Sinister Vibes Only

Bismihi Ta’ala
Part 79

”Can you stop stressing?”

Imraan was looking at me with his eyebrow raised as I bit my lip, trying hard not to think of the thing that had been bothering me the last two days.

“It’s not good for the baby.”

He came toward me, rubbing his hands vigorously up and down the sides of my arms as if to comfort me.

It wasn’t doing much good.

“How do you know that I’m stressing?” I asked with a frown, rolling my eyes at him as I breathed out.

“You do that weird thing with your lips,” he said, shaking his head, his brown eyes twinkling playfully. “As if you’re going to nibble them off.”

I narrowed my eyes and he grinned at me humourlessly. I stuck my tongue out at him. Sometimes I wondered if we were still kids.

He was watching me carefully before I finally snapped. I couldn’t hold this in. I had to tell him.

But not yet.

“I just feel like we should be doing something!” I suddenly exclaimed, throwing my hands up in the air and feeling exasperated. “You just sit around and watch me being all riled up, as if you’re not bothered. Aren’t you worried, Imraan? Can you imagine what this is going to do to Hamzah? Remember he took like fifty steps forward when he changed his life and got married. What’s going to happen after?”

Imraan merely shrugged at me before looking away, avoiding the obvious.

“I’d like to believe that it’s only a paper but with those two I really can’t be certain…”

He honestly didn’t know what else to say. My mother-in-law had retreated into her own kind of shell after Mohsina had told her about the court case. My father-in-law said nothing at all.

As for Rabia, I couldn’t help but notice something frisky in her eyes that day Mohsina told us about this nightmare they were experiencing. Well, after she literally forced them to tell her what was going on in their marriage, as if she was part of it.

And then there were the messages.

“What about Zaid?” I had asked the day before, my entire world feeling like if was spinning as I recalled what Mohsina had said about the court case. A divorce was imminent. There was no other way. “What will happen to him?!”

I was getting a little panicky. In situations like this, I tend to get prickly and not manage emotions very well. Being pregnant didn’t help the situation. Everything was like fifteen times more intense.

”He will be in between us for now,” Mohsina had said, her voice sounding strained. “He’s not feeding so much anyway. I don’t know if it’s the stress or if the milk is just drying up in the past two weeks… But without needing me all the time and us being apart… I think it’s Allah’s way of showing me that he’ll be okay.”

I watched her as her expression remained stoic, like Mohsina’s often was, but there was a certain vulnerability that seeped through the hardened exterior that she was trying to portray.

She was emotional. Unquestionably. Maybe she was feeling it that Zaid was self-weaning. She looked worn and pale and I could see that she was probably barely sleeping. All this must be taking a toll on her.

I glanced at Zaid who was sitting in the feeding chair that my father-in-law bought for him. He was family. Part of our family, and no one dared ever say otherwise. He was sucking his brocolli covered hands with such concentration that I couldn’t help but smile at him, despite the somber situation.

My mother-in-law was fussing over him and my father-in-law was alternating between watching Zaid and looking out at Hamzah and Imraan talking outside.

”So when’s it all happening?” I asked, not sure if I really wanted to know.

“After the Nikah,” she said simply, but with a tiny smile at the mention of Nikah. “My sisters  insisting that they have it this weekend. She’s such a hopeless romantic that she literally cannot wait. I thought it would be best if Hamzah and I were together for the wedding and the functions. Too many questions otherwise…”

I heard her concerns but my heart felt like it was going to crack open.

My eyes drifted to Hamzah, who was leaning against the balustrade outside while Imraan sat in front of him, speaking about something animatedly. I could see from my husbands hand gestures that they were talking  pretty seriously and I just had a hunch that they were discussing the same issues that were on my mind.

I wanted to ask her what exactly happened to make it so bad. I knew that it had to do with her old boss and that there had been some foul play involved. Imraan wasn’t the type to air anyone’s dirty laundry, no matter what it entailed, but I got the idea that Mohsina and the old boss weren’t just having a professional relationship. I had heard Rabia’s theories too, who claimed that Mohsina was very much seriously involved with him, but listening to Rabia always caused problems. She was also looking a little too smug about the entire situation for me to actually take her seriously.

Rabia had just sauntered in at that point, and from her body language I could tell that she was looking to start an argument. I’d been living with her long enough to tell.

“What time are we even eating?” She scowled, glancing at the two salads on the counter as if they annoyed her. “Do you guys even know how hungry I am? I need some protein. Like. STAT.”

I almost rolled my eyes, but Mohsina’s raised eyebrows still portrayed enough annoyance for both of us.

”Help yourself,” Mohsina said, nudging one of the salads towards her. “There’s cheese in there.”

I wanted to giggle but Mos’s straight face was too serious to even try. She had quite the quirky sense of humour, and I also got the feeling that she was upset about how Rabia had pushed them in the spotlight the day before when they told us about the courtcase.

“Not enough protein,” Rabia said with a flip of her hair. “Plus, I’m like starving. I only had my protein shake this morning and it’s been like 7 hours.”

”Ah,” Mohsina said, something unreadable in her eyes as she looked back at her, hands propped up on the counter against her face. “And where do you get your special protein shakes from?”

The question seemed innocent enough and Rabia looked pretty flattered that she was asking about her dietary requirements and restrictions. There was a certain attitude she adopted when she replied, trying to make her lifestyle sound as glamorous as possible.I always noticed it.

”Oh it’s that place near Melrose arch,” she said with an easy smile. “You know, they sell all those organic things that make you feel like your life is soooo unhealthy. Near the ice cream place that you-“

She cut herself short and quickly re-adjusted her head band as she paused awkwardly.

She had stopped mid sentence and was now shifting around and adjusting her phone cover.


Did I miss something?

A sinister look passed between the two of them that involved Mohsina’s narrowed eyes and Rabia’s fidgety fingers, and I immediately got the feeling that there was something glaring at me here.

”I meant,” Rabia reiterated, taking a deep breath and finally looking up. “The place that I posted about that sells the most amazing flavours of ice cream.”

”The same one that has the guava and mint one, right?” Mohsina asked with a cock of her head, not missing a beat, despite Rabia’s pinched face. “I mean, I always wondered… who on earth even eats such weird flavours? Do you know how unpalatable that is, Sawls?”

Mohsina’s gaze switched to me and I frowned and shook my head at the mention of guava. I’ve never been a fan of the fruit so ordering the ice cream flavour for me was kind of out of the question.


I turned to look at Rabia who has stopped her sentence, and I could actually see her entire body suddenly rigid, as if frozen in place after Mohsina’s gaze landed on her. She looked like she had been struck senseless by whatever Mohsina had just said.

”I used to know a guy who actually loved that flavour,” Mohsina said, ignoring her, but her face riddled with suspicion as she said it. “I wonder if he still eats it…”

She was looking distinctly uncomfortable but before I could even ask what was up, and Mohsina could continue the conversation, Imraan and Hamzah made their way inside, both looking a little frazzled by whatever they had been speaking so intensely about.

My husband, being the everlasting peacemaker, landed his gaze on Rabia’s stiffened shoulders questionably, not able to be quiet.

”Whatsup sis?” He asked animatedly. “All okay?”

He ruffled her open hair playfully and

Rabia’s entire demanour seemed to suddenly morph again as she looked at Imraan and huffed.

”Nothing,” she said stiffly, looking all tensed up and unsure of what she should do next. Her hands were twisted around each other and I watched her flatten her bouncy hair as she looked at him.

I barely even noticed it, but she had changed so much in the past year. Where she had been really strict about hijab, now Rabia didn’t bother much, especially if she was going out to gym or for her runs.

Mohsina’s face was as stony as ever as she watched Rabia, and as for Rabia… It was like Mohsina had rattled her in a way she never knew before.

Something about the ice cream place had shifted something in the atmosphere. I wish I knew what was going on.

“Your face doesn’t seem like nothings up,” Hamzah said with a small grin, the serious expression I had seen on him earlier as he spoke to Imraan slightly lifted.

It was like he didn’t want Mohsina to see his true feelings.

“I have a masters in reading your expressions and I can see when something’s unsettled.”

I looked at Mohsina who was now seated on the opposite side of the room, also watching Rabia curiously. All eyes were on her and she was feeling the pressure. For the first time in months, I actually felt sorry for Rabia.

“I’m fine!” Rabia almost shouted, throwing her hands up into the air, glaring at us. “Stop trying to read me and force me to feel stuff. What the hell is your vibe?!”

Hamzah’s expression was now completely lost as Rabia stormed off, in all her unpredictable fury. He was looking from Rabia to Mohsina and then to me, as if trying to find some answers that he wasn’t getting.

I shrugged. I was honestly just as lost.

“What on earth?”

Hamzah was looking at Mohsina, who was  unreadable, but I could tell that he had no idea either of what was going on.

“Vibe,” Imraan said as he watched he retreat up the stairs. “What the hell is a vibe anyway?”

He frowned slightly, scratching his head. Honestly, sometimes he acted ten years older than he actually was.

“It’s like a mood,” I said with a small smile, trying to move on from the outburst. “Intuition? Like something you have. I don’t know. Positive, negative. Sinister. Cool.  Good vibes only is like a thing people say right?”

I turned to Mohsina but she was spaced out as i looked at her. Sinister. Why did I even say that?

Oh yes, because that’s how Rabia had been acting.

Hamzah had been frowning at her questioningly just before he moved into the lounge to check on Zaid, who my father-in-law was very busy entertaining. As he walked forward, I couldn’t help but notice Mohsina following them both with her eyes, watching Hamzah as he picked Zaid up and kissed his face unreservedly.

I could practically see her swooning.

It was obvious that she still felt for him. A lot.

Besides, when I watched Hamzah and Mohsina, I could tell that they weren’t ready for this. As strong as they were trying to be, I could see the glances that passed between them that betrayed their words.

They were both, undoubtedly, in love. But what’s love got to do with destructive law suits that can ruin your life, right?

I didn’t understand much about the corporate world but I did know that Mohsina had been pretty deep in it. I just wished that there was an answer for her to get out of it.

“Jannah vibes!” Imraan almost shouted randomly as he held his hand up in the air. “That makes sense, right?”

Oh yes, we were still on the vibes thing.

”I mean, technically, we should all be having Jannah vibes right?”

I smiled at that. Jannah vibes for sure. I mean, no one’s ever asked me what’s my vibe before. It wasn’t like a basic conversation anyone would have. But our entire aim in this world is suppose  to be Jannah.

The thing is, in everything that we do, our core question should always be to ask: what does Allah expect of me regarding this?

Society is warped and social media has got everyone into sheep mentality, but Qur’ān and Sunnah is always unchanging and forms the best anchor. Through the lens of the hereafter, we let ourselves understand the true kind of vibes we should all have.

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever is kind, affable, and easy-going, Allah will forbid him from entering Hellfire.

Source: al-Sunan al-Kubrá lil-Bayhaqī 20806

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani

And it was simple. To be good, to be humble, to be easy going and kind to everyone was part of our path to attain Jannah. And most definitely everyone’s path isn’t the same, but what I did know was that to strive to be who Allah Ta’ala wants us to be, despite how hard it may be, is goals for me.

That’s definitely some amazing kind of Jannah vibe.

”No Jannah vibes coming from that direction,” I murmured light heartedly, nodding toward the nook where Rabia was and remembering her sullen face as she left.

She didn’t come out again till the evening, and no one really asked. In fact, I kind of appreciated the peace.

If was after Hamzah and Mohsina left that Imraan and my in-laws were sitting in the lounge while Uthman had pulled out a pack of uno cards. I sat on the carpet and played with him mindlessly as I heard the conversation surrounding me, feeling myself lose any of the hope that I’d had about them sorting out the problem.

It seemed that the more time passed, the more complicated it became.

We were in the city for the week since Imraan had some work, and being Mohsina’s sisters wedding, Imraan thought that it would be best to stay till the main even, especially since Hamzah seemed to be a littel stressed out.

Mohsina had told us that we would all be invited but since her sister wanted a simple and quick affair, dates and times would be decided in the week and she would let us know from there.

And though the wedding was so exciting and fun to plan, even for me as she tasked me with baking a few dozen mini cakes for tea, I couldn’t help but feel the impending doom of what was to come after it was all over. I knew for a fact that this event was keeping them together and that it was afterwards when Mohsina and Hamzah would be forced to part ways, no matter what happened in between.

The talk was too depressing. If I heard about legal divorce and embezzlement one more time, I would probably start getting emotional. I needed a diversion and

I loved to bake. Knowing that I would be tasked with making mini cakes with a Nikah theme got me all excited. Though I kept most of my baking supplies at the farm now, I did still have some at the main house where we used to stay in Joburg. I felt myself gravitating toward the kitchen, wanting to check on what was still okay to use and make a list of what I would still need to get.

I barely noticed Rabia sitting on the corner nook, next to the grocery cupboard, until I heard her little snort of laughter. I whipped my head around to see her watching her phone. She was sitting away from the family, as usual, stuck on social media and whatever else was on that device of delusion. It was weird how people would forsake an actual conversation for something that was virtual, but with Rabia, nothing seemed to even surprise me anymore.

“All okay?” I said lightly, opening the drawers below the oven as I glanced at her.

”Mhmm,” she murmured, nodding blankly. She barely even lifted her head. She was obviously not into actual socialising today.

And it was so sad because that kind of behaviour was actually becoming so normal, that it scared me. While I thrived on visitors, actual meetings and functions that happened, the newer generation were far too comfortable sitting on their phones having fake relationships that have no depth. We are so obsessed with media, building and things, that we’ve stopped worrying about the things in life that really matter.

There is a slightly sinister side (depending on how you look at it) to how social media shapes what you care about.

“Mark Zuckerberg, a journalist was asking him a question about the news feed. And the journalist was asking him,

“Why is this so important?” And Zuckerberg said, “A squirrel dying in your front yard may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.” And I want to talk about what a Web based on that idea of relevance might look like.”1 -Eli Pariser

The glaring truth is: social media companies decide, for example, which tragedies will provide the option of updating your profile picture in solidarity. As we consume content about one issue, or similar types of issues, algorithms then kick in. They note our interest, and then continue to serve up similar content.

Without realizing it, we are in the ultimate brainless echo chamber.

Everyone we know is talking about the same thing and from the same point of view. It is then unfathomable for anyone to not take part, or have a differing opinion. We assume that if people simply saw the things we saw, they would think the way we think. Hours are then invested into debates over group text and comments sections sharing and resharing the content that supports our views while ignoring everything else.

People think that posting something to 100 strangers or 20 friends is going to somehow completely counteract the effects of the politico-me-dia complex.

That’s not going to happen.

What we need to do instead is focus on our more personal networks. We need to have   deeper relationships with actual people… have frank discussions with and challenge each other’s views. We need to switch off that Wi-Fi connection and build our family bonds.

Rabia was obsessed with the exact opposite.

I ignored her as I continued to search for some pastel coloured cake flora that I was so sure I had bought a few weeks ago. She was humming to herself and me, being so busy with my own task, I barely even noticed that she had something on the stove. I mean, there was plenty of food left over from earlier, but Rabia had been so annoyed with us all, for Allah knows what reason, that she didn’t even come eat.

Not only that, it was obvious that the food didn’t meet her standards, hence the reason why she was actually here, making her own packet of those ever-popular extra hot noodles that everyone had been raving about months ago.

“Something on the stove?” I asked, sniffing something a little odd but not quite sure if I was just being paranoid.

”Oh shit,” she said immediately, her eyes widening at me as I closed the cupboard and watched her literally blast off the bar stool she was sitting on.

In seconds, her phone had literally fallen onto the counter next to me as I tossed the few cake toppers I had found onto it, sorting through the lot while I heard her mumble a whole lot of incoherent words under her breath.

She was so busy trying to do damage control as she wiped the overboiled mess off the stove, that she didn’t even hear her phone ping.

And I didn’t mean to look. I just happened to be there at the time, and her phone was right next to me. It was almost like a reflex reaction. The phone buzzed as I sorted the mess on the counter, and my eyes literally shifted over to the suddenly brightened screen as I saw the sender.

The F Factor: So are you sure that she’s onto you because of that post? Wasn’t that the plan?

I blinked and looked away.

I mean who names someone the ‘F factor’? It sounded so… sinister. Not to mention, slightly crude.

It buzzed again.

And before you call me a creep and a nosy housewife with nothing better to do, let me just explain that I really never did this.

Let me make it clear. I never spied on peoples phones before.

Kinky texts or coded messages weren’t my thing anymore than pumpkin spice latte but with the second message coming in literally seconds after the first, my eyes already glided over again and I couldn’t help but suck my breath in as the next message came in.

The F Factor: Better question. After everything you said… you think Mos is onto me?

I stared at the phone for around three seconds before it registered.

Oh my goodness. I had just seen something that I wasn’t supposed to see.

Correction: I had just seen something that involved someone I cared about, that I wasn’t supposed to see.

I had witnessed something that was supposed to only be meant for Rabia’s eyes, and in that it was almost like I had incriminated her of something I never thought she would be capable of.

I glanced at my sister-in-law, oblivious to my findings, quickly scooping up the packets of edible decor before I moved along on the counter, my heart beating like never before as I recalled the message in my mind.

What in the world did it mean? It was obvious that Rabia was talking to someone about Mohsina but what wasn’t so obvious was what her whole motive behind this was. Was she trying to help Mohsina or was she trying to make things worse? The whole exchange earlier was definitely something but the bigger question was, who on earth was this ‘F factor’ person who she was feeding all this information to? I had only seen two messages but it was obvious that there was a lot more than just those two.

I couldn’t quite believe that Rabia actually had in in her to sabotage someone’s marriage and life but looking at her lately, I wasn’t quite sure anymore. It felt like the only thing that mattered to her was her social media feed and all the posts she hankered after to impress people.

Family, relationships and actual people in her life meant nothing to her. I could feel myself shaking with anger as I registered all that, feeling like I was about to explode any second with fury.

And just when I felt like I was about to boil over, and shoot questions at her like never before, when I realised that there was no way I could do that. There was no way I could confront her.

And okay. Maybe I was scared, but come on. Hear me out. This was Rabia we were talking about. At the mention of anything even remotely incriminating, she would probably hate me like never before.

I had to think about this. Really carefully. I mean, I just saw one sinister message – okay two- that could mean that this entire thing is a huge set up for Hamzah and Mohsina’s marriage to fail, but I couldn’t just jump to conclusions. As much as my gut was telling me that it was highly likely, my brain was telling me to lower the accusations down a notch before jumping to conclusions.

I had to get my ducks in a row. It was possible that I had a lot more than just baking some fairy cakes this week… and it was highly possible that Rabia was not going to like what all this would expose…

Sunnah of the month of Rajab 

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..💕

















In the Clouds

Bismihi Ta’ala

Part 70

Travel. It had it moments. Sometimes when things get a little over the top, it’s good to remind yourself where the sunshine is. There was just something about the open skies with cotton candy clouds that made me light-headed with elation.

And then there’s one above that:

Praying to your Lord when up in the air. Well, that was just sublime. A feeling of being grounded, without actually being on the ground. A touch of freedom without actually being free. It was a most powerful weapon, a way to find home, wherever in the world you may be.

When your head finds the ground, and you are connected with your Rabb, there’s no other place you can go but higher.
It was a beautiful reminder that everything that happened and everything in existence was never our doing and always controlled by the Greatest Power of All.

And up there, amidst the great white cotton clouds, with natural silver linings from beyond, glared a light from the highest point of where one could ever conceive.

The view from the way up where even blue birds fly was something that reminded me of faith and fairy tales, and the feeling of being beyond it made my heart soar just as high as the airplane did.


I mean, have you ever stopped to think how Allah Ta’ala commutes people over seas, in a meagre piece of metal? How the airborne vessel actually stays up there, despite it defying every conceivable law that you’ve ever known? How Allah Ta’ala seems so much closer and greater as you peak out at the clouds, letting your imagination run wild as you wonder what Jannah really looks like, and what it really felt like to be able to have whatever your heart desires…

Narrated Abu Hurairah [ra]:

“I have prepared for My righteous servants what no eye has seen and no ear has heard, nor has it occurred to the human heart. Thus, recite if you wish, ‘And no soul knows what joy has been kept hidden for them.”’

(Sahih al-Bukhari, Muslim, at-Tirmidhi, and ibn Majah, Surah Al Sajdah, 32: 17)

It was a first for me. After Umrah with my parents years back, it was a first time I’d travelled so far and for such a worthy distance and it made me see life out of the bubble I’d always keep myself in.

The thing was; travelling not only opened your mind, but also offered a stark and rude awakening as to how status-driven the world was. The world judges according to what kind of holidays you had, how much money you forked out for your tickets and what kind of brands you sported while you continued on your mission of competing for the best instagram hits for your travel diaries.

Being tucked away in a farm in the corner of Gauteng, and with my nose stuck in books wasn’t exactly conducive to reality. This- being in the hustle of bustle of major movements and people of the world- was reality… and it wasn’t pretty.

On the up side, it was a welcome diversion from the last week at home when Nani had forced me to meet Muneer (aka Doctorsaab) again. Doc was making efforts to solidify his case as husband material, to the extent where his cringe-worthy shenanigans made me feel as if I wasn’t even remotely old enough to be subjected to his courting.

I had made sure that I maintained a safe distance on the couch at the opposite side of the room and excused myself when things got a little too haraami-like, my cheeks flaming red as Nani wiggled her eyebrows at me when I exited the room.

And there I was, thinking that the older generation was supposed to have a natural sense of modesty. Nani may have just been the exception.

I still, for the life of me, could never imagine myself actually married to him… leave alone being his smoothie chef and raising his rugrats for the rest of my life. Nani couldn’t understand how I could not want to be the wife of a Ken-look-alike who had a medical degree and the depth of a shallow pond.

