It is cold and reaches my chest. Under the rays of the setting sun, the sand hills in the east shine like iridescent masses of agate with ever-changing pastel shadows and subdued reflexes. “Where am I?” i whispered to myself as i felt the violence of fear in this strange place. My eyes too, seemed to do violence on the delicate colour of the hues as it followed the perceptible flow of shadows toward the greyness of growing dusk.
“Where are you from? TELL US!!!” the loud voice echoed the sand hills, bringing to halt the symphony of thoughts orchestrating in my mind. My throat becomes swallowed, constricted, and every breath moves a thousand torturing needles at the base of my tongue. I turn my head to find 3 men surrounding another 2. I hardly could hear the mumbling reply of the 2 men before the 3 started hitting them. “Astaghfirullah..”, i say to myself. Before I knew it my legs started walking in their direction. My heart was caught in my throat. “Stop!!” i tell my legs. But it was too late.
“We’re from Quraysh.. we’re from Quraysh” the mumblings of the 2 men became more discernable as my legs brought me closer. “You lie!!!” roared the other 3. “You’re from Abu Sufyan’s caravan, aren’t you!!!! Lie not to us! Now tell us where you’re from!!!!”
Quraysh. Quraysh. Isnt that the place where my Nabi SAW was from? Where am I??? In the darkness, behind the boulders I was hiding - fear, confusion has grown to be a torment, and the desire for answers the one, the overpowering thought in a mind that can no longer hold orderly thoughts.
“Abu Sufyan’ s caravan.. We are from Abu Sufyan’s caravan” a weak voice said, as if surrendering to the pains rendered by the other 3. And as if satisfied by the answer, the 3 men let them go.
I suddenly discern a dark figure appearing from a far point in this pathless wilderness. Why my heart suddenly felt a ray of hope, why the figure feltlike soft light without sound, a good friendly light, nur, that embraced me like a warm blanket in this harsh coldness of this heartless dessert, that – i cannot explain.
“When they tell you the truth you beat them, and when they lie to you, you leave them alone?! Wallahi, they spoke the truth when they said they were from Quraysh”
His voice was stern but loving at the same time. Like a father to a child. Heart full of love but not to the extent so as to spoil. His presence in itself was an awe. His voice was like the full moon in this thick night. Each word was carefully calculated. Disciplined. Controlled. Measured.
“Who IS this man?” i found my fear replaced by admiration, but my curiosity grew exponentially. An invisible rope was pulling me towards this man as I found his demeanour enchanting.
The 2 men were called back to this blessed soul, and with a voice that is able to lit even the darkest of hearts, he asked gently, “What news do you have of Quraysh?”
“They are behind this mound that you see”, answered one of the two.
“What are their numbers?”
“We do not know”
“How many camels do you slaughter every day?”
“9-10 camels a day”
“Which of the Quraysh notables are among them?”
“Utbah bin Shaybah, the sons of Rabiah, Abu’l Bukhtari ibn Hashim, Hakim ibn Hiza, Naufal ibn Khuwailid, Al-Harith ibn Amir, Umayyah Khalaf......”
The man of nur let them go. And turned to the other three and said, “Here is Mecca! Confronting you with its choicest sons!! Their soldiers are 900 to 1000 as they slaughter 9-10 camels a day”
The realisation hit me violently as if some hidden force were pushing my heart out of my dreams of death. My heart trembled with excitement. Life re-entered, visibly, passionately, overpowering and beyond understanding its majesty.
Subhanallah! This is rasulullulah!! This is my nabi! My nabi talking to three of the heroes in human history! Ali, Zubayr and Saad!! And this is prior to Badr! Subhanallah!! Subhanallah! Allahuakbar! The questions of how I got here and the like seemed mundane as pebbles in an aquarium.
As if glimmering shadows far in the horizon, the clouds suddenly float low. I was facing more people this time. Their faces, though serious, gave tranquillity to the heart – serenity no words can describe. Faces of iman.
The pages of fiqh-u-seerah by Sheikh Muhammad Al-Ghazali were flipping in my mind as I desperately tried to recall where I was and with whom.
My mind stopped at a page and at the words Muhajriin.. and ansar.. and that at this point, the seriousness of the whole situation was uncovered.
This confrontation was bitter in taste and the gravity was beyond that which held the orbits of the planets to the sun, as the Quraysh had come in its full pride, intent on doing that action which the odes narrated and which the mounts spread to all corners. It wanted to conclude the 15 year struggle with Islam so that paganism may reign supreme.
With ultimate eloquence and words of calculation beyond what I have ever witnessed in my life, did my nabi make the people so dear and so beloved to him understand their predicament.
Their senses awakened to it and they began to examine quickly what is called for and what would be its results. The old certainty was aroused and it steered the people to take that unique step which a believer would inevitably take.
Then did the greatest man that ever lived on earth started doing something that no man of arrogance would do – he started to ask his people for consultation.
Abu Bakr then Umar stood up with confidence and iman that astounded me though I have read about it countless times, and spoke words of confidence that would spark rays of hope in any dead heart.
Then another man, stood up and said, “Ya rasulullah. Proceed to wherever Allah guides you for we are with you! Wallahi, we shall not tell you what Bani Israel told Musa: ‘Go you and your Lord and fight while we remain here seated’. But ‘Go you and your Lord and fight AND WE SHALL BE FIGHTING WITH YOU!”
Subhanallah. The words of Al-Miqdad ibn Amir, was so powerful! It rang it in my ears, in my heart! It was empowering, so empowering of the like i never thought possible!
These people. Amazing. Amazing. I was struck with awe. Awe. Awe.
I saw my nabi stealing a glance to another group of people as he said, “Advise me, O people”
He was hinting the ansaar! I realized then the ones that had previously spoken were of the muhaajirin. The majority of their, but small group, were ansaar.
I couldnt help but feel amazed at his manner. Here he is – a LEADER, who has the power to force his people, but even under the direst of situations, he still faithfully held on to the covenant he made with ansar that only covered protection within Madina.
Deep down, I could feel him desiring for them to join their saf, but his words! mashaAllah. They were full of humility. Shyness: “Advise me, O people”
A man as if sharing the same line of thoughts as I, rose and said, “Wallahi, perhaps you are referring to us, ya Rasulullah?”
My sweet nabi, smiled and affirmed.
“We have believed in you and accepted what you say. We have testified that what you have brought is the truth and on the basis of that we have give you our pledge and sworn to hear and obey you!
So proceed ya rasululullah, to do whatever you will for we are with you. By Him who sent you with the truth, if into it with you and not a single man would remain behind. We do not dislike that you should confront the enemy with us tomorrow.
We are steadfast in war, truthful in meeting. Perhaps Allah will show you something of us which will make your heart please. So proceed on the blessing of Allah!!!”
Those words. The beauty. My tears. My heart.
“Allahu akbar” my thoughts broken by the strong call as the imam makes his takbir for our first tarawikh.
My determination renewed.
Source: Her blog (here)