Tales from a Mosque (13): Matter of Love

In the lively streets of a large Austrian city, lying just beneath the Alpine mountains, with their tall sharp peaks still covered with snow, where cute Alpine Marmots enjoyed the Spring sun, climbing on the rocks, there was a lot of human crowds, rushing to pursue their wordly affairs.

Between them, you could find a young girl, also quite cute, but walking slowly, enjoying the beautiful sunny day, around 23 years of age. Not too tall, but conspicuously dressed, as she had her distinctive personal style for outfits, she was smiling at strangers she met, but inside her soul, there was a dark stain, which couldn’t be cured easily.

Thinking about it, the girl was not sure, whether she even wants to get rid of the feeling, causing so much pain daily. However, there was something magical and enjoyable even in such melancholy, living with your heart torn apart. Still, her sense for self-preservation advised her well, to solve the situation… somehow. But how, in practice?

Of course she discussed the matter with her female friends. They all had the same experience: when you fall in love with someone so much, and then you are left, deserted, the person is lost, never to be retrieved. You can hardly repair a broken vase… and in Gloria’s case, called by friends just Glory, it was virtually impossible, as her male interest married, and he now had a family.

Still, he kept contacting Gloria occasionally, explaining with his deep, enchanting and powerful male voice she loved so much, that he had no other option, as his later wife got pregnant unexpectedly, when they temporarily separated with Gloria, so what else could he do… the only moral decision was to marry the other woman, even if his heart was also allegedly broken.

“I loved you as no one else in my life,” he told Gloria openly, without expected shyness to share his feelings, as males are generally advised to keep their emotions inside, not showing them, as such action would be perceived as weakness, as a feminine behavior.

But this man… he had a talent for playing with Gloria. He knew exactly, whom to be, what to say and when, to hit on her emotional side, to keep her heart only for himself, even if he was long gone from her, now declaring eternal love to his wife and spending evenings with his family, where also the blessing of children occured.

Yes, Gloria still loved him, maybe even more, than before… she had a sense for drama, she maybe needed it to be happy, and this cursed love which couldn’t be fulfilled anymore was exactly what the artist’s soul of Gloria needed, it seemed. Yes, it inspired her… composing songs was her beloved hobby, and she was able to create the most impressive music works lately, as she was ruled by so strong and varied emotions, leaving her thirsty with desire and deep thoughts.

But these artistic achievements also had a price to pay. The feeling was killing her soul slowly. More and more, she started getting isolated from the rest of the social world, closing into herself, succumbing to her emotions too deepy. For her, there was only her ego, her desires, then him, her work… and all other people were getting more and more distant. And it was not good, she knew it.

So, to do something right, Gloria tried to find a cure.

The most logical solution would be to find a new love. But as Gloria disconnected from the flow of her social vicinity, men started to ignore her, simply they stopped to see her as a potential love interest. She became like cursed, because for any woman, courtship, favors and admiration from men is like a water of life. But for Gloria, this magical source dried, and it was just because of her voluntary emotional isolation, where only one man had its place guaranteed: and he was only a spectre.

Who would say, that even the dumb, aggressive, primitive men, allegedly interested only in football, sex and beer, can feel such things, also possessing so called sixth sense? This time, against the interests of Gloria.

No prince was coming to rescue her, as she gave him no chance, pushing him back actively, rejecting him, sending him away decisively. She was sending signals loudly: “I am taken, I am in a relationship, it doesn’t matter what kind it is, you are not allowed to judge it, but you have to know, that I am busy, not interested in your courtship. Go somewhere else, you won’t succeed here!”

So the men followed her ‘good advice’, as she wanted. Maybe someone of them should be more a hero, understanding her situation, keeping close, even against her will and rejection, so she could be cured slowly, falling in love again, finding a new, healthy relationship.

The current relationship, if it could be even called this way, was simply toxic, a poison for the young girl, stealing time and opportunities from her. She was still young, she could afford to lose days and months and even years in some cursed garden of roses, loving someone who left long time ago and disappointed her, who hurt her… but what about the future?

