It’s no secret that the web of the simple spider is one of the most fragile homes, yet is built to capture its targets most effortlessly, achieving its purpose with precision and catching its victim completely by surprise. In a chapter of the Quran that’s named after this amazing creature, the Mufassireen have mentioned that the spinning of the spiders web is in fact miraculous. Given that the web’s silk threads are so minute, with an average thickness of about one millionth of an inch, its a wonder to hear that the spiders home is still one of the most brutal .
Despite it’s brutality, the Ulema mention that we often see the trials of the world capturing us in the exact same way. We don’t see it coming because we don’t anticipate a weak trap to be so consuming. Once hit, there’s no escaping.
Once captured, we’re already entangled. Consumed. Even amazed by the web that we find ourselves embroiled in, thinking that this… right then, in it’s illusion… is the be all and end all. Devoured by the lie of the world… So much so that they are fooled into its empty promises.
And only when those chosen ones to be guided are shaken, like how a sleeping person is suddenly awakened to thunderous storm outside…. They are suddenly jolted from their ignorant slumber. They are once again reminded that there’s a place they came from, where they submitted to their Lord. That no-one but their Rabb can do. That the truth is with Allah. That no- one can harm except if Allah wills, and no-one can help, unless He allows. That Your Rabb is the Maker and Breaker. That there is only one Controller, and the ultimate power exists with Him. Only Him.
Only when they are shown the greater signs of Allah… when their vision becomes unclouded … when their hearts have been unlocked and opened by the miracle of Quran and Salaah… then are they are reminded of His greatness… and they find their base once again.
Because once in a while, when we get caught up in this ever-present web… we need to be brought back to where we came from. We need to reconnect with Allah. We need to be reacquainted wit His wonders, so the signs of Allah’s greatness shine through….
With the light of Deen… it’s when we can’t help but to remember Allah and see His Hand in even simplest of things …
“You’re very quiet today, Khawlah,” Nusaybah called out from where she stood at the other end of the garden.
”Hmmm…” I said non-committedly, quite enjoying listening to their merry conversation as I went on with my task of tossing and turning the soil, hoping to unleash its hidden promises as I did so. I mean, just looking at the tiny sprouts that were peeking out at us from underground gave me a sense of ambition.
Patience, huh? To see the power of Allah was truly magic.
I plunged my spade into a new spot of damp soil as I listened to them, my mind absorbed in bewilderment about how this had all happened in what seemed like such a short time.. and how amazing it all was. The greatness of Allah. The potential that comes in a little faith. The power that is shown in such a tiny miracle.
It had been almost a month since I had come here again. I had been avoiding the neighborhood purposely, but upon the boys insistence yesterday, I had popped by for a few hours today. Of course I had to bring Nusaybah, who was chatting nineteen-to-the-dozen with the boys who always enjoyed her quirky company.
It was one of those optimistically sunny and beautiful days and I couldn’t think of any other way than to spend it right here, soaking up the sun and listening to my best friend, the boys and my daughter having a blast in the outdoor splendor. And it was no wonder that I was silent. Besides my mind being on overdrive, this was the best part of gardening for me. The huge reveal that transpires after the investment… the execution of patience that eventually brings so many rewards….
The meager seedlings we had planted almost a month ago were now growing into jolly-looking bushes, sprouting colorful flowers with promises that were most definitely being fulfilled.
And with it, as I enjoyed it’s wonder, being outdoors always brought back childhood memories that made me smile. It was the place where the love for gardening was planted within me. It was right here where my heart had first found it’s calling…
The good old days seemed to last forever back then, but we never anticipated how they’d fly right by. They’d pass by as we would work next to each other.. sometimes silently, sometimes chatting… sometimes just indulging in a fruit or a snack… or sometimes just appreciating the fresh scent of wet soil and the feeling of moist earth between our childish fingers.
Rainbows and butterflies… laughter and sheer bliss.. those were the days when the skies were blue… and everything in the world was almost brand new…
And the of course, Khalid would always have a new story of snippet to tell us while we worked oh-so-diligently… and Yunus and I would listen with unmatched enthusiasm.
