Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
When you taste death, as if it’s within your very being, and settles in as a sore part of your every day life, a certain part of you falls away. That selfish, carefree and oblivious bliss that we all seem to live in at some point, becomes a distant part of the past.
The sad part is, I realised this only when I lost my father. You see, when you experience death, and hold it in your hands, and take in the waft of it’s musty and bloody scent, you are startled with the true reality of life. You are awakened to the fact that nothing can ever be more important than what awaits you afterwards.
Nothing in this world, and I mean, nothing at all, is worth risking your status in the sight of your Rabb. No matter what the world may tell you, think of you, or what they may perceive, when it comes to the Controller of the Worlds, one cannot, in the least bit, try and compromise. When it comes to keeping face in the eyes of Allah, nothing is too much or too difficult.
The thing was, facing the Lord of the worlds will be far more unnerving, uncomfortable and dreadful than whatever we find so difficult to deal with today.
Because today, we need to stop running away from the reality, but rather face it. Face the fact that tomorrow, we will be all alone, with only our deeds to show for our existence here. Today, we need to do whatever it takes to make sure that we and our families are of those true Mu’mineen who submit, and who wholeheartedly give in to whatever Allah has commanded. Today, we put aside whatever minor grievances we may have had, and do, not because it’s the right thing to do, but only for the pleasure of Allah.
And that was really the only thing that kept me going, even when I found everything within me trying to fight it. I pushed myself, because I knew that though I might not see it today, tomorrow held something more beautiful than I could, in my wildest dreams, ever imagine.
“Now why must you do try and do everything by yourself?” I asked, shaking my head at my father-in-law as I sar on the grey stool next to the bed. “Something much worse could have happened. Why must you risk it?”
I didn’t even know that behind me, Waseem was grinning to himself from the doorway, watching my father-in-law’s confused expression. I wasn’t sure what he was expecting from me, but I know that he didn’t expect me to have such a stern demeanour.
Well, I had no choice but to be stern. At least the initial awkwardness was now over. My mother-in-law had stepped out for an errand and I was the only one here when my father-in-law had a fall again.
It was the second time this week, but at least his injury wasn’t as bad as the last time. We had to rush back from 8 hours away, practically sacrificing our dwindling nerves because Ziyaad had said the fall was really bad and he needed stitches. I went through about ten packets of jelly babies in that time, stressing about the outcome. Waseem seemed to have caught on to my anxiety tendencies, because he was eating my road stash like it was going out of fashion.
“You’re lucky it’s just a surface wound,” I continued now, berating my father-in-law. I leant forward to stick the tape over the bandage on the part of Dad’s hand that seemed to be injured. He just nodded absently, frowning slightly as I leant back again to inspect my dressing.
I could feel him watching me cynically, but I actually knew what was doing. Ummi had trained me well when she was bed ridden, and though I knew it was all good to know, thinking of those days brought back painful memories.
I finally looked at my father-in-law, noticing him watching me strangely. He didn’t talk much, but I could see something was on his mind. Him and Waseem had that same look of scepticism when they were thinking deeply, and I smiled to myself as I got up, telling him that I would be back to check on him.
“I’m okay,” he said, almost in an off-hand manner, as if to shooh me away. I knew him better than that, but I took comfort in the fact that his eyes were already droopy from tiredness. The medication really took it’s toll on him, and I was actually starting to feel sorry for him in this state.
No matter what he had materialistically, all this could never buy him his comfort back. The doctors weren’t sure if he ever had a hope of walking again, but we always tried to keep his spirits positive.
I quietly snuck away, going upstairs to my own quarters. I was lucky to have a spacious section to myself, and though it was a bit awkward at first, I was adjusting to this change in the best way I could.
It definitely wasn’t easy, and speaking to Nabeela earlier that day made me think about it even more. I wasn’t sure if it was a good thing.
“I don’t know how you do it, Zay,” she had said bluntly. “Living there must be so… Awkward.”
She paused dramatically, and I sucked in my breath to stop myself from retaliating.
She had gone from admiring my in-laws status to loathing them, in just a matter of weeks. I knew that this had a lot to do with Ziyaad and him getting married, but I didn’t want to bring up the topic again.
Keep calm, I urged myself, chewing on another jelly tot as I changed the receiver to my other ear.
“Anyway, are you coming on this side to see the baby?” Nabeela asked, noticing my silence.
Zakiya had the baby a few days ago, and was at my aunty’s house for two weeks before she would go back home. Waseem had taken me to the hospital on the first day, and I had got to meet my niece for the first time. She was the tiniest, sweetest thing I had ever seen… And of course, she had to be, because everyone said she looked like Zakiya’s family. I just wasn’t sure when next I would get the opportunity to see her again.
“I’m not sure,” I said, making a mental note to ask Waseem later.
“Raees said Waseem won’t bring you,” Nabeela said cynically, as if my husband was an ogre. “He seems to have a problem with him, for some reason.”
I sighed to myself, knowing exactly what Raees’s deal was.
I thought he would have gotten over the whole rejection thing ages ago. The fact that Abbi had said no to his proposal for me when he was literally just out of high school might have been a real blow, but Abbi had good reasons. Abbi had a different type of person in mind when he wanted me to marry, and I did too. Sometimes things are beyond what we understand. I wasn’t sure if Nabeela knew, so I kept silent, and ended the conversation.
I slowly trudged up the staircase, carefully turning the handle of the door to our room. I had no idea that Waseem was already home, so you can probably imagine just how unassumingly I jumped when his voice sounded out.
“You’re quite good with him, love,” it said from the far side of the room where the bed was, and I immediately spun around to face that direction.
“I didn’t even know you had come home,” I said, holding my heart dramatically and narrowing my eyes as I walked toward the bed. “How long have you been here?”
I moved his legs aside so I could sit, and he smiled mysteriously.
“Longer than you think,” he replied, all calm and collected. “I think you’re quite something for winning him over.”
I smiled back, nodding.
“I’m good, huh?” I said, winking at him.
He laughed, shaking his head at me.
“Sweets,” Waseem said, still grinning. “You’re supposed to have the qualities of the Akaabireen. Some humility maybe…”
I continued smiling, knowing very well that he was pulling my leg. Waseem had a habit of making me out to be more pious than I really was. If only he knew what a nutcase his wife really was, I knew he would lower his expectations drastically.
“I’m serious, Zay,” he said, sitting up now and looking at me in the eye. “You’re like a saint for doing what you do. After everything… And how Dad completely undermined you… You still have it in your heart to overlook.”
I shrugged, refusing to take credit for being human.
His father was paralysed. Like, come on.
I was sure that no-one could ignore what was right under their nose, especially when they lived in the same house. What kind of person would it make me if I didn’t even care?
He shook his head, sounding like he was completely bewildered.
“After everything,” he said again, now a little softer. “Now I know that you were worth the wait.”
He reached for my hand and placed it between his, and I immediately felt all warm and fuzzy inside.
Yeah, I know. It was a sweet thing to say. And dammit, my husband was a soppy guy.
But that’s not the point. You see, it’s easy to just get lost in the moment, and to believe that you really are as special as someone says you are. What’s even easier, is to act as if all credit is yours, because you believe that you can do it, only because of your own ability. The truth was that only Allah, the maker and Possessor of all Mercy, can allow even the minutest bit of mercy to be displayed by even the tiniest creature on earth.
The even more outstanding truth was that showing mercy to others was a great gift that we pay little credit to.
Maintaining good relations with anyone was actually extraordinary if it was just a little bit difficult. And Waseem himself had no idea that it wasn’t me, but despite everything, he had still came through for his parents.
“The one who maintains a relationship with his relatives only because they maintain a relationship with him is not truly upholding the ties of kinship. The one who truly upholds those ties is the one who does so even if they break off the relationship.” (Reported by al-Bukhari).
But before I even had the chance to tell Waseem any of it, his mother’s voice sounded with a small knock on the door. I wondered why she didn’t use the intercom as usual, but I supposed being in the same house had it’s pros and cons. I kept a straight face, careful not to give away my slightly frustrated emotions at that moment. I just wanted a few moments to spend alone with my husband, and I shoved away the feelings of annoyance that were at bay.
All these interruptions meant I couldn’t even ask him about seeing Zakiyya, but I tried to understand. I knew that there was always something the Waseem was needed for. With my father-in-law out of action, he was required more than often for his strength and assistance.
“I’ll be back,” he promised, squeezing my hand lightly, and jumping off the bed to put on his shoes.
Little did I know that his promise would be fulfilled a lot later than we both assumed. What awaited us was more than we anticipated.
We just didn’t know it as yet.
Please don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!
It was narrated from Anas raḍyAllāhu ‘anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him): “The Prophet ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) prohibited that a man should drink while standing.” (Qatadah said) So it was said: “And eating?” He (Anas) said: “That is worse.” [Tirmidhi]
We will be doing more eating and drinking Sunnahs Insha Allah.