What if someone next comes in several years, someone else, new, yet more persuasive and powerful, damaging her again, and yet more seriously? Now it was two years lost… the next man could take five years from her… and so on.

In the end, she will be forty years old, still single, of course, and men will lose interest naturally, as she will get older, and the ruthless female competition of girls about 20 years old will rule the battlefield of love… she will get only some ‘good guy’, rejected by women today as too soft and not manly, as crippled as she. But through time, his value on the love market will rise, if he doesn’t drink and beat women, he has a stable job, at least a flat, and his woman can count with a sustainable future, if she decides to catch the last train and to start the family with him…

Sometimes, Gloria felt like a fortune-teller. She had this vision… of herself, looking at the mirror, single, alone, always able to find someone into bed, for worldly pleasures, but nothing more… and in that time, the current ‘innocent girlish game’ could become a very serious problem, followed by many drinks and endless parties, making her skin yet older.

Also, Gloria thought: how many love opportunities is she losing now? She was meeting a lot of men: in school, in the music clubs, in the restaurants and cafés of the city. Why couldn’t be there someone different, someone new, someone good?

The reason was simple: if her ex-boyfriend texted her, or even called her, her heart started beating so heavily, that she lost her breath in the instant.

She was forgiving him many things, otherwise unacceptable: for example, if he promised her to come for a meeting, and he didn’t show up, not explaining anything, not apologizing.

But Gloria still loved him, even more. Maybe there was some deeply submissive part inside her, and she was attracted to men, who hurt her somehow, as her mind explained this questionable behavior as a matter of extreme masculinity, that if the real man doesn’t care of you, it means, that he is extremely valuable, as he could have so much better women than you… it was some kind of deep, instinctive female thinking on biological level.

His marriage even impressed Gloria. She dreamed about him, seeing him in the family circle, talking softly to his beloved kids… Gloria only wanted to sit there, instead of his lawful wife. At least in her dreams, she could…

This was a poison she used voluntarily: dreams. If her female friends told her to get together, to dress fancily and to go out with them, to a glamorous party, for a ‘hunt’ for boys, she joined them, but she didn’t participate in such games, she was even sending some kind of hostile signals towards the potential male adepts, warning them, not to attempt to break their good female party, where Gloria felt good… it was complicated. Fortunately, her friends understood, saying in the end, that ‘… those were idiots anyway, so no loss was taken’.

Another problem was, that Gloria yet deepened her melancholic moods voluntarily, listening to the kind of music she shouldn’t afford. Like this song, playing in her headphones right now, “Honeythief” from the band “Halou”:

Sometimes I doubt the path I chose
Sometimes my dreams feel all on hold
There’s no doubt that this will make me strong
Because it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done

Despite this cruel world
And all my best efforts
You surprise me with just how perfect you are

Even with all my flaws
And my bad examples
You surprise me with
Just how perfect you are

And when I’m lost
You search for me
And when I doubt
You’re my belief

I’m suppose to be
The stronger one
You always seem
To prove that theory wrong

Still, I hold my breath each time you go
Out in the world that’s beyond my control
If you are dreaming
I never want to wake you up

When I’m all in a spin
Full of cynicism
You remind me of just how perfect you are

When I’m at my wit’s end
And I’m losing my head
You remind me of just how lucky I am

What more could be said here? This was a song that described Gloria’s feelings, emotions and situation just perfectly and exactly, reminding him again and again. She loved the song, the feeling, and him: but her soul was slowly damaged, soon to be filled with bitterness, and then pain.

And this had to be prevented, Gloria thought. She just had no idea, how: in this situation, men avoided her, or they lost interest quickly, as she started talking about the other man sooner or later, and they perceived it as an insult, or they simply assessed her situation well, realizing, that she is completely unsuitable for any kind of relationship… although she was otherwise nice, pleasant, peaceful, calm, good, friendly, and she had plenty of other female qualities.

She was just not prepared, her heart was still blocked by someone else, someone extremely powerful, and other men were literally nothing, in comparison with ‘him’… then, it was hard.

