Changing Hearts

Bismihi Ta’ala


When people say things like ‘people don’t change’, it can drive me crazy because change is the only constant of life. It’s inevitable. Whether it’s growing, dying, morphing or merging… whether you’re a scientist or not, we know that life changes. People too. Some people lose it. Some people find it. Sometimes the changes are forced on us. Sometimes they happen by accident and we make the most of them. Our hearts are constantly undergoing alterations. We become closer to who we really are. We change, we adapt. We create new versions of ourselves… we try and find our way and hope and pray that the light spreads to those around us too. 

I remember a pious Aalim once saying that if you desire change for anyone… be it your family or someone you may have met in a park, you have to start with yourself. You have to change yourself. You have to strengthen your Imaan. Do your Dhikr. Be constant in good deeds. Once you take that step towards a better you, the feeling of guidance that will follow us beyond what words can describe. When Allah takes someone’s hand and others are able to see the effect that He brought into their life, it’s a priceless gift that change even the most rigid of hearts.

And as I looked at this girl that had somehow refeatured in my life, I somehow couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of appreciation for this change of heart. From being completely averse to any change… she was now sitting before me with her heart completely altered.

”Im sure this meeting wasn’t easy for you,” the girl was saying, as she looked up at me. She was still as I remembered her. Except for the most obvious change, she was still striking in a completely unexpected way. “I mean, no one wants to be reminded of her husband’s mistakes. I’m sure when you found out the truth about what I did it made you feel hurt and protective and also probably not wanting wanting to ever see me again… but there’s something that I really wanted to tell you. This change that happened for me, well, I needed to share it with someone who knew where I came from and could make sense of me. I’m still trying to find my footing but as my life changes, I have a feeling that one day, I’m going to get it right… ”

She pulled the front of her hijab a little forward as she smiled.

”I didn’t want to cause trouble or disrupt your lives,” she said sincerely, her blue eyes appearing almost violet as she spoke. “But I just wanted you to know how much you truly changed my perspective when I spoke to you that day. As scientists, well… we don’t really think about God. About God’s will. We believe that medicine does. That we do. When you said it was all in God’s hands… When you spoke about faith.. When you made me think about what I was really doing all that time. I didn’t want to just read and learn more. I wanted to action it…”

“It’s no trouble…” I stuttered stupidly, still a little taken aback. Actually, I was quite shocked that she was saying all of this.

”I just wanted to let you know that it was meeting you that changed it for me,” she continued firmly.  “Sometimes you just need a new perspective. I didn’t know who you were. I just saw this pretty and modest girl with much on her mind and I needed to offload. When I told you I had a ligation, it was after I knew who you were. I didn’t want you to know that I had made the same mistake twice. And then the next year I met another guy who wasn’t so worthy, but I wanted to make things right with. It didn’t make sense, and it didn’t work out … but now that I have a daughter from him and have now met an amazing guy who shows me so much more about this religion than I had ever known, I know that Allah had a plan for me and I’m so glad that I took the step in the first place ..”

How could I take credit for it? It was only Allah who guides a person. It was only Him who chooses a person to change their life, sometimes in a most unconventional way.

I still couldn’t believe it what she was saying. That she had reverted. After everything. After not wanting to marry Aadam for that precise reason, and then actually having a real baby from someone else and going around in circles trying to find some reason and meaning… she had met someone a practicing Muslim doctor who she was going to make Nikah to. It was quite unbelievable.

”You know what the amazing part is?” She said, almost as an afterthought as I offered a warm embrace and we got ready to part. “When I was trying to explain to my mother… Through this whole journey, I learnt that even in the Christian world… for years before in the past… there was a modesty. There was actually a hijab. They would leave the home with their hair covered. In the past, even for Christians, there would be no extra-marital relations. Maybe I knew the principles, but my parents never enforced it. There were no barriers.  No laws. When modernization came into play it all changed, but now I see the wisdom in religion. The difference that made it for me was that whilst Christianity changed so much… the principles of Islam remain unaltered. And when I found out that I didn’t have to confess my sins to a priest and I could turn to Allah and seek His repentance, it was like coming up for air after a really long dive…”

I looked at her, a little stunned as she spoke in great detail about facts of my own Deen, which even I didn’t know about. Contrary to my expectations, this beautiful girl had actually brought so much more into perspective that I had anticipated. That was just the thing with Imaan though, right. It changes your perspective. It changes your life.

