Categories: Non-Fiction

Mehreen Farhan

So I had recently started the Quran course. I had started off with so many questions about my life. The loss was a question. Why did I have it? Why me? Did I do something wrong? Is this a punishment? Where do I find hope? Who should I turn to in despair? 
I had done everything. Namaz roza zakaat a good daughter sister wife. Starting the Quran was the only step I hadn’t explored yet. 
People said it changed your life. May be it was a rhetoric they would just say. You know, like one of those things people just say because that’s how everyone describes it? 
But my loss was big. Losing four babies, it was a huge blow for me. I was HOPELESS. Can it fill me with hope? People say it does. But will it fill me too?
And so I started quran lessons. The initial week’s I just wanted to quit. I didn’t have time. This was too demanding. But bless my GPL, she would call me and lovingly encourage me to listen every weeks lecture. She was so nice I didn’t want to turn her down. And so I would listen. 
In the beginning of Surah Baqarah, Allah talks about “munafiqeen”. Those ayaah were eye opening. I was scared. Literally. Was I so ugly? I guess I was. There was no hiding. 
Then I came to ayat number 19 of Surah Baqarah. Allah shows us a scene of a munafiq walking in a storm. He walks on the path of deen when there is light, in other words, when there was ease. The munafiq would stop when the lightening would vanish and there would be darkness (difficulty)
The ayat and the scene stuck with me. Surely I was not that person. Or was I? 
In the next couple of days, I went out for a walk in then evening. Quran was changing my thought process; it was challenging and a bit scary at the same time. Coming to terms with the fact that all you knew was incorrect is indeed a very troubling thought. I was going through just that. 
It was rainy season in Iraq and I was alone on the track. My husband wasn’t home either. Suddenly, dark clouds came out of nowhere. It would take me 5-7 minutes to get home on foot and being on foot was my only option.
So I turned to leave and head home. The clouds darkened and became scary. Half way through it began to pour down. I picked up speed as fast as my legs could carry me, because I feared being drenched out in the open. Men women around me, women going home on cars, yet none of them stopped to give me a ride. 
I was terrified. I don’t know why the feeling of so much fright came over me. I walked as fast as I could when suddenly, right before my eyes, a lightening struck somewhere nearby. In north Iraq this was a common occurance. But that day it shook me. 
I was terrified, I almost gave out a shriek. The sound was deafening, I put my fingers in my ears and started crying uncontrollably. 
It was too much. Too much. It wasn’t the first time I had seen this happen yet that day it was different. I was alone and afraid, it was getting dark, I couldn’t get home and no one would help, and then lightening struck. 
It felt like a huge blow. It felt it was for me. To this day I can not describe a logical reasoning of my fear but I was very much afraid that day. 
I got home, sat on my door and just cried. I was so afraid because I was alone. I was afraid because everything I knew seemed like a mirage. I was in an unknown state of the mind. My thoughts where breaking up, shifting here and there and it felt like making sense of everything anew.
I called my mother. Explained her everything but no, she couldn’t understand. I couldn’t express either. 
I knew. I knew. I knew I was the person who would walk when there was ease and who would stop when there was difficulty. Just like when difficulty came, I stopped and asked WHY ME! I was the person. I was the munafiq. 
I broke down emotionally that day. Knowing how ugly I was, there was nothing more humbling. 
Like Nouman Ali Khan says, come to the Quran like a beggar and it will fill you up. 
That is my story. I remember the scene of that lightening. It shook me for the better. Or so I hope.

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