When we Break the Rules

Bismihi Ta’ala


Part 83


What are you guys up to today?

It was a message from Jameela and I couldn’t help but smile, despite my caffeine deprivation, as I thought of how happy she was yesterday. If I could describe it in words, I’d say that she was over the moon, topsy turvy, do-cartwheels-in-the-rain kinda ecstatic.

And me.

Up way too early for my liking. You? 

I typed in a reply quickly, not wanting to go into details of how Hamzah literally dragged me out of bed, forced me to dress in a presentable outdoor dress with a floral sheila, and had all Zaid’s bags already packed with a painfully victorious expression on his face.

“Is that a smile I see?” his smooth voice said as he sneaked a look at me from the drivers seat. “Seems like someone’s cheered up already. Can we head straight to our destination then?”

The service station was still a few minutes away and I couldn’t understand how Hamzah could be so alive at this part of the morning, with so little sleep.

Going out early the day after my sisters wedding was the worst idea he ever had. Sometimes I wondered if he did these things specifically to torture me.

”Please no,” I groaned, adjusting my expression and slipping my sunglasses further up my nose as I put my phone on my lap. “I need coffee. Like, stat.”

He grinned as I turned my face back to my phone, and it buzzed again.

”Well actually, maybe we can,” I said, rethinking and wondering what I could score out of this. “If you think that you can let me in on where we’re actually going…”

”No ways,” he cut off, taking the turn for the service station. “You’re not spoiling this for me with your unadventurous vibes. Today is all about adventure, and that’s a threat.”

Ohmahgosh,” I sighed hopelessly.

He would be the end of me, the way he was carrying on. I was doomed to die of coffee deprivation in some bundu-bashing destination while wild animals scavenged on my dead body.

Hamzah ignored my sulky face, already popping into the garage while I watched him order my fave coffee drink through the glass, the PSL, not because I particularly liked it but because it was also trending, and it reminded me of why I loved this man to the point of wanting to suffocate him.

But of course, I didn’t.

I opted for a tiny smile instead while he handed me the disposable coffee cup and watched me sip my coffee almost like my life depended on it.


Two unread messages.

I’m staring at my husband while he sleeps like an angel. I love being obsessed.


You guys going far? 

You’d think that her teenage hormones would calm the hell down once she was married, but reality had proven that Jameela was beyond saving.

It was literally nauseating to have to read all her messages this early, but I didn’t want to be a grump and tell her to zip it so I could keep lasts night’s food within the parameters of my stomach.

I glanced at Hamzah, who gave me a sideways smile as he glimpsed Jameela’s name on my phone, and I typed again.

My tummy was feeling in some weird kind of knots and I assumed it was because I hadn’t really eaten a thing from the morning.

I hope not because I’m hangry asl and wondering what on earth my husband is up to. We may be out of range, so if you can’t contact me, don’t panic. Okay, maybe panic. If I come back in a body bag, rem you’re my fav sister. Love you (more than Zubair ever will!) *smiley with the hugest teeth*

I might as well cover all my bases here. Before she got any weird ideas of falling head over heels in love, she needed to remember that I came first. Even though I didn’t know what my own future held right then, I was still irreplaceable.

And despite my confusion about said future, I had to give it to my husband. He had me on the edge of my seat, desperately trying to guess his next move. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust him.

I just didn’t trust my traitor heart to stay strong against his attempts.

We drove in silence for a while, with me trying my hardest to guess where Hamza was taking me, and him shutting me down every time I gave him a stupid option. It was a game of back and forth that we were playing, never treading any deeper than the simple, mundane things that we thought were safest to speak of, without breaking any of the unsaid rules.

And knowing Hamzah and his nature obsessions, I’d assumed it would be some spectacular spot which overwhelmed your senses with the beauty of seeing the outdoors au naturel. I kept firing ideas of hiking and camping spots to him, and after a few minutes, I assumed that he was taking me to his childhood home, until he drove right past the off-ramp that went to it.  I racked my brains to figure it out just as he took another one, and finally pulled up in front of a semi-large face brick house.

And then, I was baffled. I had nothing. No guesses to what Hamza had up his sleeve, but my danger radar told me he definitely had something… something big enough that I forced myself to take a moment and steel my heart to bear the emotional onslaught today was sure to bring.

I stepped out of the car when he did, already missing Zaid, and trying to tune out reality.

How would I bear it when we had to split him between us?
I shut the thought down.

Not today, Mos, I told myself. Today was for blissful ignorance concerning the future.

Today was just for now. Today was a break from all the damage control that I’d been losing my mind doing… a break from thinking way too much.

I trailed behind Hamza, whose impassive face gave away zero clues…. until he approached the locked gate and pulled out a set of keys from his kurta pocket. With a heart racing so fast, I feared a mini heart attack. I frantically considered the possibilities in my head.

Did my nutcase, think-with-his-heart husband buy a house in the hopes that it will dissuade me from going through with the divorce?

“Hamzah!” I said sharply, the panicked edge in my voice clearly evident.

He touch his index fingers to my lips.

Ssshh. Rules. Number 1. No screeching.”

His eyes twinkled mischievously as he said it, and I automatically scowled as he beckoned for me to follow him. I stared ahead at him in his white kurta, taking in his handsome form as he stepped through the doorway, letting my eyes slowly adjust to the lighting in the room beyond where he stood.

Even my wildest imagination couldn’t prepare me for where he’d brought me. I looked around incredulously, taking in the big empty room, the dark blue carpetting, the little wudhu khana in the corner with three sinks and the stacks of plastic desks on the right side corner…

I was thrown. Completely. I raised my eyes hesitantly to his, to see my husband watching me with an intense look on his face, almost as if he were soaking in every part of my reaction.

When he smiled crookedly and spoke, I was already turned to mush.

“Stop number one. Welcome to my Hifdh Madrassah, Mos. Where getting the stick meant that we couldn’t sit for days.”

He grinned and my heart almost burst with how childlike he looked in that moment. I wanted to twist his ear and hug him all at once, and for once in my life I just stood there, all uncertain and confused, wondering what next to do.

My word.

My heart was beating at a million beats per second. Knowing the Qur’ān had played such a beautiful role in bringing us together, and how much it had meant to us, I knew that Hamzah had planned this with that very intention in mind. He hoped for it to bind us together once again. Forgetting anger for that moment, I was just in awe that he was giving me a glimpse of his past, even with everything that was going down between us, he had that much of faith in me to let me into this part of his world.

“This place is creepy without the crescendo of 100 voices mixing over one another,” he mused, moving further into the room, as I imagined the memories he had of this place.

Constant recital. Maulana screaming. Boys fighting. Jokes flying. It must have had its own atmosphere… and I’m sure it still did.

Everything looked neat and tidy, almost as if it was just ready for the students to come in and start their work once again.

I followed behind him cautiously, watching the back of his head, unable to predict in what direction today was headed… Until I found a desk in front of me, and Hamza holding out to me the pocket Qurʾān he normally kept in the car to do his dhor.

I raised my eyebrows questioningly.

”What are we doing?”

”Here?” He asked with a cock of his head, gesturing for me to sit. “Or generally?”

“What are we doing here?”

I didn’t want to talk about what we were doing generally. I had no answers, and I was scared about what his would be.

“Simple,” he murmured, lowering his legs into a sitting position and placing his hands on his lap. “When in a hifdh class, do as the hifdh students do. Test me, Mos?”

The last part of his request came out tentatively as he locked eyes with mine, and I didn’t blame him.

Be still my beating heart. Be still.

And of course it didn’t listen. I’d heard my husband recite before, especially before he would make Zaid sleep, in his strong but soothing voice. I’d basked in it whenever he did, and although he had tested me tons of times before… he had never requested me to test him.

And I wanted to refuse. To say it was against the rules to swindle my heart this way. To say I wasn’t worthy of this honour, because I knew there was no other word for it, but before I knew it, the silent room wasn’t silent anymore, and there I sat, not knowing anything… not knowing what this full, but unnerving feeling in my heart was, not knowing what to make of the contented expression on his face as Hamzah recited… not knowing what the heck I was doing with my life and how I would survive this separation, even though, up until now, in front of him, I had managed to keep up the pretence that it didn’t bother me too much.

His voice carried throughout the room as he read, and  despite my confused heart, it was as though nothing else beside him and I existed in this time and space, where absolute tranquility seemed to surround us.

And before I knew it, tears etched my eyes and overwhelming emotions had consumed me. I was battling with myself to try and stop overthinking and just appreciate this moment, because this moment, right then, would probably be the first and the last time I’d get to test my husband his dhor.

This moment, right then, when it felt like all those barriers were falling away… was everything.

Then, all of a sudden, his intensely deep voice stopped as he got up and edged closer to me and whispered, “Pick up your hands, Mos.”

I hastily wiped my eyes and lifted them in the air, humouring him even though I couldn’t understand his request, not expecting his chuckle that escaped from his mouth, completely at ease, in a way I hadn’t heard in a few weeks… and hadn’t realised that I’d missed.

A smile ghosted his lips as he lay down on the ground next to me and I understood why he was grinning. I had put my hands all the way up as if I was under arrest, and all my husband wanted to do was lay his head down right in my lap.

For a minute, as the back of his head met my thighs, I froze at his proximity, because we had been so distant the past few days that I couldn’t quite digest this sudden surge of affection.

“You know,” he said, ignoring my awkwardness and twisting his head so it got the perfect kind of cushioning on my lap without it feeling uncomfortable. “Its a Sunnah of Nabī ﷺ that he recited Qurʾān while lying on the lap of Ayesha radiAllahu anha… and I kinda get the feeling that there’s no better time to practise a Sunnah that right now…”

Smooth. Very smooth.

And before I got a word in, he was already reciting again, continuing with the verses of Surah Tawbah, and I couldn’t help letting a tear fall on his cheek, even though he pretended as if he didn’t feel it.

His eyes were closed, so he couldn’t meet the turbulent expression in my eyes as I watched him, but I preferred it that way.

I couldn’t quite digest this. This place. The recital. Him, Hafidh and the man that I’d come to love with so much of my heart, on my lap, in his childhood Hifdh class, his melodious recitation.. my heart felt like it would explode from an intolerable level of emotion.

I wiped the tears away with one hand, running the other through his hair in a way I could tell he lived for by the content expression on his face, and the way his head sought more comfort at my touch. And even as his reciting stopped, thats how we sat, time unknown to us, the serene atmosphere too sacred to disturb and even check how many minutes had passed during our time together, until that little reminder that nothing good should last popped up in my brain again.

I couldn’t. This was all too much. Too close. Too personal. It was getting deeper than I ever thought, breaking all my rules, and I felt as if my heart was deeper in than I knew, as I instinctively pulled my hand away.

“Don’t stop,” he said as he reached up to catch my hand and guide it back into his hair.

His eyes bored into mine as if they wanted to say words he couldn’t voice. I felt like I was watching a TikTok ‘tell me you love me without telling me you love me’ reel. There was no other way to describe his infectious way of spreading his feelings.

”First explain,” I mumbled, as coherently as I could, holding my hand still, like leverage in his hair, as I spoke. “Tell me why here. Else I’ll stop.”

Hamzah shot me a withering look in response before slowly starting to speak.

“I think you agreed that you owe me one,” he said, almost with an entitled look on his face as he wiggled his head on my palm coaxingly. “Your words, my love.”

”I smell BS,” I snorted, ignoring his sweetness as he shot me a disdainful look at my use of abbreviation within the sacred walls. “Tell me.”

He sighed, and I automatically moved my fingers ever so slightly as he spoke again. Despite my brain being traitorous, I actually didn’t want him to actually stop laying there.

“This is what brought us together,” he said softly, his arms spread open now as his one twinkly eye opened and looked at me. “It’s not easy coming back here, especially with memories of Liyaket flooding through my brain. It’s been hard these past few weeks, and without him, I felt it even more when I needed someone to talk to. Any problem I had in the past, he always had a solution. I knew that I had Imraan and Zubair trying to help out, but it kept coming back to him and this place and a few days ago, I couldn’t handle the pressure anymore, and I suddenly remembered him telling me how often he would ask Maulana for advice, even after we finished our Hifdh.”

He fell silent then, as if contemplating his next words, and I waited.

”You went to him?” I asked softly, when he didn’t speak again.

His eyes were closed beneath my gentle motions in his hair as he nodded, and I wondered if he’d actually fallen asleep until I noticed the edges of his eyes crinkle slightly, and the slight tilt of his lips.

“I did,” Hamza continued, his eyes still closed. “And it was the predictable ‘Hafezsaab, chalo, let’s drink tea’ regime. And all I could think was, how do these people think that tea can solve everything?”

I grinned as he opened his one eye and looked at me again, and it felt like all these layers of awkwardness between us were slowly lifting away, and I wasn’t even sure if it was a bad thing or not.

“And he told you to bring me here so you could knock me off my feet with your gorgeous recitation,” I said bluntly, with a slight roll of my eyes.

“No, gorgeous. We drank the tea silently,” he said, but his grin widening at the unintentional compliment. “Maulana is not much of a talker, and… to tell the truth, I still feel scared to ask too many questions. Sometimes, I still feel like I’m ten and I don’t know my sabaq.”

I couldn’t help but smile at that.

“It wasn’t until afterwards, when I leaving the house, that he advised me.. just one line of advice. He said, ‘Hafidh Hamzah, if you want your Duniyaa to be made, recite Qurʾān sincerely. And if you want your Aakhirah to be made, recite the Qur’ān sincerely.’ And it made me think… Here we are running behind lawyers and divorce proceedings, pinning our hopes on all these other things… even Zubair, and then this reminder comes, hitting straight where it’s needed…”

He trailed off and we both just sat there, lost in thought for a while.

“And that’s when I knew I wanted to bring you here. I knew that Madrassah would be closed now. He always closes for a holiday at the end of Rajab… and then makes the boys suffer for it by having classes Sunday to Sunday for the entirety of Sha’bān.”

I gaped at him. “Serious?!”

It explained a recitation where every second word wasn’t a mistake. No wonder his work was so solid. Man, that must have been tough.

Weak student here, sure… but classes Sunday to Sunday. Yoh. Us mere mortals don’t have the strength to bear that.

“Poor Maulana,” I mused, trying to decipher why he did that. “You boys must have made him really angry when you’ll came back those days after, not knowing your work.”

He chuckled so hard at that, that he had to sit up to catch his breath, and I wondered what on earth was so funny.

”No matter how well we knew our work, he would still end up breaking us all after every holiday,” he finally said, a smile still visible on his face. “It was like routine for him. Once or twice at the end of those heavy days, looking at the expressions on the boys faces, I actually caught him grinning. Poor Maulana indeed.“

It was my turn to grin as I imagined it, and then he put his Qurʾān back into his Kurta top pocket and held out a hand.

“Come,” he said, standing up as he gestured his head toward another door. ”There’s still more I want to show you.”

I would have assumed there’s little to see in a boys hifdh Madrassah, but as Hamzah led me around, his face lit up with a nostalgic grin, for the nth time that day, I was surprised. The sports area, the Tawbah corner – which a laughing Hamza assured me that him and Liyaket had spent his fair amount of time in, the kitchen- essentially just a corner with a microwave and a kettle- until we came to a closed door, and Hamzah whispered dramatically.

“Brace yourself. I left the best for last.”

He pushed the door open, and I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t to be assaulted with the smell of.. what was that smell even?

“Can you smell that?” I asked Hamza, sniffing around like a freak. “Theres a distinct weird smell here…”

He sniffed the air and shook his head, assuring me there was no smell here, but I was sure that I saw a glint of something mischievous in his eye.

Then it clicked for me and I turned to face to him, with my hands on my hips.


”Toes!” I frowned accusingly, blocking my nose. “This place stinks of toes.”

”Ah,” he said, raising his eyebrows, and moving a chair out the way. “Is that what it is? I always thought it was the salt and vinegar chips.”

”That’s disgusting,” I scoffed, literally feeling my stomach revolt in protest to his description. I couldn’t even. He had officially spoilt salt and vinegar flavour for me for life.

I actually had no appetite at all, despite believing earlier on that I was fiercely hangry.

“I don’t know,” he said, scratching his head. “The boys used to live on salt and vinegar pringles so we could seal it up for the next night. We didn’t have the fancy flavours back then. I didn’t think it could possibly be toes…”

Yugh. How can you ever confuse the two? You’re more sick than I thought.”

And then we were arguing on whether the place was truly smelly – it honestly reeked – or if my nose was broken (the fudge?) and way too sensitive for scents other than Issey Miyaki (Hamzah was full of compliments). We went back and forth endlessly, until I saw that mischievous glint in his eyes again, and this time it looked almost smug.

And I hated that I knew him well enough to understand why. It had been a while since we did this. I’d pulled back this past month, doing my wifely duties perfectly, but for the most part, disengaging as much as I could.

In the past, we had bickered about mundane things all the time, but not this month. This month it was limited to serious discussions and arguments. I had carefully avoided any level of personal playfulness, even if it was just over something mundane.

He had missed this, I realised, swallowing hard when I thought of how carefree and childish my husband seemed today. He had missed us. For his sake.. to keep him smiling, to save him from going down with me, I had to steel my heart and stop feeding him false hopes.

I took a step back, literally and emotionally, and casually shrugged.

“It’s irrelevant. Just show me whatever it is that so good in here.”

His expression changed too as he flicked a light switch, trying to be nonchalant, and I instantly turned my face to the couches and bean bags now in my midst.

“This is the break room,” he said quietly, not meeting my eye. “No one actually uses it, until it’s raining and we can’t go out. But, what I wanted to show you, well… look there.”

My gaze followed his pointed index finger, to the wall on the far corner, which seemed to be a giant collage of sorts.

As if sensing my confusion, Hamzah continued, “Maulana calls this the Hafidh wall.. every student gets to put up a tribute on the day of the completion. Something to put down as an official achievement.”

I was awed, but I kept silent. There had to be hundreds of laminated squares stuck to the wall. Imagine, just imagine having that many people who you connected to the Qurʾān.. who you walked through the stages of memorisation from day one, till the day they recited اللهم آنس وحشتي in front of a large crowd…

“Lets see if you can find mine,” he challenged with a wink, lightening the mood instantly. “In fact, let’s see how fast you can find it.”

It took me over 15 minutes before I did. And just as I did, my eyes settled on the quote right next to his, and I couldn’t simply look away.

The books of history contain some of his quotes which are worth their weight in gold. And amongst those quotes, I was pretty sure that this one was one of those amazing ones that made your heart shudder at its mere sight.

It does not behove one who has the Qur’ān in his heart to go to the wealthy and affluent in order for them to fulfil his needs. Instead, his position is such that the entire creation should come to him to fulfil their needs”.

I stood rooted there for a while, just staring at those words, as if something very obvious had intervened to make me see this.

If I didn’t know better, I’d have said Hamzah set this up so I’d see this message. But there was no way that was true, because from this wall full of tributes to the pious scholars of Qurʾān, I had approached this one. I had somehow come to read this one, out of the hundreds.. and subconsciously, I couldn’t help but wonder, did I come to this one, or was I brought to this one?

I jerked backwards as warm hands settled on my shoulders, Hamzah’s voice asking if I was okay.

But I couldn’t say a thing, because I wasn’t.

I couldn’t even process all this anymore. It was getting way too emotional, and I could feel all those walls coming up again, as I took a step away from him. His eyes stayed on mine as he spoke, unaware of the feelings brewing within me.

“It was only after Maulana told me to come here that I remembered his advice to us at our jalsa,” he said softly, stepping forward to stand within my view again, his jaw rigid as he recalled the words. “The Qur’ān will always guide the Hafidh back… be the light through the darkness… the guiding beacon… even when it feels as if there is no end to the tunnel. He would always say that the journey of Hifdh never ends, and I tried my best to make it go on for me. Though I had gone off track once, I made sure that the Qur’ān was part of my life, my go-to, and my answer whenever I didn’t know where the solutions lay…”

I knew that he did. Qur’ān was so much a part of Hamzah’s life that he never left the house without one. His attachment was so intense that I envied it.

“And that’s how I know that whatever happens from here, whichever path we take, I just have a feeling that things are going to come together,” he said, his eyes meeting mine.

