surprise to us, their uncle came out even before we rang the bell, and like always, I wondered if they were just waiting for people on their doorstep.  He was always ready for visitors with a welcoming smile on his face.

“Long time,” he said to me as I moved forward, and I grinned back at him, missing Saleem Khakha’s warm hugs. They felt good.

“What can I do for you today?” He asked as we sat down, knowing that there was a deeper-lying reason for our visit.

“Not me this time, Saleem Khakha,” I said solemnly.

I glanced at Ziyaad and he nodded.

“It’s Ziyaad. He’s hoping to get some answers today…”

I trailed off as I saw a nod.

“You’ll came on the right day,” he said, glancing inside as if to hint something. “Wedding in the family. Everyone is here.”

Wedding? I didn’t ask more because he got up quietly and went inside.  There was a small exchange, and then I heard the lower tones of  a softer female voice. Much to our surprise, Saleem Khakha was out again after two minutes, with a huge grin attached.

“Well, that’s sorted out,” he said, shaking his head.

Ziyaad and I looked at him expectantly. Sorted out? What did he mean?

“You can go in and talk to her,” he said slowly, nodding at Zee.

Zee looked back at him as if he  was some kind of alien. I knew what he was thinking. Geez, I wish it was like that for me. This was too easy. Was he for real?

I kicked his leg, and he looked up at me with wide eyes.

“Go!” I said, hoping he’d seize the moment.

I mean, this was the news he was waiting for right? The path to the ultimate destination he was aiming for was finally opening. I grabbed his hand and literally lifted him off the seat, guiding him to the open doorway where he was supposed to be going. I reached its entrance, looking away as I saw a girl waiting there, waiting almost expectantly. Duh.

I nudged my brother to edge him on, watching the two of them lock eyes for a few moments, before they both went out of sight. An older looking male stayed outside, and just behind him, a figure I vaguely recognized became more visible as my eyes adjusted to the dark passage.

The figure came closer, as realisation dawned, I looked at her openly, wondering if the past few months had actually happened at all. Everyone was here. Zaynah was here, and now that I could see her properly, she looked more like the girl I knew once again. My wife. Her face had resumed her former shape, and instead of the hollows in her eyes and cheeks, they were filled with flushed skin.

Zaynah was looking like… well, like Zaynah. Beautiful Zaynah. My Zaynah.

I felt myself hold back as she smiled at me. Yes, she actually smiled at me and my hopes soared. Though I was hoping she would come and make everything okay again, I wasn’t sure if I would be that lucky. And of course, as she came toward me, I stepped back and allowed her to lead the way. What did it mean?

Would she talk? Would I have to? Would it be awkward? I mean, it was so strange that I was even thinking that way, but it had been so long that I had no idea what to expect.

She stepped past me, onto the empty patio that everyone else had just left. It was just her and I, and the words I had wanted to say were overwhelming. So overwhelming that I couldn’t even say a thing.

“I thought you’ll would eventually come,” she said, all matter-of-fact and I wondered if I was hearing right. “We were waiting.”

I wondered if I heard right, because the last few times I had come, I felt as if she probably never wanted to see me again. She sounded something like she had sounded before, all knowledgeable and presumptuous, as if she knew more than she was letting on. Maybe she did. I wasn’t sure.

“Yes, they were,” a voice from behind us said, and I turned around to see the notorious Raees standing there.

Where on earth did he come from? Of course I was annoyed at him for interrupting our conversation, but more annoying was his sarcastic tone when he said it.

And then, before I could even say anything back, he just turned around and walked away.

I shook my head and looked at Zaynah, who just gave a small smile back. She probably didn’t know what else to say.

“You know, that guy is just-”

“Shhhhhhh,” Zaynah said sharply, holding her long finger to her lips.

I stopped and looked back at her, biting my lip to try and contain my anger. Raees was that annoying and interfering type who actually needed a thump.

“I can’t believe him,” I muttered to myself, looking away into the distance. I wanted to strangle that guy, and not only because of today. It was a whole load of pent up nonsense that was waiting to be addressed.

“I know, but he’s not worth it,” she said now, looking at me and trying to reason with my conscience. It was like she knew exactly what I was thinking. She was already defeating my urge to do something impulsive and I lost all resolve to fight.

Zaynah smiled and I melted. It was like an action reaction theory just waiting to happen.

“Okay,” I said finally, letting her know that she had convinced me. I would cool off and just take it easy. No need to start a big thing and get myself involved.

My wife and I had just met after ages and it was like all this gap of time had just been filled. Like there was no distance at all anymore.

“Make a Duaa,” she said suddenly, as if on a whim. “Now.”

I looked at her strangely and nodded slowly, wondering what she was saying.

“A Duaa?” I asked, kind of confused. For a moment, I wondered if she had recovered completely.

She nodded eagerly.

“Abbi used to always say that when you think of doing something wrong, and you don’t… Right at that moment… it’s a beautiful time for acceptance of Duaas.”

I looked at her, slightly amused. Not to mention, quite amazed. Only Zaynah would think of using a potentially detrimental situation for something beneficial. I honestly wondered what this woman was made of… she always had such a strong inclination to right a wrong. To polish what was tarnished.

“So make a wish,” she said simply. “Make your Du’aa.”

And I did.

I closed my eyes for a few seconds right there and then, saying the words my heart had been wanting to express all this while. I prayed, and not only for right now, but for the the eternal  as well, because I understood now that it wasn’t only right now that mattered. What came after was more important.

I opened my eyes again, feeling slightly renewed after the few moments of spirituality. I breathed in the crisp air, letting it fill my lungs and body, as I leaned against the wall, watching my wife watching me.

