Excerpts from my life, Uncategorized

Partake

The entire world is aware of what is going on in India now. It’s bubbling with so many issues. Tiny sections agitated at different degrees..more so the mind of a Muslim.

As a Muslim, I live a day at a time. Symptoms I see. Of an eerie disease. These are the symptoms of an outbreak…a civil war. Getting goosebumps even as I write this.

A glimpse into history will clearly reflect the tension that prevails in any state before civil war. I could break them down to three major ones-

  • Lack of powerful Opposition
  • Religious divide and intolerance
  • Curbing freedom of speech

Sounds familiar?

Peep into the history of any civil war that has existed. Whether it was during the time of Hitler or now in Syria.

I’ve stopped reading comments on YouTube pages that speak about Islam. And I’ve stopped listening to speeches of our Legislators. An hour of watching news is enough to give me palpitations and anxiety.

Yet, human fitrah (basic Instinct) prevails. We live each day gathering our tiny world and oblivious of everything that prevails 500m beyond our range.

I saw protests and rallies. I saw candle light marches. Instagram and Twitter.. and then back to normal routine.

As a very normal Muslim, who hopes that she and her progeny manage to live through good times without having to partake in communal tensions or war.. that the dunya and akhirah both are easy for us.. what does one do? What is your role O Muslim in this to assure justice to the victims, your brothers and sisters who have been at the receiving end of this zulm and oppression. Get up for Tahajud. Pray Qunoot e Nazila after every Salah.

We believe in The God- Allah. We believe that He is The One and The Master over everything that exists.

We believe in His Qadr. That Man plans and plans but Allah is The Best Planner. That Man does things out of His Will and Allah’s Wills precedes over all.

It is a part of our Imaan (faith). The power of prayer and dua cannot be underestimated.

Going down the streets and shouting has not helped. Do the groundwork. First and foremost teach Muslims what it means to be a good Muslim. You shoulder responsibility towards the society. You cannot simply ravage around like a bull darting every person that comes on your way. You don’t have that liberty.

Speak Good or Remain silent.

Work on making your neighborhood safe. Educate the women around you. We women form the foundation of the society. Train little girls on self defence. Work on your own fitness so that you can run. Be financially independent and work on making your children (especially daughters) financially independent.

And No! It’s not just Muslims who are victims. And No! It is not just physical abuse. Imagine how much hate do normal civilians live with. Minds have been polluted to the greatest possible extent such that even an urban educated person harbs communal feelings in his heart. Are they not victims?

We are in need of groundwork at the most basic level. And that my friend, is way tougher than rallying or sharing posts over social media. That is how we can partake towards a larger change.

#DailyPrompt Partake

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Excerpts from my life

The Wedding Saga – Part 2

I don’t know how I was destined to be a part of a wedding so beautiful. Everything was just perfect. When the date was finalized, I freaked out. “Only ten days later!”. That was my first reaction. 

I shoved aside all my dreams of having any celebration. Perhaps that was another sacrifice and test for my after having accepted this deen.

It was so, till I told them. Oh yes! This story is about them. The stories have always been about us. Not the king, not the queen…but the pristinity in the relations for the sake of Allah. My sisters in deen. 


I told them I really needed them. I wanted them to come. It was not an invitation as a guest but a desperate request. I told them I need them by my side as my family. It was a short notice, and tickets would be hard to get. But for them to be there was all I wanted. I didn’t want a lonely wedding.


They are a handful but Alhamdulillah, it amazes me to this day how our hearts bonded. Most of us met virtually and with time Allah azza wajal helped us meet on one occasion or other. Despite the distance, despite the sudden notice, despite all odds each one said yes!


I don’t know how and when they managed to arrange all that they did. How Sana apa managed to plan tiny ceremonies all by herself.. How Afaaf stood by me in a jittery moment..how Ayesha, Zara, Farheen, Pushra, Mehar and Asiyah managed to arranged the tiniest bit of jewelery. I do not know how they did it in just ten days

Two days before my wedding were spent with Sana apa’s home. Those were few of the warmest days I have experienced in my life. Words shall do no justice. It was beginning to feel like a wedding. 
My mehr jewellery had arrived.. It was beautiful. Alhamdulillah. There were clothes lined up, trials on, make up being done, women chatting and laughing.. I was being treated as the bride. 🙂 Then came the most unexpected moment of the day…. 

close your eyes….


