Until Tomorrow

Bismihi Ta’ala


My Ahmed, 

My eldest son. Second born. The apple of my eye. 

It’s your Nikah day and I’m sure you are on cloud nine right now. As I sit here on the rocker overlooking the window, I’m picturing it in my mind and I wish I could see your joy. The twinkle in your serious eyes. Maybe you’d give us a smile as you walked out the door. Maybe you’d smirk knowingly as you left home to begin your new life. Maybe just for a moment of unguarded freedom… you’d actually put your iron shield down…

It’s your moment of glory now now, and soon you’ll be embarking on a journey of your own. A journey unlike all you’ve known. A journey of life and love. A journey that will make you stronger in so many ways, yet will simmer you down in so many too.

Ahmedoo. You’ve always been my soldier. Unwavering. Unchanging. I love that most about you. Throughout my sickness I think it’s you that I’ve drawn the most strength from. You never showed me once how much it hurt.

But today, when I saw you sitting in your room, slumped over your books in grief… I wanted to tell you that I never knew that the pain was buried so deep. I never realized that even strong people could break. That even they have a empty gaps to fill.  That sometimes, it’s okay to open up your heart too.

As I pen this, with much on my mind and hope in my heart… knowing that you will read this on a day that love and joy will be overflowing… it gives me a great sense of relief. I know that this is a step you would never take until you were completely sure. I know already that there is no doubt in your mind that this is the right thing to do. 

I really hope that you have found the one. The one who leads you to the Eternal One. I hope you’ve found someone who breaks your armour. Who opens your heart. Who makes you dig to the darkest depths to explore the avenues of your soul that lead you to the Ultimate Love. I hope that, through this union, you’ve found Allah. 

There are many distractions along the way, but do remember that if we keep our focus on what’s everlasting, we can never go wrong. Remember that Allah doesn’t look at money or cars or houses. Remember that Allah looks only at one thing, and that’s a contented heart. A heart that is with Him. A heart that is at peace. Qalbun-Saleem. 

Remember that we grow through what we go though. We make mistakes. We learn our lessons, and then we find ourselves. All we need is a little patience… and lots of trust in Allah.

After everything, my son, whatever you’ve gone though… I truly hope that your heart is at rest. That you’ve found your peace. 

Please remember to make Du’aa in every moment that brings you joy. In any moment you may feel pain.  Please make a little Du’aa with your better half for me. Tell her that I would have been so thrilled that you’ve finally found her… 

Love you from the depths of my soul…

Much, much love,


A certain tranquility had overcome me as I watched my wife hold tightly onto the letter as I drove ahead… trying to relive those moments when everything felt okay. When all the pain was miles away. I was trying to transport my mind back to then. Back to when we were all thrilled and at ease with each other as we sat and spoke… really spoke… for the first time. As I got to know this woman who had become my new wife.

Till then, everything was perfect. 

”Mummy, was that Khawlah’s mother?”

I turned slightly towards Rubeena, tightening my grip on the steering as Dayyaan said it. She had her Tasbeeh counter in her hand and I could see her recording her Friday Durood as she tried hard not to say anything. I knew why.

I will still angry. So angry.

”Not her mother,” Danyaal said, and I could see him rolling his eyes in the rear view mirror. “Her stepmother. Remember her mother passed away when she was six.”

It felt like a tiny stab in my chest as he said it. That was my mother too. I was ten years old… 

”Like me!” Dayyaan said, sounding a big too thrilled about it for my liking.

I knew that I was being grumpy.
I couldn’t blame the child but my mood had become dampened due to recent events.
Aunty Nas had made an appearance and I knew exactly why she had come today.

I felt a warm hand on mine as I roughly changed the gears, forgetting for a moment that I had four kids in the car with me.

”Sorry,” I mumbled, glancing at Rubeena briefly and looking ahead. I had slowed down as we entered our first destination road. 

“It’s okay,” she said softly, squeezing my hand comfortingly. “I’m sure you must be upset…”

Upset was an understatement. I was furious.
I held my piece for a minute as the kids jumped off as their grandparents house, waving at us as we said we’d see them later.

Although Rubeena had insisted they would be fine with their grandparents for the night, I didn’t want to send them away, and I wanted her to understand. I wanted to set the tone from now. The children weren’t a burden. There was no reason to send them off just because I was there. I knew what it felt like when stepparents were shoving their step kids off and I never wanted these kids to feel that.

