DaysOfTaqwa: Rebirth Chapter 9

Chapter 9: The Path to Redemption

On the morning of the fifth of Ramadan, Naasir woke at 4am sharp, courtesy of the analogue alarm clock he’d borrowed from the sitting room.
He got out of bed and went to the kitchen to start Sahur. Since their stepmother was on call, he wanted to surprise Nusrah, so he started boiling rice — it was one of the few dishes he could handle well after all. Feeling pleased with himself, he went to wake Nusrah.
“Eh-hen, did you do this?” Nusrah asked as soon as she entered the kitchen.
Naasir rolled his eyes at her. “I’m not totally useless you know. The timetable said Rice and I’m delivering Rice. It’s the other bit that’s tricky.”
“Which bit?”
“The atadidin (stew) now. But that’s why you’re here.” He winked at Nusrah.
She laughed. “Come on. I’ll show you how so that next time you won’t have to wait for me.”
Amidst much teasing and laughter, they assembled the ingredients and Nusrah showed him how to make the stew.
“How are you holding up?” Nusrah asked when there was a lull in their conversation.
Naasir’s heart warmed at her concern for him. He shrugged. “So, so. It’s difficult but I’ll pull through.”
Nusrah patted his shoulder. “Remember that hadith I showed you last night? Focus on it whenever you feel like you want to slip, okay?”
Naasir nodded. He already had it memorised:
Abu Qatadah reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Verily, you will never leave anything for the sake of Allah Almighty but that Allah will replace it with something better.” (Aḥmad)
He still felt like his sacrifice was insignificant but Nusrah had shut down that line of thinking and told him nothing was minute in the sight of Allah. She then made him memorise the du’aa of the prophet:
“O Changer of the hearts, make my heart firm upon Your religion.” (Yā Muqallibal-qulūb, thabbit qalbī `alā dīnik)
In truth, Naasir was beginning to feel a little bit at peace with himself since he started chanting the dhikr. It was not much but it was a difference.
“You’ll be good Ace, I’m sure of it. Now, you set the table and I’ll go and call dad so we can eat.”
Naasir refused to admit it, but he looked forward to the Imaam’s admonition after Subh every day. There was something about the way the Imaam presented the talks that appealed to him. Perhaps it was his soothing voice. Or it was Allah opening his heart to accept his words?
Maybe it was a combination of all these things.
Today the Imaam spoke about Forgiveness and how essential it is for a believer to forgive to be forgiven.
“Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem.
Today, I want to talk about one of the most beautiful virtues in Islam – forgiveness. It is a quality that brings peace and harmony to our lives and relationships. Forgiveness is the act of letting go of anger, resentment, and bitterness towards someone who has wronged us. It is not easy, but it is essential if we want to lead a happy and fulfilling life.”
The Imaam paused here to recite the verses from Surah Ash-Shuraa verse, 40:
The reward of an evil deed is its equivalent. But whoever pardons and seeks reconciliation, then their reward is with Allah. He certainly does not like the wrongdoers.
“Forgiveness is not only essential for our personal growth, but it is also crucial for the growth of our community. When we forgive others, we create an environment of compassion and mercy. We build bridges instead of walls, and we inspire others to do the same. Forgiveness is a healing balm that can mend even the most broken of relationships.”
“We must remember that forgiveness is not a weakness; it is a strength. It takes courage to forgive someone who has wronged us.
This Ramadan, show courage by making a conscious effort to forgive others and let go of the grudges that you harbour. Seek forgiveness from those we have wronged. Seek forgiveness from Allah (SWT) for our own mistakes.”
“Brethren, would you not love that Allah grants you an honoured station?”
Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Charity does not decrease wealth. No one forgives, but Allah increases him in honour, and no one humbles himself before Allah but Allah raises him in status.” — Muslim
“May Allah (SWT) guide us all to the path of forgiveness and bless us with His mercy and grace. Ameen.
“Assalamu alaykum”
The congregation dispersed. Naasir walked out of the mosque, deep in thought. The Imaam’s words echoed in his mind. The grudges he had been holding for so long weighed heavily on him, he knew that. Letting go was hard, he had tried several times, but showing courage now would be good right? Besides he also had his own fair share of blame. He wasn’t exactly a saint.
Naasir knew with certainty what he wanted now. He desired an honoured station in the sight of Allah. He wanted to grow as a human being. None of this would be achieved if he didn’t forgive his father, Beg his father to forgive him too, and then seek Allah’s forgiveness for all the people he had wronged.
Naasir subtly peered at his father beside him. Had his stepmother not told him his father wanted his forgiveness too?
Maybe I should make the first move.
His father’s hurried steps stopped the words in his throat. It was almost 7am and Naasir knew, his dad hated getting late to work.
Later then. He would gather his thoughts and approach his dad at a better time.
Until then he would continue to ask Allah’s guidance and forgiveness.
© Hafsah bint Nurein

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