Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
Everyone’s been through stuff in their life.
I mean, no person is completely excluded from the obvious mishaps and inconsistencies that are part of this journey. We all have scars in all sorts of unexpected places. It’s like secret road maps of our personal histories or diagrams of our sometimes extensive injuries.
And most of the time we heal well, leaving nothing behind but a scar.
Some wounds, however, are left behind to tell a story. Some wounds, we carry with us everywhere, and though the cut is long gone, the pain still lingers.
Sometimes, we need to understand that, at the end of the day, beyond the scars and pain, the fact that we are still here, is a blessing. That we have the chance to take the plunge and change, the wisdom to fix what’s broken, and opportunity to make everything all okay again… Is reason enough to be content.
When we realise that it is a futile task to be concerned about the torment and misery of the past, and instead, see that every waking moment is another moment for us to put the problems of the past to bed, that’s only when we can seize the day. That, folks, is only when we truly find the gold.
“Boss, you fishing for gold or what?”
Fishing. It wasn’t a completely foreign concept for me. I mean, I had done some in my life, but most of the time it in involved a different kind of catch. This was the first time I had actually come out in murky waters with a borrowed fishing rod in hand.
It wasn’t the most entertaining sport, and with Junaid’s ban on all technology in the water, I kind of felt like pulling out my hair. Honestly, it was crazy how dependant we were on technology, we even forgot that we could just chill out and admire the scenery instead. I breathed in the slightly fishy air now, trying to capture the moment in my mind instead.
The afternoon was closing in, and as I looked up at the reflection of the sky on the water, and it’s beautiful silhouette, it awed me to the extent that I immediately remembered the purpose of our existence here.
Allah says: “All that is in the heavens and on Earth glorify Allah.” [Sūrah al-Hashr: 1]
Indeed, everything that I was observing, as well as the entire universe, makes tasbeeh of Him, so why couldn’t I do so too?
Verily, that was where the hearts find rest.
I glanced away, seeing Junaid grinning and shaking his head at his brother. The company I was with here was so simple and down to earth, I just felt even more at peace.
Junaid finally answered, still shaking his head.
“You can’t be impatient, Yaas,” he said calmly, taking a swig from his cold drink can. “Sabr. You gotta chill out and wait. And when the bob starts moving, and you’re in luck, then you go for it, and take a chance.”
Yaaseen grinned, raising his eyebrows at me.
“This owe thinks he’s got more experience than me,” he joked. “The way he talks… It feels like he’s the older brother sometimes.”
It was the first time I had met Yaaseen, but I already liked him.
I smirked at them both, immediately feeling nostalgic.
Yeah, the Zee was getting all emo again. Being around Junaid and his brother was making me miss my own brothers. We hadn’t spent time together in so long, it was actually unreal, and I knew it was partly my fault. With Dad not mobile and getting to grips with my new marriage, everything just seemed so unsettled. Excuses. I knew that’s what it was. Life was just really unpredictable. That’s why when I called Junaid and he mentioned a day fishing trip, I jumped at the opportunity.
“So… You’re not missing your wife?” He asked as we sat on the cement deck, wondering why I wanted to be here just two weeks after my wedding.
I shook my head absently, not even thinking about what kind of husband it made me.
“She’s got her own stuff to worry about,” I said vaguely. “I don’t think she needs me around.”
Junaid looked at me strangely.
“Yeah, but be careful,” he said, frowning. “When you have a vrou, there’s really no time for all this, Zee. Make your wife your best friend, and you’ll will be okay. Marriage is tough, boss.”
I snorted, wondering if that could ever be a possibility. As Farah’s pregnancy was progressing she was more irritable and frustrated. She went on these hectic campaigns to irritate the heck out of me and pick on everything that I was doing.
She was like a ticking and walking bomb. I had to step on egg-shells. She complained all the time. Her whole mood was just… Off.
“You know… You did a good thing,” Yaaseen said unexpectedly. I didn’t even know he was listening.
Junaid looked at him wryly and I sensed there was something more to what he was saying, but I didn’t dig any deeper.
Right now, I was only focussed on me. I felt like everything I had done in my life was crap, and it was all just a huge mistake.
I didn’t realise that his brother had gone through far worse than I had. I was so sheltered in my ‘rich-boy’ lifestyle, it was only later on when Junaid told me that I realised that my story had nothing on what he had gone through.
“Yaaseen was still in school,” Junaid said later, as we packed everything away. “And of course, among other shady things, he had a chic. You know how things can get out of hand when you involved in Haraam… And so she fell pregnant. People were after him. Everyone was going crazy, ‘cos she refused to do get rid of it. It was the talk of the town. I was still in school but I remember… Heavy stories, boss.”
He picked up his fishing box and I followed him as he walked back up to his bakkie, waiting to hear more. The whole story was like déjàvu.
“So he married her?” I asked, almost rhetorically.
To my surprise, Junaid shook his head.
“He refused,” he said bluntly. “Ran for his life coz her brother wanted to kill him. No jokes. Yaaseen said he can’t get hitched so young. When he eventually came around… it was too late. She was fuming, boss…. Said she’ll tell everyone about how he ruined her life. And she did.”
Junaid shrugged, loading the last of his fishing stuff into the bakkie and closing the boot.
“Life’s messed up,” he said finally. “People mess up. They engage their nafs, but they don’t wanna step up when they need to take responsibility. It’s wrong, but you can’t change the world. Yaaseen regretted it, but his choices on how to deal with it had already messed up his life. He even suffered years after, when he changed his life. Good girls don’t wanna get involved when there’s a kid.”
I nodded, understanding, and already feeling a bit better for some reason.
He was right, I thought to myself. I had done a good thing.
I didn’t think of every consequence, but at least I had stepped up to what I had done and married Farah. The sore reality was that many guys don’t. They mess around and they don’t care what happens afterwards. The crappy part was that a lot of the time, it’s not him who suffers. The girl has to deal with everything.
And of course, I was feeling all tops because the guy had just boosted my spirits and put me way up there, when I knew I didn’t really deserve to be. It’s amazing how we sometimes have double standards when it comes to others, but yet when we recall ourselves in the past, everything becomes hazy. We forget how messed up we were before we got to step up. Before we were guided, through Allah’s mercy.
Floating somewhere way beyond my true level piety, when Junaid spoke next, I was quickly brought back down to Earth.
“Anyway, boet,” he said, leaning forward to greet me, all packed and ready to leave. “Lucky we met up today…. Next will probably be in a month.”
I looked at him, confused.
“We got lucky with a cancellation,” he said, shaking his head and looking slightly overwhelmed. “Yaas and I got accepted for Hajj. We’re leaving in three days.”
He had a distant look in his eyes, and it took me a few seconds to process the magnitude of what he had said.
Wow. I literally took a step back, completely taken aback. Just when I thought that I was on some pedestal, my Lord brought me right back to the level I belonged.
It was like a bit of a kick in the stomach, knowing what this meant. I too, had applied with Waseem, before he was married, but of course, my name wasn’t on the list. My call wasn’t there. Allah was not wanting my Labbaik yet. It was the ugly truth.
Instead, the guy who I was busy thinking I was better than, was the one who He had responded to. So easily, I had completely disregarded my “jaahiliyyah” days when I thought I would never have to account for my sins. I had forgotten that time in my life where I shunned Salaah, facial hair and even simple Sunnah, as if it was completely bogus. And then, I still pretend to be like a buzurg by looking down upon other people, like I never committed a sin in my life. Hearing one story about his brother’s life got me thinking that I knew exactly what this guy was all about, when of course, I was so clearly off-track.
There was no way I could ever see his reality with Allah, or ever judge, despite everything I knew.
It was only later on when Junaid told me that I realised how far they had come. .No matter what you have done in life, how you make up for it was what really counted. Repenting and turning to Allah was the only saviour, and that is exactly what he did. Of course, I could never ever be able to see what he was really worth in the eyes of our Lord.
The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said, “I have not been ordered (by Allah) to search the hearts of the people or cut open their bellies.” (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim)
In another incident when Usama ibn Zayd radi Allahu anhuma killed a man though he had confessed that there is no deity worthy of being worshiped but Allah, claiming that the man had said so out of fear of weapon, the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) observed: “Did you tear his heart in order to find out whether it had professed that or not?” (Reported by Muslim)
I shoved my ‘holier than thou’ attitude right where back where it came from, fiercely hugging my friend like I would never see him again. I knew I would miss him, and I let him know that I would definitely feel his absence. A friend who kept you in check was like a rare gem.
“Stay close to Waseem and you’re sorted,” he said, winking at me, just before he opened hid door. “That guy still amazes me. The Mus’ab of our time.”
I smiled and nodded, hoping that somehow, I too could also get the gold. From my wife, to my family and even my relationships with them… Meeting with Junaid made me want to get my life on track already. There was still so much I had to work on, and I was still absorbed in everything Junaid confessed to me, I thought of nothing else as I started my own car, ready for the drive home. It was only when I heard the vibration of my iPhone I had left in the centre console, did I realise that some heavy things were probably going down back at home, and I immediately was brought back down to Earth.
I quickly glanced at the screen, seeing the amount of people trying to contact me. I felt like I was a serious celebrity there for a second, as I sifted through dozens of messages and missed calls.
The messages were short, but clear. Farah was frantic and already at the hospital, and so was my entire family.
I put my foot on the pedal, knowing I needed to get wherever she was, fast.
I didn’t know it yet, but before everything would all fall into place, life was just going to get a whole lot more complicated.
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
Sorry for the delayed post.
Just a reminder: Its time to invest good deeds!
The first ten days of Dhu’l-Hijjah are amongst the days which Allah has granted extra virtue and excellence over other days of the year, to the extent that many Ulama are of the opinion that these days are more virtuous than the last ten days of Ramadan, and even the last ten nights of Ramadan, with the exception of Laylatul Qadr.
Rasulullah ﷺ said, “There are no days in which actions are more beloved to Allah than these days, i.e., the ten days (of Dhu’l-Hijjah).”*
The Companions asked, “O Messenger of Allah, not even jihad in the path of Allah?”*
He ﷺ said, “Not even jihad in the path of Allah, except a person who goes out with his life and wealth, but does not return with anything.”
(Bukhari, Tirmidhi and others)
These are also the ten nights which Allah swore oath by in Surah al-Fajr:
“By the dawn, and ten nights” (Qur’an Kareem, 89:1-2)
These blessed days are for us to exert ourselves in the worship and remembrance of Allah, and all acts of obedience. Let us try to do extra deeds (Amal-e-Saaleh) that are going to be weighty on our scales, Insha Allah. let’s also make extra special effort to observe our Super Sunnahs
Awesome link: http://www.theorganizedmuslimah.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/10-Best-Days-Mini-Planner.pdf
Allah make it easy for us all.