TRASH AND TREASURE
All day, every day, Iman visits her husband in the hospital. Gets food across to him, keeps his company, gave him succor and gives him words of encouragement. She motivated him to be strong and never despair of Allah’s mercy. She assured him of total healing by Allah’s mercy and became his strength.
She became the eyes he sees with. She became the hands that massages his body tenderly and also became the leg he walks with.
She held his hands and assured him of an undying love. She wiped his tears and told him to weep no more. ‘You’ll soon get back on your feet, the doctors said you shall be able to walk again, please don’t lose hope in your Lord’ She would comfort him.
Seconds turned minutes. Minutes seemed like eternity before it turned hours. Hours crawled into days like a snail. Days rolled into weeks. Weeks rolled into months and it’s been three months already since the accident, yet Ilyas hasn’t been discharged.
His treatment was gulping lots of money but fortunately, his company footed the bills and for as long as possible, his health is secured.
The stress of going back and forth was too much for Iman but she remained resolute about staying through for him.
Mrs Hamzah and her husband reached out and they also visited Ilyas in the hospital all the way from warri, Delta state. Iman hugged her tightly and thanked her for being so supportive. She poured out her heart to her and the latter gave her words of encouragement. ‘You have to stay through for him. It might be hard but your reward lies with Allah. It might be difficult but your efforts won’t go unnoticed by Allah. One of the responsibility of a Muslim to another is to visit him when he’s sick. Ilyas is not an ordinary Muslim to you but your husband. Please don’t get tired of him’ Mrs Hamzah advised
How awesome can someone be. They’ve just known each other for just a short period of time but Mrs Hamzah proved to be so immaculate, an epitome of a good Muslim.
Iman’s mum also employed her to be patient and stay by her husband in times of adversity but some other people were indifferent.
Though Ilyas was recuperating but he was unable to walk after spending a whole three months in the hospital, yet Iman stood by him solidly like a rock.
Then advices kept pouring from different angles. ‘What if he becomes cripple for life? ‘What if he doesn’t get back on his feet again’ And what if he dies eventually’ ‘You’re still very young, your life shouldn’t halt because of a man’ You should move on with your life’ These were some of the advices some close friends and some family members gave her but she shook her head and smiled.
“I have absolute trust in Allah. I know my husband will work again. I know he’ll be back on his feet again. And even if he doesn’t, marriage to me is for better for worse and not staying when things are good and leaving when things are bad. I know he’ll survive this and come out even more stronger.” She replied the naysayers with a strong will.
Then she intensified her prayers. She stood up in qiyamu-layl till her feet are swollen. She cried till her tears dried off. She stayed hours in prostration till her forehead hurts. ‘Oh Allah heal my husband’ Was her fervent request from Allah.
She did lots of charity on his behalf and she also capitalizes on the periods of istijaba to make special prayers.
The prayers of a Muslim over another Muslim is always accepted by Allah. And because it was written that Ilyas wouldn’t be a cripple, then an amazing progress begins to take place that left even the doctors in awe.
Ilyas’s parents were very grateful to Iman. They were in awe of her awesomeness. She wowed them with her patience, perseverance, forbearance and support for her husband. The trial came at a time they were only married for one week. Another woman would have abandoned him and walk away. But this incredible Iman had stood by him thought thick and thin.
She has proved to be a woman with an astounding behavior and her parents in law were impressed. Their respect for her doubled and they felt indebted to her. They were not aware of what their son did to her during the first week of their marriage, maybe they would have scolded him and sought Iman’s forgiveness but she didn’t disclose anything to them yet she was awesome.
There was a drastic improvement and Ilyas began to move his legs. Then a crutch was recommended. The family got a crutch and few days after he started using the crutch, he was discharged with physiotherapy recommended.
At last, after over four months in the hospital, he was discharged and he could walk again with the aid of a crutch. After four months of being confined to the four walls of a hospital, he was finally discharged and he returned home to his parents.
Gratitude is the best attitude they say, the family was grateful to Allah for the opportunity to see their son hale and hearty again. They were happy he could return home to them. They were hopeful he’ll soon drop the crutch and walk with his feet firm again.