”Will they be okay?” I asked my wife, gesturing to the kids who were climbing up the stairs to the front door. “Must I go and see them in?”

She smiled as the door opened and they all waved, and I shifted into reverse once again.

”They’ll be okay,” she said. “They’re growing up now. Becoming so independent. Are you okay?”

I fixed my gaze ahead and shrugged as I reversed out, glancing in the rear view mirror to check for any cars.

“I understand if you don’t want to talk about it,” she said softly. “So much has happened today… that letter though. It just made my day. Your mother must have been amazing… beautiful too I’m sure…” 

My heart contracted slightly as she said it and immediately remembered my mother.

”Khawlah looks exactly like her,” I said, thinking of how Zuleikha and I fell on Abba’s side, with the olive skin tone and identical eye colour… and somehow Khawlah had nothing of Abba at all. Yunus too had his own unique look, that resembled my mother, but was somehow different to Khawlah. It was weird how genetics worked sometimes. 

I glanced at my wife, noticing her eyes filled with tears for the umpteenth time that day and I couldn’t help but grin. She was really something. Different to girls in my family. I had never experienced this before, but I found it quite amusing. I couldn’t believe that she had actually bawled when I showed her the letter. I found it strangely touching, even for a tough guy like me.

And yes, I  had almost forgotten about the letter. Almost. Thinking about it again now calmed me down. How Dada, in his old age had remembered to hand it to me today was beyond me. My mother obviously had a reason that she entrusted him with them. And then of course, Aunty Nas had barged in on us to dampen everyone’s spirits. 

If she wasn’t strutting around looking for attention, she was screaming her head off at something that had disgruntled her. I actually couldn’t believe that Abba had put up with her as long as he did. I couldn’t believe that we all did. I couldn’t believe that I did. I shuddered slightly as I remembered her eery voice. Somehow, in retrospect it was even scarier than it was at the time…

Ahmed.” She had took me aside one day and looked me in the eye. Her tone was kinder than usual. I narrowed my eyes at her, skeptical of her intentions. “I can read your eyes…. You have a lot of anger….”

I looked at her as if she was crazy. She was crazy. There was no doubt about it. Evil too. Of course I was angry. But what did she know about my anger? What did she know about me?

“There’s something I learnt in class today that I know will help you,” she said convincingly. “It’s good. Really good.”

I shook my head and shrugged her off, her determined not to get involved in her crazy ambitions. I didn’t know that she had been attending those arb ‘emotional healing classes’ and I wasn’t sure where she was coming from. When I looked back, it was when I realized that this was the precise time when Aunty Nas was starting to change.

And I got why she targeted me. I was a rough kid. Troubled. I knew I gave Abba a hard time. Everyone had said that I needed therapy. I was a problem. Eventually, I gave in. I had little choice. I thought if she focused on me she’d leave my sisters alone. She wanted to teach me about her new techniques. She said I could be her assistant, and earn money. Money had always been a draw-card for me.

Yes, and I didn’t realize what I was getting into. She asked me things that no-one had ventured into. She had a way of making it seem like meager small talk, as she spoke. She delved into the past and said it will heal me. She had done various physical adjustments on my body, but right then, I knew nothing about boundaries. As a young kid who was on the brink of adolescence, what Abba didn’t realize was that Aunty Nas was a bit crazier than he had perceived.

And yes, I was all for giving people a chance and believing they could change, but to prove she hadn’t, she had barged into the house that evening, demanding to know why Khawlah had interfered in her daughters life, and promising to get her back for it. I knew why she had come here today. I knew that she wanted to stir things up… maybe even spoil my day. But was more confusing was her obsession with my new mother-in-law that no-one could figure out. The two seemed have some recent clashes, but never in a good way.

”Ahmed, are you listening?” 

I blinked and looked at Rubeena,  realizing that I had zoned out. I nodded guiltily. I was still lost in the past. I wanted to open up to her about everything. To tell her that I was messed up and abused and sometimes a little too intense, but after everything, it was so hard to speak about feelings.

”Really?!” She said, putting her hands on her hips as she stood outside the car. We had just reached her house and were venturing up the steps that lead to the door. “What did I say?”

