This Little Girl

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Khawlah

I watched the new visitor carefully that night, noticing weird glances between her and my father, and already catching on to what was happening here. Abba was smiling a bit too much… a bit too happy, since Mama had died.

It wasn’t fair. He shouldn’t be smiling like that at this lady. I felt betrayed. Mama wouldn’t have liked all this.

“So are you in school, Khawlah?”

Attention turned to me as the newcomer asked me a question, and I merely nodded and went back to eating. I didn’t want to talk to the intruder.

After a long time, today we sat at the table and ate, whereas usually, our meals would be on the floor. It was something Mama made us do from the time Yunus was old enough not to collapse the entire layout, and we had kept to it since then. For the new visitors sake, Aunty Agnus lay the table today and Foi Nani had prepared a little extra than she usually would.

I had understood that Abba payed Foi Nani for the meals she brought for us every day, because I often would see Abba giving her envelopes every few weeks. Of course, now that we had a new adult in the house, I had assumed that Foi Nani and her food would stop coming.

She was Mama’s Aunty , and the only grandmother we ever knew. Mama’s own parents had passed away when she was very young, in a car accident, and Foi Nani had done a great job of looking after her. She had only one child herself who had now gone overseas to stay, so she was more or less alone. I supposed we were like the only family she had around.

“Khawlah,” Foi Nani’s voice said, in that warning tone that I knew very well.

It was okay though. Aunty Nasreen had moved on to Zuleikha now and I really wasn’t in the mood to talk.

“I want to be a teacher,” Zuleikha was saying, trying hard to be as polite as she could  to the possible intruder. I didn’t know why she was being nice.

She shouldn’t be making the lady feel welcome. I knew what was happening here. I’ve heard of these things before, when the Abbas find another mother. We were fine as we were. We didn’t need anyone else here.

”We’ve been exploring other careers at school too,” Zuleikha continued, whilst the intruder nodded. “But I feel teaching is so rewarding. Mama always said that.”

The intruder nodded carefully now, quickly and conveniently changing the topic and moving her gaze to my elder brother. It was like a series of unending questions here. I didn’t like this at all.

”And Ahmed, what grade are you in?” She asked sweetly.

“Grade four,” He said bluntly, continuing to eat.

She looked at Yunus now, trying to suss out my nearly seven-year-old brother. He was the sweetest of us all, and somehow, I felt entirely possessive over him, and completely responsible for him. At that moment, he was concentrating intensely on tearing up pieces of Roti and dipping them into the lamb curry. It was his favourite food.

”What do you like to play, Yunus?” She asked now, and I wondered how she knew all our names already. He looked up, slightly surprised.

“I play with Khawlah,” he said obviously, but not in a rude way. “She makes up different games every day. It’s fun.”

I shrugged nonchalantly whilst she looked at me again, feeling proud that my brother had complimented me. After all, it was my responsibility to take care of him. Mama had told me so.

“We play outside a lot,” I piped up, taking the opportunity to redeem myself for Foi Nani.

I didn’t care about the new lady. Foi Nani just mustn’t get cross with me, else would hear about it later. And boy, I really didn’t want that.

“My friend Khalid and I play together almost every day,” I continued. I pointed out the window. “He stays down the road in that house. He said he’s going to marry me when we are old enough.”

I didn’t notice the glances I got from Zuleikha as the adults tried to stifle their laughter. I didn’t see what was so funny. It was true.

It was just about a few months ago when Khalid and I were playing a game with stones, trying to hit a target, whilst we sat at the highest point on the jungle gym. He looked at me and asked me what I thought about married people.

I looked back at him with a frown, wondering why he would ask that. Marriage. I didn’t know much about it. I suppose it seemed okay.

“I think I’ll marry you,” he said afterward, all matter-of-fact. “If you don’t mind.”

”Okay,” I said, not knowing what else to say. It wasn’t awkward. I was too young to feel anything serious. It was a bit like a hurdle I wanted to overcome and get out of the way.

We sat there nonchalantly and looked down as Yunus played on the slide below us, swinging our legs over the edge of the jungle gym and enjoying the summer breeze giving us some relief from the scorching day.

”I’m not cooking though,” I said boldly,  knowing that wives usually took over that responsibility.

Maybe Foi Nani could cook for us and bring. I hated being in the kitchen. The outdoors was my element, and I preferred a mud kitchen any day. It’s just that we couldn’t exactly eat mud.

“I just want a huge treehouse and a big garden.”

It was always a dream to have a tree house. To keep it short, a treehouse was my dream house. Khalid didn’t have many demands to fulfill. He nodded eagerly, probably thinking he was lucky to get such a low maintenance wife.

“A garden, yes!” he announced, overflowing with excitement . “With lots of trees. And we’ll plant so many things! I’m going to plant every type of flower I can find. The coolest colors you will ever, Khawlah. You’ll see!”

He sounded ecstatic. He loved gardening, and that was one of the reasons we would get along so well, and just spend hours outside.

The amazing feel of fresh soil as we would dig into it, and the earthy scent that lingered and I so loved… gardening was one of my favourite hobbies. When I would see those first few sprouts peep out of the ground and admire its progress every day… that feeling of accomplishment for me, was unmatched. It was something like having my own little babies at that age… something I could nurture, take in and enjoy.

I never thought at that time how amazing the creation of my world and everything within it was. I never did have the knowledge of reviling in the beauty and splendor of what our Lord had so mercifully blessed us with. And that, of course, was where Khalid came in.

“Its so easy,” he said wisely. “Papa says: ‘if you make shukar to Allah, you are the King.’ Just say SubhaanAllah. And the world is at your feet.”

Khalid squinted into the sunlight as he thought about it and hummed to himself.

I nodded and he nodded too. He knew what I was getting at though.

What was the point of having fancy furniture and all those type of unnecessary things when you couldn’t even jump on them? A house was meant for living. For taking in. Enjoyment too, of course. Just not for display.

Abba cleared his throat now to break the somewhat humorous silence, and we all watched him as he spoke.

“I’m so glad that you’ll are all getting along,” he said, a little forcefully.

I narrowed my eyes slightly, forgetting that I was supposed to act a little more rigid. I had let my guard down a bit and I wasn’t happy about it.

We all looked at him expectantly. He didn’t say anything more but got up hastily and the intruder followed. My heart was beating a little faster because I knew that something strange was going on here. There was a big suitcase in the passage and the visitor didn’t look like she was going anywhere.

I could hear muffled voices, and finally Abba emerged with a feigned smiled on his face, measuring the risk of catching even one of us in a slightly off mood because he definitely wouldn’t want the repurcussions of that.

“Children,” he said, sitting down next to us, and I could tell he was trying to be extra confident. “You know I love you all. I want to give you’ll the best. Since your mother died it’s been very hard. I loved her and always will remember her. Aunty Nasreen will be here from now on to help us too from today. She will make things easier for me and -“

He stopped in mid sentence as the doorbell rang, and I blinked a few times wondering if I was hearing (and thinking) right. Was he saying this lady wasn’t going away? 

I couldn’t even think anymore because someone else’s voice down the passage caught my attention, and I couldn’t help but strain my neck to try and see the owner of it. A knock on the door was the diversion I needed to be finally freed from the curiosity that had gripped me like a plague. It felt like that, because not only was I curious, for some reason, terror gripped me too as I anticipated the worst.

The little girl stood in front of her mother, the intruder, and I just knew that she was not as she seemed. Sweet-cheeked and doe-eyed, she wasn’t a thing like me. Her stick straight hair was an abrupt contrast to my unruly locks, and her tiny nose was a little too dainty compared to my sharp features. But her mediocre height was spot on with mine, and although spotless in comparison to mine, her long fingers matched mine to the tee.

