TweetA few months ago before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small town. From the beginning, dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited Him to live with our family. Though His outside appearance was not attractive, the stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.
As I grew up I never questioned His place in our family. In my young mind, each member had a special place. My Brother, Yusuf, few years my senior, was my example. Yasmin, my younger sister, gave me an opportunity to play 'Big Sister' and develop the art of teasing. My parents were complementary instructors - Mum taught me to love Allah Ta'alah, and dad taught me how to obey Him. But the stranger, who was our story teller, could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our family spellbound for hours each evening and would consume most of our times over the weekend. If I wanted to know about politics, history, or science, He knew it. He knew about the past and seemed to understand the present. The pictures He could draw were so life like that I would often laugh or cry as I watched. He was like a friend to the whole family. He took dad, my brother and me to our first major league cricket game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and He even made arrangements to introduce us to several famous people.
The stranger was a constant talker. Dad didn't seem to mind, but sometimes Mum would quietly get up - (while the rest of us were enthralled with one of His stories of a faraway place) - and go to Her room and read the Qur'an. She would sometimes quietly tell us that the Prophet, peace be upon Him said: "The beauty of one's faith is shunning all non-productive activities."
...I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave. Yes you see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt an obligation to honour them. Swear, for example, was not allowed in our house, neither from our friends, adults or us. Our long time visitor, however, used occasional four letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm. To my knowledge the stranger was never confronted. My dad was a teetotaller who didnt permit alcohol in the house.
But the strnager felt like we needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often. He made fags look tasty, cigars manly and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (probably too much too freely) about sex. His comments sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. He showed us how to woo and flirt with women. I know now that my early concepts of man-woman relationship were influenced by the stranger.
As I look back, I believe Allah Ta'alah's mercy that the stranger did not influence us more. Yes He was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave. More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the family. He is now nearly so interesting to my dad as He was in those early years. But if I were to walk into my parents' bedroom today, you will still see Him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to Him, talk and watch Him draw His pictures and enchant His audience with His magic.
His name? You may ask... ...He has Many names... Author: Unknown
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