”I’ll never give up hope, Mohsina. A believer always has hope, and that’s what I’ll cling onto forever.”

My heart literally split at the seams as he said it, and I couldn’t quite help myself as I turned away, knowing that it was time to leave, not leaving Hamzah an option of much else to say.

He followed me silently as we walked out, heart on my sleeve as I let him guide me with a hand on the lower part of my back, not able to comprehend what this all meant.

I couldn’t believe how much he had sacrificed in his journey here, and how much of a sacrifice he had undergone again as he grew and changed his life, and decided to do the right thing for Zaid. We had both made sacrifices, but right now, it felt like he was shining way more than I ever would. To deal with me was an amazing amount of patience and my heart literally ached as I saw the look on his face at times… a look that I couldn’t get off my mind, as I watched him right then, emotions overwhelming me as he guided me out the building.

And as he did it, it felt like I was coming together, and piecing myself back together, even against my better instincts. I felt like the once wounded heart I had sheltered so deeply had bled out way too much for my body to handle. Now, it was as if healing was in place and things were slowly being revived… as if parts of me had come back from the dead… and all I knew right then was how much it felt like an overload on the most vulnerable part of my conscience.

I felt like every rule had been broken, and here we were, back at square one, trying to figure out what the next step was going to really be.

I wanted to challenge him, to ask him why he’d done this. Why we had gone in reverse, when we needed to get into gear and drive away. I wanted to know what this all meant… how he expected today to turn out, once it was all over.

I wanted to know what was Plan B. What did he do when all this didn’t work out the way he planned, or when it did, and he ended up hating me because he lost everything because of me?

It just wasn’t fair. Today was beautiful and touching and oh-so-nostalgic, but what next?

Did he want me to cave and say that I couldn’t picture my life without him? Did he expect me to throw him to the wolves just so that I could have him the way he was?

I breathed out as we stepped out into the fresh air, thinking I’d feel an ounce of relief as we were out of the madrassa, but being away from it made me realise that it wasn’t the place that made me feel this way.

If anything, this amazing  institution had brought me more peace than I’d had in months.

The sinking feeling in my stomach had nothing to do with it. It was me. All me. I was the villain here and I didn’t know how to tell him this. All I knew was that I needed answers.

What did he want from me? Did he want me to admit that this was breaking me? What exactly was I supposed to do from here, in his mind?


I didn’t even realise I’d said it as I stood still in front of his car, my heart beating rapidly as he slowly walked around me, his hair browner now in the sunlight as he stood in front of me.

“Why what?” He asked, his expression as calm as the blue skies, as I glared at him fiercely. I was a storm, that threatened to unsettle every part of his sanity. “Why am I breaking the rules? What are the rules even, Mohsina? That we can’t talk about us ever having a future again?”

“You know the rules!” I accused him, pointing my finger at his chest threateningly, as he stepped closer instead of inching away. “You know what we need to do, how we can’t be certain if anything, but you still doing this to me. Why are you doing this to me? Why, Hamzah? Why?!”

My voice had rose to an embarrassingly high pitch as I watched him stand even taller, not even retreating slightly at my accosting tone.

I wanted to return. Again and again and again. Until we meet Him. Together.

But my body was lit with rage and uncertainty and his stance was as hard as the expression in his eyes. I didn’t even know what I was fighting against.. who I was fighting for.

I just knew that the one who gives up this fight, fails. Only the one who—due to complacency or despair—gives up the fight of constantly bringing the heart back to focus, fails in this life and the next.

But I didn’t want to hear him say it.

“For one thing,” he said simply, his eyes boring into mine as he swiped his tongue over his teeth, the only single gesture that gave away his unease at the entire situation. “I wanted you to know all this because whatever happens, i will always ask Allah for this, and I want you to promise me one thing.”

I looked at him with my eyes narrowed, flashing and holding back the tears, not knowing if I should even do this, but with everything my heart had just undergone, I couldn’t possible do anything else but nod in silent agreement, not knowing what I was promising him as I did.

Not knowing that there were no rules, in this dangerous game we were playing.

“I want you to come back to me.”

Just a quick one to say that this post is dedicated to a flower in the Gardens of the Righteous, who helped me to pen most of this post. I deeply appreciate the Naseehah and the extra love of Qur’ān that shone through, which she was solely responsible for inspiring. Please do give feedback on how much it was enjoyed ❤️

May Allah Ta’ala grant her much love, happiness and barakah for her future.

Much Love,

A x

Mission Sunnah Revival: Thinking well of others 

Especially as these blessed months dawn upon us, we make extra effort to think good of others and make excuses for them. It’s easier said than done but we make Duaa that in this way, people will also think well of us.

Nabi Muhammad (Sallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said, “Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the worst of false tales; and do not look for the others’ faults and do not spy, and do not be jealous of one another, and do not desert (cut your relation with) one another, and do not hate one another; and O Allah’s worshipers! Be brothers (as Allah has ordered you!”) (Bukhari)

To put it briefly, having good opinion of people implies:

  • Thinking positive of others
  • Avoiding suspicion and wrong assumptions of others
  • Giving others the benefit of the doubt

Sunnah of the month of Rajab 

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

اَللّٰهُمَّ  بَارِكْ لَناَ فِيْ رَجَبٍ وَشَعْبانَ وَبَلّغْنَا رَمَضَانْ

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

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

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

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

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

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

















When we Lose Ourselves

Bismihi Ta’ala


Part 68

We all have our things that we do, that no one knows about. We all have our sins that we hide, until we find ourselves sinking into them. We all have moments when we lose us, who we really are, and become something that we’re not.

And as I gazed outside, the sun making its way out for the day, I found myself wondering at what point in ones life you hit that Nanima level, where the sun is at its brightest, and you can sit with a kitaab the entire day, and have no inclination to chase after the next best thing.

I often wondered, when I thought of Nani in great admiration, at which point I could ever be like that.

In theory, it sounded easy. Be good. Read your Qur’ān. Sit for Taaleem. Keep away from sin. Just stop craving excitement. Stop chasing the need to always be entertained.

And I wish I could just be so straight and pious, but the fact is that, as noble as our intention are, and as easy as it may seem in theory to only have Jannah vibes, we’re not always as strong as we think.

And it scared me. There were days when I felt that I was just barely pulling through. Almost like when you’re looking out after the sunset, into the darkness, trying to see the shadow of your hand… or even the glimpse of the shadow of it in front of you, and all you can see is the blackness.

That was me.

I was in a state the entire morning. I couldn’t sit. I couldn’t bake. I couldn’t focus on much besides the fact that Hamzah was completely ignoring my messages and I had no idea what had happened to make him like this.

Only, I couldn’t handle the pressure, and so I caved.

I slipped. I had spent way too long fighting my inherent tendencies to be the horrible person that I was, and so I caved and finally let it out. It had been way too long, staying away from all the haraami-girl things that I stayed away from during the last few months and somehow, I just gave in the the inner Shaytaan because I couldn’t hold myself back any longer.

Completely and irrefutably. I had absorbed myself in the new Netflix Turkish series that everyone was raving about while trying to divert my mind, until I realised that it was two-o-clock and I hadn’t even taken a shower.

Yes. That bad.

And then Saaliha messaged to say that Hamzah was there at the farm with some mafia guy and was meeting more mafia people and that’s when I turned into Nani and found myself losing every desire for haraam, because I felt like I was probably being punished for slipping up.

And I supposed that it happened for a reason.

I sighed.

And now, after all the drama of caving and guilt after, came a Mohsina who was panicking about her husband who seemed to have thrown himself into the midst of people who were most probably after our blood.

I was sitting on the couch, tasbeeh counter on hand, Nani style, diligently reading page after page of the book she had gifted me on my Nikah day.

My. Goodness.

I was turning into Nani. And the notion was making me feel all kinds of crazy, but as I sat on Friday evening in my burka and with my pansoora, as Nani would, making a very fervent Duaa for Allah Ta’ala to save us from all harm and destruction, I felt very positive that I was turning into my grandmother way ahead of time.

And although those moments were very rare, I had a very strong feeling that it was only in these private and desperate moments that I was finding my base, my truth and really connecting with my Lord to find my own self. It was true that dhikr was the only time that I could find myself warding off the tactics that Shaytaan always used with me…

There was just way too much going on all at once and simply being the way I was used to being didn’t help a thing.

And besides stressing over my husband having a death wish, the next thing I knew, Nani was WhatsApp calling me (like normal calls don’t even exist) and told me in her very secretive voice that Doctor Muneer had proposed for Jameela, and I went into a state of panic.

Jameela was nineteen. Nineteen. Was it really wise for her to be embarking on the marriage journey right then? 

“Don’t tell anyone yet,” Nani had almost whispered into the phone.

She didn’t call me often but when she did, you had to be certain that she had some really juicy news.

“Khairoon says he wants go there properly and speak to her again, but you know Jameela will think too much.”

Mhmm,” I said vaguely.

She was allowed to think too much. Was Nani suggesting that she should just accept blindly, without even thinking properly, just because the proposal looked good on paper? 

She was still talking.

My sister was beautiful. Intelligent and amazing, and all the rest. I also knew that Doc was quite a realist and very much in touch with his own self, and it may be a bit of a shock to her. But also, well, isn’t that exactly what she needed to come back down to earth?

“…but I told them to rather phone and give proposal first and make it quick. You know Maulana was saying we must do whatever goood we can do fast fast, because the fitnas also are coming so fast. Fast fast.”

I wasn’t sure if Maulana had meant forcing your granddaughter into a marriage, but she was right about the fitna part. It was like things were overcoming us without even warning. Everywhere I looked, there was some new kind of challenge for people like me, who got trapped into everything. With social media so accessible, and everything so fast-paced… There were no gaps between to even give us a break between, and true to the Hadith, it felt overwhelming in every sense.

Just like the beads fall from a necklace, the fitan are falling with no relent… it felt like the darkness was layering upon more darkness until we were just slipping more and more underwater.

And who knew it better than me, who was always consumed with some social media event or something online. Our phones had become the main source and cause of this and the reason for Imaan leaving a person.

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) observed: Be prompt in doing good deeds (before you are overtaken) by turbulence which would be like a part of the dark night. During (that stormy period) a man would be a Muslim in the morning and an unbeliever in the evening or he would be a believer in the evening and an unbeliever in the morning, and would sell his faith for worldly goods.

It was so true. So true that we won’t even realise that the trials are overtaking is. So achingly true that we had to keep in guarding ourselves, even when we didn’t feel threatened.

“She doesn’t know how lucky she is,” Nani was still going on for herself. “He will make Jameela soooo happy. It’s not often doctor comes with marriage proposal.”

I wasn’t sure about him making Jameela happy. Being a doctor or a Maulana for Nani was the ultimate career option for a spouse. Being fair and Nani’s connection was an added bonus.

But all that didn’t matter, I reminded myself. What Jameela wanted was most important.

“As for you Mohsina,” she was saying, and I already knew that I was in for it. “Now you are moved into your place, you must make habit of Taaleem every week. All this phone phone phone business is no good for your silly head. You don’t know what what kind filthy fitna can come into your home..”

As much as I wanted to roll my eyes, I knew that she was right. And I knew that I needed to do it but I was just so damn lazy.

I sighed as went on a bit about how my mother is having Taaleem that week and I had to come, before she rushed off to make her whudhu for Asr, and I put my phone down, thinking about how much was going on.

My brain was overloaded and emotions were overwhelming. Marriage wasn’t always beautiful and easy, and the thought of Jameela heading that was making me a tad bit anxious.

Now, I had to do what I needed to build my shield. Now, I had to do whatever good I could do. Now, I had to keep encouraging my man to attend masjid for every salaah. Now, I had to make a resolution to do daily taaleem.

I had to immerse myself in so much of goodness before I felt like I was so overwhelmed with darkness that my heart was completely submerged.

”Oooh,” Rabia squawked as she sauntered in, making me jump slightly as I realised that she was actually here, in my flat, with Hamzah wheeling in her bag behind her. “Fanc-eeeee!”

It wasn’t fancy. It was just spruced up. Her eyes swept over my table setting for two as she walked in, scanning me momentarily as I held my chin up. Underneath the burka, I was all dressed up, a simple wrap over dress and I had even put on a little heel to appear more alluring.

Zaid was seated in his chair with some boiled carrots, stuffing his soft hammer toy in his mouth instead, and lucky for me, she had already gone over to him before any further comments were issued.

I glanced at Hamzah for a minute, putting my kitaab down and noting him give me an apologetic look as I moved around to the kitchen counter.

“Sorry,” he whispered, coming over and pecking my cheek as I got up to busy myself cutting cucumber while Rabia turned her back to us “I’m so sorry. It’s been a crazy day. Everything’s looking… wow. I didn’t get a chance to warn you about Rabia though…”

”It’s okay,” I said, plastering a smile on my face as he squeezed my shoulder apologetically. “I’m just glad you’re home.”

I really didn’t mind. After what if learnt about Rabia, I had decided to cut her some slack. So what if she annoyed me sometimes, right?

It wasn’t like I was the type to sit back and take it. I would just focus on trying to be a better person and make her feel that maybe I was on her side. Maybe I just needed to win her over. I could handle my own just fine.

As for Hamzah, after going through the notions of wanting to scream, strangle and then chase after him that day, I was now at the pathetic stage of just being glad that he was here, alive and in one piece. I really was.

And the thing was, I know that I hadn’t been the best person in the world. I had been selfish and petty. I had been proud and unapologetic at times. I knew that I had much to work on myself and the entire day alone was enough to make me rethink my entire stance on life.

I needed to be better. No. I wanted to be better. I had tried several ways to divert thoughts and improve the way I lived life, but I had still gotten caught up.

“How was your day?” He asked softly as Rabia took Zaid to the room with her, and he left his bag near the door.

Where did I even start? 

“Jameelas guy called to propose.”

The words were out of my mouth sooner that I could even think about them.

Hamzah raised his eyebrows.

“Mr Smoothie?” He said with a shocked expression, and I could help but let out a snicker.

Mr Smoothie, indeed.

Shame. He was just super health conscious, and according to Jamz, he was super smooth too.

”You think she will accept?” He asked, narrowing his eyes slightly as he pulled at his beard and leaned over the counter.

He had removed his kurta and hung it up on a coat hanger near the door that proved to be so useful.

I was having so much of fun buying all these sale items for our new place to make it functional.

Functionality was the new fashion. Decorating on a budget was also a great diversion from all the online junk I usually got caught up in.

“I don’t know,” I said, shrugging. “I heard that she got her London visa and I doubt that Nani will be happy about her going. She wants everything to be ‘fast fast’. Quote unquote.”

I looked at him and he smiled.

”That’s good advice,” he said softly, a hint of emotion behind his voice. “I wish we… anyway, it doesn’t matter. It’s good advice.”

And although it gave me a slight ache in my gut, because it was our choice to delay everything… I knew that he was right.

So much could have been avoided if we really did make it fast fast.

The topic immediately took me back to all the things that happened in between, and how things had digressed with Faadil and I really wished that sometimes I could smack some sense into my past self.

“Are you okay?” He asked me, standing up and glancing at his phone, a quizzical look flashing on his face as he paused to watch me.

I wasn’t sure what to tell him. I wasn’t really okay, but I had tortured myself enough for the day and I really didn’t need any more.

“I’m just worried,” I said truthfully, knowing that it encompassed most of the feelings that had been on my mind. Not about him getting murdered, specifically. I could be worried about anything, really. “Are you okay?”

So much was still hanging in the air between us. I wanted to ask him about his mafia people. About what was going on with Zaid. But Saaliha had sworn me to secrecy.

All I knew was that he was looking a million times better than he had that morning. That morning, he had been all agitated and on edge, as if he was waiting for a bomb to explode at any second.

“I actually met with Hashim,” he said, dropping his voice as he spoke.

I had to pretend to be shocked at least.

”Hashim?” I asked, feeling my chest constricting with the mere mention of his name.

He nodded feebly.

”Do you know how dangerous he is?” I said, realising that Hamzah probably had no idea of what Hashim was really like.

I was angry earlier, but now that I had calmed down and was getting angry again… it was like another emotion entirely.

I loved my husband, but he wasn’t always the easiest person to read and I hated that. I really wished that he was just more open with me.

“But it was all okay, Mos,” he said calmly, coming closer and reaching for my hand, trying to placate me.

I pulled back, not bothered about how this all looked if Rabia, who had just waltzed in, had to see. What mattered was that he had put himself into a situation that was completely compromising.

From what Saaliha had said, the entire thing had a potential to get so dangerous. And I knew that I was relieved that he had made it home, but him being so careless and flippant about it was what was frustrating me more.

He had a meeting with one of the people I had sworn to never give the time of day to, about our son, and didn’t even bother to inform me.

What was consuming me now was the possibility that Faadil and Hashim were conspiring against us in a most dangerous way, and I just couldn’t figure it all out.

What if it was all a big ploy? Somehow, all these pieces that seemed interlinked, just weren’t fitting together. All I knew that Faadil was never one to back down easily, and hurting someone else to get to me wasn’t beyond his abilities.

We needed to talk. Hamzah and I. Properly. But now, with Rabia here, was barely the time.

The thing was, as much as I felt like he was hiding something from me, I hadn’t been completely open with him either, and the more that I thought if this situation, I couldn’t help but feel that it was my fault too.

It was a long, torturous night. Hamzah was busy till late and with Rabia around, the conversation was completely stunted. It was extremely difficult having an argument with someone else in the house.

I knew that she sensed something was up between us. She hadn’t asked but the more Hamzah tried, the more annoyed I got. I wanted to have a full discussion but it was really difficult to fight with your spouse in the midst of company. I knew that it would have to wait till the following evening, if I wanted to have some solution.

I hated sleeping without speaking, but he had been busy on a call and somehow, things were still awkward between us the following morning.

And with the weekend starting, Saturdays were always a busy day. We often went to Liyaket’s mother to see her and spend some time with her, and Zaid sometimes stayed with her for an hour or two. He sometimes tried to go through some of Liyaket’s stuff when he was there. It was Hamzah’s way of fulfilling his duty to his friend, and paying tribute to the legacy he left behind.

With Hamzah and I still on shaky ground and Rabia around that particular day, I had decided to let Hamzah take Zaid on his own, and finish some baking before I headed off to my in-laws that evening. It just seemed like a feasible plan at the time, and I barely realised that it may have not been the wisest one.

I had already got a host of orders for the following week and as Rabia came in from the gym, which was literally opposite out apartment block, I gave her a once over while she sat opposite where I worked, sipping on a health smoothie that she had probably bought from there.

“Salaams,” I greeted kindly, cleaning out the bowl of cheesecake filling as she watched me work. “Did you have a good workout?”

I had ventured out on the gym scene for a few months when I had first started working but as soon as my mother found out about it, she had made my father stop me. There was way too much of free mingling for her liking, too much of blaring music and the thought of me being seen on the treadmill next to some strange muscle man gave her a hernia.

“Amazing !” Rabia swooned brightly, looking all shiny and refreshed with her hair pulled back and her cap on.

Somehow, there was no space for hijab in her gym attire. I wasn’t judging her but with her new vibe that she was trending, I could see that she was trying a little too hard to fit in to the whole new instagram fitness trend. I knew it because at one sordid stage in my life, I had been exactly where she was.

”Cool,” I said, not really wanting to engage in conversation as I piped a caramel topping over some completed mini cakes.

It took a certain amount of concentration to do them neatly, and I was kind of glad that it distracted me from saying anything I would regret later. It was her expression. The whole gym with instagram and having to always validate herself with her selfies. I knew exactly where she was in life and how illusive that world could seem.

“Lots of orders came in?” She said inquisitively, sipping on her smoothie again as I continued with my task. “I see you’ve been very busy with the advertising.”

“Mhmm,” I said absentmindedly, hoping she would get the hint and go and get dressed. The sooner we went to my in laws, the sooner the rift between Hamzah and I cousins be resolved.

I honestly just wanted to be alone so I could wallow in self-pity for a bit longer. I was feeling confused and depressed, and I couldnt quite figure out why.

“A friend of mine sells the most amazing cookies from home,” she said admirably, swiping her phone open to open sole insta account. “When she told me how much money she makes, I was shocked. The home industry has amazing potential, doesn’t it? I’m sure you’re coining it, nuh?”

I frowned slightly, wondering what she was getting at. Money wasn’t the most important thing.

Pastry cheffing was my passion. If my father hadn’t insisted I study something ‘real’, if would have been my default career. I loved every bit of creativity it squeezed out of me. I loved the thrill of completing orders, and the looks of utter besottedness that I see in clients faces when they fetch their orders.

Although auditing was fun, for me, that contentment was nothing like I felt when I saw the sheer appreciation with the result of my delicious creations.

”I love your ring, by the way,” she was going on, looking up from her phone and glancing at the diamond ring on my right hand, her eyes almost bulging as she gawked at it openly. “Is it your wedding band?”

She looked confused because there hadn’t been a wedding band. There was barely any time for that when Hamzah and I made nikah. We weren’t even thinking about those things…

”Hamzah gifted it to me a few weeks back,” I said quickly, before she said anything else. To tell the truth, when we got married, we were both so bowled over by grief and emotion that we didn’t think beyond Zaid and just trying to make things work between us.

Wow,” she said, looking surprised. “So the eternal flame pendant… and now the ring…”

I narrowed my eyes slightly, feeling the acceleration in my chest as she mentioned the pendant, hoping she wasn’t going to ask me about the pendant.

Be patient, Mos. Rabia doesn’t really mean to annoy you. She just can’t help herself. 

I wanted to be good. To be strong. I had slipped yesterday and didn’t want to lose my resolve to be a better person. I had to try, as hard as she made it.

“It seems like my brother will do anything for you,” she said, her voice sickly sweet, but I could tell from a glance at her that she was being anything but.

I breathed in deeply, avoiding eye contact with her. What was this girls vibe? 

I had a resolve to be better, but she was making it really difficult to. 

”I didn’t ask for the ring,” I said stiffly, knowing what she was thinking. She was implying that I was a gold digger. Duh.

“Oh, you don’t have to ask,” she said. “Hamzah lurrrvs to spoil his women.”

His women? Did she really just say that?

“I’m not women,” I said bitterly, anger rising like bile in my chest. What was her problem? “I’m his wife.”

I wasn’t sure if I was being sensitive, but I felt almost as if she was poking me where she wanted it to hurt most. Why, I wasn’t even sure. She was way too comfortable with talking people down.

“Well, since you made it here by default,” she cooed with a cynical smile, cocking her head at me. “I hope that you don’t plan on cashing in from him this entire marriage. I’ve seen the type of things you like to show off…”

My mouth dropped open as she said it, looking so serious as she stared me dead in the eye, and I couldn’t help but gaze at her for a few seconds, waiting for her to say she was joking, or at least retract her statement.

But she didn’t. She didn’t, and I was not going to stand here, in my home, in my kitchen, to listen to her saying things to me that made me want to break her lip-glossed mouth.

“Please leave,” I breathed, my cheeks flaming and my voice steady as I glared at her, just as I heard the key in the door turning. “Leave.”

At that point, I didn’t care what she had been through, and I didn’t care what I sounded like. I didn’t care that Hamzah was there, staring at us now as he entered, as I placed down my piping bag, stiffened my shoulders and gave her a death stare.

All I knew was that this girl needed to go, right then, before I lost my mind. Before I lost myself.  All I knew that there was no way I could spend a single second longer in her company, without punching her in the face, and so I had to get rid of her before I did.

“Please just go,” I said again, my voice thick and slicing through the air like a knife.
“Just leave my house and never come back.”

A little bit of dramatics… is Rabia pushing the limits or is Mohsina overreacting… will reply to comments soon 💕

Love to hear from all the readers


Much love

A x

Mission Sunnah Revival: 

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

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

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

Keep in mind:

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

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6446, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1051

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

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

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
















FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah


Figuring Things Out

Bismihi Ta’ala


Part 49

Sometimes we get so caught up in our lives, our problems and our e-mails… that we miss out on the amazing things in life.

Sometimes we forget that we don’t always have to have it all figured out. That’s sometimes it’s okay to stumble in the dark, still wondering which path to take. Sometimes the reason why we can’t move forward is because we’re using old formulas, on a new level of life.

But even so… we’re never stuck. There’s always hope. If you aren’t willing to keep looking for light in the darkest of places without stopping, even when it seems impossible…


The voice was quietly serene, and as I snuggled further into my blanket, unwilling to escape it’s comforting warmth.

“Mhmmmhhm,” I mumbled, still drunk with tiredness as I failed to form any other words, blissfully unaware of the amusement in his eyes.

“Its time for Fajr, pookie,” he murmured, and I almost jolted in shock as I pried my eyes open to ascertain if Hamzah’s face was already very close to my drooling one as it sounded, and if he had really just called that most bizarre name.

“Sorry,” he grinned easily, amusement still apparent on his face. “I knew that ‘pookie’ would do the trick. Just thought that you cannot miss the sunrise here. It’s the perfect pic for your Instagram Nikah announcement.”

If I was in a better state of slumber, I might have had a witty comeback, but I was still quite concerned about morning breath and it was beyond me at that point so I just rolled my eyes and kept my mouth wisely shut.

Also, despite his alleged sarcasm. I knew what Hamzah was getting at. I had kept my private life very low-profile recently but maybe it was time for an Instagram post that may just indicate how much my life had changed in the past few weeks. It may be the something noteworthy to announce.

And of course, as he said it, for a few seconds, the feelings of disbelief had overwhelmed me and I couldn’t quite believe that I was married to Hamzah and I was very close to what may be an adoration for him. The talks of the previous evening came flooding back as I pried my eyes open, realising that Zaid had actually not even woken up once during the night, on account of him sleeping on the bed, between us both, and that itself was a wonder on its own.

Of course, Hamzah was bound to see the catastrophic Mostly Mohsina at some point. I wasn’t always perfect and insta-worthy, even if I did wake up in one of the most gorgeous places in this country.

And sensing my awkwardness, Hamzah had already respectfully turned away as I got out of bed, and though it wasn’t necessary, I appreciated his kind consideration.

And I couldn’t help thinking what a coincidence it was, him mentioning the Instagram post. My thoughts immediately went back to the previous evening, when our entire conversation had been provoked with Maahira’s messages, although it had nothing to do with what had ensued thereafter.

The previous evening seemed like ages ago, as I recalled my iPhone beeping next to me, with a message from her, while I had retired to the couch to read my Qurān straight after Maghrib.

How’s it going? Been cyber stalkin u the entire day. No updates on the gram either?

I dutifully completely the page I was reading and closed the Qurān. I knew I was due for a post on Instagram, but I was also aware that announcing my marriage would bring a host of comments and congratulations and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to be that much involved again…

I typed back quickly.

I know. Signals bad and we were out the room the whole day. 

The sun had already found its way out, and after reading our Maghrib Salaah, I felt a slight sense at loss that the day had passed by so quickly. It was a comfort that we had made the most of it and taken Zaid out into the sun while we had a little picnic that afternoon.

The sunshine had clearly had the desired affect on Zaid, and I could feel my own body relaxing after the day out, and the filling meal that had been sent to the room, and I couldn’t help but think of how amazing the gifts of Allah Ta’ala were, that we spent every day enjoying.

It comes at the end of a popular narration, after Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) had shared a variety of dates with some companions of his, it happened that Abu Ayyub Ansari (RadiAllahu anho) slaughtered a small goat, roasted some meat and cooked the rest.
Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) took some bread, and a piece of roast and gave it to Abu Ayyub (RadiAllahu Anhu) and said to him:

Take this to Fathima (RadiAllahu Anha), she has not eaten anything like this for several days.”

Being the companions and the family of Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) , having to endure such conditions… I could only lament in the fact that we were so ungrateful for our good fortune…

And of course, today, I had made extra effort. I was grateful. So grateful. It had been a good day. Except…


Did u guys talk the talk??

Well… that. I knew what she was referring to. The talk was something I was avoiding, as much as I needed to.

Nope. just ate. I just cleared up and did some work. Hamzah’s with Zaid… Making him sleep. We haven’t had much of a chance to talk.

Beep, again.

I quickly switched to silent before Zaid heard the phone and aborted sleeping mission. He seemed overwhelmed by the new environment and refused to go down before this.

Maahi: Hamzah making him sleep? Wow. You go, gal. Better not let Nani hear though. 

I grinned. She was right. Nani had given me enough lectures on acting like the wife and not the husband. To her, a good wife meant carrying out all home and kid duties without a single word of complaint, so that the man could sit put in all his laziness, with no concern whatsoever.

Me: Hamzah is amazing with Zaid. 

Personally, I saw nothing wrong with men doing the kid duties. I didn’t enable laziness but its not like I forced it on him either. Hamzah wanted to make Zaid sleep and I needed to neaten the place up before the day came to a close, so I could kick my shoes off, read some Qurān and hopefully spend time with him after.

Besides, spouses were supposed to bring out the best in each other, right? And with Hamzah being so focused on his Qurānic recital and attentive to Salaah times, he automatically made me want to be better.

I looked seriously at my phone as the next message came.

Maahira: Only amazing with Zaid?

And as I thought of what to reply, wanting to truthfully relate how Hamzah was an entirely different and more admirable person to the office version I had once known, I had already stopped typing in mid-sentence as the man in question was  literally sneaking out of the bed, through its curtain, where I assumed Zaid had slept, and making his way to me with a triumphant look on his face.

“I did it,” he whispered, his face already a comical picture of accomplishment. “He didn’t even fight it this time. Surrendered immediately. Or was it just me?”

I was still obviously deep in thought as he sat down next to me, when he noticed my own expression and immediately frowned.

“Is everything okay?”

I had barely realised how forlorn I looked, as placed my phone down, nodded and smiled assuredly.

Maahira’s message had just got me thinking.

He wasn’t just amazing with Zaid. He was quite spectacularly amazing, all round. Not that I’d ever mention it to him, because well, the Mohsina he knew didn’t readily give compliments and very silently registered the efforts he made to make the entire atmosphere between us so much easier. Hamzah’s composure was pretty awesome, despite the circumstances.

And as I watched Hamzah with Zaid earlier, playing with him and then reading to him, taking him to the bed to make him sleep, I couldn’t help my heart that swelled with joy.

It was just that, now, without Zaid as a distraction, I was a little nervous as Hamzah, for the first time, sat directly next to me, and I couldn’t help but shift awkwardly at his proximity.

If he knew it made me a little edgy, he definitely didn’t show it.

“Just a little worried,” I answered truthfully, biting my lip nervously as he leaned back easily in his seat.

”Don’t be,” he said breezily, flashing me a lobsided smile. He was super relaxed as he stretched his long legs out, and I could feel him watching me from the corner of his eye.

The news that Hashim wanted to meet Hamzah was completely unexpected. But hearing that the request had actually come from Layyanah’s sister, and was only relayed through him, made a little more sense. I just wasn’t quite sure how to feel about it. Should I be more or less worried?

“See…. It is his nephew,” I said, speaking almost to myself, not wanting to think of any sinister intentions but also knowing that Hashim most probably did have some. The adoption was not yet finalised.

”I know,” he said pointedly. “I just don’t like the way he was demanding things. As if we owe him something and it’s his right. Liyaket wouldn’t have kept him away from Layyanah’s family, but the way he is behaving is just… I don’t know. Like he’s entitled.”

Hamzah was clearly upset. From what I knew, that was Hashim’s way. Pushy and always had to be in control.

I nodded, feeling my resolve weakening.

”What can we do?” I asked quietly, and the anxiety was clearly showing on my face.

“You… just relax,” he said softly, turning to meet my eye, touching my hand almost involuntarily. “You do know how to do that?”

It was only because Hamzah forced us out the room to enjoy the outdoors that I actually shoved it to the back of my mind and was able to relax. Now that we were back, the cloud that loomed above us seemed more daunting than ever. Hamzah could push things to the back of his mind if he needed to, and was still able to think rationally in even the most trying situations, even if he had to smoke millions of cigarettes while he was at it. It’s what made him excel at work too.

I just got panicky and stressed for everything.

“You do know that you shouldn’t do this to yourself?” He said quietly, with a hint of a smile, as he fiddled with his beard. “That trusting Allah is key to peace of mind. We tie our camel, and we trust in Allah.”

”I know,” I said softly, as I digested his insight,loving how he put it into perspective. I wanted to trust in Allah. I wanted to leave this all to Him, but with each passing moment I could feel my faith dwindling.

“I’m just so scared of losing him,” I continued. “Layyanah’s worry now makes so much more sense to me.”

I felt a tightening in my chest as I mentioned my deceased friends. I still couldn’t believe they were gone.

”You mean, before they got married if after?” He asked, sitting upright, his brow furrowing slightly as he looked at me. “She was still afraid of their interfering?”

Though he knew about her family’s resistance, he had obviously never really knew about Layyanah’s concerns after marriage.

“She was so afraid that they would track her down,” I said quietly as I nodded. “Find her and hold her hostage. Keep her from the man who loved her, even after they had Zaid.”

Hamzah looked away, obviously not knowing, and thinking fondly about his best friend and how much he loved Layyanah.

And maybe it was that train of thought that got him thinking… because this was so unlike our relationship, but his next words were clearly echoing his thoughts.

“I’m sure this isn’t what you imagined in a marriage,” he said, looking apologetic as he twiddled with his fingers, his long lashes cast down almost ashamedly. “The baby. The baggage. The issues.”

I smiled. Maybe not.

Being a married couple with a little baby was  strange and brought it’s own complications. Also, the history… well…

He was looking at me. His mind clearly on overdrive, as he spoke.

”Do you ever think that it’s maybe because we started it all wrong,” he said, his voice dropping.

I nodded, a small lump in my throat as I attempted to say the words that were at the forefront of my mind.

I couldn’t even compare what happened with Hamzah to what I had reduced myself to afterward. There was an aching in my heart, a palpable piercing that broke me, every time I thought of it.

Why couldn’t we just didn’t follow the rules, even before we even got involved together? Perhaps it just so happened that there was too much of sin before we tried to make it right?

And as for all my own mistakes…. We could have avoided so much of hurt and pain… an entire chapter of my misled life…, if we had just done it all the right way…

“We’re starting off our marriage on quite an unconventional footing, aren’t we?” I said with a smile, trying to make light of it as Hamzah leaned back in his seat, casting his dark eyes on the night sky.

There was still a question that plagued me. Why did Hashim call now? How did he even find out we were married?

He wasn’t exactly in our circles. Our Nikah was mostly family and close friends. Faadil had found out because of an email that I had sent, out of courtesy to Hammonds, to let them know.

I knew that him and Faadil were familar with each other, but he had always been private about his personal life, so I never really got to know much about his company out of work, except the few dodgy things.

The whole thing gave me a icky feeling, because though the pieces weren’t fitting together yet, I had an inkling that it wasn’t just coincidence. Was there possibly some kind of agenda behind this? Something that was meant to hurt us both?

“Hamzah,” I said, carefully, glancing at him as a new thought formed in my mind. “Do you think we can lose him?”

Layyanah’s family had money. Plenty of it, to buy over any judge or break any law. That was just the way they rolled. But wasn’t Allah above it all?

He looked up suddenly, while I addressed him, giving me an almost smile.

”I love him too much to let it ever happen,” he said softly. “I’ll do anything it takes. You do know that?”

“So would I,” I said evenly, in case he ever thought otherwise.

Hamzah grinned widely, his one dimple now visible,  obviously amused by my unnerving readiness to compete with him. He knew me well by now.

“You would probably have fought me for him,” Hamzah said, a slight smile still on his face. “I can’t ever compare myself to him. No chance.”

I looked at him in shock for a moment, a little surprised by his statement.

“Dont look at me like that,” he said unreservedly, his eyebrows raised. “You did everything in your power to make sure Zaid stayed in your life.”

Okay. And ouch. Again. I got it.

What he meant to say was that I did nothing to keep him in my life.

But that wasn’t true. He didn’t know the situation.. even now. He didn’t know everything that had happened that made my decision what it was.

”It’s more complicated than you think,” I said softly, trying to keep myself from getting emotional. “I don’t know if we should get into it…”

I didn’t want to spoil our evening. Although I knew he deserved to know, to bring it up would put a dampener on our spirits. I didn’t have that kind of ease with words…

”Tell me,” he said, not interested in my own reservations, his tone hardening as he shifted away from me on the couch, so he could look me straight in the eye. “I want to know. It’s not fair that you’re still treating me like I’m some stranger… Mos, I’m not.  I’m your husband now. You can’t treat me like that guy in the office who you never took seriously enough to ask for help when you needed it.”

”It wasn’t like that!” I almost cried, brimming with anger. “Don’t say that! You don’t know… I was under severe duress. I was kidnapped and threatened and robbed by two disgusting men and I couldn’t tell you all of that because I was so embarrassed about it because it would put my father in a bad light and how could I ever do that to him…”

Tears were already streaming down my face as I stopped, and could see Hamzah’s expression softening as he looked at me with something that resembled sympathy.

I couldn’t go on. It was way too emotional for me to relive it.

“I didn’t know,” he murmured, looking like his world was crumbling before him, as he processed what I’d said. “Hell. I didn’t even ask. Liyaket tried to advise me to. I was stupid. I’m assuming you didn’t even tell Layyanah? I told him you were going through your own stuff and being selfish. You looked so together at the office afterward so I thought it was just you being the go-getter you always were.”

”I’m pretty good at masking my feelings,” I said simply, with a small smile. “It’s one of my many talents. And you were pretty quick to cut off all acquaintance after. You didn’t even pass by on your smoke breaks anymore, and there was no way to even explain without you spitting venom at me again.”

”I found another route,” he said blandly, giving me a sly look, as he avoided the last part. “Took me ten minutes longer but I knew passing you would give you a chance to justify yourself and I didn’t want to think that you had a real motive.”

”You’re an idiot,” I muttered with a smile, shaking my head at him. “But so was I.”

”I know,” he said, shaking his head too, as he fixed his eyes on mine. “But if I knew.. if I knew… Mos, if you had confided in me somehow… I would have done everything in my power to protect your family. Did you think I wouldn’t have?”

I blinked back tears, and as his eyes filled with something I didn’t quite recognise. It took him a few seconds he instinctively came closer, taking my hand in his, and in one simple motion, slowly raised it to his lips.

”I’m so sorry,” he almost whispered, and for lack of a better reply, I just grinned like a kuku case, because there were no other words that could be formulated when Hamzah actually presented something close to sweetness.

It was such a elementary gesture…  so simple yet personal, and yet the most compassionate thing that I had ever witnessed of the guy known as insufferable, old Hamzah, with sincerity so obvious, that it’s meaning was something that conveyed so much more than anything he had ever verbally expressed.

And of course, I felt treacherous. There was so much I had yet to say… about work, about my horrible spiral downwards afterward, about Faadil…so many things that still hung in the air, but I knew that I couldn’t disclose it all at once. I knew that I would tell him, but right then… I just knew that I couldn’t.

The journey we were embarking was far from being an easy one, but his acceptance that night had reminded me that there was always some hope.

We spoke till Esha couldn’t be delayed any longer, and as he stood up for Salaah and called me to pray behind him for the first time that day, I never quite knew the intimacy that praying together could bring for any couple.

And no one could deny that there was many a reason for heartfelt Duaa, and as we both whispered our heartfelt wishes, and I prayed that this would ease the barriers between us. I prayed fervently that somehow, we would figure this all out.

And as Zaid awoke after, for a bottle, and we both crawled into bed with him between us, conversation between us had flowed almost effortlessly, as we spoke about memories and life and all the good times that we still wished to have.

I didn’t even know at what stage I drifted to sleep that night but the next morning, as he called my name quietly, and I could smell the fading scent of the now familiar body oud, it took me a few seconds to recalibrate and process who the voice belonged and where exactly I was.

He too, had a late night, but I could see that he had been up from a ridiculous hour and I couldn’t help but admire him for being so focused even on our short break…

Somehow, there was an ease that was placed between us, as we started the new day, and I was optimistic that things could only get better from here. Nothing had been clearer to me that moment as I watched him, his puffy jacket and beanie on, smoking his cigarette while the night transformed into day, knowing that even through it all, Allah hadn’t punished me due to my evils. In my desperate states, when the sickness of sin had overcome, when no medicine except Allah’s could cure me…. He sent this gift.

