Going to the masjid has benefited me in so many ways. Every single time before I go, I am hesitant. I think of excuses not to go: “I’m feeling kind of tired today. It’s a long drive. I can go next week.” It is because I still make mistakes when I’m there. I still don’t know how to do certain things. I still feel too “new.”
But before all the excuses take over, I remind myself that there has not been ONE time that I have regretted going. So instead, I focus on all the feelings I get whenever I go. And that is what gets me into the car and on my way.
The ladies there are fantastic. There are so many kind people, just very decent, honest, warm, friendly people. I used to be afraid of other muslims. I used to think that they could see through me, that they could smell the “newbie”-ness emanating off me, see the lack of knowledge in my eyes, hear the nervousness in my voice.
But after my first visit, I realized that they are just normal people like me, trying to do their best in the world, trying to do right by their kids, trying to live the way we were intended to live.
Subhanallah – I have only gone a few times and I have gained so much from it. I have gotten so much information from the lectures. I have learned the prayer and now can pray in congregation. I have found a muslim pediatrician for my baby! I have received books, lectures on CDs, and best of all – I have gained muslim companionship.
I understand now why there are so many parts in the Qur’an that urge us to be around other Muslims. It has increased my faith so much, just knowing that you’re not alone, that there ARE others who live their life the way Allah has guided us to live.
Last Friday I went to listen to a brother talk about the month of Ramadan and how the Qur’an was first revealed to Muhammed (salallahu alayhi wa salaam). After that we had iftar – there was so much food, masha’allah. I couldn’t believe how much food people brought – it was such a wonderful meal. We all sat around and talked and laughed and kids were runnng in and out of the room and everyone was in such good spirits.
Afterwards, we all went to pray Isha prayer. The prayer room was packed full – there was no space left! There were so many people and we all prayed together, it was amazing. All different races of people from all different walks of life – all praying the same motions, the same words, praising Allah. I had never experienced anything like it. After the prayer, everyone stayed and chatted some more. People I had never seen before came up to introduce themselves. There was so much activity going on, so many people, so many children. It felt so nice to be part of such a wonderful community of people.
I have spent so many years feeling alone, feeling as though I were the only one who knew about Islam, the only one who wanted to practice Islam, wanted to pray, wanted to change my lifestyle. I wondered how I could ever live my life as a Muslim. I finally found the strength I needed through this community of people who are so dedicated to the true nature of Islam – a religion of peace and prayer and acceptance and kindness and oneness.
I can already feel my fear and hesitancy diminishing with each time I visit. The masjid is starting to feel more and more like home.