And be it through the best of times or the worst of times, somehow Aadam and I made it through all of the times with an ease that couldn’t have been but through the grace of our Lord. I had come to terms with his past, and most importantly, he had too. And of course, being Aadam, he took everything in his stride, never looking back at the time when I had been less than understanding or a little too judgemental. We had overlooked and moved past and were now at a place where there was nothing that was awkward or inappropriate to speak about. Well, almost nothing. It was just that Aadam sometimes had fun taking the mickey out of my brother when the opportunity arose.

“This is all your sisters fault,” he was saying, the week after to Ahmed as he sat on the recliner in his room, with his legs up almost in exhausted limbo as he peered at me accusingly. Today wasn’t a good day, but he was trying hard to hide it.

I shook my head at Aadam as he raised his one eyebrow at Ahmed.

“She kept me up the whole night…” Aadam was saying, his breath a little heavy has he spoke. He had developed a nasty cough in the last few day’s and it made him sound a hundred times worse, but didn’t stop him from his usual antics. “I honestly didn’t know what to do with her…”

Ahmed shifted awkwardly and avoided eye contact, and I wanted to grin as I read my brothers expression. Though Ahmed was always a tough guy, I could see that his ears were reddening and he was feeling a little out of place. I could tell that Aadam was poking at Ahmed, and my brother  was petrified that Aadam was venturing into territories that were usually avoided. I smiled at my husband as his one dimple flashed momentarily at Ahmed’s modesty. It was a trait of Ahmed that I had come to admire over the years. Any mention of affection would usually send him awol.

”She said I snore too loud,” Aadam said finally, releasing Ahmed from the torment as he looked up in immense relief.

”You do!” I retorted, crossing my arms over my chest as I narrowed my eyes at him playfully. I knew it was related to his chest, but it didn’t make the sound any more bearable. 

”See!” Aadam said pointedly, pouting slightly as he  looked at Ahmed again. “I can’t even be sick in peace! I’m done with the people in this house. One won’t let me sleep in peace and the other feeds me all the weirdest food you can think of. Can I just move in with you guys, please?”

Ahmed smiled, but there was a certain sadness in his eyes as he replied. No-one has said it aloud but when we thought about it sometimes we couldn’t help but wonder how many day’s Aadam had left to achieve everything that he wanted to…

“Anytime, bro,” he said softly, as Rubeena walked in from the kitchen. “Anytime.”

Rubeena had been cooking up a storm. She had  morphed into a fully blown home-maker since marriage and I could already see Ahmed putting on some weight. As for my mother-in-law, she had packed the fridge with her concoctions and basically threatened to disown him if it wasn’t emptied, but Aadam was barely fazed. He seemed to have no appetite at all.

Aadam stuck out his tongue at me, contented that he had found his threatened back-up plan.

”Is my brother complaining about his caregivers again?” Ruby said, raising her eyebrows and turning to Adam. ”Ahmed is a softie. You’re taking advantage of his nature. Stop conning him into thinking that you’re the perfect patient.”


It was both Ahmed and Aadam that moaned together, and I laughed as they looked Ruby accusingly.

”You’re giving up all the secrets,” Ahmed said sulkily. “Spoiling Adams and my reputation. We’ve worked hard to get it that way.”

Pssshhht,” Rubeena said, shaking her head at them and then looking at Ahmed. The din from the lounge was heightening. “I think we should go now before the boys turn this entire apartment upside down.”

I could hear the boys making weird hooting sounds now and I smiled. Usually Aadam and I would take them out for a while but I could see my husband wasn’t up to it. They thought of the most unconventional games and it made me giggle at times. I missed them and their craziness. I looked at my husband and though he didn’t look like he minded, anyone could see that he needed a rest.

I watched them head off, the family of 6 that were surprisingly easy on the eye. Rubeena didn’t look a day over twenty-five and with Ahmed’s mature frame, the two of them really did suit each other. Unexpectedly. It had been two weeks since they were married and they seemed to be already settled into their new life with an unprecedented ease.

It was just proof that when you do things the right way then Allah makes everything fall into place.

As for me, it had been a week since my final matric paper and I was absolutely ecstatic. I had been here since then and something in my gut was telling me that I needed to. Though I missed my crazy friend who was spending the last two day’s sleeping it all off, I loved having so much of free time.

”Rubeena and Ahmed huh,” Aadam said, looking intrigued for the first time that day. He looked better already, now that his brain had been working since they left. I worried about him not doing as much to keep himself busy, but I could see that he couldn’t really manage anymore.

“Sometimes it still doesn’t click…” I said, thinking about them too.