It wasn’t awkward. It was just surreal. Like most of the time I had spent with her, I could feel myself re-orienting once again, just in these few minutes I had spent with her. I loved it because it made me feel like I could be so much more than just exist. Like I could be the best in my Deen once again. I was convinced that she was one of those special and few people who can change the entire world with just her inspiration. Our Rabb had made her in such a way that she always had that effect on me.

“As I was saying,” she said casually, but with a hint of a smile in her eyes. “Thank you for coming. Nabeela was bugging my brains, and it’s been a while so I didn’t know how to contact you without getting everyone else involved…”

I had went off the radar slightly, but it was only because I needed to absorb myself in things to keep my mind off her. If I had known that she was looking for me, I might have come earlier… but I couldn’t do much about it now.

“I’m sorry,” I said solemnly.

“No, don’t apologize,” she said hastily, shaking her head. “I’m sorry. JazakAllah… for everything.”

I smiled, because in that moment, it was like I recalled the past once again, and frankly, I couldn’t believe that it was happening. That this moment would ever brace me with its amazement once again. I never thought I’d see it again because it reminded me of times when everything was so much easier. Rosier. More promising. When the sun shone with a light that lit up my whole world.

And of course, there was only one response to what she had said, and I couldn’t help but say it. I couldn’t help but say exactly what she had said that changed a whole lot in my life, and I hope she for the same outcome here.

I looked up, smiling slightly, and said the very same words that just made it for me.

At that time, it was priceless, and I knew that it’s value would never lessen. With our history,  it could only escalate.

“Is there any other reward for good other than good?” I said, slightly mysteriously.

And she knew the words. Of course, she had said them too. It was Allah’s promise… Of the favours upon us.

And maybe it was the us who made it, but once again, all I could think was: This is just the most perfect moment. With the most perfect words.

هَلْ جَزَآءُ الإِحْسَـنِ إِلاَّ الإِحْسَـنُ

“Is there any reward for good other than good?” (55:60)

And honestly, as I said it and looked at her, it was like she was suddenly endowed with something beyond explanation.

Her eyes filled with tears as she looked up, and I was dead certain that I saw it right there. The glint of recognition. Maybe it was my mind playing tricks on me, or fooling me into believing what I wanted to, but  when she smiled amidst the tears, and repeated the words, then I just knew for sure.

“Copy cat,” she whispered, almost under her breath.

So soft, I almost didn’t hear it, but as I processed, I stared at her in shock, as she smiled amidst the countless tears  that were streaming down her face. It was too much, too fast, and I couldn’t yet process what it all meant… Until it suddenly hit me.

Moments. There are so many, that we hang onto, with no idea that they were so special. And then, there are moments that you just wait for, hoping with every inch of your entire being that they are for real. Moments that, sometimes, just make you want you drink them in, because they’re what we live for. After a long road of loss, gain, failure, success, and so many mistakes—There finally are moments that just capture you in a way that you wait for and inwardly crave… To create a new beginning, or to give us a new hope.

We spend our whole lives just focusing on now. The present.  What we can feel, hear and touch. As insaan, we just chase what’s immediate, without worrying about eternity. We get attached to things and people. We chase fleeting moments and temporary enjoyment. We chase what’s not really there, because we get too busy to focus on what lasts.

It wasn’t like I had done it all for her. Took the plunge. I didn’t. I didn’t worship a person, a feeling, or anything material. The truth was simple, and it was just this:

We are all striving. All seeking. And along this really long road, is an end that is forked and frayed. There are many ways to the end, but along the way there are many means that help our striving. What we need to realise is the path to the truth, and what is eternal. I had to choose a path that I knew I could see a beginning… not an end.

Nothing happens without reason. Not separation. Not even pain. Everything is a means to seek closeness to Allah, and to find the way to the end. Everything is made to guide us along the path, and when we feel pain over something in Duniyaa, it is the pointer to where our attachment lies.

And that’s the trigger. Seek your Rizq, but don’t chase. Love your spouse, but don’t ever idolize. Use people to guide you, but never depend on them.

When Musaa (AS) went down the River Nile, his mother thought he would never see him again, but she did, in a most comforting way. When Ibrahim (AS) let his wife and child, he did return years later, to see how they had thrived. The lesson here was simple. After all that time and separation, in the process, reliance on Allah was at its greatest heights. They turned to Allah completely.

Begging, praying, hoping and complete Tawakkul. It’s what any of us would understand, that through the loss, we turn entirely to Him. And by definition, our heart turns to him completely. Through the losing, we have been given something so much more precious and eternal. What’s lost, does sometimes return- but sometimes it just takes some time.

Time to love. Time to give. Time to return.

What lives in the heart, controls the body. It’s the driving force, and the foundation that everything builds on. If that root is what is with the eternal, then that heart will never break. It too, will keep striving, keep seeking, until it finds what it is meant to. And what is meant to be found has no argument to hold.

Undeniably, there are places in the heart created only for our Rabb. Places that many people have come to only find when they had given everything… Only to end up with nothing else.

And in this temporary world, there are very few things that are truly priceless, and that will be part and parcel of the journey to Jannah. What I do know, though, in my chase for something ‘more’ to life, I had somehow ended up with gold.

And that brief moment that I had found it, I could never forget. It was a moment that I was saved, completed and everything that was once broken inside of me, had gotten fixed. The moment all the pieces fitted together, so perfectly, as if they had never been out of synch before. How my every need was fulfilled, through a single person being a means sent by the Almighty. Through a single person who had helped me find what we all needed to seek.

Jannah.  Paradise. The Lord of the Worlds, and His pleasure upon them. And when they get that, He will give them what He has hidden for them of the delight of the eye. He will grant them more, on top of all of that, and even better… they will even get the honor of looking at His Noble Face. And that is greater than anything that had ever been given. And of course, one will not deserve that because of our deeds, but rather, we will receive it by the grace of Allah and His mercy. From a little effort they made in this Duniyaa that passed…

The Duniyaa, that was so fleeting, that it will seem like it happened in just a moment.

In a mere heartbeat.

Please make maaf that this post is so delayed. I’ve just been too crazy. Planned on doing two before Ramadhaan but time has caught up with me.

Time. We all know how precious it is, and as the blessed month dawns upon us, please remember me and my family in your Duaas. Also, let’s try and plan each day meticulously so we do not waste a moment. May Allah guide us and take us safely to Ramadhaan, over and over. I do hope to post something beneficial, so InshaAllah, if I get a chance I will, and hopefully and epilogue to this post will follow if not before, after Ramadhaan.

Lets utilize every moment and increase in our Ibadat so we can build toward our Aakhirah InshaAllah. Let’s cut our addiction to technology and absorb ourselves in the Quran. InshaAllah. Allah give us the Tawfeeq.


Let’s practice our SUNNAH InshaAllah! More Sunnah of eating:


We tend to stand and eat/drink. Let’s consciously make an effort to sit, even if it’s on the floor, while we are enjoying our food.

*Eating with three fingers.*

The Sunnah is to eat with three fingers;
eating with more than three fingers is a sign of greed and is bad manners,
there is no need for more than three in order to gather up a morsel.
If it is necessary to use more than three,
the food is light and cannot be gathered in three fingers, then he may use the fourth or fifth.

*See Fath al-Baari, 9/578*

Practice, share and earn multiple rewards in shaa Allah.

SubhaanAllah. Let’s try and observe the Sunnah Duaas of eating InshaAllah.



#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood




Tweet: @ajourneyjournal

In-Town Sagas: Nabeela

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

“Ma’am, may I ask your age?” The guy from behind the counter said, looking at me slightly suspiciously.

“Eighteen,” I said confidently, not batting an eyelid. I had to say it. I would get nowhere if I didn’t.

He frowned, and then asked me about the relationship to the alleged deceased. It was a bit difficult to explain that my cousin had been practically dead before she decided to come round again, so she could exactly be here in person. They would only take her request to look into the case seriously if they knew I was over the legal age.

“So you saying that this man hasn’t been in contact for months?” He asked.

I looked back at him, feeling bad about stretching the truth. I had to exaggerate a little, but not too much. The more urgent the situation seemed, the quicker we could get any feedback. Only the embassy could get real insight into the area and figure out where Waseem was. I wasn’t sure about all the political technicalities, but I knew I should be a bit more assertive, although it wasn’t in my character.

“His wife is worried,” I said, putting in my serious face again. “She’s bed ridden, and we thought the embassy could make some contact with their people there to figure out what happened to him.”

The man shook his head.

“If he’s gone there on his own accord, then there’s not much we can do,” he said, raising his eyebrows at me. “We’ve had many of these Muslim boys going during the past year or so and we can’t decide much if they are doing it out of choice. You know-”

“But what if he was forced?” I pressed, cutting him off, and knowing that Zaynah wouldn’t be happy if I tell her that. “Can’t you’ll do anything?”

The guy looked at me cynically now,  and I put on my best pleading face, hoping he would buy my desperation.

Something was definitely on my side, as his expression changed and he suddenly told me to wait in the area that a few other people were seat at. Zaynah had always said that Allah makes a difficult path easy for whom He wills. Maybe it was all the Duaas and Istighfaar Zaynah insisted we make so the whole thing would be quick and easy for us. I always heard her say that when you increase in Istighfaar everything becomes easier.

Nabi (SAW) said: The one that regularly
performs Istighfaar, Allah clears a path from every difficulty, releases worry and grants one Rizq.

I sat silently for a few minutes, just observing the people around me. I wasn’t usually ever on my own, so being here was quite scary. I knew it might have not been the most correct thing to do, but under the circumstances, I wanted to try and help Zaynah a little at least. She had always  been the one to do everything for me in the past without a single complaint.

Mamoo had dropped me off hesitantly, after I had assured him multiple times that I would be fine for the little while he would be away and Raees would come and join me in the queue. I knew he had some urgent work nearby that he had gone to do, and I could tell he believed me, but I just hoped he wouldn’t check with Raees. I wasn’t too sure that I wanted my brother to know that I was helping Zaynah to find her husband. Something told me that he probably would hate the idea.

I glanced to my right as I finally sat down, seeing a girl with a tasbeeh sitting in the same area as I was, and she reminded me so much of Zaynah. Her habit of carrying it with her had rubbed off onto many people around her.  Her fingers were constantly moving as she read her Adhkaar, and she looked like she was totally absorbed in it. I admired her so much for not wasting time as she sat here waiting, wondering why I had never thought of the same thing. A simple tasbeeh that I carry with me could earn me so many brownie points if I just made the effort.

Time. We didn’t realize just how precious it was. The gift that we practically threw away with each moment we spent doing just futile things. It was actually awful how much of time we wasted.

“Ma’am,” a voice said, cutting through my thoughts. “We are following up, as there’s been  another request about the same person. There might be a long wait before we get any answers.”

I sighed and nodded, telling them that I’d be back. Maybe if I didn’t get any furthe info Zaynah could try and come when she felt a little better. All I knew right then was that I was getting really hungry, and there was some sort of shopping complex outside that I knew I could get a snack from. I was definitely a bit scared if venturing out on my own, but I held my little bag close to me and stepped out in confidence as I walked up the pathway.

I had just reached the kiosk and taken a water and a packet of chips when a hand from behind grabbed me and pulled me backwards, almost knocking the wind out of my guts.

I was probably going to start screaming in absolute fear, when the person viciously started shouting at me, as if I was the one that was acting crazy. It was only then when I realized that the insane kidnapping attempt was actually nothing of the sort.

I gaped back at my elder brother as he looked at me angrily, uttering weird atrocities for no real reason at all. Something about scheming and undercover was part of it, but I didn’t catch exactly what it was that he was on about. As I looked back at him, slightly shocked by his presence, I couldn’t help but notice a scarved girl next to him, clad in jeans and a grey top, watching me back a bit awkwardly. She was probably wondering if this was the same guy she knew.

It took me a few moments to realise exactly what was going on, and Raees pulled me over to a bench on the side, demanding to know who sent me there and why I was even in that shopping complex.

Okay. I knew exactly what it looked like. How did I explain to him that I really didn’t come to spy on them?

The situation was as awkward as they get, and the girl in question was just kind of gaping at us, as she looked around her slightly fearfully. She didn’t look like a ‘bad’ girl.  That was the thing with most girls. They just got caught up in the wrong things. I had kind of figured out that she was his new conquest, and it disgusted me that he had been using a ‘business venture’ as an excuse to keep being in town to see her.

The mere fact that Zinaa was right under my nose was a complete knock to everything I had known my entire life. I mean, I was no saint, but during my nearly seventeen years, it had been a completely foreign concept to see such blatant sin in my face. I supposed that in the city it was a normal, but growing up in a farm town definitely meant that I was a teeny bit sheltered.

“What the hell are you doing here?” He hissed again as he narrowed his eyes at me.

I just couldn’t seem to open my mouth to give him a proper answer.

“Zaynah,” I said blankly, looking from him to the girl, and shaking my head. I didn’t want to continue because I wasn’t sure how much I could say about what Zaynah was trying to find out. “Mamoo left me next door. He’s coming back.”

Raees narrowed his eyes, and shook his head at me.

“Is this about that idiot husband of hers?” He asked, looking completely annoyed at the mention of him. “Why the hell is she still worried about him?”

I stared back at him, wondering if he was for real. Raees acted like the biggest idiot. Of course she would be worried about him. What I wanted to know, is why he was worried about it all if he very obviously had someone else that seemed to be very prominent in his life. I wondered if he was even serious about this girl. I actually felt a bit sorry for them both, because these type of things never did end well.

“Let’s go,” he suddenly said abruptly, hastily tugging at my abaya sleeves and trying to get me to get with him. He was probably starting to panic because of what this could all bring for him. I wasn’t planning on spying, but what I saw and witnessed couldn’t be ignored.

I stayed rooted to the bench despite his pulling me, not really wanting to go with him. He didn’t get it, despite my protests.

He couldn’t drag me off against my will! I didn’t want to let Zaynah down. I still had to go back and tell her what the low-down is on the whole Waseem Saga. I couldn’t leave right then! What would I tell Mamoo? And Zaynah?!

At the same time, I couldn’t find words to explain to my brother what a maniac he was behaving like as he literally dragged me off the bench and started pulling me with him to where I supposed his car was.

This was just too much. He was overrreacting. The whole thing was just insane.

Stop it!” I finally shouted, using my heels to try and halt myself as he continued to yank me. He really was out of control.

I had raised my voice slightly and the few passers by that were around had actually turned to look at me. I had a feeling that this might get out of control if I didn’t go with the flow, and I was starting to get just a little desperate before a voice from a few meters behind us called out, releasing me from my now very obvious anxiety.

“Hey,” it said, and I could hear the footsteps before I actually saw who it was. “Are you guys okay?”

I tried to turn back, but as soon as Raees heard the voice, he started going faster, and dragging me a little more aggressively. I honestly wanted to kick him, but he was overpowering me for that moment. Just then, to my awesome relief, a hand from behind came forward, grabbing him by his collar and literally stopping us all in our tracks.

“Dude,” the guy said, shaking his head at Raees in utter confusion.

Believe me, no-one could imagine my relief right then when I figured out who it was. A tasbeeh dangled from his fingers as he stretched out his hand to separate Raees from me, and then took a modest step backwards. My heart thumped in my chest, because although I was saved from my brother, I knew that this wasn’t good news for him. Raees’s face changed to a deep shade of red, before it looked like it was going to erupt. The guy had serious issues as it was, and this was just the limit.


My heart was literally in my throat as I waited for the outcome of this all. This definitely was not going to end well.

Maaf for keeping you’ll waiting. Insha Allah I will post earlier this week to make up for it!

Don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!

Nabi ﷺ said, “He who has taken food and says at the end: ‘Al- hamdu lillahi-lladhi at’amani hadha, wa razaqanihi min ghairi haulin minni wa la quwwatin (All praise is due to Allah Who has given me food to eat and provided it without any endeavour on my part or any power),’ all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Tirmidhi)

SubhaanAllah. Let’s try and observe the Sunnah Duaas of eating InshaAllah.



#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood




Tweet: @ajourneyjournal

Heart of the Matter: Nabeela

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

We all know the reality of our lives. This world is temporary. Nothing is forever.

But the amazing feature about that is that the very same worldly attribute that causes us pain, is also what gives us relief:

Nothing here lasts.

So basically, that breathtakingly beautiful flower in my garden will wither tomorrow. Eventually, my youth and energy will leave. But, the despair we feel today will also change tomorrow. Agony will die. Yes, laughter won’t last forever but neither will tears. The heart will, eventually, heal itself to become something stronger. It will forget the pain and suffering of this world, and eventually move on to what awaits it.

Well. The heart is a funny thing.

That pumping piece of flesh within the chest… Well, all it knows is love. Just love.

The heart of every individual performs the function of loving someone or something boundlessly. And we all want to. We all wish to love someone… To give them our all, and get it back, but we completely disregard the value in giving our entirety to what really does last. The Eternal, Our Creator. Why don’t we love Allah swt wholeheartedly? Why don’t we give Him our heart?

Allah Ta’ala says in the Surah Baqara: Wallazina Aamanu Ashaddu Hubban Lillah

Those who are believers love Allah most intensely.”

And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals [to Him]. They love them as they [should] love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah….” (Surah Baqarah)

Believers. True believers. And of course, loving Allah means that they not only love Him, but crave and await death, beacuse it is a means to meet their Beloved.

And the beautiful story reminded me of that love, when Allah desired to take away the soul of Ibrahim (AS). He sent the Angel of death to him, and the angel of death greeted him and said:

“I have come for the purpose of capturing your soul and by your permission I invite you to meet your Lord and enter the heavenly world.”

And the famous words that Ibrahim (AS) said were:

Have you ever seen a friend putting to death a friend?”

And the angel went back to his appointed place in the Heavens and told Allah, “My Lord, you heard what your Khalil said?”

It was revealed upon him to go back to Ibrahim (AS) and ask something even more amazing.

Had he known of any friend hesitating to meet his friend?

A true friend is the one was looks forward to their meeting. Who awaits it. Who craves it. And of course, upon hearing this argument, his heart was moved, and Ibrahim (AS) relented.

And that’s all there was to it. The heart.

Who controls it, and who is the source of the love within it. It is the source of every deep-rooted feeling.

We can love people with all our hearts. Give them our all. Surrender ourselves.

But when that love reaches the heights of truth… Love for Allah. Well, that’s really something else.

My mind had drowned out the voice in my ear as I thought of that love and sacrifice that people were making, for the sake of Allah. When Zaynah had told me about where everyone suspected her husband had disappeared to, I was in awe. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of restlessness on her part though, not knowing what the outcome here would be.

Right now, I sat on the phone with a friend from back in Pretoria to check if it was all right. If there wasn’t maybe some mistake.


The voice was calling from down the passage, as I slid on my cloak over my track pants and t-shirt, moving the receiver to my other ear as I opened my cupboard with my other free hand.

“I have to go,” I said to Sarah, grabbing the closest scarf I could see, knowing that my mother would barge in any minute. I felt completely out of touch with city life until she began rambling on about all the news I had been missing out on. Instagram feeds and Snapchat was completely foreign to me, as she updated me. I felt like an alien whenever I hung out with girls my age, because I didn’t have a phone attached to my hand. Nonetheless, she updated me on things that I obviously half wanted to know about, and half dreaded hearing.

“He’ll probably get married again,” she was saying, onto the next topic, and ignoring my statement. “And I really wonder what kind of wife he’ll get then.”

I felt a familiar ache somewhere within my gut, and then it was gone.

It was my fault. I had let it go to far that day. Hassan was throwing tantrums in the bedroom, and insisting that Waseem had come to visit him. It took me a lot of dragging him away from the window for him to finally realize that his favourite cousin-in law wasn’t around. In the process, I had caught myself letting my gaze get out of control. I quickly berated myself, knowing that Shaytaan had probably caught hold of my nafs at the time.

“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts…” [al-Noor 24:30]

The evil glance was definitely an arrow of the arrows of the devil, and I had to be more aware of myself. Letting the gaze stray even on things that they are not supposed to weakens the heart and Imaan. I didn’t realize how bad it really was, until I found myself getting caught up in a fantasy world once again. If Zaynah knew, I knew she would probably give me the longest Bayaan about it’s evil effects, and I really didn’t need to hear it.

I hastily ended the telephone conversation, not wanting to dwell too long, and knowing that my mother would leave me if I wasted any more time.


This time she was a little more impatient as she stood and watched me through the door, the car keys in her hand already. I followed her out, grabbing the biggest pack of sweets I could find, and headed to the car. Sadly, I owed Zaynah back big time for all the stash I had been taking, and she wouldn’t let me forget it. As it is, her stocks were low since Waseem wasn’t around for the past few weeks, and to make matters worse, her moods were taking the toll. It was frantic and erratic Zaynah all over again, and I didn’t really enjoy all the drama.

“Did you finish your reading?” Mummy asked as I reached the door, looking at me skeptically.

I nodded almost robotically, knowing she was talking about my Surah Kahf. On Jumuah mornings life always slowed down for us as we prepared, and took our time to adorn ourselves for the midday prayer. It was something I had always missed in the city, when Friday was just another day of the week. On the farm, we always made Jumuah an ‘event’. Most days we were all home, but today we had decided to go to Mamoo’s house for the day.

“Where’s Raees?” I casually asked Mummy, hoping she would know where my annoying brother had disappeared to since this morning. He honestly had no consideration for our time. He just went about his missions as if we had all the time in the world to wait for him.

“Your brother will come later. He’s busy with some new business venture,” she said hastily as we sat in the car. Sounded a bit fishy, but I let it go.

Hassan had missed school today and promptly jumped into the car as Mummy started it. I couldn’t ask her anymore because my mini brother took over the entire show as usual, with his constant chatter. Anyone else would have definitely found him cute, but to me, he was just slightly deafening.

I looked out the window as we drove, trying to block out the chatter and think of other things besides my own life. There were just too many things going on at the moment.

We finally reached Mamoo’s house , and I got out as Zaynah stepped onto the patio, squinting at us slightly as we came into better view. I could see that she was almost back to her old self, and her energy levels were back to normal. I joined her as Mummy went inside, and Hassan, of course, sat with us while we admired the view. It was lovely.

“So how are things?” Zaynah suddenly said, and I looked at her and smiled, wondering what she would say if she knew everything that was going through my mind in the past few weeks.

Zaynah had known everything about me, but with her memory loss, I knew she barely remembered half of it. I was actually glad for that part. She would probably freak if she knew that I had been eyeing out her brother-in-law. I knew I shouldn’t have been spying on him, but his last visit had made me all the more pensive about marriage once again, especially since a boy had come home unexpectedly to see me last week. The whole samoosa run thing was just super unnerving,

I knew Zaynah would love to hear about that. It might even cheer her up.

