Man of honour

Perhaps this time around you will get it right. Let the one in love marry the good man, and let her be honoured, valued and cherished. Let her find happiness, pleasure and contentment in that union.

I am completely opposed to compulsion in matters of the heart, for or against. A forced marriage, I cannot comprehend. But opposition: yes I have experienced that myself.

It’s natural for family to worry about their loved ones, but sometimes that worry just leads to a lifetime of unhappiness. Do something different this time. Be there for her. Stand by her side. Be a man of honour.


How the years come and go, ebb and flow. How relationships blossom and then perish. All those moments socialising long forgotten, no longer even remembered, loving couples now bitter enemies, their children all grown up, setting out on adventures of their own. In two decades we have transformed from cherished friends to total strangers. Such are the tragic trials of life.


It’s okay, I have made peace with myself and the past. I’ve made peace in my heart with those I once knew, embracing their successes, overlooking old animosities. From here on, I will try not to glance backwards to wonder at what could have been. Instead I embrace all that came to be. I have wandered two decades on this path, accompanied by my beloved, this companion at my side. Alhamdulilah, what blessings. Let me strive harder to be of the Saliheen — those who live in harmony with the rest. Peace it is.

The youthful gaze

If I had the opportunity today, I would apologise to all who were troubled by my youthful gaze. Yes, I would apologise to serious students, whose focus was set on making the grades for university and setting the stage for a bountiful future, who had to put up with a weirdo glancing all around. I wish I had been more cultured then, and had chosen my companions more wisely.

Continue reading “The youthful gaze”

To the one we wronged

I’m sorry. I’m sorry that we drove you out of the religion. I’m sorry that we drove you from the path you once embraced with sincerity and passion. The one you once pursued with all that inner strength of yours, that forced you to sit at the feet of those you thought would guide you, enlighten your soul and raise you to great heights. I’m sorry that instead we trampled you under our feet, and slandered your name and spoiled your reputation everywhere we went.

Continue reading “To the one we wronged”


For all those who liken themselves to Yusuf when the wife of al-‘Azeez tried to seduce him, it is worth pondering his retort:

Joseph said, ‘My Lord! I would prefer prison to what these women are calling me to do. If You do not protect me from their treachery, I shall yield to them and do wrong.’  — Qur’an 12:33

When pursued by one who would try to seduce him, he instead sought the protection of God and fled, remaining chaste and obedient to his Lord.

Honest boundaries

Several years ago, a teacher and friend told me of a dream he had once had, in which one of his noble sheikhs had decided to pay him a visit at his home. Most people in that situation would undoubtedly roll out the red carpet and take the fine china from the cupboard, honoured to be blessed with such esteemed company. But in his dream, my companion told his sheikh when he arrived before him: “With all due respect, please do not come to my house when I’m not here.” Continue reading “Honest boundaries”

Hold me

I don’t deserve you, but I want you.

I’ve done nothing for you, but I want you.

I’ve done nothing for the world,

But I want the world.

I’ve taken all my life and I’ve never given back.

I don’t deserve you, but I want you.

I’ve had everything I wanted

And I threw most of it away

I wasted many years

I threw it all away.

I don’t deserve my friends, but I love them.

They give and give to me.

What do I give to them?

Stories about my sorry life?

My sorry life?

I was given everything I wanted

But I threw most of it away.

Look at me and listen.

Listen what I say.

I want to change everything.

I hate what I see.


I hate what I see. I want to change me.

I want to hold you. Not for me.

For you.

I never give. Now I want to give.

Hold me.