“I know, yeah,” he said simply. “But imagine…Like even after loving someone and so many years, Allah gives us the ability to love again…“

He was right. Allah has made our heart such that we can keep opening it. The ability to love many times and in many different ways. Sometimes we think it’s the end of the road and then Allah fills it with such amazing love that we didn’t realize it’s capacity…

”Don’t you agree?” He said, looking at me with questioning eyes.

“It’s amazing,” I said softly. “They do look content, but it’s still early days..,”

I was always a cynical personality, but I knew that Ahmed and Rubeena could make this work. Aadam’s eyes were still fixed on me, and I watched him back carefully.

”A second chance,” he said quietly. “Sometimes the love of your life is the first. Sometimes it’s the last.

I sincerely believe that everyone has that one great love story… the one that stands out and puts the others away…”

I smiled as he blew me a kiss from the recliner.

”And sweets, mine is you,” he said sincerely. “You blew me away.”

My heart did a little flip-flop as he said it. Aw man.

“You’re becoming sweeter by the day,” I smiled. “You’re sure you taking meds and not getting them to send you other stuff instead?!”

Aadam grinned.

”Its my natural disposition,” he said confidently. “I have a question for you though… and I mean it in the most secure and diplomatic way. Am I your great love story?”

His gaze was fixed on me as he said it, and for a minute there, I wasn’t sure if he was serious or not. Aadam was always joking around, and when he was serious, sometimes I still didn’t know if he was really serious. I narrowed my eyes and cocked my head at him curiously. I had to be realistic here. He wouldn’t be asking this for nothing…

“Why would you even suggest that you aren’t?”

He was grinning but I could see the seriousness in his eyes.

“I knew that I wouldn’t get a straight answer out of you,” he said easily, still smiling. I could feel my heart rate escalating as I wondered why he was asking. “Mrs Evasive.”

I shrugged. If he knew then why did he ask?

”Its no secret that I wasn’t your first choice,” he said simply, as if he had knowledge beyond his years. “It didn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that there was someone else that you probably had in mind and I wasn’t exactly your type…”

”Did Ahmed tell you something?” I asked in exasperation, not realizing I was giving something away in the process. I placed my hands across my chest angrily. “Why are we even talking about this? Who told you what?”

I narrowed my eyes at him, wondering why he was bringing this all up. I didn’t know was that there was something that only Aadam knew that had triggered this conversation…

”I think I knew all along,” he said with a smile. “But now I know for sure..”

”I was seven years old!” I retorted, guessing what he was talking about and shaking my head. Ahmed would tease me about it relentlessly. He must have said something. “It was a marriage proposal at the top of the oak tree. I don’t think anyone can even take it seriously! Who knows what it even means at that age?”

”But that’s where you’re wrong, sweets,” he said simply, with one raised eyebrow. “I could see your reaction when the big news came about Khalid. That’s when I knew that it wasn’t just a childish crush…”

I shrugged and looked away, not wanting to talk about the past. There was no point anyway. As much as he knew about him, Aadam didn’t know what Khalid was really like. He had grown to be what I always expected of him. He had done good. Real good. But one thing I never understood was that he just never made an effort to stay in contact. Not with Yunus. Ahmed. My family. I didn’t expect him to visit but a phone call to my younger brother now and then would have been nice. I supposed all that mattered now was that he had made Aunty Radiyyah a really proud mama and that much was enough for me. What I didn’t know was that there was a deeper reason behind his elusiveness all those years ago than I had understood…

”I want you to know that I never meant to come in the way,” he said now, meeting my gaze steadily. “And that if anything had to happen to me, like how there was another plan back then, you need to know that its not ever the end of the road-“

“Just stop right there, mister!” I scolded. “The past is the past and the future is the future, can we just focus on now? I’m happy where I am. I promise. As realistic as it is, I don’t want to spend this time with you worrying and thinking about what could happen. I want to just be present. Right now, right here. Can we just try that? Please?!”

Being with Aadam was an adventure that I’d never forget. I didn’t want to spoil what I had by thinking about things that made me worried. Of course everything happened for a reason. At times I felt overwhelmed and stressed, but I knew that it all happened in the knowledge that with the will of Allah, we were both here for better or for worse.

”I suppose you’re right,” he said, his voice a little more sturdy now. “But this conversation isn’t over. Now that you mentioned the past… it just reminds me that I have the greatest news. Like ever.”

I looked at him, glad we were moving on but not wanting to continue with the conversation at any time. For me, despite the nightly feeling I had, the topic was closed.

”As long as it’s not digging up any skeletons, please do tell me.”

Aadam grinned. My stomach was feeling strangely upset with all this stressful talk. My abdomen had  been taking the toll and as soon as my nervous system felt compromised, I already felt like puking. I tried to maintain a straight face as Aadam looked at me with an excited expression.

