A Bit of a Challenge

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


“If you guys call me Mufasa one more time,” Aadam was yelling. “I’m going to name you both Rafiki!”

The boys stopped to look at him for a moment, probably wondering if he was for real. They probably thought he was gone nuts.

“Okay Uncle… Mufasa.”

Dayyaan had a cheeky grin on his face, and I had to restrain myself from giggling as Aadam’s ears turned even more red in anger. Fiery ears actually kind of suited him. I needed to remember to tease him later… when he wasn’t so angry.

Oiy!” Aadam said as a warning, widening his eyes in a way that signaled that he meant business.

Well, let me just tell you if it was me, I would have been terrified… but for four underage boys who were intoxicated by a lack of sleep… well, let’s just say… it didn’t exactly have the desired impact.

I covered my mouth to conceal my smile, before I got caught in the showdown. These kids were proving to be a bit of a challenge.

Dayyaan jumped back onto the couch with a comical roar, purposefully  bouncing even more energetically on it’s suede leather as he watched for Aadam’s reaction.

Sometimes kids just liked to test their limits. Especially with Aadam.

“I’m not cut out for this,” Aadam mumbled as he glanced at me with a defeated look, and turned away.

Cheeky little bugger.”

I followed him out to the kitchen with a straight face, leaving the boys to let off some pent-up energy after all the anxiety, as we decided what to do with them next.

We had brought them to Aadam’s spotless apartment, which obviously wasn’t so spotless anymore…

Hey,” he said suddenly, looking calmer already, as we took a seat at the kitchen nook. The noise from outside was escalating. “I just felt like we’re playing house-house, and then I remembered that my underage wife has to go to school tomorrow…”

Of course, his amazing smile had lost the desired effect immediately. He obviously had fun teasing me.

I almost forgot. Well, not really, but I wished that I did.

“I can skip if I need to,” I said, a little annoyed.

The thought was so tempting, and I could tell that Aadam was definitely worried about having all four at his place for the night. He didn’t look like he was coping very well…

I thought about it again, a little hesitantly now.  Missing school would mean more work to catch up. It was that time of the term where assessments were being given  in and teachers were literally on our backs.

“No, you can’t,” he said, frowning at me. “I’ll manage. Just help me to put them to bed, yeah? Can I call Ahmed to fetch you tonight? Can’t leave them alone…”

I nodded meekly, not really looking forward to the task ahead. Rubeena had to be taken to hospital and of course, Shabeer, who was somewhere in the house and had caused all the drama, well… that was another story altogether.

The whole episode was kind of hazy, but my heart was in my throat as I saw Rubeena falling… and the best thing I could to stop her from doing so, was to try grabbing her with every ounce I had within me, just to break her fall.

And then of course, as she lay there, half conscious, in some kind of weird daze, the voice that broke through was strangely familiar.

Lucky its grass.”

I looked up at the man who had been on her tail, digesting his features for a minute before I looked away.

I knew I hadn’t seen him before but he looked really familiar.

I had glimpsed traces of Danyaal’s hair, and Dayyaans stubborn jawline. Besides that, he just seemed to be the type that I’m sure Rubeena would like. He just looked so… superficial. Not to mention, completely unbothered about his wife who was literally losing her senses in my arms.

Of course. This had to be Shabeer. There was no doubt about it.

But, I mean, really?!

His wife had basically collapsed onto the ground and all he could say was:

Lucky it’s grass”?

“Can we get her some water?” I said, hoping he would wake his case up and do something constructive. He was looking confused.

“I’m guessing you’re the real Khawlah,” he said, looking like he had seen a ghost.

Yikes. He had just brought back awful memories. The real Khawlah?

And honestly, if I wasn’t holding fiercely onto Rubeena, just to offer her some cushioning, I would have probably thrown a punch in his face. I could feel myself getting angrier by the second.

“My goodness,” I muttered, taking a deep breath.

There was no other Khawlah. At that moment, I was seeing red. It was just as well that Aadam was making his way  towards us, else I knew that I might have lost my cool.

Rubeena was looking like she was in and out of conciousness and thankfully, Aadam was approaching with a bottle of water in his hand.

“What happened?” He said, looking panicked.

He had come from inside where people were leaving. Of course, it had become the center of neighborhood drama. In estates, your business becomes everyone else’s…

Aadam lent over to check Rubeena out, felt her pulse, and then let her sip on the water slowly. He quickly unwrapped a Super-C he kept in his pocket, and slipped it into her mouth.

