Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem 12th Safar, 1437 A.H.
Assalaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barkaatuhu sisters. We must indeed learn to love one another truly for the sake of Love, Allah azza wa jal, Al-Waduud. The benefits both in this Dunya and the Akhira for loving one another are too good to lose. And what do we stand to gain when we hate one another? Trouble both here and the Hereafter. Yet, we should not just say with our lips that we love one another, no. We should love one another straight from our hearts and let our actions prove it. May Allah azza wa jal, Al-Wahhaab, unite us in the best of Jannah. Aameen Yaa Robbal ‘Aalameen. Smile to Jannah!
Is she a lesbian?
She was standing alone on the corridor to our class. We were in SHS 2. She looked sad. Then I decided to find out what was with her.
ME: Why are you standing here all alone and sad?
SHE: They are spreading lies about me that I am a lesbian because they think my friends are lesbians.
ME: Well, what do you expect? If the friends you are moving with are thought to be so, it is only expected that you will be thought to be likewise. So, if you want what is good for you, you should mind your movement with them.
She took my advice and changed her companions…
We were in SHS 3 now, almost getting done with school. We stood at assembly one hot afternoon watching the administrative and teaching staff with the clergy mention names after names of students who have been named to be lesbians and who have faced the Disciplinary Committee. The accused stood before the school and they were completely disgraced.
I stood aside crying as I watched my fellow prefects lose their status as prefects after all of the hardships they had gone through and I also knew for sure that some of them were innocent. They were simply victims of bad companionship.
My friend whom I advised back in SHS 2 stood by me. She was crying too. As a few of us cried for whatever reason, some were very excited and they were hooting at the accused. My friend said;
‘Rubaba, so, if not because of you, I would have been amongst them by now.’
She wants to Commit Suicide
This medical student calls me one day and says that there is a sister he wants to connect me with. He’s been trying to help her through some problem and he thought I could do that best. Her problem was that;
‘She’s attempted committing suicide a number of times without success.’
Now! That hit me hard. Suicide? Like seriously. Then I started talking with her and I realize that all that she needed was someone who was ready to listen and advice appropriately. Alhamdulillaah, she is happily married now.
What I am feeling right now?
I am not happy because someone that I love truly fiisabilillaah is in a situation that I am unable to help her. What hurts the most is when I think of the fact that perhaps I could have helped her before she got into that situation. How? By breaking through her strong outlook and finding out whether she was going through some challenges in life. Yet, how could I have even thought for a second that she could be going through some kind of frustration when all she does is sound and look happy almost all the time I am in contact with her? How could I have known that behind the smile that was always there was a sorrowful heart? The questions come roaming my mind and now all I can do for her is du’a.
Virginity lost on a silver platter
I was in SHS 1 and she was in 3. She respected me so much. She sought permission and went home during the course of the term. When she returned, she had something to talk about. She was always looking disturbed when she returned. Then she chose to talk to me about it. Before saying whatever she had to say, she made me understand that she badly needed someone to talk to about something and that I seemed to her like someone who will not mind listening to her. Then she said;
‘When I went home, I went to visit a certain guy and he broke my virginity.’
So, I nearly fainted… I had no idea about these things at that time except what I read from romance books. Those were times I believe all unmarried people were virgins (smile to Jannah). I don’t remember being able to give her any advice because I was simply shocked to the bone. But I remember she felt some relief that she spoke to someone about it. And alhamdulillaah, I never told anyone about it and from then she could confide in me about some of her troubles in life.
‘Too often, we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.’
She’s been in love…
I kept teasing her that I’d marry her to this brother or that brother at any given opportunity and she will just smile about it, knowing how mischievous I could be sometimes. Then one day, I pulled her strings so much and so hard that she let it out…
She’s had a crush on some cool guy for a very long time…her big secret
Now, what hit me is not the fact that she’s had the crush but the fact that she made it so secretive that saying it that day caused her to cry her heart out so much. And of course, I made her understand that such things happen to various people and there is no need to feel bad or guilty about this. I made her understand that it is more relieving when you even joke about such things sometimes because it passes when you work on it. Now, she felt a lot of relief afterwards; like a heavy load had been lifted off her heart…it was no more a big secret.
I did not give her any material benefit. All that I did was to give her a ‘listening ear.’ One that was truly concerned and ready to listen without condemnation. I only tried my best to give her the best advice I could think about with the hope of seeing that things work out well for her.
Why am I telling you all these?
You can be rest assured that I am not trying to burst my bubbles nor to show you how good a person I am. I am not even trying to tell you that you should confide in me with your troubles even though I have learnt the hard way to now be keener on availing my listening ability to all who want to let some trouble out. It pays a great deal.
