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



Desperate Mistakes

Apologies for the confusion. Am re-publishing the post since the notifications haven’t worked. Happy reading 🤍

Bismihi Ta’ala


Sometimes its easier not to reply. To not read those messages. Not to read into someone’s words. Not to have to explain to anyone. Not to blame ourselves, our timing or our lives.

But maybe it’s not so easy when you know some things could have been avoided. That you could have made it right, before you did it all wrong. That you wouldn’t have regretted, if you had just not made that mistake.

And as it turns out, sometimes you have to do the wrong thing. To falter. Sometimes you have to make a big mistake to figure out how to make things right. Mistakes are painful, but they’re the only way to find out how to make yourself better. Sometimes you have to err to become a better version of you. To repent. To return. And to find your way back to the beginning, to Allah, and to where you need to be to start all over again.

And okay, I know that my mistakes may have been a little stupid. There had been so many over a short period of time, and sometimes when I looked back I wondered if I had been sucked into some kind of Bermuda Triangle that was draining me of all common sense. Maybe I was a little over confident of my ability to be the kind of die-hard that I usually was. In normal situations, I was as solid as a rock, but when emotions were involved, I wasn’t quite sure how to draw barriers.

It had been a hectic day that was going to be a start to a rocky few months. When Layyanah had introduced me to her mother, I completely got why she wanted me to be there.

There we were, waiting nervously and in a bit of a frenzy as we worried about whether she would eat or not, whether she would stay for long or not, what to tell Liyaket or not, and all up in arms about how to deal with the situation that had kind of come out of the blue.

Firstly, the woman came in a Rolls Royce. (Can you believe it?) Her long hair was flying in the wind, and she wore a white slinky white suit, with huge sunglasses and high heels. She honestly looked like she stepped out of a Kardashian episode and I’m not even kidding. To tell the truth, aesthetically, the woman looked absolutely perfect, and even though she was probably in her 40’s, every guy who she walked past turned to look because she was that much of a show stopper.

But as she walked towards me and I greeted her Bruegel, there was something in her eyes that I couldn’t quite figure out. Yes, she was a beautiful woman but inside, under all those layers of expnsive perfume and make-up, I had myself wondering if she was really and truly happy. Somehow, when I looked through her, she resembled a shell of a person walking around.

She spoke informally, almost as if she was putting on a show. Her voice was a little higher-pitched than necessary and now that I could see her up-close, her eyelashes looked so layered that I wondered if they would fall off.

”So how’s married life, love?”

She smirked as she watched Layyanah after air kissing her on both sides of her cheeks, and then eyeing me out with a wink.

“At least I can say that my daughter married a C.A,” she said, shrugging and looking at me. Her accent was emphatic and put-on. Actually, it was more of a put-off. “Problem is, I don’t even have any snaps to show for it. I hope you took some decent wedding pictures at least, Layyanah. I have to show the girls that you didn’t get married in an Abaya. I mean, the dress is not Dior but I suppose it will do.”

Layyanah shook her head as her mother coaxed her to smile, and Liyaket sat obediently toward the back of the room, looking anxious to make an exit. His introduction had been brief and awkward, and I completely got why.

”Fay, please don’t take any pictures for Instagram,” Layyanah requested.

Fay? She called her mother Fay?!

Her mother waved her hand indifferently.

”It’s just a little bridal glamour,” she said, not looking at me yet. Of course, I was just the non-existent friends. I was grateful she didn’t know any more. “Stop having a heart attack.”

Layyanah pursed her lips and narrowed her eyes.

“Anyway, this place is so quaint!” Fay cooed, flipping her long hair and sitting back again as she put her phone down. “Not exactly my style, you know, but I suppose you can’t have no money and still have the best. You do know that, don’t you, hunny?”

Layyanah was silent. Liyaket excused himslef now, knowing that there really was nothing else for him to do after he showed himself for all of two minutes. If I was him, I would have done the exact same. Why should he stick around for the name-bashing?

Fay seemed completely oblivious.

“You know, I was telling your father,” she said excitedly. “Our anniversary is coming up and I’m itching to plan a function, love. Back then, our wedding was so basic. Better than this though, and it was cute and stuff, but not tasteful, you know? These functions I see online… They’re exquisite! Of course, we will have to see whats trending in three months time and I’m following all the right decor pages for tips. Okay, so maybe I had a 1000 people and a five course meal but now it’s fine up to seven courses and everything is individually plated. Let’s not forget the hand-made personalised favours that they’re giving guests that are something else completely. A dream wedding,  Layy, if only you just listened to us we could have given you everything you wanted…”

I kind of wanted to duck away but I couldn’t. It was just too sensitive.

“Everything I wanted?!” Layyanah cut in, raising her eyebrows. “Oh please Fay, it was everything you wanted. I was just going with the flow because there would have been a big performance if I didn’t agree!”

Woah. I didn’t realise that Layyanah could be so edgy, even to her own mother. I mean, it was still her mother, right? Surely there had to be some barriers there.

Her mother was unruffled. She looked like she was used to this.

”Layyanah darling,” she said. “You’re my daughter, I know exactly what you like.”

She said it so naturally and Layyanah was buying none of it.

“You have no idea!” Layyanah spat, her eyes flashing angrily. “All you want to do is waste money on stupid junk that no-one even cares about! And Daddy is even more stupid because he just dishes out to you as you want. Let’s just spend money on temporary dumb things even though people are starving in the world. You know why you guys are perfect together?! You both have no sense and no bloody conscience and I cant believe you still want to waste money on more bloody extravagance!”


I was stunned into shock because Layyanah didn’t use the word ‘bloody’. She used another more vicious word that I only heard in some Netflix series. I was only grateful that Liyaket was gone so he didn’t see this side of her. He might have been a bit scarred.

And I completely got her point, but as I watched them go back and forth I realized that this whole dynamic was all skewed, and it kind of scared me.

Instead of Layyanah being petrified of her mother and the consequences (like I was at any given moment when my mother was around), she treated her like one of her casual friends. She spoke to her like she would speak to any girl from the office, maybe even a little looser. She even addressed her haphazardly by a nickname, with no respect. And the thing was, I was no expert on parenting and it was a far off notion for me (duh!), but I could see exactly where the problem was.

Some parents confuse parenting with being friendly, but they forget the most important thing.

Anyone can be a friend, but parents have a unique and important role that involves them ‘parenting’ first.  And yes, it was all Layyanah, my friend, but the fact was that Layyanah behaved this way because her parents never drew any boundaries. Speaking your mind was disrespectful when you spoke however you liked. Assertiveness is only okay when you don’t trample the rights of others. Especially your parents. The thing was, nowadays, bringing honour to those who brought you up was no longer a thing. Where once Muslim kids were admired for their manners, nowadays, they aren’t. Nowadays, they just gave crap and then recieved more in return.

Jibraeel (AS) said, “Inform me about the Hour.” He (the Prophet)(sallahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said, “About that the one questioned knows no more than the questioner.” So, he said, “Well, inform me about its signs.” He said, “They are that the slave-girl will give birth to her mistress…”

Sahih Muslim (8)

And that was exactly what it looked like. Like a slave who was just being subjecting to whatever Layyanah was dishing out. She was giving it to her mother, with absolutely no reproach for what she said.

And as I sat there, reeling in shock, boy, was I glad when Layyanah finally said:

”We’ve already discussed this topic fifty million times over, so can we just drop it?!”

Layyanah was looking at her mother now, and I could see she that she had calmed down, which hopefully meant that the no more language and profanity were on the cards. Her mother shrugged and turned to me, and at that moment, I felt a teeny bit of sympathy for her. Just for a milli-second, and then it was gone.

The thing was, unfortunately,  there was no respect from either side, or even any kind of mothering. She didn’t offer her any useful advice or tell her how to take care of her husband, like I know my mother would do. She didn’t even give her any Duáas, like any normnal parent would.

Honestly, now all Layyanah looked like was defeated and teary and like she needed was a shoulder to lean on and someone talk to. Here her mother was, all focused on how to spend more money and be more extravagant.

I wasn’t even sure what to say, but Fay just gave an exasperated sigh and then turned to me, all smiles.

Oh gosh, was it my turn next?

“Why do I feel like I know you?” She asked, and my heart skipped a beat in my chest as she said it.

There we go. Probably from the photos that they sent the hitman.

I smiled sweetly, sticking out my hand, business style. Layyanah had introduced us briefly but not formally.

“I’m Mohsina,” I said pleasantly. I was used to putting on a front. “I’m a CA at Hammonds. Layy and I worked together.”

Well, that kind of impressed her, but she looked at me quizzically, and then suddenly, her eyes lit up,

“Oh my word,” she mused, her eyes getting wider. “Your’re the Mostly Mohsina, aren’t you?! Hey, I know you! Like I really know you! How’s your mother? And your sister? Oh yes, I remember that time when you guys went on that family holiday to the beach house on the west coast. It looked stunning! I keep telling Layys father that we need to take a holiday locally. Like, Ras Al Khaimah always blows us away, but maybe after Dubai we’ll try something local.”

Okay, so let me explain- so in all fairness, it wasn’t exactly a family holiday. It was a holiday of family, and I wasn’t exactly lying but social media was a tough world. It was just the wording that mattered. My father had gone with my mother and sister to visit some of his family at a beautiful villa, and the pictures were magically stunning. Private beaches and heated pools. The most unusual coral and white sandy shores. Of course, it was the perfect content to use for my weekend post. The thing is, you had to keep coming up with content to keep people interested. Don’t hate the player. That was the game.

“I feel like I’m your best friend,” she went on, clasping my hand and gazing at me in admiration. “And you’re like an influencer, right? Ive been following you for two years now and I lurrvv your feed!”

And of course, I was feeling all chuffed and excited that all my hard work wasn’t going to waste. I mean, that’s what it was all about right? Making an impression. Making sure that people remember you for all the fancy and unique things you post. It’s not about reality. No ways. It was a world that was as far away from reality than anything.

I just couldn’t understand why I was feeling so far from that world right then. it was like I had been disconnected from it, even if it was just for this little while.

And I was still trying to process my feelings while Layyanah tried to offer her mother something, but she was already talking about leaving because she didn’t want Layyanahs father to find out where she was.

I mean, even though she was superficial and extremely caught up, she was still a mother, and that’s why she had come.

And as my brain was still processing this very strange relationship, out of the blue, Jameela suddenly knocked on the door, excusing herslef and then knelt down next to me. Of course, Layyanahs mother seemed thrilled to see her, because she was my sister. I had a feeling like she felt that she really did know me, even when I had never met her before in real life. And okay, it was a teeny bit freaky. Jameela was looking confused as her mother gushed over her, and then she turned to me as her focus changed, kneeling down slightly, close to my ear.

“We need to leave,” Jameela said, her voice sounding a little more hysteric than usual. “Like right now.”

I turned to look at my sister, excusing myself from Layyanah as I noticed the panicked look on jameelas face. We did need to leave. The wind was starting to pick up significantly.

“What’s going on?” I hissed at her, pulling her away from the them as I excused myself and moved into a corner.

”We just have to leave,” she muttered, keeping her voice low. “I’ll explain later.”

“Where’s Muhammed Husayn?”

She shrugged.

“Someone said the shed at the front of the plot,” she said, not seeming too worried. “I tried looking for him, but as usual, I can’t find him and now I’m going to the car. I don’t care anymore! Let him stay here!”

Oh hell, now my brother was gone awol. He had probably got that guy to show him something old and historical and went to explore. Weird child. Typical teenager. Inconsiderate. As usual, I had to pick up the pieces because Jameela was pretty useless at everything besides planning coffee shops and wasting money.

I told Layyanah I’d see her soon, and even though her mother was leaving too, she held on to me a little longer than necessary, sounding both nervous and excited at that same time, as I left them to say their goodbyes.

And I was all excited and optimistic for my friend and this new chapter of her life, but I was also aware that it could also turn out horribly if she didn’t watch her back.

And if it all turned out okay, I would be eternally grateful. But for now, I had bigger things to sort out, like getting home.  I was all out for soaking up the sunset but my parents were already freaking out about us being home after dark and I knew it was time to leave.

And after heading off for the shed to look for my brother, my entire purpose in life was disrupted. All I did was follow the instructions and go toward the front of the plot (If I knew where that was). The problem was, it was so huge and vast, that instead of it being a short drive, it ended up being a half hour route on foot that brought me right back to where I started. I was positively fuming, wondering why the hell Muhammed Husayn was so irresponsible, when all I had to do was ask someone for help that I so desperately needed.

There were many things that may have been a cause, and set me off track. I was soaking in my glory, all chuffed by the recognition of my Instagram page that was apparently amazing (according to Fay), and probably set me off on a wrong foot from the beginning. Jameela was going bezerk on me because she was intent on leaving and I was getting all sorts of panicked because it was nearly Asr time and I knew that if I didn’t hurry up, timing in getting home would be a disaster. To top it off, there had been a cloud burst and I was all soaked and shivering to the extent that I was actually regretting even coming here on the first place.

And yes, I must have looked an utter state. And it was no wonder that I emerged all wet and terrrifying as I trudged up the bank to where my car was parked. I could see Hamzah in the distance but I wasn’t going to risk it the whole conversation out of work thing, especially when I looked like this. I wouldn’t have done it in any circumstance, and besides, it was against every rule of decency I had ever known.

And although I desperately tried to block my face, luck was just on my side that day. And no, I didn’t want to pass all the blame over, but I would have just walked straight ahead and tried calling Husayn for the 15th time that hour, but I was also tired and hungry and I just wanted to go home.

See, I knew about barriers. Walls. I always had them up. I was extra careful, especially  after Nani had been on my back about having too much of freedom. I took these things seriously. Yes, I wasn’t the best and I spoke where necessary, but I wasn’t that type. I wasn’t the type to just fall into traps. I was the type to avoid them all, but this one, I didn’t even see coming.

“Hey,” he said briefly, obviously noticing my strained face that I was desperately trying to hide. Yes, it was only Hamzah but I looked like a disheveled rag doll.

I expected some remark about Snapchat or Facebook as he watched me busy on my phone, trying to call my brother desperately, only to get no answer, but he didn’t have that usual attitude that he did at work. He looked calmer. Easy. Maybe the air here had smothered his annoying tendencies.

Or maybe he was probably just feeling sorry for me because I looked like a shipwreck.

”It’s okay,” I said, trying to appear composed when I wanted to cry. He actually looked like a completely foreign person now, in a dark kurta and slightly styled hair. At least someone here was looking normal. “I’m okay.”

He nodded, and then narrowed his eyes.

”You don’t look okay,” he said, and I looked at him. His eyebrows were raised questioningly. “You sure everything is okay? Is Lesley still around?”

“Lesley’s fine,” I snapped, a little faster than I intended. Of course I didn’t look fine. I had just been attacked violently by torrents of rain. Why did he have to rub it in?

Also, why did he have to bring Lesley into this? She was already on her prepaid Uber back home, and it was so unfair. All I wanted to do was find my brother and go home too.

