The shadows lengthen as the evening comes to a close. He seems restless and as the night falls his restlessness increases, every sound is magnified. There is no TV to drown the thinking parts of our brain, there is no music to distract us and there is no appetite to stuff our faces with unwanted and unneeded calories.
Maghreb falls gently like a gossamer veil on the face of an English bride, hiding and yet showing what is under it. Just as suddenly the shadows of the night advance like a dark army, he becomes pensive.
“Should we pray now?” I ask. He immediately walks on his little legs to the rest room climbs his step stool and begins to pull up his cuffs. Wudu is performed and when we put down our prayer rugs the darkness is rapidly gaining on the weakening light of the fading day.
He stands in front of me in Qiyam and falls to the sujood flattening out his body his head facing me to listen to what I say in sujood. It brings a smile to my face. There is tension in his body and as the Salah progresses; I can tell that with every rakat the tension is seeping out of him bit by bit.
Whatever lurks in the shadows of the night at least cannot invade us on our musallah. The Salah ends and I begin the evening Dhikr, he pushes himself into my lap and I feel the focused alertness with which he is listening to each “Subhanallah, Alhamdollillah and Allah O Akbar” Gone is the play fullness of the Dhuhr Salah. Where sitting for Dhikr is brief and playing is the norm.
The Tasbeeh Fatima and then the moudoodaats followed with the adkaars cocoon us in the blanket of the Divine. He continues to choose to sit in my lap,
I can sense his stillness. He is listening not only with his ears but also with his heart.
Finally it is time for dua, and I ask him whom does he want to make dua for. He mentions his Mommy and Daddy and then some names of those who love and care for him. The dua ends and we sit in silence, unmoving, enveloped in a love that has no boundaries.
Silence falls around us and with it comes serenity. The night angels arrive and settle around us while the day angels rise with the duas we have just made.
We sit on the musallah, both him and me content to be in this island of sanctuary.
The mercy of Allah is being sprinkled on us. Both reluctant to break the silence that is laden with, love, security and a deep sense of comfort. A restfulness that only comes when enveloped in the remembrance and mercy of our Creator.
Never have I felt a connection so deep and with such clarity with the Divine as I do this evening. My grandchild in my lap, unfettered by worldly distractions, a sense of timelessness and in sync with him in the remembrance of Allah.
بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَتَطْمَئِنُّ قُلُوبُهُم بِذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ ۗ أَلَا بِذِكْرِ اللَّـهِ تَطْمَئِنُّ الْقُلُوبُ ﴿٢٨﴾
Who have believed and whose hearts have rest in the remembrance of Allah. Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest!