Friday, 19 November 2010

And Then There Was. . . . NINE!

I thought getting over Aisha wouldn't prove to be very difficult. I wrong. Very wrong. I had too many how and why questions come up but I really didn't know. One fact that I did know, is that it happened. I had to accept it, and deal with it. Oh, move on too. 

We share a lot of mutual contacts/friends, so her name would always pop up somewhere. I just kept being reminded of her. It was starting to bug me. I tried detach myself of all emotions and feelings. I started to get somewhere.

Since June options had started to surface. I felt quite bitter about everything related to marriage. I just did. I didn't want to pursue anyone. I heard about a few girls interested but I just let it be.

I had told myself that I would now officially be 'riding this single crap out'. (T-shirt material! Hah)

In our lives we're sent with difficulties. At times I felt like I was my threshold kept being broke with something more severe. The whole marriage process just didn't compliment my reality.

So, I gave up on the whole idea of marriage. Lost the complete drive for it. Walking in the streets seeing girls smiling. Muslims and Non-Muslims. My response? Devoid of any feelings or emotions. It was here it hit me. I was lost. Really lost. 10 months ago I was this guy that was Confident. Intelligent. Laid back. Determined. Helpful. Humorous. Full of so much positive energy and hope. With a smile that would make most peoples' day. The majority of that had just sunk.

I've always been regular with my prayer, dawah and classes. They keep me in check, so I can never skimp on them. Whether or not we like it suffering is a part of life. Friends were there but there are times you just don't want to talk. This was one of them. I turned to that one deity I knew best. Allah. Nothing happened for a long time. Things were becoming progressively more difficult. I had to keep my cool, when you become worked up, it doesn't make a situation easier. 

We verily created man and We know what his soul whispereth to him, and We are nearer to him than his jugular vein. [Surah Qhaf:V16]

I kept patient. And more patient. Now check this out.

The opportunity for Umrah arises. I take it without thinking about it. Time to reset myself and reflect on what had happened. 5 weeks. Perfect and beautiful. 

I come back from Umrah. I see smiling faces. Hundreds of them. Friends and family so happy and proud of me. I looked after a number of old people including my two mothers (mum and aunty). They're all so thankful and full of duas.

I graduate too. The only guy to make it from our family. A big, big deal. Again, so many people proud and happy for me.

"You've accomplished a lot for your age. When are you taking the next big step. Marriage?" Almost everyone would ask a question along these lines. Ah, yes. I remember you. The one thing I used to be psyched up about. Well I wasn't feeling so hot about it. I'd always respond with something as short as "Insha'Allah".

One sister contacted me. 'There's this sister who's been on your case for months but I knew you didn't want to consider anyone but she wants a response.' This sister masha'Allah had a lot going for her. Masters degree in Arabic, meant to be nice etc. And I felt that I couldn't consider her. For a number of issues at that moment in time.

I was surprised to find that I had a number of proposals/potentials lined up. There was 9. That's right 9. A very mixed bag of sweets. From a niqaabi/alima to a non-hijaabi. There would have been more on my plate but I managed to convince my teachers that now wasn't the best time.

My sister caught wind of this and so did my friends. I got hell of a blasting all round.

And they all said something similar.

"Allah (swt) may provide you with something good. And that opportunity may never rise again."

I had no come back. Because it's true. They were also right. Who gets 9 in this day and age? 

I found answers. In a good financial position. I know better than before what I want. I am becoming better than that guy 10 months ago. So what's stopping me?


Drum rolls please! 

I had to start again. I know how I ended up in the position I was and that will not happen again. A surge full of energy. I was returning. Better and stronger than before. More mature. Responsible. All the things I used to be 10 months ago, plus more. 

Turn your wounds into wisdom. [Oprah Winfrey]

So, I present to you potential #1. Mum arranged a meet. To say it was wasn't what I expected it to be, is an understatement.

Totally not what I expected. 

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Hmm. It Is What It Is.

Aisha dropped me a message. Just out of the blue. After a long time. "Random, I know but I was just wondering how you were?"

Kept my response short and simple. She said the reason she dropped me a message, was whilst she was clearing her emails she comes across a few from me and she wanted to know how I was doing. And also to apologise.

"I often feel bad. Please forgive me." She said.

That's deep.

Of course I forgive you. Whatever happened, happened. I want you to be happy and I do care for you. I choose not to stay in touch for the greater good. No other reason.

"I hope Allah has replaced with someone better?"

I didn't respond. Allahu Allam.

'It is what it is . . . ' - A killer street saying if I ever heard one.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Eid Mubarak

I just wanted to wish you all a very heart warming Eid Mubarak!

 #34 - A Muslim pilgrim prays at the top of Noor Mountain, on the outskirts of Mecca, Saudi Arabia on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar) 

Whilst I'm here I would really like to thank everyone who have taken the time to comment and email me as of recent. It means a lot to me. Ah.. I love you all!

I'd like to share one of the greatest photography sets I've ever seen. The theme is Hajj 2010. As a keen photographer, I have to say WOW!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A Glimpse Of What's To Come

Dark, dull rainy days. I never liked them. Ever since I was a child. Mum would always force us to go school if we wanted to get somewhere in life.

I always thought to myself I would be like my friends whilst growing up. At 10 years old you tend to think success is based around having a fast car and being able to buy anything you want. I was going to be successful without selling drugs or doing 'bad things' to get there.

When I took that route at a young age, I found that I wasn't with the same friends. I lost nearly all of them. I was always the most popular boy at school. So it was always quite difficult to find that 'balance'.

At home it wasn't much different. My mum was the only other family member that prayed. We wasn't given that luxury of a great upbringing. Father would work several jobs to ensure we lived comfortably. And alhamdulillah - we did. However, we were just thrown into mosque and taught a very negative Islam. My friends would regularly miss mosque to go and drive stolen cars or meet up with girls.

I went through a lot of difficult phases in my (short) life. I grew up in the ghetto. Where the chances of survival by being good were virtually non-existent. The 'religious' folks were a bunch of hypocritical nutters. I used to ask myself why are Muslims are so unfair? At times I found non Muslims more accepting than some Muslims. Something was obviously wrong.

Since then I've been out to set the record straight. Present. I came back to asking myself a similar questions.  This time more serious.

What am I doing with myself? What do I really want in life? How will I achieve it?

I don't want to be amongst these dysfunctional people. I've witnessed a lot in my very short years. I've met some very amazing Muslims. On the contrary, I've met many scary ones.

Islam came as a mercy to mankind. As a guidance. We're responsible and accountable for this responsibility.

So here is what I've doing. I moved back in life. Re-assessed everything. My family. My friends. My belief (deen). I feel I found my deen last time I took a step back but I can only reaffirm my beliefs. It's the reason why I've been off the blogging scene for a while too. I stopped spending a lot of time with friends too. In order to seek answers. I sought seclusion. And it worked.

