Happily Ever After

wedding-ringsShe couldn’t see clearly through the thin film of tears, but she could make out her trembling hands; tremors running throughout her body. She had never felt like that before- not like that, but maybe similar. Flash backs from the past. And she was back at the assembly hall… assembly hall? Students standing in rows properly arranged as ever. Recognition dawned on her then. It was the assembly hall of her primary school when she was nine. She was confused though, why this memory? When the door beside the stage opened with a bang, bright light flooding through the doors, the brightest she had ever seen. What was that? Or .. who was that? She felt its sacredness in her heart. Was that an angel? Or Jesus?

Jesus? She snapped back to reality. She had dismissed that episode back then. . But then, that memory felt as real as ever. Maybe, it really was an unearthly entity. A moan escaped her lips.

The feeling was overwhelming. She could hardly keep herself together. All she wanted to do was to burst into tears and cry her heart out. When she heard the words again,

“There is no God but Allah, And Muhammad (sa) is His Messenger.”

And there was a silent explosion. All control broke and she fell into prostration;  the tears dripping faster than ever. She cried so much that she was tied up in hiccups.

She had lost the track of time by the moment she could gather herself again. When she got up, she finally became aware of the other people around. Her sisters, her friends in Islam. The sister after whom she had repeated Shahadah came into view. She had the sweetest smile playing through her lips and her eyes were wet. And, then was getting embraced by every sister in the mosque.

Oh, how her Lord has blessed her! A giggle of pure joy escaped her mouth before she knew. She covered her mouth realizing that she was sitting there for her Nikah. She had never been happier. It was the happiness that she had never really experienced before. She caught herself sighing out of happiness. She had been blessed with Islam, a whole bunch of sisters to help her, and a pious and righteous husband. She felt like the luckiest and the happiest person on the earth.

She looked back at the sisters who escorted her out- they were still giving her Duas. After the greeting, she turned towards the road. She could see him standing by the car, waiting for her. Her heart swelled with love that He had brought her to this day, and she could feel great days to come. She had finally found Him and she was ready to start her journey with her righteous man- the journey of getting closer to Allah (swt).  . Her story had a happily-ever-after that not even fairy tales ever had. Breathing in the air of determination, she started moving towards the car.

From Darkness to Light

minaretThe sun shone bright the other day. Birds were chirping, the sea was humming, and the date palm trees were swinging happily. I was standing in my balcony, gazing at the flawless atmosphere with awe. The reflection of the sun on the sea, as if the sun was looking down at a mirror. Creatures of the sea were singing, creatures on land were dancing, and the creatures on sky were flying with such comfort and simplicity, as if they had no worries in this world. Every creature, plant and non-living thing was relaxing, as if they had no troubles. Only I seemed to be the troubled one with all the worries of the world gathered in my heart!

While gazing at the beautiful scene, I saw a man and a woman holding hands, while taking a walk at the beach. They were walking happily, talking, smiling and laughing at each other’s jokes. Their love was glowing, as if an angel had struck them, and their happiness was visible from afar. Soon, they were followed by three little children, who were jumping around them, playing happier than ever! They were such a beautiful family – looking at them made me cry. I also wanted someone to love me! I wanted to be a part of a beautiful family, but it seemed like I would never get a chance. I was the only daughter of my bed-rested parents. Day and night I used to take care of them and manage the house. My dream of studying never came true. I was at home the whole day, tracing marks on the ground, always fulfilling my parent’s wishes and waiting for a miracle to fulfil mine. But that miracle was nowhere to be found. I was literally struggling with life and had nowhere to go. Days were vulnerably busy, nights were restless.

After seeing that beautiful couple, my night was more restless than ever. I tried to sleep, but I couldn’t. There was too much on my mind. I kept questioning myself: “Why can’t I be happy? Why was my life supposed to be so rigid? Why was I sent to this world, when the only thing I have to do is work and worry? Why me? Why did God create me? If He made me a living creature on this Earth, why doesn’t He help me?” And every question came with a shower of tears. I had no answers to my questions! It was past midnight, close to sunrise, and I hadn’t slept for even a millisecond. I stepped out to the balcony to taste the cool morning breeze, thinking it might make me feel better.

As I was lost in my own thoughts, suddenly I heard something. It was like a song, as if someone was calling people for something. I used to hear this call every morning, but never felt the way I felt that special day. It was the call for prayer (Adhan) coming from a Masjid nearby. It was such a beautiful call that soothed my heart and lifted my worries. I felt as if that call was a sign, as if it was calling me for something new that would change my life.

The next day I planned to visit that mosque. I had just reached, when the Maghrib Adhan started, and my glance fell over that beautiful building. My mouth froze open and my eyes fled from my body. For a few minutes, I stood there startled, gazing at what beauty was before me. The funny thing is that I had seen that mosque many times before, but had never felt that way! As I entered the female section of the mosque, many women just like me – except with happy faces – were offering their Salah. They were following the Imam’s voice and praying in unity, doing the same motions at the same time. They were all bowing to one God – Allah (swt). How great He must be, I thought at that moment, there was so much harmony! I felt that I belonged in that very unique place with those glowing ladies.

Just as they were finished with their Salah, I went up to them and shared my feelings and thoughts. They at once guided me to meet the Imam of the mosque. I went to meet him and he greeted me with a glowing smile on his face. He started to talk to me, asked me about my life and introduced me to Islam. It was all so interesting and beautiful that I wanted to keep on listening, but the Imam had to leave – so he called me to come to the mosque the next day.

For a week, he kept calling me, told me a lot about Allah (swt), read verses from the Holy Quran and, Subhan’Allah, how I would start crying, when I heard them. Just the voice would start to heal my heart. It had been a week, when I told him that I was ready to convert to Islam and worship one true God – Allah (swt), the Greatest and the Most Powerful. I got converted, and the change I felt in my life was amazing! Praying five daily prayers had brought me into routine. Knowing that Allah (swt) was with me, I felt safe and peaceful while sleeping at night. All worries seemed to disappear. I had lived in darkness and ignorance my entire life – now, I had stepped into light and found my true love: Allah (swt).

It was happily ever after with me and my Allah (swt)!