The Not so Little Things

Bismihi Ta’ala


Part 84

Life is so uncertain.

If nothing else, it was one amazing lesson that I learnt from Zubair… the days when everything felt so new and amazing and I couldn’t imagine how I was so blessed to finally be there with him, that he wouldn’t miss a single chance to show me everything that he needed to, when it came to how he felt for me.

One thing I learnt during those days was that to keep going strong, didn’t always mean big, grand gestures that shifted the world. Girls get carried away by diamonds and perfumes and all the expensive stuff that are meant to prove love, but Zubair showed me that sometimes there was more truth in small, consistent things that made the world of a difference.

Little things like 5am sunrises and 7pm sunsets where you’ll be blown away by. Little things like Sunday morning motor-bike rides and on-a-whim road trips, and the feeling of wind in your open hair. Little things like the high you get off making someone else feel good, and for being the kind of people who make others realise that maybe the world is not such a harsh and cruel place after all…

It was always a tough call to make, but whether it’s a small act of kindness that was shown, or a little deed that is done that may just make your Jannah… living for the little things sometimes will make you realise that its those small things that make you feel alive…

There were tiny, beautiful gestures that he always made a habit. From the Tahajjud wakings, to the breakfasts in bed, and the post it notes that had the most amazing inspiration, Zubair’s character shone through in even through the not so little things he did.

And while I wished that I had a longer honeymoon period where I could just enjoy it and be with him unreservedly, soaking him in, but I knew that reality would intervene sooner than I thought, and his busy life would take over.

And although real life was quick to come into play, what helped was that in between, there were always the moments of fairy-tale like bliss and the cutest Fajr time conversations that made me feel like I was living a Muslim couple goals blog.

It was the little things like that that made me feel like I really was living a world where every problem that existed was so far away from us. When I lay next to him, in the dead of the night, while he would whisper to me incidents of his past, and sweet nothings as I curled up in his arms, it felt as if no one could ever touch us.

I didn’t know that life had a sneaky way of surprising us when we least expected it.

Just when I thought that things would be blissful forever, the next morning; his bed was already half empty, and instead, was the cutest little post it that was stuck on the lamp shade next to our bed, with a perfect sunflower right next to it.

I had no idea where he had found a fresh sunflower right then but reading the note made my heart bloom in more ways than the beautiful flower that was in front of me.

The past is the past. You and I are the future. Sometimes we find happiness in the most unassuming places. So grateful for you and everything you do for me. Alhumdulillah – Z 

My heart was already beating crazily as I read it, remembering the conversation we had the night before about his life and how he didn’t expect to get to where he was right then. Though we spent any free moment he had getting to know about each other, me pushing him to tell me about his childhood, his ambitions and everything I didn’t know, it didn’t ease the pain I felt when I heard it.

His life story was long and tragic and just thinking about it made me feel all sorts of emotional for the little boy that was once so lost. Every trial he faced, every time he felt hurt or rejected, and every little encounter that made him feel less than he was, was designed to build him into a better and stronger person. But it didn’t make it any less pitiful.

It explained why he didn’t always share what he did, or give more of himself. He was secretive to the point of exhaustion, and even thought I desperately wanted to know what he was doing for Hamzah, I knew he would never tell me, which made me resort to sneaky methods of finding out.

That day, Zubair had already left for his early morning routine in the gym Papa had once used at the end of the barn, and I knew that this meant that this was Zubair trying to say that it was time for him to get back to his usual routine, because he was a man who thrived in a disciplined kind of lifestyle.

But the little things still remained, as even in terms of my ibaadat, as I started my day with the Qur’ān that I had brought from home because the one Zubair owned was the one that he took everywhere with him. I had learnt that the reason he did that his reason for this was because whenever there came a time that he needed an answer, all he had to do was open the Qur’ān and all answers would come to him without even having to ask.  All we had to do was trust our Rabb and everything would sort itself out.

And though I missed Zubair already, I ignored the lovesick puppy vibes and dove into my recitation because I knew that whatever trials today would hold could only be solved through that. All success was from Allah. Through the little time we dedicated to Allahs worship during the mornings, we always make intention that it will build the foundation for a successful day.

And that’s what I was psyching myself up for today.

As I peeped in to the coffee shop, watching him see to customers, I couldn’t resist popping in between to offer him little spurts of affection in intermittent doses, despite his protests that I was distracting him.

My heart had been irrevocably stolen by the stories of who he was once… a young boy who lost his mother far too young, and grew up far too jaded than I’d like to think. I wanted to save him, to win him over, and to fix all those broken pieces of him that he couldn’t seem to fit back together himself. But first, I just wanted my sisters marriage to be okay, as much as Zubair himself wanted it.

That said, there were two things that I learnt about Zubair that I knew were most important for the current situation:

One. Zubair was trying every thing he could to save my sisters marriage.

Two. Zubair had painful secrets from the past that he hid excessively well.

What I learnt about myself was that I would stop at nothing to find out every one of those secrets that weighed him down, only so that I could shift the weight off those shoulders off his once and for all.

I had loitered around the coffee shop for most of the day, technically on my day off, but not able to stay away because of who was on duty.

Yes. I was officially obsessed.

Plus, those little love post-it’s were kind of making me swoon every time I caught a glimpse of them.

My mind was also consumed by everything I knew and even what I didn’t yet know, yet the urge to do something about it all was overwhelming me. I wanted Zubair to so badly make up with his father. It was something that I recognised as a deep desire in his heart, but there was something else that I recognised about them. They were both but from the same cloth, and that meant that neither of them was going to make the first move when it came to making up. His father seemed like he was a decent man who had just been scarred by the past. I refused to believe that he wanted nothing to do with his son.

What irked me more was that when I told Zubair that I wanted him to work things out, he had pinched my cheeks and told me that I was too cute for words. And I wanted to hit him.

Zubair was only three years older than I but he acted as if I was a little child. I would show him that I wasn’t. I would show him that I wasn’t a little girl with idealistic ideas and rose tinted glasses. That somehow, those dreams I had and idealistic thoughts would somehow materialise.

Most of all, I wanted Zubair to be the one who would benefit from it. He was the one who ultimately needed the saving. How do I help him, without actually interfering in his life?

I had retreated to the entrance of the kitchen later that morning, bored and needing to see my parents as a distraction. I sat for a few minutes at the back of the garden, under my favourite jacaranda tree, watching the stillness in the distance as the birds teetered around me, digesting everything before I entered the house again. It was weird to stay on the same property as my parents but Papa loved that I was there. Although Zubair had said that he wanted to give me my own house at some stage, he was worried about safety, and there was nowhere else that he felt safer right then.

A single flick of my scarf had loosened a sticky note that was probably stuck on me, and I couldn’t help but smile as I saw it.

You are my favourite place to be. – Z


I blushed and peeled it off to stick it at the back of my phone, catching the arrival of a new message a few minutes ago, hoping it would be my sister who didn’t reply to me from yesterday, but seeing Maahira’s name instead.

I instantly opened the message because it had been that long since I heard from her, and I really had missed her since I came from London. We’d barely chatted.

Maahira: Jamz. R u done swooning over your new man? Are the pyjamas stil in one piece? *winking emoji*
Where is my friend? I have some big news 2share.

I typed back a quick reply.

Stop. You’re making me blush. Mos is awol. I’m hoping her husband romanced her into oblivion. Tell me instead.

I knew it wasn’t fair but Maahira was making me curious and I really wanted to know her big news.

Maahira: Der have been some developments in the Samoosa run dept. I wanted her opinion.

Me: What about my opinion?

I waited a few seconds for Maahira’s reply.

We love you, Jameela, but you’re way too sweet and unassuming 2 handle this kind of drama.

Should I have been offended? This sweet and innocent perception of me was actually starting to get to me. Literally everyone …. And that means from my parents, to Mos and even Zubair, felt this insane and unfair need to shelter me from the world. It was as if they didn’t believe that I could handle reality.

My phone buzzed again.

Maahira: Let me know when you chat 2 her.  N tel her 2 stop ignoring her social media apps. I hav a feelin that Hamzah’s non-existence is rubbing off onto her. She hasn’t been online since yest.

Hamzah hated social media, and everyone knew that. And also, I was beginning to hate everyone treating me like a child.

I typed back quickly. Although she had literally called me an inexperienced infant, I needed to desperately confide in someone. I didn’t have many friends that I could speak to about this, and Mohsina was completely ignoring her phone.

Me: Wait, don’t go.

I typed quickly before she could ignore me. There was so much on my mind and there was no one better to ask right now but Maahi. It was a moment of truth.

I need to ask you about something important. I heard Zubair talking to Faadil on the phone. I wanted to know something.

Maahira’s reply took a while.

Maahira: Mhm. Can’t say I kno awl the answers..

But she may know this one.

Me: I just wanted to know who broke it off between him and Mos. He seemed to think that he was the one who didn’t want it anymore. But I remember otherwise when he came back for her. I feel he’s covering something up and Zubair is telling me nothing so I can’t even clear it up. 

Somehow, after knowing that Zubair was onto Faadil, I got this strange feeling that it was really important that I knew the truth. The fear that Faadil was actually sabotaging her relationship, with the help of who-knows-what-else, was haunting me.

Maahira’s reply took a while to come, but when it did, it was a lot to digest.

All I remember was Mos waiting for him at the apartment da one night after he met up with some woman (don’t ask, you’re too young for this talk and it was awkward asl to bring it up with her), and the next morning, she was at da hospital when Layyanah passed away, and she never mentioned him after. If I know Mos, I assumed she would have told the tiger on the prowl to take a hike coz she had too much else on her mind than to worry about him gettin what he wanted elsewhere. The next thing, her and Hamzah were fighting over who would be da better parent to Zaidoo n the rest is history.

I smiled at the last part, ignoring the wrenching in my gut at the mention of Faadil’s constant infidelity. Haraam always comes back to bite you in the behind, and I made a silent Duaa thanking Allah Ta’ala that I hadn’t went with my nafs and got to know Zubair before Nikah. The fact that everything was halaal and untainted was something that brought me immense comfort. I could not imagine the torment that Hamzah and Mohsina sometimes went through. Yes, they had both been wrong and been involved in haraam, but they made it right and I just hoped that they didn’t have to pay for it.

Even though it was history, from what I heard overheard Zubair say on the phone, it seemed like it wasn’t history to Faadil. He seemed to think that it was still unfinished business that desperately needed digging up.

I got up and typed in a quick reply to Maahira, thanking her for telling me and knowing that I would have to dig up more from Zubair if I wanted to help. I just wished that he trusted me more to let me in on everything that he was doing.

I slowly ventured into the house as I tucked my phone in my pocket, feeling a little out of sorts as I thought about everything Maahira had said. Hamzah and Mohsina were perfect for each other. Everything had proven that, and now that Mohsina had changed so much, I knew that if things were to go back to her being alone, she would become that distant and unreachable career woman once again.

Pushing the kitchen door open, I had to blink again before I noticed Nani sitting on the chair in the middle of the kitchen, silently getting on with her task.

“Oh,” Nani said as she heard my greeting, her voice slightly strained as she looked up at me with a toss of her dupatta and she studied me way too briefly for my liking, walking into the kitchen with loose sweat pants and a tee. “So you decide to make appearance now. After two days, it’s like we don’t know who you are anymore.”

I rolled my eyes to myself as I came around to greet her. It was technically one full day. But if Nani saw me with my eyeballs halfway into my head, I would have never heard the end of it.

I peeped over her shoulder as I went to switch the kettle on, watching her rolling something, her fingers folding some new type of Samoosa. Now that the wedding was over, Nani had immediately gone back into Ramadhaan mode and the preparations put a sweet sense of tranquility in the air.

I loved this time of the year, that held so much of hope and opportunity. When the hearts would be cured from worldly obsessions, and the starving souls would be nourished once again.

Ramadhaan was coming and I could feel the sweetness seeping into the pores of my skin, hoping that my body would take the message and start sowing the seeds for the new month that was to come. I had to rid myself of all evil thoughts and throw myself into the parts where I prepared myself for nights of ibaadat and days of soul-cleansing. I could feel the illness in my heart that needed to be cured.  I was deeply in need of reformation and I could barely wait for the effect penetrate. I knew that I had to start somehow, and I made intention to start sowing now, so that I could reap the fruits in Ramadhaan.

Trying to shove away all putrid thoughts was step number one and as I tried my best to stop judging Nani’s obsession with savouries, and start to focus on myself. In fact, I was becoming so good at focusing on my own faults for those few minutes, as I rounded the corner of the kitchen isle, that I didn’t even notice how quiet the house was right then.

I hadn’t spoke to my parents from the previous evening and I had been pretty much absorbed in the dramas that Zubair had uncovered about Mohsina and Hamzah’s marriage. It was all still on my mind, that I barely even noticed Nani’s eyes looking slightly puffy and red, as she dabbed it with a tissue.

It took me a few minutes to actually process what was going on, as I watched her, eyes squinted, still not able to fully comprehend the situation. Whatever I thought I was seeing was a very rare occurrence, and were it not for the obvious signs, I would have probably thought I was seeing things, but very clearly noting that Nani was emotional, was an absolute shock to me.

Nani didn’t usually get emotional. Ever. Yes, she did have tantrums and get upset when we didn’t listen to her. She sometimes even manipulated us into doing things we never really wanted to do. But for her to actually express an emotion that spelt some kind of grief, was extremely rare. To see it, in the flesh, was something that literally sent a shiver down my spine.

What on earth was going on?

I had missed out something major while I was busy honeymooning with Zubair, and for the first time, I actually regretted being so obsessed with my roguishly handsome husband.

Perhaps if I’d paid a little attention other members in the household, I would have known exactly what was going on. I looked at Nani, questions swimming in my eyes as she refused to meet my eye, understanding that there was probably a deeper reason for Ma and Papa being absent this morning.

“Nani,” I said, my voice shaky as I watched her almost robotically folding the square Samoosa, her gestures stunted and almost involuntary. I hadn’t noticed when I first entered, but now it was clear as day.

She sniffed and looked up at me, and I could tell without a doubt, that something major had happened.

“Nani, what’s happened?!” I asked, my voice almost frantic as I turned her shoulders to me, desperate for an answer. “Is everything okay? Where’s Papa?!”

Obviously, my first thought went to Papa, because there really was no other reason that could have evoked such a reaction.

”Papa is gone to Mohsina,” she said, her voice steady but feeling like a knife slicing through the air as she said my sister’s name. “To try and talk to her to change Hamzah’s mind.”

The puzzle pieces were slowly fitting into place.

Oh no. They knew about Hamzah and Mohsina. This explained it. It was all falling into place until I remembered what Nani had just said. As far as I knew, Hamzah wasn’t the one who wanted to leave. Why would they change his mind?

“To change Hamzah’s mind?!” I asked, looking at her in confusion. I understood the anger but Nani was just a little bit too bitter for me to digest. “Shouldn’t he be telling Mohsina to reconsider?”

Nani glared at me as I said it, shaking her head and clenching her fist as she said her next words.

”Hamzah was just here,” she whimpered in despair. “He came to greet me, and your parents. For good. He’s taking Zaid to his parents. Too much has happened, Jameela. It’s all Mohsina’s fault. I don’t know why Allah is punishing me like this…”

She broke down as she said it, and my heart contracted painfully as I watched her, holding my Nani as she wept into my shoulder, not even knowing what to say as I glimpsed a shadow at the back door.

“It’s just a test, Nani,” I said softly, not able to control the tears running down my own cheeks. “It’s only a test, and we’ll get through this. It will all be okay…”

Doesnt Allah say that He will test us? Are not all our luxuries just favours Allah has given us out of His mercy?

Indeed, He says that He will test us. With every single thing we own.

And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirun (the patient).

Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: “Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return.”

They are those on whom are the Salawat (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided ones.”

(Quran, Surah al-Baqarah, 2:155-157)

“Make Sabr, Nani,” I whispered, trying to coax myself at the same time, not knowing if I could hold it together much longer. Hoping that this was just a little speedbump that would be sorted out when I spoke to Mohsina.

My own voice was shaky and uncertain as Zubair’s face rounded the corner right then, and it shocked me that I already knew him so well just by seeing his expression.

From by the slight slumping of his shoulders, I could already see the defeatist attitude that had overcome him, and that wasn’t something that Zubair often wore. I wasn’t sure how I had missed him, but it was as if the visit of Hamzah had brought so much more than he had ever imagined, and not in a positive way.

I breathed in as I consoled Nani, hoping that my parents could work some miracles, but knowing from the look in my husband’s eyes as he approached us, that this was a dead loss.

“Zubair, tell me it’s not true,” I murmured, swallowing back the emotion that was threatening to overcome me as I let go of Nani, reaching out to grasp his hand. “Tell me that Hamzah hasn’t changed his mind about saving their marriage.”

Zubair merely shook his head, avoiding my gaze as his browner iris lightened as he looked up at Nani’s emotional state, knowing that this wasn’t such a littel thing after all.

“I’m so sorry, Jameela,” he said softly. “I tried to do everything I can, but Hamzah already made up his mind. Something else came up last night.  He’s already signed the papers.”

Dearest Readers

My sincerest apologies about the delayed post. I could just not stay awake last night.

My deepest appreciation for all the readers who love this blog and await the posts and my only hope is that we all go home with the lessons that we learn and try and implement them. Please keep this weak author in your Duaas.

Much Love

A x

Mission Sunnah Revival: Thinking well of others 

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

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

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

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

Sunnah of the month of Rajab 

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

اَللّٰهُمَّ  بَارِكْ لَناَ فِيْ رَجَبٍ وَشَعْبانَ وَبَلّغْنَا رَمَضَانْ

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

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

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

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

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

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

















Part 3: Chartered Changes


Bismihi Ta’ala


Being a woman in a male-dominated workplace is tough. Being a Muslim girl in the workplace is that much more challenging.

Often times I felt myself over over compensating. Going the extra mile. Making sure I never stepped out of line.

I supposed that’s why I was always watching my back. I wanted to be successful and I wanted this to work out. More than anything, that was my focus right now.

I turned to see Mickey (his real name was Mikael) approach and I let myself breathe a sigh of relief. Just another one of us. But just as well, the fun was over for this trip. It was time we headed back.

But wait. One more snap, before I left. I flipped the camera to face me, smiling widely as I tried to keep my scarf in place with the unruly wind. Perfect.

Now to post.

@mostlymohsina (my main Instagram handle and page) had approximately 6327 followers (well, the last time I checked which was about 2 minutes ago).

