I watched from the corner of my eyes as she did her prayers. Sitting to her right, it was obvious to me that she was in pain as she bent to do the ruku’ and went down to do the sujud.
I watched as her body swayed and heaved throughout the session. She is beautiful, of Indian descent and from her face, I could see she is still in her twenties. I was curious as to what was causing her discomfort. I continued watching.
At that moment, she sat in between two sujuds, and in one swift move which I knew had been practiced multiple times, her left hand went over and covered her exposed right hand. To anyone who wasn’t watching as intently as me, they wouldn’t see anything special in that moment. But I was watching, and I saw.
I saw that the whole right side of body was pretty immobile. Her right hand was weak and frail and she had to constantly move it with the aid of her left. As she stood for the next rakaat, she relied on her left arms and legs to bring herself up, afterwhich dragging her right into place. When she sat for her dua’, her pose was akward, forced, and she held her head low as her right hand rested on her lap.
At first, I felt pity for her. Pity for not having a ‘complete’ body, pity for having to go through such pains in the smallest things, pity that she is so young and yet had to carry a burden usually related to old people.
But as the clock ticked and more thoughts creeped into my head, it finally dawned on me that of all the emotions I felt for her, pity was the last thing I should be feeling.
She had an excuse to sit home and weep of her demise, she had an excuse to pray in the comforts of her home and just qada’ everything, she even had an excuse to sit while praying, but there she was using all her strength to pray as the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. had showed his ummah how to.
I began to cry because I don’t know if I can ever have that much iman to be as strong as her. Even now, I would delay prayers to watch some show, and when praying on an exhausted body, I would slouch and be quick about it.
I began to cry, because I realized that if there is anyone in that musollah who needed any pitying at that moment in time, it was me.