Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
When life hands you lemons, sometimes you just have to accept them graciously and make the best out of them.
And yes, I’ve had my fair share of lemons. Lemons of every sort too. Bitter ones, pungent ones and some of them just downright sour. But what I didn’t realize was that these lemons of life would come to teach a lesson about life itself. To be surrounded with people who made the best out of the lemons that life had so graciously given them, was a hands-down winner. It was through them that I came to realize that even within the darkest of clouds, there is still a silver lining.
Across the conquering of territory that would soon come under Muslim rule, the battles edged on. Battling on horseback with an array of sound weapons and sharpened spears, was a woman who fought like the bravest of men. Fierce, courageous, and unbelievably determined.
Alongside the ranks of Khalid bin Waleed RA, the esteemed Sahabah, who could dispute her status?
Though she did not see the beloved Prophet SAW, a woman of such stature and skill… such modesty and affluence…. many dare not oppose her. Her presence in the battle field was invited, and her skills to the opponent were always a force to be reckoned with.
And so, to put it lightly… the capture of Khawlah Bint Al Azwar was a moment in history that was quite unexpected.
It was during the heat of the Battle of Ajnadayn that her yielding weapon broke with the force of what must have been some serious onslaught. The legs of her horse were cut beneath her and she was left defenseless as she came tumbling to the ground.
And there it is, my friends. Once in a while, it just so happens that the Almighty shows us the truth for what it is.
The reality is, no human is invincible. Even the greatest of warriors are sometimes put into the deep end. Even the most elevated ranks can sometimes be put to test. It is but the way of the world. It was the route that the Almighty chose to show His power… to show who’s in charge, and to get us to open that door once again that leads to us asking and appealing from only Him. He was, after all, the only One who could give victory.
Even the best of warriors would be nothing without Him. And of course, it’s only their unshakable faith that sees them through. And it’s only what they made out of their unfavorable conditions that determined the strength of what they would be known for.
“You’re a warrior Khawlah,” Nusaybah whispered to me as she squeezed my shoulder. “You’re going to be okay.”
I knew what she was getting at. I also knew that she wanted me to be strong. But did it mean that warriors never felt the pain even when they were pierced by the brutality of the enemies sword?
Tears rolled down my face as I gazed out of the window, the view ahead of me now blurry and inconsistent.
Nusaybah handed me a tissue as Rubeena picked up speed as she got onto the highway, her own sobs now subsiding as she .
I knew exactly how she felt. Our emotions were almost in tune ags we cried almost in unison, for the a loss that we both understood on our own terms.
Leaving the apartment building where Hannah stayed, we were all shocked to silence at the audacity that she showed despite us trying to appeal to her. The painful truth was, it was very evident that Hannah had no compassion to offer us because at that moment in time, her heart was completely bereft of any compassion.
“Please Hannah,” Rubeena had literally begged her. How she could still look at this girl in the eye was beyond me. Rubeena may had been many things but the quality of forgiveness she possessed was completely beyond me. After hearing what I did, I was reeling with anger.
Hannah thought that despite what she did, now that she had bagged a rich man by getting pregnant with his child, her life would be that much easier now. How wrong she was.
“I know Shabeer, and he’s not going to change,” Rubeena pleaded. “You can still make this right. You can still tell him the truth. You can go back to school… educate yourself… make something of your life…”
Rubeena had admitted not so proudly that she previously had it out with Hannah when she had first found out about what was going on. But since Ramadhaan, something in her had altered. She no longer wanted to hurt Hannah. She no longer wanted her husband back. Now she just wanted to see some justice.
”You’re just jealous!” Hannah spat before she could even finish, her eyes flashing angrily. I honestly wanted to shake some sense into her. “He chose me and now you are jealous! And I’m not making anything right! I did nothing wrong.”
She looked at me now and I narrowed my eyes at her.
What an audacity. Seeing her again now in this frame of mind reminded me of those dark days when coming home was the most detested thing to me. Arrogance was second nature for her. Remorse was completely foreign.
The resentment was a new feeling for me. Never before did I have such an aversion to anyone before this. It was like it had engulfed every vessel of mine…
And then of course, was the anger. Bitterness. Uncontrollable hurt.
How dare she? How dare she use my name and blemish me? How dare she portray me as someone so low?
I was trembling as I watched her, and her sheer callousness made my heart bleed as I realized that we were getting nowhere.
And then of course, as we turned away to go back, the truth of it all hit me like I could not believe.
The lies. The brutality. The betrayal.
How could they not even tell me?
All this time… and so much that they had hid. I couldn’t even look at my friend in the eye. I could not even meet Rubeena’s gaze.
Imagine what she must have been thinking of me all this time… the tarnishing of my dignity was as bad as it could get. The stigma attached to a rumor that can spiral out of control could break so much more than just a spirit…
I honestly felt as though my heart was breaking into a million pieces. The atrocity of the news that was revealed to me hit me like a ton of bricks. I could barely breathe.
“I’m so sorry, Khawlah,” Nusaybah whispered as she pulled me to her and embraced me fiercely. “So, so sorry.”
And of course, when a scandal lets loose there’s little you can do to reverse its effects. I let myself have a good cry as I thought of all the consequences that this had brought… and what it still might bring. I cried for myself, because I didn’t know what else to do. I cried because it had gone so far. I cried because I had no idea at all what the people who I considered most important had thought of me. I had no idea what they still thought that they knew…
I sucked in my breath and breathed out, all flustered because I couldn’t take the anxiety that this was bringing on.
Rubeena was losing her husband. I was losing my honour. And if I let things unfold the way they were going… Nusaybah was going to lose the one person she had set her sights on since over two years ago.
Oh. My. Goodness.
Thinking about him now brought a completely foreign notion to my mind. Seemingly stripped of my dignity now, I couldn’t help but mentally shrink away in utter embarrassment.
My heart plummeted to my toes.
I had completely forgot about him. That must have meant that he knew about it too, right? Right..?
I could barely breathe. No wonder he had been basically non-existent over the past few weeks. All this time I was busy thinking that he was giving me time to think when it was the complete opposite… with the revelation, it was probably him that needed the time to think.
But wait. I should have been relieved. I should have been comforted to a certain extent because at least it meant that I wouldn’t have to reveal anything to Nusaybah that would break her.
But why was it that it was me who was feeling broken inside?
This was such a huge mess and I really had no idea how to get out of it. Resentment filled my chest as I processed that these rumours were probably making their way around for a while… but what scared me most was the hostility that I was feeling towards my friend. Never once did she reveal to me the truth. Not once did she even try to tell me what was going on.
”How could you not tell me?” I said now, getting straight to the point and addressing Nusayabah as she turned to look at me.
She looked at me with a mixture of guilt and fear in her eyes.
And that’s when I realized that I needed to leave. I didn’t want to be there right then. There was no way I could be around them, see the kids, act normal and continue with this today.
Tomorrow, I would be better. Tomorrow, I would feel normal again. Despite my yearning, my heart was bleeding in a way that nothing could immediately repair. I had to find a way to move past this, and I could think of just the person I needed to see.
Rubeena was talking about Shabeer. She was going to talk to him, she insisted. She would make him see sense. After all, Hannah’s lie was to him. Couldn’t he at least see past the big facade that she was so good at putting on?
I couldn’t answer. After all, he had thought it was me. He had thought that she was me. He had thought that she was the Khawlah that the kids always talked about. He had thought that Hannah was everything that she wasn’t. Guilt overcame me as I realized that I may actually be partly responsible for everything that had gone wrong. I felt disgusted.
“Ruby,” I asked softly, knowing what I needed to do. “Can you do me a favor?”
She immediately went silent, as she waited for me to continue. I needed to escape. I needed to be shown some sense.
I gave her the address and she nodded. I closed my eyes as we continued to drive, not wanting to meet Nusaybah’s eye and barely even realizing that we’d reached our destination until we finally stopped.
I hastily climbed out the car, feeling able to breathe again.
Stepping out into the open air made my heart beat at a more normal rate. Amidst the pain and the turbulence within, there was a certain peace that came as I stepped off with the promise that I’d see the kids later that week.
I didn’t promise the same to Nusaybah, although I could see her expectant look. I was upset. Angry. Lost in my own thoughts, I needed a chance to think it through.
I walked up the familiar staircase and onto the front porch that I remembered so well. It was almost exactly as I pictured it to be in my mind all those hundreds of times… and the familiar smell of the jasmine that crept up the post filled my lungs as I breathed in and then out again, wondering if I should ring the bell or just turn and go back home.
But something had drawn me here. Something was beckoning for me to find comfort in everything this amazing place had to offer.
The reminders of better days spent in the heat of the blazing sun surrounded me. The memories of running through the pouring rain filled my mind once again. The one winter, when we had for the first and last time ever, got a very light fall of snow, was almost fresh in my mind as I recollected those days of sheer oblivion and bliss.
Childhood was sweet. So pure. I wished that it never had to end. At that moment, I didn’t want to think beyond that hope, love and innocence, because it was that which made me realize that beyond the storm there may still be a rainbow.
And of course, there was no better place than where I was to remind me. I remembered Khalids words clearly as I stepped into Aunty Radiyyah’s front step, deliberating on whether to ring the bell immediately or settle my thoughts first.
I gazed at the wooden door with its tarnished handles. The copper on it was not exactly what you would call fashionable or ‘in’, but I knew that Khalid’s Papa had worked hard and his family had lived a comfortable life, and of course, being Khalid, he never let it be known that there was anything lacking, even if there was.
“You know what Papa told me the other day, Khawlah?” Khalid’s childish voice still resounded so clearly in my mind, like it was just the other day.
I looked at him in amusement as he smiled his Khalid smile, and then ran off to collect more of the rose petals that had fallen to the ground, so we could make our own version of potpourri. Of course, we were forbidden from touching the flowers that were still growing so we literally stood there and willed them to wilt so we could continue with our tedious tasks that had seemed oh-so-important at the time.
