I Bow to You

14

After her first guest submission, TheSisterWhoSmiles joins us as a staff writer, and shares some thoughts and a story on making it through life’s obstacles.

Have you ever had one of those days where everything seems to go wrong? You can be surrounded by a sea of people and yet you feel alone and unwanted. You can be with your closest family and friends, yet your sinking heart feels like it will never rise. Your heart can be broken and it hurts so much, yet you fake a smile so no one can see the intense pain you feel. Have you ever been through these times, yet you always seem to find some light in the situation?

Always remember, that even through the darkest of times, you are never on your own – Allah is always there with you – always. Allah, the Creator of everything in existence. The Creator of delicate pale pink petals which feel like velvet in your hands and smell so beautiful and uplifting. The Creator of the vast blue skies which you look up at and feel lost in their deep, vast blues. The Creator of everything: as small as an atom reacting with other atoms to make new substances; as large as the galaxies in which Earth is just a minute blue dot. Our most great God. He is with you. Why fear, why feel lost, when you come to the amazing realisation that Allah, the Most High, the Most Great, the Most Merciful, is with you, every step of your journey.

All of the struggles and obstacles you go through always make you stronger. Allah never gives a burden too tall. Overcome any difficulties you may face, and stay strong! I think as hijabis, some of us can relate to, and understand these difficulties much better. I live in Britain, and although I live in a diverse area, wearing hijab and being a practising Muslim in a non-Muslim country can be a little difficult at times. I was talking about this to a group of friends, who agreed that the most annoying thing was that some people stereotyped you and suddenly thought you were uneducated. Even though we speak perfect English and are doing well at school, masha’Allah!

People can link the hijab with immigration in Britain, and so confuse religion with culture, which can be infuriating. Even as a youth, I have faced obstacles, but they have in fact made me stronger, alhamdulillah.

A few months ago, my friend and I noticed that as prayer times gradually changed, it meant we were coming home from school with no time to pray Dhuhr. So we decided to ask our college leader for a room where we could pray. We organised a meeting and asked him if he could provide a quiet classroom where we could complete our Dhuhr prayers at lunchtime. He told us it was imperative that we had adult supervision. So he said he’d ask a teacher to meet us in a decided classroom at the beginning of lunch the next day. Content with this decision, we waited excitedly the next day at the classroom on the 2nd floor [it’s quietest there].

She never turned up. So we went in the classroom anyway, and prayed Dhuhr. The next day, she didn’t show up again, so we decided we’d do the same as the day before. But as we were about to enter the classroom, a supervisor saw us and ordered us to stay on the ground floor [as the 2nd floor is out of bounds during lunch]. We tried to explain why we were there, but she wouldn’t listen. Instead of arguing a lost cause, we obeyed her and prayed in a busier, noisier area of school.

We kept up this routine over the weeks, sometimes having to dodge out of the way of teachers [which we didn’t feel good about], or praying close to the wall so teachers wouldn’t see us without this “much-needed” supervision. There were quite a few times when someone walked in while we were praying – the person was shocked to see us on our knees in silence. I still don’t know who it was, but despite the fact that someone walked in, it didn’t disrupt our trail of thought or concentration on our prayers. After we came out of our Make-Shift Prayer Room, I always felt so safe and secure amongst the hustle and bustle of the hallways and corridors. It always felt amazing to rest my head on the floor at school and I felt like I truly belonged in a greater Ummah. I still have so much to learn, do and improve – however I am not losing heart, because Allah is with me, all the time, and I pray that He will accept our good deeds and forgive us for our bad. I pray that Allah will keep us continuously strong through our struggles, so we can become better Muslims. Ameen.

Remember, sisters, brothers. When it feels that all hope is lost and you’re falling into a perpetual pit of pain and darkness… strength is the ability to defy the “gravitational pull” dragging you down to sorrow. This is my personal definition of strength, and I think everyone has it in them. A Strong Person, is someone who can recognise this inside of them and use it. So be strong through your struggles, young Muslims, because life is always worth it…

…and smile.