Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem
If a blade is placed on a branch and that branch is cut,once it falls,there’s no going back.
Similar are our words.
Once it leaves our mouth,for better or worse,it’s gone,it can never be retracted. Sometimes we can cause the atmosphere to darken with our complaints&bitterness,sometimes we can lift a heavy heart from the clutches of despair,with a hopeful ,sincere sentence.
And sometimes, we can break a heart into pieces with a careless tongue.
Ahh the words of the beloved SAW,when he guaranteed Jannah,for the one who guarded what is between his legs and what is between his jaws.
“Zulfikar,no man. I didn’t need to know that. That’s her secret,which should stay such.”
“You’re right Ilyaas, Astagfirullah,it’s wrong for me to expose a Muslim’s hidden past.” Zulfikar replied remorsefully to Ilyaas.
I hid behind a tree trunk. Tears silently pouring down my face. My mother was married to another man before my father? She had a child?I had a brother or sister somewhere?? I had pined my whole life for one,and lived in the shadow of a dead one,perhaps my mother was mourning more than one child. My heart clenched with jealousy,sadness&an overwhelming despair.
She ran away with him?? I didn’t understand exactly what that meant but the dirtiness of those words,caused my aloof but esteemed mother to fall endlessly in my eyes.In a split second.
“Besides,neither of us were there,so Allah alone knows the reality of what happened.” Ilyaas said.
“Excatly. You’re right,JazakAllah for correcting me bhai. Where is Johara? She’s been gone for long. Johara??”
I swallowed my tears&wiped off any signs of tears,removed my shoes &walked backwards so they wouldn’t know I had heard.
“There you are! We were worried.” Zulfikar smiled at me. “Come Johara, we fixed the swing up, do you want to play on it?” Ilyaas asked me. I nodded because I was afraid,if I spoke, I would crumble.
An hour later.
“Higher! Higher!” I laughed in the sheer of being alive. As the swing rocketed upwards and my feet looked like it touched the mountain peaks,my stomach fluttered but all my worries were erased,just by being in the moment,only as a child could.
“Johi, my arms are almost numb from pushing you! Give me a small break!”My father said,making a sad face.
He had joined us earlier&the darkness of his earlier anger evaporated in the open,fresh air.
‘One more time Pappa!’
“Zulfikr,Ilyaas,rescue me! She’s been saying that for the last thirty minutes!” He called out to them. They laughed.
“Johara,I have an idea!Why don’t we take off the swing from the poles and we’ll carry it?” Ilyaas beamed.
Pappa beamed right back,and after they completed Zuhr Salaah in Jamaat,while I followed them from behind,that’s how we went home. I felt like a little queen. It was only when Zulfikr, softly said “Johara,your Pappa’s leg is still not completely healed,take it easy on him”, that my day dimmed.
“Hey don’t feel bad kiddo, just think,how lucky you are to have a father that loves you so much. MaashaAllah.Do you know how often he talks about you?” Ilyaas nodded towards him. I looked at the man who had loved me unconditionally. I could see him drag his leg in pain&my heart swelled with love. He turned to look at me and smiled. “Are you giving your servants a break princess?” I jumped off the swing to the loud sighs of relief from Ilyaas and ran to my father. Placing his hand on my shoulder. So he could lean on me.
And then my mother opened the front door. With a letter in her hand & anger in her eyes. Everything came rushing back.
And my world turned cold.