The Pen

Surah 68.  The Pen.

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim:  In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Nun.  By the Pen and by the (Record) which (men) write, –
You are not, by the grace of your Lord, mad or possessed.
Nay, verily for you is a Reward unfailing:
And you (stand) on an exalted standard of character.
Soon will you see, and they will see,
Which of you is afflicted with madness.

Verily, it is your Lord that knows best, which (amongst men) have strayed from His Path:  And He knows best those who receive (true) guidance.

Surah 68:  1:7

This surah was written for Prophet Mohammed (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him).
It brought me peace when I read it because recently with some of the mental illness issues I have had, along with my recent decision to put on hijab, some may see me as crazy.  Crazy or “afflicted with madness” for following a religion so different from the one I had known my whole life – Catholicism.  For putting myself out there as a Muslim – visible and real for what feels like the first time since taking shahada (the oath one recites to become Muslim.)

Now, I would never mean to literally compare myself to what the Prophet Mohammed (peace and blessings be upon him) went through (THAT certainly would be crazy!) but there are significant similarities in that those of us who choose Islam in our lives, those of us who have “reverted” to Islam or “converted” to Islam (whichever term you use) as a new muslim, must realize that it is not always going to be easy.  We will confront some who reject us, some who will always deny the truth, because Allah only leads who he chooses.

I thank Allah for choosing me.

Right now I am living in tiny compartments of time.  I pray Fajr, and then I ask Allah to help me get to the next prayer.  To keep me alive, breathing, healthy, to survive to the next prayer, Dhuhr.  And when the noon-time prayer is over, I pray to Allah to help me to the next.

And in this way, I am making it.  I am making it through this mental illness I have – bipolar disorder, call it what you want – this chemical imbalance, this soul-gripping depression that sometimes arises out of nowhere and catches me by the throat with a tight grip that won’t let go.  I ask Allah for help, to help me to keep upright, to stay out of bed, out from under the hidden covers.  And I thank Allah for my blessings – my kids, my healthy, happy, beautiful children.  How lucky I am to have them in my life.  I thank Allah for my husband, for the food in our fridge, for our life together.  I thank Allah for helping me find a therapist who I trust.  Who I will go see at 2 pm today.

Thank you Allah for the gift of the Pen, for my talent for writing.  For my many, many blessings.  Insha’allah khair.*

*God-willing, it will be “all good,” as in “it’s all good.”

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