Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
There are moments… Moments that in a split second, your life changes forever, and before you know it, the path just looks like a completely different one to the one you’ve been treading all along.
You don’t have to always be tough. Sometimes the only way to get rid of a shadow is to turn off the lights, to stop running from the darkness and face what you fear, head on.
In my partly frazzled frame of mind, I kept on going back to that place where I tried to figure out where exactly everything went wrong. Sometimes you have to go back to the beginning to try and understand the end. I wanted to diagnose my current condition. Was it the inception of marriage? Was it the night at the club? Was it maybe because we weren’t strong enough to fight through?
I couldn’t figure it out. But what I did know was that I needed to find a way to move forward. A way to ensure that I wouldn’t get caught up again. It was a test of how strong my resistance was, and how I could fight back when my nafs wanted to overpower. The temptation was always there, and of course, just when the thought of relenting and going back to my old lifestyle began to seem all the more appealing, Allah sent an ally to see me through.
That was me, literally shouting across the Mosque as I spotted him in the depleting crowd, hoping that he wouldn’t leave straight away. I hadn’t seen the guy since after Hajj and though I felt bad for not getting in touch, I knew he wouldn’t take it to heart. Life had been just a little bit overwhelming.
“Boet! You’re alive!”
He leaned forward to shake my hand with a small embrace, looking genuinely glad to see me. I knew that I had gone AWOL again but I planned on bringing myself back from the dead once and for all. It didn’t matter what was in store for me, I would fight back with a vengeance.
I grinned back at my friend sheepishly, actually really glad to see him. He might be the person who would put everything into perspective and get the Zee to focus once again.
“I heard about your son, man,” he said softly as we walked out the back of the Masjid. “That must have been tough. Allah knows best.”
I nodded, my eyes burning slightly at the memory of Hamza. He seemed like a distant dream but his little face stayed etched in my mind. Of course, I couldn’t help but think of Farah when he came to mind.
I sighed as I remembered, recalling how insistently she was pushing for the end. It was really a no-win situation. She wanted to do something with her life, and basically, I was a lazy guy. In her own words, she needed someone who would push her to make something of herself… Someone who would motivate her to be ‘more’.
It all just seemed like a load of bull and excuses to me, but sadly, it also made me realise that maybe she was right about me. Maybe I needed to change. Maybe I needed more direction in my life.
My brothers always told me that I was lazy, but now that it had been used against me, I knew there had to be some repair work in progress. Maybe I should get some guidance. Maybe I needed to change my direction of going nowhere slowly.
“There’s a talk here later,” Junaid was saying. “You going?”
I shrugged, not wanting to admit that I was a little over the sitting and listening to Bayaans. I felt ashamed that even the Jumuah Bayaans seemed like a blur, because I barely made it on time.
And of course, the argument about why I bothered at all entered my mind. Why did I go? Why did I pray?
But the thing was, even my off-track mind understood that all acts of devotion have been prescribed by our Creator Allah Ta’ala for our benefit. Sometimes the benefits are obvious, and at times, they are not.
Likewise, medication prescribed by a doctor has its benefits even though we don’t know its ingredients. We don’t need to know all the contents, side effects and benefits before consuming. Like taking that medication, what is important is that we carry out our duties and obligations to our Creator and understand that in His infinite Wisdom, these acts of devotion are for our benefit in this temporary life as well as for our eternal journey towards the place that really mattered.
I knew that my resolve was getting weaker as each day went by, and though it wasn’t fair to pin it in him, I felt bitter that Waseem was too busy moping about his wife to bother. I mean, I knew that he was cut up that she didn’t want to see him but he had to move on. No matter how much he loved his wife, if it wasn’t meant to be, it wasn’t meant to be. I think even I had accepted that, but I supposed that I was a different kind of guy. I couldn’t really compare myself to Waseem.
We walked out of the Mosque as Junaid persuaded me to go for a drive in his new car, and though I wasn’t as worldly obsessed as I had been, I appreciated the diversion and the sound system that featured some foreign Molvi speaking about someone I hadn’t heard of before. Junaid had this streak of roughness, and I didn’t expect him to be listening to anything other than these dynamic kind of talks that made you want to hop on a plane and morph into a warrior Mujaahid.
I mean, it wasn’t like the Zee had expansive knowledge of Deen, but I knew a little bit of the stories of Sahaba from what Waseem had always forced me to listen to. It was always stuff that he had got from Molvi Umar, and the passion of the Jihad that they possessed always got me. This was no different, and I lost myself in the audio as I tuned in, almost on edge as he spoke about the great warriors of Islam.
Of course, being a guy, stories of the Mujaahideen always added a different edge for me. Modern-minded people would probably be horrified and label it as terrorism in the making, but listening to it just made me so passionate about Deen. Listening to it made me truly realise what it was to fight for Islam. To go out in the blessed path of Allah.
A particular incident about how this particular Sahaba came to Deen was played, and my ears were glued. I mean, picture this.
Broad shouldered. Fierce fighter. The strength and trump card of the army…Who was also an expert strategist. It was shortly after the Hudaybiyyah Treaty, when he embraced Islam. When this fierce warrior advanced to attack the Muslims at this incident, he was halted as he was immediately taken aback to see them praying Salaah in congregation. The very sight of it altered his mind and heart, and you could say that the flame of Islam was lit within.
His story is a rather perplexing one. He was the deadly enemy of Muslims in the Battle of Uhud and the deadly enemy of the enemies of Islam in the other battles, but he moment his heart was affected by Allah and his spirit was blessed by the Most Merciful, it overflowed with devotion to His religion, His Prophet SAW and to a memorable martyrdom in the way of the truth. This martyrdom enabled him to erase the burdens of his association with falsehood in the past.
One day, he sat alone in deep thought concerning that new religion that was gaining momentum and gaining ground every day. He wished that Allah Ta’ala would guide him to the right path. His blessed heart was revived by the glad tidings of certainty. Therefore, he said to himself, ‘By Allah, it is crystal clear now. This man is indeed a Prophet, so how long shall I procrastinate. By Allah, I will go and submit myself to Islam.’
And of course, many know the story of the three martyrs of the Battle of Mu’tah. They were Zaid Ibn Harithah (RA), Ja’far Ibn Abi Talib (RA) and Abd Allah Ibn Rawahah (RA). They were the heroes of the Battle of Mu’tah in Syria, in which the Romans mobilised 200,000 warriors. Nevertheless, the Muslims achieved unprecedented victory… But the rest of the story is what made him the Sword that Nabi (SAW) named him.
And who can imagine those heart wrenching words with which the Prophet SAW announced the sad news of the death of the three commanders of the battle? I mean, after all, it was his dear adopted son who rose to his martyrdom first.
‘Zaid Ibn Harithah took the standard and fought holding it until he died as a martyr; then Ja’far took it and fought clinging to it until he won martyrdom; and finally, Abd Allah Ibn Rawaahah gripped it and held it fast until he won martyrdom.’
This is only part of Nabi’s SAW speech, and this is the rest of the story: ‘Then it was gripped by a sword of the swords of Allah and he fought until he achieved victory.’
It was said that this great Sahabi, after accepting, used the same skills that he had used against Islam, now for Islam. He took every inch of passion he had used to fight Islam, and devoted now to Islam’s cause. He completely changed the Jahiliyya in his heart to something so much more worthy and pure.
And after all this… You may ask, who was the sword of the swords of Allah? Who was this great warrior, a true leader with scheming tactics, and the hopes and desires of a true Shaheed?
It was none other than Khalid Ibn Al-Walid (RA), who threw himself into the battlefield as if he were an ordinary soldier, when the others rose to Martyrdom.
As I listened to this awesome story, I wasn’t sure exactly what it was, but my spirits were immediately lifted, and that little dead flame that was almost completely extinguished was slowly rekindling itself. I was probably going to be obsessed with the Sahaba stories now; after hearing how this man had completely changed the direction of his life, and dedicated it to his Deen.
Maybe I hadn’t been the best that I could be, and maybe I hadn’t progressed as much with Deen as I needed to, but the least I could say was that I had at least found the path that wasn’t going nowhere. At least I had made it this far.
And although I wasn’t any kind of warrior, and even a slight version of an ISIS member, but I had also come from a place where I had changed direction, and more than ever, now I wanted to use myself for the sake of Deen. I probably wouldn’t do anything major, but meeting Junaid again gave me an idea that I thought was brilliant.
Why couldn’t I, also, use myself to change guys like me? I mean, if there was anything that I was ever good at, it was partying the night away, and I knew the tricks and traits like the back of my hand. Putting that knowledge to good use would be the best thing I could probably ever so, even if it meant I could save one person from going completely off-track, I would consider this whole venture worth it. Like Junaid and Waseem did for me even if one person could change the direction of their life, through my effort, I knew I would be grateful. I mean, if no-one made an effort on me, where would I have been today?
What a brainwave, I thought to myself, completely chuffed with my lightbulb idea. I was really good at concocting these plans, and I just hoped that I could carry it through.
I had to tell Junaid, but as I turned to him, I could see a frown on his face as he slowed the car down, and of course, I too was forced to check out the scene ahead.
Blue and white flashing lights and a passing siren already gave us a heads up of what was going on. It was an accident up ahead, I was certain that Junaid wouldn’t make it for that Bayaan he wanted to. Instead of being relieved, I was slightly disappointed, because I was suddenly inspired by what I had just heard.
The car moved forward slowly and there was the accident scene slowly came into view. I could see several police cars parked off on the side, and I strained my eyes to see the car involved. Maybe we should have changed our route and direction to avoid all this havoc. It was too late now.
“Hey bru,” Junaid said suddenly, turning down the volume on his sound system. “Isn’t that your connections cab?”
He turned back to look at a car behind us frantically hooting and trying to weave through the traffic, and then turned to look at me, as he pointed at the Nissan Skyline GTR that usually grabbed a lot of attention. My father-in-law would only drive flashy cars, and though I knew I wasn’t much better, at this moment, I knew that his car and everything materialistic barely mattered to him, as he rushed toward what would probably be a disturbing discovery. When realisation dawned that it might even be someone that I know, I couldn’t help but feel that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.
“Follow him!” I commanded Junaid, not able to contain the curiosity and obvious panic that was arising any longer.
He looked at me and nodded, trying to inch his way through the cars just as my father-in-law was doing. My heart was literally in my mouth as we finally caught sight of the scene of the accident, and I immediately saw the car involved. To say I was devastated was an understatement.
The worst possible scenario that had played in my mind had just become a reality. I could literally see the direction of our lives changing.
It was Farah’s new Range Rover that was completely destroyed, smashed up against the barricades with another car sandwiching her in. Just to see the extent of the damage put trillions of knots in my stomach, and as I grabbed the door handle and stepped out on wobbly legs, it was like my limbs were just automatically lifting me to where I needed to be.
I remembered reading once about adrenalin, and how it produced a rush in the body, altering the heartbeat in preparation for what may be life-changing activity. In this case, as I felt hands pushing me backwards whilst I argued with the officer, I knew that I just had to find out what was going on. There was no way I could not get through, and I finally uttered the words that I hoped would secure it for me.
“It’s my wife, man!” I shouted breathlessly, fighting just to keep myself as steady as possible. As sane as I could.
A flickering in the macho police guy’s eye caught my attention, and he shook his head one last time, before he turned to expressionless once again.
She had just got a new car. Her life was supposed to be gaining some direction. She was planning to make something of herself… And to actually do something that she considered ‘worthwhile’.
But in just a moment, things can take on an entirely different perspective. Your whole focus in life changes forever, and before you know, the path just looks like a completely different one to the one you’ve been treading all along. The only thing that matters now is what lays ahead for you.
“Sorry, my man,” he said roughly, not looking me in the eye, stepping aside to finally give me way. “You can go… They’re taking her away. I’m sorry for your loss.”
Sorry for the very delayed post. Lots of Durood today, and don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!
Beautiful Sunnah: 5 Sunnah in one action. SubhaanAllah!
The Sunnah way of drinking water:
Drink with the right hand.
Drink whilst sitting
Say Bismillah before and Alhumdulillah after
Look into the glass when sipping
After 3 sips of drinking water, say Alhudulillah Wasshukru Lillah.
There are many bodily benefits to these Sunnah as well. Let’s try and practise regularly!
We will be doing more eating and drinking Sunnahs Insha Allah.