Chasing Sunsets

Bismihi Ta’ala

Part 89

I’ve often heard people saying to follow your head over your heart.

But is it not your head, that logically gives you the reasons why someone may be right or wrong for you, and is it not your head, that replays the sweet memories over and over again?

The same brain is what causes those images to flash before you, like a high definition lens, when years later, you’re feeling most nostalgic.
The same brain, will be your sponge, and your storage device, as the precious moments of those beautiful sunsets, the romantic moments, and even your entire life passes by without you realising that you were really and truly making the most beautiful memories…

We don’t ever see each moment for what it is, until we’re forced to open our eyes to its beauty.

I switched my gaze from the canvas I was working on by my cottage window, to my husband who walked in the distance, immediately putting my brush down and watching his confident stride, donned in his working gear, out in the glorious sunshine.

I turned back to my painting, glancing at the little cottage I had single-handedly spent the day cleaning.

I bit the end of my paintbrush, trying to decide what colour to use next. It didn’t quite matter though, because whatever I would choose, nothing here was fixed or set in stone. Unlike life, things on a canvas could be easily changed, tweaked or resolved. When things around me didn’t make sense, I knew that on a blank canvas, I could somehow make it make sense.

I sighed, trying to drown out my thoughts that evaded me.

The picture of the beautiful but fiery sunset over an ocean that made jaws drop, was doing nothing for my peace of mind, but it was good to have something to focus on. I wanted to capture the beauty of something beyond now, and to be able to control the end result. I wanted to capture this beautiful sunset.

One that I’d never really seen. One that I wished that I could, one day, witness. I wanted something for my home- our home- that would stand out. Just a little something that captured all the colours blooming in my heart when I remembered how blessed I was, despite the trials that sometimes broke us.

It didn’t matter how basic our home was. How many chips our tea pot had on it. How patched up our curtains were.

Mohsina had wealth saved for a rainy day, a fancy apartment, multiple helpers and every other luxury she wanted at her disposal, but she couldn’t be with the two people she loved most in the world.

Being here with Zubair was the most treasured thing for me and there weren’t many moments I forgot it nowadays.

And I missed my sister too. Seeing Mohsina on Eid day was something that I thought would appease me, but instead, I just felt more confused after. I should have known better. Mohsina never broke, even through the most stringent circumstances.

Now, she seemed, surprisingly, numb. As if she hadn’t just been through the most heartbreaking kind of ordeal that broke her once beautiful home. Nani had plenty to say about why she was the way she was, but I really didn’t want to think about that right then.

It had been a week since I’d seen her and it was as if she had entered an entirely different phase of her life. The tell-tale signs were all there but till then, I chose to ignore it. I had messaged her earlier that day, hoping for some kind of assurance that things weren’t gone completely south as yet… but it had left me at a loss too.

Mosee, I miss you. When are you coming to visit? Hows my Zaidoo? When will I see him? 

I missed Zaid. So, so much. I wanted to wrap him up, hold him tight and keep him forever.

And I knew that between us and Zaid, she would always choose him and his dimpled thighs. I mean, who would blame her?

Since he started taking formula full- time, he was really bulking up. She saw him every day, without fail, and even though I understood… with every day that passed, I really felt that she was slipping away from us too.

Her reply only came now, hours later.

I saw him earlier. He’s teething so was a bit whiny. At the lawyers now to sort out some paperwork. Will chat later x 

I like how she slipped in the lawyer bit there without really raising any suspicions.

I was sure that she was at the office more than I liked and probably more than Hamzah felt comfortable with. I knew that she had things to sort out, but after knowing what Maahira had said about Faadil, I got the feeling that he had lured her there for his own reasons, and not for her best interests. I had a feeling that she was barely even aware of what he was even doing.

I wanted to ask her if her ex-boss was around. If he had helped to drop charges against her. If she really thought that she would pull herself out of this through the help of people alone. Also, if she had finally called her sister-in-law Saaliha who was waiting for her to chat to her.

Saaliha had even messaged me in the week to tell me that something huge had happened with Rabia and Hamzah, but Mohsina hadn’t bothered to even check what it was. I knew that Rabia had been acting suspicious, but it was as if Mos really just didn’t care anymore, and it made me really concerned.

“Hey angel.”

I dropped my phone and looked up, watching him smile big as he entered our humble abode and came toward me, leaning down to peck my cheek while I grinned back at him, my heart doing all the usual backward and forward flip things it still does when my husband entered the vicinity.

But I didn’t forget. The thoughts were always at the back of my mind. I wanted to ask Zubair. I wanted to ask him if he had any more information on Faadil. If he had verified that Faadil was actually looking to cause problems and was after my sister. Basically, if he had proven anything else that would help to get Mohsina and Hamzah back together. If he wanted some help with making it work….

I just couldn’t seem to understand why he had just given up the way he had, after things went sour between Hamzah and Mos.

But I knew that I had to force myself to play it cool as he moved toward the kettle and switched it on. In time, I will bring up the topic, and get him to tell me everything he knows.

“Fast going okay?” He asked as I nodded, looking at the time as he opened the fridge to take out the dates for our iftaar.

He was amazingly sweet and thoughtful. Because we had been keeping Shawwaal fasts intermittently, Z did the iftaar preparation with the Kajoor and water and was never fussy about what I managed to put together for us afterward.

”Jamz,” he said, his eyes narrowing slightly as his face gave away signs of slight unease. “Can we chat?”

”Everything okay?”

I hid my emotions well as I turned away from the painting, watching him pull on something more comfy before he looked at me.

He nodded. Then shook his head. Then looked at me with resignation and sighed.

”Is it about my sister?” I asked quietly. “Because she’s been acting really, really strange…”

I had completely forgotten about how out of sorts she was behaving after dropping Zaid off. She had mumbled something about feeling unwell, said she would see us later and then never came back. We hadn’t seen her since and Nani did not let it rest. Every day that she avoided us, meant Nani would have something more outrageous to say about my sisters whereabouts.

”No, sweets,” he murmured, almost looking troubled as I said it. “It’s something else.”

“Is it to do with your father?” I asked him, remembering my other mission. Remembering that I was supposed to somehow be saving him from himself, if I couldn’t save my sisters marriage.

“Listen angel,” Zubair said, straightening, and I could already tell from his face that he didn’t want to. “I know you mean well, but no. It’s actually about you and me. I want to take you somewhere. Anywhere. Just get out of here for a bit… have a break. We haven’t been on any getaway and I think its way overdue.”

”Oh,” I said, liking the sound of a honeymoon too because it would mean I could obsess over him more, but also, I was still thinking about all the things he needs to do here, at home. “Where will we go?”

”An old friend has a house on the west coast, and it’s got all the best hits of nature and fun. Beautiful sunsets too.”

He gestured to my painting as I watched him.

”Okay sure,” I said easily, a plan already popping into my head. I was happy wherever. Whether we were here or in Timbuktu, it didn’t make a difference to me. All I needed was my husband and I would be good. “But I just want you to think about meeting your father before we go.”

Zubair sighed, shaking his head.

“You don’t give up, do you?” He said, rubbing his forehead vigorously, almost as if he was stressed out. “You do know my father probably won’t want to see me?”

”That’s not true!” I shot back, crossing my hands over my chest. “How can you say that? He’s the only parent you had. You said that he loved your mother. Of course he would want to see you.”

He smiled as I said it, and I already felt like a child. For some reason, he always seemed so much wiser. He narrowed his eyes and cocked his head, almost as if he was onto me and my scheming ways.

”You are up to something,” he said, raising his eyebrows. “Did Nusaybah put you up to this? Is this what it will take for you to come away with me?”

“No and no,” I shot back, wiping my hands on my apron and walking toward him, probably looking like a canvas myself, as I clasped my hands in front of me. “I just want you to sort things out. You’ve done so much to rectify yourself. You’re a changed man. I’m not up to anything. I just have a feeling that this is the missing piece in your life.”

It was true. He reminded me of the Sahabah, who had seen the light of Islam after being lost in the dark for so long. He had come back with a fervour, knowing he had done so much wrong, and wanted to set it just as right.

It reminded me of the story of Wahshi (RA), and about how he had killed the uncle of Nabi (SAW), Hadhrat Hamzah (RA). The guilt of what he had done had eaten him to such an extent that he knew that just as much bad that he had done before Islam changed his life, he couldn’t live with himself if he didn’t rectify it all after Islam came to reform him.

Nabi ﷺ had recited the verse, “Say, “O My servants who have wronged their souls, never lose hope of Allah’s mercy. Verily, Allah forgives all sins. Undoubtedly, He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful”” (Qur’an 39:53).

Upon hearing this verse, Wahshi (RA) accepted Islam (recorded in Hayaatus Sahaabah and Tabarani).

After the demise of Nabi ﷺ and in the khilafah of Abu Bakr (RA), a few individuals claimed prophethood. Amongst them was Musaylimah Al-Kaddhab and his wife, Sajah. Abu Bakr (RA) declared war against Musaylimah, which became known as the battle of Yamama. In this battle, Wahshi (RA) killed Musaylimah using the same spear that he killed Hamza (RA) with. He remarked that this is in lieu of that. I had killed a great person and now I have killed the most wretched. I hope Allah will atone that evil deed, through this good deed.

And it was so typical of those great men who had changed their lives for the better. They wanted it to be a permanent change. Something that made an impact. As much evil as they had done wrong, they wanted to rectify it with just as much good.

Ans just like he wanted to help other people, I wanted him to make this right with his fast. I wanted him to be better, to feel better. I just had to use strategy for this case, because he didn’t feel that it was worth his time.

He grinned as I approached him, no regard for the mess I was looking like as he hugged me to his chest, while I tried to give him my doe-eyed face.

“I know you mean well,” he said softly, the green in his one eye a little more prominent today as he looked at me. “But this is not a good idea. There is way too much of history for us to just kiss and make up.”

I pouted, a little more severely this time, evidently not happy with his answer as I pulled away.

“But why?” I asked, my heart feeling pained as he turned away from me too. Like the topic was closed and there was no opening it. “He’s your father. Nusaybah said that he wanted to see you and-“

”Well, I don’t want to see him,” Zubair cut in, his jaw ticking as he walked toward the window and stuffed his hands in his pocket.

I sighed, wondering what his beef was. He refused to tell me, even after over a month of being married, he had barely opened up to me. Okay, I wasn’t being fair. He had told me a lot. But not everything. I was greedy.

I wanted all of Zubair, but what he gave me was just bits and pieces of himself that I was struggling so hard to put together and make whole again.

“Tell me why,” I pressed again. “Why you are so against it?”

“Because,” he said uneasily, still looking out the window.

“Because what?” I asked, throwing my hands up in the air, feeling like I was nagging my head on a wall. “What did he even do?!”

“Because,” he said, turning around again, his face looking like a kid. “He was supposed to shelter me and he threw me to the wolves!”

While we had spoken about everything else, about his mother, about the people who would come home after, about his fathers financial crisis, this was the most he had given me about his father’s relationship with him, and though I was grateful, it just wasn’t enough.

”Explain,” I said softly, taking the opportunity to seat myself in the chair behind me, and picking up the paintbrush once again. I just needed something to do with my hands. If I got closer to him, I would end up comforting him, and then I would get no more information. I really needed him to talk. “Please.”

Zubair looked away, stuffing his hands in his pockets, and I could tell that it brought back memories for him. Bad ones.
Ones that he wasn’t so willing to share. If killed me to have to sit there and watch him relive them.

“You ever wondered why I went to work for my uncle so easily?” He asked, his eyes still not meeting mine. “He obviously had earned himself a reputation.”

“Yes,” I breathed, wanting to know more, considering the circumstances. I thought that he needed the money and that was his motivation. His father was in a deep financial fix for a while before Nusaybah got married. That much, he had told me about. About how he would sometimes work doubles shifts. About how Nusaybah tried to earn money before their father said that she needed to look after him.

”We go way back,” he said, shaking his head as if trying to shake off memories. “He has something of mine. Lots of it. When I was seven, my father would send me to him for a month every summer holiday. His wife was my mother’s sister and she never had kids. She used to beg me and Nusaybah to come. I knew that… in her own way, she loved us. The thing was…. She knew that her husband had violent tendencies, but she never thought that he would ever channel it into a kid. She was wrong.”

I swallowed as he moved away from the window, sitting down in front of me, intertwining his fingers together as he did, and I could already feeling my heart contracting at his evident pain.

“Did he hurt you back then?” I asked softly, leaning forward to touch his hand comfortingly. He ran a hand through his hair as his expression changed. “Physically?”

I knew that his uncle had slapped him around when he was working for him, in the earlier years. But after Zubair got older and taller than his uncle, he stood no chance with him.

“My aunty would work,” he said steadily, not answering my question, his unusual eyes focusing on me. “He would starve me and tell her that I ate two meals during that time. When supper time came, he’d find a reason to send me on some errand. I knew what he was doing. He said I would get a meal when I finished my task.”

I bit back a gasp.

“What were the tasks?” I asked, my voice choking my throat as I wondered about how people could be so horrible.

What a terrible thing to do to a little child. What an absolutely helpless feeling to have, as a little soul, wondering who on earth would save you from this treacherous human whose care you were under.

”He wanted me to fight,” Zubair said, squaring his shoulders boldly as he looked up at me. “And win.”

“And so you did,” I said flatly, feeling like all the wind was knocked out of me. It wasn’t rocket science.

The scars were preoccupied enough. The elongated ones that he was always self conscious about. That’s where they were from.

Tears pricked my eyes as I remembered the first time he had tried to stop me from seeing them. How he had covered up as soon as light entered the room. He didn’t want me to know that this was his past. I hated knowing that he had been hurt the way he had, and the man who had done it was still walking around as if he deserved to.

“When you haven’t had a proper meal in days, you’ll do anything for a promised plate of food,” he said, shrugging, his face giving away tell tale signs of the torture. “You learn to appreciate whatever you have.”

That was so true. Zubair was someone who never wasted a single bit on our plate. He would suck every bone dry. Every grain would be eaten off the dastarkaan, even if it meant him scraping it clean. No matter how horrible my cooking was, according to Nani, every morsel to him, was like he was eating food from some divine source.

“Didn’t you ever try and tell your aunty?” I asked, feeling exceptionally hurt by this revelation. “Or your father?”

“When my aunty didn’t believe me about him not feeding me, I gave up on trying to convince her,” he said simply. “She was easily convinced by him. My uncle was someone who would break someone before they could ever think that he was wrong. It was Nusaybah who had noticed how I looked after that summer I turned nine. She was the one who told my father that there was no way that she was letting me go back. My father was going through his own problems. He didn’t know how to deal with me or keep the family afloat. He was also struggling to keep the house. But I still feel he failed me. He could have checked. He could have cared. Years later, when I went back to my uncle, he didn’t stop me either. He just cut me off.”

I breathed out as he told me about how he walked out the house with a backpack after Nusaybah left for London, expecting his father to  stop him, but he didn’t.

“Im so sorry, Z,” I said quietly, tears streaming down my face as I felt my heart breaking for him. “I wish that I could make it all better.”

Not everyone has life easy. We never appreciate the ease we have… the security and comfort our parents so naturally give us.

Zubair shook his head, his hand cupping my face as his thumbs wiped my tears.

“Don’t cry, angel,” he murmured. “Just you, being here, makes me feel like Allah is healing me, inside out. With all your warmth and your purity, you are so much more than I ever imagined. I love you.”

I smiled, my heart melting slightly, but the grief within was almost unbearable at that point.

I felt as if I wanted to wrap that little boy up and keep him safe from the world. While I was being pampered like a princess, playing with my dollhouses, with parents who spoilt me and my sister who sheltered me relentlessly, 8-year-old Zubair was literally fighting battles to put a meal in his tummy.

“Have you ever told anyone about this?”

I wanted to know. I hated to think that after so many years, I was the only one he had ever confided in.

“I’ve never told someone that I loved them before,” he said, a small smile on his face as he nudged me, causing me to offer him a small smile at least.

I blew him a kiss, knowing that he was skirting away from the topic I was drilling him about, but also feeling a heaviness in my heart at his confession. Despite being honoured, and swooning over his words, it was just so sad that he had never experienced the feeling of loving, and being loved back. It was like he always kept an arms length, even from his closest family.

His story… his past.., It wasn’t just some random thing that had happened. It was something that had shaped him and moulded him into who he is.

“It’s been a long journey,” he said after a few seconds, taking a seat next to me, as I glanced at him, and picked up my paintbrush as he mixed some orange with some red. The sunset needed a little bit of tweaking, and though Zubair was no artist, I wanted to see what he would do with it.

“I know,” I said quietly, leaning my head on his shoulder. “But it’s not over yet.”

”I want to take you to see an actual sunset,” he said into my hair. “Far away from everyone else. From everyone here.”

”But I like our home,” I said, meaning it. “The people here. I don’t mind just staying here and being with you.”

”I know,” he said, a slight urgency in his voice. “But I think we need to go.”

I shifted slightly, trying to watch his expression. His jaw was rigid, and his eyes were darkening with worry.

“Is that a warning?” I asked, my heart beating slightly faster as I worried what could be troubling him so much that he needed to leave the farm. “Does your uncle know where we are?”

He said nothing as he continued to paint, and I continued to watch him. I didn’t need him to answer me to get the message.

“Did he threaten you?” I asked, my voice a little more high pitched than usual. “Zubair, please tell me, if he’s out to get you, we can do what you think is best. Is it to do with Mos and Hamzah? You just have to tell me what’s going on.”

The way that he was so focused on the painting was scaring me.

It took him a few seconds, before he put the brush down, and looked at me.

“You think I’m worried about me?” He said quietly, tipping my chin up slightly as he met my gaze.

I shook my head, then nodded, feeling like I was in a daze as he made me look up at him.

“Jameela, I don’t care what he does to me,” he said, his eyes fixed on me as he spoke. “He can hang me by a butcher hook and chop off all my body parts, for all I care. I won’t put it past him.”

The thought made me sick with disgust. Why did he have to be so bloody graphic?

“Zubair, no, please don’t say those things,” I said, shaking my head.

