It was a long journey. Husband and I had embarked the train and were going to be there for seven hours.
Journey has its own virtues. One thing I try to be conscious about when I am in public, that I represent my religion. Every mistake I do will be credited to the “how vain Muslims are” account and every impressive deed might help people to have a good perception of Islam.
A family of 5 soon joined us in the compartment. Three kids and their parents.
Watching younger generations always amuse you. I used to wonder as a kid why mum finds it so hard to figure the computer or smartphone out. Perhaps its the same reason why I find it hard to grasp their lingo and gadgets today. So much that I feel its unnecessary to waste time grasping it. Life is good without it as well. Just what mom must have thought.
A while later, I could figure out that they were a Muslim family as well. The name of the son was Muhammad. They seemed to be a family of “okay Muslims“.
Whenever I see the Okay Muslim, I cannot help remembering a statement my dad gave: “ even real Muslims don’t practise Islam like you do. You are overdoing it.”
It is something disheartening. To see the absence of Sunnah from the lives of Muslims. The decreasing importance of Islam in children. The void that is filling our lives now. A void which comes when the heart has forgotten to fear and hope from Allah. When a muslim forgets what he has to be.
The time for salah approached, and husband combined salatul Maghreb and salatul Isha.
– “Mom what is he doing?” , I heard an exclamation.
-“He is praying beta”, comes a sincere soft reply.
((Me *gawking* hainnnn??? Muslim kid asking what a man in Salah is doing? Some form of break dance eh?))
– “He is so sincere mom. I have never seen someone pray even in train! He must not be missing even single namaz then”
-“Why should he? Especially when Allah has made prayer during travel so easy for you. You don’t have to pray the sunnah. The fardh is halved and you may even combine salatul zuhr and asr, and salatul Maghreb and Isha. There is no excuse to miss salah.”
Did I just speak that aloud?
I noticed the mother looking at me with an embarrassed smile. The child sitting and staring at me wide mouthed. Perhaps they realises that there are ears underneath the niqab and yeah, mouth as well.
After the while the child when to the top berth of the train to sisters. Husband and I were on the lower berths. I could hear murmurs
-“dude, she speaks English ”
-“but she wears a niqab”
-“yeah but I heard her speaking English”
Voila! I still have ears. I look at them and pass a smile. Seems they realised I heard them.
I wonder what part of Islam has taught us that we need to shed a few sunnahs to be better educated. Who do think is responsible for imparting this understanding to the non-muslims that only the outdated and uneducated adorn the hijab ordained by Allah? Is it the media or is it we Muslims ourselves?
I try to imagine the lives of the next generation. Running in the rat race. Confused. Despaired. The same void. A depressing life, which has been quoted as modern and the ultimate purpose of life. A life devoid of barakah. Abundant is everything but barakah. Because no matter what we do, if we do not know who be belong to… There is never the sense of being in the right place.