>> Monday, November 7, 2011
Asalamualaikum Warahmatulahi Warakatuhu Little Auntie <3
Before I rediscovered the beauty is Islam in my life, I was one of those half-wit laugh-my-brain-out kind of girls. I was a huge trouble maker, and I was proud of that name. I was one of those girls who didn’t really care about what people thought of, and who always had something hilarious to say to make my friends laugh hysterically. I go to an Islamic school, so all my friends are Muslims. I was the funny one, the silly one, the one who made everyone smile. But I realized soon that though I pleased everyone, I did not please myself. So I turned to Allah.
I shifted all gears. I did it gradually, of course. But the one thing that stayed the same about me is the desire to make people smile.
And SubhanAllah, none of my friends turned away from me, even though some are not so pleased with my ‘religiousness’. Its been a little more than two years.
Being a real Muslimah <3 I guess I am one of them super excited lets-change-the-world-with-a-smile kind of Muslimah, Alhamdulilah (: I love Allah!
As this year unfolded, my friends started changing too…you know…going through those ‘teenage phases’. I realized that its becoming very hard to engage in a conversation when all they want to talk about is ‘cute boys’ and gossip. And I cant do that.
I watch my close friends as they talk about how ‘cute’ a certain boy is and when they meet my gaze they feel a little ashamed and look at me apologetically. They don’t talk to me as often, but I try my best to be nice to them still. But I don’t feel like I am among them. I feel like a stranger.
I feel like I don’t belong.
I feel like I am not special.
I cant explain the emptiness I feel inside, I tell myself that Allah is my friend. But I cant seem to feel better. What do I do to feel better? To feel like I belong... Btw, Im soooo soorrrry that this is loooooong, but I just wanted to make sure you know my story if I want you to help me out (: Make dua for me my Little Auntie <3 i love you so much for the sake of Allah, really. Take care, Wasalamualaikum ~PrincessHugable
wa'alykum as salam wa rahmatuallah wa barkatoo!
Dearest dear Princess Hugable,
Your e-mail struck a chord with me. It really did.
Unfortunately, we live in a world that teaches us to validate ourselves by the number of people who know our name.... or at least our Twitter name ;) We think that the only way we can change the world is by being known. So, we make Facebook status like we're breaking news headlines, we tweet where we're going, what we're doing, and why we're not tweeting (#GoingonVacation). We blog like we have an audience of a billion people.....
We want our names to mean something. We want to MATTER.
We want to be special...but few of us realize what it is that truly makes us special.
What makes you, darling Princess, so special is that you are a practicing Muslimah. You are a person who remembers Allah before you talk, walk out of your house, decide what you want to wear and etc.
From the millions of people out there who live their lives like they are their own gods, you walk on this earth with the knowledge that you are God's servant and you set out trying to please the Creator, instead of the creation.
That makes you special. That makes you unique.
Think about it. How many people do that?
You said yourself that you go to an all Islamic school and you don't feel like you belong. You know why? Because you are SPECIAL. You are Extraordinary, even among Muslims.
I know what you're thinking...."That's your advice?"
Seriously, it's true. Think about the Companions, radiya Allah anhum. Why is it that we remember them so much? What made them special? It's because of how strongly and firmly they clung to the religion...even when all the 'odds were against them'.
So, number 1: Realize that your religiousness doesn't take away your uniqueness. It makes you special.
In fact, in a Hadith Qudsi recorded by the Companion Abu Hurayra, may Allah be pleased with him, the Prophet Muhammad (sallah allahoo Alyhee wa salam) said speaking from his Lord:
"Allah, Exalted and Mighty is He, loves of His creation the God-fearing, the pure in the heart, those who are hidden, and those who are innocent, whose face is dusty, whose hair is unkempt, whose stomach is empty, and who, if he asks permission to enter to the rulers, is not granted it, and if he were to ask for a gentle lady in marriage, he would be refused, and when he leaves the world it does not miss him, and if he goes out, his going out is not noticed, and if he falls sick, he is not attended to, and if he dies, he is not accompanied to his grave."
2. Learn from the companions radiya Allah anhum. The companions didn't all do the same thing. They used their special abilities and talents for the sake of Islam. Hasaan bin Thabit was known for his poetry. Khalid bin al Waleed for his military genius. Abu Hurariah his memory and his narrations of hadith. Zaid bin Thabit learned languages quickly. Muadh ibn Jabal was said to be the most learned of the 'halal and haram' (this was said by the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam, himself!).
