Revolving Doors

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By: Sumayyah Aisha

22nd June, 2007
Google calls it Garland two-tone glitter sandal heels but I call it love. I have no idea from where on earth it landed on my rack but its there and I just can’t thank Allah enough for it.
I have this habit, diary, where I like to hide and listen to people. I don’t know. I mean, I do know! I know it is wrong. But I don’t know what to do about it. There, that seems to make a lot more sense. I think writing down my feelings can be very confusing especially when I have a lot on my mind and very few words to express myself. Anyway, I overheard mommy telling dad how I told HER that I was excited for Ramadan and I promised to fast. I really don’t see why that’s a big deal. Is it really a big deal? I don’t think so. To mom and dad, it was something big enough to talk over. I heard the word ‘gift’ and suddenly became interested. Fasting is for Allah. I know that. Allah is our Creator. That’s what we’ve been told and we believe in from the first breath we took. It is just natural, looking around at all that my Allah has given me, that I should make Him happy. If He wants me to fast, I should, shouldn't I?
But getting double the reward for it in the form of Eid and a gift?
I think I’ll be back diary. Mommy always taught me to thank Allah by supplicating whenever I’m happy.

 

23rd June 2007
The jumpy little chipper persona opened her gob and showed me bits of crumbs stuck to the pale portion of her tongue. That was disgusting but I can’t kick a four year old, can I? Ya Allah, give me the patience to look after this child. I really can’t understand how Moniba stands her. She’s cute, I must admit, but that’s about it. To say more is to lay it on thick and I really don’t think that bloated head of hers needs to stick out like a bobbing football on a skinny frame once she grows older, am I right?
I wonder if this is classified as back-biting. Is it?
Is it really my fault that I’ve been pushed to the edge and left biting my lips till they’re sore, literally on the verge of exploding? I never volunteered to look after Aman to begin with. If that had been the case, things would’ve been a lot easier to deal with but they’re not. It is only worse because I’ve been forced into this.
Two days from now, Ramadan is going to begin and I can live a lot more peacefully. For the past two years, Ramadan feels like home to a starving traveler like me. I feast on the spiritual delights of fasting. I know. I just, what do you call it? Used an oxymoron. I mean, I ‘feasted’ on the… ah, I feel lame for repeating so I’ll leave it at that.
Did Aman just puke or did a booger-colored puddle magically land from some foreign land?

 

12, December 2007
We’re going to Germany!
I know, I know, I should clarify things a little. After all, I’ve been unfair to you for not writing more often. I apologize for that diary… ok I’ll stop with that. It seems weird how I act like you’re actually alive when you’re not.
Anyway, I will begin with… I can’t write it. It hurts when I THINK it, how do you think I’ll be able to write it?
It’s like a little piece of my heart has tattered and gone with the figure…
 I am crying diary. It’s not easy to put my emotions in ink. You won’t get it. You won’t cry. You probably don’t know what it feels like to have lost someone close to you; someone who talked to you about Allah and His Quran, deep in the hours of night. Someone who loved you, someone you talked to, someone you were used to seeing almost every day, someone who breathed, someone who was once alive.
And now when you think about it, the only thing living about them is the memories you have of them.
Wait, give me a minute to rub my tears or else mummy will badger me to tell her why I was crying and I really don’t feel all too verbose at the moment.
There. Anyway… I am going to Germany in the middle of Ramadan. I know what you’re thinking. How will it help make things better? How is that good for me? I don’t know how it can be bad for me. After all, I’ll get to meet Maria and Sofia and it’s been like, what, two years since I last saw them? It’s going to be exciting to embrace the foreign air, the foreign atmosphere… wait, that’s the same thing, isn’t it? I mean, there’s not going to be that much difference besides that. Well, if you count bidding hair fall problems and electricity fluctuation issues good bye, then it really is something all the more worth anticipating in the next few weeks.

 

