Habibati Sadeekun… (Beloved Friend)
I couldn’t get much sleep last night. I kept tossing and turning and before I knew it, it was already around Tahajjud time. A voice in my head encouraged me to get up and make wudhu. I could just picture Tasneem recite the Hadith in which The Prophet (S.A.W) said,
“The Lord descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the night remains and says: ‘Who will call upon Me, that I may answer Him? Who will ask of Me, that I may give him? Who will seek My forgiveness, that I may forgive him?’” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Of all the things I wanted, the biggest thing was His forgiveness. In these past few years I had lost who I was and I had lost sight of the true purpose I was put onto this earth, to worship Allah (S.W.T) alone. The more I thought about it, the more I realised how everything I had done so far was all to please everyone else and never for Allah. I was so ashamed but grateful at the same time that Allah has given me yet another chance to come back to Him. Even though my past mistakes have scarred me for life, they serve as a reminder to be grateful for Allah’s infinite mercy.
I didn’t bother putting the bathroom light on since there was enough light coming through from the passageway. With all the load shedding, I thought I’d take some small steps to help out from my side. As I lifted my sleeves to put my hand under the cool water, a faint glimmer of light from the passage bounced off the bracelet on my wrist, catching my eye.
I had gotten so used to wearing it, that it had become part of my life without me even realising it. I turned my wrist over and there it sat, the two charms ‘N’ and ‘S’ next to each other. Ironically, it sat on my radial artery used for checking pulse.
When I stood at the foot of my Musullah, I took a minute to clear my mind so that I could concentrate on my Salaah. The minute I raised my hands to my shoulders, saying “Allahu-Akbar”, a sense of peace filled me, making tears blur my vision. I was facing my Lord and having a one on one conversation directly with him. He knew exactly what I was feeling and what was going on in my heart.
It has been almost 5 months since my heart was completely shattered, but the wounds still felt fresh. I reclined on my bed, waiting for the Fajr azaan to go. My fingers unconsciously traced its way back to the bracelet, my thoughts travelling back to that awful night.
Everything was going fine. Everybody was enjoying themselves and I couldn’t have been happier. My stomach did summersaults every time I looked at him. He was so perfect to me, in every way.
Whilst we all watched the sunset from the mountains, I could picture myself waking up next to Sayfullah, watching the sunrise and sunset everyday. I could see my adorable little children who looked just like him and I could see us growing old together. There was no doubt in my mind, I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.
The boys started getting the fire going and the ladies chilled one side just chatting about this and that. I found myself trying to catch a glimpse of Sayfullah every time I could get a chance. “So… You like what you see?”, Raeesa bumped me on the shoulder, noticing how I was holding myself back from drooling. I shook my head to snap out of it, “Haha, uhm… Uh-huh.” I blushed.
One time I caught Sayf looking at me and I thought something was wrong. I hoped it wasn’t dad maybe making him feel uncomfortable. Dad can be such a terror if he wants to be. Sayf shook his head as if to say it was nothing. It was so hard to be so near him yet so far away. Because of uncle Nazeem there were two separate setups, one for the men and one for the women. While everyone seemed to be occupied, I signaled for Sayfullah to come over. He hesitated for a bit but then walked on over after looking around to see if anyone was watching him. As he passed by, he whispered words that sent shivers up my spine and made me weak in the knees, “I love you.”
I had never heard those words from a guy who actually meant it before. I sat down, trying to take it all in, watching Sayfullah walk away. He probably was too worried about blowing it with my Dad, he was so respectful, I loved that about him.The only way I could talk to him was over chat. I had butterflies in my stomach every time I saw him smiling after reading my messages.
Mum asked Raeesa and I to set up the food tables so that we could eat. “Let me…”, Sayfullah offered from behind me when he saw me struggling with the cool drinks. I blushed, handing them over to him. “Hmm… What a gentleman.”, Mum raised her eyebrows and smiled, teasing me.
