The Day I Became A Coward:

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Author’s-Note:
“And, don’t allow your hatred against any People prevent you from being Just.”
(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.5, V.8)

This is a true-story, of when I had a very gruesomely hostile argument with my Mother, over Religion. I was still fairly a New-Muslim at the time, and she was vehemently against me being a Muslim in the 1st-place. So, because of her blatant Islamophobia, I began to develop a very toxic hatred in my heart against her. I was very enthusiastic concerning my reversion to Islam: it was (and still is) such a liberating experience. However, unfortunately, I had also made the grave mistake of using my newly-found Monotheistic-Faith as a justification to rebel against my Mother, which I did fairly often. I honestly don’t even remember what we had argued about in detail, nor do I remember how this argument started and/or which one of us started it. I have no recollection of how old I was at the time, nor the time, day, month, season, year; I can’t recall what I had worn that day, or what I ate: none of these details come to my mind. But, I do remember getting angry with my Mother, and I remember what I stated to her, which I’m too ashamed to say publicly. I can still see the pain in her face, as the tears began to roll down her face, flowing from her eyes, like river-streams from a snow-capped Mountain in the Springtime.

I can still envision the look of regret that she had on my face for giving birth to me, because of my vile tantrum of disrespect against her. I can still hear her heart breaking into unrecognizable pieces, because of the harshness of my words spewing from my reckless tongue. This is is the day my cowardice was truly exposed. I had displayed such unforgivable rudeness towards the Woman who birthed me, that had Allah decided to strike me dead, as a punishment, it would’ve been what I deserved. I didn’t even know how to apologize: it was like Allah had decided that my prior insults were so despicable, that I wasn’t even worthy of speaking again. It felt like my tongue was paralyzed & being prevented via Allah’s Divine-Discretion, from even being able to say sorry for what I had said. Now, there I was, a Young-Punk, thinking that I’m a “Tough-Guy”, making my Mother cry, using the same voice that would cry-out to her when I wanted/needed her for love & attention, to cause her pain. I felt so low that day. After our argument, self-witnessing the anguish which I had inflicted upon her started to make me reflect as to whether or not I was even worthy of being a Muslim.

That’s how deeply this event had affected me. And, even to the point when there were times after this that I had wished that I had died, because of the shame I bore: the pain of dealing with the consequences of what I had done felt like I was being destroyed from within. Ironically, many years afterwards, my Mother sent me a text-message, telling me how proud of me she is of the Man that I’ve become. This text made feel feel that my entire existence, prior to that point was useless. I’m pretty sure that she doesn’t remember this argument her & I had. But, I’ve never forgotten it, nor will I allow myself to forget it. That episode in my life is one thing, amongst so many others, which I’ll continually use to keep me humble, as well as humbled. I had actually been thinking a lot about the Verse of the Qur’an that I mentioned earlier, and the more I had thought about it, the more things that I had done, People that I had offended out of hatred began to surface from my subconscious. And, then, this incident between my Mother & I resurfaced within me, and it took me to a place of reflection that I didn’t want to be taken, but it was a necessary place to be.

Particularly, and especially as Muslims: it doesn’t matter who opposes your Islam, it gives us no right to treat them unjustly. All Human beings have the right to be treated fairly. And, those who have the greatest rights over us are our Parents. And, the Parent who has the most rights over us are our Mothers.(an-Nawawi) Our jobs as Children are to care for our Parents, in the same ways which they’ve cared for us when we were young & helpless.(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.17, V.24) And, for a long time, I had done the exact opposite of caring for my Mother, spending more time causing her grief as opposed to joy. When I began to comes to terms about the wrongs against my own Mother, I started to reflect upon how my Mother would always tell my siblings & I growing-up, that our Father always wanted us & told us to listen to our Mother. My Father was my hero growing-up. So, when he died when I was very young, I was only left with memories of him & from what others including my Mother had told me about him.

I started to think about how could I possibly face my Father, knowing what I had done against my own Mother. Then, an even greater fear encompassed me: how am I going to face Allah: the Creator/Lord of the Universe & answer to Him on the Day of Standing for the wrongs that I’ve done against my own Mother? It’s popularly said that “The Wise-Man is he who learns from the Errors of Others.”. So, be wise & learn from my Errors: don’t make your Mothers cry…don’t be Cowards.

Gareth Bryant/2015

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