When the Unmentionable is Mentioned…

Bismihi Ta’ala


I once heard Khawlah say to the kids that if you can have gratitude, you can be the king of even a one-story shack. It was like an epiphany to me. To be grateful was something I never gave much credit to before, but now made so much of sense. Being grateful for things increase their worth multiple fold…

And every day for me, since my divorce, was a learning experience. Some days I learnt tolerance. Some days patience. Some days I learnt faith.

And some days, I learnt how to just be. To stop. To ponder. To be grateful. To realize how many bounties Allah had given me, that I do rarely stopped to thank Him for.

And through my journey and the lessons and everything else…. Time was passing us by at record speed. It seemed like the more we chased it, the more it evaded us. The more we tried to hold onto the moments, the more illusive they became.

And no, we didn’t talk about it. We didn’t want to. We lived in a world of idealism where everything around us existed for what it was, and we were merely trying to just live for what we could see right then. It was the same thing we in our ordinary lives. Live for the moment. Don’t think about the future. Have no worries… because this world was something that wanted us to keep thinking that it would never end…

And as we continued with our regular outings and the likes, Adam’s health was constantly changing. I supposed that it wa sa constant reminder lurking there. While he appeared well most of the time, there were moments when I glimpsed the reality of his fatigue and weakness. It was something that I remembered often when I looked back, because it showed me a little more about who my brother truly was. Nothing held him back. Despite the illness and despite the odds, he pushed through to be the best human being he always could.

Of course, we looked forward to spending time with him, but through it all I could tell that Adam was building up for something really special. It was something that he was purposely psyching himself up for. Something that the boys would remember for a really long time. I didn’t understand it at that time, but in retrospect, the way he had planned it all down to the tee was quite incredible.

And yes, I thought about it often because it was late winter and we were all still wondering why Adam had insisted our weekend bags be packed with ultra warm clothes, when it was practically scorchers in Gauteng. I had a good mind of checking his medication doses but I tried to be open-minded as we headed out for our family road trip that by any standards, was bound to be eventful.

“Are we there yet?”

It was about the millionth time I had heard the question, but to tell the truth, even I was wondering the same thing. Amidst my parents chatter and the general enjoyment of being altogether, we all couldn’t stand the wait.

”Where are we going?” Danyaal asked, the curiosity killing him. He could never take suspense. Even at story time, he was the most impatient of the lot.

We were sitting in a mini bus, headed for a destination that only Aadam knew of. I could see him smiling to himself mysteriously as we looked out the window at the roads, hoping that my brother had not lost his mind completely. Anything was possible at this point. I loved my brother but he always did have a whacky side to him.

“You’ll see,” Adam said with a wink. “It’s a surprise.”

Surprises were Adam’s favorite thing and my worst nightmare. I could not take the anticipation either. Besides the odd comment, my mother, on the other hand, was surprisingly quiet as we drove along. I think it was the fact that she and I were seated two rows apart… which meant she had no-one in the vicinity that she could focus on. At least it meant that I could exist in my little bubble of peace for a few hours longer.

“Uncle Adam!” Dayyaan shouted suddenly, pointing out in awe. “It’s snow!”

I had barely even been focusing, but my eyes sprung open as he said it, allowing myself to savor the first view of the powdery spread that seemed to have come from nowhere. The temperature had very evidently dropped and I loved it. Icy cold weather was my best kind.

Adam smiled to himself as he looked out, obviously elated at the shouts of delight coming from the back seat.

Ah yes. Adam has really outdone himself this time. The boys had never seen snow before and they were literally somersaulting over the seats to try and get better views.


It was Khawlah’s voice that spoke softly from the back.

The kids loved having her here as well, and I could literally see my brother glowing every time he looked back at her. Of course, no-one else could really do justice to reminding us of the beauty that Allah could create with such splendor. The endless whiteness went on till what seemed like eternity. It’s appeal was almost striking as I gazed as the soft hillocks that we passed. Every wonder, every creation… sometimes when we get stuck in our worldly pursuits we forget that there’s such amazement that awaits us..  such creation whose Maker is worthy of the ultimate praise.

Indeed… nothing was created in vain.

And of course if didn’t end there. Once we reached the resort where we would be staying for the next two days, our hearts were completely taken by the perfection and splendor that we saw. I almost couldn’t believe how perfect today seemed… it was almost as if we were waiting for a bomb to drop on us…

And as I helped to lug the suitcases out, my eye strayed over as I watched Adam and Khawlah as they conversed, not being able to help the feeling of inadequacy that seemed to overcome me at the same time. Adam had, through his latest escapade, inadvertently let me into his world where I was awakened to the possibility of real love. It was something that I didn’t expect or could barely explain… but as I saw them now, my heart did a little contraction, as I found myself turning away.

There I was, thinking the unmentionable and feeling like scum as I  looked at my brother almost in disgruntlement, thinking about how I could be so horrible despite the life that I had chosen for myself. I was lacking nothing really, but yet the feeling of displacement continued.

Yes, I had four beautiful kids. Yes, I had perfect health. Yes. I had a beautiful house and the best of everything. Yes, I had much more than many people around me… Alhumdulillah. But somehow, I couldn’t help but stop myself from wondering why I didn’t have that amazing husband that loved me with all of his heart. The one that was supposed to raise me to new heights.

I felt like the woman who opened her wardrobe to see two dozen dresses of red, yellow, orange, pink and you-name-it colours hanging in there. Of course, she is still convinced that she has nothing decent to wear…

Ugh. That was me. Why couldn’t I be of the few slaves of Allah who were grateful?

Ingratitude. It was almost corrosive. Destructive. There were many ways I had been indifferent and ungrateful and I knew that I needed to change. It was just that every time I made a little progress, there was always a small set-back that got me right back at square one. Right then, I knew that the recent events with Shabeer had caused it and I couldn’t stop myself from feeling angry at him all over again.

”Rubeena, this is not a joke,” Shabeer had said just the other day,  looking at me with that puppy dog face that I often saw on my second son when he couldn’t get his way. Only with him, it didn’t look cute. At all.

“This time I’m serious.”

I looked back at him blankly, completely emotionless. I didn’t feel sorry for him. Not even one bit. How did I end up with such a rotten egg?

”Whether you’re serious or not,” I said bluntly. “It doesn’t change the fact that it’s over. So can we just move on and let it be? You’re making this really uncomfortable. This is ridiculous, Shabeer.”

He had followed me to Adam’s flat and it was the last straw. Since then I had to switch the bells off at home and put an external lock to stop Shabeer from buzzing at odd hours and harassing me. He was being ridiculous. Seemed like the only other thing that would keep him away was a restraining order.

”I’ve changed, Rubeena,” he said, his eyes pleading with mine. “You’ve made me realize that I need to change my life. I’ve made so much of progress…”

I looked at my ex-husband, taking in his tawny hair that was greying, and noticing the red-rimmed eyes that had become almost a norm for him. Oh yes, he had changed. Physically, he was nothing like I remembered him to be.

It was hard to believe that once upon a time, he had been a heartbreaker who thought that this life wasn’t going to end. Now that he was seeing the effects of his sins… the only thing I truly wanted for him, for the sake of my sons, was to truly change…

”Have you started praying?” I asked, the words coming almost out of nowhere. “Do you attend the masjid? Have you listened to any lectures? Do you do Adhkaar? Do you have any connection with your Lord, Shabeer?!”

I wasn’t even sure where the thoughts had come from but my voice was rising as I said it.

Shabeer looked back at me with an uncertainty in his eyes as I questioned him, and I already knew the answers to them all. No, no and no. Maybe in his mind he had changed. Right now… I was in such a better space. I had everything I needed and I didn’t need this uncertainty. Well, almost.

”Is everything okay?”

My thoughts jolted back to the present as my brother came up behind me, catching me completely by surprise as he placed his hand on my padded shoulder. Despite being dressed to ski perfection, I still felt a little shivery as he stood next to me, looking over my shoulder as both of us gazed out in adoration at the spectacular view that was spread before us. It was simply mind-blowing.

We stood at the top of a huge dip that lay below, displaying a beautiful whiteness with random spots of greenery that were peaking out from underneath.  It was almost like the were trying to tell us something. To show us another beauty that we had missed before the whiteness descended. I turned to my brother with a small smile, stretching out my arm as I gave him a half bear-hug.

He smelt like he always did. Maybe a little extra oud than before, but he always had that powdery scent on him from the time he was a kid. He even felt sturdy, as he slung his arm around my shoulder. Like the old Adam.

It was just that now, I could see the difference in his energy levels, as he smiled and took a seat on a nearby rock. It was the only tell-tale sign. Though he never complained, where before he could go for hours he when it came to entertaining the boys, now it was barely 30 minutes before he would get tired.

