May 14th Muslima

On May 14th I will have been Muslim for 14 years. How fast that time has passed. 

Every May 14th I always experience a similar emotion. I struggle with an enormous sense of guilt and sadness. I reflect on the year, and ask myself, “What did you do for Allah this year? How are you better in the sight of Allah, than you were last year?” More often than not I find little that I can add to the list. In fact, I wonder how many sins I have added to my scale, how many deeds I have lost. The regret always weighs heavy on my heart. I find myself begging for another year as a Muslim and making intentions to be better, to do better… pleading with Allah that He would not take me in a state when I am not being the best Muslim I could possibly be.

When I first became Muslim, I told myself I would memorize Quran. Years later someone said to me “when you first became Muslim, you said you would memorize Quran, and I believed you could, and would. Now I don’t believe it.” It was a hurtful moment. The words stung. But the fact of the matter was that it was true, and I had nobody to blame for that but myself. I wish in that moment I would have channelled that sadness and used it to motivate me to begin my memorization process. In the last few months I was calculating that if I had just memorized one verse of Quran a day, it would take 17 years to memorize the whole thing. This year, is 14 years. I could have been so close to completing the Quran. One verse a day… surely that would have been doable. What if I am not given 17 more years? What if I meet my Lord tomorrow and He says “Read, and ascend, and recite as you used to recite in the [previous] world, for your status will be according to the last verse that you recite.’” (Tirmidhi), and I have but a few short surahs to recite?

It is so easy to make excuses for myself. “I don’t have enough time”, “ I have five kids”, “I don’t understand Arabic”, “ I have to get up for work in the morning”, “ I am too old to memorize”… but how much time have I spent on Instagram or watching a series online? Am I really being honest with myself?

I regularly make dua for a memory like Ayesha RA, and to have knowledge like hers. To have the faith of Khadija and Mariam (may Allah be pleased with them both). To have the commitment in faith of Sumaiyah (may Allah bless her and raise her in status).  I make these duas, but what I am realizing is that I don’t follow them up with action. As a Muslim, I am responsible to make dua to Allah, to trust in Allah, but I must also ‘tie my camel’.  I must do my part in achieving my success. Yet year after year, as I reflect, I can’t help but feel that I have squandered my gift.

More often than not, on May 14th,  I allow the feelings of despair to overtake me. This year however, while I must admit, my first thoughts were everything you have just read above, I have come to a realization. What I have realized is that my perception and understanding of Allah has been incomplete.

Allah describes the believers as those who“arise from their beds and they supplicate to their Lord in fear and hope…” (Quran 32:16) While so often I typically focus on the fear, and all of the ways I have fallen short, I need to remind myself that the hope in Allah is equally important. Moreover, it is Allah’s mercy that is His prevailing characteristic,  “When Allah completed the creation, He wrote in his book with him upon the throne: Verily, my mercy prevails over my wrath.” (Bukhārī 3022)

Allah’s dominating characteristic is His Mercy. It is mentioned in the Quran in some way more than 150 times, while His anger is mentioned just 19. More than that, there are 99 names that describe Allah. 99 characteristics that convey the essence of who He is to mankind. Yet I seem to always focus on the same one or two. So as I sit and reflect on this, what I actually have realised, is that my view and understanding of Allah has been so very limited.

 If I was more aware of the qualities of Allah in entirety, knowing Allah through His 99 names and attributes, then the way I understand who Allah to be, as well as my faith, would be entirely different.  I believe my perception would change. Perhaps I would not always focus on His Judgment. I would know that His essence is so much beyond this. That yes, while I still need to regret my sins, I would also understand with certainty, that my deeds will never be what earn my place in Jannah. That it is only by Allah’s love, and grace that I will be forgiven.

Allah doesn’t expect perfection, He expects effort and He expects submission. If He wanted perfection, He would have made us angels. That alone should prevent me from falling into despair.

