Journeying: A Step Ahead: Haseena’s Hanging On

Umar was staring at me, wondering what it was that I had made my big decision about.

“Umar,” I said. “I don’t want kids.”

I spoke quickly so that I could get the sentence out as soon as possible.

Umar blinked at me a few times, then looked confused. Confusion quickly turned to anger as what I had said sunk in.

“What..?” He asked disbelievingly. “What d’you mean, Has? Are you for real or is this just an over-reaction to everything that’s happened? Because that, Haseena… What you just said… That’s ridiculous!”

I stuck my chin out stubbornly, staring him down.

“You don’t know what it’s like!” I exclaimed, almost in tears. “I can’t go through this again… I just can’t!”

“Haseena,” Umar said, coming forward. “Think rationally, babe, please. It’s not only your decision to make… Can we discuss this? Please?”

I shook my head, not wanting to be convinced otherwise.

Umar had his hand in his pocket, and was pacing the room, looking unsettled. He finally turned to face me, with a slight frown.

“Has, this is not the end,” he said. “We’re still young, we have time. People can’t even fall pregnant. Don’t talk like that.”

I had to tell him what was on my mind. I had to say it.

“But Umar,” I said softly. “What if it’s just not meant to be? What if we continue trying and it never happens? What if…”

I trailed off, hesitant about what his response would be to my next though.

“Umar,” I said. “What if one day you wake up and realise that I’m never going to be enough for you?”

Umar’s expression softened as he came toward the bed, sitting next to me. He held my hand in his, squeezing tightly for a second before he spoke.

“Haseena, I understand what you’re going through.”

Did he really? I didn’t think so. He wasn’t the one who had to deliver the baby. He didn’t have to carry a baby to almost full term, and then deliver it asleep. He wasn’t the one lying there, exhausted, hoping to hear the cry of her newborn son. Did he really know what it was like?

“But,” he continued. “Please understand that I married you. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. So if that means that it will just be the two of us, in our comfortable little apartment, till we are old and grey, Insha Allah, I don’t mind. Even if you sometimes forget my name, or get fed-up of me, I’ll still love you. I will love you till we part, and that will only be with death, if Allah wills… So…”

He paused, giving me his handkerchief so I could wipe my sniffing nose.

“So Has,” he continued. “Don’t lose faith in Allah’s plan. Don’t be rash or ungrateful. It is going in exact accordance to what He had willed. There is nothing better than facing this test with patience for the short time that we are in this world… That might just be our much needed ticket to Jannah.”

I knew that there was a good reason for everything that happens. We had to believe that Allah (SWT) is the best of all planners, and therefore there is nothing we can do or redo, and no amount of guilt or worrying can change what has already occurred. Allah Ta’ala has already decreed what was meant.

“No amount of guilt can change the past and no amount of worrying can change the future. Go easy on yourself, for the outcome of all affairs is determined by Allah’s decree. If something is meant to go elsewhere it will never come your way but if it is yours by destiny from you it cannot flee.”
Umar Ibn al-Khattab (RA)

“Remember, Haseena, as people of ‘Alhumdullilah’, we need to take everything as a blessing.  Nothing is a calamity… Only a means of gaining closeness to Allah. We should appreciate that we were blessed to have this child. We can now hold onto that gift of love in our heart for all our lives. Understand that he was only ever a loan to us, and we always have to be ready to give back whatever gifts Allah (SWT) blesses us with in hope of greater rewards. Imagine, knowing that they are in Jannah, the best of places, and that they will never suffer any hardship… What a great source of comfort!”

“Abu Hassaan said:

‘I said to Abu Hurayrah: Two of my sons have died. Can you narrate to me any hadith from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) which will console us for our loss?

He said: Yes: Their little ones are the little ones (da’aamees) of Paradise. When one of them meets his father – or his parents – he takes hold of his garment – or his hand – as I am taking told of the hem of your garment, and he does not let go until Allah admits him and his father to Paradise’.”(Sahih Muslim)

“And I know, Has, that you need to grieve,” he continued, after pausing for a while. “Even our Nabi (SAW) had shed tears when his last son had passed away, saying that it was only in his human nature to do so. Imagine their Imaan. He witnessed the last breaths of his son, but completely submitted to the will of Allah. He thanked Allah thereafter. There was nothing more to do but accept what was meant…”

I nodded my head, obviously unable to imagine what it must have been like to see that happening. To be pleased with Allah’s will, feeling helpless, when the heart was stricken by grief.

“So the most important thing here to remember here is that though the heart may be grieving, what we say with the tongue must not in any way prove us to be ungrateful or displeased.”

I knew where Umar was going with this. I knew what he was trying to tell me, but my mind was already set on one track.

“What you’re saying, Has,” he explained. “Is that you don’t want to leave this is the hands of Allah Ta’ala. You want to change what can happen, because of what Allah had willed. When we say ‘Inna Lillahi wa Inna ilaihi Raji’oon’, we need to really believe that we are Allah Ta’ala’s property and will be returned to Him. No calamity is too great when we realise that, Has. With patience and even sadness, we must still accept it, without saying anything to displease our Lord.”

It was so easy when he said it. Like it would be so easy to attain that stage. But the nagging feeling was still there, at the back of my mind. He didn’t know what this was like. He didn’t know what I was going through.

“But Umar, I just don’t think I want to go through this-“

“Haseena,” he interrupted sternly. “I don’t know what you were thinking of, but I’ll never accept that decision. I feel as hurt as you do, but whatever is in store for us is in Allah’s hands. Women are crying over not having kids. I’ve told you how the mothers in the Middle East would cling to their dead children who they couldn’t save. It was the worst thing to ever envision. Their pain was nothing less than yours, but they had faith. They had to make choices that you’ve never imagined. They didn’t give up and make decisions that interfere with Allah’s plan.”

His tone was stern, and I immediately felt guilty.

I knew that. But I couldn’t help that feeling that I was getting. I knew I would only be settled when I got some closure, and in my mind, this was the way. He had seen this before… Been through it all. Now he expected me to just accept it like he did.

I was about to start speaking again, but my sentence was left hanging as Shazia walked into the ward.

She greeted me while Umar sat on the side of the room, so she could check on my stitches. It was a bit weird having her to see to me, but my doctor would only be here later. I appreciated the extra care.

“You can go home today,” she said, looking up at me.

“Really?” I asked, a bit surprised.

I wasn’t sure what they usually did in these cases.  I just didn’t expect them to discharge me so soon. Frankly, I wasn’t sure if I was ready.

I just nodded my head, while we spoke about what I needed to do when I got home. I felt bad that they hadn’t even been on a proper honeymoon as yet, but she assured me they were leaving at the end of the week. I thanked her before she finally went to finish her rounds, and lay back, feeling a bit uneasy.

“You want me to pack your stuff?” Umar asked, opening the cupboard doors. Our previous argument was forgotten for now, whilst I thought about going home.

I nodded my head.

“I’m coming home with you,” I said to Umar.

He looked confused.

“But why? You need to recover, babe. You rather go to your mums.”

I shook my head, determined not to go there. I just wanted to go back to normal. I didn’t want everyone fussing over me, especially since there was no baby to worry about.

Umar came forward and sat down next to me again.

“Has, why?” he asked, looking me in the eye. “Is everything okay? Like… At home? I noticed Laila didn’t come yesterday…”

I shrugged my shoulders, not sure about what to say about Laila. I didn’t want Umar to know what Laila had probably been up to. I didn’t know any of the details, but that Zafer guy just made me wary.

“Has,” Umar said, peering at me. “I can see you’re hiding something.”

I sighed, deciding to brief him about what had happened. I wasn’t going to give him any details, but I knew he wouldn’t let it go.

“So that’s why she turned Yusuf down,” I said to him, while he ran his hand through his hair under his hat, and nodded.

“Leave her, Has,” he said. “It’s her life, and her choice. Hope he’s a good guy. You say he’s coming home, so we’ll suss him out then huh..?”

He winked at me, a little amused by the whole thing. He didn’t know how she had met him. He didn’t even know who he was.

As if reading my thoughts, he asked casually.

“What’s his name, by the way? Do we know him?” he asked, raising his eyebrows. “You know everyone here in this farm town is connected in some way.”

“Actually,” I replied. “His name is Zafer. You probably don’t know… You know Tasneem’s-“

He turned to look at me sharply from where he stood, his expression completely changed.

“Zafer?! Tasneem’s bru-in-law?”

“Err.. Jhee.. You know him?” I asked, surprised.

“Eish… Hell!” He said emphatically. He fiddled with his beard, looking worried. “Sorry… But she doesn’t know what’s coming her way.”

“Umar, don’t judge the guy,” I said, trying to be fair. Maybe he wasn’t that bad after all. We were just judging him by the family he came from.

“Has, I’m not kidding… That guy is bad news.”

“How do you know?!”

Umar took a deep breath, sitting down again, looking at me hesitantly. He finally spoke, probably unable to be silent any longer.

“Haseena,” he said slowly. “He’s the guy that shot me.”

 

Author’s Note: Apologies for delays. Insha Allah, the next Sunnah we will be implementing is also to do with eating. A Du’aa that our Nabi (SAW) used to recite so we would not have to account for the food we would eat.

Alhumdulilllah, this Du’aa was a practise of our Nabi (SAW), and to implement will earn great rewards, Insha Allah.

لْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي هُوَ أَشْبَعَنَا وَأَرْوَانَا وَأَنْعَمَ عَلَيْنَا وَأَفْضَلَ

Allhamdulillah hillathee huwa ashba’ naa wa arwa’ naa wa an’ama alaynaa wa afdhal.

All praise belongs to Allah Who through His Mercy, made us to eat our fill, and as a great favour bestowed on us plentifully. (Dhurre Manthur)
Also in Fadhaail-e-Sadaqaat, page 339

Reminder for Mission Sunnah Revival. We hope that everyone is trying to implement, Insha Allah.

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofAwakening

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#ReciteQur’anDaily – at least a quarter

#BoycottSin

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N.B. There might not be a post tomorrow. Apologies in advance,

Journeying: A Step Ahead: Haseena’s Heart Aches

بسم الله

I awoke feeling slightly drowsy and mildly unsettled. At first I couldn’t remember where I was, but as my eyes focussed on the blue curtains in the hospital room, my memory seemed to slowly rebuild itself.

I first looked down at my once protruding tummy, and then turned to look at Umar, who was seated next to me on the hospital chair. He sensed me wake up and immediately looked up from his phone, giving me a smile.

I winced inwardly. How could he smile when my heart felt like it was tearing apart?

I was literally aching on the inside, trying with all my might to hold myself back.

This wasn’t suppose to happen. It was so close, yet in the end, it didn’t come through for us. The baby was never ours to begin with.

After 8 and a half months of carrying him, my life felt like it was missing something. Was I not careful enough? Did I make this happen?

I looked up at Umar as he held my hand, telling me not to sit up.

“Umar,” I asked, holding back tears. “Where is he?”

He looked at me, a little shocked.

“Has, it’s been two days. We had to do the… Err… The formalities as soon as possible.”

Two days? I didn’t understand. Formalities? He had buried him?

“What?” I asked, disbelievingly. “So I’ll never see him?”

“Haseena,” Umar explained. “Understand, you were completely out of it. There was no way that  I could have…”

I turned my face away from him, feeling angry and disappointed. I knew it wasn’t his fault, but I needed someone to blame for now. Now that the anger had set in, my grief was consuming me.

But even through my state, I had known what the doctors were saying. Shazia was trying to explain to me as tactfully as possible, as I persevered through labour that day.

The baby had caught an infection in the uterus, the same infection that I had also later got. It was rare, they had said. Rare, but it had happened to me. To me. I just happened to be of the small percentage that it had happened to.

I felt raw on the inside. I felt like there was something missing. I felt robbed. I could still remember the emotions that coupled with the labour, the immense pain that had overtaken my body. It was something I probably wouldn’t forget for a long time. I realised now that because he was already gone, my labour had been that much more painful and lengthy. I was delivering something completely lifeless.

And then I remembered the moment he was born. I remember them talking, saying it was a boy, but not in the excited way that they usually did. It was a dull tone, a lifeless announcement. Just like his motionless body. A declaration made just so they could say he was delivered. Born, but still. Stillborn.

And I felt distraught. Incomplete, because I never got to meet him. I was never sure if I would ever get over the fact that I never held him. I never touched him, or saw the miracle that had grown in my stomach for nearly 9 months. I never got to hold the bundle that I hoped I would see grow and play within the confines of our marital home.

I looked at Umar now, furiously blinking back tears. I was absolutely devastated.

“Haseena,” he said softly. I could already tell that he was going to comfort me, and I impulsively stiffened. I didn’t want to comforted right now. I was still trying to deal with what exactly it was that I was feeling.

“He looked just like you,” Umar said finally, looking up at me. “He was perfect, babe, but he was never ours to begin with.”

I knew that. I knew that he didn’t belong to us, but it didn’t fill the void in my chest. I wondered if the pain would ever get better. I wondered if it would subside with time. At that moment, it seemed impossible.

“Haseena, can I call in your family?” he asked carefully. “They really want to see you.”

I grabbed his hand quickly, stopping him from going out. I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready to talk about it. I wasn’t ready for them to talk about him. Not yet.

Umar sat down again, looking at me with . He didn’t say anything. e didn’t need to. I just needed his presence. He seemed so strong, while I was a complete wreck. He had endured it so patienetly, but I was still questioning Allah’s will.

“I named him Qasim,” Umar said, out of the blue.

I smiled a little through my tears as I heard that, remembering us arguing about names. It was the name I wanted if it was a boy.

I had liked it a lot, mainly because it was one of the names of the son’s of our Nabi (SAW). I had never thought that our baby wouldn’t be with us today, but it seemed to be the perfect name, with a perfect fit. I just wished that I had been there for the final moments.

As if reading my thoughts, Umar spoke about the burial, trying hard to speak normally, amidst the torrent of emotions. Hearing about it finally gave me a strange sense of comfort. Though my eyes brimmed with uncontrollable tears, I hung onto every detail. I felt like I could finally be a part of it, although I wasn’t there.

Umar came closer now, gently embracing me to offer some comfort. The tears were threatening to escape again, but I wanted to be strong too. I didn’t know how he did it.

“You know, Has,” Umar said thoughtfully, his own grief only slightly noticeable. “We have to understand, that we can’t comprehend Allah’s wisdom. Allah Ta’ala will never take something away without giving something in return.”

“Maulana was talking the other day about when the Prophet’s (SAW) son Ibraaheem fell very ill. He adored him, and when he fell ill, the Prophet (SAW) held him, and tears sprang to his eyes. When he passed away, he had said something like, “Eyes are tearful, hearts are in sorrow, but we only say what pleases our Lord. We are certainly sad that you, Ibraheem, has left us.”

I knew he was trying to get me to understand, but as a mother my pain was inconsolable at that point. He continued talking, nonetheless.

“And then,” he said. “Then he consoled his wife, Maariya Qibtiya (RA), who was the only other woman besides Hadhrat Khadija (RA) to bear a child of our Nabi (SAW). He had told her that if only she could see… If only she wanted, the veils could be lifted and she could see their son, who was being fed and seen to by the malaaikah in Jannah. Imagine that, Has… SubhanAllah…”

Narrated by Al-Bara’ (may Allah be pleased with them):

“When Ibrahim (the son of Prophet) expired, Allah’s Apostle said, ‘There is a wet-nurse for him in Paradise’.” (Sahih Bukhari)

And of course, she didn’t need to be shown because she knew the truth of the words of our Nabi (SAW).

“They had such utter faith and trust in Allah Ta’ala, she didn’t even need to be shown. She was comforted just by those words, but us… We are so far from that…”

His voice faltered as he looked up at me again, and reached for my hand. His voice was solemn as he spoke.

“Insha Allah, Has, our Qasim will be waiting to drag us into Jannah with him. He’ll be there.”

I nodded silently, processing it all. How beautiful it was that Islam was so complete. There were no loose ends, and no guessing.

Our babies would both be there to take us to Jannah with them, and I only wished that I would be deserving of that.

I knew it now, but the pain was still quite intense. It was time to come to terms with it, though. There was no other way to accept it.

There was little time left to dwell, because soon afterwards, Mummy and Daddy came in to see me.

It was difficult to speak about it, but everyone was really understanding. My family was supportive and my in laws were a pillar of strength as well. I was eternally grateful for Umar standing by me, protecting me from anything I might have not wanted to talk about. Allah Ta’ala had really made sure that everything was completely in order for me that day.

I didn’t see Laila that day, and found myself wondering if she was okay. It crossed  my mind that she might have been feeling a bit guilty about everything that we had spoken about. I had so much on my mind at the time, that I couldn’t really figure out how I had been feeling about it myself.

I shoved it out of my mind that night whilst other thoughts overtook my mind, as I sat alone in the ward.

Sleep was on the brink off setting in, but my mind was consumed my boggling thoughts. My heart ached for the loss. I couldn’t stop rethinking and replaying the events of two days ago in my mind. I couldn’t seem to get it out of my head.

As the following day dawned, I made a decision that I knew was going to impact on both our lives in a huge way. I needed to say it before I would change my mind, despite knowing that once it was done, there would be little hope of anything else.

I just know that I didn’t ever want to feel this way again.

“Umar,” I said to him, as he walked in early that morning.

He looked at me questioningly, and I could see that he was glad to see me looking a little normal.

“Umar,” I repeated, mustering the courage to say it.  “I’ve made a decision.”

 

Author’s Note: Apologies for delay with post and next Sunnah, just haven’t had too much of free time lately. Will definitely mention on Monday, Insha Allah. 

Reminder for Mission Sunnah Revival. We hope that everyone is trying to implement, Insha Allah.

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofAwakening

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#ReciteQur’anDaily – at least a quarter

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Journeying: Still Soldiering On: Umar Unarmed

بسم الله

It was an ambush. Something we didn’t see coming. Completely unexpected.

But once it was happening, there was no turning back. Once we were in the motion of attack, we couldn’t back down, unless we surrendered to defeat.

And when I sometimes found myself in the forefront, wanting to step back or back down, I would remember the words of the leader of the army of Islam at the Battle of Yarmouk.

 O men of Islam ! The time has come for steadfastness. Weakness and cowardice lead to disgrace; and he who is steadfast is more deserving of Allah’s help. He who stands bravely before the blade of the sword will be honored, and his labors rewarded, when he goes before Allah.

Lo ! Allah loves the steadfast. (Khalid Ibn Waleed (RA))

And I knew that now. There was no time to back down for the ones who knew where they fate would be.

When I returned home afterward, my mind was completely consumed. I so much wanted to be in that atmosphere again. I so much wanted to embrace the life that I had grown to love. But my place wasn’t there.

And even here, I knew I would place my trust in Him alone, although we felt ambushed again.

Indeed, Allah loves the steadfast. Amidst whatever challenges we faced, I had to hold onto my faith. Nobody could rescue a soul from hardship, except for Allah.

I looked at my perspiring wife that evening, as she tried with all her might to deliver my child.

Her fever was constantly rising. An infection had taken over her as she went into labour, and though the warnings about the baby were on my mind, my main concern was Haseena.

I needed her. It was as simple as that. Through my own inner battles, she was the one constant. She was always there. I felt horrible for thinking it, but if it meant choosing between my child and her, I knew I would want her.

The immense pain that she was going through made me physically cringe. I couldn’t imagine what it was like. A woman, even in her fragility, could bear such excruciating pain. It made me see my own mother in a whole new light.

“Ma’am, you need to push now. You need to stay awake,” the nurse said, looking sternly at Haseena.

Haseena shook her head, signalling to me that she couldn’t. I knew what her eyes were saying, although she didn’t speak. I could see the utter defeat that she felt, despite her not saying a word.

“Can’t you’ll do something…. Anything… A caesar? Something that will help with the pain?” I asked, panicking.

The nurse shook her head. Haseena’s eyes were closing, but another round of contractions immediately took it’s effect.

“It’s too late, sir. She needs to push. With no heartbeat-“

I cut her off there, not wanting her to continue. They said there was no heartbeat. How could they be so sure? Maybe I was in denial, but half their machines weren’t even in working order.

I bent down by Haseena’s side, holding her hand firmly. She barely had any strength in her to hold it back. I could feel a lump forming in my throat, but I couldn’t give up now. I had to be strong.

“Haseena, please,” I begged her. “Just try.. Try hard. I…”

My voice broke as I looked up at her face, but her eyes were focussing somewhere on the ceiling. She was barely alert. My heart literally ached for her.

“Has, I can’t lose you,” I whispered, hanging my head.

The truth of what I had said registered with me. The reality was now inevitable.

What hit me next was the total shock. I hadn’t ever expected to ever face this.

When I had been away, even my latest trip, I had always thought that I would be the one to go first. I had never imagined having to live without Haseena, but I saw it quite clearly now.

So even though I was so desperate to stay behind and do what I loved most, there was an invisible magnet pulling me back here.

As I waited for the inevitable, even at that moment, I found my mind drifting back in time… To when I had come back to her. How I had done it.

The mission of my last trip had been the most trying. It was a battle to get home, facing problems with security at the airport, having to take several detours, but they had finally let me go after three days of inconclusive questioning. They wouldn’t ever be able to get anything out of me.

The thing was, being the way I was, posed a threat to the world. To the west, embracing Sunnah libaas and the Islamic way of life was ‘extreme’. Seeing a bearded man clad in the Kurta gets people in a frenzy. When his women are veiled and protected, immediately, she becomes ‘oppressed’.

And for one, it explains why the Muslim and Arab world is in such upheaval. They were being killed by the masses or starving to death. Persecuted in their own lands. Seeing the basic challenges and the trials even in the African countries was an eye-opener for me.

The fact was that Muslims that were steadfast posed a threat. The west is more attuned to the ‘moderate’ Muslim. That’s the kind of Muslim they love. The one who goes with the flow, just accepting whatever they’re told. They don’t oppose the west, but are merely ‘Easy Muslims’.

They give in, without a fight, but as the Hadith predicted, there is no fear of that type of Muslim. They don’t stand as a threat.

The Messenger of Allah said: The nations are about to flock against you [the Muslims] from every horizon, just as hungry people flock to a kettle.

We said: O Messenger of God, will we be few on that day?

He said: No, you will be many in number, but you will be scum, like the scum of a flash-flood, without any weight, since fear will be removed from the hearts of your enemies, and weakness (wahn) will be placed in your hearts.

We said: O Messenger of God, what does the word wahn mean?

He said: Love of this world, and fear of death. (Abu Dawud & Ahmad)

They will be attacked from every angle, although their numbers were many. Despite being the ‘fastest growing religion’, our lives had taken a turn for the worst, deteriorating at the same rate.

After coming back, the lack of commitment to Deen shocked me more than ever. Hearing about war-stricken countries and their plights got people in a absolute state, but I didn’t see how their mere concern was beneficial.  The people who were dying as Shuhadaa are going straight to Jannah, yet our actions left us with no guarantee. With us breaking Allah’s commands over and over, there was little hope for us.

Our lives were consumed with what was temporary, with no concern for Deen. We were so far from Sunnah, it was like our hearts held no attachment to the Nabi of Allah (SAW). We didn’t realise that by reviving his Sunnah, we would be reviving a part of him, in some way.

It was really something to think about, and I pondered about it often, wondering if I would ever be able to reach that stage.

Going back was never an aspiration for me until now. Right now, I would have done  anything to make sure that Haseena just made it  through.

So I pledged to Him that I would, turning to the Almighty in utmost humility, praying for him to save my wife. I would have done anything for her to be okay, even put my own life on the line.  I wanted her to just make it through this, so I could remind her of how much she meant to me.

But despite what I wanted, I still had utmost trust in the plan of my Lord. I believed that whatever it was that was meant to happen would be for the best. I had full faith that His plan was the best, but I knew that if she would make it through, I could never be grateful enough.

I took a deep breath now, watching a new scenario unfolding before my eyes. I couldn’t look, though. I turned my face away, afraid of what would happen next. My heart was in my throat as the final few minutes seemed to take hours to pass.

It was like everything was in slow motion, and the expressions of every person in the room had  changed.

We weren’t expecting it, but the reality of it was a real shocker.

It was a deafening silence, and my heart felt like it was ripped out over and over, as I saw Haseena look at me with tears in her eyes. The flicker of hope that she had in her eyes seemed to have disappeared, just as the energy drained out of them.

The last few minutes seemed like eternity, but I grabbed her hand, and the final minutes were soon over. I left it for a minute to go to the back of the room, wanting to see the baby.

I didn’t know what to really expect, but my own eyes couldn’t really believe what I saw. Despite what I knew, he was absolutely perfect. He looked just like Haseena. They had him bundled up, in a blue hospital blanket.

I turned to look at the nurses who had rushed to Haseena’s side, trying to wake her up. I wanted her to see him, before they would probably take him away.

Though I had seen this before, the baby being my own was a completely unfamiliar feeling. I held him and kissed his motionless body, bonding as much as I could, for a few minutes before the reality hit me.

And then I put him gently in the basket, telling him I would be back for our final meeting, and walked away.

 

Author’s Note: Let us sincerely make an effort today to bring the Sunnah into our lives. Let us embrace our Deen with fervour, so we can rise to the challenges that face the Ummah today. At least one step towards Allah Ta’ala will earn great rewards, and create a strong and united Ummah.

A new one will be mentioned on Saturday Insha Allah.

Reminder for Mission Sunnah Revival. We hope that everyone is trying to implement, Insha Allah.

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofAwakening

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#ReciteQur’anDaily – at least a quarter

#BoycottSin

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Journeying: In the Clouds: Part Five

بسم الله

Zafer?! Wh- what are you doing here?” I stammered, wondering if I was seeing things.

Was he really here? At my house? He looked so casual there, dressed in jeans and a shirt, just standing there as if he belonged here.

“I just wanted to see you,” he said, still smiling. I spotted a set of car keys in his hand, and as I realised that I had been staring at him all this time, I immediately looked at the floor.

I really couldn’t understand the way I was feeling. I was nervous, but scared. I knew that he shouldn’t be here. I knew that nothing good could ever come from him being here. I took a step towards him, and another step back, battling with my conscience.

Why couldn’t I just tell him to leave? It was the right thing to do.

He spoke again, a little softer.

“Laila, I just want to talk to you,” he said. “Why don’t we go to the car?”

Alarm bells were going off in my head. I stood rooted to the spot for a few seconds, while Zafer walked ahead. My legs were slowly beginning to lift, before I heard someone calling for me.

“Laila!”

I turned to see Fareeha running up the driveway, panting in the process.

“Laila, I forgot to tell you!” She said, pausing to catch her breath. “We’re going for Umrah in two weeks time, so please come home next week for supper.”

I looked at Fareeha, then quickly turned to look at where Zafer was. I was hoping she wouldn’t make the connection, because just her being here made me feel embarrassed. After everything she had said, I didn’t want her to see him. I didn’t want her to see us. 

Supper? I nodded my head blindly. It would give me a chance to talk to her about everything.

I also wanted to speak to her about Yusuf. I didn’t want her to not even consider him. It would be selfish of me to not want to see my friend happy. I nodded my head, slightly ashamed, as she hopped into her fathers car as he sped off.

I was ashamed of Fareeha seeing me, but what about my Allah? I wasn’t even bothered with how much He would be displeased. I had been guided enough, through His mercy, to realise my wrong, but I was getting caught in the same trap.

I made up my mind. This was it. No more messing around. I wasn’t going to get caught in Shaytaan’s trap again. Talking was still Zinaa. Being alone together was still Haraam.

“Zafer, go home please,” I said to him, turning around from where I was, intent on ignoring him. He needed to leave.

“What? Laila, I just want to talk. That’s all.”

“I can’t talk,” I replied. “You know that.”

I walked away before I heard footsteps following me.

“Laila, come on,” he said, sounding annoyed. “Stop being so difficult. We’re practically proposed. Give it a break.”

Practically proposed? I almost wanted to laugh, had I not been so angry.

What did that even mean? He hadn’t even been home as yet.

I remained silent, turning to go down the driveway again. I wanted him to stop following me. I didn’t want Bilal to see him.

It was too late though. Zafer was on the verge of starting an argument when Bilal’s hooter sounded from the road. We both spun around to see him hastily park off and exit the car.

“I have to go,” I said to Zafer, trying to distract Bilal as I rushed to the car. He turned to look at Zafer cynically.

“Who the hell is that?!”

I ignored him as I opened the door and greeted Shazia.

“I asked you a question, Laila,” Bilal said, looking at me sternly.

Thankfully, Zafer was already getting into his car.

“Nobody,” I mumbled, getting a bit scared.

Nobody? Really?!” Bilal repeated after me. His voice was getting louder as he spoke.  “If you don’t know him, and he was speaking to you, I’ll break his legs! But if my sister doesn’t know how to behave, I can’t exactly blame the guy, can I?! So, choose your words carefully Laila. WHO IS HE?”

I looked at the floor, almost in tears. Why was he shouting at me?

“Bilal, come inside,” Shazia said softly from the front, turning to face us. “We don’t want to get late, you know-“

“Shaz, stay out of it,” Bilal cut her off rudely.

I felt sorry for her, but not as sorry as I felt for myself. I had to really be careful about what I said.

Bilal was about to snap. I was really scared that he might hit me.

“Dammit, Laila. Answer me!”

I knew I had to answer him. We were getting late, and Haseena’s condition was now also on my mind.

I looked up at Bilal’s furious face. His expression softened slightly as he saw my tears, but he didn’t budge.

“I know him,” I whispered, just loud enough for him to hear. I felt an instant regret as his face changed again. It was just pure shock. Disappointment.

Without another word, Bilal slammed the car door shut, and got into the drivers seat. Silently, he started the car and literally sped down our road. He was raging.

The tears cascaded freely down my face as I looked out the window. I didn’t even bother wiping them away.

Why did he have to see? Why did my brother have to be the one to see me? I couldn’t stand disappointing him.

But then I realised the truth of it all. It finally hit me.

That was His plan. After feeling bad after everything that I had done, and had almost done again, I needed a wake-up call.

Allah Ta’ala exposes certain sins and hides some. In His infinite wisdom, He knows which sins need to be exposed for our benefit. He helps us through these mishaps by making us see what was to our benefit. He guides us along the way, by revealing what was beneficial to our improvement.

I made intention to try and rectify myself. To never go back to that sin. To try and cover up all my sins with better deeds.

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Have taqwa (fear) of Allah wherever you may be, and follow up a bad deed with a good deed which will wipe it out, and behave well towards the people.”(At-Tirmidhi)

I would have to do something to redeem myself again. I would attempt to rectify it all, now that I was given the opportunity.

I looked at Bilal as he parked the car off at the hospital, expecting him to say something, but he completely ignored me. I would have preferred if he had screamed at me, but he didn’t even acknowledge me. I kept silent, willing myself not to cry again.

“Don’t worry, Laila,” Shazia said softly, squeezing my arm as we followed him into the hospital. “He’ll come around.”

I gave her a small smile, appreciating her words. I knew that she was just trying to help, and I silently hoped that she would get Bilal to come around.

She followed Bilal in through to the labour ward, showing their identification at the door. I just hoped that they would come out soon so I could find out what was going on.

Daddy sat expressionless on a chair in the waiting room. I sat next to him silently, and gave him a small smile. He rubbed my back affectionately, and I thought about what he would say if Bilal told him. I really hoped he didn’t ever find out.

“Make du’aa for your sister, Laila,” he said. “She’s in labour, but the doctors are worried.”

He didn’t say anything more, but the feeling in my gut wasn’t good. I spotted Umar on the side of the room, engaged in Salaah.

I was truly amazed.

Despite everything that I had so easily judged about Umar and Haseena’s life, this was one thing that only hit me now.

Their life was completely focussed. With regard to Deen and it’s practise, from what I saw, they hardly faltered. In such adversity, Umar was completely absorbed in Salaah, knowing that the only way to go forward was with the help of Allah Ta’ala. As he spoke to his Creator, knew that his faith should be nowhere else but with His Lord.

And that was the essence of the life of our Nabi (SAW). Salaah was the coolness of his eyes.

Hadhrat Huzaifah (R.A) says, “Whenever the Holy Prophet (SAW) happened to face any difficulty, he would at once resort to Salaah.”

Unlike us, whenever he would find himself in difficulty, Salaah was the answer.

SubhanAllah.

It opened my eyes, once again, to the beauty of Deen, and having a pious spouse. It was so important to pick someone who was going to help you to earn you Jannah. 

I never thought I’d see so much of the Sunnah in one person, but Umar had wholeheartedly embraced it. The way their lifestyle was, was truly amazing.

He stood up after a long time and came toward my father.

He spoke about the lack of hospital facilities at the government hospital. Because of the emergency, they had brought Haseena to the nearest hospital, which was completely ill-equipped. They hadn’t been able to do a scan because there ultrasound machines were not working. The heartbeat was a bit evasive, but Umar remained optimistic.

“Make Du’aa,” he was saying. “I’m just going to check if we can get a scan before we go in… Just so Haseena can relax a bit.”

My father nodded as Umar retreated back to the ward, looking a bit worried.

It seemed like hours before Mummy finally came out, and I stood up as she sat where I had been seated. She looked tired and worried.

“News, Mum?” I asked, expecting her to fill us in.

She didn’t look up at us, just shook her head, speaking in a monotone.

“They’re worried about Haseena, Laila,” she said to me. “She might not make it through the birth.”

 

Author’s Note: Reminder for Mission Sunnah Revival. We hope that everyone is trying to implement, Insha Allah.

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofAwakening

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#ReciteQur’anDaily – at least a quarter

#BoycottSin

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Journeying: In the Clouds: Part Four

بسم الله

I immediately rushed down the stairs to look for Umar, but he seemed to have disappeared from where he had been standing earlier.

A quick scan around the yard enabled me to spot who else but Yusuf, helping to pack away the tables. I inwardly braced myself to approach him, not knowing exactly what to say. I didn’t want to be rude, but I knew there was no reason to make unnecessary chit-chat. I knew exactly where that had gotten me on previous events.

“Err… Yusuf?”

My voice was soft, but loud enough for him to hear me. He spun around suddenly, looking at me, a bit shocked at my addressing him.

He turned his gaze away again, and although silent, by his gesture I could see that he was listening.

“Where’s Umar?”

He didn’t even look at me as he answered me, and it could have been my imagination, but he sounded completely off-hand. Annoyed.

“He’s gone to fetch something.”

He turned to walk away immediately, leaving me standing there stupidly. He was being rude purposely, but I couldn’t exactly be upset about it. The only problem was that Haseena was waiting. This was an emergency.

Idiot. He could have at least offered to phone him!

I immediately went to look for my father, so he could take Haseena to hospital, but ended up finding Mummy instead. She quickly went to see what was happening while I spotted Umar entering the house. I rushed to tell him what was happening, watching as he sped up the stairs with a look of anxiety in his eyes. My heart went out to them.

I really hoped that everything would be okay. I really wanted things to be okay, so badly. I sat down for a few seconds before Fareeha came in to check where I was. I quickly filled her in on the details and we sat there, just a little nervously, until Umar slowly brought Haseena down.

They were going to go to the hospital to check what was going on.

“We’ll phone to let you’ll know what’s happening,” Umar said to Mummy. He was trying to be strong, but he was beyond worry.

“I’ll meet you’ll there,” Mummy insisted, not wanting to leave Haseena. Haseena wasn’t looking well at all.

I listened in a daze while Mummy gave me quick instructions on what to sort out. I nodded my head, unconsciously, trying to control my own emotions. I was so worried for them.

“Don’t worry, Aunty F,” Fareeha piped up. “We’ll sort it out.”

I breathed out a sigh of relief while they left, glad that my friend was there so she could remember my mother’s instructions.

Fareeha and I hastened to finish of all the final clearing, and I explained to my aunties about Haseena. They were all convinced that she had gone into early labour.

Fareeha and I finally finished off with the last bit of clearing, taking a breather for a second before we went inside again. An hour had already passed, and I was a bit anxious to phone Daddy and see how Haseena was doing. I let out a long sigh as I took off the shoes that I had been wearing. Haseena had lent me a pair to match with my new cloak, but my feet were aching.

“You okay, Lails?” Fareeha asked, taking a sear next to me. “You seem… Different.”

I didn’t meet her eye, but I knew Fareeha could sense something was up.

“Just worried about Haseena,” I said, not exactly lying. I didn’t want to bring up the other topic that I had shoved to the back of my mind.

“Laila,” Fareeha said, her tone changing. “I know you. Something was bothering you from earlier… From when you told me about Yusuf. Are you sure there’s nothing going on there?”

I felt embarrased just thinking about what I had told Fareeha about Yusuf. I was out of line.

“Far,” I started, not knowing where to begin.”I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said anything. I got a lot on my mind… I just… I don’t know…”

“Tell me,” she said, turning to look at me. “I promise I won’t judge.”

And that was all I needed to let it out. I told her everything, even the innermost secrets that I had tried to forget about. I let her into the ugly reality of who I had become during the past months.

“I was stupid, I know,” I confessed. “And you may think I’m silly for wanting it, but Far, I think he’s the one. Even if he wasn’t, right now, after everything, there’s no turning back. The whole thing has gone too far.”

Fareeha’s eyebrows were slightly furrowed as she sat there thinking. She finally spoke.

“It’s never too late, Laila,” she said softly. She looked away now, thinking deeply. “But please, just be careful of who you choose to spend your life with, you never know what a guy is really like until after marriage. Before you do any of that though, please, put your life right. Don’t go back to that sin. Turn to Allah so you can clear your records.. He is so Merciful… Don’t lose hope.”

Her advice to me was spot on. I felt a bit hopeless, a bit beyond rectification. I felt that my repentance could never be sincere enough, and that I would never be able to make up for it.

“Laila, our sins can never exceed the mercy of Allah. Remember that.”

She said it so simply. She had absolute conviction.

Was this the same Fareeha I had been consoling just about two years ago?

I couldn’t believe how far she’d come. Yes, she was still my friend, but her maturity was now beyond mine. The simple fact was that what the only thing that had brought her to where she was, was her bond with her Creator.

Indeed, I could see it. When Allah Ta’ala brings someone to Him, He does it in such a beautiful way. He becomes theirs completely.

“In Madrassa,” Fareeha continued, looking at me. “We were doing our kitaab-reading, and we came across a hadith on Allah’s forgiveness. Appa had explained so beautifully that when we sin, Allah Ta’ala still doesn’t stop loving us. Allah has blessed you to give you that feeling of remorse, so you can make tawbah. He can completely wipe it off your record, if you repent sincerely… Certain Tawbah is enough to grant forgiveness from the sin, but some tawbah will completely wipe it off the record. The limbs and angels won’t even remember it! Imagine, you won’t have to answer for it at all, such is Allah’s mercy!”

SubhanAllah. I had no idea. Fareeha continued talking, and I forgot about everything else whilst I sat there and listened.

Masha Allah. She was born to inspire.

“You know, a man at the time of one of the Bani Israel, was a great sinner. He would continue to sin, without asking for forgiveness. He was so bad that the entire city turned against him and banished him, they kicked him out of the city… Alone, with no food… He finally passes away.”

“But the Prophet at the time got a revelation to make Janazah for this man. When they went to him they found that he was the same evil man that had been banished. They wondered what he had done to even deserve a burial. So Allah had sent revelation to explain his state.”

“He was alone, humiliated, insignificant. He saw his insignificance all by himself. He had no friend no relative as he got weaker and weaker. He couldn’t turn to anyone else, no other door to knock on, no one else to ask for help. In this moment of utter weakness and desolation he turned to Allah(Azza Wajal) and he said:

Oh Allah, if I knew that by punishing me Your greatness will increase and by forgiving me Your greatness will decrease I wouldn’t ask You to forgive me, but oh Allah, knowing that by forgiving me Your greatness will not decrease and by punishing me Your greatness will not increase, then oh Allah I have no one else to turn to, no other hope but You, no other direction to turn to but You, so forgive me.”

“In this condition he passes away… And you know what Allah Ta’ala had said? Allahu Akbar.”

“Allah had said to his Prophet at the time that his repentance was so great and so sincere.

‘The man was so narrow-minded in asking forgiveness for himself only, but if he had asked forgiveness for the entire mankind, I swear by My might and My majesty, I would have forgiven all of mankind.'”

SubhanAllah, our Allah was so great.

Knowing that the man had nothing else to turn to but Allah, our Lord still accepted his repentance. Just the fact that he had turned to Allah Ta’ala was enough for him, and for the entire mankind.

Sometimes Allah Ta’ala pulls us out of our comfort zone so we are finally able to see our errors. So we can finally turn to Him.

And with everything that was happening right now, it was more clear to me than ever. I was finally out of my fantasy world, down from cloud nine, to see the reality. Fareeha’s mother had called her to leave, and I gave her a quick hug, planning to meet again soon.

I instantly remembered Haseena again, wondering if anyone had tried phoning. I strained my ears to see if I could hear the phone from inside, but couldn’t. I needed to know what was going on.

One of my aunties was gesturing to me from the kitchen, and I rushed into see her waving to me with a phone in her hand.

“It’s Bilal,” she said, rushing around. “He wants to talk to you.”

Bilal? I wondered if they had come back. They were supposed to be going away for a few days. He probably just wanted to know what was going on.

“Hello?

“Salaam, Laila?” He said. “Get ready. We’re going to hospital and Mummy said we must fetch you.”

“Why? Is everything okay?” I asked, worried.

“Not sure, but Shaz and I are going to go see what we can do. I think Haseena is in labour.”

 The baby was coming? It was a bit early.

“Just wait outside, we’re in a rush,” he said, before cutting the call.

I quickly shouted to my aunty that I was leaving and grabbed my bag that had a few essentials in it,going to wait outside. Most of the house people had even left, so I was completely unaware of who was still around.

I sat down for a few seconds, before I heard a voice from behind me, greeting.

I replied and turned to look before it registered with me. I had initially thought it was Bilal, but it definitely wasn’t him.

My tongue seemed to have frozen as I swallowed and looked at him, wiping my sweaty hands on my abaya. He made me so nervous.

“Laila,” Zafer said, grinning at me. “How’s it goin’?”

Author’s Note: Alhumdulillah, many readers have been able to relate to Laila and her inner battles.

The most important lesson here is to remember that it is never too late. Leave the sin completely. Do a good deed to cover up a bad one. There’s always time to turn it around. Let’s hope that Laila can do it soon enough.

(Story narrated was from notes of Ustaadh) 

Reminder for Mission Sunnah Revival. We hope that everyone is trying to implement, Insha Allah. 

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofAwakening

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#ReciteQur’anDaily – at least a quarter

#BoycottSin

Tweet @ajourneyjournal

Journeying: In the Clouds: Part Three

بسم الله

“Laila? Are you okay?” Fareeha asked, waving her hand in front of my face. “Laila?!”

Fareeha had her head tilted to one side, and I could see her frowning.

I was literally staring at her, my mouth agape.

I couldn’t believe it. I just couldn’t believe it. Like… Who does that?

He literally just proposed for me, and now he goes for my best friend. Well, my used-to-be best friend. Whatever. It didn’t matter. It was against the rules. I had to say something.

“Fareeha,” I finally said. “Don’t be so taken in by him. He’s not what you think.”

She looked a bit startled. We still hadn’t entered the marquee as yet.

“What d’you mean, Lails?” Sheasked, concerned.

Don’t say it Laila, something was begging me. Just don’t say it.

I couldn’t listen to my conscience. I don’t know what was wrong with me.

“He’s ridiculous, Far!” I exclaimed. “I mean, he should know better than that… Knowing we’re friends.”

I widened my eyes whilst Fareeha looked at me strangely, before it clicked with her.

“Oh my!” She looked surprised, but I could see something else flicker in her eyes. It didn’t stop me.

“I know, right?” I said, pushing it a bit. “He had asked Haseena to ask me, but no ways… He’s not my type.”

I thought of Zafer again now, but my focus was Yusuf. I couldn’t believe he would do that.

“But Far, it’s up to you,” I said quickly, trying to act indifferent. “If you like him, go for it.”

I could see by her face that she wouldn’t. I had gone too far this time. Too far.

What the hell was wrong with me?

Fareeha shook her head, and theb quickly changed the topic as we walked into the hall. I immediately felt remorse. I had done a dirty thing. There was no reason to tell her about Yusuf proposing.  In my warped mind, it made sense.

The ladies section was brightly lit and the noise levels were now on the minimum as the Qiraat reading progressed. Fareeha and I took a quick seat near Haseena as I looked around me.

It was actually a beautiful setting that Mummy had arranged. The function was nothing fancy, but elegant. Shazia and Mummy sat in the front, while I scrutinised my new sister-in-law.

She looked stunning. Almost perfect. She had a firm smile planted on her face, and with Mummy next to her, I could tell she felt a bit more at ease.

I wondered how she would manage with married life. How she would be when the novelty and fantasy wears off… Would she manage without her family? Would Bilal be enough for her, knowing that her family would never accept him as a son-in-law? Will ‘love’ be enough for the two of them?

Sometimes, when I thought about other people, even to myself, my thinking seemed so.. Grown-up. But when it came to myself, it seemed that my ideas were completely irrational.

Because as I started to feel guilty about what I had told Fareeha, slowly but surely, every other sin I had done started to rise up again. I had done things that I had never thought I would. I had contradicted my words with my very own actions. I had lost my connection with my Lord in the process, unable to find my way back. And when I stumbled and finally came to terms with my reality, I had no choice but  to finally accept it. I felt defeated. I felt hopeless and helpless. Like I was completely beyond any help.

But as the short speech commenced that day at my brother’s Walimah, my thoughts seemed to finally come together.

A story about the Hadhrat Umar (RA) came to mind. When he was the Khalif, he had been asked a question about the state of two people. He received a letter from a man about two scenarios, the man who is fighting his desire to sin and the one who does not even have the urge to sin.

When he was asked as to who the better of the two was, our feeble minds would probably think that the more pious one would probably be the one who doesn’t even feel the need to sin. But Hadrat Umar (RA), in his own piety, had a simple answer. The one who fights his desires is better than the one who has none at all. The sacrifice that is made in an attempt to please Allah Ta’ala and refrain from sin, can never be matched. Your reward is based on your sacrifice.

But what sacrifice was I making?

I was a terrible person. I hurt people intentionally, for no reason at all. I had broken the laws of Allah Ta’ala, just because it seemed ‘okay’ at the time. Most of all, I had hurt myself, because I had lost the fear of Allah. I had forgotten about what I would suffer because of it.

I didn’t want to be the way I was, but I had still chosen to. It was my choice. I had let Shaytaan and my Nafs get the better of me, prompting me to do what was detrimental to me. And now, I finally realised that this was not the end of it all. It didn’t mean that my journey was over, and I had to accept my fate.

I had to try and fight it. I had to feel remorse, in order to redeem myself. Despite knowing how far off-track I had gone, my sins were never too much for Allah Ta’ala to forgive. Despite every sin I had committed, whilst I was in my illusion of deception, I had to come to terms with it all.

Yes, Insaan is weak, and we sin, but the best sinner was the one who repents sincerely. We make excuses and fight the feeling of regret, not realising that it was never too late. Our Allah is Ar-Rahmaan… We have to believe that He is Most Merciful.

The Prophet (SAW) said: “Allah, Blessed and Exalted is He, says, ‘O son of Adam, as long as you call on Me, I shall forgive you of what you have done, and think nothing of it. O son of Adam, even if your sins were to reach up to the clouds in the sky, and then you were to ask for My forgiveness, I would forgive you and think nothing of it. O son of Adam, even if you were to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth, and then you were to meet Me after death, not worshipping anything besides Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as the earth.’” [Tirmidhi]

SubhanAllah.

That was our Lord. I still had hope… There was still something that I could do.

As I raised my hands for the final Du’aa that day, I felt a deep sense of regret about everything. I had been so absorbed in the mundane things that had consumed me, that I didn’t worry about the wrong I had done. I was too ignorant, caught up in my fantasy world,  to take heed of the advices I was getting, thinking that I was above it all.

I was wrong. I knew it now.

I sighed as I listened to Fareeha talking about Madrassa and general things. She was so good. The topic of Yusuf didn’t come up again, but I was kind of hoping that she would bring it up, just so I could try and justify myself and my big mouth. I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to tell her, but I know that I needed to tell her something. I just didn’t know how to go about it.

As for Haseena, she barely looked at me that day, and I felt myself feeling indebted to her. She was just trying to advise me, and I was completely unconcerned. I had to explain to her.

The function was really lovely, and the guests seemed satisfied as they greeted us and thanked us for the afternoon. I was glad that it went off well, despite the tremendous rush that we had during the week.

The guests had mostly left, as a few of my cousins were still around as we started clearing up.

Tasneem was also around, but I had made a concerted effort to stay away from her, especially after what Haseena had said. After all, Haseena knew her better than me. Next time, I knew I would be more careful when choosing the company to keep.

Bilal had snuck into the hall shortly afterwards to sit with his bride, and I envied them as they sat facing each other, sharing a silent conversation. They looked happy… Finally glad to be together. I was truly feeling happy for them. They made the cutest couple. Maybe everything would be okay for them after all.

Right now though, at that moment, I had to apologise to Haseena. I wanted her support in the big step that I was going to take in my life. I knew that I had gone about it the wrong way, but I just hoped that it wasn’t too late too fix it. I scanned the hall to look for her, but she wasn’t around.

I quickly went into the house to check the kitchen, but she wasn’t even in there. I ran up the stairs, thinking I could speak to her alone, but the rooms were empty. I had spotted Umar standing outside, so where was she?

I knocked on the bathroom door quickly before turning to go down, when I heard someone in the bathroom.

“Haseena?” I called. No-one else would be using the bathroom upstairs.

She opened the door a teeny bit, peeping out. I could barely see her.

“Laila, is that you?”

“Yup, it’s me,” I said, relieved. “Has, I need to talk to you-“

“Listen, Laila,” her voice was sounding different. She sounded upset. “I can’t right now. Can you call Umar?”

I was getting a bit worried with the was she was behaving.

“Haseena, is everything okay?” I asked tentatively.

“Laila, please, just call him,” she said, getting annoyed at me. She sounded slightly teary. “I need to go to the hospital. I don’t know what’s happening…”

 

Author’s Note: Reminder for Mission Sunnah Revival. We hope that everyone is trying to implement, Insha Allah. 

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofAwakening

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#ReciteQur’anDaily – at least a quarter

#BoycottSin

Tweet @ajourneyjournal

 

Journeying: In the Clouds: Part Two

بسم الله

Haseena stood motionless for a few seconds, just staring at me.

Then she spoke.

“What?!” She started. “Nikah..? When? Laila… When…?! When did all of this happen?!”

I breathed out now, with complete mixed emotions. Half of it was relieved that I finally told her, and the other half was filled with fear. Fear about what she would say… How much she would ask.

I looked down now, embarrassed. She was already judging me in her head, I could just feel it.

“Haseena, I wanted to tell you-“

“So then why on earth didn’t you?!” She stepped forward, speaking through gritted teeth. “Who is he, and when did this all happen?”

I was silent. I couldn’t say it.

“Laila, you better open your mouth or I promise, I will-“

“It wasn’t planned, Has!” I exclaimed. “I met him at the beginning of the year when I went somewhere with Tas, and he contacted me afterwards-“

“With Tasneem?!” She gasped, her eyes wide. “You were going around with her?”

“She’s not so bad, Has. It’s actually my fault-“

“Of course it’s your bloody fault!” She spat at me. Haseena’s eyes were filled with fury, but she blinked furiously so she could contain it. She lowered her voice a bit.

“It’s your fault because you got yourself involved with her! And then with some idiot! I thought you knew better than that, Laila.”

I did. I knew better than that. But sometimes what you know and what you actually do are two different things.

I had disappointed her. I could see it.

“Haseena, I never meant to-“

“Who is he?” She interrupted again, clearly not wanting to hear any of my apologies.

“His name is Zafer,” I mumbled, almost hoping she didn’t hear.

“Zafer?” She asked, looking confused. “Who is…?”

She pause for a minute before realisation dawned.

“Oh my word. Laila. No,” she said adamantly, shaking her head blindly. “No ways. Not Tasneem’s brother-in-law? No. No no no.”

She looked like she was trying to convince herself, as she sat down and put her head in her hands. I didn’t get it. What was the big deal? Not like she was that innocent. She had known Umar from school. Who knows what they had gotten up to? I didn’t want to even think about it, considering what she was like then.

And if it was the guy she had a problem with, I knew Asad and Yusuf had history, but his brother wasn’t even here until recently. He was a good guy.

“Laila, please,” she said with pleading eyes. ” Do you even know what you’re doing to yourself? This is not you. You’re can’t get caught up in this.  Please break it off. It’s not a good idea.”

I couldn’t believe she was even asking me to do that. We were going to make Nikaah. It wasn’t just a silly childhood romance.

I shook my head stubbornly, speaking again.

“I spoke to Mummy and she’s fine about him. They want to come next week.”

“What? Are you mad?” She asked. She looked at me now, realising the truth. “Oh my word, Mummy probably has no idea about who he… Laila, why are you so determined for this to work?! What is this Zafer even telling you? He’s probably brainwashing you with all his disgusting ideas.”

“Just leave me alone!” I said, raging. How dare she?  “I’m old enough to make my own decisions, and Zafer is not like that!”

She looked at me angrily. I didn’t tell her that they were supposed to have come two months ago. I didn’t tell her about how many times he had put it off for silly reasons. Eventually, I had told him that I couldn’t speak to him unless they came home first.

And yes, I comforted myself in the knowledge that I didn’t ‘do’ anything. I caught myself on several occassions, thinking that I’m not ‘as bad’ as some of the other girls my age. I didn’t exactly ‘go out’ with Zafer, but the very fact that I spoke to him, on more than one occassion, made me just as bad.

I still had a bit of pride in me because I hadn’t committed the ‘physical’ Zinaa. He hadn’t exactly touched me.

But my thoughts were tuned out to the very fact that my mind was sometimes consumed by him, being a fantasy that just felt wrong. The suggestive talking that I had once been a part of was a poor excuse for restraint. The thoughts that went through my head at times, was clear Zinaa of the mind. It was a blatant sin.

I was being purposefully ignorant. When some people commit sins, and realise their folly, they are able to make Tawbah afterward. Because of the knowledge of what they had done, the regret reaches a stage where repentance is inevitable. Eventually, they realise that the feeling afterwards was much worse than the pleasure of the sin.

Unfortunately, the remorse wasn’t there yet for me. The repentance that I had so casually made was barely sufficient or even worthy of acceptance.

Because a fact about the repentance that we offer, as a great saint had once said, is that even our repentance is worthy of tawbah. Our istighfaar is is need of istighfaar, such is the lowly state of it.

According to a narration, our Nabi (SAW) was once told that there would be a particular section of Jahannam for the Muslims.

When he had asked Jibraeel (AS) as to what the reason was, he was told that this level will be filled with believers who did not repent from their sins. Those Muslims who did not seek Tawbah from their Lord, out of their ignorance.

And I didn’t fully understand how deep I was, because at that stage, for me, there was no turning back. I had felt like the only way out was for me to continue as I was. I had sometimes underestimated the punishment that came with disobedience.

We basically think, “What’s the harm in just talking? I’m only making conversation.” Or, we say, “I’m only looking at the guy, it’s nothing much.”

But Allah’s laws are there for a reason. We console ourself in the knowledge that it is somewhat necessary for us to behave in a manner that Allah Ta’ala clearly forbids. We make ourselves comfortable with the sin, just because it seems minor to us.

But we don’t stop to think… Are we just regular violators and kaafir, or or are we the humble, sinful servants of our Lord?

Because the difference is, for the believer, our sins should not be treated as major or minor. They should all be looked at alike, as defiance of Allah’s commands. And that is a major violation.

“Tell My slaves: that I am very Forgiving, very Kind,” (Al-Hijr: 49),

“But My chastisement is a severe chastisement indeed.” (Al-Hijr: 50)

Indeed, it was true. The punishment of Allah was severe, and that was slowly becoming a fear. Through all my knowledge, I had been a hypocrite and a sinner.

In my faithless mindset, through it slowly becoming clear for me, I had assumed that I was too far gone.

Haseena’s penetrating gaze just confirmed it for me.

And after an unsuccessful argumentative rally, she finally left me in the lounge and went out to the marquee in a huff. She was upset. She couldn’t believe I would turn down Yusuf for Zafer.

But I knew what I wanted. I sat on the couch, alone, and just a little disappointed in the outcome.

She didn’t know him. She didn’t know what he was really like. He wasn’t like Asad, who seemed a bit too rough on the edges for me. He didn’t have the same vengeful qualities as Yusuf, that they had told me about. Zafer was perfect.

I sat in thought for a long time, my mind slowly closing in on the reality of what I had done. I spoke about this guy like I knew him. I had looked at him as if he was already bound with me in the union of Nikah. I admired his qualities as if I had no concept of pardah whatsoever.

The tears were now on the verge of escaping freely.

What had I done?

“Laila, are you okay?”

A voice broke my thoughts as I spotted Fareeha walk into the lounge, a worried look on her face.

“Guests have arrived, function’s started… Everyone’s looking for you.”

I quickly stood up and gave Fareeha a small smile. I couldn’t tell her. Not after everything I had admonished her about previously. Not now, anyway.

“How’s everything going?” I asked her, gesturing outside.

“They’re just starting the Du’aa,” she said. “Shame, Shazia seems really out of place. I feel sorry for her. Haseena asked Mummy to sit with her for a while. We’re like the only family she has here!”

I was so caught up in my own drama, I didn’t even think about that. I couldn’t imagine not knowing anyone at my own Walimah. I actually felt sorry for her. I had been a bit selfish recently, only worrying about myself.

“You know, Lails,” she continued, as we walked out. “Despite what happened with Saaleha and Bilal, I’m happy for them. From what I know about Bilal, I think Saaleha was never the right one for him.”

I nodded my head vaguely, not really listening. I suppose what was meant to be had had happened.

It was Yusuf coming toward the house now, looking like he was searching for something. He must have seen us, but walked past completely ignoring us.

“Idiot,” I muttered under my breath, annoyed for no reason.

“Aah, he’s not so bad,” Fareeha said, a little too quickly.

I turned to look at her, surprised by her remark. What did she know about Yusuf anyway?

“You like him or something?” I asked her, a bit shocked.

“Not exactly,” she mumbled. I could barely hear her, because the noise from the marquee was quite loud.

“So then?” I probed, frowning at her. She was hiding something.

She looked at me and pulled me to one side, away from the entrance to the marquee.

“Lails, this is top secret,” she almost whispered. I strained my ears to hear above the noise, looking at her questioningly.

Fareeha always got too excited about silly things.

“They phoned the other day,” she said, her eyes filled with excitement. “He wants to come home to ‘see’ me!”

Author’s Note: A specific narration I had heard in a bayaan states something to the effect that when Zinaa becomes a norm within the Ummah, being committed openly as if there is nothing wrong with it, we should know Qiyaamah is close.

This is happening in almost every destination one goes to. An appeal to the younger, unmarried  youth to try and get onto what is straight and right, even when it’s become the norm not to. Insha Allah.

May Allah guide our youth and us in this time of great Fitnah. Aameen.

Just a reminder to continue with our Mission Sunnah Revival.

A small change. A dear sister had let us know that the first one previously mentioned was actually an Adaab, since the hadith mentioned as a Sunnah is classified as a weak one. Below I have re-listed.

1. Eating from what is near to you.

Messenger of Allah (ﷺ), said to me, “Mention Allah’s Name (i.e., say Bismillah before starting eating), eat with your right hand, and eat from what is near you.”

2. Recite Bismillah For Blessing
Wahshi bin Harmat (may Allah be pleased with him) narrates from the Messenger of Allah (SAW) that, ‘Eat together and recite ‘Bismillah’, there will be blessings for you in this.’

3. Eat together (with company or as a family)

4. Eating Whilst Seated On The Floor Is Sunnah
Qataada (may Allah be pleased with him) states that, ‘The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) would eat his food from a mat (laid out on the floor).’

(How To Sit- The Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to often squat down on his knees and sit on his heels for the meal. At other times he would raise this right leg and sit on his left. He used to say, ‘I do not eat when reclining ‘ for I am but a slave, I eat as a slave eats and sit as a slave sits.’)

Let us try and bring in the Sunnah of eating on the floor as well, even with some of our spoilt South African lifestyles, so hopefully we can practise on all four by tomorrow, Insha Allah!

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofAwakening

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#ReciteQur’anDaily – at least a quarter

#BoycottSin

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