What Tomorrow will Bring

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem


My Dearest Zuleikha,

It’s been ten years….

I’m sure you can’t believe it. By now I have probably become a distant memory or a passing thought… a fleeting moment of childhood that you can’t quite recall.

I already miss you all… as I sit in bed today and pen this letter with so much to say, but so little time. 

Today is not a good day. I can’t get out of bed. The body pains are a little more severe. My heart feels a little more burdened. I’m a little scared… scared that my time here is nearly up. I know I shouldn’t be afraid, but I’m more scared for you all …

Ten years? Had it already been ten years since Mama passed away? The tears flowed freely, as I reached out to brush them away. What hurt the most was picturing Mama in pain on those last few days, imagining her carefully penning this letter, with so much of thought…. and I had no idea.

At least now… now, there is no more pain.

Zuleikha, I wish I had the words to say what I needed to. You may be wondering why you are only getting this letter now. I was afraid that at your tender age, as you are at present… you may not know how to handle this. Now that you are grown up, hopefully married, and have children of your own, I think you will understand better.

I glanced at Muhammed fondly, as he slept. Of course he would never know my mother, but I know that he would have loved her to bits.

I turned my attention back to the page.

No matter what happens, or has happened, please remember that I love you all very much. Your father has been my rock… an unwavering support to me in this time of illness.. but when I glimpse his soul, I, from all people, can tell they he carries a great burden. He feels like his world is crumbling. He does not know how to deal with this. He is so scared about letting me go.

Zuleikha, my princess, I have full faith in your strength and choices. I can see your protective nature.. and I can see your inherent maternal instinct when it comes to your siblings. You are most like your father. You have an amazing ability to see goodness in people, but I’m also afraid that this may cause you to make hasty decisions.

Please be careful. Please don’t let your heart rule your mind. I know we all make difficult choices sometimes, and even though you are probably already grown up, I’m certain that you have found peace within yourself along the way. I am certain that you have found Allah. 

As for your siblings, for Ahmed… he reminds me so much of my own father. He is fierce and pensive at the same time. Don’t let his nature bother you, if he challenges you. Just remind him that I love him so much though, won’t you?

For Khawlah… My dear Khawlah.. who I always called the fire of our lives.. I’m certain that as she grows up, she will find something in life that will calm her force. Maybe she will go on to be the flame of the family that we always knew her to be. Maybe she will meet someone along the way that simmers her down.

Tell her that her Mama says she’s never too tough for her own good. She’s going to need the strength. Life out there is not as sunny as she knows it to be.

As for Yunus… right now he is lying next to me, writing his own letter (which is just a series of scribbles), and the three of you, with Khalid from down the road, can be heard while you’ll argue about who’s going to be the next to be the monkey in the middle. I wish I could be there right with you’ll. I wish I had the strength in me to drag myself out of this bed, and take Yunus with me.

He already seems so lost. Even though he is the youngest, it’s like he understands the most about what’s happening to me. Please tell him Allah needs to be his best friend, not me. Let him know that he’ll always be my baby, alryt?

Feeling a bit tired now. I might take a nap. I wanted to leave something behind for you. Something that can remind you of me… For all of you. We never know what tomorrow will bring, but I always heard that if you love someone, you need to let them know while they can still hear it. While you can still say it. Over the years, a lot may have change, but please know that I love you more than words can say. More than you’ll ever know.  

Remember that growing up means making mistakes. We break. We fall. We fail. But then, we rise and we heal… we overcome. And through it all, we grow…

Please remember to read for me every day. Even if it’s just one Surah Ikhlaas… one ayat… one word… One silent Du’aa.

Don’t forget that you’ll always be my Princess.

Love you to the moon and back,

Your Mama

I breathed in and folded the letter carefully, letting it hit home as I neatly fitted it’s contents back into the envelope it had come in, and finally lifting my gaze to look at my sister.

Her eyes were glazed over and her expression was completely unreadable. Almost stunned.

“When did Dada give it to you?” she asked softly, after a few moments.

“Yesterday,” I said, remembering the shock waves that pulsated through my body as I first read the letter. Mama’s writing… her flowy words… It was almost like I could go back there in my mind and enter that world once again. Almost.

“Strange that she gave it to Dada, ” she murmured.

I had thought the same thing. Why hadn’t she given it to Abba?

Maybe she knew that Abba might marry again. I was sure that if Aunty Nas had come across the letter, she would have probably burnt it.

“Do you think there’s more?” Khawlah asked, her eyes lighting up.

Oh, that would be wonderful.

Dada refused to tell me though. It was amazing how Allah had worked it, and brought him back into our lives too.

I shrugged, trying to remain neutral. I supposed that time would tell. The possibility was really quite exciting.

“Mama really knew us so well,” Khawlah whispered suddenly, and I could see that she was trying really hard not to cry. She inhaled deeply as she turned to look at Muhammed napping on her bed.

My son had grown so much, an I could barely believe that he was over a year. Where had the time gone? Where had these ten years flown to?

”That’s a mother,” I said, giving her a small smile. “A mother … She is so in tune to her kids… even when we barely knew it.”

A mother will sacrifice anything for her kids. It was no wonder that Paradise lay at her feet.

”What was she like…?” Khawlah ventured easily, looking emotionally stronger as she raised her gaze again. “Like before she got… sick?”

I blinked, processing Khawlah’s words as I remembered how tiny she was when Mama had passed. Was she really only six?

I had some really good memories of my mother that I clung onto… but for Khawlah… she probably didn’t remember a thing. To have nothing much to link you to the women that carried you before you came into this world… I couldn’t imagine.

“She was actually very much like you now,” I said, the realization of it actually startling me, as I looked at my beautiful sister.

Khawlah’s dainty nose and her darkly rimmed eyes were exactly like my mothers. Her high cheekbones were more defined now as she grew, and every day I saw her, it was like she was turning into my mother… in almost every way. A spine of steel, yet soft at the edges. Since Khawlah’s personality had simmered down, her sensibility, compassion and wit were exactly like Mama’s. It was no wonder that Khawlah was my father’s favourite, though they would never admit it.

”She was so adventurous,” I said, grinning. “She loved the outdoors. She loved to swing. It was her favourite thing. As of course, she was obsessed with gardening… just like you.”

Khawlah smiled, and looked away.

“She also gave the best hugs,” I said, remembering that clearly. “Like Foi Nani. And her hair always smelt like… so good… like peach and vanilla… It was gorgeous.. .

Khawlah eyes lit up.

“That, I remember,” she said with a teary grin. “And her hands were always so soft. Even though she was so thin… I just wish I’d known her more… a little longer…”

It was a simple statement but it shot straight to the heart. Mama was so young when she passed away. Maybe only ten years older than me. It was Allah’s will. That alone was my comfort. We just never know when our time will be up… when it’s too late to tell someone you love them..

Reading Mama’s letter now though, reminded me of what I needed to tell my sister. Coming here to see her for a while, since she had been so busy, was my way of a bonding session… and also getting to the bottom of Jameel’s narration from the previous day.

Jameel had actually found the whole incident really quite amusing, but I wasn’t sure if it was as funny as he thought. It was earlier that morning that he had come in after his run, looking strangely excited about something.

“You’ve got a smirk on your face,” I challenged him, as I got out the pan to make his breakfast. Something was up.

He was grinning as she shook his head at me and winked.

“Leikha, is your entire family like Jihaad-trained or something?”

Now it was my turn to raise my eyebrows. Well, he liked to pick on Ahmed… and of course, that needed no explanation. Ahmed made it no secret that he would probably kill Jameel if he didn’t sort his stuff out. At least something had scared Jameel enough to get his act together.

“Maybe,” I said mysteriously, not knowing where he was going with this.

“I met a guy that I knew in the past…” he said thoughtfully. “And I didn’t actually realise who he was until now.”

I frowned.

“Who?” I said as I cracked the egg on the side of the bowl, watching it’s contents pour out. The simmering of moisture on the hot oil gave me a weird sense of satisfaction.

“Khawlah’s brother-in-law,” he said, with a weird edge to his voice. “We go way back.”

I didn’t want to ask him more. Sometimes delving into Jameel’s past brought ugly skelteons from the closet. These days, I was workng on moving past those into the very optimistic future.

“And?” I asked, now getting curious as I tossed the egg around. That could only be Rubeena’s husband, right?
“He said he met your sister for the first time the other day,” he said blandly, before he raised his eyebrows. “Apparently she tried to kill him”

Of course, I couldn’t help but gasp as he said it.

Why would he say that? More importantly, was it true?

Jameel chuckled to himself as he shrugged it off, quite amused by the whole incident.

“Some guys find that stuff intriguing,” his tone a bit more serious now. “Sick. You need to tell her to watch out.”

Uh-Oh. This guy did sound like a piece of work.

I looked at my husband fondly. I couldn’t believe that he had changed so much and I never thought it was possible.

The three years of battling drug addictions and crazy fights seemed like a distant memory now. He kept a distance from his female cousins now, because he knew it was the better thing to do… and of course, caused less problems.

Somehow, after meeting lovely Zaynah, and taking her advice, everything was falling into place. She was the person that Allah had sent to be my means. She had been there in that critical time… 

Sometimes when we’re going through the storm, we forget that there’s an end to it. That after every difficulty there is an ease. That tomorrow will always bring a brighter day…

Of course, Mama’s words had rung so true. We fall..  we fail… we break. But, after it all, we rise. We overcome… And that’s exactly how we grow.

And it wasn’t anything less than a miracle. It was purely the intention that by changing my life, hopefully, by the blessing of that, Allah will change Jameel’s heart too.

And it was simply mind blowing how much Jameel had grown right in front of me. From an irresponsible guy to a father figure, who took life so much more seriously now.

After Khawlah had married Aadam, who he was surprisingly fond of, Jameel seeing his good habits had also had an amazing influence on him.

And no, he hadn’t become a saint overnight… but the fact was that I could see him making an effort. He didn’t make it to mosque every Salaah, but because he saw me praying, his focus had also changed. He really was different person and I was eternally grateful for that. How Allah can take someone whose on a completely different path and turn their heart was completely beyond my understanding.

Abdullah b. Amr b. al-‘As reported that he heard Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Verily, the hearts of all the sons of Adam are between the two fingers out of the fingers of the Compassionate Lord as one heart. He turns that to any (direction) He likes. Then Allahs Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: 0 Allah, the Turner of the hearts, turn our hearts to Thine obedience. (Sahih Muslim)

“Khawlah, is everything okay with your in laws?” I asked carefully, not wanting to pry either.

Everyone has issues at the beginning. I was just so glad that mine had simmered down after Muhammed had become a part of our lives. I think the fact that I let my mother-in-law see to Muhammed with no restrictions had made me a much more admirable person for her. Her whole attitude had changed when she saw me open up to her.  I mean, it was a win-win situation. It gave me relief and she was too occupied now to worry about making anyone else’s life a misery.

“Why?” Khawlah said, and I could immediately sense her defense up. “Did someone tell you something?”

I shrugged.

“Jameel knows Rubeena’s husband,” I said, shrugging. “Somehow. He said you need to be careful. Some people are scarily crazy.”

”I know,” Khawlah said with a sigh. “I didn’t mean to threaten him. I don’t know why I got so angry. He just reminded so me so much of Hannah. And I know it’s Allah’s plan, but now that Ruby’s had a miscarriage, everything’s gone upside down again…”

Inna Lillahi..” I said automatically, feeling terrible for Rubeena. I didn’t know she was pregnant but I could imagine how emotionally and physically taxing a miscarriage was.

“I actually just can’t wait for Aadam to come back,” she said, a little dreamily. “I didn’t expect to miss him so much, you know? My heart feels like it’s been invaded. It’s like there’s a piece missing.”

I smiled. Khawlah in love. Hopelessly.

Who would have ever thought that my feisty sister could surrender her heart to the most unassuming character in such a short time?

He was really so different to what I had imagined for her. Jameel had said that he was hilarious. Out of the ordinary. I was quite amazed, but so glad that my sister had found a unimaginable source of magic in him. A contentment that added so much of flavour to her life.

And as I saw her, I actually couldn’t believe that our Khawlah had changed so much. Since her Nikah, I was startled by the revolutionary transformation in my sister. She seemed so much lighter. More free. She was positively glowing from the inside, and honestly, I’d never seen her smile and laugh so much in her life.

That was the effect of a love so deep, that I could not even comprehend. Because once in a while, you do come across a perfect love. A love that not only lifted you and raised you, but also gave you the kind of deep contentment that made you constantly turn to Allah in sublime gratitude.

It gave me an elation that I never knew I could feel from seeing someone else’s joy.

”It’s just one more sleep,” I said to her with a smile, knowing that Aadam was due back tomorrow.

“I’m half dreading tomorrow,” she revealed, with a huge sigh. “My mother-in-law has this huge function planned, where she invited half the world… and I really don’t want to be there. I don’t think Aadam will be too thrilled about it either. Rubeena says it’s her way at getting back at us for not having the huge wedding function she wanted… she’s really something else.”

”I had actually heard my mother-in-law say something about it but she didn’t elaborate,” I said, recalling it vaguely.

I wondered if she was invited. I knew that they were some distant connection. It wasn’t a huge wonder.

“If she’s invited you have to come with,” she urged, sounding a bit relieved. “I need some moral support. Please just come.”

“I’ll try,” I said, sensing her desperation.

I wished that I could tell her to make Sabr… but I knew that it was easier said than done.

“Just focus on Aadam tomorrow,” I smiled, winking at her. “Give him a good welcome home.”

She rolled her eyes and blushed slightly.

“I can assure you that I will probably not even get one minute with him alone,”  she muttered bluntly.

I sighed. That was probably true.

“Ask Allah to change her heart… and tell Aadam to make Du’aa for her too. That’s the only thing that’s going to bring you’ll through…”

And of course, as I left my sister later that day, I could even feel my own spirits lifting.

Khawlah would be fine.

She was strong, right? She would get through whatever tomorrow had in store for her. This tomorrow, and all the ones that followed. She had that perfect faith and phenomenal strength that was not only dependant on the physical. Her’s was a strength that went to the very depths of her soul.

We were so different yet I loved her with every ounce of me. My sister was blossoming into an extraordinary butterfly and seeing that made me heart soar. Of course she would conquer whatever battles came her way… but for tomorrow, well…

I think we just didn’t know it yet.. but what tomorrow had to bring was going to be battle of it’s own..

A man came to Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) and said, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Your mother.” The man said. “Who is next?” The Prophet said, “Your mother.” The man further said, “Who is next?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Your mother.” The man asked for the fourth time, “Who is next?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Your father. “

Being good to our parents is also an Ibadat and part of Akhlaaq. As they get older, it definitely does get harder. Allah make it easy for us to fulfill their right as they had looked after us when we were young .

May Allah grant all our parents the highest stages, and the best of both worlds. Let this also serve as a reminder for us to read for them if they have passed on.

3x Surha Ikhlaas for all Marhoom, Insha Allah.

Much Love,

A  🌸

How easy to practice!

Let’s revive this Sunnah Insha Allah.

IG: @thejourneyingmuslimah

#revivetheSunnahof Sleepingearly#revivetheSunnahofAkhlaaq




Twitter @ajourneyjournal


22 thoughts on “What Tomorrow will Bring

  1. Just highlighted what I love about your writing! This story in particular! The fact that it’s just normal people, living normal, usual lives, but portrays the ups and downs of life so perfectly! Amazing how every new day has something new to teach us, or something new to touch our hearts, or a new sorrow, or a new blessing… And in all of that, all we have to do is strive to find our Creator in it all! ❤️

    Liked by 6 people

  2. I absolutely loved this chapter and the message within it… we fall,we fail ,we break,we rise.
    I think it’s going to be my new favourite quote.

    Jazakillah khair for the amazing chapter, like always you have an exceptional way with words maa sha Allah 💞

    As for your update schedule , never got down to commenting on the chapter, but please update when you feel you can manage and on days that suit you ❤

    All the best for the New year, May Allah make this year a year filled with khair and aafiya for us all.🌹

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hehe, I actually love that too.. it gives so much of hope, especially when we are at that point when we are done and feel that we can’t get up again.
      Shukran dear sis ❤️
      All the best to you and all the readers for the new year as well… ☘️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m catching up with posts 🙈🙈

    Wow that letter 💘💘💘 💦

    Beautiful indeed.
    So true on the part of “I wish I could tell her to just make sabr, but it wasn’t that easy”…
    I love the point you highlighted 👌
    Reminds me of an Aunty who is fully in Deen etc, got sick when she returned from umrah.. But people went on in such a manner about “sabr” that she said she doesn’t want to hear that word one more time 🤦‍♀️
    Not in a bad way of course.. But I think people truly misconstrue the definition of Sabr and think you not allowed to feel pain or cry or anything…

    Also love the part about Jameel & his turnaround… So heartwarming & hope instilling 💖 Alhamdulillah ✨

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly… they say that’s one of the worst things you can tell people when they are going through a trial. Rather, we say: “May Allah make it easy for you…” or something to that effect…
      May Allah truly make it easy for all of those who are going through trials, big or small… ❤️💔


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