Habibi Sadeekun… (Beloved Friend)
It was such a fine morning today Sadeekun, I actually woke up early today because I had big plans to go check out uncle Ismail’s site. I can literally see it going real easy cuz cmon saadikun, how hard can renovating be? I grinned foolishly all morning, and cleaned my flat out, yes Sadeekun, cleaning! Not just wiping down with a towel, but actual soapy sudsy kind of cleaning. The one I would never let my friends see lol, or they’d call me an aunty with an itch!! I got quizzical glances all morning, because of my bounding enthusiasm. I even helped a granny from the building across to cross the road, I considered that my good deed for the day, so I wouldn’t feel guilty for missing fajr salah today.
As I headed towards the site, my stomach clenched with nerves, this was the first time I’d been given such a big responsibility, would I match up to it? I followed the directions uncle Ismail had given me and frowned in confusion when it lead me towards the industrial area of the city. How they were planning to run the shop amidst warehouses and factories was beyond me. Who would come this far out just to buy a few groceries at a cheaper price? Only a fool… That same money they would save on groceries will be pumped into their tanks to come out here. They might as well just buy from the local grocery store.
I entered the tall imposing gates with a sense of dread in the pit of my stomach, something wasn’t right here. I idled my polo (yes I traded in my BM for something easier and cheaper to maintain) in front of the dilapidated factory which had once shined in its glory once a long time ago I’m sure. There were no smaller structures in the yard, just one gigantic building which now looked like an abandoned haunted building. The knuckle-rap on my window made me scream like a girl, I kid you not Sadeekun, probably the heebie-jeebies I was getting from the building.
The kind face staring back at me from the other side of the glass seemed harmless enough, I gingerly lowered the window. “Can I help you boss?” The old man asked in a gravelly voice, he had a missing front tooth. “Im looking for Ismail Moosa’s place. I’m supposed to be the new construction manager.” I explained to the guy, he suddenly smiled hugely, and I realized it wasn’t a missing tooth, he just had a big gap between his front teeth. I suddenly felt stupid for thinking such thoughts.
“You’ve come to the right place bwana!! We’ve been expecting you! You the man ishmail said would return our factory to its former glory!!” He said in an enthusiastic voice. I looked around him for the ‘we’ and found no one else. “But surely there’s been some kind of mistake, I was under the impression there was a smaller building in need of renovation?” I asked, my voice growing thinner as the dreadful feeling intensified. He shook his head, and pointed a gnarled finger towards the ghostly building. “That’s the one in need of fixing bwana!” He said assuredly.
I got out of my white polo vivo, hit the locks and walked on leaden legs a little closer to the building. It was massive, ten times the size of my building. How was uncle Ismail expecting me to take on such kind of an endeavor in such a short while? My mind started taking possibilities that the cold selfish man had set a trap for me, and I’d walked into it with my eyes closed, and now it had set on my poor tail with a SNAP!!!
My hands were shaking with barely concealed fury 10 minutes later when I shook Sam’s hand after checking out maybe a quarter of the building. It was a total mess, damp and dark and nasty smelling, the place gave off the feeling of a hurricane and tornado passed through it on just one day, killing everything and everyone in it, the smell was that bad!!!
I drove home with my mind entirely suffused with turmoil, and bumped accidentally into someone really hard on the way into the the elevator. “Yikes Ouch bro!! Where’s the fire?!!” A dude burst out indignantly, I apologized numbly and walked away, leaving the guy staring at me in pity, I felt zombie like in my movements. Here I wanted to marry this girl who I liked, and I had to prove myself by renovating a ginormous factory with no sort of idea how to go about doing it. Why was my luck so screwed up, why couldn’t l just find a normal girl with normal parents who had no ulterior motives????
With a sigh, I dialed uncle Ismail’s number. “‘Yello,” he answered on the first ring, I rolled my eyes. “Assalamu alaikum, it’s Sayfullah.” I greeted. “Wa alaikum salaam! I’ve been expecting your call. How’re you?” He said, amusement ringing in his voice. I fought the urge to punch his smug face through the phone. “I went to the site today.” I said, ignoring his question deliberately. “Isn’t she a beauty?” He crowed. “Just imagine it all shiny and working.” I took the phone away from my ear and stared at it in amazement, the man was absolutely cluelessly cruel! “You must be pulling my leg!” I said in a tightly controlled voice, “This is a massive project, you made it sound like I was given the task to refurbish a house, NOT a giant factory!!!”. He started chuckling, I closed my eyes and prayed for patience. I was too pretty to go to prison for murder. “I’m serious.” I told him quietly, he was silent for a while. “Why don’t you come over for supper today, and we’ll talk.” I considered it for a second. “Fine ok.” I agreed. “Come around 6:30 so we can talk.” He ordered and hung up.
