I love it when I have a SubhanAllah moment.
It’s one of those defining moments during which you witness a miracle of nature or are reacting to a turn of events that shows the inherent destiny of things. It reminds you of the perfection in all that God ordains, so much so that in the very instant it happens you say, SubhanAllah, meaning “Glorious is God”.
I had one of those moments today. I’ll try to recreate it but I’m certain I won’t really be able to capture its significance because, in the end, it was quite mundane occurrence.
My mom has this jeweller from whom she likes to buy ornaments – earrings, rings, bracelets – from time to time. A couple of years had passed when we last visited this jewellery shop in October. Nonetheless, when we walked in, the same young gentleman who had served us previously was there, and the shop was as it had been: warm and welcoming.
This time, the jeweller was married with a baby daughter, who lived with his wife at their home in India. He happily showed us a photo of his bundle of joy. My mom instantly felt comfortable with this gentleman and, while there are literally hundreds of other stores around town, she decided she wouldn’t like to shop for gold trinkets anywhere else.
Last weekend, my mom thought we should pay the jeweller another visit – this time for herself. While she is always helping my sisters and I find nice things for our wardrobes, mom rarely takes the time to choose items for herself. It was her turn. But alas, we arrived at the shop to find it had shut down.
It was quite disappointing. This world is full of places and people, but only a handful of them leave an impression on you and bring you comfort. My mom’s instant reaction was one of anxiousness. She wondered what happened to the jeweller, hoped that he had kept his job and not been let go and sent home.
A week passed, and this morning my mom asked me to give this gentleman a call on the mobile number included on the business card he had given me a few months ago. I did so promptly, only to find the phone switched off. He must have left the country, we deduced immediately.
Our day carried on and later that afternoon, we found ourselves at a different mall across town that we rarely visit. My mom suggested I check with the information desk if the jewellery shop had a branch at this mall. Perhaps if we visited it, we could inquire about the fate of the employees in the other store and potentially locate this gentleman. Caught up with errands and grocery shopping, we didn’t make it to the information desk. That would have to wait for another day as it was getting late.
Before leaving the mall, we headed to the prayer room to catch the sunset prayer, maghrib. On our way back to the parking entrance, my mom suddenly stopped in her tracks to greet someone. I turned around and it was, indeed, the jeweller.
I have to admit I was a bit stunned given that I had tried calling him just this morning and this afternoon we had pondered how we might know his fate. He was, it turns out, completely fine. He’d been relocated temporarily to the branch in this mall. His wife and daughter were well and happy, and he would go to visit them next month. Earlier in the day, he had turned off his phone while taking a nap.
My mom and the jeweller walked back to the shop. She didn’t buy anything, just spent some time chatting with the staff and catching up with the gentleman about his family. It wasn’t about the jewels, after all, it was about the jeweller. It was about that human connection that is more precious than the rarest gem. Subhan’Allah.