Sunday, January 13, 2013


Sunday 13 January 2013

You Will Be in Gardens Where Rivers Flow

Dear Rizana,

I dreaded this day and though I knew it was coming there was always a flutter of hope in my heart that you would come home and be with your family and neighbours living your life of misery with sparks of happiness every now and then like most of us who have to trudge through life till we meet our Creator.

When the news of your conviction for alleged murder broke out I couldn’t fathom the Quazis’ decision to sentence you to death, try hard as I might. How was it possible for them to sentence a little girl from a backward village without giving thought to your pitiful circumstances? And I wondered how the brutes here at home went about their functions to forge documents to make you 18 when you were barely 17? I can’t help but imagine it was filthy lucre that motivated them. Little did they know what horrible results their evil deed would entail!

You were so far away from home in surroundings that you were barely familiar with. Lonesome must you have been without your father and mother and your siblings. You would have been disillusioned. You were not acclimatized to your new surroundings. How could anyone, in their proper minds, give in your tender hands such an awesome responsibility as taking care of an infant? Surely some responsibility for what happened lies with them too. But will the rich listen to the poor?

 When they sentenced you, were they thinking they were doing the right thing by Allah and the Sharia? As I look in Islam’s history, I can’t find one case of such unthinking and uncompassionate ruling as the one given to you. Sharia is not a closed shop. With every changing circumstance Sharia expands to accommodate new developments within the frameworks of divine decree and the narrations of our beloved Prophet Mohammed (peace be on him). Have the Saudi’s closed the door of ijtihad (reasoning), which must be left open to incorporate latest developments in human life as they occur into the Sharia so that new vistas might emerge to look at cases like yours with sympathy and the love of Allah? Apparently not, dear Rizana, apparently not.  
When I heard of your terrible plight, my thoughts went to my daughter who is of your age and I said to myself, ‘there but for the mercy of God goes my girl’.

There were people who could have saved your life, but they chose not to. Willfully. All they had to do was forgive you for your misdemeanour which resulted in an awful accident. An infant died that day, due to your negligence. But at such a tender age were you to be entrusted with such a responsibility while the lady of the house gallivanted around town? And what was her reaction when she heard of her child’s death? She went into tantrums from what I gather from the papers. And she beat you till you bled if the papers have got it right. Any normal person would have broken down with grief, but this lady? She went into a rage.

Looking at your plight and the plight of your family like hundreds of thousands of families in our country I expect their hearts might melt. Oh, but they were hard hearted. Hearts of stone. But even stones will cry if they had the same emotions that we have, but their hearts wouldn’t. Alas what a shame. Here was an opportunity for them to have Allah forgive them for their sins on that fateful day when no one can come to their aid, if they had forgiven you. And yet they chose not to.

Allah is Ar-Rahman, the most compassionate, and He loves those who are compassionate as He says in His book the Holy Qur’an. He is the forgiving, the merciful as He reminds us at regular intervals in the Qur’an. Why couldn’t the ones who had your life in their hands copy this attribute of His, I will never know.

Dear Rizana, you were a Muslim and as a Muslim I know that Allah in His Love and Mercy will shower His blessings on you and your family. You have not been around long enough like many of us to accumulate sins. So Insha-Allah (God willing) you shall be in Paradise. Tonight you will be in gardens under which rivers flow and all what you hear will be sounds of joy as your companions greet each other with salutations of peace. Your seven year agony is over. The fragrance of Paradise is your gift for your test.

I can’t go on anymore…. a lump is forming in my throat and tears are welling in mine eyes, I am not ashamed to say. And if I go on in this refrain I might hurl some insults at your tormentors. It’s not that I wish them well, but I don’t want to do that because I fear I might become evil like them. May Allah bless you, Rizana. You are now in His loving care. Gone are your sorrows and your agonies.

Hameed Abdul Karim

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