5 days, 5 photos, 5 stories

FIVE DAYS CHALLENGE- DAY 5

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It was the happiest day of my life when Ammi Abba brought Aamir home. That’s all I ever wanted – a little brother. I was 6 and for all I knew he was the apple of my eye. For hours together I would sit beside him and cuddle him or simply stare at him whilst he was in his peaceful deep slumber. Alhamdulillah! Since then, all my duaas were always directed towards him.

I enjoyed doing things for him. To bathe him, powder him, clothe him, feed him and till date he is my baby brother. He is going to come to meet me today from Leeds and I can’t stop smiling.

Aamir had a hard time as a kid. When he was 4, he had trouble learning and memorizing like other kids. Often he would come back from school either scolded by teacher for being inattentive, or by being bullied by peers. When he told his teacher he cannot see and text gets blurred, we got his eyes tested. Everything turned out to normal. We thought he was making up stories.

At nights he would coherently sob and would beg not to go to school. My heart would go for him when I saw my parents sending him to school day after day. So oft he would remaim distressed with comments about his illegible handwriting and wrong spellings. Never could he complete his papers. So much that even mother had given up on the harsh words from teachers and neighbours. It was only after 2 years when we first heard about dyslexia. When we researched about the symptoms, we realised that Aamir possibly is going through the same. Examination affirmed that.

We knew he was different but that didn’t make him any less special. We realised that we could not let him go through this struggle alone. With patience and some brain racking, ammi, abba and I came up with some ideas to make learning easy for Aamir. Alhamdulillah, little do we realise the blessings hidden behind every pain.

Soon we were trying so many alternate learning methods. We made colourful graphics, Sand trays, paper cuttings etc. Alhamdulillah, our evenings were spent learning and teaching each other in all fun methods! Verily with hardship comes ease. The four of us were bonded closer than ever.

I can still reflect upon those moments wherein we sat by the fireplace, sipping soup and laughing away as Aamir would show us his tactics and skills! The rhymes that he learnt, the special friends that he made. How with love I would cuddle him to sleep…. how I didn’t realise when he grew up into a fine young man we are so proud of. With love and affection, one can attain feat over the highest mountains.

Aamir started doing better as he grew. Time and trials made us better equipped. We started understanding him and recognising his skills. More than anything else we could see his softness and kindness. It was indeed Allah’s hidden blessings. When we started off, we had no aim ahead except to please Allah subhanah wa ta’ala and strive for jannah but today we can see the outcome.

Aamir is 41 now. A successful lawyer, married to a beautiful lady and with a lovely daughter! He is the perfect son to my parents and the most generous brother. Alhamdulillah, a very caring human too. As for me, I started a school for dyslexic children. I started it to tell the world that they too are special amanah of Allah subhanah wa ta’ala. They too deserve the best.

Alhamdulillah, indeed every person who comes in your life has a purpose. For me, my life’s lesson was my own brother.. Aamir.

#a fictional tale

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I wish to thank sister fatmawaty who has selected me to participate in this “Five Days Challenge”. I’m supposed to post a picture each for five days and write a story keeping the picture as the theme. It may be a fiction or non fiction of any length. Each day I also have to nominate a fellow blogger to participate in this 5 days challenge.

My nominee for today is sisterofislam30. There is no compulsion for you to accept it but it is a fun activity and will get your brains racking! So go for it :-*

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5 days, 5 photos, 5 stories

FIVE DAYS CHALLENGE- DAY 4

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“Ma, I have become a muslim”.

I said it. I didn’t have the courage to look at her. My gaze remained low as my mother expressed her anger, anxiety, fears and sorrow. I knew she is in pain but it was a part of me that I had to tell her. She deserved to know it.

There were desires I carried. Desire to pray all five times, to wear a hijab, to learn arabic, to marry a practising muslim and of all to be what I want in front of the world. Today was my first step towards it. I know she is hurt, I know she is sad and I know that this anger is merely a cloak over her worry of her daughter being in the ‘tabooed community’. Despite all that, it is my faith and she deserves to know it.

Days passed, I kept making duaa and she kept watching me. Indeed Allah is the source of peace, He only is As Salam. As days passed her heart eased but the fear remained. The fear that her daughter might land amongst the wrong people. Sigh. Patience and prayer, I remembered.

Amidst all this, I had my friend Habeeba with me. We clicked like bomb from the day we met. Knowledgeable, pious and practising , Alhamdulillah. In spite of being 5 years younger than me, she was my companion for Allah’s pleasure. Not a day went by when we didn’t meet. Quietly after her school would be over, we would sit by the creek and speak for hours! We shared love for our deen and in very less time we knew everything about each other- about our families, hobbies, love, habits, routines etc etc. The day Habeeba would be late in arriving from school, I would worry whether she was alright and Alhamdulillah the relief when I saw her hopping to reach here!

One of the sweetest things that she did for me was to leave a small note every morning on my window sil en route her walk to school. The note had beautiful messages about Islam. Everyday when I woke up, I rushed to find the note and cherished the message always.

Things were fine and at home we were at ease until one day my mother came to me and lovingly held my hands.

– “My baby Monica, you must know that I care for you and no matter what you choose to be, I will always love you the most. I understand that you have chosen Islam for yourself and we cannot take it out from your heart. Monica, I have no problem if you wish to pray, wear hijab or read to gain Islamic knowledge but you have to be careful honey. We cannot trust strangers.”

Strangers?

– “baby, I am speaking of your new friend. Your father and I see you with her all day. The entire afternoon you are with her and all evening you are with her. We don’t know who she is, her background and how her family is.

Have you noticed that you have not spoken to your own cousins since 8months! Also the time you promised to meet your childhood friends -Sheetal and Ashna- at home, Habeeba turned up at home because you didn’t go to meet her! You kept your friends waiting in the hall for 2hours whilst you went to ‘attend her for a while’.

You wish to learn about Islam, we will provide you all books that you want but you must stop speaking to her. Excess of anything is not good.”

Saying this, my mother left the room. I realised that my response was not awaited. A part of me was happy that my mother has accepted me as a muslim but on the other side, I imagined how I would tell Habeeba about it. Our hearts had connected and it would be heartbreaking for her. But alas! It was my mother’s command. I was a muslim now and a muslim must obey every command of his mother (except that which is shirk).

I wanted to meet her one last time. To ensure a proper closure to our friendship. Tears dripped down our lids as I narrated the incident. I was sure Habeeba would help me obey my mother and of course she would be even happier to know that mother was slowly accepted my deen. Alhamdulillah, such a beautiful opportunity to introduce my deen to her by showing obedience. Maybe it was a golden opportunity by Allah azza wajal.

Habeeba gave me a last hug and we both made dua to meet in jannat-ul-firdous, in-shaa-Allah.

The next few days things got better between mother and me. My mother got some Islamic books for me and to my surprise even asked me about Islam. What our Prophet salallahu alayhi wasallam taught and what does the Qur’an say! Those were beautiful days. I would not get tired telling her alhamdulillah. Slowly my mother and I started bonding over religion. My hopes grew that in shaa Allah one day my mother would enter the folds of Islam.

A week or so later, when I woke up I saw the same small note on my window. Apprehensively I pulled it and started reading.

“Monica habibty, I miss you so much. I am afraid you might loose Islam and leave it. I need to meet you. Please tell me when you can meet.”

I felt sad for Habeeba. I know she had other muslim friends, I know she had a muslim mother who loved her so much but I know she loved me too and we spent a lot of time together everyday for a year! I understood it will take time for her to accept this change but I was bound by my promise to my mother. My mother might not know but Allah azza wajal is watching and it is my test whether I disobey my mother or not.

To keep Habeeba’s heart however I kept a small note .

-“dear Habeeba, please help me obey my mother. She might not like it if I communicate with you. Don’t make it difficult for me. I shall not reply after this since such notes are also a part of communication and my mother doesn’t want me to speak to you. My imaan is strong dearest, I won’t leave Islam ever in-shaa-Allah. It is difficult but we must strive and expect rewards from Allah alone.”

I don’t know how her innocent heart absorbed that message. A few weeks later I again found a note saying she is missing me and wants to meet. My heart clumped and I hid her note under my mattress. The next day too I found a similar note. I asked Allah to ease her heart, I asked Allah to remove the loneliness that she felt with her friends in school and I asked Allah to guide me to the right only, and I asked Him to soothe the fear of my mother.

