Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Inner Jihad (Part II )

 My Inner Jihad (struggle) Part II

One of the bigger inner struggles I face today was when I went back to Toronto to visit my family after my (kafir) uncle passed away. Subhan'Allah, it was the very same uncle who I wrote about in "The Ignorant Ones". He had developed a few weeks after I had written the post, a lymphoid on his leg and later was admitted to the hospital because of black spots in his lungs. He couldn't stop coughing and his biopsy showed that he had some sort of lymphoid cancer and it was at the last stages. They gave him the most intense chemo and everything was killed including his white blood cells. In result, he developed pneumonia (you could only imagine, a healthy human being could die from pneumonia so let alone my uncle with no immune system running), during his pneumonia, Subhan'Allah his entire body organs started failing and his body just couldn't fight anymore and from Allah we were created, and to Him we will return. Subhan'Allah how WEAK human beings are?  Without Allah we are absolutely NOTHING! One minute we are strong and well and the next minute by the will of Allah we are lying in our death bed fighting to stay alive. Human beings are weak in nature but strong in ignorance. Usually, it is our ignorance that gets the best of us and we bring nothing to the grave except our ignorance (bad deeds). Inhsa'Allah I take this experience to heart and truly hope that I will die the opposite of my uncle, and I will be able to bring to my grave nothing but good deeds Insha'Allah.

This was the first death in my family (Alhamdulilah) that I ever experienced. My grandparents all died when I was young so I never really knew what having death in the family was like.  When my uncle died, I was saddened as he was very close to me when I was a kafir. But when I became Muslim, Subhan'Allah things changed and my heart changed. I was more heartbroken at the fact that my dear mother was so sad. It really softened my heart towards my parents and I was able to rebuild the broken bond I once created between us.  Alhamdulilah. Allahu Akbar. 

This was one huge struggle I had been facing long before I entered into Islam. I never seemed to be able to connect with my parents the way I wanted to and Alhamdulilah, sometimes it takes death in the family to reestablish a bond that was once broken. I still continue to struggle with my relationship with my parents as I still feel I have a long way to go but Inshaa'Allah with constant duaa and faith in Allah I know I will get there. The trip to Toronto really opened up my eyes Alhamdulilah. Toronto is only my home because I was born there, but my heart does not feel at home with this city AT ALL. I was not able to pray (sisters you know why) and I really learnt that the uttermost important thing that separates us Muslims from the dunya and the kafirs is our prayers. I was not able to pray my minimum five daily prayers and being out with my family and visiting malls during the holiday season was a true test. A test of patiences, a test of desires, a test of loyalty to my Lord. I have never seen Toronto like this before, or perhaps I just didn't notice it before when I was not yet a Muslim. The city is so well absorbed into the dunya. Muslims don't even smile or say "Assalamualykum" and people are getting more and more rude!  My patiences was largely at test and as well my desires. I saw so many things I wanted to buy at the mall and I knew I didn't need any of more of these material things! As well, visiting family members was a struggle in itself. The kafirs just They think it is ok to drink alcohol in front of Muslims and they also think it is completely fine to sit beside the opposite sex (non-mahrams). There were times I often just wanted to preach to them about Islam and to let them know that what they were doing was a big sin! But I mean Allah guides whom He wants and leaves astray those who He chooses. I found that my verbal dawah is no way effective to my family members and actions speak louder than words anyway. As a revert, a challenge I face when I am with my family members is that I must refrain from yelling out " WHY CAN'T YOU ALL JUST UNDERSTAND!".  There are so many things that I used to do that I did not know was so haram but when now that I am Muslim and I know what is right from wrong and when I see my very own family members committing what I used to commit, I wish I could just some how get through their blind hearts the message that I have been trying to convey to them. *sigh* In time, Inshaa'Allah.

To the born Muslims, you don't understand how good you have it. To be born into a Muslim family, and to be able to pray openly with your family members, to be able to attend Hajj or Ummrah with your family, to be able to fast with your family members, to know haram from halal with your family members and just to be able to talk about Islam openly with FULL understanding with your family is such a true blessing. Us reverts have to struggle each and every day to ask Allah to help make it easier for us to give dawah to our loved ones. We struggle each and every day hoping that our loved ones will not die kafirs and that we will be able to meet them in Jannah. We struggle each and every day with the heartaches of watching our kafir loved ones sin without even knowing it. We struggle to be accepted by our family and we struggle to wear the hijab and abaya openly without our loved ones judging us. I know many born Muslims struggle with the dunya and staying steadfast with their deens and trying to stop doing the things kafirs do but I have realised one thing. The struggles we face is not the dunya's fault, the kafir's fault, or the shaitan's fault. It is not their problems but it is our own. I have come to realise that WE are our OWN problem. We blame others for our own struggles and for our own problems but do we ever look at ourselves and wonder, "well maybe it's me."

