Mar 01

My Life As It Is… Series II

..”Yes, mother,” we all chorused as my brothers and I lined up just outside the kitchen door with mother holding a stick cream in colour and as thick as my middle finger. Mother gave it a name too- Mr White. When you hear – ‘ get me Mr White’ then get ready for a painful encounter with the most notorious member of the family. The sight of the cane was making the sweat pour out of my pores and my imagination already spinning up how the pain from the cane was going to make me unable to seat properly on a chair for some days. The mental torture was too much sometimes. As I stood there staring at mother, I also dreamt about how I was going to resist been beaten so often like a goat when I grow up into a young adult. I was going to grab the stick from her and break it thereby putting a stop to all mine and my sibling’s misery. I dared not do that now, though. The thoughts gave me another thing to think about aside the cane dangling from mother’s muscled arm. I am sure she got those from her consistent and incessantly beating of us.
“Who out of you stole three pieces of meats from my pot of stew last night?”
The question brought me out of my blissful thinking as we all stared at mother as she waved Mr White menacingly.
“Not me,” went Waheed, the eldest.
“Not me, mother,” wailed Bashir who was already shedding tears for the beating he knew was coming next if no one owned up to the accusation.
“I didn’t do it too.” Hameed interjected. Mother’s and three pairs of eyes descended on me as there was a silence that if a pin was dropped, one could hear it. I turned to look at each of my brothers and finally at mother who was brandishing the cane as if in readiness to smack someone with it. It then dawned on me that I was the only person who hasn’t denied carrying out the accusation. It’s better to speak up before I was beaten for what I didn’t do.
“I didn’t take it, either,” I finally spoke. My mother’s face stormed with anger and her eyes growing bigger every seconds- if that was possible. Another thing I didn’t mention was that mother hated to be lied to. She could give any of us a mark from her beating for telling a lie. So, I have made it a point to always say the truth even when I knew I was going to be beaten than tell a lie and get twice the beating.
“So, nobody is going to say the truth?” asked mother as she raised Mr White up to an angle, poised to…

stay tuned for another installation next week .

What do you think will happen next? Share your thoughts in the comment space.

Mar 24

My Life As It Is…Series V

I have come to a crossroad in my life where I need to make a life-changing decision for myself alone. There are some self-evaluation tests I need to go through. There are loads of questions I need to get answered before I could forge ahead.

Am I ready to do all these seemingly insurmountable tasks? A huge question. My mean inner self kept drawing me back and convincing me that I wasn’t ready to take the big plunge.

Do I listen to him?
Yes! It screamed.

But I want to go to the next stage in my life. I want to get unstuck from all the bad energies that are keeping me from shining through with my God given talent.

But, you aren’t ready, the mean boy reiterated.
What if I am? I asked. I am tired of the back and forth and with my life not having a direction.

Give it another 5 years and you shall be ready, rattled my mean self.

No! And I turned off it’s annoyingly penetrating chiming tone. How I wish I could do that all the time it reared its ugly head. It is getting increasingly shriller than the last time I had a conversation with it. And it is so draining going back and forth and back and forth.

Very tiring.

I need to charter my goals and be intentional in making them happen even if it’s going to take a long time. They say a long journey starts with a step.

I am in chapter 2 of my book. The chapter is all about how I have allowed the fear of my mother and siblings’ destructive criticisms to ruin my enthusiasm for my writing. Should I share the beginning with you? I will take the answer to be ‘yes’.

I am always sensitive to share my ‘not too’ sterling story with another person. I fear their judgement to the extent of goose pimples covering my arms whenever I think of it. But since I have decided to leave my comfort zone, I shall rein in my fears and allow you into my worst scare. Are you ready? Here goes.. (to be continued)

The next installment will be sent only if most of you respond in the comment below that you want the story continued. I want to give you the best and don’t want you reading what you don’t enjoy.:)

So, indicate in the comment box. Until then, do have a fabulous weekend!

