A Guest Post Entry By Hisham Siddiqui
It was the last third of night and he wasn’t asleep. Sleep was a strange visitor now. In a few days, everything had changed. A laugh did not shatter the silence that had taken over nor did a conversation relax his mood. His face had frozen ever since, not a moment served the purpose of silencing the fire within. The smoke choked the young soul.
Life had become a torment. He was frustrated with his own existence. He got out of bed and tried to distract his mind. He made efforts to pen down something, but in vain. Another try, another failure, and finally:
3:45am, 18th January 2014
I shall not ask you how you are for I know you are happy. I have greatly wronged myself and there seems no end to it. I can’t do a thing which shall lessen my guilt. I am sorry.
Your Sinned Friend,
Tears welled up his eyes. He closed his diary and went back to his bed.
When Abdallah and Usman were separated for higher studies, they were not “age-old” friends. It had been three years or so since they met. They were more like soul-mates. Even though Usman didn’t acknowledge the degree of bond they shared, Abdallah felt they were brothers. He took care of Usman’s almost everything- from school assignments to filial duties.
Abdallah had been very sensitive in taking account of his smallest of deeds while Usman “enjoyed” his life. Abdallah didn’t mind much when his friend wronged him, for I suppose, the degree of that special bond had its roots in some inner voice- hard to comprehend, harder to ignore! It burned Abdallah every time Usman erred, every time he left Salah or when he joked absurdly. He wanted his friend to be successful and happy but Usman mostly ignored the gem while searching for stones. But each day, Abdallah hoped. He trusted that one day, his friend shall be as he wished. He begged the Lord in heaven to guide Usman unto the right path.
Usman was kind at heart but did not care much for the precious gift – life. He believed in living without much thought. Although he had firm belief in Allah and what was revealed by Him, he never took life seriously. His smiles covered many hard realities which his heart carried. He had seen various hardships and probably, that shaped his nature. The shattered ones know how essential happiness is to glue up the broken self. He knew that only sun can melt the glaciers to allow blossoming of the flowers by the sea. That was the reason for him trying to laugh all this time- nothing bothered him.
Abdallah had liked everything about his friend except his childishness towards the Ultimate Truth. He tried to explain to Usman about the Truth many times over, but failed. He burned when Usman did something wrong but wasn’t able to say it to him. He tried to convey his love for him as well as for his Lord. He believed that the people whom we love could hear the unspoken, see the invisible. But sadly, this wasn’t true – not everyone we love sees what our heart carries nor are they able to hear the inaudible language of love. Yet, he hoped that one day, Usman would be able to hear this language. He hoped that one day, change shall take place and Usman will understand. He sometimes prayed: ‘O Lord, if my life isn’t able to serve the purpose, then let my death serve it. Please guide Usman.’
About a week ago, Usman came to the city. They met after a long time, so they visited all the places they enjoyed hanging out in.. They gorged on the snacks they loved and fought for the last piece. They relished every moment of it. They recalled the memories and exchanged thoughts.
They were standing by the street, just having eaten kachaudi sabzi, discussing how life had been treating them ever since they had parted ways. Just then, Usman went close to Abdallah and whispered “Abdallah, I wanna tell you something…. Don’t tell anyone please.”
“As though I am gonna call the press.” Abdallah joked; a rare moment.
“Ah, now tell me what is it?”
“It is just that you know… I have…. I have tried once or you may say two times, wine there… in college”
“That isn’t true… you are joking, I know.” Abdallah asked.
“Yes, it is true man”, Usman said laughingly.
Abdallah’s expression changed, he got serious immediately. He said “And you think it’s a matter to laugh about! You will never improve. Leave me alone!” and began to walk. Usman followed him but Abdallah wasn’t in a mood to stop. He was rushing ahead and Usman was trying hard to catch up.
Usman said, “Listen!”.
Abdallah stopped at a lonely lane and said: “You will never improve irrespective of what I do…. Alas! You have done what I feared… You have rebelled against the One who created you. You stand guiltless! How can I hope for faithfulness and love from one who hasn’t been a faithful servant to his Creator… Have shame!”
Usman held the hand of Abdallah and tried to explain, but today Abdallah was broken beyond repair- unwilling to listen to anything. His face was frozen and he was burning. Usman was still holding Abdallah’s hand while he was trying to free it. He pulled his hand with all the strength he could muster. The force pushed him backwards, his hand was free but…
Abdallah laid in Usman’s arms breathing his last few breaths. His head was oozing with blood that soaked Usman’s pullover. A car rushing with full speed in the lonely lane had just hit him. He tried to mutter something. Usman lowered his ear, Abdallah said:
“Fear Allah… Brother I Love You…. Hold on to Salah. There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Prophet”
These were the last words of Abdallah- The words of love. Now Abdallah was silent. No more burning- he was frozen by death. He was free from the chains of this world. No more tension, no more worries- the work of Abdallah was finished, though it wasn’t over.
‘O Lord if my life isn’t able to serve the purpose then let my death serve it….’
The death served the purpose.