In my words...

. . .and then I called you. (Part 10)

Kabir:

I wish I could understand her expressions as she came out. What happened inside? How has she been? Where was she all these years? But her veil hid it all. I wanted to say sorry.. I wanted to ask whether she was doing fine.

Fine? Who was I kidding. With the man that I saw her with- the way he stood as a shield between her and me, a man who came with her all the way for a strange woman- alhamdulillah, sure she was more than fine with him.

Yet, to seek one word of forgiveness from her or perhaps out of mere instinct…..

– “M.. Mairah…”

It was a mistake. I should have noticed that she isn’t the same Mairah anymore. I should have realised that not once did she glance at me. I should have realised that I am but a na-mahram.

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Without any response, she started walking away. Her gait getting faster and faster until she reached the end of the corridor. I stood there, watching her as she found her man. I was amazed at how he understood her even before she reached him and embraced her. My faith on him was reaffirmed when I saw her finding homage in him. As I saw him comforting her.

The Prophet(Sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said to Saaid ibn Abi Waqqas,”Know that no charity that you give whether small or large, for the sake of Allah, but you will be rewarded for it, even the bite (of food) that you put in your wife’s mouth.” [Bukhari & Muslim]

– ” Ammi, did you clear your test?”, her toddler sprang up, ” Abba told me you had a test.”

– “In shaa Allah Fur’qān”, the same voice after so many years, but with a lot more composure.

The man carried his child and my gaze followed them for as long as it could. SubhanAllah! A family that I once dreamt of having… a family that is but an amanah from Allah subhanah wa ta’ala.

Among His proofs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, in order to have tranquility and contentment with each other, and He placed in your hearts love and care towards your spouses. In this, there are sufficient proofs for people who think.” [Qur’an 30:21]

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I went in to meet Aafiyah.

-” She came Kabir! She came.. Did you see her Kabir?”, I had not seen her beaming like this since yesterday.

– “Mmm… ”

– ” Masha’allah, what noor Kabir. Her face…the excellence. Her very presence. I have never seen someone like that.”

Aafiyah kept speaking about her. Mumbling a word here and there. Telling me how good she was. How she wanted her to be there with her and just sit there in nothingness. She kept laughing as if a long lost friend came. A faint smile lingered on her face as she drifted into her slumber.

What made Mairah come? What must she be feeling?

I remembered the last time I had seen her. I remembered her face when I pronounced talaq. I remembered how unfair I had been to her. The day I realised that she had left and the minor searches that I did to find her- only to give up 2 years later. How forgetful I was as a human. How insensitive. My mind was intrigued to know her journey. I shall, of course, never know it. It is only Allah subhanah wa ta’ala who knows it all and who plans it all.

And live with them (your spouses) in kindness. For if you dislike them, perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.” ( Qur’an 4:19)

Despite all odds, she came today. Yet again, she proved to be someone way beyond my understanding of humane. My heart remembered the day she pleaded for mercy and I never looked back. My mind flashed all the images, tears and hurt of those days.

It is amusing how Qadr works. Today, I am the one who has lost a child, today I sit here alone pleading to my Rabb for my love- looking into my sins, seeking forgiveness but it is a point of no return. I shall see her slowly slipping away and no matter how hard I fasten my grip, time shall never pause..

No calamity befalls on the earth or in yourselves but is inscribed in the Book of Decrees (Al-Lauh Al-Mahfooz), before We bring it into existence. Verily, that is easy for Allah.
In order that you may not grieve at the things that you fail to get, nor rejoice over that which has been given to you.
(Qur’an 57: 22-23)

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THE END…

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In my words...

. . .And then I called you. (Part 9)

Kabir:

As time was ticking, Aafiyah’s condition was deteriorating. She was unconscious most of the time. I was making all vain efforts to assuage myself. Hoping that suddenly Allah subhanah wa ta’ala would shower His mercy and Aafiyah would come walking out.

Lost in my thoughts, I heard an unknown voice. Husky, strong and with a heavy accent, “Is Mrs. Aafiyah inside? Are we allowed to meet her?”

I looked up, failing to recognise the man.
-“yes but you are..?”, perhaps an old friend or colleague of her’s.

I did not bother to notice the petite niqabi woman standing behind him, still  studying his face, trying to guess who he was.

-” Mairah please go inside. I’ll wait for you here”. A chill ran down my spine as he uttered those words. I had given up hopes of her coming after she disconnected the call yesterday. As an obedient wife she silently went inside, not a glance shared, not a word uttered.

I remembered the Mairah I knew. Full of life, bubbling with joy and absolutely unreserved about life. I remembered the Mairah who uttered her shahadah the first time and entered into the fold of Islam fresh and pure. It took me a while to imagine her behind the veil, to imagine her shy and seeking shelter behind her husband. Certainly, Allah is the best of Planners. It is He who choses His servants and guide them towards Him.

“… and Allah sends astray (thereby) whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.” [ Surah Ibrahim 14:4]

Husband. I suddenly realised the look of disgust that man had as he found my eyes stuck on his wife. In my amaze it didn’t occur to me that I kept staring. My eyes went down with shame. As he carried his child and sat a little ahead, I sat there observing him. My heart was filled with admiration. He seemed to be engaged in serious conversation with his son, responding to every innocent gesture of the child. The very look of the man reflected imaan, dignity, calmness and poise. A muslim, a true servant of Allah.

” And whoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make his matter easy for him”  [Qur’an 65:4″

His very demeanour put me to shame. Alhamdulillah, my heart felt happy for her. She finally was with someone worthy of her. Indeed a pious man is for a pious woman. A part of my heart found peace.

” Good women are for good men..” [Qur’an 24:26]

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Mairah:

My heart was beating fast and loud. She turned to look at me as the door squeaked.

Breathtakingly beautiful. She lay there weak and fragile, yet so graceful. She recognized me, I know yet there was a confusion.

-” as salamu alai kum. I’m Mairah”

I don’t know what I wished to hide. Whether it was my sadness, anger or pride. I kept my veil on. Tears streamed down her eyes and I had them too. An unspoken sadness prevailed in the room.

” and ever is your Lord Seeing.” [Qur’an 25:20]

Her attempts to sit up were all vain, following which she gestured me to sit beside her. Something within me wanted to spill all the bitterness I held within me, I knew it was the waswasa – whispers of shaytaan. I kept mum, seeking protection from Allah, seeking sabr and wisdom. The tongue indeed is the worst enemy of mankind.

The Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “A Muslim is one who avoids harming Muslims with his tongue and hands.” [Sahih Al Bukhari Vol 1 Book 2 Hadith 10]

I obliged. Sat next to her not knowing what to say. Why had she called me? What does she want from me?

Her weak hands trembled as she extended them towards me, and I out of reflexes held them back.

Some whispers… soft words and murmurs which I couldn’t understand.. her tears and grief was choking her. I knew she was in deep pain. Emotionally and physically. All I could hear was forgive me….

I kept staring as she repeated, sobbing fervently, “please.. forgive me”

It was a moment of deep loss. I could feel the pain of a mother. These were the final moments before she meets our Creator, Al Ghani, Al Jami’ – The Rich One, The Gatherer.

My pride and my anger evaporated. Didn’t I want to be forgiven by my Lord too? Was I sinless? I visualised the day I will be pleading before Al Ghafur, Al Ghaffar.

And Allah says, “..I am indeed Forgiving to him who Repents” [Qur’an 20:82]

– ” I forgive my sister.”, I said stroking her palm, ” I forgive…”

I could see her relieved. It was a favour I did on myself. I realised that if anyone was being hurt the most, it was me. Indeed the wisdom behind forgiveness is beyond our limited knowledge.

I made her lie down and got up to leave. We didn’t have much to say.

– “Mairah..”, a soft whine..

I turned.

– ” niqab…”, she was indicating me to show my face.

I didn’t want to lift my veil. It was as if I used it to upkeep the barrier between us. I didn’t respond and simply continued to walk away. However, as I reached for the knob, my heart knew I was being deceitful. I just said I forgave. AllahuAkbar, who was I bluffing? Allah azza wajal knew what my heart held.

Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. ” [Qur’an 6:59]

I headed back to her, put up a smile as warm as I could and lifted my veil- hence lifting all confinements between our hearts. Her face beamed with happiness and her lips curved into a smile.

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The voice within me made me bend and give a peck on her cheek. At that moment, I let go the 24year old Mairah forever. Our story had for ever completed it’s loop. It was a blessed moment. The affection that I carried, was a gift from Al Wadud – the Most Loving, the source of Love.

