Once upon a time, when I was far too caught up with a life that probably involved a lot of late nights, misguided aspirations and brain-crushing ideas, an unwavering friendship that pulled at the heartstrings was about to be severed…
Okay, so I’m sorry that this story is a little morbid, but I promise I’m not the kind of guy who would make you cry. Really, I wouldn’t.
Anyway, I’ll get on with it.
So there was once a boy and a girl who spent every minute of their techno-free (unbelievable, right?) childhood together, and were now well aware that their childhood (as they knew it)… well, was about to end. It was time to move on to the rest of their lives. It was the time that most people like me dread. It was time to grow up.
But this story about the boy and girl, and what happened after, is not the important one. What’s important here is the magic that had been born from this bond. This love, that these two kids can somehow formed, had stemmed from something that was so absolutely unique… that hearing about it kind of made me wonder who was the inspiration behind it all. I didn’t know that I’d have the privilege of meeting this very man years later… this boy’s father, who had been the pinnacle of every ambition, hope and aspiration that brought to life for these two kids, in every sense of theirs, the beauty of creation…
And it was through this, and everything they had come to see, that they truly lived and believed, that nothing was created in vain. That they saw amazement in every vision. Every moment, minute and passing interval, there was not a time when they didn’t remember that sunshine was a gift of Allah’s power, and the rain was a reminder of His mercy. A flower was never just a flower. It brought to life the advent of a great and momentous occasion that had just transpired. A rainbow was not just a rainbow. It was a symbol of Allah’s hope that spread across the sky, to remind them of how amazing and colorful life could really be.
It was a time when all things were tall, and all their friends were small. The world was new, and the skies were always blue… well, not really, because that’s impossible (except for real poets)… But you get my drift..
Basically, it was when the sun was at it’s brightest. Where everything was inherently magical, with no major effort. That was essentially, what childhood was about, and as this friendship bloomed in the most natural way, a love of Allah was cultivated and transferred from a heart that held so much of it, to a heart that was yearning to carry more. And from that blossoming heart… it’s love had brimmed and spilled over to be passed on to not just a few, but many, many others too… And at the end of this particular story.. I was one of those fortunate people that somehow got thrown, head-first, into the mix.
You see, there’s a great lesson here that’s evaded me all these months, since hearing this story. All I saw was a cute little story of two kids that had no point. But then, as I looked deeper… I was simply blown away.
So let me just say this: Never, ever underestimate the smallest of actions. Especially with a little kid… you can never know the true effect of showing a young heart who their Creator really is. You never know what the value is of teaching a child the language of Glorious Qur’an. You will never regret teaching a child that their only reality is Allah, because this little effort really can go to insurmountable lengths. Because that purity… that connection that is formed at such a tender age… that type of love… is simply infectious.
Once you feel it, you will never want to let go. When the heart sings it, embraces it and lives it… the mist is completely cleared. The veil is permanently lifted. And no matter what that little kid will be told in a group or class of kids who know none the better, whether he is told that there is no sky, or the earth had materialized from one Big Bang or that humans evolved from some kind of apes… his (or her) sturdy heart will know better, because it will continue to sing…
Laa ilaha Illalah, laa Ilaha Illalah.
There is no Reality but Allah.
The Maker, the Breaker… Owner and Creator of the entire Universe.
And though I featured nowhere in that little tale that I just told you, there is something amazing about my life that tops the charts. Something that’s made me believe that wonderful things can happen to even undeserving people. Something that’s opened my heart to such a vast degree that I never thought I could ever witness.
Somewhere along the way, I found the gold. In some deviate alley, I stumbled upon a path that’s lead me to the most spectacular of treasures. An insurmountable pleasure. Somehow, through a magic beyond my understanding, I’ve managed to find it in me to love another person with all my heart and soul and to me… That will always be enough. Because even if I lived my entire life to achieve nothing else… I had already found what I need. I had already found the pathway to enteral bliss. I knew now that my living and my breathing and my dying was only for One Supreme Being.
We often hear about destiny. Fate. What’s meant to be. Yet, we still strive with our best for this world, push ourselves… try so hard to make it to the top. We buckle our belts, we wear a helmet, we stick to the paved paths, we try to be safe. We try so hard to protect ourselves, but sometimes it’s not enough. When the bad things happen, they catch you by surprise. The tests and trials come suddenly, with no warning… But we forget that sometimes that’s exactly how the best things come too.
And yeah, I was floating somewhere on cloud nine for the past few months, and it was tough getting down from there. It was amazing, because the light that had entered my life was one that had broadened my entire horizon. I suppose we don’t really notice when things are a little wonky when we’re propped up somewhere in the clouds.
And we’ve all had our share of pain, somewhere along the path. Pain. Sometimes it’s in the mind. Sometimes it pushes us to the edge. Sometimes it’s just part of who we are.
Pain. It comes in all forms. The small nudge, a minor twinge, the random ache and the normal pains that we live with everyday. Then there is the kind of pain you can’t ignore.
Some levels of pain are so extreme… that it blurs out everything else. Makes the rest of the world fade away…. How we manage our pain is up to us. We medicate, anesthetize, ride it out, embrace it or even ignore it. For some of us, though, the best way to manage pain is to just push through it.
