Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Taufik came home today with an extremely sombre expression on his face.
I should've known something was wrong.
"I have to go to Taif", he said.
My brain started to list down all the rigs I have ever heard him mention, trying to recall if any were in or near Taif.
Thinking there must've been a problem with one of the bits or something, I gave a disappointed "hah???"
He responded in silence.
He called one of his colleagues and talked about flight availability.
His tone sounded different. Not pissed. Not business like.
"What happened?" I finally asked.
A few smith staff members decided to drive to Makkah yesterday, he started.
Uh Oh, I thought.
"Dah tu, accident?", I asked, recalling the other time when an inexperienced staff member rolled a brand new truck into the side of the road.
"Hm." he said, very controlled. "Rahim injured, his son in ICU. Rayiz is dead".
I stopped short with whatever I was doing.
"Rayiz???? Serious??", not meaning to disbelief him, but still hoping I could disbelieve.
"Hm" was all he could say.
I rushed over to hug him.
I felt his pain even though he didn't show it.
Rayiz is probably the one reason why he's still sane while working in the Saudi office.
I know how much Rayiz's friendship meant to him.
Throughout iftar, maghrib and isya', I watched him tackle one phone call after another, getting updates and relaying it to the VP and District Manager.
I see the emotions stirring right underneath the stiff exterior. I know it's trying to come out. I know it's being suppressed by more pressing matters. Protocols, procedures, paperwork.
During one rare private moment, I hugged him tight and whispered "you can cry if you want to", and cried on his behalf. He was quiet, but I think I heard a sniffle. It wasn't long before the moment was broken by my kids begging attention and assistance with homework.
After Isya', I helped him choose clothes and put them in a backpack.
He is now on his way to the airport, hoping to catch a flight to Jeddah.
He hopes to be able to see his friend for the last time.
Knowing the regret of not saying goodbye to my own friend, I let him go with an open heart.
Innalillah hi wa inna ilahi ro ji oon.
Al-Fatihah to Rayiz.
May your soul be spared from the tortures in the grave, be saved from the fires of hell and may you be placed among the pious in jannatul firdaus, ya sadiq.
Oh Allah, please protect my husband.
Concocted by elisataufik at 1:00 PM
Monday, September 14, 2009
In searching for schools back home for my children, I realized a few things.
Firstly, how much I took formal islamic education back home for granted. The adage "You dont know what you've got till it's gone" could never be more true. I only realized how much I had learnt from the religious classes I had to attend since Year 1, when I compared what I knew at that age to what my children know now.
The absence of formal religious lessons in their international school had robbed them of the knowledge they could have gained if their were to be schooling back home.
I worry how they will cope when they go to school in Malaysia. Will they be ridiculed, will they be seen as 'unislamic'?
However, I realized that going to an international school has also made them more analytical, outspoken and not shy to ask questions and seek understanding, traits that I see lacking in some malay muslims. I hope that they will continue with this trait, so that they will fuly understand Islam, Allah and His infinite wisdom and become a well-rounded muslim, rather than one that just follows without understanding why. I hope that with these traits, they will be able to recognize the wrong path when they see one.
I also realized that as parents, we have also tried our best to instill islamic values in our children. We have taught them the basics, how to pray, fast and right from wrong. Is that enough though? I feel limited in my own knowledge that I am afraid I have not provided them with enough, or worse, if I had provided them with wrong information. Na'uzubillah!
However, I realized that in teaching them, I am improving myself. With every question that they pose to me, I am learning new things as well. It also made me look at the world in a different way. I now see everything around us as an opportunity to teach, to show how a real muslim should think and act and to point out the beauties of Allah.
I also now see that every single thing that I do, from brushing my child's teeth, to making them breakfast, to putting them to bed, is an ibadah, for I am raising muslims, someone who will in turn, dedicate their own lives to pleasing the Almighty. (Insya-Allah).
Masya-Allah, what a blessing children are.
Concocted by elisataufik at 10:06 AM