Grateful for another chance to start anew...
As with any other night, exhaustion overcame me as I got ready for bed. Prayer, eh, it wasn’t exactly something I longed for. Most of the time, I was lazy and felt there was nothing that would require me to get up and pray. After all, I thought, I was not really in need of anything. I slipped into bed and gazed at the ceiling, taking one last glance at the room I was so used to seeing.
Moments later, something woke me up. The excruciatingly painful sound of ambulances rang through my ears, a jolt of heat sprang through me, and the dresser to the left of my bed shook with convulsions. My bed felt like it would collapse any minute. What was going on? I jumped out of my bed, dizzy from the sudden movement. I tried storming out of my bedroom, but I found out to my quick dismay that the door handle was blazing hot.
I then realized my house was on fire.
I tried recalling the lessons I had learned in elementary school on what to do when your house catches on fire. My memory was of no help as I wondered, “Ahh, what do I do?!” I finally found another option and hurried to the window on the side of my bed. I opened it and began shaking with fear, for I was on the third floor of my house. This was my only option; I had to do it. I jumped out, not thinking of how to land. But there I was, on the rock-hard concrete of someone else’s driveway.
The torturing ambulance noises started to fade away in my ears. Everything was a blur. I could no longer see or recognize where I was and what was going on. Seconds later, I was gone. Did I fall unconscious? Or perhaps I fell asleep? After all, I had just woken up from my sleep. But I knew one thing for sure: this was the last scene I could recall.
I’m not sure how much time passed by, but I woke up, the familiar feeling of consciousness jolting through my body. But why couldn’t I see anything? What was going on? After many failed attempts, I finally sat upright but quickly fell down, hitting my head on some type of metal pole. Great, I couldn’t even hear that! Not only that – the world around me was completely blank and utterly silent! I asked myself, ‘Am I dead?’ No, that couldn’t be. After all, it wasn’t how I was supposed to feel if I were! Suddenly, several hands grabbed me, helping me up. They then laid me on a cushioned, comfortable surface – a surface eerily familiar to the bed I had just woken up from. I groped around me, trying to recognize who these people were. They seemed to be men in uniforms, looking extremely strong as if they were security guards. For a few moments, I tried to comprehend my situation as much as possible, but to no avail. Nothing was making sense.
Again, I slipped into unconsciousness.
This time, I felt around, trying to guide my way through. I began walking with my hands out in front of me (just in case I didn’t bump into a metal pole again!). I came upon a wall and traced around it. It was a sponge-like material. “Where am I?!” I screamed. But silence overtook me. I couldn’t even hear my own voice! I then realized I was in a mental hospital and this was my cell. I screamed again only to be answered by a loud silence. I rubbed my eyes, hoping to regain my sight but got nothing. Here I was, deaf, blind, and mentally ill by the looks of it. It was as though I had lost my consciousness.
With my heart pounding, ready to hop out of my chest, I woke up. Yes, again. But this time, I was in my room. Everything was as normal as it could be. My bed and the dresser to the left were all stable and calm. Plus, my eyesight was back! However, before I got my hopes up, I ran to the mirror above my dresser. There I was, same old me. I crashed some perfume bottles together, testing my ears. Yes! Everything was absolutely normal! It was all just a dream! But wow…that was pretty intense! I felt I had lived every moment of it.
“Alhamdulilah” I sighed. Then, I began to think. What if that really happened? I hadn’t even prayed Isha! What if that had been my last prayer? What if I really did end up in a mental hospital? What if I really did lose my hearing, eye sight, and most importantly my consciousness? I would have never been able to seek forgiveness from Allah before I faced death. I gazed into space remembering how I never bothered praying Isha since I didn’t need anything from Him. I looked at the time, realizing I had only been asleep for two hours. I rushed to make Wudu, and stood in front of Allah, praying Isha – the very same prayer I had once thought was unimportant. As soon as I finished, I grabbed the Quran and opened it randomly. There it was, the Ayah that could do nothing but swell the water of my eyes into rivers. It related too much to what I had just experienced:
“Say, It is he who has created you, and made for you the faculties of hearing, seeing, feeling and understanding: little are you grateful.” (Surah Mulk, Ayah 23)
The goose bumps along my skin shuddered. I cried of how selfish I was. I had not even bothered praying because I thought I didn’t need anything from Allah, but I was wrong. Now, I realize that I must thank Him in times of need and in times when there is no need. I had never thought of losing these three advantages: sight, hearing, and consciousness. Without one, life would be a mess. I am glad I was able to wake up and be grateful that I had another chance to fix myself, another chance to start anew.