Broken Again

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem 


There are many people who live life in oblivion. I’ve seen people walk through the midst of glorious beauty, and not notice a thing. They can be surrounded by nature’s overwhelming amazement, but they fail to take it in.

I supposed that you could say that they are ‘broken’.

And I’ve seen it time and time again. I’ve seen people who are so close, yet so far. They have so much of potential, yet they are still lost. They are searching, seeking and still not finding.

Because there are some people who, no matter how much they may see, they are heedless. They still don’t let the light into the crevices of their yearning heart. So, a place of darkness becomes even darker as they persevere in their pursuit of everything besides Allah. They increase in their ignorance, because they never felt that deep inclination to find their Lord. Truly, that is the greatest loss.

I often wondered if I never had Khalid or Aunty Radiyyah, what would have become of me. It wasn’t that I owed it to them. I knew that Allah is the one who guides, but I had seen many a time, that there had to be some kind of means. The simple gestures. The ever-present warmth. The unlimited love. There was nothing in the world that could ever replace those priceless actions that we sometimes took so for granted.

After we lost Mama, there were times when I would suddenly just hit a real low. Abba was mourning. So was everyone else. I wasn’t always myself. I wasn’t always good. There were times when I was just plain down selfish, and didn’t give two hoots about anyone else. Try as they might, there were times when I was as belligerent as they get.

And of course, the only way that I emerged partially sane, was through the light of my friend that I clung on to. Somehow, little Khalid always had a way with words that got right under my skin. He always brought out the best in me. It was Khalid who always knew what to say to make it okay again. And what I had got out of that at that tender age, was a beautiful truth of life that many people would never see.

Love. Love, was the tool to fix all the hurt. Love was light that shone in the dark. For a little girl who had been so lost, the love that I felt at that age was very much unconditional.

And it never ceased to amaze me. They would always have something beautiful to pass on. Khalid and his mother were a wonder for me. No matter how much I read and heard, I could not get enough.

The stories. The courage. The amazing love and sacrifice that he had brought to life for me when I was just a little girl. I could spend hours just listening or reading the books that had been gifted, and they would instill that same bewilderment in me once again. There were times when I would just stop and wonder to myself… Because I couldn’t help but think… did these brave and glorious warriors really exist?

She didn’t meet the final messenger SAW, but she met all his companions. Some say that she didn’t ever marry, but there was something unique about this women that is not at all surprising. She loved. She loved a lot. But it was a different kind of love. She loved her brother, Dirrar, quite fiercely. It wasn’t just because they were connected by blood. It was him who had taught her something quite remarkable. He had taught her the skills of swordsmanship. He trained her to fight like a true warrior. The kind of love that this bond had brought, was unmatched.

Khawlah’s tactics emerged at a time when the conquest of Islam was in the process of steamrolling the forces of pretty much every non-European civilization in the world. She served as a nurse and a healer, and then when that became boring she fought as a front-line warrior, and now is known among her people as the prime example of how fiercely a woman with a burning passion could stand her own ground.

The mysterious warrior pounced on the enemy like a mighty hawk on a tiny sparrow in an attack that wreaked havoc in the Byzantine lines,” wrote a historian.

Everyone thought that this magnificent warrior was Khalid, such was the skill which was displayed. But as Khalid (RA) emerged from the left hand side of the field, the believers were shocked. This fighter had created such an impact, that they were witnessing even the Romans retreating. The believers could not help but question… who was this inspirational soldier?!

It was Khalid (RA) who followed this fierce warrior, chasing after her in hot pursuit. It was the first time he had seen such a stage. Such strength. He was impressed. He circled around the mysterious warrior, asking for a name.

He questions her multiple times, but she is still silent. He wants to see her face. She does not speak. She is covered from head to toe, with only her eyes exposed.

Another companion, infuriated by the silence, says:

“Speak, the leader is addressing you.”

Others shouted in anticipation:

“By Allah, reveal yourself!”

And then, because she could no longer contain herself, she explained. 

It was not out of pride. It was not out of contempt. She was humbled. She was modest, and she said:

”Oh Ameer, I didn’t answer you because you are a great leader. I am not from the men, and I cover like those who are modest. It was only out of modesty that I did not want to reveal myself. I am a woman. I have come for the rescue of my brother.”

That was Khawlah Bint Al-Azwar. A female. But such valour. Such unapologetic modesty.

That was a time when the Muslims had respect. They had honour. This was a time when their blood was sacred.

The tears flowed from my eyes as I remembered, and each time I would read that beautiful story, I would see it in a different light. In a different perspective.

It wasn’t for fame. It wasn’t to make a name. It wasn’t to get that many followers, like we do today. It was love.  Modesty. Hayaa. Pure love and pure sacrifice. It was something that I wasn’t sure that we would ever acquire on today’s time, when we do things to get the pleasure of everyone else.

And yes. In my own childish way. I had loved Khalid. I had loved him a lot. But such was destined, of course, it wasn’t meant to last. Weeks and months whizzed by as I overcame my own battles, and I noticed Khalid getting taller by the day. His icy eyes seemed to be darkening and his once-chubby face looked different too. I could sense his defense up recently. He seemed protective, when Yunus would fight with me. He seemed aloof too, when I would sometimes try and engage him in conversation. If I wasn’t mistaken, unexpected tantrums and Aunty Nas sometimes yelling for me from the other side of the neighborhood, I had a feeling that Khalid felt quite sorry for me too.

Yunus was always willing to see the good in people, whilst my guard was always up. Besides that, there was something about Hannah that made me uneasy.

Khalid had tried to be helpful. He had tried to dispel the hurt. I had tried to think of Jannah, like he told me. I would hold onto the happy thoughts, for just a little longer. I wanted to hold onto those days with as much as I could, just because I lived in the hope that it would chase all my fears away…

And caught up in my world of warriors and whimsical dreams that inspired me to stand my ground, I never thought I’d see the day when things would change. Somehow, I just thought that they’d last forever.

“My Papa wants me to be an Aalim,” Khalid said suddenly one day, as we sat huddled close together on the sandy part of the driveway, sticks in our hands to dawdle with.

”Really?” I said, drawing a heart on the dusty ground, and not knowing what else to say.

“I love learning the Quran. Mummy says that the Hafidh’s parents will wear a crown of gold on the day of Qiyaamah.”

“And what about you?” I couldn’t help but ask.

I knew Khalid was becoming a Hafidh. He had started early morning lessons a year ago.

“Something better,” he said, smiling his usual Khalid smile.

“Whosoever learns the Qur’an and practices upon what’s in it, then on the Day of Judgement his parents will be made to wear a crown which will be more radiant than the sun if it were to be in your home.  So what do you think of the person who has practiced upon it?” (Musnad Ahmad)

“You’re so lucky,” I murmured, already imagining Khalid with his parents, a glorious crown also on his head. They looked amazing.

I could just picture him grinning in utter glee, as he would sit on that miraculous throne. It would definitely be a sight to see.

Khalid shrugged. He didn’t look at me as he spoke.

“Mama says that Papa makes Duaa every day… and I should too. But Mama also says that whatever’s in my Taqdeer will be true.”

Taqdeer. I nodded. I had heard about that before. It basically meant that whatever was meant to be, will come true.

I could still sense something bothering him, and it was beginning to bother me too. I wasn’t quite sure what it was that had ignited Khalid’s rebelliousness, but it was the first time that Khalid had ever uttered anything that was not in agreement with his father.

”I don’t know if Papa is right. I would mean I have to leave home and go to a Madrassa far away,” he said softly, almost to himself.

I frowned as he said it, brushing it off and convincing myself that it wouldn’t materialize. Well, at least, not anytime soon. For the first time, I also didn’t agree with Khalid’s Papa. For the first time, I felt angry at him for wanting to take my friend away from me.

But what if it all comes true, and he has to go?

I looked up sharply as I processed, almost in a panic. What would I do without him? What would do without Khalid?

I could sense his hesitancy too. And then, of course, he had to ask.

”Will you wait for me?”

I swallowed my emotion as I comprehended. I wasn’t sure what he was asking me at the time. All I did was nod as we continued with our menial task of sand art.

And of course, as Taqdeer would have it, a few weeks later Khalid entered that weird phase of his life that I couldn’t comprehend. He would barely talk to me, and when he would, he would just act so strange. It was at that stage that I realized that Khalid was probably going to leave. Although I knew it, it was only when I grew older, did I realize that Khalid was slowly withdrawing, to make it less painful. It was a transition that I more or less eased into, because to me, the chapter was coming to a close. The only thing was, now moving away, and far from Aunty Radiyyah, I had felt so lost, once again.

And then of course, as Allah promises, there is nothing that is taken away which is not replaced with something better. Not long after, I met Nusaybah.

Nusaybah, for me, represented everything that I had needed in a friend. She had, in fact, taken the broken pieces, and somehow made them fit together again. Through loss and through grief, her bubbly personality, and her beautiful words, she had basically been the inspiration for me to see what I had been missing in that little time.

Nusaybah represented what I had been yearning for once again. She was brave like Khalid. She was strong like Mama. Like the Sahaabi that she was named after, Nusaybah exuded a beautiful yet fierce nature that I loved. She was like Khalid in a lot of ways, but unlike him in many other too. And of course, she was a girl, so in terms of being relatable to me, she topped the charts.

So of course, one could only imagine what Nusaybah meant to me. I loved her. Her humor. Her wit. Her everlasting ability to see the best in a situation. To lose her, would be a great loss indeed. To ever betray her, would be the most abhorred thing in my friendship diaries. I could not even think of hurting her, and more than my own feelings, when Ruby had mentioned her brother’s interest in me, I could not even think of responding. Of requiting. I knew that Nusaybah was more important to me that that.

But there are certain things that cant be controlled. The heart, for one, is a vessel that can harbour even the most concealed and unseemly emotion. And of course, I wished I could chase them away. I wished that I would just forget. I wished that Adam had never seen me or asked about me, because I didn’t want to be stuck in a hope that was so far -fetched.

Rubeena had, in many words, explained that her brother wanted to meet me. She had said that he didn’t care about the odds. She had said that she loved me so much that she wanted what he wanted too… and that was to be part of their family. And although I knew that I wasn’t ready for that huge step that would unite man and woman, or boy and girl, as I correctly pictured it, I silently found myself wanting it too. Unknowingly, I had actually been appeased when she had told me that there was no rush, because it would mean that my plan for life would still be on track, but there was an inkling of desire that I didn’t address.

All I knew was that going there to her house with all these feelings that I couldn’t yet explain, would definitely be a danger to me and everything I had always stood for.

I had, of course, intended to steer clear until the surprise visit that we all didn’t expect.

Aunty Nas and Hannah.

As for Hannah, when I finally did go home many days, after a convincing from Khalid that it would be a better day, I remembered the looks she would give me, filled with pure contempt. I didn’t notice her following me when I went out to play.  I didn’t see her cynical eyes watch my every move. I tied up my unruly locks as I got stuck into my work, not noticing the little girl who watched me from down the passage, just waiting for me to step out of line.

Although I had an inkling of what she was about, I never did realize the true nature of that little girl. During those days, I couldn’t quite fathom what it was about her…

But today, as we locked eyes for a mere millisecond, the truth had now became apparent on Hannah’s face. I could see exactly what it was about her that made me tick.

Her sullen nature was so averse to my natural disposition. The girl never smiled. Her face was permanently in some kind of twist, over something that no-one could understand.. Even as she sat on my favorite couch  in my father’s house, she looked at me with such contempt that I honestly wished I could hurt her. What it was about Hannah that made me want to completely lose my mind, I wasn’t sure.

Foi Nani was still looking as confused as ever, at the turn of event, because she clearly did not remember who they were. Even as Zuleikha and Jameel entered, the tension in the room did not  ease.

“I know what you’ll are thinking,” Aunty Nas said as we all watched her. She wore a black jeans that was turned up above the ankle and a loose flowing purple top. Her scarf was draped a little loosely around her head, and if I didn’t know better about her, I would have assumed that she was nothing but a typical Muslim lady from the neighborhood. From past experience though, I knew better than to underestimate Aunty Nas.

“Nasreen,” Abba said, looking really uncomfortable in her presence. “Just tell us why you are here.”

Aunty Nas gave an exasperated sigh.

“Look,” Aunty Nas said, raising her eyebrows at us in annoyance. “I know what you’ll think of me. I didn’t come here for money or any favors. I’m sure you’ll think that I did, but Hannah and I are quite fine without any hand-outs.”

“So what are you here for?” Zuleikha snapped, getting just as irritated with her attitude as I was.

Aunty Nas sighed. So far, Hannah had not said one audible word.

“As you can see,” Aunty Nas continued. “Hannah’s got herself into a bit of trouble.”

She smirked as she said it, and all I could think of was: How crazy can a mother be?

Instead of condemning what Hannah did, Aunty Nas found it amusing.

I honestly could not even stomach it.

“You can imagine that it didn’t go down very well with the school…”

Abba nodded. Of course. My father looked like he was in shock.

“And of course, she’s too scared to go back to the part time job she had, in case her boss gets upset about it,” Aunty Nas said, oh-so-casually.

I narrowed my eyes. Was she talking about Rubeena?

”Anyway,” Aunty Nas said, suddenly getting up, almost as if she was about to leave. “Since Khawlah also worked there… I just thought that it may be good to let you’ll know  that they’ve been trying to contact Hannah, and basically forcing her to come back. I may even report them for harassment. Since they blame you-“

She looked straight at me as she said it, and I blinked in shock.

“We thought we’d just let you know.”

She sounded so considerate as she said it, that I was completely taken aback. Had Rubeena maybe changed her mind about me? Maybe there was more to it than I knew.

Blame me? Why in the world would they blame me?

“They told Hannah that they had only called her since you had left,” Aunty Nas said sweetly, sending my confusion and answering my question. “But don’t worry, darling… We know it’s not your fault. We don’t blame you at all! Those kids are such annoying rascals, that we completely understand. Rich and spoilt, that’s what they are. Hannah says she doesn’t care if they paid her a million bucks, she’ll never go back!”

I was stunned. Besides stunned, I was really angry too.

Rich and spoilt? Did Aunty Nas know who she was talking about? Yes, Rubeena had her flaws and she was sometimes demanding, but she never acted like she was entitled to anything more than Hannah did. In my opinion, Hannah was always the pits, and had obviously worsened with age.

I narrowed my eyes at them both, as Aunty Nas picked up a Samoosa that Foi Nani had over-graciously made.

“Poor Khawlah,” Aunty Nas said, noticing me watching her with something close to hatred. She stopped in mid-bite as she chomped her samoosa rudely.

“You actually like them, don’t you?”

I swallowed, not prepared for her bitter directness.

I didn’t answer.

I was planning to see Rubeena later that week. I was aching to see the boys. The garden. Nature was a soother to the soul… a calm for the sea of emotion that sometimes brewed within me. I ached to see the glorious garden again, but now, I had my reservations too.

I knew that I would have to also clear this up. I would have a bigger task on hand, if what they were saying was true.

“She doesn’t believe you.”

It was Hannah that spoke now, for the first time. Her eyes rolled in annoyance as she said it.

I scowled.  I felt like I was that eight-year-old once again, full of anger and resentment. I didn’t like the feeling.

I didn’t like it at all.

I could feel the familiar uneasiness rise up in my tummy.

“Why should we even trust you?” Zuleikha now said, knwoing exactly what was on my mind.

Aunty Nas blinked and turned her gaze to Zuleikha, almost in frustration.

Abba’s face was looking stony. I knew I’d have a lot to answer about, and I wasn’t looking forward to it.

“Looks like you’ll want some proof,” she said, with her eyebrows raised.

“Tell her, Hannah,” Aunty Nas muttered, turning her gaze away from us. “Tell her what he said.”

I wasn’t sure who she was talking about, but Hannah knew. My heart was already almost in my mouth.

“I heard them talking,” she said, her voice as hard and nasty as always, as she looked straight at me. “Her and her brother. They said they never want to see you again.”

And of course, they quickly gathered their bags, picked up two samoosas and waltzed out in utter contempt through the front door, just as they had come. And just as the door slammed behind them, like the first time she had come, I couldn’t help but feel the little tug of something within me, just before it snapped.

And there I was, feeling like a broken girl, once again.

Dearest Readers,

So I’m wondering if Khawlah should clear the air herself and face some possible accusations, or stay away and wait for it all to reveal itself? As per request, I will finish off this part of the story before Ramadhaan though… Insha Allah. Shukran to all the readers ❤️

In preparation for Ramadhaan, this week, Insha Allah, let’s try and bring in a little about the Sunnah of eating, as touched on in the previous posts. I will try to keep it short, simple and effective🌸

Especially as Ramadhaan is coming up, I love the fact that many families keep a Dastar on the floor to break fast. This meal, even if its for a short time, is regarded as Sunnah and is so blessed.

It was also narrated that Anas ibn Maalik said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never ate at a khiwaan, and he never had any soft bread.”  said to Qutaadah: “What did he used to eat from?” He said, “A cloth (spread on the floor).”

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5099).

How easy to practise!





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24 thoughts on “Broken Again

  1. Loving the parts of Khawlah ( r.a ). She was such an inspiration, subhan’allah 💕
    My heart is breaking for Khawlah 💔
    Can’t wait for more
    Jazakallah khayr for the lovely post 😘

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Jazaakillah khair for the lovely post especially the part of Hadhrat Khawlah رضي الله عنهم, she was truly an inspirational figure for all the females of the Ummah of Nabi صلي الله عليه وسلم.
    I think Khawlah should wait for everything to reveal itself as Binti Mahmood said

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I think she must clear her name
    We are taught in out deen when accusations are made we should clarify the facts once so that it dispels evil thoughts in the minds of those who have sincere but just got carried away in the moment

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a post mashAllah..
    I think she should wait 4 the truth to reveal itself but it will be a painful wait..
    Reminds me of the qisa of ifk n the story of Yusuf a.s..

    Liked by 3 people

  5. السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

    Great post, dear Authoress!💎💎💎
    JazakAllah khairan for the sunnah reminder at the end….really helps to be reminded that it is a sunnah and we are rewarded if we do it with the correct intention….sometimes, we are actually practicing on a sunnah, forgetting that it is actually a sunnah, rather doing it as a habit or for ease etc….but imagine the reward if we actually made the intention of following the sunnah!!! SubhaanAllah!!! What a perfect way of life is our Deen!!!

    Hmmm……I think that as Khawlah was the means for Rubeena and Aadam seeing the light…and as the story is full of diamonds….and as I personally looove the story of “”ifk””….the truth should be made to reveal itself, just like Aaisha رضي الله عنها did not defend herself, waiting for Allah to prove her innocence!!!
    She knows she has done nothing wrong….but Shaytaan always looks to start trouble and put doubt in people’s minds…like interfering with the effects of the good influence that Khawlah was on Rubeena and Aadam!!!

    Whew!! I think I just wrote a loonnng bayaan….sorry about that❣❣❣
    Fee amaanillah💌

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Lol, shukran sis.., for the Bayaan too, hehe. No problem.
    Honestly, reading and writing about the Sunnah I think helps me the most. May more be inspired InshaAllah
    You are right. Shaytaan is always looking for an opportunity, let’s see what is revealed here… InshaAllah ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great writing as always. MashaAllah. I feel if Khawla tries to clear the air most likely no one will believe her but she should at least tell her family.Also not to go near Rubeenas house at all till the truth is revealed.
    Jazakumullah for the Sunnah reminders. Indeed a great way to bring into practice InshaAllah. 💖

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Loving the gradual reveal of khaula ra’s story… It would awesome if you could compile it all into one document when this is over… Cos there’s lots of places where you can find her story… But nowhere so we’ll written and… Story like!

    Liked by 1 person

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