”Err,” I attempted, wanting to laugh at her directness but feeling bad that I wasn’t listening. It wasn’t on purpose though. There were just so many things on my mind. Today was supposed to be one of the most important days of my life, but the unexpected visit had kind of rocked the boat. Plus my mind was troubled by Adam and his wavering health. I knew I needed to focus on my wife and being with her unreservedly, but I was mentally drained.

Ahmed, you can’t let this spoil your day,” she said, her expression softening. “I know there are things we are both worried about but let’s just be present, okay? I’ve been trying to explain this to you but I rather just hand it over now…”

She paused and watched me as I looked at her curiously, and then calmly handed me the keys to the house. I looked at them and then looked back at her a little hesitantly, not sure what she wanted me to do.

“I want you to be the one to open it,” she said simply. “It’s your house too. I don’t want you to feel awkward or out of place. You’re my husband. The man of the house. From today… well… this is our home.”

I took a step backwards as I fiddled with the keys, knowing that this was something we never spoke about. It was strange. My wife giving me a house. I didn’t even have the means to buy her a house. I felt like an invalid. I knew we would be living here but I didn’t realize how it would feel. I didn’t think that far ahead, but now I know that maybe I should have…

”Can we talk about this?” I asked, rubbing my temples and handing her back her keys. I couldn’t do it. I had to talk this out first. 

Money. I knew there’d come a time when we’d have to delve into this. I wasn’t rich like her previous husband. I didn’t have the means to give her whatever she desired. After Aunty Nas’s barging in today, the emotions were stronger than ever. The insecurities were overwhelming. 

After all… that’s what all the fights were about. That’s how it spiraled out of control. Money. In her skewed mindset, she said she was doing it for money. The first time Abba had found out about Aunty Nas’s business, there was a big fight. He had took most of it out on me because Aunty Nas wasn’t the type you could reason with. It was the catalyst to something that was long coming, so I left them alone. After her coaxing and convincing… I had been somewhat damaged. Something had been altered inside of me but I wanted to forget it.

To tell the truth, I was getting older and Abba was getting scared of me. I was becoming wild. That’s when our relationship died. He couldn’t talk to me. No one could. With Abba no longer able to get through to me, they started fighting about it. About us kids. About the house. About money. About her ‘business’. Aunty Nas left me alone. I would escape to catch up with the neighborhood guys. I got caught up. Everything was about money. It could kill the pain. At home. In the street. Guns, mafia and armour. Drug trades and small deals. I turned to vices to kill the demons. Money was always the draw card. I let it control my life because I thought that I had no other escape…

Then I met Ziyaad at the airport that day and my entire life changed. 

”Ahmed,” Rubeena said softly, as she looked at me expectantly. She was waiting for me to continue. I gazed at her, not really believing that this amazing woman had somehow become mine. I had been dreaming of this and now it was happening. She was right here.

I met her gaze steadily as she came towards me, catching me slightly off guard as she came closer, feeling myself automatically stiffen at her proximity. That was just me. Like a reflex, I closed up when I felt emotion. I felt my heart beat escalate in terrified anticipation, but all she did at that point was lean in to embrace me comfortingly, allowing the pain of the day to completely dissipate as found my arms around her and numbly held her back. Her slim body fitted perfectly. I was still scared to feel anything. I was still afraid to let go. Despite the letter and what my mother had said… loving someone unreservedly might be harder than I thought..

But I had to remember, I thought to myself, as I tightened my arms around her. We grow through what we go through. We learn from our mistakes. We let go of the past. Now it was different. Now I knew better. Now I understood that I couldn’t let my past control the future.

I pulled back to look at the beautiful and kind-hearted woman who stood before me, waiting for me to open up to her. This was my wife. With her there were no more barriers.

”Ruby,” I started, because I knew we had little time before the function and I needed at least some of what was on my mind…

She looked at me, her brow slightly furrowed.

I had things that I wanted to assure her of. Insecurities that I needed to address.

