July 20, 2008

Coffee and a date

I sat in the coffee lounge of my local coffee store with a mint tea in one hand and a choc muffin on a plate infront of me. I was quietly reading the newspaper, seeing what was going on in the world and around me, I people watched (a highly fasinating hobby of mine) and I noticed the cars moving in the street outside. A few headlines hit me, giving me more to read as I waited for what was coming next, what was coming next? I had no idea. Id been given a card a few days before, a time and place was scrawled on the back of the card, what did he want? I just had to find out and couldnt leave it like that. So now I found myself in the coffee store drinking my tea and rubbing my back, pressure building up everytime I moved. By my side was a box from the one of the local stores down the road, I picked it up just before ordering my tea, a gift they had said. A very big gift they didnt say! I sighed at the thought of dragging the gift onto the bus, people stared enough as it is without wandering (just like me) what was in the box.
I looked at my watch; he was late. Should I wait? was it worth it to wait? or was I just delaying the inevitable? I wasnt hard to see, I sat at the front of the shop, by the open windows so i wasnt hiding away in the corner. In my defence! I decided to wait 10mins more after finishing my snacks, so i carried on reading my paper and picking with my lone fingers at my chocolate muffin allowing my body the sugar that it craved.
After awhile I felt watched, which wasnt unusual for me but more watched than usual. I looked up, was that him? no! couldnt be, back to the news. A chair was pulled out and he sat in front of me, I smiled politely. 'Mrs Hussain?' I nodded, 'why are you carrying such a big parcel?' "Mr Hussain,' I said slyly at him 'because your parents seem to think that carrying this big parcel around all day isnt enough work for me!' I said frustratingly pointing at the big belly surrounding our 8 month old twins in my womb. He smiled, 'alhamdulillah, I bought the car' I thanked God I didnt have to take the bus and set about passing him some of my muffin

July 17, 2008

the beach

She sat on top of the rock to the side of the beach, it was just before sunset and she had left her little beach hut just a few mintues before. Armed with her trusty camera and a bottle of water. She was dressed in a white lined maxi dress, covered her arms with a cream linen bolero jacket and had wrapped a cotton shayla around her hair. She was waiting for something, but didnt exactly know what.As she sat on the rock taking a few pictures now and again of the people jogging up and down the beach in front on the black sky, in the foreground infront of the first shimmer of the days sunlight and the people walking their dogs around in the dark. It amazed her why people didnt take this opportunity more, she was only here for 5 days, this was her second and she only saw people on the beach; not actually taking in the beach. Of all the wonders of this life, silence, water and the sky is what people expect to be there every now and again when they want it. She wondered if people would appreciate it more if you could pick it up and put it somewhere else, in the middle of a busy city that sees no silence, in the middle of Saudi Arabia where they see no water, in an underwater cave where you see no sky. Subhanallah.. the marvels of our creator. She lay back against the rock and closed her eyes for a brief minute, when she opened them more sun had appeared just above the waterline and it was now that she decided to pray her fajr salah. 1 rakah, 2 rakah..... 1 rakah, 2 rakah..... silence, counting, duaa, for the love of God and for the ache in her heart.She stood up and took some more pictures of the waterline, of the boats gliding across the water to some unknown destination in the distance. She breathed in the sea air and felt the moist sand inbetween her toes as she played with the bottom of her dress, already she could feel it was going to be a hot day. She wasnt a lover of hot days, especially when there was water at the bottom of her 'garden' that she couldnt enjoy for all the people ready to gawp at her when she came out of the water. Maybe in the future insha'allah she thought as she picked up her dress slightly and made her way back to her beach house, back to her bed and back to reality