Mar 16

My Life As It Is…Series IV

The sound of the alarm brought me back to reality from my sojourn into the past that still gives me the jitters whenever I remember. At the ripe age of 25, I was still holding onto the past so much that it has refused to allow me to forge ahead in my life.

I stared unfocused at my opened ruled notebook filled with a half page of my latest writing.
You see, my story is one that I want to tell the whole world about. I want to bare my heart to whoever would listen about what I faced as a teen staying with my parents and siblings. The humiliation and jests I went through in their hands- especially my brothers’. The taunts and ridicules from mother and Laila, the terror of them all. Yes, I called her that though she is my only sister and the last child of the house.

The thing is that my family has kicked, hit and hammered my self-esteem into the ground. The lowest it could ever go. My mother that was supposed to be my main supporter also joined them in destroying my much-needed confidence. You may be thinking where the heck is the man of the house? Hmm..my dearest father. How I’ve missed him. He was my champion in it all. He was forever defending me from my mother and other brothers for picking on me without any reason.

Dear father, I miss you so much. Why did you leave me so soon? Why have you gone to the world beyond never to be seen again?
Yes, I know we shall meet again in the hereafter, but I need you here now.

A lone tear rolled down my right cheek unnoticed until it hit the opened page on the table and splattered across. The liquid sparkled as my reading lamp reflected on it and it started soaking into the paper. I was transfixed as I watched the tear slowly disappear into the page and soak the landing area. The tear shall completely vanish and dry out in some minutes, I thought.

Is this how my dream of becoming a published author going to disappear into thin air? Just like the lone tear? Am I ever going to be able to overcome my fear and rise up to my utmost best version of me?

 

To be continued in the next installment.

What do you think Usman’s final decision would be?

Is he going to take the bull by the horn to fight for his right to be heard? Or is he going to be forever cowered by his low self confidence and never emerge to be at his best?

Do share your thoughts in the comment box.

And kindly share away with your friends and family that can benefit. 😀

 

Mar 08

My Life As It is…Series III

 

“I know who stole the meat from the pot,” I finally blurted out as I imagined Mr White landing on my buttocks with a dull sound and inflicting the most unbearable painful pain possible. “I know..” I raised my right hand as if I was in the class waiting to answer a question.
My mother’s hand with the cane froze in midair above my head and her eyes sent daggers at me as if telling me, ‘ it better be good!’ I felt the searing eyes of my siblings on my body, daring not to look in their direction for the fear of recrimination. They must hate me now because I almost got them beaten by mother when I knew who the culprit was all the while.
“Out with it then!” mother screeched. “I don’t have all day.”
“Erhm…,” I stammered. How am I going to tell mother it was possibly Laila who took the meat and not somehow get involved in the drama itself? The whole episode could turn against me so fast that it might make me spin with dizziness. “ I think Laila must have taken it..”
“What?!” the chorus chime from mother and my brothers made me raise my bent head to be sure I was in the right place.
What now?
“Laila?” the question was from mother who has somehow lowered her hand to her side where it held the cane limply. I felt my eyes rounded in fear, is mother going to believe me or not?

Stay tuned for another installation next week.

Do you think Laila would own up to the accusation?

Share your thoughts in the comment space. We love reading from you. 🙂

Feb 20

My Life As It Is…

MY LIFE AS IT IS….

SERIES I

Laila looked to her left, then her right, her eyes glowing like the flame of fire in the semi-darkness. She walked the short distance from her room to the kitchen door with her threads soundless because she was barefooted and tip-toeing like a ballerina on display. Her posture was rigid like a brick that could break with a slight pressure. Something wasn’t right, I thought. It was an ungodly hour to be roaming about in the near darkness.

Something was definitely up!