”I’m fine,” I assured him. “Are you okay?”

Sometimes I was afraid of his answer, but Adam grinned at me as he sat.

”Couldn’t have been better,” he said softly. I could hear his raspy breaths in between. It was the cold that made him sound even worse than he was. ”This is amazing. Being with all you guys… together.”

”The boys are having so much of fun,” I said, watching them playing and running my gloves hands together as we watched them run back to the fireplace for their hourly dose of heat, probably feeling a little nippy as the evening was closing in. The view was simply breathtaking, from where we stood.

”I still can’t understand,” Adam said quietly, his dark eyes focused ahead. “How people can see nature and sunsets and oceans and blooming flowers and snowflakes… man…snowflakes! Ruby, I can’t even fathom… how people can see all of this and still believe that it happens by chance and there’s no God and everything is just one big coincidence…”

I glanced at my brother as we took in our surroundings, rendered slightly speechless by its absolute wonder. His hair was covered with a beanie and his cheeks were slightly flushed due to  the cold.

“How could I have been so blind before?”

I smiled almost to myself.

SubhaanAllah. There were no other words. That was the amazing part about Allah’s glory. Whenever you felt like you could say nothing that would give due credit, ‘SubhaanAllah’ was always there…

”That makes two of us,” I said, knowing that I was none the better. We had been awakened to a world of wonder and possibility because we now understood the greatness of the Lord who created it.

Adam’s eyes were fixed ahead. It was like there was something in his mind, yet he couldn’t find the words to say…

“Rubes, thank you for everything,” he said finally. “You’re the best sister in the world.”

I swallowed as I glanced at him, knowing that he wanted this time with me alone, but also fearful of what he meant by it.

“I know,” I said with a smirk.

It seemed like just a few months ago my brother was that little active boy who merely existed in my life as my little playmate. We were close but not like we are now. Now, my brother was the only person I had to really talk to. He was my go-to guy. The person I’d turn to for advice or inspiration… or even just a little chat if I needed it… I really didn’t want to think of saying bye to him…

“Seriously, Rubes. Thank you for supporting me,” he continued softly. “For seeing Khawlah for who she was. For loving me despite messing up things in my past. For pushing me to take this step… I wish that I could pay you back.”

I scoffed as he said it, not trusting myself to speak as yet. I was getting a little choked up and I didn’t understand why. He was absolutely obsessed, and it was so unlike him…

”I’m assuming everything went well?” I said subtlety, obviously not wanting to pry.

Adam looked at me.

”I can’t stop thinking about her, Ruby,” he said with a shrug. “Even when she’s here. Do you think I’ve lost the plot?”

I smiled. That was super cute.

“I think you’ll be alright,” I said with a wink. “Do you think I’ll ever find the plot?”

I grinned as I said it but Adam was looking back at me seriously.

”Remember that day you came to find me?”

I glanced at him, my face turning serious as I recalled, wondering if he was really taking about the same incident. It was a memory that I tried to block out. I had always thought that he had forgotten about it too. It was one of those unmentionables that we never mentioned…

”I didn’t know you remembered,” I said quietly, meeting his eye.

”I remember everything,” he said, his fingers intertwining with each other slightly nervously as he spoke. “And how you told me that one day I’ll find something that will make me forget all the pain that I was going through back then…”

I closed my eyes as I momentarily recalled it. Adam standing at the edge of his apartment wall while he looked down, as I tried to reason with him, like a crazy woman taking to a crazy and suicidal man.

”I was so scared that you were going to jump off…”

My heart still thudded in my chest as I remembered thinking how I would explain to my parents how it all happened, if he ever did jump.

”You told me that there would be better days,” he continued. “That no-one or nothing was worth hurting myself for. That one day, everything will fall into place…”

”I didn’t even think that you were in your senses,” I almost whispered, the memory so alarmingly real that I was stunned.

We had never spoken about it before but I could tell that it was really important to him right then.

”You also told me that I probably wouldn’t even die if I jumped,” he said with a slight smirk. “That if probably just get hurt really badly and then I’d make everyone’s life miserable because I’d probably be paralyzed for life and you would have to probably look after me and then you’d have no life beyond that which would completely suck…”

I grinned as I recalled it. He was right.

”I knew how to get you,” I said with a shrug. “And aren’t you glad you didn’t jump?”

Duh,” he said obviously. “But that’s the thing Ruby. That’s what I wanted to tell you. That there’s always hope. That there will be better days. That you will find the plot. But seriously, yeah..

I looked up at him as he turned to face me.


”People who are looking for the plot don’t say no to perfect proposals…”

Yikes. That hurt.

I widened my eyes at him, a little shocked that he had mentioned it. It was one of the other  unmentionables that silently existed between us. It was a forbidden topic.

“I heard you out there, Ruby,” he almost whispered. “You can make up as many issues as you want… but I heard what you told Shabeer that day at my place. Don’t you think it’s a little hypocritical if you’ve got an opportunity exactly like you want and you don’t take it?”

My heart had been feeling a little bruised around the edges since I had said no. It had definitely taken a knocking these past few months, and every new addition to its torture wasn’t doing me any good at all. It was just that I couldn’t even think about all the chaos it would cause…

”I still think that he’s the one,” Adam said softly, glancing at me. “And I think you know-“

”Adam,” I said in a warning tone. “You know I can’t think of it right now. Im not in a good space. You’re not well. My kids are so young. He’s so young… gosh… he didn’t even tell me he was only twenty-one. It’s like having another child. Goodness, Adam, people will think I’m crazy. There are too many factors standing between us. I can’t just shove it all aside and do what I want…”

Adam frowned at me, as his look turned to interest. It just so happened that we could say nothing more  at that moment as Danyaal hopped up to us, shivering slightly as he stood between us.

”Mum, can we roast some marshmallows at the fire?”

Adam looked at him with a smile as I nodded.

”Danyaal,” Adam said softly, pulling himself towards us. “You remember the story Khawlah read about the first marriage of the Prophet (SAW)?”

Danyaal nodded solemnly.

”Do you remember how old Khadijah (RA) was?”

”Yup,” Danyaal said. “She was forty.”

”And how old was the Prophet (SAW)?”

”He was 25.”

I looked at Adam. He was smiling as Danyaal rattled off the details. It was her, may Allah be pleased with her, who had sent a proposal for this man who shone out from the rest. She was a beautiful and sought-after widow with an astounding reputation of nobility. My son knew more about the Seerah than I did.

She was married twice before. She had kids too. I sucked in my breath as my son spoke about how perfect their marriage was. How she accepted his message with no hesitation. How they developed love and compassion and understanding. How she supported him relentlessly in the mission to spread the Deen. How he married no-one else whilst he had her. How Allah sent His esteemed Salaam to her. How she got glad tidings of a beautiful palace of jewels in Paradise… for all of her sacrifice.

How my beloved Nabi (SAW) loved her with such ferocity that no other wife could compare. How he sobbed when she had passed on, and he glimpsed her necklace years later. How the pain was so severe at her passing that my Nabi (SAW) had mentioned that if he could… he would have wrapped her in his blessed skin.

That was Khadijah, may Allah be immensely pleased with her. Beloved of the beloved wives of the Messenger SAW.

”If I ever have a daughter,” Adam said quietly. “That’s who she’ll be named after. My all-time favorite Sahabiya.”

“But what if you only have boys, Uncle Adam?” Danyaal asked obviously, grinning at me proudly. “Like Mum.”

I can see that Adam was making a silent Du’aa as the thought crossed his mind. My boys were enough for the whole family to handle…

”Then maybe your mum can have a girl,” Adam said with a grin. “So we can have a Khadijah in the family to spoil…”

I smiled as Danyaal scampered off and left Adam and me alone again. Of course he wasn’t serious… I had no intention of having more kids. I knew that I probably wouldn’t manage. Besides, I felt like I had changed so much in these few months… so much about what I had wanted and aspired for before this had completely changed for me.

The day was closing in now and I could feel the icy breeze through the top opening of my jacket. I knew that we were due to make our way inside, but something was holding me back…

The sun was dipping shyly away into the horizon, boasting shades of orange, magenta and peach as we watched it slide away…. We were mesmerized.

“You don’t have to wait for it, Ruby,” he said in a low tone, gazing out into the beauty. He cleared his throat as I wondered what he was talking about.

“But I promise you that it will happen,” he continued softly. “Happiness, I mean. It does exist. And maybe you may not feel like it right now but one day you’ll wake up and you’ll know where you’re going. Where you’re headed. You’ll see Allah’s great plan unfold for you… just like it did for me. You’ll still have good days and bad days but you’ll also have the most important wealth of all. You’ll live in the knowledge of contentment… and that, Rubes, I can tell you, is the best feeling in the world. Who’s to say that tomorrow won’t be the best day of your life? Maybe tomorrow you’ll be blown away. Maybe you’ll find everything you’ve been missing. Never lose hope. Maybe there’s already something amazing at your doorstep just waiting to happen…”

Adam looked back at me for a moment, and then turned around slowly, making his way back to the villa without a word.

I hated to admit it, but maybe Adam did have a point. Maybe I was throwing the towel in on a plan that could be my dream. Maybe there was something worth thinking about… and maybe, just maybe….

Maybe the unmentionables were actually worth mentioning…

Dearest Readers,

I’m so sorry about the delays. An extra long post to make up for it. InshaAllah will try and post again this week 💓

Much Love,

A xx

Sunnah Duaas! Let’s try and practice InshaAllah !

Oh Turner of the Hearts, keep our Hearts firm on Your ReligionYaa Muqallibal Quloob Thabbit Qalbee ‘alaa Deenik.

Oh turner of the hearts (Allah, the Most High), keep our hearts firm on your religion

Sunnah Duaa for drinking water 

اَلْحَمْدُلِلّٰهِ الَّذِىْ سَقَانَا عَذْباً فُرَاتاً بِرَحْمَتِهِ وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْهُ

مِلْحاً اُجَاجاً بِذُنُوْبِنَا


All praise is due to Allah, Who of his mercy has granted us sweet and pleasant water to drink and did not make it bitter and salty due to our sins.

Revive the Sunnah Duaa for drinking water. How easy to practice! 

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Twitter: @ajourneyjournal


Matters of the Heart

Bismihi Ta’ala


Once upon a time… in a permanent world where every soul was created, there were souls that would meet with other souls, before they became part of this temporary world.

It was a world where each soul was shown Allah’s beauty and understood it. It was a place where they whole heartedly submitted to one Rabb… the Lord of the Worlds. It was a place where they had first understood what it means to submit… where they connected to the one thing that would become the foundation of their love… where they would one day hold this love within a heart that will one day pump and thrive on its very meaning…

Because there’s something magical about the heart that you only come to understand when you truly feel it. Something like no other vessel. It’s uniqueness is unparalleled. Western studies speak about a heart which pumps blood to every organ of the body. A fist sized muscle that performs a vital function, distinguishing between life and death.

But there is a heart that Nabi (SAW) spoke about, which is within this very cavity of the beating one. Our beloved Nabi (SAW) spoke about a heart that is the king of the body. A heart that feels and turns and decides. A heart that can be hurt and scarred. One that can be healed and fixed.

A heart that says yes. A heart that says no. A heart that’s swayed by emotion. A heart that makes decisions.

A heart that most importantly, recognizes Allah, it’s Creator. If that heart turns… then there’s nothing that can ever stand in it’s way. If this heart is not swayed by the Almighty, then nothing in this world can move that soul. When your heart wants something… it triumphs everything that may come between it. Sometimes we just don’t know with matters of the heart, because way back when, it was only the heart that truly recognized the Greatest Power of all, who was it’s Creator and Sustainer and everything in between.

Anas RA reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would often say, “O turner of the hearts, affirm my heart upon your religion!” I said, “O Messenger of Allah, we believe in you and in that with which you were sent. Do you fear for us?” The Prophet SAW said, “Yes, for the hearts are between the fingers of Allah. He turns them whichever way he wills.

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 2140 Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Al-Albani

And even when I looked back, from what remember, the day’s that followed the big move to Aadams place were still like a dream. And no, it wasn’t only about the superficial aspects. It wasn’t just about the honeymoon part of the marriage that most couples find the highlight. It was being with someone whose heart had seen worse days. It was about being awakened to a new life and a new possibility that Allah had opened for him. It was just seeing this beauty that made me see everything else from a completely different perspective. It was a beauty that had changed a huge part of my heart.

And yes, I had understood that this move was one that was unlike the usual type of moves. This was a special one. It involved a different kind of patience. An understanding. Within the intensity and the moments of overwhelming adoration and love, a deep compassion and consideration was built from both sides… because through understanding that Aadam was not the boisterous and overly- energetic guy that I always knew, he also understood that I was dealing with a lesser version of Aadam that I was used to.

The amazing part was that it didn’t make me love him any less. If anything, the love that I had always harbored deep within now seemed to be overflowing.

And yes, I did wish that I was one of the giggly newly married girls who could complain about the annoying husband that they secretly love to bits, but the fact with Aadam was that everything about him was exceptional. And yes, though his socks on the corner of the room would sometimes annoy me, or his chatter when he couldn’t fall asleep in bed would disturb me too, there was nothing that I could truly complain about, because I knew that there was a possibility that it may be those very things that I might come to sorely miss. Long story short, to me, right then, my husband was pretty much amazing.

Being who he was of course, with his quirky humor, was what made it all the more memorable. Aadam was just the kind of person that brightened up the darkest days…. Even in the middle of the night.

Ahem Ahem,” he said, feigning a clearing of his throat as we lay in bed after praying an early Tahajjud together, listening to the sounds of the city pass us by. “I think it’s time to give a final vote of thanks… to my incredible wife who saved me from the clutches of my mother who wants to torture me with her unmentionable concoctions…”

”Shame man,” I said, grinning to myself in the dark. “It’s only because she cares-“

”Next time, sweets,” he said seriously. “You need to down it and then talk. I love that she cares but she’s gets a little overbearing, yeah..?”

I looked up into the dark as he said it, wondering how he took everything in his stride. How he dealt with his sickness with such conviction and faith that he never looked at it as a misfortune…

“You’re doing so well, though,” I said, getting a little emotional about how perfect he had been these two days, and hoping it wasn’t just a passing phase. “Maybe it really is helping. You know there’s a cure for every disease. We just need to have faith in Allah’s mercy and keep fighting…”

“Of course,” he said quietly. “Allah is being so kind to me so far, love. It’s like everything is just coming together and I don’t even deserve it. Thank you for coming…”

”Aadam, I wanted to be here,” I said softly. “You don’t have to say thank you.”

“I do,” he insisted. “And let me tell you why. It was because I was scared. I didn’t want to take this step because I was so scared that I’d be punished for my past. It was you who changed that… and made me real differently. You showed me that it didn’t matter who I was. You showed me that I could move past that person that I had once hated. You showed me the Merciful Lord that I never knew… One that not only forgives, but also demands that the angels forget…”

”Aadam, stop,” I said, cutting him off.

What?!” He said innocently.

”Don’t talk like you’re not waking up tomorrow…” I said sternly.

”And in case I don’t wake up tomorrow,” he announced stubbornly, just to spite me. “I have something that I have to say..”

I playfully whacked his arm, shaking my head at him. The reality was too painful to even imagine.

”Seriously, Khawlah,” he said, his voice dropping as I listened to his slightly labored breathing. ”I love you so much.”

I reached for his hand silently as he said it, feeling his pulse in the dark. At that moment it seemed more alive than ever.

”Hey Aadam,” I said softly, swallowing hard.


”I forgot to tell you..” I started, glad it was dark and he couldn’t see my face.

”What sweets?” He pressed, turning to face me. I could almost see the trace of the fine lines on his forehead as he frowned.

It was on the tip of my tongue yet the words were like putty. Sometimes the most important things are the hardest things to say.

He reached for my face on the dark, cupping in other one warm hand.

His hands were always so warm. Too warm. Sometimes it scared me. I kept thinking that maybe he had a fever or some infection… or something untraceable that the doctors hadn’t picked up.

I shoved the thought out of my mind.

Just say it, something urged me.

”I love you.”

I said it. And just as I did so, it was like the floodgates of happiness overcame my entire being. I honestly could not even think of anything else that would have meant more at that moment.

And I was glad the room was dark but I could almost hear Aadam smiling back within it.

”I know,” he said simply. “I always knew that you were going to say it…”

And as I drifted off into a semi-slumber in my husband’s arms, I just knew that it was the right moment that I had revealed a part of my heart…

And to my surprise, it was the way he had been waking me up in the early parts of the morning that had just made it for me. It was at that very moment, as I lay there, that I realized that nothing in the world could triumph the feeling of someone wanting the best for your hereafter. Of someone else he wants to not just spend this life with you, but also help you plan for the next.

It was absolutely incredible.

“Wake up, beautiful,” Aadam had whispered. “Don’t you want the gold?”

The gold? Where was it that I had heard about the gold before…

”Imagine being the one who is praying to your Lord when the rest of the world is sleeping?” He whispered. “Imagine being able to connect to Him, the Lord of the worlds.. one-on-one. Imagine you calling out to Him… Who controls the entire universe, and Him being shy to turn you away. To pray, to worship… to build that bond through begging and pleading… to ask Him to heal what’s been hurt and fix whatever has ever been broken… Can you imagine that feeling, Khawlah? Can you imagine how your heart will feel after that?!”

