« No Other Choice | Main | a breath…a heartbeat »
December 10, 2004
Finishing the Dream

by Justoju

I spent the night writing the next installment of “Marriage Considerations”. Before Fajr, I ate a quick meal and made niyyah to fast the next day. Two more days of Shawwal fasts and I would have 6. I prayed Fajr. I wanted to read some Quran but my eyes were starting to feel heavy. I promised myself that I would do it in the morning when I woke up. I fell asleep on my prayer rug.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was nighttime. I saw myself outside of some government complex. Lots of neo-classical-styled courthouse type buildings. One big one with a dome in the center. I was with my mom and was standing on the street where I had parallel-parked my car. We had just gotten done with something and were heading home. The isolated street overlooked the big buildings. I was parked on the far end of the street, away from the main building.

I saw that there was a line of cars parked on that street. Each car was unlocked, empty, and had a platter of food sitting on the passenger side seat. The platter consisted of a variety of food; fried chicken, french fries, shrimp, as well as lots of other edibles that I liked. Now, for some reason, it seemed the natural thing for me to do in that situation was to take my plate and to go to each car and take the things from their platters that I liked. That way I could bring the most amounts home.

So I went from car to car (there were different kinds and makes) taking food from them and then dropping that food off in my car before running to another car to get food. My own collection of food was starting to look pretty amazing.

I saw that another unknown person was doing the same thing as me and I feared that he would take the food from my car and put it in his own. So I ran to him and started telling him that he could take from other cars but NOT from my car. I saw that he didn’t seem too convinced so I thought the best thing to do would be to get in my car, lock the doors, and go home. I ran down the street in the direction of my car and he ran too. When I got to the general area where my car was supposed to be, I yelled, “This is MY car”, pointing in its direction.

But I found myself pointing to someone else’s car.

This couldn’t be right, my car had been parked right here. It was RIGHT here a few minutes ago! I started looking to the other cars on that street and though some of them resembled my car, MY SUV was nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, the man had found himself in the same predicament and couldn’t find HIS car. I started panicking. It had just disappeared and had been replaced by another. This was not possible.

Maybe it had gotten towed while I was gathering food? But I would have seen the tow truck; I would have heard the sounds. I would have noticed. I was on the same street.

Then I realized, this is a test, this is some weird test and if I pass I will get my food and my car back. Things are not always what they seem. The world I was in functioned under different rules than the one I was used to; I recognized that and was willing to work with it.

I decided that my only hope was to go in the big government building and ask if they had had my car towed or if they knew what could have happened to it. Though it was night outside, inside the building was well lit and alive. I went inside and realized that I needed to go speak to someone.

I kept my eye out for my plate of food. I thought that maybe I could find it lying around covered with a napkin or something. I even ran to something that I thought might be it, in hopes that it would be there and I could go home, but it wasn’t it.

So my mother and I got in the elevator.

I was very scared. Very cold and afraid. There was something vaguely familiar about this situation. I felt like I had been here before, had been in a situation like this before. I felt like all I had to do was look around in the building, pass the right test, and I would find my plate of food. It was somewhere waiting for me to find it. And then my car would appear back in its spot too. It’s like a dream, I told myself, and if I find the right things then everything will go back to normal. My car and food will be back in their spots.

The elevator door closed. I don’t know why but I ‘knew’ certain things and took them for granted. All of a sudden my dream had taken on religious undertones. For some reason I ‘knew’ that I would have to see both heaven and hell before all this was over. I ‘knew’ that I had been in this situation before and that I couldn’t escape without seeing both heaven and hell and that I would be exposed to certain tests in hell. I did not want to be tested. I did not want to have to see the things I would have to see in hell. I did not want to undergo the fear, the pain, and the distress. I knew these tests would test every bit of my faith in there being something more powerful than all this. Faith that He was taking care of everything. I could only survive if I was able to find Him in my heart. But I felt so distant from Him, how could I find Him? My mind and heart were too full of concern for my food and car.

I knew, from past experience (though I couldn’t quite recall the experience), that I wouldn’t have the choice as to where the elevator would take me. Would I be taken to hell or to heaven first? The elevator started moving up.
1..2..3..4..5..6……7.
It stopped at 7. This wasn’t a big relief because I knew that floor 7 contained both heaven and hell.

The doors opened and I stepped out.

I saw a long dimly lit hallway with some seats along the side. I saw a closed door at the end that had some light shining through the bottom crack. I knew--this was it. This was IT. My food and car were forgotten. I didn’t know what was on the other side. I didn’t know where it would send me. I didn’t know what I would do. I didn’t have any control at all in the matter. I didn’t have any choice but to move forward. The elevator doors had shut. I was so terribly frightened. I walked forward with my mother. Then I stopped. I sat down on one of the chairs. I knew my only salvation was Allah, Glorious and Exalted.

I sat on the chair and I pleaded with Him not to send me to hell. I pleaded and pleaded from the bottom of my soul, from the depths of my heart, crying and repeatedly saying “please don’t send me to hell” because I didn’t have the wits or time about me to come up with anything more eloquent.

“Don’t send me to hell. Please, please don’t send me to hell. Don’t send me to hell. Don’t, please, don’t send me to hell. Don’t send me to hell, please, don’t send me to hell. Don’t send me to hell…”

It was during this pleading that I heard something ring.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My cell phone.

I opened my eyes and looked around. My cell phone was ringing.
It had all been a dream.

In that instant I realized that that dream was very important. That I needed to go back into it. I needed to finish it. I needed to see something, I needed to find something. I needed to know more. I needed to go back.

I answered the phone. It was my mother calling from work. “AssalamuAlaikum. Were you still sleeping?”

“WaAlaikumuSalaam. Jee Ammi.”

“Did you pray yet? Don’t you have to go to your lawyer today? Did you finish your article on marriage? Did you finish your paper? You have so much work to do. GET UP!”

“I am going. Don’t worry. Listen, Amma, I have to do something. InshaAllah I will talk to you in a bit. Allah hafiz, AssalamuAlaikum”.

I hung up the phone and tried desperately to go back asleep. To get back in the dream. But it was too late. It was already removed from my direct conscious experience department and was being stored and packed away in some basement level filing cabinet of my unconscious. A few more minutes and I wouldn’t be able to access or remember it at all.

I had to write it down. Quickly.

I flipped my laptop open and pressed the power button.
As soon as my computer started up, the first words I heard were that of the adhan being played by my Al Muhaddith prayer times program. I had to pray. But first, I needed to write this down.

No, first I needed to PRAY. If I was meant to recall this dream, I would. But first I had to do wudu, and pray. I was not allowed to write until I had prayed. I was not allowed to do anything until I had prayed. Somehow, I knew this.

Why?

Because, before I attempted to write anything down, I had to finish the dream.

And there was only one way for me to do that.

The only way to ‘really’ finish it was for me to pick it up where I had left it—with the pleading. I had to go back to the pleading. I had to continue from there.

I had to finish this the right way.

I don’t know what I was meant to find in that building, but that wandering, the elevator, the hallway, all brought me to one spot—the musallah…I may have completed a part of it, but the rest of my life will be an attempt to finish the dream. To find what I was meant to find. To learn what I was meant to learn. I hope I can end on a good note. I hope I don’t make the same mistakes again. I hope, that I finish this dream whilst in prayer.

And there is no better way to end it.


of and relating to...
Justoju said

I apologize to all those who were looking forward to seeing the next installment of "marriage considerations" up. I dont know why, but I was inspired to share this. Maybe it will help others as it has helped me.

Much of it doesnt make sense, not even to me, but the parts that DO make sense (to me anyway) are meaningful to the author.

How much of our life really does make 'sense' anyway. Its the small meaningful moments that carry us through it and to some understanding of the big picture. Those small meaningful moments, those windows of insight, where something actually TOUCHES your heart...those are what we live for.

Sometimes there is very little difference between a dream and a life.

on December 10, 2004 7:05 PM
asif said

Assalaamu Alaikum Justoju:

May Allah NEVER send you to Hell, Never Ever...Ameen

I am speechless....

May Allah Bless us all Muslimeen...and our parents and our family & loved ones. Ameen

on December 10, 2004 7:20 PM
Jannah said

J, I love you for the sake of Allah. You never stop amazing me, you always make me think. To open up minds while they are asleep is a gift- you always do this for me. May Allah reward you with the best.

on December 10, 2004 7:45 PM
Nisa said

Sr Jutjou

SubhanAllah ya ukthi...that's one of the best pieces you've ever written. JazakiAllah khair for sharing your dream - may Allah subhanahu wa ta'ala shower His Mercy upon you always, Ameen.

