I hadn’t prayed the whole day. I would just join my Zuhr with Asr because I’m travelling. At Asr I was at a place where I couldn’t find a place to pray. I could hear the Azaan echoing in the forest but didn’t know the way to the mosques. When I saw one it was a few miles below from the place where I stood watching. Didn’t see any washrooms either or a place where I could do Wudu. Plus I had to constantly move to keep up with my family. I felt a bit sad cuz I wished I could reach it but I can’t jump mountains. I came back the same way I had gone up, went from the cable car to the chair lift and back to Patriata. Then I sat in the car quietly after trying to raise the issue of praying a few times.
Next stop: Mall Road, Murree. We reached there and the azan for Maghrib was going on. Don’t know where from but I could hear it clearly for sure. We found a restaurant to have dinner in. On the way inside I saw a man sitting there with torn and dirty clothes, messed up hair and having a poker face. He seemed a beggar to me or a guy who would claim to be a “Peer Sahab” and fool people to take money from them. I asked the waiter for the prayer place and he said it’s on the floor above but the Jamaat is going on and there’s no more space so you pray later. I sat there again quietly. Had food and then went upstairs to pray. I prayed in that little dark attic whose floor was moving as I walked on it. I felt peace and sadness inside. I knew I was very late. I went out of the restaurant after praying Isha as I knew I would miss that too if I delayed it till I went back home.
As I stepped out of the restaurant I uttered a deep sigh seeing people roam so aimlessly on Mall Road. No Pardah, no manners (talking about the group of boys that you see there only for the purpose of staring at girls or passing comments), and everyone just lost in the delusionary enjoyment of this worldly life.
“And what is the worldly life except the enjoyment of delusion?” [Surah Al-Hadeed, last part of verse 20]
But I was no different. I was the same. I wasted my day too. I could have tried harder to find a place to pray. Surely I would’ve found it. I could’ve asked my family to wait for me!!
I had seen an ice cream parlour beside the restaurant on my way in so I went there and bought ice cream. As I started moving back towards my car I passed by that guy again who was sitting there outside the restaurant. I went close to him as he was reciting Quran. I wanted to hear him recite as it seemed so beautiful! I had an idea before that it was Surah Yaseen, and as I crossed him I noticed he cannot see and the verse that I heard while I had just started eating that sweet ice cream was
أَلَمْ أَعْهَدْ إِلَيْكُمْ يَا بَنِي آدَمَ أَن لَّا تَعْبُدُوا الشَّيْطَانَ ۖ إِنَّهُ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ ﴿٦٠
“Did I not enjoin upon you, O children of Adam, that you not worship Satan – [for] indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.”
[Surah Yaseen, verse 60]
It had never been so hard to eat ice cream before….