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February 3, 2004
The Bus

by Nadia Khan

The other day I had to get a course packet for a class of mine from a place, of which I had never heard before during my entire four years of existence at Rutgers. It is called “cookie jar” and is located at the other end of the world. The first time around a friend of mine gave me a ride and we reached there after getting lost a couple of times. To our utmost dismay we found “the jar” closed despite the fact that we went there during its normal hours of operation. When I went there next time, I had to take the EE bus and had it not been for the help of a fellow passenger, I would still have been on Cook. When I first heard the name I found it weird, “What?! I have to get my course packet from a cookie jar?” But then I thought to myself, well, they must have named the bookstore “cookie jar” since it is located on Cook campus. However, as soon as I stepped inside the teeny weenie building, I saw real cookie jars all over the place. It was like one of those “canteens” we used to have back home. Just as I was about to turn around and exit through the same door I came in, I decided to ask the cashier anyways if they sold course packets as well. He went in another room and came back saying that they were out of them and I would have to order one and give a deposit of $10.00 as well. I was really frustrated because I thought that it was the last time I was ever going there. But unfortunately I was completely wrong. I gave the 10 dollars bill to the cashier and retraced my steps. After searching for a long time, I saw the bus stop from far away and I saw the GG bus coming from just around the corner. Now, getting from Cook to Busch is like going from Indus to Antarctica; or at least so had I heard (By the way I don’t know how far apart they are from each other; I picked them because my knowledge of geography is limited to just these two names). No sooner did I catch the sight of the GG, I dashed right for it. I ran and ran and ran, bumped into two girls and still kept on running. But guess what? Right when I reached the spot where the bus was halted, the driver hit the accelerator and the bus shooed away right before my miserable eyes. This time, I wasn’t frustrated though; rather, I was extremely disappointed, not in my running abilities, but rather in the misconceptions I had about my status before Allah (swt). I had been particularly good that day (ate my breakfast) and I expected Him to make things easier for me rather than putting me through such inconvenience. But it turned out that He was not as happy with me as I had previously but gleefully thought. While I sat in the booth all by myself, I could get the feeling that the next bus that would come by would be heading to Busch rather than towards Livingston or College Avenue. And that’s exactly what happened; the next bus that I saw read “G: Cook Busch”. I boarded it quickly, feeling proud of myself that I had got telepathy skills. But as soon as I boarded the bus and sank in one of its seats, it dawned upon me that the bus I had just got on in order to get to Busch was a “G” and the bus that I had been chasing was a GG, which would have taken me all the way to the far-off land of Livingston instead of Busch where I was supposed to be headed. And the rate at which I was running behind the GG wouldn’t have given me a chance to check where it was going. While I was busy thinking in my ignorance that the One above was making things harder for me, the reality was otherwise. I was the one ready to get myself in trouble and He was the One pulling me out of my senseless endeavors.

The point of this whole story is that each day we come across many incidents that don’t quite happen the way we want them to, our faces swell in frustration and anger, nothing seems to work out and Allah (swt) seems to be looking the other way. But in reality He is the mastermind who, although is making things go as He wills but He knows perfectly well that these things are far better and far more reasonable for us. I am sure it has happened innumerable times to each one of us that the “bus” we had been running after all our lives takes its leave, and we find ourselves among a flood of tears. However, what we fail to realize is that there is another bus just around the corner and it is the one that is right for us , the one that is meant for us. We just have to wait a little bit because it is hidden and we can’t see it coming. If we fill our eyes with tears and our minds with despair, everything will get blurry and neither would we be able to figure out the “hikma” that is latent in the scheme of things nor the bus that is hidden from our sight.

So when you miss your bus next time around, don’t sit there and cry. There will be another one coming soon Inshallah that will carry you in the right direction and to the right destination; a place where you are supposed to be, not necessarily a place where you want to be. As for me, the moral of the story is that the next time I go to “Cookie Jar”; I shall take binoculars with me so that I don’t have to rely on my eyes in order to tell the difference between double Gs and a single G.

of and relating to...
Talal said

MashaAllah.. I've been through an innumerable number of such experiences the Buses and Trains, always rendering me frustrated. InshaAllah future such incidents will result in equivalent epiphanies on my part.

"So when you miss your bus next time around, don’t sit there and cry"

I just wanted to to point out that, for those unlucky few of us who had to take the buses during winter break, there was little left to do but cry in the freezing cold, as the driver purposely sped away with a devilish grin on his face.

on February 3, 2004 12:51 AM
Faisal Akhtar said

Hahahahah @ CookieJar...

Been there too many times lol. Never gets easier.

Nice artilce indeed. I wonder if this just applies to busses. Let us treat the terms "bus" synonymously with "opportunities" for the sake of this comment. We miss many busses in our lives such as jobs, proposals etc and we say to ourselves "If I had just gotten on that bus. If I had just been earlier". Forget the ifs and buts. There are many busses which are and there are many which are not gong to your destination. In this journey of life, if you miss a bus say Alhamdulillah and if you take a bus say Alhamdulillah. Only Allah knows how to guide to the proper path and only he knows which bus is right for you.


Faisal Akhtar

on February 3, 2004 9:44 AM
Nadia said

Assalam u alaikum
lol@driver's devilish grins.I should write an article about drivers as well as how their destination never arrives. I always think what goes on in their mind when we get off at our stops and they still have to go around and around. May be they are always looking to the end of their shifts. Anyways, Br.Faisal,thats exactly what I meant. There are many real buses that we miss and there are many others as u mentioned such as careers, jobs, especially proposals. And I know so many who get really disheartened when it does not work out with the ones they wanted. But in their limited knowledge, they don't know why it turned out to be like it did. May Allah give all of us the patience to accept His decisions even if they run against our lines of thoughts. Ameen.

on February 3, 2004 4:02 PM
Rami said


The sixth pillar of Iman is belief in Qadar(predestination): the good and the bad. Everyone seems to forget that last part. Those are the actual words...I just can't find the actual hadith.


The Distance between Bombay, India and Mount Erebus, Antarctica, as the crow flies:
7551 miles (12151 km) (6561 nautical miles)

on February 3, 2004 5:30 PM
Gillette said

"...He (the inquirer) said: Inform me about Iman (faith). He (the Holy Prophet) replied: That you affirm your faith in Allah, in His angels, in His Books, in His Apostles, in the Day of Judgment, and you affirm your faith in the Divine Decree about good and evil..."

narrated by muslim book 1, hadith 1.


on February 3, 2004 7:00 PM
Rami said

Subhan Allah!

A thing can be right in front of you...but if Allah doesn't want you to see it...you most definitely won't.

on February 3, 2004 8:22 PM
Lashutka Michael said

He who gives up freedom for security deserves neither.

on June 30, 2004 12:54 PM
asef said

salaam everyone:

May Allah be MOST pleased with each one of you, in this life and in the hereafter....Ameen

It was my outmost pleasure knowing all of you and please find it in your heart to forgive me if I have been a cause of inconvenience to anyone of you.


on September 13, 2005 2:12 AM
Faisal Akhtar said

Whoa. You are sacring me brother. Are you going somewhere?

on September 13, 2005 9:25 AM
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