It is evening and a friend has called she is coming over to bring me a robust vegetarian chili filled with all kinds of nutritious ingredients. It is to build my strength after the weakening illness that I am recovering from after Ummrah.
As the phone call ends immediately my Pakistani genes kick in. I prepare a tea tray with some finger snacks. I go to the living room and straighten it up.
The chill of the unusually cold night is stealing into the house. I walk over to the fireplace turn the gas on and bend down to light it with a match. It flares with a swirl as if it is rising up to grab the escaped gas and to knuckle it down into the fireplace; I draw back surprised by the unusual intensity of its flare. The thought passes my mind that may be the latent period between turning on the gas and lighting it was slightly longer than usual?
Next I go to the restroom to straighten it and as I look up into the mirror I am surprised to see that the right side of my hair has frizzed up and become copper colored. I stare appalled, what has happened? Did I get paint on my hair? I touch my hair and it crumples and brittle pieces of burnt hair fall into the sink.
I have singed my hair! I think with surprise. I thank Allah for protecting me. I wash my hands and feel the water to be sensitive on my skin, I look at my hands and there is a spreading rash of redness on the dorsum of my hands the side that was facing the fireplace…
Do I have burns? I stand non-plussed. It does not hurt like a first-degree burn and yet my medical experience tells me that it looks like a first-degree burn without a doubt. I take out the burn salve from the medicine cabinet but I am perplexed shocked and deeply thankful like some one is who has missed a near death accident.
Meanwhile before I can apply the salve, the doorbell rings………. My friend comes and leaves me with comforting words and a bowl of delicious chili.
After she leaves, I go back to the rest room to resolve this mystery of being burned and yet not being burned. I turn my face to check my brow and lashes and the right side of my face … and there is nothing different except the shortened lock on the right.
I look at my hands; they are red and sensitive to water but not exceptionally painful. I am stupefied and humbled with the Rahma (mercy) of Allah on me. I recite surah Fatiha and ask Allah to heal my hands.
As I stand there stunned by what has happened or not happened Duas of gratitude pour from my lips and my heart as the significance of the event and the proximity of being burned and the protection from the FIRE from the Almighty dawns on me.
The next day is Friday and the Imam announces how a man and his family are admitted in the burn unit, their house burned, their family in critical condition.
I stand stunned in Salah thanking Allah for saving me from the Fire! Feeling humble at being selected to be protected.
I have been studying Islamic medicine for some time, but recently in a course taught by Qibla, the Sheikh recited some of the surahs and the adkaars that protect us from the FIRE.
After returning from Ummrah I became regular in completing all my adkaars including the three Quls and the 33 /34 tasbeeh Fatima at the end of each Salah, with especial attention to the frequency after Fajr and Maghrib.
On the morning of the event, I recall that I recited the complete adkaar with English meaning trying to absorb it into me, with sincerity.
The Sheikh said that if you recite the adkaars designated for after Salah and the three Quls in the morning Allah protects you from the fire till the evening and the same in the evening………..
What had not sunk into me was that in the sincerity of obeying Allah, understanding the power of the words of the Quran and acknowledging his attribute of SHAAFI (The Healer) that He Subhanawataala saves you not only from the FIRE of Jahannum but also FIRE per se…
I am so deeply grateful that I have no words to express my gratitude to Allah. I look at my hands in awe….. Overnight the burned skin has disappeared and my hands are as if nothing happened…I look at them at every wudu and thank Allah. I shudder at the immense power He holds to give and to withhold. Fear and awe of His immense power shakes me as I walk around looking at my unscathed hands.
I am mystified at how much else lies in the covers of the Quran, the power of which I am so unaware. This happening and understanding it is just scratching the surface…