”I told you it doesn’t matter what he does to me,” Zubair said, his expression dead serious. “But Jameela, he didn’t threaten my life. That’s why we need to pack and leave.”

I looked at my husband, completely confused, and then looked at the painting in front of us, taking in the colours that had been blended so perfectly together, to present the perfect blaze of a bloody sunset.

And that’s when he finally uttered the obvious part, that I had been missing all along.

”Jameela, he wants to get me where it will hurt most,” he murmured, his voice breaking with every word he spoke.

The next sentence was almost a whisper.

“He threatened to kill you.”

Mission Sunnah revival: Sunnah of Duaa

Along with our Shawwaal fasts, lets try and keep to the Sunnah of duaa, even after Ramadhan. 🤍

Begin your dua first with praising Allah and then by sending peace and blessings upon His messenger ﷺ.

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

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

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

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..💕

















Pieces of the Past

Bismihi Ta’ala


Part 69

Life consists of two days. When it’s for you, don’t be proud and reckless, and when it’s against you, be patient… For both days are a test for you. 

When I was younger, in my childish idealism, I always believed that everything could be fair. To me, no one should be wronged or hurt, and if they were, justice must be served. I failed to understand that this world is inherently imperfect.

We will always mess up. And in those mess ups, people would be hurt. The world would not always be fair.

It took one look at Hamzah for me to realise that he wasn’t angry. He wasn’t angry at all.

What he was, was something worse.

Dis-a-ppointed. It sounded like three different words, not just syllables, as I felt the depth of his emotion sink within me.

And as I scrolled through my social media feed in a moment of silence and unfiltered disbelief, in desperate need of a distraction, I thought I would find some relief. Luck had it (or maybe it was completely intentional) that a snap of Rabia with her breakfast smoothie, on my kitchen counter, immediately came onto my feed, and I could tell that she had posted it as soon as she left.

Clichéd caption:

Morning goals! *smoothie emoji*

And then the hashtags.

#gymvibes #heathfreak #loveyourbody and it went on and on with the audacity to add in a #brotherbear somewhere there until I literally wanted to barf on my iPhone.

And honestly, I was peeved. And I wished that I was reading it wrong, but to me it just went to show that even after all that, Rabia had absolutely no remorse for anything she had said. It didn’t matter who she hurt. What she said. How deep her words cut.

That was social media, folks. No matter the cost, the post must be posted, and the game must go on.

I wasn’t the kind of person who got offended easily. I had always been a tough nut. But after what Rabia had said, with everything that had happened so far between Hamzah and I, the fact was that I was hurt by her words. It was like she intended harm, and would stop at nothing.

I was way angrier than I’d been in ages and Rabia had been the cause. I wanted to grab her face and shove it in the soapy sink, but of course I couldn’t do that.

Not without looking as psycho as she was.

But here’s the thing: Sometimes when everything else in you is spent,…and there’s no more space for hurt and betrayal… Sometimes there’s nothing else that’s left to feel, but disappointment. It was just that sometimes disappointment in itself feels like you’ve lost everything that ever mattered.

And I know that forgiveness was divine and all of those very sensible things that people usually say to cushion the blow of brokenness.
The thing was, I could see what Hamzah felt, but I was too angry to even give a damn.

Rabia had crossed a line.
Hamzah tolerated it. It was simple.

And maybe I shouldn’t have been so harsh, but I couldn’t help myself. Breaking up pieces of me didn’t come without consequences.

Rabia still had the audacity to look unruffled, even as I stalked out of the room, while Hamzah watched us both with his mouth half hung open.

“Mos,” Hamzah called, and I had seen his entire entire expression change as I slammed the bedroom door.

And while I paced, I picked up the words ‘stuff’ and ‘wait in car’, but I didn’t bother to even try and stop them before they were going to wherever they would be going. Frankly, I was sick of this game Rabia was playing and I was really so done with being the doormat.

If livid was a person, then I knew i would be it. I flashed my eyes angrily at Hamzah as he came in and looked at me, and I could feel his questioning gaze on me before I even met his gaze.

Why? His eyes were saying, and I wished that you had the guts to yell at him.

“Mos,” he said aloud, and I could feel the awkwardness in his voice, trying to hold back his own emotion. “What happened?”

“Why don’t you ask her?” I said nonchalantly, not wanting to explain further, knowing my words had probably penetrated deep.

He paused and watched me as I busied myself with TikTok instead. I knew he hated that but I was doing it to rile him up. For some sick reason, I wanted a reaction out of him, like Rabia had invoked a reaction out of me.

I was waiting for it, but what he said still felt like a punch in the gut.

“Did you really have to be so harsh with her?”

Oh. No. He didn’t.

The question came after 10 seconds or so of silence, and I couldn’t help but glare at him as he asked it.

How dare he? How dare he?

“You know what?” I said, my voice sounding as if someone was strangling me. “I’m exhausted with your games, Hamzah. First you leave, ignoring my calls, with no idea of what on earth happened to -“

”Mos, let me explain-“ he started, but I was done with him talking.

He had enough time to talk. The whole damn day was enough opportunity. Maybe it was the last straw. Maybe it was that instagram post. But right then, was when something within me snapped, and there was no going back.

”Let me finish,” I barked, anger rising within me again. Maybe it was hormonal and it was too much for that day, but I just couldn’t hold myself back. I wasn’t going to let him shut me up as if my feelings don’t matter. Was it only Rabia that mattered?

You leave the house in a horrible mood,” I said in a raised tone, my finger pointed and voice sounding foreign to even myself. “Without any idea of what’s going on the entire day. I try to call you like a billion times, but you choose to ignore me! You turn up after twelve full hours, unannounced with your sister who hates me from the day we got married, and literally camps at our place! She is vicious in every sense of the word, obsessed with Instagram and digging up pieces of my past, and on top of that, she insults me, tells me that I just happened to land myself a husband by default, while accusing me of being a damn gold digger who only married you for Zaid and your money! And after putting up with all her crap, you still have the audacity to come in here, all high and mighty, asking me if I really had to be so harsh with her?!”

I was fuming. My voice had risen to a high pitched screech and my chest was heaving from the outburst.

I was barely the snitch type, to harbour ill feelings and talk about what people did to me. I really wasn’t. I was more the type to silently let these things brew, and tolerate insult after insult, putting up walls and acting as if it barely bothered me, even when it did.

I could not believe that I had said all that. He was looking like he had been stunned to silence.

”She really said that?” He asked, his expression turning stoic as I stared back as him after almost a full minute.

I wanted to laugh in his face, but I didn’t even have the energy for that.

Like I would lie.

I hated feeling this way. It was as if I had to prove myself. I was trying to creep out of this big black hole and I kept on slipping and falling right back in.

Anger was all consuming. It made you mad. it made you irrational. It was also in those highly charged moments that you lost control of all these sensible, sometimes even your thoughts.

And I wished that I could tell Rabia that I wasn’t after money. It was barely my intention. I wished she knew what I had turned down to make this work. And I knew that I didn’t deserve a pat on the back, but I definitely didn’t deserve the crap that I put up from her.

And as much as I tried to fight it, the feelings and upset and hopelessness were consuming me.

Hamzah had spun around, looking slightly disorientated, and I could only assume that he had gone to drop Rabia back home, leaving me with a gaping hole in my gut that left me feeling at a complete loss.

And that’s when the demons find their way in, through the little nooks and crannies that pave a path into the mind.

And at that point, I couldn’t believe it, but the feelings of inadequacy right then had reduced me to a point where I found my thoughts going back to Faadil and my past, and wondering if things might have been any different if I had chosen another path, instead of putting myself through this.

And I knew it was wrong. But when Shaytaan gets even the smallest of gaps to penetrate, it’s highly possible that he will go all out in his efforts and have an absolute field day.he makes you question your life. Your choices. He even makes you wonder… what if, the path you had chosen, wasn’t the right one for you, even when taqdeer had already deemed so.

Indeed, Iblis (Satan) only enters people by the measure he is able. His ability to do so is increased or decreased according to the degree of their mindfulness, their negligence, their ignorance, and their deeds. Know that the heart is like a fortress. (The fortress needs to be protected by the mindfulness of Allah) 

And I wasn’t even sure where Hamzah had gone. He hadn’t even apologised. I had an idea that Zaid was still at his Ma’s place, and I was sure that he would be were perfectly fine for a at least an hour or so more. I had even expressed milk for him, but now that he was eating a little, leaving him for a few hours wasn’t that bad anymore.

I sighed as I cleared the kitchen counter, trying to coax myself into calming down as I went back to the room, barely even hearing the door opening behind me as Hamzah walked into the room again, hands stuffed in his pockets as he watched me carefully. Perhaps he was trying to figure out if I had regained my sanity. I could see him hesitant, trying to figure if it was safe to talk, but I was far from worried about what he thought, and I was so done.

I didn’t ask him where he went to. I didn’t ask him what had happened with Rabia. I didn’t even want to know.

”Mos, this is all my fault,” he said softly, and I could see him preparing for something bigger he wanted to say. “I’m so sorry. I won’t keep anything from you again. I’ve been thinking that we need fixing, and I came back here precisely because I didn’t want to keep anything else from you and there’s no better time that to fix this than right now…”

And then I felt bad. Like, why was I even like this? I couldn’t even stay angry with him properly, when he clearly deserved it.

He wasn’t done though.

“This morning, when I came back, I came to tell you that Liyaket’s mother asked me to help with the house,” he said softly, and I felt a stab of emotion as he said it, knowing exactly what he was talking about. We were meant to go back there months ago. “She wanted me to do it when I dropped Zaid. I couldn’t bring myself to go in there on my own.”

Although he had gone in once or twice to let a cleaner in, I knew that he hadn’t spent as much time as he needed to sort things out.

I didn’t answer. I was feeling guilty and annoyed at once. It wasn’t a very pleasant place to be….

I wasn’t sure if it was the emotion in his voice, or the responsibility that I owed to Layyanah that made me turn and look at him. His eyes were downcast and his fingers were twiddling together as he spoke, and I could tell that he was feeling uneasy about it. I could also tell that his emotions were all over the place and he wanted to do this as much as he wanted to stuff toothpaste up his nose.

This entire thing was going to be one of the most difficult experiences since Liyaket’s and Layyanah’s death and I was feeling heart sore for everything it would bring.

And that was why I just couldn’t be the kind of person who would leave him to face it in his own. From the moment our friends passed away, it was like their deaths were the invisible thread that connected us together.

I couldn’t imagine him having to go through and sort their stuff out on his own. I couldn’t imagine all those emotions  he would feel, and how he would fare with them if I wasn’t there to support him through.

”Would you like to come with?” He said softly, and I knew that it was coming from a place of desperation.

I couldn’t just ignore his request. Not now.

Without even realizing it, I had nodded and agreed, knowing that it may be time that I tucked away my pride and cut him some slack.

“Oh, and I’m sorry about Rabia,” he said softly, shaking his head apologetically. “She won’t be allowed home for a long time.”

I felt a little lighter, as he said that. I did think that she had crossed boundaries, but I also felt bad that I had been so forthright with her.

It wasn’t even his fault, but I didn’t want Rabia to take up more of my energy. I wanted to move past her for now and deal with her later.

I had been angry. So, so angry. I also knew that the issue with her would be resolved with time. I would sort it out, and things would be okay. The girl just had a helluva lot of tension and she was making us her punching bag.

“I’m coming,” I said vaguely, letting the words be our truce as he walked out and I pulled on an abaya and scarf, trying to psyche myself up for the rest of the day ahead.

And perhaps I should have seen this part coming. The part where we picked up the pieces of the past. Maybe with meeting Hashim and all this talk about Zaid and Liyaket, Hamzah knew that he would have to do it sooner than later.

What I didn’t expect was feeling the way I did as we too the offramp, realising that it was the first time that I would face the reality of Layyanah’s passing head on.

Everything that had happened so far had made me question do much. Liyaket had pushed her to resolve things with her family. Hashim pushing so hard had made me question what happened with Layyanah and her family during those last few weeks. When I was with Faadil, I hadn’t been as close to her as I wanted to. I was pulling away on purpose.

Had she gotten to where she wanted to be? Did they actually make some kind of resolution to be civil? It made me question why they didn’t come forward sooner, or why they hadn’t come into the picture when Hamzah and I were still trtying to figure our way around a new born baby.

The questions were mulling over in my mind as we drove through the outer lying town in the outer suburbs where our farm and Liyaket’s mother still stayed.

We made small talk as we entered the little suburb, feeling it awkward without Zaid there as the buffer.

And reaching the house felt like how it always did.

From a feeling of grief, it had become  a mixture of anxiety with just a tinge of sadness. The feeling reason for the anxiety every time we came here was because I knew for a fact that Liyaket’s mother never opened the house. I knew that at some point, we would have to be the ones to do it, and today, the emotions that overcame me were a little too severe to internalise.

“You okay?”

It was the second time Hamzah had asked me that in the last two days, and I knew that he had good reason to. I could literally see the fear written on my face. Coming back here, knowing that if I have to face the life that they’re lived along with everything they owned was sending a fierce kind of turbulence through my system.

I was frozen in my spot for a few minutes before we stepped onto the patio. I knew that it wasn’t going to be an easy task, but as Hamzah turned the key that he had in his pocket in the lock, I really didn’t expect all the emotions that flooded through me as we stepped into the house. It had been over four months, and from the minute I lost Layy, I knew that my heart would never be the same again.

And as Hamzah greeted loudly, his serene voice soothing me in ways that he couldn’t have imagined, my eyes were already fixated on the hook on the wall, where Liyaket’s jacket and Layyanah’s scarf hung, like someone had just put it up there.

I sucked in a breath as I saw it, not believing for a few moments that they were really gone from this world for good. It was so, so freaky… being here, as if we were bystanders in their life, when in fact, they were never coming back to live it. The ache in my gut seemed like it could never be filled.

And my word, I barely expected the emotion that stifled me at that point. Even after these months, it felt almost surreal.

I had already made my way into the kitchen, trying not to notice the two plates that were still lying on the dish rack, as if they had just been washed this morning. The fridge was still running, and the microwave time was flashing with some nonsensical time, as if waiting for Liyaket to come sort it out, like I’d heard Layyanah nag him to do before.

We had already moved through the main area, noting a table cloth folded on the chair next to the nook and natural light streaming in through the Venetian blinds as we passed through to the dining room and hallway… hesitating for a moment before we entered the bedroom.

And somehow, as I met his eye before reaching the threshold just before the passage, I couldn’t help but hold his gaze for a little longer, wanting to savour this feeling of being bound by something that had connected us in so many ways, once upon a time.

Two bedrooms were positioned on either side of us as we stood, next to the couch that Hamzah had gifted Liyaket when they had gotten married. And even though we weren’t proposed at the time, Layyanah wouldn’t fail to express her appreciation about Hamzah (even though it annoyed me to no limits) for buying them the most comfortable couch that ever existed. I watched Hamzah’s face as he took it all in, letting emotions settle as he watched me back, knowing that without them; without their intervention the way Allah had planned it… there would have probably been no us.

I turned away as the realisation hit me, breathing in shakily as we both gazed at the remnants of a life that was lived with so much of hope and vigour.

I could literally picture the exact spot on the corner couch that Layyanah would sink herself into with a bowl of popcorn and coffee (which was her go-to even before she had fallen pregnant), with some Islamic book while she chatted away as if she didn’t have a care in the world. I could almost hear Liyaket’s voice calling for Layyanah from the entrance, before he made the Salaam to announce his arrival after going out to the Masjid.

I felt tipped over by the gusts of life that had come without warning, falling to the floor and shattering in its wake. Who would have thought that we would ever be where we were now, Hamzah and I yanked out of our menial lives and forced into adulthood almost overnight, making decisions that would carve the rest of our lives out with such precision…

It was as if an arrow of grief had struck my heart once again as I remembered, and I didn’t even realise that I was crying until a lone tear made its way down my cheek, and Hamzah refused to meet my eye.

And it felt crazy because there we were,  both standing  at the entrance to their room, and my legs literally felt like lead as I tried to lift them up to move forward. I wasn’t ready to open the door. I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to.

Their bedroom would be the place with the most memories… a venture into an unknown territory where I could only assume would be the most poignant kind of emptiness that one could feel.

“Must I open it?”

It was Hamzah who was asking me, almost as if he needed permission to go ahead and turn it. I knew exactly how he felt. Like we were intruding in something we weren’t supposed to see.

I found myself nodding as I looked at him, watching his hand as his long fingers twisted around the knob, carefully turning it, almost too scared to force it open.

And as it loosened, and we stepped back, almost in fearful anticipation, I really wasn’t sure what we expected.

Maybe we thought our friends would jump out from their bedroom and tell us that the last few months were just a big joke. Maybe we expected some kind of major intervention that would take place as we glanced into the empty room. Perhaps we were just expecting something noteworthy.

But all we got was the deafening silence and reminder that no matter what went on in this world from the moment they had gone, nothing had changed. Nothing in this world was going to bring them back, and everything that lay before us right then was nothing but a reminder of how temporary this world was and would always be.

From the half drunk water bottle that lay next to Layyanah’s bed, to the car magazines and that Liyaket had an obsession with from the time he was a kid next to his bed pedestal… I knew for certain that no one had been in this room since the Night Of. The Accident. It was like a bad word that none of us ever spoke of.

And even though we both stood back for a while, not wanting to touch a thing, but knowing that we had to if we had to achieve what we came here for, it was one of the most difficult tasks in my life to step inside. It took us a few minutes, but I went forward first, as I picked up the bottle, feeling the layer of dust on my fingers as I held it, watching Hamzah from the corner of my eye go over onto Liyaket’s side in quick succession. It was like breathing in an old scent that we had once been addicted to.

The grief felt like my chest was ready to cave in from the weight of the pain that sat in my rib cage.

“I’m taking this for Zaid,” Hamzah almost whispered as he folded a prayer hat that lay on the bed and put it in his pocket. “It was Liyaket’s favourite.”

The reality of what he had just said almost broke my heart. It’s like all this time, we had forgotten.

