In Search of Truth

In Search of Truth0%

In Search of Truth Author:
Translator: M. N. Sultan
Publisher: Islamic Thought Foundation
Category: Woman

In Search of Truth

Author: Bint al Huda
Translator: M. N. Sultan
Publisher: Islamic Thought Foundation
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In Search of Truth

In Search of Truth

Author:
Publisher: Islamic Thought Foundation
English

www.alhassanain.org/english

In Search of Truth

Author(s): Amina Bint al-Huda

Translator(s): M. N. Sultan

Publisher(s): Islamic Thought Foundation

www.alhassanain.org/english

Notice:

This version is published on behalf of www.alhassanain.org/english

The composing errors are not corrected.

Table of Contents

Introduction 5

Chapter One 6

Chapter Two 13

Chapter Three 18

Chapter Four 22

Chapter Five 27

Introduction

Sarah, a Christian, was in her third year of college studying for a degree in engineering. She has accepted a proposal of marriage from Mohsen, a classmate who, though Muslim, does not know anything about Islam. In order to ensure that they have a happy life together, Sarah decided to embrace Islam. Mohsen tells this story:

Chapter One

As soon as we decided to marry, we found analim to help Sarah become a Muslim. One afternoon, we went to his house and on the way, I imagined that he was an old man with white hair and a wrinkled face. We both thought that we wouldn't understand his sermons. Sarah told me, "You must understand what he tells us!"

"Why?" I asked.

"Because you are a Muslim, too", she replied.

I answered dryly, "Oh yes, I am a Muslim".

When we reached his home, Sarah confided in me, "I'm scared!"

I myself was a bit afraid of the important step that we were about to take. It was the first time I had ever spoken with a religious man. I feared that he would label me as a deviated young man. My friends had often warned me about these religious men who oppose everything-youth, beauty, education and wealth.

Because they do not enjoy such privileges, my friends told me that they behave oddly. My head was filled with these pessimistic ideas, yet I told Sarah, "Why be afraid? This is a very routine affair; within a few minutes you will become a Muslim, the same as I am".

"How did you become Muslim?" Sarah asked.

"I didn't become one-I am Muslim due to inheritance."

I smiled, saying, "What I mean is that I was born in a Muslim family, hence I am a Muslim."

Sarah said thoughtfully, "It seems that you do not really know why you are a Muslim."

I knocked at the door, which was opened by a young child who led us to a room where thealim was. I was very surprised to see that he was young and healthy looking. He welcomed us politely and I began to feel at ease. I looked at Sarah and could see that she was no longer nervous or afraid.

I told him the aim of our visit and that I wanted him to teach Sarah the Shahada {testimony of God's Oneness and of the Prophethood of Muhammad (SAW)}.

He quietly told me, "But that is not sufficient, my son". I was surprised to hear him address me thus, since he was only a few years older than me.

"What else do we need to do?" I asked.

He remained silent for a moment. I appreciated the silence, because I dislike those who attempt to fill every space with words, yet I was anxious for us to achieve our aim, so I said, "Well?"

He smiled and said, "I want to help you, but as a religious man, I cannot offer Islam in the form of mere words. I have an obligation towards my religion."

I told him that it was a private matter and that he didn't have any responsibility towards us. He sighed and said, "I am not responsible for people, but I have a great responsibility towards Almighty Allah and towards Islam. Do you think religious men are free to act as they wish? As a matter of fact, analim has a serious duty. It is not easy to carry such a burden."

His words affected me and I asked, "What do you expect of us?”

"I do not expect anything of you. You want me to witness the repetition of a few words, but I will not agree to this unless Sarah becomes acquainted with Islam and understands its precepts."

At this point, I realized how serious he was and how tolerant. Still, I thought that it was best to do it my way, because I thought Sarah would not be able to comprehend Islamic concepts, since I myself did not. Sarah understood my intentions and told me, "Do not insist any longer. I appreciate his devotion to his duties, and I think we should listen to him. If I can understand my philosophy courses, why can't I understand Islam?"

