Since childhood, I was a loving person. I was always willing to help others, be it with kind gestures or a smiling face, yet no matter how much I tried to please the people I loved, I felt ignored and misunderstood by them. The emptiness which filled me as a result was devastating. I wasn’t at peace with myself.
I spent countless sleepless nights trying to put my mind at rest but in vain. Sometimes, my cheeks would be warm because of meaningless tears wetting my pillow. My days would be filled with misery and pain and I was afflicted by thoughts of dejection and self-pity.
The reason for this restlessness and dissatisfaction was unknown, until I ruminated over all aspects of my life. Soon, reality struck me hard and I realized that my religious life was that of a hypocrite. I used to pray, but never with my heart. I would hastily perform wudhu and complete my salah, my dialogue with Allah, in a mere ten minutes. I would recite the Quran but it was without any understanding or beauty of tajweed. I used to fast but the intention was seldom to attain the mercy of Allah (subhanau wataala). Sleeping through most of the day during my fasts, I focused more on the menu for cooking rather than getting myibaadah correct.
I was so engrossed in this dunya that I had totally lost the tranquility and happiness that only true remembrance of Allah can bring into one’s life. Having been failed by the dunya incessantly, I started talking to Allah (subhanau wataala) in solitude. I would feel lighter and less miserable after each of my one way communications with Him. I was discovering first hand, the beauty of the transformation one undergoes when the gap between the Creator and His servant is bridged. It was then that I started my pursuit of knowledge. Serenity overtook me. It was like a light was guiding me.
“And Allah found you lost, and guided you.” (Quran 93:7)
I started reading the Quran with increased involvement and enthusiasm. I began praying with greater concentration and regularity. I made a promise that if salah was my means of communication with Allah (subhanau wataala), I would try and beautify it to the best of my capability. Soon, a halo of peace began surrounding me. The more I read the Quran with its meaning, the more I became aware of the love and mercy of my Creator for me.
“We created man…We are closer to him than his jugular vein.” (Quran 50:16)
In the past, sadness would overpower me to the extent that sometimes I would feel resentment towards Allah (subhanau wataala) for testing me time and again, nauzubillah. Gradually, I started to realize that these trials were indeed a blessing from Allah (subhanau wataala).
“Be sure we shall test you with something ….. but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere.” (Quran 2: 155)
My understanding of the deen deepened further with the sayings of the Prophet (sallalahu allahi wassallam): “No fatigue, illness, anxiety, sorrow …. afflicts any Muslim … without Allah wiping out his sins by it.” (Sahîh al-Bukhârî )
Certainly, up until this time I was drowned in ignorance. I did have worldly knowledge but I had never strived to gain the more important knowledge, that of the Holy Quran which is an obligation for me, by virtue of me being a Muslim.
I started to mix with friends who were more god fearing, practicing Muslims. Their company, thoughts and actions continue to keep me on track even now. I have never in my life received more beautiful gifts than an abaya, a Holy Quran with translation and a book on the biography of the Holy Prophet (salallahu alaihi wasallam) let alone the countless duas and wishes that I have received in times of illness or anxiety, from all my well wishers, some of whom I have not even met in person. SubhanAllah for the selfless sincerity and overwhelming love that Allah (subhanau wataala) fills your life with, once you choose to spend your life His way.
Now, I may not be in the best state of physical health but my mind is at peace and my soul at rest. My heart is full of gratitude for the countless blessings which have been showered upon me. I am overwhelmed with my new found love, the only love which is truly reciprocated in this dunyaand the next; the love of Allah, alhamdulillah.
As each day ends now and I lay in my bed, tears still roll down my cheeks, wetting my pillow; however, they are no longer purposeless. Every tear that I shed now, shouts for Allah’s mercy and begs for His forgiveness over my past and future sins. And as the dawn whispers in my ears:
“Truly, only through the Remembrance of Allah, do hearts find rest”, (Quran 13:28)
I wake up to lay the prayer mat to perform my salah with extreme gratitude and utmost concentration,alhumdullilah.
My message to my dear readers is, let the whispers of the dawn immerse your soul completely. Undoubtedly, it is Allah (subhanahu wataala) who is the exclusive source of peaceful happiness in one’s life, so establish your relationship with Him. Talk to Him in salah. Acknowledge His speech in the Quran. Remember Him through consistent dhikr and solemn repentance. His mercy is such that He listens to words unspoken and responds to emotions unexpressed. He knows your intense pain and answers silent tears. He understands your unexplainable anguish, frustrating helplessness and tormenting anger. Despite all this, when you are patient He rewards you for it and resolves your problems in the wink of an eye but only if you trust Him entirely.
Submit sincerely to His grandeur, appreciate His benevolent generosity in the most cherished moments of your life and recognize His magnificent mercy in the most heart wrenching hours. Believe me, in no time you will see your life transform completely, bi izn Allah!