Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
“Okay, okay!” I shouted, giggling silently as I slumped to the ground. “You win!”
It felt good to laugh. To really laugh. Like, from the bottom of my tummy kind-of laugh.
I wasn’t sure when last I had so much of simple fun.
I held up my hands in front of my face, turning my head slightly and scrunching my one eye up so I could at least appear to be slightly fearful.
“I surrender!” I finally said, letting my hands fall to my side and faking defeat.
I was feeling just slightly drained, and with the scorching sun burning down, I was actually kind of worried about getting a bad tan. It was time to give this rough play a bit of a break. I just hoped I would be let off the hook easily.
Yusuf still held the rugby ball under his arm, looking like he was unsure of whether to believe me.
He cocked his head to one side, and then looked sideways at Ummi and his wife, as if to seek their counsel. I knew exactly what he was thinking. Should he let me surrender, or keep playing until he proved how good he was?
I shook my head to myself, trying to hide my grin. He was a typical male.
Why couldn’t men just back down when they needed to?
I knew this was pay-back for leaving all those years ago.
The first day I had arrived here, I still recall him asking me if I still watched sports on TV, as he gaped at me like a goldfish. He had to ask Ummi about fifty times if it was really me. It was like he couldn’t understand how everything had turned out this way, and I was actually still here.
Still alive. I felt terrible, because I knew that all those years ago, he had probably taken my leave the worst. He was too young to even understand.
My little brother ran his hand through his full beard now, a visible frown still etched on his face. I supposed I still expected him to be that tween I had left behind. Not a fully grown man who now looked almost exactly like Umar.
“Leave her alone,” Laila said to him, also smiling, and I could tell she was feeling sorry for me. Not like I needed sympathy, but I hung my bottom lip out more, just for extra effect.
Yusuf smiled at his wife innocently and slowly lowered the ball to the ground as he looked up, a slight smirk on his face.
I never thought I’d see the day when Yusuf towered above me in victory, but it was a sore reality right now. I wished I didn’t have to let him have the upper hand, but I honestly forgot how rough brothers could be when they got down to playing outdoor games.
“Aasiya Foy, don’t give up.”
I looked down to see Sa’ad standing next to me with a huge helmet on his head.
“I’ll help you to beat him,” he continued, looking like he meant business. “Papa taught me all the tricks.”
I smiled at my nephew, touched by his concern. He looked exactly like my brothers, but there was a softness about him that I knew came from his mother. I would never admit it aloud, but he was definitely my favorite little person.
“Don’t worry, baby,” I said lovingly to him, taking a seat on the soft grass beneath me. “I think Uncle Yusuf knows that he would have lost anyway.”
Sa’ad smiled and nodded, and I watched him skip off as I grasped a few green weaves of grass next to me. Around me was just greenery, and the natural beauty at home was honestly so breath-taking that I couldn’t understand how I could have ever loved the concrete jungle I lived in for so many years. Just being able to witness nature around me gave me a renewed sense of ease, and made me remember the One who created it. Being here was an Ibaadat on it’s own.
SubhaanAllah. It was like my outlook on life had completely changed, after just a few weeks.
I hung my head back, just soaking up the sunshine for a few minutes as I got lost in my own world of baseless thoughts.
“You’re not coming inside?”
I looked up, putting my hand out to shield my eyes from the sunlight.
Yusuf was always that considerate type who worried about everyone else. And, I suppose he just wanted to make sure I was okay.
“Not now,” I said, enjoying the warmth of the sunshine coming from above. It was so uplifting.
Summer was finally making it’s presence felt, and I kind of loved it. Besides, it was good for my usually unpredictable mood. Being home was good for a few reasons, but being around happy married couples was a bit tiring with my crumbling marriage that I was trying so hard to forget.
“Molvi just came,” he said, taking a seat next to me and also picking at some weeds. “I think he wants to speak to you.”
My heart thudded a little faster as I processed his words, knowing exactly what Umar wanted to tell me. He had just returned from a trip to Pretoria, and I knew he had probably met Muhammed there. I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to hear about it yet.
“Is everything okay?”
I could hear the concern in Yusuf’s voice, and I knew that he was just worried. I just didn’t really have the energy to make anyone feel better about my situation when I was still so caught up with my own concerns.
I sighed, shrugging my shoulders.
How did I explain to him what my life was like? Their lifestyles were so isolated and unassuming… I doubted that they could ever comprehend where I had come from…. What I lived like.
I felt bad for not telling them exactly what was going on. I had made them assume it was only my fertility issue that caused a rift in my marriage, and they had been really easy about it. Laila had even suggested that I see her sister-in-law, who was a doctor who specialised in fertility, but I obviously didn’t want to do that. Who even knew what was in store for Muhammed and I? I had to just see where the road took me.
The thing was, out of everything I had learnt while I was here, the one thing that really got me was that no-one in this house ever complained or moped around. There was no discontentment or visible hopelessness here, but it wasn’t because everything was always perfect. It wasn’t because everything just ran smoothly on it’s own.
It was solely based on the Taqwa that they had, and the understanding that complaining to ‘people’ would do no good. When anything became an obstacle, they knew that Allah was the only one that they should ever complain to. And that was exactly what I had hoped to attain when I got here. When I chose to flee, I didn’t just want an escape. I didn’t hope to just find a refuge. I hoped to find shade in the mercy of Allah and find a Home that I would never leave.
And the thing was, it happens to everyone when we are going through problems. We think that we are the only people who have ever faced calamity. We think that we are the only people to deal with adversity, and no other person has. We think have been burdened in the most vicious way, but as I grew here, just the environment made me think in a completely different way.
After a few weeks of Ummi Jaan nagging me to attend the weekly Taaleem, when I finally did, I was actually glad. Amongst many other pearls, the Appa had mentioned the Hadith about the most noble of Sahabah (RA), Hadhrat Abu Bakr (RA). It was a story that was something of a reality check that I well needed.
When we are so caught up in our troubles, we forget that, when the Sahabah (Radiallahu Anhuma) were brought to test, the way that they dealt with it was what truly defined them. And so, it was in one of the occasions when Abu Bakr (RA) had given up his possessions for Islam, when a most awesome thing happened. At this particular time, he was going through a time of extreme poverty due to it, where he hadn’t even a proper cloth to wear to cover himself.
His garnent was basic and somewhat unpresentable. It was on this occassion that Allah Ta’ala had sent Jibraeel (AS) down to Nabi (SAW), who was in the company of his friend. He had a message to covey to Hadhrat Abu Bakr (RA).
And the message was such: Jibraeel (AS) simply wanted to know from Abu Bakr(RA), despite all this and every difficulty he was facing, if Abu Bakr (RA) was pleased with his Lord.
And what he said was most unimaginable.
“Tell him his Lord is pleased with him, if he is pleased with his Lord.”
Of course, hearing this, for anyone, is such an honour. But for the most senior Sahabi, Abu Bakr (RA), hearing the good news from the lips of the beloved Nabi (SAW), he was ecstatic. He got up, thanked Allah, said:
“Indeed I am pleased with my Lord!”
In this joy, he whirled around three times.
But the most amazing part here wasn’t that. What was the most spectacular was that when he had appeared, Jibraeel (AS) had actually descended in the very same unseemly outfit that Abu Bakr (RA) was wearing.
When the Prophet (SAW) said to Jibraeel that he had never seen such strange clothes, Jibraeel (AS) gave him the reason for adorning them.
That day, not only him, but every angel in the heavens was dressed in the same ragged clothing as Hadhrat Abu Bakr (RA), to honour him, who was the loyal, generous and faithful companion of Nabi (SAW).
SubhaanAllah. It was actually quite extraordinary, and when I heard that, I was blown away. Just. Imagine.
Allah Ta’ala honoured them in such a way, that they were even able to see it here, in this Duniyaa, that they completely bartered. And of course, if our faith is true, then why should Allah not honour us too? When we struggle for Allah’s pleasure, and try to reach Him, even when we know that we never can, why shouldn’t he give us the highest stages of bliss? Just for continuing to be steadfast and never relenting, we don’t realise that this alone can be our ticket to Jannah.
I had never seen it that way before this, and I knew that I needed to shed a whole new light on my delusional world.
I wanted to just soak it all in, and enter a different dimension, but you can never run away completely.
Something has to bring you back to reality, once again, something at the back of my conscience was telling me that it was nearly time to go back to my life. To face the past, and see what the future held.
That time was just way closer to the present than I had thought.
The voice came from behind me, almost as a reminder, and I knew that it was Umar.
I turned my face back slightly, waiting for him to come closer.
Yusuf politely got up, knowing that we probably needed to speak privately. Of course, I was dying to know what had happened in Pretoria. I still kind of hated my husband, but if Umar had taught him his lesson, I knew I might feel a little better.
“How was Pretoria?” I asked after greeting, eager to hear the news about Muhammed and hoping he was suffering without me.
“You mean Muhammed?” he said, with a small smile. “Don’t worry, I sorted him out.”
I smirked, glad to hear it.
“But,” he continued, still standing. “I don’t think that should be the most of your concerns.”
I looked up at him, seeing the frown on his face. He looked like he was worried, and I couldn’t help but immediately be alert. Something wasn’t right.
“What do you mean?” I asked, getting up to face him, and trying to read his evasive expression.
“Waseem’s wife,” he said.
“Zaynah?” I asked, remembering my sister-in-law fondly.
I had always admired Zaynah, and especially envied her simplicity now that I saw the value of it. Previously, I had looked down on her, but now I knew that I was so wrong. So misguided in my high-life that I was obsessed with.
“She’s in hospital,” he continued. “She had a fall.”
I nodded, waiting for him to continue. A few broken bones perhaps? Poor Zaynah. I should call her again.
“It’s not good, Aasiya,” he said, sounding slightly unsure of how to say what he needed to.
He paused, and I looked at him expectantly. Surely she must be okay?
“She’s quite bad,” he continued, not meeting me eye. “Doctors say coma. Some say no brain function. They think it is a clot in her brain. Maybe a few. Allahu A’lam.”
I looked at him, my eyes widening in shock.
I was completely speechless. How? When?
But I had just spoken to her!
“Your in-laws are in a quite a state. Muhammed was the one to actually tell me…. After I… Uhm…”
He trailed off, probably not wanting to tell me exactly what happened when he confronted him. Umar had a knack of getting a bit carried away when he was angry.
Muhammed. Well, of course, trust him to pull out the sympathy card just when he had to face the music.
I knew I was being selfish, but I was annoyed that he couldn’t tell me. I had switched off my number for a few days after his persistent calling, but he could have found some other way to contact me. It made me angry, even though this wasn’t the time to worry about petty things like that.
“Aasiya,” Umar said, roughly rubbing his temples.
I looked up at him, still unable to say much.
“I hate to be the one to say this… But I think it’s time for you go back.”
Please don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!
Beautiful Sunnah 👐🏻 Wash both hands up to the wrist before eating.
Hadhrat Salmaan Farsi (Radhiallahu Anhu) narrates: “I read in the Taurah that the blessings of food lie in washing the hands after meals. I mentioned this to Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) replied: “The blessings of food lies in washing the hands before eating and after eating.”
We will be doing more eating and drinking Sunnahs Insha Allah.