Our Prophet صلي الله عليه وسلم said “Each of you is the mirror of his brother, so if he sees any fault in him he should wipe it away.” –
[Al-Tirmidhi, Hadith 1286]
My WhatsApp has been buzzing since two hours. I try ignoring it at first, reading a message or two once in a while and then flinging the phone on the other side of the bed. I toss and turn to make vain attempts to fall asleep but how could I? Those vibrations felt like loud knocks. Loud knocks of reminders on my heart’s door. Knocks that I could not ignore.
I block her. Silence. Peace. Finally she shut up. She is Asma- a revert to Islam. Asma, my friend and now, also my sister in Islam. I don’t wish to see her anymore, I don’t wish to hear a word from her. Why you ask? because she doesn’t understand me. Yes, I took my hijab off. But does she really believe it has been an easy decision for me? I fought. I fought really hard for five long years, against my mother, against my family and the entire society.
It is a happy sad feeling to see Asma. I was around when she was new to Islam. I taught her how to wear the hijab and gifted her some too. Today she is at home, striving to convince her parents about her reversion. It is a rough ride she says, and that won’t make her disobey Allah subhanah wa ta’ala ever in-shaa-Allah. Amidst all this, relatives have slowly abandoned her. Her parents are adjusting to this decision of hers. Some think that she is mad, some say that she has terrorist connections and to some she needs counselling. Indeed it is very painful to see yourself gradually being left out, but the only consolation is that one expects to be rewarded in the end.
Her messages hurt me. I know it is her right as a muslim.
– ” I feel bad for you Aabidah. Please don’t do this. Wear your hijab. I won’t ask you why you took it off because no reason is sufficient to disobey Allah.”
Asma, you saw me struggle when you were with me. My mother was never happy with my hijab. You are strong Asma, to stand against your family and I am weak. Everytime I wore the hijab, my mother would scorn. For five years there was constant nagging, yelling and wailing at my home. Every time there was a marriage invitation, my own mother and aunts would taunt me that I PRETEND to be pious, that I am a show off. Who will marry a girl like me, they said! Show a little hair , wear a little make up!
The pious brother that I wanted to marry, they refused to let me marry him! Why? Because he was of a different sect. “Sect”! Does our Noble Qur’an even mention which sect Islam is for? This is how humans have made Islam today. Now my mother gets proposals from all rich men, clean shaven, in suits and some even don’t know how to pray or read arabic. Oh yes, they are from the same sect!
I was fighting alone here. Nobody was ever happy with me. My mother showed me what a bad muslim I was everytime I disobeyed her. Yes, I knew from within that Allah subhanah wa ta’ala is whom we must obey first but it is easier said than done. At one point the road travelled came to a dead end. My mother was always angry and unhappy, my aunts were always taunting, relatives kept inviting marriage proposals from non practising brothers.
You know my dreams of a sunnah wedding but here I am awaiting a grand Indian wedding very soon. There will be music, expensive jewellery, dance, inter mixing of sexes and lot of pomp-n-show. Amongst all this I will stand there, drifting away from Allah azza wajal.
– “you must be feeling happy and proud when people admire your beautiful hair and compliment you for how beautiful you look.”
It pierces my heart. Every compliment makes me feel naked. Everytime I am presented before a family, I feel like a mannequin exhibit in a shop to flaunt beauty, clothes and money. I am reduced to a woman this society expects me to be. I am no longer the woman Islam wanted to protect and nurture.
I wailed. I was crying in my salah. For hours in my sujood I begged for mercy, I begged for ease. I tried till I choked. I gave up Asma. I fell weak. I know I have disappointed you but I have disappointed myself too. I disobeyed our Creator. It was not an overnight decision. It was a five year long struggle. I was drained emotionally. You don’t understand Asma and you never will. I still love you and will always make duaa for you as you face your jihad for your hijab. I hope you never fall weak as me.
I do fear the Day of Resurrection. The day Allah subhanah wa ta’ala will ask me and I shall but be a loser that day. My nights are sleepless thinking what if I don’t wake up. My mother smiles, my mother loves me… Amongst all this she is the only one who is happy.
– ” …and that day nobody will be faithful to you except your deeds for Allah subhanah wa ta’ala. They are your key to Jannah. Your mother also will abandon you Aabidah. It will be only you and Allah..”
Shiver runs down my spine. I close my eyes to your reminders. My heart still carries guilt. Allah still is there in my heart. I laugh at myself when I give this excuse. I am ashamed.
-“… I love my family enough to bear all this just hoping to bring them on this path too. Love is not when you disobey Allah for them Aabidah. Walk the path of jannah my sister.. please..”
That was your last message.
Are you sure you want to block Asma, my phone asks.
#an inspired tale