”Im happy where we are,” I said quietly. “But I don’t think that this situation is ideal. We can’t be living here indefinitely. It’s not my home. I don’t want us to have fights about money or the kids or what you do. I don’t want you to have to earn for yourself. Your family is my family. I want us to make our own memories. I want to live a different kind of life. Maybe even go abroad. Even though I can’t afford it right now, I have a plan to move to our own home and to support you and our family fully. I want those boys to grow up as mine and I want you to know that you can trust me, whenever you need to… and I’ll never let you-“

”Ahmed,” Rubeena said, cutting me off. “You don’t need to say all this. I know you’ll be a great husband and father but all this money stuff, it’s not about that…”

”You’re wrong Rubeena,” I said heatedly. We were still standing outside, and the keys had landed up somewhere on the bench.  “You may say it’s not about that but I worry. I worry that I won’t be able to provide for you. I worry that I might let you down. I worry that we’ll fight over money and become enemies. I know you haven’t had to worry about money your whole life… but I’m not a millionaire or a business whizz. I’m a simple guy who’s trying to earn his living… and to put it simply… what if I’m just not enough?”

”I don’t care about money!” She said, stepping back. Her brown eyes appeared darker as she glared at me. “Don’t you get it, Ahmed?! That’s exactly what your mother was saying. It’s about the heart. My heart is so happy… contented… She knew you so well… and I can’t believe she hit it on the head!”

“You said no once Rubeena,” I said quietly, shaking my head at her. It still hurt. “My mother was right but I felt like I lost the game with you. If I don’t step up… what if I lose you again… I don’t know -“

“That’s not what I married you for, silly,” she retorted angrily. “It’s never been about security! I was worried about other things. About my kids. About your age. About what everyone will say. Stupid things that don’t make sense but I worried about it because that’s how crazy I am. I’m sorry that you married a bit of a lunatic but you’ve met my mother and unfortunately it’s hereditary so there’s not much I can do about it!”

I looked at my wife through new lenses, fighting the urge to smile as she got up and paced in front of me, pausing suddenly and looking me in the eye. Her abaya was flowing behind her as she walked speedily, looking like a woman with a mission…

“It’s easy to talk,” she said, her tone lowering as she spoke. Her breathing was slightly heavy because she was worked up. “It’s easy to be all noble and say we do this for this reason and that for that reason. But we have a greater purpose here. Why we did this. We could have easily carried on with the Haraam. It would have been so much easier but we both knew it was wrong so we stopped. We could have been talking and developing deeper feelings for each other… getting into something that neither of us would have benefited from… but we made a choice for a deeper reason. Yes. We love Him, but we have to ponder and wonder and remind ourselves of what’s in our hearts. How are we going to maintain this relationship with Allah? Are our hearts filled with the reality of Allah? Is it completely trusting in Him? Yes, I’m scared. I have fears too. I worry too. I’m scared that I’ll mess up. I’m scared about my brother. I’m scared about my kids growing up and changing. But I don’t care where we live. I don’t care what we have. We can sell the house. We can live in a one-bedroom apartment. We can do whatever you’re happy with because I don’t care about any of it now. If there’s one thing I realized now after everything… after the hell with Shabeer and now  Adam’s sickness… We hold onto this life and money and cars so tightly even when there’s really no point to it….”

I was a little speechless as I digested her rant. Of course, because it was Rubeena, she obviously wasn’t done yet.

“Yes, we have to plan,” she continued, her voice a little softer. “But we have to plan for what’s eternal. We have to build our hopes and dreams but not for now. We have to focus on what’s coming after. Now can we just go inside and start our life together because I really can’t wait to see what this chapter has in store for us… ”

I stared at my new wife, a little taken aback by her impeccable faith. I’d never met anyone like her before.

I’d never heard anyone talk so trustingly, with conviction… and really mean it. I wanted to leave everything behind me right then and start again. I wanted to live a life of amazing  Tawakkul that she had, because she had somehow mastered it. I wanted to give her more than she had given me. She had opened her heart and her home to me, but for her, it was clear than it was no great sacrifice. It wasn’t about the tangible things. It wasn’t about the temporary perks. She only cared about what was to come. How we would grow. How we would learn to love each other. How we would worship Allah through every moment that we would hopefully earn our Jannah.

She was all pretty and flushed and wide-eyed as she went on, and I couldn’t help but grab the keys and open the door speedily, knowing that there was no other way she would stop talking. 

I had dreamt of traveling the world with her, of seeing Deen through a different eye. I wanted to spread love together. Like the Sahaba had left their comfort, I had hopes of continuing my passions. Of going out for greater causes. Of embarking on trips that would be filled with adventure and hope and guidance for others. Of offering her a different life to what she had known. I had so many ambitions that I wished I could make her a part of but I knew it would all happen in due time.