I widened my eyebrows at him, copying his excited expression.
“Papa says that we can also send presents for Allah!” He said incredulously, with a look of sheer amazement on his face.
I scoffed. That was ridiculous. Allah didn’t need our presents!
Khalid rolled his eyes as he saw my expression.
“Not as in real presents, silly!” He said, slapping his palm to his forehead and shaking his head at me like I was a child. “Being grateful to Allah is one of the things he loves the most. Not having a lot of ‘things’ is not a punishment. When Allah gets angry, then the worst thing that can happen is Him taking away our peace and happiness.”
I looked at him pensively.
How true that was! Taking away our car, money or house wouldn’t ruin us… but if Allah had to really punish us…
I shuddered as I thought about it. Khalid was way too wise for his age. Somehow, I always felt indebted to him for everything that he told me.
And right now, I would pay anything for that peace and contentment that I had. Right now… I wondered what I had done wrong to deserve this. Was this a punishment?
Childhood was innocent. Sweet. Free from any blemish, yet so real. I wished that it never had to end, but of course… the reality of this Duniyaa is that nothing is meant to ever last.
For now, all I knew was that being here made me feel safe. It made me feel free. It made me feel like that innocent girl once again, instead of the jolted young women that had just been enlightened about the ruthlessness of the real world.
And of course, when Aunty Radiyyah appeared at the door with her beaming smile and open arms, there was little I could do to stop myself from running into them. I said nothing and she didn’t ask. We embraced in momentary silence as I sniffled away, trying to control the torrent of emotions that surged within.
“I knew you would come,” she said softly as she sat me down on the back porch, the afternoon sun warming up the crisp winter air.
The view from her back porch was still spectacular and I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic again as I looked out.
“Eventually,” she said, but now with a sad smile.
I looked at her now for the first time properly, and to my surprise, I could see the sadness in her eyes that I had never noticed throughout my previous visits. I blinked as I apologized for my absence all those months. Everything had gotten a bit too consuming, with school, the kids and the drama that was unfolding too.
But Aunty Radiyyah, being who she was, didn’t take it to heart. But then of course, how could she when she had an inkling of what had been going on too. All this time I had thought that everything was so confined.. so controlled… but as I studied her expression, I realized that my fears were confirmed.
And oh, the stinging in my chest was almost unbearable. The treachery. The blatant hurt that a simple rumor can cause.
As we met each other’s gaze, I already knew. I knew that she knew, and she was fully aware of it too. Her expression was calm. Composed. Her stance was extremely unruffled.
And all I could think of was the betrayal that I felt now, multiplied about a million times more than ever before. More than Rubeena’s. More than even Nusaybah’s.
She too, had let it go without even asking. My very own Aunty Radiyyah had played the most unexpected role in what I saw as my downfall too.
What I didn’t anticipate was what she would tell me next…
And that, would change everything.
Revive the Sunnah of Not Over-eating
Miqdam bin Madikarib said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah say:
‘A human being fills no worse vessel than his stomach. It is sufficient for a human being to eat a few mouthfuls to keep his spine straight. But if he must (fill it), then one-third of food, one third for drink and one third for air.’” [Ibn Majah]
It is an underestimated fact that food has a dramatic effect on your body’s and brain’s performance.
This Hadith clearly highlights that overeating is a reprehensible quality we should avoid.
How easy to practise!
My heart is thumping in my chest , the suspense is nerve wrecking 🙈
Loved the lessons 💗
Can’t even imagine what Khawlah’s going through
Jazakallah khair for the post 🌸💕
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Lol, shukran sister.., all will be revealed InSha Allah ❤️
😢😢😢Feeling so sad for Khawlah. Looking forward to know what Aunt Raddiya will tell her. JazaakAllah khair for the post.
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We will see what Aunty Radiyyah has to say soon. 💖👌
Do happy to see your posts sister 💫💞🌹
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Shukran sister! 💖
Many beautiful lessons
Good to have you back
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But if Rubeena knows it was Hannah why wouldn’t she just tell Shabeer that it was Hannah? And if Ruby knows then obviously she would have told Adam that Hannah is the girl and not Khawlah and he obviously does know that khawlah is innocent thats why he proposed for Khawlah in the first place. And like Ruby and Nusayaba can easily spread the truth to everyone who is gossiping that its hannah they should gossip about not khawlah so why didnt they?
Okay, so my thinking is along the lines of the slander of Aisha RA- no- one he told her until Umm Mistah cursed her son… everyone knew she was innocent but it was her that was most affected by the mere fact of the slander.
Likewise, it’s not the issue of thinking anyone is truly guilty, it’s just the hurt that it causes when someone says something bad … or tries to portray you as something that you aren’t.
Even if Ruby did try to talk to anyone… I think on a broader scale, the message has done its damage. Maybe they already did… Let’s see how it unfolds…. 💖