Disclaimer : This is a story shared by a friend, and InsyaAllah may we take the good from it :)
As the hall buzzed with energy from the students mingling around during the orientation session, a single man caught my eye as he stood in the front, his face beaming as he assisted with the organizing committee.
I watched as he smoothed the ends of papers, his bare fingers dancing in tandem with the breeze from the fan. I liked how he looked neat and proper, dressed according to the sunnah, and I casually thought how good it would be if more men were to be like him. A bell rung in the distance, and I shoved my thoughts away like the pens I had crammed into my bag.
Footsteps quickened behind as the rest of the students and I found ourselves rushing for the next activity. My fingers kissed the cool surface of the door as I swung it open, and with haste I found myself a seat near the front. Adjusting the hijab I donned, it caught me by surprise when I saw the same guy sitting across the room. For a moment he looked up, smiled at me and went back to scribbling on the paper in his hands.
I could not explain what I felt at that time, but my heart pounded against my chest as my cheeks burned red. Perhaps it was that moment where I found myself confused by my emotions that I agreed in giving him my number after we found ourselves exchanging views throughout the activity.
During the course of the next few days, vibrations from my phone became a norm, a constant buzz from the insides of my bag. I found smiles sneaking out from the corners of my mouth as the name ‘Khalid’ appeared, again and again, as conversations, both in real life and in bytes, between us occupied my every breath.
But somewhere, always, at the back of my mind, a voice urged that even though we were just chatting about life, even though we have never met without the company of the other members of the group, what I was doing was wrong as I could not answer myself if the feelings I had for this man was from my nafs or a genuine love for Allah s.w.t.
Then one day, he just disappeared. My phone lied in my hand like a cold brick, lifeless. I found my mind busied with questions I knew I could never find the answers to as my heart found itself burdened with a sadness I never thought I could feel.
That night the feelings overwhelmed me to a point that I felt as I had committed a huge sin; I crumbled in front of my Robb, sobbing and seeking His forgiveness. With my forehead on the ground, the mat wet from the tears that flow uncontrollably, I made du’a for Him to assist me, for I no longer could understand the swelter of emotions swirling in my heart… It was the first time I went to sleep crying.
A dream. I had a dream that night, a dream where a man stood in a cloud of mist, a man who my heart made out to be Khalid. He was standing in the distance, still, but my eyes saw what it needed to see, a ring embracing his finger which I knew was bare when I met him. I woke up, turned on the computer and searched for his profile online, only to find that he was, just as the dream had shown me, engaged.
At that very moment, I felt my body limp as blood drained from my head. That man I was chatting with every night, that man whom my heart raced for every time his name appeared on my phone, he was actually the fiance of another. Fearing insanity, I ran over to a friend’s room, and started crying my heart out.
“I should not have given him my number, I should not have spent my nights talking to him, I should not have transgressed my limits… I feel cheated, babe, I feel cheated! How could he do this to me? I think I am going crazy, my heart hurts, it hurts so bad… I thank Allah for showing me this sign, but Allah… it hurts!”
My friend silently played with my hair as I lay sobbing on her shoulders. When she found me calmer than I had been when I first entered her room, she looked me in the eye and said to me words that have never made more sense to me than at that exact moment,
My dearest sister, it does not begin with the number, or the conversations, or the meet ups. It begins with you going against Allah s.w.t.’s command – to lower your gaze. It begins with that first time you checked him out in the hall, my dear.
Surah An-Nur, verses 30-31. If only I had listened, and I had obeyed.