In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Especially Merciful
“We have certainly seen the turning of your face, [O Muhammad], toward the heaven, and We will surely turn you to a qiblah with which you will be pleased. So turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] are, turn your faces toward it [in prayer]. Indeed, those who have been given the Scripture well know that it is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do.” (Al-Baqara: Verse 144)
When hardships knock the door, we do not know whether these are trials, expiation of sins, aversion of greater hardships or all of them. The blessing of being a momin is that we are constantly reminded of so many verses Allah has mentioned in the Quran to ease us. We hope for reward and try to console ourselves. Eventually, we figure out we are really good at it. Alhamdulillah
The trip did not turn out to be how we planned. Our flights got canceled for three consecutive days and it was draining- physically, monetarily and emotionally. We were looking forward to it since months. Loads of duas were made.
To top it, we were stranded in some other city. They deducted money for flying us to Jammu and our return flight from Srinagar had to be canceled since we never reached there. That was a lot of money gone for us
We tried to make the most of this place. A brother in town, who was husband’s classmate, tried to ease us by taking us around the city despite his hectic schedule. But I could see Husband sulking a bit. And that was the only thing which would drive down my spirits.
We tried making it there by road but roads were shut too. As I mentioned previously, when we accept things as Allah’s qadr, amazing thoughts come to mind
Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) said, “Great reward comes with great trials. When Allah loves a people, Narrated and classed as hasan by at-Tirmidhi (2396); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in as-Silsilah as-Saheehah, no. 146]
The first thing I told myself was to stop contemplating about “if we had done XYZ….” Or “I wish we could..”. It’s always better not to waste time on things that will not help. Shaytaan feels very happy when a momin is depressed. Being depressed is a form of being thankless because we do not thank for what we have.
Perhaps some greater harm was averted. The reason behind the incident is known only to Allah subhana wa ta’ala. In sha allah, I am certain that when it is revealed to us on akhirah, our happiness will have no bounds. May it serve as an expiation of all sins that we have made and increase us in imaan.
“… if you are suffering (hardships) then surely, they (too) are suffering (hardships) as you are suffering, but you have a hope from Allah (for the reward) that for which they hope not; and Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All-Wise” (Surah An-Nisa:104).
Last night, as I lay on my bed images of refugees flashed in my mind. The man and wife walking with an injured baby in their arms. Groups of people walking out of their homes with bare necessities. People thrown out of their lands with no food, amenities or home. Subhanallah, at least I have a home to go back to. I just had to figure out how.
So what do you do when stranded in an alien land? Shaikh Google told us that there are few museums, zoo, gardens, fort, underground aquarium, and site seeing points in Jammu.
Cuisine of jammu and Srinagar is pretty similar. So we tried the popular restaurants there and tried the local cuisine. We had lot of rogan josh, rista, yakhni, keema, tabak maaz, gushtaba, kanti, harisa, do pyaza and kehwa.
There was a lot on the menu that I missed but I clicked a pic of the menu to check out the recipes and try making them myself. The best meal I had was in this restaurant called Ziyafat. Despite having reached beyond the restaurant timings, they served us kehwa since we were guests stranded in Jammu. The hospitality made us visit there again the next day.
We took time out to sit for 2 long hours and taste various delicacies gradually. The kehwa was delicious. We enquired how it is made and upon request, the brother himself purchased saffron and walnuts for us of good quality so that we are not duped in the market. The first bite of walnut gave a burst of flavors I have never experienced. Juicy, sweet and mild in texture! Every kernel was to be relished individually. Aroma that oozed out when the tiny container of saffron was opened. Rich in colour and essence. Subhanallah. We got a good buy of Rs. 160/gm.
On our way back, we explored the market and walked down. It was perhaps the first time husband and I were sharing a walk. We figured out a bit about local transport and came back into our rooms really late.
The airlines refused to allow us to board our flight from Jammu. As a last resort, we booked our trains back to Delhi. That is where I am writing from. We are crossing the fields of Punjab. Sulky husband dosed off. I am enjoying the “sarso ke khet” (mustard fields) and rivers that trace their path here. Winter indeed extracts the beauty of any land.
Subhanallah, how beautiful Allah has made this earth for us and mankind, is forever ungrateful.
Allah SWT says:
وَلَئِنْ اَذَقْنَا الْاِنْسَانَ مِنَّا رَحْمَةً ثُمَّ نَزَعْنٰهَا مِنْهُ ۚ اِنَّهٗ لَيَــئُوْسٌ كَفُوْرٌ
“And if We give man a taste of mercy from Us and then We withdraw it from him, indeed, he is despairing and ungrateful.”
( Hud: Verse 9)
May Allah ease Husbands heart.
May Allah reward you.