Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
Some people walk through the earth with a presence that can move mountains. At first glance, we may not know it right away, but their very being is like an unwrapped gift that slowly unfolds, emanating the most beautiful of flavours. You might never know who these people are, but just by being a part of the world that sometimes feels so hopeless, they are able to effect a change. They move rhythmically through the lull of life, and other people can’t help but be moved by them. They move through it, creating moments that we seldom can forget.
And of course, there are some moments in life that you never forget.
Moments that, just for their presence, made you the person you are. The moment you faced a longtime fear, and the exhiliration that comes with it. Or that moment you are in that strange place, and land that friend for life, just from a few words. The moment you hold that child that is is so innocent and pure, that you feel you just want to live your life all over again…. And of course, that moment when the whole world seems to stand still for a few seconds, and you realise that maybe… Just maybe… You’ve fallen in love.
Since the news of the baby, our home was filled with with hopeful anticipation and enthusiasm. My in laws were ecstatic that a baby was finally on its way, and of course, Muhammed was on cloud nine. Every so often he would come home with some random thing he found at a shop he was passing, or a gift for me. It was really quite sweet, but the nagging sensation that it was too soon never seemed to lift. I wanted to wait until the baby came to make any real changes.
And then of course, without much warning, it was suddenly time. I was in quite a frame of mind- almost in denial, until the evidence and pains that the baby was already well on its way were inescapable.
“Are you okay?” Muhammed had asked as he watched me in the rear view mirror. I was clenching my tummy and trying to shift my body to divert it from the pain. None of it was really helping.
I wanted to grit my teeth and tell him not to ask silly questions, but he had been so sweet throughout my pregnancy, that I didn’t want to upset him. Our bond had become one that was better than any other time in our marriage, and it was something that I didn’t want to risk. Even in this fragile state, I was trying to be a better person. I smiled smugly in between contractions, knowing that Ummi Jaan would be proud of me. Despite everything that Mo was and had done, there was something about him that she really liked. She always said that he was pure at heart, and it made me feel assured that she never gave up on us.
I breathed in as we reached the hospital, hoping that it would all go fast and smoothly. Recalling the advice that Ummi had given me about what to read, I recited Surah Yaaseen, and tried to remain calm as the pain intensified.
There was no denying that honestly, it was the worst pain I had ever felt in my life, and I wished it would go away as fast as possible.
Muhammed looked slightly panicked for his usually super-cool self, and he raced around trying to get me what I needed, just making sure that I was as comfortable. It seemed like forever before it ended, and the announcement sounded, but when it was finally over and the baby eventually was placed in my arms, I couldn’t help but tear up uncontrollably.
“A girl,” the doctor had said, and I gave a wide smile as they passed her over.
I was, of course, lifted into another dimension of ecstacy. Despite my immense tiredness, it was one of the most awesome and unbelievable feelings. Seeing Muhammed’s face light up as he moved away from my side, to check on the baby as it was cleaned up, was the most priceless moment ever.
“It’s a girl,” he came up and said again, smiling widely as he kissed my weak hand. His eyes were smiling too as he tenderly squeezed my shoulder, and rushed back to the baby.
I had a feeling that it was a girl throughout my pregnancy, but we never did confurm. A surprise was always good. The soft kicks and movements were an indication for me, and I braced myself as they brought her closer, thinking that she was probably the most beautiful baby I had ever seen.
Hearing the beautiful Adhaan being recited into her ears silenced her cries immediately, and I sighed contentedly as Muhammed took control of the formalities and I was finally wheeled back into the ward, to have some time to rest.
And of course, it was just the beginning of the greatest journey of our lives. It was the most exciting time for us as visitors came in, wishing us well and giving us their Duaas. When my brother made an appearance later that night, just to come see his new niece, my heart was completely filled as my brother swooned over her. A slight feeling of despondency set in as I realized that Umar wouldn’t get to see her right now, and I looked at Muhammed to see that despite his excitement, there was something that was eating him up too.
