Acknowledging XY

BismiLlahir Rahmanir Raheem

So what is it in the Y chromosome carriers that make them perfect targets to pick on once in a while? Perhaps a lot of them simply pour out reasons worthy of criticism. Honestly though, I don't think there are necessarily more aggravating males than there are females in the world, but the actions of men, majority of whom posses more influential power than double-X carriers, carry a greater impact (thus responsibility) than many women. (And of course I'm being very general here and acknowledge that inevitably exceptions exist -- it's all about the bell curve folks!).

As oh-so-tempting as it is to verbally annihilate some menfolk, I think it would be a waste of precious thought and time. Instead, I think it would be far more productive to speak of some men who shine. They are seemingly the most ordinary of men, but they are gems who I've been blessed to have in my life, if even for what seemed like just a moment. A cherished moment that gave me insight into rare beauties that as a society we fail to acknowledge.

Here goes...

I arrived in Sana'a with my travel companion and her twin sons at about 10 pm. We passed through customs without any problems, except that the officers wanted me to open my hand luggage. They asked what was inside, to which I responded "books." One officer only glanced quickly inside (thus no harm met my stash of M&Ms *phew*), asked where I was from, and with a smile said "welcome."

We were met by a brother (from Canada -- I'll call him "Ahmed") who I corresponded with for some time prior to my trip as he advised me on schools and suggestions on what to pack. His correspondence was very helpful, never mind all that he and his family did for me afterwards. He and his friend came to the airport, they loaded all our luggage into the van, and they took us to a hotel. The brother then spent some time showing us the area around the hotel, places where we could get breakfast, offered some advice on living in Yemen, and handed me more than enough Yemeni riyals for breakfast, since we had no riyals on us at the time. We soon met his wife and daughter, and we had dinner with them. It was the beginning of a sweet friendship. His wife is a gem, masha'Allah! I felt quite at home with them all so much so that my final days in Yemen were spent with them, alhamduliLlah.

We spent two weeks living in the hotel, much to the despair of my travel companion. In that time, I had the task of finding a suitable school for myself and an apartment. AlhamduliAllah, with more advice and assistance from this brother and his wife, I finally decided on a school. The hunt for an apartment was more challenging, but for that too Allah sent two brothers my way. One was a connection of a sister I knew online. May Allah reward him and his brother for their sincere efforts, ameen. The other brother was a complete stranger whom my sister had contacted online. He learnt that I was in Sana'a, and he offered his complete assistance. He told me on several occasions that it was his obligation to help me, though the truth of the matter was that he had no obligations towards me whatsoever. It was through his efforts that I found an apartment that was in an ideal location for me and that came with a landlord and his family (who lived upstairs) that took good care of me. I eventually met this brother's wife, mother, father, daughter, five sisters, and many nieces and nephews. I can't describe my first meeting with them except that the difference of languages was not a barrier for us. They all easily claimed a special place in my heart, and I continue to think of them with much fondness. AlhamduliAllah, I was also able to spend a few days with them before leaving Sana'a and Yemen altogether.

Both of these brothers and their families were there for me like my family. In fact, they both came to the airport to pick me up when I returned to Sana'a, and they, along with one brother's wife, took me to the airport when I left Yemen. It was a complete blessing for me to have kept their company, the company of their families, and to wave a final goodbye to them as I had my boarding pass in hand ready to come home to my family. SubhanAllah... There are no words in this heart of mine that can thank them adequately. May they find their rewards with the Almighty, ameen. It goes without saying, I cannot thank Allah sufficiently for the many blessings He bestowed and continues to bestow on me. All praise belongs to Him, the One whose generosity is unmatched, whose mercy is ever-abundant.

There are a few more noteworthy brothers that Allah sent my way, if even for a brief moment, but I'll not share all their stories except for one. One brother, Muhammad, is a friend of one of the above-mentioned brothers. He and his family live in the poorer parts of Old Sana'a. Life is difficult for them as they deal with poverty. His month's salary runs dry two weeks into each month, and every month they are without food. SubhanAllah. I'm so grateful to have met these people because they have hearts of gold. Muhammad's wife was the first Yemeni sister who I was able to sit with as she chit-chatted with Ahmed's wife. She made a point of speaking in fus-ha Arabic for the benefit of us foreigners, and I remember how excited I was when I was first able to understand some of what she was saying.

When it came time to leave Yemen, I had some problems with my passport which her husband was going to try to resolve for me by taking it to one of the government offices. A few days before he planned on doing that, he took his family (for the first time) to an amusement park in Sana'a (since his son really wanted to go). Sadly though, there was an accident with the roller coaster that they were on and his shoulder was badly injured. I went with Ahmed and his wife to visit the brother in the hospital, and while there his wife told me that as he was being rushed to the hospital he worried about my passport and told her what needed to be done. When I saw him at the hospital, he apologized that he couldn't take care of things for me, though his relative would, and that if he was okay in a few days he'd like to take me to the airport. I told him not to worry, and that I'm going to tell him the same thing I'd tell my father if my father was in his situation, that is that he should rest and take care (and if you're wondering, I said it in very broken Arabic, but they're forgiving people). He smiled.

So while we continue to moan and complain about life, men, and everything in between, there are people who are far better than us because they want to be, though their conditions are far more challenging than ours for reasons that they cannot control.

Perhaps one day, insha'Allah, I'll be able to write about my father and brother(s) who mean more to me than words could describe. Perhaps for this reason, if no other, I shouldn't challenge their sanity as much as I do...

May Allah make the menfolk of our ummah among the righteous, may He bless them with ease, and bless them with generous and kind hearts. May He give them the patience and strength they need to successfully overcome the increasing number of challenges that they face today. May He facilitate their efforts for His sake, and make them shining lights in our ummah, ameen ya Rabil 'Alameen!


iMuslim said...

Alhamdulillah, Allah has also blessed me with the acquaintance of sincere brothers... so I say AMEEN to your aadiya.

Oh loving the new template sis! Masha'Allah.

Farzeen said...

Assalaamu'alaykum wa rahmatuLlah sis

Thanks for teaching me a new word.. 'aadiya' it's the first time I've been exposed to it. Shukran! Better yet, jazakiLlahu khayr! :)

Finally this blog has a template that doesn't look like a bad cut-and-paste job... haha. I'm glad you appreciate it too!

AnonyMouse said...

SubhanAllah, I have a lump in my throat now!

I'm often tempted to rave about men's stupidity too, but - although I haven't actually met that many brothers - I have to say that I was blessed with perhaps one of the best of them for my husband :)

A beautiful post, barakAllahu feeki.

Farzeen said...

Assalaamu'alaykum Anonymouse!

I have gathered from your comments on other blogs that you married sometime in the last year! Masha'Allah... I'm so happy to hear! And all the more that he is a wonderful brother, masha'Allah! May Allah continue to bless you both and your families, ameen!

"Do you think that you will enter the Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the Apostle and those of faith who were with him cried: 'When (will come) the help of God?' Ah! Verily the help of God is (always) near!" [2:214]



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"Be mindful of God, and God will protect you. Be mindful of God, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of God. If you seek help, seek help of God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that God had already prescribed for you. And if the whole world were to gather together to harm you, it would harm you only with something that God has already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the ink has dried."
--Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]