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Feb 27, 2013

Practical Steps For Dawah - Part 2

By Melody

Part 1


Importance of Dawah
It is our duty to spread the word of Islam and invite others, starting from family and close friends, to the path ordained in the Qur’an and Sunnah (way of the Prophet Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam). This includes both to non-Muslims and Muslims alike. Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala tells us in Surah Fussilat: 

And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does righteousness and says, "Indeed, I am of the Muslims." (41:33) 

You could liken the importance of dawah to possessing a cure to a disease. If you were to know someone suffering from a lethal ailment, and you possessed the very cure in your pocket, holding on to it tightly whilst debating within yourself – shall I or shall I not share it?, would you be justified in doing so based merely on the grounds that the person in question may not listen to you? Every time you meet this person, you may see them suffering more and more, but each time, you withhold this precious remedy away from sight... But what if it is rejected? You think to yourself. It probably will not make a difference; I will be wasting my time... But this cure you have wrapped tightly around your fingers may have previously cured you of your disease too and may be just the remedy that is needed and sought after by this individual. Would it not be wrong and blameworthy of you to withhold this cure, under such circumstance? It could even be considered selfish by others if you kept it to yourself and reaped its benefits whilst not taking the time to share it with others.

And thus the importance of dawah. If something worked for you, would you not want to share it with the world too? We will be surprised to see how many people are actually looking for the truth, searching for the answer to life and if you were to help them discover that, how grateful do you think they would be? The joy of helping one sincere soul find its purpose in life would be worth all the rejections you may encounter along the way. Keep your focus clear, make lots of duaa (supplication), and remember that above all Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala alone is responsible for the guiding of hearts and you are but passing on a message.

In Surat Al-Asr (surah 103), Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala tells us that by default, as time passes we are at loss EXCEPT:

“...those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.” (Surah Al-Asr 103:3) 

We should believe and perform righteous deeds but our worship should not stop there; as well as reaping the benefits ourselves it is paramount that we advise others of these benefits also. If you learn something useful, spread it to whomever you can, and if you see something wrong, advise against it in a sincere and heartfelt manner. Notice also how, in this verse, Allah subhaanahu wa ta’aala mentions patience after advising others to the truth; this is because one who advises to the truth will surely be inflicted with harm from the people and thus patience automatically follows as a criteria. It may be easy to stay in our comfort zone and not put ourselves through potential rejection, but remember that we will be asked about this on the Day of Judgement. Also remember that with duaa, all will be made easy, inshaAllah.

Take the Prophet Muhammad sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam as an example. He gave up everything to deliver this beautiful message to all of mankind, and the fact that we are Muslims today is a manifestation of the fruits of his sincere efforts. Many people rejected him and hurt him both physically and emotionally, but his aim was clear; he wanted to deliver the Truth to all of humanity. He loved the people dearly and wanted what was best for them so he spread the message with his heart and soul, yet they turned away from their own salvation which pained the Prophet greatly – indicating his selflessness and pure nature. This is how we need to be like; we need to both cherish the religion AND love the people around us for effective dawah. The words that come directly from the heart, sincerely wanting the best for the people, are the most touching and effective.

Approach of Dawah
The degree of comprehension to any message being delivered is largely dependant on the approach. Hence approach is very important in dawah. We are all gifted with talents, abilities and interests that we could potentially use in dawah. Think about the people you are surrounded by, think about your circle of influence and use that as a starting point. Definitely start with your family and friends first and it is key that you are yourself when delivering your message. Be friendly, natural, thoughtful and attentive and be sure to share your experiences as these can be the most moving. Any conversation can be a dawah conversation especially in the West as Islam is a way of life and your friends/colleagues are sure to find in you a practice that they are not familiar with e.g. hijab. Islamic Awareness Week in Universities is also a great way to meet students from all over campus and be able to share and listen to other people’s experiences and views. In these sorts of settings, it is very important to introduce yourself and get to know the interest and views of your audience before commencing your dawah so that you can adjust your approach accordingly.