I sighed, pulling out my backpack and my jacket and placing my doodling pad back in. Sketching was something I did to keep myself busy, although I wasn’t exactly amazing at it. I just didn’t want to get caught up in the in-flight entertainment this time, so I had carried enough to keep myself busy for all those hours, and not let the holiday spirit conquer the better parts of me.

I pulled my scarf on tighter, taking note that just because I was on a technical ‘break’, didn’t mean that I forgot who I was. It was a small reminder to myself that wherever we are in the world, we were Muslims first.

Dress wise, character wise and Imaan-wise. One slip could be disastrous. Deen was a complete way of life, a soothing for the lost soul, and a quenching relief when we are faced with the drought of hope that the world brings. Going out there, into the open, seeing so many new faces and places… well, it made our lives seem so small compared to the vastness that surrounded…

Being here, finally having landed in Heathrow Airport, I was feeling like an entirely different person. After going through the queues, searches and motions that came with regular travel took up a good amount of time and energy, but I was in awe of what kinds of lesson I took was going to take home here, even when my trip had just begun.

People watching had got my mind all fired up as I wondered what each persons story was… what they were here for and where they were headed. I grabbed my Qur’ān that I had placed in the seat holder, pushed my glasses up my nose, and headed out behind my uncle and aunty as they all started disembarking.

Mo-Seena?” A voice said, and of course, I didn’t turn around because it wasn’t my name they were calling, but I heard it loud and clear.

My sisters name. Well, a version of it. But my sister wasn’t here, so…

“No,” the voice said, and I could hear her talking to someone else about how this girl looks like Mohsina but she can’t be her. “Mos’s sister, right? Jameena?!”

And at that, I swung around, nearly toppling over in the midst of people streaming around me, finally being able to see who the speaker was, and giving her a once over as I did.

A few people gave me annoyed looks and I blushed and quickly continued walking as I smiled at the girl, already recognising who she was.

I probably hadn’t seen her more than twice in my life, but I had heard plenty about her from Mos. It had been an amazing thing when she had reverted and seeing her at Mohsina and Hamzah’s function dresser completely differently to how she had been dressed the previous time had completely bowled me over.

I mean, what were the odds of meeting Mohsina’s long lost friend and colleague here in Heathrow airport today?

Definitely no coincidence. And what was her name again. Ah, yes.


I was honestly gobsmacked to see the amazing transformation of this beautiful girl. Her hijab was tied beautifully, with not even a strand of her blonde hair showing. Her modest dress was flowy and loose, with her ankles covered, and I was honestly struck with a feeling of amazement as I watched her.

”Oh my goodness,” she breathed while I fell back and we trudged along with our hand luggage. She had echoed my own thoughts, leaning forward to embrace me, until her vanilla mixed with Orbit gum scent overpowered me. “It’s so great to see you! Assalamualaikum!”

”You too,” I said shyly, greeting back and trying not to stare, despite how intrigued I was, as we made small talk.

Her husband was at a few steps behind, dragging two hand luggage cases with him as we made our way through the long and wide corridors.

As for Lesley, who had actually just let me know that she was called Aalia, I couldn’t believe how much she had changed. She had a look of serene contentment on her face, and I couldn’t quite digest how Allah Ta’ala can take someone from zero to hero and make them one of His most beloved just through the gift of Hidayat. It was nothing short of a miracle.

When Allah wants to guide, there’s no limits.

”How is Mos, after… everything..?” She asked, her eyes concerned for my sister as we glimpsed a queue ahead. “I think of them so much. How is the baby?!”

She didn’t say it but I knew that she meant after Liyaket and Layyanah’s death. It always felt like people were too scared to mention them. I felt the same way too. Death pricks at parts of us that are sometimes buried deep below, and when we go there, sometimes it feels like picking at an old scab that doesn’t quite want to heal.

She smiled sadly and I remembered that they all worked together at one point. It was a loss that they felt unanimously.

“She’s… good,” I said, nodding. She was good. Mostly. “Zaid too. Coping. Mohsina has her moments.”

It wasn’t untrue, what I had said. I didn’t want to mention that Mohsina was having quite a few moments, up until lately.

Her moods had been a little weird lately. On top of their marital woes, they were still very obviously dealing with a tragedy, and I also knew that Rabia had gotten a little hectic too with targeting Mohsina, especially after she posted a little something malicious on Instagram last week.

I knew where it all came from of course.

And I pretended like I wasn’t shocked, but I actually couldn’t believe that Mohsina’s in-laws didn’t call their daughter out for doing it. I honestly feel that the girl had never caught a hiding from her parents before, and it entitled her to acting the way she did.

She had taken it upon herself to write a long post that about family members who were big influencers and supposed to inspire people, yet kicked people out of their houses and had sinister methods (with a whole lot more falsified drama to the story).

It was a very obvious jab at my sister and though Mohsina went a little crazy, and it came with more name calling and coverage that sent dms to @mostlymoshina too, I couldn’t quite understand what went through Rabia’s head.

Mohsina was still angry at Rabia (if not even more so now than before), and the thing was, I kind of felt sorry for Hamzah, who just looked at a dead loss when it came to the dramas between his sister and Mos. When it came to the relationship between sisters-in-law, I could see how it went.

Where Hamzah pushed to make things okay, both women pulled, making it even more complicated.

“I’m sure Hamzah is taking care of her,” Lesley was saying, after a few seconds, in step with me as we walked toward the queue. Passport control queue was going to kill us. “He always was a good guy.”

“He is,” I said, nodding in agreement, despite what Mohsina complained about lately. The usuals. That he was brainwashed by his sister and never stood up for her. But he was a good husband nonetheless. An amazing father and role model to Zaid. “That’s what’s important. And he’s good for Mohsina. You won’t believe how much she’s changed too…”

”I know,” she said, her eyes twinkling as we reached the gates. “I’ve noticed from social media… or should I say lack of it…? She’s so different to what she was… what can I say? Pre-Hamzah…? I truly believe that the best kind of spouse is one that makes you check yourself, lifts your Imaan and really brings out the best parts of you.”

Wow. To have that coming from Lesley was super inspiring.

“So true,” I said, with a small smile. “Sometimes he is the only one who can talk sense into her.”

He really was. Even when Nani couldn’t get through to her Hamzah just knew which angle to go in with.  I knew that the magic was in the words of the Qur’ān that had changed her heart, and the way she saw everything thereafter. Hamzah was just the product of her efforts, the continuation she needed for her love story with Allah to continue.

”I always knew the two of them had a thing for each other,” Lesley whispered to me with a wink. “I think everyone in the office did. Including Faadil. That’s why he sunk his paws into her. I still can’t believe that ever happened.”

I paused briefly, careful not give away too much in my expression, not aware that Lesley knew about Faadil. Not aware that Faadil knew about Hamzah either. All these office dramas were way beyond my understanding.

”Allah saved her from a nightmare,” I said, almost to myself, honestly wondering how she would have dealt with a marriage that featured someone who respected no one but his own selfish needs.

It was a twisted triangle where the better man had definitely won, and I hoped it would stay that way.

Haraam relationships had a way of biting you in the behind at some point. I just hoped that it wasn’t still making its way back to her.

And as we queued and made our way out, waving to Lesley and joining my uncle and aunty as they grabbed a taxi and finally got to the hotel, I was still completely in awe of the meeting with Lesley.

Once again I felt sublime gratitude that I saw this. That it made me appreciate Deen so much. That someone else had seen a beauty in it that made them want it too. That I could be here to witness and learn so much from what I had seen.

The hotel was a good half hour away, but getting to where there was some Wi-Fi was an amazing relief, and I couldn’t help but log on to WhatsApp quickly and send my mother, Maahi and Nusaybah messages to let them know I was in town and at the hotel.

I had to be quick because Nani was stalking me on WhatsApp, so I was afraid to go online. I knew from Mohsina that she had a habit of doing that, especially when she didn’t like the way something was going. It was a good thing that I didn’t check statuses because I kind of figured that Nani had probably put something about ideal, amazing husbands on hers, in an effort to nudge me toward the likes of Doctorsaab who seemed to fit every criteria she had set for me.

The hotel we were staying at was central but basic, and I sighed tiredly as we finally reached our rooms and plopped my bag on the floor. I had already splayed myself on the bed, enjoying the feeling of lying completely flat for the first time in over a day. M

As always, airplane seats were comfortable to sit in, but barely suitable to sleep in. Though the room I had now wasn’t big or fancy, it was neat and clean, and that was really all I needed right then.

I didn’t even realise how tired I was, until my head found the pillow and I almost instantly drifted off into a soothing slumber, only waking to the sound of buzzing next to me as I grabbed my phone.

All that flight time had definitely had it’s effect, and as I glimpsed Nusaybah’s name on the screen as I picked up, I tried my best to sound anything but drunk with tiredness as I greeted.

“Girl, where are you?” Her upbeat voice said, and I could hear the background noise as she spoke, almost as if she was in the middle of a bustling street.

I stifled a yawn, pulling my specs on, hoping I didn’t sound like a complete dead loss.

“I’m downstairs in the foyer. Waiting for you. Faheem is on call and dropped me off here on his way. Come join me.”

”I’m coming,” I croaked, trying to rub the sleepy drunkenness out of my eyes.

Gosh. Nusaybah was really something else. I couldn’t believe that she had come so soon.

I glimpsed a message for Maahira saying that she was working till late but may see me the next day. Pulling on an abaya and a scarf, I speedily exited the room before she came up to literally yank me out of bed. She was so full of energy that I really couldn’t keep up.

My mind was already overwhelmed with the new spaces as I ventured downstairs to the reception area, glimpsing Nusaybah from a distance, her niqab covering half her face as her eyes crinkled with joy.

Being in a new country hadn’t yet settled in for me.

But being here with Nusaybah… well, she was really one of those people who reminded you of Allah Ta’ala, just by seeing them. It was the reason I met her over and over again.
She was always so full of life and energy, and good advices, and it was only natural that her positivity overflowed to those around her. Seeing her already made me feel at home, even in this strange place. Just being with her gave me a whole new sense of purpose.

I couldn’t help but spend a few seconds admiring the view of the city behind us after greeting her with a huge hug, before I finally took a seat opposite her. She was studying a menu, and I didn’t even realise my tummy was rumbling until she asked me if I was fine with sharing a snack platter.

I nodded, knowing that the hotel probably didn’t offer much else halaal, just happy to see her for now.

”You’re looking jet-lagged,” She said with a grin, closing her menu. I had spoken to her on WhatsApp a few times since she left and she knew a little of what was going on. “How was the flight?”

”It was refreshing,” I said honestly. “I can’t remember when’s the last time I flew. Just glad to be here, finally!”

She grinned.

”The flight can be killers,” she said, shaking her head. “But Alhumdulillah. Everything okay back home?”

I groaned, knowing she was referring to Nani, especially since she was honoured to witness the first hand verbal assaults of my grandmother when she was going through what she called her very own kind of emergency.

”Err, kinda,” I said, still remembering Nani’s parting words before l left. “Honestly, I feel relieved to have some time out of the mix.”

I didn’t want to mention that Nani was far from happy about me running away in the middle of a proposal. Neither did I want to mention that Muneer actually did propose. Thinking about it gave me a weird feeling in my gut.

It wasn’t exactly the way I planned to spend my short break but with Nani, there wasn’t much compromising. She wanted me to give an answer in two days, no matter where in the world I was. She would have no other way.

Nusaybah smiled a quirky smile as the waiter came up to us with the platter two hot drinks that looked exactly like what I needed. It was freezing outside.

“You can tell me,” she said with a wink. “Don’t worry, I’ve heard all the levels of cray cray and I’m not even kidding. My husbands ones sister is not exactly my cup of tea but I put up with her. Someone bothering you?”

Sounded like Nusaybah had a similar issue to Mohsina. Why were sisters in law like that sometimes? Why was Nani like this sometimes? 

Anyway, I could barely imagine Nusaybah being that kind of sister-in-law. But then again, I would never know, right?

”Remember the doctor?” I said, letting the drink warm my palms, and cutting straight to the chasr. “The one that came with a proposal.”

Her eyes widened and she looked at me and blinked once.

Exactly how I felt

Oh Emm Gee, Jameela!” She exclaimed, and I was so sure she would spill her drink as she almost jumped up. “A stunning and amazing girl like you with so much of goodness in your heart… Of course he proposed! He would be an idiot not to!”

She chuckled to herself as she watched me, and I smiled shyly, wondering how to tell her that I was feeling completely in over my head here.

“And I would be an idiot not to accept, right?”

The question hung in the air as I said it, and she gave me a sympathetic look for a moment and grabbed a cracker, before she spoke again.

”You don’t have to do anything,” she said, shaking her head. “I’m sure he’s a great guy, but I’ve realised that everyone looks for different qualities in their spouse. Usually, qualities that compliment theirs, traits that they don’t have. So if he’s got all those things that you always wanted, if he can build you to be a better person and pushes you toward Allah, then I would say, it’s a good match. But if not….”

She trailed off, and I noticed she didn’t meet my eye as she said it.

She knew. She knew that I didn’t want to marry this guy. Just like how Mohsina and Papa and my mother knew too. I just needed affirmation that I was doing the right thing. I mean, who turns down a handsome and upcoming doctor, who looks so good on paper. It was ludicrous.

But nonetheless. I still didn’t feel it, no matter how hard I tried to. The people milling around us seemed to fade out as we spoke, and I didn’t anticipate feeling it so deeply as I did then.

“What do you ask for?” She said softly, and I looked at her, slightly confused as she watched me.

“What do you mean?” I asked, slightly confused.

“I mean, like in your Duaas,” she said with a wink. “I would always tease my friend Khawlah that I wasn’t ever sure what kind of amazing Duaas she made. She got a Mr Perfect… and she got an amazing husband twice over. She had been through so much when she was younger, and then her first husband passed away when they were both really young… and I honestly wondered what kind of status she had when she got married again to her childhood friend who she never thought she’d see again. Seeing dreams come true is something like eating chocolate. Sweet and addictive. I know it sounds idealistic… but is this guy… this doctor… well, is he your dream guy?”

Dream guy. I mean, I didn’t even know if that existed, but I got what she meant. Was he everything I had imagined?

I hated to say it, but he was nothing like I imagined.

I shook my head, feeling like I’d disappointed myself by admitting it.
Nusaybah, however, looked unbothered. Almost as if she knew I would say that from the onset.

What she didn’t know was who it was that actually fitted that description for me. How I would daydream about him asking Papa about me. But of course, I could never tell her that. It was way too embarrassing to be crushing on a guy who barely even noticed I existed until I broke into his weapon house stash.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to know. I was just too afraid to tell her. What if what I said was too close to what are knew? What if she actually suspected that I was a little obsessed with her brother.

It was something I would take to the grave.

“So what do you ask for?”

What do I ask for? My Duaas were pretty basic. I didn’t really know what I wanted. The usual was a man who is brave and kind, puts Allah first and isn’t afraid to stand up for what he believes in. In this day and age, it was so hard to find the right person.

I think everyone is looking for someone who is good to them, unconditionally. Someone they can talk to and who they like to listen to. It sounds quite simple but it’s actually kind of hard to find both.

“I suppose I just want someone who is decent and has good values,” I said quietly, heading for the safe route. It was important to me though.  Someone who didn’t do others down was important. “Someone who l who sees me for who I really am…. instead of just a pretty face or whatever guys see when they look at me…”

I trailed off because I didn’t want to sound stupid. Good ethics was the best I had. But what do you know about ethics when you meet a person?

“That sounds fair,” she said with a nod. “Jameela, you’re so sweet. Like, one of the sweetest and unassuming people I ever met. You’re light and happiness and candy floss…”

I giggled as she chuckled at her own words.

I was candy floss. Really?

“I’m serious,” she said, her eyes going wide as she looked at me. “You are like that cute little poem. From the day I saw you, I thought.. ‘she’s sugar and spice and all things nice’. That’s why you need someone just as nice too, but with also a little bit of spice…”

She winked and I rolled my eyes, not even believing she was comparing me to a nursery rhyme.

“First impressions can be deceiving too,” I said with a grin, because she obviously thought way too much of me.

Nusaybahs eyes lit up.

“Zubair says the opposite,” she said with a grin, shaking her head, and my heart ridiculously raced at the mere mention of his name. “One of his many theories. Because I always ignore first impressions, and he doesn’t. He says you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Sometimes when you know, you know…”

I swallowed awkwardly, wondering how we ended up on the topic of Zubair again. And why, when it was precisely what I was trying to avoid.

“At least now that he’s away from my uncle I can have actual conversations with him,” she continued, almost absentmindedly as she went on. “He was so young when our mother passed away, and being there for him was second nature until something happened between my father and him and he fell into the wrong crowd. I honestly wish that I could turn back the clock, and guide him toward the right path before he got caught up, but it is what it is. My mother used to say that Allah’s plans for us are always more beautiful than our own wishes. Maybe it was my wish to always be there for him, but maybe it was Allahs plan for him to somehow end up right where he is.”

Oh my goodness, this was getting way too close to home.

The reality that hit me was like a wall of bricks cascading down. It had just occurred to me that I was so completely obsessed with her brother that I couldn’t even hear about him without acting like a complete idiot, and blushing as if I was already a new bride.

I was trying to walk away and hold on at the same time, and any thread of hope that she was offering was like glimpsing that silhouette of sunlight, like the one peeping out at me from behind the clouds.

What was wrong with me? I was so messed up. Completely done for. I felt like I needed to bath in Nani’s phook water. Or maybe I needed something stronger.

My mind is was in the gutter. Completely and utterly.

I was in the gutter. In the gutter. In the gutter.

But what Nusaybah said next was about to pull me out of there, and lift my hopes right to the clouds.

I just didn’t know it yet.


Dearest Readers

My sincerest apologies for the delay. Just that crazy time of year again, but I will try and post the next masala by Friday. Hehe.

Much Love,



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..💕
















FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah


Wistful Waterfalls


Bismihi Ta’ala


Part 56

When Hamzah had mentioned the word adventure…. Well, let me just tell you, I wasn’t quite prepared for the kind that he had in mind.

It was the barely even what a sane person would call ‘morning’, of the day we were scheduled to leave the farm, when he had woken me up at an insanely early part, and actually expected me to get out of bed.

And of course, I had pulled Zaid off of me, squinted at him like he was crazy, and rolled over again. But that was the thing with Hamzah. He was so good at convincing me that it was going to be worth it, that I could do nothing more than pull on some lazy track pants and a long sleeve modest top.

“No need for the Abaya,” he said with a wink, after I’d prayed my Fajr Salaah, and I narrowed my eyes at him, wondering where we were going. “It’s just going to be us. You and me. Young, wild and free.”

Euw. Cheesy was not the word. I was so perturbed that I didn’t even take the hint that was being offered.

I made a puke face and pulled on a sports hijab, because I could already see him tying his laces and I kind of figured this was going to be some sort of wilderness expedition. Not that I was the sporty type, but I mean; sportswear was still trendy and I was just happy that I had brought my brand new modest activewear set with me.

And I wasn’t even sure how it happened but somehow, an hour later, there I was, the usually city-inclined  @mostlymohsina, at an unmentionable time of the morning, trudging through the thicket behind Hamzah through some random bush, with really no true sense of direction or information of what was to come.

The thing was, this wasn’t on the itinerary. I wasn’t really prepared for actual trekking through hiking trails and unstable grounds. I wasn’t even mentally prepped for creepy crawlies and weird spikey-like caterpillar thingums that we saw on bushes. I had already shocked Hamzah senseless with a few high pitched screams, to the point where he probably was tirelessly immune to the drama.

Besides that, I was literally just trying to maneuver myself through carnivore-territory without trying to freak out to much about getting murdered or killed, while I avoided cliff like edges that I could fall off and tried to just focus once again on Hamzah’s retreating back, that was now about a metre ahead of me.

“Where are we even going?” I nagged impatiently, poking him in the spot behind his shoulder blades with a stick that I had picked up along the way. It was the third time I had asked and it wasn’t as if I was the easiest person to deal with otherwise, pokes and all. “And how much longer?”

“Stop being such a control freak,” he muttered now, shaking his head at my impatience. I honestly could not stand suspense. It was the worst part of this whole trip.

I mean, it wasn’t all bad. The smell of nature had actually become strangely pleasant to me, and the sound of nothing but my rapid breathing was unusually calming. The intensity of the suns rays had been brazenly shining down on me for about half an hour now, and as the thickness of the greenery lifted, I shielded my eyes as I watched how focused Hamzah was.

And okay… maybe I was being a bit of a grouch, but gosh, he seemed to love this kind of stuff.

And as we found ourselves on a slightly more elevated point, when the sound of flowing water awakened my senses with the parting of the thicket, the sight below us revealed a most breathtaking lush valley that literally made me stop in my tracks. It was beauty upon beauty and beyond that all… all we could witness was the unveiling of the extraordinary mountainous skies that Allah Ta’ala had once again brought alive through every beginning of day. And as I gazed downwards, the untainted vision of blue waters in the sunken valley was a soothing salve to my senses…

My word, it was enchanting.

The gorgeous stream below us was slowly revealing itself through the thicket, and as I peeped through to get a better view, Hamzah had paused for a minute, almost as if he was recalling something, when I heard his phone ring in his pocket.

Signal! Oh my goodness. It was a miracle!