Maybe the kids would get a bit bigger first. Maybe our family would grow a little more. Maybe eventually, we’d settle down and then think about it properly, before we made any hasty decision. Maybe we didn’t need to have it all penned out… maybe it was better to just take it as it comes. 

Yes, we had worries and trials. We had many things that were in the pipeline that could throw us off track, but that’s the thing with patience.

There was no rush. Maybe it won’t be happily ever after. Maybe it will just be happily right now, but that was enough. Until tomorrow… even if it was just for now…. everything was going to be okay.

Dearest Readers

Just on the topic… (I’m sorry if I offend anyone who does this so please don’t hound me 🙈…)

With regard to emotional therapy, there was a recent talk by Ml Ridwana Kajee on how certain therapies like body talk and ‘journey’ have links with books that are completely against Islamic teaching. Many parents take their kids for these kind of healing if they experience any difficulty in school or otherwise.

 The fact that it can allow one to see into another’s life and past is clear that their is association with Jinn and Shaytaan. Let us just be wary of ever consulting with any emotional therapies if this sort. Allah Ta’ala promises us the best of cures in the Hadith and Quran. Just focusing on these can cure depression and many other emotional ailments InshaAllah 

Allah save us, 


Much Love 

A xx



Sunnah Duaa for Month of Rajab 

Allahuma baarik lana fi Rajaba wa Sha’bana wa balligh-na Ramadan

Oh Allah! Grant us Barakah (Blessing) during (the months of) Rajab and Sha’ban, and allow us to reach Ramadan.
 Dua on the first night of Rajab is readily accepted by Allah.

Imam Shafi’i RA has stated: “I have heard that duaas are accepted
by Almighty Allah on five nights:
The night of Jumu’ah
The nights of the two ‘Eids
The first night of Rajab
The middle (15th) night of Sha’ban

Allah accept our efforts and Duaas. 

A forgotten Sunnah. Eaten fallen particles… Sometimes we forget the Barakah that can be in even a grain of food. To eat what has fallen on the cloth or even the floor… SubhaanAllah.

Anas ibn Maalik narrated that when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) ate, he would lick his three fingers. Anas said: “And he said, ‘If any one of you drops a piece of food, let him remove any dirt from it and eat it, and not leave it for the Shaytaan.’ And he commanded us to clean the plate, and said, ‘For you do not know where in your food the blessing is.’” (Narrated by Muslim, 2034). 








Twitter: @ajourneyjournal


Square One

Bismihi Ta’ala


Somehow when we think we are moving ahead, we realize that we end up right back at square one.

But what we don’t realize is that we go away so we can come back. So that you can see the place you came from with new eyes and extra colors. Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.

The thing is, mankind is such that when we are tested with good, we think that Allah has honored us. When we are in difficulty… we think Allah has humiliated us. In Surah Fajr, Allah uses the word ibtalaa for both honour and blessings and also restriction of provision, thus proving that while bad times are a test, good times are a test too…

And as human beings, we crave ease. But we also appreciate change. Sometimes we thrive on it. It makes us think. Reflect. Ponder over the reality of this temporary life.

Even at a very young age, I had many things that I could be thankful for. Even though I had been through many tests, Allah had blessed me with many, many favours. Sometimes when you feel a little hurt… a little pain, then you are able to appreciate the beauty of what Allah had given you to make you smile…

I remembered as a young girl, when Khalid gave us the kitten, it was only a matter of time before he had broken to us the news of him leaving to go to Madrassah. I often wondered if he had been planning it, to leave some sort of reminder of him, for when he left. It just so happened that every time I saw that cat, that Aunty Agnus had somehow managed to save and keep from the vicious hands of Aunty Nas and Hannah, I couldn’t help but smile.

Over the years, Tim Tam, as Yunus had so adorably named him at the time, grew into a calm but uninterested domestic cat, who resided in Yunus’s room. Despite Yunus not being able to spontaneously strike up a proper conversation with another human, I was almost certain that Tim Tam and him had lengthy chats in his room when the rest of the world was probably asleep.

Seeing Tim Tan jump up onto the window sill now made me feel nostalgic. As I glimpsed the cat, it was almost like the cat knew exactly what had happened too… What a shuddering loss it was.

Indeed, to Allah we belong, and to him we will be returned. 


Loving and losing,

Just one letter apart. 

A mere consonant of change,

Yet a million degrees of pain.

“Honey, are you okay?”

