When things get Complicated…

Bismihi Ta’ala


I never thought that I’d be the one to say this, but one thing I learnt in the past few months is that patience is hard. It’s really hard. And I promise you, I’m not one of those impatient people who can’t wait for things (except for food when I’m hungry, of course). I am one of the most patient people you will ever meet. As long as I know that it’s happening, I’ll sit back and relax and wait (patiently) for it all to unfold. But man, patience under some circumstances is like trying to push a nail through a metal wall. It’s practically unattainable.

And yes, I had tried my utmost to bear the tests. There were times when I was tearing my hair out with frustration, wondering if I had really done the right thing. I couldn’t help that creepy feeling that overcame me in the middle of the night and shook me awake, asking me if I was crazy. I couldn’t wait to se if it was all really going to turn out okay.

And then there were times when I sat with my kids, and for the first time in years, just enjoyed their chatter and company while they engaged themselves in some activity involving mud that would usually make me scream my head off, but barely phased me then. Those were the times when I was completely and utterly convinced that I had done the right thing. That the patience would pay off. That nothing in the world could ever beat the peace and contentment that I felt right then.

And at the end of the day, it was all about patience. Sabr. And it’s no wonder that the Saabireen are promised the greatest of rewards in the hereafter. They have been promised a reward that is unlike any other… where mercy will be raining on them in the hereafter. And surely they will never get left out because Allah knows exactly what every soul bears..

Do you think that you will enter Paradise without Allaah knowing who struggled (in His Cause) and who has been of the As-Saabiroon (the patient)?”

[Aal ‘Imraan 3:142] 

Patience. It’s a really tough thing. To have the faith to continue to believe that your Allah does have a plan for you… that everything will fall into place, even when things get complicated… that no matter what you’re going through right now, it all will pass… this too shall pass.

Well, that’s something like a superpower.

”So do you ever wonder what the future holds for you? If you think you’ll ever venture down that road again?”

“You mean… find someone else and going through all the hassle of having to make a man happy all over again?” I asked with raised eyebrows.

I could practically see her smiling through the receiver.

”You make it sound so amazing,” she laughed.

I sighed, contemplating for a moment what she was saying.

”It’s not that easy,” I said. “Not when you have four kids. Men don’t want baggage like that. Lots of women think I’m crazy for doing this… but Zahira, what was I supposed to do? We think we’re keeping the peace by staying together but all we’re doing is causing more damage to kids when we put them through the pain of conflict… Sometimes we think it’s better because we’re keeping our family together. We may be doing that one thing but we’re breaking them apart in so many other ways…..”

“You’re so right,” she said convincingly. “I know how it is. I know after Saffia got divorced, it was a rollercoaster for her and Hassaanah for two years. I feel for you, doll… Being four hours away is hard when my friend is going through such a tough time. Listen, please don’t lose hope. You know you’re going to be okay, right?”

And at the end of the day, all I needed at times was someone to tell me that I had done the right thing. That it was going to be okay. She was really one of those rare kinds that made a difference just with her reassurance. And no, I didn’t expect the world to stop just because I was going through a tough time… but with everyone being busy with their lives, and me where I was right then, I couldn’t help but feel lonely at times.

The thought never crossed my mind before, but being in Iddat after a divorce could get exceptionally lonely. It wasn’t like when you lose a husband. Then there were streams of visitors coming to offer sympathy and somehow, family of friends were around to fill that gap. Adam had his own life. My mother was busy with hers. I couldn’t even dare to keep imposing on my father.

Chatting to someone who I could relate to and knew where I was coming from was so much easier. Even though Zahira was happily married with two kids, she always held fast to the fact that even happy marriages were a helluva lot of work. One day maybe, I might know what that feels like…

“Oh yes before you go,” she said, sounding excited. “I just spoke to Saffia this morning. There’s a guy who came to see her a week back, and he’s phoned again. He’s a bit younger but she really seems to like him. So looks like we’re going to have a Nikah in the family… and you know what’s the best part?”

”That’s great news!” I said, so excited for my friend’s sister. I didn’t know her well but she was an amazing girl who went through a tough time with her rubbish of a husband. He wasn’t as bad as Shabeer, but it had turned out that he was seeing someone else throughout their marriage and she never suspected a thing. “I’m so happy for her. She deserves a good guy. Where’s he from?”

”That’s the part I’m coming to!” She laughed. “He’s from somewhere on your side of the world, so we’ll probably be coming down and I’m going to make sure that I see you. How many weeks left till I can take you out for a cup of coffee?”

”Three weeks,” I sighed, not really anticipating it. I was getting so comfortable in my little hide-out that the thought of leaving it was now making me anxious. “Or you can come have coffee with me in my hole. I make an excellent cuppa.”

She laughed as Danyaal’s voice called out for me from upstairs. We quickly made plans to speak the following week, and I expressed my heartfelt appreciation to her being there for me throughout everything I had been going through. Her constant presence, support and reminders that Allah had a better plan for me was just what I needed to get through this. 

And as I made my way down the passage, I couldn’t help but think to myself that  another great thing about being home now was the amount of time I suddenly had on my hands. Like, I really didn’t know that there could be so many hours in a day. Right now, I felt like if I focused enough, I could give my kids all the attention that they needed. I felt like the terrible mother less and less every day, and more like a mother who was just trying to do the best.

And yes, it was normal because I still slipped at times.. when I got tired and frustrated and didn’t know what else to do with them except dump them in front of iPads and sit with my phone, but the thing with not having Shabeer around now was that it wasn’t much different from when we were married. There was no adjustment phase because the amazing thing was… he never was around anyway. 

Being a Friday night, it was generally our time to chill with some books, indulge in  some much-craved junk and just cruise around in the lounge. As I got the bowls and cups out for the night ahead, and read my maghrib Salaah, the buzzing of the intercom caught me a little unawares that night.

Of course, I wondered who it could be as I made my way downstairs again, checking through the window as I saw a familiar car. And of course, upon seeing it, my heart lifted because although I hadn’t seen him in ages, his visits were always exceptionally welcomed. I pulled the door open in semi- excitement, glad to see the huge and familiar smile as he pulled me and Zaydaan into a warm embrace.

”It’s been ages!” I said as I pulled away, looking up at my uncle as he took Zaydaan from me. Although Zaydaan didn’t know Siraj as well as the bigger two boys, there was something about my uncle that all kids liked. I suppose that he had a pleasant demeanor, and the fact that he and their favorite uncle looked alike was also very much in his favour.

“How’s my amazing niece doing?” he said, smiling sympathetically. “I know you’re sick of my excuses. I keep meaning to visit and every time I come to town I get stuck at the hospital and it’s impossible. Today I put my foot down and made an excuse. Aren’t you proud of me?! And guess who I’ve brought with me..?”

I glanced out as he said it, wondering who the surprise guest was.

”Na’ilah?” I asked, looking for my uncles estranged wife.

Na’ilah was a pretty lady who my uncle was married to, and though they were married for over ten years now, they had yet to have any kids. Siraj was just three years older than me, and even though he was my uncle, because we were so close in age, I really felt it for them as time went by, especially since my kid to adult ratio was increasing at an alarming rate and there’s was still stagnant. Siraj seemed to take it in his stride, but for Na’ilah.. it had hit her quite hard. I supposed aunties at family gatherings weren’t exactly the most considerate and would ask really insensitive questions that she didn’t like. Eventually, as the years went by, we stopped seeing her altogether…

”Na’ilah’s busy with work,” he said indifferently. “But I’ve brought another special lady…”

And of course, he didn’t have to say anymore because as she made her way up the three steps and I saw her one-dimpled smiled, my heart was already bursting.

Ma!” I breathed, almost not believing my eyes.  “You came to my house! I can’t believe this…”

I swallowed hard as I looked at my Ma, now so much older yet still looking as young and beautiful as ever. The memories of being a free and boisterous little kid while Ma entertained us were amazing. I had sorely missed out on that bond for these few years. Of course, I had seen her in between but it had never been like this. When I was married to Shabeer she would never dare to come to my house…

And I wished that I could find the words to tell her how sorry I was that we hadn’t been as close these past years. I wished that I could tell her how much I had missed her quirky humor and ever-present wisdom. It was just a pity that we had drifted apart after I got married.

”I’ve missed you so much,” she whispered as she held on to me, and I couldn’t contain my emotion anymore.

It was like all the hurt and pain and difficulties of these few months had been accumulating deep within, and now, through this channel that had finally arrived… it was the ultimate release. She came like a breath of fresh air and a breeze of unlimited hope. Ma’s presence in my home that day was like a magic I never felt before.

Since I was married,  something had changed with us and losing that bond I had with her was something I often thought of and regretted. Now that she was here… I was absolutely certain that with her Duaas… everything would be okay.

Whilst Siraj took the smaller two boys to play, the bigger boys watched us silently, obviously confused about the drama as we chatted tearfully. And just as I took a seat at the entrance hall couch with Ma, hoping to stabilize my erratic emotions, I immediately heard a squeal of delight from them as their eyes locked on the open door.

Somehow we had missed the sound of his car arriving, and before I even turned to see who it was, the ‘clickety-click’ of my younger brothers crutches were already an indication that our all-time favorite person was here.

”Hey, Salaam Ma,” Adams voice said as he stepped in. “Fancy seeing you here!”

Ma turned and gave him a smile as he came forward to greet her, with Khawlah in close pursuit. I watched the pair of them come in with an ecstatic reception from the boys who were obviously excited that their bed-time would get delayed. It was one of the main highlights of their day.

”We came to see you,” Ma said to Adam with a smile. “But Siraj says that you had other plans.”

”I did,” Adam said, pulling a face. “But the function was so boring, Ma. All those people talk about is money, houses, cars…. oh, and guess what else? More money. I couldn’t take it any longer. I had to find the escape route.”

I could see Khawlah shaking her head at him as she glanced at me. It was the first time that I had seen my sister-in-law so stunningly dressed up, and though she looked amazing, I could see that she was obviously not impressed that she had made all that effort for practically twenty-five minutes of short-lived excitement, unfamiliar company and not even a catered five-course meal to show for it. It really is a bummer.

”He called as soon as I found a seat,” she was complaining to me and Ma. “He didn’t even wait for his award. I think his boss might kill him. Personally, I don’t think he liked all the attention he was getting so he made a run for it.”

Adam grinned as he took a seat, resting his crutches next to him as Dayyaan dragged Khawlah off to see his new LEGO creation. Danyaal, who knew Ma a little better than the others, grabbed her hand to check out his extensive book collection. The two of them had a more than a few things in common and my heart instantly warmed to see them getting along so well…

And as I looked at my brother, I kind of knew that he would be back early when I heard about the fancy work function he was forced to attend that night. Adam wasn’t cut out for the corporate part of his job and for him, despite being so well-known, he hated all the glamour that went with it. That was just my simple brother and I loved that about him. Well, it was what everyone loved about him.

”Hey, it’s the man of the hour,” Siraj said as he walked into the room with Zaydaan still on his hip. “Too busy to even take his uncle’s calls.”

Of course, as soon as Zaydaan spotted my brother, he wiggled down and immediately and ran to climb onto Adams uninjured leg. Adam planted a huge affectionate kiss on his cheek before looking up at our uncle.

”Howzit, Uncle Siraj?” He said, giving him a wink. “I see you’ve finally tracked me down. Sorry man, it’s been a hectic week.”

”Hectic week or you been avoiding my calls?” My uncle said, narrowing his eyes at Adam. “You could have called me back at least once.”