”Okay, get ready for it…”

I couldn’t help but smirk at him as his face lit up. Sometimes he was so childish. Like a little boy.

”I just finished all my Qadha namaaz!” he burst excitedly.

I widened my eyes at him, despite my stress-induced discomfort.

Really?!” My heart was bursting for him. I could just imagine his joy.

It really was big news. It had been something that had troubled him from the time we had gotten married… and before that too. Every Salaah was an event for Aadam where he tried to catch up with all the years he had missed. To catch up so many in just short of three years was quite a miracle.

I felt like doing a happy dance for him, but instead went to the calendar that had his Qadha timetable below it, bursting with pride as I looked at all the blocks with ticks that had been filled in. He had really been onto this thing. I didn’t think that he would be able to do it but he had really outdone himself. I was amazed.

”I think this calls for a-“

I halted as I noticed the calendar below it which I used and had marked at random intervals, only realizing with a certain shock that it was already past mid-November and I had been kind of ignoring my cycle for the last two months. There had been so much going on  and I just hadn’t been paying attention. With Aadam’s chemo and radiation going on… I was completely oblivious.

I stared at the dates as I placed my finger on the month before, counting carefully and trying to figure out if I had made a mistake or not. I was also quite convinced that it couldn’t happen. Uncle Siraj had said that the chances were low. Of course he was right… right?!

“Celebration, of course?!” Aadam finished with a grin, not really noticing me peering at the dates carefully in complete limbo. He was already behind me, peering over my shoulder at his timetable in glee as his arms snaked around my waist. “After a nap and our Thursday night reading… How’s about a cuppa coffee out on the balcony? Or the rooftop? For old time’s sake, yeah? I know we haven’t been there for a while, and I think it’s time we visit my masterpiece of a swing and enjoy the starry night out under the city skies…”

His voice was drowned out by the voices in my head. It couldn’t be. It couldn’t be. How could I not notice how late I was? I was so young. Aadam was sick. We had been taking precautions. I knew this wasn’t safe. I had heard him say that he was scared of the radium affecting a foetus.

Chemotherapy. The chemo. Goodness, Uncle Siraj had directly told him to be careful. He had spoken to him about it extensively. We had always said we had to wait. How did this even happen? This was so dangerous. If it was true, how was I going to raise a child now?!

”Aadam,” I said, slowly turning around and meeting his eye. His smiling face immediately altered as he caught a glimpse of my morbid expression.

”What’s wrong, gorgeous?” He asked, narrowing his eyes slightly as he stroked my cheek. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

Life changes. All the time. To put it roughly,  change is truly the only constant. Sometimes the changes are forced on us. Sometimes they happen by mistake. Sometimes we make the most of them. Long story short, change is inevitable. We change, we adapt. We create new versions of ourselves… we try and find our way and all we have to go with at times is the hope that there’s a little light out there in the change that we’ve adapted that can completely alter our hearts…

”Aadam, I’m so, so sorry…”

Dearest Readers,

Apoligies for the delays. My weeks just get too hectic. Just a note on Salaah and Qadha, sincere it’s the month of Rajab and the Sabaq of Rajab is to be consistently punctual and never miss a Salaah… let’s try InshaAllah to make our Qadha and never make a single more.

Allah grant us all the ability.

Much Love 

A xx 

Sunnah Duaa for Month of Rajab 

Allahuma baarik lana fi Rajaba wa Sha’bana wa balligh-na Ramadan

Oh Allah! Grant us Barakah (Blessing) during (the months of) Rajab and Sha’ban, and allow us to reach Ramadan.

Dua on the first night of Rajab is readily accepted by Allah.

Imam Shafi’i RA has stated: “I have heard that duaas are accepted

by Almighty Allah on five nights:

The night of Jumu’ah

The nights of the two ‘Eids

The first night of Rajab

The middle (15th) night of Sha’ban

Allah accept our efforts and Duaas.

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). 








Twitter: @ajourneyjournal





Twitter: @ajourneyjournal


20 thoughts on “Changing Hearts

  1. Ma sha Allaah for another riveting post, Aadam and Khawlah are so cute…
    Jazaakillah for highlighting the importance of fulfilling our qadha salaah and also the beautiful reminders throughout the post 🌹
    Can’t wait for the next post…

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Waiting for Aadam to calm Khawlah and assure her that all will be well. I feel like I’ve seen a ghost at Khawlah’s moment of shock and possible realisation.

    Shukran for the amazing post.

    Liked by 2 people

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