We sat together in the hospital ward that night, cooing over our new daughter, but also not completely at ease with our family not in our midst. His thoughts were with Waseem, and mine with Umar, even as we witnessed the miracle that was in front of us taking over our lives.
“‘Siya,” Mo said suddenly, smiling at me as he put out daughter down, and then turning serious again. “I’m not sure if this is fair. Like, do you think life can get much better than this? Better than right now?”
I gave him a small smile back, knowing exactly what he was saying. Of course it didn’t seem fair. We had so much… so many privileges… such luxury and comfort, although we didn’t deserve it. Sometimes we had to stop and check ourselves.
“I mean, there are so many people around us who are suffering… and so many all over the world,” he continued. “Allah is bestowing his kindness to such a great degree… I’m not even sure if we are worthy of it.”
I shook my head at him, sighing to myself.
“Of course we’re not,” I said, matter-of-fact. “We just have to keep on being grateful. Allah promises us that if we are… He will definitely increase us. But if not…”
I remembered the ayah I had learnt, reminding us of both Allah’s mercy and power at the same time.
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favor]; but if you deny, indeed, My punishment is severe.” (Surah Ibraheem: verse 7)
It was the most apt reminder, and I found myself wondering about how ungrateful we had been all this time. Over the past few years we had been given so much, yet we were so unmindful, and never granted contentment. Now, Allah had given us this one gift, and just in showing gratitude, He had given us peace of mind.
“It’s just amazing,” he continued now, his eyes shining. I looked at my husband as his hands ran through his beard. He wore a plain white Kurtah today and my heart filled with awe when I thought about how far he had come. I was so proud of this change he had made, and I couldn’t believe that my worldly-obsessed husband had become the man he was today.
“When I look at her, I just want to change my life all over again,” he said, sounding so passionate. “It’s when I truly want to be the best I could, so that everything is okay for her. I just want to change the whole world.”
He was right. We had been taken in by the world, and what was temporary, but our focus had changed when we finally saw what something eternal could be for us. When we chose to what was everlasting over the temporary. We faced our challenges with faith and persevered as a couple and a single body, and somehow made it through.
I smiled, slightly amused by his statement. It was just one small thing. A small intervention that had made all of this possible. A small light that shone through, eliminating the darkness within hour lives.
You see, some people in this world move through it, but can’t help but change everyone around them. We didn’t know that when Waseem saw his wife, we would all be affected by his heart. He took a chance. He saw what he wanted and took the plunge, hoping for the best. He changed his life entirely and completely, and when Zaynah became a part of his world, she became a part of ours too. The beauty of Deen that she showed him became very evident for us all.
Change. Life changed. Everything and everyone had changed.
I breathed in the scent of our daughter now, knowing that Mo and I would be on the same page when it came to our daughter and how she would grow up. I wished that she too could be the type of person who affected everyone around her in the world, just by being in it. Those people were rare and few. Very few.
My thoughts were cut short as a knock sounded on the door, and I could hear a familiar voice apologizing, almost as if afraid to come in.
My heart lifted in anticipation, hoping upon hope that it was the person that it sounded like.
After what seemed like eternity, the person finally appeared, fully covered and almost unrecognizable until I saw her eyes. Of course, those eyes I could never forget. I remembered how kind they had always been, even when my cynicism would get the better of me. Her openness and the beauty within was evident even in her very manner, as she stepped forward modestly, making me still wonder if it was medication or if she really was here.
She looked like she was back to her old self… the sister-in-law that I knew I could never live up to, no matter what I did. I smiled, because, of course, there was nothing I could say that would ever express my true elation.
No matter what had happened until now, or what had changed, I knew that for me, she would always be that soul that I would look at and wonder how people like her actually existed.
I smiled widely now as she greeted, hoping she would bring us good news. For a moment, an unexplainable feeling of joy took over, and I just knew that everything would be okay.
Zaynah was here.
Next post may be a little delayed. Apologies in advance.
Please 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.