The little things in life, while often overlooked, make up the most important parts of our existence.

I too love you for the sake of Allah!

on December 10, 2004 8:05 PM
muslim4lyfe said

wow.

What do you think your car represented?

on December 11, 2004 2:54 AM
Justoju said

I dont know much about dream interpretation, but I think it represented my physical body.

When my car disappeared and was replaced on the street with another...that was my death...the circle of life.

on December 11, 2004 3:47 AM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

I don't think a person could trade a Ruqya or all the money in the world.

I don't think a thousand lectures by a million sheikhs could compare to the wisdom and the blessings and the knowledge gained in a Ruqya.

-------

"I sat on the chair and I pleaded with Him not to send me to hell. I pleaded and pleaded from the bottom of my soul, from the depths of my heart, crying and repeatedly saying “please don’t send me to hell” because I didn’t have the wits or time about me to come up with anything more eloquent.

“Don’t send me to hell. Please, please don’t send me to hell. Don’t send me to hell. Don’t, please, don’t send me to hell. Don’t send me to hell, please, don’t send me to hell. Don’t send me to hell…”"

Surat Al-Rahman:

But for such as fear the time when they will stand before (the Judgment Seat of) their Lord, there will be two Gardens-

Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?-

Containing all kinds (of trees and delights);-

Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?-

In them (each) will be two Springs flowing (free);

Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?-

In them will be Fruits of every kind, two and two.

Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?

They will recline on Carpets, whose inner linings will be of rich brocade: the Fruit of the Gardens will be near (and easy of reach).

Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?

In them will be (Maidens), chaste, restraining their glances, whom no man or Jinn before them has touched;-

Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?-

Like unto Rubies and coral.

Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?

Is there any Reward for Good - other than Good?

Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?

And besides these two, there are two other Gardens,-

Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?-

Dark-green in colour (from plentiful watering).

Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?

In them (each) will be two Springs pouring forth water in continuous abundance:

Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?

In them will be Fruits, and dates and pomegranates:

Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?

In them will be fair (Companions), good, beautiful;-

Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?-

Companions restrained (as to their glances), in (goodly) pavilions;-

Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?-

Whom no man or Jinn before them has touched;-

hen which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?-

Reclining on green Cushions and rich Carpets of beauty.

Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?

Blessed be the name of thy Lord, full of Majesty, Bounty and Honour.


-------

Please make dua for us sister. May Allah bless you , your family, and all the hidayaites till the day of judgement...and grant us all protection from the fire. Ameen.

on December 11, 2004 3:57 AM
Saima said

May Allah send His barakah on you and your family in this life and in the Hereafter.

I guess we are so worried about "keeping our plate full" that we forget that it is by Allah that we even have a "plate".

Alhamdolilah.

on December 11, 2004 6:51 AM
gillette said

a 1,785 word article, mashallah.

on December 11, 2004 12:07 PM
Faisal Akhtar said

And what does that have to with anything?

on December 11, 2004 2:24 PM
Justoju said

Wait till you see the Huda article where she falls for her guy. 2645 words. I hope hooked on phonics worked for all of you.

The only really special thing we have here with this article, are the duas that ensued and were shared. In the end, when no other created thing can save you, these duas will be priceless. May Allah, Glorious and Exalted, give you the double of that which you ask him to give others of the good. InshaAllah and Amin.

Br. Rami, you posted the right thing at the right time. InshaAllah, the tears that emitted at the sight of Surah Rahman will be given to you as diamonds in the next life. Ar Rahman. SubhanAllah.

