Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Long, Lost, Me

As salaamu alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

It feels so good to be back, al hamdul'Illah! Yes, it has been a long, long time. Yes, it was a long, long summer break. Yes, I learned and grew and went through something that I want to share with you all.

This past summer was busy for me - very busy. Imagine having to get an emergency passport last minute for our baby to travel, going to England for 10 days to see my parents and then flying on to Virginia to stay a couple of days with the family that came out to visit us later on in the summer. Then driving cross country to Missouri, to visit our dear family friends and pick up our truck and some trees they had been nursing for us. A couple of days there and then back on the road heading to New Mexico. Picked up a used stock trailer in Tennessee on the way and arrived in Roy the day before Ramadhaan started. Talk about hectic.

Well it just escalated from there. Getting supplies, fasting, visitors, construction, community, research, visits to key people and places, another visitor, land expansion, and flying back on 20 August only to miss our connecting flight from London to Jeddah and ending up stuck in England for 16 days until we could get another flight. Subhaan  Allah. Add to that the fact that the TSA did a "routine check" of our checked baggage and failed to return to the cases about $300 worth of goods as well as breaking some items. It was not a normal check, which we have undergone many other times. It was a hate crime, to which I say, "Alhamdul'Illah!" There is never any loss for the believer! It is all just accrued for a deferred time when it can benefit us the most, bi idhn Illah, ta'ala.

So, what do I have to share with you? Just a couple of observations and a personal experience. The first observation is that there are times when people will try to sabotage your efforts. They may do this out of spite, hate, jealousy, or selfishness...maybe even just ignorance.  You may feel like your efforts have been in vain, or that they have ruined something good or praiseworthy that you put your whole soul into. But I remind myself first and you, second, that nobody is more powerful than Allah. Those who do the work of shaytaan have no power in the face of Allah's Will and no power over His faithful believers. So, make dua' and KNOW that la hawla walaa quwwata ila b'Illah!

Also, when Allah sends us things, tests and hardships, remember He has already told us that He doesn't send anything more than we can bear. He clearly tells us in the Qur'aan. So, have yaqeen. Have certainty that whatever He sends you, YOU CAN HANDLE IT! Then handle it WELL. Say, "al hamdul'Illah," then rely on Allah, and seek the best way forward from Him.

When I said long, lost me, it was because through all of this I have been on a sort of spiritual autopilot. A very difficult time because Ramadhaan fell during my hiatus. I felt out of touch, simply functioning every day to get meals prepared, laundry done, and keep everyone cared for. Although my prayers were focused, I felt in a constant state of loss, sort of dead inside, because to really "feel" Ramadhaan, I have to cry. I don't mean tears over any old thing, I mean CRY in desperation to my Creator! I must get to a stage of desperate humility, begging Allah for improvement, rectification, forgiveness, and the ultimate success. I didn't have any chance to really lay my soul bare to Allah and have been biding my time, seeking relief from my unnatural state.

Well, just last week the relief came. We were finally back in Madinah and my daughters were begging me to read the seerah of Rasool Allah, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam. We reached the part about the Year of Sorrow and that did me in. I cried. My heart broke, as it always does to think of the pain our beloved Prophet, sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam, went through. The numbness dispersed, my heart came to life, and the depth of emotion that my love for Allah evokes, came bursting through. See? Water really does give life to everything! Al hamdul'Illah!

How do you spend your time? Do an assessment of how you please Allah. How do you worship Him every minute of every day? Consider what you do to learn about His Perfect Deen. Consider what you do to teach and call to His Perfect Deen. Consider how your actions are a form of worship. Half of my day is spent teaching and learning Islam with my children. It is the validation and shining light of my morning. Another 1/4 of my day is in educating my children in English, Math, Science & Social Studies...all linked to Islam, through the Qur'aan and the Sunnah. The other 1/4 of my day is spent doing laundry, managing the household, and preparing healthy and delicious meals for the family, which are eaten together. It is yet another form of worship, as I fulfill the duties that Allah has entrusted me with in regards to them. It is a hectic schedule that I follow...but at least at the end of each day, I know that everything has taken place with the intention of pleasing Allah. Even through my harshest self-criticism and shortcomings, it is a system for success...with no time left to waste or  mismanage to my detriment inshaa Allah. Al hamdul'Illahi Rabb il aal ameen!