By Alawiya Abdalla
*At the hospital*
*A day later*
I just need to__
*5 years later*
*At the hospital*
I’m sitting here in a chair next to Osman, and PRAYING to Allah (SWT) to get him through this. I somehow managed to call the ambulance through my shock.
The scene was so bloody that I am not going to describe it, I have witnessed what it is like to be with the wrong crowd first hand.
I knew Osman had a lot of problems, but being involved with gangs?? That was quite heartbreaking
When they were confronting him, I thought to myself “No this is too much, if Allah saves my life I am out of this relationship”. I cannot lie, a person can only handle so much!
But seeing my uncle’s slump right in front of me, and Osman’s devastating cries made my heart twist in knots I never thought possible
And then came the heroic deed, when he saved my life Oh why did he do that??? Why did he make that one step, and now making me wish I was the one who is in a coma!!
When the medics got to the house, they detected a pulse in Osman but not in anyone else. I was praying to Allah that they find one in my uncle too, but they said he was dead
I just did not know whether to scream or remain calm or just faint!! I lost all sense of any normal feelings
I just saw myself switching into a robotic mode, void of any real emotions. All I kept thinking is how to lie to the police, and make them think that this was an attempted robbery
I will say anything but the truth, the truth that Osman WAS very much involved with them! They will wait for him to recover and then lock him away for years, and I just do not have the heart to make him go through that
He has already lost his dad right in front of his eyes, and paid his dues. He changed from an arrogant rich boy into a humble man in a month, if he survives this imagine how good he can be!
I 100% believe that Osman has a beautiful soul, he has proven to me time and time again what a good person he is. He restored my confidence, when Ayman bashed it to pieces.
He never made me feel like it was my fault, when I confessed the rape to him! He was so sweet and understanding, and that was even before his Iman soared.
He is just got so much more to give to the world, Ya Allah save my husband for me
They say people who are sick or ill are in immense pain and agony, I disagree.
What about the loved ones, who have to watch the person they love the most suffer and there is NOTHING they can do to erase their pain?
I have watched my dad suffer, and I wished and wished I could do ANYTHING to take his pain away. I am willing to go through all of that once more for Osman.
I just pray that at least he opens his eyes, watching him attached to tubes and lifeless body is heartbreaking. I keep looking at his eyes for signs of any blinks, but nothing.
Those eyes that could tell me what he is feeling and thinking without saying the words, now shut possibly forever
The doctor who operated on him to get the bullet out, said it JUST missed his heart by a few centimetres He said that because Osman is fit and healthy, it is helping a great deal in keeping him alive.
He told me that they have done all they can, and now it is up to him if he can fight this and wake up.
I do not believe that, it is up to Allah (SWT) to help my husband. It is all up to The All Merciful Allah (SWT).
So I reach for Osman’s hand, and I fall asleep my head resting on the side of his bed__
I try to open my eyes, but I feel like I am in a dream. Everything seems so cloudy, and I feel SO groggy
Where am I?? And why are there wires coming out from every inch of my body? I start to panic, and try to move.
But as I move I feel pain searing through my whole body, and I slump back to my pillow. I also feel someone’s soft and damp hands, and I squeeze it to see if I’m dreaming or not
The person jerks and comes to vision. It takes me several seconds to realize that the face belongs to Shaimaa!
“What is going on? Where am I?” I ask hoarsely.
“Shuuush, don’t try to speak. I’m gonna get someone” She says it softly, her eyes visibly red.
Before I could grab her hand again, and ask her what is going on she runs. She runs and she leaves me confused, I try and remember how I ended up here but my head feels heavy somehow
Where is my mum and dad?? And then it comes back__
It all comes back rushing to my brain_
My dad was lying unconscious on the floor, I was hugging him and John and Kevin and Amber and the shooting__
It is all coming back so quickly, that I find myself slipping back to sleep just as quick_______________________
I open my eyes to see Shaimaa and my mum sitting on the left side of my bed, clutching each other’s hand with their eyes closed.
I just watch them, and then I try to move myself when I become fully aware that the pain is coming from my back.
“Osman Manawa (my son) don’t move please. You’re so fragile, I’m right here” Says my mum, her eyes blotchy red.
“Mum, my dad mum. My dad__” I don’t get to finish my sentence when she puts her hands on my lips.
“There’s no need to say anything, Shaimaa told me everything. You didn’t shoot your dad son” She tells me and I can clearly see the devastation of losing my dad in her eyes
“But they came for me__if I wasn’t involved none of this would have happened” I say it with a teary voice.
“I’m gonna go get the nurse” Says Shaimaa, and she leaves the room.
“Shaimaa wait, are the police here?” I ask hoping the answer is yes, because I want to go to jail and rot in there
“I really have to go get the nurse Osman” She tells me before going outside so fast, that I do not get a chance to protest.
“Osman, the police are not here but they will need to get your statement at some point when you’re recovered Inshallah” Starts my mum “Shaimaa told them that it was a break and entry, so they won’t arrest you”
“She did it to save you” She finishes telling me with such kindness and concern in her voice, that it makes me feel ten times worse
“I have to be arrested Ma, I have to pay for what I did” I insist on paying for my dad’s death
“DON’T EVER SAY THAT, DO YOU HEAR ME? I’ve lost your dad, and I CANNOT lose you too! I need you now more than ever to get through this” She says it tearfully “I cannot get through the funeral, and the Idda (mourning period) alone. I have no man now, you can’t leave me and Shaimaa alone. I won’t allow you!” She says it firmly.
“I’m going to stay at my sister’s house for 4 months and 10 days, to complete my Idda there. I can’t go back to the house, We’ll sell it and get a new place Inshallah. I can’t go back to where it all happened” She tells me holding my face in her hands
I did not say anything, but the thoughts in my head are killing me. I do not deserve to be out here free, I deserve to rot in jail for the things I did!
How can anyone get over this guilt and pain? How can you get over the fact that you were never nice to you father, and one day he is gone without saying how much you appreciated their hard work???
I wanted to, I started to but I still did not say it! I was never good with words, I should have told him. Now he is gone, and he will never know.
He will never know how much I have come to love him, and appreciate him
He will never know__
Subhanallah, your whole life you hear about death. But facing it first hand is another issue. Seeing Fifi in a white clothing from head to toe is so heartbreaking! She looks so sad and vulnerable
I am helping with the funeral, which is being held at her sister’s house with all the family and friends sleeping in the same house! I am here, but all I could think of is how Osman is doing at the hospital all alone!
I visit him as much as I can, and every time I see the shine in his eyes dimming. He is in such a bad place, that I do not think anyone can get him out of it
I wish there is something I can do to help him, but I think this is the one time that Osman needs to figure out a way for himself and whenever he is ready
My dad is beyond devastated, when I called to let him know the news he was so heartbroken that he could not speak. I am trying so hard to keep it together, but I feel that this is just one too big of a thing for me to deal with
May Allah help me, Osman, my dad and Fifi to get through this_________________
I feel so numb. I could not even bury my own dad, because I was in the hospital
Now I am out of the hospital, I am staying with my mum in my aunty’s house for the duration of Idda. Seeing my mum dressed in her Idda clothes, makes this whole thing very real indeed
I cannot look her in the eye, knowing that if I did not bring them in my life, this nightmare would not have been so real.
But I somehow manage to get through the 4 months and 10 days of the Idda, it is over. The people have gone home, and now it is just me and my mum in the room.
Now my actions becomes a reality. I have unknowingly joined a gang, out of boredom. I have unknowingly brought them so close to the people I love, because of my stupidity
I do not know if I will ever get over this, I do not know if the nightmares will ever stop appearing! I cannot think straight, I do not feel like doing anything any more.
The police came and took my statement, and I told them what my mum wanted me to say. Even though I would have preferred to have gone to prison and pay for what I did, but my mum and Shaimaa need me.
Oh poor Shaimaa! Doing all the helping and the cooking. I do not know what I did to deserve someone like that in my life
She is better off without me! The funny thing is, I say that but the reality is I cannot live without her in my life.
I NEED to go back to the house and face it, I need to see the place where my dad died. I need to do that for my sanity, I need to see and feel the pain.
I just need to__
Osman insisted in visiting the house to get closure. I decided to come with him, as I cannot let him come here alone
We are inside the living room where it all happened. The whole place have been cleaned, but the scars from the night are still engraved in every inch of the house.
Osman stands at the spot where his dad was shot and he does not move. He stands there for several minutes silent, before I decide to get him out of his trance.
“Osman, come and sit down please” I urge him to sit on the sofa.
He sits, and then he spots a luggage. He starts opening it frantically, and picks up clothes from it.
The luggage belongs to my uncle Khalifa He smells the clothes, and weeps. He hugs it, and cries.
I just feel speechless. Have you ever seen a man crying? It is so heartbreaking to see a man cry! Men do not normally cry, it must take something huge for them to show this side of emotion.
As he was hugging the clothes, something falls on the floor. A letter, it looks like a hand written letter
Osman opens it and reads it out loud, I sit next to him on the floor and listen.
I’m writing this letter to my son Osman. There are so many things I wanted to tell you, but never could.
I wanted to tell you how proud I am for the man you have become in your stay in Egypt. I wanted to tell you, how happy I was on the day of your birth. I wanted to tell you that I’m sorry if I ever criticized you, I knew no other way my son. I wish I have known different but I didn’t. You’re probably wondering why I’m writing this letter instead of talking to you. I’m writing this letter because I have Dementia, a disease killing my brain slowly. I’m making a habit of writing things down in case I have an episode of a mini stroke, and I forget. I hope I get to speak to you personally, but if I didn’t, it means I had an episode.
I have also written this letter to clear a few misunderstanding you might come across. I have made a will leaving Shaimaa with everything, she is the owner of everything I own. I have done that in a moment of despair, when I thought you could waste all my hard work if you ever got your hands on the will. I have done that before I’ve seen the change in you son, so please forgive me. As soon as I come back to England I’ll sort it out Inshallah. You don’t know how proud I am of you son, please keep up the good work you have achieved on your stay here.
I just sit here speechless, not knowing any kind of words that could console a weeping Osman
He puts his hand on his head, and starts repeating
“How do you get over something like this? Can someone explain this to me? How can you get over someone like this?”
I could not think of any other story but this story__the story of Ammar Ibn Yasser (RAA). So I took his hands in mine and I recalled the story to him.
Ammar (RAA) was born in Mecca. While he was lucky to be free from childhood onwards, his parents had to endure the hardship of slavery.
Their first owner was a man named Abu Huzaifah, but upon his death they were later handed over to Abu Jahl, who was a leader of Mecca, but known to be cruel and a pagan idol-worshipper. He is notable in Islamic history for being a real enemy to the nascent Muslim group. Although Ammar and his parents were brought up in the time of pagan idolatry, Ammar was one of the first people of Mecca to accept Muhammad’s (pbuh) message of monotheism, known as Islam.
He became extremely devoted to Muhammad (pbuh) and was steadfast in trying to spread the message, at great cost to himself.The day Ammar accepted Islam, his father Yasir had a dream. He later told Ammar’s mother that he saw himself in a valley. On one side of the mountain it was split and fire ran accross the divide. On the other side of the fire was a garden where he saw Ammar and Sumaya.
They were calling to him, and in his dream, he crossed it. Sumaya interpreted it as extremely significant because Ammar had returned home that very day telling them the words of Muhammad (pbuh) and quoting parts of the Qur’an. Yassir and his wife decided to accept Muhammad’s message of Islam, saying it was a fulfillment of that dream. Ammar’s brother Abdullah also accepted Islam, which made them the first family of Mecca to do so.
When the Meccans heard that they all accepted Islam, they were furious. Especially the tribe of Banu Makhzoum, the tribe that helped Yasir move into Mecca. The reason was because Islam was a threat to the entire way of life in Mecca. The Ka’aba was a place of over 300 idols, one for every day of the year. People from all over the Arab world came to worship there, turning Mecca into a major trading center, and the money flowing through it made the families there rich.
Abandoning all these idols and worshipping just One God in a class-less religion would shake their economy and whole way of life.
Abu Jahl was a cousin of the tribe, and he gathered the young people together to do something about this outrage. In spite of the refusal of the tribe’s elder, they plundered Yasir’s house, set fire to all their goods, and chained the whole family up. They were taken outside of Mecca to where slaves were punished and were beaten.
They were stretched accross the burning sun of the desert, and heavy blocks of stone were put on top of them. Their howls of pain could be heard in Mecca, to discourage anyone else from becoming Muslim or following Muhammad (pbuh).
Muhammad’s heart (pbuh) went out to Ammar and his family when he saw the pain that the idolatrous Meccans were inflicting on them. To ease this pain the Prophet would continuously say to them:
“Patience oh family of Yassir, for you are destined for Paradise.” (Sahih al-Tirmidhi, v5, p233)
Ammar grew up into a man watching his parents in misery. This naturally caused him a great deal of sorrow. There were times when Ammar would weep at the suffering of his parents. The Prophet (pbuh) would console him and pray for the family. One fateful day, Abu Jahl struck Sumaya a cruel blow and stabbed her to death, in front of her husband Yasir and her son Ammar. It was in this fashion that she became the first martyr of Islam, known as a “shaheed.”