I looked up from where I sat, registering Nusaybah’s penetrating gaze on me, and nodded meekly.

She was the only one who truly knew how much Khalid had meant to me. And although I felt like I had no right to be so feel this way, as she came towards me… I couldn’t help but break down in her arms. She held me back comfortingly, offering her soothing words as she attempted to console me. I could see Zuleikha looking at me worriedly, as I held on to Nusaybah… in desperation..

I couldn’t tell her. I just couldn’t find the words to say how much I had once loved my dear friend. Once upon a time, there was a boy who meant the world to me, but that telepathy that had existed within the confines of my heart… well, it wasn’t meant to blossom.

“Must I come with you to see Aunty Radiyyah?” Nusaybah said softly, pulling away as she studied me with concern. “You need to meet her.”

She was right. I did need to meet her but I didn’t want her to see me like this. I didn’t want anyone to see me like this.

“Give me a few minutes,” I said as I went to my room, trying my best to make myself appear normal. I dried up my eyes and pinched my cheeks.

Nusaybah spoke softly as we sat at the back of Jameel’s car that Zuleikha drove, trying to figure out what exactly had happened to Khalid. I could see Zuleikha eyeing us from behind her niqaab. Her journey had been a long one but she had finally found what calmed her soul. I was so proud of my sister.

My mind shifted to Khalid again. His cat-like eyes. His animated smile. What was so strange was that when Ahmed had seen him, he seemed so well and normal… and now…. My heart felt so bruised. He was so young and alive. Even in my memory..  he felt like he was still here.

On hearing the news, Aadam had made his way straight to the house. My husband was really a sterling example of selflessness, and I could not even understand how he did it. I felt like a traitor by feeling so grieved at Khalid’s loss. Aadam was just so nice. I knew that he had sensed my despair… He was certainly not a stupid guy.

He had an inkling that my strained voice and refusal to accompany him was not regular, but he didn’t push the issue. He didn’t ask me why I was being so emotional. He gently said he’d see me later, because he knew. He let me be, because he knew that I was dealing with a grief of my own.

I wanted to hug him as I saw him outside the house, talking to someone about something serious. I glimpsed the shadow of a smile as he saw me. He was my rock, and I loved him for having that patience with me during that time.

Nusaybah held onto my shoulder as she guided me through the door, where I saw a few ladies in the lounge. On the right was Aunty Radiyyah, and kneeling down next to her, I could see Khalid’s father whispering fervently.

No!” She was saying. “Don’t say that!”

It was all I heard as I looked at them, a little distressed as I wondered what they were arguing about.

“Radiyyah,” Khalids father said, his voice with just an edge of a impatience. “Please my darling, you have to accept it… The car was burnt. There is no chance he would have survived. Khalid is gone. He’s gone.”

Aunty Radiyyah looked at him blankly and shook her head. She was adamant.

“Not my Khalid,” she said stubbornly, lifting her chin. “Khalid is not gone. I have this feeling deep in my gut. I just know it.”

I could see Khalid’s father rubbing his temples as he walked past us to go out. He had given up. He seemed like he was in a daze of his own. He saw nothing as he exited, and my heart burned for his reality.

What a test it was to lose a child. What a test it was to lose your only child. But is it not true that Allah lends you a beautiful blessing in him or her, and can take it back at any time? Is it not true that Allah gives you a gift for this short worldly existence, and can claim it back as He seems fit?

My heart ached for her. Her hijab was wrapped loosely and her expression was so empty. Her usually glowing skin seemed to have been robbed of its lustre. The wrinkles on her face seemed to have deepened overnight.

Aunty Radiyyah, my beautiful confidante. She was so broken at this loss, but the idea that Khalid was still alive kept her in hope. I could see it on her face as she looked at people greeting her… I could see that she would never accept his death until she saw his body.

And I wished that she could finally get this closure because seeing my dear Aunty Radiyyah like this was breaking my heart.

We spent a few days at Aunty Radiyyah’s house, helping out and assisting where we could. I wasn’t sure if she had finally accepted the truth out of force, or whether she really believed it. With Khalid gone, her entire life would change. Everything just seemed so different. Her entire being just seemed to lose it’s sparkle.

It was Aadam who made his way there every morning, checking on them, trying to offer some comforting words… or just being there, because there truly was no-one else. When the visitors had stopped coming and everyone had either gone away on holiday or seemed to move on with life… Aadam was there.

