Journeying: A Step Ahead: Haseena’s High Hopes

 بسم الله

I gazed out hopefully, staring almost seemingly absent-mindedly at the scenery that was so breathtaking. It was so good to be here. To be at Umar’s home.  To be able to feel a little bit of his presence, as though he would just walk in at any minute.

A tap on the door diverted my thoughts.

“Haseena, are you okay?”

The slow creaking of the door made me look up, as Umar’s mother peered at me through the now open door.

“Jhee, Mummy, I’m fine,” I replied, a little too quickly.

She caught sight of my flushed cheeks and came forward to sit on the bed.

“Haseena,” she said softly. “You’re allowed to be sad. I understand. But it’s been an hour now, and everyone is asking for you. Just come and sit with us for a little while.”

An hour? I had no idea. I had just come up to Umar’s room to read my Salaah, and was now sitting motionless on the musallah, lost in thought for what I thought was just a few minutes.

I noticed now that the sun was on it’s way out for the day, and I found myself thinking about how just a mere twenty-four hours ago, this time of the day was the most awaited for us. How we would sit on the musallah waiting for the Adhaan to be called, so we could break fast and then commence with the night-time ritual of Taraweeh and extra Ibaadat.

It was truly a most uplifting month. A month of serenity and peace, that had so hastily passed us by.  A month in which I had vowed to make the certain change that I felt in me, a change that I hoped was going to be a permanent one.

Because I understood a little of what was offered. I comprehended that the blessing and opportunity that this month had to bring was not something that we were to temporarily enjoy.

Ramadhaan is not meant to be just a month. Not just a short month where the hijaab is adorned for 29 days and the beards are visible until Eid morning. It’s not fashioned to be a month in which our lifestyles change for just a matter of a few weeks, and then we go back to normal.

No. This month was given to us as a blessing. It was sent to us as a Hidaayat for mankind, just like the Word of Allah, His Kalaam, which was revealed in it.

 The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. (Al-Baqarah: 185)

And we are able to see that through the Qur’an, together with this month, Allah Ta’ala has revealed to us a clear guidance. How beautiful the ayaat is, that it also mentions that this month in itself, is also a way for us to gain that hidaayat. It’s a month for us to gain that taqwa that we have been given a prescription for, and maintain it.

I had made that intention, and hoped to adhere.

I realised that it’s not about only feeling the relief of the moon-sighting, knowing that the joyous occasion of Eid has finally come. It was also about the certain feeling of despair, as I realised that I hadn’t done as much as I had intended. It’s about feeling the emptiness in the heart, when you realise that maybe, just maybe, you might have been one of the unfortunate ones who had not gained forgiveness in this month.

I prayed and hoped that I wasn’t one of those.

I looked away and I hung my head now, making a silent Du’aa at the blessed time, remembering not to underestimate the power of Eid day. During Ramadhaan, this was the time when I would usually pour out my concerns and worries to my Creator, with full faith that He was hearing my appeals. At this time, just before the sun would set, I would usually be attempting to make the most of those few minutes, asking my Lord for his Rahmat.

Today, I had no doubt that He would hear me.

Because Allah Ta’ala knows. When His servant calls out to Him, waking in the wee hours of the morning, or even prostrating to Him in the illumination of day, He will never forget. Indeed Allah is independent, but He awaits the sincere  pleas of His slave. He waits for them to ask of Him again, to remember that He is still there, no matter what month of the year it is. He waits for them to turn to Him once again, and remember that He is always the Most-Forgiving and Most-Merciful.

So eventhough the month was now over, how can I not maintain what I had been doing all along? How can I ignore my Allah, when He remembers my calling out to him, and expects me to always ask of Him alone.

I stared ahead of me again, tears welling up in my eyes, not wanting to meet my mother-in-laws gaze as yet. I couldn’t just go back to the indifferent routine that I was in before this month had come along. I had to let it last.

And though I was intent on that, this Ramadhaan, however, I was awaiting the end.

This Ramadhaan, though my soul was far from  fulfilled, I felt a certain elation as Eid dawned on us. With the arrival of Eid, it meant a possibility of Umar’s return. With the blessings of the joyous day, I hoped Umar would magically be there in record time for our first anniversary.

But as I watched the daylight slowly fading, I realised that he might not make it back today. The day was over,  but I didn’t lose hope. I hoped firstly that my intentions would remain sincere, and I wouldn’t go back to my old ways.

I hoped to have fought my Nafs permanently, and not just have put them on pause until the following day, when Ramadhaan had completely left us.

And even though a certain shadow loomed above, with Umar not around, I felt hopeful that with the end of the month, his return would bring a renowned sense of rejuvination for me. I needed him to be back for many reasons, but the most important one was the hope that he would return even more psyched than ever before. I expected him to return with a renewed spirit, urging me to come on board with him, and help me to continue being the best that I can.

I missed him, but I had high hopes that he would be back soon. With the continuous political issues in the middle east, I always expected the worst.

With the commencement of Ramadhaan, the massacres seemed to heighten. It was a test for me, knowing that he wasn’t far from the areas where there were problems. He had managed to find a mosque to sit at for Ithikaaf, and I felt confident that he would be back soon. I had last heard from him just before he had just started. My nerves were permanently on edge every time the phone rang, but a message from him two days ago had put my reservations at bay.

He was going to be okay.


My mother-in-law spoke again, and I looked up at her.

“Jhee, Mummy,” I replied, almost numb. I looked up at her now.  “I’ll be there just now. I’ll just pray my Maghrib Salaah and come.”

I took a little extra time in Du’aa after my Salaah, not wanting to rush. There was no rush. I was just so tired these days. It was like I had no energy. I slowly got up and took a last look around the room, before switching off the light and going into the living area where the ladies were seated.

“You okay, Has?”

It was Umar’s cousin, Jamila, who came up to me and squeezed my shoulder lightly. She was a little younger than I was, but we got along really well.

I blushed now as I wished that no-one else knew where I was. I didn’t want to be negative or risk anyone feeling sorry for me. I was going to be strong.

I took out my phone and messaged Bilal discreetly to tell him to fetch me within the hour. He had also been sitting for Ithikaaf this year at the local masjid, so it was only Mummy, Laila and I who were at home during the last ten days.

I think he was also just a little relieved that Shazia’s family had rejected the proposal just before Ramadhaan, because it meant that he could make the most of the month. But it didn’t deter him. He assured me that it wasn’t over yet, and though I tried to tell him to be careful, Bilal was too stubborn to listen.

I sighed inwardly as I looked up at the crowd of guests seated at the table. I smiled at Umar’s aunties as  they engaged me in conversation, nodding and agreeing where necessary. I felt like I was slightly displaced, but shoved the feeling away instantly.

This was Umar’s family. I belonged here.

I found myself getting lost in the conversation as it drifted from the latest glass-top stove to how busy the roads were the day before Eid. I found myself giggling when one of Umar’s aunties told us about how someone nearly knocked her, and wanted to blame her for it.

“Lucky for them, I was fasting,” she conceded. “Else I would have given them a mouthful.”

