The Gift of a Woman
An excerpt from "When Faith Reins"

That day Hanna had seen a little bird feeding its baby at the branch of a tree. Years had passed and Allah had not granted Hanna and Imran a child. Her motherly instinct had raised its head from the gloom of a discouraged woman. A new hope in the generosity of a miracle-making God, had given rise to a hearty prayer that fearfully, yet full heartedly tempted to knock at the doors of His Grace.

She asks Him (swt) to grant her a child, and she will make HIM the attendant of the temple as a token of her appreciation. She makes a Nadhr.

And what do you expect? The impossible was done. Hanna was expecting. The barren wife of old Imran was expecting a child!

Joyful and elated with this endowment, she had started dreaming. Dreams of a mother; caring for her child, a manifestation of Allah's Rahma in His creation. Though, the sweet addictive dreams would be often shoved off, by the reality of her promise to Allah. She would not get to care for this baby. She had already promised HIM to Allah. HE is to be in service of Allah.

And when it is time for the baby to come to this world, it comes. But it can not be! "It is a baby-girl!" Hanna exclaims to her ever watching, and hearing Lord. A sense of disappointment overwhelms her. Perhaps all those times that she couldn't help but dream caring for the baby, Allah chose to not accept her offering, and thus decided to grant her a baby-girl so that she will be excused from the service of the temple? A temptation may have inflicted her heart as well. Now that the baby is a girl, she can care for it, for Allah has no use for her in the temple.

The sober mumbling of this angelic face, seeking to be held in the heavenly arms of her mother, her most vulnerable state puts Hanna at a cross way. From one side, it is the maternal instinct, as strong as an instinct. From the other side, it is Allah's patient watchful eyes, awaiting enactment of a promise, that will not change a bit in His glory.

So Hanna chooses between the two. Allah kept His promise and granted her the baby. She must too. She is not the owner of this being. She was only a means of bringing it to life. We are of Him and to Him is our return, Hanna must have resolved. Love is the fertile field of fairness. Sacrifice is not just a word in this land. It is the essence of this expanse, the warm blood that gushes in its big, gentle heart. It wouldn't be fair in Love to be unfair, and hypocritical.

She names her (Lady) Miriam (the woman who worships). She wraps little Lady Miriam and brings her to the temple, the promised place, and leaves her in the hands gentler than those of a mother.

And Allah raises Lady Miriam, to a lofty level, the company of Prophets, motherhood to a prophet, and a pieous envy of Prophet Zakaryya (pbuh). With her, He tests the faith of her contemporaries, and mine and yours as well, and thus He grants us grace as a return for belief in Unseen. So strangely wonderful is Allah's ways!

True, isn't it, when Allah promises that He will not waste the sincere efforts of His sincere believers? That He will multiply the good deeds of His sincere servants?

How often do we think that so much rain of Rahma from His in exhausting treasure of blessings would be the outcome of a one time exchange of gifts between Allah and one of His believers, a display of Love?

Where is yours?