Exposed Agendas

Bismihi Ta’ala

Rabia
Part 90

I didn’t mean for it to get that far.

Okay, maybe I did. Maybe I meant for it to go very far.

But don’t judge me, okay. My heart wasn’t as black as it seemed, or at least, that’s what I thought.

Just hear me out, because it’s only natural that different people see the same things from many different angles and perspectives. And okay, maybe my different is a little unorthodox, but it made good sense to me until it didn’t anymore, but by then… it was too late to do anything about it.

You see, how I see it was… for me, Hamzah was always good. Maybe not always the best. But good.

A good guy. A nice person, most times, until he went through his bad patch at Hammonds. Someone who some of my nicest friends even had silent crushes on as we grew up, and though he was oblivious, he wasn’t ever the type of guy to hurt or take advantage of someone on purpose. He knew his limits and where he needed to stop.

And even though I would never tell him that he wasn’t exactly a complete kachra to his face, it was no secret that at twenty-three, before he had tied the knot, was one of the few good decent ones left.

I still had a few friends in mind that could have worked for him. Even if Hamzah didn’t pick one of them, he was then supposed to so the normal thing and surprise us with a nice, homely girl that one of his friends wives may know who could actually take care of him.

You know that ayat that states that good women and for good men and vice versa? I justified it, knowing that there had to be no other way. Saving Hamzah from an ill-suited partner was my duty.

All I was doing was showing my love for my brother. I wanted the best for him. I wanted him to be happy. What he didn’t know when he chose Mohsina, was that she could never make him happy, and that’s precisely what I wanted to show him.

It was meant innocent at first. A little bit of snooping and posting. The defaming post from my spamming account was meant to be deleted after a while. The additional comments I posted from two other accounts were just a little catalyst. It had been a small scandal, but it had unsettled my sister-in-law. And it worked, for what I needed at that time.

She was thrown. I knew that Hamzah didn’t care about social media, but he thought that he loved her, so where she hurt, he would also naturally get upset, but no one knew it was me.

It was just a small interference. But posting that had opened up a channel for me. One person had messaged, promising to give me the scoop on how Mohsina had lost her job, for me to when I realised that it may have not been true.

And then, meeting up with my lawyer friend had opened up a door for me. She happened to see Faadil stop by for a latte at the coffee shop we were at near Melrose Arch and meeting him was something that I never actually anticipated happening till that point. When we had spoke, and he heard that I was Hamzah’s sister, his eyes lit up in a way that I didn’t understand. The fact that he wanted to get back at Mohsina had thrilled me in a way that I couldn’t quite explain. It’s not that I wanted to see her crumble. I just wanted the social media diva part of her to know that there was no guaranteeing that her entire feed and influencer profile that she spent so long perfecting was going to last forever.

Also, now that it was probably well on the way to going as planned and Faadil and Mohsina were possibly patching some things up at least, I found myself feeling like a dead loss. I felt like an extra branch, drifting in the wind, not quite sure which way to sway. I hadn’t heard from Faadil, who had become my new BFF for the time I was helping him to get somewhere in his new aspiration of gaining Mohsina’s trust again, and I had a feeling that I probably wasn’t going to anytime soon. His agenda was already sorely exposed to me.

I sighed, wondering how everything had gone so wrong. How I hadn’t foreseen this minor factor, that was that once I had broken Hamzah and Mohsina apart, the link with Mohsina and I would also be severed, which meant that Faadil would simply not need me or what I could offer anymore.

I tapped out a message to one of my instafriends, wondering if they were free to meet up the next week for coffee. I desperately needed a diversion and some good foodie pics. I also needed to spill my story to convince myself that I wasn’t as bad as I was feeling. To assure myself that I wasn’t as foul as I thought I was.

I wasn’t always a bad person. Somehow, that just happened. Maybe I had forgotten what it was like to happy and contented. Maybe I was being ungrateful for my mediocre life. Or maybe, I had just lost hope after everything that had gone down with my marriage and the love that I was so desperately trying to hang onto, despite accepting that maybe I had also messed up a bit.

And now, I found myself stuck in the hope that perhaps I would somehow still be able to overcome the pit I’d sunken into, even when it seemed like it was bottomless.

“Rabia, can you put down that phone, and go and do some reading at least. It’s Eid day. It’s not acceptable you sitting here with the phone all alone, ignoring everyone else.”

As usual, it was my mother, going bayaan-mode on me, and I knew that the only valid response I would have for her was an eye-roll.

She didn’t get it. I needed something to fill my life up, and social media made me happy. Seeing people happy, made me happy. Even though it sometimes made me grumpy and disagreeable, somehow, that also made me happy.

“The phone doesn’t go down,” Hamzah said to her as he finished his meal and walked past me to go outside, and I could already see him search in his pockets for a lighter. Forever story. “It’s attached to her fingers, Ma.”

“Just like your damn cigarettes,” I shot back, while Hamzah tut-tutted and my mother gave me the stink eye.

“Rabia,” my molther hissed on cue. “We have visitors. You lucky they arent close by. I keep telling you to watch your language. You waste so much of time on your phone, don’t you realise how important this time is? You don’t even have to worry about a husband or any of those things, but you don’t realise how important this time is to just throw it away in useless pursuits.”

Oh my goodness, it was that lecture again.

“I don’t have to worry about a husband because he ran away with another woman, mother,” I said, my face as deadpan as I could manage.

My mothers face, on the contrary, did the whole disgusted and outraged thing, and then I knew where I was headed in this talk.

“Everything happens for a reason,” she said, shaking her head, and definitely not falling for my pity party. Given, I’d had quite a few in the past few months. “I know it seems so unfair, but you don’t realise how much you have going for you. You’re healthy, you are intelligent and you have all this time on your hands because you don’t have to worry about running household yet. You young girls have way too much of free time on your hands. I think I need to get rid of the helper and actually let you learn life the hard way.”

Oh great. It was the don’t-you-realise-how-lucky-you-are lecture, only, I didn’t feel lucky at all. I was the one who had to deal with divorce stigma, the third wheel and the other woman who didn’t deserve to be the woman because apparently I wasn’t worthy of it.

I failed at everything in my life. Marriage. Studies. Friends. The one time I ran a household, I thought I was doing okay, until I was divorced for not being the right kind of woman.

“Don’t give me that look,” my mother said, her voice dropping as my Masie entered the kitchen. “You have so much of time on your hands. Do something. There are so many classes you can go for. Tafseer? Qur’ān classes? It doesn’t even have to be Deeni. What about sewing. Or knitting? Cooking?
Do something, Rabia.”

”No thanks,” I shot back, not liking the bayaan mode but also knowing that she may be a little obsessed with household chores because that was all my mother did.

I mean, who cares if I could run a household or not? I did everything for he-whose-name-shall-not-be-mentioned and he stabbed me in the back with his infidelity.

Bibi Masie had a twinkle in her eye and Zaid in her arms, and seeing him was already enough for me to want to stop moping and cyber stalking people and rather pinch his chubby cheeks.

I put my phone down and grabbed him, blowing raspberries on his neck until he was forced to giggle. He was the only person I really liked here. Oh, and Uthman, because he stayed out of my business and didn’t judge me when I sat on my phone the whole day.

Small people were so much easier to please. Adulting was a huge pain in the behind.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but did you guys hear that bayaan about how we are growing our kids into spoilt adults who will be incapable of running a household and living independent lives?”

Oh my gawd, Masie was onto another bayaan. She wasn’t even done.

“Like every kid of age is living in this fantasy world – thinking life is one big fairy tale, with no awareness of what real life entails. It’s all these instagram stories, this illusion that makes people think that life is one huge dream world.”

My mother was nodding and lapping it up as Bibi Masie gave her the lowdown about how people were fighting about it and saying that it was sexist when it fact it refers to both our younger male and female generations who are so lazy and incapable of basic household tasks that it is embarrassing. Take away was becoming the new household cooking and the Barakah in the home was basically non-existent because there was no awareness of what was expected of the people of the household.

My mother was nodding and shaking her head at all the appropriate times, blatantly glancing at me from time to time, as if trying to show me exactly how useless I was as a housewife, and that was probably the reason why I was the the D-word.

And I beg to differ. Maybe it was debatable. Okay, so I didn’t always know how to run a household. But I did try. Being the only daughter gave me a good chance at being spoilt, but being married to an ogre was a reality that shook me. I didn’t want to relive how much I had failed. What I had maybe done wrong. Maybe my divorce was actually more to do with my inability to run a house properly and some other stuff too and not so much about how attractive the other woman was. Maybe my husband just had another agenda that I had mistakenly exposed when I married him.

I grabbed Zaid and left the room, not wanting to dwell and happy that Mohsina had left him with us again that morning, after her puking incident, remembering that my mother had said that she was sick gave me an idea. It meant that I could finally have something valid to message Faadil about, and not sound like I was desperate for his conversation.

And just as I was about to pick up my phone and ask Faadil whether Mohsina had been sick at any point when she had come into the office, the doorbell that rang was kind of unexpected right then.

Being Eid day, it wasn’t like it was unexpected. My mother was obsessed with having visitors, as much as I abhorred it, because to welcome people into our home was like her life ambition.

The Mehmaan talk that Ma and her always have was starting to get on my nerves already. All I wanted to do was sit in peace and enjoy my free time.

I mean, who had the time to entertain guests, feed them, and then see them to the door these days? My Ma and Dadi had always stressed it, but it was so extra and old-fashioned to wait on people who could do things for themselves. Back in the day, all that stuff was normal, but now with cell phones and WhatsApp, there really was no need for all that admin.

Sayyiduna Abu Hurayrah (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reported that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said:

‘Whosoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should honour his guest.’

(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 601

“Can you please check who it is?”

My mother was calling from the kitchen, and I assumed that I was the only person she would take advantage of right then. I mean, that’s what I was there for, right? The rejected one.
I didn’t have a job or any real tasks to do, so I might as well be the damn butler.

I sighed as I plopped Zaid on the floor with a toy, knowing I wouldn’t win the argument anyway, hoping he would stay there while I quickly checked the intercom. It was only after I answered that I smelt the cigarette stench behind me, and I knew Hamzah was behind me to see who it was, but I was already halfway through the task to give it up.

Plus, it was a huge delivery of flowers and I simply wasn’t just going to leave without seeing who it was from.

“I got it,” I hissed at my brother. “Zaid’s in the lounge with his hammer toy. Check on him.”

Hamzah and his disgusting stench retreated into the next room, while I unlocked the gate, my sense already overwhelmed by the deliciously aromatic scent of the lilies that were bunched together with multiple other gorgeous blooms. I loved flowers. Loved getting them. Loved receiving them. I loved how they made me feel. How they made my heart burst with happiness.

And I was so enamoured by the gorgeous bunch as I placed it on the counter and looked for the card, that maybe my mind was already going into overdrive, hoping and wishing that this was my reward for all my patience and endurance and I finally gotten.

I was living in the dream that someone had finally realised my worth and sent me flowers to prove it, and lo and behold, as I pulled the card out from the two flowers it was stuck between, I guess was I was a little overwhelmed to actually take note of what I was saying.

It was a simple Eid message, a greeting with wishing you all an amazing day, and though the greeting sounded a little generic and impersonal, I knew that the sending name wouldn’t disappoint.

At the end, it simply said:

Love from

Fardil and Family 

And my heart was already bursting with pride and appreciation (not with love because I knew that he was hung up over my ex-sister-in-law) but still feeling very much impressed by this big show, that I couldn’t help but murmur blissfully to myself.

“I can’t believe he remembered me.”

“Who did?”

“Faadil,” I said without thinking. “After so-“

Shit. Shit shit shit.

It was Hamzah and I was so shocked at seeing his name, albeit misspelled, probably by the florist who packed the flowers, that I didn’t even realise that Hamzah had come up behind me with Zaid in his arms.

And call it twinstinct, but somehow, even without looking at my twin brothers face, I already knew that he was extremely, irrevocably pissed off right then.

Just catching a glimpse of his reddening ears was enough to get me stuttering and stumbling over my mistaken words, in a poor attempt to erase the past few minutes.

”It’s not- I didn’t mean that guy- you know, the one who was in the office, Hamzah- Faadil, I mean, the one I’m talking about…”

I didn’t even know what I was saying.

My jumbled up words were falling on Hamzah’s reddened ears and the more I said, ten more stormy his face got. And oh my word, I knew I was in deep trouble, because there was barely any way that he was going to believe me.

“How the hell do you know Faadil?!”

His tone was even but definitely intimidating as he watched me, his stare a mixture of confusion and disbelief.

“I don’t!” I said, a little too quickly, holding up my hands, and then placing them down again, not knowing what else to say. “I mean, which Faadil? It’s not like there’s only one Faadil in the -“

”Rabia.”

His tone was so menacing that even Zaid stopped slurping on his own fingers for all of five seconds while Hamzah’s eyes bored into mine.

My silence was all he needed to confirm what we both already knew.

Hamzah’s head hung now, as he shook his head, turning around hastily while he stopped to dump Zaid in a passing Saaliha’s arms, just before he stalked up the stairs, while I tried to maintain a poker face.

Where he was going, I don’t know. What I did know was that he probably had a lot to figure out now that I had more or less admitted to being an accomplice to whatever Faadil had done. And I was. I was, and I knew it. The thing was, I wasn’t even that sorry about it. All I felt was a little regretful that I had revealed myself so easily.

Saaliha was watching us both, her eyes slightly bulging as she processes Hamzah’s inaudible hissy fit, and then immediately looked at the bunch in flowers in my hand.

“Is that from my sister?”

I stood there, my entire stance completely frozen for a minute, as I wondered why she would ever think her sister would send that. And then it clicked, because as always, Saaliha’s family always sent something for our Eid table every Eid, and oh-my-word, I had just made the biggest mistake of my life.

Fareeha and Aadil. Far and Aadil. Oh crap. That was why it said family. Fardil. I could only expect that stupid celebrity type nickname from Saaliha’s looney sister… And the message was so generic… so of course it made sense.

The entire thing was completely screwed up, and I locked my gaze on Saaliha, knowing that my goodie two shoes sister-in-law was way too unassuming to ever conspire against me, but helpless against everything this would bring.

Hamzah took two hours to re-emerge from the room, even knowing that everyone was there waiting for him.

And knowing that I could do nothing more, I buried my nose in my phone for the rest of the night, catching up with friends Eid outfits and double tapping on plate settings, even though my tummy was completely revolted by the thought of what had happened earlier that day.

My mother continued nagging, and I couldn’t put my phone away any longer. Well, sue me while I escape the messed up reality for a bit. Even though we all do it in one form or the other, I knew it was time for me to also check in on how the plan that Faadil and I had worked out was actually going.

I needed to know more. If Mohsina was actually buying it. If anything had worked. If me chatting to Faadil, and if Hamzah finding out, was all worth it. I was panicking inside, but I forced myself e to breathe and calm down. After all, there was nothing else that he knew besides the fact that I knew Faadil. That alone wasn’t an incriminating fact, and I knew that I had been really careful and deleted all evidence of my involvement in the whole necklace saga too.

It took a few days for Hamzah to say a word to me, and I still hadn’t received a reply from Faadil either. I pretended like I didn’t care about either. I was pretty much in the dark, and I hated it.

I had tried to convince myself that my entire existence didn’t depend on that. I was way past Hamzah’s stupid tantrums too. I still believed that I had done him a favour by getting Mohsina out of all our lives.

After all, she didn’t truly love him. Aren’t we all attracted to people because of superficial aspects anyway? Money, looks, what status they may represent. Everyone had their own agendas, and they were pretty transparent here.

For Hamzah, he probably just liked her pretty features and ability to swindle him where no one else could. For Mohsina, her agenda was only Zaid and my brothers generosity in footing the bills for her high flying lifestyle. It’s precisely what made her say yes to him, and the sooner he saw that, the better it would be for them both.

He would probably move on and find a better mother for Zaid anyway. The way she carried on, I found it hard to believe that she really cared about them both.

It was a few days later when he was leaving for the ijtima, and I wanted to tell him that he rather not go. I mean, what was the use of going for it when he had all this dirt in his heart, but there was some distant part of me that was actually stopping me from lashing out at him and wanting to strangle him.

I didn’t realise that the dirt that had been building up on my heart was so thick that it was already ingrained on mine. All I could see was how stupid Hamzah was beeing, and as he rolled his bag to the door, glanced at me briefly, and I wanted to strangle him again for the next words he said.

”I don’t know what you were playing at, Rabia, but when I get back, I expect you to have contacted Mohsina and let her know exactly what happened with my old boss.”

And with that, he greeted my parents, turned his back, and left me narrowing my eyes at him in utter exasperation.

I had already made my mind up that I would never do it. There was no way I was ever going to be blackmailed into talking to Mohsina. She was the one who had caused all this.

There was no way that I would ever admit defeat. What I didn’t know was that when Hamzah returned a week later, finding me still in an unfazed state, my deepest secrets were going to be explosively exposed in a way I didn’t quite expect…


Sunnah of Entertaining guests

Hosting and entertaining guests is indeed a significant deed in Islam. The first man to entertain a guest was Nabi Ibrahim (‘alayhis salam).

This quality is directly linked to the level of one’s Iman.

As seen in the above narration, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) coupled honouring the guest with Belief in Allah and the Day of Qiyamah, which are two fundamental aspects of our Din.

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..💕

#RevivetheSunnah

#RevivetheSunnahofbeingGrateful

#RevivetheSunnahofQur’aanTilaawat

#ReviveSunnahofDuaa

#SunnahofMaintainingTies

#RevivetheSunnahofSadaqah

#RevivetheSunnahofGivingGifts

#RevivetheSunnahofGoodAkhlaaq

#RevivetheSunnahbeforeSleeping

#RevivetheSunnahofGuardingtheGaze

#RevivetheSunnahofLickingtheFingers

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofEnteringtheToilet

#RevivetheSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofUsingtheRighthand

 

Advertisement

Sinister Vibes Only

Bismihi Ta’ala
Saaliha
Part 79

”Can you stop stressing?”

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

“It’s not good for the baby.”

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

It wasn’t doing much good.

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

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

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

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

But not yet.

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

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

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

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

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

And then there were the messages.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wait.

Did I miss something?

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

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

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

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

”I-“

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

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

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

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

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

He ruffled her open hair playfully and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I shrugged. I was honestly just as lost.

“What on earth?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I could practically see her swooning.

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

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

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

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

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

Oh yes, we were still on the vibes thing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani

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

That’s definitely some amazing kind of Jannah vibe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s not going to happen.

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

Rabia was obsessed with the exact opposite.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I blinked and looked away.

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

It buzzed again.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sunnah of the month of Rajab 

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

اَللّٰهُمَّ  بَارِكْ لَناَ فِيْ رَجَبٍ وَشَعْبانَ وَبَلّغْنَا رَمَضَانْ

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

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

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

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

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

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

#RevivetheSunnah

#RevivetheSunnahofbeingGrateful

#RevivetheSunnahofQur’aanTilaawat

#ReviveSunnahofDuaa

#SunnahofMaintainingTies

#RevivetheSunnahofSadaqah

#RevivetheSunnahofGivingGifts

#RevivetheSunnahofGoodAkhlaaq

#RevivetheSunnahbeforeSleeping

#RevivetheSunnahofGuardingtheGaze

#RevivetheSunnahofLickingtheFingers

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofEnteringtheToilet

#RevivetheSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofUsingtheRighthand

Breaking Down

Bismihi Ta’ala

Mohsina

Part 72

Just like I learnt the golden rule of thumb (ie. silence of the thumb is golden)… I also learnt that in certain cases, with certain people and circumstances… actual silence is also golden.

And now, I know very well that Nani never means to be the way she is. She is a force of nature but also an exceptional source of wisdom for our family, and even though we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs over the years, never in a million years have I ever thought of her as less than the caring grandmother who always wants what is good for us (even though we may often disagree).

She was who she was, and though there were times when she annoyed me and made me want to run away, I was taught by my parents that there was still no way I would ever trade her for a lesser version.

Respect. Always. I knew that it went a long way.

It was just that sometimes… just sometimes… she was a tad bit too much. Now and then, when Nani borders on break downs, she really does get a little all consuming.

”She said no.”

Nani was saying it to herself, almost like a mantra, as I watched her, shaking her head. She had already been through it about three hundred times with us, and now she seemed to be going through it with herself.

”She said no.”

On repeat. There were the words again. The ones that she was struggling to understand.

“I don’t understand, Mohsina,” she said, looking at me, now, a certain panic in her eyes, as she stared into a blank space. “Can you believe it? What I did wrong in my life to deserve this? How can Isthikhaarah be negative when the boy is so positive?!”

I wanted to snort with laughter but I meekly covered my mouth and held my piece as I watched Nani, and then switched my gaze to Hamzah, who was staring fixatedly at his phone, and I could tell that he was trying very hard to keep a straight face.

He kept an eye on Zaid who was rolling around on the floor next to him, chewing his teether erratically, looking like he wanted to bite its head off. His first tooth hadn’t popped as yet, but we were still checking every day. He kept stuffing his cute little fist in his mouth and there was no doubt that he was teething.

I, on the other hand, grabbed a dhikr counter and urged myself to profusely recite more Adhkaar. It was so true that Dhikr was a means of even preventing inevitable problems. Also, keeping my mouth closed was a recipe for success when it came to Nani.

Also, keeping quiet wasn’t my nature but I was feeling bad. I sighed as I watched her forlorn expression, shifting my gaze to the gloomy weather outside.

Seemed like Jameela was bringing the London weather back with her return, and though her return was much anticipated, I wasn’t exactly feeling the whole getting drenched while we pulled her countless bags out of the car idea. Though Jameela wasn’t a huge shopper, my mothers lists of Marks and Spencer favourites Maahira insisted she send back were something else.

”Nani, I think it’s for the better,” I said as I grabbed the teacup that had half a cup of murky coffee inside it.

With Jameela’s romantic notions about life, I really hoped that she could at least get somewhere close to that kind of love that built you and bonded you, and that can be your safe space and shelter. A love that not only was good for this world, but also carried through to the hereafter. I really wished so much more for Jameela than what Doc seemed to be able to give.

“What better?” She said snappily. “He is got a broken heart, poor chap. I don’t think it is possible that Jameela is thinking properly. Maybe something happened to her head in the plane. All that fitna air made her go mad.”

I suppressed another snort of laughter and took a chug of coffee as I watched my mother’s face expression change slightly, and she shot me a warning look. Hamzah was barely meeting my eye. The truth was, no one but Nani really liked Muneer.

I knew that Doc didn’t tickle Hamzah’s fancy either and Jameela refusing meant us saving him from a lifetime of having to make conversation with someone who he could never relate to.

”Rather now than she say no later,” my mother said weakly, as she checked the pots on the stove. “There will be someone better for her, you will see.”

”And for him also. So nice boy he is.”

Okay, so I added that as a second thought because I was trying to score brownie points with Nani, and sometimes these things were essential.

Nani shook her head disbelievingly, almost as if she was in shock that we could even suggest that.

“Mohsina, just come here one minute,” Nani said, flapping her dupatta around and taking a seat after a few seconds, the melodramatic expression appearing on her face, as she patted the small of her back. “Just massage here. On the top part. All this stress is giving me back ache and I can’t even sleep properly. Every night I am tossing and turning because how will I explain this kind thing at Khairoon’s house next week to all the ladies. Nevermind. How much I suffer for my grandchildren, Allah knows.”

I ignored the urge to roll my eyes. Shame, Nani’s social status was under threat. But it really was for good reason.

She had completely ignored our attempt to try and explain the beautiful phenomenon of Allahs plan is the best plan. That no matter what happened now, if they were meant to be, they would be.

She also seemed like she didn’t believe us when we said that there was Khair in everything. She was convinced that we were lying, and we just couldn’t let Jameela make a decision like that when everything depended on it.

She also kept sneaking me looks, as if she didn’t believe me when I said that I tried to tell Jameela to think carefully.

Of course I did (not).

Jameela was due to be back any minute and I could tell that Nani was getting all revved up for a full frontal assault. All I knew was that I was going to try very hard to protect my sister from whatever was in store.

My poor sister was probably dreading coming back home and I really did feel sorry for her.

The moment had arrived as the first drops of afternoon rain had decided to appear from the formidable sky, and everyone was already rushing around, trying to make sure that all bags and luggage could be brought in before the full downpour.

The weather matched the atmosphere almost perfectly, and seeing her, in actuality, as she jumped off the car and Hamzah had already went out to help my uncle with bags, was another feeling completely. I didn’t realise how much I had missed my sister these past few weeks until I saw her there in the flesh.

And as I followed behind, staying under cover as I watched her exit the car looking as pretty as a picture, even though she was probably exhausted, I couldn’t help but notice on her face the look of resignation.

Tiredness. It had to be. And of course she would be feeling that way. Jet lag was real, and that was completely expected.

“Zubair is coming for the bags,” my father said to Hamzah as I approached the car, watching as Hamzah pulled a suitcase out from the boot and greeted my uncle with a hug.

I knew Papa relied on Zubair to do all the physical work at home because of his health, but Hamzah was perfectly capable of doing it too. I supposed that he was so used to relying on Zubair that he sometimes forgot he had an actual son-in-law.

“It’s okay,” Hamzah said in reply, but I could already spot the familiar figure as he walked toward us with a rain jacket on, and my eyes instantly switched to Jameela as I watched her glance in his direction and then simultaneously turn away, and I couldn’t help but conceal my smile.

Today, for some reason, Jameela’s demure actions didn’t make me feel all that concerned. After finding out that Zubair was actually not a horrible guy, for some reason, the things that had worried me about the two of them seemed completely irrelevant now.

And as Hamzah pulled out a bigger bag and Zubair efficiently went to take it from him, along with a smaller one that was next to the car, I couldn’t help but notice something in Jameela’s  entire demeanour change.

And it wasn’t unexpected. I knew that there would be some sort of underhand back and forth, but what Jameela did next was completely out of the blue.

She had literally morphed from some coy teenage girl to an assertive young women who immediately stalked over to where they stood, mere milliseconds before Zubair could reach the bag in question. Her fully clad arm stretched out, snatching the bag handle out of his reach just as I caught his gaze linger on her for a few moments longer than necessary before he looked down.

”I got it, Papa,” she said flatly, glancing at my father, as Papa’s brow furrowed and Zubair instantly took a step back. “We don’t need his help.”

And with that, mouths slightly agape, Papa and I both just watched her wheel her bag through to the house, barely even knowing how to react, before I hastily followed right behind her, determined to figure out what on earth all that back there was all about.

That was weird. Not to mention, completely awkward.

It was so unlike Jameela that I could barely believe that she did that. It was so unlike her normally sweet and sensitive nature, that I could barely believe that this had actually happened.

Pure-hearted, considerate Jameela had come back from London in such a combative mood that I could barely believe it was her.

And as I watched her in her free flowing abaya and tightly wrapped hijab, enter the house, greeting my mother and Nani, briefly, I couldn’t help but shoot them a look to tell them to give her a break. Doctor and his broken heart was all by the way, because what was happening was what was making me a little unsettled.

I followed her as she made her way up to her room, wondering why she wasn’t even looking at me.

Two weeks away had made her a different kind of person, and I was still struggling to come to terms with it.

She had stomped up the stairs in a bit of a huff, and as I walked behind her, it took me a while to figure out that she was avoiding eye contact. Whatever had happened down there was completely intentional and I was going to get to the bottom of it, no matter what it took.

Jameela had pushed her room door open, tossed her smaller bag on the bed, and turned around before plopping herself on its edge.

”What’s wrong?”

I couldn’t help but ask. I could see that something was up. I mean, she barely even stopped to greet zaid. When Jameela ignored Zaid after weeks of not seeing him, something was definitely up.

“It’s stupid,” she muttered, rubbing her eyes briefly before shaking her head. “I’m stupid. Just don’t worry about it.”

”Jameela, you’re not stupid.”

My voice was soft and coaxing and it was all it took for the tears to start welling up in her eyes again. I wasn’t sure what was bringing it all on, but I knew that this was not just any normal reaction.

“Did something happen?” I asked, sitting down next to her as she fell back into the bed, almost in surrender, and covered her face with her hands.

”Y-you don’t want to know.”

Her voice came out all strained and muffled and I could tell that she was really uncomfortable about whatever she was going to say. It didn’t mean that I wanted to hear it any less. In fact, I now wanted to know more.

Something major had gone down and I now needed to know.

”Talk to me, Jamz,” I said soothingly, knowing that I had to be there for her. “What’s going on? You know everything happens for a reason. You’re not yourself, and it can’t only be the proposal causing all these weird emotions…”

I grinned at my sister, but she didn’t smile back.

Okay what on earth was up with her?

I looked at her enquiringly, tilting my head to the side as she took a deep breath as if she was going to say something big, and I was already all ears.

“You remember Nusaybah?”

Nusaybah.

Nusaybah. Mr Mujahid’s (aka Zubair) sister.

I looked at her, narrowed my eyes and nodded as she sat up and yanked her scarf off, revealing her hair that was tied up in a loose bun and stretched her slender neck.

Jameela was perfectly and naturally slim and I was sure she would stay that size her entire life.

“Zubair’s sister?”

I said it as naturally as I could. I only hoped that Jameela hadn’t taken things into her hands and gotten involved in something haraam. She knew better than that, but with temptation- you could never tell.

At the mention of Zubair, expectantly, her gaze faltered. I did expect that.

She took a deep breath.

”She wanted to ask him about what he would think about me,” she blabbered, and I focused on her a little more intently as she spoke. My poor sister was looking distraught, ans I was soon going to know why. “I don’t even know why… but she was convinced that Zubair may have been a little interested in me. And because she said it, well… I was stupid, okay? I got my hopes up too.”

Uh-Oh. I wasn’t sure if I liked the way things were sounding. Seemed liked these two girls were playing a matchmaking game. I stared at her, but remained silent as she continued.

“Anyway,” she said, sounding tired and embarrassed as she visibly flushed. “She told him that I may be interested. And I told Papa, because he suspected a while back… and I wanted him to know that Nusaybah was talking to her brother about me. It wasn’t anything official, it was just a little feeler to decipher what he felt…”

Oh no. Oh no oh no.

She wasn’t looking happy and that didn’t mean anything good. And then, it all just made sense.

Zubair was looking so awkward and out of place out there, especially when Jameela grabbed the bag and stomped off. It was all happening so fast and I wasn’t entirely sure what had gone down but I knew that it was something completely unexpected…

And now I understood. It was all crystal clear.

”He said no, Mos,” she whimpered softly, looking visibly stung by the outcome, as if she was reliving the moments that she heard of the first time. “He said no. I  mean, deep down, I knew that he wasn’t really interested but I thought that after Nusaybah had mentioned him, she may have had a better idea. I had already said no to Muneer at that point. I thought that everything about him seemed wrong because maybe Zubair was actually better for me.”

I was still digesting it. While Jameela was away in London, so much had happened in these past three days, and I was completely unaware of it.

“Anyway, it doesn’t matter,” she went on, shaking her head and sitting up. “Maahira said that maybe you were right. All my stupid dreams and fantasies. I’m not like you, Mos. Now I understand what you said before, about me waiting till I’m a bit older. I think I don’t know a thing about real life and marriage and I’m really am sworn off men for the next year at least. I cannot deal.”

Maahira? She spoke to Maahira about this. And she didn’t tell me. I was hurt.

”Why didn’t you tell me?” I asked her. I couldn’t believe all this that had gone down without knowing a thing.

“Mos, I knew you are dealing with so much yourself,” she mumbled, her eyes slightly misty again. “How can I trouble you with my stupid worries that aren’t even worth it. You have your in laws and Zaid and Rabia and plenty more to sort out…”

I breathed in, and the sting subsided a bit. Yes, had other things on my mind but Rabia had been quiet for a while and I was hopeful that things between us would return to normal. Rabia was the type to hold a grudge and though I didn’t make a huge effort to end the feud, I figured that her silence was a good sign.

My sister had a problem and I was hurt that she hadn’t confided me in me but I couldn’t quite imagine what she felt.

“Besides,” she said, taking a deep a breath in. “I’m not even worried because I’ve started reading this amazing Duaa. Nusaybah actually told me about it. You know the Duaa of Musaa AS? I was feeling completely down and depressed and it’s the only thing that got me through. I’m in so much of a better state than I was…”

رَبِّ إِنِّي لِمَا أَنْزَلْتَ إِلَيَّ مِنْ خَيْرٍ فَقِيرٌ

Rabbi innee limaaa anzalta ilaiya min khairin faqeer
“My Lord, indeed I am, for whatever good You would send down to me, in need.” (Surah Qasas, ayah 24)

I heard of it.

The recitation of this Du’aa was after Musa (as) was forced to escape from the city, into the desert, and headed towards Madyan.

After a long journey, Prophet Musa (as) came across a group of male shepherds who were watering their flock at a well. Keeping their distance, he noticed two women waiting in the back with their sheep. They felt it was safer to wait than to mix with the men who were gathered at the well.

When asked, they explained to Musa (as) that their father was an old man and unable to feed their flock, so they had to take on this duty. Now keep in mind that Musa (AS) himself was disheveled and exhausted from his travels, he likely did not have much to eat or to drink.

Still, he empathized with their situation, “So he watered (their flocks) for them; then he turned back to the shade…”(28:24) as he turned back to the shade he recited this du’a,

Rabbi innee limaaa anzalta ilaiya min khairin faqeer meaning, “My Lord, indeed I am, for whatever good You would send down to me, in need.”

Musa (AS) acted in an honorable manner to help these women in a foreign town amongst strangers. He prayed to Allah, asking him to provide more opportunities to do good acts like the one he just did. Also note, after having helped the women he did not stay and mingle, it says “watered (their flocks) for them; then he turned back to the shade”. Musa (AS) in this du’a also uses his state by saying that he is faqeer- meaning in dire need, or in poverty.

And through this Duaa Allah Ta’ala gave him so much more than just a home. He got food. He got provisions. He got a wife. A home. A family. Security. That was the blessing of that Duaa… that Allah gave so much more than just what was apparent to him at the time.

“I read it, Mos, and it’s like a calm descends on me,” she said with a certain kind of hope in her eyes. “And I’m okay. Really. I know I can trust Allah to reveal my story in the best way. I just have to avoid Zubair as much as possible. I don’t know how I can ever face him, and with him being here…”

It was going to be a difficult task to do forever, but she would get over it.

I wanted to hug her. I felt terrible for her. And I knew that I never liked him and always thought that he wasn’t good enough, but now I couldn’t help but feel insanely protective and want to break his legs for breaking her heart.

I really had no words for him! How could he say no? Without even meeting her, or even getting to know what she was about… Mister Mujahid made a decision based on nothing at all. As for Nusaybah, I wasn’t even sure what possessed her. I knew what rejection felt like and to see the hurt on my sisters face was like I myself was punched in the stomach.

“I’m so sorry, Jamz,” I said quietly, a cheeky smile creeping on my face. “If I knew earlier, I would have slashed the tires on his motorbike. I can still do it.”

I knew that I was being mean, but I was only trying to make her smile. And it worked.

”Please,” she said softly, the smile fading. “Just don’t do or say anything. It’s already so embarrassing.”

Poor Jameela.

I smiled sadly as I tried soothing her the best I could, letting her take a small nap as I went downstairs to tell Nani and my mother that she wasn’t feeling great.

My mother went to check on her too, but Nani was still looking completely out of steam, and I was kind of glad. After everything, she really didn’t need Nani telling her what a bad decision she had made by rejecting Doc.

I wondered if she regretted that part. I knew if I was in her position, I would, but Jameela wasn’t me. When she had her mind set on something, she was pretty one-tracked.

All I knew was that somehow, during this time, so much had happened that I couldn’t quite believe that I had no idea all this while.

And of course, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Even as we got home later that night, Zaid in his cute little car romper, almost asleep, as Hamzah helped me out of the car, it was all still racing through my mind.

Why did Jameela let Nusaybah do it, if she wasn’t almost sure that he felt the same way? Did she just feel pressured? Was it something she just wanted to strike off her list? Or was there some reason that Zubair had actually said no. The way he looked at Jameela… well, I knew that I was no expert but I could definitely tell that something more than awkwardness was in his gaze as he watched her match back to the house.

But maybe not quite.

I shook my head and sighed, letting Hamzah push open the door as I walked to the room and placed Zaid down, wanting to talk to him about it. I had tried to ask him about Zubair in the car, but had to stop because Zaid was popping his head up at every word and behaving like he was the main participant in the conversation.

He was becoming more alert with every day, and even though it was cuteness overload, it meant that Hamzah and I didn’t quite have the moments we used to have, when he would quietly feed and fall off to sleep.

These days I couldn’t even take out my phone without him wanting to grab it, and I knew that it was a lesson for me to have less screen time too.

I smiled at Hamzah, telling him that I would be with him in a minute, as I glanced at my laptop in the corner of our bedroom.

I wanted to ask him if he could talk to Zubair. Perhaps he would have some way of asking what Zubair’s deal was. Was he really that uninterested in my sister? I really couldn’t believe it.

Jameela was gorgeous by any standards, and the fact that he wasn’t even remotely attracted to her, to the extent that he didn’t even want to talk to her, just didn’t seem feasible.

And as I pulled off my scarf and checked my browser, waiting a few seconds for mails to load, and clicking on one that claimed to be urgent.

Mostly, these were mails with queries that had to do with previous accounts or budgets I had drawn up, and for a while it had been kind of quiet. I figured that there was someone competent in my old position, and I was genuinely glad.

This time, there was a single e-mail that stood out, and as I opened it and skimmed its contents, my heart beat with a certain kind of intensity that I’d never felt before.

The mail stated that a case had been opened against me, from Hammonds, claiming that I had stolen a large chunk of money with signed documents (by me) to confirm. It cited references from bank statements and messages and pictures from some Instagram accounts that I didn’t recognise. There were a host of accusations and allegations and I couldn’t even see anything made sense to me at that moment.

I actually couldn’t even think properly. I was in absolute shock, as I scrolled down in a daze.

My world had stopped. It was like everything had frozen in time. I wasn’t even sure what on earth had happened, but all I knew was that someone was out there to get me, and they were doing everything in their power to do so.

I glanced at the e-mail again, closed my eyes, and then, for first time since Layyanah’s death, I completely broke down.


Authors Note: Apologies for the delay. Signal issues since I’m not in the city. And the drama starts once again…. 


Mission Sunnah Revival: 

Sunnah of Noble Character: 

Nabi (SAW) gave attention, spoke and showed love to even the worst person of a nation until the person felt that he is being given special attention.

May Allah make us of those who uphold the Sunnah of character always.

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

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

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

#RevivetheSunnah

#RevivetheSunnahofbeingGrateful

#RevivetheSunnahofQur’aanTilaawat

#ReviveSunnahofDuaa

#SunnahofMaintainingTies

#RevivetheSunnahofSadaqah

#RevivetheSunnahofGivingGifts

#RevivetheSunnahofGoodAkhlaaq

#RevivetheSunnahbeforeSleeping

#RevivetheSunnahofGuardingtheGaze

#RevivetheSunnahofLickingtheFingers

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofEnteringtheToilet

#RevivetheSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofUsingtheRighthand

FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

 

 

When Reality Checks

Bismihi Ta’ala

Mohsina

Part 71

The way life works, and peoples hopes are wired, I realised that there are two types of people.

There are the realists, and then, there are the dreamers.

You’d think the dreamers would find the dreamers and the realists would find the realists, but I heard that more often than not, the opposite is true.

A popular saying goes: The dreamers need the realists to keep them from soaring too close to the sun. And the realists, well without the dreamers, they might not ever get off the ground.

And in a weird way, it was true. People needed each other to pull them away from the fire, when it got too close. And those people needed their better halves to guide them out when it became a little too dark…

“Close your eyes.”

I really didn’t want to. I wanted to see every bit of beauty that I had no doubt lay before me.

My senses were awakened. My heart was pounding. Where Hamzah had taken me as a supposed escape for the day, had turned out to be somewhere that I barely expected.

”I’m scared,” I said, holding tightly to his arm as he tried to pry my fingers from it.

“Trust me?” He almost whispered, and I could hear the hope in his voice as he said it.

“Never,” I said automatically, quicker than I intended and there was a gap of silence before I heard a low rumble of laughter from him.

