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A Close Call

“Call you after dinner. Ok, baby?” you text. “Can’t wait!” she replies. You quickly hide your phone inside your pillowcase and rush downstairs to join the family for dinner. “Come fast, Bilal. Your food is already getting cold.” says your mum. You mumble a “yeah okay” and sit down. Dinner passes on as usual. Your dad asks if you’re done with your assignments and you say you’re still doing them. Your mum fusses, trying to make sure everyone gets a hot plate of food. And your sister, oh-your-ever-so-annoying sister cannot stop talking about her friends. You dream on, ignoring all the commotion. “I just want to get dinner over with so that everyone goes to bed.” you think to yourself. The thought of hearing her voice makes you excited. You think of your last conversation and can’t help but smile. “Why are you smiling, Bilal?” asks Ms. Annoying. “Nothing. Just remembered a joke from school.” you reply, catching a glance from your mum. Your sister goes on complaining about how dumb your friends are and that all the pranks you guys play at school are troublesome for everybody. You gobble down the last bit of food, rush to the sink, wash up your plate, and gulp down some water. “Let’s sit and pretend to watch some TV.” you think. “Might remove some suspicion.” You sit there mindlessly flipping channels, but your mind is only on one thing. The phone call tonight. Your stomach does another flip in excitement. “When are these people going to go to sleep?” you think to yourself, irritated. One by one, everyone goes to bed. You hear your sister’s room door close. “Check.” you think to yourself. “Enough TV now, Bilal. Go to sleep.” your dad says to you on his way upstairs to his room. “Ok, dad.” you mumble. You sit there for five minutes longer. You hear your mum in the kitchen washing up the dishes. You slowly make yourself upstairs into your room. You need to wait till she goes to bed.  You pace around, feeling restless, until you hear her bedroom door click too. You sigh in relief. “Check, check, and check.” you think, smiling to yourself. But you give it another ten minutes anyway to be safe. Ten minutes pass and you dial her number. “What a sweet voice.” you think as she answers. The conversation continues for what might be the best fifteen minutes of your life. Suddenly, you hear a bedroom door open and footsteps. You swear to yourself and hang up, telling her you have to go. You take your phone and slip it in the space between your bed and the wall. Your bedroom door opens. “Oh Allaah, please save me. Don’t let me get caught. Please. Please.” you pray. You lie in bed, motionless. Your mum walks in. Your heart is pounding and you feel like you can’t breathe. “Bilal, are you awake? Were you talking?” You continue to lie down, pretending to be asleep. She comes close. She looks at you. Even with your eyes closed, you know that she’s looking at you. She takes a look around and leaves. You lie in bed motionless, your heart pounding in your ears. Several minutes pass as you stay lying down, unable to move. Finally, you get up. You quickly grab your phone, text her saying you had a close call and that you’ll see her at school tomorrow. You turn off your phone, put it inside your school bag, and go to bed thinking “Man, that was close.”

Allaah responded to you. In your moment of utter distress, the One above the seven heavens responded to you. In the midst of your sin, He responded to you. He saved you. When you’re above the clouds and the plane shook a little, you prayed for your life, and He responded to you. In the middle of that difficult exam, you prayed for ease, and He responded to you. Your mum got seriously ill, you prayed for cure, and He responded to you. You call on Him for help, He responds to you. You ask Him, He responds. Perhaps, He saved you this time to give you a chance to stop and turn back to Him. He responds to you. So, when are you going to respond to Him?

And when my slaves ask you, (oh Muhammad), concerning me – indeed I am near. I respond to the call of the caller when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me (by obedience) and believe in Me that they may be rightly guided. {2:186}

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Riham Ramzy is currently pursuing a degree in Islamic Law & Studies from King AbdulAziz University, Jeddah. She is absolutely crazy about flowers, loves the beach, and loves traveling. Her aim is to connect with the youth and to build an online community for support and encouragement which is something she didn't have on her journey towards bettering herself. So as her journey for improvement continues, she wants to take you along with her too!

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