When Spirits Soar

Bismihi Ta’ala


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

“See you.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last time was the last time?

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

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

I wanted to hang my head in my hands.

There’s it. Bayaan time.

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

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

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

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

Crazy. It was just crazy.

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

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

I really would like you to come. Layy.

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

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

The next message came about 3 minutes after.

I typed, wondering how this would all turn out.

I will try my best xx

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hey gorgeous.”

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

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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

22nd October 2021

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

(Muslim Shareef)

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


An amazing quality to inculcate into our lives…





FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah


When we say Goodbye

Bismihi Ta’ala


There is a sunrise and a sunset every day. A new day… a new chance. A new opportunity to start all over again. Sometimes when we lose ourselves in our own chaos, the only solution is to reacquaint ourselves with the colors of a sunset. With it, there is a certain sorrow, but also… we see a promise for tomorrow. With its course… Just like with each goodbye, there is usually a new hello. It’s a reminder to embrace the air that surrounds you. I reminder to dwell in the appreciation of life and all that it can bring. A reminder that indeed, after a loss, Allah always promises a relief.

Yes, sometimes it’s goodbye. But sometimes it’s hello.

And if anything, losing Aadam was a reminder for all of us about what this life was really about. The truth is that we get stuck in this rat-race… so immersed in Duniya… so captured in this world with the thought that tomorrow is always there and it will never end. The deception of the world was an illusion that fooled even the most intelligent of man…

A buzurg (pious man) once said: “I am astonished at the man who knows that he will die and that death can come to him at anytime yet still enjoys the things of this world. I am astonished at the man who believes that Jahannam is real and that nobody knows where his place in the Aakhirah(hereafter) is going to be but still finds time to laugh. I am astonished at a person who sees poor people become rich and rich people become poor in this world all the time but still feels happy when he gets some wealth. I am astonished at that person who believes in Taqdeer (that everything is already decided and that everyone must get his share) but still makes an effort to earn the world.” (Fazaail- e-Sadaqaat)

And the truth was that the thought of death was fairly distant back then… I was yet to learn all those lessons about life.. The reality of death was still far-fetched, as it is for most of us. No-one thinks that their time is nearly up. I didn’t really think that I’d have to say goodbye to Aadam so soon. Though his death was probability, the suddenness of it was still brutal.

And yes, his death was a much needed reminder, but his presence was a gift to us too. Aadam had been sent, like a gust of wind, uplifting and awakening a part of me that I never knew existed. With his carefree openness and his spirit… through horse and mountains, sunsets and serenity…. he showed us something so beautiful and true, that not only was it a great love, but also one of those amazing friendships that opened my heart and made me believe that beautiful things could really be.

And after all that time… it was no wonder that I had been thinking of him, because when Ma had spoken of Aadam, of course, my heart knew no boundaries. Though I missed him every day, I the thought of him being in a place where there was no pain or grief always soothed me. His memories were a stirring to what I thought was long buried. There were so many thoughts and feelings and moments that even if I could talk about them, I knew that words would be exhausted before I even finished. It was amazing and extraordinary and everything in between…

It was just that right now, with the new discovery, some things were a little difficult to understand, and I really wished that I could just ask him…

Oh my noodles, Khawlah!”

Nusaybah’s voice was enough to cause my stirring heart to literally jump into my throat as the room door flung open. Lo and behold, there she was… my slightly deranged friend, all in a hype over something that I was obviously clueless about.

And of course, I should have seen the signs. Her scarf was neatly pinned, her make-up was immaculately done and a huge smile was planted on her shining face. I, of course, could only scowl as I looked back at her, appalled at her for disturbing my peaceful and perfect dreamworld…

Much to my horror, Nusaybah was already at the window, busy yanking the curtains open. As happened every Saturday morning, Khadijah was gone with Ahmed since after Fajr, and this was my one morning to sleep in. How was this even fair?! It was only 9AM!

”Nusaybah, can’t it wait till later?” I asked, clearly irritable as I  pulled the feather pillow over my head. It was the only solution.

