It’s always difficult for me to maneuver around Christmas. Christmas cards, Christmas greetings, Christmas presents, Christmas songs, Christmas everythings. It is difficult because as a revert to Islam, and one who no longer celebrates Christmas, I still am accosted by Christmas from every angle. From well-intentioned family to the friendly co-worker, everyone has a bit to share during this gift-giving, fun-loving, merry holiday cheer-time.
I’m all for the good stuff of Christmas, not trying to be a downer, it’s just that it gets difficult, as I said, to maneuver around. It’s hard to keep reminding your family, no, thank you – we don’t do Christmas. It’s hard to tell co-workers and explain to them why you don’t celebrate. It’s hard to be constantly be barraged with Christmas Everything.
So to my fellow converts, let me know if you have had a similar holiday experience!
The closer I get to Allah
The more I struggle
Shaytan seems to move closer
I hear him in my ears
whispering to try to keep me near
I fight for the sake of Allah
I battle – my heart in a state of jihad
always fluctuating, always mindful of sin
my heart wavers first this way than that
I try to overcome
the fears I have that hold me back
from doing good deeds
and pleasing our Creator.
As I strain
that Allah is closer to me
Than my own jugular vein.
Have no fear
I am near
I crawl to the corner
Feeling tried and true
Trying to escape but knowing there’s no way through
Blind, scared, hopeless
Hands tied behind your back
You squirm your way through life
Without knowing up from down
Weaving and bobbing
In water almost drowning.
And wishing and hoping
for something you thought was halal
but Allah had other plans for you
Allah had better plans for you
a new path for you to take
a new path for your deen
You do not understand it
I’ve sat here for a week and a half trying to figure out what to write. I’ve searched all kinds of muslimah bloggers to find out what they are writing about. I’ve read everything from hijabi fashion and pakistani cuisine to the true meaning of jihad and favorite qur’anic recitations. I can only write what I’m experiencing so here goes:
I’m in the midst of an interview process right now for a new position at my work. I’m terrified that I might get it, and I’m terrified that I might lose it. I’ve only gone through the first interview so far, and I really want the job. But part of me is scared – will having a full-time job pull me away from my family? Will I be able to handle the stress of being full-time and away from home for that long?
This is all very familiar. See, I had this same position when I had a nervous breakdown. Only this time around it’s different. It’s even more responsibilities. But maybe this company will be different. Maybe it’s more organized. Maybe Allah has a plan.
Or maybe I won’t get the position. That could be part of his plans also. I have to admit, I’m starting to already look forward to the benefits of the job. Have I looked at the cons? The fact that it’s full-time plus overtime? The fact that I could have paid vacations again?
Turns out I didn’t get the position. Alhumdulilla. I really wanted it. I guess it wasn’t in Allah’s plans for me to have it. I still feel upset, but at the same time, I have to believe that it was for a reason. Maybe this path is not for me. So many times we think we know what we want, but Allah gives us tests for those he loves and maybe this was my test. Hmmm…..
We waste so much time in this life. Sometimes I watch the clock ticking away and I realize that each second that goes by is time when we could be fulfilling our duties to Allah. And if you are amongst the ones who are praying, wearing hijab, paying your zakat, and living in the path of Allah, then you are using your time in the dunya correctly. But if you are like me – not praying, not wearing hijab, not paying your zakat, then things don’t feel so good.
You see every time I do my prayers, I feel so much better. But my emaan goes down and I stop doing my prayers, and that’s when things go downhill.
You see when you’re praying, it’s not just to please Allah. It also benefits us. It’s good for my mental health. To live my life around the prayers gives me structure. The prayer itself gives me a moment of meditation, when the world disappears and I focus only on the one Creator. These moments help ground me, stabilize me, keep my feet on the floor and upright, prostrating in the direction of the Kabah, bowing down to the Most Merciful. These are the motions of the true believers.
I’m sad for myself. Sad that I have strayed from the straight path. Sad that I’m not 100% me. But I have to keep praying to Allah to straighten me. Help me stand tall and worship Him the way we are meant to worship. I love Allah, I thank Him daily for the blessings he has given me – my two beautiful sons, my wonderful husband, my loving family. Nothing in this world makes me more grateful to Allah.
Sigh. Insha’allah khair.