What you should never do in dawah is talk about things you do not know because you will be in danger of giving out false information. Do not be aggressive at all because remember you are representing not only yourself but your religion, nor should you make judgments about others as this will compromise your ability to communicate effectively. Rather, speak what is good and follow the advice given to us in the Qur’an:

“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.” (An-Nahl 16:125)

The GO RAP technique[i]
It is more than likely that you will be asked a question related to Islam that the questioner will find difficult to grasp without prior understanding of the foundations of the religion. The GO RAP approach is ideal because you set forth a ground for those concepts that are not easy to appreciate without a basis of knowledge to build up from. It is the same with any form of knowledge; for example, it is difficult to understand algebra, if you do not familiar yourself with the basic concept of numbers first. If the questioner is not clear with regards to the fundamentals, it can lead to an endless cycle of questioning and may even lead to arguments, resulting in the questioner being even more confused than they were originally!

The GO RAP technique is set to present the reasons and evidence for the existence of God initially and gradually moves on to clarifying the proof and reasoning for the revelation and Prophethood, hence concluding with the rationale for His submission. This is more effective than trying to answer each individual question separately in your attempt at making the audience understand why you think this religion is the Truth. Since humans are limited in their knowledge, to believe solely on having all the answers to everything is not logical for we are bound to come across concepts that will take time for us to understand, but to present with the foundation gives the audience a much clearer and wider picture of the essence of the religion.

GO RAP stands for:
· God’s Existence
· Oneness
· Revelation
· And
· Prophethood

Now we will outline the structure of the GO RAP technique. Please have a look at iERA’s YouTube channel in their “Online Dawah Training Course[ii]” playlist to see the following points be put into practice. The first is the initiation step:

When presented with a question, you can follow the points below as a guide on how to build up the conversation. So to start:

1. Acknowledge the question – tell the questioner it is a good/interesting question but in order to appreciate the answer they must understand the principles.
2. Use your people skills – smile, be friendly and approachable. Remember that body language is just as important as the words that you say, if not more!
3. Concept – let them know that to appreciate this answer they need to understand the concept of Islam, and the way in which we come to understand the concept of Islam is by reasoning.
4. Agreement – ask them if they have time for you to explain it, as their answer may indicate their degree of sincerity in wanting to know.

Upon agreement of continuing, we advance on to the next part which is very important in allowing the questioner to appreciate the core principles ahead:

Common sense
1. Reality check – first of all, confirm with the questioner that they agree with the physical world around us being real, since, in order to appreciate the concepts ahead, they must believe this life is real.
2. Your decision & agreement – Ask your audience how they make their decisions in life, and reach an agreement that this is generally via reason, experience and senses.

Now we can move on to the core of GO RAP! These can be supplemented by referring to Part 1: “The logical reasoning and evidence behind the existence of God”.

God’s existence
1. Listen and identify – ask the questioner, do you believe in God? If they say no, ask why? Then move on to the next part and explain the reasoning for believing in God: 

2. Reasoning – two aspects:
Going right back to the beginning, it is necessary to ask, how did everything come to be? Could the Universe possibly have come from nothing? Or did the Universe create itself? The ultimate conclusion is that the existence of a powerful and intelligent Being who initiated creation is the most rational explanation. Refer to “Part1: The logical reasoning and evidence behind the existence of God.” for a more extensive discussion on this.

Talk about the evidence of an ordered universe, and how it is against statistics to deduce that it came from nothing. Although there may be a chance it did originate from nothing, we do not use chance in our day-to-day life to make decisions. Indeed, there are greater reasons to believe, as the alternative is less rational.

3. Agreement – ask your audience, do you understand my logic so far? It is important that they appreciate your reasoning so they can understand the concept of Islam.

1. Nature of God – Explain how God’s nature should be different from creation, since if it was the same, it will no longer be the Creator, but the creation! God must also be eternal, self sufficient and unique following this logic (refer to Part 1 for more details).

2. Oneness – the most rational conclusion is that God is one and unique. There would be no order if more than one existed as they would compete. The design of the universe also points to a single creator.

