Unspoken Shahadah

Everything passed before my eyes so slowly and yet I could not react with any rapidity, could not take advantage of how things were unfolding. It was like a nightmare. It was a nightmare—being kidnapped from a public parking lot like in all those episodes of forensic shows. An arm wrapped around my waist like a vice. A dull, burning ache of what I could only assume was a stab wound, shock making the details of the situation hard to discern. The knife pressed under my jaw, drawing tiny rivulets of blood, preventing me from crying for help.

There was nothing to cling to as I was pulled away from my car, away from my screaming son who sat helpless in his seat, unable to save his mother, the person he was attached to the most. His devastation was my pain, one that ached more than any physical injury. I didn’t want him to see this, didn’t want the last memory of his mother to be something so wretched. There were a lot of things I didn’t want then.

As I was being dragged into the assaulter’s car my death became much more of a reality. I always tried to cling to hope, tried to keep the faith but it dwindled once I was shoved inside the vehicle that reeked of stale cigarettes. Law enforcement officials always said that the most important rule to surviving an attack was to never get inside the car. It was like signing your death certificate in blood. And there I was, inside the car.

What happened next was a blur. The slowed time failing me as I could only make out a flurry of arm gestures before I was punched in the side of the head. There was no occasion for thoughts, only reactions, blows raining upon my boney arms held up in self-defense. My temple tingled as I was struck again and again before my vision finally tunneled to black.

When I regained consciousness the car was inching to a stop. I didn’t bother to open my eyes. I could feel piano wire wrapped tightly around my neck, rubbing the skin raw. It made breathing difficult and speaking impossible. I couldn’t whisper the shahadah like I had always planned to. No repeating it over and over in English and in Arabic just to be safe.

I couldn’t help but wonder if I would be able to declare my deen and my nabi to Izra’il the angel of death—if I would be silent then too. I couldn’t help but wonder, why me, why now until I resigned myself to my fate, knowing that it was already written.

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One Response to “Unspoken Shahadah”

  1. Sara Says:

    damn

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