Pentecost

     
 

Indeed, those who have said, "Our Lord is Allah" and then remained on a right course - the angels will descend upon them, [saying], "Do not fear and do not grieve but receive good tidings of Paradise, which you were promised. ~ Quran (41:30)

In all fairness, she didn't ask them to come and hold a cryfest with her.

Actually, Abu Bakr and Umar visited Umm Ayman to relieve their own grief and longing for the Prophet, following something that he used to do.

Repetition of habit is a way of remembrance, isn't it?

So when she started weeping, the companions reminded her that the prophet was in a better place.

She nodded between sobs, muttering "I know, I know. That knowledge brings me greater relief than anything else in my loss." Then shook her head, " It's the end of the revelations, the voice of God through the Prophet that made my grief linger."

It was that, the sense of irrevocable endings, that made the two companions weep with the Prophet’s old nurse.

***

Then they heard it.

Shy at first, barely nudging its presence between their sobs, but they heard it, nevertheless. Its clarity and calm decisiveness contrasted their emotional shambles, and brought them upright with urgent attention.

“You have work to do.”

Suddenly the room was crowded with generations of future and past ghosts. The ghosts of the people who have died to uphold their practice. The ghosts of fore-children who were going to miss out on the Prophet’s teachings had it not been grounded into the living. Today.

If most of the ummah remembered how it felt to have a prophet amongst them, how, then, would the unborn remember? 

If it was bothering the woman who knew the Prophet the longest, it surely would have bothered the rest of the ummah. 

And they each only had a life time to spend. And it was going to be one worth spending; because they knew how it felt to be at loss, to grieve. To swing between love and hate, darkness and light.

***

On taking leave from Umm Ayman, they wondered between them, “Did you hear it?”

“In the pause between sobs? Yes, indeed.”

“What do you think it was?”

“The same voice that guides the bees and mountains and stars. The same voice that our Prophet sought in his nights of solitude and devotion. The same voice that, we might as well hope, would guide us and our children through the darkness.”

Umar’s voice deepened, “The weak might confuse other voices with…”

“That’s what we need to work on, isn’t it? Straighten the lines and set the foundations. As long as the ummah sticks to those, we can hope for the best in the voices that they will hear, when they find themselves in moments of calm respite. That is all that any teacher can hope for from the unknown.”

 
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