And of course, now Hamzah was looking at me like I was some kind of kuku case. But honestly, there really was more to life than Lesley. And yes, I didn’t resent her, but I think I had enough of her for the entire week. The girl had really tested me that day.

He held his hands up, and I could immediately see that weird look in his eyes again.

“I was just checking,” he said defensively, but his voice didn’t sound like him. Well, not like the usual him. “I’m glad you sorted it out. See you.”

And I should’ve left it at that. I mean, there was no real harm done. But now I was feeling bad.

Why, I didn’t know.

And that was mistake number two.

Because no matter what, feelings and regret and whatever else was brewing, I knew that it wasn’t worth the risk of falling into sin. But sometimes, we’re just weak. Sometimes our minds are screaming for us to be a little rational, but our hearts are pulling us the complete opposite way.

No, it wasn’t okay. And yes, it had happened before. Being alone with him, even here in the open, even if I needed help. This wasn’t the same as it was before.

It was a desperate measure. Maybe a mistake that I didn’t even think much of, but would cost us so much more than I could ever imagine at the time.

”I’m sorry,” I called out, blowing my nose, because it was all snotty and runny due to the crazy weather and helluva emotions. His back was still to me as he paused, but didn’t turn around.

“Hamzah, wait. I need your help.”

Dear Readers,

Just a quick one to say that I always look forward to your comments. Any thoughts on Layyanah and what she may be getting into?

Always appreciate the input, it definitely gets the creative juices flowing. 🤍

much Love

A xx

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

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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

22nd October 2021

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

(Muslim Shareef)

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

When Spirits Soar

Bismihi Ta’ala


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

“See you.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last time was the last time?

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

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

I wanted to hang my head in my hands.

There’s it. Bayaan time.

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

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

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

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

Crazy. It was just crazy.

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

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

I really would like you to come. Layy.

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

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

The next message came about 3 minutes after.

I typed, wondering how this would all turn out.

I will try my best xx

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hey gorgeous.”

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

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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

22nd October 2021

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

(Muslim Shareef)

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


An amazing quality to inculcate into our lives…





FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

The Fall

N.B. Little longer post… Apologies for the delay. InshaAllah posts should resume normally…  xx

Bismihi Ta’ala


One of the things that people often say is that you can’t move on until you let go of the past.

But the funny part is, if we follow our hearts… when we choose not to hold on to past grievances, we rise above it. A weight lifts. The sun shines a little brighter. For a few brief moments, we find that thing that we’re all chasing… we find peace.

And it was no surprise that as I accepted Aadam’s gracious request, and I made the choice to never go to that place where it could come between us again… we kind of slipped back into the ease and comfort that we always had. The fact was that I loved my husband. More than I had thought, enough to put this behind us and  in a way that made me realize that his sins were no longer a part of this great guy that I had fallen in love with.

And yes, I had fallen. In a huge way. And that was the thing with true love, wasn’t it? It wasn’t just for the now. Love for Allah builds you up, opens your heart and changes people who were once selfish into the most selfless souls. Through this union, Aadam’s presence had unveiled an entire world for me as I witnessed his ease, his compassion and the amazing character that he exhibited through everything he did…

I watched him as he drove, on the last day of my holiday with the cloud of upcoming school that loomed above, chattering about work and other things he had been planning, and just enjoying the last few hours before the craziness would start again…

“It’s not far now,” he said mysteriously, as we stopped for Zohr at a local service station. “But I promise you’ll love it. She’s been waiting for us the whole week and I just know that she’s going to love you.”

“She?” I said, as I jumped back into the car. “Who’s she?”

Aadam chuckled as he saw the worried look on my face. He continued to drive, and before I knew it, the car had already halted.

“We’re here, gorgeous,” Aadam’s voice whispered as he touched my cheek lightly, after what felt like just minutes later. I had dozed off, and without knowing it, another hour had flown by. “Are you ready to meet someone special?”

I nodded, still in a bit of a daze as I adjusted my hijaab and sat up. And as I processed it, I couldn’t help but remain absolutely fixated at what was before me, taking in the dazzling architecture that was built on the onset of a mountainous slope. From what I could see, we had travelled quite far from the dreariness of Gauteng, where the year-round dryness often tired me. The beauty of this lush landscape had rendered me speechless for a few moments.

Wow,” I couldn’t help but murmur, as I stared out into the open view.

“She’s beautiful, isn’t she?”

I nodded, still a little taken aback by the spectacle. It was only when I glanced at him as he pushed open the door, did I realize that he wasn’t only talking about the gorgeous view ahead.

I fumbled with the car handle, watching Aadam walk towards the woman who was approaching our car with a huge grin on her face. And yes, Aadam was right.

She was beautiful.

As Aadam smothered her with kisses on both sides of her cheeks, I could see her chuckling uncontrollably. I smiled as I approached them, already recognising that amazing one-dimpled grin that my husband had inherited. There was no question about it…

Aadam stepped back as he saw me approaching, and as she came forward, her fierce embrace caught me a little off guard.

”Khawlah,” Aadam said as I held her back and looked at him. “This is my Ma..”

You know I’m not too old to give you a hiding, Adam,” Ma scolded and wagged her finger at him, with tears at the crinkled corners of her eyes. “You took so long to bring her here. All those kisses aren’t making up for it, so don’t you dare think you’re off the hook!”

I grinned as Aadam widened his eyes at me. I didn’t even remember meeting her properly after our Nikah, with all the drama that day… but I knew that I did.

Looking at her now, up close, I could already see where her grandkids had inherited their genes from. Aadam’s grandmother was probably in her seventies, but she didn’t look a day over fifty. And though Aadam had spoken about her often, I never really wondered why I didn’t see this stunning woman sooner.

As we trudged upstairs, entering her apartment was like a breath of fresh air. It was done up so beautifully, with oaks and antiques, and as we stepped in and I gazed around, I could see the most spectacular view that it overlooked. I couldn’t wait to get out there and take it all in.

“I can’t believe you call your granny, ‘Ma’,” I whispered to him as she disappeared down the passage while Aadam winked at me and made himself comfortable on her antique rocking chair.

”I am Indian, you know,” he said, sounding nothing like it. I smiled back at the irony. It was one of the things that made Aadam.. well, Aadam.

As for his ‘Ma’, I could already tell that she was such a my kind of person. I could almost imagine her sitting on the single rocking chair next to the shelf and dozing off after her daily reading. The carved bookcase showcased a selection of Islamic literature, and I actually could not believe that she was so different from Aadam’s mother.

”Does Rubeena come here?”

I never heard Rubeena talking about visiting her grandmother before. It was sad that this woman lived so far away, and there was barely any contact.

“Not in a while,” Aadam said softly.

He swallowed as he looked at me pensively, almost deliberating on his next words.

Of course I was even more curious now. She barely came to visit and neither did I ever hear my mother-in-law talk about her.

“Why not?” I asked, looking out the window at the gorgeous skies. Their clarity was beautifully inviting. From up here, it all looked so close…

”Family issues,” he said with a shrug. “I was still young at the time, but I do remember that Ma and Mum had some words about Ruby marrying Shabeer.. Like, a lot of words… and it wasn’t pretty. They don’t really see eye to eye… I remember everyone being upset, and then Ruby got married…”

Aadam stopped talking as we heard footsteps down the passage again, and I smiled at him as I got up, despite how my heart was sinking.

From what I could see, their Nani, or Ma, as Aadam called her, was one of the few elderly people left in their family. And though Aadam mentioned that she had a son that lived closed by and two other daughters, I couldn’t help but feel like Rubeena’s kids should have known her better.

When I grew up, it was the elder  people who made the events what they were. We looked forward to seeing Foi Nani and Dada immensely. If it wasn’t for Aunty Nas I knew that Dada wouldn’t have been sent away. It had definitely caused a rift between Dada and Abba but they were slowly mending their relationship as time went by.

I just wished that people knew the reward in fulfilling the rights of the elders in the family. What was sad was that these things happened all the time.. but what worried me here was what if they never got that chance to get back on top of things and rebuild their‘s?

I promised myself that when I had kids, one of the first people they would get to know was this wonderful lady who was so thrilled to have us here…

“Aw Ma, that’s so sweet,” Aadam said suddenly, grinning as his Ma entered the room with a huge gift bag in her hand. “You didn’t have to get me anything..”

Aadam’s Ma raised her eyebrows as her grandson humorously.

”You get spoilt enough,” she said to him, placing the box next to me and the gift down as I smiled and thanked her. I was overwhelmed by her already. “This is for my new granddaughter.”

”As usual, I just get taken for granted in this house…” Aadam muttered, pretending to be upset.

His grandmother whacked him lightly on the hand as he pouted, and I couldn’t help but admire the easy relationship that the two of them had.

This was an entirely different side of Aadam that I had yet to see. With his mother, he always seemed a little on edge.. but here, he was someone else completely. He was just him.

Of course I was thrilled with the gift, but what was even more enthralling was the little envelope with handwriting that lay on top. I was itching to know what was inside… I just loved handwritten notes and I had no idea how this thoughtful woman knew it. Aadam had inherited a little more than just his amazing smile from her…

”Do you want to open part of your gift?” She said kindly. “There’s something I wanted Adam to see.”

I looked at her, already knowing that she was talking about the letter..

”Ma always has something up here sleeve,” Aadam smiled, winking at me and looking at Ma. “Are you finally taking up my offer? I mean, I know it’s amazing here but I don’t like Ma staying alone. I still don’t know why you don’t just move in with me…”

Huh uh,” she said stubbornly. “You want me to give this up and come live in a city flat and breathe polluted air? I’ll probably never see another sunrise ever again. Better idea- you’ll come and stay with me, since you always worried about your old Ma.”

”You know I’d love to,” Aadam said with a wink. “But Ma, your place is in the middle of nowhere… No Halaal food, no mosque…”

It was no wonder that Aadam had bought an apartment right next to the Masjid. I could see that his heart had an attachment to it and the fact that he was so particular about reading his Salaah there was what made me even more certain that this guy was even more amazing than he seemed.

“And what about my kids Ma…” he was still saying. “If I had to live here… Must I send them to boarding school?”

Never!” she said quickly, her eyes wide. “I don’t know how your mother could do that to you.. you know, you were such a pleasant child. Easy-going. Never fussed. She was just tooooo busy to cope with you. She didn’t have the time..”

Aadam looked slightly uncomfortable as she said it.

”Never mind…” he said softly, turning to look at me. “Can we read that letter now?”

My heart ached for my husband, as I looked away. There was a pain that existed there that I had never known about. Ma just smiled as she got up and reached into the gift bag she had left next to the couch, taking out an envelope from inside and handing it to me.

I had no idea what it was, but as I pulled out a piece of paper and saw the childish handwriting, I instantly smiled and read it aloud.

Roses are blue,

Violets are red,

If I ever get confused,

Please knock me on the head.

For you, Ma, coz I know you’ll do it.

Love you forever,

Adam ox

I giggled as I looked up at Aadam and his Ma, who were just as amused.

”When he gave it to me, I told Aadam that one day, I’m going to give it to his wife because she’ll need it,” she said with her one dimpled grin that was identical to my husbands. “And I finally did!”

Aadam was grinning now like an idiot, his legs propped up on the coffee table as he watched us in amusement.

”See,” I said, smiling at him. “I always say you’re a poet. How old were you?”

”No idea,” he said as he ran his hand through his beard. “But I had an awesome sense of humour…”

”Maybe around 10,” Ma smiled, getting up slowly. “Aadam used to come here often on the weekends. Now I’m sure you guys are hungry. Let me put the food on now…”

”I’ll put it on,” Aadam said, getting up as his grandmother nodded gratefully.

We watched Aadam head off to the kitchen as Ma and I spoke about general things. It was no surprise that we got along… I knew we would from the start. It was like the type of relationship you have with someone that you just meet and suddenly you just ‘click’… Like we’d known each other for years…

”Ma, the food is on low,” Aadam called as he walked in. “Are you busy telling her all my secrets?”

“Yes,” Ma said firmly. “Every single one of them. Even the one when I had to give you a good hiding because you took apart my entire computer tower.”

”Child abuse,” Aadam muttered, with a shake of his head. “The lights were fascinating. No wonder I’m so damaged.”

Rubbish!” she said with a shake of her head. Her expression changed slightly, as if she was recalling something. “You’re far from damaged… Alhumdulillah! You know, when I look at you, Adam, you’re so lucky, my boy. There’s not a day that passes that I don’t remember your journey… and every day it reminds me that Duaa can truly bring miracles. Allah knows… How I sat every night and took your name… I remember how worried I was… when you came to me that day a few years ago, looking like you were so lost. Night and day I would read that ‘Rabbana’ Duaa… the one that Maulana had spoken about for kids. I would pray that Allah fixes your heart and that you would find your way… and then, when you came again the next year, it was like magic. I could see it… I could see the weight lifted from you. You told me about Khawlah and how you wanted to change… About how you had been so wrong about everything your whole life… and now, look at you today..”

My own heart thudded in my chest as I looked from Aadam to Ma. She had tears in her eyes, and Aadam was looking immensely pained as she spoke.

”How merciful is Allah… You found this beautiful girl who changed your life. You took a chance and you changed everything and I really can’t explain to you’ll how happy I am to see you’ll here together today…“

Her voice broke as she halted, and I could feel tears welling up in my own eyes as I watched them. Goodness, this was so emotional

”Ma,” Aadam said softly, swallowing hard as he looked over at me. “You’re going to make us all cry just now…”

”Now you better not mess this up,” she warned cheekily, wiping her eyes with a tissue.

”Aw ma,” Aadam said softly. “This is your favorite grandson and his dream girl, there’s no way I’m going to-“

”Yes, well you better make sure of it,” she said with a wag of her finger. “You know you’re never too old for that wooden stick! Now you guys better hurry up and have some children before I die…”

”Ma,” Aadam said now, looking a little uncomfortable at the request. “We just got married. My wife’s still young … we need some time to adjust to each other…”

”Nonsense,” she retorted. “All you young people got the same stories. What’s this ‘adjust to each other‘? You’ll already there. When I got married there was no such thing. Now see, I’m living to see grandchildren and great-grandchildren and I want to meet yours too, Adam. You know that. Remember I’m not going to live forever.”

”You’re the resident dinosaur, Ma,” Aadam teased. “Don’t talk like that. You still got plenty more years…”

The chatter went on like that as we finally sat to eat the delicious lamb curry that she had prepared. As I devoured the food,  I could see where my mother-in-law got her cooking skills from. It was absolutely delicious.

And just as I felt like my tummy would burst, Aadam’s grandmother ushered us out, declining any help to get the tea things together and take it outside.

And if I felt amazed by this place when I got here, I would not be able to describe how awestruck I was by this staggering sight before us right then. I breathed out as Adam slunk back, watching me as my eyes feasted on the wonder of the gorge that lay ahead. The valley was lined with colorful bushes between their hills, and right ahead of us, was a gushing of unprecedented water that ran right from the onset… and cascaded in absolute magnificence to a small pool below. It was a waterfall that glimmered back at us in all its glory. At this time of the afternoon, it looked like the sun was slowly weaving in and out of this splendor, tipping on the crests and expertly avoiding the subsequent troughs that followed. Not to mention the contrast of the dreamy-blue skies against the flourishing green vegetation were a sight that blew me away…

It was with absolutely certainty say that I had never seen anything more breathtaking in my life.

”Its amazing, isn’t it?” Aadam said softly, coming up behind me as I leant over slightly. I had never been afraid of heights but this was something else. It was like a series of valleys that merged together, creating the most perfect vision that simply left me a little speechless.

”Imagine Jannah,” I said softly, tearing my eyes away to glance at him as he stood next to me. “In all this wonder, beauty and absolute amazement.. Imagine that world…”

Aadam gripped my hand firmly as he stared ahead in silence. Fluffy clouds floated by lazily and the ever- present breeze was a soothing to my soul. This was, undeniably, what Aadam wanted me to see… and as usual, it didn’t disappoint. I could not imagine how it must be to wake up to this every morning. No wonder Ma refused to leave…

“One day, beautiful,” Aadam said quietly, as he placed both his arms on the railing and looked over. “One fine day we’ll reach that place… you and me both…we’ll reach that rainbow that seems so far away. I can already feel that it’s so much closer. That the suns a little brighter and clouds have lifted… I feel like I’m on the right path now, Khawlah… Like how Ma said, I’ve treaded so far and now I’m getting there, to where my Lord wants me to be… and I’m certain it was someone’s heartfelt Duaas that got me here…”

He trailed off as he swallowed and looked at me.

“And I think I’m going to stop now because I’ve bared my soul to you enough this week,” he continued with a smile. “Maybe it’s time for some payback…”

I shivered slightly as the chilly breeze hit my cheek, and I snuggled into Aadam’s Downs jacket, which was the cuddliest thing ever.

”What were you thinking of?” I asked in a neutral tone, as I gazed ahead. “As long as you don’t take advantage..”

”Only a piece of your heart,” he said into my ear. “That’s all I ever asked for…”

”Done,” I smiled, watching his face light up as I looked back at him.

“Really?!” he said, raising his one weird eyebrow to look at me. “I’m not sure if I should accept that, though…”

”What do you expect me to do?!” I said bossily as I stepped back. “Scream it out to the world?”

”Precisely that,” he said with a grin. “Must I show you how it’s done?!”

I grinned back as I watched him climb onto the small stool on the other side and lean over the balustrade. This guy was a helluva lot of fun but he was definitely a little nutty.

”You ready for it?!” He asked, his eyes dancing as he turned to look at me for a moment, just before he shouted a huge ‘hello’ into the gorge ahead. This was entertainment at its best, and as his voice echoed back, I was amazed at how it reverberated throughout the vacant valleys.

”Aadam, the neighborhood will think you’re gone off your rockers,” I scolded, trying to get him to behave himself.

Sometimes I honestly wondered who was the older one here. It was hard to believe that I was almost a whole 5 years younger…

”I do this all the time,” Aadam called out, letting his voice echo throughout the valleys once again. “The neighbors love me, yeah…”

”You’re crazy.”

“About you.”

And as Aadam climbed up a little stool that had been perched next to Ma’s pot plants, I wasn’t sure if it was a lack of judgement or if it was just a buckling of his weakened limbs as he stepped ahead onto the raised ledge below the railing…

All I remembered was my heart literally jumping out of my mouth as something caved beneath him, and it felt like my entire world was in slow motion, as I watched it all unfold in helpless despair…

And that was when Aadam fell.

P.S. I’m sorry about the ‘cliff’-hanger…

P.P.S. As a matter of interest on the Duaas for righteous kids… does anyone know of any other Arabic duaas to read for kids specifically…? (someone had asked me) 

رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا

Rabbana hab-lana min azwajina wathurriyyatina qurrata aAAyunin waijAAalna lilmuttaqeena imama

“Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.”



‘O my Lord ! make me one who establishes regular prayer and (also) from my offspring ,our Lord ! 
and accept my invocation”
رَبِّ اجعَلنى مُقيمَ الصَّلوٰةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتى ۚ رَبَّنا وَتَقَبَّل د


FB: The Journeying Muslimah

Ig: thejourneyingmuslimah 







Twitter: @ajourneyjournal


When the Tables Turn…

Bismihi Ta’ala


Everyone loves a good speciality. Trust me. I know.

I’m sure by now, you’ve at least figured that I’m not one of those sickly skinny girls who are obsessed with my diet. I do not spend my precious moments before tucking into my regular double-decker cheese burgers (with a fizzy drink) counting carbs and watching sugar intake. I don’t even understand people who guilt themselves about essential edibles.

And as the daughter of the locally sought-after culinary expert, I’m pretty well acquainted with the drill. And no, the skill is not hereditary, so please don’t ask me to cook for you. My food is passable and that’s that. It doesn’t mean that I’m the next Nigella or whoever the Indian equivalent is, but I do know that a pure butter pastry (margarine what?) tops the charts and that freshly ground garlic is the best thing you’ll ever waste your time making. I’ve learnt even though you can barely taste spices like turmeric, you cannot possibly make a good curry without it. I know that ready-fried onions makes my mother turn up her nose and rotis made with pure ghee are completely unrelated to those flattish pieces of dough that I sometimes buy from the shop down the road (when I’ve run out of my mother’s weekly supply).

My father can tell the difference just by looking at it, and if that isn’t skill, I don’t know what is.

The thing is, everything has its speciality, and I’m a big fan of the foodie version. There’s always a highlight of the lot. The exception to the usual. And we all strive to find that speciality, whether it be in a dish, a side or even just a extra thing we make for fun. We like specialities. We like to have ‘unique’ things. Everyone wants to be different.

I guess what I’m trying to say, is that there’s a little underrated thing that comes for free, that sets us aside from everyone else. It’s an inherent quality, and having it makes us unique. It makes us the speciality. Me. You. Anyone who has it.

Its called sincerity. It’s called beautiful intentions. When someone comes to you with a pure heart and goodness overflowing from them, there’s just something special about them that draws you to them and makes you love them. And wouldn’t you want to be the speciality of the human race, as we know it? And I’m not saying that everyone is out there to con you, but when people are truly sincere in what they do, Allah sees the truth in what you are presenting, whether it be the tiniest form of a charitable smile or the hugest trip of  lifetime ‘Fee Sabillilah’.

And then of course, comes the beautiful reality, because with sincerity comes a very special type of status. A status of exemption. The status of love. The Hadith of Jibraeel (AS) being summoned by Allah makes my hair stand on end every time I hear it.

Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: ‘if Allah loves a person, He calls Jibrael saying,

’Allah loves so and so; O Jibrael love him… 

And make an announcement amongst the inhabitants of the heaven:

“Allah loves so and so therefore you should love him also.

 And so, all the inhabitants of the heaven would love him, and then he is granted the pleasures of the people on the earth.”

[Al- Bukhari and Muslim].


And no matter how often I hear this spectacular narration, I can never tire of it’s amazement. I mean, can you possibly even imagine Allah taking your name and mentioning it, not just to any angel, but the most noble of all angels that exist? The one who was given the honor of sending Wahee to the prophets and the likes. Can you imagine being so honored, that not only does your name leave their lips, but gets engraved with them so they are so much inclined to you, that they actually begin to love you?

The awe of it all just nearly sends my heart into cardiac arrest.

So, back to the point before I go completely off track here… Whilst on my pursuit to find the best form of sincerity in every action I did, like I had been learning in the Taaleem I’d been briefly attending before my Iddat, I had truly attained so much. Really. In hoping to be sincere in all that I did, I was making every attempt to move past my delusional past. I was hoping to find peace, contentment and to just keep my stomach full enough to stay away from sins and not put on exorbitant amounts of weight that will send my mother into fits of rage. 

The only problem was that it seemed like Shabeer was living in some kind of ‘stupid zone’ during this whole advent. While I was trying to ‘find myself’,  yet again, as I embarked on a mission to attempt to shake myself off of him and make future plans for the benefit of my kids and I, his constant calls and visits would come to throw everything off track again.

“Salaam babe,” his smooth voice came as I  raced down the stairs with my abaya, hearing the front door open.

Crap. He was early. And crap again. I really needed to remember to take his keys away.

Shabeer didn’t understand boundaries. He was like one of those irritating mosquitos that relentlessly stuck around no matter how hard you tried to slap the life out of him.

”Don’t babe me,” I said through gritted teeth. Honestly, was this man dense or just delusional?

“What are you up to? Getting bored yet?” He asked, ignoring my statement.

He said it with a hint of cynical humor, and I clenched my fist in preparation for a mental punch. Maybe a few.

I tried to picture him with a blue eye. It definitely made me feel so much better.

”You’re not supposed to be here alone,” I said, tightening my scarf around my head and glaring at him. “Why can’t you just ring the doorbell like a normal person?”

“I can come when I want. What is all this nonsense?” Shabeer said in a low tone, looking me up and down with an ugly frown. “ You look like one of those burka aunties from Fordsburg. Come on Ruby, we were married for 11 years. Now you acting like some untouchable hijaabi.”

”Shabeer,” I said, as if I was talking to a kid. “Don’t. you. get. it. We’re not married anymore.”

”Ruby,” he said, his voice sounding calm and collected, as I breathed out impatiently. “Seriously. Stop this silly game now. Let’s make up like good, responsible parents and sort this out. You know you can’t survive without me. I’ve worked my backside off to give you the best life I could. A beautiful house. A trending car. Extraordinary holidays. How would you keep up, doll? No average guy will be able to compare… All your friends would laugh at you. Come on, just let me come back home.”

“For what?” I asked, rolling my eyes. “So I can put up with more of your lies? Why don’t you call to speak to the kids once in a while? To pick them up? Spend some time with your sons? Really Shabeer, I haven’t even seen one thing change in you!”

”Ah Ruby, don’t be so hard,” he said, putting on his pitiful voice that I knew so well. “Baby steps, alryt? We can’t all just change overnight. Dammit, you have such high expectations. All you high maintenance women, and you’ll wonder why your husbands mess around. Don’t you ever get tired of yourself?”

“You are such a -“ I started, raging. All my aspirations to be a better person were going down the drain. Turning the tables around was Shabeer’s speciality.

Sheeeeshhh!” Shabeer said, raising his eyebrows and waving his hand at me. “Behave yourself, woman. The lawyer is here. We don’t want any ugly words reaching his ears. He might just label you an unfit mother.”

Shabeer sniggered as he watched my expression turn to thunderous, and I honestly wanted to break him.

The man made my blood boil. He really wanted to play things this way? 

I glared at him with such venom that he promptly shut up and made his way out of my view to discuss what he needed to with the lawyer.

I knew that Shabeer needed money and wanted to sell the house, but I couldn’t even stomach the thought. He wanted to buy a flat for us, and get away cheap. There were lots of things to finalize and I didn’t want the kids to be around when we did it. Things that meant nothing to me, but I had to sort out for them. I had to get documentation in order so I could own the house, so I wouldn’t have to move out and disrupt their lives. I didn’t yet tell Shabeer about my plans, but I had enough money saved up to buy it from him, if he asked. I knew that this had potential to get ugly and I wanted to be prepared.

I sat on the couch and took a deep breath. I had to learn to breathe. Things were getting a little overwhelming for me and there was only so much I could do to stop myself from having an anxiety attack. And I knew I was that kind of person who didn’t deal very well in neurotic kind of situations, but as Shabeer finally left me in peace that morning, I knew that I had to get my act together and woman up.

And then of course, about half an hour later, just as  I finally felt the rising in my chest subside momentarily, my heart kind of shot out my mouth at the shrill ringing of the doorbell that caught me by surprise.

Of course I wasn’t expecting anyone.

The last thing I wanted while I was in enjoying my peace were people coming to annoy my life. I could just imagine what the ladies from gym would say. They would be looking at me all pitifully, talking about how I must be feeling like I’m in a prison. The facts were that it was the majority of them who were still stuck in that prison of an unfaithful marriage and chasing the world.

And sometimes I really did wish that it had turned out differently with Shabeer.  I still made Duaa that he would change some day, especially for the sake my boys. When I thought about how he had gone from bad to worse over the years, it was no wonder that my heart had changed too. I just couldn’t  feel that love anymore.

And thank goodness that as I glimpsed outside, instead of seeing half a dozen brain-eating women on my doorstep, I glimpsed the lean frame of my awesome brother who was resting  his shoulder against my front door.

He was alone, and as I pulled the door open to welcome him with the hugest of smiles (just because I was so relieved that he wasn’t Shabeer or a nosy woman who craved the latest gossip), something about the way Adam smiled back that day gave me a heads up that everything wasn’t okay.

“Assalamualaikum,” he said as he stepped in. “Where are the little guys? I’ve been missing them.”

Aadam had dropped them off the day before. Today, I had somehow convinced my father to take them for a few hours, just to kill their boredom. I wished I could be like those Instamums who did crafty arts and stuff with their kids all day long, but at this stage of my life, just the thought of paint on the carpet and glue all over the walls exhausted me. It was just hard to be at home with four kids all the time. They were literally eating my head in.

“They’re gone to mum for a while,” I replied. “I needed some time… can I offer you coffee?”

I didn’t elaborate on Shabeer as Adam nodded. Why should I bore him with my legal details?

He lowered himself into the couch, looking a little dazed while I switched the kettle on.

Now, I’ve always had an awesome relationship with my brother, and because he was generally so happy-go-lucky and barely complained about a thing, I knew him so well that if there was something bothering him, it was nothing that a good cuppa couldn’t squeeze out.

And of course, with my own neurotic tendencies, a cup of the condensed milk- sweetened version (with extra cream) was just what I needed to put all my anxiety at bay.  So when Adam sighed and rested his head back in exhaustion, I couldn’t help but prop myself up next to him with two mugs of luxury coffee, stare him down and force him to spill it out.

“You’re alone today?” I said, thinking it a bit strange since Khawlah was on holiday.

He shrugged. He definitely was not even remotely himself.

“She’s been busy,” he said, glancing at me momentarily.  “Her brother’s had somewhere to be a few days back. Some chic to see..”

”You mean Ahmed?” I said, my breathing a little stunted. He was going to see a girl? 

Adam nodded and shrugged. Goodness. My brother looked heartbroken. Maybe even more than me.

Focus Ruby. Focus on Adam.

“They didn’t tell you to come with?” I said,  really wanting more details, but also curious as to why Adam didn’t accompany them. He was married to Khawlah.

Plus, who was this ‘chic’ that Ahmed was suddenly interested in? The curiosity was killing me.

“She’s angry,” he said finally, raising his eyebrows. “We had an exchange. I suppose I didn’t think it was a big thing until I thought about it… but for her…”

I tut-tutted to myself as Adam spoke, feeling his pain, and forgetting my own inclination to know gory details of the samoosa run.

