Some novels don't just narrate a story, they guide us to right path. They make us understand the real meaning of life; in a simple and lucid manner.
And one that I feel stands out here is Mus'haf – an Urdu novel. Written by a young Pakistani novelist Nimra Ahmed, it has been published by Manshuraat. A superficial reading would tell us that it is simply a story of a young girl namely Mehmil and centers around her life. But if read seriously, it turns out to be the story of almost everyone among us. It is the story of Quran…..the ultimate divine light. How it guides us at every single step, provided we seek guidance.
It is a story of a young girl whose father passes away when she is still a kid. And then how her greedy uncles snatch almost everything from this orphan and her mother. And make them dependent for every single penny. It is story of a girl who falls in love with her cousin ( or rather drags herself into it, only to get rid of her poverty and get her rights back) and how that guy tries to sell her beauty only to "grow" his business. It is a story of a girl who gets stabbed in the back by her own friend….Farishtey.
(who used to be her friend, guide and philosopher and who by destiny was her step sister as well!). It is a story of a girl who is deceived by her own husband, whom she loved much (even though it happens due to some misunderstandings. Fact being misunderstandings should never be allowed to affect our relationships. We can overcome them, subject to our sincerity towards our relationships).
It is a story of a girl who after enduring a frustrating phase, finds comfort in the shade of Allah's message….the Quran. It is a story of a girl who falls into coma, only to wake up to find her future life having gone into coma forever!
Finally It's the story of Quran and a common girl ( who wasn't religious, rather used to be what we call a "modern"). It actually is the story of Quran. How it influenced her life. How it began to answer her queries. How it used to guide her, provide strength to her and how it used to comfort her.
It is the story of friendship between Quran and Mehmil. It is a story of strength and light provided by that ultimate divine message to Mehmil when she felt deceived by those whom she considered her own. It is a story of Quran's centrality vis-a-vis our lives, provided we give due space to it.
One thing which becomes clear while reading this novel is that Quran is a guide for us all….those who sport beard or those who don't. Be it those who use hijab or those who don't. It doesn't distance itself from anyone. It always calls us towards itself, towards the message of our lord. And once we move towards it with sincerity, once we develop our relationship with it, it for sure guides us towards the right path and heals all our wounds and frees us from all worries and pain, and in the meanwhile colours us into its own colour.
Nimra has beautifully summed up the importance of Quran in our lives in the introduction itself. She writes, "We don't face tests or trails only when we walk on the path of deen. Rather those problems or trails which are written in our destiny, we have to face them in any case.
Distance from Quran (at the time of those problems) will only make us mad and will solve none of them. While as submitting oneself to Quran at those testing times will comfort us and guide us to face those problems and come out of those successfully".
Mus'haf is a must read for those who wish to understand the real meaning of our relationship with the Quran. It is a must read for those who wish to know how Quran can change our lives.
More so, it is a must read for those who at times feel deceived by their loved ones and feel as if their is no way to move out of it. Quran will teach them, guide them and finally show them the right path and direction.