July 6, 2008

the day

.... after sitting on the toilet seat for 10mins to allow myself time to relax I stood up and headed out the bathroom once more. Everyone looked at me waiting to see what I would do next, I breathed in and muttered a little duaa under my breath, Davina smiled and pulled me away from the bathroom to sit with a cup of mint tea. They continued to tell me that the relatives had been picked up at the train station, my luggage was officially on the way to the hotel and that the flowers had already been picked up by my future husbands little brother alhamdulillah so there was nothing for me to do other than get ready and arrive on time. It was coming up to nearly 9am and I decided that I wanted to get there early to prepare myself and maybe pray a little before we all sat down. This would be my first muslim wedding to attend and I would have been more excited by that prospect if there wasnt a huge knot in my stomach for the anticipation of the hours to come. While I sat staring out the window at the trees gently blowing in the breeze I heard a little toot toot and looked below to see the usual female cab driver waving up at my bare window. 'Taxi's here!" I shouted to my flat and there was a quick rush around for bags, the last sip of tea, the quick brush of teeth and the look around the flat before I closed the door on that part of my life forever. It got a little emotional and my mum noticed before taking the bag out of my hand and rubbing my back as we walked down the stairs together. At the masjid I saw a few people I knew stood outside and prayed they werent for my wedding, happily I was just being vain as we walked past them with a simple 'Assalamalikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu' and a knowing smile from the daughter who was my age. I stopped in the foyer to fix my hijab and the veil that I had brought with me for the civil ceremony, turning to my friends I told them I wanted to pray for awhile and asked if they could sort out the details of where we had to go afterwards. They agreed and turned on their heels, I looked back to see my mum stood on her own so I walked back to her 'Arent you going with them? or..' I stammered '... do you want to come with me?' I had never even thought to ask her if she wanted to come with me, I couldnt remember a time that my mum had seen me pray, let alone be in a mosque. It was at that point that I remembered my first time in a mosque and kicked myself for being so wrapped up in my own issues than to remember the arkwardness my mother must have felt. 'Ill come with you if thats ok?' she asked waking me from my daydream, I smiled and nodded, then linked her arm and guided her in the direction of the womens prayer area. I had often annoyed myself at my dawah incapabilities with my mother, how I couldnt talk to her about islam and just left her to make up her own opinions as she had already told me she was 'fairly capable of doing!' so I was happy I could do this and smiled to myself as she asked if she needed to cover her head while she came in with me. I told her she didnt have to do anything ghe wasnt comfortable with and that there would be scarves near the doorway if she wanted to wear one, she wrinkled her nose 'eee people have been wearing them, I might get nits' she said quietly. We laughed, then she pulled something from her pocket and told me 'I brought my own, just in case' I gasped when I realised the lavendar silk fabric she was pulling out of her pocket was for her head and I smiled as we took off our shoes and made our way inside. We sat for alittle while and she asked me a few questions about what would be expected of her in the mosque and at the service, I answered the best I could and told her as for the service I didnt even know what was to be expected from me so not to worry. As we sat in silence she pushed me away.. 'go, pray!' she told me, urging me to do what I have intended to come here for, I was sad in a way, I wanted to stay and talk to her about this religion that had pushed me so far away from her yet at the same time had brought us so close together alhamdulillah. I stood up, decided to pray and to pray for her heart to be opened to the beauty of this deen. I went through the motions of salah quietly and smoothly, taking in every position as if it was my last and as I neared the end of my6th rakah I heard a sniffle, those sniffles you have when trying to suck all the tears in so they wouldnt escape. I finished and turned around to see my mother, the woman who had given up so much for me during her life, wiping her eyes and looking for another hankie. I wondered what had caused her emotions to run like this, then I thanked my creator for allowing me this opportunity and asked him to help me make this right. I stood up and started another 2 rakah after checking my watch and noticing that the girls hadnt come back for us just yet. As I sat down for the tashahud at the end of the first rakah I heard the door open and Davina whispered something to my mum then left the room, I heard her stand up and brush herself off then walk over to me. I could feel her eyes watching my every movement, my every breath to the point that I was crying in sujood asking for his help in my life, asking him to open my heart to any test he felt I could withstand, just like I had done the night before when the girls were phoning me from outside my flat. I sat back on the floor asking Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) to bless Muhammed and his family like he had done for Ibrahim and his family, and sent my blessings up to Muhammed (salalahu alayhi wa salam) When I finished I looked to my side to see my mum sat next to me looking down at her hands, she looked over at me and smiled before telling me that the girls were waiting downstairs for us. I stood up and as she looked at me I hugged her and whispered in her ear that I thanked God everyday for bringing her back to me and for allowing her to be with me on this special day. She hugged me back then laughed saying 'come on, before you ruin my makeup, the girls are waiting' :)

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