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.

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.

it’s an odd relationship

“And He gave you from all you asked of Him. And if you should count the favor of Allah, you could not enumerate them. Indeed, mankind is (generally) most unjust and ungrateful.” —Surah Ibrahim [14:34]

My mind cannot wrap around the fact that the Most Merciful allows me to speak to Him, cry out to Him, and to ask of Him. I am not worthy.

Surely a sinner doesn’t deserve mercy? But Allah – whom none can compare to, is our Lord. Even though you feel most undeserving, He still gives. He smiles upon you, wishes the absolute best for you, and His sustenance for you never once falters — even for a bit. He accepts. He understands. He knows. He is the Most Merciful, even when you have foolishly turned away from Him.

Do not turn away from Him. Do not wrong your soul and instead, take a step towards the Ultimate Source of Love — unconditional and pure. Walk towards His mercy, care, understanding, and acceptance. And He promises to run towards you.

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.

hysterical

my heart cries,
smiles
and laughs
all at the same time
it doesn’t make sense.

my mind chooses not to block out the thoughts
instead it overworks itself,
overthinking being the culprit of it crashing
dizziness overtaking me
every time.

my eyes, searching
for a place far more homelier than here
where the stars shine brighter
and the moon glistens a color I don’t see anywhere else
where I breathe flowers,
and exhale
the words you spoke.

where the excitement in your voice
rings in my ears,
I cherish every moment.

instead I’m far,
trapped
my focus not quite
where I need it to be at times.

always running
towards the seemingly impossible,
quite unsure of what is to
come.

scared
hopeless
here, I feel lonely.

I know the cause
—I can’t help it.

these nails have ripped jagged,
aching lines into my heart.
these scars have long past formed
to be fixed.

and
I don’t know
what
I am to do

with my crying
smiling, laughing
hysterical heart
or with being so
far.

simple rules of life

If you live by these four simple rules, I promise it’ll help you navigate and be more content with the unpredictable nature of life:

  1. There’s nothing wrong with going about things backwards sometimes.
  2. Happiness doesn’t always look the same for everyone.
  3. You can’t let others convince you that you are making a mistake every time your life takes a different route than theirs.
  4. Sometimes getting lost is the best way to get found again.

 

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.