Bismilllahir Rahmaanir Raheem
We’ve all done things that we aren’t proud of. It happens to the most of us. Insaan.
The inception of perfection was over 1400 years ago, when the beloved Messenger (SAW) came with his illuminating light in this darkened world. He came as a pure mercy, and was definitely beyond any beauty and untainted character we could imagine. But for us… In this day and age… I mean, none of us are perfect, right?
Its just that sometimes, it’s hard when you know that it could have been better, or that you should have done better.
Sometimes, just being sorry isn’t enough.
As I looked up into those eyes that were somehow etched in my memory, I just knew. I knew that the pain reflected there wasn’t just my imagination.
But could an apology actually heal the wounds? Ease the pain? Undo the hurt that I caused?
I wasn’t sure what the right way was to go about it, but I knew that I had to make it up. I knew that there had to be a way to right the wrongs.
This whole thing was so strange. It was the most bizarre thing, but once in a while, I supposed these things happen. Strange things. They do happen.
And I was in quite a shock, as he guided me down the last few stairs together, and let go as I reached the base.
Was this a way of everything fitting together for me once again? Of course it was no coincidence. The man had been missing for a few months, and just as I had been thinking of him, his appearance was so unexpected, that I was completely baffled.
We stood, as our eyes met, just looking (or should I say gaping?) at each other for at least half a minute, unable to speak.
“At least I caught you this time.”
I almost choked. Did he really just say that?
It was the first thing he finally said, and it made me wonder more about my past once again. Our past.
His mouth turned up slightly at the corners, and though I could see the glimpse of a smile, a certain sadness was very evident beneath. It made me a little less hopeful, but I wasn’t sure why.
He gave me one last look and then went hastily up the two more stairs to greet my uncle, leaving me standing awkwardly at the bottom, not knowing what to do or say.
And it was strange because this man, whom I supposedly shared so much with, was right here… yet I had no idea what to say to him. I instantly wondered what it was like when I first met him, or if there were any awkward moments before this. I still couldn’t remember any of it, but this time, I really wanted to.
“Where are you’ll staying?” I heard him ask Mamoo, instantly offering an apartment for us for the night, as Mamoo was obviously unprepared. We hadn’t thought that far ahead. The trip was on a whim, and of course, I was really glad that we had come.
Something within me now just felt like it fitted.
Travelling with Mamoo was always quite something, because although nothing was prepared, somehow, everything always fell into place. Allah Ta’ala took care of His favourites in that way. There was always an intervention to settle everything in place with Mamoo around.
Waseem took a few minutes inside as we waited in our car, and finally emerged to show us a place where we could stay. I didn’t say anything, and I was surprised that he didn’t question me or ask me any more, like he would before.
I wasn’t sure where he had been to all this time, but seeing him now made me realize that something had changed. Though he still looked the same, my heart sank because I could tell that his experiences had made him different. Rigid. Harder.
“I’ll see you’ll soon,” he said, his face expressionless as he left us that night. I could read nothing of his emotions as he turned away, almost eager to escape.
I wanted to still find out more, but what he had said kept me hopeful. I slept that night, dreaming strange dreams once again, and awoke feeling a little short of rejuvenated. The flashbacks were tiring me out, and they were getting really intense as the days went by.
The next day was a whiz as we went to greet Aasiya, who was back home already. I almost forgot about Waseem as I chatted with her, catching up on the past few months that we had both missed. Waseem was still nowhere to be seen as Mamoo called for me to get ready. The afternoon was closing in, and it was already time to go home. Jumuah was the next day and I knew that Mamoo loved to make an event of his Thursday nights, because he always said it was the most special of the week.
The drive home was unusually quiet for us. Mamoo was like Abbi in a lot of ways, but he always liked a good conversation. This time though, he said nothing of our trip. It was like he was just thinking to himself all the way, and I was also too caught up in my own thoughts to really start talking. I wondered why Waseem was so scarce, and I was kind of disappointed that he hadn’t contacted me since the night before.
We reached home finally, and seeing the cars in the driveway immediately settled my uneasy mind. When people were around, I knew it would help my frame of mind. Zakiyya was here, and I knew that seeing her would make me forget about all the things that were making me feel completely lost. Maybe she could settle my mind once again.
“Zaks!” I shouted, so excited that I didn’t worry about who else might have been here, it was almost a month since I had last seen her and I wanted to off-load all the pent-up emotions that had found their way inside. Nowadays, I found it hard to talk to anyone else besides my sister.
Zakiyya turned around as I reached her in the kitchen, and I couldn’t help but take a step back as I saw her, wondering if I was seeing right. Had it really been that long?
“Oh. My. Word,” I said, immediately covering my mouth with my hands, in complete shock over what was already very evident.
I just couldn’t believe it.
“Sorry,” Zakiyya said softly, as I ogled her protruding belly, completely mortified that my own sister could not tell me that she was expecting. Again.
Little Zainab crawled up to me as I stood there in shock, and I grabbed her in one movement, so grateful that I could hold her. There were moments in my sickness that I thought I’d never get my strength back, and now I was just so glad that I did. I dreaded the next week when I knew I was expected to go back for tests, and they would tell me how I had done so far. If it was all gone. If I was still ‘sick’.
“How far?” I asked now, knowing that it was probably already quite a while. I mean, I know I wasn’t in the best state, but how could she hide such an important and obvious thing from me for so long? How did she even manage to?
And then, like an invasion on my own body, before she could answer, the familiar feeling of panic rising up my chest got me even more frantic. I instantly gave Zainab to her mother, sitting down with my head in my hands, knowing that there was no way I would make it to my room. I rather just sit there and let the drama unfold.
“Nabeela!” Zakiyya shouted, knowing exactly what was happening. Her voice was stricken with alarm.”We need some sugar!”
I knew that Nabeela was somewhere around, and I couldn’t have been happier to see her face when she appeared next to me with a new pack of jelly tots in hand. I grabbed whatever was in her outstretched hand, letting the sugar do its work once again. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what I would do have done without it.
“Okay now?” She asked, smirking at me.
I wanted to remind her that my panic attacks were not funny, but I breathed in instead, wondering what had brought this on again.
I wasn’t sure why the fact that Zakiyya was having another baby made me panic, but I knew that it had nothing top do with her, and probably everything to do with me. She was moving ahead in her life and I wasn’t. And yes, of course I was happy for my sister, but I couldn’t help but feel like I too needed some of that in my life. I never did think of kids or where I would have been if the accident hadn’t happened. I just took it for granted that everything would be put on hold, but as I noticed everyone around me progressing, the hole in my gut seemed to widen.
I looked at Nabeela, noticing now that my cousin had really grown up. Soon she too would be moving on with life… and I would probably just be left behind.
I sighed inwardly, recovering from my drama and wondering what it was that made me feel so inadequate. I couldn’t help but feel that I had lost out, even though I knew that everyone seemed better off than us when we were ungrateful.
The sore fact was that seeing others in a light that makes them seem so much better off will ensure that we can never appreciate what our Lord has given us. When we compare our lives to everyone else, that’s when the discontentment begins to settle in… And then, we can never recognize any of Allah’s favours on us.
In a hadith narrated by al-Abbas Bin Abdul-Muttalib (the Prophet’s uncle) recorded by Imam Muslim, the Prophet (SAW) said, “Indeed he who is pleased (and content) with Allah as his Lord (Rubb), Islam as his Deen and Muhammad as his Messenger has tasted the sweetness of faith (iman).”
The Hadith was the most adequate reminder, and as I lay my head back, letting the sugar absorb on my tongue, I could almost hear it being read to me, like dejavu, remembering that true contentment was only felt within. It’s when everything that seemed to be a misfit just takes its place. Life is completely at ease because we don’t feel that we’ve missed out. Someone had reminded me of it ages ago, and though I couldn’t remember, it gave me a strange sense of comfort as I let it sink in. As the unknown now became apparent. As the memories of it resurfaced.
Contentment. Appreciation. Ease. It was what I had always thrived on. The recipe and the remedy to every negative emotion.
“Zaynah,” I heard someone say, immediately realizing that within my little panic attack, Zakiyya was trying to get my attention.
I breathed out slowly, letting the oxygen seep into my lungs. I still couldn’t believe that she hadn’t told me that she was pregnant again. She was trying to explain that it was so unexpected and she didn’t even know herself until it was quite late, but the hurt that my sister thought I wouldn’t have dealt with her good news in the best way possible was eating me up. Maybe my sickness had made me a little crazy. Crazier.
“I’m sorry,” she finally said, noting my pout, and knowing that I probably wasn’t going to buy her excuses. I knew I should cut her some slack, but my mood didn’t allow it until she pulled out the trump card.
“Well,” she finally said, quite fed up with my attitude. “Maybe if you’re so moody, I’ll tell Riyaad to send back the letter that came for you today. I think it’s best-”
“Letter?!” I said, instantly alerted by what may be really important for me right now.
“Yup,” she said, sitting down as she dug in the nappy bag she was carrying, searching for what I was so eager to see. I stretched my neck, eager to get a glimpse of this elusive letter. I had so many questions. Maybe it held all of the answers.
She finally removed her hand, and a cream envelope appeared in it, as she revealed to me what I wanted. I could see a name on it, and though I had no idea who had sent it, I couldn’t wait to find out.
“He stopped to see Riyaad this morning,” she said, her eyes dancing excitedly.
“Riyaad mentioned that seemed like he was hiding something, but I’m sure that in this letter, you’ll find out everything you needed to know all this time. That’s exactly what he said.”
She handed it over to me, warching me carefully as I read the name at the front of the envelope.
To Zaynah, it said.
The writing was small and tidy.
I flipped it over, eager to open it. The back of it gave me an idea of what I needed to know. It was brief in it’s tone, and my heart thudded a little faster as I read it.
Please Don’t forget our Super Sunnahs! Lot of Durood on this Jumuah…
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.