Sister Saima, exactly. All that we invest in our bodies, all the wealth that our nafs gathers and hoards, all that we envy and covet and lust for, it will all disappear the moment we die. We were all given a certain amount of rizq (every car had a platter) to sustain us and instead of being thankful and then using our energy in 'His' way, we are ungrateful and use our time trying to amass even more, coveting, trying to take the rizq of others away from them. And then we FEAR others and fear that they will take our rizq away from us, we fear that they will do to us what we do to others...not realizing that they are as helpless as we are and that none of us can hold on to ANYTHING.
This dream did not leave me with a good opinion of myself at all. I dont want to be the person I was in the dream, an animalistic gluttonous bundle of sensory nerves devoid of any spiritual reflection or connection. It was a warning. I really really really hope I dont forget it.
I need as many duas as I can get.

on December 11, 2004 3:14 PM
gillette said

I (finally) finished the article. Masha allah. May Allah ta'ala guide us to prayer, as prayer is success, and success is paradise.

on December 12, 2004 12:46 AM
Talal said

The thing that struck me after reading this

“Don’t send me to hell. Please, please don’t send me to hell. Don’t send me to hell. Don’t, please, don’t send me to hell. Don’t send me to hell, please, don’t send me to hell. Don’t send me to hell…”

and this

" because [you] didn’t have the wits or time about me to come up with anything more eloquent."

was that you knew you HAD to pray when you awoke. SubhaanAllah, I just thought that you WERE returning to the dream, only this time "don't send me to hell" was made in a much more eloquent way... through Salah.

on December 12, 2004 3:49 AM
Justoju said

The scary thing is...we dont even know how much of our salah is actually accepted...we need to plead that our act of pleading is accepted...

btw, I want to read "Sister Sister, Cant Resist Her" but cant find it anywhere. Can you send me either the link or the story itself?

on December 12, 2004 4:42 AM
Talal said

InshaAllah that piece of literature can be found in the Safar 1424 issue of Nasihah, in it's online archives:
http://muslims.rutgers.edu/nasihah/archive.shtml

actual PDF:
http://muslims.rutgers.edu/nasihah/archive/safar1424.pdf

on December 12, 2004 4:59 AM
Justoju said

(For lack of a better word) Whoa.
I think you need to post that on Hidaya so that we can discuss IT.

on December 12, 2004 6:03 AM
plz make Dua 4 me said

As salaamu alaikum

Yes please ,I'd appreciate it if someone could kindly post the article "Sister Sister, Cant Resist Her" because for some reason or the other I can't access PDF files ( it downloads and then says it can't open). Take care

Was salaam

on December 12, 2004 6:40 AM
Talal said

The story was up on Hidaya before the crash that took place earlier this year... I put it up again, so everyone can now access it here inshaAllah:

http://www.hidayaonline.com/archives/000227.html

on December 13, 2004 4:21 PM
Saima said

Sr Justoju..

do think maybe "keeping the plate full" may also represent knowledge... where sometimes some people want to take in knowledge as much as they can but won't share it with anyone else ?

just a though :)

on December 15, 2004 10:36 AM
Saima said

thought

on December 15, 2004 10:36 AM
staticguard said

Assalamu alaikum,

This sounds weird, but it's honest.
Before reading 'Finishing the Dream',
I was delaying what I didn't want to do but felt I had to do: exercise.

I hate exercising but I haven't in over 1 yr. and I need to be healthy, for energy to do good deeds, for my husband (future), for my Rabb, for the sake of Allah.


After working and coming home, I get maad lazy, and think, 'I have so much deen related work to do, I don't have time to exercise'.

If I go online to check my mail, web-surf something important such as, 'Bath and Body Work coupons', you know that will take 1 hr, though my intention was 2 minutes... before I exercise.

Remember..this is a tactic used by shaitan many times, The 'before pray, beofre I help my mom, before I..., 'Let me FIRST check my mail, let me go online..'
So this time, after praying maghrib, I thought, 'let me go on hidaya real quick and see if anyone responded to my, 'mango trees' comment (yea, I am an admitted looser)

But I deleted the URL form my 'Favorites List' so my nafs made me do a 'quick '5 minute) search on the word, 'hidaya'..no luck. 'Am I spelling it wrong?, I ask myself.
Another 5 minutes pass by and I'm getting hungry. 'Maybe I won't exercise today, no time.'

I then search the words, 'Hidaya, Rutgers' and after 2 wrong url's, bingo,

But now, I can't find the marriage article.

Oh well, maybe this ones it, 'Finishing the Dream'; OK, maybe it's not

Let me skim the comments anyway, just in case it is indeed right article (another 5 minutes 'wasted')...

My nafs: 'Wow, everyone's' blessing joustou and telling her 'don't go to hell'.
Let me read it...and I still haven't exercised.


