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Happiness

Happiness

There he stood on the stage, his heart overflowing with all the pleasure, excitement and highness he had been seeking for long. Lighting of purple, magenta, red all dancing on the glamorous stage; the audience screaming his name; fan-girls dying of joy at his sight – it was like he had the whole world in his hands that moment. All of a sudden, everything around him – the audience, the wild fireworks, the screams, the shouts, the hoots – everything around him was as though singing praises to him; worshiping him. His heart was on fire; each and every moment filling him with pleasure. He was high – he was majestic – he was the only one everything around him was made for. Life, at least for that one concert, became just perfect.

He started the first song. The guitars, the drums, combining with his full-throated voice not wavering even for a second, rocked the whole concert. His face was all red, as though burning with his passion and rapture. The audience were as though drowned in the song, hopping, waving, dancing, hooting and whistling. As he sang, he glimpsed at all those posters and slogans that his fans were waving. You are my idol… Fahad Forever <3… You’re my drug… What not had his crazy people written?

He sang one song after the other, singing the ‘lighter’ ones when he’d get a bit tired. He sang and he sang, till it got twelve, and it became too much. He wound up his final song for the concert – his fans desperately screamed “Fahad! Another song please!” “Fahad! A selfie please!”, “Fahad! Your autograph!”. But he was too exhausted for any of that drama and wanted to leave now.

As he sat in his black Lexus, ordering the driver to drive him home, he pleasured his jaded mind by opening his instagram and checking his billions of notifications. New followers, new messages, new likes and comments on his pictures. Fangirls going crazy over his perfectly groomed, well-connected beard and his silver eyes. On the way home he ordered a barbeque from Uno Pizzeria & Grill, because why not? Food is the best stress reliever after all.

The order delivered around 12:40. It was a sizzling barbecue pizza, of which he savored every bite, from the dripping cheese, the aroma, the chicken, the spiciness to the soft crust. He ordered Qutb to fetch him a bottle of wine as well, to make his feast even more delectable.

Once done with dinner, he decided to sleep, but too exhausted to go to the bedroom, he ended up sleeping on the dinner table, in the same golden tuxedo suit.

He woke up around 11, still feeling exhausted. He went to the bedroom, changed to his pajamas, and went for a bit of another ‘nap’.

It struck 3 o clock when he woke up, fed up of sleeping because it was too much of it now. He yawned, stretched his arms, and drank his glass of water on the sidetable.

He purposelessly scrolled down through Instagram and then Facebook and Twitter, looked at his pictures, edited them, read all the “I love you” rants by his fans on his posts. Once done with wasting enough time, he just lay down on the bed again, bored and empty.

He did nothing at all, and just kept staring at the ceiling for half an hour, when all of a sudden, a thought came to his mind.

“What next?”

All that pleasure, all that carefreeness of the last night – the concert, the music, the fans, the food, everything was just gone. Just as it did so every time. All that remained was the usual void, the emptiness he had in his life tried to fill with almost everything he could think of, but the voids would just go deeper and deeper.

And then the anxiety he just couldn’t seem to get rid of. Been through multiple relationships, made his mark in his career, got wealthier than he could ever dream of, but none of these things ever nurtured his self-esteem or satiated his desire for more and more.

And what about his loneliness? Who in the world loved him unconditionally? His parents were dead, and they were abusive parents anyway so he never had a close bond with them. His siblings were busy in their own stuff. As for his fans, his fans actually didn’t love him – they only loved his being an awesome singer – they loved his music and his songs. And then talk about his relationship status, that keeps updating every two to three years. He just couldn’t find the perfect one who would satisfy him and fill all his voids completely.

“It’s just the same. Nothing in the world satisfies me.” He said to himself, hopelessly placing his hands on his head.

“Sahab! Breakfast is ready!” Qutb, knocking at the door, shouts.

“I’m coming. You go.” Fahad answers.

“Okay sir.”

