Epilogue: Extreme Expectations

Bismihi Ta’ala


Whether it’s work, family, life be or friends… the reality of this world is that you will find yourself on the brink of insanity at least once. This is because the world is created such that when you have Allah, no storm is too overwhelming. If you don’t have Him, you will get knocked over by even the slightest of a breeze. 

There are men created by Allah Ta’ala who are so wholeheartedly attached to him that even Jannah, with all its bounties and eternal bliss cannot distract them from the contemplation of Allah. How then can the temporal world engage their attention? 

The thing was, to be those kind of people, we had to work at it. We had to keep reminding. Remembering. We have to keep having faith  that the One who writes our story is free from any imperfections or mistakes. That His knowledge surpasses ours and that with His Divine foresight, He has prepared a future for us that will be the answer to every Duaa. 

Duaa. Oh yes, Duaa. How our prayer can penetrate beyond the heavens was beyond me. How easy it was to just raise your hands to the one, and see the doors of His mercy opening up… I still couldn’t comprehend. And I knew this much. By Allah, He will never ignore your prayer. I knew this much before that was what she had always taught me… even as a little kid. My mother was an inspiration. Always and forever. Whenever I would look at her, all I would ever see in her was faith. Immense reliance on her Allah.

And even as I sat with her for a few minutes before the Waleema rush would start, the same smile I always knew played on her lips, but there was a deep contentment within her that was long awaited. I had barely had a chance to speak to her properly and it was no wonder…. everything in the past day had just happened so fast.

“There had been so many Duaas,” she said quietly. “So many hopes and wishes. I knew that in the end my Allah wouldn’t let me down… of course He wouldn’t. Look at how wonderfully everything worked out…”

It was just another one of His immense favours on us. Immensely magnificent favours that I couldn’t even comprehend. 

“What a rush,” she smiled, shaking her head. “It took you long enough and then it was all fast forward, huh? What’s the plans from here, handsome?”

I smiled back, placing my hand on hers. I had to prepare my mother for what I wanted to do. I still had dreams. Things I wanted to achieve for myself. It was hard to pull the plug on it all…

“I’m not sure,” I said. “Maybe we’ll go to Egypt. Maybe we’ll go somewhere else. Start afresh. It may be difficult to start a life here where everything is lingering…”

I trailed off and her face fell. Besides teaching Deen, after all, I had been asked to go back to Egypt and continue my grandfathers legacy. There was much for me still back there. He had taught me about engineering and everything I knew to get his business going again..

“Don’t take my beautiful Khawlah so far away from me,” she whispered, holding onto my hand tighter. “Things didn’t always go the way I expected but she was always close by. Please.”

My mother’s charcoal eyes were riddled with worry as I processed what this meant. After all these years, my wife had somehow become the daughter that she never had. Since I had left, there had been a gap filled by the girl that I had always set my sights on.

And no, I wasn’t offended by her remark. There was an inkling of admiration in her voice as she said it and there was no doubt that she was right. I smiled at the irony, though, because it was just yesterday when the guy at the Masjid had made me feel like I had done the most admirable thing on earth by marrying a widow with a child. I didn’t see it that way. For me, I was the honored one. He didn’t know what Khawlah was worth. He didn’t that he was that he was way off track.

Of course, trust my mother to put it into the correct perspective for me. What I understood was that a husband had a special place with a wife. I knew that life was not always as we planned. Sometimes the processes and layouts were a little boggled up, but I was prepared to do anything to try and live up to what was expected from me.

And I supposed it was coincidence but when Maulana Umar had unashamedly praised him and said that Aadam was another Mus’ab of our time, I couldn’t help but see a parallel when he mentioned it. The lessons of that story were way to deep not to miss…

A family member of Nabi (SAW), Hamnah RA was married to Mus’ab ibn Umair (RA) who was one of the his most devoted companions. And as the story goes, His mother, Khunas bint Malik was extremely wealthy to the point of giving him the most luxurious lifestyle…

The Prophet SAW commented on this long after prophethood, when he said: “I never saw in Makkah anyone who was better looking, or who had better garments or more refined comforts than Mus’ab ibn Umair.”

Yet when he embraced Islam, his mother tried hard to persuade him to rescind his faith and go back to old pagan beliefs, but he adamantly refused. She stopped giving him anything, but he did not care for such luxuries. He remained one of the Prophet’s SAW most faithful companions.
Hamnah (RA) gave him a daughter named Zaynab.

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions immigrated to Madinah, Hamnah RA and her husband were among the early immigrants, as were the rest of her Muslim family. They were all devoted servants of Islam. The Quraysh, the people of Makkah, launched several attacks on Madinah to try to subdue the newly established Muslim state. Hamnah was one of the blessed women who went with the Muslim army to nurse the wounded and give water to the thirsty.
In the Battle of Uhud, the Muslims suffered a heavy defeat, with 70 of their people killed. She was with the army, but she was not aware who were killed. She saw the Prophet soon after the battle and he told her to endure her loss with patience.

She asked hi
m whom he meant.

His reply: “Your maternal uncle, Hamzah.”

She said: “To God we all belong and to Him shall we all return. May God forgive him and bestow mercy on him. He is blessed as a martyr in heaven.”

The Prophet (SAW) again told her to bear her loss with patience.
When she asked him whom he meant, he replied: “Your brother Abdullah.”

She repeated what she said about her uncle.

Yet the Prophet (SAW) told her of another loss, and on her enquiry he mentioned her husband, Mus’ab ibn Umair.

This time, she screamed with grief, saying: “Woe is me! Oh, for my grief!”

The Prophet (SAW) upon this, commented: “A husband has a unique position with his wife no one else can fill.”

The Prophet (SAW) asked her afterwards why she panicked.
She said: “Messenger of God, SAW, I remembered that his children are now orphaned and I panicked.”

And who would blame her? It was a loss that was unparalleled. Her kids were still young as Mus’ab was probably about only 35 when he was martyred. The Prophet (SAW) prayed for her and them, mentioning in his prayer that God may grace them with His kindness and give them generously.

Hamnah RA later married Talhah ibn Ubaydillah RA, one of the ten companions of the Prophet (SAW) whom he favored with glad tidings of Jannah.

What was noted about him was that Talhah RA treated his stepchildren most kindly. Of course, he too was one of the beloved companions of the Prophet (SAW). 

And I found the story simply amazing because of course, I did hope that one day I wish that I too will hold that elevated rank where many would smile back and remember me too with so much of admiration.

“You do have some big shoes to fill,” Ummi said again, winking at me me now. “But I’m sure you’ll manage to.”

I shook my head. I wasn’t aspiring for that. It wasn’t about an insecurity but I knew very well that a husband will always hold a special place with his wife and I didn’t resent it at all.

”I’m not too sure…” I said softly. 

“You’re a special boy,” she murmured, nodding as she looked ahead. “Always have been. So sincere. You have something about you that draws people to you and I know I can’t give myself credit, but you have an amazing gift and I’m so glad that your Quran put you on track and you finally found your calling…”

It took a long time but even in my darkest hour, all I had to do was remember the moments when I had been inspired by the words of the Quran. His words. When I was anchored by its weight. When I was awakened to the reality of the one verse that always humbled me and brought me back down to earth.

It was the one thing I really cherished what my father had drilled into me… the pains of a parent for their child are often underrated. Every bit of sweat and pain was never forgotten- how he persisted with me through the grueling years that it took to become a Hafidh…. It was my greatest accomplishment yet… even more than the recent few years that had passed me by.

It was a moment when everything within me had come to a halt. When the chase had stopped. When reality was brought to the fore.

Has the time not come for those who have believed that their hearts should become humbly submissive at the remembrance of Allah and what has come down of the truth? (Quran – 57:16)

Indeed, the chase had to end. We continue on the pursuit of this life but we will never truly understand our purpose unless we open our eyes and realize that there has to be an end. A halt. A stop for chase and an awakening to what is really important.

And for me, the time had come. In fact, it was long overdue.

“I’m so proud of you,” she whispered as I held onto her. “Your father too, you know.”

I smiled. My father. He truly was one of a kind. It had taken years but to live up to his expectations and after so long it was like what I had been chasing had finally been sought. Somehow, through this fulfilment I had been released.