“Mos,” he murmured, and I could hear his smile through his talking. “When will you stop fighting me?“

I grinned with my eyes closed, still walking along, feeling the rustle of leaves beneath my feet and sniffing something slightly unusual as we trudged along.

“I told you I’m an army,” I said with a smile.

Armies are meant to fight. Never back down. And as much as I’d been fighting with Hamzah lately, I kind of figured that at some point we have to stop.

“Are you like this with everyone?” He said, and I could hear him smiling still. “What about Nani? When she asked you to come for the Taaleem?”

I raised my eyebrows. He knows that I could never try it with Nani. That would have real consequences.

“She forced me,” I muttered meekly. I didn’t mention how good it actually was for me.

The second time, she didn’t have to force me at all. Zaid had slept at the beginning and I could actually listen and absorb in peace. It was good for me. For my soul. It made me feel like a different person.

I wanted to forget. I wanted to forget it all. Rabia. The past month. The problems. The blow ups. The unsaid irritations between Hamzah and I.

Especially now that Hashim wanted to meet Zaid tomorrow, we had been even more on edge since we found out. That’s precisely why Hamzah figured that he rather take me away to ease the conflict and build the bridges… before they come along and upset everything else again.

But I was learning to rise above it. After all, I had started attending the Taaleem and its what was keeping me on track. It’s what actually kept me sane with everything going on

That little time spent in the path of Allah was having amazing effects. It made me ponder. Reflect about how I treat people. About forgiveness. Maybe whatever Rabia had done wasn’t worth me fighting over. Life is too short for that kind of negativity.

Both Hashim and Layyanah’s sister Dahlia had been in contact and I knew that she was dying to see her nephew after months. Why I had kept him away so long, I couldn’t explain… but I really just wanted to keep these moments tucked away… for no one to touch.

We had finally finished clearing our Liyaket and Layyanah’s place, and the entire thing had broken us, and then pieced us back together again. I wasn’t even sure how to feel now that if was finally over. Was I relieved that it was? Or was I sad that that there were no more excuses to have to revisit them again ?

“Okay, open your eyes.”

His voice was soft and smiling and as I opened my eyes, I couldn’t help but stagger slightly as I saw where we were.

We were perched at the edge of a deck, near the far end of a lake not far from home, and just below us, the blue waters glimmered and swished against the wooden posts, almost silent and calm.

Unlike the last time we had been to the beach, today was a sunny and beautiful day, and though a thought of a dip in those waters was actually extremely tempting, I knew I was too chicken to risk it.

It was a quiet part of the town and I knew that’s why Hamzah had chosen it. He valued privacy and as his brown eyes twinkled and watched me, in his three quarter shorts and grey t-shirt, I knew that he had chosen this spot on purpose. Probably so that if he threw me into the waters, not a soul was close enough to even notice.

His smirk was enough for me to take a step back, and fix my gaze at the blue skies that met the water in the distance. It was simply enchanting.

“What is it with you and the open waters?” I asked, shaking my head at him.

It was beautiful and all-encompassing, but everything he did or lead me to always came back to the gorgeously serene waters, in any form.

“It’s my thing,” he said with a sly smirk, sitting himself down at the edge of the wooden plane that was built at the edge, almost as if he was planning on chilling out right there for the rest of the afternoon.

I stepped forward to join him, but waited a little while before I did. There was something about him being there, looking out, that gave me a sense of calm. Watching his form, his arms behind him, hair tousled slightly as he watch the peaceful scenery of natural splendour ahead was a soothing in itself.

”Is it just your thing or does it also remind you of Liyaket?”

I had to ask. I realised that there wasn’t too much I asked about Hamzah in the past. He knew a lot about me, yet, not being the type to pry had its downfalls. There was a lot about him that I didn’t know.

”Maybe both,” he said, shrugging as the waves crashed around us. “It’s still my thing.”

”I thought smoking was your thing,” I teased with a smile, seeing the corner of his mouth lifting and a dimple flashing as I said it.

He didn’t have an answer to that, but I could see that nowadays he actually tried not to smoke around me.

Instead, as I moved forward, lowering myself next to him so my takkies dangled off the edge too, he looked at me again.

“Do you have a thing?” He said, switching his gaze to the open water ahead of us once again. The water was a sparkly blue that reminded me of the ocean. “Or did you ever have a thing you used to do before you started baking?”

I took a deep breath in, waiting for him to say something quirky about my Instagram obsession or my usual hobbies. Or lack of them. I mean, I loved to bake, but it became stressful when there were huge orders to fill. I really believed that everyone needed an outlet.

Something fun and interesting to do, that helps them to unburden. Something halaal. I knew that Jameela was obsessed with reading, and she read mostly good stuff. Hamzah swam and Liyaket hiked, and they were both really good at it. I remember Layyanah once saying that she used to enjoy horse-riding as a kid and teenager, until her mother got tired of taking her so far for the lessons.

I knew that having halaal entertainment wasn’t as hard as everyone made it out to be. It was the reason why todays kids resorted to haraam. They didn’t think that there were options out there, places to go to where they could enjoy themselves without actually indulging in sin.

“When I was younger, I used to skate,” I said softly, recalling that there was an ice rink down the road from where we to stayed. “Often, and well. It was something that I loved doing. Like somewhere I could go and just be free.”

”Ice skating,” he said with raising his eyebrows, his expression unreadable as he said it. “Sounds cool. What happened?”

I shrugged.

We got poor.

I didn’t even know that I had said it out loud, but from the way Hamzah flinched, I could tell that I did.

Oops.

”I’m sorry,” he said softly, reaching out for my hand as he said it.

I shook my head, but let him hold my hand anyway.

“The music used to make my mother mad,” I said, breathing in as I spoke. “So Papa used to pay extra for a music-free session, early on a Sunday morning. It was a good solution. I loved it. After stuff went down…”

I trailed off and he watched me, as I recalled the first time I saw people pushing my father around. It had broken my heart.

“You don’t have to tell me,” he said softly, and I shook my head because I realised that I did.

It was the first time I had ever spoken about this. About how I had pushed my own dreams aside to help my family. About how I never looked back to that point where my whole purpose for doing what I did had changed.

Why should I want to make a difference in the world in any other way when my own family needed me? 

”I didn’t want to be an accountant,” I said flatly, breathing out as I said it. It was the first time I had ever said it out aloud. “Because my father as always set on it… he wanted a son first, of course. I had convinced myself that it was my dream. That it was the best career choice for me. After year one, I was still contemplating whether to change my career choice… still thinking about what my dreams were… and then I saw the fear in my father’s eyes once when someone came to threaten him about not meeting payments, and I knew that I couldn’t fail my parents.”

Hamzah was silent, but he squeezed my hand. Almost to edge me on.

”And so I sucked it up,” I said, not meeting his eye. “And that’s why I tried so hard to get to the top. That’s why I managed to stay focused. Get into Hammonds. That’s why I …”

It was time to stop talking now, and I knew that he would understand. It’s why Faadil made sense to me at the time. I never wanted my father to ever be like that again. I didn’t want him to ever feel worthless and kicked around by people who thought they were better than him.

I knew that everyone had their story, but sometimes we just need to see the other side to understand the reasons why people do what they do.

Maybe I had to try and apply the same to how I felt about Rabia. It had been a few weeks and though I greeted, I never made an effort to make more conversation. I was still angry at Hamzah for letting her badger me on instagram, but according to Hamzah, no one’s opinion on instagram is even worth worrying about so there really was no problem.

My breathing was shallow as I stopped, and it was a millisecond of pity in his eyes before he looked at me, the love in his eyes as stark as the sunlight.

“You act so tough and hard, Mos,” he said softly. “Maybe now and then you should let some of that armour down. Does Nani… Jameela … does anyone even know how much you do… you already did… for the family?”

I looked away as he watched me with disbelief as I shrugged. Wondering how I could do all that without even gaining some kind of recognition.

That wasn’t what it was about.

Every sacrifice a person makes paves the way for the next one. Until they come so easily, they no longer consider them sacrifices.

”You’re one of those most beautiful people I know but you don’t let anyone see it,” he said, his voice strangely unfiltered as he said it. It was like he was speaking straight from the heart and I was slightly bowled over.

“I don’t let anyone see it because I’m nothing great,” I said, truly believing that Hamzah really didn’t even know the half of what I was like. He knew nothing about everything I had become in between.

“You can’t say things like that about yourself,” he said, his brow furrowing as he looked at me. “I will always defend you, you know, even against yourself.”

Psssshht.

He didn’t know that I didn’t deserve defending. I sighed and looked away, trying to ignore his stare burning into my cheek.

“You have regrets,” he stated, and I knew it wasn’t a question.

I shrugged. Who didn’t have regrets? Did I have regrets? I did. But not about what he thought.

“Everything happens for a reason,” I said quietly. “I think everyone has pieces of their life that they wish they could do over. Pieces that we regret. But those pieces are also the pieces that we learn the greatest lessons from. If I didn’t continue with my BCom… if I didn’t work so hard… if I didn’t get into Hammonds…”

The statements hung in the air as we both stayed silent, listening to a bird teetering somewhere beyond the rustling reefs.

”You wouldn’t have become a part of my life,” he finished off for me. “And I wouldn’t have changed my life either. You, me and Zaid were decided a long time ago.”

“Touché,” I said quietly, breathing in as his thumb did circles on my palm. The air was quiet and full of words all at the same time.

Indeed, everything that happened was joined together to give us a piece of thread that connected us to each other.

And it’s true that everyone had regrets. Things they wish they didn’t do.

When you make tawbah, regrets aren’t even valid anymore, because it’s like those things you regret no longer happened.

Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allah), Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not.” [Abu Dawud, Hadith 1873].

The literal meaning of the Arabic word tawba is “to return” and is repeated in the Qur’an and hadith . In the context, it means to turn or to retreat from past sinful and evil activities, and to firmly resolve to abstain from them in future. And that was the entire point of Tawbah, right?

It made me think of what Hamzah had been telling me about Zubair. He had been giving me snippets of his life in instalments, and it was strangely thrilling, hearing just how someone’s life could change only due to intentions. It was fascinating to hear how he had been someone who he hated… and then became someone who everyone looked at in a completely different light…

After hearing about what Zubair had gone through, about his life and everything he had gone through… well, how can I even compare my regrets?

And yes, it had changed so much about what I had thought of him. It made me think that maybe I had been too fast to judge him, and that maybe he really did have a real reason for being with his uncle… For doing the things he did. Maybe he could actually justify all the bad things that happened to him. Maybe sometimes things aren’t just black and white.

I had thought bad of him but the ironic part was that I knew people thought crappy things about me too.

“I know what people think of me,” I blabbered, still unable to let it go. “Like Rabia feels I’m not good enough for you…”

”Who cares what everyone thinks about you?!”he snapped, sounding angry as he shook his head at me. “You did things no one else should have done at your age. Sometimes we think it’s self-explanatory. That everything should just follow the rules. But bad things happen. People mess up. Get into ugly situations. You did what you could, even if it’s against the norm and maybe you messed up and you got slack for it, but so what?”

“I’m not a nice person,” I went on, because he had to know that. “I’m edgy and I’m sarcastic and I don’t let people get close to me. Everyone thinks you’re too good for me and don’t pretend that you don’t know it.”

I couldn’t believe that I had actually said that. That I sounded so not-together. Even when I pretended I was.

Hamzah looked positively startled by it.

“Mos,” he said, his tone completely changed now, as he fixed his gaze on me. “Get this. While I was busy messing around, you were being a bloody grown up and working your butt off to support your family. You did it with a good intention. Intentions count. You did it for your family. Not for name and for money and all the things people think you became a CA for. I think that makes a difference. What makes a difference to me is that you gave it all up in the blink of an eye because again, it was the right thing to do and it was what made me happy. It was what made Allah happy.”

”But-“ I wanted to argue that somewhere along the line my intentions changed, but he cut me off.

“Enough,” he said, getting to his feet as he stretched his arms out in front of him. “I won’t hear it. I’m going for a swim.”

Typical male. His realist side was too real for even the realist me. He said it like it was, and that was that.

I sighed and simultaneously widened my eyes as I watched him lower himself into the water, unable to contain my laughter as I watched him flinch at the temperature of it. This was a side of him that ventured into the wild. Craved the excitement. Went completely off the charts with boldness.

And although I knew he was expecting it, I bluntly let him know that there was no way I was getting in there, even as he tried to convince me that it wasn’t as bad as it looked.
It reminded me of the first time we had encountered icy waters, way before we even knew everything would happen the way it did. We were once so misguided and silly, but somehow, through the little guidance we sought, we managed to find a way to the other side…

Somehow, Hamzah had got me into the water after only ten minutes. I actually enjoyed it, and let myself relax a little because time was limited before we would have to head back for Zaid, I knew that the least I could do was give in to his whimsical wishes and enjoy the time on the water.

What I didn’t expect was emerging half an hour later to pull out fresh clothes from the bag, and glimpsing my phone in the process to see twelve missed calls.

Even for Nani, that was a bit extreme. No one else had tried calling. If it was an emergency, someone else might have.

But they didn’t. I still wasn’t sure whether to panic or not.

“It’s Nani,” I said, as Hamzah glanced at me while layering towels onto the seat of the car so we didn’t wet them. “She’s tried calling a few times.”

”You missed Taaleem?”

His voice was filled with humour but I wasn’t smiling. I knew that what Nani would have to say would be on her status or in message form.

I scrolled through my chats, scanning through for Nani’s name, and finally searching it, seeing Jameela’s messages that mentioned Nani. I quickly tapped the chat and opened the 8 messages that were unread.

Jameela was straight to the point and my heart beat a little faster as I skimmed through.

I just couldn’t do it.

I told Nani that and she wasn’t happy.

She said she was going to convince me otherwise.

Mos, I can’t marry the doctor. I just don’t feel right.

He’s not the one for me.

I didn’t read any further, because Nani’s incoming call at that point distracted me.

She was definitely WhatsApp stalking me. She would have also seen me online so there was no way that I could ignore her without causing a ruckus.

Hamzah had jumped in the car now, glanced at me watching my ringing phone like a crazy person, and immediately frowned.

“Babe, you okay?”

I looked at him, still not sure what to do.

“Wish me luck,” I said to Hamzah, just before sliding my finger across the phone to answer.

My gave me a thumbs up, and I knew that I was going to need it. This was going to be one tiresome conversation and I was not looking forward to it. I was only being realistic in my thinking. From everything that Jameela had told me, there was no use hoping that things would actually work out for them.

The realist in me told me so.

The other reality was, I wasn’t even exactly certain that I could play it cool because if Nani ever found out that I was actually in favour of Jameela’s decision… she would never forgive me.


Mission Sunnah Revival: 
Sunnah of Noble Character: 

Nabi (SAW) gave attention, spoke and showed love to even the worst person of a nation until the person felt that he is being given special attention.

May Allah make us of those who uphold the Sunnah of character always.

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

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

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

#RevivetheSunnah

#RevivetheSunnahofbeingGrateful

#RevivetheSunnahofQur’aanTilaawat

#ReviveSunnahofDuaa

#SunnahofMaintainingTies

#RevivetheSunnahofSadaqah

#RevivetheSunnahofGivingGifts

#RevivetheSunnahofGoodAkhlaaq

#RevivetheSunnahbeforeSleeping

#RevivetheSunnahofGuardingtheGaze

#RevivetheSunnahofLickingtheFingers

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofEnteringtheToilet

#RevivetheSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofUsingtheRighthand

FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

When we Lose Ourselves

Bismihi Ta’ala

Mohsina

Part 68

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

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

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

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

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

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

That was me.

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

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

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

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

Yes. That bad.

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

And I supposed that it happened for a reason.

I sighed.

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

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

My. Goodness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mhmm,” I said vaguely.

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

She was still talking.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where did I even start? 

“Jameelas guy called to propose.”

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

Hamzah raised his eyebrows.

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

Mr Smoothie, indeed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I looked at him and he smiled.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I had to pretend to be shocked at least.

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

He nodded feebly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

His women? Did she really just say that?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Love to hear from all the readers

 

Much love

A x


Mission Sunnah Revival: 

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

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

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

Keep in mind:

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

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6446, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1051

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

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

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

#RevivetheSunnah

#RevivetheSunnahofbeingGrateful

#RevivetheSunnahofQur’aanTilaawat

#ReviveSunnahofDuaa

#SunnahofMaintainingTies

#RevivetheSunnahofSadaqah

#RevivetheSunnahofGivingGifts

#RevivetheSunnahofGoodAkhlaaq

#RevivetheSunnahbeforeSleeping

#RevivetheSunnahofGuardingtheGaze

#RevivetheSunnahofLickingtheFingers

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofEnteringtheToilet

#RevivetheSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofUsingtheRighthand

FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

 

The Tip of the Iceberg

Bismihi Ta’ala

Part 60

Hamzah

At some point, we all have to stop being consumed by moments.

In the understanding that nothing in this temporary world is limitless or perfect, we are somehow able to step outside the moments and see them for what they are. Sometimes what we can see, especially in this world of illusion we have come to live in, is not even the whole picture… but only the tip of the iceberg…

And it just so happened that it was only during that eventful weekend on the coast that the true meaning of contentment unfolded for me. No matter how much you fill your life with the best of this world, if Allah doesn’t feature, you will never feel complete. If Qur’ān, Salaah and Ibadat is lacking, we will never feel fulfilled. As we try filling the void with our virtual applications that take over our lives, we are always left feeling at a loss.

And though I usually looked forward to long drives and the peace it brought within me, while I was able to catch up with my Qur’ān and just chill out while doing dhor, if I heard that word Instagram one more time during the three hour drive down to  the coast, I was seriously thinking of opening the drivers door and just jumping off the moving vehicle.

And okay, I know I’m an idiot, but to tell the truth, I had been just a little preoccupied and I couldn’t help but overlook the fact that perhaps my wife wasn’t exactly thrilled about the sudden change of events either.

”You don’t mind if I give Hamzah company in the front, right Mos?” My sister said sweetly, pinching Zaid’s cheeks as he grabbed her head cover in a fist and then screamed at her bossily when she tried to pull away.

I tried to miss the part where Mohsina raised her eyebrows.

“Or you can give Zaid some company in the back,” Mohsina said in a casual fashion, trying my best to keep a straight face as I saw Mohsina narrow her eyes.

The truth was, I didn’t anticipate the dynamic between the two of them. I didn’t even think of these things because my week was a complete knock out.

On top of the financial concern over my wife and our ex-boss, moving money around from various accounts to make payments after I had forked out a sum for a surprise for Mohsina without knowing, was the worry that had consumed me from this morning. It was the previous night that I had found an e-mail from Hashim’s lawyer, for a hearing that entailed giving them rights to see Zaid, at the precise time that Rabia’s message about joining us had also come through.

The pressure was mounting as I thought of how Hashim had attempted in the past few weeks to threaten me multiple times, but I was barely fazed until the that mornings document came through. The nightmares I thought I had gotten rid of had returned, and as I awoke, I was literally shaking with anger as I gritted my teeth, trying to exceptionally hard to ignore the anger brewing within.

I honestly felt like escaping with Mohsin to wherever he was heading to next, just to get away from it all, but I knew that it wasn’t exactly the most mature thing to do. Besides, I couldn’t leave Mohsina and Zaid now. I didn’t want to.

Geez, you guys,” Rabia said excitedly, pushing up her sunglasses and adjusting her weird turban cap thing-um with a big knot on the top that she sometimes wore. “I’m so excited to be seeing the beach after ages. Like a real Jo’burg person. Mos, did you see that reel.. the guys going crazy as they saw the beach and doing all these crazy things?!”

Rabia had recovered quickly from having to sit in the back seat, but she was also pushing limits when she started the conversation either way. I had my pods in my ears and barely even caught onto what she was into.

”Mhhmmm,” Mohsina said, and I didn’t even register the note of disinterest in her voice. It was a default tone for her not wanting to fully engage in a conversation and I knew it extremely well.

I had glimpsed my wife’s stony expression in the rear view mirror that day and with Mohsina, it wasn’t all that difficult to tell. Her pretty face would get all flushed when you provoked her and her one talent was the ability to act as if nothing was wrong, when there clearly was something very wrong.

You okay?

The message I had just typed out to send her made a small ping in the back of the car, and as I glanced at my rear-view mirror, I couldn’t help but smirk as I saw the usual and intentional roll of her eyes and toss her phone aside.

