Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A request

Since becoming Muslim, I have been writing much about life through my eyes as a Muslim. Yes, this is a good thing but I did promise to deliver to my non-Muslim readers about life through my eyes when I was not yet a Muslim.

In my "Journey to Islam" story I did go into lengths about what brought me to Islam, but I feel that there is more to be added. There are things I want to share about my daily struggles before I came to Islam that many people in the Western society face today.

I always longed for the closeness with my family, but most Western families these days are often very secluded to themselves. Take my parents for example, I am an only child and have no grandparents and for my parents to have to call on their brother or sisters to help them out with something, is like pulling four wisdom teeth out at the same time. I feel like a complete stranger with my family and this was even before I became Muslim. Perhaps it is the "Western" way I was brought up. My parents originally are from Hong Kong but immigrated to Canada some odd 35 years ago, so they are pretty Canadian. I was always so lonely as a child and I was alone quite often.

When I was maybe around 6 or 7 a memory comes back to life.

I was sitting in the backseat of the car on the way back home from playing at my friends house and I asked my parents " How come I can see what my friends are doing when I am with them, but I can't see what they are doing when I am away from them?" Now this question coming from a 6 year old, though, sounds like words of a curious child, also sounds like words of wisdom. How come at this young age I was already asking questions about God?
If you are wondering why I refer this question to God, it's because He Sees, Hears, Knows All that we do not. He is The Knower of The Unseen. So for me to ponder such a thought at this age, my heart was already searching for the truth.

I often did a lot of talking and playing by myself as I was not always allowed to go outside and play with the other kids because of my parents who were overprotective.This brings me back to my point about the wishes of being closer to my family. I never showed much affection to my parents as I was raised not to. To this day, I find it so awkward to hug my mom or my dad. I was raised also, to worry mainly about getting a good education so I can succeed and make money. That was the most important thing to my parents. It was never about being happy and content with yourself and with your life. Their rule for success was that money buys happiness and nice material things.
I never believed this to be true. I, unlike most of my family, have a spiritual soul. A soul that seeks for contentment in the detailed things in life, a soul that seeks for love and affection from human beings, a soul that seeks for God.

The struggle to be close to my family brought me to be close to my friends instead. I am a very social individual by nature, though I was often secluded in my room most of my years in high school, I was openly social with everyone in school. By this I mean, I was not part of a "clique" like many people are these days. I never had a close group of friends but just a general group of friends. But of course, I always wanted to be like "that group"who were inseparable. You know those groups of girls who have pictures from high school together and then who have pictures of their weddings and kids together? I was definitely never a part of this either.
I struggled to look for a place to belong but couldn't find it through friends, hence why all the friends I've had in my lifetime are no longer my friends. Except one. She is the only friend, though non-Muslim, accepts me for everything I am and never judges nor complains. Can you imagine, 20 odd years of my life, I met many people and only ONE remains my good friend despite everything I have been through.

I know for many individuals living in the Western society, true friendship is almost as hard to find as a a diamond in the dessert. Many people are selfish, ignorant, and arrogant. The three worse attributes that I once carried heavily. I am still cleansing my soul from this and I ask God to help bring more light into my heart and soul so I can rid of the toxins I once possessed. 

Being Muslim really opens my eyes up to friendship and it's true meaning.
Friendship should not be based on "I'm there for you so be there for me." Nor should it be based on "she likes to go shopping, or partying so let me call her"(for the Western society individuals).

Friendship is a sisterhood. A relationship with a arms wide open policy. A relationship where you will never be judged, but always accepted and welcome like you are part of the family. To my amazement which I am still adjusting to, is exactly what Islam is about. True sisterhood. I find my struggle to build my sisterhood lighten, as I am always welcomed by my dear sisters in Islam. From twittering with sisters I have never met, to sisters I meet at the masjid(mosques), to my sisters I met at a conference in Toronto, I finally belong and am part of a family that I never was a part of. Though, I still am looking to unite more and more sisters together to celebrate our uniqueness and love for Islam, I have started with this blog.
You know, before I became Muslim, I did a lot of browsing on blogs and websites about Islam, and I thank all those who made such great websites full of knowledge and support to non-Muslims, so I really want to pass on their good deeds, and hope that this will help others who are curious, and seeking the truth.

I really can't express to you how much I have struggled with being accepted in this Western society. From constantly changing identities, mentalities, friends, lifestyles to struggling to feel close to someone who knows me better than myself, who knows what I am thinking, and who will always be there for me. I finally found light at the end of my struggle. I found Islam, Islam found me. I found God, and God chose to direct me back on the right path so I could feel like I belong in this crazy temporary world called 'Life'.


6 comments:

  1. Wow. Sister Khadija, you have had quite a journey. I can see the secular way children are raised sometimes, completely cut off from the extended family (it's starting to happen in Eastern cultures too) and can't imagine what that's like. To see that Islam provided answers and peace to you is wonderful. It definitely always a work in progress, but the rule of thumb is that if you work on your relationships with Allah and be generous and go out and meet others and pray for good companions, you will insh'Allah be blessed with even more friendships. And I hope and pray you will be.

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  2. I feel like it is a problem that is growing amongst the world. the respect for parents and family and the relationship and bonds are not as close as they once were. I really wish I could have that bond with my family, but especially since I am Muslim now they don't understand me even more. But Allah knows best and perhaps this is preparing me for something greater. I trust in Him and only Him and hope He does bring me the companions I long for :)
    Thank you for your post! Please keep checking in!

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  3. Thanks for opening up my eyes to the much blessings I have :')

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  4. As-salaamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu

    Masha Allah, this is such a poignant post! You're so warm and funny, and I'm so sorry you have a distanced relationship with your family. But the beautiful thing about our Lord is that if He takes something away or gives you less of something, then He will compensate you with something better than that! :)

    And I pray that He, subhanahu wa ta'aala blesses you with a wonderful family of your own and sisters in Islam whose friendships will last in this world and the next! <3

    Lol, you know? My parents were the overprotective kind too and I spent most of my childhood playing alone and talking to myself :P And the talking to myself thing came with me into adulthood too. Don't tell anyone, they might think I'm crazy! I'm not!

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    Replies
    1. walaikumassalam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu

      loooolllll masha'Allah u are so hilarious parcherella!!!!!!
      subhana'Allah this was a few months or so after I took my Shahadah...but Allah al-Kareem and Ar-Rahim ...so much has changed now with my parents!!!!! we are close masha'Allah and they are accepting of my Islam Alhamdulilah!!!!

      i still talk to myself on occassion as well LOL u are NOT alone.
      :p

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  5. Assalamualaikum warahmatullah sister!!

    I was just reading your old posts.. and the questions you asked when you were a kid. I asked the same question too! "How come I can see what my friends are doing when I am with them, but I can't see what they are doing when I am away from them?" Unfortunately, no one was able to provide me answer. It keeps on bugging me for years, but, ss I grew up, I just brushed it off.

    Here's the problem with a born muslim like me. I was born in a muslim family. So everyone assumes that when we were born, we are equipped with knowledge of the aqeedah. LOL. It took me over 20 years, to learn the aqeedah. To actually understand, appreciate and worship Allah as a muslim should be. Back then, praying was a chores enforced by parents. I pray, but I do not understand. It was emptiness, and a lot of unaswered questions.

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Assalamualaikum, please be mindful about what you are about to write. Think about it before writing and make sure it is something positive and beneficial, otherwise it will be deleted and ignored. JazakiAllah kheyr ! Sisters ONLY! xo