Trouble in paradise, huh? I just hoped it wasn’t serious.

“Was it something you did?” I asked him, not wanting to pry but itching to know. It was a completely tearing feeling.

“It was in the past,” he said, swallowing as he looked at me. “But I would never hurt her on purpose, Rubes. This is too much… she hasn’t spoken to me in days. She’s ignoring my calls. Doesn’t come out when I go there. It’s getting embarrassing to go there and I really don’t know what else to do…”

Adam looked absolutely distressed as he glanced at me and ran his hand through his beard. He was such a genuinely and sincerely nice person that I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. He placed the mug on the coffee table next to him, without even taking a sip.

Never mind. More for me.

I sighed as I watched him, looking like some kind of lost person. I didn’t know my brother’s past inside out but I had met his previous girlfriend, and I knew that it wasn’t just the kind of relationship that doesn’t leave any scars. At that time I didn’t know it was wrong. We were ignorant. The thing was, with Khawlah… she didn’t come from the type of life that we knew. The dysfunctional life that was full of gross details, ugly sins and disturbing dysfunction.

For her 16-year-self, though she was exceptionally mature, I could imagine that certain aspects of our immodest life were too sheltered to even process…

She lived in a childish fantasy where everything was sunny and earthly, and though I loved that and her idealism, the reality was that life was absolutely appalling.

Especially mine.

And just as I was about to explain that to Adam, my words kind of died on my lips as a burst of rowdiness blasted through the front passage.

And it didn’t take a genius to figure out that all four of my boys were back. I figured that sooner or later my parents would get fed up of them, and as they burst into into the room we were in, there was a series of excited jumps and greetings as Adam welcomed them with open arms and boy-like gestures. And of course it was all fun and exciting, but as they high-fived Adam, and I glimpsed my mothers face… I was already reminding myself about all my aspirations for being a better daughter.

She had an irate look on her face as she stood there, her hands folded on her chest, and for once as I followed her gaze, I was so grateful that it wasn’t directed at me.

And because I was in the clear, I didn’t even dwell on it further as I busied myself making another cup of coffee for my wonderful father, while my mother shook her head at my offer and stood there with that expression that I thought had become her inherent one.

I was so busy counting my lucky stars and whipping up the perfect cup of latte, that I barely even noticed her staring with hostility at Adam’s retreating back. It was only when her screech for him reached my ears, did I fully process her unconventional attitude towards her darling son. 

Mum?” He said, backtracking slightly and looking at her with a frown. “All okay?”

”Do I look like everything is okay?” She shot back, her face all stony and down-right disgruntled. “Have you ever seen me like this before?!”


That was mistake number one. I honestly wanted block my eyes. Though I completely got Adam’s point, let me just warn you that if you ever meet my wonderful mother, never… and I repeat, NEVER, let my mother know that her grumpiness has been noted before. She will never let you forget it.

Let me just tell you something, mister!” She almost yelled, her face beet red. Thank goodness the kids were outside. “I spend my whole life trying to make both you kids happy and this is the type of payback I get!”

Jasses. Why did I get tossed in everywhere? I was the resident dump-site.  All I was busy doing was minding my own business.

“Mum-“ Adam started.

You just listen to me!” she snapped, wagging her finger and edging closer to him as she tossed her newly highlighted hair back. “I won’t have you’ll making a fool of me. I will not be made into an unfit mother who brings up kids who can’t even hold together their marriages!”

She shot a look at me as she said it, and I cringed. I love how she blamed my failed marriage only on me. Like Shabeer was just a poor bystander. As if. 

“Mum, I don’t think you know what’s going on,” Adam said pointedly.

And, there we have it, folks. Mistake number two. 

Never, ever, tell my mother that she doesn’t know what’s going on. Even if she doesn’t know what’s going on, she still does.

”Oh, I know exactly what’s going on,” she snapped, raising her eyebrows. “I’ve had people asking me if you are also getting divorced. Already! Can. you. imagine. my. EMBARRASSMENT?!”

And I’m not even exaggerating with the punctuation there. That was exactly how she said it.

“They think there’s something wrong with me, that both of your marriages are headed for destruction! You brought that innocent girl into our home and you messed it up, didn’t you?!”

Adam was gaping at my mother like a goldfish. For once he had no smooth words to swizzle her.

”I warned you about this, didn’t I?” She continued with her resident glare. “I knew there’ll be problems. I even tried to show you before, but you were adamant!”

What? Was that what all her drama was about? I was dumbfounded.

When did the tables turn? How did people even know about the dynamics between Adam and Khawlah?

“It’s not as serious-“

”It DOESN’T MATTER!” my mother yelled, her glare still directed at Adam. “You fix this! I don’t care what you have to do or how you have to convince her. Even if it means that you sit outside her house day and night until she comes back, you make sure you put this right. You young people think that marriage is just a game! I won’t have both my kids moping around with failed marriages. I’m not an incompetent parent. Grow up and do what what it takes… or else!

I was gob-smacked. Not to mention, absolutely terrified.

The last part was what scared me. From experience, I knew that ‘or else’ from my mother was not just a regular threat. It usually involved a helluva lot of sucking up, painful cajoling and sleepless nights of feeling like the failed and rejected child. Believe me. I know.

And despite my father gaping at her in shock yet again, and Adam looking like he really wanted to cry, with that, she tossed her glossy auburn-colored hair back, spun around on her dainty heels, and gracefully walked out.


WIll reply to all comments soon.. A longer post that hopefully makes up for the delay!

Much Love,

A xx


As per the previous posts, we are now on the Sunnah of Drinking Water 

  1. The Sunnah of drinking water states that blowing on hot water or exhaling into a water glass can spread bacteria into the water. Therefore, it’s important that you move the glass of water away from your mouth after taking a sip so that you can avoid breathing onto thewater. Recite “Alhamdulillah” after drinking water.


FB: The Journeying Muslimah

Ig: thejourneyingmuslimah 







Twitter: @ajourneyjournal



When Guilt Trips

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem



The big fat D-word.  It’s probably the ugliest seven-letter word that I’ve come across. Well, besides the ones I sometimes used in my mind, but, well… let’s not go there.

And the effects of divorce are loathsome. Divorce breaks up families. It stirs up ill-feelings. It creates dysfunctional kids. A divorce is never easy.

And although the very notion of it was still detestable to me, I could not help but think that this was exactly where it was leading. The surprising fact now was that it wasn’t for the reasons that I thought it would be. Shabeer taking on another wife was never the problem. Although it was never my idea of a perfect marriage, I had accepted it and hoped for the best.

And I know that polygamy, or polygyny, more specifically, for most women is a detestable thing. Infidelity, though brushed under the rug, has become ironically, more acceptable. When at one stage having multiple wives was a common tradition and a norm, as society became more ‘westernised’, religious traditions that had been observed by the Prophets of the past and even regular people right up till the twentieth century have now became ‘unacceptable’.

And the fact that it was part of my beautiful religion too, like many others, didn’t mean that it was easy. Sharing your husband. I mean, I’d been there. But if you have the kind of husband who is willing to make it work, the way it should be done… I think that half your battle is won. The other half is trying to weather those feelings of jealousy and inadequacy that sometimes surface.

And then of course, there is a chance that your husband will have no idea what he is getting himself into. He doesn’t understand the responsibility. He lives only for that moment of artificial attraction… lured by the idea of an enhanced marital life that will somehow fix everything.

It was a rough life when your husband doesn’t know how to be fair. When he doesn’t fulfil your rights the way he is supposed to. Always feeling compromised in a marriage…

And I supposed that it boiled down to being content. For both of us. I often wondered how things would have turned out, if instead of pushing to lose those extra kilos and be in with the fitness crowd, I had concentrated on my failing marriage. I mean, I had seen the signs. Because I wasn’t content… seeing other women accomplished and living the ‘perfect life’ on social media, I was chasing an unachievable dream. I was chasing an illusion… Until I saw the light for a fleeting  moment before I skunk back into my rut of being ridiculous all over again.

What baffled me most was how I could sit on social media, scrolling through a strangers ridiculous feed with links that lead to another link and another link… and then you just have to keep clicking on more and more and accumulating more junk information and insecurities that you never cared about getting in the first place. And then you feel guilty about wasting all that time from the onset, and start feeling all completely out of whack because that person you were reading about has such a great life and you’re still stuck watching them with a nagging child literally tugging off your clothes. I wasn’t sure why it kept happening to me, but if I gave my much needed devotions the same kind of attention, I knew that I wouldn’t be in the same sick state of soul that I was in right then.

The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allah exalt his mention ) advised his Ummah (nation) to have contentment when he said: “If you are content with what Allah has given you, you will be the richest person.”

Contentment, huh? Maybe I just felt that I needed something to keep me going all the time. The secret to happiness. Contentment was something I didn’t have… until I learnt that it was to do with the richness of the soul that I was constantly fighting to attain.

So back to the point of my chase for content, let me tell you something about Shabeer. He is not the perfect husband. Even before he had taken Hannah in Nikah, he never was. He didn’t even come close. He’s selfish. He’s obnoxious. Sometimes he’s just downright hurtful. But… despite all this, I could not control my heart.

I know that you’d probably laugh at me, but if anyone had to ask me why on earth I took him back… I can tell you right now: I really don’t know.

I mean, it’s not like I was doing anything wrong, but he had left me for weeks with four kids, and not even a phone call to keep me going. He had done it completely wrong. He had betrayed me on a level that was way beyond just marrying someone else.

But it was a weak moment. Maybe I felt sorry for him. Maybe.. just maybe… I thought that he would see it as an appealing  side of me, and fall all hopelessly in love with me all over again. Maybe I thought it could really work. Like, really.

I sound like Mary Poppins, I know.

But seriously, I was a romantic kind of girl and at that time when I met him, Shabeer did it for me. He made the cut. He did the the functions, the romance.. whatever it took. The only problem was, he wasn’t present. Not with me. He loved all the attention and glam that went with it all, but behind closed doors… I was always left feeling a little at a loss.

I would have loved to have the kind of doting husband who gave me and my kids all the time in the world. I would have been ecstatic if I was blessed with a saint-like husband that was devoted and helped me to the be the best too. But Allah knows why we choose something that sometimes doesn’t feel like the best choice in retrospect.

And of course, I was so glad that for Adam.. it was the complete opposite. Allah had picked the perfect partner for him.. a partner that would not only see the best in him, bring out the best in him… but also helped him to be the best person that he could be. I was in awe of how the two of them understood each other, compromised for each other, and saw each other’s soul in a way that I could only wish I had with Shabeer.

She had a selflessness about her that I just couldn’t digest, and I was so grateful that she had come in to literally save me that day.

And of course, as I heard my mothers voice in the upstairs passage while I lay in bed that Friday night, feeling all hollow inside, I was honestly panicking.

Now since you guys kind of know my mother inside out… Well, kind of… You probably have caught onto the fact that me and her.. Well… We just don’t along. And I’m not even exaggerating. Every single time I’ve ever tried to talk to my mother, it’s always ended up as some kind of uncontrolled world war three in the house.

We just do not see eye to eye. I actually could not even believe that she gave birth to me. Some days, I could swear that I was adopted from another mother. Actually, when I was younger, that’s what I kind of hoped.

At least that would mean that I was wanted.

”How are you feeling, Rubeena?”

That was my father. A sweet old man who asked the things a normal father asked. No big eyes. No harsh accusations. No drama.

I loved him to bits.

I nodded and smiled. I couldn’t exactly tell him that I felt like there was a ton of bricks raining on me, could I?

Besides, he looked like he was having a good day. Well, as good as a day that anyone could have, living with my mother. I didn’t want to spoil it.

“Mums here,” I said, stating the obvious. I didn’t even hear them come in.

He nodded and raised his eyebrows.

“How is she?” I asked carefully, trying to ascertain the mood today.

When I’m in my room, I could never hear what was going on downstairs. Sometimes I was grateful for that, because it meant I could unintentionally ignore the screams of my bantering children, with no guilt at all. It was bliss.

“You know your mother,” my father said, non-committally. “She’s not in the best of moods. This morning we had a big fight about the renovation she wanted to do on the kitchen….”

Gosh. Another renovation? My mother really took the trophy for most cosmetic renovations in the least amount of time.

”And now she’s taking it out on my poor daughter-in-law…”


My father got up slowly to go back down, hopefully to kill any tension, and I took a deep breath to steady myself. I didn’t even ask him more. I felt like there was a tangled up knot in my tummy now. I felt bad for Khawlah, and of course, Dayyaan chose the perfect moment to literally run in and take a giant leap-bounce on the bed, almost kicking my head off in the process.

Honestly, the boy was getting out of control. Completely.

“What the hell is wrong with you?!” I screamed, reaching out to smack him… clean across the face.

The smack was painfully audible, and I saw him flinch as it was administered. He just looked straight back at me stubbornly, with his narrowed eyes, almost like he was only broken inside. Not even a single tear escaped his eye as he jumped off the bed and calmly walked out my room, leaving me in just a slightly enhanced state of despair.

I closed my eyes, the guilt now overtaking. Oh, the guilt.

And I knew that these behavioural problems were because of me. Us. While Danyaal has remained pretty unaffected, due to some miracle and spending the least amount of time at home… Dayyaan and Zia had been literally tipping me over the edge. All of these challenges had only started when Shabeer had come back, and I knew that all the arguing and bickering with Shabeer being here would do no good for the kids. I just wasn’t sure if a separation was the ultimate solution.

My tummy was, all of a sudden, feeling weird as I stressed about how I was going to work this all out. I had a lot of decisions to make and it was scaring me. Was I damaging my children permanently? Was divorce really the best option?

I put my thoughts on hold as I realised that I was due for a bathroom trip, and of course, it was right then that my mother chose to walk in.

“Rubeena,” my mother’s voice said acidly. I could already tell she wasn’t thrilled, “What is going on? Is something wrong?”

“What is she doing here?” She asked, with a frown. “And her friend. Two girls alone downstairs, Rubeena. I don’t trust them.”

I rolled my eyes internally. It would have been too obvious to do it literally.

“Khawlah’s here to help me, mum,” I said, sounding tired. “I’m pregnant and I’ve asked Shabeer to leave. Anything else?”

If my mother’s mouth could have dropped open wider, I’m sure a tennis ball might have fit in there. I had a feeling she had more to say, but I had shocked her out of it. It was the first time in my life that I had been so straight with her… so brutally honest. And it was about a time she knew the truth too.

“You asked him leave?!” She yelled, when she finally recovered. “Are you mad?! He’s rich and good looking. Shabeer is every women’s dream! You’re literally throwing him away to the dogs!”

“Let them have him,” I retorted, unfazed.

Now he was every women’s dream? How even?

“Why didn’t you call me?” She asked now, finally saying what she needed to. “If you needed help, I’m your mother. Why can’t you tell me?! I’m family.”

”Khawlah is also family, mum,” I said instantly. “And no matter how much you don’t want to accept it, the more I will remind you of it.”

