Over the Top

Bismihi Ta’ala


”Now that boy!” Dada boomed suddenly in a his thunderous voice.

Somehow, because Dada was slightly deaf, he kind of thought that everyone couldn’t hear too.

“That boy,” he continued, wagging his finger in the direction of the departing car. “I like. He’s my new favorite. Or old favorite maybe.”

Yunus grinned and I shook my head at my grandfather. Sometimes Dada did go over the top.

Everyone knew that Khawlah was his favorite. It was probably because she looked most like my mother. Zuleikha and Adam had somehow found their way to the favorite category too.  For Adam, he was an honorary member of the favourites because, I mean, who didn’t like Adam?

But Khalid. Well, that was new. Or so I thought.

Yunus has brought Dada along with him to the hospital, where I was waiting for news about Rubeena. We were sitting at the entrance to the hospital where Khalid had just come to greet us before he left.

It was hard to believe that this was the guy that had once known throughout his childhood, or the guy who I used to trouble my sister about as a kid… or the guy that I had met all those years ago in Egypt. And many may have seen the kind of guy he was destined to be, but I for one wouldn’t have thought that he would have been chosen, so much so, and in such a way that he had become such a scholar. His reciting, his lectures, his lessons… it was something that I had come to know the magic of only during the past month or so that he was here.

”You’ll think I’m joking?” Dada asked as he stuck out his stick and pointed. “You should have heard that talk today, Ahmed. The way he spoke- like a master- even I feel like leaving for Jihaad now and giving my life.  What a test, man. What a test.”

I smiled. Dada was a hard nut to crack at times, but Khalid definitely had a way with words that moved even the most rigid of hearts.

And I could just imagine him saying it, the way Dada narrated it. The way he spoke, I could see that Dada was already converted to make-shift Mujaahid mode.

”Im ready to take it on!” He boomed, pumping his fist with a serious expression on his face.

And of course, to see Dada all psyched up like this at this part of his life was quite amusing. I always knew that he had this rigid and prickly side to him, but with age he had mellowed a bit. Of course, it’s where Abba inherited it from. And I mean, after all the drama that morning I kind of appreciated the chuckles.

Yikes, was I glad that I had some kind of diversion right then. Khalid’s coming here to the hospital to greet us was something we didn’t expect. Truth be told, the guy was so humble that I didn’t expect him to actually be so knowledgeable.

And the thing was, I could see that Dada was inspired. There are some people whose very presence can just build you. Inspire you. Change you. When Dada spoke I kind of got the drift about the talk…

When the Mahdi finally comes to rule, even those who didn’t want to submit, will follow. Peace will reign. Imaan will be at its heights. It will be a time when every single person will have to pledge allegiance. When everyone will be called to fight. Directly or indirectly… that’s when the true Mujaahideen will be born.

Some tests are sometimes a call for the most courageous warriors. Sometimes you need real strength… strength that humbles you.. brings you down to your knees… and truly brings you back to Allah.

And yes, as Dada spoke with so much of theatrical passion, I knew what he was narrating was on point. That at some point we will all have to stand up. We will have to pledge allegiance, whether directly or indirectly. We will have to fight at some point. We had to be prepared, but right now, I knew that I had bigger battles to fight within me. I had a jihaad within myself that I was fighting constantly, and still needed to work on.

And yes, he made me think- even as Dada said it. Khalid- or Maulana Khalid- had surprised me.

I recalled clearly the time I had seen him in Egypt, all young and full of life, almost ready to take on the world. The way he welcome us with open arms was something that defined him, even back then. That Arab hospitality was a renowned trait of his. Added to that was the humility he had always possessed, no matter where he was in life.

I didn’t know at that stage what exactly it was that had landed him there. I didn’t know, until I had found out later, that he was running away from something back home. Yes, When we met him he was focused and determined, but there was something added to it then just made him seem so much more grownup. It was like his outlook had been altered and from this somewhat immature guy who seemed so inexperienced in life, he had suddenly merged into someone so brilliant.

One day, I knew I had to ask him what it was that had really changed in his life.

“I don’t know how to thank you,” Khalid had said, taking my hand and clasping it, Sunnah style, as he greeted for the last time. “For arranging the paperwork. For sorting me out. I owe you big time.”

”It was nothing,” I said, trying to remain unemotional as he spoke. I had just pulled a few strings to get his paperwork in order and clear his name so he could travel freely again and he was so grateful.

”It was everything, bro,” he said seriously. Then he grinned, and he looked like Khalid again. “I never thought I’d say it but I’m so glad you have the right have contacts. Wish I could be like you.“

”But your mother will kill you,” I said with a grin, and he shook his head at me, catching me off guard as he closed in for a fierce hug.

He was so warm. Sincere. Approachable. It’s what made Khalid the kind of person he is. The kind of person he always was.

”You haven’t changed one bit,” he grinned, shaking his head in good humor. “I never thought I’d see you guys again but here we are, and Allah knows where next and on which journey, huh? Yunus, maybe we’ll meet at some other place next time…”

This was getting way now emotional than I intended.

He ran his hand through his beard as his icy eyes looked back at me.

“Imagine,” he said softly. “Every time we meet for the pleasure of Allah… always out in some path or the other. We’re meeting and leaving with our sins forgiven. Make Du’aa that I can stay that way.”

”You make Du’aa for us, Maulana,” I said softly. “It’s strange calling you that, by the way.”

He chuckled and winked.

”Who would have ever thought?,” he said with a smile. “It’s  just Khalid. Same ole, same ole…”

Same old, same old. Same old guy from way back when. The same old guy who was in love with my sister.

I wanted to say it but I didn’t. I just smiled as he waved at us, and turned to my brother.

I took a deep breath, but I let it out as he greeted Yunus and I one more time, and then opened his car door and drove away.

We were sitting outside the hospital entrance, and I felt a slight void as I watched Yunus’s face. He knew more than he was letting on.

I didn’t have to ask Yunus. We watched him leave, and Yunus turned to me. It was like he could tell what I was thinking.

”You think there’s a chance that he’ll ever come back?”

I shrugged. ‘For Khawlah’ were the silent words that he didn’t say. We both knew what we wanted. We just didn’t have the guts to say it.

”She was there earlier,” he said, and I knew who he meant. “She mentioned to me that she saw him. Don’t tell her I said so. She went to see Aunty Radiyyah.”

”What? She actually went there?” I asked incredulously, grasping what it meant .

Khawlah was getting way too independent for my liking. Scouting around the neighborhood like a free woman… who did she think she is? Why didn’t she check first or ask me to take her?

Sometimes I wasn’t sure if she really understood how to behave. The position and behavior of women at the time of the Prophet (SAW) compared to now were like day and night. They were so particular about modesty that even the form of a woman wasn’t brought in front of a man. They were so modest that before the ayaat of Pardah was revealed, their modesty was way more than what was present today… even when we are well aware of every rule of pardah that exists.

It was at the time of the marriage of Nabi (SAW) to Zaynab bint Jahsh (RA) that the verses of pardah were revealed. It is said that there were some Sahaba who had come to join in the meal, and she was present. Due to her discomfort, these two commands were revealed in Ayat of the same Surah:

O you who believe! Enter not the Prophet’s houses, unless permission is given to you for a meal, (and then) not (so early as) to wait for its preparation. But when you are invited, enter, and when you have taken your meal, disperse without sitting for a talk. Verily, such (behavior) annoys the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and he is shy of (asking) you (to go); but Allah is not shy of (telling you) the truth. And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts. And it is not (right) for you that you should annoy Allah’s Messenger, nor that you should ever marry his wives after him (his death). Verily, with Allah that shall be an enormity.” [Noble Quran 33:53]

And yes, they were sahabiya but we had to aspire to be like them. Imagine what Khalid must have thought. Why couldn’t she have phoned and checked first? I definitely had a bone to pick with my sister and my mood was just set for it.

And in all fairness, maybe I did have too many bones to pick with people. One thing for sure was that I wasn’t very happy with the women in my life at  the time. Of course, I had reason to be upset though. Rubeena had gone a little over the top this time.

I made my way back to the ward as I greeted Dada and Yunus. There was no use sticking around here now.

”Sir, the results have come back.”

It was just in time that one of the nurses who had come out to call me. My mind had settled into reality, and I could feel my anger subsiding. I stubbed my cigarette and tossed it into the little sandy patch at the door before following the nurse.

”Is she okay?” I had asked the doctor as he walked in early that morning. I had been terrified that something was wrong with her. After Aadam and the cancer and losing him… no one could really blame me for being as paranoid as I was.

It was playing out just like Adam’s story was. My mother-in-law was freaking out. Siraj was adamant that no-one should touch her until he got there. What was happening to Rubeena was something completely unexpected. She had basically collapsed on the kitchen floor. I had no idea what was going on with her but it was quite a concern.

”Well, the results of the tests have come back,” he said pretty calmly as he jotted something down. I took a seat on the bench positioned against the wall of the casualty ward.

Was it bad? Life-altering? Life-threatening? I had a feeling that I was going to need to sit.

”And?” I asked weakly, waiting for the response the doctor peered at me.

“She’s pregnant,” he said flatly, as if it was obvious. “Her hCG levels are extremely high. It accounts for how she feels. We’ll do a scan later and see what comes up. She’s extremely dehydrated and seems have lost weight too. Has she been eating at all? You look like you didn’t know?”

I looked at the doctor and blinked. Yes, I felt like a complete fool.

Of course I didn’t know.

”What will she need?” I asked, almost robotically. I was too scared to ask any more questions. The thought of a baby was freaking me out. But not in an entirely bad way.

”Just a drip,” he said, looking at his watch. “She should be fine to leave tomorrow. We’ll just have to see if her levels are rising so we know that it is in fact a successful pregnancy. From the looks of it, I’m sure it is, but the sonographer will be here for the scan in a bit.”

I nodded blankly, glancing at my phone to see a message from Siraj who was asking after Rubeena. He had spoken to the doctor there and would be there later.

I looked at my wife who was lying, quite motionless on the hospital bed. I wished that I could talk to her. Ask her why she hid the truth. Ask her if she didn’t think I’d be able to handle the pregnancy news. I didn’t even know how far she was… was I really that much of a hard nut that she couldn’t even break to me this important news?

I got up slowly, rubbing my temples and feeling the need for some caffeine. It had been Adam who had gotten me into the habit of a daily coffee. Without my dose I often couldn’t think properly. I knew that I needed some time over a ‘cuppa’ to let this all settle and decide the best way forward. Rubeena was still asleep.. probably pretending even… but I didn’t care. I need red the time to let it process.

The corridors of the hospital were semi-quiet as I strolled through, trying to let it all sink in. By then there was none of my family around, and I appreciated the time to think.

A baby. A baby. How would the boys react? I mean, they loved Khadijah. We all did. But at the end of the day, she still went back home to her mother. A baby. I wasn’t sure but I was thinking that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. They are quite cute. And they obviously seem to make women happy. I guess one extra kid won’t be that bad.

My brain was kind of wrapping itself around the idea of it all as I paid for my coffee and made my way back to the ward, pausing at a bench to sit and drink my coffee. My mind was a jumble as I remembered the last time I was here. When Aadam was really sick and he had called me here to see him.

I was actually so lost in the thought of Aadam and how he might have actually been so thrilled about this new addition to the family that I had forgotten that the ultrasound was probably going on right then.

Of course, as I made my way back to the rooms and glimpsed my mother-in-law’s sordid face in the corner of the room. I was obviously a little worried. The sonographer had just arrived with her machine and I could see that I just missed the scan. I didn’t know what had just happened, but as I looked at my wife I couldn’t help but feel the thudding in my chest increase about tenfold.

Rubeena was sitting up in bed now, looking at me like she had seen a ghost. Of course, I couldn’t help but assume the worst as I looked from her to my mother-in-law, now feeling like a ton on bricks were threatening to rain down on me any minute.

”Ruby,” I said, my voice just over a squeak as I turned to look at my mother-in-law. “Ma. What’s going on?”

She continued looking ahead, moving her gaze to me after few seconds, and then turned her head again as she focused on a spot on the wall. It was a tiny bit freaky.

“Congratulations, sir,” the sonographer said as she saw me. “I’m sure you and your wife are excited about the big news.”

”Thanks,” I said blandly.

Excited. I wasn’t sure. I looked at Rubeena. She didn’t look like it, and I didn’t blame her. The four boys kept her busy enough. On the other hand, one more wouldn’t make much of a difference, right? I wanted to tell her that she didn’t have to act like the world was crashing down on her.

It really wasn’t a big deal. Some people couldn’t have kids. Maybe she was just being a tad bit ungrateful.

”Tell him,” Rubeena croaked, a bit robotically.  “About the scan.”

I narrowed my eyes and looked at her.

”Is the baby okay?” I asked, feeling strangely protective over the new life that was living inside her. It was weird how I warmed up to the idea. If I didn’t know myself better, I would have probably even believed that I was excited.

”Babies,” the sonographer said with a smile. “There’s more than one in there.”

I widened my eyes at my wife, not realizing that my jaw had dropped open.

Twins?” I said in disbelief, feeling all sorts of weird things in my gut as I tried to process. Two? Two babies?

Yikes. No wonder my mother-in-law was so silent. It was probably a shock to her system too. Two babies at once was a bit over the top.

”No, Ahmed,” Rubeena said, shaking her head and meeting my gaze for the first time since I got to the room. “It’s not twins.”

“Well, that’s a relief,” I said with a chuckle, only half joking. I didn’t realize that I was shooting myself in the foot.

She looked at me squarely, raised her eyebrows and spoke.

“We’re having triplets.”

Dear readers, 

Just a little humor to keep us going. Let’s keep with the istighfaar, Sunnah revival and lots of Du’aa. InshaAllah 

Much Love,

A xx

Sunnah of Du’aa: One of the Sunnah of asking Allah is never to be despondent of Allah’s mercy. Remember that He is always listening and waiting to answer our prayer.

