Wednesday 13 January 2016

Ease After Hardship or My Best Friend’s Wedding

I often get comments and e-mails from sisters which reveal the hardship they are going through. This has included violence, emotional abuse, loneliness, empty or dysfunctional marriages and problems with in-laws. Sometimes I feel so unqualified to respond in a way that is helpful and not patronising. Recently I watched my bestie, my beloved soul sister go through something similar – alone with two small children and minimal help, I saw some of my deepest fears – being alone, having to handle work alone with no childcare, struggling with money present themselves in her life. I listened to her pour her heart out as she had to find the strength each day to plough through the practical and physical difficulties as well as navigating the casual cruelty of family and community in such situations: unkind remarks, blame, cold shouldering and petty comments.

I watched her go through the darkest days of her life with one problem after another pile up on her and I prayed to Allah SWT to find a way out for her, to give her the peace, security and love this big-hearted sister deserves. I still wondered though, how things could better, it seemed impossible, everything that could go wrong had gone wrong and it was hard to imagine her in a the life that I wished for her: wealthy, happy, successful and in love. Yet Allah’s promise is without doubt:

"Verily, with hardship there is relief" (Qur'an 94:6)

I had one message from her that broke my heart and left me bereft for her: talking about how sad and alone she was and how hard things were. I had a message shortly after telling me that she had found someone wonderful and that she was about to marry. I have to say I nearly had a heart attack when she told me. But I was overjoyed for her. She has had her nikah (Islamic marriage ceremony) and has two beautiful stepchildren to be big brother and sister to her beautiful little boys. She always wanted a daughter and I always prayed she would be blessed with one but used to worry that her body would not be able to handle another baby. Allah (SWT) has blessed her with a daughter that is crazy about her and has yearned for a mum for so long.

Another thing that made me happy was the flipping enormous ring on her finger mash’Allah. Not because I have any love of gems (my husband knows that food and books and good company are the way to my heart), but because it tells me that her husband was serious enough about her to firstly gather together his family and do the nikah and secondly to spend the money. I remember also that she never had a nice ring before like all of the other girls and I knew she would have liked one.

So alhamdulillah instead of seeing my friend in distress and worn into the ground, I am seeing her navigate her new life with a kind man who cooks for her and two new children she adores. She is learning to fit into another family and another culture (she is Moroccan and he is Bengali). It is still hard, there is still so much to sort out – accommodation, difficult parents, a wedding reception. But married life is not about ease and contentment, but about facing the hard things as a team and not feeling as if you have to deal with everything the world throws at you alone.

I used to see what a loving person my friend is: affectionate, tactile, big-hearted and full of praise and kindness for others and think what a waste for her to be alone when there are so many people who need love and kindness. Now I am so happy to see her with a man that adores her and kids who needed a mum. I am so looking forward to meeting them this weekend and I am excited about her reception.

The point of sharing what she went through was to offer hope to sisters (and brothers) who are suffering right now. I could not see how my friend would find a way out of her agonising situation. When she did, it all happened so quickly. It was such a reminder for me that Allah (SWT) can change our situations whenever he wants, no matter how bad things are and how impossible a solution appears alhamdulillah.

"...Bear with patience whatever befalls you...." (Qur'an 31:17)

"Be not sad, surely Allah is with us." (Qur'an 9:40)

"So do not become weak, nor be sad..." (Qur'an 3:139)

"And grieve not over them, and be not distressed because of what they plot." (Qur'an 16:127)

Our Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Verily, if Allah loves a people, He makes them go through trials. Whoever is satisfied, for him is contentment, and whoever is angry upon him is wrath." [Tirmidhi]

1 comment:

  1. I am so happy for your friend Alhamdulillah.It is so true that if you persevere with patience then Inshallah Allah swt will surely bring about ease. I check this blog everyday for new posts and today I went through something very upsetting but as soon as I read this post it felt that it was a reminder for me that we all will go through trials but that I should be patient and thankful. Alhamdulillah I feel so much better now.
    Thank you so much for this blog.You might not know how much of a positive impact you have on your readers.
    Jazakallah Khair