3. Agreement – ask if they understand your logic because you want the audience to appreciate the logical and rational thinking behind your position. Possible points that may be suggested by your audience against the belief of God, and their subsequent refutations can be the following:

· “God is not necessary” – you could give an example of a question to refute that: well I do not need George Bush in my life, as a matter of fact he is unnecessary, but does that mean he does not exist?

· “God is irrelevant” – surely a four year old child feels that China is irrelevant, they probably have no knowledge of the nation... as a matter of fact it is totally irrelevant to the child’s life! Does that mean China doesn’t exist?

· “There is no physical evidence for the existence of God” – do we require physical evidence for everything? For example, give me evidence that your great great great great great great great grandmother exists? ...well, quite simply you are the proof of that otherwise you would not be here!

1. The need for revelation – if there is a Creator He must have announced his presence to mankind. One would deduce that an intelligent being would create with a purpose, and this purpose must be communicated to us somehow. The communication must be external because only God Himself can inform us of His nature and His purpose; for example, it is like knocking on a door and not knowing what is inside the room behind the door. Only the one inside the room knows what is inside it and can give you a reliable and accurate description, the guess of everyone else outside it is as good as yours. Revelation is required to act also as a guide or a manual to life that can only be given by the manufacturer Himself, i.e. the Creator.

2. Forms of revelation – What would be the best way to communicate this to us? We need a reference that can be passed down from generation to generation outlining God’s nature, the purpose to life and guide to live our life because word of mouth alone is unreliable and will distort the message over time (Chinese whispers). Books are a good reference and can act as a personal manual for whenever you need them, though they too can be distorted. However, the promise of God is that He will ensure the preservation of His Book and as He is the Creator of the Worlds, He can indeed do this with ease:

Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur'an and indeed, We will be its guardian. 
(Surah Al-Hijr 15:9)

It would logically follow that the Creator would choose humans to convey the message to other humans and not any other created being, because we are more likely to listen to those whom we consider as our peers. To complete the revelation, we need an example to imitate in addition to our manual and this is where the role of the Prophet comes in.

3. Proofs – How can we know a book is from God? It must be flawless, it must outline the correct concept of God, it must be internally and externally consistent and should contain miracles beyond the scope of a human for proof of its Divine origin. The Qur’an fulfils all of these criteria; the language of which cannot be matched by creation, scientific miracles are evident in the extraordinary verses and the ability for one to memorise it with ease for its preservation. Research the miracles of the Qur’an in general and choose those that strike you to share with your audience, in addition to identifying the interests of the audience and informing them of miracles they may be interested in.

4. Agreement – at each stage it is essential that the questioner is following your logic, and any confusion should be dealt with before moving on to the next step.

1. Linkage – after establishing that the Qur’an was revealed from God, we know that whoever it was revealed to will be the Messenger of God, which was Muhammd sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam.

2. Confirming Muhammad - We believe that Muhammad was the Messenger of God because of his exceptional character and teachings that allows us to take him as a role model. Even his enemies admitted his outstanding character and his moderate, balanced way of life is essential to living peacefully and with contentment.

3. Agreement – do they understand this logic?

Finally, the Shahada! – if the questioner is following through each of these points and understands the concepts and reasoning behind them, they will see why we believe there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the messenger and may desire to accept the religion. Give the questioner a copy of the Qur’an and some leaflets for reference and make duaa, firstly for your sincerity and secondly for their guidance to the deen, inshaAllah.

[i] “University Dawah Challenge” Dawah training course booklet, organised by iERA. www.missiondawah.com
[ii] http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2BCAEFD98ABD8686&feature=plcp

I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)

Feb 25, 2013

In Search for Peace - Part 2

By Rehana Shah-Bulbulia

Part 1


So as the momentous search for it continues, as millions feel a magnetic gravitational pull towards it, and as the seductive whispers of promise beckon us, urging us closer and closer... PEACE is what we seek, what we desire and undoubtedly what each of us need. Welcome to the reality of Islam dear reader, “For the goal to which Islam leads is peace.”(10:25) 

We praise our Kind Allah for showing us and guiding us towards the path of peace, which will inevitably lead us to the eternal abode of peace... Jannah. We praise Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) as He deserves to be praised, and as He has praised Himself. And we convey salutations upon the perfect example of a peaceful mind, heart, body and soul-Nabi Muhammad (sal Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam).

