Great Beginnings

Bismihi Ta’ala


Great things can evolve out of nothing. The tiniest seed in the right environment can turn into a forest. And the the most promising seed in a bad situation can give you nothing. But what I think is the defining factor for anyone to realize, is that good things do come out of nothing. With the right environment and attitude, amazing things can come out practically nowhere.

Sometimes we have to stop and think. Ponder. We all have that opportunity. We have time. Nobody is stuck. No-one has to be where they are and stay there. The potential to do ‘big’ things is not defined by your upbringing. By your wealth. By your degree or situation. And for someone to think that they are at a disadvantage because they don’t have wealth or skill or talent, that they’re just a normal person who can never do anything big… well then, they live a different kind of life.

Because when you’re a true believer, you will believe that it doesn’t take big things to make a difference. Like the Qur’an so beautifully tells us, in the story of the cave, it didn’t take a hoard of people and tons of wealth to change the fate of their town. For them all it took is just a few youth, maybe six or seven, who made a difference to the world, so long ago. All it took was a few determined kids with immense trust in Allah to change their situation.

Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, “Surely they were young men who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.” (18:13).

A story that was amazing, captured most beautifully in Surah Kahf. When the trials and sins were too much for those few youth who were mentioned, they didn’t resort to something beyond any of us today. What was obvious here was that it was a minority- a few  youth who had escaped to the cave, and thereafter were protected by Allah, were not sitting in worship for those 300 or so years. All they had done, just as they were, was evaded the wrong-doing in their society by going away. They made a difference because they wanted their situation to change.

The lesson here is not rocket science. If you truly believe and have faith.. living with the knowledge that you can achieve… that you can initiate a change… then that’s it right there.

When you finally take that step, make that move… make the change.. well, it’s quite mind blowing what we can live to see, even for years down the line…

“Where is my sweetheart?” Ma was asking as she stepped out of the house, looking as composed as ever. Not that I had heard any of it since I was way outside, but Rubeena’s graphic description of Ma’s rattling Siraj to me had given it all away.

Of course Khadijah had to just hear Ma’s voice and immediately raced up to us, knowing that Ma always had some lovely treat for her great granddaughter. Despite the awkward situation, I couldn’t help but smile at the two of them. It was what I had always wanted for my child. I had always wanted her to meet this amazing woman. I had always wanted her to know her.

And since I had once heard an Aalim say that when you pass away, people will remember you for the good you did to others, I was even more passionate about it. It was so true for Aadam. He was the type who would be kind and spend on others… taking time for them and putting his own needs last, was a divine gift that he had. He had showed me through his actions what was really important. And like we do so, if we take our children to visit our elder relatives and the sick, they will understand that this is not just their Deeni duty, but so rewarding.

For her to know her elders, and for her to build a relationship with them too was so important. To see Ma and our daughter bonding was something that warmed my heart immensely because it reminded me so much of how Ma and Aadam used to be.

Also, the fact that Ma was now here had instantly made her forget about wanting to visit Aunty Radiyyah today. I knew that I was being a bit unfair and selfish but the thought of going there was making me feel a teeny bit unsettled.

Leave alone that, right then, after knowing how Ma felt about Siraj approaching me about marriage… somehow, I felt like my whole world had been turned upside down. After being almost certain that the right step was in the direction I was headed, right then I could not have been more confused.

And the thing is, everything happens for a reason. The exchange between them had made me think. The minute I heard his voice, even though Rubeena had let me know that he was expected, had made chills run down my spine. Emotions were overwhelming at that point. What was I doing? Was I trying to recreate the past? He even sounded like Aadam. Looked like Aadam. Was I trying to replace Aadam?

I wished that I could forget that for a moment, but it was like that life was forever a part of me, imprinted on my heart and engraved on my soul. He stole me and fixed me and somewhere in the middle of it, showed me a place so different and beautiful that I could  barely get it out of my mind. How could I forget him? How could I ever live up to the memories that we had?

And I suppose that it was just as well that Ma had come in at that point because right then, all the strength I had ever exuded seemed to dwindle to nothingness. I was clearly clueless as to what the right thing to do was..

Ma had come in, with her beautiful smile and thunderous voice, catching us all by surprise as she basically took the potentially dangerous situation into her own hands…

”I hope you’re not angry with me,” she said as she took a seat next to me on the veranda. “For interfering.”

She had just come straight out and said it. That’s what I loved about her, and it’s what Aadam had admired as well. No beating around the bush. No hiding behind another agenda. She was so genuine and real. I loved it.

And of course, how could I ever be angry at Ma? No matter what my emotions were wrecking within me, I  looked at her and smiled, secretly glad that she had taken control. Maybe I wasn’t ready to make the decision. Maybe the timing wasn’t right. I couldn’t imagine what I would have done if I was forced to decide by myself when there was so much at risk. Yes, I was a little shocked that Ma had such a powerful standing with her son but from what Rubeena had said, she had basically gotten him to rethink a lot of the things that were on my mind too.

Not being able to have kids was not a marriage-breaker. He couldn’t just bail out on a marriage of fifteen years just because he felt like it. Of course, many had different opinions but for me the situation was pretty much black and white. What would that mean if we were to get married? Would he be that ready to give it up if it had to get to that too…

Her voice was clear and I turned to her with a smile, showing her that I bore no malice.

”It not about you,” she said touching my hand softly as she said it and we both gazed out into the splendid afternoon. We could glimpse the suns exiting over the horizon, it’s streaky rays cascading over the peaked rooftops of distant houses… awestruck by the perfection of distinct colours that looked like a canvas right before our eyes. It reminded me of the view that we would sometimes get at the flat. I hadn’t been there in ages. The blaze of color – oranges, pearly pinks, vibrant purples.., I shivered as I felt a cool breeze sashay through my hijab, knowing that soon the evening cold would start to settle in. My eyes immediately shifted to Khadijah as she zoomed past us on her scooter, her dark locks bouncing behind her as she sped away. I wished Aadam could have seen it.

”It’s okay, Ma,” I said with a shrug. “Even if it was about me, I understand.”

She was silent for a while, before she spoke up again. This time her voice was so soft amidst the racquet that the boys were making, but her words were unmistakable. Like some sixth sense, it was like she had somehow guessed what was on my mind.

”I miss Aadam.”

I glanced at her and swallowed, glimpsing a streak of a single tear rolling down her cheek as her gaze fixated ahead. Her face was drawn, and somehow Ma now suddenly looked so much older than before. Yes, she was still beautiful, but the pain was palpable beneath it all. I wondered, not for the first time.. how must it be to lose a grandson? A son? A child. I thought of Khadijah.

She had never known her father, so for her… it was no great loss that Aadam was gone. For me, to lose a parent and then a spouse was hard enough but this… well, right then it seemed so much more devastating to lose a piece of your heart and soul who you’d watch transform from a naughty little boy to a moody teenager and then progress to an amazing adult and human being … to watch them evolve and mature and become such a part of your life… only to have to say goodbye in a most heart-wrenching way…

Yes I was strong, but I still couldn’t imagine that.

She met my eye and her one dimpled smile flashed at me, bringing back all those heartwarming memories of what seemed like so long ago.

“You might think that I’m being hard,” she said softly. “Many may. And maybe you’ll are right but theres some things that you only learn with age. Sometimes I can’t bear what’s happened but it is what it is and we have to try and deal with it in the best way. About Siraj…. My son is successful and intelligent but he really needs to sort his life out before he does anything that is going to impact on someone else’s life. I don’t want him to sit back and look at his past marriage when his older, wondering if he could have done something more. As you grow older, you look for different things. He doesn’t know it yet… but honestly, integrity… loyalty… those are gold. He can always want something new, but what’s required is that he also honors his wife. He fulfills her rights. I had a good chat with her and she wants to work on the marriage. There’s always time for new things. New experiences. New chances. But when it comes to what’s lost, there’s no way of going back and fixing them again. There’s no way to turn back the clock. For me… I learnt the hard way. My husband was a good man with a heart of gold, but we had lost out on a lot because we didn’t have that understanding of what Deen was. Our roots… our beginnings… well, they’re weren’t that promising. And yes, I might have found my way now, but Allah only showed me the light when it came to the latter years of my life. I’m sure Aadam must have told you. It took a very long time….”

I looked at her, remembering when Aadam told me about his grandfather. Of course, I knew the history of their family. I knew their thinking was completely different to how I was brought up. But their situation had taken a turn when something had changed within them. From unpromising beginnings, their lives had completely evolved. With Aadam’s death, so many had been moved and changed… including Siraj… that I could barely believe that had been so far from Deen before..

”I know you just want the best for your daughter,” she murmured. “And so would Aadam. I’m just not sure what that is anymore. He was one of a kind. Allah knows my heart… how much I loved that grandson of mine. I can’t even…”

It was so hard to listen to Ma now and not tear up. Recalling everything from the past, reliving that amazing yet unpredictable day that we went to see her, and the moments we spent together afterwards. How Aadam would talk, laugh and joke with her came more naturally to him than it came with anyone else. Most definitely, Ma and him had a unique bond that no one could ever compare to…

“If I look at his life now,” she tried again, clearing her throat.