I reached up to take the Mybulen from the top shelf, pouring out three, and hoping it would do the trick. I read a Surah Fathihah as I pushed it down, knowing it was the key to the cure. Above all else, rely on Allah alone, right?
And yeah, the meds were a temporary fix, but what wasn’t temporary in this world, right? Next week I would book an appointment with the chiropractor and it would all be sorted out. I bent to put my shoes on, sitting down to swallow the pills.
I breathed in as I swallowed the water, remembering the Sunnah of drinking as I sipped. Pause. Sip. Deep breath. That’s the only way the water goes to every cell of your body. It’s the only way that the passages are so amazingly opened up so that those nutrients can replenish those cells, that need the nourishment of pure water. That was the Sunnah that I had lived almost two decades of my life with knowing nothing about.
I checked my view in the mirror as I watched myself. I looked normal. It was just that I felt like crap. The ringing of my phone halted my thoughts, and I quickly pulled it out as I glanced at the ID. It was Rubeena.
“Assalaamualiakum,” I said as I answered, psyched to hear from my sister, already forgetting my aches and pains.
“Was-salaam,” she said, sounding tired. I understood. Her life was not exactly great right now.
“Howsit Adam? Am I disturbing?”
”Nope,” I said, feeling a little better as I put my takkies on. “Just getting ready to fetch Khawlah.”
”Ah okay,” she said, sounding disappointed. “You guys going out?”
”Well, we have a big day planned next week,” I said, my heart drumming away as I thought of it. I couldn’t wait. “We had a few things to sort out before…”
”Oh shucks, okay no stress,” Ruby said quickly, sounding even more down. I honestly was feeling so bad now. I had a feeling that she needed me and I couldn’t help her. Did I just put it out there or did I just ignore it and live my own little fairy tale?
I couldn’t hear my sister like this.
“Rubes, what can I do for you?” I said, trying not to think too hard about what I may be getting myself into. Khawlah would understand. Ruby was sounding like she had been rained on with a ton of bricks.
“I need to leave the kids with you,” she said, sounding apologetic. “Just the three. They’re easier to handle. I have some things I need to sort out. Mum hasn’t really been much help. It’s their holidays and it’s not like I can take them anywhere… and Shabeer is pretty useless.. Just for a few days.”
A few days?
Crap. This was going to eat into almost all Khawlahs free time. I knew she loved the boys but I really wanted some time with her. Alone.
“It’s okay if you can’t,” Ruby said quickly, sensing my hesitation.
I swallowed as I thought about it. On one hand I had my amazing wife who I barely got to spend time with, and on the other hand was my sister who was in a predicament and needed my help. Why couldn’t I just include the boys in whatever we were doing? Maybe the big ‘date’ would have to wait a few days… but what other choice did I have?
“Okay, no problem,” I said, not wanting to let her down. I had this overwhelming desire to just make everything easier for everyone. I just wasn’t sure if it was going to backfire. “We would love to have them.”
“Thanks a million, Adam,” she said, instantly sounding relieved. “You don’t know what this means to me. You deserve the best brother award. I’ll tell them that you’ll fetch them in a bit.. just let me know what time. They’re so excited.”
I sighed as she cut the call, wishing that Rubeena could have at least let me know in advance. I couldnt help but think she was taking advantage, because she knew we both couldn’t say no. We wouldn’t. Looked like I’d have to tell Khawlah to wait another half hour for me… so I could take the boys with me.
And I know I sounded like an old battered guy, but I was already feeling tired, thinking of all the effort this was going to involve. After a long week all I wanted to do was chill. I loved my nephews to bits but they needed attention. They craved it because since Rubeena’s problems with Shabeer, they sensed the tension at home. I hated to put them in front of a screen, and ideas to keep them busy sometimes evaded me. I had a good mind of asking Khawlah to stay over, and I dialed her number again, hoping to sweet-talk her around the new plan.
“Sweets,” I said, noticing my wife’s voice sounding slightly strained. “I’m going to be half an hour later than planned.”
“How are you feeling today?” she said instantly. “Your back?”
It was like it was the only thing on her mind since the topic hand come up. I cringed as I remembered how I literally repelled her touch that day. I was trying to be strong by not taking a painkiller the previous week. For me, aches and pains were a regular thing. It came with my job. It was just that I didn’t like to medicate all the time. Meds always have side effects.
”It’s not that,” I said, running my hand through my beard. “Ruby’s sending the boys. They’ll be with me.. us… for a few days. I’m so sorry… I didn’t plan for this but it should be fun, yeah?”
”Oh,” she said, sounding a little distracted. I had a feeling she wasn’t really listening. “Okay I’ll see you after then.”
”I’m sorry, Khawlah,” I said, feeling disappointed too. She would have loved the trip I planned. Local but amazing. I just couldn’t help how things change plan. We plan, but indeed, Allah was always the best planner.
”It’s okay,” she said. “What’s meant to be will be right? We can make the most of it.”
Exactly. That was my wife. Reminding me of all the things I kept forgetting.
