Saturday 12 July 2014

The Middle of Ramadan, Bailiffs, Sickness and Death

I hope everyone's Ramadan is going well and they are managing to get rest, appropriate nutrition and make times for lots of worship insh'Allah. Despite my best intentions, I haven’t been able to blog for a number of reasons. We are just about half way through Ramadan and it has passed in a blur. For all the fears of a long day and the summer heat, Allah (SWT) has made it bearable and the days have passed so quickly, with the summer heat breaking with days of rain and cloud (my fave kind of weather).

I am also writing a little less because I am so uncomfortable, this means everything take so much longer and at the end of the day I am left with no time (it’s usually midnight by the time I am done) and seemingly everything still to do around the house. I also find it hard to sit comfortably at all by this time, so typing is out of the question and I just need to shove a cushion under my bump and lie down. Roll on the weekend when I manage to find some time earlier in the day for myself.

This last week has also been difficult, because it has quite simply been a ridiculous week. Gorgeous has had chicken pox and has been at home all week. This means that he is his normal crazy self but just covered in spots, rather than actually slowed down in any way. Strangely Darling hasn’t caught them, she still has time for them to appear as the incubation period is 7-21 days, but I would have thought she would have them by now.

This week has also been characterised with tussles with hubby’s friends. My husband is a trustee at the local masjid alongside a few other brothers and whilst he is in Germany they are supposed to be dealing with masjid business. Instead I got a warrant delivered by someone whilst I was out, authorising bailiffs to remove goods to the value of ten thousand pounds. I am terrified of debt so have never taken out a loan or bought anything on instalments. On further investigation I found it was for outstanding business rates owed by the masjid for a period when they hadn’t even been using the masjid building, which all of the trustees were being chased for. Easily resolved if someone sensible called up the local authorities, explained and took steps to provide evidence. Except the bailiffs wouldn’t listen to me, the local authority would not deal with me and the other trustees would not take me seriously.

Their advice was not to open the door if the bailiffs came. We spend all day going in and out to drop the kids to school and Arabic classes, coming and going to work, picking up groceries and having visitors and family popping by virtually every day. So hiding behind the sofa and not opening the door seems like the best option....NOT. Another one advised I prayed to Allah (SWT) to resolve the matter. That one really wound me up, so after some stern words from my mum-in-law, then me, then some blunt text exchanges, we were reassured it was being dealt with.

Except that day I got a call at work from the kids just as I was leaving. Little Lady quite calmly explained that Gorgeous had flooded the bathroom and caused the living room ceiling to leak at the same time as the bailiff started knocking on the door. This was at the exact time that mum-in-law was planning to leave to pick up the kids from school. If we pick them up late, the school fines us per child. So you can imagine she was in a bit of a panic, I’m just grateful she is good in moments of stress.

In actual fact it might have been a blessing in disguise. If Gorgeous hadn’t been busy holed up in the loo singing at the top of his voice whilst he blocked the toilet, he would have answered the door to the bailiff. I have told him a million times not to open the front door, but the message just never gets through. Not that we have £10,000 worth of goods to confiscate. Just the tired family computer, the sofa’s and the fridge at a stretch. I hid my laptop anyway, as it’s the only thing of value I keep in the house despite the keys that Darling managed to pick off (the backward slash key and one that says Fn – I can live without those). Thankfully mum-in-law made it in time to pick up the kids after the bailiff left.

I have had further words with the trustees and they assure me it is being dealt with, I still don’t believe them as I know how these things work and it’s not how they are describing it. So we will have to be a family of curtain-twitchers and just not open the door until hubby gets back and sorts this out.

This week also saw a public servants strike and the kids were home all Thursday. I still went to work, worrying the whole time I would have to walk through a picket line, only to find no one seemed that bothered to create one and most staff were at work.

All of this nonsense was thrown in to perspective when we got a call from Pakistan, telling us that my sister-in-law was very, very sick. She is my husband’s older sister and the only sister of six brothers. She has been ill for years and is quite vulnerable. Unfortunately her husband’s family have never taken proper care of her and every time she gets sick send her home for my mum- and dad-in-law to care for and pay for medical treatment. She adores her husband and returns every time she is well. This time they went too far and sent her back almost dead – malnourished, confused, unable to sit or speak, with severe bed sores and minus her two little ones. My in-laws are focussing on getting her medical treatment and trying to find her children. My poor mum-in-law has been in pieces and we have all been praying, but expecting the worse. The police and doctors keep asking the same questions – what on earth did you do to her? Thankfully, she has started to pull through but is still very, very ill. Thankfully also, the police in Pakistan can be very effective if you know the right people, so we will have the kids with her soon insh'Allah (and her in-laws might live to regret their behaviour).

We were still worrying about her, when I found out a very sweet, beloved friend of mine who has seen a lot of hardship in recent years, just lost her brother. He was blind and a hafiz of the Quran (someone who memorises our holy book ). She was in a lot of pain as he had been her favourite little brother and he was in Pakistan whilst she is here trying to resolve her immigration status, so cannot go back.

Subhan’Allah, our faith gives us so much strength in times like these:

"Whoever professes La ilaha illah (there is no god besides Allah) seeking the pleasure of Allah and happens to pass away in that state, he will enter paradise. Whoever fasts a day seeking the pleasure of Allah and happens to pass away in that state, he will enter paradise." (Ahmad)

Abu Hurairah (RA) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (saws) said: “When the month of Ramadan comes, the Gates of Heaven are thrown open, and the Gates of Hell are shut” - Bukhari and Muslim.

Please make dua for my sister-in-law to get well and for Allah (SWT) to place peace in my friends heart insh'Allah.  I am so grateful right now for this blessed month of supplications and Allah (SWT)'s mercy, which makes us hopeful and positive about life's challenges.


  1. Anonymous12 July, 2014

    I hope things go smoothly for you, insha'Allah.
    And sorry to hear about the difficulties your extended family are having.

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