Even on days when I felt too depressed to see Aunty Radiyyah’s empty soul, Aadam was the one who dragged himself, with a smiling face, to see to their needs. He was relentless in his efforts. He truly believed that one day he would see that glowing face and laughter fill that house again.

And of course, with the sincerity that Aadam had in his heart, it was no wonder that I eventually entered one day to find Aunty Radiyyah’s eyes smiling once again. As school started and my time had become more limited, the few visits that I made to their house finally felt like a dream come true.

I could tell by the way Aunty Radiyyah’s eyes would light up as she saw us, that there was a new kind of hope again. His easy nature and ability to just weasel his way into the heart with the best of intentions was priceless. I wasn’t sure how he did it…

“How do you do it?” I asked him one day as we sat together, in the midst of summer heat. He had taken so much on.. achieved so much in such a short time…

It was early February and things had been a bit crazy with the start of the new year. We had stolen a few minutes out of our busy schedules just to spend some time alone together, and I was trying to savour them.

“Do what?” He said, stifling a yawn.

Why did I feel like he was always so exhausted these days? His tiredness was beginning to worry me. I shoved the thought aside, putting it down to all his extra commitments.

Although Aadam had done the three days out a few times, his ultimate ambition was to go out for a full forty day Jamaat. For now, since he was funding and seeing to some other projects nearby, I could see it taking his toll on him, even though he tried to hide it.

We had taken a short walk to the park near the apartment, and as we sat on a bench near the pond there, watching the fish swishing by, Aadam slung his arm around my shoulders as he played with the tassels on my scarf. I watched him intently as he looked ahead, enjoying the sight of my soothed husband as he closed his eyes, reveling  in the peaceful perks of surrounding nature. His brow was was firmly set and a small smile played on his lips as he opened his eyes and glanced at me lovingly.

”How do you make everyone just love you?” I said, shaking my head at him.

It was a rare occasion of uninterrupted time with my husband. Even though he had cut back on his work a lot that year, like he had always wanted to do, his time now went on seeing to projects that his Maulana had assigned to him. He had stuck to the notion that he had more than he could ever need. At the beginning of his career, he had focused on earning big and making it to the top… but now, money had just become by the way for him.

And it was amazing to see his focus change, as he grew and learnt. As he took the plunge, he had bloomed into something that I was in awe of. He wasn’t afraid to change. Like a wise man once said:  “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”

And that was Aadam. He wasn’t afraid to step out of his comfort zone and embrace new things. He wasn’t afraid to see things differently to everyone else. He wasn’t afraid to put the round pegs in the square holes. He wasn’t afraid to change the way we see everything.

“Sometimes we have to decide whether its going to be ‘one day’… or ‘day one’ of the chance to change our lives.”

He spoke softly as I looked at him, glancing at me from the corner of his eye.

“One thing I’ve realized, after Khalid… Life is so short, love. We only have one shot at this. We have to do whatever it takes to make someone smile, to ease someone’s pain or just to be someone’s reason to take another chance in life… It doesn’t matter how we do it. What matters is what’s in our hearts. We earn our Jannah simply through our good deeds. And the thing is, I never understood how it feels to make someone’s day until I actually did it…”

I thought of Aunty Radiyyah. About how her whole face lit up when she saw him. Dada was another one of Aadam’s faves. Where it was so hard to even get him to crack a smile before, with Aadam around, he was always chuckling. And then of course, there was my very own heart that was his biggest fan… it literally leapt with joy when I was with him.

What an amazing feeling it must be to be of those contented people who saw nothing more than to make other people happy.

“Have you ever heard Khalid recite?”

I blinked as Aadam said it, completely out of the blue, and turned to him in confusion as I looked up. How was that even possible? Khalid was gone.

My heart sank as I recalled the reality.

“I heard a recording,” he explained, glancing at me. “He sent it to his father just days before…”

Days before he was burnt alive. An arsonist who intended foul play had interfered with the car him and his cousin were travelling in. They had barely left the town when the entire car lit up in flames. Now that I could actually process it, I couldn’t help but shudder at the cruelty. It was heartbreaking. Two sisters lost their sons on one day… Khalid’s cousin had also died a martyr.

Aadam tapped into his phone for a few seconds, and I couldn’t help but freeze as it started to play.