And there was nothing quite like it to defer my attention. Finally, I could check on Zaid. And messages. And life, as I knew it. Civilians were accessible! Also, though Saaliha was very confident that Zaid would be perfectly fine, my own heart had been so uncertain about leaving him for the entire three hours Hamzah had predicted we would take…

My aspirational husband had already taken out his iPhone, glanced at it with a certain flicker of emotion on his eye, and then put it back in his pocket. It was almost as if he don’t want to bother with the matter that was at hand then, and instinctively, my hand delved into my own pocket, but before I could even slide it upwards to unlock, Hamzah’s hand had already grabbed my phone, hastily tossing it onto the thickened floor of a nearby bush .

”Oh no, you didn’t,” I muttered, narrowing my eyes and looking at Hamzah as a sly smile crept onto his face.

He was smirking at me, as the filtered sun shone on his brown hair, with not an ounce of remorse on his striking face.

“No technology,” he said blandly, looking at me, his eyes stagnant, as if to challenge me.

Damn. I was itching to to take some pictures too. This spot was simply spectacular. It had been an hour of intense hiking to get to this point. I had to have something to show for it.

“But I need to take some snaps!” I whined, looking absolutely distraught as he threw his own phone into the another cushioned part of the bush.

He was pulling off his backpack and his cap, and a little Elfbar gadget he used to smoke when lighting a cigarette became too tedious. He had pulled out some snacks that we had packed, tossing a packet to where I was, before he sat down, facing the other way and puffed away.

“To hell with snaps,” he said smoothly, sitting closer to the edge as I took a step back while smoke clouded the air. “You took enough. And I’m warning you… Reach for it, and there will be consequences.”

And of course, I was barely the type to care about consequences. Especially from Hamzah. I mean, honestly, what could he really do?

I needed those pictures. It was like something was summoning me. All that effort. How could I not have something to show for it?

And as I stepped backward again, turning around exceptionally slowly while creeping silently toward the corner where my phone had been stashed, as Hamzah puffed away incessantly, I barely even heard a single scrunch of leaves behind me. In an instant, hands had already grasped me by the waist as I let out a startled shriek, as Hamzah literally air-lifted me off the ground to drag me back to where we had just been.

”Hey, man!” I yelled at him, struggling vehemently while trying to ease his unyielding grip on me.

“I told you there would be consequences, woman,” he warned aptly as I squealed again, but I could hear the humour in his voice as I wiggled around, now feeling just a little intimidated by his threats.

My wiggling was all in vain, due to his steely grip. He was barely even budging.

And okay. Maybe he was serious. Maybe I should just apologise.

”I’m sorry,” I said, putting on a pleading voice and hoping with every ounce within me that he wasn’t going to do what I thought he was.

No. Of course he wouldn’t throw me into the lurking waters below. He would never.

We were only standing at the edge of the bank of one of the most intimidatingly lakes I had ever seen. As I yanked myself backwards to try and escape him, his grip on my hand had tightened even more, while he stepped forward, toward the edge, and gave me a cheeky grin.

”You’re insane!” I almost shouted, struggling even more as I recognized that defiant look in his eye that signaled that he was about to do something crazy.

I did not know that I married a complete psychopath.

And okay, I wouldn’t have minded if he fulfilled his own deranged ideas, but why on Earth was he dragging me into it?!

I still couldn’t believe that he was actually thinking of that, but from the way he was focusing on it, I knew that he was absolutely serious. I wasn’t even sure if the water was deep enough for the height we were at, or if he had done this before…

”Hamzah, no!” I cried, honestly terrified, looking down at the torrents of water and pulling back with all the might I could muster, but he was too strong for me. “This is not funny anymore! Stop messing around!”

“Messing around?!” He said with a smirk. “Come on, City Girl from the Farm. Learn to live.”

No no no!” I screeched, knowing what was going to happen but trying to stall him. “Not now!”

”If not now, then when?!”

It was all he said, and with that and a massive tug of strength that felt like my knees being buckled from behind me, a few milliseconds of gut-wrenching free fall ensued just before foamy, icy waters surrounded and drenched me to the bone.

For a minute, the air was completely knocked out of me as I pushed my head above the current, barely able to formulate a response for what he had just done.

Oh my goodness. He had actually done it. We had actually fell into the bloody water. What was wrong with him?!

I literally wanted to kill him. Right here in these waters, and leave him here to get devoured by the crocodiles.

And as I gasped for air, spluttering and spitting incoherent venom at him in an attempt to reprimand him, his expression was completely unbothered as he continued wading through the waters expertly against the current to the middle of the lake.

Somehow, he had known exactly where we had to jump, to get the perfect landing… and the thought that this was all planned made me even more infuriated.

I was already out of breath and focusing on keeping myself anchored, and as he surfaced again, his face glimmering irritatingly with water droplets, I lunged forward to attack him. Hamzah, obviously exceptionally more capable in the water than I ever imagined, dodged me effortlessly.

“I c-can’t believe you!” I screamed, my face right in front of his now, still in shock as I flailed my one free hand around in the water. “Let go of me! I want to g-get out!”

I was livid. Raging with anger and completely unimpressed. I could see a mocking humour in his eyes, and it just infuriated me more.

“Relax,” he said calmly, but still not letting go. “Stop acting like such a girl. Why do you always have to be in control?”

“C-Control?!” I said incredulously, still slightly shivery although I was trying to warm myself up. “This is n-not about control! It’s about c-crazy men who throw women off cliffs!”

He laughed, finding the entire thing extremely amusing. I still wanted to hurt him.

I was still struggling to get my other hand free, but his grip was way too tight to even try. I was angry and frustrated and now irrevocably soaked. I honestly wanted to cry.

”I can’t believe that you did that!” I shrieked, hating every second. I hated swimming. I hated water. I hated feeling cold.

I still could not believe that Hamzah was such an obnoxious piece of crap.

“Can you just stop screaming?” He said, his eyes darkening now as he pulled me towards the centre of the lake. “People will think I’m murdering you.”

”You probably are, you psychopath,” I shot back, still angry and but feeling myself calming down, without even realising.

“Why would I even want to kill you,” he said abruptly, as if it was self-explanatory. “I don’t even have a motive. It’s not like you have any money I can even-“

He was cut off by the proximity of my hand to his face as he said it, but he was so good in the water that he had now grasped both my hands by the wrists to annoy me further.

He thought he was funny. This man had a cheek.

“You’re evil!” I screeched, my face thunderous now as he gave me a smirk. “How do you know I can even swim?”

“That’s why I’m here, Instagram diva,” he said obviously, not even turning to look at me as he floated along now, me in tow.

“Just trust me, and relax, aight?” He replied, squeezing my shoulder in an attempt to comfort me.

”You must be kidding me,” I said with a fake laugh, shaking my head at the idea of even trusting him after this.

And although I was fighting it, against my will, the cool waters were doing their thing with me. I attempted to ease myself through them with Hamzah’s guidance, and I couldn’t help but feel soothed by the white noise as the water current crashed against me as we moved along, and for a moment, I began to enjoy the feeling of water surrounding me.

There was no way I would admit it. I continued to struggle but it was to no avail. I still wanted a way out, but instead, we were just moving deeper and deeper in.

And just as I was about to ask Hamzah where on Earth he was going, all of a sudden, we stopped, and as I turned,  the cascading sound of a waterfall filled my ears, as I turned to look. Torrents of water were just ahead of us, falling from a height of about fifty meters, and sight of it – like a hue of paradise- immediately made me freeze in awe. I didn’t even struggle anymore, as we edged closer, my gaze fixed on the spectacular view ahead, as Hamzah also looked almost longingly at the glorious drop of water that towered ahead of us.

It was something like I had never set my sights on before. For a minute… just a crazy minute… I wondered how it would feel to be underneath there. For a crazy minute, I actually wished that Hamzah had pulled me right under, to feel the weight of that pounding water from the top of my head.

Goodness. Hamzah’s wild streak was rubbing off on me.

And then, just as quick as the thought entered, I berated myself for thinking of such insane things because there was no doubt that he would probably just do that…

I glanced at Hamza, knowing that was exactly on his mind when I saw the raw emotion in his eyes… but it was only when he spoke, that I knew exactly why.

”I was only ten when I came here for the first time,” his voice said in my ear, as I pulled myself far enough to create a distance between us, and close enough to feel safe.

Ten years old? Seems like the guy was always crazy.

The sound of the waterfall was now even louder than before as we approached it.

“It was with Liyaket,” he continued, and I looked at him as he said it, and my heart softened. “After Hifdh class one day, we stood there, where we were, and jumped in for the first time. Imraan warned us not to. He told my parents after and my mother almost killed us both. No regrets, though. It’s the best feeling in the world… and since then, well… every year it was our thing…  and we would make this our trademark.”

“Once crazy, always crazy,” I said, shaking my head as I glanced at him.

He smiled faintly, but continued.

“Want to know something?” He said, still now, as he watched the pounding of water ahead of us. “The last time we came was… well… we came just before Zaid was born. It was like two weeks before he passed away… that he told me he wanted to come back here…”

I was quiet now, as I heard Hamzah, not even daring to look at him. I was still a tad bit angry at him, but also… well… I was kind of touched that he had brought me here.

And why wouldn’t I be?

The beauty before me was absolutely breathtaking. There were no words I could use to describe a wonder so magnificent. I had never been to a place like this before. I always shied away from nature, engaging myself in worlds that were so far from real… when it had so much to offer me. I could not believe that I had lived my whole life without seeing this before.

There were no phones, no Instagram posts and no means for diversions, but for the first time in years, I felt inspired and awakened by the setting before me, with no need to filter or replay… and I could not attribute its greatness to anything but Allah Ta’alas magnificence.

“He told me that he had a dream,” he said quietly, as he inched a little closer. “And I didn’t even think anything of it. He had seen in it that he was swimming in blue waters and there were unusual white birds flying above him. I laughed it off, you know. Told him that the only birds we’ll get flying above him here were Mynahs and they would probably give him some blessings on his head…”

I swallowed, surprised at how emotional I was getting while he said it. What an awesome dream…

“You know what I imagine him doing right now?” He said quietly, coming a little closer and for the first time in the waters, I felt completely at ease. Even though I was holding on for dear life due to the strong current, at that moment, nothing felt more safe than being right there.

I turned to look at him, because the sound of the waterfall was getting even louder now. We were approaching it from the side and he paused for a moment, droplets of water glistening on his beard, before he spoke again.

“Every time I read that ayah, it’s only he who comes to mind:

…As for those who believe and do good, We certainly never deny the reward of those who are best in deeds.

أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ لَهُمْ جَنَّـٰتُ عَدْنٍۢ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهِمُ ٱلْأَنْهَـٰرُ يُحَلَّوْنَ فِيهَا مِنْ أَسَاوِرَ مِن ذَهَبٍۢ وَيَلْبَسُونَ ثِيَابًا خُضْرًۭا مِّن سُندُسٍۢ وَإِسْتَبْرَقٍۢ مُّتَّكِـِٔينَ فِيهَا عَلَى ٱلْأَرَآئِكِ ۚ نِعْمَ ٱلثَّوَابُ وَحَسُنَتْ مُرْتَفَقًۭا
It is they who will have the Gardens of Eternity, with rivers flowing under their feet .They will be adorned therein with bracelets of gold and will wear green garments of fine silk and brocade, reclining therein on adorned couches. Excellent is the reward, and good is the resting place.

(Al-Kahf 30-31)

It was a beautiful ayah, SubhaanAllah… that so astoundingly described the most unfiltered parts of Jannah…

“And I can almost still picture him right there,” Hamzah murmured as he moved forward, pointing toward the drop of water that was plummeting down, his chest now against my back and I could see the smile on his face while he probably held the vision in his mind. “And I only hope that he will get the most amazing kinds of waterfalls… In rivers of eternal bliss… with the most unusual birds of Jannah really flying above him… Having the time of his eternal life.
Imagine what types of rivers and falls are there, Mos… and he’s just free, in a place where there is no pain and no grief. He had so much that tied him up, so many difficulties… and yet he never complained. On the other hand, I had so much of opportunity and so much of ease… and I had gone so off track. How does it always happen that way? And after he changed his life, you know, he always said that he didn’t know how he would make up for it… but yet he did so much to fix himself. His Salaah was paramount in his life. His Dhor was flawless. He took everything to extreme levels. Lived a pure, honest life. No nonsense. No interest. No loans. He was such an example and I don’t even know how I was blessed with his friendship…”

Hamzah sighed and I didn’t even know what to say to that. I had just silent, listening in total awe…

”The thing is,” he said, glancing at me momentarily. “I think Liyaket would have liked that I brought you here. To our spot.

Their spot. I could literally see Hamzah’s mind recalling the vivid memories.

“I think he would have liked that.”

By then, my anger had already dissipated. And that was a sweet thing to say. I was already fully drenched, so why shouldn’t I just let myself enjoy the moment?

“It was the only time I saw Liyaket with no other care in the world. Free. Completely at ease,” he said softly. “I just want you to share that too, you know?”

“I know,” I said quietly, feeling exactly like Hamzah had described. Free. Not a care in this earthly existence.

“But man, Mos,” he said, almost as if it was a second thought, his honey-brown eyes twinkling even more in the sunlight as he gazed at me. “You’re a fighter.”

“No,” I said, with a wistful smile. “I’m a whole army.”

He grinned and even though I absolutely hated him just a few minutes ago, he was such a con-artist at swindling my heart, and as he came forward, his nose against my forehead as he pecked my nose gently, I knew that I couldn’t bail out now.

I mean; a few months ago, well… I would have never imagined this. In my heart… I was always a city girl. I would have never, in my wildest dreams, imagined Hamzah and I ever being out in the wildest of wilderness… in the depths of silent beauty that spoke right to my soul… having a heartfelt conversation about rivers and waterfalls of ethereal beauty, gardens of eternal bliss, unlike any others in our wildest dreams… And it was such a profound moment, in the most extraordinary setting that had awoken me, inspired me and made me see things in a completely new light…

And oh yes, the kind of world that was Hamzah’s was something like I’d never known before.

And that is when I truly realised the meaning of:

Death is a gift for a believer (Bayhaqi). 

Because for the one who truly believes, it is through the gateway of death that he finds the door to eternal contentment and happiness…

And because of Liyaket, being here was something that was really important to him, and I had understood that. All these months… so much had pained him and grieved him and just being here for now had already brought him so much of joy… the thoughts of Jannah and the Aakhirah and everything that was still to come had evidently already lifted our spirits… 

And though it didn’t lessen the heartache in any way, and the pain of loss was all fresh and devastating once again, all I could think of was how all this had come to show me a completely different sort of life… how it got us to focus on a different path and how our entire perspective had changed through the tragedy had  we both felt so deeply.

It made me ponder. I mean, we all wanted Jannah. The amazement and the splendor … the milky rivers and the most sublime kind of gifts…we all wanted that kind of abode where the purest of Malaaikah would greet us … where there is nothing but ultimate perfection to encompass for eternity…

But the thing is, were we really earning it? What was I really going to secure my final abode?

I had been so caught up in the world and it’s ornaments… so consumed by everything it had to offer… that very often, we even forget our ultimate destination.

And that’s when it came to me, and I realised that even the most trying situations come with their own goodness. That though there was much pain and strife, through Hamzah coming into my life, a whole new world had suddenly opened for me. Perhaps the sole purpose of this entire thing was not for Zaid at all. Perhaps everything that had happened till then has no relation to what it’s true purpose was. Perhaps Allah Ta’ala, through his mercy, had wanted me to come to a realisation of Him, that would change my entire world.

All my life, all I ever worried about was me. My career. My job. My life. My problems. And then this happened, and everything changed.

And I’m not saying that this thing with Hamzah was always mind blowing and mesmerising… but what I did know was that somehow, the office-loving Chartered Accountant was slowly but surely morphing into an unyielding, adventure-seeking cow-girl, and I wasn’t even resisting it. Such beauty and splendour could not possibly fall on a heart and bring forth no effect…

It was a mixture of ultimate surrender, as I felt myself lose the desire to be in control, just for that moment. It was an acceptance of such grandeur and amazement and as we both stood there, for the first time in years for me, I could barely believe how absolutely unlike anything else in the world this feeling felt.

Everyone needs a spot sometimes, a place where the world grows quiet and solace can be found in the fact that a tree is just… well, a tree. Everyone needs a moment to breathe in the magnificence of the natural beauty that was before us, gifted by the Lord of the Worlds. Sometimes it’s only in the stillness of nature, combined with the soothing scent of towering trees and wistful waterfalls, one finds a purifying bliss… and being with Hamzah, well, I hadn’t realised it before but this is what it took for me to understand who was the centre of the ultimate kind of wealth…

And that was the thing with life, in this day and age, isn’t it? We are so caught up in  emails and WhatsApp messages that we forget that there are meant to be real things that we also take much joy in. We forget those moments we could spend obsessing over the perfection of Allah in the curves of a tree’s branches, or watching a spider gracefully spin it’s web. We are blind to the beauty of a blue-bird taking flight or the crusted colours of the leaves in autumn, as they begin to morph. We forget the little things like cascading waterfalls and gorgeously bloody sunsets, capturing the heart of the one you love. We are unaware of the feeling of falling, completely and effortlessly, as those explosions that crackle away like fireworks explode within our souls, allowing ourselves a chance to love so wholeheartedly that we lose the desire to always want to be in control.

And that was just one minuscule part of it… but among the other lessons we may learn along this path— after a long road of falling, tripping, losing, failure, winning and so many mistakes—is that there will be some people you love because of what they give you and the way they make you feel. It will be for it your Nafs, and it will always be about how you feel. So if you’re chasing a feeling, you’ll always be chasing.

But, once in a while, there is another love that can exist.

This love… is not a selfish love and is the rarest type. And if it is pure, and not competing with, the love of Allah Ta’ala Himself, it will also bring about the most joy. To love in any other way is to be needy, to be dependent, to have expectations—all the ingredients for misery and disappointment.

And this is a love that you will give to the creation—not for what you can get in return from them. You will love and you will give, but you will be sufficed from Him. And the one who is sufficed by the Rabb Himself, is the richest and most generous of all lovers.

Your love will be by Him, for Him, and because of Him. That is the liberation of the self from serving any encapsulated thing. And that is freedom. That is happiness.

That is love.

Dearest Readers 

Sincerely hope everyone is well. Abit of a longer nature-inspired post that I did quite enjoy writing…

May Allah Ta’ala enable us to truly appreciate his magnificence when we see it… 

Please take note of our very important Sunnah reminders. 

much love
A xx

Sunnah of (Digital) Company:

We live in a world where digital media surrounds us. We mindlessly forget that we are what we feed, and these WhatsApp, instagram and twitter feeds have an effect on us.

May Allah Ta’ala enable us to be particular even about our digital company, and save us from falling into bad companionship.

Abu Musa reported: The Prophet, (Sallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said, “Verily, the parable of good company and a bad company is only that of a seller of musk and a blacksmith. The seller of musk will give you some perfume, you will buy some, or you will notice a good smell. As for the blacksmith, he will burn your clothes or you will notice a bad smell.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5534,

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..💕
















FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

And So it Happened Again

Bismihi Ta’ala


“Hey hey hey,” Ahmed said as we both watched my sister-in-law rushing around in a frenzy-like attempt to get wedding-related edibles together.

On the kitchen counter were a selection of sweetmeats, biscuits, milkshake flavors and a personal favorite… the crunchiest and most syrupy jalebi. This was, by far, the highlight of these type of occasions. Kids were in and out, grabbing a treat or two as they pleased. My sister-in-law was on a roll and it didn’t look like she was going to stop anytime soon.

She looked briefly at Ahmed and I and smiled, almost immediately turning again to pipe the glittering pink burfee into little cups as she manoevred her bump appropriately, and subsequently placing the burfee cups on the edge of the platter. I could see Ahmed frown and as I busied myself with setting up the pretty biscuits, but from the corner of my eye I could see my brother looking over her shoulder to examine her work.

”Slow down,” he said to her, squeezing her shoulder lightly. “You’re stressing yourself out.”

Rubeena shook her head.

”I’m fine,” she said, only turning slightly as I tried not to listen.

“You need to take it easy,” he said softly.

He murmured a few words to her and then left it at that as Yunus called him to leave for the Nikah. Of course, excitement was brewing in the air and hysteria slowly surfacing, I didn’t think twice about anything else as I saw Khawlah rush off to her room in the hype that had all of a sudden ensued, and I turned to help Rubeena with what she was working on next. She had somehow managed to pick up, at the last minute, the most exquisitely decorated butter cookies for the small tea that we were going to serve after the Nikah.

”Please sit,” I said to her kindly, noticing her straining her back as she worked. It was no wonder that the pregnancy wasn’t an easy one. Her belly was huge and she was only a few months along. I wasn’t sure how she was going to manage the rest…

There was a shadow of a smile on her face as she continued with her task. And in that moment, I didn’t realize that Ahmed had, surprisingly, become a little more tuned to emotions since marrying Rubeena. Whereas I was somewhat unaware, he had come to noticed more than he used to… expressed a little more than we were accustomed to… and saw something in Rubeena that day that I had completely missed.

It was a good few minutes of comfortable silence as the men left and I continued with my menial task, when I suddenly heard a muffled sniffling from next to me. And though wasn’t sure at first… but when the almost inaudible sound persisted and I cast a slightly confused glance at her, it was obvious that I wasn’t mistaken. A single tear rolled down her cheek and though she tried to brush them away hastily without me noticing, we both knew that it was already too late. I watched her for a few seconds, at first not too sure about how to react… but then knowing that the only decent thing to do by then was to grab a tissue and hand it over.

I’m so sorry!” She bawled as she clung onto it and dabbed her face, and I couldn’t help but wonder why she was apologizing to me.

”It’s okay,” I said soothingly as I rubbed her shoulder and she tried to conceal her emotions.