The days that followed, I found a small note everyday but this time they were not personal messages, rather only messages of Islam. Sometimes duaas, sometimes sunnah, sometimes cuttings of islamic articles. It felt even worse to know that Habeeba still isn’t over me. Worse even, that months after months she has so many sisters around to share her deen, yet her heart was with me. I couldn’t understand how I must tell her to stop putting the notes for I feared that it is disobedience. Everyday in the morning I would rush out of fear to take the note and hide it hurriedly.

This continued for two months. How I wish Habeeba and I could control our nafs. I was alone but I was striving to please my family. She was alone but I couldn’t help her except to make duaa.

Yesterday when I went to look for the note it wasn’t there. For a moment I felt happy for Habeeba. Perhaps she is trying to get over me. Perhaps she is understanding that we must not attach our hearts so much to anything in this dunya. Perhaps she is consoling herself that sometimes Allah takes away the things we love to give us better. Maybe a good sister she is with now.

– “are you looking for this Monica?”. I turned and was horrified to find her holding the note.

SUNNAHS….., it read

-“love, from Habeeba Khan”, my mother read aloud. Saying this my mother shifted my mattress to reveal a pile of notes. She was not angry, she was hurt. Her eyes had tears and she seemed very disappointed. My eyes couldn’t meet hers. Worse, that she left me without saying a word.

I followed my mother, hoping to get one more chance but trust one broken is lost forever. I found her sobbing.

-“mother.. I am sorry.”

-“for the first time I saw you lying. All these months when you told me about Islam I really trusted you. I believed you when you said that people might be wrong but Islam is not. Today, my daughter who never lied to me, has lied after she became a muslim. Were we not peaceful with you? Did we not let you be a muslim or did we make it too hard for you to practise Islam that you had to lie to me to speak to Habeeba. Monica, I was worried for you. I saw you speaking to strangers just to speak about Islam and so I used to come to you to share your thoughts but I think you value her too much. You didn’t value the faith I had on you.”

I kept staring aghast. The pain in my mother’s eyes could not be compensated for with the world. How a small, innocent gesture of love led to my mother mis-trusting the muslim in me. I was caught disobeying her. I was ashamed.

Yesterday, I did something I should have done long back. Indeed excess of anything is not good and today I realised it applies to friendship too. It was my fault too that I did not give Habeeba space and time to make new friends. Just as I had distanced from my friends and family. A bond which when twitched, stopped us from ibadah, because all we did was to miss each other and think of how to stay in touch.
I remembered the verses where hazrat Sulaiman(as) turned away from his horses when the love for them distracted him from his salah.

My love for Habeeba made me hurt my mother, it shattered the faith a mother had on her daughter and above all it shattered the belief a non-believer had on a believer. As of now, perhaps this small innocent act distanced my mother from Islam. Not one happy glance has she bestowed on me since yesterday. Oh mother! how I want you back. Will my mother ever trust my words when I speak to her about Islam? Will she place her faith on me again? Will my mother ever accept Islam? Allah only knows. Some things are best left on Qadr.

I closed the window that day. Forever.

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#an inspired tale

I wish to thank sister fatmawaty who has selected me to participate in this “Five Days Challenge”. I’m supposed to post a picture each for five days and write a story keeping the picture as the theme. It may be a fiction or non fiction of any length. Each day I also have to nominate a fellow blogger to participate in this 5 days challenge.

My nominee for today is Shaqeena Raheem. There is no compulsion for you to accept it but it is a fun activity and will get your brains racking! So go for it :-*

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5 days, 5 photos, 5 stories

FIVE DAYS CHALLENGE- DAY 3

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The lands seem to have become barren. All my hardwork and toiling yields no outcome. My seeds are going waste. Oh how I wish for even the scantiest rainfall.

I am tired. I sit at the corner of my land and stare at the unending dryness. Not a hint of greenery. Alhamdulillah for the little water that my village gets. Warm water and sugar suffices as supper many a days. As long as my eight year old daughter gets a handful rice to eat to survive her days in school, Alhamdulillah I feel blessed.

A bright one she is. I don’t understand her books but I feel elated to go to her school for meets. Her teachers helped me get her scholarship. Alhamdulillah, one day she will grow up and be a madam In Shaa Allah.

Days pass this way until I see the last bit of grains in my tin. I look around and find nothing. I knew this day would come one day and I had nothing to do. Allah has provided me for this day, only He knows whether we are destined to have morsels tomorrow. It is He would fills every bird every day before they return to their nests in the evening. In Shaa Allah, He will take care of my daughter too.

Bismillah. I prepare the meal that day and with joy watch her eating. I pretend as if I had a heavy meal already and wish to sleep early. I remembered the days our Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) tied stones to his stomach after prolonged days of hunger. Tears swelled up my eyes.

I woke up apprehensive the next day. I made an intention to sell a piece of my land. That was all the asset I had and could give my daughter as an inheritance. But who would buy that barren earth? A long disappointing day and my heart clumped inside as I was walking back home.

I thought I would have to boil stones in a pot till my daughter went off to sleep. The old story that my mother had once told me.

My daughter leapt into my arms instantly as I came.

-“abba, you look so tired!”

I smiled and hugged her back. Sitting on my lap she started narrating me all about her school, friends, teachers etc. Soon it was time for supper. With hopes some miracle from Allah, I opened the tin make duaa for even a fistful of grain.

Alhamdulillah! Was it a dream? Or was yesterday a dream? There was a fistful grain indeed!! My heart was filled with thankfulness. I made a little for her, saved some for tomorrow and ate a little myself today.

This too would end. After failing to sell my land for two days, I again returned disappointed. My tins were empty again. This time there was no doubt. Allah works in His own way and I didn’t have any explanation when I again found a little grain just enough for the evening.

I couldn’t sleep that night. This kept on repeating. All the time when I was tilling my land, I kept wondering about the rice miraculously appearing everyday. Until I started wondering whether my daughter was getting it from somewhere.

I followed her to school yesterday and sat outside all day awaiting her. She must come out at 03:00pm. Half an hour beyond that, she is still not come. All the kids have left. Where is she? I rush to her classroom to find it vacant. I check every classroom, fanatically running down the corridor until i come across her teacher.

-” Madam, Madam.. where is Mehnaz? I cannot find her”

– “She left long back. Have you checked your home?”

I rush towards my home, only to be stopped by the school watchman.

-” are you looking for Mehnaz madam?”

Mehnaz madam?

-” yes my daughter. Mehnaz.”, I was scared now. Has something happened to her?

The watchman held my hand and guided me to the school backyard. When we stopped, he pointed at a banyan tree. There in the shade of the tree was my Mehnaz with two children in front of her holding books.

-” Your daughter is very kind babu. We cannot afford to get expensive tuitions from the school madams. My children are six and four. They were constantly failing in their subjects, and being illiterate I couldn’t teach them. Mehnaz madam once heard the principal complaining to me about them and offered to teach them.”

Tears started streaming down to see my daughter. She already became madam.

– “Alhamdulillah, what a kind girl you have babu.”, the watchman continued, ” All she takes is a fistful of rice.”

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#A fictional tale

I would like to thank sister Fatmawaty  has selected me to participate in this “Five Days Challenge”. I’m supposed to post a picture each for five days and write a story keeping the picture as the theme. It may be a fiction or non fiction of any length. Each day I also have to nominate a fellow blogger to participate in this 5 days challenge.

My nominee for today is Um Ibrahim.There is no compulsion for you to accept it but it is a fun activity and will get your brains racking! So go for it :-*

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5 days, 5 photos, 5 stories

FIVE DAYS CHALLENGE- Day 2

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7th August 1975, 5:00am.

“Tringgggggggg….”, my telephone rung yet again today! The ring now gets on my nerves. Everyday since the past 20days someone has been calling me at this hour. No matter how much I dig my head between pillows and blankets, the shrill ring seeps in disturbing my sleep.

My wife, Aairah, is already up for her salah and peacefully ignores the ring. Telephone exchange somehow have not bothered to help me with my ‘early-morning-frenzy-caller’.

Being a surgeon, I can never put the receiver aside. Emergency calls keep coming now and then. Allah only knows who is this silent friend of mine who calls me everyday and patiently calls till I receive and says nothing.

After trying to avoid it for long, helplessly I go and receive it expecting the usual silence.

-“Hello. Doctor Asif here. ”

Silence.

– “Hello?”

Sigh. I am about to keep the receiver down when I hear something.

– “Hello”. It was the scariest voice that I had heard. A heavy distant male voice,  slow in speech and commanding.

I stood there with the receiver on my ears.

-” For 20days you woke up for my call, knowing there was no outcome. What makes you sleep when Allah is calling you for salah?”

There was screeching noise and the call disconnected.

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

The receiver fell from my hands. I don’t know what happened. I started shivering. The darkness around started piercing. What was it?

-” Aairah..!”. My voice choked. I simply couldn’t speak. I wanted to but I couldn’t.

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7th September, 1975. 11:00am

“Tringggggg..”.

-“Hello.”

-“Aairah? Shaziyah here.”

-” Shaziyaaaaaaa! As salamu alai kum. Hahaha.. thank you so much Shaaz!. Jazakillah khair.”

– “Did it work?”

-” Alhamdulillah yes! Asif has not missed a single fajr henceforth. I never thought it would work but truly, am sure your husband must have made it sound really scary. Asif was sweating profusely that day. He sure seemed worried!!”

Shaziya and I couldn’t stop laughing! Maybe someday I would tell Asif about it and he could laugh along too! 😉

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# a fictional tale

I’d like to thank sister Fatmawaty who has selected me to participate in this “Five Days Challenge”. I’m supposed to post a picture each for five days and write a story keeping the picture as the theme. It may be a fiction or non fiction of any length. Each day I also have to nominate a fellow blogger to participate in this 5 days challenge.

My nominee for today is Jannah as my Goal.There is no compulsion for you to accept it but it is a fun activity and will get your brains racking! So go for it :-*

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5 days, 5 photos, 5 stories

FIVE DAYS CHALLENGE!- Day 1

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Dear Mother,

It has been 2 years since I saw you. How are you going to react when you see me today? These years have worn me mum. There sure isn’t a better feeling than coming home. The sweet fragrance of your clothes, your warm home cooked meals, the comfort of your embrace, and your constant nagging to clean my room (haha), I missed it all mother.

I know you missed me too. I knew you have been waiting for this day too. I know my neighborhood must already by captured by aromas emitted from our kitchen today! I know you must have constantly reminded all your friends about my home coming. About how your daughter today comes back as Dr. Naaz bint Uthman Khan.

I would have never seen this day had you not been there mother. I remember all the days that you single handedly worked in the laboratory and at home. How after abba passed away you took all my responsibilities on your own shoulders. I know you were lonely, yet you never let me feel left out.

The nights when you stayed up just because I had my terminal examinations, the savings you did to get my sports kit and the sorrow I saw in your eyes when we couldn’t afford that pretty dress for me! It took me a while to realise that all these years you never owned more than 3 abayas at a time. How naive I was!

You were my mother, my guide, my inspiration and my best friend! You taught me so much and most of all you taught me to trust Allah subhanah wa ta’ala. You reminded me that it was but a test and that I had to strive to perform my best as a muslimah. In spite of all hardships, we had to hold on really hard to our deen.

I carried so much with me when I left for my med-school. You sent me so that I never had to see the hardships that you did. You sent me so that I could fulfill the dream abba saw for me. I still believe that you look gorgeous that day. As I sat in the train to leave and keep staring at you bidding me goodbye. Those fine lines around your eyes, soft flowy mauve hijab and the smile of a strong muslimah.. SubhanahAllah! Gorgeous.

The time has now come that I pay you back for everything. The time for you to finally sit back home and retire. To enjoy the sweetness of ease. It is time for me to strive for jannah.. for indeed jannah lies at the feet of a mother.

I imagine you in the same mauve hijab, standing in the station and waiting for me. My heart smiles. Time doesn’t seem to pass.. my journey to you doesn’t seem to end..

Love.

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# a fictional story

I’d like to thank sister Fatmawaty who has selected me to participate in this “Five Days Challenge”. I’m supposed to post a picture each for five days and write a story keeping the picture as the theme. It may be a fiction or non fiction of any length. Each day I also have to nominate a fellow blogger to participate in this 5 days challenge.

My nominee for today is therevertmiyabhai. There is no compulsion for you to accept it but it is a fun activity and will get your brains racking! So go for it :-*

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