Gloria was walking slowly, listening to the song again and again, watching her feet, or looking into the eyes of strangers, asking them a question without words: What can I do, if he is simply stuck inside me, and I can’t get him out, even if I wanted to? Isn’t it better to enjoy the feeling, to search for an importance inside it, than to attempt to fight with it, suffering even more?

But the music stopped playing suddenly… damned! She forgot to charge the battery of her phone in the morning, when she left for the school.

Now, she was standing on a busy street alone, and without music, which could provide her company, the world seemed like a quite hostile place. Aggressive, rude drivers everywhere, noise, loud voices, someone bumped into her shoulder, and the idiot didn’t even try to apologize… it was the selfish consuming society, after all, living in the 21st century.

Gloria was watching the surroundings, like a painter who prepares to start the artistic work, and the flow of human bodies was moving around her ruthlessly, without any interest for the girl.

Then she noticed an unusual building nearby: wasn’t it a mosque? It seemed surprisingly modest, unlike plenty of the Christian churches in Austria, full of costly decorations, paid from the believer’s money.

A mosque, and here, in the city… Gloria was young and without any prejudices, even agreeing with accepting of the masses of refugees, reaching the beaches of Europe, but she was quite indifferent to any religion. But maybe she could visit the building inside, just to use the opportunity, if the fate lead her here. If Islam was a part of the city… and she was born here… she should be informed properly.

So she entered, through the main gate, and she came into a large courtyard. From the first moment, Gloria liked the place: it was all white, and somehow pure, simple, perfectly combined with the mountains on the horizon, and blue sky above.

There was a small water fountain in the middle of the courtyard, and the flow of water was so calming. Many benches were placed around, and as nobody tried to kick her out, an uninvited guest, she decided to sit there, just to listen to the calming water, and to enjoy the relative silence inside.

The city seemed to disappear, with all that countless noises, if you entered here… and peace started coming to you, even if you were a non-believer, like Gloria.

She was not there alone, but no one paid her any attention. She noticed some women in hijabs, coming in and out, and men, who were looking, behaving and dressed quite normally. Several other people were occupying benches nearby, talking silently, but everybody seemed to be in peace, and Gloria, with her soul in pain, really appreciated it.

Just recently, a big media affair, concerning Islam in the city, was launched, Gloria remembered. At first, some unknown entity – possibly powerful and omnipresent Chinese, or some unnamed Austrian conservative aristocrat were suspected – tried to raze this mosque, in the name of higher interests, as people of this quarter allegedly needed a public park. But the media speculated, that the real reason is the grounds under the building, with immense financial value, if a shopping mall or a business center would be built here.

And then, the whole affair became yet more complicated, when some foreign tabloid media, called ‘Heavy Slander’, entered the city boldly, and using their malicious, but well crafted pamphlets, distributed for free by hired students, they announced to the shocking local citizens, that in fact an Islamic revolution is happening in the city right now, as Muslims acquired an extremely powerful asset: an American male business tycoon, who could buy all local politicians, and who will most definitely aspire for political power himself, as he wanted to build so called ‘Glass House’ on the main square, his critical construction project, to leave a mark there forever.

And now… he was allegedly a Muslim, the gossip magazine said. Allegedly, just hours before his wedding, some extremely mysterious and beautiful Arabic woman seduced him, as she tried to save the mosque, using all means… he followed her, into the religion, and his wedding crashed, naturally. He didn’t speak with the media since, and all citizens took it as a confirmation of truth, written in the newspapers.

Quite a romantic tale, Gloria thought, with her artistic soul pleased. If such interesting events happen here, at the mosque, it could be a good place for her artistic inspiration. Maybe she could ask that woman in hijab, taking care of a bed of beautiful red roses, how the things are done here.

“Excuse me,” Gloria said silently. “Do you work here?”

“I do, yes,” the woman replied. She was older than Gloria, not expressively beautiful, rather of normal appearance, but exotic, her dark skin and brown eyes gave her face a promise of honor, mystery, even danger. But she watched Gloria rather with smile, like if she would welcome a new guest.

“I just went around… so nice place you have here! You are a gardener, or a floral decorator? These roses are really beautiful,” Gloria appreciated, as she loved flowers, preparing original bouquets every possible time, to decorate her student flat, or to give lovely presents to her friends.

