Chapter 4- Falling Leaves

Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

Sulaiman.
Have you ever had that feeling like a leaf that’s falling off a tree and drifting helplessly in the buffeting wind? You want to stop but you can’t. Every person has their own inner battle they’re fighting. Sometimes it’s the poisonous words of a mean spirited parent or spouse who doesn’t even realise how they’re breaking you bit by bit into pieces till you spread poison yourself and become negative. Sometimes it’s the marks across your face or hidden away under your clothes that no one else can see but you have to present a smiling face to the world. Sometimes it’s the emptiness of your life that seems to have no meaning either because you seem to have nothing to do despite having everything or you have so much to do but not the apparent means to achieve it. Sometimes it’s gnawing depression that springs up medically or by circumtances or black holes that widen because we have filled our lives with an abundance of haram.

Basically,each person has their own jihad. If we can find the courage to turn to Allah,seek Him,His love,His help,His guidance… most of the battle is already won.
But mostly we only end up turning to Him when we sadly, have reached breaking point. Then too…Alhamdulilah if we have been guided to that.

La Taqnnatu Mirr rahmatillah- Don’t ever lose hope in the mercy of Allah- Surah Zumar

I thought of all the personal wars I had overcome. I had come too far to let anyone set me back.I jumped up and smiled at the guard as he came at me. Like hell I was going to let him take me down. “Bring it on,Bismillah.” I smiled coolly at him. This was going to change everything. Rape in jail was no joke. I was NOT going to let them break me like this.
Allahu Waliyulazina Amanu- Allah is the Guardian of those who have firm faith- Qur’aan.

________________________________________________________________________________________________
Guantanamo,Umair.

“We found your son Sulaiman…he’s a terrorist just like his dad.” The guard sniggered as the officer drawled at me. Immediately I translated the word terrorist to mean Mujahid. I was stunned,taken aback…My child joined the ranks of the Mujahideen? How did Rumaisah ever allow that? She hated me and all I stood for. But I had never stopped loving her… My son,my Sulaiman… where are you…how are you? Wherever you are…my duas are with you. I closed my eyes and digested this information,almost not hearing what came next.

Hazrat Abu Hurairah radiallaho ta’ala anhu narrates that Rasool Allah sallalaho alaihe wasallam said, “Three peoples prayers is always accepted, a father’s prayer for his children, a traveller’s prayer and the prayer of an oppressed person.”
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America. Victor’s house.
I looked up from my laptop as the phone rang.
‘Hello?’
“Did you hear about the terrible news? It is eliminatingly disturbing.”
Only one person spoke with no introduction and such misplaced words. Despite the knot in my stomach,I smiled. “how are you Aslam?”
We spoke a bit. Aslam promised to have some of his “contacts” try and locate Sulaiman’s whereabouts. By the grace of our Creator, he will be found, he said. I fervently prayed so in agreement. I went back to the laptop. I was at the part Zane wrote to fit in the puzzles of my story.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

“I don’t need no direction, I’m just passing through, you’ll be the devils friend, when I’m done with you .” Nadia sang tunelessly.
…..There was a shadow at the door that neither Zane nor Nadia noticed.
“Nadia! What are you singing! Thats not nice at all,shaitani song, why do you listen to that haram music? Astaghfirullah” Grandma looked utterly distressed. That expression on Grandma’s gently wrinkled face was starting to make Nadia feel somewhere between the land of guilt and irritation. And Nadia and Zane made that expression appear quite often.
“ Damn , you were right kiddo, let me split from here before she starts with me.” Zane murmured as he tripped over his leftover popcorn,skipping out of bed at last.

“Asalamu alaikum Zane, how are you dear? What can I make for breakfast for you?”

“Err hi Grandma, don’t worry, I’m late. Still gotta drop this twit and pick up Alex and Carl. I’ll grab something at campus to eat.” “Make sure it’s halaal sweetheart.” Grandma replied with her enchanting accent. “Err okay whatever, Zaa, distract her.”

Grandma…as she hated been called, watched the retreating back of her grandson with eyes pooled with pity and sadness and a heart that was heavy as rock, with guilt.

“You’re strange Grandma This is not Pakistan zindabad or whatever grandma, eat what you want, no one’s going to chop your hands for eating non halaal, keep up, this is America. The land of milk and honey, don’t you know, we do everything bigger,better and brighter here.”

To be continued…

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