I am in a small village town. It is not small as in tiny with few houses, It is small as in a small town with next to no modern amenities but bigger than a typical village. I call it Villtown.
Whatever happpens that I wish to write about as part of experience in life, mine or that of others I know.
Alhamdulillah, I have had the opportunity to learn the Quran when I was young and again as an adult but this time with focus on Tajweed. While learning, Allah(swt) granted me the grace to teach children and adults likewise who had never learnt before or just continuing with their learning with me.
Earlier in the week, I met yet another bible peddler who might have thought me an easy prey for her Gospel. I was on the bus and she asked to sit next to me and I obliged as normal. Right away she started a conversation with an opening that goes “You dressed like this because you are a Muslim” referring to my full-covering hijab and I answered, “Yes” and she continued, “You are right in dressing like this because, us Christians as well cannot pray without covering our hair”. I looked at her properly, I don’t know what she was wearing underneath, but she was covered in a large woolen shawl, of course her head uncovered, she is a blond and Polish looking lady. She continued talking about how from the outside you can tell someone who has a deep spiritual connection with God and so on.
I have not been meeting that Ethiopian lady bible-peddler because I have had to change my travel route temporarily, not specifically because of her but due to unavoidable circumstance. I did intend on changing my route If it means not running into her again but not exactly possible for now. But then, I did meet another bible-peddler on a different route the other day and I am very sure she will never approach me again. I was on my way home, mid-day, this white little old Lady was coming from the opposite direction to me, she stopped to talk to me and I obliged to see what she’s got to say. I was under the impression that she wanted to ask me for direction. So, I eagerly looked towards her in anticipation. To my utter amazement, she started ranting on about something, I did not understand her from the beginning of her rant but towards the end, I heard her clearly saying “…and you will go to hell, the bible says”. That is it, another bible-peddler and this one is even saying the bible says, I am going to hell, my anticipation towards her wane off immediately.
Sometimes, they accost you on your way as you go about your business and force their leaflets on you if you refuse to give attention to them. At work, home, school and street corners, you are not free from them. They use all sort of method to get at you, unfortunately they succeed with some like those mentioned earlier. There was no stopping them and I think the situation is still very much the same up till now.
A recent or shall I say current encounter with a bible peddler triggered decades old memories of such experience from back home. This bible peddler is a woman trying to force her self on me, telling me to believe in Jesus and all. I have encountered her twice already and I don’t think she is giving up easily as much as I am trying to avoid engaging with her in any way. I intend to write about the encounters and how I might take her on if I decide to. But first, I will go down memory lane of my experience of such encounters.
I love the mosque and I love going to the mosque not for anything in particular, just for the fact that it is the mosque. For me going to the mosque is not just about praying or attending talks or meeting people, it’s about getting away from everything, taking a rest, seeking solace in the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere of the mosque. I am able to put the whole world behind me sitting at a corner in the mosque freeing my mind from everything else, even myself. Most of the time when I go to the mosque, I really don’t like talking to people beyond saying salaam, I like to just be by myself with no interference from the people, this way I can fully enjoy the peace and solace I seek in going to the mosque. Sometimes, I don’t plan on going to the mosque when I leave home but my feet somehow take me there. This happened last week, I found myself at the mosque, I prayed Asr and waited for Magrib. Even though it was late, I did not feel like going home, I wanted to sleep at the mosque because I was so much stressed out that the thought of going home gave me panic attack. I wanted to revise my hifz too because my memory seems to be leaking somehow. I met a friend there, she too was not planning to come to the mosque but somehow found herself at the mosque early enough for Magrib. Meeting her at the mosque was good because I was able to clear a misunderstanding we had over the phone earlier. I eventually went home as much as I would have loved to stay the night the mosque, that won’t happen until last 10 days of Ramadan.