A Shining Hope

Bismihi Ta’ala


In real life, you can’t skip chapters. That’s not how life works. You have to read every line. Meet every character.  Yes, there are times when you wish things could turn out differently. There are times when you wouldn’t want the pages to end. But that’s what stories are about. Sometimes you just have to keep going… even when you seem to lose hope.

And sometimes, we have to go back to the beginning to understand. We just have to take a step back. Slow down. Alter our journey. Realize what’s important. There is a comfort in the familiar, but new things can be as good as before. Part of life is embracing its lessons and  learning to adapt. To change. To believe that there’s a greater reason, a Higher Power and believe that there will be a better time coming..

And often, I tried to look back and remember. In those days of confusion and grief, I would often think of Mama. Of Khalid. Of Foi Nani. Of the beginning. When feelings were raw. When I had found the warrior within. Like the women in the  stories of the Sahaba I’d read, who would go out in the path of war, but carry the strength of 100 men.

They were warriors. They were fearless.

And like them, I drew my strength from those around me. Chest puffed out, head held high… I found solace. Everything finally came to together, even after I thought it had fallen apart.

When they slept, He was awake. When they broke, He carried you. When no one else was there, He was. He remained. He always remains. Remember that always, Khawlah. Remember that. Remember Who you owe everything to. 

It was like my lullaby. Soothing me and comforting me. Bringing me back to the time when I had felt like I would never feel okay again… but I was. I turned to Him, when I was sinking to my lowest. When everyone else left, Allah was always there.

I knew that Allah always hears the Duaa of His slave. My job was to just trust His timing.

And that was what it was about. Time. Timing. The passage of time that we all went through… and would eventually pay off.

”My word,” Nusaybah breathed, as she looked at me with widened eyes. “It’s grown…”

”Really?” I asked, hiding my smile. Of course it would grow. It just took time. “How much? Half a centimeter?”

”Actually nearly three-quarter!” She retorted crossly. “It’s quite a jump. I think this baby may be sucking every living nutrient out of you…”

I giggled, and Nusaybah looked at me with interest.

”Someone’s very perky today…”

I shrugged, lightly touching my tummy as I tried to feel the alleged bump.

“Spill it,” Nusaybah said, her dark eyes dancing as she watched me, hands on her hips. “What did Mr Perfect have to say that we have such a huge smile on my best friends face?”

I smiled again. There were two main reasons for my ease.  The fact that the nausea had subsided was also one of the best things that had happened to me. It had floored me. There were days when I felt like I was going to collapse. The only thing I could do was sleep and dwell in misery.

And then of course, amidst the grief, there was the news that Aadam didn’t actually do the chemo. Yes, I was a little angry at him and it had shocked me at first, but from what he had told Uncle Siraj, I now understood why. I understood that he had made a choice. That there was a time when he thought that he was selfish. When he put himself before everything and everyone else. When he put his life and his career and everything worldly before the idea of a baby. This time… he wanted to do it differently. This time he wanted to be selfless. He had risked everything… including a shot at recovery…. so that he could have a chance at making up for what he had lost. And though it broke my heart that he would never meet his child, it was clear that just the knowledge of what was coming gave him great comfort. Just that news had been enough for him.

And of course, Allah knew best, but with the relief that there was no real risk of foreign chemical bodies damaging the fetus, and now that my constant nausea seemed to have settled… I was thrilled that finally, I could just dwell in the knowledge of this miracle that was growing inside of me.

”Oh the usual…” I said nonchalantly, wanting to keep my secret of Aadam’s quirky correspondence a little longer.

Every letter had a beauty. Every letter was unique. How Aadam had thought of precisely what to say and when was beyond me….

Nusaybah was starting to pout, as I refused to give her the gory details. She was relentless in her approach.

Of course I was being a dampener to her spirits. This was her daily routine. Barge in. Be inquisitive. And then check (literally, with a measuring tape) on how much the baby bump had grown. She was going to be a real hands-on baby-sitter and second-mother to the baby. I could already tell.