“You know in Jannah,” Khalid had said on a particularly summery day as he tossed the seeds in their appointed holes. “There’ll be bunches of millions of fruits .. the best kind… and the trees and vines will bend lower and lower to reach us, whether we’re standing, sitting or even lying down.. Amazing, right?”
His bright eyes were shining as he looked at me in excitedly. I smiled as I imagined it. When we would sit in the spectacular garden and he spoke about Jannah, my heart felt like bursting.
“In Jannah, the ground is made of silver. It’s dust will be made of musk. It’s roots are made of gold whilst the branches and leaves are pearls and jasper. In between It would be boasting the most wonderful fruits…”
We would go on like this for hours on end. It’s wonders were absolutely dreamlike..
Jannah. Where every desire would be met. Where every wish is made true. No questions asked. Where nothing was impossible.
And till now, it was something I often remembered. As I planted, through every new growth and hope, through every garden I had been privileged to venture in over the years, my heart was opened . Of course I couldn’t forget. I couldn’t help but remember the garden of all gardens that we all wished to reside in, one day. I couldn’t help but picture that beauty and splendor that awaited… the ultimate abode that is promised to those who are righteous… where we all wish to be…
And almost as if on cue, the call to prayer from the new Masjid nearby cut into my thoughts as Nusaybah left the boys to their antics and sidled up to where I was. Of course, who else but her would know what was truly on my mind as it echoed all around us…
”I’ve heard that the reciting in the Masjid has been particularly beautiful these past few days,” she murmured, glancing at me and meeting my gaze just as Adhaan ended.
My heart thudded a little faster as Nusaybah mentioned it.
It was no secret that Khalid had been performing the Salaah there recently. Of course, Dada was the first one to come and tell me about it. What was ironic was it was the same Masjid that Aadam had a huge hand in building…. One of the many investments that I could see would bring him eternal rewards that were unlimited…
I read the Duaa after Adhaan softly to myself as Khadijah practically shouted it out. I mean it was cute, but it was a little over enthusiastic. Nevertheless, I appreciated the fact that it was also another gem that aunt Radiyyah had successfully taught her recently.
I turned my attention back to Nusaybah, feeling her gaze on me. I wasn’t sure why, but hearing about Khalid’s voice again made me a little uneasy. Maybe it was because of the emotion when I had first heard that recital from Aadam’s phone. Maybe it was that crucial moment when he had played it for me that brought alive a buried pain. Maybe it was the memories of childhood and beyond, right till the time when Aadam had been inspired by it that made it all the more heart-wrenching.
Khalid’s presence was a breath of fresh air, after what seemed like years of being underwater. There was no one who wasn’t thrilled by his return, and it wasn’t limited to only those that knew him. It was no wonder that Khalid always had a special presence. With Aunty Radiyyah as his mother, and his father so well-respected… of course, no-one would have expected less. His presence reaped with and amazing fervour and an energy that not many people possessed. Many were moved. Hearts were changed… , and not just by his recitation… but by his presence. And the truth was, though the hype around him got to me just a little bit, it also served me well to remind myself that it was the miracle of the Quran that made it all the more exceptional. Yes, once in a while we need to be reminded. We need to be awakened. To dwell in its wonder. Like those who are absorbed in that in slumber, the miracles like these are ones that remind us of the Greatest Power. No doubt, he had an amazing gift, but the greatest marvel was the gift that Allah gives any Hafidhul Quran. The gift of memorizing the Glorious Book of Allah. The gift of recitation that not only helps you to find your base once again, but can soften even the most rigid of hearts.
”Tell me, Khawlah,” Nusaybah was asking, her voice now steady as she watched me, our minds wrapping around everything that had happened just a few weeks before. “What do you ask for?”
I looked at my friend and got off my knees, dusting my hands off as I wondered if maybe my brain was a little too frazzled to really understand what she was saying. we walked along as we watched Khadijah ahead of us, skipping along jovially.
”Like, in your Du’aas,” Nusaybah said, halting suddenly and turning to look at me skeptically. “Do you have a magical formula? It’s like these crazy things only happen in your life…”
She folded her arms over her chest as my friend watched me struggle to answer. What kind of question was that?
”Honestly, Khawlah,” she said with a hint of humor in her eyes. “You know, I once heard an Aalim mention something about these special people whose Du’aa is never rejected. I’m convinced that you’re one of them… or you just have some really strong stuff that you’re probably reading. I mean… bringing a guy back from the dead?! That’s almost unthinkable…”
I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or get angry. That was Nusaybah. She said what she thought without reservation,The truth was that I wasn’t sure how to feel about it, Being in this position was so confusing because obviously, though I was glad that he was alive, contrary to expectation, it wasn’t like I could just step back into the past and pick up right there. We had both changed so much. I knew Nusaybah meant no harm, but ther3 was no way that after everything, I would have even thought of that.
And of course at the moment, my eyes could barely even believe what they were seeing when I found myself stunned to silence, wondering if my mind was actually not playing tricks on me.
I stood there, watching my daughter noisily boss around a man who was probably almost ten times her age, embarrassed but quite relieved that she was doing that instead of floating face down in someone’s pool. The images that had flashed through my mind in those few minutes when I couldn’t find her were unthinkable as I pictured the different scenarios that could have played out… really not expecting the reality before me as I eventually spotted them.
And then of course, I had to do a double take.
It was unmistakable. In another place or time I may have had to question my better judgement, but this time, there was no two ways about it. I mean, we were practically inseparable as kids. He had changed so much. His appearance was completely in contrast to the softness he had as a kid. I stood there in shock, forcing myself to look away as he spotted us, and the looked just as uneasy as I felt as the entire scenario before us clicked into place.
He looked at Khadijah and I could see him putting two and two together… Just as I tried to figure exactly what had happened all these years when Khalid had been supposedly dead.
It was Khalid. Real, live Khalid… and he was actually here. Right in front of me, grinning at my daughter in a way that made me wonder if the two of them hadn’t maybe known each other in some previous era.
And then of course, now that my yelling my head off crazily just moments before that ceased and my voice halted in my throat, his gaze lifted and I stood there, disbelievingly registering this ghost of the past, despite Nusaybah’s painful nudges in my ribs. Of course I was in shock. It wasn’t like I was being forward or purposely immodest.
I just couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing,
How on earth…?!
Was I dreaming? Was he really here? How did this even happen?!
Khalid was not supposed to be here. He was supposed to be dead. Dead.
”Listen,” Nusaybah said, jolting me back to the present with a raised eyebrow. “I didn’t want to say it, but I think someone needs to. I think we know how this story is supposed to play out. Anyone who knows you and Khalid back in the day, well….”
”I don’t think it’s supposed to be like that,” I said, raising my own eyebrows right back at her. It wasn’t that simple. I was different. So was he. Besides, who even said that any of us was thinking along those lines?!
“Oh yes, you’re right,” she said. ”You’re supposed to spot the treehouse, be wonderfully swept off your feet, accept the 15 year-old proposal that you guys agreed on with the mud kitchen Mehr and then live happily ever after…”
The treehouse? My goodness. It only clicked with me now. This was crazy, though. Nusaybah was crazy.
”How do you even know about the treehouse?” I asked incredulously, widening my eyes.
Gosh, I had even forgotten about that. The mud kitchen. My bossy little self demanding what I thought was the ultimate wedding gift. How forward was I as a six-year-old… I felt my cheeks burning as Nusaybah smirked at me.
Of all the things I had told Nusaybah, I couldn’t believe that she had remembered.
“Khawlah,” she said with a grin. “When I first met you, Khalid was just shipped off to Madrassa and he was all you could talk about. I had gotten kind of sick of hearing about him but it didn’t mean that I never listened…”
”Yeah, well,” I said with a shrug. “Things change. Life goes on. Not everything always turns out the way we expect. Maybe we just did it all wrong…”
The words hung in the air for a moment while she looked at me with a streak of curiosity in her eyes.
I tried to steady my breathing as I listened to the birds chirping above us. I felt like I needed to say something to rescue myself, but I wasn’t sure what. Everything was different. Everything.