July 16, 2008

first day

I woke up super early that monday morning, eager and ready to start a new day of school for a new year. I usually sleep after fajr, which was just before 5am this September month, but today I couldnt sleep afterwards. My mum shouted up the stairs to me that breakfast would be a little while, so I decided to head into the shower and freshen myself up. I stood in the shower for around 15minutes, trying a new face scrub and new shampoo that made my hair smell like lavendars. Then I got out, dried myself, brushed my teeth and wrapped the big towel around my body and a separate one around my head. I wandered across the hall to my bedroom, I had laid my clothes out the night before to make sure I was wearing ok clothes incase I was running late. Across the back of my chair there was a loose pair of navy pants and a long pale yellow tunic that came mid thigh on my body, my underwear sat on the chair with my new hijab, navy with yellow and white patterned beads around the edging. I had coordinated it with a yellow stick pin for the side of my head. I got myself ready and headed down for my breakfast, as I sat munching on my toast my mum told me 'you know, you dont have to.. people will understand' I sighed, we had been through this situation I dont know how many times in the last month 'I have to mum, or I never will' she shrugged her shoulders and let me be. My dad came into the room, smiled at me before landing a kiss on the top of my head and walking over to my mum with a kiss on the cheek. 'Want me to drive you in?' he asked.. I shook my head, 'Im gonna walk in, it will be fine' I told them, 'well you have my number if you need me' Subhanallah, what did they expect to happen on this day?? I finished my breakfast, kissed my parents on the cheek and told them I would see them at 4pm, with that I left breezily out of the house and up the road to my school. This would be my last year at school, the most important year, my GCSE's, then on to the next level. As I neared the school gates i could feel the butterflies flapping in my stomach, I wasnt nervous, I'd been through this with myself so much over the 6 weeks holidays, why was it getting to me now?? I saw a group of girls stood outside the gates, I recognised one to be a few years younger than me and I also noticed how they huddled together and laughed as I passed. I felt relieved as I passed the gates and into the school yard, my friends were all sat where we usually sat and I walked over. I felt eyes watching me and I heard whisperings from all corners, Shaitan I reminded myself... be strong. I stood infront of the group of my friends, 5 girls.. I hadnt seen any of them over the 6 weeks because I was out of the country for the whole time, I had spoken to them but I hadnt told them about the new me. 'hey girls,' I said as I removed my bag from my shoulder and sat it down on the floor, they all looked at me and I waited for a reply. I noticed the distant gaze in their eyes, and one by one I saw recollection, 'chica?' my friend suzie asked 'in the flesh' I smiled..... 'woah girl, whats with the getup?' asked haleema... I suddenly blushed slightly, I had expected this... 'well, I sort of had a change of heart over the summer... remember hakim?' they all nodded remembering the new crazy terrorist who had been dumped into out class 2 months before the end of last school year. 'Well, i was in the airport waiting to go visit my dad and he happened to be on my plane. We chatted and stuff and I came to realise hes a pretty cool guy,' they all laughed and nudged each other, motioned to indicate that I had gone slightly crazy over the last 6 weeks. 'No, he is.. honest, he told me all about why he does the weird stuff he does, you know with his little hat and his book and little rug. And, well... just some of the things he said made me look more into why he does it and.. so I became one of 'em' My girls gasped, 'a terrorist?' lisa blurted out, 'no, a muslim, thats why im wearing this' i said pointing to my hijab. 'yeh, shes gone crazy! how long dya have to wear it for?' 'forever' I told them 'around guys who arent related to me' at that point a group of boys walked past us and pushed into me laughing 'hey' i heard someone shout 'dont you go pushing my girl like that!' Suzie shouted before pushing them back, and walked over to me, she put her arm around my shoulder and asked 'can you still come sleep at mine?' i nodded.. 'then we cool, same old chica' Then the school bell rang to bring us all in to start this new chapter, my new chapter in life. Alhamdulillah

Short story :)