I turned to thealim and, feeling a bit embarrassed, said, "We want you to do what is right, and we will pay you for your time."

He shook his head and stated, "We do not barter our religion. A religious person only expects reward from Allah. We should offer our services without expecting any compensation."

I regretted my words, and Sarah admonished me, "You have made another mistake."

"I apologize, but one hears many rumours."

Our religious instructor answered, "One should be sure of the truth and not believe everything that is said." He continued, "Man is in dire need of religion. He cannot live without it."

"Why not?" I asked.

"Human nature is such that man seeks ease and comfort, which cannot be obtained except through happiness. And happiness cannot be found unless it encompasses all aspects of life. Religion is the only system which offers happiness and satisfaction, and abounds with ideals and educational values."

I said, "Are you saying that nothing can be substituted for religion? But don't you believe that scientific progress can take the place of religion and provide man with a comfortable life?"

"No, my son. Even if man replaces religion with science and seeks happiness in it, he will not be able to appreciate the true meaning of happiness. Scientific progress and technology may provide man with material comfort. Man can travel far distances in a matter of hours, listen to foreign broadcasts, view the surface of the moon on television while sitting in his living room. Yet man cannot truly experience happiness, since he cannot put an end to injustice and oppression, which human nature opposes.

"He cannot uproot his inner instincts of hating hypocrisy, aggression and the exploitation of the weak by the strong. He is powerless to end the world's insane race for wealth and power. Everything science offers man is controlled by two factors: good and evil. Man can direct scientific progress according to his desires-a plane, for example, is a device for a comfortable journey, yet it can also be the means of great destruction. Television is a useful means of information, yet it also spreads indecency and corruption in society.

"Explosives are used to build roads, but they also maim and kill innocent people. Thus, man is constantly struggling between what he likes and dislikes. There is no happiness in such a life."

I objected, "Can't an ideal morality replace religion? I mean to say, if morality is highly developed and all-encompassing, then justice can be achieved in society."

He replied, "Such idealism is not sufficient for a person's happiness. It is the result of an emergency situation, not a sound foundation. Compassion, for instance, is a feature of such idealism and a natural inclination in humans. Yet it must be stimulated. A kindhearted man cannot but help a poor man he meets.

Only such an incident can stir compassion in his heart. If he does not come across this poor man, his compassion will be useless and society won't benefit from it. Compassion here is just an example of idealism and social sympathy. It is not the outcome of a solid foundation. Hence, it cannot cause a man to feel at ease and happy; it's range is limited." While I was listening approvingly, another question came to my mind.

"What do you think of mutual interests? Can this replace religion and create happiness for man?" I asked. He said, "No, serving mutual interests alone cannot bring happiness."

I asked, "Why not?"

He answered, "Because there are serious gaps due to the different interests of individuals. Often a person's interest conflicts with another's. One may benefit by the loss of another. How often palaces are constructed on the ruins of others! How often towns emerge on the remnants of others! How often someone feels happy at the misfortune of others. Unhappiness won't be uprooted through any law of mutual interests. Happiness won't be fulfilled by such means. Man will still face what he does not like and will pursue his own comfort by all means."

I asked, "Well, can't good breeding andenlightment achieve that for man?"

He answered, "This good breeding that you visualize, in turn, needs good teachers to supervise the learning process. They, in turn, need be watched and so on, along an endless chain. Breeding does not start at point zero. Zero cannot produce numbers. Hence, an individual remains with an insistent need for religion; a need which can provide all aspects of happiness and an easiness on a firm foundation that never changes."

Thealim stopped speaking and we remained silent, thinking about what he was saying. Afterawhile I asked, "Why have you stopped master?! Have we caused you trouble or taken too much of your time?"

He replied, "No, but I wanted you to have a rest and also to ponder over what you have heard today."

I looked at Sarah, who whispered, "Oh, please ask him to continue. I am quite satisfied and have no objection."