Ammar himself did not escape punishment; he witnessed her die while he himself was being tortured and was once branded on the back. Abu Jahl returned and killed Yasir and Abdullah. Then Abu Jahl turned to Ammar, with his family dead, and tortured him until he forced Ammar under pain and duress to say horrible curses upon Muhammad (pbuh) and deny his faith in Islam.
Full of regret, he ran to Muhammad (pbuh) crying, telling him of what had happened and what he had said. Muhammad asked him if in his heart he meant anything they made him say. He said never, that in his heart he still believed in Allah even though they forced him to say otherwise. Muhammad (pbuh) comforted Ammar, and not only told him that God forgave him, but he told Ammar that if the disbelievers were to torture him again, he should again deny his faith in public. It is said that another verse from the Qur’an was immediately revealed in response to this:
Any one who, after accepting faith in God, utters Unbelief,- except under compulsion, his heart remaining firm in Faith – but such as open their breast to Unbelief, on them is Wrath from God, and theirs will be a dreadful Penalty.(16:106)
When other Muslims criticized Ammar, calling him a disbeliever, Muhammad (pbuh) replied “No, indeed Ammar is full of faith from head to toe.” 1 Other sayings include “Ammar is with the truth and truth is with Ammar. He turns wherever the truth turns”, and “Ammar is all faith”.
I finish recalling the story to him, and he seems to have calmed finally. He stays quiet for a few minutes before saying
“Will you help me get over this dark pain in my heart? Will you promise me that whenever I feel like I can’t take it anymore, you will be there to bring me back to reality?”
“Why do you want me to do that Osman?” I ask him gently.
“Because I love you. I have loved you for a very long time, but the time was never right” He finally says it
“I couldn’t be anywhere else” I reply tearfully.
“And can you promise me one more thing?” He asks sweetly.
“Anything” I reply.
“Can you let me be involved in my kids’ lives? Can you allow me to be there every step of the way? I wanna do the 4 O’clock feeding, and all. I wanna take them to the park, football practice and if Allah blesses us with a girl I want her to learn Martial arts so she can protect herself. Can you let me be involved in all that?” He asks with a big smile as he imagines his life with me
“I will hold you to that Inshallah” I answer him giggling
He did all those things he promised me. He was there holding my hands, when I gave birth to our kids. Two boisterous boys, and one girl. He is more than a dad to them, always talking to them and teaching them.
Osman went back to study, after hearing the story of Ammar Ibn Yasser (RAA). He wanted to learn his deen properly, he wanted to feel the hardship our Prophet (SAW) went through to get Islam where it is. He also wanted to gain knowledge, so he can share this with the kids in his youth centre.
I went to the lawyers office and returned everything back to Osman. And he did not disappoint in transforming his dad’s once debt ridden business, into a flourishing one. He worked day and night introducing new ideas, expanding and it all paid off in the end.
Osman is helping kids who are in gangs, he works with the police by taking them in his youth centre and educating them about gang life. If a phone rings in the middle of the night and he is needed at a police station, he doesn’t hesitate to be there whatever time it is.
But life is not always easy. Sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night, and I would see Osman covered in sweats having a flashback of what happened to him. I would patiently wait and wait until he is ready to come out of his shell, in his own time. But these nightmares are moving further and further away Alhamdulilah.
We also split our times between here and Egypt. We got the inheritance money, and my dad bought a house with all the necessary equipment to make his life easy Alahmdulilah. And tonight is a rare night I get to spend with my husband alone. He is taking me to a benefit concert organized by an Islamic charity in Aid of the draught in Africa. We have reserved a box, so we can properly enjoy it. The whole night is so beautiful, and when I catch my husband looking at me I know that he is saying I love you in his heart
A guy is about to give a speech, when something very interesting happens. He looks over at a box not far away form us, and he stumbles on his words. We all look over and see a beautiful girl dressed in the most amazing green Abaya.
We see her running off with an old lady going after her. The guy sees this, and he calls out through his microphone.
“Sister please wait, I need your wali’s number” But she does not stop.
I can just imagine what is going to happen next. Can you?
I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)
I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)