According to another version (3477): “When one of you prays, let him start with praise of Allaah, then let him send blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ, then let him ask whatever he likes after that.”Then another man prayed after that, and he praised Allaah and sent blessings upon the Prophet ﷺ. The Prophet ﷺ said: “O worshipper, ask and you will be answered.”

Therefore, whenever a worshipper asks Allah with sincerity, hoping for Allah’s mercy, and fulfilling the etiquette and manners of dua, he should be certain that his Du’aa will be responded to.

Lots and lots of Duaas. Let’s focus on trying to bring Du’aa into our daily lives...

How easy to practice …











Twitter: @ajourneyjournal






30 thoughts on “Over the Top

    • Can just imagine that last line
      It took the cake!!!
      Especially description of Ahmed’s character

      Dear author
      Can we have a post from Khalid pov,describing his personality
      I reread the whole story and somehow describing Khawlah’s personality and her being unemotional type
      Having Adam brought into her life was like sunshine and rainbows
      Adam was her breath of fresh air after seeing so much in her life and becoming unemotional and strong as result thereof
      Thinking of pairing her up with Khalid seems so off like chalk and chalk
      And Khawlah needs someone like an Adam but that will def wlnot fit the bill of him as he was unique

      Just my rambling and thoughts
      Author can relay story as she seems fit..

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, he didn’t huh… and it’s quite something, haha..

      I completely get those sentiments and I love that you feel that way coz I get that too. Really helps to get the readers feels and then know where to direct the posts etc. the one other thing that did cross my mind was that we got to see Aadam as a young bubbly spouse and that’s something that we completely missed out from Khalid… coz we’ll never see the magic and rainbows like how aadam had somehow showed Khawlah, right?
      But because I get you completely and I know this story needs to be complete, for peace of mind… I’m going to definitely take that into consideration.
      Duaas that i can somehow pull this off with a happy ending.. but then again, who knows what’s really going to happen with Khalid and Khawlah anyway?
      Maybe they’re just not ever meant to be…

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Jazaakillaah khair for the lovely story..
    Never saw that coming, can’t wait to see Ahmed’s reaction to the triplets but will have to wait…
    Sister please let Khalid be Khawlah’s calm after everything and let her be his balm.
    As it is said in Urdu
    جواني كا پیار Or love from youth…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lol, Ahmed’s emotions are pretty uneventful but we never know …
      Aw that’s beautiful… I think that we sometimes also forget that Khalid also played a huge part in keeping her together and giving her the amazing Deeni insight that she needed when she had lost her mother and was going through all sorts of emotions and insecurities with Aunty Nas and Hannah…
      just my rambles but you know…

      Liked by 2 people

    • It’s funny how we sometimes forget that they actually don’t exist except in words. Like the other day my cousin and I were discussing whether Aadam or Khalid is more pious and who Khawlah will end up with in Jannah if she married Khalid…And then after that we were laughing at how serious we were…

      Liked by 4 people

      • At first I wanted Khalid and Khawlah to end up together because of their childhood friendship…but now I feel like they’ve changed so much. And even if they do end up getting married to each other, it won’t be bossy Khawlah and cat-eyed Khalid.

        And now when I want them together I want it because of Khadijah…Even though she does have her Nana and uncle, a father figure in her life will be good for her…Especially when she grows bigger, she’ll need that sorta normalcy. Also, she’d make an adorable bigger sister if given the opportunity!

        Liked by 2 people

      • Lol, yes, they are characters.., but relatable, nonetheless.
        Yes, I completely agree about Khadijah. But now that Ruby’s having triplets I’m sure that she’s going to baby them as if they are her own 👅

        Liked by 2 people

  2. السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته.
    Hope everyone is doing really great 🔥🌹🔥

    Shuh! What a lotta emotions! I just looooovve how Khalid gets everyone hyped up about giving their lives for Allah….❣❣❣
    And Dada! Nice hearing his voice…loud and clear!
    Khalid is like goals…..for a husband from Jannah! Seriously! Where do you even get humans like that anymore, sincere and willing to give their lives for Allah even after tasting both, hardship and ease!!!!💓💓💓

    Love how you spoke about something so amazing, even though it’s so….frowned upon! Allah grant us that awesome opportunity and glorious Shahaadah!!!❤❤❤

    And AHMAD!!! Mahnnn! Did I laugh like crazy!!!
    Ruby and Ahmad make a hilarious couple!
    Triplets are definitely going to be an amazing addition to this family!!!

    JazakAllah Khair💐🌸💐
    السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wslm, dear sister… aw for your comments, really appreciated ❤️
      Lol, we still have many Aadam fans but what to do…
      Rubeena and Ahmed are the typical ‘love you so much but I need my space’ kind of couple. 🙈 lol, yes, definitely an interest addition- and lots of excitement too… 🙌🏼
      Wslm ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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