Every year, I put aside my savings for the flower show. For me, the flower show is an array of beautiful warm colours, indicating a strong presence of Allah (swt). Allah (swt) is indeed beautiful and colourful flowers are His reflections. It is bliss to stroll around, with parents bargaining over different pots of plants, and people from every walk of life enjoying the nature’s marvel. I, holding my son’s hand, accompanied by my maid, enjoy the show as well.

My son Usman is an autistic child. Let me briefly tell you about Autism. Autism is a disorder of neural development, characterized by impaired social interaction and communication and by restricted and repetitive behaviour. Autism affects information processing in the brain by altering how nerve cells and their synapses connect and organize; how this occurs is not well understood.

As every year, Usman also visited the flower show with me, and we enjoyed a lot initially. Like others, we visited the stalls of every participant and also bought some plants. During the course, I became so absorbed that I did not realize it was too much for my son to take in. He was tired and kept asking when we would go back. I kept stalling, until my maid exclaimed, “Baji, where is Usman?” My heart sank as Usman was not at the stall. I searched every corner, and got an announcement made, but alas, he was nowhere to be found. I burst into tears and my maid also started to cry. As the two of us madly searched for Usman, I suddenly remembered the verse of Quran: “And (all) the Most Beautiful Names belong to Allah” (Al-Araf 7:180)

I recited the beautiful names of Allah (swt) with tears in my eyes.

I still vividly remember that I recited the names with firm faith that Allah (swt) is my Wali (Helper) and He will help me. I continuously recited His names with all my heart and soul. An hour passed by and Maghrib Adhan was called. Rabia, my maid, suggested: “Baji, why don’t we check outside in the parking area?” I agreed and we went outside. To our utter surprise, Usman was standing outside beside his own Suzuki Cultus, waiting for me. Alhumdulillah, my autistic boy showed sheer intelligence and out of so many cars, he recognized his own. I embraced him and realized that Allah (swt) is no doubt Al-Hafeez (the Preserver) and the Supreme Protector of His creatures.

From that moment to date, I have learnt one lesson: “Never give up hope, because He is always with us, testing our faith and giving assurance. He will not let the benediction go unheard, if called devotedly.”