Iman was especially grateful for a second chance to be with her husband again. She was grateful to Allah for answering her prayers. She was grateful to Him for keeping him alive, for her and for his parents. Her happiness knew no bound and the melody of her gratitude tingled in the air. She hugged him so affectionately, so tightly she could hear his heartbeat.
Ilysa’s was grateful to Allah for restoring his health. He was grateful to his family for staying by him throughout the trials. And hey, he was genuinely grateful to his wife. A girl he had just being married to for a week when the bad occurrence surfaced and who showed him what true unconditional love is. He felt a thorn in his heart for treating her so badly and he felt he didn’t deserve her unflinching love and support throughout his stay in the hospital.
For every hurt words he said to her, he felt bad and was remorseful. For abandoning her at home and running away to work, he was deeply sorry. For tormenting her emotionally, he was sorry. While in the hospital, he realized his misdeed and said sorry to her countless times, especially when he thought he would leave a foolish man like him but she wowed him by staying.
He felt shy and unworthy of her goodness. He felt uncomfortable while he was receiving her good gestures. More so when she stood firm instead of getting discouraged by what seemed like eternity in the hospital, she stood solidly behind him and wouldn’t let go. He decided to reciprocate her goodness. He decided to make it up to her. He decided to compensate her because he felt indebted to her. He started to repay her goodness by being good to her for the rest of his life.
The night he was discharged from the hospital, Iman was folding some clothes and arranging them in the wardrobe when Ilyas walked up to her and gave her a back hug. She turned to face him and he enclosed her tightly.
“What was Ayi Kwei Armah thinking when he wrote ‘The beautiful ones are not yet born’? He whispered into her ears.
“What do you mean? Who’s Ayi Kwei Armah? ” She asked while grinning at him.
“He’s a Ghanaian novelist and he wrote the novel ‘The beautiful ones are not yet born. I mean why would he give such a title when Allah has created a soul like Iman.” Ilyas replied with humour.
“Well….. Maybe your thought is not the same with that of Ayi Kwei Armah.” Iman replied with a grin again.
“Whatever his thought might be, the beautiful ones are born already and my Iman here tops the list of them all.” He said with his eyes fixed at hers.
“Really?” She teased.
“Yes of course. Sweetheart you’re the true definition of a good wife. You gave me a shoulder to lean on in times of despair. You held my hands in times of adversity and you stood by me even after I treated you so badly……………
“Please don’t let us dwell on the past.” She interrupted him, released herself from his hold and went on to sit on the bed.
He followed her and sat beside her.
“Why did your mood changed all of a sudden, are you still angry with me?” Ilyas asked with a worried expression.
Iman locked her gaze with his before responding.
“No Ilyas, I’m no longer angry with you. I have forgiven you totally but when you bring up the past, you open an already healed wound which is why I’ll prefer we bury the past so that it remained in the past. All I need from you is your assurance of love. Promise me you’ll never hurt or treat me badly again. Promise me you’ll never abandon me again. Whatever issues we may have, promise me you’ll always give room for communication. Promise me I’ll never see the Ilyas I saw on the first night of our wedding again. Promise me I’ll be your baby forever.” Iman went on and on while Ilyas listened with attention.
“You don’t know how much I adore you Iman. You don’t know how much you meant to me. You don’t know your worth and I bet you don’t know you have a special place in my heart and I promise to let you know how much I love and adore you.
“Hmmm.” She heaved while he smiled and continued.
“I might have behaved irrationally but that doesn’t mean I don’t love you. My behavior is synonym to a child whose father promised a car. The father presented a book to the child and tucked inbetween the book was a car key. And just because the car key was presented in a disguise, the child began to throw tantrums until something happens and he eventually realized he had rejected a treasure due to foolishness, childishness and impatience. That’s exactly what happened to me, Allah gave me a good woman but I was too blinded by my desire to marry a virgin that I almost lost a treasure by calling it a trash. I asked Allah for a good woman and He gave me one but I almost lost her. How many treasure have people thrown away just because they have to dig a little before realizing its a treasure. How many trash have people mistook for treasure just because of an undying self desire. Now I know better. I know you’re a blessing which almost took me my life to realize. For all the bad things I did to you, I am deeply sorry and I promise to repay with tons of goodness. I love you Iman, and I promise to be good to you always. I don’t want to lose a good woman who has become the very air that I breathe with. Loosing you will be tantamount to loosing my heart and insanity will be the outcome. I don’t want to be insane so I’ll rather hold on to you forever. This I promise you with all my heart.” Ilyas assured while Iman sobbed quietly.
