Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Wasted years, The Wasted Youth.

Assalam Aleykum Warahmatullahy Wabarakatuh
Hi Guys!

I just checked my calendar only to realize that Eid is next week Subhanallah…HOW EVEN?!!! I’m basically lowkey freaking out. Actually no, I’m outrightly and openly freaking out because I have an assignment due on Wednesday, a tonne of work to do for my final project which is due next week on Friday, of which Eid is also next week, so I have no idea how that’ll work out because regardless of when Eid will be, I have to be back for my Friday class which is my project class; of which I am extremely far behind on so I don’t even know if I’ll be able to go home for more than a day to spend time with my family. 

Not to mention I have to start filming for my documentary class, and on the 11th of July I will be traveling to Ethiopia in shaa Allah for my field studies class; for which 'Yaaay!'... but not really because I'm way too exhausted. Tell me my stress levels should not be through the roof right now. And yet I look around me and no one else seems to be losing their minds. No one seems to be experiencing a volcanic eruption of stress and anxiety. And it makes me wonder; maybe I’m the misfit here. Maybe I take things too seriously, but then shouldn’t school be taken seriously? Shouldn’t one’s future be handled with care? Then again maybe I think too much too.

However, there is a silver lining.I don’t know what it is yet but I’m sure it exists.I prayed about my worries and fears today and I let it all out. It felt good, it felt freeing to release all that built up angst. I also cried, but don’t worry about it, crying comes naturally for me.Whenever I’m in a dark situation where I feel helpless,frantic and vulnerable, my instinct is simply to cry.And that’s something I’m not ashamed of,I’m ok with tears, because afterwards I’m able get my mind straight and do what needs to be done.Other times I simply cry some more.

I know that one day I’m going to look back on this situation and wonder why I was so stressed, but one thing I do not want to do is look back and feel like I wasted this time of my life worrying, obsessing and being fearful.I want to look back in shaa Allah, and say that even though I was pressed up against the wall, I have something to show for it; I lived, even if for a little. I didn’t allow the weight of the darkness to crumble on my feeble shoulders. I want to say that I sought pleasure in the things that brought me joy, the things that made me happy.And  who knows, maybe that is the silver lining.That amongst all the turmoil, we still have the capability and opportunity to take part in what we love, when so many have not been gifted with that. We still have the chance to be anchored and to be latched on to our passions.

As I sat in my script writing class today and my mind wandered off to all my pending commitments, I wrote this little snippet, which to me seems a bit eerie and moody but I guess that was what oozed out of me then:

Tired of school, Stress on peak.

Missing my art, wanting to bloom.

Wanting to cry, wanting to speak.

The rebel in me, scared of being judged.

Scared of being shunned, scared of being banned.

Make my mom proud, work on my dreams

Scared of failure, scared of mediocre

Scared of failure.

Craving sleep, craving rest.

Craving comfort.

Anxious and anxious,lowkey though.

Happy with my faith.

Wanting to scream out loud, wanting to dance.

Wanting to travel.

Happy with my faith, Proud of myself.

Scared of failing, tired of uni.

Facing my demons.

 Ready to be alive, Ready to feel alive. 

Thankful for today, Hoping it gets better.

Praying it gets better, Believing it gets better.

Yes.It gets better.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

What if Ramadhan doesn't change Me?

Asslam Aleykum Warahmatullahy Wabarakatuh
Hello everyone!Ramadhan Mubarak!

Photo by me! woop!woop!Is that a legit sunset or what! :)

I’m busy. I really am. It’s my last semester and I have four courses to survive through. Three of which are quite bulky. Organized college students usually have one or two courses left to finish up with in their last semester, at least the ones I know. But you know me, I’m unique. A part of me feels like this semester is simply like any other. I’ve been through the crazy courses, sleepless nights and buckets of tears before; I guess it simply being the last semester scares me, and it causes me to heap on it some extra pressure. Pressure that I figure could be somewhat unnecessary, but oh well, here we are. And so I believe you can understand my lackadaisical drive to post on here. It’s not that I’m ignoring my blog, but you guys know the drill. However today, I felt a duty to post. A duty to myself, and a duty as a Muslim girl who is going through something that if shared, I believe could help someone out there. Besides, posts like these are why I started to blog in the first place. Posts like these are what I wanted to read. But no one was writing such, so here I am.

I was apprehensive at the onset of Ramadhan; kind of fidgety and absolutely anxious. Not because I’m scared of fasting, not at all. I remember when I first fasted my full Ramadhan, as in 29 days of legit fasting. I believe I was either six or seven and it was my first Ramadhan ever. I went to my mom and let her know that I wanted to fast… for the whole month. What parents usually do is they train you with half day fasting so that when it becomes mandatory upon you as a Muslim child to fast (usually when puberty kicks in), it is much easier for one to do so. But not me, I beat my mom to it. I was seven years old and I made up my mind to fast the entire month. Even when my mom would tell me it was ok for me to break my fast if I was too hungry or thirsty, I would completely decline the suggestion. So believe me when I say fasting in Ramadhan was not my reason for being anxious.

