Well, ironically this masjid was in a building that was used originally as a teenage nightclub! And my own sister previously was arrested for being drunk. Subhan Allah (glory be to Allah)! So I went to the dinner at the masjid and that feeling all came back to me.
We had to leave the Ka'bah. And it hurt. So much. But we never have to leave Allah. Unless we choose to. Unless WE choose to turn our backs on Him. But He is always there. It’s we who chose to turn away. And what happens when we do?
For a minute I finally recognized myself and suddenly I could pinpoint that emptiness inside me. Then, I realized what I wanted to do. I wanted to become a Muslim! Just by saying it I scared myself and I had to blush. It was as if I was speaking of things that are forbidden...
We read about the trials of those before us, how they remained steadfast and God was with them – how then can we give up? We read that whoever trusts in Him, then He will be sufficient for him, that He answers all dua’ (supplication) – how then can we despair?
I went into a city of anarchy, death, and chaos. The echoes of its destruction I believe were a harbinger of the downfall of our civilization. But also the song of love amongst the believers is a new song of hope and revival. This love and sincerity I did not find in the richest and most powerful empire in the world.
My reading material was very limited because I am a totally blind person and the material available about Islam in braille or on tape was not only very little, but also very general. I believe the reason was that the material that I had access to wasn't written by Muslims and it kind of painted a dark picture of Islam.
So many people reach a level where they cease to improve. They think they have attained everything that it means to be guided. They turn from improving themselves to the preoccupation of judging others, heedless of their own shortcomings.
There was faith in my heart for God, but I did not know how to understand Him. Inspired by a famous historical figure who at 18 planned to be on the road to stardom by 23, I made a promise to myself to be on the correct religious path...
I wanted to study Islam. I wanted to leave home for a country where Islam was alive and present in its daily form. My aim was to go to Egypt and study at the famous and respected Al-Azhar University. But the events took a different turn so I could write this story today.
Life can sometimes deal you crippling blows. There may be times when you’re simply too broken, weak, discouraged, and hopeless to stand, bow, and kneel in prayer. Knowing that you’re the source of your own problem doesn’t help either. Face it— you’re just too weak to get up and run that spiritual marathon.
Why does Allah ask us to pray, to fast, to avoid backbiting, to avoid alcohol, to wear hijab? What does Allah gain by these things which He has imposed on us? Some of you might be scandalized by such questions...