“Please don’t cry. Today isn’t a day to weep but a day to rejoice.” He expressed and wiped her tears with his finger.
“I hope you keep to your promises of a never ending love for me.” Iman stated her fears.
“It’s difficult not to love a woman like you. And loving you pleases my heart and gives me fulfilment. Your good character sweeps me off my feet. Your beauty mesmerizes me. Your kindness and awesomeness arrests my conscience to be a better husband. And your goodness spark up the goodness in me. Goodness they say, is reciprocal. You arose the goodness in me now tell me why I shouldn’t love you forever!” He said while staring straight into her eyeballs.
He bent over to kiss her and a pleasurable night was enjoyed.
The mercy of Allah shone upon Ilyas and he got better sooner than expected. His legs healed totally in no time and he dropped the crutch three weeks after he was discharged from the hospital.
The couple returned to Warri where their neighbors received them warmly. Mr and Mrs Hamzah were ecstatically delighted to see the couple. The couple on the other hand were grateful for their support and display of affection and love towards them.
Ilyas resumed work the following week after their arrival while Iman also secured a teaching job with a private school.
One evening, after a busy day, Iman knocked on Mrs Hamzah’s door. The latter opened the door for her and the first thing she noticed was her tired face.
“Amariya, how are you? How was work today? Mrs Hamzah asked.
“Please ma, what did you cook?” Iman asked faintly while Mrs Hamzah was amazed at her question.
Although they share food as neighbors but Iman has never come request for food from her. Mrs Hamzah gazed deeply at her before responding.
“Are you too tired to cook? Mrs Hamzah queried.
“I haven’t been able to eat the food I make since four days now, it nauseates me.” She replied dully while Mrs Hamzah smiled before responding.
“I made some fried rice, do you want some?”
“Of course.” Iman replied with a lit face while Mrs Hamzah went into the kitchen to dish the food.
She watched as Iman devoured the food and even licked the plate. Mrs Hamzah gave her some fruit juice to step it down and Iman appreciated her never undying kind gesture.
“So tell me, how do you feel now?” Mrs Hamzah asked with smiles.
“Better.” Thank you ma.
“I think you should go to the hospital.” Mrs Hamzah suggested.
“Well…….. you might be double already with what I’m seeing.”
“Really? Iman expressed with delight.
“Yes, in fact, you don’t need to go to the hospital. I think I have some test strip at home. I’ll be right back.” Mrs Hamzah said and rushed into her bedroom.
She returned with a test strip and a small jar.
“Here, go into the bathroom and put some urine here.” Mrs Hamzah said while handing the items to her.
Iman obeyed with smiles. Her life is about to take a good turn. She went into the bathroom, did as instructed and came out.
Mrs Hamzah dipped the strip into the urine and waited for few minutes. Iman shut her eyes with heart palpitating heavily.
“Open your eyes.” Mrs Hamzah urged.
Iman opened her eyes slowly and two red lines were staring back at her. She wore a confused expression. A novist like her didn’t understand until Mrs Hamzah told her she’s positive.
She impulsively threw herself at Mrs Hamzah while screaming her lungs out. The latter congratulated and prayed for her. She ran back to her apartment and awaited her husband’s arrival.
He came home at half past six with some pizza.
She was feeling dizzy and was already dozing on the chair but the good news she wanted to break to him wouldn’t allow her sleep.
He hugged her and was about to feed her some pizza but she moved her mouth away.
“The smell of that thing irritates me.” She said while twisting her mouth and Ilyas burst into laughter.
“Wow, first time my wife rejects pizza. Incredulous!” He teased.
