From Heartbreak to Hope

Bismihi Ta’ala

Hamzah
Part 86

I had never felt more like a warrior than the moment I realised my marriage was becoming a war zone.

Theres something about having a raging fire set alight inside you that made you feel like you were literally in the midst of a fire. And for me, it was even more so, because although it took extreme measures to get me to that point, I knew that once I got there, it took a lot for me to calm myself down.

And as I thought of it, the man I’d become during the past few months, the doting husband, the more I realised how much Mohsina had changed me.

I’d never been the kind of guy who was a pushover.

For me, I had always been the one to own it, to lead the pack, to call the shots.

Then I married Mohsina, and everything changed. She was one of a kind, and she preferred to be in charge. I had left that to her… let her take the reins for most decisions, except the adventurous ones, and in some ways, relied on her way too much.

And now, it was time for me to take back the reins. As uncomfortable as it was, it had to be done.

“Are you sure you want to do this?”

Imraan’s brown eyes were slightly narrowed as I nodded my head, and his frown deepened.

”Like really, absolutely sure?”

His question was posed with a permanent frown and for a minute, I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

And then, like a stab wound, I recalled the pain that I had felt the previous night and almost everything became clear again.

The pain was like hole in my gut. Constant and unflinching.

And just like before, that fierce protectiveness that I felt for Zaid had overcome me again.

“I need to do what I know Liyaket would expect from me,” I said bluntly.

”You really think Mohsina doesn’t deserve a proper say in this?” He questioned, is eyebrows raised. “She’s the only mother he knows.”

“The evidence is stacked against her,” I said softly, feeling horrible about considering what I was.

Feeling terrible for having to separate Zaid from her, even if it was for a short while. I just couldn’t stand the thought of Zaid being away from me.

“But didn’t you hear what Zubair said earlier?” Imraan said, frowning. “And I’m sorry bru, but as a mediator here, I can’t let you just throw your marriage away too. If Saaliha was here and she knew what happened, she would say the same. Premature decisions are never wise ones.”

Immense guilt overcame me as I processed the reality.

But Saaliha wasn’t here. She wasn’t here because she had been admitted to hospital last night.

I didn’t realised that she was already 14 weeks. She lost the baby at 14 weeks, and Imraan shouldn’t be here, with me, while I was going through this crap.

He should be there with her, while she was probably grieving the loss of the baby they had waited so long for.

“Bro, I’m so sorry,” I said, meeting his gaze as I watched him shrug nonchalantly. He almost had me fooled. “You should get back to the hospital.”

“No need,” he said firmly, looking tired. “Everything’s already done. She’s resting now, and I’ll fetch her later. You, my man, need to sort out your head. My sincerest advice would be that you don’t give her a Talaaq. Think of what you’re doing. You can do that at any time if you need to, once you’re sure. It’s too early. Let me speak to Zubair properly. Let’s just gather information first and you can make a decision on what to do from there.”

I honestly hadn’t met anyone like him before. He took every test and challenge in his stride. I knew how badly he wanted this baby, and yet, he had surrendered to Allah Ta’alas will, with no questions asked. I wished that I could have that kind of tawakkul.

Although I hated to admit it, he was still talking sense and he was right about my marriage.

I didn’t want to speak to her, and she probably didn’t want to speak to me either. We were pretty messed up as a couple, and more so as parents. We needed proper arbitration and the ayah in the Qur’ān was clear on that.

If you anticipate a split between them, appoint a mediator from his family and another from hers. If they desire reconciliation, Allah will restore harmony between them. Surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. (Surah An Nisaa) 

I shook my head in disbelief, my mind still on the events of he previous night.

I didn’t expect it. I didn’t even know what hit me until it all became a reality.

The reality that Mohsina had lied to me, over and over again, and never cared to mention to me a most important fact, was a punch in the most painful of places.

And at first I thought it may have been some kind of plot for them to sway me. I had been angry, but more so, confused.

My first reaction to seeing the necklace was absolute shock.

I could feel Mohsina looking at me, her gaze watching my every movement as I turned away from her, pushed the key in our lock and turned it, hearing the catch releasing.

The door opened soundlessly. Mohsina’s voice was the loudest noise in the room.

“Hamzah, it’s not what you think it is.”

I took a deep breath, not realising how much I wanted to yell right then, but holding myself because I hated what was happening to me.

Why him? I wanted to ask her. Out of every man on the planet she could have had a past with, it had to be Faadil.

Now here he was, in the middle of us, causing me to lose control and I knew that there was nothing I could do about it. It was only a matter of time.

I took a step inside, grinding my teeth, pulling the cooler bag along with me as I did, wondering why the day that had passed us seemed so far away.

“I’m so sorry,” Mohsina whispered again, close behind me now, and there was something in her voice that I never heard before.

Regret. Remorse.

Resolve.

“Say something, Hamzah,” she murmured, and i knew that there was nothing I could do to hold back that lion that had been unleashed within me a few seconds ago.

It was raging within, as I spun around in the middle of our living area and faced her tear-stained face.

“You saw him on the day of our Nikah?!”

My voice was cutting, and escalating with every syllable. I didn’t intend for it to be any other way.

Right then, all I could see in her was betrayal, and I hated it.

As she swallowed and looked up at me, the stupid necklace and note in her one hand as she stood there, almost as if she wasn’t sure what to say.

”Tell me the truth, dammit,” I breathed, edging closer to her, even though I felt repulsed by her.

I was overwhelmed by emotions. Frustration and anger and a whole lot more that I didn’t understand …

“Tell me,” I spat, bitterness creeping in as I watched her eyes avert and tear up again. “Was he your back-up plan?! Was he planning to whisk you away with promises of the best kind of life, with a glorious penthouse apartment and that damn Porsche that I could never give you?!”

She was shaking her head as I was speaking, tears falling freely as she did, her hand trembling as she raised it up to cup her mouth.

I’d never seen her cry like that. Actually, I’d never seen her cry before.

Period.

But it did nothing to me. I was unmoved. All I saw was my own pain.

Her greed. Her betrayal. The hurt that she caused. The suffering that our families and Zaid would have to endure because of everything that had happened.

”Tell me I’ve got it wrong,” I begged finally, my hands clenched in front of me, my voice dropping to a whisper as I watched her, her hand over her mouth, eyes wide, eyelashes threaded with tears. “Tell me that he didn’t have anything to do with you. That he was just a guy who was aiming for more than he could get.”

The words hung in the air for three seconds before she dropped her hand, and opened her mouth to speak.

“We were proposed.”

My heart felt like it had dropped fifty feet as she said it. They were proposed?

I literally staggered backward, unable to focus on anything. Breathing was difficult, for those few seconds. I just could not process it.

Yes, I knew there was something, but not that she was going to marry him?! Him?

Red, hot anger rose within me as she came into focus, and I turned toward the bedroom.

”It wasn’t public knowledge,” she said louder, following behind me as I opened my cupboard to pull out a bag.

That hit me even harder.

It meant that it was going on behind the scenes, which was what Faadil lived for. It gave him the opportunity to do whatever else he pleased without getting slack for it. It gave him the chance to be the guy I knew he was all the time, to strategise most conveniently to his own advantage. He had known that we were proposed before that, and that was evidently his intention. He wanted to get back at me because I didn’t take his lousy job offer.

With Faadil, there was always an agenda. Love, for him, whether it existed or not, was never the agenda.

“I broke it off when I quit. I didn’t know he got that chain for me…”

”I don’t care about the damn chain!” I snapped, gaining my composure again as I watched her, and she realised what she had said. “You still saw him. You saw him and who knows what else happened. The day we made Nikah. Was I just some test? Did I mean nothing to you at all?!”

He had bought the chain for her? It was the one I had given her. The exact same, one carat chain that I had given her at our proposal. Almost as if he was trying to replace what we had.

That chain… the stupid material piece of metal… was a symbol of something we had. Whatever it was.

And she had ruined that. Or he had. Whatever.

Screw it. I didn’t care. I tossed half my drawers into an open suitcase and moved to another cupboard.

”Hamzah,” she said, her voice escalating as she watched me shove more clothes and cosmetics into the bag. “What are you doing?”

“I’m leaving,” I said simply, pausing to look her in the eye. “Didn’t you want that all along? Weren’t you waiting for me to go?!”

“Not like this!” She whimpered, her eyes filled with tears, as she focused on me again, edging closer as I backed away. “Hamzah. You mean so much to me.”

My phone was ringing now. Imraan, signalling he was downstairs. I glared at it, and then glared back at her.

“I don’t understand,” Mohsina cried, blinking furiously as she watched me packing. “None of this makes sense. Yes, he came to see me, but I didn’t see him the way you think I did that day. There’s more to this. Hamzah, please. Just listen. I didn’t want you to know that he came because I didn’t think it mattered. You were the one who mattered. It was always you. Please don’t give up on us.”

I wanted to laugh. Ironic, wasn’t it? She was the one who wanted me to give up.

And now I did.

I shook my head at her, sending Imraan a message to say I would be down in five, heading to the bathroom to grab my shaving machine. There was no way I was staying there tonight. Or ever.

“Hamzah, this is all too convenient. The way this happened, after everything that we’ve conquered so far, you can’t let this ruin it. Listen to me. We have hope, right? Did you speak to Rabia recently? She knows Faadil and she-”

“Rabia has nothing to do with this!” I barked, sounding foreign, even to myself.

Mohsina shuddered as I said it, her expression actually a little fearful as she watched me move, as fast as I could, with whatever I could gather.

“And so you keep saying,” she said, glaring at me now, as I felt something shifting in the room. “You take her part every time, despite everything she’s done so far, and despite knowing that she hates me.”

”Stop making this about her,” I said evenly, not wanting to hear any of her excuses. “How she feels about you is irrelevant. You did something wrong. You messed up. And now you’re blaming her. And now, you want hope.”

Hope. She had the audacity to speak about hope now. After taking my heart and butchering it to pieces, she wanted hope.

”I know I did something wrong,” she admitted, suddenly sounding desperate. Desperation was a foreign concept to her, and it didn’t suit her. “I’m so sorry, Hamzah. I’ll say it a thousand times if that’s what it takes. I’ll tell you everything. But Rabia… she keeps interfering in our marriage and if you just listen to-“

What marriage?!” I retorted, not able to control my thoughts or words anymore, thinking of how Liyaket left me, and Layyanah left her, and all of this came almost as a done deal. “None of us even wanted this. It came by chance. We barely had time to breathe or mourn. Without even thinking about what I really wanted, I made this decision, hoping it would fix everything, and I never thought it could ever turn out like this.”

“Don’t, Hamzah,” she gasped, her face looking pained and her voice thin, as she grasped my arm. “Don’t say that. You know that’s not true. I wanted this. You can’t take back what you say.”

“I know,” I said with a sigh, realising that I may have gone too far but not bothering to retract a thing, as I shrugged her off. “And you can’t take back what you did. Leave. Me. Alone. I need to go.”

She stepped back, looking visibly stunned at my blunt words. She didn’t put up a fight, because she knew.

She had gone too far. I had said too much.
Hurt her the way she had hurt me.

Things were at a point where we were irreparable.

I didn’t even try looking back at her as I rolled my bag out the door, acceding to her request of having Zaid for the night, and letting her know in as few words as possible that I’d fetch him first thing in the morning.

I knew that I wanted him to be with me, now, more than ever, and the fact that she had a court case pending and all her lies escalating, was enough leverage against her to win her submission before we even got to a custody battle.

She didn’t even argue when I told her I’ll keep him with us at my parents and she can visit when I’m at work. She didn’t even argue when I told her that she shouldn’t try fighting for custody. She didn’t even say a word, when I told her that we’ll have to speak through our lawyers.

I was broken, yet I couldn’t even feel it. All I could feel was numbness, creeping in, overtaking my every sense.

Still, the next few days were unbearable.

Zubair and Imraan had convinced me that signing the papers formally was enough for now. It would leave Mohsina unsettled and not knowing where she stood. I put my phone off for a few days, knowing that if I entertained her, my heart wouldn’t be able to handle it. I would find myself confused and angry. Upset and frustrated, all over again.

It took every ounce of me to drag myself to work every day, till the weekend.

Zaid was edgy and tearful without Mohsina during the evenings. I wanted to give in, to let her keep him, but the thought of her and Faadil made me sick and I couldn’t take my mind off what had happened when he saw her that day. I couldn’t even think what the situation would be if she was really involved in the fraud.

If it wasn’t really anything, why would she even see him? And if she saw him then, who knew how many other times she may have seen him?

I couldn’t even process how messed up this situation was.

I wanted to bury myself in my bed for days like I did when our proposal broke off, but Zaid needed me. To put him through that killed me, and I hated Mohsina for what she was doing to him. The fact that she barely fought for him made it clear that she wasn’t concerned.

As long as I knew her, with Mohsina, I knew that I could never know what she was thinking or what went through her head. We avoided each other expertly. She came to see Zaid when I wasn’t there, and made sure I never had to clash with her.

It was two days later when Zubair told me that he confirmed something about Faadil that was a breakthrough. He had gotten enough evidence that Faadil had framed himself at Hammonds. Outed himself for the money that was being taken over the past year. Zubair’s uncle had also played a part in cashing in. It was an anonymous tip-off that was traced back to him, and Zubair’s conclusion was that there was a greater reason he did it, and the only thing he could think of was because he wanted Mohsina back in his life.

And of course, that made me sway.

Imraan had gone back home, because Saaliha went to her mother, and I was left to my own delusions, trying to figure out what to do with the information Zubair had provided. Rabia, despite me thinking that she would have tons to say about the situation, said very little. I kept remembering the words Mohsina had said about her. I kept thinking that she would never say something that wasn’t true. But then again, she hadn’t told me she was going to marry an idiot, so I had no idea what else to think about, and no one to talk to about it.

My parents didn’t say much. I didn’t tell them about the chain. It would have hurt them to know that Mohsina’s ex-fiancé had done something to interfere. They were expecting a separation, and the fact that Zaid was now with us didn’t seem to be strange to them either. They accepted it as part of what Mohsina and I decided to ensure his safety and meddled very little in my life.

And so, with Imraan and Saaliha back home, Rabia and my parents tiptoeing around me, all I had was the Qur’ān for company.

And honestly, it was all I needed. When it seemed too much to bear, all I had to do was open the Qur’ān and feel the weight shedding away. And it helped, without me even realising it. It was the only thing that kept me from going completely insane.

And as I sat with Zaid one night, reading Qur’ān to him until he slept, my heart feeling lighter than it had in days, it was a few moments of peaceful relief when my entire life seemed so much clearer.

For the first time since the entire thing happened, I realised that even though things may not be perfect, I’ll be okay. That I could do this. I could picture us, as Zaid grew up, being a decent little guy. I could picture Zaid, with Liyaket’s body build and Layyanah’s eyes, looking up at me and actually admiring me for who I was. I could picture him, in the future, maybe even amicable with each other, not feeling like we had failed him as parents.

I held him tighter as we slept that night, placing his bottle next to us, for the first time since I left, he was calm and contented, as he slept in my arms.

I awoke at the early parts of the next morning, a buzzing next to me, as multiple messages came through. I had blocked Mohsina, but I knew that she wouldn’t message me anyway. She was in contact with my mother about Zaid and I preferred it that way.

I pulled my phone to me as I shifted, seeing Zubair’s name on the screen, and then Imraans missed call too.

Zubair: Did you see it? The article

There was one more from a guy at work, who knew that I was married to Mohsina. The next message was from Imraan.

Boss. You signed just in time. Your name is nowhere there.

I opened the messages and finally found the link to the news article they were referring to, feeling my heart beating incessantly, because I knew that this would happen, sooner or later.

It was a business news article on a well-known site, but it spared no details. The article spoke about Faadil as the CFO, the accusations that were pinned against him and what Hammonds is doing to upscale the law suit. I read carefully, pausing at the part where Mohsina’s name appeared, taking a deep breath as I read it

an ex-employee, who seemed to have a connection with the transactions, has been questioned. All allegations were denied. Further investigations prove that there may have been some foul play, and Hammonds is awaiting the trial to go to court before pressing further charges against her.

Crap. It was bad. For her.

Not as bad as it could be, but bad enough for people to do some digging and find out that her so called ex-husband was also an employee at Hammonds. For a few seconds, I felt my heart contract painfully, feeling genuinely horrified for everything she had to go through on her own. I had tried not to think about feelings, but it was because of how deeply I felt for her, that I hated to see this happening.

I breathed out as I tapped a stirring Zaid off again, shifting off the bed, wondering if I should message her, just to see if she was okay.

I trashed the thought, remembering her betrayal, and moved toward the bathroom instead.

My phone buzzed in my hand, and I glanced at it as I saw Imraans message.

Make Shukar. Allah saved you at the right time. Sawls and I are making duaa that it all comes together again. 

I scoffed and shook my head.

Imraan and Zubair were the only ones who knew about the chain, and yet they still both rooted for us. I didn’t want anyone else to know what pushed me over the edge.

And despite the conflicting feelings that I felt right then, despite the hurt and the confusion of the past week, despite everything that seemed so hopeless right then… the fact that I had been saved from something that could have tarnished my reputation too, was nothing short of a miracle.

Make shukar. Yes, I had lost something, but perhaps all that I lost was the only way I had been saved. He was right.

I just felt like the scum that I was sitting there, unscathed, when my wife was probably broken by the events that were happening in her life.

I made whudhu and sat on the musalla that night, until the light from the sky became visible, because the little relief I felt, was constantly tainted by a sense of loss. I missed Mohsina like a hole in my head.

It was something I hadn’t allowed myself to feel until that night. Whether she felt the same about me, was a wonder.

And I knew that there was probably so much going on in her life, that she barely had time to think of me, but I hated that it had come to this. I hated that there was no way we could be, that would appease us both. That I couldn’t even speak to her, to ask her how she was holding up. I hated that she wanted to cut me off as much as I wanted to cut her off. I hated that I hated her.

I had honestly thought that she’d be grovelling by now. In honesty, right then, it was I who felt like grovelling at her feet, but I knew that there was no way that I could, without remembering the pain that I’d felt just the week before. Without remembering that she wanted me out in the first place.

Besides, we were now the eye of the storm, when everything was hitting the fan in a most stinking way, and I knew that there was no better time to let this be than right now. The good and the bad were now blending into one experience that was drawing me to Allah, and that’s when clarity was never more stark than it was right then.

Suhayb ibn Sinān Ar-Rūmi (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (Sallahu Alaihi wa Sallam)said: “How wonderful the affair of the believer is! Indeed, all of his affairs are good for him. This is for no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is grateful to Allah, which is good for him. And if something bad happens to him, he has patience, which is good for him.”

I had somehow found that patience within me. I had always said that I needed something to fight for, something worthy. For me, I knew that Allah Ta’ala was showing me what that could be, through this very unconventional part of my life.

I had to keep fighting, to keep having a cause. To keep having hope. To keep being grateful. To be the best father and believer I could be. Ramadhaan was approaching, and with every day that passed, I could feel my heart aching for it.

All I had was the hope that I had to keep aspiring to be more than I was.

All was not yet lost, I realised, as I drove back from Fajr Salaah that morning, watching the contrasting colours of daybreak, ignoring the messages that were coming in from colleagues and people who knew Mohsina.

