I met my first lesson towards happiness in the jungles of concrete and coffee. New York, you could say that fate brought us together. It happened in the most unexpected way, but this was New York, one of the most spontaneous state in the United States. Tourists with maps at hand walked by gawking at skyscrapers, craning their necks just to steal a glimpse, taxicabs were rushing everywhere, and artists drew, sang and painted their way into bystander’s pockets.
So the unexpected seemed to be a norm here. it was beautiful, the lights were blinding, people were everywhere and the mixed sounds of cars felt like music to my ears. I loved it, I genuinely did, as I walked around I ended up walking towards a store of some kind, till a man…wearing no more than a small ragged coat and no shoes fumbled his way towards Starbucks. My eyes never left him; I just kind of stood there numb, lost, and mute. I didn’t know whether this was a figment of my imagination or if this was humanly possible. So I followed him, I crossed to the other side and fell into the warm arms of fresh coffee and suits. IPhones and smartphones whirled about, yet in the distance near a corner, there he was huddled weakly at the verge of consciousness. I’ve heard of homelessness and inhumanity. I’d seen it, yet this man caught my eye, I came up to him and sat right across from his seat.
“What’s your name?”
“Kinda is, umm mind if we have a date?”
(God have mercy on your soul, for the past 16 years of your life you’ve been exposed to people and general social skills. Is this REALLY what you could think of?)
“I mean what would you like to eat, you seem like an interesting person and I’d love to talk to you,”
(Are you mad? Are you mental? Is there something that’s not right in your head? Is this what you call normal? Your existence is a mess!)
“Just juice and a cookie would be fine thank you,” “Um okay, are you sure?”
“Yes, god bless you child,”
I go and grab whatever he could possible eat and stand there a few minutes tops debating whether he is allergic to nuts or not. I manage to find alternatives and come back just as quickly as I left.
“Okay, here’s your stuff, oh and some more just in case,”
“You didn’t have to do that you know,”
“I did, do you hang around here?”
“Sometimes, I am a veteran you know, no family, no nothing,”
“Oh I am sorry,”
“No need for pity, just always have someone there to love you. My time has run, it’s yours that’s waiting,”
I left that day, hoping to catch him the next morning; I walked around time square with no sight of him. I don’t know how, I happened to get upset but I went back to the hotel a bit teary like I hadn’t done enough, and so I did something that calmed me when I was frustrated with myself or the world, I prayed. Well it was more like sniffles and bawling and awkward sounds that barely stood for words but I prayed for Jeffrey, for myself and for the world.
I fixed up a bowl of cereal and O.J for breakfast and plopped right on the living room couch. ABC good morning America was on and like always I had 5 minutes to spare before running late to school.
My eyes glued to the screen as a blurry shot of the kneeling officer handed something like boots to the man…that looked like Jeffrey… Astounded I called up my mom to come see him; he had a new pair of shoes and socks. I was flabbergasted and overwhelmed by joy. I was somewhere between “I can’t believe this,” feeling and” oh my lord,” smile. Anyhow sitting there I realized that to become happy, prayers need to be said and maybe not all prayers are always taken in right away because the very thing that you might be praying for may not always be the best choice for you and at the end of the day Allah alone knows best.
Prayer and patience is a must. Faith is what holds every piece of my mind together. Faith in Allah, in his creations and in his wise actions. Faith is what keeps me sane and happy. So as much as you have of everything, if there’s nothing to look forward to, then what you have is only a mere limited object which has been limited by time. In conclusion: to be happy, Allah and Islam must be in the mix.
With Best Regards,