The heart of the matter…

This is a sort of sequel to my last post in which I had shared with you the list of questions I had put together for my friend. After she was discharged from the hospital I decided to go over to her house to visit her and to discuss with her those questions while she would be in a contemplative mood after her angioplasty. But as my excitement grew at this plan I suspected maybe I was just being happy to spend some time out of my routine and so my niyyat (intention) to go for Allah’s sake is not so pure. Therefore by fajar time I gave up the idea and then I felt a sort of relief on not having to go so again I understood that maybe I was avoiding the core issue of facing her response….this made me feel really disgusted at my coward heart and I asked myself…..what are you afraid of? will they throw stones at you and fill your shoes with blood? If not then why are you being such a coward…This thought really made me realize how honoured are the people who go through pains for the sake of Allah….how much would Allah love them. So then my heart agreed and I went to do the best that I could.

When I reached there, I felt the butterflies in my stomach at the possible outcome of this visit. Well I entered the house and did the usual round of salam and all. Her cousin was there too. After a while we sat at the table to have some food and as usual the topic of my celiac disease came up….that went on to my daughter’s baking skills, how she makes rice cakes and corn biscuits….and then her passion for maths….and then her cousin asked how old is your little daughter…when I told her she was so surprised….she exclaimed how young you yourself are and how could you have such a big girl….then she said how did you manage to train a teenager like that…that led to Quran…..

I thought I should make myself useful so I offered to wash the dishes….was surprised at how quickly this offer was accepted….so I walked into the kitchen and was amazed to find that the sink was full…..I picked up one glass at a time and started talking to the “other lady” who came to give me company…so I washed and did dawah at the same time….I told her that Quran was like a gift which I am supposed to share with the whole mankind so whoever I meet, my aim is to get that person interested in this amazing book. She was quite interested and started asking the usual questions of women’s rights and so on….when all of a sudden the milk jug which I was washing broke right into my hands…….without slipping or hitting anything….just shocked me by splitting into two pieces while one of them made a fairly deep cut on my finger…within seconds the hand turned red with blood and I had to hold tight at the cut to stop it from bleeding….the lady rushed to get a bandage but found none….after waiting for a while I remembered that I had one in my bag….so I taped it up and the throbbing subsided after a while…….I kept remembering the blood of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) after he was attacked with stones while coming out of the city of Taif but of course that was different…still I understood for the first time that He did not suffer just one tiny cut and didn’t have any bandages too… 

The good thing was that it gave me a pause to think……why had it happened? Maybe Allah just wanted me to realize that He was with me…I was not alone…He also made me understand through this little accident that no one can hurt me if He doesn’t allow it and He can make me taste pain even without any human intervention….anyway the more I think the more lessons I can derive out of it…..(I love this activity of finding out solutions for such mysteries!!)

coming back to the point…..It gave me a perfect excuse for going back to the actual task of sitting with my friend and make an opening from where I could lead her onto some discussion. I had decided earlier in my mind that talking live and letting her ponder over one question at a time would be far better than her reading the whole paper all at once. I made a dua of opening of my own heart– Rabbi-shrah li sadri…. and then started off. Since the first couple of questions were of medical nature and she herself is a doctor, she really enjoyed telling me her reasons for going through the diagnosis and treatment. Seeing the interest on her face and the relaxation of her whole posture I thanked Allah for giving me the right ideas!!

But then when I got to the second part, she expressed her ideas of being in touch with “God” without having to follow any prophet. It made me feel so sad for her but I tried to keep myself composed and pleasant. She said people think I will go to hell when I am such a good person who has done so much for people and led such an honest life with so much hard work…How can God punish me for not doing five sajdahs a day?

I just said in a friendly, loving way…….no you will not go to Hell (and then completed the rest of the sentence in my mind….. because you will accept the true faith and Allah will give you guidance.)

That seemed to calm her because no matter how confident they try to appear, in their hearts there definitely lies a fear…

I said to her that the only request I have is that she should think over these questions….and also to read the Quran. She said she had done so many times but it didn’t make sense to her. I tried to make her understand that if I open any book of medicine will it make sense to me? I would need some experienced person to explain it to me. That seemed to convince her. We could have gone deeper after that but there were many interruptions too. Finally a guest turned up and so she was lost to me after that…anyway it was time for me to go back, the driver had come, I got up said goodbye and she said “please do keep coming…it was such a good experience” I smiled at her and was leaving the room when her cousin exclaimed “we couldn’t even finish our discussion on Islam and women’s rights”…So I said maybe we will meet again.., or she could see the list of questions I had typed for my friend….she was immediately curious..!!

I came back after that feeling so exhausted as if I had just dug up some hard stony ground in the hot sun with bleeding hands……I looked at my bandaged hand and smiled at Allah for giving me this Nishani (sign) of his love…a small badge of “star” which we used to get in primary school for some “extra good” performance!!

But simultaneously my heart felt the awful burden of her doubts….just like I feel the burning of the people out on the road with no shade to protect them from the sun, even though I am just passing them by in an air-conditioned car. 

I kept thinking that so far all the programs for teaching Quran are for willing listeners. Some of them real believers and some fake. But I got this wild idea that I wished I could gather all the people who are not willing to recognize the importance of worship. I want so much to tell them that Allah loves them and true faith is their right too just as much as its for the willing believers…..It is so sad that people show their disgust openly and then further drive these people away from faith. They need a lot of love, kindness and assurance so that they recognize the truth with their own hearts……and even then if they don’t accept the truth, at least we should be able to say to Allah that we did our best…

may Allah give me the Hikmat and strength and endless love and kindness and MOST OF ALL….Selflessness…for this task of making them open the gift of Quran which is for all of mankind. May Allah guide us all. Ameen
 

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