My clothes and my hair still smell like the campfire. I enjoyed eating dinner and sitting around the campfire with old and new friends this evening. Tonight is a supermoon, and so a lovely night to sit outside. I'm grateful to have friends who respect me, and respect my commitment to Islam. I know that it cannot always feel entirely comfortable for them to see me with my hair covered, for example, but they never make me feel like less of a person because of it.
Even 2 year old baby Emma is taking to me well. Today she wanted to wrap up in her own hijab, which made me quite happy to see. This moment reminded me of the Hadith of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) when he states that all babies are born with the Islamic Faith. I admire both the childlike faith that Emma exemplified, and how her parents did not scorn her for wanting to play 'hijabi.' I was worried that I would be considered a negative influence, and I was pleasantly surprised when her mom asked me to wrap up Emma's hijab for her. What a refreshing atmosphere!
|Photo from protected land in Hatfield, UK, where I used to walk alone and ponder all of life's easy and difficult questions.|
My friends are my greatest supporters and encouragement these days, as day to day life at home remains quite challenging. Mom looks me in the eyes and tells me that I'm an idiot. Yesterday I walked in the door from work and she called me a jerk, first thing. Earlier this week she accused me of being anti-American, told me that I am no longer Greek, and said 'you are nothing' now that I am Muslim. She blames me in advance for her death, whatever it will be ( لا سمح الله ).
The truth is that my mother is a lovely woman, who I respect in many ways. Even though she accuses me of 'turning my back' on everything that she has taught me, I feel that I've only built upon it, and for the better. Mom believes that her religion is true, and to her this means that she is not willing to learn or understand the beliefs of anyone else, including those of her own daughter. I cannot and will never tell my mother what to believe. I must believe that Islam is true, but even so, it is not my role to tell anyone else that what they believe is untrue. Who am I to judge?
I pray this Dua of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him):
Oh Allah guide me, and put me in the company of those whom you have guided.
Oh Allah, protect me and put me in the company of protected people.
and Oh Allah, befriend me, and put me in the company of your friends and allies.
Early one morning this week, it was dark outside, and it was too early for Fajr. I awoke to the sound of heavy rain, booming thunder, and bright lightening. I moved deeper under my covers, and became aware of the shelter of our house and my warm bed. I felt overwhelmed, and frightened by the power of the thunder. I was not afraid that I would be hurt. Rather, I felt a strong correlation between the power of the thunder, and the power of Allah subhana wa ta'ala. What a miracle it is that the thunder represents only a figment of Allah's power.