Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
We all know the reality of our lives. This world is temporary. Nothing is forever.
But the amazing feature about that is that the very same worldly attribute that causes us pain, is also what gives us relief:
Nothing here lasts.
So basically, that breathtakingly beautiful flower in my garden will wither tomorrow. Eventually, my youth and energy will leave. But, the despair we feel today will also change tomorrow. Agony will die. Yes, laughter won’t last forever but neither will tears. The heart will, eventually, heal itself to become something stronger. It will forget the pain and suffering of this world, and eventually move on to what awaits it.
Well. The heart is a funny thing.
That pumping piece of flesh within the chest… Well, all it knows is love. Just love.
The heart of every individual performs the function of loving someone or something boundlessly. And we all want to. We all wish to love someone… To give them our all, and get it back, but we completely disregard the value in giving our entirety to what really does last. The Eternal, Our Creator. Why don’t we love Allah swt wholeheartedly? Why don’t we give Him our heart?
Allah Ta’ala says in the Surah Baqara: Wallazina Aamanu Ashaddu Hubban Lillah
“Those who are believers love Allah most intensely.”
“And [yet], among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals [to Him]. They love them as they [should] love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah….” (Surah Baqarah)
Believers. True believers. And of course, loving Allah means that they not only love Him, but crave and await death, beacuse it is a means to meet their Beloved.
And the beautiful story reminded me of that love, when Allah desired to take away the soul of Ibrahim (AS). He sent the Angel of death to him, and the angel of death greeted him and said:
“I have come for the purpose of capturing your soul and by your permission I invite you to meet your Lord and enter the heavenly world.”
And the famous words that Ibrahim (AS) said were:
“Have you ever seen a friend putting to death a friend?”
And the angel went back to his appointed place in the Heavens and told Allah, “My Lord, you heard what your Khalil said?”
It was revealed upon him to go back to Ibrahim (AS) and ask something even more amazing.
Had he known of any friend hesitating to meet his friend?
A true friend is the one was looks forward to their meeting. Who awaits it. Who craves it. And of course, upon hearing this argument, his heart was moved, and Ibrahim (AS) relented.
And that’s all there was to it. The heart.
Who controls it, and who is the source of the love within it. It is the source of every deep-rooted feeling.
We can love people with all our hearts. Give them our all. Surrender ourselves.
But when that love reaches the heights of truth… Love for Allah. Well, that’s really something else.
My mind had drowned out the voice in my ear as I thought of that love and sacrifice that people were making, for the sake of Allah. When Zaynah had told me about where everyone suspected her husband had disappeared to, I was in awe. I couldn’t help but feel a sense of restlessness on her part though, not knowing what the outcome here would be.
Right now, I sat on the phone with a friend from back in Pretoria to check if it was all right. If there wasn’t maybe some mistake.
The voice was calling from down the passage, as I slid on my cloak over my track pants and t-shirt, moving the receiver to my other ear as I opened my cupboard with my other free hand.
“I have to go,” I said to Sarah, grabbing the closest scarf I could see, knowing that my mother would barge in any minute. I felt completely out of touch with city life until she began rambling on about all the news I had been missing out on. Instagram feeds and Snapchat was completely foreign to me, as she updated me. I felt like an alien whenever I hung out with girls my age, because I didn’t have a phone attached to my hand. Nonetheless, she updated me on things that I obviously half wanted to know about, and half dreaded hearing.
“He’ll probably get married again,” she was saying, onto the next topic, and ignoring my statement. “And I really wonder what kind of wife he’ll get then.”
I felt a familiar ache somewhere within my gut, and then it was gone.
It was my fault. I had let it go to far that day. Hassan was throwing tantrums in the bedroom, and insisting that Waseem had come to visit him. It took me a lot of dragging him away from the window for him to finally realize that his favourite cousin-in law wasn’t around. In the process, I had caught myself letting my gaze get out of control. I quickly berated myself, knowing that Shaytaan had probably caught hold of my nafs at the time.
