As I grow, I learn and as I learn, I grow
...Towards Becoming a Beautiful Soul

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Thursday, 14 January 2016


4th Rabi-ul thani, 1437                                              Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barkaatuhu dear sisters. Humility is an extremely beautiful thing just as arrogance is ugly. Some of us are born and bred with the humility attitude whilst some of us have to go through the humility learning process. Whatever be the case however, you must work at being humble because there is absolutely no reason you should be arrogant; you are just human and you are totally dependent on Allah azza wa jal. You are not self-sufficient, Allah azza wa jal is. Smiles!

A Beautiful and Inspiring Woman; Asmaa

Asmaa Hussein is one of the women on facebook who has for years inspired and still inspires me. She’s been tested and how she handles this test; deriving from it all kinds of great life lessons is amazing. And we pray that Allah azza wa jal will accept from her. Aameen Yaa Mujeeb.

So this woman runs a website entitled Rukaya’s Bookshelf for her very little girl, Rukaya. In one of her most awesome articles which I would recommend every lady to read; she makes some heart touching and profound statements and those statements are what I want to base this article on.

One Critical Lesson my Mum Taught Me

Even as a child, my mum made me understand this simple rule of life;

‘Know that there will always be that someone who needs whatever you have of material things a lot more than you do. If you think it is bad and you need something better, at least someone will be fully content to have that which you consider not good enough for you. And if you think it is perfect for you, even someone else would have loved to have it too. So therefore, sharing of our material things was completely worth it.’

When I had to be in the boarding house for months, mum gave out my clothes to those she knew needed them a lot more than me because she was hopeful that at least for the few weeks we usually spent on vacation, I could manage with a few items of clothing. And gradually, she taught me to understand why that was one of the most beautiful trait of humanity and then I fell in love with that also.

Campus and the Desire to Bridge the Hijabi – Non-Hijabi Gap

Back in the university, we wanted so badly to see that Muslim ladies did stuff together regardless of whether they are part of those in hijab or not. This is because we realise that it seemed those who did the hijab acted towards the non-hijabis with the ‘you don’t want to obey Allah’ attitude whilst the non-hijabis acted towards the hijabis with the ‘you the so called righteous ones’ attitude.

It got better along the way and I pray that the situation is best now. But that is the case of the Muslimah today. We are categorised variously. The major categorization being that some are observing the hijab whilst others are not. And when you come to the hijabis, you see all kinds of hijab; from the sexy to the funky to the boring to the simple, etc hijabis. Now the sexiness and funkiness and simpleness and boringness of the hijab is something we must all work on. The Hijab is a whole concept about which we must learn and do right. As we work on coming together as Hijabis and non-hijabis, there is one thing we must understand; there is absolutely no need for us to compete with one another in the hijab fashion world.

The Brand doesn’t Matter, the Concept Does 

I grew up seeing my mom give out her clothes and ours to people who needed them. She would almost empty her wardrobe when she is giving away her clothes. Then she sticks to a few. Note; what she gives away aren’t old clothes but clothes she wears. She doesn’t give them away because she is going to sew a lot more; no, but because she believes others needed them too and since she could afford some more if she needed them, but to keep sharing. 

Now, I see us the young Muslimahs of today getting almost obsessed with the material aspects of the Hijab concept. We care too much about fashion and class. We care too much about changing clothes every other day whilst we pack all the others in our wardrobe. We want to be seen in a new clothe at every gathering. The veils are countless, the shoes to match, the hijab pins to match and all the other accessories. No matter how expensive some kind of abaya is, we still want to have different colours of them or different types of them. Now, this quote from www.becomingminimalist.com is worth reflecting upon;

‘We are a society drowning in our possessions. People are looking for freedom and rescue. They are searching for new solutions. Those who adopt minimalist principles in their wardrobe choices are discovering more productivity, less stress, less distraction, less expense and more peace. We have no idea how much of a burden our possessions have become until we begin to remove them. But when we do, we immediately discover a new life of freedom and opportunity.’

