“Bismillahir rahmaanir raheem”
-in the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful-
There were a few cars parked outside what looked like a mansion to me…
This house was huge…. And gorgeous.. Like a house straight out of a magazine..
I quickly reprimanded myself inwardly.. This was not what I was here for.. I was here to change and be a better muslim.. Not go all gaga over materialistic things…
I got a few strange glances as we walked in and I suddenly felt very self conscious.. I fixed my scarf about 3 times in the time that we waited for the lady to start reading kitaab..
I tried keeping my gaze down but I could feel peoples eyes on me.. Probably because I was a new face..
What had happened to me? This was never me before I got married.. I was always such a confident person.. I could be around any gathering and here I was just a few years later and all my self esteem was lost..
I found myself thinking back to what salma had said in the car.. Did ismail really do this to me? Or did I allow him to do this to me? Maybe she was right.. If I had stood up to him from the beginning, things wouldn’t be the way it is now… Maybe our relationship would have been different..
I was snapped out of thought when a young girl dressed modestly in her islamic attire began speaking about the etiquettes of an islamic gathering..
“My dearest sisters in islam, Allah has chosen us to attend this gathering… By us attending this gathering, we are not doing a favour to Allah, but rather Allah is doing us a favour by granting us the ability to attend…. It has been mentioned that when Allah intends goodness for His servant, He gives them the understanding of deen..
It is said, that at the end of such gatherings, the angels return to Allah.. And inspite of Allah knowing everything, Allah questions them.. That oh my angels, where have you been…? To which they reply.. “Oh Allah, we have been to such and such a gathering…”
Allah will then ask them what the people of these gatherings were discussing.. To which they reply.. “Oh Allah! They were discussing jannah and jahannum and they were talking about you…”
Allah will again ask them if they have seen jannah and jahannam and if they have seen Him… To which the angels will reply… “No Oh Allah! They have never seen you before, yet they bring complete faith upon you.. They have never seen jannah and jahannam.. Yet they believe completely in it…”
Allah will show such happiness that He will command the angels to return to the gathering and announce to every person in the gathering that they have been granted forgiveness..
The angels will reply “Oh Allah, but there was one person who’s intention was not to learn and talk about you.. His intention was not to attend the gathering..He was just passing by and decided to join the gathering… ”
And Allah, out of His great mercy, will forgive even that person….”
She spoke with so much of love and feeling and it made me want to listen to more..
I was enjoying sitting here and I could feel that the whole world and all my previous worries and stress was completely blocked out.. It felt like there was no other world besides this… What I felt was sweetness….
She continued: “My dearest mother and sisters, sitting in a gathering like this is no ordinary gathering… Its a gathering of Allah, its a gathering of the malaaikah… Its a gathering where tranquillity descends… So ofcourse there are etiquettes to follow when attending these gatherings..
First and foremost, we need to correct our intentions for coming to this gathering.. No matter what our intentions were previously, it should solely be for the pleasure of Allah and to change ourselves.. To learn about islam and become better muslims…”
The young sister continued with more etiquettes such as reading durood shareef upon hearing the name of nabi(Sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) and listening to what is being said instead of who is talking and also to keep our hair covered so that the angels stay close by and also to sit as close together to eachother as this was how the sahabah( radiallaahu anhum) used to sit when learning about islam…
Another lady began reading a few short ahaadith from the fadhaail e a’maal and then an apa gave a talk on 6 important and common characteristics which were found in the lives of the sahaba..
She explained that the sahaba are like guiding stars. Whichever one of them we follow, inshallah we will be rightly guided..
These 6 qualities were:
4)Honouring other muslims
5)Sincerity of intention
6)Using spare time to spread the islam
The sahaba had such beautiful and admirable qualities… But yet we find it so much more appealing to follow the lives of people who mean nothing and don’t care about our existence… We make actors and actresses and singers and football players our role models..
When we’ll reach nowhere but jahannam by following in their footsteps
Allah has given us the solution to our problems.. And that is following the lives of the sahabah…
By the time we read the duah at the end of the gathering, I felt rejuvenated.. Like I had a different zeal for life..
I felt happy and content and I couldn’t wait to go home and start afresh..
But If only I knew what a bomb was waiting for me back home…