Maria and Sana were two friends in their youth coping through all the struggles and melodrama teenagers’ face. They were best friends, more like sisters who knew no melancholy. Young girls usually studied and shared their friendship, being intellectuals, under the rainbow of companionship. They had a notebook in which they penned their fond memories. Everything was going smoothly until Sana started disgracing Maria. Her tender looks transformed into strange disgust and politeness was replaced by insolence. It was a torment for a girl toiling through her early teens. With each passing day, Sana grew more distant and aloof. Maria felt her world turning apart. She was frustrated yet eager to know the reason behind her friend’s defiance. Sana had stopped talking to her, changed her seat and avoided facing Maria. If by any chance she saw her, her eyes reflected weird bondage, regret and remorse.
“What has gone into her?” Maria thought. “I have apologised to her, called innumerably, talked to her mom who reacts uncomfortably and implies that Sana is not home or she is studying and is unavailable.”
All this could not hinder her from expressing warmth and share sisterly love. Days passed and gradually Sana’s disparagement began to cease. This was the answer to Maria’s prayers. She went to talk to her and presented her with a card. Despite Sana’s cold attitude Maria kept on being affectionate. She put together a sorry-card expressing few best memories from their notebook and asked Sana to stay and listen to her for a while, Maria’s misty lashes and trembling tender voice told the tale of her heart to Sana. She too, could finally not resist her conflicting emotions and narrated the whole story to her.
”You are a “Kafir”. I cannot share meals with you because our Islamic studies teacher and my parents rebuke me for staying close to you. They abhor you for your creed. Islam does not allow us to mingle with you.”
Maria was astonished. It was hard for her to grasp her head around this absurd ideology. “But Muslims believe in all the previous Holy Books, Tawrat, Zabur and Injeel included? How could Christians be “Kafir”? There is a distinction between people of the Book and infidels.
The Prophet of Islam dined with Ahl-e-Kitab and had dealings with them. Do you not believe that he was sent as the mercy, not for Christians, Muslims, Hindus or Jews; but for all mankind?
I implore you to search for the truth yourself. Do not be deceived or consumed by the hatred and fabrications of hard-line clerics or extremists.”
Sana lowered her head in shame. Maria’s word had rendered her speechless. She realized that religion is one’s own intimate relationship with Allah, following His Words and loving His creation without any prejudice. She grabbed Maria’s hand and strolled towards their favourite sitting spot. Her heart had found peace!