What I am trying to let you pay attention to is how much your listening to the troubles of others with a good intent and the sincere need to help them by not judging them but giving them good advice; however they may take it; is important.
Do not listen so that you can rush off to tell the next person and the next person whiles giving the shallow caution that…
‘Please, you are the only one I am telling this so don’t tell anyone.’
And then the person goes off to tell the next person giving a warning likewise.
When you lend a listening ear to people, and you must learn to do that in order to help them out, you must do so because…
1. You want to help them ease the burden of whatever it is they are concealing from others in their heart.
2. You do not want them to take any decision (s) that will risk their lives.
3. You want to learn from what they are going through.
You must know that for most people who are going through one trouble or the other, they have to muster a lot of courage in order to be able to confide in anyone. If they decide to confide in you, it is mostly because they trust that talking to you will be better than talking to others and also that you could probably have a way out for them mostly in terms of advice.
So then, if you mess up with what they have to say after confiding in you by…
1. Telling it to others when they have not permitted you
2. Teasing them with it when it is nothing to laugh about,
…then you make it a lot harder for them. The regret at having told you what they had preferred to keep quiet about for some time kills them.
If you are unable to help them out after listening to them, you can help them seek advice with other trusted people whom you know could help…
The Orphan Girl
She’s lost both parents. We were both young. She is the smiling type so there is no way you’d ever know she was facing challenges in her life if she didn’t tell you. Yet sometimes, she will come to me and tell me how much hardship and maltreatment she was undergoing under the care of her guardian. She will cry her eyes out and then all that I could do at that age was to just let her lie on my lap as she cried and then I’d recite ‘aayaatul kursiy’ for her.
I remember clearly how much relief that brought her anytime she was down.
Must you act too strong?
I am worried she didn’t just put ego aside and just talk to me about whatever emotional troubles she was facing. I had a beautiful sincerely Islamic relationship with her. She knew too well that my respect and admiration for her was not going to diminish in the least because of her troubles. It wouldn’t also mean that she did not have faith in Allah azza wa jal. It was only a test and sometimes talking to someone you could trust about it makes it a lot easier. Whiles I was lamenting my concern to someone who had told me about her troubles, the person said;
‘But you know, sometimes people like her who help others out of their trouble do not want others to know they are facing challenges. They want to make people believe that all is well with them no matter how hard it is.’
Well, I just cast a glance to the little I know of the stories of the women companions of the Prophet Muhammad suallallaahu alayhi wa sallam and I saw strong highly religious women of high social standing yet that did not make them think they had to hide their troubles to the extent that it ate them up. They sought counsel when and where appropriate and from the right person without fear of a loss in social esteem. So then why do we think and do otherwise?
My humble advice is simply that;
‘No matter who you are; whatever you or people think your financial, religious or social status is, when you have a problem that is troubling you, speak to a trusted person about it starting of course with the Ultimate Listener and Helper, Allah azza wa jal.’
And the best is for you to pray to Allah azza wa jal to direct you to who could be of help.
Among the most challenged people I know…
She looked well and good. Then in a short while, she got very attached to me. Then one day, whiles we were alone, she told me that she had something to tell me. She had secrets she is unable to open up to anyone about that was killing her gradually.
Now, I cannot tell you what her troubles are but I can assure you that her troubles are that many and it even started from the manner in which she was born which she was told.
And then I remember that on that day, whiles she told me one trouble upon the other, I just simply cried like a baby; so much so that in the end, she had to be the one consoling me. Alhamdulillaah that she found a sister in me and alhamdulillaah that Allah azza wa jal blessed me with a sister like her.
He cheats and tells her
She is a young lady, a virgin when she married him. He respects her for that but she does not fulfil him. So, he has his other ladies who know it all and take care of him. Interesting enough, he does not hide his affairs from her. She knows these ladies and then he will insult them to her about how cheap they are. He takes care of her every need and gives her luxury; money, jewellery, clothes, cars. Yet she is very sad. She tells me;
‘What I am assured from him for my virginity is his respect and utmost care but he says I do not satisfy him so he needs some more outside.’
I could not figure out exactly what respect it is that he has for her if he could subject her to such a shameful and sinful life but I was grateful that she was able to tell me her sorrow when everyone thought all was well and good for her.
I think I have said enough and I hope I have been able to convey my message of lending a listening ear to the troubled and seeking a listening ear when you are troubled. May Allah azza wa jal take care of all of our affairs. Aameen Yaa Mujeebud da’awatad da’ee.
‘Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate from the truth after You have guided us, and bestow upon us mercy from Your grace. Verily You are the Giver of bounties without measure.’
Aameen Yaa Quddus Yaa Salaam Yaa Mu’min Yaa Muhaymin Yaa Aziz Yaa Jabbar
Rubaba Mmahajia Rahma Sabtiu