Mohsina. Seeing the sky once more only brought her to mind. The darkness had turned to light, and there was only one thing that I could think of, when I saw it.

Hope. Though it ached to think of it, I could still remember me telling her that hope was never a mistake. To return to hope after heartbreak, though… to the beginning… to the start line, was the ultimate act of courage.

Even after the storm, there is always a hope that calmness will reign once again.

Even though everything felt like it was falling apart, like the little light in the sky that peeped out and then spread its wings across the earth, even after the darkest of nights, time was going to heal it all.


Hope. SubhaanAllah.

I know it may not have been the ending we wanted before Ramadhaan but it definitely gives me a little hope. Hope that Allah is always looking out for us. Hope that He is saving us from sin. Hope that everything is always under His watchful gaze, and He would never break us without us needing to turn back to Him for fixing.

May we always turn to our Rabb, through every trial, in every circumstance, through every heartbreak… may it still bring us hope. 

May Allah grant us strength and resolution this Ramadhaan, to be the best Muslims we can be. I’m not sure if I’ll manage another post.. do you guys want one? It may just leave more unanswered questions so rather not.

Please remember this weak and sinful author in your precious Duaas.

Much Love Always,

Witg lots of sabr and shukar this Ramadhaan.

A x

Suhayb ibn Sinān Ar-Rūmi (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him)said: “How wonderful the affair of the believer is! Indeed, all of his affairs are good for him. This is for no one but the believer. If something good happens to him, he is grateful to Allah, which is good for him. And if something bad happens to him, he has patience, which is good for him.”

Sunnah of Duaa

Begin your dua first with praising Allah and then by sending peace and blessings upon His messenger ﷺ. Then, make dua for yourself, dunya and akhira, for close family and friends, and then the ummah at large. Finish your Duaa by again sending peace and blessings on the Prophet ﷺ and praising and thanking Allah.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Du’a (supplication) is worship.”

In all situations, let’s bring in the Sunnah of Duaa every single day this Ramadhaan and after.

Sayyiduna Anas Ibn Malik (radiyallahu’anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) would recite the following supplication when the Month of Rajab would commence:

اَللّٰهُمَّ  بَارِكْ لَناَ فِيْ رَجَبٍ وَشَعْبانَ وَبَلّغْنَا رَمَضَانْ

Allahumma baarik lana fi Rajaba wa Sha’bana wa balligh-na Ramadan

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

(Shu’abul-Iman, Hadith: 3534, Ibnu Sunni, Hadith: 660, Mukhtasar Zawaid Bazzar, Hadith: 662, also see Al-Adhkar, Hadith: 549)

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..💕

#RevivetheSunnah

#RevivetheSunnahofbeingGrateful

#RevivetheSunnahofQur’aanTilaawat

#ReviveSunnahofDuaa

#SunnahofMaintainingTies

#RevivetheSunnahofSadaqah

#RevivetheSunnahofGivingGifts

#RevivetheSunnahofGoodAkhlaaq

#RevivetheSunnahbeforeSleeping

#RevivetheSunnahofGuardingtheGaze

#RevivetheSunnahofLickingtheFingers

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofEnteringtheToilet

#RevivetheSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofUsingtheRighthand

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More than a Heartbreak

Bismihi Ta’ala

Jameela

Part 74

Pain can be beautiful too.

I never quite believed it until it happened to me, but when I realised all the beautiful things that can come out of a broken heart, and all those shattered pieces didn’t seem so devastating any longer.

And as I went on the tedious task of reconstructing my heart, just the way I wanted… I came to realise that on the bad days,  there was nothing quite like drowning your sorrows in nature while the world goes on around you.

And that’s what brought me back to the beauty.

Beauty surrounded us. Nature was filled with treaties that if look beyond and through everything that happens to us, everything we do—or fail to do—and see Allah, then we will have gotten the purpose. When something happens that you hate, or love, be careful not to miss the point.

Remember that nothing happens without a reason.

Purpose.

No event in your life, no sadness, no delight, pain, no pleasure… no heartbreak, was created without a purpose.

And purpose is such that… when we can’t seem to figure it out, we are always looking for signs. We are always asking for our Rabb to ‘speak’ to us. But those signs are all around us. They are in everything. Allah is always ‘speaking’. The question is whether we are listening.

And sometimes it was hard to drown everything else out and just pay attention to what Allah is telling us.

Especially when Nani was competing for my sanity, and in her own weird thinking, she truly believed that my sole purpose was to marry a wealthy man and procreate as soon as I could.

My purpose though, was different. It wasn’t about a man, because I knew now, that I would love Allah above him. That was the purpose of my heartbreak. It was more than just an heartbreak. It was a reason for returning to my merciful Rabb who always welcomes me back with more love than I can ever imagine.

And even though i knew all this, and I knew the purpose of this pain, it didn’t mean that I didn’t second guess myself at the slightest opportunity.

It didn’t help that Nani had been given me the 411 on how ungrateful I was and how nothing I did was right. It was a week of hearing about Doctorsaab and his amazing position that he held at the local hospital. She was clearly trying to show me how much I was missing out on and I wasn’t in the least bit concerned about it.

I wasn’t supposed to be listening as I passed by the kitchen to go out that day, but I had heard. I had been tracking Zubair’s whereabouts to avoid him as best as possible, and I knew that today was a safe day to venture out without him being around. My father had been dropping little hints about how he wanted to have a good talk with Zubair, but I really didn’t want this to become bigger than it was.

I just wanted it to go away.

”How can she be so fussy?”

I knew that she was talking about me.

Nani was talking in a hushed -(well, as hushed as Nani can be)- tone  to my mother as I passed the kitchen.

“So ungrateful,” she muttered to herself as she pulled out her kitaab and retied her dupatta, making sure that every inch of her hair was covered. “Whole family is like this, that’s why. You too, Bhengori. I try so hard and you don’t even try to talk some sense in the girl. If the mother and the sister are like this what else can you expect from the girl.”

I gritted my teeth. Really. Trust Nani to drag my whole family into an issue that had nothing to do with them at all.

And of course, seeing Nani do it made me think of how often we do that too. Instead of thinking the best, like the Sunnah of our Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam), we assumed the worst. And it doesn’t get left at that. Someone does something wrong, and their entire family gets chucked into the mix, extended relations included, with no valid reason whatsoever.

“Mummy, when don’t we listen to you?” my mother was saying, sounding a little angry. “You can’t force her to marry him. Mohsina said that she was upset. Don’t tell her anything please. Just leave her for now. It’s not easy for her. Let her keep the decision in peace so she won’t feel forced to change back.”

”You think she will change her mind?” Nani’s voice was hopeful as she said it, and I felt my own heart sinking, wondering if I could do anything right.

“Mohsina said not to get out hopes up…”

My mother was still talking but Nani wasn’t quite interested.

“What Mohsina Mohsina?” she snapped, her eyes glaring over her glasses. I couldn’t see her expression but I could tell that she meant business from her tone. “Mohsina is the reason for all this. The one that is teaching her all these silly ideas. I thought Jameela was different. Better. But she is just like her sister. At least Mohsina came to her senses by force and married someone suitable. Who knows what Jameela will do. She will end up with one useless fellow who has no job.”

That stung. I could practically hear the resentment in her voice. But to judge a guy based solely on their income bracket and appearance was as shallow as it gets.

It wasn’t like I didn’t want to be like my sister. It was just that I didn’t want to be the villain in this story. I had a good mind of barging in and telling them that I was ready to marry Doctorsaab just to prove them a point but I just couldn’t do it. Also, my father was quite adamant that he wasn’t the one that was right for me, and though I agreed, there was something else I realised.

I was in a major fix because no matter what I did here, someone got hurt.

I sighed as I pondered over my predicament, annoyed that I had let things get this bad. I needed to pull myself out of the hole I had sunk into, and see the rainbow beyond all the rain here.

And as I sat, my thoughts miles away, the beautiful pastures before me as the breeze caressed my cheeks, I couldn’t help but let my mind venture to the obvious here.

Being here, in the wilderness and the centre of ultimate natural beauty, was an awakening that of course, nothing happens without purpose. not fear. Not pain. Not even rejection.

I had been mortified. Absolutely embarrassed and ashamed that I had let things go far.

And then I remembered the little post it note that someone had put in the coffee shop, and I realised what our true purpose was about.

He breaks you to build you. Deprives you to give you. The pain in your heart was created to make you learn less for this life.

And to yearn more for Jannah.

Jannah. The epitome of beauty. The greatest of gardens. The most sublime kind of bliss.

And immediately, my heart felt soothed. With every little ache and pain, it reminded me of the purpose of being here. It awakened me from the slumber I had been in, as I pondered over the words of the Qur’ān.

So instead of giving in, instead of giving up, as I lay under the single weeping willow tree in the furtherest part of the farm, on the little log that lay next to the thickened tree trunk that was no less than a century old, there was  nothing else, other than the words of Allah that soothed me.

And there was no other place in the garden that made me feel so serene, as did this beautiful tree, that seemed to match the morbid mood I had found myself in when I first got here.

The thing with technology was that everything kept bringing you back to the spaces in your life that you wanted to fill. Every hit of dopamine that social media gave, every app that was created to remedy loneliness, was exactly the cause of all the discontentment in the world.

Sitting on my phone, reading a senseless book or wasting time on my browser would always bring me back to the huge voids in my life that I was trying so hard to not think about.

No one ever tells you about these feelings that come in between. No one tells you about the behind the scenes. The inadequacy. The pain. The wishing that you were anywhere else but in your own shoes.

Sometimes you had to look at others to truly appreciate everything you have. Sometimes being content with your lot means lowering your gaze from everything that doesn’t belong to you.

And so, as I pieced my broken pieces together, knowing that I couldn’t quite face Nani again right then after escaping outside, I knew that visiting my sister was next on the list. I had realised that I had been a teeny bit selfish the last few days. I had come back and got stuck in a place where no one knew where my mind was at. I had been drowning in my sorrows.

And as my phone buzzed with a message from Maahira, it was obviously divinely sent for me to climb out of the darkened hole I had sunk into.

Hunny, have u seen Mos lately? She says she’s fine but I don’t kno. Is she holding up?

And just with that, I realised that maybe I had become too focused on my own problems, to realise that my sister was going through something much more devastating.

I’ll check. x 

And only when I made up my mind to give her a call, and she took forever to get back to me, did I realise just how much it had missed out on while I was caught up in my own little bubble of chaos.

I barely knew that Mohsina was literally running from pillar to post, trying to sort out custody and legalities and a few unexpected accusations from Hammonds that had just come up.

And of course, I couldn’t just sit there and do nothing. I had called Papa to ask if I could use the car to visit her, and knowing that I had to figure out what was going on, took the 20 minute drive to my sisters new flat, anxious about what she was going to tell me.

Here I was wondering what I would so with my broken heart, when her entire life was breaking apart.

I took deep breaths as I climbed the steps to get block, a little worried for my sister by then. She buzzed me up, and met me at the door, and I was relieved that she looked glad to see me. Maybe even a little relieved that I was at her place, for the first time since she moved, and a week after I was back, and looking like I was all put together.

“How are you feeling?” She asked, scanning my face as I entered her place, feeling quite unsettled about everything she had told me so far. I didn’t know that what she had divulged was only the tip of the iceberg.

Hamzah wasn’t there and her expression was stagnant as I tried to read her. Considering everything she had been through during the past few days, I had no idea how she was keeping it together.

“I’m fine,” I said, brushing off my own feelings as I watched her.

She wanted to ask about Zubair and I didn’t want to talk. To me, he was dead. That was the only way I could heal completely. Plus, I was feeling so much better than I was a week ago.

Mohsina gave a small smile, almost as if she knew, and I watched as she walked to the kitchen, admiring her in a pastel yellow blouse with grey wide leg pants that sat on her hip, and her hair tied back in a bun. Her cheeks were flushed and pretty, almost as if she had been doing some exercise, but I knew she hadn’t. She was just slightly more highly strung than usual and I wanted to hug her as I saw her forehead crease slightly in worry as she pulled herself up onto the bar stool.

“How are you coping?”

She shook her head and shrugged, and I was a little amazed at the patience she was showing in this situation.

I knew that Faadil was responsible for the accusations against her. Maahi had filled in me in on a little, but what I didn’t know was that he was also in some trouble as well.

I couldn’t stop thinking about Faadil and the day I had met him. Something about the way he looked at her, the way he had been so invested in ‘helping’ her… something about his graciousness had rubbed me up the wrong way

Rumour had it through some friends who were still at Hammonds that Faadil had been embezzling money for a while now, and no-one had picked it up. Well, until now. That’s how Mos’s name had come into the mix. If Mohsina was romantically involved with him and they had made purchases together, it was natural that she would also catch the fall for it.

”We’re waiting to meet the lawyers next week,” she said, sounding completely calm for someone who was under scrutiny for fraud. “I think it’s best to try and make a deal with them before this gets out of hand. That will sort out the legal part.”

“Why?” I said, not understanding how it all works. “Why must you make a deal. You’re innocent.”

She sighed, avoiding my gaze.

“Not completely,” she said softly. “I took money from Faadil. He didn’t take my calls but he emailed to say that he never meant to get my name involved. He was adamant that this wasn’t the plan, and he kept saying that what we had wasn’t just about money, and I had to believe him.”

She rolled her eyes and I widened mine. It looked like he was a teeny bit hung up on her.

“Hamzah doesn’t believe him,” she sighed, not meeting my accusing eye. Of course he wouldn’t. “He thinks that there was no way that Faadil had been transparent in those deals because he knows all the loopholes and I was obviously the scapegoat for his dodgy transactions. And it’s more complicated…”

I was trying to still see my sister in the positive light that I had been seeing her the past few months. The amazing friend and woman who had given up everything for such a noble cause.

“What do you mean?”

I was so confused, because all of these things were something completely new to me. I had no idea how accounts and cash flow works in a business.

“I knew,” she said meekly, looking devastated. “It didn’t hit me at the time what it could be but I knew that he was up to something and I never told anyone. They could probably even arrest me for withholding important information.”

She trailed off and I swallowed, remembering the day when she had met Faadil with the Porsche. According to my sister, he had been so gracious. I guess that graciousness had been replaced with greed.

“Can’t you just fight the case,” I said , not liking how this was going. I didn’t know everything but I knew for certain that my sister was innocent. She didn’t take something that didn’t belong to her. She would never.

“It’s not that simple,” she said softly, shaking her head. “Someone is giving them inside information. I’m not sure exactly what they know, they they have proof that I’ve used the money for personal gain. It’s like it’s someone who knows me so well, because there are pictures of personal belongings and receipts of stuff I’ve bought when I was still working. Someone close is conspiring against me and I just cannot place my finger on who it may be.”

She breathed out and looked away, her face contorted with emotion as she said it. Who would want to hurt her so badly?

“How are things between you and Hamzah?” I asked, as she picked up her phone for the umpteenth time, almost as if checking for some update that wasn’t arriving.

I couldn’t imagine what this was doing to her, emotionally. I couldn’t imagine what Hamzah was feeling right then. The past… Mohsina’s tainted past was coming back to haunt them in the most unpleasant way.

She placed her phone down, looked me in the eye, and shrugged.

”His wife is being convicted of fraud, Jamz,” she said blandly, looking like the weight of the world was going to crush her. “It’s a strain. We’ve argued a lot. And then there’s the glaring fact. Can you imagine what this will do to him professionally? Can you imagine the stories that are going to come up here, if this blows up? What will happen to him at work? They may even think he was involved, since we were proposed before it. His job, his reputation, his and his brother’s accreditation, his everything… since he’s a shareholder for his brothers private firm… they could lose everything that they worked so hard for.”

I blinked and watched her, as she paced up and down, now a little flustered, and I could see her staring into space as her brow furrowed again and she visibly breathed in. I just didn’t know how she was keeping it all together.

It was getting more and more complicated. The whole thing was just being blown out of proportion.

“It will be okay,” I said shakily, not quite sure I I believed it myself. “Not everyone can believe what’s in the corporate media, right? There must be ways that we can push this under the rug… ways that you can make people know the truth. Isn’t there anyone you can talk to, to sort this out?”

She shook her head, and I could tell that she had already given up. I just didn’t know how far she had already taken it. She had collapsed into a chair now, and I could see a single tear rolling down her cheek as she looked at me.

I had never, ever seen my sister like this before. So fragile and so in need of saving. I just hoped that Hamzah could be her knight in shining armour, swooping in to save the day.

”It’s not fair to him either way,” she said, shaking her head, throwing her hands up in the air. “Why must he put up with this? We did this for Zaid. He didn’t sign up for this when he married me.”

Who signs up for the ugly stuff when they get married?

People encounter all sorts of hardships. Things they didn’t know or expect. Duniyaa tests us in many different ways, and Allah Ta’ala makes it clear that we will be tested, but we have to remain steadfast. Positive.

It’s not like anyone has foresight. Things happen. We make mistakes. People get hurt.

Mohsina was one of the most selfless people that I had ever met. It wasn’t fair that this was coming back to bite her, when she hadn’t even done what they were accusing her of. I was certain of her innocence.

”Mos,” I said, my heart beating faster as she looked at me, almost taunting me to ask her what she was planning. “What are you going to do next? Is there anything I can do?”

I doubted that there was anything I could do but she looked so helpless that I knew I had to try.

“This will be the end of me,” she said, looking crestfallen. “They will find out everything. I can’t drag everyone into this mess. He’s trying to be positive, but I know that if Hamzah ever finds out that I was actually proposed to Faadil, he would probably want out.”

I sucked in my breath as I looked at her, a little shocked at what she had just revealed. Did she just say that she was proposed to that idiot? What was wrong with her?

My sister had a secret life that not one of us knew about, and I couldn’t believe that she was going to marry Faadil.

“No, Mos,” I breathed, not believing what she had just said, and what she was going to say.

Her eyes were filled with remorse as she watched me standing there, my mouth half agape.

“There’s no other way,” she whispered, shrugging. “Law suits can take forever. I’m doing what’s best for him. And for Zaid. It’s the only way he can keep his job and accreditation. If we stay together we’re both going to go under.”

This wasn’t happening. This wasn’t true. I felt like pinching myself, because what was happening felt more than just a little heartbreaking. What Mohsina was about to do was an absolute nightmare for everyone.

She was already shaking her head as I appealed to her. I wanted to shake some sense into her. How could this have gotten so bad, so fast?

“Mohsina, no,” I said firmly, getting up and sitting next to her, my hands on her knees as I sat on the floor where she sat. “You guys are stronger than this, Mos. You’ll can get through this together. You guys are stronger than you think. You’ll love each other!”

She smiled through her tears, and I knew that she didn’t believe a thing that I had said.

”Love doesn’t matter here,” she said softly, her hands firmly on my shoulders as she looked into my eyes. “Jams, I know in your perfect world you think that love can solve everything…. but if you want to talk about love, it’s because I love him that I can’t put him through this. I can’t let him down because of my mistakes.
I can’t ruin the man I love.”

Oh my heart.

It just shattered, right then and there. I wasn’t even sure how much more of this I could take. I didn’t even want to ask her what next.

This was the most devastating news I had heard, after Layyanah’s passing. It was a resonating ache in my gut that felt like it was overtaking my entire body, engulfing my entire being. I was angry and resentful and I wanted to lash out at her for doing this.