And that’s when I got it. It’s when I figured that Hamzah wasn’t Mr Perfect and that he would never be. I recalled that there was a time I hated him because of his big mouth, his lack of propriety and because he was never considerate of people’s feelings. I could have written an essay on why you should never come close to him… but life works in really funny ways, when you really don’t expect it.

After it all, I realised how wrong I really was. I realised that he was the only one who showed up, who was willing to sit down and talk through stuff, even when it was uncomfortable. And although he wasn’t the smoothest talker or the most romantic husband, there was something so true and honest and real about him, that just got me.

A deep compassion and integrity, was something that made me weak in my knees. What he had was just what I needed  in the right doses, and what I needed was someone who would grow with me, not afraid to try new things and to mess up and to put it right all over again.

The thing is, in a world of perfectly posed love stories and illusive filters, sometimes we find it difficult to believe that there’s something greater than that kind of obvious romance .. and that love for Allah really does exist…

And maybe that wasn’t the blowing hair in the wind, riding into the sunset kind of feeling that we all desperately wanted. Not everyone has that perfect kind of love, that was seemingly easy and filled with romance and the envy of every other girl, but what I did know was that truly happy, beautiful Muslim couples engage in winning Allah’s pleasure together whenever and in any way they can.

They glorify Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) together in the quiet hours of Fajr, they thank Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He)in Tahajjud together, they make it a point to read a minimum amount of Qur’an everyday, they do regular or even random acts of kindness and charity and they maintain loving and happy ties with each other’s families.

Everything I saw and everything I had concluded so far pointed to the fact that he was the best kind of spouse for me, and the one who would raise me to new heights in Aakhirah, because that’s precisely what he wanted out of this too.

As as we left our room early the next day for our Waleemah, I was still in amazing spirits. Things could not have gone better. Hamzah and I had a plan to avoid staying at the hall too long, and to risk Zaid’s safety. A security guard had been organised, and even upon reaching the hall, seeing the beautiful set up and admiring it, knowing that Rabia was responsible for most of the event planning, I made it a point to thank her personally, despite not exactly hitting it off with her.

And I was excitedly nervous, as I greeted guests, looking around in wonder, feeling gorgeous in a size 6 dress that actually fitted me perfectly.

And just as I felt myself easing off, chatting to Jameela  and to my two notorious cousins who obviously loved to make a show of themselves and come on stage, it was precisely as I watched one of them walk back down, when I saw her.

For a second, my entire body went cold, as I fixed my eyes on her slender figure, which I remembered her having almost a year back, taking in her entire demeanour as I wondered if I was maybe going absolutely insane.

And of course, everything was exactly like her. From her walk to her smile, and the way she pushed back her fringe when it got in her eyes…I couldn’t quite understand what was going on, but all I knew was that there was no way she could possibly be here.

Was it a figment of my warped imagination or was I seeing things things that weren’t there?

Was it the depth of desperation that I’d felt and wanted her to be there with me, that had actually conjured her up in my mind? I just couldn’t figure it out…

All I knew was that there was no way she could be there, and as she came up the stairs, our eyes met.

Was Layyanah really dead?!

Mission Sunnah Revival

Sunnah of being thankful

From the very beginning of Man’s creation, the issue of gratefulness and thankfulness to Allah has been debated. After refusing to bow to ‘Adam, Iblis (Satan) said:

“Then I will certainly come to them from before them and from behind them, and from the right-hand side and from the left-hand side, and Thou (Allah) shall not find most of them thankful.” [Al-Qur’an7:17]

Allah also says that only few of His servants thank Him. Let us then strive to be among these few by keeping our tongues wet with His remembrance and our hearts soft with His praise.

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

The Trade Off

Bismihi Ta’ala

Part 35

Someone once told me that you could have anything you want in life if you are willing to sacrifice for it. What they meant is nothing in this life comes without a price.

Before  going into battle, you have to know whats the trade off… and you have to know exactly how much you’re willing to lose if you stay in it.

Because too often, going after what ‘feels’ good means losing what you know is right… and letting someone in, means abandoning the barriers you’ve spent a lifetime building.
It means that sometimes, bit by bit, we end up losing ourselves completely, and that’s when the sacrifice can turn out to be more than we can bear. That’s when the darkness brings its demons, and the little light that may still exist in our lives gets completely distinguished.

And if we don’t stop it in time, to bring in the light of Adhkaar and Quran, then we will never cease being ‘lost’ because all we do is keep striving for a misguided purpose in other ways becomes our sole intent…

Snap. Snap.

No. Trash it. Not good enough.


And one more.


There we go. Perfect capture from the window overlooking the airport apron around the landing strip at sunset, and it barely even needed a filter.



Homebound. (What else for FriYay vibes, bruh?)

And of course, a plane emoji with a party one, along with the hashtags were a must, to show my dedication to the cause of hashtags…

And the pic was one of the most stunning captures of the South African skyline yet, and the reflex reaction was to post, caption and tag, before I even took in the beauty of the creation that was displayed before me.

It was, after all, all about me and my ego.

My Jo’burg, my city. My amazing corporate life. My, my, my. My.

A hard week out and about, means back home for the weekend, for my cool-off time.

I ignored the message that had flashed on the top of my screen from my mother as I disembarked, checking where I was and if I had prayed my Salaah.

It was the usual and I’d reply to it later, so Instead, as I headed towards the exit, my eyes settling on the newest message that had just come in.


Have you landed?

I tapped on it immediately and answered in the affirmative.

Meet me out front?

Of course, I had to prioritize. Ma’s message wasn’t urgent. I’d see to that later.

Because that was what I had made myself believe. I’d  only got here, to this point where I was so successful, because I’d re-prioritized my entire life.

And maybe the priorities weren’t exactly in the correct order, but that was by the way.

You see, the goal of this life is to realize the truth of Allah’s greatness and our own insignificance before Him. How small we are, and how big He really is. Our purpose is to take ourselves out of the center and put Him there instead…

But we live in a world that perpetuates the illusion of the exact opposite, because unfortunately, the drill goes like this instead:

What I ate for breakfast or bought at the shopping mall is news breaking enough to let the whole world in on. When we post a video or pic, be it the latest restaurant we are at, our skincare routine or my favourite Jimmy Choo, we wait. We wait for a pat on the back or some sort of recognition. And we are ever conscience of—and even compete in—the number of followers we have because the more we gain, the more entitled we are to imposing our opinions or others and slamming people just because we are virtually ‘popular’.

And the vicious cycles goes on. The more we do, the more we post… The more we turn to social media for comfort… the less happy we seem to be. No matter what, the game continues. You lose when you quit, and there was no way I was quitting.

I glanced at my phone, deciding to give it a breather as I made my way to the exit.

According to his itinerary and the airport board, which was mostly immaculately planned, Faadil had just arrived on another flight.

And since I wisely planned it so I had no baggage to collect, I made my way straight out to save time, tapping on iMessages as I glanced around me simultaneously, making sure I was still balancing my patented black heels perfectly with my new Saint Laurent laptop bag as I joined the corporate crowd, all heading speedily straight to the airport exit.

Buzz again.

Change of plans. Bumped into a colleague. Car is waiting out front. You take it and we’ll catch up later. x

Oiy. All that fixing my make-up for nothing.


I typed back, suppressing my urge to add how inconsiderate he was. No need to act desperate.

What time later was, I didn’t want to know. It was already 7PM and my brain was broken. Also, my back was killing me slowly too. I suppose a nice hot soak in the bath would be a good idea…

For now, back to the gram.

The announcements from the speaker above were drowned out as I scrolled through my feed whilst walking steadily through the sliding doors into arrivals. MUA, influencers and two school friends had posted, and I found myself double tapping almost unconsciously as I scrolled through all their posts.

Friday night vibes were trending but I was barely feeling it.

And like most Friday evenings, and as I glanced at men and women alike coming back from a day or week out of town, probably rushing home to be with friends or families, there was an inkling of twisted irony here, that I didn’t quite understand.

Although I had told myself that this was the way I had wanted it, at times it felt like I was living a life that wasn’t my own.

And everyone around me here, I was sure, had their own story. Their own hang-ups. Their own perks too. But right now, all that was on their mind was to get home, recharge for the two days that felt like two hours  before the rat race would start all over again.

I took a quick selfie as I wheeled my bag out the sliding doors, trying desperately not to spot Faadil, who was as stark as day, with his back to me, chatting easily to a female someone outside while I walked past.

Black Armani shirt. Fitted denim jeans. Polished leather shoes. His hair was always immaculately styled and I felt my tummy do a little twisted knot as I turned my gaze away.

A colleague? I wasn’t quite sure.

He probably didn’t even notice, but in one glance, I took in way more than I meant to, and body language was always a dead giveaway.

Lost. I felt so lost as I walked past, wondering not for the first time if maybe the path I was treading wasn’t exactly the wisest one.

But then again, I couldn’t forget the plot. The motive. It wasn’t about feelings. This was business.

I walked outside, stashing my phone while I stood patiently, scanning the cars for the office chauffeur driven one.

And as I approached the C-class Mercedes and jumped in, I was determined not to overthink anything. I enjoyed the ride, opening my phone as a remedy to dispel all inadequacies. As if on cue, @londongirlfromjozie had already double tapped and commented, and Maahira’s message had come just in the nick of time.

And since she had called it quits on the toxic situations  in her life, aka Hashim, I kind of related to her journey, because it was around the same time that things had ended with Hamzah.

And though it took a while to build that trust again, we had taken comfort in each other whilst we healed through the trials we faced, and Maahira’s new approach to life actually made me feel soothed but lacking in spirituality…

It’s like she was way ahead of me on this journey of reflection and reformation and I could barely keep up.

Our last conversation had unsettled me, to say the least.

@londongirlfromjozie commented:

Back home? Is it time u let the cat out the bag? 

@mostlymohsina: Mhm.

Maahira’s inappropriate response:

Or should I say – tiger on the prowl?

Me, switching to direct message:

Don’t be a hater. He’s a busy man. It’s not his fault he has to mingle with so many people.

She had heard, through the pipeline, that Faadil wasn’t exactly the conservative type and it made her super wary.

@londongirlfromjozie via direct message:

He has to, or chooses to? It’s one thing if he’s single and mingling but…..

She left that in the air but it had the desired effect. That was a question that was worth investigating, but I wasn’t going to fall for her suspicions with no solid evidence.

Evidently, she wasn’t thrilled about the recent developments on my relationship front with Faadil, and she didn’t mince her words.

What she didn’t understand was that emotionally and financially, I was indebted to him. Throughout the roughest patched over the past few months, he was the only person who had proven to be of any consolation. He had, literally, come to the rescue and sorted everything out, when I felt like I was in way over my head.

To me, it all made sense. The proposal that he had put forth was a strategic move that wouldn’t only benefit the company, but would also serve to reinforce the foundation of it. The financial benefits, of course, were noteworthy, but not the sole aim.

Soon, I would break the news to Layyanah and then to my parents, and I did expect them to be happy for me. I just needed time to wrap my head around it, and to finally come to terms with the fact that it was time to settle down, but for real this time.

I opened my phone again, not able to shake the feeling that her questions were bringing on.

Do you think my parents will go psycho on me?

I typed in our private chat.

I wished I could go psycho on u.

Of all people, I didn’t expect Maahira to be this way.

Haai. But why?

I typed quickly, not sure why she felt so strongly about this.

The next thing I knew, Maahiras name was flashing on my phone and I slid to answer the call, putting the phone to my ear without saying anything.

“Because any work-based relationship is trouble,” she retorted bossily as I answered. “But your boss is the most trouble. And I know his type. Did you even tell Layyanah? What about isthikhaarah?”

I knew Layyanah would have asked me the same thing, and that was precisely why I was fretting about telling her.

Maahira and Layyanah had actually been in contact over the past few months, and I had no idea until I had started chatting to Maahira again.

Maahi had asked her for a sincere apology for being such a rat in the past and things kind of took off from there. It was cool that two of my best girls were friends.

”I didn’t tell Layyanah and you better not open your mouth,” I warned her.

“I won’t,” she promised, and I believed her this time. She knew that if she had to betray my trust, I would never forgive her again.

For me though… I just needed all the toxicity to leave… so I could feel at peace with everything.

I swallowed as I thought about Isthikhaarah. Lately, I’d been feeling so disconnected. I didn’t even think about that. About connecting with Allah. About seeking His help.

But if everything was pointing towards this as a solution, won’t it be the right thing for me?

“You do understand that if anything goes wrong,” she continued. “His first revenge tactic will be to sack you.”

“But Faadil will never do that to me,” I said confidently.

He knew how badly I needed this job and what an asset I was becoming to the company. Of course it wouldn’t get bitter. Besides, he wasn’t the only boss here.

“Just remember, no one is irreplaceable,” she shot back.

I bit my lip, trying not to explode on her.

Was she actually saying that I could be replaced by some other half-wit who probably can’t even do a portion of slavery that they get away with allocating to me?


Listen, I have to go in a bit,” she said, quickly, as I heard someone in the background. “Some girls are here from the office. Will you just speak to your parents already? I thought you went to the farm last weekend.”

Faadil also called my home a farm. Most city people did, and now that Maahira lived in London, she was jumping on the bandwagon. I found it just a tad bit derogatory.

As if they were some kind of royalty just because they had a city address.

”I just went to see my favourite little guy,” I said, thinking of Zaid once again, instantly forgetting all the worries that were hounding me. “l’ll speak to them soon. And Layyanah too…”

I had spent an entire afternoon with him while Layyanah and Liyaket went off to do some shopping. I had been seeing him almost every weekend when work time allowed.

And I smiled as I remembered his adorable little double chin and the cutest single dimple that just got me every time.

Even through everything that had happened recently, I honestly felt like he was the one reason I had to keep myself sane. He was undeniably a reason to smile after a long and tiring week at work.

And since I was seeing her so often I knew that I should have already spoken to Layyanah about Faadil, but I just couldn’t seem to sum up the courage…

“I’m waiting to know the outcome here,” she concluded. “I need to know when to plan my trip back home. Let me know as soon as you tell them.”

I cut the call after greeting, feeling uneasy for some reason, now that she was talking about official stuff.

And now this was actually happening, of course.. I could only imagine that it would very possibly be a high profile type of weeding. Faadil only mingled with the rich and famous.

Although I was all in for the fancy favours and trending decor… a part of me secretly always wanted a small and intimate Nikah, and I knew that wasn’t exactly on the cards for him.

I sighed, not trusting myself to say anything more. I’d had no one to talk to about this, so I shoved it out of my mind for then, hoodwinking myslef into believing it was all cool for now.

Deception. It’s like I was caught in a maze that had no way out.

Another message from my mother came through on my phone as I we reached Sandton, and I figured it may be a good time to call, while I bided the time before I’d be home on my couch with a bag of popcorn.

I thought that it would be the usual mother-like nagging, but this time though, there was something else.

”Did you speak to Jameela?”

And of course, if I had the decency to reply, I would say no, I didn’t.

In fact, I hadn’t spoken to my sister in over two months. I mean, we acknowledged each other when we met, but there were no more FaceTimes or calls that would pass by between us intermittently in the week, like back in the pre-high-flying days.

And I wanted to on multiple occasions but I didn’t make the first move. The tension was subtle but it was very much present. I did have a feeling that she might have been upset about the way I live my life but I didn’t sweat it.

My mother had good avoidance tactics. Instead of answering she just said that Jameela will be in contact, and cut the call just after telling me that she was hoping they’d see me this weekend.

EIsh. If they were expecting me I knew that I had to let them know not to. I really just wanted to chill and take it easy. Maybe visit Layyanah and baby Zaid. See Faadil under our stipulated conditions. Other than that… I wasn’t sure and I was feeling pretty selfish.

And yes, at this point, It had been a helluva couple of months. Nightmarish memories still haunted me but I was finally feeling settled and accomplished and being away from home and the constant hounding of my family was helping too.

The guilt. Why couldn’t she just understand? I just needed the peace to deal with myself.

I breathed out as I reached home, opening my Instagram to see the reactions on the last post. 360 likes already, and it had barely been an hour.

And ‘peace’ was what I was fooled into believing I had, as I opened my empty apartment, kicking off my heels and dumped my bag at the front.

No matter how classy the hotels were… How delicious the breakfast had been… How luxurious the business class seats were…. Home was still home.

Later, I would read my Salaah. For now, all that mattered was my ego and feeding my desires. Whipping up a cup of my favourite coffee, and planting myself on my chill-out sofa was the perfect remedy after a long week.

Tomorrow, I would be more productive. Do a little bit of cleaning, and dusting. I didn’t realize that souls needed cleansing too.

For now, I just needed a diversion. Maybe I’d even message Lesley for a coffee date. Find out whats going on with her after Nikah. Perhaps even draw some much needed inspiration and hope she would give me the go-ahead with Faadil.

I shoved everything else out of my head as the red and black logo flashed on the screen. For now it was Netflix and chill, so there I was, procrastinating endlessly with my head in my darkened clouds, prying my eyes open as I lay on the couch.

And I was seemingly lost in a parallel world, on the brink of zombie mode,when the buzzing of the phone on my lap jolted me awake.

And still half expecting it to be Faadil who had said he would see me later, but as I studied the phone in my hand, I realized that it wasn’t him at all.

And for a minute, I wasn’t sure what to do, as I saw my sisters name on the ID, after weeks of no contact.

And while I deliberated on whether or not pick up right away, the call cut and she phoned again, almost immediately. There was no doubt that it had to be pretty important, so I shoved aside my toxic mentality for a minute, pressed the green button, not really thinking further than my pride as I greeted, trying to sound as natural as possible.

“Assalamualaikum,” Jameela’s voice said, really faintly as I struggled to hear. It was like a mixture of bad signal and utter chaos, wherever she was at the time, but my ears were ringing the the racket. “Mohsina, sorry, you have to…”

Her voice trailed off as I struggled to decipher her words as I heard sirens blaring on the other side of the line, wondering where on earth she was at this time of the night.

“Jameela?” I said, sitting up as I was practically jolted from my Netflix-induced slumber, her voice sounding almost foreign to me as she spoke again.

“Mos, you have to come now,” she cried, her voice clearly on the verge of tears again.

She sniffed loudly as my heart beat incessantly in my chest, assuming every worst case possible scenario in my head.

“What’s happened?!” I asked, guilt immediately overwhelming over me as I thought about how I’d put seeing off my parents for so long. “Just tell me, what’s going on? Is Papa okay?! Nani?!”

Lucid thoughts were hounding me. About Nani. About how my priorities had gone completely out the window during the last few months.

When was the last time I had even seen my family properly?

She was silent for a few seconds, but I could hear her fighting back emotion with intermittent noises that I could barely understand as she tried to formulate her next words. Panic was rising within me as she struggled to get it all out.

My heart was racing with terrifying trepidation as I awaited her next sentence.

”It’s not them,” she managed to blurt out, a few seconds later. “There was a huge accident here on the main road. “A truck… a car.. truck shot the robo…”

Oh shit.

I swallowed hard as the anxiety rose within my pulsating chest.
The thought of losing anyone I knew, even vaguely, was traumatic…

“Mos, I’m so sorry…” she said, her voice riddled with emotion as I heard her breathing intensify.

Somehow , in the back of my mind, I was well aware that the blow was going to be unparalleled, but the moment between assumption and execution is always the most prolonged.

And it was all in a matter of a few minutes, but that’s how it always happens, doesn’t it?

Every now and then, we have to look up. Awaken our senses. Begin to taste the reality that surrounds us every day, while we continue to be the losers, caught up in our poisoned worlds.

Because every now and then, when the races we compete in are of fame and success, and when day-to-day becomes a mere means to an end, when the darkness begins to overwhelms us… a great trial comes forth to rescue us. To take away from what’s been consuming our souls. To eliminate the darkness that engulfs us. To heal our hardened and heavy hearts.

