Sunday, January 30, 2011


Oh, dear. I know that look.
Allah has come upon you.
Do come and sit down before you topple over and hurt someone.

Drink this tea.
Catch your breath.
And tell me what happened.

I remember when it last happened to me.
I was at the well, getting a drink of water.
And Allah fell upon me like a cat pounding from a roof top,
claws extended to clutch at my shoulder.

It was all I could do to remain upright.
My brain felt like it was on fire,
and I saw reflected in the well all of the worlds and their myriad creatures.

I was lucky I didn’t fall in.
And yet, in a way, I did fall in.
I fell into the mind of Allah, and I will never be the same.

It has happened before, don’t misunderstand.
But every time is different.
Every time you see something new that you did not see before.

And every time it illumines all that is shadow,
exposes everything that is a lie
and turns me once again to face Mecca in my heart.

I do not know why Allah does this to people
and you can never predict when it happens.
My advice is to see it as a blessing
rather than the uncomfortable imposition it feels like now.

But Najat does know one thing.
Once it has happened to you, you will sell everything
—even your soul—to make sure it happens again.

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