“So what are you going to do next?”

The question came out almost as a sordid whisper. I didn’t even know why I was asking, because to to hear the answer was going to be the final blow that would probably dissolve me completely.

All I knew that it was the only thing that would make it real.

And oh yes, her emotionless reply was as real as it got. It was as real as the wrenching feeling in my chest, that felt precariously close to losing a vital limb.

“Next, we sign divorce papers.”


Mission Sunnah Revival

Sunnah of Thinking Good about others  

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

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

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

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

#RevivetheSunnah

#RevivetheSunnahofbeingGrateful

#RevivetheSunnahofQur’aanTilaawat

#ReviveSunnahofDuaa

#SunnahofMaintainingTies

#RevivetheSunnahofSadaqah

#RevivetheSunnahofGivingGifts

#RevivetheSunnahofGoodAkhlaaq

#RevivetheSunnahbeforeSleeping

#RevivetheSunnahofGuardingtheGaze

#RevivetheSunnahofLickingtheFingers

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofEnteringtheToilet

#RevivetheSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofUsingtheRighthand

FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

Breaking Down

Bismihi Ta’ala

Mohsina

Part 72

Just like I learnt the golden rule of thumb (ie. silence of the thumb is golden)… I also learnt that in certain cases, with certain people and circumstances… actual silence is also golden.

And now, I know very well that Nani never means to be the way she is. She is a force of nature but also an exceptional source of wisdom for our family, and even though we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs over the years, never in a million years have I ever thought of her as less than the caring grandmother who always wants what is good for us (even though we may often disagree).

She was who she was, and though there were times when she annoyed me and made me want to run away, I was taught by my parents that there was still no way I would ever trade her for a lesser version.

Respect. Always. I knew that it went a long way.

It was just that sometimes… just sometimes… she was a tad bit too much. Now and then, when Nani borders on break downs, she really does get a little all consuming.

”She said no.”

Nani was saying it to herself, almost like a mantra, as I watched her, shaking her head. She had already been through it about three hundred times with us, and now she seemed to be going through it with herself.

”She said no.”

On repeat. There were the words again. The ones that she was struggling to understand.

“I don’t understand, Mohsina,” she said, looking at me, now, a certain panic in her eyes, as she stared into a blank space. “Can you believe it? What I did wrong in my life to deserve this? How can Isthikhaarah be negative when the boy is so positive?!”

I wanted to snort with laughter but I meekly covered my mouth and held my piece as I watched Nani, and then switched my gaze to Hamzah, who was staring fixatedly at his phone, and I could tell that he was trying very hard to keep a straight face.

He kept an eye on Zaid who was rolling around on the floor next to him, chewing his teether erratically, looking like he wanted to bite its head off. His first tooth hadn’t popped as yet, but we were still checking every day. He kept stuffing his cute little fist in his mouth and there was no doubt that he was teething.

I, on the other hand, grabbed a dhikr counter and urged myself to profusely recite more Adhkaar. It was so true that Dhikr was a means of even preventing inevitable problems. Also, keeping my mouth closed was a recipe for success when it came to Nani.

Also, keeping quiet wasn’t my nature but I was feeling bad. I sighed as I watched her forlorn expression, shifting my gaze to the gloomy weather outside.

Seemed like Jameela was bringing the London weather back with her return, and though her return was much anticipated, I wasn’t exactly feeling the whole getting drenched while we pulled her countless bags out of the car idea. Though Jameela wasn’t a huge shopper, my mothers lists of Marks and Spencer favourites Maahira insisted she send back were something else.

”Nani, I think it’s for the better,” I said as I grabbed the teacup that had half a cup of murky coffee inside it.

With Jameela’s romantic notions about life, I really hoped that she could at least get somewhere close to that kind of love that built you and bonded you, and that can be your safe space and shelter. A love that not only was good for this world, but also carried through to the hereafter. I really wished so much more for Jameela than what Doc seemed to be able to give.

“What better?” She said snappily. “He is got a broken heart, poor chap. I don’t think it is possible that Jameela is thinking properly. Maybe something happened to her head in the plane. All that fitna air made her go mad.”

I suppressed another snort of laughter and took a chug of coffee as I watched my mother’s face expression change slightly, and she shot me a warning look. Hamzah was barely meeting my eye. The truth was, no one but Nani really liked Muneer.

I knew that Doc didn’t tickle Hamzah’s fancy either and Jameela refusing meant us saving him from a lifetime of having to make conversation with someone who he could never relate to.

”Rather now than she say no later,” my mother said weakly, as she checked the pots on the stove. “There will be someone better for her, you will see.”

”And for him also. So nice boy he is.”

Okay, so I added that as a second thought because I was trying to score brownie points with Nani, and sometimes these things were essential.

Nani shook her head disbelievingly, almost as if she was in shock that we could even suggest that.

“Mohsina, just come here one minute,” Nani said, flapping her dupatta around and taking a seat after a few seconds, the melodramatic expression appearing on her face, as she patted the small of her back. “Just massage here. On the top part. All this stress is giving me back ache and I can’t even sleep properly. Every night I am tossing and turning because how will I explain this kind thing at Khairoon’s house next week to all the ladies. Nevermind. How much I suffer for my grandchildren, Allah knows.”

I ignored the urge to roll my eyes. Shame, Nani’s social status was under threat. But it really was for good reason.

She had completely ignored our attempt to try and explain the beautiful phenomenon of Allahs plan is the best plan. That no matter what happened now, if they were meant to be, they would be.

She also seemed like she didn’t believe us when we said that there was Khair in everything. She was convinced that we were lying, and we just couldn’t let Jameela make a decision like that when everything depended on it.

She also kept sneaking me looks, as if she didn’t believe me when I said that I tried to tell Jameela to think carefully.

Of course I did (not).

Jameela was due to be back any minute and I could tell that Nani was getting all revved up for a full frontal assault. All I knew was that I was going to try very hard to protect my sister from whatever was in store.

My poor sister was probably dreading coming back home and I really did feel sorry for her.

The moment had arrived as the first drops of afternoon rain had decided to appear from the formidable sky, and everyone was already rushing around, trying to make sure that all bags and luggage could be brought in before the full downpour.

The weather matched the atmosphere almost perfectly, and seeing her, in actuality, as she jumped off the car and Hamzah had already went out to help my uncle with bags, was another feeling completely. I didn’t realise how much I had missed my sister these past few weeks until I saw her there in the flesh.

And as I followed behind, staying under cover as I watched her exit the car looking as pretty as a picture, even though she was probably exhausted, I couldn’t help but notice on her face the look of resignation.

Tiredness. It had to be. And of course she would be feeling that way. Jet lag was real, and that was completely expected.

“Zubair is coming for the bags,” my father said to Hamzah as I approached the car, watching as Hamzah pulled a suitcase out from the boot and greeted my uncle with a hug.

I knew Papa relied on Zubair to do all the physical work at home because of his health, but Hamzah was perfectly capable of doing it too. I supposed that he was so used to relying on Zubair that he sometimes forgot he had an actual son-in-law.

“It’s okay,” Hamzah said in reply, but I could already spot the familiar figure as he walked toward us with a rain jacket on, and my eyes instantly switched to Jameela as I watched her glance in his direction and then simultaneously turn away, and I couldn’t help but conceal my smile.

Today, for some reason, Jameela’s demure actions didn’t make me feel all that concerned. After finding out that Zubair was actually not a horrible guy, for some reason, the things that had worried me about the two of them seemed completely irrelevant now.

And as Hamzah pulled out a bigger bag and Zubair efficiently went to take it from him, along with a smaller one that was next to the car, I couldn’t help but notice something in Jameela’s  entire demeanour change.

And it wasn’t unexpected. I knew that there would be some sort of underhand back and forth, but what Jameela did next was completely out of the blue.

She had literally morphed from some coy teenage girl to an assertive young women who immediately stalked over to where they stood, mere milliseconds before Zubair could reach the bag in question. Her fully clad arm stretched out, snatching the bag handle out of his reach just as I caught his gaze linger on her for a few moments longer than necessary before he looked down.

”I got it, Papa,” she said flatly, glancing at my father, as Papa’s brow furrowed and Zubair instantly took a step back. “We don’t need his help.”

And with that, mouths slightly agape, Papa and I both just watched her wheel her bag through to the house, barely even knowing how to react, before I hastily followed right behind her, determined to figure out what on earth all that back there was all about.

That was weird. Not to mention, completely awkward.

It was so unlike Jameela that I could barely believe that she did that. It was so unlike her normally sweet and sensitive nature, that I could barely believe that this had actually happened.

Pure-hearted, considerate Jameela had come back from London in such a combative mood that I could barely believe it was her.

And as I watched her in her free flowing abaya and tightly wrapped hijab, enter the house, greeting my mother and Nani, briefly, I couldn’t help but shoot them a look to tell them to give her a break. Doctor and his broken heart was all by the way, because what was happening was what was making me a little unsettled.

I followed her as she made her way up to her room, wondering why she wasn’t even looking at me.

Two weeks away had made her a different kind of person, and I was still struggling to come to terms with it.

She had stomped up the stairs in a bit of a huff, and as I walked behind her, it took me a while to figure out that she was avoiding eye contact. Whatever had happened down there was completely intentional and I was going to get to the bottom of it, no matter what it took.

Jameela had pushed her room door open, tossed her smaller bag on the bed, and turned around before plopping herself on its edge.

”What’s wrong?”

I couldn’t help but ask. I could see that something was up. I mean, she barely even stopped to greet zaid. When Jameela ignored Zaid after weeks of not seeing him, something was definitely up.

“It’s stupid,” she muttered, rubbing her eyes briefly before shaking her head. “I’m stupid. Just don’t worry about it.”

”Jameela, you’re not stupid.”

My voice was soft and coaxing and it was all it took for the tears to start welling up in her eyes again. I wasn’t sure what was bringing it all on, but I knew that this was not just any normal reaction.

“Did something happen?” I asked, sitting down next to her as she fell back into the bed, almost in surrender, and covered her face with her hands.

”Y-you don’t want to know.”

Her voice came out all strained and muffled and I could tell that she was really uncomfortable about whatever she was going to say. It didn’t mean that I wanted to hear it any less. In fact, I now wanted to know more.

Something major had gone down and I now needed to know.

”Talk to me, Jamz,” I said soothingly, knowing that I had to be there for her. “What’s going on? You know everything happens for a reason. You’re not yourself, and it can’t only be the proposal causing all these weird emotions…”

I grinned at my sister, but she didn’t smile back.

Okay what on earth was up with her?

I looked at her enquiringly, tilting my head to the side as she took a deep breath as if she was going to say something big, and I was already all ears.

“You remember Nusaybah?”

Nusaybah.

Nusaybah. Mr Mujahid’s (aka Zubair) sister.

I looked at her, narrowed my eyes and nodded as she sat up and yanked her scarf off, revealing her hair that was tied up in a loose bun and stretched her slender neck.

Jameela was perfectly and naturally slim and I was sure she would stay that size her entire life.

“Zubair’s sister?”

I said it as naturally as I could. I only hoped that Jameela hadn’t taken things into her hands and gotten involved in something haraam. She knew better than that, but with temptation- you could never tell.

At the mention of Zubair, expectantly, her gaze faltered. I did expect that.

She took a deep breath.

”She wanted to ask him about what he would think about me,” she blabbered, and I focused on her a little more intently as she spoke. My poor sister was looking distraught, ans I was soon going to know why. “I don’t even know why… but she was convinced that Zubair may have been a little interested in me. And because she said it, well… I was stupid, okay? I got my hopes up too.”

Uh-Oh. I wasn’t sure if I liked the way things were sounding. Seemed liked these two girls were playing a matchmaking game. I stared at her, but remained silent as she continued.

“Anyway,” she said, sounding tired and embarrassed as she visibly flushed. “She told him that I may be interested. And I told Papa, because he suspected a while back… and I wanted him to know that Nusaybah was talking to her brother about me. It wasn’t anything official, it was just a little feeler to decipher what he felt…”

Oh no. Oh no oh no.

She wasn’t looking happy and that didn’t mean anything good. And then, it all just made sense.

Zubair was looking so awkward and out of place out there, especially when Jameela grabbed the bag and stomped off. It was all happening so fast and I wasn’t entirely sure what had gone down but I knew that it was something completely unexpected…

And now I understood. It was all crystal clear.

”He said no, Mos,” she whimpered softly, looking visibly stung by the outcome, as if she was reliving the moments that she heard of the first time. “He said no. I  mean, deep down, I knew that he wasn’t really interested but I thought that after Nusaybah had mentioned him, she may have had a better idea. I had already said no to Muneer at that point. I thought that everything about him seemed wrong because maybe Zubair was actually better for me.”

I was still digesting it. While Jameela was away in London, so much had happened in these past three days, and I was completely unaware of it.

“Anyway, it doesn’t matter,” she went on, shaking her head and sitting up. “Maahira said that maybe you were right. All my stupid dreams and fantasies. I’m not like you, Mos. Now I understand what you said before, about me waiting till I’m a bit older. I think I don’t know a thing about real life and marriage and I’m really am sworn off men for the next year at least. I cannot deal.”

Maahira? She spoke to Maahira about this. And she didn’t tell me. I was hurt.

”Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked her. I couldn’t believe all this that had gone down without knowing a thing.

“Mos, I knew you are dealing with so much yourself,” she mumbled, her eyes slightly misty again. “How can I trouble you with my stupid worries that aren’t even worth it. You have your in laws and Zaid and Rabia and plenty more to sort out…”

I breathed in, and the sting subsided a bit. Yes, had other things on my mind but Rabia had been quiet for a while and I was hopeful that things between us would return to normal. Rabia was the type to hold a grudge and though I didn’t make a huge effort to end the feud, I figured that her silence was a good sign.

My sister had a problem and I was hurt that she hadn’t confided me in me but I couldn’t quite imagine what she felt.

“Besides,” she said, taking a deep a breath in. “I’m not even worried because I’ve started reading this amazing Duaa. Nusaybah actually told me about it. You know the Duaa of Musaa AS? I was feeling completely down and depressed and it’s the only thing that got me through. I’m in so much of a better state than I was…”

رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنْزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ

Rabbi innee limaaa anzalta ilaiya min khairin faqeer
“My Lord, indeed I am, for whatever good You would send down to me, in need.” (Surah Qasas, ayah 24)

I heard of it.

The recitation of this Du’aa was after Musa (as) was forced to escape from the city, into the desert, and headed towards Madyan.

After a long journey, Prophet Musa (as) came across a group of male shepherds who were watering their flock at a well. Keeping their distance, he noticed two women waiting in the back with their sheep. They felt it was safer to wait than to mix with the men who were gathered at the well.

When asked, they explained to Musa (as) that their father was an old man and unable to feed their flock, so they had to take on this duty. Now keep in mind that Musa (AS) himself was disheveled and exhausted from his travels, he likely did not have much to eat or to drink.

Still, he empathized with their situation, “So he watered (their flocks) for them; then he turned back to the shade…”(28:24) as he turned back to the shade he recited this du’a,

Rabbi innee limaaa anzalta ilaiya min khairin faqeer meaning, “My Lord, indeed I am, for whatever good You would send down to me, in need.”

Musa (AS) acted in an honorable manner to help these women in a foreign town amongst strangers. He prayed to Allah, asking him to provide more opportunities to do good acts like the one he just did. Also note, after having helped the women he did not stay and mingle, it says “watered (their flocks) for them; then he turned back to the shade”. Musa (AS) in this du’a also uses his state by saying that he is faqeer- meaning in dire need, or in poverty.

And through this Duaa Allah Ta’ala gave him so much more than just a home. He got food. He got provisions. He got a wife. A home. A family. Security. That was the blessing of that Duaa… that Allah gave so much more than just what was apparent to him at the time.

“I read it, Mos, and it’s like a calm descends on me,” she said with a certain kind of hope in her eyes. “And I’m okay. Really. I know I can trust Allah to reveal my story in the best way. I just have to avoid Zubair as much as possible. I don’t know how I can ever face him, and with him being here…”

It was going to be a difficult task to do forever, but she would get over it.

I wanted to hug her. I felt terrible for her. And I knew that I never liked him and always thought that he wasn’t good enough, but now I couldn’t help but feel insanely protective and want to break his legs for breaking her heart.

I really had no words for him! How could he say no? Without even meeting her, or even getting to know what she was about… Mister Mujahid made a decision based on nothing at all. As for Nusaybah, I wasn’t even sure what possessed her. I knew what rejection felt like and to see the hurt on my sisters face was like I myself was punched in the stomach.

“I’m so sorry, Jamz,” I said quietly, a cheeky smile creeping on my face. “If I knew earlier, I would have slashed the tires on his motorbike. I can still do it.”

I knew that I was being mean, but I was only trying to make her smile. And it worked.

”Please,” she said softly, the smile fading. “Just don’t do or say anything. It’s already so embarrassing.”

Poor Jameela.

I smiled sadly as I tried soothing her the best I could, letting her take a small nap as I went downstairs to tell Nani and my mother that she wasn’t feeling great.

My mother went to check on her too, but Nani was still looking completely out of steam, and I was kind of glad. After everything, she really didn’t need Nani telling her what a bad decision she had made by rejecting Doc.

I wondered if she regretted that part. I knew if I was in her position, I would, but Jameela wasn’t me. When she had her mind set on something, she was pretty one-tracked.

All I knew was that somehow, during this time, so much had happened that I couldn’t quite believe that I had no idea all this while.

And of course, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Even as we got home later that night, Zaid in his cute little car romper, almost asleep, as Hamzah helped me out of the car, it was all still racing through my mind.

Why did Jameela let Nusaybah do it, if she wasn’t almost sure that he felt the same way? Did she just feel pressured? Was it something she just wanted to strike off her list? Or was there some reason that Zubair had actually said no. The way he looked at Jameela… well, I knew that I was no expert but I could definitely tell that something more than awkwardness was in his gaze as he watched her match back to the house.

But maybe not quite.

I shook my head and sighed, letting Hamzah push open the door as I walked to the room and placed Zaid down, wanting to talk to him about it. I had tried to ask him about Zubair in the car, but had to stop because Zaid was popping his head up at every word and behaving like he was the main participant in the conversation.

He was becoming more alert with every day, and even though it was cuteness overload, it meant that Hamzah and I didn’t quite have the moments we used to have, when he would quietly feed and fall off to sleep.

These days I couldn’t even take out my phone without him wanting to grab it, and I knew that it was a lesson for me to have less screen time too.

I smiled at Hamzah, telling him that I would be with him in a minute, as I glanced at my laptop in the corner of our bedroom.

I wanted to ask him if he could talk to Zubair. Perhaps he would have some way of asking what Zubair’s deal was. Was he really that uninterested in my sister? I really couldn’t believe it.

Jameela was gorgeous by any standards, and the fact that he wasn’t even remotely attracted to her, to the extent that he didn’t even want to talk to her, just didn’t seem feasible.

And as I pulled off my scarf and checked my browser, waiting a few seconds for mails to load, and clicking on one that claimed to be urgent.

Mostly, these were mails with queries that had to do with previous accounts or budgets I had drawn up, and for a while it had been kind of quiet. I figured that there was someone competent in my old position, and I was genuinely glad.