“I think she’s probably just feeling a bit weak…” I said, letting myself calm down and avoiding glancing in Shabeer’s direction. I could feel his eyes on me and it was making me uncomfortable.

I tried to ignore him, as I wondered what had brought this on. I didn’t ask Aadam any questions yet, but I could tell he was worried too. Was it perhaps sugar? Blood pressure..?

He got up slowly as he contented himself that she was okay, and I could see him looking from me to Shabeer, and then narrowing his eyes as Shabeer looked uncomfortable too.

Finally, a little shame on his side, after everything he had done.

Aadam was always so calm. Composed. Easy.

All I could imagine was that Shabeer must have done something really bad for Aadam to lose his head the way he did that night. And then, just as I thought it was all over, two cops came from behind him and calmly took him away.

I was so glad that there was no big scene. The worst part would be explaining to the kids… but I supposed that it was a good thing that the cops didn’t look like cops, and Shabeer had not put up a fight about it.

Of course there were questions. The boys  were worried about their parents. I was too.

We calmly took the boys to the car, explained to them that their father had to talk to the police about what happend at the house, and drove them home. Rubeena was gone to casualty and her parents would be there with her.

And of course, my mind was abuzz. Aadam had briefly told me that ‘someone’ had tipped the cops off about Shabeer.

Basically, they had found illegal substances in the family house where Shabeer and two of his friends were playing cards while Rubeena was away for the evening. Of course I knew this was probably something he would be arrested for.

As much as I knew that Shabeer was probably deserving of punishment, I could not help that prickly feeling at the back of my neck. Something was telling me that Hannah had something to do with this. The whole tip-off thing, just when things seemed to be working out with Ruby again, seemed really sinister…

It also reminded me of Aunty Nas’s dirty methods she would use just to make sure that my father would give in to her. It was achingly familiar.

I sighed as I thought of it again, snuggling not-so-baby Zaydaan close to me as I sat with them in Aadam’s room that night, putting them off to sleep. I just wanted to protect these kids. I wanted to keep them safe from the harms of the big, bad world. I planted a tiny kiss on his forehead as I watched his eyes close, my heart surrendering to the feeling that I was probably going to love them forever.

Aadam had taken the bigger two to sleep in the spare room while I sat with the smaller two in his. The scent of the pillows smelt like their uncle. It was weirdly familiar as I lay there, singing the familiar lullaby that Mama had read to us at kids, hoping it would soothe them into a deeper sleep. It took a little longer than expected, but just as Aadam tapped on the door, I could hear their breathing change pace as they finally drifted into slumber.

As silently as I could, I covered them up and tiptoed out. I was sure that they were probably exhausted and I was so glad. I still had to do a little work when I got home…. grade 11 was getting really tough and the work load was starting to increase.

“Is Ahmed here?” I asked Aadam, trying not to sound to eager, although I could feel my eyes burning. It must have been quite late.

I pulled the door behind me as I stepped out.

It wasn’t that I wanted to leave them. It was paining me to see him so stressed… I really wanted to stay.

But Aadam was someone who seemed like he enjoyed structure. I also knew that he had a reason besides my educational schedule in mind… We had our whole lives ahead of us, and there was really no reason to throw everything off track just as yet.

I looked up at him as he answered the question in the negative, saying Ahmed was on his way, and I was surprised to see him looking more tired than usual.

Maybe he had fallen off to sleep with the boys for a bit there. It definitely looked like that. I had forgotten that he had just arrived from his business trip this morning. All that traveling had to be tiring.

Besides that, his brow was riddled with creases that signaled to me something was wrong. His usually chirpy face was looking a bit morose.

I frowned back, looking up at him.

“Out with it,” I said, wanting to know what was on his mind and raising my eyebrows at him as he rubbed his temples vigorously.

“A cup of coffee?” I asked, having already figured out that it was his ‘thing’ and hoping he would spill out what was bothering him while he drank.

He smiled weakly and shook his head as he walked over to the sliding door that led to a balcony. I followed him out.

The air was crisp as I breathed it in, my eyes taking in the amazing view from where we stood. It was like looking at a different version of unlit beauty… like twinkling stars that glowed within the darkness… the city lights boasted a completely different appeal at night. It was the same view from the roof top that I had seen in the day time, and just glimpsing it now soothed me… as I was forced to unwind.