For Zaid. Only he wouldn’t really know the man who it belonged to. Everything we own, everything we treasure…

Only for our heirs, right? In actual fact, everything here belonged to their heirs. Everything we own, even the most basic piece of fabric, couldn’t even go with Liyaket because there was nothing in this world that holds enough weight to carry through to the Aakhirah.

I breathed in, letting the bitter taste of loss settle in my chest, feeling like I had lost a piece of myself that I could never replace.

The feeling hovered over me as Hamzah’s wheeled in some cases we had come equipped with to pack in, and as we worked, albeit silently, it felt as if something in the air had shifted that moment. It was like coming back there had somehow settled our scores, grounded us, and made us realise once again, what we were here for… ultimately.

Knowing that there was a purpose and some kind of reason we were doing this too, helped us to weather the pain.

There were so many things that had been collected and stored in just that short time they were married … things that we didn’t know what to do with, things that we were sure that would probably never get used… but we packed silently because the plan was to move everything to storage so the house could be rented out as an income for Liyaket’s mother. It was about time that we gained the strength to do it, and I knew that we were doing the right thing, despite how difficult it was.

“Holding up?”

Hamzahs voice was soft as he said it, and I knew that he was checking on me, despite always being stronger than I felt. I was somehow holding myself together, but I knew that Hamzah was the last person I had to hide from. He was the one person who knew exactly how this felt.

“This is hard,” I said softly, not expecting my voice to sound like it did, as I raised my eyes to his. “Like heartbreakingly hard. You know?”

He looked at me, his face devoid of the usual smile he sported when he said it back.

“I know,” he said simply, in his usual tone, blinking and biting his lip to conceal his own emotion.

It felt like I was screaming from within my soul, but I knew that with every pang of loss I felt, Allah was purifying me throughout it all.

Through every emotion, everything else seemed trivial. I supposed that was what loss did to you. What life was about. Bigger things that happen make the smaller things seem so insignificant. Rabia, Nani and Jameela were distant thoughts to me, that barely fazed me.

There was something about picking up the pieces of the past that calmed my demented spirit. It was like I was slowly healing from inside, when I didn’t even know that I was bruised.

“There’s no way we can finish it all today,” Hamzah said softly, turning to me whilst running his hand through his hair under his prayer hat. “But at least it’s a start. I’m just a little disappointed that I took so long to do it. I was a chicken. Scared. Being here… It’s comforting… in a weird way.”

It was. It so was. Instead of that gnawing loss, the fact that we were here and doing what was the right thing… it gave a sense of purpose.

“We can try and do the whole room today, at least,” I said, not even worried about the timing. I would check on Zaid and feed him while Hamzah went for salaah and then come back after.

“We can,” Hamzah said. “We don’t have to go to my parents today. Rabia will be around. I know she was out of line today. Sometimes I feel like she doesn’t think she is worthy of being good. Like she things that she’s only worth something or recognised when she acts up…”

I kept silent. Rabia was definitely crazy but I didn’t handle it in the best way either. I just couldn’t say it out loud.

“For what it’s worth, I really am sorry,” he said softly. “ I don’t want this to become a gaping hole you feel you can’t talk about. Please find it in your heart to let this go. I know she’s difficult but she doesn’t always mean-“

He was always so defensive…. still making excuses for her.

”Hamzah,” I said in a warning tone, stopping him mid-sentence, not wanting to go there again.

I knew what he was saying. He wanted me to be the noble one. To be compassionate and to forgive her. To win her over with goodness. I wasn’t sure if I had it in me.

Mu’adh ibn Anas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The best of virtues is that you maintain relations with one who cuts you off, that you give to one who deprives you, and that you forgive one who insults you.

Source: Musnad Aḥmad 15191

And I got the lesson, but I also needed time. Some things don’t come as easily to others as they do to us.

Somehow, I knew that this battle would continue, but not now. It was still too fresh. Too raw. And didn’t it also work both ways? Rabia owed me an apology too. I just wasn’t sure if I would get it.

“Not here. Please. Let’s just… talk about something else,” I said quietly.

I didn’t want to fight. That was the last thing I wanted to do in Liyaket and Layyanah’s home, and if they were here, they probably wouldn’t approve either.

He stood silently for a minute, flashing an awkward smile in agreement before moving the suitcase and turning to the cupboard next to him, and speaking again. He took a deep breath  again, and I wondered what next he had to say.

”Sure,” he said evenly. “Sorry. I was just wondering…. so… can I tell you about yesterday?”

I glanced up at him, a pair of Layyanah’s hair grips still in my hand as I packed them in a little vase I had carried for smaller things, and I couldn’t help but smile.

And why not? There was much to be said, I was sure. A whole lot more than I even anticipated. The main problem with couples these days is that instead of talking to each other, they talk to others, and that’s where the problems all start.

I really wanted to hear what he had to say.

I just didn’t know how it would blow me away, erasing my previous impressions a creating entirely different sort of scenario to the one that if had in my mind all this while.

“Tell me everything,” I demanded, knowing that it may take a while.

I wanted to hear every bit of what had been going on, from the beginning of when things got even a little bit complicated.

And he did.

Dearest readers

My apologies about the delay. A longer post to make up for it. A little less drama… I think we need some calm for now… hehe

Shukran to all for reading, loving all the comments.

Much Love

A x

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

When the Heart Matters

Bismihi Ta’ala


Part 64

Life isn’t perfect. It never will be.

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

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

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

And with that…. I was still battling.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instagram was her absolute lifeline.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Continuous charity 

2. Such knowledge, from which benefit is derived. 

3. A righteous child, who supplicates for him. 

(Muslim Shareef)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She looked troubled as she smiled, shaking her head.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She flashed me a quick smile and nodded.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s what mattered….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ouch. I physically grimaced as he said it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Something was going on.

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

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

Mission Revive a Sunnah: Avoiding Suspicion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
















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When the Game’s not Over

Bismihi Ta’ala 

Part 44


Buzz. Buzz!

Maahira: No!

Are you serious?

Me: you heard me. He’s here. Right now.

Maahira: Did u even tell Hamzah???

Me:  .

Maahira: boy, you’re in trouble.

Me: Not my fault. Didn’t have a chance to talk again. Tonight.

MaahiraTalk. tonight? Watch me while I die laughing.

Me: *rolling eyes*

Maahira was being super immature.

And as I thought about what to reply amidst my anxiety, it was precisely at that moment when Jameela started pounding on the door, in complete fishwife style.

It was the first time that my usually dazed and dreamy sister was actually sounding more panicked and out of control than me.

“Mos, are you in there?!” She called, sounding like she was losing her marbles. “Mos, you won’t believe it! Your boss… ex boss… is here ! He’s waiting outside. It’s a bit early for the function but from what he told me, I doubt he’s here for that…”

“Just keep him outside,” I said hastily, pulling on my drabbiest cloak and a black scarf. Last thing I needed was Nani spotting the ‘business mens’ and going outside with a rolling pin. “I’m coming out.”

”Dont worry,” she said quickly. “He doesn’t want to come in. He’s at the shop.”

I sighed, relieved, as I checked in the mirror and picked up my phone again. I cannot look good. I cannot make an effort for him. I cannot.

Buzz again. 

Maahira: listen. Tell him 2 respect ur wishes and leave. He can’t even be there at d function. Plz listen 2 me this time. U can’t risk it.

Gosh. She wanted me to chase him out. I might as well send Nani.

Me: What if he pulls out all the lines?

Maahira: don’t be fickle. You cannot fall for it.

Me: Faadil is smoother than chocolate ice cream. You know me and chocolate.

Maahira: then go on a damn diet, girl. It’s time to divorce chocolate! Chocolate is bad for your health!

Me: *sad face*

Maahira: are u crazy? What are you even thinking about. This is Hamzah. He wants to make this work.

Me: :>

Maahira:  That’s my girl. Allah will put Barakah in the right thing when you do it the right way. Faadil is never going to be the right way.

She was right. Faadil wanted a long engagement and huge, flashy wedding with all his high flying associates. Hamzah’s requirements were so much simpler.

Simple wedding. Simple home. Simple life.

It was a simple equation.

Simple everything = More Barakah. No questions.

Me: I know. I need to be strong.

Maahira: U are. C u later now. Still recovering  from Samoosa run #2. Burying all hopes of happily ever after in my pillow. Scarred 4 life. xx

I smiled, despite my sombreness at the current predicament I found myself in. I couldn’t wait to hear Part Two of Maahiras Samoosa Run Escapades, because they were always filled with the most dramatic and hilarious scenarios.

And after convincing myself that chocolate is really bad, I was all psyched up to handle Faadil’s smoothness, and knock it right out my system.

Besides, after the week that I’d had, I was hoping that no obstacles would be chucked in to throw me off course. But such was my luck… everything that had happened seemed like it was meant to throw me off track and the tests that were happening entailed me grappling to stay on the right path, no matter what it took.

And I know that you are wondering where it all started so let me dive straight into it and spare you the grief, because all I knew was that I was way in over my head.

But that’s the thing with Tawakkul, isn’t it? Even when you are over you head, somehow, things still come through for you, when you have faith that Allah will see it through. The thing with Tawakkul is not only to pray and believe that not only will you be able to believe that nothing can harm you with Allah by your side, but to fully understand that you have the strength to fight anything because your strength comes only from Allah Azza Wa Jal.

And at that point, right after Ramadhan, when spirits were still flying high and my heart was endowed with faith of higher degrees, I had some kind of hope in my heart that what I wanted would somehow be granted.

In fact, even at the beginning, I remember already feeling exhausted, as I had complained to Jameela. If only I knew what the rest of the week entailed, I would have been far less dramatic.

”I can’t breathe,” I had remembered saying to her as she walked into the room, with me scrounging around for a decent abaya to wear, as Muhammed Husayn told me that Hamzah and Papa were waiting downstairs to speak to me.

“I had a feeling that outfit was a bit of a clingy one, especially around the upper area…”

I glared at her as she grinned at me quite obnoxiously, quite peeved that she was making light of a potentially serious situation.

“Listen,” she said, pulling off the pretty baby pink abaya she was wearing, with a cream trimming. “Wear this, but stop acting like you are having an anxiety attack. He only wants to speak about Zaid. Your outfits not going to make a difference.”

I glared at her.

“Or maybe it will,” she said mischievously and I narrowed my eyes, but I was, honestly, quite relieved and very intent on being modest.

I mean, modesty was our trait. What defined us as Muslims. Besides, what else could come out of strutting myself, except Nani having anxiety attacks too and we really didn’t need more kuku people in the house at the moment…

After being quite certain that looking decent and unexposed would have a far greater impact than being revealing, I calmed my nerves and made my way down the stairs, surprisingly keeping myself together. My frame of mind had altered significantly, and strangely enough, those things that impressed me before, seemed almost inappropriate. Where a basic slack suit would have been fine before, going on front of non-mahrams with anything slightly fitted made me cringe. I can’t believe how I actually wore topas above my bum before.

And making my way down to the lounge very self-consciously, with my father in the passage and the rest of my family seated just outside the house for Eid supper, I didn’t even process that the house was unusually quiet inside. By some miracle, Nani hadn’t gotten wind of Hamzah here yet, being so busy with the evening meal, and the silence felt a little strange. I actually half-wished that Nani had been let in on it but then then again, if everything didn’t go as she expected, the dramatics would have been inconsolable, so I instantly held the thought back.

And as I halted outside the lounge door, I could hear Muhammed Husayn talking to Hamzah, and as I entered, I was quite shocked that my otherwise unconscious brother was actually offering Hamzah something to eat. The fact that he had some manners was a great surprise…

“Thanks bru,” I could hear Hamzah’s voice say politely. “It’s been a busy Eid. I cannot eat a single thing more. Maybe just some water.”

And if I wasn’t bordering on palpitations, I would have probably greeted as I entered, but as I entered, my heart was literally in my throat as I realised that not only was my family not present at all, but Hamzah’s entire family was missing too.

In fact, it kind of caught me off-guard, because it  meant that while Muhammed Husayn went off to fetch the water, all I was faced with in a painfully appealing blue-grey kurta, his legs folded underneath him, Sunnah style, as he sat with a gurgling Zaid, was Hamzah himself.

And with Zaid already on the carpet, and in his element, I had arrived just in time to see the royal roll-over from tummy to back, and it always made me laugh when my little guy had that look of amazement on his face, as soon as he accomplished his goal.

I smiled as I saw it again, watching Hamzah excitedly pick him up and throw him in the air, while Zaid broke into a fit of giggles, just before they both caught site of me.

I had just entered the room, clearing my throat noisily, not able to conceal the major trauma that it had brought on, because according to me, that stuff was just damn dangerous

”Sorry,” Hamzah said sheepishly, glancing at me briefly I stood there, probably looking as formidable as ever, before he quickly turned his gaze away.


”Wa alaykum Salaam,” I mumbled, relaxing a bit because I knew I shouldn’t be so possessive, so I added . “It’s okay. He loved it.”

And I wished I could just chill but being there, right now, was making me all sorts of unsettled, because honestly, I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to make it through this meeting.

Muhammed Husayn had re-entered, watching us almost anxiously, as if we were some kind of ping-pong match. I wasn’t quite sure what he expected. To tell the truth, I wasn’t quite sure what I expected either…

”I’m sorry if I disturbed your Eid supper,” Hamzah said, his back to me as I made my way to the couch behind him, and my father hovered outside. Sitting within this view was awkward, and I wasn’t quite sure why I felt that way.

I wanted to tell him that I wasn’t even with my family and that some of my cousins annoyed me anyway, but I didn’t.

There was so much on my mind. I had heard, through the grapevine, that he had decided to go to Al-Aqsa as a last minute I’thikaaf plan, and it was something that I wanted to desperately ask him about. I wanted to ask him what had inspired him in the spur of the moment. I wanted to know how he felt now, after such an overwhelming trip.

I wanted to ask how his Tarawēeh had gone. How he felt first Ramadhaan after losing his bestest friend. I wanted to know if his heart had been healed with the word of Allah. I wanted to ask him if Ramadhaan had gone as it planned, and if Allah had made apparent His love for him through the recital of Qur’ān that had become his beautiful refuge. I wanted to ask him about his journey from then until now… about how he had undergone the significant change that I’d glimpsed a few months back, before everything went so terribly wrong.

I wanted to ask him too, if he felt the navigation of Qur’ānic guidance that had brought him back to his route, when circumstances had swayed him off-track, and love and loss had broken him inside. I wanted to ask him if he had felt the weight of Allah’s word that had intervened between his heart and his whims and if his purpose in life had changed as much as mine did….

But I couldn’t. I just couldn’t say al the words I needed to. I couldn’t even say one.

And at first I didn’t understand it. it’s not like I hadn’t spoken with men before. I wasn’t that green. As an external auditor, my entire career had been meetings and clashes with the opposite sex, and it was barely appropriate or ideal. I did it because I didn’t have any motivation not to. I didn’t have the kind of conscience that halted me.

Now, though, as I stood there, with only Hamzah in view, even though I was properly dressed, I could honestly say that I never felt so awkward in my life. Something major had altered within me and I literally felt like hiding behind a curtain.

I knew, on this journey I was taking, there was a little room for deviation. As much as I wanted to ask him… I knew that there was a way to speak, to be modest and aware and keep myself from appearing anything less than dignified.

”My father said you wanted to speak to me,” was what I said quietly, careful not to be speak too openly.

And as he nodded, without looking at me, and the whole situation was oddly surreal.

And as if a reminder was vital, in the back of my mind was the story of Musaa (AS), which stood out for me as having some of the most important lessons. Attraction to the opposite gender is not taboo; it’s like hunger in Ramadan, and it’s completely natural. But, as a lesson, in this story, Allah shows us how to control them:

Allah Ta’ala says: Then there came to him one of them, (daughter of Shu’aib (AS)) walking shyly, as it was narrated from the Commander of the Faithful, ʿUmar ibn Al-Khaṭṭâb:

She was covering herself with the folds of her garment.” Ibn Abî Ḥâtim recorded that ʿAmr ibn Maymûn said: “ʿUmar said: ‘She came walking shyly, putting her garment over her face. She was not one of those audacious women who come and go as they please.’”

The âyah goes on: She said: “Verily, my father calls you that he may reward you for having watered (our flocks) for us.”

And those words… well, it was a beautiful example of good manners and modesty: she did not invite him directly lest he have some suspicious thoughts about her. Rather she said: My father is inviting you so that he may reward you for watering our sheep.

How simple and beautiful were the ways of our pious Ambiyaa, who showed us a most virtuous way of life…

I breathed in as I awaited his response.

”Yes,” he said blandly. “I spoke to your father. He said to speak with you. Its been a long two weeks, and I can’t describe how much I missed this guy. With going back to work I thought it’s best to work out some kind of proper arrangement so we can both have the best of him.”

I took a deep breath, knowing what I had to tell him first, before we figured out a better arrangement.

“We can…. but, I resigned,” I said flatly, looking at a spot on the carpet near him, and swallowing hard. “Two weeks ago. From Hammonds.”

The silence in the room was almost deafening.

He was the one person I was waiting to break the news to, since it had happened, because I knew that this would be my one shot of redemption. It would be my one shot to prove that I was taking this seriously. It was my one chance to prove that maybe… just maybe… I was more worthy than he had thought… but the news had a less than desired effect..

He glanced at me briefly, before looking down again. It didn’t seem to be news to him. I couldn’t seem to meet his eye either.

“I see,” he said quietly, gently lifting Zaid up onto his lap, and shifting onto the couch, so he could face me, without meeting my gaze. “Did you get a new offer somewhere in else?”

He was waiting for my answer and his tone was neutral as he asked, but I knew that there was a note of inquisition there.

“I’m thinking about doing something different,” I ventured carefully, purposely wanting to knock him for a six. “I wanted to study Qur’an.”

I could tell from the way his gaze suddenly faltered, that this was something he didn’t quite expect.

Good, I thought to myself. I liked to catch people off guard. I was, after all, anything but predictable.

And I expected more of a reaction, but all he did was tickle Zaid’s tummy, almost as if he was avoiding a response.

