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…
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.
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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Love your posts! Jazakillah khair sis ❤️
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Aw, Aameen, shukran dear sister… ❤️❤️
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Awww this was so sweet.❤️❤️ I love how they both always have such beautiful advice for one another… Im so nervous about what his uncle is going to say about his health 😷Patiently awaiting the next post🌺
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Shukran sister.. I think that the readers are just glad that it’s not another cliffhanger.. haha. Or is it? I’m trying to go easy on you guys… ❤️
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Please pretty please go easy on Adam and you’ll surely go easy on us🤩….
Superb writing Masha Allah… Allah reward you immensely for such beautiful reminders and glimmers of hope..
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I am certainly going to try.., ❤️❤️
Shukran jazeelan sister 🌈 Aameen
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