And it was so strange but my parents were stark opposites. Where my mother had always been warm and cajoling, my father had a streak of rigidity that pierced straight through the rebelliousness of my youth. It was the reason my mother had sent me away to Egypt, but also the reason why I had come back; so far from where I had strayed in my youth. 

Ummi was looking ahead and it seemed out of nowhere a smile suddenly dawned on her face, and as I followed her gaze, I already knew why.

“We’ll talk later,” she said softly. “For now, I think someone special is waiting for you.” 

I looked over to her and immediately smiled, because it was just natural for my heart to contract slightly as I saw her.

And I could hardly believe that it was my wife because in just a day almost everything had changed. The thing was that only when I had come back to hear that Khawlah was interested in the house, only then did I realize that there might still be hope.

And of course, the past feelings were far-fetched and ill-based but how amazing was it that the high that came with a new and Halaal love had somehow surpassed it all?

That was why when I left my mother for that moment, I knew that there was only one thing that I could say for sure. Of course, why not make her happy? I had gotten everything I had wanted anyway. 

”Don’t worry, Ums,” I assured her. “The topic is closed. You won’t have to worry about us going far away. I’m  going to ask her what she wants. Whatever Khawlah wants to do from here, I’m okay with…”

My mother smiled in immense relief and I knew that for now, I had fulfilled her request and put her mind at ease. And as Khawlah waved to my mother from where she was and I walked over to the entrance of the front garden, the look on her face took me slightly aback.

“Is everything okay?” I asked, pausing to look at her anxious face. “You look worried. Where’s Khadijah?”

She looked back at me but gave a small smile. It was enough to erase my fears.

”I have a question for you.”

I grinned, relieved that nothing major had happened to upset her.

“You have a question for me?!” I asked, a little amused as I tried to lighten the mood.

“I’m serious, Khalid,” she said quietly, her smile fading. “It’s something that’s been on my mind…”

”Okay, okay,” I conceded, reaching for her hand. “I’m serious too. What’s up, lovely?”

She took a deep breath and averted her gaze.

”I’m thinking of inviting Hannah. Tonight.”

We had spoken about Hannah the night before. We had spoken about a lot the night before. About life. About our childhood. Even about Aadam. The whispers shared and the dreams that had been shattered. The Duaas that I had made for her and how she had spoken to Allah about me. The ambitions that we both had and the plan that Allah had that we could still not conceive…

It was an amazing adventure that had just  begun for us. A gift that Allah had sent through His mercy. My best friend and the girl I had come to love with all my heart…

Hmmm,” I replied, pulling at my beard. That was a tough one. “And her mother?”

“I would have,” she answered, “but Hannah says that she’s abroad. Chasing some rich old guy, she says. I don’t know if she’ll ever change but I do make Duaa for Hannah’s sake, that she does. She could really use some support and her mothers sanity…”

It was a lot to digest.

Wow,” I said quietly, my mind a little overwhelmed at her at that moment. After everything she had been through… everything that woman had put her through… she was really something to even consider it.

Khawlah’s strength and resilience stood out now more than ever. It was the thing that I had always admired and loved about her.

”Listen Khawlah,” I said after a few seconds. “You know you don’t have to? They’re not exactly family…”

”I’d grown to like Hannah,” she said quietly. “Even after everything she had done. Aadam had encouraged treating her well. It’s not her fault that her life was a little messed up. Maybe she made some bad choices. Maybe she just didn’t know what she was getting herself into…”

I nodded. Of course. 

”It’s completely your call,” I said, giving her a small smile. I wasn’t even sure if she had heard me. Her mind was still busy as I watched her… so deep in thought.

“I just don’t understand,” she finally said, glancing at me. “When Aunty Nas was married to my father, he gave her everything… but she still wasn’t happy. How much more do you have to have to be satisfied?”

To me, it was quite simple. 

”It’s not about that,” I said quietly. “The world is designed in such a way that even if you’re drowning in millions, your only source of completion can ever be Him. Maybe she just never had that…”

”You’re right,” she replied softly, her expression immediately easing as she reached for my hand with a smile. “And that was always what they were missing. I’m so glad that Hannah is finally finding her way…”

”And maybe you were the one who showed it to her?” I suggested, knowing well that my wife had the ability to shift even the most rigid of hearts. 

”I don’t know,” she said softly, shaking her head in disagreement. “I just wonder… How some people go through so much, you know? So many trials and hardships… and they have to go endure so, so much… and yet there seems to be no relief… she lost so much. Her home, her daughter, her mother, her dignity…”

I watched her expression change a she spoke, a little taken aback at how personally she was taking this. Her striking features were riddled with worry as she said it, almost as if she was waiting for some ease from this constant pain. Almost as if she was waiting for someone to offer her some relief…

And I already knew her so well that I knew that I had to be the one to remind her of what Allah’s plan is, and always will be.

“That’s the arrangement that Allah’s made with her, right love?” I reminded her softly as her eyes searched mine for some sort of hope. Something to cling onto. “It just so happens that sometimes our Rabb makes the most spectacular arrangements for us to attain Jannah. Nothing… and I mean nothing at all,  goes undetected, don’t you worry…”

She smiled, and it was as if all the burdens that she had held within her heart were completely relieved. Tests and trials were indeed a favour for the believer…

”I truly do hope that she finds exactly what she’s been looking for all this time,” I said quietly.

And as she continued to smile at me as if every weight had been lifted from her heavy shoulders for that moment, it was such a rare and amazing moment that we shared right then and I so badly wanted to savor. And even though all these years had gone by, there was still a part of me that existed within her, and a part of her that lived in me. There was so much that I had still yet to say but it just so happened that at that instant a slightly high-pitched voice sounded from just outside the gate and my wife’s head whipped around in shock, almost as if she couldn’t believe what she was hearing.

Her eyes widened as I cocked my head to one side knowingly.

”Wait,” I said, narrowing my eyes. “Don’t tell me. It’s Nusaybah, right?”

She smiled in agreement, because I knew that there was only one answer and I was so happy that her friend had made it for our big day. Of course, it was the one thing she had mentioned to me about Nusaybah. That she really wanted her to be here and had missed her so much. 

And of course I had to let her go because I knew that her friend being here would be the highlight of the day..

Yes. I would let her be. We had our whole lives ahead of us. There was so much I had been given… so much I didn’t anticipate that had surprised me, but the rule of this world was not that everything would go exactly according to our plan…

The thing is, nothing in nature lives for itself. Rivers don’t drink their own water. Trees don’t eat their own fruit. The sun doesn’t shine for itself. Even the flower does not bloom for itself.

Every system has its course. Every day will end. Every sunrise will end with a sunset. Lives may cease. Fears may overwhelm us. Losses may crush us. But after it all, after the pieces of our hearts have shattered, the One who made that very heart will heal it again.

Nature’s rule is that we live for each other too. We love each other. We share with each other. We hang onto hopes for each other too. When we give and love for the sake of Allah, everything in life takes on a different meaning. We smile. We bear… We sacrifice. That’s what real love was. 

Verily, the lover

submits to his beloved.

When a person falls in love

with someone,

submission and obedience

to the beloved becomes his habit

and second nature.

Disobedience to the beloved

becomes as

hard as is unwilling obedience

to one whom one does not love.’

When you love Allah, His obedience becomes the only thing that matters. When you love Allah, you see His hand in everything that comes through for you.  When you love Allah, you see provisions rising from sources you never imagined. 

Whoever is with Allah, his weakness will not harm him, and whoever is distant from Allah, his strength will never benefit him.

I do not know the measure of time or the rate at which it flowed past me. I don’t understand the weight of a moment or the duration of a year. All I know and can comprehend of the mathematics of a life that Allah had blessed me with, were the times that I’ve seen a miracle come through for me countless times in His Divine plan. It was extreme expectation, but for Allah, indeed, there is nothing that is impossible.

Expecting the best from Allah is the secret ingredient to happiness. 

So, I ask…

What then are your thoughts about the Lord of the worlds?” (Quran 37:87)


Apologies for my delayed post… I do hope I can manage to pen one more future post at least but my weeks have been crazy…

Okay, that said, will I be forgiven if I don’t post again?  *ducks*

Much Love 

A xx

P.S. please tolerate me a little longer and make special Duaa for me in these big days.


