Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Life Updates: Chapter Nine - Giving up

So I decided to take a browse around my blog (and I encourage you to as well, it is free of charge!) and take a look at some older posts that I wrote. To my surprise, I noticed that for the past four years there has been a reoccurring theme where I speak about my emaan, my hardships that affect my emaan, and me being in a physical environment that is not in my favour. It is kind of funny to read back and see myself speaking about the same things I am blogging about currently. I guess it is a re-occurring theme?

The reason why I wanted to point this out was that it reminds me again and again that life will NEVER go the way I want it to nor go the way I expect it to! I was in KY, a place I physically, absolutely detested and still I was going through struggles and hardships - externally and internally. Now I am back home in my beautiful country yet I find myself in a circumstance which if I had a chance to choose, would definitely not choose it at all!

That brings me back to remembering what Islam is all about. How even if the external circumstances are not befitting to you, you must be content and pleased with what Allah has given you and to connect with your inner self. Finding that richness deep within instead of looking for it around you.
“Wealth is not in having many possessions. Rather, true wealth is the richness of the soul.”Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 6081, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 1051.This is such a simple yet deep reminder.

I always think that success in life is determined by how many children you have, having a successful career and living somewhere where you love with loved ones. I think perhaps all this time I have been missing the point because I allowed and continue to allow my external circumstances affect my well-being and emaan. Not to say, though, that your external circumstances do not have a role to play on you internal centre because it definitely does. Your external circumstances can really affect you in ways you can never imagine. Many individuals including myself can't find peace of mind in an environment that is unfamiliar or makes us uncomfortable. I am still struggling and to be honest, I really don't think I will find peace of mind until I remove myself from this environment, but at least I can strive to find a balance where I can tolerate my circumstances and try to exercise sabr.

Since my external environment is not somewhere I really wish to be, I try to do what I can and make it work. Many times I have failed and that is normal because again, I am only a human being and I can't expect myself to be in a good mood 24/7. I know a lot of us wish that things would go our way because it is just easier. When we can have what we want, live where we want to live and do the things we want to do, it is just easier.

Things are just easier when we don't have to strive and struggle. But then we would never learn, right? How else can we get to Jannah if we don't go through hardships and be put through situations and circumstances that we really don't want to be put in? Even non Muslims have to go through struggles and tests to get to where they are today! So many successful non-Muslims have struggled and suffered and then they attained what they were striving for, the success in the dunya. Allah gives us whatever we strive for. If we want the dunya, He will give it to us and if we want  the akhirah, He will give it to us. I guess it all comes down to priorities and how much we are willing to struggle in the way of Allah.

“The dunya is a prison for the believer and Paradise for the disbeliever,”[Sahih Muslim, vol.4, #7058] 
I am really starting to understand this hadith because I truly feel this way. The dunya really does not have anything good to offer. It is full of let downs and disappointments. I continue to struggle to remind myself that this dunya is only temporary and I shouldn't focus all my efforts and pain on this life. It is not my friend and it will always deceive me. It is so easy to drown yourself in this life with worries and problems which will be the least of our concerns on the Day of Judgment!

Day to day, I still struggle to accept that this life is not what I had in mind. All the tests and trials I go through are only to remind me not to settle comfortably in this life. All the tests and trials are made to remind me that I have to push and strive until the very end. But it is so hard.

Sometimes I just want to give up and submit to my desires and forget about everything I have been working towards. That instant gratification that seems so tempting and so easy. It is so easy to let your desires run like a wild horse. It is so easy to just give up because everyone else around you is living happily fulfilling their own desires. Their lives seem so exciting, fresh and lively! Everything seems so picture perfect. But are they really happy and satisfied with this fleeting life?

Then I think back to the days of my pre-Islamic life. Was I happy when I used to submit to my desires and chase the dunya life? Did I ever find satisfaction from doing this or that? Did my life really feel complete when I would accomplish x-y-z? The answer is No. Not at all. Anytime I accomplished something, I wanted something else. I wanted more. I was never satisfied and I always wanted something else, something new, something better. Even if it was unrealistic and unattainable, I would try to attain it. That is the reality of this life. You will always try to chase SOMETHING. The dunya is meant to make us greedy and unsatisfied. That is why it is such a temporary place. Once you attain something, you want something else and the vicious cycle continues. Your happiness is always termporary. It will never leave us fully satisfied because this is not the place for that.

