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

Tweet: @ajourneyjournal

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13 thoughts on “Heartbeat

  1. this post was just so “Awwhhh’
    I feel so satisfied right now, I’ve been waiting for this “get together” moment for so long
    but this post was definitely worth the wait
    Jazakallah for the beautiful post and the much needed reminders
    Remember us in your Duas

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m completely blown away by this post.
    It was amazing and brilliant!
    I’m so happy for Zaynah and Waseem , they were the rewards for each other 💕
    Hope Ziyaad and Nabeelah also find the happiness that they have been looking for

    The ending of this post was awesome 👌🏻
    This is by far the best thing I’ve ever read👍🏻
    Jazakallahu khairun for taking out the time and effort to piece together this phenomal masterpiece. May Allah Ta’ala reward you with the best of rewards in this world and the hereafter , may He take you from strength to strength , forgive all your sins and may He make you a means of guidance for many , inshallah. aameen.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this story and sad it has to come to an end. Can’t wait for the epilogue 😌
    Have a wonderful Ramadhan and remember us in your Duas 😘

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Jazakallahu khairan…too beautiful…you have a wonderful talent in writing and the words are just tight….right advise for these times when alot of people have lost the right path..the path to Allah…it is just brilliant masha Allah.
    Is this the end of the story now? Any more parts?
    Can you please start another story after Ramadhan…your stories are very inspirational masha Allah. Jazakallahu khairan

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Super post.. made me tear.. its soo emotional.. an truely if you want to sin but don’t an instead make dua.. Allah readily accepts.. mashaallah!! Allah accept all your ibadah… aameen

    Liked by 1 person

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