”Khawlah, are you crazy?” She said, spinning around and glaring at me, clearly mortified by my suggestion. “Can I ever wait for anything?! This is big news!”

It was true. Nusaybah was the most impatient of people that I had ever come across.

Realization dawned as I remembered last nights discussion with my uncle. My heart hammered as I wondered if Nusaybah had already made up her mind.

“Goodness,” I breathed, now wide awake as I  wondered how I would deal if Nusaybah was all head-over-heels. “Don’t tell me that you’re already going gaga over my unworthy cousin?”

And for the first time ever in the history of our crazy friendship, Nusaybah’s cheeks turned a deep shade of crimson, as she immediately burst into girly giggles. Honestly, if she hadn’t invaded the room and yanked open my curtains, I would have sworn that this was another person. Never in my life had I seen my friend act so coy.

And yes, I had learnt a few extraordinary things about my friend during the past few days. Although she often ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ over random guys… when there finally came a time that she was truly interested in someone… she was the epitome of bashfulness. For the past few days since they arrived from the UK, when cousin was in the vicinity, my bold and boisterous friend suddenly morphed into a timid mouse. It was truly quite hilarious.

Ny uncle and his family had been down from the UK for two weeks now. It was great having them around but the best part was that with them coming, as always, it brought so much more than we anticipated…

I smiled at her, despite the fact that I was clearly quite emotional. I kept recalling the time when we had unbelievably and ambitiously dreamt of having picnic together, thinking that our kids would grow up together. All of that seemed like a distant memory now… how we planned our lives with to the tee, and how Allah’s plan comes with its own surprising beauty.
Was it already three years?! I could barely believe how time had flown.

Strange how some of the weirdest thoughts turn true and some realities are so far from what you ever imagined…

“I think you guys will be amazing together,” I said, my eyes tearing up. “And I’m so happy for you…”

Her eyes were brimming too as she came forward to embrace me, then pulled back and looked me in the eye.

“This doesn’t mean you can boss me around, alright? I’m still two months older than you. I’m sure Mr Perfect would have agreed.. “

”You wish!” I said, sticking my tongue out at her. “Cousin-in-laws are allowed to be bossy. Too bad Mr Perfects not around to see it, huh? It’s strange how life turns out sometimes, isn’t it?”

She smiled, albeit a little dejectedly, knowing that Aadam would have been thrilled for her too. It had been barely two weeks ago that I had gotten the feeling that Nusaybah was interested in my cousin… and because my friend was such a candidly expressive person…  I knew that the best thing to do was to feel the waters and see if there was any real potential for something exciting to progress. What I didn’t expect was Faheem to be just as crazily into Nusaybah as she was…

I grinned as I saw the expression on my cousin’s face. At the time, I knew that it was definitely going to be fun to match-make and I couldn’t wait for it all to come together. It was just that now that it was all happening, I kind of wanted it to slow down..

“Okay,” I said, trying to get over the commotion. “Now that the cats out of the bag, can I go back to sleep and continue dreaming about my husband? He was about to tell me something important before you inconsiderately butted into our conversation..”

I knew  that I needed some time to let this all process… to come to terms with my friend actually leaving me…

No!” Nusaybah yelled, planting her hands on her hips and glaring me. “Tell Mr. Perfect dream version that you’ll catch him later. We got work to do, girl! My father spoke to your uncle and they want the Nikah next week! Next week, Khawlah! Do you know what that means?! It means I’m already two months behind with wedding preparations… oh my goodness, I’m freaking out!”

I think I was the one that was going to go crazy. This was moving too fast for my liking. Way too fast.

The two of them had literally just spoken a few days ago and Nusaybah was already to give her answer. I knew that it was good and better for them, but I just digest what this would mean. I was just glad that Nusaybah wouldn’t be leaving straight away. Or would she? Faheem was speaking about doing his medical internship in SA. I had no idea why, but that worked out perfectly for me…

“Listen,” Nusaybah said, and I could tell she was watching me carefully. My friend knew me a little too well for my liking. “You know that he wouldn’t have hurt you intentionally, right?”

It took me a minute to figure out what she was talking about. Yesterday’s discussions had many features to them. Aadam and Khalid was one of them.

I nodded slowly as I met Nusaybah’s eye.

”Aadam or Khalid?” I asked with a small smile.

The truth was that I had been so clouded with emotion that I couldn’t help but be a little too accusing. I supposed I was angry. Angry at Aadam. Angry at Khalid. Angry that they had both hid the truth. Angry that Khalid had let us believe he was dead for so long. Angry that he hadn’t stayed in contact with Yunus. Angry that he’d come back, thinking he can just pick up where he left. Angry that this had opened so many healing wounds…

Yes, I had been angry. Quite so. But now that my mind was clearer and my dream was a reminder of the kind of person he was, I did realize that maybe I had been a little too impulsive in my actions. Maybe we shouldn’t have gone to Aunty Radiyyah immediately…

”Lets just forget about it for a while, why don’t we?” She wisely concluded. “Warrior Hijaabi with a heart of rock… I know it’s hard… pardon the pun…  Besides, you can’t stay angry at insanely handsome people…”

I rolled my eyes at her, knowing that she was talking about Khalid.

”Whatever,” I mumbled. To me, Khalid was just well… Khalid. No matter what Nusaybah thought.
Nusaybah’s expression was still pensive, and I looked at her questioningly as she plopped herald on the bed next to me, looking up at the ceiling in a half-daze.

“Some things we don’t see coming,” she said softly, turning to look at me.

“Like Faheem,” I said knowingly. I swallowed as I said it, knowing that this was something she didn’t see coming either. Yet it was amazing…

“I don’t think you saw Aadam coming either,” she said blandly, looking at the ceiling again. “Like a whirlwind, he came out of the blue and turned this warrior hijaabi friend of mine into the loving girl who became the most amazing mother to his daughter. He brought so much of joy and sunshine to your life. He woke you up in a way that you’d never known before.”

I turned to watch her speak, glimpsing her teary smile as I looked ahead again, not wanting to give into emotion. It was so achingly true, yet I didn’t want to remember it..

“And as for Khalid,” she murmured suddenly, catching me a little off guard. “I know very well that he was a really beloved friend of yours… once upon a time. I also know that without him… at that crucial part of your childhood when it mattered how you saw the world… without that beautiful and rare love that moulded you… you wouldn’t have been that someone who could see the beauty in everything, instead of dwelling on the loss. He showed you that there’s a reason for life and a reason for death and that everything in between is for and through Allah alone. If it wasn’t for him, Khawlah, you might have been an entirely different kind of Khawlah that I know and truly love…”

”But still,” I insisted, fighting back emotion and not wanting to stray from the point. Sentiments aside, right?

Ugh,” she exclaimed, throwing her hands up in the air in exasperation. “There are no buts, woman! It’s pretty simple, don’t you see?!”

I didn’t. Nusaybah’s thoughts were always on a completely different wavelength to mine.

“Aadam was a beautiful chapter of your life,” she murmured, almost inaudibly.

“I know,” I whispered. And I didn’t want to spoil that chapter.

”But so was Khalid,” she said pointedly, with a small smile. “I think it’s amazing that the two of them met. Don’t you think it’s a beautiful ending to what could be a great story?”

I never did look at it that way. From that little girl who was somewhat lost, through Khalid and his constant reminders and inspiration… I had become the best version of myself that I could ever be.

I narrowed my eyes at Nusaybah, not really wanting to know what she was thinking. No. I wouldn’t entertain it.

Goodness, she was always putting things into such an amazing perspective for me and I was so going to miss this crazy friend of mine. I turned to her instantly, closing in for a fierce hug, catching her completely off-guard as we both forgot for a moment about the emotions and the pain that had once been etched in our hearts.

