Chapter 11

Bismillahir Rahmannir Raheem


I felt my knees buckle as Hammad walked away and I wobbled to the bench. How is it that someone can even affect your wellbeing physically? Howcome someone who was a stranger takes over our lives completely and claims our hearts? I remember Zain telling me that this was one of the reason that Allah Ta’alaa made informal contact before nikah haraam. Not to make our lives colourless and miserable but to save us pain. Who can have more love,concern and insight into us than the One that created this heart? Doesn’t our Maker know better?

But this foolish heart,oh this foolish heart, fell at the first whisper of shaitan,the first pod of the nafs, the first offer of comfort. The first tug of the heart when it felt a connection.

Hammad had got in touch with me via facebook after Zain was taken away. He offered sympathy and encouragement and he stood out from all the others with their bad vocab and instagram pictures captioned with “Sorry”. Some didn’t know what to say because they were not sure of how to deal with the sister of an “evil mind” as the media had called him.

Hammad and I ended up chatting for hours. Then over the phone, we talked till his alarm went off for fajr. It was like I finally found someone that got me. Of course there was that fleeting moment when I felt that before with someone else… but that’s another story.

Hammad was in my area one day and facebook let me know that and the next thing we’re chatting over a pizza and after a serious hour of discussing Zain and America’s intolerance and bigotry, he smiled and say’s he has a surprise for me.

” I hope you like what I ordered for you Nadia” Hammad said, almost shyly.

“But when did you order? I was here the whole time.” I asked, curious.

“As soon as you agreed to come over, I figured that you needed to smile… oh here it is…” He exclaimed

The waiter placed a giant bowl of Ice creams in scoops of different colours and flavours with a huge sparkler on it infront of me. I was blown away, smiling from ear to ear, no one had done something like this for me! He actually remembered my ice cream obsession! And the glow of the sparkler reflected in his eyes as I looked up and our gaze met.

” It was worth that smile.” He said softly and my heart lurched.

And that was how it all began.

And now it was all over.

How could  I ever feel whole again? With this sharp stab in my chest go away?

I wept and the wind howled with me.

The heart is one, Allah is one, therefore the heart belongs only to The One- Shaykh Zulfikar



My eyes opened and as had been the practice instilled in me by my parents, I rubbed my eyes three times as was the sunnah of Nabi SAW and recited the dua for awakening.

All praise be to Allah who has given us life after death and to Him is the final return.

Sleep is similar to death as in, we are in a state of inertia. We know not if we will awaken again. So if our eyes open, we have been given another chance. Another choice.

To carve out a better day,to create a better life so that our forever in Jannah may be beautiful.

To wake up as a Muslim is the greatest blessing. I looked around me, prisoners just like me, brought in, in the prime of their youth,now grey, wrinkled, tortured, abused but stronger inside than ever before.

Is it not proof enough that Islam is a true religion when so many prisoners found comfort in it? That they accepted Islam while in jail?

Or that  from the many imprisoned here at the pit known as Guantanamo Bay Prison(Gitmo), whoever came in and didn’t have a sunnah beard, grew one? learnt more of his deen and became attached to his salaah?

We formed our rows for Fajr, the early morning prayer and our Imaam led us from his cage.

Allahu Akbar.

There is no excuse for missing salaah. Let’s read it before it is read for us.

After salaah was over, we lifted our hands in dua, each immersed in his own private conversation with Allah Ta’alah and as always, the names of my sons, the pieces of my heart, fell from my lips.

Sulaiman and Safwaan… where are you’ll? Wherever you are, just be with imaan and be okay.



Bismillah. I whispered and crawled to the edge of the cell of my prison. It was dark and I heard the guards change shift.

We strike tonight.



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