Dad was still hospitalised, and there was still no change in his condition, but he was stable and that was a blessing in itself. I felt helpless, but I prayed for him constantly as I knew Allah was Merciful and provided healing. But I also needed more time with him as I wanted to tell him how much I loved him and to say I was sorry.
I talked about it to Fatima, and she reminded me “that we plan, but Allah is the best of planners.” I must be honest, that this was a concept that I struggle with. As someone who had been taught to plan for almost everything, it was difficult to relinquish control over one’s life, but I was trying hard. Unlearning a behaviour is difficult, to say the least, but I trust in Allah. At times, I am weak but turning to Allah gives me strength.
I felt overwhelmed by loneliness. “Fatima, come home, please. I need you.”, I mumbled into the phone, but as the words escaped, I knew I was being selfish. Fatima had Umme to take care of as well as her own responsibilities to deal with. I quickly apologised and explained to her how I felt. She soothed my fears and after a lovely chat, we said our goodbyes.
I sat thinking about Fatima and how she fulfilled her obligation to Umme, who had adopted her into her life ensuring she found love and acceptance. That made me think about my obligation to my parents. My parents had often talked about being put into a nursing home and even assisted suicide if they become burdensome for us. Here was Fatima, an example that our parents were our responsibility and not be abandoned in their old age nor be made to choose a haram method to find death.
Today my eemaan was at a low, and I was fighting hard to keep my head together. I prayed that this would not be another day when I would need to not only reassure others but harder to reassure myself.
It was a heavy burden to carry when you are questioned about your reasons for accepting the Deen or to explain to others why you had chosen Islam having led a life of freedom and choice. It was tiresome! Can people not accept that we grow, we change, we evolve.
Allah has chosen and guided me and there will be days when I struggle, but I have to keep striving. I remember the hadith — Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Take up good deeds only as much as you are able, for the best deeds are those done regularly even if they are few.”
During madrassah, I could barely concentrate and as the class was about to end, I requested a meeting with Muallimah as I needed advice. As soon as I heard her gentle voice, I burst into tears and explained that I was afraid I was going to lose my father.
She let me cry until I had no tears left and then slowly and reassuringly explained to me that to Allah we belong, and it is to Him that we return. “Sam, worrying about “what if’s” will not change a thing. “Sam, worrying about “what if’s” will not change a thing. Trust in Allah as He is Al Muhayeeh He gives life and cure to whom He wishes, But Allah is also Al Mumeetu, the Giver of death. We were all promised death, but as a believer, we should understand that this world is only a temporary stop in our journey.“
Her words may have not been kind or welcoming, but they brought comfort and understanding. “Ya Rabb, guide me to good and have mercy on me for being weak.”, I prayed.