I asked the imam about the time left in the next prayer, he replied “25 minutes.”
He and I were the only people in that small masjid, providing a space for almost 80–100 worshipers. Soon the Imam disappeared in front of my eyes and I didn’t pay attention to that, as I thought he would be busy with his chores.
In the next moment, a random notion came to my mind of taking a nap in this place which was undoubtedly imparting soothing effects on my soul. My soul itself was feeling something refreshing, hopefully, it was due to this masjid. However, not giving further attention to the imam and the acquaintances from which my soul was passing through I closed my eyes.
Scarcely, 2 minutes had passed I opened my eyes and looked at my right side, there was a woman in a white dress. A woman dressed in 18th-century attire.
She asked me about the date and so I mentioned the date, she frowned and asked “what is this year according to the Hijri calendar?’ then I realized her disapproval of my former answer and replied with the Hijri year.
‘The answers will be given soon …’ she said. I didn’t pay attention to that. Stood up from the place where I was sitting. My real intention was to find the Imam and acquire about this queer woman who appeared out of blue. I went to the first floor of that small yet beautiful masjid, but the Imam seems like has vanished from the site.
Taking a further look at the place I went to a window and started looking outside, the essence of old Lahore and those narrow streets. Everything appears to be aesthetic there. The woman came to me and said ‘ these are the last days ….” again I didn’t pay attention to this perplexed and incomprehensible statement.
I asked her the purpose of the visit while moving to the stairs that went to the roof, whether she came to visit the Imam? She didn’t reply and so I went to the roof of that masjid in search of the Imam but to no avail. She came along with me to the roof. It was a pleasant evening, the winds were in good mood. The partially blue sky indicating the end of summer and the arrival of fall. I sat on a small stool present there and so she sat on another one on my right side. There was a long pause.
And so the discussion started with Ibn Arabi, she asked me about any of the sayings of Ibn Arabi and I inadvertently replied with this statement that I once read in an article about him, “Contemplation of God without formal support is not possible… Since therefore some form of support is necessary, the best and most perfect kind is the contemplation of God in women. ”
“I don’t understand this statement in what context we require this condition of having formal support.”
“When a person falls in love, his emotions surge to the highest level, a person in love is full of energy, full with the vows to endure any pain, plight, etc. After the acquisition of this highest level of energy he realizes that there is something other than this …. There is something else where the lover is not rejected, where every pain congregates one’s faith and strengthens him, where no one calls you a wanderer, where the secrets are opened, where the true meaning to life and death is attained, where seclusion is the only desire, where purity and piety are the standards, where no one restricts you from calling the name of your beloved …… divine love…..”
Surprisingly, I started to comprehend this statement, it was that time when my all confusion and state of dilemma started ending. Everything seemed to be becoming simplified, I deemed her answer as a well-grounded explanation to all this.
I looked at her face for the first time in our encounter and felt as if I was seeing myself in her.
Instantly, I felt like there was someone downstairs and when I went there I found the Imam, it was the time for the prayer. It was the time when the mirage has finished, it was the time when the oracle has gone, and it was the time when the answers were received.