Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|10/08/00 at 10:16:32|
Highway ran like a black silk ribbon through the darkness, punctuated by the trucks like mechanized whales on endless rounds back and forth from one coast to the other. Eyes raw with tiredness, she took another sip of the now cold cup of truck stop coffee and tried to keep her mind on the road. It had been hell. Sheer hell.
Images and sounds she couldn't suppress flew behind her eyelids. The shouting, the toppling of furniture and glass shattering. The rage churning in his eyes. His skeletal fingers clamping into her arm, digging into her skin as he sneered and spit in her battered face, telling her she was nothing. Then turning his back to her, as if she wasn't worthy of his presence.
She was shaking as she gripped the steering wheel tighter between her clammy hands.
Guilty. So guilty.
She was on the run from the man that beat her.
And she felt guilty.
What, after all had she done? What had she done? She'd stood up for herself. Why should she feel guilty?
What was she going to do without him? She'd seen his face everyday for the past five years. She married this man, fell in love with him. His lopsided smile, his dark eyes and his charming awkwardness around her. She remembered the sweet innocence of the first days of their marriage. How enchanted she was with him. How happy they were.
Then she remembered the first time he struck her. Slapped her, leaving a mark across he cheek for days. How he sobbed afterwards, begging for her forgiveness, begging for her to understand he was weak. How easily she forgave him.
She thought of how many times he hit her. How he convinced her it was her fault every time. She was never smart enough, beautiful enough, obedient enough. For five years. Twice he put her in the hospital, and twice she lied and said she fell.
She remembered how today, in the stillness of her perfect home, she looked in the mirror and saw what others were seeing. Bruises. An animal look in her eyes. Bones sharp in her face because she couldn't keep weight on.
Her eyes burned now as she squinted through the windshield. She swallowed.
She had done it. It came to her in bits and pieces, but she remembered vaguely making wudu, changing into different clothing, praying. Hearing his car door slam, his footsteps, the jingle of keys as he threw them on a table.
She didn't remember all of what she said from across the living room then, but one phrase returned to her mind as she fumbled with the car stereo.
[i] I deserve honor. [/i]
She remembered saying that even as she saw his temper erupt, watched him leap out of his chair and rage at everything around him.
She remembered wiping his spit from her face and walking out, her gaze forward.
Feeling damaged and weak from a day that seemed to stretch on centuries, she finally relented, found the first hotel on the highway, turned into the parking lot.
The decor was tawdry and tired as she felt. Sitting on the edge of the bed, listening to the rain against the dirty windowpanes, she sipped at the tepid water she had cupped from the bathroom sink.
She should just lie here and let the housekeeper find her body weeks from now when she came to change the towels. That's how she felt, too bone tired in both body and soul.
Anger bubbled under the warm sting of pain. How did she let this happen to herself? She was always so strong, so independent. How did she let herself be used in this way?
She put her face down on the pillow, breathed in the bleach smell of the sheets, and began to cry.
Outside, lightning started to flash through the night-swollen sky.
What felt like ages later, she sat up and reached for her bag. She sat cross- legged on the bed, let the slanting light of the bedside lamp illuminate the book she held open in her lap.
[i] And among His Signs is
the sleep that you take by night and by day
and the quest that you make for livelihood out of His Bounty
verily in that are signs for those who listen.
And among His signs
He shows you the lightning
by way both of fear and of hope
and He sends down rain from the sky
and with it gives life to the earth after it is dead
verily in that are signs for those who are wise. [/i]
The lightning flashed.
[i] And among His signs is this
that heaven and earth stand by His Command
then when He calls you, by a single call,
from the earth, behold, you straight away come forth.
To Him belongs every being that is in the heavens and on earth:
all are devoutly obedient to Him. [/i]
Moments later, after the stunned silence of the cold night, the thunder rippled through the mountains.
She set the Qur'an down gently. She made her way outside and stood very still in the center of the parking lot. Rain fell. Trucks rolled by in the night. She lifted her face to the sky, letting the rain envelop her, purify her. Water streamed down her, soaked her, seeped into her skin.
The storm crackled and boomed like a celestial concerto.
Almost audible over the tumult of the storm outside, she made a dua.
Grant my heart life after it has been dead.
Purify me as this rain purifies Your earth.
Grant me beautiful patience.
Grant me strength because I am weak.
Guide me because I am so lost.
Reward me for the trials I face.
Grant me Your mercy.
Allow me to taste the sweetness of your Paradise.
Honor me by accepting my dua as one of Your servants.
She stood there for a long time, the rain blurring her tears.
The storm rolled off into the mountains.
Shaking, she returned to the cold room, got into her bed and listened to the rain.
She stared at the thin gray light coming from the gap between the curtains, feeling the pounding of a heavy head but the beating of a light heart.
After dawn, before checkout, she paid her bill, got into her car, and drove off into the cold, gray morning.
|10/07/00 at 15:53:36|
I remember the lightening...
I knew it meant something but didn't know what- until now...
|10/07/00 at 17:51:20|
Wow. Mashallah. Wow. Man, you got some talent! You just draw the person into the story, and make the reader feel the character's pain, hopelessness, fear and finaly hope in the end. For a person so young, how do you do it?!?
|10/07/00 at 22:38:16|
|She's like Stephen King, you look at her and wonder what's going on in that lil ole head. :)|
|10/08/00 at 00:41:14|
Yeah, MashaAllah! I read the post earlier today and was basically left speechless. The message was important and the presentation was beautiful. I can hardly wait for the next original post by se7en!! :)
|10/08/00 at 00:50:03|
Se7en, how long did it take you to write this thing? How long does it usually take you to write a final draft of a short story like this? If you don't mind saying!
|10/08/00 at 11:46:35|
Se7en,is this a real story??(somehow I have a feeling it is) and you have written it down in your own beautiful style to have more impact on others.I might need to post it in another forum if you don't mind.
|10/08/00 at 21:28:29|
|as salaamu alaykum wa rahmatAllahi wa barakatuh, |
Jazazak Allahu khayran for your comments everyone. I really appreciate getting feedback, criticism is good too. Please don't ever hesitate to comment on something I post, in detail is best. It's difficult to understand what kind of feel your story has unless you do get that feedback. Jannah and lightning were both really taken aback by this story, their reaction surprised me because I had lost that perspective.