Last year, May 14th fell within Ramadan. This year, it is not only in Ramadan, but in the last ten days of Ramadan. With this, I can’t help but feel hopeful. I have a new chance to pray to Allah and imagine Him in all of the ways He describes Himself. To understand who Allah is, and know that Allah says “I am just as My slave thinks I am, (i.e. I am able to do for him what he thinks I can do for him) and I am with him if He remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I too, remember him in Myself; and if he remembers Me in a group of people, I remember him in a group that is better than they; and if he comes one span nearer to Me, I go one cubit nearer to him; and if he comes one cubit nearer to Me, I go a distance of two outstretched arms nearer to him; and if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running.’” (Bukhari 7405)

I went back into my past journals and found a piece I had written from when I was newly Muslim.

“Tonight is exactly one month of my being a Muslima. As I was pressing my face into my prayer mat, calling out to Allah I let myself go… becoming completely ‘Undone’. Giving myself to Allah, asking Him to lead… Asking Him to show me my wrongs, to give me the strength to make them right. I know that I am “Unrighteous, Undeserving and coming Undone” before Allah, but He is UNLIMITED in what He can do.”

Allah is unlimited in what He can do.  I need to keep reflecting on this as I move forward. The last ten days of Ramadan are here. I have the opportunity to stand before my Creator, while He waits to forgive my sins. Another opportunity for a fresh start. A chance to renew my focus and re-center my mind on the gift that I have been given, and how I intend to act on it.  I intend to break the habit of being someone who only turns to Allah in times of sadness or in times of need. My goal is to remember Allah more in happiness and in gratitude. Acknowledging the blessings He regularly bestows upon me. Acknowledging Him for ALL of who He is, for He is;
Allah (الله) God The Greatest Name
1 Ar-Rahman (الرحمن) The All-Compassionate
2 Ar-Rahim (الرحيم) The All-Merciful
3 Al-Malik (الملك) The Absolute Ruler
4 Al-Quddus (القدوس) The Pure One
5 As-Salam (السلام) The Source of Peace
6 Al-Mu’min (المؤمن) The Inspirer of Faith
7 Al-Muhaymin (المهيمن) The Guardian
8 Al-Aziz (العزيز) The Victorious
9 Al-Jabbar (الجبار) The Compeller
10 Al-Mutakabbir (المتكبر) The Greatest
11 Al-Khaliq (الخالق) The Creator
12 Al-Bari’ (البارئ) The Maker of Order
13 Al-Musawwir (المصور) The Shaper of Beauty
14 Al-Ghaffar (الغفار) The Forgiving
15 Al-Qahhar (القهار) The Subduer
16 Al-Wahhab (الوهاب) The Giver of All
17 Ar-Razzaq (الرزاق) The Sustainer
18 Al-Fattah (الفتاح) The Opener
19 Al-`Alim (العليم) The Knower of All
20 Al-Qabid (القابض) The Constrictor
21 Al-Basit (الباسط) The Reliever
22 Al-Khafid (الخافض) The Abaser
23 Ar-Rafi (الرافع) The Exalter
24 Al-Mu’izz (المعز) The Bestower of Honors
25 Al-Mudhill (المذل) The Humiliator
26 As-Sami (السميع) The Hearer of All
27 Al-Basir (البصير) The Seer of All
28 Al-Hakam (الحكم) The Judge
29 Al-`Adl (العدل) The Just
30 Al-Latif (اللطيف) The Subtle One
31 Al-Khabir (الخبير) The All-Aware
32 Al-Halim (الحليم) The Forbearing
33 Al-Azim (العظيم) The Magnificent
34 Al-Ghafur (الغفور) The Forgiver and Hider of Faults
35 Ash-Shakur (الشكور) The Rewarder of Thankfulness
36 Al-Ali (العلى) The Highest
37 Al-Kabir (الكبير) The Greatest
38 Al-Hafiz (الحفيظ) The Preserver
39 Al-Muqit (المقيت) The Nourisher
40 Al-Hasib (الحسيب) The Accounter
41 Al-Jalil (الجليل) The Mighty
42 Al-Karim (الكريم) The Generous
43 Ar-Raqib (الرقيب) The Watchful One
44 Al-Mujib (المجيب) The Responder to Prayer
45 Al-Wasi (الواسع) The All-Comprehending
46 Al-Hakim (الحكيم) The Perfectly Wise
47 Al-Wadud (الودود) The Loving One
48 Al-Majid (المجيد) The Majestic One
49 Al-Ba’ith (الباعث) The Resurrector
50 Ash-Shahid (الشهيد) The Witness
51 Al-Haqq (الحق) The Truth
52 Al-Wakil (الوكيل) The Trustee
53 Al-Qawiyy (القوى) The Possessor of All Strength
54 Al-Matin (المتين) The Forceful One
55 Al-Waliyy (الولى) The Governor
56 Al-Hamid (الحميد) The Praised One
57 Al-Muhsi (المحصى) The Appraiser
58 Al-Mubdi’ (المبدئ) The Originator
59 Al-Mu’id (المعيد) The Restorer
60 Al-Muhyi (المحيى) The Giver of Life
61 Al-Mumit (المميت) The Taker of Life
62 Al-Hayy (الحي) The Ever Living One
63 Al-Qayyum (القيوم) The Self-Existing One
64 Al-Wajid (الواجد) The Finder
65 Al-Majid (الماجد) The Glorious
66 Al-Wahid (الواحد) The Unique, The Single
67 Al-Ahad (الاحد) The One, The Indivisible
68 As-Samad (الصمد) The Satisfier of All Needs
69 Al-Qadir (القادر) The All Powerful
70 Al-Muqtadir (المقتدر) The Creator of All Power
71 Al-Muqaddim (المقدم) The Expediter
72 Al-Mu’akhkhir (المؤخر) The Delayer
73 Al-Awwal (الأول) The First
74 Al-Akhir (الأخر) The Last
75 Az-Zahir (الظاهر) The Manifest One
76 Al-Batin (الباطن) The Hidden One
77 Al-Wali (الوالي) The Protecting Friend
78 Al-Muta’ali (المتعالي) The Supreme One
79 Al-Barr (البر) The Doer of Good
80 At-Tawwab (التواب) The Guide to Repentance
81 Al-Muntaqim (المنتقم) The Avenger
82 Al-‘Afuww (العفو) The Forgiver
83 Ar-Ra’uf (الرؤوف) The Clement
84 Malik-al-Mulk (مالك الملك) The Owner of All
85 Dhu-al-Jalal wa-al-Ikram (ذو الجلال و الإكرام) The Lord of Majesty and Bounty
86 Al-Muqsit (المقسط) The Equitable One
87 Al-Jami’ (الجامع) The Gatherer
88 Al-Ghani (الغنى) The Rich One
89 Al-Mughni (المغنى) The Enricher
90 Al-Mani’(المانع) The Preventer of Harm
91 Ad-Darr (الضار) The Creator of The Harmful
92 An-Nafi’ (النافع) The Creator of Good
93 An-Nur (النور) The Light
94 Al-Hadi (الهادي) The Guide
95 Al-Badi (البديع) The Originator
96 Al-Baqi (الباقي) The Everlasting One
97 Al-Warith (الوارث) The Inheritor of All
98 Ar-Rashid (الرشيد) The Righteous Teacher
99 As-Sabur (الصبور) The Patient One

“Allah has ninety-nine names, one hundred less one. Anyone who learns them will enter Jannah.” (Bukhari). Allah, allow me to learn and understand who you are in your entirety. Allow this to be a reason I attain Jannah.

Allah thank you for choosing me. Thank you for your endless Mercy and the way you wait for me to come back and refocus on You. Allow me to never take for granted this gift that I have been given. Always keep me on the path of Islam. Allow me to receive your forgiveness in these blessed last days of Ramadan and allow me to live to see many more Ramadan’s. Help me to always live in a way that is pleasing to you and in a way that finds the balance between hope and fear. Ameen.

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ElifBrahim Mauritania Recent comment authors
En Yeniler Eskiler Beğenilenler
Brahim Mauritania
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Brahim Mauritania

read and think about this verse … Coran 12/101

Elif
Ziyaretçi
Elif

Maaşallah. Sizi örnek alıyoruz.

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