It's Friday night, and my wish is for quiet, to sit beside my open window and listen to the rain falling on the pavement, on the tree leaves, in the puddles. I tell you that the thunder struck fear into my heart. I rushed while washing the dishes for my mom, just so I could bow before Allah in magrib as urgently as possible. I fear Allah with the flash of lightning and the crash of the thunder. SubhanAllah who else is the source of nature's power other than Allah? I sense the provision and solace of Allah when I hear the rain fall. Truly this blessing is a gift from Allah. Oh how we need the rain, oh how completely helpless we are without the provision and mercy of Allah!
Still, a cross hangs from a nail on my bedroom door, and an icon of Jesus faces me, as I lay in my bed. This is a according to my mother's wish. When I took down all of the pictures in my room a couple of weeks ago, I flipped the icon around to display the Lord's Prayer in Greek, which I could bear. But just the other evening I returned home from work to find that my mom had turned the page over to display the icon of Jesus, once again. I'm now afraid to switch it.
إِنَّا للهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُوْنَ، اللَّهمَّ أْجُرْنِي فِي مُصِيْبَتِي، وَاخْلُفْ لِي خَيْرا ً مِنْهَا.
‘To Allah we belong and unto Him is our return. O Allah, recompense me for my affliction and replace it for me with something better.’
I'm so eager to learn more, to absorb explanations and teachings of the Quran and Hadith. I feel that I am constantly reading, listening to, or studying lessons about Islam, and the more I learn, the more I am aware of how much that I do not know. I do not imagine that I am only acquiring this knowledge for myself. No, I often imagine my children. I want to be prepared to teach them. I want to have memorized stories and teachings to impart habits and lessons, so that Islam will be easy for them. I look forward to having a family one day, a family that can celebrate the beauty of this faith together.
Recently I've benefited from a series entitled Children around the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). What a valuable perspective of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him)! I've listened to the entire series twice, and I expect that I will again. Today I also finished my second round of Mothers of the Believers. Each time I understand better the lives of the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), and the divine purpose of these marriages. Alhamdulillah I am grateful that it is not necessary for all understanding to be achieved immediately. Just as the Glorious Quran was revealed over a period of 23 years, and Muslims gradually came to learn how they were to practice the religion, Allah is patient as born Muslims and reverts learn over our lifetime how to best be Muslims.
For example, tonight when I was praying Isha, my mom called to me from downstairs. The question then is, "Oh Allah, my mother or my prayer?" since the prayer cannot be interrupted. In the moment, I knew that not responding would only anger my mother, so I answered her. I then sought some guidance on whether it was permissible to interrupt my prayer in this case. I am grateful that so many of such questions have been asked by Muslims in the past, since such questions about very specific situations and concerns are encouraged and taken seriously. I was praying an obligatory prayer, which is clearly not to be interrupted, even for the sake of respecting one's parents. However, because my parent 'will not make excuses, or will want an immediate response,' for the moment it seems that responding to my mother was urgent. And Allah knows best.