When I was a child, I wanted to be like the Palestinian kid. I sympathized with them a lot but more than that, I adored them. Their resilience, their bravery, their courage to come face to face with death, with the enemy. To stand up for what they truly believe in. I think they are phenomenal. These were my heroes; these kids. Then when I grew up with a faint heart, I decided maybe the next best thing is to adopt one of them someday; a Palestinian or Syrian child. It still is a dream.
When the Ethiopian plane crash happened, I really really tried not to write about it. Because everyone was. It was all over the social media. It still is. And with my faint heart, I thought, we need a breathing moment. Just a second to breathe. So I tried to avoid the media as much as I could. Yet still, the same night I dreamt I was in the plane crash. See? Faint heart. Before I could let that incident sink in, the New Zealand bombing happened. This definitely was a worse blow because it was an act of cruel, ruthless human beings. It was agitating and heartbreaking. So again, I actively avoided my laptop. I didn’t want to rant about how depressing and agonizing this world is. Because well, who doesn’t know it already?
So I’ve been having this comforting thought that I clinged on a drowning man holding onto a straw. Jannah. Paradise. You know, most times we dwell on how terrifying this world is (which it truly is), we forget of Allah’s promise to us. What’s yet to come if we believe and are patient.
I find it comforting to think of a day when we’ll meet our loved ones who departed and left this world before us. Imagine the first moment you see one another; the joy, the excitement, the thrill. Unbelievable, we all made it! You start updating them of all that happened in their absence. You hug and rejoice. You talk at length. You hug more.
Here are your besties seated with you under the largest, most beautiful tree you can ever imagine, its branches swinging swiftly, filling your lungs with fresh air. You are laughing than you ever did in your previous life. Laughing until your stomach aches. All of you are reminiscing of the moments you had in this life. Moments when you wanted to give up on life, on God, on people. Moments when you just wanted to die because what’s the point? But here you are?! And there is food of course. All kinds of food you are so confused what to eat and what not. But it’s the good kind of confusion. Not the one where you are unsure where to eat a rotten cow’s flesh or the leftovers in the trash bin. The exhilarating kind of confusion. You are seeing food you never knew existed. The taste is too sweet to be true. You are so overwhelmed with joy you want to scream ‘foooooooddddd.’
Across the garden is your mother and father seated on huge seats that befit the royalties. They are happy. You can see it from how your mother’s face is glowing and how your father is smiling. Tears form in your eyes because it is like a dream. You always wanted this for them. This kind of bliss. This kind of peace. And there they are, earning what they truly deserve by the Mercy of Allah.
You remember a friend of yours that you haven’t yet met in Paradise so an angel directs you to another garden where you’d find them. And there they are, seated next to sahabas listening to their stories while they laugh. A river passes next to them and tiny green birds fly above them. You see their palace. You are almost jealous. They are in a different level of paradise than you are. The good kind of jealous though. Your friend sees you and you embrace tightly. You take a moment to feel the embrace.
‘What more did you do than I did?!’ You whisper in their ears as you smile.
‘What’s the fun in telling you? The suspense is more fun,’ they laugh. And then you both laugh.
‘But you are always welcome you know. No one will stop you,’ they tease you some more. You embrace again and they invite you to join their seating and listen to the real heroes.
At your next stop you meet nabii Yunus and you are so curious to ask him about the view inside the whale’s stomach but instead you just greet him and stand there so tongue-tied; not from intimidation but from disbelief. You meet nabii Ibrahim and you want to ask him about his feeling when he was about to be thrown into the fire. You meet nabii Yusuf and you are utterly flabbergasted by his beauty. Ah unbelievable! Nabii Ayub is right there and you are in awe because he was your role model on earth when it came to patience. You can’t believe you are meeting all these people you only read about and admired all your life long.
Hurul ains are walking graciously around and you nod in agreement; they are a spectacle. You could spend your entire day just watching them move about. And their eyes!! Wow. What a sight. The worldly description that you heard of them could never suffice describing their real beauty.
You speed up now because you really want to get a glimpse of prophet Muhammad. You want to see his Majesty. You want to sit next to him and talk to him and listen to him and and…You just never thought of the day this would be possible. You seated right opposite him having a one on one chat with him. And you know what’s the best part? You won’t be talking about the enemies that are about to attack or the plots of the hypocrites. Pure, good talks. Happy conversations. Joyful moments.
No tears anymore. No sadness. No loss. No sickness. No death. No pain. No fake connections. No jealousy. You have all you need and no one can take it away from you. Just bliss. Pure bliss.
I for one can’t imagine a life without crying. I am a cry baby so there is barely any earthly day that passes by without me crying; whether its out of happiness or not. So I wonder what I’d be crying about in Jannah. Maybe eating all the things I couldn’t in this world and I’d be so overwhelmed with joy and I’d be crying. Hey! No allergiessss anymorrreeee!!
I want to sleep on my mother’s laps as she pats my hair, as we lie down watching the stars. I want to have my siblings seated next to us as they tease me for being a spoilt child. I want to watch my father enter his own palace that he prayed and worked for really hard. Mama two would be right there with us, chit chatting excitedly as she always was on Earth. I want to have my husband and my children surrounding me like a queen as they try to feed me fruits of paradise. My family scattered in different parts of Jannah like cute butterflies.
I would definitely go around looking for my best friends and we’d go explore the huge paradise with them. Find secret, undiscovered corners and make it our meet-up point. Climb on the paradise horses and go for adventures. Have brunch picnics at the rooftop of the highest palace and go visiting our other friends.
I would go find the prophet’s wives; Khadija (May peace be upon her). I want to meet this magnificent woman who defined real womanhood for me. Oh myyy!! I want to meet Aisha (may peace be upon her too!) I really think I would click with her because I’m the jealous type too. I would tell her, ‘You know,,that time you broke your co-wife’s plates when she brought food for your husband while it was your day? I totally get that! I would do the same!’ Then she’d say, ‘Really?!’ I’d say, ‘Totally!’ Then she’d like me immediately and we’d become friends. Then I’d remind her of the incident when she stalked the prophet when he left home one night all of a sudden. Then we’d laugh. It would probably be like an immediate connection and we’d sound like old buddies huhuhu! (Please note I am in no way encouraging being jealous and breaking the plates of your co-wives 😀 )
Then I’d find Khawlah bint Al Awzar, the warrior who fought in battles during the times of the prophet. Maaaan, I admire brave women and she’s totally among the first I want to meet. Then there’s Khansa, the greatest poet of her times, and we’d compare notes and maybe she’d even be kind enough to share her poetry tips who knows? Then there’s Fatimah and Maryam, the mother of Issa. The women’s list is so long. But who cares? There will be alllll the time to find them all. Because no jobs remember?! No Monday blues and evening exhaustion! No angry bosses and annoying workmates! Huh! How awesome is that!
Then there’s the sahabas; the likes of Umar ibn Khattab and Salman Al Farisy and Abubakar Assidiq and Sa’d ibn Muaadh (radi Allahu anhu) who had seventy thousand angels attended his funeral. Then there are all those sheikhs and scholars you adored so much and never got a chance to meet them and converse with them. In short, there’ll be a lot of Meet & Greet events to be done. Only this won’t be like the Insta ones. This is Jannah kind. You know what I mean?!
Of course it would be wondeeerful to meet anyone you knew in this world. It is utmost privilege knowing you and your crowd were among the chosen ones. We’d congratulate one another and embrace.
Here we are! We almost thought the world would never end. But here we are! At the best of places with the best of people with the best of nature with the best of food. What more would we need? Nothing. Nothing more. Cause we’d have made it. We have made it!! Imagine it. Just imagine it.
Ooops! Sorry to burst the dreaming bubble. It was a beautiful, soothing moment wasn’t it? I bet it was. Let’s pray and work towards attaining it. When this world seems so suffocating, remember the reward awaiting us. May Allah forgive us and have mercy on us. May He grant us the patience and make us and our families and all our loved ones meet in Jannah ya Rab! Ameeeeen. Let’s remember to pray for one another and for the world.
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