As we walked towards our hotel, I could feel a terrible pain in both my knees and my lips and nose felt swollen too… God knows how long it will take to heal… will I be even capable of praying properly? Anyway I started doing Istighfaar (seeking forgiveness) because I suddenly remembered that the most important thing was to be forgiven by Allah. The rest of the issues are in His hands and only He can cure me of whatever damages I might have done to my body or soul…
I don’t know why but every time I get hurt, I am reminded of my beloved Prophet (s.a.w) who was so badly hurt on his way back from the city of Ta’if. It gives me a moment to think of how beloved he was to Allah yet he went through so much pain, not for any personal interest but to deliver the message of Allah… so what is my pain compared to his ordeals? And what have I done for Allah so far?
I was thinking of all of this as I took a hot bath, prayed while sitting on my bed and thanked Allah that I could perform all these actions without any unbearable difficulty. Greatly relieved but also feeling totally drained and exhausted, I prepared to go to sleep; but just when I was about to lie down, my husband announced that he had a surprise for me! I looked up in amazement as he held towards me a plate full of the most beautiful red grapes I had ever seen:) my pleasure was not just because of getting my favourite food so unexpectedly but also because of the amazing coincidence… which again reminded me of our Prophet… because He had been offered grapes after he took refuge in a garden all hurt and bleeding from the stones that were hurled at him on the way back from Ta’if… all those centuries ago…
How amazing to think that the same Allah who took care of Him, was now taking care of me… and it was that rare moment of heightened clarity of vision in which I understood our innermost need of loving the Prophet (s.a.w) just as we need to love Allah and be loved by Him.
My heart was so much soothed that I went into a deep, deep sleep and when I woke up a few hours later I felt almost healed… what a miracle indeed that I was now performing my Salat on the floor!
The other surprise which I received was that it was raining… it was a real downpour with thunder and lightning! Through my bedroom window I looked down in delight to see the throngs of people walking in the pouring rain towards the Ka’ba… some with umbrellas but most of them had none… yet they seemed totally oblivious to the rain… what a beautiful sight… the expression of complete love and devotion!!
I imagined that it was like a farewell gift from Allah because the next day was going to be our last in Makkah and the day after that we would be going on towards the much awaited visit to Madinah… the city of the Prophet (s.a.w)