Note: Just a heads up… The writer of this blog will be taking a short break, so there will be one more post before a 2-3 week break, and season two will commence. Happy reading, peeps.
Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
It was almost a month since Waseem had left home, and his absence was palpable.
Life was beginning to evolve around me, and it seemed like everyone around was progressing with their own story. As universities started opening and people started moving on, everyone became interested in making it for themselves. Long story short: the party was over.
With Waseem not around, I kind of got sucked back in to my previous mentality. I supposed that I was still trying to change, but I was less determined. I mean, there was no incentive for me, so why should I make all that effort?
I eventually found myself hanging around with friends I had stopped being with since Waseem had intervened, because they were the only ones that seemed to not be going anywhere in life. I found it strangely comforting that they didn’t care if I was studying or working, or what I did with my life.
Rich kids like me, I supposed, who didn’t have to care.
And then, of course, the temptation was stronger than ever. At first it was easy to be good, but when your body is used to a kind of lifestyle, it begins to crave it again. It goes into a kind of after-shock, not really fully able to deal with the lack of toxins entering it.
So where there was opportunity, I started using, in small quantities, just to keep the cravings at bay.
I blocked out rationality. I blocked out the message my heart was sending to my brain, telling me that it was wrong.
Man, I was staying away from so much, I convinced myself. I just needed this one thing to keep me sane.
And so, before I could blink, another two weeks went by, with me caught up in myself. My father had bought me a brand new BMW, and you could say that I was flying high once again. Literally.
By staying away from girls, I honestly thought that I was doing too much, so I needed a little bit of a break.
And yeah, Shaytaan was so sharp. He got me even fooling myself. When you’re in that position, and you think you’re thinking for yourself, it’s never the case. The drug, the craving, the addiction… It all speaks for you. You’re controlled by that solely, and nothing you do seems sinful.
So one day, on a whim, and in a different kind of high, I decided to go to the mosque. I wasn’t sure why, but maybe it was my mind telling me that I’ve had enough. Maybe I just needed to be inspired again. I wasn’t sure what it was.
Some stupid perception in my mind made me think that some person I would meet there was going to be my guidance. That I was going to change my life, because someone else was going to make me. Someone else but me.
But as I entered, as was in store for me, my brother was the first person I saw. I kept thinking to myself, if only I had come before that, I might have not got myself into the mess I had. And of course, Waseem, looking like a like a boss in full Islamic attire, knew me too well. He immediately came up to me, taking me aside.
“Zee, what the hell?!” He asked, looking perturbed as he scrutinised my blood-shot eyes. He looked behind him, as if he was afraid someone would see him, and then guided me to a remote area of the whudhu khana.
“You’re staying here?” I asked him, feeling weird in the mosque. I was shivering slightly, but not because it was cold.
“No,” he said, looking at me as if I was stupid. “It’s nearly Salaah time.”
I nodded dumbly, and he continued to look at me, almost as if he didn’t know what to tell me.
He didn’t have a chance to say anything, because at that point, Iqamah had just started. He rushed to the front, dragging me with him.
I wasn’t sure what I was reading in that Salaah, but something came into my mind as I stood. All I could think of was that there was a reason I was there, at that moment. A reason I was still alive, with everything I had gone through and put my body through. If I could count the times I had almost over-dosed… I had no idea how I had come through.
At that time, all I knew was that I wanted to feel peaceful again. I kept glancing at Waseem, looking at his contented expression, and thinking to myself how serene it was. How he had made it happen for himself, despite everything. How he had found the gold where I never thought it could be. And I wanted that.
And then, finally, as we we went down for the most humbling part of the prayer, all I could think of was how badly I wanted to change. In that environment, once again, with those emotions coming on from that first day I had heard the Maulana dude talking, my mind was once again enlightened.
Yes, I had tried, but maybe it wasn’t what I should have strived for. I had tried, but I didn’t ask Allah to be with me. I didn’t try hard enough. I had tried, but I had been knocked down hard. Harder than before.
And you know what they say. When life knocks you down, remember, you’re right there where you need to be. You’re in the perfect position to pray.
And so I did. Salaah ended, and I prayed. For like, the first time in my life, I really prayed to my Lord, wanting to let it all out. I took the humblest position, my forehead on the ground, choking on the words that I didn’t know how to say. Hands flat, the hardness of the ground pressed against my head, it seemed as if the world was lifting off.
I asked Him for His help, because at that moment, I really and truly believed that He was the only One who could assist me. He was the only One who could help me get through this.
I knew what I wanted, and I meant it. I just needed to say it… And I finally could.
“Become mine, and I’ll be Yours, forever,” my heart was begging.
They were words that came from the very depths of my soul. It was ironic, that as I placed my head on the ground, tears falling freely, that was the moment where I felt higher than ever. Where I felt lifted up enough to grab the opportunity screaming out at me. It was a chance for me. To change my status. A chance to make me better. A chance to make it all right.
And as I got up and I felt like I had come back down to earth, Waseem sat next to me, eyeing me out.
“Go home and have a rest, ” he advised, .
And so I did. It was a sleep like no other, because when I got up, all I could feel was peace. No other symptoms that usually accompanied the crap I did. It was amazing.
“Become mine, and I’ll be Yours forever.”
I remembered those words I had uttered, clear as day, and I could feel something change within me. It was like Allah says:
“Take one step towards Me, I will take ten steps towards you. Walk towards Me, I will run towards you.” Hadith Qudsi.
The night had just closed in, and I read my Esha, promising myself that from then on, the mosque would be the only place I would pray my Salaah from then on.
And since I had made a sincere intention to stop everything I had found myself caught up in, I knew I had to change a lot else. I had to change my state of mind for good.
I needed to speak to my father, to try and get him to set things right with Waseem. I knew I needed to make some effort on him. I never thought I’d say it, but I needed Waseem back home.
It was late, but I knew Dad would be in his office. He was obsessed with his work. I made my way there, trying to rehearse what I was about to say. I was slightly on edge, but I forced myself to relax.
As I reached, although the lights were on, Dad wasn’t inside.
He must’ve gone into the bathroom, so I sat around, waiting. And of course, being the Ziyaad I am, I couldn’t just wait without getting bored, so I started sneaking around. And that’s when I saw the fancy box, looking like some kind of gift. On it were initials, but I honestly didn’t even pay attention to them, until I opened the box. I took out the card, scanning the contents. It was ridiculously fancy.
I had just scanned through, but my chest seemed to momentarily contract as I really read it. I mean, till then, I honestly didn’t think I had real emotions when it came to people, but this was proof that maybe I was just a little bit human.
The card was clear. I knew exactly who it was . I froze, as I read, and then re-read it. The one line stood out, like it was in bold.
… to grace the marriage of our daughter…
Dad’s business friend’s name was there, and I did a double take as I digested the information.
Life had stood motionless, just for that moment, as I seemed to finally believe what I had just read. I wasn’t sure what I expected, but I supposed I still had a hope.
I just couldn’t let it happen.
She was getting married. And not to me.