June 2nd, 2006 – around 11:00PM. For most of the families that day was a nightmare of their lives. So was it for my family and me. Initially atleast. Earlier that day, my brother-in-law (fakkAllaahu asra) was arrested along with a few other brothers. We sat at home, in shock, wondering what had just happened. None of us shed a tear, I guess out of sheer disbelief. It was getting late and my little brother had not yet come back from. He’d been out with his friends. So me and my mother went out looking for him. We were just around the corner of our house when a pack of cars stopped at the end of the street and the SWAT team came running towards our house pointing guns at us. We went inside, I closed the door and asked everyone to stay downstairs. Thats when they broke in. The door was open but no. They had to pull off their stunts. Too many movies I suppose. “WE HAVE A SEARCH WARRANT FOR YOUR HOUSE! EVERYONE COME DOWN TO THE FRONT DOOR!!!” when we’re right there, standing right infront of them.
One by one they called us out of the house to be searched. My dad was the first to go. He had been in such a shock (may Allaah bless him and protect him) that after he’d heard about my brother -in-law’s arrest, he’d gone back to his room and started working on his files. And subhaan’Allaah, when he came down, he’d brought his papers and pen with him to the door. So one of them glances at the papers and yells at my dad, saying: “DROP YOUR WEAPONS! DROP YOUR WEAPONS RIGHT NOW!!!” With all those guns pointing at us, what were they expecting my dad to do? Hit them with a pen?
But what they did next infuriated me and my family. They pulled my dad from his collars and he tripped. Then they handcuffed him and took him for questioning. I yelled at them and asked them to go easy on my father because he was already in a state of shock and he has a heart condition. Their reply to me made me sick: “Don’t worry, we know that already. Thats what we have the ambulance for.” Animals.
Each one of us were treated almost the same, except that we were searched by female officers. We had denied to be questioned by them so we were made to stand outside with the babies (neice and nephew) and my little sisters. My sister and mother had been forced to come out without shoes. They waited for my brother to arrive home from work so they could take him away from us too. And so they did. We didnt even get to see him. They took him straight from the street infront of our house to the police station. Initially, they did not tell us but after we kept persisting for an answer, they informed us that he had actually been arrested.
We waited and waited outside in the rain with the children crying and terrified.. while they searched our house. And thats when I heard a distant, but clear and beautiful voice of the mu’adhdhin from our local masjid, just a 5 mins walk away from our house. Mixed with the mercy pouring down from the sky, the aadhaan was ever-so soothing and I knew at that moment that everything was going to be alright. That indeed Allaah is Great and there is no God but He. He is our only source of Help and Mercy, and He alone can deliver us from this trial. Whatever they do to us, they will never reach our hearts where our belief in Allaah is renewed everyday, with every salaah and every du`aa that escapes our lips. And I was reminded of this aayah from soorah Faatir:
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ أَنتُمُ الْفُقَرَاء إِلَى اللَّهِ وَاللَّهُ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَمِيدُ
O mankind! it is you who stand in need of Allaah, but Allaah is Rich (Free of all wants and needs), Worthy of all praise.
This trial, as hard as it appeared to be, was a renewal of faith for me and my family, especially my parents. I know that it was painful and it is painful considering that we have been separated from our loved ones, but to imagine what Muslims in other parts of the world go through day and night, and to compare this with the gift of strong will and faith in Allaah that has been granted to us in exchange with the above.. priceless. Its all about how we look at our trials. One can sit and cry, and turn into a zombie, not knowing what to do or one can cry but cry to Allaah for the sins our hands have committed, and take a step forward by closing the gaps between us and Allaah.
“O Allaah, I seek refuge in You for Your Pleasure and against Your Wrath, and in Your Forgiveness and against Your Punishment and in You from You, I cannot Praise You as You can Praise Yourself.
I have surrendered myself to You, I have directed my face to You, I have entrusted my affairs to You, I have compelled my back to refuge in You, in want and in fright of You, there is no resort nor survival from You except (in turning) to You. I have faith in Your book which You brought down and in the Prophet (Muhammad sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) you have sent.”