“Actually, I work in the Islamic Cultural Centre here. But someone needs to take care of the flowers,” the woman replied calmly. “You want to have a look inside the building?”

“Why not?” Gloria was pleased by the unexpected, but friendly invitation, accepting it without any longer hesitation. At least she will come to other thoughts, if she will enter the place, dedicated to worshipping.

After a few minutes, Gloria was issued a hijab herself, and the woman helped her to arrange it around her head and neck. It was so strange feeling… something so different. How would it feel, to wear it outside too? Of course, there would be much rejection…

“Only three basic rules to enter the mosque: to be veiled sufficiently, to take off your shoes, and to behave decently, as this is a sacred religious place,” her local companion, who introduced herself as Fatima, explained. “Don’t be afraid, we have many visitors from the outside daily, so no one present will be surprised, or insulted. Many people come here, to get to know our faith and the mosque more. After the latest media events… we even had to add one more Islamic presentation daily, in the afternoon.”

“I read about it. But they wrote, that you were the winners, that you are much stronger now, and anybody has to fear you, the future will belong to you, you will get power to influence things,” Gloria commented with curiosity.

“It’s a complicated matter,” Fatima replied with a sigh of resignation. “Of course, that many journalists and curious people are coming here now, asking us thousands questions, asking to speak with Imam Faraj about the issue. We didn’t close the gate for them, the Imam is really patient with them, but we really don’t have much to say. We didn’t start this affair, and the local Islamic community even doesn’t know the man, described as ‘our fateful asset’! The tabloid media are always the same, and the best reaction is simply to ignore them.

Anyway, we are just small insignificant servants of Allah, trying to ignore the outside world and its endless flow of disturbing events and news as much as possible, to concentrate on our faith, as it’s the only thing really important, not some gossip and crazy visions of some conspiracy theorists. You non-believers see us wrongly, that we manufacture some treacherous plots against you here, day and night, in secret.

But it’s not happening there, have a look: people come here to pray, to find relief, to ask Allah for forgiveness of their sins, to talk with others about even quite worldly affairs. We believe, that Allah has control of all things… our mission is just to worship Him, to do good deeds, and the future will be resolved. So simple is Islam.”

“And this Imam Faraj… would he accept me, if I am a woman, and a non-believer? I have some personal issue… maybe, he could help me. Or you?” Gloria was interested.

“He just loves to help good people like you with such worldly problems! And he likes talking to non-believers. He says, that it reminds him again and again, how precious and perfect is Allah. Follow me,” Fatima smiled, as she knew, that Imam Faraj also loves surprises, disrupting his daily routine positively, bringing new challenges for him, forcing him to think about the faith and discover its endless advantages again and again.

“So, as I tried to explain, I have this problem in my life,” Gloria said boldly to Imam Faraj, while Fatima was sitting silently in the corner, like always, “that I would like to forget this spoiled relationship, but I simply can’t. It’s so strong, tempting me to violate my good resolutions again and again. Weeks and months are passing, and nothing is resolved… but I know, that I am just losing time. He won’t return, and I am not willing to become his devoted mistress, so he can enjoy his extramarital desires.

Not that I wouldn’t like it, to be honest… it’s just bad for his family, and for me too, for my personal integrity, for my honor. Yet I will become pregnant with a married man…. and then I will be in a real trouble.”

Imam Faraj, a man in his 50s, was sitting behind his modest work table, where only a beautifully decorated Qur’an and glass of water could be found. No computer, no papers, like in any office.

Behind the Imam, there was a book shelf standing, but not too many books was placed there. It seemed, that here, in this mosque, only one book was important, and nothing else matters, so no one felt a need to fill the racks with too much of an additional content.

“Indeed, this love case could be a warning for your future, if you incline to such problematic type of men, who don’t bring you a classic happiness and fulfilled relationships,” the Imam stated advisedly, sounding like if he would be some love counsellor. Even as a man of faith, serving here to Allah, he was able to speak this relaxed and understanding way, and Gloria liked that.

