There is Always a Silver Lining

Bismillah

I still clearly remember the day of the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Nquote-each-side-takes-the-position-of-the-man-who-was-arrested-for-swinging-his-arms-and-hitting-another-zechariah-chafee-304379ot because of the news about how ‘islamists’ had struck again and given the world another reason to condemn Islam. I remember that day for completely different reasons.

My country currently reflects the same political atmosphere against Islam and muslims that the rest of the world and its media today harbors. As a muslim, no matter how patient I try to be, it still breaks parts of me when I hear deliberate provoking and mud slinging directed at our beautiful faith.

But that day was different. That day I found out how far off the media was from portraying the truth. I was travelling in the local transport of my city which is usually crowded. The public transport mirrors the true nature of the melting pot that the place I come from is, where people from all kinds of faiths, culture, customs and identities travel as one body.

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There is always a silver lining

So this is where it got interesting. A middle-aged man, apparently drunk began picking on two men who were seemingly muslims. They were traveling with a huge travel bag. He began taunting and prodding them to open up their bags or show it to the railway police so they could check if its safe. He was continuously ranting about how it is dangerous to let “them” get away unchecked. Both the muslim men were mostly quite, telling him to keep quite once in a while but he would rant some more.

By this point every one on the train was going about their own business because everyone knows how vain it is to try to make a silly drunk man see sense. I wondered whether people around me were able to identify the obvious jabs being made at two people just because they were muslims and the racial undertones this man was spewing in his drunk blabbering. To be honest, it even scared me a bit. Call me paranoid, but in the past few months I had read almost everyday about tiny altercations politically fueled or otherwise that turned into full fledged riots.

At one point the man said something unacceptable. He started making loose comments about how even “their” burqa-clad women could be partnering in their shady business. At this point a few people decided that he had said enough and they started telling him off and ordering him to either shut up or get off the train. Some even defended the two men saying it was none of the man’s business to know what they are carrying in their bags until they are right here. These were common folks who worked hard every day to earn and feed their families and this may be the only thing they shared with the two muslim men at that point. And sure enough, he backed down.IMG_20150117_160707picmonkey

Even after they got off, people still chatted and questioned each other on why they didn’t speak up sooner and let this man keep talking non-sense. SubhanAllah! These were strangers questioning each other’s responsibility to defend someone and especially a muslim! Allahu Akbar! I cannot say how heart-warming it was for me to be there and witness it.

…Certainly no one despairs of Allah’s Mercy, except the people who disbelieve.” {Quran 12:87}

Next day I found about the murders in France and how most of the world was talking about the attack on their freedom of expression. It was a sad day, I am of the view that people can change and do change and if they do not then that is between them and Allah however it is ironic how in a country people have the freedom to insult, abuse and offend muslims and anyone for that matter but muslims do not have the freedom to cover up. Can’t a person have freedom of expressing their faith?

Nonetheless, what that particular day taught me was with hardship there certainly is ease and that not all things are as they seem. Believer’s should not despair but remember that true judgement is reserved for the Last Day.

And to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And We have instructed those who were given the Scripture before you and yourselves to fear Allah . But if you disbelieve – then to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And ever is Allah Free of need and Praiseworthy. {Quran 4:131}

A letter to a friend…

Umm Saifullah:

May Allah subhan wa ta’ala make us of those that die with the noor of His deen in our hearts. Ameen!

Originally posted on Theindianrevertedmuslimah:

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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…

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My Very Own Hijab Story

بسم الله

Asalam alaikum people!!

Yes, yes I am back after quite some time and alhamdulilah that I can still write this post. Life has been a splendid roller coaster ride and ever since I joined my first job after becoming Muslim, even more so. There have been so many interesting realizations and revelations happening. First of all I would really like to thank my dearest sisters in Islam who I have met on this journey and whose help means more to me than they will ever know. I am really grateful for each one of them. Sisterhood like this is a proof that Allah subhan wa ta’ala is with us always. May He bless this ummah.

Source: imgarcade.com

Source: imgarcade.com

Firstly I would like to thank The Indian Reverted Muslimah for a very motivating message about the salaam. (Another post coming up on that inshaAllah) And secondly, through her hijab journey I was able to take lessons which I didn’t expect to relate to so soon. Alhamdulilah.

So I had been draping my scarf over my head for some time. As a ‘want to be’ hijabi it was the least I convinced myself to do. There were a few real reasons. Okay I confess I was anxious about transforming from a non muslim to a muslim in public (self conscious much?) So the moment I started working, this is how my journey has been.

Day 1: The usual drape

Day 2: The second end of the scarf just went around the other shoulder

Day 3: Coming early and sitting alone in office I finally decided to drape it like they show on those terrific you tube videos and eureka!!! I finally got the hang of it, now all I gotta do is do it in public without any funny looking folds.

When I decided to just do it on the metro I felt like I was standing in a stadium under thousands of spiteful stares (poor souls were just curious thinking what is this girl upto? Or “is this how muslim women do their scarf thingy). And every time I felt this tinge of self doubt, a little voice, barely noticeable would prompt to me – “Allahu Akbar” <3

By now I had learned that this is how shaitaan does his dirty tricks, by putting negative thoughts in your head. And I had a storm raging inside my skull. I felt nervous even after wearing the hijab properly. I felt conscious of the stares of not non muslims now but other muslims. What would they think of me?! about the clothes I wear with hijab? Will it be enough?!!

