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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17 thoughts on “Straight for the Heart

  1. Jazaakillah khair for the lovely post full of beautiful reminders…
    Our Laila has surely matured beautifully ما شاء الله
    I’m just dreading what’s to happen to Aadam that you keep alluding to🤦🏻‍♀️

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Love your beautiful way of writing mashAllah.. yes kindness how easy it is when people be kind to be kind but the struggle comes when you treated with harshness and you be kind.. Allah grant us amal on the true sunnah way..

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Wow..!!!From where aadam was to where he is now. Such a beautiful dua to make. How fortunate to be from amongst those that are chosen by Allah Ta’ala to be his favoured ones…❤️
    So lovely to hear from laila… Shes gone so grown up and wise☺️
    And khawlah!!! Just hang in there…. 🤗
    When I was younger and used to hear the virtues of keeping family ties, I used to think so easy!! Just be nice. Simple. Such big thawaab… 🤨Only realized a good few years later that to be good to ppl who are good to you is easy. But to be good to the person who hates you or to someone whos bad to you.. It’s a major effort 🤪

    Sorry for the ramblings. Didn’t get a chance to comment on the last few posts but just wanted you to know I enjoyed every bit of it… Awaiting the next one ❤️❤️

    Liked by 5 people

    • Most definitely… such an amazing act of courage to take to change your life completely too.
      So, so true, people are not always so easy going and it’s always so hard to make people happy, we only ask Allah to purify our intentions for His pleasure.., it really is a challenge!
      Shukran sis, I quite like the ramblings… gives me food for thought too! 💝

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Wow ! Absolutely loved the post !
    loved all the beautiful reminders ❤
    Rubeena's kids are little rays of sunshine Masha'Allah
    So excited to see what's in store for Khawlah and Adam
    Jazakallah Khair for the post !

    Liked by 5 people

  5. I loved the message of this post!

    Its incredible what we’ve been gifted as believers.. It seems like.. Giving with expecting not a thing in return is so selfless! Like.. Only give give give, like it could lead a burnout of frustration of unappreciation!

    But then you come to realise, that to give selflessly as a believer is not actually that selfless at all *grins
    Because with every Effort I make, I’m not expecting anything in return from Creation, I am expecting from My Creator, and that’s just so motivating! Because while creation may disappoint, my Allah will give me a million times better than my feeble efforts and He will never ever ever disappoint!

    Liked by 4 people

    • ❤️❤️❤️
      That’s so explained it so beautifully.
      And the amazing thing is that as Mu’mineen… when we have that true conviction, sincerity and understanding in our hearts… we don’t look at it as a chore. It’s a natural thing to give of ourselves… to give and give and give ‘selflessly’….almost like a default.
      May Allah enable us to have that default setting always… 💝
      And to expect only from Allah and no-one else..

      Liked by 2 people

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