“I don’t know how it happened,” I was whimpering, blinking almost belligerently at Aadam as I sniffed. I could just imagine my eyes being all puffy and my nose all blotchy and red. It was definitely not the most romantic moment…
“I’m usually so on time and I can’t believe that I didn’t even notice-“
“Hey hey hey,” Aadam said softly, pulling me into a comforting embrace while I sobbed into his chest.
He smelt all fresh and aftershave-ish and his familiarity just made me more emotional. I wasn’t even sure why I was crying. Hormones were definitely getting the better of me and the anxiety was so severe that I felt like I could barely breathe.
“I’m s-so sorryyyy…” I bawled into his t-shirt neckline as I thought of how much more complicated this would make things.
“For what?” Aadam said, releasing me and peering at me curiously. I could see that he was trying hard not to grin. “You act as if you’re in control here, love. I can see that you’re not ready for this and I feel like such scum for feeling excited…”
“No,” I said, shaking my head. “Please don’t. Its not that. I’m scared because of what could happen. I’m scared that everything won’t be okay…”
Aadam swallowed and looked a bit nervous as I said it. I’m sure he was worried about the same thing. Or maybe not. At that stage I couldn’t tell what he was thinking…
“Don’t worry about that,” he said softly. “Did you do a test?”
I shook my head.
“Don’t you think we’re jumping the gun?” He murmured as he looked at me seriously. “Personally, a baby… Khawlah… yours and my own little bundle of happiness. The boys would be so excited. My mum would be begging for a girl. And I’d be over the moon, yeah…”
“Really?” I asked, breathing in shakily as I tried to stop the tears. What was happening to me?
“But there’s only one way to really find out, right…?” He concluded. “And I honestly don’t think I can wait so I’m calling the pharmacy to deliver a test…”
I nodded numbly as he picked up the phone and arranged the delivery for later that evening. I could feel my heart rate slowing down as I tried to pacify myself. All I could think of was what if there was something wrong? What if the baby wasn’t normal? What if those chemicals and foreign bodies interfered with the baby’s development and everything wasn’t okay?
I lay in bed later that night with a knot (amongst other things) in my tummy and much on my mind. Aadam had waited anxiously outside the bathroom on a chair when I did the test, and as I expected, two solid lines appeared almost a minute after I stepped out. His face was glowing with happiness as he saw it, and I couldn’t help but feel like such a crappy person for being less than excited.
“I’m ecstatic,” he said, his hand reaching out for mine under the blanket. “I can’t believe it. I just can’t believe that after everything… I’m still going to be a father…”
I breathed in deeply and swallowed. Somehow I just couldn’t feel his excitement.
”Aren’t you worried?” I asked, looking up into the dark as I said it. “Don’t you remember what Uncle Siraj was saying?”
”Khawlah,” Aadam said softly. “Doctors don’t know everything. A rotten guy like me… after everything I’ve done and said… and Allah chose to still forgive me and give me this beautiful gift… it’s like a little piece of Jannah right here on earth…”
I breathed in as he said it, not really understanding how all this anxiety and uncertainty could ever be a good thing. The truth was that we do so much of wrong in this life that we don’t deserve the mercy. If we were taken to task for everything we did… for every sin our bodies committed… we would have probably been paralyzed.
So many bounties… if we have to look around at them, we could never count…
I breathed in deeply, trying to let everything, including my unruly tummy, settle. It was a good thing. A blessing. Besides the fact that Nusaybah would probably chew my ears off with her twenty-one questions and theories… a baby was an amazing gift…
”Can you see this meager width of my hand?” He said softly, cutting into my thoughts as I looked at his outstretched hand in the semi-dark as he flattened it out. His fingers seemed longer and leaner now that he had lost a little weight.
”Hmmmm,” I murmured, still feeling overwhelmed as he breathed audibly next to me.
