Exceeding Expectations

Bismihi Ta’ala

Part 93

I didn’t expect to get woken up that morning with a cup of my fave coffee next to me.

Seeing that Hamzah was already up and showered, I could hear him clearing the stuff in the kitchen almost as if he’d been cooking, made my heart sing.

I, on the other hand, felt like a slob.

I had been slacking. With everything. Housework. Cooking. Qur’ān. Even salaah had become rushed and inattentive.

But since Hamzah’s arrival, miraculously, somehow, everything had been in check. There he was, Mr Perfect, now perched on the couch next to the room, reciting Surah Yaseen softly but audibly, and I couldn’t help but feel that I needed to go to him with my Qur’ān so I could be his student and just soak up all that Barakah again. He just had that effect on me, and made me want to polish my soul.

After slipping into the pits I had been in, I knew that the only resolution was to focus on cleaning and dusting my souls.

Even though we had talked till I (mistakenly) crashed, Hamzah, like the charged proton he was, was all over everything already.

I stifled a yawn as he peeped his head around the corner of the room door, and I sat up consciously, pulling my hair into a quick pony tail.

“Assalamualaikum,” he said with a small smile. “I won’t ask if you had a good rest. You were lights out.”

I covered my face with my hands as I recalled how I had crashed on the couch. And now, I was on the bed, and I didn’t even think about how I had gotten there when I had woken up at fajr and crashed again.

”Did you have to carry me to the bed?”

It was mortifying. I couldn’t believe that I had passed our while we were in the middle of speaking. How tired was I? 

“I managed,” he said cheerfully, and I pulled the covers over my head while I heard him chuckling, right around the same time that I heard my phone vibrate next to me. “Don’t worry, you weren’t drooling. Or snoring.”

”Gee thanks,” I murmured, peeping out and catching a glimpse of Hamzah’s retreating back as I grabbed my phone and sifted through it.

There were messages from my mother, Jameela and even Muhammad Husayn. I missed my brother so much, because now that Jameela was settled and he was growing up and I had so many of my own issues, I felt like I had completely neglected him during the past few months. Lastly, Nani had tried to call – three times, and I hadn’t heard a thing.

Her message came while I held the phone on my hand.

Mohsina. Aunty Khairoon wil fetch  me early for taaleem. We will fetch u. 

And just when I was getting used to everyone not bothering about me, today, of all days, when I was planning on ignoring them all and spending time trying to figure out my feelings about my marriage, my entire family was on my case.

“Why the frown?”

It was Hamzah’s voice that rang out as I looked up at him.

”Nani,” I said softly, sitting up against the headboard and pulling the blanket up to my chin. Johannesburg was getting super cold and I couldn’t function, even though I was in my fleecy pyjamas. “You know her and taaleem. She wants to fetch me. If I tell her you’re here, she will jump to conclusions and then everyone will know that you spent the night and it will probably be posted on her WhatsApp status.”

”She’ll be thrilled,” he said blandly. “You know how she loves me.”

I didn’t want to tell him that I didn’t want everyone to know that he was here, because they loved him too much to want him with me. Also, even though he had spent the night, he had slept on the couch.

Although I didn’t want to voice it, I was sure that he too didn’t want it to be public knowledge yet and that we should rather just keep it secret for now. We had established that there were people who weren’t thrilled for us and had made it clear that our reunion, when and if it happens, will all be under wraps.

I felt like one of  those celebrity couples who the paparazzi were forever after and the strain would eventually get to their marriage. And that was exactly what happened already.

“Tell her you’re not feeling well and you’re going to the doctor-hopefully for a shot that will do some magic,” Hamzah said, stopping to pull on his jumper. “No lies there.”

I nodded and typed out a message, knowing that it may worry Nani but it was better than her turning up here and harassing me about being on top of things.

I ignored my mother’s and Jameela’s messages and snuck behind the other side of the bed to get to the bathroom, because I had actually gotten so used to being on my own that having Hamzah here was very strange indeed.

Speaking to him too, was really strange.

We spoke a lot about Rabia. About how she had gotten involved with this, and why she would do it.

And I was all for women supporting other women, but for Rabia, I just couldn’t seem to see why I should. She never had a good thing to say about people and the fact that she didn’t seem to care made me so mad.

”She really loved that necklace,” Hamzah said, remembering how it ended up at our door. There was a spare key to our apartment block at his parents house and it was obvious that she was involved. “I just don’t know what she got out of this…”

”She separated a married couple,” I said heatedly, watching Hamzah as he fiddled with the threads on the rug. “I can’t believe she would sabotage us like this. That’s so evil. She probably brought the package here after knowing thag he bought it. How she found it, I don’t know. Even if he gave it to her, why would she do this to us, knowing how much it meant to us when we were proposed?”

A lot of pieces weren’t quite fitting together but I had figured out that much. Rabia wanted us apart and would stop at nothing to have it. The fact that my son was there with her in the same house made my blood boil. I had made Hamzah call his parents to make sure that he was with them and no-one else but them. I had reached the point when I couldn’t bare the thought of her toxicity touching him.

”I think she’s really in a bad space,” Hamzah had said, and I looked at him and frowned, because it sounded like he was making excuses for her again.

The thing is, I knew that happened too. People get into bad spaces. But it wasn’t just now that it started. From inception, Rabia never made an effort to be kind.

She never made an effort to even be pleasant with me. And I know akhlaaq was when you are able to overcome those feelings and be good to that person, regardless of how the other person made you feel, but with Rabia, did she really deserve forgiveness?

“I don’t know, Hamzah,” I had said with a yawn, my eyelids feeling heavy already. “It’s hard to just forget this.”

”I know, but I’m working on forgiving her,” he said softly. “I’m angry, but I know that deep down, she’s feeling bad. I know that much and if she has to say sorry, we need to try and mend things.”

Oh my word, the man was blind.

I knew that I should have put up a fight, but I didn’t even want to start an argument. I never thought I’d say this but I just didn’t have the fight in me anymore. I was so tired.

Also, telling him about work after he left and Faadil, the confusion and heartache I felt, and watching the stony look on his face as he digested that, was really hard and exhausting.

And then when he asked me if I’d considered it, I didn’t say anything. After all, it was Hamzah who had made it clear that our marriage was one of convenience for him. We both didn’t expect to fall in love. Feelings were by the way, if he had ever felt anything he said.

And of course, he partly blamed me, for entertaining Faadil all those months, for being with him and for giving him expectations… but where I was at at that time, was somewhere he couldn’t understand. I was grieving in ways that he wouldn’t understand. I needed support and I felt that Faadil was the only one who was willing to give it to me.

I had felt deserted and abandoned in every way possible… because I had forgotten that there was a loving and caring Rabb who was always looking out for me.

And then I lost Layyanah and somehow, it returned me to Him in so many ways.

There were still many things that were left between us. We still had things to talk about. To clarify. I wasn’t sure when we would get the chance but for now I would go with him to the doctor so he could at least leave me alone to think about everything we had talked about. Nothing was happening overnight.

We still had things to speak about. He still had things he had to explain too. But the night was over and in the daytime, reality hit that much harder.

“You ready?”

I had just stepped pulled on my fancy pants, so I speedily changed and tried to ignore the unsettling in my tummy as I gulped down the rest of the coffee that Hamzah had brought me. I had lost so much of weight that most of my normal clothes didn’t even fit me. I knew that I would have been more worried if I didn’t have so much to worry about. In a way, I was glad Hamzah was forcing me into this.

I just hoped that the doctors rooms weren’t full so I wouldn’t have to wait too long there.

”Let’s get this show on the road,” I said, walking out the room after applying a tinge of make up.

And yes, I had dressed up – just a tad bit more than usual. I wanted to make Hamzah’s eyes pop slightly, the way they did when I walked past him to get my abaya. Yesterday, I may have been a frumpster, but today, I was wearing my most flattering jeans and a black top that tied up just above the buckle.

I knew that I looked good. Even slightly skinny, after losing all that weight.

By the time I pulled my cloak over and turned to look at him, I could see him deliberately turn away, and I could already feel a triumphant smile spread over my face as he did.

“Everything okay?” I asked sweetly, binning the empty coffee cup that he had brought me, and turning to the door.

Served him right for saying that we were just filling gaps with each other because we missed our best friends. Looked like he was eating his words already.

”Fine,” he said, his voice sounding slightly squeaky, as he held the door open and locked it after me. He still had his key, and I watched him put it in his pocket and avoid my gaze before he followed me to the parking lot.

Being around each other was feeling strange again, and I just wanted to get this morning over with so I could get to Zaid again. I was already thinking about the night and what it would bring, and whether he would want to talk some more, although i tried my best to stop myself from overthinking.

Instead, I knew the best thing would be to move onto neutral topics and hope that normality would shift in soon enough.

”Is Zaid still calling you ‘Hah’,” I asked with a grin, eager for news about my baby as I watched Hamzah silently reverse out the parking. He had not looked at me, or even said a word since we left the flat.

I wished I could read his thoughts.

”Yup,” he said with a shake of his head, glancing at me quickly. “And he calls my mother ‘Da’. ‘s he still calling you nothing?”

He had a small grin on his face and I whacked him on the shoulder, pouting as I remembered how Zaid refused to even acknowledge that I had a name.

At all. Zilch.

And I knew that I wasn’t his real mother, but I took comfort in the fact that at least we had got one thing right. Hamzah was hammering him with it from the time we got him.

And though I was always picked on by Nani about nurturing my phone and not my child, in those initial days of marriage and parenthood, I knew for a fact that I had tried my utmost with being a good mother. I was with Zaid every moment, went all out, breastfed and broke my sleep patterns for him. Hamzah loved him unreservedly, made sure he recited Qur’ān for him every night, and it was no wonder that at eight months, his first proper word was ‘Allah’.

And I knew that Hamzah took the credit because he had started repeating that every morning, as his morning routine when he would wake up, and Hamzah would take him to the lounge after Fajr so I could at least get a little sleep, but what mattered was that it worked.

And since then, he had said everything else beside what I was to him.

I had tried for ‘Mos’, and then for ‘Mo’ and then for ‘Na’ but he was as stubborn as Hamzah. He just looked at me blankly and pointed to everything else besides what I was asking.

Now that I was away from him, it seemed like it was going to be even harder. I didn’t need a reminder of how much of his life I was missing.

“Thanks for rubbing it in. Did you mean it when you said I can have him for a night a week?” I asked, glancing at Hamzah as he drove.

He nodded, but he was back to not meeting my eye.

I suppose being away from Zaid was hard on Hamzah too. The only solution here was if we reconciled but he didn’t bring up the topic and neither did I.

Not yet. Safer topics were best for now.

”If I say something, I usually mean it,” he said, glancing at me before turning into the parking lot for the medical centre.

I was glad that we were there because I didn’t have a pleasant retort for that. He won’t say something unless he meant it. That meant that whatever he had said in the past too, was what he meant. Or did it mean that his apology was also something that he meant more?

We were at a place where things were not yet sorted, and I felt somewhere in between with my feelings. I was recovering from a dark place, and it was scary to have to acknowledge all the work that Hamzah and I still had to in order to get better.

And I was glad that we had just reached the rooms because I didn’t want to dwell on it any more. Right then, I was just glad that Hamzah had brought me here, and even though I didn’t want to come, having some sort of reason or diagnosis to these symptoms would be a relief.

And though I was way to proud to admit it, I would have never have come on my own because I knew that doctors costed an arm and a leg. If j had to be referred to a special, I knew that I would never be able to afford the fees on my humble home industry business earnings. That was why I desperately needed the job Lesley had set up for me. Truthfully, life was damn expensive, and with every passing month, it was getting more.

But that was the grind of reality. And until we saw the way the world was, until we saw the desperation in the eyes of common folk, and realised the real trials that people go through, we never appreciate how blessed we are. Life had been easy recently, but being back in the shoes I was years ago was good for me to realise how much Allah had blessed me.

The thing is, social media tricked us into believing that everyone else’s grass is greener. That the world is beautiful and fair and affordable. There aren’t many instances we see on the gram where we are actually forced to stop and reflect on how much we actually have, because it always leaves us wanting.

And the thing is, there are are often times in our life when we prayed for, visualised, and hoped to be where we currently at.  But still, it wasn’t enough.

Once we’ve received our blessings, we often get too worried about the next thing to notice it.

The cycle of chasing the next high never ends. We refuse to be grateful for the moment and stop stressing and overthinking about what’s coming next.

The Hadith speaks about the importance of being satisfied with what we have.

If there was one valley full of gold for the son of Adam, he would long for a second valley, and nothing would fill the stomach/mouth of the son of Adam but sand (of the grave).

And it was so true, because man stopped at nothing when it came to attaining worldly attractions.

And as I thought of the reality, gratitude filled my chest as I thought of how lucky I was that I had the opportunity to come to a private doctor, when others didn’t. We didn’t often think of these things as blessings, but imagining the alternative was something that called for true reflection.

Seeing the rooms weren’t that busy yet was also a huge relief. I took a seat while Hamzah went forward for me, grateful that he wasn’t that macho male type who forced me to do things for myself, trying to avoid contact with anyone who may know me.

And I knew that I was being rude, but I was really in no mood to entertain small talk. I kept my head down and minded my own business and Hamzah came to sit next to me, and when the doctor eventually called my name, I quickly got up to go in.

Hamzah remained sitting on the couch, and for some reason, I couldn’t see myself going in there without him. I looked at him, my entire stance so desperate that the receptionist turned to him and almost demanded him to go in with me.

I gave her a grateful smile, and we had moved toward the door, suddenly extremely wary about what this would all bring.

“You okay?”

It was Hamzah asking me but before I even had a chance to answer, the doctor who we had come to see was already in view so I swallowed my excuses and looked at her and smiled.

She was a middle-aged GP who I had been to once before, and as we took a seat and exchanged pleasantries, I was reminded of the last time Hamzah and I were on a doctors room together and how awkward it had been.

I didn’t know that this was going to be even more awkward, as I told her how I was feeling lately. And yes, I know it sounded dumb, but when she looked at me after the basic questions and asked me if Hamzah and I were married, I may have looked at her a bit funny.

What on earth did that matter?

”Have you done a pregnancy test?”

”Err, no,” I said, shaking my head. “I just started a new cycle, and I’ve been on the new pill since, like, 6 weeks ago. That’s probably why I had nausea. Before that I was breastfeeding and it was the mini pills so pregancy- erm, not possible.”

I said it with great confidence and the doctor was looking at me like I was deranged, but she said nothing as she got up, handed me a paper thingum and a cup to pee in and told me that she would see me in three minutes.

I was almost laughing as I thought of how ridiculous this was, and because I knew that this was probably just a waste of time. My cycle had been normal. Almost. Maybe a bit different but not entirely absent.

“But why?” I asked, looking from her to Hamzah, who was looking ten times more awkward than the last time, and I didn’t exactly blame him.

“Let’s just rule one thing out at a time, okay?” She said with a smile, as she opened the bathroom door and ushered me in.

And of course, I was thinking of just dipping the thing in water to prove to her this was ridiculous, but she would probably be able to tell and I didn’t want to waste Hamzah’s money either.

And then, the doubts started entering my mind.

People did fall pregnant on the pill right? It wasn’t like it was unheard of. I hadn’t stopped taking it, but I knew that I hadn’t always been diligent to remember every day at the same time.

I breathed out as I put the stick in the cup, washing my hands and already feeling a little more nauseous as I handed the stick to the nurse in gloved hands, and went out to where the doctor was sitting.

And it may have been my imagination, but as I looked at Hamzah with contempt, pretty sure that I had proven my point, I was certain that he was completely avoiding eye contact.

And just as I was about to ask him if he was okay,  I barely expected the doctor to come in and hand me a sheet for bloods, almost as if she already had come to a conclusion and needed a confirmed diagnosis.

“What’s this?” I asked, taking it from her as I watched Hamzah’s face change to a peculiar sort of expression. He wasn’t looking awkward anymore. Nope. Now he was just looking  petrified.

Terrified and worried and whatever other complicated and awkward emotion came with all of those.

”Congratulations,” Doctor said with a smile, looking from Hamzah to me. “The result is positive. We need to do some bloods…”

I didn’t even hear the rest. I could barely believe it.

The news had barely even digested before I felt it all consuming me, my body already reacting to the emotions that were building up, probably over all these months.

I may have expected some kind of weird reaction to something I ate. Maybe a bug that was going around and refused to leave. Maybe even malnutrition, because of the way I’d been neglecting myself and my health the past two months.

But this. This was way beyond my wildest expectations.

And because there wasn’t much else I could do, I blinked three times as she continued to speak, almost in a daze, shook my head in absolute bewilderment, and promptly burst into tears.

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..💕


















Moments of Vulnerability

Bismihi Ta’ala


Part 80

The world at large, but more specifically our menial lives, revolve around an information overload where the accounts and stories of awe-inspiring bravery have ceased to feature.

Whilst we get off on dopamine hits induced by arrays of pointless pictures on our Instagram feeds, we are starved of the splendour that once filled the pages of history.

The desire and restlessness that once raged within the hearts of the Sahabah have become text book incidents to us. We are foreign to a concept that entails extinguishing personal desire for lighting a longing for everlasting pleasure.

Martyrdom has, and always will be, the masterpiece of all man’s greatness. Their agonising and heartbreaking stories are a light amidst the darkness of this world. Meeting Hamzah for me, brought this alive. His spirit brought out something in me that stemmed from a selfless courage… something that I had forgotten about over the past few months.

And whilst every martyr attains unmeasurable closeness to Allah Ta’ala, the honourable title of Sayyidus Shuhadaa (RA) was awarded by Nabi (Sallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) only to the highest and most honoured of all of them… Sayyidina Hamzah (RA). There was something about meeting my real life Hamzah, that kindled a flame within me once again… a flame that would serve to rage on, to face everything head on, fearlessly, like the men I’d read about and always admired.

Despite the monster I had once been, I knew and lived the rule that nothing is as more important but the pleasure of Allah… and now, I was done with being scared, slinking away and hiding from the past.

I pulled out the dagger I kept with the saying that filled me with vigour and determination, placing it on the bed next to me to remind me that like the blessed heart of Nabi (sallahu alaihi wa Sallam) was uneasy with a desire and craving for martyrdom, so too should mine. Nothing should scare me.

It was a risky step I was scared to take before this, because if my uncle had to get wind of it, it could be dangerous. Yes, I felt scared and vulnerable right then but I needed to overcome it.

How long was I going to continue being scared for? Taking this step with my future wife, going all out to embrace what would be half my Deen, should never make me feel more fearful. In fact, it gave me that much more strength to do the right thing.

“Joe,” I said roughly into the phone, pulling on my best jeans and watching myself in my sisters room mirror cynically as I got ready. I looked so unlike the man I felt like inside. I could practically feel my heart pounding as I thought of what today would hold. “I need your help and you can’t say no.”

I had been at my sisters apartment from the morning because she insisted, and I couldn’t say no when she asked. She wanted to spend my final moments before marriage with me, but she was so busy fussing over wedding things that she was barely present.

”Your uncle says you’re not with him anymore.”

It was a simple sentence from the guy at the end of the line, but just hearing it from him made me angry.

So angry, despite knowing that I would hear that and trying to kill that very anger that would come up every time I heard of of my uncle meddling in my life.

What right did my uncle have to interfere in my relationships? Yes, we used Joe often for his contacts and to sort out paperwork we would need to figure out who the rats in our networks were, but I was the one who introduced Joe to him to do that for us. Joe and I were school friends before we did business together. We go way back.

It wasn’t that I admired my past, but it was what it was and every person I had met along the way had helped shape me into the person I was.

”Does it matter?” I muttered, plopping on the bed as I put the phone on speaker and pulled on the new pair of spotty socks Nusaybah bought me to wear with my new Kurta.

”I’ll call you back,” he said after a few seconds, and I wanted to give him a mouthful about shoving me off, but I knew I shouldn’t.

“You’d better,” I threatened mildly, knowing that Joe didn’t say things that he didn’t usually mean.

And it was just as well that I was in good mood that day, because I might have taken the half hour drive to his place to shake him up instead.

But today… I had more important things to do… and I couldn’t believe that this day had come.

That I was actually marrying her. The girl that I had been trying so hard not to freak out by ogling her as she would be sitting at the garden bench reading, or tending to her new plants, or working diligently in the coffee shop kitchen as if he life actually depended on it. I had spent months pretending to be ignoring her, when all I wanted to do was go up to her and ask her if their was ever a possibility of this day ever coming.

And here it was. I had told her that I was striving to be better, but I was having to dig up pieces of my past to do so.

I breathed in, knowing that I had to be forceful in my tactics now, even when I hated it. I hated this side of me that was all hard and rigid and rooting for a fight, but I hated the other side more. I hated knowing that now, I would have more than just myself at risk. Knowing that I couldn’t always control things and other people close to me made me feel vulnerable like never before.

I splashed the water in my face and made my whudhu, hoping to calm my fiery spirits with it. It went without saying that I was a little edgy. I needed to resort to my Lord… to sit on that Musalla and pray to Him, the Most High, because come what may, He was the only One who held a solution. This was a big step but it was what I wanted.

I prayed with an aching fervency because I wanted this to all be okay. I wanted to tame the wild beast in me, to calm my spirits to someone who could actually be worthy of this new role that I was going to take in life. I wanted the people who were going to become my family to always stay safe and protected form what haunted me.

I wanted to change my old ways, and turn a new page in my life. I wanted to be worthy of a husband. Of a father, hopefully, someday too. A resolution that was way more than I ever imagined, but the aching need in me was persistent.

I wanted to be a sterling example, like Nabi (Sallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) was and forever will be. I wanted to be such that even when I face my uncle who had done unmentionable things to me, I wanted to be so good to him that he would be moved by my character alone. This was the journey that I was willing to take for my own betterment.

This family had inspired me. Jameela had made me want to change. She made me want to be better. It was by her acceptance of me that made me want to strive for even more now.

Character. It was the only thing that would define me now, and that’s what had been the trump card in her eyes.

My phone rang at that point, snapping me out of my thoughts and bringing me back to the present.

I needed to leave for the Nikah- my Nikah- in ten minutes, but I knew that every minute was precious.

Hamzah was trying not to disturb me this week but I knew that if I didn’t confirm that final thread of information that had just occurred to me that morning, all that I’ve been helping him with would be futile.

None of it seemed worth it if by the end of this, Hamzah and his wife didn’t work things out. There was no way that I could rest if I knew that there was something I could do to save their marriage, and didn’t.