I told him, "Please continue."

He said, "Now you agree that a man is in need of religion, which means he is in need of Prophets and Messengers. But we should know the nature of this religion and that kind of message which brings man true peace."

I told him, "Yes, tell us the message of Islam."

He said, "First, it must be in total harmony with human instincts but not contrary to it. Second, it must be reasonable and within the scope of a human mind's comprehension.

"Third, it must present righteous values and morals with which the life of a good individual can be constructed. It must use good examples and illustrations that will acquaint us with its very essence and aim so that we can follow its teachings. Islam can do this,"

I asked, "How do we know that Islam can do this?"

He said, "This is what I intend to explain, but it will take a long time. Can you be patient?"

Though I was in the habit of glancing often at my watch, for some time, I had forgotten to look. It was nearly ten p.m. We should have left an hour earlier in order for Sarah to enter the boarding house where she lived before the doors were locked. We stood up to leave and expressed the hope that we would meet again soon. Our earlier thought had completely changed, and we were anxious to come again.

As we left hishouse we noticed someone following us but we could not see who he was in the darkness.

Sarah was afraid that it was her cousin, who loved her and was jealous, as she had chosen to marry me. I tried to calm her as we walked hand in hand along the streets to the boarding house, where we found the doors already closed.

Sarah and I were at a loss as to what to do.Finally I said, "We must decide now. We can't stand here all the night. I wish we had left earlier."

She answered, "We have not been wasting our time! We need to listen to the lecture. I feel that it was worth staying for. What I fear is that my cousin was the one following us. I am sure he will put obstacles in our way."

I agreed and had the same fear. At last, I suggested that she spend the night in my small home and that I would

sleep on the sofa in the living room. She agreed, and when we reached my door, I had a feeling that someone was watching us.

The next morning, while I was on my way to the lecture hall, a first-year student handed me a sealed letter. I opened it and read:

'Do you think I'll let you enjoy life while I am brokenhearted? I will do anything to make you leave my cousin. I shall tell her family about your plans and how she spends her evenings in the homes of strangers and visit Muslim soothsayers.’

The letter upset me greatly. I found an empty corner and sat down to think. "I cannot give up my fiancée. She has become part of my life," I told myself, "Yet I may be risking her life, which I care very much about. I must find a way to keep her out of trouble. This cannot be achieved but by marriage."

I decided that I would not tell Sarah about the letter and that I would ask thealim to perform his job sooner. I reasoned that when we become husband and wife, her family would not try to interfere.So I never told Sarah about the letter but I found her a bit disturbed that day. I tried to cheer her and told her of my plan to finish the matter quickly.

She saiddoubtly , "I don't think the matter will end soon."

I said, "I'll do everything to make him finish it."

She said, "No, please. Don't forget he has a responsibility for his religion and will fulfill his duties completely."

"You are right Sarah. Anyway, we will see to it. At 5 o'clock I will be ready to accompany you to his house."

At five, I found her waiting at the door of the boarding house. She looked pale and worried. I asked her what the matter was but she smiled and said,

"Nothing." Although I tried to find out why she was so worried, she wouldn't tell me, but insisted on hurrying to thealim's house. I was afraid that she had received a similar threatening letter. I tried to talk about different matters to distract her attention.

We reached the house and were soon in thealim's presence. I begged him to start and finish quickly so that we could avoid the previous day's trouble. He felt sorry and apologized but I said,

"Oh, you need not apologize, we were really interested in your lecture, but we forgot to note the time."

He said, "Without hardship, rest can't be appreciated. You do not agree?"

I replied, "Perhaps."

"You are not sure. But haven't you ever drunk water after hours of thirst and did the same at ordinary time? Haven't you noticed the difference? Sometimes you walk for long hours in the sunlight and you look for shade to escape the heat. Can that shade be the same as that in yourhome ?

"When one falls ill, deprived of movement and unable to enjoy life, and finally he becomes well again, does he not feel more grateful for the health he had previously? In times of sickness, he appreciates the great treasure of health."

