Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
“Stop staring, bru,” Waseem whispered, nudging me bluntly in the ribs.
“Ow,” I said, rubbing my side.
I immediately looked up at him from the chair I was sitting on, in the hospital waiting room.
He got up to sit next to his wife, leaving me muttering to myself stupidly.
I think I must have a serious problem. I didn’t even realise that I was staring at a hot nurse who was writing at the desk near the ward. My eyes were basically locked, unconsciously, as if it was the most natural thing to do. I shook my head at myself, feeling like an idiot.
I looked up guiltily at Farah who sat at the opposite end of the waiting area. She was typing on her phone. Thank goodness. I was glad she didn’t see. I needed to stop this ‘women-staring’ business.
I glaced at Mo, who was sitting a few seats away, looking like he was down in the worst of dumps. Maybe a few levels below me. Aasiya was nowhere in sight, so I could only assume that they might have been more fighting going on, and she had done a runner. Again.
I almost chuckled to myself, but quickly realised that this was probably not the best time for humour. The Zee would have to take on a new, more ‘seriyaas’ approach to life.
I took out my own iPhone instead, putting on my mature face, and scrolling through my feeds. I wasn’t sure when was the last time I had done it, because I had purposefully moved all useless apps into a folder I didn’t often access. I knew it would do me no good, but now, more than ever, I needed a diversion from reality.
This anticipation was torturous.
We were left hanging by a thread, not knowing what the deal was. Mum was in trauma, and we had been asked to leave her alone for a few hours.
As for Dad… Doctors were all in the theatre with him, and we had no idea how this was going to turn out. Not even a single clue. I could sense both my brothers getting more stressed out as the minutes passed. And if they were stressed out, hell, I knew that I should be too.
It wasn’t just an accident. Someone had seen the messed up car and assumed Dad was in it.
And yes, Dad’s new Porsche had been completely smashed, but that wasn’t the worst of it. Surprisingly, the value of ‘things’ had considerably decreased for me as the moments went by. In a fleeting moment, I realised how temporary everything really was.
It was a high-jacking gone completely wrong. The damn idiots had pulled the trigger when Dad refused to give in to their undeserving demands. It was a bullet at the back of his neck, which could probably cause the most severe paralysis or even death.
Death. The word sent shivers down my spine, as I remembered how my life had changed when I had faced it.
Dying changes everything. It’s all emotions, duh, but there’s also the practical stuff. Like who’s gonna sort out the business? Who’s going to take care of everything? What’s gonna happen after? Was Dad even ready for the big confrontation with the One who controls the Heavens and Earth?
I exhaled, shaking my leg nervously.
Cigarette. I needed another cigarette.
As if on cue, before I could reach for my box in my pocket, my phoned vibrated in my hand.
It was like she could read my thoughts. I knew she hated cigarettes.
Are u okay?
It was Farah. Typing at me from across the room. It was just a pity that we couldn’t communicate as well as we wanted to in person.
I ran my hands through my beard and looked up at my wife, but she didn’t look at me.
I typed out my response.
I’m fine. How r u?
I tapped send, and rested my head on the chair headrest with my eyes closed for a few seconds. My phone vibrated again.
Everything will be okay. Don’t stress.
I swallowed, immediately touched by her concern.
Now, I know what you’re thinking.
I was a horrible person. I know. I didn’t deserve any of this. I didn’t even deserve her casting her eyes on the scum that I was. I was clearly looking for a way out of the marriage, before it even started.
But give me some credit, okay? The Zee was getting all soft and emo. I was actually beginning to see beyond the superficial. The fact that she actually had it in her to comfort me when I had been such an idiot was nothing short of amazing. We had spoken, and she had even apologised to me for the type of function I had to endure, knowing how uncomfortable it had made me. She promised she would explain to her father, and it would get better.
Yes, right now she wasn’t exactly that chic that I had been swooning over a few months ago, and yes, she wasn’t as Deeni as I had recently anticipated having in a wife… But despite all that, there was a part inside of her that was actually quite awesome, that you could never doubt it’s sincerity.
I immediately got up and made my way to her, watching her expression as she finally noticed me. At first she looked hesitant, as she uncomfortably shifted in her seat, but as I took the place next to her, she seemed to feel more at ease.
Even her fingers looked different. Slightly swollen.
I would have to get used this pregnancy thing and I kick out my shallow notions. I reached slowly for her free hand, all reservations aside. I wrapped my fingers around it, just so she could feel the appreciation that I wanted her to.
We were trying to right something that was previously wrong, but where were we going here? Was this even going to work?
“What are we doing?” I said aloud to her, knowing that we needed to have this talk.
“Shhhh,” she said, hushing me, as if I was a child.
She squeezed my hand and leaned her head against my shoulder, and I immediately knew I was forgiven. I couldn’t even be upset at her, because she was trying to make up for whatever had gone wrong at the hall, when I knew it wasn’t really her fault.
“Let’s leave this talk for another time, okay?” She said softly.
I shook my head at her, wondering how she could just let it all go. I had accused her of one of the worst things ever. What made me feel worse was that she didn’t have it in her to hold it against me. I wasn’t sure why, but right now, I was certain that she trusted me… Maybe even loved me .
I had no idea why she could ever want to, though. I was probably the worst person to ever trust with a heart.
I looked down at her, feeling completely torn. At times I was so sure that I had done everything right to please my Lord, but at times, I just had no idea what I had got myself into.
I often wondered why she just didn’t get rid of ‘it’. And yes, I know I’m horrible, but to me, it would have been the easiest thing to do. Just let the whole thing slide under the rug, and be done with it. Never look back.
But I knew she couldn’t go through with that. It was probably the hardest decision she had ever made, and I doubt she had found it very pleasant. Especially when she had to deal with idiotic people like her ex-fiancé and father.
She knew what she had to do, and we both knew the risks. Doing the right thing takes more effort. It can be more painful. It’s always more severe. And it’s often the most difficult thing to do.
But when you understand how you are hurting yourself, by deliberating and contemplating the worst consequence of a bad choice, it is definitely better to just do it the right way.
But folks, like any alternative, there’s a catch. ‘The right thing’ wasn’t always easy. It wasn’t even always possible. But when the odds are against you, and you really didn’t feel like being the one to beat them, that’s what makes that deed that much more valuable in the eyes of Allah. When you do it solely because you want to please Him.
I remembered the chase. The constant battle that I had with myself, when I was on a different path. But it was only Him that brought me back.
And I could easily have said that I was choosing something better for my life, and taken a different fork in the road. I could have left the whole baby drama behind me, done a few ‘Samoosa runs’ and chosen a ‘good girl’, like every other guy I knew who had changed his life. But some things happen for a reason. Relationships happen for a reason. People weave their way into your life for a reason. They serve some purpose, teach you something, or benefit you in some presumable way. They open your heart, and allow you to love unreservedly.
And get this: The thought crossed my mind, just for a moment, and I knew I had got the drill. In aspiring for a clean slate, maybe I was going to be a reason. I didn’t think the Zee could actually be it, but I had an idea that she saw something in me that I couldn’t. Maybe there was something beneath all the obvious rustiness that she had discovered, in her hope for something different.
And maybe that was her inspiration.
I wanted to hug her when I saw it, because I never said a word to her. All on her own accord, my new wife, amazingly, had actually donned a hijab tonight before we came here, and I couldn’t help but feel that there was a deeper intervention here.
Maybe I didn’t see the signs. Maybe I had been blind to the suggestions. Maybe if I had taken heed, I would have seen exactly where this was heading.
It was just the answer to the Du’aas I had been asking for this all along. For the kind of person who would be best for me, and for the kind of lifestyle that would serve my Deen. I had just didn’t want to wait for it, because I didn’t realise when and how it would happen.
It has also been related that when a righteous slave supplicates to Allah, exalted is He, Gabriel says: O Lord, your slave wants a need of his fulfilled.
So Allah responds: “Leave my slave; for I love him and love to hear his voice.” (Al Tabrani)
Whatever and whenever our Lord deems for us, is always the best. Sometimes the answers may be vague and drawn out, but all we had to do is trust.
And I was getting there. It was a journey, but I was reaching that destination.
As I glanced up, a doctor was coming though the doors, and we all immediately got up, anxious to know the result. There was no other way we wanted this to be, other than good. We honestly weren’t sure how we would process this if Dad was anything but okay.
And when the doctor’s words finally came out, it was like I was finally able I breathe again, relief flooding my entire body.
I heard nothing else.
He was alive. And if he was alive, right now, we didn’t need any more. That in itself was a mercy. It was a blessing that Dad had been given another shot. It was beyond our expectation.
It was, in fact, something of a miracle. And miracles are nothing but Divine.
We forget, sometimes, in the lull of our lives, the greatest signs. We get too caught up to realise how sucked in we are. We completely lose the plot, as we continue to chase the world in all it’s materialism. We never stop to think about how much Allah is waiting for us to show that little appreciation. Waiting for us to submit to Him… To prove our love to Him.
And when we realise this, turn to Him, and give Him our everything… Not only do we feel His love, but we see it all around us. We become blind to everything that antagonises it, because we are only intent on gaining his pleasure. We make every wrong, right, because we want to feel His love… The magic that we are striving to discover, in this race for the world.
And no, it wasn’t a Disney animation film. There doesn’t have to be pianos playing or birds singing or confetti falling from the sky… And there are definitely days when the laughter and romance is completely dead.
But stop for a second. Feel His magic. Revel in the miracle today, and drink it in.
Of course, things will happen. Whatever is in the plan, will definitely never miss us. People will change. Love will die. Everyone will, eventually leave, and go alone on their path back to their Lord.
But for now, make the most of the life you’ve been given today.
Because today… Today, it’s all okay.
Since today is Friday, let’s try and recite as much Durood as possible. Let’s also make the most of the time and ask of Allah, since there is an hour when we know Du’aas are accepted.
Abu Hurayrah who said: Abu’l-Qaasim (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “On Friday there is an hour when, if a Muslims happens to pray at that time and ask Allaah for something good, He will give it to him.”