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-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…
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. 🌸
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
All the feels! 💓
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Beautiful expressions… I love the no judging part… Jazakillah sister… Stay safe…:)
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Shukran sister… will don💙
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وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته
JazakAllah for the beneficial posts.
Enjoy your break
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Wslm, Aameen, Shukran sis 💫
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Woah !! This post just got me !! I loved every bit !
Jazakillah Khair 💕
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Shukran sister ❤️
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Jazaakillah khair for the lovely post, it’s just so beautiful 🌷
Enjoy your break… ❤️
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Shukran sister… next post will be out soon .. managed to get one going 💙
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Hope u enjoyed the holidays💙
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Shukran, it was a lovely break ❤️❤️
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