”Don’t give me a hard time, yeah?” Adam said, his expression changing. “I was giving you a chance to catch up with your work. I knew I’d see you sometime…”

Siraj was looking at Adam sceptically as the two of them bickered on. The weird thing was that they weren’t usually like this. Usually it was me who was getting into fights and Adam who got along with most people perfectly fine. I could most definitely sense the annoyance, but as Zia came up to ask for a chocolate and I tried to convince him that it really wasn’t a wise idea to have it right then, since it was past his bed time, I kind of lost the plot of what they were saying until I heard my uncles voice rise…

Then of course, I hastily stuffed the entire Bar-One into Zia’s mouth and sent him along, hoping it really wouldn’t give him a twenty-five hour day… now already on high alert as Siraj bellowed on about something slightly concerning that I had absolutely no idea about…

It’s not a bloody joke, Adam!” He was almost yelling. Adam winced and simultaneously blocked Zaydaan’s ears as Siraj went on. His one eyebrow was raised in dismay. “You have no consideration for your health whatsoever! You can’t even make a decision! I sent you all the options for treatment and you’re dragging your feet! What about everyone else? Don’t you think they want to see you get better? How can you just go on like this… it’s just damn selfish man. Does your wife even know?!”

Of course, I was already half frozen in my tracks as I watched them, my eyes darting from him to Adam and back. I could see my uncles chest heaving dramatically as he looked at Adam, demanding an answer. He was unquestionably all worked up and red in the face and Adam was… well…  just stagnant. Completely and utterly unemotional. Something was definitely not right.

Errrr,” I said, swallowing hard as I tried to ascertain what the problem was. Once again, the performance wasn’t centred around me and I was kind of glad. Only, I felt bad for my brother because it looked like he was drama’s new scapegoat. “Can you guys tell me what on earth is going on?!”

Siraj’s eyes narrowed as he looked at me, and then shook his head at Adam again.

”You telling me that you didn’t even tell your sister?” He said incredulously. Siraj was still on a roll.

”Tell me what?!” I said, really feeling like banging both of their heads together. ”Is there something I’m missing here?”

Adam said nothing as he looked at us both. He just sat there and looked on, as if he wasn’t sure how to say what he needed to. And I knew that there was definitely something to say.

“Adam should’ve be the one to tell you,” Siraj said, looking a bit calmer now. “But he’s dragged this on for too long now. He’s not in the best of health.”

I frowned slightly as I processed what he said. So that was what all the fuss is about. My brother being stubborn and probably refusing to take his meds or something. I mean, really. Why couldn’t Adam just listen and do what he was supposed to do?

”Okay,” I said calmly. “So what’s the big deal? Can you guys stop behaving worse than my kids? We’ll work on it together and come to a solution. It’s not like he has cancer or something.”

The minute I said it, the regret of the last three words I had just uttered immediately gripped me.

And yes, I could barely believe it but the  expression on both their faces already gave it away.

And as my heart literally shattered in my chest, I knew that amongst many other things… life as we knew it was about to get very much more complicated…

P.S. I’m sorry…

A xx

Sunnah of Drinking water

Drink water while taking three breathing pauses. It is prohibited to drink water in a single gulp as our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “Do not drink water only in one breath, but drink it in two or three breaths.”

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A Glimmer of Hope

Bismihi Ta’ala

N.B. We’ve backtracked slightly, but we will get to the event of Khawlah’s tears in the next post, Insha Allah.

Throughout your life you will find that the events of leaving and losing… of breaking and  falling… of failing and  disappointment… all lead to one thing.

It all points you in One direction. One Purpose. One Allah. That Allah is all you need. He is your Wali. He is your protecting friend. That nothing else but Him will do. That no matter where else you may seek it, your happiness and peace and absolute reliance are for Him, through Him and with Him alone.

And it so happens in life that we are faced with tests in ways that we sometimes don’t understand. But being tested is all a part of this journey… in Allāh’s magnificent plan for us. And in facing these, we can either rise to the challenge, lift ourselves up from the fall and run towards the light… or we can hopelessly crawl along, giving into defeat and losing ourselves to despair.

And then there are some people who come along on your life’s journey, to show to you a better view. A clearer perspective. A broader horizon. They see the light through every darkness. A lining on every cloud. They are people who feel the sunshine, even in the rain.

And sometimes you just need that one thing to hold onto. To wholeheartedly believe in. Because that’s when it all fits together. Yes, what the future held for me at that point was painful, difficult and extremely emotional, but one thing that I had learnt through it all was that every slip or break or fall and was only a means of mercy. It was these challenges along the way that would bring a fresh start… a clean slate for the person who was faced with them and the breaking of a new dawn for those who truly understood how much Allāh had promised to those who pass this magnanimous test…

“I feel like never leaving this place,” Aadam said softly, as he looked back at the building we had just exited, still digesting everything that we saw. “I just want to take all those kids home with me…”

I smiled as I looked at him, quite touched by his emotion that day. I never quite got to see this sensitive side of Aadam.. and witnessing it today was actually quite emotional for me. And although I felt glad that this trip that I was kind of dreading  was over, it wasn’t any escape from the sore reality..

The reality was that there were so many innocent children that no- one wanted… some of them merely a few months old. And no matter how sorry we felt for them… the situation was probably never going to change. And yes, Allah doesn’t promise us justice in this world but He does promise us that every single account will be settled on a day where insurmountable justice will definitely prevail…

”One day, I’d really like to adopt a kid,” he was continuing. “Even we have our own, it doesn’t really matter, yeah? It will just be like an addition.. You know one day I’d like to bring the boys here. Maybe even take them to an old age home too. It will open their eyes, give them some gratitude and we’ll cash in on some rewards…

Hey, are you crying?”

I turned my face slightly and wiped away the stray tear that was rolling down the inner part of my cheek. For some reason unknown to me, I was just feeling really emotional about the whole ordeal.

”I can’t believe this,” he said, sounding awestruck. “The iceberg has melted. It’s a moment in history that we have yet to witness, folks …”

I stretched out my arm to twist his ear, annoyed that he was making fun of me.

Yikes,” he said, rubbing it vigorously. “Take it easy on the patient, sweets. No sympathy for injured citizens here…”

”Unfortunately your mouth seems to be in perfect working order,” I said heatedly, pouting slightly as he grinned.

”As always. You think you’ll be okay to drive?” He said, his voice softening a bit as I glared at him. “Maybe we can wait a while…”

”No, I’m okay,” I said, swallowing and lifting my gaze to meet his. I knew he was teasing. It was obvious that at the time, he didn’t know how to handle my rare show of emotion.

And yes, since Aadam had been off his feet, I had been learning to drive. Though Ahmed and my father didn’t approve… Allah obviously had a greater plan with a much bigger picture in mind, as Aadam guided me with utmost patience and skill to learn as well.

And of course, the lessons were always exceptionally entertaining, with Aadam’s ridiculous sound effects and silly banter. There were times when I had to pull off the road to stop myself from steering off-course because of it. Driving and giggling uncontrollably didn’t exactly go hand in hand.

I put my emotions aside as Aadam watched me, reversing out and followed his calm instructions on how to get back home. And yes, he was particularly nice that day, putting lots of effort into saying positive things and avoiding his usual road-rage jokes. I think seeing my emotion that day had changed something in him, and only when I looked back at it, even though all I did was shed a few heartfelt tears… for him, it was like an entire firewall had been broken down.

There was much to say that day as I tried to concentrate on the road back home, but little words I could think of to say it. Sometimes when emotions are so deep, it was hard to express what I truly felt, and by now, Aadam understood that. It had been a roller coaster the past few weeks and today was the peak. With exam stress at the onset and Hannah’s case for custody of her daughter now in progress… I felt myself a little overwhelmed with everything going on. I had promised to help her and now I wished that I hadn’t gotten myself involved in the first place.

After all, she was the reason we had gone to the orphanage. Her baby was now going to be placed in foster care because of the custody issue. It made my heart ache to see her there. I could see Hannah looking remorseful too now, after everything had take this turn. Maybe it would be better to rather just give up the fight and agree to visiting rights. The lady who was taking care of her daughter looked lovely…

”Don’t I get a ‘thank you’ for not picking on your driving today?” Aadam said, giving me a small smile as he brushed away another tear.

”Maybe,” I told him, still remembering his words earlier as I narrowed my eyes at him. “You enjoy seeing me a little worked up, don’t you?” 

Aadam was grinning.

”I’m so sorry,” he said, shrugging his shoulders. “But I really do.”

I couldn’t resist a teeny smile as I looked back at him.

“Forgive me?” He asked softly. “Will you still come with me tonight?”

Of course, the mention of tonight was already settling weird things in my tummy and it wasn’t for the usual reasons. For one, it was a great escape from the reality that loomed above us that I constantly tried to escape but the thought of seeing unfamiliar people was definitely nerve-wrecking… and secondly, since Nusaybah had heard about the ‘fancy work function‘ that Aadam was taking me to, she had already taken on the great task of being the go-to lifesaver figure who would wave her magical wand and make me hopefully look a little like the after version of Cinderella.

Spending some time with my friend in a non-pressured and book-less environment was something that I really looked forward to and already made me smile.. but I was worried about what she would do to me. I made a decision to let her have her fun, because with everything that had gone down recently, as I left Aadam for those two hours with Rubeena, I kind of needed some wise words from my friend which I’m sure would put things into perspective for me…

“How is the old blood-sucker?” Nusaybah asked jovially, the minute she saw me. “Is his leg healed? I hope you’re taking advantage of the situation, missy, and not assuming the role of an aged citizen. Maybe assuming the role of a caring female doctor or loving nurse will do the trick …”

”Oh goodness Nusaybah,” I said rolling my eyes. “Does your mind only work on one track?”

Of course, at the mention of caring doctor figure, I couldn’t help but remember the encounter at the hospital that kind of shook my core. And yes, it was quite unbelievable that I had met this person who had once played an important role in Aadam’s life, but what was more unsettling was what she had revealed to me thereafter about how her own life had changed.

And I never did reveal it to Aadam… because once I made the decision not to go back there, I knew that bringing her up again would be completely unfair and a reminder of the past that he was trying hard to forget. It was just that what I had learnt was something that literally made me do a double-take… as I processed the strange and amazing ways in which Allah worked. The only concern is as where to go to from here… since the situation was not exactly an ideal one…

Nusaybah was grinning as she opened her bag to take out her 700 piece make up set. My eyes widened as she opened it. It was like one of the most enchanting things I had seen yet.

”Maybe we just need to give our Mr Cullen a small nudge in the right direction,” she said, expertly tapping into the tray of nude foundations and attacking my face with them. I tried to tell her that would probably be the last thing on his mind right now, but Nusaybah had her own ideas.

Sometimes I didn’t know how I put up with her, but I still loved her to bits. And of course, by the end of her master-work and entertaining chatter, when she finally spun me around and revealed what I looked like, I was utterly gobsmacked.

”The guy is going to be knocked off his feet tonight,” she said, with widening eyes. “Sorry, his foot. I forgot the other is temporarily unavailable. But nevermind.”

I grinned as I looked at her, a bit mesmerized by the new me that stared back at me. I was just so glad that I had already made my whudhu. With the layers of expensive make-up that Nusaybah had plastered on my face, washing it off right now seemed pain worthy…

And of course, because my friend was so super-organized and excited, she had killed every worry of mine with her mere presence. Not only did she sort out my hijab, graciously make up my face and provide the most elegantly simple outfit, she had just the right words to say that would put my main concern at ease.

”If anyone asks you anything,” she said as she left. “Just nod and smile.”

Of course. It was genius.

And of course, after her small pep talk, I knew that  meeting strange people there  could barely be as bad as I was fearing.

“Cinderella, are you ready for the ball?” Aadam’s humorous voice called down the passage, as I heard his crutches make their way down. I honestly wasn’t expecting him a whole fifteen minutes earlier, but because Nusaybah was always one step ahead of me and knew his OCD tendencies, she had already made sure I was ready for the unexpected.

