A Moment of Clarity - Part I

BismiLlahir Rahmanir Raheem


After an emotionally challenging Ramadhan and Eid, I wanted nothing more than to get deeply into my studies again. It was in my books where I found my pleasure and peace, and it was that which motivated me to persevere despite the increasing weight that slowly built in my heart. Unfortunately, the post-Ramadhan vacation wasn’t quite over yet, and I had to wait a few more days until my lessons could resume. It was the 2nd of Shawwal 1428, and I was told by my host family that we would be visiting one of their friends and having lunch with them. I wasn’t in the mood of visiting people, but nonetheless prepared myself to make the most of the outing. While I regret having left my camera behind, the events of the day I shall never forget, by the permission of God.

We first stopped in the outskirts of Ta’iz where we went to look at a massive tree - shajaratun gharibah - over 2 000 years old, that is said to have been visited by the sahabas of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon them all). It was intriguing, and I longed to know its story though there was nobody to tell it to me.

From there, we continued to an area with lush trees and greenery. We soon found ourselves driving through a river. To entertain the children, their father drove quickly through sections of the river. The children laughed and shared gleeful cries as the water splashed onto them passing through the opened windows. I, on the other hand, was busily enchanted by the trees that gracefully hovered over the river. It was breathtaking beauty. I looked at the river ahead of us wondering why we had to travel through the river to reach our destination. It seemed a cruel way to treat such an elegant portion of God’s masterful design. I thought that perhaps the river would taper into a trickle, but it only seemed to maintain its strength.

It wasn’t much later when the truck’s wheels were trapped in the mud beneath the gushing river. The men took off their shoes, rolled up their pants, and stepped into the water. The boys followed while the local women, who were moments before washing clothes on the adjacent rocks bordering the river, looked up to watch. The men and boys scooped out as much mud from around the rear tires as they could, and in union they all attempted to the push the truck out of the mud. Their efforts were in vain. I and the other womenfolk soon stepped out of the vehicle as well. After several more attempts, one women’s husband pointed at the river ahead of us and told us to walk. I wasn’t sure to where we would walk, but I removed my shoes and socks, grabbed my phone from the truck, lifted my ‘abaya slightly above the refreshing currents, and started walking.

The river was mesmerizing. Its steady rhythm sang deeply to me, but I could not understand its words. It was only much later, after spending the day in its midst, that I learned the meaning of some of the messages it tried to convey.

I wasn’t sure how far we would need to walk, but I found my feet too sensitive for the task at hand, and no more than a few minutes of walking on the river’s slippery and calloused rocks caused my feet to hurt. Mind over matter I told myself as I walked faster, steadying myself where necessary and keeping the pace of the children, Ibrahim and Sama’, while leaving the two other ladies behind. After some time, I said to the young girl, “Where are we walking to?” She didn’t know. I was disappointed because I didn’t know either and knew that in my haste to get to our destination quickly I should have stopped to at least ask where we were going. I turned around, and the women were no longer in sight. Perhaps they were still making their way around the river bend that we only just passed. I called out to Ibrahim telling him not to wander too far ahead without us. My feet were sore, and I was eager to get to the destination sooner than later. Perhaps the river will taper soon and lead to an open area with homes I thought.

We had walked for about an hour, our chit chatting slowly dwindling into silence, when finally the three of us rested under the trees for some time hoping that the womenfolk would catch up with us soon and lead the way to our destination. Or better yet, that the truck would soon be in sight in hot pursuit of us. Nobody came, and we continued walking.

...to be continued, insha'Allah.


Umm Bilal said...

Assalamu alaikum Dear Sister Farzeen,
intriguing indeed...eagerly await next installment. May your pen forever be blessed with words of inspiration,
Wassalamu alaikum

iMuslim said...

What happened next?!

Farzeen said...

Wa 'alaykum assalaam wa rahmatuLlah dear Umm Bilal

Thank you for your message and your du'a.... ameen! :)

IMuslim: I'll post it now, insha'Allah.... nothing too exciting though. :)

"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]