Another Goodbye

Bismihi Ta’ala


My sister was looking at me skeptically as she folded her arms over her chest.

”You said no?” She asked with raised eyebrows. “Why?”

I shrugged again. It wasn’t the first suggestion of a proposal but it was the first of note.  Besides, the whole thing had been done without my in-laws knowledge. Somehow, it just didn’t feel right.

”A few reasons,” I said vaguely. “There were rumors of him getting a divorce for completely unrelated reasons but I don’t want to be the reason that it happens either. I think he needs to sort out his domestic business before he thinks of another marriage…”

Zuleikha’s eyes lit up as realization dawned.

”Don’t tell me we’re talking about the doctor?” She said, looking a bit gobsmacked.

I gave an obviously cynical smile.

”Goodness, Khawlah,” she breathed. “He loves Khadijah. Like, on another level. Plus, despite the fact that he’s in his 30’s, he looks almost exactly like Aadam. In theory, it’s absolutely perfect. Everyone will think she’s his daughter…”

She was right. Any stranger could see the resemblance. And of course, it was no secret that whenever my daughter would be at Aadam’s parents, Siraj would inevitably pop in for hours on end. Somehow, even with his busy schedule, he made so much of time for her, even if it was several times a week. He spoilt her with gifts, sweets and even the most expensive of toys. He was really like a good guy… and he loved my daughter… but whether I would be able to be who he expected of me… I wasn’t sure. I didn’t know if I was ready to be married to someone just so to fulfill one role. I knew that he probably desired to have kids of his own and I had a good idea that his reason for  proposal centered around that sole factor.

I mean, why else would he suggest this when it could cause so much of drama?

”The topic is closed,” I said simply. “I politely said that he can see Khadijah whenever he liked, but Nikah won’t be a good idea. Ahmed said he seemed to take it surprisingly well…”

I held fast to the notion that he wasn’t for me, and I knew that I had made the right decision. The thing was, as the three year mark of Aadam’s death came, I couldn’t help but feel the pressure from those around me.

And then there were times when I sometimes couldn’t believe what had happened. Moments when I would still wake up in the middle of the night, dripping with sweat because the dreams of him would seem so real. Of course, my heart was still endowed with love for him. As time passes, the memories of a loved one become even fonder. You forget the little things that once annoyed you or the arguments you had. All I remembered was how beautiful those last few weeks were… when I thought that I had no idea of how soon he was going to leave…

And the painful truth was, I think I knew. I knew deep in my heart that he had prayed that final Salaah… as he made his Salaam… and then glanced  up at me… something in his eyes told me that he knew that his final hours had come. The signs were evident. His escorts were already there… and it was as if Aadam could see exactly what awaited him after…

It was surreal, and as he drifted off and his tongue moved silently with viable force, the sound of the Kalimah being read seemed to intensify and I couldn’t help but let out a heightened whimper of palpable grief as he bade farewell to this world..

So young. So unexpected.

And then… he was gone.

Aadam was gone.

Aadam was gone.

Aadam was gone.

I felt my own world caving in from all sides… as if in slow motion…. And I could see myself once again… 

The girl who stood and watched him as he looked back at her running out of the rain, the moment bared his soul and asked if she would marry him …

That girl who threw her head back and laughed as she watched him galloping away on horseback, wondering if he was crazy if he expected her to do the same.

The girl who had watched him scream out to the gorges that he loved her, just before the fall that had changed everything…

I could see myself again, grinning at the contentment apparent on his face when he had been relayed the news that he was going to be a father…

His one dimpled smile. His crooked eyebrow. His quirky comments. Everything I loved about him and that made me feel so much more alive was now gone forever…

Tears streamed down my face as the reality of it hit me. And though I knew this was a test and a part of life, I was still struggling to understand why.

His leaving was a blast that sunk my soul to the murkiest of lows. The scent of calico and camphor lingered in the air, as I gazed at the white sheets. The muffled tears that were heard amidst the beating of my grieving heart, were a constant reminder of the loss. The random whispers piercing the shocked silence were like a puncture to my soul. It was almost like a dream that I willed myself to wake up from, yet blatantly refused…

And then was the moment when he was lifted, as. a sudden feeling of  overwhelming disbelief overcame me as my brothers and his cousins lifted him, wanting to bolt after them and pull him back to shake him awake, begging him not to leave.

Dont leave me, Aadam, my heart silently cried. Please don’t leave…

I remembered my fathers face, as he watched me, with tears running down his face. Like that moment he watched us when Mama had passed away, except that this time, it seemed that much more raw. Unfiltered. Real. I always thought that  Mama’s death would be the worst that could ever happen to my family…

At that point I couldn’t understand it, but when I thought about it, I realized exactly how Abba felt.  To see your child go through that kind of pain, knowing that you could do nothing to ease it… well, it was a million times worse than going through it yourself.

