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Yemeni Journey

I Hear Your Voice

I haven’t forgotten the sound of your voice any more than I have forgotten the sound of my mother’s heartbeat when I rested my head against her chest during cold Wisconsin nights.

I haven’t forgotten the sound of your voice any more than I have forgotten the sound of the wind shuffling its feet through kaleidoscope colored leaves in the Kickapoo Valley.

I haven’t forgotten the sound of your voice any more than I have forgotten the sound of my breath exhaled in cold clouds of wishes half-formed.

Assalamu Aleikum.

Ummi? Is that you?

Assalamu Aleikum?

Yes, it’s me, it’s me here listening and waiting, thinking and planning, hoping and striving. Yes, it’s me, still holding you as close as ever I did those hours spent each evening going over the blessings of the day and looking forward to what we would do on the next. Yes, it’s me, pulling you still in your little red wagon with your name painted on the side, full of books and stuffed animals and the Cheetos truck you wouldn’t let go of. Yes it’s me, sitting in the swing on Grandma and Grandpa’s porch, holding hands, looking at the stars, never imagining I would be a world apart from you, my little blonde whirlwind.

Yes, it’s me.

Just a few words, a few seconds of peace snatched out of a world that is increasingly chaotic.

All of the words I had stored up in a full heart, behind closed lips for weeks suddenly change form, becoming tears that refuse to be held back, tears of love and joy and loss and patience and pain for you, for me, for what has been and what may be.

I cannot speak, but I can hear, and I hear your voice as it always was, reciting Qur’aan all day long, no matter what you were doing.

I cannot speak, but I can hear, and I hear your voice as it always was, asking questions that made me think with my head as well as my heart.

I cannot speak, but I can hear, and I hear your voice as it always was, before.

Your voice and the wind blend together, and I hear the cry of the child that has become the man.

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Note: Damaaj is under attack from the Shi’ite Houthis yet again, and I have had news that my son has been injured. Alhamdulillah, barakAllaahufeekum all of you who have worked to get word to him to get in touch; he did, and hearing his voice was a gift like no other, mash’Allaah.

To read about what is happening in Damaaj now, visit here or here.

If anyone has news from any reliable sources in the village, please leave a comment, or contact me directly, insh’Allaah.

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26 comments

Holly Garza on November 9, 2013 5:24 am Reply

reading this post a couple of sizes escaped my body is tears welled up in my eyes. save our lord is nothing I can do to see if any benefit but just know then I’m here and I’m praying and I am hoping that if it is his will everything will turn out more than okay

Khadijah on November 9, 2013 12:19 pm Reply

BarakAllaahufeekee Holly, alhamdulillah. And remember that supplication and prayer are the best of the things you can do, because the help will only come through Allaah alone.

Umm on November 9, 2013 6:25 am Reply

Beautiful! Just as you hear his voice, surely Allah hears your supplications for him, for them all. Keep asking Allah for their safety, he will answer you.

Khadijah on November 9, 2013 12:18 pm Reply

Yes! A lovely reminder to all of us, alhamdulillah, barakAllaahufeekee! And I am so grateful for all that Allaah has blessed us with, alhamdulillah, including the tests and trials.

Katherine on November 9, 2013 8:05 am Reply

Your prayer as a mother is sure to be effective. I too am praying for your son and his family — and of course for you.

Khadijah on November 9, 2013 12:17 pm Reply

Katherine, so good to see you, thank you for reaching out, mash’Allaah!

Sadiah on November 9, 2013 9:56 am Reply

Mashallah I didn’t know what it was about till the end then I wanted to cry to. What happened to the boy is he ok? I’m guessing Katherine is your mom from Wisconsin?

Khadijah on November 9, 2013 12:17 pm Reply

From what I have heard, he is fine, alhamdulillah. He has always been the kid who didn’t want to worry me, mash’Allaah. I remember when he was little and went to a Muslim boys camp and he misidentified hemlock as wild carrot and ate some. He got SO sick, mash’Allaah, and everyone was so worried about him, but he wrote me an entire letter and never mentioned it!! And he wouldn’t let them tell me either (SMILE). So, I am always thankful when I am able to get news of him from other sources!
My mother actually died when I was quite young, mash’Allaah, so no, Katherine isn’t my mom.

sadiah on November 10, 2013 9:37 am Reply

Sorry about that I actually realized that after I had read one of your other articles that she had passed away. I really love what you said about how the mountains used to seem so big and close up and then they were like a shadow, I had the same thing I haven’t been back to my home in America since I was 19 now I’m 31. Becoming Muslim put a barrier between me and the past, the last time I saw my family home as I was looking from a distance it also just seemed like any other house that I had seen like I was looking on to just some house it became a part of the past and lost its meaning.