I didn’t even dare to open my mouth. My throat was all clogged with emotion.

“I can’t even begin to imagine where his journey started. I mean, I know that he came to me with this great introspection and realization that his life had to change. He had seen something beautiful and promising and I know that you were one of the main people-“

”Ma,” I said cutting her off. “It wasn’t me, it’s only Allah that chooses.”

”Let me finish, sweetheart,” she said kindly. “I understand what you are saying. And I know that nothing happens without His will. Even if at the beginning I had no idea, but now, more than ever, I understand it. I understand it because of what Aadam had told me. During that tough time he went though… He had been through so much. He was so broken inside. I knew that it had to do with a girl, and I knew that it had hurt him immensely… And I wanted to ask him about it but, one day, during those last few weeks when I had gone to stay in hospital about it,  everything kind of unraveled by itself…”

I looked at Ma as she watched me. Aadam had done so much. Achieved so much. Taken such a great plunge… and then come out from underwater to feel the amazement of the fresh air fill his lungs..

”It was one of the weekdays when you had an exam,” she said softly. “We were sitting in the hospital whilst he was getting some tests done. I was doing my reading while Aadam was napping…”

I looked at her curiously, thinking of how Aadam must have been feeling that day. Was it one of those exhausting days when he couldn’t get out of bed? Was he feeling like a defeatist… all out of energy? Or did he have that usual lazy Aadam grin on his face whilst Ma sat there with her Duaa kitaab and crochet needles…?

”We were waiting for Siraj to give us the go ahead to leave for the day,” she continued, her gaze averted now, almost as if she had been transported back in time to a moment when Aadam was right there, in front of her, heart beating and full of life. “And suddenly I looked up and there was a young, very handsome man at the door.”

I narrowed my eyes slightly, wondering who it could have been. Young and handsome? I wasn’t too sure…

”Of course, I looked up at Aadam to see if he knew who it was. He was shifting in his bed and he sat up and told him to come in. They spoke briefly.. I could barely hear them… and then he read something, touched Aadam’s head lightly and left. It was so sudden and quick that I didn’t even realize … but now that I think back… it seems so clear to me.”

”Did Aadam say who it was?” I asked, my mind now going into overdrive.

Ma nodded slightly.

”He didn’t say it straight away,” she said quietly. “Just the day before we were talking about you. I was thinking telling about how much he had in his life and how amazing it was that he had this great realization that sometimes people take years to get to…”

I knew Ma was talking about herself, and my heart soared to think that at least Ma had lived to see the beauty of Deen, even if it was a little later in her life. There are some people who never get there.

“I’ll never forget how he said it, Khawlah,” she continued. “He just looked at me, and said: ‘Ma, you know you were saying how happy you were that I had changed my life?’ And of course I just looked at him and nodded, wondering why he was bringing it up right then. I remembered telling him about how I made Duaa for him and how it was like a miracle that Allah suddenly took into His lap..”

I smiled, unable to control the tears forming in the corners of my eyes as she said it. What a beautiful way to put it. I remembered that clearly. I remembered how Ma had made us all tear up when she expressed her joy at his finding Allah. I remembered how emotional it was when Aadam and I had gone to visit her and we revisited the past that seemed so amazing yet so painful at the same time…

”And then he just looked at me and said, “‘Once upon a time, Ma, I met a girl…’”

Typical Aadam! I rolled my eyes and giggled softly, thinking it so typical of Aadam to beat around the bush with his fancy tales. Was he really telling her our story in third person?

But Ma wasn’t done yet. She looked me in the  eye, gave a hint of a smile and then continued.

”’And once upon a time, Ma, this man was just a little boy who inspired the greatest of tales. This boy was the beginning of where our story began…’”

Once upon a time, when the sun was at its very brightest, there was a boy and a girl who spent every minute of their childhood together. It was a time when everything was inherently magical, with no major effort. That was essentially, what childhood was about, and as this friendship bloomed in the most natural way, a love of Allah was cultivated and transferred from a heart that held so much of it, to a heart that was yearning to carry more. It was a great beginning for a most amazing future… because this love, that these two kids had shared, was something profoundly unique. It was something that would set a tone for many years to come. It was something that they had deemed insignificant, as these kids failed to realize the magnanimous effect that it would have on their future…

And it was through this great beginning and everything they had come to see, that they truly lived and believed, that nothing was created in vain. They saw amazement in every vision. Splendor in every form. Magnificence in evert creation. Every moment, minute and passing interval, there was not a time when they didn’t remember that sunshine was a gift of Allah’s power, and the rain was a reminder of His mercy. A flower was never just a flower. It brought to life the advent of a great and momentous occasion that had just transpired. A rainbow was not just a rainbow. It was a symbol of Allah’s hope that spread across the sky, to remind them of how amazing and colorful life could really be.