I breathed our with relief as Joe agreed to my favour, and I tried convincing him that what I was onto was going to change someone’s life. Judging from the first time I saw Faadil, all those months back outside his apartment building, I could tell that he was up to something. The way my uncle spoke to Faadil, made me realise that that Porsche that caused the incident to erupt out of control was going to lead to much more than that.

And despite knowing that Faadil and my uncle had been in contact over the few months, I never really knew what the relationship was. I knew that my uncle worked with him to uncover money. When I cut myself off of him, I didn’t want to find out. But now, from everything I had found out, I had an idea that Faadil had framed himself to get back at Mohsina, and I just needed the final thread to prove it.

“I’ve tried asking around,” I said in a level tone, thinking of the conversation I had with Nusaybah’s best friends brother. “Ahmed can’t help. He would if he could but he doesn’t do this anymore because of his family commitments. I know it’s risky but you’re my last hope, Joe. I need to know how the evidence came to the knowledge of the company. I want to know if Faadil framed himself.”

If was the only thing that made sense. Yes, Faadils reputation would be at stake if he framed himself but if he dragged Mohsina’s name in it with him, it may be a completely different motive. If may either mean that he would try to shove all blame on to her, or it could be that they’ll go down together, which would help him to earn her trust and then rebound again.

The latter seemed more plausible right then and I knew that I had to tell Hamzah but there was barely any time left and I was going to be late for my own Nikah if I didn’t hurry the hell up.

I told Joe that Hamzah would pay anything for clearance of his wife’s name, and money wasn’t an issue. It seemed to do the trick.

We settled on a price and that’s how I found myself walking out to my brother-in-law Faheem’s car, after Nusaybah clung to me for at least 2 entire minutes for dear life, my mind trying to focus on what exactly was going down that day. She finally let me go with tears swimming in her dark eyes, and my niece tugging restlessly on her cloak.

”Smelling good,” Faheem commented in his swanky British accent as I finally entered the car. “You ready?”

Faheems voice was light but clear, almost jolting me out of my train of thought as he watched me from the corner of his eye. Him and my sister being here was more than I could ever ask for. I knew that my father wouldn’t come but I still hoped. I really wanted him to make an appearance. I had stopped by his place in the week and left an invite in the postbox. I knew he got it because I waited behind the next house wall to how long after he would come and take the mail I left every day.

I nodded as I watched him drive on, not really wanting to talk yet. After the Nikah, things would feel more relaxed. It was a low key affair. I asked for it to be as private as possible, because of how many enemies I had made along the way. My uncle had been trying to get hold of me and I knew that he had more work for me with promising financial incentives, but I was refusing to relent.

I wanted to leave that life completely, and start afresh with a purer intent in mind.

More than anything, I wanted this to stay out of my uncles knowledge, so I wouldn’t have to worry about protecting Jameela before we got married.

After marriage, I was sure to do anything to keep her safe from my history.

I breathed in as I looked ahead, drumming my fingers together as I tried to control my nerves. Faheem wasn’t much of a talker, which made sense, because my sister spoke enough for the both of them. I looked out the window, watching the cars pulling up for Asr salaah, feeling a pit in the bottom of my stomach, but not because of what lay ahead. I was worried. Scared that something may go wrong.

“Stop looking so aggro.”

Aggro. It was Nusaybah’s word that I never quite understood the meaning of.

I glanced at Faheem as he turned off the ignition, closing my eyes briefly as I tried to recollect my thoughts. There was so much going on in my mind. I needed to switch it off.

“I’m not,” I said, pushing the door open and meeting my brother-in-laws eye. “I’m just worried that things may not all go that smoothly. I have a reputation for inviting trouble. You know that.”

We were walking toward the mosque, and even with a handgun strapped to my ankle, I knew that I was always at risk.

And don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t that I was afraid of dying. Not in the way most people were.

I had faced it head on, seen it way too many times to be afraid that way. What I was scared of was what would come after. I was scared of how my Lord would deal with me, after everything I had done. I was scared that my repentance wasn’t good enough, or sincere enough. But in the same breath, I lived with the blossoming hope that in death, it was the only place that I would find complete freedom from the life I had lived in this deranged world.

“They’re just people, you know,” Faheem said quietly, his accent a little less pronounced as he lowered his voice. “People who have power in this world maybe, but don’t forget that Allah is in control of everything else and He sees you. He sees you, bro. He sees that you’ve changed and you’re trying to be better. You think he’s not going to take care of you when you’re taking one of the biggest steps to make it all right?”

I glanced at him as we entered the building, emotion welling up in my eyes as I shook my head, my heart now beating a little more steadily as I approached the place where I would read Salaah. I didn’t want to believe that I was worthy of anything good. I didn’t want to let myself believe that it would all be okay. For me, I rather expect the worst and then get surprised at the best…

And oh yes, I wished for the best. In every way, and my heart was filled with anticipation for what lay ahead as the Salaah commenced.

The Nikah was scheduled to be after Asr and as crowds came in for the prayer, and then left again, giving me a clear sight of Maulana Khalid as he spoke to someone ahead, I knew that the time for me to pull up my socks and get to the front was right then. Everything seemed to be going in slow motion. People were mulling out steadily, and as I gazed at my shaky hands, I felt as if time had stood still.

And though I knew Maulana from when I was younger, he was well aware of my past and where it had led me, and now, he accepted me wholeheartedly without any judgement.

I could see Muhammed Husayn around the outskirts, and Jameela’s father approaching the front with two other men. Eyes were on me as I slowly walked up to the small crowd, knowing that this was going to be one of the most defining moments of my life.

I breathed in as I offered a greeting to them all, staying silent as Maulana Khalid introduced himself and then looked at me as if to check if I was ready.

And it was one of those moments when I seriously felt like throwing in the towel and running out of there, not because of what lay ahead for me, but because it only then when reality came crashing down on me like never before.

There was no one who deserved this less than I. My father wasn’t there, although I had hoped he would be. It was just a reminder that I would never be good enough. The truth was glaring at me as I watched Maulana hug my brother-in-law, who was also his cousin-in-law, and then turn to my future father-in-law with praises for me.

I couldn’t quite believe that I was hearing all these complimentary things coming from his mouth, where he spoke as if I was someone great. Hamzah was grinning stupidly as he said it, but I believed none of it when he pulled me to him, telling me that I was such an amazing kind of human for changing my life around the way I had.

All I knew was that this was all just for now, and when they found out what I was really like, they would quickly learn the truth about me. I didn’t know that they would look at me, as the Nikah started, with all this joy and expectation, and the only thing that kept me rooted to the spot was the thought of having a wife like Jameela who would somehow make this all make sense once again.

I wasn’t even sure how I got through the proceedings. I mean, I remembered the shivery nerves and the Maulana asking all the relevant questions. I had agreed, and I had said the binding words with a certainty that would define my life, but it didn’t change the fact that throughout it all, I still felt like I was floating.

I could feel my phone buzzing in my pocket as the small crowd came forward to greet me. I forgot about everything else for that time, living in the moment as everyone hugged and congratulated me as if this great achievement was all due to my own doing. The gratitude in my heart at that moment was insurmountable.

All I knew was that Allah Ta’ala had come through for us in a way that I never imagined. I was filled to the brim with amazement and my heart was literally bursting with pride as I found myself being guided out by my new brother-in-law, who was having a field day with Faheem at my expense.

”He’s ours now, bru,” Hamzah said with a smile as he slung his hand over my shoulder. I couldnt help but wonder how he was still smiling, despite knowing what would be the result of his own marriage very soon. “We’ll take over from here.”

Faheem grinned back, slapped my back and nodded his head.

”My wife says you’re welcome to him,” he said with a wink, looking at his phone. “No returns or exchanges.”

I knew they were joking but the tightness in my chest was still very evident. What if Jameela regretted this? What if the family realised that letting me into their little unit was the worst mistake of their lives?

The banter continued as we drove the short distance to the farm, me trying to keep my nerves at bay as we entered the farm driveway that had become home to me.

There were a few cars parked in the driveway, but knowing that this was going to be a small, private affair, I didn’t think too much of it. Winning Jameela’s Nani over was going to be a challenge, but I was going to do what it took. I could already see her from where we parked, and I couldn’t help but feel a wave of uncertainty overcome me as my father in law, Hamzah and Muhammad Husayn hopped off the car, and waited for  me to join. I already felt like part of the family and I didn’t deserve it.

I shook my head as I tried to dispel all negative emotions, doing the usual meeting and greeting with a few other family men who had just come in from the mosque.

Guided by Hamzah, I could feel his hand on my back as we waded through the people, making our way to Jameela’s family for a quick greeting, before Mohsina appeared from the passage behind the kitchen. I could barely remember who I saw, because I could think of nothing else besides the woman who I had been waiting for months to be alone with.

I wasn’t the type to get all flustered and tongue-tied. I’d seen way too much in life to let myself be swayed by such elementary thoughts.

After so long, it felt like my resolve was finally going to be diminished, and I was quite sure that once I saw her, all noble intentions of easing her into this new relationship would be dissolved.

Mohsina had already gestured to us to meet them down the passage, and as Hamzah gave me the go-ahead to pass through, it felt as if my legs were transporting me all by themselves. Somehow, being here, closer to Jameela, was giving me a courage I never knew I had. Without even realising how, I found myself in front of a room door, hearing about three female voices behind it, and knowing that I would probably have to wait a few minutes before they were entirely ready.

I knew women and their obsession with everything being perfect. After all, I had Nusaybah as a sister and semi-mother. I smiled as I heard a few hushed words and then a sudden screech, before muffled voices came closer to the door.

They were still dilly-dallying around the entrance of the room, and as I remembered my phone in my pocket, and the call I had made just before I went to the masjid.

The last thing I wanted right now in this moment was to be worrying, but Hamzah had done so much for me, and I couldn’t let him down. I knew that I had to be less selfish. I’d have to speak to him properly, to let him know about the latest developments, but as I slid my phone out of my pocket, all thoughts about Hamzah were already sidelined.

The messages were just a few, and besides Nusaybah’s emotional words that took me a full thirty seconds to scroll through, and a few other uneventful updates from Joe, my eyes immediately fell on the message from the unknown number.

I didn’t even have to slide it open to see it, and I could already feel my heart rate escalating. It was short, but it had the desired effect.

Congratulations son. 

I always hated when my uncle called me son. I wasn’t his son, and I would never be.
He never treated me like one, and this time, I needed to show him that I wasn’t that young boy that he used to lock up and control, to make himself feel strong.

It was at the point of my increasing fury that the door opened, and light immediately streamed into the passage my senses as I glanced up at the two females with Mohsina who were making their way out, stepping back and looking down again so they could pass.

I slid my phone back into my pocket, in anticipation for who I would be seeing next, but my consumed mind was still on the remainder of the unsettling message that I had glimpsed just moments before.

It was evident that it was a threat.

Heard that you are a married man now.
Enjoy it while it lasts.

Sunnah of the month of Rajab 

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

اَللّٰهُمَّ  بَارِكْ لَناَ فِيْ رَجَبٍ وَشَعْبانَ وَبَلّغْنَا رَمَضَانْ

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

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

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

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

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

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
















When Money doesn’t Matter

Bismihi Ta’ala


part 78

Who gets to determine when the old ends and the new begins. It’s not a day on a calendar, not a birthday, not a new year. It’s an event, big or small, something that changes us.

You know how they sometimes say that the whole lead up to the entire event is so much more nerve wrecking and overrated than the actual thing?

Well, let me tell you, when I spoke to Zubair for the first time, it was the complete opposite.

I mean, you would think that after all that obsessing over him from afar and conjuring up what my knight in shining weapons and armour (literally) was really like in person from figments of my imagination, I may have been a teeny bit…. extra.

But even so… all I could say was that the actual meeting with Zubair was something that I really did not expect to be so… ground-breaking. And I mean ground breaking in the sense that my entire world is now spinning on a different axis kind of ground breaking.

You see, an insaan, there’s very little that we do understand. We may think that we are wise and we are smart and that we have knowledge. But the vastness of Allah Ta’ala is something that our minds cannot fathom. We think that we know value and we know wealth, but Allahs wealth is something beyond all comprehension.

The intricacies of every creation, the anatomy of the human body, the unique patterns on every single leaf is a reminder to us that we truly know nothing of Allah and his magnificence. Nothing at all.

But we strive to learn. We go to lengths of constructing space ships, of drilling into the crust of the earth and of breaking all kinds of boundaries just to find out a little more than we already know. But still. Even the Jannati has no inkling if what Allah Ta’ala has prepared for him. Even the Jannati will get far beyond his expectations.

And sometimes on this earth, Allah Ta’ala blesses us with little pieces of Jannah, even if they are only for a short while.

And of course, my heart was only endowed with love because of the actuality of how Allah Ta’ala comes through for us.

It had been one of those exceptionally gorgeous days of the year, where the flowers were popping with colour and the sun was shining brightly. Despite it being January, there was a coolness in the air that brought little comfort. My eyes had been fixated on the roses that were coincidentally the happiest that they’ve ever been, despite being a little overgrown, but in all their colourful glory, they reminded me of happiness and joy and all things that made my heart swoon.

The fact that I knew Zubair tended to and made them even more gorgeous than they were, did something to my insides. A man who appreciated nature for me was already Mr Right.

But today, there was no time or reason for daydreams. Today, I was actually going to be meeting Zubair in the flesh, but of course, the ever present theatrics in our household that never ceased to exist made the day a little more interesting.

“Mohsina!” Nani screeched as my sister crept up behind her, trying to spy silently on what she was doing in the kitchen with about five hundred different utensils out. Nani had spun around, wooden spoon in hand and held her hand to her heart dramatically. “You gave me the frights!”

The Frights? Like, why do people even say that?

Oh my goodness, I was broken. I was holding my tummy and laughing the hardest ever as I watched Nani give Mohsina the mafia look, letting her know that she was not to be trifled with.

If there was anything to kill my nerves, it was Nani and her eccentric dramatics.

“But Nani, you gave us the frights,” Mohsina said, hiding her smile and placing her hands on her hips, while Hamzah grinned behind her. “You said you weren’t going to be here. Did Muneer and Nadeema already make their Nikah? So fast fast, Masha Allah.”

Mos had a sarcastic grin on her face and Nanis gaze faltered. I could see that for once, she was actually stumped.

“Muneer had emergency,” Nani said stiffly, adjusting her dupatta after a few long seconds, and I could tell that she was doubting something as she said it. “They came early also. Poor boy only got to talk five minutes and the message came. So hard he works, Allah, shame. But he is so rich so it’s okay.”

Mhhhmm. Shame, indeeed. She was holding out her free hand dramatically, looking as though her entire world had been shifted with the news. Only Nani will say things like that. Like money is the ultimate saviour and intervention no matter what the problem.

“But Nani,” Mohsina said evenly, raising an eyebrow. “Money doesn’t matter. You think money is going to make him a better person? He could have at least told someone else to take his place at the hospital so you wouldn’t have to rush all over the place.”


I mean, I knew that my cousin wasn’t horrible in looks but she was was no diva I also knew that Muneer was a shallow guy. From the biceps incident, I got the feeling that a little extra cushioning here and there may have been a game-changer.

Mohsina’s eyes bulged slightly before she glanced at me with interest.

If I didn’t try my very hardest and think the best of every situation it would have definitely been an ‘aha’ moment. I didn’t want to believe the possibility that Muneer was that shallow. Surely he had to see beyond the superficial. Right?

”Don’t think I came because I’m happy with you people,” she said grumpily when she saw me. “I only came because I don’t want you to embarrass the family.”

Haai, Nani.

“Wrong granddaughter, Nani,” Mos said with an awkward laugh. “I’m the one who usually embarrasses the family. Not Jamz.”

There was something about the way she said it, that made me feel a pang of torment in my gut. Mos was dealing with so much more than I knew.

I waited for Nani to move away whilst grumbling something incoherent (probably about her useless granddaughters) and then turning into conversation to a sympathetic Hamzah before I went up behind my sister and draped my arms around her from the back. Resting my head on her shoulder, taking in her calming scent of Dove body wash and some designer shampoo, I could feel a slight tremble in her as she breathed in, and I realised that as she busied herself at the kitchen sink, she had been sniffling away.

Ah man. This day was way more emotional than I had bargained for.

”Mos, stop being so hard on yourself,” I said softly, feeling like for the first time in my life, I wanted to protect my sister. She had always been the one to protect me. To take care of me. And I knew that she had Hamzah to look after her for now but she was pushing him away and I didn’t know why she seemed so fragile all of a sudden. I wanted to wrap her up and save her from the world.

“I’m destroying someone’s life,” she said miserably, her voice breaking again. “Breaking so many hearts. I spoke to my in-laws yesterday. Spoilt the entire mood after Saaliha told us about the baby.”

My heart broke for her. She turned around and I looked at her teary face, unable to process what that meant.

“You told them?!” I asked incredulously. “I thought you were going to wait until Hamzah leaves…”

It wasn’t ideal but it made more sense.

“It was all Rabia’s fault, Jamz,” she said, shaking her head. “Honestly, I feel that she’s up to something. She mentioned that she saw Hamzah leaving work early the one day when he was coming to meet the lawyer with me.I think she was going to gym or something. She forced him to speak about it. It seemed so… plotted and vindictive. Like she wants me to fail… and I don’t even know why she hates me so much.”

She sounded miserable. And I’d never seen my sister so concerned about what someone thought about her. I guessed that perhaps because this was really affecting every aspect of her and Hamzah’s life.

I raised my eyebrows, wondering if Hamzah’s sister really was like that. She was probably just adding fuel to the fire because she enjoyed the show that came out of it.

“I can’t help feel like this is not going to end well,” she said softly, an evident panic in her eyes. “Do you know Zubair is putting himself into so much of danger trying to help Hamzah? Hamzah is still being so stubborn about everything, fighting to find a loophole. As for Rabia… she seems so thrilled, and then there’s still the instagram post…”

I wanted to ask what instagram post but it was at that moment that my attention had been diverted due to the doorbell and the swarming of butterflies in my tummy immediately turned to dragons.

”We’ll continue this later,” I said, squeezing her hand before she shook her head and smiled at me, as if she was back to being the unaffected and rigid version of herself that we were all so used to.

Zubair and family had just arrived and without even seeing him, as always, there was a heaviness in the room that made me immediately feel like I could barely breathe.

His presence was stifling.

And of course, even with all those thoughts racing through my mind, it didn’t take long after all the emotional greetings with Nusaybah and her winning Nani over with her beautiful ways before Zubair caught my eye as we walked to the small lounge, and I watched his face break out into a smile.

Honestly, after hating him for a few weeks and wanting to ring his neck, somehow, seeing him smile made me want to ring his neck even more. The way his entire demeanour had changed after Hamzah had somehow changed his mind was completely unexpected. Instead of being aloof and unapproachable, somehow it felt like I knew him so much longer than just a few months.

And there it was again, that feeling that he was not only just watching me, but he knew me without me sharing a thing.

Papa trusted Zubair, for some reason, despite his history  and rocky past.

Papa had stayed in the next room to talk to his brother-in-law, the doctor, while the two of us had made our way to the little sitting area just next to it.

And though I was so used to seeing him, it still didn’t conquer the nerves that were dampening my hands every few seconds. There I was, avoiding eye contact with this roguishly handsome guy, trying to at least pretend like I was used to this. Honestly, I was actually a little afraid of meeting his gaze, because I knew what it would do to me. Turn me to putty. Having spoken very briefly, mostly about Mohsina while Papa and Zubair were at the coffee shop a few days back, I would have thought that this meeting would have been a little less nerve wrecking.

Well, I was completely wrong.

I could feel the perspiration even under my hijab as soon as his gaze landed on me. I felt hot and cold all at the same time. My heart rate had picked up and I already felt like I was close to having some kind of panic attack due to the intensity of him looking like he could see right down to my soul.

My goodness, my heart.

”Hey. Assalamu-Alaykum…”

He looked up, and his tone was casual as he said it, and I almost did a double take when I saw him in the kind of clothes that were something other than his normal work slacks. Perhaps I was just being dramatic.

Zubair wore a blue-grey kurta with no collar, hitched up slightly as he sat down again, with a simple jeans underneath. His hair was brushed back under his topee and I had to focus on looking down so I didn’t start being all forward and staring at this man who was aesthetically quite something that I shouldn’t be looking at.

Sue me if I was attracted to the guy. It had been months of me seeing this dusty and ruffled up guy and I honestly couldn’t believe he cleaned up so well. Call me corny, but his bronzey skin almost looked like it was sparkling.

I almost giggled to myself, wanting to silence my thoughts, and then internally slapped myself instead.

I was so immature. Maybe I was just too used to virtual meetings. The meetings were showing up meant that you didn’t actually have to be present. Social media didn’t help with all of that and being a gen Z had made me socially awkward. Of course. That was it.

A weird feeling in my tummy made me a little giddy. This was so intense.

Meeting the week before had definitely made things less formal. Easier. But the swarm of butterflies were still there, in the pit of my gut. In fact, I think the butterflies were there from the minute he darkened our doorway, and never left.

“Hey,” I said back, looking at the carpet and smiling shyly. “Wa’alaikum salaam.”

I couldn’t look up. I just couldn’t.

I tried not to think of the flowing, pretty aqua dress that Mohsina had bought a few weeks ago and insisted I had to wear so he could actually see a better version of me. I kept my feet planted firmly on the ground, trying hard not to do any knee shaking that may make me seem unstable.

“How was your day?”

It was such an elementary question but the way he said it wasn’t.

”Erm,” I said softly, my lack of vocabulary a little embarrassing. “Alhumdulillah.”

Indeed. Alhumdulillah in every situation. I didn’t want to say much. Whatever the day had brought. However many emotions had been packed into it.

I breathed out while he looked at me briefly, and then placed a pink rose with a beautiful perfume on the table next to us, and my just kind of dissolved to putty. Roses were my absolute weakness and this guy knew just how to play his cards.

He brought an single rose- a colour I hadn’t seen in a long time- and while staring at it wasn’t ideal, I was working on avoiding eye contact as I sat on the couch furtherest from him, feeling all shy and out of my element, adjusting my scarf as I settled into a seat about a meter from him.

”That’s beautiful,” I said, blinking as I picked it up, noticing that he had shaved all the thorns off perfectly.

”Okay, I need to confess.”

It was him again and my heart raced again. A confession kind of scared me.

He had told Papa a lot about his past and though was good to know, I had so many more questions.

“Ive been wanting to ask you that forever,” he said with a shy smile, making me wonder what he was talking about.

I looked up, a little confused, rose in my hand, just a little speechless.

“What?” I breathed out. It smelt divine.

And okay, besides rendering me speechless every time he so much as moved, he had the most amazing teeth.

Like honestly, it was like a Colgate commercial.

”How was your day?” He said again, pearly whites all visible and … dang. “You have no idea … and you haven’t given me enough of an answer now because it looks like there’s so much more on your mind right now…”

The way this guy read me was like a book.

I looked down and I could feel my cheeks flushing a bit with the intensity of his gaze. Like, did the guy have any other way to look at people please? Everything about him was so intense and deep and completely disarming.

It made me realise that although I had been taking in by him and how criminally handsome he was, I had also been majorly attracted to the part of his personality that connected with people and made him so much more human than he realised. Yes, Zubair didn’t have money and rich parents but he was one of those few who had been blessed with integrity and amazing qualities.

From Nusaybah, I knew that he didn’t think much of himself, wanted to be better and felt that he had so much to work on… but to me, his consideration, his humility, him never overstepping the line with me even thought there was plenty of opportunity and always approaching everything with so much of thought and caution was goals.

He respected my father and in turn, he had earned my fathers respect.

”So?” He said expectantly, still giving me a small smile that knocked me for a six.

My mind needed to be sanitised. I was glancing at his mouth way too much.

“It was fine,” I managed to say, quite certain I was making a fool of myself. My hands were trembling and I sat on them to get them to stop. “Eventful. Mos is… emotional. Nani gave us quite the surprise and now you’re here…”

My words were fast and my voice had been a bit shaky but the sentence was coherent and true. It had been pretty eventful. I mean, I barely expected Nani to come.

I wasn’t sure what had happened and who had said what but her being here was something that actually consoled me. Like her presence meant that maybe things weren’t going to be so bad after all.

“I have a question.”

Questions. Right. That’s what we were supposed to be doing. I mean, I already knew so much about  Zubair but I also had questions. Questions about him that no one knew. Questions about his life that made me want to get right down to the bottom of his story. About his father. About why they never reconciled. About what really happened with his uncle and his past life.

But I wanted to believe that we had enough time. I opened my mouth and closed it again, because he was already speaking.

”Im sure you have questions too,” he said, shifting in his seat and looking at me as he did it again. He read my mind. I finally met his gaze as he watched me, feeling completely exposed as his expression turned to one of compassion. “I just needed to check… are you sure about this…?”

I could barely even nod. I wanted to ask him if he was sure about me. After so many months of my silly crushing on him, I couldn’t quite believe that he was actually here. Wanting to marry me. And liking me enough to do it.

Maybe when he knew the real me, things would change.

I looked up and it was the most intense thing, his gaze when it was on me, waiting for my answer to this very important question.

It was the first time I had seen him so up close, and though I did notice his unnatural eyes before, I didn’t quite notice how stunningly haunting they were in the daylight. Two different colours that made him seem like someone supernatural. The right one was a brown with yellow specks and the left one was a green with golden specks.

It was the first time I had ever seen anything like that in my life.

“I wanted to see you and explain this to you in person,” he said softly, not realising that I was staring into his eyes like a kuku case. “You know about my past. I’m far from perfect and I don’t even want to ever bring you into the kind of life that I was in. With a history like mine, I’m sure you realise that I’ve had quite the reputation…”

I didn’t realise that I was staring at a spot on the carpet blankly until he shifted slightly, realising that I was actually being a little weird.


His voice was soft when he said my name. And oh my word, I was a goner.

Get a grip of yourself, Jameela, I chided myself.

Zubair was worried, and it made sense. He didn’t want to drag me into a life where he had earned so many enemies along the way. Coming here to the farm had been his hide out, his safe place and I had to understand that going through with this would also bring its fair share of challenges.

And of course, being who I was, feeling the way I felt right then, and truly feeling that love could conquer everything.

I wanted what I wanted, and that was that. I wanted to truly know Zubair. I wanted to spend more time with him. To be more than just someone who he would pass by and never talk to.

I didn’t think of what could happen after.

”I’m sure,” I said firmly, with not even an ounce of hesitancy in my voice, letting myself meet his alluring gaze once more.

”I’m afraid that you may change your mind if anything has to happen. And it’s not impossible. People can find me. They can threaten me. It’s why I never wanted to marry before, but I realised that at some point I have to also let go of the past.”

”And build a better future,” I said quietly. I almost added ‘with me’ like a creep but luckily my mouth wasn’t my worst enemy that day. Only my stupid brain.

Zubair’s eyebrows were raised quizzically but I could see something in his eyes as he said it.

His words too, were laced with fear. Fear for what, I wasn’t quite sure.

“Are you afraid of something?” I asked, looking up at him now and meeting his gaze. I wished that I didn’t.

I had to look away.

He was silent for a while, before he clasped his hands together.

“I have a weakness, Jameela,” he said, after a few seconds. “Maybe it’s a strength, because it’s for people who I care about. It’s just that in the past, the people I cared about didn’t really care about me. I would do anything to protect them. Even if it goes against my natural disposition. Even if it’s risky. Even if it exposes me. Sometimes I lose myself when those people are threatened. That day in the shop…”

He stopped mid sentence, and I already knew which day he was talking about. In the coffee shop when the horrid customer threw his weight around and made me feel like the scum of the earth.

There was a side of Zubair I had never witnessed or heard my father speak about. An angry, unhinged side that made me wonder who he really was.

But now I knew who he was. I knew that he had been on the wrong path once. I knew that he was fiercely protective. I also knew that although he told my father that things could get dangerous, he would never let anyone hurt me. There was something so right in the way that felt.

“I almost lost control of myself ,” he said in a low tone.

He may have been right. He had been angry. But people aren’t always the greatest, and anger is a normal emotion and natural response.

It’s how we control it that makes the difference, and he did.
I didn’t even think what it meant for me. I didn’t even want to ponder about Zubair actually noticing me at that time, like I actually meant something. He never showed it.

”It wasn’t like you beat the man up or anything,” I said, my voice sounding slightly squeaky as I tried to make light of the situation.

“But I wanted to,” he said seriously, his voice hard and full of dark emotion. “And that’s not what I was taught after I changed my life. That’s not what the Sunnah teaches. I wanted to be better. I wanted to be able to never hurt someone else in my life. I didn’t want to go back to the man who I was. To that cold-blooded monster who didn’t think or feel, and just do what he was being controlled to do. I wanted to change.”

He was so passionate and urgent in what he was saying. A huge knot of tension had formed in my stomach. Did this mean that it scared him to get close to someone? It explained why he was always here… alone, with nowhere that he really went to and no one he met.

“I’ve undergone so much of training,” he said softly. “I’ve been trying to reverse everything that had made me the person I used to be. I wanted to be able to overlook faults. To lower my gaze from people’s wrong. I’m trying to become type of character that can emulate the Sahabah. They had to experience so much for their Jannah, and we get overcome by emotion and give up at the slightest test…”

How he said it reminded me of the beauty of the ways of the Sahabah. I knew that many of them wanted to atone for their deeds by doing something amazing to make up for all the wrong they had done.

“But I’m failing. And it feels like the entire world has fallen into a drunken state and Islam is the only lifeline to sober us up. While everyone else sees blurred coincidences of chaos, we see the signs and we see the beginning of the end of times. I’ve seen so much of rot and ugliness, and it took me so long to change. Sometimes I don’t know if we even know that we have all the answers and solutions right in our midst…”

He placed his hand on his chest and I saw it, in the top pocket of his kurta. His lifeline.

The Qur’ān. It was the only lifeline here. When we hold fast to it, that’s the only time we see light within the darkness.

I widened my eyes as his long fingers grasped the edge of the pages and held them back in place.

“I know that this is a lot to take in but I guess what I’m trying to say is that I know that being who I was may be something that may make you feel uncomfortable. There are parts of it that were horrible. Terrifying. Painful. I don’t ever want you to suffer or start to hate me because of that…”

I shook my head, indicating that I wouldn’t ever do that. He came here to see me but all he was doing was trying to get me to change my mind.

I could feel myself getting angry as he looked down now, almost as if he had defeated himself.

“Are you done?” I asked roughly, feeling irritable that he had done that. Why did he have to be so hard on himself? 
“Do you only have bad things to say about yourself?”

He looked shocked that I said it. I mean, even I was shocked at myself. Shy, dreamy Jameela actually had a mouth that spat out some vicious venom now and then.

And then, as I glared at him, with much resolve I must admit, slowly but surely, an amused smile crept onto his face, almost as if what I had said was the most hilarious thing in the entire conversation.

“No, I’m not done,” he said with a grin, his amazing teeth visible again.

The audacity. I still wanted to ring his neck and the need was more intense with every second his alluring grin widened.

I narrowed my eyes as he continued.

“I actually wanted to also tell you that I know Nani doesn’t like me,” he said, still grinning. I could feel myself flushing at that. How did he know that? 

The walls had ears, for sure.

“And I don’t blame her at all. In fact, I think she’s right.”

”What?!” I scoffed incredulously. No. He wasn’t actually saying all this.

Telling me Nani was right was way below the belt. I mean, on the one hand I had Ken, I mean Muneer, who kept inflating his own ego… and now there was Zubair who kept hating on himself.

I didn’t understand it. What was it with this guy? 

”I think she is right,” he said again, more calmly.

”Why would you say that?” I asked, shaking my head at him.

How on earth could he say that Nani’s outdated thinking could be right?

I was about to tell him so, but he was looking at me now, and his face was suddenly all serious, as if he hadn’t just been all full off nonsense and humour a few seconds ago. His jaw was set firmly and his entire body seemed to suddenly morph into something completely different. Honestly, this guy reminded me of some sort of shape-shifter.

“I know I don’t have much,” he said softly, his voice serious and foreboding. “Nani is right with that. But from what I’ve seen in life, from all the people I’ve met… I’ve learnt that these things, that everyone cares about so much, don’t really matter. I’ve seen men in mansions who are so unhappy that they are wanting to end their lives, and I’ve seen a man in a shack living life as if it’s his kingdom. Money doesn’t matter.”

He was right. It didn’t matter to me and it was obvious that it didn’t matter to him. What I knew was that pure contentment was based not on how much of money we had, but based on the richness of the heart. I’ve always heard that if you can make shukar, you will be like royalty, because everything you have will feel like it’s much more than you deserve.

The thing was, when I looked at Zubair, even in the past, I’ve noticed that whatever situation he was in, he was never wanting for something more. He was happy with his lot and he was grateful even with his little.

“I know it doesn’t,” I said, knowing that what he said was beyond true. “But yet, you still think what Nani says is right?”

Like, was she actually taking Nani’s side here after everything? Did he even know her?

“I think whatever is best for you, Jameela,” he said, sounding tired. He looked away now, and my heart couldn’t help but just sink dreadingly to my toes.

Was he really just switching me off here? Turning me away because he was afraid? Trying to change the way I felt because he really didn’t believe that he was good enough?

“I guess the point here is that I don’t want to be the one to tell you what you should do. I know that I want you to  still have a choice to have a normal life. Consider this your freedom to choose,” he said as he got up to leave. “It’s all up to you, Jameela. I don’t want to drag you into my world but the thought of not seeing you in it…”

He didn’t have to finish the sentence, and why on earth did that warning just make me want it more? It was like something had been flipped on in me. Like some kind of magnetic force was drawing me to this, and nothing could deter me. No wealth, no status no worldly attribute could ever sway my decision.

His humility and his integrity was something that I could match to no one. His character had already drawn me to him from day one.

I knew what I wanted. All this time, even when I was forcing my mind to battle with my heart, I hadn’t stopped wanting it.

Yes, he had told me that I have the freedom to choose, but he had also indicated what he thought would be the best. He had, in many words, said that this wasn’t the best thing for me, but that I still had the freedom to choose…

And now, despite all that, I realised that being free isn’t ruining every good thing in your life because you have to prove you have the choice to do so. Its choosing good things because you can. Because it’s beautiful and it’s Halaal and it can do amazing things for your soul. It’s choosing to be in control of your destiny by being open to possibility.

Choosing to be happy because it makes you happy is the sometimes the only way to be happy….

Even if it was only for a fleeting moment in time…

Dearest readers:  extra long post to make up. My sincerest apologies for the delay. Beginning of the term was exceptionally busy for me. Please keep me in your esteemed Duaas especially this week, as these great days  dawn upon us.

Much love 

A x 

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..💕
















Suspicious Encounters

Bismihi Ta’ala


Part 77

It was the Instagram post that first got me suspicious about Rabia.

And okay. Maybe I had been in a particularly suspicious kind of mood since the entire thing went down, and even the slightest thing made me feel said emotion, but I called it a hunch.

I mean, even Hamzah’s whole open love confession at the minute I was ready to throw in the towel made me a teeny bit out of sorts and thinking that something may be off with his brain alignment.

Like, what on earth was with his whole love declaration that felt like it set my entire heart on fire? I didn’t even understand how someone could even have words like that and not belong in some kind of romcom kind of screenplay that made you weak in the knees.

Hamzah knew that he had to go, if he wanted what was good for him. He had agreed with me that he couldn’t lose his job. But now, emotions were coming into play and he was confused, and that’s all. I just needed to keep steering him that direction. The one that would be best for him.

And then there was going back to work for the meeting with Hammonds, when I glimpsed the new woman who had taken my place as external auditor, and the suspicion started again. The good news was that seeing Faadil made me realise how truly over him I really was.

All I felt when I looked at it, was annoyance. The bad news was that the new girl was skinny and semi-attractive, and what got to me was the way that she looked at me as Faadil walked up to join me in the meeting room that day.

There was an outright scowl in my direction,  she seemed highly invested in him who was seemingly oblivious, and I couldn’t help but be quite certain that she had also fallen under the Faadil spell. My suspicion was kind of confirmed everytime she battered her eyelashes at him, and it kind of made me want to puke.

And all that aside, I couldn’t help the prickly kind of feeling that overcame me as I lay awake in bed two days after I had caved and decided to let Hamzah stay a bit longer in our home and my life, as I scrolled through my instagram feed and snuck disbelieving looks at him. Maybe it was just a hunch.

The star husband was laying next to me, one arm slung over me as he slept as if there was no evil that existed in this world, and on the other side of me was Zaid, arms and legs splayed out in the summers heat, with blankets all kicked off.

I wanted to log this onto my memory, never to be erased, so I could keep coming back and revisiting the moment. I didn’t know how many of these mornings I would have. I didn’t want to think about it.

And as much as I tried to get Hamzah to keep his distance, all it took was his swoon-worthy words and I had already melted like ghee on a thawa, and I wanted to kick myself for it. And yes, we were in Nikah and even though Hamzah had made it clear that even if he did sign, no papers would change that… the fact was that, sooner or later, I knew that Hamzah had to go. If not, it would be scandalous.

There was no way I was going to let him risk everything he had worked so hard for once this case goes to court. Though he promised that he would stand by me with fierce loyalty, our marriage would make him a complete target for every kind of treacherous assumption. A divorce on paper and distance between us would be the only solution. For now, it was the only way.

I sighed as I gently edged away from him, lifting his arm so I could move off the bed. So much for distance. All aspirations were out the window.

And I knew that Instagram was not exactly the wisest thing to be scrolling through mindlessly at 7am but sometimes, my overwhelming nafs got the better off me, especially when it came to escapism. I knew that I should at least put the phone down, engage in some dhikr at least, and my entire day would take a turn because of it.

And I did. I wanted to make it a habit of remembering Allah when I first woke up, and not see someone’s pouty, fake-lashed filtered face instead. I had to try and at least rid myself of the dust that had collected over the past few weeks. I had been so absorbed in the allegations and everything it had brought, even my Hifdh had taken a back seat for a while.

But the amazing thing with Hamzah was that since things had erupted, he was the one who had made sure that the Qur’ān was the one constant, even during the days we were at loggerheads with each other. He kept solemnly to his promise of helping me memorise parts of the Qur’ān. It had been doing its thing… cleaning and polishing my soil from all the dirt that had overcome it. Maybe it was a hope he had that Qur’ān would bring us together, like it had before, and whatever he intended, such was the miracle of Qur’ān… that I could most certainly feel the affect on my heart.

The heart was being polished. The grime was being removed. The dust was definitely being wiped off.

And there was nothing more I needed, because the phone had taken over our lives to such an extent that we slept with it and woke up with it, and before even remembering the purpose of our creation, our limbs would stretch out for the gadget that ruled and ruined lives, without even thinking.

The thing was, I always loved social media. Always have. It was an amazing tool for marketing and networking, but a not so amazing too for making me feel great about myself.

Social media is designed to curate and promote highlights. We post the best snapshots of our days, the best meals we eat, and the best places we visit. When you have a stretch of a tough few days, it can be easy to feel like everyone else has it easy and
Dnly you are dealing with this type of difficulty.
It creates a type of insecurity. A person starts to wonder why they cannot get things together when it appears to be so easy.

Although I knew how horrible it was and that it would only feed my silly insecurities, I still couldn’t seem to wean myself off it or delete it completely. Like a drug, it would draw me back to it, craving just one more hit of juiciness until I felt a little satiated.

In fact, everything I opened the app, Instagram just made me feel crappy.

That morning, after my dhikr counter had reached 500, I squinted my eyes slightly in the darkened room, trying to figure out how Rabias social life had suddenly gotten so … quirky.

There it was. The post that made me suspicious. That would raise all the questions in my mind. A picture of the favourite ice cream place that I had been obsessed with just months ago, and a picture of three cones, two sugar and one normal, in three different flavours, snapped together.

And okay, I knew that it was a very popular place at the sometimes trendy Melrose Arch but the guava and mint flavour ice cream that had been snapped in the picture made my heart kind of contract momentarily.

And I knew that I had no damn right to feel even the slightest bit nostalgic, having this gorgeous and amazing man next to me, and the cutest baby in the world snoring like an adorable little steam engine, but the emotion came without warning.

That was Faadil’s favourite flavour. His favourite flavour, always in a normal wafer cone (never sugared, he just had this weird-so weird- thing from childhood that made him hate sugar cones). A most odd flavour, I always thought one of the least popular, and although I didn’t want to go back to that space mentally, it was the place we frequented at least three times during those few months I was with him.

It was also the place where he always said that it dawned on him that he apparently didn’t want to just be friends.

And I had no idea he allegedly felt that way of course, but it was the day he had lent me the Porsche and before that had treated us all to ice creams, before some of the less demure girls jumped into the car with him.

It had flattered me of course. How much of it was real, I still didn’t know. The tune after was that the reason he had let those girls take a ride in his car was that he was waiting for me to be the one to get in, and when I didn’t, he had to find a way to get my attention somehow.

I never did the throwing myself at guys thing, no matter what car they drove. Personally, I feel the elusive, hard-to-get factor was probably what made the chase more exciting for him.

Whatever it was, for him that’s when everything kind of kicked off in his head, and despite me regretting every bit of it months after, I couldn’t help but feel the rising suspicion as I closed the app.

How could Rabia know who Faadil was? Could the instagram snapshots that incriminated me been her doing?

No ways. She couldn’t have been acquainted with him. How could she know who she is?

I shook my head as I put my phone down, sneaking a guilty look at Hamzah because I was suspecting his sister of such lowly things.

Just glimpsing him momentarily, while he slept so peacefully, made my heart burst with all sorts of overwhelming emotion as I shoved the thought out of my mind.

I shook my head. No.

Maybe I was being a little paranoid.

Just to be sure, I would try and suss her out later when I saw her. Ask her a thing or two about the gram. Or ice cream. After all, guilty people usually act a little nice than they’re supposed to. After the whole fall out with her, I had barely seen her, but with Saaliha around in Joburg for this weekend l, I knew that Rabia was bound to be around when they give everyone their amazing pregnancy news.

I had been so excited for them that I yelped crazily when Hamzah had told me the previous night, especially since I was well aware that Saaliha couldn’t fall pregnant for years. Allah was so merciful. Rabia was definitely bound to be there, even if it was only to suck the joy out of the occasion.

I sighed as I tried to think happy thoughts that morning, and although the morning had started off on a little bit of a questionable note, Hamzah shifting around as he woke up immediately lifted my spirits.

I had made him a special breakfast (well, as special as it gets with me, who allegedly can’t really cook) and I was trying to be as nice as I could be considering the awkward circumstances. We were at this very weird stage in our relationship where we were avoiding each other but trying to spend time together at the same time. Hamzah was doing his best to respect my wishes, but he was still holding onto hope that I would change my mind and I was so close to throwing in the towel on my plans, but I knew, for his own sake that I couldn’t just abort mission.

All I knew was that no matter how hard I had tried to push him away, he always found a way to rebound, and proved himself over and over again.

And since we usually ended up in my parents area on Saturdays because of dropping Zaid with Liyaket’s mother, I knew that there was no better time to pop in at my parents and Jameela, before the big day for her tomorrow. I had been so absorbed in my life, but seeing Hamzah was a bigger gossip than I was, and after Nani’s call the other day, he desperately wanted to find out what was going on from Zubair myself. I knew that my parents were preparing for Jameela but what I didn’t know was the Nani also had her own preparations going on.

And after she had huffed and puffed about it like the big bad wolf, I really didn’t expect her to be there as yet.

And so, if course, you could understand my utmost shock when I glimpsed Nani standing at the counter in all dedication, mixing something vigorously, considering that she had so much to say about the upcoming events, the delicious smell coming from the stove made me completely suspicious.

I mean, what on earth was she up to, when she had clearly said that she was completely against that ‘aloo’ coming to see Jameela. I mean, I couldn’t believe that she was calling him a potato. Her entire reaction was enough for me to understand that there were no samoosas coming from her this time, and my parents weren’t in the least surprised. I was just glad that my parents weren’t adopting the same stance, and were actually giving Jameela scores about actually wanting to meet Zubair.

“Hey Naans,” Hamzah said sweetly, his one-dimpled smile genuine as he saw her. I had to look away when I saw the pure affection in his gaze because knowing that he would become off-limits to me soon made me feel completely out of sorts. “We’ve missed you.”

Nani immediately looked up as she saw him, and her star grandson-in-law planted a kiss on her cheek as she continued with her exaggerated gestures and gorgeous smelling treats. He was so good with swindling her that it made me jealous.

”Mos,” Hamzah said, turning to me and raising his eyebrows, holding a squiggly orange thing in his hand.

I met his eye hesitantly as he watched me. He knew what he was doing. Making this entire thing harder for me was apparently his sole objective.

“How could you not tell me that Nani makes Jalebi? This stuff is a winner.”

I rolled my eyes at him, concealing my true emotions, but I couldn’t help but smile, watching Hamzah devouring the jalebi as if it was the most delectable treat in the world.

His brown eyes twinkled as he munched, and I could see from his face that he wasn’t just throwing Nani up.

“To what do we owe the honour?”

My humoured question lost its effect as soon as Nani heard it.

“Nadeema asked me to make it,” Nani said proudly, as if my dear cousins requests were the only thing in the world that mattered.

Nadeema was still one of Nani’s favourites, despite what she did to me. Of course, I couldn’t expect Nani to understand. In her eyes, I was the married one so I wasn’t worthy of pity, and Nadeema wasn’t… so she deserved sympathy plus a kilo of jalebi for extra effect.

Jameela had entered the kitchen at that point and was standing at the door, waiting to catch my attention, but Nani had already caught it. Now, I needed to know more, and I wouldn’t let this rest.

If Nadeema wanted to Jalebi, why on earth was it here?

”So is this all going to her?” I asked with a raise eyebrow, gesturing to the pile of orangey sweet stuff that was on the counter next to the stove. The thought made me want to smash it all up so Nani could serve her jalebi syrup.

Crushed. Orange. Jalebi. Syrup.

It’s not that I hated Nadeema. It’s just that, after the incident where she literally broke off my proposal, I wasn’t exactly obliged to like her. The thought that Nani would make her stuff in our home, with our cooking oil, made me want to cry. Oil was expensive, okay. And Nadeema was not worth it.

I could see Jameela trying to gesture to me, and whilst Hamzah saw her and tried to signal me too, but I was far too vested in this conversation to pay attention.

Since Nani mentioned Nadeema, all I saw was red.

”Of course no, Mohsina,” Nani said nonchalantly, sounding oh-so-reasonable. “This is extra batter. Nadeema’s jalebi is at her house, ready for the boy who is coming to see her tomorrow.”

It took me a few seconds to process that one. Wait. Jameela’s proposal was also tomorrow. With Zubair. His sister and brother-in-law will also be there. She knew this. She had told me. Did that mean Nani won’t be here for it?

Jameela’s gestures were becoming a little more vigorous, and with it were tiny little hisses that accompanied it, solely intended to draw my attention that was refusing to be diverted from Nani.

And who could blame me?

“She’s also getting a proposal tomorrow?” I asked incredulously.

I mean, what were the odds. I wonder who was the (un)lucky guy.

My poor baby sister was now jumping up and down with pure purpose, but now that I was onto something, I averted my eyes and wouldn’t back down. Jameela knew that I was never the type to turn down a challenge. Nani was about to show her displeasure about the situation by being there for Nadeema, and acting as if Jameela’s proposal wasn’t happening.

What I didn’t know was that she had gone one step further.

“Muneer will see her tomorrow,” Nani said, her face turning slightly so I could see her beam. “After Jameela broke poor boys heart I knew that I had to try and fix it.”

”Wha-“ I was cut off as she turned back to her frying and at the point that the rage in me was threatening to boil over, Hamzah had literally steered  me out of the room, whilst Jameela grabbed my arm to pull me away.

I was so angry, I could not believe it. Nani had completely lost her mind. She was doing the exact same thing to Jameela as happened to me.

“Just leave it,” Jameela warned through gritted teeth.

I didn’t want to. I wanted to scream at Nani for being so superficial, and claw at Nadeema’s face for being such a spoilt brat, but Hamzah had wisely blocked me off so I couldn’t go back to the kitchen. The look in his eyes told me that he knew me way too well, and what I was thinking was a really bad idea.

He had called to Nani that he would be back in fifteen minutes, sending me off with Jameela to safety and was already headed to the door for his ritual smoke break, grinning at us as he grabbed his lighter near the door.

”You didn’t tell her anything?” I hissed to my sister as I was shoved up the stairs.

”I figured that some things are not worth fighting over,” she said with an exaggerated sigh.”If Nani doesn’t want to be here, so be it. She doesn’t invalidate the Nikah and it’s not like I’m being a disrespectful grandchild by marrying someone below her expected income bracket. All that aside, it’s great seeing you and Hamzah together. Do you know how much of Duaa I am making for this to be okay. And it’s so amazing because I can see it being accepted right before me. You guys are so strong.”

If only she knew we were just stringing ourselves and everyone else along. She didn’t know that by us staying together we were risking so much. It had to be temporary.

”We’re trying to be amicable,” I said simply, not wanting to explain the whole arrangement we had. “When the court case goes public he will move out. I offered but Hamzah said he won’t let me leave. So…”

She looked at me suspiciously, and then raised her eyebrows.

”So you’re basically waiting for everything to head south before you kick him out?” She asked incredulously. “Mos, are we even related? How are you this horrible?!”

I frowned at her, wondering since when my sister gave me these intensely judgemental looks that made me feel worse than what’s under her shoe.

”Jams,” I said, trying to justify myself. “He will lose everything he worked so hard for if I don’t. Then, I’ll be really mean.”

Jameela’s eyes flared at me as I said it.

”Yes, yes, you said all that, but do you really think he cares?!” She scoffs as she glares at me.

“He has to care!” I said incredulously. “How can he not? This is his entire life. His degree, career, his repuation… Everything he worked so hard for! And he agreed to go.”

“Haven’t you realised that all that stuff is barely important to him?” She was pointing a finger at me accusingly as she said it.

I sighed. But she doesn’t get it.

“It is important,” I retorted obviously.

“Says who? Has the world taken over your heart Mohsina?” she said quietly. “Is that the only thing thats important right now? Status and position and how much money you’re worth. Because if it has, you have to let the Duniyaa go. You have to claim it back and give your heart to its rightful owner.”

My heart was slowly cracking at its seams anyway. It was a searing pain that penetrated right through because I realised that I was going back to that place that I had been at months ago.

”But how?” I said to her breathlessly. “How do I even get there? I’m so weak and hopeless… and now Hamzah’s going through so much because of me and he has to leave so what hope is there for me?”

I didn’t even know what I was saying anymore. I was just getting so emotional thinking of it all.

Somewhere along the way my bond that I had worked so hard at with Allah Ta’ala had been compromised. Maybe I hadn’t tried hard enough. Maybe I wasn’t sincere enough. Maybe I didn’t make enough istighfaar.

All I knew was that I wanted to make this right again, but I didn’t know how to.

“The only reason he’s going is because you threatening to leave him if he doesn’t go himself,” Jameela said to me resentfully. “He won’t be able to bear you being back to that point where you have to ask anyone for anything. Where you have to rely on someone. Even when you’re putting him through so much of pain, his only concern is for you. He only wants you to be happy, Mos. Even if he has to go and make himself miserable in the process.”

What?” I said, narrowing my eyes at her as she looked back at me, now avoiding eye contact as  if she said something she was never meant to disclose.

“How do you know all that?”

My voice was low and disbelieving. It sounded too close to the truth that I didn’t yet know. All this talk was making me suspicious. But then again, I was being a tad bit too intense on those very emotions that week.

“I don’t,” she said, her gaze immediately faltering and I knew that she was lying.

I narrowed my eyes at her, wondering what she would be hiding.

“Spit it out, Jams!” I barked at her, swallowing back my emotion. I could see her face turning a shade of whatever she turned when she was flustered.

“Okay, fine,” she said softly, still avoiding my stare. “Zubair said so.”

I raised my eyebrows at her. Zubair said so?! Is that all she had? She’s dropped a bomb and then stopped. How on earth could I just leave it at that?

“You spoke to him?” I asked, completely gobsmacked that my usually shy and evasive sister would actually talk to a guy. And not just a guy. The guy. Handsome stranger who she’s been going gaga over for way longer than she cared to admit.

Was she talking to him now? Like talking talking?!

“You and Zubair?”I asked, widening my eyes. “Are you guys….”


“Papa was there,” she explained hastily, her bashfulness very evident. “He wanted to see Papa and Papa thought it would be good if I was there as well. We chatted. A little. We didn’t have long but. I know certain people look down on him because they think that he’s poor but it doesn’t matter to me. Why do people think that wealth makes you someone? Sometimes people get swayed by the charms of the world as if it’s everything that ever mattered and will matter. We think we can find constancy in all these things but what we hold onto is inconstant and perishing. Money and status and everything the world presents is just a mirage….”

“You make it sound so easy Jams,” I said softly, wondering how my sister had become so wise. She was so…. pious.

On the day of Qiyaamah, Allah Ta’ala will apologise to the poor in the same was as a person does to another person in this life, by saying, “I swear by My Honour and Greatness that I did not keep away the worldly wealth from you because you were disgraced in My eyes, I did so for the sake of bestowing on you the great honours of this day; you go and look into the rows of Jahannamis for those who fed you or clothed you for My sake, they are all yours.

When the poor approach such persons they will all be drowned in their own sweat and the poor people will pull them out and lead them to Jannah. (Rodh-ar-Rayahim)

We look at wealth as if it’s the be all and end all of life. As if someone without money is not worth anything. Little do we know that there are people in this world who not a soul knows, but in the heavens, there is not an angel who does not know that blessed slaves name.

”He really likes Hamzah,” she said softly, looking all dreamy-eyed. “Thinks he’s one of the few people he can actually trust. We don’t want to lose him…”

Oh my word, they were a ‘we’ now. What. Wait. Did I miss so much? They discussed Hamzah and I as if we were something that was so important to ‘them’.

I narrowed my eyes and she looked away again and I knew that she was done for.

My word. My little sister hopelessly besotted was doing things to my insides

”I want to know everything,” I pressed, my eyes narrowing even more at her. “About what he said. About what Hamzah told him. And about what on earth you guys were chatting about. Was he pushing for this? Are we having a Nikah at the same time.. just tell me what’s going on?!”

I was completely in shock. While caught up in my own world I had completely sidelined the spicy masala moments that may have been happening at home. I was now an obsessed women, hanging onto every thread of information. And Jameela was looking frightfully suspicious when I mentioned the word Nikah.

My heart felt like it was about to explode with emotion, despite the looming clouds above.

“Relax,” she said steadily, a smile creeping on her face. “Zubair is a good guy and he’s not forcing me into anything. It’s me who wants to do this fast. Like, really fast. Make it halaal. And yes, Papa did agree that we can have the Nikah this week. It’s taken so long to get to this point and we’ve both felt this way for a while so….”

If I knew how to do a double take, I probably would. What?!

They both felt what way for so long?!

Oh my word, I couldn’t breathe.

“Are you sure you know what you are doing?” I breathed, still partly in shock.

Jameela and her bloody romancing. It was just too utopian-like.

She honestly could not wait to get married and I knew it wasn’t about the glitzy parts of the whole event for her. Jameela was too obsessed with Zubair to see beyond that.

She nodded eagerly, and I felt like somehow, this was always supposed to happen. But there was still a niggling feeling of hesitation as she said it, and I knew that there was still early days.

Nani still wasn’t okay with this. Zubair still had an awkwardly unmentionable history. Hamzah and I were still buying time.

All this time, this kind of ending for her was merely an idea but now that things were wrapping up, I couldn’t help but feel that something was completely amiss…

Mission Sunnah Revival

Sunnah of Thinking Good about others  

We’re so quick to assume bad things about people, even when we have no idea what’s the real story. Thinking the best about others is part of the Sunnah of Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) and is a great way to give us a positive outlook and always be good to others.

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

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

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
















FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

When things get a little Intense

Bismihi Ta’ala


Part 75

We’ve all had intense moments. Moments of extreme emotion. Moments that came with so much weakness, human frailty, and pain. Moments that may have become filled with exhilaration and exhaustion, and sometimes, maybe even extreme ecstasy.

Every moment is different. Fleeting. A quiet morning walk after the rain. A heartbreak in the midst of a storm. A damp wind that smells like home. A fleeting burst of emotion.

Even when the odds are against us, when our back is against the wall…

We remind ourselves to hold onto hope. Tawakkul.

This moment will never last. Every moment, will slip away.

And that moment too, had slipped, but my mind was still replaying it, the way I remembered my entire world being rocked with the revelation that Mohsina had broken to me just a day before.

It had taken me a day to finally approach Maahira and ask her all the questions I wanted to. I just couldn’t face Mohsina as yet. I didn’t have the words to say what I really wanted to.

Not until I knew exactly how I was going to help her.
How I could or what I would do… I had no idea. I just knew that I had to do something.

“I can’t believe that she was going to marry him.”

It was the first thing that I had said to Maahira when she picked up the call.

I was sitting cross-legged on my bed, overlooking the endless view of the farm greenery, taking a little comfort in the beauty of the horizon on that clear summers day, still feeling the same way I had felt the day before- like I had lost a limb.

The background noise faded as I imagined her walking away from the area where she was.

It was after five in London but I knew better than to assume that Maahira worked a nine to five. She hadn’t gotten where she was because she pulled the basics. Both Mos and Maahi had pushed and stretched themselves so thin that I sometimes wondered how they even had energy for their demanding social lives.

“How did you find out?”

Her tone was flat. Tired and weary.

”She did,” I said simply, not even bothered to sound apologetic about getting straight into the ugly business. “Yesterday when she told me everything else. About the fraud case. And about her plan to off her marriage, which is why I’m calling you. First, tell me: Did she really know that he was involved in fraud?”

It had been on my mind the entire night. I couldn’t stop thinking about everything Mohsina had told me. The divorce. Faadil. About how she knew he was up to something.

About how this would ruin her and kick up old dust. It looked like it already did.

“She just thought that he was cheating,” Maahira said softly, and I heard her exhausted sigh after. “I told her that she needed to keep an eye on him. She insisted it was business, and they had an ‘arrangement’. She didn’t seem to believe it when she’d heard the rumours that he was up to something else too. He’d done a lot for her. Supported her emotionally too. She had been desperate for cash at the time and had a lot on her mind, other than his womanising tricks.”

I raised my eyebrows, looking at myself in the dresser mirror, as I backed up against my wooden headboard. I had pulled my hair up into a bun but a few stray strands blew around as the breeze sashayed in through the hallway window. I couldn’t help but flinch at Maahira’s words.

He had been there for her when none of us were in the picture. We had bailed on her, and Mohsina felt alone.

It wasn’t our fault, I reminded myself. She had pushed us away.

“And she didn’t care?” I pressed, my eyes narrowing at myself as I leaned back. ”Like… cheating was okay for her?”

Cheating. Faadil was cheating on her and she didn’t even bat an eyelid.

I closed my eyes and shook my head, shocked at what Maahira had just revealed. What kind of sick relationship was she even setting herself up for?

And all for money. For the promise of a good life.

It comes in the Hadith that this world would dupe us so much that we would do anything for it. We would become fools, reduced to something so low, in its pursuit.

It fools us into believing that if we barter everything for this Duniyaa, we will get contentment. The truth is that only Allah… only the knowledge of Deen and the actions that bring us closer to Allah can bring that.

One of the most beautiful traditions of the Prophet (Sallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) captures this concept perfectly. He said: “Whoever makes the Hereafter his preoccupation, then Allah places freedom from want in his heart, gathers his affairs, and Dunya (worldly life) comes to him despite being reluctant to do so. And whoever makes Dunya his preoccupation, then Allah places his poverty in front of his eyes, make his affairs scattered, and nothing of the Dunya comes to him except that which has been decreed for him.” [At- Tirmidhi]

As expected, Maahira already had answers for me.

“Jamz,” she said seriously. “The corporate world is a brutal chase for pomp and pleasure, filled with trails of deceit and manipulation. The big guys do what they want, without consequence. They do what they need to just to get to the top. This is a classic case of the big guy using the little guy.. well, girl in this case. He had wealth and status, and he promised her the same. That’s all that mattered to her.”

”That’s disgusting,” I said, feeling hot with anger and annoyance.

How could she? How could she do that to herself? She betrayed us. She betrayed herself. How could she lower herself to that kind of level… just for money? Money.

”Don’t judge her,” Maahira said, and I could hear her shifting her approach, like she wanted to prove a point to me.

”How can I not judge her?” I scoffed, shaking my head again. “Would you do that, Maahi? Would you?!”

She laughed, but it was a humourless one.

I couldn’t help but feel like I was so naive. Maybe there was way more out there about the world that I had to learn about.

“You don’t want to know that answer.”

I breathed in and glanced at my bookshelf, itching for a distraction.

The rapid beating in my chest increased significantly. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know. It sounded like Maahira had a story to tell and the silence already spoke volumes.

“I was so caught up, that no one could have saved me,” she said, her voice dropping even lower. “It was a pure miracle that Allah Ta’ala put guidance into my heart before I did one of the worst things anyone could do. Before I broke up someone’s marriage, and compromised my own respect.”

”Alhumdulillah,” I replied softly, remembering the fall out that Mos and Maahi had a few months back. It was coming back to me now.

How she had suddenly changed her life had made me realise that whilst Mos had been plunged headfirst into a situation, Maahira had really done an amazing job slowly morphing into someone who I looked at with something close to admiration. Even her social media vibe had changed, where she stopped taking selfies and flashy posts and now documented interesting places, food and goods she loved in London.

I sighed. It was all I could manage before she spoke again.

“There comes a time when you realise that everyone will leave you,” she continued. “And when everyone leaves you, and you’re all alone… it’s only Allah that can come through for you. I had to see the light before I was destroyed by the darkness.”

On point. She was so right. Sometimes we forget that Allah can forgive all our sins, even when we’re not willing to forgive  others. Sometimes we forget how merciful Allah is, when we refuse to show mercy to others.

I understood but I still couldn’t say anything.

”Tell me what you thinking. Tell me you’re not thinking the worst,” she said, and I could hear the concern in her voice now.

I sighed. Again.

“I’m thinking that I can’t believe that she was prepared to accept anything just for that idiot. Who knows what else went on.”

“Jameela, listen,” she said quietly. “That’s life. We get involved with bad people. We make the wrong choices. We cherish someone who turned their back on us. Who hurt us. Who broke us. That’s life. It happens. We move past it, we make Tawbah and we get up again.”

“But Hamzah doesn’t deserve all this,” I argued, the anger igniting once again as I thought of all the opportunities she had to come clean. “I also think my parents should know what she’s planning to do and why.”

“You cant be making these decisions for her,” Maahira said firmly. “It’s her past and you cant tell anyone about this. They may know some stuff but not all of it. This is stepping directly into a problem you have nothing to do with.”

Maahira’s voice was serious, and tears burning the back of my eyes as she said it. It was a warning and I wasn’t sure why but I was so upset.

Sometimes we’re so quick to put our hurt and feelings above everyone else’s. Sometimes all logic flies out the window when emotions get involved.

Sometimes we forget the simple rule of leaving alone that which does not concern us. Maybe this was something that I had to just let her get though on her own.

”But why?” I said as I regained my composure. I couldn’t understand why I should.

I didn’t want to listen. I was angry with her. My sense was clouded. I was angry that she had been with Faadil. Angry that she had let this happen. Angry that she had abandoned us as her family for that period of her life, without even giving us a heads up. Angry that everything was coming back to break everything else apart.

“Mos was doing what was best for the family,” she said softly in a pleading voice. “She wanted to help your father and keep you guys out of the mess. She felt… responsible. You know your sister. She thinks that it’s her job to take care of everyone. Except herself.”

I breathed in and sat down, closing my eyes momentarily, a little overwhelmed by what Maahi had just told me. Once again.

Here i was thinking it was Mohsina that was bad, but in fact, I too was so messed up.

I breathed in, feeling the anger dissipating.

She wasn’t the bad person here. Yes, she had sinned but she had tried to fix it.

She did it all for my father. I mean, it wasn’t like I didn’t know but I didn’t think that she would want to marry someone to secure my fathers safety. I didn’t know that everything that happened was because of him.

“I just don’t like how this is all turning out,” I said, pulling at the hem on my top. “Im angry in some ways but I still wish that I could just help her somehow. Maahira, they can’t get divorced. It’s ridiculous and so horrible.”

”I know,” she said softly, sounding hopeless. “Those two have been through the worst and they’re so good together. They can’t just… die…”

I nodded.

“What can we do?”

There was silence for a bit before she spoke again.

”I think we just have to support them,” she said softly. “In what they choose, together. Apparently he’s got contacts who can work on this. I’m hoping that this will prevent them from… you know. She mentioned that there’s a Zubair guy that he’s been friendly with and who can help… you know him, right?”

My heart did a little leap as she said his name. It wasn’t a question.

Of course I knew. And I know that she knew too. Mohsina had probably told her that she didn’t want me involved with him.

She had gotten her wish. There was no way that Zubair would ever look at me again. And no way I would look at him.

Ever. Again.

“I know.”

Of course he had contacts.

I knew that him and Hamzah spoke. So did he and my brother, and the stories that M Husayn had first told me were quite something. At first I had thought that it was all fantastic, until I found the weapon stash.

My brother was fascinated by his past, but with everything we knew now, it kind of confirmed that Zubair was, in fact, some kind of  undercover mafia member in the past.

And as much as I tried to off my feelings for him, I still couldn’t imagine him being that kind of violent person. He kept the weapons because it all belonged to him, but the operative part was that it was his past and no one could find out about it.

That’s said, at least we didn’t have to worry about him murdering us in our sleep.

”I know it’s a lot to digest,” Maahi said, her voice kind now, as I heard some noises in the background. She sounded like she was back in the office now. “I know you’re worried about Mos, but I truly believe that her and Hamzah have the real thing. He’s going to make it work, whatever it takes. If anyone can get through to her, he can. Just make Du’aa, Jamz. Truly, you don’t know what it can change.”

My resolve was already strengthened because I knew that she was right.

They did have the real thing. And above everyone here, she did value him.

Through it all, I found myself wishing that Layyanah was around. She would know just the right words to say. The right kind of comfort to give.

What do you do in situations where there seems to be no way out… where every path looks the same? What do you do when it feels like you’re in a never ending maze that has no end?

My heart felt like it sunk to the ground, and while Maahi ended the call, I couldn’t help but still feel a little overwhelmed.

Seemed like Hamzah and Mohsina only had one hope, and wasn’t it just so ironic that it came down to Zubair? The whole thing was just so bizarre…

And despite my newly implemented disinterested stance, I knew that Zubair had been a little scarce and the low down that Maahi had given me explained why I hadn’t seen him around recently. It was weird that he was actually involved with helping my sister, and yet he was so averse to me.

I had been tracking him solely for the motive of avoidance. And of course, that would mean that he had probably consulted Papa about it too, and yet my father had barely mentioned it.

It wasn’t that I minded. It was just that I was hoping it would help Mohsina and set everything right again. I wished that it was all that easy. I wished that it could go away.

And with that hope, I found some peace. It wasn’t that I didn’t ask. I couldn’t not ask. I was worried and stressed and I really needed to know what was going on, but the dread of knowing the final verdict here was killing me.

It helped that the coffee shop had been a little busier and getting everything sorted out with Ma in the kitchen that week was keeping me busier than usual.

I tried to shove Zubair’s whereabouts and Mohsina’s problems out of my head for periods of time until the evenings came and it overwhelmed me all over again.

My parents were as unaware as ever. I mean, they knew that something was going on, and Mohsina had a ‘situation’, but they barely knew what drastic measures she was going to take.

She had sworn me to secrecy until she met with the lawyers and all I could do in the meantime was make a fervent Du’aa that everything was going to work out for her. It’s and that her marriage would be saved through it all.

My heart had taken enough of an emotional rollercoaster, and making sure the coast was clear on Friday as I stacked new boxes for take aways and filled up on coffee cups as my father cashed up, I couldn’t help but feel an emptiness that lurked within me. It felt like I was waiting for something to go off, or some kind of bomb to explode.

I wasn’t the paranoid type, but I still wasn’t sure which would happen first.

”I know it’s much less than it’s worth, but how’s about a coin for your thoughts?”

My father was smiling at me as he watched me, a wad of cash in one hand and a coin in his other. He had probably been watching me for quite a while, and I had barely even noticed.

I grinned back.

”It’s supposed to be a penny, Papa,” I said, winking at him.

He smiled and tossed me the coin.

The last time we had spoken properly was after I came back from London.

We had agreed that everything happens for a reason and Allah Ta’ala most definitely has a plan that is better. We had agreed that we wouldn’t bring the subject up again and that Zubair’s times and tasks would be allocated differently so I wouldn’t have to see him much.

I knew that Papa blamed himself, but I really didn’t. I just believed that this was the way it should be.

“Im just thinking of Mos, Pops,” I said with a small smile, letting him know that my thoughts were not on Zubair like he thought. “I miss her.”

There was a flash of a frown before he smiled, and for a minute, I thought Papa actually knew more than he was supposed to.

I loved my father. A lot. I was always the one to seek comfort in him, and turn to him if I was ever in a fix. He had been my support and my comfort, and I knew at any given time, he would come through for me.

But for Mohsina, I understood that it wasn’t ever like that. Papa and her had a different kind of bond. Mohsina relied on no one and confided in no one. They would have conversations, sure, but I knew that the forever fiercely independent Mohsina barely bore her heart to anyone.

To think that Papa knew something would be ludicrous. Right?

“You should talk to her,” he said again, a certain concern in his voice as he said it. “Does she know about, erm, the thing…”

My father cleared his throat and my cheeks reddened just at the way he raised his eyebrows and nudged his head toward the door.

This was so awkward. Having the conversation about a boy I had lost my sense over with your father was way more embarrassing than I thought. I wanted my money back.

“She knows,” I said, trying to hide my embarrassment. Never mind we’ve been skirting around it awkwardly too.

“And errr,” my father continued, digging in the back of the till and pulling out more money, probably concentrating on avoiding eye contact. “After, erm… You been okay?”

Oh my word, this was so mortifying. Also, the way Zubair had become ‘erm’ was quite original too.

“I’m fine,” I said, clearing my throat too and checking on the serviettes.

This conversation was becoming a little too intense for my liking, but the truth was, I was fine. I wasn’t as heartbroken as I had been… nor was I feeling as bulldozed as I had been a week ago.

Things might still be a little uncertain but I knew that all the duaa I had been making would come through for us. The Duaa of Musaa (AS) was definitely the reason why my faith had been unwavering. The reason why my heartbreak no longer felt so raw. Even if it wasn’t exactly looking up yet, I knew that soon there would be a little light.

“As long as you’re okay,” Papa said quietly. “Can’t upset the coffee cart again and change all of that.”

I frowned, a little perplexed by his words. I got his message, despite him stopping the apple for coffee. Clever trick.

But still.

My father was quite confusing. He had such a roundabout way of saying things, and at times it felt awkward to even ask him what he was talking about.

Now was precisely one of those times.

“I was talking to him, erm, last night,” he said hastily. “He came back quite late. With Hamzah.”

It didn’t take a brainiac by now to figure out who ‘erm’ was. And I had to pretend to be at least a little shocked that he was with Hamzah.

“Ah, I see,” I said, raising my eyebrows slightly. Papa’s brow was still furrowed as he turned to me.

“I wasn’t going to tell you,” he said, looking as guilty as the lion that ate the mouse. “He said he’s just helping with Mohsina’s case.”

It was no sweat. I wasn’t affected. Despite the racing heart, it’s as all cool.

I nodded meekly.

My father knew that Hammonds had kicked up old dirt. He knew about the money Mohsina had borrowed too. What my father didn’t know was the extent of Mohsina’s involvement with the main perpetrator.

Perpetrator. It felt good calling that good-for-nothing that.

”I’m glad he can help,” I said, trying my best to talk without emotion.

Never mind the turbulence brewing within.

”There’s one more thing he asked,” Papa said, now looking at me, as if trying to read me. “And I think Hamzah has something to do with it.”

”What’s that?” I asked, now slightly confused.

I mean, I knew that Hamzah and Zubair spoke before this too. I had seen them a conversing a few times outside, while Hamzah went out for a cigarette.

What I didn’t know was that while my sisters marriage was on the brink of collapse, my own marriage would be so tactfully arranged.

It was one of those intensely unexpected moments that would bring so much more than any of us expected. Maybe it was me. Maybe it was too surreal. Maybe I just felt everything so intensely.

I didn’t know that it may just be the solution to everything.

Well; almost everything.

“He changed his mind,” Papa said, almost as if he was holding his breath, waiting for the final verdict here. “Of course I will have to ask your mother, but I thought I’d let you know first. See if you okay with it after, you know, erm….”

Yes, I knew ‘erm’. And I was still highly embarrassed but now I was also almost holding my own breath, while I waited for Papa to finish this moment that was bringing on the most intense kind of anxiety.

And as expected, he didn’t fail to deliver.

“He asked if you would be okay with meeting him.”

Dearest Readers 

I’m so sorry for the delays. Been a busy holiday, but still trying to keep posts going. Please keep this weak author in your Duaas. As the new year comes upon us, let us spend the night in abundant istighfaar and Duaa. 
Though most of the work is on break, keep in mind that we are Muslim first.

Remember, keep safe, and keep it Halaal peeps. Peace y’all. Till next year.


Much Love, A x 

Mission Sunnah Revival

Sunnah of Thinking Good about others  

We’re so quick to assume bad things about people, even when we have no idea what’s the real story. Thinking the best about others is part of the Sunnah of Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi wa Sallam) and is a great way to give us a positive outlook and always be good to others.

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

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

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
















FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah


Secret Weapons

Bismihi Ta’ala


Part 65

”How’s my baby doing?” Imraan whispered in my ear as he snuck up behind me, hands lightly resting on my tummy and I could already hear the excitement in his voice as he spoke.

It hadn’t changed. From the moment I told him, it hadn’t changed. He was still obsessed with the baby in my tummy and fixated on every little detail, even if there really wasn’t much to say.

Symptoms were minimal. Even morning sickness wasn’t that bad. I could still eat breakfast without puking at least, and that was a bit different from the pregnancy with Uthman.

Actually, way different. I even felt different this time around, and I knew that it could also be because I was that much older too. A whole 8 years does a lot to your body.

My body felt so very different to what I had felt when I was younger.

”Have you told your sisters yet?”

I knew why he was asking and I tut-tutted as I shook my head at him, giving him a warning in just a glance.

He was itching to tell his sister and I could see that the restraint of keeping the secret was killing him. Imraan never was one to keep things to himself. He was more the type to open his mouth when it was least appropriate and I just hoped that he could hold himself back for a week or two more, so I felt safer in the knowledge that the first trimester would be fully over.

“I’ll tell them in two weeks when I meet them at Fareeha’s,” I said conclusively, turning around and meeting his gaze. “It will just be a better time. I don’t want to let them know too early, and it will just make my mother way too excited…”

While my mother would be over the moon, Mehnaaz was always on her own buzz. She was very busy with her new admin job at the local pharmacy. It was probably my fault too that I saw her when I saw her and that wasn’t very often.

As for Fareeha, she had already invited me for her official very fancy ‘housewarming’ lunch that she was having. I wasn’t sure how Maulana Aadil felt about that but I did know that he pretty much let her do whatever she wanted to (hence the second wife planning that seemed to be on pause for now).

Even though… The thing was… I was extremely elated that she had been too preoccupied to think of it.

Come to think if it… After coming from Hajj she had been so busy with moving house and seeing to her kids that I barely even heard from her. And I completely understood her silence because after having them with me for over a week, I knew for sure that they were all consuming.

She was also very busy with her preparations because she was inviting our entire family, plus my cousins that I hadn’t seen in years, and I was actually quite looking forward to it.

During the past few years I had purposely stayed away from family gatherings because the questions from family members would always derail my emotions. People weren’t always sensitive. The questions about when the next baby was coming, and whether I felt motherhood was too hard, so I didn’t have a second one, always caught me off-guard. Maybe I was too sensitive. But it just made me feel inadequate.

Also, the fact that my cousin Shazia was a fertility specialist that every family member always referred me to made me feel insanely uncomfortable. I knew that she meant well too but I just didn’t have it in me to ask her for any advice.

Although I bore no grudges against her or Bilal, the situation was just strange for me. Now that I was expecting again, my mind was so much more at ease to see them and talk normally.

”Has it started moving?” Imraan asked, and I could hear the humour in his voice as he watched my tummy, almost as if he was as expecting it to start twitching under his watch.

He was being way too ambitious and he knew it.

”Imraan,” I whispered back. I didn’t even know why I was whispering. I just didn’t want anyone to know yet, “It’s too early. Can you let it grow a little at least?”

He grinned and stepped back as a sound behind us alerted us that we weren’t alone, and I sprang backward.

Euwww,” Rabia squealed as she walked into the kitchen, her face flushed from her run and all scrunched up as if she had been eating something sour. “Can you guys stop?! Just. Euww.”

Imraan grinned and brushing my cheek lightly with his lips as he turned to face her.

“Assalamualaikum to you too Rabia,” he said cheerfully, not bothered in the slightest. “Did you have a good run?”

I shook my head as Imraan turned to her, getting on with my task and careful not to create any suspicion as I watched Rabia climb up onto the stool.
She was dressed in a sports tracksuit with a cap and running takkies. I noticed her face looking flawlessly made up, and I just knew that I was probably going to see a full documentary of her morning run later on that day on social media.

If wasn’t that I judged Rabia for her constant need to capture and document everything. It was just that when I watched her, I couldn’t help but think that it was such a waste of time.

“It was way better than being in here and seeing such immoral scenes,” she crowed with a disgusted face. “Luckily, I’m going back today. So glad that I’ll have Zaid back in my arms by tonight, all gurgling and cooing. I’m sure he’s missed me just as much as I missed him.”

She sighed and smiled dreamily as she pulled out a bowl from the cupboard, turning her back to us both for a moment.

“Wait,” Imraan said as I silently cut a slice of farmstyle bread loaf, looking confused. “How will you go back? Aren’t you only supposed to be going next week?”

Rabia’s smile was disconcerting.

”Dear brother,” she said sarcastically, pouring her muesli into the bowl, and settling into a stool. “Haven’t you spoken to Hamzah? He’s on his way here. I’ve been messaging them every day since the weekend.”

Oh shame. My poor brother-in-law.

”I don’t know where’s my phone,” Imraan said, rubbing his temples and immediately looking stressed as he went to retrieve it from the lounge.

Rabia was sitting with her phone in her hand and scrolling through what I assumed was TikTok while she ate her muesli with yoghurt.

I watched her with curiosity, wondering what had inspired her sudden change in diet. Rabia was never really overweight, but she had suddenly become very healthy recently.
Even though she was only here for the week, she had filled the fridge up with a host of vegetables and protein drinks and stuff that I wasn’t even sure she as actually going to eat.

The thing was, I knew that it was all Instagram-inspired. We are social animals that are wired to mimic and emulate others. The social-contagion effect has been used to shape society for hundreds of years, from fashion trends to smoking cigarettes.

And when I looked at Rabia posing and lapping up all the attention she was probably getting for her early-morning selfie, I couldn’t help but feel a surge of despair as I watched her.

It was so sad… The need to look good and feel good was a trendy thing and although I got it, I didn’t understand why everything had to be done to meet the standards of people who mean nothing to you… and when I thought about it, what it really was, was more and more attachment to superficiality and worldly ambitions. If only we truly understood how insignificant this world was. How little it is, and how big the rest of creation is compared to everything we attest to.

Jābir (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) passed through the market with people around him. He came across a dead goat with its ears cut off.

He held it by (the remaining part of) one ear and said: “Who of you would like to have this for one dirham?” They said: “We do not like to have it for anything whatsoever. What shall we do with it?” Then he said: “Would you like to have it anyway?” They said: “By Allah, had it been alive, it would be of little value because of its cut ears. How could it be worth anything when it is dead?

Thereupon he said: “This world is more contemptible in the sight of Allah Ta’ala and of far less value than this dead kid to his master. If the world was equal in vale to a gnats wing in the estimation of Allah Ta’ala, He would not give a non-believer draught of water out of it’s resources.”

SubhaanAllah. It was certainly a wake up call.

“So Mohsina’s starting her cheesecake making again,” Rabia piped up, cutting through my thoughts and putting a spoon of muesli into her mouth, still looking at her phone with interest. “Two months of marriage and she’s already changing her profession. Doesn’t she know that she shouldn’t make all her plans revolve around a man?”

I had seen an advert that Mohsina had put up and I was already volunteering to do some baking orders if she had any queries from my side of the world. It was such an exciting concept and I could see that Mohsina had a real passion for it. I was also absolutely in love with her stuff. As for Rabia…

Well, I couldn’t say the same.

”Rabia,” I sighed, feeling a twinge of sadness for her. “You know your brother isn’t like that…”

She raised her eyebrows and placed her phone down as she met my eye. I could see Imraan pacing around our the patio on his phone, looking quite serious about something as he spoke.

”Hamzah?” She said with a tilt of her head and a condescending smirk. “Sawls, do you live under a rock?! Do you know how many girlfriends he’s had… if you could even call them that. He went through them so fast that there were more like just flashes of whatever he got out of them.”

I cringed as she said it, not liking how she was painting her brother.

Yes, my brother-in-law did have a bit of a rough patch and he wasn’t a saint but it didn’t mean she had to be bitter about it.

“But he changed,” I said pointedly.

He did. I know he did.

”Hah,” she scoffed, looking amused as she scooped out more  yoghurt into the bowl. “How do you know that for sure? Can a man really change? I thought they could but I don’t know anymore. Everyone says he’s in love but what is love anyway, but just another emotion?”

I sighed, knowing that she was talking from experience and I really didn’t want to argue with her.

”Anyway, it doesn’t matter… Whatever Mostly Mos finds out, it’s far worse what she’s done so there’s no way she can ever make it an issue.”

Rabia’s words rolled off her tongue so easily as she looked back at her phone, that the sheer indifference of her statement immediately made something in my chest catch.

Wait, what? It scared me, the way she said these things.

Now, I wasnt exactly clued up on how Rabia’s mind worked but I did know that she never just made statements like that with no basis.

”What?” I said, a prickly feeling at the back of the neck.

When were we talking about anyone finding anything out. That was barely even the topic. Bringing up the past and what happened… well, it was all completely missing the point.

I looked at her, hoping she was just being cynical and careless in here statements.

”Just saying,” she said flippantly, as if she don’t just make a ground-breaking statement.

“You know what I think?” I said, knowing that I wouldn’t get an answer from her and thinking of a way to remedy her thoughts as I frowned at her.

It takes skill to weave your words in a way that hit right where you needed them to. It wasn’t an easy task to do, especially with Rabia, who seldom listened to anyone but herself. I didn’t exactly have the skill that some people had of tricking people to think that my ideas were their own, but I knew that I had to try at least.

“What?” she said, glancing at her as she licked her spoon and placed it back in the bowl.

“I think love does exist,” I said simply, pulling a chair to sit opposite her, hoping to grab her full attention.

I didn’t want to forget her earlier statement. It was dangerously taunting.

“But there’s something else that’s more important,” I said, hoping it would make her see the bigger picture here.

After all, there was always a bigger picture.

“What’s that?” she asked, cocking her head to the side.

Taqwa,” I said simply, shrugging my shoulders. “The truth is… there will always be temptation… there will always be something that seems better or greener… but Taqwa is the only thing that stops you from doing something that will ruin you.”

I was hoping that it would stop her from opening her mouth and blabbering about everything and anything she heard. Taqwa was the only thing that pulls your dignity through at the end of the day. When you remember that Allah is always watching you, and that nothing is worth the pain sin will bring, you will automatically reroute.

“What if you’re already ruined?” she said with an evil smirk, as if nothing mattered to her anymore, but the pain in her eyes was evident.

“No one is beyond repair,” I said firmly, holding her gaze for a minute before she looked away. “Everyone is just chasing a feeling after all. But I think it helps to remember that whatever you’re chasing… it can never more beautiful than Allah… and whatever sin you want to do can never be worth risking your relationship with Allah… so you just have to keep asking yourself… is it worth risking everything just for a few moments of pleasure?”

She looked at me again as I said the last part, almost as if what I said to her was some kind of epiphany.

The thing is, Shaytaan will try anything and everything to avert us from the right track. After all, that is his sole promise… and what he vowed to do. Taqwa was the only weapon that can assist. When you are conscious of Allah and  you aim to please Him, then He will protect you even from that.

“Find me a man with Taqwa and I’ll marry him today,” she said, a smirk on her face and not missing a beat.

“But then, you have to be a woman of Taqwa,” Imraan’s voice said, before I could even respond as he came in, and I glanced up at him as Rabia narrowed her eyes.

Uh-oh. I wasn’t sure if that was the best thing to say to his sister. Especially right then.

“What are you trying to say?” she asked as her expression darkened.

“Nothing,” Imraan said, his tone light but the frown on his forehead giving away something about his state of mind.

Shooh. That was a close one.

Something was worrying him, and I was sure that it had to do with the phonecall he had receieved.

“It better be nothing!” Rabia scoffed as she pushed her chair back, huffing away as she grabbed her phone and left the room, obviously far from impressed with her brothers words.

I could tell she was annoyed and Imraan sometimes lacked a filter.

Also, he didn’t quite care about her tantrums. I was just glad he didn’t pursue the conversation else I know that there would have been problems.

I turned to look at my husband, but he barely even noticed Rabia leaving, and neither did he feel it was an issue. He was absorbed in his phone and as he typed, I could tell that he was consumed by whatever was at hand.

Perhaps the fact that Hamzah was coming today, when it was supposed to be a working day, was a teeny problem…

“Is Hamzah really on his way?” I asked, as Imraan looked up at me and then realised Rabia was gone.

His eyes met mine worriedly as he sat down. He sighed and rubbed his forehead, looking troubled.

“He’s coming here to try and settle a custody agreement,” he said simply, but I could hear the worry in his voice. “Hashim is meeting us and they want me to mediate. It’s a complicated matter. Hashim is a client. Hamzah is my brother. It’s going to be a tough one to keep peace. Obviously Hamzah comes first, he’s my brother after all… but Hashim trusts me and he’s not the easiest guy to deal with either…”

He looked so troubled that I couldn’t help but go forward and squeeze his hand, hoping that it would ease his mind.

“Just do the right thing,” I said softly, hoping that it would settle his mind. “Mohsina will come with?”

Imraan looked at me, and shook his head.

“He’s coming alone,” he said quietly, almost as if it was self-explanatory, and I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of discomfort about that. The thought was already sinking in before I realised what it meant.

Mohsina still had no idea.

”You mean he didn’t tell her,” I said angrily as I looked at him, shaking my head disappointedly.

Imraan was still sitting there, and I could see that was the last of his concerns.

“Imraan, you need to talk to him,” I pressed, not liking that they both had secrets they kept from each other. “Tell him that he needs to speak to her. How does he explain what’s going on?”

“I can’t get involved in their marriage,” he said simply. “Hamzah needs to make that decision and speak to her. Their secrets have nothing to do with me.”

I looked at him with narrowed eyes, not liking the way that he said. As if he knew more than he was letting on. As if Mohsina also kept secrets from Hamzah and Imraan knew it.

I knew that the brothers spoke often every day, and I had no doubt that Hamzah probably confided in Imraan about his marriage too.

And of course I was curious. But I didn’t want to pry. It was just that spouses were supposed to share each other, and protect each other. They were meant to be a covering for each other, like is mentioned in the Qur’ān.

There was nothing more complicated than keeping secrets when there were lives and people at stake. Those very secrets can turn out to be the most dangerous of weapons.

I sighed as he got up again, knowing that even if I had to tell him anything further, it probably wouldn’t make a difference anyway.

And I know I shouldn’t interfere. After all, it wasn’t my business. It wasn’t my child. But the love that I felt in my heart for the little guy was so intense, that I couldn’t bear the thought of Hamzah having to fight this battle about him alone. With Mohsina by his side, wouldn’t he be stronger? Wouldn’t they fare better, together against the odds that were slamming up against them?

And as Imraan went upstairs to shower and get ready, ignoring my sullen mood, my mind just wouldn’t rest.

Uthman had woken up and waltzed chirpily into the kitchen with a big salaam, happy it was his day off tutoring, saying something about astronauts and planets and for the life of me, I could barely even listen to what my son was trying to tell me right then.

Hmmmm,” I said absentmindedly as I put some milk onto boil for his Milo, my mind barely on what I was doing. I was packing away the leftover boiled eggs while Imraan rushed down, getting ready to open the gate, and I turned away from the window on purpose as the car came into view, not wanting to increase my already heightened anxiety levels.

I was still annoyed about the meeting. Should I message Mohsina? Should I say something? I was so confused about what the right thing to do was.

Uthman, however, his tousled hair standing up in all directions, was already over at the window, his bowl in his hand while he stood chomping on his cereal, and I could already feel myself become agitated.

“Uthman, sit and eat!” I scolded him, wondering at what age kids learn that it’s not okay to wander around and eat like an animal. I knew I was super stressed but my son really did test my patience.

“Mummy I think-“

”No stories,” I said firmly, flashing my eyes at him, wanting to deal with my brewing thoughts in silence. I knew it wasn’t his fault but my moods this pregnancy had been a little severe.

He hastily went to the kitchen chair, plopping himself down, and immediately opened his cereal-filled mouth again.

Honestly, all I needed right then was to think in silence…


I turned to him with a frown, already ready to scold him for talking with his mouth full.

”Swallow your food before you talk,” I said sharply, shaking my head as I watched him, his eyes wider than normal as he looked at me, when I realised that something was wrong.

“You okay?” I said, my voice soft as I watched him look at me, almost as if he was unsure of how to say what he wanted to say.

And though he had no idea if what the impact of his next words would be, as he said it, it felt a bit like a rug being pulled out from under me.

”Mummy, did daddy call those guys over to shoot?” He said with a little concern, as my heart hammered within my rib cage.

I knew why he was asking and the next words he said as he sat up a bit straighter just confirmed my worst fears.

“Because all of them had guns.”


Mission Sunnah Revival: 

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

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

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

Keep in mind:

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

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6446, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1051

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

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

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
















FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

Counting Chickens

Bismihi Ta’ala


Part 43

We’re Home.
And then we aren’t.

Sometimes we are lost, and then suddenly, we’re not.

And I’m not going to make this about love or soulmates or all the soppy stuff, because I honestly believe that it’s not about all of that.
What I can say, for sure, is that every one of us has a hole in us. A hole that we try to fill with different, temporary things, in order to gain our peace.

And while we get busy finding careers, holidays, soulmates and having kids, we forget that our happiness and peace cannot depend on them alone. A temporary fix cannot ever, fill a permanent hole.

When there is nothing else that can find that void but Allah, we lose ourselves in chasing the wrong things, to the wrong people, and on the wrong paths, until we finally find the source of it all.

Allah Azza Wa Jal, and His words.

And as much as it guides, protects and frees us…  most importantly, it brings us back to our beautiful purpose.

And as it hit me, almost out of the blue, as the sun met the sky on the horizon once again, and I closed my Mushaf, I could not have ever thought of a better way to comprehend what was unfolding right before me, right then.

My Lord, You have not created all of this without a purpose. Exalted is You.
(Qur’an, 3:191)

Purpose, everything has one. Nothing in the heavens or the earth or inside of me or inside of you is created without a purpose. And as we grow, and we learn, and we put self-absorption, doubt and temporary fixes aside, we come to realize what our true purpose in life is.

And as I crept toward the window, glimpsing the motion of hundreds of dust specks that swirled around in the morning light, as if they were doing a little happy dance of their own… my own heart lifted…

Like a sweet surrender to the sunnier side of life, I couldn’t quite believe that after all that rain, we had been blessed with the most gorgeous of days just when we needed it most.

And breathing in the crisp winter air, i savored the time of day I loved most about the farm we called home, admiring the stretch of glorious green before me. The sweet sight of the sun kissing the mountain tops, and then spreading beyond to highlight the best bits of country-life before me, in their optimum form, made  my spirits instantly soar. After a week of rains, seeing the sun find its way through the clouds to bless us with its warmth once again gave me a very palpable oozing within my chest…

And now, after the slightly stormy season of our life, I had high hopes that the sun was here to stay.

Even at that time of the morning, the house was buzzing with activity. Pots clanged as my mother counted chickens and argued about whether there would be enough, and I could hear my father shouting at Muhammed Husayn to get out of bed and come help him outside.

I could already see a few workers in the yard, clearing the grassy patch where the marquee would go, so that  it wouldn’t be too drenched with the morning dew that seemed so excessive that particular day.

“Mummy, can you just relax?” I could hear my mother saying from where I stood on the landing. “I hope you didn’t invite the whole world. We really won’t need so much of food. And it’s not the first time they have had a wedding in the family…”

”But it’s the first time we are having wedding in my family!” Nani said bossily. “What Will Khairoon and Taahira say if it’s not enough? Aunty Bhen is also waiting to see the menu. As it is she is planning her grandsons wedding from now and he’s not even proposed.”

Nani had more of a social life than me. How was that even fair?

“You shouldn’t have told her so early,” Ma scolded. “Then you wouldn’t have to give the whole itinerary. Plus, simplicity is the Sunnah.”

“What early?” Nani argued, missing the point. “I only told Khairoon two days ago and her kitchri was coming out. Leave it. Next time I won’t tell her till day of wedding. Just now something will go wrong and we will know why. Everything must be perfect.”

And I had chuckled to myself, wondering where Nani picked up stuff like that, but Nani and her eccentrics was really the highlight of every occasion.

She started rattling something in Gujarati that I barely understood, but I could tell that Ma had given up already. Nani was on a roll and no one could stop her.

And of course, despite the emotion, no one could help but be bowled over by Nani’s reaction to the proposal news. It was a mixture of excitement, happiness and tears as she processed them, and her theatrics, when my father had said that Mohsina and Hamzah and were proposed (again) was something that had made a very lasting impression.

And as Muhammed Husayn had cheekily told Nani that Mohsina had finally found a muscle man to marry, Nani had literally paused in the middle of cleaning the dhaniya, with an odd look of her face.

And while she was probably to figure out whether he was for real or not, and my father came in and confirmed it, an array of emotions consumed me too, as she shook her head silently, and then wiped her eyes, which were filling with constant tears.

Then, as if her entire life depended on thing thing, what she did next, was nothing short of amazing.

And I knew it was something completely astounding because as long as I knew Nani, her signature accessory that she had worn since half a century ago, was a simple but obviously expensive gold bracelet, around her left wrist. And it had been there for so long, that if you saw Nani without that, at any time, then you would probably question if it really was Nani at all, because it had literally become an essential part of her identity. And like most of the older people I knew, their gold and jewelry meant the world to them, and was their prized possession.

This particular piece, she had mentioned, was one that she had from before she even got married, so how old it was; I probably couldn’t even calculate.

But that wasn’t the point. Hearing the news, was something that had immediately stirred her, and as if it was an automatic reaction, as a token of gratitude… in the moment of elation, she immediately unclipped the bracelet, gave it to my father, and said:

”Weigh it and give the money away in Sadaqah (charity).”

And of course, like me, my father had looked at her like she had lost her mind.

Like, was she for real? She had just given away an expensive gold bracelet, on hearing one snippet of good news? I could not comprehend. I was, honestly, lost for words.

And of course I didn’t understand, because when I looked at it, I realised that because of Nani’s extreme elation, older and more religious people knew nothing more than to turn to Allah Ta’ala in every situation. Like a built-in reminder, their entire purpose and every circumstance always took them back to Allah.

And that’s when I recalled that several of the Sahabah (radiyallahu’anhum) had also practised this very act, of showing their gratitude to Allah Ta’ala for his favour by donating a portion of their wealth, I was rightfully blown away.

And of course, Muhammed Husayn raised his eyebrows at Nani, and singled Mosee out.

”Mos, see how happy Nani is that you going. She’s giving away all her jewellery.”

Mohsina had narrowed her eyes at him, as he said it, but Nani was still emotional as she looked up at him.

”So long I have waited for my grandchild to give me this news. My Du’aas are all being answered in front of my eyes. Why can’t I part with a little bit of Duniyaa because of it, huh? Don’t be so naa-shukriyaa.”

Mohsina had stuck her tongue out at Muhammed Husayn, but despite their light-heartedness, their was a tone of solemnity that was already imminent.

And what she said wasn’t just some kind of silly tradition. What I didn’t know then was that it was actually a Sunnah to give Sadaqah on hearing of good news.

In Bukhari it’s mentioned that Ka’b ibn Malik (radiyallahu’anhu), upon receiving the good news of Allah Ta’ala accepting his repentance, gave the clothing he possessed to the person who passed on the message to him.

And as I recalled the Sunnah of Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi was Sallam) and his Sahabah when I saw her immediate reaction, I could not quite believe that qualities like this  existed in people of my lifetime.

The feeling of celebration was in the air and everything that came with it was immensely beautiful and uplifting.

I mean, I had always loved Hamzah for Mohsina but after everything that had happened, I really didn’t want to keep my hopes so high.

I mean, in every way, it seemed far-fetched, disastrous and near impossible, but somehow, when it comes together in a most unexpected way, you honestly could not have imagined it any other way.

From what I had gathered from my father and Muhammed Husayn’s snippets (which was not very detailed) and after a hugely emotional and slightly tense exchange, the question was popped and from what she had said previously, Mohsina knew that there was nothing more that she wanted more than to marry him.

And as I stood outside, as they finished talking, I could tell that both had undergone a tremendous amount of change over that past month, and their decision had been a beautiful result of that.

And despite knowing the outcome, later on when I finally asked my sister how it went, her vague answer was:

”All I can say is I was that there were two game changers…” she said mysteriously, with a coy glint in her eyes, as I raised my eyebrows at her questioningly.

“Zaidoo, and the bubbly chocolate,” she said with a smile, and I laughed.

For Mohsina, I knew that chocolate could fix almost any situation, and if Hamzah knew that, I was quite certain that he would be able to handle her pretty well…

Of course, although I lowered my gaze as he exited, I could tell that like Mohsina, Hamzah was very much at peace right then, as they got ready for this huge and crucial step of their lives.

All in all, it wasn’t one of those cliched, I can’t live without you, kind of proposals, and I didn’t expect it to be.

And it was barely the most conventional situation. There was, for starters, a little baby who relied on them, needed them and who they both loved immensely. Also, being in a situation where they had history meant that they had to put weird vibes behind them and move on, with no questions asked.
But while that was true, what I knew for sure was that Mohsina had changed, but how Hamzah had inspired her was something she hadn’t yet told him. I just hoped that one day, everything would come together beautifully, so they could work on all those little holes that needed to be patched up once and for all..

And so, without even giving anything else much thought, after they had made their Isthikhaarah, the week had gone by, as Mohsina went in to the office to round off her work, sort out her life and trying to squish other emotions as she brought her belongings back from the Hammond’s apartment, to start a brand new chapter of life once again.

And of course, I couldn’t help but think to myself how strange life was, in that way. One minute, you’re psyching yourself up for the job of your lifetime, changing addresses and wardrobes, and the next, you’re headed in a completely different direction o, and starting off again, in a almost unprecedented way…

I could sense a change in her as she visited her old life again, but I put it down to her having slight withdrawal, which was completely natural when you left a part of your old life behind. How much she had really endured, I wasn’t even aware. Although Mohsina had put on a brave face, for the first time, there was a reservation in her eyes that I couldn’t quite put my put finger on…

There was so much she had been through. So much her heart had altered. And that very morning, as I assumed Zaidoo was asleep, I knew that I couldn’t rest until I spoke to my sister before I went down and immersed myself in all of the preparations that Ma was already screaming for me to come help with. And as I called down to my mother that I was coming, I found myself pausing for a moment, outside Mohsina’s  room door before I entered, savouring the moment as much as I could, so it would seem to go on forever.

I was weird like that. I took note of the lasts and first of life… finding them strangely sentimental.
And as I breathed in deeply again, I knocked softly at first, hearing tiny whimpers from inside, knowing that Zaid was probably threatening to wake up and Mohsina was desperately trying to keep him asleep.

And as I pushed the door open, just slightly, my suspicions were confirmed as Mohsina put her fingers to her lips with widened eyes. Tapping him more vigorously was in vain because Zaid had already sensed an opportunity to abort sleeping mission and sat up immediately, blinking his eyes comically as he stuffed two fingers in his mouth and looked at me as if he was the luckiest little guy in the entire world.

And of course, I couldn’t resist, and as Mohsina sighed, I couldn’t help but grin back at him.

“Oh my word, he just gets cuter by the day,” I sighed, as I dove on the bed, and pinched his chubby cheeks.

And of course, my sister was had no choice but to get up, knowing that today was going to be the big day… and soon her life would changed completely.

”So, how’s the ‘wife-to-be’?” I asked, glancing and winking at my sister, whose nerves seemed to be word very thin over the past few days.

To be fair, Zaid was also being a little bit troublesome and extremely clingy, and I wasn’t sure if that was what was making her a little edgier than usual.

All she had to do now was forget about everything else and focus on Hamzah, Zaid and herself. Yes, I understood that they had a bit to work through… but there was always enough time…. right?

“I’m fine,” she said, flashing me a quick smile before returning to her task of folding Zaid’s clothes and packing them in an open suitcase.

“You want me to keep him tonight? You deserve a better nights sleep you know… before everything changes completely.”

She frowned as she glanced at me.

I knew that Hamzah was going to be renting an apartment closer to his work place where they would be staying, but before the month end, she had mentioned that they may go away for a short break to that amazing farm house that had blown me away.

In my world, basking in the glorious sunshine with birds twittering above them, there was no better place to start a new life. Amidst a stunning backdrop of greenery and tranquility, it would be the perfect setting for the two, or rather, three, of them to bond with no signal towers in sight and make the most of the country air.

Ah yes, I was very clearly a dreamer and my realist sister was quick to remind me of it.

”No,” she said, unnecessarily bluntly. “All hell breaks loose if one of us are not with him. I don’t think it’s possible to leave him.”

”But that’s barely even romantic,” I moaned, with a frown. After all, she wasn’t Shrek’s wife who locked herself up at night.

”Unfortunately, Jams,” she said, turning to me with an odd expression in her eyes. “I hate to break it to you, but this marriage is not about romance.”

I frowned. She was such a bummer.

And she was wrong. I wasn’t sure that Hamzah even knew what she thought that they were setting themselves up for. They could make the most of any situation if they put their heads together. But evidently, they hadn’t.

”Is everything okay?” I asked now, getting a little worried. Her phone, which was on the mantle piece, had buzzed twice and each time she glanced at it, save looked even more edgy. She seemed a little more preoccupied though, as I tried to prove answers out her.

“Is that Hamzah?” I asked, narrowing my eyes at her, hoping they weren’t chatting.

She shook her head and rolled her eyes, and then, without warning I could see that wall coming down and shutting us off again.

“Mind your own business,” she said quietly, obviously not wanting to disclose what was going on. And of course, I hated it when she did that and I was ready to leave her to her own devices again, but I knew I had to say something more.

I wanted to yell at her and tell her not to let her old life suck get in again. I wanted to tell her that she didn’t know how lucky she was to be given a second chance. I wanted to tell her that she can’t be doing this to us all over again. But I didn’t.

”You are sure about this, right?” Was all I said, looking at her questioningly.

I was so sure that this was the right thing for her and Hamzah, but what was going on?

”Im sure,” she said stiffly, and I took it as a cue to leave, thousands of unspoken words still hung in the air.

In my mind’s eye, I had this inspiring idea of telling her that it’s never too late to start again. To let her know its never too late time to pack your life into a suitcase too, and start some place new. I wanted to tell her that there were so many possibilities, and if only she could start over, the pen to write her life is in her hands…

I breathed in, calming down slightly as I realized that maybe it was something small and it would blow over and settle again. I was optimistic like that, counting chickens and all. After all, the Nikah was a few hours away. There was no going back from here, right?

And as I left her upstairs with Zaid and obediently followed my mother’s instructions, making my way out to the front to check if there was an extra bag of flour in the shop for Nani’s rotis, I wasn’t really thinking about much else. Mohsina was most unpredictable.

One day she was the happiest person in the world, and the next, she acted as if the world was coming to an end. It was a strange but definitive pattern that followed, but it seemed that every time Mohsina went back into office mode, something in her altered and her entire demeanor changed.

And as I unlocked and pushed open the empty coffee shop, which we had closed for the wedding week, and spotted the bag of flour in the far corners of the back room, all I could think about was Mohsina.

Yes, she had taken steps in the right direction, to reclaim her heart, and to get those keys back and , but as it happens, sometimes we slip and end up giving in to Duniyaa once again. I could see her faltering, allowing it to break her and bring her down again. She was seeking something from nothing, digging in, but all that would happen here is she would break her fingers in the process. And before that happened, it was up to me to pull her out…

And pulling the bag into an easier position to lift and hoist up, as I placed it securely under my arm, I was barely even aware of my surroundings as I exited the shop through the front door. Turning around to lock up, as we always did, as an extra precaution, I barely even heard the car that had appeared from nowhere., right behind me, until the person had jumped off.

“Salaam,” a voice said, and as I turned around in surprise, a whiff of a expensive perfume filled my nostrils. I was a little take aback by who was in front of me.

“Can I help you?” I asked politely, pulling my scarf over my head a little more securely taking in his suit and pants, with a tightly secured tie. “I’m afraid the shop is closed for the weekend, but if you’re after coffee, I can get someone to make you a cup quickly.”

Business man shook his head, and from the corner of my eye, I could see Zubair pausing and watching us from a distance, probably wondering what he wanted. After all, handling the shop was Zubair’s job, and I had a good mind of calling him over and tell him to serve the gentleman, so I could get on with my task.

What I didn’t realize was that while I failed to recognize him, Zubair had remembered exactly who this stranger was.

”I don’t need coffee,” office man said with a grim but poised smile. He exuded confidence, even though he was completely out of place in this farm-like setting.

And of course, as he introduced himself, and realization dawned, everything about Mohsina’s recent behavior now suddenly made sense.

“It’s Faadil. I came here to speak to Mohsina. I was wondering if you could call her for me?”

I wasn’t sure how much of a setback this would be, but I had a feeling that maybe… just maybe….
Maybe I had been too quick to count my chickens.

Mission Sunnah Revival

In line with love for Nabi (Sallalahu Alaihi Wa Salaam), a narration goes like this:

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…

The Sunnah of Quraan Tilawat…

Whilst we grapple to keep that connection alive out of Ramadhaan, I it’s recommended to set a certain amount of Quran to read every day, to purify the rusted hearts.

Prophet (Sallalahu Alaihi Wa Sallam) said: “Stick to the reading of the Quran, as it is Noor for you in this li free and treasure in the Aakhirah.”













FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

An Offer to Refuse

Bismihi Ta’ala

Part 20

Everyone’s journey is different. Every soul is shaped differently. Some people just take longer to touch base… some people just need a little more time to find their mettle.

But the goal to take that step… to make that change… to take the plunge… well, as time passes, it’s become something that’s increasingly difficult to achieve. With the dust that comes with social media, with the mindless scrolling and tainted illusion that sucks you in… in a new era, there are many new things that had evolved and occurred and sometimes we are at a loss for words because we cannot understand exactly how science and technology and the information overload that comes with it has taken over our minds and this world.

It’s not difficult to see how it’s effect has thrown us completely off base. In the effort to connect with everyone around us, we often forsake the connection that we should be aspiring for – we forget the One Who controls it all.. we forget what should be the most important. And with the device of delusion that’s continuously stuck to our hand, though it’s connected people to the entire world, it has disconnected a great number from Allah Ta‘ala… as well as from those closest to them.

And it scared me sometimes. Many things did. I was scared of changing, of not changing. Of being over the top, and of not being enough. I’m scared of finally taking that step, only to find out that it wasn’t in the right direction. I’m scared of knowing what I want, but not having the courage to finally reach for it. I was scared of the unknown, and at that stage of my life when I felt like I was on the fence, I was desperately scrounging around for scraps of inspiration, and I just wasn’t getting it.

“Hey Mos,” Lesley called from the other side of the office. “Can you figure this audit? I’ve sent you the evidence docs and I’ve checked and rechecked but I can’t see what Faadil is saying I need to see. By the way, I love your outfit today. And you are looking awesome. Your hijab style is goals.”

I looked as Lesley, as she walked towards me. She was wearing a pretty pink blouse and a grey skirt, which kind of matched with my charcoal coloured modest suit that I had bought online last week. Inside I had work a mustard cami and my matching hijab was slightly more draped than it usually was and I barely thought she’d notice. How Lesley even knew about Hijab style was beyond me.

As for me, I was just starting to revamp my wardrobe when I realized that I may not be working in an office next year, and the thought was making me slightly depressed. I knew that it was shallow but I was really looking forward to that part of my career. The part where I busted money on cute outfits and then regretted it.

I sighed and clicked on my inbox icon, opening the document and scanning through the bottom figures, cross checking them with the evidence she sent.

“It’s going to take a while,” I said, rubbing my temples. My head was pounding. I had already sat through two meetings and was currently working on a review for next week’s audit and my brain was cooked.  “Have you ticked all the boxes. Maybe there’s no real issue with this one?”

”Faadil says there is,” she said sulkily. “He’s so bloody sticky when it comes to these things and he won’t even go easy on me even though I’ve been to him twenty times – heyyyy, Hamzah. Auditing master. Just the guy I need.”

Where did he pop up from? 

Hamzah was walking past and I could only assume that he was coming from a rooftop smoke break because that was usually when he silently passed this way.

We did try to avoid each other as much as possible. It was awkward but being around other people when we couldn’t be transparent was also strange.

Of course, the situation wasn’t ideal but it kept us away from sin and that was important for me on this new journey I was trying to take. I just wasn’t sure on how far I was getting with it. Every day was one step forward, and then two steps back, as I got caught up in something or the other. Maybe I wasn’t cut out to be even remotely pious?

Lesley grinned and stood up, purposely showing off a little bit more leg than necessary as she walked around to the front of my table and leaned over to open the otter documents. Since my desk was right in front I supposed it was easier to just use my computer, never mind that they were disturbing my peace.

I shook my head and pushed my chair backwards begrudgingly, giving her enough space to manoeuvre without cramping my style. Some things didn’t change.  At least her skirts were getting a teeny bit longer though. I wasn’t sure if she was actually getting modest or if it was the whole modest fashion thing that was just catching onto her. Either way, there had been some good changes. It was trending nowadays anyway.

“Hey Les,” Hamzah said as he came closer, and I glanced at him. Today he looked like Hamzah from the office. Not Hamzah that I saw on Sunday and made my family go gaga over him.

“Salaam, howsit?” It was a general greeting aimed at me that seemed pretty neutral. I hadn’t seen him today and I nodded back, pushing myself further back because I really didn’t need Lesley catching onto any vibes.

I was perfectly fine with steering clear of office rumours (even if they may be true) and so was Hamzah.

He glanced at me but said nothing more as he moved around to the front of my desk to look at what Lesley was talking about.