Because annoying the crap out of my mother gave me a weird sense of satisfaction.

But of course I didn’t say that. I wanted to live.

Hmph!” She said, turning her face away to show me a point. I honesty didn’t have the energy to argue with her right now. If she wanted to be upset, she was really welcome to be. She looked like she was about to walk out and I got up, hoping to pursue that much needed trip to the bathroom.

But of course, my mother was one in a million. Even when she was angry, she knew exactly how to rub it in. She could never be ignored. She stayed put and glared at me, while I put my bedroom slippers on, trying to remain oblivious to her death stare.

”Tell her to leave,” my mothers icy voice said.

I blinked in surprise. This time, my mother had really lost it.

Tell her!” My mother pressed, standing up and putting her hands on her hips bossily.

I shook my head and frowned.

“Ma, I’m not in a state to deal with-“

”I’m here now Rubeena!” She practically screamed. “This is not for everyone to see and talk about! They’ll just make fun and then the whole world will know that Shabeer left you! And then I… and you… you’ll be so embarrassed.”

I raised my eyebrows. I was sure that there was more to this. This had nothing to do with my embarrassment. It was all about her.

“Just tell her to leave or I will!” she snapped

Oh goodness. My mother was really something else. And all this time, my bladder was taking the toll.

”Okay, okay!” I said hastily, really annoyed. “Just let me use the bathroom and I’ll speak to her. Just… wait. Don’t move!”

I had to be clear with my mother, before she took things into her own hands. Why was it that only I get into predicaments like this? Was there a sticker on my forehead saying “guilt me… I’m easy”? Maybe I took things too personally.

And of course, as I contemplated the words I would use to tell Khawlah to leave, I didn’t expect what would be waiting for me as I took my much needed trip to bladder relief.

And to spare you the gory details, it wasn’t just a false alarm. This was big stuff. I supposed it kind of explained the mood swings and everything that usually came with it.

My heart was frantically beating in my chest, as I rebuked myself for all those times I complained about the pregnancy. All those times I wondered how I could be so stupid. I wanted to kick myself for every moment I had spent in despair, wondering how I was going to handle another baby. And now, as I digested the obvious, I couldn’t help but think about how much would change now… if there was no more baby on the way…

Had I brought this upon myself? Were all my decisions and presumptuous actions finally catching up with me?

Oh, the guilt. The guilt was eating me alive.

I hastily pulled the door open, knowing that my mother would probably have a lot more on her plate now that she bargained for. My body was feeling limp as I swallowed, trying to formulate the words to say what I needed to. I just hoped my mother didn’t send Khawlah away as yet.

Well, even if she did… She kind of asked for it, didn’t she? 

She wanted to be the one  in control, and now she was going to really have to step up.

“Mu-um!” I screamed, my voice sounding scarily shaky, even to myself. “MUM!”

“I need to…”

My mother came into view, from where she was sitting, looking at me like I was a crazy screeching woman. If only she knew. I breathed in again, trying to steady myself.

” I need to get to a hospital,” I said shakily, unable to control my panic. “And fast!”

So, I got in a bonus post. Next post will probably be after Saturday. I will try and keep to twice a week, Insha Allah! Much Love, A

Sunnah Reminder

I’ve often heard that the personality of Nabi SAW was such that he spoke when necessary and always gave an attentive ear.

Aisha raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) said: And this is how Allah’s Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) used to utter (so distinctly) that if one intended to count (the words uttered) he would be able to do so. [Muslim]

We have been given two ears and only one mouth for a reason. Whenever somebody wants to share a story or just wants to talk to you, turn to them and listen to them attentively, as if only the two of you were in the room.  When somebody talks to you, really make them feel that you are interested in what they are saying.

How easy to practice- being a good listener is part of good akhlaaq!  

Let’s revive this Sunnah Insha Allah.

IG: @thejourneyingmuslimah

How easy to practise!

#revivetheSunnahof Sleepingearly






Twitter @ajourneyjournal



Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


The biggest mistake as Muslim parents living in a western world, is that we believe our role as parents is like any other parent. What other kids do, ours must follow suit. Furthermore, how other kids are raised, becomes the norm for us as well.

The painful truth is that western parenting methods have a really big glitch. The fact that kids can be vocal to an unruly and disrespectful extent, can often create disagreeable adults. Disciplining your kids in a western society with a simple smack, is a definite no-no. In short, any attempt to show whose boss and to mould your kids into straight and refined individuals who think before they talk, and ponder before they act, is taboo.

The thought came to me as I drove to my mothers house one weekday morning during the holidays, in an attempt to occupy the kids and also get the long awaited meeting with my mother over with. Zia had been recently re-exposed to one of the catchiest tunes of the century and was now ‘baby-sharking’ at peak volume, despite me going crazy on him from the drivers seat.

Now, I had been warned by Adam to filter their YouTube videos. I had been trying to get them to watch good stuff, instead of the usual crap, because killing their addiction completely was proving difficult. But yesterday, upon Shabeer’s request to meet with him at a restaurant so he could spend some time with the kids, a unhappy little boy at the next table sat and watched the “doo-doo-do-do” video about seventy-five times in one sitting, despite protests from other annoyed customers, just so that his parents could eat in peace.

I was appalled. And of course, if I didn’t know better now, I couldn’t help but think to myself- that could have been me! Actually, if nothing had changed in my life, it would have been me!

And of course, even as an exceptionally good-looking version of Shabeer stole glances at me, trying to figure out exactly I was thinking as he pretended to listen to the kids, I couldn’t have been more grateful for seeing the light. Now, while my kids talked, colored and even uncontrollably giggled, I was so much more at peace because I knew that they were in a much better place than ever. Technology-free was bliss. Without the constant need to take selfies wherever I went, to show the world that I was having a good time, when I really wasn’t, I honestly felt so much more… free.

The thing is, if anyone had to ever ask me why my children were suddenly so well-behaved, I knew I’d be able to say it without a hitch. It was only when I had found the peace within the shade of Allah, that I noticed the difference in them. When I started covering myself, stopped sinning and started praying, it was like a huge cloud had been shifted out of our vicinity, and all that descended on us was serenity. Peace, that I had never, in my entire life before, ever witnessed. The fact is that our lies, deceit, gossip and general disobedience to our Lord’s commands not only affect us, but cause a huge glitch in our network.

To be able to keep a firm hold over your child, despite the situation, was a gift indeed. As was the practice of the old, prince and princesses, dukes and duchesses, were taught differently. Likewise, Muslim children are special, and it has nothing to do with having a sense of false superiority. Our responsibility as the Ummah who was given the last and final messenger is a huge one indeed. Where other nations were sent multiple prophets, and multiple books, for us was reserved the one guide and one manual, which undoubtedly has such conviction and amazing insight to last us till the end of time. And we can never understand the gift on being brought up with Imaan (faith)… and the responsibility as a parent in fulfilling this trust.

Parenting is no walk in the park, but when we truly understand that we are to be shepherds over our flock, we will understand the true beauty of the responsibility that Allah has entrusted us with.

Abdullah ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock. The leader of people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian of his family and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and his children and she is responsible for them. The servant of a man is a guardian of the property of his master and he is responsible for it. No doubt, every one of you is a shepherd and is responsible for his flock.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6719, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1829

And as much as I sometimes looked back on my life and wondered if I really had done the right thing by bringing these kids into a marriage that I knew was not the strongest. I had to understand that what had happened was all in its place, and what mattered now was how I got through this. Getting married young was my idea. I wanted what I wanted. I wanted who I wanted. And I was the type that would do anything to get it…

Well, look where it got you now, Ruby, I told myself cynically. All that go-getting didn’t serve me very well in the end.

I tried to put the thoughts at bay as I breathed out and scooped a few more spoons of pasta into the three bowls I had taken out to feed the kids. Where Danyaal had always been easy about what he would eat, the other three were difficult to please. Most of the time it was either pasta or chicken pops. I honestly wondered if they didn’t get sick of the same diet, but it definitely made things a bit easier. I wasn’t the most ambitious cook, but nutrient wise, I wasn’t sure how good it was.

”Yummy yum,” Dayyaan said as he reached for the bowl in haste. I couldn’t resist to smack his hand away, with an irate glare.

Ask first!” I snapped at him, annoyed at Dayyaan’s general habit of helping himself to anything he had an inclination to. Where Danyaal would always ask, Dayyaan often took matters into his own hands. His independence and general attitude was starting to get on my nerves.

His face immediately fell, and of course, I couldn’t help but feel guilty. Was I being too hard? Too stern? Too mean?

Where was the balance between disciplining my kids and doing permanent damage? I was still struggling to get it right.

“Go and take a seat, and I will bring it for you,” I said now, my voice a little less harsh.

I seated them and placed their bowls in front of them, getting ready for the big talk with my mother that I had planned. I hadn’t told my mum about Shabeer and I also knew that Adam was immensely relying on me to smooth talk my mother into letting him make his own choice for marriage.

”Where’s Uncle Aadam?”

Danyaal was looking at me questioningly as he scooped up the last few grains of my mother’s Breyani. If I wasn’t mistaken, Danyaal had seemed a bit quieter than usual these days. He also looked a bit worried.

“I think he’ll come later,” I said, not really certain if what I was saying was true.

“Adam, not Aaaadam,” Dayyaan said, munching on his pasta as he frowned.

Despite Aadam having his own place, he still stayed with my parents most of the time. Recently, though, I wasn’t too sure.

“Khawlah says the Arabic name is Aadam,” Danyaal said, matter of fact.

Dayyaan was easily convinced.

“Isn’t Uncle Aadam getting married?”

Dayyaans question was directed at no-one in particular, but I immediately felt panicked  when he said that. I wasn’t sure when or where Dayyaan had heard it, but the information that kids had picked up involuntarily was scary. I could only assume  that my mother must have said something with the kids around. We really had to be so careful about what little ears may hear.

“No he’s not!” Danyaal said, clearly irritated. “Nona says he doesn’t like that girl. He’s too fussy.”

I really wished that I had zips that I could use to shut my kids mouths. Zaydaan, who had just started talking, never missed on opportunity to out-talk the others. It seemed like the only two words he had caught there were the most incriminating.

”Nona fussy,” he said, clear as day, just as my mother waltzed into the kitchen. I took one look at her and I could already see that she wasn’t too happy with me. I mean, what was new? I honestly wished that I had an invisibility cloak that I could throw on, at that moment.

Now, if you haven’t met my mother, let me just do a quick intro. To put it lightly, my mother was, and always had been, the most upright and sophisticated woman in the extended family. Maybe even in the entire town. My mother seldom wore flats, always had her hair done professionally and her face was always perfectly made-up… to the tee. Personality wise, in short, she was a force to be reckoned with. As you can imagine, I struggled throughout my childhood to meet her expectations, yet still fell short. To my mother, status was important. Excessive wealth was a necessity. And , of course, presentation was everything. How you looked, essentially,  could make you… or break you.

“Why are you turning my grandchildren against me?”

My mother’s glare was directed at me as she spoke.

“Ma, I -“

She cut me off with a simple wave of her hand and called for her helper to take the kids outside. I was glad that they wouldn’t have to hear the rest of the argument. My mother and I always had a strained relationship but I never minced my words when it came to the truth, even if she didn’t like it.

“Mum, they’re kids,” I explained, obviously annoyed. “I can’t control what they say-“

”Oh Rubeena, don’t give me that,” she said dismissively. “As it is my own son doesn’t respect me and my opinions, now your kids are heading the same way. Do you want to turn the whole world against me before I die?”

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Now she was blaming me for Adam and his lack of interest in her friend’s daughter.I had no idea how I got sucked into all of this… as if I didn’t have enough of my own troubles to worry about. I was sure if I told her about Shabeer leaving, she would probably blame me.

”Mum, you do know that Adam is not a baby anymore?” I started, knowing I needed to address the bigger obstacle here.

“Yes, but he’s never been this way till he met that girl!” She retorted, stating exactly what the problem in her eyes was. “And he would always listen! I do know better than you’ll and I know what’s best. If you had listened to me before you chose that husband of yours then you would have been in better place right now! What did I say? I told you to watch out. I told you that Waseem would come around. But no, you wouldn’t listen. As usual, you just went and did what you wanted!”

Of course she would bring up the tragic past and throw it back in my face. Waseem was the son of my father’s friend, and a childhood acquaintance. Yes, we would play weird pranks, watch DSTV together and have a ball while our parents socialized, but he was never a serious type of guy. He messed around a lot as a teenager and I knew he wouldn’t have committed to anyone at that stage. Of course, when I saw him, post-adolescence, a few years back, he changed his life in such a way that I actually couldn’t believe he was the same guy. I was sure that my mother would be shocked too.

“This is not about me and the choices I made,” I said through gritted teeth, knowing now that my mother definitely knew more than she was letting on. “Adam can make his own decisions and he doesn’t let anyone tell him what to do. Why would what I say even affect him? He’s a grown man who can think for himself.”

She scoffed.

“He’s my son and I know what’s best for him,” she said without a hitch. “He’s handsome. Wealthy. He’s got international investments… and of course, he’s reached a platform that no-on his age has ever reached, in his industry. He deserves the best and I would know that, better than anyone.”

Ugh,” I said, infuriated by her boastful attitude. A few months ago, her saying all this wouldn’t have worried me… but now, all I could think was; didn’t she know that there’s more to life than that?

She was living a painful deception.

I also knew that she was having a go at me because I never got so far with a career.

“He’s not perfect, you know! He has faults too!”

I wasn’t sure where I was going with this, but I know that she was getting to me. I had to recheck myself, review my intentions, and I took a deep breath as my mother raised her eyebrow at me. I had to get back to the point of the discussion.

“I’m just saying,” I said, a little softer now. “I know you love him. And he loves you. He does respect you, and he’s begging for you to just listen… He’s wondering why you can’t see things from his perspective…”

She shot an unhappy glance at me as I said that, obviously feeling that I was overstepping the boundary. That was the problem though. There had always been boundaries. Respect, I understood. Of course it had its place. Obedience, I understood. That went without saying. But as a child, I had to always watch my own feelings so carefully because I could never show if I was hurt, upset or even feeling broken inside. For my mother, emotion was a sign of weakness. No matter what happened in life, to be an unwavering pillar, despite the ups and downs that came with life, was the only way.

I wasn’t sure if I saw right but there was a flicker off something unfamiliar in my mother’s eyes before she finally spoke.

“Mum, he wants to get married,” I said finally. “He’s changed so much in the past few months, and I know you’ve notice it too. Don’t be so hard on him. That ease… that enlightenment… that complete peace that he’s found now, Mum, I know that it’s not normal. I know because I’ve found it too.”

She glanced up momentarily. If only she truly understood. That moment of pure freedom… that loneliness that comes with complete and utter submission… its more precious than life itself .

