It’s 2 in the noon and the sun is gloating its scintillating heat, burning skins of every being. 15 year old Hannan, daughter of Tamanna, enters home drowning in sweat and tears glistening in her gorgeous black eyes. She drops the bag on the living room floor, and runs towards her mother’s room for a warm embrace that would undoubtedly lighten the burden that she’s been nursing in her heart all these days.
All this while, Hannan thought she was old enough to manage her petty friendship issues, but today she needed counselling. Everyone does, and who better to run to than her mom, who was a Youth Counselor by profession and her personal mentor by choice. Tamanna’s eyes pop out of shock as she sees Hannan, run towards her distressed.
The girl dramatically begins, “Mom, Mahek has changed, she is no more like before! Our beautiful bond has faded. The essence of our friendship has been snatched by the evil eyes of this cruel world. Oh! I hate this, we are so disconnected now. You know how much I love her, how can this happen ma? You told, we were Jannah Roomies and our relationship will last for an eternity then why is everything messed up? Yaa rabbb, I feel so broken”
“Calm down Hannan. It’s okay habeebty. Happens with all the besties in this Dunya, it’s just Allah’s way of testing your faith and your bond. I will explain as we both have our yummillicious lunch together.”, says Tamanna, comforting her little girl whilst wiping the tears away.
“But mom, I am not in the mood to eat. I just want you to tell me now”
“Haha, darling, it’s MY story, the awesome journey of ‘’Tammy and Reem’’ where I went through the weirdest test ever and for that super exciting tale, you definitely got to have something to munch on, trust me”
“Awright ma, anything for your dose of awesomeness which I desperately need right now” sighed Hannan.
At the lunch table Tamanna begins to explain Hannan the real cause of any bond to have such glitches. She begins narrating the story in her own creative style and addresses the characters beautifully asking Hannan to forget that it was her mom there. Rewinding the wheel of time she travels back in the memories where she was just like her daughter.
A hardcore lover, a sincere friend and 24/7 available sister with immense love in her heart for her bestie fillaah – Reem. She loved Reem beyond measure; being in touch the entire day, sometimes the entire night. The fact that they both were striving in the same path – to be better Muslims, strengthened their bond even more. They called each other for tahajjud Salah, arranged halaqas, went to their tafseer class together, inspired and motivated each other constantly. They were two bodies but one, through mind, heart and soul. They seemed like sisters from different mothers, but again they had weekly sleepovers as they couldn’t have enough of each other.
Tamanna never experienced true love before; she had a difficult past so it was Reem that filled the void of years with her immense support and sincere care. So this friendship ‘’fillah’’ was all that Tamanna had. It literally meant “the world” to her.
Imagine reading their past conversations on Facebook over and over again in case of Reem’s absence or her non availability? Or getting upset if she didn’t get to talk to her? Huh! It was that crazy!
She missed her every second the clock stroked, anything and everything was REEM – which was dangerous of course! Reem was her source of happiness and sadness. She couldn’t see even an ounce of stress or hardship faced by the apple of her eye. She made duas for her before she made for herself or anyone else. They had an adorable bond. The strength of their friendship was divine as it was enhanced by the rope of their beautiful faith.
But one fine day, it changed, it did. Reem got engaged and so she began to spend her limited time with her family as she was about to leave for New York soon after the Nikaah, leaving the sandy deserts of Arabia. But this had an adverse effect on the time which she spent with Tamanna – which was only ‘hers’, but now it was different and so the two besties slowly began to disconnect. Phone calls became weekly, chats reduced, Facebook inboxes left without any reply, messages on phone ignored.
Reem did explain Tamanna about her current phase that how she needs to make up for all these years of ignorance towards her parents and wanted to give oceans of love to them in return. Tammy supported by only saying with a difficult smile, “It’s fine Reem, may Allah make it easy for you and grant you the best in both the worlds, but whenever you need me just take a turn. I will always be there insha Allah.”
Although she said it from the top of her head in reality she couldn’t handle this distance.
This shattered her being, she felt empty and grieved without any valid reason. Life had abruptly invited a cloud of loneliness, and though they were so many others around, all she wanted was Reem. She craved for her like some fish dying for priceless water, wanting her company like air that humans needed to breath. Yes! All she desired was Reem’s presence and she sat like a traveller waiting for the train. Yet what she couldn’t fathom was the fact that Reem was in need of her no more. She couldn’t believe they were sailing apart and Reem showed no signs of distress. She was messed up with her own mixed emotions. SubhanAllah!
What she failed to realize was that this friendship which she cherished had now become a drug, a need. This over dependency and attachment to this one creature had come in between the path of her and Allah. Yes, this “love” was actually competing with the everlasting love – the love of Ar - Rahmaan. The blunder she committed was that she tried to suffice herself naming it ‘feesabeelillaah’ but in reality the relationship fillaah (For Allah) had now taken its toll over her senses and captured her heart completely.
If it was FOR the sake of Allah then naturally Allah must come first. Yeah? But here in an unapparent way, Reem had become her ‘illah’ (something that you want to please/ worship).
This is the case that Ustadhah Yasmin Mogahed reflects in her book that when exactly a relationship messes up. It’s when the Master blesses you with the most awesome gifts and you start loving the gifts more than the Giver of the gifts.
In her divine words, “Allah gives us gifts, but then we come to love them as we should only love Him. We take those gifts and inject them into our hearts, until they take over. Soon we cannot live without them. Every waking moment is spent in contemplation of them, in submission and worship to them.”
What we must realise is that this heart is the territory of God, but when you allow others to invade and reside in it, the peace from it is taken away. It soaks in the love of people very easily, it’s human nature to fall for the ones who adore you but when that becomes an ‘addiction’, the person suffers terribly.
You might consider a bond that’s beautiful as your strength, as its taking you to closer to Allah. But sometimes, gradually on the way, it becomes your biggest source of disappointment and heartache. Yes, now it’s a desire, it’s an obsession, its greed and you need it by hook or by crook and so you don’t hesitate to cross any limits. That’s the point when you need to open your eyes, see and break free from shackles of these kinds of unhealthy attachments.
Each one of us must be careful that we don’t unconsciously make someone else our reason to live, as the kalimaah itself says, La illaaha illah Allah! So when we bear witness to the Oneness of that Lord, doesn’t it also mean that we also live for that very same Lord?
Friendships for the sake of Allah could be the greatest blessings showered upon you, but when that very blessing has a threat to ruin your soul, that’s when you need to take a step back and draw the line.
And that’s why Tamanna suffered whereas Reem on the other hand missed her friend but was able to bear and be patient with this trial as she truly loved Tamanna for His Sake. This concept was beautifully explained by Ms. Mogahed, in ‘Reclaim your heart’, a book which has now made its permanent residence on Tamanna’s desk. She’d stumbled upon the book in her library and found that it had answers to all her queries and the psychological disturbances that she faced. She learnt it the hard way but still she did learn the lesson behind the trial and kept reviewing it over and over to master the trick. Now whenever she realizes that something of this world is about to overpower her, she just picks up the same book again and begins to turn the pages filled with divine Hikmah SubhanAllah!
But this time, she handed over the book over to little Hannan saying, “Here my doll! This is one master piece that you should ‘learn’ and drill it in your head so that you never forget the gems in it”
“Jazakillah Mom. I love you for His sake and I will never allow any other love to compete with the love of Allah”
“I love you to Hun. Yes, never do that mistake. As Allah tests you with what you love the most, so the moment your heart beats for someone else, that very thing will be taken away so that you turn back to the Creator of that beautiful heart, who has the complete right to reside in it.”
Before Hanaan sets out of the room, she turns with a confused face and shoots her final question,
“Mama, what happened to the ‘’forever besties’’? Reem and Tammy? Was the bond broken and never rebuilt?”
Tammy smiled gracefully as the answer she had was the biggest lesson for her daughter,
“No Hannan, It didn’t because, Allah always withholds to give. He teaches lessons and then returns the blessings once we understand and pass our tests. These little glitches, bumps on the road and painful departures are only to prepare us for harder paths, bigger distances and amazing reunions. There comes a time when the entire world gives up on you, including – your very own self. When your break is so severe, that no one can mend or repair. When words do not heal and consolence from dear ones doesn’t comfort. When you realize the frailty of your soul and its blind addiction, which was the love of people, the love of emotions, moments and places. It’s only when that is taken away that you get back to Al – Ahad, in desperation, in helplessness begging HIM for his LOVE – the one that lasts for eternity.
That’s what happened with Tamanna. She fixed herself and her Lord got Reem back in a much more beautiful way. The issue wasn’t with her anyway, so as soon as I got over my drug and figured things out, rest all fell into place. Allah rewarded me by enhancing our relationship and so now we are the true examples of Besties Fi Sabeelillah.
Reem stays in the other corner of the world yet she’s connected to her buddy through the adorable memories. We are alive in each others dua’as and thoughts. We relish the little weekly time we have and are content with it. Because now the bond isn’t an obsession, it’s pure love for His Sake.
When the love in the hearts is sincere then distance cannot reduce even an ounce of it.
We believe in meeting and parting for the sake of Al – A’zeez. Now there’s no more grief or sadness, as we know that Allah’s promise is true and He will unite us under His A’rsh, and in a much better place “Jannah”
“Wow! So the answer to all the problems under the sky is ONE – and that is turning to God?”, asked Hannan with a thrill of excitement and relief.
Tammy smiles as tears trickles down her cheek in admiration of her little kid and she grabs her in a bear hug quietly saying, “Yes Bachha, absolutely.”