”You’re amazing,” I said, a little in awe of her understanding. “You make it all so easy. I love you, beautiful.”
”See you just now.”
I grinned as she cut the call, shaking my head at my wife’s fear of emotion. She had closed herself off from the beauty of expression. I could just pour my heart out to her relentlessly, until I was blue in the face, and all I would get back was a cynical smile. And of course, she just did it again…
And despite all this, it didn’t change the fact that that I was lucky to have her. I knew that she didn’t have me in my mind when she chose a partner. I knew that I was way off the mark. Completely off the charts… But when I looked into her eyes… I could literally see through to her heart. It was brimming with love
I smiled to myself weirdly as I got some snacks ready for the kids, feeling a bit better already. I had bought a bit of time, and since I started doing some shopping for the apartment, I had been stocking up.
On the up side, knowing that I would be surrounded by my favorite people that night was the best feeling ever. Having Khawlah and the boys over would be a blast. Story time was always the highlight. Khawlah still topped the list with the way she read stories and Hadith… and I always felt contented when she was here with them. I could just picture them jumping around on the couches, (which I had to act like I minded, but I didn’t really) playing some annoyingly childish game, with her counting to ten to get them to pay attention again. Nights like these… well, this was what life was about.
It was how I pictured my life with Khawlah a few years down the line, hopefully with a few kids of our own. I could imagine her being a great mother… a great example… and picturing her as the woman who would hold my home together… well, there really was no other way I’d have it.
And of course, being a little bit of an obsessively organized guy, having gotten myself a little more sorted for the evening ahead, my mind was feeling a little at ease.
I grabbed my jacket and keys, glancing at the clock to ensure I’d be back for Salaah. There was plenty of time to head to that side of town and still be back on time.
And though I hated city life and preferred the natural scenes much more, the nice thing about having an apartment was the convenience of being able to just pull a door and leave. There never was a security problem in the building, and that’s what I liked about living there. Knowing that Khawlah might be here alone at times the following year if I had to go on any trips or be out of town was my main reason for choosing this place. For now, the location, simplicity and convenience suited me perfectly.
And that’s why, when the lift touched down at the ground floor, when I stepped out to see a glimpse a youngish looking Muslim girl standing impatiently in the foyer, looking at the mounted list of occupants in the building, I really didn’t even bat an eyelid. I figured she was someone else’s visitor, averted my gaze and walked ahead. I greeted the old couple who lived on the bottom floor as they left, and raised a hand to the security guard. It was only when I reached the door, that I heard a voice, and immediately knew that she was talking to me. I was the only person left there.
“Excuse me,” she said loudly, and I paused momentarily as I glanced at her. I didn’t speak to strange girls, but I knew how to handle myself.
She was almost Khawlah’s height and I assumed that she was around her age too.
”Yes,” I said, wondering what she wanted from me.
“I came to see a girl I know… I’m not sure at which number she stays but I’m told that she lives in this building. Do you maybe know her? Her name is Khawlah.”
“That’s my wife,” I said, narrowing my eyes at her involuntarily. “Who are you?”
I turned to face her, feeling a bit threatened now, knowing that this person was probably not supposed to be here. It was obvious that Khawlah knew nothing about her coming. She would have mentioned if she was getting a visitor. It was unlike her to invite someone without telling me. Especially a female that I’ve never seen before…
“My name’s Hannah,” she said, looking nervous as she said it. “And I really need to speak to her.”
N.B. next two posts may be a little delayed. Its that time of the year again.. request for Du’aas
Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.”
Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2378
May Allah Ta’ala enable us to keep the best company that can be to our benefit. Keeping good company is also a Sunan, and a means of reward.
FB: The Journeying Muslimah
I can’t breathe!!!! Hannah. Is this another trick😱. Your ability to write is just Masha Allah mind blowing sister. So many lessons I learnt from this. Hope everything goes well for you. Can’t wait to read the next one❤️❤️
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Shukran sister.. Hannah’s looking for Khawlah, but the question is why…
Will be revealed insha Allah..
jazakAllah.. exam time so a little tied down but will try and post in a few days Insha Allah.❤️
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Really enjoyed reading this from Adam’s side.
The lessons and writing is amazing Masha’Allah 👌🏻 !
What does Hannah want now ??? 🙈
Jazakillah Khair for the lovely post 💕
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Aww, Shukran sister.. Really hope its beneficial.. ❤️
We will definitely see.. hopefully no ulterior motives..
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What a sweet post from Adam’s POV…
When i started reading I thought it was a girl he was previously involved with until I read about the bond that they had and realized it was Khalid and Khawlah…
I wonder what Hannah wants now….
Sister please don’t keep us in suspense for tooo long
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Shukran dear sis…
Lol, jhee, it doesn’t tie up at first, and then halfway through it comes together…
I’ll try and post in the next few days, Insha Allah ❤️
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Okay i retract my statement. Adam is not exhausting! HANNAH IS..
why do i smell trouble?
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Maybe… just maybe … she might hav come with good intentions this time… ☘️
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How does Hannah know where Adam lives
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Well, she’s probably found out or remembered from the past, when she used to work for Rubeena…