Just a moment ago, she had picked it up to check something, but as soon as she saw my message, I already knew that there would be no easy way of dodging her bullets.

Oh yeah. She was annoyed. Though I didn’t entirely understand Instagram dramas and how they work, I knew that she had also been a little down because of some dodgy things that were going on there.

I pinched the bridge of my nose as I felt the urge to light a cigarette, knowing that it would only exacerbate things if I did.

I sighed, knowing that although I knew that she was seemingly upset and overreacting a little, the drama that now ensued was a welcome diversion from the the burden on my shoulders that had felt this morning, and as Rabia’s voice broke through my thoughts as I closed my Qur’ān application for a minute, I couldn’t help but find myself listening in on what they were saying once again, as much as I didn’t want to be…

”And oh my word, did you see those amazing places they visited in Dubai? You guys have to go there when you make a honeymoon trip!”

Honeymoon trip? Was it some unwritten rule that we had to go overseas?

“And I don’t know if you saw the other influencer,” she continued. “The one from Cape Town who did those ads for Adidas… she went all out with her trip, recording every little detail of it which was so helpful so you know exactly what to expect at every stop. From the business class lunges to the airports, food and edutainment… It’s makes it so simple when you’re travelling… I wonder if all her hotels were sponsored, gosh… don’t you miss those free trips Mohsina? I’m sure you used to get a helluva lot of freebies…”

I wasn’t sure what Rabia was getting at, and it was a seemingly innocent question, but I was already irritated at Rabia digging up social media dirt. I couldn’t help but hear a tone of accusation in her question, wondering if it was coincidental.

It tuned out at that point, not really wanting to listen, preferring to put my Qur’ān back on. Honestly, it was like Rabia now lived her own life through those moments of the instagram slaves she scrolled through as she spent time on her delusional application, filling some huge void for validation.

I frowned, wondering if this was going into dangerous territory. I could tell that Rabia watched people live seemingly cool and passionate lives online, judging herself against it, thinking it was real.

And I wanted to argue but with Rabia I knew there was no point as I plugged the pods back in my ears and we had just turned onto the coastal road which boasted the most stunning shoreline I had seen in months. All our eyes were already glued to the coastline, and the incredible Qur’ān recital playing in my ears heightened its appeal significantly.

The miracle of the Word of our Rabb was that no matter how many times we listened, we never tired of it…

And being here, with the salty air filling my nostrils as I opened the window, I already felt a huge relief within my chest. To top it off, Mohsina’s  mood no longer mattered because I already knew that once everything was settled and I took her out on the knockout lookout which used to be my favourite spot as a teenager, she would have no choice but to lighten up. I mean, there was no way she would see such beauty and not be moved by it.

I ignored Rabia as I caught her opening her phone, trying to focus on my intense relief as I finally reached the driveway of my grandparents place, because it meant that she was probably saved from me completely losing it. Thank goodness she would be getting off now, and I felt my stress levels immediately decline as I thought of it.

And as I drove up the slight incline, already pulling out my cigarettes because I knew that I would be craving after the long and tiresome drive, I couldn’t help but smile as I saw my grandparents coming out the front door, like they always would, ever since I was a kid.

And while many grandkids were close to their maternal grandparents, for me, it just so happened that I was the opposite way. For me, the coast had been my favorite getaway, a home away from home and the one place that I couldn’t cope without seeing for an entire month.

When I had learnt to drive, it was the first long distance trip I took out, and I truly believed that it was for this place being my favourite that my grandparents, even in their older age, never moved away from here, and I was honestly so glad.

And as I helped my wife out, already seeing Dada and Dadi making their way toward the car to receive us, I couldn’t help but feel elated that they could finally see me at this stage of my life, all grown up and together with my family. I knew that I was lucky to have them both with me, and many other guys my age didn’t get this.

And at the risk of sounding a little too emotional, the thing with Dada and Dadi was that there was a host of things that made me really attached to them. Life hadn’t been easy for them. My grandparents were always struggling to make ends meet. My father grew up in a poor home, and Dada had worked many different jobs to come out at the end of the month. It was him and seven other siblings, and even though Dadi had a small home business through which she subsidised their income, somehow it was still difficult. My father started working from a really young age, battling in many different ways before he finally found his feet in business when I was a kid and bought my grandparents this place close to my older uncle’s house, which they loved with all their heart.

And as I watched them, I realized that it had been over a month since I’d seen them and I had barely realized how much I really missed them.

In the bright afternoon sunshine, as they slowly approached us, it seemed like the first time that I’d noticed the little creased lines that became more prominent on their faces. My heart contracted slightly as I gazed at them up close, and as I sling my arm around Dada’s shoulders, I couldn’t help but be grateful that he was actually here to see this part of my life.

“Your Dadi couldn’t wait for you’ll to get here,” he said with a lobsided smile, patting my back affectionately. “She’s been in the kitchen from the minute she heard, making all your favourites.”

I instantly felt my heart swelling with love for her, at the same time as my stomach attempted to growl.

And as I glanced at her, with her hazel-brown eyes that still shone as brightly as they ever did, I knew that a simple greeting wouldn’t do, as I saw her smile at me with the same love she never failed to show since I was a kid, I knew I had no choice but to lean forward for a massive  hug, not expecting her voice to sound so emotional  as she spoke.

“Missed you, Hamzoo,” she said softly, using the nickname she always had as pecked her soft cheek, and I could feel the overwhelming emotion with which she meant her words.

Dadi was a woman of few words, but she was never the type to miss a thing. And as she hastily turned to meet my wife and Zaid, I wasn’t exactly sure what was happening to my heart at that point, because I barely realised how important this meeting was for me.

I briefly watched my two favourite people embrace for a minute, feeling a weird sensation in my heart as Dadi looked at me and then Zaid, almost as if she couldn’t believe how far I had come now, a family of my own with all these responsibilities…

I turned away as they spoke softly… intently…. And as Mohsina and Dadi walked along together a little, I already knew that I didn’t have anything to fear about them getting along, especially as I just finished pulling along the suitcases into the house and went back out to check on them, I was already feeling more settled.

“This place is amazing,” Mohsina was saying as I approached them, her mood already lifted as she gazed out to the stunningly blue seas that could be seen from wherever we stood. It was one of those days when the sky was achingly flawless, and the vastness of it simply took our breath away.

We hadn’t even entered the house yet, which boasted some of the most scenic views, and my wife was already completely mesmerized by the charm this amazing place held. Living on the coast was just a completely different experience altogether.

And I knew that I was jumping the gun, but seeing that Rabia had made herself useful and taken Zaid to Dada for a little walk around the yard, and knowing that there was still time for Asr Salaah, I knew that there was no better time that the present to get out there and be a little adventurous. As much as I wanted to tuck into Dadi’s famous cuisines, I really wanted to grab the last bits of sunlight before the day ended.

”Dee,” I said, calling my grandmother by her nickname as I placed my hand on her shoulders, feeling the frailness of her body as I held her, not really believing that my grandmother was already in her seventies.

They were sitting in the bench overlooking the ocean view, but seeing it all from this point wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to get closer already, to submerge myself in the beauty it boasted.

“Would you like to join us for a walk to the lookout?”

Dadi smiled and shook her head.

“Your Dada and I just went this morning,” she said with her usual lazy smile. “It’s such a beautiful day. Take Mohsina. Yesterday we spotted some dolphins, and you may get lucky again…”

I could see Mohsina’s eyes widening as I glanced at her and grinned, trying to figure out if she had forgiven me or not. Either way, at the mention of dolphins, it had the desired effect and I knew she couldn’t refuse joining me. At least I wouldn’t have to spend on hour grovelling and trying to make it up to her. I mean, who doesn’t love dolphins?

And as for me, I was hoping that the beauty and peace it brought would help her to forget all the drama of the past week.

And grabbing her by the wrist, without even giving her a chance to argue in my grandmothers presence, I had already pulled her toward the gate we usually used to get onto the beach path.

“Hey, what about Zaid?” She said seriously, looking back as she watched Dada entertaining him as he let out a few giggles.

He had settled so well in the past few weeks, and I was so glad that he was a friendly kid. Being out in the open now after that trip was all he needed right now.

”He’ll be fine,” I said softly, pulling her along despite her resistance. “He’s in good hands.”

She let out a frustrated sigh as she pulled her hand away from me, but went along with me anyway. I couldn’t help but smile as I glanced up at the skies, pulling on my cap and glancing at her stubborn expression.

And because the path to the beach was exceptionally close and as we walked down silently, falling into step with each other, I couldn’t help but find myself reaching out for her hand again. It had become such a natural thing that I barely even realised it, and as she allowed my fingers to grip hers, I couldn’t help but conceal a smile as I snuck a look at her stormy face. And even though she was annoyed with me, I couldn’t help but think of how gorgeous my wife looked right then, as she refused to meet my eye.

I cracked a smile as she scowled at me as we stopped to take off our shoes, knowing that I wasn’t completely off the hook for my last minute stunt anyway. Taking a step closer to her, I traced my thumb over the outline of her jaw, forcing her to look at me angrily while she lifted her hand to swat mine away.

She was so stubborn sometimes that she made me laugh.

”I didn’t mean to pounce on you,” I said softly, catching her eye as she looked back at me. At that point, her eyes were filled with so much of honesty and sincerity that I didn’t quite have it in me to just ignore her little tantrum.

After that drive and all the social media obsession, I was actually really regretting letting Rabia come along with us.

Mohsina stayed silent as I watched her for a moment, when she was hastily started feeling her pockets, and I knew exactly what she was looking for.

“Oh gosh, I forgot my…”

I smiled as she trailed off, knowing exactly where I had left both our phones, and well aware that I had purposely intended to leave all technology behind today. I just wanted to sit there, under the streaky skies, watching the riders of the sea crashing against the waters, roaring away with every new wave…

And because I didn’t want to make a big deal of it, I turned my gaze to the view of that had already captivated her, watching her eyes fix on the tide that was endlessly ebbing and flowing, as we gazed at it together. The sound of the seaside captured us from every side, echoing off the rocks surrounding us.

For a moment there, the entire world melted away as the rhythmic sound of the ocean overcame my senses, and like an old friend, meeting once again at the shore… being out there had already calmed me and settled me incomparably. The oceans embrace had cleared my mind and already gave me a new perspective on what had been worrying me.

”How vast is this ocean?” Mohsina said softly, and I couldn’t help but swallow emotion as I gazed out at the limitless waters that seemed to go beyond eternity.

How vast is Allah Ta’alas Arsh? How vast was His creation?

Allah’s Messengerﷺ said,

“When Allah completed the creation, He wrote in His Book which is with Him on His Throne, “My Mercy overpowers My Anger.”

(Bukhari)

“Imagine how vast is His mercy,” I whispered as I let my eyes feast on my favorite refuge, unable to withhold my amazement for that minute.

We could barely understand it. What we could see was only the tip of the iceberg. What we understood was only a meagre and minimal part of what really existed. It truly boggles the mind. None can fathom the greatness of Allah, and as I looked out, I could only imagine the beautiful array of marine life and coral that lined the ocean floor like a limitless burst of magic beneath the surface. Who knew what splendour lay beyond those enticing waters?

The thing was that everything becomes a lesson for us, when we are in tune with Allah’s greatness. Every ebb, every ripple, every whiff of salty breeze… every tiny creature or little rustle in the trees behind us… all becomes a means of looking to Allāh’s greatness and magnificence.

And as we stepped over, along the little bridge that served as an entrancing lookout to the open seas, it was no secret that Mohsina was completely captivated by the beauty the was before us. Its infinite beauty just got more and more intense, with every step we took as the seas spread before us in all their glory, and being there again reminded me of how much I loved this place as a teenager.

And as the wind picked up slightly, I pulled off my puffer jacket to put around my wife’s shoulders, while she smiled gratefully and  I saw her then in a completely different light. I realised why I kept bringing her to my favourite places. I realised that I was letting her into more and more of my world, and as I saw her out here, in the open, or out in the wilderness, the affection of nature having its effect on her, it reminded me again if the girl I sometimes saw beyond that determined go-getter.

Beneath it all, there was a softness within her when she let herself give in to nature, when she embraced the free spirit within her, and for a minute, I glimpsed that vulnerability once again. It was the only reason why I kept taking her out to the places I loved. It was the one time I saw her letting go of the shackles that the world and social media had captured her with. It was the only time that I witnessed her as herself.

And while I thought of it, being here with my wife made me excited, and scared, all at the same time. She had come so far… conquered so much, but this past week had been difficult to deal with everything that had happened. She was all cut up about recent events and how that virtual life could suck you back in became a concern for me…

“Can you see that bird on the wave?” I said softly, pointing to a white seagull that was playing around in the choppy waters, my eyes not leaving it for all that time, as it swam on its appointed wave. An amazing thought struck me as I did…

Mohsina’s dark eyes turned to look at the seagull, and a small smile flashed on her face as she did.

She nodded as we both fixed our eyes on it, her hands now tighter around mine as she watched it fluttering around, riding the wave and balancing expertly as it rose and fell once again.

I took a deep breath, hoping to relate what I meant as best I could.

“I once heard an Aalim say that everything in nature has a lesson for us,” I said softly, my eyes not leaving the scene before us, as I spoke. “And I was thinking… You know… Life is so uncertain. Unpredictable. Difficult at times. We all face challenges, get hurt, fall to our knees… But like how the bird stays on its intended spot, not matter what the conditions… on the crest of the wave, battling to keep his momentum but still succeeding… We too should battle through the tests and the turbulence to keep ourselves on track, to always be struggling with our Nafs… no matter what challenges we face…”

It was normal to slip. To fall. To find ourselves flat out on our backs at times. But we keep getting up. Even after we fail, after we sin, after we find ourselves feeling like we’ve lost the battle completely… there’s always getting up again, and until we leave his world, it’s still never the end.

She looked at me, and I didn’t meet her eye as I said it.

The thing was, life was a constant battle. We always face challenges. Shaytaan is always out to trap us. And after the past week, I was scared of losing Mohsina to what she used to be. I was scared that with the influence around her and with so much that was threatening to destroy her, she was going to get lost in that world that she had once been submerged in once again. I was scared that my sister was having a bad influence of her too. I was so scared that she was going to start losing herself, and this time, I wouldn’t be able to save her. How do you save someone from their own self ?

I mean, I knew that the decision to marry her was because I could see something shifting within her. What I didn’t want was being back at that point where I felt like I was fighting a losing battle.

I was scared. And it wasn’t even about losing the battle anymore. I was more scared because from someone who was completely averse to emotion, I could actually feel something for Mohsina that I never felt before.

And I never believed in love, but if you ever had to ask me, this thing that was starting to take over my heart, was probably the closest thing to it that I ever felt.

I pushed away all stray thoughts as I shoved my hand into my pocket as I breathed out, pulling out the box that was in there for the past few days, knowing that I didn’t want to make a big deal out of this.

I had it with me since the previous week knowing that I was waiting for the right time to give it to her, and right then… well, it just felt right. Also, I knew that it would be a good diversion.

“I’ve got something for you,” I said as I turned toward her, not knowing what else to say, as she finally turned to me, I could tell for a moment as that this was something she didn’t see coming.

She widened her eyes and swallowed silently, stunned as she stared at the diamond stone set in a band of white gold that I had purchased just a week ago. It was something that I knew we hadn’t done when we had gotten married because everything was so sudden and unconventional, and though it was seriously delayed, I always wanted her to wear a band like other married couples do. It was just something I felt passionate about. The whole ring exchange thing hadn’t happened for us, but I really wanted to give her one.

She was still staring for a minute as she looked as me and then at the ring, her eyes glistening as she met me eye. And I had purposely done this very casually and I had no idea what was so emotional for her, but I knew women were strange so I barely even thought much of it as she finally opened her mouth to speak.

And of all the things I had expected her to say, I never expected what she said next.

“Hamzah, no,” she said briefly, closing her eyes and shaking her head as she snapped the box shut. Of all the things, it was the furthest from what I expected.

I couldn’t help but frown as I watched her turn away, trying to figure out what on earth went on in this woman’s mind.

For me, I just felt that we hadn’t exactly done everything the right way around, and of all the things I really wanted.. well, this was one. To be an actual married couple with the formalities and the ornaments, even though it was a little extra, well.. it wasn’t like it was wrong.

“I can’t,” she stammered, her voice shaky and I couldn’t even understand why. “It’s too much, I’m costing you too much, Hamzah. I’m sure you didn’t intend on doing all this…”

The money. She was still worried about the money, when I told her she didn’t have to. It was true that this month had stretched me, but I had a plan for my finances.

And I knew that she still doubted me, but I really and truly believed that we could make this situation a perfect one. I just wished that she could too.

She was still shaking her head, as she turned away and faced the open seas, which seemed to be getting choppier with each passing moment. Their storminess was having an immense effect on my mood and I shoved the box back in my pocket, not knowing what else to do. I was angry and annoyed.

What was it with this woman? Why did she always challenge me? Every time I felt like we were getting one step closer, it seemed like it was two steps back. Here I was, slowly opening up to her more and more, and it seemed like all Mohsina was intent on doing was putting up wall after wall…

It was already a few moments of silence that had passed before I felt her hands snaking around my waist, and before I even knew it, she had already delved into my pocket.

The box was already opened and without another word, she already pulled the ring over her slender finger, gazing at it for a second as I looked at her and raised my eyebrows, wondering what it was that made her tick.

Truly, my wife was one of the most complicated conundrums for me, but as I looked at her, I couldn’t help but laugh at her ridiculous temperament. At that point, I was more vulnerable in her presence than I had ever been.

I mean, who says no to a diamond ring?

“Right from the first day I met you at Hammonds,” I said, shaking my head and pulling her closer to me, trying to swallow the emotions that she had brought on in the last few minutes. “You annoyed me more than anyone in the world, Mos, but I still want to spend every irritating moment with you.”

It’s true that when I first met her, she was one of the people who I would try to avoid at work. I supposed it was because she was so focused and driven and trying so hard to be at the top. She always went all out for everything, even though I knew that for a woman, it was always much harder to get to where they wanted to be.

Women empowerment was her thing. Her passion. Her reason for pushing herself as far as she had and getting where she did in her career.
And though she kept proving to me, what she didn’t realise was that the minute she had put her own desires aside to tend to Zaid, and bring up our son, her status for me was already on Saint level. Thats all she had to do. I mean, women fought so hard in every avenue, but all Allah Ta’ala asks of them is to please their husband, and their Jannah is made.

Simple and so easy.

And that’s what made her all the more special for me. That’s what made even the things that never made sense to us, finally make sense.

She finally grinned as I watched her stick her tongue out at me, but there was a certain something brewing in her eyes as she did.

“You’re my happily ever after,” I said simply, hoping to make her smile but as I said it, it was as if something in her shifted and all of a sudden, she turned away, almost as if she was shying away from something that I had no idea about.

Did I say something wrong?

“Mohsina,” I said, frowning as I watched her, confusion creeping over me. “Is everything okay?”

”I’m sorry,” she said, pulling her hand as she tried to move away from me.

”What?” I asked, frustrated now, my eyes searching hers for answers.

Any answer. Any reason. Just something, dammit.

And unbeknownst to me, the whole trip here was turning out to be a bit more than I bargained for. I didn’t realise that Rabia being with us had brought on a whole lot more than what I anticipated, and that much more was said that I had no idea of.
I wasn’t even aware that what Mohsina was about to say was only the tip of the iceberg, and within the crevices of her pained heart there was much that was still left unsaid.

She stepped back, leaning on the balustrade as she pulled my jacket tighter around her, almost as if she was harnessing some kind of turbulence that was wrecking havoc within.

And then she took a deep breath, and finally met my eye.

“I have something to tell you.”


Dearest readers…

A little bit of drama to unfold… but let’s see how Mohsina finds her way out of this one… Any pointers on whether she should reveal it all or not?

Request for Duaas

Much Love

A xx

Mission Sunnah Revival

Sunnah of Time Management:

We come into this world with an allocated amount of time. We should, ideally, spend this time to please Allah and strive toward our Aakhirah.

Among the harms of social media are the harms of time wasting.

May Allah Ta’ala enable us to be particular even about our digital time, and save us wasting our time on these frivolous activities.

