Brothers

    In the name of Allah, the Beneficient, the Merciful

    He had pondered a long time. He had heard that attending weddings was an act stressed by the Prophet (PBUH&HF). If one was observing a voluntary fast, one was to break the fast and join the wedding.

    He looked at his dishevelled looks. Pieces sown together, made up his outfit. He thought how his looks would bother people. It would make them sad about him, and perhaps guilty of their blessings. No, he shouldn't attend the wedding. He resolved for a moment.

    Then the thought came to him, just as a revelation. How could he think he didn't have anything better to wear. Sure he had. His brother is a rich and well to do man. He will wear one of his many outfits. He had found the answer to his dilemna.

    He reached the house. Knocked. And a servant came to open the door. She asked him to identify himself. He said that he was so-and-so, the brother of the owner of this house. Surprised, she looked at him, she didn't know he had a brother by that name. He told her his intentions of getting one of his good outfits for the wedding. She looked at him hesitantly, and finally told him her reservation. That she didn't know that her master had a brother by that name, and that she wouldn't allow him to come in the house.

    He said, 'I am his brother. The Prophet (PBUH&HF) made us brothers yesterday, in the presence of many witnesses. The Seegha of brotherhood was recited yesterday.'

    The servant had no answer. She allowed him in and showed him the way to her master's wardrobe. He chose a fitting outfit, and left his old clothes on the floor, to return to change after the function.

    The master of the house came in, later in the day. The servant hesitantly gave him the report of the day. The master a bit shocked and angry at such outrageousness, ran to his room, fearing that some precious thing must be gone.

    There, his eyes met the old clothes of his brother, humbly lying on the floor. A wave of grief overwhelmed him. Grief that he had not met the vows of brotherhood yet. He had so much and his brother had so very little. Ashamed of his excess, he cried helplessly, and asked God's forgiveness.

    Then, a light of joy warmed his heart. Pleas of lover flowed from his tongue. Such is your mercy my Owner, he cried in prostration. You granted me such a sincere brother, who accepted mine as his own, without formalities. He believed in the pact that Your messenger built among us. Then the grief of a wrong doer shadowed his being. And I didn't honor it.

    In prostration, he rocked back and forth between hope and fear, joy and grief, he said much to and heard much from his Lord.

    How do I thank You, my God, for this mercy?

    He lifted his head from the ground, and saw the frightened servant standing, as if waiting to be punished for the grief that she had caused him.

    I grant you freedom, today, for your faith, and as a token of my thankfulness to Allah.

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