We listened to him attentively and I said, "It is exactly as you say."

He said, "That is why sometimes hardships or troubles can actually be to our benefit. Thank God for His bounties. Without experiencing pain and suffering, one cannot experience true happiness."

I repeated, "Thank God."

He continued, "We agree that man is in need of a religion which will suit all aspects of life and must be in harmony with human instincts and wisdom. A religion that can set examples and illustrations. Islam can do so.

Islamic theory is handed down to man through prophethood. It contains all that a human being needs. The Qur'an says:

Those who believe in the unseen and keep prayer and spend out of what We have given them and who believe in that which has been revealed to you and that which was revealed before you, they are sure of the hereafter(Al-Baqara , 2: 3-5)

"That belief in the unseen is in harmony with human nature. Despite having different attitudes and opinions, man generally feels that there is a great might outside his limited senses. He takes refuge in it in times of hardship. He is similar to a man flying in a plane, when the pilot suddenly announces some damage that may cause the plane to crash.

He warns the passengers to get ready and to use life belts or emergency doors. Everyone tries his best to save himself. A crippled person cannot move, even though he finds himself near death, he does not give up hope.

He thinks there is a merciful power somewhere that may help him. He believes in the unseen power that exceeds the power of technology or science. Until the last moment, this man hopes for mercy.”

"Another example is a mother whose child is seriously ill. Doctors give up the hope of curing him, yet the mother still hopes he will recover. She feels there is some mighty power that can do this. This is what is meant by the belief in the Unseen, a belief that is in harmony with mankind. Another example is a captain of a ship lost in the middle of the ocean. How does he feel at such a time?

He appeals to the unseen, highest power that is beyond his materialistic potentials. This is a real factor that man is in need of believing in the unseen. Religion is an instinct that exists among all human races, even the most primitive. Metaphysics and paranormal study, is an inner

human inclination. Such an instinct is found even among children who continue to ask about such matters. A child's questions unintentionally express the feeling of this unseen power that he wants to understand.”

"This belief in the unseen is essential in religion, as it naturally leads to belief in Allah. Such belief is sometimes clear and sometimes vague, depending on explanations. Another aspect of harmony in religion with the human instinct is the unification of our great universe and the accurate coordination in it."

I looked at my watch. Seeing that we still had some time, I said, "What do you mean by the coordination of the universe?"

He said, "This is a lengthy discussion. I see you are in a hurry, so we can discuss the matter in another lecture." I looked at Sarah, who agreed, saying, "We'd better avoid yesterday's trouble, especially since..."

"Especially since what?" I asked.

"Oh nothing", she told me, "Please schedule our next meeting after Wednesday because I have an exam on that day."

I asked thealim to fix the date of our next meeting and he said he could not see us until the next Saturday afternoon. I thought about the many long days that would pass without achieving our goal. I begged him saying,

"Please can't you spare one or two hours before Saturday?"

He said, "I am quite busy with teaching, studying and working on various questions raised by others."

I said, "Can't you postpone some of your lessons?"

He smiled saying, "You are convinced that exam cause the delay of other matters. Don't you think my lessons need my thorough attention?"

I was ashamed and remained silent for a moment, then said, "In fact, I did not think that you were busy with studies."

"Knowledge is an ocean. One cannot reach its bottom except after long, continuous efforts. It may take all of a man's life. When one gets someknowledge one tries other doors for more."

I asked, "Oh, do you also do that?"

He smiled and said, "Are we a special group, different from others? We are the same as any other researcher. We study religious sciences and related things that may influence religion. One keeps on studying looking for constructive opinions or better ideas as long as one lives."

I said, "Then you are not confined to the study of Halal and Haram (the allowed and the forbidden) matters?"

He said, "This is the core of our study, but this knowledge has certain dimensions that require the study of other matters."

"What are these dimensions?"

He told me, "It is necessary for one to know about logic, linguistics, the narrations, the origins and the reasons behind Islamic precepts. One who guides others must first of all know that Allah, the Almighty, is the source of all guidance. It needs great efforts and serious research and investigation."

"I never thought of that," I admitted. "I used to think that a religious man has less trouble, less responsibility and an easier life than most."

"It is a pity. Such feelings are enough to create a gap between religious men and intellectuals. Yet each one needs the other to understand and spread the message of life completely. Perhaps you will understand in the future what you have been ignorant of until now."

I said, "Surely, I will."

He said, "Until we meet again, I want you to read these two books about religion."

I accepted the books, and we left with the promise to meet again the following week.

Chapter Two

The days dragged on as we anxiously waited to meet thealim again. We were afraid we might not be able to carry out our plans before matters got worse. Sarah and I read the religious books.

One day before our scheduled meeting with the religious man, I received another threatening letter from Sarah's cousin. It was more strongly worded than the previous one, and I spent the night awake, deep in thought. I seriously feared a conflict.

When I saw Sarah the next morning, I did not tell her about the letter because I didn't want to worry her. She was eager for that day's meeting with the religious instructor. Sarah was in a cheerful mood, and I realized that her previous uneasiness had nothing to do with her cousin. At the appointed hour, we went to our religious instructor's home and found him resting, as he caught cold.

We were going to leave, but he insisted that we stay and that he was ready to continue his lecture- "In the previous meeting, we mentioned the coordination of the universe's parts and its unity," he began. "A human being senses this unity and when he knows that he too, is part of this huge plan, he feels in perfect harmony with all that surrounds him. He then believes that there is a mighty Power ready to help him. This Power has prepared everything for man's benefit. Thus, he does not feel alienated or at loss in the great universe. He comprehends the truth and the reasons for this unity around him.”

"Contrary to this feeling, when one does not understand the dimensions of relativity in the universe, where man does not weigh a feather in comparison, he must learn that this great planet, and the sun are at his service; that the sun's heat is designed to ensure his

survival on earth, and by this thought, he feels satisfied and proud.”

“Had the sun been just a bit nearer to Earth, everything would have burnt up long ago. Had it been a bit further away, extreme cold would have destroyed every living thing. When man learns such scientific facts, he can appreciate the fact of his existence and his role in the world.”

"Had night time been longer than it is, the resultant cold would have damaged or destroyed life. This movement of the earth has been calculated to serve man. How does man feel towards the manifestation of such mighty Power? The oceans cover most of the earth; had they been deeper, then all the carbon dioxide and the oxygen on our planet would have been exhausted by water, eventually leading to lack of air. The depth has been determined to fit man's needs, including his safety.”

"One may think of this planet as being made up of just stones and dirt. But if one studies its dimensions and its geography, one will be amazed at its grandeur with regard to these huge mountains, hills and the many oceans and rivers. One can actually feel the greatness of our Maker by contemplating on the creation. This earth has been designed for human life. Man is in need of a certain amount of oxygen.

When one looks at the gases that surround the globe, one is fascinated by the sky's blue colour in the day and the bright stars at night. Had this layer of gases been thinner, meteors and shooting stars would have burnt through

the outer layer of gases and would have fallen to the earth. Such meteors, which travel at speeds of up to 40 miles per second can destroy everything in their path.”

"Even the moon has been placed at a particular distance which affects life on this planet, since the moon causes the high and low ocean tides. Had the distance

been less, water would have covered the entire globe. Our air, as well, helps the sun's rays penetrate throughout the universe. Our Creator's wisdom has designed the sun's rays with various extents to fit life. Man is, in fact, a vital part of the universe."

The religious man stopped talking. He seemed tired. Though we knew about these scientific matters, we listened to him attentively as he exposed these facts in relation to God and Divine purpose.

He continued, "Now, you can realize that man lives in harmony with nature. Believing in the unseen is not a mere instinct without a particular aim. In fact, it is important that man learns and investigates in order to reach the truth. Belief in the unseen impels man to learn the secrets of the unseen and to study metaphysics.

This instinct, which helps man to understand unity, also teaches him about his links with the great universe. When he understands that everything is designed for his welfare, is he not bound to be grateful? Such knowledge will show him that everything is created with amazing accurateness.Man then may wonder: Since everything is arranged in order in this huge universe, be it the smallest atom or the largest planet, and all is regulated, can man, the best and most worthy creature be left without a master plan of life? Even an ant or a bee has a regulated life. When man recalls such facts. he asks: What is the best order for humanlife ? "

Then he asked, "Now, have you read the books I gave you?"

We both answered, "Yes" He then gave us another book and said, "I have explained this aspect of the matter for you. I stated previously that religion should be in harmony with a human being's nature and mind; however, science can also help man to progress. The religion of Islam is in thorough agreement with mental, as well as spiritual progress. There are many facts that

can prove this." He started coughing and I felt sorry for him.

I said, "Please rest now. You look tired. We can wait for a few days until you get well again."

He smiled, saying, "But you were in quite a hurry."

I replied, "Yes, but not if it will affect your health!"

He said, "But I don't know how long it will take me to get well again."

I told him, "In two or three days, I will call to ask about your health"

He said, "Then we shall decide at that time when your next visit will be. I hope you will finish this book in the meantime." He gave us another book about Islam.

The next day I returned home early and Sarah visited me with some women friends.1 started reading the religious book after I finished my studies. It was an interesting book and I recorded some facts in my tape recorder. At about 10 p.m., the doorbell rang. I did not expect any visitors,

and I wondered who it could be. I was annoyed, but thought it might be an old friend.

Carrying my book and recorder I went to open the door. I wanted to show the visitor that I was quite busy. When I opened it, I saw a young girl standing surprised at seeing me and said, "Oh, I am sorry. I have made a mistake again." I asked her, "Who are you looking for?"

She replied, "Oh, I am a stranger in this city and I was given this address, but I have knocked on all the doors here and yours is the last one. I think I have been given a wrong address. Oh, what shall I do?" I said, "Let me see the address."

"It is this street and the house is nearby." She started crying and asked, "Where shall I go? Am I to spend the night in the street?"

I saw that she was young and pretty. I feared she might fall into the clutches of some wicked person, yet I found it difficult to invite her into my home. I hesitated for a

while then said, "Look, I live alone in this house. I can let you spend the night and I will find somewhere else to sleep." She calmed down and said, "Where will you go?"

I said, "Never mind, I can manage." She said, "Oh, no please, I don't want to trouble you." I stepped outside the door and asked her to enter. I told her that I was leaving the house and that she could stay until morning. At that moment I saw a sudden flash of light, but could not tell its source. I looked around and asked her, "Did you notice that sudden light?"

"Yes, perhaps it is from a car's headlights," she replied. Then she said, "But I am afraid I cannot sleep alone in the house."

I said, "What do you suggest then?" She said, "I suggest you sleep in your bedroom and I sleep in the living room."

I said, "No, you can use my bedroom and I will sleep in the living room."

She said, "Thank you so much."

She entered and I went to sleep in the living room that night. Just then I realized that my small recorder was still on. The tape had finished, and I left it in its place as I was quite sleepy. I was worried about the telephone, which was in my bedroom. What if someone calls? Then I dismissed the thought, since it was nearly midnight. At seven a.m. I woke up and saw the girl waiting for me at the bedroom door. She told me, "Thank you very much for your hospitality, but please don't tell anyone about my stay in your house."

I said, "How can I tell anyone? I don't even know your name."

Oh, yes, I am Maryam," she said. I replied indifferently, "Happy to meet you."

She left and I returned to my bedroom. I saw cigarette butts lying on the table and noticed that Sarah's picture

was no longer in its place. I said to myself, ‘surely this girl knew I did not care for her.' I wondered how freely the girl had behaved in a stranger's house! I changed my clothes and left for the college. There, I saw Sarah walking with some classmates, so I went directly up to her and wished her a good morning, as usual. She answered me in cold tone and went on chatting with the others, as if I was not there.