“Someone came home last week,” I said, glancing at her to see her expression.

She raised her eyebrows slightly and gave a small smile.

“And?” She asked, prompting me on.

I shook my head and shrugged.

She shook her head back at me, still smiling.

“I thought you weren’t thinking about marriage yet, madam,” she said, raising her eyebrows.

“I’m not!” I argued. “Daddy literally pounced on me! These people are his old friends, and he likes the family. Too bad the guy is not as great as he hoped.”

Zaynah was still smiling as I went through the details of conversing with the guy. I hated the situation, because I hated to talk to guys. They just made me uncomfortable. I wasn’t sure how girls did it all the time, but for me the whole situation was so awkward and embarrassing. I didn’t feel like ever going through it again.

“At least you had found the right one,” I said to Zaynah, forgetting for a moment everything that had happened so far.

She changed her expression immediately, and I felt slight regret over opening my mouth. Yes, she had, but she didn’t even know how lucky she was.

I pursed my lips, getting ready to apologize for bringing up the past.

“I just don’t understand,” she said evenly, cutting me off and shaking her head at me. “How he even became part of my life.”

I smiled at her sympathetically, knowing that it was probably all very muddled up for her.

She looked at me quizzically, as she sat on the couch.

“And how did I ever accept?” She asked now, looking genuinely interested.

I shrugged at her, remembering the uncertainty she had faced when she decided to marry Waseem.  She was so worried that his past would affect them, and yet it never did. She had put her reservations aside and took the plunge, because she knew deep down it was right for her. I wondered if I would ever feel that way about anyone.

“You gave him a chance,” I said simply. “Even though we were all uncertain.”

Zaynah was still looking at me skeptically, and I frowned at her, wondering what she was thinking.

“Out with it, Zay,” I said, putting my hands on my hips. “Why are you looking at me like that?”

“I heard,” she said after a few moments, talking slowly. “That he was really different before. That he was involved with girls… and other stuff too…”

I pursed my lips, wondering how the tables had turned. Zaynah had always been the one to keep me in check, and now I felt like I was the one who had to constantly do it. I wasn’t sure where Zaynah was hearing all this but I knew I had to tell her what I knew. There was no more beating around the bush and hiding her past. We had to come out with it sooner or later. She was definitely ready to hear it.

“He saw you from over the fence of the estate,” I said simply, shrugging my shoulders. “And then, he changed his life.”

She looked up at me sharply as I grinned at her, realising how sweet it sounded. Even though I was barely a romantic person, right then it was really a most romantic notion, because I couldn’t think of a better reason to want to be with someone. To get closer to someone, only because they showed you true love for Allah, was one of the greatest ways to give your heart.

“No-one ever told me that before,” she said softly, looking away.

I wondered what she had been thinking all this time about her husband. It didn’t seem like she knew the truth about them because everyone had been too scared to tell her.

I didn’t want to tell her what Sarah had been telling me about the girls in Laudium. It seems that people already thought that their marriage was over. In her words, women were already getting their hopes on him when he wasn’t even here, so who knew what would happen when he came back and Zaynah wasn’t around? But then again, Sarah was a bit of that dramatic type. I wasn’t even sure of everything she said was completely accurate.


I looked up at Zaynah, wondering why she was calling me so impatiently. I hadn’t realized that she had probably called me several times in the last few minutes whilst I was stuck in my deep thoughts.

“Jhee?” I said apologetically, giving her a small smirk.

“I need your help.”

I could see that familiar look in her eyes, and I recognized it from back in the day wh Zaynah would have plenty of tricks up her sleeve. It was such a long time ago that I had almost forgot that my cousin had this amazing tendency to concoct plans out of practically nowhere.

As I watched her, I was starting to get slightly worried, although I knew that I couldn’t show it.

“I think something weird is going on,” she finally said, looking at me mysteriously. “And I want to get to the bottom of it.”

I swallowed and nodded, wondering what she was talking about.

Of course, none of what had happened was ordinary. Her whole accident. The breaking of their union. Waseem’s disappearance. I just never suspected that there could be more to it.

The human heart was, of course, a most peculiar thing. Their love had been the kind that knew no bounds, because it was completely selfless. It was a means of betterment for each of them, and their hope to get closer to their Creator through it.

And now still, it seemed like the heart that forgotten the love she had back then, had found the route back to what she once knew.

Sometimes, what is shattered is not completely broken. Even within it’s healing, when it comes to matters of the heart… Well, that’s just something else.

Struggling through the darkness makes us appreciate the miracle of a sunrise, especially when it’s not expected.

“What do I need to do?” I said meekly, almost afraid of the answer so would get. It was great to see Zaynah all determined again, but I wasn’t sure what she was getting all psyched up about.

“We need to figure this all out,” she said boldly, standing up as I watched her slightly fearfully. I knew there was a plan ahead, and I was waiting to hear it.

“Nabeela,” she said, crossing her arms over and looking at me sternly. “It’s simple. We need to find Waseem.”

Don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!

Nabi ﷺ said, “He who has taken food and says at the end: ‘Al- hamdu lillahi-lladhi at’amani hadha, wa razaqanihi min ghairi haulin minni wa la quwwatin (All praise is due to Allah Who has given me food to eat and provided it without any endeavour on my part or any power),’ all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Tirmidhi)

SubhaanAllah. Let’s try and observe the Sunnah Duaas of eating InshaAllah.



#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood




Tweet: @ajourneyjournal


Out of Comfort

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


I turned my face to see my fairly estranged sister-in-law literally run out of the house as fast as she could, straight for the poor guy who was just climbing out of his car.