“Tell the believing men to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts…” [al-Noor 24:30]
The evil glance was definitely an arrow of the arrows of the devil, and I had to be more aware of myself. Letting the gaze stray even on things that they are not supposed to weakens the heart and Imaan. I didn’t realize how bad it really was, until I found myself getting caught up in a fantasy world once again. If Zaynah knew, I knew she would probably give me the longest Bayaan about it’s evil effects, and I really didn’t need to hear it.
I hastily ended the telephone conversation, not wanting to dwell too long, and knowing that my mother would leave me if I wasted any more time.
This time she was a little more impatient as she stood and watched me through the door, the car keys in her hand already. I followed her out, grabbing the biggest pack of sweets I could find, and headed to the car. Sadly, I owed Zaynah back big time for all the stash I had been taking, and she wouldn’t let me forget it. As it is, her stocks were low since Waseem wasn’t around for the past few weeks, and to make matters worse, her moods were taking the toll. It was frantic and erratic Zaynah all over again, and I didn’t really enjoy all the drama.
“Did you finish your reading?” Mummy asked as I reached the door, looking at me skeptically.
I nodded almost robotically, knowing she was talking about my Surah Kahf. On Jumuah mornings life always slowed down for us as we prepared, and took our time to adorn ourselves for the midday prayer. It was something I had always missed in the city, when Friday was just another day of the week. On the farm, we always made Jumuah an ‘event’. Most days we were all home, but today we had decided to go to Mamoo’s house for the day.
“Where’s Raees?” I casually asked Mummy, hoping she would know where my annoying brother had disappeared to since this morning. He honestly had no consideration for our time. He just went about his missions as if we had all the time in the world to wait for him.
“Your brother will come later. He’s busy with some new business venture,” she said hastily as we sat in the car. Sounded a bit fishy, but I let it go.
Hassan had missed school today and promptly jumped into the car as Mummy started it. I couldn’t ask her anymore because my mini brother took over the entire show as usual, with his constant chatter. Anyone else would have definitely found him cute, but to me, he was just slightly deafening.
I looked out the window as we drove, trying to block out the chatter and think of other things besides my own life. There were just too many things going on at the moment.
We finally reached Mamoo’s house , and I got out as Zaynah stepped onto the patio, squinting at us slightly as we came into better view. I could see that she was almost back to her old self, and her energy levels were back to normal. I joined her as Mummy went inside, and Hassan, of course, sat with us while we admired the view. It was lovely.
“So how are things?” Zaynah suddenly said, and I looked at her and smiled, wondering what she would say if she knew everything that was going through my mind in the past few weeks.
Zaynah had known everything about me, but with her memory loss, I knew she barely remembered half of it. I was actually glad for that part. She would probably freak if she knew that I had been eyeing out her brother-in-law. I knew I shouldn’t have been spying on him, but his last visit had made me all the more pensive about marriage once again, especially since a boy had come home unexpectedly to see me last week. The whole samoosa run thing was just super unnerving,
I knew Zaynah would love to hear about that. It might even cheer her up.
“Someone came home last week,” I said, glancing at her to see her expression.
She raised her eyebrows slightly and gave a small smile.
“And?” She asked, prompting me on.
I shook my head and shrugged.
She shook her head back at me, still smiling.
“I thought you weren’t thinking about marriage yet, madam,” she said, raising her eyebrows.
“I’m not!” I argued. “Daddy literally pounced on me! These people are his old friends, and he likes the family. Too bad the guy is not as great as he hoped.”
Zaynah was still smiling as I went through the details of conversing with the guy. I hated the situation, because I hated to talk to guys. They just made me uncomfortable. I wasn’t sure how girls did it all the time, but for me the whole situation was so awkward and embarrassing. I didn’t feel like ever going through it again.
“At least you had found the right one,” I said to Zaynah, forgetting for a moment everything that had happened so far.
She changed her expression immediately, and I felt slight regret over opening my mouth. Yes, she had, but she didn’t even know how lucky she was.
I pursed my lips, getting ready to apologize for bringing up the past.
“I just don’t understand,” she said evenly, cutting me off and shaking her head at me. “How he even became part of my life.”
I smiled at her sympathetically, knowing that it was probably all very muddled up for her.
She looked at me quizzically, as she sat on the couch.
“And how did I ever accept?” She asked now, looking genuinely interested.
I shrugged at her, remembering the uncertainty she had faced when she decided to marry Waseem. She was so worried that his past would affect them, and yet it never did. She had put her reservations aside and took the plunge, because she knew deep down it was right for her. I wondered if I would ever feel that way about anyone.
“You gave him a chance,” I said simply. “Even though we were all uncertain.”
Zaynah was still looking at me skeptically, and I frowned at her, wondering what she was thinking.
“Out with it, Zay,” I said, putting my hands on my hips. “Why are you looking at me like that?”
“I heard,” she said after a few moments, talking slowly. “That he was really different before. That he was involved with girls… and other stuff too…”
I pursed my lips, wondering how the tables had turned. Zaynah had always been the one to keep me in check, and now I felt like I was the one who had to constantly do it. I wasn’t sure where Zaynah was hearing all this but I knew I had to tell her what I knew. There was no more beating around the bush and hiding her past. We had to come out with it sooner or later. She was definitely ready to hear it.
“He saw you from over the fence of the estate,” I said simply, shrugging my shoulders. “And then, he changed his life.”
She looked up at me sharply as I grinned at her, realising how sweet it sounded. Even though I was barely a romantic person, right then it was really a most romantic notion, because I couldn’t think of a better reason to want to be with someone. To get closer to someone, only because they showed you true love for Allah, was one of the greatest ways to give your heart.
“No-one ever told me that before,” she said softly, looking away.
I wondered what she had been thinking all this time about her husband. It didn’t seem like she knew the truth about them because everyone had been too scared to tell her.
I didn’t want to tell her what Sarah had been telling me about the girls in Laudium. It seems that people already thought that their marriage was over. In her words, women were already getting their hopes on him when he wasn’t even here, so who knew what would happen when he came back and Zaynah wasn’t around? But then again, Sarah was a bit of that dramatic type. I wasn’t even sure of everything she said was completely accurate.
I looked up at Zaynah, wondering why she was calling me so impatiently. I hadn’t realized that she had probably called me several times in the last few minutes whilst I was stuck in my deep thoughts.
“Jhee?” I said apologetically, giving her a small smirk.
“I need your help.”
I could see that familiar look in her eyes, and I recognized it from back in the day wh Zaynah would have plenty of tricks up her sleeve. It was such a long time ago that I had almost forgot that my cousin had this amazing tendency to concoct plans out of practically nowhere.
As I watched her, I was starting to get slightly worried, although I knew that I couldn’t show it.
“I think something weird is going on,” she finally said, looking at me mysteriously. “And I want to get to the bottom of it.”
I swallowed and nodded, wondering what she was talking about.
Of course, none of what had happened was ordinary. Her whole accident. The breaking of their union. Waseem’s disappearance. I just never suspected that there could be more to it.
The human heart was, of course, a most peculiar thing. Their love had been the kind that knew no bounds, because it was completely selfless. It was a means of betterment for each of them, and their hope to get closer to their Creator through it.
And now still, it seemed like the heart that forgotten the love she had back then, had found the route back to what she once knew.
Sometimes, what is shattered is not completely broken. Even within it’s healing, when it comes to matters of the heart… Well, that’s just something else.
Struggling through the darkness makes us appreciate the miracle of a sunrise, especially when it’s not expected.
“What do I need to do?” I said meekly, almost afraid of the answer so would get. It was great to see Zaynah all determined again, but I wasn’t sure what she was getting all psyched up about.
“We need to figure this all out,” she said boldly, standing up as I watched her slightly fearfully. I knew there was a plan ahead, and I was waiting to hear it.
“Nabeela,” she said, crossing her arms over and looking at me sternly. “It’s simple. We need to find Waseem.”
Don’t forget our Super Sunnahs!
Nabi ﷺ said, “He who has taken food and says at the end: ‘Al- hamdu lillahi-lladhi at’amani hadha, wa razaqanihi min ghairi haulin minni wa la quwwatin (All praise is due to Allah Who has given me food to eat and provided it without any endeavour on my part or any power),’ all his past sins will be forgiven.” (Tirmidhi)
SubhaanAllah. Let’s try and observe the Sunnah Duaas of eating InshaAllah.