Khadijah on November 10, 2013 5:47 pm Reply

Mash’Allaah, this is true in a way. For me, though, the past is always a part of the present in so many ways. I look back and I see where I have come from, and how far, and I look for the person I was in the person I am, mash’Allaah. I also like to see what I did as a child, and what brought me joy and happiness- most of it was playing outside, mash’Allaah, or cooking and taking care of my mom when she was ill, and my grandmothers when they lived with us- and I see how I can share these things with my children as well. insh’Allaah. And, mash’Allaah, I can always pull the “I’ve been there and done that, you do NOT want to go there” card as well (SMILE). I also have the blessing of two of my brothers and sisters being Muslim, alhamdulillah, so I have a strong connection with them still, even though my parents and my sister Patty have passed away.

Abu Abdillaah on November 9, 2013 10:07 am Reply

Assalaamu alaykum,

Ukhtee fillaah, May I ask you sons name, is it Mujaahid who is married to Abdul Hakeem Amreekee’s daughter?

Khadijah on November 9, 2013 12:14 pm Reply

Wa aleikum assalam wa rahmatullah
Yes, it is, mash’Allaah, may Allaah guide us all and rectify their affairs. He has two children, Suhayb and Yasmeen.
BarakAllaahufeek!

Abu Abdillaah on November 9, 2013 8:33 pm Reply

Allaahu Akbar, I always think about him, even though I only met him a few times. I remember helping him build his house when he was getting married. Probably the most humble and well mannered westerner I met in Dammaj. May Allaah hasten his recovery and make it an expiation for his sins. Ameen

AsSalaamu Alaikum my dear,
This was a beautiful expression of your love for your son. Alhumdulilah, that you were able to hear his voice. I love all the reminders of prayers on facebook from you and Shona, so I can say a special du’a for your family. Keep them up, inshaAllah your son will be surrounded by all of our duas.
May Allah protect the innocent, and may the people of this region come to a peaceful agreement quickly.

Khadijah on November 9, 2013 1:41 pm Reply

Insh’Allaah, barakAllaahufeekee Kamilah, and Ameen to your du’a!

Umm Zaynab on November 9, 2013 1:36 pm Reply

I was really holding back the tears SubhanAllaah. Very sweet
May Allaah grant your family patience and grant Ahlus Sunnah victory ameen

Khadijah on November 9, 2013 1:40 pm Reply

Ameen! BarakAllahufeekee!

Mary M-S on November 9, 2013 3:14 pm Reply

Blessed are your words that ring as music in God’s – by all Names – ears and touch the hearts of all who read them. How beautifully you express a mother’s pain that reaches into my own being and I pray again for Mujahiid and his family and his village and you and your loved ones with you as my own heart pinches and aches for you all. It is easier to fall apart in worry and fear and indulge oneself in tears – but you take a much higher road. May God be pleased; may God’s Wish and Will be fulfilled; may God’s Love fill and sustain each of you.

Bob Sanchez on November 11, 2013 8:42 pm Reply

I wish you and your family peace, happiness, and safety. Please be well.

Dani G. on November 12, 2013 12:58 am Reply

And I simply hold you all in the Light, my friend. What a nightmare, all this war. If the world were run by mothers, do you think we would have peace?

Umm Sireen bint Ahmed on November 12, 2013 5:07 pm Reply

AsSalaamu alayakii wa rahamtullaah wa barakatuh

Ustadaah I ask Allaah azza wa jall by the best of he’s names and the highest of he’s attributes to grant you and your family as-sabrun jameel, likewise our brothers and sisters of ahlul sunnaah success and steadfastness! May he tabarakallaah wa ta’laa make the quraan and sunnaah your safe haven and refuge, may he azza wa jall protect and shade Mujaahid and he’s family alhummaa ameen thummaa ameen yaa rabil alameen!

Respectfully,

Your sister Umm Sireen

Muharraam 9th, 1435

Khadijah on November 15, 2013 9:56 pm Reply

Wa Aleikum Assalam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu
Ameen! BarakAllaahufeekee.

Alex on November 15, 2013 9:24 pm Reply

Salaam Sister Khadijah –

Thank you so much for your writing – it definitely touches the heart! I’m an American woman from Minnesota who has been living in Yemen for nearly two years. I’m back in Minnesota for a visit now. Could we possibly connect by email or phone? I would love to talk to you more about Yemen, Islam, and other things – especially since we are from similar Midwest backgrounds 🙂

Khadijah on November 15, 2013 9:56 pm Reply

Wa aleikum Assalam
I will contact you via email, insh’Allaah! Thank you for reaching out.

Oum Assia on December 15, 2013 6:49 am Reply

As-Salam Aleykoum Wa Rahmatoullah ,

I hope that you and your family are fine Ukhty .

I don’t know if you have some news of Mujaheed and his family but I have ask some english speaking students in Damaaj ans they said to me one hour ago that he’s fine and his family too .

Send me an email if you want from me to forwad to you the email .

Fi Amanillah .

Oum Assia from France .

Khadijah on December 15, 2013 2:18 pm Reply

Wa Aleikum Assalam wa Rahmatullah
BarakAllaahufeekee!! I do appreciate any news, alhamdulillah.