Rubeena was inconsolable for days after. We could barely talk without her tearing up. I had forgotten about the baby for a few days, as I sunk into grief. Aunty Radiyyah had come along… making this more stark than anything before. She was lost for words. As she sat there, her grey eyes filling with tears. I couldn’t quite believe that my husband had an effect on so many people in his short life.

It was a whirlwind that had changed our lives, but not only for now. His effect was one that lasted way after. I could almost hear him consoling me. Telling me that it was all going to be okay. Telling me that no, he wasn’t scared. Why would he be scared? It was on, over the horizon of this temporary abode, where things were so much better. Exclusive. Enteral. Why should I be scared for him? The houses were more elite. The nourishment was in another dimension. The entire life thy he had lived would be a testimony to what awaited…

Surely his passing had been blessed. Surely Allah had provided him with the best of signs for us to seek consolment from. Surely he wanted to hurry to his final destination…

I will love you. In every moment, in every time. In any moment, in any place. I will still love you. Till Jannah and beyond. And even if I don’t wake up tomorrow, Khawlah… I love you so much

It was the words that had stuck with me through those years. When I felt the first movement of a little life within me. When his voice would sometimes talk to me between my dreams. When I held our beautiful daughter in my arms for the first time…

Like a jolt out of the blue… a sudden awakening from the slumber that I had thought I was in, Khadijah’s existence was a reality that brought my entire home alive. 

And as she grew and blossomed into this beautiful child that captured our hearts, there was so much that I could be grateful for. I busied myself with her and motherhood, teaching her the gems of Deen and doing the best I could to make her into a child that would be Sadaqah Jaariya for her beloved father. After all that time of giving her everything…

Somehow, as the three year mark hit, after so long, I found myself sinking to a new low. The initial strength that everyone had admired about me was wavering, and the memories of Aadam would sometimes get me down. It hadn’t been easy but I had exuded a confidence  that no-one had expected. Now that Khadijah was growing up and demanding a little less attention… I found myself finding more time… reliving the past in a way that broke my spirit.

It was at that point when Abba had decided that it was time for me to move on. He felt that I was holding back. That I had put a huge full stop at the point in my life, when I refused to look forward. Abba was worried that  I had sunk into a pit that no-one would be able to pull me out of, and being a father, he did what he thought would be the right thing for me.

He tried to find me a suitor.

And I loved my Abba for that. I loved that he wanted me to be happy again, but my heart was no longer as pliable as it had been when Aadam had first found his way in. I was harder now. More rigid. Difficult to please. Being with Aadam, though it was one of the most amazing eras of my life, also put him on a pedestal. To me, no-one else would ever be able to match up.

”Can we just forget it?” I eventually I said to Abba, as I declined the fifth option he had put forward to me that month. “Is it that much of a problem having me here? If it is I can always move into the flat. It’s lying empty anyway.”

”Khawlah,” Abba said softly, shaking his head. “You know it’s not that. We love having you and Khadijah here. It’s just that now Yunus is gone, you’re stuck with two old people here and I can see that you’re not the same as you used to be…”

Yunus had commenced with an Aalim course since school had finished. Now that Ramadhaan was nearing and he was off for a month, he had decided to go to the Middle East to improve his Arabic for a few weeks. I was so proud of my little brother. He had followed his dreams. From being the quiet youngest brother who seemed so lost, I could see now that he was going to be the anchor that held us all down…

”I’ll never be the same, Abba,” I said quietly. “Life’s taken a lot out of me. It’s been a tough ride. But Alhumdulillah…”

Abba looked at me and swallowed. His strong features were still the same but the creases at the corners of his eyes and the slightly more distinct lines of his frown gave his real age away. His olive skin didn’t look as vibrant as it used to and his smile wasn’t as striking, but Abba was still Abba. The man who had, in my books, fallen from grace at some stage but had now, over these few years, worked his way up to the pedestal again.

I ventured to my room again, knowing that Abba meant no harm but feeling a little down nonetheless. At times it happened. Sometimes I missed Aadam more than other days. Khadijah being around sometimes made it harder. She was so much like her father that I sometimes could not even bare it. While at times it gave me pleasure to see her make people laugh and bring so much of joy to others, it also pained my heart ever so slightly as I thought of how Aadam would have chuckled at her silly banter and unpredictable comments.

”Where is that gorgeous daughter of yours?” Nusaybah asked later that day as she pushed open my door and collapsed on my bed, propping herself up on one hand and eyeing me out. “I’m missing her sparkle. You’re like a stunned chicken compared to her. Boorringgggg….”

”She’s gone to Aunty Radiyyah for the afternoon,” I said, not paying attention to her insinuation that I’d lost my own sparkle. “She’s missing Yunus too much.”

”Those two get along really well, don’t they?” She said quietly. “Can we gatecrash?”

“I’m not really in the mood,” I said in a monotone. “I just feel like relaxing today.”