There were new follow requests every day though. Many were ex-students from the high school I attended, while others were people I had met along the way. I knew people spoke about my ventures. I had a knack of making simple things look super thrilling. That’s what social media was about though, wasn’t it?

Of course, then there were the few odd followers who I had no idea of who they were, but nonetheless, they were followers of my (seemingly) iconic lifestyle and I had to keep the game on for them. Things out there weren’t easy on the social media platform either. It was savage and it sucked you in, but I was already too far in to ever back out of it. In a way, it was my refuge too. When I was alone at night, it’s what kept me focused.

Ah yes, it was hard work. Keeping the posts and keeping people engaged. Sometimes a little drama was needed, just to create a new following and keep current followers hooked too.

Of course, I had to show the girls back home how amazing the corporate world was. Especially those who were probably sitting at home with a kid, browsing though social media, waiting for their husbands to come home. I couldn’t imagine that kind of life, to be honest. Maybe it suited other people, but it was far from what I had ever wanted for myself.

I was one of the lucky ones who had made it this far and I had to make it known.

The problem was, not everyone shared my sentiments.When I had expressed my views to Ma one day, she just gave me a:

”If Allah is happy with you then who else you have to impress?”

Pfft, as if it was so simple.

But she didn’t know. She didn’t know that the whole world was watching your every move, waiting for something in your life to go wrong just so that they could point a finger at you and blame it on your choices.

I turned my attend to Mickey who was gesturing for us to follow him. Hamzah wasn’t even bothered. The wind was blowing so fiercely right now that I had to shut my eyes. Why was the Cape always this windy?

Honestly, this was just doing sabotage to my impeccable hijab look.

”Come ON!” I urged Hamzah, getting impatient. If he didn’t follow I was prepared to leave the annoying sod to catch it from Faadil. I didn’t want to risk getting into trouble. “We need to make it before the bus leaves.”

“You mean, before bossman comes and hounds us for having a little fun when we’re allowed to?” Hamzah asked with a raised eyebrow, clearly knowing where my thoughts were as he caught me eyeing the time. 

I rolled my eyes at him. 

“Come on, Mos, don’t be such a suck up,” he moaned, turning to glance at me. “Get into trouble now and then. Besides, the guy needs to remove that carrot from up his behind.”

I rolled my eyes at him.

Okay, I’ll admit it. Faadil was a bit extreme with his bordering on oppressive manner and no-bullshit regime, but Hamzah had absolutely no respect for rules. None at all.

Although the two of them barely got along, there was no denying that the one thing that had gotten him selected for this trip was his genius auditing skills and ability to pink out errors in record time. He really was better than any one of us here, but he was too busy being a wisecrack to admit it. Of course, Faadil wouldn’t admit how valuable Hamzah was to the team either, because Hamzah just had a way of getting under people’s skin. And not in a good way.

I grabbed my backpack and slung it over my shoulder, ready to leave, not tolerating Hamzah’s nonchalant attitude. Work was work whether he liked it or not. 

I turned to look behind me as I heard other voices with Mikael’s, hoping the Liyaket and Layyanah would come back soon from their little escapade.

Oh yes, let me just give you the low down regarding them. FYI, those two are obsessed with each other but I really hoped that they’d see sense and break it off with no strings attached before it was too late.

The fact was that though they looked cute in theory, the painful facts were that while Liyaket Khan was a hard working and motivated guy from a small town who was out to make it for himself, Layyanah was a typical rich and spoilt Jo’burg girl from HR who had paid to come on this trip just so she could be with him. And though we got along and being with him was somehow bringing her down to earth, I didn’t want to be the one to break it to either of them.

Besides the fact that I knew that they would never work long term, I really didn’t have the energy to worry about their forbidden romance. As I said, my focus here was on the work. I wasn’t here for the drama. 

I trudged along, hearing Hamzah talking to the other group members behind us now, taking some time to clear my head for the work day. It was time I focused and got my head back into the auditing game.

It was obvious that Layyanah’s parents would never approve of him, and that was why she was sneaking around seeing him- but Layyanah was the type of girl who was used to getting her way. Besides her being spoilt rotten, I sincerely loved this girl and the last thing I wanted to see was any of them hurt. 

I sighed as I shielded my eyes from the sun, not seeing either of them nor hearing Hamzah come up behind me, sandals in hand as he adjusted his cap with the other hand. 

“Don’t worry about the two love birds,” he said bluntly, walking ahead of me speedily as I fell behind. The others were far behind and showed no sign of hurrying up. “They’ll find their way back before bossman notices.”

“Hey!” I shouted, running after him as he sped up, overtaking me so he’d be the first back. The conniving rat! I gritted my teeth as I tried to beat him back, whilst trying to look poised at the same time. It was impossible.

Oh well, I thought to myself, glancing back once more for my friend who was still awol. I was getting late. I suppose the two love birds would have to find their way back on their own. As always, I had to worry about myself. I mean, no one else was looking out for me.

Little did I know, this was about to change much sooner than expected. Not too far in the future there would be a wake up call that would change much more than just the way I thought.

Dear Readers

This new theme and story line is pretty experimental so please bear with errors or anything that may be offensive.

Obviously there will be great lessons to learn. I would also like to go into Sunnah revival, so if anyone would like any particular Sunnah to be mentioned, let me know, or we can start with the basics and work from there? I’m still struggling to balance my time and since posts may be a bit longer in future, I was thinking I can do just one a week. Or two shorter ones.

Comments and thoughts are always welcome. ❤️

Much love

A xx


Bismihi Ta’ala


As a child that was a little bit on the prickly side, I’d always been a little obsessed weapons. Like all boys, whether it was a stick or a hand-made shield, fighting and defense was always a game I’d love to play. My first toy gun was my life. I wouldn’t leave home without it in my pocket. Having that assurance of it right there somehow comforted me. As a kid… well, you just had to take your precautions right?!

And of course, as I grew up, it wasn’t like I suddenly lost that rigidness and learnt what the real weapons were. It took years, patience and many lessons… but if there was one thing I learnt through the years of being away, its that constant and sincere Du’aa can come to save you even when you least expect it. Yes, Du’aa. Prayer. 

The truth is in the profoundness of the concept. The weapon of the believer. The essence of worship. Through constant Du’aa, the fact is that even if it doesn’t get us exactly what we desire, most often it removes for us some obstacle in the road that we don’t covet. 

And from the most beautiful story of the Quran, with the most unparalleled lessons, there is a most extraordinary Du’aa. Some Ulema are even of the opinion that this Du’aa of Yusuf (AS), through its uniqueness, is the most beautiful of all prophets’ Duas. 

فَاطِرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ أَنتَ وَلِيِّي فِي الدُّنُيَا وَالآخِرَةِ تَوَفَّنِي مُسْلِمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ

The Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Wali (Protector, Helper, Supporter, Guardian)  in this world and in the Hereafter, cause me to die as a Muslim and join me with the righteous

In the story of Yusuf (AS), he asked for Allah to be with him in this world and in the Aakhirah. He asked Allah to be given the favour of being one of his special servants.
And from the very story, the lesson of Du’aa is undeniable.

The thing is… with all the years being away and not seeing my own parents… I never really thought I was missing out on much until I got shaken up. If I had to pinpoint the exact time when my life changed, I know that I could very easily tell you that it was a moment that I would remember for the rest of my life. Yes, I had every weapon at my disposal, but it didn’t help me one bit. It was not just the most terrifying moment of my life, but it was also the most defining. It was a moment the sky broke loose. When all was revealed. When a window to the other side of life was shown..

And everytime I raised my hands to make Du’aa, I couldn’t help but remember that hat a miracle it was that I was given a chance to be better…

Oh Allah, we are not worthy. This gift of the Quran, we have not even earned. Oh Allah, we have many crimes, Ya Allah. Oh Allah, we have transgressed greatly.
But oh Allah, You are the King of Kings. Oh Allah, make us dependent only on You. Oh Allah make us never ask of anyone but You. Make us Your special people. Make us turn only to You. Make us of the people of Du’aa. Make us of the people of Qur’an. Make us the companions of the Quran. Make our character the character of Quran. Make our hearts attached to the Quran. Oh Allah, make the Quran our day and our night. Oh Allah, make the Quran our entire life. Make us live with the Quran. Make us die with the Quran..
Oh Allah, choose us, Ya Allah. Make us Your special servants. Make us Your stars. Make us shine, Ya Allah. Out of Your kindness, accept us, Ya Allah. Accept this effort as we beg of You and ask out of humility…

Tears momentarily filled my eyes as I ended the Duaa, knowing that it may be a while till I returned to this place that felt so much more like home than any other. To have the privilege of making the Du’aa here and witness a Hafidh of Quran complete now, in time for my leaving was a gift in itself. It was the most apt farewell that came at the most perfect time.

I couldn’t even comprehend the many favors that came along with being here. To see all the people I had yearned to see while I was away was yet a great blessing. My heart had ached to see some of them for years. Old friends, Ustaadh and teachers. Even Maulana Umar had made and appearance today, and as I had watched him retreat I was still in awe of how much of the Sunnah that guy had in him. Through all my years, his walk… his talk., the way he would humour people… just like how Nabi (SAW) would give a person the tile of day, or an attentive ear when they spoke… the man had mastered much more than I had seen in anyone else through all my years.

“You really want to go back?”

I looked up as I turned my face, watching the crowds leaving. He knew just how to appeal to the emotional side of me. The truth was, over the years, the toughness I had as a kid had slowly deteriorated. Yes, some of the experiences had made me hard, but in the same way, a little more in touch with my emotions. I also knew what Yunus was doing. He was the one I had confided in. He was the one that knew the truth of what had happened to me back then… before I had adopted the amazing quality of Shukar and put the past behind me. The dark side of man that had haunted me for years while I was away from home was something I had disclosed to very few people. He was probably wondering why I’d want to go back if there was so much at risk, when I could just stay home… knowing that I’d be safe.

And he knew because Yunus was one of the main people who had helped me get back. After the trouble I had been in and the ridiculous allegations against me… somehow, Yunus had managed to make the arrangements for my return back home. And though I knew at the time I would have to get back to my new life, I just didn’t want to think about it. I just never imagined that it would I be so soon.

”We’re going to miss you here, Maulana.”

”You’ll be okay, bro,” I said placing my arm around his shoulder casually. I felt like I had to explain to him. He looked so lost. “I’ll try and come back soon. It’s just… my life is there now and I have people to see… classes to finish… if Allah wills I’ll meet you again…”

”Ah man,” he said softly, looking genuinely defeated.

Yunus was still the same. Soft, obliging type whose painful expressions punctured my heart. And of course, as we chatted in low tones at the front of the masjid, I felt myself a little more attached to him than I realized. During the past few weeks we had become so close that to leave him now felt like I was losing a bit of myself. I don’t know how he did it but he was the type that was very hard to say no to, and even over the years, nothing had changed.

And I couldn’t help but chuckle as we remembered the one person who could really straighten him out without feeling guilty. Childhood memories were so vivid, and I smiled as I remembered how his sister used to yell at him as kids. There were moments when I often had to stick up for him, because he wouldn’t tell her a thing. The poor guy would simply whimper and turn to get on with his work. It just wasn’t in his nature to put up a fight, and I think that’s what made the guy that much more lovable.

And of course, thinking back was always nostalgic. I couldn’t imagine how empty my childhood would have been had I not had the company of those kids who made it what it was.

“Khawlah says you going to go to your new Madrassa and find new friends and forget about us…”

”What?” I asked, frowning and putting my hand out to block the sun that was in my eyes.

I remembered Yunus clearly asking the question as I sat under the shade of the oak tree, watching a pigeon who had recently built it’s nest fending off another one coming over to try and stake ownership. Being young.. not understanding the harshness of nature at times….it confused me. The pigeon had worked so hard.. and yet another one comes in, thinking that the other one can just yank it’s young out to make room for it to take over. I didn’t understand that maybe the new young were at a greater risk  if their mother didn’t find a home soon…

You can just tell you Papa that you don’t want to go, you know,” Khawlah chipped in, her hands crossing over her chest bossily.

 I knew that she had set Yunus up to ask me the question. That was just her way, if anything bothered her, she’d get her brother wound up.., and poor Yunus, being the softie he was, wouldn’t be able to contain himself.

I shrugged. As if it was that easy. Papa was set on me being an Aalim for years. To break his heart would have been painful even for me to watch.

”I’ll never forget you guys,” I said softly.

”How do we know?” She pressed. She was inconsolable. “That’s what you say, but how do we know?”

Ah, Khalwah, don’t be so moody,” Yunus said. He had been watching me carefully. Somehow he just had that way with people… that feeling for someone else. “Everyone has to grow up and leave, You can see he means it. Of course he won’t.”

”Well I’m not going anywhere,” she said stubbornly, sitting on the bench. “I’m going to stay like this forever.”

Yunus chuckled and she broke into a smile as she suddenly got up, continuing with her work as we went on with the game we were playing. The ‘x and o’ on the sandy patch near the jungle gym was a favorite of ours, and I looked up at them both, wondering for that moment how I could ever forget those friends of mine.

In that space… at the time… losing a childhood friendship seemed like the biggest things in the world.

And I suppose it was ironic, and maybe it was wrong of me… but as life took its course, my life would go on without them. 

I missed my mother. My friends. School. Of course, I missed everything familiar. No guy was as great or friendly as Yunus. No girl was as cool or pretty as Khawlah. My heart ached for familiar sights. For the garden. For outdoors. For the moments I’d spend under the sun, with my hands stuck in the soil. I  didn’t understand that my heart was undergoing other changes. I didn’t know that with this reformation, my heart was slowly anchoring itself, and that no matter where I’d drift to or find myself lost after that…  somehow it was that Tarbiyyah and Quran that would bring me back onto my axis.

I didn’t realize that years down the line I might have actually done myself a disservice by not going out of the way to keep in touch. Even after getting caught up, going off track and finding my way again… I still had the notion that I would be able to pick up where I left off at some point. How wrong I was. Hearing about Khawlah’s marriage had been the biggest wake up call for me. It was the moment when I realized that I hadn’t been true to my word and the only person to blame was myself.

And even after all those years of going away, when I thought I’d found myself, sometimes it just takes one incident to change your entire perspective.

And of course, somehow, as I found my way back home for the first time against all odds, I didn’t think that the main feature would be to meet the guy who made that first trip what it was. Honestly, if I had not met him then it’s possible that my whole trip would have been futile, since I didn’t achieve any other aspirations I had. It was a bleak afternoon towards the end of spring. The air was getting palpably warmer and the days getting noticeably longer. I didn’t think that this was the place that I would end up, but there I was, standing in front of a guy that my father had insisted I come see, despite knowing that I had many other places to be right then.

I looked at him as I entered the room, wondering if was in the right place. Yes, he was a good-looking guy, but he looked like he was having a rough time. I didn’t know just how sick he was, but despite that all, I didn’t know that I’d actually live to see such appreciation.

“You’ve been the star of my life.”

I was confused. I wasn’t sure what he meant. Was the guy serious?

“My wife’s Khawlah,” he said, as if it explained everything.

Did he know what happened regarding Khalwah? Maybe he was just trying to make me feel better. 

His breathing was shallow and slightly labored. I looked at him questioningly. 

”Khawlah?” I repeated idiotically, knowing who he meant of course. I just didn’t want to delve further into the topic. My visit wasn’t for that intention. 

“Yeah,” he said with a grin. No, he wasn’t taking the mickey out of me. He was so… genuine. “You’ve featured in so many new discoveries. Whenever I would hear, ‘Khalid used to say’…I know I’m in for something good. I don’t know what brought you here today but I’m so glad you came…”

Ah. Now I got him. As if I was deserving of that role…

“Well, that’s a funny story,” I said softly, trying to lighten the mood. I was a little stunned. The thing was, I was indebted to him

After hearing how much he had done for my parents in the period I was away, I couldn’t help but want to meet him. He was the guy who had given my parents so much of hope and strength when they thought I was gone for good.

Only at the time they didn’t tell me who he was. Seeing him brought another dimension to the equation. I felt strangely settled. Uplifted. Completely at peace that Khawlah had got an amazing husband. It was weird and completely unexpected but before even seeing my mother, this was the place I had ended up at and I didn’t regret it. 

“Strange that you’re supposed to be the one dead and I’m the one lying here…”

He chuckled. It was a deep kind of rumble for somewhere with his tummy, and it made me smile, despite the fact that his sickness was barely even humorous.

Of course I didn’t know what to say. 

”Hey,” he said suddenly, licking his dry lips and raising an eyebrow at me. He had a different kind of accent. “You know it was my ultimate dream to meet you. Can I tell her that you’re… okay?”

I gave him a small smile. He didn’t say alive. He said okay

”Let me meet my mother first,” I said quietly. “And we’ll let it all unfold from there…”

I just thought I was being streetwise. I didn’t know that Khawlah would be angry that Aadam had met me, and never let her know. All he was doing by not telling her was going with my plan.

He nodded and smiled knowingly. He knew what women were like, of course, and he didn’t want to cause any unnecessary confusion.

And of course,  it was weird for this guy, who was her husband to speak like this. To talk about me, some guy in his wife’s past, being someone who had changed the course of someone’s life. Maybe it was his inherent nature, but he was different.
People are often running others down. Saying bad things. Picking on their faults. It’s seldom that you hear good words. And I supposed I had hoped in a way that Khawlahs husband  wasn’t that amazing… but this was a sure tell-tale sign that Aadam was a genuinely great guy, and of course, I would have never been able to live up to that.

”It feels like,” he said again, a hint of junior in his eye. “Like the story of Yusuf (AS).. coming back after so many years, after his fathers Du’aa… do you know how much of Du’aa they made for you..?”

I smiled. Of course. For Yaqub AS.. the lesson was that despite time, distance and the probability that he will never see his son again… it never stopped him from asking. He never stopped pleading. Even when the people would ask him why he still prayed… after so many years… it was because this prophet understood something that a mere person didn’t. Even if decades pass, and still your Du’aa remains seemingly unanswered… why not continue to ask? The magic of Du’aa is that even if it’s not answered the way you think, it serves as a shield to protect you from something else that may have caused much harm…

”I suppose it is,” I answered. My father who was the only person I’d seen since arrival, had told me that everyone had thought I was dead.

”I never thought I’d meet you,” he said, looking at me like he’d seen a ghost. I mean, I didn’t blame him.

I smiled and read a short Du’aa for him as I saw him closing his eyes tiredly.

I smiled as I saw the humour in his eyes and opened them again. I was about to leave, but he lifted his hand up slightly.

