finding sakina in supplication

When du’as (supplications) are answered, life halts and feels almost fragile. The solace it brings is a gentle [Divine] nudge: that your endured pains have never existed.

What an incomparable gift.

* * *

Dear God,

In times of distress, I’ve learned that stability is a blessing. That soundness of mind provides you with a complete consciousness necessary to breathe easily. That contentment of the heart is what is needed to move forward.

After every accepted whisper, the only words that dare escape my lips spell of Your praise. I am consistently reminded of Your loving mercy.

You give in abundance; while my being drunkenly wanders in between states of ephemeral highs and lows.

At my lowest, exhaustion weighs heavy on my shoulders and makes room for its closest friend: hopelessness. Together, they wring my soul dry until I am unable to move.

I am always messing up.

In these moments, Your incandescent presence surrounds me with warmth. Words I often fail to remember faintly ring in assurance:

فاتقوا الله ما استطعتم

“So be mindful of God as best as you can…” (64:16).

This desire I have to seek perfection is due to my own soul being once in the very company of Perfection. However, perfection isn’t what You seek from me. It is an attribute only You encompass. What You value most is sincere and utmost striving and effort.

Despite my momentary departures, I now recognize that this cycle of fluctuation in heart sings of a love greater than anything else.

The Most Loving. Most Kind.

My Protecting Friend.

You teach me to never give up on myself or Your endless mercy.

light is a gift & a mercy

At a point in my life where I was feeling extremely low, I would sometimes go to the nearby masjid just to feel some sort of peace. I would go alone and attempt to avoid any interactions. I would try my best to slow down the negative thoughts that ran through my head. Doing this every so often would be the bit of comfort that I needed to urge me to continue on.

On one of the days I was there, a sister who I met for the first time greeted me with the warmest of smiles. She mentioned that I didn’t look at ease, and without further questioning me, she began chatting with me as though we were long-time friends.

Every word she spoke, and every story she shared with me instantly tugged at my heart. I couldn’t stop myself and ended up uncontrollably tearing up like a baby. It was as though my heart found her familiar, and finally opened up after so long.

This embarrassing moment of crying into a stranger’s arms and “randomly” bumping into her on various occasions after that (it was always whenever my heart needed it), was a constant reaffirmation to myself: that people truly cross your path for a reason, and you are sometimes given reminders at moments when you may either be looking for them or not – but in hindsight, when you need them most. And this is one of the biggest mercies.

When my sight becomes a bit foggy and someone with a light like her’s helps me to see His Light a little clearer, this is without a doubt a gift that I am a million times grateful for.

May we all become reflections of His Light for those around us, even for strangers we may speak to only briefly.

God shows His love and presence through His signs.

with love & high expectations He created you

For the last couple of years, I’ve been feeling as though I’ve been weirdly stuck in a sheltered bubble. Everything that bubble encompassed has undeniably shaped my mind and character. Surrounding myself around things that were comfortable, has set limits on myself and what I can be. It has done more harm than good. Realizing this reality, I’ve come to learn a few things:

1) There is so much out there.

There are many people in this world waiting to meet you. There are numerous places waiting to be explored by you. Every conversation will affect you. Every experience will make you question and grow. Change will allow you to have a new perspective on things that you might’ve been stubborn about for a really long time.

2) Constantly look at the condition of your soul.

Is what you see beautiful enough to be worthy of God’s most beautiful gifts? Learn to ask yourself every day, “Have I used the ability to love—which God has given me, to love Him in the correct way?” This is extremely important. Everything comes from Him. He is the source of all the good we seek in this world and the next. To want good, and to claim to deserve good, it is only right to love and show gratitude to the Most Great first and foremost. Let the love of God take up more room in your heart than any other temporary person/idea/thing.

3) Your mind is ever-expanding.

It takes time for a person to finally form their personality and everything about themselves (hopefully for the better!). The biggest theme of life is self-betterment. God has given us all a specific personality and certain traits to make a change and impact in this world. You have to dig deep and look for it.

4) Always work on becoming the best version of yourself.

Life is a journey; to win the battle against your nafs (soul) and to reach your potential. You are the creation of God, the One Who Loves you abundantly and with no limits. Do not set limits on yourself.

oh lost soul, don’t despair

When you beg for Allah to guide you in a matter, you may not always perceive His response to be clear. Your understanding may be distorted by your desires, or your eyes may be blind to the truth that He has unveiled in front of you. But alhamdulillah, He is ever so merciful as to send you clarity, in a way that calms your greedy hands and softens your confused heart.

You must learn to look carefully at His signs, and understand that He always wants the best for you. You must assure your heart that His will is not one to lose faith in. See nothing but beauty and wisdom. Your affairs are in the hands of the One who is Most Loving and Most Wise.

revelation

There had been something in my life that I absolutely loved to do. I was excited to jump out of bed hours early, just to plan out the day. I would go above and beyond the expectations because it made me beam with happiness inside. Sometimes the things I would do would be unnecessary and over-the-top, but I didn’t care. It was my love for this striving that blinded me from the trend of “doing just enough to get by.” Alhamdulillah.

However, I wasn’t being noticed for what I was doing —and that crushed my heart. It shouldn’t have. I had to sit down and ask myself: did I expect something in return? Did I wish for a “thank you” or a pat on the back? Was this what I craved? I shook my head with distaste at my attitude and how I was reacting to the current, and unfortunate (in my eyes) circumstance.

The flutter in my chest every time I spoke about what I loved doing was not for others to appreciate me. It was because I needed this. It was what I wanted to do. The very thing that made me get up so early in the morning was passion —not the fascination of looking good in front of others or being praised. This newfound thought made me realize something. Something that calmed the tears that traced down my scrunched-up and confused face in hurt:

Nothing we’ve ever given has gone unnoticed. Every sacrifice we’ve made, Allah has seen it. If no one acknowledges our hard work, the dedication and passion we put towards what we do, know that Allah acknowledges us. He knows all that we do, and He will reward us with something so unimaginable that we’ll wonder why we craved others’ acknowledgements in the first place.

And maybe that very reward in my case, and at that very moment, was clarity. Pure intention. Igniting a passion within me that can exist without needing to be fed by simple words of appreciation from man. And hope, to continue to do what I love.

beauty in hardship: faith

A man spoke of the Syrian refugee crisis.
He wondered why so many of the refugees relied on God’s help.
Why they had faith.
His heart ached.
He angrily proclaimed that God wasn’t there.
That the Syrians were crying out to no one.
Praying to a God who didn’t care enough to relieve them of their pain.
They needed to open their eyes.
They were latching onto false hope.

I thought hard about what this man was saying and almost nodded, agreeing. I caught myself and remembered that there’s a bigger picture to everything. We might not know why things happen. Some of us will question and hang onto the whys, ifs and buts, and claim feverishly that it isn’t fair. Doing so will not benefit us nor will it ease the situation. Our brains may not be able to comprehend the things He does. We can accept it, try to understand, have a positive outlook and always remember that He always wants the best for each and every one of us. He knows what we do not. And if we understand that, then we’ll be able to let go and let Him handle our affairs in the best manner possible. Difficult to do, but not impossible. Have faith. Trust in Him. Because ultimately there is no one better to leave the matters of your life to than He who gave you life. Knowing the attributes of God and who He is will suffice you through your hardships. There is wisdom beyond our imagination in His work.

The Syrian people must already know this.