Assalam Alaikum to those still checking the blog after my long absence from writing... The summer has been rather eventful and between the excitement and my admitted laziness in writing it has been months since I have posted anything. Alhamdulillah Allah (SWT) has given me an abundance of blessings over the last few months of which I am so extremely grateful for. The first of which may be the biggest of all blessings in one's life--my husband and I have been given the blessing of a child and inshallah we will be expecting our first baby in the winter. Alhamdulilliah this fills me with all sorts of feelings-- Feelings that I really have zero inability to describe. Much of my time has been spent on reading about the family in Islam and children in Islam as I reflect on how just over a year ago I was the one discovering Islam, and now it will be my responsibility to pass the beauties, truth and greatness of this religion onto a being as pure as an infant. At the end of the day after all of my insecurites and questions loop over and over again in my mind I wonder if I will have the knowledge and competancies to give this child the knowledge that they deserve and I desire for him/her. Yet I realize that in the doubt of my own self is the trust in Allah. That in admitting I will need help and guidance I submit to Allah (SWT) and trust that He will reveal all that needs revealing and give me the strength to inshallah raise this beautiful child in the Islam that I seek and desire-- To raise them in the followings of the Qur'an and Sunnah and an Islam unpolluted by so many of the elements in society today. Please keep my husband and I in your du'a and of course our small child that inshallah is on its way.
As you can imagine the above has occupied much of my thoughts in the last few months, not to mention a lot of energy as Alhamdulillah I am learning why paradise is at the feet of mothers-- the morning sickness has been all-day sickness and has lasted far longer than the first trimester, but alhamdulillah I earnestly seek the reward Allah (SWT) inshallah gives to mothers. It has also helped to me to see the miracles of Allah (SWT) in different areas of my life.
One of the other blessings I was given this summer was to travel to Turkey for a month and a half to visit my inlaws. My husband and I had made intention to go from Turkey to Umrah this summer, but in our plans doors seemed to keep closing on me specifically to be able to go. My visa couldn't be approved via Turkey and by then it was too late to apply through Canada and I had resigned to the idea that I would not be able to go to Umrah this year.
In hindsight I know it was a lesson that Allah (SWT) was teaching me. Initially when we were discussing Umrah it was around the time that we found out we were pregnant. My first thoughts were nervousness about the heat and being able to cope with the sickness of pregnancy during the hottest (and I mean HOTTEST) month of the year in Saudi. Although I desired to go to Umrah, my fear was plaguing my intention and I believe that because of that Allah (SWT) took my fear away by taking Umrah away. As I realized I wouldn't be able to go, the fear that I once felt was filled with a sadness that was so deep it caused me to fall prostrate to Allah to ask for comfort in the decision but even more to open a door for me to be able to go to Umrah.
In losing the chance to go the holiest city and place in our religion to prostrate at the base of the Kabbah and inshallah have some of my sins erased I realized how my fear had prevented me from trusting in Allah. Then again as I submitted to him and acknowledged the wonderful gift and chance I had in front of me, suddenly doors began to open. Now I must add that this was all within five days of the date my husband and brother-in-law were scheduled to depart. It seemed as though it would be impossible for things to fall in place in time, but the more du'a I made the more Allah answered them.... I suppose it was Allah's way of saying " haven't I told you if you come to me walking I will come to you running!!"
Within days we found someone to get me a visa, I got a seat on the plane, the Saudi embassy approved a Turkish visa despite my not being a Turkish citizen and I was on my way.... simply by the grace of Allah.
But the miracles of Allah didn't stop there. As I mentioned I was very sick from the pregnancy and had been vomitting everyday of my pregnancy. I prayed that while doing Umrah Allah would keep my sickness from me and help me to get through my acts of worship and succesfully complete my Umrah. I was sick the day we left to Saudi but once in Mecca for the entire 4 days we were there I was fine-- then upon returning to Turkey I was sick again. Once again Allah had showed me His truth and grace and answered my du'a.
The experience of Umrah is not one I can put into words. People keep asking me what it is like and I am not sure how to respond. I pray that Allah will accept my act of worship and that I will get to return to do it again-- but if not then alhamdulillah I have had the chance to see the kabbah with my eyes however tear-filled they may have been and give all glory to Allah that He alone brought me there. To see the many faces of people from all over the world who were there seeking the reward or their deeds and the forgiveness of Allah and worshiping Him in a sincerity and earnesty that was one of the most beautiful sites on earth. Of course the mosque and the kabbah itself in all of its magnitude and pristine beauty were breathtaking, but to say I made du'a at the kabbah for as many people and things as would come to my mind, to touch it and experience it in a reality that pictures can't bring, and to inshallah walk in the footsteps of the Prophet (SAW) and so many calipha and followers of Islam walked is a blessing I am so grateful for and I pray that all Muslims will have the chance to experience.
So, this is where I have been for the summer. Inshallah I hope to still hear from some of you-- May Allah give you all Umrah and Hajj and give you endless blessings.