Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My Sister, My Friend, My Physician

The Friday Mosque ... Zaria, Nigeria

As Salaamu Alaikum Sister Juliet:

I cried my eyes out when I heard what happened. I just found out today. I still can't believe it! I had to read the article at the Attorney General's website over and over before it sunk in.

Where to start?

Well, I had been trying to get a hold of you since early December. I called your office a zillion times and left so many messages. But you didn't return my calls. Then I called the special number you gave me. Remember? The one that you said connected to the phone in your home? The one you told me to use if I ever really needed you? Someone answered, but it was not you. A woman told me, "I just got this number; I've been receiving a lot of calls for her."

At first I blew it off. I thought that maybe you went to Nigeria to visit your family over the Christmas holiday. When I couldn't reach you in the middle of January, I started to worry. I knew something had to be wrong. Finally, I called the hospital and the switchboard operator said to me, "Didn't you hear? It was in all of the newspapers." When I told her that I hadn't, she said that all she could tell me was that you had left the country and wouldn't be coming back. Confidentiality rules prevented her from telling me more. She suggested that I go to the Attorney General Office's website and put your name in the search engine ...

Remember the first time we met? I sat across from you in your office and gave you my medical history. You looked at me with a faraway look in your eyes. "This," you said, gently touching my hijab," does something to me, in my heart." I sat silently as you continued. "I think my mother may have been Muslim," you said. "I don't remember her; I was raised by my grandmother. But I have a memory ...

When I search your name on the Attorney General's website, an article appeared describing the arrest of your husband. It said that he had been forging your name on prescriptions for addictive pain medication. The article continued to describe how your home and your clinic had been raided by the authorities. It said that when you learned of a pending investigation of your prescribing practices for these medications, you "fled" the country for you native home in Nigeria.

Remember when you asked me where you could buy a hijab? I told you that I would bring you a few when I came for my next appointment. How thrilled you were when I gave them to you as promised! You said you were "thinking" about becoming a Muslim, and you wanted to "see" how it felt to wear hijab.

Why did you leave the country if you are innocent? Wasn't your husband the one who was forging your name on your prescriptions?

When I walked in the office at my next appointment, you greeted me ... wearing hijab! Alhamdulillah, you said you decided to become a Muslim! But you said you wanted to do it "slowly". You told me that your husband became angry when he saw you wearing the hijab. But you said you didn't care. You wanted to be a Muslim. The first thing I taught you was "As Salaamu Alaikum". I promised to bring you books about Islam and a pamphlet about how to pray the Salaat.

My sister, my friend, my physician - how I grieve for you. Will I ever see you again? Insha Allah you will think of me sometimes, perhaps even get on the Internet and read this post. If you do, please leave a comment so that I know you are OK.

And please don't leave Islam. Allah (swt) will help you through this; all you have to do is ask Him.

Ya Allah! Please guide and protect my sister, my friend, and my physician/Ameen.


Avi said...

Return to HaShem.

Have a very happy Purim. Remember the flaw of the Jews of Shushan who thought that they could assimilate and abandon Judaism and everything would be fine. They had Judaism forced upon them when Haman threatened to annhilate them all. Only teshuva saved the day. Chag Sameach!

Safiyyah said...

Shaalom BK and welcome back. Happy Purim to you, too :)

Anonymous said...

A sad and yet quite beautiful story, dear Sister :) Even though she left the country, when Islam is planted in the heart, it takes root, and she will flower wherever she is. Inshallah, your sister, friend, physician will contact you one day :)

Ya Haqq!

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu alaikum,

Perhaps she "fled" out of fear. I would imagine that being a foreigner is hard enough in this current climate. Imagine if the feds literally kickied in your door? She probably felt alone and targeted. Insha'Allah she will hold on to her islam.

Big Sis said...

May Allah grant this sister peace and happiness. Inshallah she contacts you soon.

Saaleha said...

May Allah ease all the trials and tribulations that she may face. I hope that she is indeed innocent. And if she has fallen, may Allah give her the strength to get up again.

Yasmine said...

I almost cried...oh my...very touching reality and story. I will pray for her as well. the hijab part really touched me because my hijab is much more than meets the eye. (tear):(