Monday, September 2, 2013

Fast forward two and a half months

Bism Illah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

Al hamdul'Illah, I am back after 13 weeks or more of absence. It has truly been a summer of experiences, learning, growth, connections, and affirmations. So often we don't know what we need, but Allah Knows.
Blue skies dabbed and brushed with clouds
This summer was spent connecting real time with a sister of like mind and heart, embarking on our first experiences setting up our homestead in New Mexico, being busy with daily pioneering life, fasting and keeping up with Ramadhaan studies, and being offline and out of touch (except for a phone) most of the time. For those who were looking forward to the answers to last year's Qur'aan challenge questions, my apologies. I was not able to post the answers because the solar generator we had for our energy needs had to be replaced due to a damaged connector and I was unable to use my laptop, where everything is stored. I will work on posting the answers in the coming weeks anyway, so they are finally there for you all inshaa Allah.While I am posting details of our summer progress and pioneering experience on the Healing Earth blog, my personal growth I will share with you here.
Fajr time

A double of several we saw
This summer I spent every day seeing the sky against a backdrop of rolling green hills. There was no obstruction, as I was outside the majority of the time and could see the sky through all its different phases of the day and night. I saw amazing sunrises, sunsets, cloud formations against blue skies, grey storms rolling in, rainbows - sometimes two at a time, electrical storms, absolutely picture perfect night skies with every constellation clearly visible, and multiple shooting stars, maashaa Allah. Every clear night, I looked up at Orion's Belt and the Big Dipper and wondered about all the other constellations I was seeing but couldn't identify. Every time I looked at that sky, I had a greater realization of the absolutely unfathomable power of Allah, subhaana wa taala. He paints a different sky for us every second of every day...and every sky is amazingly beautiful. How is it possible to have 60 different pictures of the sky to look at in each minute, 3600 different skies in each hour, 86,400 different skies in each day...for everyone all over this planet? This is just a tiny thing in the scope of Allah's Abilities, but something magnificent to witness.

Sunset before a storm

Sunset after a storm
I also looked forward to the tawakkal that such a life brings, and most certainly it was something that had a profound effect on my emaan and taqwa, al hamdul'Illah. Imagine arriving at land that was bought sight unseen and having to start a life from scratch. It requires a great deal of planning and work, but most of all a great deal of reliance on Allah's blessings, mercy, provision, and sustenance. Everything feels immediately connected to your actions, the purity of your intentions,and your acknowledgement of Allah's Power and Might. We felt the depth and weight of saying "bism Illah" when planting 24 fruit trees, 12 fruit bushes, 4 grape vines, bamboo, and a small vegetable patch. We understood, to the very pit of our stomachs, that not one of those plants we needed for our own sustenance would live and thrive without Allah's Will. We made dua' acknowledging that only Allah grows things, so please grow our things and we made istighfar far more than we would normally have remembered to. Al hamdul'Illah.
A velvet backdrop of night sky

After a Ramadhaan that was far more busy and distracted than my previous couple of years, I found that my appreciation of and connection with Allah was greater on other levels. I found myself realizing how true it was that Allah is the provider of EVERY need. We needed water, Allah provided. We needed rain, Allah provided. We needed sunshine to cook and for the plants, Allah provided. We needed wind to dry the clothes and keep the temperatures cool, Allah provided. We needed support and assistance to get things accomplished, Allah provided. Not a stone unturned, not a need left without response.
Setting sun and our family in shadows

SO, I ask Allah to bless you all and reward you for your patience with me. I'm glad to be back, al hamdul'Illah.