“Don’t make mockery of me joor.” She said while rolling her eyes playfully at him while he drew her closer to him.
He wrapped his arms around her neck and when their gazes locked he spoke.
“You love pizza. Even if I forget I’ll always go back to get you one. You never rejected it until now. What’s the matter?” He asked while scrutinizing her expressions.
“The thing is…………..hmmm…….. Hmmmmmmnnn…….. Tantaraaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!” She said happily while flipping out the test strip.
He quickly grabbed it from her with a million question countenance
“What’s this?” He asked with a lit face.
“You have to answer that question by yourself.” She replied with a grin
“We’re expecting a baby!” He stated for sure.
“Yes!!!!” She screamed happily while he scooped her into his embrace.
“Alhamdulillah Robil’Aalmin. Which of our Lord’s favour can we deny!” He expressed with gratitude to Allah.
“Absolutely none!” Iman replied while snugging unto him forever.
“Now you have to take things slow. I’ll gladly be your chef for the next nine months.” He expressed happily.
“And I’ll be more than happy to eat the food prepared by my king.” She accepted his good will delightfuly.
The following day, he made breakfast. Since the food she made with her hands irritates her, he made the meals everyday and on the days he couldn’t, they went out to eat. And on other days he was away due to work, her neighbor came through for her.
Ilyas showered her with so much love and affection. He was there for her all day, everyday. He was determined to make it up to her. He discharged his duties to the best of his ability. The Ilyas she fell in love with was back and better
Mrs Hamzah was also helpful, she shared her food with her even without her asking. An amazing neighbor she is. A sister and a mother all rolled into one. As a mother and nurse, she gave her necessary pregnancy tips and advice. She was there for her all through and even the period Ilyas was away on rig, he entrusted Iman to her. With a neighbor like her, he was assured of a home away from home. A motherly figure in a strange land and solid rock any day.
The days travelled fast and a nine months course was completed with bouncing baby boys. Ahmad and Haarith were gifted upon them and they couldn’t be more happier.
Ilyas walked gently into the ward while a delicious smile formed on his lips. He carried his babies and stared at them with utmost joy. He gave his wife a peck and wrapped her body with his.
His mouth chanted Alhamdulillah a countless time. He became a father of two charming little princes and from the best wife in the whole world. He couldn’t be more happier.
Their relationship was redeemed but not perfect. There’s no perfect marriage anywhere. Fairytale marriages only exists on the internet where everyone is married to flawless spouses. But in my home and yours, marriage is the coming together of two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.
Back to the theme of the story.
Trash and Treasure
Treasure is she who remain chaste till marriage
And trash is not she who had a dirty past but have repented
Trash is not she who didn’t have
Hymen to present on her wedding night
She might have an already repented dirty past
Or not dirty but involved in a circumstance beyond her control
It could be rape
It could be accident
It could be injury
Not having a hymen to present does not make her a trash
Indisputably, virginity is a treasure
To keep for a legitimate partner
Do not trash your treasure
Do not trade it for material gains
Do not move near fornication
It’s a an indecency and an evil way
Should you have lost it before guidance
And have repented sincerely and shunned bad ways
Then trust your Lord
Because He forgives and also shower blessings
Do not fret about the future
For Allah has prepared a good man That’ll overlook your past
And for you oh man!
Accept the will of thy Lord
A good woman you should pray for And not make virginity a yardstick For spouse selection
Do not call her a trash
Every woman is a treasure
It depends on the angle you view Yours
Treasure your gift
And happiness shall fill your heart.
“And do not move near fornication, surely it’s an indecency and an evil way” Al-Isra verse 32.
“But whosoever repents after his iniquity and does righteous good deeds (by obeying Allah) then verily, Allah will pardon him (accept his repentance) verily, Allah is oft forgiving, most merciful” Al-Maa’idah verse 39
“And among His signs is that He created mates from among yourselves, that you may find tranquility in them. And He has put between you love and mercy. Verily in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect” Ar-Rum verse 21
“The best of you are those who are best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives” Hadith
LATEEFAH ADEWUNMI JUMAH