Just thinking about Hajierah now makes me teary-eyed. I cannot adequately express how much I appreciate her friendship, and how healing it has been to me. She offers the kind of friendship that I have never experienced before. It’s that kind of friendship where she is always available when I need her. And I mean always. We speak at least ten times a day by different means: texting, video calling, or meeting up in person. With every other person in my life, no matter how much I care about them or they care about me, there is always an unsaid time limit to everything, whether it be a visit or call. People are just too busy or inundated with their own responsibilities to give of themselves limitlessly. That’s what exceptional spouses typically do: they are witnesses to their wives’ lives. However, that unsaid time limit in other relationships creates a certain tension. I am not fully free to express myself, I am not fully free to take however long it may take to say whatever needs to be said. On the contrary, Hajierah has been there to hold space for me, always.
I only met her for the first time over a year ago. Both of us had been out of our hometown for about a decade, and because of that, both of us were not really attached to a community or circle of friends. Both of us having once been globetrotters and sharing a passion for deen and Arabic, we hit it off pretty much instantly. I was still in the depths of despair and suffering from a bludgeoned self-esteem when we met, and she was always there to listen, support, and let me cry. Of my best moments is sitting with her on her verandah, sipping on Rooibos tea, whilst quietly listening to the adhan in the distance. Moments of silence shared with those whom we are utterly at ease are deafeningly profound.
I share picnics, hikes, and good company with other friends, but what makes my bond with Hajierah precious is that she is always dependable, she always has my back, she never judges me, and most of all, she is there for me every day. I write about this because these are the kind of sisterhood relationships that are rare but so immensely healing. We have blood ties, but God can give us spiritual relationships from non-kin that in other ways are closer than blood ties. Relationships are rizq (Divine provision) too, and it takes just one, meaningful, sincere relationship to remove one from loneliness and unhappiness into safety and joy. In my gratitude journal (which I am pleased to say I do not use as much anymore, because gratitude has become more habitual to me), I have written on many days under my ten gratitude points: Grateful for Hajierah, every day. May Allah elevate her rank in this world and the next.