I am setting out to seek happiness and understanding. Because the world belongs to the energetic. Energy and persistence conquer all things. The real difference between people is energy and understanding. A strong will, a settled purpose, an invincible determination, can accomplish almost anything; and in this lies the distinction between great people and little people. If you ever want something just . . don't give up. Fight for it.

A man must find happiness through understanding and possess a fine amount of self-esteem.

A woman is an integral part of this because for we (men), were once dependant upon a woman to raise us.

Somewhere along the line I fell down. I am standing back up. If anyone intends on becoming an obstacle. Good luck in that. NO ONE is bringing me down. I am out to seek answers.

Watch me do just that.

Ladies and Gentlemen. Boys and Girls. Brothers and Sisters.

SoulSeek is back with a mighty fine smile on his face. Oooo what's that? The dimples are back too!


Saturday, 9 October 2010

Umrah - The Experience Of A Lifetime

There are no words I can find to express my journey. 

It was the most mesmerising 5 weeks of my life. It was also the most testing 5 weeks of my life. The tests, the hardships? None of that mattered. None of that mattered when I first saw the ka'aba.  I used to sit for hours in the blistering heat just gazing at the ka'abah and pondering about the heavens and the earth. Thinking about my life. How it was spent and what needed to be done. The hereafter; what is yet to come. My circles of friends. My relationships with people. How I used to view the world and wider societal issues.

Then there were the 3 superstars of the Ummah there. Sheikh Sudais, Maher and last, definitely not least Salah Al-Budair. 3 of my favourite reciters. I will never forget the Salah's I stood with these men. They brought the Qur'an to life. They brought my teachings to life. From the very little arabic I understood and all my tafsir studies, it was nigh on impossible to stand in Salah without devotion, fear, obedience, happiness and tranquillity.

My baby feet 2 hours after landing in a neighbouring arab country:

I knew it was going to uphill struggle from here. 

In the first week I must have walked over 60 miles, yes my feet were on their way out. Over the 5 week period, I must have walked over 200 miles.

I exceeded my expectations in ibaadah. I did much more umrah's and tawaaf's than I estimated.

I met some amazing people on my journey. Made some really good friends and I met a few notable characters from around the world.

I found clarity, peace and some answers I went looking for.

The number of people exceeded hajj according to pilgrams who had done hajj several times.

It's amazing. At Salah it's the only place in the world where millions of people stop talking. All you can hear are the birds above the ka'abah.

I miss it. I truly do. It's been 3 weeks since I've been back and I'm finding it difficult getting back into the swing of things.

I really wish I could share some experiences, I have enough to write tons on but I've noticed this blog is getting some serious hits from where I reside. If there's one thing I've learnt, word travels very quickly.
Anonymity is a real pain at times.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

A New Chapter

After the last ordeal, I'm in the process of trying to pick myself up and move on. It was a lot more difficult than I imagined. The long sleepless nights. Against your will. Reflecting. Thinking about the smallest and stupidest of things.

Sometimes one just becomes preoccupied in just 'living'. The opportunity of taking some true quality time out to think doesn't present itself. It didn't for me anyhow.

Umrah did a lot for me. It restored my faith in a lot of areas. It provided me with the time, space to think and reflect. Medina was the definition of tranquility. I can't describe my love for Makkah and Medina. It was an experience of a lifetime. I met some amazing people there.

I found answers.

The last 12 months of my life have been indescribable. I've learnt so much about myself. I've also had some of the best moments of my life. I've also faced some of the most difficult ones. It's safe to say that this period defined me as a person. The latter few months were an emotional rollercoaster. This part, I had difficulties in understanding and dealing with. I was never much of an emotional person. I did find it hard to deal with some feelings I hadn't experienced before. Ah well, It's all a part of the experience.

In Makkah and Medina this topic, this topic of girls and marriage found its way everywhere I went. From shop keepers to qur'an hafiz's. Even with people who didn't speak the same language! They would ask by using gestures to ask if I was married like pointing at the ring finger. How ironic. This topic always crept up.

Bringing all this back. My zeal for marriage has pretty much gone. I want to, and I see the importance of it. But I've hit that point in my life where it's time to take a back seat. I've had enough of it.

That energy and attitude I once used to have for this subject is no more.

If a good potential crops up I won't dismiss her but at this moment in time it seems the girls I'm attracting are those that are scared of commitment. I want to get on with things without this becoming the center of attention. This is how it should have always been. There should never be a time where you should exhaust your efforts. As there is generally never a 'right time'.

So here I am. A free soul. Somewhat emotionally distraught. Going with the flow. This is not me giving up. This is me taking a step back. Striving in becoming the man I'm destined to be. A good man. I've seen what it means to be good and I've put it into practice. I have no care or fear of the unseen nor the future of the unseen. I have genuine belief that Allah's roadmap is far better than mine.

Sometimes. Just sometimes. Maybe you don't have to try so hard.

Here. Now. A new chapter begins. Alone with nothing but faith. Nothing but faith. I will succeed Insha'allah. A strong and positive attitude goes a long way. I know, I've done it before.

Peace out,

Walaikum Salaam.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


My last post was, well . . . rubbish.

I didn't get to proof read it and it's not how I wanted to put my message across.

We're all allowed a poor entry - right?

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Why You Don't Want Emotional Baggage

The Romeo inside of me has calmed down. I feel I can see things more clearly. I'd like to share a very valuable lesson that I learnt. Something I could have only learnt by experience.



I'm going to be totally honest. I haven't been feeling great. 
I felt that I could make things better for you.  I don't know why but I just did. 
I felt quite stupid when things ended. 
I said to myself, way to go man, you just wasted a lot of time. 
So much time.
I then remembered. Life is just a journey. 
You played a good part. The lead role in a spectacular finale.
That's all it was. A show.

You taught me patience. You taught me what it would mean to be caring.
You helped me realise what it means to be a man. 
I will never. I repeat, never make the same mistakes again.
I was upset that things didn't work out.
But I was more upset that I didn't take a step back and listen to Allah. 

Emotions. A dear lesson to learn; I've learnt mine. 

 Move on

Inexperienced and young. I'll take take you two and make you mine. Women has never been my field of expertise. On the contrary, from my experiences I honestly thought I was losing my mind when I realised how different women are to us.

I used to have so many problems identifying whether an action was something of her own doing or just how women were. The worst thing you can do is go to friends who are just as dysfunctional as yourself. So yeah, I used to hit up the brothers who had a lot of experience in their previous ghetto (pre-islamic) lives and I must say that I was pretty surprised. There's a big difference between these brothers and me. I had never been in a relationship nor had the experience in dealing women. I was very much like a child that no idea or direction. Just trying to figure out what the deal is in the simplest terms possible.

"No way", "Really", "Are all women like that?" and ermmmm bro "I don't think she can cook" - The list was endless. I have to admit, I really enjoyed it. It was . . . bizarre and funny. The women I've had in my life are Mum, Sisters, Sister In-Laws and Cousins. I had never experienced this. I had a lot of good times and bad times.

Looking back at Aisha, cool sister. Only way I can summarise her. But boy did this girl have issues.We all have some kind of emotional baggage, it's only normal. But some men/women have far too much. Some of the things Aisha told me, I felt so sorry for her. I had started to lower my expectations significantly. I became  lenient in the expectations for her behaviour and what I wanted. I felt like I had to be there for her.

She was and is emotionally broken. I'm sorry, I really wish I could say this in a nice way but I cannot. Her attitude and outlook rung true. I could feel her weight bringing me down. My frowns were more apparent than my smiles. I wish I could face the people that made her life like this, deal with them and fix her but I couldn't.

Every single day I felt like I wasn't only helping her through hardship, I was fighting against her past. All her demons. She had a lot of demons. Fighting this war nearly took me hostage. Every time her world went down, I would be the one to help her pick it up. At times she would use that regression against me. I became fed up with the situation but here is my where weakness lied. I saw some kind of happiness and I thought I could help bring that out in her. However, these people need help from those who deal with issues like these and sometimes, even then, they can't be fixed. It is the sad truth.

My heart goes out to women like these, it really does. But sometimes it's too much.

I felt like a youth worker. Helping a seriously troubled girl. Jeeez, I didn't sign up for this. I only wanted to marry her.

I ask myself; If I felt like this now, how would it be like in a marriage? Maintaining a healthy marriage is hard enough. Doing it with all the bad/evil people from her past. It's not a fight anyone should face given the option. I want to be happy.

"Marry someone with low mileage, a functioning human being with healthy self-esteem. They need less maintenance." [Marty Carr]

Straight up. I don't need emotional baggage. I've come to the understanding now and this girly girl was not for me.

Have faith in Allah. Everything does happen for a reason. 

So here I go again. Sigh. Hustlin' 'n bustlin' solo. Who am I kidding? I love it.


Thursday, 5 August 2010

Oh What's This? Visa Confirmed For Umrah Baby!

I don't think I can post a smile big enough. Okay maybe I can but it's going to make your screen scroll! :)

I can't wait

Approximately a month ago my mother asked me if I could do her a favour. "Of course, anything for you mum." I said. "I know you're really busy and so much is happening but it would be a dream if you could take me to the house of Allah for ramadhan, what do you think?" she said with uncertainty. I hesitated for a moment. "Mum, only if we go for the whole month?"

So here we are. Our Visas have been confirmed and we'll be spending the whole month of Ramadhan there. Insha'allah I'll be sitting Iti'kaaf in the prophets masjid for the last 10 days.

Words cannot describe how excited I am! I need this. So much. I've had a good year. A very interesting year. I've learnt a lot. I've come to a better understanding that it is my destiny to stand up for the truth and do good. My imaan is pumped for a recharge.

This will give me a lot of time to reflect. More importantly read and study the qur'an. I will make lots of notes so that it may help me with future posts and daw'ah insha'Allah. I will be making dua for you all, the ummah.

It's time to put those heavy gym sessions to the test. See how many rakats I can pray and how many tawaafs I can perform.

I am busy but I have an urge to drop something that's been on my mind. Insha'allah if I can finish up my work and priorities on time I'll be sure to drop it.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Aisha And The First Experience Revisited

A year older. A year wiser. What have I learnt?

The chapter of Aisha has settled. I decided it was important to stick to my guns and close contact. It's difficult to say goodbye in these situations but sometimes we have to do it for the sake of our own benefit.

Ah, that empty feeling all over again. I see why so many young muslims give in. A horrible feeling. Alhamdulillah. I feel like going to this one spot; gazing at the city and the stars. It's perfect for reflection but the weather has been terrible over this past week.

Whilst I want to spend more time with the brothers, I haven't really had the time to do so. It's time to reflect, make preparations and promises to Allah just like I did last year. Ramadhan is upon us.  

I was just reading and reminiscing on the entry that I had wrote last year. The premise of kicking off this blog. The first experience. I'd like to ask myself something. Just one simple question. What on earth was I thinking? Seriously. I'm going to sit here and start a verbal tirade with myself. I understand and see my justification but just reflecting back and looking at everything, at face value. Wow. I'm not afraid to say it. I was an idiot. Allahu Akbar. What did I see in her? She could bring me absolutely nothing.

The biggest mistake you can make is to be always right. Wise people sometimes change their mind, fools never do.

It just goes to show that no matter how intelligent and educated you are, there are some things that one can never account for. Experience.

A terrible decision on my part. Just comparing to say, the likes of Husna, the difference apart is day and night. Subhaan'allah. Moving back to my home city, I didn't quite realise how much better I could do. In every single department. The most important being deen. I have to just laugh at myself. Even my sister had a good laugh at my expense. "My brother, what were you thinking? Firstly, you idiot, you almost compromised the fundamentals of what you believed in. Secondly, ewww." I thought that was pretty harsh but fair. She continued "We all have to go through this stage to realise what we want". I can't disagree there big sis.

I really forgot my value. I forgot what I could achieve. I forgot how important this decision was.

However, my creator. My sustainer. My provider. Allah, had answered my dua's without me realising. A wonderful example of istikharaa working. When we do the dua, we ask Allah. We ask Allah for help and guidance. Surely he delivers.

We ask him:

"O Allah! I seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power (and Might) I seek strength, and I ask from You Your Great Blessings, because You have the Power and I do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, and You have knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah! If in Your Knowledge this action (which I intend to do) is better for my religion and faith, for my life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then make it destined for me and make it easy for me and then add blessings [baraka'] in it, for me. O Allah! In Your Knowledge if this action is bad for me, bad for my religion and faith, for my life and end [death], for here [in this world] and the hereafter then turn it away from me and turn me away from it and whatever is better for me, ordain [destine] that for me and then make me satisfied with it."

So glad tidings to you all. A reminder, an important message to share. This goes out, first and foremost to myself. Don't despair. Don't be impatient. Don't forget your value. Allah is always listening. Remember your vision. Your vision for the dunya, your children and the life after. Understand that Allah never forsakes a believer. Learn from my experiences and my errors. Granted, sometimes you have to experience this for yourself but that doesn't stop you from preparing.

I pray that Allah helps us in becoming more patient and steadfast. For he too, wants the best for us; just like the women that give birth to us.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

The one experience to change them all, Aisha - Part 2

Part 1

Monday, 28 June 2010

SoulSeek & Geetar Hiro are going on a break!

Assalamu Alaikum y'all,

I know how you've all been waiting for Part 2 of the Aisha story but in all honesty I just haven't been able to get round to writing it up. It's ironic how I was looking forward to the holidays and I haven't been able to do the things I've wanted to do!

A group of us are setting off on a wild camping road trip somewhere outside of the UK. I haven't seen my sweet brother in a while. I'll be setting off soon for a very long drive to his house and then from there we leave at fajr tonight :D

It's definitely going to be one for the books!

I feel frustrated. I want to ride out this whole being single thing. Young muslim women in the west are no longer serious. Okay, who am I kidding? Whilst it sounds cliché there is some truth in that. I really need some time off. It's the first time out of the country since I last went umrah, when I was a young kipper 6, almost 7 years ago. Wow. The phone will be on flight mode (oh, how I've dreamt of doing that for extended periods to block all forms of communication!) throughout the whole trip but whilst everyone is asleep I'll be able to start writing a few notes on my iPhone ;)

You will all be in our dua's insha'allah. When I return, I'll be working on part 2 and I'll try to post it for Sunday. I won't make the mistake of rushing it again.

'til then habibis.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

The one experience to change them all, Aisha - Part 1

I had major difficulties in writing this entry. On many occasions, I had just stopped, not knowing how to continue. You can imagine how long this took to put together. I initially decided to leave this out. However, I felt there are some extremely important lessons for me to reflect upon. Especially for me in becoming this man I'm destined to be. Structuring a frenzied 8 months into an entry. There's a lot of details I have to leave out in order to post a consumable entry and to protect her. Recalling difficult events. Good and bad times. On the one girl that managed to penetrate my armour. I'm telling you now. I can't write or do this experience justice. But I'll try.

I just had to walk into the most complicated situation. After all, those words are synonymous to my life.

A battle of optimism over scepticism. A war of emotions. A playground of confusion.

Two popular people at University. Different people. Different experiences. Different pasts. Different Interests. Big personalities. Big feelings. Sharing a lot of mutual acquaintances and friends. Difficulties in communication.

Time to put the kettle on again. I've been here a long time, yours shouldn't be as long. I have put the pieces together as promised.

Aisha. I just have to smile whenever I mention her. A situation that I can't quite label. Bizarre or fate. Frustrating or funny. Heartbreaking or every one of them, you decide.

It all began when I first met Aisha. Aisha got involved when a brother told me about Husna. In order to aid his efforts in helping me, he asked for Aisha's assistance to help me and Husna get in contact.

I was in the library when I was first introduced to her. When I first saw Aisha, there was a moment of silence in my head. "Why had I never seen this girl before?". She was dressed ever so modestly and she was ever so shy. That smile. Dammit. She asked me a few questions to get me in contact with Husna. You know that really guilty feeling of being human and liking someone? I think that just happened. I heard a lot about Husna but I just wanted to know more about Aisha. I spoke to the brother and I enquired about Aisha instead. He started laughing, he said she was one of the coolest sisters ever. He told me to make a decision between Aisha and Husna. How could I? I didn't know either of them. I had nothing to go off.

I had heard a lot about Husna. I heard she was this beautiful, elegant woman that possessed all those qualities guys would want in a wife. Aisha was different. Aisha was this really down to earth girl, who had recently come back to the deen with this personality, and this smile. A smile that made me smile. This one smile that complicated a situation. I later told her that her smile would eventually get her into a lot of trouble.

She would regularly ask if I had considered the situation with Husna more and if she could be of assistance. She did not know Husna very well as she was at a different University. She was 'just tryna help a brother out'. Bless her.

I decided to just ask around for basic information. Whilst in the quest of doing some research on them both I became acquainted with Aisha in the Islamic Society. I started to learn a lot about her. She was very different from a lot of girls. She had been through experiences that I could relate to. I felt like I understood her misfortune and pain.

I knew once I had made a decision that was it. After all, if things didn't work out, no one wanted to be second best. Right?

At the time I felt rather confused. Looks wise they were both beautiful in their own ways. Aisha stood out at first, she was someone I had seen in person. Different to what I usually like but that smile, ha. Husna, I could only go by her pictures. She was also beautiful but I think my preference lied with Aisha for some reason. I had to start making istikhara to make my intentions clear. Ah Allah. You always answer.

Aisha wrote an article about this young girls experience at University. The article was about a girl who went to uni and enjoyed all the little fun things girls do when they move away from home. Hanging out, shopping and just enjoying life. Something that became short lived until she lost someone very close to her. Due to that experience she felt like she had lost everything. Until she remembered something a friend told her. She had turned to Allah in desperation and that's where her journey had begun. This girl went to Umrah and made a new clean start.

That article was about Aisha. Call it intuition but I always felt like that story was about her. When she told me. I asked her about who had died? She said no one died. That only led to one answer. A past relationship. For me, that was my istikhara answered.

I had never been in a past relationship and in my mindset, I've always wanted someone of a similar calibre. Somewhat understandable . .  right?

This is where the chapter of Husna had begun. (More here).

After things didn't work out and I remember when I first saw Husna. She had this presence like no other woman. I didn't realise how beautiful she was in person. I think my feelings just took a beatdown like Mosley got from Mayweather (Ouch!!)

When things ended with Husna. You guessed it . . Aisha was on my mind. I had sat down and carefully contemplated what had happened. I thought to myself "What if, this whole time Husna was just another experience to help me realise what I want?". I was right. Husna had some beautiful qualities, without a shadow of doubt, a bit too textbook. But Aisha . . she was real. She had a lot of faults but she had some many qualities I admired.

I thought to myself how on earth could I approach Aisha now? Surely this felt wrong. Wrong by whose standard though? I contemplated. And I contemplated some more. It took over a month to work things out.

Aisha's situation was volatile. I remember her once telling me she was going to give in to her parents and just get married from back home 'cause her friend had convinced her. Alarm bells started ringing in my head. Yup, yup . . you know what pursued next! I felt like if I didn't do anything now, nothing would happen. What was I thinking?

I asked to have a few minutes with her in the library before an event. My heart was beating at an illegal speed. I remember and I remember well. That smile creeped up. That damn smile! I forgot almost everything I wanted to say. I started of by telling her how she had been open and transparent with me, it would only be fair if I did the same from a prospective of being honest. I then said to her . . . "Yo sister, is your dad a terrorist? Cause you da bomb!"

Sorry, I joke haha! (At my own jokes, I know - terrible!). I've always just wanted to say that.

I asked her if she'd consider the idea of marriage if I were to propose my intentions to her. I obviousl

Allow me to define the word shock:-
– noun
A sudden and violent blow or impact; collision.

A sudden violent blow . . That sounds about right. This girl just froze in front of me. She was like "Is that Saddam Hussein on the documentary?" on a TV behind me. I started laughing thinking "oh my god". The randomness just threw me completely off guard. It took her a few minutes to compose herself. She was like but you and Husna? She knew that things didn't work out a few weeks prior but she asked again. She seriously did not know what to say. I told her to think about it and away we went to the event.

It took her a few days for things to sink in. She still could not believe it. At all.

She responded a few days on by asking me to be patient with her.

The tale is about to begin y'all :)

And So It Begun
At face value I thought this girl was simple. Boy was I in for a treat.

Her situation was something I cannot share but I can tell you it was a very, very unfortunate and unique situation. You know you hear about some people and you think "Subhaanallah!" and then "rather you than me". Aye, that was her. She had oppressive parents, really unfortunate circumstances and no one who could be her mahram to help us. I set out to find out more about her reality before I could help her.

It took her a few days for things to sink in. "Seriously, what does a guy like you see in me?". And a flurry of similar questions. One day at University in the evening, it was very quiet. She said she wanted to ask me something, I thought it was just a query or quick question. She laid out everything on the table. She freestyled for a long time. I paid attention and listened carefully. She confided and told me things that most would not tell their best friends. A lot of questions arose. One after another.

"A lot of my friends really like you, you'd be better suited to someone more pious."
"You can do so much better."
"You're in a completely different league. A real intellectual."
"I've got a lot of problems."

And so on. That didn't stop me at all. She continued. After hearing what she had been through, she broke into tears and started to cover her face with her hijaab.

I think my heart just sunk. I was helpless. Useless. I always have something to say or do to make someone feel better but I could do nothing. I really didn't know what to do. That feeling, that feeling of just wanting to hug someone. I had to move my chair back. I really didn't expect this. She started apologising. I told her to take her time. I had to leave her until she composed herself. This was definitely one of those situations in making the best of a very dire situation.

She continued. "This is what I mean, I'm broken." She told me to walk away as I had no idea what I was walking into. I'll be honest. I could have walked into an easier situation. But I didn't. Why accept easy when it can be challenging?

The next day she apologised for displaying so many insecurities and shouldn't have told me of the things she did. I assured her it wasn't a problem. My respect for her had grown.

The First Strike - Lack Of Compatibility
Aisha. A young woman who had had no intention of getting married any time soon, who had put very little thought into something that seemed so distant. As great as it sounded, she feared the idea. Aisha became very, very confused.

Her friends didn't make matters easier. You know the type. Some find joy in clubbing whilst others religiously watch eastenders. This was not going to be an easy task. This became a frustration quickly. They were telling her some really ignorant things of how things 'should be'. Catch 21 situation. Whilst they are her friends and she should keep better company. That wasn't the issue. Practising muslim sisters were not better company. All the back-biting and rumours they were spreading about brothers and sisters in University, the hypocrisy was just as bad. I just had to accept that I had a lot of work ahead of me. 

I gained some references that confused me too. She did something questionable. Something that hurt me but I was unable to confirm this in order to protect the one person she spoke to. I was advised she was lovely girl but extremely confused. Due to this, my attitude towards her had changed. I became difficult. As time progressed we started to become frustrated with each other. We were on a completely different level. She started to become uncomfortable around me.

I made a big mistake. I started to compare her to Husna. I became really lost. I had feelings for her but I felt like she could offer me nothing. I felt like I was doing all the work. I knew what I wanted. She had no idea.

Over a short amount of time. Matter got progressively worse. She sent me an email saying she felt we were both incompatible and that she was in no position to consider marriage. She felt the experience had encouraged her to think more about her future.

It was over.

First Husna and now her. I felt like a truck just crushed me. If I could talk of the external issues paired up with how I got completely shafted at University. Ah, I had a lot to be sad about. It was a very difficult time. This one cheerful character was slowly letting his smile down.

"By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail" - Benjamin Franklin

Had it not been for Islam. I think I would have broke. By nature, words like defeat have no place in my life. However, sometimes we choose to accept it when the going gets tough. Establishing Salah 5 times a day and keep faith in Allah whilst things are going good or bad is when perseverance takes place. Regardless of how I felt, I've always had to fulfil my obligations. For:

“How wonderful is the case of a believer; there is good for him in everything and this applies only to a believer. If prosperity attends him, he expresses gratitude to his Lord and that is good for him; and if adversity befalls him, he endures it patiently and that is better for him.” - [Muslim]

Islam is truly like no other when calamity befalls a person. Allah tests a believer with just about what he can handle. It's quite amazing really. He helps those in need. Yet he also tests them. I just about hanged in there. The gym paired up with very heavy weights seriously helps with that rage that builds up. Alhamdulillah, I wasn't prepared to fail any time soon.

Whilst I could justify all my actions. I felt like things could have ended better. There were still a lot of frustrations, feelings and loose ends in the air. I wanted some kind of closure. I arranged to speak with her.

When we got the opportunity to do so. All those frustrated feelings I had about her? Vanished. I don't know how but they did.

We talked and we come to the conclusion that because of how we were introduced and how things went, it made the situation extremely uncomfortable. How could we find out if we were compatible if we never got the opportunity to work things out?

We agreed to leave the whole marriage thing on the back burner and leave it til after University.

Yeah right . . like that was going to happen!

The Second Strike - No Chemistry
Overcoming the 'awkwardness' was very difficult. Things always felt awkward around her. We could never talk like we did. But we tried. Whenever I would see her, I would start to act a little weird and I would become this really reserved character. She would do the same. From this outspoken character to a quiet blushing boy. It was funny, the 2 brothers that knew would tease me with that ever so annoying "awwww".

I had a lot of personal problems and questions I needed to overcome. Like whether a past relationship was really a problem for me? Seeing past certain issues that I cannot go into. I was really stuck. By default I talked to a lot of people. Portraying scenarios so that I may learn a thing or two. I had a lot of conflicting answers. I was on the fence.

Whenever we used to talk it always revolved around her problems. I was always more than happy to help to anyone in need and I helped her a lot. Whilst in this process I started to nitpick and find a lot of things I disliked in her how she did things. The lack of patience with matters and so on. Did I forget she was human? Did I also forget she was trying?

I was looking for reasons of why this shouldn't work. With that very clever dude helping you called Shaitaan, boy . . it's an easy game to play. I felt like I had no reason to pursue this.

We were both at a stage where we denied feelings for each other. I was doubting if she liked me.

The whole 'lack of chemistry' became overused.

We initially said to leave the situation after University. But we somehow went down that path of talking about compatibility. We felt chemistry was something that came naturally. We both used it as an excuse.

I wanted some kind of closure. I felt overwhelmed and under pressure for a number of reasons. She was also under a lot of pressure too. We really knew how to shoot each other and ourselves in the foot. Oh, say hello to the tippin point!

We left things for a while. I did a lot of thinking and I felt that I really didn't want to her workload/problems - If anything, I wanted to remove the one pressure that I could. Me. Despite all the things that had happened. I had a lot of feelings for this girl. I would never do anything to jeopardise or compromise a situation for her. I had to resort to the one entity where I knew I could seek guidance. Allah. I did istikhara. Here is the decision that: I Made.

I took up the plan. Alhamdulillah. I told Aisha about the confused feelings I had. Also how Husna appeared in my dream, How awkward! I told her my thoughts on how both of our istikhara's could have meant that we were not meant to be. I also told her I did not feel the way I used to. We were both good people but just not for each other. I also found her difficult to understand and there was no incentive to persevere.

She said she could not honestly find a fault within me. And I deserved far better. She also felt she wasted a lot of my time. Experience is never a waste Aisha. Never.

A weight was off my shoulders. The Husna Revisited episode had begun.

As I had just cleared up the Husna issue.

Aisha told me she had feelings for me.

That changed everything. Ev-er-ry-thing.

Part 2

Monday, 31 May 2010

Husna Revisited

Remember the plan? What plan? Come on guys, ya know: this one!

I proceeded with the plan and its pretty funny how things work out. Funny now, because I can only look back and move forward.

I contacted Husna and laid out everything on the table. I shared my thoughts and told her how how I felt. I shared how these weren't just emotional feelings after a bollywood special. This was something serious. I explained how I was making a stand for something I believed and what I wanted. (Sounds good, right?)

Que the wait . . the anticipation of waiting for a response was a killer! Her response was as follows. She was really shocked and it took her a while to sink in and she shared similar sentiments BUT (there's always that damn but) whilst she felt we got on really well and had similar future goals her issue was familiy. Now this is where I'm profoundly confused.

She said how things didn't go ahead because her parents felt uncomfortable, she took that as a sign from Allah. She said she felt she shouldn't have to persuade her family because if there is blessing in it, Allah will make it easy.

Now I'm not the smartest guy but I completely disagree! If something is by the decree of Allah (i.e this situation) it doesn't always fall into place. You have to work for your rizq (provisions).

So I asked her a few questions and I received a response. Unfortunately she really didn't want to see outside of the box and gave no indication of wanting it to work.

So there you have it. The chapter of Husna has been closed. I have so much respect for her and I pray Allah finds her someone equally as decent.

How did I feel? A strange feeling.You know how I carried out the first part of the plan? I thought it worked until Aisha struck a chord back. Conveniently just as I was responding to Husna. She didn't accept things this time. She fought back. She changed my feelings for her.

Aisha's story is by far the most compelling experience to date. This girl is special in a very different way. I'm having difficulties in writing an entry for this one. I never thought I would encounter that problem.

Females, you are interesting creatures.

Saturday, 29 May 2010


Assalaamu Alaikum my cronies, long time! 

I walked out of my last exam and this is how I felt:


It is the end of an epiiiiiiiiiic era. I really can't believe it. The feeling hasn't quite sunk in yet, I'm still celebrating with the joys of finishing Uni and the company of brothers. We've been through some crazy times together. Good and Bad. I don't think I would have quite made it without key characters I've met in my journey. They've helped me see things more clearly especially when it came to the biggest headache of a single muslims' life; marriage. Throughout the whole year we've all been there for each other with failure. Alhamdulillah . . I love brotherhood! All those missions of hanging out with the brothers til 7am talking about Islam and helping each other. Crazy times indeed. They've been there for me during exam stress, girl issues, last minute dissertation proof reading panics and so many other ventures. Ah, may Allah bless each and every one of them with beautiful wives and children.

This year of University was by far the most testing year I've had in my life.I've never had so much attention from girls and I've never had so many offers to consider. It has been an extremely confusing yet strangely, an educating time. News to me, apparently I picked up the nickname pretty boy amongst 'sisters'. As you can imagine . . that in itself is a price to pay. Girls talk. And they make up a lot of stories too. Alhamdulillah, Allah protects those whom he loves and my reputation precedes itself so any rumours have died wherever they spawned from.

I just can't believe how much I have learnt this year. A very different experience.

Its kind of hit me. Like seriously . . where do I go from here? I knew what I wanted to do and who I wanted be a year ago. I still have a good idea . . but it's quite scary when you actually have to make a decision!

Ultimately as humans our experiences help shape our future. The people we should be. Who sets that criteria? You. I'm still finding my purpose and what I can achieve. The sky is the limit.

This chapter of my life is coming to close and new a one begins. Oh my days! I'm growing up and becoming one of them dreaded things - A MAN!!! 

So where does marriage come into this? Boy . . lol. Deep breath. You know what? Stick around. I've got a lot to say ;) 

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Change is good! Is it? Yes!! No!! Maybe!! I Don't Know!! (Can you repeat the question?)

You're not the boss of me now,
You're not the boss of me now,
You're not the boss of me now,
And you're not so big!

You're not the boss of me now,
You're not the boss of me now,
You're not the boss of me now,
And you're not so big!

Life is unfair...

(Love Malcolm in the Middle!)

Anyway, I recently changed my job a few weeks ago. Alhamdulillah, I had been head-hunted and asked to work for an opposing company. I met with the employer over lunch and he explained to me the benefits he would give. Big pay rise, less work. Sounded good already. What was the catch? He carried on. Free iphone. Cheap phone contract. He'd buy me an outfit. In fact, two suits; so that I can look like a real professional. There was a cheap car leasing plan further down the line. Discounts on the best flights, hotels, cruises and even a monthly lunch allowance! So what would I have to sacrifice, I asked. "I know that you get 29 days holiday a year in your current job. Here, I'm only offering you 20 days holiday per year".

Sounds like a compromise.

But a compromise that I can accept. I guess this change is good. I get to work in a nice location, with a nice team and a very chilled out environment. A couple weeks into my new job, and I get a phone call from another company saying that they want me to work for them. I couldn't really speak to her as my boss was stood next to me at the time. So I took her number to give her a call back later.

Looks like the compromise I accepted has led on to much better things. And looks like the initial change initiated even more change; which was again, good.

But not all change is good.

Let me tell you a story of a potential that I am so glad I left behind.

This is a story of "Khadijah".

Khadijah was the girl that I was set up with about a year back. In fact, my brother set us up. She lived in Ireland, so she was quite a distance away. But I didn't mind that fact. We were both marriage seekers and we were both keen on the idea of getting to know each other. We had checked each others' stats, and things looked good.

Since I didn't want to waste time and money with international-rate phone calls, we arranged for her to immediately come to UK so that we could meet face-to-face and see where that takes us. Since that was the plan, I restricted all communication with her because I wanted to save it all for the real thing. I paid for her flight and arranged accommodation at my parents' house - luckily, my parents only live around the corner from me, so it made things easy in terms of communication. Unfortunately, my parents had left the country on holiday, but at least my brothers and sisters were around to meet this girl.