July 11, 2008

The big day

Once we had paid for the breakfast and left for the civil ceremony things seemed different, I felt we had drifted into an ease with each other already like when we had first met all those years ago. We sat in the back of the car while my mum and Helena sat in the front driving and chatting, the building was abotu 20mins drive away which gave me time to breath and calm myself. As we set off I muttered the duaa for travelling under my breath and turned to see Sulayman looking out the window and doing the same. This is one aspect of marriage I had looked forward to, someone to share my Islam with, to learn from and learn with, insha'allah I had found that in him. He turned back to me and put his arm around the back of my head leaning it on the top of the seat, he smiled at me sweetly and started to talk about what we could do for the rest of the day. He mentioned going back to my flat to pick up the last remaining boxes and of course he wanted to see where I had been living for the past 3 years, to understand what I had done in that time and how I had grown. Also he wanted us to spend some time with my mum, alone, before driving up the the country hotel we had been booked into with some family for dinner and our first night alone. I blushed at the prospect and he smiled as if knowing what I was blushing for, which made me blush even more. Holding my hand he told me, 'you know, the first time I met you I knew you were special and that night was such a turning point for me in Islam. It made me sit back and try to figure out where I was going and what I was doing, I wanted to give my wife something for the hereafter and when I saw you the second time you took my breath away. I thank Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) for giving me this second chance and I pray that we are together for our lives on this earth and in jannah, if you will have me' I smiled 'Insha'allah' I told him before he pulled my hand up to his lips and gently kissed my knuckles. We arrived at the building after repeatedly being told to act our age in the back of the car from my mum after periodically poking and tickling me, we stepped out of the car and brushed ourselves down to calm ourselves before I looked over at him with his hair all dishevelled and burst out laughing so much Davina pulled me to the toilets to fix myself.
The civil ceremony passed in a haze, this was more for my family than for us, to me I was a married woman and I wanted to get down to the business of knowing about the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. Once we signed all the documents and posed for enough pictures we arranged the hotel event and everyone split up, I left my friends and husband outside while I changed into something a little less fancy for the rest of the day. I changed into a long chiffon black maxi dress and covered my bare skin with a loose flowing pale yellow cashmere cardigan, the look was completed with black wedged shoes and a black hijab with tiny crystals sewn around in a random pattern. I stepped out of the changing room to see that Sulayman, my mum and Davina too had changed into things more comfortable which made me feel better about the next few hours even more. Sulayman told me he had left his car outside of my mums house, so my mum drove us back there after dropping off my friends at their houses on the way back, we would all be meeting up later at the hotel so that was something to look forward to. As soon as we were dropped off at his car we exchanged bags into his boot and set off for my flat just down the road, once we had found a space to park in I pulled him across the road and quickly opened the front door. I was excited for some reason to show him my place, it was where I was living through this whole experience and it had in some way made me the person that I was today and for that I was thankful alhamdulillah. He smiled when he asked just how many boxes I had and we realised that maybe a few trips up and down the stairs might be in order, he looked around and commented on the little things I had done to make this my home. The touches of colour and culture I had incorporated into the once off white rooms, I was going to miss this, he then proceeded to tell me 'I think we should move out of where Im living by the end of the year, fresh start in a new place.. then you can add your touches to our place' emphasing on the word 'our' I nodded, liked the idea. I sat down on the floor and watched him trying to organise what boxes to take down first before standing up and asking 'fancy a cup of tea?' he nodded scratching his beard 'please, 1 sugar and milk' I