I was resting my back against the bark of a tree as my bottom made an imprint into the moist soil beneath me. I wasn't sure where I was. All I knew was that I was in some kind of forest. I could hear the heavy rain pouring down around me, but only a few drops were making it onto me thanks to the physical shade of the tree. Everything that should have been in sight was nearly pitch black because the dark clouds that came over me managed to even block out the moon. I could only rely on what I heard with my ears and felt with my limbs. Besides the rain, all I could hear was the rustling of leaves on the trees. The animals shifting around me could see me far better than I could see them. I could almost feel their eyes crawling down my back. Some of them would breathe loud enough for me to hear. There were times when I could hear their breaths getting closer and closer to me. I could only pray that they didn't want to harm me, but thankfully they always left. I didn't know how long it would be until one of them decided not to leave and approached me without restraint. The thunder was quite loud too and the lightning was frequent. Strangely, I wasn't afraid of the lightning striking me, I almost invited it.
I had no choice but to be out there. I was exiled for having hopes different from the mainstream. My dreams had made me an outcast. I was labeled as "crazy" and "unrealistic", and so I made mistakes that led me to become unwanted by the people I trusted most. They considered me to be a harm to others, as well as a harm to myself. So they decided to send me out into a world of harm in order to protect their own values. Some agreed to do so in hopes that I would never come back, and some had hopes that I would be forced to change myself. The latter may have been onto something. I wouldn't survive out there unless I did change, unless I grew up a little bit. There was only so much I could do though, I could not see anything.
That's when it occurred to me... Just because you can't see something doesn't mean it's not there. Just because you can't see something doesn't mean it can't help you. I could see Allah in that moment just as much as I could see him if the moon was out, even if the sun was out. I realized that I needed something, some kind of miracle to get me out of the unsuspecting darkness I was in. I needed something, but I didn't know what. No one would understand what I needed better than He would. I ran out of chances with those who I trusted and also those who trusted me. But with Allah, I still had as many chances as I wanted to take. And to get His help I didn't need to see Him, or hear Him, or smell Him. I did need to feel Him however, but within. And all that would take is to remember Him, and to believe in Him. And so I told Him as if I was speaking through the darkness to someone who I knew was there but I just couldn't see. I told him that He had given me so much, but I just needed something more. I was honest and told Him that I didn't know what I needed, but that I just needed something.
I knew that He heard me, but I didn't think He'd answer as quick as He did. I saw a light glowing in the distance. The thunder and lightning had stopped. The rain continued but it slowed down. The only rustling sound was from my feet stepping on the wet leaves resting upon the mud. I hesitated for a bit, but I realized I had no other option but to approach the light and see what was in store for me. I wasn't completely certain it if it was Allah answering my dua, you can never be sure until you're looking back at your life. My heartbeat picked up and my fingers started to shake. I couldn't entirely rule out the possibility that I was to encounter some danger.
I reached the source of glowing light. There was a small object in the dirt illuminating the immediate area around it. It was shedding off golden light. I cautiously reached down to pull it up out of the ground. I lifted it up to my eye level and squinted due to the brightness. It was an hourglass made of gold. The top part was almost entirely empty. The hourglass was maybe a minute away from finishing its job. It surely had to be divine. What could it mean though? I hadn't realized, but the rain had stopped entirely a few minutes earlier. I looked up to the sky and the clouds were giving way to an open sky. There were pink and orange streaks of light across the sky. I watched the clouds pass away further and further. The sun was surely making its way up. I looked down to the hour glass and the sand had stopped falling entirely.
We've all been through some tough dark times. Maybe those moments are ways to make us remember that Allah is still there. But no matter what we've been through or will continue to go through, there's always an hourglass measuring the time until we see the light again. Though we may not see the sand dripping within the glass, we trust that time will always be passing. Maybe sometimes when we reach out to Allah with a sincere and desperate dua, the sand may fall quicker than it should. Regardless of when, the sun will always see us again, sometimes within the most unexpected circumstances. It's our jobs to hold on until then.