I picked her up from the airport and took her to a restaurant which I knew had some good food. Conversation was good - we seemed to hit it off quite well with each other.

On the drive home, we talked about a lot of things. In fact, too many things (in my opinion). She declared that she didn't want to have kids until she finished her studies. That would have been 3 years at least. A bit long for a guy my age! Then she said that she didn't want to wear a jilbab. I thought that this was quite a strange statement to make. So I briefly looked at her and said "...o....kay". She went on to say that she had seen my mother and sisters all wearing jilbab on facebook, and she felt that she was not ready to wear one (even though she wears a hijab). I was slightly confused as to why she was being so forward with everything - it was the first time we had met in real life.

So I asked her why she wouldn't wear one (out of curiosity). She said that as a medic, it would be difficult to wear one and that all the other Muslim medics would not wear a jilbab either. I started to smell something funny. Smelt like bull excrement. My sister works in a lab, yet she dons the jilbab. Also, a previous potential that my mother wanted me to hook up with was also studying in the medical department and was still able to wear a jilbab in the lab. So I told her about my sister and my previous potential. Then she changed her reason - to the fact that she was not ready to wear it yet. Ok. So why not just say that in the first place? She was putting all the cards on the table when it came to everything else (like having babies), yet she had to cover up the fact that she was not ready to wear jilbab. Was she trying to deceive me?

I then talked about how some people change quickly, while other need time. And that change is dependant on many things, such as support from family, the environment and that the individual also has to want to change; and exert some sort of effort into changing, if that is what they want to do. I decided to overlook this weird conversation and carried on talking about other things instead. But no matter how hard I tried, I could not forget about this conversation.

I brought her back to my parents' house to meet my younger sisters, but she acted really strange around them. For starters, she would not even sit with them. My sisters were young teenagers. The shyest and least-intimidating girls I know! Yet for some reason, Khadijah didn't even want to sit down with them. Instead, she just wanted to go to her room. Fair enough. I guess. She did have to fly for a whole hour or so to get to the UK! lol. So I showed Khadijah to her room and told her that she need not worry about any formalities. I told her to raid the kitchen for food if she was hungry. I told her that in the morning, she should ask my sister to prepare some sort of breakfast for her. Or just do everything herself - whichever she was more comfortable with. Her response: "I'm too shy to do that. I'm not leaving this room until you come in the morning and knock on my door".

You what??

Confusion struck. And many thoughts started flowing through my mind. Well, doesn't she have to pray? I know there's no en-suite in that room, so she has to leave. But then again, what if it is her time of the month? Ok, make 40 excuses for her and give her the benefit of the doubt. I didn't want to think too much about it, so I left her to her room and went back to my house.

I couldn't help thinking whether Khadijah was serious or not about not leaving her room until I knock on her door. So I decided to test her. I had told her that I would come back at around 8am for breakfast. But I purposely stayed in bed until around 10am. Then I called my sister to find out if Khadijah had eaten. "No", was the reply. So I asked my sister to knock on the door and ask Khadijah to come downstairs to eat. My sister replied that Khadijah was waiting for me to come first before she comes out of her room. Surely, that is weird behaviour. Please tell me if it isn't.

So I slowly made my way to my parents house. I got there and found out there was no food worthy of a good breakfast. So I decided to take her out to eat. Luckily, my local Tesco's has a nice restaurant where we can sit and talk.

We engaged in some serious conversation - including topics such as what our parents would think about us getting together, where we would live and problems and obstacles that we may see on the way. Seems like there were many problems that would get in our way.

I asked her what her parents would think of me. And what they would think about the man who is going to marry their daughter, yet cannot even speak their language. "I'm willing to do everything to convince my parents that you are the best man for me. I'm ready to convince them, I'm ready to cry."

Woah, woah, woah. What was that last bit? Ready to cry? As in, baby tantrum when she doesn't get her own way, kind of crying? Surely not. I can't expect that from someone intelligent enough to study medicine. So I said nothing and let her carry on speaking.

Then, she wanted me to move back to her homeland after her studies. Me - move to her homeland? Is she crazy? How on earth can I financially survive in a land I know nothing about? Surely we should go where the rizq lies? And since I would be the breadwinner, and I am already in a job and loving my career, wouldn't it make sense that she relocates to wherever I am working? Or is that just being insensitive?

She was happy about the idea of me uprooting and leaving my career here in the UK and starting again from scratch in her motherland. However, when I suggested the opposite - that she moves to the UK, her reaction was to break down and cry. "You want me to choose between you and my mother?", she said while crying. I didn't respond. That's because I was thinking about the previous statement she made which has been permanently scarred into my memory - the fact that she was willing to cry to get her own way. So I stood my ground (naturally). "I can't find a job in (your motherland). It's too difficult", I said. "It took me years to be where I am now - I can't just let that all go. And besides, this type of business is not as financially rewarding in (the motherland) as it is here in the UK".

I explained how the duty of the husband is to be responsible for putting food on the table, and that I was not convinced that I could make any business in her motherland. I explained that I didn't want to be supported by her, or her family. I explained that I didn't want to even think about moving to her motherland until I had secured at least a well-paid job there. While I was explaining this, I watched as she struggled to stop the tears running down her face. I know she was trying to lay on the guilt. And I totally did not appreciate this.

So we came to a compromise. I would look for work in her motherland, but before that, nothing were to happen between us.

When I finally managed to stop her from crying, I went back to my house to pick up my wallet (she paid for breakfast that morning as I had forgotten to bring my wallet). As I entered my parents' house, I saw my brother downstairs (the one who set us up) and I told him that Khadijah had been crying. He quickly asked me to bring her in so that he could cheer her up. He showed her his wedding pictures and got her to smile again.

Then Khadijah asked me to take her shopping to buy some ingredients as she wanted to cook dinner for me that evening. I obliged and took her to town. As we drove around, I was showing her my favourite places to go for a run, walk and hang out. Turns out she doesn't like sports. It makes her 'sweaty'. Looks like we actually have nothing in common.

When we got to town, we were walking around and she felt kinda peckish. Normally, I would take my friends to a nice halal place which does chicken tikka paninis. The best ones I have ever tasted. But I was starting to dislike this girl. So I started thinking of where the worst place is that I could take her. To give her a little hint. McDonald's and Burger King came to mind! Firstly, they don't have any halal stuff, apart from the fish burgers and vegetarian options. Secondly, their fish burgers and vegetarian options were disgusting! lol. So naturally, I took her to one of these fast food restaurants. I wasn't that hungry for this type of food, so I didn't order anything for me.

I thought she would be repulsed by this gesture or at least get the hint that I was not interested in impressing her any more. But she wasn't, and didn't.

When we got to the shops, I told her that I would like olives in my salad. I absolutely love olives! And you can mix pineapples in the salad as well to make an absolutely gorgeous salad, but she was having none of it! She refused to even try olives in the salad.

