Umm Zahra (flower's mom).. One of the most beautiful women I've ever met! Her face glows with faith & hands gleam with light! It was a pleasure & a real delight meeting her!
Yesterday, "Friday the 13th", was calling on me, "come to God's house.. Come, come..".. I heard it so clear & couldn't ignore it for any reason.. The weekend's laziness & the week's weariness were melting off with the first sprinkle of ablution water on my skin.. Mysterious energy beamed all around me & carried me to God's house..
The weather was perfect, the clouds were floating & the kids were hollering on the roads.. As I drove off, the streets were greeting me with a unique morning smoothie turning all the lights to green & rushing me to God's Call..
As soon as I reached the Holy House, I found an empty spot right in front of the shaded ladies section waiting for me, thanking me for answering the call.. In disbelief, I parked the car & flew out.. As I was putting my shoes on the shelf, this cute little Somali girl opened the gate for me with happy eyes and a big gum in her mouth.. She answered my salam with this cute accent of hers that would melt down an iceberg! As I walked in, I didn't find many women as (a) I went early, (b) Women don't really go to the mosques here much often! So I go and next to the wall, unfold my rug & pray the prayer of greeting the mosque..
After finishing off my two rak'as, Umm Zahra, a woman I never met, sitting in the front row waved at ME telling me to sit next to her and tapped on the rug next to her.. So, I smiled back and went and sat & she didn't say a word! She carried on reading from the Holy Book & I started my own reading too.. Every once in a while she'd smile at me & without uttering a word, she'd continue reading.. And while reading, a sajdah came through the lines & she prostrated for around 10 minutes! I was stunned by the beauty of her power! She's this very very old Somali woman who happens to have an enormous amount of wrinkles on both her face & hands.. The hinna from her hands smelled so fresh just like Eid! Her physical ability wouldn't be much, but her prostration was a long one that would make you think, "what is wrong with me! I'm way younger and don't really prostrate this long much!".. As she rose back to her first posture, I couldn't help but wonder, why me? Why would she ask a young stranger to sit next to her! A person like her would pick a wiser looking woman, at least from her background, to sit next to..
I sat there, hearing her whispers of recitation from the thirtieth section of the Qur'an and was impressed! Arabic isn't her first language & her recitation is almost perfect! Moments later, more women started coming and among them were women she knows.. All greeting her "assalamu alaikum Umm Zahra..", and nicely she'd answer back with this peaceful grin of hers.. I showed her that it's okay with me to move back to let them sit next to her, but she held me down! She, again, without saying a word, "told" me that she wants me sitting there! We continued sitting there for almost an hour before the athan went on, without leaning on the wall for once! She knows how to sit with her back straight & The Book in her hands without moving! Just reading God's Words & trying to live them while disconnecting herself from all familiar and unfamiliar faces..
As the sermon started, she sank her face in between her hands and LISTENED! As it was over and Imam Ahmed started supplicating before the prayer, she started weeping and weeping! She was shaking as if it was the Last Day! She tried holding it all in, but her shaking showed it all.. She wouldn't scream "amen" like everyone else did, oh no.. She'd just "amen" on her own.. She'd plead but in her polite way!
As soon as we were done, people ran towards her for a hello and went back.. I prayed the Sunnah prayer (that I not always pray :$) & waited for her to finish hers, but she took quite some time.. As soon as she was done, I kissed her forehead & hugged her so tight without a word! She started praying for me as if she was my own mother!!!!! Her prayers were so sweet I didn't want them to end..
But it had to end,
And I had to go..
But in my heart,
I'll always know..
She's the flower's Mom,
Who's smell will always flow..
I LOVE YOU UMM ZAHRA (f)
P.S. What's wrong with number 13? Ha? Huh? Huuuuuuuh? Yesterday, Friday the thirteeeeeeeenth was AWESOME! YOU THIRTEEN PEOPLE, PLEASE RECONSIDER THAT THOUGHT! CANADA, please, have 13 floors.. I live in the thirteenth floor and IT'S FINE! GOSH! What's that all about!
P.P.S. Somali people rock! Really! I've always been impressed with the Somali culture! Their ways of living, food, smells, hinna & everything!
P.P.P.S. The little girl at the mosque's door reminded me of a little girl I took pictures off at Native Deen's Concert two years ago :) Here's a picture of her taken while she was looking after her li'l brother until her mom got back.. Isn't she a doll?
P.P.P.P.S. So what if Egypt wins? What happens if Algeria wins? Does it really need this much attention? Dear God!