Sayyiduna Ali رضي الله عنه narrates: Nabee صلى الله عليه وسلم said regarding Muharram:(as part of a lengthy hadith)

“In it there is a day that Allah accepted the taubah (repentance) of a people, and in which He accepts the repentance of other people.”

(Tirmidhi 741)

Haafiz Ibnu Rajab Hambali (رحمه الله تعالى) has quoted many statements that support the fact that this day refers to the day of ‘Aashuraa. He thereafter says: “Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saying ‘He will forgive others on this day’ is an encouragement for people to once again make sincere taubah on the day of ‘Aashuraa. This statement also gives hope that Allah Ta‘ala will accept the taubah of the one who repents from his sins, just as He had forgiven the previous nation.”
(Lataaiful Ma‘aarif pg. 113 – 115)

Tolerance – a beautiful Sunnah 

Allah Taa’ala loves tolerance.
Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Abbas RA narrates that Nabi SAW said to the
leader of the Abdul Qays tribe: “You possess two traits that are
beloved to Allah, tolerance and deliberation (non – impulsive).”
Sahih Muslim Vol 1 Pg 35

How easy to practice …











Twitter: @ajourneyjournal









And So it Happened Again

Bismihi Ta’ala


“Hey hey hey,” Ahmed said as we both watched my sister-in-law rushing around in a frenzy-like attempt to get wedding-related edibles together.

On the kitchen counter were a selection of sweetmeats, biscuits, milkshake flavors and a personal favorite… the crunchiest and most syrupy jalebi. This was, by far, the highlight of these type of occasions. Kids were in and out, grabbing a treat or two as they pleased. My sister-in-law was on a roll and it didn’t look like she was going to stop anytime soon.

She looked briefly at Ahmed and I and smiled, almost immediately turning again to pipe the glittering pink burfee into little cups as she manoevred her bump appropriately, and subsequently placing the burfee cups on the edge of the platter. I could see Ahmed frown and as I busied myself with setting up the pretty biscuits, but from the corner of my eye I could see my brother looking over her shoulder to examine her work.

”Slow down,” he said to her, squeezing her shoulder lightly. “You’re stressing yourself out.”

Rubeena shook her head.

”I’m fine,” she said, only turning slightly as I tried not to listen.

“You need to take it easy,” he said softly.

He murmured a few words to her and then left it at that as Yunus called him to leave for the Nikah. Of course, excitement was brewing in the air and hysteria slowly surfacing, I didn’t think twice about anything else as I saw Khawlah rush off to her room in the hype that had all of a sudden ensued, and I turned to help Rubeena with what she was working on next. She had somehow managed to pick up, at the last minute, the most exquisitely decorated butter cookies for the small tea that we were going to serve after the Nikah.

”Please sit,” I said to her kindly, noticing her straining her back as she worked. It was no wonder that the pregnancy wasn’t an easy one. Her belly was huge and she was only a few months along. I wasn’t sure how she was going to manage the rest…

There was a shadow of a smile on her face as she continued with her task. And in that moment, I didn’t realize that Ahmed had, surprisingly, become a little more tuned to emotions since marrying Rubeena. Whereas I was somewhat unaware, he had come to noticed more than he used to… expressed a little more than we were accustomed to… and saw something in Rubeena that day that I had completely missed.

It was a good few minutes of comfortable silence as the men left and I continued with my menial task, when I suddenly heard a muffled sniffling from next to me. And though wasn’t sure at first… but when the almost inaudible sound persisted and I cast a slightly confused glance at her, it was obvious that I wasn’t mistaken. A single tear rolled down her cheek and though she tried to brush them away hastily without me noticing, we both knew that it was already too late. I watched her for a few seconds, at first not too sure about how to react… but then knowing that the only decent thing to do by then was to grab a tissue and hand it over.

I’m so sorry!” She bawled as she clung onto it and dabbed her face, and I couldn’t help but wonder why she was apologizing to me.

”It’s okay,” I said soothingly as I rubbed her shoulder and she tried to conceal her emotions.

”I d-don’t know what’s wrong with me!” she blabbered, her pretty face looking immensely distressed. “This just brings back so many memories and I’m so sorry that I’m so emotional.. I just keep thinking about the fact that  I never really got to plan the function I was going to have for my brother and Khawlah…”

She burst into spluttering tears again and I couldn’t help by then to just l grip her firmly by the shoulders and move in for a fierce hug. My heart was breaking for her.

Of course she would be emotional. Of course.

Shhhhhh,” I said soothingly, holding her tightly as her body shook with emotion. “It’s okay, it’s okay…”

She shook her head and pulled away slightly.

”It’s not!” She insisted, wiping her eyes again and sniffing. “This is s-supposed to be a h-happy occasion. I mean, Khawlah deserves to be happy! Khadijah deserves a father that she knows. And you know what’s the weirdest part about all of this?”

I swallowed and looked and my sister-in-law who had retired to the bar stool and blew her nose noisily as I watched her.

”He always wanted me to keep it simple, you know?” She said ruefully. “Like whenever I would bring the topic up- because he never would- maybe he knew, you know?  Maybe he knew there wouldn’t be enough time for these unimportant aspects that I was so looking forward to…”

I truly didn’t know what to say. This was such a joyous, yet heart-wrenching occasion. I wished that I could put the emotions into words but it was so, so hard…

”And the funny things is – you know what Adam would have said?” She said morosely.

I blinked, thinking about it. What would Aadam have said?

She shook her head and smiled, despite her teary face.

”I can almost hear his voice still,” she said quietly. “Saying, ‘Aw Rubes, don’t be like that. Just let it be, yeah? If Khawlah’s happy, we all should be happy.’ You know?”

She imitated her brother almost identically. It was super creepy yet so so nostalgic. Tears were filling my eyes as I smiled at those words. Aadam truly was one of a kind.

”And she is happy, right?” She said, meeting my eye steadily.  “I mean, I’m so grateful that after so long something good has come her way, and because Ahmed always talks about him from way before he even came into the picture… I do feel like Maulana Khalid is such a good match for her… but there’s still a small ache in my gut that I can’t help but feel because I just miss him so so much …”

Her voice broke at that point and I could feel tears welling up in my own eyes as I wondered once again about that love that seemed to lift Khawlah to new heights. Oh yes, Aadam was gold. He was absolutely unique. But the fact that Adam had left us the way he did, for some reason… it just made their love so much more sincere. True. Completely enviable. I knew that I for one, would always hold it on a pedestal because it was that type of love that made everyone else want to fall in love too.

It was that beautiful and I knew that she didn’t want to forget it. I completely understood. Neither did I.

She trailed off as her gaze shifted to behind me, and as my head turned towards her I had already sensed that my sister had returned. I instantly smiled at my nieces voice, and as my gaze shifted to my sister, my breathing instantly quickened because not only did my sister look so beautiful, but today there was something so intimately striking about her that I could not even swallow it. She wore a lightly embossed pastel chiffon dress and a matching mink scarf. Her cheeks were flushed, like a new bride, and her subtle make up was applied absolutely sparingly, but it wasn’t even about that. There was a glow from deep within her and I could tell that Ruby was stunned by her too. It had been a long time since my sister had dressed up and I was somewhat taken aback by how much she looked like our Mama at that very moment. She smiled at us and immediately went forward to Rubeena, greeting her affectionately as the two of them held onto each other for what seemed like eternity.

Honestly, it was just so emotional watching them that I couldn’t help but tear up again at the sentimentality of it. Some words were extremely difficult to say. Their emotions were overwhelming. Yet it was human…. Human amongst humans. This was such a huge step for both of them. It was such a courageous decision that would bring so much of sweetness, with just a dash of aching nostalgia.

What a test they had both endured. These feelings and hopes and dreams amongst the anguish of the past… it was something that I couldn’t quite place my finger on. The truth is that we don’t realize how  the system of Allah works. That He, in His great wisdom, tries us and tests us and puts us through pains because that exactly is how we will earn our status and deserve a beautiful Jannah..

And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but glad tidings to the patient. Who, when disaster strikes them, say, ‘Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.’ Those are the ones upon whom are blessings from their Lord and mercy. And it is those who are the [rightly] guided.” [Al-Quran 2:155-157]

And of course, the silver lining. The stillness within the storm. The rainbow amidst the rain. And glad tidings to the Saabireen... The ones who are beautifully patient. Who withstand the tests of life with not a word of complaint or bitterness.

And yes, life is painful at times. Life hurts. Losses are painful. But this is the cycle of life. Difficulties and tests and trials are meant to polish us and build our bond with our Creator. Difficulties and tests are the very thing that brings us to the ultimate… because that’s when Allah gives us the reward. That’s when He lets it be known that there is a recompense for the patient ones.  Glad tidings for the ones who withstand the hurt and the pain with patience… and are able to say that they’ve truly been humbled by it all..

And just as I turned away again to leave the two of them alone to reminisce over all things amazing and unprecedented that had happened in the past… it was at that precise moment what the awaited message from Jameel that made my heart race just a little faster came through.

All Done, it said.

They accept, we accept, and we’re on our way back.

And right after came the clip of what we had all been waiting to hear. Being a small masjid that we couldn’t pick up on the receiver, what we were awaiting was the actual recording that held the words that sealed the deal for them both.

Nakahtuha wa Qabiltuha…”

It was Khalid’s voice, emphasized in his rigid pronunciation that rang out and I glanced at my sister as she heard it, knowing for sure that this would bring on the waterworks all over again.

I moved forward to pull her and Rubeena both into the fiercest hug I could muster, ignoring the stare of my pretty 3-year-old niece who was looking at us crossly and wondering what all the fuss and tears were about. And it was such a wonderful feeling because even though we had no idea what today held for us, how everything had worked out so beautifully was just beyond everyone’s comprehension. I’ve always heard that when you do things the proper way, Allah just opens His doors of mercy, and everything falls into place. I had yet to see it before now, but this was exactly what was meant. The ease that everyone just accepted what Khawlah wanted. How their preferred Maulana was in town to perform the nikah. How everything just worked out so simply without even any exertion on anyone’s part. It was absolute beauty.

Emotions, though… they were so tricky at times. Of course, as I pulled her aside for a quick chat earlier I had to ask her how her in-laws felt about it. What was so amazing about Khawlah was that they were the first people she had called when Khalid had suggested it.

”My mother-in-law was emotional,” she said quietly. Of course. It was an extremely emotional time. “But she said she will see me tomorrow.”

I smiled with relief.

”What about your father-in-law?” I asked kindly.

”My father-in-law is pretty much ecstatic,” she finished off, giving a smile. “Aadam was so much like him…”

I smiled, knowing that Aadam was the type of person who would have wanted Khawlah to be happy again too and that of course, Khalid was someone that held much promise for my sister. Somehow, even as a young girl, he had served to be the distraction and the conviction that her fierce little mind would tune to. It just happened that even back then, when Khawlah would feel the pains of life wearing her down, all it took was an afternoon with Khalid and she would come back home in the most amazing of moods.

And then of course, all it took was a few minutes before car doors outside had sounded and Rubeena once again started with her frantic to and fro-ing as she got three platters of snacks and sweets ready to be served. I could hear men in the passage and I peeped out to glimpse Jameel, Ahmed and Khalid chatting about plans for later. Khadijah had already ran toward them, and as Yunus threw her up in the air and handed her over to Khalid at his request, I felt like my heart was bursting with joy for her because although she was always spoilt by my brother and father, there was just something special about Khalid that she related to and loved so much.

And as I felt her behind me, I turned to Khawlah and gently wiped away the smudged make up from the corner of her darkly-rimmed eyes. Her face was bright with excitement and as I kissed her cheek lightly. I was in absolute awe of this new beginning that would most certainly bring so much of joy for her and their new daughter. Aadam’s wish. The light that he had left behind for Khawlah, and we will definitely always remember him by.

And as my heart settled into a lull of contentment, it was just at that very moment when my eye caught sight of our dear Aunty Radiyyah who found her way in from outside, pausing to greet her son affectionately, and almost as if in a hurry, her slightly strained walk slowing her down as she made  her way through to the back of kitchen.

I stepped back to watch from afar because this moment was a moment I was waiting for. This was going to be something that I was going to definitely not miss.

And as she caught sight of Aunty Radiyyah, I could see that there was nothing more that Khawlah wanted to do except silently bury her face in her shoulder, because there really were no other words… but Aunty Radiyyah merely kissed her forehead, held her hand briefly and as I wondered what was going on, she was already on her way to the other side of the kitchen when I realized just how beautiful this woman was, inside and out. It was the fiercest embrace yet, and as the two of them tearfully sank into each other’s arms, it was the most emotional thing so far when she comforted Rubeena as she sobbed away once again. Khawlah made her way up to them too and with another heartfelt exchange, it all just ended up being a blabbering of heartfelt emotions that felt like coming home. For that moment, everything seemed to fit together again, as they held on to each other, almost for dear life.

Bittersweet were the moments of life that were embroidered with sorrow yet intertwined with such immensely comforting joys… where the clarity of Allah’s promise would come through.. where only His words could describe the astounding ease that comes after so much of hardship..

“Barakallah Wa Lakuma wa Barakah … Alaykuma… Wa Jama’ah Bayna Ku Ma Fee Khair…”

And as she entered with those words, a beautiful elder lady who as I looked at her, I instantly realized who she was. Her Arabic was fluent and spectacular, and as she said it, my heart just contracted at the sentiment of it all.

“May Allah bless everything for you two..
And shower His blessings upon the two of you…
And may He bring you together…
In everything that is good…”

Oh, how I prayed for an eternity of happiness for them. My heart still ached for her every unfulfilled desire to be fulfilled. I yearned for her that she would have chosen the best once again. For her spouse to be the most soothing coolness of her eyes. Oh, how I desperately wished for her marriage to be a one of innumerable blessings, more than she had ever envisioned before…

And yes, it wasn’t going to be the most perfect. Sometimes relationships that start afresh were so much easier. Maybe the task that Khawlah and Khalid were heading for was somewhat arduous. This journey of sorts… it would be no walk in the park. Maybe every first wouldn’t really be the first. There might be struggles. Hopes. Expectations filled and dashed.

And yes, although I believed sincerely in fate and Taqdeer, I also believed that we do, ultimately choose those things that we were fated to choose. This love that she chose… the love that triumphed over any other feeling you could ever encompass… the love that was meant not for now.., but for eternity… that love was far greater than anything that could ever come in their way.

Love for Allah’s pleasure… which in this case was a love that was based on many many years of sharing hopes and dreams and appreciation of Allah’s creation that went far beyond just the imagination of a little child… It was something that some people will live their whole lives, never to reach it. It’s a place where fairytales are real and happily ever after does exist. Where every piece within them that was once broken, is now seemingly fixed. It’s a place where they could finally finish that beautiful story that had begun all those years ago… and give it a brand new life in a brand new context…

“Hey babe.”

I turned to look at my husband as he watched me. Jameel behind me with a sleeping Muhammed on his shoulder. I planted a kiss on my sons cheek and glanced up at my husband.

”Why the tears?” He asked softly, looking a bit worried.

I smiled as he frowned, contemplating as he leaned next to me, watching me from the corner of his eye.

”Its happened,” I sighed happily, leaning on his shoulder.

“I’m so happy for your sister.”

I nodded and brushed away the tears. I was too. I really was.

“Make Duaa for my sister too,” he said softly.

I swallowed and glanced at him. He didn’t talk about it much but I knew that he desperately wanted his sister to settle down soon. I really wished she would too..

”Amazing how Allah gives us second chances, isn’t it?”

Jameel smiled almost knowingly .

”I think we all deserve a second chance,” he said softly as he pecked me on the forehead, and I couldn’t help but feel that there was a hidden meaning behind his words.

Ah yes, we certainly did.

Sometimes we just need another chance to make things work. Sometimes we need some time to prove ourselves again. Sometimes love too, gives us another chance to have a go at it.

The overall fitrah of this world is weaved with exhaustion. And no matter how far we have come, there are always some extremely difficult words to say, even in the best situations.

Sometimes we wish to sleep so we can forget. Sometimes we wish to forget so we can sleep. But the thing about life is that when we are able to change our focus and look at a world that’s beyond now… then nothing, not even the hurt that burdened you, the anguish that broke you… not the loss that left you with a hole in your gut.. not even the aching pangs in the middle of the darkest of nights or the screams that are trapped within your soul…

Nothing will deter you.  And all that hoping and overlooking and focusing on what’s meant to last is so worth it because at the end of it all, a time will come when nothing but the Aakhirah will occupy your world. Everything that you want now… everything that you are consuming yourself with at present, and everything that you are working toward for this world… everything will end and cease and become extinct.

