This piece is not an autobiographical story about ME or my experiences. I am not Huda. Huda's personality and strengths are not mine. Huda is a fictitious character, much too perfect to be real, and if her account seems credible it is because that is how many 'religiously motivated' girls feel when they are in the situation described in the story. Whatever the reader's personal feelings towards Huda (regarding her expectations, reactions, etc) please note that they should not be extended to this novice writer who is, ultimately, simply experimenting with fiction.
(Author's Note: Earlier installments can be found by clicking on the 'Qalam's Crossing' column link on the left side of the Hidaya homepage.
“Ya Allah, let my worldly obligations not distract my heart from Your Longing.” Huda whispered into the hands that hid her face. She often did that. Hiding her face during her duas helped her focus, helped her shut the world off for a few moments so that she could run a quick iman check. It was as if she were playing peek-a-boo with life.
Now it was time to peek.
She got up from her prayer rug and coolly folded it. It did not matter to her what lay outside her door or what would happen once she opened it. She had started to see her life as if it were a movie that her personal agent had already watched and edited. He had taken care of things for her. She didn’t have to worry about what happened, she would have a happy ending. She didn’t have to worry about how she walked or smiled, she would look fine. She didn’t have to worry about anything anymore. He had taken care of everything.
It would be as Pleased Him and that was enough to please her and make her smile.
She just had to make sure she never did anything to displease Him.
That was her only concern.
She opened the door and walked out into the living room where her parents’ guests were eagerly awaiting her arrival. They had heard about her from their son and now, finally, had the opportunity to see the person he had been telling them about for the past two months.
He had been right. She did have that ‘look’ on her face.
That ‘look’ that could not be easily described. They remembered that when he had first tried to explain to them what it was that had initially intrigued him about her, he surprised himself by not being able to articulate that which was so clear and lucid in his mind. He had eventually shaken his head in frustration. They would know when they saw it.
And they did.
And now they couldn’t find the words to describe it. Despite her facial expressions and polite mannerisms, there was something about her that made them feel like she wasn’t really ‘there’. She was someplace else. Someplace that was so inviting that it called them to join her. They weren’t conscious of it, but they wanted her to talk about that place. They wanted to go there. There was a secret behind her gaze and behind the curve of her smile that a part of them wished to uncover. Like most people, they too found themselves longing to hear her speak. But despite the variety of their questions, the story they were seeking did not appear.
Some stories are only understood through experience. They wouldn’t have understood it even if she had had the inspiration to convey what was in the innermost sanctity of her soul. That which was hidden so deep within her that she had ceased to understand that it did not lie in all people.
The families seemed to like each other. The uncles supported the same Pakistani political parties; the aunties had similar tastes in fashion, home décor, and all else that ‘mattered’ in their determination of someone’s social status. They felt each other to be compatible.
Later, seated in the family room, Huda sat with tea in hand and waited for the questions to come. She no longer cared to do the investigating. She didn’t need to. She would be able to gain whatever insight she needed purely by observing what was asked of her. You can tell a lot about a man by leaving him to speak. They eventually unravel their own stories.
“Huda, I don’t know much about you but I think I would like to pursue this rishta. It might seem odd to you, but I know what I need to know. But I would also like to provide you with whatever matters to you. I want you to be open with me about your goals and what you want in life. InshaAllah, if I am not mistaken, I think you and I want the same things...”
To be continued...
I apologize for the delay. I dont know if I will be able to do justice to the state that Huda is in.
Now I know what parents must feel like when their children become greater than that which their minds can grasp.on February 11, 2005 2:30 PM
"Now I know what parents must feel like when their children become greater than that which their minds can grasp."
is it greater ? or is there just a hijaab in front of them ?on February 11, 2005 5:13 PM
perhaps a bit of both.
Greater in the sense that all of their own prior life experiences are not 'enough' or sufficient to enable them (or in this case, me) to understand certain people and the experiences that define them.
A hijaab in the sense that their ignorance and inability to understand and respond effectively causes a veil to be cast between them and certain people which limits psychological access between the parties.on February 11, 2005 6:05 PM
hmm i just had a thought...
so hardships that we endure cause us to strenghthen a certain aspect of ourselves and if we are smart, we get closer to Allah swa because we have the understanding that "with every hardship cometh ease" and that Allah swa is the AlMighty. So then, again if we are smart and we turn towards Allah swa, then perhaps we may get a wisdom from Allah swa based on the experience that causes us to have insight into other experiences or of people that we may encounter throughout our lives.
so it all comes down to fact that it all comes from Allah swa :)on February 12, 2005 1:53 PM
Wallaahi, in all honesty, I think my IQ must have dropped, I was not really able to comprehend both of you guys post(not your fault at all, but mine, I realize my brain is not fully functioning but I really Like this episode of the Huda series and I like her attitude in here)on February 13, 2005 11:37 PM
No insight is from our own selves. The words 'receptive' and 'perceptive' hold no meaning. Though we could say we are the origin of nothing, that statement is also untrue, because He created the concept of 'nothingness'. In the end, we dont even have the vocabulary to essentially describe philosophically the human condition.
He is the First and He is the Last...
The First and the Last... the more you talk about it the more you come to comprehend the meaning, in this case alAwwal and alAakhir.
just to share something....
whenever you feel you are alone, have you ever tried just sitting and reflecting on the 99 names of Allah, and knowing that someone with all of these qualities is looking over you 24x7, (the Watchful, ar Raqeeb), helping you on every righteous journey (the Guide, al Hadi), showing you the way when it seems oh so dark (The Light an Noor), sheilding you from the whispers of shaitaan (The Protector, al Mohaymin), and sticks with you longer than your best friend ever could (The Friend, al Walee). You can hardly go through 10 of them before you feel overwhelmed by His presence.
subhanAllahon February 14, 2005 7:20 AM
Amazingly beautiful exercize for strengthening one's tawakkul and taqwa...
...and truly, in 'necessary' existence, there is nothing save that which is of His own essence...
:)on February 14, 2005 11:43 AM