For as long as I could remember, I’ve always wanted a sister. I’m sure you’ve heard that from only daughters before, but it has to be a girls’ thing, right..? To have your very own BFF and confidant that’s just like a meter or two away at any given time must be amazing.
And to tie in with that thought, way back when I was an exceedingly difficult (according to my mother) nine-year-old who was told that I would be getting the long-awaited sibling, I made it very vocal to everyone who mentioned it that it better be a girl. I wasn’t kidding. I was just that kind of vocal personality. For some reason, I just couldn’t imagine having a brother. The thought was way too morbid.
And I know it sounds terrible, but I think it was the first time in my life that I had actually prayed for something. My modern mother wasn’t exactly the type who would encourage me to seek my spiritual side, but it was Ma who had given me the idea. She said to ask for a normal and healthy baby. I took it one step further and asked for a normal and healthy girl baby.
I didn’t see the big deal. I even bargained with Allah, hoping that would work (probably the manipulative genes I inherited from my mother). I truly believed that it was the way to achieve things. Of course…. I still had a lot to learn.
And of course, when Ma came home from the hospital the day my mother went in for her scheduled c-section and told me that it was a boy who they were naming Adam, I was absolutely devastated. I couldn’t believe that my Duaa wasn’t answered the way I wanted. I couldn’t understand why I’d been short-changed.
In my ignorance, what I didn’t realize was that someone else’s Duaa was being answered. That maybe someone else had wanted something more than I did. Maybe we all needed something from this little boy that we didn’t yet see. That years down the line, this little boy would grow up to be an amazing guy who would change someone’s world. What you don’t see in any disappointment is that maybe there was a greater and more intricate plan at work…
And it was like when the mother of Maryam (AS) had her baby girl. Her heart was sorrowful because she wanted a boy. She wanted a boy so badly, because she prayed he would be a prophet. She wanted something so badly but Allah had a better plan. A greater plan was in place… that would reveal so much more than she could imagine. A plan that would make her daughter not just a great woman, but one of the greatest of the world. A plan that would honor her to such an amazing extent that an entire chapter of the Noble Qur’an was named after her. A plan that would make her the mother of one of the greatest human beings, and esteemed Ambiyaa, Isaa (AS).
And sometimes I had to touch base with that. That when things don’t go our way, sometimes we have to tune our minds to that possibility. That despite the joy of getting exactly what you want… sometimes not getting what we want at that moment can bring so much more in the future..
And of course, looking back at the years that he had grown up as more than just a little brother to me, I supposed that I never thought I’d end up loving my brother the way I did. Like the excessively noble qualities of Maryam (AS), my brother too far exceeded my expectations of him. He had become a friend, playmate and confidant. He had become the one person I could rely on, call as my plan B and finally, the inspiration behind me taking the great step towards changing my life that I had never thought I would. Sometimes Allah takes away something important to give you something so much more…
“Okay so first the good news or bad news?”
I looked at my uncle as he said it, peering over at us over his glasses as he flipped pages on the clipboard he was holding. I hated when he got into his doctor mode. All the professionalism just made me feel awkward.
”Do you have to give any news?”
It was Adam who spoke up from the hospital bed, raising his one eyebrow and peering at him cynically. I smiled, despite the dreary atmosphere that was in the room, glad that my brother had finally come to after his half-day coma. The minute Ahmed had told me about his unconsciousness the day before, I really thought he was a goner.
It had been a hysterical fit of drama and screaming road rage as we rushed to get to him, praying with every ounce of me that he would be okay. Begging Allah to give us more time. The fact that he wasn’t responding to Khawlah was something that was freaking us all out, and those few hours before he actually came to were agony. Exhaustion had gotten to him like never before and it seemed like he had exerted himself a little too much to get to that point.
“What’s the bad news, doc?”
It was Shabeer that suddenly spoke from where he was sitting and yes, I didn’t expect him to open his mouth in front of my uncle that day. After the last episode, I would have been too embarrassed to show my face here, but Shabeer was not exactly the type to feel ashamed.