Zaid, however, was making up for it completely.  And as we both sat in silence, listening to Zaid giggling gurgling away, both Hamzah and I were on completely different wavelengths.

“That a massive change,” he said softly after a minute… so softly that I barely heard him. “I didn’t know how much had happened while I was gone.”

I kept silent, simply because I could not formulate the words to say what I needed to. There was still so much to let him know, about Hammonds, about the job, about everything that had happened in between that had upset our entire future…

But how could I even begin? 

How could I explain to him that those vile men had taken me and broken my spirit to such unworthiness? How could I explain to him the humiliation of having to beg for my fathers safety, with money I didn’t even have? How could I tell him the feeling of having to literally sell my happiness into the safety that Faadil had promised me?

But it was over now, right? It didn’t matter. We just had to work on Zaid and giving him the best we could.

I couldn’t look at him. The moment I tried, everything came flooding back, and I didn’t want to remember that, as the basis that formed us. I didn’t want to remember the hurt and the ugliness and the general feeling of hostility caused by wealth and status that existed between us.

This was too much.

I hadn’t even said what I needed to say. I hadn’t even gathered my thoughts enough to string them into the kind of thread that would patch up all those shredded pieces. I hadn’t told him that I had prayed, in the early hours of the morning, and that I had asked Allah to illuminate a way. I didn’t tell him how he had inspired my change… How he made me want to be better… and I hadn’t even told him all the things that I so desperately needed to say way back when I never got to say them….

Instead, I just looked down again. So that was it. That’s all he really wanted to speak about. Alright then.

I shifted in my seat, now intensely aware of the silence and not sure if it was my cue to leave. After all, there was no need for me to be sitting here with a strange man, if we had nothing more to discuss.

Hamzah’s focus had now been shifted to Zaid, who was now suddenly a little more unsettled, as he let us know in his own way that it was probably time for bed. Knowing that his tummy was starting up again, my first instinct was only his comfort.

“I think Zaidoo needs to la-la,” I said cheerfully, swallowing back all emotion that may have surfaced, knowing that it was time to call it a day. “I’ll take him up.”

If not anything else, maybe this will be the beginning of a more civilised relationship between us, that we both would be more accepting of.

It would be the initiation of more understanding and compromise. That sounded like a good plan.

“Relax,” Hamzah said to me, instantly scooping Zaid up and cradling him in his arms expertly now, as he popped a dummy into his mouth.

I turned my face because it was doing strange things to my insides because I had no idea that Hamzah actually had it in him to do human things like rock babies to sleep.

“I’ll do it. I missed this guy way too much to part with him…”

I was instantly on edge now, feeling a little threatened that he was getting so cozy with my little guy. I knew it was silly of me but i couldn’t help the possessiveness.

”But you’ll have to,” I said firmly, not wanting to raise an argument about who was keeping him tonight. We had discussed this a while ago. “Part with him, I mean.”

“I know,” Hamzah said, but I could hear an edge to his voice. “But I may change my mind.”

I narrowed my eyes. Now he was making me anxious again. One minute I was sure that he was a saint, and the next I wanted to strangle him.

“You can’t,” I said firmly, shaking my head. “Not allowed.”

”I’m not allowed to change my mind?” He asked incredulously, and I shook my head vehemently, no longer feeling so aware of myself.

When I got ready for an argument, unfortunately, I was all about tit-for-tat. As much as I knew that I needed to work on it, I just couldn’t swallow my anger.

”Its not fair on me,” I said bluntly. What will I do without Zaid here? He was my safety net. “You can’t just swop and change as you please.”

”But what if I want to?” he insisted, looking at Muhammed Husayn now, almost as if he was talking to him. “I like change. It’s more exciting when it’s not expected. What if Zaid wants to?”

”Not in this case,” I insisted, revving myslef up for a proper motive to argue. How could he pin this on a baby? “Zaid doesn’t know any better!”

I couldn’t believe he was pursuing this.
Muhammed Husayn was looking at us both now, opening his mouth to try and stop us.

“Okay okay,” my brother said, glancing at me as if I was embarrassing him, “Can’t you’ll just come to some agreement…

Zaid had conveniently abandoned the sleeping mission and was bobbing over Hamzah’s shoulder, flashing me a scampish grin.

It was almost as if they were all ganging up on me and I loathed the betrayal.

Frankly, even if Zaid started blowing me kisses right then, I wasn’t gonna sway.

“Maybe we can do a trade off?” Hamzah said furtively, and I knew he was aiming for a compromise. I wasn’t.

“I’m not interested,” I snapped, getting up and walking a few steps toward the exit to show I was serious,  but not wanting to go without Zaid. “I don’t compromise on my deals and that’s final. Muhammed Husayn, please bring Zaid up to me. Now.”

I shot my brother a warning glance and Hamzah had the cheek to look amused. He actually found it funny.

“Okay okay,” Hamzah laughed, putting his hands up in surrender, as I halted, waiting for him to hand over Zaid. “I’m sorry, I’m just joking. Just open this, and I’ll stop being a pest.”

Ugh. He was being ten times worse than a pest.

He had apologised and I wasn’t sure whether to be relieved or angry. This was the worst part about Hamzah. He was always up to some stupid prank. I thought that he would have grown up from back in the day, but he obviously hadn’t got the memo. That was, clearly why, no-one intelligent ever trusted him enough to get involved with him. Except me. Clever me.

I was glaring at him now like he was the bane of my life.

Also, what was with this audacity to look so alluringly proud of himself and it made me even more agitated. Even as he handed a silver paper packet over, I was still fuming, feeling like I had compromised way more than my sanity to accommodate him. If this was another prank, he had to leave…

But because he sounded so sincere as he handed over the package that I had barely noticed was next to him all this time, I kind of crumbled a little, letting him pass it to me through my brother, whilst studying it silently, with a no-nonsense look on my face.

“I brought you something,” he said quietly, as I opened the packet. Actually, more like ripped it apart, due to my state of mind, which almost immediately dissipated as it opened. “It’s kind of an apology.”

And as he said it, the thing was, if I had a weak spot for anything, they weren’t many people who didn’t know what it was. Coffee and Cadbury chocolate were my favs, and just catching a glimpse of that purple-blue wrapper always made my heart sing, and as I pulled it out, the huge slab of Bubbly chocolate was basically a soothing to my eyes.

On it though, I hadn’t even processed, stuck with a fancy piece of washi tape was a little handwritten note:

Another chocolate, another chance?’

And my mind was so clouded with emotion that I couldn’t quite understand. And of course, I felt a little conned into forgiving him but if didn’t quite answer what exactly Hamzah was saying until he looked up at me, and then spoke.

“In case you are wondering,” he said with a grin, his eyes meeting mine for the first time that evening. “Muhammed Husayn did tell me that he ate your chocolate.”

Muhammed Husayn was looking only slightly apologetic, as I glanced at him.

“Also… I’ve been doing my fair share of thinking,” he said quietly, sounding extremely apprehensive. I figured this wasn’t easy for him to say. Who would have thought Hamzah actually lost his pluck? “And well…. after Maulana gave me a good talking to about being mature and stuff…. I spoke to your father and asked his advice…”

I actually had no idea that my father spoke to him , and as I looked toward where my father stood, he smiled at me, almost reassuringly.

”What did my father say?” I asked, a little calmer now, as I wondered what the two of them really spoke about and if he was really just talking about my father’s concerns… or someone else’s.

“He said he worried about you and Zaid,” he said steadily, glancing up at me, his eyes meeting mine and holding my gaze for a minute. “I did too. So I asked Allah to show me a sign about what I needed to do and when you told me just now that you had quit Hammond’s and wanted to start classes… Well, I suppose that was it.”

Wait. A sign?!

“Listen,” he said softly, obviously noticing my alarmed expression. “I know that we are all just figuring things out. What I do believe is that everything happens for a reason and all I can see is Allah piecing this whole thing together in a better way. And maybe it wasn’t meant to be before, and the timing was off, but I do firmly believe that Allah is showing us that sometimes these things can’t be planned or chosen, and maybe we lost so much and people we love but is it maybe possible that through this all, Allah is choosing us to be together in a most unconventional way..?”


Us? Did he just say us? Together?

I swallowed the huge lump in my throat, biting back emotion as he said it while I spotted my father lingering by the doorway, with a strange look on his face.

Oh gosh. Tears were filling my eyes and I wasn’t even sure if I had was understanding right. I missed Layyanah so much right then.

But Hamzah wasn’t finished.

“I love Zaid too, and I know know you can do this on your own, but you shouldn’t have to. All I know is that I don’t want to have to miss another Eid day with him ever again.”


That was me. It was just snot and tears and I couldn’t quite believe I was already starting to bawl my eyes out. Every damn thing just made me want to ugly cry. And I wasn’t certain but I thought I heard Hamzah just say that he might want me in his life.

And I’d like to say that I was bowled over by this very impromptu proposal, but I’m afraid that there weren’t many words to describe how I felt right then. It was a bitter – sweet occasion that brought back so many memories of Liyaket and Layyanah and I couldn’t help but think of how they would have felt right then.

And sometimes we look for these situations as if they can be found, but the thing is, sometimes it comes suddenly, overwhelming you, like a hot summer storm. Sometimes these things can’t be planned and chosen. Sometimes Allah intervenes directly, and the entire thing just becomes a new part of you that you’ve reached, and there’s no going back without soaking it all in.

And the rest as history, of course, because I already knew what I wanted. There was no way I could even hold Hamzah’s annoying tendencies against him because I knew that there was no better way to work this out, and despite my worries and concerns, Allah had come through for me in so many more ways that I had ever imagined

And of course, I had been on cloud nine till Monday morning, basking in congratulations and well- wishes and being extremely grateful to Allah for inspiring Hamzah’s decision, because I knew that none of it was possible without my Rabb who was forever looking out and keeping watch for me. Besides that, we knew that it was the best thing for Zaid, but it didn’t mean that it was only about him. We had both given our final answers two days after making isthikhaarah, and everything felt so right, that I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

But as always, reality had to intervene at some point, and I suppose it was a way of getting back at me as I found myself slightly anxious- making my way back to the office, facing real life once again.

Hands down, that last day at Hammond’s was the hardest and the huge set back for me. Seeing everyone again, going through the motions… was extremely overwhelming. Most of all, meeting Faadil, this time, making sure we stayed an arms length away from each other, with no emotional attachment at all, was most difficult.

And it was emotionally taxing and he had tried to convince me otherwise, but on that day we had both agreed that we were going to be mature about our break up, and wish each other well for the future. That’s what closure meant. The meeting had ended off on a slightly nostalgic tone, but the relief I felt after, hoping that he was no longer holding onto a future together helped me to shoved the thoughts out of my mind as I tried to push myself into the week ahead.

It was just that, even at that time I had made it clear, I got a feeling that the conversation wasn’t completely over. He had been cool about it, but from past rumours, I knew that Faadil was always the one to call things off, and he had tried to make it sound like he was, but my news had kind of knocked him off course.

Nonetheless, I shoved any stray thoughts out of my head, because at long last, I had made it to the Nikah day and my heart was in my throat as I thought of what  it would all entail. Over the past few months, I had imagined different and varying scenarios in my mind, but none could really compare to how it really felt that day, right up until Faadil phoned to say he was outside my parents home.

He hadn’t come inside. I remembered telling him once that my family was pretty traditional and I was glad he respected it. It was just that now, after trying to call and message multiple times, he had now let me know that he had taken a small road trip to see me without knowing that today was my big day. There he was, standing in the open, with grassy fields as a backdrop, familiar scent of Montale Oud that I had become to accustomed to was way too familiar for comfort.

And I know. I know what you’re thinking. Another man calling me and wanting to see me while I was supposed to be getting married on that day, was probably the lowest I could go. I was stupid. Really stupid. I felt crap about it too. But this time, it wasn’t like all those months ago, when Faadil had caught me at my weakest resolve.

It wasn’t about making the most of my unmarried status. I had grown up. I knew where my loyalties lay. I had made a commitment to Hamzah, and it meant much more than anything that had ever happened with Faadil. What I did know was that rejection was barely his cup of tea, and this was his last attempt at closure, or perhaps a last attempt to change my mind…

Perhaps he expected to win in the end, like he always made sure he did. But this time, I had to just take one look at him before I knew that this wasn’t just Faadil the great, coming to blow his own horn.

What started with sin, must end in ruin. Right?

“Mos,” he started weakly, as soon as he spotted me. The relief on his face as he saw me was undeniable. “You don’t know how glad I am to see you.”

I looked down, knowing that I owed it to Hamzah to at least be a little conservative. Maybe he thought that instead of calling, if he placed himself in front of me, it would change my mind. What Faadil didn’t know was that my attraction for him was based only on the temporary things that now meant nothing to me….

”Just hear me out,” he almost begged. “I know this is a little late, and I heard you’re getting married today. Mos, I can’t lose you…”

Dearest readers

Extra long bonus post. It was the other POV I had written so I tied it up… so will try and post again soon InshaAllah, since l I’m due for a short break after Mosee’s drama is over .. ❤️

Much love

A x

Mission Sunnah Revival

In line with love for Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi Wa Salaam), a narration goes like this:

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…

The Sunnah of Quraan Tilawat…

Whilst we grapple to keep that connection alive out of Ramadhaan, I it’s recommended to set a certain amount of Quran to read every day, to purify the rusted hearts.

Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “Stick to the reading of the Quran, as it is Noor for you in this li free and treasure in the Aakhirah.”














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Epilogue: The Rhythm of Life

For my beloved sisters, a longest, last, three-part and hopefully most heart-warming post. Happy reading. ❤️

Bismihi Ta’ala


Parenting is hard. It’s really hard.

Okay, besides the fact that it’s supposed to be easier when they are small and I had ample help and the fact that there’s not much intellect required for the occupation since we have a set vocabulary that is repeated about seventeen times a day, there was something about raising little humans that just stumped me.

And I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs and I’d like to think that nowadays, more than ever, I had landed on the upside of things, but there were still just a few aspirations that I could really cling to.

I’d made up my mind a while ago that if I get one thing right in this whole parenting gig, I want my kids to understand how their actions can impact others. If I get one thing right, I want them to know that they are not just beings who are existing in this life for themselves and with no purpose. I want them to understand that we are all connected. How a little word can go a long way. How their actions can affect a heart. How they can cause a stir. How even little actions can make a change.

That any word or action can have the ability to change someone’s life. That even one thing done in jest can kill a star-winged soul.

And yes, none of it was easy. The adjustment wasn’t the most simple. My life had completely changed. My aspirations had evolved. Even after finding love again and being convinced that I had finally found contentment with Ahmed, my pregnancy and erratic hormones that came with it had been one of the most difficult.

He was amazingly patient but I could see that he felt compromised. Tense. Worried. It took a toll on us too. But through Allah’s mercy, we made it through and all I could say was that now that the triplets were finally here and I had worked a way around doing whatever I needed to do each day, Ahmed had become my backbone. I loved him unconditionally, irrevocably and even with all the craziness now with our scarily huge family was no other way I’d have it.

It had been a gut-wrenching two months of them in NICU, including an extremely nerve-wrecking experience when Adnaan was out on the ventilator because his lungs were not coping. And there is so much of truth that in every situation there’s goodness because it was only at this time when Siraj and I mended our relationship again when he came through when I needed that extra hand. He was going through a rough patch which I continuously spoke him through but he was still working on his marriage and even considering adopting. I felt like I had my uncle again and him being around made Adam’s chronic absence a little more manageable.
And so it went, but eventually after the longest haul of anxiety and stress, like rain after a drought, when the babies had finally come home, it was the most amazing feeling to have them all in one space with us. Aadam, Adnaan and Hawaa were the names we chose and although Hawaa was often with Zuleikha and Adnaan often with my mother, because I was always eager to welcome extra help, the three of them were such a joy to have around for everyone. Ahmed, surprisingly, was coping amazingly.

And right now as I stopped myself from rolling my eyes at my son and he actually answered Zaydaan really patiently and glanced at me, my heart soared at the man and father he had become, and I couldn’t help but crack a smile.

“Mama, I want a chocolate,” six year old Zaydaan said again.

“Only a kid would have to audacity to not even eat a single piece of proper food and still ask for a chocolate,” Ahmed complained, shaking his head. “Really.”

Little Hawaa was gurgling on his lap as he got up and handed her to Danyaal, raised his eyebrow at Zaydaan and I negotiating the chocolate deal, and then retired to get ready for the big function.

It was a big day for Yunus today and I could see that everyone was looking forward to it.

I looked at my son and shook my head, completely hopeless about the chances of  winning the argument about why chocolates at this part of the morning were not the most spectacular idea.

Oh yes, this parenting gig was no walk in the park. There were times when it made my nightmares feel like a happy place. The fact was that it was so easy to have an opinion about it, but so hard to actually do.

Yes, parenting was hard. It was all sorts of crazy and disorganized and completely unexpected but at the same time I really could not have ever imagined what my life would have been like without my crazy kids.

Against my better judgement, my mother had turned out to be the person who I would call now even at the last minute. It had been through everything that she had finally learnt to treasure the finer aspects of life. Through losing Adam, it had been a journey that made her want to never miss out on anything else. The triplets arrival was an event that no one would have imagined to be the event that gave her hope and put it into perspective all over again.

Sometimes it just takes a moment of realization and the pain that comes with losing something so valuable for you to reflect on your very existence. And it was then that I realised she was still clinging into the loss. Cut up that Adam had gone so soon. Guilty that she had lost out on so much of his life, this was her chance to change. It was her chance to make up for everything she felt she hadn’t done before. Finally, she had this inclination to be more than what she was and it was simply amazing to watch her evolve into someone who I knew my brother always wanted her to be.

I knew he would have been proud. I knew that he had seen it in her.

“Danyaal, please can you just watch Aadam for a bit?” I asked my eldest son as I grabbed the gift I had bought my sister-in-laws on this special occasion. The most exotic little lamps that made me feel happy inside. “I just need to finish wrapping these and then I’m popping into the shower before we the house starts getting crazy.”