Laila placed her left hand on the door knob as she dashed her eyes to somewhere behind her. The kitchen door hinges gave a slight creak that stopped Laila from opening it further as she took another look over her right shoulder. Another small push opened the door completely without any more sound. As I stood at the corner of the laundry room which led off the kitchen, I was perplexed to see Laila in full glare of the fluorescent light as she took off the lid from one of the cooking pots arranged on the cooking gas. What is Laila up to? The thought gripped me, and I stood unmoving in the shadow of a wall. I couldn’t see what she was doing after removing the pot cover because she had left my view and she was now behind the kitchen door. Should I barge in there to see what my sister was carrying on? The memory of a stinging pain came to me unwittingly- the repercussion of interfering in a matter that concerned my younger sister some weeks ago. No, just go ahead to bed, implored my head, you don’t want to get slapped again by your mother. Or do you? The memory did magic on me that I totally lost interest in whatever Laila was up to and sluggishly went to the boys’ room.

The Next Morning…

“Bashir, Usman, Waheed, and Hameed…….. Will you all come to the kitchen right now?! The bellow of mother’s voice triggered a fear that I always likened to what ‘judgment day’ might sound like. When mother went screaming for our names like that, it meant hell was going to let loose. Fear skittered over my body as I dropped my right foot sandal that I was about to wear and scuttled after my brothers out of our room. The reason for the loud call was another thing, and a bigger problem would arise if we don’t make it fast enough to the spot where she stood awaiting our arrival…..

 

Jan 23

THE MISSING BANANAS- 3

Harun remembered the advice his teacher gave them in class some days ago.

“Say the truth no matter who it hurts.”

There is this hadith he also quotes for them to understand the importance of telling the truth. They were made to learn the hadith by heart too.

“Jazak Allahu khairan, sister, you fulfilled your promise, and I am grateful for that.”

Juwairiyah felt happy that she was able to help her brother. Looking sober, Harun said, “I am going to tell Ummu that I took the bananas, and ready to accept any punishment she gives.”

“Ma Sha Allah, Harun,” said Juwairiyah. “That is the best thing to do. I am proud of you.” Juwairiyah gave Harun a hug with a pat on his back. Juwairiyah thought, Alhamdu Lillah, thank You, Allah, for such a wonderful brother.

Harun felt confident from his sister’s encouraging words and the cuddling hug. He smiled and went downstairs to the dining area where Ummu and Abu sat chatting, with Juwairiyah at his heels. His sister had decided to give him moral support when he faced their mother.

“Asalam alaikum, Ummu and Abu,” greeted Harun.

“Wa Alaikum Salam,” the parents replied in unison. Before Ummu could utter a word, Harun took a deep breath and launched into his confession.

“I am the one that took the two pieces of bananas missing from the bunch,” Harun said, looking downcast at his feet.

Ummu turned to look at Abu, as he returned her look. There was a pleasant surprise on their faces. Abu was the first to reply. “ Ma Sha Allah Tabarak Allah, Harun, that was a good thing to do and a brave one at that. It is not easy to confess to wrongdoing.” Abu’s face was beaming with pride. “But, do you know that what you did was wrong?”

Harun expected a scolding after his admission but was surprised when Abu praised him instead. With excitement in his voice and a remorseful face, he said, “Yes, Abu. I know it was wrong to take the bananas without asking Ummu for them.”

Ummu felt glad that her children were taking to right habits and prayed to Allah (SWT) always to guide them to be good in their character, sayings and doings.

Ummu directed a question to both Juwairiyah and her brother. “What do you do when you want something from both Abu and me?”

“We ask you first!” Juwairiyah and Harun replied together. There was laughter from all at the way they both answered in unison as if they had rehearsed it. Baby Amar joined in the merriment with his baby language “Blah, blah, blah.”

LESSONS:

  • Always say the truth no matter what may come out of saying it.

  • Always remember that Allah (SWT) loves those who repent immediately they commit a mistake or

  • Do not take something that does not belong to you without permission from the owner.

Look out for the other series in Juwairiyah and Harun Abu Sufyan stories.