Oh son of Adam. You are nothing but a number of days. Whenever a day passes, another day has gone. (Fadhaail e Sadaqaat)

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..💕

#RevivetheSunnah

#RevivetheSunnahofbeingGrateful

#RevivetheSunnahofQur’aanTilaawat

#ReviveSunnahofDuaa

#SunnahofMaintainingTies

#RevivetheSunnahofSadaqah

#RevivetheSunnahofGivingGifts

#RevivetheSunnahofGoodAkhlaaq

#RevivetheSunnahbeforeSleeping

#RevivetheSunnahofGuardingtheGaze

#RevivetheSunnahofLickingtheFingers

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofEnteringtheToilet

#RevivetheSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofUsingtheRighthand

FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

Ominous Obsessions

Bismihi Ta’ala

Part 57
Rabia

Old habits die hard.

And in actuality, the fact of the matter was that for this habit… well, I wasn’t exactly putting in the effort to even try kill it.

And with the risk of it sounding like addictive behaviour, as I scrolled mindlessly through the application that had pretty much taken over my life… I didn’t realise that it was precisely that addiction that was deterring the positive impact on my mental health and well-being, giving rise to cynicism at even the slightest of remarks…

“She’s such a lovely, simple girl,” I caught Bibi Masie murmuring to my mother as they emptied the pot of pasta into the Pyrex on the kitchen counter, and my eyes were already narrowing. “They make such a beautiful couple.”

The sun was shining brightly through the kitchen windows, not even doing a thing for my peace of mind as I squinted at them, while I sat on the bar stool, without them even registering my bemused expression. Mohsina had walked by and offered to help but they had shooed her away while they got lunch ready before the ‘city people’ headed back home. I didn’t even bother myself, as I tapped on my phone. They would sort it out.

But as she made the comment about Mohsina, I had managed a fake cough and a roll of the eyes as I forced myself to switch apps and scrolled through some WhatsApp statuses on my phone instead, still unable to believe that I had actually heard what she had said right then.

Lovely, simple girl? I mean, have they even seen her Instagram profile?

The girl was anything but simple. From swanky handbags to flashy cars, she had always been obsessed with flashing all her best, expensive bits, and now my brother would probably have to foot the bill for it.

And okay, maybe I was a little crazy at times but it just happened to be that I was famous for calling a spade, a spade and I couldn’t help the shock I felt when I heard the words that literally made me do a double take.

Okay, so maybe I should put my phone down.

You see, I had gone through a bad patch when I was going through a bit of heartbreak. The thing was, any experience of seeing my ex’s name on Instagram or any social media platform killed me. I was pretty down and found myself using Instagram to either ‘punish’ myself by looking at his profile and spying on him, or using the browse feature to distract me.

And as I went through the daily motions of cyber-stalking, checking my feed and not even succeeding in stopping myself there, I could feel the need to put my phone down before I slipped into dangerous territory, but I never did.

Back to Mohsina though. Although she had somehow changed a little of what she used to be, they made Mohsina sound like some kind of homely, perfect housewife, when she was the complete opposite of it.

“The farm is good for them,” I caught Mummy nodding and enjoying the compliments of her daughter-in-law as she retied her apron, not even noticing the hostile look on my face. “Zaid loves it… and I think Hamzah is surprised at how much Mohsina is actually taking to being outdoors here. It so peaceful, Alhumdulillah. You know these young people nowadays. Too used to their home and office routines. He kept telling me that they are city people, and it was too far to come, but look at them now…”

Hah.

Too far. What bullshit. Mohsina had probably been spewing venom into my brother’s ears about spending time with his family, which made him not want to come out here. Girls were never happy about doing in-law time these days.

And ever since their constant disappearing stints that seemed be happening more often, I couldn’t help but find myself getting all the more frustrated at the new couple and their annoying tendencies. The fact that they had basically deprived me of being with my nephew and hadn’t even asked me to babysit ever since the day I took him out, was the absolute limit.

And okay, I know that I made Mohsina get a little more aggro than her usual and it had made Hamzah angry but those two really needed to grow up and learn to deal with stuff. A little argument here and there never hurt anyone.

I had even tried to swindle Saaliha and make her hand him over while they were gone, but apparently Mohsina had given her explicit instructions and being the goodie-two-shoes she was, there was no way she would ever go against what Mohsina had said.

Messaging Hamzah that morning with my rants had fallen on deaf ears, and it peeved me even more when he replied in two short sentences:

You’re overreacting. Will chat later.

And for me, this was the ultimate betrayal. It was one thing that Mohsina completely disregarded my abilities take care of Zaid, but the more disturbing fact was that my own brother took his wife’s side, time and time again. 

It was all he said and there was nothing else I could do but dig my fingernails into my palms and grit my teeth, as they both passed through the kitchen again to reach the patio, before I said something that would ruthlessly expose Mohsina for the cow that she really was.

And because I knew that my brother was anything but the sweet and doting type, I couldn’t help but feel even more aggravated as I watched him obsess over his wife relentlessly for the most part of the weekend they were there. Currently, he had just stubbed his cigarette and came inside to fetch them something to drink. To tell the truth, the way they had both been acting, especially since Mohsina had started feeding Zaid, was actually making me feel a bit sick.

I mean, no one was forcing her to be this model mother and breastfeed Zaid. Personally, I just felt like she was doing it so she could hang onto him more. Hamzah made it seem as if she was doing some huge kind of great sacrifice, just because she was breastfeeding. I mean, people did it in their sleep… So what on earth was the big deal even?

“Hamzah is like a different person today,” Ma, my mother’s mother, murmured as she watched Hamzah closely, who was completely unaware of the eyes on them as he sat next to my new sister-in-law, head bent as he opened the two bottles of Coke he had brought out and engaged with her on the bench just outside.

They were so close together that I could think of nothing more than going over there and banging their heads together.

“Ma, Hamzah’s in love,” my Aunty said with a admiring smile on her face, and I honestly felt like I wanted to barf. “Of course he is different to what he used to be. He’s no more that little boy you used to scold for chasing the sheep.”

And though I wanted to laugh at the memory of little Hamzah being the horrific nuisance he had always been as a kid on Eid day, I was seriously too caught up in my own demonic thoughts to even humour myself.

Just like Imraan had always been Ma’s favourite, Hamzah had always been my Bibi Masie’s favourite and she never even had the decency to deny it. It was obvious that the two of them had probably had a heart-to-heart earlier, from the way she said it so confidently.

I was actually dying to know what else he had said to her, and with all the extra hands around today, being the day after we had Eid here, the newlyweds had plenty of alone time to be all icky and romantic.

It was just as well that no other men were around then. Couples who were in love made me feel irked. It wasn’t that I was jealous or anything, but well… I suppose you could call it an aversion, because the entire love thing had just gave me chills.

And okay.. having to abandon a marriage because the man who you loved was in love with someone else could have been part of the reason for me, but never mind that. I’m not here to vent about my own misfortunes. I just silently wished that they would stop being all over each other because every time I cast my gaze toward them, it was making me increasingly vexed…

And I knew I was being a little bitter but I couldn’t but feel that way. The fact that I wasn’t getting my dose of Zaid while he was being spoilt by everyone else was unsettling me even further.

Plus, it didn’t help that that Ma actually seemed to have warmed to the whole concept and even encouraged their despicable mushy behaviour.

Considering that, I couldn’t quite believe how she was acting now. In fact, at the time before their Nikah, Ma and I were the only people who weren’t keen on them getting married so fast, but for different reasons. For Ma, from the onset, she had always pictured Hamzah with someone a little different. More homely. I supposed being old-fashioned, when she heard that Mohsina and Hamzah had worked together, it didn’t really sit well with her that little Zaid would be such a deciding factor for them. Ma felt that just because there was a baby involved, it would really make things harder for them instead.

And I do admit that Ma’s reason made sense. It was the glaringly obvious hang-ups. No one liked over-educated girls. I knew that she felt that maybe Mohsina wasn’t cut out for being a wife. She had commented that Hamzah was used to being spoilt and she had her doubts about him having to adjust to the situation between them, and I completely agreed.

As for me… well, I would never say it aloud… but my reason had always been that I just didn’t want Mohsina as part of my family. Period.

And let me just be honest. I’m not really the interfering type. Okay. So now and then, when I tend to get a bit peeved, then I may stick my nose in where it doesn’t belong. But all in all, I’m not really that horrible.

And let me just make it clear again,. I wasn’t exactly sure what happened that weekend and neither was I quite sure of when exactly things spiralled out of control. The thing was, I fully believed that all I was doing, was trying to be helpful and keep myself busy without getting in anyone’s way. Well, for the most part.

And that’s what bugged me about Mohsina. Even when I tried to be helpful, well… she never acknowledged it. And it was no secret that from the first time I had met her, things weren’t exactly starting off on the most amazing note, and I could tell that the feelings were reciprocated.

Seeing Mohsina for the first time at the farm all those months ago, her particularly fetching features slightly enhanced by the glaring light of the sun that day, while I watched her from afar, was something I never forgot.

The domineering streak she had in her eye was already causing alarm bells to ring, and it was etched in my memory since.

I had just completed my iddat two weeks before that, and Liyakets wedding was supposed to be the event whereafter everything was just falling into place. The debut. My life was supposed go from zero to ten and Mohsina’s unyielding attitude that day had put me completely off base.

And I should have just blamed Hamzah, because it really was his fault from the beginning. My idiot brother. Maybe he was avoiding getting involved. Maybe he didn’t want to cross boundaries. But it was because of my annoying brother that I had to go up to her myself, trying to be as polite as I can, but still firmly trying to ascertain what exactly was going on when an unexpected guest arrived on the scene.

I still remembered the words clearly, as she looked at me, her eyes boring into mine, almost as if she was challenging me, when I asked if she knew who that horrible girl was, who was causing a huge ruckus.

I mean, the entire function was just being ruined with this turn of events and I desperately needed it under control.

She had cocked her prettily made-up head slightly and narrowed her eyes to slits, and her ‘office girls’ remark had immediately made me see red.

And I didn’t think I was wrong, for wanting them both out after that. The girl was already attracting bad attention and we couldn’t risk this sort of thing here, plus Mohsina was just being plain down rude about it.

And of course, her outburst was completely out of line, as far as I was concerned. She was getting in my way. It was my duty to make sure everything was smooth. My property and my rules. How dare she be so rude and indignant when I was trying to help maintain a peaceful atmosphere?

Besides that, the fact that she had so proudly stated that she was an office girl was completely unnecessary. It had been a pretty touchy subject for me and her rubbing in the part of my marriage that had gone seriously wrong was something that was obviously intentional.

I figured out that she had her sights on my brother and it only made sense that she had probably checked on me as well. It was the very obvious explanation that my brother never agreed with, but I firmly believed. From the start, Mohsina was out to get me, and I was going to make sure that I wouldn’t let her.

But incidentally, emotion is emotion. You can’t just switch them off, and as far as emotions go… well, recently, mine had been a little out of whack and I didn’t exactly think that they could be anything but justified.

And so, first impressions aside, I had tried to let bygones be bygones and realised that maybe I had to just try to divert my train of emotion and make the most of the situation when after months of uncertainty and Liyaket’s death, everything had finally come together for them.

And the death has shaken us all up. For a while, it was like a complete change of mindset for us all. But slowly, as we forget, we slip into old habits, and after Ramadhaan was over, I had basically found myself grappling even more desperately to stay on track.

And though I didn’t exactly want her as a sister-in-law, I knew that I wouldn’t have much of a say, so I had to cut my losses and move forward. Zaid was the ultimate catch. After all, he had become one of my favourites and spending more time with him now that Hamzah had married Mohsina trumped everything. And at that time when I had hoped that my brothers only reason for marrying Mohsina was Zaid, I didn’t exactly expect the entire thing to poke me in the behind and them to actually romancing each other at inappropriate times.

And of course, I couldn’t help but wonder again, what about everything that had happened in between? What about the proposal breaking on a whim, and then going all out on social media… living the life of an instagram diva?

Man, it was wild.

It had been post after post, reel after reel. She had done selfies and TikTok’s and some of them had really cracked me up.

It seemed as if every ounce of her was being channeled into the most awesome and gripping content, and during that time, I had become obsessed with following her, those few months, waiting to see how amazing her next expedition of adventure would be. What would happen next in her high flying life.

I had to admit… the girl had a knack with her stuff. She was so onto the trends. All of my instagram friends followed her and her pursuits, and I had even seen her at one of their Instafam meet ups. The pictures she posted were goals and her entire feed was amazing enough to think that it was absolutely real.

And then of course, because I followed her closely, were the mysterious pictures of an odd bunch of roses or a new perfume she was gifted, that would make her followers go wild in wonder. The picture of an un-tagged male silhouette that sparked some suspenseful interest was remembered too…

I wished that I had screen-grabbed those stories as evidence, but I had been so taken aback by the hype at the time, that I didn’t even think to. It was all very innocuous and private, but everyone knew that there was a special someone… until all of a sudden… the car accident happened and she had posted that there was a pressing emergency matter and though she would miss her loyal followers, she needed time away from social media to cope.

And bam. Just like that, that was that.

Her profile went semi-dead after, and though I constantly went back to check on her, I could see that slowly, all the incriminating evidence was probably archived or deleted and instead of the alluringly enviable life she had lead, was now a stagnant page with hardly any mind-blowing content.

The Nikah announcement post when she and Hamzah had gotten married was a generic picture and after that, I could see that @mostlymohsina and her fame was something of the past. I knew my brother wanted it that way too, and although it seemed like such a loss, there was not much I could do about it.

But I couldn’t stop checking, even if it wasn’t only her. To tell the truth, I had become a little obsessed. Often times, i had become accustomed to doing nothing of note – except sitting on Instagram. Every time I opened the app, I was presented with an endless feed of friends and family doing incredible things, having a wonderful time, without me.

And that’s the crux of the game, isn’t it? I mean, last week, there was the school friend whose wedding I wasn’t invited to; having found out about it through the gram. Then there was the family friend’s daughter who looks like the bomb after every workout and stops at nothing to let us know that we simply couldn’t touch her. And there’s the old bff who lives in Europe with her husband and is apparently back home for the summer holidays without even letting me know.

Social media was a grind. Fomo was real and damaging.

And though I knew that it was moulding me into a dissatisfied and ungrateful sort of person, I couldn’t stop. I couldn’t stop wasting time. From starting off with purer intentions, the profiles I now frequented had no link with Allah because often these profiles are made in such a way that they automatically beam a lot of negativity and immodesty. And this, of course, did nothing for my inner peace and reflection. I was increasingly on edge. The mental health took a turn for the worst, making me unproductive, distracted, and increasingly unmotivated. It was a horrible and vicious cycle that continued endlessly, and time was becoming more and more dispensable as I kept on wasting it on screen time…

There are two blessings which many people waste: health and free time.
Sahih Bukhari, 6049

And as my free time dwindled away, the feelings of inadequacy and discontent were mounting and when I eventually checked back into reality, everything else seemed so much more bleaker than ever, and just made me all the more frustrated.

With my mind in a constant huff in person, I couldn’t help but notice more flaws with everyone else. Come when the newlyweds visited the farm, with all the available hands to take care of Zaid, the two lovebirds were obviously on honeymoon island and I still wasn’t good enough to look after Zaid. I just knew that Mohsina had told Saaliha that with the intention of completely hating on me.

And of course, as I scrolled through Instagram later that day, really not feeling like socialising while everyone sat for lunch, double tapping mindlessly as I saw pics of friends with their families and babies, loving how glamorous and blissful the life looked, I couldn’t help but narrow my eyes as I thought about what a sneaky cow my new sister-in-law was. If only everyone knew what she was really about. Wouldn’t that be a complete shock? 

“Rabia, please come and eat,” Saaliha said sweetly as she adjusted her niqab, and I shook my head stubbornly, not wanting to join in at the table. “We’re waiting for you.”

”I’m not hungry,” I said bluntly, ignoring my mothers peeved looks from where she sat.

I could see Mohsina eyeing me out too, but she said nothing, and I didn’t even offer her a glance.

I knew it was bad manners to sit with my phone at meal times but I wasn’t in the mood to hear lectures. Zaid was also taking a nap after all the  attention he had gotten, so there I was, feeling as dejected and sorry for myself than ever. Caught up in my online identity, I had actually forgotten that I had a real identity, off the net.

All I could think of was why everyone else’s lives worked out perfectly and I was still stuck on some kind of unlucky train.

How come nothing ever worked out for me or no one ever came through the way I wanted? It was often that I wondered… what did I really do wrong to deserve the kind of life I had? How did I even deserve this stigma that felt like I was paying for something I did wrong, every single day…

And now, as I felt myself comparing my life to everyone else’s, and Mohsina talked and laughed and basically acted as if nothing had happened when she had completely sidelined me… I  could feel my anger heightening.

Without even realising it, I was back in Instagram and on her profile, searching through for something… anything… I could fuel my anger with.

Every influential profile has those. A negative comment or hostile response.The people who are out to get you, or make you lose a following.

And of course, like any influencer, I could see below a few of her posts that there was a fair share of mild negativity.

All I wanted to do was get under her skin the way she had gotten under mine.

I wasn’t quite prepared for the consequences or what would happen after. What I did know was that I wanted to get back at her, and cause her as much trouble as she had caused me.

It took me a while to hatch a plan. I knew that’s Mohsina’s instagram account was paramount in her life, even if she wasn’t that active. I figured that doing some small damage in the form of a peeved follower might teach her a small lesson, but I wasn’t completely certain about how to go about it.

And I wasn’t exactly certain about what I would find. I wasn’t even sure if there was anything to find. I was basically taking shots in the dark, when I put the comment out there, from one of my unknown accounts.

And having so many accounts that I used for different purposes, well, there was no risk of her finding out it was me. All I wanted to do was create a little stir, and get people to talk a bit. I had full intention of trampling the rumours about her ominous activities after a few days and letting people know that the @mostlymohsina controversy I had sparked was really not true at all. I had full intention of squashing the whole thing, not even realising how my obsession with social media was getting completely out of control.

What I didn’t know was that through my ominous intentions, there was something very incriminating that would come to my knowledge and the forefront… and would threaten to topple everything else too…


A little bit of a different perspective as the plot thickens. It’s been a bit quiet and I always love to hear the readers comments on this development.
JazakAllah to all for the likes and for reading… may we benefit from the lessons ❤️

Mission Sunnah Revival

Sunnah of (Digital) Company:

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

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

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

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5534,

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

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

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

#RevivetheSunnah

#RevivetheSunnahofbeingGrateful

#RevivetheSunnahofQur’aanTilaawat

#ReviveSunnahofDuaa

#SunnahofMaintainingTies

#RevivetheSunnahofSadaqah

#RevivetheSunnahofGivingGifts

#RevivetheSunnahofGoodAkhlaaq

#RevivetheSunnahbeforeSleeping

#RevivetheSunnahofGuardingtheGaze

#RevivetheSunnahofLickingtheFingers

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofEnteringtheToilet

#RevivetheSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofUsingtheRighthand

FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

When Doorways are Brightened

Bismihi Ta’ala

Jameela
Part 55

When the light of Islam started spreading to people during the lifetime of our beloved Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wa Sallam), if there is one outstanding lesson that stayed with me… it is that every change, every stage where conditions are altered, has only benefit for the believer.

And that was why this particular Hadith rang so true:

“Amazing is the affair of the believer, verily all of his affair is good and this is not for no one except the believer. If something of good/happiness befalls him he is grateful and that is good for him. If something of harm befalls him he is patient and that is good for him”

(Saheeh Muslim #2999)

And as I glanced out at the beauty of the skies on that particular afternoon, nothing was clearer to me than the fact that like everything thing else, even the constant change of affairs for the believer, only comes with great goodness.

Because often we become blind to the fact, that if only we look at the life of our blessed Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam), even during the most turbulent times… there was so much to be learnt. So much to note… that when the elation of victory came to his ears, he taught us to smile with appreciation… and at the most gut-wrenching experiences, even he (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) didn’t hold back his tears. In every avenue, our beloved Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) taught us, through his life and his Seerah, that throughout every stage Allah puts us through, throughout every test, there is a beautiful result that not only moulds us, but polishes us to such an extent that we are the ones that shine eternally.