Sometimes Almighty Allah, for the child who is not yet capable of signing the deal, makes the deal on our behalf, to reveal to us a greater truth. The truth that comes with enduring the trials we face, patiently and with full trust in the immense reward that awaits the righteous…  To vie with one another in good instead, to pay whatever the price it takes, and barter this world for an eternity of bliss… where we will forever dwell within.

…when we are competing for the lesser, it was the one certainty that will never cease to exist..

The last of it is musk, (The divine fragrance of Paradise, the seal thereof which will be Musk)

So for this let the competitors compete.
(Surah Al Mutaffifeen)

“Its Layyanah ,” Jameela whispered, breaking down the barriers of my hardened heart, as she uttered her next words…

“Mosee… She’s … gone…”

Sunnah of Giving and Receiving gifts. 

In an attempt to create love, especially if they may be rifts or some kind of problem… the Sunnah of giving gifts is always a perfect remedy ❤️

Rasullulah (Sallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “If anyone receives something from his Muslim brother, without asking for it, he should not reject it but he should accept it is his sustenance (rizq) which has been sent by Allah Taála.”

(Fadhaail e Sadaqah)

Du’aa for Rajab 

اَللّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِى رَجَبَ وَ شَعْبَانَ وَ بَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَان

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

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









FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

Darkened Doorways

Bismihi Ta’ala

Part 31

There are some days that I wanted nothing more than to leave the world behind and just run far away. To feel the wind in my hair. The morning dew on my lips. The feeling of nature at its best. The sun blazing on my back.

There are days when the doorways to hope are darkened by with doom…  times when no one else but you can see the shadows that chase you, and no one, not even yourself, can save you from them.

Every now and then, the sorrows of life, whether they’re yours or someone else’s, will find their way to you.

And someone once told me that when the pains of this life wear you down, and our hearts become weakened with worries of worldly woes… when our shoulders are leaden and burdened with responsibilities that we barely bear… there is this one powerful and magical expression that can transform, inspire and renew the conviction to hand it over to the Rabb Who pulled you through every other time.

No matter what was going on. No matter who was the problem. No matter how my heart was slowly losing hope either in this world or someone I really loved…

لاحول ولا قوت الله بالله

There is no might or no power, except with Allah.

Truly, there is nothing greater. Nothing mightier. Nothing that is a Guardian, watching out more for us, as our Ultimate Protector.

But the thing is, how do you even begin to explain this to someone who you adore so dearly, but seems to be drifting further and further away from this grounding truth..? How do you even salvage a situation that seems to be so far gone, that no words even seem to fix..?

The situation was something like this:

“You’ll need to come with me to return the Porsche,” Mohsina demanded as we sat side by side in Papa’s old Corolla, as she commanded me, the official family chauffeur. “Everyone’s making it like I’m breaking some kind of unwritten law by driving my boss’s car. I mean, it’s just a damn car. It doesn’t mean anything. Can you even believe them?!”

It wasn’t a surprise that news spread like wild fire on our locality and everyone had already heard the Mohsina had come home in a fancy Porsche. I wasn’t condoning anything but to me it looked like Mohsina was still acting like everyone owed her the respect that she hadn’t yet earned.

I pursed my lips together, not wanting to edge her on further. The whole Porsche saga had caused enough trouble as it was, and I instantly knew that Mohsina was in her whole defensive kind of vibe, obviously riding on the self-righteous train, thinking that nothing she did was ever really wrong.

Sometimes I wondered is her proverbial lantern had been put out, and the light that she was supposed to be seeing in every situation was dwindling further and further away into the shadows.

And at a time where darkness seemed to be flooding the likes of every persons world, whether it was through the television, internet or social media… a torch that shines through the darkness is a most welcoming and crucial weapon.

”I’ll come, but will you manage to drive it?” I asked Mohsina, glancing at her as she stretched her leg out, and winced slightly in pain. I was not prepared to drive her boss’s car. “How’s the leg? Any bruising?”

Mohsina had come pretty close to a broken ankle last night when she slipped on the hospital stairs. I supposed it was a good thing that I was with her to help her up.

Well, good in some ways and a little traumatizing in other ways. I was only hoping that today would be a bit calmer for my heart.

“They lucky if I don’t sue them,” she muttered, pulling down the mirror and re-applying her lipstick. Her hair was wrapped up in a traditionally styled hijab today, and it felt like the old Mohsina again. Almost. Except something was amiss.

Hmmmm,” I said, concentrating on the road as she went on, and wondering how busy the coffee shop was right then.

It was the first Sunday I wasn’t helping Papa. Garden Getaway had hosted an amazing crowd on Sunday’s. I had bribed Muhammed Husayn to help out, knowing that if I promised him some incentive, he couldn’t refuse.

Mohsina obviously needed someone with her, and I was the only option.

“That place was so bloody dark,” she said, pushing up the mirror again. “Idiots. I can’t believe a private hospital doesn’t even have any proper lighting. That’s probably the reason why they have weird people hanging around unnoticed at all times of the night.”

”What d’you mean,” I asked, indicating to go into Layyanah and Liyaket’s road, a little confused. “Who did you see?”

”No-one,” she said off-handedly, looking away. “Just some vagrants hanging around.”

She cleared her throat but didn’t meet my eye as she looked in her bag to take out some hand lotion. It felt almost as if she was avoiding something, but as quick as the feeling came on, it was gone again.

”You should tell them at least,” I said pointedly, stifling a giggle as I thought of it. “A hospital can’t be having all these hazards. Imagine you come for some emergency, and end up with another!”

”If I don’t sue them, I’ll write them a nice, fat blog post to disrepute them,” she muttered, not even smiling as I watched her open her iPhone again. “That will serve them right.”

I knew what a nice, fat e-mail blog post meant. I’d seen influencers or food bloggers doing that with restaurants, coffee shops and other businesses to dishonour them.

The unsettling  fact was that a little drama really does do it’s rounds and can potentially affect their business and income. Especially if it’s a small family owned thing, I’d hate it if someone had to do that to our little coffee shop and cause a stir on social media before even letting us know what their concerns were.

”Listen,” I said carefully, as I manoeuvred the car into Layyanah and Liyaket’s driveway. “Why don’t you just take it up with them directly. It’s not always the best idea to put things on social media. You know how damaging it can-“

“Can you see how damaged my leg is?!” She cut in, lifting her dress to show me the blue bruise on the side of her calf.

Ouch. It really did look sore.

But still, shame, they obviously didn’t mean for that tile to be loose and for her to catch a royal fall like she did. I had to hand it to her though. She had actually taken off work for two days, using the opportunity to stay in town to help Layyanah for a few days.

But also… Islamically, and ethically, the correct procedure wasn’t to just shame people and make everything a big hoo-haa. The problem is was that with Generation Z, people get their momentum from their followers. It makes me cringe when someone tries to advise people on social media and the advise-ee retaliates by screen-shotting and humiliating the person for all their 10k followers to see.

But sometimes… Well, sometimes we just have to stop, think, and just be kind. It wasn’t a difficult concept but many still didn’t get it.

The thing was… Mohsina was on a roll now, and when she was after someone, I knew that she would go all out for their blood. It’s just that not much was going right for her at the moment. In fact, it seemed like everything was going completely wrong.

“Take a deep breath,” I started, hoping she would calm down, as I wondered if maybe her approach was all wrong. “Read Laa Hawlaa wa Laa Quwwata illah Billah…”

Indeed, no matter how small the matter was, it was the antidote to many problems or ailments, even when sky seemed to be falling down on us…

As always, I tried to get her to simmer down, but recent events were definitely not helping her sate of mind. She was on fire today, and no-one could stand in her way.

And to be fair, amidst all the drama and excitement, sometimes it’s hard to notice when something sinister starts creeping in. I had barely noticed Mohsina slip into a little hole that was almost unreachable these few months, and after spending that while at the hospital with her, it was like if we had lost a whole chunk of her life and now there was a girl who I grew up with that I barely knew anything about anymore.

And then of course, was the drama with Hamzah seeing the car she was driving that might have been a further exacerbation of her current state of mind… because she was kind of out of control.

To put it lightly, it had to happen that the two of them would clash in the parking lot, and Hamzah was very evidently the only person in the entire province that wasn’t impressed with the Mohsina’s driving the office Porsche.

All I knew was that along with some hostility, a few words might have been exchanged, and because Liyaket’s mother couldn’t manage the low seat of Mohsina’s car, she was completely apologetic about the chaos she had caused by making Hamzah come to where Mohsina was and take her home instead.

And of course, the situation had become a little more than just awkward as question marks raised about what Mohsina was really up to, driving her boss’s car.

And Mohsina, being Mohsina, had nonchalantly implied that it was no-one’s business, but that, in my mind, was exactly the thing that got people all revved up and on a scandalous pursuit of whipping up more and more rumours.


My sisters unusual silence that evening, even as I knocked on her door later, was completely uncharacteristic and a little troublesome. She had come home to crash, staying at our family home after months, but it was almost as if she wasn’t even there. I felt like she was purposely shutting us out of her life.

I pushed the thoughts about drama away, soaking up the sunshine as I stepped out the car and glimpsed the beautiful potted plants on Layyanah’s patio.

Where other people turned to social media or more frivolous entertainment, the variety of colours that are err displayed before me was enough to calm my soul.  I let my gaze fall on the array of exquisite flowers that were now in full bloom, almost as if they were summoning us, letting their happiness fill my insides with delight.

Mohsina though, as she trudged ahead of me with the basket of goodies for Layy, was completely oblivious to it all.

And as early as we were, at around 11.30 when Layyanah was discharged, a stream of visitors were already slowly filling the driveway, and I could hear Mohsina muttering about how they better not be crowding the baby, else she was going to let them have it.

And it was cute, her protectiveness. At least it gave her something to channel her energy into for now, instead of the big, fat blog post.

That was the thing with Mohsina. When she was there, she gave us her all, physically. Emotionally though, i wasn’t quite sure. Some moments, it felt like we had lost her permanently… and when she wasn’t here in body, it was like she lived in a different world.

And as we made our way into the room, my soul feeling a little more rested as I saw Mohsina simmer down and greet Layyanah from afar for now… our attention now turned to the  hefty lady with a maroon scarf who was leaning over the cot.

“Masha Allah, laa hawlaa wa laa quwwata illah billah!” she exclaimed, staring at the baby, her expression one of bewilderment.

And there it was again.

A phrase, a word, an expression of awe… of humility… of absolute dependence and surrendering to the might and power of our Lord. An understanding that this new bundle of life was nothing but a sign of the mercy that Allah had sent to show us His magnificent power.

And I came to know pretty soon after that the expression had come from Liyaket’s late fathers sister, who had shamelessly opened the net of the sleeping baby and literally jolting the baby out of slumber as she tossed him from side, scrutinizing him for the fifth time that hour.

“Such a long nose he got,” the Aunty said, sounding almost unhappy about it. “And soooo fat and red his cheeks are.”

To me, all babies looked the same. Her face was, to my great surprise, slightly resentful as she looked at him, though. And as she spoke next, I got why. It was probably out of loyalty to her late brother.

“Doesn’t look like the Khans,” she murmured, shaking her head and glancing at Layyanah. “He looks just like you.”

I could see Layyanah giving a small smile as she watched, obviously used to the reaction by now.

Our little cutie let out a tiny whimper and closed his eyes again, almost to say that his precious sleep was far better than any relatives interruptions, no matter who they were. Layyanah was the calmest new mother, not even flinching as the aunty rolled her baby from side to side, trying to provoke some reaction.

Mohsina, on the other hand, was physically wincing.

And as I gazed as the sweet little pea, as Mohsina quickly concocted a story to maroon-scarved aunty about Layyanah’s feeding routine to get her out of the room, I couldn’t help but notice that from the fingers to the nose, little Zaid/Zakariyya/Hanzalah really did seem to  very much resemble his mother. Mohsina had said that she could see a little of Liyaket in there, but for now… Layyanah was winning the trophies.

”Sorry, but I had to chase her away,” Mohsina said as she picked the woken baby up and carefully soothed him to sleep. “She was treating my child like a rag doll.”

Layyanah shrugged, obviously feeling the same way.

Several of Liyaket’s family had apparently expected a little Liyaket. It was almost as if, even after doing all that hard work, the baby had no right to even resemble his mother.

Liyaket, on the other hand, could not have been more thrilled or indifferent to who the baby resembled. According to Layyanah, he could not stop swooning over and carrying the baby, which annoyed her endlessly because she really didn’t want him getting spoilt.

How you could spoil a baby so cute and small was beyond me…

And waiting for the seventh day, while the parents were deciding on a name, we were enjoying the little bundle and really quite in awe of every little move or murmur he made.

And of course; despite the aesthetics, Liyaket’s family, all the way from his crazy aunty to his deranged third cousin (the same one that I had gotten freaked out by at the wedding) had come to visit and it felt as if this was some sort of royal child.

The two last visitors had left the room after Mohsina insisted that it was time for the baby to have a nappy change; and to my surprise, and true to her word, she gently placed the baby on the feeding mat, and through my mother’s guidance on video call, successfully executed the mission that Layyanah had been dreading.

And I was blown away, to tell the truth. I actually had no idea that she even had it in her.

I sat back and watched as she swooned over him, obviously in love with him already, and wondering if it was real. The thing was, even when he was screaming his head off… There was just something about her nature and touch that had the right amount of gentleness and calm that soothed him almost immediately.

I, on the other hand, was a complete wimp with babies, feeling that he was just way too tiny for me to even attempt to carry him, I slunk back, watching from afar.

Layyanah smiled as she shifted, sitting herself up in bed. Despite everything with her family and their indifference to her new bundle… with Mohsina here, to the rescue, I was so glad that she could still look like a really blissful, new mummy.

”I can’t believe you changed a poo, Mos,” she laughed as she stifled a yawn, later on as everyone left. “Like, I would have waited for Liyaket to come back. The nurses were trying to show me but I was so damn tired. Can you imagine, they brought the baby to me last night and left him there till five. You would think that they would let you sleep after pushing out a 3.5 kilogram baby, but they had no pity ‘cause I said I’m breastfeeding. Pardon the pun, but that really sucks, neh?”

Mohsina chuckled, but again, it felt almost as if it was all just a hollow expression with no real feeling.

And perhaps it was to do with the fact that we could hear some voices in the vicinity that she wanted to escape, because I could see her gathering her bag and draping her scarf again, ready to leave.

From what I heard, Hamzah had been in and out intermittently. Obviously avoiding Mohsina purposely, so staying as far away as possible for now… but he couldn’t stay away forever, could he?!

Somehow, in record time, we greeted Layyanah and managed the escape back home without much more drama to fetch the Porsche, while she went up to fetch some stuff from her room to take back to the apartment.

And as I plopped myself in the couch  for a quick breather, overwhelmed by serving visitors at Layyanah’s place most of the afternoon, it was 5pm on a Sunday evening, and our kitchen was buzzing with frivolous activity . Mummy was busy frying up some sandwiches, Nani was sitting on the chair with her famous pansurah for all her morning and evening Duaas while I, in all my exhausted glory, was laying in the couch, watching them all with my legs up in the air.

Serving people was exhausting. Between the coffee shop in the morning and Layyanah’s house, I was absolutely knackered. I didn’t blame Mohsina for escaping to her room, after spotting Nani on the couch, because we all knew what was coming.

Nani, as always, was never one to miss out on the latest saga. Somehow, nothing escaped her knowledge and spotting the Porsche in the driveway when she came back to our house that day was a sure giveaway.

”Everyone is talking,” Nani muttered, her eyes glancing outwards again, almost as if there was some kind of thief in the yard. I had briefly explained that it wasn’t her car, and Nani already figured the rest. “How many times I told her not to ask for favors with all the office mens. Only one thing they want from girls. I’m telling you, Bhengori, I have a bad feeling about this.”

My mother looked at her but said nothing. I mean what could she say?

Mohsina was a law unto herself lately.

The whole Porsche thing was a bit of a sinister event and I just had some niggly feeling that there was some ominous intention behind it.

But then again, I was a bit of a sceptic at the worst of times and Nani may have just been letting off all her steam, but I was lapping it up.

“I think it’s time she meets that boy now,” she was saying to my mother. “Get all these office boys out of the picture. Remember that nice poiro I was telling you about?”

Mhm. A boy. Yes, maybe that will help her. If Nani had someone in mind, at least it may be someone who was pre-approved. Pre-approved boys were usually the safest options because there was always someone you could complain to about them when their husband tendencies got overwhelming.

I looked at Mohsina as she re-entered, a slightly anxious look on her face, scarf tied at the back of her head, white blouse and beige culottes that sat above her ankle.

I could almost hear the ‘chi’ on the tip of Nani’s tongue, but she considerately kept it to herself. Instead, she gave Mohsina the most eyeballing once over, and then said:

“You think everything is fashion show,” she murmured. “Looks like your clothes gone small.. what will aunty Khairoon say if she sees you like this? As it is she is complaining how all the girls nowadays are so modern. She wanted to meet you. How will I explain my own granddaughter is so nangi. This is why my hair is gone grey. See.”

She was pointing at her grey parts that she’d had for the past eighteen years, as far as I could remember.

Old people and their reputations were quite tiring to keep up with. And I thought we had problems.

“Now you want to go out at Maghrib time, and you wonder why afterwards you are sitting with problems!”

Eish. Nani and her guilting .

“Don’t worry Nani, I can’t get possessed twice,” Mohsina smirked, almost snidely, but that had already set Nani off on another tangent in Gujarati about how she can’t say things like that and doesn’t care what kind of impression she’s making and when she’s older she will see how she will be sitting all old and lonely and regret.

I sighed, slipping on my shoes. It was all the usual things but I was so over it all because it was getting late and we still needed to make it back to return the car. Plus, I was exhausted.

The two of them were still bickering as I tied my shoe laces and zipped up my abaya, when the sudden and piercing ringing of the buzzer startled me.

While they went on, almost oblivious, I hastily made my way to the door, looking first in the camera that we had installed since the shop opened. The front driveway was often open, but no one ever came up to the main house, and we definitely weren’t expecting visitors.

I peeped through a small gap in the door, not really processing the two figures who were out there, or what they might be there for. They were probably just lost and needed some directions.

I glanced in the mirror and adjusted my scarf to cover my hair, pulling open the door with my other hand and greeting them like a good host should.

And okay, I wasn’t over-friendly but I had to retract my hospitality before they got the wrong idea. What I didn’t expect was a handsome young stranger to be standing there, and I immediately looked away as he offered a small smile.

”The shop is in front,” I said, wondering how they had missed it, and hoping he would leave soon.

“We didn’t come for the shop,” the young man said, and I immediately looked up. “Is your father here?”


This was really fast work. Was this maybe Nani’s proposal? Leave alone efficient, on top of that, the candidate here wasn’t as bad as I thought. Actually, not bad at all!

”He’s still busy with work,” I said. “I think if you go, you can meet-“

”No, that’s very good,” the guy said, and I caught a wiff of some intense scent as the wind blew. “We see your sister has a new car. Just need to have a word with her. Me and my friend here. Can you call her?”

Another man, middle-aged, came up from behind, and I immediately put my guard up as I saw him. All rosy  thoughts about the handsome young stranger flying out the window.

I swallowed, not knowing what was going on, but already weary of this new man who looked a little more intimidating with every second that ticked by.

”And your name?” I said, almost in a squeak. Fear overcame me, as the man’s expression hardened in a way that made me shudder.

“Just call her!,” he demanded, and I immediately stepped away as I got that intense prickly sensation at the back of my neck. It sent a few shock waves through my body as I realised that the instinct to scream was overwhelming.

And though I so badly wanted to, I wasn’t sure what was going on but my body was frozen with fear.

My voice was clogging in my throat as I tried to call for my sister, thoughts of what could happen if I didn’t or couldn’t, clouding all judgement.

I didn’t ever think that the likes of these people would ever darken our doorway, but what I didn’t know that the same nightmares that haunted my sister every night were the very ones that were right in my midst…

Mission Sunnah Revival

Du’aa for Rajab 

اَللّهُمَّ بَارِكْ لَنَا فِى رَجَبَ وَ شَعْبَانَ وَ بَلِّغْنَا رَمَضَان

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

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










FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

A Little bit of Change

Bismihi Ta’ala

Part 28
3 months later

Once upon a time, in the age when history was still in the making, a man like no other existed, who won even the most obstinate people over by none other than his beautiful heart.

