All You Need Is A Whisper In A World That Only Shouts
Adventures of the Soul by Khadija Muhaisen Dajani
My taste in music is questionable. Apparently. According to my young, hip kids and quite a few other people. It goes without saying that they have no idea what they are talking about. Apparently. One day, they will all wake up and realize how much time they wasted complaining about my music instead of really listening to the lyrics:
‘All you need is a whisper, in a world that only shouts’ –Passenger
I heard that whisper as I was walking down the majestic Siq (main road that leads into the city) of Petra a few months ago. I was not thinking about anything in particular. Just breathing and soaking in the beauty and stillness of the rose red stones, anticipating the breath-taking sneak peak of the Treasury as I neared the end. It was only a whisper: you are KHADIJA.
I am KHADIJA. This is my story.
I struggled with my name growing up. I was officially Khadija, but my Italian aunt nicknamed me Gigi minutes after I came into this world. It stuck. Everyone called me Gigi, including the parents who named me. In the playground at school, I was Gigi. In the classroom, I was Khadija. Two distinct personas –both with amazing taste in music by the way!
I was so ashamed of my real name that I remember distinctly meeting one of my close friends at 7 years old. She asked me what my real name was, and I told her it was a secret that no one knew. She looked at me innocently and asked if my parents knew… to which my baffled 7-year-old self responded with silence. (I love you friend.)
Fast-forward 37 years. College, marriage, children, stretch marks, real life, special ops training, and Sacred Activation. Serious soul and body wringing. I am carrying my Jade yoga mat, walking down the Siq with my soul brother, teacher, and chief wringer. Only the whisper of the wind in my ears. My yoga mat a culmination of hard work and tears. Grateful, awed, and peaceful. I am KHADIJA.
She was an independent, successful, respected woman of 40 when she married Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him (PBUH) when he was a young shepherd of 25 years. She was drawn to his honesty, intelligence, and integrity. She was known as the “Princess of Mecca” and the “Great Khadija” for those same qualities of integrity, intelligence, and ethics –a true testament to the saying that the world around you is a reflection of the world within you.
It was in her arms that the Prophet Mohammad PBUH sought solace and comfort after the first revelation. “Embrace me. Cover me up,” he asked. And she did. Until her death. She was the first believer, the love of his life, and the mother of his children.
My father chose my name after my grandmother. I never met her. But the image I have in my head is of a strong, Kurdish woman, Princess of her home and possibly her adopted town of Tafila. She was highly respected for her integrity and intelligence, I am certain. And she raised incredible men and women who against all odds left a mark on the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. I choose to believe that my grandmother Khadija was named after the Great Khadija.
They say you should choose your name. Sometimes the name you are given is not truly yours. I believe my name chose me. And finally at 44 years old, I have the courage and confidence to step into my name. My service is to honour the Khadijas who have come before me: loving, honest, humble, and supportive. The Khadijas before me recognized that dreams did come true. They dedicated their lives to ensuring those around them had the support, encouragement, love, and push they needed to make it happen.
As I stood in front of a crowd the other evening wondering about my story and how I came to be, everything made perfect sense. It took me a windy road 44 years long to get me today to the very beginning.
“We forget, then remember, then forget. We stumble and fall and rise again. Two steps forward, one step back. This, too, is the way” – Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior