Waseem: A glimpse ahead.... A few months down the line...
Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
Undeniably, there are special places in the human heart made by- and only for- our Rabb.
Places that many people have come to only find when they had given everything… Only to end up with nothing else. Because when we remove everything secondary to Him, and finally begin to rely on no-one else… It is only then, when Imaan brings on another whole dimension.
And in this temporary world, there are very few things that are truly priceless, and that will be part and parcel of the journey to Jannah. What I do know, though, in my chase for something ‘more’ to life, I had somehow ended up with gold.
And that brief moment that I had found it, I could never forget. It was a moment that I was saved, completed and everything that was once broken inside of me, had gotten fixed. The moment all the pieces fitted together, so perfectly, as if they had never been out of synch before. How my every need was fulfilled, through a single person being a means sent by the Almighty.
And though every incident that had stirred up so much within our family seemed like it would crush our spirits and move the mountains, with Zaynah around, no burden was too much.
With a pious wife, every difficulty just seemed like child’s play. Nothing catches you off-guard, because every situation is a means of bringing you’ll closer. Everything is easy, because you constantly have them there to remind you of everything that you had been missing all this while.
She was the closest I would see to perfection.
She never once made a fuss, or threw a tantrum. She never made me ever choose…. Through my father’s recovery…. Through my family’s hostility…. Through my brothers’ callousness. Through every tribulation.
She was pure selflessness.
My mind was still hazy, as I recalled it all. The new LED outside lights seemed a bit too bright as they peeped in from behind the block-out curtains, and as I focussed, my mind immediately went back to the events of yesterday, still not accepting them. I rubbed my eyes, looking around expectantly.
“Zaynah?” I croaked, my voice still a husky monotone. I cleared my throat slightly, trying to feel around the bed for the warmth of her hand.
The sheet was cold. I knew it. I knew that she wasn’t there.
I looked around, my surroundings still strange as I processed where I was. My room. My father’s house. Did I create my wife with my very own delusional mind? Did I possibly imagine her entire existence? Was she maybe only just a dream?
It all came flooding back, as if my life was flashing just before my eyes. My father. My past. My life. The baby. The divorce. And then… The tragedy I had to come to terms with… Letting go of Zaynah.
It was torturous and horrifying, but it was what I could never escape. It was, by far, the worst thing that had ever happened to me.
I was in a rut. I didn’t want to get up. I didn’t want to wake up to what lay ahead today. I didn’t want to face the world without her there with me.
I breathed in, slowly letting my breath out, steadying my emotions. I glanced around, and half expected her to be sitting there on the Musallah, as was her usual spot when I would get up at this hour.
I could never beat her. Somehow, she was always the one who would wake up first, and I knew I could never even try to compete. I knew she would never let me win.
“How did you do it?” I said aloud.
I could picture myself shaking my head at her. No matter what time I set my alarm for, she would always be out of bed before me. It was a no-win situation.
“My Allah shook me up,” I could almost here her say. “How can I ignore it?”
I would usually be squinting at my phone, wondering how it had suddenly fast-forwarded to an hour after the alarm was originally set. I was usually angry.
“Pious people don’t need alarm clocks,” I would mutter, to both myself and her, berating myself for being so far behind, spiritually.
And then she would shake her head at me, pursing her lips with that smile that said that she was wiser way beyond her years.
“Waking up for Tahajjud doesn’t make you pious,” her sweet voice would say defiantly ,trying hard to sound cross, as if she was ready to start a fight.
I knew what she was saying. But I also knew the woman I had married.
She was determined and passionate, and she left nothing to be criticised.
But what she displayed then was proof that Allah had His special servants who He chooses to worship Him. And it was true that Allah chose a special time for every believer of His to be with Him, so they could forsake their beds and pray, when the rest of the world sleeps on.
We can just never comprehend the love and compassion that our Rabb calls out with, when he descends to that lowest heaven just before dawn, bestowing His Mercy upon us sinners, responding to those who may be in need, and fulfilling the desires of those who may have a request. We can never understand the enormity of what awaits us at that hour, if only we would abandon our warm duvets to take advantage.
It is reported that the Messenger of Allah sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allah exalt his mention ) said: “Allah, Our Lord, descends (in a manner befitting His Majesty) to the nearest heaven to us of this universe during the last third of the night and says: ‘Is there anyone to call upon Me so that I shall respond to him (fulfill his prayer). Is there anyone to ask of Me that I may grant his request. Is there anyone to seek My forgiveness so that I shall pardon him (and forgive his sins)’.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
And at that moment, remembering exactly what Zaynah would say, I realised that it was exactly what I had to get up to do.
This was what would bring me back. This was what would put me back on track.
I raised my head and got on my feet, almost tripping over her slippers that were on the floor at the foot of the bed. I was about to reprimand her, but my reality was no longer far-fetched.
I had been completely side-tracked. This was not meant to be something that I should dwell on… Something that I could allow to consume me. Indeed, even our beloveds are tests for us… They were also temporary… Also a part of Duniyaa.
And this was only a test that would bring me closer to my Creator. After this, it would only serve me to keep on trying. If the one person who had become so much to me had to be lost completely, it didn’t mean that I would stop living… Through it all, I couldn’t forget what was always there.
The words came back to me, as they often did, reminding me of what I had been forgetting.
Never forget what He saved you from. That moment when you swore you couldn’t fix it, He did it for you. Never forget Who put you back together. When everyone pulled out, and you had to face it all alone, don’t forget Who pulled you through. Never forget who carried you, when the storm pushed you to your knees and there was no one else left. No matter who or what is beside you now, never forget the moments when it was only Him. Don’t forget Who remained.
He remained. He always remains.
A moment, yet again, when everything I had thought I didn’t understand seemed to come into perspective. When the confusion disintegrated and the darkness lifted. And as I sat there, on the Musallah that stayed in the corner near the window, I raised my hands to ask of the only One Who could fix what was broken inside.
The loud knock on my door was a diversion that got me slightly panicked, but I composed my thoughts, knowing that I shouldn’t get anxious.
I had to remain calm.
The future was not set in stone. This wasn’t the end. Whatever I would face, whenever it is, I knew that this could never break me completely. The past didn’t make me, and the present wasn’t a deal-breaker.
What lay ahead, ultimately, would determine everything that I would become. All I had to do was dust myself off, step out, and jump into it.
Note: Dear readers.
Okay, I’m sorry. But I had to do this. Thinking about how this is going to end is not easy. I just know that it can’t be spontaneous. So I’m putting out this post as the beginning of the last season. The writer of this blog will take a 1-2 week break, and then will continue, insha Allah. All will be revealed, if Allah wills.
Ibn Jaz reports: “I have not seen anyone who smiled more than the Messenger of Allah .”[Tirmidhi]