“Mary, the daughter of Imran, was the best among the women (of the world of her time) and Khadijah is the best amongst the women (of this nation).” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Sahih Al-Bukhari – Book 58 Hadith 164
For my first entry I wanted to tell you a story. The story of Khadijah (RA), but as I began my research I came to realize that there is nothing I could say that hasn’t already been said. There are things that I definitely relate to of her experiences, her changes and her relationship as a wife and mother, but it is too early in the journey to lay them all out now. Please follow this link to an excellent piece that was written about her for Hadith of the Day, her life story is an eyeopener and a motivation for any believing woman who wants to know what she should work towards. She was the best amongst us and someone we should look up to as an example.
Being born and bred in the West, I have felt a distance from my identity for most of my life. We are in limbo. Attempting to blend in here, yet being true to our heritage. It is a difficult and sometimes heartbreaking path to tread. Being a Muslim is just what it is, being Muslim. A label that you don’t quite understand or appreciate the weight of. While the world around you pushes you to conform to the ways of the world, you don’t push back. You just go to where the tide takes you, because it is easy, it isn’t lonely and it seems exhilarating. The idea that if you do what the people around you are doing and what you see on your screen, then you will be content and at peace.
It isn’t that simple and we all know it. In the times when there is no one around, when you are completely and utterly alone, when the whisper in your ear is only you and your desires, you feel it. The anxiety seeps out of the inner recesses of your mind and makes you realize that perhaps you were meant for more, that perhaps the purpose of this life is not about satisfying your mind, body and stomach, but satisfying your heart and your soul. This is the pinch. You are pinching yourself awake with the Grace of Allah, but will you answer this call? Will you wake up?
My skin was pinched raw before I did. My husband helped in the pinching as well, Alhamdulillah. I thought I knew it all, thought that although Allah was a part of my life, I was still the master of my own destiny, because I lived in the illusion of my self made heaven on Earth. The things that I desired, somehow became Halal either by me or by the example of people I considered to be “good” Muslims. I made excuse after excuse to cling to a life that I was not satisfied with only because I thought of what others thought of me and the perfect picture I presented them with. A beautiful doting wife and mother, an entertaining conversationalist and a pillar for all to lean on. There was a fracture in this pillar however and it was spreading fast. I tried to understand what Allah wanted from me. I gave up so much of who I was and attempted to replace it with more acceptable alternatives, but it wasn’t working. I was growing disheartened everyday. Playing pious Muslimah was not going to cut it, because I was far from peaceful. I was shattering from the inside out. The layers kept peeling away, until nothing was left.
I read the Quran, the story of the Prophet (PBUH) and about his Companians (RA), about the great women of the Ummah (RA). I watched so many lectures from so many great Scholars and Teachers until I realized that I had missed a significant part of this Faith. I had to tear the whole structure of my life down and rebuild it. Recycling and reusing some components then building on those, Insha’Allah. It’s a work in progress.
Khadijah’s (RA) life spoke to me in this whole process, because she was also a woman who had a level of faith before Islam came to her. She had prosperity, respect in her community, compassion and beauty. The thing is that once she had Allah, she used all that in His way. She sacrificed her wealth for Him, she used her sway in the community to help her husband (PBUH) deliver His Message and she used her beauty and compassion to ease and comfort her husband (PBUH) when he felt alienated, alone and in fear of his sanity. In setting out to do what she could to please Allah, she received His divine Mercy and the Promise of Jannah. Although her life became what most would think of as unbearably difficult, she remained a steadfast believer and her sacrifices never diminished. She gave her life for Allah, because she knew of what was to come in the hereafter. That is why it is so important to understand that the sacrifices in this short life span will be investments into extreme joy and ease in the Hereafter.
I hope that Allah will make my heart and mind stronger so that I can face the world. I am learning to transform my desires into what He desires of me, my wants to what He wants from me and my needs to what He loves to see in a faithful servant. Now that I am crossing over to a new realm of existence I am seeing things as I have never seen them. It brings me to my knees.
He is the One and Only. The one I breath for and my acceptance of this fact is just the beginning of this journey…
“On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will the Most Gracious bestow love.” (Surat Maryam:96)