I ran as fast as I could. I didn’t take the bike this time because I didn’t have time to go home and grab my helmet. I was restless and almost out of breath. My mind was clogged with all kinds of thoughts. Mostly negative ones. Questions that I myself would answer. I would hear strange voices in my head. Oh, I hope I arrive soon. I kept saying astaghfirullah, astaghfirullah while running.
It really hurts, this pain in my chest. That same feeling you have when you feel like the weight of the world rests on your shoulders. You’re alone and you have no one to turn to for help. You can hardly breathe and it becomes difficult to swallow, because a lump has formed in your throat. Your heart is pounding and you loose sense of reality. You cannot think straight. But somehow, on the surface, you look calm and composed. Not a tear nor sweat. And nobody knows. Not a soul.
This is sadness.
Truly, Allah the Almighty has power and control over all things. In one instant, he can take away everything you ever held dear away from you. He can take away your very joy and happiness even if you had everything you ever wanted beside you.
“God is testing you Lutfi.”
“Be patient Lutfi.”
“Calm down Lutfi.”
“I know! Why do you keep telling me things I already know!?”
“Calm down Lutfi.”
“Control your temper.”
The voices in my head grew louder. Ya Allah, ampunilah dosa-dosaku! Why are you testing me like this? Why me? Why here? Why now? The questions made me feel numb. O Allah, I want to weep. I really want to weep. But where are the tears?
I finally reached the doorway to the masjid, entered the access code and went in. It was long after ‘asr prayers, and nobody was in sight. The suns evening rays peered through the open windows and the rustling of leaves outside could be heard. I dashed to the small rack where the imam used to pray and I took hold of a copy of the Quran with English translations.
O Allah, talk to me. What chapter should I read? Desperately holding back my tears, I tried to figure out an answer. Just at that moment, a spider jumped out from between the books on the shelf where the Quran used to be. So I opened the Quran. Al-Ankabut, Chapter 29, The Spider.
الٓمٓ أَحَسِبَ ٱلنَّاسُ أَن يُتۡرَكُوٓاْ أَن يَقُولُوٓاْ ءَامَنَّا وَهُمۡ لَا يُفۡتَنُونَ
“Alif Lam Mim. Do you think that you will be left alone on saying “We believe” and that you will not be tested?”
And the tears came flowing down.