Every new becomes old. Every novelty will change to monotony. Every joy will come to pass. When you truly understand that with Duniyaa, there is always a time limit to everything, but this journey of love that you embark on… this Jannah that you build as a couple with is an investment that will await you even long after everything else in this transitory world has been done and dusted.

When we turn our gaze towards Jannah, we will never be disappointed. Because that’s exactly how we pictured it, knowing that right then, even though Aadam’s leaving us had shot straight through our hearts, the beautiful Jannah that we were certain that Allah had prepared for him was a gift more precious than anything we could ever desire…

And so it happened again… amidst a life that held much uncertainty, but with a deep knowledge that even with every ache and pain in this life, there is an eternal life that was going to not only obliterate, but supercede this one…

No matter what had hurt us or happened to bring us here… the building of this eternal love was a lesson for every single one of us to take…

Dearest Readers,

Shukran for the direction… I will definitely try to fulfill those million requests *just kidding*… *ducks behind couch* 

On a more serious note, I really appreciate everyone reading and commenting and even fearing how they will miss these characters… honestly they have become somehow like people I know but the bonus is that we can always go back and read about them when we are feeling a little nostalgic ❤️

Please tolerate my delayed posts, I just want to round this up the best way I can and try and make it a good ending… InshaAllah 

Much Love,

A xx

Just a little something I came across on the Sunnah of Tolerance..


How many times have we blatantly disobeyed Allah Ta‘ala, yet how many of His invaluable bounties do we still enjoy? Perhaps years have passed with some people failing to perform even the fardh salaah, yet Allah Ta‘ala still feeds them, clothes them, allows them to enjoy good health, and if they raise their hands and cry to Him in earnest, begging forgiveness, then He will not only readily forgive them but even erase every record of the sin!
Hence, let us resolve to try and show people tolerance, just as we enjoy tolerance from Allah Ta‘ala. If we tolerate the harm of people for the sake of Allah Ta‘ala, He will reward us greatly, in this world and the next.

Tolerance – a beautiful Sunnah 

Allah Taa’ala loves tolerance.
Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Abbas RA narrates that Nabi SAW said to the
leader of the Abdul Qays tribe: “You possess two traits that are
beloved to Allah, tolerance and deliberation (non – impulsive).”
Sahih Muslim Vol 1 Pg 35

How easy to practice …











Twitter: @ajourneyjournal






Once Again

Bismihi Ta’ala


In a soulful place where the sun and sky meet, whilst nature embraces one glorious heartbeat, there is, within that miracle, a deep message for mankind. With the smile of the horizon, each new  spark of daylight tells a tale.

Its a reminder to us hopeless hearts. A soothing for the surrendered soul. No matter how much the darkness was, no matter how intense, it’s a prompting that there’s a hope for every sinner or broken heart. Not matter how daunting or impossible… the One in control, the One in charge… the Rabb of the universe is going to prove once again- again and again- Who gives the ultimate hope. That no matter how long the night may seem, that according to His command, the sun will certainly show its splendor once again.

And as I grew, in my semi- blissful youth, I learned what is obvious to a child, only through the beauty of creation. Through the time that passed by. Through adventure that consumed my days. I learnt that life is simply a collection of little lives, each lived one day at a time. That each day was best be spent finding beauty in flowers and gardens and talking to animals. That a day spent with sunrises, refreshing breezes and dreams of Jannah cannot be easily bettered. That even after a really dark night, where the shadows of the past haunted me and vicious demons would break my spirit, the glorious sunshine was still, once again in the waiting to reveal its splendor.

But as Allah says in the Glorious Quran, what I didn’t yet know was that sublime Jannah is not attained solely by ones wishful thinking. What I didn’t know then was that there was much work to be done. Much pain to be relieved. Many trials to be overcome. More work than I had encompassed as a little mind to achieve that destiny. And then only, once it is all achieved- will it fall away to reveal a glorious pot of gold at the end of a rainbow that came after a storm.

And that’s what my feelings were, maybe a little prematurely, as I entered the room to see Yunus, Khalid and Khadijah in the sitting room waiting for me. Yes, I had hopes. Maybe more hopes than I should have, because when I saw them, two peas in a pod, with Yunus watching from afar, for a second I couldn’t help but think how natural they looked as they were.

“Khadijah,” I said to her, not entirely steadily as I entered the lounge. “Can you ask Yunus Mama to read for you?”

My daughter was perched on Khalid’s lap, and the two of them were busy reading a storybook about going to Madrassa. It was actually a little cute, also  strangely amusing if my daughter wasn’t being so persistent.

”But he’s my friend,” she insisted, holding her book up to prove it to me. “We’re reading.”

I pursed my lips, not meeting Khalid’s eye as yet. There were still so many things on my mind. So many questions I had yet to ask.

And I wanted to hug Yunus, because being Yunus, he calmly picked my daughter up and the two of them retired to the corner couch as I watched them. I looked at my baby brother and smiled. I was glad he didn’t leave me alone. Being here… with Khalid when there was so much on my mind… I wasn’t sure what I was capable of saying.

And for some reason, I couldn’t even bring myself to look at him. My mind was running away with me.

There were many things that I didn’t understand. That I couldn’t place. That I was scared to look for the answers to. I wanted to ask him why he didn’t tell me about the house all this time. I clasped my hands together to stop them from trembling, willing then to stop betraying me.

He still wasn’t looking at me, and even as I looked up, there was no chance that I would form audible words.

“I heard what you want to do with the house,” he said kindly. Formally. His voice sounded like I remembered, but his tone was different. It was expected.  “My father thinks it’s amazing.”

I swallowed and looked down, feeling self-conscious. His way of talking, his emotion.., his presence was still the same. Still the same as I always remembered.

I wanted to ask him what he thought.

”I want you to have it,” he said, almost as if he could sense my thoughts.

My head shot up as he said it. But I didn’t want that.

”I don’t want it for free,” I said stubbornly, suddenly finding my own voice.

Yunus looked at me as I said it. Was I being rude?

Why was I such a vicious warrior? It was like I couldn’t stop my heart from rebelling. No matter what I feel… it had to surface with a shield.

“I want a part in it too,” he said, running his hand through his dark beard and placing some papers on the table. He looked slightly uncomfortable.

He was giving it to me? 

”I won’t accept it-“

I couldn’t. Was this what my father wanted me to speak to him about? 

He stopped as I spoke.

“You won’t?”

I sensed a disappointment in his voice.

”I can’t,” I said, my voice a little softer. Less rigid.

”I didn’t want to make this about money,” he said quietly. “It doesn’t matter to me, but I can’t even place a value to it. But Khawlah, what you have in mind for the place is worth so much more. And many people may plan to do good, but not many people truly take that step to attain it. When a slave takes a step towards a good deed according to his capacity then first, there is help from Allah Ta’ala… So even if he is not able to accomplish his deed the reward will definitely be received…“

I swallowed as he said it. I wondered if he knew that it was Aadam’s dream. Hows Aadam had always aspired to achieve such rewards.

My mind had, countless times, tried to imagine the two of them meeting. What they had said. How they had communicated. I could still not fathom it.

”It’s such a beautiful place,” I said, now knowing that he had a great hand in getting it to where it was.

”It is,” he said, and I remembered how he had stopped me from going in before. “I just never expected you to ever enter it. You were always so terrified of it.“

He shifted uncomfortably as he said it. Maybe it was the mention of the past. Of the childhood that seemed to lurk somewhere within us. Of the memories under the trees, in the summers that none of us ever forgot.

“I never thought I’d go in either,” I said, concealing a smile. If he knew Nusaybah he would understand. I was trying every trick in the book not to.

”But you did…”

His voice trailed off as he said it, almost as if he wasn’t sure to continue.

I shrugged and looked away. So this was it. He wanted me to take the house, and make it into what I always dreamt it to be. It was an extraordinary gesture, no one could doubt.

Was it time to thank him and go on? I looked at the papers he had left on the table as he took a step back, gathering them together.

And just when I thought it was time for me to take them and turn away, almost as if on second though, Khalid spoke again.

“But you went in,” he said again, almost as if he was recovering from something. “And I can’t help but think that it was meant for you, in some completely unexpected way to see it… and it’s only when it happened then I began to think that every thing that already happened was all in the plan…. and even me being here right now is what was meant to be… because if only we knew, we can’t even begin to imagine how Allah sets aright our affairs in the most unexpected ways..”

I looked at him, slightly speechless as he said it, wondering how even after all these years, Khalid still sounded the same. Same kind of faith. Same belief in the plan of Allah. Same kind of hope that was so infectious…

“And I know we’re trying to figure out exactly what happened when and how we need to fix it,” he stammered, almost in a rush. “Im sure you have a lot to ask. And I have a lot to say… but we’ve waited this long…”

Oh yes. The questions I had now were consuming me. I wished I could pull myself together and just say it, but I didn’t want to be so candid.

”Waited for what?” I asked, playing it cool. If only I could still my hammering heart.

”I want you to have it because it was always meant for you,” he said, his voice now a little more confident. Hopeful. “One day I had a desire to show it to you… but I wanted it to be done the right way. I always had that intention to make this right, but I never once took the step. Well, not like how I’m supposed to. When my father spoke to me about the offer, it taught me something that I had forgotten…”

My heart thudded in my chest as he said it, and just as the foundation of a fortified building is suddenly compromised, I felt like every wall that I had built around me was just crashing to the ground. Every barrier… every shield I had put up… was all in vain as I remembered that once upon a time, there was once a promise that Khalid had made, and it was all so clear to me.

“We were just a couple of kids,” I said softly, hoping it would justify it. We didn’t know any better.

But no one said the words that were hanging in the air. We were just a couple of kids.

But we really did love one another, didn’t we?

“Maybe I was wrong,” he said softly, regret filling his eyes as he looked at me for the first time. We were. We were wrong. “Maybe I expected too much. Maybe it was the wrong time. But I was hoping that maybe now…”

I looked at him, taking in that familiar face that had brought so much of joy and hope as a young girl and the openness that was on his face as he tried to relay to me exactly what he was feeling. Exactly what we needed to hear.

”And I’ve racked my brains trying to find a way to make this right, and everything only points me to one.”

And he didn’t have to say it. I already knew what he meant. There aren’t many ways to set a wrong right. Sometimes we just have to take it by the ears and dive right in. Sometimes we have to just take the plunge, because sometimes it’s that single dive that can stop you from drowning. Sometimes when you take that one step to rectify something, there are doors of opportunity that open up.

I braced myself for a whirlwind of emotion as he finally met my gaze, and like the rain that would come after a scorching day… the mercy that poured down on us was a relief from what seemed like an eternal drought. And as everything that had seemed to have fallen apart previously had  eventually come together that very day, I couldn’t have ever foreseen how drastically my life had changed in just a matter of hours.

He was right. Khalid would have it no other way. Where was the point in waiting around if we knew that this was what was meant to happen no matter how much we tried run away from it.

And I wasn’t sure what I owed it to but when I looked at that day, thinking back to it with torrents of emotion and the slightest bit of humor at how things had magically turned around, I still could not fathom how easy things had turned out only because we decided to do it the right way. Only because we had taken that courageous step.

And as I narrated the events over the phone that night to my best friend, I couldn’t help but feel my heart lift as a weight that I had been carried seemed to ease. Suddenly, it was like all the pain and heartache and loss of the past was dwindling away, absorbing itself into the backdrop of my life, making way for unexpected sunrises and impending dreams.

“You’re joking,” Nusaybah bellowed into the phone as I held it away from my ear. “This can’t be happening. It couldn’t have happened already! Not now! No, no, no!”

”Nusaybah,” I chided gently.  “Listen to me. Please don’t rush home-“

”Dont rush home?!” She almost screamed. “Don’t rush home?!”

I literally had to place the phone about 15cm away from my ear as she said it. Of course she was inconsolable.

”You can not possibly be serious!” She yelled. “This is the biggest news for my friend in years and you’re telling me not to rush home!”

I could see Khalid looking at me from where he stood, as he and Ahmed stepped into the lounge. They were both waiting for me. I signaled for them to wait as I turned my face to conceal my smile.

Ahmed looked at me questioningly as I turned back to them. They had just come in from the Masjid and I knew that there was still much to sort out but for now – I was completely at ease. For now there was no rush. The important part was done.

”Listen, Nusaybah,” I said softly into the speaker. “Maulana is here so-“

”Oh, so now that he’s your husband he’s be become ‘Maulana’,” Nusaybah hissed into the phone. “Ugh! You just wait till I get there missy. This has to be perfect! You just wait, let me tell Faheem to book the flight now. Faheem. FaheemFaheem!”

I could hear her shouting as I hastily cut the call and looked up at Ahmed and Khalid sheepishly.

“Tomorrow evening,” I said, knowing that my friend was going to make some plan to get here by then. Somehow, I just had a feeling that she was going to get the better of my cousin. Honestly speaking, not many people had a chance against Nusaybah. There was no one else that I really wanted to be there. A small event with loved ones after the impromptu Nikah was all I would need.

I smiled as I thought about my friend, quite looking forward to her arrival the next day. I knew she would probably be reminding me about how I was running away from something that was bound to happen. And of course, she was right. Maybe I knew it then, but I knew it for sure now. The thing is, you would be surprised as to what is waiting to walk in to your life, once you learn to stop running. Because that’s what humans do, we run. We run from one thing to another. But once you stop, you begin to feel more. You begin to understand, what is meant to be and what is meant to run away.

And like we see in many of the amazing stories of Sahabah, it is achingly true that even though our Rabb may take something away from us during our lifetime, there is always a promise that Allah will never deprive us without recompense. It’s part of who we know our Lord to be. A caring and compassionate Guardian. A loving and merciful Creator who hears our cries. And as my mind wrapped around everything that had occurred, I couldn’t unite believe how Allah had worked my plan in such a way that he replaced every heartbreak with something so much more promising. With Mama’s passing, somehow, it had drawn me closer to Aunty Radiyyah, when Khalid had gone away, Allah had then brought Nusaybah into my life. With Foi Nani‘s leaving this world, It was around the same time when Aadam came into mine, bringing with him a hope and a light that had lasted me so much longer than I had ever imagined. And with Aadam’s fatal sickness, Allah had, in His wisdom, brought the miracle I had found in Khadijah. And yes, it was Allah knew my heart. Only Him. He knew that some day, maybe I might be a little more aspirational. He knew that someday my fortified heart may open up again.

And as Ahmed left the room and I turned to face him, I was pretty much blown away by the events that today had held for us. And yes, there was a certain comfort in the contours of his face. In his gentle smile and steely eyes. There was something about this fierce guy who I had once taken as my best friend, and never quite forgotten. He reached over and touched my hand, hesitantly, amazed that after all these years had somehow, although much had changed… so much had also stayed the same.

The ties that bind us are sometimes impossible to explain. They connect us even after it seems like the ties are broken. Some bonds are so strong… that they even defy time, distance and logic. And as I looked up at him, once again, I realized that maybe … some ties are just meant to be.

It doesn’t matter where you’ve gone, and how far you’ve been,  it doesn’t even matter how much you’ve been spun around and hung or left to dry. It’s all about how you come up for air. I could positively say that I had my fair share of grief and that many seasons of my life had not gone as  planned. That somehow, my story didn’t go the way I expected it to be penned… but in the end of it all, with Sabr and Shukar, it is Allah’s promise that there is a sun that’s waiting to rise, after even the darkest of nights.

Indeed, after every hardship there is ease. Ease, ease and more ease.

And like Allah commands the light to to rise even after the blackness, as I looked at him, just for a fleeting moment, a tiny wisp of time that hung in the air like fireflies in summer skies, I wondered if I was in love once again.

Dearest Readers

My sincerest apologies for my constant delays. I am planning one more post, (of course, with more details on the Nikah!) but as I thought about what to pen, I thought it would be great to hear from you lovely ladies about what exactly you would like to read… Just so I can make sure to tie up all the loose ends and questions that are hanging in the air. I’d also like to say a heartfelt JazakAllah to ever one of you for reading or commenting (or both!) and hopefully taking some lesson that hit home. May Allah accept it as a means of His recognition and so that we may use something mentioned here to gain closeness to Him… me first!