Now in an effort to attain productivity in all four components, let us enlighten ourselves as to how we could achieve, and maintain, this state of peace in the mind, body, heart and soul by killing what destroys our peace in each component, and replacing every negative with a positive. Let us put this newfound knowledge into practice. Bismillah...

Mission Peace 
Location: The heart and soul 

As had been mentioned previously, “the soul is from the order of Allah” (17:85) and thus the great reality is that any action, speech and thought that is in any way against the orders of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will covetously steal from, and destroy, the peace in our hearts and souls. So in order to re-establish peace in the heart and soul, only positive actions associated with obeying Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), being conscious of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), worshipping Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), recognizing Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), remembering Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), and remembering and following those whom HE loves, can and will bring peace into the soul and the residence of the soul... the heart.

PLAN OF ACTION: destroy and replace every negative action/sin with a positive action/good deed. Nourish the qalb (heart) and rooh (soul) with positive sustenance,

CIRCUMSTANCE X: Somebody really hurts us with their thoughtless actions and words. Not only are we deeply hurt, but angry too. A preoccupation with thinking, complaining, and gossiping about it is completely consuming us - our time, energy, peace, and ultimately causing restlessness within our soul.

TERMINATE/KILL: Anger, hurt, disappointment, and betrayal.


1. Core Essentials - Actions of Obedience to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Nabi Muhammad (sal Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam )

2. Acceptance - the highest form of sabr/patience is to completely accept that whatever happens to us is because of tadhbeer (our efforts) and is a part of our taqdeer (what has been written in Allah’s plan for us). Thus we adopt tafweez (resignation to the will of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) (Maulana Yunus Patel’s Book: Tafweez). The first stage in dealing with any griefs, challenges, or tests is acceptance.

3. Forgiveness - to sincerely seek Allah’s forgiveness for ourselves and especially for those who have hurt or harmed us. It is important to remember that only when we have truly forgiven can we find our internal harmony, balance and peace again.

4. Replace with positive - Changing focus of thoughts, words and actions to the greatest sources of positive energy- any 'ibadat of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), whether it is salaah, Quran tilawat, durood recitation, or remembrance of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), induce peace and positive energy because Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is the fundamental source of peace, as HE is the Giver of Peace...

Mission Peace 
Location: The Mind 
According to the Oxford dictionary, in the mind lies “our ability to be aware of things and to think and to reason; the mind originates in the brain.” The brain, observed by scientists as being the greatest computer EVER created, has many other dimensions and functions as well. However, we would like to focus on the frontal lobe (centre of our foreheads), which is the place where our emotions and desires exist. So what is the relationship between the mind and emotions, I hear you ask. It is quite intriguing actually. Did you know that we cannot have an emotion/feeling WITHOUT a thought first! So when we THINK good thoughts (about good things, good moments that have occurred in our lives or of those whom we love or those who inspire us) we FEEL good!

PLAN OF ACTION: destroy and replace every negative thought with a positive one.

CIRCUMSTANCE X: Whenever we think about a certain situation in our lives, it causes us to feel depressed, angry and despondent.

TERMINATE/KILL: Those negative thoughts.


1. Core essentials: Obedience to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Nabi (sal Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam), through salaah, Qur’an Tilawat, zikrullah.

2. Replace that negative thought with a positive one: Think of a person or situation that makes you feel calm, happy and positive. Focus on that thought and watch how your emotions change accordingly.

3. Time-out: Our Beloved Nabi (sal Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) has advised that three things are the coolness of the eyes, besides salaah, 1) to look at greenery, 2) to listen to the sound of flowing water, 3) to look at a pious person’s face.

