- in the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful -
[note: 'InshaAllah' surrounds this entire letter, from its conception to its final word; there is no aspect of it that can be considered independent of this: reliance begins with Allah and ends with Him, and especially in my case given what I aim to find]
asalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatuAllahi wa barakaat,
Alhamdulillah, here I am. A decade and some change, soon to be decades and more. I never expected the road to shape like this. After this past year, I could have foreseen even less of it. Definitely strange the way Allah puts some things together, but waAllahi, I could not have asked for more.
Each bend in the road, every wrench in the plans, every curve thrown at what I thought I knew, all come together forming this. Which is what exactly? The future I seek in Firdaus alongside you two, my beacons. Yeah, this seems super lofty and out-of-reach, but as our Nabi (saw) said, "If you ask for Jannah, ask for its highest/best part, Firdaus". In our duas, why set limits on how high to aim? Set your sights on Firdaus, let it marinate in the minds and trickle down to your hearts, and then see this singular intention bi ithniAllah begin to manifest in what you do and who you become.
Slowly over time, as one good action becomes a regular habit, so does another and then another, until the subconscious focus shifts to Allah, and then the conscious awareness automatically begins to pull itself towards trying to please Him. In all honesty, there is no return from this voyage, going to Allah is a one-way trip. When the realization becomes embedded in us that there isn't any help to seek but His, that there is no good to be found anywhere in any way outside of what He puts in place, then these are the steps we take for securing our eternity.
Why do I seem to be imposing my view of life and afterlife on you? It does seem that way, doesn't it? Well fact is, ever since our histories first became (quantumly -ha ha...ha) entangled, this was unavoidable. There is good in your fitrah that matches the good in my own, and as Allah created things this way, hearts of a feather flock together. Circumstances of this life truly make no difference, because it is the akhirah that is sought and that is a worthy goal regardless of the positions in dunya we find ourselves in.
Trust me, I know it's strange to carry this thought process, to two people so far out of my own orbit I couldn't tell the color their sky is, much less what planet they lived on. But this fact is OK. These specifics I don't need to know, and I would rather avoid any trace of fitnah such an interaction can cause if at all possible. The essence of this letter is to have the desire for Firdaus penetrate your being, so you also want to be there, want to work for it, want to live the ideal in ways that truly escape our capacity to grasp them.
Of course the possibility exists that it is better for this never to be read by you, for even such remote worldly connections to not be made. Allah's will directs what happens, whether we see the dots and strings or not. But I don't begrudge this reality. It was He Who let me have these lights to see in the first place, He Who created my nature that possesses at least enough khair in it that it wants to come back to Allah, finding and wanting and needing and hoping for all the good with Him. I couldn't be angry with that, though invariably sadness will happen at times, and even that is part of life overall so bi ithniAllah that never constitutes a speck of ingratitude. So, if He wills this so, that you do not come across this, I'll take it because He knows and I don't, because He sustains and provides, because He forgives and accepts, because Allah is Who He is, period. Were He to give me the status of being His 'abd, in the most complete sense, then I would be set; may my Rabb make this always true, ameen.
Back to the matter at hand, my advice to you two is the same regardless what all else comes to pass: need Allah over needing people, want His gifts in Firdaus over the material, cherish every bit of sunnah that you come across, and hold as strongly as you possibly can to your imaan. Be and become the beacons I know you are, and like each of you told me before on various occasions: just be yourself. ----- Don't let anyone dictate how you should think or feel or dress or speak or wish...unless it's the sunnah of our Messenger (saw) of course. But you knew that. Find and hold on to the best parts of yourselves, and whatever's less than that, work on it bit by bit for as long as you can and never lose hope in being able to change for the better. Indeed, iblees lost hope and his road only ends in the Fire, may Allah save us from that end ameen.
In one way or another, I've always loved you both. This love, I have attempted to purify it bi ithniAllah beyond the shadow of any doubt and fitn that this dunya always brings, so it's been encased into a time capsule specially prepared for finding Firdaus. For me, ideal's idealist that I am, I've learned that love is only worthwhile when it's pointing one back to Allah, the Truth. Anything less than that devolves into a lust and plaything for the shayateen to use against us. Therefore, my hope is that each of you cultivates this same condition of love, if Allah wills it better for you. If it isn't good for you in this life and the next, then that is perfectly fine, and I shall, with His help and guidance and permission, continue to construct this apparatus of deeds to find His greatest of gifts.
So this is where my letter ends, though I wish I could keep on writing. Life won't wait, prayers need praying, duas need making. May Allah make me a beacon for you two, at least as bright as you've been for me, leading and helping and motivating one another in constancy towards something better with Him, ameen ya Rabb.
wa'alaikum asalaam wa rahmatuAllahi wa barakaat,