“… I saw the rows of students praying, the boys in front and the girls at the back. At sunset I would sit and watch them praying. They held me still with their slow movements, the recitation of the Qur’an. I envied them something I didn’t have but I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t have a name for it. Whenever I heard the azan in Khartoum, whenever I heard Qur’an recited I would feel a bleakness in me and a depth and space would open up, hollow and numb. I usually didn’t notice it, wasn’t aware that it existed. Then the Qur’an heard by chance on the radio of a taxi would tap into that internal sluggishness, nudge it like when my feet went to sleep and I touched them. They felt fat and for them to get back to normal, for me to be able to move my toes again, they would have to first crunch with pins and needles… Afterwards… I felt that same bleakness in me. I became aware of that hollow place. Perhaps that was where the longing for God was supposed to come from and I didn’t really have it.”
For the longest time, this passage would have summed up my life. I felt that wordless longing. I was consumed with yearning for something I couldn’t put to words. Yet for all that I wanted it, I knew that I couldn’t have it. It wasn’t for me. And I wasn’t made for it.
But, alhamdulilah, after many trials and tribulations I became that person. Or, more accurately, I found that person in me, where she had been lying dormant all along. I’m still struggling of course, because really, aren’t we all always? But that yearning has changed. It’s no longer wordless. I know what it is, and I know that I’ve finally caught the end of the string. All that’s left is the task of unravelling it, bit by bit. Patience and determination is all it takes, inshAllah.
Some people I had hoped would support certain decisions in my life, turned their backs on me, rejecting the path I’d chosen. And others, people I had expected to never understand, stood by me, strong and steadfast. Non-muslims, people distant from the deen. There’s a lesson to be learnt, subhanAllah.
And sometime I fear I overwhelm others with my enthusiasm. Today’s stats? 1 in every 6 people are currently starving to death. I was going through some blogs, and I was shocked by pics of only five moths ago, soon forgotten, or at least, delegated to the backs of our consciousness. Gaza under siege. The people of Swat. Of Uganda. Of Africa. Of Sudan. Of.. of… of; a never ending list. Rampant crimes and abuse in Canada, in America. Drug wars in Mexico. There are many, many more. Too many to list. And yet we’re preoccupied with our selfish consumerism, and our materialism.
This girl inspired me today. So young, mashAllah, only 18, but she cut down drastically on her meat intake – only fish for two years! – because she read that if people in developed countries would do so, they’d support the economies of the developing countries. They export wheat, and grain products, so increasing your consumption of these foods, helps them. SubhanAllah! She was 16 when she started. What vision!!
For an idea about today’s lesson, given by another sister JAK for her amazing idea, check this out:
So far the lessons have been mainly about the nafs (ego/soul) and the heart. Today we set S.M.A.R.T goals. InshAllah, I pray I’m doing right by these girls =/.