بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Less than 24 hours ago I dreamt that I was in Yemen. I don't remember much else about the dream, neither the scenery nor the circumstances, except that one of my sisters was with me and after settling our lives there we had to leave. It was perhaps a replay of a situation that occurred some eleven years earlier in more northern soil.

I heard from a friend recently. She was the same one with whom I walked through the flooded streets of Sana'a during our return home from the grocery store one night. She said to me then, "Do you know what makes Yemen different than other countries?" I thought for a few moments but soon gave up and asked what it might be. "In other countries, when it rains the streets get cleaner, but in Yemen the streets get dirtier!" I laughed. I told her today that I missed Yemen. She said that I shouldn't since there is nothing to miss. My heart is with them as times are tough.

I often think of another sister who I met there. In a quiet moment together, she once expressed the helplessness she felt as a poor woman who was unable to, in the least, find out about her husband's health as he remained in the hospital for more days than anticipated. All I could think to say at the time was that these tests of patience are not in vain and it is not a wonder that the poor will be among the first to enter Jannah. I haven't heard from her in a long time, though I've heard she is bedridden with ailing health. May Allah make things easy for them all, ameen.

These thoughts often tumble in my mind, and they inevitably invite me to draw parallels to life here. But where can I begin, really? I don't look at the world as I did before I went to Yemen, but I don't attribute this change of thinking to that experience alone. Some of the most unexpected lessons were taught to me upon my return. And, true enough, aging has played its part too. The difficulty for me now lies in putting the pieces together. But, is it worth it?

I have this unfortunate tendency of wanting to understand situations, as few and rare as they are, that are near to my heart, be it good or bad. Not understanding or not having enough insights to even try to understand is.... distracting.

Some criticize me for "never" saying what I want, but not saying does not mean not knowing. I do seek clarity but pursuing the means to such an end is sometimes a luxury. I suppose some matters of the heart will remain forever as they are. Thus, I pray for the strength, wisdom, and resolve to delve into the matters that will ease the suffering of a putrid soul, inshaAllah wa ameen.

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"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]