"What's wrong?", I implored. She replied, "Oh, nothing."

I asked her, "Have you spent the night reading? You look tired."

She gave me a long sad look and then said, "What about you, have you spent it reading?"

I had nearly forgotten everything about the previous night. I said, "Oh, no, I slept well."

She gave me a bitter smile and said, "Surely it was a comfortable night."

I was about to tell her about the strange visitor, but I remembered my promise to the girl not to tell anyone about her. I hesitated,than said, "Oh, no, it wasn't at all."

She looked at me sadly and said, "I hope you will enjoy your future sleep.” Then she turned away and left me standing there alone. I tried to see Sarah that afternoon, but she avoided me. The next day I looked for her at the college but I could not find her. I phoned the boarding house, but they told me she was busy. I went to see her at her home, but she wouldn't come out. I returned home feeling quite miserable and I couldn't sleep that night. The next morning, I hurried to the college to see Sarah, but when she sawme she turned and walked away. I asked her, "Sarah, are you angry?"

"Yes!" she said angrily. Shocked and dismayed, I sat on a bench as she walked away without waiting for me to ask her the reason for her anger. I felt like crying and had to return home since I could not pay attention tomy

lessons that day. I had no idea why she was angry. The incident concerning Maryam came to my mind, but I brushed it aside, since no one knew about it. I decided to tell Sarah about that girl.

The next day I went early to the college, but Sarah did not come. I was at a loss as to what to do. Walking aimlessly through the streets, I remembered the religiousalim and decided to visit him to ask about his health. I was in need of his help. A young child answered my knock, and I asked about thealim . He told me he was well and would receive me. I felt as if I were drowning, without any hope of being saved, and then suddenly a bright light shone, giving me hope. The child looked at me and asked, "Why haven't you come together? Sarah was here earlier today."

I was surprised to learn that she visited him. "She did not enter, she just asked about my father's health and left," the boy said.

I saw that thealim looked much healthier. We talked about different matters. I was at ease and wished that I could tell him of my trouble but I felt shy. I thought he would talk about Sarah, but he didn't. I asked when our next meeting would be, and he looked surprised, then said,

"Tomorrow afternoon at 4 o'clock." I thanked him and left directly to phone Sarah and tell her of the date, but there was no answer. I felt hopeless until I recalled thealim's words of the power and strength of faith. I thought, 'I have a God to worship and to whom I turn to in times of trouble.' Then I remembered that I hadn't finished the book about religion.

I tried to read, but Sarah dominated my thoughts, and I could not understand a word. I closed the book and wrote a few words in the hope that I could give the letter to Sarah the next morning. 'Oh dear Sarah,' the letter said. 'How I wish all the world be against me except you!

After writing the note, I felt better. I thought that everything would be all right once we resumed communication. I got up early the next morning and

gave the letter to a friend of Sarah to pass it on to her, but she refused to take it. I thought that she must have had a good reason for suchbehaviour , thus I was not angry with her.

I spent the day in the college and at the appointed hour, I went to thealim's house and saw Sarah at the door. I walked up and greeted her, but she answered indifferently. I noticed that she looked pale; as if she hadn't slept the previous night.

I asked her “Is it really you?”

She did not reply and I continued, "It is good that we are both attracted to thealim . It means we are actually united."

She said, "Though we both want to continue our studies, it may not mean we are united."

I said, "Please Sarah, be kind to me! You know I cannot live without you. You are my whole life. Why are you treating me in this way? You know your own feelings."

"Whatever I know makes no difference!" she replied.

I said, "But why my dear Sarah? I cannot understand your anger." she was silent then said, "You don't want to understand."

I said, "Oh, no, I really do. I am ready to listen to whatever you say."

“In any case, it is the time for our meeting", she replied. She knocked on the door and we both entered.