I said salam, put my veil down and left the room eager to meet my family. There was a certain frenzy when I couldn’t find Saaiq outside. I stood at the door in complete hysteria, when I heard a voice…

-“M.. Mairah..”.

My heart clumped inside. It was him. My eyes started searching Saaiq even more fanatically. Something was hammering my stomach.

My feet got cold.. I didn’t know what to do.

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To be continued. . .

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In my words...

. . .and then I called you. (Part 8)

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Saaiq:

I sat aghast. Time froze for me. For a split scond I thought she was joking. Every second that ticked made me hope that she would suddenly start laughing and declare it to be a joke. However, that wasn’t how it went. Her expressions remained as it was, as if someone had torn her soul.

Wallahi, I couldn’t blink a lid as she remembered her past and narrated everything she went through. To imagine a Mairah in love with another, did hurt. Was I a replacement? Did she love me as much? I could see the bruises that were made raw this morning. Did she often remember her past before this day?

I don’t know why I behaved the way I did. As she completed, I felt betrayed. There was an overwhelm of emotions in me. Shaytaan overtook me. There was hurt, anger, sadness and confusion. Though I saw her right there, her face hung in shame, her hand in mine and a hope for mercy from me. Though deep within I wanted to stay and console her with good words. Yet, I got up and walked out of the house. I did not have words to speak to her, I did not have the heart to be there and like just another man, I left her alone… again. Simply sat in my yard waiting to absorb her words into me.

.. By the soul and (by) Him who made it perfect, and then inspired it to understand what is wrong and what is right for it. Truly is successful the one who purifies (his soul).  (Qur’an, 91: 7-9)

As an hour passed, reality struck. Her words flashed in my mind. A vivid imagery played. The imagery of her facing all of it alone. The time when she compiled herself and despite all blockades learnt to laugh. Those years must have been so difficult for her to bear. It was perhaps those years of hardships that polished her to be the gem that she is today. A person so close to our Maker, the woman who keeps my family close to our Rabb. My heart ached for her. I felt a tinge of anger for that man who could bring her to this. Alhamdulillah, she walked alone with pure faith on Allah.

And whoever is mindful of Allah, He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from an unexpected source. And when someone puts all his trust in Allah, He will be enough for him.” [Qur’an, 65:2-3]

I remembered my five years with her. From the first day when my aunt told me about this revert girl in her madressah- religious and pious, the first time I saw her and from the first day that we have been married, till this day when she is the mother of our son. All the moments we shared, all the smiles and all the tears. Did I still have an ounce of hesitation about our marriage being anything but the will of Allah? She had been a loyal companion, fulfilling every duty of a wife and helping me complete my obligations. She is my pair sent by Allah, the coolness of my eyes.

Among His proofs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves, in order to have tranquility and contentment with each other, and He placed in your hearts love and care towards your spouses. In this, there are sufficient proofs for people who think. (Qur’an 30:21)

What did I just do? I left her alone at home. Didn’t I assure her that I would be there and that she could share her worry? She placed her trust on me. Why did I not control my nafs before leaving her hand and walking out? Wallahi, who was I to be angry with her?

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As I reached home, I saw her seated right where I left her. Her eyes twinkled with hope, the tears that glistened gave way to a faint smile. My heart gave away whatever burden that it was carrying. That smile sealed my heart with assurance. I smiled back and gave her the warmest hug.

Allah says  “…And live with them (your wives) in kindness…” (Quran 4:19)

Thoughts didn’t leave me.. Should I let her go? What if it pains her to be before them again? What if I loose a part of my lady? It was she that I worried for. Could I let her go through the agony again? Did I have it in me to soothe her and heal her heart with love? I didn’t have much time. We had to decide.

 Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) said to `Umar (radiallahu anhu), “Shall I tell you the best a man can treasure? It is a good wife. If he looks at her, she gives him pleasure; if he orders her, she obeys; and if he is away from her, she remains faithful to him”. (Abu Dawood)

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I held her hand (this time not to let go) and asked, – “do you want to go Mairah?”

She nodded, “hmmm.. she is our sister in ummah”

I heaved a sigh. Alhamdulillah, made a silent duaa. Was Allah not the turner of hearts and the one who heals? He is As Salām, the Source of Peace and Al Muīd, the Restorer. He is the controller of Mairah’s and my heart and only He can give us ease.

