Monday, December 18, 2006

Let a Muslim be a Muslim.

My mom and her husband flew back to Canada today. My mom couldn't get over "all of the different types of hijabs". Alhamdulillah she left here trying to include the word "insha'Allah" in some of her sentences, I think her coming here showed her a small portion of what Islam is and what it isn't.

The wedding was yesterday, it was one of those lost in translation moments where everyone around me is talking and it is as though i am standing still as the words just fly by. Alhamdulillah there was an interpreter but I pray Allah (SWT) will make this language easy for me to learn.
After the wedding we went back to my husband's family's house. Numerous relatives many of which whom have never met a convert before. By the end of the night we ended up discussing my conversion.
The one woman who initiated the discussion did so with the intent of trying to disclose whether I had converted to Islam for the sake of my husband. Was I being forced to wear hijab? Of course this opened up the long ( and emotional) story of my conversion. Insha'Allah it was a witness to this woman and it will show her the power of Allah (SWT).

I was thinking about the entire conversation later in the evening, and was thinking about things I wished I had said in that situation that I didn't. Of course hindsight is 20/20. The thing is, Alhamdulillah Allah (SWT) showed me the beauty of His religion and has taught be many things through the Qur'an, books, hadith, friends etc. and it is that knowledge and truth which he has shown me that caused me to convert. But even if that wasn't the case, and I did convert for the sake of my husband, or so I could be married to him, than I would say Alhamdulillah Allah (SWT) used that method of showing me Islam. You see, Allah (SWT) works in incredible ways, and in ways that we as humans will never understand. He chooses who He will guide and who will go astray, and if He uses something as beautiful as love to guide someone to Islam, than Alahamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah.

It is my prayer that when we as Muslims look at one another, we don't see convert, or Arab, or skin colour or age... I pray that we would look at one another and say Alhamdulillah we are all Muslim, who believe in the same one God and prophets. Insha'Allah we will keep that in mind and encourage one another to pursue a strong faith full of devotion and knoweldge, and not try to negate the significance of a person's belief based on how they came to truth.

A couple of days ago, a good friend of my husband's who lives in Canada but was from Turkey, had to fly back urgently as his father passed away. (May Allah (SWT) have mercy on his soul, and be with the family as they grieve his loss). Talking about death is really difficult for me at this point as it makes me consider the fact that I am the only Muslim in my family... When I am in a place like Turkey where families are full of Islam, and truth, my heart aches for those who are close to me who do not know the truth. Not only my family, but the many people in the world who do not know about Islam. We need to be grateful for those who are Muslim, celebrate the truth that we know, praise Allah (SWT) for guiding us, pray to Him that He would keep us on the true path of Islam, and then support everyone is our trials.
Alhamdulillah there is Islam, lets always keep that in the forefront of our minds.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A long time coming...

Assalam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh

Brothers and sisters in Islam, it has been much too long since I have written. I am sure many of you have stopped reading, thinking I have vanished into thin air. Alhamdulillah things are good and I am back with time to write this post for the sake of Allah (SWT).

I am in Turkey right now, Alhamdullilah. School is done, and Alhamdulillah Allah (SWT) provided me with the strength I needed to get through the days.

My thoughts today are about Turkey... Alhamdulillah, I have only been here for two days so far, but I have been loving every minute. My husband's family is throwing us a wedding reception... Alhamdulillah Allah (SWT) has blessed me with wonderful in-laws.

I found myself crying as we were driving through Istanbul today, it is like nothing I have ever seen. Mosques in every direction... And not just small, house-like, hidden mosques (but not that one is better than the other in anyway,) but big architecturally beautiful mosques with minarath's that can be seen soaring atop the roofs of houses and buildings. In honesty there is probably a mosque every 500feet. I am being completely honest... Alhamdulillah it is wonderful. I wish I could take a picture of each one... walk into each one... pray in each one. Maybe another year when inshallah I return.
Alhamdulillah there is always people in them. At one of them I was at yesterday, there was a outdoor fountain for brothers to make wudu in. It was so wonderful. So much like how it should be... lacking extravagance, people coming together to join in prayer for the sake of Islam. The first mosque I went to the sisters side was so full for the Asr prayer in the afternoon we couldn't get in. Alhamdulillah there are people practicing their religion. Alhamdulillah Alhamdulillah Ahamdulillah.
I know it says that it is more rewarding for sisters to pray at home, but imagine the beauty of the when people are out shopping for groceries or picking up something from the local market and the Athan is called, and people hurry to the mosque.
Alhamdulillah it is what I have seen.

But as I thought about it there was a moment when it became bittersweet. Alhamdulillah it must be so easy to be Muslim in this country. Mosques everywhere, halal everything, 99% of the people in Turkey are Muslim... Alhamdulillah it is a blessing from Allah (SWT).
I think of Winnipeg where, alhamdulillah, there are 5 mosques, 9,000 Muslims, and two Halal restaurants in a city of almost 1 million. (May Allah (SWT) continue to bless our city and draw more people to Islam.) But where it became bittersweet is when I looked around, there were many who never blinked their eye when the Athan was called, that their tight jeans, low cut shirts, and long flowing hair, disguised the truth of Islam that I believe somewhere in their hearts they must know.
It broke my heart... In a city where it is so easy to know Islam, to see the truth, to practice your faith, why would these people choose not to. May Allah (SWT) guide us all and keep us all on the straight path.
Of course it is hard not to be influenced by the secular world, and secular government that has banned women from wearing hijab in government buildings and schools...
But Alhamdulillah Allah has touched the hearts of these people... Insha'Allah He will guide the hearts of us all. Insha'Allah He will answer my prayers and teach me more and more about Him as I spend my time here.
Insha'Allah I will learn about Him, this beautiful faith and myself in a way I have never thought imaginable.

My mom and her husband arrived today... Insha'allah the mosques, my husbands family, the people, the generosity, the love and the beauty will soften their hearts towards the beauty of Islam. Insha'Allah...

I will be sure to keep posting while I am here to share with everyone my experiences and thoughts. I hope there are still a few people reading...
I will try to include some pictures as well.
In Islam...