Saturday, September 08, 2007

Where has the time gone?? New family, Turkey, and Umrah...

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.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Assalamu Alaikum sister Jenny,


I have been reading your blog for some time now, and I'm glad you had a wonderful trip to Turkey and have performed the Umrah.


May Allah accept all your actions and reward you. Aameen.


This comment may not be appropriate to the topic of your last post, but I hope it will benefit you in the relations with your non-Muslim family.


I don't know the religious denomination you were following previously. I guess you were either Catholic, Protestant or Eastern Orthodox.


The Catholic Church has made an amazing 180 degree turn in the mid 1960s and in 1992, reversing its stance where for centuries it has called us Muslims "pagans".


In the document called Lumen Gentium -which was adopted by a vote of Catholic Bishops in the Vatican II council and promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1964-, the following paragraph is found:

"But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Mohamedans, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind."

Source: http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19641121_lumen-gentium_en.html


In another document called Nostra Aetate -which was adopted by a vote of Catholic Bishops in the Vatican II council and promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1965-, the following is found:

"3. The Church regards with esteem also the Moslems. They adore the one God, living and subsisting in Himself; merciful and all- powerful, the Creator of heaven and earth,(5) who has spoken to men; they take pains to submit wholeheartedly to even His inscrutable decrees, just as Abraham, with whom the faith of Islam takes pleasure in linking itself, submitted to God. Though they do not acknowledge Jesus as God, they revere Him as a prophet. They also honor Mary, His virgin Mother; at times they even call on her with devotion. In addition, they await the day of judgment when God will render their deserts to all those who have been raised up from the dead. Finally, they value the moral life and worship God especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting."

Source: http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651028_nostra-aetate_en.html


Of course, we Muslims totally reject the phrase claiming that we call on the Virgin Mary with devotion, since supplication is an act of worship, and all acts of worship should be directed to Allah alone. We should not supplicate to any dead person, even our beloved Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]. And it's no excuse to say that we want these dead persons to intercede with Allah on our behalf. One can and must supplicate to Allah the Almighty directly, and indeed this is one of the most important and beautiful aspects of Islam.


And in The Catechism of the Catholic Church -which was promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1992-, the following is found:

"841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."

Source: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/__P29.HTM


Of course, the Catholics say that a condition for us or any other religious group of achieving salvation is that we were not exposed to the Gospel and Catholic doctrines. If we were exposed, then -according to their beliefs and certainly not mine- “Outside the Church there is no salvation”. This view can be seen in the answer to question 171 in the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

"171. What is the meaning of the affirmation “Outside the Church there is no salvation”?

846-848

This means that all salvation comes from Christ, the Head, through the Church which is his body. Hence they cannot be saved who, knowing the Church as founded by Christ and necessary for salvation, would refuse to enter her or remain in her. At the same time, thanks to Christ and to his Church, those who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ and his Church but sincerely seek God and, moved by grace, try to do his will as it is known through the dictates of conscience can attain eternal salvation."

Source: http://www.vatican.va/archive/compendium_ccc/documents/archive_2005_compendium-ccc_en.html


I don't want you to get the wrong impression, sister. Every Muslim -including myself- doesn't need the admission of the Catholic Church [or any other religious body] that we do worship God Almighty, and we don't care about their conditions of achieving salvation. We have the Book of Allah [the Qur'an] and the authentic sayings of His Messenger [peace be upon him]. And these two sources [as understood by the Companions] are perfectly sufficient to us.


The reason I'm quoting these documents from the Catholic Church is that it shows an admission from one of the most bitter enemies of Islam that we do worship God Almighty, and this admission will -God willing- have a great impact in dispelling the prevalent misconception among the masses of non Muslims that we do no worship God Almighty who sent the prophets Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus [peace be upon them all].


In a world where these fallacies are abound [like the nonsensical "moon god" theory], the admission of the Catholic Church dispels this misconception.


And here is where I believe this will help you with your family. A Muslim should begin by quoting verses of the Qur'an which show our belief in God Almighty and in the prophets [peace be upon them all]. To Christians, the belief in Jesus [peace be upon him] as a prophet and in his mother the Virgin Mary should also be shown from the Qur'an.


