Subhannallah, how this life is a fitnah!
Subhannallah, we make a d’ua, a request to Allah, and it can be answered instantly! Among many things these past few weeks, I have been learning, alhamdulillah. I have been observing my interactions with people. With family. With friends.
We Muslims often hear this expression “I love you sister for the sake of Allah Subhanna wa ta’ala” or “friends for the sake of Allah.” This concept of fee sabilillah is very powerful and requires much reflection. I am still learning what it means to have friends for the sake of Allah Ta’ala. It definitely encompasses the fact that at our relationships cannot be just by some circumstance. We must choose our company wisely.
I think these hadiths are a good reminder:
Abu Musa [may Allah be pleased with him] reported Allah’s Messenger [Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him] as saying: “The similitude of good company and that of bad company is that of the owner of musk (perfume) and that of the one (iron-smith) blowing bellows, (respectively); ……….and the owner of musk would either offer you some free of charge, or you would buy it from him, or (at least) you would smell its pleasant fragrance; ……….and as for the one who blows the bellows, he would either burn your clothes or you shall have to smell its repugnant smell.”
[Sahih Muslim: Book 32, Number 6361]
The Prophet Muhammad [Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him] said: “A person is on the Deen [way of life] of his ‘khaleel‘ [closest friend]. So be careful whom you befriend.”
(quoted from this article)
And, I see the differences. This week, for some reason, it was not easy wearing hijab, alhamdulillah. I definitely had to check my own Iman and ask for Allah to only increase it insha’Allah. I have always been sort of in my own head when I am inside. But when I step out to face the world I am sometimes hyper-conscious of my own existence in a very existential way and annonyingly aware of the implications of the intersections of my identities.
woman. brown. muslim. american.
As a student of sociology, I understand that we (s0ciety) give meaning to these social constructs. And that these identities are not constant but changing depending on where I am in this world. Muslim did not mean the same thing that it did 4 centuries ago in Egypt as it does in 21st century Texas for example.
Knowing this, I find myself thinking a little to long about how others will perceive me.
Subhanallah, how crazy it is for me to think of these things: I get on the bus, let me not make sudden movements to cause anyone around me discomfort. Let me tacitly consent to their potential ignorance of who I am. Let me inconvenience my life, myself, just in case what I have on may cause someone to wonder about Islam. Just in case someone’s ignorance may be so crippling to the point of fear.
Well, I met a sister in one of my classes, alhamdulillah, and, the bond for the sake of Allah is effortless. If we end up in the prayer room together we will pray in unison. We help with homework. And I have asked her a few questions and expressed to her some of my own experiences. Like, me wondering what people thing when they enter the bathroom and see me making wudhu.
She understood and reminded me of that fact that it is a blessing to be able to be who we are. And that this is a form of da’wah to be able to represent things people may not fully understand. Subhannallah, I needed to be reminded of that, and reminded of Allah Ta’ala at that instant.
Reminded that our rewards are with Allah Subhanna wa ta’ala.
Now, I still communicate with many of my old friends even though I have not heard from many of them for weeks. But I did have the chance to catch up with one of them yesterday and I had just finished making dinner so I offered her some of my food. Afterwords, I offered her hot chocolate. Running low on my expensive, fair-trade, pure cocoa, I decided to not splurge and be moderate in mixing in the chocolate. She complained shortly after a few sips because it was not as sweet as she would have liked. And I remembered how many times I’ve offered her tea and she complained. Now, I was not angry with her at all. That’s her taste preference.
But shortly after she left, I was reminded that as Muslims we (should) know that it is Sunnah not to complain about food. If we do not like something prepared for us than just leave it be.
Definitely, my reward is with Allah . There is nothing she could have done to reward me in any way that would compare to blessing from Allah.
This post is just a little glance at my own experiences from my perspective. I value the people in my life, but I also recognize how fulfilling it is to be in the company of other Believers.
May the learning continue. May our company reminds of the beauty and oneness of Allah. May we have the strength to remember that we are never standing alone and the best relationship to seek is relation with Allah Ta’ala.
I’ll end this post with a lecture that I really enjoyed this morning, alhamdulillah.
As Salaamu Alaikum.