-“then we shall go Mairah. In shaa Allah. Prepare for our visit to India”

The Prophet(salallahu alayhi wasallam) said, “The best among you are those who are best to their family and I am the best to my family.”
(Tirmizi, ibn Majah)

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To be continued. . .

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In my words...

. . . and then I called you. (Part 7)

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Mairah:

That was how I first heard of Saaiq. I was told he is a practising muslim, looking for a pious practising muslimah. The description stayed with me. It said pious and practising, not beautiful, fair, highly educated and homely.

The Prophet (saws) said: “A woman may be married for four reasons: for her property, her status, her beauty, and her religion; so try to get one who is religious, may you be blessed.” 

I was told that he is a doctor who is involved in a lot of voluntary work for pleasing Allah. I was told that he was humble and kind. I still remember the first time our meet was arranged. He came down from Singapore and we saw each other at Alima Shehnaz’s house.

I noticed how his gaze immediately went down after the first glance. I noticed his beard. I noticed how he ate, how he drank, how he wore his shoes. It was all in lines with the sunnah of our Prophet salallahu alayhi wasallam. Alhamdulillah. In the days that came, I prayed salat-ul-istikhara and alhamdulillah by the will of Allah gave my consent. This time it was for Allah’s pleasure and I saw in him just what Allah wanted me to see. He was pious, responsible and of good character. A few days later consent came from their side too and the rest was history.

Abu Hurayrah radiallahu anha reported that the Prophetsalallahu alayhi wasallam said: “If a man whose religious commitment and moral conduct you approve of proposes for marriage to your daughter, then marry her to him; otherwise, trials will prevail and great corruption will spread upon the earth.” [At-Tirmithi & Ibn Maajah] 

It was five yeas from today. Each day henceforth is treated as a gift from Allah, another opportunity to please him. Saaiq helped me complete half my deen. A doting husband, adoring father, a funny companion to have but first a devoted servant of Allah subhanah wa ta’ala. The years that went, have humbled me. A sense of peace prevails within me that I have not experienced ever before. I know there lies a test for me in this too.

It was like that until the call came. I decided I wouldn’t go and I wouldn’t tell Saaiq about it. Why should I tell Saaiq and disturb my marital life? Why because of her again? I have not forgotten the hurt. The image of a 24 year old me flashes in my mind. I look at my baby, Furq’ān. He is in his own world. Masha’allah. An amanahfrom Allah. A blessing.

Aafiyah and I lost our baby…

AllahuAkbar… inni lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon.

Did I feel the loss of a mother? Why does she want to meet me? I really shouldn’t care.

I kept my phone off all day. Maybe I was an escapist. Perhaps that’s what I always did. My heart wasn’t at peace. I begged Allah for mercy.

Aafiyah is counting her last moments… she wants to meet you..

“The Muslim Ummah is like one body. If the eye is in pain then the whole body is in pain and if the head is in pain then the whole body is in pain” (Sahih Bukhari, Book 32, #6261)

Why does she want to meet? What if she dies? Should I tell Saaiq? Will he accept me with my past?

Yes… Saaiq doesn’t know. I never told him. He never asked.

It was a restless day. That voice within me felt for her. I knew I wanted to go. In spite of everything, she is my sister in ummah. A sister who has sent for me. Must I not go? Perhaps, it was my qadr that Saaiq must know.

As dusk approached, Fur’qān stood staring at the door awaiting his father, as he always does. His eyes lit with glee as the door knob turns! I think it’s mutual. I see that spark in Saaiq’s eyes too. They are the same eyes after all. It was different today for me. I cherished as I saw the similar scene again today as if it was the last time I was seeing it. Would my life be the same after this day?

Lost in my thoughts, I forgot to walk towards Saaiq and greet him. But kind as he is, he came forward and with a warm hug asked me if everything was alright. I nodded in affirmative. Though, I saw the frown of doubt on his face, I looked down and walked into the kitchen.

After Maghreb, as my family waited for supper, my mind was going through a turmoil. I kept looking at my family playing and joking as the dastarkhan lay spread. I felt scared of losing again. I was afraid of standing alone again. I couldn’t utter a word. I missed many questions and gave random responses.

As we put Fur’qān to sleep, Saaiq held my hand and we sat in the hall.

– ” what’s the matter? Has anything happened?”

The tone softened my heart and tears gushed out uncontrollably. How by the will of Allah he always solved every issue of my life! How he was everything I wanted in my spouse.

