And he said, in complete serenity, "I see you."
Putting the whole story aside for a while, remember the last time you were supposed to meet up with a close friend (that you hadn't seen in weeks because of exams, PERMAI or because you were stupid enough to fall sick, etc)...
Remember how you were supposed to meet up at this new restaurant. You didn't know where it was, but your friend told you specifically to walk along this specific road (most likely Shari' Jamiah)...
Remember how blank, confused and similarly hilarious you looked like, walking on the roadside, with a phone beside your ear, listening to your friends voice. "Where are you, where are you?"
Trying to keep your cool (because you do not want to look like an idiot in the middle of Shari' Jamiah)...you scan everywhere frantically, trying to catch a glimpse of her pink or blue hijab.
Finally, blessed, through the phone, you say excitedly, "I see you."
I had always sat next to this Somalian girl in International Affair's (Iqtisod Dauli) class. Not being discriminant over any Arabs, I just noticed that she was always s quite and shy, and no one talked to her. Of course, I was instantly interested to talk to someone who came from Somalia, but because of all the language barriers (both of us can't really converse in Arabic that well), and the lack of proper topics to talk about, I always end up sitting next to her and just smiling. And she always smiled back.
But today, she took out her subject sheet, and we talked about the subjects she would be taking for the next semester. It was nice to share something positive with her.
"Have you taken Tilawah?" I asked innocently.
"No. Do you memorize the Qur'an?" she asked.
"Only some." I replied modestly. "How about you?"
"Yes, the whole Qur'an, since I was ten."
"Wallahhiii?!" I said surprised. Of course, I wasn't supposed to act that surprised, because she looks so nice- of course she could be a hafizah. After that she told me stories about how she was brought up, how she struggles everyday to maintain her Qur'an memorization, and how she really, really loved Economics.
I had sat beside her this whole semester, and before this, all we had ever talked about where about our subjects, our homework...and how hard it was to understand Arabic.
And now, now, I feel so impressed by her (she has spunk!). I can also kind of understand her. Relate to her even. She calls her family everyday (I do that too-guilty haha), she likes wearing dark colors, but deep inside she loves bright colors too. She has so many cool stories about Somalia, and her country... I wished the Dr wouldn't come into class and let me hear her stories forever.
Right after class, we talked some more, and she walked with me through the stairs, laughing. We still had the language problem, but we were getting through just fine. After exchanging notes from class (we always do this), she waved me good bye, and I smiled back at her. Like a man seeing the light for the first time, I felt like saying, I see you. it wasn't a normal expression to say. It was something you had to feel deep down in your core, to stop your neurons from tinkering too hard.
I finally see you.
How many times have we had people come in and come out of our lives. We see them smiling, frowning, in anger...or even in frustration. We sit beside them during lunch time, cook with them, talk with them. Borrow their things, ask them for help.
Do we let them pass in and out of our lives, out of politeness. Or do we really take time to see them?
Back home, I heard one of my housemate cleaning the dishes. For a few seconds, I just watched her, and noticed how she had always been so helpful around the house. I went over to help, we were talking about past events, laughing and smiling, and I just thought how nice it was to see her so happy.
Eating breakfast, my friends and I sat around the table, we were discussing pretty heavy topics, but all of us were just so relaxed together, it felt easy and even fun. My housemates had a lot of great opinions, and I awed at the way they were so mature. Remembering a few years back, wow, how they've grown.
In this few minutes in life, have you ever seen someone? Passed their skin, their muscle and barrier of unnecessary words... Sometimes we live to fast to appreciate. People, friends in particular, somehow fell into this strand called fate, to teach us something, to make us someone. Thank the Lord, He chose the perfect ones to come into our life.
Why is it always that we wait while we feel lost, sad, and confused to see who are friends are?
Do we have to be a Pandora Avatar to finally realize that skin color and difference don't really make our friends who they are. It's what's inside them, that makes us say, "I see you."
The prophet has always asked us to smile when we see another fellow Muslim. Smiling to a friend, is a small form of sadaqah. A way to connect on a deeper level that could not be explained by the eyes. But explained through friendship. You can't see friendship, but you can feel it. Feel excited that they are about to shape your life. Hear their stories, get to know them more and more. See them properly like you've never seen them before.
Not their skin, not their clothes. I meant see them for the people they are. The positive attributes that they posses. The beautiful pieces that complete us. The strength they build. The souls that were given. Allah did not let you meet anyone, but these chosen people in your life. Your friends, are a gift. Here in Jordan, Allah set you to stay with them, to learn with them, to feel with them. Do you see that?
For a few minutes in your life. I implore you to see past the anger, the prejudice, the satan, the lies...
See your friends, your loved ones, and say Allhamdulillah.
In these few minutes, few moments in your life, lihatlah.