Seeking His Pleasure

Hot scorching sun blasted through Auckland's humid air. Tall skyscrapers, busy streets and the occasional sound of helicopter blades. It really did remind me of Kuala Lumpur. Only there were fewer people here. 24 million fewer.

Sylvia Park was filled with so many human beings of different backgrounds and ethnicity. There were kids playing on the trampolines, teenagers giggling away in ice cream shops, men holding their partners' shopping bags and mums pushing baby buggies. It was so overwhelming and exciting to see so many people in one place considering that I used to live in cities which had populations of less than a 100,000. 

Suddenly, my smartphone buzzed. A text sprawled across the screen.

"Salam Shaf. Jomla dtg program ptg ni pkl 6. Kat rumah kitaorg :)"

It's 4pm and I have to submit my work by the next day. I doubt I could make it since I have a Frisbee tournament in the afternoon. Man, what do I do now?

Another text came in and it was about the same talk. Asking me to come at 6pm at a friend's house.

15 minutes later my friend who was also at the shopping mall came along and said, "Shaf, let's go to the talk. It's gonna be really good and interesting."

After thinking long and hard with a decision I knew I would regret, I replied, "I don't think I can make it".

My answer got me thinking throughout the time we were on the bus headed home. I was calculating the time that I needed to finish my work and how long it'll cost me if I were to go to the talk. At the back of my head, a verse sparked my memory.

"There is no good in most of their secret talks save (in) him who orders charity (in Allah's cause), or Ma'roof (Islamic monotheism and all the good and righteous deeds which Allah has ordained), or conciliation between mankind; and he who does this seeking the good Pleasure of Allah, We shall give him a great reward." (An-Nisa: 114)

I took a deep breath, sighed and muttered my oath, "I believe that any goodness that I seek is to gain Allah's pleasure. Dear God, I can only depend on you. I'm no Angel. I had done things that I was not proud of but I know I want to improve to be a better person."

And so I decided to attend the talk even though I had more than five hours worth of work.

All 16 of us herded ourselves into a small humble Auckland apartment. The talk had just begun as we walked in. Our Guest was talking about Prophet Muhammad's hadis by Abu Hurairah R.A.:

"So, what the angels do is that they walk around the Earth looking for ilm' (knowledge/religious) events and talks. When one of them finds one, the angel will call out the other angels to come over and cover everyone in the event with their gorgeous big wings till there is no space between us and the layers of the skies.

Once the event finishes and everyone disperses, the angels will meet Allah. Bare in mind that God is Almighty and All-knowing. So, even though He knew what happened, he still asked the angels what we did. You know, being all sweet and such. Like how your loved ones ask you how things went even though they already knew. Haha. Their conversation went something like so:

"Allah: Where did you come from?
Angels: We just came from Earth. Your believers were praising you, glorifying you and making duas (prayers) for you, seeking from you.

Allah: What did they seek for?
Angels: They seek for a place in your Jannah (Heaven).

Allah: Have they seen my Jannah?
Angels: No, my Lord.

Allah: What will they do if they see my Heaven?
Angels: They'll pray so hard so that they would not enter your Hell.

Allah: What will they do if they see my hell?
Angels: They would ask for your forgiveness.

Allah: Very well, I have forgiven their sins. I have given what they asked for and I have given them protection from the Hell fire.

Angels: But my Lord, among all the good people who attended the event, there was one of your slaves who had done so many sins. He walked into the place and sat together with the others.

Allah: For him, I too have forgiven all of his sins."

How cool is that? Maybe some of you decided not to come earlier but since you see your friends come, you decided to do so too. So, good on ya. Alrighty, that's just the introduction. Let's move on to the bigger topic."

The Guest wasn't looking at me. She didn't know that I initially decided not to come. That last part of the hadis was glued in my head like a perfectly broken voice recorder played on the rewind button. I didn't know how to react. All I remembered was that I had goosebumps across my body. I felt like nothing mattered anymore, the pay, the work, they seemed so minuscule now. All that mattered was that I felt like my prayer was answered.

I decided to stay throughout the talk and even finished my work in time.

Have trust in Allah and may He eases our hardships and tests in order to gain His Jannah. Allah humma amin. :)