By Sana Taha Gondal
You know one of those days when every direction you turn in seems like a dead end, and you, in all your desperation, just keep pushing? One of those days when the help seems like not only an improbable proposition, but an impossible one? We all have those days. I did too.
I was in the kitchen, doing what every Pakistani girl does at least once in her life: making tea for the guests. That’s not the only thing I was doing though, I was also pitying myself greatly for being caught up in a situation which rendered me unable to study for an exam the next day. Lunch served, tea on its way and it seemed like the guests were staying for dinner. To top it all, my parents were out of town so I couldn’t get out of kitchen duty. I was at a dead end. I felt like my life had paused because of the house chores. I desperately wanted to escape the situation and I desperately wanted my parents back because I desperately needed to study for exams! That’s what I always want when I am in a tight spot, I guess that’s what everyone wants when they’re in a tight spot.
There came a point when I finally accepted that I couldn’t get any studying done. With tears about to roll down my eyes, I suddenly overheard someone in the drawing room mention I had an exam tomorrow, following which everyone made a collective du’a.
The help had come.
Allah, my Master, inspired that thought and made that du’a happen. Saying “ameen” to the du’a felt like a burden had been lifted off of my shoulders. Soon after, my little cousin came running to me and said, “Baji, I know a verse that you should recite for exams. Let me teach it to you.” And thus came the following verse from the Quran:
أَمَّنْ يُجِيبُ الْمُضْطَرَّ إِذَا دَعَاهُ وَيَكْشِفُ السُّوءَ وَيَجْعَلُكُمْ خُلَفَاءَ الْأَرْضِ ۗ أَإِلَٰهٌ مَعَ اللَّهِ ۚ قَلِيلًا مَا تَذَكَّرُونَ
[Surah An-Naml: 62]
Is He [not best] who responds to the desperate one when he calls upon Him and removes evil and makes you inheritors of the earth? Is there a deity with Allah ? Little do you remember.
I could’ve hugged her for being the answer to my silent prayers. As I recited the Arabic, even though I had no idea if we were reciting right, I couldn’t help but feel like a door had just been opened: the door of du’a. The help had come from above, and it was far better than all the other escape routes I had been planning all day. It is always better than the failed escape routes we keep planning. But the irony of what that little girl taught me, shone through the translation of the verse.
To all the depressed, devoid of hope and despondent people out there, here is what I want to convey to you through this tiny incident; call out to Allah for help and you will realize He is there with you. Every single time a challenge shows up at your door, be it big or small, the help always comes. And when it does, it feels like déjà vu. Every single time, I forget that last time things sorted themselves out, and every single time I need to be reminded that sometimes we just need to relax and leave it all to Allah. If, despite trying, you are not getting to where you want, then leave it to the One who is in control of the obstacles in your way. Don’t take it as a reason to stop working, but take it as reason to stop worrying.