I did.


**some ruffling and rumbling **


-open them now



I did



It was this- 




I don’t know whether I deserved it. I wished for it…I dreamt of it.. I had lost hope of anything even close to it.. And here it was spread before me. A moment captured within me for eternity.. And I know, in sha Allah, I’ll see this moment repeat itself when I pass it on to another revert marrying for the sake of Allah. This time I’ll see her well, reminiscing this moment again….

To be continued…

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my journey as a revert muslimah

Ramadan Memoirs of an Indian Revert

Originally posted in MeMuslima

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Sawm, one of the pillars of Islam. It took me a while to turn and come to Islam, to actually understand the essence of every religious act that we do. My heart fills as I see my journey step by step. It is an overwhelm of emotions.

As a sixteen year old, Ramadhan, for me was fasting of the stomach. I was ignorant enough to corelate it with the fasting that pagans do- fasting by stomach only, fasting without having God in the ambit, fasting in exchange for something or partial fasting. I remember being excited about it as if it was a new adventure for me. I never woke up for suhoor. Yes, never…

To view original click here

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my journey as a revert muslimah

A Step at a Time

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem.

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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.”

[Al-Qasas, 28:56]  

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.

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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.

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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 💜  💞  💞

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my journey as a revert muslimah

TEN THINGS NEW REVERTS GO THROUGH

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After writing Ten Things What Reverts Get to Hear, I thought of penning down the curious case of new muslimahs or secretly revert muslimahs. How are they different from other practising muslims or reverts? Well, with a few only their family knows about their reversion (not disclosed to distant relatives or family friends; and they are facing family/ societal pressures), wherein with some even family does not know yet.

So here we go with the wierd things we do!

1. HIDING AND PRAYING

Give me a high five if you have experienced this. Even if your parents know, it is extremely awkward to pray in front of them. It is equally awkward to express the urgency to suddenly leave the conversation because it is Maghreb! Then there is the question of “why would you not leave the house at 5pm?”

-“ummm because I will end up missing both Asr and Maghreb!” (In my head) but my tongue says, “mum it’s so sunny outside, lets go after sunset”

*curious mum goes away.

2. LEARNING SECRETLY

So, you have your websites for science project open in one tab and the one behind has Islamic websites. You want to learn salah, arabic, clothing, about Prophets (alayhis salam), sahabas etc. You carefully erase the history each day so that your sibling doesn’t find that out or they don’t freak out thinking that you learning about terrorism. Nearly every thing you do that has arabic connected to it, is looked as a code language to communicate with Terrorist groups. :-/

Oh those Islamic books you ordered from some website, right from secretly receiving it, to sporting a casual look while collecting it until hiding it everyday can sure be a task! There are so many books that I was so busy hiding that I actually forgot to read them properly!

3. HAVING MUSLIM FRIENDS

Most often, every muslim who learns that you have reverted welcomes you whole heartedly. You meet their mom, dad, sister and every pious friend of theirs to ensure that you don’t fall lonely in this new role.

It feels warm and only reverts know how soothing it is to have even one muslim as a close confidant. Better even, if you know a few more reverts in your community who know exactly what you feel. They become your special friend and without a lot of efforts, your contact list suddenly has a lot of muslim names. Ahana, Aliya, Ameera, Aasma, Bushra, Bushra SA, Alima Farah, Apa Ayesha , Sanaa Revert, Prerna Revert, etc.

With some, they are soon made a part of WhatsApp groups so that they learn more! In there you even get contacts from other nations. Khadijah UK, Zeenath Pak, Alfiyah Ind etc.

Suddenly you start basking in the sunshine of muslim brotherhood but you become creepier with your phone. You avoid using WhatsApp before your other friends or family. You hide notifications, mute the groups and keep your phone screenside down always! God save you from that suspicious stare if at all your father is using the phone and up pops a notification, “Raziya UAE posted in Deeniyat group ابتث……”
As I said, anything having arabic text is possibly from Terrorist groups.

4. LEARNING ABOUT HIJAB

Right from how the Quranic verse describes the hijab to learning how to wear to choosing the right material. A new muslimah wants to know it all. Trust me it was not a one day job. It took me months to get it right.

The slipping chiffon and the woolen stoles in Indian tropical summers! I went through it all. Managing with the few scarves that you have, unorganized and unmatched hijabs, hair peekaboo-ing from weird angles, wrong pins drilling holes in the hijab! I had almost 7 to 10 pins on my head! Haha. Only much later did I meet another hijabi sister who helped me with skull-caps, bands, pins, the right material and the easy way to drape it. Now I am fine with just 1 pin. Alhamdulillah.

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The ones who don’t wear it, learn about it and dream of wearing it one day and those who do, practically dealing with it is a task without a mentor. 🙂

5. HALAL MEAT

Those who do not help their moms in grocery shopping would not even be aware whether the meat in their homes is halal are not. In India particularly, I have not even seen the trend of packaged meat being tagged as halal. You actually have to call up customer care or ask the store dealer about it. Best I feel is to avoid them.

For those who know that it is not halal, it is a task to avoid eating them. My mother gasped when I declared I have turned into a fish-eatarian. (Yes, I agree I have put my mother into a lot of trauma).

Another way round for meat lovers is to perhaps hunt for halal brands or find a muslim butcher in their locality and personally take up buying meat every time!

Oh, and of course how do I forget Pammi aunty forcefully serving ounces of chicken chunks on your plate when you go over to her place for dinner, “Arre beta, why eating so less?”

6. PROFESSIONAL ISSUES

When time comes for you to start looking for job, you really cannot tell your start detesting filling forms. Until you are not a muslim on paper, your forms always have your birth religion in the religion section. Be assured to be questioned about it if you go with your muslim look for interviews. Worse even, if you are not working in halal sectors, or your degree has ample opportunities in not-so-halal companies.

7.  RAMADAN & FASTING

It is Ramadan! The most spiritual month of the year. There’s so much to do and out here you are struggling to even fulfill the obligatory part of fasting. Alhamdulillah, for those who stay away. It is weird of course, if your friends don’t know and you suddenly skip going to the canteen! Even funnier if you are a hogger like me who suddenly doesn’t feel hungry or have the appetite to have anything 🙂

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So at home, you hide food to have later during iftar. Sometimes under the bed or in your wardrobe and then lock your door and relish your lunch. Then of course, perhaps you save something for suhoor and for those who stay in hostels, water and biscuits is your suhoor.

8. DRESS CODE

Now you want to adhere by the Islamic dress code. You wish to be more modest and it is quite contrary to your culture. Moreover, you wonder what you must do with you old clothes.

It again took me a while to make my wardrobe adhering to Islamic code completely. Like many, I had thought I would have to give away many clothes but I did not have to. Alhamdulillah. My sister (the one who helped me with hijab) helped me with this too. Buying a shrug and black undersleeves was sufficient to retain most of my clothing. Gradually, I added a few skirts and jackets to my wardrobe too. Alhamdulillah.

Now those whose parents are aware of their reversion, face a lot of rebellion regarding their hijab. My parents, for example, insist on me wearing it the Hindu way (single drape) instead of draping it again and no band inside to attract attention please. Ahem. To keep it afix, I had to push the hijab pin near my throat! Lethally hijabi, I must say 🙂

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For some hijabi muslimahs, who wear the hijab outside houses (when they go for jobs or travel), problem arises when guests come home. Parents do not wish to be embarrassed by disclosing the reversion, so you either stand in the balcony for those hours, or locked in a room, washroom or terrace.

Those whose parents don’t know, they also go through the curious stares when they undo their abayas/ scarves before entering their society, building, or homes just to enter their homes as they left.