She was explaining something about the financial recording and then what Faadil said about how she couldn’t solve this to save her life or her job. Faadil did run a tight ship, but sometimes he was just mean.

“It may be something small that slipped through the cracks,” he said  scanning through the documents that were on my MacBook for two minutes. “Oh yes, there we go.”

He clicked a few times and then finally typed in something and stood up again. He loosened his tie and I looked away and I could see him expertly placing himself close enough to get his point across but far enough not to have to invade personal space or look at her directly. He sent the documents back to her before he quickly explained what the issue was and then went off, back to his side of the offices.

And of course, I breathed a huge sigh of relief as he left but for some reason, I was a little unsettled.

It was the obvious change and no-one could miss it. I knew it. I’m sure Lesley noticed but she was so grateful that it didn’t faze her. The thing was, he didn’t make small talk or chit chat. With anyone. Not like he used to, where he would humour or even drop a line here or there. No side glances. He didn’t even look at Lesley for goodness sake.

It was just pure business and nothing else. No hidden agenda. And of course, I couldn’t believe it, but the evidence was all there. Hamzah was actually a changed guy and to tell the truth, it was leaving me feeling a little bit at a loss.

I sighed as I watched him walk through the electronic doors, unsure of what to feel.

And I know. I know what you thinking. I was acting harami-like. Of course I should have been happy. I mean, this was huge. Life-changing. Amazing. I was so happy for him.

But my fear, as always, was: where did that leave me? Here he was, this great maulana-like personality with so much of modesty and shame all of a sudden, and there I was, miles from there, not even sure when my journey was going to start.

“You okay?” Lesley said, and I only realised then that she was still at my desk. Still tapping away, using my laptop, even though Hamzah had sent her the files she needed so she could go back to her own desk and sort her stuff out. He obviously saw the peeved look on my face. He knew the things that annoyed me.

“I’m fine,” I said, clenching my jaw. “I just like my space.”

Why were people so invested in my space?

”Ooh,” Lesley said. “A little edgy this morning, aren’t we?”

I rolled my eyes. I really missed Layyanah some days. Lesley was a bit draining and best preferred in small doses. Plus I couldn’t chat about Hamzah to her. She didn’t know a thing yet.

“I need to finish this review,” I said, feeling a little bad and knowing I wouldn’t have many other coffee-companions if Lesley abandoned me. “We’ll meet later for coffee?”

Lesley was asking some questions earlier in the week about some Muslim guy who worked in HR and I was hoping to tell her to steer clear before she gets carried away as usual. She was even talking about reverting, which I knew wasn’t a bad thing… but if it was only for some guy, I had to do my bit and talk to her properly. Plus I just needed her off my back for now, so I could think in peace.

This mornings meeting had taken more out of me then I thought. Everyone was finalising their posts for next year. Deciding what they would be doing. Making ‘long-term’ plans. Telling Faadil that I wasn’t intending on staying on at Hammond’s next year was actually way harder than I had thought.

“You kidding me, right?” He asked, looking at me like I was crazy. “You plan on staying home next year? That’s a joke.”

He looked appalled, and I shook my head.

“Actually, I’m hoping to start my own business,” I said quietly, trying to avoid eye contact with this allegedly handsome man that Lesley kept going gaga over.

”You opening your own firm?” He said, raising his eyebrows. Of course, that was a bit drastic.

“Not exactly,” I said, carefully. “I’m not planning on doing auditing next year.”

What exactly was I supposed to tell him? That I planned on becoming a pastry chef? He would probably laugh himself sick.

Judging from my fathers reaction, I wasn’t going to test the waters. But if I wasn’t feeling the numbers, I wasn’t feeling them. Maybe some creativity was all I needed. Even if it was just for a little while.

He was silent for a few seconds, and then got up and looked out the window which overlooked the view of Jo’burg CBD and always got me in the mood for the corporate feels. Honestly, Faadil’s office was absolutely goals. It wasn’t only huge, but it also was on the top floor which meant that he got the most stunning view, especially during the early mornings and late evening hours, when he often worked. I mean, Jo’burg was my thing. It was just pumping with life and opportunity. In fact, gazing out right now was kind of getting under my skin, and I had to check myself again.

Maybe I could live with this. The glamour of a corporate life. That’s what it was all about, right?

“I’m going to offer you something that you can’t refuse,” he finally said, pacing the office now and turning to look at me. “A senior external auditor. The offer that everyone is after. But I’ll up the incentive, by 50k. Are you in? Do we have you here at Hammond’s next year?”

I looked up at him, slightly shocked at this crazy offer. Any sane person could not possibly refuse it. Like. Who on earth even studies for so long and realises that she hates her job? The question was, I wasn’t even sure what my mental state was at that moment. How badly did he want a demented person on his payroll?

Why did I always feel like I was on the fence?

“I’m not asking for an answer now,” he said, noting my silence which was partly stemmed by shock. “Think about it. Sleep over it. By next week Friday, give me your answer.”

He shoved his hands in his pockets and stood with confidence as he watched me trying to figure out what to say to him. Like, was he for real?

But it was a dream offer, but as sense kicked in again, I knew that I couldn’t accept. External auditors also went out of town regularly. My mother would probably freak if I left my husband and went out to work. Imagine Nani’s reaction. She would very possibly have my head.

I was already certain that I was going to refuse it but I left the room with my answer still pending.

My heart just couldn’t give it all up at once. The journey that was undergoing wasn’t an easy one. There were so many changes taking place… so much that I had to think about and wonder if this was the best thing for me.

And then there was Hamzah and his own journey, that was at a crucial point right now. In some ways, I felt like we were on completely different wavelengths, but in other ways, I expected him to be the one that would understand me the most.

All he had to do is find a job to suit his needs and settle in. With me, there were so many emotions, negotiations, compromises… which probably attested to the fact that I probably wasn’t cut out for this stuff in the first place. Why couldn’t I just figure this out? I couldn’t even figure myself out.

The thing was, everything for him was pretty clear cut. It was easier for men.

Were men just more inclined to perfection that us? I remembered a Hadith that spoke about the spiritual perfection, but there was obviously a lot of wisdom in what was mentioned.

The Messenger of Allah, Sallalahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, said:

كَمَلَ مِنْ الرِّجَالِ كَثِيرٌ وَلَمْ يَكْمُلْ مِنْ النِّسَاءِ إِلَّا آسِيَةُ امْرَأَةُ فِرْعَوْنَ وَمَرْيَمُ بِنْتُ عِمْرَانَ

There were many men who achieved (spiritual) perfection and none were perfect among women except Asiyah, the wife of Pharaoh, and Mary, the daughter of ‘Imran.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī

I mean, I knew about the great women of the world. About the wife of Firaun, Tyrant of all tyrants, who had such firm faith that she had endured the most brutal punishment for believing in a God other than her husband, who was convinced that he was the Almighty himself. So unshakable was her faith that Allah set her soul free before her actual murder… and rewarded her when she was being tortured in such a way that a huge boulder was dropped on her while her body was reported to be literally nailed to the ground.

And then there was Maryam (AS), mother Of Isaa (Jesus) (AS) who was the epitome of faith and chastity, and whom Allah Ta’ala had Himself sent out of season fruits for her consumption, because of her extreme piety and Tawakkul. Such were the women of the world who were our examples, who displayed beautiful patience and modesty, and yet I was still questioning what my role in life was to be…

But yes… Yes, it was harder for women, especially when we went against the natural laws of what Allah had set for us, our space in the household, against what nature intended… but was it impossible?

The thing was, who did I want to aspire to be like? Was it the women of the world that were my role models, or the women of the Aakhirah that I wanted to be with?

I didn’t even know that soul searching was still an option, I was lost in a frenzy of work and goals and aspiring to be something that the world wanted me to be but I wasn’t sure of myself.

And because it was a Thursday evening, I was taking it easy with finishing off for the day, my mind was pretty occupied as I tried to finish off the last bits of intense work before Friday came. I always liked to leave the lighter, less brain-consuming stuff for Fridays. Plus, it gave me more time to read my Qur’an and to get back into the Jumuah zone. It was Nani’s insistence that all our reading had to be finished on a Thursday night and as I grew up, I kept to that tradition and tried never to break away from it. It was just that, during the week, I was slipping.

I hadn’t admitted it to myself yet, but my spirituality was very erratic, especially if Jameela was busy and not on my back. There were too many days that I felt like I was merely existing, and not really worshiping  the way I was supposed to, praying like how I was supposed to.

And that was probably why seeing Hamzah like this, knowing that the Mosque had become his regular refuge, seeing his life changing… well, that’s why it scared me. I was all kinds of panicked, wondering what would happen if I never had to reach that stage.. if I never had to meet him where he was? Would we drift apart? Would he lose interest if I didn’t meet him on the bridge? Would he just give up on me, if I couldn’t come through?

My thoughts were a maze of infinitely overwhelming possibilities, and although I wanted to think the best, the horrid scenarios were coming at me like never before. And I barely heard my phone buzzing as I trashed a folder on my computer, realizing that it was last years audit and it was already on the cloud, so I wouldn’t need it. And as I turned to glance at Jameela’s name on my iPhone screen, which was strange because it was a normal call and not even FaceTime, I didn’t even think that there may be a deeper reason for it.

But as I picked up and I heard her panicked voice, all calm and reason flew out the window.

“Mohsina, you have to come home right now,” she said shakily, her voice sounding panicked.

I froze on the chair I was sitting on, shock waves pulsating through my body. It was like everything was crumbling around me all at once, and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

“There’s been a huge incident .. We’re on our way to the hospital… Papa’s had a severe heart attack. “


Don’t forget extra Durood this Jumuah. 🤍

Just a quick one – any thoughts on Mohsina, her choices, her confusion? I feel like I’m hitting home for myself a lot- but is anyone else understanding the struggle?!

Much love

A xx

Mission Sunnah Revival! Sunnah before sleeping.


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيمر

Hazrat Baraa Ibne ‘Aazib
(حضرت براء ابن عازب)
رضى الله تعالى عنه
When رسول الله صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم would retire to his bed, he would lie down on his right side, thereafter he supplicated:
اللهم اسلمت نفسى اليك
O الله! I submit myself to You
ووجهت وجهى اليك
And I turned my face to You
وفوضت امرى اليك
And I entrusted all my affairs to You
والجات ظهرى اليك
And I placed my back (body) in Your protection
رغبة و رهبة اليك
In anticipation of Your reward and due to fear of Your punishment
لا ملجا و لا منجا منك إلا اليك
There is no escape, nor salvation from You, except with You
آمنت بكتابك الذى أنزلت
I believe in Your book, which You revealed
و نبيك الذى أرسلت
And (I believe) Your Prophet, whom You sent.

(Bukhaaree Shareef)

Supplicating the above, is actually a renewal of belief.
Sleeping on the right side, is beneficial from various perspectives and a Sunnah.
A person can get up early, without difficulty
It reminds of the grave, because we are buried in that position.







FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah

When we Grow Up

Bismihi Ta’ala

Part 19

Growing up, I often saw my sister as the pillar of strength of our family. Unflinching. Unchanging. Always there, constantly protecting, going on, headstrong, even though she may be heading into a battlefield herself. A warrior in spirit, her head was always high, her resolve always unwavering.

And there’s something about the beginning of a story that sets the tone for a very long time to come.  The beginning is usually the time when our hearts are said to have perfect vision. That first moment. First look. First impression. The first feeling that we become accustomed to, is almost a forever one.  I often wonder about that theory of love that promises that people see each other clearer as we get to know each other… but in my opinion, it’s probable that the opposite may be very much more truer.

And even after all that… whichever way it all happens, when the dust settles and it all works out… One day you wake up in this place where everything feels right. Your soul is lit. Your heart is calm. Everything seems to be going according to plan.

But life has a funny way of shaking you up, when you may be slipping. Sometimes when we feel like we’re gliding through, spiritually we may just be sliding away. You see, sometimes we pin all our hopes on people. On conditions. On creation. And life has a way of bringing you back to your base, no matter how your journey may be going.

Sometimes we just become complacent, and need to be brought back. For us, during that time, it all started with an unwelcome message.

Plz tel ur sister that I’m really sorry.

The message came at 11.30 that Sunday evening and even though Maahira was the last person that I wanted to hear from after how she treated my sister, I was a little inclined to indulge her at that hour, when sleep was horribly evading me.

I lay on my bed, silently praying, hoping for the best, still digesting the events of the evening, trying to figure out how everything was changing and why it was all moving so fast. My gap year was nearly over. My sister was getting married. Life was changing and it was time to start growing up. My mind was running away with me and I couldn’t seem to stop it.

Buzz again.

I kno I was wrong, I shudnt hav dun what I did. 

I was trying to get into sum1s good books and now I kno that I was doing it all wrong.

I had a response but I wasn’t going to respond.

I had heard Layyanah and Mohsina talking. I wasn’t sure that I was going to believe the excuses but I wasn’t going to judge her either.


Plz jus tel her to reply.

What about those two months she spent waiting for her reply?

The evening had been eventful enough and maybe it was time to just give in. And what better to reply with than something that would burn her. Just a little.

My sister is busy. She’s proposed.

I pressed the send button, and her reply came almost immediately.

Oh Emm Gee!!!!!!! *dancing girl emoji*

Who is the lucky guy?

I smiled. I was absolutely ecstatic for my sister.

His name is Hamzah.

There was an elated feeling as I typed it. I wasn’t sure if it was nerves or excitement for her.

There wasn’t too much of a chance of Maahira knowing him because we were from the plaas part of Gauteng and Hamzah wasn’t.

Wats his sname?

I knew exactly why she was asking. And I knew exactly what to tell her.

He doesn’t have Instagram.

I typed. Mohsina warned me about that.

Or Facebook.

That was my next message.

Or Snapchat.

I knew she was probably googling him on her browser while we chatted.


She obviously did not know what else to say, and she was entitled to say it.

What the ….?!
How the hel is this going to work, even? The guy doesn’t even exist.

I knew what she meant. Someone I couldn’t find on Google was more or less non-existent.

But he was who he was and we were pretty in awe of it.

He may just surprise us.

And I left it at that as I crept down the hall that moonlit night and tapped at her door, opening it slightly as I watched my sister, her face illuminated as she either scrolled through her Instagram feed or watched a Netflix series on her phone. Her eyes shifted to me as I pushed the door open, and a small smile crept on her face as she realised that it was one of those nights that we were both a little too stimulated to catch even a wink of sleep before midnight.

I sat next to her as I tapped on my phone, scrolling through some of my own Instagram feed posts, wondering what kick my sister got out of it. I often deleted the darn thing, only to download it again, just because I was getting FOMO because all my friends were on it. Till this day, I still didn’t get the whole hype. Influencer feeds and bloggers… well, they just didn’t interest me. Mohsina, however, understood everyone on there and made excuses for them, saying it was their space to express themselves so they could sit on it for hours. For me, it was hogwash.

”Do you even know what you’re liking?” I asked, as I saw her double tapping a few times, and scrolling, almost unconsciously.

She shrugged.

“I need some mindless entertainment,” she murmured, finally putting her phone down and looking at me. “I abandoned Netflix last month and I can’t sleep.”

”Thinking of Hamzah?” I teased, as she rolled her eyes at me.

“No,” she said, sitting up in bed as letting her hair fall over her face. It wasn’t often that I saw my sister let her hair down. Literally. She was actually quite serenely beautiful and at peace when she relaxed and just took it easy. It’s not that she wasn’t usually. She just always appeared to be so occupied and fiercely independent. Everyone saw this stunning but busy working girl, but for me, well, now I saw Mohsina as a woman who was so much more.

”Just thinking,” she said softly, putting her phone down and looking at me.

I wasn’t sure what she meant, but I had an idea that she had a lot on her mind. I mean, who wouldn’t?

“Maahira messaged me,” I said quietly. “To tell me to apologize to you.”

She sighed.

”I’m not sure how to tell her that I don’t feel like talking to her,” she said bluntly. “I’m just a bit disgusted.”

“I think she already knows that. I think she regrets it.”

She shrugged.

“I didn’t know quite how to get back there with Maahira. To that comfortable place.”

That was understandable. Betrayal was hard to stomach.

“I told her you’re proposed.”

She looked at me and frowned.

”Really?” She said. “But it’s not like, official and you know Maahira…”

Well, we didn’t do the final asking and saying yes thing, but I was sure that it was all going to go smoothly. And Maahira could tell who she wants. I was so happy for my sister.

”Everyone likes him,” I said quietly. “Even Nani. Are you shocked?”

”Not really,” she admitted. “Hamzah is a born charmer. He has dodge ways.”

I grinned. Trust Mohsina to put it that way.

”At least Nani will like one of you then,” I said and she smiled back.

Nani’s reaction though, was priceless. But truth be told, I didn’t expect it. And to be honest, I just found it so cute because the seal of the deal came when Nani came in with her look of extreme scrutiny, trying to suss him out, and Hamzah, being Hamzah, was barely even fazed. Maybe he was used to it, but it helped that he wasn’t shy, because all he had to do was take the bull by the horns and shamelessly get up, introduce himself and sit next to Nani after, with not a worry in the world.

It was the most unexpected yet admirable interaction of ever seen Nani have.

Despite her hounding her about how Mohsina knew Hamzah and everything else, meeting him today, Nani was literally blown away by Hamzah. And even though I coundn’t believe it myself, we could not have been more ecstatic.

“Did you tell him to bring the flowers for her?” I asked, shaking my head as I remembered how thrilled she was at the allocated bunch of lilies that was just for her. It was one of her favourite, white ones too.

”No ways,” she said. “The most I would have done was tell him to bring flowers for me. I got chocolates, but hey, I’m not complaining. I have to hand it to him- He thought of that all himself.”

She grinned and then shook her head. And it wasn’t easy to do but Hamzah knew just the right moves and in what doses to do them to impress her.

I climbed into her bed now, pulling the covers up and plopping my head down on the spare pillow next to her. It smelt of Mohsina – Chanel perfume and Dove body wash. My sister had her own distinct smell that I always loved.

And although we weren’t always sharing every second of our lives, I knew my sister pretty well. I hung onto every thread of information she gave me or I heard her talk about. I knew how her mind worked.

At any normal time, she didn’t have much tolerance for drama and she often had fought with Nani over things that didn’t make sense to her, but today – well, today, she had displayed forbearance like I had never seen before and that’s how I knew how much she wanted this to work. And yes, I knew Mohsina and I was very aware that to many people she could appear be very self-absorbed and indulgent at times, but today, she was a completely different person.

The truth was, Nani was a handful at times. And there were many unsolicited things that Nani complained about but to tell the truth, there were deeper secrets in our family that were worth fighting about. Mohsina was a lot of amazing things that no-one spoke about and if she even knew the half of it, I knew Nani would have been silenced.

And as I watched my sister for a few quiet  moments as I thought about it, I almost missed it and thought that I was mistaken, but as she sniffed I glimpsed the glimmer of a single tear rolling down her cheek and I found myself feeling all kinds of emotional too.

“Hey, are you okay?” I asked, sitting up slightly and reaching for her hand and grasping it lightly. “Is everything okay?”

She nodded silently, not yet able to talk. And it was so unlike Mohsina because I barely saw her emotional, but … well, a lot had happened and I was sure that it was all settling because maybe because she needed to work this out in her head.

“I’m sorry,” she sniffed, her voice strained due to the emotion.

“It’s okay,” I said softly.

“I’m supposed to be happy,” she said, wiping her eyes and shaking her head. “It had all turned out okay, but somehow, when people are all excited, I always get the feeling that I’m going to let them down. Like really badly.”

“Aw Mosee, dont say that,” I said softly, not understanding the pressure she was feeling. I didn’t know what it was to be her.

She barely showed it, but Mohsina’s heart was pretty incomparable. She was considerate. She was fair. She usually didn’t care about people’s perceptions or what they thought. Her focus wasn’t on those superficial things. But this, what she was feeling now- it was her sense of belonging and protectiveness that was overtaking her, more than ever.

And it was one of the unmentionable things in our household, but to be in her place now as I grew up, I think I was finally beginning to understand her feelings. The thing is, no one ever said it, but Mohsina had had immense pressure to start work, while she was still busy with a degree. Before she started working, for a smaller company before Hammond’s that she was working for part-time, we pretended not to notice, but things were getting pretty difficult, financially. The shop was quiet, I would see mummy filling samoosas for orders late at night. Often, she would take on more than she could manage. Muhammed Husayn had to change schools. Things weren’t looking good.

It was only when my sister started at Hammond’s, did things ease off. She saw to the house needs, took care of my brothers new wardrobe, gave my mother spending money, and even bought groceries regularly. Never once did she mention it, even to Nani, but I was in awe of her because she was so selfless to so many degrees. Being the eldest, I knew she felt responsible when Papa’s shop wasn’t doing well, when he couldn’t meet payments and she silently checked his books and helped out without even as much as a thank you. Almost like another parent, that was just the Mohsina that I knew and had grown up with over these few years.

She had held so much of responsibility…. she couldn’t help but feel her leaving us so much deeper than anyone else. We just didn’t know yet how much it would affect us.

“Okay, and I’m not one for soppiness,” she said, smiling through her tears. “To be quite frank, I’m the most un-soppy person you can ever find. But when Hamzah came today, it was like alarm bells were ringing… and just like that, it felt like one of those strings that were holding my heart so rigidly in place just snapped. And I supposed it was because I saw a side to him that I never saw before, but there was something else that just made me realise how much my family means to me.”

I blinked. This was a mouthful of emotion from my sister.

”What do you mean?” I asked carefully.

“I mean,” she went on, comfortable in the dark because it was way past midnight now and late at night.. well, secrets are best shared at this moonlit hour.

“It’s not like I know him so well… but I know a bit about him. A significant bit. But today- when I watched him with people who I love the most, I already knew that I don’t want to let anyone down. Neither does he.”

She sighed audibly.

“I’m just so scared, Jamz. I’m just so scared that I’m going to hurt him, or hurt Papa, or just mess this whole thing up…”

My heart contracted momentarily.

I knew what she was saying and it was the one thing I didn’t tell Mohsina. I just didn’t feel it fair to her, but she may have even noticed herself.

I mean, I knew that she had taken them by surprise, but out of everyone, there was something that just didn’t feel right and I could tell that Papa’s behaviour was most worrying.

And though I had asked him countless times if he was okay, all he did was nod, smile, and then a minute or two later, look worried again. He was beginning to make me worried, because the thing was, I really wanted this to work out for Mohsina. I just hoped that there wasn’t any major problem that he wasn’t telling us about and we weren’t going to be caught in the dark at the most unexpected time.

And okay, besides the one family connection of his that had freaked me out at Layyanah’s wedding, what I did know was that Hamzah was so good for Mohsina. Decent. Easy-going. Independent. The best for her in every way even though he seemed so different from her in other ways, it was how I could also see why the two of them just gelled. Of course, there were changes I noticed from both of them- good changes-  now that time had progressed, but everyone’s journey is different, and people change as they realize whats most important but through this… and I only hoped that they would both help each other to be better, to find each other and most of all, to find Allah.

The thing was, I wasn’t sure that Mohsina was being honest with Hamzah. I wasn’t sure if he even knew the half of what she did to keep us afloat.

It was just that I felt that right now, more than ever, I really needed to step in. I just couldn’t let my sister carry this burden any longer. But how did I make her feel better without letting her know exactly what I intended to do?

Ah. I knew just the thing.

”Mosee, have trust in Allah,” I said quietly. “I know you’re scared and it’s a big step to take, but you have to have Tawakkul that it will all work out for the best. I know it’s late and you have work in the morning, but you know that this is the perfect time to ask of Allah? When Allah Taála waits for us to ask of Him? Right now.. at this hour… when everyone is asleep in their comfortable beds… To pour out our worries and hopes, to ask for whatever you want… to trust your decisions, make Duaa and then take the plunge…”

Your Lord has proclaimed, “Call upon Me, I will respond to you. Surely those who are too proud to worship Me will enter Hell, fully humbled.” (Holy Qurán, Surah Ghafir, Verse 60)

There was a few seconds of silence.

“That’s my girl,” Mohsina finally spoke with conviction, sounding like she was so immensely proud. Of me. She was proud of me?

I didn’t know what to say. I wish I had accomplished half of what she did.

“You’re my very own spiritual warrior, Jamz,” she conceded, turning to face me. “No jokes. You always know where to shove those worries and concerns and make them all go away. How you just know what to say, I have no idea. I love you so much right now.”

I smiled into the dark. I wasn’t what she said I was but it was just something that I tried to do myself. I also knew that talking wasn’t always the best thing. Yes, I had many ambitions for myself, but I was still so confused. I did know that I didn’t want to study, but I also knew that marriage wasn’t an option right now. I just needed some time. Between my dream of going into business, doing an Aalimah course and studying a BEd, I was the most confused teenager in the world.

It’s just that I had an idea that could work. I had so many plans. Papa could sell the shop and be managing it. Ma could use her baking and cooking expertise. Muhammed Husayn could help out in weekends. I had the most amazing of ideas and I knew that our small plot of land with the barn in front would be the perfect place for it. No-one would listen but I was going to make it work, regardless.

I wasn’t scared of working hard. My parents had both worked hard to put us through school and bring us up. I had business in my blood and I knew that I could make it good for us without taking too many risks.

Tomorrow was a new day and a new week and I knew that I would do some serious things if I put my mind to it. I just needed that push and this was it. This was what I needed.

Yes, there are many uncertainties, but life has a funny way of shaking you up, when you may be slipping. Sometimes when we feel like we’re gliding through, spiritually we may just be sliding away. You see, sometimes we pin all our hopes on people. On conditions. On creation. Sometimes we get so sucked in by this Duniyaa, that we are completely distanced from Allah, even when we are blatantly ignoring the fact that he is taking care of everything so beautifully for us.

You see, there’s a special kind of journey for those who choose Allah above everything. Above wealth. Above comfort. Above love, even, the love of this world. When we choose to submit, through difficulty or ease. When you choose Allah and His way of life, things are not always promised to be easy.

But when you remember that there’s a way to resurface, to overcome, to revert from any dip that we may have taken… it’s pretty simple to come back. Yes, to be strong is great but there are times when we have to come undone. To be vulnerable. Let the weight of your emotions flow. When we let it all go.

I looked at my sister now as she got out of bed to make a fresh ablution. For all these years, her life had been solely focused on getting our family through the tough times. Her small but grand gestures would never be anything I could compare to, but I knew that even a little perseverance could go a long way. And even when I watched my sister, one thing I realized now was that growing up doesn’t just simply end. It’s not a once-off journey.

We are always growing, always changing. We keep trying new things. We keep coming back to where we left off.

Change isn’t always smooth-sailing. Growing up isn’t always the easiest thing. But sometimes it’s the only way to progress, to be selfless, to care about something other than yourself.. and to reach greater heights.

From time to time, even when the scars on your soul start to ache, remember that you made it through that rough time and once again, as you grow, it will get you through again.

Mission Sunnah Revival! Sunnah before sleeping. 

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيمر

Hazrat Baraa Ibne ‘Aazib
(حضرت براء ابن عازب)
رضى الله تعالى عنه
When رسول الله صلى الله تعالى عليه وسلم would retire to his bed, he would lie down on his right side, thereafter he supplicated:
اللهم اسلمت نفسى اليك
O الله! I submit myself to You
ووجهت وجهى اليك
And I turned my face to You
وفوضت امرى اليك
And I entrusted all my affairs to You
والجات ظهرى اليك
And I placed my back (body) in Your protection
رغبة و رهبة اليك
In anticipation of Your reward and due to fear of Your punishment
لا ملجا و لا منجا منك إلا اليك
There is no escape, nor salvation from You, except with You
آمنت بكتابك الذى أنزلت
I believe in Your book, which You revealed
و نبيك الذى أرسلت
And (I believe) Your Prophet, whom You sent.

(Bukhaaree Shareef)

Supplicating the above, is actually a renewal of belief.
Sleeping on the right side, is beneficial from various perspectives and a Sunnah.
A person can get up early, without difficulty
It reminds of the grave, because we are buried in that position.







FB/Instagram: @thejourneyingmuslimah


When we say Goodbye

Bismihi Ta’ala


There is a sunrise and a sunset every day. A new day… a new chance. A new opportunity to start all over again. Sometimes when we lose ourselves in our own chaos, the only solution is to reacquaint ourselves with the colors of a sunset. With it, there is a certain sorrow, but also… we see a promise for tomorrow. With its course… Just like with each goodbye, there is usually a new hello. It’s a reminder to embrace the air that surrounds you. I reminder to dwell in the appreciation of life and all that it can bring. A reminder that indeed, after a loss, Allah always promises a relief.

Yes, sometimes it’s goodbye. But sometimes it’s hello.

And if anything, losing Aadam was a reminder for all of us about what this life was really about. The truth is that we get stuck in this rat-race… so immersed in Duniya… so captured in this world with the thought that tomorrow is always there and it will never end. The deception of the world was an illusion that fooled even the most intelligent of man…

A buzurg (pious man) once said: “I am astonished at the man who knows that he will die and that death can come to him at anytime yet still enjoys the things of this world. I am astonished at the man who believes that Jahannam is real and that nobody knows where his place in the Aakhirah(hereafter) is going to be but still finds time to laugh. I am astonished at a person who sees poor people become rich and rich people become poor in this world all the time but still feels happy when he gets some wealth. I am astonished at that person who believes in Taqdeer (that everything is already decided and that everyone must get his share) but still makes an effort to earn the world.” (Fazaail- e-Sadaqaat)

And the truth was that the thought of death was fairly distant back then… I was yet to learn all those lessons about life.. The reality of death was still far-fetched, as it is for most of us. No-one thinks that their time is nearly up. I didn’t really think that I’d have to say goodbye to Aadam so soon. Though his death was probability, the suddenness of it was still brutal.

And yes, his death was a much needed reminder, but his presence was a gift to us too. Aadam had been sent, like a gust of wind, uplifting and awakening a part of me that I never knew existed. With his carefree openness and his spirit… through horse and mountains, sunsets and serenity…. he showed us something so beautiful and true, that not only was it a great love, but also one of those amazing friendships that opened my heart and made me believe that beautiful things could really be.

And after all that time… it was no wonder that I had been thinking of him, because when Ma had spoken of Aadam, of course, my heart knew no boundaries. Though I missed him every day, I the thought of him being in a place where there was no pain or grief always soothed me. His memories were a stirring to what I thought was long buried. There were so many thoughts and feelings and moments that even if I could talk about them, I knew that words would be exhausted before I even finished. It was amazing and extraordinary and everything in between…

It was just that right now, with the new discovery, some things were a little difficult to understand, and I really wished that I could just ask him…

Oh my noodles, Khawlah!”

Nusaybah’s voice was enough to cause my stirring heart to literally jump into my throat as the room door flung open. Lo and behold, there she was… my slightly deranged friend, all in a hype over something that I was obviously clueless about.

And of course, I should have seen the signs. Her scarf was neatly pinned, her make-up was immaculately done and a huge smile was planted on her shining face. I, of course, could only scowl as I looked back at her, appalled at her for disturbing my peaceful and perfect dreamworld…

Much to my horror, Nusaybah was already at the window, busy yanking the curtains open. As happened every Saturday morning, Khadijah was gone with Ahmed since after Fajr, and this was my one morning to sleep in. How was this even fair?! It was only 9AM!

”Nusaybah, can’t it wait till later?” I asked, clearly irritable as I  pulled the feather pillow over my head. It was the only solution.

”Khawlah, are you crazy?” She said, spinning around and glaring at me, clearly mortified by my suggestion. “Can I ever wait for anything?! This is big news!”

It was true. Nusaybah was the most impatient of people that I had ever come across.

Realization dawned as I remembered last nights discussion with my uncle. My heart hammered as I wondered if Nusaybah had already made up her mind.

“Goodness,” I breathed, now wide awake as I  wondered how I would deal if Nusaybah was all head-over-heels. “Don’t tell me that you’re already going gaga over my unworthy cousin?”

And for the first time ever in the history of our crazy friendship, Nusaybah’s cheeks turned a deep shade of crimson, as she immediately burst into girly giggles. Honestly, if she hadn’t invaded the room and yanked open my curtains, I would have sworn that this was another person. Never in my life had I seen my friend act so coy.

And yes, I had learnt a few extraordinary things about my friend during the past few days. Although she often ‘oohed’ and ‘aahed’ over random guys… when there finally came a time that she was truly interested in someone… she was the epitome of bashfulness. For the past few days since they arrived from the UK, when cousin was in the vicinity, my bold and boisterous friend suddenly morphed into a timid mouse. It was truly quite hilarious.

Ny uncle and his family had been down from the UK for two weeks now. It was great having them around but the best part was that with them coming, as always, it brought so much more than we anticipated…

I smiled at her, despite the fact that I was clearly quite emotional. I kept recalling the time when we had unbelievably and ambitiously dreamt of having picnic together, thinking that our kids would grow up together. All of that seemed like a distant memory now… how we planned our lives with to the tee, and how Allah’s plan comes with its own surprising beauty.
Was it already three years?! I could barely believe how time had flown.

Strange how some of the weirdest thoughts turn true and some realities are so far from what you ever imagined…

“I think you guys will be amazing together,” I said, my eyes tearing up. “And I’m so happy for you…”

Her eyes were brimming too as she came forward to embrace me, then pulled back and looked me in the eye.

“This doesn’t mean you can boss me around, alright? I’m still two months older than you. I’m sure Mr Perfect would have agreed.. “

”You wish!” I said, sticking my tongue out at her. “Cousin-in-laws are allowed to be bossy. Too bad Mr Perfects not around to see it, huh? It’s strange how life turns out sometimes, isn’t it?”

She smiled, albeit a little dejectedly, knowing that Aadam would have been thrilled for her too. It had been barely two weeks ago that I had gotten the feeling that Nusaybah was interested in my cousin… and because my friend was such a candidly expressive person…  I knew that the best thing to do was to feel the waters and see if there was any real potential for something exciting to progress. What I didn’t expect was Faheem to be just as crazily into Nusaybah as she was…

I grinned as I saw the expression on my cousin’s face. At the time, I knew that it was definitely going to be fun to match-make and I couldn’t wait for it all to come together. It was just that now that it was all happening, I kind of wanted it to slow down..

“Okay,” I said, trying to get over the commotion. “Now that the cats out of the bag, can I go back to sleep and continue dreaming about my husband? He was about to tell me something important before you inconsiderately butted into our conversation..”

I knew  that I needed some time to let this all process… to come to terms with my friend actually leaving me…

No!” Nusaybah yelled, planting her hands on her hips and glaring me. “Tell Mr. Perfect dream version that you’ll catch him later. We got work to do, girl! My father spoke to your uncle and they want the Nikah next week! Next week, Khawlah! Do you know what that means?! It means I’m already two months behind with wedding preparations… oh my goodness, I’m freaking out!”

I think I was the one that was going to go crazy. This was moving too fast for my liking. Way too fast.

The two of them had literally just spoken a few days ago and Nusaybah was already to give her answer. I knew that it was good and better for them, but I just digest what this would mean. I was just glad that Nusaybah wouldn’t be leaving straight away. Or would she? Faheem was speaking about doing his medical internship in SA. I had no idea why, but that worked out perfectly for me…

“Listen,” Nusaybah said, and I could tell she was watching me carefully. My friend knew me a little too well for my liking. “You know that he wouldn’t have hurt you intentionally, right?”

It took me a minute to figure out what she was talking about. Yesterday’s discussions had many features to them. Aadam and Khalid was one of them.

I nodded slowly as I met Nusaybah’s eye.

”Aadam or Khalid?” I asked with a small smile.

The truth was that I had been so clouded with emotion that I couldn’t help but be a little too accusing. I supposed I was angry. Angry at Aadam. Angry at Khalid. Angry that they had both hid the truth. Angry that Khalid had let us believe he was dead for so long. Angry that he hadn’t stayed in contact with Yunus. Angry that he’d come back, thinking he can just pick up where he left. Angry that this had opened so many healing wounds…

Yes, I had been angry. Quite so. But now that my mind was clearer and my dream was a reminder of the kind of person he was, I did realize that maybe I had been a little too impulsive in my actions. Maybe we shouldn’t have gone to Aunty Radiyyah immediately…

”Lets just forget about it for a while, why don’t we?” She wisely concluded. “Warrior Hijaabi with a heart of rock… I know it’s hard… pardon the pun…  Besides, you can’t stay angry at insanely handsome people…”

I rolled my eyes at her, knowing that she was talking about Khalid.

”Whatever,” I mumbled. To me, Khalid was just well… Khalid. No matter what Nusaybah thought.
Nusaybah’s expression was still pensive, and I looked at her questioningly as she plopped herald on the bed next to me, looking up at the ceiling in a half-daze.

“Some things we don’t see coming,” she said softly, turning to look at me.

“Like Faheem,” I said knowingly. I swallowed as I said it, knowing that this was something she didn’t see coming either. Yet it was amazing…

“I don’t think you saw Aadam coming either,” she said blandly, looking at the ceiling again. “Like a whirlwind, he came out of the blue and turned this warrior hijaabi friend of mine into the loving girl who became the most amazing mother to his daughter. He brought so much of joy and sunshine to your life. He woke you up in a way that you’d never known before.”

I turned to watch her speak, glimpsing her teary smile as I looked ahead again, not wanting to give into emotion. It was so achingly true, yet I didn’t want to remember it..

“And as for Khalid,” she murmured suddenly, catching me a little off guard. “I know very well that he was a really beloved friend of yours… once upon a time. I also know that without him… at that crucial part of your childhood when it mattered how you saw the world… without that beautiful and rare love that moulded you… you wouldn’t have been that someone who could see the beauty in everything, instead of dwelling on the loss. He showed you that there’s a reason for life and a reason for death and that everything in between is for and through Allah alone. If it wasn’t for him, Khawlah, you might have been an entirely different kind of Khawlah that I know and truly love…”

”But still,” I insisted, fighting back emotion and not wanting to stray from the point. Sentiments aside, right?

Ugh,” she exclaimed, throwing her hands up in the air in exasperation. “There are no buts, woman! It’s pretty simple, don’t you see?!”

I didn’t. Nusaybah’s thoughts were always on a completely different wavelength to mine.

“Aadam was a beautiful chapter of your life,” she murmured, almost inaudibly.

“I know,” I whispered. And I didn’t want to spoil that chapter.

”But so was Khalid,” she said pointedly, with a small smile. “I think it’s amazing that the two of them met. Don’t you think it’s a beautiful ending to what could be a great story?”

I never did look at it that way. From that little girl who was somewhat lost, through Khalid and his constant reminders and inspiration… I had become the best version of myself that I could ever be.

I narrowed my eyes at Nusaybah, not really wanting to know what she was thinking. No. I wouldn’t entertain it.

Goodness, she was always putting things into such an amazing perspective for me and I was so going to miss this crazy friend of mine. I turned to her instantly, closing in for a fierce hug, catching her completely off-guard as we both forgot for a moment about the emotions and the pain that had once been etched in our hearts.

And of course, as she left the room, just as how she’d come, Nusaybah had left me with much to think about for that moment. It was no surprise that the next two weeks flew by with nothing else but her as the central focus. It was a crazy bout of organizing and excitement that rained on us for those few days, whilst we tried to keep afloat and make the most of the time we had. My Madrasah studies that I had finally started at the beginning of that year were put on hold for a few days, as I tried to give her the best farewell. The plan was for Nusaybah to go to the UK for three months, and Faheem to then come back here to stay in a remote area where he would be doing his internship. Nusaybah was thrilled because it meant that she could finally apply for her own admission to the nearby medical school… but I wasn’t… because that meant that she’d be nowhere near me.

And it was no wonder that in the midst of it all, I had even forgotten that Aunty Radiyyah would be leaving for a while too. Everything was so crazily busy that when I finally came up to breathe, there was barely any time to spend with her and say goodbye the way I wanted to before her big leave. I knew I’d be seeing her the next day at the function but knowing that I wouldn’t get to talk much was making me strangely nostalgic. I lived with the hope that I could find some time to chat to her once Nusaybah and Faheem had headed off.

And then of course, the wedding day dawned on us, and we wondered where all the time had been lost. Nusaybah, in her untold glory, made a delightfully beautiful bride.

And as we dressed that day, I couldn’t help but do a double take as she pulled on her dress, slowly twirling around in joy as she gazed at herself as a bride. Of course, I couldn’t stop staring at my friend either. There was no doubt that she was sensational in peach and ivory, and as the time neared for her Nikah to be performed, ready to hear those words that would unite her and Faheem for life, I could see the slight traces of nervousness behind her rigid frame. Nusaybah, being who she was, was full of energy and unvontained excitement. I could hear excited chatter around me, as the words were uttered, and everyone waited for the groom to arrive. The laughter and sensation was contagious, and as the evenings events commenced, and everything  I couldn’t fully grasp that my friend was actually married.

Her impromptu squeak of joy as the words were evidence of her elation. I knew then, at that moment was this was the moment that I had been waiting for. For everything she had done for me… for all her sacrifices and encouragement and words of wisdom.. this moment was a moment of ultimate gratification.

All I could think of was the way she always came through for me… the way she made me see sense and the way she put everything into perspective when I was completely missing the point.

It was no wonder that I had suddenly had this overwhelming desire in me that some day… One day… I really wished that I’d get a chance to repay Nusaybah for all the jacking up that I constantly needed. Yes, I hoped that one day I’d be the one that would help her through her own battles that she faced too… because I knew wat back when, that this friendship was one of those forever ones.

It was the moment that I had been waiting for. This friendship of mine, that I hoped and prayed would be one that I would carry through to Jannah… was finally seeing what it deserved. And my heart soared because l had actually finally fulfilled that dream and been a small part of making her happiness. I knew I could never do it justice, but as I hugged her with every bit of strength I could muster, the goodbyes that were imminent felt like the most difficult thing in the world.

“I wished that I didn’t have to say goodbye…” I said, feeling all teary as I realized that inevitably, I would have to.

Nusaybah looked at me, her dark eyes filled with unhindered emotion.

“Khawlah,” she said quietly as she met my gaze. “I wished that I could stay with you a little longer…”

I nodded, feeling all choked up but wishing the exact same, as she placed her hands on my shoulders reassuringly, and her beautiful face glowed with a mixture of sorrow and elation.

”Theres still so much I need to tell you,” she murmured, swallowing her emotion. “I wish that I could to convince you that you can live again. I wish that I could get you out of Mr Perfect’s perfect world. I wish that you’d see things the way everyone else does. I wish that things didn’t turn out the way they did for you. I wished so many things for you…”

Her voice broke at that point and I went toward her, reaching out to hold her, yet not knowing what she meant.

I looked at her, as her eyes filled with tears, and I held her hand tighter as I tried to assure her that I’d be okay. All my friend ever wanted was the best for me, but why was it so hard to give in..?

I could feel her grip tighten as she held onto me,  one last time, and then finally pull away, looking back at me with significant tears in her eyes but the most amazing Nusaybah-like smile on her beautiful face.

”Nus,” I asked, really quite bewildered by her sudden change of emotion right then. “Can you please tell me what’s going on?”

She was still smiling like a buffoon, as she reached for my hand and gripped it assuringly.

”It’s a surprise,” she said happily, with a single tear streak glimmering on her cheek. Happy tears, I realized as my heart soared. There was something up her sleeve. Those were definitely happy tears.

“I couldn’t say goodbye just yet and I wish that I could have told you sooner,” she babbled a little hysterically. “But it was too soon, and I really wanted to just make sure it was the right choice this time. I wanted to tell you… there’s something I really need to show you…”

Revive the Sunnah of Du’aa

Having good Expectations and certain faith that Allaah will respond
Al-Tirmidhi (3476) narrated that Fadaalah ibn ‘Ubayd (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: Whilst the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ was sitting, a man came in and prayed and said, “O Allaah, forgive me and have mercy on me.” The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said, “You have been too hasty, O worshipper. When you have prayed and are sitting, praise Allaah as He deserves to be praised, and send blessings upon me, then call upon Him.” (Authenticated by Albani)
According to another version (3477): “When one of you prays, let him start with praise of Allaah, then let him send blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ, then let him ask whatever he likes after that.” Then another man prayed after that, and he praised Allaah and sent blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ. The Prophet ﷺ said: “O worshipper, ask and you will be answered.”

Therefore, whenever a worshipper asks Allah with sincerity, hoping for Allah’s mercy, and fulfilling the etiquette and manners of dua, he should be certain that his Du’aa will be responded to.

Lots and lots of Duaas. Let’s focus on trying to bring Du’aa into our daily lives...

How easy to practice …











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