”Is there anything I can do for you?” I said, thinking it was the least I could do. I didn’t want to inconvenience him by staying too long.

He looked at me at that point, and in that one glance it was like millions of veils were lifted  from his eyes and I could see right down to his soul.

”Im the type of guy who had everything I ever wanted,” he said quietly, his eyes telling a tale of untold regret. “The best of cars, houses and clothes. I’ve owned Ferraris and Porsche’s… had them best of them all, yeah… The best of watches, gadgets and shoes. I have money in my account waiting for me to spend…furnished apartments that are all on my name. I thought that was the life, yeah. That I’d found the gold. That this was the be all and end all of life… sounds like it, right?”

I nodded, wondering what it must have been like to be like him. I was never a fan of material things but cars… well, you can’t flash a Ferrari in front of a guy and expect him not to twitch.

”And here I am, yeah,” he said subsequently, his voice dropping. “I probably wouldn’t have realized that those things can do nothing for me. I’m lying here in a queen sized hospital bed, in a private ward. I can take a private jet on any day of the week.. but none of that can do a thing for me. I can’t go back and re-live that time I wasted. I can’t undo the things I’ve done wrong in my past. I can’t even buy more time. I know you know all that but what you don’t know is that if I never met Khawlah… if I never knew any of those promises that she told me about… if I didn’t get to find out that I’m not made of my mistakes and I’m not made of my sins… I’m telling you for sure, my friend…. I would have been a complete goner.”

I had looked at him at that moment, his eyes filled with out gratitude and his expression now completely at peace. I closed my eyes and made a silent Du’aa, willing for Allah to grant him complete relief. I didn’t know him but I felt like I did. He was inspiring. Awesome. A guy whose story made me think about myself and how I took my own situation for granted. I knew I could never be grateful enough…

And yes, I wanted so badly to set everything right but as it happened, as I noticed a car following me back from the hospital that day, I knew that I wouldn’t get to meet my mother that day. Or that year. It was bad luck that I had been traced back home, and going to my house would have put my family at risk. The Egyptian conflict had amplified and I didn’t want to risk it. I headed straight back on a flight, knowing that somehow, if it was meant to be… I would find home someday. 

And here I was, finally. Years down the line, I had been given another chance. As we drove back home that day, Yunus exceptionally silent and me in a world of my own, I couldn’t help but think of how time runs away with us. From those little, daring and somewhat carefree kids, here we were, side by side, out in the big world with so much of hope and aspiration…

And yes, maybe I too had a past that haunted me. I had run away but now I had come home, and done what I need to. I had tied up all loose ends. This time, my mother would come back with me for a while, see her family, and settle some of the fears she had before she had come here years ago. I would fulfill her right.

Once upon a time I tried to escape my past. To forget the pain. Once upon a time, I had lost the innocent that came with youth, when I took a step in the wrong direction. But one lesson I learnt was that when the Quran is in your heart, it will always let you find your way back..

And of course, it was something that stuck with me through the years. It was the sincerity of one guys words that made me think.

Our actions are little. Valueless. Not even worth looking at. We know our condition. We know our deeds. But we ask. We ask our Lord… Oh King of Kings, we ask, Like Yaqoob (AS) asked, and continued to ask… because we hope that hope that one day, maybe Allah will look at us with his look of mercy and give us.. not like how we deserve, but because He knows that if we can’t ask of Him, we really have no where else we can turn to. 

Sometimes I wish that I could have bought more time back then. Set things right. Sometimes I wished that I had taken life a bit more seriously when it mattered. Maybe it was my friends. Maybe it had been my parents. Perhaps it was someone else whose mind I had crossed for some reason or occasion. I don’t know what measure of time or distance or place… I cant comprehend the hours or minutes or seconds… but I do know that it was at the most crucial moment when someone’s Du’aa came to save me from something that would have been a true tragedy. The essence of worship, the answer to every problem. The solution that truly worked. Du’aa was something that I saw the magic of years down the line.

All I knew was that at that point, just before the flaming blaze of the explosion that changed my life, as I bent down to pick up a piece of log that was in the middle of the road… a Sadaqah that showed me the immediate removal of a calamity… those few milliseconds that delayed my re-entry to the car were unbelievably crucial to my survival. Had I got there just 20 seconds earlier, I knew that I too, like my cousins, would have been burnt to smithereens. I too, would have been a complete goner. And I could almost see it… at that very moment, someones heartfelt Du’aa was headed directly at me, intervening just in time and completely shielding me from the disaster that had just unfolded.

And that’s when I learnt about Duaa.

A lesson that stuck for life. As we stopped the car just outside my house now back home, the shadow of my mother sitting on the porch suddenly caught my eye and my heart immediately jumped to my throat.

I knew her tell-tale signs by now. Ah yes, I knew my mother too well. My mothers famous habit was to plant herself outside as a warning to me… generally when she had a bone to pick with my father or when I was in some kind of unprecedented trouble. I didn’t know that she had a visitor. I just knew that when I saw her with her arms crossed and her charcoal eyes slightly narrowed, my only chance at survival was to make a silent Duaa. Today I had to pull out all the weapons I could because there was certainly something unseemly waiting to erupt…


Dearest readers, 

I can’t seem to manage more than one post a week for now, so please forgive the delays. A little bit of revelations in this much longer post… hope most of the questions are being answered…


Much Love,

A xx

Lots and lots of Duaas. Let’s focus on trying to bring Du’aa into our daily lives.. that will be the next Sunnah InshaAllah 

Sunnah of Honoring ones elders 

Reviving this Sunnah…
As youth we should remember that how we treat our elders is how we will be treated when we reach old age.
Sayyiduna Anas narrates that Nabi said: “No young person shows respect to an old man on account of his old age without Allah Ta’ala appointing someone to show respect to him when he becomes old.”

Revive the Sunnah of honoring elders.

How easy to practice …









Twitter: @ajourneyjournal







Life as we Knew it

Bismihi Ta’ala


Nothing happens without purpose. No move. No change. No transformation. The thing is, every setback is a sign for us.  A change in the path is a sign for us. A death is a sign for us. Broken hearts, too, are a sign. Even love. Everything in life has a deep purpose that brings us back to the reality that we are often forgetting.

”Mummy, what you doin’?”

Khadijah’s speech was discerningly clear as she plopped herself on my Musalla. Her little locks were loose and vibrant as she cocked her head to one side and watched me with interest. I hastily wiped my tears away and removed her shoes, pulling her to me as her tiny fingers played with my wrist watch. They were long and slim, just like her fathers.

Oh, my heart.

She was such a paramount part of me that I couldn’t even comprehend the feelings I felt at times. Sometimes I still couldn’t believe that I was a mother. I couldn’t believe that I had somehow become ‘Mummy’ to this young little lady who was such a soothing to my soul.

”Why you crying?” She asked, scrunching up her little face angrily. She wasn’t used to being ignored and I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing. From my family to Aadam’s… Khadijah has always been the center of attention. I just hoped that I wasn’t nurturing a spoilt brat…

”I’m making Du’aa,” I said quietly, kissing the top of her peach-scented hair. “I’m asking Allah for what I need.”

”Did you ask him for my Abba?” She asked bossily, still frowning. “Is he still there by Allah?”

Fresh tears welled up in my eyes as I tried to answer her. I was behaving like a lunatic… crying for every little thing. It had to stop.

”I think your Abba is very happy by Allah,” I sniffed noisily, feeling particularly emotional that day. Today I missed Aadam. Today I missed him a lot. I cleared my throat and trying to formulate my next sentence. “But Allah said that we can keep asking him for whatever we need. To keep your Abba happy and to give him the best home… and keep on asking and asking…”

I wished that I could teach her all the lessons that I had learnt as a young girl. The things that Mama used to tell me too. I wish that she understood it all right now as I remembered it but I knew it would take a little time before she could truly comprehend. I wanted to tell her about Du’aa. About how Allah listens. That sometimes it’s just the comfort of turning to Him that brings solace. That there is an incredible peace in submission. That’s it’s possible that sometimes when we don’t get an immediately answer, it’s never that Allah doesn’t answer us. It’s just that sometimes we need to alter our method of asking Him.

”But why you asking, mummy?” She said, her little voice sounding more curious than before. “Allah knows.”

I blinked at her, wondering if this toddler of mine really knew what she was saying.

Yes, it was true. Allah knew. Even when we don’t have the time to ask for every detail of what we need… but if we are engaged in Dhikr or Tilaawat… Allah makes it such that our innermost desires are answered anyway. Allah knows. Sometimes we don’t have to ask. But sometimes the comfort is in the very knowledge of just raising our hands to Allah…

This living and breathing piece of my heart was growing so fast. I held her to my chest for as long as she’d let me, just before she got up again and scampered off, glancing out the window momentarily as I watched the boys playing downstairs, taking in the familiar terrain that I had enjoyed as a kid. The huge oak tree still towered in its glory. The same birds still teetered above. The dusty banks where we would write on still lay bare. My heart soared at the prospect of years ahead of them, knowing that these boys too would enjoy the same kind of youth as we did and would grow up in the home that we had known and loved.

It was a month ago that Ahmed had agreed to buy our old house from Abbba, and it had been a week since him and Rubeena moved in. The boys had begged me to come and stay for a while while their mother settled in, and I knew that Rubeena could do with the help too. For Ahmed, it had taken him a while to get on his feet to start afresh, but what was more amazing for me was seeing my sister-in-law’s ease and acceptance with him. It was something that I never imagined I’d see in Rubeena. I had been watching her as she worked, seeing her in the same kitchen Mama would be in… and watching her as she would go about her day-to-day chores… just as Mama would. It brought tears to my eyes at times, yet was something that warmed my heart. It was a big step for Rubeena. It also took a lot of courage for her to agree to selling her house that she had always known and doing what Ahmed thought was best for them, because she had always been so fixated on the fancy life she had always lived.

Of course now, as I saw her, I know that Mama would have loved Rubeena. I just had a feeling that the two of them would have got along. I hoped that the Ahmed and Rubeena would have their own little bundle of joy too… but when ever I suggested that they needed a daughter, all Rubeena did was laugh. She and my brother seemed to have acquired an ease that I couldn’t have ever imagined.

As for me, in semi- defeated warrior style, since Nusaybah’s news of the imminent Nikah, I had slipped into a place where I found myself doubting my own decisions. Did I do the right thing? Was I maybe a bit too hasty in thinking life would be the same forever? Maybe Siraj’s proposal wasn’t the worst thing in the world… Maybe Abba was right and I needed to move on… To tell the truth, being the terrible friend I was, I was dreading her Nikah day, because I knew I would have to say goodbye to my best friend. Because I knew that our world as we knew it would be changed.

I sat there for a few minutes longer, begging Allah to alter my heart… to strengthen my resolve… and to make me into the kind of friend that she deserved. She had done so much for me. The least I could do was wish her the best.


It was Ahmed’s voice from down the passage. I looked up as he came into the room I was in, holding a small paper bag in his hand.

I looked up at him questioningly. He had matured so much. He had made an amazing father to the boys and I wasn’t just saying that because he was my brother. Those boys were unimaginably close to my heart and I would have taken on anyone who didn’t give them what they deserved. Of course, over the few years Ahmed had been faced with many challenges along the way- a bit too many for a guy nearing his mid twenties- as well as Shabeer wanting to take custody of his kids after realizing that Ahmed was a better father than him… but Ahmed had fought him in a custody battle that eventually sentenced him to a rehabilitation center for a few months. Though I was glad that the boys were still with their mother and Ahmed, I couldn’t help but feel a certain sadness about their situation. Shabeer was still their father after all. I prayed that he would get his act together and make some real effort as they grew.

For now though, despite Dayyaan’s initial resistance and missing their uncle unmentionably, with the stability that Rubeena and Ahmed provided them… I was quite certain that they were growing into the most amazing young men. I still loved them to bits.

”Rubeena found something the other day,” Ahmed said, looking at me a bit strangely. “I think it’s from when we were staying here…”

He said no more as he narrowed his hazel eyes slightly, looking at the package briefly before coming forward and handing it over to me. I adjusted my burka and eyed the package out, trying to figure out why it looked so familiar.

And of course, as I stuffed my hand in to pull out the contents, I could already feel my hopes soar. The book was as it was when I had first laid eyes on it and I felt my heart rate accelerate as I caught sight of its simplistic cover with the solid bold writing.

Khawlah Bint Al Azwar

An Extraordinary Heroine

Gosh. I couldn’t even remember how many years if had been. I looked up at my brother, feeling a little dazed by this coincidence. I couldn’t even fathom how the book had lasted so long.

And like a reminder of what I needed at this moment in time, it felt like it was just waiting for me to find it again after all these years, bringing to life for me the courageous aspirations of the stories of the woman who I had drawn so much of strength from as a young girl. It was a time when I had learnt patience. When I would aspire for their endurance. It was their courage that kept my mind focused on the true purpose of this world.

My thoughts wondered as I found myself pondering about that girl back then. Wondering when she had lost her spirit. Where all her gallantry had gone to. Where that drive had been displaced. Where the will to keep fighting had been sucked out… Had it all been exhausted through the pains of life, it was it maybe just waiting for an opportunity to surface once again…?

I clutched the book to my chest, my heart lifting as I thought of how it had inspired the lost and broken girl that had lived within me at some point.  I read some parts immediately, some aloud to my daughter over the next few day’s and some over the quiet periods when she would nap. I was lost in its magic, once again, as I read and reread the stories that had inspired and brought me through the darkest days of my life. All over again, I gained strength and fervor and willed myself to live up to the amazing women that featured in the stories.

And as the week sped by and I found comfort in the stories that brought back so many memories and emotions, the end of that week also brought my another surprise to my brother’s new home for a visit. Seeing each other had been a constant part of our days and since I barely spoken to her since her proposal week, we had a lot to catch up on.

The buzzing of the doorbell on Friday afternoon brought her armed suspiciously with a jumbo-sized chocolate cake topped with gallons of her delicious Bar One sauce over. I could already tell that my friend had spent half the day in the kitchen making comfort food. The only worry was that I wasn’t sure why…

”How did you know how to get here?” I asked her, thrilled at her presence yet not sure how she found the house.

”Yunus,” she said. “Shame, I think I woke him up. I just had to see you. He gave me the address in his sleep.”

I had nearly forgotten that my brother was back. I had spoken to him briefly on the phone earlier in the week, but knowing he would probably be jet-lagged, I had said I’d speak to him properly when I was back home. I was itching to know about his trip.

”Is that a celebration cake?!” I asked her, teasing her purposely as she barged into the house with a no-nonsense frown on her face.

”No,” she said bluntly, not offfering any more information as she dumped the dome on the table, plopped into the chair, cut herself a slice and then gobbled it up in about 7 seconds flat. She promptly cut another slice and started the process of devouring again. And again. And again. Six whole times.

It was painful to watch. What was going to be more painful was her complaining about her weight when she was done. Nusaybah was usually something of a health freak when it suited her.

”Okay, Nus, what’s going on?” I said, widening my eyes as I watched her.

Like really? Did she just come here so she could have company whilst she OD’d on her main anti-depressant?! It was crazy.

”It’s not going to work,” she said bluntly, crossing  her arms over her chest grumpily as she collapsed on the couch next to the kitchen.

”What?” I said, not getting her. She grabbed a bag of chips from the tray and stalked outside to where the boys and Khadijah were playing, popping it open as she sat there, and staring ahead of her in some kind of daze.

“The Australian,” she muttered with a distasteful look on her face. “We spoke yesterday. He’s too… unemotional.”

I wanted to laugh.

Unemotional?! What did she expect him to do?

”You know me, Khawlah,” she said with a huff, still chewing noisily. “I’m a crazy woman. If I don’t have a macho guy to hold me down I’ll snap out of control. I can’t be marrying a guy who beats around the bush and lets me do as I please. I’m not all refined and pious like someone we know. I’ll be bouncing off the walls.”

I raised my eyebrows as I looked at my friend.

“I’m not sure who you’re talking about,” I said.

Pious? Psssshhtt.

”Topic’s closed,” she said, stuffing her hand into the chips packet again and getting up. “I’m done talking.”

So she’s just going to bury her sorrows in food? Great.

“Why can’t I just find my own Mr Perfect?” She said softly, glancing over at me at she stashed the chips away.

I looked at her, expecting my heart to feel the usual stab that it did when she mentioned him, but today… well, today the pain wasn’t as severe. Today it was more of a pulling at my heartstrings. A dull ache, but also a warmth that engulfed me, making me appreciate with so much of me that I had the experience to love and be loved in that beautiful way.

”Maybe life is not about finding Mr Perfect,” I said simply, thinking about the last few days. “Maybe we just need to find the One who helps us to find our own version of perfection…”

Her eyes lit up as she looked at me, suddenly spurred on by my words.

”Thats just it,” she said suddenly, her voice suddenly all psyched up. “You’re spot on! I’m sick of looking for someone to save me. To help me follow my dreams. To be who I want to be. You and I both, Khawlah… we can’t be sitting here like this indefinitely…”

I glimpsed the fire in my friends eyes,  and like that first time I ever saw her, her glowing face was joyful, but behind that, a certain rigidity made her catch my attention in a completely different light. I could already tell that she was on to something and she wasn’t going to back down. It reminded me of the strength she had displayed throughout our friendship. Her words. Her encouragement. Her constant battle in keeping me afloat was something I still had no idea how to pay back,

“You know why I’m not worried, Khawlah?” She said suddenly, her eyes still shining. “There just one reason.”

I looked at her questioningly.

Rabbi Inni Limaa Anzalta Ilayya min Khairin Faqeer,” she said simply.

I was familiar with the Du’aa of course. It was the Du’aa of Musaa (AS). His pleading to Allah when he was at his very lowest… and then Allah granted him so much that he was relieved of every hardship that he had experienced. Through that Du’aa… he had been granted a home, provisions, a family, a wife…

Oh my Lord.. I am in desperate need of whatever goodness you bestow on me…

Just the words of that Du’aa was enough to make me reflect. To elevate my hopes. To build my sincerity.

“This is Allah’s wisdom,” she said pensively as we walked the garden path, me fully aware of the natural surroundings that were my refuge right now. “It’s Allah’s plan and it’s also a sign of His goodness. It’s Khair. You just reminded me… and suddenly… I got an epiphany.”

“Khawlah, I’m tired of sitting and waiting for my Mr Perfect,” she said with a hint of annoyed independence. “It’s not what we’re meant to do. And I’m tired of watching your life on pause since Aadam left. I can’t bear to see you all fixated on your past. And yes, I know it was wonderful and Aadam was the perfect love of your life but you’ve been living in this bubble for too long and it’s time to break those barriers you’ve so carefully built..”