My nearly-teenage son nodded and I paused a moment as I watched him take the baby out, not believing how the years flew by and my son was already taller than I was. As always, Danyaal was obliging and gentle, progressing even more so since Maulana Khalid had come into the picture, and I could only thank my Rabb immensely for the favour He had shown to me with regard to Dayyaan. I could not even remember the amount of times I had found myself awake during the depths of the night, praying so hard that that he doesn’t end up like his father. He always had this rebellious streak in him that seemed to catch me completely off guard, and there were times when I really feared for my sanity when it came to disciplining him.

It just so happened that one day, like an epiphany out of the blue, he woke up and decided that he wanted to start Hifdh, like Danyaal. It hadn’t taken much to figure out that my son had had it out with his father the day before and was now searching for an alternate track. Whether it was spite or not, all I knew was that I had to grab the opportunity with all I could. I had to show him the brighter side of life. Knowing that Shabeer could tell me nothing if it was his own choice, I prayed with all my might that he would take the route I was trying to offer. I prayed with all my might that Shabeer would encourage him to do it too, despite the fact that my ex-husband was never thinking on my train..

And no, he hadn’t suddenly become the perfect child, but for now, with starting Quran and giving more attention to beneficial things, my son was a much more pleasant kid-being. He answered when I called him. He spoke to Ahmed like he was a human. He even did the odd chore. The thing was, I would have never known it before, but once I saw the magic of pleading to my Rabb and the power of what Du’aa for your kids could do, it was something of an addiction. All I could do from then was continue to hope and pray that this wouldn’t end.

Knock knock.”

I spun around and tightened my scarf as I called to my brother-in-law to come in and told Zia to call Ahmed.

“Sorry to trouble, I just came to borrow some Oud from Ahmed,” Yunus said in his lazy voice, almost as if this was any normal day of the year and he was just popping by before going out.

I still could not believe how my in-laws were all so calm and together even in the face of the most nerve-wrecking situations. I would have literally been climbing the walls in his shoes.

“Go on up,” I said, pausing to gesture up the stairs. “Ahmed’s still changing.”

He nodded and I watched him leave, shaking my head to myself as I wondered how he was so calm today. Today we were all finally going to meet the girl who had captured his eye and eventually his heart and I actually couldn’t wait to see her. A new sister-in-law would be such a precious gift. The family was growing today and I loved it.

I hummed to myself, a little taken aback by the mercy that had been shown to us in so many ways. I still could not believe how lucky I was to be where I was, standing up straight and virtually unscathed from everything  life had dished out. I’d seen time and time again how many people’s live go on in that off-track and unwavering routine, where all that happens is the fulfillment of their wants and desires and nothing at all seems to put an end for the chase…

The thing is, we all get caught up. It’s normal to get trapped. Tangled up in a world that has taken over our lives so immensely that there seldom comes a time when we stop and think… maybe it’s time to pause. To stop the chase. To end the binge. There rarely comes a time when we sometimes catch a glimpse of the light even when we are stuck in the darkest of ruts.

And only the people who have felt this… who have been there… know exactly where I’m coming from. There is a deadly venom that pierces our hearts, when we become trapped in this world. It engulfs your being, turns your heart into a rusted vessel that alters your ambitions. This poison, is one that exists in everything that is but the Almighty. Music… pomp… entertainment… extravagance… it even makes you think that you’ve found peace in all of that sin you’ve been doing all along.

Once upon a time I was the girl who thought that life was about chasing your dreams. Desires. Ambitions. Being happy. I mean, who doesn’t want to just be happy right?  And I believed that I could find happiness in all the things that money bought me. Peace… I believed, could never be a permanent state. It was a place that existed only in moments where I felt free… fleeting… and ever so evasive.

And it was only because I had seen the light that had been shone onto mine and my brother’s worlds that I truly understood this value. I was once a broken-hearted and empty soul who was starved of nourishment. I had no desire except that which was for my very own misdirected ambition. I had no purpose until Khawlah had been sent to show us the deeper meaning that we had never see before.

And yes, I missed my brother. Every. Single. Day. It didn’t get easier. But there were moments, when I sat with my family, taking it all in, that it slipped my mind that there was once this charming soul who had captured us so completely. There were moments when I forgot that he was actually gone. When I allowed myself a chuckle with no reservation. When I smiled with nothing holding me back. When I got lost in the rhythm of life.

Those were the moments when I truly realised that in those small moments when I forgot the pain in this Duniyaa, I could not help but help imagine that in his eternal world in which we all had hopes that he had attained, his happiness, where he was right now, was completely unparalleled. The fact was that if Allah favours us in such a way that we can, even for a moment, in temporary Duniyaa forget our aches and pains, what then can be said of the state of the minds of those in eternal bliss? In delightful paradise? What then can be noted about those who are in that realm where Allah has promised us the ultimate freedom from worry and endless ease?

“Behold! Verily no fear shall be upon the friends of Allah, nor shall they grieve.”

No fear. No grief. Just inner peace. Every human being on earth is looking for something that can give it to them but the people who have truly found faith… they haven’t found it in a drink or a club or a drug…

Because peace, by definition, is not fleeting. There is nothing better than eternal Paradise to understand the eternity of that feeling…

And for now, knowing that one day, that was what awaited if I kept on striving… that was all I needed to know.


“Can you believe we’re actually here?”

It was early morning and the feeling in the air was one of those unique types. I just knew that it was going to be a special day. Well, it was going to be Yunus’s Nikah but well, wasn’t every day a special kind of day too?

My takkies squelched under the moist grass as we took our usual stroll through the park, today a little shorter than usual since we’d have to rush back to get ready. The twinkly sound of chirping birds were very audible in the near distance. The local park now boasted was a luscious garden of spring flowers, daisies and daffodils…  sunflowers and wildflowers…  spread in front of us as we looked ahead. Early morning nature was the most breathtaking kind.

My friend looked at me with a smile as we both looked ahead, taking delight in the little tweets and chirps that were coming from the tree above. How intricate and amazingly talented were birds? How spectacular were their nests that were weaved with so much of skill and grace? I couldn’t barely fathom how such tiny creatures could actually be so intelligent.

“Here we are, huh,” Khawlah said with a smile on her face as she watched Khadijah skip ahead to the men. “Our perfect kind of day. Doing the things we always wanted to do. With the kind of people we always wanted to spend time with…”

I smiled.

“My Mr Perfect finally came through for me, didn’t he?” I said softly, squinting slightly as I smiled into the unfiltered sun.

Khawlah nodded. It was about time. I had pined for my father and brother a lot in the first few months but once I adjusted to a new home, I knew that I was one of those hopeless girls who couldn’t do without her husband.

I looked ahead as he walked along with Maulana Khalid and Khadijah ahead of us. Sometimes good things do take a while to come by.

Faheem was the one awaited thing that had happened in the most unexpected way. He had turned out to be one of the closest friends I had, but also so amazingly sweet for putting up with me. Faheem was always ready to be the one to calm my storm, when it seemed to be getting out of control.

“Honestly,” I said, the thoughts  breathing in the crisp air as I looked ahead. “Who would have thought we’d be sitting here? You, me, Mr Muscle and Mr Miracle who came back from the dead… all here on this little walk into the sunshine. Do you realize how amazing this is?”

Khawlah just nodded and smiled. I mean, who would have ever thought that Maulana Khalid would come back the way he dod to seek her off her feet?

She had lifted her niqab and as the day light settled on her face, her eyes glinted slightly as she watched me.

”I still miss him,” she said suddenly, almost as if it was out of the blue. “Do you think it’s okay?”

My heart contracted slightly as I thought of it. How could it be not be okay?

There wasn’t a lot I knew about this but I took a deep breath, turned her chin up to face me and said what I knew.

“You’re never going to forget him,” I  murmured, as I thought of it. “You’re always going to remember that look in his eyes when he gazed at you, or the colour of his hair in the sun. You may have days when you’ll miss him more than you ever thought, and ever imagined, with all your heart.. but at the end of it… you know that you’ve been through the worst and it’s all turned out okay? It’s not even a question. You’re more than just okay.”

She nodded with a tiny smile and I wiped the tear from her cheek as I grinned back at her.

The thing is, after Aadam and Khawlah had tied the knot way back when, it was something so special to the impressionable girl I was back then that all I had ever wanted was to find that kind of love that could irrevocably change me for the better too. I knew that they had something special and deep with me, I really believed that everyone has that waiting for them. Whether it’s through a soul mate… husband… a child… or a best friend they meet along the way… I realized that many people along the journey have the ability to do so, through different channels.

What my courageous bestie had shown me along the way was something invaluable. Her strength and resilience was something that had kept me so motivated… that there was nothing more that I wanted for her than pure happiness…

Oh yes, there were times that I wondered whose story this was. Who was meant to be the star of her life. If it was young Khalid, who had featured way back when with so much of enthusiasm and conviction, leaving his presence lingering even when we thought it was gone… or if it was Aadam who had come to sweep my friend off her converse clad feet, showing her a beauty of promises and pots of gold that definitely do exist beyond the rainbow…

And then it struck me that maybe those bits and pieces that stood out.. those little moments that were somewhat broken and tangled at the same time, maybe that’s what they were meant to be – they were meant to just be a string of little moments that would somehow weave together to eventually give us one amazing story that would blow us all away. Maybe Khawlah had many stars of her life. Maybe I did too.

Maybe these stars were our reason. Gifts. Granted so that we may enjoy and take the best out of them, for that season of our lives when we may need them the most. Maybe they are sent down from a source of Greatest Love, and as if these gifts aren’t valuable enough, you’re reminded of the Giver – the Generous One who gifted them to you. They are divine from the Divine. Through them He is lovingly telling you:

Raise your head. You are not defined by the pains you’ve endured. By how others perceive you. You are not merely a product of difficult times. You are more than your circumstances. You are special. You are worthy. You have so much ahead of you and for you. Here is My proof for you.’

And then the person is sent at the right time, taking you with them on this amazing journey of magical motions and gracing you with exactly what needs to be fed to your starving soul.

Through His precision in choice of person and timing, you’re reminded that He cares and loves you so very much. It is only One who is constantly watching you with such intensity, that is able to send you what you need at the exact time that will cause maximum effect on your mind and heart.

The truth was that when Aadam had passed on I was just as devastated as my friend. I had lost hope. I was feeling utterly despondent, aching for my friend because I wasn’t sure if she’d ever open her heart like she had back then. And yes, maybe I might have been a little too pushy and bossy but I knew her better than anyone else and I knew exactly what she needed to feel that kind of beautiful kind of love again.

”Twice over,” I murmured, feeling particularly emotional as I thought of it. “Twice over… Allah granted us so much more than we ever thought we would have.”

“It’s been a journey, hasn’t it?”She said, shaking her head. ”And after all that I can’t believe that my searching for the rainbow’, sunshine after the storm’ , bubbly bestie is actually going to be a mother…”

Sometimes the thought was scary to me too. There were moments when I forgot. When I actually couldn’t believe that in just 3 months the baby would be here.

”Are you as freaked out at the idea as I am?” I grinned, nudging my friend in the ribs. “Imagine if he or she is exactly like me?”

Khawlah giggled.

”I can’t wait to meet her,” she said with a twinkle in her eye. “It will make me love her all the more…

I placed my hand on the bump that was now a little more than just protruding, feeling an amazing kind of contentment as I felt the little rhythm of life within me. Pregnancy was so amazing in so many ways…

And oh yes, I just couldn’t wait to see the other side of it too…


”You think it’s time to say goodbye?”

Khalid looked at me with a his lopsided smile and shook his head. It was an hour after we had sat for a impromptu picnic under the trees, enjoying the last bits of morning breeze before we would rush off to the crazy day ahead once again. It was, by far, one of my favorite kind of days. As the sun graced us with its presence, the trees were rustling along, almost to their own kind of rhythm, caressing us with the most gentle of breeze.  The view of the local park today was like something out of a perfect picture… or one of those amazing portraits… only better. I dwelled on it a little longer as I looked ahead.

Soon we’d leave to get ready and fetch Dada, but for the meantime Faheem and Nusaybah has just left, giving us a few minutes alone for a while as our minds were still trying to wrap around everything that had happened and was still to come. Without doubt, it was bound to be an eventful day, and yes, I wanted to enjoy this part of serene nature a little longer before the emotions that would engulf us all later that day.

Ahead of us, the audible splashing of the little pond sounded as I spotted Khadijah a safe distance on its edge watching the fish, immersed in my own train of thought as I watched her, I didn’t even notice Khalid looking me intently…

”You’re really going to miss him, aren’t you?”

One amazing thing about Khalid was that he was always so perceptive.

I shifted my gaze to my husband as I glanced away from my daughter. His hat was on the grass next to him and his Kurta was hung on the bench nearby. Today, in the outdoor light, his eyes seemed almost as blue as the perfect spring skies. As a kid, I recalled how they would change with his mood too. Today, he seemed a little subdued. A little pensive, as he watched me lost in my thought too.

”He’s been the constant,” I said softly, knowing he was talking about Yunus “Always there. And can you imagine how devastated Khadijah will be when she realizes that she might not see him every day?”

I glanced at my daughter momentarily as I said it. Although I was thrilled for yunus when he said Maulana Umar’s young niece was a perfect match for him, I could not help but feel that slight tug in my heart.

”He’s not going to be gone forever,” Khalid said, giving a small smile as he put his Quran back onto his top pocket.

He had been reciting softly for the past few minutes, and as I watched him, I honestly could not think of anyone who was more in love with the Quran than him. How Allah had shaped and moulded him through these years he was away was something that awed me every time I thought of it…

I looked at Khalid as he watched me, closing my eyes for a minute to soak in the fresh spring air. The air felt so crisp… so filled with opportunities. Oh yes, it was definitely our favorite part of the year once again.

“Yes, but he’ll have a new life,” I said softly, picking at some weeds as I looked away. “A wife has a right to her husbands unreserved time…”

“Hmmm,” he said, running his hands through his beard pensively. “I don’t think-“

His sentence was cut off at that moment as our daughter bounced back energetically, obviously now tired of watching fish as she spontaneously plopped herself into Khalid’s lap and turned to look at him crossly.

Abbee,” she moaned. “You said we’re leaving! Please can we go now!”

If there was one thing I could say, it was that almost four-year-old Khadijah was the one who called the shots in the family. With her eccentric character and bossy nature, it was no wonder that she often did get a good scolding from me. I supposed that it had something to do with the fact that as a child, I recalled myself having the same character traits and that Khalid had developed some experience in that regard.

That aside, Khalid, being who he was, was just much more patient. Humoring of others. Even through a smile, or a nod, or the patience of listening even when it didn’t seems so appealing to. Like the Sunnah of Our beloved Prophet (SAW), his love shone through in his character and everything he did. A profound love that caused the lover to venerate the Beloved (SAW) and the fruit of emulation will always be reaped…

“Okay, okay, we’re going,” he said softly, trying to pacify her. “But there’s still some time so before the function, so hows about a Duaa?”

It was like their thing. Du’aa. Strange but yet so, so comforting. I watched them as they sat crossed leg now, squabbling about nothing really in particular as they raised their hands and went about one of their favorite acts of worship.

And it was so because not only did I take refuge in asking and relying on my Lord, whenever I would sit and pray, my mind would naturally just take me back to the time that I was humbled by the words that Aadam had told me once upon a time.

There was just something about connecting to Allah whilst connecting to the ones you loved. It was something that I had told Khalid about too.. and there was something so soothing about it that I couldn’t help but remember just how beautiful it made me feel at the time as we sat watching the trees swaying with the wind, my mind took me back to the moments when Aadam had put his head down on his Musallah, watching me before placing his head on the ground, and then speaking.

“I love this,” Aadam had said. “Right here, right now, when I’m sitting at my lowest… Im not a computer whizz… not an award-winner… not a famous programmer… I’m nothing. I’m just your annoying husband and a slave to my master and I love it…”

The words had shot straight to my heart right then, and just remembering them again humbled me like never before. And his words thereafter would be engraved in my heart forever.

Whatever happens… My wish for you, always, is that you’re always smiling. That your life becomes what you want it to. That your dreams stay big and your worries stay small. That you never have to carry more than you can hold.
And while you are out there, getting where you’re getting to and doing what you do best, changing lives and hearts the way you changed mine, well… I hope you remember that someone loves you. That someone loved you with all their heart, and wants the same things you want too. I hope you remember that. I hope you find a joy in your new rhythm of life, but I hope you still remember me. 

I looked up at him with a frown, obviously angry that he had even suggested a ludicrous thought like that. He didn’t know back then that Allah had granted me a walking and talking gift that was a credit to him in every way.

“Yeah,” he said frankly, raising his one eyebrow and shrugging while he ignored my look of disdain. “That’s my Du’aa. That’s my wish.”

Du‘aa. It was a magic that took you to another level of faith. It was a plea from the innermost depths of the soul.

Oh yes, there was nothing quite like it.

“Oh King of Kings, we ask but we are not worthy…”

Oh yes, we really weren’t…

I shifted my thoughts to the present as Khalid pushed the hair back from out of Khadijah’s eyes and pulled her into his lap whilst cupping his hands over hers and continued with his Duáa.

Yup, it was most definitely their thing.

Ya Allah, when one of us forgets to say Bismillah at the table, let us remind her about the One who loves her so much and gives her all the yummy food…”

He smiled winked at Khadijah as he said it, and she cracked a small smile, before turning serious again.

Ya Allah,” he murmured, his icy eyes dancing as he watched her expression. “When one of us does those naughty little things, let us try not to scold her too much…”

Khadijah was grinning at him knowingly, finding it very amusing.

Ya Allah, when one of us gets a bit grumpy because Mummy shouts, let us be the ones to make her smile…”

Her smile was wider yet as she glanced at me and he cupped his hands tighter around hers and went on.

Ya Allah, when one of us has a big mouth, please protect our ears from being twisted..”

He glanced at me cheekily as he said it and I narrowed my eyes at him. Khalid hated me laying finger on her, but in all honesty, there were times when nothing else worked.