9. MOVIES AND MUSIC

Reality shows, advertisment, music channels, the not x-rated x movies, name it and its right there in your hallway. You walk upto the fridge, lower your gaze and wish you could lower your ears too! 😉

You don’t want to go for a hang out in that pub anymore, nor do you wish to go for all the movies all the time. Creepy and boring.

10. SHIRK

That is the gala thing in our lives everyday. Avoiding ceremonies, eating food in which name other gods and goddesses associated with Allah is blown, and more than anything witnessing it. We have to stand right there and save ourselves. In our heads, we are in the state of absolute emergency! Frenzy and applying every means to flee!

11. EARLY TO BED, EARLY TO RISE

This is a bonus point to cheer you up. Not everything is haywire. If your parents are early risers like mine, and if you have been sleeping like a log uptil 10am like me, then their eyeballs sure will pop out when you walk out of your room fresh and shining as they are just out of their bed!

😀 You are done with brushing, and perhaps had something to satisfy your  morning hunger pangs!

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No. Don’t feel sad for us. Make duaa. It never seemed too hard. The only thing I guess gets really tough and tiring is to abide by the dress code! Alhamdulillah, Allah makes a way out for everyone. Patience and prayer is the key as usual. As time passes, we learn more and with that we laugh as we share our experiences. Indeed, in remembrance of Allah doth the heart find peace. 

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my journey as a revert muslimah

I Finally wore the hijab

This is an old blog post of mine which I deleted by mistake today. Hence, reblogging it!

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Till 6 months back, never in my wildest dream had I thought this day would come in my life. Not had the remotest thought of becoming a hijabi had crossed my mind. Suddenly my life flipped, my faith was squeezed to be tested and my complete thought process was shaken. Of all the events that have happened with me in my road of reversion, yesterday was the most eventful day till now. Alhamdulillah. I do not know what more awaits.

I have been wanting to adorn a Hijab since about 3 months. Back then, at home, with my parents I had just made up a firm decision and established regular Salahs Alhamdulillah! My heart was very vulnerable and crumpled. I was weak to plan my future or even think about it. All I had was  my faith on Allah swt today. I had the desire to become a perfect Muslimah. The kind of woman Allah swt wants me to be (Insha’Allah) and how would I be that without becoming a hijabi first!

Hiding in my room, secretly I used to watch videos of my sisters in Islam giving tutorials of how to wear a headscarf. But how should I start it? I couldn’t wear it while I was with my parents. I couldn’t wear it when I was with my friends. A few months back I came to Bangalore to look for a job. I stayed with my friend Sharron for the entire month of Ramadhan.Though I revealed my reversion to her and she accepted it well Alhamdulillah, I could not tell her I wanted to wear the headscarf. I don’t know whether I was merely scared or awkward or was worried that she would be embarrassed to hang around with me or her family would make fun of me. Perhaps, I wanted to give her some time to get used to my reversion and prayers first and then show her how seriously into it I was. For many, even today the hijab is a sign of oppression and I was already answering a curious Sharron many things about why I chose to become a muslim.

In my mind, I set a date for myself. The day I join my workplace, I will start wearing a hijab. It will be a new place and new people. I will be staying separately with new people. Therefore, nobody will know about my past. Finally in I secured a job in an organization. I even purchased 6 new scarves to be draped around as my hijab. They are the most precious things I have bought till date.

As the date came closer, I started getting anxious. I used to debate for long in my own head why I should be wearing it and why I should not. There were nights when I used to sleep convinced that it really will not be a big deal once I do it and the next morning I used to wake up sweating with nervousness that how will I do it? What if I am shunned by everyone in office? Days flew by. I got a call from the office to report a couple of days before the joining date for some documentation formalities.

