The day she thought she lost everything

Story by Anonymous
On a cold full moon night in a dark room, my grandfather glazed at the blazing fire. I could feel there is warmness in the room. I covered myself with a blanket and sat next to grandpa. I brought him some hot coffee and got hot chocolate for myself. It is unusual for grandpa to be drinking coffee at 9 ‘o’ clock at night. He used to drink coffee in the mornings only. However, tonight felt different. It felt as if some strange winds surrounded our mansion.

I am the family’s only child and everyone calls me “princess”. Tonight I didn’t feel sleepy. I wanted to hear a new story from grandfather. I loved his stories. They all had great morals and lessons which helped me learn good values. However, there was one thing that never changed me. It was my desires and wants. If I wanted something, I want it no matter what. I cried until I get what I want. My grandfather never liked it when I did that and always told my father not to spoil me. He would spoil me himself but he disliked my stubborn behavior.

I am sixteen years old. My name is Asma. I am the daughter of a rich businessman. My father, Fahad and my mother, Uzma both loved me very much and mostly because I am their only child. My life has been very different. I have always gotten what I wanted. I never had to work hard to get anything. I enjoyed everything and felt contented with my life.

Now tonight, I can tell there is something wrong. No one would tell me. In order to ease my mind, I asked Grandpa to tell me a story. He said,

“Tonight shall be remembered, for the light is now approaching us. I have told you many stories till now. It’s your turn to tell me a story. The story of something that will be taken away from you and how you will earn it back? Will you be patient and content or would you complain? What if I tell you that by morning you will find yourself somewhere else?”

My grandfather paused. Then Daddy came and asked me to go to my room to sleep. The night has been pacing in many directions between the warmth of the fire place hall and the cold words that shook every inch of me. I left for my room upstairs and fell asleep after thinking about my grandfather’s strange questions. I didn’t care, all I could think of was the arrival of my best friend, Naz. She was away to Scotland for a month and is coming back tomorrow. I can’t wait to tell her about the new dress I bought from this week’s fashion magazine. I felt excited and somehow closed my eyes and fell asleep. My dreams bothered me. Nightmares after nightmares; it wouldn’t stop. I finally woke up with a scream. I looked around and wondered if I was still in my nightmare. I pinched myself and said “Ouch!” It was a very small room and boy! It was ugly. Where am I? I asked myself. I came out of that room and found my grandfather sitting in a wooden rocking chair. I ran to him and hugged him. He asked me if I have slept well. I said, “I am ok”. I then looked around everywhere. I noticed that I am in an apartment. A very tiny apartment!! I asked grandpa, “What happened? Why are we here? Where are mom and dad?” Too many questions were on my mind. Grandpa asked me to sit down and then he began.

“Your mother and father are doing well. I am afraid I have some very bad news for you. Your father lost all his business properties. His business went down. He is still trying to recover and working his way towards it. For now, your mom and dad will be living in Paris until they figure a good living for us all. We lost our mansion and everything to the bankers. Right now we will be living in this apartment. I cannot guarantee how long this will take. It can be years.”

I was shocked!! I could not believe what my grandfather was saying. I felt like going back to sleep and wish it was a nightmare. I took the phone and called my friend Naz. When she answered the phone, I told her about everything that happened. She said sorry to me and it was very nice of her to comfort me. The next day, I called her again but she didn’t pick up.  Later, she told me that we can’t be friends anymore because I am poor now. I felt depressed. I could not believe my best friend would do this to me.

I remembered once in my English class I read a quote,

“Poverty methinketh is a glass, through which he may see his true friends.” (Canterbury tales)

This is so true!!

I cried and cried. I didn’t know what to do. I needed to get away from all this. I walked outside. There was a park nearby. So, I went to one of the benches and cried so much. My heart felt broken. I have lost everything. My friends, my happiness, everything. I kept saying this to myself and cried. I suddenly heard someone say something behind me. “You haven’t lost anything”. I turned around and there was a girl in a white dress. She wasn’t very pretty but her smile was beautiful. I asked her, “What do you mean? You possibly don’t know what happened to me!! I lost all my wealth in just a matter of one night. I lost all my friends and everything. Still the girl remained firm and said “No! You haven’t lost anything”. I felt angry at her.

The girl then smiled again. She said, “The one who has found Allah has found everything. If you have Him, you have everything.” I listened to the girl calmly. The girl went on “He is Allah! He will give to whom He will. He will guide Who He will. We belong to Him and To Him we will return one day”.

She asked, “what if last night was your last?” Do you really think you lost everything?” You are complaining that you lost your friends and wealth. Those friends were never your true friends. They were friends with your money. Once you lost all of it, they walked away from you. The wealth you lost is something that comes and goes. One day you have it and the next day you don’t”. O sister, we live in this world temporarily. None of this all matters. Look at those below you. There are people who have no food all day. They are orphans like me and Alhamdulillah we are patient. We ask Allah to help us and give us sustenance. Do not despair. Make dua. She gave me a hug and comforted me. I, for the first time realized that the world I was living in was a fake one. I felt happy. That girl, Rahima became friends with me. She asked me to go home and read Qur’an. I began reading Qur’an and subhanAllah all my sadness vanished. I felt so much tranquility in my heart as never before. I started to pray and it made me feel contented. When my grandfather brought me bread and jam. I ate with a smile and thanked Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala for it. I started to spend lots of time with Rahima. I also invited her to my apartment. Grandpa, me and Rahima had a wonderful time together. We learned about the stories of the Prophets and great Sahabas. I learned to become very patient. A few months passed by, I changed. I became a very cheerful person. I stopped complaining and became very strong Alhamdulillah.

Today my grandpa called me and told me the good news that dad and mom are coming back. I was very happy and excited. The next day when I woke up, I found myself in my bed room. I looked around and felt happy to be in my own room. I went to my living room and found grandpa. Mom called me and gave me the good news that dad was able to get all his business back. We got our mansion and everything back Alhamdulillah. Naz called and I told her I didn’t want to be friends with her anymore. I then went to Rahima’s house and found her reading a book. I asked her if she would like to live with me in my mansion. Rahima hesitated but then agreed. My parents agreed as well. Rahima started going to the same school as me and she became a sister to me. I loved her so much for the sake of Allah Subhana Wa Ta’ala. Then Rahima smiled and asked me, “Have you not found everything?” I said, “Yes, Alhamdulillah I have Him and I have everything”. We both went to school and graduated successfully together.

Al-hamdu li-Llahi Rabbi-l-‘alamin. All Praise be to Allah The Cherisher and the Sustainers of the Worlds.

Sayyid Qutb (Rahimahullah) said:

“As for the believers whose hearts are connected to Allah, whose souls are close to Him, who experience His constant bounty – they do not despair of the Mercy of Allah even if they are surrounded on all sides by disaster and severe hardship. The believer is in the mercy of the shade of his faith, the pleasure of his connection to his Lord, and the tranquility of his confidence in his Guardian even when he is in the throes of hardship and disaster.”