Asalam Alaikum everyone, wow, three months have passed. I came to Turkey in November and between spending time here and lack of internet access (and just plain apathy maybe--) I put my blog on hold. Alhamdulillah it seems now more than ever is a time to speak up-- Muslims being persecuted left right and center, while the rest of the world sits back and watches a biased media and believes, or maybe just ignores what is going on... sadly many Muslims seem to be doing so as well. We continue on with our daily activites forgetting those persecuted in our dua, and not taking action to stop the attrocities that are occurring. Being in Turkey allows for many Middle Eastern media sources to be viewed--- my heart aches as I then flip to websites of Canadian news channels to view Israel as the "Good Guy" creating justice and stopping more "terror". Unforunately because nobody is doing anything about it now-- be it the international community or Muslim groups of significant power, it will be left to Allah on the day of Judgement when those who persecute will stand before Him labelled as murderous oppressors. I pray that Allah brings the Muslims victory, grants justice, and brings patience to those fallen victim to such crime.
The above serves as a segway for the rest of this post--- Today walking in the streets of Istanbul was a girl wearing a shirt that said "We are all from Gaza"-- No hijab, maybe not the person you would first guess as Muslim supporting those persecuted (Allah knows best of course) but there she was taking a stand. Alahmdulillah it helped me to sit back and realize just how much Islam is still here in Turkey. Of course the country is ruled by a secular state and I am no way ignoring the countless wrongs and injustices that are occuring here- I am constantly reminded of them as I watch my young relatives go to school having to remove hijab just to get an education, or being a niqabi and walking down the street to have insults hurled at me--- not even me just a person who chooses to cover their hair, or the brothers who can't wear a beard because they will lose a job... It isn't bombs or bullets but it is a hardship that the Muslims here face and makes me greatful for the freedom I do experience as a Muslim in Canada-- However, that being said, Islam is still alive here. Where else do you see a secular country that has mosques every 8 blocks and where the adthan calls out loudly in the streets below five times everyday! Where you can wake to the call of Allah (SWT) and pray in mosques of those dedicated to Allah (SWT). Beautiful mosques built to show the love the people here have for Allah (SWT). Stores where some store-owners great you with salaam, and people who when they look at my daughter say meshallah and remind me to recite Falaq and Naas over her. Where today the waitor that served us asked my daughters name and new that 'Asiye' was one of the women promised paradise because of her perfect faith... Yes Islam is still alive here.
Being in a country other that Canada helps put things in perspective. In Canada I think often Muslims either want only to leave Canada or the opposite they want to live in the West because they expect that it will bring something they didn't have in the country they previously lived in. I am learning that what is best is that we pray that Allah (SWT) gives us whatever is best for us. That we pray that He (SWT) puts us where we should be and that we are open to accept where that is. Because there is work to do as Muslims in Canada, just as there are things to run from with full force. There are lessons to be learned and things to be forgotten. And in Turkey, a country often labelled as dead when it comes to Islam, or those who practise culture instead of relgion, Allah has showed me a lot while being here. Areas that I took for granted while in the West. I am far more aware of waste, poverty, sincerity, honesty in business transactions... the list could go on and on.
I guess the intention of my ramblings is to really rethink about what I have been learning rather than tell others about it, however, if there is one lesson that I hope is taken, I hope that it is that we pray more. Pray for those persecuted, pray that Allah (SWT) puts us where we need to be to best serve Him, pray that He helps us to see the best in every situation, learn from others, and that He would benefit us in our religion in all ways. That we would actively be worshiping Him and learning about ourselves in this beautiful religion.
I pray that this finds you in the best and strongest of Iman, offering sincere prayers for our brothers and sisters all over the world. Especially those in Gaza. May we as Muslims and as a society stand up for their rights, and do something to make the atrocity stop. I also pray that if I have wronged anyone in the past that they would forgive me and that Allah would forgive me for any error I have committed openly or privately. Ameen.