Ahmad's Call

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SAN DIEGO

Ahmad sat alone at an empty desk in the teachers' lounge. It was his break period, and since he was still fasting, lunch was not an option. His mind was currently too distracted to busy himself with reading Quran, so instead he turned his attention to drafting poetry; though even that wasn't working out as well as he'd hoped.

The days melt away and Ramadan will go soon

Though it seems just yesterday we were searching for the moon,

He paused, tapping the pen on his notepad.

And how sad for the one, who, when Ramadan comes to visit

Has the chance for forgiveness, yet still he will miss it.

Quietly, he sighed, looking around the room as if better inspiration would jump out from behind the water cooler or the coffee maker somewhere.

Thirty days of fasting, or be they twenty-nine,

Every single Muslim must take advantage of this time

Not for customs, not for culture, and certainly not for food,

Let us seek the Mercy of Ar-Rahman, the Love of Al-Wadud.

He dropped his pen and brushed back the turban on his head, running his fingers over his hair in frustration. The words weren't coming out right at all. As a writer unable to write, he felt like he had been muted. There was so much to say, and yet he felt like he couldn't get out a peep. He wanted to scream.

Then, when he threw back his head, and as he opened his mouth, there came a shout.

Ahmad sat at attention, opening his eyes and looking around to identify the voice of annoyance. He heard footsteps down the hall, a speedy pitter-patter approach to the lounge. Within seconds, he saw the portly figure of Abu Abdullah scurry past the open doorway. He muttered indiscernible Arabic words as he fumbled with his phone.

Then, he stopped.

Ahmad had already looked away before the school's superintendent peeked his head into the room like a curious owl. Upon spotting the young man sitting at the desk, Abu Abdullah brought his body beneath his head as he marched into the room with a dramatic huff.

"As-Salaamu 'Alaikum, Brother Ahmad," he began before jumping right into questioning. "Are you busy?"

"Wa 'Alaikum As-Salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh," Ahmad replied as he placed a hand over his notepad. "Not presently, I'm on break. Is there something that you need? I didn't know you'd be visiting us today."

"Yes, I came for a meeting with Sister Huda, but that's not important right now. I need to find somebody to maybe help me with my mobile."

His tiny hands gripped the phone tightly as he held it out before himself. Ahmad stood to get a better look and asked him what the issue was.

"Is it broken or is there an issue with your service?"

"No no, it's the interwebs; I'm having problems and I try to report, but it's not working. I don't know why."

"Are you connected to the wifi?" Ahmad glanced at the screen before Abu Abdullah all but pushed the phone into his hands. There was nothing much to see, aside from a video stuck frozen on the frame of a man's hand holding a Quran. "It's buffering, maybe the wifi is just slow right now."

"I know, but I want to take the video down, how do I do that? I tried and it gave me errors."

With a furrowed brow, Ahmad tried his hand at closing out the video. With a simple push of a button, the display was cleared and it returned to the home screen.

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