“Ammi! Ammi!” my sister called out to my mom when she saw me walking. I was five years old but had not been able to walk properly till then. Doctors expressed little hope in my case, but Almighty Allah (swt) listened to my Ammi’s Dua, and I started to walk, Alhumdulilah! My family was happy. They made plans for my school admission. As I was a little over age for kindergarten, at first we faced difficulty in getting admission in a reputable school. However, due to the untiring efforts of my family, I was finally able to get admission.
Right after my school life began, I had to face numerous challenges in the form of comments: “Look at the new girl and the way she walks! She looks so funny! Hehehe!” People used to look at me with weird expressions, whenever I told them that I study in a Montessori class at the age of 5. Then, for class 1, I changed my school. New school, new students, everything was new for me. Students used to push me, which would make me lose my balance, and I’d fall. They laughed at me a hundred times. I had no idea what my problem was. Why was I the target? Sometimes I wanted to shout at them or to hit them, but instead I always wore a fake smile on my face so that nobody could tell how I was really feeling inside.
When I was in class 3, my teacher told me: “Samira, you should walk properly. You are growing up.” I was shocked. I answered that I walked like everyone else. She said: “No. When you walk, your hips dance.” I was embarrassed and shocked. I finally understood why I was a target for ridicule, why they laughed at me and called me names. I was broken, and I cried for days. I didn’t want to go to school but my family encouraged me. They told me to have patience and be thankful to Allah (swt) for what I had been blessed with.
However, the real test began when I went to class 4 which was on the first floor. I was not able to climb the stairs. I used to sit on the stairs, and drag myself up. I’d hear students laughing at me, but nobody ever came to help me. At such times, my vision would become clouded with tears.
Life went on until I became friends with the most dominating but helpful students of my class; they became my shield. My golden days began. I started to participate in every activity. All my classmates and teachers were surprised – I became the most popular student in my school. This time, however, it was not because of my walking style but because of my good progress in class. I also got the first prize in the school play. I passed my Matriculation exams with flying colours. I thanked Allah (swt) for what He had given me.
My story doesn’t end here though. I went to college, and faced the same problems. However, this time I was sure Allah (swt) would help me, and He did. I could climb small stairs easily. Alhumdulillah! However, I couldn’t take big steps – for that I needed a hand or anything to hold onto, but there was none. I would have to sit and drag myself up the stairs with great embarrassment. But I did not let myself lose faith. The guards put some cement blocks on the stairs, which made it easy for me to climb.
Now I have graduated from college but still face such daily challenges like crossing the roads. Through these years, I have learned the importance of Sabr (patience) in our lives. Had my family not supported me during the tough phases of my life, I would not be able to stand with others. Sabr and Shukr are the two basic elements of a formula for a happy life.
I have become what I am today because of Allah’s (swt) help. I give thanks to Allah (swt) for the beautiful life He has given me, and for helping me overcome my fears. I can do work by myself. Even though I face problems now and then, I am a lot better off than others less fortunate.
This story got an honourable mention at the 3rd annual story writing competition organized by Hiba Magazine