And of course, as she left the room, just as how she’d come, Nusaybah had left me with much to think about for that moment. It was no surprise that the next two weeks flew by with nothing else but her as the central focus. It was a crazy bout of organizing and excitement that rained on us for those few days, whilst we tried to keep afloat and make the most of the time we had. My Madrasah studies that I had finally started at the beginning of that year were put on hold for a few days, as I tried to give her the best farewell. The plan was for Nusaybah to go to the UK for three months, and Faheem to then come back here to stay in a remote area where he would be doing his internship. Nusaybah was thrilled because it meant that she could finally apply for her own admission to the nearby medical school… but I wasn’t… because that meant that she’d be nowhere near me.

And it was no wonder that in the midst of it all, I had even forgotten that Aunty Radiyyah would be leaving for a while too. Everything was so crazily busy that when I finally came up to breathe, there was barely any time to spend with her and say goodbye the way I wanted to before her big leave. I knew I’d be seeing her the next day at the function but knowing that I wouldn’t get to talk much was making me strangely nostalgic. I lived with the hope that I could find some time to chat to her once Nusaybah and Faheem had headed off.

And then of course, the wedding day dawned on us, and we wondered where all the time had been lost. Nusaybah, in her untold glory, made a delightfully beautiful bride.

And as we dressed that day, I couldn’t help but do a double take as she pulled on her dress, slowly twirling around in joy as she gazed at herself as a bride. Of course, I couldn’t stop staring at my friend either. There was no doubt that she was sensational in peach and ivory, and as the time neared for her Nikah to be performed, ready to hear those words that would unite her and Faheem for life, I could see the slight traces of nervousness behind her rigid frame. Nusaybah, being who she was, was full of energy and unvontained excitement. I could hear excited chatter around me, as the words were uttered, and everyone waited for the groom to arrive. The laughter and sensation was contagious, and as the evenings events commenced, and everything  I couldn’t fully grasp that my friend was actually married.

Her impromptu squeak of joy as the words were evidence of her elation. I knew then, at that moment was this was the moment that I had been waiting for. For everything she had done for me… for all her sacrifices and encouragement and words of wisdom.. this moment was a moment of ultimate gratification.

All I could think of was the way she always came through for me… the way she made me see sense and the way she put everything into perspective when I was completely missing the point.

It was no wonder that I had suddenly had this overwhelming desire in me that some day… One day… I really wished that I’d get a chance to repay Nusaybah for all the jacking up that I constantly needed. Yes, I hoped that one day I’d be the one that would help her through her own battles that she faced too… because I knew wat back when, that this friendship was one of those forever ones.

It was the moment that I had been waiting for. This friendship of mine, that I hoped and prayed would be one that I would carry through to Jannah… was finally seeing what it deserved. And my heart soared because l had actually finally fulfilled that dream and been a small part of making her happiness. I knew I could never do it justice, but as I hugged her with every bit of strength I could muster, the goodbyes that were imminent felt like the most difficult thing in the world.

“I wished that I didn’t have to say goodbye…” I said, feeling all teary as I realized that inevitably, I would have to.

Nusaybah looked at me, her dark eyes filled with unhindered emotion.

“Khawlah,” she said quietly as she met my gaze. “I wished that I could stay with you a little longer…”

I nodded, feeling all choked up but wishing the exact same, as she placed her hands on my shoulders reassuringly, and her beautiful face glowed with a mixture of sorrow and elation.

”Theres still so much I need to tell you,” she murmured, swallowing her emotion. “I wish that I could to convince you that you can live again. I wish that I could get you out of Mr Perfect’s perfect world. I wish that you’d see things the way everyone else does. I wish that things didn’t turn out the way they did for you. I wished so many things for you…”

Her voice broke at that point and I went toward her, reaching out to hold her, yet not knowing what she meant.

I looked at her, as her eyes filled with tears, and I held her hand tighter as I tried to assure her that I’d be okay. All my friend ever wanted was the best for me, but why was it so hard to give in..?

I could feel her grip tighten as she held onto me,  one last time, and then finally pull away, looking back at me with significant tears in her eyes but the most amazing Nusaybah-like smile on her beautiful face.

”Nus,” I asked, really quite bewildered by her sudden change of emotion right then. “Can you please tell me what’s going on?”

She was still smiling like a buffoon, as she reached for my hand and gripped it assuringly.

”It’s a surprise,” she said happily, with a single tear streak glimmering on her cheek. Happy tears, I realized as my heart soared. There was something up her sleeve. Those were definitely happy tears.

“I couldn’t say goodbye just yet and I wish that I could have told you sooner,” she babbled a little hysterically. “But it was too soon, and I really wanted to just make sure it was the right choice this time. I wanted to tell you… there’s something I really need to show you…”

Revive the Sunnah of Du’aa

Having good Expectations and certain faith that Allaah will respond
Al-Tirmidhi (3476) narrated that Fadaalah ibn ‘Ubayd (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: Whilst the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ was sitting, a man came in and prayed and said, “O Allaah, forgive me and have mercy on me.” The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said, “You have been too hasty, O worshipper. When you have prayed and are sitting, praise Allaah as He deserves to be praised, and send blessings upon me, then call upon Him.” (Authenticated by Albani)
According to another version (3477): “When one of you prays, let him start with praise of Allaah, then let him send blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ, then let him ask whatever he likes after that.” Then another man prayed after that, and he praised Allaah and sent blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ. The Prophet ﷺ said: “O worshipper, ask and you will be answered.”

Therefore, whenever a worshipper asks Allah with sincerity, hoping for Allah’s mercy, and fulfilling the etiquette and manners of dua, he should be certain that his Du’aa will be responded to.

Lots and lots of Duaas. Let’s focus on trying to bring Du’aa into our daily lives...

How easy to practice …











Twitter: @ajourneyjournal






Another Goodbye

Bismihi Ta’ala


My sister was looking at me skeptically as she folded her arms over her chest.

”You said no?” She asked with raised eyebrows. “Why?”

I shrugged again. It wasn’t the first suggestion of a proposal but it was the first of note.  Besides, the whole thing had been done without my in-laws knowledge. Somehow, it just didn’t feel right.

”A few reasons,” I said vaguely. “There were rumors of him getting a divorce for completely unrelated reasons but I don’t want to be the reason that it happens either. I think he needs to sort out his domestic business before he thinks of another marriage…”

Zuleikha’s eyes lit up as realization dawned.

”Don’t tell me we’re talking about the doctor?” She said, looking a bit gobsmacked.

I gave an obviously cynical smile.

”Goodness, Khawlah,” she breathed. “He loves Khadijah. Like, on another level. Plus, despite the fact that he’s in his 30’s, he looks almost exactly like Aadam. In theory, it’s absolutely perfect. Everyone will think she’s his daughter…”

She was right. Any stranger could see the resemblance. And of course, it was no secret that whenever my daughter would be at Aadam’s parents, Siraj would inevitably pop in for hours on end. Somehow, even with his busy schedule, he made so much of time for her, even if it was several times a week. He spoilt her with gifts, sweets and even the most expensive of toys. He was really like a good guy… and he loved my daughter… but whether I would be able to be who he expected of me… I wasn’t sure. I didn’t know if I was ready to be married to someone just so to fulfill one role. I knew that he probably desired to have kids of his own and I had a good idea that his reason for  proposal centered around that sole factor.

I mean, why else would he suggest this when it could cause so much of drama?

”The topic is closed,” I said simply. “I politely said that he can see Khadijah whenever he liked, but Nikah won’t be a good idea. Ahmed said he seemed to take it surprisingly well…”

I held fast to the notion that he wasn’t for me, and I knew that I had made the right decision. The thing was, as the three year mark of Aadam’s death came, I couldn’t help but feel the pressure from those around me.