The heart… yes! That’s was it. The polishing of that heart… well… That’s where the gold was. When the heart decides it wants Allah… then it will go through the entire world to find. When the heart decides… nothing can hold it back.

And being with Aadam and seeing his approach to life in everything he did was what made me love being here. Usually when involved in worldly pursuits, we get caught up in it’s pleasures. It was expected. With Aadam though, it was precisely the opposite. From his daily Adhkaar to his Quran Tilawat that he never missed at every Salaah time. From his constant reminders of the Power of Allah and to the wonders that’s I saw within him… I felt like my soul was getting a kind of revolutionary upliftment that it never experienced before… and it caught my heart completely by surprise.

And as I woke up to the smell of the coffee machines magic the next morning, I silently entered the kitchen, already reveling in the  audible Quranic recital that was coming from my husbands lips as I walked in. He was reciting his Surah Yaseen softly to himself, so seemingly engrossed in it that I didn’t think he even noticed my arrival.

“So about this morning,” Aadam smiled as he ended his recital to come up to me and peck my cheek. He turned back to buttering the slices of toast for us.

”What about this morning?” I asked innocently, feigning ignorance.

“You’re such a pretender,” he grinned, winking at me and then returning to the the toast. “Peanut butter or honey?”

”I see your mothers having an effect on you,” I said with a smile. “I need real sugar please. Where did she hide that golden syrup? I feel bad that you’re always making me stuff and I just sit here and take advantage. Can I please just take over the kitchen for now?”

“In time,” he said sweetly. “Let me do it for now… I’m scared you might burn the toast…

He looked up at me as he passed me my toast and coffee, and I found myself feeling a little more self conscious than usual. It was just that Aadam was looking at me strangely and it was making me feel weird. 

“Don’t do that,” I said, frowning at him.

”Do what?” He asked innocently. “I’m only looking at my beautiful wife who just bared her soul to me in the wee parts of the morning…”

I could feel my cheeks reddening. Saying those three words were harder than I had thought. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to say them again anytime soon.

“Thank you, Khawlah,” he said softly, his dark eyes meeting mine. “Loving you has been amazing. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me…”

I swallowed as he continued looking at me, not really sure how to answer.

It had been an amazing two days. Almost like a dream. Aadam had switched his phones off and stowed his laptops away, and to be in his amazing company and have his undivided attention for all that time was incredible.

“I think we might need a distraction today,” Aadam said, sounding like he was on to something. “Ive had a pretty eventful morning otherwise…”

“What do you mean?” I asked as I took a bite of the toast, a little confused.

Aadam was right. He had very high toast standards. His toast was perfectly browned. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to compare.

He gave a small smile as I studied the edges.

”Well, I switched my phones back on this morning,” he started. “And I kind of got bombarded… so let’s just switch it off again and act like I never even noticed…”

My heart thudded in my chest as I thought of all the possibilities. For those few days I had forgotten about Hannah’s baby, who she had contact me about last week. I even forgot about Rubeena and Zuleikha, and my brothers…

”Is everyone okay?” I asked, thinking about the kids now. What if something happened to one of them?

”You know I love your family, beautiful,” he said. “But they really do top the charts when it comes to family drama…”

I sighed.

”Ahmed and Zuleikha at it again?” I asked, rolling my eyes. “My brothers been really complicating life…”

”To tell the truth,” Aadam said, looking at me. “From what he says, I don’t think it’s really his fault…”

”What do you mean?” I asked. “Did you speak to him? Knock some sense in?! He’s been chasing women for the past few months and it’s still got his act to together. Why start something he won’t finish?”

Aadam looked at me, his one eyebrow doing funny things as I watched him back thoughtfully.

“Do you think that maybe he’s afraid of commitment?” I asked, looking at my husband with interest.

It seemed like he knew more than my brother than I did.

”Precisely the opposite,” Aadam said, shaking his head. “He’s not afraid of committing. He’s just afraid of comitting to the wrong person. Let’s forget about it for now, yeah? I’ll chat to him properly later…”

Ugh,” I scoffed, knowing that it was the typical excuse that commitment-phobic people used. “Why are you even being nice about it? He’s my brother and I can’t stand the way he’s acting right now. It’s like his got ants in his pants or something.”

Aadam shrugged, not meeting my eye. He was fiddling on his shelf, looking for some evasive item. His shelves were absolutely impeccable by any standards. I could not believe that I was actually married to this perfectionist of a guy who I was the exact opposite of, yet connected with on so many levels…

“Just,” he said vaguely, busying himself with something he had written next to the counter. His eyes lit up as he looked at me.

“I’ve got a great idea… why don’t we head off on that long-awaited date that we were supposed to, before you head back home?”

”Aadam,” I said, putting down my mug of coffee and narrowing my eyes at him. “Stop avoiding the subject. I love that you love my family. I really do. But please tell me why you don’t just tell Ahmed where to get off and let it be done and dusted? Like really. He needs a good reprimanding.”

”Khawlah,” Aadam said as he looked up from the paper he held in his hand. “Don’t be so tough on the guy. He’s had a rough time. I’ll chat to him when the time is right. Can we drop it and think about something else?”

I almost wanted to laugh. He’s had a rough time? Really?! And our lives were all perfect. Not to mention, what about the rough time he was giving us by turning everything upside down?

I shook my head, getting ready to argue. Aadam’s good nature and unassuming approach always made him overlook people’s faults. This time he had to know.

”Don’t feel sorry for him!” I said stubbornly. “It’s just like conquest after conquest and it really isn’t acceptable or even Islamic because just when we think that something may be happening, he goes and causes it and everything falls apart!

Aadam looked at me with sympathy in his eyes. He was obviously not swayed by my complaints.

”Let’s leave the guy alone, yeah?” He said softly. “How’s about we head off to more greener parts-“

”I won’t until you tell him what I said!” I said, folding my arms across my chest and sitting on the stool next to the kitchen nook.

”And what may that be, gorgeous?” Aadam smiled, looking at my sulky face. “Who am I to judge him? Imagine if I had to tell him to sort his life out and stop making bad decisions? Do you have any idea how many bad decisions I had made in my life?! It’s like the pot calling the kettle black…”

I looked at my husband, noticing a flicker of pain there that I often saw when he spoke of his past. There were times when it still cut me up too, but I didn’t dwell on it…

How much it still pained him after all these years was quite unbelievable…

“Besides,” he added. “I’m not trained in martial arts like you. Ahmed kind of scares me, and I can assure you that it won’t go down very well, yeah..”

I smiled as he looked at me and winked.

“I just want it all to be fixed,” I sighed, feeling deflated.

Aadam looked pensive as he rolled his shoulders slightly painfully. I knew that the pain came and went but it always worried me.

“The guys hurting,” he said simply. Sometimes it’s not so easy to fix broken hearts..”

I narrowed my eyes at my husband suspiciously.

A broken heart?! What was Aadam talking about?

He looked away as I stared at him questioningly, suddenly averting his gaze to the pamphlet he had found earlier.

”Aadam,” I said with a frown. “Are you hiding something from me?”

”I would never,” he said, a slight twinkle in his eye. “I’m just looking at this gorgeous brochure…”

”Liar,” I insisted, frowning. “Please don’t tell me that there’s been another issue with my uncle?! I want to know. What is he hurting about? Is it his ex fiancé? Was she the one who actually pulled the plug on it and it’s cutting him up? Or was it someone else in his past?! Gosh, I cannot even keep up..”

Aadam folded his arms across his chest and looked at me cynically.

“C’mon Aadam,” I moaned. “Just tell me!”

Somehow, the need to know was overwhelming. What I didn’t know was that I probably went going to like what Aadam had to say…

”Promise you won’t get angry?” He said, looking a little nervous as he sat on the stool near the kitchen door.

I hated it when people said that.

How must I know my reaction if I didn’t know what was going to be said? I nodded anyway, because I wasn’t going to let this go either way.

“So once upon a time, in a land of perfectly ordinary family politics, before this whole escapade blew completely out of proportion, there had been a minor secret matter of the heart that set Ahmed off…”

I stared at my husband, not amused by his storytelling techniques.

”Get to the point, please,” I said snappily.

”Long story short,” he said with his usual one-dimpled grin. “Your brother proposed for my sister…”

I looked at Aadam with wide eyes, wondering if he was for real.

No, he didn’t. Why? No.


”NO!” I exclaimed aloud, flinging my hand to my mouth.

Ahmed actually proposed for Rubeena?! My goodness. After everything… he actually went through with it? Ugh.