The night before that I had been thinking how I should be executing this idea. Which hijab should I be wearing? Should I be wearing? I was very scared. “tomorrow is the day”. I could feel my heartbeats. They have never been so fast and loud! “just do it”.. inspired and encouraged, I woke up the next day. I left from Sharron’s home without a hijab, draped it around my head as I waited for the bus. I draped it casually for the first day, just covering my head with a shawl and wrapped it around my neck. Maybe I would do it more conservatively after my office people get used to it. I was scared. I have never been so scared. When I boarded the bus, I sat quietly, looking at no one. As I walked towards my office my nervousness increased. How would they react? I wasn’t dressed that way when I went for the interview. I avoided eye contact with anyone on my way. I walked towards the lift, went in…head covered…didn’t look at people..could feel some stares and glances.

Finally the lift hit my office’s floor. I got off the lift..I could see the watchman through the glass door. He looked and smiled. He saw me with the headscarf. He was normal. Phew! I started walking towards the lift and to my utter dismay I saw 4 more girls standing there filling up some formalities. They were new joinees too!! I thought I was the only one. I was standing behind them and I do not know what went into me. I had to spend my entire year with them! What would my impression be? The first time they look at me and I present myself this way what will they think of me? In a matter of two seconds before they could turn and see me, something awful overpowered me- my hands went straight up and pulled my headscarf down from my head. It looked like a normal scarf draped around my neck now. They turned. We greeted. My heart was pounding from what just happened in the last thirty seconds.

The next 2 hours that I spent in the office with them completing all formalities, I could not believe what had happened. I was in dismay, shock and extreme guilt. That 1 minute had I tried and held on to my nafs I would have been sitting there with my hijab on. They were new people!!! Why did I bother? What made me do this? They were sweet, normal and really nice. The Associate who guided us with the paper work was also very humble, kind and patient. I knew from within that they really wouldn’t have made a fuss if I wore it. It would have been easy that day. How would I ever wear it again now that they know I am not a Hijabi from the start?

I came back home in extreme pain. I had disappointed Allah swt. I was ashamed of my act. I could not think of anything else that day. The thought of being a non-hijabi again for my tenure in this office was paining me. I failed. I messaged my friend Shanaya ..”I could not do it”and I related the entire incident to her

“what made you pull it down?”, she asked

-“I don’t know!”, I said

-“it’s not too late yet. Try again on Monday. It wouldn’t matter to them. The more you delay, the tougher it will get”

Did I really have another chance? I had convinced myself that there was no point anymore. Over the weekend I started thinking about it again. This time my fear had multiplied itself. Would I make a fool of myself? Somewhere down the line, I had shattered my faith on myself. I was weak and I will again pull it down, I thought.

talk to Allah(swt) constantly and seek his guidance. He will make it easy for you to wear your crown, i.e your hijab, tomorrow”, my friend Haseena told me.

Talk to Allah”…I kept asking for courage all day. The night before was a sleepless night. I woke up every now and then and saw the clock. The morning was coming. I had to leave for office at 8:15am to reach on time by 8:45am. I woke up at 6:45am. What would my flat-mate and her mother think? I was planning to leave before they wake up but her mother woke up at 8am. All the while as I was getting ready for my office I was in two minds. Should I or should I not? I sat in my room alone, holding my scarf. It was soft and blue, matching my kurta that I was wearing. Did I really have to wear it to prove my faith to Allah? I almost ended up convincing myself that Allah understands, he is very kind, I don’t have to wear it. I will carry on like this and it is fine. I am a good person, am I not?

I almost gave it up when I felt my heart crumple. How would I ever face myself after this day? With what face would I go to pray the next time? I imagined two scenarios – how I would be at the end of the day if I did it and how I would be if I do not. I grabbed my scarf, my pins and rushed to the washroom. I stood right in front of my mirror and draped it around myself however I could and pinned it up.

I stood there looking aghast at my reflection. There was another person looking at me in the mirror! Am I going to be her for the rest of my life? Is this the new me? I kept staring and my eyes became moist. I held the door’s knob and my hands were shaking. I was trembling. Once I open this door, I face the world now. Just then I heard my roommates mom outside. The first person I had to face.