 

 Was the story to your liking?

Let’s hear your response down in the comment box below. 🙂

Jan 09

THE MISSING BANANAS-2

“Ummu, I’m in the toilet,” Harun shouted. Meanwhile, he quickly entered the bathroom in his room.

“Here I am, Ummu,” said Juwairiyah

Ummu was arranging Abu’s food on the dinning. She turned on hearing Juwairiyah’s voice behind her.

“Some banana pieces are missing from the fridge. Do you know anything about it?”

Juwairiyah was at a loss for words and didn’t know what to do or say. I have promised Harun not to tell on him, what do I do? She thought. Ummu looked impatiently at her, and Juwairiyah was yet to decide on what to say.

“I asked you a question, Juwairiyah. Please, answer me.”

“Erhm…I…it’s  hmm…,” Juwairiyah stammered. Ummu frowned, trying to comprehend what Juwairiyah was saying.

“Where is Harun?” asked Ummu

“He is in his room.”

“Go and get him, please!”

Juwairiyah was relieved to leave Ummu’s presence. “It was getting tough,” murmured Juwairiyah.

Juwairiyah stepped into Harun’s room, looked at his bed to see if he was lying down. He was not on it. She looked at the study area, Harun was not in sight. Then she heard water running from the bathroom area and went close to the door.

“Harun, are you there?”

Harun was by the wash hand basin rinsing his hands, and he froze when he heard Juwairiyah’s voice. Should I pretend not to hear her? Or should I answer? He debated this within himself. He concluded to come out of the bathroom.

Juwairiyah looked at her brother and felt sorry for him. She wished he could be saved from the scolding Ummu was going to give him.

“Ummu wants you.”

Agitated, Harun said, “Did she ask about the bananas?”

“Yes,” Juwairiyah replied.

“And what did you tell her?”

“I couldn’t tell her you took it.”

To be continued..

Hmm.. the story is getting heated, isn’t it?

Did you enjoy this snippet today? Why not share away?  🙂

 

Jan 02

THE MISSING BANANAS- 1

THE MISSING BANANAS- 1

Juwairiyah and Harun Abu Sufyan are siblings. Juwairiyah is the eldest while Harun is the second child out of three and Amar being the last. Mr Abu Sufyan is referred to as Abu (father in Arabic) while their mum, Mrs Abu Sufyan is called Ummu by the family members.

The Abu Sufyan family are practicing Muslims. The parents taught the children the aklaaq (good manners) in Islam. They follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah in all their doings. Juwairiyah and Harun knew the weight of telling lies as taught to them by their parents.

One hot afternoon, after having lunch, the children went to play in the garden. Ummu was in her room upstairs busy with baby Amar. Harun was thinking of the bananas he saw Ummu kept in the refrigerator some minutes ago.

I would love to have some of those yummy bananas. thought Harun. The more Harun thought of the bananas the more tempted he was to go and take it without taking permission from his mother.
Mum will not see me take the banana, Harun thoughts continued. I’ll just take it and hide behind the sofa to eat it.
After a few minutes of Harun’s thoughts, he went to the fridge to take two pieces of the bananas and hid them behind him. Juwairiyah was in the garden playing with her dolls when she suddenly realized that Harun was no longer in the garden with her.

“Where could my brother be?” Juwairiyah asked herself.

As Harun was eating the bananas behind the sofa, Juwairiyah suddenly appeared in the sitting room and saw Harun with the bananas.

“Where did you get the bananas from?” asked Juwairiyah.


“Hmmm…..I……..”stammered Harun. Ple….Please, don’t tell Ummu,” pleaded Harun.
Juwairiyah agreed not to tell their mum as Harun asked.

When it was time for Maghrib (sunset prayer), Ummu called out for Abu to come and break his fast before observing his solah (prayer). On getting to the fridge to bring out the bunch of bananas, Ummu realised there were two spots where bananas were missing.

