Thirty Two

That night, whilst everyone slept peacefully, I lay in bed, enveloped in the darkness as my mind tortured me relentlessly.

And even after such an amazing day, a familiar sadness seized my heart, threatening to crush the little happiness it still held.

I needed to get away. I needed to get out, before it grabbed me totally. Before it started controlling me.

Slipping on an abaya and a beanie, I grabbed my phone and silently left the room.

In the lift, I stare at my reflection in the mirrored doors. My usually bright blue eyes are dull and distant as I suddenly feel my mum caressing my cheek.

And then she’s whispering in my ear, “It’s going to be okay, princess.”

No, NO! Please. Get out of my head! It’s not going to be okay!

The lift suddenly feels too small, even though I’m the only one in it.

I feel claustrophobic and now wish that I had taken the stairs instead.

“Promise me you will not leave.”

Get out, get out of my head, PLEASE! Leave me alone!

Looking up at the floor count screen , I force myself to ignore the familiar voices in my head and concentrate on the bright, orange numbers as they change, slowly decreasing.

Just like my happiness..

6…

5…

4…

3…

2…

DING!!

Crap!

The doors open and a young couple walk in.

Why? Why now? Why me?

My gaze falls to their locked hands, as they step inside.

Why couldn’t my parents be like that?

My throat tightens, the lift feeling even more claustrophobic now.

Don’t cry don’t cry don’t cry c’mon you can do this. 

My eyes sting.

NO! Get out, GET OUT, Dee! Run! Don’t let them see you cry!

A split second before the glass doors close, I shoot out of the lift, my supper suddenly churning in my stomach, trying to get out, too.

And then I’m running.

Running through the streets of a city I’ve never been to, in the middle of the night, my vision slightly blurred with involuntary tears.

My heart, pounding in my chest, screams at me, “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?! YOU’RE GOING TO GET KIDNAPPED!”

But I’m not sure I hear it as my mind forcefully takes control.

And just as a slave would, I obey as it commands me to once again Run! Get away. Far away.

But how far is far?

Soon my breathing is labored, my lungs burning.

An incessant sharp pain runs from my navel to my hip, forcing me to stop.

And this time, when my mind yells, “Keep going. Run!” , I disobey.

Collapsing on a grassy bank, I force myself to calm down, to breathe.

Deep breath in. Hold. Slowly out. 

Deep breath in. Hold. Slowly out. 

Deep breath in. Hold. Slowly out. 

And when I suddenly feel warm hands placed over my eyes and mouth, I’m sure that this time it’s not a hallucination.

“You clearly don’t know how dangerous being out here, alone, at this time of the night, is.”

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3 thoughts on “Thirty Two

  1. Respected South African Muslims,

    Listen to this plea with the ears of the heart. Take heed before it is too late. A world renowned Scholar, Moulana Ali Mia, went to Burma in the 1960’s. After seeing the condition of the people there, their indifference to Deen and the extravagance at their weddings, etc., he gave a heart rendering talk (which is available in English). He spoke about his experiences during his stay there. Among the thought-provoking aspects he mentioned was, “I give you 10 years to put yourselves in order. I give you 10 years to correct your selves and come back onto Deen. If you do this, you will exist in this country; your wealth and property will remain yours. He even said, I don’t have knowledge of the unseen but even when a child sees the rain clouds he will say that it is going to rain. What happened after 10 years??? These people did not heed to his advices. They continued with their lives as normal. Then the revolution took place. The rich were reduced to paupers overnight; their businesses were snatched away from them overnight; they had to run for their lives; their currency didn’t have value any more. Pick up a copy of this sad history and read it over and over again. Learn from their mistakes.

    Respected Muslims, a great personality, Moulana Ahmad Laat Sahib, who gave his entire life for the service of Deen, came to South Africa few years back and gave a talk in Masjid-e-Hilaal. He expressed the same sentiments saying, “I am not trying to frighten you, but this is the realty of the matter. I see that you are involved in the same actions the Burmese were involved in. I fear that the same calamity might befall you. Change your lives before it is too late. Come back to Deen. For Allah’s sake, leave out this extravagance.” Moulana Ahmad emphasized this point over and over again.

    Now consider our lifestyle…. We spend thousands of rands on an invitation card which will land up in some dump-bin; but there are those who don’t have cardboard under them to sleep! We spend hundreds of thousands of rands on décor which will go into the bin after the occasion; but there are those who don’t have proper clothes to wear! We dish out a ten course meal; but there are those who didn’t have a piece of bread to eat today! We just want a name for ourselves and nothing else. Imagine how many poor people could have been fed with that money. Imagine paying someone’s hospital bill with that money, what dua will come out of his heart for you. You could have given that wealth to the bride and groom as a start to their lives. But we want to live up to standards. We want to be recognized. We want to show off our wealth.

    Heed to the advices of these senior Ulama before it is too late. Our existence in this country lies in this; our lives, progeny, wealth and property will be safe. We can already see things changing with the threats from those in power. Come back to Deen. Come back onto the Sunnah. Live a simple life. Have a simple wedding. Don’t splash our wealth on formalities. Spend the extra wealth we have on our parents, relatives, esaal-e-sawaab for the deceased, on supplying water and food to the poor, on the Ulama and those serving the Deen of Allah. Spend… by all means spend, spend as much as you like, but in the right avenues. This will be of benefit to us in this world and in the hereafter.

    However, if we spend just to show off, the one’s we are showing off for will be the first to criticize us behind our backs. This will invite hatred and jealousy for us; which can become a serious issue.

    Remember… wastage, in whichever form, is a means of great deprivation. Be grateful to Allah for all the favours He has bestowed us with. ________________________________

    Liked by 1 person

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