DaysOfTaqwa: Rebirth. Chapter VI

Chapter 6: Embracing Humility II

Naasir leaned back while watching Nusrah and the girl embrace each other. How come he had never noticed her here before? There were a few hijabites here after all so maybe that was the reason. They all looked alike to him.
Be it as it may, Naasir dreaded whatever was going to happen next, which was why he resolved to sneak away, at least until it was time to leave. Luckily for him, another volunteer saw him from afar and waved. Naasir took that as his cue to get going.
He started to back up slowly and had almost escaped when his sister called him back.
“Ace, come back here, please. There’s someone I’d like you to meet.”
Naasir pursed his lips in irritation and turned back, signalling to the other volunteer that he’d see him later. He made sure to keep his head down.
“Bushrah, this is my brother Naasir. Naasir this is Bushrah. We met at a halaqah I attend.”
The moment he hoped to avoid had arrived.
“I know him well. S.K right? Brighter Days High School.” Bushrah said with not a hint of malice in her voice, which surprised Naasir.
“Yes. How are you?” Naasir mumbled, stabbing furiously at the ground with his foot. He wanted to be anywhere but where he was standing. Shame and guilt caused Naasir to keep his head lowered. He never felt this way before at least not as frequently. It must be because Nusrah was home. Yes, that was it. She reminded him of his mum and he knew she would never have approved of his school escapades.
Nusrah looked from Naasir to Bushrah. “Wow, I didn’t know you knew my brother.”
“He was very popular at school.”
For all the wrong reasons no doubt. Naasir braved a look up and his gaze met with hers. She was actually smiling. As soon as their eyes met, Bushrah lowered her gaze.
How could she smile, after how The Rebels had treated her? If she remembered who he was, then no doubt she remembered what he had done.
Mr Philips, who had excused himself to make a phone call, came back to join them.
“I see you guys are getting acquainted. Naasir, Bushrah here will be taking the female classes in shaa Allah. I would like for you both to work together and come up with a curriculum that we can use. Remember nothing fancy, just the basics.”
“Okay, sir,” Bushrah said.
Nusra linked arms with Bushrah and started towards the kids’ section, chatting animatedly away.
Mr Philips also asked Naasir to accompany him to his office to help him look over some numbers. Naasir followed after him, hoping to God that Bushrah would not tell Nusrah anything about his famed exploits at school.
Muneer was a good teacher.
An exceptional one.
That was the conclusion Naasir reached after his first study session with him.
Naasir had been punctual, determined to make up for the last time.
Muneer seemed pleased and had jumped straight to business.
He had asked Naasir to tell him about his background with the Qur’an and how many portions he had memorised.
“My sister and I had a private tutor that used to teach us at home but he travelled out and we never bothered to find a replacement. That was 5 years ago. I memorised from Surah Naas up to the middle of Surah Jumu’ah I think before we stopped.” Naasir explained.
“Maa shaa Allah, that means you stopped in the middle of Juz’ Qadd Sami’Allah.”
Naasir had shrugged. He didn’t know what they were called. It was a wonder he even remembered the names of the Surahs. He hadn’t picked up the Qur’an in a long time.
Feeling extremely self-conscious, Naasir had recited from the Qur’an and Muneer had patiently corrected his pronunciations.
They had stopped at verse 5 of Naba’, and Muneer had tasked him with practising by repeating the verses many times before tomorrow’s class. He called it Murojaah.
“You have to train your tongue to get used to the letters and that means reciting a lot. Listen to reciters online as well and settle on one that you like best.”
“That won’t be possible as I don’t have my phone.” At Muneer’s raised eyebrows, Naasir added. “Daddy seized it until further notice.”
“I see. Well, that won’t be a problem. Find your rhythm first. It’s a good thing that you still remember many of the verses, however, you need to work on the ones you do not recall.”
And they had called it a day. Despite his misgivings, Naasir had enjoyed the class and was looking forward to the next one.
He remembered then that he had to seek Muneer’s assistance regarding the classes at Lend A Hand. Nusrah had been of little help when he’d spoken to her about helping him, she smiled and told him to; “ask your teacher for help”.
So, here he was, nervous as a cat but knowing he had to take the plunge.
“Erm, brother Muneer. I would like to ask a favour if you don’t mind.”
“Ok shoot.”
“There’s this thing I have to do. I-I volunteer somewhere and… ewo, long story short — I’ve been asked to teach a class of new Muslims about the basics of Islam and I don’t even know where to begin!” Naasir threw his hands up in frustration when he finished.
Muneer laughed. “Is that all?”
“Y-es.” Naasir was confused. “This isn’t a funny matter o. I don’t know anything.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll give you a book. Study it and I’m sure it’ll help you put something together for them.” Muneer rummaged through his bag, produced a book and handed it to him. “Who knows it may even be a sabab for you too, biidhnillah,”
The title of the book was ‘A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam’ by I. A Ibrahim.
“Thank you. You’re a lifesaver.” Naasir said placing the book in his bag pack, a huge smile on his face.
“Say, Jazaakumullahu khayran. It means May Allah reward you with good.”
“Ok. Jazaa-ku-mu-llahu kairan.”
“Aamen. Don’t worry. We’ll keep working on it.”
Naasir and Muneer walked out of the mosque together promising to meet again the next day.
© Hafsah bint Nurein

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