Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem.
As salamu alai kum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
Ramadhan is here! Yes, I too am excited like you. Ramadhan last year was a learning experience for me. It changed me a lot as a muslimah. Subhanallah. This month last year, healed me. For I know, I overcame depression with the help of Allah (subhana wa ta’aala) alone. It is hard to believe that a year has gone by and I still hold that month so close to my heart. Very often, I look back and feel thankful for having gained so much in this year. Indeed, closeness to Allah (subhana wa ta’aala) is what I am most thankful for. Isn’t it a mercy in itself that you are able to comprehend His (subhana wa ta’aala) blessings?
Say: O My servants who have transgressed against their own souls, despair not of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surah az-Zumar 39:53)
Soon after Ramadhan, I joined my workplace in August. A new place embarked the beginning of me as a hijabi. You may read about how I started wearing the hijab here. Though I was very unhappy when I had joined, I left as a happy person. I resigned in February to come back home thereafter. As time passed, I realised perhaps that office was the best place for me to start my journey as a new Muslim. Not every place has people as accepting and welcoming. This place gave me confidence, which served a foundation for me to walk out in an Islamic attire.
It was in that Ramadhan that I started writing. For a person who used to write a story annually only because my father pushed us (my sister and me) to write for a local magazine, it is hard to believe that she wrote regularly for almost a year. Alhamdulillah! All good is from Allah (subhana wa ta’aala).
Everything has a purpose. My sister and I detested writing for those magazines; and after she left for higher education, she pretty much stopped writing. Alhamdulillah, however due to the advent of internet, I could not escape. The editor till date mails me a month before the magazine’s release to contribute. Had they not brushed me all these years, I would never have even remotely wanted to pen down my thoughts. It truly awes me when (by the mercy of Allah), I find a flow of thoughts and ideas in my head at any point of time. I remember taking weeks to even come up with a single idea annually (framing it was another affair)!
Little did I know that I would come such a long way. In this year that passed, I met sisters and friends so close to my heart. It is funny that I used to think myself to be the only revert to Islam in India. This notion too was removed, and slowly in my life dripped in like raindrops beautiful revert sisters. Alhamdulillah, all of them are so much in love with Allah and are truly striving towards Him. Then, I also came across a few sisters who were born into the deen but are struggling against cultural barriers to stand by the truth.
“Verily, you (O Muhammad) guide not whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are the guided.”
Each one’s story is an inspiration. It is indeed amazing how Allah (subhana wa ta’aala ) turns His slaves towards Himself and how once His slave falls in love with Him, nothing on earth seems better than Al Wadud, The Most Loving. From amongst these sisters, I got the opportunity to meet a few. The excitement of spotting that girl in hijab and running to embrace each other is an absolute high! We spoke as if we are meeting for the hundreth time, wherein it was just the first. As time passed, gradually, we learnt together, laughed together, cried together and continue to be inspired together. The love we carry is the most special for it is a bond for Allah’s pleasure.
Alhamdulillah, I also came across a few learned and mature sisters from whom I learnt about deen. They were my guide, well wishers and inspiration.
I learnt. I learnt what it means to be Muslim in true essence. I learnt that it is important to constantly improve. I learnt how important it is to be conscious of your sins and to repent over them. Indeed, guilt is a sign of imaan and a mercy of Allah (subhana wa ta’aala). I learnt it is important to attain knowledge and knowledge from right sources. How important it is to be obedient to Allah and how walking on His path keeps us guided and our life sorted. Understanding even bits of Quran is healing. I learnt that a believer never despairs and that no person ever escapes from the purview of our Maker.
Alhamdulillah, a sister introduced me to easier means of learning via applications in the play store. Audio apps of speakers and scholars! Learning could be fun and cheap!! Subhanallah. Gradually some speakers became my favourites and I found myself laughing while learning! The Magnificent Quran started getting a little more clear as a scholar narrated it into my mind. I came to know about this amazing thing called tafseer. I found myself standing in Uncle Scrooge’s locker, amidst the wealth of knowledge.
Then, I told my parents. Finally. I told them. Despite every hardship we went through, I know the fact that I was not the only one facing hard times. They were in turmoil too. Even though, there were times we thought differently, I know they are my heros! Even though I fail many a times to upkeep Islamic standards in behaving with them, they have not once failed in upkeeping their standards! Classy and sophisticated as always! 💜 Their hearts eased and more often than not, we have arrived on consensus on conflicting matters. Alhamdulillah. Who is the One who eases hearts? Who is the Manager of all our affairs? We here make dua, but things will be as they have to be. Indeed everything happens for our best. At present I am living with them and Alhamdulillah, have never felt more blessed to have these two beings as mine. (# please make dua for their guidance)
For the first time, I do not have a plan. I do not know what I will be doing next year or where I will be. I didn’t know last year that I would be here now! This year has brought with it unexpected moments. The year that went has brought me immense joy and learning Alhamdulillah. This year helped me sort the gems in my life and truly taught me the essence of life. Even though I don’t know what lies ahead, for the first time I am not scared. Alhamdulillah, the heart finds peace and it trusts Allah’s plan. We can strive but we cannot decide. In shaa Allah, whatever shall happen shall be the best for me.
As Ramadhan starts, I feel very apprehensive. I see many revert sisters feeling the same apprehension. The apprehension of fasting with family around. I still haven’t told my family about fasting in the coming days and I only hope that they accept it with ease. I hope every sister of mine is able to keep every fast in the days to come. As I read innumerable posts about ‘easy meals for suhoor’, ‘Quran reading chart’, ‘Ramadhan targets’ etc., I feel sorry for sisters who are struggling with basic fasting. Indeed, we have to be kind to our parents. They do not know that fasting is the easiest in Ramadhan, that there is blessings in suhoor and so much barakah, that the heart is deep into ibadah this month, that there is so much peace and tranquility whilst fasting. From their eyes, it is their toddler (yes toddler!) at the risk of getting dehydrated in the harsh summers. Make dua and try speaking kindly (this is for me too). This is our jihad. In Shaa Allah, Allah will ease their hearts and our affairs.
Indeed, no one despairs of relief from Allah except the disbelieving people. (Surah Yusuf 12:87)
Subhanallah, this month is back again. I am looking forward to see how I change in the days to come. I hope and pray that each one of us grows to be a better Muslim and a true servant of Allah. I hope we become kinder, softer and more humble. I pray we repent to wash away all our sins, that He (subhana wa ta’aala) forgives us and that we store our ties of kinship. I pray that more and more people from humanity enter into the folds of Islam. I pray ease for all our brothers and sisters in ummah facing hard times, especially the likes in Gaza, Burma etc.
Please as you make dua this Ramadhan, remember me in a small moment. May you be rewarded with best in dunya and akhirah. May you have a rewardful Ramadhan and may we all meet in Jannatul firdous. Ameen 💜 💞 💞