To tell then truth, I didn’t even know why he was there. I hated to bring up skeletons from the closet, but the thing was, he couldn’t even show up for me when I had needed him to do the ABC’s in our marriage, but here he was acting like the concerned and doting brother-in-law who truly cared about extra-curricula responsibilities.
When he had pitched up this morning, instead of doing what I asked him to and seeing to the boys, instead he dropped them at his mothers place and came to the hospital. His excuse was that I needed support. Yes, bring my neurotic self… I did need support, but the only problem was that it wasn’t his support the I wanted.
“They’ve found something in the scan they did this morning,” Siraj said non-commitedly. “A growth on the spinal cord. We’re waiting for the results of the biopsy and I don’t know why they didn’t pick it up earlier, but of course, it’s all in the plan of the Greater Power and we have to just try and move forward..”
It was like my heart had ceased there for a moment. They found something that could exacerbate his illness and my uncle was surprisingly calm about it.
I looked at my uncle with slightly narrow eyes, wondering what if was that was different about him today. Besides the visible facial hair that made him look almost exactly like my brother now, he seemed worlds away from what he was. Not as highly strung. Cooler. More relaxed. It was like the magic of Tawakkul had been breathed into him. I’d never heard him speak of Allah’s power and relate it to his work. For him, religion had always been a separate entity, and I never thought I’d see the day when he’d merge the two and understand how Allah plays a role in everything that occurs.
Without us realizing it, through spending time with Adam and treating him through this time… there was a unexpected transformation in my uncle that had taken us all by surprise.
“Okay, so what’s next,” Adam said quietly, while I watched them both. Khawlah looked like she was in shock. Of course another complication would change everything for their future. For us all.
I could feel myself started to hyperventilate as I watched the calmness around me. I felt like Adam had known this all along. Like they had this conversation a million times in their heads before, rehearsing if multiple times in order to get it perfectly calm and drama-free. Call me crazy but I seriously felt like banging their heads together. I hated when everyone acted like everything was okay when it clearly wasn’t.
My mother was sitting in the corner of the room, surprisingly quiet. I felt almost nervous as I watched her, half waiting for her to erupt like she sometimes would, when we would least expect it. Only, it was like an inwardly bubbling volcano… even that wasn’t happening…
”I think it’s time to discuss treatment options,” Siraj said steadily. “On a serious note now. Just so we’re prepared…”
Now he was talking. I tried to breathe in deeply as I watched them.
Relax, I commanded myself. It will all be okay.
I felt like there was a part of my brain saying, “Yeah, right,” but gave it two smacks, blocked it out and focused on the present.
Adam narrowed his eyes and shook his head, a streak of stubbornness filling his eyes as he looked back at Siraj.
”I don’t want to know the treatment options,” he said through gritted teeth. “I’m not doing any systematic chemo or radium and I told you this before!”
I felt my heart drop. Where there was no will… there was no way…
“Adam,” Siraj said firmly. “This may be the last option. Stop being so damn stubborn. Chemo and radium have had high success rates. You even get the tablets. If it is what I think it is, why don’t we just try to treat the cancer and try and eliminate those cells.’-“
“It destroys the cancer cells but it destroys everything else with it,” Adam retorted. “I don’t want to be stuck not being able to have kids for the rest of my life… however long that may be!”
I could see Siraj visibly wince as he said it, and Adam immediately realized his mistake. My uncle looked like he had been stung, but being use to controlling his emotions, he recovered quickly, clenching his jaw as he looked at my brother.
Of course it was a sensitive topic for him. Both the topics…. but not having kids… well, he knew the reality of what it felt like and didn’t want that for my brother either. I’m sure he wouldn’t suggest that unless it was necessary.
It was Khawlah who spoke softly, and all eyes were on her as she walked slowly up to my brother’s side. I could see her reaching for his hand while she tried to compose herself. Of course this wasn’t easy. Of course it was taking a lot out of her, but the maturity of my brothers teenage wife just astounded me over and over again. When I looked at her, even I felt like a little kid who had no control over my emotions at all.
“I know you’re worried and scared and a little overwhelmed,” I heard her say. “But I want to hear them. I want to know our options. Can we just listen? For me?”