But if your family members still persist in denying the we do worship God Almighty, then I believe that the documents quoted above will go a long way to dispel their misconception.


Of course, it's only logical to assume that this Catholic Church admission will -God willing- have the greatest effect if your non Muslim family members are Catholics. But even if they were from another Christian denomination, I still believe it will have a profound effect on them, given the historical track record of the Catholic Church in its relations with Islam.


May Allah reward you for all your efforts, and may He strengthen you in the faith of Islam and guide your family to Islam. Aameen.


Regards,

a brother in Islam

Wassalamu Alaikum

Anonymous said...

Assalamu Alaikum,


It's been a few days now, and it says "0 comments" at the end of the post titled "Where has the time gone?? New family, Turkey, and Umrah...", even though I have posted a comment.


Regards,

a brother in Islam

Wassalamu Alaikum

Anonymous said...

This is the last time I'll try to post a comment, so that it will read "3 comments" at the end of your post of 9/8/2007.

may14muslima said...

Anonymous--
I am not sure why your comments were not showing up, but I am sorry about that. It is odd I have tried from two different internet servers and the comments have shown up on both occasions. Insha'Allah it was just a glitch in the system and your comments will be posted by now for you and others to see.

Despite the comments not showing on the net, they were getting sent to me so I was able to read them. Thank you for your well thought out first comment.

As to my previous religious followings-- I was raised Protestant. My family still is involved in the Protestant church. However, as many differences surround Catholics and Protestants, my family would certainly be more responsive to comments of support by the Catholic church, than my attempts to highlight the many similarities between Islam and the Christian church. My attempts to highlight the history of religion as the world knows it (that Islam, Judaism and Christianity are all Abrahamic religions) hasn't seemed to hold much value with a couple of members of my family who at this point put more trust in the North American media than the history books and scholars of the last centuries.
But I pray that Allah will continue to open their hearts and that slowly small conversations will enable us to explore this topic yet again. For me this is one of the most beautiful parts of displaying the truth of Islam... Look at the history or religion in our times. How the canon of the Bible was formed, who made those choices, why certain texts were left out...

Brother Abduraheem Green has a wonderful Khutbah about this entire topic that every Christian (and Muslim) should watch. Even if faith isn't enough to dispel the credibility of the story of the Crucifixion to Christians, I don't know how if someone looked at the history of the church it would not influence their beliefs.

I know it was one of the biggest factors for me. I will insha'Allah post the link to the video on the main page so you and other readers can watch it.

Until then, brother thanks for your sincere comment and for continuing to read despite the long lag time between entries over the summer.

In Islam...

Anonymous said...

salaam alaykum wa rahmatullah.

just wanted to let you know that i am able to read all 3 of the brother's comments, plus your reply, jen. hope it's working now for you both too!

Anonymous said...

alssalamu alykm.
mashallah .. may allah make you strong in the deen sister.
Im your brother in islam living in jeddah...

when i read your blog thought i know you before and got a chance to sereve you and you husband in you umra trip...

may allah keep us all in the right path and enter all of us in his eternal jannathul fridous. aameen.

Anonymous said...

Jenny,

I am so excited and elated for you! I had no idea. Actually, I had some idea but I was not sure until you confirmed it yourself. I am late on catching up on your writings but I am so happy for your blessing. PLease email soon and catch me up on everything. I don't want to take up space in your blog when you hope for specific responses to your answer but I had no other way.
I think about you often and again, am so very happy for you both.

xox dylan

A Yunus said...

Assalaamu Alaikum sister,

Alhamdulillah Iam happy for your blessing...cos Iam too sailing the same path and this journey being a roller coaster ride...is really a blessing...an unmatched blessing from Allah SWT. When is your due date? Mine is late in April next year.Please keep us also in prayers. I wasnt reading ur blog for quite a while so couldnt read all but read this one. Even we had planned for Hajj this year, I had no fears but I eagerly await...but my dr rejected this idea and also my husband stands with it.Please pray for us sister, insha Allah.