Draw Cards

Dear readers… InshaAllah, this will be the last post of the new blog I will be reblogging… If you wish to follow the new story, go to A Chance to Change, scroll down and click follow after entering your e-mail addy. May it be an inspiring read!

Happy reading, folks 🌹

achancetochange

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

My reality, at the time...

Perfectly set tie. Check.

Matching matt belt. Check.

Tom Ford Oud. Wow. Check.

Hair looking cool. Duh. Check.

I glanced at the mirror, slightly dissatisfied with what I saw. Something wasn’t right.

Fitted jeans or tailored pants? I was torn. I was wearing my new 5 grand shoes, and just couldn’t decide which pants set better on them.

I shrugged, deciding not to make it an issue. Either way, I would still look like a boss. Girls needed to think that I didn’t really make much of an effort. Not that I did anyway. I had plenty of suits but I had decided against wearing one today. I was taking it easy. Everyone would be in a suit. I wanted to be different.

“Where’re you goin’?”

I swung around, only to see Waseem watching me. It looked like he was probably standing there for a while.

He still…

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A Little Intervention

Beginning of a piece… May we benefit from it’s lessons…

achancetochange

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Muhammed was just an ordinary guy. An ordinary guy with an ordinary life. Plain and simple. Nothing special.

Honestly, now that I think about it, he had nothing going for him, except the fact that he was, I suppose, ‘street-wise’. And that’s what he had used to get to the top. He really lived the life. And, no, you could never undermine it. His life was what anyone would call a high-life.

Somehow, he had bagged himself a trophy wife. No-one really knew where she came from. And she was anything but ordinary. He just kind of came to us one day and said he was getting married. And that was that. Done and dusted.

Of course, there was always a favourite child. Then came Waseem.

He was in the middle, but very evidently, the blue-eyed boy. Waseem was the leader, in any crowd. The conspicuous one…

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Shifting the Focus

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

A Journey: A Chance to Change.

It was a long road for me… I was at a place where I could never imagine I would ever be at. I had gone against the odds, against the norm. I had told myself that ‘people like me’ don’t ever do this. People like me, coming from the place that I’ve come from, don’t get a second chance.

And no, it wasn’t terrible. The place that I was at, wasn’t inadequate.

I ran my hands through my hair, tilting my head back in the sun, unable to fathom how I had got here. The images still played in my mind every night, especially before I slept, but I had supposed that even that was a reminder of Allah’s mercy on me. The fact that I had been removed from where I was, deeper than I had thought I could get. Sometimes I forgot where exactly it was that I had come from. Sometimes I needed to jolt myself into reality, to realise that I didn’t deserve any of this.

I always wondered what would happen if they found out. I shoved the thought out of my mind as I kept my mind on the focal point. It didn’t matter.

I wasn’t sure how I was ever going to explain to anyone why I was here. How was I ever going to rationalise it all?

I shook my head to myself. At the end of the day, all of that didn’t matter.

‘You’ll deal with that when the time comes,’ I said to myself, closing my eyes. ‘Cross that bridge when you get there.’

Bridges. I pictured them, literally, in my mind. I’ve always had a literal kind of mind, trying to encompass everything in my mind’s eye.

Bridges again. Bridges and bridges that I had crossed. Bridges that I still had to cross, in order to get to the other side.

“But what about that bridge,” Muhammed was saying to me, a twinkle in his eye. I could hear his voice somewhere in the distance. He explained it so elaborately, I literally shivered as I envisioned it.

Because then… I anticipated it. I awaited the final bridge- the one that every person will have to cross. The one that will appear thinner than a strand of hair, with the blazing fire beneath it.

Unlimited, the pit of all pits. Unyielding, the torment of it, bubbling and brutal, waiting to suck its occupants into its fury. Boiling water and burning iron rods. The keepers; nineteen angels, who are swift in carrying out whatever they are commanded, never disobeying their Lord.

But…. But wait… Ah!

Just hold up…. Because, yet, on the other side, there was a blanket of infinite idealism. A perfect picture. Priceless and timeless. Indulgence, to the finest degree. Reclining on thrones of gold. Unaffected by anything that could even potentially affect any of it’s inhabitants.

Truly, there was not even a chance of that happening, because in Jannah, there is no hatred or envy. No malice or dispute. No depression or oppression. The greetings will surround us, as the angels convey to us their Salaam. We’ll once again be with those dear and lost, with those whom we loved, sipping from goblets of the finest types, to converse and immerse ourselves in glory… Aware that our Lord is most definitely pleased with how we had fared in this life.

I couldn’t wait… There was no opportunity for the swelling within my chest to increase as my heart literally ached to actually experience that. Jannah – the place of palaces. Bricks of gold and silver, mortar of musk. Beauty that the mind cannot imagine. Homes built one upon the other, the land of the successful. Where your companions will be the prophets, the martyrs, the pious, the scholars, the truthful – and what great companions they are! The likes of Nabi (SAW) in our midst, but greater than that, is the Lord my Nabi (SAW). And MY Rabb too, of course. No-one can imagine what it would be like when the veils are finally lifted, revealing the epitome of magnificence… to see Him… My Lord.