This time, there was a single e-mail that stood out, and as I opened it and skimmed its contents, my heart beat with a certain kind of intensity that I’d never felt before.

The mail stated that a case had been opened against me, from Hammonds, claiming that I had stolen a large chunk of money with signed documents (by me) to confirm. It cited references from bank statements and messages and pictures from some Instagram accounts that I didn’t recognise. There were a host of accusations and allegations and I couldn’t even see anything made sense to me at that moment.

I actually couldn’t even think properly. I was in absolute shock, as I scrolled down in a daze.

My world had stopped. It was like everything had frozen in time. I wasn’t even sure what on earth had happened, but all I knew was that someone was out there to get me, and they were doing everything in their power to do so.

I glanced at the e-mail again, closed my eyes, and then, for first time since Layyanah’s death, I completely broke down.


Authors Note: Apologies for the delay. Signal issues since I’m not in the city. And the drama starts once again…. 


Mission Sunnah Revival: 

Sunnah of Noble Character: 

Nabi (SAW) gave attention, spoke and showed love to even the worst person of a nation until the person felt that he is being given special attention.

May Allah make us of those who uphold the Sunnah of character always.

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..💕

#RevivetheSunnah

#RevivetheSunnahofbeingGrateful

#RevivetheSunnahofQur’aanTilaawat

#ReviveSunnahofDuaa

#SunnahofMaintainingTies

#RevivetheSunnahofSadaqah

#RevivetheSunnahofGivingGifts

#RevivetheSunnahofGoodAkhlaaq

#RevivetheSunnahbeforeSleeping

#RevivetheSunnahofGuardingtheGaze

#RevivetheSunnahofLickingtheFingers

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofEnteringtheToilet

#RevivetheSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofUsingtheRighthand

FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

 

 

When Hope is Hidden

Bismihi Ta’ala

Jameela

Part 66

Sometimes you just have to be kind.

Treat people the way you want to be treated. Be good to even the nasty people. If serving people is below you, leadership is beyond you.

And honestly speaking, service wasn’t exactly my forté. I would rather be in out in the wilderness, breeze caressing my skin, blinking beneath the cherry blossom trees and basking in the glorious sunshine, than stuck serving stuck-up corporates in a coffee shop.

But such was life at times. Sometimes we just humble ourselves, even when it’s hard.

The thing is, there were just a few valuable lessons I was learning from not being my usual lazy self.

Some people are never happy, no matter what. Some people are grateful, no matter what. There’s no feeling quite like making a someone’s day. Oh, and comfortable work shoes are worth their weight in gold.

“One latte. One carrot muffin. I’m in a hurry.”

I’ve messed up two macchiatos and spilled an entire litre of hazelnut syrup on the ground. The outdoors is looking like an awesome, unfiltered escape and the coffee machine was being an absolute horror this morning. I really could do without the added pressure that this man was persisting on giving me as he watched me nervously fiddle with the gadgets, and looked at his chunky watch again.

“I’m sorry, I’m just…”

It’s already been a few minutes since I swiped his card and I can see his patience dwindling.

Today is definitely not my day. For some reason, I can’t do a single task without messing something up.

He didn’t like to leave me here, but Zubair was apparently gone out for some emergency and Papa said he had some errands to do too. All I knew was that Papa had predicted it to be a pretty uneventful morning but as predictions go, it was anything but.

I filled his coffee just as there is a noise from the back, the sound making me stumble slightly, hoping that Papa had arrived. Before I can turn my head, my foot slips on the little residues of hazelnut sauce from earlier causing me to tip backward, the burn from the sloshing coffee scalding my skin.

In the rush, I had just spilled whatever little coffee I had managed to get out onto my dress.

“Is there anyone here who’s competent enough to get me my order?”

The guy’s haughty tone is unnerving and the sting from the coffee mixes with the tears collecting behind my lids.

What do I tell him? I can’t figure out the machine? Why did it choose now to act up? Of all times.

Why was I so useless? Give me a book under the flawless blue skies and I would sit and read it till night falls, but when asked to do something productive- I was utterly  unproductive.

Everything was going wrong.

“Am I going to get some service today?” He asked, now full on irritated as I pressed another button, water from the machine splurging out, looking up from his device as he watched  the progress with his order.

I hated dealing with male customers, especially these type. The rude type. It wasn’t very often, especially during the day, but well… wasn’t today just my lucky day?

I swallowed back my emotion and pushed up my chin. Customer service. I had to numb my emotions.

“I’m so sorry about that. I’ll make you another one, on the house.”

His lips are pursed together as he glares at me.

“I already paid. Just make the damn drink!”

I flushed. I feel like making the drink and throwing it in his face. But of course I couldn’t.

“I’ll take over,” a deep voice says from behind me, and my body freezes, wet coffee-soaked dress sticking to me as I tried to hide it with my scarf, but I knew it was no use.

I couldn’t help but spin around, watching him avert his gaze as he moved forward gracefully, pulling out another cup as I had no choice but to move aside. His unusually coloured eyes were scanning the machine and expertly I looked away as he tapped something and did some magic with it.

He was wearing his Friday attire, kurta and hat, as if he had just come in, and not the usual uniform I saw him in. Catching a glimpse of the  tasbeeh counter he had just released from his hand that was already showing quadruple digits, and I felt a stab of envy as I realised that I was still sitting in the three hundreds for my Friday Durood counter. Perhaps he went somewhere far? 

I had no idea where he was but he had probably saw the customers car from outside and thought that no-one would be helping him. Except I was. It’s just that I wasn’t doing a very good job of it.

The angry customer scoffed, his gaudy watch counting the seconds.

“I just thought I’d be able to get a cup of coffee without it becoming some kind of circus performance.”

I could see Zubairs jaw tightening as he said it, effortlessly pressing in the tray that wasn’t clicking earlier and watching the steaming water with milk shoot out through the spout.

I moved along near the till to pack the muffin, careful to use the tongs carefully before he gave me scores about that.

”Sir, I’m so sorry about -“ I started, as I placed the muffin on the counter.

”It’s ready,” Zubair cut in abruptly, and I swore I could see him shoot me a glance of annoyance as he passed the cup over, and I hurried to grab a serviette from underneath the counter, packing the muffin into an eco-packet, always aiming to please.

The customer is always right.

And though ‘customers’ can be very difficult and might not respond to you in the way you expect, despite your good attitude, customer service is never about the results or the sales. It was hard being on this side of the counter. Customer service is about the experience you create when that person is with you.

But I tried to keep in mind that every time you meet somebody, you’re selling them yourself – your image, your personality, your goals, your personal brand but most importantly … you’re also selling Deen. You are in a mode of exchange with that person through every interaction.

I just wished that people could treat others, especially in the service industry, with a little more dignity. Sometimes a simple hello and thank you can go a long, long way. Sometimes a little overlooking can also be a saving grace.

Character was gold. Whether the customer or the person who is serving, I do feel like whichever position you find yourselves in… you had to just turn it around to your benefit. It was easy to be good to people who were good to you. But people who tested your patience and gave you uphill were the greatest test. It’s just that even with that, there is a limit to what I could take.

I had to keep telling myself that.

”Thanks,” the guy said to Zubair, not even sparing me a glance as he picked up his wallet from the counter. “Next time I’ll just ask for you.”

“Next time, try and be more polite to the lady,” Zubair said back, without missing a beat, and my eyes widened involuntarily as I wondered if I had really just heard him say that.

He was looking the customer squarely in the face with a fierce look as he said it, and I could see the customers eyes flashing angrily at me before he spun around and walked out.

I took a few steps backward as I watched Zubair’s entire posture morph, almost as as if he had just put on one persona, and was slowly gearing himself to go back to the usual.

I was shocked. And I didn’t even know why I was still even standing there. That was completely unexpected.

I never thought I’d see this side of him. In fact, I didn’t even know that this side of him existed. Up until now, he had been so… passive.

Conservative. Polite. Ihsaan kind of character.

Never had I heard Papa ever mention once about Zubair even raising his voice to a single person. This was completely out of character for him, and as I took a few steps backward to escape to where the single helper was working in the back, I couldn’t help but remember what I had found in that room two weeks ago.

Perhaps now that I knew… and he knew that I knew… he didn’t have to pretend. Maybe this was the real him. Maybe he was a violent and dangerous mafia killer who lost his mind and went off in a tangent. If maybe it was just certain things that ticked him off…

I felt like asking him how and when and why, but of course I couldn’t. I couldn’t get into the nitty gritty of these things. They would just bring up more uncomfortable topics that’s I wasn’t ready to delve into. It was an opening that would lead to other sins, and I was wiser than that. I couldn’t risk more.

I shook my head at my own craziness as I grabbed my phone from next to the till, trying to dispel all the weird thoughts as I glanced to the front to see Zubair was gone, probably to change, but knowing that he would be back soon to take over.

Mohsina had been messaging me from the morning, with something about Hamzah and his strange behaviour.

He had disappeared early that morning and Mohsina couldn’t reach him. She was going crazy with worry, and though I felt for my sister, I honestly didn’t know what to tell her. Hamzah and her had way too many secrets and I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to know them all.

He’s not at work.

It was her latest message, she had sent before the rude man walked in. I tapped quickly, wanting to know if she phoned the office.

Are you sure?

Her reply was quick.

I called. They said he didn’t come in today. He’s hiding something, Jamz. You think it’s someone else? Someone from his past?

I sighed. Of all things.

Hamzah won’t do that. Maybe it’s something else. A family matter? Something to do with Liyakets estate?

Her reply didn’t come fast enough. It was at least a few minutes before she  finally messaged to say:

He just got home. Rabia is with him. Wish me luck.

I instantly wondered if that was the case, why he was being so secretive. Could he have just gone to fetch Rabia?

It was weird… this whole thing that was happening. There was Zubair and his big secret, that I could tell no one because there really was no way that I could tell anyone that Papa’s favourite worker is an arms dealer or mafia member.

Plus, I had no proof. And then there was Hamzah, who had his own secrets and was also somewhere from the morning.

The message from Mohsina came through and I found myself looking at the time.

Hmmm, interesting.

Was it just a coincidence that both of them were gone at the same odd times? Zubair usually never left in the week. Hamzah too.

It was exactly 20 minutes ago that Zubair had arrived to save the day and that was the time it took to get the Mohsina’s new place in the North.

Were they perhaps together? I wasn’t even sure if they spoke but I had an idea that they did cross paths on the farm a few times. Hamzah was always outside and Zubair didn’t really have many places to go.

I wasn’t sure if I should tell Mohsina. What I did know was that she may just hyperventilate and then we would have more problems. Where my sister and her marriage was concerned, I rather just keep quiet and mind my own business. What I did want to desperately find out was if they were together.

And as I walked along the rose bushes, drying my dampened dress, breathing in the scent of outdoors as my mind cleared slightly, I couldn’t help but set my phone aside and let my roses distract me for a while. The afternoon sun was blazing down on my covered head and I didn’t even have a hat on, but I didn’t care. I was in my element right then and that’s all that mattered.

“Hey you,” a familiar voice had called behind me, a baby perched on her hip as she smiled. “I can feel the nature vibes bouncing off you. Thought I’d find you here.

I plunged my garden fork into the ground and slowly got up, dusting my hands off onto my baggy jeans as I smiled at the little munchkin in Nusaybah’s arms. She was a few months older than Zaid and she was super adorable, with these fat cheeks and black locks.

“I had to ask Zubz where the roses were and there you are, looking as stunning as they are this spring…”

She grinned as I had blushed, well… as red as I could go, given that my skin resembled a slightly coppery colour due to all those hours in the sun. Almost like that burnt peach rose. I was actually glad that my skin burned painlessly, unlike my sister, who would peel at the slightest touch of sunlight.

Nusaybah smelt of lavender and fabric softener as I leaned in for an hug, and I couldn’t help but hug her a little tighter before she leaned back again. She had become something of a sister to me too.

”You’re embarrassing me,” I moaned with a smile, shaking my head at her and taking the baby from her. “Why don’t you come in for some tea?”

And though I didn’t know much about Zubair and his past, I did know a few things about the present. Like with his sister leaving back for London this week, it was highly probable that she was the only other person that he would have been with this morning. Maybe I could somehow find out if they were together.

It was amazing spending time with her and her dolly when she was around. She was such a natural and easy-going person to be around.

Nusaybah’s husband was here trying to get a medical post in one of the nearby hospitals and assumed that it may be good to spend a few years closer to their family here. It was just proving to be more difficult than they thought. Going back to London was a temporary fix. From what Nusaybah had said, she really wanted to be close to family, especially with her little one growing so fast.

“I would have loved to but I cannot even spare a  minute,” she said emphatically, answering my request and shaking her head. “I literally just came to see Zubair because he wasn’t around this morning and I needed to speak to him about my grandfather’s condition.”

“Ah okay,” I said softly, hoping it wasn’t too bad.

Also, that meant that Zubair wasn’t with her this morning. So who was he with? 

“I promise I’ll stay longer one day,” she said sincerely. “ I have to meet your mother properly as well… you have no idea how grateful I am that my brother is here with such an amazing family and so much of stability. You don’t know what it means to me.”

Time and time again, this girl just got me.

She was grateful? Without Zubair, Papa would be so lost and unfocused. Even though we had a few workers, it was them who breathed life into the walls of our home and business and kept the momentum going.

And though we sometimes took our extra help for granted, sometimes we genuinely disregard the amount of time they actually put into giving us the best of themselves. They sacrifice family, sleep, even their comfort in many cases, just to make sure that things run smoothly in our homes and businesses.

Now and then, a simple smile, greeting or just a thank you was something that wouldn’t hurt us to give them. The thing is, we will be accountable for how we treat the employees who work for us.

Plus, the value of trustworthiness was something that was invaluable.

It made me think of the Sahaba, and in particular, Abu Dharr Ghifari (RA) who was known for being one of the most trusted and honest Sahaba.

After the light of Islam found its way to his heart, our Prophet Sallahu Alaihi wa Sallam asked him, ‘Where are you from, my Arab brother?’

Abu Dharr (RA) answered, ‘From Ghifar.’

A broad smile appeared on the Prophet’s lips SAW and his face was filled with wonder and astonishment.

However, Abu Dharr (RA) was also smiling, for he knew well that the reason behind the Prophet’s (Sallahu Alaihi wa Salam) astonishment was because the man who had just embraced Islam in front of him was from Ghifar. Ghifar was a tribe with a notorious reputation for highway robbery. Its people were famous for theft and were known as allies of darkness and night.

But as time went on, Abu Dharr’s (RA) reward was going to be abundant and his greeting blessed. He was known to have attained the highest, most honourable, and most respectable medals. Generations and centuries will pass away, but the Prophet’s opinion about Abu Dharr will always stay alive in people’s memory: ‘The earth never carried above it, nor did the sky ever shade under it a more truthful tongue than Abu Dharr’s’.

SubhaanAllah. There was no way to even honour such rare character.

“My father treasures your brother,” I said softly, shaking my head. “We should be thanking you.”

She had briefly mentioned that Zubair and his uncle had been close for a few years before the huge fall out happened just before he came to work for Papa. She had mentioned that her brother was pretty capable of looking after himself and kept apologising for the inconvenience, which I didn’t even understand. For Papa, Zubair helped us out so much that he actually felt indebted to him.

”No ways, it’s his job and he needs to keep it,” she insisted, taking a seat on the bench as her daughter started playing with my garden set.
A familiar feeling of despair arose in my gut as I wondered how on earth I could ever do anything to sabotage his job? Nusaybah was so grateful. I sighed softly and looked back at her, seeing a small smile on her face.

I switched off my thoughts to watch her daughter, finding it so cute that there was no way you could keep the garden from kids. They were just inherently magical and full of opportunity. They were drawn to it like moths to a flame.

”So, I’ve been meaning to ask… how was your weekend?”

The way she said it, with and her eyes all curious with hidden hope and her eyebrows raised, immediately got me a little suspicious. She smiled mischievously as she watched me, and I wondered how she knew. Did Zubair even know about the doctor who came to see me?

Err,” I started, biting my lip and not wanting to say anything bad. “It was interesting…”

I could see her face transforming from excited to suspenseful and I wanted to laugh too, because somehow, the situation was just really funny.

Thinking about Muneer and his biceps were also getting me all giggly now. I’m sure Nusaybah didn’t know about that, but it really was something.

”Sorry,” she finally said, covering her mouth secretively. “I was really not supposed to say anything but I couldn’t resist. My brother will kill me if he knows that I mentioned it. I’m so sorry. I was just curious to know…”

I smiled, feeling a bit awkward that Zubair knew that I had seen someone last weekend. Actually, I shouldn’t have been surprised because Zubair was probably the one who opened for them. I’m sure Papa was the one who mentioned it and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it.

“Do you like him?”

Nusaybah’s question caught me unaware.

My heart hammered as she asked me and I couldn’t help but look away. I knew that she was asking about he doctor but here I was, thinking about her brother instead.

Astagh.

What was wrong with me?

”He was fine,” I said non-committedly, hiding my true feelings. “He seemed nice. He’s a doctor too.”

She smiled but her smile didn’t quite reach her eyes. Since her husband was also a doctor, it seemed like she may have been slightly appeased, but not entirely.

There was something on her mind and as I looked at her… something unsaid in the way she looked at me as I answered and although I wanted to ask her, but a bellowing from across the rose bushes sounded as I whipped my head around, immediately spotting Nani at the kitchen door.

Where did Nani come from? She was supposed to be at my uncle’s this weekend. There must be a reason why she decided to crop up here unexpectedly.

And before Nusaybah could even chip in and say anything further, Nani’s stern voice was already in top form.

Jameeela!” She screeched, in our true family-renown fish-wife style, and I grimaced as I saw the amused look on Nusaybahs face.

She obviously did not know that I had company. Or she just didn’t care.

“Come quickly. Aunty Khairoon phoned back. We have news!”

I smiled awkwardly at my new friend, nervousness creeping in as I wondered how I was going to react to Nani and what she had to say. Perhaps she had some hidden hopes of something I was oblivious to.

Was it news for her or news for me?

Great. Doctorsaab was back in the picture, and I really wondered what Nani would have to say about him…


Mission Sunnah Revival: 

Being able to view the lives of others as if they are our own in the main building block to social media life.

It is only human to begin to think that the lives of strangers appear to be so perfect, as opposed to reality. Little do we notice that their content is carefully crafted to do this very thing, making us discontent with our lives.

To combat this, we should look to those inferior to us, so we do not become envious and begin to realise the bounty Allah Ta’ala has gifted us with.

Keep in mind:

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Wealth is not in having many possessions. Rather, true wealth is the richness of the soul.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6446, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1051

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..💕

#RevivetheSunnah

#RevivetheSunnahofbeingGrateful

#RevivetheSunnahofQur’aanTilaawat

#ReviveSunnahofDuaa

#SunnahofMaintainingTies

#RevivetheSunnahofSadaqah

#RevivetheSunnahofGivingGifts

#RevivetheSunnahofGoodAkhlaaq

#RevivetheSunnahbeforeSleeping

#RevivetheSunnahofGuardingtheGaze

#RevivetheSunnahofLickingtheFingers

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofEnteringtheToilet

#RevivetheSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofUsingtheRighthand

FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

The Battle Within

Bismihi Ta’ala

Part 52
Hamzah

The buzzing of my iPhone in the early parts of the morning had already awoken me in a cold sweat, as my breathing quickened.

