When Spirits Soar

Bismihi Ta’ala


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

“See you.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Last time was the last time?

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

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

I wanted to hang my head in my hands.

There’s it. Bayaan time.

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

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

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

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

Crazy. It was just crazy.

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

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

I really would like you to come. Layy.

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

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

The next message came about 3 minutes after.

I typed, wondering how this would all turn out.

I will try my best xx

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Hey gorgeous.”

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

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

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

22nd October 2021

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

(Muslim Shareef)

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


An amazing quality to inculcate into our lives…





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A Game Changer

Bismihi Ta’ala


In case you didn’t figure it out yet, I’m Yunus. The quiet one. The protected one. I suppose you could call me the silent bystander. The voice that often doesn’t get heard.

Okay, now you’re feeling sorry for me. And I’m just kidding. Really, I am. Please don’t.

I am the way I am. An ordinary guy with ordinary thoughts and ordinary dreams, and its not like it ever bothered me. Living in the shadows of my siblings suited me well for the most of my life. They had set the bar high. There was much to aspire towards, and me being… well… me… wasn’t exactly outstanding… until someone had come along to convince me that maybe I’d be the one change that they needed all along.

Only, I didn’t believe that it was true. I never thought that I could be the one who could ever change the course of my own life, never mind anyone else’s.

But anyway, let’s not make this about me. Let me get back to the story.

Of course, I had managed to get by with my sisters watching out for me and my unemotional brother letting me know, in his own way, that no matter what… he was always the there for me. And he was. That was always enough.

That was why as I looked back at the journey that had begun right then, you can understand that where I was at that point was kind of a big deal. Stepping off a plane, collecting my luggage, going through passport control… all alone… it was quite an achievement. It was something that my older brother had done with his eyes literally closed, probably hundreds of times, but being the protected one of the family also came with its own set of rules. This was the first time that I had been anywhere without a single member of my family and it felt eerily strange.

”Passport, sir.”

I fumbled in my pocket as I took out my documents, a little overwhelmed by the realization that I was in a foreign country, on foreign territory… all by my foreign self.

”Fine, you go,” he said hastily, shoving the passport back in my hands while I struggled to get my stuff together as fast as possible. I didn’t want to keep the people behind me waiting.

Following the signs to the exit was easy because I understood the language. After two years of Aalim course, my Arabic was more or less conversational. Amidst the calls of Ahlan wa Sahlan from several enthusiastic drivers scouting customers,  I found myself in a taxi with a local and friendly middle-aged man , admiring the sweeps of desert and iconic landmarks, drifting off just as we arrived at the hotel I was staying at for the night. I was looking forward to touring and learning and really making the most of this trip that I had no idea yet would be one of the most memorable of my life.

Ammaan was an amazing city. Of course, the fact that it was so rich in Islamic history was one of the main drawcards for me. Many people don’t know that Jordan was the first place out of Saudi Arabia where Islam had spread. Furthermore, it was on its east side where the famous Battle Of Mut’ah had taken place.

As I found myself gazing at the barren lands that we passed on the daily trips, it was as if I could almost see the Sahaba at the time plunging forward into the battle field, preparing themsleves for what would be their last battle, as the Prophet (SAW) had prophecised.

The most significant and the fierce battle during the lifetime of the messenger of Allah [SAW] was to be a preliminary and a prelude to the great conquests of the land. I never tired of it’s story. It’s passion. It’s splendor. Their faith. No matter how many times I read or heard it in class, it still boggles my mind.

And according to the prophecy Nabi (SAW) had conveyed, it was Zaid Bin Haarithah (RA), the closest to the my Beloved Messengers (SAW) heart, who assumed leadership at first. He fight tenaciously and in matchless spirit of bravery until he fell, fatally stabbed. And then, as predicted, Jafar bin Abu Talib (RA) was then the one who took the banner and did a miraculous job of fending off the enemy with great valor. In the thick of the battle, he dismounted, hamstrung his horse and resumed fighting until his right hand was cut off. He seized the banner with his left hand until this too was gone.

He then clasped the banner with both arms until a Byzantine soldier struck and cut him into two parts. It is reported that was called “the flying Jaffar” or “Jaffar with two wings” because Allah has awarded him two wings to fly wherever he desired there in the eternal garden. Al-bukhari reported fifty stabs in his body, none of them in the back…


And as mentioned beforehand, Abdullah bin Rawaha (RA) then finally proceeded to hold up the banner and fight bravely on his horseback while reciting enthusiastic verses as motivation for his wavering soul, until he too was martyred.

