The Gift

She spent an uncomfortable day anxiously waiting for, she knew not what. Her beloved husband had left her shortly after their marriage. She was waiting for the gift he had promised her, before he went into death's eternal sleep; into the bright world of heaven. His gift, (whatever it was) would be dear to her. It would be a token, a symbol of the love, emotion and harmony that filled their life together.

Yet it was a unique gift; one prepared by the husband to be given to his wife in the wake of his death. It would be one of the most precious presents he had ever given her, and she was anxious to know what it was. She wondered who could tell her something about it. He had mentioned it first during his arms training, whilst preparing to fight for the rights and the dignity of his people, to either achieve victory or enjoy martyrdom. He did not give it her then but left her, waiting for his sake return. But he never returned. How could he come back? Those who rush to fight against the satanic enemy do not come back.

They always expect victory or martyrdom. They desire either death, to vex the enemy, or life that pleases the friends. There are many who come and go..., but can a life of compromise and weakness, be considered a real life? It is really only death. Her husband achieved martyrdom in the battle of AI-Karamah (a village in the occupied Palestine). He fell whilst defending his homeland that had been seized by the Zionists. They did not even celebrate one wedding anniversary as he left during the early days of their married life.

Her beloved husband knew that someone's precious life, was worth sacrificing for a noble cause. He left her and joined the combatants in the battlefield, promising her his gift. He was away often and for long periods of time, but she got news of his struggle. She prayed to Allah to give him strength, patience and fortitude with which to face the brutal enemy...then, she was awaiting his return. But now she no longer waited.

He had enjoyed martyrdom in the battle of dignity and justice and she would never forget his promised gift. His bright figure was etched deep into her heart and his martyrdom had increased that brightness. He was her love whether dead or alive, and she lived with him and for him. She was proud of, and happy with, him. She had a right to anxiously await his gift. At last, after waiting for what seemed ages, but was really only a few days, the gift was brought to her.

She looked at it as if she were looking at his angelic luminous shadow. She remembered him when he was her hope in life, the man of her dreams. He went for the sake of her and every oppressed wife, every unhappy child, every lost young man... He went in order to liberate his country, for her and for all the people. He sacrificed himself for the sake of the country that was invaded by imperialists and strangers. He was worthy of her love and high respect. She got the gift. She was both happy and sad. She looked at it. It was balm for her wounded heart.

What could it be? It was a green board on which was fixed in big letters, the following Qur'anic verse :

“...who when a misfortune befalls them say: surely we are Allah's and to Him we shall return...” (Al-Baqarah, 2:156)

She hung it on the wall where she could see it every morning, when she opened her eyes and every evening when she went to sleep. She looked at it and promised Allah the Almighty, and her martyred husband that she would tread the road of struggle till the banner of justice could be raised in Palestine. Whenever she longed for her husband she read the Qur'anic verse and a feeling of calm crept through her.