I think the biggest thing I’ve learned through Daniyah is selfless love. Because even if none of that was reciprocated, I wouldn’t love her any less. I would still put her happiness before mine.
In all my life, I have never loved someone like Daniyah, my best friend of 6 years. As cliche as it sounds, I think “sister” would be more accurate.
I have always been afraid of relationships of all kinds because I was achingly aware of their ephemeral nature, but it’s always been different with Daniyah. We hadn’t been in the same country for more than a year before she moved away a couple days after my 14th birthday. We spent our last day together in a fancy pastry shop, both looking embarrassingly underdressed (or maybe it was just me. she’s always been quite the fashionista). I haven’t seen her since that day 6 years ago. But that didn’t change anything.
As we grew, so did our friendship. We were there for all the highs and lows, all the big news, the graduations, college admissions, the heartaches, the rants, the debates. We liked that about each other. We didn’t have to dumb ourselves down around one another, as pretentious as that sounds. We were alike in almost every single way. Not once have we fought, except for one incident where we disagreed on some Islamic ruling (which we settled in a very civilized manner), but we found that refreshing. That there was some difference between us. We kept it going through nothing but our 6-hour Skype sessions.
She has been my rock all these years, and I hope I have been the same. She’s listened to every minuscule problem, fear, secret, outrageous 3am idea, and identity crisis. She bought me my first hijab at 16 and told me “show the world how strong a Muslim woman is.” She saw good in me when I saw none in myself. She’s the one I want to spend my old widow days with in our co-owned coffee shop/bookstore with our 4 cats.
I came to her one day, in near tears and frantic, telling her that I was afraid I would lose her like I lost everybody else. That I was afraid that me being so afraid would cause me to screw things up. All she said was “You’re not going anywhere because I’m never letting you go. You can claw your way out. I’ll find a way.” She is the meaning of sisterhood. She is my biggest blessing.
I’m not one to say “best friends for life” but I hope God has written decades more for us.