“Think about Khadijah,” Nusaybah said softly as I plopped down onto the soft grass. Somehow, I felt exhausted. “You said no to Siraj. No to last weeks conquest. No to every guy who’s ever…”
”That’s not true!” I said swiftly, watching my child run around with a pretty flower that she had just forced me to pin onto her hair.
“You know, there’ll never be another Aadam,” she said quietly, and I looked up at her in surprise. “But like Umm Salamah (RA) was told to ask for better by her husband… I’m sure Aadam would have wanted the same for you…”
I sucked in my breath. She was right. I knew she was but I’d never admit it. It had been a while since she had actually spoken about him. We had been avoiding the topic ever since… well, ever since talk of marriage had been on the cards, I didn’t want to talk about what Aadam would have really wanted. I just comforted myself with the knowledge that he was that great love and I’d changed too much to even consider.
After all these years, so much had changed. I couldn’t imagine myself as that free-spirited girl once again. I couldn’t adjust my mind to its previous disposition where I could so easily give my heart away.
I sighed as I looked at my friend. Of course there could never be another Aadam, but I wished there was. There was nothing that slipped her mind. Unfortunately, the previous guy who wanted to propose had been warded off by someone who I had yet to find out about. Not that I minded. It was Ahmed who was forcing me into the proposals anyway. I didn’t mind that the guy had been scared away by someone, but my only concern was that if it wasn’t my brother, who else was capable of doing it?
I sighed again, not knowing what else to say. It was too much of effort to think about anyway, and Nusaybah knew it better than anyone. I wasn’t sure when I’d ever be ready. Moreso, even if I was… what if that person wasn’t?
I swallowed as Nusaybah narrowed her eyes at me. Maybe she knew something was up, but I didn’t want to let her know as yet…
Someone can be besotted with you and not be ready. I had learnt that much so far. And that’s when you will realize that you should never have to inspire anyone to meet you on the bridge. That you never have to compromise on what’s the right thing to do. They should be able to meet you when the time is right, and when Allah shows you the best plan for you. Siraj was only an option if he started to make some decisive moves in his life. He was stuck between a marriage that was failing and a promise that he was trying to convince me would work…
I was really beginning to wonder if it would…
”I’m not ready for someone who’s not ready for me,” I said quietly. I didn’t want to say more, or mention that maybe I was rethinking my previous decisions.
“Besides, I realized something the other day,” I said quickly, changing the topic. “Do you know that I’m nearly the age that Aadam was when -“
My sentence was cut short as I heard Rubeena’s voice call out my name, and I twisted my head to see what the hype was about. I knew her tone too well by now. This was something of a Ruby-drama.
”Khawlah,” she panted, half running up to us while she tied her hair back, looking like she was in a slight frenzy.
I gazed at her curiously, hoping that it wasn’t as big as a deal as she thought. With Ruby sometimes I did wonder…
Sometimes her reactions were a tad bit on the exaggerated side. She did have a tendency of being a little melodramatic…
“Long story,” she said, gesturing for me to follow her. “Siraj called and then Ahmed walked in while we were talking… I didn’t realize and you know how Ahmed can overreact.. I’m so sorry. I think I just put my foot in it…”
Authors Note: Dearest Readers,
Please make maaf for my delay in posting. It’s just been a crazy month…
Hope to round this off in a few posts InshaAllah, because I feel terrible for making the readers wait. ❤️
Sincerely hope that everyone had an amazing month that was spiritually uplifting. For me it’s been a little bit of chaos but much goodness as well. May Allah accept all our efforts and make it a means of gaining His closeness.
Please remember me in your Duaas.
Sunnah of Fasting in Shawwaal
Sayyadina Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (Radiyallahu ‘Anhu) reported that our noble Prophet, the Imam of Tawheed (Sallallahu ‘Alaihi wa Sallam) said: “Whoever fasts Ramadhan and follows it with six days of Shawwal, it will be as if he fasted for a lifetime.” (Muslim, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, An-Nisa’i and Ibn Majah)