I breathed in as she said it, not sure how to respond. Maybe she was right. Maybe I needed to start living again. Really living. Going places. Having clean fun. Taking walks to the park. Appreciating the beautiful sunsets that Aadam had shown me, once again. Riding horses like we used to do when I was married. Teaching my daughter how to savour the greatness of Allah that Aadam had been just as obsessed with. Taking in the moments that made every day.

Maybe we needed to allow ourselves to let go too. Maybe I just needed to stop living in the hope that somehow Aadam might come back and revive all the dead parts of me and teach me how to live again…. so I could learn to do it myself…

The truth was that Aadam was gone. He wasn’t ever coming back. He was gone. The question to me though was I going to continue living in that shadow… of distant memories and hopes that I  might eventually become that kind of girl that I once was… or was I truly going to change my situation and be that l fierce and nature loving girl that Aadam loved… determined to make the most of everything that I had…

Being out in the garden right then was exactly what I needed. Reconnecting with my passions. Nusaybah and I had many things in commmon, but our love for nature always topped the list. It was a lovely day and there was plenty to sit back and soak in. Our garden hadn’t been as vast as Aunty Radiyyah’s but it had a fair share of space. The boys and I had been working on giving it a facelift this week and I dare say we did a  wonderful job. I had taken some shoots of the flowers Aadam had planted at the apartment rooftop and used them here.

There were also a variety of seeds that he had bought way back when he was working on making the place look amazing , and watching the little sprouts peep out from the sand made me feel like I was a new mother all over again. Somehow, I had found a strange sense of comfort in old hobbies over the past week…

”Maybe you’re right,” I started. I looked around me as I said the words, trying to spot Khadijah as she had just been following us a minute ago. I looked behind me at the boys, wondering if she had gone back to them, but when I asked them all I saw was a blank look on their faces.

”But she was with you,” Danyaal said obviously.

Dayyaan’s eyes looked worried as he looked at me.

”She asked me for water,” he said carefully as he swallowed. “I told her it’s by the store room…”

I widened my eyes at him, knowing that Khadijah was fiercely independent. The shed was out of sight and I immediately felt my heart hammering away as he said it. I just hoped she didn’t get her hands on anything dangerous.

”I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean…” Dayyaan stuttered, seeing my expression as I hurried toward the back of the yard.

I shook my head at him, not really focusing on what he was saying as I hurriedly scanned the store room. Of course I didn’t blame him. Khadijah had her mind of her own, but she was nowhere in sight.

I glanced behind at the little patch of sand that was wedged between the wall and the room, but she was nowhere to be seen. All kinds of crazy thoughts were going through my mind. Had she been kidnapped? Lured? Wondered off as I had been so focused on my own conversation?

”Khawlah, I think you should see this…”

I turned to where Nusaybah was standing and immediately felt my heart rate accelerate as I followed her gaze. She was already heading out to the opened gate, and as I stared at the latch, I could not even fathom how my little daughter had managed to get it open by herself. It had been ages since anyone had used the back gate, and due to pur negligence, no-one had even checked on it since we were here.

I sprinted out, just as I had those many times as little girl… but this time it was different. This time there was a serious and life-threatening task at hand. This time, unlike any time before, I prayed silently in my heart, asking Allah to keep my daughter safe. This time, with my heart in my throat, I was filled with fear over what would be the outcome…

What I didn’t know was that through this little escapade, despite the trepidation that had gripped my beating heart, life as we knew it would be significantly altered…

A little bit of a longer post! Shukran for ALL the comments… really gets the inspiration going… will reply ASAP

Much Love

A xx

A new Sunnah. Consideration for beggars and Needy.

Especially in these surreal times, we sometimes forget that there are many out there who are in compromising situations and genuinely need assistance.

It is narrated that Sayyiduna Husain bin Ali  used to express joy upon the arrival of a beggar. He would say: “The beggar is transporting our goods to the Hereafter.”

SubhaanAllah. The Sunnah of giving was one that was second nature to Nabi (SAW).

allahuma baarik lana fi Sha’bana wa balligh-na Ramadan

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

Imam Shafi’i RA has stated: “I have heard that duaas are accepted

by Almighty Allah on five nights:

The night of Jumu’ah

The nights of the two ‘Eids

The first night of Rajab

The middle (15th) night of Sha’ban

Allah accept our efforts and Duaas.









Twitter: @ajourneyjournal





Changing Hearts

Bismihi Ta’ala


When people say things like ‘people don’t change’, it can drive me crazy because change is the only constant of life. It’s inevitable. Whether it’s growing, dying, morphing or merging… whether you’re a scientist or not, we know that life changes. People too. Some people lose it. Some people find it. Sometimes the changes are forced on us. Sometimes they happen by accident and we make the most of them. Our hearts are constantly undergoing alterations. We become closer to who we really are. We change, we adapt. We create new versions of ourselves… we try and find our way and hope and pray that the light spreads to those around us too. 

I remember a pious Aalim once saying that if you desire change for anyone… be it your family or someone you may have met in a park, you have to start with yourself. You have to change yourself. You have to strengthen your Imaan. Do your Dhikr. Be constant in good deeds. Once you take that step towards a better you, the feeling of guidance that will follow us beyond what words can describe. When Allah takes someone’s hand and others are able to see the effect that He brought into their life, it’s a priceless gift that change even the most rigid of hearts.

And as I looked at this girl that had somehow refeatured in my life, I somehow couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of appreciation for this change of heart. From being completely averse to any change… she was now sitting before me with her heart completely altered.

”Im sure this meeting wasn’t easy for you,” the girl was saying, as she looked up at me. She was still as I remembered her. Except for the most obvious change, she was still striking in a completely unexpected way. “I mean, no one wants to be reminded of her husband’s mistakes. I’m sure when you found out the truth about what I did it made you feel hurt and protective and also probably not wanting wanting to ever see me again… but there’s something that I really wanted to tell you. This change that happened for me, well, I needed to share it with someone who knew where I came from and could make sense of me. I’m still trying to find my footing but as my life changes, I have a feeling that one day, I’m going to get it right… ”

She pulled the front of her hijab a little forward as she smiled.

”I didn’t want to cause trouble or disrupt your lives,” she said sincerely, her blue eyes appearing almost violet as she spoke. “But I just wanted you to know how much you truly changed my perspective when I spoke to you that day. As scientists, well… we don’t really think about God. About God’s will. We believe that medicine does. That we do. When you said it was all in God’s hands… When you spoke about faith.. When you made me think about what I was really doing all that time. I didn’t want to just read and learn more. I wanted to action it…”

“It’s no trouble…” I stuttered stupidly, still a little taken aback. Actually, I was quite shocked that she was saying all of this.

”I just wanted to let you know that it was meeting you that changed it for me,” she continued firmly.  “Sometimes you just need a new perspective. I didn’t know who you were. I just saw this pretty and modest girl with much on her mind and I needed to offload. When I told you I had a ligation, it was after I knew who you were. I didn’t want you to know that I had made the same mistake twice. And then the next year I met another guy who wasn’t so worthy, but I wanted to make things right with. It didn’t make sense, and it didn’t work out … but now that I have a daughter from him and have now met an amazing guy who shows me so much more about this religion than I had ever known, I know that Allah had a plan for me and I’m so glad that I took the step in the first place ..”

How could I take credit for it? It was only Allah who guides a person. It was only Him who chooses a person to change their life, sometimes in a most unconventional way.

I still couldn’t believe it what she was saying. That she had reverted. After everything. After not wanting to marry Aadam for that precise reason, and then actually having a real baby from someone else and going around in circles trying to find some reason and meaning… she had met someone a practicing Muslim doctor who she was going to make Nikah to. It was quite unbelievable.

”You know what the amazing part is?” She said, almost as an afterthought as I offered a warm embrace and we got ready to part. “When I was trying to explain to my mother… Through this whole journey, I learnt that even in the Christian world… for years before in the past… there was a modesty. There was actually a hijab. They would leave the home with their hair covered. In the past, even for Christians, there would be no extra-marital relations. Maybe I knew the principles, but my parents never enforced it. There were no barriers.  No laws. When modernization came into play it all changed, but now I see the wisdom in religion. The difference that made it for me was that whilst Christianity changed so much… the principles of Islam remain unaltered. And when I found out that I didn’t have to confess my sins to a priest and I could turn to Allah and seek His repentance, it was like coming up for air after a really long dive…”

I looked at her, a little stunned as she spoke in great detail about facts of my own Deen, which even I didn’t know about. Contrary to my expectations, this beautiful girl had actually brought so much more into perspective that I had anticipated. That was just the thing with Imaan though, right. It changes your perspective. It changes your life.

And be it through the best of times or the worst of times, somehow Aadam and I made it through all of the times with an ease that couldn’t have been but through the grace of our Lord. I had come to terms with his past, and most importantly, he had too. And of course, being Aadam, he took everything in his stride, never looking back at the time when I had been less than understanding or a little too judgemental. We had overlooked and moved past and were now at a place where there was nothing that was awkward or inappropriate to speak about. Well, almost nothing. It was just that Aadam sometimes had fun taking the mickey out of my brother when the opportunity arose.

“This is all your sisters fault,” he was saying, the week after to Ahmed as he sat on the recliner in his room, with his legs up almost in exhausted limbo as he peered at me accusingly. Today wasn’t a good day, but he was trying hard to hide it.

I shook my head at Aadam as he raised his one eyebrow at Ahmed.

“She kept me up the whole night…” Aadam was saying, his breath a little heavy has he spoke. He had developed a nasty cough in the last few day’s and it made him sound a hundred times worse, but didn’t stop him from his usual antics. “I honestly didn’t know what to do with her…”

Ahmed shifted awkwardly and avoided eye contact, and I wanted to grin as I read my brothers expression. Though Ahmed was always a tough guy, I could see that his ears were reddening and he was feeling a little out of place. I could tell that Aadam was poking at Ahmed, and my brother  was petrified that Aadam was venturing into territories that were usually avoided. I smiled at my husband as his one dimple flashed momentarily at Ahmed’s modesty. It was a trait of Ahmed that I had come to admire over the years. Any mention of affection would usually send him awol.

”She said I snore too loud,” Aadam said finally, releasing Ahmed from the torment as he looked up in immense relief.

”You do!” I retorted, crossing my arms over my chest as I narrowed my eyes at him playfully. I knew it was related to his chest, but it didn’t make the sound any more bearable. 

”See!” Aadam said pointedly, pouting slightly as he  looked at Ahmed again. “I can’t even be sick in peace! I’m done with the people in this house. One won’t let me sleep in peace and the other feeds me all the weirdest food you can think of. Can I just move in with you guys, please?”

Ahmed smiled, but there was a certain sadness in his eyes as he replied. No-one has said it aloud but when we thought about it sometimes we couldn’t help but wonder how many day’s Aadam had left to achieve everything that he wanted to…

“Anytime, bro,” he said softly, as Rubeena walked in from the kitchen. “Anytime.”

Rubeena had been cooking up a storm. She had  morphed into a fully blown home-maker since marriage and I could already see Ahmed putting on some weight. As for my mother-in-law, she had packed the fridge with her concoctions and basically threatened to disown him if it wasn’t emptied, but Aadam was barely fazed. He seemed to have no appetite at all.

Aadam stuck out his tongue at me, contented that he had found his threatened back-up plan.

”Is my brother complaining about his caregivers again?” Ruby said, raising her eyebrows and turning to Adam. ”Ahmed is a softie. You’re taking advantage of his nature. Stop conning him into thinking that you’re the perfect patient.”


It was both Ahmed and Aadam that moaned together, and I laughed as they looked Ruby accusingly.

”You’re giving up all the secrets,” Ahmed said sulkily. “Spoiling Adams and my reputation. We’ve worked hard to get it that way.”

Pssshhht,” Rubeena said, shaking her head at them and then looking at Ahmed. The din from the lounge was heightening. “I think we should go now before the boys turn this entire apartment upside down.”

I could hear the boys making weird hooting sounds now and I smiled. Usually Aadam and I would take them out for a while but I could see my husband wasn’t up to it. They thought of the most unconventional games and it made me giggle at times. I missed them and their craziness. I looked at my husband and though he didn’t look like he minded, anyone could see that he needed a rest.

I watched them head off, the family of 6 that were surprisingly easy on the eye. Rubeena didn’t look a day over twenty-five and with Ahmed’s mature frame, the two of them really did suit each other. Unexpectedly. It had been two weeks since they were married and they seemed to be already settled into their new life with an unprecedented ease.

It was just proof that when you do things the right way then Allah makes everything fall into place.

As for me, it had been a week since my final matric paper and I was absolutely ecstatic. I had been here since then and something in my gut was telling me that I needed to. Though I missed my crazy friend who was spending the last two day’s sleeping it all off, I loved having so much of free time.

”Rubeena and Ahmed huh,” Aadam said, looking intrigued for the first time that day. He looked better already, now that his brain had been working since they left. I worried about him not doing as much to keep himself busy, but I could see that he couldn’t really manage anymore.

“Sometimes it still doesn’t click…” I said, thinking about them too.

“I know, yeah,” he said simply. “But imagine…Like even after loving someone and so many years, Allah gives us the ability to love again…“

He was right. Allah has made our heart such that we can keep opening it. The ability to love many times and in many different ways. Sometimes we think it’s the end of the road and then Allah fills it with such amazing love that we didn’t realize it’s capacity…

”Don’t you agree?” He said, looking at me with questioning eyes.

“It’s amazing,” I said softly. “They do look content, but it’s still early days..,”

I was always a cynical personality, but I knew that Ahmed and Rubeena could make this work. Aadam’s eyes were still fixed on me, and I watched him back carefully.

”A second chance,” he said quietly. “Sometimes the love of your life is the first. Sometimes it’s the last.

I sincerely believe that everyone has that one great love story… the one that stands out and puts the others away…”

I smiled as he blew me a kiss from the recliner.

”And sweets, mine is you,” he said sincerely. “You blew me away.”

My heart did a little flip-flop as he said it. Aw man.

“You’re becoming sweeter by the day,” I smiled. “You’re sure you taking meds and not getting them to send you other stuff instead?!”

Aadam grinned.

”Its my natural disposition,” he said confidently. “I have a question for you though… and I mean it in the most secure and diplomatic way. Am I your great love story?”

His gaze was fixed on me as he said it, and for a minute there, I wasn’t sure if he was serious or not. Aadam was always joking around, and when he was serious, sometimes I still didn’t know if he was really serious. I narrowed my eyes and cocked my head at him curiously. I had to be realistic here. He wouldn’t be asking this for nothing…

“Why would you even suggest that you aren’t?”

He was grinning but I could see the seriousness in his eyes.

“I knew that I wouldn’t get a straight answer out of you,” he said easily, still smiling. I could feel my heart rate escalating as I wondered why he was asking. “Mrs Evasive.”

I shrugged. If he knew then why did he ask?

”Its no secret that I wasn’t your first choice,” he said simply, as if he had knowledge beyond his years. “It didn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that there was someone else that you probably had in mind and I wasn’t exactly your type…”

”Did Ahmed tell you something?” I asked in exasperation, not realizing I was giving something away in the process. I placed my hands across my chest angrily. “Why are we even talking about this? Who told you what?”

I narrowed my eyes at him, wondering why he was bringing this all up. I didn’t know was that there was something that only Aadam knew that had triggered this conversation…

”I think I knew all along,” he said with a smile. “But now I know for sure..”

”I was seven years old!” I retorted, guessing what he was talking about and shaking my head. Ahmed would tease me about it relentlessly. He must have said something. “It was a marriage proposal at the top of the oak tree. I don’t think anyone can even take it seriously! Who knows what it even means at that age?”

”But that’s where you’re wrong, sweets,” he said simply, with one raised eyebrow. “I could see your reaction when the big news came about Khalid. That’s when I knew that it wasn’t just a childish crush…”

I shrugged and looked away, not wanting to talk about the past. There was no point anyway. As much as he knew about him, Aadam didn’t know what Khalid was really like. He had grown to be what I always expected of him. He had done good. Real good. But one thing I never understood was that he just never made an effort to stay in contact. Not with Yunus. Ahmed. My family. I didn’t expect him to visit but a phone call to my younger brother now and then would have been nice. I supposed all that mattered now was that he had made Aunty Radiyyah a really proud mama and that much was enough for me. What I didn’t know was that there was a deeper reason behind his elusiveness all those years ago than I had understood…

”I want you to know that I never meant to come in the way,” he said now, meeting my gaze steadily. “And that if anything had to happen to me, like how there was another plan back then, you need to know that its not ever the end of the road-“

“Just stop right there, mister!” I scolded. “The past is the past and the future is the future, can we just focus on now? I’m happy where I am. I promise. As realistic as it is, I don’t want to spend this time with you worrying and thinking about what could happen. I want to just be present. Right now, right here. Can we just try that? Please?!”

Being with Aadam was an adventure that I’d never forget. I didn’t want to spoil what I had by thinking about things that made me worried. Of course everything happened for a reason. At times I felt overwhelmed and stressed, but I knew that it all happened in the knowledge that with the will of Allah, we were both here for better or for worse.

”I suppose you’re right,” he said, his voice a little more sturdy now. “But this conversation isn’t over. Now that you mentioned the past… it just reminds me that I have the greatest news. Like ever.”

I looked at him, glad we were moving on but not wanting to continue with the conversation at any time. For me, despite the nightly feeling I had, the topic was closed.

”As long as it’s not digging up any skeletons, please do tell me.”

Aadam grinned. My stomach was feeling strangely upset with all this stressful talk. My abdomen had  been taking the toll and as soon as my nervous system felt compromised, I already felt like puking. I tried to maintain a straight face as Aadam looked at me with an excited expression.

”Okay, get ready for it…”

I couldn’t help but smirk at him as his face lit up. Sometimes he was so childish. Like a little boy.

”I just finished all my Qadha namaaz!” he burst excitedly.

I widened my eyes at him, despite my stress-induced discomfort.

Really?!” My heart was bursting for him. I could just imagine his joy.

It really was big news. It had been something that had troubled him from the time we had gotten married… and before that too. Every Salaah was an event for Aadam where he tried to catch up with all the years he had missed. To catch up so many in just short of three years was quite a miracle.

I felt like doing a happy dance for him, but instead went to the calendar that had his Qadha timetable below it, bursting with pride as I looked at all the blocks with ticks that had been filled in. He had really been onto this thing. I didn’t think that he would be able to do it but he had really outdone himself. I was amazed.