Sounds almost like a fairy tale, doesn’t it?

But it’s true. A perfected character was his gift to others.

There were no prizes for accepting this message, no drawn out contracts of recompense or deals that he made. He rejected wealth, he refuted any offers of leadership, nor did he have the capacity to offer any financial incentives in return for his mission.

All he did, was distribute the most sublime character.

Through one man, who disseminated the most extraordinary kind of light, even to his most avid enemies, he conquered so much more than just the Arabian empire. He conquered hearts that were as heart as rock. He lightened the darkened ways of idolatry, and brought them back onto the religion of Ibrahim (AS). His message moulded men who used to bury their beloved biological daughters alive, into believers who would weep at a mere verse of the Holy Quran.

Muhammed – Sallalahu Alaihi Wa Sallam  – was a man who brought light and life to an almost soulless society…

And from this, learning about the life about  the last and final Nabi of Allah (Sallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), it was a beautiful lesson that even after a long period of darkness, its amazing how a little bit of light can instantly transform the most hopeless of situations. It just took one man, and life, as they knew it… was completely reformed.

As I gazed outside at the plot of land that had been home to me my entire life, the sunlight casting its glow over the semi-green terrain that boasted a variety of fascinating flowers… it was like daylight instantly cured the night’s niggling nuances. A little bit of light can bing about the most amazing change.

With the passage of time, when many changes seem to happen all at once…  there were times when I felt like I drifted to sleep in one world and I was jolted awake in another.

Whether it was fear or it was hopelessness… I wasn’t quite certain. But I came to realise pretty early in life that everyone is scared of something.

For me… I’m terrified about things I don’t have control over. Feelings, fate, hurt and broken hearts. Words I didn’t say, goodbyes I never heard. Moments that pass me by, without me even realising how or when or why…

Most of all, though, I was scared of change. Changes that set me back or that made me uncomfortable. Changes that created spaces between us, and made us forget who we were… changes that hurt people or made people upset or distant.

Basically, changes that changed things… things that I knew so well and had grown to love over the years.

And well, also, I was scared of Nani. When she started screaming, the fear there was very much unmatched.

“Jameela!” She shouted from the bottom of the staircase. “We need to leave right now! What are you doing? Stop working so much. Boys don’t like girls who act so clever.”

I closed my book and sighed. Chauffeur duty called. Nani wanted a ride to my uncles house and it had become my duty to escort her without further questions whenever she required…

“Jameela!” Nani’s voice sounded from downstairs again. “You better not be getting all these study ideas like your sister… then you won’t want to get married and have children and than I have to explain what’s wrong with all my grandchildren.”

I cleared my throat to signal I had heard her, getting up and wanting to tell Nani that I was way too young to be thinking about kids. Like. Really.

Chi,” she said, watching me as I plundered down the stairs that Saturday. “Go and put on some proper clothes. You can’t come looking like a jungalee. What if there are visitors?”


I looked down at my grey pants with the elasticated cuffs at the end, and my white longer length t-shirt. Nani was way too fussy about superficial aspects but I went up anyway and put on an abaya and scarf. It was my usual going out attire since two years back, but when I felt lazy I just didn’t have the energy for it. Plus it was only my uncles house, and I wasn’t even going in.

But then again, anything to keep Nani happy, right?

After all, she was trying her best to keep things together, even if it mostly benefitted her reputation at the end of the day.

In an effort to bring some light into our lives, I know that Nani had now taken it upon herself to attempt to fix our slightly dysfunctional family.

To add insult to injury, all her coaxing and commanding entailed compulsory grocery trips, chaperoned trips into town and Taaleem every week. It wasn’t that I minded it all… it’s just that I didn’t see the effect it was really having on me until I saw the effect that the lack of it was having on my sister.

Nani was re-draping her dupatta and I watched her as she pulled her bag from the hook and gestured for me to come.

I dropped her off, promising that I would be back in three and a half hours to fetch her and come in to greet everyone so I didn’t appear to be a real jungalee and full of myself.

That was the thing with changes. With social media and technology taking over, people no longer really felt a need to visit people anymore. All the old people in the family complained that khala khala-ing was no longer a thing and I had a feeling that they were bordering on depression because of it. It was a huge part of weekend life before.

“That’s the problem with Mohsina,” Nani said bitterly in gujarati, as I caught onto some tit-bits if her long rant before she left. “The worst mistake your father did was let her move away on her own. Now she thinks she’s too great with her big, big degree so she can’t even make time for family.”

Changes again. That was it. Seemed like I wasn’t the only one averse to it.

She got out the car in a huff, shaking her head to herself, and I couldn’t help but think that maybe Nani did have a point there.

I didn’t want to go in right then because my heart just wasn’t feeling into it. There were way too many emotions and opinions and I wasn’t quite sure I could handle them all.

To tell the truth, I wasn’t in the zone for all the snickering and assumptions that family people concocted behind our backs.

Besides, the last time I had gone into my uncle’s place, everyone asked where Mohsina but still didn’t believe me when I answered.

”She’s at work,” I had replied steadily.

And with judgemental family people, a simple answer is never enough to pacify them as they continued to mumble behind me.

And of course, as always, I would end up irritated, but because I wasn’t the type to lash out, it would just brew inside. My cousins were like the mean girls who weren’t even popular.

One time though, the mumbling was competing with my sanity and getting the better of me so I couldn’t help but narrow my eyes at them.

“Is something wrong?” I asked, trying to keep my face as neutral as possible as I spun around and looked at them.

They looked shocked that I asked.

“Not really,” Nasreen, the younger one said, almost as if she was covering something up. “Just.. you know… we were wondering about your sister… like after the broken engagement … is she really okay?”

Something told me that she wasn’t exactly concerned about her well-being.

“Like, I can’t imagine how it must feel to be in her place,” the other sister said. “Two times over… you can’t help but feel that there’s something wrong with her.. you know?!”

Her tone was questioning but the look in her eyes was just evil.

What did she even know about my sister?

She was insinuating things that she had no proof about… talking about the past and judging Mohsina as if she knew more than she really did.

I desperately wanted to ask her how come she wasn’t married yet but I didn’t have that much of an evil streak in me. Plus, I had to keep reminding myself. Getting back at people wasn’t the point. Character, right? That was the only thing that we could hold onto, when everything else seemed amiss.

Peace. Kindness. Love. Breathe in, and let it go.

And everything else aside, but it always amazed me how people who were less than worthy sat on high horses and judged everyone else. Nasreen and her sister appeared to be the perfect Muslim girls, but the reality was far from that and not many knew it.

I didn’t want to get into an argument right then so I let the comment slide. I did suppose that rumours were doing its rounds in the family…. Everyone had their own theories.

Luckily today, I actually had a good excuse for not going in, and for extra effect, I planned on convincing Mohsina to join me at my uncles house later on so everyone will see just how amazingly well my sister was really coping.

All she had to do was turn up at home first. On time.

And yes, Mohsina had promised to be home by lunch time that day and the afternoon rush at the coffee shop but I already knew that she was going to be late. It was a given with my sister.

It was a weekend so I didn’t understand what the delay was, but I knew that since scoring that position at Hammond’s, it seemed like her popularity was soaring limitlessly. Every time I asked her what her deal was; she always had some commitment, feature or something of that sort. Technically, Mohsina was the backbone of an entire division and being a Muslim female there was obviously a huge amount of scrutiny and pressure for her to perform at top level. Of course, her work had to be impeccable… but the question I couldn’t help but ask was: at what cost was it all coming?

I glanced outside as I stood at the doorway, seeing Layyanah’s Hyundai making it’s way up our plot as she skilfully parked alongside the driveway. I smiled as she emerged from the car, her tummy almost the size of a beach ball now, as she hobbled along the footpath.

“Assalamualaikum,” I called, grinning at her slightly clumsy movements. “You’re looking so cute. You need a hand?”

Even though she was wearing an abaya, she was looking like a super sweet pregnant lady as she made her way towards me.

She had a container of something she was carrying, and since Layyanah was now a frequent here, she was almost like another member of the family.

Also, it had just been a few months… but with the start off the new year, our coffee shop and garden had quickly become a regular destination for many around the province. We didn’t expect it, but since Mohsina was doing the page for our Garden Getaway page and the coverage she gave it was quite extensive, the coffee shop and chill spot was really exceeding expectation. It was really one of the more popular coffee shops that offered Halaal entertainment, outdoor seating as well as full catering that Mummy had trained people to help her with, and Papa was really beginning to enjoy managing this new project.

I hated to say I told them so, and of course it was great news, but we needed extra help. That’s when Mohsina suggested we ask Layyanah to assist, because she was nearby and had lots of experience in administration and operations when she was at Hammond’s.

”I think I’m okay,” she said with a slight huff, but I knew Layyanah. She was getting knackered really fast and it was a warm day today. “It’s just an effort to keep moving at times.”

She grinned at me as she waddled forward. She was honestly looking quite huge, but the fact that she wasn’t one of those gracefully pregnant women made her really self conscious.

“You look like you are ready to pop!” I said with delight as I reached her, going forward to help her with her bag. She balanced the Tupperware on her tummy as we walked through the front door.

”Mohsina here yet?” She asked, her eyes looking bright as she said it. Mohsina’s visit today was an event that was rare and she made certain she wouldn’t miss. It had been almost a month since she had come.

“Not yet,” I continued as I watched her, hoping that Mohsina wasn’t going to make us wait too long. “You okay?”

She was shifting uncomfortably as I watched her trudging forward.

Having a highly pregnant woman in my midst got me a bit anxious. She nodded convincingly and I relaxed slightly.

“Mohsina is apparently going crazy, shopping for the cutest outfits ever,” I said, her huffing away as she made her way down the passage. “Do you need anything else for the baby, by the way?”

Liyaket didn’t want the whole occasion thing before the baby arrived and preferred to have it after, so we had shelved the idea for later that month and put some money together to buy Layyanah some cute baby attire. After all, she just had 3 weeks to go before the baby was due.

“All I want right now is to get this baby out!” she moaned emphatically, clearly exhausted. “The only person who is more tired than I am is Liy, shame, man… He is honestly my ease through the most difficult pregnancy, Alhumdulillah. I’m soo grateful…”

I smiled. The two of them were so in love and it was just so cute.

”You left him at home?” I asked casually as we walked into the kitchen.

She shook her head as she placed the container down.

“He took his mother for her meds and  a new script,” she said easily, collapsing on the two-seater couch as I put the kettle on for coffee. “The hospital she used to go to from them days is an hour away. He told her to go to the private one here, but she’s so stubborn, shame. These old people, neh? She says she doesn’t want him to waste money on her, especially since his family will be growing… she says he’ll need to save it all.”

That was really considerate. But the government hospitals were no joke.

“The least he could do is drive her there,” she continued. “He said he’ll try and convince her for next time. She used to take the bus and it took her the whole day in the past. Shame, she’s really in a lot of pain.”

I smiled sympathetically, remembering her mentioning  that his mother had chronic back pain as well as diabetes, and also touched by how much of love she had for her son. It was like one of those stories you heard in folk tales. Only more soppy.

”He’s a good son, Layy,” I said quietly. “Are your parents excited about the baby?”

Layyanah’s eyes narrowed.

“Didn’t Mohsina tell you?” She said, her expression instantly changing to one of upset. “My parents don’t want to have anything to do with my child because of its surname. My father is still hung up on the shallow guy who he missed out a major business opportunity with.. the one I was supposed to marry, because of all the money that he would have made out of that partnership. It’s all about money, money and more money for him.

People from my circles are highly superficial.”

It was really sad, what Layyanah was saying. I had no idea that people still behaved like Bollywood antagonists in this day and age. It was a brutal lesson about wealth and status… and how greed and the need for more and more consumed people. What happened to blood being thicker than water? What happened to love triumphs all? 

I sighed and looked at my watch, realizing that Mohsina was already late and she hadn’t even called. The words Layyanah had said still rung in my ears.

People from my circles are highly superficial.

People from my circles too, I wanted to add, but I kept silent. Some things were better left unsaid.

She looked away, but I didn’t miss the escaped tear from her eye that she hastily brushed away.

My heart ached for my sisters friend, who seemed seemed so fragile right now.  Layyanah had really turned over a new leaf, so much so that she had become a really serious influence on me to be a better person too. I wasn’t even sure how she broke away from that kind of lifestyle she had grown up in. There were so many changes that her heart had undergone… changes that were so deep and obvious, changes that had transformed her and reformed her and most of all, changes that had brought about a beautiful character that I knew would eventually win even the most unassuming people over. At least, I hoped so.

Change was hard. It was harder when things happened  that were so irreversible that it was quite certain that nothing would be the same again.

There was a moment of silence as two of us sat around the kitchen table, sipping on our Cappucinos while we waited for my notoriously late sister to turn up. Sunlight was streaming into the kitchen and the morning glow should have cheered me up, but it just made me more grumpy that day.

Layyanah, who reeked positivity, barely noticed my annoyance as she stretched out her long legs, holding her breath for a while and then breathing out slowly, as if she was bracing herself for something. I wasn’t sure if she needed help with anything but she gently rubbed her tummy, and then looked slightly uncomfortable for a moment as she sat back and looked at me with a strange expression.

“I think I need to go to the bathroom,” she muttered, still slighly perplexed as she got up. “Again.”

She’d only already been 3 times, but she had just downed a whole cup of cappucino and I supposed with a little human pressing on her bladder, the constant trips were  kind of expected.

I smiled as I picked up the mugs that were on the tabel, feeling happy for Layyanah and trying to shove the thoughts about my sister and her alleged shenanigans out of my head.

I grabbed my phone and opened Instagram almost automatically, pausing for a minute as the first post from @mostlymohsina came up on my feed, and that’s when I saw red.

Now this is what really bugged me. It was a snap of my dear sister with two girl friends from work, striking a pose outside the latest trending ice-cream shop at Melrose Arch, dressed to the nines, just this morning. There were a few foodie snaps on her story and then one of her in a car, and it took me a minute or two to realize that it wasn’t her car that she was in.

Perhaps one of her friends? But a Porsche… a Porsche… who was it again that had a Porsche? I recalled her mentioning it once but the memory was clouded by my emotions.

Anger was brewing inside me as I realized that she had clearly shelved our brunch date for all of this, and I knew that this time when I saw her, this wouldn’t go unmentioned.

She was, undeniably, immersed in a world that we weren’t worthy of. She was constantly vying for attention of everyone else, and it confused me because there was nothing lacking in her life.

Maybe at one stage, things weren’t amazing, but now… she had everything. She was beautiful, she was successful and she was popular. Which was why I was so confused as to what she was getting at. All these posts and going out of her way to make a name for herself… wasn’t it only about arrogance and show? All this worldly pursuit, was it really all that it seemed? Wasn’t it a direct trade-off with your happiness, when you are persistent in disobeying Allah’s laws as you led your life..?

There is no obedience the creation if there is disobedience to the Creator…

A Hadith says:
“The heart of a Muslim whose object is the life Here- after does not care for the worldly pleasures, yet the world is brought to his feet; on the other hand, who- ever goes after the world, he is overpowered by mise- ries and calamities, yet he cannot receive more than his allotted portion.” (Fadhaail e Amaal)’

All this chasing… Was it not just an attention seeking play, vying for likes, pleasing people and looking for approval from creation… when in fact, our approval should only be sought from the Creator?

“Um, Jamz.”

I looked up to see Layyanah standing in front of me, a worried look on her face. I put my phone down instantly, the anger slightly dissolving.

“I think I need to go to the hospital,” she said quietly. “Like now.”

My eyes widened as I looked at her. Did that mean she wanted me to take her?

I wasn’t the most amazing driver but I could make my way around. I only wished that Mohsina could hurry up so she could  take over and do all the calming down and stuff. Layyanah was sounding like she was hyperventilating and I had no idea how to even start to make her chill.

She got up and I eyed her tummy, which was looking slightly lower now, and made me panic all the more.

“Whats happened?” I almost whispered. Somehow, I couldn’t find my voice.

“It’s my waters,” she said, sounding a little hysterical. “I think my waters broke.”

I let out a deep breath, that I wasn’t even aware that I was holding. Waters. Water. The water breaks, when the baby was ready to come. That was a normal thing, right?

Right. It wasn’t rocket science.

I picked up my phone as I grabbed Layyanah’s keys, knowing that I’d have to get her to the hospital as soon as I could. I was already dialling Mohsina’s number, now boiling with rage as I realised just how selfish she was. Her best friend was having a baby and she couldn’t even pick up her damn phone. This was just the lowest she had ever gone, well, in my eyes.

I was never going to let her hear the end of this.

This was going to be one helluva change, and I wasn’t even sure how we were going to make it through.

I wasn’t sure how I even got Layyanah to the hospital but as we pulled up, the call from Mohsina finally came. What on earth was she so busy doing that she couldn’t even answer my fifty million calls?

”Hey, I’m so sorry, I completely got caught up-“

“Don’t even try apologizing,” I snapped, picking up the phone as she called me back, almost 15 minutes later as I drove to the hospital parking lot. “Just get to the hospital right now. Liyaket isn’t in town and Layyanahs having the baby!”

“I’m on my way,” she said after a few seconds, sounding like she had gone into shock. “Tell Layyanah to hold on. Please. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

Tell Layyanah to hold on? Was she even for real?

She was really something else. I knew that this day would be one that I wouldn’t forget, but what I didn’t know was that the event that was happening… this whole change that was going to make their world an entirely different one to what they had known all along … this event that was going to bring about something nothing short of miraculous. Changes, huh?

Maybe… just maybe… some changes weren’t so bad after all…

Mission Sunnah Revival

Sunnah of good manners/Akhlaaq 


Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi Wa Sallam said: ‘There is no gift that a father gives his child more virtuous than good manners.’ (Tirmidhi)

N.B. Some translators of Hadeeth have translated the Hadeeth as, ‘A father gives his child nothing better than a good Islamic education.’










FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah



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 journeyinajournal@webmail.co.za 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





A Glimmer of Hope

Bismihi Ta’ala

N.B. We’ve backtracked slightly, but we will get to the event of Khawlah’s tears in the next post, Insha Allah.

Throughout your life you will find that the events of leaving and losing… of breaking and  falling… of failing and  disappointment… all lead to one thing.

It all points you in One direction. One Purpose. One Allah. That Allah is all you need. He is your Wali. He is your protecting friend. That nothing else but Him will do. That no matter where else you may seek it, your happiness and peace and absolute reliance are for Him, through Him and with Him alone.

And it so happens in life that we are faced with tests in ways that we sometimes don’t understand. But being tested is all a part of this journey… in Allāh’s magnificent plan for us. And in facing these, we can either rise to the challenge, lift ourselves up from the fall and run towards the light… or we can hopelessly crawl along, giving into defeat and losing ourselves to despair.

And then there are some people who come along on your life’s journey, to show to you a better view. A clearer perspective. A broader horizon. They see the light through every darkness. A lining on every cloud. They are people who feel the sunshine, even in the rain.

And sometimes you just need that one thing to hold onto. To wholeheartedly believe in. Because that’s when it all fits together. Yes, what the future held for me at that point was painful, difficult and extremely emotional, but one thing that I had learnt through it all was that every slip or break or fall and was only a means of mercy. It was these challenges along the way that would bring a fresh start… a clean slate for the person who was faced with them and the breaking of a new dawn for those who truly understood how much Allāh had promised to those who pass this magnanimous test…

“I feel like never leaving this place,” Aadam said softly, as he looked back at the building we had just exited, still digesting everything that we saw. “I just want to take all those kids home with me…”

I smiled as I looked at him, quite touched by his emotion that day. I never quite got to see this sensitive side of Aadam.. and witnessing it today was actually quite emotional for me. And although I felt glad that this trip that I was kind of dreading  was over, it wasn’t any escape from the sore reality..

