Flubbergasted

Remember “Flubber”? That 1997 movie with Robin Williams in the lead? Actually not the movie, but the material Flubber. I was imagining how my life would be if it was a physical object, and that thing came to mind. A flowy, rubbery thing that’s difficult to grasp and basically has no determined shape.

There are so many things to process I don’t even know where to start. Isn’t life supposed to make more sense as you grow up (I see ya’ll shaking your heads and smiling)?

The last couple of days have been hard for me. People close to me expressed sentiments that hurt me a lot, and hurt me good. It led me to cry out to Allāh for help, and the help that came was something that only hovered in my wildest imaginations (i.e. the fantasies I don’t expect to come true).

After the Eid prayer today, I checked my phone and saw one missed call. I didn’t recognize the number. At first I thought sigh, not the trade union about my membership again! And then, fleetingly, a brush of what if it’s one of the universities where I’ve been on interviews? I called them up, and lo and behold, it was indeed one of those universities.

Oh dear… here goes… they said they were gonna call me on Friday, but today is Wednesday, and I can hear in the voice that it’s a no… a very polite, encouraging no. But then came a word. Because of the ensuing rush of emotions, I forgot which word it was. But one word made me eyes open up and my imagined rabbit ears bolt upright.

I got the job. Alhamdulillah.

First off, yes it’s a big deal. This is my first real job upon finishing my studies, so it’s a huge deal. But… I highly doubt it would’ve killed me if I didn’t get it. After all, I was totally prepared for a no.

What’s important is not the job per se in this particular situation…  it’s how Allāh responded to my dua, to my prayer. What I asked of Him was different. I haven’t really prayed that much for a job, to be honest. I asked Him to take me out of the situation I was in. And subhaan Allah how He responded! Way beyond my expectations! In such a way that I could barely contain my glee! Alhamdulillah. I didn’t even know how to thank Him subhaana wa ta’ala.

At that moment, I felt courage to deal with the situation with the people I’m in conflict with.

But then something else happens.

My brother, after hearing about my job, immediately talks to me about applying for a loan so I can buy a place of my own. Trust me, that is not a stress I need at this moment. I’ve got way bigger hurdles to deal with before that. Buying a house on my own before even getting married was never a part of my plan.

And then he says that him and my sister-in-law have been talking to a guy, that knows many guys… for marriage. And what type of guys? The kind I don’t want to marry! I’m not disclosing any details, don’t ask me.

The taste in my mouth got bitter. The joy of the job turning into extra-lactose-infused room temperature banana milkshake.

But as I got home… and started writing this piece… slowly it dawned on me. Sh. Omar Suleiman’s “Quran 30 for 30” series that I’ve been following this Ramadan, that in detail have explained how Allāh tests us, came to mind. Such a blessing from Allāh doesn’t come freely for the believer. The believer must work for it. That means, more tests. I’ve failed some of His tests before, so there is no room for failure now. I need to stay firm on His path and avoid falling into the traps that the dunya has set for me. When things are easy, when there is no hardship, we believe that compromising with our deen won’t cause any harm. And maybe at first it doesn’t. Maybe at first, everything is “going your way”. But then, all of a sudden, the blessing that He has given you can turn into a curse. Some consequences are reserved for the Hereafter, but much is also reserved for this dunya.

This is how I thank Him. By passing His tests. And He knows that initially, this may further cause arguments with the people mentioned. But if I don’t keep my priorities straight, I’ll forever be a loser.

O Turner of the hearts, make my heart firm upon Your religion.

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