”I think this calls for a-“

I halted as I noticed the calendar below it which I used and had marked at random intervals, only realizing with a certain shock that it was already past mid-November and I had been kind of ignoring my cycle for the last two months. There had been so much going on  and I just hadn’t been paying attention. With Aadam’s chemo and radiation going on… I was completely oblivious.

I stared at the dates as I placed my finger on the month before, counting carefully and trying to figure out if I had made a mistake or not. I was also quite convinced that it couldn’t happen. Uncle Siraj had said that the chances were low. Of course he was right… right?!

“Celebration, of course?!” Aadam finished with a grin, not really noticing me peering at the dates carefully in complete limbo. He was already behind me, peering over my shoulder at his timetable in glee as his arms snaked around my waist. “After a nap and our Thursday night reading… How’s about a cuppa coffee out on the balcony? Or the rooftop? For old time’s sake, yeah? I know we haven’t been there for a while, and I think it’s time we visit my masterpiece of a swing and enjoy the starry night out under the city skies…”

His voice was drowned out by the voices in my head. It couldn’t be. It couldn’t be. How could I not notice how late I was? I was so young. Aadam was sick. We had been taking precautions. I knew this wasn’t safe. I had heard him say that he was scared of the radium affecting a foetus.

Chemotherapy. The chemo. Goodness, Uncle Siraj had directly told him to be careful. He had spoken to him about it extensively. We had always said we had to wait. How did this even happen? This was so dangerous. If it was true, how was I going to raise a child now?!

”Aadam,” I said, slowly turning around and meeting his eye. His smiling face immediately altered as he caught a glimpse of my morbid expression.

”What’s wrong, gorgeous?” He asked, narrowing his eyes slightly as he stroked my cheek. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Life changes. All the time. To put it roughly,  change is truly the only constant. Sometimes the changes are forced on us. Sometimes they happen by mistake. Sometimes we make the most of them. Long story short, change is inevitable. We change, we adapt. We create new versions of ourselves… we try and find our way and all we have to go with at times is the hope that there’s a little light out there in the change that we’ve adapted that can completely alter our hearts…

”Aadam, I’m so, so sorry…”

Dearest Readers,

Apoligies for the delays. My weeks just get too hectic. Just a note on Salaah and Qadha, sincere it’s the month of Rajab and the Sabaq of Rajab is to be consistently punctual and never miss a Salaah… let’s try InshaAllah to make our Qadha and never make a single more.

Allah grant us all the ability.

Much Love 

A xx 

Sunnah Duaa for Month of Rajab 

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

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

Dua on the first night of Rajab is readily accepted by Allah.

Imam Shafi’i RA has stated: “I have heard that duaas are accepted

by Almighty Allah on five nights:

The night of Jumu’ah

The nights of the two ‘Eids

The first night of Rajab

The middle (15th) night of Sha’ban

Allah accept our efforts and Duaas.

A forgotten Sunnah. Eaten fallen particles… Sometimes we forget the Barakah that can be in even a grain of food. To eat what has fallen on the cloth or even the floor… SubhaanAllah.

Anas ibn Maalik narrated that when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ate, he would lick his three fingers. Anas said: “And he said, ‘If any one of you drops a piece of food, let him remove any dirt from it and eat it, and not leave it for the Shaytaan.’ And he commanded us to clean the plate, and said, ‘For you do not know where in your food the blessing is.’” (Narrated by Muslim, 2034). 








Twitter: @ajourneyjournal





Twitter: @ajourneyjournal


Barren Hearts


Bismihi Ta’ala


Everyone has their own struggles in life. Some people are struggling to make ends meet. Some people are struggling in their marriages. Some people have struggles with their kids. Some people are just struggling through the day to day ups and downs that make this thing called life… well, life.

And yes, I had my struggles. With my life. My husband. My past. The things that I thought I had missed out on. The things that I had messed up. But sometimes we have to just say it how it is and move on. Yes, we make mistakes. We gave in to our Nafs. We disobeyed Allah’s commands. We broke His Divine laws. We dated people and made our lives hell. We married someone who wasn’t as he seemed. We cherished people who turned their backs on us. We made bad choices. But we learnt and we found ourselves along the way. We fought. We conquered. We filled our barren hearts and we rose.

And whether I was stuck on a rut or just feeling down, the story of Yusuf (AS) was one that I looked at often for inspiration. This Nabi of Allah was a mere servant who lived for years in the house of Zulekha, a woman of beauty, power and influence. Day in and day out, Zulekha was exposed to his physical allure, a composition so stunning that the Messenger Muhammad [SAW] said:

Yusuf has been given half of all beauty” [Muslim]. 

Zulekha suppressed her desire for Yusuf until she could no longer control it. She was overwhelmed by the inclinations. She waited until her husband left the home, and alone with Yusuf, she lured him into her room, locked the doors and called him to fulfill her lust.

Imam Muhammad Al Qurtubi, the great Quranic commentator, recounts the story:

[After locking the doors] Zulekha attempts to seduce Yusuf.  She beautifies herself in the most attractive of ways and says:

“Oh Yusuf! You have the most handsome of faces.”  

Yusuf, sensing what Zulekha is attempting to do, replies, “This is how my Lord fashioned me in the womb.”

“Oh Yusuf!”she says, “You have the finest of hair!”  

“It will be the first portion of me to wither in my grave,” he replies.

Undeterred, Zulekha presses on. “Oh Yusuf! Your eyes are so beautiful.”  

“I use them to look at my Lord,” he retorts.

“Yusuf, raise your sight and gaze at my face,” she responds.  

“I fear [if I do so] that I will be resurrected blind in the afterlife,” Yusuf answers.

She tries to press herself close to Yusuf, but he moves away. “I come close to you, yet you distance yourself from me?” she asks.

I desire, by that, the closeness of my Lord,” he says.

“Yusuf, I have prepared my bed for you so enter under its sheets with me,” she says.

 Yusuf replies, “Your sheets will not shield me from my Lord.”

“Yusuf, I have prepared the finest of silk covers, so I order you to fulfill my desires!” she exclaims.

 “If I do so,” he says, “My portion of paradise will be lost.”

Her attempt to seduce him was fruitless, and his desire to remind her of Allah was falling on a barren and deaf heart.

And Yusuf [AS] was inclined to her, but he was a prophet of Allah who was in control of his desires.  Zulekha, like you and I, was not. She had an inclination and she went all out for it. She gave in. She allowed her desires to overcome her love for Allah. She found herself to be living with the object of her want…

Her Nafs.  Our Nafs.  A beast inside each and every one of us that we must tame.  An unbridled nafs will lead us to prefer all carnal desires over the love of what Allah and His Messenger Muhammad (SAW) call us to.

“I just can’t believe it…”

I looked at my sister as she said it, a little overwhelmed by everything she had just offloaded onto me. I was in just a little bit of shock. With the constant battle we fight within ourselves sometimes the Nafs can lead even the most unassuming of us into loads of trouble.

”Me neither,” I mumbled to myself as I met her eye. It was a helluva load of information to process  right then and I was a little overwhelmed.

”Do you think he knew that she had a baby?” I asked. I said carefully, watching my sister tie her curly hair back as she looked ahead, almost in a trance. I could imagine that there must be a lot on her mind. “Why would she tell you that she had a ligation and now come back and cause havoc? You think she has an ulterior motive?! Like what if she thinks he will die and then the inheritance…”

Khawlah looked back at me solemnly as I slapped my hand to my mouth. I could barely believe that I had said that. It was a petty thing to worry about but I knew that Aadam was pretty well off and it could be a reason for this whole occurrence. What if this woman was just trying her luck and making my sister miserable in the process..

”It’s okay,” Khawlah said softly, her eyes looking sorrowful. “I had thought the same thing but I don’t think it’s his baby. I mean, maybe it’s wishful thinking… But maybe she wanted me to believe that she couldn’t have kids. I don’t know why…”

Her dark eyes were slightly narrowed, as if she was thinking carefully, and her pale cheeks were looking a little more flushed than usual. I could see that she was a little more stressed about the doctor friends visit than she had let on.

”Are you sure it’s not his baby then?” I said, expecting the worst. What if my brother-in-law did have a child out of wedlock? It would be one of the worst possible things to find out at this stage. It would change everything.

”It doesn’t make sense,” she said softly. “Like the age and the time frames. I really hope that she’s not turning up here to try and unsettle everything. What if his mother finds out?! The baby is only about 14 months. It’s impossible for if to be his child unless…”

Unless he was still seeing her when he had supposedly change his life and was actively becoming interested in Khawlah…

”You should have just asked her,” I said, really hoping that if the kid that pitched up at Aadam’s flat yesterday wasn’t Aadam’s kid. “Just to clarify.”

”I’m seeing her again,” she said. “She didn’t want Aadam to know she was there and wouldn’t stick around in case he saw her. I didn’t argue because I didnt want him to see her either. She thought he would be at hospital or something…”

”Aadam won’t lie to you,” I said confidently. “If he says that it was over then it was over. He’s not the type to drag someone along when he was clearly changing his life. Just don’t ask him as yet. Don’t  jump to conclusions. Remember what happened the last time? You were miserable and so was he. Talk to her first and then see the outcome…”

I was pretty sure about this one. The fact that the doctor who said she was Aadam’s old flame had pitched up out of the blue meant nothing right now. There was definitely something she was hiding but it wasn’t a baby. That much I knew. I would expect something like this to happen to me. Jameel was the type to have messed around and hid it all, until someone randomly showed up to divulge his secrets…  but Aadam…

Khawlah’s relationship with her husband was worlds away from mine. Where I had always had some kind of reservation about Jameel, Khawlah, in the other hand always had full faith in Aadam. It gave me hope and an amazing sense of peace to know that my sister had made a good choice. That Aadam was everything he had seemed and more. That my Duaa for her when she had made Nikah had been answered in so many ways, that it simply blew me away. She was so happy with him and it made me emotional when I thought of it… I just wished that he would feel well and get better soon so everything could go back to normal.

”Zuleikha, can I ask you something?”

I looked at my sister as she looked at me, unsure of where she was headed with the question but nodding anyway. Her pretty face was looking a little slimmer than usual. I wasn’t sure if she was eating properly. I could only assume that all the stress was getting to her. With exams on the way and her husband in a state of uncertainty, I could imagine that having an appetite was not exactly easy…

”How do you hide something from someone you love? Like, how do I be normal with him right now… when this could be so disastrous..?”

I swallowed as I digested the question, pursing my lips slightly as I thought of how to answer her.

“Sabr,” I said softly, meeting her eye. “Lots of Sabr…”

She seemed contented and I wished that I could take my own advice more often. Sabr. Shukar. It seemed so contradictory for me but the sore fact was that my marriage was not exactly a typical one. Jameel and I had had our fair share of gripes and we weren’t completely undamaged due to it. It was just that at certain moments I felt like there was a wall that we couldn’t break down. My thoughts drifted back to this morning’s events, when I walked in to see him with his head in his hands as he stared at the kitchen counter.

”Is everything okay?” I couldn’t help but ask, getting worried.

He looked up at me, giving a small smile as Muhammed ran and climbed up to where his father was and gave him the cutest of hugs.

”Yup, I’m fine,” he said, running his hand through his now prominent beard stressfully and kissing Muhammed’s forehead. “Just family issues. You know how it is.”

I nodded but I didn’t really. It was something we didn’t get into much. I knew that his parents often had marital problems. To put it lightly, if was the cause of my husband’s drug problem and where Jameel had picked up some of his womanising habits too. As a result, his mother was often going on crazy tangents and his sister was always seeking attention in other ways. How parents mess up their kids with their irresponsible behaviour.. sometimes I wanted to bang my head on a wall at their deliberate incompetency as parents. It was Mishka’s first year in university and it seemed like Jameel posed a new issue with her every week.

I could see that he was taking it upon himself and if was stressing him out. Besides the fact that there were different guys bringing her home every day, rumor had it that she was sleeping around. The worst part was that as much as Jameel had changed his life now… there was still little he could do to change the rest of his family. It was something we didn’t talk about because somehow, Jameel just wouldn’t open up about it. It would bring out too many skeletons that he had locked away. Where I wished that we had the kind of relationship that we spoke about anything and everything, the truth was that Jameel and I always had that little avenue where we never ventured. Sometimes it hurt to think that he would close himself up from me about those things, but I had got used to family and his past being no-go zones…

”Did you speak to Khawlah?” He asked suddenly, his brow furrowing as he looked up at me again. He loosened his tie as he waited for my answer, obviously anxious about the news I would have about my brother-in-law. There was a softer side of Jameel that Aadam had somehow appealed to, and from day one, all I’d seen change about him was due to that. Aadam and Khawlah’s union was something that had evolved so much for not just them, but us all…

”I hope he feels well enough tonight,” Jameel said to himself. “He’s been waiting for this for a while. To see everyone settled. That guy’s heart is amazing..”

And so is yours.

I wanted to say it, but somehow, I couldn’t. To compliment Jameel was something I rarely did. I wasn’t sure what it was, but the demons from the past always came back to put a spanner in the works just as I feel I could move past it all…

What was it about us that somehow prevents us from saying things to break the ice? To be nice? Especially to the people we love. And yes, sometimes we think that it’s not a big deal but those little things that remind them about just how special they truly are are sometimes those things that make or break a couple.

“I’ll call her again just now,” was all I said, making an intention to try and be warmer next time. To fill those barren spaces with something that we could hold onto.

I knew that Aadam hadn’t been well after starting treatment but I didn’t want to say it aloud. I didn’t want to mention the fatal and dreaded tumour. My mind was occupied with the possibilities of what could happen if nithing worked and Jameel looked stressed too. Somehow, Aadam had just crept into everyone’s hearts.

Muhammed was busy blabbering away to his father about something I couldn’t quite comprehend as I forced myslef to get ready for the big night ahead and hope for the best…

Of course I had been a little skeptical about Ahmed and Rubeena but since my brother was the surest about anything he had been in his life, I knew that there was little I could truly do to stop him. Part of me was relieved that he had finally come out about his true feelings and there’d be no stress about his erratic mind changes. Part of me was worried that he was taking on more than he could handle. Four boys in your home was a huge lifestyle change.

”I’m so happy for you guys.”

Our conversation about Aadam had been interrupted with their arrival and it was Khawlah who spoke as Ahmed and Rubeena walked into the house, looking completely at ease with each other as they stood there, graciously accepting Du’aas and greeting the few family members who were around. Ahmed looked good in a black kurta that made his eyes look slightly more serious than usual and Rubeena was looking rightfully flushed as she greeted the few aunties of Abba’s who had come from out of town. She was looking beautiful.

Since the Waleemah would be a small and simple affair at a small restaurant later that evening, the guests who had come for the Nikah had already arrived.  The wedding house vibes were very much palpable and I was glad that I had chosen a restaurant for the venue as we simply didn’t have the space at home to accommodate Ahmed’s millions of friends and Jamaat acquaintances. 

I greeted my brother affectionately, making a firm intention to let go of the past tension we had shared. He grinned as I wished him all the best and gave him a playful scolding, hoping that he was following his heart and doing the right thing this time. With Ahmed, unfortunately, we just never know…

I smiled to myself as I watched my brother talking to Rubeena’s boys who were walking ahead of them, a little surprised at how well they actually got along. They were currently dragging him off to play soccer outside and Ahmed shook his head and gave in as he pulled his Kurta off. Right now, it seemed like he had no other worries. Everything else could wait as he just took the tile to enjoy this moment and everything that came with it. He had met Rubeena at her house and brought her here because he wanted everyone to meet her before the Waleema. I really loved that she was so easy-going as she chatted and laughed with even the older ladies who were there.


I turned slightly to see my new sister-in-law next to me now and I reached out to greet her, feeling slightly awkward that I barely spoke to her before this. Somehow… we had just never made an effort to become friends but I hoped that in time we would.

”I just wanted to say thank you for everything,” she said quietly as we stepped out of view. “For planning the function. Even though Ahmed says you were mad at him and a little upset about the past few months that he made you go crazy….”

She flushed slightly as she said it, probably feeling embarrassed on his account. Or maybe hers too.

“I’m sorry,” she said softly. “I feel responsible too… I’m just so glad that the Nikah is done. I half expected my ex-husband to barge into the mosque screaming for it to all stop…”

I smiled as she rolled her eyes, and I immediately felt at ease, despite her openness. I think one of the things that had made me uneasy was the fact that Rubeena had been married before, and her husband was not exactly an amazing guy. Obviously, it meant that it made her into an even more disagreeable person with different aspirations and hang-ups. Seeing her back then had made me realize how my life could have turned out if I had changed nothing. It reminded me of the mistakes I had made. The struggles that I had faced. But seeing her right now… at this stage was what made me realize that it was only when Allah willed for guidance to come, then it poured like His mercy. She had changed so much.

And of course, it was amazing but speaking to her now got me realizing how wrong I had been. How I had judged her. In plain sight, I could see what it was about her that Ahmed liked in the first place. She had an ease about her that I had heard Jameel mention about Aadam. She was so real and incredibly vocal. I loved the way she had a witty remark about serious things and though she was so different to my brother, I knew that these were the precise things that had attracted him. Ahmed needed someone like her to lighten up his life. He needed a balance. Someone who would give him a little allowance to express himself. Where he barely spoke about feelings, Rubeena was exceptionally expressive. She was amazingly normal, despite me thinking otherwise, and though I had previously written her off as a spoilt woman who neglected her kids… I realized that my opinions were quite widely off-base.

Somehow, after seeing them now … I was absolutely convinced. This was, by far, the most intelligent choice that my brother had ever made.

I really did like her, and as I greeted her mother who had come in wearing an exceptionally fancy dress and high heels, I couldn’t help but grin at how different they were. I could see them arguing about something about the menu that was supposed to be changed, finding their relationship pretty amusing as they went on.

I watched Ahmed as he came up to Rubeena, saying something to her and then watching her expression change as they headed down to the lounge. My heart was kind of breaking for my sister as I watched them, knowing that Aadam was having a bad day and might not make it for the function tonight. I made a silent Du’aa for it to be okay for their sake, and just as they disappeared into the lounge and I busied myself with checking if everything was packed and loaded into Jameel’s car for tonight’s function, I couldn’t help but notice a slight murmur among the outside crowd as I spoke aloud to myself.