After reading your article, I am motivated to exercise everyday, inshaAllah, ONLY for the sake of Allah, the Most High. This is my ibadah. (this hasn't happened since I gained 10 pounds.

Dang, I hate running.
THANK you
JAK

I told you it was weird and honest.

wa salaam

on December 15, 2004 5:40 PM
Justoju said

Its your honesty that makes you such a gem. MashaAllah.

And wierdness according to who? The ignorant find the knowers to be wierd and the knowers think the same about the ignorant. A person considered 'wierd' by nonmuslim standards, may be the biggest asset to the ummah. Normal is boring, mindless, and conformed. The kuffar at the time of each of the Prophets (may peace be upon them all) used to think that they were 'wierd' too.

"Islam began as something strange, and it will return as something strange the way it began. So Tooba for the Strangers"

on December 17, 2004 6:28 PM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

I think you will be able to appreciate this. I wrote in an article before:

"Afterthought is that crap feeling in your stomach while you are waiting for your grades to be published…because you knew you didn’t work as hard as you should’ve. Afterthought is that feeling you get when you think about the misdeeds you have done…that feeling of regret…that feeling that makes you stay far away from doing it ever again.

Then on the day when Israfil is given the command to blow the trumpet…and every last one of us will be pooping in his grave. Afterthought will coming rushing back. Then you will begin to think of this and that thing you did…and it will be a most terrifying day. Think back to the anxiety you faced when expecting that borderline grade…think of that day you were pulled over after knowing you sped at 110…think back to the way you felt as a child when you knew your dad was coming home after you had done something wrong. When the punishment is coming, confidence runs straight out the door."

Was it Adam and Eve who said: 'Allah, if you do not forgives us and have rahma on us surely we will be of the losers' (Personal translation).

If without Allah's Rahma I have no idea what would happen to us.

There is an ayah of the Qu'ran which talks about if Allah, Subhanna wa Taala, was to take a people by what they have put forth... I don't remember the rest but it's definitely bad. Can you think of all the things we have done...and still do...that displease Allah? Can you think of all the bad things you've ever done?

Even if you think that you do nothing Haraam...how nice are you to people (why should Allah be nice with you then?)...how many times do you forgive people (why should Allah forgive you then?)...how many times do you help people out or do good deeds (rather than just staying away from bad deeds).

Nobody will ever enter Jannah without the mercy of Allah, Subhannahu wa Taala, NOBODY?

And that meeting of Allah will most surely scare the brains out of you.

So my point...

In fron of Allah on that day, confidence will go straight out the door.

May Allah forgive us all and our families and the Mu'mineen and Mu'minaat and the Muslimeeen and the Muslimaat on the Day He will establish the accounting of deeds. Please everyone say Ameen and make du'a for each other your brothers and sisters in Islam (and your parents) at night and in your Hajjes and Umrahs and in your prostrations and from your hearts. PLEASE!

May Allah Subhanna wa Taala grant us Mercy.

Wasalaam Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

on December 20, 2004 4:11 AM
Rami said

Asalaam Aleikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatu,

I apologize. The question mark after "NOBODY" should be an exclamation mark...kinda changes the meaning.

Wasalaam Warahmatullah Wabarakatu

on December 20, 2004 8:21 AM
Amani said

Well said, Rami. Well said.

on December 20, 2004 1:54 PM
Asif said

Justoju:

Just read your dream, and thought of commenting on it. First of all, make sure of this: Dreams are of 3 types: (1) Good dreams, that are from Allah. And, one who sees good dreams, should narrate unto him/her who is closer (2) Bad dreams, that are from Satan, so one should spit thrice onto the left side, and supplicate dua unto Allah, and then there's no need to narrate about it as such Satan can do no harm (3) Mingled dream, with confusion by lot of things, are from "Nafs"...such type of dreams oft come when one is too much occupied with particular thing/idea or thought.

Remember, when you see a good dream, then do narrate to someone, whom you feel closer. (Once Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) said: After me, there will be no Prophet, but there will be "Mubassharaat". The companions asked: "What is 'Mubassharaat'? The prophet (pbuh) replied: "Good dreams, from Allah (SWT)"

Asif

on June 26, 2005 9:53 AM
Post a comment









Remember personal info?