Pleeeeaaase,” she whined, her bottom lip sticking out purposely as she blinked at me.

I held the letter in my hands firmly. Watching her frowning face gave me a sense of satisfaction. I held the letter to my heart as I recalled his playful banter. The advice. The little hope that always came along with the read. It was the part of real-life Aadam that I missed the most.

This is me.

And sometimes I feel like a ghost when you look at me, because when you look at me, you see me. It’s like you know that I’m not really as strong as I appear. It’s like you see more than the pain I’m trying to hide. You see me… and I’m scared that it’s going to kill your spirit. It’s going to make you lose hope. That’s why I had to pen this when I saw it… because I knew that you would understand if I told you that I read the most amazing thing yesterday. 

“Go and ask Musa (AS) about the nature of Allah Ta’ala’s gifts. He went to fetch fire and he was granted ‘Nubuwwat’ from Allah Aza Wajal.”

Beautiful, isn’t it? I guess what I’m trying to say is that sometimes you don’t know how much Allah has in store for you until you see it. I know that I learnt about Allah’s gifts, when you least expect it. I didn’t expect to find you, but I did… and not only did I find a beautiful wife and partner, but I found so much more. I want you to see that too. I wanted you to realize it, because I know you too well, sweets. I know that you’ll use me as an excuse. I know that you think I’m the best and such a catch and all the rest…

Okay, I’m kidding. I can just imagine you rolling your eyes, gorgeous.

On a serious note though, you’re probably wondering why I did this. Why I wrote all these letters. Why I wanted to remind you of me. Why I didn’t just let you be. The truth is, I really want you to you to move on… but at the same time, as crazy as it sounds… I wanted to give you something you could remember me by. Something that you’d look back on and say, “that’s the guy. That’s the insane guy that I was once crazily in love with.”

I hope you do.

That was the guy. I could almost see him grinning at me. Almost hear his voice in the back of my mind, reminding me of all the little things about him that I would often forget…. almost as if he had never left.

”Everyone is worried about you,” Nusaybah said softly as she caught my eye.

”Who’s everybody?” I asked, raising my eyebrows

I looked at my friend as she shrugged.

”School people,” she mused. “Friends. Family. Your mother-in-law.”

I smiled. We had reached a place that I thought was impossible for us. It seemed so far-fetched just a few months ago, but after Aadam’s sickness, we had somehow reached a height where we were both at peace with each other and everything that had happened. It was so unconventional and unexpected, but really, all I could think to myself was that my husband had some really strong Duaas.

I flipped over the letter and read the back on the envelope. He always left a little message on the outer part, and it always made my heart contract.

I love you, Khawlah. Its been amazing.

“I loved a guy with my heart and soul,” I said softly, as Nusaybah leaned in to see. “Do you think I’ll be okay?”

Sometimes my heart ached so deeply that I wondered if it will ever heal.

”Of course you will,” she said confidently. “But you have to give it a chance.”

I nodded silently.

There were so many things that had happened during the past few months. From the overwhelming grief to the excitement of the pregnancy, from the release of matric results (which shocked us all, in a good way) to the finalizing of Aadam’s estate… my mind was completely bogged with emotion.

I still missed him. Severely. Every day. Every moment. It just didn’t hurt as much as it used to. The aching within my gut seemed have shifted to less palpable parts… within my heart but less piercing. There were still moments when you feel it will never get there but with time… there is hope.

And amidst the hope, there were a fair share of surprise along the way. Meeting with the lawyer a few weeks ago was a dreaded, yet crucial part of the process. Sorting out Aadam’s estate was something that I was completely averse to doing, yet knew needed to be done.

Ahmed had sat with me while we contemplated how to go about it. What it really entailed. How to go about it correctly.

”Basically,” the lawyer had said, looking at me as I shifted in the seat. I hated the formality. I hated that this was about money and assets and  investments because all I wanted was my husband and I knew none of this could ever compare…

The lawyer cleared his throat and looked at me and Ahmed while I waited. I wasn’t sure why he was so hesitant. Was it bad news? What could be worse than my husband dying? If he had left nothing, then so be it. Bank accounts and off-shore investments… it meant nothing to me at all. I just wanted this thing to be over with so we could cross that bridge and I could get back to hibernating in my room.

