Square One

Bismihi Ta’ala


Somehow when we think we are moving ahead, we realize that we end up right back at square one.

But what we don’t realize is that we go away so we can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

The thing is, mankind is such that when we are tested with good, we think that Allah has honored us. When we are in difficulty… we think Allah has humiliated us. In Surah Fajr, Allah uses the word ibtalaa for both honour and blessings and also restriction of provision, thus proving that while bad times are a test, good times are a test too…

And as human beings, we crave ease. But we also appreciate change. Sometimes we thrive on it. It makes us think. Reflect. Ponder over the reality of this temporary life.

Even at a very young age, I had many things that I could be thankful for. Even though I had been through many tests, Allah had blessed me with many, many favours. Sometimes when you feel a little hurt… a little pain, then you are able to appreciate the beauty of what Allah had given you to make you smile…

I remembered as a young girl, when Khalid gave us the kitten, it was only a matter of time before he had broken to us the news of him leaving to go to Madrassah. I often wondered if he had been planning it, to leave some sort of reminder of him, for when he left. It just so happened that every time I saw that cat, that Aunty Agnus had somehow managed to save and keep from the vicious hands of Aunty Nas and Hannah, I couldn’t help but smile.

Over the years, Tim Tam, as Yunus had so adorably named him at the time, grew into a calm but uninterested domestic cat, who resided in Yunus’s room. Despite Yunus not being able to spontaneously strike up a proper conversation with another human, I was almost certain that Tim Tam and him had lengthy chats in his room when the rest of the world was probably asleep.

Seeing Tim Tan jump up onto the window sill now made me feel nostalgic. As I glimpsed the cat, it was almost like the cat knew exactly what had happened too… What a shuddering loss it was.

Indeed, to Allah we belong, and to him we will be returned. 


Loving and losing,

Just one letter apart. 

A mere consonant of change,

Yet a million degrees of pain.

“Honey, are you okay?”

I looked up from where I sat, registering Nusaybah’s penetrating gaze on me, and nodded meekly.

She was the only one who truly knew how much Khalid had meant to me. And although I felt like I had no right to be so feel this way, as she came towards me… I couldn’t help but break down in her arms. She held me back comfortingly, offering her soothing words as she attempted to console me. I could see Zuleikha looking at me worriedly, as I held on to Nusaybah… in desperation..

I couldn’t tell her. I just couldn’t find the words to say how much I had once loved my dear friend. Once upon a time, there was a boy who meant the world to me, but that telepathy that had existed within the confines of my heart… well, it wasn’t meant to blossom.

“Must I come with you to see Aunty Radiyyah?” Nusaybah said softly, pulling away as she studied me with concern. “You need to meet her.”

She was right. I did need to meet her but I didn’t want her to see me like this. I didn’t want anyone to see me like this.

“Give me a few minutes,” I said as I went to my room, trying my best to make myself appear normal. I dried up my eyes and pinched my cheeks.

Nusaybah spoke softly as we sat at the back of Jameel’s car that Zuleikha drove, trying to figure out what exactly had happened to Khalid. I could see Zuleikha eyeing us from behind her niqaab. Her journey had been a long one but she had finally found what calmed her soul. I was so proud of my sister.

My mind shifted to Khalid again. His cat-like eyes. His animated smile. What was so strange was that when Ahmed had seen him, he seemed so well and normal… and now…. My heart felt so bruised. He was so young and alive. Even in my memory..  he felt like he was still here.

On hearing the news, Aadam had made his way straight to the house. My husband was really a sterling example of selflessness, and I could not even understand how he did it. I felt like a traitor by feeling so grieved at Khalid’s loss. Aadam was just so nice. I knew that he had sensed my despair… He was certainly not a stupid guy.

He had an inkling that my strained voice and refusal to accompany him was not regular, but he didn’t push the issue. He didn’t ask me why I was being so emotional. He gently said he’d see me later, because he knew. He let me be, because he knew that I was dealing with a grief of my own.

I wanted to hug him as I saw him outside the house, talking to someone about something serious. I glimpsed the shadow of a smile as he saw me. He was my rock, and I loved him for having that patience with me during that time.

Nusaybah held onto my shoulder as she guided me through the door, where I saw a few ladies in the lounge. On the right was Aunty Radiyyah, and kneeling down next to her, I could see Khalid’s father whispering fervently.

No!” She was saying. “Don’t say that!”

It was all I heard as I looked at them, a little distressed as I wondered what they were arguing about.

“Radiyyah,” Khalids father said, his voice with just an edge of a impatience. “Please my darling, you have to accept it… The car was burnt. There is no chance he would have survived. Khalid is gone. He’s gone.”

Aunty Radiyyah looked at him blankly and shook her head. She was adamant.

“Not my Khalid,” she said stubbornly, lifting her chin. “Khalid is not gone. I have this feeling deep in my gut. I just know it.”

I could see Khalid’s father rubbing his temples as he walked past us to go out. He had given up. He seemed like he was in a daze of his own. He saw nothing as he exited, and my heart burned for his reality.

What a test it was to lose a child. What a test it was to lose your only child. But is it not true that Allah lends you a beautiful blessing in him or her, and can take it back at any time? Is it not true that Allah gives you a gift for this short worldly existence, and can claim it back as He seems fit?

My heart ached for her. Her hijab was wrapped loosely and her expression was so empty. Her usually glowing skin seemed to have been robbed of its lustre. The wrinkles on her face seemed to have deepened overnight.

Aunty Radiyyah, my beautiful confidante. She was so broken at this loss, but the idea that Khalid was still alive kept her in hope. I could see it on her face as she looked at people greeting her… I could see that she would never accept his death until she saw his body.

And I wished that she could finally get this closure because seeing my dear Aunty Radiyyah like this was breaking my heart.

We spent a few days at Aunty Radiyyah’s house, helping out and assisting where we could. I wasn’t sure if she had finally accepted the truth out of force, or whether she really believed it. With Khalid gone, her entire life would change. Everything just seemed so different. Her entire being just seemed to lose it’s sparkle.

It was Aadam who made his way there every morning, checking on them, trying to offer some comforting words… or just being there, because there truly was no-one else. When the visitors had stopped coming and everyone had either gone away on holiday or seemed to move on with life… Aadam was there.

Even on days when I felt too depressed to see Aunty Radiyyah’s empty soul, Aadam was the one who dragged himself, with a smiling face, to see to their needs. He was relentless in his efforts. He truly believed that one day he would see that glowing face and laughter fill that house again.

And of course, with the sincerity that Aadam had in his heart, it was no wonder that I eventually entered one day to find Aunty Radiyyah’s eyes smiling once again. As school started and my time had become more limited, the few visits that I made to their house finally felt like a dream come true.

I could tell by the way Aunty Radiyyah’s eyes would light up as she saw us, that there was a new kind of hope again. His easy nature and ability to just weasel his way into the heart with the best of intentions was priceless. I wasn’t sure how he did it…

“How do you do it?” I asked him one day as we sat together, in the midst of summer heat. He had taken so much on.. achieved so much in such a short time…

It was early February and things had been a bit crazy with the start of the new year. We had stolen a few minutes out of our busy schedules just to spend some time alone together, and I was trying to savour them.

“Do what?” He said, stifling a yawn.

Why did I feel like he was always so exhausted these days? His tiredness was beginning to worry me. I shoved the thought aside, putting it down to all his extra commitments.

Although Aadam had done the three days out a few times, his ultimate ambition was to go out for a full forty day Jamaat. For now, since he was funding and seeing to some other projects nearby, I could see it taking his toll on him, even though he tried to hide it.

We had taken a short walk to the park near the apartment, and as we sat on a bench near the pond there, watching the fish swishing by, Aadam slung his arm around my shoulders as he played with the tassels on my scarf. I watched him intently as he looked ahead, enjoying the sight of my soothed husband as he closed his eyes, reveling  in the peaceful perks of surrounding nature. His brow was was firmly set and a small smile played on his lips as he opened his eyes and glanced at me lovingly.

”How do you make everyone just love you?” I said, shaking my head at him.

It was a rare occasion of uninterrupted time with my husband. Even though he had cut back on his work a lot that year, like he had always wanted to do, his time now went on seeing to projects that his Maulana had assigned to him. He had stuck to the notion that he had more than he could ever need. At the beginning of his career, he had focused on earning big and making it to the top… but now, money had just become by the way for him.

And it was amazing to see his focus change, as he grew and learnt. As he took the plunge, he had bloomed into something that I was in awe of. He wasn’t afraid to change. Like a wise man once said:  “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

And that was Aadam. He wasn’t afraid to step out of his comfort zone and embrace new things. He wasn’t afraid to see things differently to everyone else. He wasn’t afraid to put the round pegs in the square holes. He wasn’t afraid to change the way we see everything.

“Sometimes we have to decide whether its going to be ‘one day’… or ‘day one’ of the chance to change our lives.”

He spoke softly as I looked at him, glancing at me from the corner of his eye.

“One thing I’ve realized, after Khalid… Life is so short, love. We only have one shot at this. We have to do whatever it takes to make someone smile, to ease someone’s pain or just to be someone’s reason to take another chance in life… It doesn’t matter how we do it. What matters is what’s in our hearts. We earn our Jannah simply through our good deeds. And the thing is, I never understood how it feels to make someone’s day until I actually did it…”

I thought of Aunty Radiyyah. About how her whole face lit up when she saw him. Dada was another one of Aadam’s faves. Where it was so hard to even get him to crack a smile before, with Aadam around, he was always chuckling. And then of course, there was my very own heart that was his biggest fan… it literally leapt with joy when I was with him.

What an amazing feeling it must be to be of those contented people who saw nothing more than to make other people happy.

“Have you ever heard Khalid recite?”

I blinked as Aadam said it, completely out of the blue, and turned to him in confusion as I looked up. How was that even possible? Khalid was gone.

My heart sank as I recalled the reality.

“I heard a recording,” he explained, glancing at me. “He sent it to his father just days before…”

Days before he was burnt alive. An arsonist who intended foul play had interfered with the car him and his cousin were travelling in. They had barely left the town when the entire car lit up in flames. Now that I could actually process it, I couldn’t help but shudder at the cruelty. It was heartbreaking. Two sisters lost their sons on one day… Khalid’s cousin had also died a martyr.

Aadam tapped into his phone for a few seconds, and I couldn’t help but freeze as it started to play.

Now, I had heard Khalid recite Qur’an when he was younger. His voice had still been immature and his tajweed (Arabic pronunciation), though excellent, was a little imperfect. Now, as Aadam played the audio…

I was absolutely stupefied.

His voice was simply unbelievable. Like cascading waterfalls… a falling and rising of emotion that swayed my very  soul. Every letter and word was pronounced with unhindered purpose, and as his voice peaked and dropped at just the right inflections, I was lost in it’s harmony. His pitch had just the right amount of required force blended with melodious ease. It was sensational.

But what was most amazing was the verses from Surah Fajr that he was reciting, that I knew the exact meaning of… and as I heard it, I was sure that Allah had sent this very recording as a comfort to his parents, because now… I just knew.

[To the righteous they will be greeted with],

Oh contented soul,

Return to your Lord, you well-pleased with him and He pleased  [with you],

So enter among among My [righteous] servants

And enter My Paradise.” (Surah Fajr: 27-30)

I was speechless. Now, I felt like Khalid had attained exactly what he had wanted. Amidst the anguish that he had probably felt, Khalid’s soul had been contented in most unassuming way. And as the glad tidings of the verses came alive for me in his perfect recitation, I could only imagine that he must have been elevated to such a rank that I was quite certain that he had somehow earned that very special place in Allah’s eyes.

It was too beautiful for words. I sat there in limbo, mouth agape as the recitation played, and ended, and replayed again…

I could see Aadam’s eyes fill with tears as finally I looked at him… and as for me… well, I was literally bawling my eyes out. That was how deeply moving it was. I had no idea that Khalid had such an amazing gift. I had no idea that Khalid had such an outstanding voice. Like a remarkable blend of two of my favourite Haram reciters… I was in with awe as I heard it. ..

“One day,” Aadam said, swallowing as he stopped it and looked at me. “My son’s going to read just like that…”

I blinked, zoning back to reality.

“Now you want a son?” I said, swallowing hard from teh emotion but not being able to resist a dig at him. Aadam smiled.

“Okay, let’s just say my nephew, yeah?” He said with a teary grin, as he squeezed my shoulders, telling me not to be so hard on him. When he heard reading like that, he couldn’t help but get carried away.

“So did you hack Khalid’s father’s phone or did he send it to you?” I asked, trying to lighten the mood. Thinking about Khalid again was making my heart ache.

I smiled as Aadam grinned, asking me if I thought he was a crook.

”My days of hacking people’s phones are over,” he said comically, burying his head in my scarf as he rested there for a few more moments of companionable silence..

The hour had sped by so fast and I almost wished we could stay there a little longer. There were so many emotions soaring through my mind… but reality had  called once again.

It was time to head to his mothers house for a long-awaited family supper that we had been avoiding. One thing I was looking forward to, though, was seeing the kids after ages…

”Mum’s waiting for us,” Aadam said softly as he checked his buzzing phone. I knew it was my mother-in-law.

I had a feeling that Rubeena had intervened on my behalf, and though she had been ignoring me in a most polite way, his mother had been on our case about spending time at Khalid’s house. She had a hard time sharing her son, and I tried to understand her point of view. All she wanted was her sons undivided attention, and it wasn’t an easy call. I mean, even I didn’t get that, often enough.

Aadam grasped my hand as we walked back, picking up speed as we glimpsed Aadam’s car ahead. Yes, things had improved. Maybe not drastically, but I felt more content as we made our way to the house, chatting about plans for the week and ambitions that we had for the future.

What we didn’t know yet was that something completely unexpected was waiting to unfold that evening… that would put everything right back at square one…

I know it’s a bit out of character for me but I’d humbly like to do a shout out. *grins*

Okay, just to explain… so I happened to reply to a younger reader who commented a while back, and it didn’t go through. Sister Amatullah, please make me Maaf – I did reply now again.

Just a shout out to say I appreciate the comment and it truly humbles me to know that I made a difference in someone’s life and thinking. May Allah keep my focus on what is important. This is why I write, even when sometimes in this ugly world it feels like there’s no point…

And since I’m doing a shout-out, a big ‘Heya!’ ❤️ to all those lovely ladies who always take the time to read, comment and like the posts. A little goodness and love really does go a long way, you know who you are. JazakAllah Khair to every one of you, just for reading!

Okay, I’m done now. Sorry for the rambles. Love to hear from you guys too.

Much Love,

A 🌸

FB: The Journeying Muslimah or https://www.facebook.com/achancetochange.wordpress/

IG: @thejourneyingmuslimah

#revivetheSunnahof Sleepingearly





Twitter @ajourneyjournal


A Turn of Events

Bismihi Ta’ala


”I don’t think I ever told you this before,” Aadam said quietly as we drove home after that eventful day. “But I always wanted to have a daughter…”

”Really?” I said softly, swallowing nervously as I said it. We had never really spoke about having kids.

Well, not our own. For me, it was still a really far off notion. I was only sixteen, and the very thought of having my own kids was a little daunting.

I could see that Aadam was thinking really deeply. There was something on his mind, but I didn’t read into it. Maybe I should have at the time, but the faraway look in his eyes was telling me not to press the issue.

“What if we only have daughters?” I asked boldly, trying to lighten up the somber atmosphere.

“It doesn’t matter,” he said simply, glancing at me lovingly. “As long as they’re all just like you.”

“So you can bug them all, all day, every day?” I said promptly, offering a small smile.

“Of course,” he said, smiling sweetly, glad to see the humor filling his eyes again. “Why else? That’s my sole ambition in life.  To bug girls. Especially small ones…”

I raised my eyebrows at him.

Small girls? What a cheek. I turned away in a huff while I heard him chuckle.

I knew some of what had brought on this thought for him. What I didn’t know at that stage was there was a more behind his mention of a child.

There was also a little story that Khalid’s father had just told him about… that I knew had made him revisit this train of thought.

And so the story goes, it so happened that a man once came to the Prophet ( SAW) to narrate a melancholy tale about an incident of Jahiliyah.

In the day when daughters were buried alive, his wife had given birth to a little girl. It was common for the woman who was expecting to say a boy was born, but died during birth. They feared giving the news of a daughter, who would be buried alive.

Of course, the father of this daughter, who  narrated this tale, had come home after a trip, enquiring to whom the girl child belongs. His wife had convinced him that the girl belonged to another woman, who feared her being killed by her husband.

At this statement and relief, this man had played with the child, cared for her and in years to come… formed an attachment with her. He would even go as far as to say: “How do these fathers ever bury their daughters alive?”

And it goes without saying, that this little girl crept into the crevices of this mans heart. The bond that formed between these two became so close that when the mother of the girl saw them together, she thought to herself:

If I tell him now, surely he will never do that terrible deed. If I tell him now… when he loves this little girl so much.. he would never hurt her.’

And so, with great thought, she revealed to him the truth of who she the girl is. She told him that this girl is his own daughter.

The man narrates to the Prophet (SAW), in later years, that this little girl had even happily assisted him in digging her own grave, thinking it’s a some sort of game. She was curious, when he started digging. When the man placed her inside the grave, she was content. She loved her father. She trusted him.

She never believed that this man who loved her so much, will abandon her. As he started to throw the dust onto her, she was still smiling. Joyful. As the sand starts to fill the hole on top of her, she still had the understanding that definitely… he will take her out at the last minute. She had so much of faith in this man who eventually buries her alive. The man who leaves her there in a darkness of a blackened pit, turned his back and walked away.

And it broke my heart as Aadam narrated it. What was their crime? What wrong did this little girl do? Just for a blood line and a single chromosome… they were deemed a burden and left to die.

What a terrible world they were living in. What crazy ideas. What a world we live in now… where people line up in queues to abort their own fetus…

When the favor of Islam came, they could not understand how they did it.

 “And when one among of them receives the glad tidings of a daughter, his face turns black for the day, and he remains seething. Hiding from the people because of the evil of the tidings; “Will he keep her with disgrace, or bury her beneath the earth?”; pay heed! Very evil is the judgment they impose!” [Surah al-Nahl, Verse 58-59]

And then of course … the Glorious Qur’an came. Qur’an came… to put an end to these cruel acts. Qur’an came to change their hearts and their lives. Qur’an came to shed so much of light, that the darkness of Jahiliya was completely diminished.

”You never told me that Khalid was a Haafidh,” Aadam said, lost in thought. I had forgotten that Khalid had finished his memorization a few years back. At a very young age, he held the Quran in his heart. That itself was the miracle of the Quran.

The Prophet (SAW) was so amazing in his message, that this changed the entire future for women. The beauty, healing and guidance that this Quran is, we will never understand until we feel it’s effect in our hearts.

And as I thought of the day we had spent together, and everything it had brought, the firsts and last parts were the highlights. It was amazing that with some people… even meeting them after so many years… it still feels like you never left. With Aunty Radiyyah, I couldn’t explain what it was… but with her I never felt like a visitor.

”My darling!” Aunty Radiyyah had breathed as she saw me, her warm embrace finding me in a most unassuming state. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I stepped in to see her, after all those months.

Aadam let go of my hand as I reached out to hold her back, getting lost in the familiarity of her scent, and loving it. It reminded me of everything I once knew and loved so deeply. Of Mama, and gardening in the sun and afternoon teas outside on the back porch… I wasn’t sure how she would receive me, but as I stood there while she embraced me with such ferocity, I knew that there couldn’t have been any other way.

“I’ve missed you so much,” she whispered in my ear and as she pulled away, I couldn’t help but see grey eyes fill with tears.

Aadam had sensed the emotion. He stood back politely as we reminisced for a few moments, and as she looked up and saw him, I could see a big teary smile spread on her face.

“And this has to be Aadam,” she said, probouncing his name expertly in Arabic. Her eyes crinkling at the corners as he greeted and she gestured for him to come in.

“I see you finally brought my son to meet me,” she said happily. “You two are beautiful. Just beautiful. And I read about Aadam in the paper all the time. I already feel like I know him!”

I smiled, and so did Aadam. Aunty Radiyyah was fussing over us relentlessly..  She had already embarked on her mission of hospitality by bringing out her entire kitchens contents.

And sometimes it slipped my mind just how famous Aadam was. I supposed because to me he was just Aadam my lovably weird husband, and I just saw him as that…

Like Khalid and I, Aunty Radiyyah was a reader.  She had read all about his achievements that my mother-in-law harped about. Aadam’s mother, obviously, seemed to think that her son had the sun shining from somewhere behind. The fact that Aadam was so humble about it was completely beyond her …

Aadam seemed a little embarrassed by the praise, but he recovered expertly as he grinned.

“You told me I was coming to see one of your favorite people,” Aadam finally said to me with a small smile. “Now I can see why.”

”Agh, no,” Aunty Radiyyah said, blushing as she heard Aadam’s compliment. “I’m just an old lady talking your ears off. Are you’ll hungry? Did you’ll have lunch? I made Khalid’s favorite… I do it when I miss him, and send him a snap.”

”Really?” I asked, imagining aunty Radiyyah using a mobile camera.

Aunty Radiyyah was grinning.

“Of course not, sweetheart,” she said, throwing her head back in that oh-so-familiar way, and having a good chuckle. I could see that Aadam was amused by her too. “What do you think I am? Some Insta foodie person?”

I wanted to giggle. How did Aunty Radiyyah even know all these things? She was quite up to date for her age, though…

Aunty Radiyyah was truly one of those people who just meeting her made you want to laugh. She had already fluffed up the cushions and told Aadam to have a seat whilst she brought something else to snack. She turned around and gestured for me to follow. I could see Aadam grinning to himself too.

“I’m not taking no as an answer,” she said stubbornly, insisting that we have lunch.

I could hear Aadam protesting from where he was, but she insisted that everything will be waiting after Salaah and he had no choice.

She speedily got dishes out for the yummiest and most juiciest sheesh kebab with hummus, tahini, chillied olives, double-cream yogurt and every other amazing condiment you could think of. Just the aromatic smell of it brought back memories, as I remembered returning from some childhood adventure and devouring the dish with Khalid. With it was always served the most scrumptious Egyptian bread that made my mouth water as I saw it.

She shooshed me away to pray my Asr, and I ventured off down the passage, digesting the new additions to the house as I walked. Things had changed a little, but mostly it looked the same. I had practically lived there just a few years ago. Now that we had grown up… things just felt really different…

I prayed my Asr, taking time for a little extra devotion. It was the only thing that calmed me down and after today’s events. All I needed was that down time that helped me to reconnect with my Creator once again.

And as I sat there for a few minutes, the cherry on the top was being able to look out into the infamous garden as I made my Du’aa… I was enchanted by the afternoon sun that spread over it. Today, for some reason, it just felt so alive… almost as if it was beckoning to me. I made a mental note to venture in after the meal..

I was actually starving, as I reached the kitchen. Aunt Radiyyah had a gorgeous spread already laid out in record time. We chattered amidst the yummy food, enjoying the company and reminiscing over days that seemed a little too far away.

And despite the time flying by, it was a wonderful afternoon. Khalid’s father had come in a little while after Salaah and although I had always found him daunting as a child, I was surprised to see him and Aadam get along so well as they sat together. Aunty Radiyyah made us feel more than at home as she fussed over us, making sure we ate to our fill and were comfortable at every moment.

I could sense that Aadam liked them a lot. Aadam was of course, her new son. He had, in the short time, become part of the household. Aunty Radiyyah asked about his family and mine, and I spoke to her about Hannah whilst she listened, advising me that I needed to go and see her at the rehab once she was on her way to recovery. She had known Hannah vaguely, but never really got to meet her. I remembered  that Aunty Nas was not the friendliest to anyone who knew my mother, but Aunty Radiyyah had always felt for Hannah… since she was only a child.

Khalid and his ambitions featured here and there, but Aunty Radiyyah didn’t elaborate on him and I didn’t press the issue. All she said was that she thought it was time for him to take care of his grandparents for a while… and left it at that.

I silently wished him all the best in every endeavor he had. He had been an amazing source of comfort to me in my childhood and I knew that Allah had sent them both to give me that nurturing and love that I would have never got from Aunty Nas.

Every minute was priceless… and I was so overwhelmed by her hospitality that day. As I hugged Aunty Radiyyah for the last time that afternoon, I couldn’t help but express my heartfelt gratitude to her for everything she had done for me… back then and now as well. I didn’t see the value in it… but her sincerity was such a breath of fresh air that I was in awe of her. I loved the fact that whatever she did, it was from her heart… and of course, brimming with unfiltered love…

We couldn’t leave without promising that we would be back soon. Khalid’s Papa had already made arrangements to meet Aadam the following week, and even though he was exhausted, Aadam was absolutely thrilled about meeting them too.

Aunty Radiyyah was sniffling and tearing away as we left, saying that it felt like Khalid was home again. After such a long time, there was so much of love and laughter in the house, that after ages, that little gap that he had left had been filled. I left there feeling a little saddened by the emotion…

I sighed as we got into the car. Although I loved being with Aunty Radiyyah, I couldn’t help but let my brain go into overdrive again about Khalid.

What if Khalid never came back? He just felt so far away…

Aadam and I drove back as we spoke about my both our childhoods. Being there had made me nostalgic. I knew that he had gone to one of the best schools in the area but I didn’t know that he had boarded there. Hearing about his past made me feel like I knew him so much better.

And of course, I knew I would miss him that week. As my husband looked at me intently and asked if he could see me on the weekend again, my heart turned to mush, because parting after today was going to be even harder. I was visibly distressed about snapping back to boring reality, but as I lost myself in Aadam’s embrace that evening, I knew that these moments were so precious that they simply couldn’t last forever.

“I’ll miss you, gorgeous,” he whispered as I finally stepped off, and as I walked back to the house I couldn’t help but think about how different our backgrounds were, yet how we related to each other on every other level.

And when I looked back at that day, what  I realized was that despite our differences, we were still able to see something in each other that the other person needed. For him, maybe he had always sought was the stability of someone who would be able to hold it together… and remind him about the true purpose of life. Maybe he just needed someone to guide him to the Greatest Love of all.

For me, what I found was that I deeply craved his carefree outlook on life. The constant ease and unlimited love that he gave, despite whatever happened. For Aadam, nothing was serious or out of our control. He would find a way to make me laugh, smile and just be content… and that was exactly what had made him the one who somehow found his way to the depths of my battered heart.

And though I was depressed for a good day after, one good thing about going back to routine was seeing Nusaybah. And of course, being so busy with school and everything else, every ‘next time’ that I saw my husband never seemed so far off. Aadam was also exceptionally busy with work. Although we did spend time together on weekends, it always felt like it was never enough. In between the random texts and e-mails, school work and Islamic classes Nusaybah and I started attending, I always felt like we were stealing time from what wasn’t ours. Somehow, being with Aadam always felt like a dream that I was living, and actually being there in it was always more beautiful than I could imagine.

And of course, that feeling that came along with everything that we had experienced together… every beat of my heart, every sway of my soul… every emotion that I had somehow come to drown in… I didn’t realize it then, but I was falling into the deepest kind of love that I could ever imagine.

I could not even begin to describe how beautiful the moments were. When we finally broke for the end of the grade eleven year, Aadam was more ecstatic than I. It would mean no more curfews. It would mean endless outings with the kids. The onset of summer was going to be one of the most looked forward to and I was all hyped up about what lay ahead.

And sometimes, as you get caught in the lull of life… you become complacent. It’s not that you are committing sins… it’s just that at my tender age, having so many things going on in my life… I was a little lost in it all.

The phone-call came early one morning, as I waited for Aadam to fetch us to go the the zoo.

Now and then… we need a little reminder to shock us out of slumber.

“Is everything okay?” I asked meekly, hearing Aunty Radiyyah’s shaky voice. She sounded nothing like herself.

“It’s Khalid,” she said softly. “There’s news from  Egypt. They say he’s been killed.”


Today’s Beautiful Hadith is about Honouring the Guest.. which is a great Sunnah and a loved act by Allah.

Abu Shuraih Khuwailid bin Amr Al-Khuza`i RA reported: I heard Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying, “He who believes in Allah and the Last Day, should accommodate his guest according to his right.” He was asked: “What is his right, O Messenger of Allah?” He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) replied: “It is (to accommodate him) for a day and a night, and hospitality extends for three days, and what is beyond that is charity.”
(Bukhari and Muslim)

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Real Time Moments

Bismihi Ta’ala


Memories are a funny thing. It’s weird how there are things you just can’t remember… and things you just can’t seem to forget.

It was a week or two after I turned six, that Khalid dragged me aside one day, towing me along with him in excitement as we got to the entrance of the gardening shed. It was no wonder that I could recall the time of year clearly, because it was when the trees were starting to lose their leaves and Autumn was proudly beginning to show it’s presence.

And that summer had been an adventure in itself. Since Mama was sick, I had enough time to spend looking for the right tools and seeds to invest in our garden, always trying new ways to help our plants grow. I had learnt that a toss of the soil every now and then can sometimes bring up seedlings of plants that I thought were dead and gone. I had realized that, with a little sprinkle of water, chatter and care as I worked along, my plants would somehow thrive on real conversation. Further more, after setting up a tiny enclosure for them with some sticks and  mesh that we had found in that very garden shed, the little seedlings that were barely growing before were prospering like there was no tomorrow.

I was becoming an expert gardener, even if I did say so myself.

“What is it?!” I said to Khalid impatiently, watching him as his silvery eyes darted around, almost as if he was looking for something that had once been hidden there.

“There it is!” he said suddenly, pointing as his face suddenly lit up. He was probably nearly eight at the time. He stretched out his long arm to grab what looked like some sort of handle, and before could even ask him what he was onto today, out came an old, but magnificent, two-wheeled bicycle.

“Today,” he said proudly, his face beaming as he looked at me. “We’re learning something new.”

I looked at him blankly and frowned. It wasn’t like it had ever been a great ambition of mine. But according to Khalid, everyone around me had learnt to ride and it was about time that I did too.

I still remembered him holding the back of my seat and then letting go… and that feeling of gliding along, knowing that I was doing it all by myself was just beauty…

The exhilaration of riding a bike was unmatched. It was, essentially, a true and unprecedented feeling of all-encompassing freedom…

And then as he ran ahead of me, something that had escaped my notice before had suddenly come to my attention as I watched him. I could see him kicking almost invisible pieces of something that lay ahead of me, precisely on the path that I was riding.

”Hey,” I shouted to him bossily. “Why do you keep doing that?”

Why did he take the trouble to stop every few seconds just to kick a small insignificant thing off the path.

And then of course, as he ran ahead in his boisterous voice and his Papa’s wise words, to told me the story of the man who was granted Paradise due to his small but sincere act of moving obstacles out of someone’s path.

And the most amazing part of the story was that never for one moment did that man who swept thorns aside or removed a branch of a tree from a path think that it would be the happiest day of his life… but he was told that because of that, he would enter Jannah.