Mission Peace
Location: The Body 
While it is a temporary vessel for the journey of this earthly life, let us not forget that it also requires great maintenance, because a “Healthy body means a healthy mind and vice versa.” Imam Shafi (RadiAllahu anhu) is reported to have said that it is incumbent on us to seek two types of ‘ilm/knowledge: the ’ilm of deen and the ’ilm of medicine-how to take care of our bodies.

TERMINATE/KILL: Those bad habits in our modern lifestyle that cause major illnesses - like overeating, eating too much junk food, smoking etc. What also needs to be kept in mind is that our emotions, as well as the inability to deal with stress, can have a negative impact on our bodies.


Core essentials: Obedience to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and Nabi Muhammad (sal Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam) through salaah, fasting, as well as following every sunnah. EACH and EVERY sunnah has some benefit for us, which we might not be aware of. For example, the benefit of sitting and drinking water: we are advised to drink so many glasses of water a day in order to ensure good health. If we stand and drink, the water goes straight to our bladder and thus there is not much benefit in drinking that water. However, if we sit and drink, the water washes the kidneys, as it was intended to, Alhamdulillah!

Interesting to note is the following experiment which was discussed in an Accupressure, Reflexology, and EFT Course that I had been blessed to attend (a life altering, paradigm shifting experience which I hope to share with you dear reader in one of the forthcoming articles, Insha Allah.) Three glasses of water were used and their molecular structure observed. On the first glass ‘Bismillah’ had been recited and the water molecules were connected in uniformity and harmony. While on the second glass the word ‘Shaytaan’ had been read and it was observed that many of the molecules were unable to link in uniformity and the water was in disharmony. And finally it was observed that the third glass of water, upon which nothing had been recited, had only some molecules in uniformity and harmony. Allahuakbar! If our body is mostly made up of water, can we understand how the simple sunnah and recitation of ‘Bismillah’ benefits our bodies internally.

At the end, it has been said that, “Allah will not change the condition of a people till they themselves change” (13:11). May Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) grant us the ability to evoke positive change into our lives and place our total reliance upon Him-He Who is the Giver of Peace- invoking Him in the words of our Beloved Nabi (sal Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam), “O Allah we ask You for total peace and we ask You for eternal peace and we ask You for gratitude over the peace that you have provided us with, ameen”.

I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below!

Feb 24, 2013

Short Story: Where Is My Khadija Chapter 5



A year has passed since I have decided that I am going to give up on my search for Khadija, and I am still the same

I am still the same as in, I am still obsessed with finding her

I have my reasons I really do! I am not just some creepy stalker I promise but for you to understand why I went back to having that hope again, I will have to take you back with me to a year ago.

It all started with that silly facebook group. It was a typical day, as I came back from North West London College (Studying Business National Diploma)

I entered my house, feeling hungry as usual. And as usual Asha was on her laptop, with Ibrahim beside her and they were joined by Jawahir.

“It has come to my attention that Mr Mohamed Abdalla is looking for a wife. He has only ONE requirement ladies, He only wants to marry a girl whose name is Khadija!” Asha reads the group’s status update out loud so I can hear it.

“What?? How did she know THAT?? I’ve only told my mum!!” I exclaim___LOUDLY

“I KNOW! She knows everything! I wonder who this person is??” Asha wonders, by putting her hand on her chin.

“She really does have a very good insight into you guys,” adds Jawahir.

“What I don’t understand is, why am I only mentioned on two measly ocassions??” asks Ibrahim grumpily. “The first one says, Ibrahim is charming. The second one, Ibrahim is funny.”

Asha laughs hysterically and says,

“You’re a clown that’s why. Ibrahim is a clown”

“You’re so evil Asha,” Says Jawahir with a giggle

I do not wait to hear Ibrahim’s reply so I leave them all squabbling, and I go to look for my mum. I find her in the kitchen, and I can almost taste the delicious smell of Lasagne

“Salamu Alaykum Ma.” I greet with a kiss on her hand.