Interestingly, if anyone should be completely at peace when it comes to dressing, it should be the hijabi yet we find ourselves in that complicated situation where we are drowning in our hijab. We are in a position where our hijab is gradually becoming a burden and taking majority of our productive time because we want to fit in the status quo. Now to Asmaa Hussein’s advice to her little girl on this situation in an article entitled; ‘You are Beautiful…and Why it Doesn’t Matter; she says;

What you wear doesn’t matter. Brands don’t matter. The things you own, if used selfishly, proudly and without care or consideration for others will only cause you to be regretful on the Last Day…You can certainly love white or black, pink or blue, green or purple. The Prophet (SAW), too, had a favourite colour. You can dress according to your preference and culture, within the limits of modesty. That’s normal and natural. To deny our desire to clothe ourselves well and to look good is to deny a part of our humanness. So dress modestly and neatly. Make sure your body is clean and that you care for the cleanliness of your surroundings. Brush your teeth. Brush your hair. Keep your body healthy. These things are a trust given to you by God to take care of. And that’s the complete and holistic way of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Outer cleanliness, neatness, modesty and health are actually tools we should use to enhance our worship…’’

And the best part of the advice is yet to come. Definitely, Islam allows us to want to look good for ourselves so far as we are modest and stick to the rules of Allah azza wa jal and so far as we are not doing it for someone’s interest but to seek Allah’s pleasure; that is cool. But then we must understand that we need to feel that sense of freedom to understand that we should not let the world dictate to us the number of clothes we should have, their colours, styles, when to wear what and all those. We should feel free to not be obliged to do make-up to fit in, to forcefully get that hijab even when we clearly cannot afford it or it is too luxurious just because others have it. And that is the part of Asmaa Hussein’s advice to her daughter that touched me to the core. She said;

‘In fact, you can wear clothes that are considered to be out of style, I don’t care. You do not owe anyone a wardrobe that is continuously updated with what’s in style. You definitely do not have to keep up with the potentially detrimental ‘hijab trends.’ You can wear the same thing several days in a row, as long as the clothes are clean. You’ll soon realize that this is just not what matters most.’

And I do not have to add anything to this. It is deep enough for personal reflection. And I am hoping and praying that we could have Muslimah’s who do not just feel obligated to adhere to the ‘potentially detrimental ‘hijab trends’ but who will feel free to wear even the same apparel several days in a row as long as it is clean provided that is what they have or even if they have more, provided that is what they want because soon we will all come to realize that it is not what matters most in life.’ 

Keep smiling for sadaqa. May Allah azza wa jal pardon all our wrongs and continue to guide us on the right path always. Aameen Yaa Affuw Yaa Haadi Yaa Allah.

Jazaakumullaahu khairan always!
Love fiisabilillaah
Rubaba Mmahajia Rahma Sabtiu

Tuesday, 24 November 2015


Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem                                                 12th Safar, 1437 A.H.

Assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barkaatuhu sisters. We must indeed learn to love one another truly for the sake of Love, Allah azza wa jal, Al-Waduud. The benefits both in this Dunya and the Akhira for loving one another are too good to lose. And what do we stand to gain when we hate one another? Trouble both here and the Hereafter. Yet, we should not just say with our lips that we love one another, no. We should love one another straight from our hearts and let our actions prove it. May Allah azza wa jal, Al-Wahhaab, unite us in the best of Jannah. Aameen Yaa Robbal ‘Aalameen. Smile to Jannah!

Is she a lesbian?

She was standing alone on the corridor to our class. We were in SHS 2. She looked sad. Then I decided to find out what was with her. 

ME:     Why are you standing here all alone and sad?

SHE:   They are spreading lies about me that I am a lesbian because they think my friends are lesbians.

ME:     Well, what do you expect? If the friends you are moving with are thought to be so, it is only expected that you will be thought to be likewise. So, if you want what is good for you, you should mind your movement with them.

She took my advice and changed her companions…

We were in SHS 3 now, almost getting done with school. We stood at assembly one hot afternoon watching the administrative and teaching staff with the clergy mention names after names of students who have been named to be lesbians and who have faced the Disciplinary Committee. The accused stood before the school and they were completely disgraced. 

I stood aside crying as I watched my fellow prefects lose their status as prefects after all of the hardships they had gone through and I also knew for sure that some of them were innocent. They were simply victims of bad companionship.

My friend whom I advised back in SHS 2 stood by me. She was crying too. As a few of us cried for whatever reason, some were very excited and they were hooting at the accused. My friend said;

‘Rubaba, so, if not because of you, I would have been amongst them by now.’

She wants to Commit Suicide

This medical student calls me one day and says that there is a sister he wants to connect me with. He’s been trying to help her through some problem and he thought I could do that best. Her problem was that;

‘She’s attempted committing suicide a number of times without success.’

Now! That hit me hard. Suicide? Like seriously. Then I started talking with her and I realize that all that she needed was someone who was ready to listen and advice appropriately. Alhamdulillaah, she is happily married now.

What I am feeling right now? 

I am not happy because someone that I love truly fiisabilillaah is in a situation that I am unable to help her. What hurts the most is when I think of the fact that perhaps I could have helped her before she got into that situation. How? By breaking through her strong outlook and finding out whether she was going through some challenges in life. Yet, how could I have even thought for a second that she could be going through some kind of frustration when all she does is sound and look happy almost all the time I am in contact with her? How could I have known that behind the smile that was always there was a sorrowful heart? The questions come roaming my mind and now all I can do for her is du’a.

Virginity lost on a silver platter

I was in SHS 1 and she was in 3. She respected me so much. She sought permission and went home during the course of the term. When she returned, she had something to talk about. She was always looking disturbed when she returned. Then she chose to talk to me about it. Before saying whatever she had to say, she made me understand that she badly needed someone to talk to about something and that I seemed to her like someone who will not mind listening to her. Then she said;

‘When I went home, I went to visit a certain guy and he broke my virginity.’

So, I nearly fainted… I had no idea about these things at that time except what I read from romance books. Those were times I believe all unmarried people were virgins (smile to Jannah). I don’t remember being able to give her any advice because I was simply shocked to the bone. But I remember she felt some relief that she spoke to someone about it. And alhamdulillaah, I never told anyone about it and from then she could confide in me about some of her troubles in life.

‘Too often, we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.’

She’s been in love…

I kept teasing her that I’d marry her to this brother or that brother at any given opportunity and she will just smile about it, knowing how mischievous I could be sometimes. Then one day, I pulled her strings so much and so hard that she let it out…

She’s had a crush on some cool guy for a very long time…her big secret

Now, what hit me is not the fact that she’s had the crush but the fact that she made it so secretive that saying it that day caused her to cry her heart out so much. And of course, I made her understand that such things happen to various people and there is no need to feel bad or guilty about this. I made her understand that it is more relieving when you even joke about such things sometimes because it passes when you work on it. Now, she felt a lot of relief afterwards; like a heavy load had been lifted off her heart…it was no more a big secret.

I did not give her any material benefit. All that I did was to give her a ‘listening ear.’ One that was truly concerned and ready to listen without condemnation. I only tried my best to give her the best advice I could think about with the hope of seeing that things work out well for her.

Why am I telling you all these?

You can be rest assured that I am not trying to burst my bubbles nor to show you how good a person I am. I am not even trying to tell you that you should confide in me with your troubles even though I have learnt the hard way to now be keener on availing my listening ability to all who want to let some trouble out. It pays a great deal.

What I am trying to let you pay attention to is how much your listening to the troubles of others with a good intent and the sincere need to help them by not judging them but giving them good advice; however they may take it; is important.
Do not listen so that you can rush off to tell the next person and the next person whiles giving the shallow caution that…

‘Please, you are the only one I am telling this so don’t tell anyone.’

And then the person goes off to tell the next person giving a warning likewise.

When you lend a listening ear to people, and you must learn to do that in order to help them out, you must do so because…

1.      You want to help them ease the burden of whatever it is they are concealing from others in their heart.

2.      You do not want them to take any decision (s) that will risk their lives.

3.      You want to learn from what they are going through.

You must know that for most people who are going through one trouble or the other, they have to muster a lot of courage in order to be able to confide in anyone. If they decide to confide in you, it is mostly because they trust that talking to you will be better than talking to others and also that you could probably have a way out for them mostly in terms of advice.

So then, if you mess up with what they have to say after confiding in you by…

1.      Telling it to others when they have not permitted you

2.      Teasing them with it when it is nothing to laugh about,

…then you make it a lot harder for them. The regret at having told you what they had preferred to keep quiet about for some time kills them.

If you are unable to help them out after listening to them, you can help them seek advice with other trusted people whom you know could help…

The Orphan Girl

She’s lost both parents. We were both young. She is the smiling type so there is no way you’d ever know she was facing challenges in her life if she didn’t tell you. Yet sometimes, she will come to me and tell me how much hardship and maltreatment she was undergoing under the care of her guardian. She will cry her eyes out and then all that I could do at that age was to just let her lie on my lap as she cried and then I’d recite ‘aayaatul kursiy’ for her.
I remember clearly how much relief that brought her anytime she was down.

Must you act too strong?

I am worried she didn’t just put ego aside and just talk to me about whatever emotional troubles she was facing. I had a beautiful sincerely Islamic relationship with her. She knew too well that my respect and admiration for her was not going to diminish in the least because of her troubles. It wouldn’t also mean that she did not have faith in Allah azza wa jal. It was only a test and sometimes talking to someone you could trust about it makes it a lot easier. Whiles I was lamenting my concern to someone who had told me about her troubles, the person said;

‘But you know, sometimes people like her who help others out of their trouble do not want others to know they are facing challenges. They want to make people believe that all is well with them no matter how hard it is.’