I hoped she wasn’t going to knock him over. In the short time I had spoken to him, the two of us actually might have hit it off, and my usually unemotional sister-in-law was strangely excited about her new visitor. Too excited.

My eldest brother followed behind shortly, looking slightly hesitant as he walked forward toward them, now chatting animatedly. He looked from me to them, and then frowned, raised his eyebrows and shook his head, in slight bemusement.

“So you met my bro in law before me, neh?”

Her brother. Ah. I could see the dials.

I looked at him with a sheepish smile, thinking it so coincidental that the guy had chosen me of all the people there to direct him. And not just direct him anywhere. To bring him straight to my own brother’s house, that I had been avoiding all this time. I felt the minutest bit of guilt, but my self-sympathy kind of overpowered it.

I turned to look as my sister-in-law ushered us both in insistently, and quickly turned away as I got a better view. I had never been awkward with Aasiya, but the whole pregnancy thing made me feel weird. Maybe because of what I had been through. Maybe pregnancy just reminded me of things that weren’t that awesome.

Life had gotten a little past what I had bargained for, and I didn’t expect it to affect me as much as I was feeling it. I trudged up the marble set of stairs that led to Mo’s entrance hall, following the voices to the lounge. I missed Waseem at times like this because recently I had always felt closer to him. He had been on a business trip and I hadn’t seen him for a while. I was well aware that he had been trying to contact me, but as usual, I chose to ignore his calls. I wasn’t sure exactly why, but I just needed some time alone.

So much for trying to be helpful. I was starting to feel slightly out of my comfort zone as I realised that I had set myself up for the exact opposite.

I sighed and trudged up the staircase, realizing that I might be overplaying the whole widower bit. Yeah, people felt sorry for me, but I knew that it was just a matter of time before they got fed up. I was kind of over-doing the whole role.

Aasiya was chattering away  as she opened the fridge door and took out some stuff and my heart literally lifted when I noticed several dishes being placed on the nook.

I could already tell that it going to be amazing.

Food. I wasn’t sure when last I had enjoyed it. Aasiya’s signature dishes were the one thing I knew that would never fail to uplift my morbid mood.

“Wow, sis. All this for me,” Yusuf said, winking at us.

He had this light-hearted edge to his voice and I realized that even though he looked like Maulana Dude, he was very different to him. He looked cooler. Not as rough. I appreciated the change. Molvi Dude sometimes scared me.

As they all spoke I learnt that this guy was actually not just a Jamaat guy, but also an engineer by profession. He actually had a real job. Yeah, I was a superficial guy. It was amazing how our opinions of people changed when we realized that they had some title to their name. Here I was, thinking that they were all from some backward farm place, when I was the one who was probably the most out of tune.

“Muhammad, tell Ziyaad not to act like a visitor,” Aasiya said as she set down a pile of plates for us.

Mo gestured for me to help myself, and I nodded slowly, still digesting the whole thing as I grabbed a plate got ready for another load of digesting. For the first time in ages, I was getting excited.

I put a few of the yummy looking crumbed chicken stuff on my plate and took a seat near Mo and half-listened to their chatter from the lounge. Mo pitched in here and there, but I could see something different about him as he interacted. It just proved how long I hadn’t spent time with him.

He looked like he had grown a few years in the past months, and it wasn’t just the beard or grey hair. My brother looked like his entire mindset had been altered. He was still semi-obsessed with his wife, but I could tell that his obsession stemmed from something deeper now. The whole atmosphere in the house was just different. Serene. Calm.

It was amazing what changing your life can do. More amazing was the fact that not only you benefited, but even people around could feel the change. I mean, I never saw this coming, as I was stuck in my own problems and pursuits. Allah had guided him in a most unexpected way, and I hoped he would remain as determined to fix his life. I wished that I too had that drive, because right now, it felt like I was on the edge.

Feelings of discontentment and inadequacy were plaguing me now that I began to think of my life. The more I dwelled on the past as I sat there, the more my mind got warped. I hastily tuned out of my own thoughts, knowing that I either needed to leave or stop being such a sorry case.

Aasiya was talking to Yusuf behind me, and I could hear her mention something about Umar. She was the only one I knew where addressed him by his first name, and it was slightly weird for me. I mean, I always knew him as the Molvi.

“When’s he going to be around?” She asked.

“I’m not sure,” his brother said vaguely.

My ears perked up as I heard them speaking in  lowered tones. It was sounding slightly shady, and I wondered what the big secrecy was all about.

“No!” Aasiya suddenly said, and Mo looked up from the property section of the paper in slight bemusement, wondering what the hubbub was about.

And of course, being Zee, I wondered too.

“He’s gone again?” She asked, and I wondered where she was talking about. “What did his wife say? I mean, he’s got four kids-”

“Nearly five.”

I turned around to look at them, and I could see Aasiya’s eyes widening.

What?!” She said incredulously, looking like she was completely shocked out of her mind.

Woman had a way of dramatizing simple things a little too much. Her brother nodded.

“Aasiya, it’s not that uncommon,” he said calmly. “People are going all the time…”

“It’s all this ISIS nonsense,” she retorted, sounding angry.

Despite that and their serious tones, I immediately started grinning to myself, knowing where this conversation was going.

Of course we weren’t terrorists. I didn’t think there were many people I had met who were that kind of material, except maybe for my used-to-be father-in-law. Okay. I’m.Just.Kidding.

The thing is, ISIS was one of Waseem’s favorite topics to argue about. He insisted that it was just a ploy to get the west to hate Muslims, and it wasn’t even something that Muslims backed. There are two sides of the fence you can take, and the right one is the mechanism that all Muslims from the beginning of time have deployed. More of a much needed defence, than a form of terrorism. They weren’t terrorists or extremists. The real Mujaahideen were men who Nabi SAW truly loved and had spoke about for their spirit and enthusiasm for their genuine upliftment of Deen. They were men who truly went out in the path of Allah, to fight oppression for His pleasure, and to die for His cause. I mean, I knew that people were dying all the time in the East and other parts of Africa, but I had no idea that people like that existed in our community.

