I met you in the park today.
You were playing with a little girl, who looked to be your grand daughter. You asked me where I was from, then told me you were from out of town, taking care of the little two-year-old, while her dad was in the hospital, dying of brain cancer.
You said it so matter-of-factly, I could tell you were way past grieving.
He was only 34 years old, and the cancer had been in remission for 7 years, but had come back 4 months ago. This little girl was his only child, and she had no idea what was going on, or why her daddy couldn’t open his eyes any more.
You were so calm, with each word you said coming out so..heavy. Each word you uttered was so measured, I could almost feel the weight of your words. You spoke in a monotone, smiling only if looking at the little girl.
I spoke to you for just five minutes, before you had to leave, but you changed my day.
I stood there, after you left, with the afternoon sun sending its long rays across the grass, filtered by the leafless branches of the trees.
I stood there silently, after you left, and looked around me, and I could almost feel the frailty of this life. The trees, grass, rolling hills, clouds, and distant cars on the road, looked transparent, like if I reached my hand toward them it would just go straight through.
And I felt the words of Allah, in a way I never felt before. The words of Allah when He says, “Know that the life of this world is but amusement, and diversion, and adornment, and boasting to one another, and competition in increase of wealth and children – like the example of a rain whose plant growth pleases the tillers; then it dries and you see it turned yellow; then it becomes scattered debris.”
My encounter with you today only reinforced my belief that the people we meet are not random; but sent to us by God for a reason.
Asiya lives in Virginia with her husband and twin daughters. She is an active MAS member with an ijaza (certificate) in Qur’anic recitation and tajweed, and enjoys teaching, interpreting and translating.