I gazed out hopefully, staring almost seemingly absent-mindedly at the scenery that was so breathtaking. It was so good to be here. To be at Umar’s home. To be able to feel a little bit of his presence, as though he would just walk in at any minute.
A tap on the door diverted my thoughts.
“Haseena, are you okay?”
The slow creaking of the door made me look up, as Umar’s mother peered at me through the now open door.
“Jhee, Mummy, I’m fine,” I replied, a little too quickly.
She caught sight of my flushed cheeks and came forward to sit on the bed.
“Haseena,” she said softly. “You’re allowed to be sad. I understand. But it’s been an hour now, and everyone is asking for you. Just come and sit with us for a little while.”
An hour? I had no idea. I had just come up to Umar’s room to read my Salaah, and was now sitting motionless on the musallah, lost in thought for what I thought was just a few minutes.
I noticed now that the sun was on it’s way out for the day, and I found myself thinking about how just a mere twenty-four hours ago, this time of the day was the most awaited for us. How we would sit on the musallah waiting for the Adhaan to be called, so we could break fast and then commence with the night-time ritual of Taraweeh and extra Ibaadat.
It was truly a most uplifting month. A month of serenity and peace, that had so hastily passed us by. A month in which I had vowed to make the certain change that I felt in me, a change that I hoped was going to be a permanent one.
Because I understood a little of what was offered. I comprehended that the blessing and opportunity that this month had to bring was not something that we were to temporarily enjoy.
Ramadhaan is not meant to be just a month. Not just a short month where the hijaab is adorned for 29 days and the beards are visible until Eid morning. It’s not fashioned to be a month in which our lifestyles change for just a matter of a few weeks, and then we go back to normal.
No. This month was given to us as a blessing. It was sent to us as a Hidaayat for mankind, just like the Word of Allah, His Kalaam, which was revealed in it.
The month of Ramadhan [is that] in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. (Al-Baqarah: 185)
And we are able to see that through the Qur’an, together with this month, Allah Ta’ala has revealed to us a clear guidance. How beautiful the ayaat is, that it also mentions that this month in itself, is also a way for us to gain that hidaayat. It’s a month for us to gain that taqwa that we have been given a prescription for, and maintain it.
I had made that intention, and hoped to adhere.
I realised that it’s not about only feeling the relief of the moon-sighting, knowing that the joyous occasion of Eid has finally come. It was also about the certain feeling of despair, as I realised that I hadn’t done as much as I had intended. It’s about feeling the emptiness in the heart, when you realise that maybe, just maybe, you might have been one of the unfortunate ones who had not gained forgiveness in this month.
I prayed and hoped that I wasn’t one of those.
I looked away and I hung my head now, making a silent Du’aa at the blessed time, remembering not to underestimate the power of Eid day. During Ramadhaan, this was the time when I would usually pour out my concerns and worries to my Creator, with full faith that He was hearing my appeals. At this time, just before the sun would set, I would usually be attempting to make the most of those few minutes, asking my Lord for his Rahmat.
Today, I had no doubt that He would hear me.
Because Allah Ta’ala knows. When His servant calls out to Him, waking in the wee hours of the morning, or even prostrating to Him in the illumination of day, He will never forget. Indeed Allah is independent, but He awaits the sincere pleas of His slave. He waits for them to ask of Him again, to remember that He is still there, no matter what month of the year it is. He waits for them to turn to Him once again, and remember that He is always the Most-Forgiving and Most-Merciful.
So eventhough the month was now over, how can I not maintain what I had been doing all along? How can I ignore my Allah, when He remembers my calling out to him, and expects me to always ask of Him alone.
I stared ahead of me again, tears welling up in my eyes, not wanting to meet my mother-in-laws gaze as yet. I couldn’t just go back to the indifferent routine that I was in before this month had come along. I had to let it last.
And though I was intent on that, this Ramadhaan, however, I was awaiting the end.
This Ramadhaan, though my soul was far from fulfilled, I felt a certain elation as Eid dawned on us. With the arrival of Eid, it meant a possibility of Umar’s return. With the blessings of the joyous day, I hoped Umar would magically be there in record time for our first anniversary.
But as I watched the daylight slowly fading, I realised that he might not make it back today. The day was over, but I didn’t lose hope. I hoped firstly that my intentions would remain sincere, and I wouldn’t go back to my old ways.
I hoped to have fought my Nafs permanently, and not just have put them on pause until the following day, when Ramadhaan had completely left us.
And even though a certain shadow loomed above, with Umar not around, I felt hopeful that with the end of the month, his return would bring a renowned sense of rejuvination for me. I needed him to be back for many reasons, but the most important one was the hope that he would return even more psyched than ever before. I expected him to return with a renewed spirit, urging me to come on board with him, and help me to continue being the best that I can.
I missed him, but I had high hopes that he would be back soon. With the continuous political issues in the middle east, I always expected the worst.
With the commencement of Ramadhaan, the massacres seemed to heighten. It was a test for me, knowing that he wasn’t far from the areas where there were problems. He had managed to find a mosque to sit at for Ithikaaf, and I felt confident that he would be back soon. I had last heard from him just before he had just started. My nerves were permanently on edge every time the phone rang, but a message from him two days ago had put my reservations at bay.
He was going to be okay.
My mother-in-law spoke again, and I looked up at her.
“Jhee, Mummy,” I replied, almost numb. I looked up at her now. “I’ll be there just now. I’ll just pray my Maghrib Salaah and come.”
I took a little extra time in Du’aa after my Salaah, not wanting to rush. There was no rush. I was just so tired these days. It was like I had no energy. I slowly got up and took a last look around the room, before switching off the light and going into the living area where the ladies were seated.
“You okay, Has?”
It was Umar’s cousin, Jamila, who came up to me and squeezed my shoulder lightly. She was a little younger than I was, but we got along really well.
I blushed now as I wished that no-one else knew where I was. I didn’t want to be negative or risk anyone feeling sorry for me. I was going to be strong.
I took out my phone and messaged Bilal discreetly to tell him to fetch me within the hour. He had also been sitting for Ithikaaf this year at the local masjid, so it was only Mummy, Laila and I who were at home during the last ten days.
I think he was also just a little relieved that Shazia’s family had rejected the proposal just before Ramadhaan, because it meant that he could make the most of the month. But it didn’t deter him. He assured me that it wasn’t over yet, and though I tried to tell him to be careful, Bilal was too stubborn to listen.
I sighed inwardly as I looked up at the crowd of guests seated at the table. I smiled at Umar’s aunties as they engaged me in conversation, nodding and agreeing where necessary. I felt like I was slightly displaced, but shoved the feeling away instantly.
This was Umar’s family. I belonged here.
I found myself getting lost in the conversation as it drifted from the latest glass-top stove to how busy the roads were the day before Eid. I found myself giggling when one of Umar’s aunties told us about how someone nearly knocked her, and wanted to blame her for it.
“Lucky for them, I was fasting,” she conceded. “Else I would have given them a mouthful.”
“But what good would that do, Rashida?” my mother-in-law said to her sister. “Rather just be quiet and fight the urge to say something.”
I took in a sharp breath as I remembered Umar telling me the exact same thing, a few weeks ago. Fight your Nafs. Humble yourself. Do what makes Allah Ta’ala happy.
It was uncanny. It was exactly what he would have said now as well. I looked at my mother-in-law, momentarily speechless, as she got up to answer the ringing phone.
Laughter and chatter continued, and Jamila started speaking to me about Hifdh classes that she was attending. I admired her. It was so good that she was actually making an effort to continue with her Hifdh, and I felt myself wanting to start teaching again.
My thoughts were interrupted as I heard Umar’s mother calling my name.
“Haseena,” she said loudly, trying to raise her voice above the noise. Her eyes were wide with seemingly apparent shock, and I could hear a tinge of something unfamiliar in her tone. I immediately got up and made my way to her, anxious to know what exactly was going on.
Before I could ask, she thrust the phone at me, and opened her mouth to speak.
“Haseena. There’s a call for you.”
Author’s Note: Apologies for late post. Hope everyone had a beautiful Ramadhaan and a blessed Eid. May Allah Ta’ala make it easy for us to continue with whatever little extra we had been able to do during this month.
With Regard to our “Mission Sunnah Revival”, Insha Allah, we hope to get many readers as well as bloggers on board. The more that know about it, the better, of course.
It is said that the state and condition of the Harams in Makkah and Madinah are and will remain continuously protected by the Almighty. He, Himself, will take care of His house and the Masjid of our beloved Nabi (SAW). However, when it comes to Al-Aqsa, it’s condition is dependent on the state of the Ummat.
Amidst our carefree lives, who can imagine what their Eid must have been like?
Let us try to change our lives to change their condition. Let us make a sincere effort to bring Allah Ta’ala into our lives, and continue to earn his pleasure by maintaining our Ramadhaan efforts. Allah Ta’ala is above any march and protest. He is above the armies and tanks, and will conquer any army if we turn to Him as a united Ummah.
Any feedback is welcome. The first Sunnah we are implementing is use of Miswaak. The next one will Insha Allah be posted this week, whilst we are still in the high spirit of Ramdhaan. Suggestions also welcome.
JazakAllah Khair. May Allah Ta’ala give us steadfastness and accept.