Nabi (ﷺ) said: “A man never did a good deed but removed a thorny branch from the road; it was either in the tree and someone cut it and threw it on the road, or it was lying in it, he removed it. Allah accepted this good deed of his and brought him into Paradise.” [A narration of Hasan Sahih grade (Al-Albani); refer Sunan Abi Dawud no. 5245]

And until Khalid brought it to my attention, I had no idea that the act of saving people from harm and loss was so greatly liked by Allah, no matter how small it is. I didn’t know that to remove an obstacle from one’s path was not only about the physical aspect. It had a deeper and more profound meaning. By a little extra time taken on the path to make someone else’s easier… in a selfless act that costs nothing at all… can even be the very reason Allah grants you your Jannah.

“You’re doing it, Khawlah!” Yunus has shrieked as he made an appearance outside, thrilled by my achievement. “You’re riding by yourself!”

Whoop, whoop!” Khalid shouted, his voice echoing as he cupped his hands around his mouth to amplify his excitement.

I could glimpse him running around frantically as I concentrated, trying to get me to steer properly while I manoevred myself around the pavement.

Aunty Sarah!” Khalid screamed as I finally got the hang of it, obviously all hyped up. “Look out! It’s Khawlah! She’s riding!

And of course, as my mothers beaming face made an appearance from the top floor after a few seconds, I forgot about pressing brakes and went crashing down once again.

But that was all in the fun of riding, wasn’t it? The perseverance… the aspiration… and then the accomplishment of finally getting it right. It took me a few tries but eventually, I did.

The sweetness of childhood was so beautiful. The thrill that every new achievement brought was glorious as we played amidst familiar Jacaranda trees that towered above. The freedom that came with riding a bike for the first time was one of the few memories that I recalled of my mother…

And I didn’t realize it then, but those were the perfect memories were etched in my mind for years to come. Fountains of love.. spilling over with ambition… torrents of emotion that never seemed to deplete… so much had happened here, and I couldn’t help but let it all overwhelm me as I glimpsed  out.

That same window, in years to come, would be the one I would look up to as I played hopscotch in the street, climbed our favourite tree, or just happened to be playing some nonsensical game that bided our time. And little did I know that it was the same window that I would look up to again, to see Hannah often looking out, with a look of certain forced aloofness. I had almost forgotten her ever-presence, though it was eerily noticeable at the time.

Sometimes I wondered why she never came down. Khalid was a friendly guy and Yunus never really minded her. Hannah would have probably had quite a lot more fun in her childhood if she had let go a bit. Was she afraid to be a real child? What was it about her that kept her away?

Now that I thought about it, the memories of her gazing at us, almost in unexplained longing, were a little disturbing. It’s recollection made me see things a bit differently. I shuddered as I remembered, trying to block out her screeching voice on the days I would come home and witness her tantrums…

“Hey, are you okay?” Aadam said, reaching out to grasp my hand.

I snapped back to the present as I looked at my husband, not realizing that my thoughts were showing on my face. Damaged. So, so damaged. It was a pity that Aunty Nas had messed her child up so severely…

I glanced at Aadam and already felt comforted as he looked back at me with concern. No matter what had happened… or how much my past came back to haunt  me… being with him just felt like home.

And I was feeling all optimistic as he gave me his dazzling smile, because I really did expect the best today. Despite the drama and his mothers snide remarks earlier about my connection with Hannah, and behaving like the entire episode had been my fault… I had decided to overlook it. It was hard but I held my head high and walked away saying I would try and make it all okay.

For His sake. For the sake of Allah. There was no need to get upset. Of course, Aadam would say that she didn’t mean harm. She was just upset about everything that had happened. Her remarks weren’t to be take seriously.

What we didn’t know was that as we turned into the driveway I showed him, it would be a complete anti-climax. It wasn’t like we didn’t expect it, but my worst fears were already confirmed. Aadam’s face changed instantly as I spotted the car ahead. It was one with flashing lights…

Shabeer,” he sighed, closing his eyes and inhaling as he said it. He looked apologetic. “Always has to prove a point.”

I honestly wanted to cry. Even after asking him to hold off… he had still sent the police. I knew that this couldn’t bring much good.

We both jumped off the car, just as Shabeer and Ruby pulled in behind us.

“Where’s Hannah?” I asked, upset about the turn of events.

“Sorry,” Shabeer said, shrugging indifferently. “I had to do what’s best for my family. They’re taking her away to a secure rehab. I couldn’t risk it.”

I gritted my teeth as I turned away. Typical chauvinist male behaviour. Wanting to be the hero without even considering the facts. I rushed to the car that she was said to be in, hoping that I could speak to her. Hoping I could get some answers.

I peeped through the tinted car window, knowing this was the only way. Was she even in there? I could see nothing.

“Sorry ma’am,” the Indian cop said as he stepped in front of me. “She’s not in a good state… a bit of hallucination too. She needs to get help.”

”But I really need to talk to her,” I said desperately. “Please.”

The guy was adamant.

“Strict instructions,” he said, shrugging. “Sorry.”

And with that he got into the car with his partner and swiftly reversed out.

I felt completely deflated. I was so, so close… so close, yet so far.

And the thing is, though I was so angry for everything she had done to me, and how she had constantly used my name to tarnish my own reputation, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. I wished that I could see her…. to try and figure this out. I wished that we could revisit some of the places where everything had seemed to fall apart. The parts of childhood that we spent together were so hazy.

”I’m sorry, beautiful,” Aadam said softly, as he came behind me, reaching out for my hand. “I know she’s done a lot of damage… Maybe it’s better this way?”

“I don’t think he wants me to speak to her,” I said angrily, swallowing as I watched Shabeer with a look of satisfaction on his face.

Money spoke. Oh yes, it definitely did, and it wasn’t always fair.

“I think there’s another reason he did this. I think Hannah’s got deeper problems than rehab.”

Aadam sighed and shrugged.

“So does Shabeer,” he said obviously. “But let’s not spoil our mouths yeah? You want to show me where little Khawlah used to live..? I think we just need to forget about everything that happened today. Let’s just erase the last two hours and start over.”

I glanced at the house as everyone else departed with a few minutes. It was just him and me.

“I wish I could,” I said, wondering if that day was ever going to end. From Danyaal to Shabeer to Hannah… and then of course, my mother-in-law…

My husband seemed to think that things had improved between his mother and I. I didn’t want to break his heart and tell him that they had gotten worse.

“You need to learn to switch off,” he said as he watched me, turning me around and trying to physically relax my shoulders. “Come on, that’s what this morning was about. The sunrise… the sunshine. See… it’s such a beautiful day and being with you is the best part of it. Stop being such a hard nut. Forget about everything… it all going to get sorted. Hannah, Shabeer… even my mother…”

”Your mother hates me,” I said on cue, thinking how expertly my mother-in-law fooled Aadam. He was really such an unassuming guy that he suspected nothing fishy at all. He didn’t even notice her staring at me like she wanted to kill me.

”She doesn’t!” He said, looking alarmed.

”She does,” I retorted, looking him in the eye.

“Even if that’s true, which I’m sure it isn’t, one day it’s going to be different,” he said stubbornly. “One day, she’s going to realize who you really are, and she’s going to love you.”

”Yeah,” I said, without missing a beat. “After I’m dead.”

I could see Aadam closing his eyes and holding his head in his hands when I said it, desperately trying not to laugh. I couldn’t resist a teeny smirk.

Khawlaah,” he murmured, coming toward me and shaking his head with an amused grin. “She will love you. Before you die. For now it doesn’t matter. Right now, I love you. I’m happy with you. Can we just do something fun for the rest of the day. Forget about everything else. Today is your day. What do you want to do?”

I sighed and looked at the house, trying to forget. Did I want to go in?

Abba had never sold the house after we moved out. He had rented it out a few times, but it had been vacant for a few months now and I actually had no idea how Hannah was even aware of that…

I shielded my eyes from the sun as I stepped around for a minute, the route so familiar as I recalled running through the garden patch, down the back alley and into Khalid’s amazing garden. Ours was a decent size, but Aunty Radiyyah’s home was always the ultimate.

Aunty Radiyyah. Thinking about her always made me smile. I hadn’t seen her in ages. Things had gotten so busy at home… with school and Rubeena… I actually didn’t even have a chance to even call her.

“I got a better idea,” I said, yanking the car door open again. I wasn’t ready for the trip some memory lane. Besides, the time for Asr Salaah had set in and I knew that I would also have to find a place to pray.

Aadam was looking at me curiously as he started his car, his one eyebrow furrowing slightly as he eyed me out. I could tell that he was amused by my sudden idea.

“I want to visit someone,” I said glancing at him. “One of my mothers old friends… and mine too. She lives down the road.”

”Really?” He said, sounding surprised. “Did you ever tell me about her?”

”I might have mentioned her,” I said, not certain.  “Aunty Radiyyah. I used to play there often when we were kids.”

”Hmmm,” Aadam said, glancing at me sideways.

Did I see something flicker in his eyes?

“I think I remember,” he murmured.

“Keep driving,” I said quietly. “I’ll show you the house.”

”How old is she?” Aadam asked, putting on a sudden serious face and pulling down his mirror to check his appearance. “Is she nice?”

“Very,” I said, amused at him. “I’m sure you’ll like her. But she’s too old for you though, sorry. She had her Khalid a little late in life…”

”Shucks,” he said, pretending to be upset as I rolled my eyes at him. There was a mischievous glint in his eyes as he turned to peck me on the cheek. Of course he was just messing around.

She had once told me that she never thought she would be able to have a child. And then, Khalid came along, completely out of the blue….

“You coming?” I asked him, reaching for the door handle. Maybe Khalid’s father would be home. There was still fifteen minutes till Jamaat at the masjid.

“Is Khalid around?” he asked, catching my eye as he said it. I could see he was trying to figure my emotions as he ran his hands through his beard. He probably wanted to know more. “I’d like to meet him one day.”

I looked back at him easily. We were parked outside Aunty Radiyyah’s magnificent porch and I couldn’t help but admire my one of my favourite bushes that was staring right at me. The birds were teetering above in the nearby oak tree we used to so easily climb. Looking at it again, it seemed so daunting. I wanted to tell Aadam all about it.

Once again, so many moments that I had clung onto… but were now just a distant memory. It seemed like it was all so long ago… So did Khalid…

”I don’t think so,” I said softly. I was certain that he was still in Egypt.  “But one day, maybe you will…”

He smiled as we stepped out, just taking it all in for a few perfect moments…

The purple, lilac and white flowers ahead  were in full bloom, and I couldn’t miss  it’s deeply perfumed scent that I inhaled with unprecedented satisfaction. It was amazing. The fragrance of yesterday, today, tomorrow’s were my favourite kind of smell…

Besides being instantly calmed by natural ambience of Aunty Radiyyah’s front garden, the truth was that I was actually ecstatic to see her again.  This was going to be the best turn of events today…

Aadam stretched out his hand to grasp mine as we walked together down the once familiar path.

The same path on which we’d ran frantically through the rain as kids, to head back home. The exact path where we had played hopscotch on all those years ago, when we would be too lazy to draw the lines.The very path that held so many unfiltered memories, that I had to do let it all sink in as I recalled just how much of my childhood I had spent there.

And yes, there was so much that filled our hearts at the time. The nature.. the beauty… Memories and moments that we couldn’t put into words…. but right now… well, right then, those were the very moments that truly counted.

Because sometimes we don’t realize that the best thing about memories, is making them. Sometimes we need to stop right where we are, hold up and just take it all in. Cherish the moment. Soak it in. Let your heart swell with joy of the beauty of being in the present and making it amazing..

These real time moments were ones that we took for granted. What I didn’t know was that the little moments that I was living right then with Aadam were the ones that I would look back on as the greatest memories… for many years to come…

Authors Note: Please excuse if posts are a little delayed. Have been feeling a bit under the weather but will be back on schedule soon Insha Allah. 

Much Love, 
A 🌸

Sunnah reminder: Speaking Kindly: Abu Hurayrah(RA) relates that Nabi (SAW) may , said: “Whoever believes in God and the Last Day should speak a good word or remain silent.  And whoever believes in God and the Last Day should show hospitality to his neighbor.  And whoever believes in God and the Last Day should show hospitality to his guest.”

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Chasing History

Bismihi Ta’ala


There’s something that I’ve learnt during the past few months that will probably stick with me for life.

Nothing in this world is worth chasing. We spend our whole lives worrying about the future… planning for the future… trying to predict the future, as if it’s going to solve everything.

But the thing is, nothing is set in stone. The future is the home of our deepest fears and wildest hopes. There are so many possibilities… but one thing I know for sure is what comes with ease, is clearly what was always meant for you.

I had spent a major part of my adulthood chasing happiness. Contentment. Satisfaction. Everything else that I thought that would bring me all of the above and more. I couldn’t find it in my marriage, so I looked to my kids. When I couldn’t find it at home… I looked elsewhere.

And I wasn’t in this struggle alone. What I also knew was that many women in my circles went through the exact same thing. Sometimes we like to stay in the dark, because we feel there is still hope. Sometimes we prefer ignorance. For women like me, infidelity was normal behaviour for a man as ‘good looking and rich’ as my husband. I was made to understand that it was normal for men to do this at that age… To have this type of discontentment and insatiable appetite that their regular lives could never fulfil.

And I know that everything happens for a reason. Despite thinking how things might have been different if I had another baby coming… and how it would have magically fixed everything… I knew that there was so much of goodness in losing my fifth pregnancy and I couldn’t help but be grateful. Indeed, Allah was the greatest of Planners.

The thing is, even in this messed up life of mine… if anyone had to look at my life, I had everything.

We had everything… but we didn’t have true love. The type that truly changes your heart. The real kind. The love that was true and pure and stemmed from the Greatest Love of all. What I didn’t know was that true love was not meant to throw you off balance. It was not meant to make you feel like you couldn’t breathe. It wasn’t supposed to feel as if you were scrounging around for air, just trying to gather enough to fill you in the pursuit of one satisfying breath. I had no idea that when you love deeply enough, you actually had to hold up, because something magical and deeply moving happens inside of you. I didn’t know that when you truly love, you become a better person because of it…

And as I looked at my husband right now, I couldn’t help but wonder where everything had started to fall apart. Since when did I start losing myself in this? When did I start feeling deserted in this union? When did this thing we had once called a marriage… become anything but?

“So what do you have to say for yourself?” I asked Shabeer, tapping my foot on the ground as I awaited the answer he would give me today. I didn’t want to be harsh, but today, I was so done.

Zaydaan was entertaining himself with some junk on my phone. I had phoned Dayyaan and Zia’s school to ask them to keep them in after-care. I had sent my father to watch them, just to make sure that they were safe.

I had already been through the rushing around in a frenzy and figuring out exactly how this situation had come so close to an emergency. I had already called Shabeer and demanded him to find out where Hannah was. I was now past the stage of walking around hopelessly, trying to figure out how else I could protect my sons. The fact that now I processed that Danyaal was here, instead of some shady whereabouts where I would have had no idea about, the emotions were entirely different.

And I could not be grateful enough to Khawlah who had taught my son how to ‘bite’. I know I sound completely crazy, but in these years that Khawlah had spend with my kids, I was completely unaware that she had been teaching them that we do live in a dangerous world. Maybe it was her own upbringing. In my constant need to always ‘protect’ my kids, I never considered the reality. I never thought that this could ever happen. Not to my kids.

I was furious. Anxious. Absolutely crazy with worry. I wanted to get my hands around Hannah’s skinny neck and strangle the life out of her.

Okay, I know I sound psycho too, but you get my drift.

