Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I dreamt I was swimming in the ocean with you, it was nighttime and the water and sky were dark, black. There was a light shining from above - I could see the shadows of fish and strange creatures lurking below the surface. But I wasn't afraid. We swam until we reached the shore of an island and entered the home that was there. Waking up from this dream was difficult. I wanted to hold on with everything I had, I wanted it to be real, I wanted to feel safe again instead of feeling like I'm floating in dangerous waters with no anchor.

Above all, my greatest fear is to forget. To go on as though my life wasn't touched by unselfish love. I fear waking up and looking Ruqaya and saying to myself my daughter is beautiful, instead of saying our daughter.

I fear I will go back to wanting everything right in this world and not caring about the next, or not carrying out something of significance. I fear that you will have died fighting against injustice, and I will die in my bed, contributing little to the world. I fear being ashamed on the day that people's faces will be dark and shamed. And looking at you from afar to see you under the shade of God's throne. I fear that all the pain of this world will not bring me closer to you, and closer to You.

I spend most of my days in fear now, fear that I am not doing enough, being enough, caring enough. I wish that my fear would be alleviated and that I could be free.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Running between Graves

Yesterday I was driving my mother somewhere and when I got to the car I realized that I forgot to bring my wallet with my driver's license and insurance. So I left her in the car and ran back through the building so that she wouldn't be late. As I was running, I suddenly remembered the last time I ran so fast was the day of my husband's janazah, 7 weeks ago.

For anyone who doesn't know, I'm referring to the fact that thugs were running after us (they specifically wanted to hurt the family of the "sheikh") right after my husband was buried, in the graveyard.

All the thoughts that were going through my head at the time came back to me just then. I remember that I didn't really know what was going on, I was just running forward, hearing really loud bangs and screams behind me. I can't remember the last time I was in a graveyard, and it seemed so odd to be running there, of all places. There was an old woman in front of me who was also running with much difficulty, I passed between many graves of people I didn't know. I squeezed through small openings between them and hurried through paths that were dry and dusty. I didn't see who it was, but someone hurled a stone at me and I was hit on my cheek. I still have a small scar there.

I was separated from everyone I knew, and I escaped out of the graveyard into a side street. Someone I didn't know told me to run and just hide in the entrance of any building, but I didn't hide. I just kept running on that side street without looking back. I remember almost not caring whether I lived or died at that point. I only asked Allah in my heart to let me go on for the sake of my daughter, and He did.

I eventually ran into my cousin and brother-in-law who came out of the same entrance, they helped me home.

It's strange to think about it now, it almost seems like it's some scene from a movie instead of something that actually happened.

Although I didn't get a chance to visit my husband's grave that day, I went a week later, and saw where he had been buried. There was a stark contrast between the chaos of his burial and the day I went to him. It was calm and quiet that day. And I stood at his grave and said salaam to him, and I wondered so many things, like how it was that he got to escape from the prison of this world, and how if he were alive and saw how badly his friends and family were being treated, his heart would've been broken. When I think about him now, I know that he escaped from something that the rest of us have to live with, and I say Alhamdulillah for his sake, and I believe that God was truly merciful towards him in that he did not have to experience the grief of the Egypt that he left behind.

At the end I pray that he is in a better place, and that he is at peace. I pray to be reunited with him again in the next life.

And now I know the worthlessness of this world. We sell our souls to achieve status in this life, but we are all already walking through a graveyard, towards the spot we will be buried in, we just don't know it yet.