And then there were times when I sometimes couldn’t believe what had happened. Moments when I would still wake up in the middle of the night, dripping with sweat because the dreams of him would seem so real. Of course, my heart was still endowed with love for him. As time passes, the memories of a loved one become even fonder. You forget the little things that once annoyed you or the arguments you had. All I remembered was how beautiful those last few weeks were… when I thought that I had no idea of how soon he was going to leave…

And the painful truth was, I think I knew. I knew deep in my heart that he had prayed that final Salaah… as he made his Salaam… and then glanced  up at me… something in his eyes told me that he knew that his final hours had come. The signs were evident. His escorts were already there… and it was as if Aadam could see exactly what awaited him after…

It was surreal, and as he drifted off and his tongue moved silently with viable force, the sound of the Kalimah being read seemed to intensify and I couldn’t help but let out a heightened whimper of palpable grief as he bade farewell to this world..

So young. So unexpected.

And then… he was gone.

Aadam was gone.

Aadam was gone.

Aadam was gone.

I felt my own world caving in from all sides… as if in slow motion…. And I could see myself once again… 

The girl who stood and watched him as he looked back at her running out of the rain, the moment bared his soul and asked if she would marry him …

That girl who threw her head back and laughed as she watched him galloping away on horseback, wondering if he was crazy if he expected her to do the same.

The girl who had watched him scream out to the gorges that he loved her, just before the fall that had changed everything…

I could see myself again, grinning at the contentment apparent on his face when he had been relayed the news that he was going to be a father…

His one dimpled smile. His crooked eyebrow. His quirky comments. Everything I loved about him and that made me feel so much more alive was now gone forever…

Tears streamed down my face as the reality of it hit me. And though I knew this was a test and a part of life, I was still struggling to understand why.

His leaving was a blast that sunk my soul to the murkiest of lows. The scent of calico and camphor lingered in the air, as I gazed at the white sheets. The muffled tears that were heard amidst the beating of my grieving heart, were a constant reminder of the loss. The random whispers piercing the shocked silence were like a puncture to my soul. It was almost like a dream that I willed myself to wake up from, yet blatantly refused…

And then was the moment when he was lifted, as. a sudden feeling of  overwhelming disbelief overcame me as my brothers and his cousins lifted him, wanting to bolt after them and pull him back to shake him awake, begging him not to leave.

Dont leave me, Aadam, my heart silently cried. Please don’t leave…

I remembered my fathers face, as he watched me, with tears running down his face. Like that moment he watched us when Mama had passed away, except that this time, it seemed that much more raw. Unfiltered. Real. I always thought that  Mama’s death would be the worst that could ever happen to my family…

At that point I couldn’t understand it, but when I thought about it, I realized exactly how Abba felt.  To see your child go through that kind of pain, knowing that you could do nothing to ease it… well, it was a million times worse than going through it yourself.

Rubeena was inconsolable for days after. We could barely talk without her tearing up. I had forgotten about the baby for a few days, as I sunk into grief. Aunty Radiyyah had come along… making this more stark than anything before. She was lost for words. As she sat there, her grey eyes filling with tears. I couldn’t quite believe that my husband had an effect on so many people in his short life.

It was a whirlwind that had changed our lives, but not only for now. His effect was one that lasted way after. I could almost hear him consoling me. Telling me that it was all going to be okay. Telling me that no, he wasn’t scared. Why would he be scared? It was on, over the horizon of this temporary abode, where things were so much better. Exclusive. Enteral. Why should I be scared for him? The houses were more elite. The nourishment was in another dimension. The entire life thy he had lived would be a testimony to what awaited…

Surely his passing had been blessed. Surely Allah had provided him with the best of signs for us to seek consolment from. Surely he wanted to hurry to his final destination…

I will love you. In every moment, in every time. In any moment, in any place. I will still love you. Till Jannah and beyond. And even if I don’t wake up tomorrow, Khawlah… I love you so much

It was the words that had stuck with me through those years. When I felt the first movement of a little life within me. When his voice would sometimes talk to me between my dreams. When I held our beautiful daughter in my arms for the first time…

Like a jolt out of the blue… a sudden awakening from the slumber that I had thought I was in, Khadijah’s existence was a reality that brought my entire home alive. 

