The lessons we do not plan

The lessons we do not plan

I am a planner girl. I like to set expectations and I have even learnt to pivot and be comfortable when things do not go as planned. It has been good for my tawakkul muscles.

I love homeschooling. It has gotten quite real and it has been a journey of learning for me and I do get anxious that the space I make for my children and all the children that come into my space, will not necessarily be made for them by others.

One thing I get anxious about when we have to interact with others is the idea of greeting others. I introduced it to the children as “Assalamu Alaikum” and if i was to say to them “greet”, they will say “Assalamu Alaikum.” It gets awkward 😳 😅 😬 when the person is not Muslim. I don’t like for people to think I am forcing Islam on them, cos that is what they will think, sadly even Muslims.

Yesterday we got into a cab and I said salam to the driver and then prompted them to say salam and they did. And I sat with my thoughts, “how long do I need to remind them? What lessons can I plan around the different ways to greet etc.” We arrived at the mall and so my thoughts were interrupted.

We were standing in the corner waiting for B to finish his turn on a ride and then this old woman passed. K turned to her and said, “Hello” with the warmest cheekiest smile on her face. And unprovoked!

The woman was delighted and surprised.

I was shocked and blushing.

“Grandma” bent a little and asked her name. Which she replied with and then grandma opened her bag, counted out some money and gave to her.

I was humbled and in awe of Allah. I always pray that as we are doing our best and raising our children different, that Allah always surrounds them with people that make space for them and appreciate their differences.

Another old woman might have said, “is it hello you are to say to me. Am I your mate?” etc…But I digress!

And so that was the start of our budgeting lesson because baby girl went shopping right after.

Alhamdulilah. Then Alhamdulilah.

To marry your best friend

To marry your best friend

I got married a little over 10 years ago, and everyone was “marrying their best friend.” It became such a clichè. Then another popular thing you would hear is “men are scum” and with all the #couplegoals, it used to leave me wondering, who was then married to the scums?

Here I am, after all these years later, still wondering the same thing. Everyone is still married to/marrying their best friends and men are still scum.

Is the problem our expectations?

Are we honest with ourselves?

Are we deluded?

Do we need to have/create a certain picture?

Are we suffering in silence?

Are we saying what has been fed to us because everyone is saying it?

Do we even know what it means?

I don’t know about marrying my best friend but a few days ago we had an issue…

You see, I don’t like what I do not like.

He has a habit I do not like and we have gone back and forth on it a lot. We have tried to tweak it so all our needs are met but this particular day, he did it and it hit me so bad, I said, “Haba, I have complained everyday for 10 years and you keep doing the same thing, help me understand, do you think I am faking it or do you just expect me to get over it?” His response shook me.

He said, “no now but you haven’t complained in the last two weeks because I made an effort.”

….that only led me to more unanswered questions…

“Is that why you did it, you just needed me to complain again?”

“Is it how you get me notice you?”

“Is 2 weeks your limit for my sanity?”

Again, extreme sport! I tell you!

Alhamdulillah!

So we have been meaning to do this for a while and here we are by the will of Allah.

We want to have a conversation with a small group of people, preferably couples or those about to get married. Go ahead and register to be on the waitlist. The goal is to talk about how these differences do not have to break us but allow us to truly make space and build a stronger team.

Again, join the waitlist and all details will be emailed out In sha’a Allah

And we do want to talk about some of these issues via podcasts and blog posts. Feel free to drop your questions or suggestions in the comments.

Ramadān 1444ah: A different one

Ramadān 1444ah: A different one

In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Ramadān is always an exciting one. Alhamdulillah. There is so much palnning and excitement as the month comes and then just like that it is done and leave us yearning for the next. may Allah ﷻ allow us to witness this month and many more and to take and reap from it. Amin.

For a number of years now, I have had a similar schedule for Ramadān. I host a community reflection circle post fajr which I love and then start my day right after, when I was working a 9-5, would proceed to work and even when I was a full-time entrepreneur, I would work as such too. Then I schedule everything else as needed from Qur’an classes to tafseer classes and so on. And I have loved it. I love knowing what I need to do, I love getting to do all I get to do, and the structure keeps me focused. Alhamdulillah.

However, this Ramadān, I find myself craving a much needed retreat. I want to take time out for myself to just be by myself and work on myself from within myself. I really miss solo journaling sessions as well and looking forward to that too. I am looking to get the children involved as well and so doing a lot of activities with them In sha’a Allah So let’s say there will be lots of children books in my Ramadān as well. There is also my studies. We do not get a break for Ramadān, just an adjusted schedule because we do not get a lunch break cos it is Ramadān.

I intend to make a number of changes in the coming months and I intend to use Ramadān as a training ground for that In sha’a Allah.

One other thing I am excited about is Pockets of peace – a bunch of letters of love, hope and personal stories, I would be sending out with so much more love scattered through the month of Ramadān. Feel free to subscribe here.

May Allah ﷻ allow us to witness the blessed month, see it and benefit from it and may He accept all of our ibadah and reward us for it and may he allow us to enter into His Jannah. Amin

How about you? Do you intend to have a different Ramadān?

Our Family Umrah: #1 the first step

Our Family Umrah: #1 the first step

In the name of Allah the entirely Merciful, the especially Merciful

So we embarked on a journey to the House of Allah following our invitation. This invitation, special as it is doesn’t come because we are perfect or worthy even. It is by His power and Decree and ultimately His mercy.

“Are you crazy?!”

“Why do you want to go with your children?!”

I didn’t even try to explain it. They would not understand. I have been there before.

You see, the first time I was going for Umrah, I was discouraged.

“Why waste the money for Umrah when you have not done Hajj yet?”

“Hajj is the one that is obligatory.”

“Maybe look for fertility solutions instead while you save for Hajj.”

SubhanAllah!

There has been so many conversations with Allah ﷻ in all of that time.

“Ya Rabb! Ya Wahhab, gift ne a child so that I can bring them to your house and say thank you.”

“Ya Allah, Ya Warith, grant me offspring and keep their hearts attached to your house.”

So it was out of my hand. I did not even ask for anyone’s opinion because I knew what they would say. I just sought out people who have walked the path and got tips for packing and travelling and keeping my cool. It is easier to take children on vacations where we go to safaris or parks however we struggle with the decision to take them for a journey such as this. And we had this conversation over and over with Abu Bilal. We wanted to go to a safari in kenya and I said either we do both, otherwise, if we can do safari then we can do Umrah. We couldn’t do both.

We had a lot of conversations and talked about our hopes, intentions and fears. I mean, the pandemic changed things a lot and there is always finances. We also have very opposing personalities. We revisited these conversations as many times as we needed to. We negotiated our roles as well. It was a lot of conversation between us and Allah. Alhamdulillah. We hoped it will all strengthen our connection to Allah ﷻ as a family.

Random day, we were at the bank where my sister used to work trying to sort out PTA after we got our visas and she had her trip planned for a few weeks after we would have returned and had a few questions about the rituals, then Abu Bilal said, “let’s just go together.” And we spoke to the travel agent and he was able to make it work. They were unable to go with their children and so we were not going to saddle them with the responsibility of ours but I must say it was nice to have them and I remember one day as we were walking back to the hotel, I told my sister, I prayed for this. “To come here with you” and she said, “see, and your prayer pulled my husband.” And it was so funny to think about like that, but His ways are unlike anything we know and can understand. He is Al Aziz and Al Mujeeb. We ever know whose prayer it is but His ways are so beautiful.

We plan and Allah ﷻ plans and Allah ﷻ is indeed the best of planners. May we always be content with what He decrees for us and put our trust in Him.

I hope to share about the planning, the daily happenings, and the challenges we faced as well. If you have specific questions, please drop as a comment and I will answer you as it does take me a bit of time to push out a full blog post. Alhamdulillah!

P.s: On a lighter note, I remember saying, that if the only thing that we get out of this is that my son sees that men do not need a hijab to pray, then that suffices me. Well, believe it or not last week, he was going to the masjid with his dad and sister and I offered his sister my hijab (she loves wearing my clothes, another habit we picked up cos we matched as much as possible during the trip) and he said, “let me go and get my cap” and I’m like Allahu Akbar.

May Allah ﷻ invite us all again and again to His house and May He ultimately admit us all into his Jannah.

Oh jannah!

Oh jannah!

Oh Jannah!

Paradise is not a joke. It is not about who is able to dream about it with their creative vivid imaginations and definitely not just about all the talk of puffpuff in Jannah. Just because you are poor or unable to afford a maid or all the servants you wish for in this life doesnt instantly guarantee you having those servants in Jannah….

Do you think that you will enter Paradise while you have not yet been visited by (difficult) circumstances like those that were faced by the people who passed away before you? They were afflicted by hardship and suffering, and were so shaken down that the prophet, and those who believed with him, started saying: “When (will come) the help of Allah?” (Then, they were comforted by the Prophet who said to them) ‘Behold, the help of Allah is near.’ [Quran 2:214]

These trials come and they just keep coming. And to think that they are a means? Allahu Akbar!

Ya Allah ﷻ help us through our trials and keep us firm in our faith. And Ya Rabb! Please admit us into your jannah without account.

Please spare a moment to say a du’a for my grandma, she passed earlier. And say a prayer for all the loved ones we have lost.

Dear struggling mama

Dear struggling mama

It is a lot of work…
There is so much giving that comes with being a mother. It asks of you more than you feel you want to give. But you give anyway…

With a child on your hip
Or maybe on your back
Or holding tightly to your leg
Or up on your shoulders

You give anyway
And He does not place upon you more than you can bear.

Dear struggling mama,
I see YOU!

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