I still had time to open my scarf. It was 8:25am already. I was getting late. “open the door Mahdiya. For Allah… just do it this one time”. That was it. Without giving myself one more second to think about it, I pulled the door open, grabbed my bag and rushed out of the house without looking at anyone. Her mom saw me and I could feel her freeze suddenly while working, I could see my roommate suddenly stopping with her jaws dropped at the hallway when I rushed out. My breakfast lay prepared in the kitchen but I couldn’t gather the courage to stay in that house for another moment.

I ran down the stairs and came on the street. It was drizzling. I opened my umbrella, trying to screen myself from the people. I kept walking for another 5minutes. The panic was easing off. My mind stopped thinking.  People didn’t bother. Okay, so at least on the streets it seemed normal. I stopped a shared cab service to board, the driver did look at me like an alien for a second but as long as he doesn’t refuse to drop me till my destination I was fine with me. Everything was normal here too. I was relatively calmer now. However, I could not trust myself. I had pulled it down in the last minute two days back.

I entered my office premises. Everyone was again normal. I didn’t look like an alien that means. People seem more normal than I thought.

The lift. I didn’t look at anyone. Just pressed the 6thfloor button and waited. Finally the big moment. “OPEN IT… OPEN IT”…. Slowly and steadily, I walked towards my office. The watchman looked and smiled again. That smile was such a big relief. “He doesn’t think I am any different from yesterday as I am today !”

I was asked to sit in a cabin, where other new joinees were waiting too, until we are escorted inside by the HR. I could see a bit of them through the door. I took a deep breath, “this is it Mahdiya, do it and you are through”. I opened the door, greeted the girls with a big confident smile and sat beside them! There were three girls there. One of them was new. Sunakshi greeting back without reacting (one down) , Soumi was a little stunned, her eyes popped out and got stuck on me but she eventually eased down and smiled ..hahaha..(two down) and the new girl also greeted me back. There were 8 other new joinees waiting in other cabins! Things eased down so much Alhamdulillah!! Things were easier to face now. Nobody even reacted much! Even if I am scorned by the rest of office, I knew at least the new joinees are my friends. We started talking and chatting and all my fears were gone in thin air. I became my ownself again. I kept thanking Allah deep in my heart. I had done it! I finally sat before people in my hijab. Nobody questioned, nobody looked back or stared aghast!

We soon entered the office and Alhamdulillah during our orientation and training session everyone has been very humble, kind and polite to me just as they are with others. We learnt, laughed and chatted. I made friends with all the 12 joinees and everytime I went to the washroom I saw her in the mirror. I smile at her, as if she is a different person. I tell her it is slipping from there and that it could be better next time. I tell her she is looking beautiful and so different. Once, one of the trainees asked me “are you a Bengali muslim or a non-bengali muslim”

Those words were dew drops to my ears…I look like a muslim, I thought. Now when anyone sees me, they will know that I am a muslim now. I do not have to hide my identity anymore. My voice choked and I fumbled out something to answer her back. It really doesn’t matter what I said I was, as long as she says I am a muslim ❤ I spent 10 hours in my hijab that day in my office. I came back home proudly yesterday and smiled at my flatmate as she opened the door, she smiled back.

My heart has been beating loud and happy since yesterday Alhamdulillah. Today morning I was so excited to choose a hijab to match my dress. I wore it again, took a photo of me this time. As I walked down to my office today, I saw another muslimah wearing a hijab above her kurta and pants. In India, you either see women in burqua or without any hijab. Just the headscarf over normal loose clothing are an extremely rare sight. I stealthily looked at her and caught her glancing at me too 😉 the second time she looked, I smiled back and she gave an equally broad smile as if we have always known each other. It was the warmest smile of my life. It was smile from a muslimah acknowledging our sisterhood as an ummah.

Preserving this warmth in my heart I continued walking to experience another beautiful day as a hijabi….

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my journey as a revert muslimah

A letter to a friend…

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Dear Khushi,

I see you every day.. everyday, every moment that you are smiling, bubbling with joy, spreading happiness, being kind.. Alhamdulillah. I see the tears that you hide, the burdens that you silently carry, the hopes that you clench so tight in your fist… I see it my friend, I see it and yet I remain but a silent spectator.

As you speak to your parents over phone, speaking as a grown up child, willing to take up the burden that even the most able sons of this day shy to take up. I observe sitting behind you, as eyes twinkle when you share your dreams and as that gorgeous dimple makes its way when you imagine the happiness you wish to give your parents. SubhanAllah.

A person came to the Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) and asked, “Who among people is the most deserving of my fine treatment?” He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) replied, “Your mother.” He then asked, “Who next?” The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) replied, “Your mother.” He asked again, “Who next?” He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said again, “Your mother.” He again asked, “Then who?” He (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Your father.” [Sahih Bukhari]

SubhanAllah! Is it not a part of Islam that breathes within you? Unknowingly, is it not the word of Allah subhanah wa ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted be He) that you’re following? Hasn’t Allah subhanah wa ta’ala (Glorified and Exalted be He) blessed you my beloved friend with these emotions and vulnerability towards your parents?

What is a Muslim who, as pious as he may be, does not cast a loving glance at his mother? What is a Muslim who turns his back to Allah subhanah wa ta’ala minutes after making a salah? It is Allah subhanah wa ta’ala ( Glorified and Exalted be He) who is the turner of hearts. Only He (subhanah wa ta’ala) can open a heart and it is only He a subhanah wa ta’ala) who can seal them.

The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “The curse of Allah is on the one who causes difficulty to his mother. The curse of the angels and the curse of mankind are on him. Allah neither accepts his Fardh nor his Nafl worship as long as he does not repent and obey his mother. He has to gain her pleasure as best he can. Allah’s pleasure depends on the mother’s pleasure and His wrath is concealed in her wrath.” [Ahmad]

“I believe in Allah and his last messenger (salallahu alayhi wasallam)”. I remember being flabbergasted to hear that from you! I remember asking you to repeat it for me..
“what???…. you do!….”, I kept staring
“Masha’allah”.

That was then, and till this date I wonder, “is she a muslim?”.. Wallahi, I witnessed you saying that. I witnessed you casually trying to mutter la ilaha il Allah Muhammadur rasool Allah as you were doing the dishes.

“Wha..hey! how do you say that?” and I mumble it for you and deep down I wonder, “does she know what she is saying?”.. I gasped and all I could do was to gasp. I looked up and from my heart went a silent duaa, “Ya Allah…. guide her.”

Your eyes widen when you ask about Islam, you are all ears when my answers come from the little knowledge that I have. You ask, you question, you debate, you smile and then you accept. Your smile fades as I tell you jannah is for the believers and for disbelievers it is the jahannum. It is always In Shaa Allah (by the will of Allah alone).

Surely, God has cursed the disbelievers, and has prepared for them a flaming Fire wherein they will abide for ever.” (Quran 33:64)

They will long to leave the Fire, but never will they leave there from; and theirs will be a lasting torment.” (Quran 5:37)

“…And they will never leave of the Fire.” (Quran 2:167)

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This is dunya..it is imperfect and temporary. Perfection is for akhirah and it is everlasting, never-ending and forever. The trials, tribulations, disgrace and pain that is here is but for a few moments..

“But I cannot accept Islam”, you say. ” It will break my parents, they will die”.. and as your voice chokes, I try to read the fears you carry. I try to see the girl I used to see in me six years back, I try to  pick up the shattered pieces of hope and place them on your palm…. Allah subhanah wa ta’ala loves you the most. Allah is Ar Rahmaan, Ar Raheem, Al Wadud and As Sami – The Most Merciful, The Most Benevolent, The Most Loving and The All Seeing. He is Al Aleem- the All Knowing and only He knows what is the best for us.

“I’ll tell Allah that I couldn’t do it, for my parents”, is what you say..

It is narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah has one hundred parts of mercy, of which He sent down one between the jinn, mankind, the animals and the insects, by means of which they are compassionate and merciful to one another, and by means of which wild animals are kind to their offspring. And Allah has kept back ninety-nine parts of mercy with which to be merciful to His slaves of the Day of Resurrection.” (Muslim, al-Tawbah, 6908)
 

“…as compared with the life of the hereafter, the life of this world is nothing but a brief passing enjoyment” (Quran, Ar-Rad: 26).