”Just this portion of land in Jannah,” he said quietly. “I remember Maulana saying that a minute piece of land of this size in eternal Jannah, sweets… well, I don’t know if you can ever imagine it, but this very portion in Paradise holds even more treasures than the entire universe and everything within it…”
I breathed in and closed my eyes as he said it, trying to picture it as I comprehended. It was impossible. Why does it happen that as we grow up, that we seem so much more occupied with this world, and so much further away from the hereafter, when in reality… we should be feeling closer to it all? Somehow, as a young girl, when Khalid would say it, it seemed so much easier. So much more real… beautiful… majestic…
”Picture Jannah,” he would say to me. “Whenever you feel sad, Khawlah, just picture it!”
His voice would get excited as he continued. his eyes would dance away as he jumped up on a nearby rock and stretch out his hands.
“In Jannah, even the person in the lowest stage, Khawlah … they’ll get a whole palace made of a see-through pearl… and each palace will have seventy thousand apartments with each apartment having seventy thousand doors… and at each door Khawlah… there will be seventy thousand angels just to make Salaam to them!”
And of course, despite the mind-boggling numbers, I would try and picture these thousands of mini abodes that would be housing me and whoever I desired and my mind would come alive as I’d comfort myself with the knowledge that my mother was right there, in one of those spectacular glass houses, waiting for me to come and join her one day..
“I feel like I’m flying,” Aadam said quietly, squeezing my hand and cutting into my thoughts. “And it just gives me so much of hope because when we truly understand what Allah can do, there’s nothing in the world that is impossible. If we truly understood His beauty and His vastness, we’d be swept of our feet. It’s unparalleled….”
He was right. We stress and we worry and we let the burdens of life overwhelm us when there truly is only one solution to it all. Turn to Allah. Turn to Allah. He’s constantly calling and beckoning to us. His signs are all over the universe. He has no limit to His treasure. Sometimes, even in the worst of times, all it takes is one sincere person to make Taubah and Allah alleviates the burdens of the entire Ummah…
“I know this wasn’t in the plan,” he continued softly. “But it’s happened and it’s amazing and I love this feeling. I’m on cloud nine. Everything is Him. In His control. By Him. Our Hearts. Our souls…. It just makes me want to surrender to Him. Leave it to Him. There’s no grief and no sadness for a believer. I love you so much Khawlah and I just have this feeling that Allah is going to take care of it all….”
Trust. Faith. Tawakkul. If only I could have that. I knew what he was saying… but I still wanted to question him. I wanted so badly to ask him, what if it wasn’t? I wanted to argue and ask him how he knew. I wanted to question everything that happened so far, but I could already hear his audible breathing pattern alter and as he drifted into slumber I let it go for then, not knowing that tomorrow would hold a challenge of its own where I’d probably never get to know his answer to everything I was aching to know…
And of course, after that chat, as I felt myself drifting off, the dreams that I had that night were absolutely unimaginable. I felt like I was living in a peaceful place of serenity and whiteness… Gardens and beauty… and as my eyes shot open suddenly at the sound of the city birds lightly teetering, I squinted at the clock in confusion, not quite comprehending that Aadam had missed his Tahajjud for the first time in months. The fact that there was a strange sound coming from somewhere in the room made it more confusing, and as I got up with a frown, I couldn’t help but wonder what it was.
As far as I knew, my mother-in-law wasn’t here. It couldn’t be her smoothie machine. Not at this insane hour. The more I moved out from the room the further the noise sounded. It was a rhythmic sound, like a malfunctioning vent or fan. As I walked down the hallway, amidst the darkness that was slowly finding its way out, the sound seemed to get softer. It was only then that I realized that the sound was coming from the bedroom. Right next to me. That horrible noise wasn’t any type of drill or machinery. It was the sound of Aadam’s breathing.
That was the day, precisely 12 hours before I sat at his side with a heavy heart, when Aadam suffered the stroke. His entire left side was paralyzed and as we attempted with every ounce of us to keep him afloat, he stayed semi-conscious and smiled, but our hearts would ache every minute he lay there, not being able to say what he really wanted to. I sat there with my head in my hands as we watched him that morning, waiting for some sign of progress, but as our heavy hearts felt it’s weight, we found none…
And yes, we wondered how. Why, despite everything he was doing and the chemo and radiation… how this tumour had still managed to break him. How it had got to the extent that now a stroke had been the result of its progression. I couldn’t make sense of it. I had thought he was on a slow route to better health. I had had hope. Aadam was looking better. Just the day before he was talking like a man who was on the way to recovery. Just a few hours ago, he had sounded so alive. Full of life. Ready to take on the world..
But the plan that we had was different to the one that was written. At that precise moment, as we all gathered together around him, Rubeena’s gentle hand grasped my shoulder from behind and pulled me back, watching me closely as she handed me the letter that would provide some insight to the little question marks that were floating around in my mind.
”Adam asked me to give this to you before the end of today,” she whispered quietly. “I think it’s about time…”
The sound of Ahmed’s reading could be heard in the background. People were sniffing. Tearing. My mother-in-law was in shock. Abba was sitting outside the room in limbo. The boys too were silent, as they waited in the lounge.
I looked up at Rubeena in confusion as she watched me, the tears streaming down her face as she dabbed her eyes. It was like he knew. He knew and he needed to have his day… this last piece of broken magic before everything spiraled somewhat out of our control…
It’s late at night and I’m struggling to find the words to tell you exactly what’s on my mind. In truth, I don’t even know how to say what I need to.
It’s just a few day’s since I completed the letters. All 365 of them. After you told me about your mothers letter, well, I kind of wanted to follow in her footsteps. I’m sure Rubeena’s hands are sore (sorry, sis, I owe you big time), but I just needed to compose this one more. I just wanted one final chance. I wanted to find the eternal words to remind you every day that there was once this crazy guy that you fell in love with and loved you to bits too…
And yeah, I know you might think that I’m being unusually sentimental. I could tell you that I love you and that I’ve never met anyone like you and that I wish we had our entire lives together, but it still wouldn’t summarize the essence of what you really mean to me. I mean, how do I say goodbye to the person who means more to me than words could ever describe? How do I even put together the words that I need to express how deeply I’m indebted to you?
And so, with much on my mind and a slightly heavy heart… I pen this letter not just to say goodbye, my love…. but to say thank you.
Thank you for putting up with this grumpy old sod. Thank you for picking up my dirty socks. For fetching my coffee when I was being lazy. For cleaning up the puke when it was all over the white linen (I know it took forever, but it just made me love you more). Thank you for the unlimited supply of Dettol. And thank you for still saying I love you back when my breath was honking (I could smell it too.) It made my night.
Okay, I’m kidding. (not really…) but on a more serious note… Thank you for being there for me, okay?
Thank you for your unwavering patience. For giving me courage. For lifting me up when I felt like I was on the verge of breaking down. Thank you for being my rock. My soldier. My warrior. For looking out for me. For reminding me that there would be better days. For giving me something to hold onto when I thought I was never going to make it through. For reminding me that there was a Greater Power out there Who knows every whisper within the crevices of my aching heart. For reminding that despite my sins I was still able to find a light in His love. For bringing me closer to the One who knows me inside and out…
Thank you so much for helping me to love Allah. And thank you, beautiful, for giving me the best worldly gift that a guy could have. A little piece of Jannah that I know you’ll raise to be Allah-fearing and pious and just like his or her gorgeous mother. I know you’re probably wondering how it all happened despite what Uncle Siraj had said, and that’s another story altogether that I’ll leave Siraj to explain to you guys in a bit, since it’s way past my bedtime…
Yours was a type of love that took me by surprise. A type that made me love you, not for what you could give me, but for what you are. Through that love, I turned to Him. I sought Him, not just for now, but for all eternity.
Thank you for giving me that type of Eternal Love. May the Almighty bless you with a happiness that’s greater than any moment I spent with you…
I love you more than you’ll ever know. Please just know that I am and will be forever indebted to you…
Just a reminder, especially in these times of craziness to make abundant istighfaar and try and bring more Sunnah into our lives. Let’s keep the miswaak available for frequent use, InshaAllah
May Allah alleviate all the trials of the Ummah
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).