And in the books of Seerah, we understand the truth of these conditions that are so graciously taught. We are shown that after the tragic death of his beloveds, Allah Ta’ala brought our Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)on a spectacular journey to the heavens. After the aching torture of Ta’if, awaited for him melodious songs of the joyous Ansaar as he entered their city. After the heart-wrenching brutality of Uhud and the heartbreaking loss of his beloved uncle, would be a glorious victory at the conquest of Makkah, that sent hearts soaring infinitely…

After every season, every drought, every difficulty… Allah Azza Wa Jal brings forth something so much more splendid… sometimes even beyond what one can ever encompass.

And I was all caught up in my amazement, revelling in the blooming beauties after the winter chills. Spotting the first rose bud of the new season through the front doorway had already brightened my entire day.

I could barely digest the sight of the gorgeously promising stems and shoots, which were boasting their fervour, full of purply-red potential, and as I breathed in the crisp air letting its freshness fill my lungs until I could breathe in no more, I couldn’t help but let my eyes devour their glorious beauty. I wasn’t even sure how we had gotten to this point.

Ah, life. Once again. After the crop has dried and reduced to something that seems irretrievable, Allah’s promise is that He puts His magic into it, and once again, it gets you inundated with splendour over it.

A new change. A new chance. For us, as human beings, it had become such a strange thing. As our lives morphed and changed into captures and content creation, I sometimes wondered if we were even living, or just pretending to.

Turning my face toward the sun, I wondered how humans had been so deluded. I wondered how we willingly traded those real moments for fake ones. How we traded the feeling of being in a moment, to just capturing it. How we compete, in every sense of the word, for virtual lives.

But now… as I savoured the feeling of wet soil, my hands giving into the sensorial experience, after what felt like months…  I felt completely awakened. Inspired. Hopeful. The potential that new opportunities had brought… the medicine that nature had brought in its indulgence, well, I almost couldn’t believe that it was already a whole year since I started and all my plants were still pretty much surviving. Well, most of them anyway…

One, two, three…. well… all the way to sixteen, I had counted.

Though I loved the beauty and grandeur they brought, I wasn’t exactly the dedicated type. I often got caught up in parellel universes and forgot when next I was supposed to be planting but if I wasn’t completely deluded, it seemed like there were actually a few more rose plants than I original had.

I wasn’t sure how that had happened but I did know that Papa had seen to the garden once or twice or at least facilitated it. I just didn’t know who had manicured them so expertly that they looked like they were living an entirely new life.

They were extremely thirsty, but it had not gone without any noticeable advantages. The shoots had appeared almost overnight, with two tiny buds visible, and I knew that the efforts were surely not wasted.

The blazing sun had been tormenting me that day as I squatted next to the flower bed with my gardening set, feeling like I had probably gone fifty shades of sunburnt in that short space of time. Sweat trickled down my chest, but I really didn’t even bother.
I had pulled the bucket out once again with the wheel barrow, making my way to the front of the garden to fill up for the third time now, not realizing what a racquet I was making in the process until I heard the voice of the outdoor worker that Papa used.

“He is asking if we must do it for you?” A voice called out from behind me, in his Zimbabwean accent. “We will water here later.”

I turned slightly, feeling a little awkward.

Firstly, who was the he in question? And secondly, well, how did they even know I was here.

Being a Monday afternoon, when the coffee shop closed, I really expected I had no idea that the noisy wheelbarrow that was passing by the front house every ten minutes had caused a little more of a stir than intended.

“Sorry,” I called, looking at the guy briefly, trying to see if the ‘he’ in question was really him, and wondering if he was watching me.  I mean, was dressed decently but I looked like a hobo, but that was the least of my worries right then. “Who will water them?”

“Zubair say it is better to water them later.”

I nodded. So it was him.

Zubair says. I glanced backwards, glimpsing only the shadow of a figure in the window of the front house. How long he may have been standing there, I wasn’t sure.

But anyway. He was right. I had forgotten. And I was busy with them so I thought I might as well do it. I was lazy to come back later when the sun was a little less severe, and I had no idea he did it personally  every day. In fact, I had a strong feeling that he was probably responsible for its survival.

“Okay,” I said bluntly, closing the water and hoping he would go back inside. “Later is fine.”

After all, it was my home. I just didn’t realise that Zubair had no life outside work and that he did nothing on his day off but watch all the crazy things I got up to. I mean, where was his family? I was itching to ask Papa why he never visited them. It was just so strange.

And as I lowered my head and moved toward the house, taking my personal tools with me, I couldn’t help but feel a little inadequate.

He probably thought I was this silly airhead just interfering with the roses. It was obvious that he had probably been taking care of them all this time, but it didn’t mean that I couldn’t play my part.

And that too, I knew I had to avoid trying to see him now, because well, I knew I had to watch myself. Lower my gaze. Lower my gaze. Lower my gaze.

I mean, I couldn’t stop reminding myself enough but it was really hard. Plus, I wasn’t there for any sinister intentions so I would make more effort to prove my dedication, and ask Papa to drop me off at the nursery that week where I had bought the potted roses from.

Although it wasn’t a fully fledged nursery, I loved what they had done with the place and every time I went there, I just couldn’t help but feel so much at ease.

The thing was, The Rose Lady with the cute little girl, whose name I had come to learn to learn was Khawlah, actually owned the entire place and opened her wonderful garden up to disadvantaged children. She had the most amazing plants and set-up, and the tree! There was nothing more I wanted to do than just sit there with a book and dose off while I listened to the sound of birds teetering above me. And not only did she open it up as a play area… but she had also mentioned that her husband also did Hifdh classes there… which made the place even more amazing.

And of course, my heart was completely melted because the last time I went, there were a whole bus of underprivileged smaller kids who had come to make use of the facilities, while she taught them how to plant seedlings, and they were just so amazing to watch.

I wasn’t sure what her story was, but I remembered her daughter telling me once that her Abba had passed away before she was born and he had cancer. I wanted to cry when she had said it, ok such a indifferent way, almost as if it was a very natural thing to happen. And though I didn’t know any more than that, every time I met the lady, she was so sincere in whatever she did and always gave me extra seedlings to plant and so much of advice, that I kept wanting to go back to support her…

And as I entered the house, still lost in my thoughts, I sincerely hoped that one day,l I could hear and learn from her story. My mind was still stuck on that gorgeous garden, when my sisters voice rang out next to me, making me jump with shock.

“There you are!”

I looked up as I heard her voice, a smile creeping on my face because this was one of the best surprises today. I didn’t even know that Mohsina was back from the farm and the fact that she was here was an immediate anti-depressant.

“Tell me Zaid is here?” I said, hugging her tightly and  looking hopeful, but also knowing that he sometimes went to Liyakets mother when they were

Mohsina’s bright smile was even more promising.

”He is,” she said, as my mother came in with my little sweetheart, and honestly, seeing him made me feel as if my heart was going to burst. I had missed him so, so much.

”Did you tell Nani you are coming?” I said, taking Zaid from my mother whilst she dialled someone on the landline and went out again.

“Ma just did,” she said with a sheepish grin. “And Maahira is also popping in. She’s going back next week after the last Samoosa run. Really waiting to hear about that one! Anyway, I desperately needed to get away from the house. Rabia is driving me bonkers and Hamzah is completely oblivious. He’s not even in a rush to move. I feel like I need to run away.”

Uh oh. I knew that Mohsina’s sister-in-law was a bit of a nosy one, but I didn’t quite understand that she could be so manipulative. At least it was a temporary arrangement that they were all together till their place was ready. But if Hamzah wasn’t ready to move, well….

“Soon you’ll have your space,” I said soothingly, as she rolled her eyes, looking outside as the men left for salaah and Zaid gurgled into my neck.

“If she doesn’t decide she’s moving in with us,” Mohsina retorted, making her way to the three seater couch in the interleading room, and plugged something into the wall. She looked exhausted as she rolled her eyes.

I looked at it, a little confused at first as I saw her opening her cloak, when realisation dawned. I could not believe that I had forgotten!

“Oh my word, Mos,” I squealed, widening my eyes and looking at her as she narrowed her eyes at me. “I completely forgot. How’s the whole dudu-thing going?”

She flushed slightly as she fiddled with her shawl, trying to adjust herslef so she didn’t expose anything unsightly, and then smiled. It really was a tricky thing, this breastfeeding thing, wasn’t it?

“The Dudu thing is making me feel like a cow,” she said, not looking impressed.

I tried not to pay too much attention as the low hum of the pump sounded; playing with Zaid as he cooed and blubbered obliviously.

”Sorry about the noise,” she said, rolling her eyes in exasperation. “Trying to increase supply. It’s like a mission to pump, and you don’t understand how sore it is. It’s just as well that Zaid doesn’t have teeth.”

I grinned.

Now, that, would definitely be funny.

“Hey,” she squealed, not impressed by my concealed giggles as I turned my face away. “Not you too. Hamzah finds the entire thing very amusing. Calls me Cow in the City. Just rude, if you ask me. You guys don’t understand how much of pressure it is. Wanting to succeed. Why don’t you guys try and see how this feels?”

”No way!” I said, looking at her squarely, and then cracking a smile. “Did you offer Hamzah to try too?”

I laughed at the thought while Mohsina just shook her head and gave a small smile as Zaid rolled over and got into crawling position on the carpet. I couldn’t believe he was already so big. It was only a few weeks and he was already like a little man.

“Hamzah just has a big mouth,” she said after a few seconds, rolling her eyes again. “But shame, he helps a lot. I’m quite surprised. Although he is regretting being my Hifdh teacher. It’s the only time I actually see him looking like he may lose his cool. He says he needs more cheesecake supply as payment…”

Mohsina was grinning as she said it, but I was honestly so happy that she actually started with this part of her journey. I knew that she really wanted to start with classes or something else worthwhile.

Honestly, it was the most romantic that the Qur’ān had actually brought them together…

That was like Muslim couple goals.

“You’re lucky he has the patience for it,” I said, thinking how sweet it was. I mean, that was what I wanted. The romantic kind of Muslim love story that couples used each other to get to Jannah together with…

She shrugged, obviously not realising how lucky she really was to find such a good guy after everything, as we heard voices entering the entrance hall. I realised that Maahira or Nani had probably arrived, and Mohsina looked at me, as she answered.

“I know,” she said solemnly, almost as if she read my mind, with a small smile, as Maahira entered. “He’s a great teacher.”

Maahira had literally entered the room, looking af Mohsina with a sly smile as she heard what she just said.

”Who’s a good teacher, eh?” She said with a smirk. “And what exactly is he teaching?”

Mohsina laughed and got up to hug her friend, eager to catch up with all the lost time in between the wedding and Maahira leaving for London again. Since Maahira had been down, it had only been a few times that they had seen each other before Mos made Nikah and then everything just got even more crazy after.

I sat quietly in the corner with Zaid, while I listened to  her talking about the Samoosa run escapades that made her lose hope in ever being married. Now she was ready to go back and hope for better luck next time.

“Or you might find someone in London?” I piped up hopefully, seeing how much Maahira wanted to settle down. And I got it. She wasn’t getting younger. But also, I knew Allah would reveal the right person to get at the right time…

“Yup, but in my circles they won’t exactly do the Samoosa run Halaal kind of way,” she said simply, looking deflated.

“I got a plan though,” Mohsina said, looking at Maahira with a cheeky grin. “Maybe Hamzah and I can come visit and we can make our own kind of Samoosa runs. You know? Hamzah can pick a guy from one of those Turkish places and bam. Why can’t the guys family do all the Samoosa frying for a change?”

Maahira laughed, while they chatted about what the outcomes there would be, while I found my mind actually musing over it too. I mean, okay, maybe not exactly the Samoosa thing, but if a women had to put forward proposals more often and it was actually not looked down as being immodest or forward….

“But why not?” I said, just voicing my thoughts and shrugging just shoulders. “After all, Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) accepted a proposal from Khadijah (RA) and it wasn’t frowned upon at all. She saw him, she admired him, and she put forward her proposal. She was wealthier and shared everything with him thereafter.. What’s wrong with it?”

Maahira agreed, and winked at me.

“You’re right, Jamz,” she said with a grin. “The next guy that I fancy, I’m definitely going to talk to his mother. And you should do it too.”

And while she laughed it off, I couldn’t help but notice Mohsina sneak a sideways glance at me, while I remained silent. For a moment, I was sure that there was a flicker of something in Mohsina’s eye but she didn’t say anything, until Maahira left the seating area to take Zaid to look out the window, while he cooed noisily.

”Jameela,” she said quietly, her brown eyes narrowing slightly as she watched me. “Are you still entertaining thoughts about that guy?”

Oh gosh. Why did I have to put my foot in it.

“What guy?” I said innocently, pulling at a thread on the carpet. I didn’t meet her eye.

“You know who I’m talking about,” she muttered quietly. “You’re still young for marriage. Why don’t you study or something? Get something to secure you. Anything.”

I shrugged. I wasn’t interested in studying, especially not as a security. While Mohsina still believed that a degree was essential, I was pretty content doing a small business or something creative if ever I needed to. I loved to draw, had learned to sew that year … and I really enjoyed designing things too.

After all, I had designed the rooms that were being put up for the glamping site. I was sewing the aprons that the cashier and coffee shop workers used too. I loved using my hands and working with them. It was a constant thing that kept me busy.

The corporate world though, was most definitely not for me, because I had seen first hand how it sucked every ounce out of my sister. I had hated it. If I had to study, an Islamic course, or something at the local madrassa would be better for me. Just not right then.

“I’m happy where I am,” I said. “I help daddy with the coffee shop and the new project. I can bake. Sew. Or do other stuff to earn money. Whatever. And I’m going to be 19 soon…”

Mohsina wasn’t quite impressed though.

”Still too young,” she snapped. “And you know you shouldn’t even think of him. He’s not  an option. He’s got no proper job. No money. No degree. He’s dangerous, in every sense of the word, and I don’t want to see my sister getting hurt.”

Dangerous.

Was he really? I mean, I had believed he was but for the past few months, there was nothing further from danger that I saw. He was kind and polite, went to the mosque for every salaah, plus he was modest and extremely well- mannered. Everyone who met him spoke well of his demeanor. I’d never spoken to him unnecessarily or directly, but everything I saw about him wasn’t what she made it out to be.

Mohsina was just forming her own invalid opinions in her head and I didn’t think it was fair. Not fair at all actually.

“I’m not going to get hurt,” I said, shaking my head. “It’s not like that.”

I wasn’t sure how to tell her. Like when you like someone, well… why couldn’t I ask my father for advice? Papa seemed to love him to bits. Maybe he didn’t have money or status, but all that wasn’t important to me. All I wanted was someone who was good and kind and looked after me.

“Just stay away from him,” Mohsina whispered, as Ma and Nani walked into the room now. “Else you know what will happen.”

I sighed, looking at my sister, feeling a little down as I watched Nani go all gaga over her and Zaid, before Hamzah made his appearance after Salaah, and the attention would probably be diverted. I couldn’t even argue my point with her now. Since Mos had mentioned it, I really wondered if she was right. Perhaps I was being a bit too hasty.

And as the rest of them got busy yapping about nothing in particular, and Hamzah and my brother entered on the other side of the lounge, the noise levels were just a little overbearing. And I knew I was being a little grumpy because of what Mohsina had just told me, but I couldn’t help how I felt.

I had made my way to the kitchen to grab a few drinks and clear my head, and just as I opened the fridge, the sound of our house bell had already sounded. And of course, with me being closest to the door, it only made sense that I should be the one to get it. With all the excitement (mostly Nani’s, when she saw Hamzah), who knew if they even heard the bell?

And so, tucking three drinks under my arm, and two in my one hand, so I could free up the other hand to answer the door, I peeped through the window to the right of the door, seeing a Muslim girl at the front patio.

And yes, I was a little paranoid since the last time when our doorway was darkened by Zubair and his uncle, but looking out to see a hijaabi girl with a pretty smile on her face… my heart was already settled.

Pulling the door open, I had plastered a pleasant smile on my face. I had assumed that maybe it was someone who just came to the house instead of the coffee shop, or someone who probably needed directions…

And as I greeted, she hastily replied to my greeting, and while doing so, something in her expression just made me feel at ease with her. For some reason, it felt like I met her before, but I knew I didn’t…

”I’m so sorry,” she breathed, her face all exasperated and full of expression, as she spoke again. “You must be wondering who I am and why on Earth I’m here… my name is Nusaybah…”

”It’s okay,” I said, wanting to explain that we were used to it. But she was already explaining.

“My friend Khawlah… you know… she sells all the amazing garden stuff a few roads away. She says that my brother once had some rose plants delivered to your address. I figured that maybe he may know you guys… Or you may know him?”

And I was a little stunned as I began to process it, because without even knowing, someone had obviously been adding to my rose garden.

“I’m sorry,” I said shaking my head, still a bit confused. “Who is your brother?”

She immediately slapped her palm in her forehead comically, looking ridiculously humoured by her own demeanour. I didn’t realise that just like our doorway was darkened with her brother a few months back, after the doom that came with that… now, with her eccentrically bubbly approach, it was to be most certainly brightened by this very boisterous character…

“I’m sorry,” she blubbered apologetically, her mouth opening comically and her eyes still wide. “Silly me! His name is Zubair. Tall, dark and handsome, you know?! My father is being stubborn, and refuses to even check on him or track him down. I’m only down for one week more and I had to literally do an investigation to find this address. This is my absolute last resort. Please, please, tell me… Do you have any idea where he is?”


Sunnah of Forgiveness:

With the New Islamic Year already here, and these auspicious days, one of the lessons from the Seerah is how Nabi (SAW) forgave his oppressors, and let go of old whims.

A sublime quality that Nabi (SAW) inculcated into his life on various occasions, and especially on the occasion of Hijrah.

May Allah Almighty give us all the ability to forgive others for the wrong they do to us and make us more productive Muslims through this and may Allah forgive us all for our sins, ameen.
O Allah, purify our hearts from grudges, envy, and cheating. O Allah, amend our relations with our relatives. O Allah, amend our relations with our loved ones. O Allah, make life an increase for us in every good and make death a relief for us from every evil with Your mercy, O Most Merciful of the Merciful.
Aaameen.

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..💕

#RevivetheSunnahofbeingGrateful

#RevivetheSunnahofQur’aanTilaawat

#ReviveSunnahofDuaa

#SunnahofMaintainingTies

#RevivetheSunnahofSadaqah

#RevivetheSunnahofGivingGifts

#RevivetheSunnahofGoodAkhlaaq

#RevivetheSunnahbeforeSleeping

#RevivetheSunnahofGuardingtheGaze

#RevivetheSunnahofLickingtheFingers

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofEnteringtheToilet

#RevivetheSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofUsingtheRighthand

FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

When Spring Comes

Bismihi Ta’ala

Saaliha
Part 54

I once heard a beautiful saying that went something like:

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant.

And I suppose it really hit home for me because as humans, we are always ready to fall into the trap of complacency.

Ghaflat. We forget our bounties. We take our gifts for granted. When we don’t taste the bitterness of trials, even the good times become unexceptional. We forget that even though winter can be so bitterly cold, the beauty of spring can never be hindered….

And indeed, Allah Ta’ala sends the trials, whereby we may be purified, strengthened and returned to Him. Allah sends the trials because we have to know for sure that with that hunger, thirst and cold, Allah can also relieve us with abundant food, the water and the shelter. Allah placed the test in our midst, but with it, He beautifully placed within our breast the ṣabr (patience), and even the riḍā (contentment) to withstand it.

Yes, Allah (SWT) sent Adam (AS) down to this world where he would have to struggle and face trials… But with that forgiveness of the first prophet, he also gave us a hope of His Divine help.

…if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome…

And as I looked out that morning, smiling at the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine… I couldn’t help but feel my heart lift slightly at the sight.

And the thing is … the amazing thing is that when we begin to appreciate even the little things, it opens up much more than we thought we would ever see. There are always flowers for those who want to see them, even when it’s not the season. There is always beauty, in even the most trying situations.

A new season would be coming, and as winter made its way out that year, after we had enjoyed the long nights and fireplace evenings, I couldn’t help but but wonder what the next season would bring.

And little did I know what a host of emotions were in store that very weekend. Some may call them interventions. Some call them coincidental. Whatever the term, it’s true that there are some things in life that happen the way we don’t quite expect it to…

“Mummy,” Uthman called, running into the kitchen with a look on his face that signified that he was pretty amazed. “Guess who’s here?!”

When I pulled out a spatula from the kitchen drawer, I couldn’t help feel the gust of hot air from the oven throw me off-balance, as I flashed a grin at my child. The feeling of being slightly out of sorts was a little unfamiliar. The weather had been warming up too, and it was a complete blessing, especially in this part of the world, where temperatures went under zero degrees Celsius in the midst of winter. The way the sunshine filtered through the window was one of the most comforting feelings.

“Hmmmm,” I said, smiling at Uthman, and rubbing my temple. “Is it the president?”

”No!” Uthman said, smiling at me like I was crazy.

Uthman was always excited to have visitors. The following week was going to be one of the best ones for him because Fareeha’s kids would be coming, when she left for Hajj. To tell the truth, I was a bit nervous for my crazy sisters kids to be in my zone, but I knew that if I prepared myself in advance and overdosed on rescue remedy, I’d be just fine.

There was really no need to stress.

“Oh wait,” I said, scratching my head thoughtfully. “Maybe it’s someone else famous?”

”Not exactly,” he replied, still finding it hilarious that I couldn’t figure out who was there. The truth was, I did know, but of course, my son keeping me in suspense was the most entertaining thing for him.

“Well, whoever the superstar is,” I said triumphantly with a grin, as I watched Imraan come in. “Please tell me them to join us for lunch. I’m already well-prepared..”

”Mummy!” Uthman said, jumping on the spot and shaking his head at the same time. Where did he get so much of energy from?! “Come and see!”

I laughed as Uthman ran outside again, his excitement mounting as I watched Hamzah get off the car, greet Imraan and pop open the boot. In the past, Hamzah had always brought something small, even if it was a box of smarties for Uthman when he would come, and Uthman always looked forward to it. The fact that he actually hadn’t come here in months made it all the more exciting and I was quite aware that after Liyaket passed away, my brother-in-law had way too much on his plate to even think of it .

Imraan had already helped Hamzah take some of his bags through to the house next door, and catching him on his way back, I couldn’t help but ask.

”Is everything okay?” I asked softly, wiping my hands on a dish cloth in my hand so I could venture to the car  and greet them. “They came so suddenly…”

”Hamzah thought it was best to be out of town for a while,” he said quietly. “Don’t mention it though. He hasn’t told her.”

”Why not?” I asked, not thinking that this was a good idea. “If Zaid is at risk then he should..”

It was true. Anything that could potentially be a risk should be assessed and eliminated. The truth was, from the time that I heard that Layyanah’s brother had called Hamzah, I had been on edge and it definitely seemed like a risky thing.

”Don’t stress about it, love,” he said, with a small smile. “Allah will take care of it.”

”Insha Allah,” I said quietly as I followed him to the door, still not convinced.

And as the morning sun streamed in, I could not quite believe how beautiful the hilly farmlands appeared this morning. As spring approached, and with the onset of rain that had also brought much hope and potential… I felt as if I was looking at a completely new place.

I gazed out, the morning sun doing its thing over the grassy landscape, while I watched it slowly illuminate the stretches before me. I couldn’t help but feel a little nostalgic. Like nostalgia in reverse, the longing for yet another hope and experience grew especially strong as winter started to wilt…

My eyes moved as I watched Hamzah already heading to the house that he usually used when he came, looking for Mohsina. It was about 200m away and Uthman was already excitedly chatting to him about the plans to do some exploring later in the day.

It was going to be a full house. My in-laws had also arrived the day before and having Zaid here was going to be the highlight of the weekend. I couldn’t wait to lay on the grass with him and blow raspberries on his chubby tummy. He was definitely going to bring the silly out of us that weekend, and I couldn’t wait to indulge myself to my hearts content.

“Assalamualaikum,” I called out, moving forward and helping Mohsina with her nappy bag and then reaching out to give her a hug as she jumped off the car with little Zaid. It had just been a few weeks and Zaid was looking like a little man already. I could not stop swooning over how cute he looked and I literally wanted to bite his cheeks off.

And I was literally about to take him into my arms when out of the blue, Rabia had already wedged herself in between Mohsina and I, swiftly snatching Zaid away before I even realised what was going on. I blinked, for a few minutes, looking at Mohsina in confusion, wondering what exactly had happened and where Zaid had gone to.

Rabia was already two meters away, grinning like the cat that caught the mouse.

”Sorry Sawls,” Rabia said, not looking sorry at all as she snuggled Zaid to her. “It’s my turn first. But don’t worry, you’re next. Mohsina, you and Hamzah can have some couple time. Take some snaps. I already told him that this weekend you aren’t going to have Zaid at all!”

She gave an evil laugh, walking away triumphantly as she gave him more cuddles. My sister-in-law was really something else. I looked at Mohsina, who was a little expressionless as she watched her, but skilfully recovering as she she smiled at me apologetically.

She looked like she was already well-equipped to handle Rabia.

”Sorry,” she said apologetically. “You know Rabia…

”Dont worry,” I said, waving my hand nonchalantly. “That’s Rabia, and we’re used to her. We’ll see you guys in a bit?”

Mohsina nodded, looking grateful that lunch was sorted. Each house was separate and had their own provisions, but there was no need for them to prepare if we already had more than enough.

I had already sorted my favourite salads because for me, a braai was all about the salads, and Imraan had already set up the stand for an old-fashioned charcoal barbecue. We kept it simple most times, but with everyone here, as always, my mother-in-law had really gone out of her way to prepare a bit more than necessary.

And as I got busy with taking out the lunch items, and setting the tables, I barely even have thought to what happened to Zaid thereafter. My mind was already working on overdrive, hoping that I wouldn’t forget to take out everything that we had made.

And after Rabia had forcefully removed him out of my arms, I had assumed that she had probably forgotten that I wanted to spend some time with Zaid too. I shrugged off the feeling of irritation as I heard the door opening, seeing Hamzah making his way in, with a disgruntled expression on his face as he looked around, greeting my mother-in-law who was seated in the lounge affectionately, and after a few seconds, looking even more frustrated than him, came Mohsina.

And it didn’t even click with me that Zaid wasn’t with either of them, until Mohsina came up to me, and said in a low voice:

”Have you seen Rabia?”

Mohsina was wearing a pretty but modest black dress with a sage coloured scarf. She looked particularly lovely and the colour really suited her, but as I looked at her troubled expression, it was only at that moment that I’d figured that the couple must have had a small tiff and it was very obvious that it was because of Rabia.

I shook my head, a little worried but not sure if I should do something. After all, Rabia was a law unto herself and she couldn’t have gone that far anyway.

”I’m sure she will bring back him soon,” I said, trying to assure her. “Must I call her? She probably took him for a walk.”

”Sorry,” Mohsina mumbled, looking at me gratefully now, slightly embarrassed. “Hamzah’s calling her for a while now. No answer. Anyways, I was so worried about him that I didn’t even ask if I can help with anything. Can I butter the rolls?”

I got it. She was worried about Zaid. How could she not be?

“Relax,” I insisted, smiling at her. “Everything is done. I’m sure Zaid is just fine and used to her. They must have had plenty of bonding time last week.”

I didn’t want to tell her how Rabia literally forced my in-laws to let her go to the house while Hamzah and Mohsina were supposed to be there alone. Their couple time must have been completely sabotaged.

Before she could say anything in reply though, I could see Hamzah making his way toward us, positioning himself just behind her while he leant on the counter.

”She’s on her way back with him,” he said, and I couldn’t help but hear that he sounded a little annoyed, but I wasn’t sure with who. “He fell asleep. Can you stop stressing yourself out now?”

Whether Rabia had meant to or not, I could see that she had succeeded in causing a row between the two of them. Hamzah was probably torn between his wife and his sister, probably wondering why Mohsina was so upset and thinking what the big deal was… but honestly, the brothers just didn’t quite see how manipulative Rabia could really be.

Mohsina just nodded briefly while Hamzah went back inside, and then turned to me, looking a little more settled, while she shrugged.

“Rabia is a little possessive over Zaid,” she said, her voice dropping. “Also, TMI… I know, but she saw the pill bottles the doctor gave me for induced lactation. I think she is worried she won’t get to spend enough time with him, but now she is really taking it a bit far.”

I didn’t want to tell her that Rabia just had a habit of going to extremes. Sometimes I wasn’t sure if she did it on purpose…

I didn’t comment on Rabia because I knew that nothing good could come out of it. I had learnt to keep silent at times like that, but the first part… well, that really interested, me.

“Wow… you’re really going to feed him?” I said, really feeling so excited for her, but not quite believing that she would actually do it.

She nodded, and her eyes were really shining with enthusiasm. I was just really quite surprised by the fact that she would be so willing.

”I’ve heard so many amazing experiences of bonding and how amazing it is to feed your baby,” she said quietly. “And you know… I was so fascinated to discover breastfeeding is mentioned in the Qur’an. I also read that the mother receives the reward of a good deed for every single drop she gives her child… did you know that?”

I was honestly amazed. How merciful is Allah Ta’ala that something which is so natural is rewarded in such great proximity. If only I knew that all those years ago, when I had fed Uthman for two full years, even though it was one of the most challenging things to do. Breastfeeding hadn’t been easy for me. I had suffered with the worst of issues during it, but I persisted because I wanted to do it.

“The baby doesn’t need anything besides the mothers milk for the first six months of their life,” I said ruefully while Mohsina smiled and nodded. That fact still amazed me, and she seemed amazed too.

“A huge saving, if only I’d known earlier,” she said light-heartedly. And of course she wasn’t serious, because how could anyone have ever known that she would be plunged into this kind of situation…

I smiled, although the entire situation still made me feel slightly heartbroken as I remembered how Layyanah had been so committed to exclusively breastfeeding.

“The price of formula has become crazy….”

I breathed in, trying to settle my emotions. I didn’t even realise that I was tearing. Gosh, it was her best friend, and I was going all emo on her…

Back to what she was saying…

“You’re right,” I said softly, swallowing and blinking hard to stop the tears. “It’s not only formula though. I actually got a shock when I went to the supermarket last week with Imraan and we cashed up. Everything is just gone so expensive…”

I mean, there was nothing like the price of commodities to bring you back to reality.. Everything was getting more and more pricey, and the cost of living globally was almost unmanageable for the majority of the world.

But all of that… the way we found ourselves in this predicament is something that is mentioned that on one occasion that Musaa (Alaihi Salam) once asked Allah (SWT), something to the effect of:

What is a sign of your happiness?

Allah Ta’ala, in reply, said to him that’s when He is happy… then the worlds processes take place in great harmony. This will mean that at the time of sowing the seeds into the ground, Allah Ta’ala sends his rain… and then, at the time of harvesting, Allah Ta’ala holds back His rain. Everything happens at the right time, in a methodical process. A sign of Allah’s happiness is that He puts the administrative and financial affairs of the people in the hands of people who are righteous and generous. That the events of happenings of the world occur in harmony…

Musaa (AS) then asked, Ya Allah, what then, will be the sign of Your unhappiness?

So Allah Ta’ala replied to say that the opposite is done. That in this case, when the people are sinful, the rain is not sent when it is needed. When the world is commuting evil, the rulers of the people are corrupt and incompetent. When everything is in havoc…  the price of consumables and life becomes almost unbearable.

And there is no other reason but our own sins. Our bad deeds and disregard for Allah’s laws is what brings the inflation, the corruption and the predicament we find ourselves in today…

I sighed, feeling a bit deflated about the situation, knowing that we could only start with ourselves. My mother-in-law had come to the kitchen already, talking jovially to Mohsina about Zaid now, as Mohsina made his bottle and they ventured into the feeding topic again.

It was baby talk all over again and it was cute, but I was never really ready to engage in it completely. And it wasn’t that I was jealous. I had passed that point a long time ago. I was really happy that Zaid now had a family that loved him so much, and a mother figure like Mohsina, who took him as her real son.

It was just that I wasn’t always sure how to react. I wasn’t even sure if I had a place in Zaid’s life, although I loved him to bits. Now, as Mohsina asked my mother-in-law her own advice about breastfeeding, I could see that she was extremely thrilled about the prospect, and the two of them were already speaking about how the hormones also change your body, moods and emotions.

It seemed to be scaring Mohsina a bit, because my mother-in-law had already told her that she would have to start trying to latch him soon if she really wanted to go through with this. That part had caught her off guard.

And as they spoke, I couldn’t help but feel like pregnancy and breastfeeding was so far off for me. Every month had been a waiting game, and it had come to the point when I didn’t even track my cycle anymore, because it would just leave more room for more grief and disappointment… disappointment which I just could not handle anymore.

Sometimes you just had to learn a little more about gratitude. I had learn to live in the moment. To be happy with what Allah had given me. I had learnt to look at those who couldn’t have kids at all, and be grateful for the fact that Alhumdulillah… Allah had given me one beautiful child at least.

And for starters… well, I wasn’t even dreading the onset of my menstrual cycle that month. It usually left an aching hole in my gut, for the first two days, until the feelings of inadequacy and brokenness had faded. And this month… well, I was due for it…

I paused with drizzling chocolate over the pavlova casings as I caught a snippet of what my mother-in-law and Mohsina were chatting about, while my mind tried to figure out dates. Uthman and the men were well out earshot and they were already having a full on coversation of pregnancy woes and breastfeeding problems.

”With Hamzah and Rabia I was just big all over,” my mother-in-law was saying, smiling fondly as she recalled. After ten years, she had the twins, but it must have been memorable in a way that she couldn’t forget. I just couldn’t imagine.
Carrying twins must have been something else completely.

“I had to be on her rest from 20 weeks,” she continued. “It was the longest 12 weeks ever, but Allah made it all work out perfectly in the end. They both came home after a week and the moment I saw them, I had already forgotten about the pregnancy…”

How beautifully Allah plans it. The minute we lay our eyes on that beautiful bundle, everything discomfort seems like nothing at all. I suppose that’s why Jannah was so beautiful. When we glimpse that beautiful abode, well… everything will make sense…

“Layyanah was all tummy,” Mohsina was saying, smiling notalgically. “All I remember her saying was that she just felt bloated at the beginning, and she did a test and it was positive…”

My mother-in-law smiled and I looked at her with interest, almost as if she had said something majorly significant.

Did she just say bloated? 

The calculations in my mind were still going on as I tried to figure out if I was right. According to that… I was already 4 days late. I mean, it wasn’t groundbreaking, but 4 days was 4 days, right? I mean, I did usually get a bit tired and bloated… but the thing is, now that Mohsina mentioned the bloating, welll… I knew I was definitely feeling it.

But no. It could not be. I was getting my hopes up for nothing.
Pregnancy is just one of many things that can cause bloating. It could be anything else. Anything else at all.

And of course, there was no need to think otherwise. In my head at that point, I was still telling myself that I would just wait for the usual thing to happen, as it had, almost every month for seven years, and deal with it when it does.

And as Rabia came back with Zaid at that very moment, all in high spirits with not even a consideration for Mohsina’s worry, I immediately took the bottle from her and asked her if I could feed him, before placing him on the carpet with little play gym I kept there for him. I wanted to forget my recent discovery, and losing myself in his gurgles and giggles was an amazing feeling.

I was literally obsessed with his double dimpled smile and his tiny fingers and toes. I really wished that they would stay longer than just the two days, and I knew that if I asked Imraan to talk to Hamzah, he may agree. It would be the perfect distraction for me, and I knew I needed it right then.

And despite the slight drama between Mohsina and Rabia that had ensued, the rest of the evening had been beautifully smooth. I was trying very hard not to focus on how many days late I was. Instead, I had turned my attention to the weather, noting that it was one of those amazing days that were mild and cool, but as the sun started to set, I could see Imraan already getting the fireplace ready for the chill that would take over soon.

Zaid was stationed permanently next to Rabia now, who was keeping them both warm while Mohsina and Hamzah had headed off for a little walk while there was still light outside.

And knew that I was being a little obsessive, but as I visited the bathroom to make whudhu (ablution), I couldn’t help but pop my head into the second drawer, wondering if I would be completely bonkers if I actually used a test right then. There were still two brand new ones, and as I glanced at them, something in me was creating an overwhelming desire to just check.

As much as I was trying to avoid it, I was one of those people who just couldn’t switch off my crazy. When something was gnawing at me, any slightly lenient situation would put me in a fix. After all, there was still some time before Maghrib salaah and I was already in my bathroom. The night would be busy and then if he too tired to check later.

Why not? My mind was saying. You’re already late.

And of course, the sensible part of my mind begged to differ.

So what if I was late? Four days wasn’t even a record.

You rather just check. You won’t be disappointed after. Whatever happens is Allah’s will.

That was true as well. But what about the disappointment after? 

I couldn’t stop myself. Despite the doubt and uncertainty, I had to know. I just couldn’t wait any longer.

I literally wanted to block my eyes after, not knowing how to bring myself to look.

I knew it took up to two minutes sometimes, but I also knew that when something was cooking then the result came quicker, and as I washed my hands and summoned every bit of courage I had within me to make its show… well, I finally allowed my eyes to stray to the stick that was lying next to the sink…

And when I say my heart skipped a beat, it was no exaggeration. Right there, were two dark pink lines staring at me… and I had to literally pinch myself to check if I wasn’t dreaming.

I hadn’t even realised that my heart was hammering noisily in my chest, and everything else had just taken a backseat for those few moments…

The winter was bitter… but the results of spring were oh-so-sweet…

I could barely believe that within my heart, as hope blossomed with no reservation, like the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…

My entire heart was bursting, as I realised that even when you cut off all the flowers in the winter…

You can never stop Spring from coming once again…


Sunnah of Forgiveness:

With the New Islamic Year already here, and these auspicious days, one of the lessons from the Seerah is how Nabi (SAW) forgave his oppressors, and let go of old whims.

A sublime quality that Nabi (SAW) inculcated into his life on various occasions, and especially on the occasion of Hijrah.

May Allah Almighty give us all the ability to forgive others for the wrong they do to us and make us more productive Muslims through this and may Allah forgive us all for our sins, ameen.
O Allah, purify our hearts from grudges, envy, and cheating. O Allah, amend our relations with our relatives. O Allah, amend our relations with our loved ones. O Allah, make life an increase for us in every good and make death a relief for us from every evil with Your mercy, O Most Merciful of the Merciful.
Aaameen.

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..💕

#RevivetheSunnahofbeingGrateful

#RevivetheSunnahofQur’aanTilaawat

#ReviveSunnahofDuaa

#SunnahofMaintainingTies

#RevivetheSunnahofSadaqah

#RevivetheSunnahofGivingGifts

#RevivetheSunnahofGoodAkhlaaq

#RevivetheSunnahbeforeSleeping

#RevivetheSunnahofGuardingtheGaze

#RevivetheSunnahofLickingtheFingers

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofEnteringtheToilet

#RevivetheSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofUsingtheRighthand

FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

A Perfect Twist

Bismihi Ta’ala

Saaliha
Part 48

Ping.

Fareeha: Ah come on, Sawls. I just want 2 test the waters. C if she may be interested.

I narrowed my eyes at my phone, grabbing a handful of choc peanuts as I walked out of the kitchen, and sitting on the couch to munch on them. See if she may be interested?

Fareeha sounded like a predator on the prowl. As if the previous evening had not been enough for me. I was at my wits end as I witnessed Fareeha literally chatting my sister-in-law up, asking her all sorts of questions, probably trying to see if she was a suitable match for her husband. I’m not even sure how normal the situation was or how sane my sister actually was.

Me: Please Far. You are giving me more stress this way. Rabia has been testing my patience nowadays and if we are related in more than one way, it may just tip me over the edge.

Fareeha: Lol *can’t watch face* That bad?

I knew I sounded mean but it was true. I snuck a glance at my sister-in-law, seated in frying of me in a cuffed jeans with a white tie-up blouse with her hair tied back in a pony, jotting down something from her phone to her diary.

She was so immersed in her task, that she barely noticed my strained expressions. Her entire existence was channeled into this one function and it made me wonder what she was going to do after it was all over.

Me: yes. Bad. Also, there will be plenty of other people there tomorrow that may be more suitable.

I didn’t want to say that I would help her find someone because knowing Fareeha, she would twist my arm to do so or follow me around relentlessly while greeting guests and insist that I let her chat up every eligible female.

Fareeha: okay fine. Just tell me one thing.

I sighed, bracing myself for more questions about Rabia, who was literally sitting in front of me now and penning down the final list of finger foods that had to be at the entrance table.

I was supposed to be helping her but Fareeha was doing a pretty good job at distracting me.

Fareeha: Am I being a crazy woman?

I stopped myself from sending another mean reply. today was better than other days.

Me: Not today.

Which was there truth. She was being a little more reasonable than usual and not pushing her agenda in true Fareeha style.

Fareeha: good. Need a diversion. I’m just trying 2 take my mind off that appointment for Uzayr on Monday. I’m so nervous. What if they say my son is beyond repair?

I internally cringed. I had completely forgotten about it.  Fareeha was taking her son to a speech therapist tomorrow for an assessment.

It was a private lady who worked with little kids, and though I wasn’t sure if it would be the solution. Either way, I was just glad she was doing something but I was equally worried for her.

I sighed, glancing up momentarily at my husband and in-laws who were in the open plan kitchen, as I made my way toward the nook again, phone still in hand. I was supposed to be checking it the events lady had started the lady’s set up today. The venue was only hired from tomorrow morning but Rabia, being Rabia, had insisted they give us time to set up today.

“I hope I didn’t forget anything,” Rabia said, looking from her phone to the notepad in front of her, and then frowned slightly. “Oh gosh. The burfee. I didn’t fetch the burfee.”

Imraan barely noticed. He too, was tapping on his phone incessantly while I quickly sent a few reassuring words for Fareeha before I placed my phone, screen down, on the center island.

everything will be okay. Trust Allah. Du’aas always xx

We never lose hope. No matter how bad or how hopeless. A believer must always have hope.

”Must I go and fetch it?” I asked sweetly, hoping the quiet time would give me a chance to think of the best way to deal with Fareeha tomorrow.

Rabia had given me a list of other things like drinks, cakes and biscuits to sort and set up for the function.

”No!” Rabia said, looking appalled that I could even suggest that. “I need your help with the drinks too. And the flowers, plus to go over the front set up. Maybe Daddy or Imraan could go?”

We had already gone over the front set-up a dozen times. It was to be absolutely immaculate, with a sparkling runner and one floral arrangement at the centre. There also needed to be a person stationed there, to make sure kids don’t mess it up.

I glanced at my father-in-law, who was sitting on the couch with Uthman, looking at a wildlife video.

“I don’t think Daddy is moving from the couch today,” I said, flashing a smile.

My father-in-law had a lot of running around that week, fetching and getting things that my mother-in-law was trying to sort out. Having a function was more tiring that we thought. Sometimes it just took these discomforts to remember the wisdom in simplicity.

If only we had gone for a function at the house or farm that was half the size but Rabia had insisted that it was necessary to invite everyone. The list just wasn’t coming to an end.

“Well, if Imraan could get off his damn phone and actually do something then it may actually help!” Rabia snapped, clearly getting agitated at how engrossed Imraan was, that he didn’t even notice her burfee dilemma.

He glanced up, phone still in hand, as he rubbed his forehead emphatically.

“Sorry,” he said meekly. “It’s just… Hamzah.”

Ooh,” she said excitedly. She clearly was in a good mood. Rabia thrived on good stress.

“I didn’t even check my Instagram to see if Mohsina loaded any pics. Ask him how’s that place? The reviews were really good. Plus, they’re fully halaal.”

“I’m sure it’s good. He says it looks like the pics. He just has another… issue.”

Imraan looked stumped as he said it, and Rabia immediately raised her eyebrows at him.

My heart, for some reason, beat a little faster. I knew instantly when my husband was stressed.

”Trouble in paradise already?” She asked, and I couldn’t help but notice the tiny smirk on her face as she said it. “It’s about time the past came back to haunt them.”

Now, why must she be like that?

”Rabia, stop making assumptions,” my mother-in-law warned. “It’s not nice what you are saying. Wishing well on others is part of having good akhlaaq..”

Imraan shook his head.

I was hoping not. We didn’t need Hamzah in depression again. Once in his lifetime was quite enough. I had nevere seen my brother-in-law so hung up over someone, as he was when things didn’t work out with Mohsina. After he lost Liyaket, I honestly thought that he was going to lose his mind, until Zaid came to save the day.

”I’m just asking. It’s not like past events won’t pop up. How can you all just forget so easily about how Mohsina literally went awol and left Hamzah on a whim?” Rabia continued, ignoring my mother-in-law and raising her eyebrows. “Did anyone ever ask him what went on? Did anyone even wonder what really went on all these months?”

”Its not really our business,” Imraan said, and I agreed, despite the niggling feeling that Rabia wasn’t rest assured. “And Hamzah was the one who called it off and he doesn’t talk about it. Why must you worry about it?”

”Because it’s weird,” she said, here eyes narrowing suspiciously. “You guys know she’s quite a sensation on the gram. All that time her followers were skyrocketing when she was posting over-the-top content on social media. High-flying life. Most riveting socials. If I’m not mistaken, I’m sure she was probably even involved with someone in the interim-“

”Stop,” Imraan said sternly, holding his hand up. “All this is not necessary to bring up.”

I was glad he said it. That he made her stop, and verbalised it. That he made her guard her tongue, although I feared that it may have been a little late. My mother-in-law looked visibly stirred by what Rabia had just said.

Also, well, Rabia and her mouth was something that had to be addressed sooner or later. And often times, just because of the tongue, marriages and relationships are completely trashed. People are hurt. Old dust is dug up. The one muscle in our mouth is sometimes many a reason for horrible consequences.

And I remembered the story that occurred, on the occasion of the farewell Hajj, when the camel of Safiyyah bing Huyayy (RadiAllahu Abha) went lame and refused to move and she was left with no conveyance to continue.

Zaynab (RA), another wife of Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) had an extra camel and the Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) asked her if she would give it to Safiyya.

Zaynab, visibly displeased with the suggestion, retorted, “Should I give to that Jewess!”

It’s reported that just by the three words she uttered, Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) turned away from her in anger and would not have anything to do with her for two or three months not to show his disapproval of what she had said.

And sometimes we overlook what our mouths utter, with very little regard for how we may come across. Sometimes we have no consideration for the feelings of others, as long as our own egos are fed, not even thinking twice about the consequences of that action that may just be done in the moment…

“I was only saying what’s true,” Rabia said, flicking her hair back as she retied her pony. “When someone exposes their entire life on Instagram then it’s only natural that people will nitpick and dissect every bit of information… especially when it’s someone as popular as her.”

Hmmmm. Mohsina was on a roll with her social media the last few months, before her life completely changed. But that’s what mattered, wasn’t it?

“Let’s not forget that Mohsina had changed a lot of her life before Hamzah and her got proposed again,” I said quietly, not really wanting to butt in but knowing that it was important that she understood it.

And I wasn’t biased just because Hamzah was my brother-in-law, but Rabia had to also understand that Hamzah wasn’t a saint back when they got proposed for the first time either. Sometimes we are just too possessive over our own people to understand the truth of a situation…

“That’s precisely the point,” Imraan said, agreeing with me, as he placed his phone down. “And I hope you’re not planning on telling Hamzah any of that Instagram stuff. You know how he hates it.”

”Exactly,” Rabia retorted. “That’s why he should know about it!”

Goodness.

I wanted to drill some sense into her.

”Don’t cause issues,” Imraan said heatedly. “There’s a little baby involved. With Zaid, things are different and you know that. I think they value that more than anything. They’ve taken Maulana’s advice and it’s sure to be a source of Barakah for them because this situation is avoiding more conflict between families. They want to make this work. Obviously it will take effort and compromise and now that there’s been a call from Layyanah’s family about Zaid…“

I sucked in my breath, feeling immediately concerned. If the family had been in contact, did that mean they wanted him?

”About Zaid?” I said, my heart beating faster. “Do they want him?”

Imraan glanced at me knowingly, and I could immediately sense his own concern.

“We’re sorting it out,” he said, almost absent-mindedly, as he typed on his phone again.

But Rabia didn’t even notice that. She was still stuck on the previous train.

”Not every marriage is the same,” Rabia said bluntly, looking visibly taken aback by what Imraan had mentioned. “What if only one partner is willing to make the compromise, and the other is only intent on messing around and sucks all the barakah out of the marriage? What if the guy lies, and they say stuff about what they are and they’re really not that way? What if he acts like someone he isn’t, because he just wants to fit all the priorities you set. I have been married before, you know, and men are just disgusting  liars who take advantage of the women who love them.”

I glanced at Imraan, who was looking a little too terrified to say anything more here. Rabia was taking this a little personally.

My mother-in-law had already started talking calmly, trying to make amends.

”All Imraan was saying is that we all have to work on ourselves, our marriages, and to build that connection with Allah and to keep trying -“

”You think I didn’t work on my marriage?” Rabia almost yelled, cutting her mother off, obviously only hearing what suited her grievances and twisting the words. “Is that what you are suggesting? I worked hard. I I put up with his disappearances. With his bad habits. I did everything that I could to make him happy but he still went off with that thing from the office.”

I sucked in my breath, widening my eyes as my mother-in-law sighed, and then turned away. I knew what this was about.

What was that saying? You can take the horse to the water but you cannot, by any means, force it to drink.

There were some things we didn’t mention, and this had always been one of them. The reason for Rabia’s divorce wasn’t exactly a secret, but I did have an idea that it wasn’t only an infidelity issue on his part.

And okay, I did understand that Rabia had a tough marriage. Extremely difficult, in fact. It couldn’t have been easy, going through everything that she did. To top it off, when she had heard that Hamzah and Mohsina knew each other from the office, it was like an offence to her…

It was also evident that Rabia did harbour some resentment and found it unfair that things had worked out for Mohsina, and not for her.

”We know that,” my mother-in-law said in a soothing tone. “You did try. But also, this is not your marriage that we are talking about. We know this wasn’t easy for Hamzah either. Instead of saying bad things, rather make Duaa that this decision they made was a good one, and that their marriage is filled with love and barakah. Let’s make Du’aa that Zaid is also not taken away from them. There’s no need to wish bad upon anyone just because you had a tough time in yours.”

For once, Rabia seemed a little short of words.

”Fine,” she said, blinking back tears and rolling her eyes. “It’s not like anyone cares about me anyway. At least I still have Zaid, if Mohsina doesn’t hog him to herself. What was the reason to even take him with?! Next week I will force them to go by themselves and hold him hostage.”

She pulled her face, and I smiled because I could do see she was over the worst of her meltdown.

My mother-in-law smiled too, glad to have a lucky escape from any huge tantrum, and continued with her work, almost as if nothing had even happened. I assumed that she was a little over Rabia and her antics, and there was no-one in the room who wouldn’t say the same. She was in a better mood today than any other day, and we were grateful to be spared.

But the news about Zaid… well, that was still in the back of my mind. I did ask Imraan if we could keep him while they went away, but I understood that they wanted him with them too. I mean, it was the first time he would have them both to himself, and we had to respect their wishes.

And, now, his mother’s family were suddenly very interested in getting to know him and I wondered if it was only because Hamzah and Mohsina had decided to make him a part of their own little unit. Were they possible feeling threatened that they would never have a chance with Zaid now that he had his own family?
It was it some other excuse that had kept them from him all this time?

I didn’t want to think of the possibilities. Why was life so complicated..?

I breathed out, trying to dispel my anxiety.

Tawakkul, right? What was I just telling Fareeha. We never lose help in Allah. No matter what obstacle or challenge, Allah is always in full control.

“I’ll go for the burfee,” my father-in-law’s voice suddenly said from where he sat, eager to make an escape as he got Uthman on his feet quickly too, and headed off. The fact that my son had possibly overheard this conversation was a concern, but I was still feeling restless about other developments. The news about Zaid was unsettling me.

In fact; as the time for the waleemah approached the next day… a lot of things were unsettling me.

The conversation with Rabia that day, the things she had said, the news about her past marriage.. had unsettled me too.

And even as we continued with the next hours preparation, I couldn’t help but think that maybe I might have been a little too harsh on Rabia. That I may have been a little too quick to judge. She did have a tough time. Maybe I wasn’t giving her a chance. Maybe, by writing her off, and thinking her unworthy… I was being a horrible person that didn’t want good for anyone else either.

The thing was, after Ramahdaan, I had made a resolution to try and be better. To overlook. To make the most of the polishing that my heart had endured during the beautiful month, and keep my heart on a nobler and more purposeful path.

And how? Well, when you get married, you don’t expect your spouse to fulfill your every need. When you have friends, don’t expect friends to fill your emptiness. Seek the help of people, but realise that they cannot save you.

And if there’s one recipe for unhappiness, its that; expectations. As humans, we never ,lose hope. The problem, thoigh, is where we place our hope. My hope and expectations were in people, things and relationships… when my hope and faith should only be in Allah.

Only Allah can save you.

And perhaps that’s where Rabia, the past Mohsina, and everyone of us at some point, get it wrong.

And I hadn’t mastered it, but people around you sometimes help you to learn the lessons you need to.

And as the next day approached us, faster than we thought, and excitement in the air was mounting immensely. There was great preparation put into the entire day. My sister-in-law was very precise in her timing and had allocated a time for everyone to leave the house. The plan was for the new couple to change at the home, and my mother-in-law was desperate to see how the outfit they had bought for Mohsina would fit her, before we would leave, and Hamzah and Mohsina would follow about half hour after.

And of course, meeting the newly weds (I was just glad they weren’t late) was the cherry on the top, after seeing how rested and calm Zaid looked after his night away with his most favourite people, I was already in better spirits. I had faith. Hope that this really was the best thing. I was completely convinced that Hamzah and Mohsina would pull through, with Zaid always with them, and that everything would be perfectly all right.

And the thing was… If there was one thing I could salute my sister-in-law on, it was the fact that she had done everything to utter perfection, but still managed to keep it simple. And yes, maybe she had gone a little overboard with the entrance tables and the multiple floral arrangements on each table, but even as my brother-in-law looked cynically at it all, he couldn’t fault her.

And of course, I was glad that it was all going smoothly. Everyone was looking amazing.

Zaid was even wearing a cute mini-suit, and I couldn’t help but steal him away from Mohsina, even though he was instantly attached to her the minute he saw foreign people. He had settled down after a few minutes, and whilst Hamzah and Mohsina stayed in the car for a few minutes extra, probably chatting about the latest developments with Zaid, I couldn’t help but silently hope that everything was okay.

I knew that Hamzah had requested a security guard at the venue and Imraan had arranged it through Maulana Umar, and were being extra cautious with who was taking him. Glad that they trusted me with him, with special instructions of course, I kept his close to me, but even letting anyone else carry him.

With the new snippets of information about Layyanahs family being in contact, my heart was half in my throat as I witnessed Mohsina scanning the hall, as if for some invasion that we weren’t expecting.

The fact that something was threatening to go wrong had obviously got them on edge too, but I was optimistic that nothing could spoil this day.

And so far, as we scurried around, taking care of guests and awaiting the Du’aa and Qiraat recital, I was quite convinced that everything would be perfect.

I had just turned to see Laila and Haseena walking in together, and as I offered them a wave, maybe my thinking about everything going wonderfully was too optimistic because it just happened but none other than my lovely sister scurried in after them, chatting to Laila excitedly and then clapping her eyes on me, before she instantly came over.

And of course, I was already prepared for some dramatics as I had just excused myself from Mohsina’s family table, when I turned to my sister, wondering what she was going to start with about right then and hoping that her old ambitions of finding a co-wife were not still at the forefront of her mind.

“I’m so excited,” she said, her voice only slightly high-pitched as she pulled me aside. “You cannot believe what just happened.”

To tell the truth, I was afraid to ask.

But I would forever be in suspense if I didn’t.

”What?” I asked, shrugging my shoulders as I held Zaid a little tighter. How was I supposed to know?

“Aadil just got an SMS,” she said, her voice sounding thick with excitement. “Remember we put our name down for Hajj all those years ago?”

Hajj. My heart contracted just at the thought of the beautiful journey. Imraan and I had first gone, two years after we were married, when I couldn’t fall pregnant.

I remembered the feeling of rejuvenation I already felt, even as I stepped off the plane, being on the blessed lands for the first time in my life. I recalled the feeling of atonement, as I glimpsed the Ka’abah.. knowing it would be live at first sight. The emotion that had engulfed me, when I stepped out for the journey of a lifetime, that was both exhausting yet exhilarating and such a spectacular experience that nothing else in my life could ever have anything on it.

The cherry on the top, of course, as I had made constant Du’aa for Allah to cleanse my body of the infertility and grant me a child… when I had gotten home, I was already expecting Uthman and donned the niqaab and I already knew that Hajj was the reason that my life had to change for the better…

After all, Allah had done so much for me. He had blessed me with so much, just by virtue of that small sacrifice that I had made, which could never compare to the sacrifice of Ibrahim (Alaihi Salaam) that we were emulating,

“You’re going for Hajj?” I asked meekly, my expression unashamedly riddled with conflicting emotion. While I was so happy for my sister, my own heart felt extremely grieved that I wasn’t the one who would be going once again.

Selfish, I know. Who better than my sister to enjoy this perfect gift…

She nodded, already looking as if she was beyond happiness.

Nevertheless, I planted a smile on my face, because I did know for sure that this experience was one that would completely change her life for the better.

It was the perfect twist. I had glimpsed Rabia in the crowd, taking some snaps of the decor only, because Hamzah would have probably had her head for it if anything else… but honestly, she looked happier than she had in a while.

She was visibly excited, even as some older aunty I didn’t know came and spoke to her, and I secretly hoped that there was a son that she had for my sister-in-law who would be suitable…

In addition, Fareeha’s attention was now completely off Rabia and diverted onto the most amazing journey of her life, and I couldn’t help but feel that somehow, this would perhaps soothe her erratic nerves.

Even with her reservations and challenges, there’s nothing that Du’aa could not solve. Nothing that the polishing of the heart could not assist, and I needed to remind her of this before she embarked on her beautiful journey.

And I was so overwhelmed with emotion, that I barely even noticed someone playing with Zaid over my shoulder, as I smiled widely at Fareeha.

“I’m so happy for you,” I said, tears welling up in my eyes as I pulled her towards me. “I have a whole list of Du’aas for you. This is going to be a journey you will never forget.”


Assalamualaikum dearest Readers

Please forgive me for my delay. A bit of a longer post to make up for it ❤️

Trust that everyone has a wonderful Eid ul Adha. 

Just to give a little spirit of Hajj… I thought it would be good to bring in a little reflection. May Allah grant us understanding of this great sacrifice.

I hope that during these days, where the most beloved actions to Allah is Ibaadat, we made the most of it. Every action, every charity, every right we fulfill… everything is ibaadat for a Mu’min. Just to stay away from Haraam, itself, is ibaadat. Let’s make extra effort to stay away from Gheebat, social media and all other forms of haraam.

May Allah forgive us and accept all our ibaadat.

PS. Don’t forget your Takbeer after every Fardh  Salaah, and remember to make lots of heartfelt Duaa…. especially for this sinful author.✨

Much love,

A xx

The day of Eid is a day of celebration within the boundaries of Sharee’ah.

Those that slaughter, must read,

Bismillaahi Allawhu Akbar
بسم الله، الله اكبر
Then slaughter.

Males must not intermingle with those strange females, we are not permitted to, in Islaam.

When we uphold the Sharee’ah, الله تعالى will bring about favorable conditions.

_Takbeer e Tashreeq after every FARDH salaah._

اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَاَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْدُ

Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar laa ilaaha illallaahu wal’laahu Akbar. Allaahu Akbar wa lillaahil hamd.

“Allaah is the Greatest, Allaah is the Greatest. There is no deity besides Allaah and Allaah is the Greatest. Allaah is the Greatest and all praises belong to Him Alone.”

Mission Sunnah Revival

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..💕

#RevivetheSunnahofQur’aanTilaawat

#ReviveSunnahofDuaa

#SunnahofMaintainingTies

#RevivetheSunnahofSadaqah

#RevivetheSunnahofGivingGifts

#RevivetheSunnahofGoodAkhlaaq

#RevivetheSunnahbeforeSleeping

#RevivetheSunnahofGuardingtheGaze

#RevivetheSunnahofLickingtheFingers

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofEnteringtheToilet

#RevivetheSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofUsingtheRighthand

FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah ­