In light of recent domestic abuse cases, in this week’s blog I want to share a diary entry I wrote last October. The name of the sister has been changed but the events are very true – toned down if anything.

It was 9:30 in the morning. Asiya and I bumped into one another in Morrison’s. A quick morning school run – shop, turned into a catch up over fish & chips and hot chocolate; not my breakfast of choice, but a craving Asiya had been having for weeks during lockdown.

After some pleasantries of conversation, Asiya started to delve into the pain that sat so openly on her sleeve. My throat was swelling and not allowing the food down. The food looked fresh and smelt good, yet my brain was sending signals of disgust, sadness and anger which was preventing me from raising a chip to my mouth.

Her face was bright, smooth and clean, yet her eyes tired, worn out and sad. An enigma? No. It was that all too familiar large smile accompanied by sad eyes. I always say, ‘the greater the smile, the greater the pain it hides.’

Asiya became a Muslim in her early 20s. After fleeing for her life from a violent, abusive husband (not Muslim), she took her three children to safety and began a new life as a Muslim. Disowned, ostracised, ridiculed and shunned by her family, she was left entirely on her own. She married soon after, believing a Muslim husband would provide her with all the Islamic responsibilities the Qur’an and sunnah teach. Yet what was to unfold was a secret first wife, anger issues, neglect, being used for intercourse and the list goes on.

“He [Muslim husband] ripped my niqab off in the street and threw a few punches. A couple of weeks later I knew my baby had gone. I could feel it. It had died inside me. I rang the midwife to tell her and they agreed to scan me. I didn’t tell him; there was just no point. Soon after, I was alone in hospital giving birth to my 6 month-old dead baby. My mother-in-law was sending me nasty messages even then.”

As Asiya continued to describe events to me, I tried to imagine her life: ‘”I was lying beaten on the kitchen floor unconscious. My 6-year-old daughter dialled 999, saving my lifemy family never asked about me…he never gives me my rights, his mum treats me like rubbish, in the bedroom all he wants …” I can’t bear the scene. I tightly close my eyes, take a deep breath, and open them. “I work five days a week to financially support my children, alone.”

In my mind I see my friend cooking for her eight children, I see her doing the school runs and I see her alone reflecting upon the absence of family. I recall her recent WhatsApp status yearning for her father. Her father. It touches a deep wound within me. I need to stop listening. I will cry. I will break down. I cut in abruptly,

How do you do it Asiya?” I asked with these words, but she understood my question actually was – “How do you not give up? How are you not drowning in stress and depression?” I think I was annoyed with her for allowing all this to happen. Frustrated.

I looked straight into her eyes, desperate for some hope, something that told me she was alright, something that told me I would be alright.

She looked straight back into my eyes, paused for what felt like forever, then said,

“Allah made us survivors Haniya. He made us survivors.”

I stared as her eyes suddenly beamed. From every angle light shone from her. Her smile was beautifully wide, her eyes beautifully beaming. In perfect harmony. I saw pride, she was proud to be Muslim. She didn’t have to say the words. I could see her justice and hope was with Allah. I could see it in her eyes and her smile.

Now I saw a woman who never let her deen down, who clung to Allah swt. I saw a strong Muslim woman.

“Allah made us survivors” I smiled. I ate some chips.

By no means do I endorse putting up with any form of domestic violence.

There is a narration that a group of women (some say up to 70) approached the Prophet peace be upon him, to complain about their husbands beating them. He immediately called an emergency meeting to address the issue. This shows the severity of such cases and the need for the community to act. We learn that it’s clearly permissible for women to discuss these problem and that violence should never be kept hidden. The Prophet (peace be upon him) respected women to a high degree. In fact, he was known for his excellent conduct with him family: “The best of you are the best to their families, and I am the best to my family.”

A man who abuses his wife is violating the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah. Our Prophet, according to his wife Aisha ra, did not strike a servant or a woman, and he never struck anything with his hand. (Muslim). He was a man of mercy, gentleness and compassion. He said, “How does any one of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then sleeps with her at night?” (Bukhari)

For the sisters who are suffering, know that Allah swt is watching over you. He swt is making note of every pain and ache you feel on your body, in your heart and your mind that never rests. Allah swt is Al Adl – the most Just. Every action will be accounted for and given its right in the hereafter.

We are all tested in this dunya, even once accepting Islam, Allah swt will continue to test us so we continually turn to Him. You may have sabr through this particular test and know what works best for you, or you may see that tests and sabr come in the form of standing up to oppression and removing yourself from it. Either way, I am certain Allah swt is the best Wali and the best guardian for you. He is your relief and the One who will open doors. I urge you to forever hold on to your salah and trust that Allah swt will grant your ease.

Asiya is an incredible woman. She has much happiness and much stress and understanding that this world is temporary, she marches on collecting good deeds along the way. She has very close friends that support her, children that protect her and her Lord that soothes her heart. I showed this piece to her and her words were “Can’t believe you thought my life worthy of this, may we be neighbours and sisters in Islam forever, Ameen.” – jazakillahukhayr my very desi friend, chai and samosa at yours soon!

May Allah swt grant you all gardens and palaces of eternal peace, Ameen.

Join Revert Reflections Blog this Ramadhan by writing a short piece about your Ramadhan.

Whether it was last year, your first ever Ramadhan or upcoming, share your thoughts and experience with the aim to inspire others.

Islamwise are collating your Reflections now, in hope to release them in Ramadhan.

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  • Approx 300 words
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Assalaam’alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu.

This is my first blog post, so please let me introduce myself; I’m Haniya.

I have been Muslim for about 12 years alhamdulilah. I come from a Sikh background. Everyday reality – I am a mother, wife and friend. In my dreams – I am still a daughter, sister, niece, cousin and grandchild.

Alhamdulilah many reverts are strong in their faith. They have fixed their roots, found, and adapted to their new Muslim identity, formed families and may even have their own non-Muslim family supporting them. 

My blogs are for reverts who may be struggling. My aim, by seeking Allah’s (swt) help, is to help every revert reading this, to be strong in faith and character. Forgive me if I fall short!

Today is International Women’s Day. I thought of a million topics I could write about, Women in Islam, Women’s Rights in Islam, Role Models and many more. But I paused in my tracks and took a turn. How do I reach out to revert women all over the world, in a way that they won’t already know; by a scholar, have access to in a masjid or a YouTube talk? How do I reach into hearts to say, “You are amazing. Allah is enough for you.” [Hasbunallahu wa ni’mal wakeel…find the definition yourself and stick on the most busy place – fridge!]

Well, I concluded my first blog should rightly be about the heart of a woman… our lifeline.

For some reverts we lose our families, face rejection and loneliness in various forms. We may struggle in marriage and have no one to turn to. We might be single mums with a head that just won’t stop hurting and nights that lead too fast into another lonely day. We might yearn every day for our father, for our family and for one last party with our friends! Yes, it is true we yearn for a party! [Just don’t do it please, I will explain in another blog]

This can leave our hearts so fragile, so vulnerable and in honesty, like there is a gaping hole – an empty space where once lay so much love.

I ask you to trust me now. 

That heart had to break for light to shine through it. That light is your faith. Fill it with Allah (swt). If you don’t fill your heart with Allah, it will be filled with other wants, for example you will persistently seek other people’s love, validation and acceptance. Never finding it though, because humans are not perfect, one day someone will let you down and you will be in pieces again. Is this the ‘Independent Woman’ you dreamt to be?

Your true strength and independence is from the One who created you, the One who truly wants best for you, the One who will forgive you repeatedly (yes repeatedly), no matter how big your sin, who will love you unconditionally. Turn to Him. Trust me. 

There is no one who will ease that loss better than Allah. Know that it is also Allah that will send you the right people, to make you smile and enjoy life.

How? I hear you asking… “How do I get close to Allah?” “It won’t happen, I can’t do it”. 

Keep calm. Deep breath, it’s all good. It is a training process –

Firstly, that negativity, recognise that is the voice of Shaytaan, not you. Accept this exists. Seek refuge in Allah.

Secondly, positive affirmations “I believe in Allah and His prophets. I am a firm Muslim.”

Third, keep learning about Allah, who He is, His existence, His mercy, His names (a good place to start).

Fourth, Islam encourages your strength! Islam encourages you to be super woman! There’s a sister out there in her pyjamas crying on the floor because her life is rubbish right now, screaming, “I am not strong, I am useless, I am a rubbish Muslim!” – Oh, wait that was me a few years ago. My point being – it is just a phase, you will recover, life will get better. Trust me, I wear the t-shirt.

Fifth, visualise the woman you want to be, have a goal.

Let’s do this together. One step at a time. We can do this. Have more of the ‘Survivor’ attitude, well more than survive, love life for all its ups and downs. Be sure, that after hardship comes ease. With hardship comes ease, if you go into prostration to Allah, believe me one day you will cry for that sujood – “I miss those days I was so hurt yet so close to Allah.”

My great revert sisters, converts sisters or like I like to be known, ‘Muslim sister’, be hopeful, your heart will be so much more content with hope and it is from our faith to have great hope [Check out Surah Yusuf. Amazing lessons.] Do not allow anyone to diminish your hopes. You will get what you seek, so if that’s nothing or negativity then that is what you will get…the Law of Attraction I believe. Seek greatness. Seek Allah (swt). Seek a super strong you.

This is a blog, it is meant to be short, so I better stop typing.

Have a fantastic week, be strong. Smile lots.


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