And there I lay, so far from that nightmarish reality I had just witnessed, in the stillness of the night, I could still feel the wetness of my t-shirt clinging to my back. I turned slightly, feeling the slight weight of my wife’s slender fingers on my shoulder, sliding them away as gently as I could, and shifting toward the edge.

I was almost holding my breath as I shifted toward the edge, with one eye open. I had already glimpsed the caller ID and my heart immediately sank, even lower than I had thought possible at that moment.

Hashim (3)

Layyanah’s brother, the new bane to my life, was at it again, and this time, I could see his relentless pursuit of Zaid’s credentials and custody preferences.

The message came a few seconds later.

Call me back or ul be sorry

Why he couldn’t and wouldn’t let this go, was still beyond me.

It was late. Too late for the crap. Almost 2AM, and I rubbed my eyes, closing them momentarily as I pictured it again the scene that played before me. This time, it was a little earlier than my habitual waking, that I had been doing consistenly since Ramadhaan. The last third of the night. The Barakah of praying then had always brought so much more to my day.  Coming back from Al-Aqsa that Ramadhaan had stemmed a whole lot of vigour in me, but  the haunting dream I had just endured was also due to it.

Spitting on my left side, I tried to desperately suppress the emotions, as raw as the first time I had seen the little girl in them, her blue-grey eyes large and almost translucent, brimming with tears flowing continuously…

“Please don’t shoot,” she was crying, speaking in Arabic, and I had gazed her in the dream, not even understanding how a tiny and pristine creature like that could be abandoned, with not a single soul one to even account for her.

Soldiers had been streaming into the scene at that point, an open road all around Al-Aqsa, running to her, as if she was an enemy out to get them. I was helpless, unarmed and wondering how I could ever assist… 

I had only been able to shake my head, trying to decipher how anyone could ever even think of hurting such an angelic and defenseless child.

“Baba, where are you?!” She cried, searching around her, her eyes filled with terror, sobbing then, as she calls out for her mother.
And as the dream goes on, I attempt to find who she is looking for, but as I turned to look around, I glimpse the blotches of blood splattered on the floor, and without even processing what I was seeing… I already knew that there was no one left… her family’s gone… only a brother, whose barely 5 years in age, lingers around.

And as she wanders, through to the street, I wondered how anyone could be so heartless to hate a child so innocent. I wondered how a child so small, could ever deserve this? How could pointing a gun at a baby, who screams, “please, don’t shoot”, ever be justified?

And as I follow her, thinking how absolutely afraid, yet self-sufficient she looked, she turned to look up at me, her eyes conveying a message of deep determination that I can’t even begin to understand…  just before the muzzle of the gun is felt in my neck as fear shoots through me, and then everything just went black.

It was something close to terrifying, that last part, but it had been a while since the dream had played out again… almost 10 days since the last, but it felt more real than ever this time. I couldn’t understand why it haunted me, but my subconscious was obviously a lot stronger than I knew.

And I knew I shouldn’t have been as terrified because for a believer, martyrdom was the purpose. Not the wealth or booty of this world, we had become so obsessed with, but the feeling of victory that came with the name of Islam flying high once again, was absolutely untouchable.

And of course, I could only have a glimpse of how much they had to endure, from my 10 day experience there. The persistence of the Palestinians, even in the face of death was something that made me fully comprehend the strength and vehemence of even the littlest of children. Their fervor. Their courage. Their utmost perseverance and Tawakkul, even in the face of imminent danger, was unbelievable. And the thought of what they are subjected to made me shiver with terror, I couldn’t seem to stop try mind from replaying the scene over and over again.

I opened my eyes again now, staring into the darkness as my eyes adjusted to the room light. It was the first time since my Nikah that I had had the dream, and I was aware that the events of yesterday that were still fresh in my mind had probably brought it on. I recalled the accident scene we had witnessed on the way back from the doctors room… the raw emotions that came with it and everything that had been gained and lost through it all.

There was a mixture of aching relief that came with the realization. I was one of the lucky ones. The ones who lived in peace, with no fear of war in my midst. The ones who were still alive, despite everything that had transpired. I was the guy who had seen so much, yet couldn’t make it to even voice my inner most thoughts.

I sighed, as my gaze fell on the two people who I now cared about more than I could describe. The reason for my resistance. The point of my patience. The motivation for the heartfelt emotions that were travelling through my veins. The battle within me was one that I didn’t realise yet that I was fighting.

I turned my head back again, with the light peeping through the gap in the curtain, to reassure myself that I wasn’t imagining the blessing I had been endowed with.

I couldn’t quite believe that here I was, next to my wife as Zaid slept soundly on her chest, just a week after my Nikah. And that when I got it… what Liyaket meant when I had watched him all those months back, and I didn’t even know how it had happened.

Somewhere, in between the sins and the thoughts that haunted my mind, in between winging parenting and tip-toeing around each other’s feelings, we had reached this comfortable place. A place where things were good. Hopeful. A place where I felt like I could finally breathe and fill my lungs with a good dose of gratitude  and awe at the great favour of Allah on me.

Unconditional love.

There was a reason that I once told Liyaket that I would be happy alone. It was somewhere in between my breaking things off with Mohsina and his passing and finding Allah had just been the most satiating thing for me.
Also, having felt the way I had felt before, I knew that falling apart over a girl once again, was something like having a huge hole that needs to be endlessly filled. I had battled with every urge, every temptation and every prospective vice before I made it through. It wasn’t that I really thought I’d be happy alone forever. What I was scared of was, was feeling broken to the point of never finding Allah again.

What if I found that I needed the love of someone and then depended on it? What if I actually ended up with the feeling, and actually liked it?

But there I was. I know life can be pretty messy, And as I sat, my heart somewhere precariously close to being on my sleeve, I felt alive in a way that I had never quite felt before.

So let me be honest and just say that I wasn’t ever completely convinced that this was the right thing. That coming back to this place with Mohsina would be the best idea.

But circumstances had happened and we had been somewhat forced to cross paths again. Seeing her, having to interact with her… well, it was different from the image I had conjured up in my mind. The pieces weren’t quite fitting together. Instead of being the money-obsessed Instagram girl, I had seen a new person.

But this was the thing with Duaas, and I remembered Liyakets one with absolute clarity, as I tried to avoid every technique he was using to get me settled.

I never quite knew the meaning of love, of what Liyaket had always wanted for me, until I met Zaid.

And although I had, on many occasions, joked and mocked him about it, when I first held him in my arms as he looked at me like I was the only hero that he would ever know, I couldn’t hold my heart back.

”So this is what you talk about,” I said to him, still looking down at the little human he called his son, not entirely sure if I believed that this child actually belonged to him. “Unconditional love.”

”You got it, bro,” he said, his smile all sentimental and cynical at the same time. “Doesn’t it make you want this too?”

I looked at him and narrowed my eyes, lying through my teeth.

“You think I’m crazy?” I asked, fighting the feeling, as I handed him back over a little sooner than I wanted to. “My life is way too easy without worrying about women and poo nappies.”

He grinned, his dark eyes twinkling with laughter.

”One day,” he said, putting Zaid over his shoulder and smirking. “Someone’s going to make you change your mind and you will eat your words. And that’s going to be my Duaa.”

“No man,” I squealed, still not believing his audacity. “You’re supposed to be my best friend.”

”Exactly,” he said knowingly, a glint in his eye. “And I know what’s best for you, but Allah knows better. I just have a feeling that it’s going to happen in a way you least expect.”

And he was right. Maybe not the way he expected either, but a Du’aa was a Du’aa.

And I knew things weren’t perfect. It had taken a week to get to this point, anyway. The point where all barriers had been crossed, and something very close to love had completely taken over. The point of no return, well, at least for me.

And it had been brought on by a number of things… after the scene of the accident we saw on the way from the doctor had evoked all kinds of emotions. The crumpled mess on the side of the road had made it seem like we were reliving Liyaket and Layyanahs death all over again. We had entered the silent house, walking up to our room, placing Zaid down in the cot I had brought for him from Liyaket’s place, still reeling from the shock of what we had just witnessed.

For once, I wished for noise of a busy household. For people around, to tune out the turbulence in my mind. The house seemed almost lonely without Rabia, who had made a trip to our cousin ten minutes away, on account of us coming home so late.

And of course,I could not stop thinking about what we had seen. For a while, I wished that I did look. At least then, I would have known what had really happened, instead of tormenting myself and thinking of the worst possible scenario.

I had no jokes, pranks or witty remarks to even soften the blow for Mohsina, as she hung up her Abaya and avoided eye contact at all costs.

”You okay?” I had asked, my voice sounding coarse and even peculiar to myself, as I looked at her, full of emotions.

It had been a helluva lot for one day. The advices from the doctor. The fact that Zaid may have an immune deficiency that needed to be confirmed with bloods. She was so strong, for taking this all on… for wanting to go ahead with feeding him, and as I watched her,  her hair tied back in a ponytail, I couldn’t help at look at her in admiration, because it just struck me right then how amazing she was and had been all this time.

And yes… I knew that a lot of this was about Zaid and even though she was still silent, I yearned for something… anything… to prove to me that she wasn’t in this just for him.

And as she approached me, and her arms enveloped me one of the most fiercest of hugs, all we did, for a few minutes, was stand there, in silence, knowing exactly how the other felt, seeking some kind of comfort, fully comprehending how painful the entire experience had been.

It felt like just yesterday, when that sting of loss had sunk us to the depths of grief.

It felt like hours ago when I had first gotten the messages, confirming for me that my lifelong friend had lost his life, much earlier than I would have ever imagined. All I needed right then, for the first time ever, was to let myself sink into the consolation that this degree of closeness had brought, and draw every bit of solace that I could.

“Liyaket was part of my life for almost two decades,” I whispered, and I could feel her breathing quicken as I spoke. “I feel like I’ve lost a major part of me, a portion of my heart and my sight. I can’t erase those chunks of my life, and go on like it never happened.”

She nodded, pausing before she spoke.

“I know,” she said softly. “Two decades… Why would you want to erase it?”

I shrugged.

Because it hurt too much to remember.

Two whole decades of the best friend someone could ever have, guiding and advising me, loving me explicitly, always having the most diplomatic and amazing way to look at things. I loved the guy with a helluva part of my heart. I felt incredibly lost without Liyaket.

”I feel like we are losing more and more of them, every day,” I said softly, breathing in her familiar scent. “I want to hold on…”

“I feel like we’re trying to take over their roles,” she said, so softly that I barely heard her.

I nodded, feeling the same way. Were we unintentionally trying to fill their shoes?

“What if we hadn’t lost them?” she asked softly, and I could hear something that I never heard from Mohsina before, in her voice. It was almost like fear… like an uneasiness that had consumed her, as she said it.

“It was Allah’s will,” I murmured into her hair, knowing that was my only consolation… thinking that’s what she wanted to hear, my voice finally steady. “You can’t question-“

”It’s not that,” she said firmly, pulling back and looking up at at me, her eyebrows slightly furrowed and her brown eyes glistening with tears. “All these questions are going through my mind and I can’t help but wonder. Where would I have been then? Where would you have been? If all this hadn’t happened, would I have changed? Would you have even come back…?”

I knew all these questions. I had asked myself the same ones over and over. I had so many more too. What if things didn’t work out? What if she changed her mind? What if she woke up one day and decided that even though I loved Zaid with everything I had, I wasn’t the right guy for her?

But I knew the answers already. For me, things were either black or white.  I had decided one thing, before I decided to marry her, and that was what I had to stick to. I had never asked her, but from the day I had seen her in Bossman’s car, I figured that he had some sinister intention and though she denied it at the time… I assumed something had happened between them. And though it had plagued me… Right then, though… well, right then, he was the last person I wanted to talk about.

“It doesn’t matter,” I said, shaking my head, my eyes holding her gaze. “What I thought or what I wanted… What happened or who featured… Can we just stop thinking?”

And it was true.

Because she had apologized. I had apologized.

And at times it happens that we apologize, but the trust is still shattered. You forgive them but to look at them the same way, is something that you are tested with every day.

And I had felt that. I felt that deeper than I ever thought I would feel anything, but thats where Maulana Umar got me, when he explained it to me.  Allah Azza Wa Jal, in His infinite mercy, not only forgives, but even wipes away the sin completely, as if it never happens. Allah Azza wa Jal, in his astounding love, even commands the writing angels to erase those sins, as if they never happened.

Ar-Rahman forgives those who ask forgiveness with repentance. In the noble Qur’an Allah Almighty says:
“. . . and let them pardon and overlook. Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”

Forgiveness. Only Allah knew how much it had taken out of me… how much it hurt me not to ask… but it was that verse that pushed me to overlook. I had made that promise to myself, because of what Maulana Umar had told me.

She had changed. Whatever had happened, we had to both let go.
And it was no coincidence. This is not something that happens by chance. This was not something that you decide to do on a whim. A desire to turn towards Allah… towards Deen, towards goodness, is only from Him. Only a favour that those who are blessed and truly loved can ever be privileged enough to encompass.

It was nothing short of Taqdeer, and destiny had a funny way of making everything fall into place.

It all seemed surreal for a while, coming home with so much of devastation and loss… as we grew together, as a family, but what I didn’t anticipate was feeling the way I did. It had been the most emotionally taxing day, but somehow, as our hearts took over, I had silenced the concerns that had been in both our minds, broken down the barriers Mohsina had put up and found solace in the comfort that only a wife could offer. The love, that was slowly creeping over my heart and overtaking it… well, it took me by surprise.

And though our road had been rocky, the way it had panned out, it felt almost as if Allah had made it happen in such a way, that the entire journey I had been through was leading up to what was playing out in front of me.

From Yemen ; back home, and then to Palestine, and then coming home again, with the intention of such great responsibility, I thought that through everything I had been through and seen, I was ready to go all into this.

A new era was approaching, and my resolution was to put everything else behind me, and head in, with a clear motive.

Like at the time of Hijrat, when the Lion of Allah, Hadhrat Hamzah (RadiAllahu Anho) entered the borders of Madinah, he knew that there was much opportunity for the Muslims. Within his breast was Imaan so strong and steady, that the first flag in Islam was handed to him. Within them all, was forgiveness, and hope, and a hope for a new tomorrow.

It was just that, as I walked out the room with my phone in hand, in the early hours of the morning, I now felt more on edge than ever.
Within me, I was fighting a bigger battle. I felt on edge. Threatened, and unwavering. My resolve to protect Zaid from Hashim was even stronger now, than ever. That lion within me… the one that sometimes made its way to forefront in the most trying situations… was bearing its teeth again.

I wasn’t one to back down. I picked up my phone, wondering if I should call him back right then. Let him know that I won’t stand for anything. Be the man I felt myself become, over these past few months.

But as much as I wanted to, something within me held me back, and I stopped myself. Maybe it was Imraan’s words, that had told me not to ask for trouble with him. Maybe it was the thought of starting something that I didn’t yet have the power to finish. All I knew was this Jihaad was something I would fight with my heart and soul.

And for me… as I kept this in mind… I knew that if I had to challenge Hashim from that point on, life would never be the same again. Putting up a fight could harm more people than I wanted. As much as I wanted to, I couldn’t help but stop myself, because I knew that nothing good could come out of it.

I knew people like Hashim and I knew how they worked.

But now, as I looked at the caller ID glaring at me again, a wave of ferocity washed over me as I renewed my intent. No matter what. No matter how. I knew that I would stand by my word.

No matter what happened or who came in the way, I was going to protect them from every bit of it, with every ounce of me, but I was also fully aware that I couldn’t ever let Mohsina get an inkling of this.

And in doing that, as I fought my inner battles, what I didn’t know was that I was risking losing everything else in the process…


Authors note: I was aiming for a bit of a change up with perspective. Will try and post sooner this week InshaAllah … x


Abu Qatada reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: A good vision is from Allah and a bad dream (hulm) is from the satan; so if one of you sees anything (in a dream which he dislikes, he should spit on his left side thrice and seek refuge with Allah from its evil, and then it will never harm him.

Sunnah of Forgiveness:

With the New Islamic Year already here, and these auspicious days, one of the lessons gfrom the Seearh is how Nabi (SAW) forgave his oppressors, and let go of old whims.

A sublime quality that Nabi (SAW) inculcated into his life on various occasions, and especially on the occasion of Hijrah.

May Allah Almighty give us all the ability to forgive others for the wrong they do to us and make us more productive Muslims through this and may Allah forgive us all for our sins, ameen.
O Allah, purify our hearts from grudges, envy, and cheating. O Allah, amend our relations with our relatives. O Allah, amend our relations with our loved ones. O Allah, make life an increase for us in every good and make death a relief for us from every evil with Your mercy, O Most Merciful of the Merciful.
Aaameen.

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..💕

#RevivetheSunnahofbeingGrateful

#RevivetheSunnahofQur’aanTilaawat

#ReviveSunnahofDuaa

#SunnahofMaintainingTies

#RevivetheSunnahofSadaqah

#RevivetheSunnahofGivingGifts

#RevivetheSunnahofGoodAkhlaaq

#RevivetheSunnahbeforeSleeping

#RevivetheSunnahofGuardingtheGaze

#RevivetheSunnahofLickingtheFingers

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofEnteringtheToilet

#RevivetheSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofUsingtheRighthand

FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

A Ray of Sunshine

Bismihi Ta’ala

Part 36
Jameela

How do you say goodbye when you didn’t even know you were supposed to say goodbye?

I mean… The thing is, all goodbyes are different. Some are for a day. Some, for a month. And some, as painfully heartbreaking as they are, are forever goodbyes.

And in a beautiful narration that so aptly captured my heartfelt emotions as I recalled it on that fateful night… in one of his books, the famous saint, Imaam Ghazali Rahmatullah writes that Nabi Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam once asked Allah Azza Wa Jal:

“O my Rabb, where can I find You?”

And to this, Allah Ta’ala replied:

“You will find Me by those whose hearts are broken.”

(Al-Hamm wal Huzn no 61)

And that’s all it was.

Broken-hearted. Heartbroken.

The emotional transition was something that I could barely understand before this, but now, I could so accurately comprehend.

Was there any way to dull the pain, to lessen the blow..  Was there any less painful way to put it… to feel it… to digest it?

And on that earth-shattering evening, it was blow after blow. Heartbreak upon heartbreak. A slow but steady ache as the evening edged on, hearts bleeding with anguish… we were struck with such an immense feeling of devastation that breathing didn’t even come easily anymore.

And as I looked up, my mind an overwhelming jumble of emotion as the second blow came that night, the only resort I had was to submerge my heart in the knowledge that Allah Taála was the Ultimate Planner, Healer and Over-seeer… the tranquility that had descended thereafter was almost unbelievable. It had all occurred just before Maghrib Salaah, as Liyaket headed back home to drop Layyanah before he would go to Masjid… when his car met in a tragic accident that would be etched in the memory of many, for a long time to come.

”Allah knows best,” was all I could hear, at the end of every sentence, as I heard the voices in the hospital corridor. “It’s Allah’s will. It’s all His plan.”

And that was the only thing that really gets you through it, doesn’t it?

Allah doesn’t take something from us without giving something in return.