I can't even begin to express how deceived I feel by this worldly life. It is not something I want to befriend and it is definitely not something I want to trust. Up until this point in my life, I have been deceived over and over and I have been left disappointed. Anytime we want to blame Allah for our hardships and struggles and trials, remember that it is not Allah who we are to blame but we need to remember that this is the reality of the dunya. This dunya is the external environment that we need to survive in and the only way we can do that is to keep our internal self satisfied with Islam as our religion and Allah as our Lord and Muhammad (sallalahu aleyhi wasselem) as the last and final messenger.

When we figure out how to live with this in our hearts, then truly we will have succeeded and that inner richness will help us strive until the very end. But getting there is not an easy task. It will take many moments of defeat, hopelessness, and helplessness. Surely we believe in our hearts and tongues that Islam is our religion, Allah is our Lord and Muhammad (sallalahu aleyhi wasselam) is our last and final messenger BUT when we are faced with trials and adversities, sometimes we forget.

We forget that Allah put us in the hardship in the first place to reward us and to cleanse us from our many sins. We forget that Allah is the one who will help us out and through the struggles as long as we call upon Him over and over. We forget that Islam is a religion to guide us through this life with peace and determination. We forget that prophet Muhammad (sallalahu aleyhi wasselam) endured so much pain, suffering and hardship for us ! Wow, even I forget all these things sometimes.

It is so important to keep making duaa even when you have nothing left in you. I have struggled with this so many times when I just wanted to give up on making duaa- even to this day, as I write this, I sometimes feel like "what's the point though?" But then I remember, no, there is a point to all this. Duaa is a form of worship and it is my string to hope and my way to Allah. Thus I must continue to push, shove, climb and strive my way to Him, even when everything around me wants to bring me down. 

4 comments:

  1. As salaamu alaykum. JazakAllahu khairan for sharing. Your comment about reflecting on how you were still unhappy in jahilyah despite being able to “do what you want” is soooooo relatable. Everything in this life is temporary and even the blessings we receive are tests. Children die, people go broke, marriages end, beauty fades,...Realizing how everything in this life is fleeting and that as quickly as Allah blesses you with something, Allah can take it away has brought me closer to Allah because I know Allah is truly the only one I can rely on. In this world of social media we see everyone’s “success”, but how many people are truly happy or at peace?

    Alhamdulillah, so many great reminders in this post. Don’t give up. Continue to make dua.

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  2. Assalaamu 'alaykoum, I just want to say, I love you fi sabil iLLAH Ukhti, al hamdu liLLAH for this uplifting post <3 It helps to know that there are other Muslims who are struggling and striving also like me and that they too don't have the perfect conditions or circumstances!

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  3. Asalaamu Alaykum, jazakillahu khairan for this, it really has me understanding this dunya more: it's a curse. We must continue to strive until the end. May Allah guide us all and strengthen our emaan. Ameen
    And please continue to blog, it really helps. Jazakillahu khairun

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  4. Salam alaikum. SubhanAllah sister, I feel the same way a lot of the times. I’ll get in a rut (a rather reoccurring occurance these days!) and I’ll think back to before I was Muslim and tell myself I used to be so much happier and free. Of course this is a lie. I struggled immensely and had just as many (if not more!) problems then as I do now. I often wonder if this is just a “revert thing” or if “born Muslims” go through the same. It’s really hard when you see non Muslim friends and family “living it up” while we abide by the rules Allah gave us. I just try to remind myself that wearing skimpy clothing, eating any food I wish, drinking, etc will never bring me happiness or contentment. I wasn’t happy or content when I did do all of those things, so why would it be any different if I were to revert to those ways today? Alhamdulilah for Islam and the situation of the believer. Non Muslims may have their fun today, but we will have our fun for all of eternity, in sh Allah!

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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