“Today, it’s this man. Tomorrow, it will be another… years will pass, and you still won’t be happy, confined in this circle of failure and spoiled girlish dreams,” the Imam continued, and he was quite grateful to Fatima, that she brought this fine girl here, so he could stop paying attention to all that endless media and civic requests for ‘official statement to the affair’ and ‘plans for the future of local Islamic community’ or ‘stance to Islamization of Austria’, and similar matters, completely out of Imam’s competence and interest.

“That’s exactly my thought,” the girl agreed, glad, that the much older man understands her, and her feelings. “I would like to be happy, of course… but only with such problematic men, I am satisfied, let’s say. There is many men everywhere, but if they are ‘normal’ and not wild, dangerous and unpredictable as a mountain river, then I have no interest in them, they don’t excite me, they can’t give me what I want, what I need.”

“It’s good, that you found your way here, that you followed the Path,” the Imam said with satisfaction. “Inside these modest walls, dedicated to Allah and only Him, you can find the answer you are looking for, if Allah will permit it. He created you, and He wants you to be happy, even if you are a non-believer. But only doing good deeds, you worship Him, and He is pleased.

Allah is not somewhere far. He is in your life too, guarding you, protecting you, and He can give you the best advices, the ultimate guidance. For many people outside, it would be too easy to tell you: ‘If you enjoy it, that kind of life you are living, so why should and could someone help you, if you don’t want it actually?’

But Allah is different, the All Encompassing and the All Wise, the One who responds, the Patient, the Teacher. He leads you through many demanding journeys, and now, when you are ready to make a positive change, to improve yourself, He is always giving you a chance, as He always accepts your Repentance.

You are a woman: and it’s your nature, to rather accept. You seem so feminine, so sensitive, so deep, you are an artist as you said, but you went too far this time: you don’t live your life, you live the life of other man right now, you connect to him with your whole energy, losing your own self, as you think, that you have to bow in front of a man, who conquered you successfully, and who has control over you, when you resigned with your resistance, accepting his complete dominance over you.

But this man, and all other men, they are nothing, compared to Allah Almighty. If you are impressed by their power, which is in fact minor and insignificant, then you should definitely meet Allah, and if you will understood, how absolutely mighty He is, then it will be natural for you to submit to Him, and no one else, if you seek for an ultimate strength.

And this cure is for life: learn about Allah, decide to accept Him, and you will be free from all confinement, from all dependence on others. You will start living a real life, if you will be submitted to Him, if you will put Him at the first place, always and forever, under any conditions.

So, what you should do: just let Allah to come into your life! Open your mind again, like in that time, when the man was conquering you. In the end, you will know absolutely, what entity to follow, love and admire: a selfish mortal, who hurts you? Or Allah, who is your loving Creator, and He has full control over you? Who sees and hears, who knows about everything you do?

Then, you can find a real love in the world. But only if you will be submitted to Allah, enjoying His protection, love and guidance, inspiration for good choices and decisions. Pray and worship Him: everything else will follow. What is good, it will stay in your life, it will get stronger. What is bad, it will leave, and completely naturally,” Imam Faraj said with passion, and touched the Qur’an, with deepest gratitude. It was such blessing, to be a Muslim! Not like all that poor people outside, always in pain, always searching for things they couldn’t find.

“Stop searching, you just found,” the man of faith continued. “You will fall in love again, and soon, but this time differently. And that will be the kind of love which is ultimate, unique, and all-healing.

You women are creatures of love, sensitivity and emotion, you were created this way, as Allah decided wisely, so the world can be a better place. So use this ability, and with all of your heart, love and accept the only entity who will never leave you, or disappont you, who will provide you everything you really need in life: it’s Allah. There is no one like Him, and no one else, worthy of worshipping and submitting to completely.

The world needs women like you, so many good deeds can be executed, and it can become a better place. You are a fine, nice girl… and you can give a lot to others, but only with Allah always in front of your mind, you can be safe and protected against all outside influences, events and people. Otherwise, your ego, demons and weaknesses will take you off the way, to endless wandering, like you just experienced,” the Imam expressed a strong warning.

“With all respect, Imam Faraj,” the girl remarked boldly, “people and the media say, that in Islam, women are oppressed, allegedly. I saw no oppression here, but still… why do they all say that? To damage your religion, to stop its growth? Or is there some truth in this statement?

