Binte Abdul Razzaq
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Life is beautiful, yet funny. All the problems are like brain injuries, and it’s an old joke that if you get a second blow at the same spot, you get all your memory and sanity back.
On the second day, when my full body X Ray was performed (I was in excruciating pain on the first day, and mostly sedated throughout the day), there he was, my neurosurgeon sitting right across the table, telling me that there was just a very minor bleeder (that resulted in a clot pressing in on my nerve)in my brain, and that I would have to go through a transient amnesia for at least four weeks- as it would take that much time to get resolved- so I better not be given any blood thinner. But, that demanded that I be kind to myself for forgetting things, and ask others to do the same- as a blood thinner could cause bleeding of wounds and delayed healing- and I had already lost some blood in my accident.
After hearing him out, of all the possible thoughts that could have struck me, the above mentioned adage dropped into my brain box and I went like: “Doc, can’t I just get another blow at the same spot, and just get done and over with”. He was flabbergasted. After a few seconds, he managed a mild smile. I laughed (had to at my own joke), and my nose started bleeding because I had head trauma, and massive nasal bleeding post crash. I was a funny mess on a wheelchair. He told me, “You’re a doc, I understand; but I also understand the seriousness of your injuries, and what you have gone through. How are you laughing and not shocked? Do you even know that your pain scale is almost 10/10? You will receive multiple treatments including electric current therapy (transcutaneous nerve stimulation) for numbing your nerves. Your body is in shock. I am happy that you are optimistic, but this isn’t a normal reaction. We hardly see this.”
My reply was: “I’ve no option, but to smile and laugh about it. A few hours ago I slid down my staircase, and landed with a thud all happy, and could move my head in any direction I wanted. And now, I just can’t..Isn’t it a brilliant feat? Isn’t it funny?”
He remained totally dumbfounded at what I had said, completely quiet. Looking at it retrospectively, I also found it hard to believe- I had the courage to say all of that because I knew how much difficult and painful it all was. Faith in Allah (swt) can do miracles. I remembered all the Prophets as), and all that they went through; and yet, they were patient. I think I remembered all of that at the right time, and gained courage through that.
I now think that when you lead a life of obedience to Allah (swt), He gives you all the courage. Just like His remembrance in ones youth, keeps one away from major sins because of His mercy; and even, if you slip and commit a minor one, you burn that sin away with tears of regret; and promise Him for never repeating it again. Similarly, He the Almighty keeps you away from major traumas, and even, if you do land in some kind of pain ( physical, emotional, psychological etc.), then Dhikr, and those nights of remembrance, burns all the pain away.
And so, in all his surprise, my physician went on and asked me how I was feeling; and in all my delirious amnesia (forgive my satire) I retorted: “As it is only my second day, I can’t surely say- but so far so good- best is yet to come.” I felt so calm because I had asked Allah (swt) directly during those last moments for I still hadn’t done enough for my Hereafter, and He listened. I know that pain is a blessing in disguise. Doctor told me that he couldn’t believe his ears because, even though he had seen loads of war and what not injuries, he knew my courage was coming from a place of contentment and peace. And, during the times of pain and hardship, it is rare. “I call it faith. It results in patience. I know how sweet it is. It dissolves everything bitter.”
“You remember Me, I’ll remember you” –(2:152) Allah (swt) addressing believers in .
“Remember Allah (swt) during times of ease, and He will remember you during times of difficulty,” (Tirmidhi)
I vouch by all the Great names of Allah (swt), it’s true. I have experienced it. My doctors said that even if I’d just let myself truly feel the pain my body was experiencing, I could have died of that feeling alone. Even the mere act of thinking about pain and solidifying that thought in mind kills people because it leads to hopelessness, and that’s just like rust. Like a fire that spreads fast, and burns everything coming in its way- I survived because Allah (swt) gave me hope, and made me see it all positively. I don’t know how many times I’ve free-fallen for Allah (swt) since then. People fall for people, and things, and world, and this, and that, and what not. But I fall, I free-fall for Allah (swt) over and over again. I trust Him that much. Alhumdulillah.
A soldier is prepared before leaving -but even though they are all ready- after injuries, they themselves, and their bodies go through shock. I guess none of us are ever prepared as such; but I think that Allah (swt) does prepare us- whether we realise it or not. I had seen off my father to two wars. I had seen hundreds of tanks and APCs, other equipment, and the whole garrison move from the top most place; it was terrifying to see off thousands of soldiers to war, and overwhelming at the same time, and I still remember that view.
I had seen death of my friends; I had shouldered and hugged my friends on their father’s funerals post war; I had prayed for my father for his martyrdom on his very own request. I had seen enough to be patient. Allah (swt) had prepared me for this well in advance. He surely only puts the burden you can always endure. All of us are the same. He makes us brave. Yes, He makes us, it’s not our own doing- it’s His. He makes us either through His own will, or He makes us when we truly seek and ask for it. Know this in your heart that all the battles you have fought, Allah (swt) had always known you could fight that one. He gave us our parents, and families, and put us through situations with the knowledge of what lies ahead.
My physician pushed me to meet paraplegic war veterans, and bomb blast victims- just so that I share my spirit, and humour- as it may give them courage to not give up. “They get depressed and suicidal; and it is, but natural and expected. They have suffered loss, sometimes an irreplaceable or unfixable one.” he told me. “You must meet them.” He also called on the trauma team, and said: “Emergency, RTA case, hyper-reflexes, ask her anything and listen to her replies. Which one of you was telling me the other day that she feels like killing herself just because she couldn’t do well in PLABS.” I had another bout of laughter.
I realise now that, in this day and age of fear mongering and media blast, perfectly normal and healthy beings are ripped off of peace- just because they believe in the lies media, and the world tells them. Their innocence is lost to the stupidity of educated illiterates- (sorry, but I don’t have another term to describe the behaviour and stereotyping they preach who tell them what to look like, what to wear, and how to be like to be accepted and revered. The loss of connection with Allah (swt) makes them believe whatever they are told and taught- because they lose their ability to think, solve and apply. They lose their touch, their brilliance, their courage- because being strong, and being a believer, isn’t cool enough anymore. Beauty has lost its touch, modesty has been stripped off, and perfect beings are just depressed because they couldn’t get an A+. The education we get at schools and colleges, and the media we rely on, doesn’t prepare us to deal with real life situations. And, it results in depression for most of the kids and adults alike, unfortunately.
My earnest request is that if you ever get into a tough situation, just get help from your own nearest support system- ask Allah (swt). I do it all the time. I share with people I trust, I ask for help, because sometimes you just need to hear the thing you already know from someone else’s mouth- just for the sake of hearing and internalising it. But again, ask Allah (swt) first and foremost. Cry, beg, weep for hours esp. in the last third of the night – He listens, He truly does. Ask for help -do whatever it takes but never fall into the abyss of hopelessness- it is a trap.
Coming back to where I started off- if something hits you hard, just lie down and breathe. Laugh and remember your best friend who is always there -Allah (swt).
If you get a brain injury, get another one on the same spot like I wanted to. My religion tells me to be thankful in every situation. I was well-taught about it, and I also found it on my own through my experiences. You all probably know that too; and if not, just embark upon this beautiful journey to seek gratitude, and you will find it for sure. Allah (swt) has already told us all that, “If you are thankful, I’ll surely increase you.” (reference 14:7)
Hopelessness is a word missing from our dictionaries because probably a believer can’t disbelieve in Allah (swt); and hopelessness is the biggest sin- it’s the denial of the Creator as the Creator. Let’s not wait for some event, or some grand thing to happen to apply this. Do it now in regular mundane stuff. If I can, you too can. And Allah (swt) never leaves a believer, trust me with this. In fact, just trust Him. He is pure love. I have experienced it, and continue to every day and every minute. You just have to let it sink in.