I held my breath in anticipation as I called for him to come down, kind of building myself for the momentous occasion that would occur when he’d set eyes on me and be completely blown away. Nusaybah had been comically preparing me for it, and I held my breath with much anticipation, seeing the room door shift along he carpet as he pushed it… but completely not expecting the shrill ring of his phone as he stood in the open doorway with a sheepish look on his handsome face.

I could almost imagine Nusaybah rolling her eyes and smacking her hand to her forehead at the anti-climax of the whole event. Talk about a buzz that killed the buzz.

Instead of my knight in shining kurta gazing at me intently while time supposedly stood still, as my friend had hopefully predicted, all I got was an irritated huff as he switched it to silent, and then looked up at me apologetically.

Talk about the cons of technology. The worst part was, as soon as it stopped, it didn’t even have the audacity to be done. It started ringing again immediately.

He tossed the phone aside as I glimpsed the caller ID. It said ‘Siraj’.

“I’m so sorry,” he said awkwardly, biting his lip. “These things don’t exactly have an ‘awkward timing’ alert…”

”Shouldn’t you be taking that?” I asked, with a small smile, thinking of how Nusaybah would crack up when she heard about the non-event. Ah well.

”I’ll call him later,” he said, trying to sound indifferent. “Let’s not worry about that now… these are supposed to be game-changing moments… I’m so sorry…”

He winked at me but I wasn’t convinced by his ease. Why did I have a feeling that Aadam wasn’t being completely transparent?

“I can see you’re stressing,” he said calmly. “But Siraj is not only a doctor. He’s my uncle too. So can you stop fretting about the medical bits for once and just be you for tonight?”

He was right. I was reading into things too much, but Aadam was barely even bothered. Of course that must mean something. But still

“I’m just worried,” I said with a frown. “What if it’s something urgent?”

Aadam’s eyes were fixed into mine as he lent on one of his crutches, giving me that infamous look of his, with one eyebrow raised, that undeniably said that he had it all under control.

”What’s your worst fear?” He said, raising his eyebrows humourously. “I’m right here. I’ve broken my leg and I’m already feeling like the war-torn knight whose come for his princess. What else could go wrong?”

”Aadam,” I said, swallowing hard and ignoring his humor, because I was nervous about what the phone call could have meant. My worst fear. My worst fear was that I’d lose guy that had become the love of my life… and Aadam knew it.

There was still so much we didn’t understand. The pain. The tiredness. The lack of energy…

“Khawlah,” he said softly.  “Don’t you trust Allah?”

“Of course I do,” I said, without an inkling of hesitation. I did.

“Then trust me,” he said simply, holding my gaze and raising his one eyebrow in true Aadam style. “Because I’ve handed everything over to Him, and I truly believe that whatever it is that He’s placed in our path… We’re going to get through it. Doesn’t he say that His help is near? It’s not a matter of medicine or science or whatever other theories the doctors or the experts say. This is about what Allah has planned for me, and I promise you, sweets, when you place your trust entirely in Him, there’s nothing in this world that can shake it. It it wasn’t for Him, I would never be where I am today… I’m tuned and moulded and completely convinced that when I submit to His every decree, I’ll never despair of His mercy.’

I looked at Aadam with as he sat there, completely unwavering in his stance.

Ah, this guy. Why was he always rendering me speechless?

“I love you and I appreciate your concern, love, but you really need to just believe,” he continued as he edged closer. “Stop worrying about Hannah. Stop worrying about me. Believe, sweets. Believe, yeah? You weren’t assigned to carry this mountain that you’re bearing. Only Allah can move it. He can change any situation. You have to believe it. Believe that good things happen, and bad things happen, and whatever it is, Allah is bigger than it all. I promise you, all you need to do is trust in Allah and let Him carry you.. let Him handle all the things that you don’t understand…’

And that was Aadam. So carefree. Unburdened. Unaffected. There was nothing that could bother him, and even less that shook his resolve.

I  nodded slowly, as I let it digest. I could never argue his points.

”Can we go now, gorgeous?” Aadam finally said, smiling at as he looked up. “Because right now what I do understand is I have a stunning date staring at me and I’m not too sure how much longer she’s prepared to wait…”

And because Aadam was so unbelievably easy on himself as he reminded me of the best when all I could picture was the worst… His words came with and immediate calmness that descended on me, as he spoke. He was always so contented and amazingly carefree, that I couldn’t help but think of how Allah sent him into my world when I needed him the most.

I supposed that some moments are just made to lift you up.. to raise you… to remind you of everything that’s important to you whilst it’s still there. Those are the moments that stand out for you when you look back, that are your mettle and your foundation and your reason that you continued to believe. There were many, many things that I didn’t remember as the years went by but these were the very moments that I did.

There are some people who walk through life, with their shoulders bearing the heaviest of weights, yet when you glimpse at them, their faces have the broadest of smiles. They push through even the gloom. They see a beauty in pain. They don’t see the tests as burdens. What they see that there is a loving and a caring Lord who is above us, waiting to answer our call. They see and they truly believe that He is aware of our every need…

Sometimes we all need a little hope. No matter how gloomy the days may look, we all need some sunshine. Something to hold onto, to keep us going.

And for that little while.. as I grasped Aadam’s hand and stepped out into the night, I was almost certain that somewhere along the fading horizon I could see a sterling glimmer of hope that twinkled right back at us…

Dearest Readers,

Apologies again for the wait. I’m so sorry. My year ends are a bit crazy, and this one’s been more hectic than anticipated. 

I just wanted to provide a little hope as I know the readers are getting a little worried.. although its just a blog I feel even when we go through these tests in life as well, we always need a little hope.. belief, faith.. Yaqeen.. Whatever you want to call it.

May Allah make us of those who are always have trust in His Divine Plan.

Much Love 

A xx

Sit down before drinking water. No matter you are in hurry for something, but that should not stop you from taking a moment to sit down and drink water in a healthy way. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Sit down and drink” (Muslim). Science also proved that drinking water whilst standing or walking can cause Gastrointestinal Tract (GIT) damage, kidney damage, arthritis, nerve tension, and other disorders.

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Twitter: @ajourneyjournal






A Warrior’s Fear

Bismihi Ta’ala


There are some exceptional people of the past who desired death as much as we desire to live. There were some extraordinary warriors of previous eras who would throw themselves into enemy lines, fighting with every ounce of them to not return alive. They would crave a meeting with Allāh, just as we, after a long arduous journey, yearn to return back home.

Their’s was a burning desire so intense, so bad… that Allah even granted the status of the Shuhadaa for their unwavering souls, even though they passed away in their beds.

Sometimes it’s not about winning or losing. About living or dying. But sometimes we want something so badly, yet we have to keep reminding ourselves that the outcome is not determined by our own efforts… because when Allah decides a matter, it is as if it’s already done… 

The thing is, as I pushed myself to the limits as I grew, I didn’t know yet that to be a real warrior, it wasn’t only about strength. You had to have your heart in it too. You have to gain passion. Love. Conviction. The overwhelming desire for death that overpowers all else… 

Because until you read about the lives of the true warriors, you never really learn what being a true believer is about. Amongst the stories of the legendary Khalid bin Waleed, Mus’ab bin Umair, Jafar bin Abu Talib (RA) and many more… one of the stories that kind of made it all real for me was the martyrdom of Abdullah bin Rawahah (RA).

And as the story goes, it so happened that  as these warriors of Islam were being martyred at Mut’ah… Allah Ta’ala, in His absolute power, made it possible for Nabi (SAW) to wintness these events as they were unfolding before his blessed eyes. He recounted the events to the Sahaba in Madina Munawwarah, as all intervening veils between him and the battlefield were miraculously lifted… He gave them the glad tidings, while they waited with bated breath. It was occurring just as he had prophecised.

“Zaid has taken the standard and he fought the disbelievers until he was martyred and he entered Jannah.”

You can imagine the thrill of the Muslims at his valour.

“Then Ja‘far took the flag and also fought valiantly until he was martyred. He is now soaring with the angels in Jannah with the aid of two wings.

Thereafter, Abdullah bin Rawahah has snatched up the flag.”

Nabi (SAW) observed a silence at this point, and the hearts of the Ansaar were in their throats, for fear of his fate. Nabi (SAW) was seeing the battle before his eyes, and they were anxious to know the outcome of their Ansaari brother.

On the battlefield, Abdullah (RA) had moved forward on his horse, but slightly hesitated to advance towards the enemies. He rebuked himself  steadily and said:

             “Oh my Nafs! I swear you will dismount from this horse and engage the enemies of Allah whether you like it or not. 

Why is it that I observe you harbouring an aversion towards Jannah? (Why is it that you are not advancing speedily?)

Oh my Nafs! Even if you are not killed today, you are inescapably going to die one day. This is an inevitable destiny of the process of death!

What you had desired is now available to you (an opportunity of martyrdom in  Allah’s path).

If you accomplish the feats of those two guided people (Zaid and Ja’far who passed away before him), then you will be well-guided!”

He then dismounted from his horse, his cousin came to him with a meaty bone, saying, “Have some of this, for you have suffered much these days.” He took it and ate a little, then heard a noise coming from a certain direction. He looked at the bone he  was  eating  and  said, “You  are  still  engaged  in  this  world!”

He threw down the bone, took his sword, pressed forward and fought until he was killed – May Allah be pleased with him!

Nabi SAW continued to relate to the Ansaar…

“Now Abdullah bin Rawahah has engaged the disbelievers. He also fought gallantly until he was martyred. All three of them are in Jannah and all three of them are relaxing on golden thrones, but…”

The Ansaar are relieved. Thrilled. But anxious at what else Nabi SAW has seen…

“I noticed the throne of Abdullah Bin Rawahah (RA) unsteady and shaking. When I enquired the reason for this I was informed that Abdullah (RA) was overcome with reluctance before he engaged the enemy. Only after a slight hesitancy did he step forward and fight whilst his companions, Zaid and Jafar engaged the enemy without a trace of reluctance.”

And with tears brimming from his blessed eyes, Nabi (SAW) then said.

“After them, a Sword of the Swords of Allah (Khalid bin Waleed (RA)) has taken hold of the flag of Islam… He fought until Allah granted the Muslims victory.”

And of course, I was simply speechless as I processed it. Their bavery. Their skill. Imagine. They loved Allah. They loved His Rasul. They loved to die!

But still… in those final moments of truth, was it not natural for fear to overcome some? And yet, was it not a true miracle to witness that passion of those who had such sublime love for Allah, that they would wholeheartedly march to their fate, knowing they they would most likely die at the hands of the approaching enemy…

The stories of war and their courage and their faith inspired me endlessly, but this was one that brought to light for me the truth of this world.

How this world snatches us away from our purpose is a peculiar thing. We’re still scared to lose this life, although we know that we are promised unexplainable pleasures in the hereafter.

No-one is immune to fear. Even the big guys get scared. No matter how tough anyone seems, there’s always a mellowness inside us that sometimes catches us off-guard.

And more than anyone, I knew this. I breathed in as I cowardly bargained with Allah… after so many losses, I was scared. So, so scared to feel that way again. I didn’t how I would really fare if my brother-in-law wasn’t okay.

And as I finally made it to the hospital that night, my blood pumping with Adrenalin as I literally pushed my humble VW to its limits, all sorts of things clouded my mind.

With my heart racing uncontrollably in my chest, I stepped into the hospital that night as I scanned the waiting area.

Khawlah sat in the corner, and as she spotted me, I could see her talking easily to a female doctor who I tried hard not to look at. She greeted her affectionately before she headed towards me with tears in her eyes. I didn’t know at that time, that it was for a completely unexpected reason.

“Is that Adam’s doctor?” I asked, anxious for news.

Inside, I was in turmoil.

“Not exactly,” she said with a small smile. “But she’s well acquainted with his history…”

”You mean there’s a medical history?” I said, not knowing that Khawlah was in a world of her own right then, and meant something entirely different. All I knew was that I couldn’t wait to see the facts. I had to know. “Is he awake?”

Khawlah shook her head at looked at me with unfiltered emotion in her eyes. And I could see that she was emotional and I seriously wished that I could have offered her a hug, but being who I was, all I could do was swallow hard and stuff my hands in my pockets as she looked ahead in a daze.

”Are you okay?” I asked, knowing it was a dumb question. We headed up to the ward as she sighed, and I could see that she was quite far from it.

”It’s just been an eventful day,” she said softly. “Sorry. Aadam is a bit battered up but he’s okay for now. There’s just too many things have happened altogether and it’s a bit draining…”

I couldn’t imagine being in her place. I wasn’t good with this stuff and I knew it was a helluva lot of havoc for someone as young as Khawlah, but what I knew was that she had a strength that none of us could even dream of. Resilience. Bravery. All that and more.

She didn’t elaborate as she headed down the passage, stopping in front of the ward and gesturing for me to go in. And of course, I was a little anxious at what I would see, but all that met me was a stagnant Adam that lay motionless on the bed.

”Don’t worry, he’s just sedated,” a man with a white coat, who looked spookily like my brother-in-law said with a small smile. “He’ll wake up.”

”Insha Allah,” I said automatically, stretching out my hand to greet him. “Ahmed.”

”I’m Siraj,” he said, as I noticed his slightly greying hair. “Adam’s uncle.”

The women in the room moved out of the vicinity as we spoke briefly, as Adam’s uncle quietly told me that his waking up was really important. If he was in a normal frame of mind it would be a good sign. If there was any brain damage, or memory blocks, there could be other complications…

I kept looking at Adam in intervals, hoping he would suddenly wake up… but not really expecting it. I mean, those momentary things just didn’t happen when I was around. And it was the most surreal thing ever, a mere 3 minutes before visiting hours were about to end and I ready to head out, my heart almost seized in my chest as I saw him shifting and then wincing, before opening his eyes to scan the room.

Of course, I could hardly believe it was actually happening as I saw his eyes flutter open because it was the moment we were all waiting for…

But, hell, I was so scared. I was literally holding my breath as he groggily closed his eyes again, and then opened them again with a frown.

”Adam,” his uncle said. “Can you hear me? Are you in pain?”

Adam raised his one eyebrow at his uncle without saying a word.

”Adam?” he said again, waving his hand in front of Adam’s face. “Can you see me?”

Hmmm,” Aadam said, licking his dry lips.

A good sign right? Or maybe he couldn’t talk?

Oh crap. All sorts of things were going through my mind. That wasn’t good.

”Do you need anything?”

Aadam shook his head slightly. Well, as well as he could with the brace he had on. He really looked a wreck.

You could literally hear a pin drop in the room as all eyes fixated on my brother-in-law for a good few minutes as we watched him shift slightly, probably trying to get to terms with what had happened. I was sure it was a huge shock for him to wake up like this and I really wished that I had words to comfort him… I wanted to call Khawlah because I knew she should be here, but I literally could not tear myself away.

”Do you know what happened?” Someone else was asking, as Adam seemed to finally focus.

And of course, we were all in limbo as Adam opened his mouth…

But his next words.. were what knocked us for a six.

”Anyone… seen my wife?” He said with slightly raspy breath, and a mischievous glint in his eye. “Or did she… actually make a run for it… after she pushed me over the edge?”

His face held a tiny smirk as he blinked at us, and of course, we couldn’t help but crack up at his impromptu humor.

This guy really took the tea. For the first time in a while, I couldn’t help but chuckle uncontrollably as I went to call Khawlah in, my heart already feeling less burdened by the awesome news that he was well and obviously, very much in his senses. It was like a huge weight that was lifted off my heavy shoulders.

I could see the shadow of a smile on Khawlah’s face as I narrated to her Adam’s comical words and she grinned with slightly teary eyes. I knew that as she disappeared into the ward, she would probably give Aadam a witty comeback to his odd compliments… and as I walked back to my car after that, feeling lighter and in a better state to take the drive back home, the relief was overwhelming.

Of course, the excitement was contagious. Everyone was ecstatic about Adam being back to his normal self. What no-one knew was that Adam was the only person who knew that this wasn’t just a simple accident. What happened was a sign of something more complicated that many of us ignored. Yes, it was a huge scare but I think we all so badly wanted Aadam to be fine and Khawlah to be happy, that when we saw him starting to mobilize and become more like his old self again, all we did was shove our concerns under the carpet and carry on with life.

Ignorance is bliss. Truly. I lived in my blissful world of samoosa runs and keeping my eyes peeled for girls who looked like they were ready to take the next step.

As time went on, and I gpt absorbed in my life, there was a restlessness within me that I couldn’t seem to extinguish. It had been brewing for a while, and as I saw girl after girl after girl… instead of the flame wavering, it only seemed to intensify. And through all that, I just couldn’t seem to find what I was looking for.

And that’s when I had to put my foot down. Enough was enough. The last girl I had met seemed to fit the profile of what I was looking for. The facts were, I wasn’t sure how all of this stuff was really supposed to feel. Though my past wasn’t the most admirable, I had never been serious with girls, and neither did I didn’t want to delve into my recent past to try and figure it all out. All I knew was that something about this particular lady made her stand out to me, and despite having other reservations…  I casually announced to my family that it was probably time to take some burfee down to her house.

And maybe I should have see the signs when Khawlah entered the room. Maybe I should have known when I saw her come into the lounge, that something about her wasn’t right.

If it was up to me, I probably would have kept the entire thing hushed until her mood lightened up, but since Dada was already there playing with Muhammed and listening in on Zuleikha’s excitement, he couldn’t help but blurt out, in true Dada style, that there were some very eventful happenings due to occur soon.. like a Waleemah.

Khawlah looked up sharply as he said it, with a slight frown on her face.

“The same one you were talking about?” She said, looking at me cynically. Well, of course she would be.

“Yup,” I said bluntly. “She’s the one.”

“But she’s divorced with a kid,” Khawlah said with raised eyebrows.

And of course, I could see my elder sister shoot me a worried glance as she raised her eyebrows, obviously not expecting this snippet of information that Khawlah had so graciously offered.

I breathed in deeply as I glared at her, just a tiny bit annoyed at her indiscretion.

“Since when is that a problem?” I said heatedly. “Your father is divorced too. With four kids.”

“Please Ahmed,” she said, shaking her head. “It’s not the same and you know it. You know what divorces can be like. You know what it does to kids. You’ve had enough experience in that field now. You really want that kind of baggage?”

”Ah Khawlah,” Yunus said as he sat in his corner couch and watched us. Sometimes I even forgot that my younger brother existed. “Why’re you being so hard?”

I could see Zuleikha wanting to say something too but I held my hand to stop her. I tried to ignore the underlying accusations there, but I knew how to handle Khawlah. She was just lucky that I was in a good mood.

“I know what I’m doing, Khawlah,” I said steadily. “I’m not a child.  I know what I’m doing and why I need to do this. Isn’t it Sunnah to marry divorced women?”

She shook her head, already looking a little remorseful.

“I’m not undermining you,” she said, looking apologetic. “I just… I wasn’t sure if you may be having other reasons for being attracted to her. Like maybe she reminds you of someone else…”

I waited for my body to react in the usual way it did, when I heard about Rubeena.. But much to my surprise that night, weeks since everything had gone down… finally, there was nothing holding me back. Nothing at all.

“Let’s not even go there,” I said with a shrug. “It’s done and dusted okay? How would we ever move forward if we going to dwell on the past?”

I supposed Ziyaad was right in one aspect, when he saw my withdrawn face all those weeks ago. Although I rejected most of his womanising theories, I realised there was some truth in his advice to find something.. or rather.. someone else to focus on. I smiled to myself as I remembered his good humour as I told him about my unintentional part in possibly breaking someone’s marraige. The regret still haunted me on some days.

Khawlah blinked with the realisation.

“I suppose you’re right,” she said pensively. “I think it’s great that you’re moving on… And I truly hope that you’ve found the person who will bring out the best in you.. be your better half… make you smile, and raise you to heights that are amazing and beautiful and overflowing with love for Allah. I sincerely want the best for you, and hope you are making the right choice. Of course, I’ll make lots of Du’aa that you’ll live happily ever after, with lots of gorgeous kids who have your eyes and all the rest…”

I could see Zuleikha’s eyes shining as she smiled. Khawlah had developed some of Adam’s quirky humour and I liked it. It was funny.

“Like you and Adam,” I said indifferently. I wasn’t a soppy kind of guy but I really did admire the easy bond that my sister had with her husband.

I really meant it as a compliment and honestly didn’t expect what followed….

Because just as she met my gaze, there was a streak of something unrecognisable in her eyes, and she promptly burst into tears.

NB. So sorry about the delay and any shortfalls in the post. I hope next week is a bit calmer. Also, make maaf for those who have mailed me, I will reply when I get a chance. Lots of comments are going to spam, and I will try and check those regularly as well..

Will try and post on time next week, Insha Allah. 
Much Love,

A xx

Sunnah of Drinking Water

Sit down before drinking water. No matter you are in hurry for something, but that should not stop you from taking a moment to sit down and drink water in a healthy way. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Sit down and drink” (Muslim). Science also proved that drinking water whilst standing or walking can cause Gastrointestinal Tract (GIT) damage, kidney damage, arthritis, nerve tension, and other disorders.

FB: The Journeying Muslimah

Ig: thejourneyingmuslimah 







Twitter: @ajourneyjournal



Finding Faith

Bismihi Ta’ala 


Looking back, it’s easy to see when a mistake has been made. To regret a choice that seemed like a good idea at the time. Sometimes it just takes one moment that changes your life forever. One moment to rethink everything that you’ve always known.

But, then, there’s faith. You see, faith is something that comes through for you when you least expect it. I mean, it’s always there… but sometimes you have to dig really deep into it’s well, to see it’s magic. That with faith, and true Tawakkul, you believe, you accept… and you use it to build yourself up so you can conquer whatever it is that Allah places in your path. With that superpower, you feel the calmness in the storm, the sunshine through the rain… and all the pain and regret fades away…

”So this one’s a little bit of a sad story,” I started as I looked at the boys. “But it’s the most special one yet…”

It was the day before Aadam’s fall, and I had been desperate to see the boys before the second term craziness would take over. Of course, I had missed out on them for the most of the holiday. It was a miracle that I had got them still enough to have five sets of eyes fixated on me as I continued… Including Aadam’s.

Once upon a time,” I started animatedly. “On a night when the stars had stooped as lowww as the roofs, and the entire house was filled with brilliant light, there was a beautiful little baby boy that was born…

There was not even a single straying gaze as I spoke.

”He was actually destined to be the greatest of humans to exist,” I read on.“The King of Madina. At the time of his birth, it was a custom for the Makkan families to send their babies to the countryside… so they can breathe the freshest air and eat the most wholesome of food. It was here where they would get the best of care from the people of Banu S’ad who took care of them there. When the country people had come to take their babies, it so just happened that this little boy was one of the last to leave! You see…”

My voice dipped as they stared at me with wide eyes, obviously fearful of what was in store for the great human being that would become of that baby boy.

“He had no father,” I said softly. “Because he had passed away before he was born… and no-one wanted to take an orphan!
They thought that they wouldn’t get any money…
And just in time, Allah Ta’ala sent a lady named Halima Sa’dia who happened to set eyes on beloved Baby Muhammed (SAW), as something changed inside her heart. It was like a magnet that drew her to him. Something had stirred within her and she said to her husband: ‘By Allah! I will go to this orphan and by all means I will take him with me.
Her husband agreed and replied: ‘Perhaps he may bring us Barakah…’
And that was exactly what he brought!”

”Who’s Barakah?”

It was Zia who spoke, with wide eyes as he watched my ever-changing expressions. Aadam was grinning to himself too, pretty amused by my version of story time. It was the first time he had witnessed the art of dramatization.

”She’s a girl in my Madrasah,” Dayyaan said seriously.

I stifled a giggle.

”They’re so silly,” Danyaal said, rolling his eyes.

”They’re still learning,” I said kindly, as I turned to look at them. “Barakah is blessings. When Nabi (SAW) was taken by  Bibi Halima, he gave them lots of blessings. Their camel was the fastest to reach their home. Their goats became the fattest… Their grass became the greeeenest…”

”And they had plenty of everything,” Danyaal finished blandly.

”But what was he like?” Dayyaan asked curiously. “This little boy. Was he naughty?”

I smiled as Aadam raised his eyebrows in silence. I noticed him stretching his legs painfully, but I shoved the concern to the back of my mind and looked at the boys.

”Not at all,” I said, a bit amused as I watched Danyaals face fall. He clearly wanted someone to relate to. The poor child was always being scolded for something or the other.

“He was really special. Not like any one of  us. From his blessed birth to his death… His wife, Aa’isha (RA) actually said something really amazing…”

I recalled the Hadith as I looked at them.

It is mentioned in the lengthy story about Sa’d ibn Hishaam ibn ‘Aamir, when he came to Madeenah and went to ‘Aa’ishah (RA) and asked her about some matters. He said: I said: O Mother of the believers, tell me about the character of the Messenger of Allaah (SAW).
She said: Do you not read the Qur’aan?
I said: Of course.
She said: The character of the Prophet of Allaah (SAW) was the Qur’aan.
I wanted to get up and not ask about anything else until I died… Narrated by Muslim (746).  

When you get a little older,” I explained. “And you learn the Quran and it’s meaning… then you’ll know what an honest, humble and kind man Nabi (SAW) was…”

“What happened to him after?” Dayyaan asked, a bit worried. “When he went back to his mummy?”

”Well,” I said softly. “His mummy passed away when he was six….”

”Like you?”

I swallowed hard as I looked back at Danyaal.
He spoke softly and gently, and I knew he meant no harm, but my heart contracted as it struck me.

I nodded and tried to control my own emotions as Aadam looked like he was about to try and intervene. I gestured to him that it was okay, cleared my throat  and bravely continued.

“And then he was left to his grandfather,” I said blinking hard as I buried the surfacing emotion. “When his grandfather passed away, it was his Uncle, Abu Talib who took care of him till he was quite grown up. He loved him very, very much…”

The story of Abu Talib and his refusal to accept the Shahadah still brought tears to my eyes as I thought of it…

”And the main moral of the story, boys,” Aadam cut in as watched me with a wavering smile. “Is that you must always be good to your uncle. Be kind to him, don’t back-chat and never jump on his back. Let him win all the games on the PlayStation and buy him plenty of chocolates, yeah? Not chomp please… the expensive type from Switzerland that he likes and lots and lots of yummy-“

Hey!” I said, widening my eyes at my husband, who was now grinning cheekily. I was trying to give the kids a Seerah lesson and my husband had missed the plot. “That’s not the main moral!

“That was the part that stood out for me!” Aadam grinned back, in his defense.

I shook my head at him as he ruffled the grinning boys hair, and came forward to peck me on the cheek.

”By the way, I love the way you tell stories,” he said softly, before heading off to the kitchen to bring more popcorn. “This one’s really going to stick with me forever…”

And as I smiled back at him that night, little did I know that the very next night I’d be watching a sedated version of this amazing guy who I missed all the more with every passing second. He was truly my better half. The sunshine through the rain. His character was something so unique, that every person who met him felt drawn to him..

And as I read to my husband, glancing in intervals at his steady heartbeat on the monitor as he lay between hospital sheets, I was somewhat perplexed about how everything had taken such a turn in such a short while.

Sometimes home is not a place. Sometimes home is two eyes and a beating heart.


I looked up to see a man who had entered the room without me even knowing.

“Can you tell me exactly what happened?”

Aadam’s uncle looked at me momentarily over his glasses as he took down some notes. I looked away as he waited for my answer, not surprised that Aadam’s uncle looked exactly like him, except that he was beardless and about fifteen years older.

I tried to swallow my fear as I thought about what happened a few hours ago. Ma was sitting in the corner of the room, an unreadable expression on her face. Oh, the regret I felt as I thought of how everything had just gone so horribly wrong…

”He climbed onto the bench,” I started shakily. “And then the ledge… and I don’t know what happened. It’s like he was crippled under his own body weight… and that’s when I just saw him tumbling down… it was so strange…”

”Has he been complaining of any pain in his legs? Numbness?” His uncle asked.

I shook my head.

”Any pain at all?” he glanced at me questioningly, almost like he was looking for a piece of a puzzle that he wanted to solve.

”His neck,” I said, recalling the times he had been in pain and refused to admit it. “And his back. His legs… maybe. He never said so, but I could see it…”

”I can’t be the one treating him,” he said, writing faster as he nodded and looked at both Ma and I. “It’s not allowed. But I need to know what’s going on. For such a young and energetic guy like Adam to suddenly injure multiple bones is not a normal thing. It could just be weakness of limbs…“

”When will he wake up?” I asked, ignoring the hint of something else that he was probably too afraid to say. Being here in this strange place with strange people was making me feel more down than I’d thought. I just wanted to go home… and take Aadam with me.

”He’s been sedated because of the pain,” he explained. “But we need to do more tests, with his consent. I think it’s best that we see what’s going on… hopefully it’s nothing serious.”

His expression changed slightly as he wrote more notes, and then went to sit next to Ma. I could hear them talking in low tones as I watched Aadam. He had injured his arm, broken his leg and damaged a few of his vertebra. The spinal injury was the a bit worrying, but the good news was that it would heal. I wasn’t even sure how it all happened… all I was grateful for was that he was okay.

The only thing that concerned me now that he was here, with so much of damage after just one fall… was the questions that arose. I sucked in my breath as I closed my eyes, wishing I could go back to a few hours ago , and just start this day all over again.

I looked at his stagnant frame, his steady rising and falling of his chest, finding it so unnerving to see Aadam in this immobile state. I kept revisiting that moment when he fell, and the more I did so, the more I felt like I was the one who was free-falling… just waiting for Aadam to wake up and catch me…

“Where is he? Where’s Adam?”

The voices cut through my thoughts as I heard Aadam’s uncle talking to someone outside. I knew that voice all too well but I wasn’t sure whether it was a good thing. My mother-in-law has a habit of blowing things out of proportion and I could hear from her brother’s tone that he knew that.

And of course I could imagine her anxiety.  It was no wonder that it was a few minutes later that she flew into the room, immediately rushing to my husband’s side, with tears in her eyes. For once, there were no death stares or sarcastic words directed at me… And then of course, as she turned to look at the chair in the corner of the room, her entire demeanor changed… as she spotted Ma.

“”salaamu’alaikum,” Ma said, standing up as my mother-in-law edged a little closer, almost as if she was unsure of how to behave.

And yes, as I watched them both, I was not just surprised.. but completely shocked out of my senses. It was the first time in my married life that I had ever seen my mother-in-law so disconcerted… so unsure of herself. It was almost as if she was afraid of Ma, to some degree.. although to me, Ma was the most fearless person I had ever met. It seemed like there was more to their history than Aadam had known… maybe a lot more that ever came out in the open…

“How are you keeping, Mumtaz?” Ma said, looking steadily at Aadam’s mother as they greeted awkwardly. She nodded meekly back, clearly emotional about the entire situation. Of course, the event for their overdue reunion were not exactly ideal…

And as they watched each other in semi-silence, almost as if they were unsure of how to break the very palpable ice, I knew that the best thing to do was leave them be. Despite not wanting to leave Aadam, I knew that he was in good hands and that it would be the perfect  opportunity for me to read Esha Salaah, get a cup of coffee and let the mother and daughter do some catching up. Besides, if there were any dramatic explosions due to happen, I definitely didn’t want to be the one to have to simmer them down.

I sighed as I excused myself and looked at my vibrating caller ID, seeing Rubeena’s number, but not knowing what to tell her. I wasn’t yet in a state to talk about it all.  I knew she was probably worried and anxious since she couldn’t be here, but just the thought of comforting someone else felt exhausting. I scanned the congested area outside for a seat as I stirred my coffee, spotting a single bench at the far corner, hoping that no-one would get there before me. All I wanted to do was sit in that isolated hideaway and think about nothing. I wasn’t exactly good with emotions… and expressing how I was feeling was proving a task. My mind was buzzing with information about various medical related conditions and I seriously needed it to stop.

I plopped myself down on the cold seat and breathed in, closing my eyes for a few seconds as I savored the feeling of the warm coffee in my hands. Aadam. I just couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t right…

”Hectic day?”

I opened my one eye to glimpse a young girl who had seated herself on the other side of the bench, with an identical cup of coffee in her hands.

I smiled weakly as I looked at her. Her eyes were strikingly violet, and her red hair was tied back tightly. Her white coat was open as she leaned back against the steel seating, and rubbed her temples. She was actually particularly stunning, in a completely unexpected way.

”You can’t even imagine,” I said blandly with a small smile, taking a sip of the subtly sweetened coffee. “I hate hospitals.”

I really did. It reminded me of the times when Mama would be in and out, for some reason or the other. She smiled back weakly.

”I think I’m getting there too… I’ve just worked a triple shift,” she said, sounding exhausted. “And I’m not even done yet. I haven’t eaten more than two Marie biscuits. That’s mini Maries, by the way. I’ve had about twenty emergency cases that could simply not wait.. We’ve only managed to save half of those lives and I’m absolutely exhausted, even with all of this coffee. Welcome to the club…”

I smiled sympathetically as she took a sip of her coffee, and looked at me apologetically.

”I’m sorry,” she said suddenly, shaking her head. “I know I’m random and I don’t usually do this. Just a bit in over my head here… sometimes I wonder if I really did the right thing by choosing this profession. I mean it’s got it’s perks and I love saving lives, but when you see people die right in front of your eyes and you can do nothing but just watch them…”

She looked away as she said it. She seemed like she was a genuinely nice person, and I knew that I could never judge her, but it was obvious that at present she didn’t really follow a faith…

And as I watched her speak, it was like a deep inclination that was telling me that I had to grasp this opportunity. I thought about how the pious people used any opportunity to spread the word of Deen, and I knew I didn’t compare… but I really wanted to try. She was in an emotional state and something within me was telling me that I had to reach out to her. Little did I know that in the process I would reach within myself too…

”But none of us are in control…“ I said softly. “It’s all in God’s hands, isn’t it?”

And as I said it, I couldn’t help but think to myself: Was it possible that Allah had placed her in my path to do some of my own introspection..?

She was looking at me with a stunned expression on her face.

“You sound just like my mother,” she said, with a small smile. “So much of faith. I always wonder how you guys do it, you know… believe so whole-heartedly that there’s a Greater Power, despite all the ugliness and injustice and crap that goes on in this world. It’s just amazing. People of faith. Well, meeting you… it kind of reminds me of my purpose in this life…”

She didn’t elaborate but I smiled as I thought of how different people have faith. Different people. Different faiths. Every heart created by one Supreme Lord that guided as He willed…

And yes, in my own heart of hearts I knew what I wanted to tell her, and what I should, but as I started, all I knew was that I was baring my soul to her in a most unconventional way. And through my own grief and confusion, as I was struggling to connect it all together myself, somehow everything fell into place as I let her into my little world of hope and faith and belief in One Amazing Creator that has all control. 

I told her about the greatest of Prophets (SAW) that we follow, about how Isa (AS) is also our prophet too, and about how we regard every messenger as exceptional as well… I told her about how we pray five times a day to keep that connection with our Creator, how we ‘meditate’ to stregthen our relation with Him and how gratitude and complete Tawakkul in Allah is the superpower that guides us through even the most difficult of trials…

Wow,” she said, just as I finished, with raised eyebrows. “I’m speechless. I love what you just said about handing over your affairs over to God and letting it go… it’s beautiful. I had no idea that Muslim people were so… deep. I knew a Muslim once and he was a great guy… but he was different… I don’t think he knew much about his faith. And something is telling me that I need to sit down and speak to  you for longer… but I have a few more hours on duty before I’m going to crash. What’s your husband’s name, by the way? Hopefully I’ll see you again. I’m just an intern but I’ll tell the supervising doctor to keep an eye on him while you guys are not around for the night… if you want?”

She was actually such a sincere person and I too really wished I could talk to her more. Faith… well, when you find it and truly have that unexpected power that sheds light on even the darkest of days… it changes everything.

She took a swig of her coffee as I told her which ward he was in.

“His uncle actually practises here,” I said finally, gesturing in the direction of the medical ward. “My husband is his sister’s son. His name is Aadam…”

And at the mention of his name, that was precisely when she choked on her coffee.

Dear Readers,

Shukran to ALL those readers who provided those Duaas for kids. It truly is appreciated. Please let me know if anyone requires them for themselves, and I will post/e-mail.

As an aspiration for this month of Rabi-ul-Awwal, let’s take a little time to learn about the character of Nabi (SAW)… and try extra hard to implement the Sunnah in our lives InshaAllah… the way of our Prophet (SAW) has so many benefits Alhumdulillah …

Sunnah of Drinking Water:

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Do not drink water only in one breath, but drink it in two or three breaths.”

Scientific studies show that there are many harmful effects in drinking water in one gulp. It can cause choking of esophagus. It especially weakens the muscles and nerves. It is also detrimental for the liver and stomach. Amazing, SubhaanAllah!

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The Fall

N.B. Little longer post… Apologies for the delay. InshaAllah posts should resume normally…  xx

Bismihi Ta’ala


One of the things that people often say is that you can’t move on until you let go of the past.

But the funny part is, if we follow our hearts… when we choose not to hold on to past grievances, we rise above it. A weight lifts. The sun shines a little brighter. For a few brief moments, we find that thing that we’re all chasing… we find peace.

And it was no surprise that as I accepted Aadam’s gracious request, and I made the choice to never go to that place where it could come between us again… we kind of slipped back into the ease and comfort that we always had. The fact was that I loved my husband. More than I had thought, enough to put this behind us and  in a way that made me realize that his sins were no longer a part of this great guy that I had fallen in love with.

And yes, I had fallen. In a huge way. And that was the thing with true love, wasn’t it? It wasn’t just for the now. Love for Allah builds you up, opens your heart and changes people who were once selfish into the most selfless souls. Through this union, Aadam’s presence had unveiled an entire world for me as I witnessed his ease, his compassion and the amazing character that he exhibited through everything he did…

I watched him as he drove, on the last day of my holiday with the cloud of upcoming school that loomed above, chattering about work and other things he had been planning, and just enjoying the last few hours before the craziness would start again…

“It’s not far now,” he said mysteriously, as we stopped for Zohr at a local service station. “But I promise you’ll love it. She’s been waiting for us the whole week and I just know that she’s going to love you.”

“She?” I said, as I jumped back into the car. “Who’s she?”

Aadam chuckled as he saw the worried look on my face. He continued to drive, and before I knew it, the car had already halted.

“We’re here, gorgeous,” Aadam’s voice whispered as he touched my cheek lightly, after what felt like just minutes later. I had dozed off, and without knowing it, another hour had flown by. “Are you ready to meet someone special?”

I nodded, still in a bit of a daze as I adjusted my hijaab and sat up. And as I processed it, I couldn’t help but remain absolutely fixated at what was before me, taking in the dazzling architecture that was built on the onset of a mountainous slope. From what I could see, we had travelled quite far from the dreariness of Gauteng, where the year-round dryness often tired me. The beauty of this lush landscape had rendered me speechless for a few moments.

Wow,” I couldn’t help but murmur, as I stared out into the open view.

“She’s beautiful, isn’t she?”

I nodded, still a little taken aback by the spectacle. It was only when I glanced at him as he pushed open the door, did I realize that he wasn’t only talking about the gorgeous view ahead.

I fumbled with the car handle, watching Aadam walk towards the woman who was approaching our car with a huge grin on her face. And yes, Aadam was right.

She was beautiful.

As Aadam smothered her with kisses on both sides of her cheeks, I could see her chuckling uncontrollably. I smiled as I approached them, already recognising that amazing one-dimpled grin that my husband had inherited. There was no question about it…

Aadam stepped back as he saw me approaching, and as she came forward, her fierce embrace caught me a little off guard.

”Khawlah,” Aadam said as I held her back and looked at him. “This is my Ma..”

You know I’m not too old to give you a hiding, Adam,” Ma scolded and wagged her finger at him, with tears at the crinkled corners of her eyes. “You took so long to bring her here. All those kisses aren’t making up for it, so don’t you dare think you’re off the hook!”

I grinned as Aadam widened his eyes at me. I didn’t even remember meeting her properly after our Nikah, with all the drama that day… but I knew that I did.

Looking at her now, up close, I could already see where her grandkids had inherited their genes from. Aadam’s grandmother was probably in her seventies, but she didn’t look a day over fifty. And though Aadam had spoken about her often, I never really wondered why I didn’t see this stunning woman sooner.

As we trudged upstairs, entering her apartment was like a breath of fresh air. It was done up so beautifully, with oaks and antiques, and as we stepped in and I gazed around, I could see the most spectacular view that it overlooked. I couldn’t wait to get out there and take it all in.

“I can’t believe you call your granny, ‘Ma’,” I whispered to him as she disappeared down the passage while Aadam winked at me and made himself comfortable on her antique rocking chair.

”I am Indian, you know,” he said, sounding nothing like it. I smiled back at the irony. It was one of the things that made Aadam.. well, Aadam.

As for his ‘Ma’, I could already tell that she was such a my kind of person. I could almost imagine her sitting on the single rocking chair next to the shelf and dozing off after her daily reading. The carved bookcase showcased a selection of Islamic literature, and I actually could not believe that she was so different from Aadam’s mother.

”Does Rubeena come here?”

I never heard Rubeena talking about visiting her grandmother before. It was sad that this woman lived so far away, and there was barely any contact.

“Not in a while,” Aadam said softly.

He swallowed as he looked at me pensively, almost deliberating on his next words.

Of course I was even more curious now. She barely came to visit and neither did I ever hear my mother-in-law talk about her.

“Why not?” I asked, looking out the window at the gorgeous skies. Their clarity was beautifully inviting. From up here, it all looked so close…

”Family issues,” he said with a shrug. “I was still young at the time, but I do remember that Ma and Mum had some words about Ruby marrying Shabeer.. Like, a lot of words… and it wasn’t pretty. They don’t really see eye to eye… I remember everyone being upset, and then Ruby got married…”

Aadam stopped talking as we heard footsteps down the passage again, and I smiled at him as I got up, despite how my heart was sinking.

From what I could see, their Nani, or Ma, as Aadam called her, was one of the few elderly people left in their family. And though Aadam mentioned that she had a son that lived closed by and two other daughters, I couldn’t help but feel like Rubeena’s kids should have known her better.

When I grew up, it was the elder  people who made the events what they were. We looked forward to seeing Foi Nani and Dada immensely. If it wasn’t for Aunty Nas I knew that Dada wouldn’t have been sent away. It had definitely caused a rift between Dada and Abba but they were slowly mending their relationship as time went by.

I just wished that people knew the reward in fulfilling the rights of the elders in the family. What was sad was that these things happened all the time.. but what worried me here was what if they never got that chance to get back on top of things and rebuild their‘s?

I promised myself that when I had kids, one of the first people they would get to know was this wonderful lady who was so thrilled to have us here…

“Aw Ma, that’s so sweet,” Aadam said suddenly, grinning as his Ma entered the room with a huge gift bag in her hand. “You didn’t have to get me anything..”

Aadam’s Ma raised her eyebrows as her grandson humorously.

”You get spoilt enough,” she said to him, placing the box next to me and the gift down as I smiled and thanked her. I was overwhelmed by her already. “This is for my new granddaughter.”

”As usual, I just get taken for granted in this house…” Aadam muttered, pretending to be upset.

His grandmother whacked him lightly on the hand as he pouted, and I couldn’t help but admire the easy relationship that the two of them had.

This was an entirely different side of Aadam that I had yet to see. With his mother, he always seemed a little on edge.. but here, he was someone else completely. He was just him.

Of course I was thrilled with the gift, but what was even more enthralling was the little envelope with handwriting that lay on top. I was itching to know what was inside… I just loved handwritten notes and I had no idea how this thoughtful woman knew it. Aadam had inherited a little more than just his amazing smile from her…

”Do you want to open part of your gift?” She said kindly. “There’s something I wanted Adam to see.”

I looked at her, already knowing that she was talking about the letter..

”Ma always has something up here sleeve,” Aadam smiled, winking at me and looking at Ma. “Are you finally taking up my offer? I mean, I know it’s amazing here but I don’t like Ma staying alone. I still don’t know why you don’t just move in with me…”

Huh uh,” she said stubbornly. “You want me to give this up and come live in a city flat and breathe polluted air? I’ll probably never see another sunrise ever again. Better idea- you’ll come and stay with me, since you always worried about your old Ma.”

”You know I’d love to,” Aadam said with a wink. “But Ma, your place is in the middle of nowhere… No Halaal food, no mosque…”

It was no wonder that Aadam had bought an apartment right next to the Masjid. I could see that his heart had an attachment to it and the fact that he was so particular about reading his Salaah there was what made me even more certain that this guy was even more amazing than he seemed.

“And what about my kids Ma…” he was still saying. “If I had to live here… Must I send them to boarding school?”

Never!” she said quickly, her eyes wide. “I don’t know how your mother could do that to you.. you know, you were such a pleasant child. Easy-going. Never fussed. She was just tooooo busy to cope with you. She didn’t have the time..”

Aadam looked slightly uncomfortable as she said it.

”Never mind…” he said softly, turning to look at me. “Can we read that letter now?”

My heart ached for my husband, as I looked away. There was a pain that existed there that I had never known about. Ma just smiled as she got up and reached into the gift bag she had left next to the couch, taking out an envelope from inside and handing it to me.

I had no idea what it was, but as I pulled out a piece of paper and saw the childish handwriting, I instantly smiled and read it aloud.

Roses are blue,

Violets are red,

If I ever get confused,

Please knock me on the head.

For you, Ma, coz I know you’ll do it.

Love you forever,

Adam ox

I giggled as I looked up at Aadam and his Ma, who were just as amused.

”When he gave it to me, I told Aadam that one day, I’m going to give it to his wife because she’ll need it,” she said with her one dimpled grin that was identical to my husbands. “And I finally did!”

Aadam was grinning now like an idiot, his legs propped up on the coffee table as he watched us in amusement.

”See,” I said, smiling at him. “I always say you’re a poet. How old were you?”

”No idea,” he said as he ran his hand through his beard. “But I had an awesome sense of humour…”

”Maybe around 10,” Ma smiled, getting up slowly. “Aadam used to come here often on the weekends. Now I’m sure you guys are hungry. Let me put the food on now…”

”I’ll put it on,” Aadam said, getting up as his grandmother nodded gratefully.

We watched Aadam head off to the kitchen as Ma and I spoke about general things. It was no surprise that we got along… I knew we would from the start. It was like the type of relationship you have with someone that you just meet and suddenly you just ‘click’… Like we’d known each other for years…

”Ma, the food is on low,” Aadam called as he walked in. “Are you busy telling her all my secrets?”