Ooh, this made my blood boil.

I mean really… what next? Ahmed was really losing it. Or was this before he started all his shenanigans that kind of went out of control? I had a lot of questions that needed answering. And fast.

Aadam was slowly nodding at me as I looked at him in crazy wonder.

”But how?” I breathed, slightly seething. “When was this?! What did she say..?!”

I was still processing the information, as I gaped at him.

”It doesn’t matter,” Aadam shrugged as he looked away. “But maybe you can understand it all better from this point…”

“What do you mean?” I asked, really not expecting his next words.

“Khawlah,” Aadam said obviously. “I was the one who asked for him. Rubeena said no…”

Dearest Readers,

Getting into the new year has been good but challenging, Alhumdulillah!

May Allah guide us all through this new start and help us to remember him in everything that we aspire to achieve. Next post will be next week, and then InshaAllah posts should resume as normal until the blog comes to a conclusion. 💕

Much love to all the readers. Always need duaas !


A xx

Sunnah Duaas! Let’s try and practice InshaAllah !

Oh Turner of the Hearts, keep our Hearts firm on Your ReligionYaa Muqallibal Quloob Thabbit Qalbee ‘alaa Deenik.

Oh turner of the hearts (Allah, the Most High), keep our hearts firm on your religion

Sunnah Duaa for drinking water 

اَلْحَمْدُلِلّٰهِ الَّذِىْ سَقَانَا عَذْباً فُرَاتاً بِرَحْمَتِهِ وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْهُ

مِلْحاً اُجَاجاً بِذُنُوْبِنَا


All praise is due to Allah, Who of his mercy has granted us sweet and pleasant water to drink and did not make it bitter and salty due to our sins.

Revive the Sunnah Duaa for drinking water. How easy to practice! 

FB: The Journeying Muslimah










Twitter: @ajourneyjournal

The Big Move

Bismihi Ta’ala


You never know the biggest day of your life is going to be the biggest. The days you think are going to be big ones, they’re never as big as you make them out to be in your head. It’s the regular days, the ones that start out normal… that really get you by surprise.

It’s all about going with the flow. Sometimes we have to just do what instinct tells us to do. Stop fighting. Stop hanging on. When we follow our hearts, when we choose not to settle… magical things really can happen.

The light tapping on my room door caught me a little unaware late that afternoon, as I stuffed the last bits of unpacked debris back into my hurricane-like cupboard. I looked up a little hesitantly as I shouted for the person to come in, really not expecting my semi-enstranged husband to peep his handsome head around the corner while he looked in.

He actually hadn’t been here in weeks. With him feeling out of it and everything being pretty much upside down… I didn’t expect him to turn up here anytime soon…

”Are you decent?” He asked jokingly, his one eye half closed and his one dimple flashing as he grinned from the doorway. I smiled, despite not expecting his arrival… his presence always elated me.

He looked good today. Dressed up. Almost as if he was going somewhere.  Maybe it was a sign that I should have seen at the time, to signal what would come later… but gave little interest to. Sometimes my mind just missed those little important things.

The Tasbeeh in his hand was dangling as he walked in, and I could see that today, he had a bit more energy than normal.

“I’m always decent,” I said with an air of feigned arrogance, as I placed my hands on my hips. “But the room is far from it, so don’t expect to find anywhere to sit. How are you feeling?”

Aadam closed his eyes momentarily as he smiled and took a deep breath in.

He had kind of got the drill by now. As usual, he’d stroll in, looking all polished and perfect, while I’d be frumpiness in every sense of the word. It was like rewind and repeat… every time. I still wasn’t sure why he put up with me.

”I’m feeling like a new man today,” he grinned, winking at me as he effortlessly shifted one of my bags up to make a space. “I’ve adopted the attitude of gratitude. It’s a beautiful day. I have a beautiful wife. I woke up with a new ambition in life…”

”Aw man, that’s so sweet,” I smiled. “Are you on meds?”

Aadam grinned and shook his head at me.

”Really, beautiful,” he said, his dark eyes turning serious. “These days have been the best of my life, and it’s not because of how I’m feeling physically. You know I’ve learnt that if you think of Allah twenty-five times a day, your soul becomes accustomed to His remembrance. Spiritually… you can’t even imagine what kind of metamorphosis my heart is undergoing. This has been really good for my soul, yeah. The sickness… feeling low… feeling down… it just keeps bringing you back to this amazing Lord over and over again…”

I looked at my husband as I sidled up to him on the bed, really intrigued by this new attitude. It kind of gave me goosebumps.

Like difficulties, sometimes sickness can have its own kind of healing.

“So as you can see,” he said, planting a kiss on my forehead. “With all that time I have, instead of wasting it feeling sorry for myself… I’ve been catching up with my Qadha, doing extra Adhkaar.. sweets, it’s really not so hard to make the most of every moment… and so that brings me to why I’m here.. I just thought of you and bam… It was like an epiphany and I just came over…”

”Thats sweet, but I  can almost see your pants on fire,” I teased, amused by Aadam’s theories. ”Your mother will probably have your head for driving here, all by yourself. Your back’s sore again isn’t it?”

I had spotted him rolling his shoulders as he walked in.

”I knew you’d say that,” he said, grinning and looking extremely proud of himself. “You make my mother sound like the Queen of Hearts. And that’s precisely why I didn’t mention a word to my mother. Having so many women in my life can get quite exhausting…”

I did feel bad that his mother had kind of taken over his entire routine. I just wasn’t sure if there was a solution. Or was there?

“I’m sure it is,” I smiled. “Being a woman is exhausting sometimes. Especially when there are men in our lives who drain us of our energy…”

“Well, I’m sure you’re not talking about me,” he said proudly, looking quite certain. “I’m as sweet as they come. You just said so. Twice. Is it Abba? Ahmed?! It definitely can’t be Yunus. Where is he, anyway? Dammit, that guys the best, yeah…”

I loved how my husband loved my brothers. It was super sweet of him. And yes, he was sweet.

“Yunus is playing soccer,” I said, remembering him saying so earlier. “He’ll be back in a bit.”

I didn’t mention the fact that my little brother seemed a little lost since I told him that I’d be leaving home soon. I was sure that if I mentioned that particular fact to my husband, he’d tell Yunus to come and stay with us. That was Aadam.

“I miss him,” he said, grabbing the magazine that Nusaybah had left next to the bed and browsing through it. “Who is this guy, by the way?!”

He was gesturing to the guy on the cover who was my best friends vampire obsession. Of course, Nusaybah had brought it to show me a while back, for some odd vampire-related reason that only Nusaybah understood… and forgot to take it back with her.

Talk about getting caught red-handed. I could feel my cheeks reddening as Aadam squizzed through the magazine with a frown. I just hoped that there wasn’t anything incriminating in it.

“It’s Nusaybahs,” I said, avoiding eye contact, and hoping it didn’t show on my face. “She’s obsessed with those creatures. I don’t read that junk..”

I grabbed the magazine and tossed it in the bin, hoping he’d accept that and stop looking at me like I was a traitor who ogled other guys… or even worse… vampires.

I blushed as he looked at me and raised his eyebrows.

”Does Nusaybah really think I’m a vampire?” He asked seriously, crossing his arms over his chest and raising his one weird eyebrow. I could see the trace of his dimple as he fixed his gaze on me. He was trying really hard not to laugh.

I expertly avoided eye contact, wondering what information Nusaybah had written in that magazine. For all I knew, she’d probably circled a picture of fangs and named it after my poor husband. I was probably right.

I honestly wanted to kill her. Fair enough, we didn’t expect Aadam to pitch up here unannounced for at least a few more weeks, but she could have been more discreet by not scribbling ridiculous things all over the magazine. I did notice that the theories from Nusaybah’s side had calmed down since I mentioned the big move. I just hoped that it would be for good…

”It okay,” he smiled, and I was grateful that he wasn’t upset. It was quite laughable. “Please do let her know that I can’t even stand the sight of blood, yeah? To have it for dinner is quite terrifying…”

He chuckled as I grinned back at him.

“Talking about blood,” I sighed, remembering the earlier events and closing my eyes in embarrassment. “My uncle wanted to kill Ahmed. I don’t exactly blame him. He did put his foot in it again.”

That was all it took for Aadam to break into a grin, as if it was the funniest thing he had heard all day. Even funnier than the vampire theory. Surprisingly.

“It’s not funny!” I scolded, trying to stifle my own giggle. It actually was, in a really twisted way, but I’d never admit it. Ahmed’s women issues were bordering on amusingly problematic.

Aadam was shaking his head at me as sat up on the bed, looking like he was in disbelief.