laughed... couldnt believe that I had a husband and I didnt know how he liked his tea, it amused me although he looked perplexed when I explained what I was laughing at. Once all the boxes had been moved into the car we left the room quietly, this was an emotional time for me, I had so many good memories from this flat and I was nervous my new life wouldnt give me as many, I prayed it would. I locked the door for the last time and slid the key through the letterbox as my landlord had instructed me the previous week. I breathed a heavy sigh as he came up behind me, I felt his presence and saw his face next to mine as he whispered in my covered ear 'Im really not that bad you know' I smiled and moved as he kissed the side of my head through my hijab. I couldnt understand what I had done to gain the respect and understanding of this guy who had fallen in love with me while we hadnt even known each other. Allahu alim (God knows best) We then headed out to his place to drop off my boxes and pick up his bag for the evening in the hotel, it had previously been decided that the outfits we were all to wear that evening would be in the code of formal ball wear, so he had bought a tuxedo and I would be wearing a chiffon red empire lined dress, with the red kitten shoes I had worn today, a long black thin over coat to cover my arms and a sparkly red hijab that I had picked up at the ball dress shop the week before. I was looking forward to it, especially the food which was supposed to be amazing there, my mum knew the owner of the hotel so the price of the evening was less than most evenings, which was the decider for actually making this a big event.
As Sulayman moved all the boxes into his little house I sat on the couch and looked around, things seemed different from when i was last here all those months ago but it was nice. Clean, calm, modern, I liked it and hoped that the next place would be just as soothing to the soul. I noticed a quran and prayer mat tucked away in the corner and looking at the clock realised it was time for dhuhr, I took out the quran and began to read while I waited for him to finish so we could pray together and i think he realised this because he quickened his pace then washed up ready to pray. He walked in the room and smiled 'you ready?' he asked, I nodded my head placing the Quran back where I found it and took my position behind my husband to pray for forgiveness, for faith and for the ummah around the world. I had never heard his recitation before so it took me by surprise, the tone of his voice, the singing of his words, it was beautiful masha'allah and it was only as I made duaa after the salah that I realised he had brought me to tears. He turned around to face me just as I was counting on my fingers and reciting tasbeeh, when I finished I wiped my eyes and looked up to see a smile on his face that I would grow to wait for over the years. He patted the ground infront of him and pulled me closer towards him as he sat on his prayer mat with an air around him I couldnt even describe. I sat on my legs infront of him, nervous as to what his intentions were this close to each other, he pulled himself closer and opened his legs so each rested either side of me. Now we were face to face, closer than I had ever remembered, he moved closer and gently kissed the tip of my nose as he had done so earlier in the day, then he looked around my head and unclipped the hijab pin at my chin and pushed the scarf back off my head. He placed his hand softly on my head and muttered a duaa that a new husband should say with his new wife 'O Allaah, I ask you for her good and the good of what You have dispositioned her toward and I seek refuge (in You) from her evil and the evil You have dispositioned her toward' then looked at me smiling and leaned forward and kissed me on the lips. The same kiss that we had shared all those years ago, but this one seemed better, more intense, more meaningful and so much more halal ;) I held his face with my hands as it lingered and i waited to see who would be the first to pull away, he did and looked past my head and said quietly 'we should probably get moving, we have the rest of our lives to absorb each other' I laughed, 'hmm, I dont know if I want to absorb you, I just like looking at you masha'allah' he blushed which made me laugh 'come on' I kissed his nose 'lets get sorted' I said standing up and pulling him with me. I walked over to the big mirror hanging over his fireplace and fixed my hijab to look presentable and covering. Then we left the house holding hands and walked to the car to make our way to the hotel, the start of the rest of our lives.

Thanks for reading my stories :) insha'allah you like them and I would appreciate any comments you have to make regarding them. Now, next storyline?? thats something to think about insha'allah

July 8, 2008

The beginning

the breakfast went smoothly as we all sat around the tables with more family and friends, I occassionally looked up and smiled. It warmed me to see all these people who were so close to my heart, here for me and my special day and as I sat next to my new husband I couldnt stop smiling. The table was cramped so I found myself knocking the elbow of my mum sat next to me as we dived into the breakfasts put before us, but I found comfort in the fact that my husbands leg was tight next to mine, so tight that I could feel the warmth coming from his skin and I blushed everytime I realised I was thinking of this.
Once food was finished people started to break up to move around to talk with people, or just to step outside. I turned to Sulayman and smiled, he stretched his arms in a yawn and rested both either side of him on the chair backs. I sat back and remembered the time when we had first met, it was years ago.. before I became muslim and before he started practising. We went out with a group of friends and sat chatting for a good portion of the night when we realised we had so much in common, we were into the same sports, the same relaxation hobbies, loved to watch the world go by and we had a similar sense of humour which was unusual for any person from this country let alone 2 people from different countries. We talked about our families, our friends, our lives and eventually got talking about politics and religion, it was then that I heard something positive about Islam. At the end of the night we separated with a promise to keep in touch and a soft kiss on the lips. Then 5 years later I got a call from an old friend who was asking if I wanted to meet her for lunch with a few other friends, by this point I had become muslim and agreed to meet them later that afternoon. When I arrived at the meeting place I was shocked to see many friends who I had lost touch with from uni but was nice all the same, and it was then that I noticed Sulayman was also there and looking very different. He saw me then lowered his eyes almost immediately which made me blush as I looked down at what I was wearing to check I wasnt showing something I shouldnt have been. A few people there hadnt known I had converted but they all commented on my hijab and loose skirt like I had always worn them and it made me feel comfortable in the setting. I sat amongst the girls while we ate occassionally looking up to catch his eye, although not on purpose, all too soon it was time to leave and we stood outside hugging each other and promising to keep in touch. The few guys that were out with us all kept a respectable distance away from me and we parted with 'it was good to see you again' and 'glad things are working out for you' then we were there, stood infront of each other. He salamed me, I salamed him back... and then he was gone. I walked back to my car and drove home in deep contemplation, and that was how I spent the rest of the next few days. About 3 weeks later I got a call from the same friend who had initially invited me out and we had a random chat about nothing, she asked how things were going for me in Islam and how things work at the mosque I go to. I was surprised, she had known long before our reunion that I had converted, but never showed this much interest, I was excited to think she was interesting in Islam insha'allah. So I told her all about my mosque, the classes I took there and the women I had met, from the usual Im-willing-to-marry-you-to-anyone auntie to the masha'allah-a-white-muslim-who-i-must-protect. We both laughed and after about an hour she excused herself and we parted with the 'keep in touch, was good to hear from you' speech. About a week later at jummah, the imam (and my wali) came up to me after the salah and asked if he could speak with me, I admit I was a little nervous, it was usually me who went to him asking for advice. This time it turned out he needed me :) we sat down outside the mosque in the sun with the usual crowd of people leaving and walking in the streets outside, he turned to me and explained that a brother had come to him asking for help in finding a wife. I frowned and he read my frown by immediately telling me 'I know you say you dont want to marry yet, but I know this brother, he is a good muslim masha'allah and I feel he would be perfect for you insha'allah' It was the last part of the sentence that made me think again, my wali was thinking about me alhamdulillah, the brother was perfect for me, not you are perfect for the brother. So I urged him to carry on with his speech and reasoning to which he smiled and carried on telling me about this guy, 'you have seen him' he told me... 'although probably not thought much about the next step' I was curious... who was this guy he was talking about. He gave me some background on him and told me if he had a daughter he wouldnt be asking me, he would be giving the brother to his daughter, 'although I dont think he would agree' he said smiling. I frowned quizzically 'why?' I asked, 'because hes asked for you specifically' I blushed.. someone asking for little me, the person who shys into the background and hopes for the moment on the spotlight to pass quickly. At that point I was intrigued but he wouldnt say anything else, 'just think about it, pray istikharah and let me know insha'allah' I nodded and thanked him before standing up. 'I told the brother that if its ok with you we could meet up at his house, bring your mum or a friend, in a few weeks.' 'Insha'allah' I told him before walking off to leave him sitting on the wall as he usually did during the day, as I turned the corner I pulled out my mobile and called Davina who suggested I take my mum. Tentatively I phoned her and talked to her about the situation, it was all a bit weird for her, the whole process but she agreed to come with me if I decided to meet this guy.
I prayed istikharah as suggested by the imam and decided to go for it, I could always say no if it didnt feel right and I was still under the thought that I needed that initial spark. I phoned him up and we set a time for a few days away, which gave me time to think things through but not enough time to be overly thoughful about it, which I usually was.
When the day came I picked up my mum and we drove over to the house using the directions the imam had given me in our last phone conversation, i stood outside the house wondered whos it was. I had never been to the imams house, so it could have easily been his or some random 3rd person, I stood outside in the front garden looking around and taking in the area. It was nice, peaceful and the weather was so stunning that day that I allowed the sun to just pour into my face which made me smile. I dont know how long I was stood there because the next thing I knew my mum was pulling at my arm and I heard a cough behind me, I knew it wasnt the imam (i knew his older chesty cough) so I turned around to see a face that took me by complete shock. 'Sulayman?' I coughed up nearly choking on my own breath, he smiled 'assalamalikum,' i returned his greeting and blushed a little. 'Are you the brother Im here to meet?' I asked innocently, he smiled and told me he had a brother. But then he stopped the story when he saw how my face dropped, he walked over to me... 'I hope I get more of a smile than that on our wedding day' I blushed profusly at that point, realising the game he was playing and liking that even though he had become a lot more practising masha'allah that he was still very down to earth and hadnt lost his sense of humour. My wali came out of the house holding a bottle of water, 'should we go inside, or do you want to talk out here?' we both looked at each other and without saying a word Sulayman produced a few picnic chairs and a blanket to sit on outside alhamdulilah.
And that was where it all started.