Now, I had heard Khalid recite Qur’an when he was younger. His voice had still been immature and his tajweed (Arabic pronunciation), though excellent, was a little imperfect. Now, as Aadam played the audio…

I was absolutely stupefied.

His voice was simply unbelievable. Like cascading waterfalls… a falling and rising of emotion that swayed my very  soul. Every letter and word was pronounced with unhindered purpose, and as his voice peaked and dropped at just the right inflections, I was lost in it’s harmony. His pitch had just the right amount of required force blended with melodious ease. It was sensational.

But what was most amazing was the verses from Surah Fajr that he was reciting, that I knew the exact meaning of… and as I heard it, I was sure that Allah had sent this very recording as a comfort to his parents, because now… I just knew.

[To the righteous they will be greeted with],

Oh contented soul,

Return to your Lord, you well-pleased with him and He pleased  [with you],

So enter among among My [righteous] servants

And enter My Paradise.” (Surah Fajr: 27-30)

I was speechless. Now, I felt like Khalid had attained exactly what he had wanted. Amidst the anguish that he had probably felt, Khalid’s soul had been contented in most unassuming way. And as the glad tidings of the verses came alive for me in his perfect recitation, I could only imagine that he must have been elevated to such a rank that I was quite certain that he had somehow earned that very special place in Allah’s eyes.

It was too beautiful for words. I sat there in limbo, mouth agape as the recitation played, and ended, and replayed again…

I could see Aadam’s eyes fill with tears as finally I looked at him… and as for me… well, I was literally bawling my eyes out. That was how deeply moving it was. I had no idea that Khalid had such an amazing gift. I had no idea that Khalid had such an outstanding voice. Like a remarkable blend of two of my favourite Haram reciters… I was in with awe as I heard it. ..

“One day,” Aadam said, swallowing as he stopped it and looked at me. “My son’s going to read just like that…”

I blinked, zoning back to reality.

“Now you want a son?” I said, swallowing hard from teh emotion but not being able to resist a dig at him. Aadam smiled.

“Okay, let’s just say my nephew, yeah?” He said with a teary grin, as he squeezed my shoulders, telling me not to be so hard on him. When he heard reading like that, he couldn’t help but get carried away.

“So did you hack Khalid’s father’s phone or did he send it to you?” I asked, trying to lighten the mood. Thinking about Khalid again was making my heart ache.

I smiled as Aadam grinned, asking me if I thought he was a crook.

”My days of hacking people’s phones are over,” he said comically, burying his head in my scarf as he rested there for a few more moments of companionable silence..

The hour had sped by so fast and I almost wished we could stay there a little longer. There were so many emotions soaring through my mind… but reality had  called once again.

It was time to head to his mothers house for a long-awaited family supper that we had been avoiding. One thing I was looking forward to, though, was seeing the kids after ages…

”Mum’s waiting for us,” Aadam said softly as he checked his buzzing phone. I knew it was my mother-in-law.

I had a feeling that Rubeena had intervened on my behalf, and though she had been ignoring me in a most polite way, his mother had been on our case about spending time at Khalid’s house. She had a hard time sharing her son, and I tried to understand her point of view. All she wanted was her sons undivided attention, and it wasn’t an easy call. I mean, even I didn’t get that, often enough.

Aadam grasped my hand as we walked back, picking up speed as we glimpsed Aadam’s car ahead. Yes, things had improved. Maybe not drastically, but I felt more content as we made our way to the house, chatting about plans for the week and ambitions that we had for the future.

What we didn’t know yet was that something completely unexpected was waiting to unfold that evening… that would put everything right back at square one…

I know it’s a bit out of character for me but I’d humbly like to do a shout out. *grins*

Okay, just to explain… so I happened to reply to a younger reader who commented a while back, and it didn’t go through. Sister Amatullah, please make me Maaf – I did reply now again.

Just a shout out to say I appreciate the comment and it truly humbles me to know that I made a difference in someone’s life and thinking. May Allah keep my focus on what is important. This is why I write, even when sometimes in this ugly world it feels like there’s no point…

And since I’m doing a shout-out, a big ‘Heya!’ ❤️ to all those lovely ladies who always take the time to read, comment and like the posts. A little goodness and love really does go a long way, you know who you are. JazakAllah Khair to every one of you, just for reading!

Okay, I’m done now. Sorry for the rambles. Love to hear from you guys too.

Much Love,

A 🌸

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