Sometimes Allah takes something away from our world, but even through that, surely there has to be a ray of sunshine that will make its appearance, although it just needs its time to come to the shore…

Because amidst the shattered hopes and broken dreams, is a beautiful plan that comes to remind us that every now and again, we must be awakened from our worldly slumber to shift the focus from this meagre world, to the one that is eternal. From a world of futile pursuit to a place where there is no grief, no pain and where glad tidings for the ones who withstand the hurt and the pain with patience are able to say that they’ve truly been humbled by it all..

And oh yes, we were.

Humbled to our very knees, praying with utmost fervency with bated breath almost, my sister and I stood there, in the dreary hospital corridor, on the brink of insanity, as we waited for the news about Liyaket, as the doctors on call tried with every ounce of theirs to give us some hope and keep him with us.

No less than several hours later, using the jaws of life to extract Liyaket from the drivers side of the car, With him being on the side of impact, the devastating collision had injured him significantly.

And as the paramedics rushed him to the nearest hospital and doctors had attempted with every ounce they had to keep him from flatlining, it was only two hours later that Liyaket was announced to have joined his Queen in the abode of eternity, to meet his Lord and reside in forever together.

For the living, though, death was brutal. Like a punch in the stomach… Blurring your vision for a short time, and then bringing the reality of life that we had long ago lost the essence of into focus once again.

Death didn’t look at your wealth, status or your dependents. Death didn’t look at your youthful beauty, your aspiring career or wait for your child to grow up..

Death, in it’s ferocity, didn’t even look at your age.

And as Mohsina and I drove to the house after in silence, the glorious horizon stretched widely ahead of us in the wee hours of Saturday morning, the bloody sunrise that broke over us brought with it it’s own emotions. Crimson and tangerine streaks of light covered the width of the skyline, almost as if reaffirming the tragedy that had rocked our world just hours before.

”I just can’t believe it,” Mohsina almost whispered, her gaze fixed in the road ahead as we drove. “Life is so short.. No one knows at what point it’s all going to be over, but Layyanah’s life change … well, that was really something that that was one in a million, wasn’t it?”

I swallowed, fighting back tears, thinking of her as I nodded.

They are a few souls from amongst this world are those who sell their own selves, searching for the happiness of Allah. Layyanah had come, like a gust of wind, knocking us all out of our delusional world, with her colorful personality and complete aversion to material things, in her new found escape.

How she had sacrificed so much, so deeply, was still a mystery to anyone who knew the life she had come from. And on one occasion, just around a month back, she had said it so beautifully, as she looked at me, with a contented smile on her face, reading something she had picked up from the bookshelf a minute before.

She had come to visit my mother with little Zaid, because she had said she missed seeing the activity the coffee shop brought every day. Even though Papa had employed someone to assist, she was adamant that she would be back to help us once Zaid started crawling around and she was a bit more capable.

We sat on the lawn while my mother went to fetch some iced tea that she was trying out for the coffee shop, so we could give her our reviews.

“Ah,” she said whimsically, her eyes bright as she looked at me. “Just listen to this.”

And I had sat on the damp grass, as she shifted on the wrought iron outdoor chair, and read aloud.

It was a heart rendering incident that was said to have occurred on the occasion of Faathima’s (RA) wedding, where she appeared to be a little reserved and despondent. Her beloved father (Sallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) knowing a little about her concerns, went up to her, addressing her so lovingly as Nabi (Sallalhu Alayhi wa Salam) said  that he knew that Ali (RA) was poor, possessing very little and living in difficulty.

He also mentioned that he stayed in a rented house, had to work for a living and owned no wealth or property of his own.

And then, Layyanah’s face brightened as she looked at me, her eyes warmth with contentment and a huge smile on her face.

“But then, listen to what he says next,” she murmured delightedly, sounding awestruck as she glanced at me again. “And it was as if this part was meant just for me to see and digest…”

I looked at her and smiled back, waiting to hear what she was so ecstatic about. And it didn’t disappoint.

”’I’m also aware that I have turned down many proposals of many wealthy individuals,’” she continued softly, with a teary smile on her face. “‘However, Oh Faatimah! Don’t be sad. The trials and poverty of this world is only a few days. Keep your gaze on the Aakhirah and it’s bounties, because the wealth of the Heavens is for you. Allah Ta’ala will make you it’s owner!”‘

And that, she certainly was.

SubhaanAllah.

And what more could anyone ask for? To meet Allah at a place where you know that you sacrificed everything in this world for Allah’s pleasure alone, and your reward is waiting for you in your final abode.

Mohsina’s  eyes were red-rimmed and teary as I narrated the incident to her as she looked at me with tears falling unashamedly from her eyes, and I really had nothing more I could say to even make them stop.

We had reached the funeral house now, and donned for the occasion, we entered to see streams of people who were already there, as Layyanah lay there with us for her final few minutes, I sat in a corner of the room an wept my heart out.

All I could think of was how beautifully Layyanah’s  life had changed, and how amazingly she sacrificed so much of this world because she saw the reality of the one she was about to enter.…

And that was precisely what I saw here, as I saw our friend being lifted, as they carried her over to the vehicle that would take her to her final abode, with hope upon hope that her resting place would be expanded greatly upon her arrival.

For those selected few, amidst the cries of grief and loss that hearts are submerged in, as their final journey to their resting place would begin, it is said that the deceased is already yearning to meet their Lord. Surely Allah had fulfilled His promise. Surely her abode would be a pleasant one.

Yes. We cry. Yes, we hurt. But, no…

No matter how much you hurt, pine or grieve… we don’t say that which will displease Him, because the knowledge that Allah is the full and only controller of life and death is sometimes all we needed to process.

I looked at my sister, who was utterly and emotionally exhausted, and I couldn’t help but see a completely different person to the one I had thought she had become all along.

Isn’t it funny how life keeps us apart, and death brings people together?

Right then, I felt closer than I’d felt in months to her, as we worked together, trying to piece all the fallen parts together and make this make sense once again .And it was still there. The little rift that existed between us, and all the things that we didn’t and couldn’t quite yet say. Somewhere, within us, existed so many hidden secrets, so many untold stories, so many words that were still left unsaid…

I yearned to break down all those barriers that had been built around us set our affairs right again, smooth over the creases and gain that courage once again to make her my best friend…

Moreso, now that new information of how much she had really endured over the last few months became apparent to me just the week before, a new light was shed on her, and my heart contracted momentarily for everything she had probably been through, trying to keep our family together. Putting herself at stake. But still holding out a torch that maybe her and I would somehow meet at a place where we could bare our souls and let everything out.

Maybe tonight, once this lengthy day was finally over… we could bare our souls once again.

Sleep though… well, that was a distant memory and a yearned for escape. None of us, from our family, had had the luxury as yet. My mother had planted herself next to Liyaket’s  on a bench at the hospital, completely broken, almost as if their entire world had fallen apart in front of her eyes.

I couldn’t imagine the pain that his mother  was feeling, because when it comes to someone who your heart held oh so very close… you don’t just lose them once.

Losing someone is a journey, not a once-off. There is no end to the loss, there is only an attempt on how to stay afloat, when it washes over.

I breathed in as I looked ahead of me, tears blurring my vision as I thought of how this had even happened? So many questions were still hounding me as I processed it all, for the umpteenth time since that evening.

There was so much to still process. To digest. To sort out… before life could ever return to some kids of normal.

But for now, as Mohsina’s phone rang again, I hastily picked it up without a second thought as she came out, not expecting it to be the long-awaited call that she was expecting from the hospital about Liyaket and Layyanah’s three-month old son, who was the most adorable piece of pudding that I had ever seen.

Within the chaos, I barely even had time to wonder about what would be the end result here. All the doctors had said was that he was under observation and no further information could be given until they checked with welfare about his guardianship.

My heart was in my throat from the minute they said it, because I knew that it could go either way. No information could mean that he was really critical or the complete opposite.

I watched Mohsina as she took the phone, walking along the edge of the grass outside at their house, basically responding with a series of ‘okays’ and ‘right’, as she spoke to them. I awaited either an exclamation of grief or joy, but none came yet, as she finally put the phone down, and then looked at me, with the most peculiar expression in her eyes.

“What’s happened?”

I was aching to know.

“He’s okay,” Mohsina said, a grim smile flashing on her face for a milli-second.

Somehow, he was alive and safe.

It was an overwhelming feeling of relief that was coupled with several waves of grief.

She explained briefly that baby Zaid had, by divine miracle, slipped down into the section between the dashboard and the seat, safe and secure, only by Allah’s intervention, but there was still a deep sense of loss for his deceased parents that acompanied the glorious news.

“They said he can be fetched later today.”

He can be fetched? Well, now, that was amazing news.

It was a ray of sunshine, amidst the darkened clouds. A rainbow of hope and a deep sense of gratitude, as I joyously went forward to embrace her but Mohsina stepped back for a minute, as she took a deep breath and looked at me, that peculiar expression now settling in her eyes as her brow furrowed.

“That’s not the end of it,” she said, swallowing as she looked around us, at the people in and out of the house now, coming forward to give their condolences, a squeeze of the shoulder or a sympathetic smile, before heading out back to their cars.

Soon the house would be empty again, and the loss more real than ever.

”What do you mean?” I asked my sister, narrowing my eyes.

“They said I could take him,” she said blandly, obviously completely torn between two unyielding factors that I had no idea of as yet. “They asked me if I want to sign for him. As a guardian, who was capable. To apply for adoption.”

Her voice was shaky as she said it, almost as if she couldn’t bare the weight of the responsibility that was suddenly on her shoulders.

I too, was slightly in shock. Layyanah’s sister was spotted at the funeral, but I wasn’t quite sure what their deal was there. Liyaket’s mother, I knew, was in no position for sole guardianship. She had all kind of medical complications and had started dialysis the previous month. Layyanah had mentioned that it meant long hours away at the hospital and lots of rest. She was almost always tired. Although she loved her grandson to bits, to expect her to take care of the baby on her own would be a little ridiculous.

”Okay,” I said carefully, trying to assess the situation. “So you will need to think about it. Maybe it’s not such a huge thing. Maybe you just need to-“

”It’s not that,” she cut me off, shaking her head. “I would take him in a heartbeat. There’s one catch…”

”What is it?” I asked, holding my breath. I didn’t want to say it but I so badly wanted her to say yes. I just wanted to open my heart and love that little guy with every ounce of me that I had.

”According to documentation, there’s someone else who has just as much right than I do,” she said, her expression now painfully resilient as she said it, almost as if she was entering a battlefield of her own.

“And I’m going to have to ask for his consent first.”


Mission Sunnah Revival

Revive the Sunnah of Giving Constant Sadaqah.

Sadaqah as a means for cure, a way to cool the anger of Allah and proven to ward away calamity. There are many other benefits, and this great deed was a practise that is not only a reward but a barrier agonist the fire of Jahannam.

Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), with the commencement of Ramadhaan, would become even more generous. 

It is narrated that he was most generous to the people and even more so in this blessed month that is approaching. Let us try and increase on our Sadaqah, InshaAllah ❤️

Regarding the 15th night of Sha’baan, Especially as we head toward Ramadaan, we should try and increase in good deeds and prepare ourselves more for longer stretches of ibaadat, in preparation for our Aakhirah. May Allah grant us the strength.
There is a specific Du’aa for the 15th of Shabaan that is below.

Du’aa for Sha’baan 

اَللّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِى شَعْبَانَ وَ بَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَان

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

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

#ReviverheSunnahofGivingGifts

#RevivetheSunnahofGoodAkhlaaq

#RevivetheSunnahbeforeSleeping

#RevivetheSunnahofGuardingtheGaze

#RevivetheSunnahofLickingtheFingers

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofEnteringtheToilet

#RevivetheSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofUsingtheRighthand

FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

A Sliver of Silver

Bismihi Ta’ala

Part 24
Jameela

The sweet, pearly scent of jasmine from the wayward creeper behind me filled my nostrils as I trudged along, carried away with my tasks, almost immune to their beauty as I passed them by for the twentieth time that afternoon. Well, almost.

The thing was, no matter how many times I passed them, I couldn’t not pause in awe over how, in that expanse of dry land, they stood out so boldly, in all their glory, still possessing the courage to bloom in such staggering numbers. Their beauty was art at its finest…  designed by the most Powerful Creator… unrivalled by the works of man…

SubhaanAllah.

It was that word which was purest in form, which raises your rank… that deed which is better than gold or silver… even greater in reward than Jihaad…

I whispered it, under my breath, as I stood still for a moment on our stretch of partly grassy land, soaking in the scorching sun before retiring to the small patch of soil at the edge.

On the small plot that we had called home for nearly two decades, I was finally seeing it with a new eye. The way the land curved would be perfect for a little slide and play area for kids . The extensive acres would work beautifully for bench and table chill-off and picnic spot. And the corner where the existing barn was, would be the perfect spot for the coffee stop and rose garden.

Mohsina and Papa had finally given me the go- ahead for the revamp and I was bursting with energy and enthusiasm to get this thing running, making my way over to the spot where I was determined to plant the sixteen rose plants I had grabbed at a discounted rate  a few roads away.

Rose Plants for Sale’, had said outside, and I barely even entered the premises when I was blown away by the garden than boasted not only every colour of rose, but every flower under the sun.

I had expressed my awe to the lady and little her daughter, Khadijah, who owned the house. The lovely niqabi girl had given me a few gardening pointers, and I appreciated it. She seemed like she kept to herself and her little garden and that was my inspiration for my own little space…

This, for me, was a small start but it had to start somewhere, right?

I tossed the spade aside, my bare hands delving into the dry Earth, pulling my watering can to offer some moisture to the parched soil, allowing my nails to soil unreservedly as dug into the textures that existed beneath the surface.

Compost. Yes. A little compost would be just the thing needed for a little more potential. I pulled the bag I had bought towards me and poured out the contents onto the patch of soil, immersing myself in the textures and colours of the sand as I forked it in, now with my personal garden tools. My finger nails were still edged with brown Earth but the feeling of crusty nails was welcomed.  It reminded me of hard work and toil and I wanted to feel like I was working with a purpose…

“Salaam Jamz. Howsit? What you up to?”

I hadn’t even heard the car drive in. I looked from my eyes where I was kneeling to see Layyanah standing at her car, her cheeks looking slightly more flushed than usual as she stood, baby bump protruding cutely, looking like a perfect little mama-to-be in a sage dress top and skinny jeans that sat below her ankles.

Her scarf was tied around her head traditionally and she looked like she was probably coming from home. Even with no make-up, Layyanah looked amazing. I looked a bit like a hobo, in my torn overalls and gum boots. It was the only way work got done with its full intent.

“I’m getting this thing going,” I said, gesturing to the soil. “It’s our new business venture. Did Mohsina tell you?”

Layyanah smiled, her face instantly looking more at ease than just a minute ago.

”It looks lovely so far,” she said sincerely, nodding. “I love the concept. A little stop over for travellers or even an outing for a day. What a stunning setting you guys have here. What about a little petting zoo? I told Mohsina you guys have plenty of space. Where is she, by the way?”

A petting zoo?

That was an amazing idea. I made a mental note and looked up at Layyanah, who was waiting for my answer.

We had plenty of space. And even more so, because Mohsina had decided that it was time that she moved closer to work and got her own place. It was a fully-furnished and included in her package and I kind of understood why she would be crazy not to take it. It was just that I couldn’t help the heaviness I felt in my heart when I said it.

“I think she’s gone to look at the apartment ,” I replied, wiping my forehead with my palm and not wanting to delve into the subject and how it made me feel. How it made all of us feel.

I looked at Layyanah as she looked confused, and then she remembered. Of course she did.

The apartment. The part of the package that she had taken … what seemed to be the start of all these new changes and also a little heartbreak too.

“How are you feeling?” I said, changing the topic purposely as I gave my attention back to the now promising soul.

“More energetic in the past week,” she conceded, and as I glanced at her, I could see her face had fallen.

“Is she really moving out?”

I swallowed, not saying anything in reply as I continued with my task of tossing sand around..

By nature, I was a dreamer. Even as I absorbed myself  in work, my mind was miles away. A reader, a nature-lover, and a people-pleaser. I loved my family , and I loved things to be smooth and easy. When a little bit of drama usually ensued, my solution was always to tuck myself into my own world and to quietly get lost into the thicket of nature, daydreams and parallel universes.

The new venture though, was exciting me. It was the silver lining here. It kept me busy and calmed my mind.

Reality on that day was a far cry from where I really wanted to be, even though I knew that I needed to be there. Even though I knew that diversion was the best medicine right then.

Layyanah shook her head sadly and pulled the white garden chair to where I was, taking a seat opposite me, instead of going back home. She leaned into the back of the chair, stretching her legs out as she looked at me, almost as if she was unsure of what to say.

“Is this really happening?” She asked, pressing on, now looking like she was about to burst into tears at any point. It was obvious that she had this on her mind for a while and needed to get it out.

I looked at her and shrugged. I knew exactly how she felt. Mohsina was also ignoring me when I tried to talk to her about Hamzah. It almost seemed like she was a different person to the one who had been my sister for the past few years. Something in her had changed and I wasn’t even sure what it was. How could I ever understand or sympathise when she wouldn’t even give me the time of day?

The thing was, I didn’t understand it. This was what she was most scared of, but no-one else besides her was in control of. This was what was on her mind, when she was so scared of hurting people. It was almost as if she knew this would happen…

“How is Hamzah?” I asked, knowing that Layyanah probably would have seen him or known from her husband.

Layyanah sighed, her face looking slightly pained.

“Liy says he’s never seen him like this before,” she said, and my heart broke for them both. “He’s taken a week off… gone back home to the farm. His brother is there. He doesn’t talk about it but it’s obvious that he’s sunken into a hole of depression. It’s making me depressed. Is there nothing we can do to fix this?”

My heart contracted as I wondered the exact same thing.

But then again, I don’t blame him for heading back to that beautiful retreat that set my heart alight when I thought of it. I simply loved the small town feel, the nature and the feeling of not knowing what could be beyond the meadow..

The one time I had been there was like a dream.

Well. Until the intrusion of my peace by the girl who literally had me running beyond the hillocks.

And okay, maybe I was a bit naive, and I did expect the odd aunty or even some random guy… but it’s more or less goes without saying that anyone who had a fellow girlfriend making moves on you at any time and space would have found it creepy. I mean, you could easily move over to the ladies side if it was a guy stalking you.. but how do you escape a girl whose attention you didn’t want? Who had weird ideas? How do you explain the truth of what it is.. that’s it’s disgusting and you will never consider something so ridiculous?

Right? Because I knew that to walk away and remove myself from something that I had no control over, was the best thing, I did just that.

Like the sleepers of the cave, when the situation got overwhelming… their solution was to remove themselves and then leave Allah Ta’ala to do the rest.

And now, in this day and age, it seemed like trials were coming in quick succession. And I never did tell anyone the reason why I had to escape so suddenly, the day of Layyanah’s wedding. It was something that had eroded my mind for a few days, and then like anything that happens in life, fades into the background of our lives and then we forget about it.

And it was scary how my generation was getting on with the dialogue of ‘inclusivity’, as if it was all cool… and I was in shock so I didn’t anything or mention it before but I did realise that maybe it was a sign… a sign that maybe in this era, with social media at our fingertips and everything so accessible, just the constant talk about it and the fact that it’s becoming so normal (even if you condemn the act, which is a the way it should be) was actually detrimental to our Imaan.

Astaghfirullah. I sought refuge from the bottom of my heart.

Was I just so weak to be silent about what was forbidden and only hate a sin at heart?

“Are you okay?”

Layyanah was looking at me oddly and I nodded my head as I shelved my thinking for later.

I couldn’t tell her. Of course, I couldn’t say that it was one of her wedding attendees who was probably a connection who seemed to be exploring avenues with that were completely immoral. No. I couldn’t mention a thing. Wouldn’t that leave me to be questionable too?

I was still too young to deal with the scrutiny. Maybe it was better to just ignore it and act like it never happened…

“I suppose we all have to just accept it, don’t we?”

She said quietly, and I nodded as I realised she was talking about Hamzah and Mohsina again. I  dropped my garden tools and stretched out on the dry lawn in front of her. My heart was feeling a little less burdened in the sunshine.

”I suppose so,” I said, feeling a little sad about just that.

The afternoon sun was blazing down on us, and although I was perspiring slightly, I quite enjoyed the feeling on my back for that moment. It helped me forget the worries of my world.

Layyanah looked at me, cocking her head to one side.

”You know, if you really think about it,” she said, almost as if she was reminiscing now, her expression looking a little more at ease. “I know… Hamzah wasn’t Mohsina’s cup of tea, you know? Looks aside, I know girls go crazy for him and he knows it but Mos didn’t fall for his tricks, neh? But when it all happened what I can’t forget is what she did always say that even though he was stubborn and set in his ways, he had good values. He was a social butterfly, he was trusting and he was passionate about whatever he did, right? She admired it. Like he was cut out for what he was doing and he loved it. And it seems odd because he is so different to her because even though Mos is a genius at what she does, self-sufficient, a hard nut at a glance… she’s actually a bit insecure at times , but she shows it as being over confident, whereas she’s a beautiful, soft and loyal soul on the inside and when you dig deeper you can see it so well…”

Her ideology was perfectly fitted. She had pinned it right down to the absolute truth. Their personalities were absolutely contrasting.

They could probably spend every day fighting about mundane things. They could clash over everything.  I mean, I’m sure they would argue about everything.

Were they just too different? 

“And I keep thinking to myself,” she continued, her eyes dancing now as if she realised something extremely unexpected. “I know that they are complete opposites, but it’s almost like they fill in each other’s blanks, don’t they? Can two people ever compliment each other better?”

Ah. That was what she was trying to say, and she had a point there. Could that not just be the perfect combo?! Maybe. Differences can be fun too, right?

“Do we really have to?” She said, with a small smile playing on her face. I couldn’t imagine what she was talking about now and what she was so optimistic about, when everything had seemed like a dead loss.

”Do we really what?” I said, confused.

Layyanah’s eyes were shining slightly as she watched me.

“Do we really have to just accept their decision and move on?”

I shrugged. They obviously didn’t see it the way she did. Mohsina had said that they just aren’t compatible. Hamzah was too old-fashioned and had different ideas  about their future.

She looked like she was onto something but I wasn’t really wanting to interfere. The situation between Hamzah and my sister was pretty hopeless, according to me.

And as I glimpsed out into the horizon, as Layyanah said it was getting late and had to leave, I could see a figure that resembled Papa making his way toward us, slowly, as if he was soaking in everything around him for the first time ever.

He was venturing outside for the first time in ages as he slowly recovered, and I couldn’t help but smile broadly, thinking of how every cloud definitely has a little bit of silver around it. How even in the worst situations there is a sliver of goodness that we sometimes can’t see until they were right in our midst..

Some things just took a little longer… little more tears to get to the light… a little more energy to reap the rewards…

Some people just carry a torch with them, wherever they go. Light follows their footsteps, almost as if it doesn’t know how to shine without them.

Having hope is not dangerous. It’s essential to keep us going. Layyanah might have been talking a load of hogwash that didn’t make sense to me at the time, but when she left that day, somehow, my heart felt a load lighter than it had been those past few days. In any dark cloud, I could see a sliver of hope that was shining in the horizon.

Khair (goodness), people often say, comes even out of the most hopeless of situations.

Maybe, just maybe… everything wasn’t going to turn out as horribly as it seemed…


So I managed one more, next after the New Year InshaAllah ! Hope everyone is well! 💕

Quivk Q: Was wondering what do readers think about bringing Covid into the story, to bring in deeper lessons… or do we keep it completely fictional regarding that?

Would appreciate your feedback 💭

Just keeping it simple and sticking to the Sunnah we’ve already done. Being holiday time sometimes it’s better to maintain our current deeds… Allah make it easy ❤️

Sunnah of Making Salaam

It’s common nowadays that even when seeing other Muslims out and about, people are hesitant to greet. Let’s try and bring back this beautiful Sunnah and reignite the love ❤️

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

٤ جمادى الأولى

Hazrat أنس رضى الله تعالى عنه narrates that he passed by some children, so he greeted them (made Salaam) and he said: رسول الله صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم used to do so (greet children).

(Bukhaaree Shareef/Muslim Shareef)

Greeting children inculcates humility, and at the same time, teach children the importance of offering Salaam.
It creates love and affection in hearts.
If there is fear of lust, by greeting a pretty girl or handsome lad, then one should refrain.

#RevivetheSunnahbeforeSleeping

#RevivetheSunnahofGuardingtheGaze

#RevivetheSunnahofLickingtheFingers

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofEnteringtheToilet

#RevivetheSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofUsingtheRighthand

FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

When Emojis don’t Cut it

Bismihi Ta’ala

Part 23
Mohsina

I’m not sure if there’s an emoji for betrayal. Like a knife going through someone’s back, or an arrow piercing through a heart or something painfully relevant.

Or was there an emoji for utmost devastation..? For feeling mentally, physically and emotionally broken? For terrifying fear… for the unprecedented event of shattering someone’s heart, breaking their trust,  without knowing how to stop yourself from doing that one thing that they thought you would never do…

Is there anyway to condense emotions so intense, into something so futile?

And even if there was… even though I had always turned to social media, to tapping away on my device, to channeling all my energy into a dedication or pictured post for my relief, I wasn’t sure if it would have made any difference. The emojis, I mean. A little symbol that had become a way of expression could never divulge how real and raw emotion can cause so much of turbulence within. Can emojis ever cut it?

The thing was, and always had been for me: A social media analogy was far less of a drainer. When you post something wrong or controversial, it’s easy to retract. To dilute with emojis. To send out an apology. To delete the post. To deactivate an account.

In real life… You don’t just lose a follower. In real life you lose someone you valued. You lose a friend. A beloved. Someone who you once may have had a real connection with, and in real life… well, it was so much more real.

What if every like, every face expression, every heart, and reply we give to someone online is actually taking away from our offline relationships?

And it was all coming at me at once, my entire world feeling rocked and a little more complicated… as I tried to rummage through my emotions and how I was feeling…

The feelings were so overwhelming, and I was breaking under them.

And then there was darkness, as if the trigger had been pulled, thoughts scattered like debris.

In the avenues of my mind, I was trapped at every turn…

I sat on the bench outside the hospital, unable to control the shivering as I tried to make sense of everything that had just happened. My mind was tripping with the lucid thoughts and accounts of what had just occurred, and I knew tonight would be no exception.

I couldn’t reach out. I couldn’t break free. I was completely submerged in ghastly thoughts. My mind was a haze of broken events that had transpired, and my heart was, through it all, feeling like it was horribly shattered.

”Your father owes me money,” the man said as he stared me down, me feeling all cramped and edgy with the most unfortunate thoughts, in the back of a Ford bakkie with a canopy, racing over the highway like we had some kind of urgent destination.

The man’s voice was surprisingly mellow, although his demeanor was repulsive. He watched me as I sat, silently at first, the vehicle bumping along as I kept hitting my head behind me.

No one had cared, and to tell the truth, neither did I. The little bumps were like jolts of rude awakenings that reminded me that it was a tormented reality, and not just a dream that I was hoping it was.

”You going to talk or we going to have to make you?”
He asked, after a few minutes, a wry smile creeping on his face.

I didn’t like the way he was looking at me then but I was already in a compromising situation, so there was nothing much I could do to help it, except co-operate.

These people didn’t appreciate an attitude but I was in no mood to be polite.

”So what do you want from me?” I asked boldly, not even knowing where I got the pluck from. “How do you know I’m going to be your solution?”

”You have money,” the guy said steadily. He was probably in his forties, with a small beard and bald spot on the top of his head. “You’re the accountant, right? We have an idea that you’re where your father is drawing money from every month.”

I sucked in my breath, angered by the way they were painting my father. Like some kind of beggar.

As much as I wanted to play his bluff, a game with him to irritate them, I didn’t want to spend any longer than necessary with these horrible people. I was in the worst possible situation and my only intent was to get out of it.

The memories of them searching me, unfazed by my aversion to their touch, was making my stomach churn with revulsion. Humiliation was putting it mildly.

I was at that stage where I realised that nothing I did or said was going to stop them, except if I gave in to them.

“I am,” I said carefully, my voice sounding foreign even to myself. “I’ll give you what you want. Every penny. But I don’t know how much you talking about or how long it will take.”

How I managed such a lengthy response, I didn’t know.

Middle aged balding guy looked at me, probably unsure of whether to believe me, but also as if he was seeing someone else beside some corporate rich glamour girl who could sort out his bills.

“And if you don’t?”

I swallowed. The way his eyes were penetrating, almost through me, was enough to break me whilst they sent me down memory lane.

Two years back… The image of the masked man who had cornered my father in the parking lot of his supermarket building, the butt of his ugly gun smashing down on my face as I tried to stop them, still haunted me… I still carried that scar… a significant physical mark on the corner of my cheek. If it was the same people, I knew these people would stop at nothing… I knew they could not just hurt me, but take away my dignity while they were at it.

And there’s always a story… and as our one goes.. my dearest uncle was the biggest player in this mess. The selfish drug-addict often borrowed money from people – leaving many people, including my father with the debts, and directing everyone to him for payment. Papa had been struggling with keeping his shop open and the added debt wasn’t helping the situation. Now, of course, we had an entirely different scenario, with angry loan sharks and aggressive drug-lords. Who this guy was, I wasn’t sure, but I knew either way, he wasn’t good news.

What a terrible price to pay for a few hours of a drug-induced high and pleasurable sin…

”We need at least half,” he demanded rudely, his face hard and devoid of any compassion. “Like yesterday.”

These people had seen too much.. dealt with too much … killed too many to even give an atoms worth of consideration for my mental state. He was chewing something, and spat out the window before he looked at me once again. He wasn’t finished.

“Else you’re not getting to go home tonight,” he said almost as an afterthought, his eyes telling a story that I never wanted to find out about. “There’s other things we can do with girls who look like you.”

I shuddered as he glanced at mw suggestively, nausea overcoming  me almost immediately. My eyes widened involuntary as he edged closer and I felt my body shudder with fear as his eyes did a complete once-over me.

He touched my cheek, unashamedly, scrutinising every bit of my body. The guy who had shoved me down the staircase had morphed into our designated driver, but I could tell them the guy in front of me was the disgusting master-mind behind it all… and I couldn’t even break free from his unyielding grasp.

And I wasn’t sure how I even did it. How I convinced him to let me go. How I managed to log onto my accounts then, showing them that I would hand it all over, if they just left me alone. I sat, cross-legged with a Dell laptop on my lap, hands trembling while they watched over me, my phone in their hands for OTP’s and controlling any incoming calls or stopping any like of mobile tracking, to do that payment they so desperately wanted. They were rushing for it to be over so they were out of risk, and then they hastily shoved me out of the van as we passed by the same route, leaving me to scramble off the road just in time to flee a passing car.

I was mortified. Unmistakably robbed and violated. I had basically handed over the bulk of my savings and it wasn’t even the full amount that was owed to them.  The repulsive odour of the older man as he breathed over me, watching me do the transaction he was instructing me to was implanted in my memory, even as I tried with all my might to shove it out.

And he wasn’t thrilled but I promised them that the next week I’d have the rest. I assured them that I was offered a promotion with a huge increase. I would be getting a hefty incentive and a bigger salary every month… and of course it would all be settled.

And even though I was now safe, sitting on the bench for a moment longer as the breeze sashayed over me, my heart was heavy and burdened because the knowledge that they kept so much more than just my hard-earned money was what was breaking me beyond all boundaries.

They couldn’t just stop at that, it wasn’t enough.

And because they could see how I was clutching onto it, how valued it was to me, it had become their prerogative to take from me one of my most irreplaceable items I’d ever possessed.

It was the necklace and diamond pendant that Hamzah and family had gifted me just the week before, symbolising the finality of our commitment. The proposal. And the memory of that afternoon the had handed it over was as clear as day as I recalled how we had just finished talking alone, about future plans and how we wanted to live a different kind of life to the office life we had known for the past year… when he leaned toward me for a brief moment and said, with a smirk:

“I chose it myself,” he said, his eyebrows gesturing slightly towards where his mother was standing and watching us, with a longish jewellery box in her hand. “They insisted you would like the other one but I think I know you better than them.”

His stunning lashes were even more attractive close up and I looked away as his mother chased him down the hall, telling him that it was their time with me now, and he needed to behave himself.

Of course, I nodded and agreed with them as he pulled his face and then grinned at me before making his way off to the men’s side. And as his mother popped open the box, I couldn’t have been more in love with the the stunning piece of jewelry that already became my best friend. Call me superficial, but if I wasn’t certain about Hamzah before that, this was most definitely a winner. It was a simple and elegant diamond piece but I knew that it cost a fortune, and I instantly felt horrible and shallow because he felt like he had to spend so much of money on me… like, I wasn’t complaining.. but did I appear to be such high maintenance?

In any world, a 1-carat diamond pendant was no play. But despite that… that itself wasn’t the big deal. I knew what it was because it was highly trending and I had seen the chain being advertised on social media.

It was called the ‘Eternal Flame’ setting which was inspired by this legend of undying flames, which continues to burn despite all external elements. Apparently, according to some lengend which was probably a load of hogwash but got the sales coming in at a steady pace..  these eternal flames, which burn continuously, join two souls together in unconditional love. And it was extremely intense and romantic, and even though it did make my tummy do a slight flip-flop, I wasn’t going to show him that he had won the trophy. Well, not yet.

I stood silently as Hamzah’s sister-in-law, Saaliha, gently clipped the necklace on over my grey chiffon scarf. I had work a white dress with grey detail that day and the pendant accessorised it perfectly. To tell the truth, I was on cloud nine, and that chain was a memory and the only thing of real value… of surmount importance, and because of their blatant disregard for my dignity, had been yanked off me as collateral…

I pictured Hamzah’s face for a second, as I sat there, trying to tune my senses out of everything that had happened.

How will I ever explain to him why I couldn’t salvage it? Why didn’t I fight to keep that one part of my self-worth, the part that should have been one of the most important right then…

My heart was still beating rapidly, even though it had been ten minutes since I had been freed, shoved me on the pavement outside the hospital. How my wobbly legs had carried me over to the entrance, I wasn’t sure. It was late and my phone wasn’t returned, but I didn’t care. My worst fears were over for now and all I wanted to do was crawl into my bed and sleep this away as if it never happened. There was no use going to the police. This wasn’t a criminal issue. It was a self-inflicted problem that I couldn’t ever divulge to anyone…

I had already made up my mind that I could tell no-one about this. My fathers reputation… his pride… his Izzat, as Nani would say… all of this… I could never let them know that things had gotten so bad that I nearly had to give myself up. Nearly. I couldn’t even think what might have happened if I hadn’t prayed fervently to ask Allah’s help to shield me from any evil intentions.

I took a deep breath as I lifted myself off the bench, finding my bearings, and then entering the hospital once again. They had left my keys with me so I could get home, but anything else of value was taken and stashed for when I paid the rest. I took a deep breath as I made my way down to the elevator. It was now close to midnight and I assumed that everyone had gone home. I’m sure that my mother had tried contacting me, but I would have to deal with that tomorrow.

Of course everyone had left by then. I didn’t know that they had left to search for me. That they were fervently reciting their adhkaar and tasbeehs, crazy with worry and hoping for my safe return, I didn’t even realise how much of time had passed. When the security guard saw me, I could see him talking into his Walkie talkie hastily, but as I waved at him easily, he looked confused, and then just shook his head and nodded back at me.

How I cleaned myself up, re-did my make up in record time and even drove home that night was like a blur. Tears flowed freely as I sat there, my mind taking me when I finally reached my driveway, I stopped as the gate closed, and sobbed my heart out for a few minutes before I finally drove up to go to the house.

And I was a little shocked as I saw Ma, Nani and Jameela all crowding around me even before I entered, racing down to the garage as they realised I had arrived, looking as if the entire world had collapsed in my absence. In all of that, I didn’t even realise how long I had been gone.

“Shukar to Allah!” Nani was saying loudly as she saw me, looking as if she was utterly distraught.

I paused for a second as she said it, again and again, and it was as if my entire world was being revived, with those words.

Shukar to Allah. Shukar to Allah.

I mean, how had I not even thought this… to thank Him for bringing me out of what had been a most unexpected ordeal? How had I not seen Him with me, all this time. In my hour of need, whilst I sat in my little bubble of hope of escape, was it not Him that brought me through? In my darkest hour, when I didn’t know if I’d ever see the light of day again, was it not Him that brought me home?

Allah. Allah. Was it not Him only, that despite my sins, despite my disregard, despite everything that I had done that proved my complacency and heedlessness… that had come through for me?

Allah, of course; it was only You. When I was caught in a maze, a place of uncertainty, a web of greed and hopelessness… it was only You that brought me through. When I was lost in a forest, and every path looked the same… it was only You who brought me home.

I was slightly shaking while Nani wiped her tears away and grasped me by my shoulders gently. I cringed as I remembered how those repulsive men had handled me.. I couldn’t stand anyone touching me, not without thinking about the horrible feelings I had been subjected to… not without that memory leaving it’s horrid mark on me.

“We were so worried,” Ma whispered, shaking her head, and just looking plain down relieved.

Muhammed Husayn was making calls, saying I was fine and had come home, to whoever he was talking to.

Ma’s eyes were brimming with tears as I stepped back, feigning indifference as they asked me again and again if everything was really okay. Jameela and Muhammed Husayn were standing around, looking like lost puppies, and I kissed their cheeks, putting on a brave front, knowing that I’d have to think up a workable explanation in record time.

I took a deep breath and put a smile on my face, knowing that I couldn’t show any weakness.

And that’s why I made up my mind that I couldn’t say anything to them about Papa. It would only cause more worry and concern. I explained to them that my phone was stolen and there really was no need to panic. It was slightly stressful  but I was okay, and everything was going to be okay. There was a reason Faadil had offered me that incentive, just a few days before. There was no time more than the present that I could do with it.

All I had to do was mail him, tell him I was ready to take that offer, sort the cash situation out, and put up with a year or two more at Hammond’s. That’s all.