Fighting my own heart I just went ahead and decided to tie a proper hijab like I had practiced a million times at home before and fussed half a million times at office over. (LOL). So I did it and suddenly everything became quiet. (It wasn’t because my hijab was so tight I could barely hear anything, no). The quiet was inside me, like a storm had just settled, like the clouds had just parted to make way for glorious shimmering sunshine. Sometimes we just create our own storms, don’t we?

Meow

Meow? I am just a cat

Then the day finally came when I started wrapping it up like a professional in just one wave of my hand (I am kidding ofcourse) But I sure didn’t need a pin!! Yayy :D. And it started to grow on me. Alhamdulilah! I was finally doing my bit to please my Creator and it helped to keep reminding myself why I was doing it every time I felt conscious about the stares (which might be imaginary sometimes). I haven’t taken one loo break without fussing over my hijab or just looking at the reflection of the stranger in the mirror I am getting to know. And I know I have a long long way to go but for now I can’t get over how graceful my hijab feels. How lovingly it falls all over my back, like a superhero’s cape.

May be this is why I was so anxious. Clark Kent never transforms in full public view ;)

Fi amanillah!!

The Most Important Call

Asalam alaikum!

Just sharing this cute video of a little American girl apparently hearing the azaan for the first time.

In many ways I feel I relate to this little girl. And may be we all will, in the way that we go through life wide eyed, following the most important of all calls and the inherent need to find the way back to our Creator.

If only we could keep our eyes open and ourselves stern enough to know that this is our most important calling and everything else just doesn’t matter..

Enjoy!

 

There’s Nothing Like Wrong Timing, Only Perfect Timing

In the name of Allah, The Light

alhamdulilah

A picture is not always what it seems. Some pictures become clear when you look at them from far away. In fact they are meant to be looked from far away. From up close they are nothing more than forms and shapes

Life is like that sometimes. You never know what a particular piece of your life means until you see it from a good distance, from a point in the future or from the eyes of a friend or even a stranger. It looks like time used the colors of your soul and the blood from your wounds to paint this masterpiece with its bare hands. And you are in awe of it once you are viewing it from the perfect spot. Every drop was worth it.

There were times in my life I regretted to death. Memories that haunt me and words that hate me because they had what we call consequences. But I have figured I was looking at it from the wrong side of time. I was putting the piece of puzzle in the wrong spot.

You beat yourself into insanity thinking you could have done this or shouldn’t have said that otherwise it wouldn’t be such a mess. Yet the Prophet (saw) has told us :-

“What missed you was not meant to befall you and what befell you was not meant to miss you” [At Tirmidhi]

I never came to term with this thought until now. I am looking at that picture time painted and hearing it whisper to me -”beautiful huh?”

The perfection of it all makes one wonder about the sequence of life. Are we moving ahead in time or is life meeting us on its way back? Did consequences just already know they were blessings? Indeed how wonderful are the affairs of the believers. It’s like the future and the past are in it together. And we are their little private joke.

Must Be Magic….

In the name of Allah, The All Knowing

 listentothemustnts

This world is unbearable at times. Its just utterly disgusting. You would look around and wonder why you are even here. It’s a prison for sure but I admit I’m guilty of feeling this only when I’m down. At other times its alright.

When I was a kid there was something magical about this place. As is with kids, they find awesomeness even in the most mundane of things. And I had a lot of help from fantasy shows and fairy tales and timeless stories. All of it made me eager to have my own magical moment. An encounter with a wizard or discovering a fairy world somewhere in the garden or may be finding a lamp with a genie inside or meeting a talking animal. Or when I laid in my bed every night looking at the stars may be just may be an alien will appear and take me on a tour to different planets in the sky and they will be named toyland and candistan with its rivers of chocolate and mountains of cotton candy, unicornia! (Okay I just made up those names)

And then something crazy happened. I grew up. The definition of magic changed. Now the hopes of finding Thumbelina turned into hopes of becoming a millionaire, rolling in my own vault of gold coins, having my own amusement park (did I say grown up?) Having a cool set of friends, seeing the world, experiencing every kind of food there is, discovering unknown places, finding that one true love then being his world (Yes I’m kind of preposterous)

But the truth is being grown up was, if anything, boring. What with all the weight of the world on your feeble shoulders!! It was all a bluff and yet I was hoping against hope. What I have noticed is whether you are a child or an adult, magic means the same thing to you – Something impossible. And since kids are much more imaginative than us, their ideas just seem so far off that they are ridiculous. But who is to say what seems impossible has to be ridiculous or even false?

Image Credit - NASA

The Horsehead Nebula – NASA

When I read about how the angel Jibreel met the Prophet (saw) and told him to “Recite” and everything that followed, it still blows my mind. It brings back the memories of a distant hope I once savored. Like finding out that this life is anything but devoid of magic. There’s truth in magic and magic in truth. It’s full of infinite possibilities. And the greatest of all is to find the way to the One who created you. Impossibilities are just a reflection of our own minds and as long as the next moment exists, hope exists.

When I accepted Islam I was just being a rational grown up who had found satisfying answers for the intellectual questions that plagued my mind. And it felt right to me. But there’s nothing rational about taking a leap of faith and leaving your old life behind. That’s the thing about magic and miracles. They don’t care about your own ideas about them. They find you anyway.

“One of the strange things about living in the world is that it is only now and then one is quite sure one is going to live forever and ever and ever. One knows it then for a moment or so. And one knows it sometimes when one stands by oneself in a wood at sunset and the mysterious deep gold stillness slanting through and under the branches seems to be saying slowly again and again something one cannot quite hear, however much one tries. Then sometimes the immense quiet of the dark blue at night with the millions of stars waiting and watching makes one sure; and sometimes a sound of far-off music makes it true; and sometimes a look in someone’s eyes.”

–The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett