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.”
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.
It is divided into seven chapters. The first chapter focused on her Journey. The second was an introduction to the stories of other women. And in chapter three, she shared the stories of the journey of twelve different women. These women had different backgrounds and situations but one same goal. The fourth chapter, focused on the guilt of forgetting, setting goals and a guide to memorisation. In the fifth chapter, she talked about women who had limitations in their journey. The sixth chapter is basically a roadmap and the seventh covers the etiquettes of recitation of the Qur’an.
Hafiza Saadia Mian is a Michigan based endocrinologist. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology. Her journey with the Qur’an started when she was only six years old. It wasn’t until later that she embarked on a deeper journey. At age 23, she took time from medical school to go to Syria to study Arabic, Qur’an and Sacred knowledge. It wasn’t her life plan to become a Hafiza, she was just in search of more – a closer relationship to Allah.
She decided to share not only her journey but that of some women who have walked the same path although each person’s situation was very different.
Lessons and Reflections
The Crowning Venture is real stories by real women. And it is a great idea. The book is well written, inspiring and motivating. It isn’t too much just concise and straight to the point. Mian put a lot of thought into the name of the book.
I found that I wanted to relate to the author’s story. You know, just go somewhere and let the Qur’an be my focus. I especially loved reading Charlotte’s story. Anne’s story was another favourite. A lot of myths and negative self-talk were put to shame in the book. Like women thinking they are not worthy to memorize the book of Allah. Or that if you memorize and forget, its an even bigger sin. Another awesome thing I following each woman’s story was her method, pointers, advice and tips.
Some of my takeaways from the book are;
Memorizing the Qur’an is not an all-or-nothing venture. It is continually striving to build and keep a relationship with the Book of Allah. Approach memorization in a relaxed manner. The journey should lead to love, peace and contentment. It should not be stressful.
Perfection is a journey and not a destination. I cannot sit on the sidelines and be perfect. I need to continually put in efforts and strive. Every effort counts. One doesn’t start off perfectly.
I don’t have to attain a particular level of spirituality or faith before I start my journey to memorization of the Qur’an. in memorizing the Qur’an, I should also live it.
It made me more humble. It made me more forgiving. It made me more tolerant. It made me kinder. It made me more patient. It made me more loving. It completely chnaged me from who i was before, its like 180 degrees because, mind you, I was 28 years old when I accepted Islam. i had lived a lifetime before then.
Approach memorization in a relaxed manner. The journey should lead to love, peace and contentment. It should not be stressful.
I would recommend this book to every Muslimah, then to every woman blessed with kids, then to every Muslimah who thinks she cannot memorise the Qur’an, then to every Muslimah who wants a better relationship with Allah, then to every Muslimah who is too busy and finally, I would recommend the book to every Muslim man.
May Allah reward the author and all those who shared their stories. May Allah bless or efforts towards the Qur’an. Amin.
I have had this book a long time. Personally, I don’t like sad books so I am very selective of time and location when I read them. Aisha Mai of Umm Ayman’s library was going to read it so I decided to buddy read it with her.
For a long time, even though I have been practising as a pharmacist for about 5 years now, this day usually passes by, no big deal. This year, however, I got a lot of goodwill messages and by the end of the day, it felt like it was my birthday.
The theme for this year was: Pharmacists are medicines expert.
You sit down to study and you find that your mind starts to wonder and is unable to focus. Or you get bored or you end up completing a task different from the task you started with or you waste the study time scrolling your phone. Sounds familiar?
You are not alone. There are so many distractions – phones, television series, magazines, friends, and even family can be a distraction sometimes. And don’t get me started on candy crush. There are internal distractions too – the delicious dinner you had yesterday, the novel you just finished reading or the climax of the last movie you saw, a discussion you had with a friend the day before or an assignment you are nervous about.
The Secret Lives of the Amir sisters is a beautiful book (just look at the cover) about the four Amir sisters – Fatima, Farah, Bubblee and Mae. They are Bangladeshi Muslims in the English village of Wyvernage. They all seem like they have it together but the reality is that they are all struggling with something.