Several years back and it’s nearly the end of my first year at college. I’ve met quite a few characters in those days but there was this one girl; outrageous she was. She would dance in the middle of nowhere while passerby give her disapproving looks and she’d dress in a way that every head turned towards her without question. Her openness would shock me but somehow we became friends and I’d be the one pulling her top up for her and calling her silly and she’d just laugh and give me a hug knowing how much I disliked them.
It was an exciting time for me for I started falling in love with Islam during this period but the walk to the prayer room was kind of lonely to say the least. Everyone would be engrossed in fun and laughter and I use to scurry away hoping a friend would accompany me.
Then one day she turned to me and said, “Nas I’m coming with you this lunchtime to pray okay.” 😀
“Omg really?! Yay okay 1:10 okay insha’Allāh?”
As lunch hour approached the canteen filled up and all the seats became occupied, I entered and sat quietly next to her hoping she remembered what she said this morning. The lounge filled with raucous laugher of hooligan boys and all the girls; my friends sitting around. I got up to leave to which the girls asked where I was headed, I muttered outside and turned to her.
“Are you coming?” 🙂
She looked around ~ she was always the centre of attention in every crowd. She smiled awkwardly because the atmosphere had gone silent due to my question which I swear I had whispered, “Are you coming?” “Umm next time,” she smiled nervously. “Okay see you in a bit.” I said, forcing a grin.
I left the canteen and the atmosphere resumed to jostling, screaming and inaudible swearing.
I left the whudu area and entered the prayer room, it was empty, peaceful.
I raised my hand to proclaim His name and then I heard someone falling into the room.
I heard the rustle of velcro as she put on an old abaya left on the hook and she rumbled behind the door for a headscarf.
She joined me a little while later and she prayed so calmly, her heart was full of tranquility.
She made salaam to her left shoulder and then turned to me, “Hey nas, I came.”
“I know.” ☺️
We spent the rest of the hour sitting in the tiny prayer room listening to lectures, she began crying as we listened to the story of Sarah on youtube; a story about an Australian woman who found Allāh again a few days before discovering that she had cancer…returning to Him upon eeman. Her mascara left smudges under her eyes and when we returned back to the canteen, the boys jokingly asked why the ‘Goddess’ was crying? She didn’t glance their way, we carried on speaking about the status of woman in Islam and we rejoiced over our shared love for Islam.
“I brought a ton of books.” She said as we sat waiting for the bus one day.
We were on our way to an Islamic event in LMC and she tried on the hijab for the first time since she was little, “I’m trying it today..maybe forever insha’Allāh.” ☺️
She continued from her first point;
“The shop-keeper didn’t even look at me, he smiled at the book I was buying…it was a book on modesty, I felt really beautiful because he didn’t even look at me..weird right?”
“It’s not weird at all…a woman’s beauty is her eeman and not how many eyes are on her…”
As the academic year came to an end so did our paths; life has a funny way of doing that. Sometimes people are in our lives to teach us a lesson or leave a lasting memory ~ sometimes we drift so that we can only remember the good about them.
For me; the most precious things are cherished memories ~ little stories that make me smile, small incidents and conversations which makes me view others in a different light.
When I thank Allāh for the happy moments in my life; I thank Him for the moments I saw the love of Islam in people’s eyes ~ witnessing the yearning for Allāh in the hearts of men so believe when I say that this memory is not one I am in a rush to forget.