Many years ago, God was sitting with His angels and was deep in thought. The angels could not dare to ask what God had on His mind, as He hadn’t been this thoughtful since a long, long time. And they knew He didn’t want to be disturbed.
A few days passed and the angels saw that God remained pensive throughout that time. Eventually, the angels prevailed over one from among them to go and ask what the matter is and if they can help.
The chosen angel walked tentatively towards God and asked: “O’ Lord, what is it that troubles you so much?”
The Lord looked ahead and said nothing. So the angel asked: “Is there anything we can do to help?” knowing full well that God required no one’s help.
“Tell me my angel,” asked God, “what is that I have created that, every time you see it, you say to yourself: ‘I am at peace’?”
The angel thought for a moment but couldn’t decide, for God had created so many things that would give one peace of mind. So she went back and talked to the other angels who were equally indecisive.
“Well, there is the full moon that rises into the dark sky of the antipodes,” said one. They decided that that indeed was the most calming thing to the eye, especially because it was a symbol of light in total darkness and represented hope.
So the angel went back to God and told Him what they all thought to be the most alluring to the eye. God smiled and said: “Indeed, that is it. Well done.”
A month later the angels, surprised that God was still pondering something, sent another angel to ask Him again.
“Lord, what else is on your mind now ?” she asked.
“Tell me my angel,” asked God, “what is that I have created which when you hear it, you say to yourself: ‘That’s the most soothing sound I have ever heard’?”
So the angel made her way back to the other angels and they went over everything that God had created that was delightful to listen to. After a long time they agreed that the sound of the stream running over pebbles was the most soothing thing to hear, for not only was it calming but that, day or night, the sound never stopped for those looking for comfort.
God smiled when the angel told Him what they had decided on and said: “Yes, that is a good answer.”
A month passed and one day the angels saw God staring into nothingness again.
“Lord, what is it that still troubles you?” asked another angel who stepped up this time.
“Tell me my angel,” asked God, “what is that I have created which, when you feel it, you say to yourself: ‘That’s the softest thing I have ever felt’?”
The angels sat together and went through all that was soft in the world below. They finally decided that nothing could be softer than a mother’s lap.
God smiled when the angel told him that and said: “You please me with your answer.”
With four months gone and seeing that God was still in the same mood, another angel went up and asked: “Lord, what still occupies your thoughts?”
“Tell me my angel,” asked God, “what is that I have created which, when you taste it you say: ‘That’s the most delicious thing I have ever tasted’?
“After debating on so many millions of things God had created that tasted like nothing better, they all agreed that nothing tasted as good as a meal prepared with love.
God smiled again when he heard the answer and said: “You all make me proud. Yes, indeed; nothing tastes better.”
After the passage of another month, the angels were curious when they saw God preoccupied again. “Lord, are you still thinking over a question?” asked an angel.
“Tell me my angel,” asked God, “what is that I have created which, when you smell it you say: ‘That’s the most enchanting aroma I have ever smelt’?”
So the angels got together and went through a lengthy list of things that carried the most enchanting scent. They thought eventually there can be nothing more sweet-smelling than a garden dipped in dew at first light.
God was pleased and said: “Yes, these creations of mine smell best when they come together.”
Another four weeks passed and the quietness stayed around God. “Lord, what else troubles you?” probed the angel again.
“Tell me my angel,” asked God, “what is it that I have created that, when you see it bracing alone against the strongest of winds you say: ‘That’s the gentlest but toughest thing I have ever seen’?”
Again the angels burrowed deep into all that was near invincible and were of the opinion that it can only be the weed, which has a tensile strength greater than man-made steel; it will bend in the wind but never break.
God was content with that answer and said:“Yes, what indeed can be softer yet tougher than that.”
There seemed a visible calm in God now.
Seven months had now passed and angels had never seen God so pensive. “Lord, is there anything else perturbing you?” an angel this time asked with more confidence.
“Tell me my angel,” asked God, “what is that I have created that is the softest of all but when you see anyone weighing it down, you say: ‘That’s something that will still never lose its original form’?”
The angels put all their thoughts together and decided that the only thing that can be that sustainable was selfless devotion.
“Yes,” God said. “That can very well be it.”
God looked relaxed but four weeks later the angels could sense there was something still unfinished in God’s mind.
“Lord, what concerns you now?” an angel went up and asked half surprised, half inquisitive.
“Tell me my angel,” asked God, “what is it that I have created that when you sense it you say: ‘I cannot see it, hear it, touch it, taste it or feel it, but I know it’s always there’?”
The angels sat together, hopefully for the last time on this, and quickly concluded that if there is anything that is the answer to that, it is blind faith in God Himself.
“Yes of course, that is indeed correct,” God agreed. “Finally, tell me my angel,” asked God, “what is it that I have created which, when you experience it you say to yourself: ‘There can be nothing as pure as that’?’ “
God told them to think long and hard as this was most important to him, and to come back after a month and tell Him their answer. The angels, eager to please God and to bring Him out of His anxiousness, consulted with each other for the longest they had ever taken over the last eight months.