“But what good would that do, Rashida?” my mother-in-law said to her sister. “Rather just be quiet and fight the urge to say something.”

I took in a sharp breath as I remembered Umar telling me the exact same thing, a few weeks ago. Fight your Nafs. Humble yourself. Do what makes Allah Ta’ala happy.

It was uncanny. It was exactly what he would have said now as well. I looked at my mother-in-law, momentarily speechless, as she got up to answer the ringing phone.

Laughter and chatter continued, and Jamila started speaking to me about Hifdh classes that she was attending. I admired her. It was so good that she was actually making an effort to continue with her Hifdh, and I felt myself wanting to start teaching again.

My thoughts were interrupted as I heard Umar’s mother calling my name.

“Haseena,” she said loudly, trying to raise her voice above the noise. Her eyes were wide with seemingly apparent shock, and I could hear a tinge of something unfamiliar in her tone. I immediately got up and made my way to her, anxious to know what exactly was going on.

Before I could ask, she thrust the phone at me, and opened her mouth to speak.

“Haseena. There’s a call for you.”


Author’s Note: Apologies for late post. Hope everyone had a beautiful Ramadhaan and a blessed Eid. May Allah Ta’ala make it easy for us to continue with whatever little extra we had been able to do during this month. 

With Regard to our “Mission Sunnah Revival”, Insha Allah, we hope to get many readers as well as bloggers on board. The more that know about it, the better, of course. 

It is said that the state and condition of the Harams in Makkah and Madinah are and will remain continuously protected by the Almighty. He, Himself, will take care of His house and the Masjid of our beloved Nabi (SAW). However, when it comes to Al-Aqsa, it’s condition is dependent on the state of the Ummat.

Amidst our carefree lives, who can imagine what their Eid must have been like?

Let us try to change our lives to change their condition. Let us make a sincere effort to bring Allah Ta’ala into our lives, and continue to earn his pleasure by maintaining our Ramadhaan efforts. Allah Ta’ala is above any march and protest. He is above the armies and tanks, and will conquer any army if we turn to Him as a united Ummah.

Any feedback is welcome. The first Sunnah we are implementing is use of Miswaak. The next one will Insha Allah be posted this week, whilst we are still in the high spirit of Ramdhaan. Suggestions also welcome. 

JazakAllah Khair. May Allah Ta’ala give us steadfastness and accept. 

Tweet @ajourneyjournal

Just a Moment for the Mujaahideen

بسم الله

She crouches idly on her padded Musallah spread out on the lounge carpet, admiring the silhouette of the sun’s rays through the window, making their final ascension for the day. She appreciates the peaceful tranquillity of the home which she has so mercifully been blessed with, and takes in the aroma of fresh delights prepared for the breaking of the fast.

But as her thoughts wander, her heart momentarily constricts when she ponders over how fortunate she is to be a part of this blessed month. How beautifully her Lord has fashioned this month, that the hearts have softened and sensitised to the extent that the mere sight of the salmon and bubblegum streaked skies initiate the tears that stem from pure gratitude, her heart in awe of His mercy bestowed on them. On the Ummat. She prays to see another Ramadhaan.

But yet, amidst this peace and solace that she experiences, and amidst the feeling of complete contentment that she is privileged to enjoy, is the considerate dampening of felicity, by the reminder that not everyone is as fortunate as she is.

A certain feeling of despondency creeps in as she remember the destitute families her husband had visited the previous week, that were so short of provisions, whilst her freezer was stocked for a year. An element of despair lurks within, when she realises that her small sacrifices and tests are nothing in comparison to those who are suffering all over the world. Her hearts sinks in complete anguish, feeling helpless and inconsolable as she realises how much she has taken for granted.

She finally raises her hands in Du’aa, to ask of Him. Because only through the help of the Almighty, will the heart feel any relief. Indeed, with every difficulty, will come twice the ease.

Because we are not to be despondent. We are not to give up hope.

Our Allah is Al- Ghafoor.. He is Ar-Raheem. He is Most-Merciful, and He hears the cries of the oppressed. There is no barrier between their Du’aas and Him.

He does not want us to sit in any type of limbo, feeling defeated, because of the sufferings of our dear Muslim brothers and sister.

Yes, we feel for them and we need to pray for them, but we should never despair of Allah Ta’ala’s plan. Indeed, He has set a measure for all things, and is on our side.

And as for our Mujaahideen, who are so adamantly defending our Sacred Mosque from the Zionists, may Allah Ta’ala make it easy for them to always fend off the enemy. May He grant then the best stages in Jannah. Aameen.

“And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving rizq (provision), rejoicing in what Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounty, and they receive good tidings about those [to be martyred] after them who have not yet joined them – that there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” (Ali Imran: 169-170)

May Allah Ta’ala make them victorious in their task for as long as possible. It has been said that with the fall of the Masjid, will be the rise of Dajjaal.

The cracks in the walls are visible, and the tunnels underneath Al-Aqsa have been built. But we are not to become too wrapped up in these things. Where our intentions are there, and efforts are made, Allah can defeat any army.

Because it seems like every Ramadhaan, the Muslim world is being targeted in the most vicious way. The mass of the videos going around make one shudder with fear, disbelief in the evident violence and oppression that is on-going. There is a rightful concern that has taken over the Ummah, as we see what has been occurring. We sometimes even find it a challenge to press the play button on our phones as we receive a new video, so horrifying is some of the footage.

Indeed, it is so heart-wrenching to watch and hear about the plight of our brothers, sisters and children suffering all around the world. Our hearts go out to the forgotten and tortured people of Afghanistan, Bosnia, Khasmir, Somalia, C.A.R , Syria and Palestine.

It’s heart-breaking to see innocent children lined up in their shrouds and Salaatul Janazah being read on them.

We are rendered speechless, as the tears are shed when we watch a young child cleaning up the blood of his beloved ones.

The Ummah’s condition have become such that seeing the spilling of their blood is something trivial to the world.

So where do we go from here? What do we do? Where do we start?

We have to begin by going back in history and see what Sahaba (RA) did when they were in a this plight.  There was an incident in a battle where Sahaba (RA) were on the defensive, and the commander immediately called on his army to check their A’maal. With this, they found that they were lax in the usage of the siwaak. He immediately commanded them to remedy it.

They got hold of tree branches and began the Sunnah. No sooner did the kuffaar witness them doing so, awe and fear entered their hearts and they deserted the battlefield.

So we, dear Muslims, as an Ummah, need to introspect. Allah Ta’ala will not change the conditions of a nation until they change what’s within them.

Indeed, our beloved Allah is so merciful that He wants good for us. He wants us to come back to HIM. He knows how far we have gone from Him, and He gives us daily reminders but we fail to take heed.

Hence, every year, we find that during Ramadhaan the onslaught against the Muslims and Islam intensify. Why? At this time, the Muslims hearts are softer, Shaytaan isn’t around, hence its easier to reflect and mend our ways.

Allah Ta’ala’s way is different. He, in His infinite wisdom, knows best about the affairs of His servants.

Sadly, it takes the blood of our fellow Muslims to make us change, Insha Allah.  Fortunately Allah Ta’ala spared us… We are too weak to endure such severe conditions. Their Imaan and Yaqeen in Allah is so strong, that they are burying their little ones, and they can bear to see their loved ones in pain.

Let us not let all their sacrifices go for waste, and become blinded by all fickle excuses of politics, greed and other reasons. It may play some role in the affairs of the Ummah, but not all.

It is said that only two percent of the Ummah is on Salaah. Two percent. Where are the prayers of the rest of us? The Yahood are aware of what is happening. They go to the Masjids and see that for the Fajr prayer, our menfolk are lax. As long as they are not filling up the Masjids for the most powerful Salaah of the day, the Muslims will be easily defeated. As long as we are imitating the west, and compromising on our Deen, we won’t win.

So before we have the marches and protests, in which open mixing and intermingling is taking place, we need to repent to Allah Ta’ala. In the name of ‘Islam’, we are incurring Allah’s wrath, not thinking about how our sins will never bring His help. May He forgive us.

Let us, as an Ummah, turn to Allah in obedience. Let us sincerely pray for his forgiveness.  We can mend our ways so that conditions may change for the Ummah as  a whole. We, as a united Ummah,  can again draw from the unseen help of Allah. We cannot sit back and wait for things to change. We cannot wait for help from the kuffaar.

They have ganged up against Islam and the Muslims, and even the so-called Muslim governments cannot do a thing. So where else can a bleeding Ummah turn to and go, but to Allah?

So Umattis, along with all the Yaseen Shairief khataam, Ayate karima khatams and heartfelt Du’aas, let us in this blessed month of mercy, have mercy on ourselves and our suffering brothers and sisters around the world.

Let us pledge to Allah to abandon at least one sin from our life and pledge bring one Sunnah into our lives for His pleasure with hope that HE will change the conditions of this bleeding Ummah. When a slave of Allah takes a step towards Allah, Allah will run towards him.

Indeed, in this Zamanah, we have come to a stage where we need to be active in improving our lifestyles.

We need to give up our own extravagance and wastage, and stop following the brands of the west. We are falling for every trap, and our youth is the biggest concern. We, as adults, have a little more wisdom, and have witnessed just a bit of the realities, but our youth is completely brainwashed. With the click of a button, the schemes of the Kuffar are at play. Let’s bring our kids up so that there concern is shifted. Let’s help them to see who is the Strongest Power in the world.

Dear sisters, let us start dressing modestly, and forget about that camel-hump hijaab which is a sign of Qiyaamah. We need to stop imitating the Kufaar. We need to become punctual with all our Salaah, and catch up with the Qazaah namaaz’s we have.

If we really want to make a difference, we need to start with this. It costs nothing, but will have an eternal reward.

Do please send your money if you can, and definitely boycott the products, but remember that without Allah’s help, all the money and boycotting will go nowhere.  Without Him, we are truly at a loss.

So, they can continue exiling our brothers, sisters and children. They can murder our beloved fellow Muslims, but even if they kill them, we need to show them that the true Islam will never die.

Even when they strip them of their homes and possessions, this will not waver the belief in one God and our practise of the Perfect Example (Sallaluhu Alaihi wasallam). Even when they torture the Ummatis in all parts of the world, trampling their beards, forcing them to give up their beloved Allah (SWT), we won’t let them defeat us.

Deen. Imaan. Salaah. Qur’an. Sunnah.

These are all available for grabs, but they are not for everyone.

These are for the chosen ones who obey Allah. Those are only for the ones who really want it.

So dear Muslims, start wanting it. This is not the time for complacency. We can’t sit back and let our Deen diminish. If we don’t want it, He will snatch it away.

Start treasuring it, because this is our gift… This is our Amaanat.

And for those going to fight for Islam, and strive for it…

O armies of the Ummah of Islam…

Bait-ul-Maqdis seeks your help, Al-Aqsa cries out for your help … and it calls upon you!

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar! Rise up for the prayer, Rise up for success! It calls on you to rise up for Jihad … Will you answer the call, will you liberate it from the abomination of the Jews, will you be sincere to Allah? Imagine that death in the name of Allah. May Allah make us and our menfolk among the true Mujaahideen and Shuhadaa.

May Allah give us the strength to raise our sons with that Fikr. May they be the ones who will fight on the side of Imam Mahdi, upholding the truth of Islam.

Let us show our commitment by doing one thing at least.

They can kill the Muslims, but definitely, they can never kill Islam.

“O you who have believed, what is [the matter] with you that, when you are told to go forth in the cause of Allah, you adhere heavily to the earth? Are you satisfied with the life of this world rather than the Hereafter? But what is the enjoyment of worldly life compared to the Hereafter except a [very] little. If you do not go forth, He will punish you with a painful punishment and will replace you with another people, and you will not harm Him at all. And Allah is over all things competent.”

(At-Tawba: 38-39)


N.B. May Allah guide myself to firstly apply it to my life and grant the Ummah the tawfeeq to do so as well. 

Dear Muslims, I have heard of a few sisters starting a ‘Sunnah Revival’ to draw Allah’s mercy into our homes and the entire world. We can work on a Sunnah a week, or a month, if I could get some feedback? I think to start with the use of Miswaak in or out of Whudhu will be a good idea.  JazakAllah Khair.

Do keep up with the Qur’an recitation and Salaah.. Indeed, Allah’s help is never far away. 

For those interested in reading about the plans for Masjidul-Aqsa, we don’t advise wasting too much of time worrying about it, especially in this precious month, but I think an awareness is also important.

It’s fall will be at the appointed time. Don’t get caught up in conspiracies and arguments. There will always be enemies of Islam.

Have received it and thought it quite informative,  however, please do not dwell on it and feel despondent. Allah is above it all. Let us turn to Him for help.

Humble request for Du’aas, especially in the last ten days of this beautiful month. May we make the most of them, Insha Allah.


Just One More for the Mummies

Assalaamu alaykum

Sincerely hope all readers are having a spiritually lifting Ramadaan.

I know I had said I wouldn’t post… Just happens that sometimes I come across, see or think of things that I really want to share and I feel would be of some consolation. If I get a chance, might pen one or two beneficial posts.

Whether it gets read or not now, Insha Allah it will be of help and comfort. Though I know there are not only mummies reading this, Insha Allah all our sisters will remember this… One day.

I know many mothers think that as busy mommies with young kids, we sometimes begin to feel as if we don’t have the time to do as much Ibadat as others do, or that the constant interruptions of our children take away our concentration, and make us feel as though we aren’t making the most of our Ramadaan.

Know that Allah Ta’ala knows your intentions, and always keep in mind…

When I get down into Sajda and the kids giddy up on me, I must remember, Allah is Al-Haleem (The Forbearing). Maybe it’s more about building perseverance than just performing prostrations.

When my energy levels run dry and the kids push all the buttons, I must remember, Allah is Ar Rahman (The Merciful). Maybe it’s more about showing compassion than preaching independence.

When I’m about to break the long fast, and little summons of ‘wash me!’ rise from the bathroom, I must remember that Allah is Al Kareem (The Most Generous). Maybe, (undeservingly), He is giving away a huge piece of Jannat in exchange for a tiny morsel of food.

When I can finally sit peacefully on my prayer mat at night to connect with Him but they won’t fall asleep, I must remember, Allah is Al-Qadir (The Omnipotent) . Maybe He only wants to see my one hand raised in prayer while the other rocks His little creature to sleep.

When at the parking lot, after a hectic food shop, they won’t sit and buckle up, I must remember, Allah is Al-Baseet (The Expander). Maybe He’s advancing me to the next level of fasting, which is much more than refraining from just food and drink.

When I want to shut down, do nothing because I’m exhausted, hungry and thirsty but all they want to do is play, I must remember, Allah is Al-Mu’id (The Restorer). Maybe He wants to restore my energy, through laughter, love and making others happy.

When feeling thirsty, my kids insist on going to the park on a hot sunny day, I must remember, Allah is Al-Gafur (The Forgiving). Maybe He will forgive more sins for cheering climbs and pushing swing seats.

When all the mess and untidiness makes me want to explode, I must remember, Allah is As-Sabur (The Patient one). Maybe, I need to count the times I have messed up, to realise how lucky I am that HE is always willing to forgive.

When all my efforts and hard work go unnoticed with loved ones, I must remember, Allah is Al-Wahhab (The Bestower). Maybe its about feeling ashamed of my ungratefulness for His continuous and countless blessings.

When I feel compelled to use my power and dominion as an advantage over HIS Amanah, I must must remember, Allah is Al-Haseeb (The Reckoner) and not just maybe but CERTAINLY, there is no escape from HIS displeasure and reckoning.


“When a woman has her first baby, she must manage for another life even more dependent on her personal sacrifices. By the second, third, or fourth child, her days and nights belong almost entirely to others.

Whether she has a spiritual path or not, such a mother can seldom resist a glance at the past, when there were more prayers, more meanings, more spiritual company, and more serenity. When Allah opens her understanding, she will see that she is engaged in one of the highest forms of worship, that of producing new believers who love and worship Allah. She is effectively worshipping Allah for as many lifetimes she has children, for the reward of every spiritual work her children do will be hers, without this diminishing anything of their own rewards: every ablution, every prayer, every Ramadan, every hajj, and even the works her children will in turn pass on to their offspring, and, so on till the end of time. Even if her children do not turn out as she wishes, she shall be requited in paradise forever according to her intention in raising them, which was that they should be godly…”

Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller


Alhumdulillah, yet dear mummies, we are so, so lucky to be chosen for this enormous priviledge. With all our countless faults, Allah Ta’ala has found enough in us to make us the mothers of this Ummat. We have the honour of being the ones who are responsible for raising the custodians of this Deen, the Ummatis.

We will be raising the ones who will probably undergo a greater struggle to preserve this beautiful Deen, but through our efforts, they will persevere.

May Allah make this task an easy one. May the sons of this Ummat grow to be Aalims and Mujaahideen, and may our daughters be Da’ees and even better mothers for their own.

May this Ramadaan prove to be the one that will uplift us in every way possible. Request for Du’aas.


Journeying: The Low-down from Laila

بسم الله

“What?! A girl? When did all this happen?”

I looked up from the Hadith Kitaab I was reading, in complete shock. Both of my parents seemed stunned to silence. Someone had to say something.

Bilal scowled at me, unimpressed.

“Yes, Laila,” he said, as if he was talking to a small child. “A girl. To get married to. Because that’s what people do. Except for you, of course.”

Ouch. That was a low blow.

My proposal disaster sometimes still wrecked havoc in my mind at times, but I knew it was silly. When you have nothing else to focus your attention on, the only thing that seems to be entertaining is the thought of becoming someone’s wife. I knew I shouldn’t let it get to me.

“So who is this ‘girl’?” I asked him suddenly, looking at him in the eye.

Conveniently, he looked away before answering.



I cleared my throat, trying to process this whole thing. Shazia, Lameez’s sister, Shazia?

I mean, I knew she was really pretty and everything, but I thought Bilal had more substance than that. Did he even know what kind of person she was?

I didn’t exactly hate her anymore, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted her as my sister-in-law.

Oh gosh. Were they going to be staying with us? I hated being around newly-weds. They just made me feel uncomfortable when they were all gaga over each other. I seriously thought that they should confine their cuddling activities to their private dwellings.


As for my parents, they didn’t even know that Bilal’s incident earlier this year had to do with her. For once, I kept my mouth closed and just went with the flow.

“Bilal,” Mummy said, sounding panicked. “Why didn’t you check with us first?! Laila and I were supposed to be doing our pies later today. We have so much of work to do, and now this!”

One good thing. At least I was saved from pie-making. It wasn’t like I minded helping my mother, but anything would be better than that.

“Ma,” Bilal said. “We’ll be back early tomorrow, okay? Leave the pies and that for now. This is important to me. I don’t want to wait.”

And as Dadddy nodded at Bilal, I could already see this whole thing coming together.

Before we knew it, everyone had packed their overnight bag and was in the car. Daddy had said we rather go now, before Ramadaan, so we could finalize the details of the Nikah… If everything worked out.

Bilal was quiet, but that wasn’t anything strange. Maybe he was realizing now that he had made a big mistake.

But if he did, he didn’t say anything, even as we took our seats in the flight, and settled in.

Mummy was talking about how many more pies and samosas she had to make, because she wanted to send some to Haseena. I tried telling her that Haseena was in Durban and she could buy her own, but she just looked at me strangely.

“Home-made is different,” she said.

I nodded my head and zoned out for a while, thinking of how overwhelmed Mummy got with all these preparations. But one good thing about it was that when it came to Ramadhaan, we had no other work to do.

Mummy did it in advance and left the stuff in the oven. She cooked in the morning so it didn’t take away from the time before Iftaar, when we should be making Ibaadat.

By doing it in advance, we didn’t get caught up in the kitchen right till Maghrib, almost missing our Asr Salaah. In some of my aunty’s homes, it was always like that. At that Mubaarak time, we were stuck frying savouries and doing last minute preparations.

Because Allah Ta’ala did not mean us to become overwhelmed by this month. Fasting was prescribed for us, just as it was for the nations before us. It is not a great hurdle to overcome when we fast.

And if we think about it… How fortunate are we that Allah Ta’ala has made it so easy for us? When we look at the fasts of previous nations, we come to realise that our fasting is a breeze in comparison. We are just merely skipping a meal

When Mariam (AS) was being questioned by her people about the birth of Isaa (AS), she was instructed to fast. By this we see that some of their fasting entailed not even speaking.

They would speak the truth and their fast would break, yet we lie and our fast still does not break. It is lessened in reward, but still valid.


And when the Ummat of our Nabi (SAW) had first fasted, they would fast from Iftaar to Iftaar. There was no Suhoor at that time, until a particular Sahaba had missed his Iftaar on one occasion.

He was an intense labourer and came to our Nabi (SAW), complaining of his state.

It was then that the verses for Sehri were revealed.

“…and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night)” [Quran, 2:187]

What a blessing for our Ummat, yet some still fail to partake of it. I prayed that I too, wouldn’t mess a Sehri this month. I sometimes forgot the blessing of the month as it progressed, taking it for granted. This month was a guest, to be treated with dignity and respect.

I made a sincere intention to make this Ramadaan better than the last. To read abundant Qur’an and make extra Tilaawat, as the rewards were manifold in this month.

Just for the Tarwaeeh Salaah, sixty-thousand Hasanat were rewarded to the believer who observed it.

SubhanAllah. We are not be overwhelmed, because indeed, this month is a blessing and a gift.

 O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may (learn) self-restraint (Qur’an 2:183)

But all the Ibaadat, I knew, would not be of much value if I were to not gain what I needed from this month. If I was not going to attain Taqwa and self-restraint, then the purpose of my fast would be futile.

I prayed that I would develop this quality in this month, because I knew that I was so far from there. I prayed for Hidaayat and guidance.

And as we touched down at the airport, I felt slightly renewed in my intentions. I was going to try and be a better person, starting from now. I know this whole proposal thing would be difficult for me, but I was going to make an effort to at least try and support my brother.

I was quiet as we drove through the mid-afternoon traffic in Johannesburg. The whole car was silent, but as we reached our destination, I could feel the slight trepidation in the air. I think Bilal was actually nervous.

The GPS was directing us to a house that was in some elite area in the North of the city. I almost couldn’t believe it as we pulled into a driveway in front of a mansion-like house. It was breath-taking. There were security guards at the front and we had to wait for a few minutes before they eventually opened for us.

As we pulled up, I could see Daddy looking at Bilal now, as we were jumping off.

“Bilal, are you sure about this?” he asked, worried.

I was glad he asked. From our humble abode, this place was a lot to digest. Bilal needed to understand that Shazia was probably used to this high-maintenance kind of life. Would he be able to handle it?

Bilal just nodded his head, walking along an immaculate pathway as we found the front door open. It was an older man who met us at the front door, ushering us in.

Honestly, I’m not sure if he was prepared for what he saw, because his demeanour seemed to alter slightly as he noticed Bilal’s kurta and beard. I wasn’t sure what he was expecting when he had heard that someone was coming, but it definitely wasn’t a Sunnah-libaas clad guy with a beard.

And then, for a slight diversion from the awkwardness, two ladies entered. We were all just waiting around in a huge foyer like entrance-hall, before they gestured for us all to enter a single room.

I finally caught sight of Shazia there, hardly recognising her. I was in shock for the first few seconds, gazing at her like an idiot. She was in Hijaab.

I couldn’t believe it.

The amazing thing was, of all the times I had seen her, this time, she looked the most stunning.

But as we sat down and my family awkwardly positioned themselves in the single lounge, the reality of it all set in. I could see Shazia trying to usher the ladies on to the other side of the room, but it was futile.

No separation just made me feel awkward. This family was just not our type of people. Bilal needed to re-think this whole thing.

“So, Bilal, our Shazia tells us you’re also becoming a doctor?” He said it disbelievingly, as if a guy who was deeni-inclined shouldn’t be a professional.

“Jhee, internship next year, Insha Allah,” Bilal nodded.

“Oh, so you’re younger than Shaz then?” said a lady, the younger of the two.

Aunty Julie, her name was. I assumed it was her mother, and wondered where her father was. I knew he had a drug problem, but I assumed he was past it.

“I think it’s just a year younger,” Bilal said, feeling a bit uncomfortable. I could see him shifting around.

“Oh, so then I assume you will only be able to get married after you get a proper job. The internship salary is hardly anything to live on,” the grandfather said, scrutinising Bilal.

“Err, no, actually, I plan on making Nikah before Ramadaan,” he replied.

“Jhee, as soon as possible,” my father said, nodding his head.

I could literally hear a pin drop in the room.

“I’m afraid that won’t be possible, son,” the grandfather said, clearly disturbed. “There are certain criteria here, especially for our Shazia. She’s not just any girl you can pick up pff the street and marry. Our family has rules.”

I cringed inwardly, not knowing where to look. This was getting embarrassing, even for me.

Shazia spoke up now, trying to persuade her grandfather.

“Pa, I think that maybe we should just try and-“

“In our family,” the older lady interrupted,”the tradition is to have a home before we settle down.”

I assumed was Shazia’s Nani.

“Ma, those are outdated traditions, you know,” Aunty Julie piped up, seeing the  expression on Shazia’s face.

“We need to make the rules clear here, Julie” the grandfather said. “Everything has to be in accordance to how we usually do things.”

“With all due respect, Uncle Moe, your ‘traditions’ are not Islamic. Those are the only rules I go by,” Bilal said firmly.

When Bilal spoke, and I’ve never felt prouder of my brother. He knew he was against the odds here, but he didn’t hesitate for even a second. Even my father seemed to be caught unawares.

He looked then in the eye as he stood up now, and asked if he could speak to Shazia for a few minutes on the other side of the room.

Her mother quickly got up, guiding them to a couch far away from us. She seemed to be the only one who was okay with this whole thing. Shazia’s granny just pursed her lips and looked at us while we waited, while my father looked around uneasily at the huge lounge.

It was extremely awkward. I could see the expressions on everyone’s faces.

Because even though Bilal and Shazia were so obviously taken by each other, I couldn’t but look at the reality of this situation. No matter how much they might have wanted it, I knew it couldn’t happen.

This would just never work.


Author’s Note:  Unfortunately, though I was planning one more post, time constraints have got me completely tied up. I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to pen the last one. I hope no-one thinks it’s a cliff-hanger, because I tried to steer away from those! 

Journeying will probably continue after Ramadhaan, Insha Allah.

A few useful advices for Ramadhaan.

When we are urged to fight our Nafs, let us do that with conviction and not just put them on ‘pause’ as we do when we fast. We know that at the end of the day we can eat, so we pause them till iftaar and then sometimes go a bit overboard.

But once Ramadaan ends, let us not be back to ‘normal’… Let us try to fight our bad habits permanently.

Insha Allah, let’s try and bring some Sunnah into our lives from this month. Nothing is achieved if we don’t set a goal. Make a list of at least three, and endeavour to practise them. There are so many benefits. 

As for the World Cup, which is a feature in many homes, let’s try and stay away from even watching sports. It is a useless pursuit and waste of time, especially in Ramadaan. 

This fast, Alhumdulillah, is for our benefit. It is a protective shield for us, to help us to stay away from evil. It softens us and allows us to control our Nafs easily. 

The reward for fasting is so sublime that only Allah Ta’ala knows. The hadith mentions that this reward for this action, Allah Ta’ala himself will give. So blessed is this fast of Ramadaan. 

I’m sure that everyone has Ramadhaan messages coming through their ears now, but I leave you with one last one. 

It’s no use having the information at your disposal without practise. A hadith qudsi narrates that the servant does not come closer to his Rabb by obligatory acts, but Nafl ibaadat. And that is the essence of this month. To engage in extra Qur’an Tilaawat, Salaah and Dhikr-e-Katheer. 

The Qur’an Challenge is still going on and it will be good if paras can be added to keep count. However I do understand, should you not wish to mention. May Allah reward you all abundantly for the efforts.

Instead of tapping on our phones, we need to be knocking on Allah’s doors of Rahmah.

Allah give me the tawfeeq first.

Maaf for extra long post and note. Allah accept our weak efforts. 

Request for Du’aas. Will definitely miss the readers, but I make Du’aa that we use the extra time to take advantage of this month. 

Ya Allah, give us this month, over and over. Help us to welcome it as the esteemed guest that it is, and utilise it properly. Don’t ever deprive us of Your mercy. Ya Allah, make us Yours in this month, and become ours.

Much love to all my sisters. JazakAllah Khair to all for the support.

Have a blessed Ramadhaan.


I am a Muslim

I am a Muslim, so kill me

و سمو ذلك خطأً
And call it a mistake

Imprison me

و سمو ذلك إجراءاً أمنياً
And call it a security measure

غرٍّبوا إخواني و أخواتي
Exile my brothers and sisters

و سمو ذلك تقدماً في الحرب
And call it progress in war

أعلنوا أن قادتي أعداء لبلادي
Declare my leaders as enemies of my own country

,واتهموهم بالخيانة
And charge them of being guilty of treason

إسلبوا حقوقي
Rob my rights

إغزوا أرضي
Invade my land

أعلنوا أني إرهابي و سمو ذلك إنتصاراً
Declare me a terrorist
& call it a victory

ولكن اسمعوا
But listen up…

لا تتوقعوا جلوسي مشاهداً
Don’t expect me to sit back and watch

فقد وُلدت لأدافع
I was born to defend

سأدافع عن هذه الأرض التي تسمى “أرضنا”
I’ll defend this land that is called “ours”

سأدافع عن ذلك الشيء الذي يُسمّى “كرامة”
I’ll defend that thing called ‘natural dignity’

سأدفع عن أؤلئك الذين يُسمون إخوتي و أخواتي
I’ll defend those who are called my brothers and sisters.

سأدافع عن تلك الكلمةٍ التي تُدعى الحرية
I’ll defend that word called ‘freedom’

سأدافع عن تلك الأشياء التي هي حقا تُسمّى ملكي
I’ll defend those stuff that are rightfully called ‘mine’

سأقاتل حتى آخر قطرة دم
And I’ll fight until the last drop of blood

هل تعرفون لماذا ؟
Do you know why?

لأني قد ولدت مسلماً
Because I was born a Muslim

وُلدت في ليلة صرخت فيها أنثى الأسد
زلزلت بها قلعة الأعداء
تصرخ بها بقوة نحو العالم
هنا يأتي المجاهدين
Born at night when the lioness roared,
shaking the fortress of the enemies,
shouting out to the world,
Here comes the ‘Mujahideen’

مجموعة من عدد قليل جداً

وقفت لتواجه الأعداء الذين يُسموْنَ “الرجال الحقيقيون لهذه الأمة”

و كان من بينهم عبدالله عزام ، احمد ياسين ، حطاب ، شامل باسايف ، اسامه بن لادن و غيرهم

A group from amongst the very few
Who stood up to face the enemies
Called the true men of this ummah
From amongst them was Abdullah Azzam, Ahmed Yaseen, Khattab, Shamil Basayev, Osama bin Laden and many others

لذلك سأبقى مسلماً فخرٍ لأبد إن شاء الله
Thus I’ll remain proudly MUSLIM
forever Insha’Allah…


As this beautiful month of Ramadhaan dawns on us, let us not forget to always make Du’aa.

We should also ask for Allah in our Du’aas. That Allah be in our hearts, fill our hearts with love and His closeness.

Let us wake up in the wee hours of the morning and make Du’aa for the Ummat. For our brothers and sisters all over the world. For all those giving their lives and peace for Islam. This is the time for us to sit on our Musallahs and cry for the Ummat, and for the youth.

When we see someone happy, make Du’aa that Allah Ta’ala always keeps them happy, if we see someone sad, make Du’aa Allah Ta’ala removes their sadness and give them happiness.

Use every opportunity to make Du’aa, especially with our kids and family. Make a special time and encourage kids to ask of Him.

Make every action an Ibaadat. Ask for barakat in our sustenance and for our libaas to become coverings of Taqwa.

Ya Allah, make us reach the blessed month of Ramadhaan!

Ahh… So close yet so far, almost here on our doorstep.

Almost painful anticipation. The hearts yearn and hope to meet this mubaarak, long awaited month.

May Allah grant us tawfeeq to utilise each second of this month properly.

Journeying: Bilal Steps Up: Part Two

بسم الله

A proposal?

It was unthinkable. I mean, I had never heard of a guy in this day and age getting a proposal, so it was quite laughable for me.

Wait. Who was it?

“Has, are you gone mad? Which girl in their right mind is going to want to marry me?!” I asked, incredulous.

“Don’t be so horrible, bhaai,” she admonished me. “Since when are girls not supposed to put forward a proposal, huh? You forget that our Nabi (SAW) had a woman propose to him, and that was the most beautiful union! You’re always so cynical, Bilal, I don’t know why I even bother-“

“Has, hold up, I didn’t mean it that way!” I said, defending myself.

Sheesh, women. Why do they take everything so personally?

I was just in shock, wondering who would ever have enough faith in me to want to marry me… I mean, the thought of someone proposing for me was a bit strange, but definitely in a good way.

It was alluring. It said something about whoever she was. She knew what she wanted and she was determined to get it.

“Well, it wasn’t an exact proposal, so don’t get too chuffed,” she said,  trying to kill my ego. It worked. “She phoned to ask me if I could apologise to you about what had happened with you, but I sensed how she feels for you… So I just asked her straight out if she’s interested… But maybe I shouldn’t have…”

“Who is she?” I asked, getting my hopes up.

“Sorry… Forgot to mention. It’s Shazia,” she replied, waiting for my reaction.

I took a deep breath, remembering her, and the last time I had seen her.

“Okay,” I replied, not giving anything away.

“So now?” She asked, waiting for another response.

“Now what?” I replied,  knowing that she was getting annoyed.

“What are you going to do about it?”

“Sheesh, Has. I need time to think,” I said, irritating her on purpose. “Give a guy a chance to decide.”

I cut the call quickly afterward, chuckling to myself. I know Haseena was hoping that she could start planning a wedding, but things were not so clear-cut.

I had been so busy on campus and reforming my life, I had little time to even think of her. It wasn’t like she hadn’t crossed my mind, but after what had happened with her ex, I needed to take some time to get over it. I had felt betrayed, but I knew now that it wasn’t her fault.

She had become the reason for the brutality I had experienced, and I wasn’t sure if I was ready to move past it completely.

The guys were cowards, as far as I was concerned. To purposefully outnumber me was a dirty thing to do. Hamza should have dealt with like a man, instead of having someone else there to back him up.

Umar had attempted to find out more about the notorious Hamza’s syndicate, but I had urged him to leave it alone. I din’t want him to get caught up in the mess. Once Umar was onto something, he wouldn’t have backed down.

But another thing  was on my mind, temporarily, as I got home and jumped back into bed that day.

With Ramadaan around the corner, I really didn’t want my focus to be off-track. There were two things that I could do now. I could either make it happen now, if it was really what she wanted, or I could leave any decision-making till after Ramadaan, knowing that being newly married would definitely put a dampener on my Ramadaan spirit.

Because I was determined that this was going to be the Ramadaan that I would make it. The first time I was going to fully take advantage of the month. Every other chance I had gotten was a waste for me. I had been absorbed in frivolous pursuits the previous times, unaware of the true value.

This was the tine that I was going to use to my best ability. This Ramadaan, I was truly going to deal with my issues, and fight my Nafs. I was going to make use of this month, and not be of the cursed ones who had not gained forgiveness in this month, as our Nabi (SAW) said ‘Ameen’ to the Du’aa of Jibra’eel (AS) when he ascended the mimbar.

Kaab bin Ujra relates,” Prophet Mohammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam) said, “come near to the mimber”. And we came near to the mimber. When he ascended the first step of the mimbar he said “Ameen”. When he ascended the second step of the mimber he said, “Ameen”. When he ascended the third step he said, “Ameen”. When he descended we said , “O Prophet Mohammad (Sallallaho Alaihe Wasallam), we have heard from you today something which we never heard before”. He said, (When I ascended the first step) Jibra-eel (Alaihe Salaam) appeared before me and said, “Woe to him who found the blessed month of Ramadan and let it pass by without gaining forgiveness” . Upon that I said, “Ameen” . When I ascended the second step, he said, “Woe to him before whom thy name is mentioned and then does not read durood( Salaat alan Nabi) on you” . I replied “Ameen” . When I ascended the third step he said, “Woe unto the person in whose presence both parents or one of them attain old age, and (through failure to serve them) is not allowed to enter Jannah” I said “Ameen”

If this month could go by without me gaining the pleasure of Almighty Allah, then I was truly hopeless.

Because the preparation for this month had to be in perfect order. It has to be precision.

If Allah Ta’ala wanted to punish an Ummat, He would not have given us this month to gain forgiveness. He would not have bestowed on us these blessed days, in which we could seek his mercy.

This awesome month, when the preparations and decorations are ordered to commence from the Eid of the previous year. The period of time when the Malaaika (angels) would beautify Jannah for almost a whole year.

This month when an amazing breeze moves through Jannah, emanating from Allah Ta’ala’s Arsh. When the leaves of Jannah begin to move,  rattling with the wind. When everything in Paradise starts shaking and clattering, creating a melodious noise, assuring the occupants that finally… Ramadaan has arrived.

And when the maidens of Jannah, in their splendour, hear that sound, they make Du’aa. They ask of our Rabb to grant them something in this month.

This month, they ask Allah Almighty to grant them husbands from this world.

And when Allah’s slave is in Jannah, he will be seen with the beautiful maiden on the bank of a river of honey or milk, which we can never imagine. It will take seventy years just to gaze at her beauty and Noor, yet he would never tire of it.

…if you ask about their brides and wives (in Jannah), then they are young and full-bodied and have had the liquid of youth flow through their limbs; the Sun runs along the beauty of her face if she shows it… 

If she were to be unleashed upon the World, she would fill what is between the Heavens and the Earth with a beautiful wind, and the mouths of the creation would glorify, praise, and exclaim greatness, and everything between the East and the West would be adorned for her, and every eye would be shut from everything but her…

I couldn’t imagine. But that was the reward. When he is dwelling with her in tranquility, he will be told that the Nikah with her was made on that day, when he had stayed away from even that which was Halaal, while he fasted.

On that day, when his lips were parched from thirst in Ramadaan, and he felt his Roza, Allah Ta’ala had made his Nikah with that hoor.


This was the month to gain forgiveness and attain my Jannah. The month for me to grasp this opportunity and attain what our Lord is waiting to give.

I wasn’t going to waste it.

When our Rabb is giving away the rewards for minimal deeds, and the Shayateen are chained, what better month could there by to take the opportunity.

I was certain that this was going to be the month I would take advantage of, but as I woke up later that day, I felt myself feeling restless.

I was in a certain state of preoccupation, contemplating about what I had decided to not worry about for now.

I couldn’t stop thinking about what Haseena had said to me, and my mind was becoming consumed by it.

Even as I sat to do my Taraweeh dhor after Asr namaaz, I couldn’t focus. My mind was elsewhere.

I asked the Almighty to guide my decision and made my Isthikhaarah.

But I knew what I wanted already. The next day was when I made the final decision. I immediately got onto the net, booking flights to Jo’burg. I messaged Haseena to tell her what I was going to do, now ready to do what I needed to.

If I was going to marry Shazia, I had to do this thing properly. I was going to go to her parents and ask for her.

I thought it was the decent thing to do here, assuming that she was sure about me.

I had confirmed everything within fifteen minutes, making sure that Haseena wasn’t accompanying us. She said she had a few things to sort out at home, but to keep her updated

And then I went downstairs, meeting my parents in the lounge shortly after Fajr. Laila was busy sitting around, acting busy.

“Dad, Mummy… I have some news,” I said, clearing my throat, feeling just a little awkward. I had no idea what their reaction would be. I suddenly got a little worried. Was I too hasty?

“We’re going to Jo’burg this evening,” I said, feeling nervous. “There’s a girl I want you’ll to meet…”

Journeying: Bilal Steps Up: Part One

بسم الله

My phone had been buzzing continuously from the morning, and I felt an overwhelming urge to throw it against the wall.

It was a Sunday, the only time I really had to sleep, and I was getting none of it.

I sat up and leaned over to pick it up, scanning the messages. What was so important?

A few missed calls and a message from an unknown number caught my eye.

Lameez. Reza’s wife. Why on earth did she need me to call her?

“Hello,” I said as the phone rang again, just slightly annoyed.

“Hello? Salaam, Bilal?” She said, sounding out of breath.

“Wa alaikum salaam… Yeah?” I asked warily.

“It’s Lameez. I’m so sorry to phone you like this… But it’s Reza… Do you have any idea where he is? He hasn’t been home since yesterday.”

Oh hell. That guy has done it again.

I forced myself out of bed, putting on my shoes whilst I told his wife that I would sort it out. I mean, what else was I supposed to say? It wasn’t my problem?

Because it really wasn’t my problem. He was an adult, and just because I knew him didn’t mean he was my responsibilty.

I put my Kurta on quickly, grabbing my car keys on the way out.

“Mum, I’ll be back just now,” I shouted to my mother as I passed the kitchen, almost tripping over Laila’s shoes that she had left in the passage. She just knew how to annoy me without even being there.

I knew I wasn’t a morning person, so I generally avoided interaction in the early parts of the day. That day, however, I was forced to stop at service stations asking about Reza.

I was sure that he had passed out somewhere after a heavy night.

And then I remembered that precisely a year ago, that was me. I was busy doing the guy down for everything he was putting me through, not thinking about what I might have been doing was exactly the same. It was only through Allah Ta’ala’s mercy that I had been able to overcome it.

My thoughts immediately flashed back to our infamous place of meeting and  messing around, and I immediately headed there. I was so sure that I would find him there. I just hoped that he was still alive.

Sure enough, as I walked around the building, feeling awkward as hell, I spotted a sprawled out Reza lying in a corner.

Just like that. He looked like a hobo.

“Reza!” I shouted to him as I approached, slapping his face lightly. He stirred slightly before opening his eyes and adjusting to the light.

“Get up,” I said to him, getting angry. “Your vrou is crazy with worry, Reez, and you’re busy with this shit.”

“I wasn’t, man,” he replied groggily, seemingly unable to move. “I was just hanging out…”

I didn’t listen to his ridiculous excuses, just pulled him up with my hand and forced him into my car. He closed his eyes again, digging in his pocket for something. An empty card of pills caught my eye, and he looked at me shamefully before stuffing it back into his pocket.

“Shit. My phone is gone.”

I didn’t reply to him. He had probably lost it or it had got stolen. He wouldn’t even know.

But I knew exactly what he was up to. The empty card had proven my worst fears for him. He was still an addict.

It wasn’t because he still had his fix on him. He would have never been able to resist taking them all, despite the risk of overdosing. What tipped me off was the empty card of the same stray pills my mother had found in my room. It was what I had used to come down from a cocaine high, when my mind was on edge, extremely alert.

His sniffing and nose-blowing was evidence that he had had a heavy night of snuffing. It made me feel sick.

I could feel my anger mounting as I looked at him, wanting to punch him. How long was he going to go on like this? Was this going to be his life?

Breathe, Bilal, I urged myself.

I urged myself to control my anger, knowing that wasn’t the way to deal with a drug addict. Especially one that was in denial.

I knew what it was like. I had been there.

I took a deep breath, tightening my grip on the steering wheel, speaking calmly.

“Reez, how long are you gonna carry on like this, bru?”

He looked at me with one eye open, shrugging helplessly.

“Ramadaan is around the corner,” I continued. “You really want to mess it all up? This is your opportunity to change. This is a chance you getting to reform yourself.”

He sighed, speaking like a defeatist.

“I’m beyond help, boss. I can’t change. I tried, but I can’t.”

Now he was making me angry. He had the support of his wife and I, if he really wanted to do it. I wasn’t comparing myself to him, but I had done it all by myself, and though it was the most difficult thing to do, I had fought it through the help of the Almighty.

“Now you’re talking crap,” I said to him, my temper rising. “Anyone can change. Do you even want to?!”

He nodded weakly, and I felt a relief flow through me as I realised that he was accepting his problem. At least he knew he needed help.

The truth was, nobody was beyond help. Every single person has a chance to repent, and a chance to change their track record.

You can be a sinner your whole life, but with one moment of sincere repentance, you can become a wali of Allah Ta’ala.

Never lose hope in gaining closeness to the Almighty. That’s what I lived by when I remembered how merciful our Lord is.

So I assured him that it’s possible.

Because during the time of Hasan Basri (Rahimullah), there was a son of one of his female mureeds who was a constant sinner.

He never observed the beauty of Islam. He would leave his prayers and he would lead a life of sin. He used to commit each and every sin that was available at that time. His mother would pray for him and would ask Shayk to as well, but he would still not change his evil ways.

So, in His infinite mercy, Allah Almighty inflicted him with a sickness; a deep and mortal sickness. As that young man became more and more sick, he began to realize that this was his final sickness and death would soon overcome him. Then finally the words of his mother and her prayers  had an effect on him and he called her.

Much to his mother’s happiness, he confessed his life of sins, and requested his mother to call Shaykh Hassan Basri (Rahimullah) and tell him that he had repented for his sins, as well as ask him to come and make Du’aa for him.

Immediately, the mother went to the place of Hassan Basri (Rahimullah) asking him , but he refused. He too, had long lost hope in that man, convinced that he is deceiving his mother once again.

The mother was deeply grieved, thinking that maybe her son’s repentance was not accepted.

The son, when he saw his mother come home, looked up expectantly, thinking that his mother would have brought Hadrat Hassan Basri (Rahimullah).

He feared that his Tawbah was insincere. He said, “O mother. Truly I have sinned so much that I’m beyond any hope. That I’m beyond any hope of even the wali of the time.”

He passed shortly afterwards, filled with regret and sadness of his condition.

And just after a few moments there was knock on the door. When she heard the knock on the door, she opened the door and saw Shaykh Hassan Basri (Rahimullah) with tears in his eyes. He spoke to her, remorseful.

O woman, know that after you left I laid down to take a nap. When I laid down for the nap, Allah Almighty’s voice came to me in my dream and He said:

O Hassan Basri, you claim to be the wali of mine? Yet you deny to go to the door of My wali. You deny to take repentance of My wali?

I woke up all of a sudden and I realized that I had made a grave mistake.

Allah Almighty had accepted the repentance of that young man. Allah Almighty had made that young man His wali. Allah Almighty had included that man in the ranks of His Auliya. O woman, I’m here as your servant. I’m here as a servant of that young man. I come as a slave of that young man. It would be my honor if you let me read the Janaza of that young man.


Literally from a sinner to a saint.

So the lesson goes… No matter how much you sin, no matter how low we may go, if we turn to Allah Almighty sincerely, Allah Ta’ala will not only forgive us our sins, He can turn our sins into good deeds.

He can even raise us amongst the ranks of the Awliya. Because that young man who turns to Allah Almighty in his youth, that young man who gives his heart and cries out to Allah Almighty in repentance, He loves that young man and Allah Ta’ala can make that young man His wali.

The truth was, I could never be sure of gaining that until it was too late, so my weak efforts had to start in some way.

This was the perfect time for him to try and fight the Nafs, and kick all the habits that were depriving us of rewards. The upcoming month was a blessing that gave us this opportunity.

“With sincerity,” I told Reza. “You can do anything. Now is the time to fight your Nafs. Ramadaan will be the perfect opportunity to turn your life around.”

He looked at me, not saying a word. We were nearly at his place now, so time was running out. I just hoped that I had got through to him.

I stopped the car, waiting for him to get off.

“Shot, bru,” he said, opening the door. “I appreciate all this… I’ll call you later.”

I nodded at him as he jumped off and shut the door, reaching for my buzzing phone again. People just couldn’t leave me alone this morning.

I glimpsed Haseena’s name on the screen before answering, reversing in the process.

“Whatsup?” I asked her.

“People were trying to get hold of you, bhaai,” she said. “Something about Lameez’s husband..?”

How did she know?

“Yea, sorted,” I said, not wanting to get into details.

“One more thing,” she said quickly, before I cut the call. It sounded like she was going to tell me a joke, because she was giggling constantly as she tried to speak.

“What, Has?” I asked, getting annoyed. “Just tell me.”

“Sorry, sorry,” she said, still giggling in between breaths. “I have some news for you, Biloo.”

“Yeah?” I asked, trying to focus on the road.

“I think it’s great,” she said, sounding excited. “I’m not too sure… But I think that I just received a proposal for you…”