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.