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Short Story Competition | #5 Freedom

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  • Short Story Competition | #5 Freedom


    “What was that?”

    I asked Asma as we heard a noise in the lounge while we sat in the afternoon. It was a very unusual noise, and came from near the wall. We both paused, attentively, waiting to hear it again.

    There was silence. So we continued as we were, hoping it was nothing to worry about.

    We all went about the rest of the day as usual.

    Night fell and I entered the lounge again so I could close the curtains. Just as I was leaving the room, I heard the strange noise again. It didn’t sound pleasant. Slightly startled, I waited for a moment, though I was hoping to not hear it again.

    There was silence.

    I looked around the room to inspect it quickly. There was only a few pieces of furniture in the room. Everything seemed as normal. I switched off the light, closed the door, and headed upstairs to retire for the night.

    The next day was just another normal day.

    I remembered about the noise I heard again last night and mentioned it to Asma and asked if she had heard it again too. Asma answered in the negative. We both went back into the room to listen.

    There was silence.

    Perhaps it was something outside the house, we thought.

    Aman came home from work and I let him know about the strange noise that was coming from the room the day before and in the night. Aman went in to check.

    Again there was silence.

    And as previously, we continued to go about the rest of the day as usual. When night came, this time, there wasn’t any noise. We thought perhaps the issue had passed now, and retired for the night.

    The next morning was a very beautiful day; the sun was visible, the sky was clear and blue, and everything seemed pretty and cheerful outside.

    However, inside, we noticed the strange sound again. This time we felt it was coming from the fireplace.

    There was noise. Then there was quiet. Then there was noise again.

    Something was moving in there!

    Aman decided to call his friend, the plumber.

    The plumber was quick to arrive. Aman opened the door for him and told him about the situation while leading him to the room.

    The plumber knelt down next to the fireplace, listening.

    He placed his tools down and started to take the fireplace off while the family looked on.

    Pieces of the fireplace were taken off, until the wall of the chimney became slightly exposed. Aman and the plumber were up-close, while Asma and I stood at a distance, watching and wondering what was happening at the front.

    “It’s a pigeon!”

    The plumber announced, taking hold of the bird. It was almost as though a baby had just been delivered.

    Aman chuckled, and Asma and I gasped in surprise.


    “It must have fallen down the chimney! That means it was in there for almost three days!”

    “It survived the fall!”

    “We thought the noise died out yesterday, it didn’t make any sound yesterday!”

    “Poor little thing!”

    “Imagine if it was left in there longer, it would’ve died!”

    “Allah saved it! Alhamdulillah!”

    There was a feeling of gratitude and joyfulness in the house, as the plumber carefully held the pigeon in his hands before handing it over to Aman so he could start putting the fireplace back together.

    Aman held the bird for a little while, looking at it.

    Its feathers were slightly ruffled, and there was visible damage on its tail. Perhaps it was due to its struggle to free itself.

    Alhamdulillah it was alive, and didn’t look startled and didn’t cry-out or make any noise. A patient bird!

    Aman then proceeded to get some grains and water in order to feed it.

    He placed the bird down in the porch with some food next to it. After a short while, the pigeon started walking, bobbing its little head as it made its way towards the open back door.

    We watched it. The little bird looked cute.

    “I wonder if it’s family are worried and missing it.”

    “I wonder if it’s missing its family.”

    We wondered.

    I felt slightly emotional thinking about the ordeal the little bird had to go through. It fell, and for days it was trapped and was struggling for freedom, but it was just simply stuck. In a small dark space. No food, no water, no company, no way out. Nothing. And we almost left it there due to not knowing the situation and because it had quietened and made no audible movement for the whole of the second day. I wonder if it quietly made du’a to Allah. It was almost like Yusuf in the well, peace be upon him.

    There was a feeling of relief and thankfulness that Aman called-up his friend, the plumber. And that due to the summer season, the fireplace hadn’t been lighted. I hoped Allah would reward Aman abundantly for acting as soon as he did and not any later and for caring for His creation. Perhaps the bird would make du’a for Aman. I would have loved to know about the bird’s feelings towards Allah. Did it feel deep gratitude to Him for being saved?

    The little creature had reached the back door.

    It placed a skinny little foot outside on the concrete ground, and then the other foot. It was outside, after days.

    Aman, Asma and I were still watching.

    “Aww, look at its feathers.”

    “What’s it going to do?”

    “Will it be able to fly?”

    The little bird walked further outside, into the sunshine.

    It shook itself off.

    And started to open its wings.

    With its feathers ruffled, looking like some had fallen off, and it’s tail damaged, messy, and feathers out of place.

    I felt my eyes start to water.

    It fluttered its wings.

    Then it was off the ground.

    Rising higher and higher.

    With it’s dishevelled and slightly battered body.

    Allah was helping it up.

    I felt overwhelmed with emotion as I looked on, trying to hold back tears. Remembering Allah’s Words.

    Do they not see the birds above them, spreading out their wings and folding them in? None upholds them except the Most Compassionate. Truly, He is the All-Seer of everything. (Al-Mulk, 19)

    It wasn’t just a matter of a helpless little bird; it was a spiritual experience – a touching reminder of Allah and His amazing care for His creatures. The bird in flight looked so incredible. Allah’s creation; completely dependent upon Him and compassionately maintained by Him too.

    The bird flapped its wings a few more times and then flew into the distance blue sky. Back to where it belonged. Perhaps back to its family.



    * Do they not see the birds controlled in the atmosphere of the sky? None holds them up except Allah. Indeed in that are signs for a people who believe. (Al-Nahl, 79)

    * And there is no creature on [or within] the earth, nor a bird that flies with its wings except [that they are] communities like you. We have not neglected in the Book a [single] thing. Then unto their Lord they will be gathered. (Al-An'aam, 38)

    * Do you not see that Allah is exalted by whomever is in the heavens and the earth and [by] the birds with wings spread [in flight]? Each [of them] has known his [means of] prayer and praising [Him], and Allah is All-Knowing of what they do. (Al-Noor, 41)

    * The Companions asked, “Allah's Messenger, is there a reward for us even for (helping) animals?” He

    replied, “Yes, there is a reward for service to every living creature.” (Muslim)

    ​​​​​NOTE: Please kindly avoid 'liking' my posts (Jazaa'akumullah khair)