So from then on it was me who got the ball rolling and I threw myself enthusiastically into all the preparations for our Hijirah. We had to sell our house as otherwise we had no money with which to buy our own one in Algeria or with which to set up a business. We had no property ready in Algeria to buy, we didn’t know what kind of business we were going to go into, we didn’t even know where, in the country, we were going to live, or on what we were going to survive once we arrived. Everything was up in the air and we had no answers. But we did have an experience a few years previously of where our one small step towards Allah resulted in His innumerable Blessings on us, and we just knew that if we made a step towards Him, He would do the rest – and far better than we could. So our first step was to call the estate agent and ask for someone to come around and give us an estimate for our house and to see if it would sell at all. He came around on a Thursday in May and by Saturday he had already some people lined up to view it.
The first people in the door that Saturday morning were a young woman and her parents. They loved it and came back again the same day, but the girl’s partner wasn’t interested in coming to view it. When you live in your own home for so long (for us it had been 15 years) you don’t know how outsiders will see it, or whether they will be interested in it. Therefore we were so happy that it had such a favourable reaction. The following week we had an offer in from someone who hadn’t even viewed it but had seen other similar houses in the area and wanted it. She saw it, loved it, and confirmed her offer. We had sold it alhamdulilah, within 10 days of calling the estate agent! She had to sort out her chain of buyers, but we had nothing to do now but sort, throw out, give away and pack.
Sarah, our eldest, who was 18 said afterwards that, like all the schemes her father and I had thought up in the past, and all the plans that came to nothing, she didn’t really believe that we were going to make Hijirah until the day she came in from College and the dining area was full of boxes – packed! By the end of the summer we were getting close to making the big move. We were just waiting for the woman to come back to us. Then her solicitor contacted our solicitor to say that she was ready but….. that we had to vacate the premises within a week!!!! Or the sale was off!!!!! There was no way that we would be ready – we weren’t just moving house, we were moving abroad. We planned for my husband to go to France, buy a van, come back, load it up and drive it to Algeria. If, on the departure from France, you sent back some paperwork to the seller you received tax back on the van, but it had to be within a certain period from when you bought it. So she called the deal off! I can remember my husband sitting on the end of the bed looking so dejected and saying “what are we going to do now?” I said to him that, as he had already stopped work, we had almost everything packed, and we already had our sights on Algeria, his sister had found us a flat to rent, and that we should just go ahead. What did we have to lose? We would put the house back on the market, the solicitors and estate agents would sort out the sale and Allah just would not let us down now after all He had done for us to get us this far.
There was only one snag – we didn’t have the money to buy the van in France as we had relied on the sale of the house to acquire it. I considered asking my mum, but I hated the thought of it as she had always said that I was the only one who had never asked her for money. Some time previously she had promised me some money and I knew it was due to come, but still I could not bring myself to ask her for it. Then one day, out of the blue, the phone rang and it was her. She asked me if I remembered that money she had promised me (Oh yeah, I think I did vaguely remember it!!!!!) well, would I mind if she only gave me half of it, and gave the other half to my sister who needed to buy a new car. Did I mind???? I told her that I had never held her to that promise, and that it made me feel a lot less guilty for taking the money if my sister was taking a share as well. The amount she gave me was exactly the amount we needed to buy a van in France SubhanAllah!