”I d-don’t know what’s wrong with me!” she blabbered, her pretty face looking immensely distressed. “This just brings back so many memories and I’m so sorry that I’m so emotional.. I just keep thinking about the fact that  I never really got to plan the function I was going to have for my brother and Khawlah…”

She burst into spluttering tears again and I couldn’t help by then to just l grip her firmly by the shoulders and move in for a fierce hug. My heart was breaking for her.

Of course she would be emotional. Of course.

Shhhhhh,” I said soothingly, holding her tightly as her body shook with emotion. “It’s okay, it’s okay…”

She shook her head and pulled away slightly.

”It’s not!” She insisted, wiping her eyes again and sniffing. “This is s-supposed to be a h-happy occasion. I mean, Khawlah deserves to be happy! Khadijah deserves a father that she knows. And you know what’s the weirdest part about all of this?”

I swallowed and looked and my sister-in-law who had retired to the bar stool and blew her nose noisily as I watched her.

”He always wanted me to keep it simple, you know?” She said ruefully. “Like whenever I would bring the topic up- because he never would- maybe he knew, you know?  Maybe he knew there wouldn’t be enough time for these unimportant aspects that I was so looking forward to…”

I truly didn’t know what to say. This was such a joyous, yet heart-wrenching occasion. I wished that I could put the emotions into words but it was so, so hard…

”And the funny things is – you know what Adam would have said?” She said morosely.

I blinked, thinking about it. What would Aadam have said?

She shook her head and smiled, despite her teary face.

”I can almost hear his voice still,” she said quietly. “Saying, ‘Aw Rubes, don’t be like that. Just let it be, yeah? If Khawlah’s happy, we all should be happy.’ You know?”

She imitated her brother almost identically. It was super creepy yet so so nostalgic. Tears were filling my eyes as I smiled at those words. Aadam truly was one of a kind.

”And she is happy, right?” She said, meeting my eye steadily.  “I mean, I’m so grateful that after so long something good has come her way, and because Ahmed always talks about him from way before he even came into the picture… I do feel like Maulana Khalid is such a good match for her… but there’s still a small ache in my gut that I can’t help but feel because I just miss him so so much …”

Her voice broke at that point and I could feel tears welling up in my own eyes as I wondered once again about that love that seemed to lift Khawlah to new heights. Oh yes, Aadam was gold. He was absolutely unique. But the fact that Adam had left us the way he did, for some reason… it just made their love so much more sincere. True. Completely enviable. I knew that I for one, would always hold it on a pedestal because it was that type of love that made everyone else want to fall in love too.

It was that beautiful and I knew that she didn’t want to forget it. I completely understood. Neither did I.

She trailed off as her gaze shifted to behind me, and as my head turned towards her I had already sensed that my sister had returned. I instantly smiled at my nieces voice, and as my gaze shifted to my sister, my breathing instantly quickened because not only did my sister look so beautiful, but today there was something so intimately striking about her that I could not even swallow it. She wore a lightly embossed pastel chiffon dress and a matching mink scarf. Her cheeks were flushed, like a new bride, and her subtle make up was applied absolutely sparingly, but it wasn’t even about that. There was a glow from deep within her and I could tell that Ruby was stunned by her too. It had been a long time since my sister had dressed up and I was somewhat taken aback by how much she looked like our Mama at that very moment. She smiled at us and immediately went forward to Rubeena, greeting her affectionately as the two of them held onto each other for what seemed like eternity.

Honestly, it was just so emotional watching them that I couldn’t help but tear up again at the sentimentality of it. Some words were extremely difficult to say. Their emotions were overwhelming. Yet it was human…. Human amongst humans. This was such a huge step for both of them. It was such a courageous decision that would bring so much of sweetness, with just a dash of aching nostalgia.

What a test they had both endured. These feelings and hopes and dreams amongst the anguish of the past… it was something that I couldn’t quite place my finger on. The truth is that we don’t realize how  the system of Allah works. That He, in His great wisdom, tries us and tests us and puts us through pains because that exactly is how we will earn our status and deserve a beautiful Jannah..

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but glad tidings to the patient. Who, when disaster strikes them, say, ‘Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.’ Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided.” [Al-Quran 2:155-157]

And of course, the silver lining. The stillness within the storm. The rainbow amidst the rain. And glad tidings to the Saabireen... The ones who are beautifully patient. Who withstand the tests of life with not a word of complaint or bitterness.

And yes, life is painful at times. Life hurts. Losses are painful. But this is the cycle of life. Difficulties and tests and trials are meant to polish us and build our bond with our Creator. Difficulties and tests are the very thing that brings us to the ultimate… because that’s when Allah gives us the reward. That’s when He lets it be known that there is a recompense for the patient ones.  Glad tidings for the ones who withstand the hurt and the pain with patience… and are able to say that they’ve truly been humbled by it all..

And just as I turned away again to leave the two of them alone to reminisce over all things amazing and unprecedented that had happened in the past… it was at that precise moment what the awaited message from Jameel that made my heart race just a little faster came through.

All Done, it said.

They accept, we accept, and we’re on our way back.

And right after came the clip of what we had all been waiting to hear. Being a small masjid that we couldn’t pick up on the receiver, what we were awaiting was the actual recording that held the words that sealed the deal for them both.

Nakahtuha wa Qabiltuha…”

It was Khalid’s voice, emphasized in his rigid pronunciation that rang out and I glanced at my sister as she heard it, knowing for sure that this would bring on the waterworks all over again.

I moved forward to pull her and Rubeena both into the fiercest hug I could muster, ignoring the stare of my pretty 3-year-old niece who was looking at us crossly and wondering what all the fuss and tears were about. And it was such a wonderful feeling because even though we had no idea what today held for us, how everything had worked out so beautifully was just beyond everyone’s comprehension. I’ve always heard that when you do things the proper way, Allah just opens His doors of mercy, and everything falls into place. I had yet to see it before now, but this was exactly what was meant. The ease that everyone just accepted what Khawlah wanted. How their preferred Maulana was in town to perform the nikah. How everything just worked out so simply without even any exertion on anyone’s part. It was absolute beauty.

Emotions, though… they were so tricky at times. Of course, as I pulled her aside for a quick chat earlier I had to ask her how her in-laws felt about it. What was so amazing about Khawlah was that they were the first people she had called when Khalid had suggested it.

”My mother-in-law was emotional,” she said quietly. Of course. It was an extremely emotional time. “But she said she will see me tomorrow.”

I smiled with relief.

”What about your father-in-law?” I asked kindly.

”My father-in-law is pretty much ecstatic,” she finished off, giving a smile. “Aadam was so much like him…”

I smiled, knowing that Aadam was the type of person who would have wanted Khawlah to be happy again too and that of course, Khalid was someone that held much promise for my sister. Somehow, even as a young girl, he had served to be the distraction and the conviction that her fierce little mind would tune to. It just happened that even back then, when Khawlah would feel the pains of life wearing her down, all it took was an afternoon with Khalid and she would come back home in the most amazing of moods.

And then of course, all it took was a few minutes before car doors outside had sounded and Rubeena once again started with her frantic to and fro-ing as she got three platters of snacks and sweets ready to be served. I could hear men in the passage and I peeped out to glimpse Jameel, Ahmed and Khalid chatting about plans for later. Khadijah had already ran toward them, and as Yunus threw her up in the air and handed her over to Khalid at his request, I felt like my heart was bursting with joy for her because although she was always spoilt by my brother and father, there was just something special about Khalid that she related to and loved so much.

And as I felt her behind me, I turned to Khawlah and gently wiped away the smudged make up from the corner of her darkly-rimmed eyes. Her face was bright with excitement and as I kissed her cheek lightly. I was in absolute awe of this new beginning that would most certainly bring so much of joy for her and their new daughter. Aadam’s wish. The light that he had left behind for Khawlah, and we will definitely always remember him by.

And as my heart settled into a lull of contentment, it was just at that very moment when my eye caught sight of our dear Aunty Radiyyah who found her way in from outside, pausing to greet her son affectionately, and almost as if in a hurry, her slightly strained walk slowing her down as she made  her way through to the back of kitchen.

I stepped back to watch from afar because this moment was a moment I was waiting for. This was going to be something that I was going to definitely not miss.

And as she caught sight of Aunty Radiyyah, I could see that there was nothing more that Khawlah wanted to do except silently bury her face in her shoulder, because there really were no other words… but Aunty Radiyyah merely kissed her forehead, held her hand briefly and as I wondered what was going on, she was already on her way to the other side of the kitchen when I realized just how beautiful this woman was, inside and out. It was the fiercest embrace yet, and as the two of them tearfully sank into each other’s arms, it was the most emotional thing so far when she comforted Rubeena as she sobbed away once again. Khawlah made her way up to them too and with another heartfelt exchange, it all just ended up being a blabbering of heartfelt emotions that felt like coming home. For that moment, everything seemed to fit together again, as they held on to each other, almost for dear life.

Bittersweet were the moments of life that were embroidered with sorrow yet intertwined with such immensely comforting joys… where the clarity of Allah’s promise would come through.. where only His words could describe the astounding ease that comes after so much of hardship..

“Barakallah Wa Lakuma wa Barakah … Alaykuma… Wa Jama’ah Bayna Ku Ma Fee Khair…”

And as she entered with those words, a beautiful elder lady who as I looked at her, I instantly realized who she was. Her Arabic was fluent and spectacular, and as she said it, my heart just contracted at the sentiment of it all.

“May Allah bless everything for you two..
And shower His blessings upon the two of you…
And may He bring you together…
In everything that is good…”

Oh, how I prayed for an eternity of happiness for them. My heart still ached for her every unfulfilled desire to be fulfilled. I yearned for her that she would have chosen the best once again. For her spouse to be the most soothing coolness of her eyes. Oh, how I desperately wished for her marriage to be a one of innumerable blessings, more than she had ever envisioned before…

And yes, it wasn’t going to be the most perfect. Sometimes relationships that start afresh were so much easier. Maybe the task that Khawlah and Khalid were heading for was somewhat arduous. This journey of sorts… it would be no walk in the park. Maybe every first wouldn’t really be the first. There might be struggles. Hopes. Expectations filled and dashed.

And yes, although I believed sincerely in fate and Taqdeer, I also believed that we do, ultimately choose those things that we were fated to choose. This love that she chose… the love that triumphed over any other feeling you could ever encompass… the love that was meant not for now.., but for eternity… that love was far greater than anything that could ever come in their way.

Love for Allah’s pleasure… which in this case was a love that was based on many many years of sharing hopes and dreams and appreciation of Allah’s creation that went far beyond just the imagination of a little child… It was something that some people will live their whole lives, never to reach it. It’s a place where fairytales are real and happily ever after does exist. Where every piece within them that was once broken, is now seemingly fixed. It’s a place where they could finally finish that beautiful story that had begun all those years ago… and give it a brand new life in a brand new context…

“Hey babe.”

I turned to look at my husband as he watched me. Jameel behind me with a sleeping Muhammed on his shoulder. I planted a kiss on my sons cheek and glanced up at my husband.

”Why the tears?” He asked softly, looking a bit worried.

I smiled as he frowned, contemplating as he leaned next to me, watching me from the corner of his eye.

”Its happened,” I sighed happily, leaning on his shoulder.

“I’m so happy for your sister.”

I nodded and brushed away the tears. I was too. I really was.

“Make Duaa for my sister too,” he said softly.

I swallowed and glanced at him. He didn’t talk about it much but I knew that he desperately wanted his sister to settle down soon. I really wished she would too..

”Amazing how Allah gives us second chances, isn’t it?”

Jameel smiled almost knowingly .

”I think we all deserve a second chance,” he said softly as he pecked me on the forehead, and I couldn’t help but feel that there was a hidden meaning behind his words.

Ah yes, we certainly did.

Sometimes we just need another chance to make things work. Sometimes we need some time to prove ourselves again. Sometimes love too, gives us another chance to have a go at it.

The overall fitrah of this world is weaved with exhaustion. And no matter how far we have come, there are always some extremely difficult words to say, even in the best situations.

Sometimes we wish to sleep so we can forget. Sometimes we wish to forget so we can sleep. But the thing about life is that when we are able to change our focus and look at a world that’s beyond now… then nothing, not even the hurt that burdened you, the anguish that broke you… not the loss that left you with a hole in your gut.. not even the aching pangs in the middle of the darkest of nights or the screams that are trapped within your soul…

Nothing will deter you.  And all that hoping and overlooking and focusing on what’s meant to last is so worth it because at the end of it all, a time will come when nothing but the Aakhirah will occupy your world. Everything that you want now… everything that you are consuming yourself with at present, and everything that you are working toward for this world… everything will end and cease and become extinct.

Every new becomes old. Every novelty will change to monotony. Every joy will come to pass. When you truly understand that with Duniyaa, there is always a time limit to everything, but this journey of love that you embark on… this Jannah that you build as a couple with is an investment that will await you even long after everything else in this transitory world has been done and dusted.

When we turn our gaze towards Jannah, we will never be disappointed. Because that’s exactly how we pictured it, knowing that right then, even though Aadam’s leaving us had shot straight through our hearts, the beautiful Jannah that we were certain that Allah had prepared for him was a gift more precious than anything we could ever desire…

And so it happened again… amidst a life that held much uncertainty, but with a deep knowledge that even with every ache and pain in this life, there is an eternal life that was going to not only obliterate, but supercede this one…

No matter what had hurt us or happened to bring us here… the building of this eternal love was a lesson for every single one of us to take…

Dearest Readers,

Shukran for the direction… I will definitely try to fulfill those million requests *just kidding*… *ducks behind couch* 

On a more serious note, I really appreciate everyone reading and commenting and even fearing how they will miss these characters… honestly they have become somehow like people I know but the bonus is that we can always go back and read about them when we are feeling a little nostalgic ❤️

Please tolerate my delayed posts, I just want to round this up the best way I can and try and make it a good ending… InshaAllah 

Much Love,

A xx

Just a little something I came across on the Sunnah of Tolerance..


How many times have we blatantly disobeyed Allah Ta‘ala, yet how many of His invaluable bounties do we still enjoy? Perhaps years have passed with some people failing to perform even the fardh salaah, yet Allah Ta‘ala still feeds them, clothes them, allows them to enjoy good health, and if they raise their hands and cry to Him in earnest, begging forgiveness, then He will not only readily forgive them but even erase every record of the sin!
Hence, let us resolve to try and show people tolerance, just as we enjoy tolerance from Allah Ta‘ala. If we tolerate the harm of people for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala, He will reward us greatly, in this world and the next.

Tolerance – a beautiful Sunnah 

Allah Taa’ala loves tolerance.
Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Abbas RA narrates that Nabi SAW said to the
leader of the Abdul Qays tribe: “You possess two traits that are
beloved to Allah, tolerance and deliberation (non – impulsive).”
Sahih Muslim Vol 1 Pg 35

How easy to practice …











Twitter: @ajourneyjournal






Once Again

Bismihi Ta’ala


In a soulful place where the sun and sky meet, whilst nature embraces one glorious heartbeat, there is, within that miracle, a deep message for mankind. With the smile of the horizon, each new  spark of daylight tells a tale.

Its a reminder to us hopeless hearts. A soothing for the surrendered soul. No matter how much the darkness was, no matter how intense, it’s a prompting that there’s a hope for every sinner or broken heart. Not matter how daunting or impossible… the One in control, the One in charge… the Rabb of the universe is going to prove once again- again and again- Who gives the ultimate hope. That no matter how long the night may seem, that according to His command, the sun will certainly show its splendor once again.

And as I grew, in my semi- blissful youth, I learned what is obvious to a child, only through the beauty of creation. Through the time that passed by. Through adventure that consumed my days. I learnt that life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time. That each day was best be spent finding beauty in flowers and gardens and talking to animals. That a day spent with sunrises, refreshing breezes and dreams of Jannah cannot be easily bettered. That even after a really dark night, where the shadows of the past haunted me and vicious demons would break my spirit, the glorious sunshine was still, once again in the waiting to reveal its splendor.

But as Allah says in the Glorious Quran, what I didn’t yet know was that sublime Jannah is not attained solely by ones wishful thinking. What I didn’t know then was that there was much work to be done. Much pain to be relieved. Many trials to be overcome. More work than I had encompassed as a little mind to achieve that destiny. And then only, once it is all achieved- will it fall away to reveal a glorious pot of gold at the end of a rainbow that came after a storm.

And that’s what my feelings were, maybe a little prematurely, as I entered the room to see Yunus, Khalid and Khadijah in the sitting room waiting for me. Yes, I had hopes. Maybe more hopes than I should have, because when I saw them, two peas in a pod, with Yunus watching from afar, for a second I couldn’t help but think how natural they looked as they were.

“Khadijah,” I said to her, not entirely steadily as I entered the lounge. “Can you ask Yunus Mama to read for you?”

My daughter was perched on Khalid’s lap, and the two of them were busy reading a storybook about going to Madrassa. It was actually a little cute, also  strangely amusing if my daughter wasn’t being so persistent.

”But he’s my friend,” she insisted, holding her book up to prove it to me. “We’re reading.”

I pursed my lips, not meeting Khalid’s eye as yet. There were still so many things on my mind. So many questions I had yet to ask.

And I wanted to hug Yunus, because being Yunus, he calmly picked my daughter up and the two of them retired to the corner couch as I watched them. I looked at my baby brother and smiled. I was glad he didn’t leave me alone. Being here… with Khalid when there was so much on my mind… I wasn’t sure what I was capable of saying.

And for some reason, I couldn’t even bring myself to look at him. My mind was running away with me.

There were many things that I didn’t understand. That I couldn’t place. That I was scared to look for the answers to. I wanted to ask him why he didn’t tell me about the house all this time. I clasped my hands together to stop them from trembling, willing then to stop betraying me.

He still wasn’t looking at me, and even as I looked up, there was no chance that I would form audible words.

“I heard what you want to do with the house,” he said kindly. Formally. His voice sounded like I remembered, but his tone was different. It was expected.  “My father thinks it’s amazing.”

I swallowed and looked down, feeling self-conscious. His way of talking, his emotion.., his presence was still the same. Still the same as I always remembered.

I wanted to ask him what he thought.

”I want you to have it,” he said, almost as if he could sense my thoughts.

My head shot up as he said it. But I didn’t want that.

”I don’t want it for free,” I said stubbornly, suddenly finding my own voice.

Yunus looked at me as I said it. Was I being rude?

Why was I such a vicious warrior? It was like I couldn’t stop my heart from rebelling. No matter what I feel… it had to surface with a shield.

“I want a part in it too,” he said, running his hand through his dark beard and placing some papers on the table. He looked slightly uncomfortable.

He was giving it to me? 

”I won’t accept it-“

I couldn’t. Was this what my father wanted me to speak to him about? 

He stopped as I spoke.

“You won’t?”

I sensed a disappointment in his voice.

”I can’t,” I said, my voice a little softer. Less rigid.

”I didn’t want to make this about money,” he said quietly. “It doesn’t matter to me, but I can’t even place a value to it. But Khawlah, what you have in mind for the place is worth so much more. And many people may plan to do good, but not many people truly take that step to attain it. When a slave takes a step towards a good deed according to his capacity then first, there is help from Allah Ta’ala… So even if he is not able to accomplish his deed the reward will definitely be received…“

I swallowed as he said it. I wondered if he knew that it was Aadam’s dream. Hows Aadam had always aspired to achieve such rewards.

My mind had, countless times, tried to imagine the two of them meeting. What they had said. How they had communicated. I could still not fathom it.

”It’s such a beautiful place,” I said, now knowing that he had a great hand in getting it to where it was.

”It is,” he said, and I remembered how he had stopped me from going in before. “I just never expected you to ever enter it. You were always so terrified of it.“

He shifted uncomfortably as he said it. Maybe it was the mention of the past. Of the childhood that seemed to lurk somewhere within us. Of the memories under the trees, in the summers that none of us ever forgot.

“I never thought I’d go in either,” I said, concealing a smile. If he knew Nusaybah he would understand. I was trying every trick in the book not to.

”But you did…”

His voice trailed off as he said it, almost as if he wasn’t sure to continue.

I shrugged and looked away. So this was it. He wanted me to take the house, and make it into what I always dreamt it to be. It was an extraordinary gesture, no one could doubt.

Was it time to thank him and go on? I looked at the papers he had left on the table as he took a step back, gathering them together.

And just when I thought it was time for me to take them and turn away, almost as if on second though, Khalid spoke again.

“But you went in,” he said again, almost as if he was recovering from something. “And I can’t help but think that it was meant for you, in some completely unexpected way to see it… and it’s only when it happened then I began to think that every thing that already happened was all in the plan…. and even me being here right now is what was meant to be… because if only we knew, we can’t even begin to imagine how Allah sets aright our affairs in the most unexpected ways..”

I looked at him, slightly speechless as he said it, wondering how even after all these years, Khalid still sounded the same. Same kind of faith. Same belief in the plan of Allah. Same kind of hope that was so infectious…

“And I know we’re trying to figure out exactly what happened when and how we need to fix it,” he stammered, almost in a rush. “Im sure you have a lot to ask. And I have a lot to say… but we’ve waited this long…”

Oh yes. The questions I had now were consuming me. I wished I could pull myself together and just say it, but I didn’t want to be so candid.

”Waited for what?” I asked, playing it cool. If only I could still my hammering heart.

”I want you to have it because it was always meant for you,” he said, his voice now a little more confident. Hopeful. “One day I had a desire to show it to you… but I wanted it to be done the right way. I always had that intention to make this right, but I never once took the step. Well, not like how I’m supposed to. When my father spoke to me about the offer, it taught me something that I had forgotten…”

My heart thudded in my chest as he said it, and just as the foundation of a fortified building is suddenly compromised, I felt like every wall that I had built around me was just crashing to the ground. Every barrier… every shield I had put up… was all in vain as I remembered that once upon a time, there was once a promise that Khalid had made, and it was all so clear to me.

