Fatima Farheen Mirza Quotes
“But I did fight. I tried to leave every human I have interacted with better than or the same as when I encountered them....It was the way I wanted to move through the world....That was my fight: to continue to do little things for people around me, so no one would find fault in my demeanor and misattribute it to my religion.”
“No, I mean to the other place. The next place. I don't think I'll make it. I don't think you'll find me there." . . . "Listen to me." Baba held on to his arm. "You could never be more wrong, Amar. We taught you one way, but there could be others. We don't even know, even we can only hope. How many names are there for God?"
"Some contradict each other, remember? Didn't you just say to me--what if this is meant to show us more? What if we are meant to look closer?" . . .
"We will wait until you are allowed in," Baba said, as if to himself. "I will wait."
Baba pointed at the sky, and Amar looked, past the stars and past the lighter patch of the Milky Way, past the moon, and maybe God was there and maybe God wasn't, but when Baba said to him, "I don't think He created us just to leave some of us behind," Amar believed him. Amar wanted to.”
“What was it about an apology that was so difficult? It always felt like it cost something personal and precious. Only now that she was a mother was she so aware of this: the stubbornness and pride that came with being human, the desire to be loyal and generous that came too, each impulse at odds with the other.”
“The Prophet was the leader of the entire ummah, his every action an example, but when his grandson climbed his back, he had bent the rules, and what if it had been because it was more important to protect a child from pain than to be unwavering in principle? Maybe it was the exceptions we made for one another that brought God more pride than when we stood firm, maybe His heart opened when His creations opened their hearts to one another, and maybe that is why the boy was switched with the ram: so a father would not have to choose between his boy and his belief. There was another way. Amar was sure of it. He wanted them to find it together.”
“She could hold in her heart a belief in Islam as well as the unwavering belief that every human had the right to choose who they loved, and how, and that belief was in exact accordance with her faith: that it is the individual’s right to choose, and the individual’s duty to empathize with one another. Didn’t the Quran itself contain the verse, We have created you from many tribes, so that you may know one another.”
“I will wait by the gate until I see your face. I have waited a decade, haven't I, in this limited life? Waiting in the endless one would be no sacrifice. And Inshallah one day, I know I will see you approaching. You will look just as you did at twenty, that year you first left us, and I will also be as I was in my youth. We will look like brothers on that day. We will walk together, as equals.”
“Just one more moment. Just give us one more. But maybe her heart would never be satisfied; maybe it was ever-enlarging in its want for me. Because she knew that if she were granted one more moment, then another one was what she would ask for. She could live around her son for a hundred years and even then, when it was time to part, she would think - but it has been too brief.”
“But Imam Ali said two things: first, that we must imagine for one another seventy excuses before landing on a single judgment, and also, on that night, he told his companions to refrain from condemning a man, even as he staggered by showing proof of his sin, because they could not know if he would repent when alone, or fathom what existed in his heart.”
“Back then, Layla remembered thinking that humiliation was a deeper wound than heartache. She had wanted to protect them all from it. Now, as they stood beneath the spotlight on the stage, before the remaining guests who surely must be whispering to one another—where is their son, does he not care for them enough to stay for the family photograph?—she knew better. Knew that it did not matter what anyone thought if her own heart were not at peace. Only after her worst fears were confirmed did she realize there had been no use in letting her fears determine her decisions. She was finally free of them. She finally knew: she wanted Amar there in any state, under any circumstance, regardless of what anyone had to say about it.”
“But what he felt for Amira—it was as though she had been tucked in a compartment in his heart that hadn’t changed, and seeing her now he knew it never would: he could return to her at any age and feel for her the way he always had. He knew, with such certainty it shamed him, that it would not matter if he fell in love one day and married—Amira would continue to exist as a love entirely apart.”
“sky. And the tiny stars. Amar shivered. “I don’t think I will make it,” Amar said. “I’m sorry.” “Of course you can’t come back inside, Amar—you can hardly sit up.” “No, I mean to the other place. The next place. I don’t think I’ll make it. I don’t think you’ll find me there.” He had left the path. His parents had given him a map, and directions, and he had abandoned it all. Now his heart was so ink-dark he could be lost and not know it, and not care, and never know how to find his way back. “Listen to me.” Baba held on to his arm. “You could never be more wrong, Amar. We taught you one way, but there could be others. We don’t even know, even we can only hope. How many names are there for God?” “Ninety-nine.” He knew all of this by heart. Didn’t that count for something? “And are they all the same kind of name?” “No.” “Some contradict each other, remember? Didn’t you just say to me—what if this is meant to show us more? What if we are meant to look closer?” Amar nodded. Wind rustled the leaves. He sniffled and wiped his nose on his shirtsleeve. “We will wait until you are allowed in,” Baba said, as if to himself. “I will wait.” Baba pointed at the sky, and Amar looked, past the stars and past the lighter patch of the Milky Way, past the moon, and maybe God was there and maybe God wasn’t, but when Baba said to him, “I don’t think He created us just to leave some of us behind,” Amar believed him. Amar wanted to.”
“There are people, my friends even, who say maybe there is no soul. Maybe there is no creator. My own son once said as much to me. But I have looked up at this sky since I was a child and I have always been stirred, in the most secret depth of me that I alone cannot access, and if that is not my soul awakening to the majesty of my creator then what is it?”