Wal Asr…. By time.
tick . tock . tick . tock . tick . tock….
Have you ever seen time passing by? Slowly but surely, as you go through the daily minutiae of your life everyday; fretting, rushing, stretching and pushing.
Have you ever noticed each second slide away, one by one? Drip drip drip, water dripping out of a leaky tap, drop by single drop.
Have you seen it flow? Have you tried to catch it, stop it and hold it close ?
Have to tried to calibrate your rhythm, to walk in tune with time, matching steps together ?
Have your eyes witnessed it? Time, as it slowly passes by. Regularly, relentlessly; in the dead of the night, with the hum of the morning traffic, in the blazing summer heat of a scorching Dubai afternoon.
45 deg said the car thermostat. Despite the AC on full blast, the angry rays burned my skin through the windshield. Dubai summer is here at last. Fashionably late this year; but arriving with a bang in full blazing glory ;pointy shiny nails and a dazzling gown of yellow and gold …. ‘Dahhlings, i’m heeere, let the party begin’.
The summer heat party is in full swing, as I rush in from one errand and out on the way to another.
Then, I see him.
Spotless white kurta glowing as it reflects the sun-rays. He is walking slowly across the road, with his walking stick…. tap . tap . tap . I know it’s almost time for Zohr Salah because I see him making his way to the masjid, as always. Reliable and dependable, one of the constants in the quiet street I live in.
On this street, it’s not the Adhaan that heralds the arrival of prayer time; but the deliberate, slow and serene footsteps of this peaceful man walking to the masjid. Five times a day, everyday; whatever the season; he makes his way down the road and around the corner . When I see him walk to the mosque, I know I will soon hear the sound of adhaan.
Regular as time , he slowly passes me by.
tick…tick…tick goes the clock
drip…drip… drip goes the leaky tap
tap… tap … tap goes his walking stick guiding this man to the only place that matters – the place where foreheads touch prayer mats in Salah. The place where he connects to his lord.
For no reason at all, something catches in my throat , and I feel my eyes fill up. I finally have the answer to a question that’s been plaguing me since I was very little.
‘What do you want to be when u grow up? ’
“This man…. “; says my heart; “I want to be him.”