I could see my brother instantly soften as he looked at her, visibly soothed just by her presence as he nodded. A single tear rolled down her cheek as she looked at him, and I could see him squeeze her hand back as they looked at Siraj expectantly. It was so emotional that I wanted to bawl my eyes out right there and then.
It was the first time I had witnessed this kind of emotional intensity… and as they spoke seriously in low tones, my heart was thudding methodically as I watched their heartfelt fears unfold on their faces with bated breath.
My mind was abuzz with information. Adam was expressionless as Siraj. My parents were looking alarmed. I could just imagine what I looked like as I kept blowing my nose noisily, because I felt like my heart was breaking apart, bit by bit, solely due to this new discovery.
And of course, since I was an expert at getting caught up in awkward moments, it was at that very moment when I glanced at the door and saw a considerable figure hovering there, causing my heart to accelerate as I realized who it was. He was looking inquiringly at Adam with relief on his face. Relief and absolute joy that made me want to smile despite my own tears. Of course he was ecstatic that Adam was looking normal. Awake. Alive.
I looked away as he came in, moving back to the outskirts of the room, feeling a thudding in my chest as I thought about our last conversation. I tried to appear all normal and together by doing the noble lowering my gaze thing, but my heart was a stubborn vessel that refused to co-operate with my mind. It was already beating away, way out of control…
”We both know that this is not what we planned,” Ahmed had said almost in a rush as the call came and just before the drama all unfolded the day before. “But if we both know what we want then I really don’t see a reason to delay this any longer…”
He trailed off as his hazel eyes met mine, and I could tell that this was a mouthful for him. I wasn’t sure if I’d heard the guy speak more than ten words in one sitting and that day he had exceeded way more than twenty. For once in my babbling life I was a little gobsmacked, but if I had to really introspect, I think that it was one of the things I had felt myself liking about him. When I found myself short of words, anyone knew that I was impressed.
He was so different. Despite the fact that he clearly had all the Deeni aspects that I had been looking for, I loved that he wasn’t a charmer. Never looking to impress anyone or care what they thought. Unlike Shabeer, he wasn’t a talker. He said few words that meant business and that was what had got me. I wasn’t sure what it was about this guy who was so much younger than me, but seemed like he knew so much more. Maybe age was just a number. Despite it all, his eyes spoke more about the world than I had seen in my entire thirty years.
I had already given my consent, but there was just one problem amidst it all that I didn’t exactly anticipate. Shabeer pitching up early that morning, looking all sparkly and sober was something that was quite baffling. Whether he had got wind of what was going on, I wasn’t sure, but as I stood there, I could see Ahmed glance from me to Shabeer warily, and the two of them locked eyes for a minute before I intentionally turned around to leave the room, my heart hammering in my chest for fear of what may come out of this.
Goodness. This was probably going to cause a stir. If Shabeer knew about the proposal, this could be trouble. If Ahmed mentioned anything, it would bring a helluva lots of havoc too. Besides the two of them, my mother would probably hound me relentlessly and Khawlah would come to know the truth before I got the chance to explain it all…
I tightened my grip on my handbag as I got made my way to the door, knowing that Shabeer already had his guard up. I knew that Ahmed made him sweat and the thought gave me a strange sense of satisfaction. It was just that right then, I couldn’t bare to watch any possible drama unfold, because my nerves had already taken a helluva load in the last twenty-four hours.
In my mind, there was only one solution. Coffee. I needed some coffee. To see it all clearer and put everything into perspective. I felt selfish. Like I was worried about my own future and security when my brother was basically withering away. I wish that there was someone I could confide in.. to ask… to truly know what the right thing to do was right then.
Think good thoughts, I tried to coax it. Happy thoughts.
And just as I calmed myself down and the lady handed me my double caffeinated triple-sugared lifesaver, it was just on cue that my mothers kitten heels could already be heard amidst the regular hustle and bustle of the reception, coming from the direction of the elevator. I held my breath as I turned and looked, hoping against every hope that it wasn’t hers and maybe just someone who sounded like her. But as my luck always had it, fate was never really on my side and I could see my mother fix her gaze on me as I tactically chose a spot far away from any strangers ears, knowing that my mother already meant business.