It had been one helluva day. Emotions had been flying high, and now, I was grateful for this little down time with this guy who had stolen a piece of my heart.

He was silent for a moment as we huddled close together and admired the lights in the distance, shivering slightly despite the body warmth. The winters were getting harsher and I could feel the iciness seeping through my bones.

”I’m so scared,” he finally said, looking away from me for a minute as he said it.

I squeezed his hand comfortingly.


“I think this may be it,” he said, shrugging. “Shabeer’s an idiot. Ruby’s not well. The boys are alone. Mum’s not happy with me…”

He paused for a second as he cleared his throat. His jaw line was set firmly and he ran his hand through his hair a little anxiously.

”You know I’m here, right?” I said, trying to lift his spirits. I could help out. Well, with the kids and Ruby.

My mother-in-law… we-ellll…

“But I feel like this is the sign that I shouldn’t go,” he said sulkily, his dark eyes finally meeting mine. “That I don’t really deserve it. I feel like this is it.”

I swallowed as he said it, overwhelmed by his emotion, and completely taken aback by how this was breaking him.

Not only did his concern open up a whole new realization for me, but only now did I understand just how much he really wanted to go. Now only did I see that unexplainable connection that can exist, even when you’ve never been to the Holy Lands before. He seemed so desperate in his hopelessness…

And of course, who wouldn’t be? Those days… this blessed month… they are the only days that Allah Ta’ala takes a firm oath by. The day of ‘Arafah, when the pilgrims assemble in desperation on its planes, pleading for Allah’s mercy… holds such high esteem.

Whereas He only calls out to his sincere devotees in the darkness of the night, instead, on this day… Allah Ta’ala actually descends during the light of day, in keeping with His Glory, to the lowest heaven to respond to the calls of His beloved slaves…

And it’s no wonder that He starts boasting to His angels about these people who have gathered on the very mountains of aspiration.

Look at My slaves. They have come to me from deep and distant ravines of the earth. Their hair is disheveled…. Their bodies are covered with dust.

They are thirsty…. They are famished

But when Allah gives their verdict, all that toil, all that striving… every tear, every drop of perspiration… it’s never in vain.

The burden has been lifted. The clouds have parted. The sun has finally risen, after an eternally dark night.

No matter what.. no matter how many… no matter how much they have sinned, the most Gracious Lord of all still gives glad tidings…

I have forgiven all your sins…

And not only are they forgiven. Even for those on whose behalf they have asked for forgiveness… they too are forgiven!

I have forgiven them all. 

And congratulations are due to those, exalted pilgrims, whom Allah granted standing on blessed ‘Arafah, meeting the shoulders of those who flee to Allah… with yearning hearts and flowing tears. With dry mouths and sweat pouring down their faces, among them, are fearful slaves who have come to beg of Allah’s countless favors. Others are lovesick rememberers of their Beloved, raising their hands to the heavens with broken hearts and battered souls, basking in the heat of yearning. They are refugees resorting to the door of Allah, begging for some shelter, and pleading to be let in…

And they may not be deserving, but Allah’s favour upon them was that He rescued them, saved them, fixed them and relieved them from the every one of their burdens. Thereupon, the Most Merciful Lord gazed at them with such tenderness and boasted to his celestial beings with such pride…

What do these people want? We have, upon their arrival, protected them against deprivation, and the Merciful has granted them their ultimate requests.

What a chance. What a change. What a plunge to take… to turn your life around. What a journey it is…What a journey that will be…

“Let me tell you something,” I said softly, but just loud enough for him to hear. “Nothing is impossible for Allah. By Allah.. as long as you seek His Aid with every ounce of you, anything is possible. He is Al-Fattah. The opener. Even when you feel that every door has been shut, He is The One who opens doors… doors you didn’t even know existed. I can promise you… whatever hopes or goals or ambitions you have… Allah will answer your Du’aa. He will respond to your request. Allah answered a Mushrik who called out to Him in utter desperation… do you really think that He will not answer you, oh Muwahid, who believes in Him alone? Of course He will. He will! By Allah, He will.”

And as a faint hooter sounded downstairs, I felt as if something that was missing had just fitted into its link once again. Aadam’s gaze rested on me for a few seconds as he blinked, sort of in amazement, and then shook his head in disbelief.

“Now, that there…” He said as he raised his one eyebrow, in typical Aadam-style, looking astonished.

That… is exactly why I married you.”

I looked away, feeling my cheeks flame up as he stared at me. He was looking at me like he was seeing me for the first time.

I felt colder as I stood up, brushing off his compliment and feeling a little sad now that it was time to leave. It was getting late and the air was getting even more chilly out there. So much had happened for the day, though… and all I wanted to do was put my head down on my feather pillow, make a silent Du’aa and forget about the theatrics of the past day.

The boys were still in deep slumber and I felt my heart do a tiny skip as I checked in on them, surprised at how attached I was to them. They were so much apart of my life. I would truly do anything for them, and taking on this responsibility that was burdening Aadam was somewhat comforting to me too.

I knew that I’d have a big task on had when Aadam left the next week and though I didn’t mind… being the responsible parent figure without him around was a little daunting.

Setbacks…. I expected them. A few obstacles… I knew I could handle.

But what was in store for me that week, and even in the time to come… well… Even for someone who had a reputation of seeing the best in every situation, and giving it a kick right back up it’s alley…

It was definitely going to be a bit of a challenge….

Dear Readers, 


An extra special request for Du’aas. I have not been well and am going through a small test… please rem me in your duaas and hopefully I will try and fit in another post soon.

If not, have lovely Eid… and I will post after InshaAllah ❤️ 

Much love,

Duaas for Aafiyah…

A 🌸

Aaisha (RA) said about the Beloved Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him):

“He used to sleep early at night, and get up in its last part to pray, and then return to his bed.”

When we have a million things to do, it is easy to fall into a horrible cycle of sleeping late and waking up late.

Break that cycle today! Wake up early and sleep early to be the strong, successful and all that you want to be, In sha Allah.

Let’s revive this Sunnah InshaAllah!

How easy to practise!

#revivetheSunnahof Sleepingearly






Twitter @ajourneyjournal

IG: @thejourneyingmuslimah


16 thoughts on “A Bit of a Challenge

  1. May Allah keep you with Khair, Hasana and Afiyah always.. Fill your life with smiles and Sakeena.. And always keep you from those close to him. Ameen

    Please keep us in your duas too if u remember, sick ppls duas r readily accepted…

    Duas you have an amazing eid, with all smiles and nothing bringing your spirits down. 💙

    Liked by 4 people

    • Shukran jazaeelan sis… had a similar setback in Ramadaan so am feeling a bit low coz it affects my Ibadat.., but Allah knows best and InshaAllah it is for the best … Allah’s plans for us are better than our hopes for ourselves … ❤️

      Liked by 3 people

      • 💯 Definitely…

        One of the ahaadith that I find most inspirational when I’m going through a hard time is the one about, Sometimes, Allah wishes to give a person a certain reward or rank in the hereafter, but they’re unable to reach it simply due to their deeds… So Allah tests them with Sickness and trial, and in that way, makes them worthy of the high ranks and rewards he wishes to bestow on them…

        So, while it may be hard n take some mental effort.. It really helps if u change your mindset to… Maybe this is actually a GIFT from Allah.. He wants to give me so much, so He’s making me worthy of it

        And Smiiiiiillle ukhti, I’m sure your smile is absolutely beautiful plus its Sunnah, and somehow, even a forced smile makes things seem a liiiittle bright.. اضحك الله سنك

        Liked by 7 people

      • Lol, I love this Bayaan mode- and to tell the truth I actually need it right now when I’m feeling a bit useless and sorry for myself so good going sis 🙌🏽
        Kudos ❤️
        I’m already smiling, Subhanallah 🧡
        I must rem to come to you whenever I’m feeling like a ton on bricks is raining on me 🌧💞

        Liked by 4 people

  2. Jazaakillah khair for the lot reminders, enjoyed the post…
    May Allaah grant you complete shifaa from all your ailments be it physical or spiritual with Aafiyah 💞

    Liked by 4 people

  3. This post made me laugh, smile and cry !
    I loved the part about hajj , May Allah give us all an opportunity to undertake this sacred journey Insha’allah.
    Love the relationship Khawlah and Aadam have with the kids 💕

    Jazakallah khair for the post. May Allah grant you ease and Aafiyah ,Aameen ❤️

    Take care 😘

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Assalamualaykum Dearest Sister
    May Almighty Allah grant you shifaa e kaamil aajil and keep you with Aafiyah. Aameen♥
    Loving all the lessons and also the Sunnah reminders. May Allah make us all to follow all the sunnahs. Aameen

    Liked by 4 people

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