3rd January 2009
The whole year round, I only manage to open you when Ramadan is around the corner. Fasting here is as impossible as counting to infinity. I can’t do both of them. I’m sure Allah will understand. Speaking of which, Maria imploded about Ramadan the other day. We were sitting in our customary jackets and big boots, our hair blowing about, tiny strands teasing our earlobes and tickling our nose. She suddenly turned to me and said, “It’s not important to fast.”
I was shocked. What could I say to that, diary?
“What do you mean?” I was wary of what she’d say next and I really could’ve argued with her had it not been for the dread gripping my heart and cautioning me to stay mute. I didn’t want her to turn into a disbeliever, did I?
Turns out it was pointless.
“I am an atheist,” she declared, a little proudly, I noticed.
“How is that a good thing?”
“How is being a Muslim a good thing?” she aggressively responded. Yes. I used the right word. Aggressive is exactly how she acted.
She didn’t give me a chance to respond and resumed, “What part of rational reasoning does this aspect of religion include? Muslim girls are being forced to cover themselves in the name of freedom and guys are being forced to pay out of their well-earned money in the name of religion. No one should be obligated to do something, right?”
“I never saw anyone being forced.”
“That’s because you’re an innocent, gullible idiot,” she laughed. “If you look at the world, it’ll open your eyes to reality.”
If I wanted, I could have said a lot of stuff in retaliation and I probably would’ve succeeded. I thought it was pointless though, so as unsatisfactory as it was, I said, “There’s no purpose without religion. If we didn’t believe, what difference would there have been between us and animals? We don’t just live to eat, sleep and breathe, you know.”
She kept shaking her head.
“Will you fast this year?” Was her question. It was a good question. I had been asking myself the same question ever since I got to know we only had four hours of actual eating-time and there was no way on God’s sweet earth that it was humanly possible for me to accomplish that feat. I think I shook my head and she thought I answered her. I really didn’t change her thought.
"You know that feeling when you excitedly throw in a bucket and it turns out there isn't any water in the well? I get that feeling when I celebrate Eid without fasting. Increasing disappointment. I don't understand why I don't get that feeling anymore, the excitement and tingly anticipation of Eid. I went through my old diaries, you know, when I was 12. I wanted to read what it felt like back then. I still remember the pakoras, the laughter, the glittery sandals... there is something missing but I can't put my finger on it. My nani always told us when we were kids that our Ramadan is the most important aspect determining how good our year goes. If we do good, we'll yield good. Isn't that so?

 

9th February 2009
Diary, I was out shopping with Mummy when this terrible accident took place. Ah, with a dozen shopping bags in my hands I was crossing the road to go to my car when I tripped and in the blink of an eye a car raced on my hand, the driver wasn’t able to control his speed… I just can’t forget that pain as if a hundred daggers were sinking into my stomach… I remember I groaned and screamed with anguish and then the next moment I didn’t know where I was. I was unconscious. I woke up in the hospital bed, my mom and dad sitting beside me praying to Allah ta’ala to restore my health… I am still at the hospital and my hand feels so numb, the doctor has said that there is a very slight chance of me getting my hand back, the bone has broken badly. Am I going to live like that, with one hand? Oh boy! I am so young… I can’t bear people pointing at me, oh my God! They’ll smirk at me… oh, how’ll I resist all this pain? I want to die! I want to vanish! I’m useless… I hate myself! I hate my religion! Ramadan is approaching and I feel like shouting, I feel like killing myself! Allah ta’ala doesn’t love me… my hand is immobile, I can’t move it an inch. Wait a minute diary, I can hear Mummy’s footsteps, I guess she’s coming into the hospital room. Let me wipe my tears or else I’ll get frustrated and depressed again, though I still am.

 

11th February 2009
Talking to Mummy was a load off my back. She told me true stories about miracles happening, she told me about a guy who broke his leg and after praying to Allah his operation went successful and he recovered! My mom is right; she said that instead of questioning Allah ta’ala about my actions that led me to this I am questioning Him for the immobility of my hand! That is being showing no gratitude to Him, the most merciful. Allah loves me and I believe in Him and I know that He will cure me. I pray to my Lord to bless me with the best of health, and to give me my hand back, I never understood it was such a great blessing. Allah always listens to His servants, and I know that Allah will listen to me, my prayers, they’ll not be unanswered. Everything is in His hands and He’ll make me recover, I’ll be as hale and hearty as I was before, I believe, because that’s what I have to believe as believer. I’ve always been a gullible idiot. I am, never was, the girl I thought I was. It's strange how doors revolved and I have reverted to the 12- year old me. I can feel it in my bones. I was innocent, I still am. I was blinded. I was stupid. I don't see the point in questioning Allah سبحانہ وتعالی when the true fact is, I never did anything but incur His wrath. If He loves me so much for spiritually prising my lids off my visual perception of truth, I will ask Him to restore my health and see where it takes me from there. I know He loves me and He listens.

 

1st September 2009
It’s Eid. I picked a chicken stick with my right hand and placed it in my plate with my left hand on the yummy homemade cookies. Surprised? Faith surpasses logic, my friend. Faith surpasses logic. My belief in Allah was never lax, He’s there and He’s listening. He loves me and I love Him. When a mother loves her child, she gives him what he asks for but only if it’s good for him. I’ve come to the most important realization, Diary. Two days from now, I’ll still enjoy the festivity of Eid. I will live my life like it’s Ramadan every day. Aaameen and Insha’Allah.