The bell rang, the lock opened and the rope dropped. Peasantry dressed, I climbed the rope with my cracked palms.
“Steak, chops, chips and make sure it is finely cut. Falooda, jelly and passion fruit!!” barked the cruel cold voice of my step-father. My mum had passed on years ago, when I was but 8 years of age. Aged beyond my years, I am 16 years old.
Locked in a basement 22 hours a day with dirt floors, no windows and the kind of eerie atmosphere that gets to your heart, I had become depressed, lonely and my self-esteem had reached rock bottom. With prayers my only form of solitude or comfort, I prayed day in and day out. Whether the sun shown or the grey clouds shadowed, it made no difference to my dull day.
Surviving on dry bread, water that was collected from the local river and an occasional “treat”, butter, I took out my days.
Today, as I awoke, made wudhu with cold water despite the fact that it was -2 degrees outside, I performed my Tahajjud salaah on the hard cement, but as I prayed my second sajdah, I felt a connection between my creator and I. A gut feeling told me that today would be the end of my pain and that the sun would shine brighter than it did in 8 years. Salaam to my right& then my left ended my morning supplication.
My circumstances had never changed my love and trust in the creator, but the sequence of events the last months had held, had shaken my faith.
Going about my day as usual. Scrubbing, cleaning, cooking and being hauled at, I took my hands out of the dishwasher. The doorbell rang and I hurried to answer it. I opened the door and on the porch stood a boy of about 4/5 years of age with the most angelic smile and a message that went straight to my heart,” I just wanted to tell you how much god loves you and that you must have a splendid eid.” He handed me a card with a rose and as this angel disappeared back into the cold, I shut the door and read every word of the card. It was the sweetest thing ever. There was a picture of a rose and under it, in bold childish letters was carefully printed,” a Rose picked just for you.”
– YOUR SISTER IN ISLAM