There were just a few more things I needed for the table from the caravan. After grabbing what was left, I turned around, bumping into Sayf. “Oh.. I… I’m so sorry.”, I apologised over and over. “I didn’t see you there.”, I told him, feeling so bad for my elbow stabbing him as I turned. The second time it happened, I was just too embarrassed. Sayf lightened the mood by teasing me, implying that I was doing it on purpose just to be close to him. I rolled my eyes, he was just too much.
What happened next changed my life forever. The caravan didn’t have much walking space so we were standing quite close to each other. My heart was racing, I could smell his scent and see all his strong facial features. We were silent for a while, just looking at each other in the eyes. Sayf took a step closer, I could feel his breath on my cheek as he leaned forward. My eyes closed just as his lips touched mine. My blood went rushing through my body when his hands touched my waist. I felt like I was dreaming.
I knew what we were doing was wrong but I was so weak against my nafs. Even though I could hear the Hadith buzz in my ear, “Shaitan is the third… Shaitan is the third.”, I couldn’t find it in me to pull back until…
“Nusaybah! Do you need any help?!” I heard Raeesa ask from outside. My heart nearly jumped out! I pushed Sayfullah away and ran out with the bottles of sauce I grabbed.
**End Of Flashback**
I quickly snapped out of my daydream upon hearing the azaan for Fajr going. “Astaghfirullah, Astaghfirullah, Astaghfirullah…”, I repeated over and over again, regretting thinking about Sayfullah and what we had done instantly. I felt so guilty for worrying about getting caught by my parents, but paying no attention to the fact that Allah was watching us yet we felt nothing for going against Him. I wanted to forget my mistake and move on by learning from it this time.
I placed my head on the ground in sajdah, feeling a weight being lifted off me as I got up for the second rakaat. I just found comfort in leaving my fate in Allah’s hands. I remembered the Hadith:
Ibn Umar reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, whenever a servant stands to pray, his sins are placed above his head and over his shoulders. Every time he bows and prostrates, some of them will fall away from him.” (Sahih Ibn Hibban 1769)
I thanked Allah for guiding me onto the right path once again. I didn’t just have a change in heart and start reading all of a sudden. With Allah’s mercy, it took time… Lots of time. In fact, after what happened, my parents were even getting fed up with my depression.
Till today, I can still hear Sayfullah’s words burning my ears…
Sayfullah was kept so busy the whole time through the braai that even texting became difficult. He and Uncle Nazeem seemed to be having such a great time braaing that he was taking forever to get our tray of meat to us. I saw it as an opportunity to go over and get it, just to be close to Sayfullah.
My heart sunk immediately when I overheard Sayfullah share an event of his life with uncle Nazeem, “…I was once drunk, drugged, high and left alone at a motel with a prostitute!”. I felt claustrophobic , like everything was closing in on me. I took a step back to walk away before they saw me but when I looked up again, Sayfullah and uncle Nazeem were looking at me in shock. I wasn’t meant to hear that…
I couldn’t stand to be near him. I ran off, not knowing where I was going and not caring to tell anyone that I was going. I just needed to get away. “Nusaybah!”, I heard Sayfullah call out, running after me. I didn’t want to hear what he had to say. I couldn’t believe anything that came out of his mouth. I was out of breath, felt sick in my stomach and couldn’t stop crying. At one point I even felt like throwing myself off the mountain, but stopped out of fear for Allah’s punishment.
I felt dirty when he touched me to turn me around to face him. “Don’t touch me!”, I yelled. He kept telling me to just let him explain. “I trusted you!”, I hit him, letting out my frustrations. I punched his chest so many times, not knowing where the energy was coming from because I felt like jelly. My hands were shaking and I couldn’t even see anything, my eyes were blurred by the stream of tears flowing from them. I hated him because I loved him so much!
A sudden burst of anger filled me, making me raise my hand to slap him. He caught my hand and looked me in the eyes. I could see rage in him but what for? I’m the one who was wronged. All I felt was pain in my wrist when he cut off my blood supply to my hand. Looking at him, I could see Imraan all over again. The fear I felt the day Imraan punched me, all came back. I was scared standing in front of Sayfullah. The warning sirens went off in my head. I didn’t want to be a victim of assault ever again!
When he realised he was hurting me and let go, I didn’t waste anymore time standing there. I ran back to the caravan and locked myself in the bathroom, not being able to stop crying. When we got home, I ran upstairs and fell onto my bed. Why couldn’t he have told me about this before I fell in love with him?! I wished I had never met him!
Mum came in to try and comfort me. “It’s going to be alright.”, she told me. I just cried even more, telling her what I heard. How would I know if he wasn’t lying to me about it being a set up? How do I know if he wasn’t doing this regularly? I couldn’t trust him any longer. “Why did this have to happen to me Mum? Why?”, I took in a deep breath and howled out in pain as I cried on. Dad was standing at the door, “Perhaps Allah was saving you from something, steering you towards something better.”, Daddy said, sitting down and taking my hand in his. “When the right guy comes your way, I’m sure you would appreciate him much more after this situation.”, he looked pointedly at the blue ring on my wrist. Dad was right. I can’t stand an abusive man.
My phone vibrated and I sniffed, wiping my eyes to read my text. It was from Sayfullah.
Sayf: Please can we talk? I’m on my way there.
I threw my phone onto the bean bag chair in the corner. “What did he want?”, Mum asked. “He wants to talk.”, I told her then looked at Dad, “I don’t want to see him ever again. Make him leave Daddy. He hurt me and I can’t stand to see his face ever again. I can’t marry a man that I can’t trust to be honest with me.”
Dad stood up to leave the room saying, “Remember that this world is only temporary and so are the pains that come with it.” At that point, I couldn’t see my heart ever healing after that.
Days had gone pass and I wasn’t interested in doing anything but staying in my room. The most I went was from my room to the bathroom. “Open the windows Nusaybah, this room is so stuffy.” Mum told me. I just groaned, turning my head and facing the other way. “You need to stop this now. How long will you go on like this? You hardly eat. You’ve lost so much of weight. You stay cooped up in your room all day and sometimes don’t even bath. Its disgusting. You don’t even read your Namaaz anymore!”, she yelled at me in frustration.
“I’m tired of this… You need to get out of here. Do you want to go to your Dadis?”, she threatened. “Sure… Why not.”, I dared to say, knowing she wouldn’t do it. I had become cold towards my family. I hated life and I hated what was happening to me. I just wanted to go back in time and erase everything about moving to this place.
I thought about every guy that entered my life and about how dramatically they exited too. Imraan, Sameer and now Sayfullah. He was the worst one. He lied to me, cheated on me, stole my first kiss, abused me and walked out. “Who is next?”, I thought to myself. I doubt anybody would be interested in marrying me after all this.
**End Of Flashback**
Surely, things did get better at home after some time. A lot happened after that… But that’s a story for another time.
>>> Maaf the post took longer than I expected. Had to scrap the ending so many times. But I did say sometime today and it isn’t 12am YET…
O my people, this worldly life is only [temporary] enjoyment, and indeed, the Hereafter – that is the home of [permanent] settlement (Quran 40:39)
“Hold fast to night prayer, for it was the way of the righteous before you, a way of drawing closer to your Lord, an expiation for wrong deeds, and a shield from sin.” [Tirmidhi, and others] In some narrations, there is an addition, “And it repels sickness from the body.”
Allah has praised those who wake up at night for His remembrance, supplication, and to seek forgiveness and entreat Him, saying, ‘They forsake their beds to cry unto their Lord in fear and hope, and spend of what We have bestowed on them. No soul knows what is kept hid from them of joy, as a reward for what they used to do.’ [Qur’an, 32: 16-17]
The Prophet (S.A.W) said, “Whenever a man is alone with a woman the Devil makes a third.” (Hadith – Ahmad and Al-Tirmidhi 3118)
Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself, will be in the (Hell) Fire falling down into it and abiding therein perpetually forever; and whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever; and whoever kills himself with an iron weapon, will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever.”
(Sahih Al-Bukhari – Book 71 Hadith 670)
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