We are constantly fighting with ourselves to win a place in Jannah. We fight with our own temperament, our own negativity, our own character, our own desires. But half of us don't even realise that we are fighting with ourselves and blame others for these struggles we face. If we could point fingers at ourselves instead of others, perhaps there would be less hate and disrespect for one another! If we just asked Allah (SW) to help us protect us from ourselves, and we continue running to HIM for guidance and acceptance instead of others than we would be more content and happy with ourselves. I give this advice to you based on my own personal experiences but one thing I noticed is that before I worry about what you aren't doing, or what you are doing, I have learnt that I must worry about myself and what I am doing and what I am not doing. It starts with us and it will end with us. The only ONE who can help us with ourselves is the ONE who created us. Allah The Almighty. The All Hearing, All Seeing, All Knowing.

When you find yourself facing much adversity and struggles, don't blame others and don't feel sorry for yourself but instead, look within yourself and try to overcome the inner battle you are fighting with yourself. Ask Allah to help make it easier for you and to protect you from your biggest enemy, and it isn't Shaitan,
it is yourself.

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Inner Jihad (struggle)

Alhamdulilah for my new post! IT has been a while but forgive me my dear readers for I have been very busy with personal things :) But Alhamdulilah I am back Insha'Allah ! :)

As of late, I find my struggles as a revert increasing bit by bit. Perhaps because I ask Allah in my duaas for more iman, taqwa, knowledge, courage, perserverance, and patience (just to name a few). The difficulties I once faced when I first reverted to Islam have been swept under the carpet and vacuumed on top of over and over again.
Challenges that i thought were once impossible, where made easy by the will of Allah.

The chain of events I went through after my reversion to Islam were a huge step for me. I underwent changes I never ever thought I would go through. I had to adopt the hijab, break the news to my family about my reversion, tell them I was getting married, leaving Toronto behind and moving to a completely remote area in the States, and trying to keep my non-believing friends all at the same time.

All these were physical challenges and Alhamdulilah, Allah Al-Kareem, He made it easier for me.

Today, I am faced with greater challenges.

Sometimes the physical challenges can outweigh the internal challenges but only we know how hard it is for ourselves when we must go through our own inner struggles. Nobody can see them, nobody can understand them, nobody can feel them except for us. The only one who knows these internal struggles is Allah (SWT).

The inner Jihad is always at battle. Whether it be the smallest things or the bigger things. Life is always a challenge and it's just the way Allah created it for us. If life were easy, we would all get everything that we wanted in this dunya and the Herafter. The biggest battle is within ourselves. We fight with ourselves, we fight for ourselves, and we fight AGAINST ourselves. The biggest test in this life is not finding the best job, or trying to find the best spouse, the biggest test in this life is to fight AGAINST ourselves; our own desires, our own inner conscience that is constantly at tug-o-war with itself.

Allah created man with free-will, to determine right from wrong, and to make the right decisions while on the right path. But not many people are as lucky as born Muslims or reverts. Some people Allah chooses NOT to guide them and they let their own desires take over the battle. They continue to struggle to find their purpose in life and think that "discovering self-awareness" starts with particular hobbies, jobs, or doing some kind of group retreat. The only way self-awareness can be found is only by having Allah in your life. God is your Creator and who knows you better than yourself except the one who created you? Your parents did not create you except that your mom was the one who bore you in her stomach but everything else is in the plans of Allah. Unexpected pregnancies aren't created by the people but in fact created by God and God only.

So back to the inner struggles I face. Day after day I always find myself battling myself internally. "Should I do this?" "Should I do that?" "What should I do in this situation?" " I really don't feel like doing this" or " I just don't feel like doing anything". These are a few simple questions that often run through my head. Though such a simple question, it is a hard response to come up with. I know any decision I make must revolve only around Allah and I know He is All Knowing, All Hearing, and All Seeing. He knows what exactly is the right thing to do and I know not. Sometimes I struggle so hard with my inner self that I find myself often crying and confused. I worry about my nafs (desires) and I try to overcome them by seeking Allah's guidance. Sometimes you think, "Oh its ok to be impatient" or "Oh I am allowed to be angry or rude just this once!" but is it really ok? I often go through days where I think, "well why can't I just listen to one song or why can't I just wear normal modest clothes instead of my abaya?" I also go through some inner struggles dealing with my family. I wish so so so so much that Allah would guide them and it breaks my heart to see such loving parents who are so misguided. Inshaa'Allah the power of duaa is the only way to get them to become Muslim (and of course if Allah wills).

To be continued..........