The Prophet (Salallahu alayhi wasallam), too, clarified the value of this life in relation to the hereafter. He said, “The life of this world compared to the hereafter is as if one of you were to put his finger in the ocean and take it out again then compare the water that remains on his finger to the water that remains in the ocean” [Sahîh Muslim (2858)].

Ibn ‘Umar said: The Messenger of Allah (Salallahu alayhi wasallam) took me by the shoulder and said:“Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a traveler/wayfarer.”

It may seem as a sorrow of lifetime, it may seem as a path filled with thorns, it may look as if it is too much to endure but….. but my friend, if only you see the destination. The destination is Allah…Al Mutakabbir, Al Khaliq – The Most Majestic, The Creator. See it as a small test. Didn’t you give those tests in school to become what you are today to the world? For something that is so transient- the dunya!

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Allah subhanah wa ta’ala( Glorified and Exalted be He) loves your parents a lot more than you do and He only loves you a lot more than your parents. The love of Allah is 70 times the love of your mother! And what is greater than the love of a mother in dunya. We always think we will turn towards Allah tomorrow but is tomorrow promised to you?

A shudder runs down my spine…. what if we die today? What if Allah commands my soul to leave my body? Am I ready? We’ll be taken up in the state we die… will I be able to utter the shahadah? Rather, will Allah subhanah wa ta’ala ( Glorified and Exalted be He) allow me to utter the shahadah in those moments? Have I been obedient to Him? Have I led a life of his pleasure? How foolish we are to plan our future, to say words like, “One day I will mend my ways…” , “I will turn to Him if……..”

“Innalilahi wa inna ilayhi rajioon” To Allah we belong and to Him we shall return.” (Quran Surat Al Baqarah 2:156)

“Every soul shall have a taste of death, then to us you will be ultimately returned.” (Quran Surat Al Ankaboot 29:57)

My dear friend, He doesn’t have to wait for us to turn to Him… We belong to Him! He shall say Be and it will Be! Yet, hasn’t He (subhanah wa ta’ala) been so patient with us? Yet, hasn’t He (subhanah wa ta’ala) not given us time enough to turn and repent? Imagine the day when In-shaa-Allah we shall stand before Him… Imagine if He is pleased with us, we shall be allowed to enter the gate of Jannah forever……. in shaa Allah..

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Imagine my friend, close your eyes…. think…. with your parents you stand before the Almighty.. imagine being in sujood right before the Malik-ul-mulk.. Masha’allah..wouldn’t you want that honour? Wouldn’t you want it for your parents too? Alhamdulillah.. in shaa Allah.

No reward do I ask of you: it is (all) in your interest: my reward is only due from Allah: and He is Witness to all things.” (Surah Saba 34:47).

I feel your pain, I feel your fear. Keep them aside for you don’t realise who is by your side. The Kings of Kings, The Most Powerful, The Eternal, The Most Magnificent of all… As Samad, Al Majid… Allah…. do not withhold your steps anymore, come one put your foot forward! Come and for once experience it.. come and for once cry your heart out to Him. The only true Love that ever was, the only Love that shall never hurt.. the love for Al Wadud… SubhanAllah!

Come my friend.. come.. Come to your Maker.. come to your Master. Turn. No time is a better time than Now. Feel His mercy, beg from Him alone..submit to His will and find success in being a servant. In shaa Allah..

And me… I shall be right here always.. in shaa Allah..making the same duaa for you. Ya Allah..guide her on the siratal mustaqeem… Ameen

Everyone shall taste death. And only on the Day of Resurrection shall you be paid your wages in full. And whoever is removed away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise, he indeed is successful. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of deception (a deceiving thing).  
( Aal-e-Imran Chapter 3:185)

With love and hopes,
Your friend,
A revert Muslimah…

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PS- as you read this, please make duaa for my friend and her family… in shaa Allah their heart too shall turn. Ameen

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