“We were just a couple of kids,” I said softly, hoping it would justify it. We didn’t know any better.

But no one said the words that were hanging in the air. We were just a couple of kids.

But we really did love one another, didn’t we?

“Maybe I was wrong,” he said softly, regret filling his eyes as he looked at me for the first time. We were. We were wrong. “Maybe I expected too much. Maybe it was the wrong time. But I was hoping that maybe now…”

I looked at him, taking in that familiar face that had brought so much of joy and hope as a young girl and the openness that was on his face as he tried to relay to me exactly what he was feeling. Exactly what we needed to hear.

”And I’ve racked my brains trying to find a way to make this right, and everything only points me to one.”

And he didn’t have to say it. I already knew what he meant. There aren’t many ways to set a wrong right. Sometimes we just have to take it by the ears and dive right in. Sometimes we have to just take the plunge, because sometimes it’s that single dive that can stop you from drowning. Sometimes when you take that one step to rectify something, there are doors of opportunity that open up.

I braced myself for a whirlwind of emotion as he finally met my gaze, and like the rain that would come after a scorching day… the mercy that poured down on us was a relief from what seemed like an eternal drought. And as everything that had seemed to have fallen apart previously had  eventually come together that very day, I couldn’t have ever foreseen how drastically my life had changed in just a matter of hours.

He was right. Khalid would have it no other way. Where was the point in waiting around if we knew that this was what was meant to happen no matter how much we tried run away from it.

And I wasn’t sure what I owed it to but when I looked at that day, thinking back to it with torrents of emotion and the slightest bit of humor at how things had magically turned around, I still could not fathom how easy things had turned out only because we decided to do it the right way. Only because we had taken that courageous step.

And as I narrated the events over the phone that night to my best friend, I couldn’t help but feel my heart lift as a weight that I had been carried seemed to ease. Suddenly, it was like all the pain and heartache and loss of the past was dwindling away, absorbing itself into the backdrop of my life, making way for unexpected sunrises and impending dreams.

“You’re joking,” Nusaybah bellowed into the phone as I held it away from my ear. “This can’t be happening. It couldn’t have happened already! Not now! No, no, no!”

”Nusaybah,” I chided gently.  “Listen to me. Please don’t rush home-“

”Dont rush home?!” She almost screamed. “Don’t rush home?!”

I literally had to place the phone about 15cm away from my ear as she said it. Of course she was inconsolable.

”You can not possibly be serious!” She yelled. “This is the biggest news for my friend in years and you’re telling me not to rush home!”

I could see Khalid looking at me from where he stood, as he and Ahmed stepped into the lounge. They were both waiting for me. I signaled for them to wait as I turned my face to conceal my smile.

Ahmed looked at me questioningly as I turned back to them. They had just come in from the Masjid and I knew that there was still much to sort out but for now – I was completely at ease. For now there was no rush. The important part was done.

”Listen, Nusaybah,” I said softly into the speaker. “Maulana is here so-“

”Oh, so now that he’s your husband he’s be become ‘Maulana’,” Nusaybah hissed into the phone. “Ugh! You just wait till I get there missy. This has to be perfect! You just wait, let me tell Faheem to book the flight now. Faheem. FaheemFaheem!”

I could hear her shouting as I hastily cut the call and looked up at Ahmed and Khalid sheepishly.

“Tomorrow evening,” I said, knowing that my friend was going to make some plan to get here by then. Somehow, I just had a feeling that she was going to get the better of my cousin. Honestly speaking, not many people had a chance against Nusaybah. There was no one else that I really wanted to be there. A small event with loved ones after the impromptu Nikah was all I would need.

I smiled as I thought about my friend, quite looking forward to her arrival the next day. I knew she would probably be reminding me about how I was running away from something that was bound to happen. And of course, she was right. Maybe I knew it then, but I knew it for sure now. The thing is, you would be surprised as to what is waiting to walk in to your life, once you learn to stop running. Because that’s what humans do, we run. We run from one thing to another. But once you stop, you begin to feel more. You begin to understand, what is meant to be and what is meant to run away.

And like we see in many of the amazing stories of Sahabah, it is achingly true that even though our Rabb may take something away from us during our lifetime, there is always a promise that Allah will never deprive us without recompense. It’s part of who we know our Lord to be. A caring and compassionate Guardian. A loving and merciful Creator who hears our cries. And as my mind wrapped around everything that had occurred, I couldn’t unite believe how Allah had worked my plan in such a way that he replaced every heartbreak with something so much more promising. With Mama’s passing, somehow, it had drawn me closer to Aunty Radiyyah, when Khalid had gone away, Allah had then brought Nusaybah into my life. With Foi Nani‘s leaving this world, It was around the same time when Aadam came into mine, bringing with him a hope and a light that had lasted me so much longer than I had ever imagined. And with Aadam’s fatal sickness, Allah had, in His wisdom, brought the miracle I had found in Khadijah. And yes, it was Allah knew my heart. Only Him. He knew that some day, maybe I might be a little more aspirational. He knew that someday my fortified heart may open up again.

And as Ahmed left the room and I turned to face him, I was pretty much blown away by the events that today had held for us. And yes, there was a certain comfort in the contours of his face. In his gentle smile and steely eyes. There was something about this fierce guy who I had once taken as my best friend, and never quite forgotten. He reached over and touched my hand, hesitantly, amazed that after all these years had somehow, although much had changed… so much had also stayed the same.

The ties that bind us are sometimes impossible to explain. They connect us even after it seems like the ties are broken. Some bonds are so strong… that they even defy time, distance and logic. And as I looked up at him, once again, I realized that maybe … some ties are just meant to be.

It doesn’t matter where you’ve gone, and how far you’ve been,  it doesn’t even matter how much you’ve been spun around and hung or left to dry. It’s all about how you come up for air. I could positively say that I had my fair share of grief and that many seasons of my life had not gone as  planned. That somehow, my story didn’t go the way I expected it to be penned… but in the end of it all, with Sabr and Shukar, it is Allah’s promise that there is a sun that’s waiting to rise, after even the darkest of nights.

Indeed, after every hardship there is ease. Ease, ease and more ease.

And like Allah commands the light to to rise even after the blackness, as I looked at him, just for a fleeting moment, a tiny wisp of time that hung in the air like fireflies in summer skies, I wondered if I was in love once again.

Dearest Readers

My sincerest apologies for my constant delays. I am planning one more post, (of course, with more details on the Nikah!) but as I thought about what to pen, I thought it would be great to hear from you lovely ladies about what exactly you would like to read… Just so I can make sure to tie up all the loose ends and questions that are hanging in the air. I’d also like to say a heartfelt JazakAllah to ever one of you for reading or commenting (or both!) and hopefully taking some lesson that hit home. May Allah accept it as a means of His recognition and so that we may use something mentioned here to gain closeness to Him… me first!

Please do remember this sinful writer in your Duáas

Much Love,

A xx

Tolerance – a beautiful Sunnah 

Allah Taa’ala loves tolerance.
Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Abbas RA narrates that Nabi SAW said to the
leader of the Abdul Qays tribe: “You possess two traits that are
beloved to Allah, tolerance and deliberation (non – impulsive).”
Sahih Muslim Vol 1 Pg 35

How easy to practice …











Twitter: @ajourneyjournal







Just Imagine

Bismihi Ta’ala


Much like a blind person cannot possibly see or describe colors accurately in this world, a person cannot possibly imagine the bounties, the beauties, and the pleasures of Paradise. It said that these are so great, so vast, so pure, so astonishing, that it is beyond the abilities of a person’s mind to understand; thus, as the Qur’an explains- no heart or mind can ever comprehend them.

Simply put, they have no relation to us, earthly creatures. No one will ever be able to fully understand or grasp the true realm of Paradise until they enter its bounds.

Jannah. Paradise. A place of hopes and dreams that often featured In my dialogues as a kid. And many a time, as a young girl, I never could understand this. I could never fully grasp these immense delights that have no basis of comparison in the earthly realm.
But to a kid who is curious and mindful, for something to be beyond the imagination is somewhat unrelatable.

Nabi SAW: ‘Allah, the Exalted, has said: ‘I have prepared for my righteous slaves what no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and the mind of no man has conceived.’

As boisterous girl, I could not possibly come to terms with this. Being who I was, in my vivid and limitless imagination, always questioning, anything was possible.

But this, well. Why not? Why couldn’t I just close my eyes and imagine the eternal garden?

Of course, it was my favorite topic to drill Khalid about. Ever since he had, in his comforting way, told me to just imagine Jannah when I felt sad… well, that’s all I wanted to do. The only problem was that my childish and curious mind could not ever stop with the questions.

Just imagine that it’s meant for you,” Khalid had said softly. 

The gardens?” I said, hopeful. “Beautiful, green gardens with lots of flowers and plants and fruits-“

”No no,” Khalid said carefully with his lobsided smile. “There are better thing to look forward to in Jannah. Do you know that you never grow tired in Jannah? That nothing will ever end or finish? Do you know that everything delicious and amazing  will only increase with every passing moment?”

”Like the food?” I said, my tummy rumbling. I had only had a naartjie to snack on. “Come Khalid. Tell me about the food. What did your Papa say about that?”

”Ah Khawlah,” he said, his grey eyes dancing. “The food is on another level. It’s like all you have to do is think it… and it will fall directly into your lap…”

I giggled.

The people of Paradise… well, they could eat and drink whatever they wish. If they had to see a bird they wish to eat- without another thought- it would fall roasted between their hands with no effort on his or her part.

Cups will be served to them containing shiny rubies, pearls, and diamonds. Fruits will hang freely from trees and automatically lowered for its inhabits to enjoy whenever they desire.

“[They will be told], “Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you put forth in the days past” (Quran 69:24)

The clothes of Jannah will never wear out or age. The dwellers of Paradise will wear luxurious green silk. They will accessorize with the most exquisite jewelry. The mountains will be musk. Their bodies will never age…

I dangled my legs over the branch we sat on, now accustomed to its shakiness. If had been reinforced carefully by Khalid’s Papa as a perch on the tree.

Sometimes I wondered why I was so obsessed with Jannah. Why nothing I heard seemed to satiate me.

I didn’t understand that as humans, our nature was novelty. Sometimes I didn’t know what to do with my heart. It was always immersed in the fantasy.

“And those flowers, Khalid,” I said with wide eyes,  already mesmerized by my own childish imagination, moving onto the garden again. “Can you imagine the colors… the smell?”

He nodded eagerly.

Even flowers, Khawlah,” he said excitedly. “They say people in Jannah will even wear the clothes of flowers, beautiful and scented… wrapped around them. And as they walk, the flowers will change, the colours will change… as they wear it, it will keep evolving…”

But Khalid,” I said abruptly, cutting him short. “How on earth can people wear flowers?!”

He looked at me for a few seconds, almost as if he was thinking about what I said. And then, without warning of course, he titled his head back in that oh-so-familiar way, opened his mouth to show his white teeth, and let out a rumble of heart-felt laughter, just like his mother always did.

As funny as he thought I was, I wasn’t in the least amused.

One again, I wanted to reach my hand out and knock him with the stick jutting out from below me, but I was too afraid to let go of the branch to grab it. It was already violently shaking from his hilarious laughter, and I frowned at him reproachfully as he chuckled away, obviously peeved at his response.

“Thats the thing, Khawlah,” he said, still smiling a me, even as I frowned at him with disdain. “We wont be on earth!.”

“Oh yes,” I said blandly, feeling stupid as he grinned again, left it at that as he expertly climbed down the tree, as if it was the most natural thing to do. It was, after all, the branch of the highest tree in the yard, but Khalid had by then mastered it.

And as I looked up at that tree again, from the back porch, I wondered, not entirely appropriately if Khalid, with his now able-bodied frame could still climb up it.

I quickly averted my mind as I heard her laughter, and even as I looked at the lovely woman who had no doubt been a very prominent part of Khalid’s life in Egypt, there was no doubt that her infectious laughter was most heart warming. It was exactly like Khalid’s and his mothers.

Aunty Radiyyah was smiling too as I watched, loving how much Khalid’s granny was talking and how excited she was to see me. I could only imagine that Aunty Radiyyah must have only told her the good things.

The thing was, all this time, I just could not admit to myself that maybe I hadn’t always been sincere to me. Maybe, in my naivety, I didn’t realise the impact that  my choices would make. Maybe I was too young to take it seriously. Maybe when Khalid had told me to wait for him, he really did mean it.

And of course, I couldn’t help but let my mind wonder, even as I sat there. Of course, back then when there was so much of Khalid in my heart, I came to real side that maybe there would still be a piece where it would always remain.

Glancing at my phone, I knew I had to ask Yunus to ask him.

Ask Khalid about the house, I typed. About the garden. Tell him it’s important.

For some reason I could not let that place go. I knew that it was just Duniyaa but somehow It was imprinted on my mind. I had to know whose it was and I had to let him know that I had seen it you. It had brought back too many memories of the past. It brought back so much of what I had forgotten.

And the thing was, I supposed that if Aadam had not come along and changed the course of my life, and everyone else’s as he had, I might have still accepted it. I might have still been waiting for Khlaid to save the day. I might have still hoped, even after the news that had broken our hearts, that maybe Khalid was still alive. It was just that so much had changed. My dreams. My hopes. My perception and view of myslef too, and how everyone else saw me.

The thing was, I wasn’t the naive Khawlah anymore. I had been through so much. I’d seen so much. I also knew that now that I had been a wife and become a mother, I might have changed for Khalid too.

I understood completely that even if he had still had a hope all these years, after learning about my marriage and the man who I had loved wih my entire heart, he too might have changed. It was no longer black or white. There was now a kaleidoscope of colour that had found it’s way into my spectrum and I had no choice but to sift my way through the colours and decide which type of rainbow I wanted over my life.

Getting into the car after greeting Aunty Radiyyah and Jedda, as they called her, we had just pulled out of the driveway when I turned to Yunus, hardly able to bear the anticipation any longer.

“What did he say??”

I asked the question and Yunus barely looked at me, shrugging nonchalantly.

I didn’t know until later that it was the most difficult thing he had to ever do, concerning me.

Right, I thought, quite flustered.

I looked at him, and as he glanced away, I knew he had seen the hurt in my eyes. He had seen it, yet still he said nothing, and for me, as we reached home and hopped off the car, it was the final straw.

Yes, I was hurt. Hurt, but I understood. Feeling more stupid than ever that I had put myself out there and had been met with nothing but indifference. That finally, when I wanted to kmow more… when my heart was opening up a little more, I had been crushed like an ant. Maybe I deserved it. Maybe he felt that I had let him down. How could Khalid just ignore my question?

And feeling the way I was feeling that day, all battered and out of sorts, still thinking she was at Ahmed’s place, I barely expected my daughter to come bouncing toward me as I entered, all energetic and full of life, saying she had to bake a chocolate cake right now because she had promised her Dada that last week.

That was just kids. Things just suddenly dawn upon them. They didn’t see beyond their own fancies. They were immune to our emotions because they couldn’t comprehend why anyone wouldn’t want to do something that seemed so fun to them. It was just that for me, it was the worst timing because all I really wanted to do was curl up under my lilac duvet, close my eyes and wait for the next morning to arrive. The emotions that day had been exhausting.

“Khadoo, please,” I said, swallowing my sentiments, and turning to my daughter with my hands clasped. “Please can we bake Dada’s cake tomorrow?”

She shook her head vehemently. She was taking nothing as an excuse.

“But he wanted it today,” she insisted, banging her one foot on the ground. Like she even had any concept of time.

“I promised him. He will feel so sad if he doesn’t have anything for tea.”

She had a morose look on her face that immediately made me feel guilty. It was time to put on the big-girl pants and be a real mummy to my sweet daughter.

And indeed her Dada would. Though my mother-in-law barely approved, Aadam’s father had a definite sweet-tooth that was getting even more demanding with age.

I sighed as I looked at the time, realising that I did have a half hour to spare before Asr and would have to leave my nap out. I would make this as speedy as possible. Even though my heart was barely in it, I speedily took out the ingredients for Zuleikha’s flop-proof cake and starting throwing them into my favourite baking bowl.

Hey!” My daughter moaned bossily. She sounded just like her father sometimes.

”What?!” I said innocently, looking up at her one cheek that was dimpled angrily at me as she pursed her lips.

“You didn’t say Bismillah!” she said in a bossy voice. “And you’re going too fast. I want to mix!”

I smiled at her and shook my head, making sure we said a huge Bismillah before we started again. Indeed it was the recipe for success.

Caught up in my own emotions, I was even forgetting Allah in the process. Sometimes children just had a way to put things into perspective for me. How often it is that we get so involved on our troubles that we even forget the One who is in charge of it all?

“Me, meee!” She squealed. “I want to do!

I was honestly over it and we weren’t even quarter way through. Every step was taking ten times longer and I took a sharp breath in as a tried to comfort myself. Tolerance was a most beloved trait to Allah but it was definitely something that I was not doing well with recently.

Khadijah wasn’t impressed with me as she watched me go through the remaining steps in fast-forward. I was barely giving her a chance to do anything else and I knew I wasn’t being fair to her, but today I was just to absorbed in my own issues to even think otherwise.

I could hear the voice in my heard telling me that I had to stop. To slow down. To take this in and enjoy the moment. My mind was overworking. Was my behaviour so terrible? Was I being ungrateful? I had been given so much that Allah had blessed me with. I had the best of everything, and Allah had brought to me such a point that I barely even felt my losses any more.

The truth was, realistically, I felt that I didn’t deserve to be any more than I was now. I didn’t deserve to be more happy. I didn’t deserve to find love again. Aadam was everything I had ever wished for and more… so why should I even feel entitled to anything more? Why did I even have the right to be upset about any further wishes going unanswered?

I sighed as I scooped the micture into a big roud tin, letting Khadijah have the bowl so she would grace me with her silence. Like her father, when it came to certain things, she was really persistent… but as soon as her mouth was busy something, I was glad to get some quiet time. I set a timer and checked the oven temperature, glad to be over with the task for now as I wiped the counter.

My goodness. I couldn’t help but think that I was a horrible mother.

Mothers and daughters were supposed to enjoy this type of thing. Baking together. Bonding in the kitchen. I could barely wait for it to be over. And just as guilt overcame me and my turbulent emotions had settled, I bent down to kiss my daugher on the forehead as i put her down, surprised to see Abba entering the kitchen just as I dusted the flour from Khadijah’s clothes off my own. I wasn’t sure how but somehow, with my daughter, we both always ended up a frighful mess.

“Assalamualaikum Abba” I said aloud, wiping the batter off my cheek. Was there anywhere that didn’t have cake batter?

”Some tea?” I asked, already putting on the kettle. Abba never said no for tea.

Khadijah had already given Abba a quick hug and ran off to get her story books. There were times when she was quite tiring and did not stop with constantly needing to be busy.

”Khawlah,” my father said, taking a seat at the table and looking at me as I put the final dishes in the sink and started with his tea.

I turned to look at him questioningly. Abba had grayed a lot in the past three years. I watched him curiously as he picked up Dada’s paper and then put it down again.

“Jhee Abba,” I answered, a little worried.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Abba and I spoke. As much as Ahmed and I spoke. Which wasn’t very much. Abba and Ahmed just had that typical manly steak of independence that didn’t really give anyone a chance to strike up a conversation with them. It was just the way they were and I accepted it. Actually, I quite enjoyed the comfortable silence most times.

”Khawlah,” he said again, swallowing and then looking up at me. “Are you happy here?”

I frowned at Abba as he said it. Did I come across as unhappy?

”Of course,” I said to him quietly.

”Are you sure?” He asked again.

”I am,” I said, nodding. “How could I not be? This is my home.”

”I know,” he said carefully, pulling at his graying beard. Abba was visibly aging, but he still looked like my Abba. He was, after all, only forty-eight.

“Then why did you put an offer for another house?”

Ah. The house.

I picked the mug of tea up carefully and placed it in front of him. I wonder how he knew.

”Abba, it wasn’t a real offer,” I said casually, sitting opposite him. “I mean, not to stay in.”

”Listen, if you and Khadijah need to leave, it’s okay,” he said. “You don’t need to make excuses. You don’t have to stay here for the your rest of your life. Dada and I will be okay.”

”Abba,” I said, narrowing my eyes at him. “Who’s going to make your tea? Are you thinking of marrying again?”

I mean, I had to ask him. Even if it was just for fun. My father was, according to most, still good-looking. Relatively young. Doing well for himself once again.

Abba smiled.

”Death is hardest on the living,” he said quietly. “Sometimes when people pass away, they take a part of us with them. Your mother… Khawlah…”

Abba stopped himself and glanced up at me, and I could see the raw emotion in his eyes. It was unbelievable. Even after all these years, the pain of her loss was almost exactly as pungent for him as it was fourteen years ago.

“That ache in your gut when you realize that you’ll never hear them again,” he said softly. “The loss is something that you never stop feeling, no matter how many years may go by. It doesn’t get easier. I haven’t met anyone who can live up to her.”

I swallowed, trying to stop myself from tearing up. He was right. So right.

I knew that Abba kept Mama on a pedestal but I barely blamed him. And of course I could relate to him on so many levels…

“Allah has given me so much,” he said quietly.

I looked at him, slightly bewildered. He didn’t say ‘had’. He was talking about the present. He wasn’t referring to his favors as the past. He knew that everything that had already happened  was still a bounty for him. An ever- living bounty that had effects that still poured on him to this day. How grateful.

Verily, your Lord is Ever Watchful (over them).