”I’ll talk to him,” she said, her expression now back to the usual stagnant and in-control one. My mother was a difficult person, but I knew that she would do anything for her son. Well, a least I hoped…

I left my mothers house feeling a little more hopeful that day, and not like a complete failure of a sister.

Knowing Khawlah was coming later that day got the boys all excited, and since she told me she wanted me to have a small break while she was there, I took advantage. I made a point of not telling Adam because I wanted to give it some time before he met her officially. I didn’t want to put fuel in the fire regarding my mother either. I just didn’t think that the excitement of my boys would get to my brothers ears, and of course, as I drove in after my 90-minute Thai massage , feeling all calm and relaxed, despite the pouring rain, I didn’t anticipate what met me as I parked my car and stepped out.

That’s of course, when I saw Adam coming down the stairs, and of course, my feelings of slight anxiety immediately dissipated because on his face was the biggest and most genuine smile ever. He looked like he was in a rush but he came forward and greeted me as per usual, looking me in the eye with a look of pure delight, as he ran his hands through his hair. He placed the prayer hat he had in his hands back on his head and it really suited him.

Khawlah’s effect was obviously going further than just changing his frame of mind. If he wanted to marry a girl like her, he clearly understood that he had to step up.

I looked back at him questioningly, obviously wanting to know how Khawlah had taken the unexpected proposal.

“Rubes, I asked…”

I held my breath as he looked at me, and then broke out into an even wider smile. Of course I was already excited, as I hugged my brother in congratulations.

”Well, I think she said yes,” he said, rather comically. I smiled. “She was almost in tears. That’s a good sign, yeah? Or am I counting my chickens a little too early…”

He looked doubtful for a moment and I grinned. I already knew what her answer would be.

“Her brother’s coming back. We have a few things to sort out before the Nikah. Mum… Her father… and yeah, of course, I needed to sort some other stuff out…”

I was barely even listening to him as I started planning the event in my mind. Subtle decor, of course. Nothing over the top. Maybe white roses with crystals… or even orchards, with a neutral runner…

“Rubes, are you even listening?!”

I jumped as I looked back at him, slightly perturbed at his annoyance.

We would have to make a guest list of course. I’m sure they both would want something small and intimate. It was so much better that way. I was already picturing Khawlah in a pretty dress, as my brother would see her for the first time, as husband and wife. I was thinking candles. Pretty pastel colored candles with rose petals. The ambience… the atmosphere… I simply loved weddings and the romantic, cosy feel that it brought.

”You got that look on your face,” he said, his eyes dancing as he shook his head at me. “Just letting you know that we’re doing this the most conservative and Islamic way.”

”What?!” I said, peeved that he disrupted my virtual decor. I would start penning it all done later.

He wanted simple? Of course it would be.

“I asked about Shabeer,” he continued, his smile now just a shadow. “I can’t seem to find him. His phone is off and he’s not at his apartment. I don’t want to do any hacking again but if push come to shove…”

The panic was rising in my gut as he spoke about Shabeer, because I knew that sooner or later, I would have to tell him. I wasn’t used to hiding things from Adam.

“I need to talk to him because he’s the only one who can sort Hannah,” he said seriously. “The sooner, the better. Khawlah’s obviously in a state over everything that’s happened, and you know I won’t let it rest…”

I cleared my throat as my brother reached for his phone, while I stood there, a little unsure of whether I should spill out the truth or not. My heart was hammering in my chest.

“You won’t get him there,” I murmured to Adam, knowing that sooner or later he would find out.

I was visibly nervous and I couldn’t hide it. Adams eyes narrowed as he watched me, and finally rubbed his temples in frustration as I looked back at him in silence, not having the guts to actually say it.

“Wedding drama, right?!” I said meekly, trying to soften the blow.

“Oh crap, Rubes,” he said, visibly disturbed about the havoc this would most definitely cause… I knew that I had a lot to explain.

”You took him back, didn’t you?”

I knew that this was definitely going to cause a glitch in Adam’s perfectly-synced system…

But a little wedding theatrics never killed anyone, right?!

Note: sorry about the extra long post. There’s so much stil to be revealed and I know everyone is waiting for the Nikah- but we are getting there!  

Much love,

A 🌸


The beautiful character of Nabi (SAW).

The Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

“He who believes in Allah and the Hereafter, if he witnesses any matter he should talk in good terms about it or keep quiet.” [Muslim]

We often find ourselves in situations where we sit and talk about things that do not concern us. We waste precious minutes, even hours, just by talking about matters that will not increase us in knowledge, character or anything for that matter.

When speaking ill of a person or situation, the conversation becomes elongated, sadly due to the desire to gossip. The beauty of this particular Sunnah is that it will help you save time and reduce the amount of energy used to contemplate over irrelevant matters being discussed.

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!






Twitter @ajourneyjournal

IG: @thejourneyingmuslimah

Pants on Fire

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


“So how did it go?”

The question hung in the air for a few moments while I momentarily stopped what I was doing, leaving the jug with the cupcake mixture aside, while I took a moment to contemplate.

I was trying to do more for my kids. Trying to be a more available… a more ‘involved’ mum. The rainbow cupcakes I had promised Dayyaan could wait a few minutes more, though. I had to phrase my answer carefully.

“Well,” I started, glancing at my brother as he tried to read me, like he always did. Adam was an excellent judge of character, but I wasn’t giving anything away in my expression.

“I think it went okay,” I said, a little hesitantly.

Adam raised his eyebrows at me.

“Really?!” He said, sounding like he didn’t believe me. “So she just smiled and forgave them without reservation, yeah?”

Gosh. He was so cynical.

I pursed my lips, and picked up the bowl of batter, avoiding eye contact. It was time for a diversion.

I could hear Adam approaching me slowly but I continued with what I was doing as he sidled up to me, and suddenly wound up in such close proximity to my face, that I wanted to swat him away.

Liar, liar, pants on fire!”

He chanted it directly in my ear, stepping back now and shaking his head as he crossed his arms over his chest.

I jumped back when he made his accusation and blinked in annoyance. I wasn’t sure how he knew it, but Adam was the one person who knew exactly when I was saying something that wasn’t exactly true. My little brother always had a way to make me reflect over my words… I was quite peeved that he picked it up so fast though.

“So, did she take it as well as I did?”

I scowled.

Adam was smirking but there was noting funny about what he was saying. He was broken when he had found out… and even more upset when he realized what a huge scandal it turned out to be.

Now it was my turn to raise my eyebrows at him.

“Shut up,” I said to him impulsively, the irritation getting the better of me.

It just so happened that it was at that very moment that the kitchen door swung open and Danyaal waltzed in… of course an expression of shock on his face. He was obviously unhappy about something he had heard.

And of course, there was no way he would let it go.

“Mum!” He said in shock. “Did you just say ‘shut up’ to Uncle Aadam?!”

I looked at my son apologetically. He had started to call Adam, ‘Aadam’ from a few weeks ago. He had this perception that we were saying his uncles name wrong and I hated to admit it, but my seven-year-old son was right.

He stared at me accusingly now, almost like I had betrayed him. I didn’t like them to use language that was less than polite. I mentally kicked myself as I realized what a fine example I was setting. I often heard that kids don’t learn from what you tell them… they learn from what you do.

“I’m sorry,” I said impulsively, looking at my son guiltily.

Danyaal gave a sheepish grin, nodded as a sign of acceptance and then turned to Adam.

“Uncle Aadam, will you help me with my madrassa work please?”

Adam nodded and smiled. I wasn’t annoyed that he didn’t ask me. Danyaal valued Adam’s input because he knew what he was teaching them… and he did it so well.

When it came to schoolwork, I was always on top of things, but when it came to Sabaq… Sometimes I wasn’t sure if I was even saying the words properly, because I had been so lax with regard to my Islamic knowledge.

I knew I needed to work on it, but I had so many things going on. I felt my spirits lift as Adam told Danyaal that he’d see him in five minutes, and he scurried off to get his Madrassa bag.

I watched my son in awe. He was so sincere… so genuine in his efforts. He portrayed such passion and devotion, I knew, that was so hard to see in a little child. It wasn’t just his age. I knew that he was special. Different. Khawlah had told me this on different occasions, but the question that hung in the air was what brought me to tears almost every night.

What had I ever done to deserve this?! Such a star of a child? A lover of the Quran? For a kid of his age… with Television so easily accessible, and everything of the best at his disposal, even I could not fathom how he had turned out to be so committed… such a fanatic of Deen… so in love with every piece of Islamic history that he had read about.

What had inspired this, of course I knew…. but what I didn’t often want to think of, was that it definitely had nothing to do with me. It was just that I had, by some miracle, made one right move by bringing someone into their lives who would impact such a change.

The fact that I was still struggling so much wasn’t important, right? I mean, wasn’t it true that Musa (AS) was brought up in the home of the most abhorred tyrant? What defined him was that within it was his own mother, who was a woman who received Wahy from Allah, and who had  maintained contact with him, so he could grow into a Nabi and Rasūl of Allah. And of course who could forget the Queen of that palace, who through him acquired such unshakable faith in the face of her enraged husband, which was so recognized in her pursuit of truth, that she will be regarded as the best of the women of the world, till the end of time.

It was like my eyes had been opened after an eternal darkness. It was as if a clear vision was now brought right in front of my eyes. Seeing things differently now…. How lucky I was that my Creator was actually giving me a chance to try again….? How lucky I was that I had kids who were so focused and willing to learn..?

What did I even do to deserve so many favors..? Despite the trials that brought me closer to Him, and despite those things that I didn’t understand back then… how was I even entitled to such perfect ease…?

Lost. I had been so lost.

I hastily wiped the tears from my eyes before Adam noticed my emotion. I didn’t have to worry though..  Adam was caught up in his own thoughts, staring into space, in a world that I honestly wished I could get a glimpse into. There was just something intriguing about the way he was so pensively leaning on the kitchen counter right then, with his chin cupped in his hand and a thoughtful frown on his forehead.

I clicked my fingers in front of his face now, curious to know what was on his mind.

”I’m was just wondering,” he said, his dark eyes narrowing as he snapped out of it and spoke a little hesitantly.

“Did you talk to mum?”

My mother? I went blank for a moment.

“About um…”

I was still oblivious.

“About Khawlah,” he almost mumbled, clearing his throat.

I couldn’t help but notice how  he was so awkward when he said her name. It was so sweet, right? Like he was even modest about how he mentioned her.

But wait. What was he asking me again?

I mentally kicked myself. Again.


I swallowed as my brother looked at me, running his hands through his ash brown  hair and shifting uncomfortably.

This was awwwkwarrd.  

“Um,” I started, feeling like a crappy sister.

With my own drama that seemed to be unfolding endlessly for the past two months, I had completely forgotten that Adam had asked me to do.  I knew that there was great wisdom in consulting with learned people too. The following week was a meeting with a Scholar that Adam knew, who would advise me about divorce or what to do about my failing marriage, but the thought of speaking to a pious stranger about it was stressing me out.

Speaking to our parents too, had completely slipped my mind. More specifically, our mother. Everyone knew that a man could be easily persuaded by his wife, but mum was a force to be reckoned with. If I could just get her to be accepting about what Adam wanted, and his plans for making Nikah, I knew that my father would change his mind in the blink of an eye. Thankfully, she had not heard about the outrageous scandal. Yet. And if she did, I knew she would not hesitate to let me know about the less than worthy girl who I had introduced into her precious sons life.

“I spoke to her,” I said carefully, trying to save myself but not wanting to lie. “And she was a little better than before. Like, she was more… open.”

I bit my bottom lip and looked away, avoiding eye contact with my brother. I felt like how I had felt a few moments ago. Like a traitor. I couldn’t lie. I didn’t want to.

Yeah?! Really?”

Adam was looking at me with a hint of something unrecognizable in his eye. I knew I was going to hear more than I bargained for.

“So is that why she forced me to accompany her to her friend’s little ‘coffee date’ last week, so I could meet her incredible daughter?”

Busted. I was only trying to protect him, right?

Ah, fish. Ugh.

Adam’s expression was definitely not a pleasant one. Of course it wouldn’t be if my mother was still trying to set him up with random girls who he didn’t have any interest in.

This time he stood where he was and crossed his hands over his chest in a huff.

“Rubes, I just have one thing to say to you,” he said in a monotone. I braced myself for it.

“Liar, liar, pants on fire!”

I couldn’t help but crack a smile.

I wanted to giggle because instead of this super-intelligent nearly twenty-one-year old, he was behaving like a sulky four-year-old. Adam was clearly not happy with me, and honestly, I did feel bad about it… but really, he was making it so hard to maintain a straight face. I stifled my laughter as Dayyaan ran in, looking for his brother, and then looking from Adam to me as he noticed me finally give away to the giggling.

“Okay, I’m sorry,” I finally said, looking Adam in the eye. His expression was stony and I tried to put on a straight face as I spoke. “I promise I’m going to speak to her. Can we just get Khawlah in a better place first? Like, let’s just wait for this whole thing to die down… so it’s not such a huge scandal doing it’s rounds. I’m just giving it some time….”

Adams face softened. Danyaal would be waiting for him, and I knew that he had to get going too, but I needed to clear the air first. I just hoped he had it in him to forgive me…

“Rubes,” Adam said suddenly, and I couldn’t help but notice that look in his eyes. That mastermind web developer look that he often got, when I forgot that my brother was such an genius of a business man and not just my little brother. This time, I could tell he was onto something big.

He was pacing the floor now, ignoring Danyaals erratic shouts for him from his room and Dayyaan literally running round in circles around the kitchen table. Zia had somehow found his way to us and had joined in the fun too.

Adam was completely oblivious. He was definitely onto something really big.

“I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before!” He said, completely bewildered by whatever his train of thought was. He was pulling at his beard methodically before he finally stopped in his tracks and looked at me.

“I’m going to clear her name,” he said, with a faint smile on his face.

“But how?”

Indeed, how could he possibly clear a rumour of such ferocity? 

Oh, the lies. I sincerely hoped that someone’s pants were going to catch on fire.

“I have to go,” he said sharply as Danyaal screeched again. “But we’ll talk after. Your son is losing his cool.”

I was about to follow him but the sound of the front door opening caught my attention, and my heart involuntarily thudded in my chest.

After the burglary incident, I was still a little ruffled up, and I had made extra sure to keep everything locked. My heart was almost in my throat as I rounded the corner and saw a figure in the entrance hall, closing the door behind him.

Relief flooded through me as I exhaled, wondering if I was seeing right. Shabeer.

And then, of course, I just got furious.

“Hey babe,” he said as he saw me, stuffing his hands in his pockets as he stood there in expectation. “I missed you.”

After 10 days of no show, he waltzes in, almost as if I owed him something.  I wanted to twist his reddened ears.

Liar, liar, pants on fire. 

I wanted to shout it out, as he came toward me, leaning forward for some kind of welcome home. I made a resolution right there and then to never say anything untrue, even if it was to protect someone I loved.

I took a step back, giving him the most thunderous glare that I could manage.

The audacity.

“Please Ruby,” He said, with a look of sudden desperation now on his face.