Little did I know that this little girl would turn out to be my sworn adversary.

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A Whole New Chapter

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Khawlah: My story. Well, where it all started. 

In life, we often experience things, and yet never see the connections between them.

Yes, loss is hard. It’s heartbreaking. An obstacle can shatter our hopes. A difficulty breaks our spirits. But these experiences have many reasons…. and lots of wisdom in them.

They humble us. They shake us up. Sometimes, they even rock our world.

But, most of all, they remind us of how small we are, and how Great our Lord is. How little control we truly have. And in that way, they awaken us from the slumber of our deceptions, our heedlessness, our wandering, and bring us back to the path. Often, they strip away the veil of comfort from our eyes, and remind us of what we are. Where we should be going. Where we are all going to be headed.

As it lingered, the scent of camphor and calico was the unavoidable reminder, as I was gestured by Foi Nani to see Mama for the last time. I breathed her in as I watched her, nearly at her face now, taking in the fine lines and smooth contours of her cheekbones.

The face of my mother was pale yet calming. Soothing. Pleasing, as she slept for what would now be eternity. I understood that I would never see her again, or hear her laughter fill the house. I understood that this was forever, and I could no longer just be a regular kid. I would be the girl without a mother, Our lives would change completely with mama gone.

I spun around fast and walked out, somewhat emotionless throughout the whole experience.

Where was Abba? I hadn’t see him from the morning.

“She looks just like her mummy,” I heard someone say, as I walked through the crowded passage.

Stares and glances of pity didn’t faze me in the least. That was the advantage of being six and already seen so much in life. Too much.  The smaller things didn’t matter to you.

Yunus stuck to me, gripping the back of my dress relentlessly as I weaved  in and out of the people who were present.

“Call Zuleikha,” I heard a familiar voice say.

I looked up to see if I could spot my eldest sister anywhere, eager for some comfort. Zuleikha was fourteen when Mama has passed away, but in retrospect, she always seemed so much older. She donned the face of the bravest teenager and she held her emotions in expertly as she was called to see mama too, for the final farewell. The emotions were raw that day, but for some reason, my heart remained unaffected and my tears were kept within.

”Khawlah, are you okay? What do you need?”

I was forced to stop as a gentle hand gripped my shoulder, and I looked up to see familiar eyes.

I knew those eyes so well. I just couldn’t place the face.

Those eyes. Steely grey. Almost like a cat.

They were the same as my friend Khalid. This had to be his mother.

“Do you need anything? Did you’ll eat?”

Only a mother would worry about food.

I shook my head. My tummy rumbled. No-one had time to think of food since the morning. I had sneaked in the kitchen and grabbed a pack of Marie biscuits for Yunus and I, but that was ages ago.

“Here,” she said, making us sit in the farthest corner of the dining room and giving us a packet of chips she had in her bag. I wondered if mothers were just a little crazy like that. They came prepared for impromptu meals in the middle of the oddest of places. Mama was the same. I supposed with four children she had to keep some stock on hand. We were always munching on something or the other.

I remembered sitting there, feeling so much more relieved than I had the whole morning. Maybe life wouldn’t be so bad after all, with Mama gone. At least someone was looking out for us.

The funeral days passed by in a blur, with people in and out of the house, coming and going as they pleased. Abba would come see us from time to time, giving us a small pat on the head, or an assuring nod, but he too looked so lost. Like his life was on pause. Like from here on… he wasn’t sure what to do. Where to go.

And then, of course, when the house started feeling empty again, and life started going back to normal, I had to start school again. Grade 1 was that same year and Abba persuaded me that it would be fun. That I’d have fun and I’d have a nice teacher. And although I didn’t exactly enjoy it, having my friend Khalid with me in the same school was the highlight. He lived down the road from us and since we saw each other everyday, it became the highlight of the days, as I got through my former years of school.

Zuleikha helped me with my homework, and Ahmed walked me to school. Dada was still around, and although we missed the presence of Mama, life went on. The pain eased. The wounds healed. Things got a little better.

We were in this motion that seemed to never end, until one day after school, in my third grade, Dada called us all to his room. He was in a fragile state at the time, and though he had always been old, after mama had passed on, he seemed to suddenly age even more. Aunty Agnus used to help him to the toilet, because he had started finding even the mundane things difficult.

“Your Abba will come home just now,” he said in his strained voice. He cleared his throat as we looked at him expectantly.

It was nothing strange. Abba came home every day.

“He has a visitor with him,” he said slowly. “You’ll need to promise me to be very good. This visitor is very special.”

I narrowed my eyes at Dada, feeling a little uneasy. If the visitor was so special, why haven’t we met this person before? Why suddenly all of this mystery? I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be all nice and welcoming.

Zuleikha nodded dutifully, gesturing to Ahmed, Yunus and I to come out of the room again.

“Go and bath,” she said forcefully, looking at Ahmed and I. We were playing on our bikes so I imagined that we didn’t look our best.

She just didn’t have to be so uptight about it, I thought to my eight-year-old self, not really caring much about this visitor.

I had a quick shower and speedily put on my stained tights and a baggy shirt, in an attempt to look half decent. Zuleikha eyed me out as I exited the room, obviously not approving. I stuck out my chin and held my head high. There was no time to go back and redress anyway.

Zuleikha and her standards would have to take a hike.

The turning of the door handle caught us unawares as we all raced down the staircase, feeling uneasy about this new visitor. There was silence from our side, as we halted at the  door, waiting for the big reveal.

Who was this person?

We all had the same thoughts on our mind, as Abba’s wavering smile met us, almost as if uncertain about his next move. We looked at him and he looked back at us, greeting us affectionately and then finally stepping aside to let in the newcomer. We all looked up as we saw her, a youngish lady in an abaya, trying hard to keep the smile planted on her face, despite our hesitancy to welcome her in.

After all, as she gazed at us with a certain expectation, we looked back at her with a certain knowledge that she would probably be the catalyst in our world.

We knew that this wasn’t just a visitor. This was someone who would stay. Someone who we may not let in, but would stay, nonetheless. The test that we may fail, and the wave that may break us.

With her calm youthfulness, and her piercing gaze, we knew that this would be the explosion that could shake our solid foundation… but nonetheless, the beginning of a whole new chapter that the four young, yet resilient minds would always remember.

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Note: Dear readers,

JazakAllah Khair for the comments and warm welcomes. Much appreciated 💐

I’m aiming for something new, InshaAllah… maybe the old characters may pop up somewhere though, we never know.

Enjoy, and make dua for sincerity of this author. May it be beneficial. InshaAllah.

Sincerely,

Amatullah 🌸

 

 

A Change of Chance

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Khawlah: When the sun was at its brightest

I giggled in unison with Ahmed, my elder brother, running down the darkened passage as we tried to hide from Foi Nani. Glittering gleams of light streamed through the study window blinds as we entered it, shedding strips of sunlight onto the oak sideboard that filled up the small room. We grinned at each other in childhood ecstasy as Ahmed peeped out, before hearing little footsteps coming towards us.

“They’re here, Foi Nani,” our baby brother screamed excitedly, as if he was the one we were playing hide and seek with.  I rolled my eyes at Ahmed, and he shook his head at me with a knowing glance. Yunus always spoilt the fun.

“Let’s act like we are invisible,” I said to Ahmed, grinning again and squinting my eyes in the famous way I always did when I wanted to appear a little dorky. I cocked my head from side to side, letting my childish locks sway, finding the whole game even more amusing as we tried to hide behind the curtains and completely ‘disappear’. I supposed it was my way of escaping reality, even though I didn’t know it at that time. All I knew was that I was having fun. Lots of it.

I knew the reality too.

Mama was sick. But that didn’t mean that we couldn’t have fun. We were just trying to make the most of the situation. We were only kids.

When Mama was well, Abba would take us to the most extraordinary places when we were on holiday. Now that Mama was always in bed,  life had taken a turn towards monotony. Day in and day out, the routine was the same for a while.

She was sick for a long time before she eventually gave up. It wasn’t that she was fighting to stay alive for the world. At that tender age, I understood that she was worried about us. I knew what she wanted from us… and as I grew up, I understood what she feared.

Abba was different. Don’t get me wrong. He loved Mama in a way that no-one could comprehend. But he was born into a background of confusion, disunity and even abuse.

Dadi was a revert, and he always said that she was awesome. It was just that Dada and Dadi had to work hard in the shop and would sometimes leave him at the family house to be taken care of. From what I understood at that time, the family people weren’t the nicest of people, and they didn’t like him much. I couldn’t understand why, because to me, my Abba was the best. Well, at that point- he was better than a super hero to me.

“Not everyone in life has it easy like you’ll,” he always said. “Some people work. Some people work really hard, and sometimes they still don’t come out.”

Obviously we didn’t know what he was going on about. For us, the sun was at its brightest. Dada would just look from his space at the end at the table, and nod his head. Yes, even if Mama wasn’t going to fully recover, it didn’t mean that everything would just diminish, right?

Wel, that’s the thing with this world. What a facade. It even fools us into thinking that we will always be the way we are… always stay the way that we were. They had it tough, but that was over now, right?

Yes, we had been duped. Abba worked hard to get to where he was. We weren’t living in a mansion with multiple servants or anything, but we lived a comfortable life. Really comfortable. Some would say even spoilt.

And then of course, it happened. Our worst fears, and the doom that was pending.  Mama died. One day we woke up and Mama and Abba weren’t there. No one had to explain to us because we already knew.

The day of Mama’s funeral was the day that a lot of things came into perspective for me. People were rushing around in a sort of frenzy, doing all sorts of things at the same time. Yunus and I just sat in a corner of the room, not really knowing what else to do. I wished I could go sit in my room and play with my new doll house, but Foi Nani had said that we must read.

I was only 6. What did I know?

I didn’t even know what to read. Since mama couldn’t do madrassa with us for a few months, I had even forgotten what I could say. How I could pray.  I moved the beads on the tasbeeh I held in my hands saying ‘Allah’, because that’s all I remembered.

Allah. Allah. Wasn’t He always there? Allah. 

The body was brought in as we sat, all clad in white.

Mama. That was our mama.

I shivered as the cold winter air creeped through the open door,  making me feel as if I was more alone than ever. Even though I was surrounded by people, my heart held an emptiness that only my siblings could comprehend.

Death was hard. Brutal.  Painful and imposing. It didn’t wait until your children were old enough. It didn’t wait till you  had prepared for it. It was sudden and savage, and it ripped people apart. It tore up homes and it bruised our inner-most souls. It hurt. Yes, it hurt so much. So so much.

We looked at each other, all four of us, but none of us smiled.

Today, there would be no smiles. Not from us. No running in the passage. No playing hide and seek. No laughter or giggles.

For once, the silence in our house was a sweet one to our ears.

We didn’t want to hear joyful outbursts. We couldn’t even manage any sad smiles. Today everything was different.

Our entire world was in limbo.

Everything had changed.

 

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Dearest readers

I know I have been off the radar for ages, and this post is a bit sad. But it’s only the beginning and I’m hoping to add some really beneficial lessons. 🌷InshaAllah. Instead of a always having romance, and making that a central theme, I thought it would be good to add some other genres in to our Muslim blogs.

May it be beneficial.

Sincerely,

Amatullah  🌸

 

 

Epilogue: Part Three: Final Focus

Bismilllahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Aasiya

Throughout my life there were many things that I had forgotten along the way, and likewise, many things that I knew I would always remember.

It’s become a trend for people to capture their memories. Anything that they can. And as much as I abhor the action, I know that no one takes selfies of the blood and sweat. They only want pictures of their success.

So in order to get that, they push themselves. We push ourselves. We push ourselves because we have to. Not because we like it. The relentless climb, the pain and anguish of taking it to the next level, nobody takes pictures of that. Nobody wants to remember. We just want to remember the view from the top. The breathtaking moment at the edge of the world. That’s what keeps us climbing. That’s what’s worth it in the end.

But as much of blood and effort put into anything…as Insaan, we need to least revisit the inevitable.

That too shall pass. This too will pass. Every moment. Every passing second. Every success. Every joy. Every fail. Every pain. Every thought about future plans. Every wonder about when it will make sense. Every discomfort. Every solace. Every everything.

Everything will pass. And it really will be the start of a new time. A new place.

A change for the complete better.

“It’s so good to see you,” I said, almost tearing up as I hugged my sister-in-law, so grateful that she was here at my new house. It had been so long. It was the first time she had come to my place and I felt so glad that she was back. Zaynah was someone who I knew would be difficult to forget. I’m sure my brother-in-law was the happiest about her being back. I could see it from the smiles he now permanently had on his face. It wasn’t just him. She had really brought the light to our dark lives, and the weird part was that she didn’t even know it.

She was the most humble and loving person. She smiled modestly as I pulled out a stool for her and Ziyaad’s new wife, Nabeela.

Our family was growing and I was so glad that Ziyaad had settled down again. With his decreasing appetite, I had been getting worried, but when Muhammed told me that he was getting married, I knew that he would be on his way to snapping back. His past had been trying and testing but he had come through with flying colours. I actually couldn’t believe how much he had grown. From the little, irresponsible and almost annoying brother-in-law, I could see that he was finally finding his feet.

And of course, my new sister-in-law was lovely. A bit reserved, but with her doll-like features and pretty smile I knew that she would fit in well with this family.  It had been a long road for us but somehow, the light had that had come through lit up our entire world.

“‘Siya,” Mo’s voice  called from just outside the lounge door. “Molvi is here. And Salma is awake.”

I excused myself and walked up at my two favorites, smiling at them both. I grabbed my Salma Dolly from Mo as we went out to see my brother.

It was the first time he had come to our new place, and I could see that he was impressed with our change. And of course he wasn’t only talking about our change of house. He had always been so passionate about Deen and embracing simplicity… we really took it to heart. As Salma grew, we knew that we wanted to live a life that was better, so Muhammed and I had decided to embark on an entire change of lifestyle. The truth was, we didn’t want to become blind to the reality. From all his and Waseem’s lectures to us, something had hit home. Where they were coming from, they knew what the dangers of getting too caught up in this world was.

“Just join us for three days, Uncle Cass,” he was saying to my father-in-law convincingly as he greeted him. “I promise you. It will change your life.”

I shook my head in amusement as I listened from afar, quite thrilled that my  brother could be so convincing. That was Umar. Always was and still is. He could probably charm a cockroach. I could still hear him going on, now about something else.

Our entire family was at our place today and our house was bustling. Umar and Yusuf were both here with their wives and kids, and the yard was like a playground of smiles and laughter. Salma gurgled joyfully at the sound of the kids, knowing that they shouts and high-pitched voices meant lots of fun. I smiled as I walked past the men’s lounge, hearing Umar speaking to my father-in-law passionately about what he was best at speaking of. My father-in-law had been recovering well, and whilst doing so, he had become the most generous person in the past year, by sending funds all over the world for good causes. Umar, however, thought that he might be ready for a different kind of spending.

In places like Palestine, he was saying, money is being raised for them all over the world, but their true plight has nothing to do with finances. The true plight was that the western culture was creeping in from every direction. It was taking over their lives like it is here.

And though Umar told us that life in Palestine was quite different than what I had expected it to be, what shocked me was the plan that was in place.

A Palestinian had told some Jamaat brothers that the initial plan was to remove all the Muslims from Palestine, but this was not possible. So of course, the back-up plan is to make the Muslims live among the Jews and adopt their ways. He mentioned  that the Jews are prepared to give them the best jobs and opportunities provided that they don’t practice Islam. And of course, you can especially see this among the younger generation, who have adopted Western hairstyles and lost most of their native language.

What was like a punch in the stomach for me was when it was said that this plan is worse than war.  With war and death, their Jannah is made. Here, with this plan, the entire Islamic identity is lost. These people were Arab… descendants of the Sahabah, and they were nothing like those pious people who they had come from.

There were plenty of heartbreaking incidents which makes one understand the value of an Islamic environment. From people not fasting to the Western night-life and the shamelessness of the youth. It was really sad, and all I could do when I had heard this was make shukar. Shukar for our Ulema. Shukar for this country. Shukar that we had Imaan.

Allah had guided us in our darkest hour. He must have really seen something in us to bring us to where we were and the least we could do was be grateful, and obey His commands. So of course, something had to let. Something had to change.

And that’s when we decided. Simpler house, bigger home. Less chrome and more warmth. It was a change that was well needed. New house, new lifestyle and new beginnings.

I smiled at Muhammed as I moved on to the ladies section, silently exchanging words that didn’t have to be spoken. He had grown so much. He understood that it had taken so much of me to forgive and let us move on, and I understood that a man couldn’t be ignored in a marriage. I could see his change in the way he acted and reacted.

And of course, it was all part and parcel of the journey that lay ahead for us.Being accepted for Hajj was one of the most exciting things for us, and we were looking forward to that so much. Allah Ta’ala had given Muhammed more than he had bargained for when he embarked on his change of life.

Nabi  (SAW) said: “If a person sees a woman and he immediately turns away from her, Allah shall give that man strength and guidance for such worship that he will immediately feels it’s pleasure and sweetness.” (Mishkaat)

The Barakah and everything we were being blessed with was amazing, and what was more was amazing how much our relationship had evolved. I couldn’t be more grateful that we had come so far. Instead of those sharp and hurtful words, we had learnt to talk and smile. We learnt to love and laugh. To forgive and overlook.

I realized that mistakes happen. People lie and people cheat. People do bad things.

But people can change. Oh yes, they can. And of course, through it all, the biggest realization that I never did get before this.

You might be hurting… but this too shall pass. That pain won’t kill you. It will only make you grow. This too shall pass.

And it’s all part of this journey.

But this life is not really life. How can life be something with , if it ends? How can we ever call it living, if there is death still to come?

Life, we say. There’s just something amazing about it. The same attribute that may sometimes hurt us can also give us the most immense relief.

Nothing here lasts.

So basically, that breathtakingly beautiful flower in my garden will wither tomorrow. Eventually, my youth and energy will leave. But, the despair we feel today will also change tomorrow. Agony will die. Yes, laughter won’t last forever but neither will tears. The heart will, eventually, heal itself to become something stronger. It will forget the pain and suffering of this world, and eventually move on to what awaits it. Like every moment I so hated or treasured… This too shall pass.

The thing about this world was just that. There was no escaping it. Every happiness will pass. Even when we think we’re stuck in the deepest of doom, that too shall pass. Every exhilarating moment will pass. Every single second. Every worry. Every fear.

And as it all comes to pass, there’s a deep message there for us. That nothing is forever. Nothing is real. Everything here has to end.

For sure, the real life is the one that comes after death is over.

So, take the plunge. Make the change. Shift the focus. Once you are at peace with whatever is dealt to you —a calm, serene world—can exist inside. Your sanctuary that you have built throughout your journey is within yourself, and how you face every test.

Once you have it, and you’ve earned that, you can go ahead. You can move forward.

No matter who or what leaves your life… Know that your eternity… Your priceless Jannah… Can never be taken away.

That will be true living. That will be the endless one.

And that… my friends, that shall never pass.

O My servants who have believed, indeed My earth is spacious, so worship only Me.

Every soul will taste death. Then to Us will you be returned.

And those who have believed and done righteous deeds – We will surely assign to them of Paradise [elevated] chambers beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally. Excellent is the reward of the [righteous] workers.” (Surah Ankabut: verse 56-58)


And so we have it, dear readers. Sorry for the delay, I just wanted to make sure I got everything in, hehe.

We’ve finally come to the end. And I wish I could say that I’ve conveyed what I needed to, but there’s so much more that I wish I could have said. So many lessons that I don’t even know if I did justice to.

The main inspiration for this blog was a message that runs deep and true. The blog was rough and dodgy when I started, but that was to appeal to a different type of audience . The messages here are simple. We need to know the reality of this world. It’s never too late to change. It’s never the end of the road when you have made a mistake. This world is a temporary abode that should never be our main focus.

There are many more lessons along the way, and I pray that I can firstly practise on them.

Lets try. Lets make an effort. Instead of  spending our energies in acquiring and attaining the comforts of the Duniyaa, why can’t our motivation be to strive for the Aakhirah? So what if I don’t have that castle-like house, SUV car, glammed-up husband, multiple children and model-like figure?

The thing is that we lose out on the valuable moments in life and fail to see the true wealth we are blessed with, because we forget that a Mu’min has the promise of Jannah to look forward to. What he does not receive in temporary Duniyaa, he most certainly will receive tenfold in everlasting Aakhirah… Insha Allah. 

In this day and age, we don’t have that piety and strength to be as simple as the Sahabah. But strike the balance. Love what you have, and look to others below you in Duniyaa. Realize how much your Lord has blessed you, and turn your eyes away from what is not for you. Ask Allah Ta’ala for the best of both worlds, and understand what is the most important.

 So much of pain, heartache, misery and dissatisfaction may be avoided if we change our mindsets. So much can be fixed if only we bring this into our life.

I leave you with a proverb that hits home for most of us. Remember that our Rizq is determined by Allah, and nothing we do can ever change that. 

What is destined for you will reach you,even if it be between two mountains,and what is not destined for you will not reach you,even if it be between your two lips.(Arab proverb)

May Allah enable us to practise and propagate.

May this be a mean of change and guidance, let us also not forget to bring the Sunnah Tareekah on Nabi (SAW) into our lives. Indeed, his (SAW) way of life is the way to success. 

Practice, share and earn multiple rewards in shaa Allah.

 

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#RevivetheSunnahofDrinking

#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofSmiling

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofDu’aas

Tweet: @ajourneyjournal

Epilogue: Part Two: Nabeela’s New Life

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

It is mentioned in various narrations that Nabi (SAW) had a different kind of passion  in his actions when it came to the month of Ramadan. It is said that when it came to his good deeds, he was more generous than that fast wind, and he held nothing back. That all he did was with extra ambition, and a certain fervor. That every good deed he (SAW) aspired for was done with a certain zest, that could never compare to any other time of the year.

For us, Ramadhaan came and Ramadhaan went. Year in and year out. And through your out our ambitions and aspirations, I hoped with every hope that it had come not only for Ramadhaan, but for life. That every minute  I had made such good use of, would change the rest of the year.

And of course, like the racehorse sprints toward the finish line, he doesn’t just stop right there. He moves past it still with full momentum, because the ferocity of his racing speed sent him way past where he needed to be. And likewise, Ramadhaan had come with such a momentum that we all found ourselves anxious to see what lay ahead. Anxious to know how far we will carry out our good deeds.