Ya Allah,” he said, his smile wavering as he now looked pensive as he spoke. “Grant us the company of those who never get tired of becoming closer to you. Ya Allah, let our heart yearn for You. Unite us as a family. Let us remind each other about You. Ya Allah, let us push each other, when we forget our goals. Let us remind each other to make each other happy, when we are disappointed down by someone else. Ya Allah, let us remind each other about Jannah, when we get too involved in this world.
Ya Allah, let us be the kind of people that works towards you, towards Jannah, where Khadijah’s Abba lives. Ya Allah, give Khadijah’s Abba the most beautiful palace in Jannah, so when we go there, we can go have our daily tea party with him too…”

I smiled tearfully as he glanced at me, thrilled by Khadijah’s largest smile yet as he mentioned Aadam. And just as smoothly, he continued, switching to Arabic as he grinned back at me and said:

Ya Allah, give us more than we ever expect of you. More patience. More love. More beautiful kids just like Khadijah.”

I looked up as he said it, widening my eyes at him as he smiled to himself.

Ya Allah,” he concluded, looking as peaceful as ever, “We know we’ve asked for so much more than we deserve, but just make us the perfect couple, not in the sight of people… but in your sight, Ya Allah…”

Perfection. Ah yes. We were always aspiring for that place that we can never reach but yet we strive. Perfection was what I always thought of when I imagined Aadam. Perfection was a place that existed only beyond this realm.

Perfection belongs only to the Lord of the Worlds. The Lord we know Who, in His Perfect, Kind and Subtle ways, sends us so much more than we deserve. The One who keeps reminding us that we will never be forgotten by the King of Kings who knows our past in all its detail, sees our present and knows our future.

In all the stories my daughter will hear, it will not be the princes that will slay the dragons but the little girls who had Allah in their hearts, with big, brave consciences and even bigger dreams.
She will learn to rely on the sword of Tawakkul, in every battle, in every struggle, in every war. She will learn to trust in the One Who controls and devour even the inner monster from within her core.

Yes, she will be brave, even if it’s from only within, fighting the battles she would face with conviction and the certainty that Only Allah could save her and fix her, even when the storm was way up against her.

Too often in life, we look for the best of things in the worst of places. We wait for Friday, for summer, for someone whose going to show us the way. At the end of it all, we have to stop waiting for that one defining thing to happen that will inspire our release. And at the end of it all there is a beautiful fulfillment, a fulfillment that can not compare to any other.

And as I looked at Khalid, I realised that the people around us either raise us or lower us. We all need people, in our rhythm of life, who lift us, remind us and encourage us to strive for our true purpose. I could smile now with gratitude because even after everything, I now understood how far I’d come and how I fought to become the person I was. How when I put my trust in Allah, all the pieces the world had broken my heart into, joined together and made it whole again. And when I cast my gaze towards the One who healed my shattered heart, there was only one thing that shone out, as clear as ever.

Only with that, we are able to see the perfect picture. Priceless and timeless. Indulgence, to the finest degree. Reclining on thrones of gold. Unaffected by anything that could even potentially affect any of it’s inhabitants.

Because in Jannah, it’s ultimate bliss. In Jannah, there is no hatred or envy. No malice or dispute. No depression or oppression. The greetings will surround us, as the angels convey to us their Salaam. We’ll once again be with those dear and lost, with those whom we loved, meeting with our beloved Master (SAW) sipping from goblets of the finest types, to converse and immerse ourselves in glory… Aware that our Lord is most definitely pleased with how we had fared in this life.

Jannah. Where every desire is a thought away. Jannah, where the is no fear or grief.

Jannah, and the pleasure of seeing Him, the Lord of the Worlds.

To the righteous it will be said], “O reassured soul, Return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him], And enter among My [righteous] servants

And enter My Paradise.”

Qur’an: Surah al-Fajr (The Dawn) 89:27-30:

And yes, now, it was so, so clear. Now, I understood it all. Everything was as it was and I’d finally learnt to say goodbye, because truly, theres no victory greater …

And there’s not much else that could ever compare to that.

My Dearest Readers

In all fairness, let me just come out and say that I was avoiding this last post…. and it took so long to come… because really and honestly, I didnt know how to say goodbye to every one of you lovely readers for being here on this writing journey with me. It really kept me grounded and I really don’t know what I would have done without reminding myself constantly about the aspects of Deen that I hoped to convey here.

I know that many of the readers are hoping for another blog, but the thing is, my life at times is a little crazy and committing to writing full time will be unfair to the readers. Because I’m such a crazy perfectionist when it comes to writing, posts take a really long time to pen and since my family has grown once again, Alhumdulillah… you could probably imagine that my free time is almost non-existent. ❤️

Like everyone else, I’m still aspiring to be the best mother and daughter and wife (and Muslimah too!) but that too comes with commitment, time and patience. I know many of you are grateful for me doing this. For writing in a way that might have inspired or educated, but the truth is that I should be  grateful to you for reading. Without readers, none of this would have happened, so I just want to say thank you. May Allah bless you. This has helped me just as much as it’s helped anyone else. It’s inspired me more than anyone else. I’m so grateful because the motivation and comments or likes or even the stats made me hope that maybe someone was reading something and learning and changing… or even thinking of taking the ultimate plunge like Aadam or Rubeena or Waseem or Ziyaad and turning their life around. 

I ask only for your Du’aas, hoping that although I loved penning this story more than ever, it is time to let it go and move on to my duties.
On a lighter note, I also feel that I’m getting older and my brain is slowly deteriorating too, so I’m so sorry- but porridge brain is definitely real. *smile*

A few small advices I’ll bring back from what I had once mentioned before: 

Remember our ultimate destination often. Keep company with the pious, be good to others, make shukar for the small things. Try and remember that this world is not for us. Preserve this Deen and don’t take it for granted. Allah Ta’ala is the only refuge we have, so don’t look for solace with anyone or through anything else.

The lessons are endless, and I wish I could remind us of every one today. After all, it’s no use reading and being inspired if we don’t make amal and put into practise. So take heed, and protect yourself, because at the end of the day, we are responsible for our own Aakhirah.

JazakAllah Khair to all the readers, fans and those who offered advice and and constructive criticism as well. May Allah (SWT) reward you abundantly. Will reply to comments as soon as time allows.

A humble request for Du’aas, as I am greatly in need of them. May Allah accept all our efforts in gaining closeness to Him, and help this weak writer to practise whatever has been said first. May Allah grant us all contentment in this world and the hereafter. Aameen

So much left to say yet I don’t quite know how to…

Leave a comment or mail me at if you want. 

I leave you’ll with one last Sunnah that really struck a chord with me as I wrote this post.

Nabi (SAW) had a beautiful characteristic of always humouring others. Whether it was through a smile, a kind word or just lending an ear, he (SAW) made everyone feel amazing and important and I feel that it’s such a humbling and beautiful characteristic to attain. May Allah grant us the most beautiful of characteristics and character. 

Please remember our Sunnah revival… and do remember me in your duaas. 

Much, much love,


A xx

Whoever observes my Sunnah, loves me. And whoever loves me, shall be with me in Paradise. (Tirmidhi)

How easy to practice …












Twitter: @ajourneyjournal





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







A Warrior at Heart

Bismihi Ta’ala


I’ve never been much for old sayings, but there is one old saying that I quite liked and it goes something like this: ‘A vessel can only pour out from what it contains.’

As we grow older, there comes a time in life when we have to stop and check ourselves. The state of our hearts. Our strengths. Our weaknesses and ill feelings. How Allah gives favours to some and maybe not give us the same. We come to understand that what’s come for us would have never missed us, and what’s missed us would have never come for us.

You see, some people have a naturally optimistic disposition. They can sieve the good out in every situation because they have either trained themselves hard to be optimistic, or are inherently blessed with love and light. Some people are just warriors at heart.

To want goodness for someone else, despite where their lives are at, is the epitome of excellence… And sometimes, it’s that very attitude that gets them to the greatest heights.

You have it,” I said to Zuleikha, passing her the pretty white gold bracelet that I had slipped over my arm. “It’s not really my taste.”

Zuleikha looked at me skeptically, her amber eyes narrowing. I wasn’t exactly lying.

”I can’t,” she said, shaking her head and handing it back to me. “It was Mama’s favorite. You keep it.”

”Listen,” I said, folding my arms over my chest. “I barely even remember her wearing it. You do. Just take it.”

Zuleikha sighed and slid the bracelet over her wrist. Her lean arms donned it perfectly.

”See,” I said softly, holding back emotion. “Suits you better.”

It was so beautiful but I truly wanted her to have it. I couldn’t help the tears that had welled up in my eyes as I watched her. Her slender arm was exactly like Mama’s.

”Then you have this,” she said, pointing to the charmed yellow gold bracelet that was still in the box.

I shook my head.

“Come on,” she urged. “Stop being such a hard nut.”

I knew I wasn’t going to give in. Instead, I placed my hand inside the box, pulling out the chain that I had spotted earlier with a pendant that boasted a blue sparkly stone. Whether it was real or not didn’t faze me. All I knew was that Mama used to often stand by the window and watch us, and as I would often gaze up at her, this little stone would be twinkling in the sunlight.

”I’m just taking this,” I said, smiling as the light reflected off the stone.

”We’ll keep some aside for Rubeena,” Zuleikha said wisely. “Mama would have liked that.

“She would have,” I said quietly.

“And Yunus’s wife,” she added, almost as an afterthought.

“You think?” I asked curiously. Yunus was still my baby brother. For him to have a wife was weird.

”it might be sooner than you expect,” Zuleikha said mysteriously.

Did she know something about Yunus that I didn’t?

”Maybe we get the value and do it properly,” I suggested, shrugging the insinuation about Yunus off.

”You’re right,” she said, shuffling through the other items.

The red box was an awakening from reality for us, slipping us momentarily into the past. Ahmed had found it hidden deep in one of the upstairs cupboards this morning and immediately called Zuleikha and I to sort it out.

”That’s all I want,” I said, holding onto the pendant and pushing the red box back to Zuleikha. “And of course, some of the mini furniture.”

”Take all the furniture,” she insisted, picking out the tiny pieces that she could see. “Khadijah will love it. I don’t have a daughter who can make use of it…”

There was a certain sadness in her voice as she said it. Zuleikha, after everything she had been though had finally settled into a peaceful and contented place where she and Jameel were at, but it was no secret to anyone that Zuleikha and Jameel were battling to have another child. I prayed so hard that they would, but Allah alone knew what was in her plan. I was just glad that she was content with her life as it was. It was lovely to see my sister happy, after everything. It had taken a long time but it was well worth the wait.

”Are you sure?” I asked her, running my finger along the carved lines of the corners of the mini pieces, quite impressed by the detail that it boasted.

Zuleikha nodded.

”It got you into enough trouble, didn’t it?” She said with a smile. “I think you earned it.”

Ah yes, it did.

I still remembered the day I had lunged at Hannah, completely appalled by her possession of my mothers gift to us. I had broken me. Those days seemed like so long ago.

”The punishment was torturous,” I said quietly, biting my lip and feeling for the little girl who I had once been.

”The only thing you would do is ask me if Khalid was as back yet,” Zuleikha said, breaking the  rolling her eyes and laughing. “You were pretty obsessed with that boy, weren’t you?”

I pursed my lips and smiled back. I was, wasn’t I?

”I wasn’t,” I said with a grin.

“Don’t pretend,” she said, shaking her head at me. “And he was too, you know.”

She didn’t say anything further. Zuleikha knew when to draw the line.

I looked at my sister, draped in a pretty lacey hijab, feeling at peace with how content she looked today.

Yunus had gone to see Khalid and mentioned the new occupant from Egypt. He had heard Aunty Radiyyah and her talking in the next room. Khalid, however didn’t offer any information.

“There’s a lady with them,” Yunus had said in passing, and I looked at him in confusion.

”A lady?”

Of course, the question flew right over Yunus’s head.

Now, though, with the return of Khalid and this new lady that Yunus had mentioned, a lot was clear to me. I had put two and two together.

It was possible now that his father had the accident, a turn of events would mean that he was preparing to stay here with her. Presumably his wife. Whoever she was.

“And you’re okay with that?” Zuleikha said, looking at me openly. “Even after everything you had told me last week?”

“Of course,” I said. “I wish him all the happiness in the world.”

”You’re so confusing…” she murmured, shaking her head.

Zuleikha had heard about the beautiful purple house last week from Nusaybah, and obviously had jumped to my imaginative friends theories.

I, however, had adopted a new approach to life. I didn’t want to dwell on last week. I didn’t want to dwell on what had happened and what could have been. Even after Yunus had revealed what he knew and even after I had toyed with all the possibilities.

Yes, I had maybe been a little too ambitious in my thinking after Nusaybah had left. I had felt lonely and a little confused after seeing the purple house again. When Yunus had relayed to me that Khalid had been rescuing the kittens from under the purple house for the old lady that had lived there, and struck up a relationship with her, I had sort of understood what had happened all those years ago, but it was the recent updates that had confused me. Despite Yunus saying that Khalid was probably responsible for the beauty of the garden too, I didn’t dwell on it. After him being gone for so long, part of my mind didn’t want to believe it. Maybe I was in denial. I had put through the offer for the house and hoped for the best.

And just when I was about to clarify any misconceptions that Zuleikha had, it was at that precise point when Yunus, Ahmed and his family came in, entering the lounge in their enormous glory.

”We’re back,” he said to us.

Like we couldn’t hear them from outside.

“Are you’ll nearly done?”

The way my brother was avoiding eye contact was amusing. He knew that it would be an emotional task, sorting out Mama’s things, and he had made himself extremely scarce. He didn’t know that this had brought on other kind of emotional.

”How are you coping, Ruby?” Zuleikha asked, smiling at them. It did amuse me to think that their family size would be significantly increasing in the next few months.

“I can only blame Ahmed,” she had said with a grin. “I mean, this never happened to me before.”

I smiled. I was really happy for them. I had so wished that they would have their own. I knew my brother wasn’t always set on it, because he wasn’t exactly the ‘baby-crazy’ type but seeing him with Khadijah wasn’t exactly bad to watch.

Ahmed smirked and shrugged as we looked at him.

”It never happened to me before either,” he said offhandedly.

Zuleikha laughed and shook her head. After the initial shock of it all, it was good to joke about it. It had been a while since I had to see them and I was glad that I did. The house was always buzzing with excitement and now that the babies were on the way, somehow, the feels were even more jolly.

”So are you excited about the babies?” Zuleikha asked Danyaal.

Danyaal nodded at Zuleikha shyly and then looked away. Of course he was excited. I could remember how thrilled he was when Khadijah was born. after Aadam passed away, he had become so subdued. He was, after all, very close to him… but the strange part was that as he grew up now his features were maturing and he was obviously beginning to look more and more like his uncle. As he grew he was also losing that baby-ness that I so loved about him. It was strangely sentimental for me, seeing these kids growing up now. I wasn’t sure if I liked it.

He put his hat on his head again as he turned around to leave. Ahmed was going for namaaz and had called the two bigger boys to join him.

I’m not excited,” Dayyaan said pulling a face. “Babies. Ugh.”

Rubeena shook her head but ignored him. Dayyaan wasn’t impressed with much these days. Except motor-bikes and fast cars.

”Dayyaan, Salaah,” Ahmed said sternly, raising his eyebrows at my nephew.

”Aw man,” he squealed. “Can’t I skip? I just came back. Dad doesn’t go. Can’t I just go and live with him?”

Ahmed looked at Rubeena and she turned her gaze to her second son. I had often noticed how Ahmed would voluntarily assist with the other kids, even when it came to discipline, but left Dayyaan for his mother to handle. He was, unquestionably, the most troubled of the lot and I didn’t blame him. He was somewhat of his father’s son and I could see that there were times when Ahmed just didn’t know how to handle him. Besides, I knew from past experience that dealing with Dayyaan and not giving into him could have disastrous consequences.

Rubeena got up from the couch, leaning down as steadily as her slightly protruding tummy allowed her, and looked him in the eye.

“Don’t you think that Allah will love you so much more when you make Him happy?” She asked him sweetly.

It wasn’t magical but it had the desired effect. The thing was, sometimes we take for granted our kids perception. We forget that Allah is watching over us with love, yet we still sometimes build them up with fear. We forget that sometimes we have to be their warriors… reminding them about all the love that Allah promises us if only we obey him.
The truth was that even as we go along, Allah is nudging us with love. Helping us along. Giving us hope to continue, not making us learn only through fear. How we build our kids is dependent on us.

Dayyaan hastily put his shoes on and skipped out after his brother and I could see Rubeena and Ahmed exchange a look as they watched him.

Parenting was something I’d always done on my own, but it was interesting to see this. I often wondered how Aadam would have handled Khadijah and her quirky comebacks. She was much like him, but I had a feeling that two of them together would have driven me crazy, in a completely love-to-be-driven-crazy way.

The other three boys were already running outside again, and Khadijah was pottering around with her little bag, playing on her own. Sometimes she did get tired of the boys. I was desperately wanting Rubeena to at least one little girl, so my daughter could have a friend.

I sighed as I left the room, still thinking about the boy’s and how their life had changed over the past few years. In some ways I really could relate to them, yet I was so glad that they hadn’t had the unfortunate experience of a terrible step-parent. I halted as I saw Yunus pulling on his jacket at the front entrance hall, looking like he was way out too.

“Where are you off to?” I asked Yunus. “Also for Salaah?”

“I went for early Salaah,” he said. “I need to make a stop for Faheem before I head home.”

“Can I join?” I asked. I was hoping to drill him about the hints that Zuleikha had mentioned.

“Of course,” he said, grabbing his keys as I greeted Rubeena and the lot. Khadijah had decided that she was having too much fun to leave, so I knew that I would have no choice but to leave her with Zuleikha for a few more hours.

Yunus, though pleasant and sweet, was not exactly the expressive type, so I knew that I’d have to do a little bit of prodding if I had to find out about this girl Zuleikha had thought was nearly a part of our family.

”So Yunus,” I said, clicking in my seat belt as he started the ignition. “How old are you again?”

Yunus looked at me weirdly.

Okay, I was being a bit weird.

”Twenty,” he said, frowning at me slightly as he backed out the driveway.

”Good age,” I said stupidly.