”Sweets,” he said with a grin. “I told you once before… and I’ll say it again… your family is really quite unique. Not to mention your best friend. All the drama just makes me love them all the more to bits. And since we’re on the topic, did your uncle actually have the guts to take him on? Because even I’d be scared to venture down that road…”

”He didn’t,” I said with a shake of my head. “But it seems like my cousin is completely gaga over him. How it happened… I have no idea. To be honest, although he suggested they make Nikah… which was a different story with an entire escapade of drama altogether… I have a feeling that Ahmed doesn’t really want to marry her. He’s just chuffed with all the attention she’s gives him because she’s just that kind of obsessed personality. I really don’t understand how guys minds work, honestly!”

”Well, beautiful,” Aadam said, still grinning. “Let me tell you that the minds of the male species work only on one track. It been what, three weeks  that they’re here, yeah? He’s just out of an engagement that he couldn’t see himself following through with. It’s too soon for anything serious…”

I knew Aadam was right, but that obviously meant that Ahmed was just messing around..

”Don’t judge him,” Aadam said softly, looking at me intently. I. He could read minds. “He’s an awesome guy. He does such amazing work. He’s just gone off track. You know the guy gets to the masjid for every Salaah. Did you even know that he’s never missed the first Takbeer, in the first Saf?! He’s got a gift and I’m sure Allah loves him so much for that. Don’t judge him because you don’t know which action of his is so beloved to Allah that not only does he keep calling him to the Masjid over and over again… but he keeps on calling him out in his path… for the best kind of work..”

I looked at my husband, a taken aback by the information he had just told me about me about my brother. Yes, he had done wrong, but somehow, I supposed he had got something right. It reminded me of what I heard once about making excuses for people, which Aadam was always ready to do.

If a friend among your friends errs, make seventy excuses for them. If your hearts are unable to do this, then know that the shortcoming is in your own selves [ibid]”

”Make excuses for him,” I murmured, looking at my husband. “But when does it end? I know he’s got good qualities but he’s making everyone crazy…”

”I’ll talk to him,” he said, running his hand through his beard. “Maybe try and figure out what’s going on in his head. Hopefully wean himself off women for a while. It’s just the Nafs, yeah? Whether it’s wealth or clothes or women… They just want more and more, and if you don’t stop them…. they run away with you…”

”They’re definitely running away with him,” I said, really annoyed with my brother.

“Maybe he just needs a good chatting to,” he added on. “I love him but I can see what he’s doing. He’s probably hurting and upset that his life is getting a bit out of control too… but he doesn’t know how to stop. There’s no question that Ahmed is probably fishing for another kind of catch.. and thinking he’ll get lucky. Guys are extremely shallow.”

He shrugged as he said it, and I watched his expression change as he thought about what he had just said.

”Well, except for me of course,” he said softly, meeting my eye. “But that’s a different story altogether…”

The room was suddenly quiet as he looked at me. Today, for some reason, Aadam looked different. His face was neat and his beard trimmed back to the Sunnah fist-length. His dark lashes were even more prominent against the paleness of his skin. Being unwell and indoors had changed a lot of his appearance… but not in an entirely bad way.

There was much  that I wanted to say and ask, but somehow, I just couldn’t find the words to say it…

Aadam shifted and scratched his head thoughtfully, as he looked at me again.

“Why don’t you come with me since everyone here seems to be gone awol anyway,” he said, almost as an afterthought.

“Now?” I asked, a little taken aback. Right now? 

”Theres no better time than the present,” he said, swinging his legs off the bed and bending down to pick his shoes up.


“No buts,” he said, getting up and looking at me. “Haven’t you heard that ‘time waits for no man’?” 

He grinned as I looked around my room, not wanting to leave everything half finished like this. I really wasn’t expecting him tonight, and I still had to study. If I lost these few hours of work then I’d be way behind schedule tomorrow, and Nusaybah might just kill me.

”Khawlah,” he said, watching my hesitant expression. “I’m not taking you to Timbuktu. I’m only going to Rubeena. The boys will be thrilled to see you..”

”I’m coming,” I said, shoving Nusaybah’s bossy face out my mind and stuffing the few stray things into the bag while I grabbed a scarf.

I was just as excited to see the boys. What I didn’t know was that the evening would hold much more in store than we both anticipated.

And of course, as we greeted Dada and made our way over to Rubeena’s, I was still pretty calm and collected. The boys were highly excited and energetic as they saw us, and Aadam was just as thrilled to be in their space after all these weeks.

They had a helluva lot of news about the week and we listened to them as they updated us about school, madrassa and everything else that we had missed in their lives over the past two weeks.

”I’ve got a new train track!” Zia was saying excitedly.

”Uncle Aadam you have to see my new book shelf,” Danyaal was saying. “Remember we were supposed to build it and you got sick?”

Aadam nodded and smiled. I felt my heart contract. A lot of things didn’t happen when Aadam got sick.

“See my helidoktor,” Zaydaan said cutely as he thrust a blue helicopter in our faces. “Thees my blue helidoktor.”

”It’s not his!” Dayyaan retorted. “He thinks anything that’s blue is his! It’s so unfair!”

I grinned  and looked at Aadam. Typical childhood problems. Dayyaan was looking really fussed up by the whole situation, whilst Danyaal took me by the hand and pulled me away.

“Why don’t you come up to my room?” Danyaal asked. “I have something I want to show you.”

I glanced at Aadam who was already plopped into the couch, with his legs up on the coffee table.

”You guys go,” he said tiredly. “I’ll come later. This old man’s got an appointment with the couch.”

”Uncle Adam,” Zaydaan was saying as I made my way up the stairs. “I want to show you how my new star light works. I’m coming home with you tonight…”

That was all I heard before we entered Danyaal’s room, which looked so different to what I remembered. Instead of the little boys room it had been like when I had first started working there, his room now looked like a grown ups. In the corner, Rubeena had built him a beautiful book shelf with all the books we used to read.

”Look what I found,” he said as he watched me, making his way to the shelf and pulling out a book to show me. “I found this one last week.”

I took the book from him, trying to figure out what it was about it that looked familiar. Opening the first page, I immediately sucked in my breath as I saw it. It was the book that was gifted to me by Khalid, after my mother had passed away. How did it end up here?

”I think it’s yours,” he said quietly. “You must have left it here a long time ago.”

I looked up at him, my throat feeling dangerously constricted as I tried to breathe. Almost as if the only thing that would come out would be tears…

”it is mine,” I said, feeling extremely nostalgic.

Danyaal was looking a bit sad as he looked at me, and I wondered what was going through his mind. Did he feel like Aadam had taken me away from them? I made a mental note to spend more alone time with this little guy that I still loved so much…

”Are you guys okay?”

It was Aadam who was standing in the doorway, with a tiny smile on his face, and that very moment just made me smile. It just brought back so many memories of the past, and the good times and the times when I almost wanted to cry too. There were so many moments that had become a part of our story… it was an influx of memories that I could barely even process as I sat there. Where we were at that point, and where we ended up… when I looked at my husband, I didn’t even doubt for a second that Allah could perform the most amazing miracles…

”Mum’s here,” he said, running his hand through his beard as he eyed me out.

I widened my eyes at him, knowing that he wasn’t expecting her. I could see that he had already gotten a scolding about going out, and was now ready to drop the bomb on me.

“She’s asked for you..”

I widened my eyes at Aadam, anxious about what that may mean.

”Relax,” he grinned, squeezing my shoulder as I we headed down the stairs. “Shes not armed.”

I rolled my eyes at him, tailing behind him while he entered the kitchen, already expecting my mother-in-law to have an entire list of instructions for me for the weekend. She was honestly unstoppable. Like a force. She was always onto some new diet plan or organic concoction that Aadam had to take. I loved that she was so passionate about it but Aadam definitely felt differently…

”And so,” she was saying to Rubeena, as she showed her some video on her phone. “All you have to do is take these seeds, boil them, add some of the Xylatol… because of course, sugar is a huge no-no for cancer patients. It literally thrives on sugar. Maybe a dash of this powder.. and you’re good to go!”

I smiled as I saw Rubeena’s face, which was absolutely appalled at the color of the mixture that my mother-in-law had brought. What was even worse was Aadam’s reaction, as my mother-in-law literally thrust the container in his face.

Err, Ma,” he said, looking petrified. “What are those black things floating on the top?”

”Chia seeds, of course,” she said obviously. She turned to me.

“Khawlah, did you see? I’ll show you again in a bit. When you’re there on the weekends you’re going to have to make this for him. He’s going to love it. It’s almost like a mixture of juice and a smoothie… like the ones you’ll buy from that Vida Cida…”

Vida Cida?! 

Vida-e-Cafe Mum,” Rubeena said, pursing her lips stiffly as she hid her smile. “It truly is amazing. You’ll have to try it.”

