Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
The future is a mystery. A mystery of many twists and unprecedented occurrences, but a means to mould us and make us into exactly who we are meant to be.
Regardless of what we know, we still spend our lives worrying about the future, planning for the future and trying to predict the future. As if the ‘future’ is the only thing that keeps us going.
But we don’t realise that the true future is what should actually get us to stop. Just stop the chase, and stop the constant rivalry.
Our real future…
Should the home of of our deepest fears. It should be hopeless dread. Fearful anticipation. Remind us of the cutter-off of pleasures. The final destination.
It is said that the intelligent believer thinks of death twenty-five times a day.
Twenty five times. I don’t even scrape five.
But basically, he reminds himself of his dark doom, more than once every waking hour. He reinforces that every single thing that he is enjoying right now, will basically perish. He reaffirms that, of course, in this temporary world, we are most definitely never truly free.
The simple truth is this: It is only when one turns his heart completely to God, does he reach true freedom. Just as the fire couldn’t burn Prophet Ibraahim (AS), the ‘fires’ of the creation cannot harm the one whose heart is immersed in his Lord. The financial, physical, emotional, social, and psychological fires cannot harm the one whose heart faces his Rabb.
“Strange is the case of a believer, there is good for him in everything—and this is only for the believer. If a blessing reaches him, he is grateful to God, which is good for him, and if an adversity reaches him, he is patient which is good for him.” [Muslim]
And of course, with every experience, there are only lessons to learn. As each somewhat hopeless and stressful situation makes it’s way into one’s life, one cannot help but to think of every possible outcome that may be, just as I was as I burst through the parking lot that evening, marching ahead, because I knew at that moment, nothing else mattered.
If only I had paid more attention, I was berating myself. Maybe I might have known. If only I had been more careful… More considerate.
It’s funny how after everything is done and the crap train is on full steam ahead, we find ourselves doing reflection. The futile thoughts of ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’ were consuming my mind for the entire duration of the one-hour trip from the place I had been fishing at. I couldn’t help but think that I should have just been here, instead of anywhere else. I should have just dealt with my issues at home instead of going AWOL on Farah and everyone else too.
As I entered, I ignored that prickly feeling at the back of my neck, as if someone was not just watching me, but literally staring me down. I knew I would get harrassed mercilessly for not being here. I also knew that my in-laws would have a field day picking on how ‘early’ I had been there for my wife and child, when this was probably the time Farah needed me the most.
I swallowed, licking my lips roughly and getting ready to defend myself if needed. For once in my life, my eyes were completely averted, not wanting to meet anybody’s penetrating gaze. I almost wanted to kick myself because when it came to the times I needed to look down, any chic would completely throw me off. Not getting myself into any kind of argument was a sure reason to control myself this time.
I hastily entered the ward she was at, immediately relieved to see her sitting on the bed. Thankfully, she was alone and not with the masses that usually accompanied a pregnant woman who was probably in very early labour.
I tapped softly at the door, trying to straighten up the ‘going-fishing’ attire I wearing before she saw me.
I knew why I was doing it now. The truth of how little I had put into this marriage was haunting me. I wanted her to always see the best in me, but I usually never made an effort to show it. I wanted to always be her first preference, but I seldom put her before everything else.
Today, I was going to change that. Today, I was going to make my family my priority. Today I would start being better.
“Love,” I said softly, walking slowly toward the ward bed. I wasn’t sure when was the last time I had addressed her so affectionately. It was like we were at constant war with each other for the past two weeks, living in the same house.
She looked liked she was sleeping, but her eyes fluttered open as I went forward. I reached out my hand to touch her, and she turned her face slightly, almost as if she didn’t want me to.
“I’m sorry I’m late,” I said, immediately cutting to the chase.
She didn’t reply. Just looked at me, almost as if she wasn’t even seeing me. As if she was focussed somewhere beyond me.
“Farah,” I said softly, pulling the chair close to the bed and sitting next to her.
She turned her head to look at me, but she still had that blank look on her face. She was either seriously drugged up, or something was very wrong. I had to ask.
“Is everything… Okay?” I finally said, almost choking on my own words.
I ignored the nagging feeling, awaiting those three words.
It’s all okay. It needed to hear it. I needed to know what was happening.
But sometimes, when you want something really badly, the mere hint of positivity can bring on the most immense relief. A trace of a smile appeared on Farah’s face, but before I could even take the bait and smooth everything over, two nurses came in, looking from me to Farah, slightly hesitating before they spoke.
“It’s okay, I’m the-” I started.
“He’s the father,” Farah said, her expression still fairly unreadable. “My husband.”
The magnanimity of it just suddenly hit me.
Zee was going to have to grow up. All of a sudden. I wasn’t even sure how I had got here. I was barely even out of my teens, but from that drunk guy at the club, I had suddenly evolved into some kind of bearded hopeful, and now, I was expected to just ‘be’ a responsible father.
But life was such, that regardless of whether you are ready or not, if you have the audacity to do the crap that put you in a situation, you needed to man up enough to deal with it.
I instantly put on my iron-man mode, prepared for anything. Excitement was building up, and the anticipation was getting more intense. Maybe it was a moment, but I was all psyched up for the big showdown that involved my baby coming into this world, before my entire universe came crashing down with the next words.
From the serenity I had just felt moments before, their next words were the bomb that shook my world.
“We’re just taking her for the final scan before she… I mean, you guys, make a decision.”
I processed. Once. Twice.
Was I missing something?
A decision? What was going on?
“Can you just give us a few minutes?” I told them quickly, wanting to talk to my wife alone. She was avoiding eye contact, and I immediately knew.
It’s funny how sometimes, you see all the signs, but you still refuse to accept what’s right in front of your eyes. I could see that she was being strong, but I didn’t know why. I could see she was trying to look normal, but I still denied the obvious.
That look on her face was dreadfully familiar. Beyond the tiny smile that lingered, her eyes told an entirely different story. Something was definitely wrong.
“It’s not okay.”
That was all it took.
The next few moments were like a whirlwind in my boggled mind. Her words knocked me like a ton of bricks.
I blinked, as if I had been slapped.
I didn’t even think about Farah, as she explained to me what was going on. I had no consideration for anyone else, as I tried to regather my scattered thoughts.
I walked out blindly, hearing a doctor talking near me, and I immediately knew it was my baby they were discussing. It was like a punch in my stomach.
There was no way of knowing… It was something that they could only see at this point in the pregnancy.
It had no brain. The baby’s brain was just fluid. A birth defect that could make him or her completely brain-dead. Like a vegetable, basically. Just a limp vegetable.
A streak of possessiveness shot through me, determined to do everything to make this all okay.
I spun around, and almost as if I was in a trance, walked back to the waiting area. Images were flashing to my mind, as I let it all sink in. Was this all my fault? Was this calamity something I had brought on with my own doings?
Blaring music. ‘The Zee’ in the club. Women in my face. Booze. Drugs.
Partying like there was no tomorrow. Giving it all up like there was no care in the world.
Sin upon sin.
And now, even though I knew exactly how far I was going at the time, I felt like I was literally air-lifted, and dropped into this situation, not even with an inkling of know-how as to what I needed to do to get out. It was just beyond bogus.
I took a seat at the first chair I could see, hanging my head in my hands, as if I was ready for a complete meltdown.
I didn’t think. I didn’t think about consequences. I just did as I felt, solely for temporary satisfaction.
I felt like a complete fool. The torrent of emotion was on it’s way out, and from the pitied looks I was getting, I just knew that there was no happy ending here.
I just couldn’t help but feel like the whole thing was my fault.
Was this the punishment I had to suffer, because I had messed around? Was it the masses of drugs I was taking when I was with Farah? Where was the way out here?
“It’s gonna be okay.”
The voice accompanied a firm hand on my shoulder, but of course, I didn’t have to look up to see who it was. I looked down, still shaking my head in disbelief.
How was it that when he needed me, I couldn’t step up, but he always made sure that he did? Though I never thought twice about anyone but myself, he made sure that he was here for me.
Without a single moments hesitation, I turned, pulling onto my brother like a little kid.
I felt like the idiot brother who messed up once again, now being rescued for what I had got caught up in. His hands gripped me assuringly, and I couldn’t help but believe what he had just said. I couldn’t help but believe that it was going to be okay.
And then, because my brother was just so damn brilliant, he murmured what I knew I would never, for the life of me, ever forget. Words I would cling onto for the rest of my existance.
“﴿وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجاًوَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَحْتَسِبُ﴾”
And whosoever has Taqwa of Allah, He will make a way for him to get out. And He will provide him from where he never could imagine. (Surah At-Talaq: 2/3)
And the verse goes on to say:
“And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.”
It was just… Awesome. The answer I was just searching for. The way out I was determined to find.
Dammit, my brother was the bomb.
He was my guide to refuge, and my means to change my life. Only through Allah’s mercy, He had brought me to this point, and Waseem was the main instrument to make sure that I stayed there. Nagging the heck out of me was the worst thing for me at the time, but his constant patronising made me better. It kept me clean. And now, again it put me back on track.
“You’ve come so far,” he said, grinning like a stud. “You can’t melt down now, boss. You’re a soldier.”
I wasn’t sure about that, but I knew that I was stronger now than I had ever been. And it was true that Allah had now brought me to a point in my life where I was much more focussed than I ever was. With time, I had built up the courage and ability to not revert to where I had come from, with every small obstacle.
Allah had only brought me to this trying place at this point, because He knew that I would know exactly how to handle this, and place my trust in Him alone. He alone will provide the way out. He will take care of it all.
He will provide the way out.
I blinked back my emotions, nodding at Waseem, feeling like I was able to conquer the world again.
Bring it on, boss, I thought to myself, getting up, and feeling like the protagonist in the series of ‘My Life’, once again.
I had ‘Mafia Mode’ switched right back on.
“Be a man,” Waseem said patronisingly, bursting my super-hero bubble.
It was amazing how he knew exactly what I needed to hear. He knew what a coward I always was.
“Go and be with your wife.”
Dear readers, I am so sorry for going partly AWOL. An extra long post to make up.
Please don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!