As soon as Habib Umar got off the van, the cameras started following him. We stood up – it was coincidentally the part of Mawlid DhiyaAllami where we were supposed to – and awaited his arrival.
He entered the masjid, setting off a flurry of cameras and movement, people reaching out to kiss his blessed hand, to say their salaams. Students missing their teacher, teachers respecting a greater teacher. Habib Umar went to a corner, did his prayers, and then joined the rest in reciting the Mawlid.
When his turn to speak came, Allah, he reminded us that our presence there was not in any chance our choice, but it was because Allah SWT had granted us to be there. It was not our feet, bur rather, Him making things easy for us to attend.
I started tearing, because I have wanted to meet him for so, so long. Seeing his photos on Facebook, reading about him, watching films that had his presence; I was in love with someone I have never met.
Earlier in the day, so many things lined up perfectly such that it was made possible to meet him. My friends agreed at the last-minute to go with me, Abang A and his wife Kak L changing their minds about attending and offering us a place at their home after the Mawlid, karate class getting cancelled, getting the inspiration to ride the train instead of taking the cab (thus avoiding the jam), and finally getting perfect seats that gave us an unrestricted view of Habib Umar.
Allah. Truly He was the one who planned all of this; I could never have done so by myself.
At the end of the night, when the Mawlid ended and Habib Umar left, I was left with a sweet feeling in my stomach and tears in my eyes; if this is how it feels to meet someone you love but have never met, how must it feel to finally meet the Prophet SAW, and to meet Allah SWT?
Allah… May He grant us His presence, and the presence of His beloved in the hereafter. Ameen.