I nodded meekly as my mother-in-law turned her back and Aadam shook his head at me vigorously, while making slitting throats gestures at Rubeena and I. I wasn’t too sure if it was going to be a feasible idea… I was actually getting a little terrified about what this may to do Aadam and I. It was probably going to ruin our lives.

“Must I leave it out for you for now,” my mother-in-law asked, completely oblivious as she glanced back at Aadam for a second. “Or refrigerate and keep it ready for you later, before you sleep?”

I could see Rubeena looking at Aadam with an amused expression in her eyes. She was really finding this thing quite hilarious.

Err Mum,” Aadam said, scratching his head a bit nervously. “I forgot to tell you.. you don’t have to stay tonight…”

We all looked at Aadam in surprise, as he swallowed a little nervously.

What?!” My mother-in-law said, looking horrified. “You can’t be alone tonight! Not after the day you’ve had. You’re supposed to be resting and taking your oil by now. You need to put your legs up and sleep. Cancer patients are not meant to be all over the place like you are. I actually can’t believe that you drove here yourself! I’m going to have to speak to Siraj about a proper plan for you…”

”Ma, I’m not a baby,” Aadam said sounding a tad bit irritated. “I think I need a break from the sugar-free and gluten-free diet. Please. Plus, I won’t be staying alone, so you can relax.”

”You’re not?” She said, looking confused. I was just as clueless.

”Khawlah’s staying,” he said simply, glancing at me.

This was the first time I had heard of this turn of events.

”I am?!” I said meekly.

For some reason, my heart was beating extremely rapidly in my chest. My mother-in-law was looking at us with a quizzical expression on her face. Rubeena was grinning widely, and I had no idea why.

“Oiy, don’t look so shocked,” Aadam said, turning to me. “I’ve never murdered  anyone in their sleep!”

“Well, that’s a relief,” I said, swallowing and trying to keep my cool. “I heard otherwise.”

“And I promise I won’t snore.”

“You better not,” I conceded, looking at Aadam in warning.

My mother-in-law cocked her head to one side and narrowed her eyes cynically as she looked at us both. I could see that she didn’t quite know what to say… and to tell the truth… neither did I.

All I knew was that sometimes some things happen that you don’t expect or anticipate. Sometimes the big moments… well, they catch you by surprise.

The days you think are going to be big ones, well… they’re never as big as you make them out to be in your head. It’s the regular days, the ones that start out normal… that really get you by surprise.

And sometimes when you let go… when you let things be… sometimes… well, sometimes magical things really do happen. And that magic can bring not just the most beautiful moments… but a foundation for a lifetime of wonder that’s yet to come…


Dearest Readers

I hope the story is beneficial as well as  entertaining thus far. I will be out of town from next week, so please allow me a short break of +/- 2 weeks. I am trying to post one more before then if time allows. 

Please accept my apologies if I am unable to. Always look forward to the readers rambles either way. Really helps with the train of thought! 💫
Anything I haven’t addressed can always be queried in the comments section.

Shukran for reading my humble works. 🌸


much love, 

A xx

Sunnah Duaa for drinking water 

اَلْحَمْدُلِلّٰهِ الَّذِىْ سَقَانَا عَذْباً فُرَاتاً بِرَحْمَتِهِ وَلَمْ يَجْعَلْهُ

مِلْحاً اُجَاجاً بِذُنُوْبِنَا


All praise is due to Allah, Who of his mercy has granted us sweet and pleasant water to drink and did not make it bitter and salty due to our sins.

Revive the Sunnah Duaa for drinking water. How easy to practice! 

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Not to be Okay

Bismihi Ta’ala


Whether it be within our lives or within our families or within our marriages… sometimes it’s okay for things not to be okay. Everything doesn’t have to always be blooming. We don’t always have to be fine.

I realised a long time ago that not everyone has a beautiful life. Some people are lucky, but many are not destined to have that kind of love that changes your life. Some of us settle for much less. Sometimes it’s what we unknowingly choose for ourselves. Sometimes it happens by default. But at all times… it’s in the Great Plan that Allah has for us…

But sometimes there are people that we come across that just leave imprints in your heart. They come with an important lesson. There’s nothing weird or creepy about it. It’s just the way they are… their demeanor… their approach… the way they present themselves. The way they see life through such beautiful eyes that you can’t help but see it too.

They have something called beautiful character. Not just beautiful. The best of character. And more than money, than looks, than sultry phrases… that character trumps as their most amazing asset. It doesn’t waver because beautiful character is something that’s in-built. It solid. It’s set so deeply in them, that no matter what their situation or circumstance or state of mind… this type of character is what shines through even the darkest of hours.

And yes, through my journey there had been many people that had changed the route, but what I knew for sure was that the moment that my beautiful sister had found the love that had calmed her raging soul, it was like our entire household had calmed with it. Life seemed a little brighter. All the hope was magically restored. Things took a sudden turn for the better. Everyone seemed a little more at peace.

And then, like a bolt of lightning from the blue, came the moment when the news of Aadam’s sickness rocked our world… and one by one, it felt like things around us started to crumble. All I knew for sure was that even though no-one really expected it…  my heart had already sensed it….

“I’m scared.”

I looked at my sister, her brows furrowed as she packed her luggage bag, and I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes as I thought of what these moments were going to bring. I mean, when she had gotten married… I knew she would leave one day… but this time, it just felt so much sooner than what we had all planned.

I never thought I’d hear my fearless sister ever say those words, but right now, at this moment, this is where we were. Although she barely showed it, it had been a while that I could see it in her eyes. The  revelation itself just came as a shock.

”You don’t need to be scared,” I said, trying to steady my voice, despite my own fears. “It’s going to be okay.”

”How do you know that?” She said, pausing in mid-fold and looking up at me quizzically.

The truth was, I didn’t really know. I just had this feeling that even though everything was changing and going a little out of whack, Allah would pull us through.

”I just have a feeling,” I said softly, giving her a small smile.

She paused to take out a few of her toiletries from the cupboard behind her, before turning back to look at me, emotion flooding her dark eyes.

“Do you think Mama would have liked him?”

The sincerity in her simple question caught me off-guard.   I hadn’t thought of my mother in a long while and as her image flashed through my mind, I could feel a lump forming in my throat. Some days I still missed her the way I had when she had just left…

”She would have loved him,” I said, meaning it. I mean, what was not to love about a guy who made my sister as happy as he did?

”Do you know what he told me the other day?”

She looked at me and folded her arms across her chest discontentedly. I looked up at her with slightly narrowed eyes. From what I knew of Aadam, I could only expect something out of the ordinary.

“He said that even if he had  done nothing else in his temporary life,” she started softly. “That if nothing else… it would have been enough that he found me… because it was through this Nikah where he found everything that matters…”

My heart contracted as she said it. It was like poetry.

“My word, Khawlah,” I murmured. “Are you trying to make me jealous?”

If my husband told me that I would have been jumping over the moon. As for my sister, she looked like she was halfway into depression.

”Zuleikha, don’t you get it?” She wailed dismally. “How do you return a love like that? How do you ever reciprocate?”

I looked at her and shook my head, understanding that she had completely missed the point.

”You don’t get it, do you?” I muttered, smacking my palm to my forehead and shaking my head at her. “This kind of love… well, it’s not like that! It’s not a favor that you have to return. Its not palpable or negotiable. It’s a gift, Khawlah. A gift you haven’t seen yet because you’re too scared to. You just have to open your heart and accept it because that’s the beauty in it… when you truly love someone for Allah’s sake and that love changes you.. it doesn’t need to be recompensed, because the reward in the feeling, that love… and that change that comes with it… finding the Creator of it and seeing that beauty of the truth… well, that’s enough. That’s what’s he’s saying. Having that love is worth way more than ever getting it back.”

True love. Pure love. It was the love for Allah that matched no other.

”I don’t know ,” she moaned. “It’s not normal. He’s so amazing and strong and I have no idea how to deal with that.”

I wanted to laugh, as I watched my sister, looking like she was in utter despair. She said the oddest of things and I honestly could not even fathom how her mind worked.

“Sometimes,” she said, dropping her voice. “Sometimes I just wish that he’d show some weakness, you know? That he’d act like a regular patient whose not really okay and let me see him for how he really is…”

Right back at ya, I wanted to tell her.

”Sometimes it’s okay not to be okay,” I finished off for her, smiling and looking at her, just so she knew that I was talking to her too. Just so she knew that she didn’t have to be so strong all the time.

“You don’t always have to be so strong. Do you know Allah waits for us to show some weakness… He wants us to be dependent on Him?”