“Wa Alykum Salam Son, I hope you’re not full because I made your favourite,” she tells me holding my face between her hands

“You seem to be making A LOT of my favourite foods these days Ma! What’s the deal?” I ask her, looking at her suspiciously

“Can’t I spoil my youngest for a change?” She answers nonchalantly

“Asha is the youngest too Ma,” I remind her.

“That one needs to learn how to cook! She will completely and utterly embarrass me with my future inlaws. Do you know what she said when I asked her, how is she going to get out of cooking when she marries?” She tells me angrily.

“What did she say?” I ask, holding back a giggle

“She said that she’ll make me come to her house first thing in the morning, so I can cook everything for her and then pretend that she did it all by herself!” She tells me with her hands flying all over the place in frustration

“Oh mum! You know she’s lying, she will learn at some point whether she likes it or not,” I reassure her.

“I better hope so! Barawanis in-laws will rip her apart if she doesn’t know how to cook.” She says it to herself, while checking the Lasagne.

“Ma. How come that girl on Facebook knows that I want to marry someone whose name is Khadija only? I only told you!” I ask her accusingly

“I KNOW! She like knows everything that one! I wonder who she is?” She replies by not looking straight into my eyes

“Ma?” I enforce my question with a raised eyebrow

“OK OK! I told someone who told someone who told someone, that’s all. I got so excited Mohamed! Ahmed doesn’t want to get married, and I want GRAND KIDS people!!” She says grand kids WITH A PASSION

“Why don’t we look for someone for Asha first,” I remind her that she needs to think about Asha first, because I am still not sure about the whole forget Khadija thing! I am such a genius like that

“She’s soooo picky Mohamed! Last weekend I took her to a wedding, and she gave me a headache with her nonsense requirements. I just gave up hope!” She starts throwing her hands all over the place again

At this point I actually feel sorry for my mum, so I tell her what she wants to hear even though I’m still not ready to give up

“OK then Ma, Fix me up with a nice Khadija then.”

“Does she HAVE to be Khadija? Because I know a nice Rahma, a nice Iqraa and even a nice Zainab,” she asks me eagerly.

“OK then Ma, why not? I’ll give them a chance Inshallah. But how are we gonna meet them Inshallah?” I ask her.

“At a wedding of course!” She replies shocked at my question

“I don’t know!! I don’t like mixing at weddings Ma! It’s too mixed if you know what I mean.” I explain my uncomfortableness (that’s not even a word? It really SHOULD be though!)

“Nonsense! It’ll all be too innocent I promise. I just want you to choose who you’re gonna spend the rest of your life with, there won’t be any dancing or anything, Inshallah. I’ll make sure of it.” She promises me, and I accept even though my heart was not in it but I gotta try it for my mum.

Who knows__

Maybe I’ll find my future wife in a very relaxed__Looking at her from far kind of enviroment___



Did I tell you how wrong I was?

A fortnight later my mum took all of us to a mixed wedding, she normally goes with Ibrahim and Asha. Ahmed and I prefer to stay, because we are boring like that

Anyhow, back to the wedding __

I barely stepped in the wedding hall with mum, before all the mamas came at me in full force

Kissing my cheeks, touching my face (to examine for any imperfections I persume!)

So, project blend in with the wall was truly out of the window but that was not the worst part, oh no!

The worst part came when this Somali song came and BAM__

Everyone was on the dance floor dancing and somehow, SOMEHOW I am in the middle of the dancefloor DANCING!!!!!!

When I say dance, I mean swaying left and right like a tree. You know when the wind blows in Autumn and the tree stays put but the branches sways from left to right, Yeah that is how I was dancing

Note to self: Things Mohamed should not do EVER
Come to a wedding expecting to blend in with the wall (Did I say that already? Well it would not hurt to remind oneself again now would it?)
Dance (Did I mention that already? Well it would not hurt to remind oneself again now would it?)
The worst part was Asha and Jawahir’s imitation of my dancing, they just stood at the corner swaying like freaks, until I realized that they are copying ME

Oh the horror! The embarrassment! The Mocking voices I hear in my head from Ibrahim and Asha!!

I wish I was more like Ahmed at this point, he would probably get his sword out if any of the aunties suggested that he danced.

I know he does not carry a sword and all that, but that is just his character. Strong, opinionated and does not care who thinks that it is rude to wave a sword to his aunties faces when one needed to wave a sword on one’s aunty!

Again, he does not ACTUALLY carry a sword. It’s just a figure of speech I do not make any sense, because I am dancing like a fool

I am NEVER EVER, I mean NEVER coming to a wedding__



Well, that disastrous night was a year ago. And ever since then, my mum kept pestering me to go to a wedding with her again, but oh no I was having non of it this time, OOOOH NO__Not this time__OOOOH NO

The matter of fact is I look up to Ahmed, he has been like a father to all of us. I admire the way he believes in Islam, and I admire his determination to behave like one also.

I was very disappointed in myself that night, I always tell myself that I am a good Muslim but I truly and utterly realized that actions speak louder than words.

MBut I also realized that now is the time to behave like a good muslim, I must do something more. I have decided that I am going to do some voluntary work from now on Inshallah

Anyhow, remember how I told you that something awakened my hope of finding Khadija again? Well, Dada Fawziyah decided that she is coming to live in England FINALLY

She told us that something urgent made her take that decision after so long.

So a year passed until Dada Fawziyah was able to arrange for herself to come to England.

She lives in Mill Hill near our area now, and for the last week I have been passing by her house to visit her on my daily run

But I have not asked about Khadija yet There’s still that huge social barrier between us!

We are still the people who used to work for her son! I doubt they ever knew about my love for Khadija.

Every time I want to ask about her, I feel my tongue getting heavier and heavier

But, I have decided that today I am going to be brave and ask her Inshallah

As I was running, and getting so close to Dada Fawziyah’s house__

Precisely two doors down from Dada Fawziyah’s house, I bump into someone not noticing them unloading their belongings.

I was so engrossed in my thoughts that I did not notice that the car boot in one of the cars was open. I did not notice the figure stepping out carrying bags on both hands.

I did not notice, and I bumped into him/her

I feel so embarrassed and foolish, so I pick up the bags for him/her and I apologize. I do not notice that it’s a girl until I look up.

I see her eyes go really wide. It looks like she is seen a ghost or something, she looked mortified and she covers her mouth with her scarf.

“I’m so sorry, I really am,” I say it for like the millionth time.

At that moment a man comes out of the house in a hurry, to see what’s with all the commotion.

“HABIBA, GO INSIDE,” He orders the girl.

I guess that is her dad? I do not know! But the girl retreats back into the house so quickly, that I instantly notice that he must be a very strict dad.

I apologize to him as well, but the apology is not accepted from the way he held his steely gaze at me

So I apologize again, and this time I feel like I should go. I really should, but I am an idiot who thinks that when someone apologizes to you, you SHOULD accept his apology!

Sooo I just stand there like an idiot, waiting for him to accept my apology

I really am an idiot, no I am a pathetic idiot (and that is the worst kind of idiots I hear).

Whooaaa! Talk about an inhospitable man! So I decide to make my way to Dada Fawziyah’s house immediately.


My life has changed dramatically since that fateful night Alhamdulilah. I stand up for myself now, and I answer them back if they ever rude to me and I___

Well not really

Things HAVE improved as in there is not hitting and abuse anymore, but I still carry this huge gratitude that they took me off the streets and made me work for them.

That does not quell my thirst of finding out who I really am though, I am not stupid. I saw how Saydi changed his behaviour towards me, I can still see the hate in his eyes but it seems like he was shackled somehow!

And that made my basic instincts go into overdrive, I had to go in his room to search for papers_ I had to wait till they all leave the house so I could begin my search Inshallah.

So I prepared breakfast for them all as usual, waited for them to all go out and then I started my search immediately__

There was no time to waste

As soon as I entered Saydi and Manafisa’s room, I felt a sudden attack of guilt but I reminded myself that I am doing this for a good reason__

I am desperate to find out who I am__

I feel lost and in despair most of the time__I have no clue who my family are! I just wanna know.