Finally, he took of his glasses and put it on the table.What we didn’t know was that Aadam had left no stone unturned during his last few months. He had shocked us all to the core..

“Is there something wrong?” I finally asked, just a teeny bit annoyed. The man wasn’t getting to the point.

He shook his head and looked up from the paperwork.

”I just wanted to say that your husband was a very… unique person,” he said, and I could hear the unexpected emotion in his voice. It was unlike a lawyer to be so… involved. He was an older lawyer, but I could see why Aadam liked him. He had a sensitive approach. “Of all the clients I met… well, he was different. Selfless. So admirable. What’s more was that this didn’t matter for him. He was worried but he did this purely out of duty. You’ll probably be relieved to know that Adam’s estate is one of the largest I’ve ever worked with. It took time to do it the correct and Islamic way but he was insistent that I get it right before the end of the year. He’s funded madrassas. He’s put money towards building various Masaajid. On top of it all, he’s left a number of properties solely on your name. He’s got ongoing contracts for work he did in the past… that will still be paid off for years to come, because they are still using his resources. His feeding schemes and projects are ongoing. He’s got funds set up for the people he used to support, and he’s organized the ones that he wants you to handle. There’s much much more… but just to sum it up for you guys, basically, even if you do nothing else for the rest of your life, you will be completely comfortable.”

I looked at the lawyer and blinked. I felt like I was numb.

People he used to support? Funds? Projects? What was this guy even talking about?

”What about his parents?” I asked, when I had finally coming to my senses. He had spoken about me, but I was getting worried. I didn’t care about all that stuff. “His sister… nephews?”

”Everyone is accounted for,” he said assuredly. “Your husband was meticulous.”

I shook my head and looked at the papers that he had handed over to Ahmed and I. My brother looked just as unnerved as I was. The numbers were blasphemous. The rewards were extraordinary.

On the authority of Abu Hurairah (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said, ‘When a person dies, his deeds come to an end except for three: Sadaqah Jariyah (a continuous charity), or knowledge from which benefit is gained, or a righteous child who prays for him’. (Muslim)

This was obviously a shock to Ahmed too. I mean, I knew that Aadam had scored some huge contracts and was extremely successful… I just didn’t know that it was on this level.

And I didn’t think it was possible, but in the few weeks after Aadam had passed away, I think I learnt the most about him than I had known during our entire marriage. I didn’t know about all the people he was secretly providing shelter for. Paying their rent. Sending the groceries. Providing medication. I had no idea about a fund he had set up, that solely provided for meals for poor kids. I didn’t know that every day, he would call three sick ladies to arrange their care for the day, and make sure they had everything they needed. I didn’t know all these secrets that revealed themselves after he passed on…

I wanted to be like Aadam… to take his place… but all that was left were the beautiful memories that he had left behind.

Yes. Many people may come and go but they live on in the heart. You remember them for their love. Their ambitions. Their unfailing inspiration. You hang onto their words, even if they may be long gone, because sometimes that’s the only way to draw strength. It was during those times when I realized that I could. When I withstood more. When I truly realized just how strong I really was.
And as happens with time, the days and months somehow came to pass. We prayed. We hoped. We healed.

I coped. With the long Iddat ahead, I had to. I’d venture into the garden at times, finding solace in the depth of the earth, letting my fingers sink in and feel the opportunity that awaited once again. I had forgotten how gardening had soothed me. How nature had aroused that yearning for a new beginning once again. I had forgotten the comfort of it’s aromas, and everlasting potential. Amidst it all, Aunty Radiyyah would arrive with her constant flow of gifts and energy. Rubeena constantly popped in to visit. The boys would come too, adjusting slowly but in their own way, and we all found solace in comforting dreams and the small signs that Allah soothed us with, as the days went by.