I held my breath as I watched her, slowly and torturously leading up to what I knew would be some sort of explosion, by now expertly recognizing the familiar body language and absolutely dreading what would be happening in the next few moments. She was now directly in front of me, and it was obvious that I could avoid eye contact no more. I looked up reluctantly, giving her a shaky smile as I told her to take a seat, well aware that she wouldn’t anyway.
There was no way to postpone the impending doom any longer. I was already wishing that she would just explode already, because the anticipation was way more nerve-wrecking.
“I can’t believe it!” She muttered through gritted teeth, careful about not causing a huge scene from the beginning. This was how it always started, and she was getting better at the build-up. Soft and almost embarrassed… before it morphed into something loud and appallingly embarrassing…
”Ma, I can explain-“
”Explain?!” She said, her eyes widening as she looked at me. “I don’t understand how people think sometimes. Acting all innocent and then coming to a hospital at such a crucial time and turning everything completely upside down!”
I cringed. I supposed she was right. I knew exactly what she meant but I really didn’t mean to. I knew that my mother was in love with my ex-husband (mainly because of his amazing genes and light hair) but that didn’t mean that I couldn’t look for happiness elsewhere since he had made me feel like a disposed diaper so many times. What I didn’t know was how to explain to her that I really didn’t mean to be selfish at this crucial time…
”It’s just uncalled for!” She said, her voice expectedly rising now. “Unheard of. Makes me so suspicious, you know! All this time and now suddenly she pitches up here all concerned about what’s going on in my family -“
”Wait, Ma,” I said suddenly, not really understanding who the ‘she’ was in the conversation. What was she going on about?
My mother looked at me stonily, obviously peeved that I had interrupted her onslaught.
“Who is the she?” I asked, obviously confused. Was there a female intruder that I should be worried about? Just when I thought I had enough of them during my marriage to Shabeer, along comes another…
I really had such amazing luck.
”Didn’t you see her talking to me?” My mother asked incredulously, her eyes narrowing as she stared ahead and half gestured her eyebrows towards someone sitting a few tables away. “That woman!”
I turned my face, half expecting to see a young woman who would be my sworn rival to be looking back at me. Maybe she was one of Shabeers ex-wives? Someone who wanted to cause a stir? Worse still, what if it was Ahmed’s ex-fiancé looking to cause trouble?! I swallowed nervously as I thought of the possibilities, wondering if that’s how my mother had heard the recent news. Maybe there was a huge confrontation in the ward and I had missed if because I had been too chicken to face my own music.
Ah, the embarrassment that might have ensued. Sometimes I really wanted to kick myself.
But thankfully, the worry was in vain because as I looked up, what I saw instead was a middle-aged woman of medium complexion, donned in a purple maxi dress and flaunting her recently dyed mahogany straightened hair. By now, of course, I was completely confused.
”That’s her!” My mother muttered with a scrunched up face. “The woman I was talking about. She just came out of nowhere, mocked at my genuine caesarstone counters and stole my recipe and then said it was hers. Can you believe her?! Why is it that everytime there’s a problem I spot her face, Rubeena?!”
I shrugged as I looked at my mother, knowing that craziness doesn’t go much further than this. I sincerely hoped that the kuku genes were not hereditary.
I frowned at my mother, knowing that I would probably never understand her, as long as I tried.
“Mum,” I said calmly, a mixture of relief and annoyance flooding through me. So she didn’t know about Ahmed. That was a relief. I could just imagine the spectacle it would cause when she did find out, but for now I dwelled on the bliss. “It’s only a recipe-“
”But this just it, Rubeena!” My mother almost shouted, flinging her hands up in the air. “It’s never just a recipe! See how she’s looking at us! Your divorce, Adam’s sickness and everything that’s happened… This is much more than just a recipe, Rubeena, and you know it!”
She looked at me and I stared back at her in amusement. She was really cracking me up.
”Im serious, Rubeena,” she said, her voice dropping as I looked at the lady with her cynically narrowed eyes. I felt like she would bore a hole through her head with the way she was glaring.