I jolted and my head involuntarily turned as I heard the footsteps approaching me, slowly but confidently… I slipped back into present tense, realising that I was still here… In my worldly existence. The dream world had been lifted away from me, as I awoke, my eyes adjusting to the light.

The figure approached me from the house, and I instantly remembered where I had been putting my focus all this time. How ignorant I had been…

Dressed to perfection, with not a crease on the brand new Hugo Boss shirt. The perfectly fitted shoes, complimenting the grey stripe that featured on the fashionable attire. Not even a pucker on bottom of his skinny-cut Armani jeans. Never a single strand of perfectly-gelled hair out of place.

I silently nodded, as I had always done, acknowledging some sort of approval. Not knowing, that in my heart of hearts, something had to let. Something had to change here.

We compete for everything of this world but forget what we supposed to be competing for. We sometimes don’t even care if we ever will win that competition, when it so clearly unveiled.

Were our hearts completely sealed? The signs are so obvious. It’s all made so clear.

Gardens of perpetual bliss, we are constantly reminded. A spring of Jannah, is what is said. It’s mixture…. Of Tasneem. Pure wine, they say. The most beautiful of flavours, we can’t even imagine.

The true reality of the hereafter is appealing to us… Oh competitors, oh slaves of Allah, caught in this race of wealth and trial! Let us compete and rush towards the forgiveness of Allah and Paradise. We are so caught up. I wanted to shout it out… To let the world know. It was only a deception, an illusion… Every single thing will perish, right down to the finest pieces of linen that we so cherish.

Remember this, the final abode, even if you forget everything else:

“…So for this let the competitors compete.” (Surah Al Mutaffifin:26)

 

Author’s note: Assalaamu Alaykum, dear readers. I apologise. I know, I’ve been terrible. Even with the Mission Sunnah Revival. I don’t know where the time has gone to.  I don’t really know where I’m going with this post. Maybe, just maybe, it will be the beginning of something new? Or a continuation of something old…? Maybe it will just serve as a reminder. Maybe I needed it more than anyone else, because a reminder is always beneficial. Who knows what Allah Ta’ala has in store. I don’t know when next I will post, but in the meantime, let’s try and adjust our focus from Duniyaa to Aakihirah. Insha Allah. I too, more than anyone else, have become so lax and weak. Too comfy in this Duniyaa life. Let’s shift our focus.

The shortage of rain that most of the South African Ummah is experiencing is a huge concern. Yes, we do waste water and should try not to. Yes, sometimes we blow hot air just to give people a piece of our minds, but we truly are forgetting Who is in charge of it all. The shortage of rain is directly linked to the amount of mercy that Allah Ta’ala is bestowing on us. Or lack, thereof. Even in the month of mercy, Ramadhaan, we had experienced a huge shortage of rain. Let us turn to Allah NOW, make abundant Istighfaar, give out Sadaqah and pray that whatever positive changes we, as individuals, can make, will make an impact. 

Let’s continue to revive the Sunnahs we may have become lax with. A beautiful Sunnah that I had not yet introduced was the Sunnah of Combing the Hair before Sleeping. So easy yet so rewarding. Don’t forget to recite Qur’an every day, at least a quarter, Insha Allah.

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofAwakening

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#RevivetheSunnahofDressing

#RevivetheSunnahofWhudhu

#RevivetheSunnahofDrinkingWater

#RevivetheSunnahofClippingtheNails

#RevivetheSunnahofSneezing

#RevivetheSunnahofBathroom

#Revive the SunnahofSleeping

#ReciteQur’anDaily – at least a quarter

Tweet @ajourneyjournal

 

Just to Say….

Dearest Readers,

Bismillah.

Assalaamu-alaykum.

I know. It’s been ages. I’m sorry. But I’m sure everyone understands. Life with a new baby is a little more consuming than before. Alhumdulillah, all went well. Amidst the craziness, I had stopped a few times, just deliberating over things that crossed my mind.

Thinking of how many people enjoyed this sometimes inspirational, yet remotely far-fetched story, I couldn’t help but ponder over whether I will ever be inspired in the same way again. Just like Haseena, Laila and Bilal had found some place in the readers lives, I too looked at them in a more realistic light as their stories and characters evolved.

On that note, I soon plan on doing a post on the inspiration for this story, and maybe some other stuff.

Actually, to be fair, there are tons of things that I plan on doing. My mind sometimes goes into overdrive just thinking about them, but what I worry that now, since I’m not writing about the small reminders like I had been doing, I myself am slacking. Without the constant brainstorming, I’ve reached a place where I’ve become a bit too comfortable. A bit too lax.

And of course, dear readers, this in itself is a warning for us. Obviously, we know that this world was not created for our comfort. So when we find ourselves feeling too settled-in, just remember to check ourselves… Remember to remind yourself about the purpose of this world. The reason we are here, as Allah Ta’ala tells us.

Only for His worship. To comprehend Allah’s Greatness. If only we could understand.

SubhaanAllah.

Finally, to cut to the chase of this post, for now, I leave us all with one thing to focus on… As promised, I wish to reinforce our Mission Sunnah Revival.

And yes, I know how hard it is to bring these Sunnahs into our lives on a constant basis. Shaytaan has amazing ways of putting us off focus. But please, can we just try to implement again the following three for now, and be consistent in these:

Du’aas for eating- before and after

Du’aas for awakening and sleeping

Du’aas for toilet- entering and leaving

An Ustaadh has advised that if we just bring those in for now, all others shall follow, Insha Allah.

Request for Du’aas… May Allah Ta’aka make it easy to implement.

Will post again soon, Insha Allah

Ma’asalaam ❤️

 

Journeying: Final Destination: Laila

بسم الله

Part Three of Three…

“Are you ready?” Yusuf asked me, looking at the time.

I glanced up at our bedroom clock. It was nearly two-thirty am. I widened my eyes at him, getting anxious.

“How are we going to get up?!” I asked, panicking.

He grinned at me, ruffling my hair as he walked past.

“Let’s just stay awake,” he said mischievously, turning to look back at me. “For old time’s sake, huh? I’m too excited to sleep anyway.”

I looked at him, warming to the idea. We had pulled all-nighters a lot when we were first married, just talking and getting to know each other, but now that we had two mischievous toddlers to worry about, we simply couldn’t manage without a night’s rest. Thankfully, tonight Yusuf’s mother had said she would see to them, so our time was our’s, just for now. It felt a bit strange to be free of parental responsibility.

Adjusting to life with two kids was quite a mission for us. We had expected to have a child, but two at once was a bit more than we were prepared for! Although it was initially difficult, with all the help we had, Allah Ta’ala had definitely made it easier, and right now, in retrospect, I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

One of the most amazing things about being a parent was seeing Yusuf as one too. And as our two grew up, Yusuf and I were faced with things we had never imagined. From carefree and somewhat obsessed newly-weds, we suddenly went to erratic, sleep-deprived parents. Nonetheless, every single thing that we endured as a family made us closer than ever, and just heightened the love we had for each other.

And no, my husband wasn’t perfect, and we had our moments where we just felt like we needed a ‘time-out’, but Yusuf was an amazing father, and as I watched him grow as a father to our kids, I missed my own father more than ever.

“Come sit, love,” he said, glancing back at me, patting the space next to him in the corner of the room.

I zipped my bag and obediently complied, looking forward to what he was going to say. With this great journey that lay ahead for us, I knew he would definitely remind me about what I needed to know. He always said that to keep up our efforts, we had to constantly talk about Allah Ta’ala.

I looked at my husband now, smiling to myself. He never missed an opportunity to open my heart and mind to the wealth of Imaan that we possessed. Even after being married for a few years, I knew that I was so lucky to have him.

And though it had took me a while to realise that Yusuf was so much more than what met the eye, every day I still learnt something new, through him. The path that had eventually led me here was less than admirable, and although Yusuf knew about it, he never made me feel guilty about it. Fareeha had insisted that I come clean with Yusuf about my past, and I did. The two of us were still close, and though I saw her a few times a year, I knew that the bond we shared would last a lifetime. Her advice to me was what got me thinking, and I realised what I had to do.

Yes, everyone got carried away with something or someone at some point in their lives, but how we rise above it and turn it around is what mattered. When we sincerely repent and don’t return to the sin, especially when their is opportunity, Allah Ta’ala’s mercy flows through from all directions. So merciful is our Lord, that if our repentance is sincere, even the recording angels forget about the sins we committed. Knowing this, how could we ever despair of His mercy?

And Yusuf had obviously heard about my silly mistakes in the past, but when he had returned to see me still unmarried, he knew that it was an opportunity for him to show me that there was still hope, despite everything. Even when you feel disappointed in yourself, and hopeless about what may lie ahead, there was still a silver lining out there.

“I can’t believe that we’re so lucky, Laila,” he was saying, as I sat next to him, our knees close together.

I looked up at him, feeling unusually affectionate towards him as he embraced me. He ran his hands through his beard, looking down at me, almost disbelievingly, as he spoke.

“I didn’t think it was possible for us to go so soon, you know..?” he said, shaking his head.

“But Allah Ta’ala made a plan for us. And sometimes we get carried away with everything else, that we forget the One who’s responsible for it all… We forget to make shukar, you know?”

I knew exactly what he was saying. We often got so caught up in this temporary world, that we forget about the One who controls everything. It was Him alone who was calling us for this journey… Awaiting our Labbaik… To call out to Him. It just sent shivers down my spine.

Yusuf looked up at me, and I smiled at my husband now, as he held my hand in his. He was always reminding me about these things, and I was grateful for that. They say that the company of people you keep in the Duniyaa would be who you will end up with eternally, and I prayed for that, as we sat there.

Holy Prophet (SAW) has said, “A person will be with whom he loves.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

The thing was, when you desired Allah Ta’ala, you see Him in everything. You are attracted to what He loves, and find yourself pleased with only that which is pleasing to Him.

Yusuf got up now to engage in Tahajjud Salaah, and I sat for a while, watching him. I loved having the opportunity to do that, once again.

As I had got to know him, it was amazing how much of Sunnah my husband had in his life. And when Yusuf spoke about it, it was miraculous that fourteen hundred years down the line, the words of an unlettered man still had such an impact.

Being of the Ummat of that Nabi (SAW) was an honour that we were blessed with, yet never truly comprehended. It is said that when our Nabi (SAW) went for Mi’raaj, and met the Ambiyaa, even Hadhrat Idrees (AS) longed to be of the Ummat of our Nabi (SAW). Even after being granted Jannah without having experienced Sakraat, he still envied this honoured Ummat.

Such is the status of this Ummat. And if any other religion wanted to imitate their prophet… They really wouldn’t know where to begin. However, we are so blessed, that we can do our actions exactly like the Beloved of Allah (SAW).

SubhaanAllah.

It’s proven, even in the west, that this way of life is a means to success… And I had the proof staring at me too, as I witnessed the tranquillity around me.

I watched Yusuf make salaam now as he concluded his Salaah and raised his hands for Du’aa.

Du’aa…. The Du’aa at Tahajjud is said to be like an arrow that never misses it’s target. The pure humility of his posture, as he sat there, brought tears to my eyes as I followed his actions. It reminded me of the first night we had spent together.

At that moment, for a split second, it felt like I was that girl again. I remembered it like it was just the other day, and a familiar feeling descended as I was transported back to that place momentarily, like I was there once again. I remembered the feelings that came with finally being able to find myself, after being lost and enstranged.

But the realisation dawned almost immediately.

That girl was a different person. She had been dancing around in circles, looking for things in the wrong places, before she found the love she had sought. She had been heedless and aimless, seeking contentment where there was none available.

Until it hit her, at a time that she hardly expected.

She finally found what she had been looking for, through the One Who created her.

And it wasn’t beyond anyone’s understanding. Everything has got the ability to perceive, yet we remain blinded out of choice. Our Deen was perfectly moulded for us.

If we wanted love, the Greatest Love that we could ever have was right in our midst, waiting for us to open our heart to Him.

If it was mercy we sought, when we showed mercy to others, the One in the Heavens Above would surely never deprive us of His.

And if we were looking for peace… I’ve found that the only peace that was fulfilling, was the peace that came with turning to our Rabb. The only solace that was worth seeking, was the promise of eternal bliss, that only Allah (SWT) can offer.

Everybody is looking for peace, and the kind of contentment that comes from deep within. Those who used to wake at night to remember their Lord in solitude will be of those first few who enter the eternal abode. Imagine the regret when those who have found peace with their Lord are whisked off to Jannah, and we are left behind?

Rasul Allah (SAW) said: “Richness does not lie in the abundance of (worldly) goods, but richness is the richness of the soul (heart, self).” [Muslim]

And how to find that contentment, was to be happy with what our Lord decrees. To accept that by Him being our Master, we automatically become slaves, in this world of play and amusement. To guard our gazes from that which others possess, bringing appreciation into our own lives and heart. To become rich through the realisation of how much we have been favoured, if only we could count them.

And then, to remember that Allah Ta’ala only gives the ones He loves the knowledge and piety to realise all of this.

And through this peace, will our Lord look at us, and give us the long awaited glad tidings that we strived for.

The world will never be able to satisfy that craving of the heart. It is only our Rabb who can give us peace. If only we knew, and could see what the mind can never imagine… With the sacrifice in this world, He will grant us the eternal rewards.

It is only with that, we earn the greatest victory of all…

“Gardens of perpetual residence; they will enter them with whoever were righteous among their fathers, their spouses and their descendants. And the angels will enter upon them from every gate, [saying],

‘Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent is the final home.'” (Surah Ar-Radd: Verse 23-24)

 

Author’s Note: “And Remind for verily a reminder benefits the believer”(51:55)

So much more to say, that I have no idea if we have done justice to this blog. Sad that it has come to an end too, but we just hope that Allah Ta’ala guides us to take it into our hearts and practise whatever has touched and affected us, even in the tiniest of ways. Make Du’aa for the youth, who are greatly in need of it. 

As a beneficial reminder for us, since we were always so weak, talking about Allah (SWT) is the only way to keep reminding ourselves about Him and His greatness. And though they say that the greatness of Allah (SWT) is impossible for our feeble minds to comprehend, just by looking at and acknowledging the mastery of His creation, we are engaging in some sort of Ibaadat. By introducing Taaleem And Kitaab-reading in the home, hidaayat can flow through our lives, Insha Allah. 

Keep company with the pious, be good to others, make shukar for the small things. Try and remember that this world is not for us. Preserve this Deen and don’t take it for granted. Allah Ta’ala is the only refuge we have, so don’t look for solace with anyone or through anything else.

The lessons are endless, and I wish I could remind us of every one today. After all, it’s no use reading and being inspired if we don’t make amal and put into practise. So take heed, and protect yourself, because at the end of the day, we are responsible for our own Aakhirah.

JazakAllah Khair to all the readers, fans and those who offered advice and and constructive criticism as well. May Allah (SWT) reward you abundantly. Will reply to comments as soon as time allows.

A humble request for Du’aas, as I am greatly in need of them. May Allah accept all our efforts in gaining closeness to Him, and help this weak writer to practise whatever has been said first. May Allah grant us all contentment in this world and the hereafter. Aameen

Allah knows best, but something said by certain Ulema is that in this day and age, with all the fitnah, by following fatwa strictly, and performing the 5 daily Salaah (Masjid for men), our status will be like the Awliyaa, Insha Allah. These times that we live in are said to be worse than those of the period of Jahilliyya (ignorance), so just a little sacrifice and self-restraint can take us a long way. Let’s work on our Imaan, Insha Allah. And like our Nabi (SAW) was brought in to eliminate darkness from that time, his Sunnah is needed to bring the light back into our lives again.

So… Please don’t forget our Mission Sunnah Revival! Insha Allah we will continue with it, and I will post when there are any updates. 

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofAwakening

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#RevivetheSunnahofDressing

#RevivetheSunnahofWhudhu

#RevivetheSunnahofDrinkingWater

#RevivetheSunnahofClippingtheNails

#RevivetheSunnahofSneezing

#RevivetheSunnahofBathroom

#Revive the SunnahofSleeping

#ReciteQur’anDaily – at least a quarter

Tweet @ajourneyjournal

Contentment

Journeying: What’s Destined to Be: Shazia

بسم الله

“Next is our turn,” Bilal said to me later that night, as I switched off the lights.

We had been talking earlier about the trip that Laila would be taking, and for the first time in my life, I felt such a deep yearning to be somewhere, I couldn’t comprehend it. We had applied to go for Hajj, but it seemed like our call wasn’t to be for that year.

“I really want to go, Bills,” I said, sighing as I got under the covers. “I feel like it’s what I’ve been waiting for…”

“I wasn’t talking about that,” Bilal said, feeling for my hand under the duvet. “But don’t wait for Hajj to change anything, babe… If you want to do something, do it now.”

He was right. Why wait?

Now that Asmaa was older, I had a lot more time on my hands. I had finished specialising last year, even though Bilal had said it wasn’t necessary. He had given in though, because my dreams were a little different to his. I wanted to provide a service to women, because I knew that it would be a good thing to do. Now, though, instead of studying some more, maybe I needed to commit myself to something that would have eternal benefits.

It had taken me so long to tread on this particular path, but I was glad that I finally felt this way. I wanted to do so many things… To improve myself, and to be the best that I could be. I had always wanted to go into take the bigger steps, like going into Niqaab, but something had always stopped me.

After all, Bilal was always encouraging it. Yes, I had come a long way… But what we sometimes think is okay, is never enough.

I really wanted to make him happy, but most of all, I wanted to make my Lord happy. The only way to show gratitude would be to remain on His obedience. The only way to ensure that He was always happy with us, was to not displease Him in any way.

And right now, I felt like I was ready to do whatever it took. I knew now that when it came to following the straight path, there was no compromising.

“You didn’t ask what I was talking about?” Bilal said, nudging me and breaking my thoughts.

“Sorry… Was just thinking,” I replied, still pre-occupied.

“You were saying you overheard Haseena earlier,” he reminded me, turning to face me.

“Oh yes,” I said, smiling. “I almost forgot… I don’t think I was supposed to hear them. I almost choked when I did. Haseena had always said that Umar’s waiting for his daughter… Looks like number four is on the way.. Can you believe it?!”

“Hmmm,” he said, not really responsive.

“Bilal, are you asleep?!” I asked, getting annoyed.

“No, just thinking how it would be if we had that many,” he replied, sounding serious.

I giggled, finding it amusing.

“You’ll have enough help… And some practice with Laila’s two here!”

After Bilal’s father had passed away two years back, we had moved into the main house. Bilal’s mother was always such a huge help with Asmaa, and I really appreciated it.

It wasn’t like I minded. I knew that whatever was meant to happen, would be, no matter how much I wanted or didn’t want it. It was something I had learnt as I grew in my marriage. It was what Bilal had always reminded me about, when I felt the need to want to control everything.

Tawakkul was what had kept me going… When I was just a little under the weather, losing hope. When I had been literally forced out of my home and kept like a captive by my family, who thought they knew what was best for me, I still had faith that Allah Ta’ala would see me through at the end of the day. When they were planning to completely ruin my marriage, and force me to marry someone else through blackmail, I had felt that all hope was lost.

But Bilal’s words had always stayed with me. The truth was, before I had met him, I had never met anyone like him. I had never come across anyone else who reminded me that no matter what, Allah (SWT) was always there. When we ask, we should ask of Him alone, with no reservations. We should entertain no hopes of anyone but Him.

And the story he had once told me of a robber and how his faith was renewed often came to mind, giving me hope again.

It was a spectacular incident of how a notorious robber among the Kurds stopped to rest, and observed something very strange occurring. There was a bird which he witnessed flying from a tree laden with fruit, to another date palm which was dry and barren. This happened a few times before the man finally decided to investigate.

Much to his awe, as he climbed the other tree, he saw a blind snake lying there with it’s mouth wide open.

The sparrow had actually been putting fresh  dates into the open mouth of the blind snake! That mere sight awakened his conscience in such a way, that he was immediately moved to tears.

He cried unto his Lord, ashamed: “Oh Allah! When this snake, which Rasullah (SAW) has commanded us to kill, became blind, You appointed sustenance for it. And I, who am Your slave and believer in ‘Tauheed’, have been destined to loot the people.’

“At this a voice spoke to him, from within his heart, saying: ‘The doors to repentance are open to everybody, at all times.'”

This robber immediately repented, broke his sword, and left his old ways. His companions had also changed their old habits, as he told them about what had happened.

He had said: “I was led astray and was estranged from my Lord. Now I have made peace with Him.”

And just remembering this story that Bilal had told me with so much of emotion, renewed my faith again. Just those words, moved something within me.

Because at some point in our lives, aren’t we all estranged from our Lord? At some unfortunate time, we look back to realise how dissatisfied and ungrateful we had been with the will of our Lord. Like the blind snake, if Allah Ta’ala provides and takes care of every one of His creation, how could we ever assume that He won’t see to our needs? We turn to everybody else for materialistic and other needs, but how can we ever rely on anyone else to fill our hearts with contentment, when He alone is the Turner of Hearts?

Rasullulah (SAW) says: “If you were to put all your trust in Allah as He should be trusted, He would grant your sustenance, as He does to the birds.”

And now, after everything, and the sunshine after the rain, I had utmost faith in Allah’s (SWT) plan. I had utmost faith He would suffice us, whatever the situation.

I drifted off to sleep that night, after checking on Asmaa, wondering what Laila was doing right now, as the time for their trip approached. As I watched my sister-in-law grow up over the past few, I couldn’t believe how much she had changed, from the slightly overbearing and immature younger sister, to a woman and a wife, completely devoted to her husband and family. Her and Yusuf complimented each other perfectly, and I had always wondered why the two of them took so long to finally get together.

But I realised that the plan of our Lord is always best. Maybe they both needed that time to realise how good they would be together. Indeed, Allah (SWT) is the one who chooses who we are ultimately destined for.

They really deserved this beautiful trip, and I was so happy for them. The atmosphere at their home was just so amazing as they had greeted everyone, and I closed my eyes as I fell off to sleep, yearning to be in their place the following year…

 

 

Author’s Note: Last post will be within the next day, Insha Allah.

I know that some may find the story between this particular couple a bit far-fetched, but I chose to share because it was actually based on something that actually occurred. In our harsh reality, though, the ending wasn’t as good. Just an eye-opener for us to realise what is important in a spouse, and what actually happens out there.

May Allah Ta’ala enable us to always make Deen a priority in every choice we make. Aameen.

Please don’t forget our Mission Sunnah Revival!

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofAwakening

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#RevivetheSunnahofDressing

#RevivetheSunnahofWhudhu

#RevivetheSunnahofDrinkingWater

#RevivetheSunnahofClippingtheNails

#RevivetheSunnahofSneezing

#RevivetheSunnahofBathroom

#Revive the SunnahofSleeping

#ReciteQur’anDaily – at least a quarter

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Journeying: Destiny Unfolded: Haseena

بسم الله

Part One of Three…

Another four years later… 

“Has, you think it’s time?” Laila asked, sounding just a little edgy.

“For what?” I asked absent-mindedly, tapping on my phone. I was just a little pre-occupied.

“To say goodbye,” she said, sounding defeated.

I looked up at her from my phone, realising how rude I was being. She was trying to talk to me, and I couldn’t even look at her. Fair enough, I had a bit on my mind right now, but it was no excuse.

“Do you ever stop with that thing?!” she suddenly asked, annoyed.

I shrugged guiltily, putting it away.

“What d’you expect me to do?” I said, feeling bad. “I can’t ignore him.”

“You guys are obsessed,” she complained, frowning. “You’ll are married for longer than us, and you’ll act like teenagers.”

I opened my mouth to defend myself, but realised that I had nothing to say. Maybe we do. I just never noticed.

I wasn’t sure if it was just in my head, but I was already beginning to feel slightly woozy as she spoke.

“So?” she said, looking at me expectantly.

I looked at my watch, realising how late it was. It was way past the kids usual bedtime, and I knew we had to head home soon too.

I smiled when I thought about our home, remembering the first time that we had gone there. It was the one Umar had bought before he left. I had spotted it once while we were together, completely taken in by the sanctity that surrounded it. It wasn’t huge or extravagant, but it was what I had always wanted in a home at that time.

Peace. A yard for our kids, if we would have any… And just the right amount of rooms we would need… Or so I had thought…

“I think so,” I finally said, nodding at her. My phoned buzzed again but I ignored it as Laila looked at me, slightly annoyed.

We walked out together, and I pulled her aside before she would go down, looking at her, realising the enormity of this journey she was taking. I was so happy that they were finally leaving for Hajj, I could barely contain my excitement. Despite the thrill I felt for them, a huge part of me so longed to go once again…. To experience the beautiful journey through a new perspective. It was like a familiar ache, somewhere deep inside. Seeing Laila get everything ready brought back memories that I would never forget.

“Don’t even waste a second of your time there,” I said to her as I hugged her tightly. “And don’t worry about Aa’isha and Ahmad. They’ll be fine.”

She nodded at me, tears welling up in her eyes. Her dainty features were distorted by her grief. Laila had really grown up beautifully in so many ways, and sometimes when I looked at her, I couldn’t believe that she was once my  nerdy little sister.

“I really miss him today, Has,” she said, getting emotional.

I didn’t meet her eye, just held on to her as she wiped her eyes. We remembered Daddy often, but it was on occasions like this that we missed him the most. He always had a wise word or comforting gesture to offer, just to make everything okay again.

But as Allah Ta’ala had planned, our father wasn’t meant to share this occasion with us. As a reminder to us about the temporary nature of this world, and that we will ultimately be returned to our Creator, Allah Ta’ala sometimes wakes us up in ways that take us by surprise. A sudden heart attack was all it took, and Daddy was gone. Although we still felt the emptiness, he was always in our Du’aas and our thoughts.

We headed down the stairs as she went to greet Mummy, and say her final goodbyes. We passed our cousin Tasneem on the way, and I greeted her warmly as she said she was leaving, glad that she finally looked happy after her divorce from Sa’if.

Tasneem had actually married again after she came back, finally gaining the resolve to forget Sa’if, who was never around anyway.

Umar had made sure that justice was served as he was finally caught and arrested somewhere near the border for the murder of the security guard they had found dead at our old apartment block. Both of his brothers seemed to be responsible for some type of petty crimes, and the law was taking it’s course.

Umar had full faith that eventually, all would be set aright.

I was glad that Umar held nothing against my cousin, even after everything that had happened, and we had reached a stage now where we could actually be in the same house without any ill feelings.

As for Umar’s other incident, which he still regretted immensely, he had eventually paid off whatever was due to the guy he had injured at the service station, until he received news of his death. Although sad, it was a relief to know that it was due to natural causes, and not from sustained injuries from the shooting.

Amazingly, even the mistakes that we had made in the past get set right when you have faith in Allah (SWT).

Now, I followed Tasneem to see her out, but before I could get back to the lounge, I couldn’t help but hear a whisper from behind the room door where Sa’ad and his brothers were supposed to be sleeping. I sighed, immediately alerted that they were far from asleep. I always tried not to too hard on them, but with three boys, sometimes the less admirable side came out.

The thing was, with kids, you had to enforce rules from a young age, but more so, teach them about Deen as a priority. I tried, and with Umar’s help, it was an easier task, but I wasn’t sure if I always got it right. With everything opposing Deen surrounding us, it was hard work, but Umar made it a point of bringing his work home.

The work of Deen had an important place at home, and although the man can bring it to the doorstep, it was the woman who brought it into the home. This time, I had to take the disciplinary approach.

“Sa’ad, this is the last time I’m going to tell you’ll,” I started, putting on a stern voice as I pushed open the door. “It is way past your bedtime! If I catch you-”

I stopped in mid-sentence as I saw who the main culprit was. Sure enough, five-year old Sa’ad was up, but right next to him was no-one else but his father, looking extremely guilty.

“Go back to sleep,” Umar whispered quickly to a Sa’ad, as Sa’ad crawled back into bed with Hamza and Abdur-Rahmaan.

Bilal’s daughter, Asmaa, slept on the bed next to them, and Laila’s twins were peacefully asleep in the camp-cot.

Umar looked at me guiltily as he exited the room, pulling me behind him.

I shook my head at him, wondering what the two of them were up to. Sometimes Umar acted like a kid.

“Maulana!” I scolded lightly, my voice slightly raised. I didn’t have to say much else.

“I just wanted him to call you,” he finally admitted, looking down. “You weren’t replying to me.”

I put my hands on my hips, trying to look serious, but I couldn’t help but laugh at him.

“I wanted to check that you didn’t forget me as yet,” he joked, grinning slightly.

I shook my head at him, already losing my resolve.

It had become a joke of sorts now, but when Umar had first returned to find me in hospital, I hadn’t been in a state to recognise him. It was a side-effect of the medication that I had been given, and although he was glad that I was okay as I slowly realised what had happened, till now, he had made it a habit of checking if I still remembered him.

Despite the joke he often made about it, the thing was, when he returned, Umar had expected our life to pick up where it had left off when he got back. However, when everything was such a blur to me, and Sa’ad a constant in our lives, we found it harder than ever to get back to normal.

Of course, I was extremely relieved that my husband was back, but adjusting to him, once again, was difficult. He had changed in many ways after every experience he had undergone, and so had I.

But amazingly, instead of hanging onto the past, we moved to our new home with the hope of starting over, and something in me was revived, once again.

Once again, I fell in love with his efforts in reminding me to always be the best that I could be. His steadfastness and passion for preserving Deen was what captured my heart. His constant efforts in instilling in me the love for our beautiful Deen were a driving force to building our relationship, once again.

Through Allah Ta’ala’s mercy, I felt like there was a new hope for us, and a new bond developed between us as we grew together and as a family. Our family was the one thing that he came home to every day, but it never diverted him from what he knew his purpose was in this world.

As Insaan, we sometimes say that the world means nothing to us, but when we do some real introspection and we lose something of some ‘value’, we truly see how much we are taken in by it’s ornaments. We get carried away when our eyes stray and start admiring what others are blessed with. We don’t find contentment in everything that we have been so mercifully given.

For Umar, somehow, the small bounties were his solace, but they didn’t ever cause him to stray.

Luqman Alaihissalaam said, in his advice to his son: “Barter this world for your ‘Deen’, you will reap the benefits (of the bargain) both in this world and the Hereafter; but do not barter away your ‘Deen’ for the sake of of this world, or else you will suffer the loss in this world and the next.”

And that was the essence of preserving this Deen.

Umar had somehow been able to master it. While I sometimes got carried away with the finer things, my husband was my motivation to become the best that I could always be. He was never diverted, because he realised that being enamoured by this world was a vain pursuit that he reminded me about often.

He had stood boldly before the most fearsome things one could think of, and for that, I knew he would be compensated. Umar was always focussed, and that was the one thing I loved him for, unreservedly. And though he knew that, he often reminded me.

“Keep everyone else you love in your heart, Has… But in your heart of hearts… Keep only Allah Ta’ala. Let Him rule your love.”

And from that, I understood how real love worked.

Umar’s love for Allah (SWT) was what made him who he was, and through everything, I continued to love him with all my heart, for Allah’s (SWT) pleasure. I realised that though he meant the world to me, I didn’t expect it out of him… All I needed was for him to help me to earn a place in Jannah.

“Let’s go home, Has,” he said softly now, pulling me gently towards him as we heard the noise in the lounge escalate.  “We’ll see then in the morning before they leave…”

I nodded as he finished speaking and headed to the lounge, needing to tell Laila that we were off. I walked out,  barely hearing the footsteps going back down the passage…


 

Author’s Note: Next part of finale will be posted by Sunday, and the final part by Monday, Insha Allah.

I am trying hard to tie up loose ends, but please do pose any questions and I will try and answer if possible. Just to make it clear for the ‘critics’, please realise that the plot was evolving and merely a means of sending my message across. The blog was always informal, and was just meant to serve as light reading with good lessons. To make it Halaal and entertaining, some unnecessary plot twists were added, so please forgive this writer for the drama and mishaps!

Just a friendly reminder to please lower expectations if anyone feels disappointed. JazakAllah Khair to all those who motivate, as this kind of blog, though not perfect, is difficult to pen.

Please don’t forget our Mission Sunnah Revival!

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofAwakening

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#RevivetheSunnahofDressing

#RevivetheSunnahofWhudhu

#RevivetheSunnahofDrinkingWater

#RevivetheSunnahofClippingtheNails

#RevivetheSunnahofSneezing

#RevivetheSunnahofBathroom

#Revive the SunnahofSleeping

#ReciteQur’anDaily – at least a quarter

Tweet @ajourneyjournal

 May Allah Ta’ala help us to bring the Sunnah and lessons into our life. Aameen.