Aunty Radiyyah was so good with her. She would teach her such wonderful things. She always came back knowing some new Hadith or Surah or Du’aa… it made me a little sad that Aunty Radiyyah  would never have a grandchild of her own to teach all these wonderful things to.

”When are you ever in the mood for anything?” mumbled Nusaybah after a few seconds, almost to herself.

I swallowed as she said it, biting back emotion at her comment. I knew she wasn’t being mean on purpose but sometimes her big mouth was a little too vocal for my liking. I rolled my eyes and turned away. She didn’t know what it was like. She had never been married. She had never lost a husband.

I knew I was being ugly, but my thoughts were that as far as I could see, she had had it pretty easy so far.

”I’m sorry,” she said softly as I silently sorted out some of Khadijah’s toys that stayed in the room. “I didn’t mean to sound insensitive.”

I turned and met her eye. I felt like sometimes I just needed to cry and let it all out. But the overwhelming need to be strong and fore bearing  almost always pushed through.

“On the up side,” she said, as she gave me a sultry grin. “Maybe I can make you smile. I have some good news…”

I smiled already, forgiving her instantly. When Nusaybah smiled there was no way I could stay angry with her. It was just that sincere.

”Tell me,” I said, cocking my head to one side. “Is it about the application?”

”Gosh no,” she said with a roll of her eyes. “My father said they only time I’d be able to go to a university is if I find a husband to agree to it…”

Nusaybah had passed her matric exams exceptionally well. It had always been her dream to do medicine, but her father was completely against her going to campus. She was currently studying a bachelor of science through correspondence, still waiting to take up the opportunity of ever she got her lucky break.

”Well, I hope he comes along before you get too old!” I joked with her.

”That’s the thing,” Nusaybah said, her voice suddenly turning serious as she met my gaze. She bit her lip slightly nervously. “Remember the guy that I wrote off two weeks ago?”

”The Australian?” I said, narrowing my eyes at her.  Nusaybah had a few proposals coming her way, but no one had really caught her eye before the “Australian”. He was bulky and bearded and just her type. I had giggled when she described him to me in great detail. When he didn’t phone to propose she was a little miffed, but she got over it within a day or two. Only now… it looked like the topic wasn’t completely closed…

”Did he call?” I asked, my eyes wide and not quite knowing how to react.

She nodded surreptitiously.

And she did so, my heart kind of sunk to my toes as I felt like the worst friend in the world. Of course I was happy for her, but this was something I wasn’t expecting to happen so soon. I didn’t expect things to change so fast. After everything, there had been a few constants in my life that I expected to remain this way. I didn’t want to say goodbye to her yet. I didn’t want to let her go to some stranger who lived way under, not knowing when I would see her beautiful face once again…

I bit back my tears as she smiled, swallowing as I processed the pure joy in her glistening eyes. Frankly, I wasn’t yet ready for another goodbye…

”I think he’s the one Khawlah,” she said softly. “I’m going to say yes…”

Shukran for all the comments,❤️  I will reply ASAP.

Much Love

A xx

A Sunnah Drink Called Nabeez

  • Soak dates for a night in a packed container. If not the dates, then you can simply soak Golden Raisins instead of Dates too.
  • Remove the seeds from Dates or Raisins, and grind it with water. You can add honey, but it’s totally optional
  • You can also drink without grinding the dates and can eat dates separately.
  • It is an ideal drink for Ramadan, especially in Suhoor. It helps people keep their energy during a day-long fast.

How easy to practise!

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





19 thoughts on “Another Goodbye

      • I totally agree.. it was necessary to see khawlah’s emotions because readers felt she was always stronger and that she would pass through this with a whizz as well..

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Somehow this post feels more emotional than the 1 when Aadam passed away, I love how you portray Khawlas emotions 3 years later because very often you would hear people say when someone has lost a loved one, hey its 10 years or 1 year or whatever amount of time and you should be over it or I think they ok, it’s so many years they can’t live in the past…. But reality is different, everyone heals in a different way and we should be accommodating and accepting

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s so true. Sometimes when I ask people who’ve lost someone like a spouse if it gets easier, they really say no, it doesn’t. I feel sad about it, but I suppose the comfort is in where they are and the fact that in that realm there is no fear or grief … Alhumdulillah ❤️


  2. My heart breaks for a love lost. for Khawlah – who has to go through grief upon grief in her short life. For Khadijah- who’ll never see her father in dunya. To see what a beautiful soul he was. It’s almost impossible to find that kind of love today in dunya. Khawlah will never be the same again. Just when she gave herself a chance to be happy- she went through such a hard trial. I know it’s cruel but I don’t want her to get married again. No one can take Aadam’s place 💔

    Liked by 2 people

    • I completely get where you are coming from – he was a one in a million kind… but there’s a couple billion people in the world so maybe she may just get lucky again… ❤️ Or maybe she will just be happily ever after all by herself..

      Liked by 1 person

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