Besides, I didn’t really buy Mum’s theory. I mean, she looked slightly familiar, but I couldn’t quite place why…
It was all a bit of a concocted mystery, but what I didn’t know at that point was that despite my mother’s seemingly ridiculous speculations, there was a reason that this woman always seemed to be around her… a reason that my mother had noticed her and a noted blast from someone’s past that was here to dig up some skeletons that were long locked away…
Don’t forget our Sunnah Revival!
Favorite foods of the Prophet (SAW): Pumpkin and Barley. All we have to do is make an intention for Sunnah and we’ll get multiple rewards!
Anas RA said: “I went along with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) barley bread and soup containing pumpkin and dried sliced meat. And I saw the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) going after the pumpkin round the dish, so I have always liked pumpkins since that day.” (Abu Dawud 3782)
A forgotten Sunnah. Eaten fallen particles… Sometimes we forget the Barakah that can be in even a grain of food. To eat what has fallen on the cloth or even the floor… SubhaanAllah.
Anas ibn Maalik narrated that when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ate, he would lick his three fingers. Anas said: “And he said, ‘If any one of you drops a piece of food, let him remove any dirt from it and eat it, and not leave it for the Shaytaan.’ And he commanded us to clean the plate, and said, ‘For you do not know where in your food the blessing is.’” (Narrated by Muslim, 2034).
جزاك الله خير for the amazing post.
But no no no…you can’t just leave us hanging in suspense like that😮😨🥴
Seems like the aunty actually has wisdom hidden in amidst her dramatics.
Enjoy your night 🌺
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Aameen.. Shukran sister. Lol, actually I was quite looking forward to writing this light-hearted kind of cliff hanger as opposed to all the scary ones 👅 just been such a crazy week- sick patients in the house but hopefully I won’t keep you’ll waiting too long before the next… 💗
back to the point… tell me… any guesses on who the mystery woman may be…?!
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Maybe… maybe not… 👅
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Jazaakillah khair for the lovely post, it’s amazing how one person can be the means of an entire family changing for the better…
Hope Adam accepts the treatment and gets better…
Wonder who this woman is…
could it be the father’s other wife or aunty Naz…
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I also think that it might be their fathers second wife but I think he would be a bit to terrified of having another wife. Another beautiful post Maa-shaa-Allah
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Hmm… it could be another but I do wonder if he’ll be brave enough to. Imagine another Aunty Nas… 🙈
We’ll see what’s in store for Aadam. My post was ready but it didn’t save so I’m going to have to re pen it… 💔🙈 InshaAllah post be out later today… 💓
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Waiting patiently, hope you going to reveal the identity of the ‘stealer of the recipe’ and not keep us hanging…
Also a mother in law point of view in a future post will be appreciated
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Every cliff hanger gets more and more nail biting !! Just so glad Adam is still alive and breathing Alhumdulillah 😊
I’m really happy for Rubeena and excited for what’s in stories for her.
As for the mystery women , I have absolutely no idea 🙈
Jazakillah Khair for the post 💕
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Shukran sister… all will definitely be revealed soon… 💕💕
Thanx 4 not killing adam off..
Bout the lady wonder who she must be..
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Lol, you’re welcome… *grins*
Ma Sha Allah, you really out do yourself, each post 1 better than the next, I felt like I could see Khawlah asking Adam just to listen and see her tears etc…
And yay, you haven’t killed Adam off 👍
As for the mystery woman, hmmm, I wonder but feel it can’t be Aunty Nas, like really she visiting Rubeenas mum and criticizing her counter tops, but at the same time she has put spanners in the works for the family before like at Zuleikhas proposal
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lol, Shukran sister… Alhumdulillah!
Yes, this mystery woman def sounds like a piece of work but I think that you guys may have a little more of a wait before she reveals herself … ❤️
Oooooh jazakallah khair for this lovely post… 💓💓💓
I was so worried that I’ll be reading it with a box of tissues🤗 so happy aadam is well…!!! Now i’m so looking forward to ruby Nikaah… Hope she finds the contentment that she yearns for….
Now I wonder. Is that aunty Nas. She was lying low for a while. Hope she’s not looking to catch ruby’s father and take advantage of the his soft nature..😁
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