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Midnight Knives.

17 May

Daughter: ….if I were to study there then. That university rather than this. Would the environment help control me? Not change me – at least control me. Just curb the monster or something. If the scene is different, if the people are different—

Mother: But wherever you’d go, the rotten heart would still follow.

Pause.

But wherever you go, the rotten heart would still follow.

She knows.

But still.

Daughter: Don’t say you understand. You can’t. You don’t. You won’t. It’s not something you’ve ever done. Those are not the things you’ve ever done.

Mother: I’m not a counselor. I can’t give you advice by the books. I can’t relate. But I can share. Zikr.

Daughter: Easier said.

Mother: Remembrance fills the heart whole, you know. It’s not something you have to do sitting on the prayer mat. It’s not something you have to do with wudu’ or focus your whole attention to. It’s something you do while waiting for the bus or walking to class, when you’re sitting alone doing nothing – busy or idle regardless. It’s something your heart remembers. The more you remember the fuller you’d grow, the calmer the heart.

Daughter is silent.

Mother: Asma’ul Husna – live by it. Taste it on your tongue, feel it in your heartbeat. Ya Qahhar – The Overpowering. Allah itu maha menundukkan. Dia yang berkuasa menundukkan hati manusia supaya tak berlaku zalim kat kakak, dan tundukkan you yourself supaya tak berlaku zalim kat diri sendiri. Dia berkuasa tundukkan hati kakak supaya meninggalkan perkara buruk. Read it a hundred times to nurture your heart so it loves ibadah……. you listening?

Daughter fails to find her voice, choked by a lump suffocating the throat. Two quick nods, though invisible to the mother 450 kilometres away.

Mother: Remember a few days ago when I told you about Al-Qadir? Allah Maha Berkuasa. Remember this zikr when you can’t study. Remember this and pray for a smooth course of your studies. And remember this – when there’s something you wish for but you fail to make known. Semua orang ada hajat yang dirahsiakan right. And being your mother I know. Remember – Ya Qadir, Ya Qadir, Ya Qadir – and pray for it. Allah berkuasa gerakkan hati manusia kakak… Allah berkuasa buat apa saja. Perhaps you might think chances are remote but Allah hears your prayers and if he says an immediate yes, then yes it is – yes is what it’s gonna be.

Daughter takes a deep, shaky breath. And let the air out the same moment her vision starts to cloud with warmth. Moisture.

Mother: The heart would heal. When a creation remembers Him, the Creator, the heart would be calm. The heart would survive. The heart would be content. The heart would heal. Remember that, and remember Him.

Daughter cuts off the line, water flowing even through shut eyelids, lips quivering, chest burning as if something inside is on fire. Her heart?

Little daughter do be strong.

The heart would heal.

The heart would heal.

The heart would heal.

When you remember.

“Dan sebutlah serta ingatlah akan Tuhanmu dalam hatimu, dengan merendah diriserta dengan perasaan takut (melanggar perintahnya), dan dengan tidak pula menyaringkan suara, pada waktu pagi dan petang dan janganlah engkau menjadidari orang-orang yang lalai. Sesungguhnya mereka (malaikat) yang ada di sisi Tuhanmu tidak bersikap angkuh (ingkar) daripada beribadat kepadaNya, dan merekapula bertasbih bagiNya, dan kepadaNyalah jua mereka sujud.” – Al-A’raf [7:205-206]

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