The day came and one of the angels went forward: “Lord, we have all come to the conclusion that there can be nothing purer than a soul that you first put into a human body, and which has the power to cleanse itself more and more for every day it stays inside your greatest creation itself.”
“That is an excellent answer,” God said. “I’m proud of you my angels. You have helped greatly and now must assist me in putting together all of what you have identified into this little baby girl that I want to give as a gift.”
The angels finally knew what this was all about and were overjoyed. “Lord, how blessed that girl must be and how blessed are the parents who will receive this gift from You,” one of the angels said excitedly.
At this God turned and said to the angels: “Oh no, the girl already had my blessings from the moment I thought of her. And her parents will only keep her for a certain time whereas a gift is forever.”
Seeing the angels’ puzzled faces, God asked all of them to be seated in front of Him and began to explain: “Yes, I have been very pensive from the time you first approached me, but it wasn’t because of the girl. I know she can take care of herself, that she will be happiest all through her life and will be loved by all she meets,” He said.
“You see,” continued God, “there is this boy I’ve put together for a purpose. I’ve decided to give him to two wonderful creations of mine. They will imbue him with the power of love, care, high values and integrity. But through trials and tribulations that I will throw at him to make him better prepared for his purpose in the world, there will come a time when he will gradually begin to tire. He will get confused and depressed and wonder whether all the talent I have put inside him is something that he believes he can never really accomplish to the extent that he should.
“That will one day make him very angry and troubled and broken. He will not be as strong as he thinks he is, but will feel weaker than he actually is. He will think and run faster than people can catch up and emotionally will carry a load more than he can bear. He will want the world to understand him without him trying to understand the world. He will be hard on himself and those close to him as he selfishly pursues his love of writing and creativity, and subsequently wander around and stay lost.
“It is when he begins to wobble from the weight he has picked up that this girl will support him, and for that I have spent all my time to make sure that she has everything that he will need from her.
“He will love and cherish her, give her a comfortable home and try his hardest to fulfill her every desire, but he will need her more than she needs him.”
God then took out the stony slate he had been making notes on for nine months and showed it to the angels. They read with awe the nine points it contained, one for every month that God had spent making this girl. On it was written:
When he becomes angry at everyone including her, his angst will be calmed down by her soothing voice that I will make from the sound of a stream running over pebbles.
When he comes home stressed from work, he will feel tranquility when he sees the peacefulness on her face, which I will make from a moment taken of a full moon in the antipodes.
When he returns home extremely tired and fatigued from the hardness of travel, he will feel relaxed when she strokes his hair with her hands and fingers, which I will make as soft as a mother’s lap.
When he comes home after eating and drinking all sorts of snacks during the day, he will take delight in eating whatever she has made, because of the love I will place in her food for him.
When he comes home after being around smoke and dust, he will take pleasure from the perfume of her body, which I will make from a garden dipped in dew at first light.
When he has lost his confidence from the ways of the world, she will give him the comfort of a pillow and be a pillar of strength for him, both of which I will make at once from the softness and tenacity of a weed.
When he will be ill or worried or feeling alone, he will gain relief from her warm and pleasant companionship that I will embed with selfless devotion.
When he will fail her and his family, she will prevail and make life better for him and their children and be confident that things will get better because of the blind faith in Me that I will place in her.
When he will do wrong to her and want to repent, she will cleanse him by holding his head against her bosom, because I will fill her body with a soul that is forgiving, pure and pious.
The angels read this and understood why God had been pensive and inquiring all these nine months. They felt happy that they had played their role in making this little girl. They felt her to be one of their own.
They then asked when God would send her into the world, and guide her parents to prepare her for the day she will grow up and meet and take care of this boy, who will have grown up too with his fears and ambitions.
“Well, now that we have everything I always wanted to put in this little girl, why not just present her to her parents tonight, the 14th of October?” exclaimed God to His angels.
So she was delivered on this night, not knowing that the sole purpose of her being was to one day love and take care of this boy she wouldn’t know she was destined to meet.
As God marveled at the sight of her in her mother’s arms, one angel rushed up to God and said: “But we forgot to give her a name.”
God smiled and said: “Well she was made from your hearts and minds, so I’ll just think of her as one of my angels. But you know what, because I’m not sure of what this fellow will do and make of himself, and whether I will be able to admit him to heaven at all on the Day of Judgment, I put a thought into her parents minds to name her ‘Iffat’, which means ‘the breeze of paradise’.
This way every time he calls her name, he will at least feel the breeze of paradise brushing against him, even if he doesn’t make it to heaven. Can’t do any more for him now, can I?”
And so the 14th of October is a special day for the angels, for they helped create one from amongst their own thoughts and feelings. There is therefore joy and celebration in the clouds today since her first birthday, just as there is one going on today.
And on every year this day, God takes a little time out, looks proudly at His creation who has lived up to each of His hopes, and says: “I Bless You, my Iffat.”