A NIGHT TO REMEMBER

At the beginning of my third year in the university, I had an unforgettable experience. I just got back to school that day after an exhausting four hours journey from Lagos to Benin. The roads were very bad and the journey, very uncomfortable. I had to attend two lectures and by the time I got back to my room in the boys quarters of one of the Staff Quarters', Iwas very, very tired. As tired as I was, I still made time to gist with my neighbours about the holidays before I barely managed to do my salaat, had a meal and fell into bed At about 4.am, I woke up with a strange feeling that something was amiss. Because I was so tired, I hadn't heard anything. My lights were out but the street light dimly illuminated the room. As I turned over, I almost passed out in shock as I saw three men coming intomy room. They flicked on the lights and one of them screamed atme to get up. They all wore black Iycra masks and one of them had a pistol.

They beat me up and collected my money, some of my clothes, electronics and jewelry. Through it all, I couldn't do any dua. Not because I didn't want to .but I just couldn't. I couldn't remember how to reciteAayat-al-kursiyyor any other Aayat. Eventually, they tied my hands and feet and went on to the other rooms to rob my neighbours. As I lay on the floor shivering and beggingAllaah to help, it came to my mind that I could read Surah 59: 22- 24. The verses kept going round and round my head. After a few minutes, one of them came back to see if there was anything they could take. There was nothing as I was yet to bring my things in fully from my guardian's house in town.

In annoyance, he picked up a wine bottle to smash on my head. I kept on reciting those verses in my mind. Afterall, the worst that could happen was that he would kill me. He paused, looked at the bottle in his hand and put it down. He then picked up a piece of wood and hit me with that instead. He then left and I bled profusely from the head wound.

That was how they left finally. After a while, people from neighbouring houses came to untie me and the others and we went to get medical attention. Alhamdufillah, all what they took was replaced and the wounds have healed, but the lessons that stayed with me is that I had to look within and see if really my worship is sincerely for Allaah.ldo not mean that pious worshippers could not face torments like this. In fact they would asatest from Allaah!

Rather, till today, I still wonder about that unforgettable night! How come I could not remember anything of Allaah's dhikr (remembrance)? How come I couldn't make any du'aat first? What will happen when the angels come. to-rne in the grave, I wonder? Will I be able to give them theright answers or will Ifail?

It is something we have to give a thought to and therefore, do our best to purify our worship for Allaah Alone.                                                                                                Anonymous

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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