And the Help of Allah is always close...

As salam Alaekum:

I write a lot of these things, but today I start with the Dua that this very long letter speaks to you personally and gives you hope that the help of Allah is always near.

The mild turbulence had begun on Tuesday, but it wasn't anything I couldn't handle. Then Wednesday came and it seemed the Tsunami had arrived on my last working day in Alabama. While trying to back out of the parking space at work, I hit a truck with my rental car. I looked at both cars and the truck had no single scratch on it, but my rental car had a dent. I was quite upset by the thought of filing an insurance claim with my credit card company through which I had some coverage or paying for the damage out of pocket because my office didn't reimburse rental car insurance costs. But alas! The lady who parked the truck won't have any of that, she told me her truck had a dent, which I couldn't see. She insisted on calling her father and her boss, who both came and began making a mountain out of a mole hill. Eventually her father agreed that there was nothing wrong with the truck but he had called the police because he didn't want me to turn around and file a claim to lie that the dent on my rental car was caused by his daughter. Police? Oh Lord....

While I stayed and waited out this long and frustrating process, my phone was buzzing with requests as usual - From Facebook to Whatsapp, Email to text messages and phone calls, it was the usual deal. "Tope, I know you are busy, traveling, swamped etc but can you xyz, abc for me, my sister, UKF etc?" As I sat in my hotel room later and the phone was still buzzing, I honestly became drained, angry and upset. Everyone was calling me, but I wasn't calling anyone, I was having conversations with people but I couldn't say what I was dealing with. I kept saying: "So I am everyone's helper, but who is my helper?" Then I became angry with myself, what sin had I committed that made Allah allow this to happen to me? I had fasted for 4 days during this trip and made dua, so why all these? In between doing Istighfar for whatever my sin was, I would get upset. I finally fell asleep around 1am in the midst of all the "emotional turbulence."

 I woke up to some soothing messages from my unpaid therapist - Sis Summayyah, and Quran 2:214 on my mind. I wanted the help of Allah with the rental car company because now that I have quit my job, I don't have money to "throw"'around. And just as He says in the ayah that was on my mind, His help was near. Another thing was different about this morning, instead of being angry, I was thankful to Allah, it could have been worse yesterday. I or someone else could have been hurt. The only thing I was about to lose here was money, which is not a big deal when you consider what could have happened.

 I was dragging my suitcase out of the hotel when the lady at the front desk said to wait. She ran to the back office and arrived a few minutes later bearing a gift for me. She said: "We usually don't do this, but all the staff decided to give you a gift and write you a note because out of all your team that stayed here these past two weeks, you were just so nice and so sweet to us." I honestly shed a tear. She didn't know how much I needed this simple act of kindness and thoughtfulness at that very moment. I know I didn't deserve the impression the hotel staff had of me because I didn't do anything extra ordinary. But it boosted my faith and lifted my spirits. But it was about to get better, the rental car company said I was somehow covered and so nothing and no amount was required from me for the damage to their car. I couldn't believe it, I know I didn't sign up for their insurance, so I still don't know how I was covered except my the Rahma of Allah.

I thank Allah for continuing to have mercy on me in spite of my impatience during trials, for always sending help my way even from corners I don't expect and most importantly for giving me the gift of Iman even when I don't give it to myself.

May Allah's help always show up for you as well, amin.

As salam alaekum.

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