One of the biggest challenges in my life has been my lack of patience. It is something I have worked hard to improve in myself over the last decade so that I can become a kinder and gentler wife and mother and to please Allah (SWT) who says:
“And be patient. Surely, Allah is with those who are patient.” – Al-Quran (8:46)
Aisha (RA) reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “O Aisha, Allah is gentle and He loves gentleness, and He rewards for gentleness what is not granted for harshness; and He does not reward anything else like it.” - Sahih Muslim, Book 32, Number 6273
So these last few days have been ever so hard for me. Hubby has been in South Africa for two months visiting his sheikh and doing dawah (missionary) work in Johannesburg and Cape Town. He flew back to the UK on Wednesday and had to go straight to the north to Dewsbury where the dawah organisation is based to give an update on what had been happening. He called me from there and told me he’d be back home the following day (a six hour drive home).
I made sure the house was spotless and the kids were clean and nicely dressed. I found something nice to wear and cooked his favourite food. I was stoked he was coming home a day earlier than planned and as I had told people the original return date, we would have him to ourselves for a whole day. Then I waited and waited some more. I got a call yesterday that the elders in the dawah organisation had asked him to stop by till the evening. We were not sure why, whether it was to welcome other groups of people travelling to the UK for dawah works (there was one group due from Bangladesh yesterday), to give more information about his trip or whether they were going to ask to spend another two months in the path of Allah (SWT).
He asked me what he should say if they ask him to spend two more months. I could not say no. We will never have another chance like this. I am on maternity leave on full pay and can cover our costs of living, once I go back to work, he will be with the kids for part of the day and there won’t be another chance for him for a long time. I told him if he feels the need to go, I will support him. That moment yesterday was so excruciating, perhaps one of the hardest I can remember and I know it was very, very hard for him too.
The two months preceding were not as tough as this, I sent him on his way knowing that we were in Allah (SWT)’s care and with plans of how to use the time productively while he was away. But the excitement of his return and then the possibility of not seeing him for another two months was a whole different feeling. I am waiting to hear today if he is coming back. I know he would not return without calling me first (as it is the sunnah to send a message before you return from a trip), but al day every time a car drove past the house, I would rush to the window to see who it is.
I once found out through my husband that a wonderful friend of mine once gave all of her gold jewellery to the local masjid which was being built at the time. If you know Pakistani women and their emotional and cultural attachment to gold (and the fact that gold is now too expensive for ordinary people to buy), then you know what a big thing this is. I wondered how she had gotten the nerve to let it all go (may Allah (SWT) reward her abundantly insh’Allah). Now I realise that it is not always the most expensive thing you should give away but the thing that is most valuable and precious to you. For me these are my children and my husband.
I believe that what you spend or give away in the path of Allah (SWT) is what will be preserved for you with Allah (SWT) in the next life for all eternity. There is nothing more precious to me than my relationship with my dear, kind, selfless husband. The sacrifice of two more months without him is nothing to the thought of earning a forever right next to him in return.
At the same time, these last two months have been a lesson in miracles for me. It was as if Allah (SWT) eased the feeling of loneliness that I so feared. I made new friends with local sisters who are strong in their faith, I saw how protective and caring my family are (including my extended family) towards me and the children. I found the Arabic course I have longed to do for years, sitting right at home, learning whilst the kids are safe in bed and the baby plays nearby. More than once my heart has yearned for something and I have seen it appear in front of me – a cousin call to chat when I felt lonely, a friend appearing at the door with food when I was sick of eating my own cooking (that kept happening – Allah (SWT) knows I love food!), a neighbour drop by with her children when the house felt too quiet.
I feel like this is a time of dua’s to be accepted. In the days before he was due back I remember thinking mostly everything I have prayed for is being accepted. I was anxious that hubby would be back so soon and that there must be so many more things to ask Allah (SWT) for that I had not thought of whilst he was out in the path of Allah (SWT). Maybe now I will get some more time to ask for everything I need and wish and desire.
If he does stay away for two more months, I don’t expect anyone to understand, certainly his parents will not be happy and mine will be very angry. I don’t expect my family or friends to understand and I suspect I will have to do a lot of explaining and convincing and answer lots of angry questions.
I am okay with that. My nice clothes are back on a hanger and I am in my cosy warm casuals, the food I cooked is in the fridge. As I type this every time I hear a car go past my house my attention is immediately drawn to the window and my heart skips a beat, I have been listening out for the phone to ring all morning. The snow has been falling non-stop since this morning; will school close early and the kids have to come home? Will Gorgeous end up stuck somewhere on his school trip? Will hubby come home today? I am playing a waiting game. Strangely though, I am at peace. I have never felt as contented, at peace and grateful as I have these last two months. So whatever Allah (SWT) chooses for us, we are grateful and I feel incredibly blessed.
(O Muslims) You are the best of the peoples, you have been sent towards mankind, to enjoin good and forbid evil – Al-Quran (Al-‘Imran:110)
“And strive hard in Allah’s cause, as you ought to strive” (Al-Hajj: 78)