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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25 thoughts on “A Turn of Events

  1. Shukran for the amazing post.💕
    The reality of this post is 💯 on point. Every now and then when we settle into the lull of life, it drops us a bomb to remind us that dunya is temporary.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Poor Aunty Radiyyah!!! 💔Hope it’s not true..😢
    And I’m glad khawlah is in a happy place (besides her mil) It’s been a while since her mom’s passing that there’s happiness coming her way and she thoroughly deserves it
    Enjoying the naseehat😍may Allah accept your efforts and may he always use you to inspire us with your writing… ❤️❤️

    Liked by 4 people

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