“Honestly, Ruby,” Shabeer said, looking exhausted. He looked like he had aged a hundred years. The bags under his eyes looked almost hollow and his usually attractive hair was looking more dull than ever before. Even his skin wasn’t looking as great as it used to. He probably needed a serious detox. All his dirty secrets were beginning to show on his face, and I’m sure he didn’t like it.

“I don’t know what to say.”

“I thought so,” I shot back, starting to pace.

To tell the truth, things between Shabeer and I were a bit awkward. We had done ‘the talk’. The one about our future and everything that was probably going to go down with us. He had said that he loved me. He had made it no secret that he had divorced Hannah, on my account… despite me not asking for that.

Honestly, all I think I had become was an excuse. He had made it seem as if he wanted to change his entire life to be with me as a family… yet when I looked at him, all I saw was that empty soul that I once knew. I stared at him as he came closer to me. I wasn’t sure how to feel.

Right now, I just couldn’t stomach him. I was so confused. Maybe it was all the hype and emotion, but I really wasn’t sure where to go from here.

And when it came to Hannah, I wished that I could do something about her problems, but I had no idea where to start. I knew she was an addict. Shabeer had let me know that in no uncertain terms. He had tried to play the innocent bystander but I knew he was more guilty than that.

I sighed as I popped in to the sick room to check on Danyaal. His arm was scraped by a bush he had ran into just after he managed to escape. I was so grateful that the school caretaker was just coming on duty at the time and saw him make a run for it, after screaming. The caretaker had tried to get Hannah, but she had escaped in a silver car. That was all we knew.

“Mum, stop looking so worried,” Danyaal said calmly, letting the school nurse bandage his arm carefully. “I’m okay. See, Allah took care of me.”

I nodded and swallowed. My son was so brave. Unimaginably. He had more faith than me.

I could just imagine what I looked like. I was still frantic. The thought of what could have happened was eating me alive.

“You know she looked exactly like Khawlah from the back?”

I turned to Danyaal, narrowing my eyes. That was exactly what Hannah was aiming for. She made me so mad. She was certainly obsessed with Khawlah and I wasn’t even sure why.

The police were already onto her. The security company had patrol cars searching the area. We had every base covered yet there was no word of where she may be. How was I going to sleep tonight? 

“I’ve got people at the flat,” Shabeer said, moving closet to me, sensing my concern. “And at her mums place. They’re looking for clues. We’ll find her, babe. Stop stressing. She can’t go far.”

What’s to stop her from trying again? With one of the other kids? What’s to stop her from coming home? I was beside myself with worry.

And just when I thought that things couldn’t get any worse, the sound of my mothers voice echoed through the foyer in utter despair… and I honestly wished I could crawl under the school bed and hide.

Shabeer!” She cried, literally collapsing into my husbands arms as she saw us, heaving as she bawled her eyes out in devastation.

She glimpsed Danyaal sitting on the bed, and that was all it took to set her off all over again.

“Look what they did… our poor child..! What are we going to doooo?!”

Of course she would act like she was going through unprecedented agony. No-one else in the world was feeling emotional. Of course she would make this all about her. Typical of my mother. Never mind it was due to Shabeer’s idiotic choices that this had all happened… all my mother knew was to fling herself into the arms of the very man who was partly to blame here and make it all about her. Was I the only one who thought that the whole situation was completely messed up?

Shabeer was looking at me desperately, his eyes pleading with mine as he signalled for help. I turned away on purpose as my mother went on and on about how ‘we’ are going to deal with this, thinking it served him right.

Good, let him deal with her for once. I was tired of making excuses for him. The amazing part was that despite my mother knowing everything of Shabeer’s shenanigans, she still loved him to bits. It was crazy. Even I didn’t get as much affection as my womanising husband.

I ignored them as my phone buzzed with messages from Adam, as he drove back from a nearby riding grounds he used to attend as a kid. I knew he had taken Khawlah there and I did feel bad about dragging him back. I just needed my brother. He always had insight.. some advice to give.. or some amazing thing to say that I never thought of before.

He was still a good ten minutes away, though. He said that there was some way to track the car Hannah had come with, but he needed to be here to do it. He was talking about hacking some app that Hannah had on her phone and checking the last location…

It was all beyond my understanding. I planted a kiss on Danyaal’s forehead and took a seat so I could keep an eye on him. My mother collapsed into the seat opposite me dramatically. Shabeer looked relieved to be free, and I avoided eye contact with both of them as I heard him behind me, probably trying to decide what to say next.

”But how did she even get him outside?” Shabeer asked softly, careful not to let my mother hear. I didn’t tell him the full story. All I had managed to tell him was that Hannah had taken Danyaal and he had somehow managed to escape.

“Well, Khawlah’s name is on the list of people authorized to fetch him,” I said quietly, not needing to explain any more.

The secretary was absolutely distraught about the mistake. They were already putting new policies in place. As it was I could see the staff members milling around, stopping to ask if they found the getaway car as yet. It was a risk to the school as well.

”Oh shit, man,” Shabeer said, looking furious. “She did it again?”

His voice was getting louder and I cringed as he swore. My mothers sniffles were halting as she watched us, and I could already see her looking at us, now super curious.

I had to be careful with my mother. Anything was going to set her off. I could already see her looking around, like she was searching for some clues. Someone to blame. If she knew that it was Khawlah’s name that had been used, I knew it would be used as ammunition against my sister-in-law.

And of course, like Divinely sent, it was precisely at that moment when I glimpsed Adam race through the doorway, with Khawlah in quick pursuit. Shabeer got up as he saw them, and I could sense him getting a little edgy at their entrance.

“Did you call them?” He muttered, looking annoyed. I didn’t really care what he felt. Shabeer had a problem with most people who didn’t fall for his tricks. Of course, Adam headed straight for me, a look of absolute devastation on his face.

“Where’s Danyaal?”

I pointed to the room opposite us, and they both rushed in. It took them a few minutes, but as soon as I heard Danyaal’s laughter, my heart had already eased. Adam was here. He would sort it all out.

“I need a laptop Rubes,” he said, popping his head out and giving my mother a quick peck on the cheek. Of course she had been sitting there, all fussed up, until he acknowledged her.

I really had no words for her.

Khawlah had already taken Zaydaan from next to us, returned my phone and was entertaining him with some story about horses. He was mesmerized by her, and I was honestly not even sure how she did it.

Shabeer mumbled something about getting his PC from his car for Aadam, and I could spot my mother starting to whimper again, in feigned desperation. I could already tell that she was playing up because Adam was here.

”Ma, relax,” he was saying, trying to pry her hands off him. “Just keep reading, yeah? There’s nothing to worry about. We have to be grateful he’s okay.”

Here I was, all this time, sitting almost in limbo when all I had to do was use the sense that I had. Of course, there was no power here beyond Allah’s. Such a potentially dangerous situation had actually turned out to be okay. All we had to do was find Hannah. I was already feeling calmer after Adams words. I wasn’t sure how, but Adam just had an unbelievable knack of breaking down everyone’s issues and taking them on. He wasn’t afraid to get right in there, and he knew exactly how to make it all okay.

I turned to the door to wait for Shabeer, already feeling calmer as I read, hoping for the best of the situation. Shabeer was already rushing back with his laptop and Adam hastily tapped into it, as we waited in anticipation.

Each moment felt like hours. I could see Adam concentrating as he crouched on the low lying couch, frowning as he ferociously typed away. He was exceptionally good with computers and I stood mesmerised as he worked away, as one link lead to the other and another…

Khawlah stood diligently at his side with Zaydaan. He was murmuring something to her as he worked, and now that I was calmer and watched them, I was so much in awe of how the two of them just connected with each other. And as Shabeer nudged me from the side, I followed his gaze to where my mother sat, getting a shock as I glimpsed the look of pure vexation on her face.

I can assure you, if her eyes could narrowed any more, there would have probably been laser beams emitting from them. The fact that the two of them worked so efficiently, almost as if they were one person… so in synch with each other,  was probably what got her most. I was actually beginning to think that she resented seeing my brother happy. My mother was looking crazily scary as she stared Khawlah down, and though Shabeer and I could not miss this obvious insecurity of hers… the disturbing fact was that my poor brother was completely oblivious to it all. Even the school nurse had left the room, making some excuse, but I could tell that she sensed exactly that. The tension was that palpable.

My mother was literally piercing his wife with her eyes and Adam knew nothing. And it wasn’t just because he was concentrating. Adam would never ever assume that my mother had an evil streak that could potentially mess up his entire marriage. He would probably just smile his usual cock-eyed-eyebrow grin and say that she didn’t mean any harm. That was Adam, and sometimes I wanted to twist his ear in a most innocuous way, just so he could wake his damn case up. My mother was trouble.

I watched them, as Adam grinned at something Khawlah had said, I couldn’t help but let it digest. This was precisely what got to my mother. The comfort. The contentment. It was possible that she never felt it before. There’s was a bond that I couldn’t even comprehend… because it was just so easy. Truly happy, God-fearing, faithful couples make each other better people. They overlook faults. They work together through thick and thin.

Hell, they even overlook the very obvious death stares of a completely unreasonable mother-in-law.

I sighed, wishing I could do something to just get her to stop. To ease off. They were so happy.

It took a few minutes of discomfort, and as Adam rubbed his temples and sat back, I had an inkling that he had maybe given up on his task. My heart dropped momentarily.

“Khawlah, please check my phone,” he said eventually, glancing at her. “It should send a location.”

My heart was hammering in my chest now as he said it, realizing what it meant. He had found Hannah. Shabeer had already taken his phone out to call someone. Khawlah obediently looked up, and as she started to call out the address, she suddenly halted in mid-sentence as her voice broke… almost as if she was choking.

She thrust the phone at me, taking a seat as she covered her head in her hands spontaneously. It was really strange to see, because Khawlah was barely the dramatic type. I could hear Adam whispering something to her, and as I watched them, I could already see that something was up.

Shabeer was already on the phone with someone, instructing them to get there ASAP. I was all ready to leave with him as I grabbed my hand bag… before Khawlah’s voice spoke out..

“Wait,” she said suddenly, softly, but loud enough for us to hear.

Everyone in the room turned to her. Adam was sitting next to her with an open laptop and a worried look on his face. Zaydaan was sitting happily on the edge of his upper lap. Shabeer was looking irritated. I was confused.

My mother…well, she was just looking like her usual discontent self, as happened whenever she saw my brother and his wife together.

“Listen, tell them to wait,” she said, closing her eyes momentarily as she said it. “The address… it’s somewhere I know really well. It’s the house that we stayed at as kids. There’s a reason Hannah went there.”

I halted in my tracks as I looked at her, quite perplexed by this revelation. I knew that Hannah and Khawlah had some connection but I never did know that they had stayed together as kids. It was something she never spoke about to me, and neither did Hannah. I never delved into their history. I guess everyone had some skeletons in the closet. Although my mothers eyes were popping out in complete bewilderment, this revelation explained a lot. It might even explain Hannah’s unfailing obsession with Khawlah, that was even beyond human reason.

“I don’t think anyone else should go,” she said carefully, biting her lip and looking at Adam. “I have a feeling this is about me. I need to be the one to do this.”


Sunnah reminder: Speaking Kindly: Abu Hurayrah(RA) relates that Nabi (SAW) may , said: “Whoever believes in God and the Last Day should speak a good word or remain silent.  And whoever believes in God and the Last Day should show hospitality to his neighbor.  And whoever believes in God and the Last Day should show hospitality to his guest.”

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IG: @thejourneyingmuslimah

#revivetheSunnahof Sleepingearly






Twitter @ajourneyjournal


Bismihi Ta’ala

N.B. Drugs, vices, alcohol and everything else that goes along with it are great trials for the Ummah and we pray with sincerity that we are saved from it.  A bit of a twist from the usual posts but also an important part of the story. Humble Apologies in advance for any shortfalls.

Muslim (2597) narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It is not appropriate for a sincere believer to be given to cursing.” 


Once damaged, always damaged, right?

Everyone allows themselves to be victims at some point of their lives. Sometimes it’s just easier that way.

The thing is, for me, most days were spent thinking why on earth the entire world was working against me. How was it fair that some people were dealt the best of deals, houses, bank accounts and still get the best husbands at the end of it all. How was it fair that I always got the raw end of the deal, when I worked so hard to get myself to the top.

I had learnt a long time ago than being nice never works. It may make people like you, but it doesn’t get you to the top. There’ll always be that one deterrent that stops you from getting there. To get what you any in life, you had to play hard. Ruthless. You had to fight the referees. Change the rules. Cheat a lot. Take a break and tend to your bleeding wounds… but keep playing. Play hard, play fast, play loose and rough. And at the end of the day, no matter what you do, you make sure you win. 

And sometimes, to get that, you have to pull out the victim card. Whether you’re a victim of assault. Of a degrading lifestyle. Of abuse. Of unfiltered addiction. I was a victim, and I wasn’t afraid to let everyone know it.

“You using again, aren’t you?”

I looked up and sniffed. Was it that obvious?

“Why don’t you do something with your life?” Shabeer asked angrily. “Get out of this damn flat and make something of yourself. Go back to school. Bloody hell, you have a child to support. You can’t just sit here and rot in cocaine.”

”Its your fault,” I said, hating him right then. It was.

He had left me to my own devices for almost three weeks. Ignored my calls. Let his wife degrade me however she wanted. It’s not like I could even get out there and work. Who would look after the baby?

“Bullshit,” he shot back. “Nothing is my fault. That’s not even my child. You always had a problem. Don’t blame your issues on me. Blame your addictions on your crazy mother.”

”Shut up!” I shouted, seeing red.  “My mother is the only one who truly cares. All men care about is what they can get out of you, and then they leave you in the dump to die and screw off.”

“Whatever,” he said nonchalantly. “Where’s my watch?”

He was ignoring me and looking through the shelf it was on… well… maybe three weeks ago. He was used to my rants by then. They just flew over his head.

“I don’t know,” I lied, switching the TV on, trying to divert my own mind.

“Don’t talk shit, Hannah,” he said, getting angry. “I left it here. This is still my apartment and I can kick you out any time I want. I need it.”

”For what?” I spat. “To buy your spoilt wife a new handbag?”

“Shut up!” He shouted, spinning around angrily. “Don’t talk about my wife. Give me the bloody watch!”

I blinked. Now it was don’t talk about his wife?

Just the other day she was a nag. His family was a burden. Nothing else mattered. As long as he gave me what I needed… and I did what he asked, it was everything I had dreamt about. A real husband. Money. Fancy cars. Credit cards. Everything that went with it.

A quick fix Nikah and now… I’d just been dropped like a bloody hot potato.

What a pig. He used me.

And despite being so pissed off with him, I supposed if the watch was here, I would have given it to him by now.

Only, it wasn’t. Rolex’s pick up a lot with the dealers.

Shabeer was still rummaging around in the drawers, looking for his stupid watch. I supposed I might have found it funny. Only, I knew how Shabeer got when he was angry.

“Do you want a line?” I asked him, hoping it would calm him down.

Maybe he’d relax and stick around for a while, instead of running of the the ridiculously annoying Rubeena. Maybe we’d have some fun. Well, it had worked before. When Shabeer was in the mood he was super easy-going. Not to mention, such a breeze to persuade.

“I’m not falling for your freakin’ games tonight,  Hannah,” he shot, glaring at me. “You stole my watch, didn’t you?”

I shrugged.

Who cares? It was just a watch. He had enough money, he could buy another one.

All I saw was Shabeer heading towards me. At first I thought that maybe he had come to his senses…. maybe he had realized what he had been missing… after spending that time with his annoying wife.

Before I could even think properly, all I felt was Shabeer grab me so hard by the neck that I could barely breathe. I felt dizzy as my head hit the corner of the wooden table. He came so close to my face, I could smell his cigarette breath right on me.

I wanted to swear him. I wanted to hurt him. But I could barely even talk.

“I let you get away with it when you were pregnant,” he snarled, looking at me with his bloodshot eyes. “So you either shut up or I’ll make you.”

I wished I could hit him. Thank goodness the baby started crying.

He let me go, swore me, and the grabbed his car keys as he made his way out.

I sat there after, helpless baby in my arms, in a kind of trance. I wasn’t sure what was happening to me. What I was going to do. Some days I felt like just ignoring her. She was such a bawler. I couldn’t deal with the pressure of motherhood at such a young age.

My mother would come and help me, but she also had her own life. Her own ambitions. People she had to meet. Men she was plotting, odd jobs she was doing. My father would send money sometimes. I wasn’t even sure if I was fit to raise a child. I wasn’t even sure if I could be a mother.

Days passed. Weeks too. I was caught in my own world of delirium. I couldn’t think properly unless I had a fix. If I didn’t have drugs, I’d raid the medicine cupboard.

Shabeer had left me alone sometimes for days on end. He said I needed to sort out my shit. Sometimes he would pop by and I’d beg him for some cash for the baby’s milk. He always had enough. Of course, that too got used up on more coke. A distant family relative of my father eventually came to take the baby. I had told my mother to get someone to take care of her. I remembered the lady from when I was little. She never had her own kids, and as I let my baby girl go, I was strangely relieved. I felt free. Liberated. Able… and then, I couldn’t help but feel the immense guilt.

I drowned it with more drink and drugs. My mother didn’t come much to check on me any more. She did try to warn me. She told me that drugs had messed up her life, but now she had found a new prospect. Some rich old man who she was looking after… probably wanting to cash in at the end.

And then, the message from Rubeena came.

”Assalaam, Hannah. How are you?”

“Ws,” I replied vaguely. I was switching TV channels while tapping on my phone , trying to find something to watch. What did this woman want from me? 

The mundane soapies didn’t even sway me at all. Why did it feel like my life had no purpose?

”I’ve spoken to Shabeer. I’m sorry that everything didn’t work out the way you planned. Maybe you expected your marriage to be something different. By now, I’m sure you’ve seen through him and know exactly what he’s all about. He has many weaknesses. Don’t let the money fool you. Remember, I’ve had four kids with him. I’ve been with him for eleven years. I know him inside out. I’ve been through some really tough times. The thing is, I stuck around because I loved him. I still do. But I also know that you deserve better. I also know that you deserve another chance in life. You are still young. You’re a clever girl, Hannah. You don’t need to deal with this abuse.”


The witch. She was trying to throw me off because she wanted him to herself. All he did was ruffle my feathers a few times because I spoke to him badly. He didn’t like it when I spoke back. He was a man. All men get those macho vibes from time to time. They wanted to be treated like royalty and she felt threatened by that. He wasn’t the problem. She was.

I tossed my phone aside, not wanting to read any more. I was starting to feel edgy again. I didn’t think that I had a problem.

I never did. Shabeer knew that. All I knew was that we had fun together and that’s what made me better than her. He had told me that.

Later on that evening, after popping a few of the painkillers Shabeer had left next to his bedside, I picked up my phone again.

“Hannah, I’ve found Allah. I’ve started praying. Living. Loving. Appreciating everything I have for what it is. I’ve stopped comparing myself to others. I’m not unhappy anymore. I don’t look back anymore. I look forward to an amazing future with Allah in my life. I’ve found a fulfilling part of me that’s been missing all along. Caught up in Shabeers problems and my marriage, I never could see what I was missing. All I knew was the emptiness I was feeling… always looking around to fill that gap up with some impermissible thing… more Haram… That’s all I thrived on. I want you to know that now it’s different…”

Emptiness? I couldn’t help but get goosebumps as she said it.

It was the first time she had ever reached out to me. I was also completely sure that there was something she was gaining from it. As I read it, I just couldn’t help but hate her more. Now she thought she was better than me? 

I shook my head, seeing the bigger plan here. All this business about finding Allah… what was she on? She was so spoilt and lazy. Self-centered too. All this crap she was feeding me was just a ploy to get me out of her hair, and I knew it.

When I met Rubeena for the first time, I was in awe of her amazing life. She had everything. She had a lovely house, gorgeous kids, a handsome and rich husband. Honestly, this was the life I had dreamt of living since I was a little girl.

The night Shabeer showed interest in me was like my most amazing dream coming true. Pretending I was Khawlah had brought me to an entirely different level for him. He doted on me endlessly… it was like I was his every dream and desire… well… until he found out the truth.

And like the worst kind of punch in my stomach, everything about him changed when he knew who I really was. It was too late for him to turn back then. He was already too deep in. I had to tell him that I was pregnant with his child, so he knew that there was no getting away. And of course I knew it wasn’t right, but that was the way of the world. To get things done, there was no other way but to cheat your way through.

And okay, maybe life with Shabeer wasn’t as amazing as I had thought. For men, as long as you give them what they need physically, half your battle is won. The other half was trying to win his kindness, which was a difficult task to achieve. The more I tried, the more he praised that witch. He was always comparing me to her. Always saying how much she changed her life now, and for some annoying reason, he was in awe of her stupid spectacle.

And of course, there was no-one else that I could blame but that goody-two shoes who made my blood boil.

And course, this was all Khawlah’s fault. Khawlah, who everyone thought was so amazing. Khawlah, who had somehow become the wife of Rubeena’s famous brother. Khawlah who had risen to and even higher pedestal now that everything in her life was so damn perfect …

I wished I could really just get rid of her, once and for all. In my mind, I had concocted multiple plans to do so. I could sabotage her marriage. I could even convince her to move out of this town, if I scared her enough. If it wasn’t for her, I know that things would have been different. She had taken everything that was supposed to be mine. She was living the perfect life. She was living my life.

And maybe I would have let her be, but on the day that Shabeer gave me the  divorce was the day that I lost it. Rubeena had suffered a miscarriage.

Served her right, I thought to myself. I had it out with Shabeer after I heard she was pregnant. I couldn’t believe it. Why would he even want to still be with that spoilt brat? The biggest problem was that now he was going on some kind of crazy mission to ‘serve’ his wife and family. A little too late if you asked me, but all he said was that he’d been thinking and this thing we had was fun but not practical.

Fun but not practical?

I wanted to gorge out his eyes. He had said it so casually. Made it like I was just kind of call girl. Just someone who was there for his convenience. I was never going to stand for that.

Of course, I had put up a big performance, saying I’d call the dealers and put his name in their bad books. I told him I never wanted to see him again, thinking he’d reconsider. I even tried to convince him to stay. I needed him. I needed his money, and everything that he had given me. I promised I’d have my revenge.

He seemed set on leaving, and there was nothing I could do about it. He was giving me two months to find a place to stay, but I didn’t think that was gracious at all. He was just trying to get rid of me with the least problems. My mother was right. Men were all scum.

And I could always find someone else to scrounge off but I didn’t want to get out there again. After the sordid debacle with Khawlah, my entire reputation was spoilt. Her stupid big mouth of a friend had threatened to tell my friends about me swapping exam papers. I couldn’t risk that. It would have turned the biggest trouble-makers in school against me, and no matter what, I wasn’t ready to take that on.

I sat and thought for a long time. I tried to stay sober because I didn’t have much money to do otherwise. When I felt like I needed something, I’d start to self-harm. Somehow, it would ease the pain.

Then of course, I was tired. I was broke, too. The mind games were making me sick. I felt helpless. I needed a way out. A way that was going to cost me nothing but gain me some money.

And then of course, I had an idea. I was tired of moping around. I needed to get serious. I was tired of men. I didn’t want love. Not any more. I was tired of chasing that game that I kept losing.

I tried to think of my strengths… The things that had kept me going. And yes, at first the plans sounded crazy. Really unthinkable. But the more I thought about it, the less psychotic they sounded.

I’d always be good at pretending. Acting. Portraying someone who I wasn’t. I mean, that was how I had bagged Shabeer. It was the only way I got anything in this world. It was the only way I could make something of myself.

After a good few days of planning my vengeance, I knew now was the right time. It was the perfect plan that would get everyone exactly where I needed them to be.

I threw on a purple maxi dress that my mother had used at some point in her life and found a matching scarf somewhere in my cupboard. I dressed perfectly and made my face up expertly, knowing that I looked the best that I had looked in months. I looked like a sophisticated young hijaabi. Almost like Khawlah.

Using the Uber app on my phone, the silver corolla was waiting outside precisely twenty five minutes before the time of Danyaals school dismissal.

I was good with details. I remembered things well. On the few occasions that Rubeena couldn’t make it to fetch him, I had recalled Shabeer’s rants about having to do rounds. He was always annoyed about having to fetch the kids. I even remembered exactly where Danyaal’s school was.

I walked into the office with my head high, fifteen minutes before dismissal. Smiling at the secretary, I asked if I could take my nephew, Danyaal, a bit earlier- if they didn’t mind. His mother was unavailable to make it and I had another kid to fetch from the other primary school a few roads away.

“Which grade is he in, my dear?” The white lady behind the desk asked. I kept my face pleasant. “And what did you say your name is? I just have to check on the list if you have authority to fetch him.”

“Sure,” I said confidently, grabbing a sweet that was in the bowl at the front and smiling appreciatively. “He’s in grade 2B. The name is Khawlah. K-H-A-W-L-A-H.”

What a fancy school. It reminded me of the one my mother had put me in when she had first married Uncle Nazir.

Money was king. It got you places. It spoke to the big guys.

”Ah, yes,” the woman said, smiling and peering at the computer. “Your name’s here. I’ll send a message for him to come right down. You can take a seat or wait outside. He’ll be right there.”


Just some reflection and a challenge: a general pattern we see around us is that many people are unhappy with their lives because they keep comparing themselves to others. Someone had suggested a gratitude journal… so we can reflect over the bounties we’ve been given. I think that’s an amazing idea. To look at others who are less fortunate also puts everything in so much of perspective …

May Allah grant us contentment, 

Much Love, 

A 🌸

Sunnah reminder: Speaking Kindly: Abu Hurayrah(RA) relates that Nabi (SAW) may , said: “Whoever believes in God and the Last Day should speak a good word or remain silent.  And whoever believes in God and the Last Day should show hospitality to his neighbor.  And whoever believes in God and the Last Day should show hospitality to his guest.”

FB: The Journeying Muslimah or https://www.facebook.com/achancetochange.wordpress/


IG: @thejourneyingmuslimah

#revivetheSunnahof Sleepingearly






Twitter @ajourneyjournal

Early Morning Magic

Bismihi Ta’ala 


When Aadam said that he would fetch me early the next morning, I wasn’t really taking him seriously. After his two-and-a-half-week absence, I had kind of forgotten my husbands habits. In all fairness, after the journey of a lifetime he had been on, I did expect him to be knocked out till at least mid morning.

It had slipped my mind just how disciplined and routine-driven Aadam was. I honestly did not expect him to pitch up before the crack of dawn, waiting outside my house and excitedly pressing our doorbell.

It was Ahmed who had flung open my door in a fit of annoyance, peeved at me still being in bed, while Aadam patiently waited outside for me to make an appearance.

Oopsi. Did I wake the entire household?

Ahmed left in a huff after screaming his head off, as I literally jumped out of bed, in a bit of a frenzy. I could hear my father’s voice, chatting to Aadam and trying to sound civil at this hour. Shame, he really did like Aadam. Usually, he even ignored me until after breakfast.

I was fighting to keep my eyes open. For me, early was after Fajr. Not one hour before. We had got back late the previous night, and I inwardly groaned as I recalled the drama.

“Can I come in?”

I closed my eyes, half wishing that I was still dreaming. The last thing I needed right now was Aadam seeing me in my completely outdated three-year-old fleece pyjamas with a hole at the collar.

“Um,” I mumbled, just loud enough for him to hear. “Can you give me a minute?!”

I quickly checked my face in the bathroom mirror as I had a speedy wash and made whudhu, not forgetting to brush my teeth, trying to determine whether Aadam would just smirk at my appearance, or if he’d run for the hills.

“You’re very early,” I called nervously,  pulling on tights and pulling down the long Khakhi dress I had taken out the night before. Thank goodness I wasn’t one of those girls who took hours to change. For me it was either an Abaya or a modest maxi dress. I didn’t own much else.

Aadam peeped around the corner of the doorway and grinned. He was looking like he had just stepped out of a hot shower… all squeaky clean and incredibly handsome. I felt like a dirty panda.

“I always wanted to see what your room looked like… first thing in the morning!”

I spun around to inspect.

Shucks. Rather… My goodness.

Papers strewn around. Homework piled on the desk. Jackets hung on random hooks. Scarves thrown over the chair. There was no place even to sit. Of course, my bed was a complete unmade shambles. For my OCD husband, this was probably his scariest nightmare.

He was still grinning, despite probably being shocked out of his senses.

“It’s beautiful,” he said, giving me a thumbs up and weird glint in his eyes. “In an extremely exotic way.”

”I know you mean it’s disgusting,” I said, grabbing my scarf as I tied my hair. “Sorry.”

”Hey, it’s your space,” he said, putting his hands up and looking at my bed. “I’m just curious. Which side of the bed do you sleep on?”

”The right side,” I said obviously, glancing at the clock and grabbing my bag.

“And it’s only you?”

I nodded. Of course it was only me. Luckily the cat was only obsessed with Yunus.

“Where are we going to read Fajr?” I asked, knowing there would be no time now.

“There’s a small JK on the way,” he said, sitting on the one decent corner of my jumbled up bed. He was wearing a really weird expression. “So if you sleep on the right side… can you explain to me why the entire bed is completely invaded?”

I flushed, just slightly embarrassed.

“Well,” I started, remembering how Zuleikha used to complain when we were kids. That’s why Abba had got us two singles in the old house. When we moved, we sold them and bought a queen. “I kind of move in the night… while I’m asleep. A lot.”

Ah,” he said, raising his eyebrows at me with a smirk. “You’re one of those.”

One of those? I had a good mind of kicking him out. He was talking like I was some sort of species.

It was the first time he had actually come into my bedroom and I was feeling a bit awkward. Especially with him looking so comfortable as he sat on my bed. I grabbed his hand, pulling him with me as I headed towards the exit.

“We better leave fast,” I said, hoping he would get the hint and stop scrutinizing my sleeping habits. “Don’t want to miss Fajr with Jamaat, right?”

“Do you snore?” He asked bluntly, ignoring me as I dragged him down the passage. “Like as in that deep, dark and scary kind of snore that wakes up the entire house, as they wonder if it’s a frog, a ghost, or some weird human-hacking serial killer who grunts…”

I paused and turned to him, trying to look threatening. Did he just suggest that I grunt in my sleep?

I immediately glimpsed his cheeky grin as he looked back at me. He was super good at getting under my skin… and he knew it.

”Only teasing,” he said, calling out to greet my father and Ahmed loudly, and then smiling sweetly as he opened the door for me to make my way to the car.

The air was icy as we stepped outside, and I shivered as we got into his car, watching Aadam turn all the heating gadgets up. At least his cars were good for something. Within minutes I was feeling close to normal again.

I didn’t realize how cold it was at this time of the morning, Aadam drive speedily in the scattered morning traffic, chatting casually about things, but not giving any hints about where we were headed.

“Where are we going?” I asked him after we stopped for Salaah, now dying know what the big surprise was.

“I don’t think you know what’s a surprise,” he said, offering me a small smile.

“I don’t like surprises,” I said blankly. “The last time my father said he had a surprise for us, he brought home my stepmother.”