I didn’t budge. I just wasn’t prepared for what he would say next.

“Please… I want to come home.”



P.S. Wonder if Ruby should let him come back…?   

Revive a Sunnah 

Revive the Sunnah of Not Over-eating 

Miqdam bin Madikarib said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) say:

‘A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one-third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.’” [Ibn Majah]

It is an underestimated fact that food has a dramatic effect on your body’s and brain’s performance.

This Hadith clearly highlights that overeating is a reprehensible quality we should avoid.

How easy to practise!




Twitter @ajourneyjournal

IG: @thejourneyingmuslimah


Super Heroes

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


In this thing that we call life, we all have our own battles. Our own victories. Our own heroes.

Heroes. We all have them- People we look up to. People who we admire or aspire to be. Sometimes our heroes are just regular people, like you and me. But what defines them, is a seemingly small gesture. A passing smile. A kind word. A simple but genuine ‘hello’, that takes you by surprise, in this ruthless world. It’s the fact that they stand out, that makes them heroic.

Sometimes, we don’t recognize our heroes until it’s too late. These people are the essence of integrity. They are the reason for hope in this ugly world. They are, the light that shines through, when you were so sure that the sun of  goodness had already eternally set.

Those heroes… they have something greater than superpowers. They have compassion. They have kindness. Most of all, they have an amazing ability to sacrifice their own needs to fulfill those of everyone else. They are selfless to the very core.

Because once in a while, Allah sends you your very own superhero who simply…. takes your breath away.

And it’s rare. So rare.

Because everyone in the world is out there for themselves. There are some people in this world who will do anything to kill your peace. To hurt you. To taint your shine.

As much as you may strive to do good, they are the ones who will bring you down. As much as you try to be the light, they will block it out. Instead of seeing the good things too, they will pick out and point out what is your weakness. Where you went wrong. What you need to fix.

When Hannah and Aunty Nas had left that day, I couldn’t help but feel a huge hole somewhere within my gut. Zuleikha had  tried to comfort me. She had told me that she would see if what Hannah was saying was true. She even offered to go to Rubeena and talk to her.

I had to refuse. I didn’t want the situation to spin out of control. I didn’t want to be in a deeper fix than I already was.

I sulked around for a few days, not able to control my feelings. Foi Nani tried to cheer me up. She had said that I needed to be a soldier. The warrior that I always was.  It wasn’t like me to be so negative. But the energy that Aunty Nas and Hannah had brought with them seemed to be contagious.

How was I going to fix this? How did I explain to Rubeena that I didn’t mean to put her in a fix. The memory of me leaving that day played over and over in my head, as I left. Did she let me go willingly? Was she upset with me? Was she just fed up of all her own issues that seemed to revolve around me?

I couldn’t make sense of everything. I felt like I needed to just go to her and speak it all out, but I couldn’t bring myself to face her. I thought I could try calling, but it was to no avail. I left a message. Rubeena had either forgot about me completely or just didn’t want to talk to me.

And amidst the emotional tornado that seemed to wreck havoc within me, there came a peak to the storm.

Foi Nani suddenly got really sick. Foi Nani, who we had kind of took for granted over the years. Foi Nani, who was always there. Foi Nani, who was our very own superhero.

It all started with a sudden fever. A sudden fever that no-one could explain. She was weak. She was shivering. Worst of all, she seemed to be completely disorientated. She had no idea what was happening, neither could she comprehend our explanations.

Abba had called the doctors home. They had set up drips. Antibiotics. Feeding tubes. Just to ensure she would get everything she needed. Even Ahmed came home to see her, and seeing her condition, he knew that he couldn’t take any chances. Despite his feud with Jameel, he wanted to be there with Foi Nani in her last stages.

That was when Zuleikha made the call to the UK, to Foi Nani’s long lost son, urging him to come and see his mother.

It was a long shot. We thought we would lose her before they came, and when they finally did arrive, I could literally see Zuleikha let out the hugest of breaths, as if she was just waiting for them to arrive before she finally let go. I supposed we all relaxed a bit, the moment they arrived.

Deep down we knew that Foi Nani wanted nothing more than for him to come home. She wanted us to know them. She wanted us to be a real family. It was just that it was a little too late for that…

Now you must understand, although these were my immediate family, I could barely remember their names, leave alone their faces. Abba had stood awkwardly at the back of the entrance hall as they entered, and I looked at my cousins for the first time in over 10 years. The eldest was a boy, who was a little older than me. Then came a girl, who was probably around fourteen. And the last was another girl who was seven. Like Danyaal. My uncle looked at us awkwardly as we went forward to greet him. We didn’t know him, but he knew us. We did the quick formalities before we guided them to the room where Foi Nani was.

And then of course, was the moment that would be etched in my mind forever. It was like Foi Nani just knew that her child had come home. I wasn’t sure how she could even sense him, in her induced sedation, as he held out his hand out to hold hers, I was sure she had reciprocated. Those moments of final consolation were just what we needed. I suppose it was just closure. Somehow, as much as I hoped I was wrong, I knew that the end was near. Against all my hopes that Foi Nani would miraculously pull through, I thought that this would be it.

It wasn’t long after that. That same night, as we locked up, it was Ahmed who was sitting at Foi Nani’s bedside when he suddenly called for us. Zuleikha had been staying over, and even during this extremely trying period, I noticed how Ahmed and Jameel avoided each other. As Ahmed, in a panicky voice called for us to come, our hearts were in our throats. Was this going to be it? 

And amidst the dreaded pain of what we may lose, it was a moment of pure affirmation for me. How quickly someone can be right there… and how fast everything can change.

This life was nothing but a really fleeting journey. A journey that we don’t realize, until we see the end. Our road is paved for us, but it’s up to us to build the houses along the way. We have to invest for that final destination. We have to earn enough to pull us through. We have to make it count in a way that we will see long after…. in the next world.

And that was Foi Nani. She had been there. She had been our constant. She was the one person who had never left us while we needed that something solid. She could have easily left us and went with her son overseas. He had asked her to come at the time. She didn’t owe us a thing. At a time when we were just four messed up little kids, she was our very own superhero, and for being that, we couldn’t be grateful enough. We couldn’t be thankful enough.

Foi Nani breathed her last around midnight that very night, with all four of us grandchildren at her bedside. My Uncle sat on the chair in the corner of the room and read Yaseen aloud. Ahmed was reciting his Qur’an loudly by heart too and so was Yunus. The moment when Foi Nani passed away, all I saw was a slight frown on her face, as her rooh exited, and then… it was just peace. Peaceful peace.

“The gift to a believer is death.” (Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1609)

And it reminded me so beautifully of what I had once heard about those whom Allah loves, who leave this world. For the true believer, there is no ‘death’… There is a mere transfer from this world to the next. SubhaanAllah.

All I could think of was… what more beautiful way can there be to leave this world? No machines, hospital bed or emergency. It was so controlled… so serene.

No more of this warped Duniyaa. No more hurt. No more pain. No more sickness. No more grief.

That was Allah’s promise. And of course, amidst the confusion and the overthinking, the consolation was that it was Allah’s will. Allah’s will. And of course, it wasn’t goodbye.

It was, till we meet again.

Foi Nani was buried that same morning, and during those last few days before Ramadhaan, life was somewhat of a blur for us. It was different to when Mama passed away, but in some ways, I felt the same. This time though, there was a certain relief, because I understood. I understood so much more. Foi Nani was not just a lifeless figure for me like Mama was. Foi Nani was now gone to a better place, with Allah’s will.

What was amazing was how the thought process matures and changes as we get older. Amazing how we see things in a completely different light as we grow up.

Thoughts plagued my mind. In my sleep, I was awake. In my wake, I was restless. That’s how the first few days of overwhelming grief are. They suck you in, and the only refuge is to let it all out and put your heart out to the One who knows you better than anyone else. And then, of course, I remembered. I remembered what I had forgotten. But how could I forget?

When everyone and everything else in this world has left, there’s still a constant. No matter what. No matter who. It was your Lord who was always there. He remained.

When they slept, He was awake. When they broke, He carried you. When no one else was there, He was. He remained. He always remains. Remember that always, Khawlah. Remember that. Remember Who you owe everything to. 

Although my heart was aching deep inside, the courage I sought was finding its way to the surface. It was like I was lost in a sea of emotion, and now, I was finally breaking the surface.

And honestly, it’s effect was immediate. As soon as the realization sunk in and hit me, things started to fall into place, piece by piece. Indeed, the miracle of putting your trust in the One who controlled it all, was just inconceivable. When you truly believe that all your worries are in the hands of Allah, He will take it upon Himself to sort it out.

I had seen many people at the funeral that day. Even Rubeena was there, but in my own emotional state, I had done nothing more than greet. Nusaybah sat at my side the entire time, like the pillar of strength that I needed to pull through. As for Aunty Radiyyah, she took over everything. Besides sorting out the ghusl (bath for the deceased), she went beyond what we expected. She saw to the feeding, she arranged extra help for the house, and she basically kept everything in control. At times like that, it was people like that who defined what Akhlaaq was. Beautiful character and pure compassion. Her true character showed in her selflessness, and as we thanked her, all she could say was that it was her duty. Mama would have been happy if she knew.

Although we had an influx of visitors at first, things slowed down towards the beginning of the next week and I could feel the grief subsiding. I still missed Foi Nani but the fact that acceptance was on its way, gave me the hope of breathing easily. The stages of grief were taking their effect.

Nusaybah would pop by from time to time  when she wanted to visit, and as it happened, there came a day when she called me to say she was coming and I really did not expect what she had brought.

I could barely believe it, as they all came into the lounge, one by one, I felt like I was coming to life again.

Not only was Nusaybah standing in passage, but so was Rubeena, Danyaal, Dayyaan, Zia and Zaydaan.

My heart swelled as I took them all in, blinking a few times as I processed exactly what was happening. They were here. They were all here, at my house, and I could not have been more elated!

I immediately got up from the sofa I was sitting on to greet, and I bent down as each boy came toward me, gripping them with all my might, just because I had missed them so much. The empty gnawing in my gut had temporarily departed as I grasped onto them, one by one. Danyaal, as usual, slunk back as I looked at him, and for the first time since I left, I felt like the hugest traitor in the world.

Somehow, I could just read him. I could see it in his eyes.

I had left him. At a time when he needed me most, I had deserted this precious little kid, and I wasn’t sure if he’d ever forgive me.

I swallowed hard as he looked away, and I could see that he was blinking back tears. He looked just like his uncle, and the resemblance today startled me. His lips were pursed together and he avoided eye contact, and all I could do to keep myself from audibly sobbing was reach out and drag him into the hugest of hugs I could muster.

I’m so sorry,” I whispered to him, breathing him in as he stood, almost like a statue. He still smelt of Nivea lotion and skittles. I soaked in the familiarity but he didn’t hug me back. He didn’t even move.

Give him time, something told me. Just give him some time. Everything will fall into place.

I fought back my own tears as I guided them to the lounge, but amidst the excitement, there was a certain uneasiness that hung in the air. My cousin, who was very much like me, was excited about the kids, and immediately took it upon herself to entertain them. With the kids now gone into the next room, it was only then that I recalled the tension with Aunty Nas and Hannah, which I had forgotten about for the past two weeks. Strangely enough, they hadn’t made an appearance since Foi Nani’s death and I actually found it a bit strange. I wondered if they were even around.

I offered a shaky smile to test the waters, and Rubeena came forward, embracing me affectionately as she said all the right things that made me tear up once again. I had felt exhausted from all the emotion, but as the days were going by, I was starting to feel more human again. The grief was no longer so… stifling. I could finally breathe easily, once again.

”I’m so sorry that we didn’t come earlier,” she said, and I could hear the sincerity in her voice. “We thought we’d give you some time. The kids really wanted to see you though. And…”

She paused, almost as if she was thinking carefully about her next words.

“We really need to chat,” she said, giving me a smile and squeezing my hand. “There’s so much I want to tell you…so much has happened… but… there’s no rush. When you are ready.”

I frowned slightly, curious to know what she wanted to talk about. I didn’t want to think about the past, and I knew Rubeena wanted to chat about everything that had happened too. With Hannah. With Adam. I was aching to know too.

With time, I reminded myself. All with time.

We chatted for a while and they listened. Every time I spoke about it… about those last few days before she passed away, the pain eased a little more. Speaking about it gave me a little more closure. I made sure we still read every day, because that was the only thing we could do for Foi Nani, now that she was gone.

”I’ll come see you,” I said to her as she eventually got up to leave, and she smiled.

“You have to,” she said. “I have to apologize to you properly. I’m trying to get on my feet now… it’s been a little hectic being a single mum.”

A single mum? I widened my eyes. What had happened?

I walked her and the kids out, taking a little time to hug them again, assuring them that if see them later in the week. I was feeling a little more relieved, and as Ramadhaan came closer, I knew that I wanted to sort the mess out before the blessed month came upon us. I wanted to make the most of it and for that reason, I felt the overwhelming need for closure with Rubeena. Maybe I would see her tomorrow. Maybe even sooner than that.

Walking to the doorway, I couldn’t help but hear Ahmed’s distinct laughter from outside, and both Rubeena and I turned to see what was going on.

It was quite unexpected, and actually surreal, because it had really been ages since I’d heard Ahmed laugh. He wasn’t exactly the easy type to humour. Yunus too, as I saw, was chuckling away, and so was my father.

After Foi Nani’s death, our house had been like a mortuary. We just went through the day-to-day rituals of living. But today… as I saw a little life in my brothers’ eyes, I couldn’t help but wonder what had inspired it. What magic had brought this on.

I turned my face away as I saw Adam there, not wanting to look. It was obvious that he had been the cause of the amusement, and Rubeena shook her head, embarrassed as she mumbled something about her brother causing a scene at a funeral house.

I smiled at her, assuring her that it was okay. In fact, after two weeks… we needed to smile again. Yes, we still hurt at times, but we needed to a little reason to lighten up, after the storm.

My heart was thudding in my chest for some strange reason, and Rubeena smiled at me as she stepped out, with a single sentence that caught me a little off guard.

”Whenever you are ready, we are waiting. All of us.”

I swallowed the saliva that had gathered in my mouth. Now I knew what she had meant… After everything that I had been through during the past month, a lot had changed. A lot had come into perspective. And I realized a lot of things I had tried to ignore before, because the fear of losing love for me, was greater that not having it at all.

But now I realized, that I didn’t need to be scared.

Through love… through loss… through life. Yes, grief was in its place, but there was always a little light in the distance. There was always a reason to live. I just didn’t know that the deal was already halfway sealed.

Yes, I was still in school. Yes, I was so young. Yes, there were so many excuses I knew I could make. Despite my reservations and despite my  answer not been given as yet, my family had already knew what was best for me.

And this was how it happens. You can’t set an alarm for these things. You can’t put them on your calendar. I supposed, when you least expect it, some people just ‘get’ you. They move you, in a way that you’ve never experienced before. They stir up emotions, from deep down, bringing a whole new understanding to life that you had never yet realized.