“Sweet meats,” I murmured to myself. “Bottled water. Flowers…”

Although Ahmed turned up his nose at my ideas and didn’t seem to keen on my event planning, I had taken it upon myself to see to all the minor aesthetics and I loved doing it. It was my hobby to make things look pretty. I was seriously thinking of taking it up as a small business to keep myself busy. Now that Muhammed was growing and Jameel would never allow me to go back to teaching in a school, to do something like this would be my dream. 

I ticked off the things on the list, not noticing the jolly buzz from outside simmer down as I turned around to call Jameel. Though we didn’t have much family here, Ahmed’s friends were outside and a few of Khawlah’s in laws were also around. I had just spotted Jameel and my son, when an achingly familiar face suddenly came into view. My voice caught in my throat as I opened my mouth, not really believing what I saw as I gaped outside.

”What on earth are you doing here?”

I wasn’t even sure who said it as I looked ahead, blinking idiotically as the woman looked back at us with a certain enmity in her eyes. I didn’t know what it was about this woman, but she always came back with a barren heart, a vengeance and the most putrid timing…

If was like the past was coming back to haunt me. Just when I thought that I had moved past it all, this woman just had a habit of turning up where she was least welcome.

A spanner in the works and a ripple in the tide… Abba was gaping from where he stood, not quite believing that she was actually here. My heart hammered in my chest as I expected the worst.

I already knew that Aunty Nas had come back to stir something up…

Bonus post with some awaited revelations… Wonder what Aunty Nas wants now after all this time..?!


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

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

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








Twitter: @ajourneyjournal




Bismihi Ta’ala 


For as long as I could remember, I’ve always wanted a sister. I’m sure you’ve heard that from only daughters before, but it has to be a girls’ thing, right..? To have your very own BFF and confidant that’s just like a meter or two away at any given time must be amazing.

And to tie in with that thought, way back when I was an exceedingly difficult (according to my mother) nine-year-old who was told that I would be getting the long-awaited sibling, I made it very vocal to everyone who mentioned it that it better be a girl. I wasn’t kidding. I was just that kind of vocal personality. For some reason, I just couldn’t imagine having a brother. The thought was way too morbid.

And I know it sounds terrible, but I think it was the first time in my life that I had actually prayed for something. My modern mother wasn’t exactly the type who would encourage me to seek my spiritual side, but it was Ma who had given me the idea. She said to ask for a normal and healthy baby. I took it one step further and asked for a normal and healthy girl baby.

I didn’t see the big deal. I even bargained with Allah, hoping that would work (probably the manipulative genes I inherited from my mother). I truly believed that it was the way to achieve things. Of course…. I still had a lot to learn.

And of course, when Ma came home from the hospital the day my mother went in for her scheduled c-section and told me that it was a boy who they were naming Adam, I was absolutely devastated. I couldn’t believe that my Duaa wasn’t answered the way I wanted. I couldn’t understand why I’d been short-changed.

In my ignorance, what I didn’t realize was that someone else’s Duaa was being answered. That maybe someone else had wanted something more than I did. Maybe we all needed something from this little boy that we didn’t yet see. That years down the line, this little boy would grow up to be an amazing guy who would change someone’s world. What you don’t see in any disappointment is that maybe there was a greater and more intricate plan at work…

And it was like when the mother of Maryam (AS) had her baby girl. Her heart was sorrowful because she wanted a boy. She wanted a boy so badly, because she prayed he would be a prophet. She wanted something so badly but Allah had a better plan. A greater plan was in place… that would reveal so much more than she could imagine. A plan that would make her daughter not just a great woman, but one of the greatest of the world. A plan that would honor her to such an amazing extent that an entire chapter of the Noble Qur’an was named after her. A plan that would make her the mother of one of the greatest human beings, and esteemed Ambiyaa, Isaa (AS).

And sometimes I had to touch base with that. That when things don’t go our way, sometimes we have to tune our minds to that possibility. That despite the joy of getting exactly what you want… sometimes not getting what we want at that moment can bring so much more in the future..

And of course, looking back at the years that he had grown up as more than just a little brother to me, I supposed that I never thought I’d end up loving my brother the way I did. Like the excessively noble qualities of Maryam (AS), my brother too far exceeded my expectations of him. He had become a friend, playmate and confidant. He had become the one person I could rely on, call as my plan B and finally, the inspiration behind me taking the great step towards changing my life that I had never thought I would. Sometimes Allah takes away something important to give you something so much more…

“Okay so first the good news or bad news?”

I looked at my uncle as he said it, peering over at us over his glasses as he flipped pages on the clipboard he was holding. I hated when he got into his doctor mode. All the professionalism just made me feel awkward.

”Do you have to give any news?”

It was Adam who spoke up from the hospital bed, raising his one eyebrow and peering at him cynically. I smiled, despite the dreary atmosphere that was in the room, glad that my brother had finally come to after his half-day coma. The minute Ahmed had told me about his unconsciousness the day before, I really thought he was a goner.

It had been a hysterical fit of drama and screaming road rage as we rushed to get to him, praying with every ounce of me that he would be okay. Begging Allah to give us more time. The fact that he wasn’t responding to Khawlah was something that was freaking us all out, and those few hours before he actually came to were agony. Exhaustion had gotten to him like never before and it seemed like he had exerted himself a little too much to get to that point.

“What’s the bad news, doc?”

It was Shabeer that suddenly spoke from where he was sitting and yes, I didn’t expect him to open his mouth in front of my uncle that day. After the last episode, I would have been too embarrassed to show my face here, but Shabeer was not exactly the type to feel ashamed.

To tell then truth, I didn’t even know why he was there. I hated to bring up skeletons from the closet, but the thing was, he couldn’t even show up for me when I had needed him to do the ABC’s in our marriage, but here he was acting like the concerned and doting brother-in-law who truly cared about extra-curricula responsibilities.

When he had pitched up this morning, instead of doing what I asked him to and seeing to the boys, instead he dropped them at his mothers place and came to the hospital. His excuse was that I needed support. Yes, bring my neurotic self…  I did need support, but the only problem was that it wasn’t his support the I wanted.

“They’ve found something in the scan they did this morning,” Siraj said non-commitedly. “A growth on the spinal cord. We’re waiting for the results of the biopsy and I don’t know why they didn’t pick it up earlier, but of course, it’s all in the plan of the Greater Power and we have to just try and move forward..”

It was like my heart had ceased there for a moment. They found something that could exacerbate his illness and my uncle was surprisingly calm about it.

I looked at my uncle with slightly narrow eyes, wondering what if was that was different about him today. Besides the visible facial hair that made him look almost exactly like my brother now, he seemed worlds away from what he was. Not as highly strung. Cooler. More relaxed. It was like the magic of Tawakkul had been breathed into him. I’d never heard him speak of Allah’s power and relate it to his work. For him, religion had always been a separate entity, and I never thought I’d see the day when he’d merge the two and understand how Allah plays a role in everything that occurs.

Without us realizing it, through spending time with Adam and treating him through this time… there was a unexpected transformation in my uncle that had taken us all by surprise.

“Okay, so what’s next,” Adam said quietly, while I watched them both. Khawlah looked like she was in shock. Of course another complication would change everything for their future. For us all.

I could feel myself started to hyperventilate as I watched the calmness around me. I felt like Adam had known this all along. Like they had this conversation a million times in their heads before, rehearsing if multiple times in order to get it perfectly calm and drama-free. Call me crazy but I seriously felt like banging their heads together. I hated when everyone acted like everything was okay when it clearly wasn’t.

My mother was sitting in the corner of the room, surprisingly quiet. I felt almost nervous as I watched her, half waiting for her to erupt like she sometimes would, when we would least expect it. Only, it was like an inwardly bubbling volcano… even that wasn’t happening…

”I think it’s time to discuss treatment options,” Siraj said steadily.  “On a serious note now. Just so we’re prepared…”

Now he was talking. I tried to breathe in deeply as I watched them.

Relax, I commanded myself. It will all be okay.

I felt like there was a part of my brain saying, “Yeah, right,” but gave it two smacks, blocked it out and focused on the present.

Adam narrowed his eyes and shook his head, a streak of stubbornness filling his eyes as he looked back at Siraj.

”I don’t want to know the treatment options,” he said through gritted teeth. “I’m not doing any systematic chemo or radium and I told you this before!”

I felt my heart drop. Where there was no will… there was no way…

“Adam,” Siraj said firmly. “This may be the last option. Stop being so damn stubborn. Chemo and radium have had high success rates. You even get the tablets. If it is what I think it is, why don’t we just try to treat the cancer and try and eliminate those cells.’-“

“It destroys the cancer cells but it destroys everything else with it,” Adam retorted. “I don’t want to be stuck not being able to have kids for the rest of my life… however long that may be!”

I could see Siraj visibly wince as he said it, and Adam immediately realized his mistake. My uncle looked like he had been stung, but being use to controlling his emotions, he recovered quickly, clenching his jaw as he looked at my brother.

Of course it was a sensitive topic for him. Both the topics…. but not having kids… well, he knew the reality of what it felt like and didn’t want that for my brother either. I’m sure he wouldn’t suggest that unless it was necessary.


It was Khawlah who spoke softly, and all eyes were on her as she walked slowly up to my brother’s side. I could see her reaching for his hand while she tried to compose herself. Of course this wasn’t easy. Of course it was taking a lot out of her, but the maturity of my brothers teenage wife just astounded me over and over again. When I looked at her, even I felt like a little kid who had no control over my emotions at all.

“I know you’re worried and scared and a little overwhelmed,” I heard her say. “But I want to hear them. I want to know our options. Can we just listen? For me?”

I could see my brother instantly soften as he looked at her, visibly soothed just by her presence as he nodded. A single tear rolled down her cheek as she looked at him, and I could see him squeeze her hand back as they looked at Siraj expectantly. It was so emotional that I wanted to bawl my eyes out right there and then.

It was the first time I had witnessed this kind of emotional intensity… and as they spoke seriously in low tones, my heart was thudding methodically as I watched their heartfelt fears unfold on their faces with bated breath.

My mind was abuzz with information. Adam was expressionless as Siraj. My parents were looking alarmed. I could just imagine what I looked like as I kept blowing my nose noisily, because I felt like my heart was breaking apart, bit by bit, solely due to this new discovery.

And of course, since I was an expert at getting caught up in awkward moments, it was at that very moment when I glanced at the door and saw a considerable figure hovering there, causing my heart to accelerate as I realized who it was. He was looking inquiringly at Adam with relief on his face. Relief and absolute joy that made me want to smile despite my own tears. Of course he was ecstatic that Adam was looking normal. Awake. Alive.

I looked away as he came in, moving back to the outskirts of the room, feeling a thudding in my chest as I thought about our last conversation. I tried to appear all normal and together by doing the noble lowering my gaze thing, but my heart was a stubborn vessel that refused to co-operate with my mind. It was already beating away, way out of control…

”We both know that this is not what we planned,” Ahmed had said almost in a rush as the call came and just before the drama all unfolded the day before. “But if we both know what we want then I really don’t see a reason to delay this any longer…”

He trailed off as his hazel eyes met mine, and I could tell that this was a mouthful for him. I wasn’t sure if I’d heard the guy speak more than ten words in one sitting and that day he had exceeded way more than twenty. For once in my babbling life I was a little gobsmacked, but if I had to really introspect, I think that it was one of the things I had felt myself liking about him. When I found myself short of words, anyone knew that I was impressed.

He was so different. Despite the fact that he clearly had all the Deeni aspects that I had been looking for, I loved that he wasn’t a charmer. Never looking to impress anyone or care what they thought. Unlike Shabeer, he wasn’t a talker. He said few words that meant business and that was what had got me. I wasn’t sure what it was about this guy who was so much younger than me, but seemed like he knew so much more. Maybe age was just a number. Despite it all, his eyes spoke more about the world than I had seen in my entire thirty years.

I had already given my consent, but there was just one problem amidst it all that I didn’t exactly anticipate. Shabeer pitching up early that morning, looking all sparkly and sober was something that was quite baffling. Whether he had got wind of what was going on, I wasn’t sure, but as I stood there, I could see Ahmed glance from me to Shabeer warily, and the two of them locked eyes for a minute before I intentionally turned around to leave the room, my heart hammering in my chest for fear of what may come out of this.

Goodness. This was probably going to cause a stir. If Shabeer knew about the proposal, this could be trouble. If Ahmed mentioned anything, it would bring a helluva lots of havoc too. Besides the two of them, my mother would probably hound me relentlessly and Khawlah would come to know the truth before I got the chance to explain it all…

I tightened my grip on my handbag as I got made my way to the door, knowing that Shabeer already had his guard up. I knew that Ahmed made him sweat and the thought gave me a strange sense of satisfaction. It was just that right then, I couldn’t bare to watch any possible drama unfold, because my nerves had already taken a helluva load in the last twenty-four hours.

In my mind, there was only one solution. Coffee. I needed some coffee. To see it all clearer and put everything into perspective. I felt selfish. Like I was worried about my own future and security when my brother was basically withering away. I wish that there was someone I could confide in.. to ask… to truly know what the right thing to do was right then.

Think good thoughts, I tried to coax it. Happy thoughts.

And just as I calmed myself down and the lady handed me my double caffeinated triple-sugared lifesaver, it was just on cue that my mothers kitten heels could already be heard amidst the regular hustle and bustle of the reception, coming from the direction of the elevator. I held my breath as I turned and looked, hoping against every hope that it wasn’t hers and maybe just someone who sounded like her. But as my luck always had it, fate was never really on my side and I could see my mother fix her gaze on me as I tactically chose a spot far away from any strangers ears, knowing that my mother already meant business.

I held my breath as I watched her, slowly and torturously leading up to what I knew would be some sort of explosion, by now expertly recognizing the familiar body language and absolutely dreading what would be happening in the next few moments. She was now directly in front of me, and it was obvious that I could avoid eye contact no more. I looked up reluctantly, giving her a shaky smile as I told her to take a seat, well aware that she wouldn’t anyway.

There was no way to postpone the impending doom any longer. I was already wishing that she would just explode already, because the anticipation was way more nerve-wrecking.

“I can’t believe it!” She muttered through gritted teeth, careful about not causing a huge scene from the beginning. This was how it always started, and she was getting better at the build-up. Soft and almost embarrassed… before it morphed into something loud and appallingly embarrassing…

”Ma, I can explain-“

”Explain?!” She said, her eyes widening as she looked at me. “I don’t understand how people think sometimes. Acting all innocent and then coming to a hospital at such a crucial time and turning everything completely upside down!”

I cringed. I supposed she was right. I knew exactly what she meant but I really didn’t mean to. I knew that my mother was in love with my ex-husband (mainly because of his amazing genes and light hair) but that didn’t mean that I couldn’t look for happiness elsewhere since he had made me feel like a disposed diaper so many times. What I didn’t know was how to explain to her that I really didn’t mean to be selfish at this crucial time…

”It’s just uncalled for!” She said, her voice expectedly rising now. “Unheard of. Makes me so suspicious, you know!  All this time and now suddenly she pitches up here all concerned about what’s going on in my family -“

”Wait, Ma,” I said suddenly, not really understanding who the ‘she’ was in the conversation. What was she going on about?

My mother looked at me stonily, obviously peeved that I had interrupted her onslaught.

“Who is the she?” I asked, obviously confused. Was there a female intruder that I should be worried about? Just when I thought I had enough of them during my marriage to Shabeer, along comes another…

I really had such amazing luck.

”Didn’t you see her talking to me?” My mother asked incredulously, her eyes narrowing as she stared ahead and half gestured her eyebrows towards someone sitting a few tables away. “That woman!”

I turned my face, half expecting to see a young woman who would be my sworn rival to be looking back at me. Maybe she was one of Shabeers ex-wives? Someone who wanted to cause a stir? Worse still, what if it was Ahmed’s ex-fiancé looking to cause trouble?! I swallowed nervously as I thought of the possibilities, wondering if that’s how my mother had heard the recent  news. Maybe there was a huge confrontation in the ward and I had missed if because I had been too chicken to face my own music.

Ah, the embarrassment that might have ensued. Sometimes I really wanted to kick myself.

But thankfully, the worry was in vain because as I looked up, what I saw instead was a middle-aged woman of medium complexion,  donned in a purple maxi dress and flaunting her recently dyed mahogany straightened hair. By now, of course, I was completely confused.

”That’s her!” My mother muttered with a scrunched up face. “The woman I was talking about. She just came out of nowhere, mocked at my genuine caesarstone counters and stole my recipe and then said it was hers. Can you believe her?! Why is it that everytime there’s a problem I spot her face, Rubeena?!”

I shrugged as I looked at my mother, knowing that craziness doesn’t go much further than this. I sincerely hoped that the kuku genes were not hereditary.

I frowned at my mother, knowing that I would probably never understand her, as long as I tried.

“Mum,” I said calmly, a mixture of relief and annoyance flooding through me. So she didn’t know about Ahmed. That was a relief. I could just imagine the spectacle it would cause when she did find out, but for now I dwelled on the bliss. “It’s only a recipe-“

”But this just it, Rubeena!” My mother almost shouted, flinging her hands up in the air. “It’s never just a recipe! See how she’s looking at us! Your divorce, Adam’s sickness and everything that’s happened… This is much more than just a recipe, Rubeena, and you know it!”

She looked at me and I stared back at her in amusement. She was really cracking me up.

”Im serious, Rubeena,” she said, her voice dropping as I looked at the lady with her cynically narrowed eyes. I felt like she would bore a hole through her head with the way she was glaring.

Besides, I didn’t really buy Mum’s theory. I mean, she looked slightly familiar, but I couldn’t quite place why…

It was all a bit of a concocted mystery, but what I didn’t know at that point was that despite my mother’s seemingly ridiculous speculations, there was a reason that this woman always seemed to be around her… a reason that my mother had noticed her and a noted blast from someone’s past that was here to dig up some skeletons that were long locked away…

Don’t forget our Sunnah Revival!

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

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

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









Twitter: @ajourneyjournal

Real Time Moments

Bismihi Ta’ala


Memories are a funny thing. It’s weird how there are things you just can’t remember… and things you just can’t seem to forget.

It was a week or two after I turned six, that Khalid dragged me aside one day, towing me along with him in excitement as we got to the entrance of the gardening shed. It was no wonder that I could recall the time of year clearly, because it was when the trees were starting to lose their leaves and Autumn was proudly beginning to show it’s presence.

And that summer had been an adventure in itself. Since Mama was sick, I had enough time to spend looking for the right tools and seeds to invest in our garden, always trying new ways to help our plants grow. I had learnt that a toss of the soil every now and then can sometimes bring up seedlings of plants that I thought were dead and gone. I had realized that, with a little sprinkle of water, chatter and care as I worked along, my plants would somehow thrive on real conversation. Further more, after setting up a tiny enclosure for them with some sticks and  mesh that we had found in that very garden shed, the little seedlings that were barely growing before were prospering like there was no tomorrow.