Please do remember this sinful writer in your Duáas

Much Love,

A xx

Tolerance – a beautiful Sunnah 

Allah Taa’ala loves tolerance.
Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Abbas RA narrates that Nabi SAW said to the
leader of the Abdul Qays tribe: “You possess two traits that are
beloved to Allah, tolerance and deliberation (non – impulsive).”
Sahih Muslim Vol 1 Pg 35

How easy to practice …











Twitter: @ajourneyjournal







Just Imagine

Bismihi Ta’ala


Much like a blind person cannot possibly see or describe colors accurately in this world, a person cannot possibly imagine the bounties, the beauties, and the pleasures of Paradise. It said that these are so great, so vast, so pure, so astonishing, that it is beyond the abilities of a person’s mind to understand; thus, as the Qur’an explains- no heart or mind can ever comprehend them.

Simply put, they have no relation to us, earthly creatures. No one will ever be able to fully understand or grasp the true realm of Paradise until they enter its bounds.

Jannah. Paradise. A place of hopes and dreams that often featured In my dialogues as a kid. And many a time, as a young girl, I never could understand this. I could never fully grasp these immense delights that have no basis of comparison in the earthly realm.
But to a kid who is curious and mindful, for something to be beyond the imagination is somewhat unrelatable.

Nabi SAW: ‘Allah, the Exalted, has said: ‘I have prepared for my righteous slaves what no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and the mind of no man has conceived.’

As boisterous girl, I could not possibly come to terms with this. Being who I was, in my vivid and limitless imagination, always questioning, anything was possible.

But this, well. Why not? Why couldn’t I just close my eyes and imagine the eternal garden?

Of course, it was my favorite topic to drill Khalid about. Ever since he had, in his comforting way, told me to just imagine Jannah when I felt sad… well, that’s all I wanted to do. The only problem was that my childish and curious mind could not ever stop with the questions.

Just imagine that it’s meant for you,” Khalid had said softly. 

The gardens?” I said, hopeful. “Beautiful, green gardens with lots of flowers and plants and fruits-“

”No no,” Khalid said carefully with his lobsided smile. “There are better thing to look forward to in Jannah. Do you know that you never grow tired in Jannah? That nothing will ever end or finish? Do you know that everything delicious and amazing  will only increase with every passing moment?”

”Like the food?” I said, my tummy rumbling. I had only had a naartjie to snack on. “Come Khalid. Tell me about the food. What did your Papa say about that?”

”Ah Khawlah,” he said, his grey eyes dancing. “The food is on another level. It’s like all you have to do is think it… and it will fall directly into your lap…”

I giggled.

The people of Paradise… well, they could eat and drink whatever they wish. If they had to see a bird they wish to eat- without another thought- it would fall roasted between their hands with no effort on his or her part.

Cups will be served to them containing shiny rubies, pearls, and diamonds. Fruits will hang freely from trees and automatically lowered for its inhabits to enjoy whenever they desire.

“[They will be told], “Eat and drink in satisfaction for what you put forth in the days past” (Quran 69:24)

The clothes of Jannah will never wear out or age. The dwellers of Paradise will wear luxurious green silk. They will accessorize with the most exquisite jewelry. The mountains will be musk. Their bodies will never age…

I dangled my legs over the branch we sat on, now accustomed to its shakiness. If had been reinforced carefully by Khalid’s Papa as a perch on the tree.

Sometimes I wondered why I was so obsessed with Jannah. Why nothing I heard seemed to satiate me.

I didn’t understand that as humans, our nature was novelty. Sometimes I didn’t know what to do with my heart. It was always immersed in the fantasy.

“And those flowers, Khalid,” I said with wide eyes,  already mesmerized by my own childish imagination, moving onto the garden again. “Can you imagine the colors… the smell?”

He nodded eagerly.

Even flowers, Khawlah,” he said excitedly. “They say people in Jannah will even wear the clothes of flowers, beautiful and scented… wrapped around them. And as they walk, the flowers will change, the colours will change… as they wear it, it will keep evolving…”

But Khalid,” I said abruptly, cutting him short. “How on earth can people wear flowers?!”

He looked at me for a few seconds, almost as if he was thinking about what I said. And then, without warning of course, he titled his head back in that oh-so-familiar way, opened his mouth to show his white teeth, and let out a rumble of heart-felt laughter, just like his mother always did.

As funny as he thought I was, I wasn’t in the least amused.

One again, I wanted to reach my hand out and knock him with the stick jutting out from below me, but I was too afraid to let go of the branch to grab it. It was already violently shaking from his hilarious laughter, and I frowned at him reproachfully as he chuckled away, obviously peeved at his response.

“Thats the thing, Khawlah,” he said, still smiling a me, even as I frowned at him with disdain. “We wont be on earth!.”

“Oh yes,” I said blandly, feeling stupid as he grinned again, left it at that as he expertly climbed down the tree, as if it was the most natural thing to do. It was, after all, the branch of the highest tree in the yard, but Khalid had by then mastered it.

And as I looked up at that tree again, from the back porch, I wondered, not entirely appropriately if Khalid, with his now able-bodied frame could still climb up it.

I quickly averted my mind as I heard her laughter, and even as I looked at the lovely woman who had no doubt been a very prominent part of Khalid’s life in Egypt, there was no doubt that her infectious laughter was most heart warming. It was exactly like Khalid’s and his mothers.

Aunty Radiyyah was smiling too as I watched, loving how much Khalid’s granny was talking and how excited she was to see me. I could only imagine that Aunty Radiyyah must have only told her the good things.

The thing was, all this time, I just could not admit to myself that maybe I hadn’t always been sincere to me. Maybe, in my naivety, I didn’t realise the impact that  my choices would make. Maybe I was too young to take it seriously. Maybe when Khalid had told me to wait for him, he really did mean it.

And of course, I couldn’t help but let my mind wonder, even as I sat there. Of course, back then when there was so much of Khalid in my heart, I came to real side that maybe there would still be a piece where it would always remain.

Glancing at my phone, I knew I had to ask Yunus to ask him.

Ask Khalid about the house, I typed. About the garden. Tell him it’s important.

For some reason I could not let that place go. I knew that it was just Duniyaa but somehow It was imprinted on my mind. I had to know whose it was and I had to let him know that I had seen it you. It had brought back too many memories of the past. It brought back so much of what I had forgotten.

And the thing was, I supposed that if Aadam had not come along and changed the course of my life, and everyone else’s as he had, I might have still accepted it. I might have still been waiting for Khlaid to save the day. I might have still hoped, even after the news that had broken our hearts, that maybe Khalid was still alive. It was just that so much had changed. My dreams. My hopes. My perception and view of myslef too, and how everyone else saw me.

The thing was, I wasn’t the naive Khawlah anymore. I had been through so much. I’d seen so much. I also knew that now that I had been a wife and become a mother, I might have changed for Khalid too.

I understood completely that even if he had still had a hope all these years, after learning about my marriage and the man who I had loved wih my entire heart, he too might have changed. It was no longer black or white. There was now a kaleidoscope of colour that had found it’s way into my spectrum and I had no choice but to sift my way through the colours and decide which type of rainbow I wanted over my life.

Getting into the car after greeting Aunty Radiyyah and Jedda, as they called her, we had just pulled out of the driveway when I turned to Yunus, hardly able to bear the anticipation any longer.

“What did he say??”

I asked the question and Yunus barely looked at me, shrugging nonchalantly.

I didn’t know until later that it was the most difficult thing he had to ever do, concerning me.

Right, I thought, quite flustered.

I looked at him, and as he glanced away, I knew he had seen the hurt in my eyes. He had seen it, yet still he said nothing, and for me, as we reached home and hopped off the car, it was the final straw.

Yes, I was hurt. Hurt, but I understood. Feeling more stupid than ever that I had put myself out there and had been met with nothing but indifference. That finally, when I wanted to kmow more… when my heart was opening up a little more, I had been crushed like an ant. Maybe I deserved it. Maybe he felt that I had let him down. How could Khalid just ignore my question?

And feeling the way I was feeling that day, all battered and out of sorts, still thinking she was at Ahmed’s place, I barely expected my daughter to come bouncing toward me as I entered, all energetic and full of life, saying she had to bake a chocolate cake right now because she had promised her Dada that last week.

