Deen (Religion)


Allah Subhanahu Wataala did not lie when He said:

“The example of those who spend their wealth in the cause of Allah is that of a grain that sprouts into seven ears, each bearing one hundred grains. And Allah multiplies the reward even more to whoever He wills. For Allah is All-Bountiful, All-Knowing.” (Suratul Baqarah, Verse 261)

I recently came across the story of Hamza, a 56-year-old man who was jailed at the age of 16 after accidentally firing a gun which led to the death of his loved one. While in jail, he became a devout Muslim and had been pleading for parole for years. Forty years later, Hamza is finally going to be released at the end of March in shaa Allah. But here’s how one act of kindness has changed his life entirely.

Hamza was working as a janitor at the prison which earned him 13 cents per hour only. Yet what he got from the 136 hours of tough labour, a total of 17$, Hamza donated all to Gaza.

Justin Mashouf, a filmmaker who was in correspondence with Hamza, shared his story on X (Twitter). Touched by this noble act of kindness, his story quickly went viral and Justin created a gofundme campaign to empower Hamza to transition back into society with dignity and security after years of imprisonment. A total of USD 102,187 was raised until Hamza requested that it be suspended (after thanking all the donors of course). Instead, he requested the donors to consider helping the suffering children, mothers and fathers of Palestine, Yemen, and Africa living under inhuman conditions. 

When I first saw the fundraising, the goal was 40,000 USD. This was more than double that. Subhanallah!

Allah Subhanahu Wataala tells us in Suratul Baqarah, Verse 265:

“And the example of those who donate their wealth, seeking Allah’s pleasure and believing the reward is certain, is that of a garden on a fertile hill: when heavy rain falls, it yields up twice its normal produce. If no heavy rain falls, a drizzle is sufficient. And Allah is All-Seeing of what you do.”

Isn’t it mind-blowing that Allah Subhanahu Wataala inspired Hamza to do this act, a mere weeks before his release (in shaa Allah)? Can you imagine what kind of worries Hamza might have had (or not) about going back into the world after 40 years?! A different name, a different religion, a totally different era, jobless, homeless, with no money. Yet the heaviest of all is the concern of whether the community would embrace him upon his release. And subhanallah, just like the best of planners Allah is, He brought a way in which Hamza got all he could ask for, at least in terms of livelihood and community, at the eleventh hour!

Someone once told me of a time when he gave a guard lunch money, it was very random, and that same day, someone he had been referring clients to, randomly tipped him ten times what he gave the guard. Literally ten times! Mind you, this had never happened before and was quite unexpected. And he told me something that really struck me. He said, ‘I pity those who don’t believe in Allah.’ And I thought, yeah! What a great loss to not know, see and feel God’s love and mercy and kindness?!

I’ll never stop preaching about charity because I have read, watched and witnessed the miracles of giving. I have seen how much Allah can give and give and give. And the stories are too many to count.

We are just a few days to Ramadhan and many people are planning menus, festivities and early Eid shopping. Let us dare be different by planning for more ibadah and charity, charity, charity! 

Times have been increasingly tough, not just in our country, but in the entire globe. But that should never limit us from giving because you know what? We have a very generous Lord, and what you give, especially when it is difficult for you to do so, will never go unrewarded. Charity does not make you poor, it elevates you more than you can imagine.

The prophet peace be upon him said: “Charity does not decrease wealth, no one forgives another except that Allah increases his honour, and no one humbles himself for the sake of Allah except that Allah raises his status.” (Sahih Muslim 2588)

Let us have our intentions set, ready for Ramadhan, and let us put in effort to make it a more productive one than it ever was.

May we all live to experience the holy month and may we be among those whose lives will transform for the better, ameen. Ramadhan Mubarak good people! Please do remember me and my family in your duas 🙂

That said, here is a charity opportunity you can begin with:

Hamza’s story source:

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: “Allah descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the first part of the night is over and says: I am the Lord; I am the Lord: who is there to supplicate Me so that I answer him? Who is there to beg of Me so that I grant him? Who is there to beg forgiveness from Me so that I forgive him? He continues like this till the day breaks.”

(Sahih Muslim 758b)

During the 2017 Kenyan elections, a humble man by the name of Martin Kamotho, suddenly rose to fame simply for eating githeri in a polythene bag as he awaited his time to vote. The photo of this act trended across all social media platforms, leading to endorsements from different companies, a piece of land in Ngong Hills, a token of 100k from the president, among other gifts.

In 2020, during the early phase of the pandemic, a young Khaby Lame lost his job as a factory worker in Italy. He started a tiktok account which is known for breaking down seemingly ridiculous life hacks shared by other creators. Khaby started trending worldwide and acquired global success without saying a single word in any of his videos. As of February 2023, Khaby is the most followed TikTok user with a net worth of $13 million according to Capitalism website.

During the 2022 world cup, Abubakr Abass, a temporary worker in Qatar became internationally recognized for his actions of directing fans to the metro station with his megaphone and a foam finger. Soon enough fans started chorusing alongside him with the famous line of ‘Metro’ and the fans chanting, ‘This way!’ This soon led to the Metro guy being gifted by FIFA officials, invited to the stadium to address the crowd with his lines before a game and was eventually granted a two-year visa extension and a further $1100 monthly salary as Qatar’s metro brand ambassador.

Isn’t it mind-blowing how God can change a person’s situation just within a blink of an eye?! How He can raise the status of a person totally unknown to the world and make him acquire wealth and recognition and open up His doors of mercy and rizq from him in an astounding way? How He can give you and give you and give you until you become pleased?
Why then would any of us limit ourselves in our duas because we think something is impossible?!
Making duas is one of my dearest love languages. I see it as writing intimate letters to The Lord; the only One who deeply knows and understands me. The only One who can uplift me and guide me, forgive me and grant me solace. So when I recently got to watch a few clips from the Visionaire course by Shaykh Muhammad Al Shareef (Allah yrhamh) I was so excited. And let me tell you, it was such an inspiring and eye-opening experience, guiding you on how to come up with your dream duas and how to acquire them biidhnillah. As we’ve began the last ten days and nights of Ramadhan, here are some helpful tips that I learnt on how to live a dua lifestyle, not just in Ramadhan, but as a daily thing.

  1. First of all, keep in mind that when making dua, you are asking from Allah not from yourself, the AlMighty, the King of all kingdoms, the One who can simply say ‘Be’ and so it becomes. So before you list down your duas, remove any limitations in your mind. Remove any doubts, any hesitations in the name of ‘But I am a sinner, how could Allah grant me this?’ Come to your Lord with an open mind and heart, with firm faith that Allah is Al Mujeeb, that He can answer every single of your duas. That He is Al Ghafur, can forgive you all your sins as long as you keep repenting. That He is Al Af’uuw, The Pardoner.That He is Al Jabbar, the One who can fix all your affairs. You’re about to have a conversation with the One whose dominion encompasses the entire come forth with humility, sincerity and yaqeen that He will come through for you. So dream big, ask big.
  2. Never say ‘This is my qadar’ (majaaliwa yangu) and decide to stop making dua. Because none of us knows what’s written for us or what’s our fate. A couple could be struggling to get a child and give up saying that that’s what’s destined for them. How do they know that? How can they be sure? Indeed it is only Allah who knows what is meant and written for us. And even so, do not forget, ‘QADAR CAN BE CHANGED BY DUA!’ So don’t get weaker at making your duas. Instead, raise your dua and have more conviction that Allah will respond.
  3. Allah Subhanahu Wataala says in Surat Al- Ghafir ‘ وَقَالَ رَبُّكُمُ ادْعُونِي أَسْتَجِبْ لَكُم
    “And your Lord has proclaimed, “Pray to Me, and I will respond to you.”
    This is a promise from Allah and no one keeps promises like He does. So raise your hands to the sky and make those duas. Keep in mind that Allah answers duas in three ways:
    *Yes but not now
    *Yes but I’ll give you something better (either in this world or in the next)
    So either way, your duas will be answered. It is just upon you to make the duas and accept whatever Allah brings you thereafter, because Allah knows more than you do. And He is the best of Planners so trust in His plans for you. And perhaps you love a thing that is harmful to us. So TRUST.
  4. Raise your game in what you’re praying for by using stronger language. For example, when asking for health and fitness, ask Allah to grant you wellness and fitness that will enable you to play with your kids and serve your family. Or when praying for a child, ask Allah to bless you with a pious, obedient child and that you be present at their wedding.
  5. Remove mental blocks such as ‘I feel guilty asking Allah for worldly things’ for that comes from the shaytan. The prophet peace be upon him taught us to say the dua ‘
    ربنا آتنا في الدنيا حسنة وفي الآخرة حسنة وقنا عذب النار
    “O our Lord, grants us the best in this life and the best in the next life, and protects us from the punishment of the Fire.”
    So askkkk, oh servant of Allah. Ask for that dream house, dream car, dream job, ask for the kind of skin or hair you want, ask for the opportunity to explore the world…ask ask ask.
  6. When asking for dunya, craft it in such a way that it involves your akhera. For example, ask Allah to grant you abundant wealth that will enable you to help yourself, your family and the needy. Or when asking for a spouse, ask Allah for one who will bring you closer to Him. Or when asking for a chance to go to Borabora or Maldives, ask Him to grant you an opportunity to marvel at the beauty of His creation in the countries you wish to visit. Whatever you ask for, ask for the kheyr in it too. Because sometimes when we ask for worldly things and Allah grants us those things, they become a test for us and we quickly lose focus and forget about our Rab. So ask for the worldly things but ask for what’s kheyr in it as well. We can see this in Surat Maryam, verse 1-9:”Kãf-Ha-Ya-’Aĩn- Ṣãd.˹This is˺ a reminder of your Lord’s mercy to His servant Zachariah. When he cried out to his Lord privately. Saying, “My Lord! Surely my bones have become brittle, and grey hair has spread across my head, but I have never been disappointed in my prayer to You my Lord! And I am concerned about ˹the faith of˺ my relatives after me, since my wife is barren. So grant me, by Your grace, an heir, who will inherit ˹prophethood˺ from me and the family of Jacob, and make him, O Lord, pleasing ˹to You˺!” ˹The angels announced,˺ “O Zachariah! Indeed, We give you the good news of ˹the birth of˺ a son, whose name will be John—a name We have not given to anyone before.”He wondered, “My Lord! How can I have a son when my wife is barren, and I have become extremely old?”An angel replied, “So will it be! Your Lord says, ‘It is easy for Me, just as I created you before, when you were nothing!’”
  7. Avoid making robotic duas such as the ones you crammed since childhood and you chorus them while your heart and mind is absent. You say the duas because you think you have to, and not because you truly are asking Allah for that thing. To avoid this, find the translations of the duas you make and understand what you’re asking from Allah. And if it’s duas from your own mind, it is advisable to adjust and modify your duas over time (Shaykh Al Shareef suggested every 6 months) according to your current situations and desires.
  8. Make your duas concrete and specific. Make your duas such that you can SEE, TOUCH, FEEL. Something you can envision. For example, Ya Allah, please grant me an opportunity to go for Umrah with my mother before the end of the year. Or Ya Allah, please grant me a promotion at work to become the new manager. Or Ya Rab enable my book to be published by an international publisher (insert specific house if possible).
  9. Make your duas exciting, inspiring or such that they make you emotional just by thinking of them. Envision what you want, then think of an even better version of the same dua and ask for that instead. Remember you’re asking the One who owns everything in the universe, so ask beyond your own comprehension. For example, I dream of working with the Qalby Etmaan team some day. It seems soooo out of reach right now because I have no link to them whatsoever, but the thought of it happening someday makes me so excited and so I’ll keep praying for that opportunity biidhnillah.
  10. Let them be slightly unrealistic. In the sense that it may seem impossible but it is achievable. For example, a cleaner working in a company makes dua that they become the manager of the said company. To think of it based on human logic, it may seem unrealistic, but to Allah that is very possible. In fact we’ve seen several situations where this has happened. Or asking Allah to grant shifaa to a paralyzed person who’s been in that state for years, and truly Allah can make that happen. I’ve ever been told a story of a mentally unstable man who used to walk around with sacks of dirt and torn clothes and totally unaware and yet one day after 20 years of being in that state, he woke up in his full senses, just so confused over the 20 years he had no recollection of entirely. So yes, make those unrealistic duas consistently and Allah will definitely respond. Anything is possible!
  11. Make dua even for the smallest of things. You want to buy a dress you really love? Ask Allah for it. You crave ice cream and have no money? Ask Allah. You feel unmotivated to go to school? Ask Allah for motivation.
    Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Let one of you ask his Lord for his needs, all of them, even for a shoestring when his breaks.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi 3973)
  12. Don’t make dua only as a pain response or only during your difficult times. Many people only make dua only when in need and when things are good, duas are totally out of mind. So be proactive in your duas, show thankfulness and ask for more.
  13. Make dua during the times in which duas are accepted i.e. in sajdah, when breaking the fast, when raining, in the middle of the night e.t.c.
  14. Call upon Allah’s beautiful names. You want Allah’s mercy, ask the Al Raheem. You want to ask for wisdom, call upon the Al Hakeem. You want to acquire knowledge, call upon the Al Alim and so on…
  15. Don’t be hasty in seeking a response. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The slave will receive a response so long as his du’a does not involve sin or severing of family ties, and so long as he is not hasty.” It was said, “What does being hasty mean?” He said: “When he says, ‘I made du’a and I made du’a, and I have not seen any response,’ and he gets frustrated and stops making du’a.” (Bukhari, 6340; Muslim, 2735).
  16. Make duas for others and for the Muslim ummah. Abud-Darda’ (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The supplication of a Muslim for his (Muslim) brother in his absence will certainly be answered. Everytime he makes a supplication for good for his brother, the angel appointed for this particular task says: ‘A meen! May it be for you, too’.” (Riyad as-Salihin 1495)
  17. Make duas for yourself too. Don’t focus so much on others and forget yourself. You’re the one who knows what you truly desire. So prioritize yourself too.
  18. Tie your camel. As much as you pray to Allah for your desires, also take action on what is beneficial to you. Put in the effort. You want Allah to make it easy for you to memorize the Qur’an, take practical steps to achieve that. i.e. Enroll in a hifdh class, find a Qur’an teacher, or an accountability partner who’ll help you keep accountability of your progress.

Shaykh Muhammad Al Shareef suggested that for the ten nights of Ramadhan, have a list of 6 dream duas. Your most important duas, the ones that you deeply, deeply desire. If you have to read from a paper, or if you forget them, then they’re simply duas, not dream duas. These are the duas that you’re most passionate about, so they’d be at the top of your head always. So have that list and dedicate special time (especially at the times when duas are accepted) for them during these days and nights plus 6 months after that.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make your other duas, but these are the main focus. You constantly and consistently make the duas with firm faith, and with no laziness. From the Visionaire course, there were so many testimonials subhanallah mashallah on how most of them acquired what they prayed for before the next Ramadhan, some within days! So DREAM BIG, AND MAKE YOUR DUAS BIGGER!

As we enter the 21st night tonight, please try and apply the above tips and do remember me and my family in your duas as well. Remember that the Lord of Khaby and many others is your Lord too. So never lose hope in Allah, and keep asking Him!
To learn about the etiquette of making dua, click here

This will the last part of our Ramadhan series in Shaa Allah (unless otherwise). Strive to do as much good deeds as possible and give charity often during these few days.

May Allah accept our good deeds, allow us to witness laylatul qadr, accept our duas in a beautiful way, change our qadr for the better, make us steadfast in the Deen and grant us His forgiveness and mercy, ameen.


We’re currently fundraising for a man who just came back from India a few days before Ramadhan. He had gone for treatment for prostate cancer stage one. His business is struggling and due to health issues as well, he has a huge debt of over 300k in rent arrears. His two children had to drop out of school and the eldest is married. Due to the huge debt, the landlord has prevented him from moving to another house unless he clears his debt, which isn’t so helpful because the debt keeps accumulating. Please let’s help this brother pay his debt and relocate ASAP. Please do remember he is considered a recipient of zakat too because of his debts and being needy. To contribute mpesa to his no: +254 729 994 129 (Ahmed Musa). Updates will be posted on my twitter and Instagram @


Citizen Digital

To read part 1, click here

“Allah, the Exalted, says, ‘Spend, O son of Adam, and I shall spend on you.’” – Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.

(Al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Last week a wonderful woman (Allah ybarik feeha) donated some cash so that I could share it among deserving families. Before sending it to one of the young men highly indebted, I called him to ask which number I should send the money to. First thing he said was, ‘Wait, where’s the money coming from?’ I said it was a donation by someone (I didn’t want to say the name). Then he said, ‘Let me tell you what happened…’

“A woman sent me a message this morning asking for help to buy iftar. She seemed desperate so I checked my Mpesa and I had 100/= only. I decided to send it despite it being the only money I had with me. Immediately I sent the 100 bob, someone sent me 6k. In a matter of seconds, literally. And then immediately after that, your call came in, wanting to send me another amount Subhanallah.” I laughed in awe at Allah’s kindness. I sent the young man 5k, which is literally a bit more than double the amount he gave.

Allah Subhanahu Wataala says in Surat Al- An’aam,  6:160:

مَن جَاءَ بِالْحَسَنَةِ فَلَهُ عَشْرُ أَمْثَالِهَا، وَمَن جَاءَ بِالسَّيِّئَةِ فَلَا يُجْزَى إِلَّا مِثْلَهَا وَهُمْ لَا يُظْلَمُونَ

“Whoever does a good deed will be repaid tenfold, but those who do a bad deed will only be repaid with its equivalent and they shall not be wronged.” Truly Allah keeps His promises.

The economy has been so tough everywhere around the world Subhanallah. Everyone is struggling one way or another. Yet as believers, we should have that yaqeen (surety) that so long as we do good for His sake, He would never leave us hungry. That as long as we sacrifice what we love the most or need to give it to a fellow Muslim, then our reward will definitely come.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “None gives charity from what is good, for Allah only accepts what is good, except that the Merciful takes it with his right hand. Even if it is a date, it is nurtured in the hand of the Merciful until it becomes greater than a mountain, just as one of you nurtures his young horse or camel.” (Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1014)

So give, dear reader. Give, give, give. Give from what Allah has blessed you with. Give from the little you have. Or the many that you have. Your 50, 100, 1000 does make an impact. What’s little for you, may be a dinner for an entire family elsewhere. So give without hesitating, without worrying about where your next meal will come from. Without thinking that it will decrease your wealth. Tawakkal on Allah’s name, and see Allah’s mercy and kindness with your own eyes.

And even when you have nothing at all to give, you still have your smile. Smile at your Muslim brothers and sisters for it is charity. You still have your energy and health- put the intention and help the house girl or your mothers in doing house chores, that’s charity too! You have a useful skill, teach it to someone else. You have certain knowledge or information that is beneficial, share it with others who could benefit as well. You know a charity group, volunteer to help them in their physical activities. Or support them by sharing their posters and posts.

You know a sick person, visit and take care of them or help them out. There are stray kittens or birds or any animals around your home/work place, put out a bowl of water/food for them (especially with the kind of heat we experience now subhanallah), or take care of them in any way you can. Plant a tree if you can. Caring, supporting, cooking, serving your family is charity too. Men, helping your mothers, sisters and wives with washing dishes and cleaning up after iftar is also a form of charity 🙃 Making dua for your loved ones and the Muslim Ummah, giving sincere advice are all considered charity …among many other acts.

Jabir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that he heard Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, “Every good deed is charity.” (Riyad as-Salihin 134). And in another narration, the prophet peace be upon him said, “A charity is due for every joint in each person on every day the sun comes up: to act justly between two people is a charity; to help a man with his mount, lifting him onto it or hoisting up his belongings onto it, is a charity; a good word is a charity; and removing a harmful thing from the road is a charity.” (Al-Bukhari, Muslim)

So strive to do good every single day and always have that sincere intention to do it as charity for Allah’s sake.

Remember that charity is one of the best deeds- it extinguishes your sins, it will provide you with a shade on the day of judgement and it will protect you from calamities and hellfire (among many other benefits). Without a doubt we all know the importance of Ramadhan and the abundant rewards during this beautiful month. It is thus the best time to engage in as much charity as we can.

I’ll end this piece with one of the beautiful hadiths on the same:

Abu Hurairah (RAA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said:
“If anyone relieves a Muslim believer from one of the hardships of this worldly life, Allah will relieve him of one of the hardships of the Day of Resurrection. If anyone makes it easy for the one who is indebted to him (while finding it difficult to repay), Allah will make it easy for him in this worldly life and in the Hereafter, and if anyone conceals the faults of a Muslim, Allah will conceal his faults in this world and in the Hereafter. Allah helps His slave as long as he helps his brother.” Related by Muslim. (Bulugh Al-Maram: Book 16, Hadith 29)


For those interested in participating in charity for the poor, orphans, widows, the sick, indebted, reverts etc, kindly contact me at 0704 731 560, in shaa Allah I’ll directly link you up with deserving families.

Let’s also constantly remember our brothers and sisters in Palestine in our duas. May Allah protect them and grant them victory from the Israelis. May He revenge upon the Israelis for the animosity they do on our people. And may He shower His mercy on the Palestinians and the Muslim Ummah suffering all over the world, ameen.

*Musings: A period of reflection or thought.

I was never the kind to delete a phone number after someone close passed away. I would always hold onto it as if miraculously I’d realize it was just a terrible dream and my person was still there with me. Alive. Healthy. Never any better. That’s how I held onto mama two’s contact until I lost it when I changed phones. It was always like a souvenir where I’d open her contact details and just stare at them longingly. Grief does that to you sometimes. You ruminate on how she could have been now, what she’d be doing, how she’d react to your growth and achievements and what she’d have said on different occasions. You remember how she’d call when you were late home and lovingly say, ‘my baby’ whenever you picked up the phone. You’d remember how she’d fill your bedroom wall with hand-written motivational quotes for your studies. You’d remember how she’d sacrifice her sleep to wake you up to study late at night. You remember a lot of things…

However much time passes, her memory is always there. Like a stubborn stain on a cloth. And everything and everyone reminds me of her. I recently met mama two’s very old friend for the first time. She looked young and healthy and she was very bubbly mashallah. My first thought was, so this is how she’d looked (age-wise) had she been alive to date? She died so young, didn’t she? Is this how charming she would have been with my nieces and nephews had she met them? I bet she would have been so for she was the most loving and caring aunt ever.

The grief follows me around always but sometimes I dream of her. Once she was combing my hair like how she’d do when we were young, another time she was seated with me in the backseat of a car and she was holding me close; my head on her chest, another time she kissed me on my cheek. Whenever I’d have these seemingly very real dreams, I’d ask her, ‘But aren’t you dead?’ That’s always the question, but I never get a response. When I’d wake up from such dreams, I’d be emotional but also very happy because it feels like a gentle squeeze of my hand. Like a reassurance that she is okay (I pray she is). That she is with me even if far away.

I always regard these dreams as Allah’s mercy on me. That Allah knows how much I miss her so He brings her into my dreams so that it can comfort me. So that it can give me joy, even for a short moment. And it warms my heart that Allah keeps gifting me these beautiful dreams of her. The thought of it makes me wonder how much more Allah Subhanahu Wataala can be merciful to me? To us?

Many times we think of Allah’s mercy in terms of repentance and forgiveness such that sometimes we overlook these seemingly ‘small’ mercies of His. Like when you’re having a terrible day and a message pops us where a good friend is expressing gratitude and love to you. Or when you’re very broke and He brings forth someone to purchase your goods unexpectedly. Or when you’re ill and Allah gives you relief by allowing you to pray seated or even lying down. Or when someone speaks well about your deceased loved one and it warms your heart. Or when you’re sad and feeling low and Allah grants you a job opportunity that you’ve praying for. Subhanallah, when you think deeply about it, we’re always in Allah’s mercy-one way or another.

I started a gratitude journal on my phone early this year. There were days I could easily write what I was grateful for -like when I graduated, or when my article was published, or when my books were purchased. Yet there were some long days, some mundane days too that I had to think for a while on what I was grateful for. Days whereby nothing extraordinary happened. But this is when you get to realize the small ways Allah comes through for you. Like when I was having severe anxiety and I couldn’t point out where the issue was exactly but Allah guided me to realize it and deal with it. Or on a very normal day and I got to buy something I couldn’t afford before. Or when I was sad and I had a very beautiful conversation with my mother and sister about life, it uplifted me. Or when a dua I asked for, a very long time ago was finally answered even though I had forgotten about it. This is all by Allah’s mercy. The relief we get. The joy we get. The love and compassion that others give us. The beautiful bonds we have with our families and friends. The good people who volunteer to help us without expecting anything in return. The unexpected rizq that we get when we have no money at all. The opportunities that open up for us. It’s all by Allah’s mercy.

The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah created one hundred units of mercy on the Day He created the heavens and the earth. Each one of them can contain all that is between the heaven and the earth. Of them, he put one on earth, through which a mother has compassion for her children and animals and birds have compassion for one another. On the Day of Resurrection, He will perfect and complete His Mercy”. (That is He will use all the hundred units of mercy for his slaves on that Day). [ Riyad as-Salihin 420]

Subhanallah, how amazing is our Lord? And if what we’re experiencing is just ONE UNIT of His mercy, how much more can we expect from Him on the Day of Judgment?

May Allah grant us His mercy and may we always be among those who identify it and appreciate it. May He enable us to be among His most Grateful servants.

May Allah have mercy upon our loved ones who’ve passed away. May He elevate their status and make their graves to be gardens from the gardens of Jannah. May He make them among the dwellers of Jannatul Firdaus and may He reunite us with all our loved ones there, Ameen.


Ramadhan Mubarak good people! I pray that your Ramadhan started well in shaa Allah. Talking about gratitude, I challenge you to download a gratitude app (I am currently using ‘Presently’, it’s free and works well for me so far) or get a small notebook where you note down every day, the way Allah comes through for you by His mercy. You’ll be amazed!

Also, for those interested in participating in charity for the poor, orphans, widows, the sick, indebted, reverts etc, kindly contact me at 0704 731 560, in shaa Allah I’ll directly link you up with deserving families.

May Allah accept our good deeds and make us firm in His deen. May our duas be answered most beautifully that He knows best. May He grant us relief from all our worries and distress and may He grant us forgiveness for all our shortcomings. Ameen ameen. Please do remember me in your duas 🙂

I recently had a conversation with a brilliant relative about anxiety and the dire need to be in control of everything going on around us. That frustrating fight with the unknown and uncertainty. That burning urge to be prepared for anything and everything that comes next. Then she humbly advised me, “Frequently say, ‘Hasbiyallah waneemal wakeel’ i.e. ‘Sufficient for me is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs.’ Then she went on and said, ‘But don’t just say it. Mean it. When you say sufficient for me is Allah then that is total submission to Him. It is surrendering to the Almighty; acknowledging His power, acknowledging your own weakness as a human being and acknowledging that whatever Allah has bestowed upon you is truly best for you. He is the best disposer of affairs. Whatever you plan for yourself will always be limited in contrast to what He has in store for you. So be content. Be grateful. Have faith in Him and His plans for you. So live by it. Live by ‘Hasbiyallah waneemal wakeel’.”

In this precise moment, her words struck me. I have heard and said the statement so many times in my life, but did I truly, deeply believe in it’s meaning?!

Despite being a believer in Allah, there have been many times where I questioned His plans for me. Maybe not loudly, maybe not openly, but just that small feeling in the heart like ‘This could have gone better. Should have gone better. What’s the point of this chaos right now?’ It is like saying, ‘I trust that you have my best interests at heart, but I should also have a say in how my life unrolls.’ But that’s just from our ignorance and naivety as human beings; we say we trust that Allah is the best planner, but do we really?!

For a period of over ten years, Allah tested me with the same test thrice, just different versions of it. And I remember many nights in my sajjadah begging Allah to remove me out of those situations. But the test dragged on and on and on. I felt so helpless and I kept saying to Allah, ‘But I have learned the lesson. Please Ya Allah. I have already learned the lesson. Get me out of here. Why am I still here?!!’ Those were such desperate moments for me because sometimes I did believe that so long as Allah was still testing me then there must be a very good reason for it. But sometimes I was just so helpless I kept asking, ‘What’s the point here? Am I being punished or something?’ I didn’t have that yaqeen, that surety, that unshakeable faith that Allah wouldn’t put be through pain just for the sake of it.

Then during one of the last nights of last Ramadhan, I stayed for long crying to Allah to grant me clarity on the matter because I thought I had already learned what I was meant to learn. If there was something more to it, I was not seeing it. I need help to see it. I desperately need clarity. As I finished my crying/dua session I lazily entered into Instagram to distract my mind and wallahy the moment I logged in, there it was- my answer. It was just one video but it led me to another and another and another and lots of reading that made it make all the sense. And subhanallah to date, I still have very random conversations and something is said and is still part of my answer. Like, every single day, Allah is opening my eyes to what I hadn’t realized in over ten years.

Of course it was such a deeply painful experience but the amount of knowledge I learned throughout that period made me take better choices for myself. Made me a better person. A wiser person. In retrospect, I don’t think I would have learned all the lessons that I have if I was listening to someone’s story or reading it from a book. I truly had to go through it all to realize what was expected from me and what I truly needed. Several times I failed to trust in Allah fully and yet He had a plan all along. The journey is obviously not over but I am at the point in my life where I am like, ‘Oh so this is why that happened…’ It wasn’t a punishment. It wasn’t for no reason. He had a good reason for it…

There is a famous quote that I have seen so many times. It goes like, ‘It will keep happening until you learn the lesson.’ Seems pretty straight forward until you are the one in the endless cycle of the ‘seeming’ doom and the depth of it won’t truly make sense until it does.

I have met people with unshakable faith. People who literally live by ‘Hasbiyallah waneemal wakeel’. People who when they don’t get what they want they genuinely say ‘Alhamdulilah’ and when something bad happens to them they say قَدَّرَ اللَّهُ وَمَا شَاءَ فَعَلَ (Allah has decreed and whatever he wills, He does).. They don’t ask ‘what ifs’ or say ‘buts’.They don’t fret. They don’t worry unnecessarily. They know that Allah is in control and wholeheartedly leave their affairs to Him. They know FOR SURE that Allah will come through for them regardless of how big a mountain their problems are. They remind me of the hadith: Suhaib reported that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said: “Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (God), thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it.” I love these people. I look up to them. And I pray to be like them someday.

To end this, here’s a hadith to give you comfort about Allah’s mercy upon us.

Abu Razin reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Allah laughs for the despair of His servant, as He will soon relieve him.” I said, “O Messenger of Allah, does the Lord laugh?” The Prophet said, “Yes.” I said, “We will never be deprived of goodness by a Lord who laughs!” (Source: Sunan Ibn Mājah)

Indeed Allah doesn’t test us in order to make us miserable and unhappy. He doesn’t test us just for the sake of it for He is not a sadist. We may not see it, we may never comprehend it but there is always, ALWAYS a reason for every small and big thing that happens in our lives. We thus should always strive to have unshakeable faith in Him, have good doubt in Him and surrender all our affairs to Him as well. This is a big reminder to myself first before anyone else.

Dear reader, here’s your reminder to lay down your burdens to Him so that He can take care of all your affairs. Let go and let God. Never forget that Allah will never forsake you.

As you and I continue taking this endless journey to Allah, I pray that He grants us that kind of submission to Him and that He makes us among His most beloved ones, ameen.


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To read part 3 of this series, click here

Pre-Marital Questions & Discussions

Kindly take note that these discussions are expected to take place in halal contexts and have to be respectable. The aim of the questions is NOT to interrogate or judge an individual but rather to understand his/her life better and also allow the other person to consider whether that aligns with what they want for themselves i.e. establish compatibility.

The questions are not expected to be asked in one sitting for that will definitely make it seem like an interrogation, but rather should be spread out during different conversations. You have to be strategic and sensitive in how you phrase your questions to avoid misunderstandings or hurting the other person.

The questions below are to give you an idea of the important questions to ask but shouldn’t necessarily be asked in the same manner. It is always better if one integrates the questions into the conversations so that the parties involved can feel at ease answering.

1. Religion:

What sects and school of thoughts do you associate with?

Who do you read Islamic knowledge from?

Who is your favourite sheikh?

Up to what level did you study religion?

What does being religious mean to you?

What Islamic conferences do you attend?

Which masjid do you go to? Do you pray all five times and in the masjid (for men)?

What are your thoughts on women being in da’awah/teaching?

What are your thoughts on mawlid, moon-sighting (like on the occasions of eid and Ramadhan)?

If there are some critical differences in ideologies/sects/practices, one can ask, ‘if we got married, how would we navigate around these differences? Which ideologies will we teach our children?’

2. Children:

Are you interested in having kids?

How soon into the marriage?

How many kids would you want to have?

What do you think is a father’s/mother’s role in their child’s life?

For the woman: Are you willing to pause your career to raise your children? Ideally, how long a pause would you want to take?

3. Finances:

What is your income bracket? (The father of the girl can also ask this)

Do you deal with interest? Or take part in any gambling/betting activities?

Are you in debt?

What kind of lifestyle do you have based on your finances?

What’s the nature of your work/business?

Do you have any partners in your business?

How comfortable are you discussing finances?

For the woman: Are you working?

Are you willing to contribute to home finances?

Would we share everything in a marriage or have separate finances?

Do you want to be involved in financial discussions?

4. Employment:

What kind of job do you have?

Do you like your job? (Frustrations from work can frustrate a marriage too)

What’s the time of your work? Do you have night shifts?

How many off days do you have?

How often do you have work travels?

For men: Are you okay if I have career ambitions?

Do you want a career woman or a housewife?

5. Education:

What level of education do you have?

Do you have a problem if I continue with my education even after marriage & kids?

What do you think of higher education for your daughter?

How far are you with your Islamic knowledge?

Would you say you’re interested in gaining knowledge even as you grow older?

6. Past:

Is there anything in your past that I should know about? Do you think it will affect our future?

TAKE NOTE: You should not expose your sins for Islam does not encourage that. So you shouldn’t say anything unless it can affect your future. For example, you have children from another woman, or a child out of wedlock or addiction which you may relapse in, or record with the police, or trauma such as domestic violence or sexual abuse or STDs which can affect one’s marriage. Be careful about what you say here for it can be used against you in the future. You don’t have to talk about your past relationships or mistakes, especially after you’ve already repented. Stick to only saying what is relevant to your present and future with this person and your marriage to them.

Also important to note, when someone comes to ask you for information about an individual for the purpose of marriage, you are expected to be honest and transparent, for this is a huge commitment. HOWEVER, you shouldn’t mention irrelevant past mistakes and sins that they have already repented from or stopped doing. Don’t mention who someone was dating or what kind of relationship they had or they used to skip prayers etc. Stick to what the person is NOW and mention only the parts of the past that can affect the present and the future as well.

7. Future:

What are your future plans and goals?

Where do you see yourself in five/ten years?

Are you planning on staying in the same country/city?

How do you see your future with your children?

Are you planning on marrying more than one wife? And for the woman: if it ever came to that, would you agree to be in a polygamous marriage?

8. Hobbies & Lifestyle:

What do you do in your free time? Do you like watching TV? Playing games? Reading books? How many hours would you say you spend on your hobbies?

Do you travel? If you do, how often?

Do you cook or eat out often?

Are you vegetarian or on a diet?

Do you eat healthy meals only or do you eat the usual?

Do you do any exercises? Go to the gym? Do you take part in any activities to preserve your health?

Do you use any drugs? Do you have any addiction?

In our society today it is also important to establish what the individual thinks about gender roles; what do you expect of your husband/wife in terms of roles in a marriage and in your home?

Also important; how active are you on social media? Are you okay with your spouse posting details about your life online example, your family photos, travels, home etc. How much information is too much information (to share online)? What boundaries must your spouse have regarding how they interact with other people, especially the opposite gender on social media?

9. Family:

Are you a family man?

Tell me about your family?

Where are you from? What’s your background?

How do you see your relationship with your in-laws?

Are you planning to live with your parents/family?

Are you okay if I bring my mum/dad to us in case that is needed?

What’s the plan for them when they’re old?

What are your expectations of me towards your family?

10. Red Flags to look out for in potential spouses:

When you’re trying to know someone, especially for the purpose of marriage, it is tricky to know all their mannerisms because most people strive to be at their best during this stage. However, when having these important conversations, be on the lookout for red flags. Alternatively, when doing a background check on an individual ask about these issues. Here are some of the red flags:

*Unfounded Jealousy: Earlier on, we miss out on hints of extreme jealousy because we find it cute when an individual is jealous about us. However, this could be a huge red flag that we’re overlooking. Sometimes an individual could stalk your every single activity on social media and ask for an explanation for everything you liked or posted or for people who commented on your posts. They could ask you about every opposite gender who commented on your post and whether you know them. Sometimes when interactions lack modesty, it is fair that they ask for clarification on the nature of the relationship with the individuals, but sometimes individuals have unfounded jealousy over very innocent interactions. You’d see that these individuals treat you like their property and become so possessive and sometimes would even want you to cut off your friendships with everyone in your life. Some even ask their wives after marriage, not to even look out the window. Most of the time, people with extreme jealousy also have controlling behaviours.

*Controlling behaviour: Someone wouldn’t tell you they have controlling behaviour but sometimes you can get hints of it during conversations. For example, a man could get angry that you went somewhere without telling him. Mind you, you’re not even married yet, perhaps only engaged. But he already feels entitled. And as much as it can seem like he’s just being caring, this could be a huge red flag. Some men don’t allow their wives to even drop the children at school without his permission first or if they run out of milk or flour, the woman isn’t allowed to go to the store next door unless she calls him first. Don’t get me wrong, a wife is expected to ask for permission from her husband but there should be discussions on what are the limits. Shaykh Waleed mentioned that for example a woman is going to visit her family, or going to a wedding, or wants to travel then she must ask for his permission. But when it comes to daily, normal, mundane activities, a woman should be given the freedom to live as a normal person. Even if you can’t catch these red flags from conversations, you can observe these based on how they treat their sisters and female relatives. Some females are not even allowed to have friends at all, and they’re not allowed to even step out of the house even if there’s an emergency. Marriage is meant to be a partnership based on trust, love, mercy and respect, and such controlling behaviours make it seem like a suffocating cage for the woman.

*Violent temper: Be on the look out when you see that the individual has a very bad temper like they’re always ready to strike. That is a huge red flag and this individual could potentially take part in domestic violence.

*Constant criticism: Some individuals never have a positive remark to say and are the first to criticize you about everything. Why do you eat like this? Why did you dress like that? You look fat. You’re lazy etc etc. Those individuals will just lower your self-esteem with their constant degrading remarks. Please note that positive criticism is different from the above-the intention is good and the person genuinely wants to see you grow and prosper.

*Substance abuse/Addiction: You ask about this directly and ask about it from his friends, colleagues and family as well.

*Scary divorce story: If the man/woman was previously married and the story that is going around is of a devastating incident in the previous marriage, then that could be a red flag. For example, a woman is said to have been divorced because she was doing sihr, or a man is said to have raped a minor…stories like those. The important thing here is to verify such information so that you don’t end up unjustly forming false opinions about an individual. Sometimes a bitter ex could start such despicable rumours just to get back at them for being divorced. So just make sure to verify such stories.

*Arrogance-never admits mistakes-never apologizes.

*Bad friends

*Missing swalah

*No modesty, no shame, indecent

*No respect for family

*Stinginess, miserliness


*No proper hygiene, dirty

*No proper etiquette/manners; in talking, how they deal with people, in eating etc.



*Medical check-up: It is highly recommended to do a medical check-up before marriage. Individuals usually do tests such as for STDs, HIV, Sickle cell tests, mental illnesses and other important tests. It is also recommended to ask your potential about their family medical histories; any prevalent diseases for example cancer, schizophrenia, bipolar, diabetes, obesity, infertility, disabilities and the like.

PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT meant to stigmatize or shame individuals who are ill or are prone to some illness because of genetics. Rather, it is just so that the individual is aware of one’s condition or future risks. Obviously, as believers, we have firm faith in the qadar of Allah and His plans for us, so having an illness doesn’t mean someone is invaluable or worthless. But as humans, we have to be prepared for what we’re signing up for. Some people have no financial capacity to take care of an ill individual (chronic) or one with a disability and some don’t have the emotional capacity either. I mean, people are different, and that is okay too. Someone might find out that a woman is infertile but still decide to marry her with the plan of pursuing different medical paths and praying to Allah in order to get children. For someone else, that can be very difficult for them to accept. So it is only fair that an individual knows in advance of one’s condition so that they can see whether they can handle that.

*Praying istikhara: It is highly recommended that both parties pray istikhara before officially accepting or rejecting a proposal. Involve Allah in your decision-making process. Here’s a guide on how to pray istikhara: click here.

*Pre-marital counselling: It is so unfortunate that many, many young people enter marriages with absolutely no idea on what marriage is really about. The fantasies of love, having a grand wedding, becoming ‘social media couple goals’ or having cute babies are what several people think about when it comes to marriage. Yes, marriage can be so beautiful but there are many practical aspects to be prepared for such as communication, finances, etiquette and the like.

It is thus without a say that pre-marital counselling is very crucial, especially with the ever-escalating number of divorces in our society.

The purpose of these sessions is to enable the couple to be aware of matters concerning the whole concept of marriage in regards to Islamic view, to assist them in developing skills to navigate their way through marriage successfully, to help them understand their desires and expectations and to help them lead a true Islamic married life according to the Quran and Sunnah.

Some of the topics covered include communication, sex and intimacy in Islam, conflict management/problem solving (dealing with self and outer circles such as in-laws, phones and friends), goals and dreams, responsibilities and finances and budgeting.

The gist of it all is that each of the two individuals meets the counsellor for the sessions separately and even pays separately. Then the final session, the couple meet the counsellor together and discusses issues such as their anxieties, worries, weaknesses, and strengths and asks one another meaningful questions as well. The counsellor guides the whole process since this is something new for the two.

The disheartening this here is, most of the time, it is the bride-to-be who attends all the sessions. Often, the groom-to-be only attends the final session in which they all sit with the counsellor and talk. One counsellor mentioned that approximately, from the 10 couples they’ve had, maybe just ONE groom attended all sessions. Most men do not find the need for this, which is unfortunate, because while the bride educates herself on how to be a proper, righteous wife and have skills to deal with the challenges of marriage, her partner avoids all that.

It is thus very very important to encourage couples to be, especially men, to attend these sessions. A good way of doing that is gifting them the course i.e. paying for the two to attend the sessions. Isn’t that a lovely wedding gift? It would save the two a lot of headaches trying to figure out things on their own and blindly, yet they can be guided and be prepared for it in an Islamic manner.

We also have valuable Islamic books on marriage and they dive deep into the important aspects of life in marriage. We should invest in such books and even gift such to the newlyweds.

According to the institution/counsellor, there are differences in the number of sessions. Some give 3, some 5 and so on. From my own limited knowledge, each session costs around 1k per individual within Mombasa. But again, that differs from institution to institution and counsellor to counsellor. Please do your own research for confirmation.

Some institutions that offer these services include;

Noor Counselling Centre: 0739 724 234 (Mombasa)

Talluful Quloob: 0111 222 205/0774 222 204 (Mombasa)

Family Resource Centre-Jamia Mosque: 0717 767 888 (Nairobi)

You can also ask your local imam or counsellors around your area where you can access such courses.

Please note: The questions mentioned above are not exhaustive. As an individual, think carefully about what is important for you and ask about that. Also, seek advice from elders and wise individuals that you look up to. As much as everything is predestined and we believe Allah’s plans are best for us, we should also do our due diligence and ‘tie our camels’ by asking the important questions, inquiring about an individual’s personality, character and deen from their friends, colleagues, neighbours, checking their social media, local imams and the like, before the marriage. Remember to be kind, sensitive and thoughtful in how you ask your questions. These are not meant to undermine anyone but rather to create an understanding of who the person is and what a future with them would look like. So be smart, thoughtful and wise!

Also, as stated in part two of this series, here is a timely reminder: Be moderate on the things you’re seeking in a spouse i.e. Be flexible; don’t be too rigid, too specific or have too high expectations. All human beings are flawed in some way, if you aren’t flexible or are seeking perfection, you might struggle for too long to find what you’re looking for, or never find it. Even with all these pointers mentioned throughout the series, know what is most important to you and what you need the most because many times, people have to make compromises on different elements in a person. Please note that I am not saying you should lower your standards but be realistic in your expectations.

Finally, it is so important to stay steadfast to the deen throughout this entire process. Pray to Allah at every single step and ask for His barakah, ease and tawfiq. Strive to have a wedding that adheres to Allah’s laws and without any haram or extravagance. It is so important to start this new journey while Allah Subhanahu Wataala is pleased with us.

May Allah forgive our shortcomings, guide us to the straight path, grant us wisdom while choosing our spouses, ease throughout the process, and barakah throughout our lives. May Allah protect our souls from attaching to people who aren’t meant for us and grant us contentment in whatever He chooses for us. May He grant us spouses who will be the coolness of our eyes and the comfort for our souls. May we be blessed with pious offspring who’ll love Allah and be attached to the deen. May Allah make our marriages a source of happiness and peace for us rather than a test and source of calamity. Ameen, Ameen Ya Rab.



‘Fiqh of Love’ course by Al Maghrib Institute


That was the final part of our series. I hope it was beneficial to you dear reader. Thank you so much for your time 🙂 Till next time in shaa Allah!

To read part 2 of this series, click here

Considerations For Marriage

Please note that the whole purpose of this segment is to give you a guide on how to go about the process of choosing a spouse, not rules to be followed strictly. Life is not simply black and white and fate is very very mysterious. So many very unlikely individuals have had very successful marriages and so many who seemed well put together ended up divorced. There is no 100% guaranteed formula for a successful marriage because at the end of the day, as much as we make the choices, fate could have very different plans for us. Many things differ from era to era, case to case, individual to individual, culture to culture and context to context so please read the following with an open mind.

5. Age

They say age doesn’t really matter and over the years we’ve had individuals with huge age gaps and the opposite of that as well and still managed to have a healthy marriage. Shaykh Waleed Basyouni mentioned that sometimes when there is a huge age gap there can be a disconnection between the two. For example, right now Gen Z, they’re very different from previous generations. They are in a totally different era. They have different mannerisms, wordings, jokes, lifestyles and values that older generations might not necessarily agree with, understand or connect with. As such, it is advisable to have a smaller age gap, but if otherwise, just understand in advance how that can affect your interactions as spouses then decide whether that works for you.

6. Physical Attraction

Beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder and one man’s meat is another man’s poison. As such, it is very important that an individual is physically attracted to the person they intend to marry. This should be based on their own opinions not what others think/feel about the individual. Some individuals have stronger chemistry and connection from the first time they meet and for others, the attraction grows over time and as they know more about the person. However, Shaykh Waleed mentioned that when considering an individual, that physical attraction shouldn’t be completely zero. There should be at least some attraction which then gives you room to grow in love with them. But if it is completely zero, then perhaps you should consider someone else. Physical attraction cannot be forced; it is a natural thing. So even if someone has very good character and deen but you feel nothing at all towards them, then you shouldn’t feel guilty to decline the offer.

I understand that sometimes the pressure from the family is a lot and they would mock your decision to decline a person you’re not physically attracted to, but at the end of the day, you’re the one who will live with this person for the rest of your life. This doesn’t mean the individual is ugly or entirely unattractive. In fact, to someone else, they could be the prettiest/most good-looking person they’ve ever seen. But you don’t see or feel it that way, and that is okay. We, human beings are like art. And art is very subjective. Each one is drawn to something different. It would be very unfair to both of you if you accepted someone you don’t feel attracted to and then spent your years wondering how it would have been if you found someone else or waited for someone you’re attracted to. You both deserve better than that. And if you’re on the receiving end of a rejection, do know that one person’s rejection doesn’t mean that you’re unattractive to everyone else. It can be as hard as it gets, but have faith that there is a person decreed for you who will absolutely love everything about you.

It is also important to note that sometimes people look very different in photos and in real life. You could be attracted by someone’s photo but when you meet them in real life, you would feel differently about them. As such, make a point to see an individual in real life before proposing.

There is also another wisdom in seeing a person before marriage because you could notice something in their mannerisms that could enhance your attraction to them or otherwise. Shaykh gave an example of a woman who was proposed to by a very good-looking and fashionable man. When he came to her home to meet the family, the man ate in such a disgusting way that the woman was immediately put off. And this happens. Sometimes people are put off by seemingly small things or what they would consider their pet peeves and reject the proposal. Please note that this does not in any way mean we should seek perfection (because that is never attainable) but rather, when it comes to physical attraction, it is entirely upon you to decide what is something you can live with and what is not.

From Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah: “The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘If one of you proposes marriage to a woman, if he can look at her to see that which will encourage him to go ahead and marry her, then let him do so.’ I proposed marriage to a young woman, and I used to hide where I could see her, until I saw that which encouraged me to go ahead and marry her, so I did so.’” According to another report he said, ‘a young woman of Bani Salamah. I used to hide from her, until I saw that which encouraged me to go ahead and marry her, so I did so.” (Saheeh Abi Dawood, no. 1832, 1834)

From al-Mugheerah ibn Shu’bah: “I proposed marriage to a woman, and the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Have you seen her?’ I said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘Look at her, because it is more fitting that love and compatibility be established between you.’” According to another report: “So he did that, and he married her and mentioned that they got along.” (Reported by al-Daaraqutni, 3/252 (31, 32); Ibn Maajah, 1/574)

7. Culture

Allah Subhanahu Wataala said in Surah Al-Hujurat, verse 13: “O humanity! Indeed, We created you from a male and a female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you may ˹get to˺ know one another. Surely the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous among you. Allah is truly All-Knowing, All-Aware.”

Interracial/Intercultural marriages can be as beautiful as they get. They give us a chance to appreciate our different cultures and traditions. Yet when we are entering into a different culture, we should be prepared for what comes next.

We do have tribes and races that are very traditional and really uphold their culture and values, for example, Indians, Arabs, and other types of Asians. Then we have like Western cultures that are a bit flexible and more easily embrace others’ cultures. So it may be easier for an American for example to embrace the culture of their spouse. But imagine when two strong traditional tribes come together, there might be some challenges that will come about. For example, (not to be stereotypical or anything but these are just examples so as to illustrate how two different traditional individuals can merge) an Arab woman getting married to a Chinese, Indian or Mexican man. Please note that this is not to say that it can’t happen in a healthy way, it is possible. Yet when an individual is about to enter into a family of a different strong culture, it is important for them to take time to understand the other culture, calculate the risks, consider the clashes in lifestyles, gender roles and expectations and think about their willingness to adapt to that other culture.

Also, when an individual or a family states that they prefer someone from their own tribe or culture, let’s not rush to label them as ‘racist’ because sometimes, people actually prefer someone with a similar culture, so as to avoid interracial clashes. This doesn’t make them racists. By all means, we should seek what we believe will make us most comfortable. I know in Mombasa we hear people a lot of times saying in a negative tone ‘wanaoana wenyewe kwa wenyewe’ but there is nothing wrong with that (unless this is done because the said tribe feels superior or undermines others). Otherwise, if it is just based on preferences then this does not equate to racism. We have to understand, some people/tribes/cultures are open to new and different experiences, and some prefer familiarity and that is okay too.

The question then comes, where do we draw the line between personal preferences and racism/colorism?

Personal preference in the case of marriage is when an individual, for example, is attracted to a certain skin tone, or certain physical features that are mostly found in a certain tribe/race. So it is okay for someone to say I would love to have a dark wife or a fair husband or a wife from this tribe. In its original sense, this is very natural. Each individual loves different features and sometimes these features are predominant in a certain tribe.

Racism/Colorism is when an individual discriminates against certain people because of their race or color. Like when someone says, ‘I would never marry a dark-skinned man or I would never marry from this tribe’ in a tone that insinuates that anyone with dark skin or from this particular tribe can never be beautiful. It could also mean, this individual has classified an entire group of people based on race or color to show them as unattractive. That is undermining the tribe/race/color, and this is what is wrong.

I know racism is as real as it gets and I will not in any way try to sweep it under the rug. However, let’s not be quick to judge others’ intentions and classify them as racists.

Additionally, we have to be careful about how we show or talk about our preferences. As much as each individual has a right to have personal preferences about certain tribes, skin tones and even body types, we have to be sensitive not to sound degrading to those with features other than what we prefer. For example, (and this is very common), someone could say they prefer petite or slender women, and that is very okay. However, some go ahead and explain why they don’t like women who are curvier or why ONLY petite women can be attractive. Some are even insensitive enough and say such comments in front of curvier women or on social media platforms. This is very inappropriate and just wrong. We’re human after all, and we need to treat others with kindness regardless of our opinions.

8. Financial stability

Marriage is of course a huge responsibility and the man becomes responsible for the maintenance of his wife and family.

A hadeeth was narrated by al-Bukhaari (5066) and Muslim (1400) from Ibn Mas‘ood, who said: “We were with the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), young men who had nothing of wealth. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said to us: “O young men, whoever among you can afford it, let him get married, for it is more effective in lowering the gaze and guarding one’s chastity. And whoever cannot afford it should fast, for it will be a shield for him.” 

This hadith means that if a young man can afford the cost and duties of marriage, he should hasten to get married and protect his chastity. Naturally then, when choosing a spouse, the families ask about the man’s work and income in order to identify whether he can take his responsibilities as required. This thus is an important factor to consider.

Yet still, on the other hand, this does not in any way mean that one has to be super wealthy to be married. It doesn’t mean either that if one is poor they shouldn’t get married. Allah, may He be exalted, says: “And marry those among you who are single (i.e. a man who has no wife and the woman who has no husband) and (also marry) the Salihoon (pious, fit and capable ones) of your (male) slaves and maid-servants (female slaves). If they be poor, Allah will enrich them out of His Bounty. And Allah is All-Sufficent for His creatures needs, All-Knowing (about the state of the people)” [an-Noor 24:32].

As indicated here, “Poverty in and of itself is not an impediment to marriage if the husband is religiously committed and believes sincerely in his Lord, and the woman is likewise. If a person sincerely puts his trust in Allah, wants to keep himself chaste, and seeks that which is with Allah of bounty, there is the hope that Allah will help such a person and grant him provision from His bounty. At-Tirmidhi (1655) narrated, in a report which he classed as hasan, from Abu Hurayrah, who said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “There are three whom Allah is bound to help: the mujaahid who strives (in jihad) for the sake of Allah, the mukaatib (a slave who has made a contract of manumission with his master) who wants to pay off his manumission, and a man who gets married, seeking to remain chaste.”. It was classed as hasan by al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi. 

As such, these cases vary according to people’s situations and customs.



‘Fiqh of Love’ course by Al Maghrib Institute


Thank you for reading, I pray this was beneficial. Please stay tuned for part 4 as we delve into the questions to ask potential spouses, identifying red flags and involving Allah Subhanahu Wataala in the entire process.

To read the first part, click here

Considerations For Marriage

Before we start on what things to consider, here are essential things first:

*Know what you’re looking for.

*Be moderate on the things you’re seeking in a spouse i.e. Be flexible; don’t be too rigid, too specific or have too high expectations. All human beings are flawed in some way, if you aren’t flexible or are seeking perfection, you might struggle for too long to find what you’re looking for, or never find it. Please note that I am not saying you should lower your standards but be realistic in your expectations.

For example, you say you want a husband between the age of 30-35 years but he must be making five or six figures income. I mean, yeah we do have some who do make six figures in that age group but how many?! True, you might actually be lucky and find one, but realistically, is that possible? Are you in an environment that has such individuals? Are you coming from an extremely wealthy family that has connections with other extremely wealthy families that can give you a network to find such an individual? Are you in any way exposed to such individuals? How much do you earn yourself? What are you bringing to the table that would interest such a man/woman to marry you?

Know your worth yes. Have standards yes. Don’t put yourself down yes yes yes! But be realistic, be smart, please.

*Be very aware of the assumption of ‘He/she will change.’ People only change when they are aware and want and put in 100% effort to change. So when considering any individual, see them for who they are NOW, not what they potentially could be in the future if they change. This can easily be one of the most painful ways to harm yourself. The only way this could work is if you find a person already in the process of working on themselves and changing their bad behaviours through taking concrete steps like going for therapy, or rehabilitation (in case of addiction) or having a concrete plan to cut down on their habits (and following that plan!), or acquiring skills that will help with the improvement of the self, not just fake promises and empty words.

* Marry someone who understands your situation. For example, you’re a revert and have no family that is still in touch with you. You’d want someone to understand your situation and not take advantage of you. Or you come from an abusive family and have strained relationships with the members. Some people don’t understand these situations and still expect you to just tolerate the abuse. Or a widow/divorcee with children from a previous marriage-she’d need a man who understands that these children will become his responsibility after marriage.

Another example, an Israeli sister reverts to Islam and wants to get married to a Palestinian whose family is in Gaza. There’s quite a conflict of interest here because each has their family in the warring places, so how will this work? Will the wife understand if the husband refuses to go visit his Israeli in-laws? Will she understand if the husband’s family do not accept her? Will she understand when her husband tells the children about the Palestinian occupation in his own view of things? I mean, some people do take these risks and do get married. But it is important to be prepared for the challenges that come after that.

*Be careful not to let anyone abuse you or take advantage of you. For example, someone wants to marry you in order to acquire citizenship or a green card or a prestigious job in your father’s company etc. Or a man wants to marry a wealthy widow to take advantage of her wealth, or a man wants to marry a revert without paying mahr or giving her very minimal amounts due to her lack of knowledge on her mahr rights. This just shows that someone has no respect for you and your emotions; they’re simply using you.

*Don’t give up hope on what you’re looking for. Marriage is a matter of fate and Allah knows which is the best time for you. Have patience, do your due diligence by searching and make lots of dua that Allah grants you what you want and what is kheyr for you. In your dua, mention the qualities and characteristics you’re looking for. Don’t be shy and don’t limit yourself in what you ask for, for it is only with Allah that there are absolutely no limits in asking.

So what are the things you should consider for marriage?

Please note that the whole purpose of this segment is to give you a guide on how to go about the process of choosing a spouse, not rules to be followed strictly. Life is not simply black and white and fate is very very mysterious. So many very unlikely individuals have had very successful marriages and so many who seemed well put together ended up divorced. There is no 100% guaranteed formula for a successful marriage because at the end of the day, as much as we make the choices, fate could have very different plans for us. Many things differ from era to era, case to case, individual to individual, culture to culture and context to context so please read the following with an open mind.

1. Love

So in the first part of this series, we mentioned how we shouldn’t overestimate the importance of love ALONE in a marriage. As much as that is very true, we can never deny how essential it is for the growth and nurturing of that marriage.

Ibn Abbas reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “We do not see for those who love one another anything like marriage.[Sunan ibn Majah 1847]

This hadith acknowledges that two individuals can in fact have feelings of admiration and affection before marriage, and the best thing for them is to get married so as to safeguard their chastity and complete half their deen. When love is pure and for the sake of Allah then it is one of the most beautiful things.

We further understand the importance of love in marriage when Allah Subhanahu Wataala said in Suratul Rum, verse 21: “And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.”

I remember watching this very insightful clip by Sheikh Nouman Ali Khan where he explains this ayah and he said, “Allah mentioned one thing about marriage that is on top, number one. Everything else is later. He said he made you into spouses for the purpose that you could find peace (tranquility). Sometimes you could love someone without respecting them. You can love someone without being honest with them. You can love someone without caring for them properly. You can love someone but hate their family. And all of these things, you know what they do? They take away the peace. So even if love is there, peace is not. And when peace is not there, the purpose of marriage is gone. The purpose is not love; this comes from Allah (As stated in the ayah above). The purpose is not care (or mercy) that comes from Allah too. Your purpose is to find peace.” (Watch it here)

So the question then becomes, what gives you peace? Is it being respected? Is it being valued? Is it being understood? Is it being prioritized? All the above? Whatever it is, that is what you should be looking for.

I absolutely love poetry so here’s one of my favourite pieces by Andrea Gibson:

“Lately I’ve been thinking about who I want to love, and how I want to love, and why I want to love the way I want to love, and what I need to learn to love that way, and how I need to become, to become the kind of love I want to be. And when I break it all down, when I whittle it into a single breath, it essentially comes out like this: before I die, I want to be somebody’s favourite hiding place, the place they can put everything they need to survive, every secret, every solitude, every nervous prayer, and be absolutely certain that I will keep it safe. I will keep it safe.”

This isn’t plain old love, this is about being someone’s love and some more; bringing them peace and being their home-their safest haven. Being a source of warmth, calm and support for them 🙂

Again, hopeless romantics, this is in no way an undermining of the importance of love in marriage. If you love someone, do marry them, for marriage without love is tasteless. But please do consider the other important things to you too. The hope and prayer is that we get to experience the love, the peace and the mercy all at once, ameen!

2. Deen

The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “A woman is married for four things: for her wealth, for her lineage, for her beauty or for her piety. Select the pious, may you be blessed!”. (Riyad as-Salihin 364)

And in another hadith, the prophet peace be upon him said, “When someone with whose religion and character you are satisfied asks your daughter in marriage, accede to his request. If you do not do so there will be temptation in the earth and extensive corruption.” (Mishkat al-Masabih 3090)

It is without a doubt that religion is the most important thing to consider in a future spouse. The question to ask oneself is, ‘when I say I want someone religious, what exactly do I mean?’ Religion has levels to it. Someone could say I want a man who is Muslim and fulfils the obligations i.e. prayers, saum, zakat, hajj..khalas. That is enough for me.

Someone else could say I want a man who not only fulfils the obligations but observes the sunnah as well and avoids innovations and major sins i.e. fasting Monday and Thursdays, gives charity regularly, prays qiyam, does not listen to music, follows Qur’an and Sunnah.

Someone else could say I want a man who has studied the Islamic shariah or is an imam or is a hafidh…

You get the gist? Religiosity has levels to it and it is very important for you to know exactly what you’re looking for. Here’s why:

People are on different journeys towards Allah and to some extent, we expect our partners to join us in those journeys and help us grow. However, we also have to be realistic about it. Some individuals are willing to improve their deen and grow and some people are comfortable where they are. So what of those unwilling to become better in their deen? They never said they want to change, why are you giving yourself that task then? People ultimately change because they want to, not because someone else wants to. Advice is golden, sure, people do influence each other to become better, sure. But marrying someone and you’re not pleased with where they are at with their religiosity then trying to force it down their throat thereafter is very frustrating for both parties.

For example, an imam marries a non-hijabi woman. If the woman herself has continuously (and not just for the sake of marriage) shown interest in improving her Islam then that is a different case. He most probably will be a positive influence on her. But imagine him marrying her and then forcing her to wear the hijab. In his opinion, this is his responsibility, this is his wife…that is all true. But you also knew the woman you intended to marry wasn’t wearing hijab, why accept her if you were not pleased with how she is, in the first place?

Or in the case of a pious woman marrying a man who only prays during Ramadhan and he doesn’t even see a problem with that. It then becomes a torment for the woman, trying to push him every single day to pray.

In short, marry someone who doesn’t have a huge gap with your level of religiosity or marry someone who has a higher level than you if you intend to acquire their assistance in your journey to Allah. This does not in any way mean you should undermine anyone. Our imaan is always going up and down and perhaps someday, the person you once looked down upon could one day be closer to Allah than you. However, to avoid problems and unrealistic expectations between the couple, it is advisable that we seek people who are at least close to us or slightly higher than us. This also includes considerations of their sect, aqeedah and avoidance of innovation and major sins.

3. Character

Religiosity without good character traits is not enough. This is because our religion highly promotes good character and thus our prophet peace be upon him was sent to us as a role model and a guide so as to direct us on how to be noble human beings.

This is important to look out for because sometimes seemingly religious people might have such bad behaviours and even abusive habits. So even if you’re pleased with someone’s piety, check out their character too.

Some of the good character traits and qualities to be observed in a person are:

*Generosity and kindness (not just in money but everything i.e. generous in your smile, generous in your giving, generous in your assistance to others by using your time or energy etc)


*Wisdom and Maturity


*Etiquette in talking, eating and how you act around others

*Smiling face

*Modesty (both men and women)


*Compassion/Loving nature

*Fertile women (The prophet peace be upon him said, ‘Marry the one who is fertile and loving, for I will boast of your great numbers.’ (Sunan an-Nasa’i 3227). Ibn Qudaamah said in al-Mughni:  It is mustahabb that she be from a family whose women are known to bear many children. This comes as a high suggestion from the prophet peace be upon him, nonetheless, it doesn’t mean that infertile women shouldn’t be married. Just as it is permissible for a woman to marry an infertile man, it is also permissible for a man to marry an infertile woman. 

*Virginity for both man and woman (This does not mean the widows and divorcees are not valued, but rather, this is mentioned because the first experiences cause a strong emotional connection between the couple. Nonetheless, the prophet peace be upon him also advised the marriage of divorcees and widows in other contexts. So this differs according to the context).

4. Suitability and Compatibility

“When someone with whose religion and character you are satisfied asks your daughter in marriage, accede to his request. If you do not do so there will be temptation in the earth and extensive corruption.”

In the explanation of the hadith above, shaykh Waleed Al Basyouni mentioned that when the prophet said ‘someone whose religion and character you are satisfied with’, the word ‘satisfied’ means that you as a father/walii finds this individual as a suitable match for your daughter. Suitable not just in terms of their religiosity or character but also in terms of other matters. This means that sometimes a good, pious man could want your daughter for marriage but may not be suitable for her in one aspect or another.

Lineage and status: Many people consider family lineage and status in order to avoid incompatibility between individuals, however, we do have several cases during the prophet’s time where women of very high status were wedded to ex-slaves or sons of ex-slaves. For example, it has been reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) married Fatimah bint Qays who was a Qurashy to his freed slave Usamah ibn Zayd (may Allah be pleased with them). The prophet also asked Banu Bayadah to marry off one of his daughters to Abu Hind who was a cupper. There are so many such incidents that happened during the prophet’s time. This is based on the general meaning of Allah’s Saying: “Verily, the most honourable of you with Allâh is that (believer) who has At-Taqwâ [i.e. he is one of the Muttaqûn (the pious)].”

Read the response below to a question on marrying above one’s social level from the website

Social level may refer to lineage, wealth, education, profession or job, or it may mean all of them. If a man’s religious commitment and character are pleasing, then he is compatible with the woman, no matter what her social level, according to the more correct view. This is the basic principle and the ruling of sharee’ah. But it remains to examine the situation of each suitor and whether he is suitable to marry one whose social level is above him, or not. 

It seems – and Allaah knows best – that if the difference is great in terms of lineage, wealth, education and profession, that it is not advisable to go ahead with this marriage, because there are usually problems from the woman or her family. There may be differences in lifestyle and the ways in which they do things, which may put the spouses off one another. 

But if the difference is small, or it has to do with one area but can be made up for in another area, then there is nothing wrong with it in that case, such as if the husband is poor but he is highly qualified, or he is qualified for a decent job, or some of his family are of high standing and so on. 

Then there are cases in which the woman and her family are so righteous that they are above looking at material concerns and measuring people thereby, and they may want to choose a husband who is poor because of his righteousness and so on. But it is better if the husband is the one who is of a higher status.   

Whatever the case, the precise advice in each case depends on complete knowledge of both parties and their families. Perhaps you can seek advice from someone whom you trust in your community.

Personality: There is also the aspect of compatibility in personality. Perhaps a woman is very social and likes spending time outdoors i.e. an extrovert, while the husband is more of an indoor individual. Not that a marriage of these individuals will not work, for we have many of such contrasting personalities and they have succeeded in their marriages. The thing here is, it is important to know of these things before the marriage so that you can think of whether this works for you. For example, the extroverted wife would want to often times go visit her family and go for outings and events, and maybe the introverted husband would not be comfortable living with such a woman. It is thus important for the two to discuss how they can manoeuvre their different personalities and meet halfway so as to avoid frustrations in the marriage. Sometimes individuals decide to break off their deal based on the same.

Another example is, you might dislike very talkative and loud individuals, while someone else might find the very quiet ones to be too boring. Someone else might like individuals who are humorous and crack many jokes, while someone else might consider such individuals to be too unserious with life. Someone might like individuals who are ambitious and passionate about their careers while someone else might feel these individuals are just workaholics and have no life apart from their work. So as they say, one man’s poison is another man’s meat. What might work for you, might not work for another. So it is important for the two individuals to regard whether their personalities are suitable for each other, and if not, whether they’re still willing to go ahead with the marriage and what strategies will they have in place to balance their life.

Lifestyle: Considerations of one’s lifestyle should also be considered. For example, think of a man who is a social media influencer and he highlights his life online. Perhaps he might expect his wife to become part of this lifestyle and maybe attend events with him. Maybe he also travels a lot and stays away from home many times. Yet perhaps the woman values her privacy greatly and would not like to be subjected to fame. And perhaps she wouldn’t want her husband to be far away from her most of the time. A marriage between the two could lead to problems if boundaries are not set from the very beginning and strategies are not kept on how to balance their life.

Think of a very educated woman who has built her career throughout her adult years. Then a man marries her then asks her to stay at home and refuses for her to do any sort of work. Some women are actually okay with being housewives and dedicating their lives to nurturing their homes and children but some are not. As controversial as this topic gets, the bottom line is this: If what a woman is doing with her life is not appealing to you, kindly find someone else who will be what you need. You need a housewife? Find a woman who is ready to be one. You want a career woman who is empowered financially? Find one who is already that or is willing to take up a career. Don’t wait until after marriage to force anyone to live a life they didn’t sign up for.

Interests and Hobbies: When it comes to interests and hobbies, it is often better when potential spouses have similar interests and hobbies. These will give them an opportunity to bond further and get to spend their free time together. For example, individuals who both read could discuss their favourite books and give each other suggestions. Individuals who both love fitness could go for walks together or do fitness programs together. For individuals who both enjoy travelling, they can save money and time to travel together. For individuals who love nature, they could start their own small garden at their home or something like that. No two people will ever be 100% similar but having some similarities in interests can be advantageous in a marriage.

Education: If a woman who loves to seek knowledge is married to a man who dropped out of school because of a lack of interest in studies, then some problems might arise in their marriage. For example, the man might not see the need for his wife to keep studying and spending money on different courses. He might consider this a waste of time and money and might lead to constant complaints and fights on the same issue.

As such, it is advisable that individuals marry those who are almost similar in their education levels. The shaykh gave an example of a woman who had two degrees from Harvard University and was married to a young pious man who had only studied the deen and was an imam but he had no secular education at all. The shaykh explained that he knew both individuals and they were both pious and of very good character. Yet their marriage faced many challenges because each one of them had a very different way of looking at matters. This in no way means that one of them is better than the other. They both were good people, they just weren’t compatible.

Again, there are many couples who have healthy, loving relationships while having very different personalities, interests and even education levels. This should not discourage you to consider someone. Just be aware of those differences beforehand, think carefully about whether that works for you or not and how you can each healthily cope and adjust to your differences.

Please also note that having similar lifestyles, interests and personalities does not mean there will be no challenges at all. Even siblings born under the same roof and with the same parents have different ways of doing things. So what about someone from a different family, background and sometimes even different culture? As such, do know that there will still be adjustments and compromises to be made throughout the marriage.



‘Fiqh of Love’ Course from Al Maghrib Institute.


Stay tuned for part 3 as we delve deeper into other considerations for marriage. Thank you for reading, and please subscribe below! 🙂

“A man asked a shaykh what advice can you give me on how to do tarbiyah on my son. The shaykh asked him, how old is your son and he replied, he is only two months old. The shaykh replied, ‘You are late, you have already missed the train. The best time to seek advice on tarbiyah of your child is when you were ready to choose a spouse because true tarbiyah starts by choosing a righteous spouse for your children.”

(Quoted from Ibn Qayyim’s book by Ahlul-Athar twitter page)

I recently started doing a marriage course at Al-Maghrib institute called ‘Fiqh of Love’, one of the most eye-opening and thought-provoking courses I have ever come across. If it was possible, I’d advise every single Muslim to take the course because it not only covers in-depth Islamic aspects and rulings on marriage but psychological ones as well. I just HAVE TO share some very important tips shared, especially on how to choose a spouse.

*Please note some of the views that will be shared are my own.*

So let’s start from the beginning:


First of all, remove it from your mind that love is everything you need to sustain a marriage. That is an unrealistic view that’s very commonly romanticized in our society. Love is important yes, it nurtures a marriage yes, it brings out the most beautiful aspects of marriage yes…but is it the only thing you need to take with you into marriage? Absolutely not!

It is natural for people to feel some attraction, chemistry or connection towards another, and that is counted as the initial stage of love. Now during this phase, a lot of happy chemicals take over our bodies and bring out the excitement in us. And as these hormones continue existing in us, most often than not, people tend to become blinded by the other person’s character traits and behaviour.

According to, in an article named ‘What falling in love does to your heart and brain’ the writer states:

“MRI scans indicate that love lights up the pleasure center of the brain. When we fall in love, blood flow increases in this area, which is the same part of the brain implicated in obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

“Love lowers serotonin levels, which is common in people with obsessive-compulsive disorders,” said Mary Lynn, DO, co-director of the Loyola Sexual Wellness Clinic and assistant professor, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, SSOM. “This may explain why we concentrate on little other than our partner during the early stages of a relationship.”

Doctors caution that these physical responses to love may work to our disadvantage.

“The phrase ‘love is blind’ is a valid notion because we tend to idealize our partner and see only things that we want to see in the early stages of the relationship,” Dr. Mumby said. “Outsiders may have a much more objective and rational perspective on the partnership than the two people involved do.”

You will sometimes find people who were once very deeply in love eventually end up in resentment over the same traits that initially attracted them to each other. For example, a woman could admire how charismatic, charming and outgoing a man is and choose to marry him for such traits. However, once the happy hormones have subsided, the lady starts getting irritated and feeling insecure when she realizes that the man is not just charming to her alone. She’d probably become overly jealous when she sees him interact with other people and how much attention he gets. And maybe the man doesn’t really have strict boundaries with others and this might agitate the lady. Mind you, these were the same traits she adored in him at the start, she knew how much attention he was getting but because she didn’t actually evaluate whether that personality will work with her overly jealous one, it brings out resentment in her.

Please note that I am not in any way saying that a charming individual is the wrong choice of spouse lol, nor am I saying it is okay to be overly jealous or violate boundaries…but rather, from the beginning, let not love blind you from critically thinking about your choices. You have to be self-aware about your own strengths, weaknesses, what exactly you need in a partner and be practical in how you make those choices.

There is this one very deep and profound quote by a poet called Taylor (from Unicorn Empire on Tumblr: that moves me every.single.time!

“A lot of people ask me what my biggest fear is, or what scares me most. And I know they expect an answer like heights, or closed spaces, or people dressed like animals, but how do I tell them that when I was 17 I took a class called Relationships For Life and I learned that most people fall out of love for the same reasons they fell in it. That their lover’s once endearing stubbornness has now become refusal to compromise and their one track mind is now immaturity and their bad habits that you once adored is now money down the drain. Their spontaneity becomes reckless and irresponsible and their feet up on your dash is no longer sexy, just another distraction in your busy life.

Nothing saddens and scares me like the thought that I can become ugly to someone who once thought all the stars were in my eyes.”

In a follow-up post after the above trended on Tumblr, Taylor said:

“After my teacher introduced us to this theory, she asked us, “is love a feeling? Or is it a choice?” We were all a bunch of teenagers. Naturally, we said it was a feeling. She said that if we clung to that belief, we’d never have a lasting relationship of any sort.

She made us interview a dozen adults who were or had been married and we asked them about their marriages and why it lasted or why it failed. At the end, I asked every single person if love was an emotion or a choice.

Everybody said that it was a choice. It was a conscious commitment. It was something you choose to make work every day with a person who has chosen the same thing. They all said that at one point in their marriage, the “feeling of love” had vanished or faded and they weren’t happy. They said feelings are always changing and you cannot build something that will last on such a shaky foundation.

The married ones said that when things were bad, they chose to open communication, chose to identify what broke and how to fix it, and chose to recreate something worth falling in love with. The divorced ones said they chose to walk away.

Ever since that class, I have never looked at relationships in the same way again. I understood why arranged marriages worked. I discovered the difference between feelings and commitments. I’ve never gone for the person who makes my heart flutter or my head spin. I’ve chosen people who were committed to choosing me, dedicated to finding something to adore even on the ugliest days.

To conclude her post she added: ‘I no longer fear the day someone who I swore was the universe can no longer see stars in my eyes, as long as they still chose to look for them until they find them again.”

I think it is noteworthy to mention, Islam doesn’t reject the concept of love. It is natural and happens without our permission. Yet, what we choose to do with that love/attraction is considered our choice and responsibility. Religion gives us guidelines and limits to observe when it comes to our emotions because many times it can lead one to lose the akhera or both the akhera and dunya (May Allah protect and guide us).

There is so much wisdom in why our religion discourages emotional attachment before marriage. It is not to make us miss out on something we consider beautiful, but rather, to protect our souls from a considerable amount of pain and heartbreak that can be avoided.

Imam Ahmad said: “Don’t expose yourself to what you cannot handle.” Sometimes we think we’re smarter than everyone else and can handle whatever happens. But the reality is, we’re human beings and we all are weak to some extent. When Allah asked us to lower our gaze and protect our private parts, it was because HE KNOWS that that can be the greatest source of pain and despair for humankind.

Going back to the initial point on how love can blind us from being practical and realistic, the shaykh mentioned during the course, an incident that happened between a Muslim lady coming from a very rich background and a Muslim man who was struggling to make ends meet. The two fell in love and the man approached the girl’s family to propose to her. The family were against the marriage because they felt that the man wouldn’t be able to give their daughter the same kind of lifestyle and comfort she had at her father’s home. Mind you, this girl came from a wealthy family such that they had two house helps, and one of them was dedicated to serving the lady alone.

Despite the family’s objection, the girl insisted that she wanted the same man to be her husband. She said she doesn’t mind if he is poor. She is ready to eat plain bread and water. She is ready to make all sacrifices for him. The two eventually got married. After a while, the lady approaches the shaykh crying; she is pregnant and still loves her husband, but she cannot take it anymore. She is really frustrated because she is not used to doing any house chores and it is a big struggle for her. The husband on the other side is frustrated because she can’t seem to get it right and keeps comparing his wife to his mother’s abilities.

Now, we’re not saying that two people coming from different lifestyles and financial stability (or the lack thereof) can’t lead to a healthy marriage BUT it takes more than love to handle such issues. With love, people tend to think ‘we can overcome ANYTHING’. Yet for that to actually happen, more traits and actions are needed like open communication, compromise, patience, support, mercy, compassion, and kindness. If the couple had taken the time to communicate about the impending challenges before the marriage (or at least early on in the marriage) and come up with strategies and plans on how they’d cope, then maybe things would have turned out differently.

This doesn’t mean there is no hope for the couple to fix their marriage, but it always better to be proactive and prepared in such scenarios.

All we’re saying is, don’t make love your main or only criterion in choosing a spouse. Instead:

1. Work on being the right spouse: This means you actively strive for personal growth and development. Understand yourself; your needs, your strengths, your weaknesses, your preferences, your goals and what you want in life.

Questions to ask oneself include:

Am I ready for marriage? REALLY being ready for the life after marriage, not just the fun wedding part.

What are my likes and dislikes?

What are my positive and negative traits? (Be honest and realistic)

What are my weaknesses and how can I work on them?

How can I become a better human being?

What are my preferences?

How would I like my future spouse to be?

Knowing your triggers: What situations or kinds of people bring out strong (mostly negative emotions) in you? What makes you angry? What kind of person you cannot stand at all? What kind of behaviours puts you off or frustrate or irritate you?

If you already have an interest towards a person, and you’re working on being the right spouse, ask yourself: What will I contribute to this relationship? What will I be serving? Am I giving as much as I am receiving? (Those already married can reflect on these questions too).

Most importantly, have the intention of becoming the best version of yourself. Each one of us has baggage to work on, so none of us can say we have achieved the ultimate growth. We’re continuously exposed to different kinds of trauma and difficult situations that we need to learn and grow from. There is no end to the process. According to your intention, Allah will help and assist you.

2. Connect with Allah: Seek knowledge. Strive for closeness with Allah. Work on doing better and more in your ibadah. Know which ibadah uplifts you the most and use that to nurture yourself. For example, for some people, reading Qur’an brings them the most peace. For others it is praying tahajjud. For others it is charity etc. Once you identify what works best for you, use that as a tool to keep you grounded and at peace. When uplifted, you will definitely interact better with your spouse and those around you.

Allah Subhanahu Wataala says: “And be not like those who forgot Allah and He made them forget themselves.” When we’re distant from Allah, we’re distant from a crucial part of ourselves. How can we forget ourselves then expect to find a good match?

When you’re connected to Allah, you’ll choose someone connected too.

Moreover, make dua often for yourself, your future spouse and your offspring. Even if you haven’t found a person yet, pray for your future spouse; their well-being, their religiosity, their peace of mind, their growth, and their rizq. Ask Allah for what you’d love to see in them; whether character traits, personality type, piety level and even physical traits. Ask Allah to enable both of you to be wonderful spouses to each other and wonderful parents thereafter. Ask Allah for good offspring thereafter who’ll be obedient, pious, intelligent etc…whatever you want, ask Allah without limiting yourself.

3. Search for the right spouse: Find someone who will bring you closer to Allah. Someone who can be a good parent. Someone who is compatible with you. Someone who will support and help you along the way. And someone who will bring out the best in you.

Ask yourself: What exactly do I want in a spouse? Ideally, you could have a list of what your spouse MUST have, Negotiable things you want and Non-negotiables.

For example, a man says, my wife MUST observe the proper hijab, she preferably should have a university degree but if she just has a college diploma that works for me (negotiable), and she mustn’t be working in a field that requires night shifts (non-negotiable). Please note that this differs from person to person and it is okay for whichever preferences one has.

Another example, a woman says: My husband MUST have a halal income, he preferably should be a hafidh but if he isn’t, then he should at least be able to read the Qur’an fluently (negotiable), and he mustn’t have any kind of addiction (non-negotiable).

Alternatively, you could put your expectations into categories; Most important, least important and Able to compromise. The important thing is to identify these things beforehand. By the way, these lists aren’t limited to qualities and traits only. They also include physical features as well.

One interesting tip that shaykh Waleed Basyouni shared about what to do when considering a person is; look at whether the person meets the qualities you need, then have deen the last and final quality to check off. For example, a lady says I want a man who is ambitious, religious, financially stable and tall. If the man she is considering has all the above (or some, according to what is negotiable to her) then finally she considers his religiosity. Is he pious? If yes, she goes ahead. If not, she cancels the deal. This makes the process easier because sometimes you can get someone who is religious but doesn’t have the other qualities that are also important to you. So you keep deen as the final consideration to tick off for it is the most important one; the deal maker or the deal breaker.

In conclusion to this first part, do know that it is okay to fall in love but take your brain with you. Don’t get overly attached to anyone. Maintain your boundaries and protect your chastity.

Love is not always enough to sustain a marriage (or any kind of relationship).

It is also important for individuals to know the difference between love, obsession, infatuation, lust and sympathy/pity. Each individual should be able to identify and NAME which emotions they are experiencing. It gives one clarity on how to deal with those emotions once identified.

That’ll be the end of part one. Some of the points above will be talked about further in the follow-up articles of this series. Kindly subscribe below to receive the latest articles in your email box 🙂

To read part 5, click here

Being denied entry into Jannah

Imagine all the 29/30 days you spent in ibadah during the month of Ramadhan; exerting yourself, never missing taraweh, waking up for tahajjud, staying up in the night, making dua every moment of the day, giving charity and giving and giving…then at the end of it, you are told that your deeds were but a waste. How would you feel? Devastated right?!

Now imagine coming on the day of judgment (not 30 days anymore but rather an entire lifetime this time round) while hopeful because you know you believed, and you were among the worshippers, then Allah Subhanahu Wataala declares you among the dwellers of hellfire. Not because of Allah’s injustice, for our Lord is never unjust, but because of your other bad deeds, you are denied entry into Jannah.

Here are some individuals who will be denied entry into Jannah:

1. One who severs ties of kinship:

Narrated Jubair bin Mut`im: That he heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, “The person who severs the bond of kinship will not enter Paradise.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 5984)

2. Whoever disobeys the prophet peace be upon him:

Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “All my followers will enter Paradise except those who refuse.” They said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Who will refuse?” He said, “Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise, and whoever disobeys me is the one who refuses (to enter it).” (Sahih al-Bukhari 7280)

3. Mistreating those under one’s authority:

Abu Bakr as-Siddiq reported the Prophet as saying, “One who treats badly those under his authority will not enter paradise.” (Mishkat al-Masabih 3358)

4. A ruler who doesn’t serve the Muslims as he should:

It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Malik that Ubaidullah b. Ziyad visited Ma’qil b. Yaser in the latter’s illness. Ma’qil said to him: “I am narrating to you a tradition. If I were not at death’s door, I would not narrate it to you. I heard the Messenger of Allah (may peace he upon him) say: A ruler who, having obtained control over the affairs of the Muslims, does not strive for their betterment and does not serve them sincerely shall not enter Paradise with them.” (Sahih Muslim 142g)

5. Those who do these three acts:

The Prophet peace be upon him said: “No one who reminds others of his favors, no one who is disobedient to his parents and no drunkard, will enter Paradise.” (Sunan an-Nasa’i 5672)

6. Those who are arrogant:

It was narrated that Abdullah said: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘No one will enter Paradise who has even a mustard-seed’s weight of arrogance in his heart, and no one will enter Hell who has even a mustard-seed’s weight of faith in his heart.'” (Sunan Ibn Majah 59)

7. Committing shirk:

Narrated `Abdullah: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Anyone who dies worshipping others along with Allah will definitely enter the Fire.” I said, “Anyone who dies worshipping none along with Allah will definitely enter Paradise.” (Sahih al-Bukhari 1238)

8. Those who mistreat their neighbours:

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer! By Allah, he is not a believer.” It was asked, “Who is that, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “One whose neighbour does not feel safe from his evil”.

Another narration of Muslim is: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “He will not enter Jannah whose neighbour is not secure from his wrongful conduct”. (Riyad as-Salihin 305)

9. Those who participate in calumny (the making of false and defamatory statements about someone in order to damage their reputation; slander):

Hudhaifah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The person who goes about with calumnies will never enter Jannah.” (Riyad as-Salihin 1536)

10. Example of the woman who mistreated her cat:

Narrated `Abdullah bin `Umar: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “A woman was tortured and was put in Hell because of a cat which she had kept locked till it died of hunger.” Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) further said, (Allah knows better) Allah said (to the woman), ‘You neither fed it nor watered when you locked it up, nor did you set it free to eat the vermin of the earth.’ (Sahih al-Bukhari 2365)

11: Example of the man who judged his fellow with regards to his sins:

Narrated AbuHurayrah: I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: There were two men among Banu Isra’il, who were striving for the same goal. One of them would commit sin and the other would strive to do his best in the world. The man who exerted himself in worship continued to see the other in sin.

He would say: Refrain from it. One day he found him in sin and said to him: Refrain from it.

He said: Leave me alone with my Lord. Have you been sent as a watchman over me? He said: I swear by Allah, Allah will not forgive you, nor will he admit you to Paradise. Then their souls were taken back (by Allah), and they met together with the Lord of the worlds.

He (Allah) said to this man who had striven hard in worship; Had you knowledge about Me or had you power over that which I had in My hand? He said to the man who sinned: Go and enter Paradise by My mercy. He said about the other: Take him to Hell.

AbuHurayrah said: By Him in Whose hand my soul is, he spoke a word by which this world and the next world of his were destroyed.” ( Sunan Abi Dawud 4901)

12. One who dies upon bad deeds:

Sahl b. Sa’d reported God’s messenger as saying, “One man does the deeds of those who go to hell but is one of those who go to paradise, and another does the deeds of those who go to paradise but is one of those who go to hell, for judgment is given according to one’s final actions.” (Mishkat al-Masabih 83)


The scariest thing is that none of us is sure which kind of deaths we’ll have or which of our sins could potentially ruin our chance to enter Jannah. This should make us mindful of our acts of worship and especially how we interact with our fellow human beings (we mostly underestimate the effect of this on our book of deeds), lest we become among the losers and the poor on the day of judgment.

Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: Do you know who is poor? They (the Companions of the Holy Prophet) said: A poor man amongst us is one who has neither dirham with him nor wealth. He (the Holy Prophet) said: The poor of my Umma would be he who would come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers and fasts and Zakat but (he would find himself bankrupt on that day as he would have exhausted his funds of virtues) since he hurled abuses upon others, brought calumny against others and unlawfully consumed the wealth of others and shed the blood of others and beat others, and his virtues would be credited to the account of one (who suffered at his hand). And if his good deeds fall short to clear the account, then his sins would be entered in (his account) and he would be thrown in the Hell-Fire. (Sahih Muslim 2581)

This is not meant to make us fall into despair with regard to our sins or shortcomings. Indeed no good deed goes done sincerely goes to waste and moreover, none of us will enter Jannah because of our deeds, but rather from Allah’s mercy. And our Lord is the Most Merciful. It is thus important that we constantly strive in getting close to Allah and make dua to Him to make us worthy of His love and mercy.

So we hereby bring those fears to Allah Subhanahu Wataala…

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْجَنَّةَ .اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْجَنَّةَ . اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْجَنَّةَ

“O Allah, I ask You for paradise. O Allah, I ask You for paradise. O Allah, I ask You for paradise.”

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْجَنَّةَ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ النَّارِ

“O Allah, I ask You for paradise and seek Your protection from the fire”

االلَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ النَّارِ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْعَمَلٍ وَأَسْأَلُكَ أَنْ تَجْعَلَ كُلَّ قَضَاءٍ قَضَيْتَهُ لِي خَيْرً

“O Allah, I ask You of Paradise and every deed or speech that will be a means of drawing near to it; and I seek refuge in You from the Fire and from every deed or speech that will be a means of drawing near to it; and I ask You that You make whatever You have decreed for me a means of good.”

رَبَّنَآ إِنَّنَآ ءَامَنَّا فَٱغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَقِنَا عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ

“Our Lord! We have believed, so forgive our sins and protect us from the torment of the Fire.”

. رَبِّ هَبْ لِى حُكْمًۭا وَأَلْحِقْنِى بِٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ .وَٱجْعَل لِّى لِسَانَ صِدْقٍۢ فِى ٱلْـَٔاخِرِينَ . وَٱجْعَلْنِى مِن وَرَثَةِ جَنَّةِ ٱلنَّعِيمِ .

“My Lord! Grant me wisdom, and join me with the righteous. Bless me with honourable mention among later generations. Make me one of those awarded the Garden of Bliss.”

رَبِّ ابْنِ لِي عِندَكَ بَيْتًا فِي الْجَنَّةِ

“My Lord! Build for me a home with You in Paradise”

للَّهُمَّ اقْسِمْ لَنَا مِنْ خَشْيَتِكَ مَا تَحُولُ بِهِ بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَ مَعَاصِيكَ، وَمِنْ طَاعَتِكَ مَا تُبَلِّغُنَا بِهِ جَنَّتَكَ، وَمِنَ الْيَقِينِ مَا تُهَوِّنُ بِهِ عَلَيْنَا مَصَائِبَ الدُّنْيَا، اللَّهُمَّ مَتِّعْنَا بِأَسْمَاعِنَا، وَأَبْصَارِنَا، وَقُوَّاتِنَا مَا أَحْيَيْتَنَا، وَاجْعَلْهُ الْوَارِثَ مِنَّا، وَاجْعَلْ ثَأْرَنَا عَلَى مَنْ ظَلَمَنَا، وَانْصُرْنَا عَلَى مَنْ عَادَانَا، وَلَا تَجْعَلْ مُصِيبَتَنَا فِي دِينِنَا، وَلَا تَجْعَلِ الدُّنْيَا أَكْبَرَ هَمِّنَا، وَلَا مَبْلَغَ عِلْمِنَا، وَلَا تُسَلِّطْ عَلَيْنَا مَنْ لَا يَرْحَمُنَا

“O Allah, apportion to us such fear as should serve as a barrier between us and acts of disobedience; and such obedience as will take us to Your Jannah; and such as will make easy for us to bear in the calamities of this world.

O Allah! let us enjoy our hearing, our sight and our power as long as You keep us alive and make our heirs from our own offspring, and make our revenge restricted to those who oppress us, and support us against those who are hostile to us, Let no misfortune afflict our Deen; let not worldly affairs be our principal concern, or the ultimate limit of our knowledge, and let not those rule over us who do not show mercy to us.”

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ رِضَاكَ وَالجَنَّةَ ، وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ سَخَطِكَ وَالنَّارِ

“O Allah, I ask of Your pleasure and for Paradise, and I seek refuge from Your displeasure and from the Hellfire.”

رَبَّنَا اصْرِفْ عَنَّا عَذَابَ جَهَنَّمَ ۖ إِنَّ عَذَابَهَا كَانَ غَرَامًا إِنَّهَا سَاءَتْ مُسْتَقَرًّا وَمُقَامًا

“Our Lord! Avert from us the Wrath of Hell, for its Wrath is indeed an affliction grievous,- Evil indeed is it as an abode, and as a place to rest in.”

Ya Allah, don’t make us among the losers-those whose efforts in ibadah are unaccepted and valueless. Ya Allah please rectify our character, our deeds, and our relationships with You and other people.

Ya Allah, please grant us sincerity in all the good deeds that we do, accept them from us, and make us among those who die upon goodness.

Ya Allah, we ask You for Jannah; its pleasures, its companions (including our loved ones Ya Rab), its clothes, its houses, its beauty and to gaze upon your Glorious Face Ya Rab.

Ameen Ya Rabbal alameen!


Remember we started this series with the dua of one of the pious predecessors, Habibah al- ‘Adawiyah (may Allah have mercy on her) and we shall end with her other dua as well:

“O Allah! Here goes the night departing and here comes the day brightening, and how I wish to know, have you accepted this night from me so that I may congratulate myself, or have you rejected it from me so that I may extend myself condolences. By Your Might! This is my commitment for as long as you keep me alive. By Your might! Even if You scold me, I will never leave Your door, nor will anything but Your generosity and grace be felt in my heart.”


Eid Mubarak good people! May Allah accept our good deeds, elevate our status, answer our duas beautifully, forgive our sins and make us among those who continue doing good even after Ramadhan. May these blessed days be filled with joy, happiness and love, and for our loved ones in the graves, may Allah have mercy on them and make their graves to be from the gardens of Jannah, ameen!

Alhamdulilah, that brings an end to our Ramadhan – Eid series. May it be of benefit to me first, and then to you dear reader. Till the next post biidhnillah. Meanwhile, here’s a small reminder for us:

It was narrated from Abu Ayyub that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadan then follows it with six days of Shawwal, it is as if he fasted for a lifetime.” (Sunan Ibn Majah 1716)

Fi AmaniLlah! 🙂