Chapter Four: I Come From Afar

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: August 17, 2016

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Submitted: August 17, 2016

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“Pa! Ma! The results are here!” Jafar cannot contain his excitement as he positively bounces into the house with a letter, rudely rousing his parents from their sleep. Their irritated faces quickly dissipated though, as they saw Jafar’s wide grin and his barely controlled enthusiasm, him bouncing continuously on the balls of his feet. They looked at each other, and Jafar’s father took the envelope over, hoping for the best. Upon seeing the contents, his face breaks into a smile too, and he congratulates Jafar for his success in getting the scholarship to study in America.

And yet, he cannot shake off a sense of sadness. 16 years old, Jafar still acts like a little child around his parents. He loves them so much, and does so in the knowledge that in their hearts, he is still their little boy. But if he is to take this scholarship and survive it, he will need to grow up. And in the next few weeks, he made the most difficult decision of his life.

He begins to treat Jafar harshly, no longer portraying a blind, unending love. Rather, he talks to him strictly, punishes him coldly, treats him roughly. On the outside, he seemed to have become controlling, even abusive. However every night when left alone, you can hear sobs emanating from behind the locked bathroom door. It pains Jafar’s father’s heart to do such things, but he knew that if Jafar were to grow enough to survive in America, this was needed.

Time flew, and before they knew it was time for Jafar to leave. On the day, Jafar’s father appeared indifferent to the fact that Jafar was leaving for many years, and merely looked on with a stony gaze and offered a gruff, emotionless “good luck.” Jafar left his home feeling alone, but much less so than he would have. He left home without feeling loved, so he missed it little. His father did not care about him, and he could care no less. It was quite shocking, really, what a few weeks of torture can do to a child. Jafar had successfully been turned into a changed person, now with no love lost for leaving home.

But his father, however was left shattered. He cried over his actions, and found himself lacking. He lost himself in liquor and smoking, breaking his oath as a Muslim, and frequently left his wife alone at home. His wife could not handle it, so left him to return to her family. He continued to live his life alone, staring at the bottom of a beer glass. And Jafar was utterly oblivious to this. Despite not receiving any letters from his parents whatsoever, he couldn’t care less, as he felt that he himself had not been loved in those fateful few weeks.

So Jafar finished his schooling, obtained a degree, and went on to start a family in America. He had no idea whatsoever of what his parents were going through. He believed he had found happiness, and for many years, it did seem so. He had a stable job, his wife was kind, and his children loved him. Everything seemed to be going perfectly.

Then for the first time in 15 years, Jafar awoke to see a tattered letter in his mailbox. To his surprise, it was from his father. After reading its contents, he repeated to himself “It can’t be. This is a lie.” And yet, within him, some part still wanted to go back, to see his father. So he packed his bags, bid his new family farewell and went home to meet his father.

You see, Jafar’s father’s drinking and smoking habit did not leave him unscathed. His body had been ravaged by the foul substances, and he now lay on his deathbed, terminally ill. His letter was a request for Jafar to return home, to listen to a dying old man’s last words, and to be with his father for the last few times before he died.

So Jafar went home, and found his father connected to an IV drip, motionless on a bed. When the doctor saw Jafar, he passed him a stack of letters. Jafar merely stared speechless, and stood there, hands shaking. When he opened them, he saw letter after letter of his father asking for forgiveness, for Allah to forgive him for this sin he had done. And as Jafar understood the great sacrifice his father had done, he himself was filled with remorse.

Jafar cried on his father’s resting body, praying to Allah for forgiveness too, for he knew, that he had sinned against his parents, against his family. Just at that moment, the monitor beeped, and his father passed away. And yet Jafar could not feel sadness. His father had passed with a smile on his face, knowing that his son had understood and forgiven him.

However Jafar could not forgive himself. And from then on, he left on a pilgrimage, journeying from town to town, spreading the word of the Qu’ran, so that none would make the mistakes he and his father made. So from then on, he would be known as Jafar, the man who came from afar.


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