I was becoming an expert gardener, even if I did say so myself.

“What is it?!” I said to Khalid impatiently, watching him as his silvery eyes darted around, almost as if he was looking for something that had once been hidden there.

“There it is!” he said suddenly, pointing as his face suddenly lit up. He was probably nearly eight at the time. He stretched out his long arm to grab what looked like some sort of handle, and before could even ask him what he was onto today, out came an old, but magnificent, two-wheeled bicycle.

“Today,” he said proudly, his face beaming as he looked at me. “We’re learning something new.”

I looked at him blankly and frowned. It wasn’t like it had ever been a great ambition of mine. But according to Khalid, everyone around me had learnt to ride and it was about time that I did too.

I still remembered him holding the back of my seat and then letting go… and that feeling of gliding along, knowing that I was doing it all by myself was just beauty…

The exhilaration of riding a bike was unmatched. It was, essentially, a true and unprecedented feeling of all-encompassing freedom…

And then as he ran ahead of me, something that had escaped my notice before had suddenly come to my attention as I watched him. I could see him kicking almost invisible pieces of something that lay ahead of me, precisely on the path that I was riding.

”Hey,” I shouted to him bossily. “Why do you keep doing that?”

Why did he take the trouble to stop every few seconds just to kick a small insignificant thing off the path.

And then of course, as he ran ahead in his boisterous voice and his Papa’s wise words, to told me the story of the man who was granted Paradise due to his small but sincere act of moving obstacles out of someone’s path.

And the most amazing part of the story was that never for one moment did that man who swept thorns aside or removed a branch of a tree from a path think that it would be the happiest day of his life… but he was told that because of that, he would enter Jannah.

Nabi (ﷺ) said: “A man never did a good deed but removed a thorny branch from the road; it was either in the tree and someone cut it and threw it on the road, or it was lying in it, he removed it. Allah accepted this good deed of his and brought him into Paradise.” [A narration of Hasan Sahih grade (Al-Albani); refer Sunan Abi Dawud no. 5245]

And until Khalid brought it to my attention, I had no idea that the act of saving people from harm and loss was so greatly liked by Allah, no matter how small it is. I didn’t know that to remove an obstacle from one’s path was not only about the physical aspect. It had a deeper and more profound meaning. By a little extra time taken on the path to make someone else’s easier… in a selfless act that costs nothing at all… can even be the very reason Allah grants you your Jannah.

“You’re doing it, Khawlah!” Yunus has shrieked as he made an appearance outside, thrilled by my achievement. “You’re riding by yourself!”

Whoop, whoop!” Khalid shouted, his voice echoing as he cupped his hands around his mouth to amplify his excitement.

I could glimpse him running around frantically as I concentrated, trying to get me to steer properly while I manoevred myself around the pavement.

Aunty Sarah!” Khalid screamed as I finally got the hang of it, obviously all hyped up. “Look out! It’s Khawlah! She’s riding!

And of course, as my mothers beaming face made an appearance from the top floor after a few seconds, I forgot about pressing brakes and went crashing down once again.

But that was all in the fun of riding, wasn’t it? The perseverance… the aspiration… and then the accomplishment of finally getting it right. It took me a few tries but eventually, I did.

The sweetness of childhood was so beautiful. The thrill that every new achievement brought was glorious as we played amidst familiar Jacaranda trees that towered above. The freedom that came with riding a bike for the first time was one of the few memories that I recalled of my mother…

And I didn’t realize it then, but those were the perfect memories were etched in my mind for years to come. Fountains of love.. spilling over with ambition… torrents of emotion that never seemed to deplete… so much had happened here, and I couldn’t help but let it all overwhelm me as I glimpsed  out.

That same window, in years to come, would be the one I would look up to as I played hopscotch in the street, climbed our favourite tree, or just happened to be playing some nonsensical game that bided our time. And little did I know that it was the same window that I would look up to again, to see Hannah often looking out, with a look of certain forced aloofness. I had almost forgotten her ever-presence, though it was eerily noticeable at the time.

Sometimes I wondered why she never came down. Khalid was a friendly guy and Yunus never really minded her. Hannah would have probably had quite a lot more fun in her childhood if she had let go a bit. Was she afraid to be a real child? What was it about her that kept her away?

Now that I thought about it, the memories of her gazing at us, almost in unexplained longing, were a little disturbing. It’s recollection made me see things a bit differently. I shuddered as I remembered, trying to block out her screeching voice on the days I would come home and witness her tantrums…

“Hey, are you okay?” Aadam said, reaching out to grasp my hand.

I snapped back to the present as I looked at my husband, not realizing that my thoughts were showing on my face. Damaged. So, so damaged. It was a pity that Aunty Nas had messed her child up so severely…

I glanced at Aadam and already felt comforted as he looked back at me with concern. No matter what had happened… or how much my past came back to haunt  me… being with him just felt like home.

And I was feeling all optimistic as he gave me his dazzling smile, because I really did expect the best today. Despite the drama and his mothers snide remarks earlier about my connection with Hannah, and behaving like the entire episode had been my fault… I had decided to overlook it. It was hard but I held my head high and walked away saying I would try and make it all okay.

For His sake. For the sake of Allah. There was no need to get upset. Of course, Aadam would say that she didn’t mean harm. She was just upset about everything that had happened. Her remarks weren’t to be take seriously.

What we didn’t know was that as we turned into the driveway I showed him, it would be a complete anti-climax. It wasn’t like we didn’t expect it, but my worst fears were already confirmed. Aadam’s face changed instantly as I spotted the car ahead. It was one with flashing lights…

Shabeer,” he sighed, closing his eyes and inhaling as he said it. He looked apologetic. “Always has to prove a point.”

I honestly wanted to cry. Even after asking him to hold off… he had still sent the police. I knew that this couldn’t bring much good.

We both jumped off the car, just as Shabeer and Ruby pulled in behind us.

“Where’s Hannah?” I asked, upset about the turn of events.

“Sorry,” Shabeer said, shrugging indifferently. “I had to do what’s best for my family. They’re taking her away to a secure rehab. I couldn’t risk it.”

I gritted my teeth as I turned away. Typical chauvinist male behaviour. Wanting to be the hero without even considering the facts. I rushed to the car that she was said to be in, hoping that I could speak to her. Hoping I could get some answers.

I peeped through the tinted car window, knowing this was the only way. Was she even in there? I could see nothing.

“Sorry ma’am,” the Indian cop said as he stepped in front of me. “She’s not in a good state… a bit of hallucination too. She needs to get help.”

”But I really need to talk to her,” I said desperately. “Please.”

The guy was adamant.

“Strict instructions,” he said, shrugging. “Sorry.”

And with that he got into the car with his partner and swiftly reversed out.

I felt completely deflated. I was so, so close… so close, yet so far.

And the thing is, though I was so angry for everything she had done to me, and how she had constantly used my name to tarnish my own reputation, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. I wished that I could see her…. to try and figure this out. I wished that we could revisit some of the places where everything had seemed to fall apart. The parts of childhood that we spent together were so hazy.

”I’m sorry, beautiful,” Aadam said softly, as he came behind me, reaching out for my hand. “I know she’s done a lot of damage… Maybe it’s better this way?”

“I don’t think he wants me to speak to her,” I said angrily, swallowing as I watched Shabeer with a look of satisfaction on his face.

Money spoke. Oh yes, it definitely did, and it wasn’t always fair.

“I think there’s another reason he did this. I think Hannah’s got deeper problems than rehab.”

Aadam sighed and shrugged.

“So does Shabeer,” he said obviously. “But let’s not spoil our mouths yeah? You want to show me where little Khawlah used to live..? I think we just need to forget about everything that happened today. Let’s just erase the last two hours and start over.”

I glanced at the house as everyone else departed with a few minutes. It was just him and me.

“I wish I could,” I said, wondering if that day was ever going to end. From Danyaal to Shabeer to Hannah… and then of course, my mother-in-law…

My husband seemed to think that things had improved between his mother and I. I didn’t want to break his heart and tell him that they had gotten worse.

“You need to learn to switch off,” he said as he watched me, turning me around and trying to physically relax my shoulders. “Come on, that’s what this morning was about. The sunrise… the sunshine. See… it’s such a beautiful day and being with you is the best part of it. Stop being such a hard nut. Forget about everything… it all going to get sorted. Hannah, Shabeer… even my mother…”

”Your mother hates me,” I said on cue, thinking how expertly my mother-in-law fooled Aadam. He was really such an unassuming guy that he suspected nothing fishy at all. He didn’t even notice her staring at me like she wanted to kill me.

”She doesn’t!” He said, looking alarmed.

”She does,” I retorted, looking him in the eye.

“Even if that’s true, which I’m sure it isn’t, one day it’s going to be different,” he said stubbornly. “One day, she’s going to realize who you really are, and she’s going to love you.”

”Yeah,” I said, without missing a beat. “After I’m dead.”

I could see Aadam closing his eyes and holding his head in his hands when I said it, desperately trying not to laugh. I couldn’t resist a teeny smirk.

Khawlaah,” he murmured, coming toward me and shaking his head with an amused grin. “She will love you. Before you die. For now it doesn’t matter. Right now, I love you. I’m happy with you. Can we just do something fun for the rest of the day. Forget about everything else. Today is your day. What do you want to do?”

I sighed and looked at the house, trying to forget. Did I want to go in?

Abba had never sold the house after we moved out. He had rented it out a few times, but it had been vacant for a few months now and I actually had no idea how Hannah was even aware of that…

I shielded my eyes from the sun as I stepped around for a minute, the route so familiar as I recalled running through the garden patch, down the back alley and into Khalid’s amazing garden. Ours was a decent size, but Aunty Radiyyah’s home was always the ultimate.

Aunty Radiyyah. Thinking about her always made me smile. I hadn’t seen her in ages. Things had gotten so busy at home… with school and Rubeena… I actually didn’t even have a chance to even call her.

“I got a better idea,” I said, yanking the car door open again. I wasn’t ready for the trip some memory lane. Besides, the time for Asr Salaah had set in and I knew that I would also have to find a place to pray.

Aadam was looking at me curiously as he started his car, his one eyebrow furrowing slightly as he eyed me out. I could tell that he was amused by my sudden idea.

“I want to visit someone,” I said glancing at him. “One of my mothers old friends… and mine too. She lives down the road.”

”Really?” He said, sounding surprised. “Did you ever tell me about her?”

”I might have mentioned her,” I said, not certain.  “Aunty Radiyyah. I used to play there often when we were kids.”

”Hmmm,” Aadam said, glancing at me sideways.

Did I see something flicker in his eyes?

“I think I remember,” he murmured.

“Keep driving,” I said quietly. “I’ll show you the house.”

”How old is she?” Aadam asked, putting on a sudden serious face and pulling down his mirror to check his appearance. “Is she nice?”

“Very,” I said, amused at him. “I’m sure you’ll like her. But she’s too old for you though, sorry. She had her Khalid a little late in life…”

”Shucks,” he said, pretending to be upset as I rolled my eyes at him. There was a mischievous glint in his eyes as he turned to peck me on the cheek. Of course he was just messing around.

She had once told me that she never thought she would be able to have a child. And then, Khalid came along, completely out of the blue….

“You coming?” I asked him, reaching for the door handle. Maybe Khalid’s father would be home. There was still fifteen minutes till Jamaat at the masjid.

“Is Khalid around?” he asked, catching my eye as he said it. I could see he was trying to figure my emotions as he ran his hands through his beard. He probably wanted to know more. “I’d like to meet him one day.”

I looked back at him easily. We were parked outside Aunty Radiyyah’s magnificent porch and I couldn’t help but admire my one of my favourite bushes that was staring right at me. The birds were teetering above in the nearby oak tree we used to so easily climb. Looking at it again, it seemed so daunting. I wanted to tell Aadam all about it.

Once again, so many moments that I had clung onto… but were now just a distant memory. It seemed like it was all so long ago… So did Khalid…

”I don’t think so,” I said softly. I was certain that he was still in Egypt.  “But one day, maybe you will…”

He smiled as we stepped out, just taking it all in for a few perfect moments…

The purple, lilac and white flowers ahead  were in full bloom, and I couldn’t miss  it’s deeply perfumed scent that I inhaled with unprecedented satisfaction. It was amazing. The fragrance of yesterday, today, tomorrow’s were my favourite kind of smell…

Besides being instantly calmed by natural ambience of Aunty Radiyyah’s front garden, the truth was that I was actually ecstatic to see her again.  This was going to be the best turn of events today…

Aadam stretched out his hand to grasp mine as we walked together down the once familiar path.

The same path on which we’d ran frantically through the rain as kids, to head back home. The exact path where we had played hopscotch on all those years ago, when we would be too lazy to draw the lines.The very path that held so many unfiltered memories, that I had to do let it all sink in as I recalled just how much of my childhood I had spent there.

And yes, there was so much that filled our hearts at the time. The nature.. the beauty… Memories and moments that we couldn’t put into words…. but right now… well, right then, those were the very moments that truly counted.

Because sometimes we don’t realize that the best thing about memories, is making them. Sometimes we need to stop right where we are, hold up and just take it all in. Cherish the moment. Soak it in. Let your heart swell with joy of the beauty of being in the present and making it amazing..

These real time moments were ones that we took for granted. What I didn’t know was that the little moments that I was living right then with Aadam were the ones that I would look back on as the greatest memories… for many years to come…

Authors Note: Please excuse if posts are a little delayed. Have been feeling a bit under the weather but will be back on schedule soon Insha Allah. 

Much Love, 
A 🌸

Sunnah reminder: Speaking Kindly: Abu Hurayrah(RA) relates that Nabi (SAW) may , said: “Whoever believes in God and the Last Day should speak a good word or remain silent.  And whoever believes in God and the Last Day should show hospitality to his neighbor.  And whoever believes in God and the Last Day should show hospitality to his guest.”

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A New Life

Bismilllahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Okay. So maybe I shouldn’t have interfered. I know. It was just pure Zee nature to, but sometimes it’s not always the best option to stick your nose in business that doesn’t concern you.

But there’s always an opposing view to every situation. Everyone likes to think that they are right.

The nagging factor here was: Did it really not concern me? I mean, it was right in front of me, and I could see that something clearly funky was going on. I mean, the minute I spot someone I vaguely recognise, of course my senses get slightly more heightened than before. And then, of course, when I realise something was clearly wrong with the scene, I knew I couldn’t just walk away.

We all got caught up. They say that the nature of this world is such, that anything for the sake of Deen becomes difficult, when we are consumed by it. This world is a series of luring and enchanting hints and charms, that can get us to think that whatever is right now, is forever. We see the way the western world portrays the glory of sin. The glory of luxury. The glory of a world where everything looks so peachy only from the outside.

And just like there’s something always off-base about the fantasy world, something just wasn’t right with this scene. I knew it as I held in my breath just after I said the words to halt it, hoping to dissolve the tension in the air.

“Bru,” I said now, offering a small smile now. “Relax with the lady… People are getting worried.”

It was true. And even though it might have been seriously delayed, bur when all I got was a furious stare back at me, then I kind of realised that I should back off.

And then, without any actual warning, a sudden stinging on my right hand side was a wake up call to my senses.

So much for being the knight in shining armour. It was a serious anti climax.

I instinctively flexed my hand and dropped the tasbeeh Waseem had gifted me back into my pocket, but it wasn’t soon enough. I was still trying to figure out what I had done wrong, when I heard the impact of the blow to my face before I even felt it. I widened my eyes at the effect of what had just happened, only realizing a few seconds after that I had, most definitely, been targeted right in the face. Although I wasn’t being entirely superficial, I really hoped that I didn’t have anything to show for it as I immediately reached up my hand to feel the spot where the burning was.

I looked almost begrudgingly at the guy I recognized from our last visit to Waseem’s in-laws, wondering what on earth was wrong with him. In all fairness, I knew I could have hurt him back, but I really didn’t want to go there. Besides, who knew what would happen to the chic in question if I had to start a full-blown fight. The Zee was just starting to kill the reputation that I had earned for myself all these years, and despite his assault, I actually felt sorry for the guy as I literally saw the steam draining from his face, when he realised that he might have taken my little intervention a little too far. He was at least slowly calming down after his attack, and I took it as an opportunity to knock some sense in.

I sucked my breath in, killing the urge to hit him back, trying to see the bigger picture here.

There was a girl a few meters behind him, looking hesitantly at us both, and the other girl, who I knew was his sister, was just looking plain angry. I mean, I didn’t blame her. All this extra drama was revolving around her, and from the time I had first laid eyes on her, those two or so odd years ago, I realised that she wasn’t exactly the type who loved attention. Strange for a chic, but precisely what I had been taken aback by before when my spirits were too high and my gaze was never controlled.

Now, a little wiser and more in control, I kept my gaze lowered and actually held myself from looking up as I spoke.

“I can see there’s a problem here,” I said quietly, not wanting to draw more attention to us. “So I just wanted to help. But if you’ll can both assure me that it’s all okay…”

Of course, it clearly wasn’t.

“I don’t want to go with them,” was all I heard, and I immediately knew that something was wrong within the dealings here. The other girl was looking seriously awkward as she stood there, and I immediately put two and two together to get the idea that this whole thing was just really uncomfortable.

I always thought this guy was one of those hectic types, but as I watched his sisters disapproval, I realized that he had probably got caught up.

Yes. We all got caught up. We know that this world is a series of luring and enchanting hints and charms, that can get us to think that whatever is right now, is forever. We see the way the western world portrays the glory of sin. The glory of luxury. The glory of a world where everything looks so peachy only from the outside.

But what we don’t see is the behind the scene junk of how messed up it really is. The abuse, alcohol and drug addictions. The constant chase for something more, that obviously cannot fill that deep hole in the gut. The emptiness that lingers, as long as that life continues, just gets worse as time goes on. Eventually, what seemed like a fairytale to the world had become a sudden nightmare instead. That was how it all went down, when you are consumed with what the western world has made us believe. There’s no helping it because in the books and movies, it all looks so pretty. The ugly reality is that it is only part of this world. Temporary. Unsatisfactory.

And of course, this world is also just what Allah tells us it is. An extremely breath-taking, beautiful lie.

And I would have thought that these people, whom I had categorized into the wiser type that I had never known as I grew up, would be the ones who would know the truth, but I supposed you can’t judge people from how they grew up.

As I could hear a change of tone and quiet muffling, I knew that I probably wouldn’t get much joy out of the situation than already was. The aggression had eased, and I heard the two siblings talking slightly more calmly about plans and what the problem really was, I knew I could actually excuse myself and be on my way. No need to wait around, because as an elderly man walked up who looked like he was family, and I knew that it was my cue to walk away. This was no longer my concern.

And of course, with a slight feeling of emptiness lingering within, as I got into my car, I couldn’t help but feel slightly guilty.

Not because I had stared at the bombshell girl like the old Zee would, because it was only through the grace of my Rabb that I hadn’t taken advantage of the situation.

The guilt here, stemmed purely because of my thoughts and memories. Like it was for the people I had just met, there was a time when life was much more promising for me. When I was also caught up, and could have taken a different way out,

I wish that I could turn and re-live it. Memories. Thoughts. How life could have been different. How I could have changed everything that had happened with Farah. How I could have had a different life to what I had now.

But of course, what had happened was always what was meant to. There was no questioning or preventing what had already occurred. It was all within Divine Decree, and the plan for what lay ahead.

Right now, I knew that although I hadn’t completely failed Farah in marriage, when it came to the present, I could still make effort. Maybe, with Farah’s death, I had always undermined what I could still do. Maybe even in death, it all wasn’t the end all and be all.

With that in mind, I drove, for the first time to the graveyard that Farah was buried at, knowing that there were still things that I hadn’t yet faced.

I parked off, not allowing my thoughts and racing mind to get the better of me as I tried to locate the place I remembered where we had buried her. I reached the grave with slight hesitation, knowing that her family had probably been here many times before I had decided to come back.

Guilt plagued me, and my breath was shaky as I walked the distance to the grave, mentally kicking myself for being so terrible. So distant.

Farah did try. Although we were struggling at the end, it wasn’t her fault that we just weren’t meant to be. I wasn’t sure why I had taken so long to do it, but being here finally released me from all those shackles that seemed to be binding me. Being here, where I knew I should have come ages ago, made me remember the reality of what lay ahead for every one of us. It also made me remember that once upon a time, though it might have been wrong, I tried to right something that had got really messed up. Maybe that was all I needed to remind myself that there was still hope out there. That I could actually move forward without guilt. That maybe, somewhere far ahead, there was a brighter future ahead.

I crouched down, my hands delving into the soil that I remembered throwing into the grave all those months ago. I could smell it’s dampness, which was evident of the late summer rains we had during the past few days. I could almost even hear Farah’s voice, as if prompting me… And then, of course, I remembered to do what I knew I should have come here to do a long time ago.

I raised my hands in Du’aa, praying for not only her, but even myself, as we each embarked on our separate journeys. Hers was a new one, which she would face alone, but at each interval that I passed in my journey, I knew that I could remember her and at least send something that might make a difference to those who had passed on.  It was the only thing that we could ever pass on , and the dwellers of the graves await the prayers of those who came to pass on their gifts of Qur’an and Du’aa.

‘Aa’ishah (RA) was reported to have said: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went out one night, and I sent Bareerah to follow him and see where he went. She said, ‘He went towards Baqee’ al-Gharqad [the graveyard in Madeenah], and he stood at the bottom of al-Baqee’ and raised his hands, then he went away.’ Bareerah came back to me and told me, and when morning came I asked him about it. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah, where did you go out to last night? He said, ‘I was sent to the people of al-Baqee’, to pray for them.’”

I finally placed my hands down, knowing that it would be getting dark soon, but promising myself that I would come back in a few days. A little overcome by emotion, I trudged slowly to the car, forgetting for a moment about everything in this world except for the cutter-off of pleasures.

It’s where our mind should be focussed at most times, but we refused to acknowledge that the end was definitely coming, whether we were prepared for it or not. I shook my head to myself as I started the car, the realisation hitting me now  harder than ever before. That was why visiting the graveyards was such a huge requirement. It was the only thing that gave you the kind of awakening that only death could.

A small buzz from within the centre consol of my car jerked me out of my thoughts, as I tuned back to the events of this life. I hastily pusher the flap to open, seeing missed calls from my brother, and a few new messages showed on the screen. As soon as I saw them, a feeling of anxiety coupled with obvious excitement crept in, as the reality of what was happening set in.

It was time. Muhammed needed me. I knew that I was probably the only guy who was around for him, and my brother just needed me there. It was a little early, but the news that a new life was on its way here was something I needed to get my focus on again.

Amidst the pungent emotions and memories that surfaced when I thought of my own son, I didn’t dwell on it, because I knew that this little person- a new life- would probably bring a new beginning for us all.

Next post may be a little delayed, so I apologise in advance. 

Please Don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!

Nabi ﷺ said, “He who has taken food and says at the end: ‘Al- hamdu lillahi-lladhi at’amani hadha, wa razaqanihi min ghairi haulin minni wa la quwwatin (All praise is due to Allah Who has given me food to eat and provided it without any endeavour on my part or any power),’ all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Tirmidhi)

SubhaanAllah. Let’s try and observe the Sunnah Duaas of eating InshaAllah.



#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood




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Past to Present

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Waseem: Into the future

“Can I sit here?”

I looked up as I heard the slightly familiar voice, realizing that the person it belonged to was no stranger.

I squinted slightly, nodding slowly as Raees sat down, wondering what on earth this guy wanted.

“I’ve heard a lot of things about you.. But I didn’t know you smoke,” he said, pulling out his own box of cigarettes from his pocket, and eyeing me out as he lighted his.

I quickly stubbed mine, annoyed about his comment and annoyed that he had to see it. I wasn’t a regular smoker. Recently, I just needed something to keep me from going completely crazy, and cigarettes were the best and safest solution. I didn’t want to go back to where I came from.

I didn’t reply to him, as I looked ahead in silence at the cars coming in and out of the service station. It was late in the afternoon, and it was slowly filling up as people were stopping for supplies or a quick fill of petrol.

“I wanted to talk to you,” he said now, and I waited for him to expand. I wondered what he was doing in my part of the world on a weekday.

“About Zaynah.”

I looked at him sharply as he said her name, annoyed that he had the audacity to say it. My Zaynah. My wife. Who did this guy think he was?

“How is my wife?” I asked bluntly, looking him in the eye. He shrugged and took a pull of his cigarette.

“Same,” he said vaguely. “She still doesn’t know you.”

I took in a a sharp breath as my heart plummeted back to where it had been two weeks ago when I had went to see her, with no response. She spoke to me as if I was a stranger, and looked at me as if she was just waiting for me to leave. I hadn’t been back since, and it wasn’t because I didn’t want to. I just didn’t think I had the heart to.

“So what did you come here for?” I asked him, waiting for him to cut to the chase and leave. He was taking long purposefully as he pulled deeply on the last part of his cigarette, and I narrowed my eyes at him as he got up, as if ready to leave.

The guy just irked me. He had this expression on his face that I wanted to rearrange every time I saw him, but I held myself back. For Zaynah.

“I was just thinking,” he said, almost to himself. “How we all like to hang onto things… even though we know that we really have no chance with them…”

He let the phrase hang in the air, and I narrowed my eyes as he shrugged at me, almost tauntingly.

Was this guy for real? 

“What’s your point, boss?” I snapped, standing up out of frustration. He was testing me and I knew that I would snap soon. It was just a matter of time.

“Cool off,” he said, now standing and flicking his cigarette away. “All I’m saying is the obvious. What Zaynah wants, and what she needs. Maybe you should consider.”

And with that, he walked away, leaving behind a single white piece of paper with my name on it. At first I was baffled, but as I picked up the envelope to realize who it was from, my hands immediately trembled from trepidation.

Zaynah. It was her writing.

I sucked in my breath and walked to my car, the contents of what lay within the letter sitting on my mind all the way through Salaah that day. I knew that it couldn’t be any good. I knew that Zaynah wouldn’t exactly be writing to me as a romantic notion. It was probably much more serious than that.

I greeted my mother normally that evening, and then visited my evasive father, to talk business talk, before heading upstairs to open the letter.

I tore the last piece of envelope from the top, hastily pulling out its contents. As I scanned the writing, it was like my life stood still before my eyes.


I know you have hope. I know you think that this will all work out. I think most people do… but while I am recovering, I have had a lot of time to think and figure out how to move forward from here.

Now that I’ve had all this time, I can’t help but feel guilty that I’m not fulfilling the role of a wife as I had definitely promised. It’s also not fair to you this way. I feel like the only way that it can fair to you is if we let go. It’s no longer a marriage…

I stopped reading as I stood there, with my legs trembling and my fingers shaking.

What was she saying? End it? Let her go, and never look back?

Divorce. The word itself made me cringe.

I had to sit. This was too much. Too much, all at once.

I closed my eyes and tried to picture her as if she was here. What would I say to her? This was so out of character for her. How can she even suggest that? How was I going to go on without even a hope of having her?

I steadied myself as I sat down, the thoughts whirling through my mind. I lay my head back, letting the tiredness from the past weeks take over as I closed by eyes and let the unfinished letter fall to the floor.

I wasn’t sure how long I slept… But before I knew it, my eyes shot open in the depth of that very night, as if something or someone had gently nudged me awake.

I looked around, my surroundings still strange as I processed where I was. My room. My father’s house.

Everything seemed like a blur. The past few months had been so erratic, that I wasn’t even sure if it was real.

Did I create my wife with my very own delusional mind? Did I possibly imagine her entire existence? Was she maybe only just a dream?

For a moment, I was so disorientated, that I barely remembered the past year.

And then, all at once, it all came flooding back, as if my life was flashing just before my eyes.

My father. Ziyaad’s baby. My past. My life. The divorce. And then… The tragedy I had to come to terms with… Letting go of Zaynah.

Just the thought of what lay ahead was torturous and horrifying, but it was what I could never escape. It was, by far, the worst thing that had ever happened to me. Yes, Zaynah hadn’t been here all this time, but I had always lived with the hope that she would return. I always held onto the notion that she would be back.

Now, I was in a rut. I didn’t want to get up. I didn’t want to wake up to what lay ahead today. I didn’t want to face the world without her there with me.

I breathed in, slowly letting my breath out, steadying my emotions. I glanced around, and half expected her to be sitting there on the Musallah, as was her usual spot when I would get up at this hour.

I could never beat her. Somehow, she was always the one who would wake up first, and I knew I could never even try to compete. I knew she would never let me win.

“How did you do it?” I said aloud.

I could picture myself shaking my head at her. No matter what time I set my alarm for, she would always be out of bed before me. It was a no-win situation.

“My Allah shook me up,” I could almost here her say. “How can I ignore it?”

I would usually be squinting at my phone, wondering how it had suddenly fast-forwarded to an hour after the alarm was originally set. I was usually angry.

“Pious people don’t need alarm clocks,” I would mutter, to both myself and her, berating myself for being so far behind, spiritually.

And then she would shake her head at me, pursing her lips with that smile that said that she was wiser way beyond her years.

“Waking up for Tahajjud doesn’t make you pious,” her sweet voice would say defiantly, trying hard to sound cross, as if she was ready to start a fight.

I knew what she was saying. But I also knew the woman I had married.

She was determined and passionate, and she left nothing to be criticised.

When I looked at her, it was no wonder that she reminded me of the Sahabah and their perseverance. Their Imaan was unmatched.

That was the crux of it, even for me, right now. I knew that one of the main factors that would bring me through this was my stength of Imaan.

“Leave it to Allah,” Zaynah would say. It was her famous words, and unlike her, who it came naturally to, I had to dig deep and manifest every inch of it into the belief that everything will work out in the end. It was like I had to dig deep and search into the depths of my soul and knowledge, to try and assure myself that things were not as bad as it seemed. That after it all, there was still hope for something better.

And that’s precisely when I remembered  Zaynah so passionately conveying to me a story of  a woman having so much of faith that Allah would sort her problem out, that she thought nothing of turning her full trust to Him, when everyone else, including the beloved Nabi (SAW) couldn’t redeem her.

Khawla bint Tha’labah (RA) was a great woman who enjoyed very high standing among the companions of Nabi (SAW), who were her contemporaries and knew her virtues. It was about her that Qur’an was revealed, and Allah alleviated her burden.

Khawla (RA) exemplified patience while standing firm in her beliefs. She persevered until she got the truth. She wanted to stand up for her rights and rights of women, while maintaining her love for her husband.

The story of Khawla bint Tha’labah (RA) and her husband Aws ibn al-Samit is narrated by Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud and quoted by Ibn Kathir in his tafsir at the beginning of Surat al-Mujadilah.

Khawla (RA) is reported to have said:
“By Allah, concerning me and Aws ibn al-Samit, Allah revealed the beginning of Surat al-Mujadilah. I was married to him, and he was an old man who was bad-tempered. One day, he came in and I raised a particular issue with him again. He became angry and said, ‘You are to me as the back of my mother.’ Then he went out and sat for a while in the meeting-place of his people. Then he came back, and wanted to resume marital relations with me. I said, ‘No way! By the hand of the One in Whose hand is the soul of Khuwayla (i.e., Khawla), you will never get what you want from me after saying what you said, until Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) decide between us.’ He tried to force himself on me, but I was able to resist because I was a young woman and he was a weak old man. I pushed him away. Then I went to one of my (female) neighbors and borrowed a cloak from her and went to Nabi (SAW). I sat before him, told him what my husband had done to me, and began to complain to him about my sufferings because of my husband’s bad temper. Nabi (SAW) said, ‘O Khuwayla, your cousin is an old man, so fear Allah with regard to him.’ I did not leave him until Qur’an was revealed concerning me. He was overcome as he usually was when Qur’an was revealed to him, and when it was over, he said: ‘O Khuwayla, Allah has revealed Qur’an concerning you and your husband.’

And of course, many know about the verses that were revealed. Besides alleviating the women of the time from the outdated laws of Jahelia, Allah revealed to her that He had heard. He heard and recognized. He heard and responded… And what more could a Mu’min ask for?

[Allah has indeed heard (and accepted) the statement of the woman who pleads with you concerning her husband and carries her complaint (in prayer) to Allah: and Allah (always) hears the arguments between both sides among you: for Allah hears and sees (all things). If any men among you divorce their wives by zihar (calling them their ‘mothers’), they cannot be their mothers. None can be their mothers except those who gave them birth. And in fact they use words (both) iniquitous and false: but truly Allah is One that blots out (sins), and forgives (again and again). But those who divorce their wives by zihar, then wish to go back on the words they uttered – it is ordained that such a one should free a slave before they touch each other: this are you admonished to perform. And Allah is well-acquainted with (all) that you do. And if any has not the wherewithal, he should fast for two months consecutively before they touch each other. But if any is unable to do so, he should feed sixty indigent ones. This, that you may show your faith in Allah and His Messenger, those are limits (set by) Allah. For those who reject (Him), there is a grievous Penalty.] (Qur’an 58:1-4)


This woman was so perseverent, and had so much of faith that her Allah would sort her problem out, that she was not let down. It was solely her imaan that pulled her through, and got her this high standing. It was solely her hope in her Allah that He would come through for her, that sent down the Ayaat that comforted her.

Ibn Kathir mentions in his tafsir that a man said to ‘Umar (RA), when he saw him welcoming her warmly and listening to her;

You left a man of Quraish to come to this old woman?” ‘Umar (RA) said, “Woe to you! Do you not know who this is?” The man said, “No.” ‘Umar said, “This is a woman whose complaint Allah listened to from above the seven heavens: this is Khawla bint Tha’labah (RA). By Allah , if she did not leave me until night fell, I would not tell her to leave until she had got what she came for, unless the time for prayer came, in which case I would pray, and then come back to her until she had got what she came for.”

And what status she got for her determination. The test of Imaan was never an easy one. Yes, sometimes people let you down, but whatever had to happen, I had to remember that my Allah would always be there.

I had been completely side-tracked. This was not meant to be something that I should dwell on… Something that I could allow to consume me. Indeed, even our beloveds are tests for us… They were also temporary… Also a part of Duniyaa.

And this was only a test that would bring me closer to my Creator. After this, it would only serve me to keep on trying. If the one person who had become so much to me had to be lost completely, it didn’t mean that I would stop living… Through it all, I couldn’t forget what was always there.

The words came back to me, as they often did, reminding me of what I had been forgetting.

Never forget what He saved you from. That moment when you swore you couldn’t fix it, He did it for you. Never forget Who put you back together. When everyone pulled out, and you had to face it all alone, don’t forget Who pulled you through. Never forget who carried you, when the storm pushed you to your knees and there was no one else left. No matter who or what is beside you now, never forget the moments when it was only Him. Don’t forget Who remained.

He remained. He always remains.

A moment, yet again, when everything I had thought I didn’t understand seemed to come into perspective. When the confusion disintegrated and the darkness lifted. And as I sat there, on the Musallah that stayed in the corner near the window, I raised my hands to ask of the only One Who could fix what was broken inside.

The loud knock on my door was a diversion that got me slightly panicked, but I composed my thoughts, knowing that I shouldn’t get anxious. At this hour of the morning, I wasn’t sure who or what it would be, but I had to remain calm.

The future was not set in stone. This wasn’t the end. Whatever I would face, whenever it is, I knew that this could never break me completely. The past didn’t make me, and the present wasn’t a deal-breaker.

I opened the door slowly, seeing my mother rubbing her eyes, telling me that I need to go downstairs to open up. I hadn’t even heard the intercoms. I had a visitor at this part of the morning, and she wasn’t sure what it was all about.

I glanced at the cameras as I reached the landing, seeing a figure in white, and recognising the sturdy build with a certain hesitation, unsure of what this all would bring. I knew that this was an intervention I couldn’t ignore.

What lay ahead, ultimately, would determine everything that I would become. All I had to do was dust myself off, step out, and jump into it.

Don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!

Beautiful Sunnah!!

Eating a piece of food that falls on the floor. If a piece of food falls on the floor, then the person eating should remove any dirt that gets onto it and eat it; because he does not know where the blessing is in his food. It may be in the piece that fell, and leaving it makes a person miss out on the blessing of the food.

Anas ibn Maalik narrated that when Nabi (SAW) ate, he would lick his three fingers. Anas said: “And he said, ‘If any one of you drops a piece of food, let him remove any dirt from it and eat it, and not leave it for the Shaytaan.’ And he commanded us to clean the plate, and said, ‘For you do not know where in your food the blessing is.’” (Narrated by Muslim, 2034). 

There are many bodily benefits to all Sunnah as well. Let’s try and practise regularly!

We will be doing more eating and drinking Sunnahs Insha Allah.



#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood




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