“Juwairiyah! Harun! Come here both of you,” called Ummu.
Juwairiyah rushed out of her room when she heard her mother’s call.

“Na’am, Ummu,” she replied. Harun, on the other hand, felt panic as he instinctively knew the reason their mother was calling them. He refused to leave his room, so he lied.

To be continued next week.

Can you relate with what Harun did? I remembered a time I had to take a story book from my primary school library without my teacher’s permission. The reason was simply because I wasn’t given enough time to read the book and I was desperate to finish it. The end didn’t justify the means anyway. I regretted it later when I understood my action.

Do you have any childish naughtiness to share? 🙂

Dec 15

The Task Overload- Short Story 11

A Story about Doing Too Much

Polly and Noodle were different, even though they were friends. Polly was short and shaggy. She was constantly busy helping others.

Noodle, was a tall dog. Noodle liked to do crafts and spend time with friends.

Polly was constantly circling Noodle, literally and figuratively. As Noodle walked at a slow speed, Polly ran around her, barking and jumping.

Polly was always involved in doing projects. She was driven to be productive. Polly helped neighborhood cats find mice all day. She took responsibility to chase that young pup, Gabby, away when he came around, yapping at the kids.

Noodle was careful with how she spent her time. True, she did plenty of work but always left time for personal enjoyment.

Polly helped anyone for any reason. She even assisted an elderly dog, Frannie, to dig holes when Frannie was content to dig slowly on her own.

One day, Polly complained to Noodle, “Oh, I’m exhausted. I don’t feel like keeping my own home neat or even spending time with you anymore, and you’re my best friend!”

Noodle listened intently. Then Noodle said calmly, “Polly, you only get one life to live. Why not spend it doing things that are truly important to you? What’s more important: looking for mice or taking care of home? Chasing away Gabby or spending time with me?”

 

“Every day, you show yourself and the world what matters most by how you choose to spend your time. What are priorities?”

From this day forward, Polly used Noodle’s advice to create a more joyful, fulfilling life. Although she was still busy, she was busy doing things that mattered.

Save some energy for things that matter and learn to say ‘no’ to those that don’t.”

How recently have you done something you truly wanted to do, just because?

Come along to share your thoughts in the comment box below. 😀

Dec 07

Zainab- Daughter of the Prophet

Zainab Book Cover Zainab
Daughter of the Prophet
Sr. Nafees Khan
Children
Goodword Books
2016
32

 

I have wanted to review a book on Zainab (R.A.), one of the Prophet's daughters and couldn't until I found this book at the Peace & Unity Convention I attended on the 3rd and 4th of this month. It was a soul uplifting experience. That story is for another day.

Zainab is the first in the series of Daughter of the Prophet. The author Sister Nafees Khan did an excellent job of portraying the period of Zainab's life through description and pictures that looked inviting.

The story was told in simple and definite sentences which children would easily understand when they read the book or when read to them. The author told the story in such a way that it flows from the day of her birth, her childhood during the Jahiliyah (Ignorance) period, to before revelation and her marriage and then her life after revelation.

I have always enjoyed reading about Zainab's (R.A) married life to her husband, Abu al 'Aas. Theirs was a romantic union that needed to be emulated to assist the marriages of our time to grow stronger rather than the state they are in . Zainab (R.A) had to save her husband twice from captivity because of the love they had for one another before he finally accepted Islam.

I plan to read to my younger children and allow the older ones read on their own. I know it would serve as a way to motivate my daughters to have role models they can emulate which they need to build their self-confidence.

The book is for the younger readers, but adults can also read it because it isn't bulky and can be completed within half an hour for an avid reader and possibly one hour for the less enthusiastic reader. The portability of the book makes it easier for children to handle.

You can check the book out here for purchase.

Have you read about Zainab(R.A) story before now? If yes, what did you enjoy most about it?

Type your comments in the space below. And do share if you find the review interesting. 🙂

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