The reality was that there were so many innocent children that no- one wanted… some of them merely a few months old. And no matter how sorry we felt for them… the situation was probably never going to change. And yes, Allah doesn’t promise us justice in this world but He does promise us that every single account will be settled on a day where insurmountable justice will definitely prevail…

”One day, I’d really like to adopt a kid,” he was continuing. “Even we have our own, it doesn’t really matter, yeah? It will just be like an addition.. You know one day I’d like to bring the boys here. Maybe even take them to an old age home too. It will open their eyes, give them some gratitude and we’ll cash in on some rewards…

Hey, are you crying?”

I turned my face slightly and wiped away the stray tear that was rolling down the inner part of my cheek. For some reason unknown to me, I was just feeling really emotional about the whole ordeal.

”I can’t believe this,” he said, sounding awestruck. “The iceberg has melted. It’s a moment in history that we have yet to witness, folks …”

I stretched out my arm to twist his ear, annoyed that he was making fun of me.

Yikes,” he said, rubbing it vigorously. “Take it easy on the patient, sweets. No sympathy for injured citizens here…”

”Unfortunately your mouth seems to be in perfect working order,” I said heatedly, pouting slightly as he grinned.

”As always. You think you’ll be okay to drive?” He said, his voice softening a bit as I glared at him. “Maybe we can wait a while…”

”No, I’m okay,” I said, swallowing and lifting my gaze to meet his. I knew he was teasing. It was obvious that at the time, he didn’t know how to handle my rare show of emotion.

And yes, since Aadam had been off his feet, I had been learning to drive. Though Ahmed and my father didn’t approve… Allah obviously had a greater plan with a much bigger picture in mind, as Aadam guided me with utmost patience and skill to learn as well.

And of course, the lessons were always exceptionally entertaining, with Aadam’s ridiculous sound effects and silly banter. There were times when I had to pull off the road to stop myself from steering off-course because of it. Driving and giggling uncontrollably didn’t exactly go hand in hand.

I put my emotions aside as Aadam watched me, reversing out and followed his calm instructions on how to get back home. And yes, he was particularly nice that day, putting lots of effort into saying positive things and avoiding his usual road-rage jokes. I think seeing my emotion that day had changed something in him, and only when I looked back at it, even though all I did was shed a few heartfelt tears… for him, it was like an entire firewall had been broken down.

There was much to say that day as I tried to concentrate on the road back home, but little words I could think of to say it. Sometimes when emotions are so deep, it was hard to express what I truly felt, and by now, Aadam understood that. It had been a roller coaster the past few weeks and today was the peak. With exam stress at the onset and Hannah’s case for custody of her daughter now in progress… I felt myself a little overwhelmed with everything going on. I had promised to help her and now I wished that I hadn’t gotten myself involved in the first place.

After all, she was the reason we had gone to the orphanage. Her baby was now going to be placed in foster care because of the custody issue. It made my heart ache to see her there. I could see Hannah looking remorseful too now, after everything had take this turn. Maybe it would be better to rather just give up the fight and agree to visiting rights. The lady who was taking care of her daughter looked lovely…

”Don’t I get a ‘thank you’ for not picking on your driving today?” Aadam said, giving me a small smile as he brushed away another tear.

”Maybe,” I told him, still remembering his words earlier as I narrowed my eyes at him. “You enjoy seeing me a little worked up, don’t you?” 

Aadam was grinning.

”I’m so sorry,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. “But I really do.”

I couldn’t resist a teeny smile as I looked back at him.

“Forgive me?” He asked softly. “Will you still come with me tonight?”

Of course, the mention of tonight was already settling weird things in my tummy and it wasn’t for the usual reasons. For one, it was a great escape from the reality that loomed above us that I constantly tried to escape but the thought of seeing unfamiliar people was definitely nerve-wrecking… and secondly, since Nusaybah had heard about the ‘fancy work function‘ that Aadam was taking me to, she had already taken on the great task of being the go-to lifesaver figure who would wave her magical wand and make me hopefully look a little like the after version of Cinderella.

Spending some time with my friend in a non-pressured and book-less environment was something that I really looked forward to and already made me smile.. but I was worried about what she would do to me. I made a decision to let her have her fun, because with everything that had gone down recently, as I left Aadam for those two hours with Rubeena, I kind of needed some wise words from my friend which I’m sure would put things into perspective for me…

“How is the old blood-sucker?” Nusaybah asked jovially, the minute she saw me. “Is his leg healed? I hope you’re taking advantage of the situation, missy, and not assuming the role of an aged citizen. Maybe assuming the role of a caring female doctor or loving nurse will do the trick …”

”Oh goodness Nusaybah,” I said rolling my eyes. “Does your mind only work on one track?”

Of course, at the mention of caring doctor figure, I couldn’t help but remember the encounter at the hospital that kind of shook my core. And yes, it was quite unbelievable that I had met this person who had once played an important role in Aadam’s life, but what was more unsettling was what she had revealed to me thereafter about how her own life had changed.

And I never did reveal it to Aadam… because once I made the decision not to go back there, I knew that bringing her up again would be completely unfair and a reminder of the past that he was trying hard to forget. It was just that what I had learnt was something that literally made me do a double-take… as I processed the strange and amazing ways in which Allah worked. The only concern is as where to go to from here… since the situation was not exactly an ideal one…

Nusaybah was grinning as she opened her bag to take out her 700 piece make up set. My eyes widened as she opened it. It was like one of the most enchanting things I had seen yet.

”Maybe we just need to give our Mr Cullen a small nudge in the right direction,” she said, expertly tapping into the tray of nude foundations and attacking my face with them. I tried to tell her that would probably be the last thing on his mind right now, but Nusaybah had her own ideas.

Sometimes I didn’t know how I put up with her, but I still loved her to bits. And of course, by the end of her master-work and entertaining chatter, when she finally spun me around and revealed what I looked like, I was utterly gobsmacked.

”The guy is going to be knocked off his feet tonight,” she said, with widening eyes. “Sorry, his foot. I forgot the other is temporarily unavailable. But nevermind.”

I grinned as I looked at her, a bit mesmerized by the new me that stared back at me. I was just so glad that I had already made my whudhu. With the layers of expensive make-up that Nusaybah had plastered on my face, washing it off right now seemed pain worthy…

And of course, because my friend was so super-organized and excited, she had killed every worry of mine with her mere presence. Not only did she sort out my hijab, graciously make up my face and provide the most elegantly simple outfit, she had just the right words to say that would put my main concern at ease.

”If anyone asks you anything,” she said as she left. “Just nod and smile.”

Of course. It was genius.

And of course, after her small pep talk, I knew that  meeting strange people there  could barely be as bad as I was fearing.

“Cinderella, are you ready for the ball?” Aadam’s humorous voice called down the passage, as I heard his crutches make their way down. I honestly wasn’t expecting him a whole fifteen minutes earlier, but because Nusaybah was always one step ahead of me and knew his OCD tendencies, she had already made sure I was ready for the unexpected.

I held my breath in anticipation as I called for him to come down, kind of building myself for the momentous occasion that would occur when he’d set eyes on me and be completely blown away. Nusaybah had been comically preparing me for it, and I held my breath with much anticipation, seeing the room door shift along he carpet as he pushed it… but completely not expecting the shrill ring of his phone as he stood in the open doorway with a sheepish look on his handsome face.

I could almost imagine Nusaybah rolling her eyes and smacking her hand to her forehead at the anti-climax of the whole event. Talk about a buzz that killed the buzz.

Instead of my knight in shining kurta gazing at me intently while time supposedly stood still, as my friend had hopefully predicted, all I got was an irritated huff as he switched it to silent, and then looked up at me apologetically.

Talk about the cons of technology. The worst part was, as soon as it stopped, it didn’t even have the audacity to be done. It started ringing again immediately.

He tossed the phone aside as I glimpsed the caller ID. It said ‘Siraj’.

“I’m so sorry,” he said awkwardly, biting his lip. “These things don’t exactly have an ‘awkward timing’ alert…”

”Shouldn’t you be taking that?” I asked, with a small smile, thinking of how Nusaybah would crack up when she heard about the non-event. Ah well.

”I’ll call him later,” he said, trying to sound indifferent. “Let’s not worry about that now… these are supposed to be game-changing moments… I’m so sorry…”

He winked at me but I wasn’t convinced by his ease. Why did I have a feeling that Aadam wasn’t being completely transparent?

“I can see you’re stressing,” he said calmly. “But Siraj is not only a doctor. He’s my uncle too. So can you stop fretting about the medical bits for once and just be you for tonight?”

He was right. I was reading into things too much, but Aadam was barely even bothered. Of course that must mean something. But still

“I’m just worried,” I said with a frown. “What if it’s something urgent?”

Aadam’s eyes were fixed into mine as he lent on one of his crutches, giving me that infamous look of his, with one eyebrow raised, that undeniably said that he had it all under control.

”What’s your worst fear?” He said, raising his eyebrows humourously. “I’m right here. I’ve broken my leg and I’m already feeling like the war-torn knight whose come for his princess. What else could go wrong?”

”Aadam,” I said, swallowing hard and ignoring his humor, because I was nervous about what the phone call could have meant. My worst fear. My worst fear was that I’d lose guy that had become the love of my life… and Aadam knew it.

There was still so much we didn’t understand. The pain. The tiredness. The lack of energy…

“Khawlah,” he said softly.  “Don’t you trust Allah?”

“Of course I do,” I said, without an inkling of hesitation. I did.

“Then trust me,” he said simply, holding my gaze and raising his one eyebrow in true Aadam style. “Because I’ve handed everything over to Him, and I truly believe that whatever it is that He’s placed in our path… We’re going to get through it. Doesn’t he say that His help is near? It’s not a matter of medicine or science or whatever other theories the doctors or the experts say. This is about what Allah has planned for me, and I promise you, sweets, when you place your trust entirely in Him, there’s nothing in this world that can shake it. It it wasn’t for Him, I would never be where I am today… I’m tuned and moulded and completely convinced that when I submit to His every decree, I’ll never despair of His mercy.’

I looked at Aadam with as he sat there, completely unwavering in his stance.

Ah, this guy. Why was he always rendering me speechless?

“I love you and I appreciate your concern, love, but you really need to just believe,” he continued as he edged closer. “Stop worrying about Hannah. Stop worrying about me. Believe, sweets. Believe, yeah? You weren’t assigned to carry this mountain that you’re bearing. Only Allah can move it. He can change any situation. You have to believe it. Believe that good things happen, and bad things happen, and whatever it is, Allah is bigger than it all. I promise you, all you need to do is trust in Allah and let Him carry you.. let Him handle all the things that you don’t understand…’

And that was Aadam. So carefree. Unburdened. Unaffected. There was nothing that could bother him, and even less that shook his resolve.

I  nodded slowly, as I let it digest. I could never argue his points.

”Can we go now, gorgeous?” Aadam finally said, smiling at as he looked up. “Because right now what I do understand is I have a stunning date staring at me and I’m not too sure how much longer she’s prepared to wait…”

And because Aadam was so unbelievably easy on himself as he reminded me of the best when all I could picture was the worst… His words came with and immediate calmness that descended on me, as he spoke. He was always so contented and amazingly carefree, that I couldn’t help but think of how Allah sent him into my world when I needed him the most.

I supposed that some moments are just made to lift you up.. to raise you… to remind you of everything that’s important to you whilst it’s still there. Those are the moments that stand out for you when you look back, that are your mettle and your foundation and your reason that you continued to believe. There were many, many things that I didn’t remember as the years went by but these were the very moments that I did.

There are some people who walk through life, with their shoulders bearing the heaviest of weights, yet when you glimpse at them, their faces have the broadest of smiles. They push through even the gloom. They see a beauty in pain. They don’t see the tests as burdens. What they see that there is a loving and a caring Lord who is above us, waiting to answer our call. They see and they truly believe that He is aware of our every need…

Sometimes we all need a little hope. No matter how gloomy the days may look, we all need some sunshine. Something to hold onto, to keep us going.

And for that little while.. as I grasped Aadam’s hand and stepped out into the night, I was almost certain that somewhere along the fading horizon I could see a sterling glimmer of hope that twinkled right back at us…

Dearest Readers,

Apologies again for the wait. I’m so sorry. My year ends are a bit crazy, and this one’s been more hectic than anticipated. 

I just wanted to provide a little hope as I know the readers are getting a little worried.. although its just a blog I feel even when we go through these tests in life as well, we always need a little hope.. belief, faith.. Yaqeen.. Whatever you want to call it.

May Allah make us of those who are always have trust in His Divine Plan.

Much Love 

A xx

Sit down before drinking water. No matter you are in hurry for something, but that should not stop you from taking a moment to sit down and drink water in a healthy way. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Sit down and drink” (Muslim). Science also proved that drinking water whilst standing or walking can cause Gastrointestinal Tract (GIT) damage, kidney damage, arthritis, nerve tension, and other disorders.

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The Real Stuff

Bismihi Ta’ala


“By the Glorious Morning Light,”

“And by the Night when it is still,

“Your Lord has neither forsaken you,

Nor has He become displeased.”

“And surely the hereafter will be better for you than the present (life).”

“And soon your Lord will grant that with which you shall be well-pleased.”

“Did He not find you an orphan and sheltered (you)?”

“And He found you wandering and guided (you).”

“And He found you in need and made you independent…”

(Surah Duha, The Glorious Qur’an) 

Tranquility descended as the verses played through my mind, again and again, almost as if they were a gentle reminder of everything I had forgotten all along.

There was something strange about a broken heart. There were times when it almost craved the pangs that it felt, in an almost sadistic way. And then there were times when you dreaded the hurt so much, because it felt like your chest would cave in, and the only thing stopping it from doing so are the gasps of air you take in between the tears…

The verses of Surah Duha had come like a breeze of inspiration… bringing with it relief and consolation.. easing the pain that had come from a very palpable loss. As a young girl, I recalled Khalid narrating the detailed events that led up to it’s revelation that was my ultimate refuge. How such a young heart had captured the intricacy of what transpired at the time of revelation of this beautiful Surah, was completely beyond me. At a tender age of seven, Khalid had exhibited such splendid insight, that even my nearly seventeen-year-old self still struggled to grasp.

It had been fifteen days that had passed since the beloved Prophet (SAW) had received any revelation. The disbelievers taunted him. His heart had felt burdened… as if his Lord was not happy with him.  And when the verses descended on him, like refreshing rain after a scorching drought, it gave him a new strength, and brought him immense hope. And of course, it didn’t just come as a ‘proof’ to those at the time, who were too arrogant to see the truth. Till this day it comes with the unchanging message to remind him (SAW)… and us all… that no matter what… our Merciful Lord has never left us alone. 

At the time, it had been two weeks since Mama’s passing and though the chaos at home had died down, the torrent of emotion in my heart was still very palpable.

I missed my Mama. Enormously. It felt like the pain of longing had penetrated to the depths of my soul. But being with Khalid and Aunty Radiyyah helped me forget about the reality back home. I was good at pretending, when I was there. I pretended that nothing had changed.  I had pretended that Mama was still here, like she had always been.. busy in the kitchen.. laughing at something that Abba had said… or getting together our things for school the next day.

Mama was at home, I silently told myself. She wasn’t gone so far away.

And for months, as I escaped through the back door, down the familiar path to Khalid’s gorgeous garden, that would be my life. Day in, day out… I would pretend that home was still the same. That nothing had changed. And through my routine that I had become so accustomed to, somewhere along the way, I had forgotten to pretend. For a boisterous six-year-old, life was too exciting to keep living a facade. Somehow, reality had become bearable again, and I supposed that’s how people heal.  The mind forgets. The soul repairs. Happiness returns, once again…

It doesn’t mean that everything goes away. It just means that the feeling of loss no longer controls our lives.

And as I thought of those days once again, whilst the verses that had comforted my siblings then.. consoled me now, the memories were vivid as I thought back…

I breathed in deeply as the verses played through my mind. No matter how long.. what time.. or what place.. the effect that they brought was never lost.

Ans just as I felt like dwelling in my misery for a few more hours, because I had become so accustomed to it, Nusaybah’s jovial voice came as a piercing reminder that regular life had to go on…

”Nus!” I squealed, pulling the blanket over my head as she inconsiderately yanked open my curtains. “Don’t you have any consideration for people who sleep? I know you barely get any shut-eye, but come on!”

“It’s past 11AM, girl!” She said, appalled at my statement. “Get yourself out of that bed and lets get cracking with some work! Plus, there’s a car stalking your house…”

I groaned as I crawled further under the covers. Why, oh why, didn’t Nusaybah stay away longer?

”Didn’t you miss me?” Nusaybah asked sweetly as she placed her hands on her hips and grinned at me. “Or have you been too busy with Mr Perfect to even notice me gone?”

If only she knew the truth about ‘Mr Perfect’. I had felt like I had unwrapped the most beautiful box of decadent Belgian chocolates, and just found a dead cockroach inside.

“What car are you taking about?“ I said, peeping out from the top of the duvet.

”A black one,” she said obviously. “With tinted windows. And a sinister looking male inside.”

I groaned inwardly again.

“On the other hand,” Nusaybah said, cocking her head to one side thoughtfully. “That car was really shady looking… it may just be a throw off. You never know what extra-terrestrial creatures may be lurking within…”

“It’s Aadam’s car,” I said, knowing what kind of delusional thoughts would be going through my friends mind. Her imagination was way too vivid for my liking.

Ah,” she said, as if a bulb had been flickered on in her extremely active brain, as she peeped out the window. “But he’s gone now. So what’s going on? Why was he waiting outside like a creep?”

My best friend was an amazing soul, but one talent she didn’t have was the knack of being politely subtle.

“It’s been a bit of a crazy week…” I started, as Nusaybah crawled into bed next to me and listened to my lamenting for almost fifteen minutes. Besides the fact that Aadam and I weren’t on the best of terms right then, the conflict was causing other problems in the family that I didn’t anticipate.

Ahmed’s Samoosa run had gone off well from his side, but the dramatics thereafter were what made him go off on a tangent with me about Aadam. He was convinced that if Aadam was there like he should have been, no issues would have stemmed… And although I honestly was just a naive girl who had no inkling of worldly matters, my difficult brother had no sympathy whatsoever.

And there I was, pouring my heart out to Nusaybah about how genuinely awkward the situation had got at this girl’s house when the aunties started asking me all kind of weird questions, and all Nusaybah could do was sit next to me and crack herself up about my unseemly predicament.

Let me just put it lightly. I was not impressed.

Oh… my… days!” Nusaybah managed to say between fits of giggles. She was nearly wetting her pants at my expense whilst I stared at her stonily.

“Let me just make sure I haven’t gotten the wrong end of the twisted stick here,” she finally spluttered, almost blue in the face to stop herself from laughing more. “Ahmed went to see a girl… and you ended up being a girl… that someone else wants to see?!”

She burst into fits of giggles as she looked at me, completely oblivious to my annoyance. I couldn’t see the humor here, as yet. I was just appalled at everyone. Including Nusaybah.

”I’m sorry,” she finally said, pursing her lips and looking at me with a faintest of smirks. “You just kill me, girl. Whenever I talk to you, I feel like we’re living in some amazing novella!”

”What on earth is a ‘novella’?”

”Nevermind,” she said, waving her hand. “I think we can deduce that your life will always have more drama than the usual sixteen-year-old, for various reasons that we will no longer mention…“

She glanced at me demurely, and then smiled.

”But honestly, hun,” she said, crossing her arms over her chest and sitting up to look at me. “You’re amazing. I mean, firstly, you’re my best friend, so that already speaks for itself.”

She smiled as she said it, with a humorous glint in her eye.

“You have so much going for you… no wonder those aunties were trying to set you up with their rather unsuitable connections… but you know what..?”

I looked at my friend questioningly, softening a little at the edges as she spoke.

”You’re so hard on yourself,” she said, raising her eyebrows. “Really hard. And I know it’s been tough growing up and things have been difficult… I mean, I can’t imagine how it must have been to have that kind of constant reshuffling in your life… but I suppose that’s what makes you hard. I mean, you lost so many people you loved… And over the years, it wasn’t just about being hard on yourself. You’re scared to let anyone close to you, because you’re hard on everyone else too. It’s almost as if you don’t want anyone to take that special place ever again….”