Aadam clasped my hand warmly. I had told him the story once.

“This is a good one,” he said quietly. “I promise.”

It was a little less than 15 minutes later than we got back into the road and finally exited a dirt road. Aadam switched the car off just outside a little picket fence.

“We’re techno-free today,” he said as he dropped his phone in the centre consol. I was quite surprised. Aadam without technology was like a house without a door.

Nevertheless, I wanted to see what the plan was. A glimpse of the place he had brought me to looked amazing. It reminded me of simple farm life… with its endless fields of greenery and little buildings that could be seen in the distance. The hedges were covered in colourful creepers, and in the dim morning light, I could see a bush of the most amazing bougainvillea that were in full bloom.

They were, by far… my favorite kind. As they caught my eye, I was in awe of the fact that it boasted both beautiful cerese and blood red flowers on one bush. It’s unexpected contrast gave it an entirely striking appeal. It was extraordinary..

I couldn’t help but step back in amazement as we stepped off the car.. now seeing it in full view. My takkies squelched under the moist grass, and the sound of chirping birds were very audible in the near distance. Fields of spring flowers, daisies and daffodils…  sunflowers and wildflowers…  spread in front of us as we looked ahead. Early morning nature was the most breathtaking kind.

“This is beautiful,” I breathed as Aadam grasped my hand, entertwining my fingers with his as we walked along silently, just taking it all in…

“The best is still to come,” he said quietly, opening a tiny gate.

“Morning Adam,” someone’s voice cut through the morning air, as we turned the corner.

“Hi Patrick,” Aadam said with a warm smile, asking the guy how he was and introducing me as his wife.

He was one of the workers there, and he seemed to know Aadam pretty well. Of course he did.

“You got our guys ready for us?” He said to the guy, and I was a little confused as he said it.

“Guys?” I said aloud, frowning.

The man nodded, as he guided us through, and just as Aadam let go of my hand… I was kind of rendered speechless as I glimpsed his big revelation.

Right in front of us, stood two beautiful dark-haired stallions, heads lowered in anticipation, almost as if awaiting Aadam’s arrival on this gorgeous spring morning. Aadam smiled as he saw them, sidling up to them slowly as he reached gently for their streamlined heads, embracing the darker one that had already stolen my heart tenderly, as he gently stroked its nose.

I was simply enchanted. Up close, horses were even more magnificent. With their sleek and naturally muscular frames… It was no wonder that they were referred to as one of the most noble creatures. They were so amazingly graceful.

“Come closer,” Aadam said as he glanced at me, taking my hand and pulling me towards the lighter haired stallion. He petted him gently at the top of his head… murmuring to it in soft, soothing words as it snorted. I followed suit, trying to make friends.

He was so silky and beautiful. Friendly too, as he blinked at me with those gorgeous eyes. I was already obsessed.

“This is Max,” he said. “We’ve been buddies for a year now. I’m sure he likes you too already. He’s a sharp guy.”

He gestured to the other one.

“And that’s Jim. I know him for much longer. Both belong to my friend from school. When I was younger, we used to ride often together. Do you ride?”

”I had a simple childhood,” I said with a smile. “The only thing we rode were bikes. Horses were for fancy people.”

Aadam chuckled softly.

“They’re beautiful though, aren’t they?” He said, without missing a beat. “A most awesome Sunnah too…”

I nodded earnestly. That, you couldn’t deny. Amongst other things, they were majestic, honourable, graceful and mighty. They have walked beside man as a loyal companion, from the beginning of time, up until today…

Allah’s wonder in their creation is an entirely different topic altogether. I could go on for hours.

“Can I help you on?” Aadam said, cutting through my thoughts as he came up behind me. He had removed his Kurta to hang it on the fence and easily slipped a riders helmet over my head.

“What?” I said, getting a little freaked out. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for this. It was a bit daunting.

“Come on, its not so bad,” he said softly. “Can I show you?”

I nodded half-heartedly as he gently grasped me by my waist to lift me, guiding me onto the standard and instructing me to hold the saddle so I can eventually get myself on. Being an amateur, it took a few tries, but eventually I was mounted, and I didn’t even know how this was all happening. This wasn’t just a pony ride. I was actually going to ride a real live horse… and I couldn’t believe it.

Aadam next mounted his one expertly, and I watched him easily as he got to grips with the reins, cantering across the small patch near us. It took him a few minutes to get into a rhythm, but of course, he was well experienced. He rode like a pro. Unlike me, he’d been doing this for years. It was amazing to watch.

“You ready?” He said, sidling up to me as I waited patiently. I had been stationary for a good few minutes, and the guy who Aadam had spoken to in the beginning came forward to lead us out onto a paddock… it was just a few minutes of practice and just as we glimpsed the openness of the field, he shouted for me to hold tight as the horse suddenly galloped easily towards where Aadam was.

“You’re a natural,” he said as he grinned at me.

The equestrian trail that we followed was a simple one, but it was mesmerizing. I could not even begin to describe the beauty of the onset of day as we rode into it. It was like something out of a perfect picture… or one of those amazing portraits… only better.

As for the sunrise, well… that was an event on its own. It was precisely why Aadam had brought me here at this hour. I had to actually halt in my tracks as it caught me unawares, not wanting to miss a minute of taking it in. We had just reached the peak of the trail, and as we sat on horseback and stared ahead,  I could not help but gasp at the beauty of the sky that was displayed before us.

It was like a hung tapestry boasting the most perfect artwork…the colours intricately dispersed and it’s appeal so striking… as the day came to life. An array of amber and pink, magenta and rose, peach and passion… bringing with it a feeling of a new beginning… a radiating hope. A chance for a brand new day.

“Someone’s very quiet,” Aadam stopped as he dismounted Jim, grasping my hand as he helped me off mine. We had come to the top of a grassy hill.

Below us was situated the most beautiful lush valley and beyond that all… all we could witness was the unveiling of the beautiful mountainous skies that Allah had brought alive through every beginning of day. I could not believe that I had lived my whole life without seeing this before.

The horses had moved off to graze on the lusher grass off the hill top, and I averted my gaze once again.

“This is the best surprise of my life,” I suddenly said, in awe of what was ahead… the colours were breathtaking.

Aadam was humming to himself as he took a seat on the grass, my tummy doing funny things as he reached for my hand. It took me a minute to realize that he was singing a praise of dhikr… the same one that was so familiar to me since I was just a little child. Mama’s lullaby.

“How do you know that tune?” I asked him, gaping at him.

He shrugged and smiled.

“Heard someone special sing it once,” he said mysteriously. I shook my head and looked ahead again. He had just reminded me of the kids…

“The kids would love this place,” I said, looking around me. So much of space to run around and play. Endless fields of beauty that took my breath away.

SubhaanAllah. Indeed, in every sign there is a message for mankind. The majestic gait of the horses ahead… the tweeting of birds above us… the unfiltered silhouettes of beauty that spread in our midst… it was a wonder that I couldn’t comprehend.

“We’ll bring them here one day,” Aadam said, his eyes softening. “They’ll go wild.”

“Do you come here often?” I asked him, really curious. I wondered what other talents he had. He was an exceptionally good rider.

“The last time I came here,” he said softly, pulling at the weeds underneath us. “I was going through a bit of a rough patch…”

He cleared his throat as I broke my gaze away from the sky and glanced at him. He looked… pensive.

“But I couldn’t help but think, there had to be more to life than I was living right then,” he said. “That in all this… these creatures… the very fact that I could feel so much at peace within me in this beauty… there had to be so much more than I knew.”

I swallowed and nodded. I didn’t want to ask him about his past. Not yet.

“Like that ayat from Surah ‘Adiyat,”I murmured, as he smiled.

“Exactly…” He said, smiling. “How do you do that? You know exactly what I’m thinking…”

And as I smiled and cast my gaze to the left where the splendid stallions stood… it’s no wonder that they are referred to in the Quran so beautifully.

“By the racers, panting, and the producers of sparks [when] striking, and the chargers at dawn, Stirring up thereby [clouds of] dust, Arriving thereby in the center collectively…”

And as he said it, I couldn’t help but think of how the Sahabah would ride their horses into the battle field, tirelessly working towards their cause taking all the physical and mental pains. They would do anything for their masters. In pre-historic Arabia, they marched out in the night with their horses so as to take the enemy by surprise; then they would launch a sudden attack early in the morning as everything became visible in the light of day…

”All this,” Aadam said, gesturing around. “Right here, right now… are the moments we realize how great Allah really is, yeah? Nothing is created without a purpose…”

Not without purpose. Nothing without a purpose. No drop of rain… no blade of grass… not even a single sunrise, in all its untold grandeur, makes its event without a purpose…

And as we sat there, in the midst of unprecedented beauty that I could not even begin to do justice to praising.. we were lost in transit. Like two slaves in submission to their Masters Glory, we sat in awe of everything before us, utterly and completely absorbed in its splendor. And as Aadam recounted his journey to me as we sat on the gorgeous grass, my heart swayed at the revelation of his every emotion…

Every dream, every ambition, every hope he ever had… was fulfilled in that one journey of a lifetime. Trudging towards Mina… climbing the planes of Arafat, every cry and echo of the Allahu-Akbar as he made his way to Muzdalifah, caused his heart to soar with ecstasy. He was insatiable in his fulfillment. I listened with untold eagerness as he described every walk, every sleep, every encounter that seemed so miraculous.

How Allah had provided for him when he was so broken and felt like he could not even make one step more. How the reverberating Labbaik of the chanting crowds came to spur him on. How with every miracle he saw, whether it was an 83 year old man making his first Hajj, a helpless little baby on his mothers back, or the glimpsing of what he thought was an angelic figure who had walked amongst them to protect them from a threatening crowd… it was sensational. We were lost in each other’s tales for nearly three hours on end… till the sun was at its warmest peak. It was so amazing to be there with him, in the midst of such beauty and amazing tranquility, that I half wished that we never had to leave.

And thank goodness Aadam had carried a backpack of supplies to munch on, but the time to say good bye to this spectacular view had come. Aadam had already promised that we’d be back soon.

“I just thought I’d let you know, beautiful,” he said as we finally got to the car. “Mum wants to spend some time together later. We’ll have brunch, pray Zohr at the apartment and go there… after we done. Hope that’s okay?”

“I saw her last night,” I said automatically, without even thinking. I remembered how she had completely ignored me when I came out with Aadam the previous night. Maybe she was avoiding a confrontation. I don’t know. She was going on about how little time she had spent with him, and I really wanted to tell her that it was no-ones fault but her own. Of course, I kept my mouth shut.

Aadam sighed as he looked at me.

“I know that you saw her last night,” he said, looking a little annoyed. “So what if you see her again today?”

He was irritated, but how was it my fault?

I wished that we didn’t have to venture down this lane. We had had such a perfect  morning so far… and all this was going to do was dampen the spirit. Of course I wouldn’t stop him from going… he was welcome to. I just didn’t know why I had to go with him.

“Why don’t you want to go today?” He asked, frowning at me. “You never did this before. Is there something you’re not telling me?”

Don’t say it, I warned myself. Just don’t. 

I had to turn away.

“Khawlah?” His voice was a bit more forceful now, as he closed the boot and turned to look at me, his one brow furrowing. “You need to answer me. You can’t just ignore me. You’re making me feel like a complete idiot.”

I couldn’t tell him. I couldn’t tell him the truth. It wasn’t the right time and it would just spoil everything. To bring up the past and everything now…

And like a most timeous distraction, it was precisely at that moment when his phone from inside the car started to ring. I had actually forgotten that he had left it here. Aadam glanced toward it for a moment of uncertainty, probably deciding whether to pursue the conversation or to make a dive for his phone.

I could see that he was torn. The call had promptly cut, but was already ringing again. Someone was really trying for him.

“Please get into the car,” he said softly, his eyes pleading with mine. “We’ll talk about this.”

I shook my head. I was trying not to be angry, but I was upset. It wasn’t like he didn’t know the situation. I was human too. Why did he have to make it a big deal? 

In a sigh of exasperation and one sudden movement, Aadam yanked open the door and grabbed his phone, answering it with a simple ‘yes’.

And I probably would have stayed angry, but I could already tell by his tense body language that the call was something serious … and the way he was asking repetitive questions… my own heart was starting to hammer in my chest.

“Let’s end this trip on a pleasant note,” he said, cutting the call and raising his eyebrows at me. “I love you. I love my mother too. I’m prepared to work this out… But right now, we need to go. It’s Danyaal…”

Authors Note: I always wondered about venturing into the past of someone whose changed their life for the better. This may definitely be an issue here… and rightfully so… 

Any thoughts? 

Much Love,

A 🌸

Sunnah of Kindness: We know of the various incidents of Nabi SAW where he showed undeserving kindness to even his enemies. It is a truly beautiful Sunnah…

Jareer (RA)reported: The Messenger of Allah, (SAW), said:

مَنْ يُحْرَمْ الرِّفْقَ يُحْرَمْ الْخَيْرَ

He who is deprived of kindness is deprived of goodness.

Source: Sahih Muslim 2592, Grade: Sahih

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Straight for the Heart

Bismihi Ta’ala


The assassination of ‘Umar Ibn Al Khattab (RA), was a martyrdom of unprecedented status. To become a marytr in the city of Medinah Munawwarah (since battles were mostly fought outside) was not a very common occurrence… but being who he was, this sublime honor was given as an answer to the very own Du’aa of this remarkable leader.

Being a master blacksmith, the man who stabbed him multiple times, expertly crafted a double headed dagger, specifically poisoned it… and stabbed him to an eventual death… during the early morning prayer.

And I think it’s important that we know that ‘Umar (RA) had learned from Nabi (SAW) that he would meet Allah as a martyr.

Anas ibn Malik (RA) said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) climbed Mount Uhud, accompanied by Abu Bakr, ‘Umar and ‘Uthman, and the mountain shook with them. The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) – stuck it with his foot and said(a prophecy), ‘Stand firm, O Uhud, for there is no one on you but a Prophet, a Siddeeq and two martyrs.” [Bukhari, Kitab Fada’il Ashab an-Nabi, hadith no. 3675].

And though we know that the final result here was the brutal assassination of one of Islam’s greatest leaders, what many don’t know are the events leading up to it.

Feroz Abu Lulu was Magian… a fire worshipper. He was an expert blacksmith, and a slave, captured during the conquest of Nahawand. His job was to craft things for the Muslims, and he did it expertly. One of the items he made was hand mills, used to grind things in the past.

So the story goes, Abu Lulu thought that he was being treated unfairly by his master. Being a dissatisfied labourer, he awaited Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen, ‘Umar (RA) one day and complained to him that the taxes he paid to his Master, Mughirah were too excessive.

Upon investigation, and using his mastermind administrative qualities, Umar (RA) overlooked nothing. He found out that that the man was making a lot more money than he had let on. ‘Umar (RA) told Abu Lulu that his master was in fact, not asking for so much. But ‘Umar (RA) still intended to speak to al-Mugheerah and ask him to reduce it.

Abu Lulu got angry, saying: “This man is just to everyone except for me!”

Even this man, who turned out to be his killer, knew that Umar (RA) was a just and fair man… yet the man was not happy with the verdict. Upon his leave, Umar (RA) asked him something to the effect:

“Why don’t you make a mill for me?”

He replied: “I will make such a mill for you that people will never stop talking about it.”

When he departed, Umar (RA) asked his companion, Ali (RA), “What do you make of this statement?”

Ali (RA) said to him: “Oh Ameer-ul-Mu’mineen, he has threatened you!”

And although Umar (RA) knew this was the undeniable truth, what, do you suppose was the reply of this great leader?

If it was any other leader of this magnitude, he would have never stood for such an open defiance. Any other man, who had such an entitled position would have called his troops to arrest this perpetrator. But look at his Hikmah. Look at his Yaqeen. All he said was:

“I will hand my affair over to Allah Ta’ala. He will take care of me.”

When I heard this part of the story, I was simply blown away. Such a great leader.. ruler of the Golden age of Islam, conqueror of multiple nations… yet never lost sight of the goal. He knew that Allah’s plan was the Ultimate. He knew that  Allah was the Only One in control.

And yes, it’s sometimes difficult for us, as meagre Mu’mineen, to swallow this. It’s so challenging when you feel compromised, to wholeheartedly submit to the one Master of the Worlds.

And as my new friend, Laila, told me this amazing story, I couldn’t help but question my own Yaqeen.. my own faith. Tawakkul.

Of course, everything has it’s reasons. Of course, we will be tested, with regard to our Deen, our faith, the things we love… Allah tells us this in the Qur’an… And we know it.

“The one thing we need to keep asking for is Aafiyah,” Laila said softly. “Only ease, ease… ease in every walk of our lives…”

I wasn’t sure how we had got to this point. How we had gotten so deep into this conversation, that all I saw was the beauty and insight that she had when it came to Deen. She had such an amazing understanding. It was no wonder that I had poured out my entire hearts content to this girl and learnt many a thing from her life as well.

And it’s mind-blowing how the people of Allah have a completely profound way of seeing everything. They have something beyond wisdom. They have insight that’s unparalleled.. that aimed straight for the heart.

“It’s really so lovely to meet you,” I finally said, my soul already feeling so comforted.

Laila smiled her lovely smile.

“I’m sorry that I overheard you guys,” she said meekly. “I finally saw you sitting and I was really wanting to just meet you… I guess I caught you at the wrong time.”

“Hey, it’s not your fault. Everything happens for a reason, right?” I said with a smile. “If you hadn’t come… if you hadn’t overheard the comment that was made… if you didn’t follow me.. well, I wouldn’t have met you, right?”

She nodded and smiled.

“Of course, but please just tell me if I’m interfering,” she said quickly, looking at me. “My family said I have this habit… so you don’t have to answer me. Was that your mother-in-law?”

I nodded, not trusting myself to say more. We hadn’t got back to this point… we were so busy talking about everything else. It was so hard not to say anything bad, when you were feeling so bruised on the inside.

“It’s not the worst I’ve heard, don’t worry,” she said quickly. “My brothers’ in laws were really crazy at first.. but Allah had a plan for him too… and it all came together.”

“Alhumdulillah,” I said automatically, so glad that my in laws were not the only crazy ones.

“Can I ask you something?” She said suddenly.

I looked at her questioningly and nodded.

”Are you really only sixteen?”

She seemed in awe as she said it, obviously shocked by the fact that I had married so young. Sometimes even to me, it seemed surreal.

“I am only sixteen,” I confirmed, quite amused by her widening eyes.

“You must be thinking I’m so nosy,” she said, shaking her head. “But honestly, you are so mature for your age… I mean, when I was sixteen, I barely knew how to look after myself… I was really so different to you. And for doing what you’ll did… instead of the usual boy and girl stuff that’s so much easier…  you’re one in a million. I actually couldn’t believe it when Yusuf had told me that you were so young. Both of you. I love that you guys opted for the halaal way… it really beats everything else, I can promise you that.”

I smiled shyly, a little conscious of this girl who was offering me so much of praise but barely knew me.

”You’ll are amazing,” she said genuinely, grasping my hand momentarily.

She was so refreshing. Extraordinarily spirited, in a completely natural way. I couldn’t believe that she had three kids. She told me she had toddler twins and a baby who kept her busy. I loved that she was so easy-going and such a breeze to talk to. I loved that she also had the perfect advice for me when it came to my mother-in-law.

Wisdom and patience. That was what it was going to take to crack her… that was one way to get straight to her heart.

”I knows it must be so hard when you’re in the situation,” she said toward the end, looking sympathetic. “But you really have to choose your battles because as people get older… they’re a bit difficult to understand. Mother-in-laws don’t always act out of spite. Sometimes you have to overlook… It’s their insecurities that can make them crazy. At the same time, you don’t want to be rude or hurt their feelings. So try to understand her insecurities… and do small things like praising her, being extra kind, giving gifts… and see if it makes a difference. At the same time, try not to put your husband in the middle… Because it’s the worst thing we can do. We expect them to take our side and sometimes they don’t. But also know that this is a normal and really common problem.. and it will get better. Turn to Allah for help. You’ll either get stronger and learn to take her comments with no worry whatsoever… or maybe she’ll truly understand the love that can exist between a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law too…”

I nodded thoughtfully, wondering if my mother-in-law was capable of showing compassion…

I glanced at the hallway clock and felt an unexpected wave of sadness as I realized that the evening was coming to a close. She was getting up to leave. How I was dreading this day, yet how everything had turned around…

It was at that precise moment that Danyaal sped in, almost knocking Laila over in the process. He looked like he was on a serious mission.

“Sorry,” he mumbled, looking a little embarrassed.

I smiled at him as he greeted her, and I couldn’t help but feel proud of this little guy. He was growing up so wonderfully.

“Uncle Yusuf is looking for his lovely Laila,” he said almost robotically, and I ruffled his hair as we grinned at him. That was so cute.

Laila laughed.

“That’s typical Yusuf. Brainwashing the child,” she said, shaking her head.

“Tell Uncle Yusuf I’ll be right there,” she said with a smile and a tiny hug, obviously charmed by sweet Danyaal.

He nodded obediently, and rushed out, already on his next mission, as Laila came forward to greet me. I was surprisingly disappointed that she had to go.

“It was amazing meeting you,” she said as her name was called from outside. I guessed that it was her Yusuf waiting for her.

She smiled and hugged me warmly, and I stood for a few seconds and watched her leave, thinking about how strangely everything had worked out.

Who would have thought I would have met such a pearl of a person here?!

And just as I watched them leave, I couldn’t help but snap back to reality. Although I had a good mind of asking Ahmed to take me home after the embarrassing ordeal, I knew that eventually I’d have to face everyone again, and this time, I planned to do it with no ill-feelings. After Laila had praised my maturity… there was a message for me. I needed to be tough too. I had to behave like a grown up.

I sighed as I stepped out of the lounge, hearing voices as I peeped around the corner.

And as I spotted Aadam with Zia on the counter in front of him, he immediately caught my eye and gave me a small smile. I was so relieved to see him then, but seeing how exhausted he looked put things into perspective for me.

All this… he was putting up with. Aadam would do anything to keep his mother happy. Even put his own exhaustion on hold… to keep her content. This battle with his mother was not going to be an easy one for me.

“Hey gorgeous,” he said easily, tearing open a chocolate for Zia as he glanced at me. He looked just as relieved to see me.

Hey goer-just!” Zia mimicked and smiled at me cheekily.

I couldn’t help but giggle at his imitation. Somehow when a three year old talks, it was so much cuter.

Aadam shook his head and threw him in the air before he put him down saying a soft Bismillah for him… as Zia ran off happily with the open chocolate in his hand.

I could see that Aadam had really missed his nephews. And no, I wasn’t jealous. The fact that he loved kids was amazing.

”I hope he ate some actual food,” I said raising my eyebrows, knowing Zia’s habit of eating everything else besides a well-balanced meal.

“Chocolate is food,” Aadam said seriously with a shrug.

He met my amused gaze for a minute, holding it there a little longer than usual.

“Are you okay?” he said, walking over and collapsing into the couch in the corner of the room. He looked like he was waiting to do that the whole day, as he stretched his long legs out tiredly. “I was looking for you… thought you had run away. Is everything okay?”

I knew it was the perfect opportunity to tell him about his mothers little stunt outside. It was tempting to complain. I was also feeling a bit insecure. After Shabeers statement that night and now the girl… I wanted to know more about Aadam’s past… but I knew it wasn’t the time to ask.

Sometimes, doing the noble thing is really hard. I swallowed my pain and grievances, because I also understood that he was really exhausted.. and to put his mother in the bad light right now or interrogate him was probably not the wisest thing to do.

Wisdom and patience, right? Although I really wanted her to learn a lesson from here, and never do that again, I also didn’t want to upset him right then.

“I’m fine,” I said, biting my lip to avoid saying any more. “Just tired.”

“Ha ha,” he said, running his hands through his beard. “I feel like I’ve been crushed and beaten to a pulp. I can never sleep on planes. I want to jump into my bed and sleep for three days.”

“I’m sure,” I said sympathetically, imagining his exhaustion.

“Sorry,” he said immediately, clicking his neck painfully as he sat forward. “I didn’t mean to sound callous. You must be really tired too, yeah? I’m sure mum’s been a handful… I hope she’s been civil.”

“Did you make Du’aa for me?” I said, ignoring the underlying question.

What?!” he said, sitting up suddenly, mouth agape. “You’re actually asking your biggest fan that?! That’s unthinkable!”

I grinned.

“That means yes?”

Aadam’s smile wavered, as he clasped his hands together a little nervously.

“If only you knew, Khawlah,” he said, his face suddenly unusually serious. “Every moment. Any chance I got. You know how they say that there are some people you just can’t stop thinking about?”

“Hmmmm,” I said, not showing any emotion.

“Seriously,” he said, his expression still earnest. “Do you never show any feeling Khawlah? Come on… I’m serious. Want to know what Du’aa I made?”

“I’d love to,” I said simply.

He gave me a sideways glance, before opening his mouth again.

“I asked Allah to make you the reason my mother changes.”

I widened my eyes.


“Hah, finally some emotion!” he said, raising his one eyebrow that seemed to have a life of its own. I still did not know how he did that.

Why?” I asked, incredulously. “That’s like.. I don’t know…”

“You think it’s impossible?” he said, without missing a beat. “You think it’s too much to ask?”

I nodded numbly.

“Khawlah, you really have no idea of how much of colour you brought into our world?” he said, his gaze intensifying.

I looked at him, a little disbelievingly.

“I don’t even know how to explain to you,” he said, shaking his head and looking away in thought.”It’s like a magic we never knew before. The best decision I made. Once upon a time I was just an uninspired soul.. an aimless existence… a tortured wayfarer. I mean, two years ago… I would have never imagined I’d even want to go for Hajj. I never thought I’d change. I always thought it would be something that I’d do when I’m fifty or nearly on my way out…”

I swallowed hard, not prepared for his next words.

“Khawlah,” he said tenderly, coming closer as he turned to face me. “Allah chose you to be the one to give us that craving for more.. that desire to know know Him. And I never thought I’d reach this place, but I did, and whether you want to believe it or not, you were so much a part of it…”

I shook my head and looked away, but I couldn’t say it…

No, it wasn’t me. I was just the window. They were the ones who had the guts to glance out. They saw the chance and they chased it. They took the plunge… and it was so amazing to watch them jump. It was like watching them dive into this endless ocean of opportunity that brought  them to heights that I couldn’t even imagine.

“I think that you have an amazing gift,” he continued earnestly. “Somehow, you’re going to reach a place that you never thought possible with her… and that realisation is going to make her love you more than anything in this temporary world.”

I blinked as I let his words digest, completely and utterly gobsmacked by this unseemly request… if you could even call it that. I mean, I knew that there could be a means to attain something, but I could barely be a reason for someone who barely liked me, to change their entire life. All I saw was how Allah had welcomed Aadam with open arms.. grasped him with such a fervor, that had somehow transformed him into the amazing guy I had been privileged to be with.

What I was completely unaware of right then, as Aadam watched me, was the greater plan that Allah had for him, that would topple my entire world, as I knew it. What I couldn’t see was the the unexpected piece of our hearts, a ray of hope amidst the despair, that Allah was planning to give me, through Aadam’s love… And of course, what none of us knew was that through his Du’aa, there was going to an amazing part of us being together… a gift of wonder that was going to not just change her… But change everything.

“You mean she may end up loving me even more than she loves you?” I said, keeping my face straight, despite being completely disconcerted by his words.

He grinned, shaking his head at me in disbelief.

“There’s something about you, Khawlah,” he chuckled in admiration. “I just can’t crack you. You’re my most impermeable hard drive yet… a firewall I can’t hack. But I can assure you that one day, sweets.. I’m going to crack you. I’m going to break that barrier you’ve built. That much, I can promise you. And when I do, I’m aiming straight for the heart.”

I grinned and stuck my tongue out at him. I had fun teasing him, but I knew that I was being a bit hard on the guy… seeing he could barely even sit up straight. And of course, before I could apologise for being such a ridiculous toughy, a bellowing screech from outside caught us just a little unaware.

We looked at each other worriedly as I processed that it was Aadam’s mother… who was intent on summoning him from where she was… instead of coming to check. I winced slightly as the pitch of her voice bordered on deafening, and Aadam sat forward in shock.

When his mother called… she really called. We both knew she wasn’t going to stop until he made an appearance right in front of her.

“We’re not going to get more than ten minutes alone tonight,” he sighed, looking frustrated.

“Listen… tomorrow, you’re skipping school. I’m fetching you early. It’s an order from your husband, so you just have to make an excuse, yeah? I have a surprise for you.”

A surprise? I didn’t like surprises. Well, unless I knew what they were.

I frowned as the bellowing sounded again, and Aadam grimaced.

“Catch you tomorrow, gorgeous..” he said,  leaning forward to peck my forehead, before turning to head out.

I had no other choice to but to follow him. Come to think of it… a day off with Aadam would be great. For tomorrow, at least I had something to look forward to.

For now, Aadam had put forward a tough order. A really tough one. I didn’t know how I was ever going to get my mother-in-law to ever see something good in me to find a way straight to her heart…  but what I didn’t know was that Allah had already accepted his Du’aa in a most unconventional way…

All I knew right then was it was time to put my next action plan into play… It was time to face my mother-in-law’s music…


Sunnah of Kindness: I think to be kind despite whatever a person does to you is a great lesson here. We know of the various incidents of Nabi SAW where he showed undeserving kindness to even his enemies. It is a truly beautiful Sunnah…

Jareer (RA)reported: The Messenger of Allah, (SAW), said:

مَنْ يُحْرَمْ الرِّفْقَ يُحْرَمْ الْخَيْرَ

He who is deprived of kindness is deprived of goodness.

Source: Sahih Muslim 2592, Grade: Sahih

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A Special Acquaintance

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem 


Whenever I thought of my mother, even after so many years, it always brought on mixed emotions. Reading the letter, with all its sentiment was an experience that brought back memories I thought I couldn’t even recall. And yes, although I missed her… not really having that much to miss her about made it a bit easier.

Her name was Sarah. I always remembered her radiant, graceful and full of love. Before she got sick, I supposed many could say she was beautiful. Then, as the illness took over… well, everything changed.

When I started working for Rubeena, story time always brought back memories of my mother. Somehow, whenever I had read the story about beautiful Sarah (RA), the wife of Ibrahim (AS)… my mother crossed my mind.

And though the story of Ibrahim (AS) was an spectacular one with multiple lessons, what was most amazing for me was the incident where the couple migrated to Egypt, where there was a King who captured beautiful women. This migration was with Sarah, and It was said that he had told her that this tyrant was one who if he finds the husband with this woman, he will kill him.  Knowing this, and also bearing in mind that this man intended evil, Ibrahim (AS) had said to her: “Besides you and I, there are no other Muslims in this place, so you are my sister in Islam. You must tell him that I am your brother.”

The story of Ibrahim and Sarah (RA) in Egypt goes on to an incident that night, when the King tried to have his way with the beautiful Sarah. Through the will of Allah, as the King tried to advance toward her, his hand was suddenly stricken by paralysis.

SubhaanAllah. He asked her to pray to her God to relieve him, and he will leave her alone.

She did so, and he was cured of the paralysis. He then again tried to advance with evil intentions, but was struck by paralysis once again. Seeing this happen once more made him realise that this woman was no usual character…. seeing this awakened him to the fact that there was more about her than just some supernatural power.

And of course, reflecting on it again just made me realise how Allah can turn a situation completely around with His help. For years, Ibrahim (AS) had tried to no avail to get the people of his town to believe. Being the only Muslims at that time, Allah made the situation such that not only did he save them from the evil King… but Allah also granted them honour through him. He realised that the couple were pious people. This King was to be the one who had sent multiple gifts with Sarah, of which one was Hajar (AS), who was according to some narrations, his very own daughter and a princess of Egypt. And everyone knows what happened thereafter… that it was through her that came the descent of the most Noble Ambiyaa, and lastly, the Holy Prophet SAW… Final messenger of all time.

And all this… because of a man who never gave up on this Islam. A man who sacrificed much to spread the truth of one Allah. A man who submitted to Allah’s command in every way, through every walk of his life.

And this is the very basis of Islam. To obey Allah. No matter what. No matter how hard it may be.  To submit. To wholeheartedly adhere to the commandments of Allah, not only because He has stipulated such, but also because there is a great, great benefit in its execution. To stay away from what Allah has forbidden for us, is not only about abstaining from the temporary pleasure it can bring. What we don’t see is the bigger picture that Allah has full knowledge of. What we don’t see is the harm that Allah is saving us from in the long run.

And of course, as I sat with my favourite kids that Sunday of Aadam’s arrival, and read the story of Ibrahim (AS) once again, I couldn’t help but tear up. Maybe I was crying for more than one reason. I wasn’t too certain. All I knew was that I had removed myself from the mayhem that was going on downstairs, because getting in my mother-in-laws way was probably going to be disastrous today.

The thing is, in life, we never know when things will change. No human being has knowledge of the future. But, sometimes, it happens. Sometimes, we wake up, we face our fears. We take them by the hand. And we stand there waiting, hoping, ready for anything…

And sometimes it’s good to be scared. Sometimes, it’s healthy to be afraid. It means you still have something to lose. It means that there’s still something that you care enough about to be afraid to let go of..

I could hear my mother-in-law busy harping off instructions to the people who were there, and in a way I was glad she was occupied, so I wouldn’t have to undergo her scrutiny again.

I had taken special care in what I wore today. Simple, modest and elegant was the look I was going for. I knew that I would be judged by every person who was there today. It was a mere half hour before Aadam’s expected arrival and I could already hear the noise of incoming people downstairs… as I completed my Salaah, and silently wished for everything to go well.

I stepped out of the play room a little hesitantly now, not really knowing how to react to all the foreign faces. The kids were immediately diverted by a popcorn and candy floss machine, that had become a new trend at functions, and were already eating themselves sick. I finally left them in the ‘kiddies tent’, with Zaydaan still in my arms… a little hesitant about what to do next. I felt a bit lost. Rubeena wasn’t anywhere in sight and my mother-in-law was fussing over the decor.

My mother-in-law had stopped at nothing to plan the ‘perfect’ function. It was really ridiculous, and just plain extravagant.

“Everyone will want to meet him,” my mother-in-law had said, tossing back her perfect hair. “We have to accommodate for them. How will it look if we are unprepared?!”

I was just glad that I had Zaydaan to hold onto, and to keep me company, and even more ecstatic when I finally glimpsed Aadam’s car turning into the driveway.. much sooner than expected.

My heart was completely out of control as it caught wind of what was in store… and I raced down the stairs in a frantic rush, making a silent Du’aa that my mother-in-law was too busy to notice his arrival right then.

And of course, as I glimpsed him step off the car, I couldn’t help but feel my heart soar with ecstasy, as a wry grin crept onto his beaming face.

Oh, how I missed his smile. So easy. Carefree. Completely soothing

And I wished I could have been graceful about the whole thing, but as I flung myself into Aadam’s secure embrace, with Zaydaan squished between us… I really had no words to even appear cultured.

All I knew was that I felt like the only girl in the entire world as he literally lifted us off the ground in the most massive of hugs. It was like coming home.

Woah!” he said finally, pretending to be shocked. “Careful, gorgeous. This guy’s not muscle man. You’ll might break my back.”

I could hear him faking a raspy breath as he let go of me, squishing Zaydaan cheeks lovingly as he looked at us both, and I couldn’t help but giggle, amidst my erratic emotions.

I missed his annoying humour… more than I thought I would.

“You act like I weigh a ton,” I muttered, whacking him playfully, trying to retain some of my dignity.

“You might be surprised,” he complained as he pretended to rub his arm, winking at me. “Or maybe it’s Zaydaan… Bordering on child obesity.”

I studied him easily as he smiled playfully, his eyes a little moist at the edges. If I could glimpse his soul, I knew I would have witnessed the magic of this miraculous journey that he had just undertaken… How my heart ached.

How must it have felt to be of those present, on the scorching plains plains of Arafah? How spectacular must it have been to sleep under the twinkly stars of Muzdalifah? How amazing must it have been to be of them who could pour their heart out to their Rabb with utmost conviction…

I wished I could ask him right then.. to soothe my soul… but I had step back for a minute to take him in as Rubeena came out to greet him too. She grabbed Zaydaan from me, allowing a little time to scrutinize the changes in my husband.

He looked completely at peace. Tranquil. Like he had been irrevocably fulfilled… beyond any understanding… and I was so jealous.

His beard had grown fuller and his hair was obviously now non-existent. The baldness suited him. Although I could see that all that strain had lost him a kilo or two… In that massive hug it was evident that the arduous journey had definitely made him pretty hardy. I was itching to hear every detail of it.

The elation was short-lived, as Aadam finally lifted his gaze, looking around and then glancing at me.

“What on earth is happening here? Who’s getting married?” His eyes were wide as he saw people streaming in.

I grinned and shrugged. The man had just come home from the trip of a lifetime. I wasn’t going to burden him with my sorry stories of what a misery his mother was making of my life… and how she planned this entire thing against our will.

I remembered Zuleikha’s words the day before. By giving him a good welcome, it also meant to ease his mind of any worries. It was a beautiful etiquette that women forgot when their husbands come home.. and so, so rewarding.

“My mother, right?” He said, already looking exhausted as he ran his hands through his beard. “Makes everything a big deal.”

I could tell that he was annoyed as he inhaled, pulling me aside for a minute before he was spotted, as we entered the slightly concealed doorway.

“P.S,” he whispered, his tired eyes suddenly looking alive again as he pecked me on the cheek. He wasn’t going to dwell on his irritation. It just wasn’t Aadam-like, and I loved that about him.

I looked at him questioningly.

“Was it everything you imagined?” I asked him, reaching for his hand and dying to know about every single bit.

“More,” he said, his eyes looking hazy as he looked into mine. I could just imagine how amazing he must feel… what a beautiful journey it must be.

“Did I mention that I missed you?”

My heart skipped a beat, but he wasn’t getting away that easily.

“No,” I said, pouting. “You were too busy complaining about how fat I’ve gotten.”

“Oh yeah,” he said, his eyes dancing playfully. “I can barely even recognize you.”

I knew he was pulling my leg but I frowned at him and turned away, threatening to leave him there to fend for himself. I could already see people coming toward us… I would steer them all in his direction on purpose.

“Hey, don’t leave me!” He said, feigning panic.

“You deserve it!”

He grabbed me by the arm, just as my mother-in-law came into view. He ducked slightly as he saw her, and I already knew this was going to bring trouble.

“You better get used to me bugging you,” he said quietly, but I could hear the amusement in his voice. “I plan on doing it every single day for the foreseeable future.”

I scowled.

By now, I had realised that bugging me was his crazy way of showing emotion. What worried me was that his mother might get upset that he wasn’t greeting guests like he should be… Of course she would blame me, even though I was desperately trying to rid of him by now.

“You better go,” I said, widening my eyes at him in warning. “Your mother…”

“You know why?” he said, ignoring me.

Oh gosh, he was so persistent.

I shook my head vigorously, swallowing nervously as I spotted my mother in law in the driveway now, eyeing out Aadam’s car. Her eyes were narrowing as they darted around…

“Later,” I mumbled, getting nervous about his mother in the vicinity. “We’ll talk later.

“Because even when you’re angry, you’re still beautiful,” he said quietly, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.

He was oblivious to my panic.

And bulls eye …  she just spotted Aadam and I…

It was easy for him. He wasn’t the one to deal with the drama after. Men were always unaffected. And of course I had perfect response for Aadam’s smooth lines… but as my mother-in-laws voice rang out in utter annoyance, I had to swallow it…

“Can we at least get into the house before we do all of this?” she snapped, looking at us both. “Goodness! There are people here!”

Of course. I could already sense her female rival radar emitting signals as she approached. Emotion wasn’t allowed. Of course we couldn’t talk together.

People will see.

My dear mother-in-law turned away in a huff as Aadam’s eyes widened scarily, and then grinned as he called out to her.

”Salaam Mums,” he said holding out his arms and stepping forward. “Hajj Mubarak. I hope you made Du’aa for me. Don’t I get a hug?”

Aadam could melt an iceberg, he just had this amazing way of making everyone succumb. It was really quite unbelievable.

She stopped in her tracks. Of course, he had her at ‘Salaams’. I turned away, in half admiration, half disgust. He was amazingly good at conning people… well, except for me.

Crowds were coming to greet him now from all directions. I was sure that he felt celebrity-like. I mean, I really didn’t know that he knew so many people. I smiled as I stepped back to avoid getting caught up in the craze.

And I was so glad that we had stolen those few moments because of course, I barely saw him that afternoon as he was whisked away with the crowd to have his meal and entertain the guests about his trip. Aadam was visibly exhausted, but he was also not the type to fail when it came to entertainment. He was just always so easy-going. He never complained. I could hear him enthusiastically giving the low down for every part of his journey from where I was, and as I helped Rubeena to serve the never-ending in flux of guests. Rubeena was exhausted, and in pain, and I didn’t blame her because it was getting quite tiring.

I breathed in as I dished out more sojee for an older lady who had asked, convinced that I was going to need a time out after this serving. Rubeena had already gone to rest. I had just found a spare chair, before loosening the buckle on Zuleikha’s shoe that I had borrowed, when my mother-in-law caught sight of me.

Muhammed had gotten sick at the last minute, which meant Zuleikha had to stay home… and Nusaybah was gone away for the weekend with her family. Right then, I was aching for some moral support. I felt extremely vulnerable, and just a teeny bit frustrated.  I was almost ready to get up again, just to avoid her confrontation, but as she came toward me, I was kind of caught off-guard as she wore a a half smile on her face. Besides, I was exhausted, and the thought of getting up again was already making me tired.

I could see her gesturing to someone as she beckoned to them, and then advance towards me again with more people in tow. I was so glad that the function was separated, except for the few stranglers… but the scrutiny of these high-flying women was really something else.

She stopped in front of me and smiled, introducing me sweetly to her friends as her new daughter-in-law. I was actually a little in shock as she laughed with them, and watched them scrutinize me from head to toe before finally giving me a nod of approval.

The verdict was revealed. I had passed the test.

I was still in awe about how people like that could exist. It was all just a little bizarre for me… but completely regular for them. And just when I thought that I had recovered, and the ladies left, a young girl who I had noticed watching me from the beginning of the function came up to us.

It was amazing how my mother-in-law was so perfectly civilized to everyone but me. They turned to me as I got up to leave… and I smiled, knowing that I was expected to be polite.

“I’m Khawlah,” I said to the girl, glad that she seemed a bit approachable in person. “I’m Aadam’s wife.”

The girl smiled as she nodded, and then looked at my mother-in-law.

“This is my friends daughter, Zaira,” my mother-in-law said. Didn’t ring a bell.. but I supposed that explained a bit.

And it was all good as I smiled and asked her how she was, before Aadam’s mother dropped the bomb.

“Aadam and her were friends from school days,” my mother-in-law said, and I could see an uncharacteristic glint in her eyes as she said it. “We all thought that they would get married.”

I swallowed hard, as that feeling of imminent emergency overcame me…. I knew the wisest thing was to escape, but it was already too late…

“Well, until you came along.”

And of course, I felt as if I’d been punched in my stomach. I actually could not believe that she had said that. I was in shock.

The girl at least had the decency to look embarrassed as I swallowed hard to stop myself from breaking down right there and then. Now that, was completely uncalled for.

I was half choking as I somehow made an excuse to use the bathroom, hoping with every ounce of myself that no-one was occupying it, so I could just bawl my eyes out in peace.

Of course, I wasn’t immune to feelings. I was tough.. but what was it about this woman that just wrecked havoc within me.. I didn’t know.

And just as the torrent of emotion overcame me, a distinctive knock on the door caught me by surprise. I almost wanted to shout at them to go away, but I knew that it wasn’t exactly a wise thing to do. I breathed in and speedily grabbed a clump of toilet paper to dry my eyes, hoping that I at least looked normal.

The knock sounded again as I got up, wishing I could peep out to check who it was. I mean, was there no respect for people who were in the bathroom nowadays? Not even letting me cry in peace. I knew I was getting exceptionally angry over something seemingly small, but I couldn’t help it.

And of course, after a quick glance in the mirror to ascertain the damage on my puffy face, I walked to the door calmly and yanked it halfway open… expecting to see an impatient child or family member who didn’t know any better.

But as I met her pretty eyes, I couldn’t help but digest for a minute… wondering who this person was.

She removed her niqaab as she saw me, and just her kind smile immediately lifted my spirits. She was lovely in a soft and completely unexpected way. She blinked as she opened her mouth, almost hesitant about what to say.

“I’m so sorry,” she started, carefully stepping back as she tried to ascertain my reaction. “I don’t mean to pry. I saw what happened and I just wanted to check if you were okay…

I flushed as she said it, feeling so embarrassed that other people had heard my mother-in-laws words. It was one thing when she did it in private, but when it was in front of so many people…

“Don’t worry,” she said kindly, placing her hand on my shoulder. It was strangely comforting. “I don’t think anyone else heard. I just felt so bad for you… So I well.. I followed you. I hope you don’t mind. My husband was somehow persuaded by yours to join him for supper before we head back home. He must really like him, because Yusuf never eats anywhere but home. We just didn’t know that there would be so many people here…”

I looked at her, feeling like there was a need to apologise. She didn’t sound like she was from here. Her accent was not even remotely Gauteng-like. I wasn’t sure how to explain to her… whether to just say it or to just carry on looking at her a little dumbly, like I was doing now.

She smacked her hand to her now bare forehead and shook her head, almost admonishingly.

“Here I am going on about myself when you’re in such a state. You’re probably wondering who I am. You may know my sister, Haseena… or heard of my brother-in-law, Maulana Umar..?”

Maulana Umar? Of course I knew him. Well, I knew of him. He was the Maulana that Aadam and Ahmed never stopped offering praise for. I made the link in my brain as I looked at her, a little surprised that she was so sweet and down-to-earth. These were special people… They were of a different calibre..

“Khawlah, right?” She smiled. “I love your name. Reminds me of one of my favorite stories. It’s so good to meet you… I’m Laila.”


A blast from the past… combined with a bit of family dynamics.. I keep trying to shorten the posts and they keep getting longer. Sorry!

Maybe our Laila might have some advice for Khawlah.. 

Much Love,

A 🌸

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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 .

How easy to practice!

Let’s revive this Sunnah Insha Allah.

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