What you are describing sounds absolutely marvellously, I see myself there so clearly, I am willing to replace all the false male gods with Allah and only with Him forever, but the careful part inside me says: ‘You will submit to Allah, and you will lose yourself, your freedom. And there will be no way back’. So, do I have the right to doubt… even about Allah?”

“Of course you have such right,” Imam Faraj agreed without any irony. “Islam encourages everybody to think and doubt, Islam takes no rights from you, regardless of your gender. But once you discover, how perfected and complete religion it is… you don’t want to doubt, you want to believe and to live, to use your life, to become a good person, to worship Allah, because it’s the reason of your creation.

And then, you are so busy with this new adventure… you enjoy every moment, and you are satisfied, you are in peace. Where would be a place for doubt there, or too much thinking? It’s hard to believe, probably, as you come from the world, where no one is really satisfied, and most of the people always complain…

In Islam, woman or man, everybody lives the best they can, motivated to be better persons, they do it voluntarily. The rewards they will get for it will be only theirs… there is no reason to complain, or to call for a change: you need Allah, as a weak mortal, but He doesn’t need you, remember. And Allah knows the best, what is good for you. It’s in your best interest to listen, and to live by the very simple rules He sets. Submission means acceptance of the rules: you can doubt, as you like, but it only takes you away from Allah, and without Him, you will fail.

If you have Allah, then everything is perfect, as you can’t find a better guidance for any man, or woman: fully equal, but not the same. This is the reason of differences between genders: outside, they call it ‘oppression’, without understanding, that both genders have different needs and challenges in their lives, so Allah arranges things for them appropriately, to save them from difficulties.

Why should Allah oppress you, if you are His beloved creation? If He wishes, that you veil your beauty, He considers your female interests and needs, and also the needs of the society. Why is it necessary for men and women to pray separately, here in the mosque? Simply because no believer can be distracted during prayer. The same reason, why there is no extensive decoration inside, as you noticed. If you are here, it should be only Allah and you present, nothing else should cross your mind. And Allah knows the best, what is good for you. Trust Him!

You talk about ‘losing yourself’… it’s the basic principle of religion. Islam was made perfected and complete with the last Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, 1400 years ago… and today, you have a choice, to follow it, or not to follow it.

Of course, there are promising rewards in Islam, but only for the believers… so you have the choice: submit your will to Allah, become His servant, and you will be rewarded by His endless Mercy and Compassion, plus thousands of other values. Not speaking of breaking of endless painful circle of falling in love with bad men, where you will always lose. 

You say, you are afraid of losing freedom… but all the people you meet here, they actually have freedom. They don’t have to pray five times a day, or to come here on Fridays, they can commit sins, if they like… but they will simply lose the favor of Allah, and they know it, that no sin is worth of losing such valuable guidance, support and protection.

Life is about making choices, bad and good. Islam doesn’t take away anything from a man or a woman, on the contrary: it enriches and enhances, but you have to bow in front of Allah, and accepting the destiny He has created for you.

But isn’t it an extremely exciting process? You, as a naturally submissive person, should understand it more than well. Just imagine the decisive moment, when you will replace your weak fragile ego with something as mighty as Allah… you know, that in that moment, you will gain extreme strength, you will know, what to do, and there will be nobody and nothing, able to hurt you. There will be nothing to afraid of, and to grieve for. Wouldn’t such life be really beautiful, easy, pleasant, enjoyable? And it’s the reality we are living, it’s no dream, or false promise! But you have to experience it yourself.

We Muslims believe in destiny, predestination, and it makes us free: and it’s the real freedom, when everything in life is easy, smooth and without difficulty, so you can recognize, that your Path is Straight.

Simply said: you will find, that a choice to accept Islam is perfectly sufficient for your life, so you can find peace, happiness and destiny you were searching for so long,” the Imam concluded his thought.

“So all these values is what Allah offers me? Just like that?” Gloria was astonished. “It’s generous… so unexpected in this selfish world.”

“He is known by ’99 Beautiful names’, and one of them is ‘The Generous’. Read them all, to understand Allah, to learn, how He can help you, as no one else can, what He can give you, as no one else can,” the Imam handed over a leaflet to the girl.

99 Names of Allah V - Alan Svejk VIP Military Affairs S

“Take it with you, you will be closer to Him, and you will feel, what His presence in your life means, you will feel the difference,” Imam Faraj suggested, and stood up, to say goodbye to the girl, as he had to return to his other duties. “And remember: it’s you and Allah, no one else is needed in your life to be happy: no man, no priest. Come closer to Allah by loving Him, submitting to Him and worshipping Him: you will see, what will happen, how your fear will go away, and there will be eternal sun in your mind.”

At the late evening, Imam Faraj and Fatima met again. She was his trustworthy aide, and although he kept proper distance from her, he knew her special qualities, so he always gave her opportunities to speak, to influence things. With her Intelligence background, she was fully qualified, to provide good advices in many complicated matters. It was her, who saved the mosque… not speaking about other related achievements.

Now, she was leaving. After the media affair, it was the best approach, as the journalists were literally hunting for her, to discover and reveal her identity. Moreover, she got an offer you can’t refuse from Countess Theresa Von Laubringen, to move back to America together, as the Countess, originally an enemy of Islam, who started the affair, was in the same situation, ironically: and there was no factual hostility between the two women. They both did, what they had to: but now, it was a good time for a ‘vacation’. And why not to go together, to get to know each other better?

“I am leaving tomorrow morning,” Fatima informed the Imam. “But before departure, I will make a stop at Geneva.”

“Good. You can say hello to the person we both know, who lives there,” the Imam replied.

“In fact, I go there just because of her,” Fatima explained. “To persuade her, to come here and to take my place. The time was never more right, there is no better asset, than she, and you know that, Imam Faraj. She can do what I can’t, and the community needs her right now, to find good directions in the new situation, when we are under pressure from official places, although differently, than before.

It’s not about defence right now: but someone has to arrange things with the infidel leaders, who are inviting us to become a part of structures of local power of influence. This is her mission, not yours, not mine. But it’s very important: Allah provided us this unique opportunity, and it’s our responsibility to use it, for the welfare of people, Muslims and infidels alike. If we will send a woman, like her, we will send a message, that we can create a good future for all, without any fears of grasping too much power from the people.”

“You serve Allah and this mosque well, no doubt about it,” the Imam appreciated Fatima, and it was quite a rare thing. “You were able to succeed in very complicated affairs, so you are the right person for negotiation. Go there, accompanied with Allah, at least she will know in detail, what happens here, and why her presence is needed, so she can consider it.

But she will most likely reject: you know her. She goes her own way, far away from here. For her, maybe the time is not right yet. One day, she will be an Imam herself, an example for others… but it seems, that Allah leads her somewhere else right now, challenging us, to take care of our matters with our own resources, not relying on her.

You know the women of this mosque better than me: I am sure, that some of them can take over your duties.”

“They can’t accept such honor,” Fatima sighed. “When I spoke with several of them, they all said, that only ‘The Small Imam’ should be here. They don’t accept the circumstances, that your daugher has no interest in such mission, and no one can change it… but they want only her.

Many rumors occured around her lately in the community. It’s said, that if she will come, a new epoch of our religion will start. From this reason, and according to the latest developments, her presence is extremely needed here, right now.”

“You can’t drag her against her will here,” Imam Faraj was realistic. “Allah knows the best, when, where and whether to send her. But tell her everything, and leave it up to her to decide. No other intervention will be made,” the Imam declared, that he won’t enter the matter anyhow.

It was a hard decision for a father and Imam, not to lead his daughter to her destiny, although she was fully qualified for it. She had her reasons, when she left to Switzerland. She was so close… and still so far away. But Imam Faraj trusted Allah, that He knows, when the time is right for everything. Unlike an infidel father, who would worry, not having control of his daughter’s life, he knew, that she is protected and guided by Allah: and one day, she will discover her destiny herself.

“Understood,” Fatima said with concentration. She will do just anything to succeed. Like always.


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Alan Svejk

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