Well, I just cast a glance to the little I know of the stories of the women companions of the Prophet Muhammad suallallaahu alayhi wa sallam and I saw strong highly religious women of high social standing yet that did not make them think they had to hide their troubles to the extent that it ate them up. They sought counsel when and where appropriate and from the right person without fear of a loss in social esteem. So then why do we think and do otherwise?

My humble advice is simply that;

‘No matter who you are; whatever you or people think your financial, religious or social status is, when you have a problem that is troubling you, speak to a trusted person about it starting of course with the Ultimate Listener and Helper, Allah azza wa jal.’

And the best is for you to pray to Allah azza wa jal to direct you to who could be of help.

Among the most challenged people I know…

She looked well and good. Then in a short while, she got very attached to me. Then one day, whiles we were alone, she told me that she had something to tell me. She had secrets she is unable to open up to anyone about that was killing her gradually.

Now, I cannot tell you what her troubles are but I can assure you that her troubles are that many and it even started from the manner in which she was born which she was told.

And then I remember that on that day, whiles she told me one trouble upon the other, I just simply cried like a baby; so much so that in the end, she had to be the one consoling me. Alhamdulillaah that she found a sister in me and alhamdulillaah that Allah azza wa jal blessed me with a sister like her.

He cheats and tells her

She is a young lady, a virgin when she married him. He respects her for that but she does not fulfil him. So, he has his other ladies who know it all and take care of him. Interesting enough, he does not hide his affairs from her. She knows these ladies and then he will insult them to her about how cheap they are. He takes care of her every need and gives her luxury; money, jewellery, clothes, cars. Yet she is very sad. She tells me;

‘What I am assured from him for my virginity is his respect and utmost care but he says I do not satisfy him so he needs some more outside.’

I could not figure out exactly what respect it is that he has for her if he could subject her to such a shameful and sinful life but I was grateful that she was able to tell me her sorrow when everyone thought all was well and good for her.

I think I have said enough and I hope I have been able to convey my message of lending a listening ear to the troubled and seeking a listening ear when you are troubled. May Allah azza wa jal take care of all of our affairs. Aameen Yaa Mujeebud da’awatad da’ee. 

‘Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate from the truth after You have guided us, and bestow upon us mercy from Your grace. Verily You are the Giver of bounties without measure.’

Aameen Yaa Quddus Yaa Salaam Yaa Mu’min Yaa Muhaymin Yaa Aziz Yaa Jabbar

Jazaakumullaahu khairan!
Love fiisabilillaah
Rubaba Mmahajia Rahma Sabtiu

Tuesday, 17 November 2015


Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem                                                 5th Safar, 1437 A.H.

Assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barkaatuhu sisters. Alhamdulillaah abadan wa daa iman for absolutely everything. May Allah azza wa jal grant us the very best of that which He, subhaanahu wa ta aalaa, offers His favoured servants both in this Dunya and the Akhira.


Have you ever seen another lady wearing footwear that you so badly wish you could take off her feet and put them on yours instead? Or, that you could probably have access to the same kind of footwear? So that your feet might look as good as hers or you may probably be able to walk so beautifully and comfortably as her? Or even attract the kind of attention she attracts?


If your answer is a yes and I guess it will be so for a majority of us per what I have come to realize about us, ladies, especially; then let us walk through this article together.

Among the greatest of the injustices we do to ourselves as ladies is wishing to be like others ceteris paribus (smile to Jannah)…comparing ourselves with those whom we see as better than us. 

When we want to be as beautiful as that lady…
When we want to be as tall or short as that lady…
When we want to be as fat or slim as that lady…
When we wish we were that fair or that dark…
When we wish we were that rich and or famous…
Had her car and clothing and shoes…
Even her hair…
And her attention and attraction…
Even her husband and children…
When we wish we had her kind of family or siblings…

And then we find ourselves brooding over how unlucky we are to be the way we are whiles thinking how lucky she is to be the way she is. We become depressed and sad out of the feeling of frustration at our inability to be like that particular lady or those particular ladies.

Now, for most of our ladies, this feeling of wanting to be like that person, to try to fit in their footwear, breeds discontentment which leads to a greater disease of the heart (remember; I am a heart freak) – envy; may Allah azza wa jal safeguard our hearts from it totally. Aameen Yaa Hayy. Envy is something you must struggle to overcome on a daily basis. Do not stoop so low as to allow your heart to envy in that negative way. It is evil. It is unhealthy. It is a dangerous disease. So, fight it with Allah azza wa jal. Smile!

The Truth…

It is encouraged that you wish to be like some people for some reasons. Yes! When you see someone doing some acts of good, it is encouraged that you learn to do same. When you see someone with beautiful morals and attitudes, it is highly encouraged that you yearn and learn to be like them. When you see someone who has achieved something of value to Allah azza wa jal and to humanity, it is encouraged for you to want to do likewise – to learn from them and to do like them.

And I would say, the only thing you should wish and work at having about anyone is the beauty of their soul and the material possessions they have that add to that beauty. The more reason why Allah azza wa jal chose for us the most beautiful of souls as the ultimate role model. He, azza wa jal, says;

There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and who remembers Allah often.’

(Surat Al-Ahzaab, the Confederates, Chapter 33 ayah 21)

And then we have an endless list of the sahaabas, his companions; both the males and the females. We also have those who came after them and many more beautiful souls even now. When we look at the kind of competition that was among the sahaabas during the time of the Prophet Muhammad suallallaahu alayhi wa sallam, we see that it was the kind of competition that had no worldly interests. They did not want to have a lot more money than the other person except so they would do a lot more good than that person. They did not wish that Allah azza wa jal makes them a lot more beautiful or popular or anything of that sought.

One thing that any Muslimah must understand is that at any point in time, she should make sure she is not ardently and intentional going against the rules of Allah azza wa jal. If she should break Allah’s rules for any reason whatsoever, it should not be intentional but a mistake as much as possible. Whatever situation she finds herself in whilst trying her best to please Allah azza wa jal is perfectly fine…even when the whole world says otherwise.

Contentment is a gift a Muslimah gives to herself and if only she would ponder deeply to understand that all affairs lies with Allah azza wa jal who is the Sole Decider of our looks, possessions and situations, then she would find herself not just happy but fully content with whatever it is that Allah azza wa jal decides to do with her.

She would not wallow unnecessarily in depression and sorrow just because the world thinks she is ugly or poor or unintelligent or whatever. She would not bother herself with wanting to be like that girl or those girls who seem to have it all. She will always remember Allah azza wa jal’s question which He, subhaanahu wa ta’aalaa keeps asking in Surat Ar-Rahmaan, the Beneficent, Chapter 55 that;

‘And which of the favours of Allah will you deny?’

Can we deny the rain?
Can we deny the air?
Can we deny the sleep?
Can we deny the sun?
Can we deny the food and drink?

No, we cannot if only we understand. Unfortunately, when some of us are counting Allah’s favours upon us, we forget the real favours; our sight, hearing, sense of smell, ability to feel pain, our food and drink and many others like those and only look at our closets and houses and cars and bank accounts.  That is very unfortunate indeed.

When we learn to be content with our every situation as we try our best to be beautiful souls, life gets a lot more enchanting and sweet. You know they say;

‘Contentment makes the poor wealthy and the wealthy poor.’

It is complete truth. There are so many people that we seem to believe have it all per what we see of them who are dying either because of greed for more or discontentment at their lives. Learning to be grateful is easy, just teach yourself that whatever Allah azza wa jal does is good and perfect – whatever. Allah azza wa jal says in Surah Ibrahim, Abraham, Chapter 14 ayah 7 that;

'…If you are grateful, I will surely increase you in favour...' 

The Reality of Life: The Discontented Dog

‘’Once a dog was relaxing in a garden when it saw a cat on the top of a high wall. It thought, "It must be so nice to be high above the ground. If only I could climb?" this feeling of envy made it so bad-tempered, that it didn't even wag its tail at its master, who came to give it some milk.

Then it saw a goldfish in the river and wished that it too could live in the cold water. Envy made it angry once again.

Just then it heard the fish say, "It looks so nice and warm on the grass. I wish I could lie down on it."

After some time, a sparrow flew past. Seeing the dog lazing around, it said aloud, "I wish I could play the whole day like this dog. I wish I didn't have to build a nest for myself, search for food and tire my wings."

Listening to them, the dog realized its folly for not appreciating what it had.’’

Now, the above story says it all. I hope I have been able to convey my thoughts on this issue well. May Allah azza wa jal bless you abundantly with a serenity, calmness and contentment of mind, heart, body and soul. Aameen Yaa Mujeebud’ da’awattad daaee. Keep smiling to Jannah!

‘Our Lord, enable us to be grateful for Your favours which You have bestowed upon us and upon our parents and to do righteousness of which You approve. And admit us by Your mercy into the ranks of Your righteous servants.’

Aameen Yaa Aziz Yaa Khabeer Yaa Wahhaab Yaa Salaam Yaa Rafi’u Yaa Allah.

Jazaakumullaahu khairan!
Love fiisabilillaah
Rubaba Mmahajia Rahma Sabtiu