Sr. Kathy, I was most concerned with your reaction to this story. I was worried that you'd feel that the story didn't do adequate justice to what a woman in that situation is really going through.
Sr. Saleema, Br. Asim, you're both very kind. Make dua for me :) (Everybody else too!)
Jannah watch your back... :P
Br. Arsalan this story took me a couple of hours to finish. (Probably half the time actually getting it out, and the other half editing and changing things.) How long it takes me to complete something really varies. It's the same with posts here on the message board or email I think. Sometimes when you feel driven by an idea or an image, the words just pour out of you. Other times it's so difficult to get across what you're trying to say.
Sr. Widad, no, this is not based on real people or events.
Hey, if you want to do something good for me, please make dua for me, and please keep in mind that egos are very easily inflated :) If you get any sort of benefit out of what I do, alhamdulillah, all thanks is indeed due to Allah. Only the mistakes have been mine.
Again, jazak Allahu khayran. I love you guys :)
subliminal message: f e e d b a c k i s g o o d.
|10/08/00 at 21:52:47|
Your fans love you too. :)
|10/09/00 at 11:22:36|
I've been pretty busy the last few days, so I have been kinda slow in responding to posts and emails and everything else.
I did enjoy the story very much, as Saleema pointed out we (the readers) felt the pain of the sister. The beginning part was good, there was one part that might need some clarification. This part:
How he sobbed afterwards, begging for her forgiveness, begging for her to understand he was weak. How easily she forgave him.
She thought of how many times he hit her. How he convinced her it was her fault every time.
See in the part above its saying he begged her to forgive her. That means he thinks its his fault, but then in the very next paragraph it says "he convinced her it was her fault every time". This is just a little confusing to me, and this should be clarified.
Although we did feel the pain, I wonder if it was possible to feel more of the pain that she was going through. Because many times when I do hear issues about violence or receive emails about people having problems, I get some sense of the pain they are going through, but many times I feel like I don't feel all their pain because its not written in enough detail and naturally I didn't experience the pain. Se7en do you think its possible for you to describe more of the pain for us, so we can sympathize and understand more what the victim is going through?
I thought it was beautiful how you mentioned the ayahs from the Quran in there, that was really awesome how they tied in with the experience. That was my favorite part in the story. Can you include the exact reference in there, surah number and ayah.
|10/10/00 at 13:09:27|
Yes I know I'm late but I thought I'd get my share in as well by saying to se7en that you're a very talented person with a lot of inspiration - Masha'Allah keep it up.
|10/10/00 at 22:16:59|
|As salaamu alykum Se7en.|
Please do not let another one of your moments be spent being concerned for me. Humdil Allah, Allah swt has been most merciful to me.
When I read your story, silent warm tears bean to roll down my cheek- I could't even stop them. The story was about me and I couldn't stop reading.
The second time my ex hit me it knocked me backword over the couch ( no small feat- I am Big!)
As I was upside down, I saw a lightening bolt hit the water outside the window. It was strong, electrifiying, bright and it's presense was demanding.
I left that night. Traveled home by car and took me the enire night. It was just like your dark and rainy night. I knew the lightening bolt meant something- but I did not know what- until you presented the ayat.
Arshad- the batterer all most always apologizes for his act. He is sorry to an extent. Yet- he does feel that the woman "made him do it" "She pushed me over the edge." or "if she just didn't do this," or "if she just would of done that...."
I remember telling a muslim co-worker that I was getting divorced. He asked why- I told him the reason and his first comment was- "what did you do to deserve it"....
|10/11/00 at 01:01:31|
Kathy,i hope you said something mean and nasty to that Muslims co-worker. I would have done it! In fact, I would have ripped him apart in pieces. (No I am not violent. I am very kind and gentle, even if i say so myself, and even if it doesn't seem like it sometimes when I post. :)
But seriously, that would make me very angry and drive me up the wall.
|10/11/00 at 23:04:38|
|Mahsa'Allah that was the most beautiful story ever! It really ties into the post the sister|
put up about "divorce". I hope ya'll read it. I was wondering if it was ok to share this story with other people? Also, do you have stuff published becasuse if not PLEASE DO!!! I think we need more quality Islamic literature so we can have reading clubs and literature classes that focus on our stories. We also need to have acceptable stuff to put in our Muslim schools.
Keep up the good work and may Allah reward you with all that is good and give you honor in this life and the next. Amin
|10/16/00 at 11:55:16|
|Assalamu alaikum ahlal madina :)|
Se7en, mashallah, ukhti, that was breathtaking. Even though it is horrible to be in such a predicament, i applaud you for presenting it in the fashion that you did. people tend to hear about such situations, but never feel the pain that that person is going through, however, i think i did feel some of the torment that she was experiencing. and no, i'm not inflating your ego, because i love you fisabeelillah :) My favorite part of the story was when she was reading the ayahs and the lightning and thunder were taking their courses outside, as if they were the physical entities describing that feeling inside her. Subhanallah. Keep up the excellent work and you know, i think you have even inspired me to give it a try.
Jazaki Allahu khairan habibti
|10/16/00 at 20:58:16|
Sr. Se7en, JazakAllahu Khairan
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