Served at the dining table were a cup of coffee, a plate of pancakes, and in another plate, some slices of cheesecakes. He was never really fond of heavy breakfasts.

He sat there at the dining chair, his eyes red with exhaustion even after so much sleep; dark circles beneath his eyes that had deepened even more; his skin all dull and lifeless. Behind all that expensive make-up, pricey dresses, luxurious cars was but this ordinary depressed man of 31, living a miserable life.

Qutb, who had been serving Fahad for almost 5 years, had seen him in a similar state since the start, but these very days he had been noticing that Fahad has now deteriorated a lot in his depression. He doesn’t eat much, he doesn’t work out, he doesn’t invite any guests, and drinks too much. Slowly walking into the dining room towards him, he finally asked,

“Umm… Sahab, I don’t mean to poke my nose in your affairs, but if you don’t mind me asking…”

“Yaar just say whatever you want.” He said annoyingly, too exhausted to listen to his long formalities.

“Umm… Is everything okay Sahab?”

“I don’t know.”

“I mean Sahab, you don’t eat properly, you always keep yourself isolated except when you have a concert, you’ve also stopped inviting guests for a very long time. Is everything alright?” Qutb said it all, his heart beating fast, fearing Fahad may consider such a personal question from him disrespectful.

Fahad always kept his attitude with his servants arrogant, but he was too depressed at the moment. He couldn’t keep himself from opening up.

“You know what Qutub?” he begins, “I’ve looked for happiness almost everywhere. I’ve sought it in music, sought it in food, sought it in women, sought it in money, sought it in what-not. Still, I feel so empty, lost, and lifeless. I can’t seem to fill that hole, that void in my heart. What is it that I’m missing? Why can’t I ever settle down and say I’m satisfied?”

“Sahab. Haven’t you all this time been seeking happiness in things that are by definition temporary?”

“What do you mean”, Fahad frowned confusingly.

“Sahab. Even ‘happiness’ has a Creator. We misguided souls seek happiness in the creation rather than the Creator, and then complain that we’re unhappy”

He had no idea what to say that time, but the words began to gradually penetrate his heart.

Those words of a puny servant, who was richer than Fahad, by his contentment of the soul and sound faith, kept him perplexed and pondering over his whole life the entire day. He didn’t understand what was happening to him; what kind of emotions he was feeling.

It was as though a seal over his eyes was gradually being pulled off – as though someone was showing him the way, lighting the path to him that he was meant to go, but didn’t before, because now was the destined time.

“And that was the first day I shed a tear of repentance to my Almighty Creator, the Forgiving and Merciful.” Fahad sighed, a teardrop falling down his cheek, narrating his whole tale of spiritual transformation to Haddia, who too, couldn’t keep herself from going dewy-eyed. “And you know what Haddia? Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything in life; fame, wealth, status, relationships, while ignoring our connection with the Source of all happiness and peace, we’re either dangerously close to wanting nothing, doing nothing and just letting ourselves deteriorate, or close to finding Allah in the midst of this darkness and chaos. We either lose hope and give everything up, or discover our Lord, the One who created this thing called happiness that we all seek in our lives.”

Both, teary-eyed, lying on the bed hand in hand, smiled at each other with affection.

“And I’m so blessed” he said, as he kissed her softly on the forehead, “that Allah blessed me with not only with a close connection with Himself, but also gifted me a beautiful wife such as you. I no longer feel alone. I no longer feel lost. I no longer feel empty. I have Allah, the One who loves more than any mother could love her child, and then, He blessed me with you, my soul-mate in this life, and In sha Allah the next too.”

“Baba, Baba!” called little Hidayah, knocking at the door impatiently, “It’s nasheed time!”

“Oh so it’s time to sing my baby angel to sleep?” Fahad opened the door and lifted her in the arms, kissing her on the cheek. “Okay, let’s go to your bedroom and sing your favorite nasheed!”

Haddia, smiling as she watched them going, looked up and softly said,

“Alhamdulilah.”

Contributed By: Muhammad Farhan Ahmed

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