There upon a man took the banner and called upon the Muslims to choose a leader. The Muslims looked to the place where a future lieutenant and leader of the army was fending off the enemy, and the honour was unanimously granted to Khalid bin al-Waleed, an outstanding strategist and a skilled brave fighter. It was reported by that he used nine swords that broke while he was relentlessly and courageously fighting the enemies of Islam. He, however, realizing the grave situation the Muslims were in, began to follow a different course of encounter, revealing the ferocious strategy-maker that Khalid (RA) was rightly called…

Khalid Bin Waleed (RA). A legend of sorts that fought to such heights that Harith bin Shamir and his allied Roman army lost its courage. They thought that the Muslims had received fresh reinforcements. They began to recede when the darkness of night started to prevail. Khalid bin Waleed (RA) also left for Madinah along with the remaining army. It was greatly through his exemplary valour and military expertise that Khalid bin Waleed RA safely delivered one thousand soldiers out of danger and reached Madinah. For this reason, the Prophet (SAW) honoured him by the title of “Saif-Ullah” (the sword of Allah).

And of course, being there in a place which served as a constant reminder of the victorious past… one that was so rich in history… only made me want to learn and see more.

The days were full and uplifting. My own Ustaadh at the Uloom had directed me to someone who I could engage with… whether it was something educational or something important just about life to learn, I was open to it. Quran was an every day routine and Hadith classes were ongoing at his Madrassa. Because I wasn’t a regular student, he took special care in taking me to sites that were of interest. What I found myself most taken aback by was seeing and meeting refugees who were displaced. The Syrian crisis became a reality. Gaza was no longer just a place I heard of in the news. Being there opened my eyes. Alerted my brain. It made me realize why Ahmed always pushed me to travel, because your entire perspective of the world can change when you see what really happens out there…

”Next time you bring your wife,” Ustaadh Dawud, who was a friend of an Aalim at Madrassa, said as we jumped back into the taxi. “The ladies are always thrilled to see other ladies. They love to meet new people. Talk. Give them stories of their lives… especially the older ones.”

”I’m not married,” I said, feeling a little shy about the prospect. Marriage was a far-fetched notion.

”No problem,” he said easily in his Arab accent. “Maybe your sister? If she comes she can help hand over our monthly package. The ladies are strong. Very strong. Many have no support. You ask them where’s their husband… they say simply… ShaheedAlhumdulillah. You ask them about their sons. They say same. So easily. Alhumdulillah is their second nature. I ask Allah every day to give me that type of Imaan. It’s… I don’t know what you will say in English…  SubhaanAllah…”

I swallowed and looked at him, already feeling choked up. That was on another level completely. Like strength and Yaqeen and immense Tawakkul all combined…

“Insha Allah,” I said vaguely, knowing that Khawlah would probably love to come here.

Thinking about my sister again in this context… knowing she lost her husband too… caused me halt in my tracks and think of my brother-in-law after many months, in this strange place. It had been a while but his memory was that poignant. I had never admitted it, but had missed him unmentionably for the first few months. With time of course, the pain had seemed to fade, but I couldn’t forget the great service he had done for me when he had been alive. Just the fact that he took time to know me and be more than a brother-in-law was something that made a dent.

“So do you know what you’re doing after school?” He had asked one night as he peeped into my room, peering over my school books.

Khawlah was always an early sleeper, and Aadam never went home straight away. That was just Aadam. Never in a hurry. Whether he was chatting to Dada, Abba, or tapping on my room door… Aadam was someone who just made time for people, no matter how busy he was.

The thing was, I was hesitating to tell him. My dreams were nothing amazing. That much I had convinced myself of.

But when I eventually told him that I wanted to be an Aalim… well, he had basically taken the ordinary and made it something completely extraordinary.

”That’s amazing,” he said, looking truly awestruck. I narrowed my eyes at him disbelievingly.

Was it?

Most people didn’t think so.

”I know what you’re thinking,” he said to me.

I looked at him cynically, putting away my school books as he made himself comfortable on my bed. Of course, when I had first met my brother-in-law, his upper-class accent and lazy attitude was strange. I had never met anyone like him till then. As I got used used to him, those had grown to be one of his mos likable traits.

”You see me as this computer geek with all these monuments to my name,” he continued, shrugging indifferently. “Thinking I don’t know what it’s like to be you. But before you get the wrong idea about me, let me just tell you that I’m a pretty regular guy. I’m not saying that because I want you to tell me that I’m not. And yes, maybe I have a few meager titles to my name, but in no way does that make me a game-changer, yeah? I am nothing great…. I can promise you.”

I was still cynical when I looked at him. But he was. He was a famous computer guy who had articles written about his work and so many things going for him. He had potential. He was lucky. He was one of the popular people. I wasn’t.

“But when I look at you, Yunus,” he said, halting my train of thought. “You are different. Extraordinary. Not many people know what they want out of life, and have such noble ambitions. I know game-changers…. and believe me when I say that you, Yunus, are going to be a game-changer… you are. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You’re going to pursue the Aalim course and you’re going to be an awesome Molvi whose going to teach Deen and inspire people and change so much more than you think. That much, I’m absolutely certain of.”

I blinked as he said it, surprised that he had so much of faith in my ability. Surprised that his words had already affected my heart. Surprised that there were people like him who cared enough to even make this meagre thought of mine into something that I could truly believe in and aspire towards. I suppose some people were just meant to cross your path and serve the purpose of giving you the kind of unprecedented inspiration that you could stash away for an entire lifetime.