And as she grew and blossomed into this beautiful child that captured our hearts, there was so much that I could be grateful for. I busied myself with her and motherhood, teaching her the gems of Deen and doing the best I could to make her into a child that would be Sadaqah Jaariya for her beloved father. After all that time of giving her everything…

Somehow, as the three year mark hit, after so long, I found myself sinking to a new low. The initial strength that everyone had admired about me was wavering, and the memories of Aadam would sometimes get me down. It hadn’t been easy but I had exuded a confidence  that no-one had expected. Now that Khadijah was growing up and demanding a little less attention… I found myself finding more time… reliving the past in a way that broke my spirit.

It was at that point when Abba had decided that it was time for me to move on. He felt that I was holding back. That I had put a huge full stop at the point in my life, when I refused to look forward. Abba was worried that  I had sunk into a pit that no-one would be able to pull me out of, and being a father, he did what he thought would be the right thing for me.

He tried to find me a suitor.

And I loved my Abba for that. I loved that he wanted me to be happy again, but my heart was no longer as pliable as it had been when Aadam had first found his way in. I was harder now. More rigid. Difficult to please. Being with Aadam, though it was one of the most amazing eras of my life, also put him on a pedestal. To me, no-one else would ever be able to match up.

”Can we just forget it?” I eventually I said to Abba, as I declined the fifth option he had put forward to me that month. “Is it that much of a problem having me here? If it is I can always move into the flat. It’s lying empty anyway.”

”Khawlah,” Abba said softly, shaking his head. “You know it’s not that. We love having you and Khadijah here. It’s just that now Yunus is gone, you’re stuck with two old people here and I can see that you’re not the same as you used to be…”

Yunus had commenced with an Aalim course since school had finished. Now that Ramadhaan was nearing and he was off for a month, he had decided to go to the Middle East to improve his Arabic for a few weeks. I was so proud of my little brother. He had followed his dreams. From being the quiet youngest brother who seemed so lost, I could see now that he was going to be the anchor that held us all down…

”I’ll never be the same, Abba,” I said quietly. “Life’s taken a lot out of me. It’s been a tough ride. But Alhumdulillah…”

Abba looked at me and swallowed. His strong features were still the same but the creases at the corners of his eyes and the slightly more distinct lines of his frown gave his real age away. His olive skin didn’t look as vibrant as it used to and his smile wasn’t as striking, but Abba was still Abba. The man who had, in my books, fallen from grace at some stage but had now, over these few years, worked his way up to the pedestal again.

I ventured to my room again, knowing that Abba meant no harm but feeling a little down nonetheless. At times it happened. Sometimes I missed Aadam more than other days. Khadijah being around sometimes made it harder. She was so much like her father that I sometimes could not even bare it. While at times it gave me pleasure to see her make people laugh and bring so much of joy to others, it also pained my heart ever so slightly as I thought of how Aadam would have chuckled at her silly banter and unpredictable comments.

”Where is that gorgeous daughter of yours?” Nusaybah asked later that day as she pushed open my door and collapsed on my bed, propping herself up on one hand and eyeing me out. “I’m missing her sparkle. You’re like a stunned chicken compared to her. Boorringgggg….”

”She’s gone to Aunty Radiyyah for the afternoon,” I said, not paying attention to her insinuation that I’d lost my own sparkle. “She’s missing Yunus too much.”

”Those two get along really well, don’t they?” She said quietly. “Can we gatecrash?”

“I’m not really in the mood,” I said in a monotone. “I just feel like relaxing today.”

Aunty Radiyyah was so good with her. She would teach her such wonderful things. She always came back knowing some new Hadith or Surah or Du’aa… it made me a little sad that Aunty Radiyyah  would never have a grandchild of her own to teach all these wonderful things to.

”When are you ever in the mood for anything?” mumbled Nusaybah after a few seconds, almost to herself.

I swallowed as she said it, biting back emotion at her comment. I knew she wasn’t being mean on purpose but sometimes her big mouth was a little too vocal for my liking. I rolled my eyes and turned away. She didn’t know what it was like. She had never been married. She had never lost a husband.

I knew I was being ugly, but my thoughts were that as far as I could see, she had had it pretty easy so far.

”I’m sorry,” she said softly as I silently sorted out some of Khadijah’s toys that stayed in the room. “I didn’t mean to sound insensitive.”

I turned and met her eye. I felt like sometimes I just needed to cry and let it all out. But the overwhelming need to be strong and fore bearing  almost always pushed through.

“On the up side,” she said, as she gave me a sultry grin. “Maybe I can make you smile. I have some good news…”

I smiled already, forgiving her instantly. When Nusaybah smiled there was no way I could stay angry with her. It was just that sincere.

”Tell me,” I said, cocking my head to one side. “Is it about the application?”

”Gosh no,” she said with a roll of her eyes. “My father said they only time I’d be able to go to a university is if I find a husband to agree to it…”

Nusaybah had passed her matric exams exceptionally well. It had always been her dream to do medicine, but her father was completely against her going to campus. She was currently studying a bachelor of science through correspondence, still waiting to take up the opportunity of ever she got her lucky break.

”Well, I hope he comes along before you get too old!” I joked with her.

”That’s the thing,” Nusaybah said, her voice suddenly turning serious as she met my gaze. She bit her lip slightly nervously. “Remember the guy that I wrote off two weeks ago?”

”The Australian?” I said, narrowing my eyes at her.  Nusaybah had a few proposals coming her way, but no one had really caught her eye before the “Australian”. He was bulky and bearded and just her type. I had giggled when she described him to me in great detail. When he didn’t phone to propose she was a little miffed, but she got over it within a day or two. Only now… it looked like the topic wasn’t completely closed…

”Did he call?” I asked, my eyes wide and not quite knowing how to react.

She nodded surreptitiously.

And she did so, my heart kind of sunk to my toes as I felt like the worst friend in the world. Of course I was happy for her, but this was something I wasn’t expecting to happen so soon. I didn’t expect things to change so fast. After everything, there had been a few constants in my life that I expected to remain this way. I didn’t want to say goodbye to her yet. I didn’t want to let her go to some stranger who lived way under, not knowing when I would see her beautiful face once again…

I bit back my tears as she smiled, swallowing as I processed the pure joy in her glistening eyes. Frankly, I wasn’t yet ready for another goodbye…

”I think he’s the one Khawlah,” she said softly. “I’m going to say yes…”

Shukran for all the comments,❤️  I will reply ASAP.

Much Love

A xx

A Sunnah Drink Called Nabeez

  • Soak dates for a night in a packed container. If not the dates, then you can simply soak Golden Raisins instead of Dates too.
  • Remove the seeds from Dates or Raisins, and grind it with water. You can add honey, but it’s totally optional
  • You can also drink without grinding the dates and can eat dates separately.
  • It is an ideal drink for Ramadan, especially in Suhoor. It helps people keep their energy during a day-long fast.

How easy to practise!

allahuma baarik lana fi Sha’bana wa balligh-na Ramadan

Oh Allah! Grant us Barakah (Blessing) during (the months of) Sha’ban, and allow us to reach Ramadan.

Imam Shafi’i RA has stated: “I have heard that duaas are accepted

by Almighty Allah on five nights:

The night of Jumu’ah

The nights of the two ‘Eids

The first night of Rajab

The middle (15th) night of Sha’ban

Allah accept our efforts and Duaas.

A forgotten Sunnah. Eaten fallen particles… Sometimes we forget the Barakah that can be in even a grain of food. To eat what has fallen on the cloth or even the floor… SubhaanAllah.

Anas ibn Maalik narrated that when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 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). 








Twitter: @ajourneyjournal