Tag Archives: islamic fiction

Fire pic for Bad Dreams chapt ex Hafsa Waseela

Fire pic for Bad Dreams chapt ex Hafsa Waseela

Goodnight Mama!” I sang.

Goodnight Wardah. Please don’t forget to read Ayat-ul Kursi before going to sleep, ” Mum replied while still walking. She sounded uptight, like she was on alert.

Okay Mum, ” I said. But she had walked past. I called after her. “Jazakallah khair for reminding me!”

I’d had a tiring day at school. I prayed my Salah and went to bed early. Closing my eyes, I fell instantly into a deep sleep.

Strangely, I found myself waking up to the scent of barbecued meat. I looked outside my window and saw the sky filled with grey and black smoke. Below, blazing fire was everywhere. Buildings collapsing. Women screaming. Children crying. Families running barefoot. A flood of blood. A stench. I withdrew.

Where am I? Am I dreaming or in reality? What is going on? Questions swam in my mind like fish in the sea.

From behind, I felt a pair of hands rest on my shoulders. Hot. Large. My heart beat fast. I squeezed my eyes tight and, aloud, repeated my shahadah.

Laa illaha il Allah, Muhammadur rasool Allah.

A saddened voice that I recognised whispered, “Don’t worry Wardah, it’s only me. Baba.”

My heart sank. I felt as though a gust of wind blew me away, somehow giving my myocardium an energy supply to function my heart.

I turned round, slowly so his hands could remain, and I gazed into his eyes. They were red like cherries – a connotation of anger, pain, and sadness. Tears rolled down his cheeks and into his beard at the slow speed of a millipede running from poison. His lysosymes were working hard. His nose was running. He weighed heavier on my shoulders.

My trembling fingers reached for my hijab and wiped his tears and nose. His face was so hot that a pancake would have been cooked already.

He gave me a weak smile. He said, “Jazakallah khair, my dearest daughter. I thought I would have lost you. We have been bombed yet again.” He then gave me a tight, warm hug – so hard that I nearly choked. I squeezed my eyes shut again and forgot where I was.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!” I screamed. Drops of sweat fell down my face and neck.

What’s wrong, Wardah?” Mum ran rushing into my room, her eyes wide open.

It was a dream.

To be continued….

Narrated Ibn ‘Umar: Allah’s Apostle said, “While I was sleeping, I saw that a cup full of milk was brought to me and I drank my fill til I noticed (the milk) its wetness coming out of my nails. Then I gave the remaining milk to ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattab.” The companions of the Prophet asked, “What have you interpreted (about this dream)? O Allah’s Apostle?” He replied, “(It is religious) knowledge.”

Bukhari Book 3, Hadith 82

The above excerpt is from the ‘Bad Dreams’ chapter in Hafsa Waseela‘s debut novel A Reflection of The Past, out Autumn 2015 insha’Allah.

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 199 user reviews.

Normal Calm cover

I stared at the title for a few minutes. Normal Calm. The title stirred all sorts of different questions in my mind.

What could the story be about? What surprise is in there for me?

I didn’t have a paperback copy to read the outline, so I shrugged my shoulders and cuddled myself in my bed. With an abnormally cold temperature outside, in the winter chill of Canada, I would benefit from a warm story to provide me with the right blend of emotions to keep me ‘normal’.

Normal Calm coverNormal Calm is author Hend Hegazi’s first novel. It is a story that actually hit me quite deeply. The speech is simple and the tone is effective. The novel moves at a fair pace and doesn’t let the reader bore. The characters are portrayed well, and each plays his or her role beautifully in the novel.

The main character, Amina, is shown to have been sent to university by her hesitant parents, who have otherwise never allowed her to stay away from home. Letting go is not easy for them. She visits family quite often, as the university into which she’s been accepted – a top one in the US – is only at a distance of about four hours drive. She moves ahead with caution and befriends Sahar and Layal, Rami and Tariq.

Hend Hegazi handles cultural morals very well in the book and quite interestingly so. One of my favourite parts of the story was the hospitality and love shown by Amina to her friends, who were studying with her, yet were very far away from their respective families. They are welcomed by Amina’s family every Eid. Hegazi portrays the celebration of Eid as a ‘family time’ in the mosque and park, and Amina’s parents get the opportunity of knowing who Amina is spending most time with at college.

My favourite character in the novel is Amina’s non-Muslim best friend Kayla, who stays with her through thick and thin. She seems to understand Amina more than anyone and is almost always the first person that she confides in.

After the rape, at the start of the novel, the first person that Amina speaks to, is Kayla, who drives to her immediately. Even though getting raped was not Amina’s own initiative, nor was it Amina’s fault, throughout the novel she’s seen to be dubious as a potential spouse and therefore for any decent prospective proposal. Such is the stigma associated with rape victims in our societies, no matter how liberal and broad minded one is.

At the end of the story, Normal Calm came across to me as the pursuit of normality and calmness in Amina’s life, after her rape. A sensitive, taboo topic, especially in the Muslim community, is handled bravely and confidently by the author.

Whether or not Amina finds the ‘normal calmness’ in life is up to the reader to find out. A female protagonist struck by tragedy, dealing with it in quite a pragmatic way and without much support from her parents, a prejudiced community and the potential suitors who see Amina’s plight in a different lens due to different cultural norms, is what Normal Calm entails.

I recommend this impactful read to everyone. It is not very often that we see such story lines being handled by Muslim authors. This book provides an insight on the struggles that abused raped victims face and may prove to work as a therapy for such victims. I would have loved to see religion play a more vital role in coping with some of the psychological after affects of this calamity; nevertheless, Normal Calm is an excellent read. And when I needed a warm story to provide me with the right blend of emotions to keep me ‘normal’, Normal Calm did just that!

Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and to parents do good, and to relatives, orphans, the needy, the near neighbour, the neighbour further away, the companion at your side, the traveller, and those whom your right hands possess. Indeed, Allah does not like those who are self-deluding and boastful.

The Qur’an, Surah An-Nisa’ (the women), 4:36

A teacher by profession, an MBA by degree and a student of religion, Khudaija A. Nagaria found refuge and happiness writing, using her passion for serving Islam. Being a freelancer she writes for different magazines and forums. So far her articles and poems have been published in prestigious magazines such as Dawn, Hiba, Aailaa and Young Muslimah Magazine, and websites such as Moments of Perfect Clarity, and Muslim Moms. Khudaija is a writer for Muslimaat Magazine and has served as their Marketing Manager and a Contributing Editor. She is an active member of Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA). She prays her writing be a means of Sadaqa e Jaariyah for her deceased parents.

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 227 user reviews.