-“Mairah!  tell me, I am there..” his grip became firmer and something squeezed my heart.

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In my words...

. . . and then I called you. (Part 6)

Mairah:

I don’t know what was written in my Qadr. I boarded a bus to Hyderabad and visited Alima Shehnaz. My friend, Shruthi, had mentioned about how Alima Shehnaz  provided shelter to muslimahs in need. Masha’allah. I made a call and immediately she sent help. I remember stepping into the shelter home for the first time. I was overwhelmed. Fourteen women. These were women who had no shelter elsewhere on earth yet there was so much joy and positivity. They lived on bare necessities, yet they did went a step ahead to help their sisters around them. Did I think my life was better?

Their stories would bring tears to my eyes. Yet, they laughed, smiled and loved each others like sisters. Every few days there would be a new sister who would enter the home and would become a part of our lives forever. Wallahi, and the glee when anyone would get married and leave! Tears of happiness would swell and we would spring with joy and hopes!

These were the best amongst the ummah. Some of them were young alimas and some were studying to become one. Every weekend we would have classes from ulemas and we were made to get involved in dawah work. Giving dawah was an obligation.

Invite to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided.” (Quran, an-Nahl: 125)

Alhamdulillah, how at nights we would stand up for tahajjud and you could hear sobs. In dim lights, some would sit and complete their madressah lessons. At fajr we would push and shake each other. A few would often need a splash of water! Then we would stand in the peace of dawn as the adhaan from multiple mosques would fill the room calling us towards success.

We slept on floors. Sometimes when the number of girls became more than number of mattresses that we had, we would sleep two on a mattress! We took turns to sleep under the fan everyday. Alhamdulillah, every new girl was treated as a baby! Perhaps because we knew that feeling one goes through on the first day here.

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I was the same when I came there. In true sense I felt what it meant to be someone’s sister in Islam. For the first time I learnt how important hijab was. Something within me changed as I wore the hijab. For the first time I learnt how important it was to live on the path of sunnah. For the first time I learnt to live for the pleasure of Allah alone.

Say: Truly my prayer, and my actions, and my life, and my death are all for God, the Cherisher of the Universe”. (Qur’an, Chapter 6; Verse 162)

SubhanAllah!

As I read more, I wondered why was I so away from practising my deen. I was a muslim, yes, but why was ‘complete submission’ absent? Why in spite of being married into a family that was always a muslim, we stopped doing anything beyond fardh? I witnessed a different meaning of “striving for Allah”. Every woman there amazed me everyday! Masha’allah.

Friends on that Day will be enemies one to another, except al-Muttaqoon (i.e. those who have Taqwah).” [Qur’an 43:67]

That was my life for three years. Three very short years. Alhamdulillah, I was blessed. Alima Shehnaz always took very good care of us and was our motherly figure. I met people for Allah’s pleasure and loved them for the same. I witnessed Allah’s miracles when someone was given hidayah and returned to Islam. It was one such other day when Alima Shehnaz asked me to visit her.

-“there’s something important to discuss.”, she said

It must be about expanding our madressah I guessed. We have been working on it.

I went to her place that evening. As warm as she always was, she got tea for us. I was giving her all the updates about our home, when she interrupted me.

-” Have you thought about marriage Aairah?”

I was stunned for a few seconds. Marriage? Yes, I missed the comfort and completeness of marriage but I had found my family. I felt the warmth of love here. There was a void deep within but I had accepted my life as it was.

Perhaps….i was scared.

Marriage? Again?… no..

I chose to stay mum.

-“my sister is looking for a pious girl for her son. I don’t know, but I think you are going to be the best match for him Mairah. I have seen you all these years and I think it is time for you to get married. You cannot be here forever. You must complete half our deen.”

Pious girl… these words kept echoing. I? Pious?

-” Saaiq is a very good person Masha’allah. Very serious about deen. A wise and responsible man. Most importantly, a practicing muslim. So is the family. They are well read about the deen and alhamdulillah they will care for you. ”

Practising muslim…

Women impure are for men impure, and men impure for women impure and women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity: these are not affected by what people say: for them there is forgiveness and a provision honorable. 
[24: An-Nur-26]

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To be continued. . .

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In my words...

. . .and then I called you. (Part 5)

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Mairah:

It didn’t sink in. What did he just say?
I managed to utter a few words, “what did you say? It is a bad joke Kabir”

– ” She joined office two months back. I don’t know what happened. The moment I saw her I was blown out of my mind.”

Oh.. just a minor attraction. He is confessing his guilt. He loves me so much! I try to console him…
-” it’s okay. It happens Kabir. It is just an attraction. I know. You’re just guilty. I am with you. We will sail through it.”

He shook his head in disagreement,
-” we have been meeting everyday for the past one month Mairah. We want to get married. Please understand, we love each other”

– “she too? Does she know that you’re married?”, I startled in surprise. How could a woman do this?

– ” I told her last week. She was very angry and gave her resignation the following day. She stopped talking to me ever since. I was miserable Mairah, I couldn’t imagine my life without her. I know I am wrong, I know I am being unfair to you but I couldn’t stop myself from approaching her today.”

– “…and?”

-” she agreed.. she feels very unhappy for you Mairah. But we love each other. I promise you, I will never abandon you or leave you helpless. All your needs will be taken care of. Whenever you need anything I will be there as a friend.”

Everything else was left unheard. I didn’t know what my reaction should be. This day was even beyond my dreams. I never had a back up plan. I didn’t complete my education, my parents refused to take me back. I begged, I pleaded for my marriage, only to realise I was begging from an insaan.

A few weeks later Kabir pronounced “talaq” for me. I tried to please him in every way. What was in her that I lacked? I turned to Allah azza wajal. I begged for mercy. I begged for forgiveness. Why was this happening to me?

He would come home late everyday. I knew they were together but I couldn’t do anything. The days he would speak to me, he only spoke about her. It was perhaps the worst feeling to hear about another woman from him, but I still would, just to hear him speak to me.

My days at home would be spent reading the Qur’an, trying to understand His (azza wajal) words instead of merely reciting it in arabic as I did till today. In the words of my Maker did I find solace. I prayed nafls, haajat, istikhara.. just to seek guidance. After six years I woke up again for Tahajjud. Is that how close you feel to Allah in the last third of the night? In the darkest corners of my house, I would cry for hours in sujood. I heard the voice within me, the voice that answered all my questions. The voice that spoke the truth.

“When at dusk, the thoroughbred horses were displayed before him.He then said, “I loved the material things over the remembrance of my Lord, until it disappeared behind a veil.” (Qur’an 38:31-32)

Did Sulaiman(as) not allow material possessions to distract him from worshipping Allah? Indeed, he then repented and got rid of those horses.

I knew why it was happening to me but my nafs wouldn’t let me accept. I knew my love for him had become worship. I had started to thank him for my happiness. My days would be spent thinking about him and considering myself lucky for being the chosen one.

Your money and children are but a test, and with God lies a great reward.” ( Qur’an 64:15)

Somewhere down the line I became blind in materialism. I thought I had secured my life until my oldage, wherein even tomorrow was not promised to me! My salah was the only sign of my deen. I forgot to strive for Allah (azza wajal). Unknowingly, I had distanced myself from my Maker. I felt so lost because my life was not for the pleasure of my Maker. Yet, He(azza wajal) was patient with me. He kept on giving me for so many years. Wallahi, with what deeds would I go to Allah (azza wajal) if I would die tonight? I knew, He took only to give me better. A better chance to turn to Him before I die. How could I now complain?

When distress struck hazrat Ayub (as) after 80 years of blessings, he (as) told his wife, “I am ashamed to call on my Lord to remove the hardship, for I have not suffered longer than the years of good health and plenty.”

This from a man so pious, and I was but another sinner. As I read the words of  my master, the Malik-ul-Mulk, it was as if He (azza wajal) was speaking to me.

Ibn Taymiyah said: ‘A calamity that makes you turn to Allah is better for you than a blessing which makes you forget the remembrance of Allah.’

 Allaah says in a hadeeth Qudsi:
‘I am as my slave thinks of me and I am with him whenever he remembers me.’ 

My iddat period was coming to an end and all hopes were faltering. Until that day, the voice told me something. I wiped my tears, packed my bags, held my Qur’an close to my heart and left.

I walked, I walked and I walked. Within my heart I made a small dua, “Ya Allah, as I start today, let me depend solely on you..never let me turn back out of weakness.”

And whosoever depends upon Allah, then He is sufficient for him (Qur’an 65:3)

For once I wanted to depend on Him alone. For once I wanted to strive for Him alone. I walked towards my sole destination from this day – towards my Rabb…. to never return. Never.

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To be continued. . .

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In my words...

. . .and then I called you.(Part 4)

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Mairah:

It was a beautiful morning. My three year old, Fur’qān, was playing in the yard. I was making his favourite strawberry smoothie. His cackle never fails to mesmerize me. Every time I hear him laugh, I burst into laughter myself. Alhamdulillah. The coolness of my eyes.

And those who say, “Our Lord, grant us from among our wives and offspring comfort to our eyes and make us an example for the righteous.” Those will be awarded the Chamber for what they patiently endured, and they will be received therein with greetings and [words of] peace. [Al Qur’an 25:74, 75]

SubhanAllah!

I heard my phone ringing. I guessed it must be mummy (my mother in law). It must be 8am in India and this is when we usually call each other everyday. My mobile screen shows India code but it isn’t mummy’s number. I wonder for a while. It has been quite sometime that I got a call from anyone else in India.

– “Hello?”, it was more of an inquisition than a greet

-“Mairah?”

The response swept the floor off my feet

-“Mairah, is that you? Please, please respond… it’s me, Kabir”

I kept mum. I didn’t know what to say. The same voice, but softer and lot more humble.

– ” Mairah, Aafiyah- my wife. Aafiyah and I, lost our baby…”, his voiced choked. Did I hear him sob?, “..and she is counting her last minutes. She wants to meet you Mairah. That’s the last thing she asked from me. I know you’re in Singapore, I got your number from Shruthi and I know it is not easy to come over but please …please if you could.. We’re in Sanjeevani hospital.”

There was a long pause. I could still hear sobs, some other words and murmurs. As for me, I was still. Emotionless. The silence was interrupted by Fur’qān’s laughter. I disconnected the call and rushed to him. Carried my baby, held him close to me. It took a while to sink in what just happened. Was I dreaming?

The phone rang again. Same number. It wasn’t a dream. I disconnected the call and turned off my phone.

It’s been 8 years and now she wants to meet me? Of course I would never go. My heart feels this overwhelming pain..

And surely We shall try you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and crops; but give glad tidings to the patient, Who says, when afflicted with calamity: “To Allah We belong, and to Him is our return”: They are those on whom (descend) Blessings from Allah, and Mercy, and they are the ones that receive guidance. (Al-Baqarah 2:155-157)

I remember the Mairah, who was… the 24year old young divorcee. A revert to Islam. Disowned by parents, shunned by her husband for another woman. As I close my eyes, those moments flash as a nightmare. Crystal clear.

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8 YEARS AGO…….

It was my birthday the next day. Kabir had been coming home late since the last month. Too much work load I guessed. Year after year, for the last 8 years he had always planned the best surprises on this day. I couldn’t wait to know what awaited this year! I considered myself so lucky to be married to him. We would celebrate our 7th anniversary this September. I smiled remembering how beautiful these years had been.

I was 16 when I met him. My best friend, Sarah, had called me over for lunch. It was not uncommon for me to visit her place for meals but what I didn’t know was that her brother had returned from the UK. It was love at first sight he says! Not for me…

Sarah sure had introduced Islam to me. Over the next year, I went even deeper and Alhamdulillah perhaps he was sent to me to turn me towards Allah subhanah wa ta’ala. I don’t know what I did to deserve this life and to deserve this deen. Life swirled as a whirlwind in this year. As anyone would, my parents believed I have been brainwashed. They refused to see me ever again. However, life had plans for me! Kabir asked me to get married and l leapt to say yes! I was a 17year old bride, beaming with joy and glee.

That was then and it is beyond 7 years now! Alhamdulillah. I startle as the doorbell rings. Ah! It’s 11:45pm. It’s late but still on time to celebrate my birthday at 12:00am! I open the door smiling from ear to ear. He looked tired and disinterested. Perhaps acting! I give him water and sit next to him waiting for the next 15 minutes to pass.

– “Mairah… I have something to tell you”

I stare at him wide eyed. Holiday? New dress? Long drive? Gift?

-” Mairah, I love someone else”

Uhhh, the same old joke. I love my work. I love Mumbai. I love mumma. I love our future baby. He really thought this would panic me? It made me chuckle!

-” I wish to divorce you Mairah.”, his gaze lowered. The clock struck 12:00. My phone started ringing vehemently.

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To be continued. . .

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