I had been thinking about life alot.I have been thinking about life a lot . I thought about my past two Ramadhans and how I was so far from where I was intending to be as a conscious Muslim girl. Contrary to popular belief, Ramadhan is not about the food. I know…big shocker! But it is true. Ramadhan is about spiritual nourishment, it is about spiritual and individual growth and it is about strengthening our connection and relationship with Allah (sw). Its focus is on the human soul. Where’s your soul at? That's the big question.
Essentially, Ramadhan is a kind of stop sign for you to evaluate your life and see whether you have been following Allah (sw’s) commands to living a successful and productive life, the way Allah (sw), The Most Loving wants us to live. And if not, find your way back to Allah (sw). As I perused over the pages of my life, I realized that I was way worse than I had anticipated. The scholars of Islam say that one way to know whether your Ramadhan has been accepted is that you continue with the good deeds that you adopted during Ramadhan, even after Ramadhan is over. More importantly, that the bad deeds or bad habits that Allah (sw) doesn’t like for us, the bad deeds that we chose to leave behind in the holy month of Ramadhan, we stayed away from those even after Ramadhan was over.

However for me, I had gone back to those bad habits and had even adopted worse habits compared to the ones I had before. Now, I’ve always been conscious of the fact that I’m a Muslim. Alhamdulillah, I developed an interest for Islam from quite an early age, taking note of the fact that I don’t hail from a super religious background. I didn’t even attend Islamic school but Alhamdulillah Allah (sw) provided for me abundantly. That being said, when I decided to break the rules, I knew I was doing something bad, I knew Allah (sw) was displeased with that action, but even then I still did it. Talk about peer pressure and all that jazz but at the end of the day I knew that the problem was with me and with my relationship with Allah (sw).

I was distant from Him (sw) and a trick that shaytaan (the devil) uses when we sin or make mistakes is that he whispers into our souls that we should avoid Allah (sw). And so avoid anything Islamic, anything that reminds us of Allah (sw), because when we remember Him, we are reminded of our disobedience towards Him. It’s kind of like a Parent – child relationship, when a child makes a mistake, they do everything they can to hide that mistake or avoid the parents because they acknowledge that they did something wrong and there will be consequences.
Which is where I was at; I was looking at my soul and asking myself, ‘how in the world did I get here?’ And I thought to myself, if I was to die today, I would not want to meet Allah (sw) with such a soul. I look at my life, my amazing life, and I acknowledge that I don’t deserve any of it. I don’t deserve to be this awesome (lol, vain much?) but Allah (sw) is extremely Merciful and extremely giving and extremely loving that even when we disobey Him and we turn away from Him, He still loves us and He still wants us to be close to Him.

So as I sat there, I realized that it was time to change, like legit. This life where every Ramadhan is a slap in the face reminding me of what an ungrateful servant I am, of what a failure of a Muslim I am, is not a life that I want to live. The reason why I was apprehensive about Ramadhan is because I was afraid of changing. I’ve tried changing before and I failed, so why even bother when I’m simply going to fail again, I thought. I was afraid of giving up the things that I am so attached to but deep down I know bring me no value because they are displeasing to the one I love, Allah (sw).And I was also afraid because  I thought, what if Ramadhan doesn’t change me? What if I fail once again…and you guys all know my relationship with failure. We simply don’t click!

But then I realized that Ramadhan is simply a wakeup call, a stop sign, a mercy from Allah (sw). Ultimately, I am responsible for the changes I want to see in myself. Being a Muslim is a life long journey full of ups and downs. Every day is a day to be Muslim not just during Ramadhan. What’s more profound to me is that you have to want it that bad, because it’s hard. That devil hating-Creator loving mentality isn’t something you simply wake up with, rather it is something that you have to strive and work hard for. You have to put in the effort, the blood and the tears, the same way you put effort into something that you love. And I guess that’s why I’m somewhat scared. What if I can’t do it? But I’m not one to let fear stop me.

I love Islam, but words have to manifest into actions. And i understand that, so if you love Islam too, then I ask you to look to your soul and turn back to Allah (sw).Verily, to Allah (sw) we belong and to Him we shall return. I’m ready to put in the work and I understand that it is going to be hard and I’ll probably fall plenty of times. But Allah (sw) says in the Qur’an that when My servant asks about me tell them I am near. I’m here for you, He (sw) says.And what could be more awesome than having the Lord of the Worlds by your side? So you’re not alone, I’m not alone, we aren’t alone. And So I’d rather spend my days trying to get on deen than continue living a lie. Because until when will we lie to ourselves? Until when will we decided to turn back to Allah (sw) and be Muslim?