“But that’s just crazy,” Aasiya was saying, as I looked away, pretending to ignore them. She was adamant. Mo’s face was expressionless, but he raised his eyebrows as the siblings conversed, knowing that this was probably going to lead to something he didn’t favour.

“I mean, we don’t have to go to these places and do all that stuff,” Aasiya insisted.'”We’re  not living in Syria. No-one is forcing us to go out and-”

“Aasiya, we can’t all live in a little bubble,” Mo piped up from where he sat , out of the blue.

He immediately looked sorry he said that, as Aasiya glared at him, expecting him to take her side. It was obvious that Mo wasn’t of the same opinion. Yusuf nodded in agreement.

“You can say that,” he said to Aasiya. “But we’ll all have to knock ourselves out of our comfort zone soon, and fight for our Deen. As it is… It’s quality is deteriorating. Nabi (SAW) predicted that there would come a time like this… When there are so many Muslims… but our hearts will be so weak. It’s exactly what Molvi speaks about all the time. We got no substance.”

He shrugged, and I remembered the Hadith, and the momentary fear I had felt when I first heard it. We think that we have yet to come to that time, but it wasn’t the case.

Thawban (RA) related that the Nabi of Allah (SAW) said: “The nations are about to call each other and set upon you, just as diners set upon food.” It was said: “Will it be because of our small number that day?”

He (SAW) said: “Rather, on that day you will be many, but you will be like foam, like the foam on the river. And Allah will remove the fear of you from the hearts of your enemies and will throw wahn (weakness) into your hearts.” Someone said: “O Messenger of Allah! What is wahn?” He said: “Love of the world and the hatred for death.”

It was so true of us, as we sat in luxury and made the most of every worldly benefit.

I nodded to myself silently, knowing that Yusuf was right. I mean, even our spirit was lacking.

During the times of the Sahabah, they would wait for the call for Jihaad to come. Even the younger boys used to puff out their chests to appear broader and older when Nabi (SAW) was in their midst to pick his Mujaahideen, ready to go out and fight for Islam. And it wasn’t just novelty or some kind of fantasy. They did it because they understood what really awaited them.  They truly believed that they would emit the fragrance of musk as their blood fell. They truly relished the thought of meeting their hoors in the gardens of Paradise. They anticipated the heights they would reach in Jannah, because they knew that this world was completely overrated.

What lay ahead was far more worthy for them, that they were prepared to sacrifice anything to get it. They were ready to do away with all of their comfort.

And we, on the other hand, sit back and say it’s not our place to do all that ‘stuff’, because it will make us some kid of radical extremists. To go out for Islam was completely unnecessary in our misguided minds.

I wanted to voice my concerns and check what was being said, because I knew that it wasn’t worth us living in this delusional world. But Yusuf was already a step ahead of me.

What he said, I never realized before. The truth of it sent shivers down my spine.

“The time will come… When we all will have to fight. Every single one us.”

I swallowed as he glanced at Mo and I as he spoke, and I realised that he wasn’t just talking. He was serious. We lived in our comfort zones, caught up in our own world and petty problems, when there were real and heart breaking thing happening out there. Yeah, before I was indifferent. I didn’t care what happened in remote corners of the world. I didn’t give a damn about how people were being tortured and arrested, for no real reason.

I shook my head now, realizing what it was that made people actually leave the comfort they had here and gone away to these places to aid the Muslims there. It was this desire to do something. Anything. A desire to reach the heights that we could never compare to, while we sat here in luxury. And no, I wasn’t sure if I was going to run away to Al Sham as yet, but the restlessness I felt couldn’t be ignored as I sat there doing nothing. Maybe I needed this to realize that my life wasn’t so terrible after all. It’s only when we compare our lives to those worse off do we get an idea of how blessed we are. How easy we have it.

“I’ll see you,” I said to Mo, getting up to go. I knew where I needed to go. Seeing Waseem always made me feel a little closer to where I needed to. He was probably back home by now, since it was weekend, and I really needed to speak to him.

“You going home?” He asked, looking concerned about me.

I nodded, telling him that I needed to see Waseem.

He frowned slightly, looking at me with slight confusion.

“He’s not around,” he said obviously.

I frowned back, wondering if why he still wasn’t back.

“Didn’t you know?” He asked, shaking his head at me. “Bru, where’re you living at?”

I shrugged, knowing that I had been slightly out of touch recently. I just wasn’t sure what he was going on about.

“Waseem’s gone,” he said bluntly, shrugging back at me. “Not sure where. He phoned me the other day to say his vrou requested a divorce…”

I sucked in my breath. A divorce. It wasn’t just uncomfortable to speak about. That word made me sick to my stomach.

Yoh. That was bad. Bad.

“And I haven’t heard from him since.”

Don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!

Beautiful Sunnah!!

Eating a piece of food that falls on the floor. If a piece of food falls on the floor, then the person eating should remove any dirt that gets onto it and eat it; because he does not know where the blessing is in his food. It may be in the piece that fell, and leaving it makes a person miss out on the blessing of the food.

Anas ibn Maalik narrated that when Nabi (SAW) ate, he would lick his three fingers. Anas said: “And he said, ‘If any one of you drops a piece of food, let him remove any dirt from it and eat it, and not leave it for the Shaytaan.’ And he commanded us to clean the plate, and said, ‘For you do not know where in your food the blessing is.’” (Narrated by Muslim, 2034). 

There are many bodily benefits to all Sunnah as well. Let’s try and practise regularly!

We will be doing more eating and drinking Sunnahs Insha Allah.



#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood




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