It was a reminder that lived in them, rooted deep inside forever, and would graciously spread to everyone within their blessed horizon…

Sometimes we need to stop. Sometimes we need something to shake us up. Sometimes we are too caught up in the chase of finding love, making a living, and catching the worm. Sometimes we are too absorbed in the mundane aspects of life to realize what the greater things are. That sometimes all it takes is a little seed right at the beginning to give you the most beautiful of flowers…

I was stunned to silence, as my eyes filed with tears, not believing that it was true. Had they really met, once upon a time? My mind was consumed by this new information and my heart was drumming ever so fiercely with every new snippet… even though Ma was still talking… I was still trying to process it all… to figure if maybe in my journey with Aadam.. I had missed some really important sign along the way…

It was the most unbelievable thing. I could barely believe that it could be true. My mind was becoming clouded with something foreign now… as I tried to process what it could be…


I looked up to see Ma watching me intently, her dark eyes questioning and her brow slightly furrowed. She had asked a question and I didn’t hear a thing. I was angry. So angry that I didn’t have a clue before now…

“I’m sorry Ma, I didn’t hear…” I said, swallowing my emotion.

”I was just asking,” she said again. “Do you who this boy is? His name was Khalid.”

Sunnah of Honoring ones elders 

Reviving this Sunnah…
As youth we should remember that how we treat our elders is how we will be treated when we reach old age.
Sayyiduna Anas narrates that Nabi said: “No young person shows respect to an old man on account of his old age without Allah Ta’ala appointing someone to show respect to him when he becomes old.”

Revive the Sunnah of honoring elders.

How easy to practice …









Twitter: @ajourneyjournal








14 thoughts on “Great Beginnings

  1. السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته.
    Hope everyone is going great.

    JazakAllah Khair for the post!
    I literally checked my reader almost ten times a day in anticipation 🔥

    Wait a minute!!!….How did Khalid manage to visit with Aadam????
    I thought he was like totally unable to come back home!!??

    Hmmm….I was so worried about Khawla marrying Khalid that I totally forgot about Siraj’s wife!!!
    Ma is so right! Loyalty to one’s spouse and honouring them….is so important! The grass is always greener on the other side!!!!
    ***One more reason not to marry Khawla!!!

    A cliffhanger….!!!!!
    Now I’m super excited for the next post! Going to be carrying on checking my reader the whole day, every day, for moooree!

    JazakAllah Khair for the reminders💕
    May Allah grant us the opportunity to serve our Elders with love and grace, and may our hearts always be in the Zikr of Allah❣

    جزاك الله خيرا 💓

    Liked by 7 people

    • Wslm sister, I know I know, so many questions unanswered… maybe aadam knew something that Khawlah didn’t…maybe he didn’t want her to know… or maybe he just knew the truth and was scared of her reaction…

      I’m sorry but it’s about time for a cliff hanger , don’t you think? ❤️
      Lol, Aameen, Shukran sister… lets wait and see what will happen and then you’ll can hound me…

      Liked by 5 people

  2. Shuh
    U really have a way of inspiring… and giving us cliff.hangers!!!.
    How did Aadam meet Khalid?
    Wasn’t he pronounced dead already when Aadam got sick?
    Did I miss something in the past chapters??

    Liked by 4 people

  3. ‘A rainbow was not just a rainbow. It was a symbol of Allah’s hope that spread across the sky, to remind them of how amazing and colorful life could really be…’ Loved this! Masha Allah, you really have a way with words…

    The part where Ma is transported to a time where Aadam was “full of life” broke my heart all over again.

    Why is she angry?

    Liked by 6 people

  4. This post had so many emotions!!!
    And the cliffhanger !! I’m so confused and excited and everything in between
    Jazakillah Khair for the lovely post 💞
    Cannot wait for the next one !! ☺️

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Your writing is absolutely beautiful Subhanallah.
    Every flower is a gift of life
    Every rainbow us a reminder of hope of Allah.
    MashaAllah 💕

    Liked by 4 people

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