As for man, when his Lord tries him by giving him honour and gifts, then he says (puffed up): “My Lord has honoured me.”

But when He tries him, by straitening his means of life, he says: “My Lord has humiliated me!”

(Surah Fajr)

Yes, man is continuously complaining. Ungrateful. Unseeing. But to open ones eyes, to remain grateful, content and continue to praise Allah despite every situation… that was a beauty in itself.

”Not everyone is as lucky as we are Khawlah,” he smiled. “To have tea-makers like you. At my age, that’s all I really need.”

I smiled.

”Then I don’t think I can go anywhere,” I said, contented with Abba’s conclusion and dismissing the niggliness in the back of  my mind.

”Hmmm,” Abba said, clearing his throat and looking at me. “Looks like we’ll have to start training Yunus up with the tea.”

I frowned slightly, wondering what he was talking about.

”There’s someone to see you here about that house,” he said casually.

Oh. That was how he knew.

Wait. The house. The house.


It was Khadijah’s excited voice that rang out from the passage and my heart literally froze in my chest and I registered what it meant.

KHALID?! Khalid was there? I mean… Khalid was here?! No, it couldn’t be.

Abba gave me a wry smile as he registered my expression.

”Just imagine,” he said softly, winking at me sipping his tea once again. “But I think he wants to talk to you about something else too.”

Tolerance – a beautiful Sunnah 

Allah Taa’ala loves tolerance.
Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Abbas RA narrates that Nabi SAW said to the
leader of the Abdul Qays tribe: “You possess two traits that are
beloved to Allah, tolerance and deliberation (non – impulsive).”
Sahih Muslim Vol 1 Pg 35

How easy to practice …











Twitter: @ajourneyjournal






Bismihi Ta’ala


It’s no secret that the web of the simple spider is one of the most fragile homes, yet is built to capture its targets most effortlessly, achieving its purpose with precision and catching its victim completely by surprise. In a chapter of the Quran that’s named after this amazing creature, the Mufassireen have mentioned that the spinning of the spiders web is in fact miraculous. Given that the web’s silk threads are so minute, with an average thickness of about one millionth of an inch, its a wonder to hear that the spiders home is still one of the most brutal .

Despite it’s brutality, the Ulema mention that we often see the trials of the world capturing us in the exact same way. We don’t see it coming because we don’t anticipate a weak trap to be so consuming. Once hit, there’s no escaping.

Once captured, we’re already entangled. Consumed. Even amazed by the web that we find ourselves embroiled in, thinking that this… right then, in it’s illusion… is the be all and end all. Devoured by the lie of the world… So much so that they are fooled into its empty promises.

And only when those chosen ones to be guided are shaken, like how a sleeping person is suddenly awakened to thunderous storm outside…. They are suddenly jolted from their ignorant slumber. They are once again reminded that there’s a place they came from, where they submitted to their Lord. That no-one but their Rabb can do. That the truth is with Allah. That no- one can harm except if Allah wills, and no-one can help, unless He allows. That Your Rabb is the Maker and Breaker. That there is only one Controller, and the ultimate power exists with Him. Only Him.

Only when they are shown the greater signs of Allah… when their vision becomes unclouded … when their hearts have been unlocked and opened  by the miracle of Quran and Salaah… then are they are reminded of His greatness… and they find their base once again. 

Because once in a while, when we get caught up in this ever-present web… we need to be brought back to where we came from. We need to reconnect with Allah. We need to be reacquainted wit His wonders, so the signs of Allah’s greatness shine through….
With the light of Deen… it’s when we can’t help but to remember Allah and see His Hand in even simplest of things …

“You’re very quiet today, Khawlah,” Nusaybah called out from where she stood at the other end of the garden.

”Hmmm…” I said non-committedly, quite enjoying listening to their merry conversation as I went on with my task of tossing and turning the soil, hoping to unleash its hidden promises as I did so. I mean, just looking at the tiny sprouts that were peeking out at us from underground gave me a sense of ambition.

Patience, huh? To see the power of Allah was truly magic.

I plunged my spade into a new spot of damp soil as I listened to them, my mind absorbed in bewilderment about how this had all happened in what seemed like such a short time.. and how amazing it all was. The greatness of Allah. The potential that comes in a little faith. The power that is shown in such a tiny miracle.

It had been almost a month since I had come here again. I had been avoiding the neighborhood purposely, but upon the boys insistence yesterday, I had popped by for a few hours today. Of course I had to bring Nusaybah, who was chatting nineteen-to-the-dozen with the boys who always enjoyed her quirky company.

It was one of those optimistically sunny and beautiful days and I couldn’t think of any other way than to spend it right here, soaking up the sun and listening to my best friend, the boys and my daughter having a blast in the outdoor splendor. And it was no wonder that I was silent. Besides my mind being on overdrive, this was the best part of gardening for me. The huge reveal that transpires after the investment… the execution of patience that eventually brings so many rewards….

The meager seedlings we had planted almost a month ago were now growing into jolly-looking bushes, sprouting colorful flowers with promises that were most definitely being fulfilled.

And with it, as I enjoyed it’s wonder, being outdoors always brought back childhood memories that made me smile. It was the place where the love for gardening was planted within me. It was right here where my heart had first found it’s calling…

The good old days seemed to last forever back then, but we never anticipated how they’d fly right by. They’d pass by as we would work next to each other.. sometimes silently, sometimes chatting… sometimes just indulging in a fruit or a snack… or sometimes just appreciating the fresh scent of wet soil and the feeling of moist earth between our childish fingers.

Rainbows and butterflies… laughter and sheer bliss.. those were the days when the skies were blue… and everything in the world was almost brand new…

And the of course, Khalid would always have a new story of snippet to tell us while we worked oh-so-diligently… and Yunus and I would listen with unmatched enthusiasm. 

“You know in Jannah,” Khalid had said on a particularly summery day as he tossed the seeds in their appointed holes. “There’ll be bunches of millions of fruits .. the best kind… and the trees and vines will bend lower and lower to reach us, whether we’re standing, sitting or even lying down.. Amazing, right?”

His bright eyes were shining as he looked at me in excitedly. I smiled as I imagined it. When we would sit in the spectacular garden and he spoke about Jannah, my heart felt like bursting. 

“In Jannah, the ground is made of silver. It’s dust will be made of musk. It’s roots are made of gold whilst the branches and leaves are pearls and jasper. In between It would be boasting the most wonderful fruits…”

We would go on like this for hours on end. It’s wonders were absolutely dreamlike..  

Jannah. Where every desire would be met. Where every wish is made true. No questions asked. Where nothing was impossible.
And till now, it was something I often remembered. As I planted, through every new growth and hope, through every garden I had been privileged to venture in over the years, my heart was opened . Of course I couldn’t forget. I couldn’t help but remember the garden of all gardens that we all wished to reside in, one day. I couldn’t help but picture that beauty and splendor that awaited… the ultimate abode that is promised to those who are righteous… where we all wish to be…

And almost as if on cue, the call to prayer from the new Masjid nearby cut into my thoughts as Nusaybah left the boys to their antics and sidled up to where I was. Of course, who else but her would know what was truly on my mind as it echoed all around us…

”I’ve heard that the reciting in the Masjid has been particularly beautiful these past few days,” she murmured, glancing at me and meeting my gaze just as Adhaan ended.

My heart thudded a little faster as Nusaybah mentioned it.

It was no secret that Khalid had been performing the Salaah there recently. Of course, Dada was the first one to come and tell me about it. What was ironic was it was the same Masjid that Aadam had a huge hand in building…. One of the many investments that I could see would bring him eternal rewards that were unlimited…

I read the Duaa after Adhaan softly to myself as Khadijah practically shouted it out. I mean it was cute, but it was a little over enthusiastic. Nevertheless, I appreciated the fact that it was also another gem that aunt Radiyyah had successfully taught her recently.

I turned my attention back to Nusaybah, feeling her gaze on me. I wasn’t sure why, but hearing about Khalid’s voice again made me a little uneasy. Maybe it was because of the emotion when I had first heard that recital from Aadam’s phone. Maybe it was that crucial moment when he had played it for me that brought alive a buried pain. Maybe it was the memories of childhood and beyond, right till the time when Aadam had been inspired by it that made it all the more heart-wrenching.

Khalid’s presence was a breath of fresh air, after what seemed like years of being underwater. There was no one who wasn’t thrilled by his return, and it wasn’t limited to only those that knew him. It was no wonder  that Khalid always had a special presence. With Aunty Radiyyah as his mother, and his father so well-respected… of course, no-one would have expected less. His presence reaped with and amazing fervour and an energy that not many people possessed. Many were moved. Hearts were changed… , and not just by his recitation… but by his presence. And the truth was, though the hype around him got to me just a little bit, it also served me well to remind myself that it was the miracle of the Quran that made it all the more exceptional. Yes, once in a while we need to be reminded. We need to be awakened. To dwell in its wonder. Like those who are absorbed in that in slumber, the miracles like these are ones that remind us of the Greatest Power. No doubt, he had an amazing gift, but the greatest marvel was the gift that Allah gives any Hafidhul Quran. The gift of memorizing the Glorious Book of Allah. The gift of recitation that not only helps you to find your base once again, but can soften even the most rigid of hearts. 

”Tell me, Khawlah,” Nusaybah was asking, her voice now steady as she watched me, our minds wrapping around everything that had happened just a few weeks before. “What do you ask for?”

I looked at my friend and got off my knees, dusting my hands off as I wondered if maybe my brain was a little too frazzled to really understand what she was saying. we walked along as we watched Khadijah ahead of us, skipping along jovially.

”Like, in your Du’aas,” Nusaybah said, halting suddenly and turning to look at me skeptically. “Do you have a magical formula? It’s like these crazy things only happen in your life…”

She folded her arms over her chest as my friend watched me struggle to answer. What kind of question was that?

“I don’t-“

”Honestly, Khawlah,” she said with a hint of humor in her eyes. “You know, I once heard an Aalim mention something about these special people whose Du’aa is never rejected. I’m convinced that you’re one of them… or you just have some really strong stuff that you’re probably reading. I mean… bringing a guy back from the dead?! That’s almost unthinkable…”

I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or get angry. That was Nusaybah. She said what she thought without reservation,The truth was that I wasn’t sure how to feel about it, Being in this position was so confusing because obviously, though I was glad that he was alive, contrary to expectation, it wasn’t like I could just step back into the past and pick up right there. We had both changed so much. I knew Nusaybah meant no harm, but ther3 was no way that after everything, I would have even thought of that.

And of course at the moment, my eyes could barely even believe what they were seeing when I found myself stunned to silence, wondering if my mind was actually not playing tricks on me.

I stood there, watching my daughter noisily boss around a man who was probably almost ten times her age, embarrassed but quite relieved that she was doing that instead of floating face down in someone’s pool. The images that had flashed through my mind in those few minutes when I couldn’t find her were unthinkable as I pictured the different scenarios that could have played out… really not expecting the reality before me as I eventually spotted them.

And then of course, I had to do a double take.

It was unmistakable. In another place or time I may have had to question my better judgement, but this time, there was no two ways about it. I mean, we were practically inseparable as kids. He had changed so much. His appearance was completely in contrast to the softness he had as a kid. I stood there in shock, forcing myself to look away as he spotted us, and the looked just as uneasy as I felt as the entire scenario before us clicked into place.

He looked at Khadijah and I could see him putting two and two together… Just as I tried to figure exactly what had happened all these years when Khalid had been supposedly dead. 

It was Khalid. Real, live Khalid… and he was actually here. Right in front of me, grinning at my daughter in a way that made me wonder if the two of them hadn’t maybe known each other in some previous era.
And then of course, now that my yelling my head off crazily just moments before that ceased and my voice halted in my throat, his gaze lifted and I stood there, disbelievingly registering this ghost of the past, despite Nusaybah’s painful nudges in my ribs. Of course I was in shock. It wasn’t like I was being forward or purposely immodest.
I just couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing,

How on earth…?!

Was I dreaming? Was he really here? How did this even happen?!

Khalid was not supposed to be here. He was supposed to be dead. Dead.

”Listen,” Nusaybah said, jolting me back to the present with a raised eyebrow. “I didn’t want to say it, but I think someone needs to. I think we know how this story is supposed to play out. Anyone who knows you and Khalid back in the day, well….”

”I don’t think it’s supposed to be like that,” I said, raising my own eyebrows right back at her. It wasn’t that simple. I was different. So was he. Besides, who even said that any of us was thinking along those lines?!

“Oh yes, you’re right,” she said. ”You’re supposed to spot the treehouse, be wonderfully swept off your feet, accept the 15 year-old proposal that you guys agreed on with the mud kitchen Mehr and then live happily ever after…”

The treehouse? My goodness. It only clicked with me now. This was crazy, though. Nusaybah was crazy. 

”How do you even know about the treehouse?” I asked incredulously, widening my eyes.

Gosh, I had even forgotten about that. The mud kitchen. My bossy little self demanding what I thought was the ultimate wedding gift. How forward was I as a six-year-old… I felt my cheeks burning as Nusaybah smirked at me. 

Of all the things I had told Nusaybah, I couldn’t believe that she had remembered.

“Khawlah,” she said with a grin. “When I first met you, Khalid was just shipped off to Madrassa and he was all you could talk about. I had gotten kind of sick of hearing about him but it didn’t mean that I never listened…”

”Yeah, well,” I said with a shrug. “Things change. Life goes on. Not everything always turns out the way we expect. Maybe we just did it all wrong…”

The words hung in the air for a moment while she looked at me with a streak of curiosity in her eyes.

I tried to steady my breathing as I listened to the birds chirping above us. I felt like I needed to say something to rescue myself, but I wasn’t sure what. Everything was different. Everything

“Think about Khadijah,” Nusaybah said softly as I plopped down onto the soft grass. Somehow, I felt exhausted. “You said no to Siraj. No to last weeks conquest. No to every guy who’s ever…”

”That’s not true!” I said swiftly, watching my child run around with a pretty flower that she had just forced me to pin onto her hair.

“You know, there’ll never be another Aadam,” she said quietly, and I looked up at her in surprise. “But like Umm Salamah (RA) was told to ask for better by her husband… I’m sure Aadam would have wanted the same for you…”

I sucked in my breath. She was right. I knew she was but I’d never admit it. It had been a while since she had actually spoken about him. We had been avoiding the topic ever since… well, ever since talk of marriage had been on the cards, I didn’t want to talk about what Aadam would have really wanted. I just comforted myself with the knowledge that he was that great love and I’d changed too much to even consider. 

After all these years, so much had changed. I couldn’t imagine myself as that free-spirited girl once again. I couldn’t adjust my mind to its previous disposition where I could so easily give my heart away.

I sighed as I looked at my friend. Of course there could never be another Aadam, but I wished there was. There was nothing that slipped her mind. Unfortunately, the previous guy who wanted to propose had been warded off by someone who I had yet to find out about. Not that I minded. It was Ahmed who was forcing me into the proposals anyway. I didn’t mind that the guy had been scared away by someone, but my only concern was that if it wasn’t my brother, who else was capable of doing it?

I sighed again, not knowing what else to say. It was too much of effort to think about anyway, and Nusaybah knew it better than anyone. I wasn’t sure when I’d ever be ready. Moreso, even if I was… what if that person wasn’t?

I swallowed as Nusaybah narrowed her eyes at me. Maybe she knew something was up, but I didn’t want to let her know as yet…

Someone can be besotted with you and not be ready. I had learnt that much so far. And that’s when you will realize that you should never have to inspire anyone to meet you on the bridge. That you never have to compromise on what’s the right thing to do. They should be able to meet you when the time is right, and when Allah shows you the best plan for you. Siraj was only an option if he started to make some decisive moves in his life. He was stuck between a marriage that was failing and a promise that he was trying to convince me would work…

I was really beginning to wonder if it would…

”I’m not ready for someone who’s not ready for me,” I said quietly. I didn’t want to say more, or mention that maybe I was rethinking my previous decisions. 

“Besides, I realized something the other day,” I said quickly, changing the topic. “Do you know that I’m nearly the age that Aadam was when -“

My sentence was cut short as I heard Rubeena’s voice call out my name, and I twisted my head to see what the hype was about. I knew her tone too well by now. This was something of a Ruby-drama.

”Khawlah,” she panted, half running up to us while she tied her hair back, looking like she was in a slight frenzy.

I gazed at her curiously, hoping that it wasn’t as big as a deal as she thought. With Ruby sometimes I did wonder…

Sometimes her reactions were a tad bit on the exaggerated side. She did have a tendency of being a little melodramatic…

“Long story,” she said, gesturing for me to follow her. “Siraj called and then Ahmed walked in while we were talking… I didn’t realize and you know how Ahmed can overreact.. I’m so sorry. I think I just put my foot in it…”

Authors Note: Dearest Readers, 

Please make maaf for my delay in posting. It’s just been a crazy month…

Hope to round this off in a few posts InshaAllah, because I feel terrible for making the readers wait. ❤️

Sincerely hope that everyone had an amazing month that was spiritually uplifting. For me it’s been a little bit of chaos but much goodness as well. May Allah accept all our efforts and make it a means of gaining His closeness.

Please remember me in your Duaas.

Much Love  

A xx

Sunnah of Fasting in Shawwaal

Sayyadina Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (Radiyallahu ‘Anhu) reported that our noble Prophet, the Imam of Tawheed (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadhan and follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.” (Muslim, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nisa’i and Ibn Majah)









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Finding Courage


Bismihi Ta’ala


Life is unpredictable. And then it’s amazing. At times deliberately unbearable. And then it’s amazing again. And in between it all, it’s ordinary and mundane, and all sorts of crazy, but we trudge through it because we know that at some point the moments of amazement will find their way to us once again.

The thing with life is that we always make everything about it super important. Whether it’s our jobs or our work or what we’re cooking for dinner… everything is majorly important until something more important comes to light. And that’s when you realize that it was the only thing that’s really important. Your health. Above all else. When sickness makes a show… that’s when we see how we borrowed from the bank of our health taking loans of stress and sleepless nights to pay for the things that don’t really matter… but when it’s gone, well, it changes everything.

And the thing is, it wasn’t easy when we’re tested. Because that’s exactly what it is. Our health and our wealth and the people that we love. It wasn’t easy to be strong and keep the faith through the tests. It wasn’t easy to keep believing and understanding that whether good or bad, everything only came from Allah Aza Wajal. We needed constant inspiration. Reminders. A continuous flow of unchanging Tawakkul that helped us to get through it.

When I looked back though, I realized that I was truly lucky. Whether it was Aunty Radiyyah, Zuleikha or Nusaybah… whether it was a Bayaan that someone sent me or a Wazifah that I had been told to read… I owed them the world for every piece of advice or motivation then so willingly offer to keep me going. It gave me courage. Hope. Perseverance. Because whether we find ourselves in extreme difficulty of whether we fall into complacency, we all need something to shake us up and remind us about Allah’s grand master plan. We all need to be reminded…

“Are you sure you’re okay?”

And as I looked at my friend with the very strength that I had acquired through her channel of love, she was obviously not buying my assurances.

”I’m perfect,” I responded, not really meaning it. There was just too much that had happened that was playing on my mind and I I knew I couldn’t hide from my friend.

I turned my face away as she narrowed her eyes at me and the smell of her Nik Naks hit my nose. For some reason I was beginning to resent the cheesy smell of  Nusaybah’s favorite chips. The main problem was that my dear friend seemed to be in love with them and overdosing on them during our study sessions.

”Listen Missy,” she said, crossing her arms over her chest and raising her eyebrows at me. “There’s only one Mr Perfect and the names not up for grabs… even if you do happen to be married to him. Spill it. Is he okay?”

“He’s perfect,” I said blandly, amused at the irony.

Mr Perfect was no longer perfect.  There might be some adjusting there for my dear friend. I looked back at my her, knowing that she was just concerned about me. To tell the truth, I was a bit concerned too.

I looked at my friend as she watched me, swallowing hard to suppress the tears.

“You have courage, Khawlah,” she whispered. “More than anyone I know. Pour your heart out on that Musallah if you can’t to me, and Allah will surely answer your Du’aa. I know you’re scared but I can almost see that hijabi-warrior mode switched on in your brain and I don’t know how you do it…“

Her eyes searched mine fervently as a single tear rolled down my cheek. I shrugged as I met my friends eyes, not really knowing how to answer.

Tawakkul, right? It was like a superpower. And as I sat and prayed that night, trying my utmost to plead with Allah through prayer and perseverence it was almost like I could feel my Lord reaching out for my hand.

Tawakkul. Sometimes we had to just pull it out and wear it over our clothes, even where we’re burning inside. After a while… the courage from within finds its way to the surface, knowing it has to pull us through.

I sat there, wondering what it was about life that made it all seem so surreal at times. I could barely believe that it had already been just over two weeks that the spinal tumour was confirmed and there were no words to describe the turmoil that had been engulfing me just at the onset of my final period of examination. The timing was completely unprecedented. Aadam’s uncle had explained that the tumour was an aggressive type and surgery wasn’t possible.

Somehow, through all the tests after the fall, they had missed this. This one crucial problem that would cost us so much. Maybe even his life. And yes, we could be angry but it was no-ones fault. How can we question Allah’s will? It was meant to be. The oncologists had been concerned about the Myeloma and it’s revelation had diverted them from the other signs of Aadam’s underlying condition. Usually patients were given time to consider all the pros and cons but Uncle Siraj had briefly and sternly said that he strongly recommended that Aadam start immediately. In a way, I was relieved to find out about it.

As terrible as it was, a certain amount of consolation accompanied the palpable fear. At long last… I was relieved that there was a reason for all the pain and discomfort. Relieved now that it wasn’t undiagnosed. Relieved that Aadam had finally consented to attempt some medical treatment… despite being so stubborn about it in the initial stages.

He would go to the hospital every day for a few hours and come back by the late afternoon, at most times, utterly exhausted. I had asked him multiple times about how he was coping but he never spoke about it and I had realized that it was something that he didn’t want to delve into. Whether he thought of it as tedious information or some kind of shortcoming on his side… I wasn’t sure, but I respected his wishes and let it be. We lived in a world where hope was our weapon and Tawakkul would see us through. My thoughts drifted back to the day before when everything had became starker than we ever wanted to see it…

“Drink this.”

I could see Aadam shifting uncomfortably in his seat as he looked back at my mother-in-law with his one raised eyebrow.

He studied the glass carefully.

”I don’t see anything floating in here,” he said with a tiny grin, despite his apparent weakness on that particular day. “Is it safe?”

”Of course!” She said, hands on her hips. “It’s only water.”

”Water that she’s made ‘phoook’ in about 25 times,” Rubeena mumbled to herself from behind us.

I grinned as I heard my sister-in-law’s voice, not expecting to bump into her here today. She had probably wanted to see Aadam before the big night. I smiled as I remembered how my mother-in-law was going on two weeks back about a lady who she was convinced was after her family, and was now going all out to protect them with her reading of various Amal, thankfully approved by Ma.

I turned slightly to smile at Ruby in mutual understanding, not expecting to almost do a double take as I glimpsed her lightly made-up face that seemed to be glowing from within. I was a little in awe as I looked at here, shocked that she looked so different today. Calm. Composed. Serene.

Being naturally pretty, she never did wear much makeup, but today’s subtle application was done just beautifully, to suit her completely natural demeanor. To accompany it, she had tastefully matched it with a beautiful pastel dress with a simple floral print that suited her perfectly. Of course, her abaya was thrown over the chair to cover the slightly fitted dress, until later on when she would be having her first meeting with her new husband…

”Wow, Rubes,” Aadam said, giving her a raised eyebrow. “You look like you’re going for a wedding or something …”

Never mind it was her own Nikah. That was just by the way…

And as I watched her chatting quietly to my husband, I couldn’t help but think that maybe Ahmed was a luckier guy than he had thought. i just couldn’t help but feel sorry for Rubeena who would have to deal with my clinically unexpressive brother well… for the rest of her life.

Of course, having first found about the Nikah two weeks ago was a bit of a shock for me, but not completely unexpected.

It took some processing but it was amazing to see that as I warmed up to the idea and truly became excited, I realized that this was the happiest I’d seen any of them. Rubeena was glowing. Ahmed was literally on top of the world. The best part was that the boys were equally excited when they realized who their new father figure would be. Surprisingly, Ahmed wasn’t as terrible with boy kids as I thought he’d be. 

And just as I was about to tell her how stunning I thought she looked, before I could get a word in, between us suddenly stepped my mother-in-law who was on a solid mission, relentlessly splashing drops of Aadam’s ‘phook’ water on her from all directions. She looked like some sort of weird sprinkler system.

I could see Rubeena’s expression change from peacefully composed to annoyingly exasperated in literally three seconds. I had a feeling that her serene composure was dangerously close to disintegration and I stifled my grin as I watched them both.

”Ma, please stop,” she said, rolling her eyes as she tried to avoid the droplets splattering her face. I could understand how annoying it must have been, but my mother-in-law was hearing none of it.

Ma!” She almost yelled now as her mother continued, holding up her hands. “My make up! You’re spoiling it!”

“You rather spoil your make up now than spoil your marriage later!” My mother-in-law almost barked at her. ”If only you know how people can be. Selfish and jealous. Anything they see, they look with bad eyes and then you’ll find yourself falling flat on your face even when you’re sleeping! You have no idea, Rubeena!”

I wanted to giggle, but I pursed my lips to conceal it. I got what she was saying. I knew that there was the evil eye and people who do weird things when they’re jealous and a little bit messed up in their heads… but that being said… like Rubeena, I also shared the notion that she was being a little over the top. Sometimes the bad things that happen to us are tests. Sometimes we needed to understand that Allah places these tests in our way for us to turn to Him…

And as the two of them argued inconclusively and finally left the room to fetch the boys and get them ready for the big night too, I smiled to myself, thinking about how sometimes things just work out so perfectly. I could see the relief on Aadam’s face when everything had fell into place for Rubeena the week before. When I hadn’t put up a fight with him about what I had always thought would be the worst move ever…

Surprisingly, Shabeer too didn’t stand much of a chance with trying to convince Rubeena to reconsider.

I snuck a look at my husband that evening, noticing his eyes serenely closed. I could see that today wasn’t a good day and I missed his usual banter. The thing was, the more serious Aadam’s condition became, the busier the house seemed to be getting. It also meant that he got more tired, and faster. We didn’t have much time alone. There were people who were coming to visit him that I’d never heard of before, apologizing for not coming earlier because they didn’t know. Now that Aadam’s cancer was out in the open, I supposed the reality was also hitting much harder on my heart…

And as I glanced at him, and then busied myself with clearing up some scattered cups that were lying around, I barely even noticed Aadam shifting around uncomfortably behind me and then suddenly sitting up and sprinting to the bathroom in haste, promptly retching his poor guts out as I listened in shock from the outside.

My heart was hammering in my chest as I heard it. It sounded horrific. His breath was raspy and his heavy breathing was audible even from outside. I couldn’t help but shudder at the noise of his gagging as I pushed the door open, then watched him dabbing his mouth with a face towel, not meeting my eye as I witnessed him at his worst state yet. Yes, he was fatally ill but the reality never really hit me because I had never seen him this way. 

”Sweets,” he said softly, not looking up at me yet. There was a slight quiver in his voice as he spoke. “I don’t know if I can do this today. I mean, I can’t. I can’t find the strength… the strength to drag myself out of this room… but I know that I need to…”

He sounded desperate as I watched him, searching for the familiar signs of humour in his eyes as he said it… but today, there was nothing. Today he was hollow. Inside and out. When your body can’t make the cut, there’s really nothing else that can be done. I wasn’t sure if I could even accept what he was saying. Aadam never complained. It was the first time he’d ever showed pain. Weakness. It was the first time he was showing any sign of defeat.

He leaned over the sink and looked at me from the side of his eye, almost as if he was beyond repair.

”I can’t do this,” he said again, his voice dropping as he looked at me. “I can’t.”

If only he could see the sins falling from him for every ache and pain that he had so patiently endured…

I shook my head at him, not knowing what to tell him. Everything that I had known and loved about him had been sucked out of him by this illness. Every hope that he had had was extinguished. I could feel my heart hammering as I watched him, taking a step closer and pulling him toward me as he sunk his head into my shoulder, involuntary heaving as he let it all out, finally realizing that his strength was not meant to bear so many mountains.

I helped him to the couch, sitting next to him as he gained his strength. I ran my fingers over the stubble on his neck, taking in the familiar scent of him as he pulled me towards him. 

It was amazing how Allah put empathy and patience in between hearts to pull us through the most trying times. It wasn’t like this was a a familiar feeling for us. This kind of feeling was foreign. Unexpected. Completely beyond anything I had felt before. This was above the romance and passion and intensity that had engulfed us over the few weeks that Aadam was still ‘okay’. Right then was something beyond superficial. It was when understanding and compassion and love were the founding factors. It was a calling to show him the beauty of the strength that Allah had most definitely given him to get through this. It was when I had to remind him that you can’t throw in the towel on something that Allah had placed in his path, despite how deeply you may be hurting inside.

Sometimes it was in those moments of weakness and vulnerability that we truly seek what we’re looking for. Sometimes when we think we’ve lost it all, it’s the very time that we find our greatest treasure.

”Aadam,” I said to him, holding his hand tighter as I spoke. “Listen to me. This is not forever. You will feel better. You may be hurting… but you will be okay. Yes, you’re allowed to have moments of weakness but let me just remind you that you aren’t defined by this. You are stronger than this and you will find the courage because this is what Allah promises. He promises us that we will never be given more than we can bear and one thing I know and have learnt over the years is that Allah’s promise always holds true…”

His dark eyes were still searching mine for answers as he looked back at me. 

“How is this even fair?” He asked, shaking his head.

I looked at him as he said it, obviously not having any words to answer him. We were never promised that this life would be fair. We were never given a promise of justice and recompense for this temporary abode. If only we could see what awaited us after… when we walk in our eternal home… then we’d truly understand.

“I mean,” he continued, looking up at me with the shadow of a smile. “That I have you. I took a little chance on an investment that I made and look how I’ve been repaid. Overpaid. Like I don’t even understand it… because all I am is a smelly sick guy who married a girl who blew me away and somehow I scored the gold…”

I couldn’t help but grin as I looked at him, glad to see the going of humor in his eye again.

”You’re not smelly,” I said to him. His lashes were darker than ever today for some reason, and his one dimple flashed at me as he smiled. “You always smell amazing…”

“If vomit and dettol is your flavor,” he said wryly. “Maybe I should puke around you more often. Like really go all out. Maybe even puke on you. Might do me wonders, yeah?”

”And yet another talent of yours,” I said, trying not to smile. ”I love that you do everything with so much of passion…. always going the extra mile…”

“Really?!” He said, raising his eyebrow playfully. “You think I have skill?! Wow.”

I nodded.

”You do,” I said with a sweet smile. “But you know which talent I love the most?”

Aadam cocked his head and looked at me pensively.

“Please do go on,” he said innocently.

“Most of all,” I said slowly, building up some momentum as he eyed me out cynically and crossed his arms over his chest.

“Most of all… I love that weird eyebrow of yours,” I said with a giggle. “It’s the cherry on the top!”

And just as I stuck my tongue out at his anti-climatic moan in good humor, it was at that precise moment that the shrill noise of the buzzer erratically sounded.

“My eyebrow?!” He asked, shaking his head. “Come on! This calls for a re-election.”

“I’ll think about it,” I said with a laugh. ”Let me get the door.”

”If it’s my mother, tell her I’m on a hunger strike…” he called after me.

I shook my head at him as I made my way to the door, tightening my hijab and stopping to unlatch it without really thinking about the possibilities of who would be outside.

To tell the truth, I expected one of Aadam’s or my family members. I expected a friend or someone who might have worked with him. What I didn’t expect to see was the striking female doctor that I had met at the hospital those few months back, looking at me with a slightly hopeful expression and a certain reservation in her eyes.

I could already sense her hesitation and as I spotted the little girl on her hip… my mind already racing with all types of possibilities that I had never imagined before.

Yes, life was unpredictable. Amazing. At times, unbearable… but in between it all, it’s all sorts of crazy that bring you back to the reason you were put here in the first place.

Sometimes things are not as they seem. Sometimes life unfolds in sinister ways to show you what the most important things in them really are. And sometimes the worst of situations can be the very instance when we find the greatest treasure of all…

Dearest Readers 

Apologies about the delays. I know I’m pushing it but I had a few patients in my house the past week and it still hasn’t ended!   Am aspiring to be more punctual InshaAllah #goals 

Duaas always needed 

Much Love

A xx

Duaa at the onset of Rajab, do recite.

Don’t forget our Sunnah Revival!

Favorite foods of the Prophet (SAW): Pumpkin and Barley. All we have to do is make an intention for Sunnah and we’ll get multiple rewards! 

Anas RA said: “I went along with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) barley bread and soup containing pumpkin and dried sliced meat. And I saw the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) going after the pumpkin round the dish, so I have always liked pumpkins since that day.” (Abu Dawud 3782)

A forgotten Sunnah. Eaten fallen particles… Sometimes we forget the Barakah that can be in even a grain of food. To eat what has fallen on the cloth or even the floor… SubhaanAllah.
Anas ibn Maalik narrated that when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ate, he would lick his three fingers. Anas said: “And he said, ‘If any one of you drops a piece of food, let him remove any dirt from it and eat it, and not leave it for the Shaytaan.’ And he commanded us to clean the plate, and said, ‘For you do not know where in your food the blessing is.’” (Narrated by Muslim, 2034). 









Twitter: @ajourneyjournal

The Only Thing

Bismihi Ta’ala


As human beings living in this temporary world, it’s only natural that we will never understand the concept of ‘forever’. We don’t understand the reality because we see how night turns into day and day turns into night. We see flowers wilting and seasons changing. We see the people aging and lives ending…

Our concept of forever is limited… restricted… so temporary.

But the real ‘forever’.. the real forever is what comes after. It’s what we are promised. It’s the home of our desires and the basis of every dream. Sometimes it’s the only thing that really keeps us going. It’s only one day, when we walk in Jannah, when we will understand how forever really works. How truly limitless it is.

How every difficulty here in this temporary world will make eternal sense.

“I used to be the type of person who put everything materialistic above everything else. It was the only thing I ever cared about…”

I looked up at Aadam as he watched his nephews kicking the ball around. We had taken a little stroll  to the park near the apartment, now sitting and enjoying the soothing sound of gushing water from the the little pond there that I never seemed to tire of.

He wiped off the tiny beads of perspiration from his forehead as he spoke. His breathing was still slightly heavy from chasing after the boys just a few minutes ago.

“I don’t believe that,” I said, shaking my head and reaching out for his hand. “You were never a selfish person.”

Rubeena had taken over now and we watched her as she kicked the ball back and fro to them. Zaydaan was chasing after the pigeons nearby, and Zia was trying to join in on the make-shift goal scoring with no success. She was probably one of the few women I knew that could actually kick a ball with direction. I supposed having four boys gave you different kind of skill too.

”Khawlah,” he said, turning his gaze back to me and moving closer on the bench. “You saw me, all those years ago. And maybe you didn’t know me but I’m sure I was nothing like the kind of guy you’d always pictured for yourself…”

He looked at me and I smiled at him, taking in his now modest frame and unkempt hair, covered with a prayer hat. I remembered those days when his styled hair and bulky frame was the most noticeable thing about him.

”You loved your nephews,” I said simply, resting my head on his shoulder. “You changed your life. You found Allah. It doesn’t matter beyond that…”

“You make me sound so noble,” he said, his one dimple flashing as he glanced at me. “But I was so far. The only thing that consumed me was how much further in this world I could make it. How much more I wanted to push. If this had happened to me back then, if I had gotten sick… all I would have wanted to was spend all my time making an even bigger name for myself before I lost the ability to. I would have wanted to do was make the most of being alive. I would have probably been on my way to Kilamanjaro now… abseiling or mountain climbing or sky-diving… doing all the things I had never done before, just so I could say I made the most of my life..”

”You can still do all of those things,” I said with a grin.

“I know I can, sweets,” he said simply, his dark eyes meeting mine as he smiled and slipped his arm around me. “But the point is, I don’t want to anymore. Sometimes I wonder what little deed I had done  and overlooked and thought was all gone to waste. Sometimes I wonder which action it was of mine that made Allah look at me with such a gaze of mercy that it changed everything. But you see, love, I didn’t know it then, there’s a secret hidden in the sacrifices done for the sake of Allah…”

I looked at him as he breathed in deeply, gazing at the serene display of greenery ahead, almost as if he was trying to come to terms with it himself. Almost as if he was trying to digest the favors of Allah upon him, even in the state he was in…

“Sometimes the goodness doesn’t stem from the source we invest it in,” he murmured softly into my ear. “Sometimes it comes out of the blue, and it’s only now I can see how true Allah’s promise is when he says “Is there any other reward for good other than good?”
He granted me a goodness so far beyond my expectations. He gifted me with such a fulfilling marriage and solid belief through it. Lesson learnt… never ever regret any good put forward for the sake of Allah. With Him, nothing is ever lost…”

I looked at my husband as his eyes fixed onto mine, burning from deep inside as he spoke. He was so sincere and unwavering.

“I wanted to see my mother change,” he said softly. “And I can see it happening Khawlah. I know that my Duaa is already being answered. I want my sister to be happy again… I want to see her settle. I want to wake up at night and talk to my Lord. I want to feed people and do good. Real good. Most importantly, yeah… the one thing I want do right now is be with you and the boys and make the most of this…”

His voice broke as I looked at him, touched by his emotion. I had completely forgotten about that Du’aa he had made. His mother was truly becoming such a different person to me, and I couldn’t believe the change as I saw her every day. Amazing proof that Duaas work wonders…

”Aadam,” I said, swallowing hard, trying to lighten the atmosphere and at the same time, digesting the reality for like the millionth time since he was diagnosed. “You’re young. You’re only 22. Please don’t talk like you’re on your death bed…”

Aadam smiled cheekily as he squeezed my hand.

“I’m just baring my soul to the girl who stole my heart…“ he said simply. “This time without any weird stunts that will land me in hospital.”

”Well I should hope not,” I grinned at him. “I’m not sure if my heart could handle more right now. The only thing that’s keeping me going is knowing that you’re going to sail through this test and be okay…”

The sun was filtering  through the tree above, it’s streaky light settling on the ground in front of me in various patterns. It was strangely soothing.

“Do you know that Nabi SAW never made Du’aa for a long life?” He said, after a few moments of silence.

”I didn’t know that,” I said quietly. “But… you can choose to ask for whatever you wish…

”I know,” he said, pecking my cheek. “So let’s make a deal, yeah.. you ask for what you wish, and I won’t stop you… and I’ll ask for mine…”

The ball rolled up to our feet at that point, and Aadam stood up to join the boys again, while I forgot for a moment what it was we were really talking about. I forgot to ask him what he really meant…

And some things kind of slip beyond your view, dwelling there while you bury yourself in oblivion because it just makes the most sense to you right then…

And as they continued with their little game, so too did time move on… and life as we knew it continued. The days turned into weeks and time revealed to us many things we didn’t anticipate. Aadam got stronger, then weaker. He battled. He fought. He hurt. He healed. His emotions fluctuated with each new day.

Every day was different. Challenging in their own ways. Amazing too. Some mornings Aadam seemed so energetic. Alive. Some nights he seemed to be completely broken. Frustrated. I concentrated on the good, knowing that there were many who were worse off than him. I tried to be strong, supportive, and withstand the tests with conviction…

”Is your heart okay?”

My friend was looking at me with concern in her eyes, as she cleared a spot on my bed to collapse into. I glanced at her, not sure how to answer. Was my heart okay?

”It’s a little shattered,” I murmured truthfully. “But it will hold up.”

”That’s the spirit,” Nusaybah said encouragingly. “And what about him?”

I thought of Aadam, picturing him in my mind.

He was so fiercely independent that some days I couldn’t tell if he was really okay, or just about pulling through…

”He’s coping,” I replied, knowing that he wanted me to think he was perfectly okay. I saw the signs every day, but his mind was on a completely different wavelength to his body.

She offered a tiny smile, and turned to face me.  

“Emotionally, he’s perfect,” I said confidently. “Most days. I really can’t believe that he’s pulling through with so much of conviction…”

“I knew it,” she said simply, munching on her packet of chips in true Nusaybah style. “Because he had all the tools to bring it together, but he just needed you to help him to see it. You’re so strong, Khawlah. It must be taking a helluva lot from you. Can I do anything for you at all, honey? He’s going to be okay, you know. Just keep on giving Sadaqah…” 

I shook my head, and then nodded and swallowed, remembering the Hadith that if wards off any bad and prevents calamities too.

Umm Salamah (RadhiAllahu ‘anha) reported,

The Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said:

“Good works protect from evil fates. Charity in secret extinguishes the wrath of the Lord, maintaining family ties increases life span, and every good deed is charity.

The people of good in the world are the people of good in the Hereafter, and the people of evil in the world are the people of evil in the Hereafter. And the first to enter Paradise are the people of good.”

[ al-Mu’jam al-Awsaṭ 6252 – Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani ]

Aadam hesitated not even a moment in doing anything he could. His generosity was on another level completely…

I was so glad that my friend had such an amazingly positive outlook on life. It was so refreshing and different to the gloom that we faced from other people day in and day out.

This is what I loved to hear. Positivity. Hope. Ambition. There was so much to be grateful for.

”You’re the best, Nus,” I said, looking at her with a wider smile. “I’m fine. Can you pass over that packet of Doritos that you’re hogging now?”

“This flavor is amazing,” she said, tossing me the packet. “It didn’t help that there was an exotic-looking muscle man in the kitchen that made my heart nearly cease in my chest. Who is he and where have you been hiding him all along?”

”You talking about Faheem?” I asked, knowing that Ahmed and my cousin were busy planning a road trip for the next day. 

Ever since Ahmed had put an indefinite delay on his wedding date, everything’s become a little upside down. Since it was their holiday season, my uncle and his family were down from the UK and having no wedding to plan for was leaving this at a little bit of anti-climax. The pros were that I was getting a chance to bond with my cousins. The cons was that Ahmed’s erratic decisions were unsettling everyone’s plans.

“Is that his name?” Nusaybah asked, her eyes glazed over. “Please tell me he’s not married or out of bounds.”

“I think he’s pretty much available…” I said, a little hesitant about where Nusaybah’s mind was going.

“Can you picture it?” she asked, her eyes still looking scarily dreamy as I watched her. “You and I… on a picnic mat under the glorious pine trees… while Mr Muscle and Mr Perfect are busy knocking around with a soccer ball while we sit and laugh about the ‘back in the day’ when we used to eat Doritos and talk about our futures…. Fast forward two years, Khawlah, and bam!! Two little munchkins are in the picture… a little girl that Adam always says he wants, and a little boy who looks just like Mr Muscle down there … already destined for each other since inception because their parents are best of friends…”

My goodness. She was officially gone bonkers.

Err Nusaybah,” I said, shaking my head at her in disbelief. “The guy doesnt even know your name and you’re planning to have a family with him. That’s just creepy.”

”But he’s beautiful,” she breathed, looking sincerely disappointed.

”Nusaybah, I think you’ve officially lost your marbles,” I sighed, as I looked at my friend. “The love affair with your mathematics books has to end. Do you know that they said Einstein had lost his mind? It was all those limitless numbers and  ridiculous formulas-“

”Formulaeeeee,” she said in a monotone, emphasizing the last part.

”Whatever,” I said, waving my hand at her. “You’ve officially gone crazy. What about lowering your gaze, huh? It’s not like you to be guy-obsessing…”

”Khawlah, I can’t deal!” she suddenly wailed, throwing up her hands in the air as she hid her head in the pillow. ”I can’t even open a single book for the past two days! Every time I try it’s like there’s an overwhelming force that’s come to devour me!”

I wanted to laugh, but I knew it was wisest not to make fun of my friend. She was shaking her head, almost in a deep depression.

“Khawlah, do you think my mind is rebelling against me at the worst of times?!” She moaned. “There are only two months to finals!”

Two months? That was a lifetime.

Hmmm,” I said, not wanting to tell her that maybe she had burned out her brain cells. It would probably finish her. “You think maybe some motivation can help..?”

I was thinking along the lines of a professional tutor or alternate study partner. I didn’t know that my best friend had other ideas in mind…

”My word, Khawlah, yes!” She exclaimed, her wide eyes lighting up. “You’re a genius! A study partner and mentor. Can we start this weekend? I’ll set it all up, with a mini smoothie fridge, gluten-free snacks and the study works.. we’ll be on our way to multiple distinction passes in no time at all…”

”Not this weekend,” I said quickly, remembering Adam’s request that morning, ecstatic that I had an excuse.

”Why not?” She asked suspiciously. “Listen, you better tell Mr Perfect to go and fight the werewolves or something for the next few weeks. We can’t be having any interruptions.”

”This is kind of a big deal,” I said quietly, glancing at my friend as she frowned at me. Her eyes suddenly lit up as realization dawned…

Oh my socks…” she murmured, widening her big eyes even more. “Has he finally proposed for the big move? This is like an event of it’s own…”

”Not exactly,,” I said softly, not wanting to admit that it had crossed my mind a few times after we spoke. It did sound like Aadam was thinking about it. “But it’s probable…”

The truth was, even though I didn’t know what was really going to happen… I couldn’t help but feel that amidst my studies and his sickness, and everything else in between… time was running out on us, and Aadam felt the exact same way.

”Oh cadoodles…” Nusaybah breathed. “Please pinch me. Tell me I’m not dreaming. Please tell me that you’re actually thinking along the same lines as me, and not like the crazy old lady in young person’s body that you used to be…”

I stuck out my hand and pinched her arm in jest.

”It’s like one of those romantic novellas,” she whispered, rubbing it dramatically. “When the injured knight in shining kurta comes back from a fierce Jihaad, seeking the halaalest love of his life and just wanting to spend every remaining waking moment with his hijaabi warrior-princess before he has to head out again in the noble path…”

I closed my eyes and shook my head, fighting the urge to giggle.

Nusaybah was nuts, but so easy to laugh with. She made everything seem so simple, even though there were so many other things going on.

Ahmed’s uncertainty about his own future was still a concern, and with us just finishing the last lot of trial examinations, it was about time that I took a moment to breathe.

The truth was, with so much going on and Aadam just finishing off his treatment, he was so exhausted that we couldn’t even think further. Now that he had made it clear that there was no way he was continuing to put himself through anything so taxing again and feel even worse than the cancer made him, we were thinking a little more clearly. If was time for him to take a break, do his tests and then leave it in Allah’s hands.

Leaving home to live with Aadam was a big step right now, and as hard it was to digest, he was my husband after all. Maybe it was time to be make the big move…

Nusaybah was rummaging in my cupboard, already tossing out several outfits, some of them of an extremely embarrassing nature, when Ahmed’s voice from down the passage sounded out.

Now, sudden outbursts in my house were pretty much nothing out of the ordinary, but we usually tried to keep it together until all outsiders left. This was just a little out of character, even for Ahmed…

I widened my eyes as Nusaybah paused to look at me worriedly. I instructed her to wait there while I made my way toward the kitchen, clearly hearing Zuleikha’s raised voice as she addressed him.

”You can’t do this!” She was saying, he voice sounding dangerously on the verge of tears. She seemed absolutely distressed. “You can’t just go around breaking people’s hearts with a mere apology. What kind of person are you? She’s such a nice girl. I cannot believe you called it off! You’re not thinking straight!”

I could see my cousin looking back and forth as he watched them. Poor guy was caught in the midst of their banter.

”I can’t do it, Zulz,” he said simply. “I can’t marry someone just because they seem like a nice person.  People are allowed to change their minds. She said so herself. There’s no harm done. Can we just let it go?”

”No!” Zuleikha almost screamed. “I won’t allow it! Have you even thought about this properly?”

I stepped into view as they both looked at me. Obviously I knew what this was about. The topic had been the only one in discussion for the past month. Obviously, I could not have been more disappointed with Ahmed’s lack of ability to deliver, but I really didn’t have much time to dwell on it. I just didn’t expect Ahmed to come back with a changeover… the only thing that may set everyone off completely.

”I’ve thought about it very carefully,” Ahmed admitted, meeting her eye. “I’m ready to make Nikah. The only thing is… I’ve got someone else in mind…”

Don’t forget our Sunnah this holiday! 

Umar ibn Abi Salamah said: I was a young boy in the care of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and my hand used to wander all over the platter (of food). The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to me, “O young boy, say Bismillaah, eat with your right hand, and eat from what is directly in front of you.” 

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5376; Muslim, 2022).

Drink water while taking three breathing pauses. It is prohibited to drink water in a single gulp as our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “Do not drink water only in one breath, but drink it in two or three breaths.”

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The Real Stuff

Bismihi Ta’ala


“By the Glorious Morning Light,”

“And by the Night when it is still,

“Your Lord has neither forsaken you,

Nor has He become displeased.”

“And surely the hereafter will be better for you than the present (life).”

“And soon your Lord will grant that with which you shall be well-pleased.”

“Did He not find you an orphan and sheltered (you)?”

“And He found you wandering and guided (you).”

“And He found you in need and made you independent…”

(Surah Duha, The Glorious Qur’an) 

Tranquility descended as the verses played through my mind, again and again, almost as if they were a gentle reminder of everything I had forgotten all along.

There was something strange about a broken heart. There were times when it almost craved the pangs that it felt, in an almost sadistic way. And then there were times when you dreaded the hurt so much, because it felt like your chest would cave in, and the only thing stopping it from doing so are the gasps of air you take in between the tears…

The verses of Surah Duha had come like a breeze of inspiration… bringing with it relief and consolation.. easing the pain that had come from a very palpable loss. As a young girl, I recalled Khalid narrating the detailed events that led up to it’s revelation that was my ultimate refuge. How such a young heart had captured the intricacy of what transpired at the time of revelation of this beautiful Surah, was completely beyond me. At a tender age of seven, Khalid had exhibited such splendid insight, that even my nearly seventeen-year-old self still struggled to grasp.

It had been fifteen days that had passed since the beloved Prophet (SAW) had received any revelation. The disbelievers taunted him. His heart had felt burdened… as if his Lord was not happy with him.  And when the verses descended on him, like refreshing rain after a scorching drought, it gave him a new strength, and brought him immense hope. And of course, it didn’t just come as a ‘proof’ to those at the time, who were too arrogant to see the truth. Till this day it comes with the unchanging message to remind him (SAW)… and us all… that no matter what… our Merciful Lord has never left us alone. 

At the time, it had been two weeks since Mama’s passing and though the chaos at home had died down, the torrent of emotion in my heart was still very palpable.

I missed my Mama. Enormously. It felt like the pain of longing had penetrated to the depths of my soul. But being with Khalid and Aunty Radiyyah helped me forget about the reality back home. I was good at pretending, when I was there. I pretended that nothing had changed.  I had pretended that Mama was still here, like she had always been.. busy in the kitchen.. laughing at something that Abba had said… or getting together our things for school the next day.

Mama was at home, I silently told myself. She wasn’t gone so far away.

And for months, as I escaped through the back door, down the familiar path to Khalid’s gorgeous garden, that would be my life. Day in, day out… I would pretend that home was still the same. That nothing had changed. And through my routine that I had become so accustomed to, somewhere along the way, I had forgotten to pretend. For a boisterous six-year-old, life was too exciting to keep living a facade. Somehow, reality had become bearable again, and I supposed that’s how people heal.  The mind forgets. The soul repairs. Happiness returns, once again…

It doesn’t mean that everything goes away. It just means that the feeling of loss no longer controls our lives.

And as I thought of those days once again, whilst the verses that had comforted my siblings then.. consoled me now, the memories were vivid as I thought back…

I breathed in deeply as the verses played through my mind. No matter how long.. what time.. or what place.. the effect that they brought was never lost.

Ans just as I felt like dwelling in my misery for a few more hours, because I had become so accustomed to it, Nusaybah’s jovial voice came as a piercing reminder that regular life had to go on…

”Nus!” I squealed, pulling the blanket over my head as she inconsiderately yanked open my curtains. “Don’t you have any consideration for people who sleep? I know you barely get any shut-eye, but come on!”

“It’s past 11AM, girl!” She said, appalled at my statement. “Get yourself out of that bed and lets get cracking with some work! Plus, there’s a car stalking your house…”

I groaned as I crawled further under the covers. Why, oh why, didn’t Nusaybah stay away longer?

”Didn’t you miss me?” Nusaybah asked sweetly as she placed her hands on her hips and grinned at me. “Or have you been too busy with Mr Perfect to even notice me gone?”

If only she knew the truth about ‘Mr Perfect’. I had felt like I had unwrapped the most beautiful box of decadent Belgian chocolates, and just found a dead cockroach inside.

“What car are you taking about?“ I said, peeping out from the top of the duvet.

”A black one,” she said obviously. “With tinted windows. And a sinister looking male inside.”

I groaned inwardly again.

“On the other hand,” Nusaybah said, cocking her head to one side thoughtfully. “That car was really shady looking… it may just be a throw off. You never know what extra-terrestrial creatures may be lurking within…”

“It’s Aadam’s car,” I said, knowing what kind of delusional thoughts would be going through my friends mind. Her imagination was way too vivid for my liking.

Ah,” she said, as if a bulb had been flickered on in her extremely active brain, as she peeped out the window. “But he’s gone now. So what’s going on? Why was he waiting outside like a creep?”

My best friend was an amazing soul, but one talent she didn’t have was the knack of being politely subtle.

“It’s been a bit of a crazy week…” I started, as Nusaybah crawled into bed next to me and listened to my lamenting for almost fifteen minutes. Besides the fact that Aadam and I weren’t on the best of terms right then, the conflict was causing other problems in the family that I didn’t anticipate.

Ahmed’s Samoosa run had gone off well from his side, but the dramatics thereafter were what made him go off on a tangent with me about Aadam. He was convinced that if Aadam was there like he should have been, no issues would have stemmed… And although I honestly was just a naive girl who had no inkling of worldly matters, my difficult brother had no sympathy whatsoever.

And there I was, pouring my heart out to Nusaybah about how genuinely awkward the situation had got at this girl’s house when the aunties started asking me all kind of weird questions, and all Nusaybah could do was sit next to me and crack herself up about my unseemly predicament.

Let me just put it lightly. I was not impressed.

Oh… my… days!” Nusaybah managed to say between fits of giggles. She was nearly wetting her pants at my expense whilst I stared at her stonily.

“Let me just make sure I haven’t gotten the wrong end of the twisted stick here,” she finally spluttered, almost blue in the face to stop herself from laughing more. “Ahmed went to see a girl… and you ended up being a girl… that someone else wants to see?!”

She burst into fits of giggles as she looked at me, completely oblivious to my annoyance. I couldn’t see the humor here, as yet. I was just appalled at everyone. Including Nusaybah.

”I’m sorry,” she finally said, pursing her lips and looking at me with a faintest of smirks. “You just kill me, girl. Whenever I talk to you, I feel like we’re living in some amazing novella!”

”What on earth is a ‘novella’?”

”Nevermind,” she said, waving her hand. “I think we can deduce that your life will always have more drama than the usual sixteen-year-old, for various reasons that we will no longer mention…“

She glanced at me demurely, and then smiled.

”But honestly, hun,” she said, crossing her arms over her chest and sitting up to look at me. “You’re amazing. I mean, firstly, you’re my best friend, so that already speaks for itself.”

She smiled as she said it, with a humorous glint in her eye.

“You have so much going for you… no wonder those aunties were trying to set you up with their rather unsuitable connections… but you know what..?”

I looked at my friend questioningly, softening a little at the edges as she spoke.

”You’re so hard on yourself,” she said, raising her eyebrows. “Really hard. And I know it’s been tough growing up and things have been difficult… I mean, I can’t imagine how it must have been to have that kind of constant reshuffling in your life… but I suppose that’s what makes you hard. I mean, you lost so many people you loved… And over the years, it wasn’t just about being hard on yourself. You’re scared to let anyone close to you, because you’re hard on everyone else too. It’s almost as if you don’t want anyone to take that special place ever again….”

I blinked as she said it, her words striking a chord that I didn’t expect. Emotion had been evading me, even as I tried to let it all out. Although I was hurt and confused and really quite upset about Aadam… I wasn’t sure how to behave with him after this. How to get back to where we were… or even if we should…

Had I really been just shoving him off? Not wanting to get close… because I didn’t want to open my heart?

“That guy,” Nusaybah said, pointing towards the window. “Is a genius. And I’m not talking about his computer skills here. He’s a genius because not only did he see an opportunity to change his entire life… he’s a genius because he bagged the girl who inspired it. And then of course, he’s something like a wizard, because he made you- the ultimate warrior-hijaabi-princess who can do freaking Kung Fu- go all gaga over him.”

I opened my mouth to protest but Nusaybah held her hand up to stop me.

“Don’t you even try to deny it!” she warned, widening her eyes at me. “Goodness, Khawlah.. which guy in this day and age will build you your own garden on a damn rooftop, with a REAL hand-crafted swing, when you marry him?! Which guy will take you horseback riding into the mountains and quote you higher grade tafseer verses as you watch the dazzling sunrise?! Bloody hell, Khawlah, which guy buys you a hundred red roses to apologise- and I know its a hundred because I counted them before I came down to your room- and still sits and waits for you for days while you decide when you’re ready to talk to him? If I was a guy, especially one that resembles your husband, I’d be gone to find some other fish.. and believe, there are plenty..”

Why did Nusaybah always make me feel so… terrible?!

I breathed in as I looked at her, stunned at her attention to every detail I had told her in passing. How did she even remember all these things? 

“Remember that day when you turned your nose up at him like he wasn’t good enough for you?” she said softly as she met my gaze. “And remember what I told you? That his past is his past. You expected this. Everyone’s got sins.  I said: “Take a chance, ‘coz what Allah has decreed, who are we to challenge?” I don’t know what exactly he’s done, but if he hasn’t murdered anyone, broken your trust in him or sucked your blood as yet.. then believe me, in this day and age, you’re good to go.”

She gave me a small smirk as she said it, contented with her words and leaving me just a little bit speechless. I didn’t tell her what Aadam had done. I didn’t think it was fair to him… but Nusaybah was a child prodigy, the way she put everything into perspective.

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

There was no getting rid of her now. Nusaybah knew way too much.

“So what do I do now?” I said, knowing what Nusaybah was trying to say but not knowing how to start. I knew that I had been difficult this week. I had switched my phone off and disconnected myself from everyone. To me, I just needed time to think. A lot of ‘what ifs’ and ‘what nexts’ had been going through my mind, but since Nusaybah had come to make me see the sense that I had been missing all this time…

“Go and have a shower, for starters,” Nusaybah said, scrunching up her face and pinching her nose as if I was a bad stench. “I’ll be back in ten minutes to tell you what to wear, since you look like you forgot what real clothes are. Then we’re going to get your life together so you can stop moping around like a crazy old spinster who lives with cats.”

I rolled my eyes at her and got out of bed, ready to take on the day. Nusaybah had so much of energy that I just couldn’t help but catch some of it from her.

And of course, after a hot shower, I already felt so much more optimistic. I supposed everything had just taken a toll. I sighed as I heard her shuffling outside the door, wondering why she was taking so long. I pulled on my nightgown that I wore the previous day, calling for her while I towel dried my hair and dumped my towel on the chair.

“Nusaybah, what’s the plans for today?” I called, a little annoyed that she wasn’t here as yet. “Will we be indoors or can we get some sunlight? I have no idea…”

There was a tap on the door as I pulled out two more dresses and an abaya dumped them on the bed. I felt like one of those irritating girls who kept on trying on outfits, even though I hadn’t even put one on as yet.

“Come in!” I yelled, frustrated that dressing up was taking so long. “Its way past ten minutes, now, Nus… I cant sit around and wait-”

“I’m sorry.”

I spun around as I heard his voice, my breath catching in my throat as he looked back at me steadily.

“I didn’t mean to make you wait for me,” Aadam continued with a small smile as I gaped at him, and he made his way to the edge of the bed. “All I came to do was claim back my wife..”

Where did he come from?

I stared at his easy posture as he grinned back at me. Trust him to make a joke out of everything. At least he wasn’t angry like Ahmed had been. He hung up my wet towel, pulling up the (embarrassingly damp) chair to sit. I was still in shock that he was actually here… so much so, that I had even forgotten my hurricane-looking room and ghastly appearance… until I looked down at my toes so realise I was still wearing my the dreary grey nightgown that Zuleikha had handed down to me just before she got married, and my hair was not even brushed. It didn’t help that he looked like some kind of Kurta-clad Arab prince and I was Mrs Frump. Aadam really did choose his moments, and Nusaybah was probably going to get a helluva mouthful too. I was quite certain that this was her master-work.

Um, I..” I swallowed, not really sure how to react. How crazy was it that I couldn’t even talk to my own husband?

“Sorry to barge in like this,” he said apologetically, his one dimple visible as he smiled at me. “I can see you’re not exactly expecting me.”

He glanced around my room, while I tried to keep a straight face. Inwardly, I was horrified.

“I suppose sometimes we just have to take a chance,” Aadam murmured, looking at me as he spoke. Why did I get the feeling he wasn’t only talking about now? “Some things come our way, and sometimes we take the risks and just have to hope for the best.”

I stared at him as he said it, my heart feeling like it was on fire.

“But,” he almost whispered, breaking his gaze away as he continued. “Sometimes we don’t always know what we are setting ourselves up for. The path that we are supposed to tread is not always perfectly paved out for us. We don’t always have a map. Some of us grow up to think that we’re free… like birds just finding a rooftop… living for the moment… To fly as we wish and at liberty to do as we please.. And then, we get overcome by emotion. And emotion is amazing, but it’s also scary and overwhelming… and sometimes… sometimes, these emotions… they make us give into our desires… do things that take us away from the point of life… away from our Loving Creator…”

He swallowed as he said the last part, and I knew that he was reliving those moments in his mind. My own heart was thudding in my chest as I saw the turbulence in his eyes.

“And that’s when we lose ourselves to it, yeah?” he continued softly, his eyes boring into mine. “We give in to temptation. We think it’s really love but it’s not. That’s when we get lost. And when I finally realized it and went looking for me, I found you. Through that chaos, and that disarray, there was a beauty that I found. I found the journey, and the path.. and then I realised that everything amazing that I saw in this life, was what you already had. From your light, the guidance you had… you had shone into our darkness. You had this thing that we needed to nurture within us and I saw it in just one glimpse. You had so much that I had missed out on my whole life and I already knew that you had something different. You have that ability to change people just by being with them… and I promise you, Khawlah, you are my navigation, my anchor and my absolute dream… and I never felt this way about anyone before. I wished with all my heart that I never did the things I did in my past… but what happened was a turning point in my life, and if it didn’t happen then I’m absolutely certain that I wouldn’t have been looking for the gold when I finally found you… ”

And I suppose that you couldn’t blame me when I just stood there and stared at Aadam like a stunned chicken, because there really was nothing that you could say back to someone who tells you crazy stuff like that. Now that, was the stuff. Real stuff that didn’t play.

“I just wanted you to know that,” he said softly, looking down a little shyly, almost as if he had just poured the entire contents of his heart out and had nothing left to leave. “I wished we could go back to five years ago and start all over again…”

I was still feeling a little breathless. I was blown away, amazed at how the promise of Allah worked… when you took that step towards Him…

Of course, my Allah had never abandoned me. No matter what. No matter when. Even in the future, no matter how deeply I would hurt. Soon… sooner than you think…

He grants you those things that will not just please you, but make your heart soar with untold joy…

The real stuff that not only makes the cut now, but is so intensely profound that it carries through to a completely different realm, beyond the present… to a Jannah that knows no pain…

I nodded meekly as Aadam searched my eyes openly, and then smiled as he came forward and planted a tiny kiss on my forehead. He knew me so well by now, that he could tell when he was off the hook.

“I just have one more request,” he said softly, as he stepped back. ”If you can tolerate this unruly husband of yours and you don’t mind giving him a chance to show you who he truly is… Will you come with me? There’s somewhere I really want to take you…”

Apologies for the delay. Hope it was a happy read !

(Btw: This was post number 200 on achancetochange.. Alhumdulillah.. Duaas always needed..)

Much Love,

A xx

Sunnah of Drinking Water:

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Do not drink water only in one breath, but drink it in two or three breaths.”

Scientific studies show that there are many harmful effects in drinking water in one gulp. It can cause choking of esophagus. It especially weakens the muscles and nerves. It is also detrimental for the liver and stomach. Amazing, SubhaanAllah!

How easy to practise…!

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