“Yes,” Ma said firmly. “Every single one of them. Even the one when I had to give you a good hiding because you took apart my entire computer tower.”

”Child abuse,” Aadam muttered, with a shake of his head. “The lights were fascinating. No wonder I’m so damaged.”

Rubbish!” she said with a shake of her head. Her expression changed slightly, as if she was recalling something. “You’re far from damaged… Alhumdulillah! You know, when I look at you, Adam, you’re so lucky, my boy. There’s not a day that passes that I don’t remember your journey… and every day it reminds me that Duaa can truly bring miracles. Allah knows… How I sat every night and took your name… I remember how worried I was… when you came to me that day a few years ago, looking like you were so lost. Night and day I would read that ‘Rabbana’ Duaa… the one that Maulana had spoken about for kids. I would pray that Allah fixes your heart and that you would find your way… and then, when you came again the next year, it was like magic. I could see it… I could see the weight lifted from you. You told me about Khawlah and how you wanted to change… About how you had been so wrong about everything your whole life… and now, look at you today..”

My own heart thudded in my chest as I looked from Aadam to Ma. She had tears in her eyes, and Aadam was looking immensely pained as she spoke.

”How merciful is Allah… You found this beautiful girl who changed your life. You took a chance and you changed everything and I really can’t explain to you’ll how happy I am to see you’ll here together today…“

Her voice broke as she halted, and I could feel tears welling up in my own eyes as I watched them. Goodness, this was so emotional

”Ma,” Aadam said softly, swallowing hard as he looked over at me. “You’re going to make us all cry just now…”

”Now you better not mess this up,” she warned cheekily, wiping her eyes with a tissue.

”Aw ma,” Aadam said softly. “This is your favorite grandson and his dream girl, there’s no way I’m going to-“

”Yes, well you better make sure of it,” she said with a wag of her finger. “You know you’re never too old for that wooden stick! Now you guys better hurry up and have some children before I die…”

”Ma,” Aadam said now, looking a little uncomfortable at the request. “We just got married. My wife’s still young … we need some time to adjust to each other…”

”Nonsense,” she retorted. “All you young people got the same stories. What’s this ‘adjust to each other‘? You’ll already there. When I got married there was no such thing. Now see, I’m living to see grandchildren and great-grandchildren and I want to meet yours too, Adam. You know that. Remember I’m not going to live forever.”

”You’re the resident dinosaur, Ma,” Aadam teased. “Don’t talk like that. You still got plenty more years…”

The chatter went on like that as we finally sat to eat the delicious lamb curry that she had prepared. As I devoured the food,  I could see where my mother-in-law got her cooking skills from. It was absolutely delicious.

And just as I felt like my tummy would burst, Aadam’s grandmother ushered us out, declining any help to get the tea things together and take it outside.

And if I felt amazed by this place when I got here, I would not be able to describe how awestruck I was by this staggering sight before us right then. I breathed out as Adam slunk back, watching me as my eyes feasted on the wonder of the gorge that lay ahead. The valley was lined with colorful bushes between their hills, and right ahead of us, was a gushing of unprecedented water that ran right from the onset… and cascaded in absolute magnificence to a small pool below. It was a waterfall that glimmered back at us in all its glory. At this time of the afternoon, it looked like the sun was slowly weaving in and out of this splendor, tipping on the crests and expertly avoiding the subsequent troughs that followed. Not to mention the contrast of the dreamy-blue skies against the flourishing green vegetation were a sight that blew me away…

It was with absolutely certainty say that I had never seen anything more breathtaking in my life.

”Its amazing, isn’t it?” Aadam said softly, coming up behind me as I leant over slightly. I had never been afraid of heights but this was something else. It was like a series of valleys that merged together, creating the most perfect vision that simply left me a little speechless.

”Imagine Jannah,” I said softly, tearing my eyes away to glance at him as he stood next to me. “In all this wonder, beauty and absolute amazement.. Imagine that world…”

Aadam gripped my hand firmly as he stared ahead in silence. Fluffy clouds floated by lazily and the ever- present breeze was a soothing to my soul. This was, undeniably, what Aadam wanted me to see… and as usual, it didn’t disappoint. I could not imagine how it must be to wake up to this every morning. No wonder Ma refused to leave…

“One day, beautiful,” Aadam said quietly, as he placed both his arms on the railing and looked over. “One fine day we’ll reach that place… you and me both…we’ll reach that rainbow that seems so far away. I can already feel that it’s so much closer. That the suns a little brighter and clouds have lifted… I feel like I’m on the right path now, Khawlah… Like how Ma said, I’ve treaded so far and now I’m getting there, to where my Lord wants me to be… and I’m certain it was someone’s heartfelt Duaas that got me here…”

He trailed off as he swallowed and looked at me.

“And I think I’m going to stop now because I’ve bared my soul to you enough this week,” he continued with a smile. “Maybe it’s time for some payback…”

I shivered slightly as the chilly breeze hit my cheek, and I snuggled into Aadam’s Downs jacket, which was the cuddliest thing ever.

”What were you thinking of?” I asked in a neutral tone, as I gazed ahead. “As long as you don’t take advantage..”

”Only a piece of your heart,” he said into my ear. “That’s all I ever asked for…”

”Done,” I smiled, watching his face light up as I looked back at him.

“Really?!” he said, raising his one weird eyebrow to look at me. “I’m not sure if I should accept that, though…”

”What do you expect me to do?!” I said bossily as I stepped back. “Scream it out to the world?”

”Precisely that,” he said with a grin. “Must I show you how it’s done?!”

I grinned back as I watched him climb onto the small stool on the other side and lean over the balustrade. This guy was a helluva lot of fun but he was definitely a little nutty.

”You ready for it?!” He asked, his eyes dancing as he turned to look at me for a moment, just before he shouted a huge ‘hello’ into the gorge ahead. This was entertainment at its best, and as his voice echoed back, I was amazed at how it reverberated throughout the vacant valleys.

”Aadam, the neighborhood will think you’re gone off your rockers,” I scolded, trying to get him to behave himself.

Sometimes I honestly wondered who was the older one here. It was hard to believe that I was almost a whole 5 years younger…

”I do this all the time,” Aadam called out, letting his voice echo throughout the valleys once again. “The neighbors love me, yeah…”

”You’re crazy.”

“About you.”

And as Aadam climbed up a little stool that had been perched next to Ma’s pot plants, I wasn’t sure if it was a lack of judgement or if it was just a buckling of his weakened limbs as he stepped ahead onto the raised ledge below the railing…

All I remembered was my heart literally jumping out of my mouth as something caved beneath him, and it felt like my entire world was in slow motion, as I watched it all unfold in helpless despair…

And that was when Aadam fell.

P.S. I’m sorry about the ‘cliff’-hanger…

P.P.S. As a matter of interest on the Duaas for righteous kids… does anyone know of any other Arabic duaas to read for kids specifically…? (someone had asked me) 

رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا

Rabbana hab-lana min azwajina wathurriyyatina qurrata aAAyunin waijAAalna lilmuttaqeena imama

“Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.”



‘O my Lord ! make me one who establishes regular prayer and (also) from my offspring ,our Lord ! 
and accept my invocation”
رَبِّ اجعَلنى مُقيمَ الصَّلوٰةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتى ۚ رَبَّنا وَتَقَبَّل د


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The Real Stuff

Bismihi Ta’ala


“By the Glorious Morning Light,”

“And by the Night when it is still,

“Your Lord has neither forsaken you,

Nor has He become displeased.”

“And surely the hereafter will be better for you than the present (life).”

“And soon your Lord will grant that with which you shall be well-pleased.”

“Did He not find you an orphan and sheltered (you)?”

“And He found you wandering and guided (you).”

“And He found you in need and made you independent…”

(Surah Duha, The Glorious Qur’an) 

Tranquility descended as the verses played through my mind, again and again, almost as if they were a gentle reminder of everything I had forgotten all along.

There was something strange about a broken heart. There were times when it almost craved the pangs that it felt, in an almost sadistic way. And then there were times when you dreaded the hurt so much, because it felt like your chest would cave in, and the only thing stopping it from doing so are the gasps of air you take in between the tears…

The verses of Surah Duha had come like a breeze of inspiration… bringing with it relief and consolation.. easing the pain that had come from a very palpable loss. As a young girl, I recalled Khalid narrating the detailed events that led up to it’s revelation that was my ultimate refuge. How such a young heart had captured the intricacy of what transpired at the time of revelation of this beautiful Surah, was completely beyond me. At a tender age of seven, Khalid had exhibited such splendid insight, that even my nearly seventeen-year-old self still struggled to grasp.

It had been fifteen days that had passed since the beloved Prophet (SAW) had received any revelation. The disbelievers taunted him. His heart had felt burdened… as if his Lord was not happy with him.  And when the verses descended on him, like refreshing rain after a scorching drought, it gave him a new strength, and brought him immense hope. And of course, it didn’t just come as a ‘proof’ to those at the time, who were too arrogant to see the truth. Till this day it comes with the unchanging message to remind him (SAW)… and us all… that no matter what… our Merciful Lord has never left us alone. 

At the time, it had been two weeks since Mama’s passing and though the chaos at home had died down, the torrent of emotion in my heart was still very palpable.

I missed my Mama. Enormously. It felt like the pain of longing had penetrated to the depths of my soul. But being with Khalid and Aunty Radiyyah helped me forget about the reality back home. I was good at pretending, when I was there. I pretended that nothing had changed.  I had pretended that Mama was still here, like she had always been.. busy in the kitchen.. laughing at something that Abba had said… or getting together our things for school the next day.

Mama was at home, I silently told myself. She wasn’t gone so far away.

And for months, as I escaped through the back door, down the familiar path to Khalid’s gorgeous garden, that would be my life. Day in, day out… I would pretend that home was still the same. That nothing had changed. And through my routine that I had become so accustomed to, somewhere along the way, I had forgotten to pretend. For a boisterous six-year-old, life was too exciting to keep living a facade. Somehow, reality had become bearable again, and I supposed that’s how people heal.  The mind forgets. The soul repairs. Happiness returns, once again…

It doesn’t mean that everything goes away. It just means that the feeling of loss no longer controls our lives.

And as I thought of those days once again, whilst the verses that had comforted my siblings then.. consoled me now, the memories were vivid as I thought back…

I breathed in deeply as the verses played through my mind. No matter how long.. what time.. or what place.. the effect that they brought was never lost.

Ans just as I felt like dwelling in my misery for a few more hours, because I had become so accustomed to it, Nusaybah’s jovial voice came as a piercing reminder that regular life had to go on…

”Nus!” I squealed, pulling the blanket over my head as she inconsiderately yanked open my curtains. “Don’t you have any consideration for people who sleep? I know you barely get any shut-eye, but come on!”

“It’s past 11AM, girl!” She said, appalled at my statement. “Get yourself out of that bed and lets get cracking with some work! Plus, there’s a car stalking your house…”

I groaned as I crawled further under the covers. Why, oh why, didn’t Nusaybah stay away longer?

”Didn’t you miss me?” Nusaybah asked sweetly as she placed her hands on her hips and grinned at me. “Or have you been too busy with Mr Perfect to even notice me gone?”

If only she knew the truth about ‘Mr Perfect’. I had felt like I had unwrapped the most beautiful box of decadent Belgian chocolates, and just found a dead cockroach inside.

“What car are you taking about?“ I said, peeping out from the top of the duvet.

”A black one,” she said obviously. “With tinted windows. And a sinister looking male inside.”

I groaned inwardly again.

“On the other hand,” Nusaybah said, cocking her head to one side thoughtfully. “That car was really shady looking… it may just be a throw off. You never know what extra-terrestrial creatures may be lurking within…”

“It’s Aadam’s car,” I said, knowing what kind of delusional thoughts would be going through my friends mind. Her imagination was way too vivid for my liking.

