Fatima rushed in the door and caught me eating and laughed hard as I tried to hide the food from her. She wiped the tears from her face, informing me that it was alright for me to eat whilst I could not fast. My reaction was childish, but it made me feel guilty, and I was grateful that she had the opportunity to teach me.
Sometimes, being new to the Deen, we find it difficult to ask questions, especially as they may seem silly to those who are more knowledgeable. Fatima coaches and guides without judgement, and I am appreciative of it.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said people come into your life for a reason, season, or lifetime. I was grateful to Allah, who not only sent Fatima to me for a reason but also a lifetime.
Fatima and I chatted about work and other mundane issues. She eventually braced the topic of Mark and his daily harassment. He had turned to lawyers to try to overturn Dad’s will. Mum and I decided that he was hurting too and would soon come around to a more amicable understanding.
Mum, although trying to be brave and strong, was down and feeling the pressure. I worried about her health and constantly prayed for Allah to grant us ease.
I led Fatima to the kitchen as she had promised to bring over some talbinah to prepare for Mum. As she busied herself, Mum came in. She was curious about the dish that Fatima was preparing and waited patiently.
Fatima explained to Mum and me about Sunnah foods and, in particular, the benefits of talbinah, which she was preparing. Eventually, Mum tasted her first spoonful and remarked that it was an acquired taste. But she ate it without complaining.
After we cleared the kitchen, did the dishes and made Mum some tea, we sat together in the living area and talked more about sunnah foods. Sometime during the conversation, Mum remarked that the “porridge” seemed to nourish her soul. I was amazed at hearing this as Fatima had not told Mum that talbinah was given to those suffering from depression. Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said, “talbinah soothes the heart and relieves some sadness.”
Explaining further, Fatima informed us that there were several sunnah foods the Prophet (SAW) enjoyed and urged us to incorporate into our diet daily. These foods were to nourish the body but had spiritual value too.
Fatima, whose smiling face and gentle voice I had missed so much, was much loved for her kindness, her polite disposition and her honesty. It made me realise that Allah is Al-Mu’izzu, the Giver of Honour. When we attain to do a thing for His pleasure, He will honour us in the best way.
A lesson learnt for today, akhlaaq is essential; as Muslims are placed under scrutiny and labelled, Muslims’ akhlaaq speaks volumes.