And though I didn’t believe it at first, I could quite safely say that his words that night and constant encouragement throughout was such that kept pushing me to pursue my dreams of being an Aalim, despite feeling that I would never be able to accomplish it…

And sometimes we underestimate the little words that people say, but this was something small and sincere that had really changed the course of my life.

“We’ll stop at a Masjid on the way,” Ustaadh Dawud said, bringing my mind back to the present. “Else we will miss Maghrib Salaah. There is beautiful recitation here.”

I nodded and looked out the window, glad that the drive to the wasn’t too long. I gazed up at the astounding architecture as we pulled up, thinking how much of beauty that the Masaajid exuded here… it seemed like each was more beautiful and intricately decorated than the last. Though the weather was a little chilly, the warmth  hospitality that the people displayed always amazed me.

The Adhaan (call to prayer) had just concluded
as I settled into a space of my own, taking the time to enjoy the feeling here… I couldn’t help but also feel a little overwhelmed….

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar…”

The Iqamah had commenced and I could see people scrambling to the front and gesturing to each other to fill in gaps that were left in between. As Ustaadh Dawood went to the front, I found myself wedged between a bulky man with a beard and a young guy who looked like he was a university student.

I closed my eyes as the Imaam started to recite, and though I didn’t expect it, like a sacred kind of feel that happened in the Masaajid of the Haramain… I instantly found myself lost in his recitation. Every letter and word was pronounced with unhindered purpose, and as the voice peaked and dropped at just the right inflections, I was lost in its beauty. The recitation was really unlike anyone I’ve heard before. Completely unique. Perfectly composed. It was a time when I silently willed for the Imaam to recite a few more verses. To continue for a little longer.

And because my Ustaadh had explained to me about how Qiraat recitation worked and how difficult it was to become a Qari, it made me admire these types of recitations all the more. I could see that everyone around me was appreciating the strong tone that flowed out of the speakers surrounding us, together with the beautiful flow of its natural disposition that made it something really something special. If reading like this didn’t move hearts then I’m not sure what could…

And as we ended the Salaah and I read my Sunnah, I cast my gaze thereafter to front where Ustaadh Dawud was, as a small  crowd was now making its way out, leaving enough open space for me to get a clear view of the now empty Mimbar. Something within me told me that I had to catch a glimpse of the face that belonged to the recitation. There was some kind of invisible yearning that was drawing me to meet this person whose recitation I’m sure had already affected so many hearts.

I cleared my throat as I approached the front, staying close to Ustaadh as I tried to take in my surroundings. The inside of the masjid was spacious and spectacular. I felt my heart sink as I realized the Imaam must have left or gone somewhere else. Maybe one day when I’d come back, I’d meet him.

While Ustaadh spoke to someone in fluent Arabic, I caught tit-bits of what he was talking about as they chatted, taking some inanimate snaps of its inside to pass my own time. I could hear him telling them about me visiting from South Africa and snippets about the refugees we had seen earlier. My heart was still affected by the reality of what I’d seen. It was a real eye-opener. We hear about people who are suffering and have lost everything they have and are still content, but when we see it, it was completely different story.

”Yusuf,” Ustaadh said, calling me to him. I had given up on telling him that my name was Yunus and not Yusuf, so I smiled instead and nodded. It didn’t really matter anyway.

“What city it is you’re from? Shaikh Khalid is asking.”

I answered briefly and then glanced at the guy he was talking to. The Imaam. Shaikh Khalid?

“It’s just Khalid, Ustaadh,” he replied in English. The accent was painfully familiar. “Good to meet you, Yusuf.”

And of course, as I met his gaze, and he met mine back, it wasn’t the only thing that was painful. My mind just kind of froze as he held out his both his hands, in the style I was accustomed to back home, to greet me back. I felt like I was floating somewhere beyond the current realm as my mind processed exactly what was happening and all the possibilities that this could bring.

The words froze on my tongue as I tried to make sense of it, knowing that there was an enthralling story behind this meeting and how he had come to be here. Knowing that there was a reason that I, of all people, was brought here at this time and place. Knowing that if I played this right, though it may be something that would require intense strategy, this might be a complete game-changer…

Dearest Readers

Shukran to all for the comments and the much appreciated guidance that a confused soul like me needs. You, the readers, have no idea what it means to me. Insha Allah I will go as far as I can by next week Thursday to give the readers some closure (just so that our brains can focus on Ramadhaan) and afterwards, well.. Insha Allah… try and give something of an epilogue. 

Much Love,

A xx

A new Sunnah. Consideration for beggars and Needy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Almighty Allah on five nights:

The night of Jumu’ah

The nights of the two ‘Eids

The first night of Rajab

The middle (15th) night of Sha’ban

Allah accept our efforts and Duaas.









Twitter: @ajourneyjournal