Ah,” she said, as if a bulb had been flickered on in her extremely active brain, as she peeped out the window. “But he’s gone now. So what’s going on? Why was he waiting outside like a creep?”

My best friend was an amazing soul, but one talent she didn’t have was the knack of being politely subtle.

“It’s been a bit of a crazy week…” I started, as Nusaybah crawled into bed next to me and listened to my lamenting for almost fifteen minutes. Besides the fact that Aadam and I weren’t on the best of terms right then, the conflict was causing other problems in the family that I didn’t anticipate.

Ahmed’s Samoosa run had gone off well from his side, but the dramatics thereafter were what made him go off on a tangent with me about Aadam. He was convinced that if Aadam was there like he should have been, no issues would have stemmed… And although I honestly was just a naive girl who had no inkling of worldly matters, my difficult brother had no sympathy whatsoever.

And there I was, pouring my heart out to Nusaybah about how genuinely awkward the situation had got at this girl’s house when the aunties started asking me all kind of weird questions, and all Nusaybah could do was sit next to me and crack herself up about my unseemly predicament.

Let me just put it lightly. I was not impressed.

Oh… my… days!” Nusaybah managed to say between fits of giggles. She was nearly wetting her pants at my expense whilst I stared at her stonily.

“Let me just make sure I haven’t gotten the wrong end of the twisted stick here,” she finally spluttered, almost blue in the face to stop herself from laughing more. “Ahmed went to see a girl… and you ended up being a girl… that someone else wants to see?!”

She burst into fits of giggles as she looked at me, completely oblivious to my annoyance. I couldn’t see the humor here, as yet. I was just appalled at everyone. Including Nusaybah.

”I’m sorry,” she finally said, pursing her lips and looking at me with a faintest of smirks. “You just kill me, girl. Whenever I talk to you, I feel like we’re living in some amazing novella!”

”What on earth is a ‘novella’?”

”Nevermind,” she said, waving her hand. “I think we can deduce that your life will always have more drama than the usual sixteen-year-old, for various reasons that we will no longer mention…“

She glanced at me demurely, and then smiled.

”But honestly, hun,” she said, crossing her arms over her chest and sitting up to look at me. “You’re amazing. I mean, firstly, you’re my best friend, so that already speaks for itself.”

She smiled as she said it, with a humorous glint in her eye.

“You have so much going for you… no wonder those aunties were trying to set you up with their rather unsuitable connections… but you know what..?”

I looked at my friend questioningly, softening a little at the edges as she spoke.

”You’re so hard on yourself,” she said, raising her eyebrows. “Really hard. And I know it’s been tough growing up and things have been difficult… I mean, I can’t imagine how it must have been to have that kind of constant reshuffling in your life… but I suppose that’s what makes you hard. I mean, you lost so many people you loved… And over the years, it wasn’t just about being hard on yourself. You’re scared to let anyone close to you, because you’re hard on everyone else too. It’s almost as if you don’t want anyone to take that special place ever again….”

I blinked as she said it, her words striking a chord that I didn’t expect. Emotion had been evading me, even as I tried to let it all out. Although I was hurt and confused and really quite upset about Aadam… I wasn’t sure how to behave with him after this. How to get back to where we were… or even if we should…

Had I really been just shoving him off? Not wanting to get close… because I didn’t want to open my heart?

“That guy,” Nusaybah said, pointing towards the window. “Is a genius. And I’m not talking about his computer skills here. He’s a genius because not only did he see an opportunity to change his entire life… he’s a genius because he bagged the girl who inspired it. And then of course, he’s something like a wizard, because he made you- the ultimate warrior-hijaabi-princess who can do freaking Kung Fu- go all gaga over him.”

I opened my mouth to protest but Nusaybah held her hand up to stop me.

“Don’t you even try to deny it!” she warned, widening her eyes at me. “Goodness, Khawlah.. which guy in this day and age will build you your own garden on a damn rooftop, with a REAL hand-crafted swing, when you marry him?! Which guy will take you horseback riding into the mountains and quote you higher grade tafseer verses as you watch the dazzling sunrise?! Bloody hell, Khawlah, which guy buys you a hundred red roses to apologise- and I know its a hundred because I counted them before I came down to your room- and still sits and waits for you for days while you decide when you’re ready to talk to him? If I was a guy, especially one that resembles your husband, I’d be gone to find some other fish.. and believe, there are plenty..”

Why did Nusaybah always make me feel so… terrible?!

I breathed in as I looked at her, stunned at her attention to every detail I had told her in passing. How did she even remember all these things? 

“Remember that day when you turned your nose up at him like he wasn’t good enough for you?” she said softly as she met my gaze. “And remember what I told you? That his past is his past. You expected this. Everyone’s got sins.  I said: “Take a chance, ‘coz what Allah has decreed, who are we to challenge?” I don’t know what exactly he’s done, but if he hasn’t murdered anyone, broken your trust in him or sucked your blood as yet.. then believe me, in this day and age, you’re good to go.”

She gave me a small smirk as she said it, contented with her words and leaving me just a little bit speechless. I didn’t tell her what Aadam had done. I didn’t think it was fair to him… but Nusaybah was a child prodigy, the way she put everything into perspective.

It was no wonder that I suddenly had this overwhelming desire in me that some day… One day… I really wished that I’d get a chance to repay Nusaybah for all this jacking up that I constantly needed. One day, I hoped that I’d be the one that would help her through her own battles that she faced too… This friendship was one of those forever ones.

There was no getting rid of her now. Nusaybah knew way too much.

“So what do I do now?” I said, knowing what Nusaybah was trying to say but not knowing how to start. I knew that I had been difficult this week. I had switched my phone off and disconnected myself from everyone. To me, I just needed time to think. A lot of ‘what ifs’ and ‘what nexts’ had been going through my mind, but since Nusaybah had come to make me see the sense that I had been missing all this time…

“Go and have a shower, for starters,” Nusaybah said, scrunching up her face and pinching her nose as if I was a bad stench. “I’ll be back in ten minutes to tell you what to wear, since you look like you forgot what real clothes are. Then we’re going to get your life together so you can stop moping around like a crazy old spinster who lives with cats.”

I rolled my eyes at her and got out of bed, ready to take on the day. Nusaybah had so much of energy that I just couldn’t help but catch some of it from her.

And of course, after a hot shower, I already felt so much more optimistic. I supposed everything had just taken a toll. I sighed as I heard her shuffling outside the door, wondering why she was taking so long. I pulled on my nightgown that I wore the previous day, calling for her while I towel dried my hair and dumped my towel on the chair.

“Nusaybah, what’s the plans for today?” I called, a little annoyed that she wasn’t here as yet. “Will we be indoors or can we get some sunlight? I have no idea…”

There was a tap on the door as I pulled out two more dresses and an abaya dumped them on the bed. I felt like one of those irritating girls who kept on trying on outfits, even though I hadn’t even put one on as yet.

“Come in!” I yelled, frustrated that dressing up was taking so long. “Its way past ten minutes, now, Nus… I cant sit around and wait-”

“I’m sorry.”

I spun around as I heard his voice, my breath catching in my throat as he looked back at me steadily.

“I didn’t mean to make you wait for me,” Aadam continued with a small smile as I gaped at him, and he made his way to the edge of the bed. “All I came to do was claim back my wife..”

Where did he come from?

I stared at his easy posture as he grinned back at me. Trust him to make a joke out of everything. At least he wasn’t angry like Ahmed had been. He hung up my wet towel, pulling up the (embarrassingly damp) chair to sit. I was still in shock that he was actually here… so much so, that I had even forgotten my hurricane-looking room and ghastly appearance… until I looked down at my toes so realise I was still wearing my the dreary grey nightgown that Zuleikha had handed down to me just before she got married, and my hair was not even brushed. It didn’t help that he looked like some kind of Kurta-clad Arab prince and I was Mrs Frump. Aadam really did choose his moments, and Nusaybah was probably going to get a helluva mouthful too. I was quite certain that this was her master-work.

Um, I..” I swallowed, not really sure how to react. How crazy was it that I couldn’t even talk to my own husband?

“Sorry to barge in like this,” he said apologetically, his one dimple visible as he smiled at me. “I can see you’re not exactly expecting me.”

He glanced around my room, while I tried to keep a straight face. Inwardly, I was horrified.

“I suppose sometimes we just have to take a chance,” Aadam murmured, looking at me as he spoke. Why did I get the feeling he wasn’t only talking about now? “Some things come our way, and sometimes we take the risks and just have to hope for the best.”

I stared at him as he said it, my heart feeling like it was on fire.

“But,” he almost whispered, breaking his gaze away as he continued. “Sometimes we don’t always know what we are setting ourselves up for. The path that we are supposed to tread is not always perfectly paved out for us. We don’t always have a map. Some of us grow up to think that we’re free… like birds just finding a rooftop… living for the moment… To fly as we wish and at liberty to do as we please.. And then, we get overcome by emotion. And emotion is amazing, but it’s also scary and overwhelming… and sometimes… sometimes, these emotions… they make us give into our desires… do things that take us away from the point of life… away from our Loving Creator…”

He swallowed as he said the last part, and I knew that he was reliving those moments in his mind. My own heart was thudding in my chest as I saw the turbulence in his eyes.

“And that’s when we lose ourselves to it, yeah?” he continued softly, his eyes boring into mine. “We give in to temptation. We think it’s really love but it’s not. That’s when we get lost. And when I finally realized it and went looking for me, I found you. Through that chaos, and that disarray, there was a beauty that I found. I found the journey, and the path.. and then I realised that everything amazing that I saw in this life, was what you already had. From your light, the guidance you had… you had shone into our darkness. You had this thing that we needed to nurture within us and I saw it in just one glimpse. You had so much that I had missed out on my whole life and I already knew that you had something different. You have that ability to change people just by being with them… and I promise you, Khawlah, you are my navigation, my anchor and my absolute dream… and I never felt this way about anyone before. I wished with all my heart that I never did the things I did in my past… but what happened was a turning point in my life, and if it didn’t happen then I’m absolutely certain that I wouldn’t have been looking for the gold when I finally found you… ”

And I suppose that you couldn’t blame me when I just stood there and stared at Aadam like a stunned chicken, because there really was nothing that you could say back to someone who tells you crazy stuff like that. Now that, was the stuff. Real stuff that didn’t play.

“I just wanted you to know that,” he said softly, looking down a little shyly, almost as if he had just poured the entire contents of his heart out and had nothing left to leave. “I wished we could go back to five years ago and start all over again…”

I was still feeling a little breathless. I was blown away, amazed at how the promise of Allah worked… when you took that step towards Him…

Of course, my Allah had never abandoned me. No matter what. No matter when. Even in the future, no matter how deeply I would hurt. Soon… sooner than you think…

He grants you those things that will not just please you, but make your heart soar with untold joy…

The real stuff that not only makes the cut now, but is so intensely profound that it carries through to a completely different realm, beyond the present… to a Jannah that knows no pain…

I nodded meekly as Aadam searched my eyes openly, and then smiled as he came forward and planted a tiny kiss on my forehead. He knew me so well by now, that he could tell when he was off the hook.

“I just have one more request,” he said softly, as he stepped back. ”If you can tolerate this unruly husband of yours and you don’t mind giving him a chance to show you who he truly is… Will you come with me? There’s somewhere I really want to take you…”

Apologies for the delay. Hope it was a happy read !

(Btw: This was post number 200 on achancetochange.. Alhumdulillah.. Duaas always needed..)

Much Love,

A xx

Sunnah of Drinking Water:

Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam) said, “Do not drink water only in one breath, but drink it in two or three breaths.”

Scientific studies show that there are many harmful effects in drinking water in one gulp. It can cause choking of esophagus. It especially weakens the muscles and nerves. It is also detrimental for the liver and stomach. Amazing, SubhaanAllah!

How easy to practise…!

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