9:30 a.m. April 7th, 2013
Her hands trembled as she opened her prayer mat. Amir’s words echoed in her ears as she closed her eyes, and called upon the Almighty. She didn’t deserve that. Nobody deserved that! Why her out of all the people? She had wasted 25-twenty five glorious years of her life as a single parent raising 5-five kids. Five kids! No easy task. It was a roller coaster ride with more downs than ups. She went through a lot but came through. Came through to have what? What did she ever do to deserve that? Tears rolled down her cheeks as she whispered to her God.
She lived with her only son, Amir. Her daughters were married off and lived with their families. Her son was also married and had two sons of his own. Together, they portrayed a picture of a big happy family. Only she knew what she had to endure to get to that stage. But she didn’t have any regrets. She was happy. She was content with what she had. She never complained. She never asked for more. Even though in her heart she knew she deserved more. She knew she was being tested and she strived to win. But what did she get after all those hard-spent years?
8:00 a.m. Dec 20th 2012
“Yes, Bhai? Assalamu alaikum.”
“Wa alaikumasalam Farzana, how are you and everyone else?”
“Did you get my email?”
“Yes Bhai, got it. I’m on it right now. Don’t worry. I’ll let you know in a week or so.”
“Ok, Ok. Take your time. I know you’re busy with your new job and all.”
“Yeah, but I’ll get it ready in a week.”
“Ok Farri, take care and give my love to the kids.”
9:40 a.m. April 7th 2013
She wanted to scream. She wanted to shout. But her lips were sealed. No words came out. Is this what it all ends up to? She survived mountains of miseries to get beaten by this? But this was the mother of all miseries, she must’nt forget. How was she going to survive this? She could feel the sweat trickle down her spine as she recalled the insult she was just put through. She wanted to talk to the Lord. She wanted to cry it all out. But she couldn’t. She had never felt so worthless in her life.
10:00 a.m. Dec 29th 2012
“Wa alaikumasalam Bhai. I was going to call you today.”
“Haha Farzana, that’s what you say every time I call you. So? Did you do the work?”
“Yes Bhai, almost done. It’s taking a lot more time than I thought it would. I didn’t imagine it would take so long.”
“Yes, it must be hard work. But consider it a great favour towards your brother.”
“Haha no Bhai, don’t take it wrong. I’m not complaining. In fact, I’m sorry that I can’t do it any quicker.”
“Take your time Farri. I don’t want you to rush through it. You doing that favour for me is a big help. Take care and give my love to the kids.”
9:50 a.m. April 7th 2013
She was in Sujud. Her whole body shook as she cried. She wasn’t weak. She wasn’t weak at all. She was as strong as a woman can be in this society- maybe even more! She didn’t let anything come between her and her kids’ well being. She met every obstacle headstrong. All she wanted in return was to have a peaceful life with her kids and grandkids- as the women of this society are brought up dreaming about. It was never in her slightest imagination that things would take such a bleak turn.
‘Why did You leave me like this?’ she whispered to her Lord, ‘is this how You reward me, pay me for all the sacrifices I made?’
This was not the woman she used to be. Today’s event showed her that she was the one meant to suffer from the beginning. No matter what she did, no matter how strong she became, she was still a weak woman meant to suffer in the hands of the men in her life. And this time that man was her own flesh and blood; her son, Amir.
9:30 p.m. Jan 23rd 2013
“Wa alaikum assalam Bhai.”
“Heard about your father in law’s death.”
“Yes bhai. It was so tragic. He was in such good health. It all happened in a week. The kids are all in a shock. They just can’t accept their Dada is no more with them.”
“Yes, it must be the hardest for kids. Give them some time. They’ll be ok.”
“Yes, Bhai. I had been so busy for the last two weeks, I just couldn’t work on the list Bhai.”
“Of course farri, I wouldn’t even worry about that now.”
“I know Bhai. I just feel so ashamed. You told me to do it such a long time ago and I still couldn’t do it.”
“Well, you will do it eventually right? So don’t worry about it.”
“Yeah Bhai, I’ll do it as soon as the kids get settled”
10:10 a.m. April 7th 2013
She no longer had any hope. Good deeds and sacrifices were of no worth in the eyes of God. She suffered all her life alone with 5-five little kids thinking she was being tested and once she proves herself, it will all be over. She’ll see better days. She didn’t lose hope even when her son couldn’t get a degree from a renowned university because she couldn’t afford it. She didn’t lose hope even when her son couldn’t get a good job because he didn’t have a fancy degree. She didn’t lose hope even when she was forced to live in a rundown apartment which she couldn’t afford to paint. She had hope that good days will come- but not anymore. God didn’t care about her. He had better things to do.
11:00 a.m. Feb 13th 2013
“I got your mail sis. It was such a big help!”
“I’m so sorry it took me so long. All I had to do was make a list of our relatives who were having a rough time here. It wasn’t so hard. I just couldn’t find time.”
“It’s all right. You did do it. That’s all that matters. Now all I have to do is send you the money. You’ll then have to make different envelopes of them and send them to the different addresses you’ve sent me. I’ll let you know how much to whom, Ok?”
“Ok, Bhai. And Bhai, I think it’s a very noble thing you’re doing- keeping record of all the less privileged in the family and sending them money. I think you’re doing an awesome job!”
“Thanks Farri, it’s the least I can do. On my last trip, I saw them living so miserably it broke my heart. I hope this money I send them each month makes up for the things I could’ve done while living there.”
“Yes, I’m sure they’ll all really appreciate it once they get the money.”
10:20 a.m. April 7th 2013
Why did she even think God would actually care about her? She was a nobody. God only cared for people who did big things for Him. She didn’t. All she did was raise five kids and somehow screwed up that too. Wasn’t God there when she was having a hard time feeding the kids with a low paying job as a house help? Didn’t God see how she struggled to get her daughters married off at the right time? Apparently not or He would’ve had some pity on her.
9:30 a.m. March 1st 2013
“Wa alaikum assalam, Farri. I’ve sent the money. You’ll get it in two days time. Then you’ll have to make separate envelopes and deliver the money. I’ve also sent you the email telling how much money to whom.”
“Ok Bhai. Don’t worry. I’ll take care of it.”
“You just don’t know how much I appreciate what you’re doing Farri.”
“No Bhai, I’m doing it for myself. I want to make my contribution in this good work.”
“May Allah (swt) reward you for it.”
[To be continued Insha Allah…]