July 6, 2008


We walked down the stairs and opened the door to find the girls chatting amongst themselves, I tried to straighten myself out before Helena ran over to me 'Girl, does he have a brother?' I was surprised and totally taken off guard. 'who?' I asked... she rolled her eyes, 'who do you think, this dude youre going to spend the rest of your life with!' Davina came over 'we just met him, masha'allah hes so adorable sis and he totally thinks the world of you. So? does he?' I nodded and told them 'you might have to wait awhile though, hes still at school' and flicked my head over in the direction of young Isa. They all turned to look at the young boy stood there fixing his flower so hes ready for later and wearing a massive smile when I waved in his direction. We all giggled and I was tapped lightly on the arm for being immature ;) I was given a low down from the girls as to how everything was going to happen, it didnt sound like much, I had already gone through the marriage certificate with the imam a few days before so we only really had to go through it.. make sure everyone agreed and do the added religious stuff too. I hadnt seen my future hubby for a few weeks, he had been away working in Malaysia so it would be nice to see him at last and I was a little jealous the girls had seen him before me. I knew my mum had seen him last week, he wanted to talk about 'stuff' with her, so I let him be and gave him my mums number after she agreed; its funny, it was only now that I was wondering what they had discussed. I noticed someone walking over to our group with the imam (who was my wali too) he was wearing a cream suit and was playing with the watch around his wrist. He laughed at something the imam said and I frowned as they approached, it was only when he was stood infront of me that I realised it was him, the man I would be spending the rest of my life with insha'allah. I blushed as he looked up and smiled at me 'you ready?' he asked.. not wanting to blurt out anything stupid I nodded and we all followed the imam into his office. As we sat down I looked around the table at my mum, Davina, Helena, Isa, a few of my close cousins, two of his best friends (one of which was acting as a witness, as were my 2 girls) and of course, us. The happy couple! Everything seemed to be happening quickly and I just sat there taking in the words of the imam and smiling when he would say something humourous, which was quite often masha'allah. Then he asked me to sign the certificate and asked my husband to hand over the mahr which I had asked for, as he handed over the box full of little presents that we had picked out over the last few months his fingers brushed mine which bolted me right back to reality, this was it.. .we were now officially in the eyes of God, married... yet still we both blushed when I sat upright after the initial touch. We sat listening to a few words from our friends and family, all I could think about was that touch, it seemed so magical and like nothing I had ever felt before, but most importantly it felt right. Alhamdulillah. After everything was over we all walked down the road to the restaurant where we were to eat breakfast, everything had already been ordered and surprisingly enough we were on time.. so things were working well alhamdulillah. I sort of fell behind trying to make myself look ok with less hours sleep than I usually have and a dragging sensation on my legs, Sulayman turned and noticed I was taking my time so he dropped back with me. 'You ok?' he asked, I nodded... 'just seems so surreal you know, weird almost' he nodded in agreement and took the box from me aswell as all the bits I was trying to carry. 'We will get through this day, and then we can spend the rest of our lives trying to make it unweird. Insha'allah everything with be fine, and you know I will always be here for you if you need me.' I laughed 'you better had be' I told him mockingly 'I didnt go through all this for nothing!' Now he laughed, and it was a laugh i had never heard out of him before, it wasnt as strained or tight as previous laughs and at that point I knew everything was going to work out. He stopped in the middle of the street and turned to me 'this will be ok wont it?' at that moment my heart opened with love for the trust that he was putting in Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) to know that marrying me was the right thing to do. I smiled and without even realising what I was doing held his face in my hand 'insha'allah' I told him, he leaned forward and gently kissed the tip of my nose. We both smiled at each other then turned towards the rest of the group who were turning into the restaurant and walked quickly to join them hand in hand.

the day

.... after sitting on the toilet seat for 10mins to allow myself time to relax I stood up and headed out the bathroom once more. Everyone looked at me waiting to see what I would do next, I breathed in and muttered a little duaa under my breath, Davina smiled and pulled me away from the bathroom to sit with a cup of mint tea. They continued to tell me that the relatives had been picked up at the train station, my luggage was officially on the way to the hotel and that the flowers had already been picked up by my future husbands little brother alhamdulillah so there was nothing for me to do other than get ready and arrive on time. It was coming up to nearly 9am and I decided that I wanted to get there early to prepare myself and maybe pray a little before we all sat down. This would be my first muslim wedding to attend and I would have been more excited by that prospect if there wasnt a huge knot in my stomach for the anticipation of the hours to come. While I sat staring out the window at the trees gently blowing in the breeze I heard a little toot toot and looked below to see the usual female cab driver waving up at my bare window. 'Taxi's here!" I shouted to my flat and there was a quick rush around for bags, the last sip of tea, the quick brush of teeth and the look around the flat before I closed the door on that part of my life forever. It got a little emotional and my mum noticed before taking the bag out of my hand and rubbing my back as we walked down the stairs together. At the masjid I saw a few people I knew stood outside and prayed they werent for my wedding, happily I was just being vain as we walked past them with a simple 'Assalamalikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu' and a knowing smile from the daughter who was my age. I stopped in the foyer to fix my hijab and the veil that I had brought with me for the civil ceremony, turning to my friends I told them I wanted to pray for awhile and asked if they could sort out the details of where we had to go afterwards. They agreed and turned on their heels, I looked back to see my mum stood on her own so I walked back to her 'Arent you going with them? or..' I stammered '... do you want to come with me?' I had never even thought to ask her if she wanted to come with me, I couldnt remember a time that my mum had seen me pray, let alone be in a mosque. It was at that point that I remembered my first time in a mosque and kicked myself for being so wrapped up in my own issues than to remember the arkwardness my mother must have felt. 'Ill come with you if thats ok?' she asked waking me from my daydream, I smiled and nodded, then linked her arm and guided her in the direction of the womens prayer area. I had often annoyed myself at my dawah incapabilities with my mother, how I couldnt talk to her about islam and just left her to make up her own opinions as she had already told me she was 'fairly capable of doing!' so I was happy I could do this and smiled to myself as she asked if she needed to cover her head while she came in with me. I told her she didnt have to do anything ghe wasnt comfortable with and that there would be scarves near the doorway if she wanted to wear one, she wrinkled her nose 'eee people have been wearing them, I might get nits' she said quietly. We laughed, then she pulled something from her pocket and told me 'I brought my own, just in case' I gasped when I realised the lavendar silk fabric she was pulling out of her pocket was for her head and I smiled as we took off our shoes and made our way inside. We sat for alittle while and she asked me a few questions about what would be expected of her in the mosque and at the service, I answered the best I could and told her as for the service I didnt even know what was to be expected from me so not to worry. As we sat in silence she pushed me away.. 'go, pray!' she told me, urging me to do what I have intended to come here for, I was sad in a way, I wanted to stay and talk to her about this religion that had pushed me so far away from her yet at the same time had brought us so close together alhamdulillah. I stood up, decided to pray and to pray for her heart to be opened to the beauty of this deen. I went through the motions of salah quietly and smoothly, taking in every position as if it was my last and as I neared the end of my6th rakah I heard a sniffle, those sniffles you have when trying to suck all the tears in so they wouldnt escape. I finished and turned around to see my mother, the woman who had given up so much for me during her life, wiping her eyes and looking for another hankie. I wondered what had caused her emotions to run like this, then I thanked my creator for allowing me this opportunity and asked him to help me make this right. I stood up and started another 2 rakah after checking my watch and noticing that the girls hadnt come back for us just yet. As I sat down for the tashahud at the end of the first rakah I heard the door open and Davina whispered something to my mum then left the room, I heard her stand up and brush herself off then walk over to me. I could feel her eyes watching my every movement, my every breath to the point that I was crying in sujood asking for his help in my life, asking him to open my heart to any test he felt I could withstand, just like I had done the night before when the girls were phoning me from outside my flat. I sat back on the floor asking Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) to bless Muhammed and his family like he had done for Ibrahim and his family, and sent my blessings up to Muhammed (salalahu alayhi wa salam) When I finished I looked to my side to see my mum sat next to me looking down at her hands, she looked over at me and smiled before telling me that the girls were waiting downstairs for us. I stood up and as she looked at me I hugged her and whispered in her ear that I thanked God everyday for bringing her back to me and for allowing her to be with me on this special day. She hugged me back then laughed saying 'come on, before you ruin my makeup, the girls are waiting' :)