That was just kids. Things just suddenly dawn upon them. They didn’t see beyond their own fancies. They were immune to our emotions because they couldn’t comprehend why anyone wouldn’t want to do something that seemed so fun to them. It was just that for me, it was the worst timing because all I really wanted to do was curl up under my lilac duvet, close my eyes and wait for the next morning to arrive. The emotions that day had been exhausting.

“Khadoo, please,” I said, swallowing my sentiments, and turning to my daughter with my hands clasped. “Please can we bake Dada’s cake tomorrow?”

She shook her head vehemently. She was taking nothing as an excuse.

“But he wanted it today,” she insisted, banging her one foot on the ground. Like she even had any concept of time.

“I promised him. He will feel so sad if he doesn’t have anything for tea.”

She had a morose look on her face that immediately made me feel guilty. It was time to put on the big-girl pants and be a real mummy to my sweet daughter.

And indeed her Dada would. Though my mother-in-law barely approved, Aadam’s father had a definite sweet-tooth that was getting even more demanding with age.

I sighed as I looked at the time, realising that I did have a half hour to spare before Asr and would have to leave my nap out. I would make this as speedy as possible. Even though my heart was barely in it, I speedily took out the ingredients for Zuleikha’s flop-proof cake and starting throwing them into my favourite baking bowl.

Hey!” My daughter moaned bossily. She sounded just like her father sometimes.

”What?!” I said innocently, looking up at her one cheek that was dimpled angrily at me as she pursed her lips.

“You didn’t say Bismillah!” she said in a bossy voice. “And you’re going too fast. I want to mix!”

I smiled at her and shook my head, making sure we said a huge Bismillah before we started again. Indeed it was the recipe for success.

Caught up in my own emotions, I was even forgetting Allah in the process. Sometimes children just had a way to put things into perspective for me. How often it is that we get so involved on our troubles that we even forget the One who is in charge of it all?

“Me, meee!” She squealed. “I want to do!

I was honestly over it and we weren’t even quarter way through. Every step was taking ten times longer and I took a sharp breath in as a tried to comfort myself. Tolerance was a most beloved trait to Allah but it was definitely something that I was not doing well with recently.

Khadijah wasn’t impressed with me as she watched me go through the remaining steps in fast-forward. I was barely giving her a chance to do anything else and I knew I wasn’t being fair to her, but today I was just to absorbed in my own issues to even think otherwise.

I could hear the voice in my heard telling me that I had to stop. To slow down. To take this in and enjoy the moment. My mind was overworking. Was my behaviour so terrible? Was I being ungrateful? I had been given so much that Allah had blessed me with. I had the best of everything, and Allah had brought to me such a point that I barely even felt my losses any more.

The truth was, realistically, I felt that I didn’t deserve to be any more than I was now. I didn’t deserve to be more happy. I didn’t deserve to find love again. Aadam was everything I had ever wished for and more… so why should I even feel entitled to anything more? Why did I even have the right to be upset about any further wishes going unanswered?

I sighed as I scooped the micture into a big roud tin, letting Khadijah have the bowl so she would grace me with her silence. Like her father, when it came to certain things, she was really persistent… but as soon as her mouth was busy something, I was glad to get some quiet time. I set a timer and checked the oven temperature, glad to be over with the task for now as I wiped the counter.

My goodness. I couldn’t help but think that I was a horrible mother.

Mothers and daughters were supposed to enjoy this type of thing. Baking together. Bonding in the kitchen. I could barely wait for it to be over. And just as guilt overcame me and my turbulent emotions had settled, I bent down to kiss my daugher on the forehead as i put her down, surprised to see Abba entering the kitchen just as I dusted the flour from Khadijah’s clothes off my own. I wasn’t sure how but somehow, with my daughter, we both always ended up a frighful mess.

“Assalamualaikum Abba” I said aloud, wiping the batter off my cheek. Was there anywhere that didn’t have cake batter?

”Some tea?” I asked, already putting on the kettle. Abba never said no for tea.

Khadijah had already given Abba a quick hug and ran off to get her story books. There were times when she was quite tiring and did not stop with constantly needing to be busy.

”Khawlah,” my father said, taking a seat at the table and looking at me as I put the final dishes in the sink and started with his tea.

I turned to look at him questioningly. Abba had grayed a lot in the past three years. I watched him curiously as he picked up Dada’s paper and then put it down again.

“Jhee Abba,” I answered, a little worried.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Abba and I spoke. As much as Ahmed and I spoke. Which wasn’t very much. Abba and Ahmed just had that typical manly steak of independence that didn’t really give anyone a chance to strike up a conversation with them. It was just the way they were and I accepted it. Actually, I quite enjoyed the comfortable silence most times.

”Khawlah,” he said again, swallowing and then looking up at me. “Are you happy here?”

I frowned at Abba as he said it. Did I come across as unhappy?

”Of course,” I said to him quietly.

”Are you sure?” He asked again.

”I am,” I said, nodding. “How could I not be? This is my home.”

”I know,” he said carefully, pulling at his graying beard. Abba was visibly aging, but he still looked like my Abba. He was, after all, only forty-eight.

“Then why did you put an offer for another house?”

Ah. The house.

I picked the mug of tea up carefully and placed it in front of him. I wonder how he knew.

”Abba, it wasn’t a real offer,” I said casually, sitting opposite him. “I mean, not to stay in.”

”Listen, if you and Khadijah need to leave, it’s okay,” he said. “You don’t need to make excuses. You don’t have to stay here for the your rest of your life. Dada and I will be okay.”

”Abba,” I said, narrowing my eyes at him. “Who’s going to make your tea? Are you thinking of marrying again?”

I mean, I had to ask him. Even if it was just for fun. My father was, according to most, still good-looking. Relatively young. Doing well for himself once again.

Abba smiled.

”Death is hardest on the living,” he said quietly. “Sometimes when people pass away, they take a part of us with them. Your mother… Khawlah…”

Abba stopped himself and glanced up at me, and I could see the raw emotion in his eyes. It was unbelievable. Even after all these years, the pain of her loss was almost exactly as pungent for him as it was fourteen years ago.

“That ache in your gut when you realize that you’ll never hear them again,” he said softly. “The loss is something that you never stop feeling, no matter how many years may go by. It doesn’t get easier. I haven’t met anyone who can live up to her.”

I swallowed, trying to stop myself from tearing up. He was right. So right.

I knew that Abba kept Mama on a pedestal but I barely blamed him. And of course I could relate to him on so many levels…

“Allah has given me so much,” he said quietly.

I looked at him, slightly bewildered. He didn’t say ‘had’. He was talking about the present. He wasn’t referring to his favors as the past. He knew that everything that had already happened  was still a bounty for him. An ever- living bounty that had effects that still poured on him to this day. How grateful.

Verily, your Lord is Ever Watchful (over them).

As for man, when his Lord tries him by giving him honour and gifts, then he says (puffed up): “My Lord has honoured me.”

But when He tries him, by straitening his means of life, he says: “My Lord has humiliated me!”

(Surah Fajr)

Yes, man is continuously complaining. Ungrateful. Unseeing. But to open ones eyes, to remain grateful, content and continue to praise Allah despite every situation… that was a beauty in itself.

”Not everyone is as lucky as we are Khawlah,” he smiled. “To have tea-makers like you. At my age, that’s all I really need.”

I smiled.

”Then I don’t think I can go anywhere,” I said, contented with Abba’s conclusion and dismissing the niggliness in the back of  my mind.

”Hmmm,” Abba said, clearing his throat and looking at me. “Looks like we’ll have to start training Yunus up with the tea.”

I frowned slightly, wondering what he was talking about.

”There’s someone to see you here about that house,” he said casually.

Oh. That was how he knew.

Wait. The house. The house.


It was Khadijah’s excited voice that rang out from the passage and my heart literally froze in my chest and I registered what it meant.

KHALID?! Khalid was there? I mean… Khalid was here?! No, it couldn’t be.

Abba gave me a wry smile as he registered my expression.

”Just imagine,” he said softly, winking at me sipping his tea once again. “But I think he wants to talk to you about something else too.”

Tolerance – a beautiful Sunnah 

Allah Taa’ala loves tolerance.
Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Abbas RA narrates that Nabi SAW said to the
leader of the Abdul Qays tribe: “You possess two traits that are
beloved to Allah, tolerance and deliberation (non – impulsive).”
Sahih Muslim Vol 1 Pg 35

How easy to practice …











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