I smiled at my sister as I spoke, a little amused by her annoyance. She was really one of a kind. And yes, of course I didn’t wish that on anyone, but if Jameel was in the same situation I could already imagine how dismal he would be… I wouldn’t be able to handle the drama.

And as if on cue, it was precisely at that point that Muhammed ran into the room, signaling Jameels arrival, and Khawlah’s sulky face immediately turn to smiles. Muhammed, of course, was ecstatic. Giggling, squealing and the works. He loved both Aadam and Khawlah to bits and it was no wonder why. They were so easy-going and had so much of patience with kids that I really and truly wished that they would one day have their own… hopefully sooner than they had always thought.

Knock knock,” a voice from outside said, and as I turned my head to look, Ahmed was already standing at the door with Jameel in tow, and the older of my girl cousins, whose name was Shaakira, trying to find her way in behind them. I had been wondering where my cousin wandered off today. Sara was her baby sister who was named after my mother. She had the sweetest nature too, unlike Shaakira who I never admitted sometime got on my nerves.

They were  usually always around when they were here… but for the past few days, I had no idea why, but I felt like I had barely seen Shaakira.

”I hear that there’s been a bit of chaos in the household,” Jameel was saying as he stood at the door, to no-one in particular.

Of course he was talking about the recent dynamics between Ahmed and I, but with Khawlah having much else on her mind, I really didn’t want to get into it. Yes, I had every right to be angry after Ahmed changed his mind about his upcoming Nikah. I also had more right to be upset because he refused to tell us who his future now entailed, which I thought was really unfair. For some reason, it was a huge secret and I had decidedly that it was time that I dusted my hands off his issues. I actually didn’t want to even see Ahmed at all, but being at my fathers house left little choice.

”Come on,” Jameel urged, winking and looking at me. “Sort it out. You guys can’t carry on like this.”

I gave him a death look. I felt like telling Jameel to mind his own business as he looked at me, as if it edge me on, but I swallowed my words as I looked back at him, knowing that he had good intentions.

Ahmed and him always had a rocky relationship, and even though it was better than before, there was a lot of room for improvement.

And yes, though I loved my husband, I could hardly compare our relationship to what I often heard my sister say about hers. Fair enough, she hadn’t yet entered into her marital home.. but for Jameel and I, I could safely say that we had our fair share of ups and downs and though I tried to look back at them as lessons learnt, I knew that there were many times when I regretted choices I made or things that happened. And then, when I felt myself feeling down or losing hope, I reminded myself that every relationship had their own set of trials. That everything wasn’t always meant to be perfect. That even the companions and family of Nabi (SAW) had issues and sought advice and guidance for it.

And I recalled clearly reading that even Ali (RA) and Faatima (RA) had their own set of issues where he would walk out and Nabi (SAW), on various occasions would bring the two beloveds of his together again. To disagree and have problems were also part of marriage and love, but the most important part was to rise above it and forgive, because their love for each other was on a level that put everything else aside. Their characters exceeded all else.

And that’s what I was striving for. Despite  mishaps. Despite disagreeing. Despite the past. There were times when I got so angry and frustrated, and times when it was so easy to let my tongue slip and say something potentially hurtful.

It has been related on the authority of Sahl ibn Sa’d that the Prophet (SAW) said,
“Whoever can guarantee what is between his jaws and what is between
his legs, I guarantee him the Garden.”[9]

SubhaanAllah. What a great reward for a little restraint.

I kept silent as Ahmed tried to make small talk, giving Jameel a small smile instead for trying to make some effort. He stood at the door, calling Muhammed to come out to give us time to talk it out, and obviously hoping for some resolution to the current issue of Ahmed’s indecisive life that was really driving me mad.

I honestly felt that I couldn’t tell him without causing a huge argument… But I knew very well that my brother had serious commitment issues. The minute something got a little serious… he seemed to suddenly wall up and think nothing of just walking away. Obviously, it had a lot to do with our childhood and his dodgy past but he had to move past it at some point. I was still upset with him for making me cancel the reservations and plans that I had made for his Nikah, and I had made it known that I won’t be partaking in anything that he was planning for the future. I know that it was a tad bit harsh but I really thought that he would do well to learn some lessons…

“Can you guys leave us alone now so I can have some bonding time with my sister?” I said, knowing that today wasn’t going to be the day we would get any positive answers from him and not really wanting to pin my hopes on it.

Ahmed raised his eyebrows at me.

”She’s my sister too,” he said, his amber eyes narrowing. I could tell it was because he wanted to test the waters with me.

I ignored him whilst Shaakira and Khawlah spoke about the big move that I could see my sister was still mentally preparing  herself for. Of course, it didn’t help that this wasn’t the usual kind of ‘move-in-with-your-husband’ kind of shift. The fact that Aadam was not exactly in the most amazing state definitely dampened the spirit.

”So did he tell you where you’ll are staying?” Shaakira was asking, a little too excitedly, as she looked at Khawlah inquiringly. “I mean, like did he say it for sure? Will you guys be spending the night together?”

She giggled and looked as me and Ahmed as she said it, and I could help but get annoyed.

And of course, as she spoke, I couldn’t quite help but think of how friendly and open she was being with Ahmed. Like, what was even going on? How was Ahmed even entertaining this?

If Khawlah or I had to behave like their were no boundaries with our male cousin Faheem, Ahmed would probably murder us. This bizarre behavior from Shaakira barely fazed him.

I narrowed my eyes at her as I watched them talking, not being able to help thinking that she was being a little too chatty and nosy about my sister’s married life for my liking.

Khawlah was, as usual, evasive with her answers, obviously feeling the same way. I couldn’t help but think that even though my cousin was just a year younger than Khawlah, she was seriously so much less mature. It was evident from her silly remarks that were a little too daring. Khawlah and her were worlds apart.

I held my tongue again, biting back the urge to say something nasty. I did, however, shoot Ahmed a reproachful glance which sent him out of the room with his tail somewhere between his legs, but Shaakira still refused to stop with the questions about Aadam and what it was like to be a part time wife, and how Khawlah needed to get her hair and nails done before-hand so she could be presentable. Her blabbering just didn’t end… to the extent that it was actually getting exhausting.

Somehow with people who are familiar, it was just easier to lose it. I tried to focus on her good points even though she was seriously getting on my nerves…

And of course, I’m sure it was just as well that Jameel called for me from the kitchen, signaling that he was ready to leave. His sister had some plans for the night that Jameel had inadvertently got thrown into. Jameel was very much unlike Aadam. Whereas Aadam got along with everyone and loved being around our family,  because Jameel was the type that easily tired of people, I knew that when he was around I had to cut my time short here… and today, although it was my last chance to really have proper quality moments with my sister, I knew that this was for the better. I was really about to snap with my cousin.

And although Khawlah was probably going to be back home intermittently, I couldn’t help but feel a heavy weight settle on my heart as I hugged her goodbye that day, knowing that she was entering a new stage of her life that was probably going to take a lot from her too. Emotionally. Physically.  Mentally too. And yes, I had accepted that everyone doesn’t have that great and amazing love that’s waiting for them, but I was certain that from what I had seen about these two lovebirds… and all the amazing things she had told me… I truly believed that with Aadam, she had got more than the bargain…

And my mind was kind of consumed in the moment as I thought about life and love and everything that the year had brought for us. I couldn’t believe that there was just a few months till the end of it. It meant that it was now over a year for Foi Nani and going onto eleven years for my mother. There were times like these, when the family was together and events that were momentary that made us miss them all the more.

And as I turned to go down the passage, deep in thought, pausing at the kitchen, and hearing my uncles voice in there, I couldn’t help but pop my head around to greet him. I like my uncle. Despite the issues in the past, he was one of the few family members we had

It was just that, as I saw him sitting at the table with his firmly set jawline and an unimpressed expression on his face, I already sensed that things were not okay. I supposed that kind of explained why Ahmed had come to the room in the midst of our tension… probably trying to avoid a bigger tension that was waiting to erupt. There was an entire romantic escapade that was going on right under our noses, and I couldn’t believe that it had gone unnoticed till now.

And yes, I couldn’t quite believe that I had missed this most important … the answer to Ahmed’s evasive revelation about Nikah.. but the fact that he was now in hot water with our once evasive uncle was definitely going to stir up a little more drama than I thought.

Facing my uncle was the one thing that my fearless brother was actually wary of.  This time Ahmed’s risky choices had really put a foot in it… and the result wasn’t going to be fun…

Don’t forget our Sunnah this holiday! 

Umar ibn Abi Salamah said: I was a young boy in the care of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and my hand used to wander all over the platter (of food). The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to me, “O young boy, say Bismillaah, eat with your right hand, and eat from what is directly in front of you.” 

(Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 5376; Muslim, 2022).

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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