It was then that I realised that she refused a lot of things. She refused to compromise on a lot of things. She refused to even TRY things. So far, she has refused to have kids before she finishes her studying, refused to try to attempt wearing a jilbab, refused to leave her bedroom for breakfast, refused to relocate to the UK, refused to try certain sports, refuse to try certain foods... where will it end? She refused to change even one aspect of her life.

And at the same time, she was demanding that I change every aspect of my life. She's asked me to change my job, change my career, change my lifestyle, change my home, change my relationship with my family, change my music taste, the way I drive and even change the foods that I eat.

I thought change was supposed to be good? If it's supposed to be good, then it sure don't feel like it!

I was starting to feel very uncomfortable with her.

Later that evening, Khadijah was cooking and as she was finishing cooking, she informed me that it would be about five minutes before the curry would be done, so all I had to do was to turn off the gas. Then, she went upstairs to take a shower. My little brothers and sisters started eating as soon as the food was done which disappointingly left me and Khadijah as the only ones who had not eaten yet. Big sis came to parents' house. I had asked her to sustain the one and a half hour drive back to parents' house to help me bring Khadijah back to the airport; as at the same time, I had to pick up my parents from a different airport which was in totally the opposite direction. Oh by the way, Khadijah had refused to let my big sis take her to the airport. But this time, I forced her to accept. I called out to big sis to come join us to eat, but she either didn't hear or pretended not to hear, thinking that she was doing me a favour by leaving me to eat alone with Khadijah. (Big sis later confirmed that she did not hear me, but would have joined us at the table if she had heard us).

Dinner was very awkward. I could not think of any good conversational topics to cover. I'm normally a very talkative person. But that night, I was struggling. On top of that, the food wasn't that great either. lol. It's not as good as mum's cooking. Heck, it wasn't even as good as MY cooking! hehe. But that's minor anyway.

After dinner, I asked Khadijah what she wanted to do. She was like "ermmm....", so I suggested that she go watch X Factor with my sisters. She refused. By this time, I was tired of hearing her refuse things. I mean, X Factor is so funny to watch! Simon Cowell makes some proper snide comments and it is such a laugh! Note: I'm not angry that she is not interested in X Factor. I'm just frustrated that she won't do anything with anyone but me.

So, I had a brainwave. I would tell her that I am tired and that I wanted to sleep. That would send her to her room. And I would avoid having to converse with her about nothing. Try that - conversing about nothing, with long awkward gaps in between. It's excruciatingly painful. Only problem was that it was only about 8pm. Who the hell sleeps at 8pm? 12 years olds. Not people like me. Soulseek knows that I only sleep about 5 hours a night. Seven hours if I want to treat myself. I knew it was a long shot, but I thought I would give it a go. So I told her that I was tired and that I wanted to sleep. She became disappointed. And said that she wanted me to stay up so that we could chat.

You what??

Chat? How can you chat with someone you have nothing in common with? It's like putting an ASBO kid together with a professor and telling them that they have to converse. It wasn't happening. So I told Khadijah that I have to pick my parents up from the airport early next morning and that I should have an early night. Luckily, she bought it. She went up to her room and instructed me to come see her before I leave the next day, as she was also leaving at the same time to go back to Ireland. I agreed.

Then she pleaded with me again. "Why can't YOU take me to the airport and let your sister pick up your parents?" - a question she had asked me before. I wasn't in the mood for negotiation. "Ermm... my car is bigger than my sister's car and my parents have a lot of luggage". "So why can't your sister take your car and you take hers?". "Cos I'm not insured to drive her car". Luckily, that was true so I didn't have to lie. Sure, it's true that my car was bigger than my big sis' car, but you could have easily fit my parents and their luggage plus driver in either car. But she didn't need to know that, did she?

The next morning, I came back to my parents' house to say goodbye to Khadijah. As I walked upstairs, and past her room to go to the toilet, I heard her door open and her footsteps going downstairs. Strange, I thought, coming from a girl who didn't want to leave her room without me knocking on the door and asking for her first. I went downstairs and she was waiting for me in the hallway. I'm not really a fan of long goodbyes. So I said "Ok, cool, have a safe flight. Jazakillahu khair for flying down and meeting me here. I've gotta run now, cos I'm already late. I don't wanna keep my parents waiting".

She said "Ok, have a safe journey, inshaAllah." I stepped out and as I was closing the door, she called my name. I opened the door again and looked at her. She said "I love you".

You what???

I was dumbstruck. I had been confused about her actions/answers/comments/attitudes before, but this takes the bloody cake! A million and one thoughts shot through my head at the speed of light and after a couple seconds of deliberation (and almost choking), I responded with a quick "OK" and closed the door (after stepping out!). I stood in front of the door for what seemed like an hour while I was in complete shock at what had just happened. My parents' front door has frosted glass. So when I realised that she could still see me through the frosted glass just stood there like a lemon, I quickly composed myself and marched my way to the car. I drove off quickly, after sending a quick text to big sis telling her what just happened and gave her specific instructions to "sort Khadijah out cos she's crazy".

Once my parents were back home, mum asked me where big sis was. She knew that big sis was supposed to be around, but it was unusual for her to be out when our parents came back from holiday. I explained to mum that big sis was taking a friend to the airport. "Whose friend?", asked mum. "My friend", I replied. "Is your friend a boy or a girl?". "Girl, mum". "Ohhh... Geetar Hiro has a girl friend huh?". I could tell mum was happy. Just happy that there was a girl in my life, finally.

Later on, big sis returned from the airport. In front of EVERYONE (including mum and dad), she declares: "Maaaan! Khadijah is WELL IN LOVE WITH YOU!! You've proper pulled man!"

Dad was laying on the floor relaxing while we were all sitting on the floor scattered around the lounge (as we do), so he stuck his head up, looked at me and asked me her name. I replied. Then a flood of questions came from everyone. The only question I struggled to answer was from big sis: "is she a keeper?" I would not be telling the truth if I had said 'yes'. So I gingerly replied with an "I don't know yet".

But deep down, I knew I had already made a decision. The decision was a direct result of her personality which I was able to discover and uncover over that weekend. Khadijah was a demanding girl and she expected me to change. A lot. Yet she was not willing to change anything.

So is change good?

I've concluded that change is not good when it's only one person doing the changing. That's not to say that you should never change. I don't think anyone can say that they are exactly the same as they were a year ago. Why? Because everyone develops. And changes. But when one partner wishes change for the other, without support nor sacrifice, this is when things start to go pear-shaped. Finally, I found out that since everyone changes and develops, then why not change and develop as a couple? Surely that would be more rewarding than just one person developing.

From that conclusion, I decided to dump this girl... but wait til you hear what happens next!