When I pulled into their elaborate driveway later in the evening, I silently prayed to Allah to give me a little patience, or I might leave his house in cuffs, he wasn’t beyond calling the cops on me. Naseerah met me at the door, her smile reminded me why I was willing to go through the crap her father was piling on top of my head. It was worth it. We sat in the den before supper was served. Uncle Ismail sat in his chair pulling on a cigar, I seriously didn’t understand how someone would deliberately smoke in the house, hadn’t he ever heard of the side effects of second hand smoke? “I understand you don’t think you can pull this gig off.” He commented after a while. I looked at him as if checking whether his sanity was intact or not. “It’s not your everyday renovations we’re talking about, this is a big thing you’re asking from me.”
He looked at me thoughtfully. “What?” I asked him. “Apparently I was right about you. I didn’t think you had the stomach for anything thrown your way, but Naseerah begged me to give you a chance, saying you weren’t like other guys. I knew she was wrong about you…..” I stared at him in silence, and then realized Naseerah was standing at the door, frozen. She was about to come inside, but I shook my head slightly and stood up. “I’m glad you’ve brought that up, if you didn’t have faith in me, why set me up?” His face grew an uncomfortable shade of red at my accusation. “Why tell your on site guy about me being the apparent magician who will bring the broken factory back to life?” I wondered out aloud. He stood as well. “Because you’re not a child any more Sayfullah, you have to think on your feet, weather the storms, how else will you survive married life? How will you stand straight when everything will try to break you down? It’s not only sunshine and roses In case you didn’t know.”
I turned away and pinched the bridge of my nose in frustration. So the old man had been testing me, and I’d failed spectacularly, and in front of Naseerah no less, I felt so humiliated, but I turned around, shoulders straight. “Is the offer still open?” I asked. He smiled in appreciation, I had the feeling he was playing me as easy as a tune. “Of course it is. Let’s talk serious business, but first, supper.” He pointed at Naseerah who was still standing at the door. He moved passed and left us alone. She came towards me, funny though, even made me feel a little guilty, I didn’t get the same thrill I used to get when Nusaybah was nearby, I wondered why. Was I so far gone Sadeekun?
I smiled at her, silently begging her not to say anything. “I’m sorry you have to go through this, for me.” She said quietly. “I never wanted to put you in this situation.” I shook my head in denial, “Don’t please.” She dropped it, somehow knowing I was too raw for that kind of conversation. We went to have supper, I barely tasted the yummy spread before me.
Later, we went over the particulars of the project. Uncle Ismail gave me a credit card which had a limit of only half the budget amount needed to do up the factory. He said he would give me the rest when need be. Furthermore, I wouldn’t be the actual project manager, he gave me the card with details of the project manager. I would just be supervisor of the money and the documents that came in. In a way, it felt like a weight being lifted off from my shoulders. At least now I’ll have someone knowledgeable in this field to work with and refer to.
Uncle Ismail threw a thin file on the table in front of me while he puffed on a cigarette this time. “What’s this for?” I asked him, raising an eyebrow curiously as I turned the pages. “If you read it, you’ll see that the property and signing rights have been transferred to your name TEMPORARILY for the duration of the next 8 months. This way, you won’t need my signature every time you need to make a payment or when hiring workers.” He explained. “Makes sense…” I leaned back into my chair. “Read it and sign it to say that you understand and accept the terms and conditions of this contract, then I’ll hand you a copy.” Uncle Ismail said, looking over the city through his window.
Everything seemed to be in order. I made sure to check for any fine print in case this was really a setup. Just as I put ink to paper to sign my name, I took Allah’s name with the hope that whatever comes of this, will not be influenced by shaitan in any way. I wanted to start this action accompanied by the name of Allah, seeking help through the name of Allah, seeking blessing thereby. With the words ‘Bismillah-ir-Rahmaan-ir-Raheem’, I pressed the pen down on the dotted line and carefully signed my name, being sure to curve it in all the write places. All those days of practicing my signature in highschool finally paid off when I sat back and admired how professional and perfect my name looked on the contract. I slid the file across the table back to Uncle Ismail, who stopped it at the edge of the table. He took one last pull from his cigarette, holding his breath and taking it deep into his lungs as he squished the cigarette butt in his ashtray while he checked and confirmed that I had signed. He looked back up at me and blew out the last poisonous cloud of smoke from his lungs. All he said was, “Welcome to the big leagues.”
He has a way of saying things that make it sound like it’s a threat whereas if someone else would have said it, it would sound completely innocent. Whatever it is, I pray that Allah guides me through this and protects me against whatever it is that uncle Ismail has to throw my way.
Allah (SWT) has said in the Noble Qur’an: “I have not created the jinn and humankind for any other purpose except that they should worship Me.” (Noble Qur’an 51:56)
It is clear from the above verse of Noble Qur’an that the purpose of our birth and of our life is no other than that of the worship of Allah (SWT). There are many acts of worship (Ibadah, Ibadat) in Islam, and Salah is one of the most important obligatory acts.
Salaah strengthens the foundations of our faith. It prepares a person to live the life of goodness and obedience to Allah (SWT), and it builds courage and determination. Every time we perform Salaah, we renew our commitments to Allah (SWT) and we rid ourselves from worldly pressures five times a day.
May Allah make us from amongst those who read all our Salaah on time, every time. Ameen.
StAy tuNeD FOR MoRE On SayfUllAH’s DraMA FiLlED LifE<<<