I blinked as she said it, her words striking a chord that I didn’t expect. Emotion had been evading me, even as I tried to let it all out. Although I was hurt and confused and really quite upset about Aadam… I wasn’t sure how to behave with him after this. How to get back to where we were… or even if we should…

Had I really been just shoving him off? Not wanting to get close… because I didn’t want to open my heart?

“That guy,” Nusaybah said, pointing towards the window. “Is a genius. And I’m not talking about his computer skills here. He’s a genius because not only did he see an opportunity to change his entire life… he’s a genius because he bagged the girl who inspired it. And then of course, he’s something like a wizard, because he made you- the ultimate warrior-hijaabi-princess who can do freaking Kung Fu- go all gaga over him.”

I opened my mouth to protest but Nusaybah held her hand up to stop me.

“Don’t you even try to deny it!” she warned, widening her eyes at me. “Goodness, Khawlah.. which guy in this day and age will build you your own garden on a damn rooftop, with a REAL hand-crafted swing, when you marry him?! Which guy will take you horseback riding into the mountains and quote you higher grade tafseer verses as you watch the dazzling sunrise?! Bloody hell, Khawlah, which guy buys you a hundred red roses to apologise- and I know its a hundred because I counted them before I came down to your room- and still sits and waits for you for days while you decide when you’re ready to talk to him? If I was a guy, especially one that resembles your husband, I’d be gone to find some other fish.. and believe, there are plenty..”

Why did Nusaybah always make me feel so… terrible?!

I breathed in as I looked at her, stunned at her attention to every detail I had told her in passing. How did she even remember all these things? 

“Remember that day when you turned your nose up at him like he wasn’t good enough for you?” she said softly as she met my gaze. “And remember what I told you? That his past is his past. You expected this. Everyone’s got sins.  I said: “Take a chance, ‘coz what Allah has decreed, who are we to challenge?” I don’t know what exactly he’s done, but if he hasn’t murdered anyone, broken your trust in him or sucked your blood as yet.. then believe me, in this day and age, you’re good to go.”

She gave me a small smirk as she said it, contented with her words and leaving me just a little bit speechless. I didn’t tell her what Aadam had done. I didn’t think it was fair to him… but Nusaybah was a child prodigy, the way she put everything into perspective.

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

There was no getting rid of her now. Nusaybah knew way too much.

“So what do I do now?” I said, knowing what Nusaybah was trying to say but not knowing how to start. I knew that I had been difficult this week. I had switched my phone off and disconnected myself from everyone. To me, I just needed time to think. A lot of ‘what ifs’ and ‘what nexts’ had been going through my mind, but since Nusaybah had come to make me see the sense that I had been missing all this time…

“Go and have a shower, for starters,” Nusaybah said, scrunching up her face and pinching her nose as if I was a bad stench. “I’ll be back in ten minutes to tell you what to wear, since you look like you forgot what real clothes are. Then we’re going to get your life together so you can stop moping around like a crazy old spinster who lives with cats.”

I rolled my eyes at her and got out of bed, ready to take on the day. Nusaybah had so much of energy that I just couldn’t help but catch some of it from her.

And of course, after a hot shower, I already felt so much more optimistic. I supposed everything had just taken a toll. I sighed as I heard her shuffling outside the door, wondering why she was taking so long. I pulled on my nightgown that I wore the previous day, calling for her while I towel dried my hair and dumped my towel on the chair.

“Nusaybah, what’s the plans for today?” I called, a little annoyed that she wasn’t here as yet. “Will we be indoors or can we get some sunlight? I have no idea…”

There was a tap on the door as I pulled out two more dresses and an abaya dumped them on the bed. I felt like one of those irritating girls who kept on trying on outfits, even though I hadn’t even put one on as yet.

“Come in!” I yelled, frustrated that dressing up was taking so long. “Its way past ten minutes, now, Nus… I cant sit around and wait-”

“I’m sorry.”

I spun around as I heard his voice, my breath catching in my throat as he looked back at me steadily.

“I didn’t mean to make you wait for me,” Aadam continued with a small smile as I gaped at him, and he made his way to the edge of the bed. “All I came to do was claim back my wife..”

Where did he come from?

I stared at his easy posture as he grinned back at me. Trust him to make a joke out of everything. At least he wasn’t angry like Ahmed had been. He hung up my wet towel, pulling up the (embarrassingly damp) chair to sit. I was still in shock that he was actually here… so much so, that I had even forgotten my hurricane-looking room and ghastly appearance… until I looked down at my toes so realise I was still wearing my the dreary grey nightgown that Zuleikha had handed down to me just before she got married, and my hair was not even brushed. It didn’t help that he looked like some kind of Kurta-clad Arab prince and I was Mrs Frump. Aadam really did choose his moments, and Nusaybah was probably going to get a helluva mouthful too. I was quite certain that this was her master-work.

Um, I..” I swallowed, not really sure how to react. How crazy was it that I couldn’t even talk to my own husband?

“Sorry to barge in like this,” he said apologetically, his one dimple visible as he smiled at me. “I can see you’re not exactly expecting me.”

He glanced around my room, while I tried to keep a straight face. Inwardly, I was horrified.

“I suppose sometimes we just have to take a chance,” Aadam murmured, looking at me as he spoke. Why did I get the feeling he wasn’t only talking about now? “Some things come our way, and sometimes we take the risks and just have to hope for the best.”

I stared at him as he said it, my heart feeling like it was on fire.

“But,” he almost whispered, breaking his gaze away as he continued. “Sometimes we don’t always know what we are setting ourselves up for. The path that we are supposed to tread is not always perfectly paved out for us. We don’t always have a map. Some of us grow up to think that we’re free… like birds just finding a rooftop… living for the moment… To fly as we wish and at liberty to do as we please.. And then, we get overcome by emotion. And emotion is amazing, but it’s also scary and overwhelming… and sometimes… sometimes, these emotions… they make us give into our desires… do things that take us away from the point of life… away from our Loving Creator…”

He swallowed as he said the last part, and I knew that he was reliving those moments in his mind. My own heart was thudding in my chest as I saw the turbulence in his eyes.

“And that’s when we lose ourselves to it, yeah?” he continued softly, his eyes boring into mine. “We give in to temptation. We think it’s really love but it’s not. That’s when we get lost. And when I finally realized it and went looking for me, I found you. Through that chaos, and that disarray, there was a beauty that I found. I found the journey, and the path.. and then I realised that everything amazing that I saw in this life, was what you already had. From your light, the guidance you had… you had shone into our darkness. You had this thing that we needed to nurture within us and I saw it in just one glimpse. You had so much that I had missed out on my whole life and I already knew that you had something different. You have that ability to change people just by being with them… and I promise you, Khawlah, you are my navigation, my anchor and my absolute dream… and I never felt this way about anyone before. I wished with all my heart that I never did the things I did in my past… but what happened was a turning point in my life, and if it didn’t happen then I’m absolutely certain that I wouldn’t have been looking for the gold when I finally found you… ”

And I suppose that you couldn’t blame me when I just stood there and stared at Aadam like a stunned chicken, because there really was nothing that you could say back to someone who tells you crazy stuff like that. Now that, was the stuff. Real stuff that didn’t play.

“I just wanted you to know that,” he said softly, looking down a little shyly, almost as if he had just poured the entire contents of his heart out and had nothing left to leave. “I wished we could go back to five years ago and start all over again…”

I was still feeling a little breathless. I was blown away, amazed at how the promise of Allah worked… when you took that step towards Him…

Of course, my Allah had never abandoned me. No matter what. No matter when. Even in the future, no matter how deeply I would hurt. Soon… sooner than you think…

He grants you those things that will not just please you, but make your heart soar with untold joy…

The real stuff that not only makes the cut now, but is so intensely profound that it carries through to a completely different realm, beyond the present… to a Jannah that knows no pain…

I nodded meekly as Aadam searched my eyes openly, and then smiled as he came forward and planted a tiny kiss on my forehead. He knew me so well by now, that he could tell when he was off the hook.

“I just have one more request,” he said softly, as he stepped back. ”If you can tolerate this unruly husband of yours and you don’t mind giving him a chance to show you who he truly is… Will you come with me? There’s somewhere I really want to take you…”

Apologies for the delay. Hope it was a happy read !

(Btw: This was post number 200 on achancetochange.. Alhumdulillah.. Duaas always needed..)

Much Love,

A xx

Sunnah of Drinking Water:

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Do not drink water only in one breath, but drink it in two or three breaths.”

Scientific studies show that there are many harmful effects in drinking water in one gulp. It can cause choking of esophagus. It especially weakens the muscles and nerves. It is also detrimental for the liver and stomach. Amazing, SubhaanAllah!

How easy to practise…!

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No Illusion

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


There’s a theory that goes to say, in another ten years, there’s nothing that technology won’t be able to do. Who knows, right?

Floating farms, autonomous cars and  ‘brain prints’ for passwords.

A few years ago, it all sounded so far fetched, yeah?

The future of technology is limitless as everything progresses at such an alarming rate, that the pressure to keep up is just… well… overpowering. So, without hesitation, we step up. We live to our fullest. We buy the best gadgets, live the best moments and share… well… always only the best of it all.

But the pressure can be taxing. The hype of technology is not all as dandy as it seems. The deception is so much so, that people would do anything, take any risk, just to make it to the top. They become hard. Ruthless. Being in the business of Information and Computer Science makes you see things in a different light… and the illusion of it all… is just so deceiving.

The need to find ways to make it easier for us to connect with one another, can result in us spending more time alone. The constant vying for a smarter phone, can actually make us less intellectual. This media that we call social, is actually anything but.

And then of course, there’s another theory that goes to say that there will be only a mere one percentile of entire mankind, that will believe that technology is not the answer to it all. They will still hold firm to the belief that there is a Higher Power, a Greater Good… a Controller of Entirety, that handles it all. When I heard that, it scared me. What were my chances of being within that one percent who doesn’t fall for the greatest illusion?

And just because this world of digits and techno-living was my means to making money, it didn’t mean I was an unconditional fan. Did you even know that Instagram was first created for food? I mean, if it had stayed that way, it would have probably been a great place to be on. Technology, used for the right things, is simply awesome. I loved what I did, no doubt. Even from before I studied Computer Engineering, I loved technology. It was my forte, and it was the one place where I could kick back and just do what I did best.

And of course, everyone has a plan for their life, and I was no different. I was, what I thought as, a ‘good guy’. A decent fellow. And I can tell you don’t believe me.

Okay, let me elaborate.

I mean, I wasn’t a saint, but I didn’t drink. I knew it was unethical. Irreligious. Narcotics were way too low to even attempt. I was always a straight student, with no hidden agenda. I mean, just to reinforce that, I was even Head Prefect. Shocked you, right?

Like every other guy of my ‘calibre’, I had the perfect plan. I had scored really high on my IEBs, was admitted to the institution of my choice, and of course, I had the girl of everyone’s dreams as my own.

Life was that good. I had a great future ahead. Or so I thought.

And then, of course, in my delusional world, something had to happen to rock the boat.

“I’m pregnant.”

I still remembered the shock that I had felt when I had heard the news, the week before the my final year was about to begin. It was like an arrow was shot into my chest, and I struggled not to physically stumble backward.

”What?” I said, swallowing hard as I tried to process what she was saying.

“You heard me, Adam.”

I did. I heard her.

But dammit, how I wished that I didn’t.

I bit my chapped lips as I looked at her and clicked my neck as the dull ache started again. All that staring at the computer wasn’t doing me much good. The work had become more intense and I had to put in more hours. I had noticed her retreating recently. I had noticed her put her guard up. I just didn’t notice the deepened lines of worry that were now etched on her face.

And then of course, I couldn’t help but think; How the hell did we take such a huge risk?

Like a defence, my IT brain took over almost instantly, and without even thinking, I said the most unthinkable thing.

“Can’t we just delete it?”

I know. I know. You probably want to twist my ear right now. Maybe even something worse. I mean, who says that?

Let me explain, okay?

Honestly, for a guy who worked with computers and gadgets almost 18 hours of the day, you could kind of understand why I couldn’t say anything besides something that was completely application related. Maybe, if you were being kind. To me, I was a programmer.  I created things, and I deleted them… it just seemed logical at the time… but of course… real life was a far cry from logic or anything technical, and she definitely didn’t let me forget it. I was probably just really tired.

Of course, I apologized afterwards. Profusely. It’s just that, when you say certain things, there’s little you can do to take it back, and even if you do, your words sometimes penetrate deeper than you think. I had promised her we’d get through it together. I had insisted we would get married. I had even told her that I’d put my studies on hold and get a job so that I could help her out, and just be there to support her. She even agreed.

And then, a week into the semester, just when I thought it was all going to be okay, it all spiralled out of control. It was in the middle of the night that she came to my study-flat near campus, literally broken inside.

“I…got… rid of it,” was all I managed to decipher in between her sobs.

At first I didn’t know what she was saying.  I didn’t understand. And then, of course, like a ton of bricks raining down on me, it hit me.

The pregnancy. The baby. My baby.

She got rid of it.

Yeah, I was messed up for a good few weeks after that.

I blamed myself. She had her excuses, of course. She couldn’t see it through. She couldn’t put her whole life on hold for a baby. After her BSc, she was accepted for medicine the following year and she would never be able to pause her dreams just to look after a kid. Her parents too, were devout Christians, so to add insult to injury, she feebly broke it to me that they would never accept a Muslim son-in-law.

So, what she was actually saying was … if we had any future… she wanted me to convert.

And yeah, to put it lightly, that’s when I caught the biggest wake up call of my life. It was like slamming into the Great Wall of Reality Checks.

I had, in fact, trodden to such a place, that in the eyes of others, I was even worthy of changing my religion. That’s when I knew that I was a goner. I was such a goner that my girlfriend had no faith in me to even consider keeping my child, because she had no inclination to even be a Muslim. And of course, how could it be her fault?

I had not even once showed her the essence of faith. Not once, did I portray to her even an inkling of the beauty of my religion. I had done nothing.. except just push her further away.

And of course, from then on, things took a turn for the worse, and it had to end. We could have gotten married. My parents would have accepted it. After all, I was brought up in a liberal family. But the fact that the baby was now… well… ‘gone’, well, that brought on another dimension completely. I felt hurt. Betrayed. And more importantly, everything had changed.

There was no way we could be together after that. I couldn’t even look at her without thinking of the baby… fetus… whatever it was. And of course, she felt the same way about us too. I told no-one the truth. It was just before the end of the semester that we mutually agreed to call it quits and parted ways. She was off to medical school and I was intent on pushing myself because I had a huge graduate program that I had been chasing for months. Besides that, I had started working on something else too.

After everything, even with being so busy, I knew that something in my life had to change. I didn’t know how. I didn’t even know where to start. I wanted to improve my relationship with my Creator too. Somewhere within me, after everything that had gone down, I felt lost. Empty. So, so empty.

Ever heard the term ‘moderate muslim’? It’s generally what the west uses to describe Muslims who don’t really practice Islam. The easy ones. The ones who they don’t feel ‘uncomfortable’ around. I mean, even I had felt uncomfortable around the hijaabi ladies and bearded Muslim men before I saw it’s beauty. I’m ashamed to say it but that’s how far I was. In short, I had no religion in my life. I didn’t even know the significance. I barely went to a mosque, and I seldom even did the basics.

My sister often called me to help with the kids, and I obliged because I felt sorry for her. Her husband was a nincompoop who no-one spoke well about, and my nephews were my delightful refuge. Being with them made me feel whole again. For that time, I forgot the emptiness that had gnawed at me since that fateful day when I had the biggest reality check I could ever encompass. Being with them healed me a little more, and even though they often drove me crazy, I didn’t know that being with them would give me the best thing I could ever imagine.

That’s where I saw Khawlah.

And if there was a girl I could ever say I knew before I even noticed, it was her. Dammit, all the boys would ever talk about was her. I mean, I remembered the first meeting when I had vaguely met her and her friend. It was short and not so sweet. I wasn’t in the best state of mind because things with the ex had just ended, and I was still trying to get back to normality… but I didn’t forget. I mean, as my new friend Ziyaad had often put it, how could you forget the day you finally found the ‘gold’?

And of course, that’s when I realized that I had got it wrong all along. How off-track I had been. Without even knowing it, I wanted that. I wanted what they had described. Before my sister had even found it, I knew that her boys had already got the gold. The thing with kids was, that they were real. Pure. So unimaginably flawless in their honesty. And when Danyaal had confessed in very certain terms that he actually loved her, I kind of felt my own heart skip a beat. It was just like… YOH.

The chatter… the ambition… their stories… would just soothe me. Pure goodness… Such sterling character. Those rowdy kids who I couldn’t handle for more than ten minutes at a time, had actually acquired such superb manners, in just a few weeks. Their fervour… their thirst… the amazing zeal for knowledge that they had developed… Man… it gave me a brain check.

I didn’t realize that my eyes had been shut all along. I didn’t realise just how blind I had been… how my parents had done me such a disservice by prioritising everything but my religion. They had taught me discipline. They had given me the best education. They had even made sure I was brought up in the ‘right way’. But without the guiding light of the way of my Prophet (SAW), I now realised that I was lost. I had no direction whatsoever. I had no ambition to even change, until I saw just how beautiful it could be… until I saw what she had brought.

Of course, in this truth… there was no Illusion.

And of course, as life would have it, I met an awesome Molvi. That itself is another story, but after asking him what he thought, I approached Ahmed about the… unapproachable.

And jasses… how I wished there was an application that I could create to read people’s minds. I’m sure it would be on the top ten apps, of all time, for all time.

The thing about the human mind, is that our Creator has designed it such a unique way, that no machine can even come close. No illusion could enable its invetion. The channels, avenues and process of thought that are part and parcel of every day life…. one cannot even imagine the power of our Lord. No technology could even come close. No lie could ever portray it.

But of course, like technology, it can be used in different ways too. Some people have the gift of the gab. I, for one, did not, but I somehow made my way. Ahmed, on the other hand, barely spoke. Except to joke about my ‘upper-class school accent’, Ahmed barely smiled. He was that solid. Scary solid.

“Can we talk alone?”

On the up side, I could tell that he probably liked me. I supposed that I had a habit of making people laugh, and that always stood as my strength.  He did, possibly, accept my inclination to his sister, in a most subtle way. He might have even encouraged it.

But I knew he didn’t know everything about me, and as I stood there with the most honourable intentions, hoping that maybe I could talk my way through this, and of course, make everything okay… I knew that I was taking the hugest risk….


Note to my dear readers:

 A bit of a twist, I know! Anyhow…

Just a thought as I was writing this, and a reminder to us all. Sometimes as we get caught up in this Duniyaa, we forget about the most important things. We take Deen for granted, especially where Deen is easy.  We forget just how important it is to uphold our values, and we get carried away. We forget, in our indifference, how blessed we are that we have  so much in this country, and sometimes, we forget that we are even Muslim. People in our very own country are losing their Imaan. Allah save us. 

Please, my dear sisters in Islam. I plead with you. We need to end the chase for online fame, Duniyaa, Social Media celebs and the rest… Don’t let it come to a point where Allah becomes so unhappy with us, that He takes away our freedom, our ability to cover ourselves or spread His Deen. Tears fill my eyes as I write this because I’ve heard of so many places where this has happened, sometimes because of ingratitude, or sometimes just a blatant disregard for Allah’s laws. We are also guilty of this attitude in South Africa. May Allah save us and help us to be the best examples.. especially for our kids. 

Please, please make me maaf if I have offended anyone. I’m so sorry for this small Bayaan. This has been on my mind, and the truth is that we are complacent. We are so lax when our Ulema try and guide us even in the small things and what is even more scary is we call them haters and think they wish bad for us..

I am most in need of the advices. Always need Duaas. Always look forward to the rambles of the readers.

 Much, much Love, 

A  🌸

The character of Nabi (SAW).

Nabi (SAW) was the most pleasant person. He would greet everyone with a smile and always spoke to people with gentleness. His companion said about Him:

“I have never seen a man who smiled as much as the Messenger of Allah.” (Tirmidhi)

This shows that the personality of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was pleasant and gentle.

Let’s revive this Sunnah InshaAllah, because it is through our Akhlaaq that people can see the light of Islam and beauty of Deen.

How easy to practise!






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