As his roommate gives the salaam signalling the end of the prayer, Farid dwells on the last words he utters. It’s in Arabic, so he doesn’t know what they mean. How could he choose to be ignorant of such a huge thing as what he is saying when praying? He gulps down his self-disgust before giving the salaam as well.
He’s never been a good Muslim, Farid. He knew that. Sure, he prayed five times a day, fasted when Ramadan came and everything, but he knew deep inside how worthless he must be in the sight of his God. How could he be? He barely even knew what he was saying while praying. He never really felt any closer to The Almighty when he fasted. It was all just to get it over and done with. So he can have a good record for the afterlife, so that he wouldn’t be thrown in Hell. And that’s it.
He wasn’t Azri. Azri, his roommate for three semesters now. Azri was an exemplary Muslim. Coming from one of the most prestigious religious schools in the country, he knew so much more than Farid did. Farid viewed his roommate in awe and envy. He was jealous at Azri for how much knowledge of the religion he had under his belt. He was jealous at how good a Muslim Azri was. Azri, the one always prayed supplementary prayers after maghrib and ‘isya. Azri, the one who recited long and elaborate doas at the end of each prayers. Azri, the one who most probably understood every single Arabic word he said while praying. Azri is definitely a guy who’ll be going straight to heaven when his life ends.
And now that he’s done with the post-prayer zikir, Azri was reciting one of his elaborate doas. Azri’s deeds will definitely be counted by God. He knows exactly what he’s saying right now. Farid hasn’t even heard half of the supplications Azri was reciting, let alone understand them. Farid sighs.
But at least he’s done some good deeds in his life, right? Those must outweigh the bad deeds he’s done all this while. Farid wasn’t a very good Muslim, sure, but he wasn’t all that bad either. He never got into any trouble that he knew might have been too deep for him to climb out of. At least he’s got that going for him.
But what if Allah doesn’t accept his good deeds? What happens if all his good deeds were for nothing, because he didn’t even have the courtesy to find out what he meant when he prayed? What if all that counted were the bad deeds? What if God decided to toss out the good ones because Farid wasn’t a good enough Muslim to have them count? What did he do all his life when he couldn’t even understand a goddamn word of what Azri was saying in his doa right now? How could he have the gall to say that any of his good deeds counted, being as ignorant and as arrogant as he was? Who does he think he is in the sight of God? He wasn’t even as big as a spec of dust to God, and he has the nerve to think he deserved to go to heaven? Who was he kidding?
Noticing that his roommate, Farid suddenly sobbing and crying, Azri prolonged his supplication. He didn’t even know what he was praying for. He just said random Arabic phrases he picked up from his days in religious school. He didn’t want to take away this moment from Farid by ending the supplication, for he feared that once he stopped, Farid would stop crying too. Azri knew that Farid was being truly close to God, so close that tears streamed down his face, realising just how small he was in the sight of God. And Azri was jealous, because it’s something Azri hasn’t felt in a long, long time.
Nice. Everyone we meet is fighting a battle we know nothing about.
A swallow does not make a summer. Nice entry brother. :')
What's left unsaid despite our actions is indeed a mystery as Leo Tolstoy said "Is it possible to tell someone what one really feels?"
Like how the story ended & I'm looking forward to Part 2 of
'A Friend Made'.
so beautiful :)
They are good guys, dua-dua suka husnuzon.
Totally depict out the inner battle of thoughts that most of us went through.
This, by far, is my most favorite piece of yours, sincerely written and so, very, true.
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