I couldn’t believe how quickly it had come, and left us again. I couldn’t believe that another Ramadhaan might have already passed us without us having taken full advantage of the blessed month. I actually couldn’t believe that my Nikah had already taken place just a month ago, and now it was time for me to officially start my new life.

I took a deep breath as I let reality sink in.

Ramadhaan was over, a sense of anxiety enveloped as I got ready for what was next to come. As I braced myself for my new home and family. As I got ready to meet my husband under less formal circumstances than before.

With everything so fairytale-like, Ramadhaan was like a dream that I didn’t want to end, and a certain restlessness filled within when I thought of the year ahead. Ramadhaan came to transform our pointless lives once again, and I could feel myself drifting away from its sanctuary now that reality was closing in once again.

“Are you ready?”

I turned slightly, my hand just slightly shaking due to my slight uneasiness. It was the first time that we would be going to see Ziyaad’s family together, and after that, I was expected to start settling into my new home. The whole delivery a month after worked perfectly for us because of Ramadhaan, but the anticipation made our meeting even more nerve-wrecking.  The fact that Ziyaad had been away in Ithikaaf made us even more aware of each other. It was just so strange that I actually missed him. It was even strange to actually be married.

I momentarily remembered that chubby little girl I had been, just about two years ago. So uncertain. So confused. How the time had flew… how I had become someone completely new. Through every experience, I had evolved. That was what life was about though, wasn’t it?

Change. Taking that first step. Taking the plunge. And right there, before my eyes, was the person who knew it the most.

“Let’s go,” he said to me, peeping through the doorway as I pinned my hijab and tied my niqaab. A step I had take this Ramadhaan, as my journey to being better too.

He smiled easily, and small creases were visible near his eyes.

Yes, from when I had first seen him, Ziyaad had changed… but it wasn’t only his life. He looked completely different too. A little older. A little happier. More mature. A little less rough around the edges.

I smiled back at him, following him to the car, but slightly less confident as I had felt all these days. Although I knew what I now was… what I had meant to him, I still couldn’t believe it. When he had told me that our marriage had put his past to rest for a better outlook in life… I was so glad that at least he felt that he had some hope. And the fact that he had brought his past out in the open was the best thing to put my own fears to rest. I hated to be in the dark. At least I knew about everything now.

Yes, he had made mistakes. Plenty. But what counted was that at least he had tried to do the right thing. He had tried to make it right. And of course, it wasn’t easy, but he had persevered.

Coming from where he had come… I didn’t think that it would be possible to get to where he was.

He had given up the world for the sake of Deen. He had made it this far, and he was only hoping to see how far he could go from here. And like that race horse that we are in the month of Ramadhaan…. who flies past the finish line… that was now his life.

Every waking day, and every single moment. Like we feel ourselves straining when we are trying to achieve the best… when we push ourselves to the limits… day in and day out- that was his life. From that moment he had heard the Adhaan in one of his the darkest days… He was trying to be better. Trying to make himself worthy.

And yes, it wasn’t easy. He didn’t know how he had become so lucky, but this was, from where he had come, in fact, something of a miracle. And miracles are nothing but Divine. A beautiful sign that once in a while, they do happen.

I sucked in my breath now as the car hit the free-way, thinking to myself in amazement.

We forget, sometimes, in the lull of our lives, the greatest signs that may be right in front of our eyes. We get too caught up to realise how sucked in by this world we are. We never stop to think about how much Allah is waiting for us to make that small change. To make a little difference. To submit to Him… To prove our love to Him.

And then of course, when He chooses us to and we turn to Him, and give Him our everything… Not only do we feel His love, but we see it all around us. Through those eyes, the world is more beautiful… more magical. We make every wrong, right, because we want to feel His love… The magic that we are striving to find, in this race for the world.

And things were pretty good as we drove along, stealing glances at each other, excited about this new life that lay ahead. It was like a dream that we never thought would come true.

But we also knew that it was no life if it wasn’t in the obedience of our Lord. Things were pretty peachy, but no, it wasn’t a fairy tale, but we all had that little bit of faith. And faith was a funny thing.

Of course, things will happen. Whatever is in the plan, will definitely never miss us. People will change. Love can die. Everyone will, eventually leave, and go alone on their path back to their Lord.

But for now, all we had to do was be the best we can. Make the most of the life we’ve been given today, and live it in the best way we can. Be grateful for the gift of Imaan we have, and show it’s beauty the way we live each day.

Here it was. Right here. As the car stopped at my eldest brother-in-laws new house, and I looked at Ziyaad in anticipation, I realised exactly what our purpose here was. Not to get to caught up.  To make our tomorrow. Not the one here, but the one that will last… The one where there is no death.

The test, you see, was right now. Even when things were good. Even when we feel that right now, they can’t get much better. Things were pretty peachy, but no, it wasn’t a Disney animation film. There weren’t any pianos playing or birds singing or confetti falling from the sky… And there will definitely be days when the laughter and romance is completely dead.

But faith is a funny thing. Once in while, we have a little faith. We enjoy the beauty. Drink in the magic. Soak up the sun. And of course, feel the miracle of life and love that Allah placed within us, today.

Yes, it wont last forever, but maybe… Just for today… Maybe it will stay.


Part two of three… Im so sorry for the dealy! InshaAllah, hoping to post next by Saturday!

Don’t forget!

Let’s practice our SUNNAH InshaAllah! More Sunnah of eating:

*sitting*

We tend to stand and eat/drink. Let’s consciously make an effort to sit, even if it’s on the floor, while we are enjoying our food.

*Eating with three fingers.*

The Sunnah is to eat with three fingers;
eating with more than three fingers is a sign of greed and is bad manners,
because
there is no need for more than three in order to gather up a morsel.
If it is necessary to use more than three,
because
the food is light and cannot be gathered in three fingers, then he may use the fourth or fifth.

*See Fath al-Baari, 9/578*

Practice, share and earn multiple rewards in shaa Allah.

SubhaanAllah. Let’s try and observe the Sunnah Duaas of eating InshaAllah.

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#RevivetheSunnahofDrinking

#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofSmiling

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofDu’aas

Tweet: @ajourneyjournal

Epilogue: Part One: Zaynah in Zeal

Bismilllahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Once in a while, we need to hear something awesome. Something inspiring. We need to have our hopes rebuilt, and our spirits lifted. We need to be assured that somewhere… beyond the injustice that we see every day, and beyond the obvious flaws that this world so brutally displays… there is some hope out there.

So let me be the one to tell you something amazing. Something you’ve either forgotten, or think you’ve never heard before, but have probably been waiting to hear for a very long time.

Sometimes you just need to be reminded.

Anything is possible.

By Allah, anything. Nothing is beyond Allah. Nothing. As long as you seek the aid of Allah Ta’ala with conviction and a heart full of sincerity, the way out will somehow become the easiest path.

Even when it seems like all the doors have been shut off, somehow, they’ll all open. It’s because there’s a greater power… and He is Al Fattah… The opener. He can open even the tightest of shut doors. He is Al Haadi. He will guide you straight to the exit, even when it’s hopeless. Even when you think it can’t be fixed, He is Al-Jabbaar. He fixes what is cracked, severed or even completely broken.

By Allah, when you call to Him, He will never ignore your plea.

He will respond, because that is His promise. And His promise is never empty. Whatever ambition you have in life… whatever hope… With Allah in mind and having faith in Him, nothing is too far-fetched. Nothing is hopeless.

“Don’t be scared,” I said to Nabeela. “Allah knows what’s in your heart. Even when you don’t. You focus on Allah. He will focus on Allah. And Allah will bring you’ll together.”

“But how is it possible?” Nabeela had asked me that day, uncertain of where she was headed… of where her destiny lay. Our family had all kinds of reservations. They weren’t as easy as Abbi was. They couldn’t look past the faults and flaws. They couldn’t look past the modern family and silly issues that were so outdated.

“If Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala can provide even the one who doesn’t believe in him… and even respond to them… Do you think Allah will not respond to you, a righteous Mu’min?”

And of course, Nabeela shook her head, because her head was filled with anxiety and uncertainty. Their was so much of uncertainty about going ahead, that she couldn’t imagine it all happening. She was too young. He was married before. She was unsure. His past was questionable. The list went on and on.

My cousin’s cheeked flushed slightly as she spoke, and I watched her, amazed at how much she had changed in just a few years. Her chubby arms and cheeks had slimmed down, and she looked completely different. Her features were striking and her cheekbones were visible, without the plump cheeks that were once there.  Her darkly framed eyes shone with hope as she spoke. She was looking like the lovely girl I had always known, only now she was all grown up.

I wish I could just offer her a jelly baby, and everything would just be okay. If only we could just put our every worry aside and place our faith in the one who controls it all. If only we could just forget about the concerns of this world and leave it to our Rabb. And yes, maybe it was easy for me to talk because everything for me was falling into place, but I just needed to let it be known. Sometimes when you say something to someone, the reality of it sinks in for you.

My Allah Ta’ala had been so kind to me. I had been living in this world of complete confusion, and remembering everything now was like a bright light shining on my life.

The past… the future… the present.

Sometimes we don’t realize how perfectly Allah Ta’ala plans everything… the right things at the exact right time, And of course, for me… I knew the minute I remembered my past, everything for me would change. The way I felt. The way I had hurt. And for sure, the way I looked at everyone around me.

I couldn’t believe how much I had missed out on, and I was just so glad that I didn’t have to miss anymore. My mind travelled back to my own past now, so glad I could recall it. When I remembered making my own decision… the one that changed and inspired my life, I could feel the warmth spread from within. When he offered me that pack of jelly babies, when I thought that maybe I had completely messed up, I couldn’t believe my luck.

Waseem. He had proven to be the rare diamond… some valuable rock I had somehow discovered, and I had no idea how. As he grew in Deen, he now shone through to illuminate both our lives. He had done so much more than I expected, for the sake of Deen. He had traveled far to try and spread it, and he had taken out so much of his time, making great sacrifices by staying in discomfort, when he had always had such a pampered life. Allah knew those sacrifices, He had taken so many more risks than any other person I had known, not to prove anything to me… but for the pleasure of Allah.

“Even if you don’t want me now,” he had finally said to me, when everything was a blur and when I was unsure of my past. When I had said horrible things and had been so confused. “Just give me your time when we’ve reached there, okay? It’s only Jannah where I want to be with you. I want to be the one to tell you that we finally made it.”

I had sucked in my breath because it was such an overwhelming thing to say. Such a ‘me’ thing to get me with. It was yet another sign that Allah had shown me. And even after everything had blown over and I had gotten back to normal, Waseem had proven to be the best garment for me, just like a spouse should.

“They (your wives) are your garment and you are a garment for them” (Noble Quran 2:187)

And of course, just this ayat sums up the basic purpose and concept of marriage in Islam. And of course, for the couple, besides the fact that the husband and wife should be as close and intimate as a garment is, to each other, so that there should be no secrets between them, the task of the garment is also to protect the body from other dangers. From the danger of other people as well, and as a spouse should be, he covered my faults and mishaps so truly that he wouldn’t even want to hear of them, even from me. He made me feel like the best wife, even when I had been nothing of the sort when I had pushed him away. And I had no idea that it would be like that, when I had chose him.

I had chosen him, with no idea of what he would be to me. No idea that he would be the one to push me to be better. I chose Waseem, not because of what anyone had thought or said about him. I chose him, not even because of the immense amount of patience he had with me, even when I had tested his limits to the full degree.

I chose him simply because of his Deen. Because he had Taqwa. When someone fears Allah, then they will be aware that He is watching them at all times. He will be the best of people because he never forgets that his Lord is always there.  And that was all that mattered. It wasn’t that he would die for me. Rather, I needed someone who would live for me, make me better, and take me to Jannah with him.

“Just ask yourself,” I said to my couisn, knowing that she neede a deal-breaker. “Does he love Allah? Is he going to put Him before any other decision he would ever make, even if it’s you? Does he have the fear of Allah in his heart? If the answer is yes. then he’ll be good for you. ”

Now she knew what she would have to ask. She knew what she had to aim for. As her smile spread, my cousins face lit up as I left her that day, eager now for what may lay ahead….


As promised, the long awaited epilogue. Part one of three… the last will be on Monday, InshaAllah!

Don’t forget!

Let’s practice our SUNNAH InshaAllah! More Sunnah of eating:

*sitting*

We tend to stand and eat/drink. Let’s consciously make an effort to sit, even if it’s on the floor, while we are enjoying our food.

*Eating with three fingers.*

The Sunnah is to eat with three fingers;
eating with more than three fingers is a sign of greed and is bad manners,
because
there is no need for more than three in order to gather up a morsel.
If it is necessary to use more than three,
because
the food is light and cannot be gathered in three fingers, then he may use the fourth or fifth.

*See Fath al-Baari, 9/578*

Practice, share and earn multiple rewards in shaa Allah.

SubhaanAllah. Let’s try and observe the Sunnah Duaas of eating InshaAllah.

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#RevivetheSunnahofDrinking

#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofSmiling

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofDu’aas

Tweet: @ajourneyjournal

 

Heartbeat

Bismilllahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Waseem: Beginning to End

Life changes in a heartbeat. Things change, people leave… and life doesn’t stop for anyone.  But along the road, there are some things that deserve a second chance.

You have to go back to the beginning to understand the end. Sometimes it happens in an instant. We step up, we see a path forward. We see a path and we take it. Even when we have no idea where we’re going.

Sometimes, when you’re caught in that kind of rut, you have to just put the question out there.  When you’ve lost hope, you have to put the question out there. Ask yourself; 10 years from now, are you going to wish you gave it just one more shot? And yes, it may take a lot of guts, but the best things in life, they don’t come without any strife. Sometimes you have to take a step. Sometimes you just have to make it happen.

And of course, I should have known on that Friday morning, when Ziyaad came to me looking like he had huge termites in his pants, I knew that he was facing a choice of some sort. He had done an almost ridiculous thing, by making a move so spontaneous, and he couldn’t stand the wait. He took a chance, and now it was making him itch.

“What if they just need a shove in the right direction?” He asked, sounding like he was probably up the whole night thinking about this. He was scratching his beard thoughtfully and wearing too much of Itr. Definitely sleep deprived. I knew Zee too well by now.

I nodded numbly, not wanting to steer him on too much.  But he didn’t need it. Once Ziyaad was on to something, let’s just say that there were very few people who could talk him out of it. All it took was an ‘err, okay’, and before I knew it we were in the car, on the way to the farmer’s side of the province. I recited my Yaaseen as my daily routine in the car, determined that the outcome of this will be good. Allah’s promise. All our needs will be met, like He says at the end of the Surah… everything is easy for Him, and only He could fulfill our wishes for that day. Of course, I had my own agenda too, as I thought about it.

My heart was already beating a bit faster and doing weird things, as I remembered the roads I had driven through so many times when I used to visit Zaynah. The memories are bitter sweet… some more bitter than sweet.

I remembered the feeling of hope mixed with anxiety, and then I remembered the disappointment that came when I would drive back home, a little less convinced that everything would be okay. That it would all just go back to normal.

And then of course, on sweet memory would draw me back again, and I would find myself in the same cycle yet again.

“Why do you keep on coming back?” She had asked one day, when I had been trying to jog her memory. It was obvious that she had no idea what I was talking about.

I looked up sharply, but I could see it in her eyes. She meant no harm.

“I mean,” she said, blinking and smiling apologetically. “Why do you try so hard to make me remember? Was it really that important?”

I blinked back, slightly taken back by her question. Was it? It was. Of course it was. Every moment was.

“Because,” I said, without much thought. “You were like coming up for a breath of fresh air. It was like I was drowning… drowning in sin… and then I was saved. Saved by you.”

She looked at me with a look that spoke a million words, but she didn’t say one. And of course, I left that day with a little more hope than before.

Then the letter came shortly after that, and changed everything. Some things are just meant to stick with you, but as we drove again, I felt myself relying on a miracle to make something change our course once again.

If anyone would ask me, the simple answer was that of course I loved my wife. But sometimes loving someone from a distance was the safer choice.

Sometimes it was just easier to let it go, even though sometimes I wished that I could just tell her all the things that I’d been wanting to all this time. I wished I could let her know. Everything. How it all changed. Everything I had seen. How far we had come. How my mother loved her. How far my father had come spiritually, when he had been so dead before. I wished I could tell her how I revamped my entire business approach, based on her advice. I wished I could tell her how my brothers did a complete changeover since I met her, and she showed us the brigher side of what would have been a bleak future. I wished I could tell her what it meant to us. How it changed everything.

But some things were left unsaid, and I couldn’t get caught up in my own emotions when I had come to support Ziyaad. He was a bit of a nervous wreck as he stepped out that day, and I didn’t blame him. It was a tough thing for a guy to do, and Ziyaad was no exception. He stepped out steadily onto the dusty gravel ground, and we walked ahead. As usual, and no surprise to us, their uncle came out even before we rang the bell, and like always, I wondered if they were just waiting for people on their doorstep.  He was always ready for visitors with a welcoming smile on his face.

“Long time,” he said to me as I moved forward, and I grinned back at him, missing Saleem Khakha’s warm hugs. They felt good.

“What can I do for you today?” He asked as we sat down, knowing that there was a deeper-lying reason for our visit.

“Not me this time, Saleem Khakha,” I said solemnly.

I glanced at Ziyaad and he nodded.

“It’s Ziyaad. He’s hoping to get some answers today…”

I trailed off as I saw a nod.

“You’ll came on the right day,” he said, glancing inside as if to hint something. “Wedding in the family. Everyone is here.”

Wedding? I didn’t ask more because he got up quietly and went inside.  There was a small exchange, and then I heard the lower tones of  a softer female voice. Much to our surprise, Saleem Khakha was out again after two minutes, with a huge grin attached.

“Well, that’s sorted out,” he said, shaking his head.

Ziyaad and I looked at him expectantly. Sorted out? What did he mean?

“You can go in and talk to her,” he said slowly, nodding at Zee.

Zee looked back at him as if he  was some kind of alien. I knew what he was thinking. Geez, I wish it was like that for me. This was too easy. Was he for real?

I kicked his leg, and he looked up at me with wide eyes.

“Go!” I said, hoping he’d seize the moment.

I mean, this was the news he was waiting for right? The path to the ultimate destination he was aiming for was finally opening. I grabbed his hand and literally lifted him off the seat, guiding him to the open doorway where he was supposed to be going. I reached its entrance, looking away as I saw a girl waiting there, waiting almost expectantly. Duh.

I nudged my brother to edge him on, watching the two of them lock eyes for a few moments, before they both went out of sight. An older looking male stayed outside, and just behind him, a figure I vaguely recognized became more visible as my eyes adjusted to the dark passage.

The figure came closer, as realisation dawned, I looked at her openly, wondering if the past few months had actually happened at all. Everyone was here. Zaynah was here, and now that I could see her properly, she looked more like the girl I knew once again. My wife. Her face had resumed her former shape, and instead of the hollows in her eyes and cheeks, they were filled with flushed skin.

Zaynah was looking like… well, like Zaynah. Beautiful Zaynah. My Zaynah.

I felt myself hold back as she smiled at me. Yes, she actually smiled at me and my hopes soared. Though I was hoping she would come and make everything okay again, I wasn’t sure if I would be that lucky. And of course, as she came toward me, I stepped back and allowed her to lead the way. What did it mean?

Would she talk? Would I have to? Would it be awkward? I mean, it was so strange that I was even thinking that way, but it had been so long that I had no idea what to expect.

She stepped past me, onto the empty patio that everyone else had just left. It was just her and I, and the words I had wanted to say were overwhelming. So overwhelming that I couldn’t even say a thing.

“I thought you’ll would eventually come,” she said, all matter-of-fact and I wondered if I was hearing right. “We were waiting.”

I wondered if I heard right, because the last few times I had come, I felt as if she probably never wanted to see me again. She sounded something like she had sounded before, all knowledgeable and presumptuous, as if she knew more than she was letting on. Maybe she did. I wasn’t sure.

“Yes, they were,” a voice from behind us said, and I turned around to see the notorious Raees standing there.

Where on earth did he come from? Of course I was annoyed at him for interrupting our conversation, but more annoying was his sarcastic tone when he said it.

And then, before I could even say anything back, he just turned around and walked away.

I shook my head and looked at Zaynah, who just gave a small smile back. She probably didn’t know what else to say.

“You know, that guy is just-”

“Shhhhhhh,” Zaynah said sharply, holding her long finger to her lips.

I stopped and looked back at her, biting my lip to try and contain my anger. Raees was that annoying and interfering type who actually needed a thump.

“I can’t believe him,” I muttered to myself, looking away into the distance. I wanted to strangle that guy, and not only because of today. It was a whole load of pent up nonsense that was waiting to be addressed.

“I know, but he’s not worth it,” she said now, looking at me and trying to reason with my conscience. It was like she knew exactly what I was thinking. She was already defeating my urge to do something impulsive and I lost all resolve to fight.

Zaynah smiled and I melted. It was like an action reaction theory just waiting to happen.

“Okay,” I said finally, letting her know that she had convinced me. I would cool off and just take it easy. No need to start a big thing and get myself involved.

My wife and I had just met after ages and it was like all this gap of time had just been filled. Like there was no distance at all anymore.

“Make a Duaa,” she said suddenly, as if on a whim. “Now.”

I looked at her strangely and nodded slowly, wondering what she was saying.

“A Duaa?” I asked, kind of confused. For a moment, I wondered if she had recovered completely.

She nodded eagerly.

“Abbi used to always say that when you think of doing something wrong, and you don’t… Right at that moment… it’s a beautiful time for acceptance of Duaas.”

I looked at her, slightly amused. Not to mention, quite amazed. Only Zaynah would think of using a potentially detrimental situation for something beneficial. I honestly wondered what this woman was made of… she always had such a strong inclination to right a wrong. To polish what was tarnished.

“So make a wish,” she said simply. “Make your Du’aa.”

And I did.

I closed my eyes for a few seconds right there and then, saying the words my heart had been wanting to express all this while. I prayed, and not only for right now, but for the the eternal  as well, because I understood now that it wasn’t only right now that mattered. What came after was more important.

I opened my eyes again, feeling slightly renewed after the few moments of spirituality. I breathed in the crisp air, letting it fill my lungs and body, as I leaned against the wall, watching my wife watching me.

It wasn’t awkward. It was just surreal. Like most of the time I had spent with her, I could feel myself re-orienting once again, just in these few minutes I had spent with her. I loved it because it made me feel like I could be so much more than just exist. Like I could be the best in my Deen once again. I was convinced that she was one of those special and few people who can change the entire world with just her inspiration. Our Rabb had made her in such a way that she always had that effect on me.

“As I was saying,” she said casually, but with a hint of a smile in her eyes. “Thank you for coming. Nabeela was bugging my brains, and it’s been a while so I didn’t know how to contact you without getting everyone else involved…”

I had went off the radar slightly, but it was only because I needed to absorb myself in things to keep my mind off her. If I had known that she was looking for me, I might have come earlier… but I couldn’t do much about it now.

“I’m sorry,” I said solemnly.

“No, don’t apologize,” she said hastily, shaking her head. “I’m sorry. JazakAllah… for everything.”

I smiled, because in that moment, it was like I recalled the past once again, and frankly, I couldn’t believe that it was happening. That this moment would ever brace me with its amazement once again. I never thought I’d see it again because it reminded me of times when everything was so much easier. Rosier. More promising. When the sun shone with a light that lit up my whole world.

And of course, there was only one response to what she had said, and I couldn’t help but say it. I couldn’t help but say exactly what she had said that changed a whole lot in my life, and I hope she for the same outcome here.

I looked up, smiling slightly, and said the very same words that just made it for me.

At that time, it was priceless, and I knew that it’s value would never lessen. With our history,  it could only escalate.

“Is there any other reward for good other than good?” I said, slightly mysteriously.

And she knew the words. Of course, she had said them too. It was Allah’s promise… Of the favours upon us.

And maybe it was the us who made it, but once again, all I could think was: This is just the most perfect moment. With the most perfect words.

هَلْ جَزَآءُ الإِحْسَـنِ إِلاَّ الإِحْسَـنُ

“Is there any reward for good other than good?” (55:60)

And honestly, as I said it and looked at her, it was like she was suddenly endowed with something beyond explanation.

Her eyes filled with tears as she looked up, and I was dead certain that I saw it right there. The glint of recognition. Maybe it was my mind playing tricks on me, or fooling me into believing what I wanted to, but  when she smiled amidst the tears, and repeated the words, then I just knew for sure.

“Copy cat,” she whispered, almost under her breath.

So soft, I almost didn’t hear it, but as I processed, I stared at her in shock, as she smiled amidst the countless tears  that were streaming down her face. It was too much, too fast, and I couldn’t yet process what it all meant… Until it suddenly hit me.

Moments. There are so many, that we hang onto, with no idea that they were so special. And then, there are moments that you just wait for, hoping with every inch of your entire being that they are for real. Moments that, sometimes, just make you want you drink them in, because they’re what we live for. After a long road of loss, gain, failure, success, and so many mistakes—There finally are moments that just capture you in a way that you wait for and inwardly crave… To create a new beginning, or to give us a new hope.

We spend our whole lives just focusing on now. The present.  What we can feel, hear and touch. As insaan, we just chase what’s immediate, without worrying about eternity. We get attached to things and people. We chase fleeting moments and temporary enjoyment. We chase what’s not really there, because we get too busy to focus on what lasts.

It wasn’t like I had done it all for her. Took the plunge. I didn’t. I didn’t worship a person, a feeling, or anything material. The truth was simple, and it was just this:

We are all striving. All seeking. And along this really long road, is an end that is forked and frayed. There are many ways to the end, but along the way there are many means that help our striving. What we need to realise is the path to the truth, and what is eternal. I had to choose a path that I knew I could see a beginning… not an end.

Nothing happens without reason. Not separation. Not even pain. Everything is a means to seek closeness to Allah, and to find the way to the end. Everything is made to guide us along the path, and when we feel pain over something in Duniyaa, it is the pointer to where our attachment lies.

And that’s the trigger. Seek your Rizq, but don’t chase. Love your spouse, but don’t ever idolize. Use people to guide you, but never depend on them.

When Musaa (AS) went down the River Nile, his mother thought he would never see him again, but she did, in a most comforting way. When Ibrahim (AS) let his wife and child, he did return years later, to see how they had thrived. The lesson here was simple. After all that time and separation, in the process, reliance on Allah was at its greatest heights. They turned to Allah completely.

Begging, praying, hoping and complete Tawakkul. It’s what any of us would understand, that through the loss, we turn entirely to Him. And by definition, our heart turns to him completely. Through the losing, we have been given something so much more precious and eternal. What’s lost, does sometimes return- but sometimes it just takes some time.

Time to love. Time to give. Time to return.

What lives in the heart, controls the body. It’s the driving force, and the foundation that everything builds on. If that root is what is with the eternal, then that heart will never break. It too, will keep striving, keep seeking, until it finds what it is meant to. And what is meant to be found has no argument to hold.

Undeniably, there are places in the heart created only for our Rabb. Places that many people have come to only find when they had given everything… Only to end up with nothing else.

And in this temporary world, there are very few things that are truly priceless, and that will be part and parcel of the journey to Jannah. What I do know, though, in my chase for something ‘more’ to life, I had somehow ended up with gold.

And that brief moment that I had found it, I could never forget. It was a moment that I was saved, completed and everything that was once broken inside of me, had gotten fixed. The moment all the pieces fitted together, so perfectly, as if they had never been out of synch before. How my every need was fulfilled, through a single person being a means sent by the Almighty. Through a single person who had helped me find what we all needed to seek.

Jannah.  Paradise. The Lord of the Worlds, and His pleasure upon them. And when they get that, He will give them what He has hidden for them of the delight of the eye. He will grant them more, on top of all of that, and even better… they will even get the honor of looking at His Noble Face. And that is greater than anything that had ever been given. And of course, one will not deserve that because of our deeds, but rather, we will receive it by the grace of Allah and His mercy. From a little effort they made in this Duniyaa that passed…

The Duniyaa, that was so fleeting, that it will seem like it happened in just a moment.

In a mere heartbeat.


Please make maaf that this post is so delayed. I’ve just been too crazy. Planned on doing two before Ramadhaan but time has caught up with me.

Time. We all know how precious it is, and as the blessed month dawns upon us, please remember me and my family in your Duaas. Also, let’s try and plan each day meticulously so we do not waste a moment. May Allah guide us and take us safely to Ramadhaan, over and over. I do hope to post something beneficial, so InshaAllah, if I get a chance I will, and hopefully and epilogue to this post will follow if not before, after Ramadhaan.

Lets utilize every moment and increase in our Ibadat so we can build toward our Aakhirah InshaAllah. Let’s cut our addiction to technology and absorb ourselves in the Quran. InshaAllah. Allah give us the Tawfeeq.

ONE STEP CLOSER TO JANNAH, InshaAllah!

Let’s practice our SUNNAH InshaAllah! More Sunnah of eating:

*sitting*

We tend to stand and eat/drink. Let’s consciously make an effort to sit, even if it’s on the floor, while we are enjoying our food.

*Eating with three fingers.*

The Sunnah is to eat with three fingers;
eating with more than three fingers is a sign of greed and is bad manners,
because
there is no need for more than three in order to gather up a morsel.
If it is necessary to use more than three,
because
the food is light and cannot be gathered in three fingers, then he may use the fourth or fifth.

*See Fath al-Baari, 9/578*

Practice, share and earn multiple rewards in shaa Allah.

SubhaanAllah. Let’s try and observe the Sunnah Duaas of eating InshaAllah.

#RevivetheSunnahofEating

#RevivetheSunnahofDrinking

#Revive theSunnahofSpeakingGood

#RevivetheSunnahofSmiling

#RevivetheSunnahofMiswaak

#RevivetheSunnahofDu’aas

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