Ugh. This wasn’t going well.

”Yeah it is,” he added. “I’m stopping to fetch a USB from down the road. That okay?”

I didn’t ask him what down the road was. I just nodded. I was onto something and I needed to get it out of him.

”You ever thought of marriage?” I asked him, knowing that there was no other way to ask this.

Yunus shrugged.

”I have,” he said, slightly reservedly. “But not seriously.”

”Why not?” I pressed, wondering what Zuleikha was talking about. He didn’t seem keen on the prospect. At all.

“I don’t know,” he said offhandedly. “Taqdeer. When the time is right, it will happen I suppose.”

“Ah,” I said. He was obviously not serious about it was yet. But it didn’t mean that there was nothing to tell. “Are you interested in seeing girls?”

”You seem more interested in them than me,” Yunus said, a smile on his face as he met my gaze. I knew that I was being tiring.

“I’m just asking,” I said, deciding that I’d rather drop it now. I’m sure Yunus would tell me in his own time. If there was anything to tell. “I just want to see you happy. All settled.”

Zukeikha and Ahmed were pretty much settled and content. Somehow, I felt like a mother to my little brother. As always, I felt responsible for him.

Yunus was indicating and slowing down at Aunty Radiyyah’s house.

“You’re worrying about everyone else, Khawlah,” he murmured. “What about you?”

”I’m fine the way I am,” I said hastily.

”Im happy too. But’s lets make a deal,” he conceded. “When you settle down, I’ll think about it too.”

”Oh goodness, Yunus,” I exclaimed, throwing my hands up in the air. “I’ve already been there! The topic is exhausted. There’s nothing more I can give.”

”I know you’re a warrior at heart,” he said. “But do you really keep fighting your feelings all the time?”

”I’ve told you everything I know,” he said, turning to me. “By now, you should have been completely convinced. Your life may have turned out differently but why don’t you get it? He never forgot you. Khalid never forgot you.”

I could not believe that Yunus, of all people was bringing this up.

”Khalid’s not interested,” I said obviously with a sigh.

Ah,” Yunus said with raised eyebrows. “After everything you still say so. But what about you?”

“What about me?!” I moaned. What did I do?

“Maybe he was and you scared him away!” Yunus chuckled. “You know how you can be.”

”Yunus, are you delusional?!” I scoffed, shaking my head. “Remember the lady? You said that there’s a lady with them…”

”Awh Khawlah,” he said softly. “I didn’t say who she was.”

Oh no. I did feel a bit stupid.

He was right. He didn’t say. Then who was she?

We were parked outside Aunty Radiyyah’s house now and my heart was beating crazily in my chest. I was immune to the beauty of the front garden today, as I wished with all my might that I could somehow have a quick escape. What exactly was he saying?

And why on earth were we here again?

“You coming in with me or what?” He asked softly. Yunus was always so soft. Easy. Diplomatic.

“What?” I asked, blinking stupidly.

“To see Aunty Radiyyah?”

Oh yes. Of course. I thought he was suggesting something else. Silly me.

There were so many questions that I had on my mind. About the purple house. About the lady who lived there. About how it ended up the way it was. If Khalid really made it as beautiful as it was.
Even if he was, was it really that terrible? My mind was running away with me.

Why was I always such a fierce warrior? Why was my heart so unwavering? Why did I always have to fight anything that was staring me in the face? 

“She was asking about you,” he said. “She’s been busy. Khalids father’s leg is broken pretty badly.”

I immediately softened as I zoned back to the present. I could imagine that  must have been really sore. I wished that I had called her to check if she needed anything before this. How could I be so selfish?

We walked up the path slowly, not fully comprehending everything that had unfolded. Yunus quietly slipped away through the side gate while I continued up the stairs, already spotting a smiling aunty Radiyyah as she opened the door.

Oh, how I missed her.

Her arms were already outstretched as I dissolved into them, savoring the familiarity that I had known since I was just a little girl. I was almost lost in a turbulence of emotion as I held onto her, now, more than ever, so confused about everything and wanting pour it all out.

Did Aunty Radiyyah know what was on my mind? All these years had passed… why didn’t she tell me about Khalid? Why didn’t she tell me the truth?

I smiled at her, concealing the pain as she let go, not realizing that tears had filled my eyes until she brushed them away.

“It’s so good to see you here,” she whispered, squeezing my shoulder as I smiled up at her. “My beautiful Khawlah.”

Jedda,” Aunty Radiyyah called. “We’ve got a visitor.”

The hair visible at the front of her scarf was only slightly grey and the crinkles at the corners of her pretty eyes were exactly like Aunty Radiyyah’s. They’re was no longer question of who she was.

I watched as as a woman entered the room, poised and elegant as she walked forward, a little slower than most would, with the hint of a smile on her face.

”Wait, let me guess,” she said, her Arab accent pungent as she smiled a bit more widely. “This is Khawlah.”

She said my name wonderfully. There was actually no doubt in her tone as she said it. It was as if, by some default, she knew exactly who I was, despite us never setting eyes on each other ever before.

She came up to me, gazing at me with tears in her eyes as she pulled me into a fervent embrace, very much like my dear Aunty Radiyyah’s. It was achingly familiar.

”It’s so good to meet you,” she murmured. Maybe it was her accent. Or maybe it was her words… but her voice was strangely comforting. “I’ve heard all about you.”

Virtues of the ten days we are in. If we haven’t made extra efforts, let’s start now InshaAllah!
The Prophet (PBUH) said, “There is no deed that is better in the sight of Allah or more greatly rewarded than a good deed done in the (first) ten days of Al-Adha”. It was asked, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?” The Prophet (PBUH) replied, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, unless a man goes out himself for Jihad taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.” Narrated by Al-Bukhari

Sunnah of Du’aa after Salaah: One of the Sunnah of asking Allah is never to be despondent of Allah’s mercy. Remember that He is always listening and waiting to answer our prayer.

Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said that Allah the Exalted had said: “I have divided the prayer into two halves between Me and My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks. When the servant says: Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the universe, Allah the Most High says: My servant has praised Me. And when he (the servant) says: The Most Compassionate, the Merciful, Allah the Most High says: My servant has lauded Me. And when he (the servant) says: Master of the Day of judgment, He remarks: My servant has entrusted (his affairs) to Me. And when he (the worshipper) says: You alone we worship and of You alone do we ask help, He (Allah) says: This is between Me and My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks for. Then, when he (the worshipper) says: Guide us to the straight path, the path of those to whom You has been Gracious not of those who have incurred Your displeasure, nor of those who have gone astray, He (Allah) says: This is for My servant, and My servant will receive what he asks for.” [Sahih Muslim]

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

How easy to practice …











Twitter: @ajourneyjournal





Over the Top

Bismihi Ta’ala


”Now that boy!” Dada boomed suddenly in a his thunderous voice.

Somehow, because Dada was slightly deaf, he kind of thought that everyone couldn’t hear too.

“That boy,” he continued, wagging his finger in the direction of the departing car. “I like. He’s my new favorite. Or old favorite maybe.”

Yunus grinned and I shook my head at my grandfather. Sometimes Dada did go over the top.

Everyone knew that Khawlah was his favorite. It was probably because she looked most like my mother. Zuleikha and Adam had somehow found their way to the favorite category too.  For Adam, he was an honorary member of the favourites because, I mean, who didn’t like Adam?

But Khalid. Well, that was new. Or so I thought.

Yunus has brought Dada along with him to the hospital, where I was waiting for news about Rubeena. We were sitting at the entrance to the hospital where Khalid had just come to greet us before he left.

It was hard to believe that this was the guy that had once known throughout his childhood, or the guy who I used to trouble my sister about as a kid… or the guy that I had met all those years ago in Egypt. And many may have seen the kind of guy he was destined to be, but I for one wouldn’t have thought that he would have been chosen, so much so, and in such a way that he had become such a scholar. His reciting, his lectures, his lessons… it was something that I had come to know the magic of only during the past month or so that he was here.

”You’ll think I’m joking?” Dada asked as he stuck out his stick and pointed. “You should have heard that talk today, Ahmed. The way he spoke- like a master- even I feel like leaving for Jihaad now and giving my life.  What a test, man. What a test.”

I smiled. Dada was a hard nut to crack at times, but Khalid definitely had a way with words that moved even the most rigid of hearts.

And I could just imagine him saying it, the way Dada narrated it. The way he spoke, I could see that Dada was already converted to make-shift Mujaahid mode.

”Im ready to take it on!” He boomed, pumping his fist with a serious expression on his face.

And of course, to see Dada all psyched up like this at this part of his life was quite amusing. I always knew that he had this rigid and prickly side to him, but with age he had mellowed a bit. Of course, it’s where Abba inherited it from. And I mean, after all the drama that morning I kind of appreciated the chuckles.

Yikes, was I glad that I had some kind of diversion right then. Khalid’s coming here to the hospital to greet us was something we didn’t expect. Truth be told, the guy was so humble that I didn’t expect him to actually be so knowledgeable.

And the thing was, I could see that Dada was inspired. There are some people whose very presence can just build you. Inspire you. Change you. When Dada spoke I kind of got the drift about the talk…

When the Mahdi finally comes to rule, even those who didn’t want to submit, will follow. Peace will reign. Imaan will be at its heights. It will be a time when every single person will have to pledge allegiance. When everyone will be called to fight. Directly or indirectly… that’s when the true Mujaahideen will be born.

Some tests are sometimes a call for the most courageous warriors. Sometimes you need real strength… strength that humbles you.. brings you down to your knees… and truly brings you back to Allah.

And yes, as Dada spoke with so much of theatrical passion, I knew what he was narrating was on point. That at some point we will all have to stand up. We will have to pledge allegiance, whether directly or indirectly. We will have to fight at some point. We had to be prepared, but right now, I knew that I had bigger battles to fight within me. I had a jihaad within myself that I was fighting constantly, and still needed to work on.

And yes, he made me think- even as Dada said it. Khalid- or Maulana Khalid- had surprised me.

I recalled clearly the time I had seen him in Egypt, all young and full of life, almost ready to take on the world. The way he welcome us with open arms was something that defined him, even back then. That Arab hospitality was a renowned trait of his. Added to that was the humility he had always possessed, no matter where he was in life.

I didn’t know at that stage what exactly it was that had landed him there. I didn’t know, until I had found out later, that he was running away from something back home. Yes, When we met him he was focused and determined, but there was something added to it then just made him seem so much more grownup. It was like his outlook had been altered and from this somewhat immature guy who seemed so inexperienced in life, he had suddenly merged into someone so brilliant.

One day, I knew I had to ask him what it was that had really changed in his life.

“I don’t know how to thank you,” Khalid had said, taking my hand and clasping it, Sunnah style, as he greeted for the last time. “For arranging the paperwork. For sorting me out. I owe you big time.”

”It was nothing,” I said, trying to remain unemotional as he spoke. I had just pulled a few strings to get his paperwork in order and clear his name so he could travel freely again and he was so grateful.

”It was everything, bro,” he said seriously. Then he grinned, and he looked like Khalid again. “I never thought I’d say it but I’m so glad you have the right have contacts. Wish I could be like you.“

”But your mother will kill you,” I said with a grin, and he shook his head at me, catching me off guard as he closed in for a fierce hug.

He was so warm. Sincere. Approachable. It’s what made Khalid the kind of person he is. The kind of person he always was.

”You haven’t changed one bit,” he grinned, shaking his head in good humor. “I never thought I’d see you guys again but here we are, and Allah knows where next and on which journey, huh? Yunus, maybe we’ll meet at some other place next time…”

This was getting way now emotional than I intended.

He ran his hand through his beard as his icy eyes looked back at me.

“Imagine,” he said softly. “Every time we meet for the pleasure of Allah… always out in some path or the other. We’re meeting and leaving with our sins forgiven. Make Du’aa that I can stay that way.”

”You make Du’aa for us, Maulana,” I said softly. “It’s strange calling you that, by the way.”

He chuckled and winked.

”Who would have ever thought?,” he said with a smile. “It’s  just Khalid. Same ole, same ole…”

Same old, same old. Same old guy from way back when. The same old guy who was in love with my sister.

I wanted to say it but I didn’t. I just smiled as he waved at us, and turned to my brother.

I took a deep breath, but I let it out as he greeted Yunus and I one more time, and then opened his car door and drove away.

We were sitting outside the hospital entrance, and I felt a slight void as I watched Yunus’s face. He knew more than he was letting on.

I didn’t have to ask Yunus. We watched him leave, and Yunus turned to me. It was like he could tell what I was thinking.

”You think there’s a chance that he’ll ever come back?”

I shrugged. ‘For Khawlah’ were the silent words that he didn’t say. We both knew what we wanted. We just didn’t have the guts to say it.

”She was there earlier,” he said, and I knew who he meant. “She mentioned to me that she saw him. Don’t tell her I said so. She went to see Aunty Radiyyah.”

”What? She actually went there?” I asked incredulously, grasping what it meant .

Khawlah was getting way too independent for my liking. Scouting around the neighborhood like a free woman… who did she think she is? Why didn’t she check first or ask me to take her?

Sometimes I wasn’t sure if she really understood how to behave. The position and behavior of women at the time of the Prophet (SAW) compared to now were like day and night. They were so particular about modesty that even the form of a woman wasn’t brought in front of a man. They were so modest that before the ayaat of Pardah was revealed, their modesty was way more than what was present today… even when we are well aware of every rule of pardah that exists.

It was at the time of the marriage of Nabi (SAW) to Zaynab bint Jahsh (RA) that the verses of pardah were revealed. It is said that there were some Sahaba who had come to join in the meal, and she was present. Due to her discomfort, these two commands were revealed in Ayat of the same Surah:

O you who believe! Enter not the Prophet’s houses, unless permission is given to you for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation. But when you are invited, enter, and when you have taken your meal, disperse without sitting for a talk. Verily, such (behavior) annoys the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and he is shy of (asking) you (to go); but Allah is not shy of (telling you) the truth. And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. And it is not (right) for you that you should annoy Allah’s Messenger, nor that you should ever marry his wives after him (his death). Verily, with Allah that shall be an enormity.” [Noble Quran 33:53]

And yes, they were sahabiya but we had to aspire to be like them. Imagine what Khalid must have thought. Why couldn’t she have phoned and checked first? I definitely had a bone to pick with my sister and my mood was just set for it.

And in all fairness, maybe I did have too many bones to pick with people. One thing for sure was that I wasn’t very happy with the women in my life at  the time. Of course, I had reason to be upset though. Rubeena had gone a little over the top this time.

I made my way back to the ward as I greeted Dada and Yunus. There was no use sticking around here now.

”Sir, the results have come back.”

It was just in time that one of the nurses who had come out to call me. My mind had settled into reality, and I could feel my anger subsiding. I stubbed my cigarette and tossed it into the little sandy patch at the door before following the nurse.

”Is she okay?” I had asked the doctor as he walked in early that morning. I had been terrified that something was wrong with her. After Aadam and the cancer and losing him… no one could really blame me for being as paranoid as I was.

It was playing out just like Adam’s story was. My mother-in-law was freaking out. Siraj was adamant that no-one should touch her until he got there. What was happening to Rubeena was something completely unexpected. She had basically collapsed on the kitchen floor. I had no idea what was going on with her but it was quite a concern.

”Well, the results of the tests have come back,” he said pretty calmly as he jotted something down. I took a seat on the bench positioned against the wall of the casualty ward.

Was it bad? Life-altering? Life-threatening? I had a feeling that I was going to need to sit.

”And?” I asked weakly, waiting for the response the doctor peered at me.

“She’s pregnant,” he said flatly, as if it was obvious. “Her hCG levels are extremely high. It accounts for how she feels. We’ll do a scan later and see what comes up. She’s extremely dehydrated and seems have lost weight too. Has she been eating at all? You look like you didn’t know?”

I looked at the doctor and blinked. Yes, I felt like a complete fool.

Of course I didn’t know.

”What will she need?” I asked, almost robotically. I was too scared to ask any more questions. The thought of a baby was freaking me out. But not in an entirely bad way.

”Just a drip,” he said, looking at his watch. “She should be fine to leave tomorrow. We’ll just have to see if her levels are rising so we know that it is in fact a successful pregnancy. From the looks of it, I’m sure it is, but the sonographer will be here for the scan in a bit.”

I nodded blankly, glancing at my phone to see a message from Siraj who was asking after Rubeena. He had spoken to the doctor there and would be there later.

I looked at my wife who was lying, quite motionless on the hospital bed. I wished that I could talk to her. Ask her why she hid the truth. Ask her if she didn’t think I’d be able to handle the pregnancy news. I didn’t even know how far she was… was I really that much of a hard nut that she couldn’t even break to me this important news?

I got up slowly, rubbing my temples and feeling the need for some caffeine. It had been Adam who had gotten me into the habit of a daily coffee. Without my dose I often couldn’t think properly. I knew that I needed some time over a ‘cuppa’ to let this all settle and decide the best way forward. Rubeena was still asleep.. probably pretending even… but I didn’t care. I need red the time to let it process.

The corridors of the hospital were semi-quiet as I strolled through, trying to let it all sink in. By then there was none of my family around, and I appreciated the time to think.

A baby. A baby. How would the boys react? I mean, they loved Khadijah. We all did. But at the end of the day, she still went back home to her mother. A baby. I wasn’t sure but I was thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. They are quite cute. And they obviously seem to make women happy. I guess one extra kid won’t be that bad.

My brain was kind of wrapping itself around the idea of it all as I paid for my coffee and made my way back to the ward, pausing at a bench to sit and drink my coffee. My mind was a jumble as I remembered the last time I was here. When Aadam was really sick and he had called me here to see him.

I was actually so lost in the thought of Aadam and how he might have actually been so thrilled about this new addition to the family that I had forgotten that the ultrasound was probably going on right then.

Of course, as I made my way back to the rooms and glimpsed my mother-in-law’s sordid face in the corner of the room. I was obviously a little worried. The sonographer had just arrived with her machine and I could see that I just missed the scan. I didn’t know what had just happened, but as I looked at my wife I couldn’t help but feel the thudding in my chest increase about tenfold.