And of course, there he was. A little light in a tainted world. A shimmer in the hazy distance. There was a hope for us… because everything would soon fall into place.

Because in this ruthless world, there are people who stand out from the rest. They have qualities that make them shine. They have a warmth that they exude, and spreads to all those around them.

They are compassionate. They are kind. They see the best in every situation. They are those people who are a cut above the rest, and it’s only because of the beauty of their character, that makes them stand out.

And in our unlit world, we needed a little sunshine. We needed to shed some light into our darkened doorway. Yes, the love of a mother could never be replaced but with Allah’s will, after hardship and loss.. there’s a always a lesson. A reminder about life. A reason to return to Allah.

And of course, after hardship, always comes an ease.

Another super-hero was just what we would need.

Follow us on ig: @thejourneyingmuslimah

Dearest readers,

A reminder that highlights the main theme in today’s post. Death is the cutter off of pleasures, but for a believer, death is a mere transition into a more beautiful world. SunhaanAllah.

May Allah make us of those believers who earn Paradise and its beautiful pleasures. May He make us of the steadfast, and assist us in attaining the most out of this blessed month that comes upon us.

I’m thinking that this post will be the last post of season one, and I think it provides the closure that readers were asking for..? Shukran to all the readers, and I wish every one of you a blessed Ramadhaan. Please remember this sinful servant in your Duáas.

Sayyidina `Ali (r) said, “If Allah wanted to punish the nation of Muhammad, He would not have given them Ramadan nor qul huwa allahu ahad.”

P.S. Remember to make a timetable to assist in achieving all goals and aims in this beautiful month.

Rinsing the mouth after eating.

It is mustahabb to rinse the mouth after eating, because Basheer ibn Yassaar narrated that Suwayd ibn al-Nu’maan told him that they were with the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in al-Sahba’ – which is some distance from Khaybar – and the time for prayer came. He called for food, but he did not find anything but some saweeq (barley mush). So he ate some and we all ate with him. Then he called for water and rinsed out his mouth, and then he prayed, and we prayed, and he did not do wudoo’.

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5390).

How easy to practise!





Twitter @ajourneyjournal




Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

A reminder from Islamic teachings: Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The believer does not insult others, he does not curse others, he is not vulgar, and he is not shameless.

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 1977


I honestly think that there should be some sort of test that parents take before they are allowed to have a child. Something that gives them a permit to introduce little humans into this world. I don’t know about you, but from my experience, there are are few people in this world who can honestly say that they were never damaged. The fact is, we all leave the nest with a few dents and scratches. Some parents smudge, some parents crack, and then you get the ones who mess you up so badly, that it’s like you’ve been shattered into millions of tiny jagged pieces, that are beyond any sort of repair.


I jumped as I heard the sharpness of my mother’s voice, and then her usual cuss at me, breaking though my placid thoughts. I blinked in shock, almost terrified for what she may do to me. How long had she been standing there for?

I was already expecting the blow to come from either side, but my mother always found a way to surprise me, even when she was inflicting pain. All I could feel was her hand yanking my head back at my hair roots with such a force that I fell back, tumbling off the chair that I was standing on. Ouch.

“What the hell are you doing there?” She snarled, ignoring my whimper of pain as I  tried to get back on my feet. She stepped over me and pressed her own face close to the window, just as I had been looking out, as she peered out too.

I had been standing on the little oak stool upstairs that was stationed under the window, looking out enviously at the other kids who were playing outside.

Ugh,” my mother said, shaking her head and scrunching up her perfectly made-up face. “What filthy children. And that boy. So rough and uncultured. I can’t deal with these rude little children anymore. Their father will hear about this.”

She was visibly disgusted. At what, I wasn’t too sure.

Why didn’t they ever ask me to come and play? Why couldn’t I have some outdoor fun once in a while? Maybe it was fun being rough and uncultured.

I stuck out my bottom lip she glared at me for even daring to envy them, and then she tossed her hair back and lifted me roughly off the ground.

“Real ladies,” she said sharply, wagging her finger at me as her eyes bored into mine. “Don’t play outside. We are refined. We buy nice things so we can look good and find men who will look after us. Real men don’t like girls who act like them.”

I frowned as my mother pointed outside for emphasis, straightened her dress, and then turned around to leave.

I was only eight. What did I really understand about real men? I mean, I had seen things on TV about men and women… and I did know more than other girls my age, but I wasn’t exactly sure what my mother expected of me. I was too young to even know what having a boyfriend really meant.

I went back to my room, finding a little comfort in counting my money and putting in back in my stowage. I supposed it was kind of an obsession. A form of security, that made feel that one day… maybe one day I would have enough money to leave my mother’s clutches and just get out of there. Money was what the made the world go round, of course. It would be my salvation.

Of course, if I had my own savings, then there’d be no more fights about Mum overspending. She always used me as an excuse. Thank Goodness, when I grew up, I would have my own money and all that wouldn’t matter any more. The only problem was that… since the last time, there definitely seemed to be less money that I had counted. I shook my head to myself, thinking that maybe I had counted wrong. Mum was the only one who knew where my money was. I knew that she sometimes ran short, even when uncle Nazir was giving her so much.

I shook my head, already annoyed at my mother. From depriving me of the simple things that a child looked forward to, my mother took the prize when it came to manipulating her own child.

And so the cycle went on. By nine years old, I already knew that everyone out there was jealous of me. Jealous because I was pretty. Jealous because we had money. Jealous because… well, people were just jealous. It was the explanation for anything that people said.

Mum had explained it to me it on different occasions, especially when I would face opposition from a kid who had values that were daringly opposed to mine. We had, of course, got everything of the best. Mum made sure that her new husband would give us over and above whatever he had promised.

She had basically drained most of his savings in under a year, with demands for a new house and her other luxury expenses. Catching my mother injecting herself or popping some random pill happened much too often to even think it was abnormal. There were times, at the end of the month, when she would exhaust Uncle Nazir’s savings, and then, in her desperation, she would basically take anything she could get hold of. The poor man would come to our new house less and less, and the look on his face would just give it all away. I only knew the half of it.

Secretly, I felt sorry for him. I liked him, in a completely unromantic way. It was surprising, because with Mum always either putting men down, or looking for the next one who she could get something out of, I didn’t expect it. But the truth was, he was a decent man. Different from the other two men who Mum had made me meet on previous occasions, who always had ulterior motives. He had a softer side to him that made me feel like I actually had a real father. And then my mother, as always, would turn the whole situation around to get me on her side once again. She couldn’t risk me finding comfort in anyone else but her.

“All men are the same,” she would mutter, her face purposely distorted to show her disapproval. “It’s just you and me, Hannah. You and me. I know that no matter what, you’ll look after me, just like I’m taking care of you.”

I looked at her blankly. I didn’t want to make any promises, at that impressionable age. I still had my dwindling savings. I had found another place for it, just to make sure no-one got hold of them.

“See what I’ve done for you?” She gestured around her. “Just look. All this is for you, baby. This house. This life. These clothes. All this, I did for you.”

She was waiting for praise. For a ‘thank you’, maybe. The luxuries she had attained for us were all attributed to her own doings. For a moment, all I could think was that it was the biggest load of hogwash that I had ever heard.

It was a brief moment of realization that suddenly dawned on me. I had heard Khawlah talking once to her friend. Khawlah. I didn’t understand her, and neither did I like her… but it didn’t stop me from spying on her. They had these intriguing ideas about life that Khalid’s father had told him. It seemed like they lived in a different realm to us, with so much of gratitude and emphasis on thanking Allah.

My mum, on the other hand, never prayed nor showed any gratitude. She was relentless in her pursuit for the finer things in life. All along, as I had been watching the little girl from afar, I had learnt a thing or two. I just wanted some close up views. I wanted a glimpse into her life. I wanted to see a bit of the other side.

And of course, as expected, I watched her and her friend chatter incessantly about something so profound that I wished I could hear. I wished I could be there. And of course, I wished I was her. It was as if she had no worry in the world. At that time, I wanted to be just like her.

But it was only a fleeting moment of checking into her reality, and then it was gone. Because one moment can’t erase the past. One drop of purity in a toxic solution can never remove the poison. It doesn’t take a moment to eradicate the venom of the past.

And as I fixated on what Khawlah had, I forgot about being grateful, and the jealousy made a show. Of course, it was bound to come. And even as Mum told me all the things that I knew were probably the hugest lies a mother could tell her child, somehow, I couldn’t say what I knew was the truth.  I wanted it to be us against the horrible world. I wanted to believe that she had really done all this for me, and not to satisfy her own extravagant desires.

I smiled at her as she squeezed my shoulder, almost to assure me that she was for real. That was the moment that it all changed. A moment that transformed the innocent little girl into a manipulating young girl. The moment where I chose wrong over right. Darkness over light. The moment when I ignored what was so evidently pure and true, and opted for the skewed version that would haunt me for the rest of my life.

I was her daughter, after all, right? Her own blood. She never would do anything to hurt me.

Even when she left me alone with a man who she knew, just so she could get out to have her fix, she had still convinced me of too. It would make me stronger, she argued. It would build my confidence. She said it would get me to realize how unreliable men really were, when all I achieved in those torturous moments were more damage. More damage and more destruction.

Afterwards, she cried. When she finally came down, she cried and cried. She apologized. She said she would never do it again, as she clung onto me for dear life, begging me to forgive her. But it was too late. I was already broken inside. I stared back at her with an empty hopelessness, because we both already knew that the damage was done.

The years kind of passed by in a blur, and arguments, whispers and strained conversations had become a part of my life. I barely saw my father. Mama had convinced me that he hated me too.  I pretended not to care. Again, when Uncle Nazir divorced my mother, the bitterness I felt was indescribable.

There we were, once again, rejected and literally out on the street, because some man had decided that we weren’t good enough for him. My mother had, once again, proven to me that there was no-one else I could trust but her. It was never her fault. In her own torrent of drugs and rage, she made it clear that we would never depend on a man again. Talk was cheap.

And that was the precise time when ‘boys’ became interesting to me. Looking for the comfort I never got, I sought it. For some reason, she didn’t care about the guys I would meet. She didn’t ask where I had met them either. They were merely experiments for me. Learning from my mother, I had learnt to push a man to the limits, to get what I wanted. I didn’t hold back of myself, but my emotions, on the other hand, were always in check. I would never love a man, I convinced myself. To say I had trust issues was an understatement. I would never put myself through that.

And then, of course, in the most unexpected way, I was taken by surprise.

Seeing Khawlah again after so many years brought back so many memories. Some of them were good and some were just… dark. Really dark. Life hadn’t improved much since then. Numerous boyfriends had promised me the world, but I would bail on all of them at some point, never convinced of their empty promises. As usual, Khawlah had the best of friends and always got long with everyone perfectly. I wouldn’t have been surprised if she had the perfect boyfriend too. Life was just unfair like that.

Being put in a school where most people were pretty normal, however, was good for me. I strove to fit in. I needed extra money too, and when I heard through a friend’s friend that someone wanted help looking after their kids, I thought it would be easy money. All I had to do was entertain kids for a few hours and I would get paid. It didn’t get much easier than that.

But there’s always a catch. I found out pretty soon that Khawlah had worked there too. That news broke my confidence as I witnessed her effect. That carefree happiness that she had… I could see it in those kids. They would not stop talking about her, and the amazing things she did with them. Here she was again, stealing what supposed to be my show. I was honestly sick of hearing about her, but I gritted my teeth and stuck it out, because I needed the money.

As for the lady I worked for, she was just freaking annoying. She acted like the entire world was about her stupid schedule. Obviously, I never showed her how stupid I thought she was. I was an expert at putting on a facade by then. I smiled and encouraged her to get herself on top of things, because I knew that more time would mean more pay.  I offered to look after her kids till late at night, if she had an extra class or a date night with her friends. I told her she needed to look good. I told her that everything would be all right when she got home, because I was there. I was good at convincing people. I was just as good at playing the good girl role, that I knew Rubeena wanted. It was just that matter how much I tried, she made it obvious that Khawlah was her favorite. And that was the moment that I finally cracked.

I didn’t anticipate it happening, until it actually did.


I blinked as I snapped out of my thoughts, a little annoyed that I had been disturbed. The kids were busy with their evening shows and I was catching up with social media feeds as I kept an eye on them. Well, kind of. The two bigger ones were jumping on the couch, but they didn’t listen to me when I told them not to anyway. I had just started working on the evenings two weeks ago, so the evening behaviour was a little strange to me.

I looked at the stranger who had walked in,  and I tossed my hair back and smiled. It was what I always did when there was a male in vicinity, and if I wasn’t mistaken, this particular one wore a Rolex. That definitely meant something to me.

At that stage, I wasn’t sure who he was exactly. Maybe the boy’s father. Maybe another relative. He smiled back at me, as he watched the kids jumping around.

“Looks like they tired,” he said, raising his eyebrows and stuffing his hands in his pockets.

I shrugged, indifferently.

“Their mother makes them sleep,” I said, not prepared to go down that road. It definitely wasn’t in my job description. There were limits to how far I would go to make money. Or were there?

He nodded, and for the first time, looked at me with something a little unrecognisable in his eye.

Was it interest?

Of course. I knew that look.

“I didn’t get your name, sorry,” he said, still looking at me intently. “Which one are you again?”

I blinked, somewhat taken aback by his question. Which one?

That probably meant that he hadn’t met Khawlah as yet. Khawlah, who the kids wouldn’t cease to bore me with details about their exquisite adventures. Khawlah, who had reached such an amazing height of recognition for them, that even after she had gone, they didn’t forget her. Khawlah, who I had lived for so many years trying to chase her shadow, and discover, by some miracle, the things that made her so unique.

There was no need to be subtle about it. After all, the damage was already done.

“I’m sure you’ve heard all about me,” I said, with the most innocent smile I could muster. “I’m Khawlah.”

Dearest Readers,

A bit of a darker side to achancetochange. I sincerely hope that I have not been explicit in any detail in striving to bring in a few lessons before we end of these chapters that are also a part of Khawlah’s story. Please make Maaf for any shortcomings. I am always open to criticism. I will be highlighting the harms of free intermingling, and we can very evidently see them above. As parents too, we have so many responsibilities to bring our kids up with a good balance of confidence and modesty as well.

May Allah save us all from the fitan that has gripped our community. May Allah grant us sublime contentment.

In preparation for Ramadhaan, this week, Insha Allah, let’s try and bring in a little about the Sunnah of eating, as touched on in the previous posts. I will try to keep it short, simple and effective🌸

Eat in Three Parts

Nabi SAW taught his Ummah something to protect them from diseases caused by eating and drinking. He said, “The son of Aadam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Aadam to eat a few mouthfuls, to keep him going. If he must do that (fill his stomach), then let him fill one third with food, one third with drink and one third with air.” [15]

How easy to practise!





Follow us on ig: @thejourneyingmuslimah

Twitter @ajourneyjournal