Just got back home after an awesome night of Seerah class by Shaykh AbdulBary Yahya. I had a continuing education seminar at work, and after that I made a big sign that said, “AL-MAGHRIB THIS WAY” so people wouldn’t get confused as to where to go on campus.
SO. Funny story.
I’m driving to UCF with the sign wedged into the backseat. In my mind I’m thinking, “I hope there is a sign at the main entrance…” People often get confused on going left or right. In this case, the correct choice was left.
Lo and behold, there IS someone at the very main entrance, holding a very small sign and waving it around. Also, he was standing on the left. Wow, what an awesome Al-Maghrib volunteer! I thought. But man, you can’t even see his sign! Let me give him this one!
While I’m waiting for the light, I roll down my window, somehow contort myself into pulling this behemoth sign out said window, and start waving it in his direction. He isn’t looking my way. I honk, and he turns around. Someone behind me honked as well.
Haters, I thought.
“DO YOU WANT THIS SIGN?” I bellowed over the noise of idling car engines. “WE CAN TRADE!”
The guy looks at me, shakes his head no. He is also looking at me like I am the craziest crazy ever.
Annoyed, I pull the sign back into the car, which was akin to fitting a sailing ship into a bottle. Hmph, I thought. What’s HIS problem?
The light turns green, and as I’m turning and get closer to the guy, I notice that the sign does not say “Al-Maghrib” at all. Nor was he a volunteer, nor, obviously, had he any idea what AlMaghrib is.
I had just tried shoving a sign at a complete stranger. No wonder he was looking at me like I was crazy.
I was mortified up until the moment I parked the car. As I’m getting out, another car pulls into a space behind me. The passengers are none other than my mom and our closest family friend, Sister B. Overjoyed, I remarked on what a coincidence it was for us to arrive at the same time in the same exact lot.
“We saw your sign!” said Sister B. “We were gonna go right but we saw the sign and I told your mother, go left, go left!”
“Wait, the sign? MY sign? The one I stuck out the window??”
“Yeah! I told your mother, look, look over there!”
“That was YOU honking!?”
“Oh my God!”
So in the span of 10 minutes I went from mortified, to overjoyed, to grinning like my face was going to fall off.
We plan, but Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is the best of planners.