There had to be a long term plan though. After that, I could pursue my dreams. I knew that I had to think about something for my family to be sustained, that was going to put less pressure on them. And missing work the next day, because I knew that I couldn’t face everyone, (especially Hamzah) yet, I spoke to Jameela about her plans for her coffee shop. She actually had worked things out quite meticulously. My sister had good business skills, and I found myself l among towards this as a small business to start up. Papa had to get out of what he was doing. The supermarket was becoming a risk.. there were too many factors attached.. too many horrible people involved now. Factors that haunted me and made it extremely dangerous.

And it so happened that Papa was discharged the next day, and seeing him almost made me tear up again. I wasn’t sure how to describe it, what kind of emotions were pulsating through me as I tried to explain the feeling of broken trust, of humiliation, of extreme and piercing sadness… and then of pity, as I wondered how we had gotten to where we were.

The way he looked at me when he first came in, for a split second, I felt as if he knew the ordeal I had endured and then when I looked at him again, I was sure I was mistaken. That rush of emotion… that overwhelming grief and terrifying fear as I relived it… no words, expressions or even emojis could do it justice.

And even though I was brimming over with frustrated emotion, I wasn’t going to bring it up. And maybe I could have at some point but not when he was in this state. I knew I should be a good girl and quietly deal with my own emotions. I had long ago accepted that I had to take care of of my family. I also understood that we had to somehow drag ourselves out of this… somehow, we would pull through.

For the first time in years, I didn’t care about my phone. About new posts. About downloading all my applications and keeping up with what was going on.

I read my Salaah a little more fervently those few days. Prayed a little harder. Asked a little more desperately. I deeply craved some guidance. Some hope. Some unfiltered sign that I was doing the right thing.

My heart was aching. Breaking. Undeniably shaking in conviction and faith, and I had to set it right.

Oh Allah, only You know my condition. Oh Allah, I am tormented with nightmares. I’m traumatised by those oppressors. Only You know my pain, Oh King of Kings. I want to be freed. Oh Allah, erase all these evil memories from my mind.

Oh Allah, you choose whats best and protect me from hurt, protect me from others, and protect others from me. Oh Allah, when no-one else was there, You saved me… You’ve shown me how big You are, and how small I really am. How Great you are, and how insignificant I am. I come to You in weakness, You help me with Your strength… Oh Allah, I entrust all my affairs to you, I surrender it to you… 

My eyes were, for the first time in years, brimming with tears as I pleaded.

I didn’t know how else to handle my emotions. Who else to pour it all out to..

I didn’t know what to think about my future. About my marriage. It’s not that I didn’t care. I just had no energy  to burden someone else with our family problems. I simply could not come clean, and in the back of my mind, although I knew that what I had to do may cause a stir…

I also knew that there was no other way and presumed that whatever small hiccup this would cause would soon pass.

And although I maybe expected a tantrum, an argument or a fight… what I didn’t expect was my decision to do what I needed to, to be blown completely out of proportion. By the end of the following week, after making my final decision and everything feeling like it was going way too fast, the phones were ringing off the hook…

Jameela was tearing up, trying to ask me what was going on. Ma was desperately trying to understand if what was said and what she had heard was really meant… and Nani… well, Nani was the giveaway. The one sign that stood to show that the situation was entirely hopeless… as she sat on the kitchen stool, her head hanging in her hands as she refused to speak to anyone as the entire thing went down in the most unexpected way.

Never in my life had I felt so disgusted with myself, so disappointed… so broken about everyone else being shattered too.

The day Hamzah exited our lives, when he called the house phone to ask for me… sounding completely civil  as he spoke to my mother and then my brother, and then they passed the receiver over to me, I barely recognised this person whose voice was dripping with painful venom whilst he said what I never thought I’d ever hear him say…

I knew that there was no hope for anything else. No expression, reaction or emoji could ever do it justice.

Everything was falling apart.


 

Sunnah of Making Salaam

It’s common nowadays that even when seeing other Muslims out and about, people are hesitant to greet. Let’s try and bring back this beautiful Sunnah and reignite the love ❤️

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

٤ جمادى الأولى

Hazrat أنس رضى الله تعالى عنه narrates that he passed by some children, so he greeted them (made Salaam) and he said: رسول الله صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم used to do so (greet children).

(Bukhaaree Shareef/Muslim Shareef)

Greeting children inculcates humility, and at the same time, teach children the importance of offering Salaam.
It creates love and affection in hearts.
If there is fear of lust, by greeting a pretty girl or handsome lad, then one should refrain.

#RevivetheSunnahbeforeSleeping

#RevivetheSunnahofGuardingtheGaze

#RevivetheSunnahofLickingtheFingers

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofEnteringtheToilet

#RevivetheSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofUsingtheRighthand

FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

Perfect Patch Up

Bismihi Ta’ala

Ahmed

Can you imagine a world where everyone just got along? Where peace reigned… where politics were non-existent… where no leader was corrupt?

Imagine a world free from war… famine… from the atrocities that are a part of day-to-day life.

And speaking of atrocities, let me just enlighten you. I’m not really a political kind of guy, but just so you can educate yourself, hear me out.

Basically, a few years ago in Tunisia, the rural town of Sidi Bouzid, a 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi, was preparing his stall of fruit and vegetables. He was the sole bread winner of his family.

Struggling to make ends meet and lead a regular life, Bouazizi was caught off guard when the police requested a permit for his business. He was then asked to hand over his wooden cart, and upon his refusal, a policewoman allegedly slapped him.

Long story short, the heart wrenching tale goes on to where Mohamed set himself on fire outside the governor’s office, despondent at being unable to earn money and provide for his family. And yes, it was heartbreaking. For everyone.

And we often wonder where all this turmoil began, where all the heartbreak and uprising started. At this advent, came the initiation of what we now know as the ‘Arab spring’. A despondent tale of an innocent man who, when tried to plead his case thereafter, felt let down by the system… then positioned himself in front of a government building… and set himself alight.

His act of desperation resonated immediately with others in the town, and shortly, throughout the Arab world. Protests began that day in Sidi Bouzid, captured by cellphone cameras and shared on the Internet. Within days, campaigns started popping up across the country and the entire Middle East.

The momentum in Tunisia set off uprisings across the Middle East… and of course, as I stepped out into Cairo that night, I couldn’t help but see it’s effects all over.

You see, this tale broke my heart, because in my perfect world, everyone deserves a chance. A fair shot. No one should have to wonder where their next meal will come from or wonder where they will end up sleeping each night. Everyone should have a home to go to… even if it’s a place with people just like them. They should have people who care for them and a space to call their own. Everyone should have a chance to be the best they can be and to reach their fullest potential.

That kind of world… well, although it sounds like the most amazing thing… it simply can’t exist. Because we don’t live in Utopia. We have to do our own patching up, because we don’t live in a perfect world.

And we have to understand this. The fact is that this striving… struggle… this toil… that is part of our existence is not really our life. It is merely our worldly existence. Beyond this world… beyond here… believe it or not, there is a perfect world. One that we have to work towards. Beyond our pain and tests and trials, there is a blissful, beautiful and peaceful world that awaits. It is and everlasting abode and it’s what we are placed in this world to prepare for. Sometimes we need to understand this, before we give in to the pressures that this life brings for us. Sometimes we need to stop and just wonder if we always are doing the right thing.

And yes, sometimes the world scares me. When I went to Egypt, I was a little shaken by the dynamics that existed there. Seeing Khalid there made it all the more real for me, because he was living with in it. I wanted to get to know more.

“Ahmed, it’s great to see you,” he had said as I stepped back, giving him a once over to assess how different he looked.

He had grown up. He was slightly taller and broader than me. He was rough around the edges, but I could see beyond that. He still possessed that childish charm that I had known back then… as if he was always up to some amazing adventure, and of course, I could tell that he hadn’t stopped when he came here.

I could see a few guys coming up to him and asking him things… almost as if they relied on him for everything.

“Listen,” he said, after introducing himself easily to Molvi and chatting a bit to us about the general happenings there. “We have somewhere we have to be now, but will you guys join us later?”

He had directed the question at Molvi as well, telling them that one of his family members had a restaurant in central Cairo and they would be honoured for us to join them later. Molvi assessed the situation for a few minutes, and because he seemed to take to Khalid, he agreed to meet for a late supper, so we could rest first.

And of course, everything about that night was awesome. The food was amazing, the hospitality was superb, and they were so thrilled that a Jamaat had come to their humble restaurant. We could hear the chatter of Arabic to and fro as Khalid kept calling for more and more exquisite dishes. I can’t even describe how delicious it was. I felt like my stomach was bursting, but Khalid was still calling for the famous Egyptian desserts, despite our protests. Molvi had taken a liking to Khalid and the two of them chatted for a while while we sat inside. Khalid was thrilled to see me after all these years, making small talk about the family and everything that he missed about South Africa. Molvi and Imraan had called it a night by around 10, but I stuck around for a bit… wanting to be a little adventurous.

I took a pull of the pipe as I sat opposite him just outside the shop, letting the tobacco settle in my throat for a few minutes before I let it out. I already loved this place.

I loved the boisterous atmosphere outside. For now, it was safe and everything was calm. Now I could see why Khalid was here. The night life was amazing.

“How’s the family?”

I looked at him for a second, knowing that he wasn’t asking just for small talk. He genuinely wanted to know, and I knew who in particular he was asking about. He was just too modest to say it.

”They’re good,” I said, meeting his eye. “Khawlah’s happy. You know she’s married?”

And that’s when I saw it. That look in his eyes, like I had punched him. He kind of just froze, as I said it.

“Really?” He finally said, still looking shocked, but attempting to recover. “Wow, that’s great. I thought … She’s still in school right?”

I shrugged, taking another pull of the pipe. Khalid had halted the smoking on his side. Actually, I wasn’t even sure if he had taken a pull. He was probably sick of this thing by now… they probably did this every night. There wasn’t much else to do if you’re staying out of trouble. It was great, though.

“They made Nikah,” I said, looking around me at the night life here. “She’ll stay with Adam after her finals.”

I wasn’t big on details and I could tell it left Khalid a little puzzled. I was too taken in by the atmosphere here to care.

And I suppose it was just as well that a guy suddenly came up to our table and stuck out his hand. I shook it, a little surprised at the hospitality, and Khalids infectious smile returned as he got up and embraced him, introducing me to his cousin. The guy chatted a while in Arabic to Khalid, and then an older woman came and hugged him. I assumed it was his aunty.

“This your brother-in-law?”

Khalid said something in Arabic and the woman nodded and looked at me, before giving me a wave and then going away.

“Sorry, that was weird,” he said, looking apologetic. “When I came here all my aunties wanted to do was marry me to their daughters. I told them I already had a girl back home… of course, I was joking…”

Ah. That explained the brother-in-law thing.

“Whenever I mention someone from SA, well… you can see what happens. They think my in-laws are here.”

”You didn’t know about Khawlah?” I asked, wondering why his mother wouldn’t tell him. “From your ma?”

He shrugged.

“She didn’t say anything,” Khalid said, and looked away. “I’m happy for her.”

The topic was closed and we spoke about a few other things that he was pursuing at the moment. Although he was normal and  went into great detail about his ambitions and what he planned to do here, I could see that something was on his mind after I mentioned Khawlah’s marriage.

And it wasn’t exactly me to sit and dwell over these things so I let it go. I kind of got the picture, in my mind. I had a feeling that Khalid had meant more than he had let on that night. What I didn’t know was that I had still gotten the picture wrong. There were some things that Khalid’s mother had hidden from Khawlah for a reason, and it was a little too late before I found out. Some things that no-one was supposed to know.

And of course, coming back home after that with a skewed train of thought, I couldn’t help but assume that Khawlah had been in touch with Khalid. That something had gone on and she had left him in the lurch. I didn’t try and find out the truth. Shortly after, the news about Khalid’s death came… and it was a shock to my system. It was no use trying to figure the truth at that point anyway. I felt like I had just seen the guy, with so many promises and in all his glory… and now he was gone.

But such was life. Khalid was so young and alive and free… even when I had seen him.. but one thing I remembered about him was what a remarkable and thoughtful human being he was. So responsible. He had grown up into an ambitious guy too. He was crazy about politics and about keeping close to Deen, but only because he was so protective over his family. He had spoken about getting out there and doing the right thing. About showing the people how to live, despite their conditions. He saw a better life, beyond war and famine and everything else that existed. All that was cut short, because of an idiot who didn’t like his optimistic ideas… but he had already inspired me. He had done good.

And that time of the year was a bit rough for me, as I dealt with emotions, work and admissions for the course I was doing… along with my fathers pressure on what to do with my life. Sometimes I really felt that my father needed to get married again, so he could get off my back… but then I remembered the last time he did it and I agreed that we were better off.

It was just that whenever someone close to me passed away, it was like I felt it a million times more than the last time.

And it was around that time of the year when a lady had called me one night, saying she got my number from someone who said I could help her. I didn’t know who she was at first, but we soon figured it out. It was barely rocket science.

Now, as I drove back home, roughly three months from that night, I couldn’t help but curse the day that she had called.

I pulled my phone out from my side console as I unlocked it, keeping my eye on the road as I searched her number. It had been a while since I dialed it, and I was glad. Now that the situation had come to this… I knew that I had to do it one last time. I had to sort this out.

And yes, the voices in my head were screaming at me not to press that little symbol to initiate the call, but against my better judgement, the ringing tone sounded and there was already no going back. I knew I had to do this one last time.

“Hello.”

It was her. She had answered.

“Salaam,” I said, as steadily as I could. I didn’t say anymore.

“How are you?”  It was her who asked first. She sounded worried and out of breath. Like she had been rushing to get the phone. Or maybe she was rushing around behind her four kids. Four kids. That’s a lot.

“I’m fine. I need to-“

”Sorry, these kids are making a din,” she cut me off, and I could hear shutting a few doors as she spoke again.

”Sorry,” she said again. “What were you saying?”

I had to cut to the chase. No small talk.

“Ruby, what’s going on?” I said stiffly, hating the uncertainty that speaking to her brought. Not speaking to her was worse. I was confused. “Can I get some clarity here?”

She was silent.

“Rubeena, can you answer me?” I said, raising my voice slightly. “Everyone is on my case and I’ve had convince your brother and mother that it’s not what they think. My sisters are breathing down my back. What the hell is going on?”

I knew it wasn’t fair to put this all on her, but I couldn’t help but think that she had caused this. To me, I did nothing wrong. All I did was speak to her. Feelings were by the way.

“I don’t know!” She said softly, and I could tell that she was crying.

And then of course, without even expecting it, I felt terrible. I couldn’t even deal with my sisters crying, which they hardly did. Now I had to deal with this.

“I don’t know what to do,” she said, sounding a bit steadier. “My mother phoned. She said you came to talk to her. You know she likes you more than she likes me? She said everything is my fault and I caused problems for everyone. For you too. She said I must get back together with Shabeer and it will all be okay. She said his problems are just a small things… that women go through so much worse.”

”You know it’s not like that,” I said, getting angry. I wasn’t sure at who. I didn’t even know why.

Meeting Aadam and Rubeena’s mother was an event that I couldn’t forget. She was so loud. Loud and extremely nerve-wrecking. But it went off better than expected. She actually made me sit for tea. It was a little awkward. She was so enthusiastic. Zuleikha was a little shocked at her behaviour, but I knew how women like her were. They loved attention and needed buttering up. Although I didn’t have the time and energy for that, I had to come out with a clean slate.

And it was at that point, as I awaited Rubeena’s answer, that I remembered Zuleikha’s words. What if there was some guy, talking to my sister? Ruby was someone’s sister and daughter too. Someone’s mother. I couldn’t carry on like this. I needed to stop this. Right now. I was panicking. What did I even call her for?

Rubeena sighed, and I waited a few more seconds, knowing where this was headed. I now knew that whatever she said, I had to do the right thing.

“Shabeer is threatening to fight for custody,” she said, sounding exhausted. “I know we never spoke about it but we both knew what thoughts crossed our minds. I shouldn’t have phoned you to complain about him. I shouldn’t have dragged you into all my problems. I shouldn’t have told you half the things I did. Now look what it’s caused. I did it all and I know it’s too late and we can’t take it back… but this is it. If he hears anything else about you… I’m in for it. I’ll be roasted, Ahmed. He knows what will break me. He’ll turn everyone against me. He’ll hire the best lawyers and he’ll finish me. I can’t deal with this. I don’t have the energy and I can’t lose my kids. I’m sorry. Let’s just forget we spoke and go on with our lives. I’m sorry for everything this had caused for you. I’m so sorry, Ahmed. I have to go.”

The phone line cut just as I opened my mouth. That was it. What was there to even say? Maybe it was better this way? There was no use even venturing down that lane. I didn’t even know what to feel. Feelings were just by the way. I just needed to know where to focus now, and right now, it was more clear than ever.

Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t have thought anything could happen. I had to repent for those feelings. I had to. I hastily deleted her number from my phone, annoyed that I was upset. I had to move past this and there was just one way.

There was about 10 minutes in peak traffic till I got home. It was just enough time to make that one more call and sort it all out. The more I thought about it, the more it just made sense. This was the only way to get past all this. This was the only way that I was going to ever get this all behind me and move on.

The ring tone was sounding again, and this time, I was all ready for what I needed to say.

“Ahmed! Assalamualaikum Wa Rahmatullah! How are you keeping, Bhai?” He said, sounding ecstatic at my call. “I’ve been waiting for you to give me the go ahead… are you ready for another trip?! We’re forming a Jamaat for Europe.”

I actually missed him a lot. I really needed to see him. He was just so far away. I wished he stayed closer.

“Jhee, always, Maulana,” I said, the thought of going away already sounding exciting. Just what I needed. “But that isn’t why I called.”

”Jhee, Jhee,” Molvi said, obviously knowing that I had another reason. “What can I do for you, my brother?”

”I remembered that Maulana once asked about marriage,” I said steadily. “That there were a few girls who were available. I wanted to check if the offer still… stands.”

”Jhee, of course,” Molvi said, sounding elated. “There are always girls looking for good guys like you. You coming down to Durban. Want me to organise it?”

“Please,” I said, knowing that I had to move past all this. Good guys like me? Despite feeling like I was being crushed by a ton of bricks, I knew that this had to be the only way. I had to take responsibility and patch things up for everyone.

“I’m ready to make Nikah.”


Authors note: Disclaimer: With regard to what happens in this post, it is crossing the boundaries of what’s allowed but I have briefly gone into the problems it caused to stress on its’s abstinence. In many of our dealings, whether it be at home or work, our Ulema have constantly stressed on the importance of maintaining a respectful relationship with non-Mahrams, if we have to converse with them. The ideal is to let a male or someone else represent oneself, if there is a need. Whether it be the guy who is working for you or a distant family member, chatting about our lives and problems and getting into detail in conversation is completely forbidden and always leads to problems. Our voice should also be altered so we don’t sound attractive. Hijaab and Pardah is of great importance. May Allah guide us all. 

I’m sure many readers may not think Ahmed is doing the right thing.. Any thoughts? 

Much Love,

A 🌸

Sunnah of maintaining ties: 

Beloved Nabi (SAW) has said:

“The person who perfectly maintains the ties of kinship is not the one who does it because he gets recompensed by his relatives (for being kind and good to them), but the one who truly maintains the bonds of kinship is the one who persists in doing so even though the latter has severed the ties of kinship with him“. [Al-Bukhari].

May Allah Ta’ala enable us to rekindle any ties of kingship that may have been severed. It is truly a great reward and Sunnah.

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