Zahra always gets worried when she starts a new year in her school, she always says that she does not like the feeling of not knowing what is waiting for her at the beginning of each school term.

Which of her friends will be back, how are the new teachers going to be like. Whenever I see her face all worried, I remember the day I was brought into this house.

I remember feeling so so scared, I remember sleeping on the mattress on the floor for the first time. The feeling of worry in Zahra at the beginning of each school term is engraved within my soul every single day

I just want to know where I belong, I want to know if I have a mum or dad who are worried about me__

I don’t even care if they are nice or bad, I just wanna see them even from a far.

So I entered the room, and I felt fear spread across my whole body. I have never done anything like this before

I have always been so honest and faithful to this household, but I JUST keep remembering Saydi’s face and I KNOW that he knows SOMETHING!

I went through the drawers first to see if there are any birth certificate that belongs to me. I did not find anything, so I moved on to a small cupboard that is located next to their bed.

I opened it, and I saw small papers__

Lots and lots of small papers they resemble receipts!

I opened one of them, and I saw money transfer transaction made from Somalia to Tanzania?? Someone has been sending large amount of money from Somalia?? how??

I check the name of the sender and it says Fawziyah__

Why does that name feel so familiar to me???

I trace my fingers on the name, and I get a strong sense of De Ja Vu. It is like I heard this name before! Where have I heard this name? And why would they take money from someone in Somalia Maskeen??

As I was lost in my thoughts, I did not notice the door to the room opening

I did not notice the figure hoovering behind me__

And then I felt a breeze, and I instantly knew that someone was in the room I turn around and I see him glaring at me!

Saydi is standing there looking at me like he was DEFINITELY gonna kill me

I dropped the receipts on the floor, and I waited for my punishment__

But this time I was determined to fight back, I did not even care anymore

And then just like that, he ordered me to leave the room

It takes me a minute to realize that WHOA he was not not going to punch me as usual??? I went back to my chores as fast as I could, thinking to myself this is getting more and more confusing!!

That incident was a year ago. It must have unsettled him so much to plan the sudden move to England!

When they told me, I felt so many emotions it was unreal

First of all, I thought to myself, does that mean I’m going to FLY to England?? FLY?


So they lock me in a house for as long as I remember, and then they BOOM__ tell me that we are going to FLY??


Yep we are flying!

Ermm, is everyone on this plane aware that we are flying in the sky? Just wanted to warn you all that the plane is taking off!!

These were the happy thoughts going through my head as the captain takes off.

It took them a year to plan this move, and apart from flying I enjoyed every single bit of the journey to London

I loved getting sea sick on the ferry from Holland__I really did

I loved the sight of the clouds in the sky as we were flying__

To be honest with you I even enjoyed the take off, just a tiny bit though I mean you still felt like Oxygen is being sucked out of your lungs, but it was still kind of good

Seriously I was like this the whole way through

And now we are in England Alhamdulilah, very early in the morning. I look around and I cannot believe that I am here!

It looks so beautiful, but VERY VERY cold

But it doesn’t matter, as I’m feeling so happy beyond believe_

I feel so happy that I want to burst out crying After being placed in Bed and Breakfast hostel first, we are now moving into our house in Mill Hill.

I was so lost in my thoughts, that I do not see the person running towards me at full speed

It takes me a full minute to realize that A MAN knocked over the stuff that I was carrying

A MAN who looks almost my age knocked over my stuff

Ermm, is everyone aware that a man with very long lashes knocked over my stuff

He started apologizing repeatedly, and I felt so shy that I just remained frozen on my spot

Like an idiot, no like a pathetic idiot (and that is the worst kind of idiots I hear).

It was only when Saydi yelled at me, that I was able to move my legs. I dashed inside quickly and I put the stuff on the floor.

I looked from my window to see what Saydi was gonna do to the guy, because he did not sound too happy

“Who are you looking at?” Asks Alawiya in an agitated tone.

“No one” I reply.

No one at all

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