Rubeena was sitting up in bed now, looking at me like she had seen a ghost. Of course, I couldn’t help but assume the worst as I looked from her to my mother-in-law, now feeling like a ton on bricks were threatening to rain down on me any minute.

”Ruby,” I said, my voice just over a squeak as I turned to look at my mother-in-law. “Ma. What’s going on?”

She continued looking ahead, moving her gaze to me after few seconds, and then turned her head again as she focused on a spot on the wall. It was a tiny bit freaky.

“Congratulations, sir,” the sonographer said as she saw me. “I’m sure you and your wife are excited about the big news.”

”Thanks,” I said blandly.

Excited. I wasn’t sure. I looked at Rubeena. She didn’t look like it, and I didn’t blame her. The four boys kept her busy enough. On the other hand, one more wouldn’t make much of a difference, right? I wanted to tell her that she didn’t have to act like the world was crashing down on her.

It really wasn’t a big deal. Some people couldn’t have kids. Maybe she was just being a tad bit ungrateful.

”Tell him,” Rubeena croaked, a bit robotically.  “About the scan.”

I narrowed my eyes and looked at her.

”Is the baby okay?” I asked, feeling strangely protective over the new life that was living inside her. It was weird how I warmed up to the idea. If I didn’t know myself better, I would have probably even believed that I was excited.

”Babies,” the sonographer said with a smile. “There’s more than one in there.”

I widened my eyes at my wife, not realizing that my jaw had dropped open.

Twins?” I said in disbelief, feeling all sorts of weird things in my gut as I tried to process. Two? Two babies?

Yikes. No wonder my mother-in-law was so silent. It was probably a shock to her system too. Two babies at once was a bit over the top.

”No, Ahmed,” Rubeena said, shaking her head and meeting my gaze for the first time since I got to the room. “It’s not twins.”

“Well, that’s a relief,” I said with a chuckle, only half joking. I didn’t realize that I was shooting myself in the foot.

She looked at me squarely, raised her eyebrows and spoke.

“We’re having triplets.”

Dear readers, 

Just a little humor to keep us going. Let’s keep with the istighfaar, Sunnah revival and lots of Du’aa. InshaAllah 

Much Love,

A xx

Sunnah of Du’aa: One of the Sunnah of asking Allah is never to be despondent of Allah’s mercy. Remember that He is always listening and waiting to answer our prayer.

According to another version (3477): “When one of you prays, let him start with praise of Allaah, then let him send blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ, then let him ask whatever he likes after that.”Then another man prayed after that, and he praised Allaah and sent blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ. The Prophet ﷺ said: “O worshipper, ask and you will be answered.”

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

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

How easy to practice …











Twitter: @ajourneyjournal






The Little Things

Bismihi Ta’ala


Sometimes the smallest things take the most room in your heart. Sometimes you don’t see it coming.  You never know it from the start. It could be a little word. A small gesture. A lingering smile. We never know when our hearts are suddenly swayed and then like a gust of wind from the blue, things are just not the same anymore.

At the end of the day, the way we are brought up and what we are exposed to shapes us. It makes us who we are. The heart, by default is something that easily turns. In the blink of an eye, it’s entirety can be devoured. If we feed our heart with everything besides what our Lord requires of us, it’s only natural that our hearts will incline to that.

In that, if our hearts are corrupt; if our intentions are corrupt, such deceit will follow in our actions.. For how will a fruit tree bare fragrant and delicious fruit if it’s roots, underground, have decayed?

I paused for a second as I let the thought sink in, thinking to myself how genius it was, as I thrust the shovel into the sand, digging up the debris that were left behind, trying to clear a path for me to walk through to continue my task. The smell of wet earth was particularly comforting, as it became more apparent that the roots of the huge oak tree started her. It was home to many animals, including nocturnal ones.

The tendons were still very much alive. They still had infinite potential and as I continued to dig in, with each movement, something inside me was getting revived. 

”You know what they say in Egypt about friends,” my mothers voice called out from the patio.

I had heard it plenty of times before. My granny had often used the proverb when I was younger. I just wasn’t sure if Tariq was trying to get information from me or if he was really being serious. He was a good guy, but his mouth was a tad bit on the loose side.

Even if a friend is honey, don’t lick them all up.

Tariq’s words were still ringing in my mind even though he had left an hour ago. I tried to make light of them but unfortunately it wasn’t that easy, I couldn’t help but feel that he should have more decency than to talk like that.

I looked at my mother and shrugged, trying to play it down. It didn’t matter, did it?

”You should have spoken your mind,” she said, just before she turned to leave. How did she even know what was on my mind?

“And what good would that have done?” I rattled to her in Arabic. “Speaking good and overlooking faults always wins the battle. The one who gives up arguing even when he is right, well Ums… you know the Hadith…”

Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right; and I guarantee a home in the middle of Jannah for one who abandons lying even for the sake of fun; and I guarantee a house in the highest part of Jannah for one who has good manners.”

[Abu Dawud]

I smiled as I noticed my mother’s unchanged expression. She had her hands on her hips and an unimpressed look on her face.

”But this is not your life that it has to do with,” she said pointedly. “Some things are worth the argument. You should care more than that…”

”Don’t take it so seriously,” I said, walking up to her and planting a kiss on her soft cheek. As long as I’d remembered, Ummi’s cheeks were always somewhat like cotton wool. If she didn’t hate it so much I would have pinched them, but I knew that she would probably smack me.

“I see even after all these years you haven’t broken the habit of listening to my conversations?” I said with a grin.

She shrugged and gave me a wry smile. I had missed her smile. Her charcoal eyes. It had been so many years that I had forgotten the parts that had made home… well, home.

I grinned and shook my head to myself as I thought of her intuition. She always had this sixth sense about people who brought trouble, and Tariq was never in her good books. Though we knew each other for years, I think she was always wary of his charming smile and poetic phrases.

”If things were different you wouldn’t have been so unaffected,” she said, a note of sadness in her voice.

I didn’t say anything. Somehow, the light-heartednesse of the situation had been exhausted. Things between us had become serious as the atmosphere intensified.

Things weren’t different. That was the thing. It was what it was and it was no-one’s fault. What was meant to be had happened. If something is not on your Taqdeer there is nothing that can be done to change it. Destiny was such. Now that so much had happened since then.., and so many years had gone by… I had no intention whatsoever of going back down the road.

I breathed in deeply as I got back to my task again of rebuilding the treehouse, holding the spade with both hands, heaving before I went in for another dig. This time there was a “thwack” as it hit a solid piece of something, and I pulled back, trying to figure out why there was such a shallow point right there. Possibly something I had buried as a young kid? A piece of rock from the old store room maybe? Much had changed since I got back, and the yard was one of them.

My mother had gone back inside but I couldn’t help but feel uneasy. Of course, when Tariq has mentioned a ‘rich widow’, I didn’t think about who it could be. Yes, I had laughed it off… not knowing who he meant. When two and two was put together, I had to admit that the prospect made me feel uneasy. His brother wanting to propose to someone because she had money to rescue his business was definitely not an admirable thing to do.

Now that I knew who the someone was, it made me feel even more unnerved. I had no idea that her husband had passed away, until a few days back. All I knew from the talk was that whoever had to propose now would have some really big shoes to fill.

I hoisted myself up onto the first branch of the tree, steadying my body as I reached the level of the would-have-been playhouse that my father had started when I left home. Who he was building it for, I had no idea. You could barely notice it, but as I had strutted around aimlessly the past week, still trying to figure out what was next from her, I knew that a revamp would be just the thing to keep me occupied. Papa had suggested teaching at the Uloom to keep me busy, but my thoughts weren’t that focused as yet. Catching up with all the things I had missed about home seemed more appealing for now. I just needed some time to adjust…

And of course, now that the memories had been revived, I couldn’t help but feel like the silly guy that I was back then. How life had caught me unaware… though it sometimes made me laugh at myself back then… it also filled me with regret.

I was so childish. Ignorant. Unaware of reality. I still remembered the conversation I had had back then with my mother, thinking I had had it all figured out. Falling into the wrong crowd, leaving madrassa… taking life like it was one big joke and then suddenly wanting to marry the girl who I had promised I would when I was ten years old just because seemed like she could fix it all… well, that was where I had stood back then. I mean, who even knew what they wanted at ten?

And yes, even though it was laughable now, and made me chuckle aloud… what haunted me was that I had blamed my mother for a long while afterward. Stupidly.

I had blamed her because I didn’t have the foresight in me to understand about Taqdeer.

I didn’t get that it wasn’t meant to be.

“I knew that you would come back, you know that?”

It was the day I had arrived, and I couldn’t yet bear to look at Ummi, whose eyes were brimming with fresh tears again as she took in my presence. Her face was drawn from the years she had aged and the lump in my throat seemed to intensify as I saw her pain. How could I hurt her like that? How could I have left without making it all okay?

”It would have been sooner if I could…” I said, running my hand through my now full beard yet still feeling like the coward kid I had been back then. “Ums… I’m sorry for that last time… I couldn’t…”

She shook her head vehemently as she held my head in her hands, kissing my forehead and then turning away so I couldn’t see the tears flowing.

It wasn’t rocket science. I knew she was crying. I knew my mother too well by now. To have had a son like me who had at one stage turned away from everything she had tried so hard to inculcate in him was much for her to bear. She had never disclosed the truth to anyone, even when I went away… but I knew now why she sent me. Being away from them made me reflect. Realize. Made me regret.

It’s not fair!” I had shouted at her. “You’d do anything for everyone else but for your own son! Its because it’s Khawlah, right? Looks like you’re more worried about her than me! It’s not like I want to mess around! I want to marry her!”

I was angry. Clouded by my thoughts. Controlled by emotion. Looking back I could not believe that I had raised my voice to my mother.

”Khalid, you needed to grow up first,” she said wisely, trying to make me see reason. “You can’t be getting married now. I won’t allow it. You think she will accept?! She’s not a stupid girl. You need to finish your Aalim course. Learn some responsibility. She hasn’t had an easy life. She’s lost her mother. She still has two years of school. Study something or be someone who she can rely on. If she is meant for you after it all… she will still be here… Tawakkal Allah...”

I had scowled and pushed her away as she tried to come towards me. I couldn’t believe that I had become so angry. Looking back, I couldn’t believe I had broken my mother.

My parents had given me so much. Everything a kid needed. They had put everything on hold to bring me the best of Deen. I had learnt so much from her, yet I still had it in me to break her with my rebelliousness. Of course it was not an easy thing. How much of grief and pain I had given my mother in that time, I could not even fathom…

How would I even begin to make up for it? How could I even prove to her how much I regretted all the pain I put her through...

But a mother. I didn’t understand then but I knew now. A mother is someone who knows your heart, even when you don’t even know it yourself. There’s a reason Jannah is under her feet. If it was her palms, she would have handed it over- undeserving. Within the ground, it bears her entirety. If you wish to achieve it, then only do you learn what it is to carry her weight….

”Don’t sweat the small stuff, handsome,” she had said mischievously with that twinkle in her teary eye, as I clung onto her at the door. “It’s all small stuff.”

Small stuff. I had laughed as she said it, but it all boiled down to one thing.

Taqdeer. It was what it was. I didn’t understand it then. It took me years. Years of battling with my Nafs, my heart and my overpowering inclinations. Being in Egypt had put a lot into perspective for me. It changed my views, my company and the way I saw life. Instead of the irresponsible guy I was back home, I  had morphed into a civilized and commendable character that everyone looked up to.

And then, of course, there was the accident. If you could even call it that. An incident that claimed the lives of two of my cousins. An incident that made me realise that a friend of ours who seemed to be on our side… really wasn’t. It had taken another year of battling to find base afterwards. I couldn’t go back to Egypt because of the politics that had heightened after the Arab Spring. I would have been in deep trouble. I couldn’t go back home because the guy who had set us up was waiting there to see if I would still be alive. It was time for me to take care of myself… time for me to be on the run…

And it was a tough journey. To see the other side of life. When I saw the guys advancing towards us as we set off past the border, gasoline in their hands… I already knew that we were in trouble. And yes. It was the most terrifying feeling. As the flames overcame us, somehow, I had managed to escape the brunt of it.

When I woke up, I was already taken captive… not yet knowing what crime I had committed, but knowing that I was set up. It was surreal. Facing death and living to tell the tale. Getting arrested for no reason that seemed to make sense. Being beaten in the depths of the night for crimes I didn’t commit. All we were doing was taking food and necessities over to a camp where it was scarce. We didn’t know that they would consider us as competition. That the people who intercepted us weren’t happy about it and made it political. Six months later, I had eventually found my way out, but in foreign territory. I couldn’t go back, I had to keep escaping until I found refuge in a Mosque near the Indian border.

And of course, as Taqdeer would have it… I completed my Aalim course there. I then went on to perfect my recitation in Quran, making sure to steer clear of Egypt in the process. Both territories were dangerous for me. Somehow, through trying to do what was right, I had become a violator. Jordan seemed like an amazing place to be, and that was precisely where I had ended up a few months before clashing into Yunus.

What a journey. My mind could not even wrap itself around the gratitude that I felt right then. The magnitude of what had happened. I never thought I’d get back home. I never thought I’d ever see my mother again, but Yunus came along and changed it. Allah had sent him to be a means of relief, and I could not even express how grateful I was to him. He was an amazing guy. Always had been and still was. I closed my eyes as I thought of everything I had made Duaa for, not even realizing that everything I wished for back then was now directly at my disposal.

Sometimes in our pursuit for different things, we forget the things that Allah has given us without asking. Sometimes we get so fixated on the things that we don’t get, that we forget about the little things that we never have to ever ask for.
Yes, at one stage I had wanted wealth and love and status so badly. At once stage I had been lured off track, taken in by a crowd who seemed like they were cool and focused, only to find out they were the exact opposite. It was short-lived but I wasn’t immune to it’s effects.

Papa had a knack of bringing me back on track with his words, but sometimes even the small pains we cause our parents can have repercussions. Through a little disobedience, we cause more damage. Being faced with difficulty sometimes helps us to channel our thoughts in the right direction. It helps us find our base. Eventually it brings us back home. 

And now that I was home and it was all over, never again will I take for granted the soothing smile of my mother… the warm handshake of my father. The acceptance of people back home. A roof over my head. The gifts that I was blessed with every day. Family. Friends who loved me. The fact that I had a home to go to, breaths that I didn’t have to ask for. A conversation with a stranger who knows where I come from. A smile from the tea-shop guy who remembered me as a little kid. I’ll never look at home in the same way again.

Exchoose me!”

At first I wasn’t sure if I was imagining it. I paused as I stopped the hammering, peeping through the tiny gaps below me as I saw little curls that flew all over her face. It was a laughable sight as I watched, and of course, I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe I was gone crazy and had been transported back in time to a place where the world was new and the skies were still clear blue. I was almost lost in translation as I tried to make sense of it… holding my weight with the strongest branch of the tree and then making my way down as she went on for herself.

”Who are you and what are you doing here?” She asked clearly as I made myself more visible. For a girl of that age, her speech was remarkable.

And I couldn’t believe she was asking me that. I mean, I was almost certain that I should have been the one to ask what she was doing here. At my house. In my yard. She was hilarious.

I chuckled as my feet touched the ground, put my hands on my hips to mimic her and took a long look at the face that belonged to the strangely familiar bossy voice. All I knew was that though her hair was distinctly familiar, her little face was the cutest little picture that I’d never seen before. And as I heard the voices coming from the back alley, calling her name in frantic worry, I supposed there was not much else I could do to keep myself concealed from what was obviously awaiting…

There is an end to every storm. Once all the trees have been uprooted. Once the houses have been ripped apart. Eventually the storm will pass. The wind will hush. The clouds will lift.

Way before we knew about this, it all comes back to one thing.  It doesn’t matter how far you’ve gone. It doesn’t matter what you’ve been through. And I’m not sure at exactly which point Taqdeer had changed for me. I don’t know which hour or day or time of the week, there is no measure when it comes to the mercies of Allah that can rain on you through patience and perseverance. Too many of us are trapped in that cycle of chasing, that we forget to live, feel and experience the beauty that we created. There is no way to understand the weight of what we bear, until one day we realize that right now, where we are, is where we were praying to be all along…

And through it all, if theres one thing I learnt, it’s this:

After hardship always comes ease.

It’s those little words and reminders that we sometimes forget. The little reminders that help us to be more like the people we want to be, were called to be… and hopefully always stay that way… for better or for worse.

But mostly for the better…

Dearest Readers,

I did plan to pen a little more of the story but as time would have it, I kind of had to make the most of whatever I had planned and condense the lessons that I had in mind for the preparation of Ramadhaan. Whilst we embark on the journey of this amazing month in the most surreal of times, let us not forget the little things that we take for granted. The time with family. The smiles of our kids. Just playing with them and enjoying their little laughter.

We will probably have a lot more time on our hands for the first few days. With no iftar parties of excessive gathering, let’s use the opportunity to get closer to Allah and seek His mercy. Let us lose ourselves in the wealth of Allah’s refuge. May we become so close to Him… so pious … that after Ramadhaan our hearts are completely changed.

May Allah alleviate the burdens of the entire Ummah and Mankind, and grant every person relief from the troubles and ailments that are engulfing us. I will reply to all comments soon and yes, InshaAllah, a few posts to be expected to conclude the story thereafter. 

Lastly, don’t forget to make Du’aa. Lots of duaa. May Allah accept!

Much Love,

A xx

A new Sunnah. Consideration for beggars and Needy.

Especially in these surreal times, we sometimes forget that there are many out there who are in compromising situations and genuinely need assistance.

It is narrated that Sayyiduna Husain bin Ali  used to express joy upon the arrival of a beggar. He would say: “The beggar is transporting our goods to the Hereafter.”

SubhaanAllah. The Sunnah of giving was one that was second nature to Nabi (SAW).

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

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

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

by Almighty Allah on five nights:

The night of Jumu’ah

The nights of the two ‘Eids

The first night of Rajab

The middle (15th) night of Sha’ban

Allah accept our efforts and Duaas.









Twitter: @ajourneyjournal