The wounds were still there, but with times passing, and the constant toil and effort of every day, the pain had come to fade. As my tummy grew and the baby became a reality for us all, there were times when I felt so content, that I couldn’t even understand its source. It was something I never imagined. It was like Allah had just placed and amazing assurance within me. Precisely how He places a binding love for a spouse in the heart… or an unbreakable attachment of a mother to her baby from even before birth… so too, He places Sabr Allah in hearts of those who need it most.

It was in those days after I’d moved back home for the long duration of my pregnancy, that I’d found about the late night conversations Aadam would sometimes have with Dada, after I’d go up to bed. It was when I realized how deeply Abba felt this test. How Jameel had truly admired my husband. It was when I saw the truth of how my husband had crept into everyone’s, even Yunus’s, hearts.

Dada had took Aadam’s passing hard. I didn’t expect it. Abba was one stage below. He never said it, but I could see it in his eyes when he looked at me. I could see the hurt… just like I had seen it when Mama had passed. He had never been one to divulge his feelings or emotion. Abba had always been the silent bystander, hurting quietly while the rest of us would tear with grief.

And then of course, there was Yunus. He took it the hardest. It was like the wind was completely knocked out of him. Yunus was at a complete loss….

The sickness. The fatigue. The weakness that Aadam had experienced before he actually passed away… it was all too close for him. He had seen the most of Mama’s sickness, yet he had never spoke. about it before. Yunus retreated further more into his own world, even though the rest of us tried with all our strength to pull him out.

It was during that period that I formed an unbreakable bond with my little brother. Perhaps it had something to do with the little human that was now living inside of me, that would become the apple of his eye… but what I didn’t know at the time was that it was an arrival that would bring Yunus back to his former self.

As mid- year approached, and I found my pregnancy becoming a little more trying than the early days, it was no wonder that when I awoke one night with a dull but persistent ache in my lower abdomen, I immediately went to Yunus’s room first, waking him up with a bit of a shock, but a feeling of ominous excitement that was brewing within.

Yunus looked at me with confusion, and as I briefly explained to him that I would need to go to a hospital shortly, I could see his eyes shining with ambition.

And that was what defined a true warrior. It was the difference between winging it and being someone who truly thrives. There comes a point when it all becomes too much. When we get too tired to fight anymore. So we give up.

But that’s when the real work begins.

We keep pushing. We try a new approach. We have to explore every avenue. Even within the darkness, there is always still a chance of light.

Sometimes it may take a real warrior, but it’s only the strongest soldiers who still hold onto the hope that maybe… just maybe … even in a blinding darkness, there was a still a shining hope.

Dearest Readers,

A bit of a soothing post… Alhumdulillah..  just to remember there’s always light amidst the darkness… 

Just a reminder, especially in these times of craziness and uncertainty to make abundant istighfaar and try and bring more Sunnah into our lives. Let’s keep the miswaak available for frequent use, InshaAllah. Let’s also try and fast – Nabi (SAW) used to keep plenty of fasts in the month of Shabaan. Allah give us the tawfeeq.

Hold fast to our Sunnah, istighfaar and lots of Durood, especially on this day of Jumuah ahead…

Let’s do so with the intention that Allah alleviates all the trials of the Ummah. Aameen 

Much Love, 

A xx

allahuma baarik lana fi Sha’bana wa balligh-na Ramadan

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

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







31 thoughts on “A Shining Hope

  1. Omw ….wow
    Aadam was really meticulous and a gem. Send me the next Aadam please 😁

    What a wonderful mix of emotions…shukran for the amazing post…loved the many lessons that were highlighted in this post, which we tend to forget. Shukran for the amazing post💗💝

    Liked by 4 people

  2. No words
    Ma Sha Allah, every post is like it can’t get better than this and Subhanallah, next 1 is even better
    Allah take you from strength to strength and make it a means of hidaaya Aameen

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Hey.is this fictional??
    Coz I’m looking for a real Adam in real life.Just don’t want him to die that fast..lol…

    Gems Subhanallah
    Your writings are exceptionally beautiful.Mashallah…

    Liked by 3 people

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