So, you see, each of the Sahabah used their talents sincerely for the sake of Islam and this made them each remembered.
You can do the same thing! Whether it's your verbal or analytic skills, your smile, whatever.... You can use it.
In fact, you said that you used to be one of those girls who didn't care what people thought and you would crack hilarious jokes. You can still utilize that 'not caring about what people think' attitude- that's something really special. Use that ability and enjoin the right and forbid the evil. That would make you super special.
I mean, seriously. How many of us can look a person, straight in the eye, and tell them "You know, that song isn't really appropriate. Please turn it off." That truly needs someone who doesn't care what others think. That needs someone with major guts. [And someone who can care enough about others to care about their Hereafter :)]
Realize also that to "matter" doesn't mean that you have to come up with some great invention/ change the world in some dramatic way. Let me put the rest of the hadith I put above:
The Companions asked the Prophet: They asked him, "O Messenger of Allah, how can we find someone like that?" He, (sallah allahoo alyhee wa salam), said, "Uwais al-Qarani is such a one."
They asked him, "and who is Uwais al-Qarani?" He, (sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam), answered, "He is dark skinned, wide shoulder, and of average height. His complexion is close to the color of earth. His beard touches his chest. His eyes are always looking downwards to the place of prostration, and his right hand is on his left hand. He weeps about himself with such a flow of tears that his lips are swollen. He wears a woolen garment and is known to the people of the heavens. If he makes a promise in the Name of Allah, he keeps it. Under his left shoulder there is a white spot. When the Day of Resurrection comes and it is announced to the slaves, "Enter the Garden," it will be said to Uwais, 'Stop and intercede.' Allah, Mighty and Exalted is He, will then forgive them to the same number as are the people of Rabi'a and Mudhar. (These are the two tribes that Uwais, belonged to). So, O Umar and O Ali, if you can find him, ask him to ask Allah for forgiveness. Then Allah will forgive you."
Uwais was given this status not because he was famous. He was given this status because he was the best at something many of us 'belittle'. He was the best person to his mother.
He was given the station of interceding for people on the Day of Judgment because of that.
And the incredible thing is that the people around him had no idea who Uwais was. He was someone 'nobody noticed'....but somebody loved by Allah subhanoo Wa' Tala!
You see, this is what Islam teaches us:
"If you can be unknown, do so. It doesn’t matter if you are not known and it doesn’t matter if you are not praised. It doesn’t matter if you are blameworthy according to people if you are praiseworthy with Allaah, Mighty and Majestic."
It is reported from Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Ayyaad ....Al-Bayhaqi, Az-Zuhd Al-Kabeer p.100
Well...what about the fact that you feel like you don't belong?
That's tough. The reality is that as practicing Muslims we are "strangers" in this world. The fact that you feel like a stranger....Well, that's a good thing, inshaAllah. The prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam said:
“Indeed Islaam began as something strange. And it will return as something strange the way it began. So give glad tidings to the strangers”.
So, yes, you are a stranger...but you can make it easier for yourself by befriending other practicing Muslims. Keep an open mind and get to know other sisters!
Personally, I had friends from school that were good people, but I didn't have too many that encouraged me to really be better (pray sunnah prayers, read Quran, etc).I had to look outside of school for that. The truth is, most of the encouragement that I got came from online friends. That's right. I joined forums like "The Sister's Majlis": http://z13.invisionfree.com/The_Sisters_Majlis/index.php? (but at the time I joined, it was Muslimas Oasis). I started reading blogs and doing that kinda thing. You can even check Facebook groups.
I know what you're thinking- but I want friends I can actually see and visit.
That is the downside of forums, but the up side is that you can log on at any moment and I find an interesting post/ story/ and get a hug ;) Besides, I found from experience that sometimes you can even be 'more you' online than offline. I also did end up finding a few sisters living in 'relatively near' areas (okay, same countries :P).
Okay, okay, you're not into that idea...
The next place to look for is the mosque. Go to the Friday prayer. Say salaams. Look around for anyone your age. Try visiting different mosques, too.
It's important that you also look for halaqahs in your area. Also, if you ever have an Islamic convention/ have an important Sheikh/ famous daee come to your area, go and MAKE friends with the sisters there.
Ask for their e-mail/ facebook/ promise each other that you will share good lectures and reminders with each other.